Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Eid Mubarak

SUNNAH of EID
---------------
Bathing, perfume and best clothes
Imam Ibn Qudamah said, “It is preferred to purify oneself by bathing for Eid. Ibn Umar used to bathe on the day of Fitr. This is also reported upon Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) (Al-Mughnee, 2/370)

Ibn Al-Qayyim said, “He (peace be upon him) would wear his best clothes when proceeding to the two Eids and the day of jum ‘ah.” (Zaad-ul-Ma’aad, 1/441)

Eating before prayer
Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “The Messenger of Allah would not set out in the morning of Eid-Al-Fitr until he had eaten some dates.” (Bukhari)

Takbeer in the Eids
The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to emerge on the day of Eid-Al-Fitr and say the Takbeer up until he reached the Musallaa and up until he had performed the prayer. So when he had performed the prayer he stopped saying the Takbeer. (Silsilatul Ahadeeth As-Saheehah, 170)

Ibn Mas’ud RA used to say: “Allahu-Akbar. Allahu-Akbar. Laa ilaaha illallah. Wa-Allahu Akbar. Allahu-Akbaar. Wa lillaahil-Hamd” (Allah is the Greatest. Allah is the Greatest. There is none who has the right to be worshipped except Allah. Allah is the Greatest. Allah is the Greatest and to Allah belongs all praise.)

Different route to and fro the Musallaa
Jabir Bin Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “When it was the day of Eid the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to alter his route (of returning).” (Bukhari)

Greeting
The companions when they met each other on Eid would say:“Taqabbala Allaaha minnaa wa minkum” May Allah accept it (the worship) from you and us. (Fath Al-Bari)

Eid Gifts

I got this lovely gift idea from KiLLa - http://killa.co.za/blog/


These are to be given to my parents and some family as well as the in-laws....I still have to add the labels which I will do so tonight!


Monday, September 29, 2008

The Beauty of Eid


The Beauty of Eid



Every Muslim loves the day of Eid. For a moment let us explore why Eid is such a joyous and special occasion.

1. Sadaqatul Fitr

Muslims are commanded to spend on the less fortunate prior to the Eid Salaah as a token of gratitude to Allah for all that He provides. Sadaqatul Fitr is a special gift to the poor allowing them to enjoy Eid as well. It seeks to build a community by breaking the barriers between rich and poor. By relieving the suffering of the less fortunate one feels an inner contentment.

2. Eid Salaah

Allah has prescribed a special prayer on the day of Eid which is characterized by a number of unique features. There is no Azaan and Iqaamah. There are a number of extra takbeers which are recited. A khutbah follows the Salaah. This uniqueness and the fact that the day begins with a prayer teaches Muslims an important lesson : Even the days of celebration in Islam are linked to worship. Unlike other nations and cultures Islam does not celebrate with music, dancing, liquor and frivolous entertainment. The spirit of Islamic celebration is filled with worship love, serenity and spirituality. Eid Salaah is a reminder to Muslims that although the compulsory fasting has ended but the relationship with Allah can never end. This is a link and bond based on love and obedience to the beloved.

3. A few thoughts on the Day of Eid

When we and our children wear new clothes and shoes on Eid morning, let us think of the thousands of Muslim children who are wearing filthy and torn rags.

When we enjoy the tasty treats and delicacies of Eid, let us spare a thought for the millions of Muslims who will have bread crumbs.

Appreciate freedom on the day of Eid. Spare a thought for the thousands of Muslims languishing under unspeakable conditions in prisons all over the world.

When we walk to the Eidgaah remember that there are other Muslims who are walking to the battlefield to defend the deen of Islam.

Spare a few quiet moments on this Day of Eid to make Dua for our innocent brothers and sisters who are being tortured all over the world for no crime other than the fact that they are bearers of the kalimah Laa Ilaaha illallaah Muhammadur Rasoolullah.

Filled with such thoughts and duas can we really justify going to un-Islamic places. Apart from the shameless dressing, fashion parading, intermingling of the sexes, music and pride which comes with this there is a serious misrepresentation of the auspicious day of Eid to the non-Muslims. May Allah grant us the ability of using the day in conformance with the teachings of Islam. True joy and contentment is only in remaining within the bounds of Islam. Celebrating in ways which are alien to Islam only brings disgrace.

