Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Ashes to dust

This goes out to all the smokers out there !!!

This post may stand out from the rest of my pieces primarily because it may not hold religious significance for many. However, do not undermine the importance of fighting this 'plague' which has unfortunately engulfed our society, men and women alike. Before i proceed I would like to mention that this piece does not give a Fatwa or a religious ruling, it's just personal opinion backed by some relevant Hadiths and Quranic verses. As long as you do not take this as a fatwa , feel free to criticize :)


Cigarettes might be the only product in the entire world where even its manufacturers,promoters and advertisers warn against the dangers of consuming it. Yet the irony is that approximately 12 millions cigarettes are smoked every minute around the world and 5.5 trillion cigarettes are produced in a year.

It is no secret that cigarette smoking is injurious to health , whoever believes otherwise is clearly in denial.
We are so careful with our material possessions, whatever we own, whatever we hold dear to us, we make sure that it's 'handled with care' and no harm comes to it.  However, when it comes to the possessions of Allah we are equally careless. This life and this body is a blessing of Allah, a possession entrusted to us by the Almighty Who will one day demand it back. Unfortunately, we will fail as trustees to this possession if we return His possession in a state damaged beyond repair.  

Having said that, we come to to an important question, why do people smoke ?  Some reasons I know of are:

  • the illusion that it helps attain salvation and euphoria
  • peer pressure
  • the misconception that it is the 'cool' thing to do - more applicable for the teens
  • a mistake turned into an addiction
  • the delusion that smoking drowns worries and sorrows
  • and then there are some who need an addiction in life, something they can hang on to in times of hopelessness and utter depression.

Whoever smokes believing that it helps attain euphoria, should try an overdose of morphine. The first stage after an overdose of morphine intake is that of euphoria irrespective of the fact that the second one is nausea and third is death.
The worst scenario is the fourth one where an occasional  smoke turns into an addiction so bad that it becomes unthinkable to survive without it. Quitting such an addiction is no less than a herculean task but then again it's all about will-power, support of loved ones, realization that self-destruction through smoking is suicide in disguise and most importantly, the fact that this body was never ours to begin with ; it belongs to Allah and we shall be questioned about how well we took care of His possession. Are we really ready to answer this question while we are continuously poisoning our organs through smoking ?

For those who smoke for the last two reasons, need to have this faith that cigarettes and addictions can only temporarily numb their mental turmoil and unrest and the constant state of helplessness, smoking cannot restore peace in their lives nor can it give hope when one feels that all is lost. If you are looking for inner peace and an outlet to drown your worries, turn to Allah because that's the only place where one can find solace and comfort. As Allah says in Surah Ra'd,

Verily in the remembrance of Allaah do hearts find tranquility.

Smoking is an hindrance to spirituality especially for the chain smokers. For instance, those who cannot go without a smoke during the day, have the hardest time in Ramadan. such is their addiction that their fasts are spent waiting for the day to end , and when it does come to an end they hasten to break their fast with a cigarette.The smoker may not realize this that it's not he who is in control but a meager cigarette rules his mind, will and body and this realization is bad news for the his self-esteem. He is a slave to cigarette without which he loses all ability to reason. When the Almighty has defined such an esteemed position for us where we are slaves to no one except Him, why then do we resort to means where insignificant things rule our mind and body.

In Surah Nisa , verse 29 Allah says :

O you who believe! Eat not up your property among yourselves unjustly except it be a trade amongst you, by mutual consent. And do not kill yourselves (nor kill one another). Surely, Allah is Most Merciful to you.

Smoking is slow poison, a suicidal technique which takes away on average 10 years from the smoker's life. Medical research has proven that smoking is known to cause lung and heart diseases along with many other health conditions. These health issues develop gradually ( hence the repeated reference to the term ' slow poison' ) but be it with immediate effect or gradual, I personally believe that smoking is a suicidal attempt. No faith, no religion in this world allows its followers to harm themselves, this is one of the many universal messages preached by all faiths across the world.

