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Jun 30, 2012

Entendiendo Ramadhan: El Bendito Mes de la Misericordia

Escrito por Seema Muhammad Belushi
Traducido por An Ghela
Read Original Article

Bismillah.

Allah subhanahu wa ta’laa dice en el Corán: No he creado a los genios y a los hombres sino para que Me sirvan… Surah Adh-Dhariyat 51:56

En esta ayah del Corán Allah nos recuerda el propósito de nuestras vidas, que como humanos hemos sido creados solo para adorar a Allah… Muchas personas especialmente la gente joven pueden pensar de otra manera, que si el ser humano fue creado para adorar a Allah subahahu wa ta’alaa entonces porque El creo a los Ángeles? Allah subhanahu wa ta’alaa creo a los Ángeles que han adorado a Allah mucho antes de que el primer ser humado haya sido creado! Existen Ángeles que (solo Allah sabe el numero exacto) están en incesante postración; hay los que adoran a Allah noche y día, y que lo hacen de mejor forma que nosotros los humanos.

Sin lugar a duda los Ángeles han adorado a Allah antes de la época en que fueron creados los humanos, pero existe una diferencia entre la adoración de un Ángel y la de un humano. Los Ángeles son libres de pecado, han sido concedidos el poder de adorar a Allah sin esfuerzo/incesantemente sin fatigarse, han sido programados de tal forma que siempre son obedientes a su Señor y no poseen el libre albedrio de hacer lo que les plazca. Por lo tanto no sienten hambre, sed o deseos sexuales. Hasta sus corazones son limpios de cometer algún pecado; es mas ellos ni siquiera tienen susurros de Satanás como los que tenemos los humanos. Y la verdad es que los Ángeles no reciben ninguna recompensa de Allah subhanahu wa ta’alaa por su adoración! Mientras nosotros los humanos hemos sido concedidos la oportunidad de acumular cuanta recompensa podamos cuando adoramos a Allah…. subhanAllah!

Entonces si los Ángeles no comen, no hay ningún problema ya que las ansias de comer no fueron puestas en ellos. Pero si el humano nació débil con todas las necesidades vitales como comer, beber, deseo sexual, aun los Profetas; ellos que fueron la mejor de la creación tenían que comer y beber para sobrevivir. Ahora si un humano siente hambre y no come porque Allah subhanahu wa ta’alaa le comando no comer pero ayunar desde el amanecer hasta el anochecer entonces esto si es algo increíble que ni un Ángel podría lograr. Allah ha dicho el ayuno es para Mi y Yo recompensare a la persona que ayuna… ¿No es maravilloso recibir una recompensa por ser obediente a tu Creador y complacerle? ¿Recompensa por no comer o beber? ¡Si! ¿Como?

Verdaderamente, el ayuno nos ayuda a alcanzar Taqwa de Allah, que es un estado en el cual estamos conscientes de la presencia de nuestro Creador todo el tiempo. Allah Subhanahu wa Taala dice lo que se traduce en: “¡Aprovisionaos! La mejor provisión es el temor de Allah...¡Temedme, pues, hombres de intelecto!” Surah Al-Baqarah: 197. Son verdaderamente los justos y piadosos los que son felices en esta vida. Al adorar a Allah, ellos ocupan los rangos mas altos del Paraíso en el mas allá.

O Creyentes, con el bendito mes de Ramadhan acercándose rápidamente, un mes en el que Allah Subhanahu Wa Taala ha hecho obligatorio para nosotros el ayuno de modo que nos volvamos justos, piadosos, temerosos y conscientes de Allah, nosotros los humanos estamos a merced de nuestro órganos como nuestros ojos, oídos, manos, lenguas, estómagos y partes intimas. El corazón es el líder y regulador de las demás partes. El corazón “ayuna” cuando dirige su adoración y servicio completo, puramente por el placer de Allah Subhanahu Wa Taala. Hace esto al someterse a Su Gloria, buscando acercarse a El, dirigiendo y acercándose a El y suplicándole.

Desafortunadamente hoy en día la gente se anda quejando de cuan largo será el ayuno este año, ya que será en verano!! Si, la verdad será un poco difícil, por eso es importante comer alimentos que te ofrecerán la resistencia adecuada durante el día de trabajo…. Porque el ayuno no se trata solamente de comer o beber pero del aumento espiritual que debería ser lo mas importante para nosotros, aquí también los Ángeles han sido privados de esta oportunidad, y Allah solo concedió esta oportunidad a nosotros los humanos para nuestro propio beneficio. Ademas, necesitas tener eeman y las intenciones correctas para darte cuenta que esto es para el agrado de Allah subhanahu wa taalaa, solo imagina la recompensa que recibirás en el akhira, una de ellas es que tu podrás entrar Jannah por una puerta llamada Ar-Rayan que es especialmente para aquellos que ayunan! Un servicio VIP solo para los que ayunan!! SubhanAllah!!

Algo por lo cual deberíamos estar agradecidos es la comida que tenemos en nuestra mesa, a diferencia de mucha gente alrededor del mundo que apenas tienen una comida al día (o nada) y se mueren de hambre. Por lo tanto prepárate psicológicamente y comprende que este mes puede ser tu oportunidad para que todos tu pecados (de los últimos 11 meses!) sean perdonados InshaAllah, quien sabe si aun esteramos aquí en 15 días y quien sabe si este podría ser nuestro ultimo Ramadhan!?

Ahora si empiezas algo con optimismo, este será el resultado. Si empiezas Ramadhan con una actitud negativa, es así como te sentirás….

Se agradecido hacia Allah subhanahu wa taalaa, porque El solo te pidió que ayunes 30 de 365 días! SubhanAllah!!.

Os deseo un Ramadhan lleno de bendiciones inshaaAllah!

Me encantaría saber sus opiniones sobre este articulo. Por favor escriban sus comentarios en la sección debajo este artículo :)

Jun 29, 2012

Our Picks of "The Best of Habibi Halaqas" Articles


Bismillah

Its been an immensely blessed journey so far for Habibi Halaqas, for which first and foremost we all would like to humbly thank Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala with a sincere alhumdulillah! Since its inception Habibi Halaqas has grown by leaps and bounds because of the unwavering commitment of our authors and editors who have continuously churned out the best of best work, in terms of Islamic writing and blogging.

We wanted to take this oppurtunity to honor our authors, editors and the whole family of Habibi Halaqas by sharing our "Simply The Best" articles. Articles that encompassed the best of everything - articles that are perfect in terms of content, flow, knowledge and inspiration. We pray that you all will benefit immensely from them.

May Allah bless the authors, editors and the entire team of Habibi Halaqas and make their time, efforts and writing a means of reward and expiation of sins for them on the day of Judgment, ameen!

Jun 28, 2012

POEM: Funny Things About Muslims - Is it Really?


Funny how a $100 "looks" so big when taken to mosque, but so small when taken to the mall.

Funny how long it takes to pray "TARAWEEH" for an
hour, but how quickly a team plays 90 minutes of soccer.

Funny how long a couple of hours spent at the mosque
seem, but how short they are when watching a movie.

Funny how people can't think of a "DUA" to say when
they pray, but don't have difficulty thinking of things to talk about to a friend.

Funny how people get thrilled when a football game goes into extra time, but complain when a "KHUTBAH" is longer than the regular time.

Funny how hard it is to read a "verse" in the Holy Quran, but how easy it is to read 100 pages of a bestselling novel.

Funny how people want to get a front seat at any game or concert, but scramble to sit in the back of a mosque.

Funny how hard it is for people to learn the simple shariah, well enough to tell others, but how simple it is for the same people to understand and repeat gossip.

Funny how people believe what the newspaper says, but question what is written in the Quran.

Funny how everyone wants to go to heaven provided they do not have to believe, think, say or do anything.

Funny how you can send a thousand 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding Allah, people think twice about sharing.

Jun 27, 2012

A Thought Provoking Moment: Reading is a Dying Culture


Reading is a dying culture.

Everyone has heard the news mantra, "if it bleeds, it leads." Is this the guiding principle that you want controlling the information you receive about what is happening around you?

The revenue of TV, radio and even YouTube is based solely on holding your attention. The things that most capture human attention are confrontational, shocking, dangerous, tragic and terrifying. Just think about the last mass email about the board of directors of your local masjid.

Try choosing a written format to get your news, information, and even entertainment. You can pick either paper or electronic, just make sure its written and not audio nor video.

You see, reading requires more concentration, which yields better retention and sharpens the ability to weigh the evidence and sift fact from fiction. It will give you greater control, provide better depth, and better represent the real issues that affect us.

The result is a more emotionally and intellectually mature understanding of the material you are reading. So choose a newspaper, a journal, a website, or perhaps even a book and read when you would ordinarily watch or listen to a media player.

