You are being watched


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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

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]

 

 

 

Blind Following – Not from the Characteristics of Prophets


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As humans we are imitative by nature. We tend to follow copy and emulate the actions from the environment around us or learn from people around us. Notice this in little kids around you, the way they copy their elders in their actions and style.

We know that Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) grew up in a household of shirk (polytheism) where they worshiped idols, and in a community that worshiped idols of stone and wood; a community which had a king who claimed to be God; but he never let this environment of shirk and kufr affect his way of life or his sound faith. Prophet Ibrahim was inclined to his Fitrah, his natural disposition, as was Muhammad (peace be upon him). He boldly stood against his own family, against the entire system of his community, against all kinds of shirk, kufr and sin, alone, with no companion or support except that of Allah. He was endowed with spiritual understanding from an early age. Allah enlightened his heart and mind, gave him wisdom from childhood; and Ibrahim (peace be upon him) never took this gift for granted. Allah Ta’ala says:

“And We had certainly given Abraham his sound judgement before, and We were of him well-Knowing.” [Al-Anbiyaa’ 21:51]

He used his intellect, his power to reflect, and reason to reject the practices of his community and submitted to the Creator of the heavens, earth, moon, stars and sun. Even in his childhood he was not like the people around him who had succumbed to blind following of their ancestors. Allah tells us in more than one ayah of the Qur’an that when Ibrahim (peace be upon him) asked them about the idols they worshiped…they replied: “We found our fathers worshipers of them.” (Al Anbiyaa’ 21:53)

SubhanAllah! When we apply this to today’s world, we see a lot of people taking their fathers, ancestors or other people as the yardstick of right and wrong. There exist in Muslim communities too, many innovated cultural practices and beliefs which have no basis in the Qur’an and Sunnah. Innovations like specifying words of Dhikr that are not prescribed in the Sunnah, or to say that a particular Du’aa or 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) or his companions never did. Yet, unfortunately, when these misunderstandings are brought to the attention of people, many respond in the exact words of the disbelievers of old, “This is what our forefathers used to do so we will do the same.” People who make such statements should think about whether they are following the guidance of Allah or the way of the disbelievers.

One of the key characteristics of Islam is the importance given to verification of information and to the prohibition of blindly following practices which are proven to be unislamic. So wake up dear Muslims, and stop blind following! Instead, follow the examples of our beloved Prophets Ibrahim and Muhammad (Peace be upon them), and use the gift that Allah has blessed you with – the built-in recovery drive through which Allah has given man the ability to distinguish between truth and falsehood, between what is beneficial and what is harmful. For the function of divine revelation conveyed by the prophets is not only to remind you about that to which your soul already testifies (that is, tawheed due to the pre-existent Fitrah), but also to teach you that which you never could have known (that is, the Shariʽah). The prophets came only to remind you; the choice is left to you-alone! Heed the reminder and be of the successful ones, or reject it and be of the doomed!

Allah says: “Indeed, this is a reminder, so he who wills may take to his Lord a way.” (Surah al-Insān, 76:29)

May Allah guide us to the right path, the path leading to Jannah and make us steadfast on it! Aameen.

-Mariam Anwer

Allah uses him and sweetens him…


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This noble man died in his prostration & next to him lies a copy of the Qur’an when a bomb was launched on his home in Syria. We should realize that if Allah intends good upon someone, He grants him a good ending. This is not sad…this is beautiful. May Allah accept the martyrs in #Syria and grant us all the most blessed khatima (ending). #Aameen :’)

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Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When Allaah wills good for His slave, He uses him.”

They said, “How does He use him?” He said, “He guides him to do good deeds before he dies.”

[Narrated by Imam Ahmad, 11625; al-Tirmidhi, 2142; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 1334]

The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When Allaah wills good for His slave, He sweetens him.” He was asked, “What is this sweetening?” He said, “Allaah guides him to do righteous deeds before he dies, then He takes (his soul) whilst he is in that state.”

