title: Islam and the Meaning of Deen,
content:
By Abul A`la Al-Mawdudi 

The word ‘deen’ is used in several meanings. The first is sovereignty, power, lordship, kingship, or rulership. The second is the opposite of this, i.e. submission, obedience, service or slavery. The third is to bring to account, to judge, or to dispense reward and punishment for actions. All those three uses are found in the Qur’an.

Allah says:

The only (true) Deen in the sight of God is (man’s) self-surrender (to Him). (Aal `Imran 3:19)

Here, deen is that way of life in which we recognize Allah alone as the possessor of all power and majesty and surrender ourselves to Him. We must not abase or humble ourselves before anybody save Him. We must regard only Allah as Master, Lord, and Sovereign, and must not be slaves or servants to anybody but Him. We must accept only Allah as the Lord of reward and punishment. We should covet no reward, fear no punishment, except His. Islam is the name of this deen.

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Deen is that way of life in which we recognize Allah alone as the possessor of all power and majesty and surrender ourselves to Him.

False Deen

False deen arises when you ascribe real powers to anyone besides Allah, when you take anyone as a real ruler and master, as a dispenser of real reward and punishment, when you bow your heads before him in humility, when you serve him and obey his orders, when you covet his reward and fear his punishment more than Allah’s. This kind of deen Allah never accepts because it is totally contrary to reality.

No other being in the whole universe except God possesses any power and might, nor does anybody else’s sovereignty and kingship exist. We have not been created to be servants and slaves of anyone or anything but God, nor is there anyone else except that real Master who can judge us and award reward and punishment.

In many places in the Qur’an these facts have been explained.

And whoso seeks a Deen other than Islam, it will not be accepted from him. (Aal `Imran 3:85)

Thus, anyone who disregards the sovereignty and kingship of God, acknowledges someone else as his master and ruler, becomes his servant and slave, and considers anyone as a dispenser of reward and punishment in his own right, will never have his Deen or conduct accepted by God because:

They were not enjoined anything but that they should serve God, making submission exclusively His, turning away (from all false gods). (Al-Bayyinah 98:5)

God has not created human beings to serve anyone except Himself. It is, therefore, incumbent on them to turn away from all false gods and reserve their submission, or their true deen, for Allah alone. They should single-mindedly devote themselves to His service and consider themselves as being accountable only to Him:

What! Do they seek a deen other than God’s, whereas unto Him surrenders whatever is in the heavens and on earth, willingly or unwillingly, and unto Him all must return? (Aal `Imran 3:83)

How can we human beings incline to be servants and to submit to someone other than God, when all other things on earth and in the heavens are slaves and obedient servants of God alone, accounting for their deeds to no other authority than God? Does man want to adopt a deviant way for himself, some kind of independent and autonomous existence, in defiance of the entire universe?

He it is Who has sent forth His Messenger with the Guidance and the way of Truth, so that he makes it prevail over all ways (religions), however much mushriks (who take gods besides God) may dislike it. (At-Tawbah 9:33)

God’s Deen

Allah has sent His Messenger with the true deen for the purpose of ending the sovereignty of all false gods and granting us immense freedom so that we live as servants of none but the Lord of the universe, no matter how much the idolaters and polytheists may dislike or oppose such a course.

And fight them, until there is no rebellion (against God) and all submission is to God alone. (Al-Anfal 8:39)

The lesson is clear: we must fight until the sovereignty of all beings other than Allah is brought to an end, until only the law of God rules in the world, until the sovereignty of God alone is acknowledged, until we serve only Him.

Thus these three meanings of deen stand out:

– To acknowledge God as Lord, Master and Ruler.

– To obey and serve only Him.

– To be accountable to Him, to fear only His punishment and to covet only His reward.

Deen also includes obedience to God’s Messengers. For the commandments of God have been given to human beings through His Books and His Messengers.

Children of Adam! If there should come to you Messengers from among you, who convey My revelations unto you, then whosoever refrains from evil and lives rightly no fear shall be on them, and neither shall they sorrow. (Al-A`raf 7:35)

No individual receives Allah’s commandments directly.

Hence, whoever acknowledges Allah as Ruler can be accepted as obedient to Him only when he becomes obedient to His Messengers and lives by the guidance received through them.

Deen consists of these fundamental principles.

_________________________

The article is an excerpt from Abul A`la Al-Mawdudi’s Let Us Be Muslims.


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title: The Legal Rulings of Purification in Islam,
content:
By Editorial Staff

Purification is the first chapter in almost all the books written about the Islamic science of fiqh (jurisprudence). Since the performance of almost every act of worship is dependent upon the fulfillment of its prerequisites, jurists start with purification because it is one of the most important prerequisites for salah (prayer).

Jurists divide purification into two categories: tangible and intangible.

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The ritual purification of wudu’ or ghusl is one of the most important prerequisites for performing salah (prayer).

Intangible Purification

The intangible kind of purification is the freedom or purity of the heart from shirk (associating false deities with God). Thus, it is more important than purification of the body. Believing in the Oneness of God is one of the prerequisites of the acceptance of deeds. Allah says,

“Indeed, the idolaters are (ritually) unclean.” (Quran 9:28)

Allah says about some disbelievers,

“These are the ones whose hearts God does not intend to purify.” (Quran 5:41)

Furthermore, purification refers to the freedom of the heart from sins like grudge, hatred, suspicions, etc. Allah says about the Prophet’s wives (Allah be pleased with them),

“Furthermore, (with respect to his wives,) whenever you ask them for any article, then ask them from behind a screen. That is (sure to deepen) the purity of your hearts, and their hearts.” (Quran 33:53)

Tangible Purification

The tangible kind of purification means cleanliness and the freedom from impurities. In the technical usage of the term, it means to free from hadath (ritual impurity) through wudu’ (ablution) or ghusl (ritual bath) and to remove physical impurities.

Hadath is a legal description of the human body which prevents one from performing prayer or any other act of worship which require purification. Jurists also divide hadath into two categories: major and minor.

Major Ritual Impurity

Major ritual impurity is a state which requires having a ritual bath. It arises from having a sexual intercourse, a wet dream, seminal emission, menstruation and post-natal bleeding. Allah says,

“And they ask you, (O Prophet,) about menstruation. Say: It is a (cause for) harm. So withhold yourselves (from sexual intercourse) with women during menstruation, and do not approach them (there) until they are cleansed. Then, when they are cleansed, come to them as God has commanded you. Indeed, God loves those who are ever-penitent, and He loves those who purify themselves.” (Quran 2:222)

Minor Ritual Impurity

Minor ritual impurity is a state which requires ablution. It arises from breaking wind, urination, defecation, etc.

