Thursday, November 29, 2012

Holidays can be fun

Some ways of making your kids vacation more fun & rewarding…

Dad what can I do next???...Mum I’m BORED!!! For parents vacations can be really demanding keeping our children occupied. Vacations pose a great challenge for many parents. However holidays can be great fun if parents are positive, creative and interactive. Also during the vacation there is a good opportunity to recharge our kid’s spiritual batteries and start afresh in daily activities. It is a joyous period and a unique break from our busy schedules. We should welcome vacations for its fun.

The excitement surrounding vacations and family trips usually kicks off with strong excitement. However, after only a short time away from the daily routines of school, one phrase parents dread hearing begins to creep into the language of children almost instinctively: "I'M BORED"!

There are so many things to do and so many activities that only require a small amount of creative thinking and even less effort to organize. Children are highly impressionably and intelligent individuals. Their energy and creativity needs to be nurtured and stimulated during all waking hours (Whoosh! And that is a long time, as any parent can testify to!)
It is good to have fun but this must always be done by not compromising our Islamic way of life!!!
By the same token, it is not a bad idea to take time out during these pressure-free holidays to reflect and possibly change our positions and life for the better.

There is an area that is largely ignored by parents when they go on holidays and that is how to guide their children to a pleasurable, fun and sin-free vacation. Very often, the newer generations of Muslims growing up in the West have little guidance and sometimes even less knowledge of the Islamic rules that govern our Islamic way of life and they often end up imitating the free unislamic western lifestyle that surrounds them. Sometimes, due to parent’s commitments, kids find themselves in vacation camps and Day-Care Centres which are deprived of an Islamic environment and culture.

No doubt, if we don't take a proactive approach to maintaining our iman (faith), we might really lose it. The vacation represents an ideal opportunity to boost one's deen (religion). However if it's spent inappropriately, it can lead to disastrous consequences. If we truly value our faith, it is imperative that we use this opportunity to its fullest extent.

Parents have a great responsibility to guide their children to an Islamic lifestyle and to provide a vice-free environment. They should use all available strategies to carry out this responsibility effectively and successfully. This can be achieved by attempting to implement useful activities. Here are some simple and inexpensive suggestions of how to keep the holidays lively,Islamic and exciting for the whole family. After all, bored people are boring people!

PRAYER - Parents should ensure that prayers are performed punctually and children are motivated and keen to pray on time, especially when their children are with them. This will help the children learn the importance of prayer and the value of time. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) as said, "Refresh yourselves with Prayer…" (Hadith Al-Bukhari).Men should perform prayer at the Masjid. However if on vacation a Masjid is not close by then pray together as a family. Prayer in Jamaat(congregation) is better than praying alone. Let the teenage boys call out the adhaan. Make the youngest one the salaat manager, taking care of prayer rugs, timing, and inviting everyone to salaat. Salaah is an integral part of a Muslims life and should NOT be missed.

ENVIRONMENT- Always remain within an environment that is Islamic and free from sin. Psychologist emphasize that environment has a great effect on the upbringing of kids. Plan visits to places that do not in any way encroach on our Islamic way of life. Parents should try to keep their children away from the immoral scenes that people usually see in holiday resorts during vacations. The free intermingling of sexes is totally prohibited in Islam. Children are vulnerable and very easily succumb to peer pressure. Parents need to be diplomatically assertive and consistent in emphasizing Islamic values.

INTERACT- Regular interaction with your children is vital. Teach them with wisdom and “cool” behaviour. Trying to appear "cool" in front of their peers during adolescence brings tremendous pressure on children. Children often don't feel that their parents know what's“cool” and what's happening, so they turn to their peer group for the answers by trying to imitate them. By starting regular interaction while your children are young, parents can ensure that their kids will use them as their role models and not their peer groups. Time spent with children enhances the parent-child relationship, so that in their later life children will emulate their parents' values and attitudes and that makes the gift of time the greatest gift of all.

TEACH- Vacations are an excellent opportunity to teach our kids in an interactive way. Plan tasks, projects, games which have an Islamic flavour to it. Parents should take the vacations as an opportunity to indirectly set good examples to their children for cooperation, kindness, and truthfulness. Learn and teach the rules of Islam in an interactive and practical way. Encourage the reading of Qurán and Hadith. Encourage the kids to have Taalim.(Islamic education).Let them compete in memorizing the Qur'an and learning the Hadith. This will encourage them to inculcate real commitment to the Qur'an and the Sunnah.

READ- Kids have loads of time and will become easily bored if not kept occupied. Introduce them to good Islamic books. Reading material should be carefully selected as you don't want your kids to be adversely affected by unislamic literature. Parents should seize the opportunity of their free time in the holidays to tell their children stories from the Qur'an that impart good morals, enhance spirituality and help build an upright character. Tell or read to your children stories on some nights before bed. There are lots of excellent Islamic stories and books available that you can use or you can make up your own. At the same time, you will be helping your children develop Islamic character.

CO-OPERATION -Muslim parents should help disseminate the cooperative spirit among their sons and daughters during the holidays. This can be achieved by teaching the children the benefits of working together and learning to be patient in achieving their goals, in an attempt to make them realize the importance of teamwork. Reward them where necessary. The family unit is the basis of a good society.

