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Zeinab

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  1. Books Of Allah

    :D Books Of Allah Allah has revealed His Books to various Prophets for the guidance of their nations. The big Books are called [Kutoub] whilst the small ones are called Sahifas. The four main Books that were revealed are the: 1. Tawraat 2. Zabour 3. Injeel 4. Holy Qur'an. *The Tawraat (old testament) was given to Hazrat Musa (Alayhis-Salaam). *The Zabour (Psalms) were given to Hazrat Dawood (Alayhis-Salaam). *The Injeel (new testament) was given to Hazrat Isa (Alayhis-Salaam). *The Holy Qur'an, the final Book of Allah was revealed to Hazrat Muhammad :D . Besides these there were many more smaller Kitaabs revealed, e.g. *10 Sahifas were revealed to Hazrat Adam (Alayhis-Salaam ). *50 Sahifas were revealed to Hazrat Shies (Alayhis-Salaam). *30 Sahifas were revealed to Hazrat Iris (Alayhis-Salaam). *Between 10 and 30 Sahifas were revealed to Hazrat Ibrahim (Alayhis-Salaam) (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon all of them). All the other Books besides the Holy Qur'an were revealed at once. The Qur'an was revealed over a period of 23 years. All the other Books are no more in their original form. Changes, alterations and additions have been made to them. The Qur'an has been memorized by thousands from the beginning of Islam right to the present day. Allah has promised to safeguard the text of the Qur'an, which is miraculous. The Holy Qur'an was the final book of Allah. It is still pure, clear and free from any change or alteration. inter-Islam.com
  2. Knowledge

    Knowledge by AB Khan From an Islamic point of view, any discussion of knowledge and the importance of acquiring knowledge must begin with a consideration of what we mean by the term knowledge. As a learned scholar of Islam has recently written, 'Indeed the virtues and merits of knowledge (`ilm) are well known to everyone. It is the most noble thing one can ask for, and the best thing a striver can seek to attain. Knowledge consists of many branches, but according to the scholars of Islam: "What is meant by knowledge in the absolute sense is Islamic knowledge." This is the intended meaning of knowledge in the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger. In the absolute sense, it is knowledge regarding Allah, His names and attributes, knowledge of His rights over His creation, and what He, the One free from all defects, the Most High, has prescribed for them. It is the detailed knowledge of the path that leads to Allah; knowledge of the purpose of our creation; and the end which the slave will result in, in the Hereafter. This Islamic knowledge is the best of sciences worth acquiring because through it Allah is recognized and acknowledged, and by it He is worshipped. One who possesses this knowledge knows what Allah has made lawful for him and what He has prohibited him from; what pleases Him and what evokes His anger. With this knowledge a person knows his result with Allah and his end...' ("Knowledge", Al-Hidaayah, 1995, p.4) Thus, the Islamic understanding of knowledge pertains to knowledge about Allah swt. This knowledge, of His names and attributes, is generally referred to as 'aqeedah (belief). Connected to this is the understanding of the purpose and obligations that Allah swt has assigned to human existence. Again related to this is knowledge of Arabic, fiqh, hadeeth and hadeeth methodology, the life of the Prophet, and Islamic history since all of these areas of study, given the proper approach and application, ultimately assist in the strengthening of aqeedah. Knowledge precedes faith. How can one have faith without knowing what it is that one has faith in? The example of the convert illustrates this. Generally, those who voluntarily enter Islam from other religions and belief-systems do so once they have acquired the knowledge and reached the understanding that Islam is the faith and the way of life to which they would like to adhere. The Qur'an is clear with respect to the preferred rank, in the eyes of Allah, of those who possess the substantive knowledge described above. "Say: 'Are those who know equal to those who know not?' It is only men of understanding who will remember (that is get a lesson from Allah's signs)." [Az-Zumar, 39:9] Also, "Shall he then who knows that what has been revealed unto you (O Muhammad) from your Lord is the truth be like him who is blind? But it is only the men of understanding that pay heed." [Ar-Ra'd, 13:19]. Clearly, the person who has knowledge of Allah swt is not equal to the person who does not. Those who have knowledge are aware of the truth and act accordingly, thereby having a beneficial impact on those around them whereas those who are ignorant fumble through the world, vainly attempting to satisfy their desires, following Shaytan, and ultimately failing to gain consciousness of their purpose and duty in this life. It should be clear that knowledge is a means to an end. The Muslim who acquires knowledge, if he or she is sincere, does so essentially for three purposes. The first is to build aqeedah and taqwa, that is to say, belief in, and consciousness of, Allah. Secondly, and this obviously follows from the first, the Muslim acquires knowledge in order to practice and implement what he or she has learned. Thirdly, a Muslim who gains knowledge then has a duty to share it with others and invite others towards Allah and His messenger. In a sense, these are not three distinct purposes but all connected branches of the single purpose in acquiring knowledge which ought to be the seeking of the pleasure of Allah. According to a hadeeth reported by Abu Huraira, the Messenger of Allah is reported to have said that "He who does not acquire knowledge with the sole intention of seeking the pleasure of Allah, and does not impart it but for the gains of this world would not smell the scent of Paradise on the Day of Resurrection (reported in Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah). In this respect, as in everything having to do with Islam, sincerity is key. Sincerity in the acquisition and application of knowledge is critical to achieving success in this world and the hereafter. Consider the hadeeth reported by Abu Hurairah, who heard the Messenger say, "...[Another] will be a man who has acquired knowledge ('ilm) and has taught it and who used to recite the Qur'an. He will be brought (on the Day of Judgement) and Allah will make known to him His favours and he will acknowledge them. [The Almighty] will say: And what did you do about them? He will say: I studied knowledge and taught it and recited the Qur'an for your sake. He (Allah) will say: You have lied - you did but acquire knowledge that it might be said [of you]: He is learned. You recited the Qur'an that it might be said [of you]: He is a reciter. And so it was said. Then he will be ordered to be dragged along on his face until he is cast into the Hellfire..." (Muslim, at-Tirmidhee, an-Nasaa'ee) Thus those who acquire knowledge and who, either in its acquisition or application or both, engage in riyaa (showing off) face the potential of a grave punishment (no pun intended). They will be the first in the Fire. .... Having pointed out the meaning of knowledge and its purpose, it should be emphasized that the source of this knowledge must clearly be the Qur'an and Sunnah and the writings of the pious scholars who have adhered closely to the two original sources. The importance of the Qur'an and Sunnah as sources of authentic knowledge is well understood by most. However, a cause of considerable distortion and confusion among Muslims and non-Muslims today is the fact that there exist many writers (both Muslim and non-Muslim) who, in producing different works on Islam, depart from the original sources and the understanding of those sources evinced by the sahaabah and their pious successors. If we accept that the sahaabah and their successors, according to the hadeeth of the Prophet s.a.w., were the best of generations, and the fact that they directly experienced or were most closely connected to the life of the Prophet s.a.w., it should be clear that we must seek out those writings and interpretations that stick most closely to their understanding of the deen. Especially in this part of the world, acquiring authentic knowledge is a serious struggle. It requires time, money and effort. Alhamdulillah, we are in a period where an ever-increasing number of superb books and audio-cassettes (in English) on all aspects of Islam are becoming available through local Masjids, bookstores and other agencies. Thus what is the main aspect of the struggle to gain knowledge really has to do with the time and effort that we put in. We need only consider the amount of energy we put into the study of worldly subjects - engineering, hard sciences, social studies, business - to realize the imbalance that exists in our approach. No one is questioning the fact that we all need to study engineering or commerce or other such subjects in order to earn a living. This is clearly a must. Moreover, Muslims ought to do their best in order to be among the top-ranking students in all of these areas. However, it is a greater duty and obligation upon each of us to sacrifice a certain quantity and quality of time and energy in order to achieve an increasing level of consciousness of Allah. We should all have the intention to learn Arabic, memorize parts of the Qur'an and the Hadeeth, comprehend the life of the Prophet s.a.w. and deepen our understanding of the basic pillars. This requires consistent effort, discipline and commitment. In the end, if we are clear that it is only this type of knowledge - knowledge about Allah, about the Qur'an and Sunnah - that will ultimately be of value to us on the Last Day, then the effort and commitment required should not be difficult to generate.
  3. Following the Messenger of Allah is a Must by Dr. Mustafa as-Siba'i The Sunnah and its Position in the Islamic Sharee`ah As-Sunnah wa Makaanatuhaa fit-Tashree` al-Islaamee Translated by: Ahmed M. Hashim -------------------------------------------------------- The Companions of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) used to take the ruling on different matters in their lives from the Qur'an, which they use to learn from Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam). In many instances, the aayaat (verses) of the Qur'an treat a subject in a general manner without a specific condition. Sometimes the aayaat will come as an absolute ruling without any precondition or limitation required by time, place, etc. As an example of what came in a general way in the Qur'an is the Salaat. The Qur'an does not mention how many Rak`ahs (units of prayer) we should make, or how to physically move during prayer, or the time for prayer. Similarly, the Qur'an does not mention the minimum amount of money to have before giving Zakaat (charity) or the conditions by which to pay it. Many of our `Ibaadaat cannot be performed without stopping at the explanations related to the regulations, pillars, and conditions of nullification. It is thus a must to return to Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) to know the rules in a comprehensive and clear manner. Many times, the Companions faced incidents in which the Qur'an which had no ruling, and there was a need to return to the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) to know the ruling of such matters. It was the Prophet who was ordered by Allah (subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa) teach humanity, and it is the Prophet who is the most knowledgeable of mankind about that which Allah subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa expects from us. Allah (subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa) has told us about the duty of Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) with respect to the Qur'an, where Allah (subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa) said: "And We have sent down unto thee (also) the Message; that thou mayest explain clearly to men what is sent for them, and that they may give thought." [Qur'an 16:44] Allah also made it clear to us that the duty of Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) is to clarify the truth to people when there is a dispute: "And We sent down the Book to thee for the express purpose, that thou shouldst make clear to them those things in which they differ, and that it should be a guide and a mercy to those who believe." [Qur'an 16:64] We are obligated to follow any ruling by Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) in any dispute: "But no, by the Lord, they can have no (real) Faith, until they make thee judge in all disputes between them, and find in their souls no resistance against Thy decisions, but accept them with the fullest conviction." [Qur'an 4:65] Allah also mentioned that Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) was given the Qur'an and Wisdom to teach people the regulations of their religion: "Allah did confer a great favour on the believers when He sent among them an apostle from among themselves, rehearsing unto them the Signs of Allah, sanctifying them, and instructing them in Scripture and Wisdom, while, before that, they had been in manifest error." [Qur'an 3:164] Regarding the last aayah, most scholars and those of great knowledge said that the wisdom mentioned in the aayah means another thing besides the Qur'an. It is what Allah subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa has given Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) from the knowledge of matters and regulations that the rest of humanity can not attain. Imaam Ash-Shaafi`ee rahimahullaahhas said that "Allah subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa has mentioned the scripture which is the Qur'an, and he mentioned wisdom and I have learned from the people of knowledge that the wisdom here is the Sunnah of Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam). It is from the mercy of Allah (subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa) that He has sent to us a way to practice what is in the Qur'an." Allah (subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa) did not stop by saying scripture only, but the inclusion of the Sunnah with the Qur'an is an indication of its important and the obligation on us to follow it as we have to follow the Qur'an. Imaam Ash-Shaafi`ee goes on saying that the letter 'wa' ('and' between Scripture and Wisdom in the aayah) is a letter of conjunctions in Arabic which requires that the two parts it joins must be different otherwise the sentence will be redundant, and Allah (subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa) is far away from that; na`oodhu billaah. And so when Allah (subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa) said that he has conferred a great favor on the believers, He does not confer anything that is not correct and truthful. Therefore, this wisdom must be followed as the Qur'an, and Allah (subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa) has never ordered us to follow anything but Him and His messenger (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam). Which must mean that this wisdom is what came from Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) in the form of rules and sayings regarding legislation. To clarify the concept of Sunnah and our obligation to follow it, Allah (subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa) said: "Those who follow the apostle, the unlettered Prophet, whom they find mentioned in their own (scriptures),- in the law and the Gospel;- for he commands them what is just and forbids them what is evil; he allows them as lawful what is good (and pure) and prohibits them from what is bad (and impure); He releases them from their heavy burdens and from the yokes that are upon them. So it is those who believe in him, honour him, help him, and follow the light which is sent down with him,- it is they who will prosper." [Qur'an 7:157] Because this teaching is mentioned in general in this aayah, then it must include the rules in the Qur'an and Sunnah. A very strong indicator of the obligation upon us to follow the Sunnah can be found in this aayah: "...And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam)) gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it) , and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is severe in punishment." [Qur'an 59:7] Allah has also made the obedience of Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) in conjunction with the obedience to Him: "And obey Allah and the Messenger, that ye may obtain mercy." [Qur'an 3:132] We are asked by Allah (subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa) to answer any order by Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam): "O ye who believe! give your response to Allah and His Messenger, when He calleth you to that which will give you life." [Qur'an 8:24] Allah made the obedience of Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) an obedience to Him, and following Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) an indication of the love of Allah subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa: "He who obeys the Messenger, obeys Allah." [Qur'an 4:80] "Say: If ye do love Allah, Follow me: Allah will love you and forgive you sins." [Qur'an 3:31] And Allah subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa warrned us from not following the instructions of Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam): "Then let those beware who withstand the Messenger's order, lest some trial befall them, or a grievous penalty be inflicted on them." [Qur'an 24:63] Not only that, but Allah (subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa) told us that disobeying Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) is Kufr (disbelief): "Say: Obey Allah and His Messenger.: But if they turn back, Allah loveth not those who reject Faith." [Qur'an 3:32] It was never allowed by Allah (subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa) that a believer disobey Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) order: "It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path." [Qur'an 33:36] To show that not following the ruling of Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) when a dispute occurs is a sign of hypocrisy, Allah (subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa) says: "They say, We believe in Allah and in the apostle, and we obey; but even after that, some of them turn away; they are not (really) Believers. When they are summoned to Allah and His apostle, in order that He may judge between them, behold some of them decline (to come)....The answer of the Believers, when summoned to Allah and His Messenger, in order that He may judge between them, is no other than this: they say, "We hear and we obey"; it is such as these that will attain felicity." [Qur'an 24:47-51]
