An Independent Woman I Wished To Be!

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“And it is He who created the heavens and earth in truth. And the day He says, “Be,” and it is, His word is the truth. And His is the dominion [on] the Day the Horn is blown. [He is] Knower of the unseen and the witnessed; and He is the Wise, the Acquainted.”(6:73)

My brother was 7 years old and was learning a story in Hindi which contained some shirk about God. He began whining about how he doesn’t want to learn the lesson as it contained shirk. My mother supported him but I said to him “It’s okay to learn, we aren’t believing in it right so it’s fine as long as we know it’s wrong. And we want to get good marks and this chapter is probably the easiest.” This happened every year as in Hindi the beliefs of non-Muslims are entwined in the education system. Marks mattered to me more than my brother’s iman back then, I valued grades. I wanted to be someone who could live well in life and not depend on the men folk as I thought there is no guarantee of them being there forever. I always thought life was about being successful; a bit of compromise in religion will get me success. But when I heard this ayah I knew “I was WRONG”. Allah is the creator of all that I know and not know and He can do anything, then do I have to make compromises with the religion He has sent down for me to follow? Do I need education to be successful; does my brother need those 5 marks to be successful in his school or elsewhere?  Allah hu Akbar neither you nor I need these compromises because Allah says:

“Call on Me; I will answer you.” (40:60)

“His command is only when He intends a thing that He says to it, “Be,” and it is.”(36:82)

“Say: He is able to send punishment upon you from above you or from beneath your feet, or to bewilder you with dissension and make you taste the tyranny one of another. See how We present the signs so that they may understand.” (6: 65)

The more I think about how wrong I was I feel the need of getting to know Allah more. This was me, a year ago but now I have realized how when we read the Quran and get to know Allah, the worldly matters are just play and deception. This ayah explains the Greatness of Allah and how Allah has created everything so we need to believe in Him that He will do the best for us. I have come to realise Allas is Ar-Razzaaq, The Provider, and no matter what, I will get what is decreed for me. We don’t need the people or any other thing to attain anything what Allah has written for us. We need to look at the signs and miracles of Allah and make our belief stronger in Him each passing minute. Allah has sent the Quran which is a miracle, the story of the Prophet is a miracle as to how an illiterate person spread the message of Islam by peaceful means, and also the fact that Allah has made me a breathing piece of flesh with so many complicated things inside me that Scientists have yet not discovered is yet another miracle. When we think about this, nothing is impossible for Allah to do. We just need to have a strong iman, conviction in Him and strive in worshipping Him alone.

Allah is All-wise and so He knows what is best for us and so has revealed Islam as the perfect way of life for us and if we start making compromises in that then surely we are the ones in loss. Allah says in the Quran:

“Those to whom We have given the Book recite it with its true recital. They [are the ones who] believe in it. And whoever disbelieves in it – it is they who are the losers.” (2:121)

Hence, this is one of my favorite verses from the Noble Quran. Lastly I would like to conclude that Allah is never blind to our tears, is never deaf to our prayer, and never silent to our pain. He sees, He hears, He is never too far…

May Allah make us closer to our deen and never let us make any compromises in it. Ameen.

By Fatima Damad

Misconception: Hijab is Inequality!

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It would appear to the naked eye that women in Islam have no rights. Shrouded in the hijab, and often covering their faces, many believe that muslim women are masked in this uniform all day long. While muslim men, can dress as they please. ‘See the inequality’; they would say.

First things first; muslim women do not wear their Islamic garb 24/7. Rather the muslim woman’s attire that appears to be an ‘oversized bed sheet’ is merely an over garment which the muslim woman dons when she leaves her home, or in the presence of strange unrelated men. That means, in her home she dresses as she pleases, and can uncover her hair too.

Moreover, men have a dress code too. The minimum requirement for a male to cover is from his naval to his knees. That’s minimum. To you it may seem unequal, but I’m sure you would agree that men and women’s bodies are different! Therefore, a woman’s body necessitates that she covers more, as a woman is more attractive than a man, because Allah has given her that natural beauty.

Women’s covering also acts as a means of protection. Imagine your favourite sweet. Perhaps ‘gummy bears, or cola bottles, or a lollipop. Now, imagine placing that sweet in the middle of the garden, or even in the middle of your dining table with wrappers removed, and served on a plate. Now, if the flies didn’t get to it first, I’m sure someone else would. Do you see my point? No? Ok, here’s another example. Imagine you owned a block of solid gold, encrusted with diamonds, and rubies. If you left that hanging out of your pocket, as you walk down the street, or left it by the window for the world to see. I’m sure you would return home without it that evening.  Apply those above scenarios to women. An unclothed, semi-naked woman, will be feasted upon by hungry eyes, and even approached in an undesirable manner. In comparison, the muslim woman who covers herself, as per the requirements set by the Creator of mankind, will find herself free to walk as she pleases.  In Islam, the muslim woman is more precious than gold and diamonds, she is sweeter that the most delightful sweet. She is worth more, her value is priceless, and thus she is to protect herself.