Your views on this topic? Please post them below!

Jun 26, 2012

Physical violence in Marriages and how to deal with it – Part 2

By Farheen Naaz
Bismillah 

Yes, physical violence is a REALITY in today’s world. Today’s world, which is super-fast in everything and promises lots of fortunes, still harbours this alarming act of physical violence.

In the Part 1 of this article we have seen how a verse from the Quran can be misquoted and miscontextualized to lead to an evil-like physical violence in marriages. Let us now look at some of the ways in which we can deal with this problem.

Once someone gets involved in it, it keeps repeating and you seem to be falling deep into the vicious circle without any way to come out. What we need to do is to realize where our faith lies, what our priorities are and if we are treading on the right path.

Most of the time, the one being abused says to himself/herself, "Maybe I should be more patient, maybe Allah is testing my sabr through this, maybe this will help me increase my sabr levels." But what we fail to realize is that, the concept of patience, of sabr, doesn’t exist with regards to abuse at all! Abuse is a form of oppression and there is no need to create the bubble of having patience or sabr while you’re being oppressed. Sabr is the greatest virtue a believer should have whereas patience is consistency and perseverance in our actions and thoughts. Being passive about something is not being patient or it does not mean that one has sabr. Being patient against oppression is not Islamic.

Allah doesn’t approve of oppression. We, as Muslims, as humans, as civilized members of this society, are not supposed to oppress one other under the pretext of anything.

Prophet Muhammed sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said in a hadith:
If you see something wrong, try to change it with your hand. If you cannot, speak out against it. And if you cannot, then at the very least feel that in your heart and this is the weakest level of Iman (faith).” (Sahih Bukhari)

And in another hadith Prophet Muhammed sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam says:
Help your brother whether he is an oppressor or whether he is being oppressed.” (Sahih Bukhari)

It is evident from this hadith that if someone sees any form of oppression, it is their duty to help the one being oppressed and the one who is oppressing. Abuse is just another form of oppression. We can help the abused by giving them a safe life and we can help the abuser by getting him/her psychological help which will enable them give a thought to their actions.

We should always remember that abuse has a negative effect on our imaan. Our life starts revolving around things other than Allah. The one being abused starts fearing the abuser. We should never fear or think about another person or another thing more than Allah subhaanahu wa ta'aala. Don’t be worried about standing up to your oppressor because Allah says in Sural Al-Imran:

"But Allah is your protector, and He is the best of helpers." (3:150)

Gain back your trust and faith in Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala. Have complete trust that He will take care of you no matter what.

If you have the fear of standing up then consider this; everything Allah gave us is our amanah. We have to return to Allah some day. Hence, it is our duty to take care of what Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala has given us. Take care of yourself. Not just your physical self, but your psychological self as well. A major part of taking care of yourself is to protect yourself from being harmed and from being abused. Your eyes, ears, face, hands, vision, strength, health - each part of your body, each tiny ounce of a feeling of eemaan, of security, of dignity; belongs to Allah. Take care of yourself. Your body is to worship Allah. You are not someone’s punching bag. Ask your abuser to get a punching bag if h/she s/he thinks so!

Yes, you might say it is indeed easy to say so but it is difficult to do so. For that I can just say, have trust in Allah, consider where your life is going, and consider what you are in this world for. Surely it is not to serve as someone’s punching bag. Being quiet and staying patient, enduring it all is definitely the worst advice ever if you are in an abusive marriage/relationship. It is time to move out when you are more afraid of your spouse rather than of Allah.

Seek refuge in Allah. Ask Allah to give you the strength to do what is the best for you and also for your children, if you have any. The worst affected in abusive marriages are children. They learn from what they see. They might consider it a part of the way to live.

Allah says in the Quran,: "For indeed, with hardship [will be] ease." (94:5)

And your ease may be in the form of your ability to deal with your hardship of being abused.

A few more points which can help us deal with physical violence in marriages are:
  • Educate and empower yourself as well as your children that it is not acceptable to be abused. 
  • Don’t convince yourself that it is not going to happen again or that the person will change with time. You know it very well that if it happened once, twice, thrice; it will keep happening all your life unless you get some help. It is a problem which needs counselling. 
  • Most importantly, ask Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala to help you. Every step that you take should be because of Allah and not because of your whims and fancies. Pray Istikhaara. If you believe in Him, He will bring help for you from places you never imagined you could get help from. 
  • Talk to someone about it. Being silent will do you no good. It will only take you deeper and deeper into the pit. 
  • If your family members or extended family members don’t believe you or ask you to be patient, then please confide in someone other than your family members and ask them to get external help. 
  • Your decisions should be made on the principles of Allah rather than on bad advice by someone. Do not keep on bearing something which you don’t deserve. 
  • If things get too tough, there are many women shelters out there. Go to one of them until things work out for you. Do not for once worry about your financial needs. Allah will never want bad for any believer. There is nothing wrong in wanting to break away from an abusive marriage and wanting the best for yourself and your children. 
  • Conduct seminars about it. Awareness, awareness and more awareness is the key. Ask your local imam to give a khutbah on it. 
Muslimahs need to take initiatives to get to know their faith. They need to get educated and open their eyes to this beautiful world and also take up the responsibility of educating other women about their faith, their rights and duties. There is much more to the world than obeying any human’s orders which are not even in accordance with Allah’s commands. 

‘Domestic violence is a REAL phenomenon. It is wrong. It needs to be spoken about. We have brushed it under the carpet for too long. We have kept quiet for too long. We have bruised members of our Ummah enough. It is time for a change! Stop being in-denial!’’ – Nour DV Organization (UK)

May Allah help all those going through abusive marriages. May you be blessed and not stressed! Ameen!

Jun 25, 2012

The Importance and the Excellence of Fasting

By Asrar BenHoucine
Bismillah

Narrated by Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained”. (Sahih Al-Bukhari) [i]

I truly believe that this would be our chance for excellence. If this happened throughout the year our jihad would be a lot easier. We would no longer be at war with the devil for one, but still at war with ourselves. Now that we know that we have no enemy during the month of Ramadan, we have to embrace that which is good for us; in health, spirituality, mentally, and the love of all mankind in need, and work hard in training our nafs (self) in that which benefits us now and in the hereafter.

If you have trouble fasting, maybe you should first find the reason for your troubles, whether you might be too weak to fast so many hours, then you would have to choose a better diet, foods that last longer in your system, like wheat and grains. Make sure you wake up for Sahr (meals before Fajr). Now if your reason is something else, like you just don’t for your own personal reasons then this article might be for you. The thing about Islam is there is nothing prescribed to us unless it benefits us in some way.

…whoever fasts in the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping for a reward from Allah, and then all his previous sins will be forgiven." (Sahih Al-Bukhari)[ii]

So now, one would be fighting one’s own bad habits. Some may ask why I still do bad things during Ramadan if the shaytan is tied down. This is just our own nafs (self), bad habits that are obviously hard to break. If we are so used to doing something a certain way, even if the main influence (shaytan) is no longer present doesn’t mean we will no longer do it.

An example could be starting to drink alcohol. Let’s say you don’t drink but were tempted, this is where the shaytan would start his work, convincing you that it is ok if it is just one drink, then two, and then three….etc. After making a habit of this he would no longer need to work on you anymore. Get my drift? The shaytan shows us things that are forbidden and convinces us that they are halal in some way, but you are always the one in control. He can’t make us do anything; he could only convince us too.

And He (sal-Allahu 'alayhe wa sallam) said :( The reward for) all the actions of the son of Aadam are multiplied (from anywhere between) ten times to seven hundred times).

And Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta'aala) said in a hadeeth qudsee: (…except for fasting, then it is for Me and I will give reward for it; He left off his desires and his food for My sake. For the fasting person there are two pleasures: his pleasure at the time of breaking his fast and his pleasure when he meets his Lord. And the smell emanating from the mouth of the one who is fasting is better in the Sight of Allah than the smell of musk).

Fasting is unlike any other deed, those who fast, fast only for Allah because this is done in secret. It can’t be done to show off, nor for mere pleasure. It is done because we must give Zakat and we can’t give proper Zakat if we don’t understand the meaning of it. We pay Zakat because this is the money of the poor. This belongs to them. If we don’t pay this money it is like we are stealing from them. Now have you ever heard of someone say you don’t know how it feels unless it happens to you? Well this is very true, even to be a proven fact! Sawm (fasting) means to put our intention into action. We all want to stop poverty and we, ourselves would never want to be poor. If we were, we would want someone to be just as giving as we intend to be. So to better understand poverty and to do what is mandatory upon us-giving Zakat, we fast so we know how it really feels to be hungry. To have that pain in our stomach and not be able to satisfy it because “we have none,” wouldn’t this be the best way to fully and truly sympathize with others in the same situation? Subhan Allah! Isn’t Allah ever so caring?

