You are being watched


watched
So drawn by the beauty of the Qur’an, the pagans of Mecca would sneak at night through the desert darkness to eavesdrop on Prophet Mohammad’s (ﷺ) night time recitation.
On one such occasion, Abu Jahl, Abu Sufyan and Al-Akhnas Ibn Shurayq came to listen to the Prophet’s recitation in the middle of the night, not aware however of the presence of each other.
They continued listening till the sun rose, and when they returned home, they bumped into one another and asked each other, “What brought you?!” “What brought you?!” They vowed to not repeat this, fearing that people could catch wind of this event; Mecca’s noble men marvelling at the Qur’an!
However, on the second and third consecutive nights, every one of them had broken their promise, eavesdropped on the Prophet’s recitation and again, humiliatingly bumped into one another on their way home.
Pause here for a moment.
What do you take from this?
The power of the Qur’an? Well, that’s the obvious one, but there is another more subtle reflection.
Whether you realise it or not, you are being watched.
Your Facebook page, tweets, Instagram updates or their likes are closely being observed, not just by those who eagerly await your slips, but also by those who admire you or your material.
Of course, this isn’t always obvious, for such visitors may not leave a comment, share your posts or even ‘like’ them, but they are present.
Thus, ensure that when they do make their secret visit, they only ever *see* and *read* material that will draw them closer to Allah and the Home of the Hereafter.
-Ali Hamooda
#ramadan #timeforchange

What’s cooking this Ramadan? Less dishes, more prayer!


A few years ago, sitting at the iftar table at an uncle’s place, I found the lady of the house toiling away in the kitchen, around Maghrib time, to put together an intricate meal for breaking fast. We devoured the meticulously prepared delicacies as the aunt stayed back in the kitchen to serve some more smoking hot fritters. ‘Won’t aunt join us?’ I enquired. ‘She does not fast,’ the uncle said. ‘Besides, she earns her reward through serving us, people who are fasting. She doesn’t need to fast.’
Ramadan is the month of fasting. Paradoxically, it has become the month of food. Lots and lots of it. It is when consumption of food goes up and you find yourself thinking more about what you will feast on at iftar and suhoor. It is that time of the year when our mothers and wives take their roles as ‘kitchen queens’ too seriously and the above scenario — of the mother/wife slaving away in the kitchen up until the Maghrib azan becomes a common one.

The truth is women also have the same spiritual needs as that of men. They are as much obligated to fast, pray, read the Holy Qur’an, and perform all other acts of worship as men are. Why then should they be burdened solely with increased cooking, which results in them missing out on the bounties of the blessed month?
Moreover, eating like there is no tomorrow at iftar is not from the sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him)

dates

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to prefer breaking the fast with simple foods such as dates, and water. He is reported to occasionally enjoy dishes such as Sawiq (a coarse mixture of ground wheat and barley), Tharid (meat mixed with bread), Talbinah (a sweet), soups, vegetables, roasted meat and dishes prepared with cheese and refined butter, but he never demanded for special dishes to be made.

Sadly, today the time, energy, effort and money that women should spend in worshipping Allah SWT is instead spent in preparing, consuming and clearing up multi-course meals, all in the name of keeping up Ramadan ‘traditions’. Not many seem to remember that charity, fasting and prayer are the actual prophetic traditions of Ramadan.
While mostly women are expected to rustle up elaborate meals, sometimes, they themselves are to blame for their state. Exerting oneself to cook elaborate meals, a favorite dish for every member of the family, and setting up tastefully done iftar party tables with at least two more dishes than the neighbor’s iftar party table, are not unheard of.

While it is rewarding for women to cook for their families, women who spend every day of their lives preoccupied with housework and/or child care will tell you that it is endlessly tiring and even dispiriting. Even an hour’s break a day to immerse oneself in spiritual acts can be a luxury.

What should you do in Ramadan?

From the lives of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the Sahabah, we understand the concept of Ramadan to be:
— A month of obedience, righteousness and learning
— Days of activity, production and good deeds
— Nights of prayer, supplication and more good deeds
— Recitation and study of the Qur’an
— Avoiding sin and seeking forgiveness from Allah
— Simple meals
— Visits to relatives, the ill, the distressed, etc., that are pleasing to Allah SWT
— Efforts to help the needy and the poor
— Patience and caution in speech, with tongues fasting from gossip and dispute, thanking and praising Allah, advising and comforting others
— Additional acts of worship, such as attendance of Taraweeh prayers, especially during the last ten nights.

