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Archive for May, 2010

Love for the Prophet

Written by Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad

Love for the Prophet  is a humble attempt at an English translation of the shaykh’s famed book “Ishq Rasul .” The shaykh emphasizes the importance for us as a nation in loving the beloved Messenger of Allah, and provides vivid and powerful examples of love from the lives of the Noble Companions to great traditional scholars from our glorious past. The shaykh highlights that our expression of love must not be mere lip service, but should resound from our entire being as we strive to follow his beautiful example in every phase of our life.

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Do Not Despise The Sinners

By Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani

Translated by Shaykh Yusuf Laher

An original Deoband.org article

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “That person who taunts and ridicules his Muslim brother over a sin from which he has repented, will not die until he himself commits that same sin.” For example, you come to know that a certain person committed or was involved in a particular sin and you also know that this person has repented from it. To think low of him or to taunt or ridicule him because of that sin, by saying something like: “You are the one who was involved in certain evil actions”, is in itself a sin.

Through repentance a person has corrected his relationship with Allah Most High. Through repentance not only has the sin been forgiven, it has also been erased from his book of deeds! Allah Most High has erased it from his book of deeds but you, because of that sin, are thinking low of him and treating him with contempt. You are taunting and ridiculing him. This action is extremely despised by Allah Most High.

This is regarding a person whom you know has repented. If you don’t know whether he has repented or not, then there is always this possibility that he, being a mu’min (believer), has repented or will repent in the future. Therefore, if someone has committed a sin and you do not know whether he has repented or not, you still do not have the right to hold him in contempt. It is possible that he has repented. Remember! Abhorrence should be for the sin and not the sinner! Hatred should be for sins. Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) did not teach us to despise those who sin.

On the other hand, the sinner is worthy of pity and compassion, for this distressed person has been overtaken by a sickness. If a person is overtaken by a physical sickness, do you abhor his sickness or the person who is sick? Does the sick person become the target of your hatred? Obviously, the sick person is not deserving of your hatred. Yes, despise his sickness. Concern yourself with removing his sickness, so make du’a. The sick person should not be the target of hatred. He should be pitied for the reason that this poor person is caught up in a difficulty.

If someone is a kafir (disbeliever) then despise his kufr (disbelief), do not despise him. Make du’a for him that Allah Most High grants him guidance. Amin. How much did the kuffar (disbelievers) not persecute the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace)? They shot at him with arrows, they pelted stones at him, and his body bled from various places, but the words that flowed from his mouth were the following: “O Allah! Grant my people guidance, for they do not know the reality” (of this din).

Take note that that he did not despise them because of their kufr, shirk (associating partners with Allah), oppression and transgressions. Rather, while expressing pity and affection, he made du’a for them that ‘O Allah! These people are ignorant. They are unaware of the reality; therefore they are treating me in this manner. O Allah! Grant them guidance’.

So when seeing someone involved in sin, have pity on him and make du’a for him and try to steer him away from sin. Advise and counsel him but do not think low of him. Perhaps Allah accepts his repentance and he surpasses you in the sight of Allah.

I have heard the following words of advice of Hakim al-Ummah Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanawi from my respected father, Mufti Muhammad Shafi’ and ‘Arif Billah Dr. Abdul Hayy ‘Arifi (may Allah have mercy on them): “I consider every current Muslim and every non Muslim, as far as the future is concerned to be superior to me.” “As far as the future is concerned” means that although the person is presently in the condition of kufr, maybe Allah Most High grants him the tawfiq (guidance) of repenting and he is freed from the burden of kufr. Thereafter, Allah Most High raises his status so high that he surpasses me!

“Every current Muslim” means that a person who is a Muslim, a person of iman (true faith), one whom Allah Most High has granted the wealth of iman. What do I know regarding his connection and status with Allah Most High? Every person’s relationship with Allah Most High is unique. How can we judge anyone? Therefore, I consider every Muslim to be superior to me.

