Archive for the ‘Islam’ Category


As’salamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatu Allah Wa Barakatuhu

 (Allah’s peace, mercy and blessings be upon you)

Praise be to Allaah and peace and blessings be upon the Messenger and upon his family and companions.

The Muslim student puts his trust in Allaah when facing the tests of this world, and he seeks His help whilst following the prescribed means, in accordance with the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him):

“The strong believer is better and is more beloved to Allaah than the weak believer, although both are good. Strive to attain that which will benefit you and seek the help of Allaah, and do not feel helpless.” (Saheeh Muslim, hadeeth no. 2664)

Among those means are the following:

  • Turning to Allaah by making du’aa’ in any way that is prescribed in Islam, such as saying, “Rabbiy ishrah li sadri wa yassir li amri (O my Lord, expand my chest and make things easy for me).”
  • Getting used to sleeping early and going to exams on time.
  • Preparing all required or permitted equipment such as pens, rulers and setsquares, calculators and watches, because being well prepared helps one to answer questions.
  • Reciting the du’aa’ for leaving the house: “Bismillaah, tawakkaltu ‘ala Allaah, wa laa hawla wa laa quwwata illa Billaah. Allaahumma inni a’oodhu bika an adilla aw udalla, aw azilla aw uzalla, aw azlima aw uzlama, aw ajhala aw yujhala ‘alayya (In the name of Allaah, I put my trust in Allaah, and there is no strength and no power except with Allaah. O Allaah, I seek refuge with You lest I should stray or be led astray, lest I slip (commit a sin unintentionally) or be tripped, lest I oppress or be oppressed, lest I behave foolishly or be treated foolishly).”Do not forget to seek your parents’ approval, for their du’aa’ for you will be answered.
  • Mention the name of Allaah before you start, for mentioning the name of Allaah is prescribed when beginning any permissible action; this brings blessing, and seeking the help of Allaah is one of the means of strength.
  • Fear Allaah with regard to your classmates, and do not be affected by their anxiety or fear just before the exam, for anxiety is a contagious disease. Instead, make them feel optimistic by saying good words as prescribed in Islam. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was optimistic when he heard the name of Suhayl (which means “easy”) and he said: “Things have been made easy for you.” He used to like to hear the words ‘Yaa Raashid, when he went out for any purpose. So be optimistic that you and your brothers will pass this exam.
  • Remembering Allaah (dhikr) dispels anxiety and tension. If something is too difficult for you, then pray to Allaah to make it easy for you. Whenever Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) found something too difficult to understand, he would say, “O You Who taught Ibraaheem, teach me; O You Who caused Sulaymaan to understand, cause me to understand.”
  • Choose a good place to sit during the exam, if you can. Keep your back straight, and sit on the chair in a healthy manner.
  • Look over the exam first. Studies advise spending 10% of the exam time in reading the questions carefully, noting the important words and dividing one’s time between the questions.
  • Plan to answer the easy questions first, then the difficult ones. Whilst reading the questions, write notes and ideas which you can use in your answers later.
  • Answer questions according to importance.
  • Start by answering the easy questions which you know. Then move on to the questions which carry high marks, and leave till the end the questions to which you do not know the answers, or which you think will take a long time to produce an answer or which do not carry such high marks.
  • Take your time to answer, for the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Deliberation is from Allaah and haste is from the Shaytaan.” (A hasan hadeeth. Saheeh al-Jaami, 3011).
  • Think carefully about the answer and choose the right answer when answering multiple-choice questions. Deal with them in the following manner. If you are sure that you have chosen the right answer, then beware of waswasah (insinuating whispers from the Shaytaan). If you are not sure, then start by eliminating the wrong or unlikely answers, then choose the correct answer based on what you think is most likely to be correct. If you guessed at a correct answer then do not change it unless you are sure that it is wrong – especially if you will lose marks for a wrong answer. Research indicates that the correct answer is usually that which the student thinks of first.
  • In written exams, collect your thoughts before you start to answer.Write an outline for your answer with some words which will indicate the ideas which you want to discuss. Then number the ideas in the sequence in which you want to present them.
  • Write the main points of your answer at the beginning of the line, because this is what the examiner is looking for, and he may not see what he is looking for if it is in the middle of the page and he is in a hurry.
  • Devote 10% of the time for reviewing your answers. Take your time in reviewing, especially in mathematical problems and writing numbers. Resist the desire to hand in the exam papers quickly, and do not let the fact that some people are leaving early bother you. They may be among the people who have handed in their papers too early.
  • If you discover after the exam that you answered some questions incorrectly, then take that as a lesson in the importance of being well prepared in the future, and not rushing to answer questions. Accept the will and decree of Allaah and do not fall prey to frustration and despair. Remember the hadeeth of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), “If anything befalls you, do not say, ‘If only I had done such and such.’ Rather say, ‘Qadar Allaah wa maa sha’a kaan (the decree of Allaah and what He wills happened),’ for saying ‘if only’ opens the door for the Shaytaan.” (Saheeh Muslim, and the first part of this hadeeth was mentioned above).
  • Note that cheating is haraam whether it is in foreign language tests or any other tests. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “Whoever cheats is not one of us.” It is wrongdoing and it is a haraam means of attaining a degree or certificate, etc., that you have no right to. The consensus is that cheating is a kind of cooperation in sin and transgression. So do without that which is haraam, and Allaah will suffice you from His bounty. Reject all offers of haraam things that come to you from others. Whoever gives up a thing for the sake of Allaah, Allaah will compensate him with something better. You have to denounce and resist evil, and tell the authorities about any such thing that you see during the exam, or before or after it. This is not the forbidden kind of slander rather it is denouncing evil which is obligatory.

