Monday, November 30, 2009

Top Ten Muslim Phobias

Phobia is defined as the irrational fear of something and can be very intense. Many Muslims always complain about the Islamophobia of some Non-Muslims and rightly so, but we have some Phobias of our own that we need to sort out first. So it's introspection time again:

1. Jewaphobia:

These are the Muslims who think all Jews are in on some kind of global conspiracy against Islam, it is the Muslim equal to Islamophobia. Don't believe me, look at the following example:

The Islamophobes are determined that Obama is a secret Muslim, while the Jewaphobes are determined that he is a secret Jew, all the while the poor guy keeps explaining that he is Christian.

Jewaphobes make the Jews seem almost God-like in their power, they seem to think the Jews can watch our every move like the Truman Show, that they control every thing in the media, the governments and they even blame the Jewish scientists for the earthquakes and Tsunamis.

Islam teaches us to stay away from conspiracy theories and work only with facts, further it teaches us that every individual is different and you can't treat all Jews as bad because of a few, we don't like it when they do that to us after all. Remember Muslims and Jews lived side by side in peace for centuries, one last point: The Jews are not an all-powerful boogeyman with control over everything, most of them are normal people like you and me who can't even control their own bank accounts leave alone yours.

2. Kaafiraphobia:

This is even more intense than Jewaphobia, some Muslims think that everything Non-Muslims do must be evil, forgetting that most Non-Muslims are just simple people who don't know any better. They think any movie, book, shop or statement by a Non-Muslim is definitely evil, this is ridiculous. There are many Non-Muslims through out history who are decent people and they all can't be put into one camp with the others. Did the prophet (peace be upon him) treat his uncle Abu Talib the same as his uncle Abu Lahab? No, because one was a good Non-Muslim and one was bad, Important point to reflect upon.

3. Technolophobia:

Also known as Mediaphobia. Some Muslims confuse technological advancement with Bidah (religious innovation) and religiously shun technology. They have a strange fear that technology can only harm and not benefit, anything goes wrong and they blame technology. TV is evil even if you watching an Islamic lecture, it will corrupt you, they say. Such people need to wake up and face reality, this is the technological age, you can either embrace it or get lost in transmission, and technological advancement is not bidah, bidah refers to changing, adding or subtracting from the religion. As far as worldly things go, Islam teaches that everything is Halal until proven Haram.

4. Womenaphobia:

Some Muslim men are literally scared of women! They think that even if a woman makes Salaams or comes out dressed in full veil, she is still tempting them to sin. Their response? They oppress women in the name of Islam to keep them subdued. Such men need to study Islam properly and realize what they are doing is a sin. They also need help, because its not the women's fault they go bananas at the sight of a woman in niqab or on hearing a woman make Salaams, its their own fault. They need to learn self-control and realize that replying to a woman's Salaam does not count as Zina.

5. Canine-phobia:

Islam teaches us that we should not keep dogs in our houses or as pets, it does however allow guide dogs, guard dogs, hunting dogs. etc yet some people forget this second part and treat dogs like they are the worst thing on earth. I feel sorry for the way some Muslims treat dogs, the poor dog never do anything wrong. These people also forget that Allah praised a dog in the Quran for protecting the people of the cave and Allah forgave a Jewish prostitute because she was kind to a dog. Points to ponder, folks.

6. Jinn-phobia:

Parents are to blame for this one. Some parents raise their kids with the Muslim alternative to ghost stories...Jinn stories. This leads to the child growing up to be paranoid and to see Jinn everywhere, especially in the Darul Ulooms, unless the child is crazy like me as I spent a lot of my childhood searching for ghosts, jinn and aliens to little success. It should be noted that Jinn can trouble people but that is very rare and if you practice Islam and read for protection Duas like Ayatul Kursi and the Three Quls, they can't harm you, so relax a bit.

7. Azaab-a-phobia:

This one I do not understand. Some Muslims are so scared of Azaab (Divine Punishment) that whenever it rains, thunders, etc they start panicking and thinking the world is about to end. These guys have clearly seen too many Roland Emmerich movies. Yet the same Muslims don't change their lives and forget about the end of the world when the sky clears up. People, we need to be Muslims full-time, not just when the sky is falling on our heads!

8. Signofqiyamaphobia:

These Muslims are scared that Qiyamah is close and see everything as a sign of Qiyamah. If an earthquake happens, "Qiyamah is close", If a crime happens "Qiyamah is close", if Jacob Zuma becomes president "Qiyamah is close", If Obama sneezes "Qiyamah is close"

Relax people, only Allah knows when Qiyamah is. It could be tomorrow or in five hundred years time, it does not matter. Once a man asked the prophet (peace be upon him) when will Qiyamah be, he replied "What have you prepared for it?" Another interesting point to ponder.