4. Sunnats of Eid

Make this a checklist for Eid Morning :

- Awake very early in the morning
- Use a miswaak
- Have a bath
- Dress in one's best available clothes ensuring that it conforms with Shariah
- Use itr
- Eat a sweet dish (preferably dates before the Eid Salaah)
- Go early to the Eid Salaah
- Discharge Sadaqatul Fitr before going to the Eid Salaah
- Offer the Eid Salaah at the Eidgaah / Musallah
- Return from the Eid Salaah taking a route that is different from the one that was taken when going
- Go to the Eid Salaah on foot. However, there is no harm in using any means of conveyance if the Eid Musallah is a distance away
- Recite the following takbeer in a low voice while proceeding for the Eid prayer :
Allaahu Akbar Allaahu Akbar. Laa ilaaha illallahu Wallaahu Akbar Allaahu Akbar Walilaahil Hamd

Friday, September 26, 2008

"The strong man is on who controls himself from Anger"


"Prayer is the salvation of true believers, the pillar of faith and the light of heaven and earth."


Marriage diverts your attention from others and is a safeguard against lust. Those who cannot marry should observe fasts, for fasting too is a safeguard.

Do not keep away from a brother for more than three nights or turn your faces away from each other when you meet. The one who greets the other first is the better one


The Almighty is closest to his creations during the last phase of the night. Remember Him during this period


Every prayer must be performed as if is is one's last prayer in this world


The truthful Ones are the one who when they are seen Allah is remembered


Avoid what id forbidden and do what is permitted. It was only their excessive questioning and their disagreeing with their Prophets that destroyed those who were before you


Righteousness is good morality, and wrong doing is that which wavers in the soul and which you dislike people finding out about


The Almighty accepts the repentance of a man right is his last breath


Unite with whoever breaks with you, pardon whoever wrongs you, give whoever deprives you and be good to whoever is bad to you


Whatever I command you to do will bring you close to Almighty and whatever I prohibit you is what would distance you from your Almighty

Jummah Mubarak

ﻪﺗﺎﻛﺮﺑﻭﷲﺍﺔﻤﺣﺭﻭﻢﻜﻴﻠﻋﻡﻶﺴﻟﺍ


As-Salaamu-Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatu

Jummah Mubarak to you & your families on this Blessed day!

Those who joyfully leave everything in ALLAH's hand will eventually see ALLAH's hand in everything. Worries ends where faith begins.......

"I do not pretend to be a divine person, but I do believe in divine guidance, divine power, and in the fulfillment of divine prophecy. I am not educated, nor am I an expert in any particular field...but I am sincere and my sincerity is my credential."

The choicest of Blessings, Salutations, Salaams and Durood upon our Beloved Nabi Mohammed (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam), All praise to Almighty Allah for granting us another Jummah so that we can make use of this auspicious day to strengthen our Imaan and make Dua'a in huge congregations around the globe.

On this Mubarak day of Jummah, I make Dua'a for you:

May you each have not just a smile, not just happiness but pure joy, not just wealth but Jannah's bountiful treasures and not just silence but Divine Peace.

Make the remembrance of Allah(SWT), my garment, Oh Allah
Every utterance from my mouth be Your dhikr, Oh Allah.
Instead of breath, It should be Your dhikr from my throat, Oh Allah
Let this Dhikr never leave me And the last thing on my tongue O Creator be

La iIlaha Illallahu Muhammadur Rasullulah

Kindly remember the Ummah of Nabi (saw), the sick and oppressed as well as my family & I in your Dua'as, likewise we will do the same, Jazakallah

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Muslim Jobs Website

Assalaamu alaikum warahmatullah

Please share this info. with others, pass the news on, and may Allah SWT accept from us all.

InshaAllah you and many others would find benefit in the following:
A brand new job-posting portal aimed at bringing together & empowering the South African Muslim Community.


MuslimJobs provides FREE job postings & applications as well as lift club advertisments. Visit www.MuslimJobs.co.za now!

