Sunday, May 27, 2007

Certainity

Announcement: I (admin) will be on leave from today to next Monday so posting will only continue then. Jazak Allah Khairan for being with us :)


In the name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful.


All praise is for Allah, the Most High, the Lord of the Worlds. And May Peace be upon His Prophets and His Angels. May Allah's blessings be upon our Holy Prophet, Muhammad (sallallaho 'alaihi wasallam).

"Certainty - Yaqeen"


"Only he whom Allah guides is rightly guided; and whom He confounds will become the losers. Certainly, We have destined many Jinns and human beings for hell; those are the ones who have hearts with which they do not understand, they have eyes with which they do not see, they have ears with which they do not hear. They are like animals - or even worse than them , because they are those who are heedless." al-Quran [7:178-179]



Assalamu 'alalikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh,

May Allah's special blessings be upon those who accepted Islam after studying it. Many of us were fortunate enough to have heard the Adhan soon after the birth, that is, we were born in a Muslim house. However, a person cannot inherit Faith (Imaan) as it has to be earned by an individual. A son of Prophet Noah alaihi salam was destroyed because of his unrighteousness. One of the sons of Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) was pious whereas the other son became jealous and killed his brother. We should become a Muslim by studying Islam and accepting it by heart, not just by tongue & not because "my parents were Muslims so am I".

A Muslim performs Salah because his parents do this, another Muslim performs Salah because he Believes in Allah (but does not know enough about Allah) and yet another Muslim performs Salah with humility & with the Certainty that he is standing in front of Ar-Rahmaan, The Lord of this vast universe; will they all be the same in ranks? "... In fact, only those among His servants who possess knowledge fear Allah; surely Allah is All-Mighty, All-Forgiving.[35:28]"

Sayyidina Abu Bark (radi Allahu 'anhu) said: "Without knowledge action is useless and knowledge without action is futile." This is a very important statement which we need to realize. Unfortunately, many of us Muslims have limited ourselves to just the bare minimum of Islam (just the five pillars of Islam). We should learn more about our Deen so we could try to move higher above the baseline. A very famous saying of the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaho alaihi wa sallam) elegantly describes the few ranks that a Muslim should have:

Narrated by Abu Huraira (May Allah be pleased with him) & recorded by Sheikh Al-Bukhari (may Allah have Mercy on him) that:

One day while the Prophet (SAW) was sitting in the company of some people, (The angel) Gabriel came and asked, "What is faith (Imaan)?" Allah's Apostle replied, ' Faith is to believe in Allah, His angels, (the) meeting with Him, His Apostles, and to believe in Resurrection." Then he further asked, "What is Islam?" Allah's Apostle replied, "To worship Allah Alone and none else, to offer prayers perfectly to pay the compulsory charity (Zakat) and to observe fasts during the month of Ramadan." Then he further asked, "What is Ihsan (perfection)?" Allah's Apostle replied, "To worship Allah as if you see Him, and if you cannot achieve this state of devotion then you must consider that He is looking at you." Then he further asked, "When will the Hour be established?" Allah's Apostle replied, "The answerer has no better knowledge than the questioner..... Then that man (Gabriel) left and the Prophet asked his companions to call him back, but they could not see him. Then the Prophet said, "That was Gabriel who came to teach the people their religion." Abu 'Abdullah said: He (the Prophet) considered all that as a part of faith.

-=[ IMAAN and IHSAAN (Yaqeen) ]=-

Imaan is the Faith and it should be in the heart; "Faith is to believe in Allah, His angels, (the) meeting with Him, His Apostles, and to believe in Resurrection". But we have not seen Allah, His Angels, His Prophets... we have not even seen Muhammadur Rasool-Allah (sallallaho alaihi wa sallam), so how should one have Faith in unseen?

What is the Gravity and what is the Time? We don't see the Gravity nor the Time but why do we "believe" in gravity and time? We have not seen Newton but we know his famous story: "An apple fell down from the tree, Newton noticed it and realized the effects of gravity and finally came up with some very useful theories." Galileo observed chandelier's motion and discovered the pendulum's properties, then used pendulum to count time (use as a clock). Although, Galileo and Newton did not see time and gravity, they were able to 'realize' the presence of time and gravity through their observations. Even though we don't see Galileo and Newton today, their theories are still used by the physicists. If someone says "I believe there is 'Time' because my father told me and that my father never lied to me about anything", this is his Faith (Imaan); but if a person goes ahead and starts to observe 'the Time' then that person will reach to the 'Certainty - Yaqeen' about the Time.

Allah says in the very beginning of the Qur'an: "This Book, there is no doubt in it, is a guide to those who guard (against evil). Those who believe in the unseen and .... " [2:2-3] . Those who believe in the unseen are the ones who use their logic to see/experience things. In order to increase our Faith in the unseen (Allah, His Angels etc), this book (Quran) is the guidance. Faith/Belief is one of the initial steps that lead to the discoveries (Truth, facts). If a person says "I don't believe in Time & Gravity", that person will not be able to study physics or perhaps much of the science.


