Monday, October 31, 2011

Allah's infinite mercy & blessings

O Allâh swt,

I told you: I'm in pain...

You said: 'Do not despair of the mercy of Allâh' (39:53)

I told you: Nobody knows what is in my heart...

You said: 'Verily, in the remembrance of Allâh do hearts find rest' (13:28)

I told you: Many people hurt me...

You said: 'So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them' (3:159)

I told you: I feel I'm alone...

You said: 'We are closer to him than [his] jugular vein' (50:16)

I told you: My sins are so many...

You said: 'And who can forgive sins except Allâh' (3:135)

I told you: Do not leave me...

You said: 'So remember Me; I will remember you...' (2:152)

I told you: I'm facing a lot of difficulties in life...

You said: 'And whoever fears Allâh He will make for him a way out' (65:2)

I told you: I have many dreams that I want to come true...

You said: 'Call upon Me; I will respond to you.' (40:60)

How could this slave not love You with his body and soul?

I LOVE YOU, ALLÂH SWT !!! Alhamdulillâh for Your infinite blessings!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Submission - Al Hijjah


The days of Haj are with us. Those who undertake this momentous journey will be constantly reminded of Sayyidina Ebrahim (alaihis salaam), his wife Hazrath Hajra (alaihas salaam) and his son Hazrath Ismail (alaihis salaam). The Ka’ba Shareef that the Haji will perform tawaaf of was built by this illustrious father and son. The seven rounds between mount Safa and Marwa is the living reminder of the anxious running at that very pace by Hazrath Hajra (alaihas salaam) in search of water for her infant son. The precious water of zam zam makes one ponder over the thirst of Hazrath Ismail (alaihis salaam) and the extreme concern of his mother - until finally this miracle was granted to them. These are but just a few of the reminders of this illustrious family. Nevertheless, one tremendous lesson that shines extra-ordinarily in the lives of these great personalities is the level of their unquestioning submission to the command of Allah Ta’ala. In these blessed days of Haj we should be learning especially this lesson from them and enacting it in our lives.

Consider the command of Allah Ta’ala to Hazrath Ebrahim (alaihis salaam) to leave his wife and infant child alone in a barren land. No amount of human intelligence can fathom the wisdom behind this command. A solitary innocent woman and an infant child being left alone in a desert without any apparent means of survival is something that seems senseless. Had it been one of our liberal thinkers of today, he would have readily “re-interpreted” this command of Allah Ta’ala. Many would have at least asked: “But why must I do this?” Hazrath Ebrahim (alaihis salaam) however responded very differently. He responded by doing exactly what he was told. Without any question he leaves his wife and child in the barren land and quietly turns to return. He lived up to his declaration which the Glorious Qur’an has preserved for eternity. Allah Ta’ala says: “And remember the time when your Lord said to him (Ebrahim alaihis salaam) ‘Submit!’ He (Ebrahim alaihis salaam) replied “I have submitted to the Lord of the worlds” (2:131). And indeed he submitted without any hesitation and did what many today would have termed senseless - he left his wife and child in a desert without any apparent means of survival.

COMMAND OF ALLAH TA'ALA?As he turns to leave, his wife Hazrath Hajra (alaihas salaam) asks in utter astonishment: “Are you going to leave us here?” This was the response of a normal human being. Anyone would have been perturbed at being left in a desert totally exposed to the elements. But her question is met with silence from Hazrath Ebrahim (alaihis salaam) who was commanded not to say anything. His silence in this trying situation was also an act of submission. Hazrath Hajra (alaihas salaam) repeated the question, but to no avail. She finally rephrases the question and asks: “Is this the command of Allah Ta’ala?” Hazrath Ebrahim (alaihis salaam) indicates positively. That was all she needed to know. Without any further question she exclaims: “In that case He will not allow us to perish.” Subhanallah. What absolute submission to the command of Allah Ta’ala. No cries of “discrimination” were heard from her - as many women of our times would have done. No question was raised about whether this was “democratic.” There was no clamour for "equality". No sooner did she come to know that she was being left in that barren place on the command of Allah Ta’ala, she fully submitted to it. No “ifs” and “buts.” No “I cannot understand this” or “it doesn't make sense.” Nothing of the sort. Only total submission was to be seen.