There are two important things here. One thing is that you can use only water to free yourself from hadath (ritual impurity) or soil (i.e. through dry ablution or tayammum) in case there is no water. The second thing is that you can use water or any other cleanser to remove other physical impurities.

Also, hadath is a description of only the human body. Jurists call a person who is free from ritual impurity pure. On the other hand, physical impurity is a description of the body, clothes, objects, places, etc. For instance, a pig is always impure and can never be purified.

The Water That Can Be Used for Purification

Most of the time, we use water for purification. That’s why jurists discuss the kind of water that we can use.

We can use only clean and cleansing water for ritual purification. Jurists call it the absolute water. Based on this, we cannot use rose water for ritual purification. The water may be clean but not cleansing such as rose water. Other liquids such as vinegar, benzene, etc. are clean but one cannot use them to perform ablution.

The Kinds of Absolute Water:

The absolute water is that water found in its original state. For instance, it includes the following:

1. Water or snow falling from clouds, Allah says:

“Moreover, He sent down upon you, from the sky, water to purify you thereby…” (Quran 8:11)

“Thus do We send down, from the sky, purifying water.” (Quran 25:48)

2. Sea water

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said regarding the sea,

“Its water is purifying and its dead (animals) are lawful (to eat).” (Abu Dawud, Al-Nasa’i, Al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah)

3. River water

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) said:

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Saihan (Oxus), Jaihan (Jaxartes), Al-Furat (Euphrates) and An-Nil (Nile) are all (originally) from the rivers of Jannah.” (Muslim)

4. Ice

The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said as a part of his supplication,

Alluhum maghsilni min khatayaya bith-thalji wal-ma’i wal-barad

“O Allah! wash away my sins with snow, water, and ice.” (Muslim)

5. Underground water

This includes Zamzam water and other wellsprings. Allah says,

“Say, (O Prophet): Have you considered that if, suddenly, one morning (you found that) your water had become deeply sunken (in the ground,) who, then, would bring you water, fresh flowing (and clean)?” (Quran 67:30)

What to Do in Case There Is No Water?

It is not allowed to use liquid other than water for ritual purification of wudu’ (ablution) or ghusl (ritual bath). However, you can use whatever cleanser to clear other impurities on the body, clothes or places. Allah says,

“But if you become sick or are on a journey, or if one of you comes forth from the place of relieving oneself, or if you have touched women (intimately) and you cannot find water then take recourse to (patting) clean earth; then wipe (over) your faces and your hands with it (in place of ritual ablution).”  (Quran 5:6)


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title: Rulings of Istihadah and Postnatal Bleeding,
content:
By Dr. Salih Al-Fawzan

Istihadah is an irregular vaginal bleeding other than menstruation. It is caused by a vein called in Arabic ‘Al-‘Adhil’. The case of mustahadah[i] is so confusing, for the blood of menstruation resembles that of Istihadah.

The question here is: Since the mustahadah is legally considered pure, how can she distinguish between menstruation and bleeding of istihadah when her bleeding continues all the time?

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Istihadah is an irregular vaginal bleeding other than menstruation. It is caused by a vein called in Arabic ‘Al-‘Adhil’.

In fact, there are three cases of the mustahadah:

1. Regular Period

When a woman used to have a stable, regular menstrual period (i.e. having certain duration of menstrual period) before she had istihadah. In such a case, a woman can distinguish between both states relying on her stable menstrual period, (i.e. the bleeding that contradicts the duration of her menstrual period is regarded as that of istihadah).

Thus, such a woman can wait until her usual period ends, then deem any other bleeding as istihadah, as the Prophet (PBUH) said to Umm Habibah in this regard:

“Remain away (from prayer) equal (to the length of time) that your menstrual period used to prevent you. After that (after the period of usual courses), bathe yourself and perform prayer.” (Muslim)

Moreover, the Prophet (PBUH) said to Fatimah Bint Abu Hubaysh:

“This (i.e. istihadah) is from a blood vein, not (usual) menstruation. So, when your real menstrual period begins, give up performing prayer.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

2. Distinguishable Blood

When a woman does not have a regular menstrual period, but her bleeding is always distinguishable; sometimes she bleeds malodorous, thick, and black blood (i.e. having the characteristics of menstruation blood), and some other times she bleeds red blood which is neither thick nor malodorous.

Such a woman is to consider the former kind of blood as that of her menstrual period, during which she gives up prayer and fasting, regards the other kind of blood as that of istihadah, the period in which she can perform prayer and observe fasting, for she is considered ritually pure in this case.

3. The Perplexed Woman

When a woman has neither a regular menstrual period nor a distinguishable kind of blood (e.g. the perplexed woman).

Such a woman must follow the prevalent womanly menstrual period (i.e. average of six or seven days a month) and deem whatever discharge after this period as istihadah.

To sum up, we can say:

  • A woman with a stable, regular menstrual period distinguishes istihadah according to her habit.
  • A woman with a distinguishable blood depends on her own judgment and her ability to distinguish between her menstruation and istihadah.
  • A woman that has neither (a regular period nor distinguishable blood) is to consider six or seven days a month and then take a ritual path.

Obligatory Acts to Be Observed by a Mustahddah in Case She Is Deemed Ritually Pure

  1. She has to take a ritual bath when her estimated period for menstruation ends, as mentioned above.
  2. She has to wash her vulva upon every performance of prayer, put a piece of cotton or the like in there to prevent bleeding, tie it well so as not to fall, and perform ablution for every prayer. Narrated `Aisha:

    Fatima bint Abi Hubaish asked the Prophet, “I got persistent bleeding (in between the periods) and do not become clean. Shall I give up prayers?” He replied, “No, this is from a blood vessel. Give up the prayers only for the days on which you usually get the menses and then take a bath and offer your prayers.” (Al-Bukhari)

Women also can use the sanitary napkins available nowadays.

Postnatal Bleeding

The ruling on a woman in a state of postnatal bleeding is like that of a menstruating one concerning the permissibility of the husband to enjoy her without sexual intercourse.

They also have the same rulings regarding the prohibition of sexual intercourse, observing Fast, performing prayer, divorce, performing tawaf,  and staying in a mosque.

Moreover, the rulings on both cases are the same regarding the obligation of taking a ritual bath when bleeding stops, and making up for the missed days of Fast, but not the missed prayers, just like the menstruating women.

The womb of a woman in a state of postnatal bleeding discharges blood during and after giving birth, and this is the blood accumulated during pregnancy. The maximum period of postnatal bleeding is forty days, according to the majority of scholars. At-Tirmidhi slates:

“People of religious knowledge among the Companions of the Prophet (PBUH) and their successors uniformly agree that a woman in a state of postnatal bleeding must give up prayer for forty days unless her bleeding stops before that; in this case, she has to take a ritual bath and perform prayer.”

