Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Safeguarding the Secret

Imagine a woman who possesses an exquisite piece of jewellery. She values it, cherishes it and guards it, always fearful for its safety.

One day, in a moment of negligence, she confided in a person whom she had wrongfully regarded as a friend, informing her of the jewellery, its location and even its worth! Shortly thereafter, the home was burgled and her precious jewellery was stolen. In the aftermath of this tragedy, she wrung her hands in regret, lamenting to herself, “Why did I reveal the secret?”

Similarly, all women associate and interact with other women. As Allah Ta‘ala has created all people uniquely and blessed them differently, one woman may have some feature that is exceptionally attractive, while another may be attractive and blessed with beauty in a different aspect, and a third woman may be blessed with beauty in all aspects!
One of the greatest treasures that a woman can possess is the attention of her husband, where he finds her attractive and is satisfied with her. Having said that, one of the quickest ways to lose this treasure is to ‘reveal the secret’ by speaking of other women to one’s husband, describing their features, habits, manner of speaking, clothing, figure, walking or anything else related to them for that matter. 

If one wishes to enjoy the undivided attention of her husband, then why does she discuss and describe other women to him, intentionally drawing his attention away from herself and towards these women and their beauty?

Thereafter, when he begins thinking about these women, or even worse – fantasizing over the picture that his wife painted on the canvas of his imagination, she will naturally become upset and feel betrayed. While he is answerable for his actions and will be taken to task for it, however she fails to realize that she has nobody to blame but herself for her own misery, as she personally ‘introduced’ these women to her husband by speaking about them and describing them to him.

Hence, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) himself taught us that a woman should not interact with another woman, thereafter describing her to her husband in such a vivid manner that it is as if he can actually see that woman. (Saheeh Bukhaari #5240)

This beautiful teaching of Islam not only safeguards the husband from sin, but also serves as a means of protection for the marriage by allowing the husband to remain satisfied and content with his wife. 

May Allah (swt) save us from calamaties which we in our control, Aameen

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Cling to the feet of your mother, for Paradise lies there....

Cling to the feet of your mother, for Paradise lies there

Haqqseeker

Let us for a while turn the clock backwards to a point some 25 years back. 

Time: 2.15 am

On an unpleasantly cold, mystifying night the moon is sheltered by the murky looming clouds.  The night’s eerie silence is punctuated only by an occasional bark of a dog or by a cacophony caused by two cats fighting. 

Suddenly the oppressive regime of the night is sharply interrupted by a very shrill scream…

And what happens next?

A woman suddenly gets up from her deep slumber and throws her blanket aside…

Please do not take this to be the beginning of a horror story or a thriller. This is the narration of a scene of reality that you would witness in every home where there are babies. The scream in this particular story is that of a baby boy and the woman who gets up instantly on hearing this scream is none other than his mother. Like all other infants this boy too has absolutely no sense of timing and neither is he bothered about the fact that his mother badly needs a good night’s sleep after a hard day’s work. The most amazing thing, however, is that the mother wakes up from her sleep at such an odd hour, nurses her baby and attends to all his needs, including changing his nappy, with all her heart and without even a sign of irritation.
- - -
And now, twenty five years later, let us witness what transpires between the same boy and his mother.

Time: 10 pm

It is a very pleasant cloudless night with the full moon radiating a soothing glow of light.

The young man and his wife are in their bedroom. Both are engrossed in their Smartphones. Suddenly they hear the gentle voice of the husband’s mother. She is calling her son from her bedroom and her voice is reflecting pain. The man asks his wife to go and see why she is calling. The wife refuses to go. She says she is busy chatting with her friend in WhatsApp.

The man stands up and proceeds towards his mother’s bedroom. Standing on the doorway, he says in an irritated voice, “Mom, what is wrong? Why are you calling me?  You know that after a hard day’s work, this is the only time we get to relax.”
“I am sorry I could not help calling you. I have an unbearable pain in my head and since your father is away, I was wondering if you or your wife could massage my head.”

“But Mom, why don’t you take some painkillers?” says the man.  

“It’s okay, my love, don’t worry. Go back to your room. I will manage somehow,” says the mother.

Narrated above is one of the scenes taking place in many homes, with slight variations here and there. It is a pity that the man in the above narration forgets that it is the same woman who, with the grace of Allah, has brought him to this world after suffering all kinds of pains and discomforts for more than nine long months; it is the same woman who used to wake up at odd hours just to attend to his needs and to see that he remained at ease, it is the same woman who fed him with her milk; it is the same woman for whom he meant the entire world so much so that she was prepared to suffer any kind of hardship just to see that her ‘bundle of joy’ was happy and comfortable.

