The Earth will testify


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Imam Ahmad, At-Tirmidhi and Abu `Abdur-Rahman An-Nasa’i all recorded a Hadith from Abu Hurayrah — and in the wording of An-Nasa’i’s version it states — that he said,

“The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) recited this Ayah,

﴿يَوْمَئِذٍ تُحَدِّثُ أَخْبَارَهَا ﴾

‘That Day it (the earth) will declare its information.’ (Surah Al Zalzalah 99:4)

Then he said, «أَتَدْرُونَ مَا أَخْبَارُهَا؟» “Do you know what is its information?”

They said, `Allah and His Messenger know best.’ He said,

«فَإِنَّ أَخْبَارَهَا أَنْ تَشْهَدَ عَلَى كُلِّ عَبْدٍ وَأَمَةٍ بِمَا عَمِلَ عَلَى ظَهْرِهَا أَنْ تَقُولَ: عَمِلَ كَذَا وَكَذَا يَوْمَ كَذَا وَكَذَا، فَهَذِهِ أَخْبَارُهَا»

Verily, its information is that it will testify for/against every male and female servant, about what they did upon its surface. It will say that he did such and such on such and such day. So this is its information.

-Tafsir Surah Al Zalzalah from Tafsir Ibn Katheer

Celebrating Halloween


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Origins of the Halloween Festival

If we go by definition and a brief history of the event, we find the following comments in the Encyclopedia Britannica:

“Halloween had its origins in the festival of Samhain among the Celts of ancient Britain and Ireland. The date was connected with the return of herds from pasture, and laws and land tenures were renewed. The souls of the dead were supposed to revisit their homes on this day, and the autumnal festival acquired sinister significance, with ghosts, witches, hobgoblins, black cats, fairies, and demons of all kinds said to be roaming about. It was the time to placate the supernatural powers controlling the processes of nature. In addition, Halloween was thought to be the most favorable time for divination concerning marriage, luck, health, and death. It was the only day on which the help of the devil was invoked for such purposes.

By the 19th century, witches’ pranks were replaced by children’s tricks. The spirits of Samhain, once believed to be wild and powerful, were now recognized as being evil. Devout Christians began rejecting this festival. They had discovered that the so-called gods, goddesses, and other spiritual beings of the pagan religions, were in fact diabolical deceptions. The spiritual forces that people experienced during this festival were indeed real, but they were manifestations of the devil who misled people toward the worship of false idols. Thus, they rejected the customs associated with Halloween, including all representations of ghosts, vampires, and human skeletons – symbols of the dead – and of the devil and other wicked and evil creatures.

It must also be noted that, to this day, many Satan-worshippers consider the evening of October 31st to be their most sacred.

And many devout Christians today continue to distance themselves from this pagan festival.

Does Islam agree with all of this?

Allah Ta’ala mentions in the Qur’an:

“Verily, the Promise of Allah is true, let not then this (worldly) present life deceive you, nor let the chief deceiver (Satan) deceive you about Allah.” [Luqman 31:33]

And the commandment does not end there, Allah, the Almighty, has asked us not to even follow anything remotely associated to Shaytan (Satan).

“O you who believe! Follow not the footsteps of Shaytan.”[an-Noor 24:21]

Apart from this clear warning, we have been asked to maintain our own identity as Muslims and not follow blindly the ways of the disbelievers, which we sometimes end up doing in a state of excitement or under the excuse of keeping a friendly atmosphere among friends and colleagues. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) warned us about this, saying:

“Whoever imitates a people, is one of them.”[Abu Dawood, 3512]

He (ﷺ) also warned:

“You would tread the same path as was trodden by those before you inch by inch and step by step so much so that if they had entered into the hole of the lizard, you would follow them in this also.”

We said: Allah’s Messenger, do you mean Jews and Christians (by your words)” those before you”? He (ﷺ) said: “Who else (than those two religious groups)?” [Sahih Muslim 2669]

Muslims are enjoined to neither imitate the behavior and customs of the non-Muslims, nor to commit their indecencies. Behavior-imitation will affect the attitude of a Muslim and may create a feeling of sympathy towards the indecent modes of life. Islam seeks to cleanse the Muslim of all immoral conducts and habits, and thus pave the way for the Qur’an and prophetic Sunnah to be the correct and pure source for original Islamic thought and behavior. A Muslim should be a model for others in faith and practice, behavior and moral character, and not a blind imitator dependent on other nations and cultures.