Eid Wear



These are just a few different styles that one could wear for Eid...














Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Marshallah...What a lovely site!







The Night of Power

Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasalam & the Night of Power

Verily, we have sent it (this Quran) down on the night of Al-Qadr (Power).
And what will make you know what the night of Al-Qadr (Power) is?
The night of Al-Qadr (Power) is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshipping Allah in that night is better than worshipping Him for a thousand months).
Therein descend the angels and Jibraeel by Allahs Permission with all decrees,
Peace! Until the appearance of dawn.
(Surah Al-Qadr 97)

Laylatul Qadr (the Night of Power) is a gift of Allah unto this Ummah. It is an opportunity which the Ummah should seize to obtain closeness to the Almighty through worship and seeking forgiveness from Him.

As in every other aspect of our Deen, Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasalam was a practical demonstration of how every Ummati (follower) should conduct themselves:
1. His salallahu alayhi wasalam exhortation to search for this night:
It is reported in a hadith, Search for it (Laylatul Qadr) among the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan. (Bukhari) Although scholars have differed greatly in stipulating exactly which of the odd night of the last ten days upon which the Night of Power occurs, the preferred view is that it is unknown to anyone besides Allah. The wisdom for it been kept a secret is in fact a mercy from Allah, so that we could increase in our worship and effort to search for the correct night. Ubadah bin Samit radhiyallahi anhu said, Once Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasalam came out to inform us of the exact date of Laylatul Qadr. Unfortunately, a quarrel took place between two Muslims whereupon he said, I came out to inform you as to when Laylatul Qadr occurs but because two people argued with each other, the knowledge of the correct date was taken away perhaps that is better for you. So seek it among the ninth, seventh, and fifth nights. Those that are continuously argue and fight should ponder at the harm being caused not only to the individual but rather the broader Muslim Ummah.

2. His salallahu alayhi wasalam encouragement towards good deeds:
Abu Hurairah radhiyallahi anhu narrates that Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasalam said, Whosoever stands in the worship of Allah on the night of Qadr with firm belief in Allah and a genuine hope of receiving reward, his past and future sins will be forgiven, and whosoever fasts during the month of Ramadan with firm belief in Allah and a genuine hope of receiving reward, his past and future sins will be forgiven. (Bukhari)

3. His salallahu alayhi wasalam performance of Itikaaf:
Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasalam said in a hadith, I secluded myself in Itikaaf during the first ten days of Ramadan searching for Laylatul Qadr. Then, I continued into Itikaaf for the next ten days. Thereafter, I was informed that it is in the last ten days; so whosoever desires to perform Itikaaf he should do so. So many people made Itikaaf with him. (Muslim)

4. His salallahu alayhi wasalam humbleness in worship:
It is surely a symbol of one whose heart has softened in awe of his Creator, has realized the reality of servitude to Allah and has acknowledged his own limitations to be most humble before Allah. Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasalam was a personification of this. Abu Saeed Khudri radhiyallahi anhu narrates that once it rained on the evening of the twenty first of Ramadan and the masjid of Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasalam leaked. My eyes fell upon the messenger of Allah salallahu alayhi wasalam the next morning and his blessed face was soiled with mud and water. (Bukhari)

5. His salallahu alayhi wasalam teachings regarding the Night
Aisha radhiyallahi anha narrated that she asked Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasalam, If I happen to find the night of power, what should I say in dua? He replied, Recite:[Allahumma innaka afuwwun tuhibbul afwa fafu anni] Translation: O Allah! You are the Most Forgiving, the Most Generous, You love to forgive, so please forgive me. (Muslim) This is an all inclusive dua begging Allah for His infinite grace and mercy. As Allah mentions in the Quran, this night brings along with it a group of angels who descend along with Jibraeel alayhis salaam. They visit every home, dwelling or shelter wherein a Muslim is worshiping Allah, greet them and join in by saying Ameen to his dua.

