Thursday, November 30, 2006

How Did The Prophet (PBUH) Unite The Ummah?


By Sheikh Ahmad Ash-Sharbasi
THE Prophet (peace be upon him) united the Muslim Ummah by various ways, which represent the means for the unity of Muslims in all ages. Such means include that the Muslims should be faithful to their message and to their religion. They should establish the doctrine firmly in their hearts, seek knowledge and science, abhor injustice, and realize that their glory and supremacy lie in getting close to Allah, looking forward to Allah’s satisfaction and Paradise, giving least importance to worldly pleasures and basing all their mottos on their belief. In short, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) gathered his Ummah and united its stances because he is the Seal of the Prophets and the leader of the Messengers sent by Allah. He is the leader of all who fight for the sake of Allah and he was sent as mercy to all humanity who enjoyed the support and care of Allah Almighty.
And to explain this, let me say briefly that the Noble Prophet (peace be upon him) was able to realize this unity and solidarity thanks to many devices and means, such as by the strength of his character, his sincere devotion to his message, as well as his dislike of idol-worship that prevailed at that time; and, moreover, he enriched the hearts with a creed that was superior to the false and trivial pagan beliefs.
He illuminated the hearts with the light of belief in the Glorious Creator Who owns all that is in the Heavens and the Earth. He firmly entrenched this faith, practically and continuously, by the acts of worship his Lord revealed to him, such as prayers, fasting, Zakah, Haj, and other kinds of good deeds.
In addition to this, he purified the souls of his people of grudges and hatred; there was no room for aggression or injustice, no room for pride or insults, but rather brotherhood, love and equality because they were from one common ancestors, and there was no privilege of an Arab over a non-Arab except through piety.
Besides, he taught them that they have no real power or might; that when they are self-conceited they will lose, but when they are proud of their Creator they will succeed and prosper; and that glory belongs to Allah, His Messenger and to the believers. This is why the Qur’an states: “And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allah (i.e, this Qur’an), and be not divided among yourselves” (Al-Imran, 3:103)
Through such ways, also, the value of the worldly life and its pleasures was minimized in their eyes. As long as one does not attach much importance to this life, his humanity increases, and he is able to gather all human beings under the roof of love and faithfulness. He also made them look forward to a marvelous Heaven and to live for an eternal life to come after this transitory life. And since for such causes competitors must work together and diverse people must cooperate, how will be the case with those with a common identity?
Moreover, the Prophet (peace be upon him) dyed the patriotic motive with a religious theme and stated that to love your homeland is part of one’s belief, and to defend the property is part of good religion. Such a strong heavenly bond joined all parties with a bond of solidarity and agreement. They could not have authority over their lands and defend their sovereignty to please their Lord unless each and every one of them was of help and support to his brother, for one Muslim to another Muslim is like a solid wall (of bricks) supporting each other.
Finally, the Prophet (peace be upon him) succeeded in uniting his Ummah and people because he turned them into a pious and faithful nation that works for this life as if it will live forever and works for the Hereafter as if death will end it tomorrow. Therefore, this religion will only prosper by what caused its prosperity at the very beginning. As for those who are lagging behind, if they want to come forward, they have the way right in front of them.

– The writer is professor of Aqeedah and Philosophy at Al-Azhar University, Cairo.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Anger Management: The Islamic Way

Dawud :: Book 41 : Hadith 4758
Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas:
The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: Good way, dignified good bearing and moderation are the twenty-fifth part of Prophecy.

Dawud :: Book 41 : Hadith 4764
Narrated AbuDharr:
The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) said to us: When one of you becomes angry while standing, he should sit down. If the anger leaves him, well and good; otherwise he should lie down.

Dawud :: Book 41 : Hadith 4766
Narrated Atiyyah as-Sa'di:
AbuWa'il al-Qass said: We entered upon Urwah ibn Muhammad ibn as-Sa'di. A man spoke to him and made him angry. So he stood and performed ablution; he then returned and performed ablution, and said: My father told me on the authority of my grandfather Atiyyah who reported the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) as saying: Anger comes from the devil, the devil was created of fire, and fire is extinguished only with water; so when one of you becomes angry, he should perform ablution.

