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.

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

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

Young Pakistani’s in the wrong direction.

These Pakistani teenagers have become an internet sensation with their rendition of Justin Bieber, with mum beating out the rhythmn on an old pot. Meet the ‘Justin Bibis’

Budding stars

Many surprises here :-

  • These young girls come from a remote town in Pakistan.
  • They don’t speak English ~ hence write the English pronunciation in Urdu.
  • They have their mothers support.
  • The first recording was done live ~ on a street ~ with bystanders around !!

Ofcourse following their youtube success, fame and recognition came swiftly, as does these days with the social media high.

What does NOT surprise me :-

  • They were hosted by a morning show as well, where they got a full makeover ~ LIVE !!
  • TV channels and show producers, are constantly looking out for unusual, ‘breaking news’ kinda topics to raise their TRP’s but sadly, Pakistani TV casually, glorifies everything non-Islamic.

Young sisters singing on TV is not a new phenomenon is Pakistan. We remember the Benjamin sisters of the 80’s, but here’s a new generation of Urdu-speaking small-town dwellers, who have draped themselves with a dupatta and croon to the likes of Justin Beiber !!! The miracles of new-age telecommunication, I suppose ! Or the long web of shaitaani fitnah.

This young sibling has no idea, of what content they are endorsing in their songs … naturally, neither does their mother.  Sounds nice enough to be sung without considering the repercussions !

From an Islamic point of view, having a woman’s voice heard with a musical set up ~ is not acceptable.

Hundred’s of small-town girls will find inspiration in these sisters, and consider crooning in public or youtube, as a ticket to fame.

Singing as a sign of rejoicing privately, in close confinement where only women are present, in a marriage function is the only exception where music and women can mix as per the teachings of deen !! Yet Pakistan has, long thrown the garb of ‘selective’ Islamic teachings and practices.  A young Malala cannot be sent to school, yet she can be rejoiced on the morning shows !!

That’s not a new one for hypocrisy but it just endorses its absolute presence, shamefully.

 

Tight Jeans & Muslim Women !

tight jeans

Either I’m living in a very confused time or there are a whole lot of confused women, swarming around in the malls dressed as a hybrid between, wanting to please their parents and wanting to go on a date  !!

not hijab hijaab

Tight clothing, hijab and muslim women (in public)  ~ just don’t go hand in hand. PERIOD !! (Ofcourse, You are totally at liberty to wear anything at home)

However, this generally happens, when women/girls either don’t know

  • Why they wear hijab
  • what is real hijab or
  • when they are trying to please ‘themselves’ while keeping Allah swt, somewhere in the picture.

Well sisters, I got some REAL news for you !!  Who do you think your kiddin ???  Surely, not the one who already has your intentions listed out.  I totally respect the parents for guiding these children towards hijab but I fail to understand, why parents don’t explain the importance behind the hijab.

Unfortunately, the media has symbolized hijab as a piece of cloth, worn to cover the hair. However, Hijab is far greater than just a piece of cloth. There are several aspects of Hijaab ~ the first one being the intention and the next being humility, hijab of the eyes, hijab of how one speaks, hijab of how one walks, and so on so forth.

In a race to be accepted and appreciated by western society, our girls have drifted towards the aesthetic values of hijab rather than the true meaning of humility. Clearly some of the requirements of Islamic clothing for the muslimah is that her dress, not be transparent, too tight so as to reveal her figure and also not something that can be associated with men’s clothing.

I watch in disappointment, while young oblivious muslimah girls prance around in flocks in their shockingly appealing shirts, tight jeans and tall sandals with colorful bling studded mobiles but ofcourse, donning a contrasting scarf to go with it. One doesn’t have to be a genius to figure out the chaos running in those tender brains !

For sisters, who are new to Islam, please take your time. Don’t be in a rush to adopt the hijab. Kindly study the religion before you embrace the dress code. Allah swt has bought open your hearts to this beautiful religion, surely he will make you see hijab as an extension of yourselves. It will become a part of your personality very soon. inshallah.