When Hazrath Ebrahim (alaihis salaam) was commanded to slaughter his son, he again submitted without any question and prepared himself to carry out the task. Consider this command at face value and it seems to be totally illogical. Had it been one of our enlightened modern thinkers of today, he would have certainly asked: "But what did my son do? How can I slaughter an innocent child?" Or, perhaps, he would have just gone ahead and "re-interpreted" the command. But this was Khalilullah, Hazrath Ebrahim (alaihis salaam). He proceeded to carry out the command of Allah Ta'ala without any question. When his son, the young Hazrath Ismail (alaihis salaam) becomes aware that he is soon to be slaughtered on the command of Allah Ta’ala, he immediately submits and responds: “O my father, do what you have been commanded. You will soon find me to be among the patient” (37:102). No protest. No rebellion. No question. Just total submission to the command of Allah Ta’ala.

We also have claimed to have submitted ourselves to Allah Ta’ala. Islam means “submission.” A “Muslim” is one who submits. The time has come for some sincere soul searching. To what extent have we submitted to the clear commands of Allah Ta’ala and His beloved Rasul (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)? When Allah Ta’ala has declared: “O you who Believe; fear Allah and forsake what is left of interest (2:278),” do we stop and submit? When the Qur’an-e-Kareem exhorts the Believing men and women to lower their gazes, how do we respond? When Allah Ta’ala commands the women: “And remain firmly within your homes (33:33)” do we see the example of the unquestioning submission of Hazrath Hajra (alaihas salaam) being implemented? The same question should be asked about the command of Allah Ta’ala to the Believing women to "bring close upon them their jilbaab (hijaab)” (33:55).

When we are informed that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) closed his ears at the sound of music and that he declared: “I have been sent to destroy musical instruments,” do we submit and eradicate all music out of our lives? Or do we just ignore these Ahadith and instead promote music by playing it ourselves in our homes and businesses, by having music on hold on our telephones, by installing musical doorbells, etc? Similarly, what about the injunctions pertaining to all our ibaadat, monetary affairs and social interactions?

The time has come to fully submit to the commands of Allah Ta’ala in the manner that Ebrahim (alaihis salaam) and his family have displayed. No questions about “why this?” and “why that?” No re-interpretations and no waiting to see if it “makes sense” to us. All we need to establish is what the command of Allah Ta’ala and His Rasul (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is. Then we merely need to submit to His command.May Allah Ta’ala make us true Muslims - those who submit totally unto Him. Aameen.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The amazing ant - Brilliant New version

To all the ANTS that I know We can make a difference!


AND THE GRASSHOPPER This one is a little different .......Two Different Versions .....

There are Different Morals

The amazing ant - Brilliant New version


The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and
laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.
Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed.
The grasshopper has no food or shelter,
so he dies out in the cold.


Be responsible for yourself!


The ant works hard in the withering heat and the rain all summer long, building his house
and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while he is cold and starving.

CNN, SABC TV1, 2 & 3, M-Net
and Carte Blanche
show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with
a table filled with food.
The country is stunned by the sharp contrast.

How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is
allowed to suffer so?

Kermit the Frog
appears on Rian
with the grasshopper and everybody cries when they sing, 'It's Not Easy Being Black..'

stages a demonstration in front of the ant's house where the news stations film the group singing, We shall overcome.

Then Rev. Desmond Tutu
has the group kneel down to pray for the grasshopper's sake.

President Zooooma
condemns the ant
and blames President de Klerk, President PW Botha, HF Verwoerd and Apartheid for the grasshopper's plight.
Julius Malema
exclaim in an interview with TV News that the ant has
gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper,
and both call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his fair share.

Finally, the Government drafts the Economic Equity & Anti-Grasshopper Act
retroactive to the beginning of the summer.

The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of black bugs (BBE) and,
having nothing left to pay his retroactive
taxes, his home is confiscated under the Government Land Repo Act and given to the grasshopper.

The story ends as we see the grasshopper and his free-loading friends finishing up the last bits of the ant's food while the government house he is in, which, as you recall, just happens to be the ant’s old house, crumbles around them because the grasshopper doesn't maintain it.

The ant has disappeared to Australia,
never to be seen again.

The grasshopper is found dead in a Drugs related incident, and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of Nigerian spiders who terrorize and ramshackle, the once prosperous and peaceful, neighborhood.

The entire Nation collapses bringing the rest
of Africa with it.


Be careful how you vote in 2012

Are you an ant or grasshopper?