9. Othergroupphobia:

Some Muslims live in boxes, they only hang out with, talk to, live with and study under people born into the same group, sect or mazhab as them, as a result they grow narrow-minded and think their understanding is the only way that Islam should be practiced and they grow wary and fearful of other Muslims. This Phobia is holding the Ummah back from uniting for common goals or learning from each other. As Muslims we should realize we do not know everything and our teachers are fallible and can make mistakes, thus we must be willing to give others an ear and hear out their opinions. If it is wrong, then correct it...politely please and if it is right then accept it and change.

10. Mullahphobia:

Another one to blame the parents for. Some parents threaten their kids with police, others with physical punishment, yet others threaten them with the Uloom, The Moulana, The Shaykh or most popular in SA.....Mia's farm. As a result, such kids grow up terrified of Scholars and Islamic places, and the way certain Moulanas and religious people treat them in the Masjid doesn't help things..but thats a different article:

Point to note: If you are raising your kids to be terrified of anything Islamic, how the hell are they ever suppose to become practicing Muslims! Now having studied in a Darul Uloom, I can understand and vouch for the fact that the place and its Moulanas can be scary but that is no excuse to put kids off religion. Find some nice cool scholars and students of knowledge and get your kids to hang out with them instead, rather than only focus on the negative and end up raising children who are scared of anything or anyone Islamic.

Thats the top ten phobias I can think of, let me know if you can think of any others. :)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Top Ten Extreme Characters I have met

The following are a list of extremist characters I have met during my search for the true understanding of Islam, some of them you might know, some you might not. I have written it in dialog form, but note that not every one of these dialogs actually happened, most of them I just thought up the reply but was too polite to say it.

If you fall into any of these categories, do not take offense, rather take it as an opportunity for introspection:

1. The Extreme Hater

EH: As Muslims we should hate all Kuffar, Deviants and Sinners
Me: Thats all of humanity
EH: Anybody who loves a Kaafir becomes a Kaafir
Me: The Quran says that the prophet (peace be upon him)loved Abu Talib who died a Kaafir, does that mean you beleive.....

2. The Extreme Chauvinist

EC: Women are not allowed to drive
Me: The female companions drove camels
EC: Well women are not allowed to study anything except Islam
Me: Then how did Ayesha (RA) master medicine?
EC: Well a woman is not allowed to go to the Masjid
Me: That's not what the prophet said

3. The Extreme Urdu Waalaa

EUW: Nasheeds are only Halal in Urdu or Arabic
Me: How is Urdu different from English?
EUW: Urdu is the language of our forefathers
Me: So? Dawud Wharnsby and Yusuf Islam's forefathers spoke English
EUW: English is the language of the Kuffar
Me: Wonder what language the Hindus in India speak

4. The Extreme Blind Follower:

EBF: If my Shaykh tells me this green plate is blue, I will believe that it is blue! (Someone actually said that to me)
Me: Well then I can't help you, you need a psychiatrist (never really say that, just thought it)

5. The Extreme Free Thinker:

EFT: There is no such thing as Hijab, its a pagan custom
Me: I'll tell that to all the companions and scholars since they are unanimous that Hijab is part of Islam, but I'm sure you know better than every single companion and the pious scholars of the past and the ummah has being wrong for 1400 years.

6. The Extreme Hanafi: (Real Conversation)

EH: Astagfirullah! How can you raise your hands before and after Rukhu! Thats Wrong!
Me: Didn't the prophet (peace be upon him) do it?
EH: Yes....
Me: So will I go to Hell for trying to follow this Sunnah?
EH: No, but it's against our Madhab
Me: YOUR madhab, not our ;)

7. The Extreme Salafi:

Me: So-and-so passed this fatwa
ES: He is not a Salafi because he said Sufis are Muslims
Me: But so-and-so also said the same
ES: He is not a Salafi because he believes drums are Halal
Me: So-and-so also said the same
ES: You are not quoting any Salafis
Me: Who is a Salafi then?
ES: (Starts listing his teachers, apparently you have to be his teacher or one of his teacher's students and agree with their every opinion to fit their definition of a Salafi)

8. The Extreme Haraam Police:

EHP: Video Games, Nasheeds, Videos, etc are all Haraam!
Me: What is Halal then?
EHP: Zikr, Salah, fasting
Me: I mean in terms of having fun
EHP: Astagfirullah! There is no place for entertainment in Islam! We were created to worship only!
Me: I know that, but Allah revealed a balanced religion and remind me to give you a copy of my upcoming book "Entertainment in Islam" when it is published. ;)

9. The Extreme Jihadi:

EJ: We must take over world, we can not live under Kaafir rule, it is Haraam to live here, all Muslims must migrate and make Jihad
Me: Then why are you still here?
EJ: Because I got a job interview with the Tax Department tomorrow and I need the money to support my family

10. The Extremely confused individual:

ECI: You can't watch Islam Channel! TV is haraam!
Me: Then why are you watching WWE?
ECI: You can't listen to Zain Bhikha, its haraam!
Me: Then why are you listening to Britney Spears?
ECI: You can't trim your beard and neaten it, it's haraam!
Me: Then why are you clean-shaven?