In this statement of Hakim al-Ummah, “I consider every Muslim to be superior to me”, there is obviously no possibility of lies and deception, or that he just said it out of moral courtesy. He said it because he firmly believed it. Anyway, to think low of someone, even though it is due to his committing of sin, is not permissible.

This malady of regarding others with contempt is found mostly in people who have reformed and turned towards din (Islam). They were not concerned with din previously but now have changed and became steadfast on salah and fasting. They have made their dressing and appearance in conformity with the Shari’ah. They have started frequenting the masjid. They have become regular in performing salah with congregation.[1] Satan induces such a person with this thought that you are now on the straight path. These people who are involved in sin are ruined. The result of this thought is that he starts thinking low of them and treats them with contempt. He now starts criticizing them in a hurtful manner. This results in Satan involving such people in vanity, self-regard and pride. When a person suffers from self-regard and pride, all his good actions are destroyed.

When a person’s gaze falls on himself that he is pious and others are bad then he is caught up in vanity. Vanity causes all good actions to become worthless. Only that action is acceptable which is done with sincerity for Allah Most High alone. After performing the action the person makes shukr (gives thanks) unto Allah Most High that He granted me the tawfiq to perform this action (if He did not grant me the tawfiq, I would never have been able to carry out this action).

Therefore, do not treat anyone with contempt. Do not think low of any non-Muslim or any sinner.

It is mentioned in a hadith that when seeing a person afflicted with any sickness, recite the following du’a:

اَلْحَمْدُ للهِ الَّذِىْ عَافَانِىْ مِمَّا ابْتَلاَكَ بِه وَ فَضَّلَنِىْ عَلَى كَثِيْرٍ مِّمَّنْ خَلَقَ تِفْضِيْلاً

All praises are due unto Allah, who has granted me safety from that which he has afflicted you with, and granted me well-being over many of the creation. (Al-Hisn al-Hasin, p.349)

It is sunnah to recite this du’a when seeing an afflicted person. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) taught us this (Note: it should be recited softly lest the afflicted person is offended).

Shaykh Dr. Abdul Hayy ‘Arifi (may Allah have mercy on him) used to say: “Whenever I pass by a hospital, then, praises be to Allah, I always recite this du’a.” He would also make du’a that Allah grants the sick good health.

One of my teachers used to say that Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) taught us to recite this du’a when seeing a sick person, but I also recite it when seeing someone involved in sin. Sometimes when walking on the road I see people lined up at the cinema houses purchasing tickets. I recite this du’a on seeing them. Then I make shukr unto Allah Most High that He has saved me from this sin.

The reason for reciting this du’a when seeing a person involved in sin is that just as a physically sick person is worthy of pity, so is the sinner worthy of pity and sympathy, for he is also caught up in a predicament. Also, make du’a for him that: “O Allah! Remove this difficulty from him.”

It should be known that those who are presently involved in sin and you consider them low and worthy of contempt may later on receive the tawfiq of repentance and surpass you! So for what reason are you boasting? If you have been granted the tawfiq of abstaining from sin then make shukr unto Allah Most High. If they haven’t as yet received the tawfiq, then make du’a for them that Allah Most High grants them guidance and grants them relief from their afflictions. Amin.

Anyway, despise kufr, despise sin and transgression, but do not despise the person. In fact, you should treat him with love and kindness. When you speak to him, speak with softness and affection. Speak with feeling and love so that it may have a good effect on him. This was always the method of all our pious elders.

