Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Society's Ills

Once there were two students walking along a river. One of them just so happened to glance over at something floating in the river. It did not take long for him to realize that it was a baby! Without hesitation he jumped into the river to save the infant from drowning. When he jumped in he realized that there were at least ten more in his immediate area, all of them screaming and crying as they bobbed by.
Quite naturally he started screaming to the other student. "Help! C'mon man! Get in here! Look at all of these babies! We gotta help 'em!" The other student, however, kept walking upstream, despite noticing a river full of babies, with more and more floating downstream.
For every one that the first student saved, eight passed him. There were just too many."C'mon man! Don't you have a heart?! I can't grab all of these babies alone!"
The second student replied, "I'm going upstream to find out who's throwing all of these babies in the river."
The point of this short story is to demonstrate the importance of going to the source of the problem to have a greater impact. Many people address each of society's social ailments as separate entities. Thus we find numerous organizations that target a specific poison; The solution to racism, spouse abuse, child abuse, crime, pollution, alcohol abuse, drug addiction, and other social ills is one.
Each problem does not require its own organizations and groups to eliminate it. The solutions for all of these is one. That one, is Islam.


Women have a very important place in Islamic society. Unlike a number of other religions, Islam holds a woman in high esteem. Her importance as a mother and a wife has been clearly stated by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

The Prophet said, "Paradise lies at the feet of your mothers". ONce a person aked the Prophet, "Who deserves the best care from me?" The Prophet replied, "Your mother (he repeated this three times), then your father and then your nearest relatives."

In his farewell speech at Arafah in the tenth year of Hijrah, the Prophet said, "Oh people, your wives have certain rights over you and you have certain rights over them. Treat them well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers."

The Prophet also said, "The best among you is the one who is best towards his wife."

These sayings clearly prove the important position given to women in Islam. But there are still people, especially in the West, who have misgivings about the status of women in Islam. To these people, the Muslim woman is seen almost as a "prisoner in the four walls of the house", a "non-person", and as someone who has no rights and is living always under the domination of man. These notions are totally wrong, and are based on ignorance rather than knowledge of Islam.

One of the rites of Hajj is a fast walk between As-Safa and Al-marwa, which is observed to remember the event of Hajirah, mother of Prophet Ismail, who ran between these two hills to find water, This is another proof of the importance given to women by Islam.

In order to judge these false ideas held by western people, it would be useful to survey the attitudes to women in different societies in the past.

During the Roman civilization, for example, a woman was regraded as a slave. The Greeks considered her a commodity to be bought and sold. Early Christianity regarded women as temttresses, responsible for the fall of Adam.

In India, the Hindus until recently considered their women worse than death, pests, serpents or even hell. A wife's life ended witht he death of ther husband. In the past, the widow had to jump into the flames of her husband's funeral pyre.

In the preIslamic state of Arabia, a woman was regarded as a cause for grief and unhappiness, and baby grisl were sometimes buried alive after birth.

In France in 587 CE, a meeting was held to study the status of women and to determine whether a woman could truly be considered a human being or not! Henry VIII in England forbade the reading of Bible by women, and throughout the middle ages, the Catholic Church treated women as second class citizens. In the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford, male and female students were not given the same rights until 1964. Before 1850, women were not counted as citizens in England, and English women had no personal rights until 1882.

If we keep this picture in mind and look into the position of the women in Islam, we must conclude that Islam liberated women from the dark age of obscurity, 1400 year ago!

Islam is a religion of common sense and is in line with thuman nature. It recognizes the realities of life. This does not mean it has recognised equality of man and woman in every respect. Rather, it has defined their duties in keeping with their different biological make up(2:228). Allah has not made man and woman identical, so it would be against nature to try to have total equality between a man and a woman.