“O Prophet, tell your wives and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves their outer garments. That is more suitable, that they will be known and not abused. And ever is Allah forgiving and Merciful.” (Surah Al-Ahzab, 33:59)

The hijab, jilbab, or niqab does not limit a muslim woman in any way. Rather it gives her freedom. She is known by it to be an upright, moral individual who possess good character. She is judged for her intellectual ability instead of her physical assets.

In society today, women have become the instrument of advertisement. If their bodies don’t cut it, they are more than often denied their due. In the west, where women have supposedly reached the peak of civilisation in their dressing and so-called ‘freedoms’ women are still not treated equally to men. According to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, in 2007, approximately 12,000 women were harassed in the workplace.

Sexual abuse to women is a common occurrence. Though the man responsible is charged, many do not realise, that the woman is equally at fault for dressing provocatively. Allah, the Creator of you and me, knew this would happen, that’s why He put laws in place to help us. In addition men have the responsibility to lower their gaze, but how can that be applied, when everywhere he turns, there is a woman who has exposed herself? On the billboards, in the shop windows, in the newspapers and magazines, even on your sweet packets, walking in front of you, driving in their cars, women dressing inappropriately seems to be everywhere.

Allah designated that women should cover themselves. Hijab is a stand against female exploitation, and a means of female liberation. Beneath it, a woman is free to do as she pleases and dress as she pleases. Women are not the trophy of men, but rather individuals with their own goal and attainments. The Hijab preserves our beauty, our character, and protects us from prying eyes. Hijab allows women to be judged for their worth and not their appearance. It is a modus of security and safeguard for the muslim woman.

 

Dangers of Cartoons

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Cartoons have invaded our homes. Literally. The lamp shade is covered in toy story. The walls have cars stickers. The bed is pink with all the princesses on the headboard. The stationery all have the face of the latest cartoon character neatly printed on it. The toy box is overflowing with all the limited edition Disney toys. Disney is not the only one. Pixar, Warner Brothers and all the other cartoon makers are part of it too.

Who doesn’t remember watching cartoons?! It was probably one of your favourite childhood memories. You snuggled up on the sofa next to an older sibling or perhaps a friend who was coming to stay the night, whilst mum got ready popcorn, marshmallows and hot chocolate. Even though two minutes ago, sleep burned your eyes, you stayed awake, anticipating your favourite moment. You eagerly battled your sleep, just so that you could watch the cartoon. Or perhaps, your parents took you to the cinema. Every planned trip, would make you giggle with excitement, and you just couldn’t wait. You’d sit on the chairs and fidget until the ‘movie’ would start. You enjoyed it so much; it made you feel grown up. Little did you realise the filth you were watching, and enjoying.

Cartoons seem innocent. The childish drawings, the toys, the happy colours. The storyline was harmless, as well, wasn’t it? Watch it again, this time keep in mind all the Islamic morals, and values. My dear brothers and sisters, every cartoon has been designed to program the youth. Each one has a subliminal message, which perhaps a child may not even notice, but isn’t Shaytaan there? Is it not Shaytaan’s job to lure everyone, young or old, sensible or not, into his traps?

If you still can’t see it, then may Allah guide you, and open your eyes and heart!

Let me break it down for you; What’s really wrong with these cartoons?

Let’s begin with one of the biggest ‘sin’ of them all. Associating partners with Allah. Yes, it is not blatantly there, and perhaps you didn’t catch it when you watched the cartoon. But there are so many methods through which a person can fall into this sin unknowingly. Some characters may utter phrases such as ‘For the love of Thor.’ Children who have little understanding of language will innocently repeat the phrase imitating their favourite character, and shaytaan has already done his job, he has sown in them seeds of disbelief which he will later water, for it to flower and blossom!

Next up; magic. As muslims we know that magic exists, and is real. Allah says in Surah Falaq, “From the evil of those who blow on knots,” referring to the evil of magicians and magic. It is not for nothing magic is known as a dark art or secret art. It a means of communicating with the Shaytaan and jinns, which is impermissible. Moreover magic is a form of shirk! Why do we promote wands, fairies, and Abracadabra when we know this is forbidden, and may cause a person to fall out of Islam?!