Allah, the most glorified, the most high, has placed a unique and a very strong magnetic bond between the mother and her baby. This is the relationship that, when felt to its deepest degree, causes the mother to feel that the baby is a part of her. This feeling is so strong that the mother feels complete when she is with her baby and incomplete when they are apart.

The meaning of being a mother is virtually endless. A mother is a protector, a guide and very close friend for her child. A mother is a selfless, loving human who is ready to sacrifice many of their wants and needs for the wants and needs of their children. A mother works hard to make sure her child is equipped with the knowledge, skills and abilities to make it as a competent human being. Being a mother is perhaps the hardest, most rewarding job a woman will ever experience.
In Islam motherhood has been given a very high status. Allah, the Most High, says in Noble Qur’an:

“We enjoined man to treat his parents kindly. His mother bore him with hardship and delivered him with hardship and his bearing and weaning are in thirty months…” (Qur’an 46:15)

The emphasis on obedience and kindness to parents is of such a high and prior degree that the Qur’an couples the sin of disobedience to parents to disobedience to Allah the Most High. It is, in fact, likened to shirk (associating partners with Allah), hence the Qur’an Majeed says in a number of places:

“Do not commit shirk with Allah and be kind to parents…”

After prohibiting shirk, the Qur’an prohibits disobedience to parents. A disobedient child lives under Divine curse.

Between our two parents, our mother has obviously been accorded a much higher status as we can see in the following hadeeth:

Abu Huraira reported: A man asked the Messenger of Allah, Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, “Who is most deserving of my good company?” The Prophet said, “Your mother.” The man asked, “Then who?” The Prophet said “Your mother.” The man asked again, “Then who?” The Prophet said, “Your mother.” The man asked again, “Then who?” The Prophet said, “Your father.” (Bukhārī, Muslim)

The golden pages of Islamic history has a very inspiring example of a man called Owais Qarni who secured a very high position after serving his mother. 

‘Usair Ibn ‘Amr relates that Umar Ibn Al-Khatab, Allah be pleased with him, whenever reinforcement came from Yemen, would ask them whether ‘Uwais Ibn Amer was among them.

This continued until he met ‘Uwais Ibn Amer, Allah be pleased with him. He asked him are you ‘Uwais Ibn Amer?” When he answered “Yes,” Umar asked him, “Are you from the tribe of Murad from the clan of Qaran?” He answered “Yes.” Then he asked him, “Did you suffer from leprosy and you were cured of it except for the spot as large as a dirham (coin)?” He answered in the affirmative. Then he asked him “Do you have a mother (who is still living)?” He also answered in the affirmative. Then Umar said he had heard the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, saying, “A man called ‘Uwais Ibn Amer will come to you with reinforcements coming from Yemem. He is from Murad then from Qaran; he used to suffer from leprosy but he was cured of it except for a spot as large as a dirham; he is benevolent with his mother; [he is so close to Allah that] if he swears, Allah will fulfil his oath. If you can ask him to supplicate to Allah to forgive you, do.” Umar asked him to supplicate to Allah to forgive him, and ‘Uwais Ibn Amer did. (Gardens of the Virtuous complied by Al-Imam Al-Nawawi)

As long as your mother is around, love her and serve her as much as you can. A time will come when your mother will have gone very far from you and you will never be able see her even for a moment.

In conclusion here is a hadeeth that very appropriately illustrates the rightful status of a mother:

Mu’awiyah ibn Jahima reported: Jahima came to the Prophet, Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, and he said, “O Messenger of Allah, I intend to join the expedition and I seek your advice.” The Prophet said, “Do you have a mother?” He said yes. The Prophet said, “Stay with her, for Paradise is beneath her feet.” (Sunan al-Nasā’ī 3104)


So revere your mother and cling to her feet, for Jannah lies there!

May Allah grant my mum and all mums ease and ultimately Jannat-ul-Firdowse, Aameen!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A Letter from Rohingya


MYANMAR - A Letter from Rohingya
 
 
 

More than 270,000 Rohingyans, a large percentage of them women and children, have fled Myanmar in the last two weeks[Mohammad Ponir Hossain/Reuters]
 

A resident of Myanmar's Rakhine State discusses daily life and the abuses and attacks Rohingyans endure.
 
 
 
“For all my life, all 24 years of it, I've been a prisoner in this open air jail you know as Rakhine State. I was born in Myanmar, as were my parents, but my citizenship was snatched away before I was even conceived. We're facing extinction, and unless the international community stands with us, one of the most persecuted people in the world, we will face genocide and you, you will all be a party to it.
 

My movement, education, access to healthcare and career have been heavily restricted because of my ethnicity. I'm banned from working in the government, denied the right to pursue higher education, barred from visiting the capital, Yangon, and even stopped from leaving northern Rakhine State. I'm subjected to the worst form of discrimination, all because I'm a Rohingyan Muslim.
 
