Thursday, November 19, 2015

How I feel as a Muslim after the attacks in Paris

How I feel as a Muslim after the attacks in Paris by Saffiya Ismail
I woke up to the breaking news in Paris. Instinctively, I contacted two of my friends living in Paris to check if they were fine. I was shocked, just as I was the day after the attack in Beirut.

It seems that Muslims just cannot get out of the spotlight. This spotlight is created by insane deranged idiots.

We just cannot get a break.

Every time there’s an event, all fingers point at every single Muslim.

Why should every single Muslim shoulder the blame for terrorist attacks. You hear the media saying that Muslims are not doing enough to denounce the “others”.

What’s even more disappointing for me is that my friends who know me (or at least I think they know me) question me and my stances.

I’ve read their comments, I’ve even received crude inbox messages and it made me wonder, did you always hate all Muslims or did you always feel this way about my faith and about me?


Do I need to walk around with an “I-Condemn” sign 24/7 for you to realise I am totally against terrorism, terror groups or any acts of terror?

Should I be screaming “Not in my name”, every time an idiot screams “Allahu Akbar” before detonating?

Why should I apologise on any platform for ISIS?

I do not agree with ISIS, I do not support them, I am not responsible for them, nor am I responsible for their formation in the Middle East and I think I can speak for myself and the 1.6 billion Muslims out there.

The majority of Muslims condemn the loss of innocent lives and bombing of civilians, and speak out against Islamic extremism in any other country.

We have never denied that certain autocratic governments in the Middle East are cruel and oppressive. They are denying rights which were given to women 1400 years, yet there are Muslim countries, who are very progressive and who have women at the forefront of politics, etc.

The majority of Muslims condemn racism, bigotry, anti-Semitism, islamophobia and the list goes on.

Islam has been hijacked by “groups” who reportedly say that they are Muslims, yet they do not adhere to the core essentials of Islam: mercy, compassion, respect for all irrespective of their race or religion, patience, good manners, etc.”

Who is ISIS really?

10 years ago, when someone said ISIS, you would have thought it was an Ancient Greek or Egyptian religion.

But where did ISIS originate? It seems that their formation was the result of the US led invasion of Iraq in Middle East.  But no one appointed them into speaking for the rest of us (Muslims).

The 99% of normal Muslims, such as myself, go about our daily lives, as we work, educate our children and make a positive contribution to our communities. We don’t want these merciless, heartless people representing us in any way or form.

They are misinterpreting everything in the Islamic religion. They are using verses out of the Quran to brainwash young adults (note: ISIS doesn’t recruit people over 30). It’s already crazy that many non-Muslims take a verse out of context to justify their hatred for Islams and Muslims.

Anything read, such as the holy book, can be open to interpretation.

Religion really has very little to do with the actions of their people, it's their culture they come out of. Every religion has some form of violence linked to it from Christianity to Judaism to Islam. However and most importantly every faith is rooted in the soil in which it is planted.

If you are already a misogynist, the verses will speak to that part of you. If you are a power hungry maniac, you will take the verse in mold it into you taking over the world, and you will use the verse to justify it.  I could read the very same verse, the power part could be speaking to my inner strength, the power to change by exuding positivity. The ones who commit these heinous crimes are reading the very same verses through the blinkers of their own cultural, ethnic, and power perspectives.

I am born Muslim, I read the very same verses and you don’t see me putting on a vest or one day picking up a weapon to convert every non-believer to my faith. When I read the Quran, it helps me fight my own Jihad, which is not a holy war, but my own internal battles.

Paradise is not promised to me or these groups who think they are the chosen ones. And how can killing innocent people justify your ticket to paradise? You have to be totally insane to believe this.

The blood of the innocent is on the hands of those who helped and those who’ve helped give birth to these mad men.

ISIS wants to take over the world.

Muslims are also under threat, but we are also targets.

Statistics show they are mass killing Muslims, because they refuse to acknowledge ISIS or join their group, if you do not imbibe and accept their philosophies, you will be killed. This alone should tell some bigoted people who slap stereotypes on everything that even I am under threat.
Why are Muslims frustrated?