One more true conversation to end it off:

Extremist eating at restaurant: It's Haraam to eat here because this restaurant banks with First National Bank!
My Nany: Who do you bank with?
Extremist grumbles: First national Bank
My Nany nods her head and smiles victoriously

I love my Nany! :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


When I’m bored I sit and write
Something serious or something light
I write about things that matter to me
Which I’m sure you all can see
Sometimes I write an article or two
If I’m in the mood, I’ll write poetry too.

Writing is fun, it relieves your stress
And saves your mind from becoming a mess
The things I write might be different everyday
But I really like it that way
Because with out variety, life gets boring
And when that happens, I start snoring

So next time, you feel full of emotion
Type or write and get those thoughts in motion
The moral that I am trying to convey
Is that writing is a very beneficial way
To brighten each and every day

So write, my friends, write from the heart
Now is a good time to start
Just be careful that it’s Halal you write
And it’s not something that will start a fight
Because the angels record our every deed
Every word we write and every word we read

Happy Writing!

Eidul Adha - The Poem!

Eidul Adha is special because of the meat
The Qurbani mutton that I love to eat
Some people think it’s very wrong
But I’ll sort them out with this song

Everyday sheep are slaughtered everywhere
But when a Muslim does it, people stare
Yet the same dude eats mutton all the time
So he really has no reason to whine

Sheep are soft and gentle, it’s true I know
But you are what you eat, isn’t that so?
So I’ll eat the sheep and he can eat swine
Then he’ll be a pig and I’ll be fine

If you still think slaughtering animals is very bad
Well then that is just very sad
You probably never tasted mutton or chops
Just cucumbers, herbs and other crops
So you lose out on one of God’s gifts to us
And I’ll enjoy my mutton curry while you fuss

Eid is nice, Eid is fun
But when it’s all said and done
We’ll have lots of Qurbani meat
And that I think is a real treat!

Eid Mubarak! :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Need For Eid

Eid was an awesome fun time during the early generations of Islam. Muslims would gather on the fields together and pray the Eid prayer, everybody would go including the women and children, then they would celebrate with Halal fun such as is reported in the following narration:

Ayesha narrates that, “Allah's Prophet (peace be upon him) came to my house while two girls were singing beside me the songs of Buath (a story about the war between the two tribes of the Ansar, the Khazraj and the Aus, before Islam). The Prophet (peace be upon him) lay down and turned his face to the other side. Then Abu Bakr came and spoke to me harshly saying, "Musical instruments of Satan near the Prophet (peace be upon him)?" Allah's messenger (peace be upon him) turned his face towards him and said, "Leave them." When Abu Bakr became inattentive, I signalled to those girls to go out and they left. It was the day of Eid, and the Abyssinians were playing with shields and spears; so either I requested the Prophet (peace be upon him) or he asked me whether I would like to see the display. I replied in the affirmative. Then the Prophet (peace be upon him) made me stand behind him and my cheek was touching his cheek and he was saying, "Carry on! Oh Bani Arfida," till I got tired. The Prophet (peace be upon him) asked me, "Are you satisfied (Is that sufficient for you)?" I replied in the affirmative and he told me to leave. (Saheeh Bukhari 2:15:70)

The reason I am bringing up this point instead of the normal obligations and rituals that must be done on Eid day is because I feel Eid has become too ritualized. These days Eid is only about the Eid Prayer and nothing more, maybe some new clothes and one big meal but after that it is just like any other day for many people, but this is not the way it should be.

The disbelievers have many holidays and their holidays are fun and attractive, but we know it is prohibited to celebrate their religious holidays since it is a way of condoning their Shirk. The problem is that since we have made Eid boring, the kids naturally feel that the other religions have cooler holidays and are thus tempted to join their celebrations, this is why we need Eid!

Not just Eid prayer but a full package, Eid should not just be about the Salah in the morning but a day to remember for the young Muslims. If we make Eid special again then this would give young Muslims an alternative to unislamlic celebrations and will make them feel proud to be Muslims. So here are some tips to make Eid more special:

1) Try to unite the entire family:

This past Eidul Fitr was the best Eid I ever had, one main reason was that everybody from my mum's side of the family were united in one house for the full day, that alone made it special and memorable. One way that we can make Eid special is by getting as many relatives as possible together in one house.

2) Take off from work for the day:

This is a very important point, one of those things that really irritates me is when I see a Muslim close his shop for Christmas but keep it open Eid day, it shows which celebration is more important to him. If the father is working then it is not a holiday and no different than any other day. If you want to make Eid special for your kids, take the day off and spend it the entire day with them, it will only increase their love for you.

Worse than working on Eid day are those Muslims who take the day off yet force their Muslim employees to work on Eid day against their will and threaten to cut their salaries if they take the day off. This is hypocritical and oppression of your Muslim brothers and sisters on Eid day.

