Monday, April 29, 2013

For My Dear Precious Sisters

May Peace Be Upon You.
This is just a polite reminder to those who use Facebook and other social networking sites.  

Dear Sisters in Faith.
Dear sisters using the sites in itself is not bad but the way they are being used is indeed thought provoking. 
Many of my precious and good sisters are wasting their time on such sites. Moreover they are posting their snaps on them for all to see. 
I am sure all of us have read that Allah tells us in the Quran that women need to cover themselves from non-mahram men. Most of the sisters post photos which every other man can see along with their husbands and brothers or fathers.
I make this request, very humbly, to use the sites but not to overdo it. Do not waste your time on it. Please do not put your snaps on it. Kindly read the ayahs in the Quran on Hijab. For your help I can quote some here too....
33:59 O Prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women, that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when abroad): that is most convenient, that they should be known (as such) and not molested. And Allah is Oft- Forgiving, Most Merciful. ...

 Al-Ahzab [33:59]  

24:31 And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband's fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons, their brothers or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O ye Believers! turn ye all together towards Allah, that ye may attain Bliss. 

Al-Nour [24:31] 

Face the Book

We face the mirror daily to groom ourselves. We face the daily challenges of life. We face the problems that crop up unexpectedly. We face friends, family and even those whom we do not like.
Facing means to directly interact or be near to something. When someone says that he does not want to face someone it means that he is not ready to talk to him or be near him.
The opposite of facing can be avoiding or escaping from something.
Another thing we do on a regular basis is 'opening'. And we do it almost unknowingly. This is so because we are so used to it that it has become our habit and thus easy to carry out even without much thought.
We open so many things like the door of our house, the car, the locks, the tap, the fridge, the tv, the laptop (computer, tab, ipad and so on). We can think of many more things that we need to open in our daily life, not excluding our facebook page! :)
Have we ever thought that there are certain things that are always open and ready to be used and they just require us to turn toward them? Yes, we find the gates of Masjid are open. We never need to knock on the door of the Masjid to get to pray there! The Doors of Allah's Mercy and Forgiveness are always open for us until we take our last breath! The opportunity of asking anything from Allah and getting it is always open during the last part of the night DAILY...when Allah Himself comes and asks us to pray to Him and He will grant..! But we are after those things that need efforts to get opened and do not go to those which are wide open for us always.
The Book of Allah is always there as a guide for us...but we do not care to open it read and understand what Allah wants to tell us...
Imagine somebody giving you a beautifully wrapped gift which has some valuable thing in it and you just keep it that way and do not feel the urge to open it up and see what your friend has given you as a gift! Is it possible that your desire of knowing the gift and your happiness of receiving the gift is fulfilled just by keeping the gift wrapped up that way never opening it?
The Holy Quran is a gift to us by Allah. It was sent through Muhammed saws who said that he was leaving the two things among us to which we must hold fast. He meant that we must read, understand and follow what is there in The Book and His Sunnah.
So let us make it a point that come what may, we shall open the Quran daily. Read just one ayah with meaning. Why is it so easy for us in our busy schedule, in offices, at our bedtime, and almost anywhere to open our facebook page? Why can't we open a page of the Quran? Let us now not just facebook rather Face the Book. Let us all ponder on what we are gathering today for us to leave behind and to take away with us when we die.....and death is a reality which each one of us has to face, no matter how long we get to live. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Source of Guidance-Part 2