Advise those who buy or sell questions or post them on the Internet etc., or who prepare cheat notes. Tell them to fear Allaah, and tell them of the ruling on what they are doing and on the money they earn from that. Tell them that the time they are spending in preparing these haraam things, if they spent it in studying, or answering previous exams, or helping one another to understand the subject before the exam, that would be better for them than doing these haraam things.

– Remember what you have prepared for the Hereafter, and the questions of the examination in the grave, and how to be saved on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever is saved from the Fire and admitted to Paradise will indeed have succeeded.

We ask Allaah to make us succeed in this world and cause us to be among those who are victorious and saved in the Hereafter, for He is the All-Hearing Who answers prayer.

Aamiin ya ALLAH

Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid
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As’salamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatu Allah Wa Barakatuhu

 (Allah’s peace, mercy and blessings be upon you)

Two young adults enter in the company of the Caliph Umar (May Allah Be Pleased With Him), stand right in front of a man seated there, point at him and say

“Ya Umar (رضي الله عنه)! This is the person!  ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه). asks him, “What has this man done?” , ‘Umar R.A. turns towards that man and asks him, “Have you killed their father?”  The man replied, “Yes Ameer ul Momineen, their father has died because of me”  ‘Umar R.A. inquires “How has he been killed?”  

The man replies, “Ya ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه), their father had entered my crops alongwith his camel. I tried to warn and stop him, he did not pay heed so I threw a stone at him which hit his head and he died on the spot”   ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه) replied, “Then you will have to give qisaas (compensation for blood), the punishment is death”  

There was no need to write down the judgment. The decision was in accordance with Islamic laws and supreme. Furthermore, the man who killed their father was not asked as to which tribe/clan he belonged to or what his family background or status was. Justice reigned supreme. What has ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه) to do with such useless questions!?   No one can influence ‘Umar’s decision and neither can someone stop ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه) from propagating the Shariat of Allah. Even if it was ‘umar’s own son infront of him awaiting justice, ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه) would have applied the same for him.

The man says, “Ya Ameer ul Momineen, in the Name of Him by whose power the Earth and Heavens are held together, please let me go back to my wife and children in the desert and inform them that I shall be killed. They have no one besides Allah and myself, I will return back soon”   ‘Umar R.A. says “Who will guarantee your return once you go the desert?”

And then, silence overtakes the gathering. There was no one there who even knew the name of this person who had confessed to his crime. The identity of his tribe/clan and whereabouts was also not known.   Who will be his guarantor? Is the issue about a loan of 10 dirhams, about a piece of land or exchange of camels? Here, the issue was of a different magnitude as it involved the killing of a person.   And then, there was no one could dare challenge ‘Umar’s (رضي الله عنه) verdict on Allah’s Shariat. There is no one who will even dare act as a referral of mercy for the accused.   Silence has overtaken the Sahaba (Companions of the Prophet p.b.u.h.) who are seated in the gathering. ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه) himself is affected by this situation. The man’s condition and situation has surprised everyone. Should this person really be killed as compensation and his wife and children be left to rot and starve to death? Or should he be pardoned without remuneration? If he does not come back, there shall be grave injustice against the blood of the slain father of two youngsters!

‘Umar R.A. himself is seated in anxiety with his head lowered. He raises his head and with eyes signifying humble request, he asks those two young men “Forgive this man”   “No Ameer ul Momineen, it cannot be possible that a person who kills our father gets away like this” The two young men announce their final decision without any hesitation.   ‘Umar R.A. once again looks among the gathering and asks in a loud voice “Oh people, is there any one amongst who willing to be the guarantor of this man?”   Abuzar Ghaffari R.A. stands up with his truthfulness and piety in his old age and says, “I guarantee this man”   ‘Umar R.A. tells Abuzar Ghaffari (رضي الله عنه), “Abuzar, he has killed”   “Even though he is a killer”, replies Abuzar Ghaffari R.A., with full firmness in his decision.   ‘Umar R.A. asks, “Do you know this man?”   Abuzar replies, “No I don’t”   ‘Umar R.A. asks again, “Then how are you guaranteeing him?”   Abuzar Ghaffari R.A. replies, “I have seen signs of virtue on his face, and I strongly feel he is not lying. He will return Insha-Allah”   ‘Umar R.A. says “Abuzar, make sure again. If this man does not return within 3 days, I shall have to bear the sadness of your separation” (that is, Abuzar will have to be killed because he is guaranteeing the killer)   Abuzar Ghaffari R.A. replies with confidence, “Ameer ul Momineen, then Allah Maalik”

The accused man gets 3 days time limit from ‘Umar R.A. and sets off for the desert: for important preparations, to bid farewell to his family, to arrange means for them after his punishment.   3 days pass by. How can ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه) forget how each and every moment during these days passed by for him? During ‘Asr time after the congregational prayers are over, the two young men are waiting desperately to get compensation and justice for their father’s killing. A crowd of people has gathered to watch Allah’s Shariah make decisions for the case.   Abuzar Ghaffari R.A. arrives and sits in front of ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه)

“Where is that man?” asks ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه)   “I do not know, Ya Ameer ul Momineen”, says Abuzar Ghaffari (رضي الله عنه) in his brief reply.   Abuzar Ghaffari R.A. looks towards the sky where the Sun is quickly trying to set itself in the West.   There is an eerie silence hovering over the gathering. No one besides Allah knows what will take place now.   It is true that Abuzar R.A. has a special place in ‘Umar’s heart. If Abuzar (رضي الله عنه) were to ask ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه) to give him a piece of his body, the latter would not spare a minute and cut out his body for Abuzar. This was the love they had for each other.   However, the situation right is of a Shariah case, Allah’s judicial Commands are involved and demand implementation. This is not a drama. If the killer does not return, then Abuzar’s neck will have to be cut off as he is his guarantor.