Dawud :: Book 41 : Hadith 4782
Narrated Abu Umamah:
The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: I guarantee a house in the surroundings of Paradise for a man who avoids quarrelling even if he were in the right, a house in the middle of Paradise for a man who avoids lying even if he were joking, and a house in the upper part of Paradise for a man who made his character good.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Leave my mummy's hijab alone...

Here is a short video presentation by Allah's servant...
Sami Yusuf's free...



Touching isn't it? Go inspire others to wear the scarf...

Salams,
Admin

Friday, November 24, 2006

free... by Sami Yusuf

http://aleppogate.blogspot.com/2006/11/myrealliberty.html

What goes through your mind?
As you sit there looking at me
Well I can tell from your looks
That you think I’m so oppressed
But I don’t need for you to liberate me
My head is not bare
And you can’t see my covered hair
So you sit there and you stare
And you judge me with your glare
You’re sure I’m in despair
But are you not aware
Under this scarf that I wear
I have feelings, and I do care

So don’t you see?
That I’m truly free
This piece of scarf on me
I wear so proudly
To preserve my dignity...
My modesty
My integrity
So don’t judge me
Open your eyes and see...
“Why can’t you just accept me?” she says
“Why can’t I just be me?” she says
Time and time again
You speak of democracy
Yet you rob me of my liberty
And all I want is equality
Why can’t you just let me be free?

For you I sing this song
My sister, may you always be strong
From you I’ve learnt so much
How you suffer so much
Yet you forgive those who laugh at you
You walk with no fear
Through the insults you hear
Your wish so sincere
That they’d understand you
But before you walk away
This time you turn and say:
But don’t you see?
That I’m truly free
This piece of scarf on me
I wear so proudly
To preserve my dignity
My modesty
My integrity
So let me be
She says with a smile
I’m the one who’s free

-Sami Yusuf-

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Which part of the Tree is strongest ?

Which part of the Tree is strongest ?

Shabbir Hussain

If we reflect over this vast universe designed by our creator the Almighty Allah then we will observe the immense diversity existing among the different creatures created by him. Not only there is diversity among the different creatures but this diversity is very well conspicuous among the human beings themselves which exhibits in their different color, race, physical features, height, health etc. If this makes us realise the greatness of our creator on one hand than on the other hand we are astonished by the discrepancy which we human beings have regarding our creator.

This astonishment arises when we put up this question that whether this piece of absolute beauty, which is incomparable in terms of architecture, has been created by our Lord only to be left at the mercy of his most refined being so that he forms as many different views regarding his creator as one could probably think of ? If this is not so then why are there so many differences in the name of religion ? Why is it that the follower of every religion abhores the people of other faith and considers himself superior to them ? We will never be able to reach to any conclusion to many such questions till we turn towards the book send down to us by our creator and towards his messenger and seek guidance from them. Lets see how the Quran guides us in this matter.Ref:-sura Nahl :36

Allah conveys us through Quran that he has send down messenger for the guidance of each and every community, the teachings of which were always one and the same that is the oneness of God. Definately all the messengers showed us the difference between the good and the evil and the reward which one would earn for accepting the truth and also warned us against the punishment one would incur for rejecting it.

In the course of history we find numerous such civilizations and their remains exist till today. With the passage of time people made alterations in the teachings of their messengers for their own benefits and slowly and slowly the concept of oneness of God was mingled with shirk in various ways. The messengers were uplifted from their status and were considered as gods by their followers. Thats why the sriptures of God like Vaids, Tuarat, Zaboor, Injeel etc. lost their original forms and many discrepancies made their way in. Even their teachings and the sayings of the messengers showed variance. Hazrat Isa (A.S) was depicted as God's son, while in Hindu religion Ram, Krishna were portrayed as gods themselves.