SPORTS- Sports can be a great contributor to building the kids physically and spiritually. Choose such activities that support an Islamic spirit and identity. Ensure that these activities do not encroach on their deen. For example when the time of prayer approaches, let them pray first and then resume their sporting activities. Teach them to use Islamic words in their activities. Instead of saying WOW! Let them say ALLAHU AKBAR(Allah is the Greatest), let them start by saying Bismillah (I begin in the name of Allah) etc. In this way they will be making zikr (remembering Allah). To be physically fit is part of Islam. Swimming, Archery, Horse Riding, Athletics are strongly recommended. The Messenger of Allah(pbuh) even raced with his beloved wife Aisha(RA).

HOUSEHOLD ACTIVITIES- Parents can motivate their kids to bake, clean the garage, re-organize their rooms, help set the table for guests etc. If necessary a roster can be drawn up.

ZIKR(remembering Allah)- Let them spend time making Zikr, Reciting Quran, Making dua etc Let them practically do it so they get accustomed to making zikr. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) informed us that we will not regret about anything in this life accept the time spent without zikr. Verily, in the Zikr of Allah do hearts find peace." (Surah Ra'd) ... "Verily, the remembrance of Allah is the greatest." (Surah Ahzaab-Qurán)

PLAN AN EVENT- Try organising one weekly treat that you all do together. Ask your kids where they want to go this weekend. It may be the zoo, it may be an outing or it may just be going shopping. But it is a great idea to go on an outing with them on a regular basis. These little treats will be exciting for your kids and will remind you that it can be fun to be a parent. Organise a family gathering, Go as a family out in the Path of Allah, a picnic, a sightseeing tour, a day to the zoo, stop off for ice cream or to feed the birds in the park, visit the local orphanage, a visit to the kiddies section in the local hospital etc. Be innovative within the rules of Islam.

GARDENING- Gardening is an excelling way to keep them occupied and bring them closer to Allah. Let them have their own vegetable patches, let them plant flowers etc. Explain to them about Beauty of Allah in His Creation.

PLAY- Play with your children. You could play ball, colour pictures, build toy houses from blocks, or do whatever they like. Let your children help you with simple tasks. There are loads of activities that are cheap , simple and can be done together. The Noble Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him) was especially fond of children and used to get into the spirit of childish games in their company. He would have fun with the children who had come back from Abyssinia and tried to speak in Abyssinian with them. It was his practice to give lifts on his camel to children when he returned from journeys. (Hadith-Bukhari).

LOVE- Show your children in simple ways that you love them. Some parents try to appeal to their children by showering them with gifts rather than giving of themselves. This may cause more harm than good. The simple example of Prophet Muhammad(pbuh).When his daughter Fatima (May Allah be pleased with her) would come to him, the Noble Messenger (peace be upon him) used to stand up, kiss her, take her hand, and give her his seat. Later in life, this personal type of affection will be much more memorable to children than receiving a gift that anyone could have given them. Don't buy their love- Win it!!!

SIN: Ensure a sin free vacation. Cinemas, Movies, Immoral PC games, Haraam Chat Rooms, Discos, etc will harm their Imaan. Instead of playing haraam music rather buy some good Islamic CD's(nasheeds, lectures etc) for them.

FRIENDS-The most important element of a successful vacation from an Islamic perspective is the company that our kids keep. Friends will either make or break our deen (religion). If a kid finds himself hanging out with non-Muslim classmates who are doing haraam it will have a negative bearing on his Imaan. Company of deeni (pious) and knowledgeable people are a great boon. For boys going out with other youth in the Path of Allah is an excellent way to be in good company. The Family could also go out together. In an authentic Hadith, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: "A person is likely to follow the faith of his friend, so look at whom you befriend." Tactfully persuade them to choose such friends who will positively and Islamically influence their character. The company our kids keep will have a profound effect on their imaan and personality!

So mums and dads be cheerful and positive for indeed vacations can be joyful and spiritually enriching for both you and your kids. It is an excellent opportunity to utilize our kid’s time productively and simultaneously develop their character and uplift their Imaan!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The status of the mother

The status of the mother in Islam is a very noble and lofty one, and her effect is very great in the life of every Muslim.

The secret of her importance lies in the tremendous burden and responsibility that is placed upon her, and the difficulties that she has to shoulder – responsibilities and difficulties some of which not even a man bears. This is why from the most important obligations upon a person is to show gratitude and kindness to his mother. And in this matter, she is to be given precedence over and above the father.

A man came to Allah’s Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, Who from amongst mankind warrants the best companionship from me’? He replied: “Your mother.” The man asked: Then who? So he replied: “Your mother.” The man then asked: Then who? So the Prophet replied again: “Your mother.” The man then asked: Then who? He replied: “Then your father.”

[Related by Al-Bukhari]

Rights of women (Is there any greater Honour than this?)

The Cultivator of Generations, Producer of Great Men

I will point out in it some of what Islam requires of the individual and the society concerning the rights of women.