In Addition, you never ever have a girls or boys only cartoon. Because there is no such thing as a girls world. Or a boys world. Cartoons reflect that, minus the Islamic morals. In Islam men and women do not mix freely. Both are commanded to lower their gaze, and refrain from unnecessary communication with the opposite gender. Cartoons have free intermingling between the sexes. You may think it’s only a cartoon, but what is happening in your child’s mind is much different. Your child though they may say that they know it’s not real, to them cartoons are their world. They begin to accept that men and women can mix, they begin to question the Islamic ruling. Shaytaan makes it fair-seeming to them. Because they don’t yet have that full understanding or recognition of right and wrong, free mixing becomes a norm to them. In childhood, its effects may not be seen, but as they reach adulthood, and they begin to spread their wings, looking for freedom, what was planted in their childhood, starts to emerge. They no longer want to follow the rules of segregation. May Allah protect our children.

Exposing ‘Awrah. We all know mainstream cartoons, do not have muslim characters, perhaps with the exception of Aladdin (supposedly). However, Aladdin shows your child, is that its ok to be muslims, you don’t have to dress like one though. Dress is not important, it’s what is in your heart. This is contradiction to islam, in which belief is to also dress the part. Every cartoon has a woman in it, and every woman is not in Islamic garb, or decently dressed. Children have a tendency to imitate what they like, and now every girl wants to be like Ariel, or Cinderella or Jasmine or whoever else… but to be like these ‘princesses’ is to compromise your deen. Allah tells us, “tell the believing women to lower their gazes, and guard their chastity and not expose their adornment except that which necessarily appears of thereof and to wrap (a portion of) their head covers over their chest and not expose their adornment…” (Surah An-Nur 24:31) As muslims we respect our bodies. We do not flaunt them; how can we teach our girls to cover and our boys to lower their gaze, if they are watching what tells them the opposite, and if the gaze is not lowered before the TV screen. The TV is no different than watching people on the street.

Thirdly, falling in love. This has gone to the extent of where even cars fall in love. Children are now exposed to inanimate objects falling in love. It is all poison to the child’s mind, and promotes that which Islam forbids.

Disrespect for parents and authority. Hmm…bet you never noticed that. Yes, it’s right there, many main characters in cartoons do not respect their parents or the authority over them, and rather project an attitude where they feel parents are restrictive, and won’t allow them to live their life. In Islam parents have an elevated position, where by serving them can gain you access to Jannah, and refusal to do so can open the gates of hellfire. Similarly in Islam, those in authority have to be obeyed and our elders treated with veneration.

Music, simply put is the devils tool. In addition to all the musical instruments, the songs contained in these co-called innocent cartoons have irrelevant and indecent lyrics. How can we allow our children to be exposed to such filth? For more information on the prohibition of music in Islam visit www.aateam.org/blog/muharramat-music/

If you are taking your children to the cinema, then that’s even worse. You are paying to engage in that which is displeasing to Allah. You are openly promoting fee mixing; cinemas are not segregated I don’t think. You are encouraging your child to continue in this.

Last but not least it is a distraction from the remembrance of Allah. We were created solely for the purpose of worshiping, and this principle should be instilled in children right from the start. Not only Salaah is worship, but every action that is pleasing to Allah, and done in accordance to the Sunnah is worship in Islam. Children are easily attracted to the fun of TV, the colourful images, the toys, and the sounds, and this is from the tricks of Shaytaan. The child is so focused on the images portrayed on TV, that Qur’an and islam seems dull and boring to them. The stimulation from TV, becomes the only thing to quell their energy, and the Qur’an becomes hard to learn without promises of rewards. The deen seems restricting compared to the stories illustrated, and soon they outgrow cartoons, and begin to watch movies, which has even more far-reaching consequences. Are you pleasing Allah, and fulfilling your purpose in this dunya, when you allow your child to watch cartoons? Or when you watch it with them?

But truly there is no room for boredom in islam or free time, or time to watch TV. How can we ever be bored as muslims, have we read enough Qur’an? Made enough istighfar and tasbeeh? Are we ready to meet Allah? Keep your children occupied with more important things that will help them attain the pleasure of Allah. Remember if you taught them something good, every time they do it, you will have a reward, and the opposite is true as well. Explain to your children the values of Islam. Portray Islam to them in the most beautiful light, it will have a better lasting impact, in this dunya, and in the Akhirah.

May Allah help us to worship Him at all times, in everything we do.