Quite honestly, it is something that comes so naturally to us, once we get accustomed to it and it is surely, not there to make tasks, difficult for us women.  Allah swt would never enforce something difficult for us to bear. He has made deen so simple for us to practise and he has kept women, so well protected, provided we live within our simple deeni boundaries.

May Allah swt protect our ummah and make us stronger and bring us closer together ameen.

 

Purifying the heart

Purifying the heart !

Assalam Alai kum brothers and sisters. I trust, you are in good health and are counting your blessings everyday.

The link above is an excellent short video based on our existence and how we can remove the corrupt, evil sins from our hearts. It is a beautiful metaphor and I’m sure, you will like it, hence sharing.

The doors of Rehma (mercy/forgiveness) will remain open for us till the moment, we take our last breath, hence don’t assume you will not be forgiven. Allah swt can and will pardon the worse of the sins, provided the niyaah (intention) is sincere and the remorse is true.

A family we knew, had a daughter, who suffered at the hands of a chronic illness for all her tender life. We realized, perhaps,  she was a test from the Almighty. Eventually she passed away leaving her parents with a broken heart.

A few years later, the only other child, an older son, matured and carried forward the responsibilities of his fathers’ business. The father was beside himself. A young, charming, well-behaved, well-disciplined and responsible son, is a dream come true. The parents had him married and the following year, the young bride and groom, performed Hajj.

Although, they are our family friends, we barely kept in touch, over the years. Never the less, I have a deep-rooted respect for this family and upon hearing the beautiful news, I was overwhelmed with joy.

Sadly, it was short-lived.

A couple of years later, the said young boy, committed suicide.

Death of a child, in itself, is the harshest emotional devastation, but loosing your child to suicide can add an unbelievably surreal dimension to this trauma.

And then begins a string of speculations of why he took such a drastic step .. .. perhaps monetary issues, perhaps business decline, perhaps he did not bear children and perhaps a dozen other factors, which we may never know and in so many ways, its none of our business ! But here is whats really important :-

My dear brothers and sisters, suicide is haram. There is no other way to put it mildly.

Please remember, we are placed in this world to face the trials, to endure hardships while keeping our imaan (faith) intact. We CANNOT and MUST NOT give up.

Talk to anyone of your family members, friend, relative, a trusted neighbor, a colleague, the imam in your masjid ~ if nothing else, turn to a psychiatrist.  But DONT give up.  Whatever problems, you face, there is ALWAYS a solution. Sometimes, we have to persistently search for it, and sometimes, patience brings it at our doorstep, never the less, there is ALWAYS a solution. However there is no solution to DEATH.

That is the trauma this elderly parent faces and will continue to endure every single day, for the rest of their lives.

The young bride who probably has a life ahead of her, with a stigma so intense, to carry in our hypocritical society.

What he did ~ is not the issue here becoz he is no more and no one can bring him back.

But what matters is what we learn from this unfortunate tragedy.

Asian parents are highly emotional and less logical parents. They pin too many hopes and aspirations over their offspring. In a way, they almost live their youth, thru their children, which is fine , so long as they don’t start imposing their expectations on them.  If your raising responsible children, remember, when they goof-up(and they will) don’t remind them time and again, about your disappointments (they already realize their mistake) Reminding them will not bring them closer to you. It will only widen the barrier between them and you.

Brothers and sisters, No matter what your fix is, rely on your parents. There will be a temporary period of disappointments and you may curl in the feeling of being a let-down. But trust me, its far better, that they sort your hassle out than sort your coffin out.  There can be no excuse for suicide. Absolutely NONE.

The void a parent feels after loosing a child is unbearably painful but knowing and blaming himself, all the remainder of his life, why his child could not turn to him as a confidante, is far more painful for a parent.

This video demonstrates how wrong decisions, wrong habits and wrong deeds can blacken our hearts and our minds and misguide us in the wrong direction, but ……………………… there is hope.

Astaghfirullah.

Ask Allah swt for forgiveness, refrain yourself from evil practices and reprimand your ways and there is no reason, why the Almighty Allah swt who is Ghafoor and Raheem, would not forgive his slave.