6. His salallahu alayhi wasalam mention regarding the signs of this night
In a narration cited in Baihaqi and Muwatta, Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasalam while describing the meirts of this night said, Among the signs of this night is that it is a serene, quiet, shinning night; neither too hot nor too cold but moderate. It is as if though the moon is shinning clear and no stars are flung at the devils on this night. It lasts until the break of dawn. Another sign is that in the morning, the sun rises without any radiant beams, appearing rather like moon in its fullness. On that day, Allah prohibits the Shayateen (devils) from rising up with the sun.

Ramadan has come and it is quickly on its way out. We are well into the last ten days of Ramadan and the opportunities will soon be no more.

Ramadan is an opportunity to drink of the Mercy of Allah and obtain His forgiveness. Unfortunate is he who is unable to attain this. The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) explained in a hadeeth that three people are extremely unfortunate. One from amongst them is he who finds himself in the month of Ramadan but still does not manage to obtain the forgiveness of Allah.

The remaining nights are valuable and should be spent in the worship of Allah and in excessive du`aa. Du`aa should include durud, istighfaar and an earnest plea for imaan and hidayah. Parents, children and families should be remembered. Those that have passed away should not be forgotten. Those in need should also be prayed for as well as those in difficulty and those suffering oppression and injustice. Du`aa should also be made for the establishments of deen and for protection of Islam and Muslims all over the world. Du`aa for the hidayah of mankind must be made. In the current situation we find ourselves and our country, du`aa for guidance, peace and prosperity should also be incorporated.

Ramadan is also a period of giving and we should try to spend as much as possible on those less fortunate during these last few days. Importantly, sadaqatul fitr should not be forgotten or even delayed.
May Allah (subhanahu wa ta`aala) guide us in all that we do, and may He accept our ibaadah and efforts. May He accept all our du`aas. Aameen.


The End of an Era

The End of an Era
While South African expatriates in Australia, the UK and various other parts of the world sit on the sidelines observing the peculiar developments in South Africa, saying, We made the right move while the Afro-pessimists take delight in their dj vu feel While some radio station hosts sarcastically mimic the comments of political actors in apparent disbelief While analysts mock the reasoning behind various decisions While cartoonists are having real field day

all the while, the South African public sit in utter disbelief at what has hit them. They struggle to come to terms with what has transpired and what the consequences of this most recent episode in the current muddle of events that have played themselves out on the South African political stage. They attempt to pinpoint where things went awry. They apprehensively watch if things have not fallen apart. They endeavour to delve into the hearts and minds of those that have chosen to take the path they cause the South African people to tread on, plodding and labouring along to a destination that no one is certain of.

Commentators insist that it is no surprise that ex-President Thabo Mbeki finds himself where he is, unceremoniously axed by his own party, a party that he loyally served for over fifty-two years. They suggest that he was the architect of his own destruction and should have seen the writing on the wall. Many intimate that justice has been served upon a man that had become used to quietly serving injustice - a man whose leadership style exuded nothing but intimations of autocracy; a man that had assumed a condescending attitude towards all others; a man that had circled himself with those that were true to only him; a man that eliminated, in a calculated manner and without conscience, any that could even be considered to be a threat to his authority; a man that stood and acted with no emotion and feelings; a man that believed he could do no wrong; a man that thought that he would never wane in the eyes of the people; a man who often thought that he could pull wool over the eyes of all the people, supporting his allies when their wrongdoings were displayed for all to see a wooden character that had established himself as a giant that could not be toppled.

Other commentators suggest that the current events create the fear of a scenario of unprincipled rule based upon law of the jungle of survival and vengeance. A scenario of the existence of an administration that is hell-bent on achieving its own aims regardless of the consequences.

Admittedly, it was clear that Mbeki would be removed from a position of influence. Very few, however, suspected that he would actually be removed from the position of President, especially since he had a few months left to serve as President. In any event, many say that the ANC were already calling most shots, with Mothlante being privy to all information and part and parcel of every decision. The timing, speed and cruel, cold and callous manner of removing Mbeki in one swift and decisive swipe is frightening to most.

Whatever the case, the consequences of the ANC decision are many. Political analysts have advised that the decision has created an environment of uncertainty. Even though the markets have not yet reacted negatively, the possibility of foreign investment must be adversely effected since the basis of any investment is stability and an environment of certainty which generates confidence. In the absence of this a situation of financial turmoil can easily evolve over a period of time.