The Change Islam Brought

Heart Softeners

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The Prophet   said, “The dearest to me among you and the nearest to me on the Day of Judgement are those who have the best character.” (Sunan At-Tirmidhee: 2018)

As I reconnect with some old friends from high school, I try to let them see how much Islam can change a person; Islam can change one’s morals, character, and manners. Alhamdulillah I am blessed with many sisters who have beautiful character and manners and they truly show me what real sisterhood in Islam is. They make me feel like I have entered into a religion that truly does preach unity, peace, and kindness. It is safe to say that I can count my closest friends on one hand and these are the sisters who have been riding along side with me during my journey as a Muslim. Islamic sisterhood is something sacred and beautiful, IF it is built upon the purpose of pleasing Allah and if it is done for His Sake alone. Islam teaches us how to treat our sisters with care and respect. A simple message to greet her and ask her how she is doing, or a friendly visit to bring her a gift are some of the beautiful things I have been able to experience as a muslimah. Many sisters go above and beyond to really make you feel cherished and appreciated and it is something that I never experienced during my life as a non-Muslim.
As I write about the good, sadly I must also bring attention to the not-so-good. There has been a trend in this Ummah these days and it is the lack of akhlaq and adaab within the Muslim community. I have noticed that the good manners and basic etiquette of giving and even returning salams have become something very rare. I have been a Muslim for nearly 4 years now by the Mercy of Allah and I have begun to notice that a lot of non-Muslims are more polite and supportive than Muslims and this is something that is very troubling. Our religion teaches us to be supportive of each other and to treat each other like we are sisters of one another and Allah has promised us His Shade on the Day of Judgement for those who love each other for His Sake,

 It was reported from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “There are seven whom Allah will shade with His shade on the day when there will be no shade except His: the just ruler; a young man who grows up worshiping his Lord; a man whose heart is attached to the mosque; two men who love one another for the sake of Allah and meet and part on that basis; a man who is called by a woman of rank and beauty and says ‘I fear Allah’; a man who gives in charity and conceals it to such an extent that his left hand does not know what his right hand gives; and a man who remembers Allah when he is alone, and his eyes fill up.” (Agreed upon, narrated by Bukhari, no. 620; Muslim, no. 1712; and others)

I really do not know where this “attitude” stems from but it is something that we all really need to reflect upon. We tend to forget the importance and value of good character. Having good manners and good character will only bring about good. It will only increase love between one another and it is something that pleases Allah. So why can’t we put our arrogance and difference aside and treat each other in a way that Allah Loves?

When asked about the best of the believers, the Prophet   replied, “They are those who have the best character and manners.” (Sunan At-Tirmidhee: 1162; Sunan Abu Dawood: 4682)

Good character and good manners are signs of a true believer, and the amount of reward that can be sought just by having good manners is better than those who do the voluntary prayers and fasts!


The Prophet   said, “No deed that will be placed on the scale of deeds [on the Day of Judgement] will be heavier than good character. Indeed, a person with good character will attain the rank of those with a good record of voluntary fasts and prayers.” (Sunan At-Tirmidhee: 2003)

One thing that really attracts people to Islam is the good manners and character of Muslims. Of course we can not speak on behalf of ALL the Muslims but wouldn’t it be such a beautiful thing if we could be in the category of Muslims who practise and preach good manners and good etiquette? Exercising good manners and good character could not only attract non-Muslims but also encourage Muslims who are not necessarily practicing, to find Allah and return back to the deen! Many of us forget the important sunnah of having good character, it really does not take a lot to smile and send Salams to your sister in Islam or to send her a random message asking her how she is over e-mail or what’s app. Now that Ramadan is over, I really hope we can continue to do things that will help change our lives and earn the Pleasure of Ar-Rahman, and having good character and good manners is surely an easy way to rack up your points for the Hereafter.


When the Prophet   was asked about which act leads people to enter Paradise the most, he replied, “Piety and good character.” (Sunan At-Tirmidhee: 2004; Sunan Ibn Maajah: 4246)

Umm Abdur-Rahman,

Writer, AAT

The Six Fasts of Shawwaal

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Ramadaan has ended, and it seems the blessings and opportunities for reward have depleted. Our hearts yearn for possibilities to spring up, knowing that Allah is Merciful and would never leave us in the lurch. Our Lord, out of His infinite bounties has presented us with yet another chance to multiply our rewards in this month of Shawwal.

The Prophet (may peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Fasting for the month of Ramadaan brings the reward of ten like it, and fasting for the six days brings the reward of two months and that is the fasting of the whole year.” (Ibn Khuzaymah)

The great virtue and reward of fasting six days in Shawwal is immense, and it is encouraged to fast these days. One may fast any six days of Shawwal, consecutively or random individual days. However one should make up missed fasts from Ramadaan, first as these have priority and are obligatory. Furthermore, in another hadith the Prophet (peace be upon him) “Whoever fasts Ramadaan and follows it with six days of Shawwal, it will be as if he fasted a lifetime.” (Muslim) So Ramadaan is to be followed by the fasts of Shawwal, thus it must be completed first. For the same reason, one cannot combine the intention of making up missed fasts in Ramadaan with fasts of Shawwal.