When this sort of distortion reached its peak and the darkness of ignorance started showing its effects then Allah send down Mohammed (s.a.w.) as his last messenger for the guidance of entire human race. Though he (s.a.w.) was an Ummi still Allah send down upon him an excellent scripture in Arabic language in the form of the holy Quran. The Prophet (s.a.w.) has himself asserted that "Allah has blessed all the prophets with miracles and the one granted to me is the Quran. Allah has taken the responsibility of safeguarding the Quran himself. (Sura Hijr : 9)

Indeed it is a miracle that after more than 1400 yrs also the Quran is present in its original form.The teachings of the Quran is a part and the parcel of the very same doctrine which was started through Adam (A.S) and carried on by all the prophets. It teaches us about the oneness of God and absolute abstinence from shirk. It diffrentiates between the good and the evil in such a manner that after understanding it everyone can adopt such a way of life that the whole society could be led towards peace and enjoy its benefits.Then all the differences will appear fragile but that would be possible only when we accept truth as truth.

The question which now arises is that if this is the solution for all the religious disparities then why are there so many discrepancies among the followers of Quran themselves, and what is the solution for that ? To answer this we will consider the example of a tree. The strength of a tree lies in its deep roots, similarly the strength of Islam lies in believing in the concept of one God and in believing in all his messengers specially Mohammed (s.a.w.) through whom Quran was send down upon us and in accepting all the books of Allah specially the Quran as it can not be altered. In all the sects of Islam there is one Allah, Mohammed(s.a.w.) is his messenger and the Quran is the holy book send down upon him from Allah. In this basic root of Islam there is no variation between the views of different sects. But as the tree grows it develops branches similarly in Islam also many bisects developed in the form of branches. Quran teaches us that all such divisions and discrepancies are due to ignorance and very much disliked by Allah. (Sura Imran :103)

Thats why the one who sticks to the roots of a tree is never at a loss and those who fight over the braches will certainly bear a great loss and since the branches are fragile they might break away from the tree as well. So the final solution to all the conflicts is that we should all stick to the roots which is the strongest of all and which has no variation and stop fighting over the branches which are weak and tend to break away. On this basis only our community can achieve unity which is the basic necessity for our progress in the present scenario.

English Translation by Nasreen Malik
aawaz-e-dost.blogspot.com

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Query

Assalamu'alaikum wr. wb.
Dearest brother in Islam. This is our answer to your query. There are people who are able to see jinns but Allah Almighty made humans unable to enter the world of the jinns. The people who can see them are called Awliya of Allah or "friends of Allah"(sing. Wali). Here's some information regarding them:

1. When a Muslim engages in an abundance of ibaadah, abstains from sins, does not become attached to the world, and follows the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam in every way, he becomes the friend and beloved of Allah Ta'ala. Such a person is called a wali. At times, a wali does certain acts which cannot be done by others. These acts are called karamaat (miracles, or noble and excellent deeds).

2. No matter how high a stage a wali may reach, he will never be equal to a prophet.

3. No matter how beloved to Allah a wali may become, as long as he is in his senses, it will be incumbent upon him to follow the Shariah. Salaat, fasting, and any other act of worship is not forgiven. Acts which are sinful do not become permissible for him.

4. The person who acts contrary to the Shariah cannot be a friend of Allah. If he does some miraculous act, then it is either magic or something enacted through the influence of the soul or Satan. These things should not be believed in.

5. At times, a wali comes to know of certain mysterious things either in his sleep or while awake. This is known as kashf or ilhaam (manifestations or inspirations). If these things are in conformity with the Shariah, they are acceptable, if not, they have to be rejected.