How can you do it?

— Men, help your mothers and wives in the kitchen. And maintain that practice for the rest of the year. There too is a reward.
— Plenty of food stalls and restaurants across the city sell tasty ‘Ramadan special’ treats in reasonable rates. It’s a good idea to get a few food items from outside to take some load off home cooking.
— Think about the less fortunate ones to arouse compassion in the hearts. It will help you avoid gluttony.
— Focus on the spiritual aspect of Ramadan and busy yourselves with acts of worship, allotting minimum time and thought for eating. Be thankful that Allah SWT has blessed you with another Ramadan, another opportunity to seek His forgiveness.
— Ponder over this Hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him): “The offspring of Adam fills no vessel worse than his stomach. Sufficient for the child of Adam are a few morsels to keep his back straight. If he must eat more, then a third should be for his food, a third for his drink, and a third left for air?” (Musnad Ahmad)
— One good deed that women ignore is the Taraweeh prayers. Many mosques, especially the bigger ones, across the Kingdom allocate specific areas for mothers and children. Even if your toddler makes it impossible for you to pray, you can still enjoy the cool, spiritual ambiance of the mosque while reading the Holy Qur’an, a blessing that many women who are unable to go to mosques in certain parts of the world are deprived of.

One needs to look beyond women’s role as cooks and caretakers in Ramadan so as to enable them to entirely benefit from this blessed month. Men and other family members should introspect if their culinary expectations are depriving the women of doing more important good deeds and seeking rewards. Women’s spiritual needs and their obligations are not second to those of men. It’s high time we realize and let not this Ramadan be wasted away.

-Written by my friend Afifa Jabeen Quraishi

Originally published in Arab News

 

The Muslims’ Beliefs Concerning Jesus – Son of Mary


christmas-

 

The Muslims’ beliefs

concerning the Messiah ‘Eesa ibn Maryam (Jesus the son of Mary – peace be upon him) are those indicated

by the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of our Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).

We believe that ‘Eesa (peace be upon him) was one of the slaves of Allaah, and one of His noble Messengers. Allaah sent him to the Children of Israel to call them to believe in Allaah alone and worship Him alone.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And (remember) when ‘Eesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), said: ‘O Children of Israel! I am the Messenger of Allaah unto you, confirming the Tawraat [(Torah) which came] before me, and giving glad tidings of a Messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad.’ But when he (Ahmad, i.e. Muhammad) came to them with clear proofs, they said: ‘This is plain magic’”

[al-Saff 61:6] 

“But the Messiah [‘Eesa (Jesus)] said: ‘O Children of Israel! Worship Allaah, my Lord and your Lord.’ Verily, whosoever sets up partners (in worship) with Allaah, then Allaah has forbidden Paradise to him, and the Fire will be his abode. And for the Zaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers) there are no helpers”

[al-Maa’idah 5:72]

‘Eesa was not a god or the son of God as the Christians claim.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Surely, they have disbelieved who say: ‘Allaah is the Messiah [‘Eesa (Jesus)], son of Maryam (Mary).’”

[al-Maa’idah 5:72] 

“And the Jews say: ‘Uzair (Ezra) is the son of Allaah, and the Christians say: Messiah is the son of Allaah. That is their saying with their mouths, resembling the saying of those who disbelieved aforetime. Allaah’s Curse be on them, how they are deluded away from the truth!”

[al-Tawbah 9:30]

The first words that ‘Eesa spoke when Allaah caused him to speak when he was in the cradle were (interpretation of the meaning):

“He [‘Eesa (Jesus)] said: ‘Verily, I am a slave of Allaah, He has given me the Scripture and made me a Prophet’”

[Maryam 19:30]

We believe that Allaah supported him with miracles that proved he was speaking the truth.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“(Remember) when Allaah will say (on the Day of Resurrection). ‘O ‘Eesa(Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)! Remember My Favour to you and to your mother when I supported you with Rooh‑ul‑Qudus [Jibreel (Gabriel)] so that you spoke to the people in the cradle and in maturity; and when I taught you writing, Al‑Hikmah (the power of understanding), the Tawraat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel); and when you made out of the clay, a figure like that of a bird, by My Permission, and you breathed into it, and it became a bird by My Permission, and you healed those born blind, and the lepers by My Permission, and when you brought forth the dead by My Permission; and when I restrained the Children of Israel from you (when they resolved to kill you) as you came unto them with clear proofs, and the disbelievers among them said: This is nothing but evident magic’”

