Saturday, December 24, 2011

Tips for Raising Muslim Children

As Salaam Alaikum

The following is a collection of status updates from my Facebook page dealing with raising Muslim children:

1. Too many parents don't prepare beforehand to raise their children. They learn on the job and this is very dangerous as you only learn your method is wrong after you see the result on a child! Before having children, young couples should read as many books as possible on raising Islamic children and work out a plan and goals for raising them. This will save us from many mistakes.

2. The first step to raising righteous children is to choose the correct spouse. If you and your spouse have different lifestyles and one wants to raise righteous children and the other does not, then this will cause much unnecessary confusion for the children and drama for the family. When getting married, don't just look for the right spouse, look for the right parent for your future children!

3. Don't think your children are too young to learn about Islam, even when you are pregnant, recite and listen to a lot of Quran as the fetus develops hearing at a very early stage. Sing to your babies Islamic songs, recite Quran to them, teach them basic forms of Dhikrs, etc.

Always attribute all good things to Allah and all bad things to Shaytaan's influence when talking to your kids. Don't wait till they are four or five to start. Do this from the time they are born.

4. Do not prevent your children and youngsters from having fun but create an environment and teach them the principles through which they can have fun in a Halal manner.

5. Parents should never forget that their children are human, just like them. Instead of expecting your kids to be perfect and sinless, deal with their mistakes realistically and calmly and help them become better Muslims in the same manner that you would like people to help and correct you

6. Do you have good friends who your children can look up to? If not, then don't expect them to choose good friends. Remember the people you associate with have an impact on your child's development.

7. Every child deserves to be embraced and loved. A child should never be regarded as an accident, mistake or unwanted pregnancy. If you are practicing contraception but still fall pregnant then do not treat that child as unwanted or a mistake but embrace him as a gift from Allah because Allah knows what is best for us

8. One of their best gifts you can give your kids are parents who love each other.

9. Parenting requires sacrifice. If you are not ready to give up a full nights sleep, going out when you want for how long you want and a few personal hobbies; in order to make time for your kids then you are not ready to be a parent. The early years of parenting require some major changes to one's lifestyle but they are long term investments and completely worth it.

10. Teach your children that when they attain puberty, they become adults responsible to Allah for their actions and inshaa Allah you might not have to ever deal with teenagers!

Will update with more later, inshaa Allah

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Importance of Tolerance in Fiqh Issues

As Salaam Alaikum Wa Rahamtullah Wa Barakatuhu

It has been a while since I last updated this blog, inshaa Allah I will be updating it often over the next few months with a new series of articles aimed at giving guidelines to confused Muslims on seeking the truth.

Until then, here is one of my new videos on the importance of having tolerance in dealing with Fiqh issues, Enjoy:

This video is uploaded on my YouTube Channel which I hope you all with subscribe to, plan to update that regularly too, inshaa Allah.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

God and You: What is Your Relationship? - Video

As Salaam Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah

On 3 July 2011, I had the honor of being the guest speaker along with brother Mansoor Danish (IIF - Kolkata) at the God and You event in Bangalore, India.

Here is the link to the videos of this event:

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Enjoy. :D

Monday, May 9, 2011

Would you follow this man?

Consider the following:

A very pious and learned man with an international following moves into your area. He is known to be trustworthy, even by his enemies and is focused on calling the world to worship Allah alone. This man also has a big beard and multiple wives, some of his wives are much younger than him and all of his wives wear the niqab. My question is, "Would you follow this man?"

If your answer is no, then you are in a serious problem spiritually as the man I just described was the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). This is a question I have been pondering over a lot lately, "If the prophet (peace be upon him) was alive today, how many Muslims would really love and follow him?"

If you have ever insulted a man for growing a beard, what would you tell the prophets of Allah, all of whom grew beards and encouraged it?

If you ever insulted a woman for wearing the Niqab, what would you tell the mothers of the believers, all of whom were veiled?

If you were called a Muslim man with multiple wives a womanizer, what would call the prophet (peace be upon him) who had a total of eleven wives during his lifetime?

Remember when you insult the beard, the niqab, polygamy or any other Sunnah, you are not insulting an individual, you are insulting the prophet (peace be upon him) and the religion he came with, which according to many scholars is an act of Kufr that can take one out of the fold of Islam!

If any of the above applies to you, it is time to re-evaluate your understanding of Islam, knowledge of the Seerah and love for the Messenger and his Sunnah. I will conclude with the words of the Allah:

"It is not befitting for a believing man or woman, if Allah or his messenger had decreed something, that they have any option in their matter, and whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger has clearly gone astray," (Surah Al-Ahzab 33:36)

"If you ask them, they will say we were just joking and playing. Say to them: Is it Allah, His Signs and His Messenger that you are mocking? Do not make any excuses, you have disbelieved after having faith. If I forgive some of you, I will punish others among you because they are evil," (Surah Tawbah 9:65-66)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

IOU, Deen Class and Muslim Matters

As Salaam Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah

It has been a long time since I blogged here and there are many reasons for this.