6. Allah and His Rasul sallallahu alayhi wa sallam have shown all the matters pertaining to the Deen in the Quran and Hadith. To bring some new thing into the Deen is not permitted. Such new things are known as bid'aat (innovations). An innovation is a major sin.
Walis will never reveal to you of their karamah. If you are lucky you might notice it.There is a half wali named Habib Omar who had visited many countries to preach including Singapore. During his stay in a country, he organised a mawlid with a feast at the end. Unfortunately the amount of food seemed too little to supply everyone who attended and by the will of Allah SWT, the supply of food was never ending. Everyone had their own share and it was more than enough. Just look at this equation:
1 tub= 50 bowls
each person takes 1 bowl.
300 people came and 1 tub could feed all of them along with a second serving!
Some walis are able to be at 2 places at once. For example, he is preaching in Australia but at the same time he is also doing his hajj at Mecca. Others could glance into the future. But all jinns fear walis a lot. Walis can kill jinns if they want and jinns couldn't even harm them. There was once a man whose son was being possesed. He went to see the wali. The wali was busy then and told him to take the wali's shoe and threaten to hit the jinn with it. Just by telling the jinn that that was the Wali's shoe, the jinn ran away as fast as he could and never did return.
Humans are superior to jinns. We can't see them but we can feel the effects of them. For example, in a congregational prayer, an imam may be a human but his ma'mum is jinn. Has happened before, a man was praying alone in a surau in the middle of the night so he read loudly somehow to make sure that he is able to perform a better prayer. Then, at the end of al-fatheha, when he said amen, there were many other voices along with it.
So, some walis of Allah can see and interact with jinn but not enter their world for it is a totally different world not that of ours. They can come to our world and return but we can never go to their world no matter how strong our faith is
Wassalams,
Administrator
P.S. I REALLY DO HOPE THAT THE INFORMATION ABOVE WAS HELPFUL AND RELEVANT

Monday, November 13, 2006

Quran as intercessor

The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) said:" When a man dies and his relatives are busy in funeral, there stands anextremely handsome man by his head. When the dead body is shrouded, that mangets in between the shroud and the chest of the deceased. When after the burial, the people return home, 2 angels, Munkar andNakeer(names of two special Angels), come in the grave and try to separatethis handsome man so that they may be able to interrogate the dead man in privacy about his faith. But the handsome man says, "He is my companion, heis my friend. I will not leave him alone in any case. If