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my article as published on suhaibwebb.com; dedicated to my husband as 11 years pass from the day we became man and wife.

I am from Generation X, raised on ‘Pretty in Pink’ and Sweet Dreams romance novels. Some of my friends read Mills and Boons, others raved about the unattainable love in the Thorn birds; but I preferred the grand passion of Wuthering Heights. That was my idea of a romance – filling each other completely, a religion of love.

It also came from Indian movies; rich girl falls for poor guy, they dance around trees in the rain, then drama ensues from the family, enter Prem Chopra character, the guy runs off with girl, the end. Sometimes, he would dash in with a monologue and take her away while she was getting married to someone else. How many girls are still waiting for their Sir Salman/Saif/Shahrukh Khan to take them away on a white horse in a red lehnga?

When in love, according to Freud, “against all the evidence of  her/his senses, a wo/man who is in love declares ‘I’ and ‘you’ are one, and is prepared to behave as if it were a fact.” This love is so destructive, so impossible. Based on these notions, I have nursed many a heartbroken friend: in ER after she burnt herself with a cigarette because she wasn’t allowed to see him, helping hide another’s bruises under makeup, where he punched her for talking to his buddy. My own quest was for the eternal flutter in my heart. What were we thinking? Allah made us; He put these feelings in our heart, so why didn’t we ever think of turning to His book to see how ‘boy meets girl’ really works? It’s all in there.

I read of a great courtship, a love story that is so romantic it’s divine. The setting – Madyan, the land of frankincense, I can almost smell it lingering in the air. Historian Abdulla Al-Wohaibi writes that Madyan was “a flourishing ancient town with numerous wells and permanently flowing springs whose water had good taste. There were farms, gardens and groves of palm trees.”

Here we meet Safurah, the daughter of Shuyab `alayhi assalam (peace be upon him) at the side of a gushing spring, ‘keeping back, stopping her sheep from drinking with the sheep of the shepherds.’ And Musa (as), a fugitive on the run for eight days, crossing the burning desert sands from Egypt, feeding off nothing but tree leaves.

Their meeting is a beautiful example of chivalry; a perfect model of what it means to be a man and a woman. She didn’t need him; this was her daily routine and she waited out of her sense of modesty. She and her sister were strong women, after all herding their father’s flock wasn’t easy work. They were surrounded by rowdy men, reminding me of scenes from Liberty market in Lahore, Cairo’s Khan Khaleeli or the Westfield mall in Generic town, U.S.A. where rowdy boys hang out – men yelling, pushing, with little dignity or sense of composure. He, however, was a gentleman amongst the uncouth.

She didn’t need his help, she could have waited until all of the other men were done and then watered her flock, but that’s what makes it so special – that he still stood up to help her. Musa (as) was thirsty too but his sense of doing the right thing was stronger than his fatigue or his hunger. He was honorable – he could have ignored the sisters, could have said “I’m too tired, too important.” He had no relationship with these women. He didn’t know what family or religion they were from. All he saw was someone was being treated unfairly and for the sake of Allah, he was ready to help.

Sisters, a man like that will get you far in life. He will be just with your children, your parents and his parents. He will help you in your faith, your home and your life. As for the ones pushing each other to get the water from the well, they are the same brothers who will keep fighting for the dunya: keep working away for the next promotion, the next beamer, and you will be left on the side like the two sisters from Madyan.

When Musa (as) approached the water, he saw that the shepherds had put over the mouth of the spring an immense rock that could only be moved by ten men. ‘Musa embraced the rock and lifted it out of the spring’s mouth, the veins of his neck and hands standing out as he did so.’ He watered their sheep and put the rock back in its place.

After Musa (as) did this kind act, he went back in the shade of the tree and made du`a’. Unlike some MSA brothers who like to walk the sisters to their apartments and then ask them if they have food in the fridge, he didn’t ask the girls “Hey! I did you a favor, can you help me out now?”