Besides the fact that this is an order from Allah and we must obey all orders, it would only be silly to not fast. Like I mentioned earlier that fasting benefits us more than harms us. Well… there is no harm really. 

Some of the many Benefits of Fasting:
  • The Messenger of Allah (sal-Allahu 'alayhe wa sallam) said: (Fasting is protection), i.e. protection from the Fire of Hell. (Sahih Al-Bukhari)
  • Allah (Subhana Allahu wa Ta'aala) says: {O you who believe, fasting has been prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you so that you may attain taqwa}, (Surah al-Baqarah: 183).
  • Fasting allows the body's digestive system and the stomach to rest allowing the body to recuperate and strengthen. This is beneficial for many ailments.
  • Likewise, fasting allows the smoker to take a break from smoking and in doing so assists him in abandoning it.
  • Fasting is a purification of the soul, and helps it upon becoming good; worship, patience and sincerity.  
  • The fasting person feels a sense of equality with the rest of his fasting brothers and sisters; so he fasts with them allowing for the feeling of sincere.  Islamic brotherhood/sisterhood is to be nurtured.
I am truly excited that Ramadan is almost near, sadly there are those who don’t realize how much khair (blessing) there is in this month, but I hope all who have took the time to read my article feel much more knowledgeable about fasting during the month of Ramadan, now knowing it is only to better oneself. So if one loves oneself which most people do, sometimes too much, then fasting would be the best thing to do. It may hurt a bit but it is training, and Allah is so caring that even when it hurts it goes away so quickly. Also like I mentioned earlier, that pleasure you feel when you get to eat will be the same pleasure you get when you see Allah. We should live for our next life, not this life. Make this life a preparation for the next. Because whether we realize how real the next life is, you would not like to show up there empty… I would like to leave you with the best hadith for those who fast. I pray that this reaches you with the utmost eeman (faith).

The Prophet said, "There is a gate in Paradise called Ar-Raiyan, and those who observe fasts will enter through it on the Day of Resurrection and none except them will enter through it. It will be said, 'Where are those who used to observe fasts?' They will get up, and none except them will enter through it. After their entry the gate will be closed and nobody will enter through it."
(Sahih Al-Bukhari)[iii]

References  
[i] Vol. 3, Book 31, Hadith 123
[ii] Vol. 3, Book 31, Hadith 125
[iii] Vol. 3, Book 31, Hadith 120

I'd love to hear your views on this topic.  Please post in the comments section below! :)

Jun 24, 2012

Story: A Midnight Prayer Chapter 1

By Alawiya Abdalla

Next Chapter

Bismillah

Asha
Asha is not feeling her best these days...
Yes I do like to refer to myself as a third person (how sad).
You see my best friends are gone. They are married...
TO MY BROTHERS
Ew! I feel so betrayed, so furious...so...Happy for them.
With a slight hint of anger.
No, not anger per SAY.
A little bit Jealous...

Yeah, add a dash of jealousy and a cup of happiness then you might have a clue of how I'm feeling.
A teeny tiny percent of human horribleness is threatening to come out.
Yes I feel happy for them, but they are married to my obnoxious brothers.
Well, not really.
I love them, but they are my brothers and it would make bullying my sisters inlaw hard since they are my friends and everything.
Well, not really. I wasn't gonna bully them or anything.
Maybe a little bit.

I'm a nice person REALLY, but the fact that my best friends married before me makes me slightly sad.
Plus I really wanted to ask them about the...Ehem...Wedding night and stuff.
Whenever I ask my mum about it, she flies across the room in less than one second!
I don't want to know DETAILS or anything, but I always wanted someone to reassure me about it.
I always thought that we were gonna get married TOGETHER.
At the same time.
Get pregnant at the same time.
And give birth at the same time.

At the risk of making myself look even more pathetic and horrible, I always thought that I would be the first out of Khadija and Jawahir to get married.
I even had proposals!
Every year since I turned 18, I had men asking my brother for my hand in marriage.
But they kept diminishing in numbers every year.


One day I woke up, went to a wedding and BAM...No proposals.
I thought to myself "That's alright, just a little blip won't harm anyone"
However, as weddings upon weddings came and went during the summer
(I mean do weddings have to be in the summer when my face gets all sticky from all the humid in the air)...No one proposed!
No Mr-too-much-gel
No Mr-I have-no-job-but-that's-alright-because-your-family-is-rich
No Mr-I-can't-be-bothered-to-make-an-intelligent-conversation-with-you-and-why-should-I-since-you'll-be-slaving-after-me-anyway
No one...
No one proposed anymore...

It didn't bother me until Khadija and Jawahir got married.
As much as this sounds exaggerating, but I felt betrayed.
I had no idea that love was forming between my best friends and my brothers!
I am sooo happy that Jawahir and Khadija are my best friends AND my sisters inlaw at the same time.
But watching them all happy with my brothers, makes me even MORE depressed.

Mashallah they have a love match.
I want to find someone who fights for me, the way Mohamed fought to find Khadija.
I want to find someone who accepts me, the way Jawahir accepted my brother Ibrahim despite all his faults.
I want that kind of love.
I cannot possibly imagine any other kind of love.

I work as a beauty therapist in a salon called "The Edge" and I came to a conclusion that I won't find a husband whilst I'm still working here!
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE working there. I love chatting to the girls, and I love doing something that I want to do.
I also love the fact that I finished my NVQ Beauty Therapy course, and I found this job straight after I got my certificate.
But the time has come for me to leave this manless job...
Yep, you heard me! there are NO men here!
How's a girl supposed to find a husband working in a "Oh my god I hate my husband so much and I'm thinking of getting a divorce" enviroment!
No offense ladies. As much as I loooove hearing about your problems, they put me off men AND life.
So I decided to change my job Inshallah.

The only way to meet a decent guy is to go out there and LOOK for him.
I don't have to wait for men to propose to me anymore!
I have to search in the highest mountain, to the deepest place in the ocean for my future husband.
Well not really, I was thinking more like searching in Mosques.
YES. I am a genius! Why haven't I thought about that before??
I could apply to work in a Mosque, thus giving me a great opportunity to find a decent god fearing husband.
I have to put my plan into motion Inshallah...

First, I have to give in my notice to my current employer and then go to the biggest Mosque in London.
I'll start with The Regents Park Mosque Inshallah, and if they don't have a vacancy I'll go to Harrow Mosque.
I was imagining all the exciting scenarios as I start working for the Mosque, when something really odd happened.
I saw our new neighbour, throwing a scrunched up piece of paper to the wall!
He watched the paper for what seemed like a second.
When the second passed he held his face between his hands, and then he began sobbing!
Oh dear, I better stay out of view. Wouldn't want the guy to see me watching him as he cried!

Men tend to deny these kind of girly feelings you see. I should know, living with my brothers and everything.
You wouldn't BELIEVE the kind of excuses they make when I catch them crying.
"I have allergies" That is Ahmed's famous excuse.
"A fly went into my eye and I'm trying to get it out" That is Ibrahim's Ew excuse.
And Mohamed always comments on the ceiling!
"Don't you just think this ceiling looks magnificent"

Not this man though, he is SOBBING his heart out. The kind of cry that makes you spill your guts.
Mrs Evans used to live in that house. She wasn't very friendly, but we knew her character.
What about the new neighbour though? or should I say, neighbours!
I've seen a couple of Polish looking guys go in with their suitcases a few days ago.
What is this muslim looking guy doing there?

As I was pondering about our new neighbour, my brother Ibrahim enters my room without knocking!
Arrghhhhhhhh
"ASHA HAVE YOU SEEN..." He doesn't finish the sentence, as he spots me peering at the next door neighbour from behind my bedroom curtain.
I duck down and say "Shhhh, he might see us! Get down"
He ducks down, and then he starts crawling towards me!
Are you kidding me??
"I wasn't spying on our next door neighbour!" I blurt it out, as questions form on his expression.
"Well I wasn't!" Sure I was lying, but he doesn't need to know that!
"Then WHY are we talking about it, UNDER your window?" He asks me, STILL staying in a crawling position next to me.
"I was just making sure...HEY YOU DIDN'T KNOCK!"
I change the subject like a true pro, Ha Ha beat that bro.
"Did Jawahir call or text you?" He asks me anxiously.
"No. Why? Did something happen??" I reply, sensing that things aren't well with him and Jawahir.
He was about to answer me, when...
"What is going on here?" Enters Ahmed, looking at us as with an arched brow.
I told him things seem to be not going well with Ibrahim and Jawahir, before Ibrahim had a chance to tell him that I was spying on our neighbour...AHA
Obviously not one of my proudest moments in life, but Ahmed is scary!