You may wish to pass this on to other ants, but don't bother sending it on to any grasshoppers because they wouldn't understand it, anyway.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Hajj: A Celebration of Peace

More than two million people surround me. We all have one common goal, one purpose for being here together. I do not stand out from anyone else. There are no signs of wealth or greatness upon me. No Rolex watch or Nike shoes to mark me as a rich person. I am one person alone, in a sea of humanity.The people around me are young and old, male and female, rich and poor. We represent humankind in our diversity, yet we are united. We are an embodiment of unity in diversity. Where am I? I'm at hajj.

Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam. Muslims declare that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is His messenger. They pray, they fast, they pay obligatory charity, and they go to hajj. Hajj is a pilgrimage to the city of Makah in Saudi Arabia.

People make this journey prepared to stand at the House of God, the Kabah, and affirm their love for God and His religion of Islam.

(And proclaim to humankind the hajj (pilgrimage). They will come to you on foot and on every lean camel, they will come from every deep and distant (wide) mountain highway (to perform hajj)) (Al-Hajj 22:27)

Hajj commemorates Prophet Abraham, his wife Hajar, and their son Ismail (Ishmael), and the sacrifices and hardships they endured to establish the city of Makkah and the house of God.

More than two million Muslims stand in one place, wearing the same simple clothing, following the same rituals, and saying the same words. They are united in their devotion to God. The black man stands next to the white man, and they call on God with one voice. The king stands beside the pauper, and they declare their submission to the will of God using the same words.

Muslims from every corner of the globe are united in their submission to the will of God. They cry out as if with one voice, "Here I am O God, here I am at your service, and You have no partner. Here I am. All praise, grace, and dominion belong to you. You have no partner."

This supplication is said repeatedly by the pilgrims. It is their answer to God's call for the Muslims to perform Hajj. These words are repeated with joy and reverence by all, regardless of status or class.

Islam is the religion of unity. Repeatedly throughout the Quran, God reminds the believers that they must remain united and seek strength through unity. Hajj epitomizes this unity. People from every race and color come together in submission to the will of God.

Muslims are one brotherhood and they come together with a sense of purpose and a desire for peace.

(The believers are nothing else but brothers (in Islam). So make reconciliation between your brothers, and fear God, that you may receive mercy.) (Al Hujurat, 39:10)

(And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of God (this Quran), and be not divided among yourselves, and remember God's favor on you, for you were enemies one to another but He joined your hearts together, so that, by His Grace, you became brethren (in Islam), and you were on the brink of a pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus God makes His signs clear to you, that you may be guided) (Aal `Imran 3:103)

Muslims at hajj are one people, they are a soothing sea of humanity, gathered together to worship One God. Muslims turn their faces in one direction and submit to the will of God. They are united by their love of God, and united in their diversity.

Friday, October 21, 2011

An Insightful Story...

An insightful analogy of Helen Zille, Premier of the Western Cape:

"I bought a bird feeder. I hung it on my back porch and filled it with seed. What a beauty of a bird feeder it was, as I filled it lovingly with seed. Within a week we had hundreds of birds taking advantage of the continuous flow of free and easily accessible food.

But then the birds started building nests in the boards of the patio, above the table, and next to the barbecue. Then came the poop. It was everywhere: on the patio tile, the chairs, the table . everywhere! Then some of the birds turned mean. They would dive bomb me and try to peck me even though I had fed them out of my own pocket. And others birds were boisterous and loud. They sat on the feeder and squawked and screamed at all hours of the day and night and demanded that I fill it when it got low on food.

After a while, I couldn't even sit on my own back porch anymore. So I took down the bird feeder and in three days the birds were gone. I cleaned up their mess and took down the many nests they had built all over the patio. Soon, the back yard was like it used to be .. quiet, serene.. and no one demanding their rights to a free meal.

Now let's see.
Our government gives out free food, subsidized housing, free medical care and free education, and allows anyone born here to be an automatic citizen. Then the illegals came by the tens of thousands. Suddenly our taxes went up to pay for free services; small apartments are housing 5 families; you have to wait 6 hours to be seen by an emergency room doctor; your child's second grade class is behind other schools because over half the class doesn't speak English. Corn Flakes now come in a bilingual box; I have to 'press one' to hear my bank talk to me in English, and people waving flags other than our flag are squawking and screaming in the streets, demanding more rights and free liberties.

Just my opinion, but maybe it's time for the government to take down the bird feeder. If you agree, pass it on; if not, continue cleaning up the poop."