It would destroy the social balance. Society would not prosper, but would instead have insoluble problems such as broken marriages, illegitimate children and the break-up of family life. These problems are already rife in the western society. Schoolgirl pregnancies, an increase in abortions, divorce and many other problems have cropped up because of a permissive outlook and so-called freedom of women.

adapted from: Islam Beliefs and Teachings by Gulam Sarwar

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sand and Stone

Two friends Ismail and Ibrahim were walking through the desert, as the sun was beating down on their heads, and they were thirsty for water they began to argue. The argument got more and more heated and eventually Ismail struck Ibrahim across the face. Ibrahim felt hurt inside, but without anything to say, he wrote in the sand: "Today, my best friend slapped me in the face."They kept on walking, until eventually they came across an oasis, where they decided to stop and bathe. Ibrahim jumped in and began to wash, while Ismail sat back and relaxed. Suddenly Ibrahim began to scream and shout, he had developed a cramp and was having difficulty keeping his head above water, he was drowning.Ismail dived in after him, and brought him gently to shore.When Ibrahim recovered from the shock, he scratched a message on a nearby stone:"Today, my best friend saved my life"Ismail who had saved and slapped his best friend Ibrahim, asked him, "Why, after I hurt you, you wrote in the sand, and now you write on a stone?"Ibrahim, smiled and replied:"When a friend hurts us, we should write his deeds in the sand, where the winds of forgiveness can blow it away, and when a friend does something good, we should engrave it in stone, where it shall remain for eternity.""Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the ignorant (i.e. don't punish them). If a suggestion from Satan assails your mind, seek refuge with Allah; for He heareth and knoweth (all things)" [surah al-A'raf, 7:199-200]


One day, a brilliantly beautiful and fragrant flower with attractive colors met a pearl that lives far in the bottom of the sea and has noneof these characteristics.Both got acquainted with each other.The flower said: "Our family is large; roses and daisies are members ofthe family. And there are many other species that are various and countless, each has a distinctive scent, appearance etc."Suddenly, a tinge of distress appeared on the flower."Nothing accounts for sorrow in your talk; so why are depressed?" The pearl asked."Human beings deal with us carelessly; they slight us. They don't growus for our sake but to get pleasure from our fragrance and beautifulappearance. They throw us on the street or in the garbage can after weare dispossessed of the most valuable properties; brilliance andfragrance" The flower sighed.And then the flower said to the pearl: "Speak to me about your life!How do you live? How do you feel it? You are buried in the bottom ofthe sea. "The pearl answered: "Although I have none of your distinctive colorsand sweet scents, humans think I am precious. They do the impossible toprocure me. They go on long journeys, dive deep in the seas searching for me. You might be astounded to know that the further I lay, the more beautiful and brilliant I become. That's what upraises my value in their thought. I live in a thick shell isolated in the dark seas.However, I'm happy and proud to be in a safe zone far from wanton and mischievous hands and still the humans consider me highly valuable"Do you know what the flower and the pearl symbolize?ThinkThinkYou will find that:The flower is the unveiled woman (who shows her charms) and the pearl is the veiled woman (who conceals her beauties) Think about it!

Most Superior Way of Asking Forgiveness

Narrated Shaddad bin Aus (ra) : The Prophet (saw) said, “The most superior way of asking for forgiveness from Allah is:
*Allahumma anta Rabbi, la ilaha illa Anta. Anta khalaqtani wa ana abduka, wa ana ‘ala ahdika wa wa’dika mastata’tu. A’udhu bika min sharri ma sana’tu, abu’u laka bini’matika ‘alaiya, wa abu’u laka bidhanbi faghfirli fa innahu la yaghfiru dhunuba illa Anta.”
The Prophet(saw) added: “If somebody recites it during the day with firm faith in it, and dies on the same day before the evening, he will be form the people of Paradise; and if somebody recites it at night with firm faith in it, and dies before the morning, he will be from the people of Paradise.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol. 8, Hadith No. 318)