A few minutes before Maghrib time, the killer returns. “Allahu Akbar!” says ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه) suddenly. And soon, everyone in the gathering chants “Allahu Akbar!”   ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه) addresses the killer and says, “O person, even if you had not returned, what could we have done of you? Neither does anyone know about your house nor anyone knows your location!”   The man replies, “Ameer ul Momineen, by Allah, it is not about you. It is about that entity (Allah) who Has Knowledge of everything visible/hidden. Do see, that I have returned, leaving my children alone in the desert like the babies of a bird, where there is no shadow of a tree neither any sign of water. I present myself to be killed. I was only fearing that people will say that promises are not fulfilled anymore.”   ‘Umar R.A. turned towards Abuzar Ghaffari (رضي الله عنه) and asked, “Abuzar, on what basis had you given your guarantee for this person?”   Abuzar (رضي الله عنه) replied, “Ya ‘Umar, I feared that people might say Khair cannot be expected these days”   ‘Umar R.A. remained in silence for a while and then asked those two young men, “What do you say now?”   They erupted into tears and said, “Ya Ameer ul Momineen, we forgive this man for his truthfulness, we fear that people might say the spirit of forgiveness is no more among us”   ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه) started weeping “Allahu Akbar!”, so much so that the tears had wet his beard and fallen down.   “Oh young men, May Allah reward you for your forgiveness!”   “Oh Abuzar! May Allah reward you for helping this man in the time of need!”   “And Oh person, May Allah reward you for fulfilling your vow!”   And then the man replied, “And Oh Ameer ul Momineen, May Allah reward you for your justice and mercy!”

One of the Islamic historians is reported to have said, I swear in the name of Him in whose hand is my life, the glories of Islam and belief buried themselves in the coffin alongwith ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه)  to his grave (that is, such instances cannot be found after ‘Umar’s (رضي الله عنه) age).



As’salamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatu Allah Wa Barakatuhu

(Allah’s peace, mercy and blessings be upon you)

Shuaib received an automobile from his brother as an Eid present. On Eid day when Shuaib came out of his house, a street urchin was walking around the shiny new car, admiring it.”Is this your car, Uncle?” he asked.

Shuaib nodded…. “My brother gave it to me for Eid.”

The boy was astounded. “You mean your brother gave it to you and it didn’t cost you nothing? Boy, I wish…” He hesitated.

Of course Shuaib knew what he was going to wish for. He was going to wish he had a brother like that. But what the lad said jarred Shuaib all the way down to his heels.

“I wish,” the boy went on, “that I could be a brother like that.” Shuaib looked at the boy in astonishment, then impulsively he added,

“Would you like to take a ride in my automobile?” “Oh yes, I’d love that.”

After a short ride, the boy turned and with his eyes aglow, said, “Uncle, would you mind driving in front of my house?”

Shuaib smiled a little. He thought he knew what the lad wanted. He wanted to show his neighbors that he could ride home in a big automobile. But Shuaib was wrong again. “Will you stop where those two steps are?” the boy asked. He ran up the steps. Then in a little while Shuaib heard him coming back, but he was not coming fast. He was carrying his little crippled brother. He sat him down on the bottom step, then sort of squeezed up against him and pointed to the car.

“There it is, little brother, just like I told you upstairs. His brother gave it to him for Eid and it didn’t cost him a penny. And some day I’m gonna give you one just like it…then you can see for yourself all the pretty things in the Shop windows that I’ve been trying to tell you about.”

Shuaib got out and lifted the boy to the front seat of his car. The shining-eyed older brother climbed in beside him and the three of them began a memorable ride.

That Eid, Shuaib learned what the RasulAllah (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) meant when he had said:

“Love for your Brother what you love for Yourself”.


As’salamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatu Allah Wa Barakatuhu

(Allah’s peace, mercy and blessings be upon you)

True belief in Allah and the Day of Judgment implies that the person is truthful in his speech If he truly believes that Allah Hears and Sees everything he does and a Day will come when he will be accounted for his actions, then he will not lie. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said:

“Let he who truly believes in Allah and the Last Day speak good or be silent.” [Saheeh al-Bukharee]

It is from the tricks of Shaytaan that he first makes sins look insignificant and minor in the eyes of the believers, and then gradually deceives them to commit those sins. Lying is one of them, and people do not show much concern about its prohibition, however, lying is a characteristic of hypocrisy, Abdullah Ibn Amr Ibn Amr al-Aas (radhi allahu anhu) narrated that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said:

“Whoever has the following four characteristics will be a pure hypocrite; and whoever has one of these four characteristics will have one characteristic of hypocrisy unless and until he gives it up; whenever he is entrusted he betrays, whenever he speaks he tells a lie, whenever he makes a covenant he proves treacherous, and whenever he quarrels he behaves in a very imprudent, evil and insulting manner.”[Saheeh al-Bukharee]

Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) warned us against lying by describing the severe punishments of Allah for the liars. He (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) related a dream in which he (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) saw people being punished; among them were two persons, whose cheeks were torn away from the mouth to the ear. He said:

“I saw (in a dream), two men came to me. They said, ‘The person, the one whose cheek you saw being torn away (from the mouth to the ear) was a liar and used to tell lies and the people would report those lies on his authority till they spread all over the world. So he will be punished like that till the Day of Resurrection.’”[Saheeh al-Bukharee (vol. 8, no: 118)]

The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) explained that lying could cause one to end up in the Hell Fire, he (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said:

“Avoid falsehood, for falsehood leads to wickedness, and wickedness to Hell; and if a man continues to speak falsehood and makes falsehood his object, he will be recorded in Allah’s presence as a great liar. And adhere to the truth, for truth leads to good deeds, and good deeds lead to Paradise. If a man continues to speak the truth and makes truth his object, he will be recorded in Allah’s presence as eminently truthful.”[Abu Dawood (Sunan Abu Dawood vol. 3, no. 4971)]

Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) has strictly forbade lying at all times, but he (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) specifically cursed the person who lies to make people laugh, he (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said:

“Woe be on one who speaks and lies in order to make people laugh, woe be on him.” [Abu Dawood vol: 3, no. 4972.]

