Saturday, March 26, 2016

Ibn Battuta

Also known as Shams ad - Din, was born at Tangier, Morocco, on the 24th February 1304 C.E. (703 Hijra). He left Tangier on Thursday, 14th June, 1325 C.E. (2nd Rajab 725 A.H.), when he was twenty one years of age. His travels lasted for about thirty years, after which he returned to Fez , Morocco at the court of Sultan Abu 'Inan and dictated accounts of his journeys to Ibn Juzay. These are known as the famous Travels (Rihala) of Ibn Battuta. He died at Fez in 1369 C.E.

Ibn Battuta was the only medieval traveller who is known to have visited the lands of every Muslim ruler of his time. He also travelled in Ceylon (present Sri Lanka), China and Byzantium and South Russia. The mere extent of his travels is estimated at no less than 75,000 miles, a figure which is not likely to have been surpassed before the age of steam.

In the course of his first journey, Ibn Battuta travelled through Algiers, Tunis, Egypt, Palestine and Syria to Makkah. After visiting Iraq, Shiraz and Mesopotamia he once more returned to perform the Hajj at Makkah and remained there for three years. Then travelling to Jeddah he went to Yemen by sea, visited Aden and set sail for Mombasa, East Africa. After going up to Kulwa he came back to Oman and repeated pilgrimage to Makkah in 1332 C.E. via Hormuz, Siraf Bahrain and Yamama. Subsequently he set out with the purpose of going to India, but on reaching Jeddah, he appears to have changed his mind (due perhaps to the unavailability of a ship bound for India), and revisited Cairo, Palestine and Syria, thereafter arriving at Aleya (Asia Minor) by sea and travelled across Anatolia and Sinope. He then crossed the Black Sea and after long wanderings he reached Constantinople through Southern Ukraine.

On his return to Fez, Ibn Battuta dictated the accounts of his travels to Ibn Juzay al-Kalbi (1321-1356 C.E.) at the court of Sultan Abu Inan (1348-1358 C.E). Ibn Juzay took three months to accomplish this work, which he finished on 9th December 1355 C.E.

In order to experience the flavour of Ibn Battuta's narrative one must sample a few extracts. The following passage illustrates the system of social security in operation in the Muslim world in the early 14th century C.E.: "The variety and expenditure of the religious endowments at Damascus are beyond computation. There are endowments in aid of persons who cannot undertake the pilgrimage to Makkah, out of which ate paid the expenses of those who go in their stead. There are other endowments for supplying wedding outfits to girls whose families are unable to provide them and others for the freeing of prisoners. There are endowments for travellers, out of the revenues of which they are given food, clothing, and the expenses of conveyance to their countries. Then there are endowments for the improvement and paving of the streets, because all the lanes in Damascus have pavements on either side, on which the foot passengers walk, while those who ride use the roadway in the centre". p.69, ref l

Ibn Battuta - The Forgotten Traveller
Ibn Battuta's sea voyages and references to shipping reveal that the Muslims completely dominated the maritime activity of the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean , and the Chinese waters. Also it is seen that though the Christian traders were subject to certain restrictions, most of the economic negotiations were transacted on the basis of equality and mutual respect.

One can understand why these great Muslims are ignored by the West. But the indifference of the Muslim governments is incomprehensible. In order to combat the inferiority complex that plagues the Muslim Ummah, we must rediscover the contributions of Muslims in fields such as science, medicine, engineering, architecture and astronomy. This will encourage contemporary young Muslims to strive in these fields and not think that major success is beyond their reach.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Failing our Sons

Failing Our Sons

 ...While we spend so much time teaching our daughters how to be good wives, no one takes the time to teach our sons how to be good husbands.
We rarely say to them, “When you see your wife frustrated, don’t just leave the room to avoid her; try to comfort her, even if you think her reasons for being angry are unjustified.” No one says, “If you pull yourself off the couch to get a snack or something to drink, offer to get her the  same.” No one says, “Sometimes she just needs you to be there… really be there.” No one says, “There are a million ways to show her you care, and even though it will take some effort to find which she likes best, you do have to do it.”No one teaches them the importance of fulfilling their wives sexually. No one says any of that.

 Why are we always teaching our daughters how to be wives when we almost never teach our sons how to be husbands? Why do we not give our daughters this same courtesy? The sad truth is, no one cares. No one cares what kind of husband he will be; shy of physical abuse (and even then, sometimes they still don’t seem too concerned), he can be the worst husband in the world, but it’s up to his wife to suck it up and provide him with a happy home no matter how unhappy his careless  treatment makes her. The bottom line of this double standard is that we give husbands the right to be neglectful, and then when the marriage falls apart, the wife is blamed for being unable to keep it together.