O Allah, You are my Lord! None has the right to be worshipped but You. You created me and I am Your slave, and I am faithful to my covenant and my promise (to You) as much as I can. I seek refuge with You from all the evil I have done. I acknowledge before You all the blessings You have bestowed upon me, and I confess to You all my sins. So I entreat You to forgive me my sins, for nobody can forgive sins except You.
Go Forward Young Muslims

Inspirational story

Once Allah Ta’ala instructed Nabi Sulaiman (alayhis salaam) “Go to the sea shore. You will see a wonderful event.” Taking with him a group of jinn and people, Hadhrat Sulaiman (alyhis salaam) went to the sea. When he arrived at the seashore, he looked to the right, left and in all directions but did not see anything wonderful. Everything appeared normal. He then instructed an Ifreet to dive into the ocean, investigate and report back. (Ifreet is a designation for powerful and evil jinns. Such jinns were under the control of Nabi Sulaiman—alayhis salaam).The Ifreet dived into the ocean. After a while he emerged and said: “O Nabi of Allah! Inspite of going down as far as I could, I did not reach the bottom nor did I see anything extraordinary.”Sulaiman instructed another Ifreet to dive into the sea and report back with his findings. After some time he emerged and also stated his inability of discovering anything inspite of having gone down twice the depth of the first Ifreet. Sulaiman (alayhi salaam) then instructed Aasif Bin Barkhiya who was a powerful and a pious jinn, to enter the sea. Aasif Bin Barkhya was the Prime Minister of Hadhrat Sulaiman (alayhis salaam) and he is mentioned in the Qur’aan Majeed. In an exceptionally short period of time, Aasif emerged from the ocean with a white-domed building, which had four doors. The doors were of a variety of precious stones. Inspite of all four doors being open, there was not a drop of water inside the structure. Although the domed building was right at the bottom of the ocean at a depth, which both Ifreets could not reach, it was completely dry. When Hadhrat Sulaiman (alayhis salaam) looked inside, he was amazed to see an extremely handsome young man donning beautiful garments, engaged in Salaat. Hadhrat Sulaiman (alayhis salaam) entered and greeted the man. He asked the man:“What delivered you into the depths of the ocean? The man narrated his story as follows:“O Nabi of Allah! My father was lame in his legs and my mother was blind. I served them for seventy years. When my mother was about to die, she made the following dua: “O Allah! Increase the age of my son and grant him the taufeeq to spend his life in your ibaadat.” When my father was about to die, he made dua as follows: “O Allah! Take Your service from him in such a place to which no shaitaan can have access.”After burying my father I was walking along this seashore when I saw this domed structure. Its beauty enticed me inside. Immediately an angel arrived and delivered the building into the depths of the ocean.”Hadhrat Sulaiman (alayhis salaam) asked: “In what age did you come here?” the man replied: “During the age of Nabi Ibraahim Khalilullaah.” When he calculated the years. Nabi Sulaiman (alayhis salaam) determined it to be 2000 years. Inspite of this long period, the man was young, handsome and there was not a strand of whiteness in his hair. Sulaiman (alayhis salaam) asked: “What do you eat in this ocean?” the man replied: “O Nabi Allah! Daily a green bird comes with something the size of a man’s head I eat of it and taste in it the deliciousness of all things on earth. My hunger and thirst are satisfied by eating of it. Heat, cold, drowsiness, tiredness, fear, etc., all are eliminated by eating of it. Hadhrat Sulaiman (alayhis salaam) said: “Do you wish to accompany us or be returned to your place?” The man said: “Return me to my place.”Hadhrat Sulaiman (alaylis salaam) ordered Aasif Bin Barkhiya to return the man with the domed structure to his place at the bottom of the ocean. Thus, was he returned to his abode. Turning to the gathering, Hadhrat Sulaiman (alayhis salaam) said:“Look! How Allah has accepted the prayers of parents. May Allah have mercy on you. You refrain from fulfilling the rights of your parents. O Allah! Grant us the taufeeq to serve our parents.”