 
For years, my people, who have been denied their most basic rights, are killed on a near daily basis. Shot dead in plain sight, forcibly and systematically made homeless, our homes razed in front of our very eyes; we're the victims of a brutal state.
 
 
For you to fully appreciate what our conditions are like, I'm going to use an analogy: imagine a mouse stuck in a cage with a hungry cat. That's what it's like for the Rohingyans. Our only method of survival is to run, or hope someone helps us get out.
 
 
For those of us that have remained, there's a systematic campaign to separate us from the wider Rakhine community. We're called "Kalar" [a slur often used against Muslims] by Buddhists to our faces. Whether you're a child or an old man, no one escapes the abuse. We face discrimination at schools and at hospitals, and there's been a boycott campaign by Buddhists to avoid us at all costs.
 
 
"Only buy from Buddhists," they say. "If you give a penny to a Buddhist, they'll help build a Pagoda (temple), but if you give a penny to a Muslim, they'll build a mosque." These kinds of comments, they've become the norm and helped encourage Buddhist extremists to attack us.
 
 
When Aung San Suu Kyi, a Noble Peace Prize winner, won parliamentary elections in 2015 and ended half a century of dominance by the military, we had high hopes change was coming. We were confident that this woman, hailed as a beacon of democracy, would end our abuse and oppression. Sadly, it soon became clear that not only would she not be our voice, she would ignore our suffering. Her silence showed she was complicit in the violence.
 
 
In the end, she failed us; our last hope, failed us.
 
 
In 2012, a huge number of the Rohingya were slaughtered in one of the worst bouts of communal violence. Around 140,000 were internally displaced, an event that would repeat itself in 2016. Shot, slaughtered, and burned alive in front of their families, the violence last October would give rise to the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), a small group of men who decided to defend themselves and fight back. Armed with just sticks and stones, they knew they couldn't fend off the well-equipped Myanmar army but they tried nonetheless.
 
 
Still, now our sisters and mothers are forced to give birth in paddy fields as we run for our lives in this violence that you say is between two equal sides. It is not. Children being shot at as they flee and women's bodies floating in rivers is not an equal fight.
 
 
We're facing extinction, and unless the international community stands with us, one of the most persecuted people in the world, we will face genocide and you, you will all be a witness to it.
 
 
The author of this letter has requested anonymity due to fear of attacks from the government.
 
He spoke to Al Jazeera's Faisal Edroos. 
 
The plight of the Rohingyan Muslims has reached critical levels. Our URGENT appeal is to assist in providing aid to the refugees fleeing persecution. Kindly assist our Rohingyan brethren in their desperate hour of need. Jazakallah Khayr! 



Ways to Donate
Donate over the Phone
0861 786 243
   
Donate using your mobile
Text Lillah + R10
to 48708
   
FNB : 62102373206
Branch code : 220325
or click here for other banking details
   
Post Cheque to
P.O.Box 481
3310 - Estcourt




Thursday, June 22, 2017

Dua'a

There is nothing more beautiful than bowing down at the end of a long day of fasting to ask Allah for our hearts halaal desires. Remember as well that dua'a at the time of breaking fast is accepted so don't be shy to make dua'a.
Below listed are a few essential things that one should ask for in dua'a. Remember to add you own things to the list and to share with your loved ones for their benefit:
Ask Allah:
*For guidance (hidayah) and to be kept on the straight path, to be among those whom Allah has chosen to guide and not those who go astray
*To make our hearts open to guidance
*To keep the flame of imaan burning in our hearts always
*To put in our hearts a love of doing good and an abhorrence of sinning
*For forgiveness for our sins and the strength to stay away from those sins in future
*For acceptance of whatever little good we do
*For protection from all types of harm (Physical, spiritual, emotional, monetary, safe from the harms of insects, animals, man, jinn etc.)
*To be kept in good health
*For Allah to never make us dependent on others
*A good death with dignity imaan
*To be taken away in a state in which Allah is pleased with us
*For Allah to ease the pangs of death for us
*Ease from the time our souls are taken away, to the time our bodies are given a ghusl to the time we are lowered into our qabrs
*Good neighbours in the qabr
*Help in answering questioning of the qabr with ease
*Being saved from punishment in the qabr and for our qabrs to be illuminated with noor from Jannah and for our qabrs to be beautiful gardens of Jannah
*To be resurrected with imaan
*To be granted shade under Allah’s Arsh (throne)
*To not drown in our own sweat and blood when the sun is just above our heads
*For the day of resurrection to pass by quickly for us
*For our good deeds to outweigh our bad deeds and for it to be such that no one is able to lay claim to our good deeds nor are they able to give us their bad deeds
*For ease in crossing the siraats
*For entry into Jannah and to be saved from Jahannum
*For help for our Muslim brothers and sisters in war torn countries (Syria, Palestine, Burma, Afghanistan, Egypt, China, Iraq and wherever else in the world they may be facing persecution)
*For help for all those that were taken as prisoners unlawfully such as Dr. Aafiya Siddiqi and all the other thousands of nameless and faceless ones that we may not know about
*For ease for our deceased family members in their qabrs
*For good for our loved ones
*Any other halaal desire that we may have (though it is best to ask for that which is best for us for Allah knows things that we do not)
*Any other good thing that we may have to ask for, for others e.g. A person we personally know in need, a family member going through a difficult time etc.
Add your own things to the list, ask for halaal things and make dua'a for others. The angels will say “Aameen and it is for you as well”.