1. Have you seen the Jewel? Why is it that the people love it while it is simply a piece of stone? It is because it is not so easy to see it, nor can you touch it except by paying an exorbitant price. Similar is the case of the woman – it is forbidden for a man to see her or touch her, in order that he does not dishonour her. She is like an untouched (pure) jewel, which is affected by the least touch.

2. Have you seen how a rose wilts, withers, and loses it luster and beauty if it is touched too much. Likewise, the woman is not allowed to be touched except by one in a lawful relationship of marriage. And whoever attempts to touch her – unlawfully – will earn a severe punishment or death.

3. Do you know the punishment for one who violates the marriage trust and cheats on his wife? The penalty is death, since he has fallen short in regards to the jewel which is with him, in addition to transgressing the rights of others.
4. Have you seen a jewel searching for a person (to possess it)? The same is the case of the women, like a precious jewel, she is the one who is sought out, not the seeker. It is incumbent upon the man to seek her hand. And if she agrees to marry him, then he will present to her a marriage dowry and something from his wealth.

5. Consider the Ruler or Head of State – if every one were able to speak to him directly and sit in his presence, he wouldn’t be held in awe, nor possess the same prestige and status amongst the people that he has. Similarly, the woman is like a noble Queen. It is not the right of every person to speak to her directly or sit in her presence; this is something allowed to the select few.

6. The Supreme Being has created the male strong of body in order that he may go out and earn his livelihood, even in difficult circumstances. This is so that he may serve the women and children of his family. As for the woman, she has been created gentle, soft and sensitive, so that she may cultivate the future generations. The man goes out and works with the natural elements, while the woman deals with the human being (raising the children).

7. What do you think would happen if a lion and gazelle were placed together in one place? Is it possible for them to co-exist? Obviously not! Likewise, it is of necessity that the man be separated from the woman, in the interest of the woman. She is beautiful, attractive and weak. Hence, the strong will overcome her and devour her and violate her chastity – even if she were not willing.

8. The woman who performs work equal to the work of a man is entitled to – and is given – the same salary as the man.

9. The woman is allowed to work but is not burdened to do earn the daily livelihood of the family.

10. The woman – like man – is addressed in the divine revelation with responsibilities for which she – like man – is equally rewarded.

11. The woman is excused from certain religious ceremonies and obligations during her post-child birth and menstrual periods, since these conditions are a cause of weakness and hence, she is in need of rest and relaxation.

12. If a woman dies while giving birth to a child, she is rewarded with the highest station in Paradise.

13. The person who is killed while defending his mother, wife, daughter or sister will be rewarded with the highest station in Paradise.

14. It is permissible for a woman to seek a separation from her husband if he has failed to fulfill her marital rights.

15. Is there anything more valuable to the human being than his life? Indeed, the honour and dignity of women is more valuable, precious and important to the Muslim than his own life.

16. It is permissible for the woman to remarry – whomever she desires – if he is divorced from her husband or widowed.

17. If a woman possesses wealth, she is free to use it in any lawful way, without permission of anyone [father, husband or others].

18. The woman has the right to the inheritance of her relative – at the time of his
death – even if he does not desire that she receive it.

19. It is obligatory upon the man to spend his wealth for the maintenance – housing, food, etc. – of those under his care including his mother, wife or daughter, even if he doesn’t desire to do so.

20. The mother has been given preference over the father – three times over – concerning their right to kindness and benevolence from their children.

22. Whoever truly desires paradise – Know that paradise lies at the feet of the mother, for the one who pleases her.

23. Whoever has daughters and treats them well – they will be a cause of him being screened from the hell-fire.

23. If a man kills a woman intentionally, he no longer deserves to live and will be killed, even if the victim was his wife.

24. The Messenger of Allah – Blessings of Allah and Peace be Upon him – advised concerning the woman: Treat the women well. He also said: The best of you are those who are the best in the treatment of their wives.He also said: No one honours the woman except an honourable man. And no one humiliates her or holds her in contempt except one who is evil, vile, wicked and depraved.

Is there any greater Honour than this?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What does Islam say about "mothers"?

What does Islam say about "mothers"?

This is one of the most convincing things about Islam – the treatment of women in general and especially the high position mothers hold in Islam.

Amongst the clearest examples of Islam’s honoring women is the great status of the mother in Islam. Islam commands kindness, respect and obedience to parents and specifically emphasizes and gives preference to the mother as shall be shown in this article. Islam raises parents to a status greater than that found in any other religion or ideology.