  4. The Purpose

    The Purpose By Br. Ahmad Ibrahim We know that the One God exists and we know that we are a product of His creation. But we often forget to remember that we were created for a specific purpose. If ten of us try to find out what our purpose is on our own, without considering the Revelation, we might find ten different purposes. However, if we look at the Qur'aan, we will find out that the purpose of our lives is clearly defined. Allah The Most High says, "O Mankind! Worship your Lord (Allah), Who created you and those before you so that you bay become Al-Muttaqoon (i.e. those who have taqwaa)." Al-Baqarah (2):21 And He said, "And I created not the Jinns and men except that they may worship Me (Alone)." Adh-Dhaariyaat (51):56 Allah Ta`aalaa also says in the Qur'aan: "Blessed be He in Whose Hand is the dominion, and He is able to do all things. Who has created death and life, that He may test which of you is best in deed. And He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving." Al-Mulk (67):1-2 These verses where revealed to us by Allah in order to inform us of why we are here on the Earth, what we should be doing and where we are heading. Not to benefit Himself, or because He needs our worship. Rather, because we are in need of Him. Allah Ta`aalaa says, "O mankind! It is you who stand in need (who are poor) of Allah, but Allah is Rich (Free of all needs), Worthy of all praise." Faatir (35):15 What is meant by "to test which of you is best in deed"? Al-Fudayl Ibn `Iyyaad said, "The best deed is that which is most devoted and most proper." He was asked, "How should it be most devoted and most proper?", and he responded, "For if the deed was devoted but was not proper it would not be accepted, and if it was proper but was not devoted it would not be accepted; the devoted is to be for Allah alone, and the proper is to be in compliance with As-Sunnah." We were created for this one reason: to worship Allah and to strive to be the best in deed. It is not only a matter of how many deeds we do, it is also a matter of quality. Should we take for granted that our deeds are accepted or should we strive to perfect them and make them pure for Allah's sake and in accordance to the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him)? Allah Ta`aalaa says in the Qur'aan: "Say (O Muhammad): "Shall We tell you the greatest losers in respect of (their) deeds? Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life while they thought that they were acquiring good by their deeds?" al-Kahf (18):103-104 And He said, "Verily, Allah accepts only from those who are al-Muttaqoon (i.e. those who have taqwaa)." Al-Maa'idah (5):27 A scholar said, "there are those who think that this Universe has founded itself or it came to exist by co-incidence. This necessitates that man "has no goal to fulfill" because he came into being without a defined goal! Consequently, a moral or a value system becomes meaningless. Accordingly, man is just a responding "tool" for "mother nature" which, according to Darwin himself, "acts haphazardly"! This way of thinking is aimlessness, and it occurs when man does not recognize his relation with the One who had created life and death, the Universe, and everything around man, all in due proportion." We have to remember that Allah created death and life so that we may worship Him (i.e. obey Allah Ta`aalaa in all which He commands through the tongue of the Messengers, performing all that Allah loves and is Pleased with from statements and actions - both inner and outer), and perform that worship in the best manner. That is what our objective should be. Instead of contradicting the purpose of man's existence and acting for the sake of perishable worldly interests, we must fulfill its completion. This worship includes all our acts, our sleep, our studies, our recreation and specific forms of worship defined by the Qur'an and Sunnah. Our period here is short and being slave to worldly gains results in corruption of our souls, constant difficulty, worry and poverty. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Allah says: Son of Adam: fill your time with My worship and I will fill your heart with richness, and end off your poverty. But if you do not, I would make your hands fully busy (i.e. in worldly affairs) and I would not end off your poverty." (At-Tirmidhee, hasan hadeeth) Moreover, Allah has given us choice and has not forced us to do our acts. He says, "Then whosoever wills let him believe, and whosoever wills let him disbelieve." al-Kahf (18):29 Clearly, we have been informed of our purpose and were shown the way to achieve it. The choice is ours.
  5. Glossary of Hajj-Related Terms Alphabetically 2005/01/02 Adhan:The call to Prayer (salah), usually issued from the minaret of a Masjid. `Arafah or `Arafat: A desert location approximately 14.5 km (9 miles) east of Makkah where the pilgrim spends 9 Dhul-Hijjah as a rite of Hajj. The waqfah is performed at `Arafah. Damm: Also known as kaffarah. The atonement required of a pilgrim for a willful violation of a prohibition or obligation while in the state of ihram. Day of An-Nahr (Arabic: Yawm An-Nahr): This day, 10 Dhul-Hijjah, is designated as the preferred day of sacrifice during Hajj. Day of At-Tarwiyah (Arabic: Yawm At-Tarwiyah): The start of the Hajj, on 8 Dhul-Hijjah. The pilgrim proceeds to Mina on this day. Days of Tashreeq (Arabic: Ayyam At-Tashreeq): These are 11, 12, and 13 Dhul-Hijjah. On these days, the pilgrim throws pebbles at the stone pillars, a ritual known as rami, in Mina. The name Tashreeq, related to the word for sunrise, comes from the practice in the past of drying the meat of the sacrifices in the sun on those days. Dhul-Hijjah: The last month of the Islamic calendar. `Eid Al-Adha: The Islamic public celebration of sacrifice performed on 10 Dhul-Hijjah. An animal such as a sheep or goat is sacrificed as a commemoration of Prophet Ibrahim's (peace and blessings be upon him) willingness to sacrifice his son Isma`il for Allah. Hadi: Hadi is a sacrificial animal immolated in the name of Allah by the pilgrim. It is to be slaughtered in Al-Haram and distributed among the poor and the needy. Hajj: One of the five pillars or central duties of Islam. It is a set of acts of worship to be performed in and around Makkah at least once in a lifetime by every Muslim satisfying certain conditions. There are three types of Hajj, ifrad, qiran and tamattu` (see individual entries below). Al-Hajar Al-Aswad: The Black Stone built into the southeast corner of the Ka`bah at a height of approximately four feet. The stone does not belong to the geology of the region and is a part of the original construction of the Ka`bah by Prophet Ibrahim (peace and blessings be upon him). The Black Stone was personally installed in the wall of the Ka`bah by the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) himself during its reconstruction following its destruction by a flash flood. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) also kissed it during his Farewell Hajj. Thus, touching and kissing Hajar Al-Aswad during `Umrah and Hajj is considered sunnah. Halq: The complete shaving of the head by the male pilgrim on the 10th of Dhul-Hijjah. This is the last thing he does before getting out of the state of ihram. See also taqseer. For female pilgrims, the requirements of halq and taqseer are satisfied if they trim their hair by approximately half an inch. Al-Haram Ash-Shareef: The Masjid around the Ka`bah in Makkah, also known as Al-Al-Masjid Al-Haram or just Al-Haram, as well as the Masjid in Madinah. The latter, also known as Al-Masjid An-Nabawi (the Prophet's Masjid), contains within its premises the grave of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). Hateem: The area adjacent to the Ka`bah on its west side, enclosed by a low semi-circular wall. Tradition has it that Hajar (wife of Prophet Ibrahim [peace and blessings be upon him]) is buried in this enclosure. It is highly recommended that the pilgrim offer sunnah Prayer and supplications to Allah in this area. However, this is not a part of the official rites of Hajj. Idtiba`: The mode of ihram used during Tawaf Al-Qudum. The male pilgrim drapes one end of the top part of his ihram over his left shoulder back-to-front. The other end goes across his back, under his right arm, across his front, and is finally draped over his left shoulder. Idtiba` is not observed in any other type of Tawaf. Also, when the pilgrim offers sunnah Prayer after Tawaf Al-Qudum or an obligatory Prayer during this Tawaf, he must cover both his shoulders. In other words, idtiba` is practiced only while actually performing Tawaf Al-Qudum. Female pilgrims wear no ihram, so that the question of idtiba` for them does not arise. Ifrad: The type of Hajj in which the pilgrim pronounces his intention to perform only Hajj (as opposed to Hajj and `Umrah) at the miqat while changing into ihram. Ihram: (1) The distinctive garb of the male pilgrim worn during `Umrah or Hajj. It consists of two pieces of white, plain and unsewn cloth. The lower piece, called an izar, is wrapped around the midriff to cover the body from just above the navel to the ankles. The other piece, called a ridaa', is draped around the shoulders to cover the upper body. For women, their ordinary and unpretentious clothes of daily wear constitute their ihram. (2) The state of consecration of a pilgrim. While in ihram, the pilgrim may not use perfume or scented soap, shampoo, or lotion; engage in sexual intercourse or any type of foreplay; clip the nails; pluck, cut, or shave the hair. lhsar: Al-lhsar (as used in the Qur'an) means blocking the path to the House of Allah. Allah says, (And complete the Hajj or `Umrah in the service of Allah. But if you are prevented (from completing it) send an offering for sacrifice.) (Al-Baqarah 2:196) Istilam: The act of kissing the Black Stone Al-Hajar Al-Aswad at the beginning and the end of every circuit of the Ka`bah during Tawaf. If it is not possible to kiss the Black Stone for any reason, the pilgrim may extend his hand to touch the Black Stone and then kiss his own hand. If even that is not possible, he may raise his hand towards the Black Stone and then kiss his own hand. Izar: Lower cloth of the male pilgrim's clothes. Jamarat: The three stone pillars in Mina that symbolically represent the locations where the devil (Shaytan) tried to tempt Prophet Ibrahim (peace and blessings be upon him) away from the path of Allah. The pilgrim stones these pillars on the 10th through the 13th of Dhul-Hijjah in commemoration of the rejection of the devil by Prophet Ibrahim and of his steadfastness to the cause of Allah. The Jamarat are located within a few hundred feet of one another in a line and are named as follows: Al-Jamrah Al-Kubra: The last and biggest stone pillar in the line. This is also called Jamrat Al-`Aqabah. Al-Jamrah Al-Ula: The first stone pillar in the line. Al-Jamrah Al-Wusta: The second (middle) stone pillar in the line. Ka`bah: A cubic structure originally built by Prophet Ibrahim (peace and blessings be upon him) and his eldest son Isma`il. It is now housed within Al-Haram Ash-Shareef in Makkah. During Hajj and `Umrah, the essential rite of Tawaf is performed around the Ka`bah. Every day, millions of Muslims perform Prayers (salah) facing the direction of the Ka`bah. Kaffarah: Another name for damm. The atonement required of a pilgrim for a willful violation of a prohibition or obligation while in the state of ihram. Kiswah: The black cloth that drapes the Ka`bah. It is embroidered in gold thread with the Shahadah, praises of Allah, and verses of the Qur'an. Mabrur: Accepted. A Hajj mabur is one that is accepted by Allah. It is one in which Allah is not disobeyed during or after. For this reason others have said that a Hajj mabrur is one that is accepted, and the sign of its acceptance is that a person will go back in a better state than when he came, and that he will discontinue the sins that were between him and Allah. Marwah: A rocky hillock located approximately one hundred yards (91 meters) from the Ka`bah inside Al-Masjid Al-Haram. The pilgrim performs the devotional rite of Sa`i between the hillocks of Safa and Marwah. Mahram: The husband or close male relative of a woman to whom marriage is expressly prohibited by the Shari`ah (e.g., father, grandfather, brother, uncle, nephew). Maqam Ibrahim: The stepping stone used by Prophet Ibrahim (peace and blessings be upon him) during the original construction of the Ka`bah. The stone carries the imprints of his feet and is housed in a glass enclosure on the north side of the Ka`bah. Al-Masjid Al-Haram: The Masjid around the Ka`bah, also known as Al-Haram or Al-Haram Ash-Shareef. Mas`aa: The distance between Safa and Marwah. See also Sa`i. Miqat: An imaginary boundary around Makkah. A prospective pilgrim cannot cross this boundary without first changing into ihram. This boundary is anchored by different townships and localities in different directions (Dhul-Hulayfah in the north, Yalamlam in the southeast, Dhatu `Irq in the northeast, Juhfah in the northwest, Qarn Al-Manazil in the east). The pilgrim changes into ihram at or before the miqat and pronounces his intention to perform `Umrah or Hajj. For people permanently living inside the miqat, their place of residence is their miqat. Mina: A desert location approximately three miles (4.8 km) east of Makkah where several rites of Hajj are performed. Mutawwif: A knowledgeable professional who can guide the pilgrim during Hajj. Muhrim: A pilgrim in the state of ihram. Multazam: The part of the Ka`bah between its door and the Black Stone. This is an especially sacred part of the Ka`bah. It is recommended that, if possible, the pilgrim touch the Ka`bah at Multazam and offer supplications to Allah. However, this is not a part of the official rites of Hajj. Mutamatti `: One who is performing or has performed tamattu` Hajj (see below). Mutawwif: A knowledgeable professional who can guide the pilgrim during Hajj. Also called a mu`allim. Muzdalifah: A desert location approximately midway between Mina and `Arafah. The pilgrim spends the night of the 10th of Dhul-Hijjah there. Namirah: A Masjid in `Arafah. Niyyah: Intention. All acts of worship are preceded by an appropriate niyyah. Qarin: One who is performing or has performed qiran Hajj (see below). Qasr: The mode of shortened Prayers usually offered when on a journey. Qiblah: The direction (towards the Ka`bah) that Muslims face when performing ritual Prayers (salah). Qiran: The type of Hajj in which the pilgrim pronounces his intention to perform both `Umrah and