No, he lies down on Allah’s green earth and makes this beautiful du`a’:

28:24

“So he watered (their flocks) for them, then he turned back to shade, and said: ‘My Lord! I am truly in need of whatever good that You bestow on me!’” (Qur’an, 28:24)

`Ata’ bin As-Sa’ib said in Tafsir ibn Kathir: “When Musa made that du`a’ the women heard him.”  What a beautiful du`a’ to make for all of us who are looking for a good partner or bliss in our married lives. This one du`a’ to Allah gave Musa (as) a job, a house and a family all at once. When you have nothing left except Allah, than you find that Allah is always enough for you.

The two sisters came home with the well-fed sheep, surprising their father Shuyab (as). He asked them what had happened, and they told him what Musa (as) had done. So he sent one of them to call him to meet her father.

She said: “My father is inviting you so that he may reward you for watering our sheep.” In Tafsir ibn Kathir it states
there came to him one of them, walking shyly, meaning she was walking like a free woman. Narrates `Umar ibn-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him: “She was covering herself from them (Musa) with the folds of her garment.”

Safurah is intelligent and intuitive. Abdullah bin Masud praised three people’s intuition:, Abu Bakr Siddiq (ra) about `Umar ibn-Khattab, Yousuf ‘s (as) companion, and Safurah’s when she asked her father to hire Musa (as). “Verily, the best of men for you to hire is the strong, the trustworthy.” Her father said to her, ”What do you know about that?” She said to him, “He lifted a rock which could only be lifted by ten men, and when I came back with him, I walked ahead of him, but he said to me, walk behind me, and if I get confused about the route, throw a pebble so that I will know which way to go.”

He didn’t follow her, looking at her from behind – subhan’Allah. Imagine the scenario: he was a prince who must have had women throwing themselves at him but he ‘lowers his gaze’, which is the hukum for all Muslim men, but how many really adhere to that? Here Musa (as) is not Safurah’s husband yet, so he asks her to walk behind him, knowing very well that he doesn’t know the way but she does. It wasn’t a matter of ego or superiority; he was concerned about her honor as she was alone, without her sister; this way he was protecting her. Look at their society too – if all the men were such boors, could you put it past those people to gossip about her walking with him?

I often wonder how Musa (as) grew up to be this way? He came from such privilege, so much fahasha (corruption) existed in the court of Pharoah; he could have had any woman he wanted. But he learnt how to honor women from his pious foster mother, `Aasiya (ra); and continued this respect even hundreds of miles from his mother’s eyes. Mothers can be shields for their sons – even if the fathers are Pharoah.

Back to our courtship: Musa (as) takes Safurah’s ‘lead’ by making her throw stones to direct the route. Brothers, there’s a lesson for you here: it’s ok to ask for directions and to consult with a woman. Such a man’s bravado would be insulted today; he would be considered crazy or sexist,  asking a woman to walk in his shadow and then make her do all the work! Armed with our liberal arts education, we often undervalue a man’s masculinity. Such hoopla is made over where the husband walks, in front, side by side, behind you. My husband is a foot and some taller than me, so big deal if he sometimes walks faster than me, he’s got longer legs. Other times he walks behind me especially in crowds and he is often there by my side. It doesn’t define us. Shouldn’t it matter more whether he is ahead, behind or by my side spiritually?

Safurah then hired Musa (as) and chooses to marry him under her father’s guidance. There was no long engagement and no endless conversations – no promises of unending love. How many times do we pass up great partners because we haven’t clicked? What did she like about him in those short meetings? First of all, she sees he is not a wimp, he stood up for her when they were strangers, imagine what he would do for her when she becomes his sahib-e-hayat (wife).

He complements her life; she needs a man in her household, to help her run her business (we see the same theme in the blessed union of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and our mother, Khadijah (ra). This story reinforces in me the reason why my husband is always going to be the leader of my family. He leads well, so that I may willingly follow.

Musa (as) agrees to the terms Safurah’s family sets for their marriage. She admires his trust in Allah, his ability to problem solve, his strength and his manners. If women looked for his four characteristics in a man, instead of the countless other things we focus on, will we not find our own beautiful Musa?