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The spiritual journey of a lifetime

The spiritual journey of a lifetime

Madinah – October 15, 2011

I was so pleased for having the opportunity to pour zam zam for an old Turkish woman in Masjidun Nabawey. She looked at me almost surprised, but accepted the offer graciously. I like the Turks. Despite what people have told me about them before this trip to Medina and Mecca. People said that the Turkish women are rough, that they will push you and trample you even. I guess there is some truth to what they say, but they do it not without their reasons.

They care for their old, they have a strong sense of sisterhood, and they have an unprecedented love for the Beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be upon him). So how different are they from us?

Turks are just one of the highlights of Medina. Of course, the main one being the Kabr of the blessed Rasull (PBUH), his companions; Abu Bakr and Umar (RA), and the piece of Heaven on earth: Rawdatul Jannah. One can never get enough of the Rawdah!

The Arab women are nice too, Malaysians are very polite, kind of remind me of South Africans, and I say that with as much modesty as possible!

I haven’t seen much of Medinah yet, going between the Movenpick hotel and the Haram, but already it seems so peaceful, calm and serene. I don’t think any other words can describe the city of the Prophet.

I’ve been largely on my own, not being a ‘groupie’ and all, and I’m glad for it, as I got to interact with the women from other countries a lot. People are all warm toward each other here. It’s amazing how the love for one person can unite such diverse nations. We speak different languages but our hearts beat with the same tune.

On entering Medinah I was so afraid of being deadened to the beauty of the place. Being in transit for nearly 2 days can wreak havoc on one’s emotions. I think I probably used all 12 bags of sabr on the way here!! But immediately after immigration I felt the coolness. It was amazing and all the voices of people back home kept replaying in my head: “Once you get off the plane in Medinah, you will forget everything back home.”

The bus drive to the hotel was awesome too - as we drove closer to the haram, the tears kept welling until my eyelids could no longer contain them and they came pouring down. I could feel my heart being cleansed already.

Once we received the keys to the room I immediately wanted to go to the haram- how can one sleep knowing that the Prophet (PBUH) is just outside? SubhanAllah! He is here now!
But that plan was crushed as the doors to the ladies section closes at 11pm. In hindsight I suppose it was better to have been fresh and clean when greeting the Prophet for the first time.

We went in at 7am the next morning and waited for about two and and half hours before we could make salaah on the Rawdah and do our greeting.
It was surreal- as I made sujood I could actually feel my body lifting-defying gravity, in a non-physical sense. And my shoulders just shook- my whole body shivered. I didn’t think I would have that kind of reaction-crazy-crowd and all-but I did.

I think what helped me a lot was the dua’s I made as a traveller: I asked Allah to make me worthy of this experience, to make my heart permeable to the barakah of it, so to speak.

The power of dua’ is something that I struggle to comprehend. I’m not a dua’ person. But this trip has taught me a thing or two about making dua’ and its importance. I’ve seen this manifested in the dua’ I made about being blinded to all evil, ugliness and negativity- on the advice of two colleagues. It really works- I love everyone here! Even if they don’t love me that much when they nearly push me to the ground and trample on my head whilst making sujood! But I love them non-the-less. I love the air, the cleanliness, the truthfulness and the people of Medinah! May Allah bring me back again and again, let me live here, die here and resurrect me with those who are buried here, Aameen.

Experiencing Madina

Experiencing Madina

The following blog is written by former VOC reporter, Alia Limbada, now presently performing her first hajj.

MADINA ENTRY - Today was a heart-wrenching one as we visited mount Uhud and the burial-ground of the 70 martyrs who were killed in the battle of Uhud. I kept remembering how Hamza (RA), the lion of Allah, was brutally murdered and mutilated- the thought was more than overwhelming. I kept hoping that I too, my family and progeny can be of those who are the fighters of this deen. I kept asking Allah not to make us of those who disobey the khalifah/ruler, like those 50 archers who disobeyed our beloved Rasool (PBUH) and left their post to run for the booty of this world.

The drive to Masjidul Quba was equally emotional - I imagined the beloved Prophet and Abu Bakr (RA) riding into Quba, the very same ground that I was standing on, and the people of Medinah chanting: “Taala-al Badru Alayna…” SubhanAllah! I pictured the prophet carrying heavy bricks with his own hands to build this masjid. He was the leader of the Muslims, yet he worked like your regular Jack. What humility.

And thinking of that made me realise that coming to Medinah is not only about making 40 consecutive salaahs in Masjidun Nabawey, praying on the Rawdah and greeting the blessed kabr of the prophet (PBUH). It’s about emulating his (PBUH) lifestyle- and what a perfect time to do so, when there are thousands of Muslims to help, hundreds of thousands to greet, to speak to, to smile at and to share with.