Even if one decides to go along with the outward practices of Halloween without acknowledging the deeper significance or historical background of this custom, he or she is still guilty of indulging in this ignorant festival which involves shirk, acts of disobedience and transgressions.

We must remember that we are fully accountable to Allah for all of our actions and deeds. If, after knowing the truth, we do not cease our un-Islamic practices, we risk the Wrath of Allah Who warns us in the Qur’an with the verse (which means):

“…So let those beware who dissent from his [i.e., the Prophet’s] order, lest a grievous trial strike them or a painful punishment.” [Noor 24:63]

This is a serious matter and one not to be taken lightly. May Allah guide us, help us to stay on the right path, and protect us from all deviations and innovations that will lead us into the Hell fire. Aameen.

“Help you one another in Al‑Birr and At‑Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Severe in punishment.” [al-Maeda 5:2]

 

 

 

Flee to Allah


 

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When speaking about our pursuit of Salaah, Allah uses the
term, فَاسْعَوْا / “Proceed” (Al-Qur’an, Surah 62, Ayah 9)

When speaking about our pursuit of Paradise, He uses the
term, سَابِقُوا / “Race!” (Al-Qur’an. Surah 57, Ayah 21)

But, when speaking about our pursuit of Him, Allah uses the term, فَفِرُّوا / “Flee!” (Al-Qur’an, Surah 51, Ayah 50)

Not every ambition in life deserves the same amount of effort.

With the above said, consider your own life, your own aspirations and what you invest most time in.

Is the above an accurate reflection of us?

Or have we flipped this Qur’anic standard upside down, where we ‘walk’ towards Allah, but ‘flee’ towards everything other than Him?

Let your slogan in life be the words of Prophet Musa (‘alayhissalam) who said,

وَعَجِلْتُ إِلَيْكَ رَبِّ لِتَرْضَى

” .. and I rush to You, my Lord, so that You be pleased.”
(Al-Qur’an, Surah 20, Ayah 84)

 

– Ali Hammuda

Righteous Lies


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The worst opinion is the one in which you lie to yourself and others, and then attribute it to God.
If you’re too lazy to pray, be honest with yourself, instead of saying prayer doesn’t make someone Muslim. It does. Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu’alayhi wa sallam, taught that Salaah is the dividing line between faith and disbelief.
If you’re too weak to wear hijab, be honest about your struggles—we’re all human after all—but don’t say hijab isn’t important in Islam. Our Lord doesn’t speak trivialities. If He spoke about it, it’s important.
If you don’t want your husband or wife to divorce you, then be honest about your deepest desires and vulnerabilities—we all have them—but don’t slander your husband or wife, saying they are bad Muslims to even want this.
If you are too spiritually weak or ignorant to understand the wisdom of polygyny for all times—we all have much to learn about our faith—then pray that Allah increases you in knowledge and understanding. But don’t say polygyny is haraam in today’s society.
Obeying Allah through marriage is never forbidden, no matter what society you live in.
But lying on Allah is *always* forbidden, no matter your motivation or excuse.
Allah says, “Woe to those who write the Book with their own hands and then say, ‘This is from Allah!’” (2:79).

Be careful.

Allah has already spoken about prayer, hijab, and marriage. Limit your “opinion” to His revelation…
Or await facing Him alone on the Day of Judgment, when you’ll be asked to explain why you felt you knew better than He.
—from the journal of Umm Zakiyyah

When Allah calls you back…


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‘When we are doing wrong, Allah afflicts us with guilt, thereby calling us back to Him. Yet some of us fight this internal reminder by using our tongues to defend our wrong, hoping to quiet the guilt and convince ourselves that we are right.

Then Allah uses the tongues of others, thereby calling us back to Him. Yet some of us fight this external reminder by using the same arguments we used to quiet our guilt—or by pointing out the faults of the one who is speaking. “They’re being judgmental!” we say. “They have no wisdom or compassion!” We then arrogantly return to wrong, justifying our sin because of the faults we see in those who heeded the advice of their Lord, “And remind, for verily the reminder benefits the believers” (51:55).
Yet Allah continues to call us back to Him, as our hearts are continuously afflicted with guilt, and the tongues of others continuously remind us of our wrongs. Yet so many of us relentlessly fight the internal and external reminders…until our hearts become deaf to both.