Al-Qur'an [ al-Bakarah -- 2:164 ]:

ان في خلق السماوات والارض واختلاف الليل والنهار والفلك التي تجري في البحر بما ينفع الناس وماانزل الله من السماء من ماء فاحيا به الارض بعد موتها وبث فيها من كل دابة وتصريف الرياح والسحاب المسخر بين السماء والارض لايات لقوم يعقلون

  • Surely, in the creation of the heavens and the earth, in the alternation of the night and the day, in the sailing of the ships through the ocean for the profit of mankind, in the rain which Allah sends down from the skies, with which He revives the earth after its death and spreads in it all kinds of animals, in the change of the winds and the clouds between the sky and the earth that are made subservient, there are signs for rational people (liqawmin yaAAqiloona).

Al-Qur'an [ Yunus -- 10:82 ]:

ويحق الله الحق بكلماته ولو كره المجرمون

  • By His Words Allah vindicates the truth, much as the criminals may dislike it!

We shall now see that the Faith (Imaan) increases (with guidance) and decreases (with doubts), as Allah says:

Al-Qur'an [ at-Taubah -- 9:124-125 ]:

واذا ماانزلت سورة فمنهم من يقول ايكم زادته هذه ايمانا فاما الذين امنوا فزادتهم ايمانا وهم يستبشرون
واما الذين في قلوبهم مرض فزادتهم رجسا الى رجسهم وماتوا وهم كافرون

  • Whenever a Surah is revealed, some of them ask: "Whose faith from among you has increased by this?" Certainly the faith of the believers is increased and they do rejoice.
  • As for those whose hearts contain malice, it will add filth to their existing filth, and they will die while they are still disbelievers.

Al-Qur'an [ al-Anfal -- 8:2 ]:

انما المؤمنون الذين اذا ذكر الله وجلت قلوبهم واذا تليت عليهم اياته زادتهم ايمانا وعلى ربهم يتوكلون

  • The true believers are those whose hearts tremble with fear, when the name of Allah is mentioned, and whose faith grows stronger as they listen to His revelations and they put their trust in their Lord,

The Faith (Imaan) increases and decreases, however, when one reaches to a certain level of Certainty (Yaqeen) then there cannot be any doubt afterward. For example, if one escapes the GRAVITY of this Earth, that person wouldn't fall down (like the satellites don't fall down).

Al-Qur'an [ al-An'aam -- 6:82 ]:

الذين امنوا ولم يلبسوا ايمانهم بظلم اولئك لهم الامن وهم مهتدون

  • Those who believe and obscure not their belief by wrongdoing, theirs is safety; and they are rightly guided.

A very interesting event took place at the times of Prophet Musa ('alaihi salam), which is very much related to our topic. The following Ayaat tell about that event of challenge between Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) and Pharaoh (with his Magicians).

Al-Qur'an [ Ta-ha -- 20:65-73 ]:

They said:"O Moosa (Moses)! Either you throw first or we be the first to throw?"(Moosa (Moses)) said: "Nay, throw you (first)!" Then behold, their ropes and their sticks, by their magic, appeared to him as though they moved fast.So Moosa (Moses) conceived a fear in himself.We (Allah) said: "Fear not! Surely, you will have the upper hand. And throw that which is in your right hand! It will swallow up that which they have made. That which they have made is only a magicians trick, and the magician will never be successful, no matter whatever amount (of skill) he may attain."
So the magicians fell down prostrate. They said: "We believe in the Lord of Haroon (Aaron) and Moosa (Moses)." (Firaun (Pharaoh)) said: "Believe you in him (Moosa (Moses)) before I give you permission? Verily! He is your chief who taught you magic. So I will surely cut off your hands and feet on opposite sides, and I will surely crucify you on the trunks of date-palms, and you shall surely know which of us (I (Firaun Pharaoh) or the Lord of Moosa (Moses) (Allah)) can give the severe and more lasting torment."
They said: "
We prefer you not over the clear signs that have come to us, and to Him (Allah) Who created us. So decree whatever you desire to decree, for you can only decree (regarding) this life of the world. Verily! We have believed in our Lord, that He may forgive us our faults, and the magic to which you did compel us. And Allah is better as regards reward in comparison to your (Firauns (Pharaoh)) reward, and more lasting (as regards punishment in comparison to your punishment)."

Those Magicians were against Prophet Musa ('alaihi salam) but soon became believers in his Lord! They did not see the Lord of Prophet Musa 'alaihi salam, how did they become so much CERTAIN that they did not fear Pharaoh! Their Faith (Imaan) reached to Certainty (Yaqeen), so strong that they did not fear Pharaoh when he said: "I will surely cut off your hands and feet on opposite sides, and I will surely crucify you on the trunks of date-palms...". Those magicians joined the challenge for the purpose of reward from the Pharaoh but at the end, they believed in the Lord of Musa & Harun (peace be upon them) and did not even care about their own lives! Certainly, Allah is the one who guides.