I was especially pleased today, because I was touched so much by the history of Medinah that I managed to, for a day, polish my character. I shared my salaah mat with 2 Indonesians, I helped a Malaysian old woman with her cellphone, I was able to help a Turkish woman with her Quran and I gave some naseeghah to a fellow South African, alhamdullilah.

I also managed to converse with a young lady from Medinah - she is studying Computer Science and so can speak English. Upon parting we wished each other well and I said to her: “Ini Uhibuka Fillahi - I love you for the sake of Allah”...and I did, I really did. I love everyone here for that reason.

I think my favourite people so far are the Turks. I have this spot in the masjid and it is usually occupied by Turkish women. Even though we don’t understand a word of each other’s language, we manage to communicate some way or other and they always share their food with me - they always have food with them!

The air of Medinah has crept into my heart and I think a part of me will never cease to yearn to be here. But I doubt that I would be able to live here - the people are too beautiful. I think Allah reserves this place for special people; beautiful people. I may be too corrupted to be of those. My Sheik always says that Medinah will spit you out if you are evil, if you are not worthy. It cleanses itself in a sense.

One of the hardest things I have to endure though is being away from my husband most of the time. Many people said that I was lucky to be embarking on this journey with my husband; that we will grow in love and toward Allah, like a second honeymoon (well, in my case a first!) But I find that I am hardly with him.

Between every waqt I am rushing to get a place in the Masjid. The women’s section is far too small to accommodate all the women who frequent the masjid during the haj period. We have about 3 sections/doors earmarked for women, the rest are for men. Most of the time we sit outside on the mataaf (area just outside of the masjid).

Sometimes I get angry...Why can’t they open up another section for us? The men can leave their rooms while the athan is going and still get a place inside the masjid while we women have to leave an hour before the waqt or we will be outside. Then I remember that I am not in South Africa, particularly in Cape Town. We Cape Town women are spoilt when it comes to the masjid - we have our own places for worship, proper wudu facilities, places for studying and learning and places for halaqah and ‘itikaaf, alhamdullilah.

I suppose I just have to get acclimatised to the way of life here. I love Medinah, and would love to come to study and live here one day, insha Allah. The deen is so pure and pristine here - there is no difference of opinion, no bi’dah, no following of sheikhs and people, just the sunnah, in its perfect form.

Beautiful Hadith on Hajj

Beautiful Hadith on Hajj

Ibn 'Umar - Radiyallahu 'anhuma is reported to have said, "I was sitting with the Prophet (peace be upon him) in a mosque in Mina when a man from the Ansar and a man from the Thaqeef came and greeted the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said, "O Messenger of Allah, we have come to ask you a few questions."

So the Messenger said: "If you want I can inform you why you came and what you want to ask, and I will do so, and if you want I will hold back and you can ask me and I will answer you."

They said: "Tell us O Messenger of Allah!"

The Messenger of Allah said: "You have come to me, to ask about the rewards of leaving your house and aiming for the Bait-ul-Haram for the spiritual journey of Hajj and the rewards for praying two Raka'ahs after Tawaf; rewards for going between as-Safa and Marwa; rewards for spending the evening in Mina, and stoning the Jamarah and the rewards for slaughtering an animal and the rewards for performing Tawaf al-Ifadah."

The man said: "I swear by the One who sent you with the truth! This is what I came to ask you about."

The Prophet said: "For leaving your homes aiming for the Bait-ul-Haram, Allah writes for you a reward and wipes off one of your sins.

As for the rewards for performing two Raka'ahs after Tawaf, then it is equivalent to freeing a slave from the children of Ismaeel.

For circuiting of as-Safa and al-Marwa, the rewards are the same as freeing 70 slaves.

As for your staying till the evening in Arafah, Allah descends to the sky of the earth and He boasts about you to the Angels, and says: "My slaves have come to Me, hoping for My mercy, so if your sins were equivalent to the amount of sand or the drops of rain or like the foam of the sea, I will forgive them. So go forth My slaves! Having forgiveness and for what or who you have interceded for."

As for stoning the Jamaarah (the pillars), then for every stone that you throw, it removes a big sin from among the deadly sins.

For slaughtering an animal, the reward will be given by your Lord.

As for shaving your head, there is a reward for every strand of hair that you shaved, and a sin is wiped off by it.