Hajj and Hajj together with the same ihram at the miqat. Ramal: The ritual in which male pilgrims are required to walk briskly with their chests thrust forward and with their shoulders rolling slightly during the first three circuits of Tawaf Al-Qudum. Women are not required to perform ramal. Ridaa': The upper piece of ihram. Rami : The act of symbolically stoning the devil (Shaytan) in Mina on 10 through 13 Dhul-Hijjah. This commemorates the tradition that Prophet Ibrahim (peace and blessings be upon him) was tempted three times by the devil but rejected all three of the devil's attempts by stoning him and driving him away. These three locations are symbolized by three stone pillars (Jamarat) in Mina. Safa: A small hillock approximately half a mile (0.8 km) from the Ka`bah, inside Al-Masjid Al-Haram. The pilgrim performs the ritual of Sa`i (walking) between Safa and Marwah. Sa`i: The ritual of walking seven times back and forth between the rocky hillocks of Safa and Marwah. This act retraces the footsteps of Hajar (wife of Prophet Ibrahim [peace and blessings be upon him]) during her desperate search for water to quench the thirst of her infant son Isma`il after they were left in the desert by Prophet Ibrahim (peace and blessings be upon him) in response to a divine vision. Salah: Ritual Prayers. The obligatory Prayers are performed five times a day. Shawt: One complete circumambulation, or circuit, of the Ka`bah. Each circuit starts and ends at the Black Stone. Seven circuits constitute one Tawaf. Talbiyah: A recital of the following words by the pilgrim during `Umrah and Hajj:Labbayka, Allahumma, labbayk. Labbayka. La shareeka laka. Labbayk. Inna-l-hamda, wa-n-ni`mata, laka-l mulk. La shareeka lak. Translation: Here I am at Your service, O Lord, here I am. Here I am at Your service. You have no partners. Yours alone is all praise and all bounty, and Yours alone is sovereignty. You have no partners. The Talbiyah is a prayer as well as an assertion of the pilgrim's conviction that he intends to perform Hajj only for the glory of Allah. The pilgrim starts the recital upon changing into the ihram and continues to recite it frequently throughout Hajj. Male pilgrims recite the Talbiyah loudly whereas female pilgrims are required to recite it in a low voice. Tamattu`: The type of Hajj in which the pilgrim pronounces his intention to perform only `Umrah at the miqat when changing into ihram. The pilgrim performs `Umrah and then goes out of ihram until the 8th of Dhul-Hijjah. On that day, the pilgrim makes a second intention and a second change into ihram for the performance of the remaining rites of Hajj. Taqseer: Shortening or clipping of the whole head of hair by the male pilgrim following the completion of Hajj. This may be performed in lieu of halq (shaving). However, snipping off a few hairs here and there is not acceptable. The sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) supports only taqseer and halq. Tawaf: The seven-circuit circumambulation of the Ka`bah while reciting prayers. It constitutes an integral part of `Umrah and Hajj. There are five different types of Tawaf (see below). Tawaf Al-Ifadah: The Tawaf performed by the pilgrim on the 10th of Dhul-Hijjah as the last formal rite of Hajj in Makkah after changing into street clothes. Also called Tawaf Az-Ziyarah. Tawaf An-Nafl: A devotional Tawaf that may be performed any time. Tawaf Al-Qudum: The initial Tawaf performed by the pilgrim upon entering Al- Masjid Al-Haram in Makkah pursuant upon his intention for Hajj. Tawaf Al-`Umrah : The Tawaf performed as a rite of `Umrah. Tawaf Al-Wada `: The Farewell Tawaf performed by the pilgrim just before leaving Makkah for his next destination. `Umrah : A set of religious and devotional rites performed in Makkah. `Umrah, or lesser Hajj, can be performed at any time of the year and, unlike Hajj, does not involve the rites at Mina, Muzdalifah, and `Arafah. Waqfah: The ritual of standing before Allah at the Mount of Mercy in `Arafah. It is a central rite of Hajj. Wudu': The ablution that is performed prior to ritual Prayer. Ziyarah: A visit to the Prophet's Masjid in Madinah, usually before or after hajj or `Umrah. It is not a part of the Hajj or `Umrah rites, but many pilgrims include this visit in their journey. Zamzam: The spring of water that sprang forth miraculously under the feet of the infant Isma`il (peace and blessings be upon him) during his mother's frantic search for water between Safa and Marwah. Zamzam is now enclosed in a marble chamber in the Ka`bah. ______________________________ _________ * Excerpted with <!--WORD2URL-01-->"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_www.ibplanet(contact admin if its a beneficial link)"]<!--END WORD2URL-01-->modifications<!--WORD2URL-02-->[/url]<!--END WORD2URL-02--> from: "you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_www.ummah(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/hajj/glossary/index.htm"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_www.ummah(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/hajj/glossary/index.htm[/url] "you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_www.Islam-online(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/English/hajj/Services/1425/05.shtml"]Source[/url]
  6. Prayer Vocabulary

    Prayer Vocabulary There sure are a lot of words related to prayers and praying in Islam! Here, we try to define these terms for you in easy-to-understand English. Hadath (ha-DATH) - Minor ritual impurity for which you must make ablution before you can pray. Caused by going to the bathroom, passing wind, and other things. Wudhu (Woo-doo) - Ablution. It is necessary to perform ablution before you can pray the ritual prayer. Janaba (ja-NA-bah) - Major ritual impurity resulting from intercourse, menstruation, post-natal bleeding, and other things. Ghusl (GHOO-sel) - Ritual bath to lift a state of major ritual impurity. Taken after intercourse, the end of menstruation, before entering Islam, and so on. Tayammum (tie-AM-mum) - Dry ablution that can be done when there is absolutely no water available or you are suffering from an illness that prevents you from making wudhu. Najasa (na-JAH-sah) - Filth, such as urine, vomit, pigs / pork, etc. You can not pray with najasa on your clothes, hair, skin. Salah (suh-LAH) - The ritual prayer that Muslims are obligated to perform five times a day. It consists of four basic units. The plural form is salat. prayer (nuh-MAHZ) - Persian word for Salah that you may hear in some Masjids or see in some books. Adhan (ath-AN) - The call to prayer. It is performed before the performance of each of the five daily prayers. 'Iqamah (ee-KAH-mah) - The call to stand. It is a variation of the adhan. The prayer is performed immediately after it is called. Mu'adhan or Muezzin (moo-ATH-an) - The one who gives the call to prayer Imam (ee-MAM) - The person who leads the prayer in congregation Qibla (KIB-lah) - The direction that faces the Ka'abah in Makkah. You must face the qibla to do salat. Rukn (rookn) - Integral. A necessary element of prayer. The plural form is arkan. Rak'a (rah-KAH) - One complete cycle of the words and actions of the salat. The plural form is rakat. Ruku' (Rook-KOO) - Bowing Sujud (soo-JOOD) - Prostration Sajada (SAH-jeda) - Prayer rug Tashahhud (ta-SHA-hood) - Testimony of faith at the end of the prayer or every other rak'a. Fajr (FAH-jer) - First prayer of the day, at dawn. Sometimes called subh (soo-beh). Dhuhr (thu-HER) - Second prayer of the day, just after true noon 'Asr (AH-ser) - Third prayer of the day, in late afternoon Maghrib (MAH-grib) - Fourth prayer of the day, just after sun set 'Isha (ee-SHA) - Fifth prayer of the day, in the night Doha (DOH-ha) - Optional prayer performed mid-morning Salatul Sunnah (suh-LAHT-us SUNN-ah) - Extra prayers that the Prophet (peace be upon him) performed on a regular basis. It is highly recommended to perform Salatul Sunnah. Witr (wihtr) - Literally means "odd number," it is an extra prayer performed at night after Salatul 'Isha and the sunnah prayers. It consists of one, three, five, seven, nine, etc. rakat. Jumu'ah (joo-moo-AH) - The congregational prayer held on Friday at Dhuhr time. It consists of listening to a sermon and praying two rakat in congregation. Jama'at (jam-AT) - The congregation. Khutba (KHUT-bah) - The sermon Khatib (kha-TEEB) - The person giving the sermon Tahajjud (ta-HAJ-jud) - Optional night prayers that are recommended to do. One can do as little as two rakat or stand as long as the night. Tarawih (tara-WEEH) - Night prayers performed in Ramadan Janazah (jun-AZ-uh) - Funeral prayer Istikhara (is-tih-KHA-rah) - Prayer for guidance, consisting of two rakat and a special supplication. Performed before undertaking any major task, such as proposing marriage or taking a new job. Du'a (doo-AH) - Supplicatory prayer. Can be done anytime, anywhere, out loud or in your heart. It's best to face the qibla and raise your hands, palm side up, when performing du'a, but not necessary. Dhikr (THIH-kr) - Remembrance of God. Also spelled as thikr, zikr, and zhikr. Salawat (sul-uh-WAT) - Prayers for peace and blessings upon the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) <--- (salawat) Wird (wurd) - Litany consisting of special prayers from the Qur'an and Sunnah. Misbahah (miss-BUH-ha) - String of 99 beads + one leader bead which is used to keep track of one's wird or dhikr. Also called tasbih (tas-BEEH), subha (soob-HA), rosa, and dhikr beads "you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_www.iprofess(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/praywords.htm"]Source[/url]
  7. Illuminating the Way: Priorities in Calling to the Message by Abu `Abdil Kareem In every age, the Prophets `alaihimussalaam, worked on reforming their societies by calling people to the message that Allah subhaanahu wa ta`ala sent them with. Today, Muslims are suffering in all spheres of life, while non-Muslim nations continue in their ignorance of purpose and path in this life. To reform these, it is essential for Muslims to follow the model of the Prophet of Islam sallallahu alayhe wa sallam and, after firmly grasping the message themselves, call others to it. Muslims therefore must exercise their efforts and use all permissible means to invite others to the truth they have. Bearing the message is a serious responsibility and a noble task and as such it has to be performed with knowledge, seriousness, consideration and wisdom. In embarking in such an effort, what are the priorities that one should keep as a guide? The Qur'an shows, in no uncertain terms, that the message and the top priority of all the Prophets was one and the same: The message of Tawheed. Tawheed means "the realizing and maintaining of Allah's unity in all of man's actions which directly or indirectly relate to Him. It is the belief that Allah is One, without partner in His dominion and His actions (Ruboobeeyah), One without similitude in His essence and attributes (Asmaa wa Sifaat), and one without rival in His divinity and in worship (Ulooheeyah)." Muhammad ibn `Abdillaah sallallaahu alayhe wassalam, the last Prophet to be sent to the mankind and the Jinn, was ordered by Allah (subhanahu wa ta`ala) in the Qur'an to say: "Say you (O Muhammad): 'This is my way; I invite unto Allah (i.e. to the Oneness of Allah - Islamic Monotheism) with sure knowledge, I and whosoever follows me (also must invite others to Allah i.e. to the Oneness of Allah - Islamic Monotheism) with sure knowledge. And Glorified and Exalted be Allah (above all that they associate as partners with Him). And I am not of the Mushrikoon (polytheists; those who worship others along with Allah or set up rivals or partners to Allah).'" [al-Qur'an, Yusuf(12):108] Tawheed is the single most important concept in Islam and the top priority in bearing the Message. The following evidence shows this in a clear way. The oft[en]-quoted reference with regards to priorities and gradation in da`wah is the famous hadeeth reported by Ibn `Abbas radhiyallahu `anhu: The Prophet sallallahu alayhe wasallam sent Mu`aadh to Yemen and said, "Invite the people to testify that Laa ilaaha ill Allah [none has the right to be worshipped but Allah] and that I am the Messenger of Allah. And if they obey you in that, then inform them that Allah has enjoined upon them five daily prayers in every day and night, and if they obey you in that, then inform them that Allah has made it obligatory for them to pay the Zakaat from their properties and it is to be taken from the wealthy among them and given to the poor among them. It was for this reason, that the Prophet sallallahu alayhe wassallam stayed in Makkah for thirteen years, calling people to the correct understanding of the Oneness of Allah (subhanahu wa ta`ala), and making worship solely for Him. The best of generations, the Companions radhiyallahu `anhum, learned their religion from the Prophet sallallahu alayhe wassalam himself and continued in keeping the same priorities, strengthening belief before anything else. Abdullah ibn `Umar said, "We lived during an instant of time in which one of us would receive faith first before receiving the Qurأ¢â‚‰„¢an and when the surahs were revealed we would learn what they permitted and what they ordered and what should be the stance towards them. But I have seen men from whom one is given the Qurأ¢â‚‰„¢an before iman and he reads it from the opening of the Book to its closing and he does not know what it orders and what it forbids and what should be his stance towards it. He is like someone who is just throwing out dates [i.e. he does not get any benefit from his recital]." Shaykh Abdur-Rahman Abdul-Khaaliq, in his treatise on the priorities of the Islamic work in the West, also clearly explains that Tawheed is the top priority: "The first priority Muslims of the West must preserve is Tawheed. Believing in the oneness of Allah and worshipping Him Alone is the reason behind creation. Tawheed makes a Muslim different from the disbelievers. Muslims who live in the West are different from the disbelievers because of their Islam. Iman (faith) is the way to success and the true Path of Allah. Whoever concentrates on this life and ignores the next life will be the one who loses both". "Da`wah should start with fundamental issues, before proceeding with those that are less central. The Oneness of Allah is the beginning and the end. Each deed should be connected with it." Having shown that the first priority is calling to correct beliefs and faith in Allah (subhanahu wa ta`ala), it is important to understand the underlying reasons as to why this primary objective remains true in all places and at all times. As Sayyed Qutb writes in Milestones: "Those who call toward God's Religion and want to establish the way of life prescribed by this Religion should ponder at length over this significant fact, that for thirteen years the Qur'an exclusively expounded this faith and did not deviate from this issue to describe the details of that system which was to be established on this faith or any laws for the organization of the Muslim society." The basis and the strength of this call lies in our testimony of faith, "la ilaha ill Allah." Allah (subhanahu wa ta`ala) says in the Qur'an: "A good word is like a good tree, its roots are firm and its branches are in heaven; so it gives its produce every season by the leave of its Lord. " [al-Qur'an, Ibraaheem(14):24-25] Dr. Al-Qaradaawee eloquently describes the effect of this da`wah upon the person, by influencing all of its personality and ultimately all of the society: "Da`wah seeks to penetrate the innermost recesses of man to transform him into a godly person in his conceptions, emotions and behavior by altering his thoughts, feelings, and will as well as the whole of his being, thereby shaping him into a different person. It also shakes up the structure of the society and alters its inherited beliefs, well-established traditions, moral conventions, and prevailing systems." There is no doubt that all our shortcomings are related to our level of faith. Many consider unity of Muslims to be one of the most fundamental issues that we should concentrate our efforts on, since without strong unity Muslims are unable to face their problems. However, unity cannot be achieved through organizations or lectures, nor can it be achieved by spending money. We need to realize that it was Allah (subhanahu wa ta`ala) Himself who united the hearts of the Sahaba, once faith entered their hearts: "And He has united their (believers') hearts. If you had spent all that is in the earth, you could not have united their hearts, but Allah has united them. Certainly He is All-Mighty, All-Wise." [al-Qur'an, al-Anfaal(8):63] So there is no way for establishing unity, brotherhood or an Islamic