Saturday, April 25, 2009

Breaking Bread Together

In creating the conversation and social space that support community, another dimension of welcome is what has traditionally defined culture: food. It brings the sacred into the room. It is the symbol of hospitality. It is as direct as we can be about a life-giving act. When we take it seriously, we know how to do this right. What is needed is consciousness about having food and what kind of food fits our intention.

One small request: Most food served in meetings is about satiation, not about health. Even in health care settings and meetings about creating healthy communities, we serve pastries, cookies, fast food, chips, pretzels. This is not food; it is fuel and habit that is nutritionally and environmentally unconscious.

Let there be apples, grapes, bread (unleavened if possible). Natural, healthy food, prepared by local merchants. Food that reflects the diversity of the world we are embracing. Grown within 50 miles of our gathering place to reduce the carbon footprint.

Some people will complain. Let them.

Compiled From:
"Community: The Structure of Belonging" - Peter Block, pp. 148-149

Company of the Miskin

Ibn Majah reported from Abu Said al-Khudri and al-Tabarani from Ubadah ibn Samit, The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "O God, have me live miskinan and have me die miskinan and gather me [hereafter] in the company of the miskin." Some people read this hadith and understand al-maskanah to mean want of material wealth, with consequent neediness before other human beings. Now, this understanding of the meaning repudiates the supplication of the Prophet against the affliction of poverty [Bukhari, Muslim], and his asking from God, virtue and prosperity [Muslim, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah], and his saying to Sad: "Indeed, God loves the slave [who is] prosperous, God-fearing and not ostentatious," [Muslim, Musnad Ahmad] and his saying to Amr ibn al-As: "Excellent indeed is the righteous wealth of a righteous man!" [Musnad Ahmad, Al-Hakim]

What is meant by al-maskanah is as Ibn al-Athir said: "He meant by it lowliness and humility before God, and lest one should become one of the oppressors and the arrogant."

That is how the Prophet lived - far from the life of the arrogant ones, whether in look or form: he dressed as the slaves and the poor dressed; and he ate what they ate; and when a stranger came he (the stranger) was unable to distinguish him from his Companions for he was with them as one of them; and at home he mended his show with his own hand; and he patched his cloak; and he milked his sheep; and he turned a millstone to grind grains alongside the woman neighbour and the slave.

When a man entered to him and, being in awe of him, was trembling, he said: "Be at ease, for I am not a king. Rather I am the son of a woman of the Quraysh who used to eat dried meat in Makkah."

Compiled From:
"Approaching the Sunnah" - Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, pp. 32-33

Infatuation with Luxuries

Al-Qasas (The Story)
Chapter 28: Verse 79-80

"And so he (Qarun) went before his people in all his pomp. Those who cared only for the life of this world said: 'Oh, would that we had the like of what Qarun has been given! He is certainly a man of great fortune!' But those who had been granted true knowledge said: 'Woe to you! God's reward is by far the best for any who believes and does what is right. Yet none can attain this other than those who are patient in adversity.'"

Here, we see some people infatuated with the luxuries that the present life can offer, ready to do what they can in order to have their share of it. Others feel that faith is a greater blessing, and hope for God's reward. Thus the value of wealth is set side by side with the value of faith.

The luxuries and splendour that life can give have always captivated people so that they neither look beyond these nor seek any higher or nobler value. They do not ask what price the owner has paid for such luxuries, nor by what means he has obtained them. They covet it whether it is wealth, position or honour. They swarm like flies to it. It does not matter to them whether the price is too high, the method too wicked or the means too lowly.

By contrast, those who maintain their bond with God have a different standard of values by which they look at life. Their souls are too noble to let worldly considerations get the better of them. The dignity they feel as a result of their faith prevents them from yielding to the pressures exerted by others. Such people are the ones endowed with real knowledge and the right sense of proportion: God's reward is far better than all this pomp, and what God gives is better by far than all that Qarun has. To have such insight into things puts people into a nobler category: they are the ones who persevere in adversity and resist temptation. They are the ones who remain patient despite being deprived of what they might wish for. When they prove their patience in the face of adversity and their perseverance in following the way God has laid down, He elevates them to a level that enables them to rise above all that life on earth can offer. Thus do they seek only God's reward, and with confidence and reassurance.