As for you performing Tawaf of the House after all these rituals of Hajj, by the time you are performing Tawaf, no sin will be upon you and an Angel comes and places his hand between your shoulders saying: "Perform good deeds in what you face of the future for verily your past sins have been forgiven."

(Reported by at-Tabarani in his book "al-Kabeer" and by al-Bazaar. Shaykh Al-Albaanee graded it Hassan. Taken from 'Saheeh al-Targheeb wa Tarheeb'. Volume 2, Page 9-10, Hadith number 1112).


'Do not look at how small the sin is but instead look at how great is the One that you have disobeyed.'

"I have often regretted my speech - never my silence"

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hajj Operators - The Saga Continues

What is this world coming to …………

11 Hajj tour operators probed in scam

Moegsien Bucks - The Cape imam allegedly at the centre of the Hajj visa scandal. The Daily Voice can reveal that Imam Yusuf Pandy and 11 Hajj tour operators are now being investigated in connection with the scam. Up to 1 000 Cape Muslims have lost around R33 million in the Mecca rip-off.

Imam Pandy – from Al Anwar operators – flew to Mecca on Thursday, leaving behind a trail of angry pilgrims and unanswered questions. It is alleged Al Anwar wrongfully obtained visas from a neighbouring state and sold them off at R3 000 each to unsuspecting South African pilgrims.

These hujjaaj also forked out an average of R30 000 on packages to visit the holy city. The Daily Voice managed to track down Imam Pandy before he boarded his Saudi-bound plane. “People are spreading a lot of lies about me and I’m going to sue them. I’m a spiritual leader and not a director,” he claims. “Go speak to Al Anwar.”

Despite this, the imam earlier publicly apologised on local radio for his role in the scandal. Several Cape Muslims Thursday night claimed they were robbed of a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Mecca as a result of Al Anwar’s “bad dealings”. Another Cape Flats tour operator – Faizal Moos from Al-Sabireen – has also been implicated in the Hajj scam. He refused to respond to queries from this newspaper on Thursday night. “I will call you at the time when I’m ready to speak to the media,” he told the Daily Voice. Moos admitted earlier this week that he tried to obtain 500 visas via a contact in Saudi Arabia’s Hajj Ministry, but claimed these were blocked at the last minute.

The scandal has caused widespread dismay among the Cape’s massive Muslim community. The Daily Voice has also learned no fewer than 11 operators have been linked to the scandal. All of these are accredited operators from the South African Hajj and Umrah Council (Sahuc). Sahuc spokesman Shaheen Essop Thursday night refused to give any details about their probe into the matter. “We are investigating a number of operators, but we cannot identify them at this stage. These operators have violated Sahuc’s code of conduct,” says Essop. “I’m busy consulting with our legal team to prepare for an internal hearing.” Essop said Sahuc, the Saudi embassy in Pretoria and the Hajj Ministry are all working together on the investigation.

“We need to determine the extent of the scam and the damage it caused,” he says. “It is too early to make any speculation. But if the investigation reveals that a member of the Hajj Ministry in the Kingdom is involved, it could have widespread implications.”

However, Imraahn Mukaddam – the spokesperson of the newly-formed group, Friends of the Hujjaj (FotH), last night called for Sahuc to be scrapped. He confirmed FotH has evidence that reveals 11 operators accredited by Sahuc are part of the visa scam. Muslim groups on Thursday night called on the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) to intervene and take control of the entire Hajj industry. However, repeated calls to MJC president, Moulana Igsaan Hendricks, went unanswered on Thursday night. No one at the MJC has been prepared to go on record since news of the scandal first broke in the Daily Voice earlier this week.

* If you have been a victim, call FotH on 086 111 5008 or email or SMS the Daily Voice on 32832.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Muslims lose a fortune in Hajj scam

Muslims lose a fortune in Hajj scam

Up to 1 000 Cape Muslims have lost around R33 million in a Hajj visa scam.

The full extent of the scandal is unmasked in a Daily Voice investigation into the Mecca rip-off.

A senior local imam is under investigation for his role in the scandal and a Flats tour operator – Faizal Moos from Al-Sabireen – has been implicated.

The scandal has devastated hundreds of Muslim families.

The Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, and each year millions of Muslims around the world undertake the once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage to Mecca, many spending their life’s savings to fulfil their duty to Allah.

In the scam, each individual paid an exorbitant R3 000 to tour operators for ill-sourced visas. But before they could qualify for the visas, they had to fork out between R25 000 and R40 000 on Hajj packages.