So, if the bleeding of a woman in a state of postnatal bleeding stops before the fortieth day, her period of postnatal bleeding ends, and she must have a ritual bath, perform prayer, and practice all acts of worship that have been prohibited for her during her postnatal bleeding period.

Miscarriage

If a pregnant woman miscarries and starts discharging, and the stillborn has reached a distinctively recognizable form, she is considered a woman in a state of postnatal bleeding. An embryo takes about eighty-one days to three months in order to have a distinctively recognizable shape.

If the embryo is a mere lump of flesh or a clinging clot (without a distinctively recognizable form), the woman is not considered in a state of postnatal bleeding, even if she starts discharging; she is not to give up prayer or fasting, and none of the rulings on postnatal bleeding is applicable in this case.

Taking Medicine to Delay Your Period

It seems suitable to thoroughly complete our discussion at this point by mentioning that some women may take some kinds of medicine that prevents menstrual bleeding in order to observe fasting in the month of Ramadan, or to perform Hajj (Pilgrimage).

Such medications are permissible if they prevent blood only for a period of time, not forever. If this medicine prevents menstruation forever, a woman is not permitted to take it without her husband’s permission, since her ability to give birth is also prevented as a result of taking this medicine.


[i] Mustahadah: A woman in a state of istihadah (i.e. a woman having vaginal bleeding other than menstruation)


The article is an excerpt from the author’s book “A Summary of Islamic Jurisprudence” with some modifications.

Dr. Salih Al-Fawzan is a Professor of Islamic Jurisprudence, Member of the Board of Senior Ulema & Member of the Permanent Committee for Fatwa and Research.


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title: The Valentine’s Day Traps of New Muslims,
content:
By Shannon Abulnasr

Valentine’s Day…ahhhh, the day of “love”!

I’m not going to jump into the evolution of Valentine’s day to what it is today, nor the innovation it is to practice in Islam.

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Many become depressed because they still don’t know how to find a spouse, or to find one they are compatible with.

Instead of a history lesson, or barking rules, I would rather give warnings to Muslims and new Muslims about the traps we can fall into, and how we should feel about the intended methods of expressing love in Islam.

New Muslims usually learn very quickly that in Islam love has a different approach than it did before accepting Islam. Since in Islam, we do not “date” and intermingle with the opposite sex, it can cause a new Muslim to feel lost in their “journey of love”.

While learning about the tricks of Shaytan (Satan), which are well hidden behind the mask of red roses, and boxes of chocolate, we can be more on guard and prevent ourselves from falling into such traps.

The “Single” New Muslim Traps

Single new Muslims, still having the lingering emotional attachment that comes with Valentine’s Day, can really play a number on them. Many become depressed because they still don’t know how to find a spouse, or to find one they are compatible with, leaving them to feel they will forever be alone. This is most prevalent amongst the new Muslim brothers, more so than the sisters.

I’ve had numerous new Muslim brothers telling me that they are fed up with their search for a spouse, and have considered looking for a non-Muslim spouse instead. This shows me that there is a big problem for new Muslim brothers when it comes to finding a mate.

Although they are permitted to marry from the People of the Book (Jews & Christians), the approach is what makes it difficult because they don’t want to approach marriage in the same regards a Muslim is required to do so. As a result, the brothers tend to resort back to their “pre-Islam” way of interacting with the opposite sex when they feel they can’t find a Muslim to marry– but not always of course.

Non-Muslims in the West will not agree to be in a relationship without touching and kissing, and even without intercourse. Many do not respect the sanctity of marriage and chastity in these days and times. It is difficult to find a non-Muslim in the West that would accept such a “cold” seeming relationship. This is a jihad for the new Muslim brothers.

So, what should they do to overcome these feelings during the time period leading up to and including Valentine’s Day that has engulfed the non-Muslim mindset?

How can they attempt a halal relationship that would lead to marriage with a non-Muslim, especially when there are obstacles like Valentine’s Day in their midst?

There is no cookie cutter answer that will suite everyone. I would suggest that they avoid trying to find a partner that would cause them distress in their religion in this regards. There are pious non-Muslims out there, but they are just really difficult to find these days.

It will be tough to get over such obstacles the first few years of being a Muslim, especially in regards to these sorts of holidays and feeling lonely, but it will fade over time, I promise. Just remember to pray to Allah regularly to help you find ease in overcoming the emotional attachment to such holidays. Sometimes being single is a blessing in disguise. Don’t lose hope!

The “In a Relationship” New Muslim Traps

Some new Muslims may actually still be in a relationship with a non-Muslim, or even a Muslim that they were dating from before they accepted Islam. It is complicated, especially when holidays that revolve around “love and intimacy” come around. It all boils down to avoiding haram situations.

We can’t even think about Valentine’s Day, when the bigger issue we face is that we are in a haram relationship to begin with. New Muslims in this situation are stuck in a state of limbo. They “love” their boyfriend/girlfriend, and don’t want to break up simply because they accepted a new religion. Some feel they should stay in it for the sake of da`wah too. So, what should they do?

No one will ever like to hear the typical advice for this situation, which I agree with, which is to end such relationships. More harm can come from staying in these relationships than leaving them. We need to worry more about pleasing Allah instead of people. If they truly care about your relationship with God, they will understand and accept, and if they don’t, then that is a clear indicator that they are not a good match for you in regards to protecting your religion.

You have to just put your trust in Allah, and pray for it to be easy on you.

It really isn’t worth all the sins that you would accumulate to stay in such relationships. It may in fact cause that person to have respect for you in the end, because they will see your dedication to being a good Muslim, and may cause them to be interested in learning more about Islam since they saw you do something so big for the sake of Allah!

Let’s be realistic, and face it… How many sins are you accumulating by staying in this relationship? If we review just the basics, you will have sins for:

  1. touching, kissing, etc.
  2. being alone without mahrams (husband or close male relative forbidden in marriage)
  3. inappropriate speech between one another
  4. lusting after the other
  5. exposing `awrah (parts of the body that must be covered)
  6. intercourse outside of marriage (be realistic, it is more likely than not… going to happen)
  7. lying to others to hide it
  8. repeating all the previous seven things daily.

Is it really worth all that?

Satan is very active in relationships outside marriage, so remember what Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) told us about how that when a man and a woman are together alone, the Satan is the third wheel.

For those born and raised in Islam, that are involved in such relationships, you are spreading the wrong impression about Islam and how the status of women is raised in Islam.  How can you honestly feel good about having a haram relationship with a woman outside of marriage?