[al-Maa’idah 5:110]

We believe that ‘Eesa was born from the Virgin Maryam with no father, and that is not impossible for Allaah Who, when He wills a thing, says “Be!” and it is.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Verily, the likeness of ‘Eesa (Jesus) before Allaah is the likeness of Adam. He created him from dust, then (He) said to him: ‘Be!’ — and he was”

[Aal ‘Imraan 3:59] 

“(Remember) when the angels said: ‘O Maryam (Mary)! Verily, Allaah gives you the glad tidings of a Word [‘Be!’ — and he was! i.e. ‘Eesa (Jesus) the son of Maryam (Mary)] from Him, his name will be the Messiah ‘Eesa (Jesus), the son of Maryam (Mary), held in honour in this world and in the Hereafter, and will be one of those who are near to Allaah.”

He will speak to the people, in the cradle and in manhood, and he will be one of the righteous.’

She said: ‘O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me.’ He said: ‘So (it will be) for Allaah creates what He wills. When He has decreed something, He says to it only: “Be!” and it is’”

[Aal ‘Imraan 3:45-47]

We believe that he permitted to the Jews some of the things that had been forbidden to them.

Allaah tells us that ‘Eesa said to the Children of Israel (interpretation of the meaning):

“And I have come confirming that which was before me of the Tawraat (Torah), and to make lawful to you part of what was forbidden to you, and I have come to you with a proof from your Lord. So fear Allaah and obey me”

[Aal ‘Imraan 3:50]

We believe that he did not die and his enemies the Jews did not kill him, rather Allaah saved him from them and raised him up to heaven alive.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And because of their (Jews) disbelief and uttering against Maryam (Mary) a grave false charge (that she has committed illegal sexual intercourse);

And because of their saying (in boast), ‘We killed Messiah ‘Eesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), the Messenger of Allaah,’ — but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but it appeared so to them the resemblance of ‘Eesa (Jesus) was put over another man (and they killed that man)], and those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no (certain) knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture. For surely; they killed him not [i.e. ‘Eesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)]:

But Allaah raised him [‘Eesa (Jesus)] up (with his body and soul) unto Himself (and he is in the heavens). And Allaah is Ever All‑Powerful, All‑Wise”
[al-Nisa’ 4:156-158]

We believe that he told his followers of the coming of our Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And (remember) when ‘Eesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), said: ‘O Children of Israel! I am the Messenger of Allaah unto you, confirming the Tawraat [(Torah) which came] before me, and giving glad tidings of a Messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad.’ But when he (Ahmad, i.e. Muhammad) came to them with clear proofs, they said: ‘This is plain magic’”

[al-Saff 61:6]

We believe that he will come back down at the end of time, and will disprove the claim of his enemies the Jews that they killed him, and will disprove the claim of the Christians that he is God or the son of God, and he will not accept anything from them but Islam.

Al-Bukhaari (2222) and Muslim (155) narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “By the One in Whose hand is my soul, soon the son of Maryam will descend among you [according to another report: the Hour will not begin until the son of Maryam descends among you] as a just judge. He will break the cross, kill the pigs and abolish the jizyah, and money will become abundant until no one will accept it.”

“Soon” means it will inevitably happen quickly.

“will descend among you” means among this ummah.

“A just judge” means that he will come down and rule according to this sharee’ah (divine law), and that this sharee’ah will remain and not be abrogated, rather ‘Eesa will be one of the rulers of this ummah.

“He will break the cross and kill the pigs” means he will declare as false the religion of the Christians by breaking the cross in a real sense and proving false the Christians’ claims and veneration of the cross.

“and he will abolish the jizyah”:

al-Nawawi said:

The correct view concerning this is that he will not accept it, and he will not accept anything from the kaafirs disbelievers but Islam. If any of them offer the jizyah that will not make him stop fighting them. Rather he will not accept anything but Islam or death. This is the view of Imam Abu Sulaymaan al-Khattaabi and other scholars (may Allaah have mercy on them).

End quote.

“Money will become abundant” – the reason for this abundance will be the descent of blessings and the spread of goodness because of justice and the absence of oppression or wrongdoing. At that time the earth will bring forth its treasures, and desire to keep money will decrease because they will know that that Hour is at hand.