This means each of the 1 000 or so pilgrims caught in the scandal lost an average of R33 000 to cover the cost of the failed trip to Mecca.

Now the victims have vowed to bring the unscrupulous Hajj operators to justice.

They have formed The Friends of the Hajj (FotH) to pursue a class action against those responsible.

More than 100 angry victims gathered at a heated meeting on Tuesday night in Silvertown to discuss their options.

The group is led by Imraahn Mukaddam – the shopkeeper who took on the bread giants in a price-fixing scandal.

He told the Daily Voice the scam operators must be held liable.

“Those responsible for throwing the Hajj industry into turmoil, misrepresenting Muslims and robbing them of their holy journey must be held accountable,” he says.

And he urged all of those who have lost money in the scandal not to be afraid to tackle the Hajj operators in court.

“Please people, this is a very sensitive case. Don’t turn your back on us when you are called to testify,” Mukaddam says.

“This whole scandal is unacceptable and despicable.

“If irregularities are uncovered, those responsible must be charged criminally. We will also ask the Competition Commission to investigate any price-fixing in the Hajj industry.”

Notably absent from Tuesday night’s meeting were the implicated Imam, Moos, the Muslim Judicial Council and the SA Hajj and Umrah Council (Sahuc).

Moos admitted this week to the Daily Voice that he had dealings with a source in Saudi Arabia who had arranged Hajj visas. But the deal flopped and the visas Moos applied for were blocked.

Pilgrims who paid their packages are now demanding Moos refund their money.

“I’ll pay back every cent to Hujjaj,” Moos vowed.

Sahuc, who administer and keep a watchful eye over the whole visa process with the Saudi embassy in Pretoria, say they are investigating.

“The cases are sub judice and we cannot give comment at this stage,” Sahuc secretary general Shaheen Essop tells the Daily Voice.

Every year the Saudi embassy allocates 3 000 Hajj visas free of charge to South African Muslims. But this year, more applications kept flowing in – even after this number of visas had been allocated.

Irregularities soon became clear and the embassy placed a moratorium on the issuing of visas.

Initial investigations revealed two Cape Town operators bypassed Sahuc and the embassy to obtain Hajj visas.

One operator allegedly got hold of foreign Hajj visas and sold them at R3 000 each to unsuspecting pilgrims.

The Daily Voice has learned a second Cape Town operator had direct dealings with a source in Saudi Arabia.

Now Sahuc, along with the Saudi Embassy and authorities, are trying to get their hands on the Saudi Ministry source.

The Sahuc also came under fire at Tuesday’s meeting.

The Daily Voice has learned Sahuc do not have permission from the SA government to negotiate on behalf of South African Muslims with the Saudi Hajj Ministry.

“FotH will ask the South African government to suspend the recognition of Sahuc and that a transparent body for the entire Southern Africa be established,” Riyaad Bosch from Hajj Watch told pilgrims at the meeting.

“The Public Protector informed us that the protocol document that Sahuc is waving about [stating] they have the right to negotiate on behalf of Muslims with Saudi Arabia, is not a legitimate document.”

At this stage there is no police investigation into the matter.

* If you’ve been a victim, call FotH on 086 1115008 or email

Or SMS the Daily Voice on 32832.

* This article was published on p4 of the Daily Voice

Lesson to be taught

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Protect your kids , friends & family from ..... Ouija

Playtime for Kids and It's Called Divination

I was planning to write about a current event issue when this story hit my in-box. I am no longer shocked by issues like what I am about to report. Our kids and teens have been seduced for decades. Harry Potter hasn't helped nor has Twilight. Both kids and adults have been introduced to the paranormal in dozens of TV programs and movies. So much so, in fact, that the paranormal is the new normal. This Ouija board was mentioned in the movie Paranormal Activities, it created a lot of havoc for people using this board game.

So now
ToysRus in the USA has a cute little pink Ouija board and one that glows in the dark, both marketed for children. They advertise that kids as young as 8 need to have these new sorcery objects! (Well, they don't call them "sorcery objects") I know it is billed as a "toy" but I have enough personal experience that I can tell you it is blatant divination.

ToysRus children's Ouija board

Entire civilizations have been wiped out because of sorcery. Those perpetrating this are aiming at younger kids every day. Serious reproach against witchcraft and divination should be given.

Are parents going to say that this new kids' Ouija board is "just a game," just like they say Harry Potter and Twilight are "just fiction" and can't hurt anyone? You can bet some will!

Jane’s* personal ordeal with a Ouija board.