Scholars take evidence from this Hadith of the Holy Prophet (saw) :

Whoever has eaten from such greens as garlic, onions  should keep away from our mosque. Truly, the angels are harmed by what harms the offspring of Adam

The smell that emanates from one's mouth after consuming garlic and onion disturbs the congregational prayers , in this regard scholars are of the view that the smell from cigarette smoke is no different.

The fools may mock this piece and find arguments against it but the wise may hopefully ponder over it (Even though this piece does not add to anyone's knowledge, it's just a reminder which we all need from time to time). Do yourself and your loved ones a favour, quit smoking and spare your loved ones  the misery of worrying about your health when they see you drown  years of good health in smoke.

For all those who are trying to make their loved ones quit, try reasoning with them and if that doesn't work the option of emotional blackmail is always there:) Just don't give up on them.Even if 1 out of 40 quit or even decide to quit after reading this, I will feel a sense of accomplishment:).

May Allah guide us to the right path. Ameen.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

The monster is inside us !



It’s amazing how easy it is for the world to make the Muslim ummah prance around at its command. They make a movie on our beloved Prophet, insult him, and hurt the sentiments of the Muslim Ummah and voila, the city is ablaze. Riots, violence, deaths erupt all over the city in protest against the movie, calling for the removal of the movie clips from the internet. I guess this is jihad, right? (as the protestors claim it to be) We take innocent lives just to prove our love for our religion and Prophet pbuh? I haven’t seen the movie clips and I don’t want to. Knowing that it insults our Prophet pbuh should be enough of a reason for any Muslim to not want to watch those videos so why then are we watching and sharing those videos and helping our enemies in their cause? Sometimes ignorance indeed is a bliss !
 I have been asking myself a question for quite some time now that why is it that the western world leaves no opportunity to ridicule our religion? And I come up with the same answer everytime. They ridicule our deen because we do the same. Harsh isn’t it? Well it’s the reality. We call ourselves Muslims yet we don’t even know the meaning of the word ISLAM and if we do, we fail to act according to its meaning.  We claim to be Muslims and the Ummah of the last Prophet pbuh yet are we really following the religion of the man we claim to be an ummah of? Today the mosques are vacant because we are out on the streets killing each other in the name of jihad and protests. Our so called peaceful demonstrations turn ugly within minutes. We believe that forwarding messages, joining facebook causes, signing petitions online make us good Muslims? Is that really what Islam is all about? For the past whole week I have been receiving crazy messages about how we can defeat the western world in their mission to defame Islam by boycotting youtube and google. Really? Is it that simple? A few million users not using Youtube for a few days is not going to make the enemies of Islam respect our religion and is not going to teach them any lesson. At most what it may do is a reduction in their profits and an understanding that Muslims are hurt and angry. And yes it may make them take down those offensive movie clips as well. But that does not serve the purpose entirely does it? They made an offensive movie about our religion and Prophet pbuh; why don’t we make a counter movie showing the beauty of our religion with the intent of spreading the message far and wide, way beyond the reach of the movie they made. Publicize that video through the same mediums and channels that they are using to defame our religion. This, I believe is how we defeat our enemies.
Defeating the west in the real sense means to make them understand what Islam is all about; make them see what Muslims are really made up of, make them acknowledge the fact that Islam indeed is a beautiful religion and our Prophet pbuh is no doubt the best role model. We really want to defeat the west? Defeat them through our morals, our ethics, our character and our slogan of peace.  The chaos created in the Muslim ummah today is what the west sees as entertainment; this is what they wanted and bravo to us for fulfilling this desire of theirs.  If we really want to promote our religion then why not start practicing it? Are we really the Ummah the Prophet wanted us to be? Why are the mosques vacant today? Why are the women unveiled and exposed? Why do the men have no sense of modesty? Why are Muslims killing their own brothers? Why are we adopting the pagan beliefs and western culture and traditions in our lives? Why has the Quran reached the topmost shelf in our homes? Where is the legacy of the Prophet pbuh?  There are so many questions we need to ask ourselves.
During the times of the Prophet pbuh he was called a magician, mad and many other obscene insults were hurled at him.  But did he or the Companions ever turn back at them and go out on protests and demonstrations? Did they call for public strikes? Did they engage in plans to boycott or take revenge from the disbelievers? NO!  They opted to ignore and with time their patience and sincerity towards the religion and Prophet pbuh earned them the respect of even the disbelievers. Can we claim to love the Prophet pbuh more than his Companions? If not then how can we do something they did not under the same circumstances? Nowhere in the Quran does it justify the kind of anger we are seeing on the streets today. Can we claim to have a stronger faith than the companions? Of course NOT! Our level of faith is nowhere even near the faith of the Companions. Then why are we reacting in a way that completely opposes their reaction in a similar situation?  What are we trying to prove? That we love our religion and our messengers so much that we are willing to take a few innocent lives? Set ablaze a few shops of the innocents? Call for strikes in the city and make each and every citizen crippled, by forcing them to not be able to to go out and earn a livelihood to feed their family? Think about the person who works on wages. He lost an entire day’s earning just because the ‘Muslims’ of the city decided to call for a strike to fight for the protection of the Prophet’s pbuh honour. Maybe it’s time we stop looking for monsters in our closets; they are inside us.
As Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan said: The film is offensive because it misrepresents Islam. Senseless violence and murder is offensive for the same reason.
 Unfortunately my anger is not at the idiot who made that movie. Rather he has my sympathies since he probably messed up all chances of having a blissful eternal life. But at the same time I feel sad and scared to see the condition we are in today. Aren’t we messing up our eternal lives as well by misrepresenting our religion by our actions and rage? If we love the Prophet pbuh then let’s vow to spread the message of peace, love and harmony. Let’s tell the world what our beautiful religion is all about. Let’s earn the respect of the entire non- Muslim world through our actions. Each one of us can do his part by spreading the beauty of the Seerah of our Prophet pbuh through words, actions, articles, messages, facebook statuses. So rather than sending messages about jihad and signing online petitions and joining causes let’s be productive. Let’s not encourage the enemies of Islam by viewing the movie clips. Let’s beat them at their own game. Let’s set an example for the entire world to see. I quote the status of a friend at facebook :  