I leave them to argue, and I slip out of sight quietly...Shhhh don't tell.
I pray to Allah that Ibrahim didn't ruin it with Jawahir! She is my best friend man...
You see, THAT'S why I had doubts about the whole thing in the first place.
And what is it with the new neighbour??
What is his story?
And why do I care?
I don't care...
I really don't...
I don't...
Don't...
D...
Okay maybe a little...

Hamid
I don't know why I even bother. Why do I bother writing these letters?
I know it won't reach them, I know it wouldn't arrive.
So why do I bother?

My parents died simultaneously two years ago, and I never went to their funeral.
It's not that I didn't want to go, I just couldn't.
A part of me didn't want to go, and I cannot get into explaining why without having a good old cry.
And I've just had one right now, not knowing that my nosey neighbour was watching me!
I've spotted her as she ducked down, and I've also spotted a guy doing the same thing!
What do they want??

Great, JUSSST great...I have annoying neighbours.
That's what I need right now, SURELY.
To be honest with you, I would have watched ME if I was them!
I mean, how many times do you get to see a man crying?
Exactly...
But nothing can take away the pain in my heart. No one can remove the dull ache resting in my heart.
It all started back home in Yemen, specifically in Tarim. I had a slight idea from the age of 6 that my family were not welcome in the village.
I can still hear the taunts.
I can still feel the punches, and I can still feel their hatred towards me and my parents.
It was like we were parasites. Even with the passing years, the shame never left my household.
I wanted to scream that it wasn't my fault, I wanted to punch them back...
In fact I did, but it was never a fair fight.
A group of thugs against one person was never fair.
It was never my fault, yet I was their punch bag. It was my parents' fault, but I always ended up paying for their mistake.

What is stopping me from going to visit their grave now? I had a valid excuse before!
I was waiting to get an indefinite leave to remain in England.
I even got a British passport now. I had to pretend that I'm from Somalia of course, and go in this lengthy journey to enter England.
I had a friend back home, who said he was from a place called Barawa/Somalia.
He was the only friend I had back home, who would talk to me without judging me.
His name was Abdullahi, and we were inseparable. We had something in common...
We were both social outcasts.

One day Abdullahi came to my house to let me know that he is flying to England with his family.
He said that his father had to cough up alot of money, to pay this guy who arranged the whole journey to England.
A few years went by as I finished high school, and worked in a fishmonger's shop before I realized that I NEED to leave my beloved country.
I came to conclusion that I had no future in a place where everyone knows me.
I had no chance of having a normal life with a wife and kids, when everyone still treated me like I had an infectious disease.

I had to leave my mother and father behind as I embarked in this new journey...
With a new identity...
Where no one knows me...
And no one knows about my family...
I am simply Hamid Mukhtar...

No one has questioned me who I am so far...
No one has questioned where I come from...
Apart from the people in immigration, but they just use that for legal reasons.
I was living peacefully and happily for a while...
Getting a job, and living in a shared flat with other lodgers.
Moving from time to time when the contract finished, but things were fairly peaceful.
Life was kind of normal and good for a while, and I kept in touch with my parents most of the time.

But ever since my parents died, things haven't been the same.
I haven't been the same...
I went back to that dark place I was before. I keep telling myself that the prospect of starting a new job would make things easier, but everything seems pointless and tasteless at this point.
The guilt is tearing me apart, and the fact that my mum wanted to talk to me before she died didn't help matters either.
What did she want to tell me? What could possibly be said after what she and my dad did?
I love them from the depth of my heart and soul, but I just couldn't get over the scandal.
I was always respectful to them, even during the worst times of our lives.
However, anger was always imprinted within me as I struggled to deal with my mixed emotions.

Every day I wake up at midnight and pray two Rakats...
I pray that Allah release this dull ache from my heart...
I pray that Allah forgives my mum and dad, and I pray that Allah grant them Janatul Ferdos...
So far the pain is still there, but I'm hopeful.
I just need to keep praying.
Because without praying and clinging on to the hope that one day Allah will answer my prayers, I don't know what will happen to my sanity...
My very being counts on that fact.

"And We have enjoined upon man [care] for his parents. His mother carried him, [increasing her] in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the [final] destination." (Surah Luqman 31:Verse 14) 

I'd love to hear your views on my short story. Please post in the comments section below! :)

Jun 23, 2012

Mungkin Allah mengingini kita menjadi seorang A`isyah dan bukan seorang Khadijah

oleh Tanpa nama
Translated by Siti Manisah Ngalim.
Read original article here.

Bismillah.

Kepunyaan Allah-lah kerajaan langit dan bumi, Dia menciptakan apa yang Dia kehendaki. Dia memberikan anak-anak perempuan kepada siapa yang Dia kehendaki dan memberikan anak-anak lelaki kepada siapa yang Dia kehendaki, atau Dia menganugerahkan kedua jenis laki-laki dan perempuan (kepada siapa yang dikehendaki-Nya), dan Dia menjadikan mandul siapa yang Dia kehendaki. Sesungguhnya Dia Maha Mengetahui lagi Maha Kuasa [Surah Ash-Shura, 42: 49-50]

*** ‘Mungkin Allah subhanahu wa ta'aala mengingini kita menjadi seorang A`isyah dan bukan seorang Khadijah!’ ***

Begitulah Dunia ini berputar dan begitulah Allah subhanahu wa ta'aala telah membentuk Dunia ini. Kita mungkin memiliki sesuatu yang dimiliki orang lain dan kita mungkin tidak memiliki sesuatu yang tidak dimiliki orang lain. 

Mereka yang masih bujang ingin berkahwin (dengan segera) kerana memikirkan hanya itulah bahagian hidup mereka yang belum sempurna. Mereka yang telah berkahwin inginkan zuriat (dengan segera) kerana mereka memikirkan satu-satunya cara untuk merasai kebahagian sebenar (dan berjaya) adalah dengan mempunyai zuriat. Mereka yang mempunyai zuriat inginkan yang terbaik untuk anak-anak di Dunia ini.

Yang punyai zuriat yang bertaqwa bimbangkan pengakhiran mereka sebagai orang-orang yang gagal di Dunia. Yang punyai zuriat yang tidak mencintai Tuhan bimbangkan akan aspek akhirat mereka. Yang telah berkahwin inginkan kebebasan. Yang masih sendirian ingin terikat dengan komitmen.

Tidak dapat tidak, kita terpaksa menerima hakikat bahawa apa jua yang kita inginkan dan sama ada kita akan mendapatkannya atau tidak, kita sentiasa akan menginginkan yang lebih dan lebih lagi. Buktinya:

Daripada Anas bin Malik, radhiAllaahu anhu, beliau menyampaikan bahawa Rasulullah sallallaahu`alaihi wasallaam bersabda, “Jika anak Adam mempunyai satu lembah yang penuh dengan emas, dia pasti menginginkan dua lembah, kerana tiada yang dapat memenuhi mulutnya kecuali tanah. Dan Allah mengampunkan sesiapa yang bertaubat.” 
[Sahih Bukhari, Volum 8 Bab 76 Nombor 447]

Bukanlah menjadi satu kesalahan bagi kita untuk menginginkan semua itu kerana begitulah Allah subhanahu wa ta'aala telah menciptakan kita. Ianya adalah sesuatu yang sangat normal.


Dijadikan indah pada (pandangan) manusia kecintaan kepada apa-apa yang diingini, iaitu: wanita-wanita, anak-anak, harta yang banyak dari jenis emas, perak, kuda pilihan, binatang-binatang ternak dan sawah lading. Itulah kesenangan hidup di dunia; di sisi Allah-lah tempat kembali yang baik (syurga)’ [Surah Ali Imran, 3: 14]

Tetapi memberikan tumpuan hanya kepada perkara-perkara keduniaan bukanlah satu cara hidup yang sihat. Lensa kehidupan kita tidak harus hanya tertumpu kepada Dunia ini. Seorang Muslimah sejati punyai pandangan yang jauh dan dia harus dapat melihat lebih jauh dari itu. Matanya harus tertumpu kepada sesuatu yang lebih baik daripada semua kenikmatan dunia ini.

Allah subhanahu wa ta'aala menyambung ayat di atas: 
Katakanlah, inginkah aku khabarkan kepadamu apa yang lebih baik dari yang demikian itu? Untuk orang-orang yang bertakwa (kepada Allah), pada sisi Tuhan mereka ada syurga yang mengalir di bawah sungai-sungai; mereka kekal di dalamnya. Dan (ada pula) isteri-isteri yang disucikan serta keredhaan Allah. Dan Allah Maha Melihat akan hamba-hamba-Nya. (Iaitu) orang-orang yang berdo’a: “Ya Tuhan kami, sesungguhnya kami telah beriman, maka ampunilah segala dosa kami dan peliharalah kami dari siksa neraka,” iaitu orang-orang yang sabar, yang benar, yang tetap ta’at, yang menafkahkan hartanya (di jalan Allah), dan yang memohon ampun di waktu sahur[Surah Ali Imran, 3: 15 – 17]

Allah subhanahu wa ta'aala menjanjikan kita suatu kebahagiaan yang tiada penghujungnya. Menjanjikan sebuah taman, sebagai tempat tinggal kita inshaAllah, yang kita tidak akan perlu membayar apa-apa untuk mendiaminya. Seorang suami atau teman pendamping yang mana tubuh dan rohaninya tidak mempunyai sebarang ciri negatif dan tidak menyenangkan. Dan yang paling berharga, Allah subhanahu wa ta'aala menjanjikan keredhaan-Nya!