society except through profound faith and righteous action. Consequently, the first step for us to take is to correct our faith. Anything else would be short-sightedness and lead to failure. We must learn and teach the true Islamic faith; its realities, signs and benefits. Learning the faith should be accompanied by learning about shirk and disbelief, so that Muslims safeguard from the disbelief and misguidance of the disbelievers. To strengthen our faith we must put the Qur'an back to its proper place in the Muslim's life. The Qur'an is a book of guidance that is to be understood and abided by. Not merely recited and used as a talisman. Cultivating one's personality and character should also come under top priorities. The Prophet sallallahu alayhe wassalam said, "The best believers are those with the best character." One of the duties of the Prophet sallallahu alayhe wassalam was purifying people around him, by helping them acquire noble character and leave any evil that was in their souls. Spirituality and piety also need to be developed. Muslim scholars must act as Rabbaaniyyoon, teaching Muslims simple things first, before proceeding to more complicated matters, while Muslims must turn to their scholars for guidance and leave interpreting religion without knowledge. This is a very grave matter which is one of the major causes of many problems that both Muslims and non-Muslims are facing today. Every innovation and act of shirk in its origin have speaking about Allah (subhanahu wa taأƒÃ¢€Â¢ala) and His religion without knowledge. This is why it is such a great priority that Muslims learn to consult scholars in religious matters and speak only based on certain knowledge. Were Muslims to follow the way of Aboo Bakr as-Siddeeq, who said, "What earth will hold me, and what heaven will protect me if I say something concerning the Book of Allah which I do not know", there would probably be no secularism, modernism, feminism, rejection of the Sunnah and other deviations present among the Muslims. The concept of hijrah represents a major factor in the life of the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhe wassalam and a major struggle and effort to establish a community of Islam. This concept could be modified according to the situation in the West, to internal hijrah, whereby Muslims of all nationalities would gather themselves in various areas in the West, forming strong communities. Such communities do not exist today and due to that, protection and support of the Muslim community are lacking. Internal hijrah would provide easier circumstances for establishment of masaajid, Islamic schools and real institutions needed to satisfy the requirements of Islam on the personal, familial and societal level. While the priorities discussed more specifically refer to da`wah to Muslims, da`wah to non -Muslims is as important. The issue of priorities with regards to non-Muslims is clear: The most important matters are bringing the disbelievers away from their shirk to belief in Oneness of Allah (subhanahu wa ta`ala) and Messengership of Muhammad sallallahu alayhe wassalam, and teaching them the true purpose of their existence. Lastly, it is important to mention that the first ones that Muslims should call to Allah (subhanahu wa ta`ala) and warn are their families. Allah (subhanahu wa ta`ala) says in the Qur'an: "O you who believe! Protect yourselves and your families from the Fire whose fuel will be people and stones (idols). " [al-Qur'an, at-Tahreem(66):6] Family is the basic nucleus of the society and when that institution is healthy, all of the society will be alike The situation resulting from not giving necessary attention to priorities and concentrating on less central issues has serious consequences. Doing the wrong things, in the wrong place, at the wrong time can result in placing efforts in activities that can often be delayed or even eliminated, while those that have the strongest impact and that are most urgent are forgotten and neglected. Less central issues have been given a great deal of importance, while the fundamental ones have been neglected. Muslims even spend a lot of time arguing over subsidiary matters. Muslims have also given more attention to some voluntary forms of worship, and even those that have no basis in the Sharee`ah, over those that are obligatory. That is how dhikr became more important than enjoining good and forbidding evil. Ibn ul-Qayyim explained this as follows: "The Shaitan has misled most people by beautifying for them the performance of certain voluntary acts of worship such as voluntary prayers and voluntary fasting while neglecting other obligatory acts of worship such as enjoining the good and eradicating the evil, to the extent that they do not even make the intention of performing them whenever they are able to". This neglect with regards to priorities has resulted in Muslims losing their faith, the source of their strength. The present weakness is used by the enemies of Islam to further prolong the current state of affairs. Dr al-Qaradaawee says, "The only form of Islam allowed by the enemies of Islam is that upheld by the dervishes and the professional traders in religion; the 'Islam' which only celebrates occasions, supports despotic rulers, and prays for them to have a 'long life.' It is an 'Islam' based on Divine pre-determination and 'no-choice' in belief, sanctions Islamically condemned bid`a (innovation) in `ibaadah (worship), permits passive ethics and intellectual rigidity, and encourages emphasis on minor rather than major and vital issues. Those who follow and promote this 'Islam' are patronized by corrupt rulers. Even the irreligious, secularist rulers bless this form of religion, show respect and support to its advocates in order to enable them to lull the masses and induce them to the status quo, and engage the youth in a web of illusions, symbols, terms and trivialities. Perhaps this is what led Marx to claim that 'religion is the opiate of the people.'" Though tawheed always remains the central theme of da`wah and the end we want to reach, the situation may dictate different, more specific priorities, depending on time and place. While Islamic faith is relatively firmly established in certain areas of the world, in others there is a total ignorance of the religion of Islam. Obviously, the daa`iya would not speak about the same issues and on the same level at such two places. A good example of priorities changing according to place is that certain sects that appear only in certain places do not have to be refuted elsewhere. So while there is need to warn people against the deviations of the Nation of Islam in North America, that is really of little importance in Bosnia or Pakistan. Similarly, there are different shirk practices in different places that need to be corrected, but concentration of efforts and priorities will depend on the relevant deviation in a particular place. Nevertheless, da`wah may very depending on whether the people being addressed are atheists, Hindus or other types of polytheists such as Ahlul-Kitaab. Priorities also differ with time. Centuries ago, when the Prophet sallallahu alayhe wassalam was calling people to Allah (subhanahu wa ta`ala), he did not have to emphasize the fact that Allah (subhanahu wa ta`ala) is the Creator of the Universe and the One Who owns it and administers it. This was common knowledge even among the Jaahilee Arabs, so the Prophet sallallahu alayhe wassalam concentrated on correcting their beliefs about Allah (subhanahu wa ta`ala) and calling them to worship Him, rather than speaking to them about Allah's existence. Nowadays, the situation differs in many areas of the world. Atheism and agnosticism are not uncommon, so therefore there is need to invite people to the belief in Allah's existence. All these relates to calling people to worship of Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala. At times there are certain pressing issues that need to be addressed. During Ahmad ibn Hanbal's time, the issue of non-creation of the Qur'an was very important, while today calling people to even more basic issues such as recognizing Allah's existence and worshipping Him is more important. Various books of creed written since the time of the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhe wassalam emphasized those issues that were most controversial at the time of writing. Therefore a book of creed that explained the differences between the Jahmiyya and Ahl us Sunnah wal Jamaa`ah that was written centuries ago would certainly be of much value even today. However the emphasis would have to be given to the issues that are more pressing today, such as irjaa', ash`arism, or secularism, which today is probably the greatest single challenge to the Muslims, and one of the main causes of disbelief. Also, knowledge of the events of which the Prophet sallallahu alayhe wassalam informed us that will take place in the future may dictate some of our concentrating of efforts in certain places more than in others. The Prophet sallallahu alayhe wassalam informed Muslims of various battles that will occur and we should therefore keep this in mind and support da`wah in places such as Palestine, so as to strengthen the Muslimsأ¢â‚‰„¢ position before events such as al-Marhamat ul-Kubraa take place. It is also important for Muslims when giving da`wah to realize that the issues and problems that require effort back in their homelands are not necessarily the same as where they are currently situated. Neglect of the true situation and the fact that priorities differ with place and time may result in undesired results, which is yet another reason for wisdom in da`wah. The first duty of the Muslims is to rectify their beliefs by means of learning on the basis of clear evidence and in accordance with the correct understanding of the early generations of Muslims. The main concern in da`wah should be calling to monotheism and the `ibadah of Allah (subhanahu wa ta`ala). That was the way of the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhe wassalam, and the way of those who follow him. Once tawheed is accepted, we can proceed to explain other aspects of Islam, beginning with the five pillars. "Therefore, we want to correct the people's `aqeedah and make them aware of all kinds of outward and inward shirk and encourage them to do the obligatory things and avoid the forbidden, and we want to encourage them to stick to the sunan and the mustahabbaat [recommended deeds], to incite them to avoid the makruuhaat [disliked deeds]." It is our hope that by performing da`wah in this manner will help us fulfill our responsibilities and that Allah (subhanahu wa ta`ala) will count us among those about whom He says: "And who is better in speech than he who invites to Allah and does righteous deeds and says: 'I am one of the Muslims.'" [al-Qur'an, 41:43]
  8. Messengers Of Allah

    Messengers Of Allah Allah sent many messengers to this world from time to time to guide mankind. These messengers were known as [Rusul] and [Anbiya]. The first of these messengers was Adam (Alayhis-Salaam) (Peace be upon him) whilst the last was Muhamad (Mustafa) :D . We do not know the names of all the [Anbiya] that came into the world. There were about 124 000 Nabis. All the [anbiya] and [rusul] were human beings whom Allah chose to convey his message to the people. They always spoke the truth, committed no sins and conveyed the message without adding or leaving out anything. They performed miracles with the help of Allah Ta'ala. All the [rusul] were [anbiya] but not all [of the anbiya] were [rusul]. A rasool is a Prophet who received a new shari'at (Divine Law) and Book from Allah. A nabi follows the shari'at of a rasool or a Prophet before him. No person can become a nabi or a rasool by his own effort. No more Prophets will come after our nabi Hazrat Muhammad :D . He was the final Prophet of Allah. In the Holy Qur'an Allah Ta'ala mentioned our nabi Hazrat Muhammad :D as khatamun- nabiyeen which means that he is the last of all the anbiya. The name of some other anbiya and rusul mentioned in the Qur'an are Hazrat Ibrahim, Ismail, Yahya, Zakariya, Yunus, Idris, Yacoub and Suliman (Alay-Himus-Salaam). All the Prophets of Allah preached the oneness of Allah Ta'ala. inter-Islam.com
  9. Women in the Quran and the Sunnah by Professor 'Abdur Rahman I. Doi In Islam there is absolutely no difference between men and women as far as their relationship to Allah is concerned, as both are promised the same reward for good conduct and the same punishment for evil conduct. The Qur'an says: And for women are rights over men similar to those of men over women. (2:226) The Qur'an, in addressing the believers, often uses the expression,'believing men and women' to emphasize the equality of men and women in regard to their respective duties, rights, virtues and merits. It says: For Muslim men and women, for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in charity, for men and women who fast, for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah's praise, for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward. (33:35) This clearly contradicts the assertion of the Christian Fathers that women do not possess souls and that they will exist as sexless beings in the next life. The Qur'an says that women have souls in exactly the same way as men and will enter Paradise if they do good : Enter into Paradise, you and your wives, with delight. (43:70) Who so does that which is right, and believes, whether male or female, him or her will We quicken to happy life. (16:97) The Qur'an admonishes those men who oppress or ill-treat women: O you who believe! You are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should you treat them with harshness, that you may take away part of the dowry you have given them - except when they have become guilty of open lewdness. On the contrary live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If you take a dislike to them, it may be that you dislike something and Allah will bring about through it a great deal of good. (4:19) Considering the fact that before the advent of Islam the pagan Arabs used to bury their female children alive, make women dance naked in the vicinity of the Ka'ba during their annual fairs, and treat women as mere chattels and objects of sexual pleasure possessing no rights or position whatsoever, these teachings of the Noble Qur'an were revolutionary. Unlike other religions, which regarded women as being possessed of inherent sin and wickedness and men as being possessed of inherent virtue and nobility, Islam regards men and women as being of the same essence created from a single soul. The Qur'an declares: O mankind! Reverence your Guardian-Lord, who created you from a single person, created, of like nature, his mate, and from this pair scattered (like seeds) countless men and women. Reverence Allah, through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and reverence the wombs (that bore you); for Allah ever watches over you. (4:1) The Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him) said, "Women are the twin halves of men." The Qur'an emphasizes the essential unity of men and women in a most beautiful simile: They (your wives) are your garment and you are a garment for them. (2:187) Just as a garment hides our nakedness, so do husband and wife, by entering into the relationship of marriage, secure each other's chastity. The garment gives comfort to the body; so does the husband find comfort in his wife's company and she in his. "The garment is the grace, the beauty, the embellishment of the body, so too are wives to their husbands as their husbands are to them." Islam does not consider woman "an instrument of the Devil", but rather the Qur'an calls her muhsana - a fortress against Satan because a good woman, by marrying a man, helps him keep to the path of rectitude in his life. It is for this reason that marriage was considered by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as a most virtuous act. He said: "When a man marries, he has completed one half of his religion." He enjoined matrimony on Muslims by saying: "Marriage is part of my way and whoever keeps away from my way is not from me (i.e. is not my follower)." The Qur'an has given the raison d'être of marriage in the following words: And among His signs is this, that He has created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquillity with them; and He has put love and mercy between you. Verily in that are signs for those who reflect. (30:21) The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was full of praise for virtuous and chaste women. He said: "The world and all things in the world are precious but the most precious thing in the world is a virtuous woman. He once told the future khalif, 'Umar: "Shall I not inform you about the best treasure a man can hoard? It is a virtuous wife who pleases him whenever he looks towards her, and who guards herself when he is absent from her." On other occasions the Prophet said: "The best property a man can have is a remembering tongue (about Allah), a grateful heart and a believing wife who helps him in his faith." And again: "The world, the whole of it, is a commodity and the best of the commodities of the world is a virtuous wife." Before the advent of Islam women were often treated worse than animals. The Prophet wanted to put a stop to all cruelties to women. He preached kindness towards them. He told the Muslims: "Fear Allah in respect of women." And: "The best of you are they who behave best to their wives." And: "A Muslim must not hate his wife, and if he be displeased with one bad quality in her, let him be pleased with one that is good." And:"The more civil and kind a Muslim is to his wife, the more perfect in faith he is." The Prophet (peace be upon him) was most emphatic in enjoining upon Muslims to be kind to their women when he delivered his famous khutba on the Mount of Mercy at Arafat in the presence of one hundred and twenty-four thousand of his Companions who had gathered there for the Hajj al-Wada (Farewell Pilgrimage). In it he ordered those present, and through them all those Muslims who were to come later, to be respectful and kind towards women. He said: "Fear Allah regarding women. Verily you have married them with the trust of Allah, and made their bodies lawful with the word of Allah. You have got (rights) over them, and they have got (rights) over you in respect of their food and clothing according to your means." In Islam a woman is a completely independent personality. She can make any contract or bequest in her own name. She is entitled to inherit in her position as mother, as wife, as sister and as daughter. She has perfect liberty to choose her husband. The pagan society of pre-Islamic Arabia had an irrational prejudice against their female children whom they used to bury alive. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was totally opposed to this practice. He showed them that supporting their female children would act as a screen for them against the fire of Hell: It is narrated by the Prophet's wife, 'A'isha, that a woman entered her house with two of her daughters. She asked for charity but 'A'isha could not find anything except a date, which was given to her. The woman divided it between her two daughters and did not eat any herself. Then she got up and left. When the Prophet (peace be upon him) came to the house, 'A'isha told him about what had happened and he declared that when the woman was brought to account (on the Day of Judgment) about her two daughters they would act as a screen for her from the fires of Hell. The worst calamity for a woman is when her husband passes away and, as a widow, the responsibility of maintaining the children falls upon her. In the Eastern World, where a woman does not always go out to earn her living, the problems of widowhood are indescribable. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) upheld the cause of widows. Most of his wives were widows. In an age when widows were rarely permitted to remarry, the Prophet encouraged his followers to marry them. He was always ready to help widows and exhorted his followers to do the same. Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet said : "One who makes efforts (to help) the widow or a poor person is like a mujahid (warrior) in the path of Allah, or like one who stands up for prayers in the night and fasts in the day." Woman as mother commands great respect in Islam. The Noble Qur'an speaks of the rights of the mother in a number of verses. It enjoins Muslims to show respect to their mothers and serve them well even if they are still unbelievers. The Prophet states emphatically that the rights of the mother are paramount. Abu Hurairah reported that a man came to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and asked: "O Messenger of Allah, who is the person who has the greatest right on me with regards to kindness and attention?" He replied, "Your mother." "Then who?" He replied, "Your mother." "Then who?" He replied, "Your mother." "Then who?" He replied, "Your father." In another tradition, the Prophet advised a believer not to join the war against the Quraish in defense of Islam, but to look after his mother, saying that his service to his mother would be a cause of his salvation. Mu'awiyah, the son of Jahimah, reported that Jahimah came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said, " Messenger of Allah! I want to join the fighting (in the path of Allah) and I have come to seek your advice." He said, "Then remain in your mother's service, because Paradise is under her feet." The Prophet's followers accepted his teachings and brought about a revolution in their social attitude towards women. They no longer considered women as a mere chattels, but as an integral part of society. For the first time women were given the right to have a share in inheritance. In the new social climate, women rediscovered themselves and became highly active members of society rendering useful service during the wars which the pagan Arabs forced on the emerging Muslim umma. They carried provisions for the soldiers, nursed them, and even fought alongside them if it was necessary. It became a common sight to see women helping their husbands in the fields, carrying on trade and business independently, and going out of their homes to satisfy their needs. 'A'isha reported that Saudah bint Zam'ah went out one night. 'Umar saw her and recognized her and said, "By God, O Saudah, why do you not hide yourself from us?" She went back to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and told him about it while he was having supper in her room, and he said, "It is permitted by Allah for you to go out for your needs." The predominant idea in the teachings of Islam with regard to men and women is that a husband and wife should be full-fledged partners in making their home a happy and prosperous place, that they should be loyal and faithful to one another, and genuinely interested in each other's welfare and the welfare of their children. A woman is expected to exercise a humanizing influence over her husband and to soften the sternness inherent in his nature. A man is enjoined to educate the women in his care so that they cultivate the qualities in which they, by their very nature, excel. These aspects were much emphasized by the Prophet (peace be upon him). He exhorted men to marry women of piety and women to be faithful to their husbands and kind to their children. He said: "Among my followers the best of men are those who are best to their wives, and the best of women are those who are best to their husbands. To each of such women is set down a reward equivalent to the reward of a thousand martyrs. Among my followers, again, the best of women are those who assist their husbands in their work, and love them dearly for everything, save what is a transgression of Allah's laws." Once Mu'awiyah asked the Prophet (peace be upon him), "What are the rights that a wife has over her husband?" The Prophet replied, " Feed her when you take your food, give her clothes to wear when you wear clothes, refrain from giving her a slap on the face or abusing her, and do not separate from your wife, except within the house." Once a woman came to the Prophet with a complaint against her husband. He told her: "There is no woman who removes something to replace it in its proper place, with a view to tidying her husband's house, but that Allah sets it down as a virtue for her. Nor is there a man who walks with his wife hand-in-hand, but that Allah sets it down as a virtue for him; and if he puts his arm round her shoulder in love, his virtue is increased tenfold." Once he was heard praising the women of the tribe of Quraish, "...because they are the kindest to their children while they are infants and because they keep a careful watch over the belongings of their husbands." The Shari'ah regards women as the spiritual and intellectual equals of men. The main distinction it makes between them is in the physical realm based on the equitable principle of fair division of labor. It allots the more strenuous work to the man and makes him responsible for the maintenance of the family. It allots the work of managing the home and the upbringing and training of children to the woman, work which has the greatest importance in the task of building a healthy and prosperous society. It is a fact, however, that sound administration within the domestic field is impossible without a unified policy. For this reason the Shari'ah requires a man, as head of the family, to consult with his family and then to have the final say in decisions concerning it. In doing so he must not abuse his prerogative to cause any injury to his wife. Any transgression of this principle involves for him the risk of losing the favor of Allah, because his wife is not his subordinate but she is, to use the words of the Prophet (peace be upon him), 'the queen of her house', and this is the position a true believer is expected to give his wife. In contrast to these enlightened teachings of Islam in respect of women, Western talk of women's liberation or emancipation is actually a disguised form of exploitation of her body, deprivation of her honor, and degradation of her soul!
  10. Parables of the Qur’an[using large font size is not allowed] Episode Nine Amr Khaled Translated by: The English Convoy – Dar al-Tarjama (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetamrkhaled(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/articles/articles3266.html"]Source[/url] The Companions of the Cave – Part I In the name of Allah[1], The All-Merciful, The Ever-Merciful. All prayers and peace of Allah be upon Prophet Muhammad (SAWS[2]). Before we start today’s story, I would like to tell you this short Chinese anecdote. A man was reading the newspaper and looking at the world’s map when his son came and interrupted him. The father became annoyed, tore the page into pieces, and as punishment, ordered his son to put it back together again. The son took the pieces and came after a while and with the map fixed. The father was amazed and wondered how his son managed to put the pieces of the map together correctly. His son told him that at the back of the page, there was a picture of a person’s face. He had merely put the face back together and the map on the reverse side was fixed. The moral of the story is that if you fix the face, you may be able to fix the world; be the change that you would like to see in the world. Today’s Story: Today’s story is mentioned in Surat[3] al-Kahf (the Cave). It is related that the Prophet (SAWS) said that whoever reads this surah every Friday will be shown a light between heaven and earth throughout the whole week. The story is about a group of young people, about six or seven, who were in their teens. Allah (SWT[4]) says about them what can be translated as, “Surely they were young men who believed in their Lord, and We increased them in guidance.” (TMQ[5], 18: 13). This story is considered to be a Qur’anic miracle and a true evidence of Muhammad’s (SAWS) prophethood. Surat al-Kahf was revealed in Makkah at a time when the people of Quraysh were trying to falcify the Prophet’s (SAWS) prophecy. They sent two men, an-Nadr Ibn-al-Harith and Oqbah Ibn-abi-Ma’eet, to the Jewish monks in Madinah asking them for a question that the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) would not be able to answer. They wanted the question to be about a story that took place after the revelation of Tawrah (Torah) and Injil (Gospel); one that no-one except a true prophet would know. The monks suggested that they should ask him about a group of young men who lived a very long time ago. They went to the Prophet (SAWS) and asked him about them. The Prophet (SAWS) told them that he would answer them the following day but he did not say “if Allah wills". Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “And definitely do not say, regarding anything, ‘Surely I am performing that tomorrow,’ Except (if you add), If Allah (so) decides…” (TMQ, 18: 23-24). The revelation was delayed, and the people of Quraysh started to doubt. After 15 days, the Prophet (SAWS) received a Qur’anic revelation relating the story. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Or even do you reckon that the Companions of the Cave and Ar-Raqîm (It is the name of a leaden plate, on which were written the names of the seven sleepers) were among Our signs a wonder? As the young men (Literally: the pages) took (their) abode in the cave, (and) so they said, ‘Our Lord, bring us mercy from very close to You, and dispose for us rectitude in our Command.’ (i.e., in Your Command to us; our: in our affair). Then We struck upon their ears for a (great) number of years in the cave. Thereafter We made them to rise again that We might know whichever of the two parties would best enumerate the span they had lingered. We, Ever We, narrate to you their tidings with the truth. Surely they were young men who believed in their Lord, and We increased them in guidance.” (TMQ, 18: 9-13). The whole story is related in the Qur’an so that we can learn from it and at the same time it answers Quraysh’s questions. This is a miracle because the Prophet (SAWS) knew nothing about this story before. The first question was, “How long had they slept?” The answer was, “And they lingered in their cave three hundred years, and to that they increased nine (more).” (TMQ, 18: 25). The second question was, “How many were they?” The answer was, “They will say, ‘Three, their dog (was) the fourth of them.’ And (others) will say, ‘Five, their dog (was) the sixth of them,’ guessing at the Unseen. (Some others) will say, ‘Seven, and their dog (was) the eighth of them.’ Say, ‘My Lord knows best their right number; none knows them, except a few.’…” (TMQ, 18: 22). The Qur’an mentions that most likely they were seven. Also, Ibn-Abbas (RA[6]) narrated that the Prophet (SAWS) said that he was among the few who knew their number and that they were seven. This defies the Jews and their monks because their exact number is not mentioned in their books. They were few in number but they changed the world, which proves that it does not take a large number of people to create a change. The events of today’s story took place about 150 years after Isa (AS[7]) (Jesus). The youth had slept for 309 years and woke up in 450 A.D., which is about 150 years before the revelation that came to Prophet Muhammad (SAWS). The youth in the story were Christians. The surah begins with condemning those who claim that Allah (SWT) has a child, “Praise be to Allah Who has sent down upon His bondman the Book and has not made to it any crookedness; most upright, to warn of strict violence from very close to Him, and to give good tidings to the believers who do very deeds of righteousness that they will have a fair reward; staying therein forever. And to warn the ones who have said, ‘Allah has taken to Him a child.’ In no way do they have any knowledge of it, (they) nor their fathers. An odious (Literally: great) word it is, coming out (Literally: going out) of their mouths; decidedly they say nothing except a lie.” (TMQ, 18: 1-5). Isa (AS) lived in Palestine and had many followers. However, the Romans tyrannized them and continued to do so up to 100 years after Isa (AS). Whoever objected was killed by the Romans and left to be eaten up by lions. This was very unlike Islam where there is no obligation for anyone to follow it, as Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “There is no compulsion in the religion…” (TMQ, 2: 256). Before Islam, pagan women of the tribes of al-Aws and al-Khazraj lost a lot of children. They therefore used to convert their children to Judaism, in the hope that they would live. When these same mothers became Muslims they wanted to force their children to convert to Islam. This was when this ayah[8] was revealed. The Prophet (SAWS) did not want to force the people of the tribes of Aws and al-Khazraj to embrace Islam. The Story in Detail: Jordan was once ruled by an oppressive emperor who tyrannized and killed Christians. Only one man survived and he decided to convey the message to some young people before he too got killed. He succeeded in convincing seven youth, separately, to believe in Allah. Ibn-Kathir, the reknowned Islamic scholar, relates their story as follows. One day, when the people of this city were celebrating their gods, the seven young men went to the festival with their families; however, they could not celebrate with them because they had become believers in Allah. Each one of them secretly slipped away and sat under a distant tree. They all met at that same tree but they just sat there silently for a considerable time. Then, suddenly, one of them said,“By Allah! I left for the very same cause you all left for.” They then started to converse until they became good friends. Allah (SWT) praised their friendship in the Noble Qur’an as an example of good friendship and called them “the Companions of the Cave”. Allah teaches us the moral of their story in what can be translated as, “And (suffer) yourself to (endure) patiently with the ones who invoke their Lord in the early morning and nightfall…” (TMQ, 18: 28). This shows you the importance of having good and carefully chosen friends because they will influence you. They will also affect your relationship with Allah (SWT), your family and your entire future. We should also learn to be responsible for the society we live in and to try to reform it. The seven had a very harmonious relationship despite the fact that they came from different social backgrounds. One of them was the king’s cousin; one was a shepherd and so forth. The driving force that kept them together was the desire to help other people, which was for them an avenue for worshiping Allah. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Surely they were young men who believed in their Lord, and We increased them in guidance” (TMQ, 18:13). The king soon found out about them and became so furious. He ordered that they either give up their new religion or be killed. They then had three options: either give up their faith, or get killed, or conspire against the king. One of them suggested that they go to the cave they used to meet in to think and plan together how to get back into the city. They decided that there was no way they could give up their faith for the king. They had all left their homes suddenly, without bidding their families farewell and with no supply of food or water. They went out to an unknown destiny. The cave itself symbolizes fear, darkness, suspense, death, and all sorts of scary meanings. However, they overcame all this with the support and guidance of Allah as he says what can be translated as, “And We braced (Literally: tied upon their hearts) their hearts…” (TMQ, 18: 14). This is because they remembered Allah and worshipped him at times of serenity so he was with them at times of suffering. This was the case with Musa’s (AS) (Moses) mother. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “…had We not braced her heart…” (TMQ, 28: 10). Why was this Surah named “al-Kahf” (The Cave)? Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “so take (your) abode in the cave…” (TMQ, 18: 16). Caves are usually dark and creepy. However, the word “abode” indicates that that very cave was a peaceful shelter for the youth. The word “abode”, in its peaceful meaning, is mentioned in the Noble Qur’an only three times. The first is about our Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) when Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Did He not find you an orphan, so He gave (you) an abode.” (TMQ, 93: 6). The second is about Yusuf (AS) (Joseph) when he met his parents after a long time of separation, “he gave an abode to his two parents…” (TMQ, 12: 99). The third time is in today’s story. The cave was small but filled with peace and mercy. So was the cave of Mount Hira', the Cave of Thawr[9]. “The cave” was chosen to be the name of the surah because it symbolizes choice. Every one of us will get into a situation where he or she must choose between faith in Allah and this worldly life. For example, when Suhaib ar-Roomi (RA) immigranted from Makkah to Madinah[10], he had to leave all his wealth behind and he did not hesitate in doing that. Another example is that when Muhammad Yunus, the Nobel Prize winner, wanted to establish a bank for the needy using his own money. His wife objected and told him that he was wasting the money of their children and asked him to choose between staying with her or going on with his charity project. He chose his project. I wonder what his wife thinks now after he got the Nobel Prize! The Moment They Entered the Cave: The moment they entered the cave, they prayed to Allah to have mercy upon them, “As the young men (Literally: the pages) took (their) abode in the cave, (and) so they said, ‘Our Lord, bring us mercy from very close to You, and dispose for us rectitude in our Command.’ (i.e., in Your Command to us; our: in our affair).” (TMQ, 18: 10). When we fall into trouble, we resort to Allah. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Is not He (Most Charitable) Who answers the constrained person when he invokes Him…” (TMQ, 27: 62). He also orders us in the Hadith Qudsy[11] that we should ask for Him. If we asked for Him we would find Him and find everything we want, but if we missed Him, we would miss Him and miss all good. We might wonder why all that happened. It happened because Allah (SWT) wanted the youth to prevail. When we seek success, Allah (SWT) may grant it in the most unexpected ways. For example, when the Prophet (SAWS) went to Ta’if to spread the message of Islam, the people of Madinah embraced the new religion. When he preached Islam to adults, the young believed in it such as al-Abbas (RA) who was only 12 years old then. When he called humans to Islam, the jinn[12] heard the message and embraced Islam. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [1] The word Allah is the Arabic term for God. Although the use of the word "Allah" is most often associated with Islam, it is not used exclusively by Muslims; Arab Christians and Arabic-speaking Jews also use it to refer to the One God. The Arabic word expresses the unique characteristics of the One God more precisely than the English term. Whereas the word "Allah" has no plural form in Arabic, the English form does. Allah is the God worshipped by all Prophets, from Adam to Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. [2]SAWS = Salla Allah alayhe Wa Salam [All Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him] [3] A chapter; the Qur’an is comprised of 114 surahs [4] SWT = Subhanahu wa Ta'ala [Glorified and Exalted Be He]. [5] TMQ=Translation of the Meaning of the Qur'an. This translation is for the realized meaning, so far, of the stated (Surah:Ayah) of the Qur'an. Reading the translated meaning of the Qur'an can never replace reading it in Arabic, the language in which it was revealed. [6] RA = Radya Allah anhu/anha [May Allah be pleased with him/her]. [7] AS = Alayhe as-Salam [All Peace of Allah be upon him]. [8] A verse in the Qur'an [9] Where the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) used to meditate and where he received the revelation. [10] The city to which the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) emigrated with his companions in 622 AD. [11] The words of Allah, repeated by Muhammad (SAWS) and recorded on the condition of an isnad (chain of verification by witness(es) who heard Prophet Muhammad say the hadith). [12] An invisible being of fire
  11. These are excerpts taken from a TV program on Iraq during Ramadan 2004 The Creation of Adam (alayhi asalaam) 16th October 2004 by Amr Khaled Translated by daralislamlive(contact admin if its a beneficial link) The beginning At the very beginning, there was nothing in this universe except Allah (SWT). Allah, the Lord of all creatures and the only Creator, created everything and commanded that everything and all creatures in the universe submit to Him. He then put rules to everything in this world and universe. Imagine if you existed at that moment when Allah created everything, and imagine if you found the whole universe prostrating to Allah. It's not strange to find everything prostrating to Allah; the strange thing is when YOU don't prostrate to Allah. How could you feel if you witness this? How far do you love Allah to know all this? How could you feel if you witness the skies suddenly replacing space? Yet, where was Adam at that time when Allah created the whole universe? Why wasn't he created yet? Because there were still some abstract things that were to be created. Four things were yet to be created. "When Allah created the skies and the earth, the 'Kinship' got attached to Allah's throne and said, "O Allah! this is the rank of the one seeking your protection because of kinship rupture". Allah (SWT) then said, "Would you be satisfied if I connect those who connect you and rupture those who break you off?" Hence, "Kinship" was born with the creation of the universe. On Judgment Day, Kinship talks, with a tongue, from under Allah's throne saying, "O Allah! I was ruptured and I was suppressed" and Allah repeats what He said at the beginning of the universe, "Would you be satisfied if I connect those who connect you and rupture those who break you off?" Hence, dear all, you have to maintain your kinship relations and keep them strong. Allah's mercy was to create "kinship" before we were created. When Allah (SWT) created the skies and the earth, He created a door so widely open, with a distance of 70 years. Allah created that door on the west side. The Prophet (PBUH) asked his companions, "Do you know what this door is?" they replied, "O Messenger of Allah! We do not know". The Prophet (PBUH) said, "It is the door of Repentance. When the sun rises from the west, this door will be closed". That door is so widely open, so you should all try to pass this door and get through it, take the chance and get in! You can repent today! Enough guilt, enough sins, and enough illicit money! Allah then created another thing, bigger than the skies and earth: His Mercy. Allah created mercy between each and every sky and earth. He created one hundred mercies. Allah is so kind and generous with us. After Allah- be He exalted and glorified- commanded the universe to submit to Him, He wrote in a book above His throne, "My mercy prevails over My wrath". Be He Glorified and Exalted! Can you realize how precious the human being is, and how dear he is to Allah (SWT)! Allah created everything and prepared everything before creating man. Adam was created from mud, and then Eve was created out of Adam. Allah ordered the angles to prostrate to Adam, but Satan, who was a Jinni, was the only one who refused to prostrate. In fact, this is the story of all of us. It is important to know the details of this story, and to analyze it, because it is the story of your existence. You have to know the components from which Adam was created, because each of them carries a specific feature that is reflected on you personality. We will anatomize Adam and ourselves. The outer frame Allah created us walking on two legs, with a raised vertex, or head, so as to lead the world with all of its creatures. Don't you ever bow because you fear your future or your livelihood! Don't you ever humiliate yourself, as Allah (SWT) created you as a noble creature. You hands are free to build and to innovate. O Muslims! Where are your creativity and innovation? O Life makers! Where is your production? Anatomizing Adam in details Adam was created out of dust, mud, clay, and sticky clay. He was created in seven phases: 1) Dust: Allah created Adam from a handful of dust with all colors; hence, people are of different colors in this world. Besides, people are of different characteristics: some are easy going, like fertile land; some are hard and tough like solid ground. Thus, human psychology comes in harmony with geology. Man's characteristics are like those of the earth. If you analyze the human skin, and the components of earth, you'll find them the same. The name 'Adam' is derived from the Arabic word that means the surface of earth. You have to know that you are so weak like the earth; therefore, you have to submit to Allah. Can you make the dust or clay talk? Never, you cannot do that! According to the Hadith Qudsi (Holy Hadith), Allah raises those who submit to Him. This is the only means by which you can have a quick entrance to Allah. The Prophet (PBUH) refused to be a haughty person, and demanded to be a slave to Allah. Submitting to Allah is actually achieved from the inside, and not by appearance. You are just a handful of dust, so how can you say "No" to Allah? 2) The dust was mixed with water, and thus, became clay. Allah (SWT) says, "(Remember) when your Lord said to the angels: "Truly I am going to create man from clay"". Yet, why did Allah create Adam from these two elements? What if man was created from lead and oil? Or rubber so as not to be broken? You have to recognize that each part in Adam carries a message for you. Dust and water are the symbols of purity and transparency. We use water in ablution, and we use dust instead, if there is no water. It's as if Allah (SWT) says that He created man from the purest two elements on earth; therefore don't defile them by committing sins. Keep yourself pure, and if ever you defile yourself, repent as soon as you can. Do you see how beautiful is Islam's view to us? So a lewd person defiles his original purity, and the same applies to anyone who watches immoral scenes etc. Allah (SWT) says, "And it is He Who has created man from water, and has appointed for him kindred by blood, and kindred by marriage. And your Lord is Ever All-Powerful to do what He wills." This is because the kindred relations are characterized by transparency, which is the same characteristic of water. Thus, you have to be as transparent and easygoing. As for clay, it is the symbol of growth. This is why Satan acted stupidly, as he considered that he is better than Adam, just because he was created from fire. On the one hand, fire symbolizes imprudence, evil and fury. On the other hand, clay is full of grace and good, so basically clay is full of benefits. Can you see that you are full of grace and good, like Adam? So blessed is Allah, the Best of creators. Have you ever thought that you were created in this way?! You are a weak creature, yet full of good and purity. Look at yourself in the mirror, and contemplate. 3) In the third phase, the clay was left in the air till it became sticky clay. From this characteristic, you can realize that man is originally a creature with a strong will and firmness. Hence, don't defile yourself. 4) In the fourth phase, the sticky clay became dried clay (argil). Allah, be He Exalted and Glorified- formed man with His hands. Allah ordered Satan and the angels to prostrate to Adam, but Satan refused: "(Allah) said: "O Iblis (Satan)! What prevents you from prostrating yourself to one whom I have created with Both My Hands" You have to prostrate to Allah with all humbleness. 5) In the fifth phase, the dried clay turned into altered clay. It was left for some time, and so its smell and color altered. This represents the instincts and desires that came upon man's purity. 6) Sounding clay (like the clay of pottery) represents the sixth phase in human creation. A cavity was formed in the clay body, and so the human body became hollow. This is how you are now. Could you believe that pottery clay can think and innovate? One of the companion's followers said, "I kept knocking on Allah's doors, but I found all of them crowded with people. Hence, I knocked the door of humility, and I found it empty, therefore I call you all to enter from this door". 7) The seventh phase turned the human body into a live one. After the whole body was formed, Allah (AWT) breathed into it, which caused the soul to enter into the human body. Blood ran in its veins, the heart started beating, and all the body functions started working. If it was not for Allah's breath, you would have been just an object like any other thing around you. This breath confused doctors and scientists for long time. Allah's Mercy Allah (SWT) glorified man three times, as He says, "So, when I have fashioned him completely and breathed into him (Adam) the soul which I created for him, then fall (you) down prostrating yourselves unto him." Allah's breath is the origin of everything beautiful and good in you. When the soul entered Adam's body, he sneezed, so the angels told him "Say 'Thank God' (Alhamdulilah)". When he said this, Allah (SWT) said (Bless You). Thus, Allah's blessings and mercy are around you all the time, and at the same time, you are ordered to thank Allah. Don't defile your purity with sins. Allah's breath elevated you over everything, even the angels. According to a Hadith Qudsi (Holy Hadith), everyday the mountains ask Allah to allow them to fall on Man; the seas ask Allah to allow them to absorb Man, and the earth asks Allah to allow it to sink down Man, because Man is never thankful to Allah, although he is enjoying all of Allah's graces. Yet, Allah replies "Leave them, if you created them, you would have mercy on them". In another Hadith, Allah (SWT) speaks to Dawud and says, "If those who are driven away from how much I long for them to come back to me, and how eagerly I want them to repent, they would have longed for me fervently". "you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_www.daralislamlive(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/modules.php?name=Lectures&action=display_lecture&lecture_id=38"]Source[/url]