Al-Qur'an [ al-Fatir -- 35:27-30 ]:

الم تر ان الله انزل من السماء ماء فاخرجنا به ثمرات مختلفا الوانها ومن الجبال جدد بيض وحمر مختلف الوانها وغرابيب سود
ومن الناس والدواب والانعام مختلف الوانه كذلك انما يخشى الله من عباده العلماء ان الله عزيز غفور
ان الذين يتلون كتاب الله واقاموا الصلاة وانفقوا مما رزقناهم سرا وعلانية يرجون تجارة لن تبور
ليوفيهم اجورهم ويزيدهم من فضله انه غفور شكور

  • Do you not see that Allah sends down rain from the sky with which We bring forth fruits of various colors? Similarly, in the mountains there are streaks of various shades including white, red, jet-black rocks.
  • Likewise men, beasts and cattle have their different colors. In fact, only those among His servants who possess knowledge fear Allah; surely Allah is All-Mighty, All-Forgiving.
  • Surely those who recite the Book of Allah, establish Salah, spend out of what We have given them, secretly and openly, may hope for imperishable gain.
  • That He may pay them back their full reward and give them even more out of His grace; surely He is Forgiving and Appreciative of His devotees.

-=[ Levels of Certainty ]=-

Scholars have categorised the Certainty (Yaqeen) in the following three levels (which I am writing in my own words according to our context) -

  • 'Ilm al-Yaqeen (Knowledge based Certainty) - Belief / Faith
  • 'Eyn al-Yaqeen (Sight (senses) based Certainty) - Observation (becoming witness)
  • Haqq al-Yaqeen (Absolute Truth/Certainty) - Full Experience

Let's see an example, a person presents a cup of coffee to his friend and says: "I made some delicious coffee for you".

  • In the first stage, his friend believes in him that the coffee is delicious, without even looking or smelling the coffee.
  • In the second stage, his friend looks at the cup and smells then becomes more certain that since it looks good and smells nice therefore it must be delicious (although he has not tasted it yet).
  • In the third stage, his friend sips some coffee and then becomes absolutely certain that the coffee is delicious and becomes certain that his friend did not lie to him. This is the final stage, after this there is doubt.

-=[ CONCLUSION ]=-

When we study the lives of the Sahabah (companions of the Prophet), we realize their high degree of Faith. Companions like Sayyidina Bilal, Khabbab, Ammar (peace be upon them) and many more suffered persecutions but still they were prepared to give up their lives for the Truth, much like those Magicians who believed in Prophet Musa ('alaihi salam) and his Lord (Allah). Why were they prepared to risk their lives for the Truth? Well, they recognized the other world, the world which is unseen to us, the world which is coming soon to us (our death is approaching). They prepared themselves for the other unseen world, for Paradise. What have we prepared for our future world? We cannot take our double-storey houses, latest cars, all these material things... We can only take our Faith (Imaan) and our Deeds (A'maal).

We need to observe and experience the truth. Observation and experience cannot be done without practice. Therefore, we need to practice Islam as much as possible and as sincerely as possible. The more one practices Islam (with sincerity), the higher the level of Faith (Imaan) becomes [Islam->Imaan->Ihsaan->?]. Sayyidina Abu Bark (radi Allahu 'anhu) said: "Without knowledge action is useless and knowledge without action is futile. "

Al-Qur'an [ al-Hujurat -- 49:14-15 ]:

قالت الاعراب امنا قل لم تؤمنوا ولكن قولوا اسلمنا ولما يدخل الايمان في قلوبكم وان تطيعوا الله ورسوله لايلتكم من اعمالكم شيئا ان الله غفور رحيم
انما المؤمنون الذين امنوا بالله ورسوله ثم لم يرتابوا وجاهدوا باموالهم وانفسهم في سبيل الله اولئك هم الصادقون

  • The Bedouin Arabs say: "We have believed." Tell them: "You have not believed; rather say 'We have become Muslims;' for faith has not yet found its way into your hearts. If you obey Allah and His Messenger, He will not deny you the reward of your deeds; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful."
  • The true believers are those who believe in Allah and His Messenger, then never doubt; and make Jihad (exert their efforts) with their wealth and their persons in the cause of Allah. Such are the ones who are truthful in their claim to be the believers.

Al-Qur'an [ az-Zariyat -- 51:20-21 ]:

وفي الارض ايات للموقنين
وفي انفسكم افلا تبصرون

  • In the earth, there are signs for the firm believers (Moqineen),
  • and also in your own selves; can you not see?

"Glory be to your Lord, the Lord of Honor, He is free from what they ascribe to Him!
Peace be on the Messengers, and praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds." Al-Quran [37:180-182]

wa Assalamu 'alaikum.