“the disbelievers of Quraish, wrote poems vilifying Prophet Mohammed (Sallah Allah Alaihi Wa Sallam) and his companions (Radi Allahu Anhum), but those  poems did not reach us today because the Muslims then did not transmit them at that time and nor did they pay any attention. Consequently all such poems and words disappeared. We must deal with this offensive movie in the same way and not give it importance in order to avoid it from spreading further.”

there are many Muslims working out there spreading the message of Islam, of Allah and of His beloved Messenger pbuh. Let's join hands with them and help them in their cause with the hope of uplifitng the status of the downtrodden Muslims of today. I speak first and foremost for my own self when I say that may Allah make us capable of being practicing Muslims, may He guide us to the right path and may He protect the honour of His religion and Messengers. Ameen.


Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Random ramblings

one of the biggest problems of our society is anger, impatience and the habit of engaging in unproductive and useless arguments. No doubt, healthy arguments do exist and they do have a positive impact on the society overall but unfortunately we, as a society or even as a group of individuals do not engage in such arguments. We are so caught up in the trivialities of life that we overlook the major issues. While talking from just the religious perspective, we tend to argue over issues like whether we should pray 8 rakat of taraveeh (Ramadan prayer) or 12 or 20. Or we tend to indulge in long and fruitless discussions about how high our hands should be while saying the takbeer in Salah or  how low the arms should be folded while in Qiyam during prayer. Yes these things are important but there are things bigger than this which need our individual and collective attention. We, as a nation are humiliated and crushed  today not because we are not loyal to our worships in the form of Salah, Fasting,Zakat ,Hajj but because we have failed to adopt the Islamic spirit within us.In the eyes of the rest of the world we are a nation of diverse thoughts and ideas with absolutely no consensus on religious matters and hence we fall prey to their criticism and sarcasm. Divided into a zillion sects, each faction is fighting for its own personal gain and the victory of Islam has been sidestepped and pushed to the lowest level in priority rankings.
Unfortunately, in a nation where the Ulemas should be leading and educating the masses, they themselves are engrossed in petty arguments and tussles amongst themselves.We need to realize that the the purpose is not just to learn Islam but it is actually to adopt Islam in our daily lives and use it to solve problems, implement its teachings to solve societal issues etc.
It is believed that memorizing the Quran and learning it's meaning and then passing it on to others is the need of the day and infact the purpose of this life. No it's not. Islam teaches us to be intellectual muslims and that level of intellect can be attained only if we APPLY the knowledge of Quran to solve the problems of our society today. What good is knowlege if it does not solve problems? And Alhumdulilah Islam is the one religion that offers a solution to every possible problem a man can face on this earth.
Rather than using Islam as an outlet to vent out all our emotions, we need to utilize this blessing so that we may rise as a nation and Ummah. Today, Islam is seen as a religion of self destruction and extremism on the international forum. Among the muslims themselves, Islam is taken as an emotional platform where muslims are looking for a reason to flare up and create an havoc on an international level. How easy it is for the disbelievers to control our emotions. they make danish cartoons of our Holy Prophet pbuh and we create an emotional turmoil in the entire muslim world. We lead protests, make slogans, call for strikes, go on hunger strikes and even create violence in our own city making innocent muslim