Further, if we are consumed by the love we have for our spouse, will there be space in our hearts for Allah? Heathcliff and Catherine of Wuthering Heights had replaced God for each other. They needed to fuse their identities and thought they had attained heaven. Bronte’s mysticism notwithstanding, love like theirs is asocial, amoral and irresponsible. After reading Musa and Safurah’s love story though, I learned to love my husband for the right reasons: for his support, his strengths, and his sense of responsibility for the sake of Allah. After ten years, he still makes my heart flutter; but he doesn’t need to complete me. It’s enough that he complements me. And it is this evolving courtship that will inshaAllah knock the tunes out of every Indian movie.

References:

Abdulla Al-Wohabi, The Northern Hijaz In The Writings of The Arab Geographers 800-1150 B.C., p. 142

Emily Bronte, I Melani. Religion, Metaphysics and Mysticism in the Wuthering Heights.

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Question: Could you please explain the verse of the Qur’an, “slay the polytheists wherever you find them” [9:5]  What are the implications of this verse and why/when was it revealed?

From Seekers Guidance by Sidi Faraz Khan

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

InshaAllah  you are well.

The key to understanding the verse in question is to understand its context and the circumstances in which it was revealed.

What the Scholars of Qur’anic Exegesis Said

As mentioned by scholars of Qur’anic exegesis (tafsir), these verses were revealed specifically with regards to particular groups of polytheists that breached their peace treaties with the Muslim polity. This is clear in the very first verse, as it mentions that the proclamation is given out specifically to “those polytheists with whom you had made covenants.”

Imam Razi, Imam Jamal, and others clarify in their tafsirs that this proclamation of fighting the polytheists “applies only to those that broke their covenants.” This is also why an exception to the proclamation is made in verse 4 which, as Imam Razi and others clarify, refers to “those who did not break their covenants,” i.e., they were not to be fought.

Hence, the oft-misunderstood fifth verse of “killing the polytheists wherever you find them” refers only to those that previously broke their covenants and, moreover, after they had four months to reflect on the situation and decide if they wanted to continue with their violation or not. If they decided to continue with their violation, then they would effectively be re-declaring war on the Muslim polity, in which case the verse ordered the polity to defend itself against the transgression. Even in that case, the next verse (verse 6) ordered the Muslims to provide safe passage and protection to any opposing soldier that sought asylum during combat.

Perhaps the following verse (verse 7) best summarizes the context of this discussion, as it states (with commentary from Tafsir al-Razi and Tafsir al-Jalalayn in brackets):

“How can polytheists [that were treacherous and violated their treaties] have a covenant with Allah and His Messenger? Except for those with whom you entered covenants [i.e., the polytheists who did not break them and hence were not treacherous] in the Sacred Mosque. So as long as they are true to you [with their covenants and do not breach them] then be true to them [by also fulfilling your covenants]; verily, Allah loves those who fear Him [i.e., He loves those who fulfill covenants, since whoever fears Allah will fulfill his covenants, and the Prophet kept his word and upheld his side of the treaty until his enemies broke theirs].”

[Razi, Tafsir; Jamal, Hashiyat `ala Jalalayn]

Summarizing the Issue

So to summarize, these verses have a clear historical context and cannot be used to justify acts of violence or terrorism committed against innocent civilians.

Furthermore, by Islamic law, a Muslim government must uphold its treaties and covenants with other nations, regardless of the faith of those nations. It is unlawful to break a peace treaty with any other nation. This also applies to any Non-Muslim that is a citizen of a Muslim nation or that peacefully enters one. This is because citizenship and visitor’s visas are legally considered covenants that cannot be violated. They ensure security and protection for the citizen/visitor, and require that the citizen/visitor not break any of the nation’s laws.