'Abdullah, a servant of Allah.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Journey to Islam by Maureen McCormick (Canada)

Life is good for Muslim Women

By Maureen McCormick (Canada)

http://www.usislam.org/converts/Maureen.htm

When I was a non-Muslim, I, too, believed that Islam was misogynistic, male-dominated and backwards. Imagine my surprise after I read the Qur'an and learned Islam is diametrically opposed to misogyny and male dominance, and, in fact, is a very progressive and gentle faith which protects women.

I have seen a lot of controversy over the last few weeks about the application of sharia law to resolving family disputes between willing individuals in Canada. The subject has led to a discussion of the status of women in Islam.

As a Canadian Caucasian woman who recently accepted the Islamic faith, I would like to share my thoughts.

There is good and bad everywhere and it is important to stress that not every Muslim follows true sharia. Humans are not infallible.

First and foremost, Islam gives a woman more legal rights than she is afforded using Canadian law -- the right to keep all of her property, even in a divorce; the right to keep her own money; even the right to be sexually satisfied, among many other things. Non-Muslim women don't have those rights; they are just expected to suck it up.

The concept of a dowry might seem odd in Canada, but it has its merits. Many divorced women in Canada live below the poverty line because their ex-husbands are unwilling to support them. They pay the least amount of alimony possible and transfer their assets to their new wives so that the ex-wife gets nothing.

There are not many divorced women who live at the same standard they had while married unless they are professional women. To me, a dowry is like an insurance policy -- the just-in-case part of marriage.

(I thought the concept of men being able to have multiple wives was also a way for women to be kept safe and protected if their husbands died or they could not otherwise marry. I'm not sure whether that is as relevant today; most men don't have enough money to support more than one wife and family. Moreover, the Qur'an stipulates that what one wife gets, the others must also be provided with).

Islam gives women more respect than any other faith. My experiences have shown me (for the most part) that Muslim men really respect women and like them for who they are. In my opinion, nothing is sexier than a woman who is covered up. No woman with any amount of self-respect would walk around looking like she is soliciting sex. Too many people have no respect for each other at all. It's very sad to see.

Refraining from sex before marriage affords the woman the right to know a man first and give the man her mind, heart and soul before she decides to give her body (which is completely backwards to the thinking here, where a woman has to "put out" in order to get another date).

The woman is never compromised or coerced in any way in Islam. She is always in control of her body and is always provided a safe environment. What a concept.

Women are protected in Islam. Men are responsible for the safety, protection, financial support and well-being of their wives and families. Perhaps an old-fashioned concept, but it works. Real women want to be with real men. Moreover, Islam allows for women to be emancipated and independent.

Islam is easy and fair for both sexes. It is a faith between an individual and God. In its story about Adam and Eve, Islam did not mention that Eve encouraged Adam to eat the forbidden fruit. The original sin concept led to the downgrading of women in the early Christian culture. Islam actually treats love-making with ease and Muslims expect to be rewarded for making love to their lawful spouses.

Muslim women can do anything that any other woman in the world can do, cultural limitations notwithstanding. The only difference is good Muslim women still have their honour and respect their husbands.

Generally speaking, my experience has been that Muslim women have more self-respect and confidence than non-Muslim women because Muslim women know what really counts.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Truth & Accepting the Truth...

In the name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful.


All praise is for Allah, the Most High, the Lord of the Worlds. And May Peace be upon His Prophets and His Angels. May Allah's blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad (sallallaho 'alaihi wasallam).

"Seeing, Judging & Accepting the Truth"

"He that seeks guidance, shall be guided to his own advantage, but he that goes astray does so to his own loss. No bearer shall bear the burden of another on the Day of Judgment. And during your worldly life, We do not inflict punishment until We send forth a Messenger to make truth distinct from falsehood. " [17:15]



Assalamu 'alalikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh,

"Always speak the truth" is a very generic statement that we have been hearing, but today insha'Allah, we shall see the importance of speaking the truth and accepting the truth.

Sayyidina Abraham/Ibraheem 'alaihi salato wassalam was cast into a huge fire. It was fire and heat all around him, but Allah protected him, not just this, He made that fire 'blissful' for his friend and Prophet, Ibraheem (alaihi salam).

The same God, Allah subhanahu wata'ala, who protected Ibrahim alaihi salam, is definitely able to protect us from the lies & falsehood going around us. We see forged news, wild propagandas, politics, materialism, satanism... etc, all deceiving us towards hatred, wars, corruption, inhuman charaters. The root of all such thorns/problems is: deception. Deception is caused by raising lies or hiding/covering the Truth. Selfishness, Arrogance & Jealusy are some reasons why one deceives himself and others, from the Truth/facts/realities.

Abdullah ibn Masud narrated: The Prophet said, "Truthfulness leads to righteousness, and righteousness leads to Paradise. And a man keeps on telling the truth until he becomes a truthful person. Falsehood leads to Al-Fajur ( i.e. wickedness, evil-doing), and Al-Fajur (wickedness) leads to the (Hell) Fire, and a man may keep on telling lies till he is written before Allah, a liar." [al-Bukhari]

Many politicians or many people of different groups will always want to go against what they consider their opponents, even if their opponents are on the truth. What is wrong in accepting that which is true, even from an enemy? We are taught to accept that which is true/fact, even if it is against us, otherwise we are unjust to our own self. In science, when some theories are proved to be correct, we accept them.