Friday, June 09, 2017

Keeping the tongue moist with Dhikr

Dhikr to recited in Ramadaan (and any other time of the year) 
Below listed are a few things that one can read in Ramadaan (and any other time of the year) to gain reward. Copy, save and share with your dear ones so that they may benefit from it too. Add your own things to the lists as well.

Dhikr/things to recite:
1. Allahu Akbar (Allah is the greatest)
2. Alhamdulillah (All praise be to Allah)
3. Subhanallah (Glory be to Allah)
4. Astagfirullah
5. Subhanallahi wa bihamdihi Subhanallahil Azeem
6. Kalimah tayyibah (first kalimah)
7. Durood shareef
8. Laa hawla wa laa quwata illah billah
9. SubhanAllahi Wa bihamdihi, ‘adada khalqihi, wa ridaa nafsihi, wa zinatah ‘arshihi, wa midada kalimatihi
10. Allahumma innaka afuwan tuhibbul afwa fa’fu anni
11. Allaahmma anta rabbee laa elaaha illaa Anta khalaqtanee wa ana ‘abduka wa ana ‘alaa ‘ahdika wa wa’dika mastata’tu. A’oothu bika min sharri ma sana’tu. Aboo’u laka bi ni’matika alayya wa aboo’u laka bi thambee. Faghfir lee. Fa innahoo laa yaghfiruth-thunooba illaa anta
12. Rabbana aatina fid dunya hasanato
13. Surah ikhlaas (Qul huwallahu Ahad)
14. Surah Zil Zaal (Izaa zul zila)
15. Surah Kaafiroon (Qul yaa ayyuhal kaafiroon)
16. Surah Qadr (inna anzal na hu Fi laylatil qadr)
Significance of reciting the above:
1-3. Allah showers his mercy on the one who makes dhikr and the angels make dua for him/her. Allah blesses the one who makes dhikr with guidance and understanding of deen. Allah will greet those who made dhikr with the words ‘As salaamu alaikum’ on the day that we meet Him. (Surah Ahzab)
4. “If anyone constantly seeks pardon (from Allah), Allah will appoint for him a way out of every distress and a relief from every anxiety, and will provide sustenance for him from where he expects not.” [Abu Dawud].
5. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (Peace Be Upon him) said, “There are two statements that are light for the tongue to remember, heavy in the Scales and are dear to the Merciful: `Subhan-Allahi wa bihamdihi, Subhan-Allahil-Azim [Glory be to Allah and His is the praise, (and) Allah, the Greatest is free from imperfection)’.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
6. The words that profess the Oneness of Allah and the words that need to be on our tongue when we breathe our last.
7. The Holy Prophet said that: “Whoever from my ummah sends durood on me once ten good deeds are recorded on his behalf, his ten (minor) sins are pardoned and he is elevated by ten stages” (Sunan Nisai and Musnad Ahmed, AI-targhib li al Mundhari)
8. Hadhrat Abu Dharr narrated that Rasulallah said: “Should I not tell you of one treasure of the unlimited treasures of Paradise?” I replied spontaneously “Oh Rasulallah (Peace be upon him) that would be an honour indeed!” Rasulallah said: “That rare treasure is LA HAWLA WA LA QUWWATA ILLA BILLAH.” (“The strength to do good and to refrain from evil comes from the grace and mercy of Allah!”) -(Ibn Majah)
9. The Mother of the Believers, Juwairiyah bint Al-Harith reported that, “the Prophet came out from my apartment in the morning as I was busy in performing the dawn prayer. He came back in the forenoon and found me sitting there. The Prophet said, ”Are you still in the same position as I left you.” I replied in the affirmative. Thereupon the Prophet said, “I recited four phrases three times after I had left you. If these are to be weighed against all you have recited since morning, these will be heavier. These are: Subhan-Allah Wa bihamdihi, ‘adada khalqihi, wa rida-a nafsihi, wa zinatah ‘arshihi, wa midada kalimatihi (Allah is free from imperfection and I begin with His praise, as many times as the number of His creatures, in accordance with His Good Pleasure, equal to the ink that may be used in recording the words (for His Praise).” [Narrated by Muslim]
10. Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported:
I asked: “O Messenger of Allah! If I realize Lailat-ul-Qadr (Night of Decree), what should I supplicate in it?” He (
) replied, “You should supplicate: Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun, tuhibbul-‘afwa, fa’fu ‘anni (O Allah, You are Most Forgiving, and You love forgiveness; so forgive me).”
[At-Tirmidhi]
11. Shaddad ibn Aws narrated that the Prophet [صلى الله عليه وسلم] said; “the most superior request for forgiveness is to say:
‘Allaahmma anta rabbee laa elaaha illaa ant. Anta khalaqtanee wa ana ‘abduka wa ana ‘alaa ‘ahdika wa wa’dika mastata’t. A’oothu bika min sharri ma sana’t. Aboo’u laka bi ni’matika alayya wa aboo’u laka bi thambee. Faghfir lee. Fa innahoo laa yaghfiruth-thunooba illaa ant.’
[O Allah, You are my Lord. There is no god besides You. You created me and I am Your servant, following your covenant and [my] promise to you as much as I can. I seek refuge in You from the evil that I have done. Before You I acknowledge Your blessings bestowed upon me and I confess my sins to You. So forgive me, for surely no one can forgive sins except You.]
The Prophet [صلى الله عليه وسلم] then added, ‘anyone who says this during the day, firmly believing in it, and dies before the evening; or says it in the evening, firmly believing in it, and dies before the following morning, will be among the people of paradise.’ ”
[Sahih al-Bukhari]
12-14. Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas and Anas Ibn Malik (Ra) reported that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said, ‘Whoever recited Surah Zilzilah (99) would get the reward of reciting half the Qur’an. Whoever recited Surah al Kaafirun (109) would get a reward as if reading a quarter of the Qur’an. Whoever recited Surah al Ikhlas (112)would get a reward as if reading one third of the Qur’an’. (At-Tirmidhi 2818/A)
15. The Surah explaining what the night of power is.
* Ladies that are in haidh/nifaas can recite 1-11