I was 23 years old. (I know that was back in the Bronze Age, but divination hasn't changed.) I was addicted to a Ouija board. I had people driving 100 miles to put their hands on the glass object, ask the board questions, and have it spell out answers. I was so good at it that the glass object could move with no hands on it.

It made predictions and many of them came true. It instilled power in me that was stunning. The glass object that spelled out words would often spin around the board in a frenzy, and it was always talking about dark, evil things. All predictions were negative. It scared many participants. It has supernatural power, but since it is of the devil, not all predictions came true because the devil does not know the future.

When I asked the board where it got its power, it spelled S-A-T-A-N.

One evening I put the board away and felt a presence in my apartment. I did not want to open my eyes because I knew I would see a demon. If you think I am doing this for sensationalism, I can tell you that it has not been easy reliving my experience. I do it only to spare some of you from my mistakes.

I had roots in a solid church in my teenage years and I sensed I had crossed a line. I seriously repented, took the board and glass object out to a bonfire and forever said good-bye to its evil. That was in accordance with Acts 19 which says that those who practiced magic gathered up their instruments and burned them.

Sadly, I had obtained almost a lust for the paranormal from the Ouija board and that is why most participants then move to deeper and darker occultic practices. The Ouija board is stepping stone number one.

But isn't this just a game like Monopoly you ask? Going back to my personal experience -- the glass object was profane, cursed God, and sometimes flew off the board in a rage. Evil spirits were present to be sure. So no, it's not just like Monopoly. This is playing with FIRE.

If anyone you know, child or adult, is playing with this force of evil, warn them. March on over to ToysRus and register a complaint.

There are many Web sites that speak of people getting obsessed/addicted to this so-called game. Others say this was the start of their paranormal journey. Sadly, most toy stores will put profits before protecting children, but speak up nonetheless.

This is just another sign of the times and of the lateness of the hour. In these last days, evil will wax worse and worse. That is why we as believers are called to be salt and light in a dark world. If a person feels they can dabble in darkness and still be "light," they are seriously deceived.

This game is not yet available in South Africa - best to be aware of these things.

May Allah save us from all sorts of Fitnah, Aameen

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs:
A tribute to the cousin I never met

Dubai: I woke up yesterday to learn the devastating news of Steve Jobs' death. He was a close cousin of mine, but we had never met or chatted.

Steve was the son of my uncle Abdul Fattah Jandali, who left Homs in Syria and went to the US to study in the early 1950s. Soon, my uncle, born in 1934, grew fond of the American way of life and culture. He decided to live and work in the US after graduating in political science.

Sad news always spreads far and fast. As I was getting ready to come to work, one of my cousins called from Homs to tell me that Steve had passed. But I already knew that. Another cousin from the US had broken the news early in the morning. Reem, my cousin from Homs , told me the Jandali family is shattered. Steve had convinced several family members to go to the US and pursue academics.

And as the news sank in, I remembered how happy I was late last month when my uncle Abdul Fattah called me, remembering my family back in Homs and telling me how proud he was of me as a journalist. He said to me he would come to Dubai in the not too distant future. We chatted about our family roots and his memories of Homs , but we also talked about Steve's health and the future of Apple. It was then that I realised that Steve was not going to live much longer.

My uncle said to me that it was now a matter of time, and pointed to the fact that he already stepped down as the CEO of the company that he established, led and loved for a long time. Yesterday, he said: "I really don't have anything to say, I know [Steve is dead]."

When we were children growing up in Homs , my mother Bushra Jandali Rifa'e, always mentioned a branch of the Al Jandali family who had decided to live in America . I never paid any attention.

Another uncle, Abdul Wahid, who lives in Homs , told me that Abdul Fattah had a baby boy out of wedlock with an American woman, Joanne, and they gave him up for adoption. Abdul Fattah could not return to Syria because of this "scandal". Abdul Fattah married Joanne and they then had a daughter Mona Jandali Simpson, now a famous American novelist.

Abdul Fattah John Jandali belongs to a prominent Sunni family from Homs . The family is a direct descendent of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).

Steve was born on February 24, 1955, and was named Abdul Lateef Jandali. Abdul Fattah is now the vice president and general manager at Pinnacle Entertainment, and a former professor of Political Science and Economics.

I reflected on our connection this morning, about the family and about how scattered we all are. But even though some of us have never met, we share a bond, a connection.

That got stronger yesterday. I wished that I had met Steve. I wished I could have said goodbye.