The same, of course, applies to a Muslim citizen of a Non-Muslim nation or a Muslim that enters a Non-Muslim nation with a visitor’s visa or the like, which again serve as covenants of mutual peace and protection. It would be unlawful for a Muslim to break such a covenant. This is also in accordance with contemporary international law and is absolutely binding. And Allah knows best. [Marghinani, al-Hidaya; Kuwaiti Fiqh Encyclopedia

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May Allah give you a blessed Jummah. The next time we complain about spaces we get to pray in or about the decor of our masajid, or how far we have to drive for the congregational prayer, please remember the salat of these brothers in Kazakhstan. Look at the peace on their snow-covered faces even while praying on the freezing ground. May Allah accept their worship and make us one of the  mo’mineen. Ameen

Jummah in Kazakhstan

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I have landed myself in a quagmire.   Last week I opened Facebook to a ton of congratulatory updates on a young woman from Michigan winning Ms. USA. Someone forwarded a post by a and then I hopped from site to site and found so much more cheering, When I read the Muslim references to her win in Muslim media, I felt sincere anger, so I wrote this and sent it to Muslim Matters. I don’t have a long history with any sites or forums, it was purely a reader’s reaction and a call for help, for people to think about the effect it has on our kids. If they hadn’t printed it, I would have sent it somewhere else. Thanks for giving me a voice.

Somehow I ended up on this brother’s blog amidst a fallout ?  I don’t know of the history behind blog groupings, haven’t been around long enough. I just started this blog in February hoping to meet a few good Muslimahs. Lets just say the last week has been absolutely horrible. I did not realize what I was getting into. I jumped in without floaties into the deep blue sea. Maybe being around babies all day makes you naïve, impulsive and hecka protective.

I left journalism 10 years ago to raise my kids. I was a producer for CNBC Asia.  The world has changed since then. I used to do either breaking news or planned assignments. Blogging is a whole new ball game, with instant comments and follow ups, now every word is an attack and can be attacked- I don’t have a thick enough skin YET.

There is so much viciousness, it  disturbed me when I was reading some posts around the web. Some do demoralize you instead of giving you a moral boost. I read my post now after getting a peek into this dark side of the blogsphere- I shudder. My article does sound much meaner in spirit than I meant. I still think something needed to be said but in a wiser way.

My intent was not to personally vilify any of the writers. I was harsh in some of my wordings.  I realized how it felt when your name is used in negative connotations when I ‘googled myself’- that was an experience!

I am a just a mom in suburbia worried about the world her kids will inherit- not some mega blogger. But what ever good I was saying was swept up in the controversy. Go through my blog, it is as benign a you can imagine. I wasn’t out to become somebody. I did not know the politics or rivalries. My concerns were my kids and the youth I work with.

Why was I so worked up-honestly. Being called judgemental and a hater esp. in the comments really affected me, I couldn’t sleep. Most people didn’t even read the whole thing  just judged the article by it title: which was originally, Too much at stake. It is hard to draw that line; we should be able to call a sin a sin without being accused of hating the sinner. However,

Rasulullah (SAW) said, ‘A Mu’ min is a mirror for a Mu’min.’ (Abu Dawud)

– so if even one person thinks I was being judgemental then I say Astaghfirullah, may Allah forgive me- I fear Allah that he may me take to account due to my words.

May be I should have reread this before hitting send.

don’t be bitter my friend you’ll regret it soon
hold to your togetherness or surely you’ll scatter don’t walk away gloomy from this garden ~ Rumi

BUT there is always Allah to turn back to-

Come follow me and you will find the way. Your mistakes can also lead you to the Truth. When you ask, the answer will be given ~ Rumi

I ask Allah (SWT) to guide me to use words that uphold the truth but that do not hurt. My sister says just  write about positive things Apa. My brother says Khair ki baat karein- talk about good. If my niyyah is to obey Ta’ muroona bil ma’roof, wa tanhawna ‘anil munkar, wa tu’minoona bil-Laah, I need to rememeber Alaa inna awliyaa Allah, la khawfunalayhim wala hum yahzanoon.

