The Death Cycle

Across the emerald green fields, ears of golden corn peep out into the dazzling world beyond, the sky with its forget me not blue, illuminated by shafts of golden rays that make the glistening dew drops sparkle like diamantes. A scenery befitting of an artist’s canvas indeed. As the newly harvested crops stretch across the horizon, a feeling of delight gushes within the very depths of one’s soul. If only the artist itching to sketch this scenic beauty was to know the dramatic events that contributed to this prosperous harvest! If only we were to know the hardships faced by the farmers to yield this crop, for indeed apart from the sweat and labour, their most challenging hardship is often entering the debt cycle.

Indeed it won’t be a mistake to rename the debt cycle as the death cycle for it is a great contributor to the increasing suicidal rates all around the globe.

But in reality what is the debt cycle? Putting it rather bluntly, it’s a situation when someone financially unstable, borrows money to fulfil his substantial needs and is unable to repay it, therefore in order to repay his first loan by the required time, he borrows yet another loan and is consequently trapped in a cycle where he simply borrows to repay and is never unable to completely relieve himself of his debt and thereby leads a horrendous and miserable life where his loans are his stigma, this situation is far worsened when interest is involved.

cycle

So, my dear friends just imagine if we could lend a hand to this ailing soul, whose debts hover like a dagger on him; by forgiving his debts in a situation where we play the role of the lender.

This brings to my mind a tale of a man in the far south of Saudi Arabia, in a county that lies at the border of the kingdom near Yemen. This man (may Allah reward him) was a shop owner. Occasionally when his customers were unable to completely pay for their purchases they used to get their names noted in a little book stating that they would repay him the amount at a later date, I suppose that’s the custom in some areas. However after a certain period of time had lapsed and they still remained some who hadn’t yet paid up their debts, this kindly shopkeeper would strike away the pages completely forgiving their debts. Certainly it seems improbable that such man were to exist, but Allah knows the full narrative.

Furthermore this anecdote brings to my mind a hadith of tremendous significance

The Messenger (May Allah be pleased with him) said, “There was a merchant who used to lend to the people, and whenever his debtor was in straitened circumstances he would say to his employees, ‘Forgive him so that Allah may forgive us.’ So Allah forgave him.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

This hadith shows the virtue of being lenient and forgiving to those whom owe you a debt whereby the prophet (May Allah be pleased with him) mentioned that a man used to order his employees to collect the debts owed to him by others and he would tell his employees that if you find the person in difficult circumstances then forgive them so that Allah may forgive us for forgiving them. Once this person died and met Allah, Allah forgave them for this deed that they had sincerely performed.

Oh dear friends, which of us do not crave for Allah’s forgiveness? Certainly we should take the measures to attain His mercy and become more forgiving and lenient as a lender and inculcate within ourselves compassion and benevolence.

Bint Ayesha Writer, AAT

 

 

Umm Haram and the First Muslim Navy

naval fleet

Across the oceans wide, in the eastern Mediterranean, in the land of Cyprus, lies the grave of one of the noble companions of the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), Umm Haram (May Allah be pleased with her).

She was from the women of Ansar, from a family of nobility, the aunt of Anas bin Malik and the wife of a distinguished General, Ubadah bin As-Samit.

She had accepted Islam before the migration of Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and was a lady of great wisdom and piety.

As narration relates, a beautiful account in her life when once the Prophet was taking a nap in her house and he woke up smiling, so she asked the reason behind his smile, and he said “some people among my Ummah were shown to me (in my dream) sailing on this sea like kings on thrones.” So she said “O Messenger of Allah, beseech Allah to make me one of them,” he (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “You are one of them.”

Then he took a nap again and he woke up smiling, so she again asked the reason behind his smile, and he said “some people among my Ummah were shown to me (in my dream) sailing on this sea like kings on thrones.” So she said “O Messenger of Allah, beseech Allah to make me one of them,” he said “you are among the first (group)”.