3)Hype your kids up

Many parents are so unenthusiastic about Eid that you can't blame their kids for not caring about it. Other parents are only concerned about the rituals, and seem to limit Eid to just that. Don't get me wrong, the rituals, be it the Eid prayer, the animal sacrifice on Eidul-Adha or the payment of Fitr on Eidul-Fitr, are all important but they are not the only part of Eid.

If the parents show excitement about Eid and prepare happily and talk to their children about what a special day it will be, this alone will make it more special for the kids.

4) Do something different and fun:

Take your kids somewhere special, have a party with Halal forms of entertainment, invite their friends for an afternoon Eid party, do any such creative thing to make Eid special for the family as long as it is Halal. Remember having fun and celebrating are not Haram, its the manner that you do it that matters.

5) Smile, Be Happy and avoid arguements:

Nothing ruins Eid more than a snarling man scolding the children for making noise, or two relatives fighting over Fiqh issues. Avoid any situation or people that make you angry and stay smiling. Remember smiling is a sunnah and very rewarding, it also brightens up the atmosphere.

These are just a few tips on improving the overall atmosphere of Eid so that it becomes a special memorable day for everyone. Remember if we make Eid special, it will increase the younger generations love of Islam, pride in their religion, self-esteem and give them a halal alternative to prohibited forms of celebration.

Please feel free to add any other tips you can think off for improving Eid.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Praying in the first Saff in Makkah

In July 2006, I had the most wonderful experience of all my Umrah trips, I got to pray my Fajr Salah multiple times in the front Saff. By the front Saff I mean I was standing between the Rukn Yamini and Hajr Aswad with nobody between me and the Kaabah. I wish to share with you how I managed to do that so that you too can try and experience this. Note that this is only for men to try, since the guards do not let women pray in the first few rows.

One day I was praying Fajr in the front row of the second floor of the Haram (where people make Tawaf) and as I was looking at the beautiful view of the Kabah and its courtyard full of Muslims, I noticed that the rows start directly in front of the Kabah, I thought to myself if those people can pray there then so can I and I devised a plan to find a way to pray in the front row.

The next day I went to the Haram a few hours before Fajr to observe how the rows are formed. I noticed that about an hour before Fajr time, some Turkish men would walk with the Tawaf while not making Tawaf, each time getting closer to the Kabah, I began to follow them and then as they passed the Rukn Yamini, they stopped and stood facing the Kabah, I went and stood in between them, slowly more and more people joined our row as it got closer to Salah time, and every time a guard would pass by, he would ask "Fajr?" and we would reply "Na'am" (Yes in Arabic). Closer to Salah time, the guards would start pushing the women and Tawaf crowds away and formulating the Saffs, they would then protect us from people trying to push us out of our Saffs and taking our places.

Some of the bigger Turkish and Arab women would put on a fight but the guards would win. So when the time of Salah came, the guard would watch over us and we would watch each other as we took turns to pray our two Sunnah, then when the Jamaah started, we would stand up and pray the most memorable Salah I ever prayed. The first time I did this, as the Jamah started, a huge man who was walking past, shoved me and the turkish man next to me out of the Saff and took our place, without thinking we looked at each other , grabbed him and threw him back out, took our place again and prayed my first ever Salah in the front Saff of the Haram.

So here is the method in brief:

1) It worked for me because it was not Ramadan or Hajj, it will be harder at those times
2)Leave an hour and a half before Fajr Adhaan and start walking towards the Kabah, join the crowd and walk with them in Tawaf movement, as pushing your way through them is not a good thing to do.
3) As you get near the walls of the Kabah, stand on the tile line, that is just one Saff away from the Kabah, in front of you should be the royal rumble to kiss the black stone.
4) Since you are in a dangerous spot and will be standing for an hour, expect to be pushed, shoved, have your toes tramped, stepped on or ready to retreat should the rumble for the black stone turn No-Holds-Barred!
5) Do not think about sitting till a guard comes and asks you "Salah?" then reply in the positive, he will tell you to sit and will protect you while clearing up the Tawaf crowd.
6) Make friends with the people next to you so that you can protect each other from last minute chancers and bullies, I mostly sat next to Turkish old men who would protect me like their own son, may Allah bless them.
7) Keep your intentions pure and do it for the sake of Allah keeping in mind the reward of praying in the Haram combined with the reward of praying in the front Saff!
8) Do not even think about rushing to kiss the stone after Salah as that is what most of the people there are thinking, as you as the Imam makes Salaam to end the salah, you will notice the stone under attack from people willing to die or kill to kiss it!