Behold, on the Friends of Allah, there is no fear and no grief

Ya Ay-yuhal-latheena ‘aamanut taqul-laaha, wa qooloo qawlan sadeedaa. Yuslih-lakum a’maalakum wa yaghfir lakum thunoobakum, wamay yu-til-laaha warasoolah, faqad faaza fawzan atheemaa.”

O You who believe, – Be aware of Allah, and speak a straightforward word. He will forgive your sins and repair your deeds. And whoever takes Allah and His prophet as a guide, has already achieved a mighty victory.

Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanavi said-

“I consider every current Muslim and every non Muslim, as far as the future is concerned to be superior to me.” This because who knows when in the future they will repent or do something to please Allah, who will love them so much more than me. This is what I truly feel.

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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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© 2001 – 2010 Tasawwuf.org. This material may be used for non-commercial use, provided it is unaltered and this copyright information and a link to their home page is included.

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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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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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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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Calligraphy of the Declaration of Faith

Teaching the articles of faith, Iman e mufassil to the kids? Have them listen to this beautiful nasheed by Talib Habib.  It will help them learn it easily when sung to this tune. My kids love to hum this rendition of the declaration of faith.

Listen to Articles of Faith

You can buy the album Songs of Innocence and help this brother.

The Lyrics to the Nasheed Articles of Faith

Amantu billahi wa mala’ikatihi
wa kutubihi wa rusulihi wa al-yaum al-akhiri
wa al-qadri khayrihi wa sharrihi min Allah
wa al-ba’si ba`d al-maut, la ilaha illa AllahFaith is belief in Allah and the Messengers
The angels and the Final Day, and the holy scriptures
And to believe in destiny
That good and bad both come from Him
And the Resurrection; there is no god but Allah.La ilaha illa Allah (x3), Muhammad Rasulullah

Allah is the creator of heaven and of earth
Nothing may compare with Him, He is the One alone
The prophets, best of humankind
Sent to all nations and all tribes
Last of all Muhammad, mercy to the worlds.

Formed of light and beauty, the angels of the Lord
To praise Allah, to help mankind,
Jibril brings the word.
The scriptures, all by Allah sent,
Torah, Psalms and Gospel then
The source of perfect guidance, the Glorious Quran.

The reckoning, the Final Day, when all will see their works
Remade in soul and body to stand before the Lord
With patience bearing every grief
With thankfulness for all blessings
We are content with destiny, the Will of Allah.

Faith is belief in Allah and the Messengers
The angels and the Final Day, and the holy scriptures
And to believe in destiny
That good and bad both come from Him
And the Resurrection; there is no god but Allah.

This is for educational purposes only- this is the property and copyrighted by  Brother Talib ul Habib.

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By Khalid Baig

“Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him maintain the bonds of kinship” [Bukhari]

The young man went to attend the weekly hadith lecture of Sayyidna Abu Huraira, Radi-Allahu anhu but the routine opening announcement stopped him. “If anyone sitting here has severed any ties of kinship (qata-ur-rahim), he should leave.” He recalled that an aunt lived in the town with whom he had not been on speaking terms. The young man quietly left the gathering and went straight to his aunt’s home. He asked for forgiveness for his past behavior and sought rapprochement. When the aunt inquired about the reason for this change of heart, he narrated the entire incident. She accepted the apology but asked him to inquire from Abu Huraira, Radi-Allahu anhu, the reason for this unusual announcement. Why did he leave all the other major sins and focus only on this? What was so special about ties of kinship? Sayyidna Abu Huraira replied that he had heard from the Prophet Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam that our deeds are presented to Allah every Thursday night and anyone who has severed family ties has all his good deeds rejected. He did not want any such person sitting in his gathering, which was held on the same night, for fear that it could deprive the entire gathering of blessings. Another hadith explains further the reason for this fear: “Allah’s mercy will not descend on people among whom there is one who severs ties of kinship.” [Baihaqi, Shuab Al-Iman]

Maintaining the bonds of kinship (silatur-rahim) indeed enjoys extraordinary importance in Islam. Conversely, severing the ties (qata-ur-rahim), is very high on the list of enormities. At two places in the Qur’an, Allah has cursed the one severing family ties.