you are appointedfor interrogation, do your job. I cannot leave him until I get him admitted into Paradise". Thereafter he turns to his dead companion and says, "I am the Qura'an, whichyou used to read, sometimes in a loud voice and sometimes in a low voice. Donot worry. After the interrogation of Munkar and Naker, you will have no grief. When the interrogation is over, the handsome man arranges for him fromAl-Mala'ul A'laa (the angels in Heaven) a silk bedding filled with musk. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) said:" On the Day of Judgement, before Allah, no other intercessor will have a greater status than the Qura'an, neither a Prophet nor an angel."
Please keep forwarding this "Hadith" to all ...because The Holy Prophet ( s.a.w.) said:"Pass on knowledge from me even if it is only one verse". May Allah bestow this favour on all of us.
AMEEN AMEEN

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

ALLAH DOESN'T EXIST?

ALLAH DOESN'T EXIST? ONE OF THE BETTER EXPLANATIONS OF WHY ALLAH ALLOWS PAIN AND SUFFERING THAT I HAVE COME ACROSS: A MAN WENT TO A BARBERSHOP TO HAVE HIS HAIR CUT AND HIS BEARD TRIMMED. AS THE BARBER BEGAN TO WORK, THEY BEGAN TO HAVE A GOOD CONVERSATION. THEY TALKED ABOUT SO MANY THINGS AND VARIOUS SUBJECTS. WHEN THEY EVENTUALLY TOUCHED ON THE SUBJECT OF ALLAH, THE BARBER SAID: "I DON'T BELIEVE THAT ALLAH EXISTS." "WHY DO YOU SAY THAT?" ASKED THE CUSTOMER."WELL, YOU JUST HAVE TO GO OUT IN THE STREET TO REALIZE THAT ALLAH DOESN'T EXIST. TELL ME, IF ALLAH EXISTS, WOULD THERE BE SO MANY SICK PEOPLE? WOULD THERE BE ABANDONED CHILDREN? IF ALLAH EXISTED, THERE WOULD BE NEITHER SUFFERING NOR PAIN. I CAN'T IMAGINE A LOVING ALLAH WHO WOULD ALLOW ALL OF THESE THINGS." THE CUSTOMER THOUGHT FOR A MOMENT, BUT DIDN'T RESPOND BECAUSE HE DIDN'T WANT TO START AN ARGUMENT. THE BARBER FINISHED HIS JOB AND THE CUSTOMER LEFT THE SHOP. JUST AFTER HE LEFT THE BARBERSHOP, HE SAW A MAN IN THE STREET WITH LONG, STRINGY, DIRTY HAIR AND AN UNTRIMMED BEARD. HE LOOKED DIRTY AND UNKEMPT. THE CUSTOMER TURNED BACK AND ENTERED THE BARBER SHOP AGAIN AND HE SAID TO THE BARBER:"YOU KNOW WHAT? BARBERS DO NOT EXIST.""HOW CAN YOU SAY THAT?" ASKED THE SURPRISED BARBER. "I AM HERE, AND I AM A BARBER. AND I JUST WORKED ON YOU!" "NO!" THE CUSTOMER EXCLAIMED. "BARBERS DON'T EXIST BECAUSE IF THEY DID, THERE WOULD BE NO PEOPLE WITH DIRTY LONG HAIR AND UNTRIMMED BEARDS, LIKE THAT MAN OUTSIDE." "AH, BUT BARBERS DO EXIST! THAT'S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN PEOPLE DO NOT COME TO ME.""EXACTLY!" AFFIRMED THE CUSTOMER. "THAT'S THE POINT! ALLAH, TOO, DOES EXIST! THAT'S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN PEOPLE DO NOT GO TO HIM AND DON'T LOOK TO HIM FOR HELP. THAT'S WHY THERE'S SO MUCH PAIN AND SUFFERING IN THE WORLD."
IF YOU THINK ALLAH EXISTS, SEND THIS TO OTHER PEOPLE---
IF YOU THINK ALLAH DOES NOT EXIST, DELETE