Then he will die and the Muslims will offer the funeral prayer for him and bury him.

Ahmad (9349) narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “I am the closest of people to ‘Eesa ibn Maryam because there was no Prophet between him and me…” Then he mentioned his descent at the end of time. Then he said: “And he will remain for as long as Allaah wills he should remain, then he will die and the Muslims will offer the funeral prayer for him and bury him.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah (2182).

We believe that he will disavow himself on the Day of Resurrection of the claims that he was a god.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

And [beware the Day] when Allah will say, “O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, ‘Take me and my mother as deities besides Allah ?'”  

He (Jesus) will say, “Exalted are You! It was not for me to say that to which I have no right. If I had said it, You would have known it. You know what is within myself, and I do not know what is within Yourself. Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen.

I said not to them except what You commanded me – to worship Allah , my Lord and your Lord. And I was a witness over them as long as I was among them; but when You took me up, You were the Observer over them, and You are, over all things, Witness. If You should punish them – indeed they are Your servants; but if You forgive them – indeed it is You who is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.”

[al-Maa’idah 5:116-117]

This is what the Muslims believe about the Messiah ‘Eesa ibn Maryam (peace be upon him). 

Al-Bukhaari (3435) and Muslim (28) narrated from ‘Ubaadah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever bears witness that there is no god but Allaah alone, with no partner or associate, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger, and that ‘Eesa is His slave and Messenger, a word which Allaah bestowed upon Maryam and a spirit created by Him, and that Paradise is real, and Hell is real, Allaah will admit him through whichever of the eight gates of Paradise he wishes.”

We ask Allaah to make us steadfast in faith and to cause us to die as believers.

 

The Forgotten Sunnah – Standing in the Rain


rain

An unusual sound penetrated my train of thought as I sat studying at my desk. I looked up pensively from my book and a few moments passed before I realised that what I was hearing was the sound of pouring rain. A sound so common back in my hometown, Cape Town, was now so foreign to me in the desert city of Madinah.

I rushed out onto the balcony to admire the rainfall. As I stood, witnessing Allah’s answer to the prayers of the community, a strange sight caught my eye down below. A man, instead of running for cover, walked calmly to and into his building. He reappeared shortly carrying a chair. Still in a state of composure, he placed the chair out in the pouring rain and just sat down! He appeared to be enjoying the sensation of the raindrops falling on his skin. I was intrigued.

Back home, many people become grumpy at the first sign of rain or run frantically from it when it catches them unawares. I just kept staring. I then made an intention to find out more about what I had witnessed and soon discovered that spending time in the rain was a practice of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and His Companions (may Allah honour them), based on these findings:

It is Sunnah (A practice of the Prophet (peace be upon him) to stand in the rain and to expose a portion of your body to it.

Its narrated by Imaam Muslim in his authentic compilation from the hadith of Anas, He said: It rained upon us as we were with the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him). The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) unveiled his garment (from a part of his body) until the rain fell on him. We said: Messenger of Allah, why did you do this? He said: Because it (the rainfall) has just come from the Exalted Lord.

And Haakim in his book Al-Mustadrak narrates this hadith with the following words: “When the rain came down from the heavens He (The Prophet May peace be upon him) used to remove his garment from his back until the rain fell on it (his back).”

The scholars have taken proof from this hadith that it is Sunnah (recommended) to expose your body and clothing to the falling rain. Out of happiness that Allah is sending down his blessing and moreover rejoicing that its falling down on us.

And the meaning of the phrase: “Because it (the rainfall) has just come from the Exalted Lord.” is mentioned in the explanation of Sahih Muslim of Imaam Nawawiy by saying: That the rainfall is a mercy which Allah has just created, therefore use it as a blessing.

Imaam Ashafi’ee mentions in his book Al-Umm: It is narrated by Ibn Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him): That the rain fell from the heavens so he told his servant to bring out his mattress and saddle so that the rain may fall on it. Abu Jawzaa’ then asked Ibn Abbas: Why are you doing that, may Allah have mercy on you? He (Ibn Abbas) then said: Do you not read the book of Allah:

“And we have sent down from the heavens water that is blessed” [Surah 50, Verse 9]

Therefore I would like the blessing to fall (incur) on it.

Scholars of jurisprudence have mention the following regarding standing in the rain:

1. The Sunnah of exposing oneself to the rain can be obtained by unveiling any portion of one’s body no matter how small the portion may be like one’s head or arms.

