Mislead by Traditions and Ignorance.

It was in the blessed month of Ramadhan, that the Quran was revealed to Prophet Mohammed. (Peace and blessings be upon him)

The first word uttered was ” Iqra ” ~ meaning “READ” or RECITE.

Read: to understand the meaning of written symbols
Recite: to verbally repeat from memory (read aloud)

Muslims, young and old, have been encouraged to seek knowledge ~ to broaden their horizons with reference to this beautiful deen of Islam.

Sadly, muslims, are too preoccupied in hoarding worldly knowledge so as to attain higher degrees in science, maths and engineering, so as to attain better salaries and fulfill their worldly desires  ~   while totally neglecting to seek knowledge of the one book, that will eventually, be the ONLY source of “respite” and intervention for him/her in his/her grave !!!!

Because, parents have been idly following traditions, they prefer their offspring to continue doing so. The Asian upbringing is not the best, to say the least. We demand our children, not question, any traditional values ~  Centuries of misinformed people, who never once tried to “understand” and “apply” what the Quran preached ~ what the hadiths enlightened us with, never reached so many more of us. We have been swimming in a tide of bidaah and we fiercely support them !! We are a naïve lot and what’s worse is that we are an arrogant lot, at that .

The one who guides us to the righteous path, has to be lamented, his motives, questioned and his image, tarnished.

This is how low we have stooped. We, the ummah of Rasool Allah, sallallahi wa sallam 😦

Here is an example of a ‘top notch’ bidaah.

23 rakaahs of Taraveeh in 7 minutes !!!!!!

Now that we are aware of how the situation is over there, Can I request ANY aalim in this country/state/city to please reach out to our brothers and sisters and guide them in the right ways. I am sure, these people have good intentions but have NEVER researched their own religion. Instead they have accepted age-old traditional practices.

May Allah swt give them hidayah and guidance. Ameen

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Not the Islamic way.

Assalam Alai kum brothers and sisters.

I am back from my self-imposed haitus, having just recently commenced a new venture ~ realized It was  depleting most my time. Hence decided to grab the opportunity in this Ramadhan.

Trust you all have been well, and reaping the many benefits of the month of Ramadhan

The below video was disturbing PERIOD !!

Since when did Allah swt like extravagance ???   It worries me to think, that we have millions of children in our neighboring countries, going without food and clean water, and we tend to just brush it under the carpet and enjoy such lavish feasts.

What has happened to this Ummah ???

I am totally dumbfounded. Such scenes worry me, for Allah swt never loosens his wrath on an ummah, until he has first send his messenger to warn them.

Sadly, THIS is the ummah of the last messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) and what would he have felt, seeing this ??? Too many hadiths to this effect, about how he warned us against extravagance and to lead a simple, moderate life, leading by his own example.

Gone are the times when a entire community could eat a simple meal of bread and make shukr of the Creator, who provided it.

Today, simplicity has been replaced by extravagance and a glittery lifestyle.  Lavish carpets, elaborate meals (part of which is dumped !!) and decorations in the millions ~ where is the Ummah of Mohammed (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) ?

Surely exuberance is not a part of muslim life.

May Allah swt guide us in the righteous path ! ameen.

Exactly, in contrast to the above video ~ is the reality of what our ” saum” was “supposed to”  teach us, in the following video.

May Allah swt have mercy on the less fortunate and guide us all. Ameen

Hajj ~ A Discovery (part 2)

Assalam Alaikum dear brothers and sisters,

This post is in continuation of my previous post Hajj – A Discovery (part 1).

Like I mentioned in my previous post, we were blessed to be able to have had performed Al Hajj this year.

It was an enlightening experience, to say the least. In reality, it was a road to self-discovery as much as understanding where I could, possibly stand in this huge universe, in terms of my love for my Allah swt.

Living in Dubai comes with its own set of ‘tiny’ drawbacks. We tend to become rather self-centered or self-absorbed, as you would, in any fast-paced and diverse metropolitan city.  Time is a commodity and we are almost always, utilizing to its best.  Grabbing fragmented moments of joy, as you attempt, in futile, to race against the merciless movement of the clock hands. Sometimes, you need to gain momentum in life. You need to stand still and figure out your place, in your own life and that of those close to you. You need to figure out, just how deep is your relationship with the Creator.  Where are you heading ? And regardless of how high you fly, you will still need to get a grip with reality, for your final abode is deep within the breasts of mother earth.