A Bowl of NoodlesContributed by: Pattamaporn Kittipanachol

That night, Sue had a quarrel with her mum and without bringing anything with her, she ran out of the house. While she was walking on the street, she discovered that she did not have any money on her, not even a cent to make a phone call. As she was walking along the street, she spotted a noodle stall, it smells so nice, how she longs for a bowl. But, she has no money.After awhile, the owner of the noodle stall seeing Sue standing in front of his stall for quite a long time, asked: 'Hey Miss, do you want a bowl of noodles?''But...but...I didn't bring any money with me...' she answered shyly.'It's alright, I'll give you a treat.' The noodle vendor said, 'Come have a seat, I'll cook you a bowl of noodles.'Not long after, the owner served Sue with a bowl of noodles and a plate of vegetables. Sue ate a few mouthfuls and she started to tear. 'What happened, young lady?' the owner asked.'Nothing, I'm just touched!' Sue said while drying her tears. 'Even a stranger I met on the street would offer to cook a bowl of noodles and treat me! But... my own mother, after a quarrel chased me out of the house and asked me not to go back again. You as a complete stranger could show me care and concern while my own mother...she's so cruel.' She said to the owner.The boss after hearing what Sue had said, replied with a sigh: 'Miss, how can you think that way? Ponder over this, I just cooked a bowl of noodles for you and you are so touched. Your mother had been cooking noodles and rice for you since you are young till now, why aren't you grateful to her? And you even quarrel with her?'Sue was stunned upon hearing that. 'Why didn't I think of that? A bowl of noodles from a stranger and I'm so grateful but yet my own mother had been cooking for me for so many years and I'm not even showing the least concern about her. And because of a trivial matter, I quarrelled with her.' She finishes her noodles swiftly and braces herself up and march towards the direction of home.As she was walking home, she thought to herself what she wants to tell her mum right now... 'Mum, I'm sorry, I know I'm at fault, please forgive me.'Once she reached the doorstep, she saw her tired and anxious mother, frantically searching everywhere for her. When she spotted Sue, the first sentence which came out of her mouth is: 'Sue, come into the house quickly, I've the dinner ready and it'll be cold if you don't eat it now.' Right at that moment, Sue was unable to hold back her tears anymore and started weeping in front of her mum.At times, we may be very grateful to other people around us for a little gesture they showed us, but to our close ones, especially our parents, it's a lifetime of gratefulness we have to remember.We should never forget what our parents had done for us but often we treat that as a natural process for them to sacrifice for us. However, parent's love and care are the most valuable gift given to us since we were born. They don't expect any repayment from us for raising us but think about it we treasure the unconditional sacrifice from our parents - and so we return to them their just dues.

The Quest For Allah's Mercy

It was narrated that in the days that Musa - alayhis salam - wandered with Bani Israaeel in the desert a grizzly drought befell them. Together, they all raised their hands towards the heavens praying for the blessed rain. Then, to the astonishment of Musa - alayhis salam - and all those watching, the few clouds that scattered the sky vanished, the heat scorched down, and the drought intensified.

It was revealed to Musa- alayhis salam - that there was a sinner amongst Bani Israaeel that had disobeyed Allah for more than 40 years of his life. “Let him separate himself from the congregation,” Allah told Musa- alayhis salam -. “Only then shall I shower you all with rain.”

Musa - alayhis salam - called out to the throngs of humanity, “There is a person amongst us who has disobeyed Allah for 40 years. Let him separate himself from the congregation and only then shall we be rescued from the drought.” That man, waited, looking left and right, hoping that someone else would step forward…but no one did. Sweat poured from his brow and he knew he was the one.

If he stayed amongst the congregation all would die of thirst; yet, if he stepped forward he would be humiliated for all eternity.

He raised his hands with sincerity he had never known before, with humility he had never tasted, tears poured on both cheeks, “O Allah, have mercy on me! O Allah, hide my sins! O Allah, forgive me!”