I heard this story of Hadrat Junayd al-Baghdadi (may Allah have mercy on him) from my respected father Mufti Muhammad Shafi’ (may Allah have mercy on him). While passing a certain place, Hadrat Junayd saw a person hanging from the gallows, whose hands and one leg was amputated. He inquired from the people regarding this person. The people informed him that this person was a habitual thief. His hand was cut when he was caught the first time. His leg was cut when caught the second time. Now on the third occasion he has been hanged. Hadrat Junayd went forward and kissed the dead man’s foot.  People said to him: “This man was such a big and habitual thief, and you kissed his feet?” He replied: “Although he had committed such a big crime and sin for which he has been punished, but he had a wonderful quality in him, and that is steadfastness (istiqamah). Although he used this quality in a wrong way, however, he remained steadfast on the manner of his chosen occupation. His hand was amputated but he never left his choice. His leg was amputated yet he remained steadfast on theft. His other hand was amputated and still he did not give up his occupation. He remained steadfast on theft until finally his life has been taken. It is now apparent that he had the quality of steadfastness in him and I kissed his foot because of this quality.” May Allah Most High grant us this quality in our worship and obedience unto Him. Amin.

Anyway, the pious servants of Allah do not despise people but despise the evils perpetrated by them. They (the pious) go to the extent of saying that if an evil person has any good qualities in him then those good qualities should be striven for! Concern yourself with trying to remove the bad qualities in a person by speaking to him with love and affection. Speak only to him and do not speak to others about him.

It is mentioned in a hadith: “A believer (mu’min) is a mirror to another believer” (Abu Dawud). If a person has a spot on his face and stands in front of a mirror, the mirror will reflect that spot on his face. The mirror is showing him his defects. In the same way, a believer is also a mirror to another believer. When a believer sees another with a defect, he should inform him with love and affection that you have this certain weakness in you, remove it.

It is just like when a person has a worm or any insect crawling on him, then out of concern you inform him that there is an insect crawling on him, so remove it. Similarly, if a Muslim brother has a dini defect in him, then with love and affection, inform him that he has this defect in him, because a believer is a mirror to another believer.

Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanawi says that this hadith teaches us that when you see a fault in another person, then inform only that person of this fault, do not tell it to others. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) compared a believer to a mirror. The mirror only exposes the spot on the face to the person standing in front of it and not to others. Thus, the duty of a believer is to inform the person involved that he has a certain weakness in him and not to inform others of his weakness. If a person also tells others then it implies that he has acted upon his own evil desires and this will not be an act of din anymore. If he only informs and advises the afflicted person with love and concern, then this is what iman (true faith) and brotherhood demands. But to despise or think low of him is not permissible under any circumstance.

May Allah Most High grant us the understanding and the guidance to practice on this. Amin.

Obviously this is not always the case. There are those among the reformed who are not like this. Also, there are those who have always been regular on their din but suffer from this malady. The respected author is saying that this malady is mostly found in such people, but not always. (Translator) ↩

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Its been more than two month since we switched off the cable- but we still have the basic channels, like PBS and ABC. To be honest I miss my favorite shows on Food Network and Home & Garden TV but do not regret turning it off for a second.  People are getting all worked up about some out of control satellite killing their cable, it was on the radio this morning and then I read this on the LA Daily News:

A TV communications satellite is drifting out of control thousands of miles above the Earth, threatening to wander into another satellite’s orbit and interfere with cable programming across the United States, the satellites’ owners said Tuesday. Communications company Intelsat said it lost control of the Galaxy 15 satellite on April 5, possibly because the satellite’s systems were knocked out by a solar storm.

If this does happen around May 28th as predicted, please take the opportunity to kick the cable. I grew up in Khartoum, Sudan. There was no TV, except a poor excuse for a local channel that played old ABBA songs and grainy ‘iftah ya Simsim’ the Arabic version of Sesame Street.  My siblings and I spent many lazy afternoons biking, making zip lines and reading Enid Blyton. We baked mud pies and jumped over walls into our neighbors’ yards to catch our rabbits.  Treasure hunts and impromptu plays ruled the bougainvillea-covered house on 33rd Street.

If you ask my kids, their memories revolve around cartoon characters or Disney princesses. I have to prompt them to talk about vacations or fun trips, which they enjoy but come second to the GREAT TV moments. I am jealous.