We take refuge in Allah from the lies & indecencies around us. O'Allah! Guide us to The Right Path, show us the True matters, help us judge & accept the Truth.

When Rahmaan (Allah) created us, He gave us the ability to recognise the Truth, realities and facts. Every individual then judges/distinguishes truth from falsehood, or logic from nonsense; like we are given eyes and the ability to distinguish colors. Rahmaan says:

Al-Qur'an [ al-A'laa -- 87:1-3 ]:

سبح اسم ربك الاعلى
الذي خلق فسوى
والذي قدر فهدى

  • Glorify the name of your Lord, the Most High,
  • Who has created all things and perfected them.
  • Who has set their destinies and guided them.

This, natural guidance (Fitrat) at birth, is the reason why some people (who retain their pure nature) believe that there is only ONE GOD (who has created us and everything around us) and this is ethical, that is harmful (milk develops us, alcohol destroies us) etc. Some Sahabah (companions of the Prophet) were believing this too (One God, ethical etc), even before the Prophethood. When a Prophet came from Allah, Allah provided people with further guidance. For those, who were close to their original nature, that further guidance was like: "Noorun 'Alaa Noor" (light upon light).

We have been given a heart and some mind. The role of these two are quite obvious: mind is the judge (weights logic, reasoning etc), heart accepts/denies that judgment. Some people will see others speaking the truth, but their heart will not WANT to accept it, Why? Because of their arrogance, ego, selfishness, greediness etc. This is what 'Kufr' is about. 'Kafir - ungrateful/denier' is the one who denies the truth/facts or who is ungrateful, after realizing the truth.

When a person is caught in materialism, he starts to judge things according to those material thoughts. Is it possible that we will be resurrected after death? Is it possible to sleep for 300 years and then wakeup healthy? How can Muhammadur Rasul Allah (salallahu alaihi wasallam) physically go all the way to the seventh heaven and meet his Lord and then return, in just a little time? For such a person, it is very difficult to judge such facts. Allah povides us with examples, facts that help us escape our materialist thoughts. For example, dry land is dead but when rain comes, that land becomes alive/green again; the story of the people of the Cave (the seven sleepers); the story of a companion of the Prophet Suliman 'alaihi salam, who physically brought the throne of Bilqis instantly. There are so many more examples mentioned in the Qur'an for us to escape from our materialist thoughts.

In this physical world, a person does not see anything without these two things: LIGHT and EYES. In darkness we don't see anything, even if our eyes are wide-open. In light/brightness we don't see anything if our eyes are CLOSED. Therefore, we need both LIGHT and EYES to see things.

In the Qur'anic context, LIGHT (Nur) usually represents TRUTH and DARKNESS as FALSEHOOD. Those who deny/reject the TRUTH are like those who CLOSE their eyes and then see nothing. But those who ACCEPT the TRUTH are like those who OPEN their eyes. It is upon an individual to either accept the truth (open his eyes) or reject it (close his eyes and be in darkness). The Prophets of Allah brought the TRUTH/Light but did not enforce anyone to open their eyes (accept the truth).

Al-Qur'an [ al-Bakarah -- 2:256-257 ]:

لااكراه في الدين قد تبين الرشد من الغي فمن يكفر بالطاغوت ويؤمن بالله فقد استمسك بالعروة الوثقى لاانفصام لها والله سميع عليم
الله ولي الذين امنوا يخرجهم من الظلمات الى النور والذين كفروا اولياؤهم الطاغوت يخرجونهم من النور الى الظلمات اولئك اصحاب النار هم فيها خالدون

  • There is no compulsion in religion. True guidance has been made clearly distinct from error. Therefore, whoever renounces 'Taghut' (forces of Satan) and believes in Allah has grasped the firm hand-hold that will never break. Allah, Whose hand-hold you have grasped, hears all and knows all.
  • Allah is the Wali (Protector) of those who believe, He brings them out of the depth of darkness and leads them into the light. As for the unbelievers (deniers), whose wali (protector) is Taghut (forces of Satan), he takes them out of the light and leads them into the depths of darkness. As a result they will become the companions of the Hell fire and shall live therein forever.

Some people open their eyes (for a while) and actually see the truth but suddenly close their eyes and then deny, if they don't like the truth. When Prophet Musa 'alaihi salam showed miracles/ayaat to the Pharoah and those around him, there reaction was as mentioned here:

Al-Qur'an [ an-Naml -- 27:13-14 ]:

فلما جاءتهم اياتنا مبصرة قالوا هذا سحر مبين
وجحدوا بها واستيقنتها انفسهم ظلما وعلوا فانظر كيف كان عاقبة المفسدين

  • But, when our signs were shown to them, they said: "This is clear sorcery."
  • They were convinced in their hearts about the truth of those miracles , yet they denied those signs in their wickedness and pride. So you see, what was the end of those transgressors.