  12. All About Perceptions

    :D All about perceptions I was thinking the other day about the role of how we perceive issues affects many things in our life. The idea of perceptions has always intrigued me; actually it has been the interest of many including philosophers and psychologists. If you ever have read philosophy books or was forced to read them, such as Al Ghazali, Ibn Sina, Al Farabi, AlRazi, Kant, Erickson, Descartes, Aristotle, Plato, Nietzsche etc. They are enough to make your head spin :D you may ask why should I read Western philosophy ideas? Well, reading something doesn’t mean you are adopting it rather you read to get informed and to have knowledge. Indeed many of those people I found a very short step away from insanity for example Nietzsche. Well, I was forced to read things like Kant, Descartes (the famous I think therefore I am) and Plato and his ideals. Much of the time I felt I was reading something by a foreign language I don’t know about :D even though it was written in English. Empirical reality vs. Perceptual reality Philosophers used and still fight about the nature of the world. Do we see the reality of things whether it is a wall or an idea and we all see it the same way or is it all perceptual there is no wall except the way you see it. Of course these views are the extreme ends. As odd as the above sounds some do believe it. But I could never understand why it couldn’t be both? Everything thing does exist as it was originally created or made form but the way I view it is different than the next person. I think that no person views the same thing as the next no matter what is being viewed. You might say but how about if I see the color red and another person sees the color red. I would answer how do you know we are seeing is the exact same shade of red? We can never know though I base it on your eye cells may be transmitting this information differently and your mind is connecting this color to other colors that is different than the other person; but subhana’Allah we both see them as red. In addition that means we may never know if we are seeing the real thing or not. Gave you a headache yet? :D
  13. To Reflect On The Shahada "That is Allah, your Lord! There is no god but He, the creator of all things: Then worship you Him: and He has power to dispose of all affairs." (Quran 6:102) Although all practicing Muslims repeat the shahadah many times every day, only few understand its profound meaning and appreciate its implications. For example, how many Muslims understand why the shahadah uses the negative form - La Ilaha ha Ila Allah (There is no Ilah (God) except Allah), instead of the affirmative form - Allah is one, and why did the Quranic revelations stress this concept for the 13 years which the Prophet (peace be upon him) spent in Mecca before migrating to Medina? To help us in understanding the answer to these questions and in better appreciating the implications of La Ilaha Illa Allah, the Quran provides us with the following two facts: 1 All the prophets and messengers of Allah were principally teaching the same thing: La Ilaha lila Allah: “O my people! Worship Allah! You have no other god but Him (Quran 7:59) This is precisely what Prophet Nuh said; Prophet Hud declared (Quran 7:65); and Prophet Salih affirmed (Quran 7:73). Prophet Shuaib gave the same message (Quran 7:85). The same doctrine was repeated and confirmed by Prophets Moussa, Issa, and Mohammad (peace be upon them): "Say; Truly I am a warner: no god is there but Allah, the One, Supreme, and Irresistible." (Quran 38:65) "Say: Verily, I am commanded to serve Allah, and follow with sincere devotion his deen." (Quran 39:11) 2. Many of the unbelievers who opposed the prophets did not deny the existence of Allah, nor that He was the sole creator of heavens and earth, and of human beings. “If you were to question them, Who created the heavens and earth? They would be sure to reply, They were created by (Him), the exalted in power, full of knowledge. (Quran 43:9) "If you ask them, who created them, they will certainly say, Allah: how then are they deluded away from the truth)?" (Quran 43:87) The Muslim scholar Abul A'la Maududi explains La ilaha illa Allah by using four basic terms from the Qur'an: Ilah, Rabb, Ibadah, and deen (see the table below). The four words, and their derivatives, are repeated many times in the Quran: the word Ilah 147 times; Rabb 975 times; Ibadah 275 times; and deen 94 times. Note that the word deen is an all-encompassing concept, dealing with life as an integrated whole. It is not restricted to the so-called "religious" observances, practices, and rituals. In the light of these four basic terms, La ilaha illa Allah means: Allah is our Rabb and our Ilah; there is no Rabb and no Ilah except He. To Him alone we make Ibadah; and only His deen we adopt and sincerely follow. In the light of this definition, it is clear that the whole dispute between the unbelievers and the prophets centered around the uncompromising demand of the prophets that the unbelievers should recognize the very being whom they acknowledged as their Creator, as their Rabb and Ilah (as defined in the table) , and should assign this position to none else. There are many important consequences for appreciating the full meaning and implications of La ilaha illa Allah, including the following three: Absolute freedom of the human conscience from servitude to, or subjection by, anyone or anything; and realization that one's life, livelihood, and sustenance are all in the hands of Allah and Allah alone. The natural urge for making ibadah to an ilah will be directed towards the true Ilah (Allah), rather than towards one or more false ilahs (false gods), whether they be humans, or material things. ÃFollowing the true deen of Allah gives a sense of direction, and a meaning to one's life in the present world, and leads to success in the Hereafter. We pray to Almighty Allah to help us in appreciating the meaning and implications of La ilaha lIla Allah, and in translating its meaning in our daily lives. Ameen. Four terms needed to understand La Ilaha Illa Allah: 1.Ilah Deity, God One to be worshipped One who has power to satisfy your needs and answer your prayer One who is in control of your affairs One who can comfort you; provide protection and support for you 2.Rabb Lord, Master and Owner Sustainer, Provider and Guardian Sovereign, Ruler and Administrator 3.Ibadah Worship and devotion Submission and obedience Subjection and servitude 4.Deen Ideology Government and constitution Complete system (way of life) Allah is the Rabb and the Ilah. There is no Rabb and no Ilah except He. To Him Alone we make Ibadah. Only His Deen we adopt and sincerely follow. "you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_www.beconvinced(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/"]Source[/url]
  14. The Shahada

    The Shahada The words that are spoken when one becomes a Muslim, are few but so significant. With the utterance of these words, a person acknowledges Allah as the Creator and Sustainer of all, and the messengership of His Prophet (peace be upon him). With these words, which come from the heart, a person steps from disbelief and ignorance to knowledge, light and guidence. A person can only reach this state by the Mercy and Guidance of Allah the Almighty. There is no god worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad (peace be upon him) is His Prophet These are the words that a person says to enter the fold of Islam. The Shahadah, or declaration of faith, is a covenant that the person makes with Allah: that he/she will continue to obey Allah, and walk in the footsteps of our Holy Prophet (peace be upon him). It is the first step to complete obedience to the Lord of all. From the time of making Shahadah, the person is treated and respected like a Muslim by all Muslims, even if he/she was previously an enemy of Islam. There are many examples of this in the history of the Prophet (peace be upon him). The bond of faith is much stronger than the bond of blood. When a person becomes a Muslim they enter the community of Muslims, regardless of their race or background. A feeling of love and harmony abides between people who sincerely seek to practice Islam according to the Qu'ran and Sunnah. Such people are in a race to do good and be those with whom Allah is pleased. The significance of the Shahadah is further highlighted, when we ponder on the fact that we repeat it every time we pray. How many of us, really think about it during prayer? It becomes a usual thing and maybe sometimes we say the words without contemplating their meaning. When we say there is no god worthy of worship except Allah, it means that we disdain obedience and servitude to anyone or anything except Allah. It means that we fear no one and nothing except Allah: that our greatest feeling of love and gratitude are kept for Allah, because we know that He is the real Provider of all we have. It means that we do not seek the pleasure or acceptance of anyone or anything except Allah. This means that the Muslim becomes strong and independent. The ridicule, scorn, sneers and insults of people bear no importance. The Muslim remains calm and secure in times of panic because they know that there is no help except from Allah. In times of grief and distress, the Muslim remains steadfast and courageous, knowing that calamity can only occur with the permission of Allah and that He, in His Mercy has promised not to bear a sincere soul, with more than it can bear. When we say that Muhammad is the Prophet of Allah, we acknowledge his right to be respected, obeyed and revered. We follow in his footsteps, knowing that he was the best of creation and hope to achieve Paradise and be close to him and the other prophets, Inshaa Allah. Truly the Shahadah is not a empty phrase, it is not just a few words spoken but is coupled with sincerity of intention and determination to struggle, strive and sacrifice along the straight path. "The Religion in the sight of Allah is Islam" (Qur'an 3:19) "If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (Submission to Allah), Never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (their selves in the hell fire)" (Qur'an 3:85) Source : Islamway
  15. by (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetjkcook(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/Articles2/0405.htm#Top"]Jonathan Cook[/url], NAZARETH // Thousands of road signs are the latest front in israel’s battle to erase Arab heritage from much of the Holy Land, according to critics in both israel and the wider Arab world. israel Katz, the transport minister, announced this week that signs on all major roads in israel, East Jerusalem and possibly parts of the West Bank would be “standardised”, converting English and Arabic place names into straight transliterations of the Hebrew name. Currently, road signs include the place name as it is traditionally rendered in all three languages. Under the new scheme, the Arab identity of important Palestinian communities will be obscured: Jerusalem, or “al Quds” in Arabic, will be Hebraised to “Yerushalayim”; Nazareth, or “al Nasra” in Arabic, the city of Jesus’s childhood, will become “Natzrat”; and Jaffa, the port city after which Palestine’s oranges were named, will be “Yafo”. Arab leaders are concerned that Mr Katz’s plan offers a foretaste of the demand by Benjamin Netanyahu, israel’s prime minister, that the Palestinians recognise israel as a Jewish state. On Wednesday, Mohammed Sabih, a senior official at the Arab League, called the initiative “racist and dangerous”. “This decision comes in the framework of a series of steps in israel aimed at implementing the ‘Jewish State’ slogan on the ground.” Palestinians in israel and Jerusalem, meanwhile, have responded with alarm to a policy they believe is designed to make them ever less visible. Ahmed Tibi, an Arab legislator in the israeli parliament, said: “Minister Katz is mistaken if he thinks that changing a few words can erase the existence of the Arab people or their connection to israel.” The transport ministry has made little effort to conceal the political motivation behind its policy of Hebraising road signs. In announcing the move on Monday, Mr Katz, a hawkish member of Likud, Mr Netanyahu’s right-wing party, said he objected to Palestinians using the names of communities that existed before israel’s establishment in 1948. “I will not allow that on our signs,” he said. “This government, and certainly this minister, will not allow anyone to turn Jewish Jerusalem into Palestinian al Quds.” Other israeli officials have played down the political significance of Mr Katz’s decision. A transport department spokesman, Yeshaayahu Ronen, said: “The lack of uniform spelling on signs has been a problem for those speaking foreign languages, citizens and tourists alike.” “That’s ridiculous,” responded Tareq Shehadeh, head of the Nazareth Cultural and Tourism Association. “Does the ministry really think it’s helping tourists by renaming Nazareth, one of the most famous places in the world, ‘Natzrat’, a Hebrew name only israeli Jews recognise?” Meron Benvenisti, a former deputy mayor of Jerusalem, said israel had begun interfering with the Arabic on the signs for East Jerusalem as soon as it occupied the city in 1967. It invented a new word, “Urshalim”, that was supposed to be the Arabic form of the Hebrew word for Jerusalem, “Yerushalayim”. “I was among those who intervened at the time to get the word ‘al Quds’ placed on signs, too, after ‘Urshalim’ and separated by a hyphen. But over the years ‘al Quds’ was demoted to brackets and nowadays it’s not included on new signs at all.” He said Mr Katz’s scheme would push this process even further by requiring not only the Arabic equivalent of the Hebrew word for Jerusalem, but the replication of the Hebrew spelling as well. “It’s completely chauvinistic and an insult,” he said. Meir Margalit, a former Jerusalem councillor, said official policy was to make the Palestinian population in East Jerusalem as invisible as possible, including by ignoring their neighbourhoods on many signs. The transport ministry’s plans for the West Bank are less clear. In his announcement Mr Katz said Palestinian-controlled areas of the territory would still be free to use proper Arabic place names. But he hinted that signs in the 60 per cent of the West Bank under israeli military rule would be Hebraised, too. That could mean Palestinians driving across parts of the West Bank to the Palestinian city of Nablus, for example, will have to look for the Hebrew name “Shechem” spelt out in Arabic. Mr Benvenisti said that, after israel’s establishment in 1948, a naming committee was given the task of erasing thousands of Arab place names, including those of hills, valleys and springs, and creating Hebrew names. The country’s first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, told the committee: “We are obliged to remove the Arabic names for reasons of state.” In addition, the Arabic names of more than 400 Palestinian villages destroyed by israel during and after the 1948 war were lost as Jewish communities took their place. israel’s surviving Palestinian minority, today one-fifth of the population, have had to battle in the courts for the inclusion of Arabic on road signs, despite Arabic being an official language. Many signs on national highways were provided only in Hebrew and English until the courts in 1999 insisted Arabic be included. Three years later the courts ruled that Arabic must also be included on signs in cities where a significant number of Arabs live. However, as the political climate has shifted rightward in israel, there has been a backlash, including an unsuccessful bid by legislators to end Arabic’s status as an official language last year. Recently the israeli media revealed that nationalist groups have been spraying over Arabic names on road signs, especially in the Jerusalem area. israel has also antagonised Palestinians in both israel and the West Bank by naming roads after right-wing figures. The main highway in the Jordan Valley, which runs through Palestinian territory but is used by israelis to drive between northern israel and Jerusalem, is named “Gandhi’s Road” – not for the Indian spiritual leader but after the nickname of an israeli general, Rehavam Zeevi, who called for the expulsion of Palestinians from Greater israel.