brothers suffer losses for something the non believers did thousands of miles away. and then we have the nerve to complain that we have become the laughing stock on the international platform. What we fail to realize is that protests and violence is not going to convince the non believers of the beauty of our religion or the integrity and dignity of the personality of our dear Prophet pbuh, rather its our actions, our attitudes and our deeds that may win their hearts and will pull them towards the study of this religion which preaches of harmony and peace even in the face of opposition. If all religious factions unite into one under the flag of One Islam, if we all adopt islam in our lives, the entire world will look up to us and admire our religion, our Prophets, our beliefs and our mode of worships.


We may pray 5 times a day with punctuality and regularity but then we indulge in practices that definitely do NOT define a Momin. For instance, selling sub standard goods, deceiving customers and clients, lying , not fulfilling promises and committments etc. have become an integral part of our life. Islam is not only about having a prostration mark on our forehead or a head-covering on our head. No, it's much more than that. A believer is not only recognized by how he dresses and carries himself  but more importantly, a believer is recognized by his day to day dealings. Lies, deceit, corrupt dealings, dishonest transactions etc have become a trait of our society and yet we still label ourselves as Momins and believers. We need to look beyond the petty issues , we need to focus on factors which are eating up our society, our moral values, our ethics.
isnt it a form of arrogance to not be able to stand being corrected? We like to believe that we are always right, whatever we say or do is perfect. Anyone who finds fault with us or dares to disagree is at the receiving end of either a silent treatment or a verbal abuse (mild or aggressive). why are we so insecure? why dont we have the patience to listen to the other and gain benefit from his input. If only we could mellow our ego and learn to listen more and talk less, we could achieve self improvement in no time. As Nouman Ali khan emphasized the point that the very first and foremost relation we need to work on is with our own selves. We need to analyse where we go wrong,  where do we spend our idle time,  how do we interact with the rest of the society, with our family and our near ones, what do we do when we are alone when we feel no one is watching. we have sufficient time to point our fingers at others and emphasize their flaws but in the process we fail to realize that not focusing on our own flaws is the biggest flaw of all.

"People of Substance" by Nouman Ali Khan



The event 'People of Substance' , held at Marriot, Karachi on 1st April 2012, had Nouman Ali Khan speaking live from U.S. This post primarily summarizes the major pointers he talked about in this session.
The talk started with the discussion that what makes a person call someone religious and pious. Is it their Hijaab or the length of their beard or is it something else? How were the companions of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) recognized as being religious? Would a person passing by look at their beards and remark that they must be extremely religious? No, it was definitely something else . So what was it?
  • Nouman Ali khan answered that a believer is recognized by his ethics, his moral values, actions, commitment to justice. The companions were the people who had the most amazing  moral values, they were just in all their dealings and honest in their talks.
  • The next step is for a believer to admit to his weaknesses and problems and this does not apply on an individual level only but is applicable for the entire muslim ummah. Hazrat Adam was led  astray by Iblis and as a result Hazrat Adam disobeyed the command of Allah. But he accepted his mistake , admitted to the problem and repented. Accepting the mistake is half the solution itself.