He is waiting for YOU to raise your hands in dua and with trust in your heart, turn to him. He alone will set you free.

so what are you waiting for ?

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Hajj – A discovery (part 1)

Assalam Alai kum dear brothers and sisters,

This year, Allah swt blessed us with the privilege of being his guests in Hajj.

Ofcourse, you can view heaps and heaps of sites which will give you details about the entire process of Hajj, what it is, why it is performed, what is it relevance in Islam etc etc.

But what I wanted to share with you today, is beyond the basics and rather personal to me  .. actually, its purely my own take on what I discovered about myself and how I perceive people and situations.

We booked our visa, travel docs and stay through a ‘reliable’ tour operator or source in Delhi -India (I will come back to this source much later in the next part of this post )

My husband, constantly drilled the word “sabr’ into my brains from the time, we contemplated Hajj in our minds, becoz for me, travel and sabr don’t go hand in hand, if anything, I am totally driven by excitement thru out my travels. I like to be organized and I like to be dealt with professionally. Ofcourse, having performed several umrahs over the years, one aspect of the visit to Saudi Arabia, I am very well aware of, is the total lack of organizational and communication skills at the airport. I braced myself for all the potential goof ups, expected !!!

Allah swt has blessed the Muslim with two supreme qualities, namely “SABR” (patience) and “SHUKR” (gratefulness)

And this journey, I was about to embark upon, was going to expose me to just “HOW” patient and grateful we muslims truly are !!

Fast forward to the 3 days in Muna (Mina – The tented city ) where I resided with 11 other ladies in our solid “tented” shelter.  I was offered a crash course on exploring the values which are essential to us Asian muslims, namely FOOD.

Food is the single most crucial criteria around which, every situation is judged and based !

Here are a few ‘Loose conclusions’ !!

  • We are a greedy lot !!
  • We lack order and discipline !!
  • We love to hoard !!
  • Cleanliness is not Godliness for us !!

Please know, that this is a loose conclusion not a stringent opinion.  Let me explain :-

The Prophet saws asked the Muslim to fill 1/3rd of his stomach with food ~ yet, I realized we have trouble with “interpreting” that instruction.

Forming queues for the elaborate buffet was not only an ordeal for some, but they actually preferred to crash into the queue shamelessly, inorder to reach that food  !!

Those who finally made it to the serving station, scoured thru the heavily laden biryani’s, promptly pulling out as many pieces of meat, they could.

I found people, piling 6 – 7 mini samosas and kebabs onto their plates ~ when asked why ? They replied it was for their friends back in the tent !! (oh yes, I did “ASK”)

What was most annoying was, people hanging around and eating their meal at the buffet area, adding chaos to the confusion !!!

We were all muslims, from various regions of the Indian subcontinent and yet, we behaved as though, food is the source of all our comfort !!

There were several fridges stacked with soft drinks, and fizzy drinks and water ~ and yet people couldn’t stop complaining about it not being cold enough !!!!!

I wonder if any of them ever pondered over the fact that WATER is a luxury in the desert ~ and yet when there was free flowing water available, they did nothing but complained.

Another aspect, which I noticed is, that WE ARE HOARDERS !!! Typically true !!

Inspite of hundreds of bottles of water and soft drinks, lined in the fridges ~ people had a tendency to hoard bottles to their tents ~ conveniently forgetting that there were plenty of others who would need it. Have we forgotten that a muslim is considerate and wants for his brother what he wants for himself ??

Why are we living with a weird philosophy of “the brother will take care of himself ??”

There were 4 to 5 ~ Ice cream refrigerators stacked with Ice creams and for the first two days, I watched in amazement, just how much Ice cream could be eaten by people ???? what really ticked me is the unfortunate habit where people couldn’t even close the fridge tightly, which eventually lead to all the cups melting !!! What a wasteful lot we are !!!

I watched as people ate snacks on their beds and without so much as a quick dusting off, sleeping away on the mess alittle later !!!

I watched as people dumped their garbage on “closed litter bins” instead of simply popping them open, and shoving it down !! Litter bins were abundantly scattered at every corner.