Compiled From:
"In The Shade of The Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol. 13, pp. 272-273

Friday, April 24, 2009

Blessings of Marriage

A passage from The Holy Quran

O humankind! Reverence your Guardian-Lord, Who created you from a single person, created, of like nature, his mate, and from them twain scattered (like seeds) countless men & women’

The Holy Quran - Surah 4 Verse 1

Allah Subhaanahu wa ta’ala has a created a longing in our hearts. Men have a longing for women and women have a longing for men. It is a desire we all have within us. Feeling that we need that someone in our lives and having that desire is not something from Satan and is not a sin. It is something that was created by Allah Subhaanahu wa ta’ala and the knowledge of which was given to Adam (Peace be upon him). So it’s our nature. We may feel an emptiness in our lives that can often only be filled with the union of men and women, according to the commands of Allah Subhaanahu wa ta’ala. That union being Marriage.

‘And all things We have created by pairs, that happily ye may reflect.’

The Holy Quran - Surah 51 Verse 49

There will come a time in our lives when we will all begin to think about marriage and finding the ‘one’ and the sooner we get the ball rolling the better as it’s not easy and it won’t happen over night!!

Being young and keeping away from the opposite sex is not easy in this day in age. It’s very easy for us to pass a glance, develop feelings for someone and enter into a haraam relationship.

In the hadith it is narrated that the prophet Muhammed (peace & blessings be upon him) said: (to the nearest effect)

'O young people! Whoever among you can marry, should marry, because it helps you lower your gaze and guard your modesty, and whoever is not able to marry, should fast, as fasting diminishes your sexual power."


Our beloved prophet (peace & blessings be upon him) has also advised us to marry as soon as we can. It saves us from many sins and brings about so many blessings in our lives.

Marriage is one of the greatest blessings in Islam. It is the Sunnah of our prophet (peace & blessings be upon him).

In the hadith it is narrated that the prophet Muhammed (peace & blessings be upon him) said: (to the nearest effect)

‘Marriage is my Sunnah. He who shuns my Sunnah is not of me.’


So those of you thinking of living a bachelors’ life forever, think again!!

In the hadith it is narrated that the prophet Muhammed (peace & blessings be upon him) said: (to the nearest effect)

'When a man marries, he has fulfilled half of his religion, so let him fear Allah regarding the remaining half'


Our perfect role model has told us that getting married completes half of our faith so we can see the importance it plays within Islam. It continues to mention however that, we need to fear Allah regarding the other half, meaning we shouldn’t think that once we get married we can relax! No! We need to continue in bettering our actions, strengthening our imaan (faith) and aiming to follow all of the commands of Allah Subhaanahu wa ta’ala. This is why searching for the right life partner is important and can be very difficult.

In the hadith it is narrated that the prophet Muhammed (peace & blessings be upon him) said: (to the nearest effect)

"A man marries a woman for four reasons: for her property, for her status, for her beauty, and for her religion (and character). So marry the one who is best in the religion and character and prosper".


What qualities do we find most important?? How fit they are? How much money they have? What car they drive? Whether they have a degree?

It is so important to find a marriage partner who has Imaan. Someone we can learn with, maybe teach or be taught, help each other to better ourselves.

Guys need to think that their wives will also be the mothers of their children, and the first school the child will go to is the mothers laps, the mothers arms…

Ladies need to think that their husbands will be the fathers of their children, and in most cases they will be a role model and also the ones perhaps providing the most discipline…

So what would we want our children to learn? How would we want our children to be brought up? What kind of views and beliefs do we want our children to have?

Generation after generation religion, imaan, belief is being diluted, and the reason for that is because people are not bringing up their children islamicly; not teaching them anything about their faith; not teaching them the beauty of Islam; not teaching them the commands of Allah Subhaanahu wa ta’ala; not teaching them the life of our prophets (peace be upon them all); not teaching them anything about who they really are, that being MUSLIMS!!

Think carefully when choosing a life partner…

In the hadith it is narrated that the prophet Muhammed (peace & blessings be upon him) said: (to the nearest effect)

‘A Muslim man can acquire no benefit after Islam greater than a Muslim wife who makes him happy when he looks at her, listens to him when he asks something of her, and protects him when he is away from her in herself and in his property.'