[Narrated by Ahmad, 17330; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 1114]

Prison of the Believer


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The Worldly Life is the Prison of the Believer and the Paradise of the Disbeliever | Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-Uthaymeen (rahimahullaah)

Questioner: Questioner asks regarding the meaning of a hadith cited by Abu Hurrayrah: The Prophet [may the peace and salutations of Allah be upon him] said: “The worldly life is the prison of the believer and the Paradise of the disbeliever”

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-Uthaymeen: The meaning of this hadith is that the worldly life – no matter how great its luxuries are, and pleasant its days are, and radiant its dwellings are; to the believer it has the status of prison, because the believer has his sight on luxury that is better, more fulfilling and of a higher enjoyment.

As for what pertains to the disbeliever, then indeed the worldly life is his paradise because he delights in it, and forgets the hereafter. He is as Allah describes the disbelievers:

“Those who disbelieve enjoy themselves and eat as cattle eat; and the Fire will be their abode”. [Surah Muhammad 47:12].

When the disbeliever dies, he will not find in front of him except the fire – Allah’s refuge is sought –woe to the people of the fire.

For this reason, the worldly life –with all the hardship, irritation, anxiety, and grief (that one experiences in it), to the disbeliever it is paradise; because he transits from it to the torment of the hell fire –Allah’s refuge is sought –thus the worldly life has the status of paradise to him.

It is mentioned about Ibn Hajr al-Asqalaani [may Allah bestow mercy upon him] the author of Fathul-Baari [the explanation of Sahih al-Bukhaari]; who was the senior judge of Egypt in his time. He was passing by a market place on a carriage during a procession when a Jewish man stopped him, and said to him: “Your Prophet said: “Indeed the worldly life is the prison of the believer and the paradise of the disbeliever”. (But) How can that be, when you live in affluence and festivity?!

The Jew then described himself as living in extreme poverty and inferiority –so how can that be?!

So Ibn Hajr replied to him saying: “Even though I live as you see, in festivity with people at my disposal, –the worldly life, in comparison to what the believer attains of bliss in Paradise, is like prison; and what you are experiencing of poverty and humiliation –in comparison to what a disbeliever encounters in hell fire, is paradise.

This speech amazed the Jew and so testified a true testimony saying: “I testify that none is worshipped in truth except Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammed is the messenger of Allah”

Translated by ‘Abd al-Rahman Hugh

Your Best Friend…


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The best friend of yours is the one who draws you closer to Allah. A friend who gives you an advice a day is better than one who puts a Pound in your hand. A friend who tells you let’s fast before we die is better than one who tells you let’s eat this or that tomorrow. A buddy who always reminds you to be kind to your parents is better than someone who encourages you to have your own life and not listen to your old geezer.

Which one are you to your friends?

-Shaikh Assim AlHakeem

The Ka’bah made me accept Islam.


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Once, while on a visit to Washington, people told me that a woman had accepted Islam and had some questions for me. They told me that many non-practicing Muslim women had started practicing again due to her. At prayer time she would dress in her best clothes as if readying herself for someone special, and would become oblivious to everything around her as soon she started praying.

After a brief question and answer session, I asked her what prompted her to accept Islam.

She sighed and started explaining; “I was a Jew and my husband was a Christian who was posted in Saudi Arabia for some technical work. Everyday I used to see Muslim men and women dressed in white on their way somewhere. I asked my husband where they were going and he told me that they go to perform pilgrimage at the Muslim shrine of Kaa’ba. I expressed a desire to go but he told me that non-Muslims were not allowed. However, I was determined and so we both bought white clothes and set out. Fortunately no one stopped us and we reached Makkah, from where we found directions to the Kaa’ba. Upon seeing the Kaa’ba our eyes froze and time seemed to stand still. When we turned to look at each other after some time, we were both crying. With our eyes we told each other that this was the Truth and we should accept Islam. No one ever told me about Islam, but there were so many blessings descending on that House that they changed my life forever.”

SUBHANALLAH….ALLAHU AKBAR…!! 

Oh ALLAH, keep us firm on the straight path and make us regular visitors of your Magnificent House!  Aameen.