This Hadeeth shows the gravity of lying in jokes, which has today become a very common behavior. People appreciate and encourage false jokes claiming that it brings joy and amusement – But in the above Hadeeth, the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) forbade lying even if the intention of the person is to amuse people, because one who habitually lies for sake of amusement, loses the fear of lying and he is very likely to later fall into harmful lies. So, the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) blocked this path from the beginning because of the bad it may lead to.

Islam does not prohibit joking. It is known through many narrations that Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) approved joking, and he (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) would himself play and joke with his companions and small children. Simak ibn Harb asked Jabir ibn Samurah (radhi allahu anhu), “Did you sit in the company of the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam)?” He said: ‘Yes, very often. He (the Prophet) used to sit at the place where he observed the morning or dawn prayer till the sun rose or when it had risen; he would stand, and they (his Companions) would talk about matters (pertaining to the days) of ignorance, and they would laugh (on these matters) while (the Prophet) only smiled.’ [Saheeh Muslim (1413)] So, joking is permitted in Islam but with some necessary guidelines,

(a)    Joking should not involve lying, Abu Hurayrah (radhi allahu anhu) said that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) was told, “O Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), you are joking with us.” He (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said:

“I only say what is true.”[Tirmidhee]

Also, listening to jokes that involve lies is forbidden, because silence in Islam indicates consent. Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) has ordered us to stop evil or at least speak out against it, if it occurs in one’s presence. If one cannot gather the courage to speak against the one who lies, then he should leave such people who engage in lies to pass their time.

(b)    Joking should not involve bad language or abusing people. Allah says in the Qur’aan:

“O you who believe! A group of people should not scorn another group, for it may be that (the scorned person) is better than the other…” [Soorah al-Hujurat (49): 11]

Always Remember Before you speak!

Everything we say is being recorded in our actions and that one wrong word can take us to Hell Fire. Allah says in Soorah Qaf (50): 18:

“Not a word he utters but there is a watcher by him ready (to record it).”

The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said:

“Sometimes, a person says a thing which pleases Allah, and in return Allah raises his status (rewards him), and sometimes a persons says something which displeases Allah, and it takes him to Hell.”[Saheeh al-Bukharee]

And Allah knows best

 


As’salamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatu Allah Wa Barakatuhu

(Allah’s peace, mercy and blessings be upon you)

They roam the streets when everyone is asleep. Or they may hang out with friends all night at the local ‘hookah place’. Or if they have nothing to do, some of them may even ‘egg’ some poor unsuspecting person’s house….’just because’. And if they are not ‘out there’, they are indoors, up until the wee hours of the morning, watching movies, listening to music, playing video games or chatting on the Internet, just because it’s ‘summer vacation’.
Yes, that’s right, brothers and sisters, that’s our youth during the summer.

And even when it is not summer, they stay up late even then. They think it is ‘cool’ to do so.
And, unfortunately, this ‘disease of late nights’ has become so widespread that we, as parents, don’t think much of it either. In fact, many of us adults are afflicted with this same disease ourselves. We come back from parties and dinners late at night and we let our kids do the same.

However what we don’t realize is….. that’s not how Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala intended the order of things. In fact, it is quite contrary to the natural rhythm which Allaah has created in the universe and in mankind. Allaah says:

“It is He who has appointed the night a covering for you and sleep for a rest. The day He has appointed for rising.” (Surah Furqaan: 47)

Thus, the night is created for rest and the day for work and for seeking provision. Yet we do the exact opposite. We are up at night and sleep late into the day, sometimes, up to or even beyond Dhuhr time, and waste much precious time. ‘Umar Radhi Allaahu Anhu used to punish people the people who did this and say: ‘You stay up for the first part of the night, then sleep for the last part of it?’”.

If we look at how the righteous before us spent their nights, we realize that they used their nights as a means to earning Jannah; praying, reciting the Qur’aan, crying and supplicating to Allaah. However, some of us Muslims, today take their nights as a means of entertainment and fun and even, aaoodhu billaah, a means of haraam and sin.

Actually, the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) himself, did not like to stay up or even speak after Ishaa.

“The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) used to like to delay the ‘Ishaa’ prayer and he hated to sleep before it or talk after it”. (Bukhaari).

He also disapproved of staying up late and warned against it.

He (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: “Beware of staying up after people’s movements settle.”

Why did he do that? Because staying up late might cause many harms. Some of them are:

1. It may cause one to totally miss the Fajr prayer

The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: “Between a man and kufr and shirk, there stands his giving up prayer.” (Muslim)

2. Even if you do wake up for Fajr, it is extremely hard to concentrate in the prayer or even know what one is saying.

3. Staying up late causes health problems, exhaustion, weakness, and loss of enthusiasm.

The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: “Staying up late is tiring and burdensome.” (Daarimi, Tabaraani, others)

4. It also leads to lack of responsibility and laziness, as it is extremely difficult to wake up early for school, job, etc. if you are up half the night. The person ends up sleeping late into the day, missing his work, and slacking in responsibility.