Bayangkan betapa leganya kita di Syurga nanti setiap kali kita meninggalkan sesuatu atas dasar cinta kepada Allah subhanahu wa ta'aala dan ingin mencari keredhaan-Nya. Dan Allah subhanahu wa ta'aala akan sentiasa redha terhadap kita selama-lamanya. Tetapi untuk mendapatkan semua itu, kita mesti melakukan semua perkara yang disebutkan dalam ayat di atas, seperti berikut:
  • Meminta keampunan atas dosa dan mencari perlindungan daripada siksaan Api Neraka. 
  • Bersabar 
  • Bersikap benar terhadap Deen dalam perbuatan dan perkataan 
  • Menunjukkan ketaatan beserta kesetiaan yang ikhlas dalam beribadah kepada Allah subhanahu wa ta'aala 
  • Mengeluarkan Zakat 
  • Berdoa dan merayu Pengampunan Allah subhanahu wa ta'aala di jam-jam terakhir malam (Qiamul lail) 
Wahai Saudara-saudara Se-Islam: hanya kerana tidak mempunyai zuriat, itu tidak bermakna kita:
  • satu-satunya manusia yang diuji 
  • satu-satunya manusia yang tidak mendapat kerahmatan itu 
  • ada sesuatu yang tidak betul pada diri 
Lebih buruk lagi apabila orang lain mula merasa simpati dan sebahagiannya mula mengata kita. Kita tidak punya masa untuk dibazirkan jika orang lain bersikap sedemikian. Dan kita pastinya tidak punya masa untuk dibazirkan dengan pemikiran bahawa kebahagiaan sebenar adalah dengan memperolehi zuriat. Selagi Allah subhanahu wa ta'aala tidak mengatakan yang demikian, siapakah KITA untuk memberi tafsiran yang sebegitu? Bukankah ini berbaloi untuk difikirkan? 

Ini juga tidak bermaksud hanya kerana kita tidak mempunyai zuriat sekarang, maka kita tidak akan mendapatkannya selamanya. Jika Allah subhanahu wa ta'aala mampu menciptakan Adam `alaihissalaam dengan mudah tanpa ibubapa dan Isa ibnu Mariam tanpa seorang bapa, lalu adakah mustahil bagi Dia untuk merahmati kita dengan seorang anak?

Bagaimana dengan kisah Zakaria `alaihissalaam yang telah terlalu tua sedangkan isterinya pula mandul? Beliau berkata:

Wahai Tuhanku, bagaimana akan ada anak bagiku, padahal isteriku adalah seorang yang mandul dan aku (sendiri) sesungguhnya sudah mencapai umur yang sangat tua” Tuhan berfirman: “Demikianlah”. Tuhan berfirman: “Hal itu adalah mudah bagi-Ku; dan sesungguhnya telah Aku ciptakan kamu sebelum itu, padahal kamu (di waktu itu) belum ada sama sekali” 
[Surah Mariam, 19: 8 – 9]

Maka apakah yang menghalang Allah subhanahu wa ta'aala daripada merahmati kita dengan seorang anak?

Berikut adalah beberapa kemungkinan:

à Kita dan suami tidak mampu untuk menangani seorang anak. Mungkin si anak akan menyebabkan kita terpesong daripada jalan Allah subhanahu wa ta'aala! Ingatkah lagi kisah di dalam Surah Al-Kahf dimana Khidir membunuh seorang budak lelaki kerana dia akan menzalimi ibubapanya apabila besar kelak? 

Maka berjalanlah keduanya; hingga tatkala keduanya berjumpa dengan seorang pemuda, maka Khidir membunuhnya. Musa berkata: “Mengapa kamu bunuh jiwa yang bersih, bukan kerana dia membunuh orang lain? Sesungguhnya kamu telah melakukan sesuatu yang mungkar” (74) “Dan adapun anak muda itu, maka kedua orang tuanya adalah orang mu’min, dan kamu khawatir bahawa dia akan mendorong kedua orang tuanya itu kepada kesesatan dan kekafiran”(80) [Surah Al-Kahf]

Fikirkanlah! Dan Allah subhanahu wa ta'aala tidak akan membebankan seseorang melampaui keupayaannya. 

Allah tidak membebani seseorang melainkan sesuai dengan kesanggupannya. Ia mendapat pahala (dari kebajikan) yang diusahakannya dan mendapat siksa (dari kejahatan) yang dikerjakannya…’ [Surah Al Baqarah, 2: 286]

à Dosa-dosa lepas kita dan suami. Ini tidak bermakna mereka yang mempunyai anak adalah orang-orang yang soleh. Tidak sama sekali. Tetapi apabila seseorang menghadapi suatu keadaan yang mencabar, dia harus melihat ke dalam dirinya dan mencari sebab mengapa rezeki seperti itu tidak dia perolehi?

Maka aku katakan kepada mereka: ‘Mohonlah keampunan kepada Tuhanmu, - sesungguhnya Dia adalah Maha Pengampun – nescaya dia akan mengirimkan hujan kepadamu dengan lebat, dan membanyakkan harta dan anak-anakmu, dan mengadakan untukmu kebun-kebun dan mengadakan (pula di dalamnya) untukmu sungai-sungai.’” [Surah Nuh, 71: 10 – 12]

Di sini Nuh `alaihissalaam mencadangkan satu kunci bagi kita untuk mendapatkan rahmat hujan, harta yang bertambah dan zuriat iaitu istighfar. Justeru jika kita sangat menginginkan zuriat, marilah memberi tumpuan kepada membina rutin ber-istighfar. Sudah tentu sebahagian besar dari kita menginginkan zuriat tetapi adakah sebahagian besar dari kita juga akan berakhir dengan meminta keampunan?

à Allah subhanahu wa ta'aala mahu memilih kita untuk-Nya. Apa yang dimaksudkan adalah pada kebiasaannya hati-hati kita dipenuhi dengan kecintaan kepada manusia dan kebendaan. Sebaik sahaja manusia dan kebendaan itu tiada lagi dalam hati kita, maka ketika itu barulah kita punyai ruang untuk Allah subhanahu wa ta'aala. Seseorang itu tidak mungkin punyai Allah subhanahu wa ta'aala dan kecintaan terhadap Dunia ini serentak kerana kita sedia maklum bahawa hati itu sama seperti sebuah bekas. Tidak mungkin ia dapat diisi dengan semua benda. Maka kita akan berakhir dengan menyenangkan orang-orang yang kita cintai dan melupakan Dia yang menganugerahkan kita dengan objek yang kita cintai itu dan perasaan cinta itu sendiri. 

…Dan diantara manusia ada orang-orang yang menyembah tandingan-tandingan selain Allah; mereka mencintainya sebagaimana mereka mencintai Allah. Adapun orang-orang yang beriman amat sangat cintanya kepada Allah…’ [Surah Al-Baqarah, 2: 165]

Dengan tidak mengurniakan zuriat, Allah subhanahu wa ta'aala menginginkan kita untuk tidak membazirkan perasaan-perasaan itu ke atas anak-anak. Sebaliknya Dia subhanahu wa ta'aala menginginkan agar kita mencintai Dia lebih daripada yang lain. Dia mahu mengosongkan hati kita daripada kecintaan lain yang membelenggu dan menjadikan kita lemah. Dan Dia menginginkan agar kita mencintai hanya Dia. Dia seorang, sehinggalah mata kita hanya dapat melihat petunjuk yang Dia anugerahkan dan telinga kita mendengar apa yang Dia inginkan kita mendengarnya. Dia subhanahu wa ta'aala tidak mahu kita terganggu. Dia ingin supaya kita menumpukan perhatian kepada tujuan penciptaan yang lebih utama.

Bukankah ini membuatkan kita lebih mencintai Allah subhanahu wa ta'aala?

Bayangkan situasi A`isyah radhiallaahu `anha. Beliau tidak mempunyai zuriat. Tetapi tahukah kita bahawa beliau berakhir dengan mengajar dan membimbing berjuta-juta dan berbilion-bilion anak-anak. Beliau bukan sahaja seorang ibu kerana beliau adalah Ummahat al-Mukminin, Ibu kepada orang-orang Islam. Tetapi beliau hidup atas tujuan itu dengan menjaga mereka yang datang untuk belajar daripadanya seperti seorang ibu.