Friday, May 26, 2017

A Stark Reality - my wake up call...

They met in Aalamul Arwaah, the realm of souls. Two souls, identical in appearance yet divided by a wide chasm of years and worldly experience. One of them held an unused ticket in his hand; a return ticket to the dunya, the world. The other held an expired ticket; his time in the world having come to an end.
"Where are you off to?" He asked his companion.
"To the dunya. My time there starts in a few days."
"But you do know that you have to return, right?"
"Yes, of course! I know that I have to come back to my Rabb and I will long for the day I return every minute, every day of my life. I know that my journey is temporary and my eternal abode awaits me here. I will try my utmost to fulfill my responsibility in the world so that I can return and enjoy the pleasures contained here once more."
And so, he left. Filled with the promises made to his Rabb, filled with the purpose of his temporary visit into the world, he ventured forth oh-so-confidently.
But alas! He knew not that this world is a place of temptations, of sinful pleasures and a whirlwind of untold delights that would suck him into its vortex, with hardly any way out.
And so he forgot. He forgot the promises made to his Rabb. He forgot the return ticket still tightly clutched in his hand, with its impending date of return getting closer with the slow ticking of the clock.
Or did he forget? I don't think so. I think he merely chose to ignore the glaring fact and bury it deep within the recesses of his mind. Thinking that the saying would prove true in his case; "out of sight, out of mind".
But that's no excuse, is it? For when the final boarding call comes there will be no escaping it. The ticket will have to be presented, the flight will have to be boarded. Are we ready to undertake this journey?

So let us wake up, oh muslimahs. Let us become aware of the existence of our return tickets. We do not know the date imprinted on them but we do know that it could be anytime. So let us prepare for this journey before the clock stops ticking and before our escort arrives to take us to our final destination. Let us pray each salah like it's our last. Let us watch each sunset like it's our last. And let us make the most of this ramadhaan if we reach it because it might be our last....

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Surah Al-Waqiah 56: - (The Imminent Event)

Surah Al-Waqiah 56: - (The Imminent Event) - Part One

With the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Most-Merciful

SPECIAL CHARACTERISTIC OF SURAH AL-WAQIAH: 

Sayyidna Abdullah Ibn Mas'ood's Didactic Story on his Deathbed - lbn Kathir cites a story on the authority of Ibn Asakir from Abu Zabyah that when Sayyidna Abdullah Ibn Mas'ud RA was lying on his deathbed, Sayyidna Uthman RA paid him a visit and the following conversation ensued.