As Musa - alayhis salam - and Bani Israaeel awaited for the sinner to step forward, the clouds hugged the sky and the rain poured. Musa - alayhis salam - asked Allah Ta'ala, “O Allah, you blessed us with rain even though that sinner did not come forward.” And Allah Ta'ala replied, “O Musa, it is for the repentance of that very person that I blessed all of Bani Israaeel with water.”

Musa- alayhis salam - wanting to know who was this blessed man, asked, “Show him to me O Allah!” Allah Ta'ala replied, “O Musa, I hid his sins for 40 years. Do you think that after his repentance I shall expose him? ”

Prepared by Muhammad Alshareef

The Stolen Armour

Hazrat Ali (radiyallahu anhu) armour had gone missing. One day, while walking through the market place, he recognised his armour in the possession of a Jew. He went up to the Jew and said, “This is my armour.” The Jew retorted, “Bring witnesses to prove it. Alternatively file a law suit!”Hazrat Ali (radiyallahu anhu) proceeded to Qazi Shurayh and laid a charge of theft against the Jew. The case came before the Qazi. Both plaintiff and defendant presented themselves before the Qazi.Qazi Shurayh (rah), without being overawed by the presence of Ameerul Mu’mineen, Ali (radiyallahu anhu), seated himself with the stature that the occasion demanded. Calmly, without any trace of discomfort or panic, he commenced proceedings. He asked the Jew, “Does the armour belong to Hazrat Ali (radiyallahu anhu)?” The Jew flatly denied it.Thereupon the Qazi turned to Hazrat Ali (radiyallahu anhu) and calmly requested, “Bring your witnesses to support your claim.”Hazrat Ali (radiyallahu anhu) produced two witnesses. One was his son, Hazrat Husayn (radiyallahu anhu) and the other was his freed slave, whose name was Qambar. In his opinion, the evidence of these two was in accordance to Islamic law.However Qazi Shurayh (rah) addressed Hazrat Ali (radiyallahu anhu), Bring another witness in place of Hazrat Hasan (radiyallahu anhu). The evidence of your slave, seeing he was freed is accepted.” Hazrat Ali (radiyallahu anhu) replied, “I have no other witness.” Due to the lack of sufficient evidence – a second acceptable witness – Qazi Shurayh (rah) dismissed the case acting according to the Shariah and not according to his personal reliance on the truthfulness of Hazrat Ali (radiyallahu anhu).The Jew in the meantime was observing the entire proceeding with full attention. On leaving the courtroom, he watched intently to see the reaction of Hazrat Ali (radiyallahu anhu). There was not the slightest bit of annoyance on the face of Hazrat Ali (radiyallahu anhu). Not a word of displeasure regarding the verdict was uttered. The Jew, overcome by this sterling character addressed Hazrat Ali (radiyallahu anhu) thus:"The reality of the situation has become quite clear to me, your religion is certainly a true one, and your attitude is its effect on you.” The Jew continued, “ here, take it, the armour is yours! And I herewith proclaim that I bear witness, there is none worthy of worship besides Allah and Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam is his servant and messenger."Hazrat Ali (radiyallahu anhu) said, “I, in turn present this armour to you as gift!”The Jew remained in close association with until he became Shaheed (martyr) in a battle.

Mountain Story

"A son and his father were walking on the mountains.Suddenly, his son falls, hurts himself and screams: "AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!"To his surprise, he hears the voice repeating, somewhere in the mountain: "AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!"Curious, he yells: "Who are you?"He receives the answer: "Who are you?"And then he screams to the mountain: "I admire you!"The voice answers: "I admire you!"Angered at the response, he screams: "Coward!"He receives the answer: "Coward!"He looks to his father and asks: "What's going on?"The father smiles and says: "My son, pay attention."Again the man screams: "You are a champion!"The voice answers: "You are a champion!"The boy is surprised, but does not understand.Then the father explains: "People call this ECHO, but really this is LIFE.It gives you back everything you say or do.Our life is simply a reflection of our actions.If you want more love in the world, create more love in your heart.If you want more competence in your team, improve your competence.This relationship applies to everything, in all aspects of life;Life will give you back everything you have given to it."