  • We should have an emotional relation with Allah. and whether we have such a relation or not we can judge that when we raise our hands to pray (Dua) after Salah. If we engage in a robotic routine of Dua after every namaz then we most definitely do not have an emotional relation with Allah SWT. we need to make sincere Dua that comes direct from the heart with the awareness that it's our Lord with whom we are in communication while making the Dua.

  • After working on our relation with Allah , we need to work on our relation with our ownselves. How do we behave in our daily lives, what do we do when we are alone and no one is watching, how and where do we spend our idle time, how are we in our dealings with others, what sort of language do we use etc. All these factors need to be analyzed and our problems need to be identified.

  • After this we should work on improving our relations with our close ones - spouses, parents and children. Islam does not talk about spouses OR parents, rather it talks about parents AND spouses. Care should be taken that both parties are given their due rights and no one's rights are being neglected. Be fair in dealing with both the relations and if one is caught between both , then side with the one who is ethically and morally right rather than the one you would personally favour more i.e. be just.

  • Have an Islamic entrepreneurship inspiration by setting up a business environment based on Islamic values. A system free of deceit, corruption, lies and cheating where ethical and moral business values are encouraged and practiced. Fulfill promises and stick to committments. Nouman Ali Khan gave the example of a person in pakistan to whom he had given a contract for a certain project. The deadline went by and still the deliverables had not been received. On inquiry the person said that he had been caught up with things in his life, he went for umrah, then he had a baby etc. Nouman Ali Khan said that this is not the case of just one person. This is the dilemma of our muslim nation that we do not feel obliged to keep promises and fulfill our committments.

  • Hopelessness is severely disliked. So dont lose hope in the situation of the country or the state of Islamic affairs in the country. The fact that it's a housefull on a sunday morning for a religious lecture is a sign that the Muslim nation is still alive:).

  • We need to stop arguing over petty issues. We have much bigger problems which need the attention of the Muslim Ummah as a whole. We need to stop the endless rifts between different scholars who are engaged in activities to defame and curse the other scholars who may dare to have a different view point.

  • giving speeches is no longer the solution. In every part of this country speeches are being delivered but the time when speeches could have helped has gone by. Now the situation requires actions and not speeches. 

  • Nouman Ali khan gave the example of a friend  who was doing his Phd (or maybe it was masters) in physics. That person spent his entire life with books and now he has no idea how to carry out a normal conversation with people. Similar is the situation of our Ulemas. They spent all their times memorizing and learning the Quran is mosques and Madrassas and failed to implement the islamic teachings to the problems of the society today. They have no knowledge about the society and its problems, let alone any idea of how to solve them.  The purpose of Islam is not just to learn but also to implement the teachings to solve the problems of our lives as an individual and the society as a whole.

  • Islam is presented as something emotional. Danish cartoons of the Holy Prophet pbuh triggered protests, anger and violence throughout the entire muslim world. This reaction of the muslims makes the non-believers feel that they have our strings in their hands and can make us dance to their tune. We need to stay calm and be sound thinkers and intellectual Muslims. We need to bring them to our religion through our actions. We need to set an example that the non believers get inspired by our faith.

  • we need to become intellectual muslims and this can be achieved by taking the fundamental education of Islam seriously, acquiring education of the Quran, reading about the life of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) from multiple books, and learning the arabic language. He gave a suggestion that read one book on the seerah of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) per year. Nouman Ali khan emphasized that at least get a minor degree in sociology, psychology or political sciences . We can better understand Islam and Quran if we study humanitarian courses and combine social sciences with islam.
  • when an argument arises between husband and wife then it is completely alright to have an external mediator. Nouman Ali Khan narrated an incident of the Holy Prophet pbuh when there was an argument between him and Hazrat Aisha. They decided to have a mediator decide their case. Holy Prophet pbuh suggested a person but Hazrat Aisha refused saying that he would be biased towards the Prophet in his love for him. So Hazrat Aisha suggested Hazrat Abu Bakr and hence he was called in to mediate and resolve the argument. The moral of this was that if a man like the Holy Prophet could allow for someone to speak in the matters of him and his wife then why cant the muslims of today do it too? W fail to do this and rather engage in arguments which lead to fights and may at times have unfavourable outcomes as well.