The command to be good to one’s parents begins right from the Qur’an. Allah says:
“Worship God and join not any partners with Him; and be kind to your parents…” Noble Quran 4:36]

The mention of servitude to parents follows immediately after servitude to God. This is repeated throughout the Qur’an. “Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him and that you be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor. And out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility and say, “My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood.” [Noble Quran 17:23-24]

The great scholar, Abu al-Faraj Ibn Al-Jawzî (d. 1201CE) explained:
To be kind to one’s parents is: to obey them when they order you to do something, unless it is something which Allah has forbidden; to give priority to their orders over voluntary acts of worship; to abstain from that which they forbid you to do; to provide for them; to serve them; to approach them with gentle humility and mercy; not to raise your voice in front of them; nor to fix your glance on them; nor to call them by their names; and to be patient with them. (Ibn al-Jawzî, Birr al-Wâlidayn)
The Qur’an emphasizes the great struggles the mother goes through for her child, to highlight the need for one to reciprocate their parents sacrifice for them:
“And We have enjoined on man [to be good] to his parents: in travail upon travail did his mother bear him and his weaning was over two years. Be thankful to Me and to your parents, unto Me is the final destination.” Noble Quran 31:14]

The renowned exegete, Shaykh Abdur-Rahman As-Sa’di (d. 1956), says about this verse:
{And to your parents} meaning, be kind to your parents, shower on them love, affection and piety, both in words and deeds, treat them with tender humility, provide for them and never harm them verbally nor physically. [...] Then, Allah mentions the reason why we should be kind to our parents, when He says {His mother bore him in travail upon travail}, that is, the mother bore constant suffering; in pain and hardship from the first moment she felt the child moving in her womb to the worst pangs during the time of delivery. And {his weaning is for two years}, that is, during these two years the mother breast-feeds her child and looks after him/her. So after all the years of suffering, hardship, love and care, could we not, at least, compensate our mothers for what they have done for us and pay them back their rights? (Taysîr al-Karîm ar-Rahmân fî Tafsîr al-Kalâm al-Manân)

The Qur’an repeats its mention of the struggles of the mother in yet another passage:
“And We have enjoined upon man, to his parents, good treatment. His mother carried him with hardship and gave birth to him with hardship, and his gestation and weaning [period] is thirty months. [He grows] until, when he reaches maturity and reaches [the age of] forty years, he says, “My Lord, enable me to be grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and to work righteousness of which You will approve and make righteous for me my offspring. Indeed, I have repented to You, and indeed, I am of the Muslims.” [Noble Quran 46:15]

In connection to this passage, the late Grand Mufti of Pakistan, Shaykh Muhammad Shafy (d. 1976) wrote: Mother has more rights than father. Although the first part of this verse is a command to do good to both the parents, the second sentence refers only to the hardships suffered by the mother, because they are unavoidable, and no child can be born without them. Every mother has to go through the problems of pregnancy and severe pains of delivery. As against this, it is not necessary for a father that he suffers any hardship in bringing up and educating the child, if he can afford to pay somebody else for these services. This is why the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) has given more rights to the mother than anybody else.

According to a hadîth he has said, “Do good to and serve your mother, then your mother, then your mother, then your father, then the near relatives and then those who come after them.” [Mazhari]

“And his carrying and his weaning is in thirty months” [Noble Quran 46:15]
This sentence too describes the hardships suffered by the mother for her baby. It points out that even after suffering hardships during pregnancy and the severe labor pains, the mother does not get respite from toils, because the natural food of the infants is in her breasts, and she has to suckle them. (Shafy, Ma’âriful Qur’ân [Eng. trans.], vol. 7, pp. 795-796)

The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) continually used to remind his followers of the status of the mother and the obligation of being good to one’s parents. The following narration is a beautiful example of the noble position of the mother... A man came to the Prophet and said: O Messenger of Allah! Who from amongst mankind warrants the best companionship from me? He replied: “Your mother.” The man asked: Then who? So he replied: “Your mother.” The man then asked: Then who? So the Prophet replied again: “Your mother.” The man then asked: Then who? So he replied: “Then your father.” (Sahîh Bukhârî 5971 and Sahîh Muslim 7/2)

Commenting on this hadith, Shaykh Muhammad Ali Al-Hashimi notes:
This hadith confirms that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) gave precedence to kind treatment of one’s mother over kind treatment of one’s father (Al-Hashimi, The Ideal Muslimah, IIPH 2005, p. 165)

Likewise, the late Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Shaykh Abdul-Azîz Ibn Bâz (d. 1999) comments on this hadith saying:

So this necessitates that the mother is given three times the like of kindness and good treatment than the father. (Majmoo’ Fataawaa wa Maqalat Mutanawwi’ah)
He also writes: The secret of her importance lies in the tremendous burden and responsibility that is placed upon her, and the difficulties that she has to shoulder – responsibilities and difficulties some of which not even a man bears. This is why from the most important obligations upon a person is to show gratitude to the mother, and kindness and good companionship with her. And in this matter, she is to be given precedence over and above the father.[...] And I have no doubt that my mother – may Allah shower His mercy upon her – had a tremendous effect upon me, in encouraging me to study; and she assisted me in it. May Allah greatly increase her reward and reward her with the best of rewards for what she did for me. (Majmoo’ Fatawa wa Maqalat Mutanawwi’ah)

The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) also said in a famous narration:
‘Paradise lies at the feet of your mother’
[Musnad Ahmad, Sunan An-Nasâ'i, Sunan Ibn Mâjah]
What can be greater evidence of honoring women than this? Islam has effectively placed the ultimate reward for human beings in their devotion to their mothers.
Shaykh Ibrahîm Ibn Sâlih Al-Mahmud writes:
Treat your mother with the best companionship, then your father; because paradise is under the mother’s feet. Never disobey your parents, nor make them angry, otherwise you will live a miserable life in this world and the hereafter, and your children will treat you likewise. Ask your parents gently if you need something. Always thank them if they give it to you, and excuse them if they do not, and never insist on a matter if they refuse to give you something. (Al-Mahmoud, How to be kind to your Parents, p.40)
It is related from Talhah ibn Mu’âwiyah as-Salamî who said:
I came to the Prophet and said, “O Messenger of Allah, I want to perform Jihad in the way of Allah. He asked, “Is your mother alive?” I replied, “Yes.” The Prophet then said: “Cling to her feet, because paradise is there.”