Imagine fasting a lifetime. Rather, imagine fasting two whole months consecutively, which is a form of compensation in Islamic law.  Many can barely make it through the fasts of Ramadaan, let alone anything extra. But here, about fasting six days in Shawwal, the Prophet has told us that it is as though one has fasted a lifetime. The average lifespan of the Ummah of Muhammad (peace be upon him) is between sixty to seventy years. So, that would be 21600 days at minimum, at maximum 25200 days, as per the lunar calendar. Subhanallah! We would never be able to fast every day that we lived, yet we can earn the reward for doing so!

What are we waiting for?! Before Shawwal departs just as it surely will, race for the reward! If you are still enjoying Eid treats, you may have to save them for later, and get the reward of those six days….I’m sure you wouldn’t want to miss out!

For more information please see www.islamqa.com

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Abandoning Your Brother

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Muharramat: Abandoning a Muslim Brother

As muslims we make one ummah. We are united by a bond that runs deep in our hearts, our brotherhood/sisterhood is not a mere friendship. Our connection is a relationship based on faith, it is an attachment in which each hopes the best for each other; that is paradise. May Allah unite us all there, in its highest levels.

We all are aware of Shaytaan, and his attempts to break us. He tampers with our unity, in order to divide the ummah, weaken the iman and make each of us lose the rewards and blessings of Allah. It may seem like a small grudge, but Shaytaan is well-aware of its consequences!

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “It is not permitted for a muslim to forsake his brother, for more than three (days), whoever does this and dies, will enter hell.” (Abu-Dawud)

It has always been the goal of Shaytaan to make us lose our place in Jannah. He has been denied it, and now he wants to make us deviate from the straight path.

With Ramadaan just gone, it’s upon our shoulders to fix up our ties.

In another narration, the Prophet (peace be upon) him said, “It is not permissible for a man to forsake his brother for more than three nights, each turning away if they meet. The better of the two is the one who is the first to greet the other with salaam.” (Bukhari)

Such a simple act of kindness, saying salaam, can save you from the fire of hell. Ramadaan is an opportunity for us to save ourselves from the fire, but it is no use, if you are engaged in forsaking your brother, and dooming yourself to the flames.

“The deeds of the people are shown to Allah twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays; He forgives all His believing slaves, except for the one between whom and his brother is enmity. He says, leave these two until they reconcile.” (Muslim)

The benefits of returning to one’s brother, is many. Not only do you get to enjoy his companionship, but Allah will look at your deeds, and will save you from the fire. Moreover, Anas bin Malik mentioned that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “whoever would like his rizq (provision) to be increased and his life to be extended should uphold the ties of kinship.” (Bukhari and Muslim) So, upholding the ties of kinship, will grant you a longer life, and thus the opportunity to engage in more righteous deeds, and increases you provision.

Sometimes a person may be deserving of being ignored, if they are engaged in some sin, such as abandoning the salah. If staying away from them will make them realise their errors, then it is permissible to do so. However, if it will make things worse, then it is better to treat him kindly, advise him and remind him.

As muslims, we care for not only ourselves but the wider community of muslims brothers and sisters across the globe. We respect each other and maintain a healthy relationship. We encourage each other towards the good, and forbid the evil.

May Allah unite us all in Jannah tul Firdaws.

 

Maimoonah Bint Al-Harith

Women of the Golden Era #9

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Oh those times spent in the taraweeh, in reading Quran, in hastening towards good, in refraining from evil, in striving to attain Allah’s pleasure, indeed Ramadan is a month of training.

However, now just because Ramadan has gone doesn’t necessitate that our iman should go as well. The bad habits that we had thrown aside now need to be left out for good, our istighfar (repentance) needs to be sincere and one of its conditions is not to repeat the sinful action again and in case we slip we should again make istighfar whilst making a sincere intention of not repeating it. Brothers and sisters we should definitely increase in goodness in Ramadan and perform voluntary prayers and do lots of ibadah but we should also strive to be upright all year round. We should look at our righteous predecessors, though obviously they increased their ibadah in Ramadan, but read their seerah and you will realize that they were pious all the year round. No wonder their ranks are highly elevated and they were chosen as the forerunners of Islam. We too need to imbibe such beautiful qualities in ourselves and walk the footsteps they walked because, that, brothers and sisters is undeniably the true way to success. One such beautiful example is our Mother of the Believer’s, Maimoonah bint Al-Harith (May Allah be pleased with her). She was the aunt of Ibn Abbas and Ibn Al-Waleed (May Allah be pleased with them) and was the last wife of our Noble Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him).