If we care about the wellbeing of our daughters and of the Ummah overall, we must spend more time advising our sons that their role in the home plays a significant part in its atmosphere. We must explain to them repeatedly that their responsibilities go far beyond just the financial aspect. We must ingrain in them – just as we do to our daughters – their spiritual and emotional duties as a spouse. Studies show that children whose mothers are happy are themselves better adjusted and happier, leading to increased
happiness in adulthood as well. But where does that wife’s happiness come from? If her husband neglects her, caring only about his own satisfaction, whether that be emotionally or intimately, there is no way she will be able to find happiness. If he expects her to carry the full load of child-rearing and act as though he is not responsible, this, too, will have a negative effect on her, and consequently, on the entire household.
If, however, we teach our sons how to communicate with their wives – complement her on how she looks, express pride about a professional accomplishment she has achieved, show appreciation for the warm cooked meals she provides, embrace her when she’s sad or frustrated, talk to her about things which are occupying your attention, spend time with her where you are fully present, etc. – then we give them the communication skills which are essential in making their marriage successful.

By putting as much effort into teaching our sons how to be good husbands as we do to teaching our daughters how to be good wives, I have no doubt that divorce rates would decrease and there would be a sharp increase in the overall happiness in our homes. Many people are familiar with the hadith in
which ‘Aishah (RA) states that Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) “used to keep himself busy serving his family and when it was the time for prayer he would go for it.”

We must emphasise this in our homes, to our sons, and encourage them to emulate Rasool Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) in all his actions, including his treatment to his family. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying that we should not teach our daughters, nor am I saying that we should not advise each other about how to improve ourselves as wives. Not at all. We must teach our daughters and continue to advise each
other because marriage takes work. All I’m saying is that we need to make certain that our sons understand that marriage takes work from both parties. They must learn early on that just because women are more inclined to give in a relationship does not absolve men from giving; wives have desires and emotional needs for which their husbands are responsible. But the true  advantage of being a husband is that the more he gives, the more he’ll get back. The happier he makes his wife, the more eager she will be to please him.

Marriage is very much a positive feedback system; while both members give, the system produces more love and happiness. If one member slacks for a while, the system will continue to run, but only for a limited time. If either member doesn’t exert the required energy for extended periods of time, the system will fail.
Honestly, it’s that simple.

May Allah bless our Nikkah's with love, understanding, grant us mery and be garments unto each other, Aameen

Monday, March 21, 2016

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 a...hadith 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.

Marriage - One Amazing Journey...

Marriage - One Amazing Journey...

The fuel for the first half of the journey is love while the fuel for the second half of the journey is mercy.

Marriage initially takes off as a beautiful, novel experience in which you enjoy the thrills and frills.

Oh Allah bless our marriage and keep us guided on the straight path, Aameen!
With age, the couple turn over to a new page called “old age” which is certainly not some cold cage. Rather, it is a stage where a sage will wage no rage.
A true couple will happily and carefully work around moments of pain and agony. With patience and intelligence, they will learn to give and forgive, let and forget.
It is only natural to one day grow old, for the hair to become grey, the memory to fail and delay, the movements to completely slow down, the ears to struggle to pick up sound, and the eyes to squint to have to see. After all, everything tall will someday fall.
The couple are made of sand, by the unseen hand, all part of our Creators Divine plan.
The couple will have to live their life which will be surrounded by strife. The world is a place of pressure while the hereafter is full of grace and pleasure.
However, marriage is a special treasure which offers leisure in measure.
By keeping the hereafter in mind, the couple will find it easy to bind. It is so rewarding to be kind when put to the grind, allowing problems to quickly unwind.
Youth comes once and old age too. Many reach youth but old age a few. Thus old age is rare, which a selected few wear. An old couple is no trouble. Together they will care and remain fair. No frightening stare! No threatening dare! As an aged pair, they will repair, and for the hereafter prepare.
Every worldly journey ends, despite the many bends. Marriage certainly tends to have its sends and lends, mends and defends.
Death, however, is the final separator, controlled by one Creator, taking every couple sooner or later...
May Allah allow each spouse to be the coolness of each others' eyes and for us to appreciate each other before we leave this Dunya, Aameen