Al-Qur'an [ Aale'-Imran -- 3:86 ]:

كيف يهدي الله قوما كفروا بعد ايمانهم وشهدوا ان الرسول حق وجاءهم البينات والله لايهدي القوم الظالمين

  • How can it be that Allah would guide those people who commit Kufr (reject faith) after their Iman (acceptance of faith), acknowledge that the Messenger is true, and clear proofs have come to them? Allah does not guide such unjust/wrongdoers (Zalimeen).

It was their pride/arrogance and wickedness that caused them to deny the truth. The one who denies the truth is unjust (zalim) to his own self. A person who can see but walks around with closed eyes, people will call him crazy, stupid!

Sticking to that same analogy; if a person closes his eyes or wraps something around his eyes for over a month, this could significantly affect his eyesight. This is similar to what happens when a person denies, denies and keeps rejecting the truth, Allah seals/blocks that person's sight-of-truth and then the person becomes blind and deaf.

Al-Qur'an [ al-Bakarah -- 2:7 ]:

ختم الله على قلوبهم وعلى سمعهم وعلى ابصارهم غشاوة ولهم عذاب عظيم

  • Allah has sealed their hearts and their hearing, their eyes are covered, and there is a grievous punishment for them.

Those who rejected the truth are not meant as physically-blind. When we close our eyes, do we still see anythings? But, when we fall asleep, our eyes are closed and there is no light at all, but still we say "I saw such and such in my dream..."! How can we see things with closed eyes and without light? The following ayaat nicely clarify this (physical world, spiritual world):

Al-Qur'an [ al-Hajj -- 22:45-46 ]:

فكاين من قرية اهلكناها وهي ظالمة فهي خاوية على عروشها وبئر معطلة وقصر مشيد
افلم يسيروا في الارض فتكون لهم قلوب يعقلون بها او اذان يسمعون بها فانها لاتعمى الابصار ولكن تعمى القلوب التي في الصدور

  • How many townships, teaming with wrong doings, have We utterly destroyed! Today they lie with their roofs fallen in, their wells abandoned, and their lofty castles deserted.
  • Have they not traveled through the land? Have they no hearts to learn wisdom, or ears to hear the Truth? Certainly it is not their eyes which are blind, but it is the hearts in their breasts which are blind.

The one who always speaks the truth and accepts the truth, will most likely be the one who gets Allah's protection from falsehood. That person can easily distinguish/recognise truth from falsehood. Not only this, that person also lives with true visions (true dreams). The Prophets used to speak the truth and would accept the truth, they certainly had true visions.

Al-Qur'an [ al-Israa -- 17:80 ]:

وقل رب ادخلني مدخل صدق واخرجني مخرج صدق واجعل لي من لدنك سلطانا نصيرا

  • And say: "Lord! Make my entrance, the entrance with truth and make my exit, the exit with truth and grant me a supporting authority from your presence;"

How can one consider that Allah will guide him/her when he/she misleads others by lying/deceiving them? We should be careful, insha'Allah.

Al-Qur'an [ at-Tauba -- 9:119 ]:

ياايها الذين امنوا اتقوا الله وكونوا مع الصادقين

  • O believers! Have fear of Allah and be with those who are truthful in word and deed.

Al-Qur'an [ az-Zumar -- 39:33 ]:

والذي جاء بالصدق وصدق به اولئك هم المتقون

  • And the one who comes with the truth and the one who confirms it surely are the Godfearing/dutiful/righteous.

Al-Qur'an [ al-Maida -- 5:119 ]:

قال الله هذا يوم ينفع الصادقين صدقهم لهم جنات تجري من تحتها الانهار خالدين فيها ابدا رضي الله عنهم ورضوا عنه ذلك الفوز العظيم

  • Allah will say: "This is the day on which the truthful will profit from their truth; they shall have gardens beneath which rivers flow to live therein forever. Allah is well-pleased with them and they are pleased with Him. This is the mighty achievement."

Al-Qur'an [ Aale'-Imran -- 3:8-9 ]:

ربنا لاتزغ قلوبنا بعد اذ هديتنا وهب لنا من لدنك رحمة انك انت الوهاب

  • "Our Lord, do not let our hearts deviate from the truth after you have guided us, and grant us Your own mercy; You are the Grantor of bounties without measure.

Wa Alhamdulillahi Rabbil Aalameen.

Assalamu 'alaikum,

'Abdullah

ps: Like other words, these words belong to the readers and are certainly not copyrighted :)

The Horse Sense: Short & Sweet...

The Horse-Sense
Just up the road from my home is a field, with two horses in it. From a distance, each looks like every other horse. But if one stops the car, or is walking by, one will notice something quite amazing.

Looking into the eyes of one horse will disclose that he is blind. His owner has chosen not to have him put down, but has made a good home for him. This alone is amazing.