Maimoonah (May Allah be pleased with her) was valued highly for her traits like God- Fearing and nurturing good relations with all the members of her family. And this tribute was paid to her when she passed away by Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) in the words ‘By Allah! Maimoonah (May Allah be pleased with her) has passed away, she was the most Allah- fearing and nurtured the ties of kinship.’ Imagine how pious she was, for this to be said from Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) who herself was very pious and a leading woman and a teacher for the scholars to come. This also brings to our attention the importance of maintaining the ties of kinship for Allah has warned us against cutting the ties of kinship (interpretation of the meaning): “And those who break the Covenant of Allah, after its ratification, and sever that which Allah has commanded to be joined (i.e., they sever the bond of kinship and are not good to their relatives), and work mischief in the land, on them is the curse (i.e., they will be far away from Allah’s Mercy); And for them is the unhappy (evil) home (i.e., Hell).” [Al-Ra’d 13:26]

Does it not cause our hearts to tremor, think about it dear friends, what punishment could be worse than the curse? Islam is a religion of peace and calls for the upholding of the ties of kinship because of the great effect that this has on achieving social cohesion and perpetuating cooperation and love among the Muslims. Upholding the ties of kinship is a duty because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“… and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship)…” [Al-Nisa’ 4:1]

“And give to the kindred his due and to the miskeen (poor)…” [al-Isra’ 17:26]

A hadith that can be quoted in this context: Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘Allah created the universe, and when He had finished, kinship (al-rahm) stood up and said, “This is the standing up of one who seeks Your protection from being cut off.” Allah said, “Yes, would it please you if I were to take care of those who take care of you and cut off those who cut you off?” It said, “Of course.” Allah said, “Then your prayer in granted.’’ (Saheeh Muslim bi Sharh al-Nawawi, 16/112). We benefit from the above great Hadith that Allah will take care of those who take care and maintain the ties of kinship and we also learn that whoever cuts the ties of kinship, Allah will cut them off. Also keep in mind the hadith: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever would like his rizq (provision) to be increased and his life to be extended, should uphold the ties of kinship.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 5986 and Muslim, 2557).

My dear friends I plead you to ponder on the above ayat and ahadith and truly think about it, is a dispute over property, land and other worldly reasons really a reason sufficient enough to cut off ties of kinship with our brothers and sisters. ‘Oh, but I try to be kind to them, yet they respond rudely, after all one has to keep their self-respect’ Seriously! Is that what we think? Then allow me to clarify The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The one who maintains a relationship with his relatives only because they maintain a relationship with him is not truly upholding the ties of kinship. The one who truly upholds those ties is the one who does so even if they break off the relationship.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 5645). If the relationship merely involves returning favours and giving like in return for like, and not taking the first step, then this is not upholding the ties of kinship, it is only responding in kind. Some people follow the principle of giving a gift in return for a gift, and visiting in return for a visit, so if someone does not give them a gift, they do not give him a gift, and if he does not visit them, they do not visit him! This is not what is meant by upholding the ties of kinship at all, and this is not what is required by Islam. This is merely responding in kind, it is not the higher degree which Islam urges us to reach. A man said to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), “I have relatives with whom I try to keep in touch, but they cut me off. I treat them well, but they abuse me. I am patient and kind towards them, but they insult me.”

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “If you are as you say, then it is as if you are putting hot dust in their mouths. Allah will continue to support you as long as you continue to do that.” (Reported by Muslim with commentary by al-Nawawi, 16/115). Who could bear to put up with hot dust? We seek refuge with Allah from cutting off the ties of kinship.

Let’s remember Maimoonah (May Allah be pleased with her) and truly try to endeavour to keep up our kinship ties as we certainly can’t afford to face the consequences of not doing so. Maimoonah (May Allah be pleased with her) after the death of the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him) lived her life calmly and peacefully, preoccupying herself with acts of worship and performing Hajj every year. May Allah from his immense mercy make us among those patiently maintain the ties of kinship. Ameen.

Bint Ayesha,

Writer, AAT

The Sunan of Eid

“Eid was named Eid because it returns every year with renewed happiness,” (Ibn-ul-Arabee)

eid balloons

Alhamdulilah, we have been granted the great blessings of Islam, and being muslim. Eid, is a time for celebration a time for joy and ‘partying.’ Eid-ul-Fitr is the Eid of breaking the fast, and ‘feasting.’ What better way to celebrate than in a manner that is pleasing to Allah and that will earn us rewards?!

