Monday, January 09, 2017

Back to School

Schools are about to open and you're probably feeling excited and maybe a little sad that holidays are just about over. Back to School comes with a barrage of projects, homework, sports practice and of course a day filled with pickups and drop offs.
“The roots of education may be bitter, but the fruit is sweet

Back to school time also means adjustments for children and families; the first day of grade one, new schools, new classrooms, new teachers and for adults sometimes new jobs.

Change is sometimes exciting and sometimes frightening, but this can also be an opportunity to set new goals. It's is a new year, 1438 of the Hijri Calendar and each year goes so fast like a quick turn of a page. This is why planning and setting goals is so important. As Muslims all our plans should be aimed at achieving our final goal which is to please our Creator Allah Ta'ala.
“He who fails to plan, plans to fail!”

Here are a few points to keep in mind when planning for this year.

· NiyyahOur intention before doing anything is very important. The Messenger of Allah(peace be upon Him) has said "Every deed is judged by its intention."(Hadith-Bukhari) Plan and do lots…but it must be ONLY to please our Allah.

· DuaEveryone of us needs to ask and pray to Allah Ta’ala daily for all our needs. A very beautiful dua that The Beloved Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon Him) made whenever he left his home " In the name of Allah,I trust in Allah, oh Allah I seek refuge in You from straying or being led astray or against slipping or being caused to slip or doing injustice or injustice being done on me or doing wrong or having wrong done to me." (Hadith-Abu Dawud)

· Make mashwera/shura (mutual consultation): To consult with your family is import ant as it unites the heart on a common purpose. All activities whether big or small should be discussed. Sit with the family daily at a mutually convenient time and plan our activities. See where we are and where we want to go this year. Check our level of Deen and plan to improve upon it. Discuss our day to day affairs. We may even discuss and allocate turns for household chores, or even who sits where in car, etc…this can save a lot of time and arguments early in the morning. To make Mashwera is a sunnah and will bring great barakah(blessings) in our home. It will also grant us an opportunity to plan our lives Islamically. 

· Make attainable goals: Sets goals realistically and intelligently. Set goals that are attainable. Most important Make Deen the priority in our lives. Monitor your progress and place reminders and back your resolutions with planning.

· Family time: Set aside quality time for them. Be interactive. Listen to them and pay attention to them when they call on you. Engage them in Taleem (Educational programs), for the smaller ones also read Islamic stories and even make it a practice to discuss the day's events with them. There is NO SUBSTITUTE for pa rental guidance and supervision.

Your children need your presence more than your presents

· Homework: Turn off the T.V, WhatsApp, Facebook and other social networks… put away your concerns and concentrate on being a parent. Look through your child's homework diary as your child's teacher uses this as a main connection between you and the school.
“Don't do homework for them, Do it with them!”
· Daily routines: Let your child be involved in the small things like packing lunc h, laying out clothes(uniforms) etc this teaches them responsibility. Start bed time routines a week before school starts. Ensure punctuality in Salaah(prayers). Read your duas together in the morning and evening. Make going to and from school educational by reciting duas collectively in the car. In a short time they will memorize the duas for protection and of travelling.

· Educational goals: Plan big! Enrol your kids for the best available Islamic Educ ation…enrol your kids for Hifdh (memorisation of the Qur'an). You may have also realised how weak your Islamic knowledge is. Make time to attend some Islamic classes, or sit for Taleem Halqa at the Masjid. Ladies can join the weekly taleem (educational) programs in their area. Consult with your local Islamic Scholars regarding suitable Islamic educational programs.

· Identify your career goals: Choose your curriculum carefully and wisely. Maybe you always talked about making the career switch to a more Halaal (pure) source of income or adjusting your work times for salaat with jamaat (congregation). You may need to adjust your times so as to spend some quality time with your family. Whatever your reasons maybe, identify a career that will benefit your family both in this world and the aakhirah(hereafter).

· Wake up every day with a purpose: We wake up often knowing we should be doing something important today, but have failed to plan! Prepare for our higher purpose otherwise our day will become less productive.

· Uniforms, books and stationery: Make sure uniforms are purchased timeously and that it conforms to Sharia (Islamic requirements). If your kids encounter any resistance from the educational institution regarding their Islamic attire or other Islamic practices, then be diplomatic, discuss and resolve the matter with management respectfully. Also ensure that you obtained a list of stationery and text books required early so that it could be budgeted for and purchased well before hand.

· Lunch boxes, breakfasts and dietsResearch shows that breakfast eaters have better concentration and muscle co-ordination. Kids need healthy lunch box snacks that maintain blood glucose levels which help concentration, so keep away from fuzzy drinks, chips and chocolates for lunch. A good idea is to plan a lunch box menu for the week.

· Take account of yourself daily: We need to be alert of our development so that we progress. Therefore, we need to daily reflect on our progress or a lack of it. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) has said" the feet of the son of Adam will not move on the Day of Judgement until he is asked about five things: how he spent his life, how he spent his youth, from where he acquired his wealth and how he spent it, and what he did with his knowledge." So we need to be conscious on how we profitably use every second of our lives.

