Thursday, April 29, 2010
What is happening to Muslims today?
Why are we imitating the western way?
Are we forgetting a crucial part of Islam,
Following the Prophet (alayhi salaatu wassalaam)?
Although entertainment may bring about pleasure,
The Quran and Sunnah is what we should treasure.
What we commit to memory instead of ayaat and ahadith,
Are lyrics of songs that only weaken our belief.
When asked about Sahabah who struggled for this deen,
The response will be a shrug from many of the teens.
Biographies of singers and athletes fill their minds,
While daily adhkaar are sadly left behind.
Instead of preparing for our inevitable end,
We find ourselves spending endless hours with our friends.
Gossiping about celebrities and fellow kids at school,
Only so that we can be among the ‘cool’.
We find ourselves submitting to fashion and fame,
Instead of praising Allah with His glorious names.
Is it just me, or is the hijaab getting smaller?
Diets to get slimmer and high heels to look taller?
This ummah is in danger, and something must be done,
But first we must remember that as an ummah, we are one.
Like a single body undergoing trials and tests,
When one part feels the pain, it is felt throughout the rest.
Let’s go back in time to the seventh century,
And take examples from a people full of faith and purity.
The first Muslim generation knew divided they would fall,
So they stood together, may Allah be pleased with them all.
Abu Bakr al-Siddiq was the Prophet’s closest friend,
Supportive of his mission till the very end.
Umar bin Khattab was a companion strong and fierce,
But due to taqwa of Allah, he could not hold back his tears.
And Uthmaan bin Affaan would always give more than take,
So he was known to spend in masses, solely for Allah’s sake.
And there’s another who submitted when he was just a lad,
Unshakable faith was what Ali bin Abi Taalib had.
And let’s not forget Musab bin Umayr, Abu Dharr al Ghifari,
Abdullah bin Masood, Bilal and Abu Ayyub al Ansari.
Enemies of islam did what they could to stop the call,
But the Sahabah stood together like a firmly fixed brick wall.
The same can be said for Islam in modern days,
Being attacked from many angles, and in many different ways.
The media tries its best to make this way of life distorted,
Pointing fingers at those who try hard to support it.
So let us all unite and show the whole world that we’re bold,
And spread Islam and its teachings to people young and old.
Friday, April 23, 2010
We can't be perfect, but we can strive to be among the best of Allah's worshippers. Imagine the honour of standing in the Day of Judgement as one of His best slaves. Subhan'Allah! Death will come unannounced; we have to try our best to follow the Qur'aan and Sunnah.
"Who among us does not sin? And who among us does all that is required of Him in the religion? It is an undeniable fact that we all have shortcomings; what distinguishes some of us from the others, what raises some of us above the others, is that the successful ones among us are those who repent their sins and ask Allah to forgive them." [ Book: Stories of Repentance ]
Ibn Abi Dunya narrated that ‘Ali said: “The best of you is every tempted one who repents ” It was said, “What if he sins again?” He said, “He should ask Allah for forgiveness and repent.” It was said, “What if he sins again?” He said, “He should ask Allah for forgiveness and repent.” It was said, “For how long?” He said, “Until the Shaytaan is defeated.
The Ideal Muslimah
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Performing shahadah is a must for all Muslim. However, one does have to make sure that they fully understand what are the conditions of being a Muslim. Why do we perform our shahadah? Why do we need to say that we believe our beloved Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. as our messenger? We need to reflect on ourselves and see what are our main differences between the non-Muslims.
First and foremost, we believe without doubt that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah alone. Then, we look at the second part where we say we believe that Prophet Muhammad S.A.W as His Messenger. It is clearly because the fact that NO other religion except Islam that believes Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. to be the last messenger, the seal of the prophets.
We acknowledge his right to be respected, obeyed and revered. We follow in his footsteps, knowing that what had been revealed to him during his lifetime was through the wisdom of Allah. Amazing isn’t it? Even the very simple proclamation of shahadah plays the fundamental role on distinguishing the difference between ourselves and the disbelievers, Subhanallah! It is not just a few words spoken but is coupled with sincerity of intention and determination to struggle, strive and sacrifice along the straight path.
As our dear brothers and sisters know, Muslims nowadays are facing with numerous trials and tribulations. Our brothers and sisters in Palestine are being oppressed, apart from other countries and maybe in our own, are faced with numerous fitnahs done by so-called-modern-Muslim trying to ‘modernize’ Islam. They explicitly insulted our beloved Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. and claimed that Islam is a backward religion and that the teaching of Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. is irrelevant, astaghfirullah. Don’t they know that Islam is the religion that withstands time? In fact, they are the one who is backward and jaheel.
