Guard your modesty ~ oh muslimah.

I hear sisters who don’t wear hijab, but feel they are better than the sisters who do wear hijab, but with make up, tight clothes, hair showing etc ~ to them I say, follow what your Allah has ordered you to do first.  Dress how he has asked you to, cover your aura how he has instructed you, and leave the judging to Him, for HE alone, has the right to judge anyone. Do not use this cause, as an excuse so as not to embrace a part of the muslimah’s identity.

Remember, shaitaan lurks around every muslimah ever so zestfully … His ultimate goal is to lure her into sin. The graver the sin, the more the reward for him.

For sisters, who wish to embrace the hijab but have been fighting their own little battle between, pleasing the world and pleasing Allah ~ encourage them.  May they find peace in the path chosen by Allah for them. Ameen

For sisters, who are drifting (just like the sister in the below video) ~ make dua, lots of dua, that Allah swt makes her nafs stronger than the whispers of the wretched shaitaan.

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

Male friends after marriage ?

Tirmidhi 3118:

Whenever a man is alone with a woman the Devil makes a third.

Hadith – Al-Tirmidhi.

Do not call on women in the absence of their husbands, because Shaitan might be circulating in you like blood circulates

Hadith – Fath-al-Qadir

The one who touches the hand of a woman without having a lawful relation with her, will have an ember (hot coal) placed on his palm on the Day of Judgement

If you cannot meet a woman without mahram, shake hands with her, be alone with her,  look at her (since you’re required to lower your gaze)

then how is this friendship going to form?

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As far as friendship on internet is concerned just reason logically about it. Would a husband appreciate that his wife has a ‘close’ male friend besides him? Or would a wife appreciate that when the husband has a argument with her, he goes to his best friend to discuss the matter as opposed to making it up to her?

It leads to comparison between spouse as a friend and the close friend. This can cause problems in their married life. A friend who meets you only sometimes will always meet you with a smile (even on internet) but the spouse is living with you 24/7. There are more chances of conflicts and it requires patience and understanding to survive the relationship.

This can be hard to understand when you can see the other opposite gender being nice to you while your spouse isn’t as sweet most of the time.

Had it been permissible Sahaba’s and Prophets would become friends with women. But at least I do not know of Prophet (P.B.U.H) having female friends or any of the sahaba’s having them or any other scholar of Islam having it. Which makes it obvious it is not allowed in Islam.

 

Secrets of Surat Al Kahf

Ever wondered why Prophet Muhammad (SAW) asked us to recite Surat Al-Kahf every Friday?

This surah has four stories in it, having some morals, lets see them and understand what they are saying to us:

1) The people of the cave
It’s the story of young men who lived in a disbelieving town, so they decided to migrate for the sake of Allah and run away. Allah rewards them with mercy in the cave and protection from the sun – they woke up and found the entire village believers.
Moral: trial of faith

2) The owner of two gardens
A story of a man whom Allah blessed with two beautiful gardens, but the man forgot to thank the one who blessed him with everything and he even dared to doubt Allah regarding the afterlife. So his garden was destroyed – he regretted ,but was too late and his regret did not bene?t him.
Moral: trial of wealth

3) Musa(as) and Khidr(as)
When musa(as) was asked-“who’s the most knowledgeable of the people of earth?”” Musa(as) said: me…,but Allah revealed to him that there’s someone who knows more than him. Musa(as) traveled to the man and learned how the divine wisdom can sometimes be hidden in matters which we perceive as bad.
Moral: trial of knowledge

4) Dhul-qarnayn
It’s a story of the great king that was given knowledge and power and was going around the world,helping people and spreading all that’s good. He was able to overcome the problem of Yajooj-Majooj and build a massive dam with the help of people whom he could not even understand.
Moral: trial of power

In the middle of the surah Allah mentions iblees as the one who stirs these trials:
Behold! we said to the angels “bow down to adam”: they bowed down except iblis. he was one of the jinns, and he broke the command of his lord. will ye then take him and his progeny as protectors rather than me? and they are enemies to you! evil would be the exchange for the wrongdoers!

Now let us see what’s the relationship between surat al-kahf and the dajjal (anti-christ)?
Dajjal will appear before day of judgement with the 4 trials:

A) He’ll ask people to worship him and not Allah: trial of faith.
B) He’ll be given powers to start/stop rain and tempt people with his wealth: trial of with his wealth.
C) He’ll trial people with the “knowledge” and news he gives them: trial of knowledge.
D) He’ll control huge parts of the earth: trial of power.