2. One should not expose one’s Awrah.

3. It is recommended by some scholars to take Wudu (ablution) and Ghusl (wash) from the rainfall. And they based their deduction on the following Hadith: It is narrated from the Prophet (may peace be upon him) that when stream used to flow he (Prophet) would say: “Leave with us to that which Allah has made pure so that we may purify ourselves from it and praise Allah most exalted.”

Imaam Al bayhaqee states that this is a narration from Umar (may Allah honour him) and not from the Prophet (may peace be upon him).

Imaam Nawawiy also mentions in Al-Majmoo’ that: “Its recommended that when the gorge flows (with rain water) to perform wudu (ablution) and ghusl (washing) from it. And if he or she is not able to do both then at least to perform wudu (ablution) from it.

And Allah knows best.

–Written by Khalid Abduroaf

Marriage Isn’t For You


By Seth Adam Smith  

http://sethadamsmith.com

wed couple
 
Having been married only a year and a half, I’ve recently come to the conclusion that marriage isn’t for me.
 
Now before you start making assumptions, keep reading.
 
I met my wife in high school when we were 15 years old. We were friends for ten years until…until we decided no longer wanted to be just friends. :) I strongly recommend that best friends fall in love. Good times will be had by all.
 
Nevertheless, falling in love with my best friend did not prevent me from having certain fears and anxieties about getting married. The nearer Kim and I approached the decision to marry, the more I was filled with a paralyzing fear. Was I ready? Was I making the right choice? Was Kim the right person to marry? Would she make me happy?
 
Then, one fateful night, I shared these thoughts and concerns with my dad.
 
Perhaps each of us have moments in our lives when it feels like time slows down or the air becomes still and everything around us seems to draw in, marking that moment as one we will never forget.
 
My dad giving his response to my concerns was such a moment for me. With a knowing smile he said, “Seth, you’re being totally selfish. So I’m going to make this really simple: marriage isn’t for you. You don’t marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy. More than that, your marriage isn’t for yourself, you’re marrying for a family. Not just for the in-laws and all of that nonsense, but for your future children. Who do you want to help you raise them? Who do you want to influence them? Marriage isn’t for you. It’s not about you. Marriage is about the person you married.”
 
It was in that very moment that I knew that Kim was the right person to marry. I realized that I wanted to make her happy; to see her smile every day, to make her laugh every day. I wanted to be a part of her family, and my family wanted her to be a part of ours. And thinking back on all the times I had seen her play with my nieces, I knew that she was the one with whom I wanted to build our own family.
 
My father’s advice was both shocking and revelatory. It went against the grain of today’s “Walmart philosophy”, which is if it doesn’t make you happy, you can take it back and get a new one.
 
No, a true marriage (and true love) is never about you. It’s about the person you love—their wants, their needs, their hopes, and their dreams. Selfishness demands, “What’s in it for me?”, while Love asks, “What can I give?”
 
Some time ago, my wife showed me what it means to love selflessly. For many months, my heart had been hardening with a mixture of fear and resentment. Then, after the pressure had built up to where neither of us could stand it, emotions erupted. I was callous. I was selfish.
 
But instead of matching my selfishness, Kim did something beyond wonderful—she showed an outpouring of love. Laying aside all of the pain and aguish I had caused her, she lovingly took me in her arms and soothed my soul.
 
 
Marriage is about family.
 
 
I realized that I had forgotten my dad’s advice. While Kim’s side of the marriage had been to love me, my side of the marriage had become all about me. This awful realization brought me to tears, and I promised my wife that I would try to be better.
 
To all who are reading this article—married, almost married, single, or even the sworn bachelor or bachelorette—I want you to know that marriage isn’t for you. No true relationship of love is for you. Love is about the person you love.
 
And, paradoxically, the more you truly love that person, the more love you receive. And not just from your significant other, but from their friends and their family and thousands of others you never would have met had your love remained self-centered.
 
Truly, love and marriage isn’t for you. It’s for others.
 
This post originally appeared on ForwardWalking.com, a website dedicated to helping people move forward in life.

If The Veil Were To Be Removed


By Atiya Maryam Ahsan

tawakkal4

“Fa izaa azamta fatawakkal alAllah InnAllaha yu-hibbul-mutawakkileen”

“Then when you have taken a decision, put your trust in Allah, certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him).” (Al-Imran 159)

What does it really mean to have “Tawakkul” on Allah?