Haven’t they read the seerah of the Prophet Muhammad S.A.W? Do they not know that the teaching of the Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. does not differ one bit from the teaching of other previous prophets, and that he is the ‘seal of the prophets’? Do they not know that the way of life of our Prophet Muhammad is the way of a Muslim? Why do we Muslims follow the Qur’aan and Sunnah? Isn’t it obvious because the teaching of previous prophets have been distorted by their followers (added, deleted, etc.) and that is why we must firmly grasp to the Qur’aan and Sunnah. Why? Because everything that the Prophet say and do does not come from his ‘nafsu’ but through the wisdom of Allah (refer to Surah An-Najm).
The ayat which indicate the Prophethood of the Prophets also indicate that they are infallible with regard to the conveying of the Message from Allah; so what they say and do can only be true. This is the meaning of Prophethood, which implies that Allah tells the Prophet something of the Unseen and he tells it to the people. And the Messenger is commanded to call the people to Allah and to convey and teach the message of his Lord.
Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. drew up the world's first constitution in which the rights of religious minorities were protected, and entered into treaties and alliances with neighbouring tribes. He sent letters to the rulers of the Persians, Egyptians, Abyssinians and Byzantines, announcing his message of pure monotheism and inviting them to accept Islam.
For the first time in history, women, children, orphans, foreigners and slaves were granted extensive rights and protection. Many of the Prophet's concerns seem surprisingly 'modern': he condemned racism and nationalism, saying 'there is no superiority of an Arab over a non-Arab, or a white man over a black man, except in righteousness.' He established laws protecting animals, trees and the environment. He encouraged free trade and ethical investments, but secured workers' rights and forbade usury. He worked for peace, but defined the parameters of the judicious use of force, when force was needed. He convinced people to give up alcohol, drugs, prostitution and crime, and promoted healthy living.
He condemned domestic violence, encouraged his wives to speak their own mind, and granted Muslim women many rights not dreamed of in Europe until centuries later, including the right to own property, reject arranged marriages, and seek divorce because of incompatibility. And the Prophet encouraged his followers to seek beneficial knowledge wherever it could be found, with the result that Muslims never experienced a conflict between science and religion, and led the world in many fields of learning for centuries afterwards (Rich History of Science and Knowledge in Islam).
Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. accomplished all this through the strength of his character and personal example; he inspired in his followers a love, devotion and sense of awe that was unparalleled (Children around the Prophet and Women Inspired by the Beloved). While other men would have been corrupted by the absolute power that he wielded in his later years, Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. remained humble, ever aware of the Source of his blessings.
Although he spent his days in serving people and his nights in prayer, he preached religious moderation and balance; he forbade his followers to adopt a monastic lifestyle and preferred that they establish strong families and engage themselves in bettering the world around them, while remaining deeply conscious of God.
In the brief space of one generation and during his own lifetime, the Prophet Muhammad successfully transformed the faith, mentality and culture of the people of Arabia; within 100 years his message had touched the hearts and lives of millions in Africa, Asia and parts of Europe. The Prophet foretold that each succeeding generation would be worse than the one before it, and true to his prediction, Muslims have not always understood or honoured his example. But Prophet Muhammad's teachings, speeches and customs were carefully noted down by his Companions, and compiled into books of authentic sayings which are available in translation.
Islam is a complete way of life. A means to upgrade the individual into a righteous, confident, knowledgable and courageous person, who knows their Creator and their role in life. Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. was described by his wife Aisha (peace be upon her) , as ‘the walking Qu’ran’, hence the importance of following his pure example, as seeking the Pleasure of our Creator by following in the footsteps of His final Prophet and Messenger.
Both Qur’aan and Sunnah does not contradicts from one another because both comes from Allah (Fortification of the Muslim through remembrance from the Quraan and Sunnah), (The Golden Chain - The Sciences of Hadith). If some Muslim says so, that means the person is a hypocrite, a jaheel, has an evil intention to distort Islam by confusing the ummah and the person is falling into the grievous fitnah.
What would these misguided people say in response to the Qur'aan: “Nor does he speak of his own desire. It is only an Inspiration that is inspired” [al-Najm 53:3]?
We ask Allah to protect us from confusion and misguidance, And Allah knows best.
Let's see what famous people have said about Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) throughout the centuries...
K. S. Ramakrishna Rao, an Indian (Hindu) professor of Philosophy, in his booklet "Muhammad the Prophet of Islam" calls him the "perfect model for human life." Professor Ramakrishna Rao explains his point by saying:
"The personality of Muhammad, it is most difficult to get into the whole truth of it. Only a glimpse of it I can catch. What a dramatic succession of picturesque scenes. There is Muhammad the Prophet. There is Muhammad the Warrior; Muhammad the Businessman; Muhammad the Statesman; Muhammad the Orator; Muhammad the Reformer; Muhammad the Refuge of Orphans; Muhammad the Protector of Slaves; Muhammad the Emancipator of Women; Muhammad the Judge; Muhammad the Saint. All in all these magnificent roles, in all these departments of human activities, he is alike a hero."
What should we think about our prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, when someone with the worldly status such as Mahatma Gandhi, speaking on the character of Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, says in 'Young India':
"I wanted to know the best of one who holds today undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind... I became more than convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet, the scrupulous regard for his pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle. When I closed the 2nd volume (of the Prophet's biography), I was sorry there was not more for me to read of the great life."