We are all painted with the same ‘terrorism’ brush. We are monitored at airports with suspicion, railway platforms are death traps and on social media platforms we are ALL labelled terrorists.

Women are targeted for wearing hijab and women are killed by ISIS for not wearing hijab. Many peace-loving Muslims pay the price for these 1% nutters.

Do you think majority of the Muslims want this sort of life for their children and grandchildren or themselves? The entire world needs to rediscover our humanity.

We all need to join together to fight any form of terrorism, oppression, and injustice, so that we can live peacefully and respectfully on this planet. I don’t expect that I can cure everyone of their ignorance.

All I say is stop drawing parallels between these nutters and the rest of the Muslim. It’s about time that people understand the difference between religion and culture.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Life of Austerity (Pious Women)

Life of Austerity (Pious Women)
(Ummu Kulthoom, the daughter of Faatimah [radhiyallahu ‘anhuma] – Part Three)
Ummu Kulthoom (radhiyallahu ‘anha) once handed perfume, drinking utensils and small vanity cases to a messenger, without the knowledge of ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), and asked him to deliver it to the Queen of Rome. On receiving the gifts, the Queen gathered the women of her court and announced, “These gifts are from the Queen of the Arabs who is the daughter of their Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).” She then replied to the gesture by sending gifts of her own – among which was a stunning necklace – to Ummu Kulthoom (radhiyallahu ‘anha).
When the messenger arrived in the presence of ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) bearing the gifts sent by the Roman Queen, ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) came to know of what had transpired and thus immediately called up a council meeting announcing, “Verily there will be no good in any of my matters if they are decided without consultation (mashurah). Ummu Kulthoom (radhiyallahu ‘anha) sent gifts to the Roman Queen due to which the Roman Queen, in return, sent her gifts. Advise me as to what should be done.” When they heard the situation, they all expressed the opinion that the gifts sent by the Roman Queen rightfully belonged to Ummu Kulthoom (radhiyallahu ‘anha).
‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), however, was not satisfied. He objected and said, “What about the messenger she used? He is employed and paid by the Muslims (it was not correct for her to use the messenger for her personal errand).” ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) therefore had all the gifts deposited into the public treasury and only gave Ummu Kulthoom (radhiyallahu ‘anha) the amount of wealth that she had given the Roman Queen. (Tareekh Tabari vol. 5, pg. 259)
1. Being the queen did not mean that she lived a life of luxury and opulence. Rather, the privilege of being the wife of ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) came along with the divorce of luxuries and accepting to lead a life of austerity and abstinence.
2. When the husband corrects his wife, she should accept the rectification and comply instead of complaining and becoming upset. She should understand that he wants her to improve only because he wants the best for her.
 (to be continued insha-Allah)

Monday, November 09, 2015

A'ishah (radhiAllahu 'anha)

Totally mind-blown to discover that A'ishah (radhiAllahu 'anha) had her own tafseer - in fact, one of the first written tafaseer to exist.

Apparently, "A'ishah's mus'haf" was well-known and she had a scribe copy out her manuscript, which contained the ayaat of the Qur'an and her commentary on them. Her tafseer was even more detailed than that of Abdullah ibn Abbas.
In addition, the majority of her students were strong and pious individuals, and it's rare to find fabricated ahadith attributed to her - whereas many fabricated ahadith are attributed to Abdullah ibn Abbas (radhiAllahu 'anhu).

Note: There are various reasons for which A'ishah's original manuscript may not be available to us today. However, one scholar by the name of Sa'ud ibn Abdullah al-Funaysaan collected all her ahadith regarding tafseer of ayaat o the Qur'an in various books of ahadith, and put together his own book which he titled Marwiyyaat Umm al-Mu’mineen A’ishah fitTafseer.