Listening, one will hear the sound of a bell. Looking around for the source of the sound, one will see that it comes from the smaller horse in the field. Attached to her bridle is a small bell. It lets her blind friend know where she is, so he can follow her.

As one stands and watches these two friends, one sees how she is always checking on him, and that he will listen for her bell and then slowly walk to where she is, trusting that she will not lead him astray.

Like the owners of these two horses, Allah swt does not throw us away just because we are not perfect or because we have problems or challenges. He watches over us and even brings others into our lives to help us when we are in need. Sometimes we are the blind horse being guided by Allah swt and those whom He places in our lives. Other times we are the guide horse, helping others see Allah.

Amulet...

Uqbah ibn 'Amir narrates that the Prophet (Blessings and peace be upon him) said: "If anyone wears an amulet (taaweedh), may Allah not help him in fulfilling his wish. If anyone wears a sea-shell around his neck, may Allah give him no peace."

Narrated by Ahmad and Al-Hakim.

Parents' Rights...

Allah's Messenger (Blessings & peace be upon him) said: ‘Let him be humbled into dust! Let him be humbled into dust!’

It was said: ‘O Allah's Messenger (Blessings & peace be upon him) who is he?’

He (Blessings & peace be upon him) said: ‘He who sees either of his parents during their old age or he sees both of them, but he does not enter Paradise (through his deeds of service towards them)!’

Sahih Muslim Hadith 6189 Narrated by Abu Hurayrah

Monday, May 21, 2007

Don't be fooled by propaganda...

Don't Be Fooled by Propaganda

by Charley Reese


There is an ongoing slander campaign against Islam, claiming that it is a
religion that promotes violence and hinting that it seeks world conquest.

Before you buy the malarkey that is being produced by people with their own
agendas or prejudices or who are just plain ignoramuses, follow these few
suggestions:

Compare the history of Islam with the history of Europe, which for centuries

was called Christendom. An objective look will show you that Christendom
wins by a landslide when it comes to violence and wars. After all, Europe
and its offspring did not come to dominate the world, including the Islamic
countries, because they practiced the gentle virtues of Jesus.

As for the common practice of cherry-picking Scripture from holy writings
and presenting it out of context, just check out what Christians call the
Old Testament. There you will find God advocating a double standard of
morality, condoning slavery, ordering the Israelites to commit genocide and
committing infanticide himself on a mass scale. I don't believe you will
find anything comparable in the Quran.

The word "jihad," which is so over-used these days, has, like a lot of
words, more than one meaning. It means basically to struggle, but this can
be personal or spiritual, or a peaceful political struggle. Only if Islam is

attacked are Muslims required to defend it. As for that obnoxious propaganda

term "Islamo-fascist," just recall that fascism is a European invention by
nominal Christians. To my knowledge, the only fascist governments ever to
exist on this planet were all European and nominally Christian.

Another canard is that Islam promotes forced conversion. Not so. Even when
the Arab empire was expanding, rarely were any of the conquered people
forced to convert. The Quran even forbids it, as I recall. Naturally, once
Muslims were in charge, a lot of people decided it was in their own
self-interest to convert, but this is just one of the sleazy aspects of
human nature.

I remember when Florida elected its first Republican governor of the 20th
century. I saw plenty of people crawl out from under their rocks and convert

to the Republican Party, drawn by the smell of patronage. With some rare
exceptions, human beings always act in what they perceive, rightly or
wrongly, to be in their self-interest.

It was Christian Europe that slaughtered the Jews, and nothing remotely
resembling the Holocaust is to be found in the history of Islam. In fact,
during the past, when Jews were being persecuted by Christian Europe, they
frequently fled to and found sanctuary in the Muslim countries. Until Israel

was established, practically every Muslim country had sizable Jewish
populations dating back centuries. And there are still Jews and Christians
in some Muslim countries.

A final suggestion is that when you hear some individual radical Muslim
being quoted, just remember he is one of a billion people and speaks only
for himself and his small following. And be wary of the quotations he uses,
for they are often deliberately fabricated or distorted.

If Muslims really desired to conquer the world, don't you think it's strange

that we've been living in peace with them for nearly a millennium and a
half, except for those times when we attacked them (the Crusades, the
European colonial movement and our invasion of Iraq)? Don't forget either
that some of the countries the Bush administration calls allies are
themselves Muslim – Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, etc.

You have nothing to fear from Islam. The al-Qaida movement is a tiny
percentage of Muslims and wouldn't be the force it is except for the fact
that the Bush administration has gone out of its way to make all of Osama
bin Laden's propaganda become true.