The days spent in Al Hajj, particularly in Muna (Mina) were an eye-opener. It unveiled  me to an unchartered territory of my own behavior and tolerance.

I resided in Muna (The tent city) with 11 other women under a single concrete tent~ surrounded by hundreds more tents.  It took me a few hours to come out of the shock of being one of the 12 to sleep in a makeshift dormitory !! (Did I mention I had braced myself for a similar situation, if not worse ??)  🙂

Most, if not all, were Urdu speaking from Uttar Pradesh( a northern state of India) or Delhi. Mainly three age groups  60+, 40+ and 30+

Allah swt has blessed the Muslim Ummah with two strong traits namely Sabr (Patience) and Shukr (gratefulness) ~ The Hajj is an excellent time for both of these attributes to be tested !

You are in Ahraam, in that situation, as a guest of Allah swt. What an amazing honor !! And what is it that we do when we visit someone special ? We maintain our dignity and put our best foot forward in every possible way.

Years before, we learnt that every action has an equal reaction. You get hurt and you hurt back. But in Hajj, (as it should be in our routine life too), one must maintain his/her dignity and tolerance. One of the most crucial lessons, I learnt is to restrain myself.  It is not easy becoz you have just left the protection of your shell, you are out exposed and you want nothing more than to please Allah swt.

patience in hajj

There will always be people ready to push you in a crowd ~ question remains ~ will you push back ?

  • you are sleeping on an uncomfortable bed,
  • the people around you may not smell the best,
  • they speak loudly to eachother,
  • they may eat snacks (which they bought with them from their home country) which gives out an unusual smell and worse, loud crunchy noises,
  • the introductions seem to take forever, with each one, wanting to discuss, their pregnancy deliveries, their family structure, their photographs, their daily schedule, the stories of their departures from their home country, right up to their experience so far.
  • you realize, people are far more focused towards the meal times than the salaah times.
  • and then their almost NEVER content with the amazing food to be had, in the middle of the desert !!!
  • lack of comfortable and continuous sleep can make you a switched-on walking-talking time bomb !! and yet you keep reminding yourself, the REAL purpose of being here.
  • you realize 5 out of 12 ladies, snore and you have no escape from that relentless drumming of octaves 😦
  • you realize, there is always one person, who selfishly wishes the lights to remain switched on, so she may read her dua books ~ late into the night !!
  • and some may also be inconsiderate enough to sit right over your head, and read tahajjud salaat in loud-enough voice !!
  • you realize your personal belongings are gradually becoming a thing, for all to “lend” !!
  • and then there are those clashes in debate sessions about the benefits of a joint family, or that children should be educated in convents, or even the recipe discussions !!!
  • endless amount of door knocks, from the spouces for the ladies in the tent !  All this ~ when one can easily relay the message on the mobile phone.
  • for the ladies in perpetual hijab, it is a quiet a trial. Especially when some ignorant spouces tend to drop their necks in, like ostriches trying to communicate with their obliviously relaxing wives.  Ofcourse, they were better than some of those, who assumed that we were their appointed pigeons, to relay messages when their wives awoke !!!

Women !!!! Shaitaan really has it easy !!! Women make his job pretty convenient.  He just has to play the fiddle around a tune of  ideas of greed, lust, temptation, anger, selfishness and confusion on women and the lives of all the men, next door is played havoc with in just a matter of minutes.

Luckily for me, Allah swt found an exceptional way of keeping me protected from gheebat and unnecessary loose talks.

  • My throat was choked with phlegm and as such, my voice was a mere exhausted coarse whisper. Luckily I had passed the stage of frequent coughs and moved into the sorry stage of  carrying a small plastic bag, and a couple of toilet rolls, for the constant flow of mucus.  Initially, I was embarrassed with my medical condition, not a pleasant sight to see someone spiting into some tissue or blowing one’s nose into a tissue so frequently
  • In addition, inspite of the several over 60 year-olds in the group, I was the only one carrying my loyal folding chair with me !! Naturally it got lent pretty often too 😦

All through it, I had to constantly remind myself, to continue making dhikr.  Its difficult to focus on your salaat and your tasbeeh, when so many distractions  surround you. The longer and harder, you focus on your dhikr, the more the reward ~ naturally. But its not as simple as that.

patience in hajj2

Gradually, I began to realize, coming from my own tiny world, what a large world existed ~ with people of such varied tastes, needs and aspirations, that Allah swt had to deal with.