Even if, and when they convert to Islam and learn all this, you can probably expect them to not have respect for you knowing that you were willing to do such a thing! More likely than not, once they learn this about Islam, they will leave you, so it would be all for nothing! Be responsible and give non-Muslims and new Muslims the correct image of Islam about love and marriage from the beginning, because you are not ‘helping’ anyone by doing this.

All of these things are considered cooperating in sin and transgression and disobedience to Allah, who tells us:

Help you one another in Al-Birr and 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-Ma’idah 5:2)

The “Engaged” New Muslim Traps

Alhamdulilah, you have found a mate! However, you are not married yet, and can still fall into the traps of Satan, especially during the time surrounding Valentine’s Day. You have to fight the urges to do the “romantic” things that non-Muslims do on this day. Do not make a special day out of it.

If you find yourself wanting to do these things with your mate, then you need to re-analyze your boundaries in the relationship. It means that you are starting to lean into the haram areas of relationships outside marriage. It calls for hearts to be preoccupied with foolish things that contradict the way of the righteous believers.

The engagement time should still have boundaries in place, and you shouldn’t be “infatuated” with the other. You should simply be just getting to know one another, and not “dating” while engaged.

Does this mean that you can’t have feelings for the other? Absolutely not.

It just means that you have to avoid falling into lust, and infatuation. If you are staying within the guidelines of Islam, you will not get overly attached to the point you would fall into a deep depression if it fell through. You can “care” about someone without being “in love” with them.

Romantic love comes in time. Love will blossom once you are married, so don’t preoccupy yourselves with Valentine’s Day in trying to gain their affection, because it may cause you to lose respect in the end.

Always keep in mind that pre-marital relationship is not always a guarantee for a successful marriage. Usually a couple finds love and happiness and their world revolves around each other, and once they marry, they start to see the “real world, and real life problems” that married couples will encounter and feel when they are sloping downward, and ultimately contemplate if they ever were a good match to begin with. That’s worth thinking about, so while you can care about a person, don’t invest too much of your emotions into it before marriage.

Also, for the sake of Allah, do not plan your wedding day to be on Valentine’s Day! Don’t begin your marriage upon innovation. Marriage takes lots of effort, and you need Allah’s blessings in it.

The “Married” New Muslim Traps

“And of His Signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy.” (Qur’an 30:21)

This verse does not end with “… on Valentine’s day.” This expresses my point to be made for those that are married already. It is important for a Muslim to express their love and appreciation for their spouse every day, instead of focusing their efforts to make them feel special only on one measly day of the year.

Make it a daily habit to show your love and affection, instead of trying to prove it in a once-yearly tradition. Your spouse would rather have it regularly than just “every now and then” anyway.

When you love someone, make sure that you are loving them for the sake of Allah, and that your love for them does not overpower the love you have for Allah. If you feel that you would die without them, or would lose your mind if they were to leave you, then you need to take a step back and purify your heart and mind, because it is pushing the limits Allah sets.

If you are not careful you can fall into the trap of idolizing your partner. This sneaks up on people and they don’t even realize they are doing it. God tests us with things we love, and people we love, so don’t let them become a false idol of the heart.


Source: muslimsincalgary website

 


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title: A Guide to Reading and Understanding the Quran,
content:

If you’re a new Muslim or a non-Muslim who has read, is reading, or thinking about reading the Qur’an, then that’s great. There is way too much misquotation, misrepresentation, and, simply, false accusations attributed to the Qur’an, and the best way to truly understand the book is, well, by reading it.

However, picking up the book and just reading it is not enough. There are many things you need to understand about the Qur’an before you begin reading. Here, I shed light on just two important points, which I believe are the most vital.

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There are many things you need to understand about the Qur’an before you begin reading.

The Uniqueness of the Arabic Language

It’s not easy at all to translate Arabic into English or into any other European language for that matter. Arabic to English translations are not done word for word, like how, for example, German to English would be translated. This is because not every Arabic word has an exact English equivalent. So what translators have to do is find the closest matching word or combination of words to try and get the sentiment, tense, tone and emphasis found in the original Arabic across. Essentially, when you read an English Qu’ran, you can’t actually say you are reading a translation of the Qur’an. In fact, you are reading someone’s attempt to bring the apparent meaning of the Qur’an into English.

Even those scholars and academics who are native Arabs or well-versed in Arabic struggle to understand the Arabic of the Qur’an. This is why there are so many commentaries and interpretations written with scholars giving their opinions on the meanings, both apparent and hidden.

Therefore, you can appreciate the task at hand as a reader of an English Qu’ran.

A very good English version I would recommend is this one as it has important footnotes and explains when each chapter was revealed.

How the Qur’an Was Revealed

The Holy Qu’ran was not a complete book or scroll given to the Prophet Muhammad by God, via Archangel Gabriel. It was gradually revealed to the Prophet over twenty-three years.

Academics give various reasons as to why this was the case. For example, to give people a chance to slowly absorb the contents of their newfound faith and not to cause an information overload.

Whilst these and other reasons are likely to be true, what is definitively true is that often (not all the time) a portion of the Qur’an was revealed in response to either questions people asked to the Prophet, due to the actions of the people, community, or general occurrences of the time.

Almost no verse was revealed without context or reason.

A Common Misconception

Many people cite chapter 47, verse 4 to conclude Islam as an intolerant religion that wishes to kill anyone who stands in its way. People only use a portion of the verse too, as it reads:

“Therefore when you meet the disbelievers, smite their necks.” (Quran 47:4)

On face value this sounds like a very violent and intolerant act. You can start to understand the verse better if you know the context, which is as follows.

The non-Muslim Arabs were very unhappy about the rising popularity of Islam and wished to battle and kill the Muslims. The command in the aforementioned verse came from God permitting the Muslims to kill the disbelievers in battle, as a form of defence.

The verse was revealed in the context of a battlefield, with a grave threat to the lives of the Muslims at a time when people coming to Islam were being heavily persecuted, and God is saying you are allowed to defend yourself during this battle. It is therefore not a statement made in vacuum to indiscriminately go out and kill people who did not believe, but disbelievers who persecuted Muslims.

I bet if someone wanted to kill you, you would not wait for a go ahead to defend yourself, because it would be well within your rights and anybody would understand your natural defensive response.

