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Archive for November, 2009

Nouman Ali Khan: The Legacy of Prophet Ibrahim

November 29th, 2009 No comments
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Dua 1 – Right after Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) gives Ibrahim (alayhis salaam) the glad tidings that he is a friend of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), the first thing that Ibrahim asks is, “What about the future generations after me?” This is the mindset of a genius. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) said, “Nay, My guarantee does not extend to wrongdoers.”

Dua 2 – Ibrahim (alayhis salaam) does not give up and makes a dua that “Oh Allah, make this city peaceful, and provide its children from all types of provision”. In English literature, this would be known as peace and prosperity, and in political science, one learns that the first thing needed for a functioning society is law and order, which is essentially peace. But even in a peaceful society, jobs are also needed, so a society actually needs both peace and prosperity. Ibrahim (alayhis salaam) then adds a disclaimer, “Only provide for the children of mine who believe in Allah and the Last Day”. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) then says, “I will also provide some for those who do not believe, and then will drag him into the punishment of the Fire.”

Dua 3 – Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) countered his dua twice, but Ibrahim (alayhis salaam) does not give up and makes another Dua (while building the Ka’bah with his son), “Our Lord, accept from us”. In this Dua, Ibrahim (alaihis salaam) made Dua not only for himself, but included his children as well.

Dua 4 – Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) did not respond, which means the Dua was answered. So Ibrahim (alayhis salaam) continued, “And make us in complete submission before you. And out of our children, guarantee that some of them will only submit to You. And for those who are in submission to You, please teach us our rituals. And accept our Taubah (the fact that he is asking Taubah is showing his humility in the case he might have done something wrong).”

Dua 4 – The Dua continues as Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) remained silent as the Duas were being answered, “Appoint from our future generations a messenger from among them.” This was genius because an outsider is looked on as less relevant and cannot be the people’s leader. “A messenger, who will read onto them their miraculous signs, and will teach them their book and wisdom, cleanse and purify them.” The advent of the Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wa sallam) was the response to this Dua.

The mentioned passage of verses are all concerned with parenthood. This is the concern of a father who thinks ahead. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) finished talking about Ibrahim (alayhis salaam) with, “We had selected him in this world and in the Hereafter. Truly, he is from the righteous.”

The Ayah after this talks about Yaqub (alayhis salaam) and his advice to his children; instead of “Do not get less than a 90 in Math”, it was “Do not die except as Muslims.” Furthermore, the fact that it was Yaqub (alayhis salaam) that is in this Ayah shows that the Dua was not only answered for the progeny of Ismaeel (alayhis salaam), but the progeny of Ishaq (alayhis salaam). Yaqub, on his deathbed, says to his children, “What are you going to worship after I am gone?” The children answered, “We will worship your God, and the God of your fathers, Ibrahim, Ismaeel, and Ishaq, and we are Muslims completely to him.”

Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) finishes the passage by saying, “That’s a nation that was already gone. That group earned what they earned. And you will get what you earn and will not be interrogated for what they did.”

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Categories: Nouman Ali Khan Tags:

The Hidden Story of Jesus

November 29th, 2009 No comments
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7956238808750388174

The Hidden Story of Jesus
1:40:53 – 1 year ago
Aired: December 25, 2007 on Channel 4 Duration: 1:40:53
Info: Theologian Dr Robert Beckford investigates amazing parallels to the Christ story in other faiths, some of them predating Christianity by thousands of years. The Hindu god, Krishna, was conceived by a virgin and his birth was attended by angels, wise men and shepherds. Buddha was also the result of a miraculous birth and visited by wise men bearing gifts. Beckford attempts to unravel the mystery of why there are so many versions of the Christ story across the world and asks which is the real one.

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Abdul Aziz Ahmed Fredericks – How to Call People To Islam

November 26th, 2009 No comments
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Mulla Nasruddin: The Older Wife

November 26th, 2009 No comments

oil175_2005a

Mulla Nasruddin had two wives, one much older than the other.

“Which of us do you love the most?” asked the older wife one day.