The root (Masdar/Makhraj) of the word “Tawakkul” is “Wakala”. From this root word, we get different derived words like “Wakeel”, “Mo’akkil” and “Mutawakkil.” A “Wakeel” is someone to whom the “Mo’akkil” entrust his affairs. “Mutawakkil” is one who puts his complete and total faith in the abilities of his “Wakeel” and trusts that the “Wakeel” will suffice him for all his affairs.

For most of us, having “Tawakkul” on Allah is having the idea that whatever Allah has decreed is for the best. I did not believe in this saying. According to my logic and deeply flawed understanding, if something good happens to us, then that’s for the best, and if something bad befalls upon us, then, that’s for the worst. Simply put, I took things literally, and did not think that it is remotely possible that there could be some deeper meaning or “Hikmat” behind every good and bad that befalls us.

I was to learn the hard way that things aren’t always what they seem.

I started to develop chronic foot pain in 2010. Despite seeking expert medical help from many doctors, I wasn’t diagnosed correctly till a year later. Upon the advice of a renowned orthopaedic surgeon in one of Karachi’s leading private hospitals, I decided to undergo a corrective surgery. The night before the surgery, I prayed to God tomake everything all right. As I was being taken into theoperation theatre, I had complete and utter faith or “Tawakkul” in God that as soon as the surgery was done, I would emerge as a new and physically fit person.

Unfortunately, the surgery was not the solution, in factit worsened my condition. The surgeon had diagnosed me incorrectly with a condition I did not have and prescribed for me physical therapy which I did not need; the result of which was, that instead of emerging as a new, physically fit person, I embarked on a two year long journey of pain, depression and being misunderstood as doctors and loved ones alike were dumbfounded by my unique and peculiar illness.

I went from using a cane, to a walker, and finally a wheelchair, (which at the age of 27, seemed to me like I had skipped a few life stages in the middle and jumped directly to the end). I could not go to the bathroom or anywhere else without dragging myself in a wheelchair. My brain was in a constant haze (known as “fibro fog”). I couldn’t focus on anything. I went to sleep tired from battling with pain all day and woke up just as exhausted. It hurt to put my feet on the ground. For an entire year, I wore only socks as it hurt too much to use any kind of footwear.

I could not fathom what logic or purpose Allah might have behind worsening my condition day by day. I knew this much that Allah has forbidden it upon himself to oppress anyone and so, I assumed that if this was happening to me, then it must be because of my sins, and that I must deserve whatever Allah was putting me through. At the time, I was seeing Allah as “Al-Qahhar” and “Al-Muntaqim”; there was no possible scenario in my mind where I could believe that when Allah was doing all of this, He was actually being “Al-Hakeem” and “Ar-Raheem”

I was engaged to a distant cousin early 2012, however our wedding kept getting postponed because of my disability. I gave my fiancé the option that I wouldn’t hold it against him if he chose to end things, and marry elsewhere, but he never backed out of the engagement.

Alhamdulillah, by December 2012, Allah guided us to the correct diagnosis (Fibromyalgia), and through proper treatment and medications, my condition improved considerably. I no longer needed a wheel chair or a walker or even a cane to get around. By March 2013, I was driving and continuing my Masters education again. The pain was now controlled to a great extent and I had become relatively functional.

The logical next step was to set a date and get married. We were to marry after Eid. But we discovered that my fiancé was involved in an affair with another woman since our engagement and didn’t have the courage to come clean to either his family or mine.

Long story short, an investigation was launched, the affair was confirmed and the wedding was called off. Thus, Allah saved me from being married to an insincere person who would have possibly lied to me my entire life and I would never have been the wiser.

I now know why Allah had me diagnosed incorrectly and treated for the wrong disease and worsened my condition.The only thing standing between me and the marriage, at the time was my illness.

Now, I truly believe that Allah does everything for the best.

I read a saying of Ali (ra) the other day. He said,

“If the veil were to be removed, you would only choose what has already been decreed.”

This means that “Tawakkul” is not only about having complete and utter faith that if my ship is in the middle of a storm, then Allah will always deliver me safely to the harbour, rather “Tawakkul” is actually trusting, knowing, and believing beyond a shadow of doubt that even if Allah decides to drown me by sinking my ship, then that’s the best thing that could have happened to me, because if the veil were to be lifted (and “Ghaib / the unknown” was revealed), even then I could not have planned anything better for myself than what Allah already decreed for me. Subhan’Allah!