We were totally TV free (except for some pre screened DVDs) for at least 6 years after my daughter was born.  Then one day, Mr LF sign up for three months of free cable, thinking we would turn it off after the offer expired.  I was away visiting my parents during summer break. So three years went by and we never shut it off.  It is depressing to see the look of total absorption when the kids are watching and 1/2 an hour turns into two and soon the whole afternoon is gone.

I lived in constant fear of inappropriate ads and uncensored language. They would wake up in the morning and switch it on and would want to watch something before being tucked into bed. It wasn’t that they were watching too much by ‘normal’ standards. I was following most of the tips suggested by parenting websites. The incessant asking for more and the whining was out of control and I felt it in every part of my soul. I was sick of saying NO no more, turn it off- Listen to ME- they were wearing me down.

I threatened to have the cable turned off and when the words came out of my mouth, I realized if I didn’t go through with it they would never take me seriously. It was my moment of truth.

So far the biggest change is in LF#4. Since he can’t watch his favorite shows ie. Diego he doesn’t want to watch TV. He is no longer throwing hissy fits when we turn off the telly; his tantrums one of the major reasons I ‘pulled the plug’.

It is amazing how he knows that those shows are no longer available and so he is stopped asking for them.  I let him watch one or two ‘educational’ cartoons. He wants to play with blocks and his train set. I am working on going 100% TV free, please pray for me.

If you need more info check out this e-book the Awful truth about TV.

Trashyourtv.com has some great info as does this great website filled with articles and resources to help you make the decision of turning of your TV.

Unplug your kids has great alternative activities for TV free kids as does this site. For a Muslim perspective read Brother Khalid Baig’s article and this kutbah by Brother Shareef on TV-The Third Parent.

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LF#2 has learnt how to do wudu but she forgets to say the dua after, so this will work as a pretty reminder, insha’Allah. I used a sticker from Alhuda bookstore for LF#1 but it has gotten old and won’t stick anymore. I thought I would get home decor friendly prints and put the duas on  them. Then put them in a frame and hang them. You are welcome to print it out and put it near your wudhu place. D’ua after wudu Card

A story book about wudhu helps kids too. This one is about a young girl called Ruqqayah. Sister Umm Abdul Basir has a neat lapbook that younger kids can make to learn the sequence of Wudhu. The best way is to honestly do it with them, showing them what you are doing and asking them to copy you. For the little ones we sing this poem in our masjid and they pick up so fast.

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Planning my weekly menu

Meatless Monday: Mattar Paneer  Cheese and Peas Curry ( can substitute Tofu for Cheese)

Tuesday: Chicken Palow, Raita & Kachumar

Wednesday: Pan Roasted Steak with Toasted Broccoli Sunflower Seeds

Thursday: Boneless Chicken Pasta with Spinach in a Bechamel Sauce, Salad

Friday : Still planning this -I have to cook a fabulous dinner b/c my sweet sister in loves (inlaws) & brother in loves are coming for the RIS Conference. InshaAllah. I am soo excited about this conference, finally my kids are old enough to attend one. Will be writing about it through the week iA.

Between our weekend school graduation, planning our Road to Jannah Summer School for our masjid, organizing a family oriented Islamic Camp/Retreat for our community, waiting to become an aunt (first one from my hubbie’s side) and RIS this is going to a crazy week- Allah taa’la help me. Pray for me.

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Summer is here and I am shopping for swimsuits  for  my girls- modest swimwear. After toddlerhood, I have tried to dress them modestly while swimming. I know a lot of people say they are only kids, its ok.  I  don’t think that I can let them wear skimpy bathing suits all their childhood and then expect them not to be rebellious when they turn 13.  That happened to me, I was allowed to wear swimsuits and shorts and then suddenly asked to stop; I was so upset with my mother for such a long time.  May Allah forgive me.  On the other hand I think children should be allowed to be kids and have fun. They should definitely know how to swim.

We have done soccer shirt and shorts over one pieces. Dance tights over one pieces with the cute skirts on them.  I would buy the one piece and the skirt from a two piece. The transition has been gradual.