Shaykh Nidhaam Sakkijihaa comments:
Cling to her feet means to submit yourself to her, be close to her, protect her, serve her because in this is Paradise and with her satisfaction you will enjoy the good blessings of Allah. (Sakkijihaa, Honoring the Parents, p. 52)
The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) showed us the importance of serving one’s parents in the following narration reported by Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud:
I asked the Prophet, ‘O Messenger of Allah, what is the best deed?’ He replied ‘Prayer offered on time.’ I asked, ‘What is next in goodness?’ He replied, ‘To be dutiful and kind to one’s parents.’ I further asked, ‘What is next in goodness?’ He replied, ‘Jihad in the Allah’s cause. [Sahîh Bukhârî, Sahîh Muslim]
Just as the Prophet said that kindness to one’s parents was of the best deeds, he also said that disobedience to them was amongst the major sins:
“The greatest sins are to associate partners in worship with Allah, to be undutiful or unkind to one’s parents, to kill a soul forbidden by Allah and to bear false witness.”
[Sahîh Bukhârî]

Even after the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), the Muslim scholars continued to stress the importance of being dutiful to one’s mother. By examining the conduct and teachings of the early Muslim scholars, one may see how the direct recipients of the Islamic message understood the command to be dutiful to one’s parents. Their behavior towards their parents shows Muslims how one is to implement the teachings of the Prophet on honoring parents
Abdullah Ibn Abbâs (d. 687CE), a companions of the Prophet and a great scholar of Islam, considered kind treatment of one’s mother to be the best deed for strengthening or rectifying one’s relation with God. He said: I know of no other deed that brings people closer to Allah than kind treatment and respect towards one’s mother.
[Al-Adab al-Mufrad Bukhârî 1/45]

An even more powerful example is found in the statement of another one of the Prophet’s companions, Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar (d. 692CE), who was also a great scholar of Islam. It has been related that: Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar saw a Yemeni man performing Tawâf (circumambulating the Ka’bah) while carrying his mother on his back. This man said to Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar, “I am like a tame camel for her! I have carried her more than she carried me. Do you think I have paid her back, O Ibn ‘Umar?” Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar replied, “No, not even one contraction!!” [Al-Adab al-Mufrad Bukhârî 1/62]

SubhânAllah (Glory be to God)! The efforts of a man who carries his mother on his back while performing tawâf cannot even repay his mother for a single contraction that she went through for him. Wise indeed was Ibn ‘Umar’s reply to this man to show him how massively indebted he was to his mother. This is the tremendous value and prestigious position of mothers in Islam!

Yet another example is found in the following prophecy of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him): There will come to you with reinforcements from Yemen a man called Uways ibn ‘Âmir of the clan of Murâd from the tribe of Qaran. He had leprosy but has been cured of it except for a spot the size of a coin. He has a mother and he has always treated her with kindness and respect. If he prays to Allah, Allah will fulfill his wish. If you can ask him to pray for forgiveness for you, then do so.
[Sahîh Muslim 16/95]
Indeed, later on ‘Umar ibn al-Khattâb met Uways who was exactly as the Prophet described, and upon ‘Umar’s request Uways prayed for him. Commenting on this narration, Shaykh Muhammad Ali Al-Hashimî writes:
What a high status Uways reached by virtue of his kindness and respect towards his mother, so that the Prophet recommended his Sahabah [companions] to seek him out and ask him to pray for them!
All of this indicates the high status to which Islam has raised the position of motherhood, and given the mother precedence over the father. At the same time, Islam has given importance to both parents, and has enjoined kindness and respect to both. (Al-Hashimi, The Ideal Muslimah, IIPH 2005, p. 167)

So great was the Islamic emphasis on parents, that the Muslims considered a great opportunity to attain paradise in service to one’s mother. Iyâs Ibn Mu’âwiyah was a famous Islamic scholar from the second generation of Muslims. When his mother died, Iyâs Ibn Mu’âwiyah cried. He was asked, “Why do you cry?” He said, “I used to have two gates open to Paradise, now one of them is closed.”
Zayn al-’Abidîn (d. 713CE) was the great grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and also a renowned scholar.