The ANC decision also creates an environment where there exists the probability of no closure on matters such as the arms deal and the accusations against Zuma. It also raises concern as to how the ANC will govern in the future. Questions about whether Zuma is making decisions and who is really in charge have also been raised. It has also been asked as to why it was not possible to employ institutions that have been created for resolving differences to get to the bottom of issues.

In a situation where Zimbabwes future is uncertain, the world economy is failing, there is a high volatility of currencies, the undercurrents of private political battles being fought out in the economic field are clearly existent, and now Mbekis firing, it is important that things are sorted out as soon as possible.

All we can do is hope and pray that sanity prevails in the interest of the nation.

Please Assist - Tasneem Kasoo Survivor Fund

As-Salaamu-Aalaikum

TASNEEM KASOO : SURVIVOR FUND

I have spoken to Brother Haroon Bhayat personally and he advises that this is not a hoax. Kindly assist in which ever way possible. May the Almighty Allah (swt) reward each of you richly for your efforts, Aameen

Just 6 days ago, TASNEEM KASOO, 13 years old, had not a care in the world. Her life was full of love and joy until her family's car met in a head on collision with a drunken driver just 30 km from her home. Today TASNEEM lays in a hospital bed, being the only survivor of a car crash that took the lives of her mum, dad, grandmother and 19 year old sister.

This tragedy has left TASNEEM with her two elder brothers MOHAMED and YUSUF orphans with soaring medical bills. Fortunately she still has the love of her two brothers who have also suffered this great loss and now they bear great responsibilities at their young ages.

TASNEEM requires multiple surgeries before she can recover fully (physically).

Whoever wishes to help contribute, please feel free to deposit into the following account:

Acc Name: Aziza Chotia
Bank: HBZ Bank Fordsburg
Acc number: 21101285
Branch code: 570105

For further information, kindly contact any of the following people:
* Haroon Bhyat 083 786 6204

This message was composed with immense grief on behalf of the Bhyat and Kasoo families of Amersfoort and Volskrust respectively.

Your Dua'as will be highly appreciated in this blessed month of Ramadaan, Jazakallah

Ramadaan Around the World

As-Salaamu-Alaikum

If you have some time, please view this website:-

http://www.boston. com/bigpicture/ 2008/09/observin g_ramadan. html

Please write a note of appreciation to Editor at Boston Globe for this positive photo essay.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Our Life

Al-Qura'an 2:201:'Our Lord! Give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter, and defend us from the torment of the Fire!'

One day of the many days
There was a man travelling on a trip with his Wife and Kids

And on the way he met someone standing in the roadway

So he asked him:
Who are you?
He said:
I am the money

So the man asked his wife and kids : Should we ask him to ride with us?


They said together: Yes of course because with the money it can help us if we wanted to do anything, and if we wanted to get anything we desired

So they took the Money to ride with them
.And the vehicle continued its way until the man met someone else on the road

So the Father asked:
Who are you?

He said:
I am the high position and power

So the father asked his wife and kids : Should we ask him to ride with us?


So they all answered together in one voice:


Yes of course because with the high position and power we have the ability to do anything we want and own anything we desired.


So they took the high position and power with them

And the vehicle continued to finish its trip


And likewise he met in the same manner many people which give the pleasures and desires of this life, UNTIL ..
They met one person on the way..

The Father asks him Who are you?


He said: I am the Deen (Islam)


So the father, wife, and kids said all together in one voice: No no this isn't the time, we desire the pleasures of this life and Duniyah, and the Deen will prevent us and ban us from these things and it will take control over us, and we will be worn-out from being loyal to it and its learning. And the Halaal and the Haraam, and this thing prayer and that thing Hijaab, and this fasting , and and and and and etc, It will be a burden upon us!!!


But what is certain is that we will definitely return for you to pick you up but only after we enjoy this life and everything in it.


So sadly they left him behind and the vehicle continued its trip.



And out of no where something appeared in the middle of the road


It was a check point in the road and it had a sign saying


STOP!!!


And they found a man gesturing for the father to get out of the vehicle

So the man said to the father: The trip has ended as far as you are concerned!!! !