Some of the 'Symptoms, Avoidance and Cures' of Sins

Some of the 'Symptoms, Avoidance and Cures' of Sins: Narrated by Abu Huraira, The Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) said "Avoid the seven great destructive sins" the people asked O Allaah Messenger ! what are they ? He said "To join others in worship along with Allaah, to practice sorcery, to kill the life which Allaah has forbidden except for a just cause, to eat up Riba (usury, interest), to eat up an orphan's wealth, to show one's back to the enemy and fleeing from the battlefield at the time of fighting and to accuse chaste women, who never even think of anything touching their chastity and are true believers". [19] Narrated by Abdullah bin Amr that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) said "Whoever has the following four (characteristics) will be a pure hypocrite and whoever has one of the following four characteristics will have one characteristic of hypocrisy unless and until he gives it up. 1. Whenever he is entrusted, he betrays (proves dishonest).2. Whenever he speaks, he tells a lie. 3. Whenever he makes a covenant, he proves treacherous. 4. Whenever he quarrels, he behaves in a very imprudent, evil and insulting manner." [20] Narrated by 'Aishah that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) said "The most hated person to Allaah is the one who is most quarrelsome of the opponents" [21] Narrated by Abu Huraira that Allaah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) said "Part of a man's good observance of Islaam is that he leaves the things which do not concern him" ( i.e. avoiding interference with other's matters).[22]
Narrated by Ibn Abbas that Allaah Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) passed by two graves and said "Both of them are being tortured, and they are not being tortured for a major sin. This one used not to save himself from being soiled with his urine, and the other used to go about with calumnies" [23] The Qur'aan: Narrated by Uthman, The Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) said: "The best among you (Muslims) are those who learn the Qur'aan and teach it (to others)." [24] Ibn Masood reported that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) once said "Whoever reads a single letter from Allaah's Book will receive a blessing and each blessing is worth ten times its value."[25] Abu Umaamah reported that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) said "Recite the Qur'aan for verily on the Day of Resurrection it will act as an intercessor for its companions (those who read it often).[26] Prayer ( Salat ) [27] To offer salat at its appointed time as narrated by Abdullah ibn Masud 'I asked the Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) Which deed is the dearest to Allaah ? He said, "To performs-Salat at their early fixed times....... "[28] Bearing in mind salat is to performed as the prophet ordered us to pray "Perform your salat the way you see me performing them" [29] Fasting (Saum) and Charity (Sadaqah)[30] Mu'adh bin Jabal narrates: "The Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) said to him "May I show you the gates of goodness ? (They are) Fasting is a screen from hell, As-Sadaqah extinguishes the sins as the water extinguishes the fire, Standing in prayer by a slave of Allaah during the last third part (Tahajjud) of a night" Then the Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) recited (V.32:16) "Their sides forsake their beds".[31]
Abu Huraira narrates that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) said "Everyday two angels come down from the heaven and one of them says 'O Allaah ! Compensate every person who spends in your cause,' and the other (angel) says, 'O Allaah ! Destroy every miser.'" [32] Seeking Knowledge Reported by Anas "Seeking knowledge is obligatory on every Muslim" [33] Reported by Abu ad-Dardaa that he heard the Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) say "If anyone travels on a road in search of knowledge, Allaah will cause him to travel on one of the roads of paradise. The angels will lower their wings because of their pleasure with one who seeks knowledge, and forgiveness will be asked for him by the inhabitants of the heavens and earth and the fish in the depth of the oceans..." [34] Adhering to the Sunnah Reported by Abu Huraira that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) said "I have left with you two things, if you hold on firmly to them , you will never go astray; Allaah's Book and my Sunnah." [35] Abu Huraira narrates that Allaah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) said, "All my Ummah will enter paradise except those who refuse" They asked O Allaah's Messenger ! who will refuse ? He Said "Whoever obeys me will enter paradise, and whoever disobeys me is the one who refuses (to enter paradise)" [36] Avoiding Bidah (Innovation) Abdullah ibn Masoud relates that Allaah's Messenger (Pubh) drew a line for them one day and then Said "This is Allaah's path", then he drew several lines (branching off) to the right and to the left and said, "These are the paths (of Misguidance) on each of which is a devil inviting people to follow it" and then he recited (the verse) "Verily this is my path, leading straight, so follow it. And do not follow the (other) paths for they will scatter you about from (Allaah's) path. This is His Command to you in order that you may be conscious of Allaah. [37]"[38] Aisha reported that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) said "Whoever introduces something new into this religion of ours which does not belong in it will have it rejected" [39] (i.e., it will not be accepted by Allaah. Imitating the Kufaar The Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) has warned us in regards to imitating the Kufaar, Abu Saeed al-Khudree reported that Allaah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) said: "You will follow the practices of your predecessors, inch by inch and yard by yard, so much so that if they were to enter a lizard's hole you would also follow them." He then asked if he meant the Jews and the Christians and He replied "Who Else?" [40] The Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) also warned us saying: "Whoever resembles a people, he is one of them" [41] The Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) also cursed men who tried to resemble woman and women who tried to resemble men.[42] We ask Allaah, the Most High, that He turns the misguided of this Ummah back to the guidance, and that he makes us all to support one another and aid one another in carrying out good and righteousness until we return to this Ummah its lost glory and honor, Indeed He is fully able and having the power to do that.
All praises and thanks be to Allah, Lord of everything that exists.The most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Master of the Day of Judgment You (alone) we worship, and You (alone) we ask for help. Guide us to the Straight Way The Way of of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger, nor those who went astray. Ameen

Monday, November 06, 2006

The Group is ON!

Dear brothers and sisters in Islam,
Our group is ready! Please email admin.theaskingmuslim@hotmail.com
--OR--
visit http://groups.msn.com/theonlinemuslimgroup
Please do not hesitate to join and all members will be welcomed.
Alhamdullilah,
Admin

Friday, November 03, 2006

In Europe, Islam rises, Christianity falls? Muslims may soon become majority.