When I first started blogging, I was going through a tough year and needed an outlet for my thoughts which I wanted to share with the world. Alhamdulillah, my blog posts got a lot of attention and I soon found myself an Associate writer for my favorite blog, Muslim Matters.

Fast Forward two years, and now I am involved 24/7 in Islamic work. Between teaching for Deen Class and the Islamic Online University, I also often get called to speak on the local Muslim Radio Station, teach private classes, studying and have a growing family to care for.

As they say, life goes on and I found myself blogging less often. This does not mean I do not blog anymore, however since Muslim Matters reaches a wider audience I decided to give priority to posting my articles there.

So inshaa Allah, if you are looking for my latest articles, you will find most of them at Muslim Matters under my profile. I will only be using my blog to announce events or write more personal notes.

So switch over to Muslim Matters or sign up with IOU if you want to hear from me more often. :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Importance of Context

A few months ago, I read a story which did not seem to make any sense. In a book about the greatness of the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), in a chapter about his playfulness, I read the following story:

The prophet (peace be upon him) ordered Sad to shoot a disbeliever with an arrow. When he shot him, the disbeliever fell over and his private parts became exposed. The prophet (peace be upon him) laughed till his molars were exposed.

This story did not make any sense, I will not lie that it worried me. In what was a really good book, this one story stuck out as the only story that did not make sense and could easily be used by Islamaphobes to make the Prophet (peace be upon him) look bad.

Anyway I completed the book and continued doing what I always do after that, read another book. So now I am reading Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtoom (The Sealed Nectar) and today while reading about the Battle of Uhud, I came across the same story in its proper context and it made perfect sense, here is full story in my own words:

During the Aftermath of the battle of Uhud, a female companion Umm Aiman was walking around the battefield giving the wounded water to drink. Hibban Bin Al-Arqah saw her and shot an arrow at her. The arrow hit her, she fell over and her Awrah become exposed. Hibban started laughing at her and the prophet (peace be upon him) became very angry.

He gave Sa'd Ibn Abi Waqqas and arrow without an arrowhead and told him to shoot Hibban. Sa'd did so and Hibban fell over and his awrah became exposed. The prophet (peace be upon him) laughed and said, "Sa'd has avenged her, may Allah always respond to his supplications,"
(See Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtoom, p: 330)

So this is the full story. The half-story made it seem like the prophet (peace be upon him) had a man executed and laughed at the man's embarassment when his private area became exposed. Yet the full story was about defending the honour of a women, a brave woman who was unjustly shot, exposed and mocked at and the prophet (peace be upon him) could not tolerate a Muslim woman being treated so badly.

So this was a very good story about the honour and respect that Islam gives to women, yet a half told version of it can be easily misunderstood.

We need to realize that there are people out there looking for faults in the prophet (peace be upon him) and will misinterpret any story to make him look bad. While we can't please these people and there will always be issues they make up and misinterpret, at least we should be careful to not give them extra ammunition.

When stories are mistranslated, half told or quoted out of context, they can be very easily misunderstood and misinterpret. We need to be very careful in making sure that whenever we narrate a story, we convey it properly leaving no room for misinterpretations.

I just wanted to present this as an example of what happens when we half-quote a story out of context, and how different the story can sound.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Benefits of Studying the BAIS with IOU

1. It provides a non-sectarian, authentic, Qur'aan- and Sunnah-based understanding of Islamic teachings.

2. It clears up the many misconceptions which have led some Muslims to espouse extreme views promoting violence and terrorism.

3. It provides those working in various professions an Islamic perspective from which to practice their professions while maintaining Islamic values and boundaries.

4. It empowers Muslim women who rarely have the opportunity to study the religion in depth and to address the contemporary, contentious gender-related issues.

5. It facilitates easy access to Islamic knowledge, as all of the courses are taught in the English medium with the exception of Arabic.

6. It offers a structured course for the study of Arabic, enabling students to master the basics of the Arabic language and preparing them to be efficient translators in the future.

7. It focuses on a well-rounded program of study by integration of contemporary subjects, such as management, economics, psychology, educational methodology, etc., all taught from a comparative perspective.

8. It is geared toward producing upright, productive citizens through its focus on ethical teachings of Islam in all spheres of life.

9. It promotes religious tolerance among its students and graduates by introducing them to the historical foundations of multicultural societies which Muslims established around the world like those in Spain, Baghdad, Cairo, Palestine, etc.

10. It develops multi-disciplined Imaams for working in English speaking countries where Islam is currently spreading at the fastest rate.

11. It properly prepares Islamic Studies Teachers for the recent trend towards establishing of modern Islamic international schools in both Muslim and non-Muslim countries.

12. It trains women to guide, teach and raise the next generation Islamically in order to provide a solid foundation for the global Islamic awakening currently in progress.

13. It prepares students adequately for further studies in Islamic disciplines on the MA and PhD levels.

14. It produces effective Muslim missionaries capable of conveying the message of Islam in the contemporary context.

15. It graduates highly qualified Islamic researchers for Islamic organizations, institutions and research centers.

So what are you waiting for, sign up at now!