Is that not true guys? If we had all this in our wives how happy would we be? But would we get that if all we were interested in was their physical appearance?

In the hadith it is narrated that the prophet Muhammed (peace & blessings be upon him) said: (to the nearest effect)

`The most perfect believer in faith is the one whose character is finest and who is kindest to his wife.'


Ladies imagine your hubby with impeccable character and with an abundance of kindness, how great would that be? But would you get that if all you were interested in was his bank balance.

The foundations of marriage needs to be Islam. People often forget when they have their nikah (marriage ceremony) that it is a contract in the name of Islam, in the name of Allah Subhaanahu wa ta’ala, and then after that day they continue to live their lives un-Islamicly! What’s that about?!

At the time of the nikah, Allah Subhaanahu wa ta'ala sends down many angels to congratulate and send blessings to the couple. Now at this time instead of people acknowleding the blessings around them and the company of angels, people are more concerned with music, dancing and partying and spending thousands of pounds! The prophet (peace & blessings be upon him) has mentioned that the simpler the wedding, the more barrakah (blessings) in the marriage.

If we want to have successful happy marriages, the foundations have to be Islam. Islam teaches love, honour and respect within the marriage and serving one another is a form of Ibaadah, a form of worship. You are rewarded for your kindness to your partners; you are rewarded for smiling at your partners! If our partners and ourselves followed Islam properly and knew its teachings and its rewards we would do all these things right?

‘And among His Signs is this, that He created for you spouses from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquillity with them and He has put love and mercy between your hearts: Verily in that are Signs for those who reflect’

The Holy Quran - Surah 30 Verse 21

Subhaan-Allah! Glory be to Allah Subhaanahu wa ta’ala. The beautiful words of The Holy Quran.

This is Islam, this is the guidance we have been given and if we and our life partners followed this guidance imagine what amazing futures we could have.

Something we can do to ask Allah Subhaanahu wa ta’ala to grant us with good spouses and children is to read the following passage from The Holy Quran 3 times after every fardh (obligatory) prayer:

'And those who pray: ‘Our Lord grant onto us spouses and offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes and give us the grace to lead the righteous'

The Holy Quran - Surah 25 Verse 73

If we haven’t already lets start to think about MARRIAGE as soon as we can and try our best to do so in a HALAL (permissible) manner. Lets think about our FUTURES and the kind of LIFESTYLE we want to live. How much will ISLAM have to play in our lives? How much of our TIME will we spend LEARNING about ISLAM? How much of our TIME will we spend TEACHING our PARTNERS or CHILDREN about Islam? How much of our TIME will we spend RECITING The HOLY QURAN? How much of our TIME will we spend WORSHIPING ALLAH Subhaanahu wa ta’ala? If we adopt these acts of worship into our lives NOW it will make it so much EASIER for our FUTURE and will be very BENEFICIAL not only for OURSELVES but also our CHILDREN.

When searching for a life partner, someone for marriage, we need to ask ourselves the following questions:

· Is this person good for MY LIFE?

· Is this person good for MY RELIGION?

· Is this person good for MY AKHIRA? (End, Judgement Day)

We need to find the ‘ONE’ with whom we can lead each other to JANNAH.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Key of motivation

Ibu Hilal al-Askari wrote in his book al-Hath ala talab al-Ilm that Ibn Jarw al-Mawsili said: "One should delay one's lesson of literature and poetry to his time of boredom." Ibn al-Muraghi said: "One must trick oneself in learning."

He means that when one is bored or unmotivated, one should not give in to that or interrupt one's lesson or learning, but should rather deal with this lack of motivation and strive against one's boredom, until he overcomes it and achieves vitality and the revival of spirit.

This may be achieved sometimes through such actions as chewing gum, leaving an enclosed room for open space, moving from one room to another, taking a quick cold or hot shower, drinking a light drink, eating something light, talking to a friend, reciting some poetry, reciting Quran in a loud voice, changing one's posture, walking or going up, changing the subject or book being studied, or similar actions. There is a suitable way for everybody, and motivation has a key, which is not hidden from the intelligent determined one.