Did the Prophet SAWS say, Cleanliness is half of Deen ?

hmmm …. Had trouble finding that cleanliness here. ( I suppose its a cultural thing )

Naturally, I consoled myself, that people from all walks of life, all shades of the sphere were here and it was impossible to expect people to remain “civilized” ~ perhaps that’s when it dawned to me, that long before the western society started bullying the dark skinned man for being uncivilized ~ WE, the muslims were, literally handed the code to an entire civilized form of living, actually on a platter, 1400 years back !!

What did we do with this moral code of conduct ?

Oh yes, we got our children to memorize it, without understanding it.

We read it, without following it.

We conveniently adapted alien culture and mixed it with bits of Islam.

We wrapped it in a beautifully draped silk and left it to attract dust, right on top of the bookshelf !

We did not ponder over the meanings, we did not inculcate ‘His’ teachings, we did not even ‘try’.

Instead, we raise slogans of Takbeer if anyone dared to utter a word of disregard against our beautiful and precious religion. But have we once thought, what our Prophet himself would have thought of us, when we dumped half of our plate with food in the trash bin, pushed people to stand right infront of the buffet and thrown our garbage around on the ground  ???

Allah swt blessed you with the honor of being his guest ~ so were your actions, words, nature in accordance to being a guest ??

Would you behave in such a unacceptable manner in HIS presence too ??

Somewhere in all this, my sabr was being challenged a lot and I had to continuously console myself with that beautiful phrase, innallahma sabreen.

Sabr is in short supply in Hajj. But it is the only quality that shines on a muslims face. Without sabr, it all boils down to being on a journey and not a pilgrimage.

May Allah swt forgive me, my brothers and sisters, who were with me during my hajj for any of our misconduct, mistakes and misdeeds . ameen

We have a long way to go, for from becoming a better muslim, we will surely become better humans and surely, it is not vice versa.

My next post on Hajj ~ the discovery will be next week, inshallah.

If you could identify with this post, kindly subscribe to my blog.

Allah Hafiz

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.

 

Muslim pilgrimage ~ Umrah in Mecca.

salam Alaikum dear brothers and sisters in Deen and hello friends,

We returned from our lovely Umrah ( muslim pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia) trip just a couple of days back and I’m almost just, rested enough, unpacked enough and awoken enough to pen about my fantastic trip to Mecca.

We stayed a couple of Days in Mecca and then hired a taxi to drive us to Medina, where we stayed for a couple of days, again.

We have been performing an umrah, every year for the past 4-5 years and its always even more exceptional than the year before. The feeling that one experiences, just standing infront of the Haram (kaaba) is like nothing comparable. You dont SEE God but like someone once said,  “You are guests of Allah swt and you already feel it.” How beautifully said.

Preparations :- If any of you are interested in performing Umrah, I highly recommend reading this particular book “The Ultimate Guide to Umrah” by Abu Muneer Ismail Davids. An absolute must read for a layman or a seasoned traveller to Mecca. http://store.dar-us-salam.com/product/201.html

Airline :- We travelled by one of the local budget airlines, FlyDubai and it was indeed a good experience. Paying alittle extra for you baggage while booking is definetly a good idea.
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Jeddah Airport :- Although we had braced ourselves for the worst, going by all our previous experiences, at Jeddah airport ( in terms of time at the immigration, baggage etc ) ,we were pleasently surprised and relieved that the immigration done in a matter of 10-15 minutes.

Still, it is such a disappointment, straight after the baggage retrieval area, they tend to take the passports and hassel us, with waiting for the hotel representative or hotel taxi to give us the ok for leaving. It only adds to the confusion and inconvienence that one is already in Ahraam, travelling with a large family and would like to rush to the room of the hotel to rest himself and his baggage !!  The main reason they practise this is so that people dont go absconding once they enter the country. I understand that, however alittle bit of understanding/consideration for a “family” ~ would go a long way.