  • Root cause of anger is not having patience (Sabr) and root cause of not having patience is thanklessness (Na Shukri). 

  • in the Q/A session a person asked "how to prepare your first wife for the second". I personally loved the answer Nouman Ali Khan gave. He said that it's not necessary that if something is allowed in Islam then it should be done and and it definitely does not mean that doing it becomes a form of worship. Flexibility of having 4 wives is allowed in Islam but that does not mean that a man does actually keep four wives. The Prophet pbuh had multiple wives but there was a reason behind every marriage. A man should focus on keeping his first wife happy and satisfied because if he cant look after the first one, what are the chances that he will prove to be ideal for the second one.  He further elaborated by stating that if one is allergic to peanuts , he avoid peanuts even though peanuts are permissible in Islam.
  • for the women Nouman Ali Khan had the suggestion that kindly stop watching dramas because they are made by a bunch of mentally disturbed people and watching such shows impact our minds as well.


P.S.   If i misunderstood any point or misquoted anywhere please feel free to correct me.








Sunday, 4 March 2012

Venoms of the tongue

Tongue is one of the most deadliest organs of the entire body. Wrong usage of this organ can break relations in a matter of seconds, can hurt people deeply and can create animosities within a split second. words that leave the mouth once can never be taken back and that's why it's said " Speak only when the words leaving your mouth are better than silence."
The tongue is a blessing of Allah given to the fortunate ones so that they may say good things and spread the message of Allah.  But the greatest venom of the tongue is the use of bad language. Somehow it's considered 'cool' to use foul words in every single sentence we speak. the way we talk represents our thinking and our upbringing and a momin's talk is always sweet, soft and pleasant. How can foul language make any conversation pleasant? People find those shows funny where swearing, cursing and foul language are used to the maximal. I have yet not been able to locate the hilarious part of such shows but people find it nerve wreckingly funny to the extent of being inspired by it and adopting the same tone and style of conversation and language in their personal lives.
it doesn't really make us the bigger or the better person by being rude to someone or insulting and cursing them. But unfortunately, that's how the society today is laying the foundation of morality,manners and ethics of language.
A conversation is not complete amongst the youngsters today unless one or more foul words are used in every other sentence. A social gathering is not fully enjoyed unless we have bad mouthed and made fun of the dressing of about at least 5 of the ladies at the gathering. A college reunion is not successful until we have gossiped about nearly half of the college population of our juniors,seniors and batchmates. And the misuse of our tongue doesn't end here.
 If only we knew how harmful this tongue can prove to be for us on the Last Day, we would cut down on talking by more than 50%.
the tongue is the most harmful in situations of anger. that is when a person is tempted to utter things he doesnt even mean or has never even thought of before. But anger makes one blind to logic and reality. usually the case is that in a state of anger a man loses control over his hands and a woman loses control of her tongue. In both cases anger may cause relations to break, feelings to be hurt and may lead to eventual displeasure of Allah.
Today we mock at others and make fun of them just to sound 'cool' and be considered as 'part of the gang'. But we fail to realize that through such usage of the tongue we may become the part of the coolest group in college/university but we will definitely lose our membership of the club of Allah. The Quran says:

O ye who believe ! let not some men laugh at others; it may be that (the latter) are better than (the former). 49:11

On the day when their tongues and their hands and their feet shall bear witness against them as to what they did. 24:24

Narrated Abu Huraira:  Allah's Apostle said, "Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should talk what is good or keep quiet, and whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should not hurt (or insult) his neighbor..."  Sahih Bukhari: Volume 8, Book 76, Number 482. 

Allah says,
On the day when their tongues and their hands and their feet shall bear witness against them as to what they did. 24:24 

we should  ponder and wonder over basic things like the fact that we have been blessed with 2 ears but just one tongue. This signifies that the usage of the tongue should be limited and rather we should practice our listening skills rather than interrupting others to start off with our own opinions and vain talks.
the wounds caused by a weapon may heal sooner or later but the wounds caused by the harsh and inappropriate use of the tongue cause wounds that may never heal and leave a mark on the heart and soul of the recipient of those words.