“And those who break the covenant of Allah, after its ratification, and sever that which Allah has commanded to be joined (i.e. they sever the bond of kinship and are not good to their relatives) and work mischief in the land, on them is the curse, and for them is the unhappy home (i.e. Hell)” [Ar-Rad 13:25. See also Muhammad, 47:22-23].

A cursed person is one who is deprived of the mercy of Allah. It is an indication of this deprivation that this sin is punished in this world as well as in the Hereafter. “There is no sin more deserving of having punishment meted out by Allah to its perpetrator in advance in this world along with what He stores up for him in the next world than oppression and severing ties of family.” [Tirmidhi].

Another hadith highlights the high stakes involved here in a compelling way: “Rahim (family ties) is a word derived from Ar-Rahman (The Compassionate One) And Allah says: ‘I shall keep connection with him who maintains you and sever connection with him who severs you.’” [Bukhari]

Silatur-rahim has been defined as politeness, kind treatment, and concern for all one’s relatives even if distantly related, corrupt, non-Muslim, or unappreciative. [Shaikh Abdul Wakil Durubi in Reliance of the Traveller]. While nearly every religion has emphasized good family relations, Islam has taken it to unprecedented heights. It is a duty to be discharged without an eye for reciprocity. A Muslim is required to be kind even to his non-Muslim relatives. Similarly he is required to be kind to even those relatives who are harsh to him.

The most telling example in this regard is that of Sayyidna Abu Bakr, Radi-Allahu anhu. Among the many people who benefited from his generosity was a relative Mistah, Radi-Allahu anhu. The latter, unfortunately became involved in the scandal about the Mother of Believers, Sayyida Aisha, Radi-Allahu anha, which was started by the leader of the hypocrites. It was a whole month of torment and torture for all involved, after which verses of Surah Noor were revealed exonerating her and prescribing punishment for those involved in the false accusation. Feeling hurt and betrayed, Sayyidna Abu Bakr, Radi-Allahu anhu, vowed never to help Mistah again. Yet the Qur’an asked him to forget and forgive and continue helping his relative, which he did. Is there another society that can even come close to this standard in maintaining family ties?

Islam came to set all our relationships right. This includes our relations with Allah as well as with other human beings. Silat-ur-Rahim is a very important part of the latter.

Today, unfortunately, these teachings can mostly be found in Muslim societies in their violation. The best we do today is reciprocate; more commonly we backbite, cheat, and hurt our relatives and continue the spiral of hurt and humiliation as they respond. And we just abandon those of our relatives who are economically unfortunate.

There are three reasons for this sad situation. First is the widespread ignorance about Islamic teachings in this regard. Even in various Islamic groups the subject hardly gets the attention it deserves. Second is the rampant materialism. While materialism hurts all aspects of our life, it is especially damaging to family ties for they require sacrifice of time, money and personal comfort. The third reason has to do with recent history. It is a “gift” of the transformation of Muslim societies under colonialism.

Industrial Revolution came at a time when Muslim civilization was in the doldrums. Muslim historians point out very accurately that the genesis of European Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution was in the Golden Age of Muslim Spain. Yet it is also true that it progressed at a time of Muslim decline. And that explains the form it took and the devastation it caused to the family life. Everywhere it disrupted human relations. Poet Iqbal pointed to this when he said in his famous line: The rule of machines is death for the heart.  Machine tools crush compassion. Later, under the influence of colonialism, urban centers throughout the Muslim world faithfully duplicated all of these problems. This was just what a blind following of the West promised. Relations between husband and wife, between parents and children, between workers and managers, between neighbors, between relatives, in other words between all segments of society were dealt a devastating blow.

The process continues in the post industrial, neo-colonial period. To quote one example, television is rapidly destroying what was left of human relations, cutting off even members of the same family from each other and engulfing everyone within his or her own pleasure cocoon, oblivious to the world without. It is just one, but probably the most subversive and intrusive tool of our so called postmodern global village. Village of distant neighbors without love and kinship.

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