Then Allah afflicts us with the harshest lesson—that of life itself—sending into our lives the storms of suffering in response to our sins. And only then, for so many of us, do our hearts hear for the first time Allah’s call. But even in this, there is mercy.

For surely, those who ignore the mercy of Allah—manifested in the internal and external reminders of guilt, others’ words, and the storms of life—have only Allah Himself as their teacher, when He calls them back to Him one final time.’


—from the journal of Umm Zakiyyah

What are we teaching our daughters?


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We teach our daughters to be kind, and to be compassionate. We teach them to be obedient to their fathers, brothers and husbands. We teach them etiquettes of eating, speaking, and sitting. We teach them how to respect their elders, to cook excellently, and to raise kids perfectly.

Yet, we forget to teach them to be brave, and courageous. We forget to tell them to dismiss Falsehood and to stand up for the Truth. We forget to teach them the value of their opinion. We forget to teach them to be steadfast in their Deen when difficulties come their way. We forget to teach them to follow what is Right no matter what happens.

Because we are afraid they will become bold. We are afraid they will rebel. We are afraid that they will be difficult to control. But is that really so? This is a major concern.

How will your daughter love Allah, when people oppose her for doing so? How will she deal with unfortunate circumstances, when you have taught her that her ultimate savior is her husband? And what will she do, when someone challenges her faith? How will she abstain from compromising when others around her tell her to abandon her Islamic ways?

Perhaps it’s time we start teaching our daughters to be determined like Hazrat Sumayyah, the first female martyr of Islam. It’s time we tell our daughters episodes of her bravery, perseverance and strength. Despite being subjected to brutal torture, she did not change her stance; in Allah and his Messenger did she believe.

And today, we still tell our daughters to compromise their love for following Islam so that her husband is pleased with her, so that people accept her. Isn’t there a dire need of reconsidering the values we are teaching them?

“And whoever holds firmly to Allah, he has (indeed) been guided to a Straight Path.” (Surah Al- Emran, Verse:101)

-Written by Hira Zubair

Treat her with the Best Company


proposal of Fatima

I recently attended a wedding, and as the rukhsati began (symbolically, when the wife leaves her parents house, to join her husband in her new home) I found the whole process emotional. This young woman was leaving the safety of her parents to join her husband. She prays he will treat her well, respect her, inspire her, and facilitate her. Her parents pray he will give her the care, concern, and love they did, and provide her with the opportunities they did not, and could not. She is leaving to join another family, with hopes they will treat her well, like their own. I’ve heard many stories, and it begins with managing expectations. Our expectations of each other should be respect, good treatment, and kindness. They can’t revolve around expecting another woman to fit within a mold that has been created for her.

I prayed for her, and I hoped she would be happy in her new home inshaAllah.

I turned around to my husband, and we discussed when I left my parents, and how some men and families don’t fully appreciate *everything* women leave behind. The security, the love, and ability to make mistakes, without feeling judged, or someone looking over their shoulder, especially if they live with their in-laws. For many, the only time they will experience empathy is when their own daughter leaves them, to begin her new life. He will miss the times she made tea for him countless times in a day, or how she would lovingly cook for him. He will miss the laughter, and reminisce the memories they shared together, as father and daughter.

A woman leaves so much behind, and this is one of the reasons the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) emphasised the importance of fulfilling the rights of your wife. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Treat people the way you would love to be treated, and do not treat them the way you would hate to be treated.” Al-Mu’jam al-Kabīr, 15833 (Sahih). When you bring someone in your home, she has to be given the utmost respect, as we would want our own daughters to be treated.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) further emphasised how interference can cause harm, and this applies when other individuals interfere in marriages, whether they are family or friends, he said: “From the perfection of a person’s Islam is his leaving alone what does not concern him.” Sunan al-Tirmidhî and Sunan Ibn Mâjah.

Finally, the union of marriage is a beautiful bond, and the Messenger of Allah as a father advised ‘Ali, his future son-in-law how important his role was when he asked for Fatima (may Allah be pleased with them), he (peace be upon him) said, “She is yours if you treat her with the best company.” Al-Mu’jam al-Kabīr, 3490 (Sahih).

-Written by Alima Ashfaq