He used to treat his mother with so much kindness and love as seen in the following narration: Once he was asked, ‘You are the most kind person to his mother, yet we have never seen you eating with her from a single dish.’ He replied, ‘I fear that my hand would take the what her eyes have already seen in the dish, and then I would be disobeying her’. [At-Tartushi, Birr al-Wâlidayn]
In other words, he was so careful not to disobey his mother that he would even avoid eating out of the same plate as her; He thought that she would see a morsel and intend to take it, but before she did he might unknowingly take that same morsel and eat it. This is how careful he was to obey his mother in the most minute details.
Another early Islamic scholar, Sa’îd Ibn Al-Musayyib (d. 709CE), was asked about the meaning of the verse “but address them in terms of honor” (17:23). Sa’îd Ibn Al-Musayyib replied: It means that you should address them as a servant addresses his master. Muhammad Ibn Sirîn (d. 729CE) used to speak to his mother in a very soft voice, out of respect for her. He was also often seen in the company of his mother and looking after her. (Ibn al-Jawzî, Birr al-Wâlidayn)

All that has preceded shows how the status of mothers – and consequently that of women – is elevated to the highest position in Islam. The honor Islam has given to mothers is beyond that found in any other religion, ideology or culture. This is clear proof of the lofty status of Muslim Women.

Women – is elevated to the highest position in Islam. The honor Islam has given to mothers is beyond that found in any other religion, ideology or culture. This is clear proof of the lofty status of Muslim Women.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Rose Initiative


(A Non-Profit Organisation)

 To propagate and highlight the True Teachings of our Noble Master, the Reason for Creation who was sent down as a
Mercy for All Creation, THE HOLY PROPHET MUHAMMED (Salallahu-Alaihi-Wasallum)
 To dispel the notion that ISLAM is a religion of VIOLENCE
 To promote the message of PEACE & LOVE taught to us by our Spiritual Masters which Ultimately came to us from our
Beloved Prophet Muhammed (Salallahu-Alaihi-Wasallum)
 Last but not least, to disprove the enemies of Islam in their claim that Muslims react with violence. By distributing these
wonderful messages and habits of our Noble Prophet Muhammed (Salallahu-Alaihi-Wasallum) we WILL achieve this.

To distribute 10,000 White Roses (or more – funds permitting) to the People of other Faiths with a pocket size full colour card bearing the sayings by our Holy Prophet Muhammed (Salallahu-Alaihi-Wasallum)

At 3 busy shopping malls each in Durban, Johannesburg & Cape Town.

The plan is to do the distribution 8 December 2012 when shopping malls are busy.

The cost of a card & rose is estimated at around R4.00 including related costs of T-Shirts for volunteers and other logistics costs.

The general Muslim public are invited to partake in this initiative by contributing to the fund account mentioned below. Businesses are invited to sponsor 100/500/1000 roses & cards. The initiative to the general Muslim public has already started by requesting that each person sponsor 10 roses & cards at the cost of R4.00 per rose & card. They were requested to approach 10 people to sponsor 10 roses who will then ask 10 other people to sponsor 10 roses. Businesses are requested to influence other businesses to partake in this wonderful initiative by contacting & forwarding this email to people in their circle of business & friends. This WILL have a domino effect and funding for this initiative will come in Insha-Allah.

 DEEN TV will cover the events Nationally on Channel 355 on TOP TV as well as advertise the initiative with funding appeal.
 All newspapers & magazines & TV Channels will get a press release for the event
 International TV Channels will be contacted with details of the event

Volunteers will be required to assist with the following:-
 Attaching the cards to the roses
 Distributing of the roses
 Transport to get volunteers & the roses to the points of distribution

 Send roses to the Western Embassies in our country demonstrating the true teachings of our Beloved Prophet Prophet Muhammed (Salallahu-Alaihi-Wasallum)
 T-Shirts for Volunteers with a Message” or the “Initiative Name” printed on it
 Arrange for Madrassa Children to be present at points of distribution to recite the “Durood-e-Paak’ on a melodious voice.(Once again we want to arrange to have T-Shirts for the Children)
 The Muslim Public can be asked to travel with their vehicle lights on during a specified time of the distribution showing the other Religions that we have the “full support” of the Muslim Public and at the same time showing them that we have a “voice” that needs to be heard.

No sponsor or donor may request or be allowed to use this platform as a means of advertising or promoting their own interest or business. Anyone wishing to sponsor or donate anything towards this initiative MUST do so “SOLELY” for the pleasure of ALLAH(Subahanuhu-Wataalah) the DEEN of Islam and the LOVE for the only HERO of this project, whose HONOUR and DIGNITY it is incumbent upon us all to DEFEND......
THE HOLY PROPHET MUHAMMED (Salallahu-Alaihi-Wasallum)

The Chiragh-e-Chishtia Foundation is a Non-Profit organisation and we appeal to you as the Muslim public to get involved in this wonderful initiative by contributing generously and to volunteer your services and assistance in preparing & distributing the roses/cards.
If you are from any other major cities and are in a position to manage the initiative and wish to take part, please email us with all your contact details and we will be more than happy to include you in this project. (funds permitting)

Account Name : Chiragh-e-Chishtia Foundation
Bank: Nedbank
Account Number: 1035888610
Branch Code: 16482600
Reference: The Rose Initiative

If you wish to volunteer your service & assistance in this initiative, please email us details of your Name and Cell phone contact number to and we will contact you closer to the time of the preparation of the roses/cards.