Al-Fudayl ibn ‘Iyaad said: There are two qualities that harden the heart: sleeping too much and eating too much.

5. We also miss out on the most blessed part of the day is the early morning.

The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa sallam) said:“The early morning has been blessed for my Ummah.”(Saheeh al-Jaami’).

That’s why whenever the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa sallam) sent out troops or an army, he would send them at the beginning of the day. But by sleeping late, we lose the blessings of this time and the profits we could have gained.

6. If we don’t sleep early, we can’t wake up in time for qiyaam ul-lail, a time for prayer, making dua and seeking forgiveness from Allaah,

The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: “Our Lord descends every night to the heavens when there is only one third of the night remaining and says: Who is supplicating to me so that I can respond to him? Who is asking Me for something so that I can grant him that which he is asking for? Who is seeking My forgiveness so that I can forgive him”(Bukhaari, Muslim)

Is it befitting that we, as Muslims, miss this honorable and virtuous time and waste it either sleeping or following our desires?

7. Staying up late is also a major reason behind many of the moral crimes, community problems, car accidents, etc.

Exceptions to the rule:

The Ulama say that staying up late unnecessarily is nothing but a bad habit, unless it serves a purpose, such as praying and worshipping Allaah, seeking knowledge of Islaam, a person’s job, traveling, students preparing for exams, or other beneficial or permissible matters.

The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:
“Staying up late is for one of three categories of people; those traveling, those praying the night prayers, or those on their wedding night.” (Abu Ya’laa).

What Islaam encourages us to do is to sleep early, preferably right after Ishaa, then wake up early in time for our prayers (Fajr and Tahajjud, if possible) and then take advantage of the blessings of early morning for our work and provision. We are also encouraged to take a nap during the day, either before Dhuhr or after, if we are able to.

The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: “Take a nap, for the shayaateen do not take naps.” (al-Tabaraani–Saheeh).
Ishaaq ibn ‘Abd-Allaah said: “Taking a nap is one of the deeds of good people. It revitalizes the heart and helps one to pray qiyaam al-layl.”

Brothers and sisters, realize that staying up late is a diseased lifestyle that takes one away from the religion of Allaah and encourages the following of ones lusts and desires. One should avoid it unless there is a legitimate reason for it. Not only should we keep our kids away from it, we ourselves need to break this bad habit and develop healthy lifestyles and wholesome ways.

May Allaah enable us to realize the harms and evils of staying up late. May He enable us to utilize our time in the most productive manner, that is most pleasing to Him.

Aamiin


As’salamuAlaikum Wa RahmatAllahi Wa Barakatuhu

(Allah’s peace, mercy and blessings be upon you)

The most common questions I get from young people are, “Do Muslims date?” and, “If they don’t date, how do they decide whose the right person for them to marry?”

“Dating” as it is currently practiced in much of the world does not exist among Muslims – where a young man and woman (or boy/girl) are in a one-on-one intimate relationship, spending time together alone, “getting to know each other” in a very deep way before deciding whether that’s the person they want to marry. Rather, in Islam pre-marital relationships of any kind between members of the opposite sex are forbidden.

1. Allah subhana wa’tala says:

Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and protect their private parts….And tell the believing women to lower their gaze, and protect their private parts…” Surah al-Noor :30-31)

But Dating encourages people to deliberately look and stare and seek out the ‘one’ that you find attractive.

2. Allaah orders the Muslim women not to talk unnecessarily or in a soft manner to strange men.

“….then be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease (of hypocrisy, or evil desire for adultery) should be moved with desire” (Surah al-Ahzaab :32)

Even for the Sahaabah, Allaah ordered them to screen themselves from the wives of the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa sallam) when they need to ask them something. Who could be purer than the wives of the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa sallam) and who could be higher in taqwa than the Sahaabah?

“And when you ask (the Prophet’s wives) for anything you want, ask them from behind a screen, that is purer for your hearts and for their hearts. (Surah al-Ahzaab: 53)

Yet, in Dating, you see young men and women who are absolutely not mahram for one another in any way whatsoever, going way beyond this prohibition. Not only are they talking to each other in a soft and flirtatious way, but they are right out expressing their ‘love’ (in reality, lust) for each other.

3. The Sunnah prohibits a man and a woman from being alone together at any time.

The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa sallam) said:

“Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him not be alone with a woman who has no mahram present, for the third one present will be the Shaytaan.” (Ahmad — saheeh by al-Albaani)

But those who celebrate Valentine’s Day purposely seek to be alone with each other and go out on dates with each other while Allaah says:

“And come not near to unlawful sex. Verily, it is a Faahishah (i.e. anything that transgresses its limits: a great sin, and an evil way that leads one to hell unless Allah Forgives him)” (al-Isra’ :32)

4. Islaam prohibits a man to even touch a non-mahram woman.

The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa sallam) said:

“If one of you were to be stabbed in the head with an iron needle, that would be better for him than his touching a woman who is not permissible for him.” (al-Tabaraani –saheeh by al-Albaani)

But Dating promotes more than just touching. It promotes hugging, kissing, cuddling and much more. May Allaah protect us.

5. Islaam teaches us that real love between a man and a woman, that is acceptable and allowed by Allaah is only that between a husband and his wife.

“And of His signs is that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you might reside with them, and has put love and mercy between you. Surely, there are signs in this for those who think. (al-Room: 21)

But DATES  endorses haraam relationships between a non-mahram man and woman and encourages illicit love and un-Islaamic affiliations.