 Prophet Mohammed’s (May Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) life is a shining example for all Mankind. His life teaches us how we should lead a life that is liked by our Creator.
So all humans must first use their wisdom to understand the real purpose of life and seek guidance continuously from the source which is authentic.
We as Muslims should use our intelligence to understand our beautiful religion Islam and seek guidance continuously from the Quran. Never leave it unattended for even a day. We must also seek knowledge about how our Prophet PBUH used to live his life and follow his footsteps as much as we can.
It is sad that many of us are wasting our precious time and life in useless things which are not going to take us anywhere. Not even in this world leave alone the Hereafter. We must take out some time to think over our life as a whole. What are we up to? What are we trying to achieve? Where we are heading to? If we ponder over our end it will be enough for us as a lesson. We all must imagine for a while the moment we will die. How important will be the things that we collected, that we adored or kept safely with us? How important will be our scores on angry birds or Farm Ville? Will we bother to just get up and see our Face book page? Will we think about the day’s menu? Will we bother about our clothes, housework or any other thing that we used to bother about so much on a daily basis? What will be bothering us? Only the one who experiences it will know the seriousness of the matter. Therefore, it is wise to prepare for it before we need to worry on that last hour; when we will be incapable of anything. It is understood by even a man of common sense that what we are engaged all our life through can be prominent at that last moment too. For example the things we used to love doing, the words which were always on our tongue, the habits etc.
The main thing here is seeking the knowledge. Until and unless we know something how can do anything about it. Seeking knowledge is a must upon every one of us.
Muslims should lead an ‘Islamic life’ and never forget that they should ‘practice everything that is obligatory’ and ‘leave anything that is prohibited or even doubtful’. How can we be Muslims without following Islam?
All that we can do we must do it. We should make it our habit to do things in the Islamic way. Some people call it strictness or extremism but it is not so. Following the basic tenets of our faith without which we might not be categorized as true Muslims is not extremism; like praying 5 times daily, fasting in the month of Ramadan, paying the zakah and doing Hajj once in a lifetime cannot be termed as being extremism in Islam! What else then we will do to categorize ourselves in the Muslim category!? Only the names are not enough.
Suppose in a school there are a few rules of discipline. If the students say that they do not like to wear the uniforms, attend classes on time or daily, don’t want to take the exams; do you think such students will be liked by the school or kept there for long? No. The school will expel such students after a period of time. So following the basic rules or the main building blocks of any institution is a must on anyone who wants to remain a part of the same.
Following the five pillars of Islam is compulsory for any Muslim; and this is no extremism if you see anyone praying 5 times daily without fail and trying his best not to miss any prayer. If you see anyone fasting, paying poor’s due and trying to go for Hajj then he is following the basic tenets of Islamic Faith.
Religion shapes our life. Life and religion can never go in different directions. They go parallel to each other. In fact, religion is a way of life. If the teachings of any religion are not applied to life then it cannot be termed as ‘following’ that religion even if you are categorized so.
Someone might keep a name that Muslims keep but does not have a life that usually Muslims have!
Therefore, to be a Muslim accept Islam wholeheartedly, understand it, follow it, support it, spread it and love it. 
Then you will say 'I'm lovin' it' like they say at Mc Donald's! This is because we will then experience the sweetness of faith!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Source of Guidance

In the Name of Allah Most Gracious Most Merciful.

Allah Subhanahu wa ta'ala is the Most Merciful and the Most Gracious. He loves His creatures and servants much much more than a mother loves her child. So how can He leave us unguided, unprotected and unrewarded? He has given us intelligence above all His Creations in the world. 

By using our intelligence, insight and understanding we can easily see the signs of Allah which are so prominent and so numerous! Our own self is a sign of Allah and all that is around us from plants to animals and from the skies to our earth!

It is entirely our fault if we do not want to direct our intelligence to the right direction or way to understand Allah and His Greatness. 
Not only this, Allah has not left His creation without any help or guidance; it is always present near us so that we can refer to it anytime! 
That guidance is the Holy Quran, the Pure and True message of Allah is with us to guide us to the Right Path.

This Light of Guidance  is always shining in the world so that anybody who wants can seek guidance, help or enlightenment from it till the Last Hour is established.

It is always alive in the hearts of all Muslims who love Allah, His Messenger and have faith in all that Allah sent through His Messengers (May Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon them all). 

So, first it was Human Intelligence that was bestowed to help man understand his existence and end and then he was provided with an everlasting guide in the form of the Quran. 

But this is not the end.