For enquiries you may contact: 031 207 1374 – 083 541 2753 – 071 896 0148 – 031 836 4566

The Death of SA

The death of South Africa — by Allister Sparks

Read this and weep...
Some interesting facts about Welkom, of which most South Africans are possibly not aware .

Strange that the situation does not seem to be reflected in mining reports and the stock market in SA - or is it ? Last Sunday's papers covered the Oppenheimer’s sale of all their family's de Beers shares for $5.2 billion to Anglo American. Nicky Oppenheimer, current chairman, says it was a tough decision.

The death of South Africa’s mines is the death of South Africa...

There are many microcosms of decay that one can use as examples of the decay of the macrocosm of South Africa.

In many respects the booming of South Africa’s mining industry and its current decay under the ANC’s Black Economic Empowerment system is a microcosm of the booming of the Republic of South Africa under Apartheid and its decay under the ANC Marxist terrorist regime.

During the first half of the 20th century, gold was discovered on several farms south of the Free State town of Odendaalsrus. After the Second World War, Sir Ernest Oppenheimer and his Anglo American Corporation, the progenitor of Anglo Gold, bought up all the prospecting rights in the area and decided to mine the richest gold find in the history of South Africa.

Prices of property in Odendaalsrus skyrocketed, so Sir Ernest Oppenheimer decided that he would build his own town for his miners, instead of paying the exorbitant prices in Odendaalsrus.

He drove 20km south and climbed a hill called Koppie-alleen (Lone Hill ) and looked down on the plains, where his mines would be and decided to build a town from scratch, called Welkom (Welcome), named after the farm where the gold was first discovered.

The people of Odendaalsrus were upset and took him to court, objecting to the new town. Ernest Oppenheimer’s lawyer was Abram (Bram) Fischer, an Afrikaner Communist and Anti-Apartheid activist who would later defend Nelson Mandela at the Rivonia trial.

Fischer was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University and travelled to the Soviet Union in 1932. He was also later awarded the Lenin Peace Prize, (1966) the Soviet equivalent of the Nobel Peace Prize. The prize was normally awarded to prominent Communists who were not Soviet citizens.

Fischer, incidentally, was married to Molly Krige, the niece of liberal Boer General Jan Smuts (later to become Prime Minister of SA). She was also a staunch Communist. Nevertheless, in 1947, the Orange Free State Provincial Council issued Oppenheimer with the birth certificate of the town of Welkom.

In his mind, Oppenheimer envisioned a beautiful garden city with broad streets. He commissioned the design of Welkom to leading town planner William Backhouse and landscape gardener Joane Prim. For Backhouse, the design of a town from scratch, was a dream come true. Space was not a problem on the Free State plains, so he designed the streets broad, with no traffic lights, only roundabouts, to keep the traffic flowing and no high-rise buildings in the new town. In the centre of town, he wanted a 'Roman Forum' with a square, where town folk could gather. It was surrounded by a horseshoe-shaped road of 75 metres wide, known affectionately by the town people as the 'Hoefie' short for the Afrikaans word 'hoefyster' meaning horseshoe.

Sports clubs, golf clubs, Olympic swimming pools, cinemas, theatres, hospitals, parks, schools, a technical college and an airport were built, all with the riches of the gold below the fertile soil. The town attracted people from all over South Africa. Money was flowing, salaries were high. By the 1970s Anglo Gold was operating six massive mines, with 22 deep level shafts, in which 122,000 people worked. The mines of Welkom were producing 35% of the gold in South Africa, which in turn was producing 75% of the world's gold.
Everyone was buying and driving a new car at least every year. They would say that when the ashtray was full, it was time to buy a new car. The 'hoefie' gave rise to the hot-rod culture of Welkom, where young men would drive around at night showing off their new Ford Cortinas with eagles painted on the engine bonnets and flames on the sides, fur on the dashboard and plastic oranges on the radio antennae! This culture also gave rise to the building of a Grand Prix racing track at Welkom. Times were good for blue-collar whites.

Even in the nearby black township of Thabong and the coloured township of Bronville, the living standards were very high.

But then the ANC took over in 1994, mostly with the help of the Oppenheimers and J.P. Morgan, who founded Anglo American Corporation in 1917. Hardly had the ANC communists taken over, than they wanted not only a slice of the pie from the mining industry, but the whole pie.
Black Economic Empowerment was introduced and mines had to give away half of their assets to black ANC members. For Anglo American Corporation, the writing was on the wall and before they could lose everything, they merged with Minorco in 1999 and moved their assets to London. In the last 10-15 years, more than 100,000 jobs have been lost in Welkom. The skip-wheels of the mines are not turning anymore and the noise of the mines, as well as the hot-rods, have fallen silent. The ziggurat-like walls of the slimes-dams next to the R73 road are the last remnants of a once-thriving mining industry. Today, the mines are in the hands of BEE companies and being plundered for scrap metal. The municipality of Matjabeng (nee Welkom) is run by the ANC. In June 2011 it came into prominence as one of the worst examples of ANC corruption and misrule. How a small town blew R2bn. on dodgy deals...