6. Islaam tells us that Hayaa’ (modesty) and bashfulness are a jewel to be treasured.

It is a purity and innocence that is a virtue, regardless for a man or a woman. The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa sallam) said:

“Hayaa’ (modesty) is a branch of faith.” (Bukhaari)

On the other hand, THESE dates and hanging out with opposite gender advocates nothing but shamelessness and immodesty.

The choice of a marriage partner is one of the most important decisions a person will make in his or her lifetime. It should not be taken lightly, nor left to chance or hormones. It should be taken as seriously as any other major decision in life – with prayer, careful investigation, and family involvement.

The following steps should be adopted:

  • Make du’a (supplication) to Allah; ask Him to help you find the right person.
  • The family should enquire, discusse, and suggest candidates. They should consult with each other, so as to narrow down potential prospects. Usually the father or mother should approache the other family to suggest a meeting.
  • Couple should meet in chaperoned, group environment. ‘Umar related that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “Not one of you should meet a woman alone unless she is accompanied by a relative (mahram).” (Bukhari/Muslim). The Prophet (peace be upon him) also reportedly said, “Whenever a man is alone with a woman, Satan (Shaytan) is the third among them.” (Tirmidhi).
  • When young people are getting to know each other, being alone together is a temptation toward wrongdoing. At all times, Muslims should follow the commands of the Qur’an (24:30-31) to,
{lower their gaze and guard their modesty….}
  • Islam recognizes that we are human and are given to human weakness, that is why this rule provides safety-measures for our own sake.
  • Family should investigate candidate further – speaking with friends, family, Islamic leaders, co-workers, etc. to learn more about his or her character before making the final decision.
  • Couple should both pray Salaat-al-istikhaarah (The Prayer For Guidance, and thus seek Allah’s help in making the decision.
  • An agreement should be made to either pursue marriage or part ways. Islaam has given this freedom of choice to both young men and women – they cannot be forced into a marriage that they don’t want.

This type of focused courtship helps ensure the strength of the marriage, by drawing upon family elders’ wisdom and guidance in this important life decision. Family involvement in the choice of a marriage partner helps assure that the choice is based not on romantic notions, but rather on a careful, objective evaluation of the compatibility of the couple.

That is why these marriages often prove successful.

And Allah knows best.!

Favoritism Among Children

Posted: March 7, 2011 in Islam
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As’salaamu Alaikum Wa RahmatAllah Wa Barakatuhu

(Allah’s peace, mercy and blessings be upon you)

My brother is the only one in the house who gets any attention. He always gets everything he wants!” My Dad prefers our oldest sister to the rest of us. He always praises her, and no matter what good we do, he never appreciates it!

This is a common problem that we see today. And that is the problem of favoritism among children.

Parents may show their favoritism for many reasons. Favoritism could be shown to the oldest or the youngest. It could be a preference of a son over a daughter or the preference of a child more beautiful than the other or simply for no apparent reason at all.

Favoritism comes in many ways. It could be in the form of showing more affection to a child, or excessive praise of one to the neglect of others, giving gifts to one child only or giving better, more expensive gifts to one child in preference to others. It can even be favoritism by simply ignoring one child as compared to the others.

Islam condemns all kinds of biases and injustices and indeed, favoritism is a kind of injustice. A person is not being just if he shows favoritism.

Verily, Allah enjoins justice, and doing good, and giving (help) to kith and kin. (Qur’an, Surah an-Nahl:90)

Justice must be maintained in everything, even in how often we look at or speak to each of our children. The following Hadith shows us how important it is to avoid favoritism when dealing with our kids.

Nu’maan ibn Basheer said:

“My father gave me a gift of some of his wealth, but my mother, ‘Amrah bint Rawaahah, said, ‘I will not approve of it until you ask the Messenger of Allah (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) to bear witness to it.’ So my father went to the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) to ask him to bear witness to the gift. The Messenger of Allah (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said to him, ‘Have you done the same for all of your children?’ He said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘Fear Allah and treat your children justly.’ So my father came back and took back that gift.” (Bukhari, Muslim)

In fact, it is one of the rights of our children that we treat them equally. The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:

Your children have the right of receiving equal treatment, as you have the right that they should honor you. (Abu Dawoud)

And he (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) also said:

Do justice among your sons (kids), and repeated it thrice. (Muslim)

Why is it wrong??

Showing favoritism is wrong no matter how you look at it. It is injustice to the child who is being neglected, it is injustice to the one who is being preferred over the other and it is even injustice to the parent showing the favoritism in the first place.

Showing preferential treatment to one child over the other siblings nurtures a kind of jealousy and even hatred in the heart of the one being neglected. And as the experts tell us, this may lead to various psychological and social problems that can last well into adolescence and adulthood. While the one who is always preferred and praised over the other may think he/she is somehow superior or better than others and lead him/her to being arrogant and spoiled. And surely that is not fulfilling our responsibility in raising our children in accordance with the way Islam requires us to raise and educate our kids.

The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:

There is no person to whom Allah has given responsibility and dies neglecting that responsibility, but Allah will deny him Paradise . (Muslim)

The parent who is showing this favoritism is not being just to himself either since he is supposed to be fair to all his children and is answerable to Allah as to how he treated his family. By showing favoritism, he/she is being sinful and not fulfilling his/her duty as a parent according to the teachings of Islam.

The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:

Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock…..A man is the shepherd of the members of his household and is responsible for them. A woman is the shepherd of her husband’s house and children and is responsible for them……Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock. (Bukhari, Muslim)

Are you one of them?