One of the best things I love about Dubai police and most Dubai government officials is how considerate and respectful they are. They are not arrogant and without bending the “RULES” they will oblige with sensibility if you are in a difficult situation.  Having visited various countries in the Gulf, I can easily say that Dubai police, surpasses all the others in efficiency and attitude.

Le Meridien Mecca :- Luckily for us, we were greeted by an english speaking receptionist, who could clearly see our annoyance at being hasseled with the taxi issue that we had just experienced. I am not even going to start with the taxi issue becoz it reaaaaaaaaally makes my blood boil. Lets just say, it was “THE” only nasty experience of this entire trip !!(thankfully at that )
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Saquib, the receptionist was kind enough to upgrade us to a suite which was nothing short of a delight ! We had two suites ofcourse. The rooms were clean, well equipped with all the necessary ammenities, fridge, kettle, hot water, good firm beds. And best of all, we were just two rooms away from the boys.

To Haram (Kaaba) :- The hotel is nearly at a 25 minutes walking distance  from Haram but the hotel provides a complimentary shuttle service to the Haram. Although we were told that there would be a service every 10 minutes, I dont ever recall having to wait for more than 2 minutes at either end for the bus. Thats how efficient they are. However, I would recommend that one opt for taxi’s after the Friday “juma salaat” ~ since every one wants to rush to the hotel around the same time on Friday afternoon after prayer, we had to let go of 3 shuttles before, we could find space in the 4th one.
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We spent most of the time running to and fro Haram, trying to join every salaat and ofcourse spending most of the time in the haram making tilawat.

We performed Umrah after Isha salaat. We were rested and fresh by then. Alot of people feel, just becoz they are wearing the Ahraam, they have to perform the Umrah as soon as they reach Mecca, which is not necessary. However, one has to be careful in what one says/behaves, not breaking/letting down of the hair (for ladies) etc, which can become a test at times hence people try to perform the umrah asap.

Haram (Kaaba) was absolutely packed with people. These pictures are that of after fajr salaat. Imagine how many thousands of people are there that early in the morning !!! Not only for the salaat but even in the Kaaba for tawaaf and tilawat. SubhanAllah.

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I dont even think, I can begin to write anything about the feeling one experiences being in the presence of the Kaaba. For any non-muslims, who might be reading this post, please know, that muslims DO NOT  “WORSHIP” the kaaba (black building in Mecca).  If you would like to know/learn more on this particular subject, please write to me and I will send you the best links to clarify your misconceptions.

I have always been blessed with tiny opportunities to help/ease others in small ways at Haram and I love that such situations present themselves to me. I feel so so blessed. I would always advise my brothers and sisters, who are/or want to visit Mecca, to embrace these opportunities which will just come as a surprise, without your expectations. But please remember, they are just “TESTS”.  I will be mentioning one such “TEST” in my future post.

Ofcourse there are several 5 star properties right infront of the Haram masjid gate where several food courts and shopping malls are also located.
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One restaurant that I really dig in Mecca is Taj restaurant. I love their bukhari rice (typically saudi pulao rice) with chicken tikka.  Their rates are reasonable and food tastes good and not too spicey or oily. You can also opt for a similar meal in the nearby mall food court at twice the price. (which is a case in any country).
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Most people often tend to see the glass as half empty, I on the other hand, have alot of gratitude for the Saudi Haram committee or Saudi Government. It is not a small task to keep such a huge place clean and tidy where people of all races and nationalities and habits visit. Some dont even have proper hygiene habits yet the army of workers in organe suits do an awesome job maintaining cleanliness in the haram, the masjid and even the toilet areas.

Providing Zam Zam water cooler machines in close proximity and also in thousands and thousands of mobile water coolers !!
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The escalator to and fro the basement ladies toilets is such a relief.

This year, we also experienced the water and air blower fans that provide much needed relief from the relentless sun.
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Also again, we noticed this year, they have provided these plastic roller stands for people to pull thru and keep thier shoes in. Lest they dont “loose” them and it can be carried in the masjid as well.
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Small things like these can mean alot in making a pilgrims trip stressfree.

I hope, you found this post informative.
My next post will be about our trip to Medina Munnawwara inshallah.

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.

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)