And it is upon you to get out and come with me.



The father was shocked with fear and didn't say a word.



So the man said to him: I am searching for the DEEN. Is he with you?


He answered: No I left him not too far back. So if you can let me go back, I can get him for you :


You do not have the ability to go back, your trip has ended and there is no going back now.. returning is impossible said the man

Um uh¦but but I have


The Money,
The high position and power, My Wife, My Kids, and and and and and and on.


The man said to him: They will not benefit you nor will they protect you in front of Allah. Not one bit!


And you will leave all of this, and not one of them will help you except for The Deen you know? The one which YOU left back in the road.
So the father asked: And who are you exactly?

I AM DEATH


The one which you were heedless of and didn't take into account in your trip!!


The father looked at his vehicle and found his wife taking control of it and continuing the trip with all of its passengers but him a
nd none of them stayed with him, and none of them helped him in any way.

His Majesty said:

'Say: If it be that your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your mates, or your kindred; the wealth that ye have gained; the commerce in which ye fear a decline: or the dwellings in which ye delight - are dearer to you than Allah, or His Messenger, or the striving in His cause;- then wait until Allah brings about His decision: and Allah guides not the rebellious.' Qura'an
9:24

And Allah the Majestic said:
'Every soul shall have a taste of death: And only on the Day of Judgment shall you be paid your full recompense. Only he who is saved far from the Fire and admitted to the Garden will have attained the object (of Life): For the life of this world is but goods and chattels of deception.' Qura'an 3:185

Friday, September 19, 2008

Jummah Mubarak


As-Salaamu-Alaikum


The choicest of Blessings, Salutations, Salaams and

Durood upon our Beloved Nabi Mohammed (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam),


All praise to Almighty Allah for granting us another Jummah so that we can make use of this auspicious day to strengthen our Imaan and make Dua'a in huge congregations around the globe.



On this Mubarak day, Wishing you:


- not just a smile but laughter,


- not just happiness but pure joy,


- not just wealth but Heavens treasures


- and not just silence but Divine peace.



Make the remembrance of Allah(SWT), my garment, my Lord
Every utterance from my mouth be Your dhikr, my Lord.
Instead of breath, It should be Your Dhikr from my throat, my lord
Let this Dhikr never leave me
And be the last thing on my tongue O Creator.
La iIlaha Illallahu Muhammadur Rasullulah


SALAAH
Salaah is a basic pillar of Islam

It is mentioned again and again in the Qura'an
The importance of prayer is in seven hundred places
But in the Masjid, do you see many young faces?


Praying in the Masjid gives 27 times the reward
Pray with the intention that you're pleasing your Lord
When you walk to the Masjid, just remember within
You gain a reward and you're losing a sin


For every step towards your destination
This is a blessing from Allah swt to his creation
The Quran has foretold, that before you are dead
‘Say your prayers before your prayers are said'


Our prophet (saws) said about those who miss prayer
Fifteen punishments they'll have to bear
Six in this life, three on passing away
Three in the grave and three on judgement day


For missing Fajr at the start of the day
The glow of the face is taken away
The punishment for missing the Salaah of Thuhr
There will be no blessing from your income no more


For missing Asr, the middle prayer of the day
The strength of the body is taken away
By missing Maghrib, remember one thing
You will not be benefited by your offspring


For missing Esha at the end of the day
The peace of your sleep will be taken away
While seeing elders pray at the Masjid door
Remember as a young person, your reward is 70 times more


Read Salaah punctually, read it with care
On judgement day, we will be asked about prayer
That’s the first question, so take this advice
Salaah is the key to paradise


Spread this word to Muslim sisters and brothers
Salaah will separate Muslims from others
Salaah is a blessing which Allah swt gave
It will intercede and protect us in the grave


When it comes eventually, to the day of rising
The believer’s body washed by Wudhu will be shining
For the believers who are regular in offering Salaah
It becomes a light of guidance on the pul-e-siraat


Jummah Mubarak

From the Vatican to Al Azhar

Idris Tawfiq, a British Catholic priest who became a convert to Islam, is a source of fascination in his adopted home in Cairo . Mary Fitzgerald spoke to him about his personal journey of discovery.