Uthman RA: "What are you suffering from?"
Ibn Masood RA: "from my sins."
Uthman RA: "Do you desire anything?"
Ibn Masood RA: "Yes, Allah's mercy."
Uthman RA: "Shall I call a doctor for you?"
Ibn Masood RA: "It is the doctor who has given me the ailment."
Uthman RA: "May I send you an allowance from the public treasury?"
Ibn Masood RA: "I have no need for it."
Uthman RA: "Accept it, . You are leaving daughters behind you. It will help them."
Ibn Masood RA: "You are worried about my daughters that they must not suffer from poverty. I have no such worry, because I have instructed them to recite Surah Al-Waqi'ah every night. I have heard the Messenger of Allah (Peace Be Upon Him) say, “Whoever recites Surah Al-Waqi'ah every night will never suffer from poverty'."

lbn Kathir, after citing this story from Ibn 'Asak.ir, has supported it with other chains of transmitters and other sources.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Needs VS. Wants

Needs VS. Wants

When we moved to our first house in Bloomington, a few years back, one of our neighbours, a very nice young couple who had a 9/10 year old daughter, knocked our door a week or so after we moved in, holding a home-made cake.

They came to pay us a visit, to say welcome to the neighbourhood.

That was the nicest gesture that made our first experience in an almost all-white American neighbourhood, with its first Muslim family, very pleasant. I do not know if they knew it then, but it is such a refreshing feeling to have people walk up to you with an open-mind and say welcome, we would like to get to know you and who knows, we might become good friends…
Another reason why we thought this family was special was their daughter Kate. She was an only child. One of the nicest, most-caring, intelligent, confident, talented, well-mannered young people I have seen in a long time. Her mother and I used to get together time to time for tea. I was caring for an infant, and juggling motherhood, and she was a talented breastfeeding consultant with a big heart. I remember asking her, as I do unceasingly with parents whose kids strike my attention as being exceptional, what they did that worked so well! I was hungry for any advice, especially from a mother whose parenting skills was proven to have worked so well.
She shared an important parenting tip, which I found genious (though it might seem common-sense once you hear it, most parents never come up with it on their own): teach her the distinction between needs and wants.

We must and will meet all her needs, to the best of our abilities.
But we do not have to and will not fulfill all her wants.

So when she asks for something, a new toy or a candy, we ask her: do you need this or do you just want this? Teach her this is a want as opposed to a need. Then, depending on your family rules on toys/how much candy and when…etc. you can either get that or not.
When she asks for things that she actually needs, say she is thirsty and she asks for a bottle of water in the supermarket, or she does not have slippers for the summer, you point out that she needs these and you are meeting her needs. Of course, we should not do this as if sticking to her eyes, see how good parents we are, we are doing all this for you… That’s not the right attitude or even the reality of the matter. We are only teaching her the difference between needs and wants, AND that she has parents who will try their best to meet her needs, hence she can feel secure, loved, and taken-care-of.
Why do this? What is the point of differentiating between needs vs. wants?

Well, first of all, in today’s world, children AND adults are conditioned (by society, media, marketing techniques…) that they NEED that toy, they simply NEED that larger, more efficient food processor…etc. This is an economy that is driven by consumerism. They more we consume, the richer some guys get. The more we have to work (hence less time for family) to earn money, so we can buy more things.
Ironically, the more we work and become workaholics who spend 5/6 out of 7 days at work, deceiving ourself that we are working for our kids’ benefit (to give them better things, to pay for private school…), the less time we spend with our kids. The less time and energy we have for our family. Ultimately, we have more, and we are less happy. Nothing satisfies us. The more we acquire the more disappointed we are that it does not make us happier.
Kids who have everything, can never be satisfied with anything. Hence, they start notching it up more and more. The latest playstation did not work; let’s try a new mustang daddy. Oops, that is not enough either. How about these recreational drugs. I hear they make you really happy! How about risky relationships…. and the climb up continues until the final steep fall…
The only way to break the cycle is to put a halt to this cycle of consumerism (work-to buy-work more-to buy more…and so on). We really really do NOT need all this stuff.
We want to be happy. We need to be happy.
But ‘things’ are not going to make us happy.

When we build up their expectations for a new toy, we teach them ‘things’ make us happy, that’s what they should look forward to: If you behave well, I will buy you a lollipop or a new doll. Wait for your birthday and I will get you a big, new firetruck…
Instead, we can build their expectations for experiences: We are going to make a special camping trip for your birthday! If you finish your meal, I will teach you how to climb a tree! If you complete your homework, we will go out for a bike race! You can have a play-date with your friend Aisha, if you clean up your room…etc.
We can teach our kids the distinction between needs vs. wants only if we adhere to this life-view! If we buy whatever our whim desires, whenever it desires, then we have no shot at instilling these values in our children (nor should we be hypocritical and try). When we buy a new shirt because we truly need it, we must convey this to our kid, frame our purpose in needs vs. wants paradigm.
When we are at a store and she is interested in something, we pick it up and she plays with it while we are in there, and puts it back as we leave. This is working almost without any fuss because we have been doing this since she was a baby. Thank God that in the US, no one says anything when your kid plays with a toy in the store (elsewhere this would be inconceivable). Plus I know it for sure that if we were to purchase that toy, her fancy will fade away at most in two days. And we will left with more clutter in our home.
We constantly select toys that she is either too old for or she is bored with and she gives them as gifts to other kids or donates them. This way there is room for new things that she might need.
I love the motto of SIMPLICITY. A simple life – few chores to do, leaves so much time to do the great things that are important like spending quality time with family. A simple life – few things to buy, leaves so much room for a peaceful mind and serenity.