Many mothers and fathers who show preferential treatment to some of their children do so without realizing it. They do so unconsciously and if asked about preferring one child over the other, they will immediately deny it. However, since it is a matter about which one will have to answer to Allah one day, each of us parent has to sincerely look deep into our soul to see if we are guilty of this injustice.

O you who believe! Ward off yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones… (Qur’an, Surah al-Tahreem:6)

Therefore, the Muslim parent is the one who fears Allah in his dealings with his children, one who is just in his speech and judgments. His sayings, actions and dealings with his children are based upon justice with no degree of discrimination or preference.

The just will be with Allah on thrones of light ….those who are just in their rulings and are fair with their families and those of whom they are in charge.(Muslim)

How to Avoid Showing Favoritism Among Children

Favoritism in the family is a big concern. When a certain sibling is singled out as a favorite. This can cause resentment and feeling of rejection, among the other siblings. Sometimes you may have shown favoritism, without even recognizing it. Outlined in my article, you will find, the types of favoritism and how to avoid them.

Instructions

Things You will Need:

  • Accepting that you are wrong.
  • Willingness to stop favoritism.

1      Favoritism:

Showing favoritism, to one child over the other, can leave your child feeling neglected and unwanted. Show equal attention to each sibling. It may be hard, if a child is unruly, but most times the child is just crying out for more attention.

2      Buying gifts for one and not the other:

This may sound trivial, but in the mind of a child it is not. A child can grow up resenting his parents for showing his sibling preference over him. Indulge the other sibling in the joy of receiving a gift.

3      Spoken words:

Be careful of the words that you say to your child. Certain words can leave your child feeling worthless and can even lead to suicidal thoughts. Remember that once a word is left from your lips, there is no way that you can take it back.

4      Achievements:

If your child achieved something, give him the praises that he deserves. Children are sensitive, he will notice, if you are giving all the praises to his sibling.

5      Comparison:

Comparing your child to his sibling, can cause a buildup of resentment. It also can cause low self-esteem issues further, in life. Every child is born with his own personality and traits, accept him for who he is.

6      Scolding:

Avoid sparing one child from a scolding, while giving the other a scolding. This would not be fair to your child. Everyone should be scolded fairly.

7      Raising your children in a home free of favoritism, is best for the whole family.

A home with a loving environment, and free of favoritism, will produce adults with less psychological issues.

Tips & Warnings

  • Show your children equal love, in the home.
  • Giving one child his favorite treat and denying the other child can leave your child feeling, less special. Share equally.
  • Don’t spend more time with one child and less with the other.
  • Avoid showing constant admiration for only one child.
By Asma bint Shameem

Benefits of Becoming a Muslim

Posted: February 23, 2011 in Islam
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As’salamu Alaikum Wa RahmatAllahi Wa Barakatuhu

(Allah’s peace, mercy and blessings be upon you)

The following items are some of the benefits to be earned and enjoyed by those who wish to become Muslim:

1. As far as the Creator (whose proper name is Allah) is concerned, you will be able to identify Him and get to know Him, His role and your relationship to His names, you will be able to communicate with Him any time, 24 hours a day, throughout the whole year. As a result of this category, you will be able to know your origin, your roots and the wisdom as to why you are on this planet. You will be able to have good answers to the questions why, how, when, where, what and other philisophical questions.

2. As a result of the first benefit, your loyalty, allegiance, and obedience will be to the Creator himself. You will transcend yourself from all types of allegiance for this world. This means that if there is a conflict of interest between your boss, your job, your government, your system or any worldly relationship with the Creator, you will undoubtedly put your trust in Allah, the Creator of the universe. You will follow Him before you follow anyone else.

3. As a result of the second benefit, you will be able to acquire peace, harmony, tranquillity and happiness within yourself, with your family, with people of the world, with the environment and with the universe. One has to remember that the source of peace is Allah, and one of his beautiful names is that He is The Peace.

4. As an endorsement to the third benefit, you will get rid of the extra electrostatic charges from your brain and the central nervous system by performing the daily Salah. Through Salah, you are to prostrate by putting your forehead to the floor; and as such are grounding yourself, and you are discharging these extra charges into the ground. As a result of this act, you will get rid of many of the neurological diseases from your body.

5. As a result of the fourth benefit, you will acquire a pleasant personality. You will be friendly and amicable. You would not need to drink alcohol, to use drugs or to get involved in vulgarity or immorality.

6. Through the experience of fasting in Islam, you will be able to have self-control, self-restraint, self-discipline, self-education, self-evaluation, and self-obedience to Allah the Creator. You undoubtedly will be able to improve health, personality, character, and behavior.

7. As a result of the sixth benefit, you will be able to control your lusts, selfishness, desires, greed, ego, and conceitedness.

8. Another side reaction of the sixth and seventh benefits is that you will be generous and hospitable; you will try to purify yourself and your mistakes by sharing your happiness and your wealth with those who are less fortunate than you. Your rewards will manifold, compounded daily until the Day of Judgement.

9. By performing pilgrimage to Makkah, you will transcend yourself from being nationalistic, sectarian, or denominational into being universal. You will be part and an essential constituent of the rainbow of Islam. You will be also part of the brotherhood of Islam with those who already submitted themselves to the Creator. At the same time, you will get rid of any inferiority or superiority complexes. You will also find yourself in synchrony and harmony with all the prophets and messengers of Allah since the creation of Adam and Eve until the last final messenger to mankind, prophet Muhammad (pbuh). While in makkah, you will be able to visit the places of revelation of the Qu`ran as well as the places visited by prophet Abraham and members of his family such as Hagar and Ishmael. You will visit the place where the first astronauts, Adam and Eve landed on earth.