If only we understand that no matter how much we pray, observe fasts, give zakat, the virtues will all be cancelled out just by the misuse of our tongue.  the misuse of the tongue is not restricted to gossips,backbiting and foul language rather it extends to lies, vain talk and slandering as well. Every single word uttered from our mouth is being recorded every single second. Not even a single word is being missed by the angels writing it down. This constant reminder should make us fearful of the day we shall face our Lord and be answerable to Him for all that we uttered. Like every other blessing this tongue is also a blessing from our Creator and He will ask us on that Day that did we fulfill the rights of this blessing? Did we use it in the best possible way? Did we use it to utter words that would please Him? Did we use it for the good and benefit of His slaves?
We need to ask ourselves that are we ready to face these questions? do we have the correct answers to these questions?
There is no re-test and there is no second attempt if we fail this exam. May Allah protect us from committing the sins of the tongue, may Allah bless us with the ability and the guidance to use this blessed gift of Allah in the best possible Allah. May we use our tongues and other organs in ways that attain His pleasure and mercy. Ameen.

DO NOTS

I recently had the opportunity to join a Islamic course and since i was pretty familiar with the place and the environment because of previous similar courses I had taken there, I felt right at home. There was no fear or hesitation that one usually experiences when joining a new place or starting a new course/class. However, I guess it's an inbuilt trait amongst the people of our society or maybe that's just how people are around the globe that in their attempt to make one feel comfortable they actually end up scaring the poor new entrant. The instructors are pretty normal and lenient but the other students take it on themselves to prove their authority and seniority. My first day in the new class and i was greeted by what NOT to do, a list of rules and strict reprimands regarding the rules and policies. The surprising thing was that they all focused on the 'NOTs" of the rules.No one bothered telling me about the relaxations, flexibilities and the alternatives, rather they acted as if none existed and only one rule applied, even when that was not the case. Since i was already aware of the rules and the relaxations as well, so their reprimands did not scare me. However, if it had been someone else in place of me who would have had the first experience with the place through that course, then that person would have surely disappeared after the very first class. And it's sad to note that the reason behind that disappearance would have been those very same students who apparently had been studying about Islam in that very course. No matter what the duration of their presence in that course, those students failed to grasp one important aspect that the way of preaching in Islam has always been slow, steady and gentle. Even in the revelation of Quran, each and every law regarding the forbidden and Haraam were sent down slowly and not at once. If Allah had directly revealed that don't you dare go near wine, then people would have labelled Islam as the religion of ' Do Nots' and actually this is what is happening today as well because of the way Islam is being portrayed and preached. We focus on preaching what's forbidden, we emphasize on what are the 'do nots' in islam and in the process we fail to mention the beautiful freedom Islam provides, the logics behind every law, the relaxations and flexibilities. So many people actually want to come to this religion but they turn away from it because people scare them off by telling them how everything they do is a sin and how they will burn in Hell for it. That is not the way of preaching taught to us is it? Arent we supposed to call people to islam by telling them how merciful Allah is and how He forgives our sins when we sincerely repent and beg for His forgiveness? Why cant we tell people the Halal way of doing things and the benefit of adopting the permissible methods rather than telling them that their current haraam practices will earn them the wrath of Allah. We need to call people to Islam gently we need to make them see the good in islam but we get so aggressive in our preaching that we end up portraying our beautiful religion as a religion of rules, reprimands and do-nots. If we read the Quran carefully then we will notice that with every do-not there is a very beautiful 'do' as well. Where we are forbidden to consume wine then we are reminded of the fact that our abstinence from it in this world will earn us the reward of delicious and permissible wines in the Jannah. Where adultery is cursed, immediately the beauty of nikah is emphasized.  Many more such examples exist in the Quran but the point to be emphasized is that new entrants to religion, mosques or islamic courses should be welcomed with positivity rather than scaring them away with do-nots on the very first day. Slow and steady is the key to preaching.
we need to learn not only the meaning of the Quran but also it's way of preaching so that we can adopt similar means of preaching in our life. May Allah give us the ability to preach His religion in the best possible way and to be amongst those who call people to Islam rather than being among those unfortunate ones who scare them away.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Surah An Nisa verse 36-42