Another Example That Shows the Importance of Context

Another verse that is heavily used to accuse Islam of being violent is chapter 2, verse 191, which reads:

“And kill them wherever you find them.” (Quran 2:191)

Context, guys! All one need to do is read the verses before and after this verse to understand what this really means. The verse before (190) says:

“Fight in the way of God those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed. God does not like transgressors.” (Quran 2:190)

Here, God is saying to only fight those who fight you but do not transgress meaning do not use excessive or unnecessary force. And if someone continues to read the verse in contention (191), they will find that the rest of the verse says:

“…and expel them from wherever they have expelled you, and fitnah [persecution] is worse than killing. And do not fight them at al-Masjid al-Haram until they fight you there. But if they fight you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers.” (Quran 2:191)

Once again, the verse is instructing Muslims not to fight until the opposition fights them first. The verse after (192) says:

“And if they cease, then indeed Allah is Forgiving and Mericful.” (Quran 2:192)

And finally (193):

“Fight them until there is no [more] fitnah and [until] worship is [acknowledged to be] for Allah. But if they cease, then there is to be no aggression except against the oppressors.” (Quran 2:193)

So to summarise, these verses are saying:

  • Only fight them, if they fight you i.e. you are allowed to engage in self-defence
  • When fighting, don’t transgress and do anything unnecessary
  • If they stop fighting, then you stop your aggression too because aggression can only be towards oppressive people

Sounds fairly rational to me.

As you can see, I’ve had to go into lengthy detail to explain just a few verses from the Qur’an. Now I hope you can appreciate the toil scholars go through to explain the Qur’an, especially those who have written volumes of commentary on it.

And I also hope you can appreciate why it irks Muslims when someone picks up an English version of the Qur’an, picks a random verse and says ‘Hey, look, this is what Islam is about’.

Be active, not passive readers and if you have questions, ask experts and do not assume.


Source: sailanmuslim website with some modifications


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title: The Love of Dunya, Earthly Life: A Disease and the Cure for It,
content:
By Editorial Staff

One of the most important reasons why Allah created man is to worship Him alone. Thus, the life of this world is a test. A lot of people are heedless of this reality. They cling to the enjoyment of this life and forget about the Hereafter.

Because of heedlessness, people think that they will never die although death is certain. This, in turn, leads to not preparing for the Hereafter.

Allah describes the life of this world as nothing but the mere enjoyment of a delusion. So, how and why do so many people prefer the temporary life of this world to the eternal life of the Hereafter?

In the following video, Yasmin Mogahed explains a part of the aya 20, chapter 57, Al-Hadid. Allah says,

(Transliteration)

iʿ’lamū annamā l-ḥayatu l-dun’yā laʿibun wa lahwun wa zīnatun wa tafākhurun baynakum wa takāthurun fī l-amwāli wa l-awlādi kamathali ghaythin aʿjaba l-kufāra nabātuhu thumma yahīju fatarāhu muṣ’farran thumma yakūnu ḥuṭāman wa fī l-ākhirati ʿadhābun shadīdun wa maghfiratun mina l-lahi wa riḍ’wānun wamā l-ḥayatu l-dun’yā illā matāʿu l-ghurūr.

Know that the life of this world is but play and amusement, and (sheer) adornment, and a cause for boasting among yourselves, and (an arena of) vying in wealth and (in) children. Its parable is (that of) a (nourishing) rainfall, the herbage from which pleases the tillers of soil. But then it dries up, so that you see it turning yellow. Then it becomes crumbling stubble. (Even) so shall there be in the Hereafter severe torment, as well as the forgiveness of God and (His good) pleasure. For the life of this world is nothing but the (mere) enjoyment of a delusion. (Quran 57:20)

 


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title: The Prophet On Charity and Its Virtues,
content:
By Editorial Staff

Charity is one of the best deeds a Muslim can do. Giving charity, we are actually giving back to Allah what He has gifted us, is a practical way of showing gratitude to Allah:

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The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Save yourself from Hell-fire even by giving half a date-fruit in charity.”

Allah will deprive usury of all blessing, but will give increase for deeds of charity: For He loves not creatures ungrateful and wicked. (Al-Baqarah 2:276)

Narrated Asmaa’ bint Abu Bakr that she had gone to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and he said, “Do not shut your money bag; otherwise Allah too will withhold His blessings from you. Spend (in Allah’s Cause) as much as you can afford.“ (Al-Bukhari)

Several hadiths (sayings) of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) indicate the virtues, importance and rewards of spending in the way of Allah.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Save yourself from Hell-fire even by giving half a date-fruit in charity.” (Al-Bukhari)

Narrated Ibn Mas`ud: I heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) saying:

“There is no envy except in two: a person whom Allah has given wealth and he spends it in the right way, and a person whom Allah has given wisdom (i.e. religious knowledge) and he gives his decisions accordingly and teaches it to the others.” (Al-Bukhari)

Virtues of Charity

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Every day two angels come down from Heaven and one of them says, ‘O Allah! Compensate every person who spends in Your Cause,’ and the other (angel) says, ‘O Allah! Destroy every miser.’” (Al-Bukhari)

Allah says:

And the likeness of those who spend their wealth seeking Allah’s pleasure, and for the strengthening of their souls, is as the likeness of a garden on a height. The rainstorm smites it and it brings forth its fruit twofold. And if the rainstorm smite it not, then the shower. Allah is Seer of what you do. (Al-Baqarah 2:265)

A Way to Paradise

It was narrated that Abu Hurairah said: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Who among you is fasting today?” Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “I am.” He said: “Who among you has attended a funeral today?” Abu Bakr said: “I have.” He said: “Who among you has fed a poor person today?’ Abu Bakr said: “I have.” He said: “Who among you has visited a sick person today?” Abu Bakr said: “I have.” The Messenger of Allah said: “These (traits) are not combined in a person but he will enter Paradise.” (Muslim)

Narrated Abu Hurairah that a Bedouin came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said, “Tell me of such a deed that will make me enter Paradise, if I do it.” The Prophet said, “Worship Allah, and worship none along with Him, offer the (five) prescribed compulsory prayers perfectly, pay the compulsory Zakah, and fast the month of Ramadan.” The Bedouin said, “By Him, in Whose Hands my life is, I will not do more than this.” When he (the Bedouin) left, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever likes to see a man of Paradise, then he may look at this man.” (Al-Bukhari)

Charitable People Will Be under Allah’s Shade on the Day of Judgment

Narrated Abu Hurayiah:

The Prophet said, “Seven people will be shaded by Allah under His shade on the day when there will be no shade except His. They are: (1) a just ruler; (2) a young man who has been brought up in the worship of Allah, (i.e. worship Allah (Alone) sincerely from his childhood), (3) a man whose heart is attached to the mosque (who offers the five compulsory congregational prayers in the mosque); (4) two persons who love each other only for Allah’s sake and they meet and part in Allah’s cause only; (5) a man who refuses the call of a charming woman of noble birth for an illegal sexual intercourse with her and says: I am afraid of Allah; (6) a person who practices charity so secretly that his left hand does not know what his right hand has given (i.e. nobody knows how much he has given in charity). (7) a person who remembers Allah in seclusion and his eyes get flooded with tears.” (Al-Bukhari)