Apart from this Allah has given us the Life of our Beloved Prophet Mohammed (May Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) to see how a Muslim should live. 
He chose His Messenger from among the common people, who had a simple life so that everyone could identify and relate to him easily.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Man and his Purpose of Life

So far so good.
Through my previous posts I intended to put across the point about life and its real purpose. Life is not just 'living' rather it is 'living with a purpose'.
We can can see around us so many living things from animal and plant kingdom. Even they have some purpose for which they have been created. But the difference between them and us is that they have a limited area of their own. The other difference is that they have not been blessed with the same intelligence as we. This is the reason why we see how a weak human can overpower the ferocious lions or tigers and tame them. He can even get them to do tricks for him as he likes. But however strong an animal is it can not outsmart the intelligence of Man.
We ourselves are in awe of the heights of technological breakthroughs that we see around most of that is in our hands or laps and we are just playing without realizing the intricacy with which it has been invented!
Coming to the point, there is a purpose of existence of all living beings who have been endowed with capabilities and they are accountable for it.
Let us see how we understand this. For example, animals have been given certain special capabilities and they are doing their work accordingly. You can see the life of bees, ants, spiders, tailor birds and many amazing creatures who are constantly doing work and that too hard and with perfection! When you look at a spider's web you see the craftsmanship (or we can say craftsinsectship!) with which it is made. No flaw. Nothing.
This is the work of a frail, weak. thin spider whom you can just press and she is gone!
So here we see that even minute insects keep doing things which they are skilled in naturally. The limited understanding which they have been given is enough for their survival.
More to say, they have been created for our help also. Now this is another topic and this is not the time to delve into it. Insha Allah we will see to it in some other post.
To sum up, now we understand that the level of intelligence calls for that level of work! When insects can keep up to it why can't we?
Now the question is what kind of purpose or work does the intelligence that we possess calls for?
And how are we going to know what is the purpose of our existence, our life and our capabilities?
There you go. That is the reason I mentioned Surah Al Asr first in my earlier posts before giving a mention of Al Quran itself.
Surah Nasr tells us that all human kind is in loss except those who believe and do good deeds and those who advice each other good deeds and patience.
So this makes clear the purpose of our existence. If we do not want to be among those who are in loss, which is going to happen for sure, as Allah swears by Time and says that indeed mankind is in loss. Then He tells us how we can save ourselves from being among those losers.
1- First and foremost- we need to believe. Belief includes all the tenets of faith of Islam.
2- Then we must avoid all evil and try doing good deeds.
3-Next- it should not be kept to oneself, rather call others to do good and when need be advise others to practice patience.
Another and final but important point is about the source from which we are going to learn how to live this kind of life.
Yes. You got it. It is none other than The Book of Allah about which there is no doubt that it is True and Divine.
Until and Unless We Open The Book read and try to understand it, the purpose of our own life will not become clear to us.
So let us open and read the Quran and see what our Creator tells us to do.

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Quran

In search of Truth

The Book tells us all about life and its meaning.
It tells us about the right way to live life.
What a person owes another?
How one should behave,
What Allah wants from us?
What must we ask from Him?
All this The Book explains in detail.
Life is to be understood, to be sought, to be polished.
Life is to be on the ideals of the Prophet.
Truth is not merely what we can see or understand.
It’s something deep and profound.
It’s to be searched for in the light of this Great Book and
The Prophet’s life and teachings.

Understanding Surah Al Asr

From Tafseer Ibn Katheer:
Explanation of Suratul Asr

'1-Ash Shafii said that if people were to ponder on this Surah (Suratul Asr) it would be sufficient for them. 
Al Asr is the Time in which the movements of the Children of Adam occur. whether good or evil.

2-Allah swears by this that man is in loss and destruction.

3-So Allah makes an exception, among the species of Man being in loss, for those who believe in their hearts and work righteous deeds with their limbs. They perform acts of obedience and avoid forbidden things.'

And while commanding others to do good deeds and to avoid evil they recommend each other to be patient as everyone is not going to take what they say and some may even harm them.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah.

The Return Journey

Yesterday I was invited at a friend’s place to a dars (a talk that involves remembering Allah and giving good advice to the audience). H...