That's about all I can think off on this topic, I hope it helps someone pray in the front row, because then I get to share in your reward for doing that. :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Welcome to South Africa

I am walking down Queen Street (can never remember the new street names) in Durban one day towards the IPCI. I need some new Dawah material and anyway I enjoy going to the IPCI sometimes just to browse through the books or just to chat to my friends Areeb Islam and Abdul Qadir about Dawah. Then out of no old man comes up to me and greets me. (No, this is not a crime story)

Old Man: As Salaamu Alaikum
Me: Wa Alaikum Salaam
Old Man: Are you Sunni or Tablighi? (To people outside SA, in our country Sunni means Barelwi and Tablighi means Deobandi)
At first I was a bit taken by the abrupt question..and the lack of options. I paused for a while and thought about the answer. Now personally during my search for the truth I have been through a lot of groups and after being labelled a Sunni Tablighi Deobandi Sufi Wahabi Salafi Khariji Jihadi Maududi Ikhwani and Modernist, I had given up on labels.

Me: I'm a Muslim
Old Man: You must be Sunni or Tablighi
At this point I considered telling him I'm Shia, just to see his reaction but in Islam we are not allowed to lie, even if joking so I didn't

Me: Nope, I'm just a Muslim
Old Man: Ok, why do you people say Nabi (SAW) had a shadow, he was Nur not Bashr!(translation: He was a light, not a human)
I stopped to think, who is you people? Muslims? so I asked:
Me: Who is you people?
Old Man: Tablighis
Me: But I said I am not a Tablighi, anyway how do you know he had no shadow?
Old Man: It comes in the Kitab!
The Kitab! Wow! If he was Tablighi, I knew he would be talking about Fazaail-E-Amaal but since I'm guessing he was Sunni, I had no idea what the kitab was! I wanted to give him a long lecture about authenticity and verifying sources and that not all kitabs are authentic but decided against it and said:
Me: Can I see the Kitab and check the authenticity of the Hadith?
Old Man: Sure, I'll get you a copy.

The old man then walks away without even taking down my name, phone number or address (Thank Allah!), leaving me wondering was it necessary to ask me all that, and how the hell is he going to get me a copy if he does not know who I am or how to contact me.

With those thoughts in my head I continued walking towards the IPCI, now a bit reluctant to do dawah, imagining someone taking their Shahadah, then the old man walks up to them:

Old Man: Masha Allah, I see you a Hanafi now, but are you Sunni or Tablighi?
New convert to himself: Hanafi? Sunni? Tablighi? What have I gotten myself into?

Welcome to South Africa!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Is The Media to Blame?

We Muslims love to blame others for our own shortcomings. Anything goes wrong, its the media's fault, the Jews' fault, the other groups' fault, yet do we ever stop to think that it might just be our fault. I just want to look at one specific issue today, the portrayal of Muslims in Western Media.

Firstly, there are negative portrayals of Muslims in SOME Western Media, not all. Yes, we can Muslims portrayed as terrorists, oppressors, etc by some Media, but we need to be fair, not every portrayal of Muslims is bad and its not always their fault. Let's examine the portrayal of Muslims in Movie for example:

The most famous blockbuster movie in recent times to be blamed for portraying Muslims in a bad light is "Iron Man" in which the superhero fights Afgani Warlords. Now we must be fair, firstly, none of these Afganis ever mention anything about Allah, Islam or say anything Islamic at all, we just assume they must be Muslims. Secondly, Muslim Afgani Warlords are a reality, they are real Muslims in Afganistan and they are bad people and since we Muslims have not done anything about it, it was only a matter of time before the West created and sent in a superhero to sort them out. Besides, didn't Iron Man save an Innocent Muslim Father from them? Therefore, I do not think Iron Man was demonizing Islam, but rather Muslims are at fault for misrepresenting Islam in Afganistan.

This is a key issue, many times the Western Media, either purposely as in the case of Islamaphobes, or mistakenly when they are ignorant, see Muslims teaching and doing wrong things and as a result, that gets headlines in the media. Its wrong but it is not their fault entirely, we also are to blame. We misrepresent Islam yet we want Non-Muslims to represent us properly, does that even make sense?

One the other hand, when Muslims are good role models and beacons of Islam then the Western Media will also represent them as such, as in the case of Saladin in the movie "Kingdom of Heaven" or Maalik Al-Shabaaz in the movies "Malcolm X" and "Ali". Thus showing that the portrayal of Muslims is not always biased in Western media, if a Muslim is a true practicing Muslim and a positive role model then he too will be portrayed as such in the media.

Unfortunately, there are also those who are Islamaphobic and portray Islam purposely negatively as in the case of the perverted Adam Sandler movie "Don't mess with the Zohan" which portrayed Islam as bad, Palestinians as terrorists, Isrealis as heroes and portrayed women in general in a disgustingly negative manner.

So what is the solution:

1. Change ourselves:

If we are positive role models of Islam and change our communities to do so as well then we give the media less reasons and excuses to portray us negatively. If Muslims stop oppressing women, committing and condoning act of terrorism and other such unislamic evils then the media will have no excuse if they portray us negatively. If we do nothing about Afgani terrorism then Iron Man will!