On the day of Eid we are encouraged to have a ghusul before going to the Eid prayer. “Abdullah Ibn Umar used to bathe on the day of Fitr before setting out to the musallah.” (Muwatta) As muslims we should maintain cleanliness, before we do anything, especially on a special day such as Eid.

Muslims should also adorn themselves on the Eid. Jabir narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) had a cloak which he would wear on the two Eids and on Fridays. (Sahih by Ibn Khuzaymah) It is encouraged that one dresses up, however women, should not dress up when going out, but may do so in their homes, and in the correct company in which there is gender segregation.

Next a person should eat before going to the Eid prayer. Anas reported, that the Messenger (peace be upon him) would not set out in the morning of Eid-ul-Fitr until he had eaten some dates.” (Bukhari and others) Imam Al-Muhallab explained the reason behind this practice of the prophet as follows, “the wisdom behind eating before the Eid prayer is so that no person with doubt in his mind thinks that the fasting remains until after the prayer. So it is as if he (peace be upon him) wanted to stop this from occurring.”

Another Sunnah is that a person recites the takbeer aloud until one reaches the musallah, and then until the imam comes out. However, the takbeer should not be recited in congregation together with others, rather one should recite it individually. It is reported from the sahabah that they used to say,

eidtakbeer-thumb

“Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, laa ilaha illallah. Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, wa lillahil hamd”

Greeting and wishing good is also recommended on the Eid, and on other special occasions, for it from good manners to do so. When the companions used to meet each other on the day of Eid they said after the Eid salah, “May Allah accept it from you and us.”eid greeting

“Taqaballahu minna wa minkum”

However Imam Ahmad said, “I do not initiate greeting anybody but if they begin I answer them and that is because answering a greeting is obligatory. As for initiating greetings (of Eid) then it is not from the requested Sunnah and neither is it from that which is prohibited. Therefore whosoever does it has a precedent and whosoever leaves it also has a precedent-and Allah knows best.”

The Eid prayer is considered obligatory from the strongest opinion of the scholars, and that all the muslims attend the Eid prayer, the young and old alike and women who are menstruating. The sermon of Khutbah of Eid is delivered after the Eid Salah, unlike the Salah it is not obligatory, for the Prophet (peace be upon him said, “verily we shall give a sermon, so whoever wishes to stay for the sermon then let him stay and whoever wishes to depart then let him depart.” (An-Nisa’I, Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah)

One may also give gifts, particularly to children, and generally the Eid day should be made special and different to other days. In this regard the prophet permitted listening to the Daff played by young girls, as a means of amusement as long as they are within the perimeters of that which is allowed in Islam. One may also make sweets, cakes, and partake of meal unique to Eid. This is a summary of the practices of Eid, that a muslim should undertake.

For more information on this issue please visit, http://islamqa.info/en/36442 and ‘The Ruling Concerning The Two Eids From The Purified Sunnah’ by Shaykh Abul Haarith Alee Hassan Alee Abdul Hameed

Bibi Zainab Dowlut

Eid-Gifts-for-kids

Make this the best Eid

A beautiful day, a day of happiness, is very near and it comes after the most blessed month, that day is Eid. Eid is a day we all have waited for, a day where we are the happiest and when we meet our loved ones. This day, the young anticipate the joy of accepting gifts and the old anticipate the joy of giving. This is a day when no one goes hungry and all is celebrating and enjoying themselves. A day we see bright smiles on everyone’s faces, everyone warmly hugging each other. It brings unity among ourselves.

But again we have to spend this day according to the Sunnah of the Prophet, so as that we don’t underestimate the joy of Eid neither go off limits on this blessed day. As soon as we sight the moon of Shawwal, most of us will start shopping or apply henna or start the cleaning or usually just hang out the whole night wasting this precious night when Allah showers His blessings on those who have spent Ramadan in prayer and other worship. What we should do is spend this night, or at least some part of it in remembering Allah and thanking Him for letting us experience the blessed month Ramadan and to welcome Eid. And as for our precious shopping, we have been given countless reminders in Sha’ban to finish it before Ramadan. It is not necessary to wear new clothes, our clean and many unworn dresses can be worn on Eid.

(AP Photo/ Gurinder Osan)
(AP Photo/ Gurinder Osan)

 

We also need to pray Fajr and follow all the Sunnah’s of what the Prophet used to do on the day of Eid, including women going for Salat al Eid. This day is supposed to be a celebration in Islam and so everything done should be in accordance to it. I personally have witnessed people, who watch movies and listen to music as a form of celebration, but this is totally haram. Also we have people who do the best deeds in Ramadan, building a mountain of good deeds and the very next day as Ramadan ends, we see the women strutting around in heels (clip clop, clip clop) and exposing their beauty as a fitna for others. Men allowing their women to do this have a share in the sin. And again there are many other things that we do that breaks down our mountain of good deeds to almost nothing.