Land’s End has these Rash guards on sale for $19.50 add some spandex tights and a skort:

The ideal rule would be if I would not like them to wear something out of the house then I would not like them to wear it in the water; being at the pool doesn’t mean you leave your values at home. So we pieced stuff together but always thought it shouldn’t be this hard. Alhamdulillah they now they have so many quality options:

I would also ask women of other faith to take the a look at these sites, they have great options for all body types: do you love swimming, the sun, the beach but are concerned about skin cancer, sensitive skin, sunburns, have a scar or have gained weight? May be you are a modest woman who doesn’t want to flaunt her body but wants to enjoy God’s favors, nature, water. I have no connection with any of these sites- just putting the links up to help my readers out- Veilkini, Bodykini, Burkini, Splashgear.

Modest swimsuits

This one is from modestkini.com for 29 pounds around $65 .

They are cute but I was hoping for ankle length for my older daughter.

Fabric : 190gr, 20% Dupont Lycra and 80% Nylon

Doesn’t have padding or lining to avoid unnecessary weight. It comes in 2 pieces; dress and short.

They deliver WORLDwide. Delivery is  FREE for U.K.  £6 for EU, £9 for other countries so for us in the U.S it would be $20

Primomoda makes these for girls for $65

I love the skirt on the one of the right it is a one piece that you zip up at the back- My girls love the blue/green color combination for the one left and you can get it in full length pants

A perfect solution for your little Muslimah! This two piece swimsuit is a babydoll, three-quarter sleeve dress with a pair of capri bottoms. The mid-thigh length top contains ties at the sleeves and a scoop neck.  Both the chest and crotch have extra lining.  The capris and the inside of the top tie together to keep the top from riding up.• Approved for use at all pools
• Ultraviolet protected and chlorine resistant
• Quick Drying Thermodry Technology
• 78% polyamide & 22% spandex
• Low water absorbency
• Also available in Long Sleeves and Full length pants

My friend owns the ladies version in purple from Primamoda and said this:

It is made from thicker material so not as clingy and I also bought one size up. However, the INSTANT you rise out of the water you have to pull it away and wear a towel briefly, until it dries. However, I think some muhajabe needs to design a little towel-bolero thing so we could throw that on just after getting out of the pool. Otherwise have had very good experiences and feedback. I like that is is two piece. This two piece suit contains a pair of pants and a top made of the same material. The straight leg pants have an elastic pull at the ankle to keep it in place. A swimming cap (hijab) is attached to the top for added comfort and practicality. The top and pants tie together to keep the top from riding up.

• Approved for use at all pools
• Ultraviolet protected and chlorine resistant
• Quick Drying Thermodry Technology
• 78% polyamide & 22% spandex
• Low water absorbency

This is ON SALE for $130- free shipping


Ruby’s enterprise which is based in Singapore has this absolutely cute print for one for $35 dollars and it has a scarf/head-covering too!


If you have an older daughter, 11 and older try the Burqini for girls/Burkini selection. They have great reviews the materials they use dries up super fast.

Sporty look

Burqini for girls

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By Khalid Baig

With the latest in-your-face act of Facebook, the issue is once again attracting headlines. Should Muslims react? How should they react? Where do they stand on the philosophical issue underlying all this?

In the media the issue has been framed as a clash between two camps. One camp stands for freedom of expression. The other wants to curtail it.  Needless to say the first camp is enlightened and virtuous. The other is a relic of the dark ages. The clash in other words is between a civilized and civilizing West and Islam that just refuses to be civilized.

Once you accept this framing of the whole issue, the outcome is already decided. Are you for freedom of expression or not? It is a loaded question, and just like the yes/no question, “Have you stopped beating your wife?” no matter how you answer it, you remain guilty.