2. Produce our own media:

Realistically though, even if we do the above, there will still be those Non-Muslim Islamaphobes who will persist in negatively portraying Islam. To combat this, we need to produce our own media and movies. Muslims are too backwards in general when it comes to media, we need to wake up and start doing productive things to make a change, and producing Islamic movies is one way in which we can not only provide an alternative for Muslim youth, but we can convey the true message of Islam to Non-Muslims in an exciting manner.

So thats what is needed to be done, it is not easy but it will make a difference. I myself would love to direct my own movies one day, I have so many ideas and scripts which I have prepared, hoping that one day when I have the right finances and crew, I can make my movies a reality. We need to be realistic, Islamic Media is no longer a novelty, it is now a necessity!

Let the ink flow!

So I'm sitting at home frustrated at the fact that I can't do much Islamic work. Due to financial and sectarian issues, I find myself with an admin job, and no platforms to preach or teach Islam. Maybe it's because I'm so young that people won't give me a chance, maybe They scared I might teach something they disagree with, whatever it is, people rarely give me an opportunity and I am thankful to those who do but what can I do to serve Islam in this situation? Then it clicks! The internet! Nobody can stop you from writing your thoughts online, as long as they are no illegal, so why not use the net as a means of expressing myself?

For so long, I have been preparing notes, courses, lectures, poems but they are stuck in my mind and laptop, but not anymore! From now the ink will flow and all this info busting in my head will spill onto this blog, so please excuse the information overload, its what happens when you have so much to say, and finally get a platform to say it on!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tomorrow may never come

The burden on your back gets heavier with each day
You carry it everywhere; it has no place to stay
For years it held you down, keeping you depressed and sad
Longing for the old days when you had a dad

Yesterday is gone, Tomorrow may never come
Yesterday is gone, Tomorrow may never come
Live for Allah today, live today!

Yesterday is gone, Tomorrow may never come
Yesterday is gone, Tomorrow may never come
Live for Allah today, just live today!

You always thinking back, if only I had done this or that
Thinking of how you could bring back your son or dad
Don’t you realize our time here is short and soon we will go?
Then you will meet them again, so do not feel so low

Years may pass but we have work to do
So many people need your help, so many do
So keep your head up and never look back again
It will help you to suppress all the pain

Yesterday is gone, Tomorrow may never come
Yesterday is gone, Tomorrow may never come
Live for Allah today, live today!

Yesterday is gone, Tomorrow may never come
Yesterday is gone, Tomorrow may never come
Live for Allah today, just live today!

Our life is just a test, a temporary rest
We need to work hard so that we can be the best of the best
At times it may get hard, and you feel anxious about what will happen tomorrow
Just remember…..just remember when you feel such sorrow….that

Yesterday is gone, Tomorrow may never come
Yesterday is gone, Tomorrow may never come
Live for Allah today, live today!

Yesterday is gone, Tomorrow may never come
Yesterday is gone, Tomorrow may never come
Live for Allah today, just live today!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Top Ten Things to love about Paradise

The prophet (peace be upon him) narrated that Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala said, "I have prepared for my servants in Paradise that which no eye has seen, no ear has heard and no mind can even imagine,"

If the above Hadith does not motivate you to strive for Paradise, what will? Maybe this Top Ten list will!

Think about it? Imagine the most fun thing in the world, well there are more fun things in Paradise that you can't even imagine!

Think about the most beautiful thing in the world, well there is beauty in Paradise that no eye has seen and no mind can fathom!

Think about the most beautiful sounds in the world, well there is beautiful music in paradise the likes of which no ears have ever heard and your mind can't imagine!

Don't you want this? We die for the latest playstations, DVDs, cars and gadgets, yet none of these can compare to what we will get in paradise if we live our lives according to Allah's will. Shouldn't we be craving for Paradise?

Maybe we don't know enough about Paradise, thats why we are unmotivated. Maybe we are too distracted and do not stop to think about it, whatever the case may be, if you are not working for Paradise you will lose out big time!

Here are my Top Ten things I love about Paradise:

10. No work:

Imagine living forever in luxury without ever having to work again, no worries about your income, your boss or social pressure. We all want this lifestyle, were we sit around doing nothing all day, we all love to retire, what better place to retire in than the eternal bliss of Paradise!

9. No sickness:

Everybody hates getting sick, well if you make it to Paradise, you will never ever get sick again! So what are you waiting for, invest in this incredible medical aid plane that guarantees you eternal good health.

8. No aging:

Nobody likes getting old and wrinkled, once an old lady asked the prophet (peace be upon him) if she will enter Paradise, he replied that there are no old people in Paradise, she began to cry and he explained that is because in Paradise you will be young again forever! Who does not want to drink from a fountain of eternal youth, well Paradise is that fountain!

7. No fighting or ill-feelings:

Nothing spoils our days and lives more than fighting with others and harboring ill-feelings, well before entering Paradise, while on the bridge, all differences will be resolved and the people of Paradise will never feel anything towards each other again!