I realized from some of the stories, how fortunate we had it in life.

I realized I was grateful for a little over a million (if not easily more) blessings that Allah swt had showered me with.

I also realized that most Indian/Pak muslims are rather fickle minded.

  • They come up with a ridiculous theory about not eating certain foods coz it may cause a cold !!! Eg, Tomato ketchup, yoghurt etc !!! Yes, I am referring to some rather seemingly ‘educated’ people !!
  • When dealing with a medical ailment, we tend to ‘assume’ “kissi ne kuch karwa diya” as in, ‘some one has cast a spell’, sorcery, witchcraft etc, rather than believing that it was genuinely a case of appendicitis !!!!!
  • We have a tendency to turn to all sorts of QUACKS for so-called ‘treatments’ ~ rather than the conventional route of medical doctors inorder to treat our ailments.

I had already mentioned in my previous post about the hygiene habits or rather, the lack of them 🙂

Consoling myself, that it was for a mere couple of days and that, it was a test of the sorts from the Almighty himself, was helping. But I pondered over this thought for sometime, was the Almighty actually trying to bring this change in me, to be more tolerant and aware of other people’s habits, nature and characteristics ! Was I being prepared for something higher and deeper ? Was I gaining any momentum in my quest for pleasing Allah ?

While I befriended each one of the ladies and bid farewell, after reaching Medina. It occurred to me, that Allah swt enfolds a lesson in each of our tasks.

Some of us, tend to commit to these tasks without so much as batting an eyelid, while some of us learn the lesson “WE WANT TO LEARN” while there are still some, who might truly decipher the code as he meant for us to.

patience in Hajj3

  1. In any case, I feel, I now find myself more tolerant and aware and slightly more forgiving than I was.
  2. I realized that I was the impatient one ~ they were just driven by their own conveniences
  3. I realized that I was self-centered ~ happy to be couped up in a corner with another English speaking broad minded family. It was my initial comfort zone.
  4. I realized that we tend to place people into virtual pockets and judge them on those basis.
  • The filthy rich women with no class, lapping up all the gold jewelry just to gain some recognition
  • The cultured advocates wife, who kept a firm thumb inspite of a sophisticated language
  • The tag-alongs who were so limp, they really had no decisive opinion of their own
  • The tabligi-jamaat ladies who spoke fluently in English, much to the amazement of the others.
  • And then there was me, imploring Allah swt to bless me with guidance and tolerance to bear them all !

Gradually I realized that each one of them, was fighting their own battle silently. Many silent prayers were being made ~ many silent tears were being shed and many quiet hopes were raised. For that moment in time, we all were in it together ~ each with his own individual issue, his own complex, insecurity, ordeal, trial, suffering. We were all there together, looking after eachother’s needs, our belongings, our luggage, our food and our chappals (slippers )too !!

That feeling of being together, inspite of not having ANYTHING in common except your belief in Allah swt and being at a certain place, performing specific rituals, and making small and big sacrifices just to please the Almighty, is a very unusual but special feeling.  We met as strangers and parted as sisters.

If that’s not self-discovery ~ what else can be !!

May we all discover ‘THAT”  amongst the 1 billion muslims in the world today, that one feeling of “brotherhood/sisterhood” is enough to bind us all together, inshallah. Ameen.

 

 

 

 

 

The Real Enemy.

“The real enemies are not in some distant land, they are not peoples who’s names we don’t know and cultures we don’t understand. The enemy is people we know very well and people we can identify. The enemy is a system that wages war when it’s profitable. The enemy is the CEO’s that lay us off from our jobs when it’s profitable. It’s the insurance companies that deny us health care when it’s profitable. It’s the banks that take away our homes when it’s profitable. Our enemies are not five thousand miles away, they are right here at home. If we organize and fight with our sisters and brothers, we can stop this war, we can stop this government and we can create a better world.”