A De La Salle brother for 15 years, Idris later studied for the priesthood in Rome . Doubts about his vocation eventually led him to leave the priesthood, triggering a period of uncertainty about what direction his life would take.

He decided to take some time off, booking a charter flight to Hurghada, a package holiday resort that hugs Egypt 's Red Sea coast. Soon bored of the beach, he headed to Cairo and experienced a culture shock quite different to what he had expected. For the first time in his life he met and talked to Muslims, observing their rituals up close. Hearing the call to prayer and watching people stop everything to turn towards Mecca left a deep impression.

"That week's holiday more than anything else changed my life," he explains. "It began to sow the seeds of Islam within me. It was the first time I had spoken to, or even met, Muslims. I saw that they weren't sabre-rattling fanatics, they were just ordinary people. More than that, they were very gentle people and faith-filled in a way I had never seen before."

“On my return I resumed my old job of teaching religion. The only compulsory subject in British education is Religious Studies. I was teaching about Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and others. So everyday I had to read about these religions to be able to teach my lessons to the students, many of whom were Arab Muslim refugees. In other words, teaching about Islam taught me many things.

“Unlike many troublesome teenagers, these students set a good example of what a Muslim could be. They were polite and kind. So a friendship developed between us and they asked if they could use my classroom for prayers during the fasting month of Ramadan. “Luckily, my room was the only one with a carpet. So I got accustomed to sitting at the back, watching them praying for a month. I sought to encourage them by fasting during Ramadan with them, even though I wasn’t yet a Muslim. “Once while reciting a translation of the holy Qur’an in class I reached the verse: ‘And when they listen to the revelation received by the Messenger, thou wilt see their eyes overflowing with tears, for they recognize the truth.’ To my surprise, I felt tears welling up in my eyes and I tried hard to hide it from the students.”

A chance meeting with Yusuf Islam, formerly Cat Stevens, at London 's Central Mosque, proved pivotal. "I found myself asking him 'What do you actually do to become a Muslim?'. He answered that a Muslim should believe in one God, pray five times a day and fast during Ramadan. I interrupted him saying that I believed all this and had even fasted with my Muslim students during Ramadan. "So he asked, 'What are you waiting for? What is holding you back?' I told him I didn't intend to convert. "At that moment the call to prayer was made and everyone got ready and stood in lines to pray. I sat at the back, and I cried and cried. Then I said to myself, 'Who am I trying to fool?'"

The formal process of conversion in Islam is simple. In front of witnesses, the would-be Muslim recites the Shahada, or declaration of faith, acknowledging the existence of one God, Allah, with Mohammed as his prophet.

Idris formally converted in the venerable surroundings of Cairo 's Al Azhar mosque, Sunni Islam's oldest seat of learning. He later took the Muslim name Idris Tawfiq - Idris, the name of a prophet, and Tawfiq, the Arabic word for good fortune.
"People and events led me to Islam," he says. "What made me leave the church was not any problem I had with it. And it wasn't about belief or anything like that. "I cherish my past in the church, I enjoyed what I did, I love all those people I worked with and treat what they believe with reverence. I just wasn't happy inside."

He falters when asked what he sees in Islam that Catholicism lacked. "That's a very loaded question," he says, grimacing.
The biggest difference, then? "I would say that Islam is completely God-centred," he answers tentatively. "It is not about what Jesus did for me and it's not about offering prayers for myself. The whole thing revolves around Allah.

"The other thing is that Islam covers every aspect of life. It's not a going-to-church-on-Sunday religion, it's not even a going-to-Mass-every-morning and leading a good and holy life religion. "Islam tells you how to greet people, how to eat your food, how to enter a room - how to do everything in life. Whilst Muslims are not saints, Islam encourages Muslims to think about God all the time. Islam, in its essence, attributes everything to God. For Muslims, Islam is everything."