Compiled From:
"The Value of Time" - Abd Al-Fattah Abu Ghuddah, p. 66

Beseech not humans

The Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, had sought a special oath from some of his selected Companions that they would not beseech anyone for anything. The result was that even if they were to drop their whip while riding, they would stoop to receive it themselves and not request anyone to pick it up for them. [Abu Dawud, "Kitab al-Zakah"]

The way to achieve this is to simply link all your expectations from whatever other human beings may possess or whatever may be in their power; and give up hopes regarding whatever might be in the hands of human beings!

"O Allah! Instil in my heart all hopes with Thee; cut off all hopes with ought other than Thee."
[Ibn Majah, "Kitab al-Zuhd"]

Most of the evils in human relationships, and most of the sorrows we encounter, are the result of broken expectations. By severing your hopes from human beings, not only will these relationships be freed from being hurt but you will also be able to rid yourselves of your grief and sorrow.

Compiled From:
"Dying and Living for Allah" - Khurram Murad, pp. 32-33


Al-Hadid (The Iron)
Chapter 57: Verse 27 (partial)

"But the monasticism which they invented for themselves, We did not prescribe for them"

Pseudo-Spiritualism or monasticism goes to the other extreme of materialism. It differentiates between the religious and secular; the material and spiritual. Such views, in extreme sense, teach that people should disengage and withdraw from, or shun the material world and curb desires and pleasures of the flesh in order to achieve spiritual elevations.

Individuals holding such ideas usually live their life in seclusion, practice monasticism, engage in ritual worship, favour celibacy and keep out of worldly and social affairs as much as possible. They consider time spent in meditation, chanting and in prayer as important and a means to spiritual upliftment.

From an Islamic perspective, such a concept and beliefs are incompatible with human nature. They inevitably benumb, socially and politically, those who base their life on it. Such ideas lead to a culture of passivity and social exclusion, and also withdraw good and pious people from the affairs of society, giving way to the wicked to dominate.

Compiled From:
"Building a New Society" - Zahid Parvez, pp. 89-90

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Rejuvenating the Elderly

The Prophet's (peace be upon him) teachings establish a high regard and respect for the elderly and rejuvenate in them feelings of hope and vigour during the sunset of their lives. Anas reported that the Prophet said: "If a young man supports an old man because of his old age, God will definitely assign people who will respect him when he is old" [Tirmidhi]. In fact, the Prophet of mercy went one step further and joined the respect of such people with the worship of God Himself by saying "it is part of venerating God to respect the elderly Muslim" [Abu Dawud].

He once related that "the Angel Gabriel commanded me to give priority to the elderly. he taught that 'when serving food and (at) ceremonies, the old must be taken care of first.' He said: "Start with the elderly'" [Abu Yala].

The merciful Prophet's regard and respect for the elderly went beyond the boundaries of religion. On the day of Victory of Makkah when the Prophet entered the sacred mosque, Abu Bakr brought his elderly polytheistic father to meet the Prophet of mercy. When he saw his companion's elderly father, he asked Abu Bakr: "Why didn't you leave him at home? I would have gone to him" [Ibn Kathir].

Compiled From:
"Mercy: Prophet Muhammad's Legacy To All Creation" - Ibrahim H. Malabari, pp. 48-50

Reservations on Democracy..!!

Some Islamists still have their reservations on democracy, and are even wary of the word "democracy” itself.

What I wish to stress here is that Islam is not democracy and democracy is not Islam and that I would rather that Islam is not attributed to any principle or system. Islam is unique in its means, ends and methodologies, and I do not wish that Western democracy be carried over to us with its bad ideologies and values without us adding to it from our values and ideologies in order to integrate it into our comprehensive system.

However, the tools and guaranties created by democracy are as close as can ever be to the realization of the political principles brought to this earth by Islam to put a leash on the ambitions and whims of rulers. These principles are: shura [consultation], good advice, enjoining what is proper and forbidding what is evil, disobeying illegal orders, resisting unbelief and changing wrong by force whenever possible. It is only in democracy and political freedom that the power of Parliament is evident and that people's deputies can withdraw confidence from any government that breaches the Constitution, and it is only in such an environment that the strength of free Press, free Parliament, opposition and the masses is most felt.