Jadi bagaimana jika kita tidak akan pernah menjadi seorang ibu? Tidak dapatkah kita menyalurkan perasaan cinta itu dengan membimbing anak-anak orang lain? Tidak dapatkah kita menjadi ibu kepada anak-anak yatim? Tidak dapatkah kita menjadi satu rahmat ke atas anak-anak orang lain dengan mendidik mereka menjadi Muslim yang hebat?

Fikirkanlah! Fikirkan tentang ganjarannya!

Kita mungkin tidak menjadi seorang Khadijah, yang melahirkan kesemua anak-anak Rasulullah sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam tetapi kita berpeluang menjadi seorang A`isyah. Khadijah radhiallaahu `anha mendidik anak-anak yang cemerlang dan kita sedia maklum akan keindahan kualiti seorang wanita yang ada padanya serta sumbangan beliau yang hebat dan tidak ternilai demi Islam. Tetapi beliau tidak berpeluang menjadi seperti Aisha radhiallaahu `anha, iaitu mendidik para Salaf, menjadi seorang wanita yang faqih. Mengapa? Kerana Allah subhanahu wa ta'aala memberikan suatu rahmat kepada sesetengah orang, dan rahmat yang lain kepada sesetengah yang lain pula.

Apa yang lebih penting untuk diingati ialah bagaimana KITA menggunakan kerahmatan yang kita perolehi di atas Jalan-Nya.

Untuk kita sentiasa berpuas hati dengan apa sahaja yang mendatang, bersangka baiklah terhadap Allah subhanahu wa ta'aala. Jika Allah subhanahu wa ta'aala menjadikan satu-satu perkara itu, maka ketahuilah bahawa ianya baik untuk kita. Kita tidak mengetahui tetapi Allah subhanahu wa ta'aala mengetahui kerana Dia subhanahu wa ta'aala mencintai kita lebih daripada diri kita sendiri atau sesiapa sahaja yang boleh mencintai kita.

Allah `azza wa jall berkata: ‘Sesungguhnya dari kalangan hamba-hamba-Ku terdapat orang beriman yang tidak boleh diperbetulkan kecuali disusahkan dengan kemiskinan, dan untuk Aku memberi kekayaan kepadanya, sudah pasti itu akan merosakkannya. Sesungguhnya, dari kalangan hamba-hamba-Ku terdapat orang beriman yang tidak boleh diperbetulkan kecuali dengan kekayaan dan kemewahan, dan untuk Aku merampas itu daripadanya, sudah pasti akan merosakkannya. Sesungguhnya dari kalangan hamba-hamba-Ku terdapat orang beriman yang tidak boleh diperbetulkan kecuali dengan kesihatan yang baik, dan untuk Aku memberikan dia kesihatan yang tidak baik, sudah pasti itu akan merosakkannya. Sesungguhnya dari kalangan hamba-hamba-Ku adalah orang beriman yang tidak boleh diperbetulkan kecuali dengan penyakit dan kesakitan, dan untuk Aku memberikan dia kesihatan, sudah pasti itu akan merosakkannya. Sesungguhnya dari kalangan hamba-hamba-Ku terdapat orang yang ingin beribadah dengan perbuatan-perbuatan tertentu tetapi Aku menghalangnya supaya kekaguman kepada diri sendiri tidak memasuki hatinya. Sudah tentu, Aku menguruskan hal-ehwal hamba-hamba-Ku dengan Pengetahuan-Ku tentang apa yang ada dalam hati-hati mereka. Sesungguhnya Aku Maha Mengetahui dan Maha Menyedari.” [Tabarani].

Maka marilah kita redha dan menyerahkan semuanya kepada Dia. Kerana Dia subhanahu wa ta'aala mengetahui apa yang kita inginkan dan Dia subhanahu wa ta'aala mengetahui bila untuk menganugerahkan apa yang kita inginkan. Atau kadangkala sama ada perlu atau tidak menganugerahkan kita dengan perkara-perkara itu. Sesungguhnya Dia subhanahu wa ta'aala mengetahui apa yang terbaik.

*******

Beberapa doa (daripada al-Quran) yang boleh diamalkan setiap hari supaya dikurniakan zuriat yang soleh dan/atau memperbaiki keadaan zuriat yang sedia ada:
  • Surah Al Baqarah, ayat 128 
  • Surah Ali Imraan, ayat 38 
  • Surah Ibrahim, ayat 40 
  • Surah Furqan, ayat 74 
Dan bagaimana dapat dipastikan yang Allah subhanahu wa ta'aala mendengar do’a kita? Lihatlah apa dijelaskan tentang perlakuan Zakaria `alaihissalaam dan isterinya

Dan (ingatlah) kisah Zakaria, tatkala ia menyeru Tuhannya: 
Ya Tuhanku, janganlah Engkau biarkan aku hidup seorang diri dan Engkaulah Waris Yang Paling Baik.” Maka Kami memperkenankan do’anya, dan kami anugerahkan kepadanya Yahya dan kami jadikan isterinya dapat mengandung. Sesungguhnya mereka adalah orang-orang yang selalu bersegera dalam (mengerjakan) perbuatan-perbuatan yang baik dan mereka berdo’a kepada kami dengan harap dan cemas. Dan mereka adalah orang-orang yang khusyu’ kepada Kami. 
[Surah Al-Anbiyaa’, 21:89 – 90]

Tetapi ingatlah:
Dan sekali-kali bukanlah harta dan bukan (pula) anak-anak kamu yang mendekatkan kamu kepada Kami sedikitpun; tetapi orang-orang yang beriman dan mengerjakan amal soleh, mereka itulah yang memperoleh balasan yang berlipat ganda disebabkan apa yang telah mereka kerjakan; dan mereka aman sentosa di tempat-tempat yang tinggi (dalam syurga). [Surah Saba, 34: 37]

Mengapa begitu? Kerana:
Harta dan anak-anak adalah perhiasan kehidupan dunia tetapi amalan-amalan yang kekal lagi soleh adalah lebih baik pahalanya di sisi Tuhanmu serta lebih baik untuk menjadi harapan.’ [Surah Al-Kahf, 18: 46]

Semoga Allah subhanahu wa ta'aala menjadikan kita sentiasa redha dengan apa yang Dia telah tetapkan untuk kita dan memberkati Ummah ini dengan zuriat yang soleh. Amin.

Dan Allah subhanahu wa ta'aala mengetahui yang terbaik. Ingati saya dalam doa-doa kalian.

Wassalaamu`alaikom wa rahmatullaahi wa barkaatuh.

Yang mencintai,
Saudara perempuanmu yang perihatin.

Jun 22, 2012

Board the ship…Love for Allah’s Sake

By Rehana Shah Bulbulia


Bismillah


It’s 2:30 am on a Saturday night. The night is silent; my home is silent but not the mechanism I call my mind. I would like to attribute this insomnia to that 10’o clock homemade cappuccino that both my husband and I enjoyed but perhaps this is unlikely as he is lights out (MashaAllah). I recall the story of Bayaazid Bustami radiAllahu anhu from the remarkable book Scattered Pearls. On one occasion Bayaazid radiAllahu anhu could not sleep because of pain in his stomach, which he attributed to the milk that he had drunk earlier. However, Allah pointed out to him that all things are but intermediaries operating by His command and intervention and in reality Allah SWT is the Sole Cause. Allahuakbar!!! Ahem…so it isn’t that huge mug of cappuccino after all?

All praises are due to Allah Ta’ala, our Sustainer, our Benevolent Creator and the One Who is possessed of every Great Sifaat (quality).

A few weeks ago I attended a programme by one of our local, prominent Ulema, who effectively conveyed a message, "touch someone’s life-in the manner our beloved Nabi salAllahu aleyhi wasallam did; in the manner our illustrious Sahabah radiAllahu anhuma did". How about you and I begin right now?