— Mike Prysner
US Army Veteran who served in Iraq

 

If only there were more people who say this truth ~ accepted this truth and could do something to stop “that” enemy.

New Year Greetings ? Happy Diwali ? Merry Christmas !!

Assalam Alaikum to all my muslim brothers and sisters who are visiting me today.

One often wonders which direction our ummah are heading in !!  I was totally shocked to see, my facebook page flooded with my muslim friends (and sadly) relatives, wishing all their friends ~ a prosperous Diwali ~ a happy diwali ~ a joyful diwali  ~ and what have you !!

Do you think, if I were to point out to some of them that wishing non-muslims on their own festivals was not permissible ~ do you really think, they would pay heed to my advise ???

Tell me, what do you do, when you see, that your brother’s son or your sister’s daughter,  is walking too close to the railway track ?? Do you just ignore it and carry on ? Do you warn them ? Do you caution them  ?

What worries me most are those who are already aware of ” deviation of path ” they have chosen. The ones who casually and sometimes, rebelliously say, ” I dont care” ~ and two years later, you find the very same people, bowing down before the Almighty, when their dear one has been diagnosed with a rare liver disorder !! Such are the ways of the Lord.

Then ofcourse there are those sisters, who innocently put it as “There’s no harm to include such and such ….. ” and before we know it, her son has already married a kuffar ~ and ofcourse, all her liberties and ideologies have carved the path to such a major decision for her son ..

Sheikh Assim Al Hakeem, is a well known Scholar. I have immense respect for the gentleman, becoz although he is a Saudi national based in Saudia Arabia ~ he has surprised me several times, by picking very controvertial subjects of today, and showing it in light of the Saheeh sunnah and Hadith.  He does not bend the rulings and he does not take the middle path ~ ( a path, unfortunately, taken by some scholars to please the leaders). He calls a spade a spade and does it with logic and a rational thought process ~ keeping Islam, Quran and Sunnah in the center.

15th November 2012, is first of Hijri ~ The muslim New year ~ as always, we are quick to inculcate “non-islamic” practises into anything that pleases us. Hence, quite beautifully, Sheikh explains on his facebook site, what and what not, we should do

” The question that is asked every year as we are approaching its end; what the ruling is on greeting others: happy New Hijri Year. Initiating it is not permissible as it is not something done by our Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam nor his companions. However, if someone greats you with such a greeting, you may greet him back and hope the Ummah and him a blessed year. This is the fatwa of Imam Ahmed Ibn Hanbal, Sheikh Ibn Bazz and Ibn Othaimeen. Therefore, don’t initiate the greeting but respond to it if greeted in a cordial manner. ~~ Sheikh Assim Al Hakeem “

So I placed this quote in my facebook status for all my brothers and sisters in deen ~ who are going to take the initiative to leave a status update on 1st of Hijri.

I do hope some of them realize that when  it is not advisable to wish our own brothers and sisters in deen, with a greeting that our beloved prophet did not practise ~ how does it “okay” us greeting non-muslims on their occasions ?????

Dr Zakir Naik carefully explains why it is forbidden to greet christians with a “Merry Christmas” in this youtube video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiOBpgEVLt4

And yet again, there is an elaborate explanation from : – 

Majmoo’ah Fataawa wa Rasaa’il al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 3/369)

” Greeting the kuffaar on Christmas and other religious holidays of theirs is haraam, by consensus, as Ibn al-Qayyim, may Allaah have mercy on him, said in Ahkaam Ahl al-Dhimmah: “Congratulating the kuffaar on the rituals that belong only to them is haraam by consensus, as is congratulating them on their festivals and fasts by saying ‘A happy festival to you’ or ‘May you enjoy your festival,’ and so on. If the one who says this has been saved from kufr, it is still forbidden. It is like congratulating someone for prostrating to the cross, or even worse than that. It is as great a sin as congratulating someone for drinking wine, or murdering someone, or having illicit sexual relations, and so on. Many of those who have no respect for their religion fall into this error; they do not realize the offensiveness of their actions. Whoever congratulates a person for his disobedience or bid’ah or kufr exposes himself to the wrath and anger of Allaah.”