The fears of some people here that democracy makes the people a source of power and even legislation (although legislation is Allah's alone) should not be heeded here, because we are supposed to be speaking of a people that is Muslim in its majority and has accepted Allah as its Lord, Mohammad as its Prophet and Islam as its Religion. Such a people would not be expected to pass a legislation that contradicts Islam and its incontestable principles and conclusive rules.

Anyway, these fears can be overcome by one article stipulating that any legislation contradicting the incontestable provisions of Islam shall be null and void because Islam is the religion of the State and the source of legitimacy of all its institutions and therefore may not be contradicted, as a branch may not run against the main stream.

It should be known that the acceptance of the principle that legislation or rule belong to Allah does not rob the Nation of its right to seek for itself the codes necessary to regulate its ever-changing life and earthly affairs.

What we seek is that legislations and codes be within the limits of the flawless texts and the overall objectives of Shariah and the Islamic Message. The binding texts are very few, while the area of "permissibility" or legislative free space is quite wide and the texts themselves are as flexible and capacious as to accommodate more than one understanding and accept more than one interpretation, which leads to the existence of several schools and philosophies within the expansive framework of Islam.

Compiled From:
"Priorities of The Islamic Movement in the Coming Phase" - Yusuf Al-Qaradawi

Helping Others!

Al-Qasas (The Story)
Chapter 28: Verses 23-24 (Partial)

"And when he arrived at the watering (place) in Madyan, he found there a group of men watering (their flocks), and besides them he found two women who were keeping back (their flocks). He said: "What is the matter with you?" They said: "We cannot water (our flocks) until the shepherds take back (their flocks): And our father is a very old man." So he watered (their flocks) for them."

We have in Moses (peace be upon him) prophetic example of helping others. When he arrived at the wells of Midian, he found the men folk busy providing water for their flocks. He also saw two young women waiting at a distance with their sheep, unable to approach the wells.

Moses (peace be upon him) was appalled by this situation. The above verses of the Qur’an relate the incident.

What was it than made Moses take such offence at this situation? It was his upright character that made him concerned for the rights of the weak. Those who are weak and vulnerable should be cared for and given priority. They should not be sidelined and neglected. His immediate response was to help them. His courageous, noble, and generous nature would allow for nothing else.

We are right to be impressed when we consider Moses’s circumstances. He was a man on the run, far away from his home where he had the status of a wanted criminal. He was among strange people, none of whom he knew, and he had no provisions even for himself. He had enough problems of his own to worry about. Nevertheless, it went against his nature to stand by and see such helpless people being neglected.

Allah chose people with big hearts to entrust with His Message; people who were naturally inclined to help others. It takes such people to shoulder the burden of guiding others from the darkness into the light. Only those with compassion, mercy, and a gentle disposition can carry out such a task.

This truth is evident from the lives of the Prophets. Those who wish to be the inheritors of the Prophets should keep it in mind. The more we reflect the character of the Prophets in our own conduct, the more successful we will be in carrying out their mission. Scholars and Islamic workers need to have a strong social consciousness. They need to be people others can turn to in need. They need to be able to address the problems of society with understanding and compassion.

If our social consciousness is not fully awakened, our success in calling others to Allah’s Message will be limited. Our efforts might even yield negative results.

Compiled From:
"Calling to Allah by Helping Others" - `Abd al-Wahhâb al-Turayrî

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


One word frees us of all the weight and pain in life, that word is love..!!

Dua for Others!

It is not that we have forgotten dua completely; we refer to it regularly. But, our ideas and practice regarding dua have become distorted. Often it is reduced to the level of a ritual. Generally it is considered when all our efforts have failed --- an act of last resort. It is belittled through actions and sometimes even with words. Is it any wonder that today mostly a mention of dua is meant to indicate the hopelessness of a situation.

What a tragedy, for dua is the most potent weapon of a believer. It can change fate, while no action of ours ever can. It is the essence of ibadah or worship. With it we can never fail; without it we can never succeed. In the proper scheme of things, dua should be the first and the last resort of the believer, with all his plans and actions coming in between.