Remember that a Muslim sets goals that are in harmony with our accountability in the Aakhirah (Hereafter)... so take pen to paper and plan for a better life, seeking Allah Ta’ala's Guidance, Help and Forgiveness. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) has encouraged us to make the following du’a "Oh our Lord, give us goo d in this world and good in the Hereafter, and save us from the torment of the fire.”

Back to School may be demanding and at times stressful but keep in mind that an investment in knowledge always pays the best returns!
May Allah grant us the patience to guide our children to the right path always, Aameen

Monday, December 19, 2016

The Value of Dua'a - 'Aaishah (RA)

The Value of Dua'a

It was the habit of ‘Aaishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) that whenever a beggar asked her for something and made dua'a for her (as is the habit of many beggars), together with giving the beggar whatever he had asked for, she would also return the dua'a of the beggar. Hence someone once asked her, “Why do you give the beggar what he asks for and also make dua'a for him?”
‘Aaishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) responded, “If I give the beggar wealth and he gives me dua'a, then what he has given me is in reality more valuable than what I gave him. Hence, I will owe him for his favour. I therefore return his dua'a with a similar dua'a, so that I will not be indebted to him for his dua'a, and thereafter give him whatever he asks for. In this manner, I ensure that I receive the full reward of my sadaqah.” (Al-Mafaateeh fi Sharhil Masaabeeh vol. 2, pg. 553)
1. The pious friends of Allah Ta‘ala understood the value of dua'a. Hence, they did not regard any person’s dua'a to be trivial or insignificant, as one does not know whose dua'a may gain acceptance in the court of Allah Ta‘ala.
2. Instead of viewing beggars as a nuisance, we should view them as a means of earning both dua'as and the pleasure of Allah Ta‘ala. We should thank Allah Ta‘ala for sending the beggar to us, instead of us having to go out in search of a person to whom we could give sadaqah. 
May Allah grant us true understanding of the supplication of Dua'a, Aameen

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Pious women

As Salaamu Alaikum Dear Read,

I came across these articles and found valuable lessons therein.

Take time to read and gain some valuable insight into the ideal life of a Muslimah.

May Allah allow us to emulate these pious ladies, Aameen

Friday, November 18, 2016

A Wife’s Rights- Education is key

A Wife’s Rights

·         It is incumbent on the husband to provide separate living quarters for his wife.

·      The quarters provided for her should not be occupied by any members of the husband’s family. She must be able to enjoy total privacy without interference from anyone.

·         If the wife of her own accord prefers to live with her in-laws, then this will be permissible.

·         Separate quarters for her may be provided in the same building or house occupied by others. However, she must be able to have complete control over her quarters with no one else having the right to intrude in her domain. The lock/keys of her quarters should be in her possession.

·       The wife’s in-laws have no right of demanding to enter her quarters and to inspect her rooms and belongings as is the habit of some misguided mothers-in-law.

·        While the wife is entitled to separate living quarters, she cannot demand that she wants to live in a particular house, area or town. She has to be satisfied with the quarters made available to her by her husband.

·       Just as the wife has the right of preventing her in-laws from intruding into her home, so too has the husband the right of debarring his in-laws from entering the home.

Generally husbands fail in fulfilling the important and incumbent rights of the wife in regard to separate accommodation. In most cases they are under pressure from their parents who insist on their married children living together with them under one roof and in the same house over which the parents have full control while the daughter-in-law has to live in subservience to her in-laws. This is Islamically an unjust and unlawful setup.

Parents of the husband should realize that in this unjust attitude they are usurping the rights of their daughter-in-law – rights which the Shariah has granted her. While it is to the advantage of the in-laws and perhaps to the husband as well to live together, they have no right to act selfishly for their own advantage when the matter concerns the rights of others. A daughter-in-law is under no Islamic incumbency to serve her in-laws. It is entirely another matter if she does. In doing so she will obtain great Thawaab. But, service to in-laws cannot be imposed on her, neither by her in-laws nor by her husband. This Mas-alah should be well understood.

Many mothers-in-law are the cause of misery for their daughters-in-law. They apply unlawful and inconsiderate pressure on their sons in an attempt to secure the domination of their daughters-in-law. This attitude leads to conflict, misery and sometimes homes break up. If the rights of the wife are considered from the very inception many marital problems will be avoided.

Parents-in-law should reflect that after marriage when a woman no longer serves even her own parents, how can she be expected to serve her parents-in-law? If she does, it will be only her goodness and a demonstration of her love for her husband.

Many sons are in a quandary when it comes to a conflict in the demands of parents on the one side and their wives on the other. The wife wishes to live separately while her in-laws insist that she lives with them. In such cases of conflict, the son should measure the conflicting demands on the standard of the shariah. If by fulfilling the wishes of parents the son is compelled to violate or discard the waajib haq of his wife, then it will not be permissible for him to obey his parents in this respect. While others can advise the daughter-in-law to exercise patience and submit to the wishes of her husband provided that the Shariah is not transgressed, the usurpers of her rights cannot tender such naseehat to her. They have to rather take stock of their own transgression and their injustice committed against their daughter-in-law. On the Day of Qiyaamah the daughter-in-law will have a claim against her husband and her parents-in-law for the violation of her rights – rights which Allah Ta’ala has ordained for her.