– See more at: http://hibamagazine.com/if-the-veil-were-to-be-removed/#sthash.HELlKQIa.dpuf

Blunt facts that we refuse to accept


shabaan

 

We must know that the great purpose for which we exist in this world is to worship our Lord, our Creator, who created all things in the best of forms. Allah says: “And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” (Qur’an, 51:56)

Our deeds can be divided into two categories: Worldly deeds and religious deeds.

For our religious deeds or acts of worship to be acceptable by Allah, there are two conditions:

1. Sincerity: Doing it for the sake of Allah alone, with the intention to please Him and not anyone else.

2. Following the Sunnah: Doing it in accordance with the legal ways of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), i.e., the Shariah.

Both conditions are mandatory and one cannot exist without the other. No person can claim to worship Allah with the intention to please Him by following a way other than that of the Prophet (peace be upon him).

Hypothetically speaking, can we claim to please or worship Allah by standing in the scorching sun on our rooftop, reciting ‘Subhan Allah’ 3,000 times, or by praying the Maghrib Salah with four Rak’ah instead of three? Will it be right? No.

On the other hand, if we perform our prayers perfectly, following the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him), but to show off in front of people and earn their praise, will it be acceptable? No. So, both – sincerity and following the Sunnah – are mandatory conditions for our worship to be sound and correct.

We cannot invent our own methods of worship. Innovation is only allowed in worldly things, not in the religion. Islam is Allah’s religion and it is complete. We follow what Allah revealed to His Prophet.

“This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” (Qur’an, 5:3)

Any act of worship that has no basis in the Shariah and that is an innovation will be rejected. Some claim that good innovations are OK. Not only does it go against the clear statement of the Prophet (peace be upon him) that he used to say in every Khutbah, “Every innovation is misguidance,” but it also implies that either these people know more about Islam than Allah and His Messenger or it means Islam is not complete and is in need of such innovations. Both implications are false and dangerous.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever innovates anything in this matter of ours (i.e., Islam), that is not part of it will have it rejected.” (Al-Bukhari)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said, “I have left you upon the clear path, its night is like its day and no one deviates from it after me except that he is destroyed.” (Ahmad, 4/126)

Islam is a complete way of life. All acts of worship that we need to get closer to Allah have already been revealed and explained to us by the Messenger (peace be upon him).

It is also strange that the innovators urge people to practice Bid’ah, but are completely negligent about adhering to the obligatory deeds (Fardh), which are more beneficial and sound.

Some examples of innovations done today would be specifying words of Dhikr that are not prescribed in the Sunnah, or to say that a particular Dhikr should be recited a specific number of times without any proof from the Hadith, or to specify a day or night for religious celebration that the Prophet (peace be upon him) never did. In the current month, the popular innovation exists among many Muslims is: Celebrating the 15th of Sha’ban.

Earlier, even I used to celebrate it and single out the 15th night for worship. But after learning about Islam and reading the Qur’an and Hadith, I’ve come to know that there is not a single authentic report that says the Prophet or his companions celebrated it or singled out its night for worship. The narrations that speak about the virtue are weak and not authentic.

If we truly want to follow the Prophet’s Sunnah (peace be upon him) in Sha’ban, then we must fast as much as possible, as is mentioned in authentic reports.

Usamah Bin Zaid asked, “O Messenger of Allah, I do not see you fasting in any other month like you fast in Sha’ban.” He (peace be upon him) said, “That is a month to which people do not pay attention, between Rajab and Ramadan, and it is a month in which deeds are lifted up to the Lord of the Worlds. I like for my deeds to be lifted up when I am fasting.” (Al-Nasa’i; Sahih Al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb, p. 425)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) did not specify one night in Sha’ban for prayer. He used to pray Tahajjud in the third part of the night all throughout the year. That was his constant way of worship.

Undoubtedly, the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) has been preserved in authentic Ahadith. The Sunnah is easily accessible to the one who seeks it. All we have to do is study.

What I fear for myself and my Muslim brothers and sisters is the propagation of false Ahadith and practices.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) severely warned against it. It is one of the worst means of corrupting the religion. The People of the Book before us were only doomed when they fabricated lies against Allah and His Messengers. They attributed things to the religion that the earlier Prophets did not bring. Thus they incurred the wrath of Allah.

May Allah protect us from becoming like them.

 

-Mariam Anwer

Written in August 2009