Rules of a Muslim Home (#10) - Kindness to One's Neighbour (Part One)

Rules of a Muslim Home (#10) - Kindness to One's Neighbour (Part One)
Among the important rules of a Muslim home is being kind and considerate to one’s neighbours. There are numerous ahaadeeth that explain the rights of the neighbour.
Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) had once mentioned: “Jibreel (‘alaihis salaam) has been repeatedly stressing upon me the rights of the neighbour to such an extent that I thought the neighbour would soon be made to inherit in one’s estate.” (Saheeh Bukhaari #6014)
Once the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) enquired from Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam): “What are the rights of the neighbour?” He (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) replied:
1. Give him a loan if he seeks a loan.
2. Assist him when he asks for assistance.
3. Visit him when he is ill.
4. Help him if he is needy.
5. Give him financial assistance if he is poor.
6. Congratulate him on happy occasions.
7. Console him in adversity.
8. Accompany his funeral when he dies.
9. Do not build your house higher than his without his permission lest his ventilation may be obstructed.
10. Do not inconvenience him with the fragrance of your food unless you share some with him.
11. If you buy fruit, send some for him. If you cannot do so, take the fruit into your house concealed so that he cannot see it. Do not allow your children to take it out and eat openly in case his children see it and become grieved. (Fathul Baari vol. 10, pg. 547)
In another hadeeth it is mentioned that once Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) took an oath thrice saying, “By Allah, he is not a Believer, By Allah, he is not a Believer, By Allah, he is not a Believer.” Someone asked, “Who is not a Believer?” Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “The one who’s neighbour is not safe from his ill-treatment.” (Saheeh Bukhaari #6016)

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

The Fault Finders

The Fault Finders

There are some people you come across who just seem to find fault with everything. Often the intentions behind such remarks are malicious.

We want to put someone down, we want to belittle them so we criticise everything they do and we find fault with it. It may seem like nothing to us but the punishment is severe.

In a tradition related by Hadrat Rashid bin Sa'ad it is related that the Holy Prophet observed "I saw some people who were hanging by their breasts" I enquired: "these are those who found faults with others and brought calumnies against them" (Ahmed)

*Calumny:making false or damaging statements about someone.
Therefore before your tongue itches to say something nasty, before your fingers itch to type something nasty think about the consequences, not only for the person you're about to hurt but for yourself too.

May Allah (swt) save us from this, Aameen

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Ummu Kulthoom, the daughter of Faatimah [radhiyallahu ‘anhuma] – Part Two

(Ummu Kulthoom, the daughter of Faatimah [radhiyallahu ‘anhuma] – Part Two)
Every young girl longs and makes du‘aa for the day she’ll receive a good proposal. Imagine a girl who is proposed for by not only the ruler of the time, but a ruler who is also, without a doubt, the second best person to walk the surface of this earth after the Ambiyaa (‘alaihimus salaam).
During his rule, ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) requested ‘Ali (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) to give him the hand of his daughter, Ummu Kulthoom (radhiyallahu ‘anha), in marriage. ‘Ali (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) initially declined and excused himself saying that he had reserved his daughters for the sons of his brother, Ja’far (radhiyallahu ‘anhu). ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), however, pleaded with him and explained that there was no one who would appreciate and value her nobility as much as he would. ‘Ali (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) therefore agreed and the nikaah was performed.
After the nikaah, ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) went to a group of Muhaajireen and exclaimed in excitement, “Congratulate me!” They congratulated him and asked, “Who have you married?” He replied, “The daughter of ‘Ali (radhiyallahu ‘anhu). I had heard Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) saying, ‘Every relationship will be severed (will be of no avail) on the Day of Qiyaamah besides my relationship.’ I had given my daughter (Hafsah [radhiyallahu ‘anha]) in marriage to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and so I wished to take one of his family in my marriage.” (Al-Isaabah vol. 8, pg. 465) 
1. Although the main reason for her receiving this excellent proposal was her being the grand-daughter of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), which is not something that is within a person’s choice, we definitely have the choice of acquiring praise worthy qualities and habits that will be a reason for us receiving good proposals as well.
2. Very often, a bad picture is painted regarding the relationship between ‘Umar and ‘Ali (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) in an attempt to show that they were enemies who hated one another. The logical answer is that if ‘Ali (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) regarded ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) to be his arch enemy, would he have ever handed his young daughter to him in marriage?
 (to be continued insha-Allah)