Source: thelittlemuslims.com

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Life of Ummu Sulaim ~ Rumaisah Radhiyallahu ‘Anha

The Life of Ummu Sulaim ~ Rumaisah Radhiyallahu ‘Anha
Ummu Rumaisah (Radhiyallahu ‘Anha) and her family had the greatest love and concern for Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). It was on account of this love and concern for Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) that if they ever saw him in any difficulty, they immediately did whatever was in their ability to assist him and bring him comfort. 
Abu Talhah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) once said to Ummu Rumaisah (Radhiyallahu ‘Anha), “I heard the blessed voice of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and I perceived that it was weak from hunger. Do you have any food?” Ummu Rumaisah (Radhiyallahu ‘Anha) replied in the affirmative and immediately picked up three loaves of barley bread. She then took her scarf and used part of it to wrap the bread, after which she thrust the bundle of wrapped bread beneath the clothing of Anas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), and wrapped the remaining section of the scarf around Anas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) as a shawl. Anas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was then sent to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) with the bread.
When Anas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) came to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), he found him seated in the musjid with the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum). As Anas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) drew closer and stood before them, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) asked, “Did Abu Talhah send you?” Anas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) replied, “Yes.” Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) next enquired, “Did he send you because of food?” Anas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) again responded, “Yes.” Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) thus turned to the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) around him and instructed them to stand and join him. They then set out for the home of Abu Talhah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu).
Anas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) went ahead of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) and reached Abu Talhah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) before they arrived at the home. He immediately told Abu Talhah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was on his way with a group of Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum). Hearing this, Abu Talhah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) became anxious and said to Ummu Rumaisah (Radhiyallahu ‘Anha), “O Ummu Rumaisah! Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) has come with the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) and we do not have sufficient food to feed them!” Ummu Rumaisah (Radhiyallahu ‘Anha) calmly replied, “Allah Ta‘ala and His Rasul (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) know best (i.e. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is aware of our circumstances and the amount of food that we have. Hence, he knows why he brought the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) to our home. There is thus no need for us to worry. We need to just trust in him).”
Abu Talhah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) thus went out of the home to receive Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). After meeting Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), they proceeded to the home of Abu Talhah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and entered. As soon as Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) entered, he said to Ummu Rumaisah (Radhiyallahu ‘Anha), “O Ummu Rumaisah! Bring whatever food you have.” Ummu Rumaisah (Radhiyallahu ‘Anha) thus presented the bread before Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) then instructed her to break the bread into pieces and pour ghee over the bread as gravy. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) thereafter recited whatever Allah Ta‘ala wished him to recite (and made du‘aa for barakah) and blew into the food.
Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) next instructed that the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) be called into the home to eat in groups of ten (due to the shortage of space). When the first group of ten had eaten to their fill, they left the home, allowing the next group to enter and eat. In this way, all the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) who had come with Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), who were approximately seventy or eighty in number, ate to their fill and left. After they had eaten, the food was still as it had initially been (i.e. it was no less in quantity). Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) thereafter ate with the family of Ummu Rumaisah (Radhiyallahu ‘Anha). Ummu Rumaisah (Radhiyallahu ‘Anha) then shared the remaining food with her neighbours. (Saheeh Muslim #5316 and Takmilatu Fathil Mulhim vol. 4, pg. 39)

This was not the only instance of Ummu Rumaisah’s (Radhiyallahu ‘Anha) generosity and concern for Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). When Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) made nikaah to Zainab (Radhiyallahu ‘Anha ), Ummu Rumaisah (Radhiyallahu ‘Anha) prepared a dish of hais (a dish prepared from dates, cheese and ghee) and sent it to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). (Saheeh Bukhaari #5163)

Lessons:
1. Ummu Rumaisah (Radhiyallahu ‘Anha) and every other Sahaabi (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) had the greatest concern for the comfort and wellbeing of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). If they ever saw him undergoing any form of difficulty, they were prepared to sacrifice their very lives to try and alleviate his discomfort. In our era, it is the condition of the Ummah and their straying from the path of Deen and the sunnah that will cause the greatest discomfort to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). If we have true love for Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), we should bring complete Deen into our lives so that we cease bringing pain to his blessed heart.
2. A true Muslim is one who has concern for all his fellow Muslims. Hence, if we see any Muslim in need, we should hasten to assist them in whichever manner possible e.g. if there was a death in a certain home, we can assist them by sending food for them, as they may be too occupied to cook, etc.