Now let’s get to the festivities of Eid, on Eid we should to ensure that the poor and needy also have their share of happiness and joy. Ensure that your Zakat-ul-Fitr is given on time. You can sort out your closet and handing them to poor people will ensure that they too have good clothes to wear on Eid. Remember when we give we become richer and not poor. Invite your friends and family to your house and have a and enjoy the festivities of eid together. On this day of Eid remember those to whom you have forgotten or whom you don’t have good ties with. This is an opportunity for you to forgive and forget, this is a chance of attaining true happiness. But remember to always observe hijab and keep it halal.

Eid is a day for Feasting, prepare sweet dishes and enjoy yourself to the fullest as you have ‘starved’ in Ramadaan. Eating is a way of happiness, and inviting your neighbors to eat along with you will double the joy as neighbors have greater rights than your relatives. Indeed it gets tiring inviting many people all at once and so help your mothers, wives, and sisters in preparing and serving the food, this will make Eid a happy occasion for them as well and not just another day of chores.

firni

 

Giving each other gifts will make this day more special, especially for the young who envy non-muslim celebratory gifts. Giving gifts makes way for more love for each other. Loving and caring is what a muslim is and should be.

Gifts

 

Lastly celebrate Eid as the best day of your lives by following the Sunnah and you will see that it will be the best Eid compared to all the previous Eid you have celebrated. It will make you a better person as you give and share the happiness, and earn the pleasure of Allah.

Fatima Damad, Writer, AAT

A Eid Shopping Spree

eid-bangles

Amidst the kaleidoscope of colourful clothes, jewellery and what not, one can hardly decide what to purchase. Our budget lingers at the back of our heads as a warning signal cautioning us not to spend more than we can afford, hence drives in the widespread undertaking of “window shopping,” a form of entertainment cognized by those who are proficient in this art.

And indeed what an art it is! Staring wistfully at the mannequins displaying the latest trends, envying those capable of hoarding the sales items, uselessly bargaining with the salesmen….. so on and so forth. An extremely unproductive “art” so to say, resulting in nothing more than hours of wasted time, ingratitude towards Allah The Most Merciful, and sowing the seeds of jealousy, envy etc. What with Eid approaching people unfortunately seem to actually ameliorate their shopping skills. Has one forgotten the hadith, Abu Huraira reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The parts of land dearest to Allah are its mosques, and the parts most hateful to Allah are markets.” (Sahih Muslim Book #004, Hadith #1416)

As for, in regards to women undoubtedly it is better for women to stay at home, as Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And stay in your houses” [al-Ahzaab 33:33] And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Their houses are better for them.” (Narrated by Abu Dawood, al-Salaah, 480. Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan Abi Dawood, 530).

Therefore, women should not go out unless it is necessary, and when it is necessary for a woman to go out, it should be with her husband’s permission. She should be careful to avoid that which Allah has forbidden, and she should wear full hijab, covering that which Allah ordained, etc. If she goes out wearing adornments and makeup or perfume, then this is not permitted. If there is no danger of fitnah and women go out in the manner required by sharee’ah, there is nothing wrong with their going out. Women at the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to go out to the market-places without a mahram.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) permitted women to go out if there is an urgent need. He said, “It is permissible for you (women) to go out for your needs.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, Tafseer al-Qur’aan, 4421). Ibn Hajar said in Fath al-Baari, Ibn Battaal said: The interpretation of this hadeeth is that it is permissible for women to engage in dealings according to their needs. But one can hardly ascertain window shopping to be a need! Moreover, once we have purchased the items of necessity, we hardly need to linger around.

Indeed Allah is Al-Hakeem, He commands us for our good, preventing the spread of fitnah and corruption. Isn’t it true, that many a times, haven’t we regretted and wailed at the amount of time lost in ‘shopping?’ However, we are on this Earth only to serve Allah, and indeed Allah is so merciful that even at the market place He has given us an opportunity to receive His reward. The market and bazaar is a place where a person is more forgetful regarding religion, therefore, while entering a market one should recite this supplication. This supplication brings reward for this world and for the Hereafter.

entering market

 

Alhamdulillah, so let’s make this Eid special, by learning this exquisite invocation, and by abiding with the proper etiquette of “shopping.” I pray to Allah, indeed The Most Merciful, The most Loving to facilitate us to always recite this perfect invocation and make us among those who always remember Him. Ameen ya Rabbil Alameen Bint Ayesha