6. No Bad Guys:

thats right, all thugs, robbers, oppressors, etc are banned from Paradise until they are purified from their sins by burning in the Hellfire and eternally regretful, as for those who are pure evil, hellfire is their abode forever and they will never disturb the peace of Paradise! You want the best security system and to live in the safest country for your family, Paradise guarantees you all of that for eternity!

5. No rules or duties:

In Paradise, you don't have to do anything, as long as you live by the rules on earth, you are free in Paradise to do as you please. This means there is no salah, hijab, prohibitions or traffic fines in Paradise! So fire up your batmobiles becuase nobody will pull you over for bad driving and since you can't get hurt, you can race your batmobiles all over the place as fast as you want without worrying about knocking any old ladies!

4. A Kingdom beyond your wildest dreams!

It is narrated that the smallest property in Paradise which will belong to the worst sinner who will be the last man to crawl out of Hell and be entered into Paradise, will be ten times the size of this earth! Thats right, the smallest property in Paradise is ten times the size of this earth, that means if we work hard enough, we could gain properties as give as this galaxy! Mind you, that that is your own personal property in which you can do as you please. Tell me that you don't want that?

Did I mention that this huge property is full of rivers of pure milk, wine and honey, indescribably beautiful Palaces and whatever your heart desires! You know what to do, go repent and start working for it!

3. Whatever your heart desires and entertainment and beauty that nobody can even imagine!

Thats right, desire grilled prawns and chips, you will get it immediately, desire a fountain of chocolate, you will get it immediately! Desire a batmobile... :-) you get the picture, tell me you still not interested in Paradise?

You read the Hadith at the beginning, what more do you want! Even if you get everything you desire in Paradise, this is even cooler, because there are stuff there so awesome, fun and beautiful that it could not be described to us because our minds can't imagine it! In one narration of the Meraj, the prophet (peace be upon him) described the Lote-tree as having colors indescribable! That means even the colors there will be new and more beautiful than what we get on earth! Which crazy person, is not excited about getting all this!

2. Eternal life!

Forget about your philosopher's stones and fountains of eternal life, if you make it to Paradise you will have all of the above...forever! Never getting tired, never getting bored and according to some narrations, the pleasures just keep increasing and getting better! To me this, is the one thing I love most about paradise, living forever in luxury and enjoyment.

1. Seeing Allah and talking to Him:

It is reported that Allah will ask the people of Paradise, if they desire anything and they will reply what more can we want we got Paradise! Allah will then lift his veil and the people of Paradise will see Allah's face and it will be the most beautiful thing they ever saw and the happiest moment they ever experienced!

Thats right in Paradise, you will get not only get to meet and hang out with the prophets, companions, deceased relatives and righteous people of the past, but you will get meet Allah! Is that not reason enough to work for Paradise, and the higher your ranking, the more often you will meet Allah!

So you have to wear hijab for a few years on earth, grow a beard, pray five times a day, be good, etc, etc. So what, is not all of the above worth it! So next time, you feel it difficult to practice Islam, think about all of the above and realize Paradise and Allah's company is worth it!

Hope this motivated you as it motivated me! Please leave your comments and tell me what you love best about Paradise! May Allah guide us all and unite us with Him in Paradise!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Poem about the mother of the believers Ayesha

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

Our Mother Ayesha
By Abu Muawiyah Ismail Kamdar

Amr Ibn Al-Aas once asked the prophet (peace be upon him) who he loved the most in this world, the prophet (peace be upon him) replied, “Ayesha,” he then asked about the men and the prophet (peace be upon him) replied, “Her father,”

This song is dedicated to Ayesha, the daughter of Abu Bakr, our mother and one of the first women to benefit from the Islamic liberation. May Allah be pleased with her!

The prophet once had a dream
In which Ayesha’s face he had seen, behind a bridal screen
And so that day, he embraced his destiny
And the rest is now part of our beautiful history

She was young and keen, ready to learn and grow
As she grew, her wisdom and greatness would begin to show
She would become a great scholar who feared Allah
And she taught this Ummah the Quran and Sunnah

Oh Ayesha, my mother, May Allah be pleased with her
Oh Ayesha, our mother, we should all follow her
Oh Ayesha, our mother, a role model for us all
Oh Ayesha, our mother, a hero standing tall

She would face many tests but Allah was always would her
Like when the hypocrites launched a scandal against her
Her world seemed to crumbling down around her
But she knew that Allah would never desert her

She held tight to her faith in Allah
Until He revealed verses to defend her
Such is the honour bestowed upon Ayesha
Our mother, protected and defended by Allah

Oh Ayesha, my mother, May Allah be pleased with her
Oh Ayesha, our mother, we should all follow her
Oh Ayesha, our mother, a role model for us all
Oh Ayesha, our mother, a hero standing tall

When the prophet was passing away
It was in her house that he chose to stay
It was in her lap that he breathed his last
He is still buried there although so much time has past

She was the daughter of the first Caliph of Islam
And the wife of the greatest prophet of them all
She was given the title As-Siddiqah
And is honoured in the Kitabullah