English author Thomas Carlyle in his 'Heroes and Hero Worship', was simply amazed:
"How one man single handedly, could weld warring tribes and wandering Bedouins into a most powerful and civilized nation in less than two decades."
And Diwan Chand Sharma wrote in "The Prophets of the East":
"Muhammad was the soul of kindness, and his influence was felt and never forgotten by those around him"
[D.C. Sharma, The Prophets of the East, Calcutta, 1935, pp. 12]
Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, was nothing more or less than a human being, but he was a man with a noble mission, which was to unite humanity on the worship of ONE and ONLY ONE GOD and to teach them the way to honest and upright living based on the commands of God. He always described himself as, 'A Servant and Messenger of God' and so indeed every action of his proclaimed to be.
Now, let’s take a look and contemplate Prophet Muhammad’s last sermon.
This sermon was delivered on the ninth day of Dhul Hijja in the valley of Mount Arafat, Makkah.
After praising and thanking Allah (the One God) he (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Oh People lend me an attentive ear, for I know not whether after this year I shall ever be amongst you again. Therefore listen to what I am saying to you very carefully and TAKE THESE WORDS TO THOSE WHO COULD NOT BE PRESENT HERE TODAY."
Oh People, just as you regard this month, this day as Sacred, so regard the life and property of every Muslim as sacred trust. Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners. Harm no one so that no one may harm you. Remember that you will indeed meet your Lord, and that He will indeed reckon your deeds. Allah has forbidden you to take usury (interest), therefore all interest obligations shall henceforth be waived. Your capital however, is yours to keep. You will neither inflict nor suffer inequality. Allah has judged that there shall be no interest and that all the interest due to Abbas ibn Abd'al Mutallib shall henceforth be waived.
Beware of Satan, for the safety of your religion, He lost all hope that he will ever be able to lead you astray in big things, so beware of following him in small things.
Oh people, it is true that you have certain rights with regards to your women, but they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under Allah's trust and with His permission. Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. And it is your right that they do not make friends with any one of whom you do not approve, as well as never to be unchaste.
Oh people listen to me in earnest, worship Allah, perform your five daily prayers (Salah), fast during the month of Ramadan, and give of your wealth to the poor due (Zakat), Perform Hajj (Pilgrimage) if you can afford to.
All mankind is from Adam and an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab, nor does a non-Arab have any superiority over an Arab: also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over a white, except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not therefore, do injustice to yourselves.
Remember, one day you will appear before Allah and answer for your deeds, so beware, and do not sway from the path of righteousness after I am gone.
Oh People, no prophet or apostle will come after me and no new faith will be born. Reason well therefore Oh People, and understand the words which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the Quran and my example (the Sunnah ) and if you follow these you will never go astray.
All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me direcly. Be my witness oh Allah that I have conveyed your message to your people."
I honestly believe that is why, no matter how many Muslims nowadays are giving a bad name to Islam, amazingly more and more reverts are accepting Islam. Alhamdulillah, many of them are aware and knowledgeable on the true teachings of Prophet Muhammad. Subhanallah, it’s really amazing how they strive their very best to follow the Qur’aan and the Sunnah, how they appreciate the beauty of Islam and how they uphold the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. without doubt (link 1, link 2, link 3).
"O Allah, I seek your forgiveness and Your protection in this world and the next. O Allah, I seek your forgiveness and Your protection in my religion, in my worldly affairs, in my family and in my wealth. O Allah, conceal my secrets and reserve me from anguish. O Allah, guard me from what is in front of me and behind me, from my left, and from my right, and from above me. I seek refuge in Your Greatness from being struck down from beneath me"
Monday, April 5, 2010
Taken from MBMuslim magazine that I recently read, "Taqwa is really hard to describe in English, as it encompasses so many beautiful dimensions. Taqwa can be loosely defined as “God Conciousness” or “God Fearing”. Commonly, Taqwa will be described to a child as “worshipping Allah (SWT) as if He sees you”.
I would like to invite my brothers and sisters to reflect on everything that lead us to our life now. Let us really think about our relationship with Allah SWT and see where we can inshaAllah improve.
Therefore, I sincerely invite you to watch an insightful khutbah called “Who are the people of Taqwa?” by Brother Nouman Ali Khan (part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4). May Allah reward him for his inspiring khutbah, mashaAllah.
Also, I would like to invite you to watch the lectures by Sister Aminah Assilmi who recently passed away. Sister Aminah was truly one of the amazing example of today's amazing women, a good example of taqwa. May Allah SWT be pleased with her and may Allah reward her Jannah.
“And verily the Hereafter will be better for you than the present.” Surah al-Dhuha: 4
“O you of sound health but weak heart! Wake up and run to your Creator with repentance on your tongue, tears in your eyes, and sincerity in your heart. Cry before Him, before others cry for you. Make haste, O heedless one!”Kamil Mufti