Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Book Review

Thanks to Saima Faisal, an amazing blogger, for giving a review of this book! Do visit her blog for fabulous and practically useful blogs! 
Islam is a complete way of life; it indicates to us the entire and proper system of our every day lives and we Muslims know that following each and every of its principles and obligations will lead us to a successful life in this world and an even brighter one in the Akhirah!
 Author Shumaysa Faruqi has, in this book, Every Day Islam, talked about how exactly we can inculcate an Islamic lifestyle and has narrated numerous Hadith and Verses related to every day activities such as waking up, going out, going to bed and so on. The book is a gem; for surely it contains a vast collection of Dua’as and short incidents as they occurred in the life of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). These incidents guide us to what exactly must be done if we were to encounter a similar situation.


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Changing Times...

It has been narrated on the authority of Hudhaifa b. al-Yaman who said:
People used to ask the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) about the good times, but I used to ask him about bad times fearing lest they overtake me.
 I said: Messenger of Allah, we were in the midst of ignorance and evil, and then God brought us this good (time through Islam). Is there any bad time after this good one? He said: Yes. I asked: Will there be a good time again after that bad time? 
He said: Yes, but therein will be a hidden evil. 
I asked: What will be the evil hidden therein? 
He said: (That time will witness the rise of) the people who will adopt ways other than mine and seek guidance other than mine. You will know good points as well as bad points. 
I asked: Will there be a bad time after this good one? 
He said: Yes. (A time will come) when there will be people standing and inviting at the gates of Hell. Whoso responds to their call they will throw them into the fire. 
I said: Messenger of Allah, describe them for us. 
He said: All right. They will be a people having the same complexion as ours and speaking our language. 
I said: Messenger of Allah, what do you suggest if I happen to live in that time? 
He said: You should stick to the main body of the Muslims and their leader. 
I said: If they have no (such thing as the) main body and have no leader? 
He said: Separate yourself from all these factions, though you may have to eat the roots of trees (in a jungle) until death comes to you and you are in this state.
Sahih Muslim 1847 a

Narrated Abu Hurairah :
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) as saying: The time will become short, knowledge will be decreased, civil strife (fitan) will appear, niggardliness will be case into people's heart, and harj will be prevalent. He was asked: Messenger of Allah! what is it: He replied: Slaughter, slaughter.
Grade: Sahih (Al-Albani)
Reference : Sunan Abi Dawud 4255

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah in a Marfu’ report (meaning, attributed to the Prophet (ﷺ)):
“Time will pass quickly, knowledge will decrease, miserliness will be cast into people’s hearts, tribulations will appear and there will be much Harj.” They said: “O Messenger of Allah, what is Harj?” He said: “Killing.”
Grade: Sahih (Darussalam)
Reference : Sunan Ibn Majah 4052

Friday, November 13, 2015

Story of two souls...

She was a good friend of mine. We had been together all through high school and later during our college days as well. After college she got busy with her higher studies and I got married and moved to another city. We were literally out of touch for a long period of time.

During the year 2004 my father was diagnosed with bone-cancer and was completely bed-ridden. I had an opportunity to visit and serve him during his last days. I was at my parents' home when I came to know that my friend too was diagnosed with blood-cancer and was under treatment for a long time then, going through chemotherapies etc. I wanted to visit her but was told that since I had small children I should not visit the hospital or the patient. But I regretted why I did not plan visiting her leaving my kids at home with the other members of family.

One morning. when my father woke up from his sleep. he told me that he saw one of my friends in his dream telling him that he should not worry about anything and that she would take care of everything for him. I asked him who she was but he said he did not remember

The other morning the phone bell rang and as I picked up the phone it was none other than that old friend of mine suffering from blood-cancer in its last stage! She had called me up to inquire about my father. She said that she had heard about my father and she wanted to help him get treated by the best doctors she knew and that she will send her brother to that hospital to arrange a meeting with the doctors. She asked me to tell my brother to reach the hospital at a particular time with all the files of my father's treatment and diagnoses. My brother went there and met with her brother. The doctors showed some positive response after seeing the reports of my father who was in the last stage of cancer as well.

But the next day I came to know from a phone call that my friend, who recommended good doctors for the treatment of my father, had passed away! I was shocked as she had talked to me just a day before and though she was in the last stage of her disease and too frail to talk still she had shown consideration for my suffering father. She had told me on the phone that I should not worry about my father and that she would see to it that he was cured! When I heard of her demise I suddenly remembered my dad's words who had told me about his dream...as far as I remembered he did not know that friend of mine and he did not know about the phone call!

That day, I decided to at least visit her family after her death, as I felt bad that I did not visit her when she was alive.

I took a friend of mine along with me to see the family of my deceased friend. When we reached her home she was already taken for burial rites. We sat there for sometime and then took a taxi for going back home. When we were half-way I felt a strange and strong feeling of visiting my father who was admitted in the hospital. Though it was out of the way but we turned our taxi around and paid a visit to my father. I could not get to talk to him as he was probably sleeping. But I came near him and touched his forhead and prayed for his speedy recovery.