How to survive these trials? The answers are in Surat Al-Kahf:

Survival kit 1: Good companionship
“and keep thy soul content with those who call on their lord morning and evening, seeking his face; and let not thine eyes pass beyond them, seeking the pomp and glitter of this life; no obey any whose heart we have permitted to neglect the remembrance of us, one who follows his own desires, whose case has gone beyond all bounds.” (Surat al-kahf, verse 28)

Survival kit 2: Knowing the truth of this world
“set forth to them the similitude of the life of this world: it is like the rain which we send down from the skies: the earth’s vegetation absorbs it, but soon it becomes dry stubble, which the winds do scatter: it is (only) Allah who prevails over all things” (Surat al-kahf, verse 45)

Survival kit 3: Humbleness.
[Moses] said, “You will find me, if Allah wills, patient, and I will not disobey you in [any] order.” (Surat al-kahf, verse 69)

Survival kit 4: Sincerity.
“say: “i am but a man like yourselves, (but) the inspiration has come to me, that your Allah is one Allah whoever expects to meet his lord, let him work righteousness, and, in the worship of his lord, admit no one as partner.” (Surat al- kahf, verse 110)

Survival kit 5: Calling to Allah.
“and recite (and teach) what has been revealed to thee of the book of thy lord: none can change his words, and none wilt thou ? and as a refuge other than him.” (surat al-kahf, verse 27)

Survival kit 6: Remembering the Hereafter.
“ one day we shall remove the mountains, and thou wilt see the earth as a level stretch, and we shall gather them, all together, nor shall we leave out any one of them. and they will be marshalled before thy lord in ranks, (with the announcement), “now have ye come to us (bare) as we created you ?rst: aye, ye thought we shall not ful?l the appointment made to you to meet (us)!”: and the book (of deeds) will be placed (before you); and thou wilt see the sinful in great terror because of what is (recorded) therein; they will say, “ah! woe to us! what a book is this! it leaves out nothing small or great,but takes account thereof !” they will ?nd all that they did, placed before them: and not one will thy lord treat with injustice.” (surat al-kahf, verses 47-49)

Muslim Neighbors.

http://www.5pillarz.com/2013/11/09/mumbai-property-ad-specifies-no-muslims/

Being a “Bombayite” (Sorry, just never got around to calling it Mumbai ~ having spent 40 years calling it Bombay )  ~ We have been subjected to this kind of unspoken but direct discrimination for decades and yet, it infuriates me that people now have the audacity to say it out openly !!

We tend to throw every tiny and huge issue at our political system and probably to a certain extent, it is the divide that they (political parties ) cause between us during the election drama, that has left this stigma in society.  But I don’t believe that ONLY areas like Bhindi bazaar, Mohammed Ali road, Mumra, Mira Road, Bhivandi etc are where the concentration of Muslims, deserve to reside. Perhaps a jolt down memory lane is that in the late 50s, a large part of the polished Film fraternity were Muslims and had made the plush but then-quiet area of Bandra, including Pali hill, Carter road and Bandstand, their home. They still inhabit these now-sadly-over populated areas in co-existence with the rest of the world.

Scores of authentic hadiths have been told about a Muslims behavior towards his neighbor.  I’ll share just one here :-

The Prophet (pbuh) explains the rights and obligations toward a neighbor in the following hadith of Tabarani.

The rights of the neighbour is that, when he is sick you  visit him; when he dies, you go to his funeral; when he is poor you lend him (money); when he is in need you protect him; when he is in happiness you congratulate him; when he is struck with  a calamity, you condole him; don’t raise your building above his to cut off the wind from him; don’t harm him with the good smell of your food unless you let him have part of it.   [Tabarani]

That is the perfect neighbor ! And if Muslims practice this hadith ~ then they too are the perfect neighbors !

It baffles me, why while a Muslim boy from a chawl – celebrates every Hindu, Christian and Sikh festivals, what could prompt people to refrain from keeping Muslim neighbors ??

When we educate a community ~ it grows ~ it develops ~ becoz we have empowered it with education and rational thinking.

When we add hurdles, lest a community not taste the fruit of education ~ we are shunning an entire generation from seeing the light of the day. We are depriving it from moving, from change, from improvement, from betterment, from growth.

If Convents are going to target Muslim parents for enormous donations, how do you think, these children are going to make a difference, if not to the whole of humanity, at least to his own capabilities ~ to his own family ?  Are the parents not being penalized for being Muslims ?

If 60% of jobs are safely reserved for the privileged  (non-muslim) class, how do you expect the Muslim student to score a reasonably good job ?? Would we rather he turn back and run a kebab store or even better, flee to the middle eastern states ~ while depriving his own country of his abundant talent and economy ??

Why are we so judgmental ? What makes us above the next person we are seated beside ?  What he wears ? What he eats ? What he believes ? Where he prays  Or how he behaves with us ??? Lets just say, I expect a complicated answer with twists and turns from the learned  ~~ but from the righteous ~ He has already embraced his neighbor regardless his religion.

Our forefathers fought and won our freedom decades ago but its a pity, that they could not free our enslaved minds of our preconceived notions ~ “about ourselves” !!

Grow up and grow out of your self contained and self contaminated shells. Live and let live.

 

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)

The Most Influential Person In History ~ a book by Michael H.Hart.