  16. Eid Mubarik

    :sl: Eid Mubarak all! Ameen to the duas. alhamdulilah this year most Muslims are celebrating together. :sl:
  17. Ramadan Mubarak!

    :sl: Ramadan Mubarak all! Ameen ot the duas :sl:
  18. The Policy Of Victimhood

    Ever watched the movie (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetimdb(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/title/tt0291341/"]mean machine [/url](this is the English version there are other American versions)? If you watch it you'll find yourself identifying with the prisoners and wanting them to win instead of the guards. I find it interesting that people will like the criminals who are imprisoned for very ugly crimes istead of the guards of the prison. I think the reason for that is that the prisoners in this case are seen as victims because of the off handed ways of the warden and the guards whose actions are criminal also but they are in a position of authority. Most people stand with justice and abhor the abuse of the law or violation of it so anyone in a state of victimhood or even seen in that position is empathized with even if he/she is a criminal. The idea of victimhood from this movie lends itself to the world's political scene. How do you explain then that with all the horrid actions of the israelis ranging from genocide and ethnic cleansing to petty harassment of Palestinians are defended by many people other than israelis because they view them as victims? For example, people excuse many things done in Gaza because it is Hamas’s fault for launching rockets or the people who voted for them. Another example is the large murder of Pakistani and Afghanis is justified because according to the coalition they are harboring Taliban and their soldiers are under attack. Another form of exploitation of victimhood is when you apply it to someone else to justify a military or political action. We recently saw the sympathizers with the protests in Iran because the protesters were seen as victims and even all of the Iranian people. Though no one can justify the generalization and I find it funny when the Iranians protests and hold “down with America” signs for example they are terrorists yet political interests call for putting a victim label on them now. This label is used to further political policies and is accompanied with the demonization of the ones against those supposed victims. The same issue happened in Iraq, Saddam was used as a pretext for the invasion by victimizing the world first fearing the WMDs then the Iraqis themselves. The policy of victimhood is best utilized by the israelis and I don’t think anyone surpasses them in that department and they justify anything in that light. This policy is not only horrid because of the actions that stem from it but rather it erases the real victims around the world from the sick and hungry who are now a billion to the victims of war who don’t have anything to do with it and are in the millions. When you form an opinion about any world event know the far reaches of the issue for there are so many lies running around it is easy to be deceived by them.
  19. The Policy Of Victimhood

    :sl: La hawla wala quwata ila billah, I'm so sorry to hear about your husband sis Sara :sl: may Allah SWT keep all harm away from you and him, ameen. Of course no one sympathizes with this kind of guards! They belong in jail. My point was about sympathizing with real criminals versus bad guards and your husband alhamdulilah was innocent of any crime which puts him in another category because injustice happened to him.
  20. Five years ago the international court of justice ruled that israel's separation wall should be demolished. But it is still growing by Ben White, (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetguardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/jul/09/israel-separation-wall-palestine"]guardian.co.uk[/url], Thursday 9 July 2009 Five years ago today, the international court of justice in The Hague published its advisory opinion on israel's separation wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). The keenly awaited verdict, requested by the UN's general assembly, was clear: israel's wall is illegal, it must be removed and adequate compensation paid. The wall's illegality, and israel's obligation to dismantle the structure and pay damages for the consequences of the wall thus far, were all agreed by the judges by a margin of 14-1. (The ICJ also accepted the use of the term "wall", since "other expressions" are "no more accurate".) There was also confirmation that israel's settlements were "a flagrant violation" of the convention, established "in breach of international law" (contrast this with the mealy-mouthed nitpicking over outposts and "freezes" by Barack Obama and Binyamin Netanyahu). Overall, the court found that the route of the wall threatened to create "de facto annexation", with the wall itself described as severely impeding "the exercise by the Palestinian people of its right to self-determination". At the time, the ICJ decision was hailed by Palestinians and dismissed by the israeli government. As Yasser Arafat described it as a "victory for the Palestinian people", a spokesman for the then prime minister Ariel Sharon, Raanan Gissin, opined that "after all the rancour dies, this resolution will find its place in the garbage can of history". Both the US and UK had opposed the entire process, on the odd grounds that the UN's main judicial body for settling legal disputes was not "the appropriate forum to resolve what is a political issue". In the words of Jack Straw, it was better not to "embroil" the ICJ "in a heavily political bilateral dispute". This opposition was rare – later that same month, the general assembly voted by 150 to six in support of the ICJ opinion. The decision was also welcomed by the likes of Oxfam and Amnesty International, with Oxfam's director adding that the ruling was a "step in the right direction" but needed "further action" by the international community. But meaningful "further action" was not forthcoming, and israel pressed on with the wall. Five years on, the wall loops around the West Bank and cuts through East Jerusalem, isolating Palestinian communities and devastating lives, and has become an integral part of israel's apartheid regime in the territories. About two-thirds of the 700km+ route, featuring a 8m-high wall, electric fences, sniper towers and "buffer zones" up to 100m wide, is completed or under construction. Of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, 8.5% will be on the "wrong" side of the wall. In terms of size as well as significance, this would be comparable to the UK losing Greater London and south-east England. For israel to consolidate its hold on the illegal colonies in the OPT, many Palestinians find themselves hemmed in and surrounded by the wall's contortions (pdf). About 35,000 Palestinians with West Bank IDs are to be caught between the wall and the Green Line – if you add (pdf) the East Jerusalem Palestinians in the same position, this figure increases to about 260,000. These are the bare facts five years on from the ICJ opinion. israel has ignored the judges' decision, but that's not a surprise. However, has the Palestinian leadership sufficiently exploited the opinion? Speaking to Palestinians involved in monitoring the wall's progress, or in directly resisting it on the ground, there is a feeling that Palestinian diplomats have not done as much with the ICJ result as they could have. Palestinians in communities directly affected by the wall continue to put up resistance, sometimes at their cost of their lives: 18 Palestinians have been killed by israeli forces during anti-wall protests, the youngest victim a 10-year-old boy. While they fight for survival, the wall has also played a key role in changing the big picture, delineating the borders of the Palestinian enclaves israel will grant "statehood". In 1994, the then israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin said that "we have to decide on separation as a philosophy". However, this is not separation on equal terms – the following year Rabin also made it clear that the Palestinian "entity" would be "less than a state". There is a term for unequal separation in international law – apartheid (I will talk about this tonight). The wall urgently needs dismantling; but it is only one part of a bigger whole. Ever watched the movie mean machine (the English version there are other American versions)? If you watch it you find yourself identifying with the prisoners and rooting for them to win instead of the guards. I find it interesting that people will like criminals who are imprisoned of very horrible crimes sometimes verses the guards of the prison. I think the reason for that is that the prisoners in this case are seen as victims because of the off handed ways of the warden and the guards whose actions are criminal also but they are in a position of authority. Most people stand with justice and abhor the abuse of law or violation of it so anyone in a state of victimhood or even seen in that position are empathize with even if they are criminals themselves. The idea of victimhood from this movie lends it to the world political scene. How do you explain then that with all the horrid actions of the israelis the ranging from genocide and ethnic cleansing to petty harassment of Palestinians are defended by many people other than israelis because they view them as victims? For example, people excuse many things done in Gaza because it is Hamas’s fault for launching rockets or the people who voted for them or the large murder of Pakistani and Afghanis because according to the coalition they are harboring Taliban and their soldiers are under attack signaling victimhood. Another form of exploitation of victimhood is when you apply it to someone else to justify a military or political action. We recently saw the sympathizers with the protests in Iran because the protesters were seen as victims and even all of the Iranian people. Though no one can justify the generalization and I find it funny is when the Iranians protests and hold “down with America” signs for example they are terrorists yet because political interests calls for putting a victim label on them. This label is used for further political policies and is accompanied with the demonization of the ones against those supposed victims. The same issue happened with Iraq, Saddam was used as a pretext for political interest by victimizing the world first for the WMDs then the Iraqis themselves. The policy of victimhood is best utilized by the israelis and I don’t think anyone surpasses them in that department and they justify anything in light. This policy is not only horrid because of the actions that stem from it but rather it erases the real victims around the world from the sick and hungry who are now a billion around the world to the victims of war they don’t have anything to do with and those are in the millions. When you form an opinion about any world event know the far reaches of the issue for there are so many lies running around it is easy to be deceived into them.
  21. Introduction To Hajj

    Introduction to Hajj By AElfwine Mischler* January 17, 2005 The fifth Pillar of Islam is the pilgrimage to Makkah and its surroundings known as Hajj. All Muslims are obligated to make Hajj once in their lifetimes if they can afford it and are otherwise able to do so. The Hajj is made from the eighth to the twelfth of the Islamic month of Dhul-Hijjah. In 2005, this corresponds to January 18-22. Muslims travel from all over the world to perform Hajj. The rituals are themselves simple, but the amount of walking necessary, the hot climate, and the crowds make the Hajj a rigorous exercise in faith. Still, between 2 and 3 million people perform Hajj every year, and millions more yearn to do so. To perform the Hajj, pilgrims enter a state of consecration known as ihram. In this state they may not clip their nails, cut or pluck any hair, or have any sort of sexual contact. Male pilgrims wear special clothes consisting of two seamless strips of cloth, one covering the back and shoulders, the other covering from the waist to the knees. Female pilgrims can wear ordinary clothing that covers everything but the face and hands. The rituals of Hajj date back to the time of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) and commemorate his willingness to sacrifice his only son, Isma`il (Ishmael). During the days of Hajj, the pilgrims attempt to forget all but their most basic worldly needs and to focus their attention and devotion on Allah Alone. Upon arriving in Makkah, the pilgrims first circumambulate the Ka`bah seven times in a ritual known as Tawaf. This ritual reminds the pilgrims that Allah (God) should be the focus and center of their lives. The next ritual is Sa`i, which is walking back and forth seven times between the hillocks named Safa and Marwah. This commemorates the search for water made by Hajar (Hagar) when Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) left her and her infant son Isma`il (peace be upon him) in the desert. On Dhul-Hijjah 8, pilgrims head to Mina, where they spend the day supplicating Allah. Early the next morning they go to `Arafah (or `Arafat). They spend the day supplicating Allah and begging for His forgiveness. Many stand on the Mount of Mercy to supplicate, though this is not necessary. When the sun sets on the Day of `Arafah, the pilgrims sins are forgiven. After sunset the pilgrims move on to Muzdalifah, where they spend the night and collect pebbles to be used in the next ritual. The next morning, Dhul-Hijjah 10, is the Day of Sacrifice. Most pilgrims slaughter a sheep or goat, and the meat is distributed to the poor. (Muslims who are not on Hajj also slaughter that day, which is known as `Eid Al-Adha.) The ritual commemorates Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his son Isma`il (peace be upon them both) and Allah's provision of a ram as a substitute sacrifice. But before slaughtering, the pilgrims go to throw pebbles at the stone pillars known as Al-Jamarat. This ritual commemorates Ibrahim's stoning of Satan when the latter tried to tempt him to disobey Allah. After this, the pilgrims cut or shave their hair (women cut off only a small amount) and return to Makkah to repeat Tawaf and Sa`i. They sleep at Mina and repeat the stoning of the pillars on the next two days. A final Tawaf before leaving Makkah completes the Hajj. Many pilgrims also go to Madinah before or after Hajj in order to pray in the Prophet's Masjid and visit his grave, although this visit to Madinah is not necessary. The above is only a summary. There is some variation in the performance of Hajj, depending on whether the individual pilgrim chooses to also perform `Umrah (often known as the lesser pilgrimage) beforehand and whether this will be while in one prolonged state of ihram or two separate ones for `Umrah and Hajj. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- * Ælfwine Mischler is an American convert to Islam. She has an M.A. in Linguistics and Teaching English as a Foreign Language. She is a writer and is currently the head of the Copyediting Unit in IslamOnline.com.
  22. Introduction To Hajj

    :sl: There is no problem bro just this section of the forum was made for a specific reason and some topics may exist in another parts of the forum.
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