And true to this prophecy, during the caliphate of Uthman ibn Affan, in the year 27th AH, Muawiyah bin Abu Sufyan was given the permission to conquer the island of Cyprus. So the first naval force was prepared and the Muslims braved themselves like lions in a war and then by the Grace of Allah were victorious. Umm haram was amongst them with her husband, but on her return, a mule was brought for her to mount and it threw her and she broke her neck and hence died.

Thus her desire of being a martyr in the cause of Islam came true.

May Allah have mercy on her soul.

Bint Hasan

 

Let’s Hang Out

friendship

Hanging out and socializing is loved by us social humans. With the people we love and know and also with new people. But there should be some etiquettes that should be observed.

So here are a few things that we should keep in mind before socializing:

  1. Always hang out at proper time:

Don’t hang out at night as that will result in you not waking up for fajr which is a grave and dangerous mistake for entertainment.

  1. You aren’t the centre of the world:

Think before you talk, also don’t speak non-stop that everyone gets bored of you. Give everyone the chance to talk. Don’t talk gibberish. Don’t think too highly of yourself.

  1. Always say the truth and be straight forward:

“O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allah & fear Him, and speak (always) the truth.” (33:70)

  1. Don’t talk in private when more than 2:

It was narrated that Abdullah Ibn Umar said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “If you are three, two should not converse privately to the exclusion of the third, until some other people join you, because that will make him sad.”

  1. Stop Backbiting:

Where people gather there is bound to be backbiting, but be careful and stop others from hell as well.

  1. Prioritize your gatherings:

Give priority to family gatherings even at your own home, give time to your parents and siblings. Hanging out with friends and acquaintances comes next.

  1. Gather with pious people:

Meeting good muslims and scholars will benefit you, and you will get ajar just by being with them and listening to their pure speech and also we will have inner peace.

  1. Hang out at good places

Places like a hooka bar or, the Mall and cafes are filled with fitnas all around, you should try to hang out at places with natural beauty where you can appreciate Allah’s creations or to spiritually lift yourself a masjid or an Islamic centre or at home.

  1. Seek permission:

Always ask your parents or your spouse before going out as they may need you.

So socialize and hang out but do it the proper way.

Fatima Damad

 

Signs of the Hour 17

All the praises are for Allah, who is the author of all existence and the Most Generous to His Creation while He is also the All-Compelling. Allah is the king of all those who claim sovereignty. He is the only one who has the right to legislate for His creatures. He is the giver of life and He causes death while death has no effect on Him, because He is the Ever-Living and Self-Subsisting.

This month we will cover one more sign of the hour.

Another sign of the hour is the spread of psychological illnesses which damage the fabric of the Muslim society. And this illness is being stingy.

Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet said: “Things will get worse and people will become more stingier.” In another narration by Al Bukhari, Prophet said: “Time will pass swiftly, knowledge will decrease and miserliness will cast in people’s heart.”

The Arabic word ‘Shuh’ means miserliness accompanied by greed and everything that keeps us from giving money in charity and doing acts of kindness.

Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) said: ‘Avoid doing injustice to others, for on the Day of Judgment, it will turn into manifold darkness, and safeguard yourself against miserliness, for it ruined those who were before you. It incited them to murder and treating the unlawful as lawful.’ (Muslim)

Today, the love for wealth has entrapped people in its confinement. And many of us are becoming penny-pinching. There’s a huge difference between people who want to spend money carefully and in an economical way and people who don’t even want to spend money for their needs and other’s needs. The former type of people follow the method of frugality whereas the latter multitude of people are parsimonious and tight-fisted.

In the Glorious Qur’an, Allah (Glory Be To Him) says: “And you love wealth with an exceeding love” (Surah Al Fajr : 20)

The meaning of the aforementioned verse is crystal clear and not vague. It is true for majority of us. The love for wealth is booming rather than getting slumped. Some of us follow the rule of accumulating thousands of bucks stringently.

Asma related that the Prophet said: ‘Spend, and do not count, lest Allah counts against you. Do not withhold your money, lest Allah withholds from you. Spend what you can.’ (Bukhari, Muslim)