PARIS -- Al Fath Mosque is in a scruffy immigrant neighborhood not far from the neon-lit kitsch of the Pigalle district. On Friday afternoons, the mosque is jammed, and the overflow of worshippers spills into the streets.Tourists who stumble on the scene reflexively reach for their cameras, struck by this unusual public manifestation of religiosity in a country where Christian belief has become passé.In France and in almost every other European country, Christianity appears to be in a free fall. Although up to 88% of the French identify themselves as Catholic, only about 5% go to church on most Sundays; 60% say they "never" or "practically never" go.But Islam is a thriving force. The 12 million to 15 million Muslims who live in Europe make up less than 5% of the total population, but the vitality of their faith has led some experts to predict that Islam will become the continent's dominant faith.Princeton University historian Bernard Lewis, the dean of American Middle East scholars, flatly predicts that Europe will be Muslim by the end of this century.George Weigel, a leading American theologian, frets about "a Europe in which the muezzin summons the faithful to prayer from the central loggia of St. Peter's in Rome, while Notre Dame has been transformed into Hagia Sophia on the Seine -- a great Christian church" will "become an Islamic museum."Lewis and Weigel represent a trend among American thinkers who say they fear Europe's doom if it does not re-Christianize, and soon. Most European experts believe those fears are exaggerated.France, with Europe's largest Muslim population, surely will be a test case.A church in crisisLittle argument exists about the severity of the crisis facing the Catholic Church in France. In contrast with the vigorous (and masculine) face that French Muslims present to the world, a typical Sunday mass almost anywhere in France will feature an elderly priest preaching to a dwindling congregation of mostly elderly women."Mass is boring," said Odon Vallet, a religion professor at the Sorbonne. "The ceremony isn't very beautiful; the music is bad; the sermon is uninteresting. Mass is for people who have nothing else to do on a Sunday -- no sports, no hobbies, no shopping, no entertainment."Islam is France's fastest-growing religion. But this is mainly a result of immigration patterns, not conversions. Most of the 4.5 million Muslims who make up about 7% of the French population are immigrants or the descendants of immigrants from former French colonies in north Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.Global Islam is eager for converts. But in Europe, the situation is nuanced. According to Olivier Roy, a leading French scholar on Islam, Muslims in Europe would be happy for Christians to convert, while Christians merely want Muslims to become more secular.While President George W. Bush proudly declares America "a nation of prayer," French President Jacques Chirac praises the virtues of French secularism. France developed a distinctly French notion of church-state separation more than a century ago in an attempt to curb the influence of the Catholic Church. Known as laicite, it allows all faiths equal status and ensures that all are equally divorced from the functions of the state.Bruno Bourg-Broc, a deputy in the National Assembly and self-described committed Catholic, laments the erosion of the faith in France."We are a fundamentally Christian society," he said. "The landscape is formed of churches. It's part of our culture, our literature and painting." Whether people want it in the constitution or not, "we were formed in this way and should not be ashamed of it."The doctrine of Islam is to conquer and convert, and we must keep this in mind. I don't think there is a real risk here, but if it happens, it will be our own fault."Hope for the futureLast year, when Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected pope and took the name Benedict, the patron saint of Europe, it was seen as a sign that he would refocus the church's energies on rebuilding the faith in Europe. The Vatican was heartened when a million young people turned out last August for World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany, and heard the new pope urge them to rediscover Europe's Christian roots.Some experts also are encouraged on Christianity's behalf if only because things can't get much worse."If you are the type of person who buys stocks and bonds, I'd buy Christianity," said Vallet of Sorbonne. "The price now is very low, so I think it has to go up."Other analysts believe Europe's future is neither Christianity nor Islam, but secularism. A pragmatic reading of the numbers suggests that not only will Christianity never regain its dominant cultural role but also that churchgoers will be forced to recast themselves as minorities or subcultures."Who truly thinks that Benedict XVI is the future of Europe?" said Roy, the Islamic scholar.Tourists who stumble on the scene reflexively reach for their cameras, struck by this unusual public manifestation of religiosity in a country where Christian belief has become passé.In France and in almost every other European country, Christianity appears to be in a free fall. Although up to 88% of the French identify themselves as Catholic, only about 5% go to church on most Sundays; 60% say they "never" or "practically never" go.But Islam is a thriving force. The 12 million to 15 million Muslims who live in Europe make up less than 5% of the total population, but the vitality of their faith has led some experts to predict that Islam will become the continent's dominant faith.Princeton University historian Bernard Lewis, the dean of American Middle East scholars, fl. Alhamdullilah and may Allah guide them to the truth.

My Beloved Beard

My Beloved Beard
by Safeer Ahammed Musaliar
IND

Life has really changed.
Gone are the days.
Where people used to say
'Aww your face is so sweet and smooth'.

Gone are the days.
Where it took ages,
To shape my sideburns
And shave all the facial hair.

Gone are the days.
Of beauty, charm and attraction
As the beard is now,
A symbol of terrorism and backwardness.