The Best Charity

Narrated Abu Hurairah:

A man came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and asked, “O Allah’s Messenger! Which charity is the most superior in reward?” He replied, “The charity which you practice while you are healthy, niggardly and afraid of poverty and wish to become wealthy. Do not delay it to the time of approaching death and then say, ‘Give so much to such and such, and so much to such and such.’ And it has already belonged to such and such (as it is too late).” (Al-Bukhari)

Narrated Abu Hurairah:

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The best charity is that which is practiced by a wealthy person. And start giving first to your dependents.” (Al-Bukhari)

Anas narrated that the Prophet was asked which fast was most virtuous after Ramadan? He said: “Sha`ban in honor of Ramadan” He said: “Which charity is best?” He said: “Charity in Ramadan.” (At-Tirmidhi)

Before It’s Too Late

Narrated Harithah ibn Wahab: I heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) saying,

“O people! Give in charity as a time will come upon you when a person will wander about with his object of charity and will not find anybody to accept it, and one (who will be requested to take it) will say, “If you had brought it yesterday, would have taken it, but today I am not in need of it.” (Al-Bukhari)

Narrated Abu Hurairah:

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The Hour (Day of Judgment) will not be established till your wealth increases so much so that one will be worried, for no one will accept his Zakah and the person to whom he will give it will reply, ‘I am not in need of it.’” (Al-Bukhari)

The Longest Hands

Narrated `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her):

Some of the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him) asked him, “Who amongst us will be the first to follow you (i.e. die after you)?” He said, “Whoever has the longest hand.” So they started measuring their hands with a stick and Sauda’s hand turned out to be the longest. (When Zainab bint Jahsh died first of all in the caliphate of `Umar), we came to know that the long hand was a symbol of practicing charity, so she was the first to follow the Prophet and she used to love to practice charity. (Sauda died later in the caliphate of Mu`awiyah).

Only the Halal

No charity is accepted from what is grabbed from an illegal way.

Narrated Abu Hurairah that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said:

“If one give in charity what equals one date-fruit from the honestly earned money and Allah accepts only the honestly earned money –Allah takes it in His right (hand) and then enlarges its reward for that person (who has given it), as anyone of you brings up his baby horse, so much as that it becomes as big as a mountain. (Al-Bukhari)

To Relatives

It was narrated from Salman bin `Amir that the Prophet said:

“Giving charity to a poor person is charity, and (giving) to a relative is two things, charity and upholding the ties of kinship.” (An-Nasa’i)

Narrated Zainab (the daughter of Um Salamah): My mother said, “O Allah’s Messenger! Shall I receive a reward if I spend for the sustenance of Abu Salama’s offspring, and in fact they are also my sons?” The Prophet replied, “Spend on them and you will get a reward for what you spend on them.” (Al-Bukhari)

Good Deeds are Charity

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“Every Muslim has to give in charity.” The people asked, “O Allah’s Prophet! If someone has nothing to give, what will he do?” He said, “He should work with his hands and benefit himself and also give in charity (from what he earns).” The people further asked, “If he cannot find even that?” He replied, “He should help the needy who appeal for help.” Then the people asked, “If he cannot do that?” He replied, “Then he should perform good deeds and keep away from evil deeds and this will be regarded as charitable deeds.” (Al-Bukhari)

Abu Dharr narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said :

“Your smiling in the face of your brother is charity, commanding good and forbidding evil is charity, your giving directions to a man lost in the land is charity for you. Your seeing for a man with bad sight is a charity for you, your removal of a rock, a thorn or a bone from the road is charity for you. Your pouring what remains from your bucket into the bucket of your brother is charity for you.” (At-Tirmidhi)

Abu Hurairah reported that Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said,

“On every joint of man, there is charity, on every day when the sun rises: doing justice between two men is charity, and assisting a man to ride an animal or to load his luggage on it is charity; and a good word is charity, every step which one takes towards (the mosque for) Salah is charity, and removing harmful things from the way is charity”. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Even Voluntary Prayers

Even the Duha (fore-noon) Prayer is a charity. It is recommended to pray Duha, the least of which is two rak`ah, the best of which is eight, and the average of which is four or six, and encouragement to do so regularly

Abu Dharr reported Allah’s Apostle (peace be upon him) as saying:

“In the morning charity is due from every bone in the body of every one of you. Every utterance of Allah’s glorification is an act of charity. Every utterance of praise of Him is an act of charity, every utterance of profession of His Oneness is an act of charity, every utterance of profession of His Greatness is an act of charity, enjoining good is an act of charity, forbidding what is disreputable is an act of charity, and two rak`ahs which one prays in the forenoon will suffice.” (Muslim)

Abu al-Aswad al-Dailani said:

While we were present with Abu Dharr, he said: In the morning, alms are due for him, ever fast is alms, every pilgrimage is alms, every utterance of “Glory to be Allah” is alms, every utterance of “Allah is most great” is alms, every utterance of “Praise be to Allah” is alms. The Messenger of Allah  recounted all such good works. He then said: Two rak’ahs which one prays in the Duha serve instead of that. (Abu Dawud and authenticated by Al-Albani)


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title: The Difference between the Qur’an, Hadith and Hadith Qudsi,
content:
By Ahmad von Denffer

The Qur’an

The Qur’an can be defined as follows:

The speech of Allah, sent down upon the last Prophet Muhammad, through the Angel Gabriel, in its precise meaning and precise wording, transmitted to us by numerous persons (tawatur), both verbally and in writing.

The Word Qur’an

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The Quran is the speech of Allah, sent down upon the last Prophet Muhammad, through the Angel Gabriel, in its precise meaning and precise wording, transmitted to us by numerous persons (tawatur), both verbally and in writing.

The Arabic word ‘qur’an‘ is derived from the root qara’a, which has various meanings, such as to read, [Sura 17: 93.] to recite, [Sura 75:18:17: 46.] etc. Qur’an is a verbal noun and hence means the ‘reading‘ or ‘recitation‘. As used in the Qur’an itself, the word refers to the revelation from Allah in the broad sense [Sura 17: 82.] and is not always restricted to the written form in the shape of a book, as we have it before us today.

However, it means revelation to Muhammad only, while revelation to other prophets has been referred to by different names (e.g. taurat, Injil, kitab, etc.).

Other Names of the Qur’an

The revelation from Allah to the Prophet Muhammad is referred to in the Qur’an itself by the name qur’an (recitation) as well as by other names, such as e.g.