We should ask for all of our needs: those related to this world as well as those related to the Hereafter. Those who only concentrate on the former are, in effect, announcing that they don't care for their life in the permanent abode. They should blame nobody but themselves for the total ruin in that world that Qur'an assures us awaits them. Those who only concentrate on the later are also showing lack of balance, for we need Allah's help to lead a good life here as well.

We should make dua not only for ourselves but also for our parents, brothers and sisters, spouses and children, relatives and friends, teachers and other benefactors, and destitute and struggling Muslims everywhere. We should pray for them for the good in this world as well as in the Hereafter. The Prophet said: "The dua of a Muslim for his brother (in Islam) in his absence is readily accepted. An angel is appointed to his side. Whenever he makes a beneficial dua for his brother the appointed angel says, 'Aameen. And may you also be blessed with the same.'" [Sahih Muslim]

Compiled From:
"The Power of Dua" - Khalid Baig

Subjugation of the Universe to Man!

Al-Jathiyah (The Kneeling One)
Chapter 45: Verse 13

"And He has subjected to you, as from Him, all that is in the heavens and on earth: behold, in that are Signs indeed for those who reflect."

Relevant to man's high standing is the subjugation of the universe to him, in the sense that the universe is prepared to help man undertake his role as God's vicegerent. The dimensions, laws, and proportions are set in such a way that human beings can interact with the universe in a positive and productive manner. Thus a favourable atmosphere is created, one in which human beings can release their potential, to venture and develop the universe.

This belief in man's exalted nature lays the foundation for human potential and encourages individuals to act in ways that lead to their improvement. It also banishes the feeling of inferiority toward the universe (nature), a feeling that led many people to fear nature to the extent of worshiping some of its symbols. Many times, human resources and potential were exhausted in such services and related sacrifices, which are in direct contravention to vicegerency (Khilafah). The belief in a subjugated universe generates a confidence and optimism that consider success attainable.

Compiled From:
"The Vicegerency of Man" - Abd al Majid al Najjar, pp. 18, 19


Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush..!!~

Beautiful Quote!

Did you ever see an unhappy horse? Did you ever see bird that had the blues? One reason why birds and horses are not unhappy is because they are not trying to impress other birds and horses..!

Troublesome Matters

No man as long as he remains alive, will ever be wholly free of trial. This is simply the nature of things in this world. Suffering uncovers human frailties and literally pushes the reasonable person to his knees, so to speak, at Allah's door, in quest of relief and the mercy of his Lord. The true believer is expected to seek refuge in Allah in every trouble which befalls him, regardless of how insignificant it may seem. The Prophet of Allah, upon him be peace, said:

Let each of you turn unto Allah in every troublesome matter; even when you are pained by the thong of your sandal, for even that is a trial.

In other words, they Must rely, in all of his affairs, upon Allah's assistance, and not suppose that any of these affairs can be settled except by His leave. The greater the misfortune, the more ardent the Muslim's desire for refuge in Allah, and the more protracted his entreaty.

Compiled From:
"Remembrance & Prayer" - Muhammad al-Ghazali, p. 91

Natural and Acquired Hayaa

Ta-Ha (Ta-Ha)
Chapter 20: Verse 121 (Partial)

"They they both ate of the tree, and so their private parts became manifest to them, and they began to cover themselves with the leaves of Paradise for their covering."

Hayaa (modesty and shame) is something that every human being naturally possesses. One of the aspects of hayaa that is naturally found in mankind is the feeling to cover one's private parts. This characteristic can be seen clearly in the above example of Adam and Eve.

Like all natural characteristics, this quality may be nurtured and allowed to grow or it may be stunted to the point that the person completely loses this quality.

Beyond the natural feeling of hayaa, there can be an acquired aspect that is directly related to the strength of one's faith. This is the hayaa that comes about by realizing that Allah is always present and He sees everything that one does. There is no escape from Allah. When a person realizes this, he will be ashamed to perform any act that is displeasing to Allah.

Another helpful factor is for the person to think about all of the blessings that Allah has bestowed upon him. For example, if he really thinks about how great a blessing his eyesight is, he will be ashamed to use this blessing from Allah in ways that are displeasing to Him.

Compiled From:
"Commentary on the Forty Hadith of al-Nawawi" - Jamaal al-Din M. Zarabozo, pp. 808, 809