3. The response of Ummu Rumaisah (Radhiyallahu ‘Anha), when she said, “Allah and his Rasul (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) know best”, was testament to her imaan and intelligence. She had total trust in Allah Ta‘ala and Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). We similarly need to trust in the teachings of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and firmly believe that our success, in this world and the next, lies solely in adhering to his blessed sunnah.

Monday, April 24, 2017

ZAYNAB BINT JAHSH

ZAYNAB BINT JAHSH

"It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed in a plain error." (The Qur'an, Surah al-Ahzab, 33:36)
This verse was revealed in connection with the marriage of Zaynab bint Jahsh and Zayd ibn al-Harithah which was arranged by the Prophet to show the egalitarian spirit of Islam. Zaynab at first was highly offended at the thought of marrying Zayd a former slave and refused to do so. The Prophet prevailed upon them both and they were married. The marriage however ended in divorce and Zaynab was eventually married to the Prophet himself. It is said that the Ansari girl read the verse to her parents and said: "I am satisfied and submit myself to whatever the Messenger of Allah deems good for me." The Prophet heard of her reaction and prayed for her: "O Lord, bestow good on her in abundance and make not her life one of toil and trouble." Among the Ansaar, it is said that there was not a more eligible bride than she. She was married by the Prophet to Julaybib and they lived together until he was killed.
And how was Julaybib killed? He went on an expedition with the Prophet, peace be upon him, and an encounter with some mushrikin (polytheists) ensued. When the battle was over, the Prophet asked his companions: "Have you lost anyone?" They replied giving the names of their relatives or close friends who were killed. He put the same questions to other companions and they also named the ones they had lost in the battle. Another group answered that they had lost no close relatives whereupon the Prophet said: "But I have lost Julaybib. Search for him in the battlefield." They searched and found him beside seven mushrikin whom he had struck before meeting his end. The Prophet stood up and went to the spot where Julaybib, his short and deformed companion, lay. He stood over him and said: "He killed seven and then was killed? This (man) is of me and I am of him." He repeated this two or three times. The Prophet then took him in his arms and it is said that he had no better bed besides the forearms of the Messenger of Allah. The Prophet then dug for him a grave and himself placed him in it. He did not wash him for martyrs and not washed before burial.
Julaybib and his wife are not usually among the Companions of the Prophet whose deeds are sung and whose exploits are recounted with reverence and admiration as they should be. But in the meagre facts that are known about them and which have here been recounted we see how humble human beings were given hope and dignity by the Prophet where once they was only despair and self-debasement. The attitude of the unknown and unnamed Ansari girl who readily agreed to be the wife of a physically unattractive man was an attitude which reflected a profound understanding of Islam. It reflected on her path the effacement of personal desires and preferences even when she could have counted on the support of her parents. It reflected on her part a total disregard for social pressures. It reflected above all a ready and implicit confidence in the wisdom and authority of the Prophet in submitting herself to whatever he deemed good. This is the attitude of the true believer.
In Julaybib, there is the example of a person who was almost regarded as a social outcast because of his appearance. Given help, confidence and encouragement by the noble Prophet, he was able to perform acts of courage and make the supreme sacrifice and deserve the commendation of the Prophet: "He is of me and I am of him."

Transcribed from: Da'wah Publications, Issue #7, July 2008

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Followers of Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam)



THE FOLLOWERS OF THE PROPHET’s (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) BLISS
By Sh Aa’idh Al-Qarni
 
Our Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) came to all people with a heavenly message. He was not driven by worldly ambitions, He had no treasure from which to spend, no splendid gardens from which to eat and no castle in which to live in.
Despite all of this, his loving followers pledged allegiance to him and remained steadfast. enduring a hard life full of difficulties. They were few and weak, always in fear of being uprooted by those surrounding them. and yet they loved the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) wholly and completely.
 
They were deprived of their homes, country, families and wealth. They were driven out from the playing fields of their childhood and from the homes in which they were raised. Despite all of this suffering they loved him unequivocally. The believers faced trials because of his message. The very ground under them was shaken violently. and yet their love for him continued to grow.
 
So, why did they love him and why were they so happy with him? Why did they forget the pain, the suffering and the hardship that resulted from following him?
 
To put it simply, he epitomized benevolence and righteousness. They perceived in him all the signs of truth and purity. He was a symbol for those who sought out higher things, With his tenderness he cooled the rancor from the hearts of the people, with words of truth he soothed their chests and with his message he filled their souls with peace.
 
Courtesy Radio Islam