  • Furqaan (criterion, see 25: 1).
  • Tanzil (sent down, see 26: 192).
  • Dhikr (reminder, see 15: 9).
  • Kitab (scripture, see 21:10).

Other references to the Qur’an are by such words as Nur (light), Huda (guidance), Rahma (mercy), Majid (glorious), Mubarak (blessed), Bashir (announcer), Nadhir (warner), etc.

All these names reflect one of the various aspects of the revealed word of Allah.

The Meaning of Hadith

The word hadith means news, report or narration. It is in this general sense that the word is used in the Qur’an. [e.g. Sura 12:101.] Technically, the word hadith, (pl. ahadith) means in particular the reports (verbal and written) about the sunna of the Prophet Muhammad. Hadith reports about the Prophet Muhammad are of the following kinds:

  • What he said (qaul).
  • What he did (fi’l).
  • What he (silently) approved (taqrir) in others’ actions.

There are also reports about him, i.e. about what he was like (sifa).

The Difference between the Qur’an and Hadith

There is agreement among most Muslim scholars that the contents of the sunna are also from Allah. Hence they have described it as also being the result of some form of inspiration. The contents of the sunna are however expressed through the Prophet’s own words or actions, while in the case of the Qur’an the Angel Gabriel brought the exact wording and contents to the Prophet, who received this as revelation and then announced it, in the very same manner that he received it.

The difference between these two forms has been illustrated by Suyuti (following Juwaini) in the following manner:

‘The revealed speech of Allah is of two kinds: As to the first kind, Allah says to Gabriel: Tell the Prophet to whom I sent you that Allah tells him to do this and this, and He ordered him something. So Gabriel understood what His Lord had told him. Then he descended with this to the Prophet and told him what His Lord had told him, but the expression is not this (same) expression, just as a king says to someone upon whom he relies: Tell so-and-so: The king says to you: strive in his service and gather your army for fighting … and when the messenger (goes and) says: The king tells you: do not fail in my service, and do not let the army break up, and call for fighting, etc., then he has not lied nor shortened (the message) …

‘And as to the other kind, Allah says to Gabriel: Read to the Prophet this (piece of) writing, and Gabriel descended with it from Allah, without altering it the least, just as (if) the king writes a written (instruction) and hands it over to his trustworthy (servant) and says (to him): Read it to so-and-so. Suyuti said: The Qur’an belongs to the second kind, and the first kind is the Sunna, and from this derives the reporting of the Sunna according to the meaning unlike the Qur’an.” [Sabuni, tibyan, p.52]

It is generally accepted that the difference between Qur’an and sunna is as follows:

The ahadith from or about the Prophet Muhammad are:

  • The words or actions of a human being, and not the speech of God as the Qur’an is.
  • Not necessarily reported in their precise wording, as the Qur’an is.
  • Not necessarily transmitted by tawatur, except in some instances.

Hadith Qudsi

Qudsi means holy, or pure. There are some reports from the Prophet Muhammad where he relates to the people what God has said (says) or did (does), but this information is not part of the Qur’an. Such a report is called hadith qudsi, e.g.:

Abu Hurairah reported that Allah’s messenger said:

‘Allah, Mighty and Exalted is He, said: If My servant likes to meet me, I like to meet him, and if he dislikes to meet Me, I dislike to meet him.’ [Forty Hadith Qudsi, Beirut, Damascus, 1980, No. 30.]

While the common factor between hadith qudsi and the Qur’an is that both contain words from Allah which have been revealed to Muhammad, the main points of difference between Qur’an and hadith qudsi are as follows:

In the Qur’an the precise wording is from Allah, while in the hadith qudsi the wording is given by the Prophet Muhammad.

  • The Qur’an has been brought to Muhammad only by the Angel Gabriel, while hadith qudsi may also have been inspired otherwise, such as e.g. in a dream.
  • The Qur’an is inimitable and unique, but not so the hadith qudsi.
  • The Qur’an has been transmitted by numerous persons, (tawatur) but the hadith and hadith qudsi often only by a few or even one individual. There are hadith qudsi which are sahih, but also others hasan, or even da’if, while there is no doubt at all about any aya from the Qur’an.

Another point is that a hadith qudsi cannot be recited in prayer.

Distinctive Features of the Qur’an

The most important distinction between the Qur’an and all other words or writings therefore is that the Qur’an is the speech from Allah, revealed in its precise meaning and wording through the Angel Gabriel, transmitted by many, inimitable, unique and protected by Allah Himself against any corruption.


The article is an excerpt from the author’s book “Ulum al-Quran: An Introduction to the Sciences of the Quran” with some modifications.


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title: A Woman of Perfection,
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By Maria Zain

Women and the Society

A woman in today’s society is not free from scrutiny about how she meant to dress, behave, or appear in public. The public eye falls on every woman who strolls within its purview and its perception is often one that is rigid and judgmental. Physical beauty essentially becomes the talk of the season, every season, as the definition of physical beauty changes like the clouds.

One season, beautiful women are those who are skinny with a certain haircut – maybe one that is straight – so the trend follows: women of all ages begin to “diet” into the prescribed form of beauty and cough up their savings for rebonding hair treatments.The next season’s color of beauty is sandy dust and pointed shoes to elongate the legs. The trend then forces women to adhere to the “norm” by scouring beauty stores for sandy dust hair dye and shoe stores for pointy shoes.

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Islam prescribes hijab for Muslim women to protect themselves from this shallow definition of perfection.

Islam and Material Perfection

Physical beauty is a never-ending debate. Face lifts, new diets, clothes, and more clothes and cosmetics represent lucrative industries where the perception of beauty changes and alters and is ultimately forced upon women who fall prey to this form of material perfection. Islam has other ideas, though. It prescribes hijab for Muslim women to protect themselves from this shallow definition of perfection. With the use of this Muslim dress code, women are no longer required to follow trends of the season.

Women are allowed in their homes and to their spouses to make their eyes look bigger, put on make-up and they are even “allowed” to be a little overweight. Physical beauty in Islam is guarded through the sanctity of marriage where spouses are described as being “garments” for each other.

The perfect woman is therefore defined differently in Islam. Though a woman may still be physically attractive to her husband, her public image is a different one, where her inner beauty plays a far more prominent role in her appearance and behavior.

The Women of Perfection

The four perfect women recognized by Islam are well known by Muslims. They are: the Virgin Mary, the mother of Prophet Jesus, Asya, the wife of Pharaoh, Lady Khadijah, the Prophet’s first wife, and Lady Fatimah, the youngest daughter of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Fatimah the daughter of Prophet Muhammad, in particular, was a young girl during the time Islam was introduced. So from her youth – as a daughter, later a wife and a mother – the perfection of a Muslim as defined by Islam surfaces through Lady Fatimah.