10. In becoming a Muslim, you will do your best to stop all types of exploitations in all their forms: economic, biological, mental, spiritual, psychological, political, etc.. You will also work to liberate people and give them freedom of worship, freedom of speech, and freedom of expresssion. You will be a leader and help lead people to peace, tranquillity and happiness.

11. In accepting Islam, you will help to reduce all types of social ills in the society: juvenile delinquency, child abuse, domestic abuse, incest, homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, premarital relationships, extramarital relationships, and other vices.

12. As a result of the eleventh benefit, you will reduce and eliminate venereal diseases, AIDS, and other diseases of similar nature in the society.

13. Finally, when you die, you will die at peace. You will have a happy life in the grave and later, eternal happiness. Angels at the time of death will comfort you. They will also show you your place in paradise. On the Day of Judgment, you will be able to see and meet all the prophets and messengers of Allah to mankind including Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad(S.A.W.). You will be able to see and meet any and all of your friends and relatives. You will live an eternal life of bliss in paradise.

Reflections:

The benefits mentioned above and many more cannot be purchased with money anywhere in the world. No one is to sell them to you or to advertise them on TV. You have to take the initiative yourself and try to acquire them by accepting Islam first and then by practicing its teachings. You should be honest with yourself, sincere, and truthful to the Creator. You should try wholeheartedly to practice what you believe, regardless of whether someone else is good or not While seeking happiness is a must, it should not be measured with other people’s standards or with material gains. Happiness is from its potential to its kinetic forms. People around you should feel your happiness as well as benefit from you.

Are you ready to accept this challenge today? Remember, tomorrow may not come, and it will be too late.

by Ahmad H. Sakr, Ph.D.

!!!COME 2 ISLAM!!!


As’salamu Alaikum Wa RahmatAllahi Wa Barakatuhu

(Allah’s peace, mercy and blessings be upon you)

There are many days set aside in different societies to honor and appreciate special people; examples of these are Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day and Labor Day. In Islam, however, respecting, honoring and appreciating parents is not just for a single day of the year, but rather for each and every day.

Parents in the Quran

A child should respect and appreciate his or her parents on a daily basis. Allah mentions that human beings must recognize their parents and that this is second only to the recognition of Allah Himself. Throughout the Quran, we notice that parents are mentioned with appreciation and respect, even if they are senile. In the Quran, there is a very beautiful description of how parents are to be treated; Allah Says (what means):

“And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as] ‘uff’ [i.e., an expression of irritation or disapproval] and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word. And lower to them the wing of humility out of mercy and say: ‘My Lord! Have mercy upon them as they brought me up [when I was] small.‘” [Quran 17:23-24]

The recognition and respect of parents is mentioned in the Quran eleven times; in every instance, Allah reminds children to recognize and to appreciate the love and care that they have received from their parents. One such example is when Allah says what means:

“And We have enjoined upon man goodness to parents…” [Quran 29:8 & 46:15]

1. The demand for recognizing parents is made more emphatic when Allah Says (what means):

“And [recall] when We took the covenant from the Children of Israel, [enjoining upon them]: ‘Do not worship except God(Allah); and to parents, do good…’” [Quran 2:83]

2. Allah again emphasizes in chapter Four of the Qur’an that children should be kind to their parents. He says what means:

“Worship God and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good…” [Quran 4:36]

3. In Chapter Six of the Qur’an, Allah reemphasizes that people should be kind to their parents; He says what means:

“Say: ‘Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited to you. [He commands] that you not associate anything with Him, and to parents, good treatment…’” [Quran 6:151]

Mothers

Although Islam recognizes both parents, mothers are given particular gratitude and respect. This can be appreciated if we reflect upon the hardships and suffering that mothers experience in their lives. In this regard, there is a Prophetic Tradition: It was narrated by Abu Hurayrah(R.A.) (one of the companions) that a man came to the Prophet(S.A.W.) and asked him:

“Who is most deserving of my close companionship?’ He replied: “Your mother; your mother; your mother; then your father; then the next closest to you in kinship; then the one next closest.”

Islam has endorsed respect for parents by their children, even if the parents are non-Muslims. If parents strive to convert their children to non-Islamic beliefs, the children should not obey them, but must still maintain goodness towards them. In this regard, Allah says what means:

“And We have enjoined upon man [care] for his parents. His mother carried him, [increasing her] in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is two years. Be grateful to Me and your parents; to Me is the [final] destination. But if they endeavor to make you associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them but accompany them in [this] world with appropriate kindness and follow the way of those who turn back to Me [in repentance]. Then to Me will be your return, and I will inform you about what you used to do.” [Quran 31:14-15]

More Respect

Islam teaches that of the most beloved deeds to Allah, having respect for one’s parents is second only to that of prayer and is greater than that of Jihad (fighting in His cause). In this respect, Abu ‘Abdur-Rahmaan ‘Abdullaah Ibn Mas’ood may Allah be pleased with him narrated the following:

“I asked the Prophet(S.A.W.): ‘Which deed is the most beloved to Allah?’ He replied: “Prayers performed on time.” I then asked: ‘Which one is next?’ He replied: “Goodness to parents.” I then asked: ‘Which is next?’ He replied: “Jihad in the path of Allah.””

In Islam, respect for parents is so great that the child and his wealth are considered to be the property of the parents: `Aa’ishah(R.A.) narrated that a man came to the Prophet(S.A.W.) in order to resolve a dispute that he had with his father regarding a loan he had given him. The Prophet said to the man:

“You and your wealth are to (i.e., the property of) your father.”

Hence Islam encourages an individual to be kind and respectful to his or her parents regardless of their faith. On the contrary to modern day “mothers day” Islam demands that children should respect their parents at all time unless otherwise mention.