Translation:

36. Worship Allah and join none with Him in worship, and do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, Al-Masakin (the poor), the neighbour who is near of kin, the neighbour who is a stranger, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (you meet), and those (slaves) whom your right hands possess. Verily, Allah does not like such as are proud and boastful;
37. Those who are miserly and enjoin miserliness on other men and hide what Allah has bestowed upon them of His Bounties. And We have prepared for the disbelievers a disgraceful torment.
38. And (also) those who spend of their substance to be seen of men, and believe not in Allah and the Last Day [they are the friends of Shaitan (Satan)], and whoever takes Shaitan (Satan) as an intimate; then what a dreadful intimate he has!
39. And what loss have they if they had believed in Allah and in the Last Day, and they spend out of what Allah has given them for sustenance? And Allah is Ever All-Knower of them.
40. Surely! Allah wrongs not even of the weight of an atom (or a small ant) , but if there is any good (done), He doubles it, and gives from Him a great reward.
41. How (will it be) then, when We bring from each nation a witness and We bring you (O Muhammad ) as a witness against these people?
42. On that day those who disbelieved and disobeyed the Messenger (Muhammad ) will wish that they were buried in the earth, but they will never be able to hide a single fact from Allah.

Explanation

Worship no one other than Allah and associate no other being (living or dead with Him), loving anyone more than Allah and making someone so important in your life that his/ her importance supercedes that of Allah is also a form of Shirk. The verse commands us to be kind and obedient towards your parents (also includes grandparents). The beauty of our religion is obvious from the command to be kind to orphans and look after his needs. An orphan’s father dies and the entire society is commanded by Allah to look after him, such is the beauty of Islam. Allah also tells us to be good to our neighbors whether they are our relatives or strangers, look after them and also adopt a good behavior towards colleagues, friends, acquaintances and people you interact with in day to day life. Travelers are also entitled to a respectful and kind behavior. Slaves and animals should also be dealt with kindly.
Allah does not like those people who are miserly and who encourage others to be misers as well. As a result of their miserly attitude, orphans, travelers and other needy people suffer. Allah blesses such people with numerous blessings and they either hoard it (if its wealth) or keep it hidden from people(so that the needy of the society do not ask for his help) and this trait is severely disliked by Allah. These blessings can be in any form be it wealth and money, knowledge or anything else that provides benefits to others if shared. For such ungrateful people a severe torment awaits them in the Hereafter. And then there are people who spend their money just to show off and boast to people, even when they spend in the way of Allah, their intention is to gain respect and goodwill among people and not in the eyes of Allah. So it’s all pretentiousness of being pious and kind. Such people who do not believe in Allah and the Last day, yet they spend in charity for the purpose of showing off, such people are the friends of the devil and for them a dreadful torment is inevitable. Signs that indicate that a person is friends with the devil:
  •          He does not worship Allah
  •          Is involved in shirk
  •          Fails to adopt a amiable and kind attitude with whoever he interacts, fails to give the rights to relatives, parents, friends etc
  •          He is a miser and encourages others to adopt a miserly attitude
  •          Hides the blessings of Allah for fear of having to share it with others
  •          Spends just to show people how pious and generous he is.
What loss would these people have had if only they had believed in Allah and the day of Judgement and had spent out of what Allah had blessed them with. And Allah is not unfair infact if someone does good then with His grace the rewards are doubled. And on the Day of Judgement each messenger will testify for/against their nation that whether they nation accepted their message or not. For the Muslim nation  Allah will appoint the Holy Prophet pbuh as a witness who will  testify whether his people accepted the message of Allah and acted on it or not. On that Day all those who disobeyed the Holy Prophet and refused to believe in Allah and the Last Day, they all will wish that somehow the ground opens up and takes them in so that they could avoid facing the Lord. But nothing can be hidden from Allah.