To read more on this explanation, please go here

500 years back, some folks decided to make a “tiny variation” in our deen to sit well with the culture of which ever country they were in, 500 years later, it is a part and parcel of their religion ~ the roots of which are nowhere to be found  in our sunnah or Quran yet they are practised more ardently than our own salaat ~ na-audhubillahi.

Dr Zakir Naik had said a very beautiful thing.” There are only two type of muslims, the practising and the non-practising”.

The so-called moderate muslims are the only munafiqs around. Those who conveniently bend the rulings of Quran and Sunnah to suit their convenience.  There is only more damage than good when rules are bend.

I believe, one must be kind, courteous and respectful of the other person’s character (muslim or non-muslim) ~ whether he/she be your neighbour, the person sitting next to you in a metro, the person working with you for a good 8 hours, the janitor or the postman. It is polite to share a meal, help with someone’s luggage, even get the disabled to cross the road, or to feed a stray cat/dog ~ there are hundreds of deeds that Allah rewards us for but clearly ~ inculcating another religion’s practises has no place in our religion, for please remember ~ Islam IS the last religion ~ Prophet Mohammed PBUH WAS THE LAST MESSENGER ~ and  clearly  in his last Khutbah amongst other things, he says 

“Beware of Satan, for the safety of your religion.  He has lost all hope that he will ever be able to lead you astray in big things, so beware of following him in small things. “

Thus the beloved Prophet completed his Final Sermon, and upon it, near the summit of Arafat, the revelation came down:

“…This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My Grace upon you, and have chosen Islam for you as your religion…” (Quran 5:3)

If our religion is perfect today ~ why are we still practising non-muslim traditions and greetings. Again, I am quoting an excellent explanation by Sheikh Assim Al Hakeem :-

“There are Muslims who claim their unconditional love to the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, yet they are up to their necks in innovation. Their actions falsify their claim. An innovator is either accusing the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam of withholding information from us or accusing him of ignorance. He accuses the Prophet of not knowing that this innovation was good for his Ummah. How can an innovator claim that he loves the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam? What earth carries you when you believe that you know more than him? Your only means of salvation is when you submit your will to Allah and completely follow the Sunnah without innovation.
~ sheikh Assim Alhakeem

I trust you found this article informative and I so hope, you find, in your heart a way to strengthen your deen. Inshallah.

If the mountain looks too large, we can always start with one step, at a time. And inshallah, Allah swt will make our path easy. Ameen.

Jazak Allah khair for visiting me today.

Hell and Heaven ~ The “small” Difference.

Please try to ponder on what is the deep meaning here :-

*A holy man* was having a conversation with the Lord one day and said, “Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like.”

The Lord led the holy man to two doors. He opened one of the doors and the holy man looked in.

In the middle of the room was a large round table. In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew which smelled delicious and made the holy man’s mouth water. The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be starving. They were holding spoons with very long handles that were strapped to their arms and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful, but because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths. The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering.

The Lord said, ‘You have seen the Hell.’

They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one. There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man’s mouth water. The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking.

The Lord said, ‘You have seen the Heaven.’

The holy man said, ‘I don’t understand the difference between two.

‘ It is simple’ said the Lord, ‘it requires but one skill.   You see, they have learned to feed each other, while the greedy men in the hell think only of themselves.’

 (Moral: Learn to Share)

Simple powerful codes of conduct for Muslims

 

Assalam Alai kum my brothers and sisters in deen,

How simple and easy our beautiful religion is.  Our practises are easy for the poor and the rich, the learned and the illeterate, the city folks as well as those living in remote villages, equally. And yet we are mislead. So many a times, we have not been disciplined from a toddlers age, as a result, when we mature, we find ourselves following mundane and futile practises ~ with no basis in Islam. Please ponder and hopefully try to follow these simple commands. May Allah swt accept all our efforts and Ibadaats. Ameen.

Three things you should never forget about:

1.If you are in salah protect your heart

2.If you are in a gathering of people,protect your tongue.

3.If you are in the house of others,protect your gaze.

Two things you should never narrate:

1.Peoples bad behavior towards you.

2.Your good behavior towards people .

Two things you should never forget:

1.Allah.

2.The hereafter.