Did he experience periods of doubt leading up to his conversion? "No, none at all," he answers. "Although one of my barriers to becoming a Muslim was the story of Abraham. The Bible says Abraham was going to sacrifice his son Isaac, the Koran says it was Ismael. "It may seem odd, but I wrestled with this for a long time. I thought one of them must be wrong, both cannot be right. But at the end of the day, as with any faith, you have to take that leap and accept the essence of what Islam says. "I have no problem with 'There is no God but God' - I've always believed in that. And Muhammad is his messenger? I have learned and come to understand that core."

There is little data available on the number of converts to Islam. One survey in the US claims 100,000 people convert every year. The same research found that for every male that converts to Islam, four women do the same. A recent study by Yahya (formerly Jonathan) Birt, son of Lord Birt, former director-general of the BBC, used census figures to conclude that there are now 14,200 white converts in Britain .

"I think people who embrace Islam see a calmness and simplicity that many have not experienced before," says Idris. "I don't see it as rigid, it's empowering. Islam is beautiful, sweet and gentle. "All the values that used to exist in Britain and Ireland 30 or 40 years ago - respect for your parents, your elders - they all exist in the Muslim world still."


Idris Tawfiq’s website can be accessed at www.idristawfiq.com

Primary Source:
‘On the road from the Vatican to Al Azhar’ by Mary Fitzgerald. Mary Fitzgerald is the winner of the Douglas Gageby Fellowship. Her reports on the "The Faces of Islam" appear in Friday's Irish Times.
Secondary source:
‘One man’s journey to Islam’ by Manal Abdul Aziz

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Taraweeh Salaah in Alexandria - Egypt




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First Six Days of Shawwaal

I have been advised that it is good to fast the first six days of Shawwaal. Is this true and why is it advisable, what are the significance of the first six days? Does the first six days of Shawaal start after Eid day?

It is virtuous to fast for six days during Shawwaal. It is not necessarily have to be the first six days. Hazrat Abu Ayyoob Radiallaahu 'anhu relates that Rasulullah Sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam has said "Whoever fasted the full month of Ramadaan and then followed it with six fasts of Shawwaal is like the person who has fasted the whole year".

For more information you can visit our website http://www.islamsa.org.za/ramadan/Kitabus_saum_13.htm

And Allah Tala Knows Best

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Iftaar in Madinah



What a lovely site this is, Inshallah we too can be here amongst those embarking upon Umrah during the Blessed month of Ramadaan, Aameen






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Dua'a for Laylat-ul-Qadr

Aisha Radhi Allahu Anha narrates : I asked : "O Nabi Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam, if I get to know which night Laylat-ul-Qadr is, what Dua'a should I make?" Nabi Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam replied:

"Say' Allaahumma innaka afoowun kareemun tuhibbul afwa fa'fu anni." (Tirmidhi)

اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ كَرِيمٌ تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّى

Translation: O Allah! You are most forgiving and compassionate. You love to forgive, so forgive me.

The Muslim Ummah is truly indebted to Aisha Radhi Allahu Anha for posing this important question to Nabi Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam.

The Qura'an teaches us that worship on Laylat-ul-Qadr is equivalent to more than a thousand months of worship (about 83 years).

Nabi Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam has advised us to search for Laylat-ul-Qadr during the odd nights of the last ten nights of Ramadhaan. We should spend as much of these nights in Salaah, Dua'a, recitation of Qura'an and Zikrullaah.

Also try and give out some Lillah or Sadaqah. The bare minimum we should do is to ensure that we perform our Esha and Fajr Salaah on time.

Remember to seek forgiveness for oneself, ones parents, ones family, ones ustaads, the deceased and the entire Ummah of Nabi Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam.

A Speech at the United Nations that made world community smile

An ingenious example of speech and politics occurred recently in the United Nations Assembly and made the world community smile.

A representative from Palestine began: 'Before beginning my talk I want to tell you something about Moses. When he struck the rock and it brought forth water, he thought, 'What a good opportunity to have a bath!'

He removed his clothes, put them aside on the rock and entered the water. When he got out and wanted to dress, his clothes had vanished. An Israeli had stolen them.'

The Israeli representative jumped up furiously and shouted: 'What are you talking about? The Israeli weren't there then.'

The Palestinian representative smiled and said: 'And now that we have made that clear, I will begin my speech.'