Do you, like me, wander sometimes in a catatonic state of confusion at the inconceivable happenings in our society? Where pamphlets and documents reviling one Muslim brother by another are circulated and even worse on a larger capacity, posted and emailed via the internet; where the honour, life and property of one Muslim brother is unthinkingly disposed of by another…and when hundreds of questions are posed and none can be answered; and when solution upon solution is discussed but none appear viable. Let us Ummatis of Muhammad salAllahu aleyhi wasallam remember and understand that every answer and every solution can and will be found in the way, manner and teachings of our beloved Nabi salAllahu aleyhi wasallam. He salAllahu aleyhi wasallam, who advocated that the success of the society lay in the unity, brotherhood and mutual love in that society. Mu’aaz ibn Jabal radiAllahu anhu reports that he heard the Messenger of Allah salAllahu aleyhi wasallam say, that Almighty Allah said, “My love becomes compulsory for those who love one another for My sake and for those who sit together for My sake and for those who visit one another for My sake and for those who spend lavishly for My sake and those who love one another for My Magnificence will have pulpits of light for which the prophets and the martyrs will envy them.” (Mishkaat, Vol1)

As we each introspect into the recesses of our own hearts and while we may think that our role in the greater scheme of things are microscopic, we need to look at the bigger picture… that indeed “every action of ours will have an equal reaction.’ So how about we make our actions ALWAYS good?!! I would like to share a beautiful story, with those of you who weren’t present at that very inspiring programme that chilly Friday evening at the Nurul Islam Hall in Lenasia. We all know that Abdullah bin Ubayy was the leader of the hypocrites and caused much hardship for Nabi salAllahu aleyhi wasallam and the Muslims due to his underhanded actions. However, on his death Abdullah bin Ubayy did not have a garment to cover his body and our Nabi salAllahu aleyhi wasallam, knowing who Abdullah bin Ubayy was, still gave his very own clothes for the kafn of the leader of the munafiqeen. Of course, the Sahabah radiAllahu anhu were shocked at this gesture of Nabi salAllahu aleyhi wasallam. But in fact Nabi salAllahu aleyhi wasallam had remembered such another moment when someone dear to him was in need of a garment. When Hazrat Hamza radiAllahu anhu. And due to his muscular built, nobody else’s would fit him. However, Abdullah bin Ubayy took off his shirt and gave it for Nabi salAllahu aleyhi wasallam beloved uncle. Even though Nabi salAllahu aleyhi wasallam knew the truth and reality of this hypocrite, it did not deter him from remembering an earlier act of kindness and returning it. This magnanimous action of Nabi salAllahu aleyhi wasallam resulted in thousands of Abdullah bin Ubayy’s family accepting Islam. Indeed our Beloved Nabi salAllahu aleyhi wasallam has shown us that the reaction for good can ONLY be good.

We, as one one individual can make a difference, if we endeavour to live and love as our Beloved Nabi salAllahu aleyhi wasallam did. Our Nabi salAllahu aleyhi wasallam who showed us that in order to realize the perfection of faith we need to be Aashiqs (lovers of Allah), Aabids (worshippers of Allah), Aalims (those who have knowledge of Allah) and Aarifs (those who recognize Allah)…unlike shaytaan who experienced his decline. For although he was the greatest aabid, aalim and aarif, he was not an aashiq (lover) of Allah salAllahu aleyhi wasallam. And because he did not love Allah, he could not love for Allah’s sake i.e. Aadam aleyhi salaam and hence he showed disobedience to Allah.

In Khaild Baig’s book First Things First, in the section entitled Muslim Unity, he aptly uses the example of the Muslims’ experience of colonialism, “Colonialism had hit them hard. It subjugated them physically, politically, economically, culturally and mentally. It was like a big crash in which their ship was destroyed. In the immediate aftermath, survival was the main goal and people came with whatever lifeboats they could…the problem was that they had been living in the lifeboats for so long that they had confused them with the ship…can we imagine how speedier our recovery could be if we rose above our petty perspectives, pooled our resources and recognized the difference between the lifeboat and the ship?”

It is not too late to board the ship of Sunnah…It is not too late to board the ship of Islamic brotherhood…It is not too late to reunite, for Allah’s sake, with our relatives and friends-those Muslims whom we have discarded for our sake…It is not too late to forgive in the hope being Forgiven on a Greater Day…It is not too late to confer the beautiful dua called “salaam” and it is undoubtedly not too late…to Love for Allah’s sake.

I'd love to hear your views on this topic. Please post in the comments section below! :)

Jun 21, 2012

Importance Of Shabaan

By Abeer S


Bismillah


Shabaan; derived from shaaba (شَعَبَ) meaning to emerge. And how true this is! When most of us are preoccupied with mundane worldly affairs, out of nowhere, this month emerges and we are left in awe at how quickly the year went by and how quickly it is almost Ramadhan.
There are a few things that are synonymous with the month of Shabaan regardless of what culture or ethnicity a Muslim is from: excitement, preparation and much anticipation.
No matter how out of touch a Muslim is with their deen, they know that these months to come will acquaint them with the sweetness of eeman their soul yearns for. The peace and tranquility that softens the harshest of hearts will be theirs. For many, the months to come will be a new beginning, an opportunity to start over and it is these thoughts and preparations of hearts, minds and pantries that occupy most of Shabaan.

And so in the following article I want to highlight the importance of this month. And how we should go about making the most of this blessed month especially in light of the month to follow. And how our beloved peace and blessings be upon him valued this month.

Furthermore, this month sees an over-excitement that leads a lot of people to fall into celebrations, rituals, gatherings, etc. that were not part of our prophet’s life, that are not part of Islam, and thus I shall also cover those briefly at the end.

The virtues of Shabaan


Our deeds are sent to Allah.
We learn from prophetic tradition that our deeds are shown to Allah subhaneh wa taala during pre-set regular time intervals:


Daily: There are some angels that are sent to earth on shifts, and they change their shifts at Asr and at Fajr. When they go back to Allah, Allah subhaneh wa taala asks them, “how did you leave my slave?” Although He is All-Aware. If we were performing our salah, they reply, “When we came they were praying and we left they were praying”. Their answer is dependent on our situation in those two times of the day.


Weekly: Mondays and Thursdays and this is one of the reasons why we fast on both these days.


Yearly: A month every year, and this month is Shabaan. And thus we are encouraged to do good as we will be reported to Allah in that state.

Fasting in this month:


“The Prophet ﷺ did not observe voluntary fasting so frequently during any other month as he did during Shabaan. He observed fasting throughout the month of Shabaan.
And in another narration: He observed fasting during the whole month of Shabaan except a few days.”
[Bukhari and Muslim]

A few things are to be clarified with the issue of fasting during this month:

It is mustahab (recommended) to fast a greater part of Shabaan, however he - peace and blessings be upon him - never fasted the entire month, and he we would vary the number of days he fasted each year so that there were no set number of days.

And from other sayings of the prophet it is clear that he – peace and blessings be upon him – encouraged for there to be at least a gap of one day between Shabaan and Ramadan.

Furthermore, it is forbidden to fast on ‘yawm al-shakk’ (literally: the day of doubt), in other words, the day when it is uncertain whether it is last day of Shabaan or the first day of Ramadan.

As for our sisters who need to make up their missed fasts, it is best for them to do so right after Ramadan, but for whatever reason if a sister is unable to make up her missed fasts of the previous year’s Ramadan, then she is encouraged to make them up in Shabaan.

An advice: scholars have discouraged from fasting excessively nearing the end of Shabaan for someone who is not used to fasting – based on hadiths of our Prophet – as it might cause them to weaken and be unable to fast during Ramadan. However, those who are used to fasting voluntarily throughout the year, they can continue to do so till then end.

Misconceptions Surrounding Shabaan

Eat and Party to your Heart’s Content 

As silly as it may sound to some of us, there are people who see the month of Ramadan as an end to all forms of liveliness and happiness and to make up for it in advance parties are thrown near the end of Shabaan and massive exaggerated amounts of food is devoured (and much is wasted). And this is clearly against what Islam teaches, and it is goes against one of the purposes of the blessed month of Ramadan.

Not only do people indulge in such nonsensical behaviour but on a worse level, some take the month of Shabaan as a free ‘all-you-can-sin’ period. And so they indulge in sins upon sins before Ramadan comes in and “deprives” them of their so called pleasures of life. And these are very misguided actions.

I pose to these people – may Allah not make us of them – a simple question: What is your guarantee that you will live to see Ramadan and what is the guarantee that Allah will accept your repentance?

Celebrations of Mid-Shabaan..?

In Islam the right from the wrong has been made clear, crystal clear. And for us to worship Allah with a doubtful matter is forbidden.

In order to know what is right and what is wrong we refer to the texts that we have readily available and if we are unable to interpret them, then we refer to Ahl al-Ilm; the people of knowledge.

And the Truth of the matter is that most of the Hadiths that speak about the virtues of mid-Shabaan are weak and others are fabricated (!). And it is a fact that whenever there is a weak Hadith, there is always something from the Sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ that is better than it, thus we have absolutely no need to resort to weak narration of the traditions of the Prophet ﷺ. The companions of our most beloved ﷺ would always ask for a sound narration of the Prophet in order to implement it. And they are our example in everything!

As for the fabricated narrations, the following Hadith should suffice with regards to what our stance should be with them:


Our Prophet ﷺ said: “Whoever attributes a saying to me that I did not say then he should look for his place in the Hellfire”
[Narrated in Bukhari]

Thus to put plainly: there is absolutely nothing that is special about the 15th of Shabaan. Our righteous predecessors who were the closest to the time of the Prophet ﷺ and who were most heedful in practicing the sunnah, never paid any special attention to mid-Shabaan (and neither did the sahaba). And for this matter it becomes forbidden for us to single this day out for worship.