Oh Ayesha, my mother, May Allah be pleased with her
Oh Ayesha, our mother, we should all follow her
Oh Ayesha, our mother, a role model for us all
Oh Ayesha, our mother, a hero standing tall

There came a time when she would face fitnah
Uthman had been killed and the murderers were not far
She decided to confront them leading a huge army
But through a misunderstanding, her army fought Ali

Yet showing the true spirit of Imaan and unity
They reconciled and signed a peace treaty
Ali was a real man and honoured his and our mother
And showed us how to behave as a true Muslim brother

Oh Ayesha, my mother, May Allah be pleased with her
Oh Ayesha, our mother, we should all follow her
Oh Ayesha, our mother, a role model for us all
Oh Ayesha, our mother, a hero standing tall

So many stories to tell about this great woman
In the days when other nations mistreated and oppressed women
She was racing, playing with her dolls and enjoying her youthful days
Yet at the same time learning and growing to become a leader in Allah’s way

What more can we say that has not been said before
She is known as Siddiqa, Humairah, and by many more
Her titles and names show her high status in our Deen for all to see
Just read how many Hadith she narrated for you and me

Sahabah would gather to learn from her everyday
For they recognized she had the knowledge to lead the way
So we owe it to her to study her history
And follow in her footsteps and join her legacy

Oh Ayesha, my mother, May Allah be pleased with her
Oh Ayesha, our mother, we should all follow her
Oh Ayesha, our mother, a role model for us all
Oh Ayesha, our mother, a hero standing tall

If God does not need our worship, why create us to worship Him?

As Salaamu Alaikum

Below is my response to a seeker of the truth, who asked me the following question:

"God does not need our worship, so why did He create us to worship Him? Why does He allow all the evil that happens on earth and why punish people when He already knows what they will do. Why create people if He is going to doom them to eternal Hell anyway?"

I hope my answer is satisfactory and I ask Allah to guide us all to what is best, please feel free to add on any more points that you feel can help:

Firstly, I would like to mention that that is a very good question and one that I myself thought about a lot. I also gauge from the question that you believe in God yet can not understand why He would do this to His creation, so I will try, with the Help of God, to answer as best as I can.

The first point we should realize is that God is beyond us in many ways, He has more knowledge and wisdom than we ever can, so this should humble as and make us realize there are many things God does which is beyond our understanding yet we need to trust His infinite wisdom which will reveal itself over time. So anytime, we do not understand something about God, it is because of our own lack of knowledge. The key is to ask and learn, which you did, May God bless you with guidance and understanding, yet know that not everything about God can be understood by us.

Regarding why did God create us, the simple answer of to worship Him still leaves many questions, some of which you have mentioned, and you are right, God does not need our worship, but we do. We are in need of God, and the only way to get His help and Mercy is to worship Him in the way that He has revealed through His prophets. We need God's worship so that we can gain peace of mind, knowing our purpose and living for it, so that we can gain nearness to Him, so that we can gain Paradise and escape the Hellfire.

That still leaves the question, why create humans and put them through this test and punish them if they fail? My question to you would be why not? God is the Creator, and Creating is what He does, just like painters paint and builders build, God creates and He decides what to create. If you had to paint a picture of an ugly man, the picture can not complain to you as to why you made him ugly, that was your chose and he is your painting, similarly we are God's creation and God tells us in the Quran, "He is not answerable to you, but you all are answerable to Him,"

The Creator did what He does best, He created. He created an amazing universe with amazing creatures, most amazing of them all He created the human being and gave it intellect and the ability to choose and to do both good and evil. But the Creator is also most Wise and knows that if He creates a being like a human, there has to be rules and punishments, if not humans will do what they want and chaos will reign. Just like we set rules in our countries, schools, and workplaces, and we set punishments for those who break the rules, yet nobody says it is unjust, rather we say it is unjust not to have punishments, the same applies to God on a higher level for God has more right to make rules for us and to punish us than other people since He created and owns us.

Imagine if God did not create the Hellfire and if He decided all humans would go to Paradise, what would be the use of me doing good, since the murderers, rapists, terrorists, etc would get the same reward as the doers of good? It would be unjust and illogical, and God is most just and most logical.

Imagine if He just placed us in paradise and Hell without testing us on earth first since He already knows our endings, the people in Hell would feel it is unjust to them, yet by letting us live our lives and giving us this chance, if anybody ends up in Hell, there will be no excuse he can make, that is the Wisdom and Justice of God.

In the end, we must realize that we do exist, God has already created us and placed us in this test, will we choose to submit (Islam) to Him and worship Him because we need to, or will we choose to rebel and face a punishment for being ungrateful to our Creator who gave us so much in this world and is offering us so much more in Paradise the Hereafter if we choose to worship Him.

Think about it but more importantly pray to God and ask Him to grant you the guidance and understanding you need and are searching for.

May God guide us all
Peace upon those who seek guidance