Most of the whites have left Welkom. Blacks make up 90% of the population and whites 8%. To say that the town is a shadow of its former self, is an understatement. The decay is obvious everywhere and it is fast becoming a ghost town. 1500 staff houses at the mines are standing empty. Even churches in town have closed their doors. The remaining whites in the area, mostly farmers, are struggling under stock theft and brutal farm attacks, tortures and murders .

Elsewhere it is not going any better. The Aurora mine at Grootvlei, which is owned by the Zuma and Mandela families and at one stage employed 5000 workers, now have less than 200. Aurora is now a ghost town. On the 8th of May 2011, in a Carte Blanche TV show, it was revealed that Cosatu (Council of SA Trade Unions) calls the owners of Aurora (Zuma and Mandela family members) -- Super Exploiters!!
If there is an abyss of desperation, these men abandoned at the mineworker hostels are in it. At Grootvlei, near Springs, the water and electricity has been cut, the toilets are a sanitary shock. On good days, they may have hot food. Two hours drive to the west, is the Orkney mine in Klerksdorp. There is an inescapable feeling of sadness here. Cooking pots are empty here too. Ntsani Mohapi has been on the mine since the mid '70s; he should be in line for a pension, but that is all gone now. "There are people who are crying, there are people who are dying, because we deal with people who are lying".
As things stand hundreds of miners are still in limbo; millions of Rands are outstanding in salaries. Wives have left husbands, children have dropped out of school, people have been blacklisted. They can't even claim Unemployment Insurance Funds.

The allegations against Aurora's directors are damning: since they took over the Pamodzi mines in 2009, which were fully operational at the time, they have been accused of not paying salaries, making endless broken promises, misappropriating UIF and pension fund money and stripping assets of mines they haven't paid for. (Source: Carte Blanche TV programme).

The BBC has extensively reported on how the Zuma (Jacob Zuma's nephew) and Mandela (Nelson Mandela's grandson) families exploit their workers and treat them worse than dogs. While the Zuma and Mandela family members grow rich and fat, they do not pay their starving workers, which effectively makes them slave owners. Is this the 'Freedom' Mandela and Zuma spoke about and fought for? They were not Freedom Fighters... They were not fighting for the Freedom of the people, rather for the enslavement of the people under a communist yoke.

The Grootvlei mine now stands in ruins. What could not be stolen and sold for scrap, is cut up and sold to the Chinese state-owned mining company, Shandong Gold. The white foreman at Aurora can only stand and watch as the looting of the mine continues. This is the same ANC who wants to nationalize the mines, the banks and the farms. Can you even imagine the utter enslavement of blacks, the dilapidation and ruin of South Africa that will follow? As the rivers of gold, and other critical minerals, that once flowed from South Africa dry up, one after the other, due to BEE and nationalisation, the world and especially the Oppenheimers will look back to the good old days, when the whites were in charge of South Africa and they were making their fortunes. The day will still come that they will realize that they might have betted on the wrong horse.

Allister Sparks is one of the most senior, respected journalists in the country. His facts can surely only be the truth, and many of them are already well known.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

The Story of Zahraa

Zahraa was a sweet 5 year-old girl. One day she saw a plastic pearl necklace. She asked her mum to buy it, but mum said, "It's a pretty necklace, but costs a lot of money. You will have to do a week of extra chores to pay 4 it. Zahraa agreed, and mum bought the neck-lace.

Zahraa worked on her chores very hard. Soon she had paid off the pearls. How she loved those pearls. She wore them everywhere - to pre-school, bed, even when she went out.

Zahraa had a very loving dad who used to read to her before she went to bed. One night, dad said, "Zahraa, do you love me?"
"Oh yes, Dad, you know I love you."
"Well, then, give me your pearls," Dad said.

"Not my pearls, Dad!" Zahraa said. "But you can have my favourite doll, You gave me last year for Eid."
"Oh no, darling, that's ok." Her father lovingly kissed her.

A week later, her father once again asked Zahraa, "Do you love me?"
"Oh yes Dad, you know I love you."
"Then, give me your pearls."
"Oh, Dad, not my pearls! But you can have my favourite toy horse." Zahraa said.
"That's ok," Dad said kissing her. "Bless you, little one. Sweet dreams."

A few days later, when Zahraa's father came to read her a story, she was sitting on her bed-her lip trembling. "Here, Dad," she said holding out her hand. Inside was her beloved pearl necklace. She let it slip into her father's hand.

He then pulled out a blue velvet box. Inside were genuine, beautiful pearls. He had them all along. He was waiting for Zahraa to give up the cheap stuff so he could give her the real thing.

So it is with Almighty Allah. He is waiting for us to give up the useless things in our lives so that he can give us a beautiful treasure. Are you holding onto things which Allah wants you to let go of like harmful partners, relationships, habits & activities you have become so attached to that it seems impossible to let go? Sometimes it's hard to see what's in the other hand but do believe this one thing... Allah Ta'ala will never take away something without giving you something beta in its place.

Remember that the greatest gifts happen when you share love & touch other's hearts.