Later that night we were shocked to hear the news of my father's demise!

Every soul shall have a taste of death in the end to Us shall ye be brought back. Quran (29:57)

I was in shock and grief. It took me a long time to come back from that sorrowful time in my life. But later on when I recalled all that happened it always surprised me and got me to think deeply about the connection between souls.

The souls that were nearing their release from the temporary bodies they wore breathed into. The souls that were connected some way. We can never unravel the mysteries of the unseen world but this incident made me realise that there surely is some connection between the souls of people. A friend of mine who was herself dying, why was she so interested and caring about another person who was in the same state as her.

Morever,why did my father get to see a friend of mine in his dream telling him not to worry about anything and that she would take care of everything! Though both were bed ridden, on the verge of death, still had some connection.

Even  a layperson would understand that there is some thing that connects people. There is something that attracts you to or repels you from certain people. You are not comfortable with all kinds of people and neither do you get along well with everyone. Sometimes, you do not know someone still you feel as if you know him or her well and you tend to be so positive in their company. These are all the mysteries that can not be known until we ourselves go into that world...a world of souls,,,the unseen world...the world of life after death!

Narrated Aishah (ra):
I heard the Prophet (ﷺ), "Souls are like recruited troops: Those who are like qualities are inclined to each other, but those who have dissimilar qualities, differ."
Sahih al-Bukhari 3336
And they ask you, [O Muhammad], about the soul. Say, "The soul is of the affair of my Lord. And mankind have not been given of knowledge except a little."

Surat Al-'Isrā' (The Night Journey) - سورة الإسراء  85

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Festivals of Charity

Islam has given its followers many beautiful days to celebrate the blessings of Allah. Each day a Muslim celebrates his Faith by being thankful to His Lord and by offering prayers that bring happiness and tranquility to his heart. Even when a Muslim is feeling low, going through pain or hardships, he is given the glad tidings of help and reward from Allah if he turns only toward Him for help and tries to be patient in the difficult times.

Further, each Friday is a day of minor eid for those who submit themselves to the Will of Allah. They are required to bathe, apply perfume, wear good clothes and gather in the Masajid to offer congregational prayers.

Everyday a muslim is expected to give charity by whatever means he is able. If he is too poor to give anything then only his smiling face can be a charity, his offering the voluntary noon prayer can be a charity from each of his limbs, his removing any harmful thing from the path is also counted as charity from his side.

To sum it up, a muslim is in constanct celebration of happiness, thankfulness, blessings, charity, unity and in anticipation of getting the ultimate success with Allah, the One God.

Twice each year the muslims celebrate the two Eids, or the days of happiness and thankfulness. The thing to be noted here is that these days too are not just a show of material and shallow happiness rather it is based on the concept of being grateful to the Almighty and offering a part of their happiness to the needy as a token. Muslims are required to pay the poor's due each year thrice as charity from their wealth and this is compulsory or obligatory upon those who can afford it. Each year after the 30 days of continuous fasting in the Month of Ramadan, the muslims are required to pay Al Fitr or the compulsory charity to the poor before attending the Eid prayer in the morning.

Ibn ’Abbas (RAA) narrated, ‘The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) enjoined Zakat-ul-fitr on the one who fasts (i.e. fasted during the month of Ramadan) to purify him from any indecent act or speech and for the purpose of providing food for the needy. It is accepted as Zakah for the person who pays it before the Eid prayer and it is Sadaqah (i.e. voluntary charity) for the person who pays it after the Eid prayer.’ Related by Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah and Al-Hakim graded it as Sahih.

Annually each Muslim is required to pay the Zakat which is again the poor's share in his earnings and property. Numerous times in the Quran, Allah has commanded the faithful to pray the obligatory prayers and to pay Zakat.

And establish prayer and give zakah and bow with those who bow [in worship and obedience]. 
Chapter: The Cow; Sign 43

The same goes for Eid ul Adha. Muslims are required to distribute their sacrificial meat among the relatives, neighbours and the poor. 

The celebrations on these two days of Eid are not just about buying new clothes, ornaments or food but the intrinsic part is gratefulness to the Almighty and charity.

Even during the other months like Muharram and Rabiyul Awwal the days of happiness are celebrated by keeping fasts and doing more and more deeds of charity and goodness because during these special days the rewards are doubled and the sins are forgiven.

In a Muslim's life there is no room for extravagance, show-off or unneccessary gloom. We are taught to be thankful by being more and more charitable and giving in whatever ways we can. 

A submiited slave is neither out of control on the occasions of happiness nor is he mournful or hopeless. He is always in a state of thankfulness and repentance because he realizes God's blessings on him and he accepts that he makes mistakes every now and then. 

Celebrating the happiness by sharing ang giving is more fulfilling and rewarding than wasting money on material things and neglecting those in need. 

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...