We cannot single out this day to celebrate it, nor can we single it out to perform extra units of prayer, nor can we single it out to fast it.

A question to ask ourselves; who’s right is it to select days (or months) and assign them as revered days of Islam? Who’s right is it to assign days and events as Islamic celebrations? It is Allah’s right. And whatever is a holy month or day has been clearly stated in the Quran or sahih sunnah. And it is not up to us to assign virtuous days to the Islamic Calendar according to what pleases us or what seems right to us. We must know better than to attribute things to Islam that have not been attributed to it by The Master!

To sum up, Shabaan is a special month as mentioned above in light of the sunnah of our Prophet ﷺ; however there is no special day that can be segregated for worship or celebration.

The righteous companions of the Prophet ﷺ prepared for Ramadan six months in advance! Seeing that we are left with but a few days till Ramadan, we must make the most of it. Some of the things that you can pre-plan for Ramadan:

1. Select a Masjid for salat al Taraweeh. - Masjid that has a room for women.
- Islamically, you are allowed to select one Masjid over another if the imam hastens during the salah and you are unable to attain khushu’.

2. Islamic Lecture. It is always encouraged for Muslims to make it a habit of attending Islamic talks and lectures. And especially in the month of Ramadan when people are generally leaning towards Islam, it would be a good opportunity to start. So researching mosques that give talks, scheduling talks, registering, planning how you’ll get there, etc.

3. Feeding People. Something that my parents do: set a budget to feed a poor family (or even person) every day of Ramadan (or whatever is easiest for you) and make arrangements on how you will get the food to the poor, how you will cater the food, etc.
And this is especially important as one of the purposes of fasting is to feel for our brothers and sisters who are deprived of the blessings that we have.
And we tend to focus on preparing our pantries instead of considering feeding those who are in need.

4. Gatherings. We know that Ramadan brings with it a host of iftar parties. And it is all well and good and Islamically encouraged to get together and eat. However, many of these gatherings are barren of any remembrance of Allah.
So to set an example for others, plan iftar events that you can host and instead of it being just a regular all-you-can-devour extravaganza, invite Islamic Dai’ees to give a talk on a relevant topic and initiate discussions pertaining to Islam so that people can get their questions answered. And encourage people to pray taraweeh and remember Allah during this holy month.

Finally, instead of involving ourselves in doubtful and forbidden matters we must take the precious time that we have been blessed with to implement the sunnah of our Prophet and to prepare for Ramdan. We must take every opportunity that we have to prepare a schedule for Ramadan and work to improve right from when you read this.

We have this mentality that when Ramdan comes we will turn over a new leaf and become better Muslims, but becoming a better Muslim takes practice and it is only with practice that you become better. And thus we have been blessed with Shabaan; an opportunity to practice.

I'd love to hear your views on this topic. Please post in the comments section below! :)

Jun 20, 2012

A Summary of the Lessons and Benefits of Prayer


From Ibnul Qayyim's The Path to Guidance, Chapter Nine, pp 89-92.

(1) That Allaah, the Exalted, wipes away sins by the five prayers.

(2) That the five prayers are an expiation for what occurs between them, if major sins are avoided.

(3) That sins burn and destroy a person, and thus it is necessary to extinguish that with the prayers.

(4) That the Muslim reaches the level of the truthful and the martyrs on account of his prayers, charity and fasting. 

(5) The superiority of prayer*2 over other actions.

(6) That Allaah, the Exalted, bestowed a favor upon that Companion by entering him into Paradise before his brother who died as a martyr because he prayed more than he.

(7) That the prayer is light which illuminates the path of the servant in this world and the Hereafter.

(8) That an abundance of prostrations and prayers is the way to accompany the Messenger (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) in Paradise.

(9) That a two-rak'ah prayer is more loved by the dead person than the world and whatever is in it.

(10) That emptying the heart for Allaah in the prayer puts a person in the same condition as the day when his mother gave birth to him.

(11) That should a person enter the Fire, refuge is sought from that, the angels will remove him from it and will recognise him by the marks of prostration.*3

(12) That the prayer participates in undoing the knots which Satan places at the top of one's head.

(13) That the night prayer is the most excellent prayer after the obligatory prayers.

(14) That the one who prays at night obtains a reward which most of mankind do not.

(15) Gratitude is shown to Allaah with the (obligatory) prayer and night prayer.

(16) That the prayer most loved by Allaah is the prayer of Daawood ('alaihisallaam) which is to pray for a third of the night and to sleep for two-thirds of the night.*4

(17) That as Allaah has bestowed a favor upon His servant by the hour during the night in which the supplication is answered, it is befitting for the Muslim to aspire to it and seek to find it so that he is given the good of this world and the Hereafter.

(18) That the night prayer is an evidence for righteousness and taqwaa, and it expiates the sins and prevents one from falling into them.

(19) That Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, covers the husband and wife - who help each other in performing the night prayer - with His Mercy. If one of them refuses, the other sprinkles water on his or her face.

(20) That two units of prayer at night make a person amongst the men who remember Allaah often or the women who remember Allaah often.

(21) That Allaah is amazed by the man who gets up from his sleep, leaving his bedsheet, his wife and his love for her in order to perform prayer. Allaah laughs because of him and informs the angels about him.

(22) That there is no jealousy or competition except with regard to two men, one of whom prays at night reciting the Qur'aan which Allaah has bestowed upon him.

(23) That whoever recited ten aayaat in the night (in prayer) will not be written amongst the heedless, a Qintaar of reward will be written for him and Allaah, the Exalted, will say to him, "Recite and rise by one degree with every aayah," until he comes to the last aayah he knows. Allaah favors him by giving him eternity.

(24) That whoever prays at night with a hundred aayaat is written amongst the devout worshippers, and whoever prays with a thousand aayaat is written amongst the Muqantareen, and whoever prays with two-hundred aayaat is written amongst the devout worshippers and sincere ones.
(25) That the one who walks to the prayer (in the mosque) is raised in ranks and has his sins removed, both while he goes to the mosque and when he returns from it.

(26) That for every step he takes, he receives ten good deeds.

(27) That the Muslim is written amongst the worshippers from the time he leaves the house till he returns to it.

(28) That the one receiving the greatest reward for the prayer is the one who walks the furthest towards it and then the one further than him (from the mosque).

(29) That one step which a servant takes to the prayer in congregation is counted as an act of charity for him.

(30) That taking many steps towards the mosque is from ar-Ribaat (guarding the frontiers)

(31) That every time a servant leaves for the mosque in the morning or the evening, Allaah prepares for him a feast in Paradise.

(32) That Allaah makes the light of those who walk throught the darkness to the mosques complete and perfect on the Day of Judgement.

(33) That the reward for the one who leaves his house in a state of purity for the obligatory prayer is like the reward of the pilgrim in the state of ihraam.

(34) That the one who leaves for the mosque has a guarantee from Allaah that He should provide sustenance for him and suffice him (in his affairs).

(35) That the one who walks for the prayer in congregation, after having beautified his ablution and travels to visit Allaah, the Exalted, is bestowed with a great favor in that Allaah honors those of his servants who visit Him, and Allaah's honoring of them is increasing their faith [Eemaan], showing benevolence to them, rewarding them, raising their ranks, removing their difficulties and making their hearts content and happy.

(36) The obligation to pray in congregation.

(37) That the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) did not make a concession for the old blind man by allowing him to leave the congregational prayer. How then can those who are fit and well be allowed a concession?

(38) That whoever abandons the congregational prayer has been threatened with heedlessness and having a seal placed on his heart.

(39) That staying away from the congregational prayer is a sign of hypocrisy.

(40) The extreme striving of the Companions (radiallaahu 'anhum) for attending the congregational prayer inspite of difficult circumstances. Some of the Salaf used to say: "The prayer is from the Hereafter, so when you enter it you leave the world."


Footnotes: 
*1 Summarised from Hussain's al-'Awaa'ishah's As-Salaat, wa Atharuhaa fee Ziyaadatil-Eemaan wa Tahdheeb in-Nafs. 
*2 Its condition is that the creed ['aqeedah] of the person is correct, sound and in accordance with that of the Pious Predecessors of this Ummah. 
*3 The condition for being removed from the fire due to the intercession of the angels (and others) is that a person should be from the People of Tawheed. Intercession is only for the People of Tawheed. 
*4 Due to his (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) saying: "...He used to sleep half the night, then prayer for a third and then go to sleep for a sixth of it." When a half is added to a sixth, they give two-thirds.


Translated by: Aboo 'Iyaad Amjad Rafiq