Muhammad Mirror Calligraphy
Prophet Muhammad: Most Influential Person In History
The Quran ” We make no distinction among any of the Prophets. — 2:135Michael H. Hart, The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History

My choice of Muhammad to lead the world’s most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels. . .

. . . it may initially seem strange that Muhammad has been ranked higher than Jesus. There are two principal reasons for that decision. First, Muhammad played a far more important role to the development of Islam than Jesus did in the development of Christianity. Although Jesus was responsible for the main ethical and moral precepts of Christianity (insofar as these differed from Judaism), St. Paul was the main developer of Christian theology, its principal proselytizer, and the author of a large portion of the New Testament.

Muhammad, however, was responsible for both the theology of Islam and its main ethical and moral principles. In addition he played a key role in proselytizing the new faith, and in establishing the religious practices of Islam. Moreover, he is the author of the Moslem holy scriptures, the Koran. [The Quran, Muslims believe, is the revealed Word of God.]

Furthermore, Muhammad (unlike Jesus) was a secular leader as well as a religious leader. In fact as the driving force behind the Arab conquests, he may well rank as the most influential political leader of all time. . . [When Muhammad died in 632, he was the effective leader of all of southern Arabia. By 711, Arab armies had swept completely across North Africa to the Atlantic Ocean. In a scant century of fighting, the Bedouin tribesmen, inspired by the word of the Prophet, had carved out an empire stretching from the borders of India to the Atlantic Ocean — the largest empire that the world had yet seen.]

. . the Arab conquests of the seventh century have continued to play an important role in human history, down to the present day. It is this unparalleled combination of secular and religious influence which I feel entitles Muhammad to be considered the most influential single figure in human history.

Alphonse de Lamartine, Histoire de la Turquie

Never has a man set for himself, voluntarily or involuntarily, a more sublime aim, since this aim was superhuman: to subvert superstitions which had been interposed between man and his creator, to render God unto man and man unto God; to restore the rational and sacred idea of divinity amidst the chaos of the material and disfigured gods of idolatry, then existing. Never has a man undertaken a work so far beyond human power with so feeble means, for he (Muhammad) had in the conception as well as in the execution of such a great design no other instrument than himself, and no other aid, except a handful of men living in a corner of the desert. Finally, never has a man accomplished such a huge and lasting revolution in the world, because in less than two centuries after its appearance, Islam, in faith and in arms, reigned over the whole of Arabia, and conquered, in God’s name, Persia, Khorasan, Transoxania, Western India, Syria, Egypt, Abyssinia, all the known continent of Northern Africa, numerous islands of the Mediterranean, Spain, and a part of Gaul.

If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and astounding results are the true criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any great man in modern history with Muhammad? The most famous men created arms, laws and empires only. They founded, if anything at all, no more than material powers which often crumbled away before their eyes. This man moved not only armies, legislations, empires, peoples and dynasties, but millions of men in one-third of the inhabited world; and more than that, he moved the altars, the gods, the religions, the ideas, the beliefs and the souls.

On the basis of a Book, every letter of which has become law, he created a spiritual nationality which blended together peoples of every tongue and of every race. He has left us as the indelible characteristic of this Muslim nationality the hatred of false gods and the passion for the One and Immaterial God. This avenging patriotism against the profanation of Heaven formed the virtue of the followers of Muhammad; the conquest of one-third of the earth to his dogma was his miracle; or rather it was not the miracle of a man but that of reason.

The idea of the Unity of God, proclaimed amidst the exhaustion of fabulous theogonies, was in itself such a miracle that upon its utterance from his lips it destroyed all the ancient temples of idols and set on fire one-third of the world. His life, his meditations, his heroic revilings against the superstitions of his country, and his boldness in defying the furies of idolatry, his firmness in enduring them for fifteen years at Mecca, his acceptance of the role of public scorn and almost of being a victim of his fellow countrymen: all these and, finally, his flight, his incessant preaching, his wars against odds, his faith in his success and his superhuman security in misfortune, his forbearance in victory, his ambition, which was entirely devoted to one idea and in no manner striving for an empire; his endless prayers, his mystic conversations with God, his death and his triumph after death: all these attest not to an imposture but to affirm conviction which gave him the power to restore a dogma. This dogma was twofold, the unity of God and the immateriality of God: the former telling what God is, the latter telling what God is not; the one overthrowing false gods with the sword, the other starting an idea with the words.

Philosopher, orator, apostle, legislator, warrior, conqueror of ideas, restorer of rational dogmas, of a cult without images; the founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire, that is Muhammad. As regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he? — Paris 1854, Vol. II, pp. 276- 277

 
Note from Naush :- (Since this is compiled by a non-muslim, I can overlook that he has written that Prophet Mohammed PBUH was the “author” of Koran.   However, One of our Prophets great accomplishment is his Ummah and all his efforts to lay down the righteous track for his Ummah to follow. Alhamduallah )