Look at the typical Muslim response which begins, “We also believe in freedom of expression but…” It matters little what you say after that. It is obvious that you are trying to add exclusions and limitations to a basic moral value while the other side is asking for no such limits. It is not difficult to see which side will come out ahead.

But this predicament is a result of uncritically accepting a false statement about the nature of the clash. For the real clash is not between those who are for and those who are against a freedom. Rather it is between two different freedoms. On the one hand is the freedom to insult. On the other is freedomfrom insult. Whether it was the Satanic Verses of the 1980s or the Cartoons of 2005 and their endless reproduction since then, if they stand for any freedom, it is freedom to insult. Pure and simple. Muslims, on the other hand, have stood for and demanded freedom from insult. Nothing more. Nothing less.

These are certainly opposing values. You can be for one or the other. And the question does arise, which one is a better value.

To see that let us imagine a society that truly believes in the first as a cherished moral value. It celebrates freedom to insult and guards it at all costs. Every member of it enjoys this freedom and practices it regularly. In a business everyone insults everyone else. The boss is insulting the employees, the employees are insulting the bosses. The salesmen are insulting the customers. The accountants are insulting the creditors. Everyone is enjoying the great freedom to insult. The same is true of the home. The parents are always insulting the children. The children are constantly insulting the parents. The spouses are incessantly insulting each other. And in doing so they all stand on the high moral ground because freedom to insult is such a fundamental freedom on which the society is built.

Actually contrary to the claims of the pundits if the Western society was truly built on this “cherished moral value,” it would have perished a long time ago — consumed by the fires of hatred and negativity generated by this freedom. No home, no neighborhood, no village, no business, no organization and no society can survive for long if it makes freedom to insult as a cornerstone of its freedoms. Clearly most who advocate this freedom do not practice it in their daily lives. But they are making an exception in the case of Islam and Muslims. The driving force behind this is not any great moral principle but a deep rooted hatred born of ignorance.

Software professionals sometimes use a term called beature. It stands for a bug turned into a feature. A bug is a defect in the software. A feature, on the other hand, is a desirable attribute. A beature is a defect that is presented (thanks to slick marketing) as a feature. Freedom to insult is also a beature. It is the growing sickness of Islamophobia in the West which is being presented as a high moral value, packaged by the slick marketing departments as freedom of expression.

Well, whether or not freedom to insult is a Western value, Islam has nothing to do with it. It lays emphasis on its exact opposite: the freedom from insult. It values human dignity, decency, and harmony in the society. The freedom of religion it ensures includes freedom from insults. While it does not shy away from academic discussion of its beliefs and showing the falsehood of non-Islamic beliefs, it makes sure that the discussion remains civil. In those discussions it wants to engage the intellect of its opponents; in contrast those who itch to insult their opponents are interested in satisfying their vulgar emotions. Thus while its most important battle is against false gods it asks its followers to refrain from reviling them. (Qur’an, Al-anam, 6:108). It also reminds them to stay away from harsh speech. “Allah loves not the utterance of harsh speech save by one who has been wronged.” (Qur’an, Al-Nisa, 4:148). Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, who is being reviled by the scum of the world, taught Muslims to never let the low moral standards of their adversaries dictate theirs.

As a result of these teachings Muslims can never even imagine insulting any Prophet — from Adam to Moses to Jesus to Muhammad, peace be upon them all. Even when they ruled the world, Muslims treated the religious leaders of non-Muslim also with respect – even during battles. In the Baghdad court Jewish and Christian scholars engaged in open discussions with the Muslim savants. Needless to say they had not been attracted by the freedom to insult but its exact opposite. Freedom from insult is a fundamental value that assures peace and harmony. It leads to healthy societies. And Muslims are very proud of their impeccable record here.

What is true of a home or a village is also true of the world as it has become a global village. Now, more than ever before, the world needs the harmony and tolerance that can only be assured by the freedom from insults.

Also check out this link for a don’t ban- educate response to the group on facebook.

As usual Imam Suhaib Webb site had good naseeha for regarding this issue.

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