The Handsome Man

Rasulullah (Sallalloho alaihe wasallam) said:When a man dies and his relatives are busy in funeral, there stands an extremely handsome man by his head. When the dead body is shrouded, that man gets in between the shroud and the chest of the deceased.When after the burial, the people return home, 2 angels, Munkar and Nakeer (names of two special Angels), come in the grave and try toseparate this handsome man so that they may be able to interrogate the dead man in privacy about his faith. But the handsome man says, "He is my companion, he is my friend. I will not leave him alone in any case. If you are appointed for interrogation, do your job. I cannot leave him until I get him admitted into Paradise".Thereafter he turns to his dead companion and says, "I am the Qura'an, which you used to read, sometimes in a loud voice and sometimes in a low voice. Do not worry. After the interrogation of Munkar and Naker, you will have no grief. When the interrogation is over, the handsome man arranges for him from Al-Mala'ul A'laa (the angels in Heaven) a silk bedding filled with musk.Rasulullah (Sallalloho alaihe wasallam) said: "On the Day of Judgement, before Allah, no other intercessor will have a greater status than the Qura'an, neither a Prophet nor an angel.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


The track of history changed its course when, by grace of Allah, a group of young Muslims emerged and walked on this earth declaring the greatness of Allah (swt). They believed in Allah’s Messenger (saaw) and pursued the establishment of the State and they stood as the Da'wah carriers. Young Muslims they were, yet they made indelible marks in the history of mankind never to be forgotten. These history makers, these group of young Muslims, they were:

1. ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (8 years old)
2. Zubayr ibn al-’Awwam (8 years old)
3. Talhah ibn ‘Ubaydullah (11 years old)
4. Al-Arqam ibn Abi al-Arqam (12 years old)
5. ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (14 years old)
6. Sa’id ibn Zayd (under twenty)
7. Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas (17 years old)
8. Sa’ud ibn Rabi’ah (17 years old)
9. Ja’far ibn Abi Talib (18 years old)
10. Suhayb al-Rumi (under twenty)
11. Zayd ibn Harithah (about twenty)
12. ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan (about twenty)
13. Tulayb ibn ‘Umayr (about twenty)
14. Khabbab ibn al-Arrat (about twenty)
15. ‘Amir ibn Fuhayrah (23 years old)
16. Mus’ab ibn ‘Umayr (24 years old)
17. Al-Miqdad ibn al-Aswad (24 years old)
18. ‘Abdullah ibn Jahsh (25 years old)
19. ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (26 years old)
20. Abu Ubaydah ibn al-Jarrah (27 years old)
21. ‘Utbah ibn Ghazwan (27 years old)
22. Abu Hudhayfah ibn ‘Utbah (30 years old)
23. Bilal ibn Rabah (about 30 years old)
24. ‘Ayyash ibn Rabi’ah (about 30 years old)
25. ‘Amir ibn Rabi’ah (about 30)
26. Na’im ibn ‘Abdullah (about 30)
27. ‘Uthman (30 years old), and
28. ‘Abdullah (17 years old), and
29. Qudamah (19 years old), and
30. Al-Saib (about 20, all four being sonsof Maz’un ibn Habib)
31. Abu Salamah ‘Abdullah ibn‘Abd al-Asad al-Makhzumi (about 30)
32. ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn ‘Auf (about 30)
33. ‘Ammar ibn Yasir (between 30 and 40)
34. Abu Bakr al-Siddiq (37 years old)
35. Hamzah ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib (42 years old)
36. ‘Ubaydah ibn al-Harith (50 years old)

Let there spring from among us--the youth of today-- once again, that SAME GROUP OF YOUNG MUSLIMS!!!