Lady Fatimah is described to be one of the great women in Islam. She played an important role in her father’s mission, thus is recognized as the perfect role model for women. The below verse describes the sanctity of the Prophet’s household, including Lady Fatima.

[And stay quietly in your houses, and make not a dazzling display, like that of the former times of ignorance; and establish regular Prayer, and give regular Charity; and obey Allah and His Messenger. And Allah only wishes to remove all abomination from you, ye members of the Family, and to make you pure and spotless.] (Al-Azhab 33:33)

In many reports, she was barely five when Prophet Muhammad received his first revelation at Mount Hira’. As a child, she had witnessed gross calamities inflicted upon her parents and even at times she fell victim to the taunts of the Quraish. Unlike some children today who have to deal with playground bullying or peer pressure, Lady Fatima endured physical, mental and spiritual pain as she watched her father being humiliated by the pagan Arabs as they labeled him as being “mentally insane.”

One story even relays a scene at the Kabah where one of the Prophet’s opponents discarded rubbish on Prophet Muhammad’s head while he was prostrating to God. With a teary eye and a wrenched heart, the young Fatimah cleaned her father as he pacified his favorite daughter by telling her that he could endure personal insults, as long as they were not directed towards Islam. Maybe it was through Lady Fatimah’s endurance throughout her childhood that Prophet Muhammad held her in high regard throughout his lifetime.

A Loving Daughter, Loyal Wife, and Doting Mother

When she was older, and even married, she would nurse her father through to recovery when he was injured during war. It was reported that on occasions where food was scarce, he would visit his daughter first to ensure that she had enough sustenance, before tending to his own needs. Similarly, Lady Fatimah would visit her father if he were in need, without regretting any sacrifices she would make for him.

Also, when Lady Fatima entered a room that was occupied by Prophet Muhammad, he would immediately rise to greet her, kiss her forehead, and offer her his vacated seat. She would return the gesture when their roles were reversed. Her marriage to Ali ibn Abi Talib, the Prophet’s cousin, was a happy one. The wedding is often described as one of the most lavish weddings in Madinah. It was sponsored by her father, as Ali was a poor man.

In fact, Lady Fatimah was the only one of Prophet Muhammad’s daughters who did not marry a rich merchant. Prophet Muhammad encouraged the union, knowing very well that Ali was a pious Muslim and one that would look after his youngest daughter until death parted them. Lady Fatimah braced married life bravely and worked to help her husband to provide for their family. Besides the grueling conditions that she worked in, she was also a mother to two baby boys the older is named Hassan and the younger is Hussein.

She was a loving daughter, loyal wife, and doting mother. She persisted through the hardship that burdened her throughout her life, without even a whimper. How many women today are able to do that without being swayed by the latest fashion statements?

Raising Fatimahs

Contemporary culture often talks about the physical appearance of a woman, one that has to be inherently attractive. But Muslims, and Muslim women in particular, learn that inner beauty outweighs beauty on the outside. This has been portrayed by pious Muslim women who observe the Muslim dress code and adhere to good Muslim behavior.

They are those who provide for the needy, relieve the burdens of their husbands, raise their children as believers, love their parents, and strive for personal improvement, whether it is through their careers, interests, or hobbies. Every act of a good Muslim is done for the sake of Allah.

Are Muslim daughters today growing up to be remotely close in demonstrating Lady Fatimah’s demeanor and faith? Fatimah was exposed to violence and oppression at a young age and she blossomed into becoming one of the most pious Muslims in the history of Islam, and is recognized by Allah as one of the perfect Muslim women.

It does not mean that young Muslim daughters today have to be exposed to violence and oppression the way Prophet Muhammad and his family had been to flourish into becoming believing women.

But the overwhelming levels of materialism that is inherent in today’s culture, especially the shallow definition of perfection, dampens hopes that young Muslim women today will prescribe to Lady Fatimah’s formula in striving for perfection.

Perfection that Lasts

There is only one Fatimah, the one and only Lady Fatimah. To Fatimah the Prophet Muhammad said: “Thou art the highest of the women of the people of Paradise, excepting only the Virgin Mary, daughter of Imran,” (Lings, 1983).

It is difficult for women not to be swayed by the idea of contemporary perfection. The media bullies women into thinking that without a certain asset, accessory, or cosmetic case, they will fade into becoming bland individuals for being less attractive and less perfect. Imagine striving for perfection amidst fashion faux-pas and the latest cosmetic discoveries.

Now imagine striving to socialize with Lady Fatimah in Paradise. Imagine mingling with her amongst other believers who withdrew from the pressures of contemporary perfection. The reminder of Lady Fatimah as a perfect Muslim woman is one to lean on, whether a Muslim woman is a daughter, wife or mother. Regardless of personal interests, hobbies, networks, social circles, or career prospects, a woman’s duty – like that of a Muslim man’s – is towards Allah and his covenants.

The shallow world of materialism has no place in the hearts of believing Muslim women.


Source: muslimsincalgary.ca with some modifications

About the author:

Originally from Malaysia, Maria Zain was a freelance writer based in Nottingham, United Kindgom. Maria was also a certified Childbirth Educator (AMANI Birth Institute), and a home-educating Muslim mother of six. She passed away on 28 December 2014. May Allah have mercy on her!


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title: In the Light of the Companions: The Story of Ka’B Ibn Malik,
content:
By Editorial Staff

As well as being a very famous Companion of Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace), Ka’b ibn Malik was one of his poets.

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Allah accepted the repentance of Ka’b ibn Malik because he was truthful and repented sincerely.

This story of Ka’b which is found in Al-Bukhari and Muslim is so amazing and touching, which the following video is going to cover. Ka’b (Allah be pleased with him) himself relates this beautiful story. Moreover, the Quran speaks about this story, what gives it more importance. Allah says,

and so too upon the three (believers) who were left behind, (who are herewith granted repentance). When, behold, the earth, for all its breadth, (seemed to) close in about them, and (the very reaches of) their souls closed in about them, as well, and they realized that there is no refuge from God except in Him- then He relented toward them, so that they may repent. Indeed, it is God who is the All-Relenting, the Mercy-Giving. (Quran 9:118)

In fact there are many lessons to be learned from this story. Here are a few examples:

1. Allah may provide you with wealth to test you.

2. Be truthful no matter what.

3. Never procrastinate!

4. Repent to Allah sincerely!

5. Be keen on joining the company of righteous people

Watch this video and tell us what else could you learn!


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