May 5, 2007

Sunday, May 20, 2007

LIFE BEFORE & AFTER ACCEPTING ISLAM

LIFE BEFORE & AFTER ACCEPTING ISLAM
As a born Muslim, I find that I took Islam for granted. When we are little children our faith is stronger because we are in tune with our fitrah (Pure nature). But as we grow older, we also begin to question, and if there is no one there to answer our questions adequately, it is likely we will go astray. I think one of the problems we face in the Muslim community (worldwide community) is expecting children and youth (and adults as well) to be good Muslims just because we know we are Muslim.
There is a lack of acknowledgement and recognition that like all human begins, even we, as Muslims, begins to question things: Who is God? Why were we created? What is our purpose for being here? And so, if you propose these questions, there is a sense of panic because it’s “blasphemous” to even ask of course, this stems from a severe lack of knowledge. I was astounded when I learned that in the Quran we are actually encouraged to think, to ask, and to seek. When you are raised as a Muslim without knowing and understanding Islam, everything is all just rituals. It leaves a deep void that has to be filled.
When I was a teenager and in my early 20s, music was the food that fed my soul early 20s, music was the food that fed my soul. I searched for meaning and purpose in the lyrics, and while I thought I was on the path toward achieving peace and harmony, I just became more and more rebellious. One may ask, if you are searching for peace and contentment and if you have so many questions, why not just open the Quran and seek the answers? Well, when you’re raised in a mostly cultural environment, where you are only taught about God’s wrath, you don’t want to be close to Allah or even approach the Quran, which is usually kept high on a shelf in the home and remains untouched (too sacred to be touched!). Besides that, you know that the Quran is not an ordinary book and it sometimes appears so intimidating that the task of opening it and reading it on your own is awesome. When you spend so many years searching and feeling so empty, you feel like you’re being sucked into a black hole and the force is so strong that you can’t pull yourself out.
Pop idols and movie stars become our role models because our Islamic heroes are not advertised and their achievements are not kept alive. Some of us have been more fortunate than others, being able to draw a line somewhere by not indulging in drugs, alcohol, premarital sex, or other things. Others have been less fortunate and are still drowning in the sea of despair. As expected, it is the adolescent years that are so difficult. It is such a volatile period of growing up, yet all the while you are desperately searching for peace of mind or what would be said in Arabic as nafs mutma’inna.
I searched for 14 years, begged Allah to help me, to save me from drowning. I started to find answers to the many questions I had. I slowly started to understand who my Creator is. I was so amazed to learn that He loves us so much; that He is the source of stability and comfort and peace. I desired to strengthen my relationship with Him; to know Him better and to please Him.
Then afterwards (and even now), there occurred moments of realization, like someone switching on a light in a dark room. These moments of realization happen periodically throughout our lives. When I was growing up, religion was seen as something that older people do-they wear hijab, pray, and go on Haj. Islam wasn’t for younger people. We didn’t understand, so we used to think we could do what we want now and then go on Haj and change our lives later. Living with a void is a part of life, although some people feel it more than others. People fill the void with whatever is within their reach.
Having the feeling that we are moving away from our fitrah brings about a lot of anger. All people have the need to submit to something people search for it. Human beings can’t stand alone, so people end up submitting to all kinds of things such as the religion they’ve grown up with, culture, nationalism, materialism – they can’t see what’s beyond the material world. Others submit to principles such as environmentalism or humanitarianism. It is a part of human nature that we need to love something, even though most of the time in this world, love is destructive – only love often destructive? Well, because a person may say they love you today and tomorrow the relationship changes and your heart is broken. Also, people do many strange things in the name of love, even domestic violence.
Love for people controls the heart, but love for Allah frees the heart. There is an old saying that goes, “Love is when we bestow on people more glamour than they have and more trust than they deserve”. Love is blind. For example, parents do everything for their children because they love them, but then one day the children leave and often don’t appreciate what the parents have done.
Even since I began to practice Islam, I began to understand why we are here on earth and our role in life. I found that the more you understand about Islam the more curious you get about the whole thing. Now I see things in a totally different way. For example, if you heard about a person who is always angry, would you want to be close to him or her? When I was growing up I was always told how angry Allah is and it wasn’t until later that I learned about His great love and mercy and it was then that I wanted to be close to Him and to understand more. After this initial change, the excess baggage of life started to falloff – my fears began to disappear, panic about the future, changes, more responsibilities didn’t frighten me like before. My self esteem increased. As I learned to rely on Allah I was building the foundation of my life. I came to realize that even if thing don’t go as planned, I must trust in Him, be patient, and remember that there is no need to fear.
I grew up in a multicultural society and everyday I would see non-Muslim people and I could see the way they are lost and the way they try to fill that void. I knew that I had just embarked on my journey of self knowledge and I also knew that I would spend all my life on this journey and it would never be finished.
I also came to understand that we can’t really help other people except to be kind, to be patient, and to give advice; remind them of Allah.
When I was growing up I was always questioning, but the people around me didn’t have the knowledge to teach me. I think things have changed now and young people have access to many tools of knowledge books, cassettes, CDs, Internet, courses, and so on. It’s something a young person has to initiate himself or herself and be determined to find answers and learn. Finally, the major difference I find within myself since I started to practice Islam is the sense of inner peace I get, the less need there is to acquire material comforts.
(By Naseema Mall – The writer is from South Africa and works as a freelance journalist) (Courtesy: Youth Magazine)