People see me now,
As something strange and weird.
My relatives often make fun of me,
By asking . who broke your heart?

My distant friends ask me,
Did you join any terrorist camp?
My close friends at times make fun of me
'Hey man, blades are very cheap nowadays'

Women often ask me,
Why don't you shave that ugly beard
And be like a charming superstar?
You look boring!

I feel sorry for my sisters
As their minds are now totally corrupted
Inside the web of clean-shaved star icons,
As they're the new age 'trend setters'.

But very few know
That I follow a superstar.
His name is Muhammed,
The forgotten hero.

And I have no regrets
As he has taught me,
'This world is prison for a believer
And paradise for a non-believer.'

So wake up, O muslim youth !
Remember our heroes - The Prophets and the Sahabahs
Remember, this world is a testing place
And don't let your senses to deceive you.

So be proud to imitate,
The Prophetic style
For he has commanded us,
'Grow your beards and trim your moustaches'.

And he who loves his Sunnah,
Has indeed loved him.
And he who loves him,
Will be with him in Paradise !

Pumpkin: Sunnah Food!

Assalaamualaykum warahmatulahi wabarakatuhuh:

Anas b. Malik reported: A tailor invited the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) to a meal which he had prepared. Anas b. Malik said: I went along with the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) to that feast. He presented to the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) barley bread and soup containing pumpkin, and sliced pieces of meat. Anas said: I saw the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) going after the pumpkin round the dish, so I have always liked the pumpkin since that day.
[Muslim Book #023, Hadith #5067]

Our beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) liked to eat this type of vegetable and although it's not exactly the orange pumpkin we find at our grocery stores today , it is a vegetable from the same family as pumpkins and sqashes.

The following are facts about orange pumpkins, including tips & recipes for a variety of dishes!

Fast Facts about Pumpkins
The pulp from this low-fat, low-sodium vegetable is an ancient, healthful power food.
One cup of cooked pumpkin has 564 mg of potassium, 2650 IU of vitamin A (providing an amazing 310% RDA) and just 80 calories. A half cup serving gives you a day's worth of these protective pigments. Pumpkin also provides fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and phosphorus.
Note: Vitamin A deficiency is the leading cause of preventable blindness and a major cause of infant deaths.
Pumpkins are orange because they contain massive amounts of lutein, alpha- and beta-carotene. These nutrients turn to vitamin A in the body.
Adding beta carotene to your diet could reduce your risk of developing certain types of cancer, including prostate, and protect against heart disease. In the past, this staple was used to treat various ailments, including snakebites and…freckles!
Pumpkin seeds contain protective compounds called phytosterols, which may be responsible for shrinking the prostate. They also contain chemicals that may prevent some transformation of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). High levels of DHT are associated with enlarged prostate.
90% of all pumpkins sold in the United States are used for Jack-o'-lanterns.
It is He Who produceth gardens, with trellises and without, and dates, and tilth with produce of all kinds, and olives and pomegranates, similar (in kind) and different (in variety): eat of their fruit in their season, but render the dues that are proper on the day that the harvest is gathered. But waste not by excess: for Allah loveth not the wasters. [Qu'ran 6:141]
A great source of antioxidant carotenoids, pumpkin provides a day's worth of these protective pigments in just a half-cup serving all while being low in calories: only 49 in a cup of the cooked flesh.
Choose a pumpkin that is unblemished, has no decay spots, and has a bit of the stem in place.
Sources:
http://www.prevention.com/article/0,5778,s1-1-52-160-3246-1,00.html
http://my.webmd.com/content/article/110/109838.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumpkin


Pumpkin Preparation & Recipes

Note: Please make sure to substitute halal/dhabiha meat and halal ingredients for all of the recipes.
http://www.fabulousfoods.com/features/featuring/pumpkins.html#recipes
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/recipe_views/views/105503
Read More
Effect of Pumpkin Seeds:

http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/abstract/110573466/ABSTRACT
Pumpkin Power! Calculating the Carotenoids in a Fall Favorite

http://www.ars.usda.gov/ is/AR/archive/oct05/pumpkin1005.htm
Pumpkin Q&A

http://www.drweil.com/u/QA/QA359563