“I love you both the same,” answered Nasreddin, wisely.

Not satisfied with this answer, the older wife continued, “If the two of us wives fell out of a boat, which one of us would you rescue first?”

“Well,” replied Nasreddin, “you can swim a little, can’t you?”

Categories: General, Tales of Wisdom Tags:

abdurrahman Önül – veysel karani

November 25th, 2009 4 comments
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Veysel Karani (Uwaysal Qarani) by Yunus Emre

performed by abdurrahman Önül

Urum’da Acem’de a,sïk oldugum
Yemen ellerinde Veysel Karani
Allah’ïn habibi dostum dedigim
Yemen ellerinde Veysel Karani

In Byzantium, in Persia, I have been a wandering minstrel of love.
In the land of Yemen——Uways al-Qarani.
I have said, the beloved of Allah is my friend.
In the land of Yemen——Uways al-Qarani.

Anasïndan destur aldï durmadï
Kabe yollarïnï geçti boyladï
Geldi ol Resul’u evde bulmadï
Yemen ellerinde Veysel Karani

He took permission from his mother; he felt bound to do so.
He traversed the roads going to the Ka`bah.
He came to the Prophet’s house, but didn’t find him there.
In the land of Yemen——Uways al-Qarani.

Peygamber mescitten evine geldi
Veys’in nurunu kapïda gördü
Sordu Fatima’ya “eve kim geldi”
Yemen ellerinde Veysel Karani

The Prophet came home from the mosque;
He saw Uways’s light at the door.
He asked Fatimah, “Who came to the house?”
In the land of Yemen——Uways al-Qarani.

Yunus eydür “gelin biz de varalïm”
Ayagï tozuna yüzler sürelim
Hak nasib eylesin kom,su olalïm
Yemen ellerinde Veysel Karani

Come now, Yunus, and let’s be there!
Let’s rub the dust of his feet on our faces.
May God give us the good fortune to be his neighbors.
In the land of Yemen——Uways al-Qarani.

(The story goes that Uways al-Qarani embraced Islam in Yemen, and greatly desired to travel to Medina to meet Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. But his old blind mother wanted him to stay home and take care of her. She gave him permission to go on the condition that as soon as he got to the Prophet’s house, he would return home immediately. As the song tells, the Prophet happened to be out when he reached there. But Uways was obedient to the promise he’d made to his mother, so he never did get to meet the Prophet. For his love for the Prophet and his filial piety, he was raised to the same spiritual station as the Sahabah, the Prophet’s Companions. The concept is that he received his initiation into sainthood in a purely spiritual way, without a face-to-face meeting. Muhammed (s.a.w) requested Omar (may Allah be pleased with him) to give his present his cloak to Uways al Qarani.

Read more…

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Surah Ya-Sin: The heart of the Quran

November 23rd, 2009 No comments
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Not my problem!

November 23rd, 2009 No comments

jug farm

A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package. What food might this contain?’ The mouse wondered . He was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap.

Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning:

There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!’

The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, ‘Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it.’

The mouse turned to the goat and told him, ‘There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!’ The pig sympathized, but said, I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers.’

The mouse turned to the cow and said ‘There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!’ The cow said, ‘Wow, Mr. Mouse. I’m sorry for you, but it’s no skin off my nose.’

So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer’s mousetrap . . . alone.

That very night a sound was heard throughout the house — like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey.

The farmer’s wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it was a venomous snake whose tail was caught by the trap. The snake bit the farmer’s wife.

The farmer rushed her to the hospital, and she returned home with a fever.

Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup’s main ingredient.

But his wife’s sickness continued, so friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock.

To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig.

The farmer’s wife did not get well; she died.

So many people came for her funeral, the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them.

The mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness.

So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and think it doesn’t concern you, remember —-when one of us is threatened, we are all at risk.

We are all involved in this journey called life. We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage one another.

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The Virtues of The First 10 Days of Dhul-Hijjah // Imam Zaid Shakir

November 20th, 2009 No comments
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Mohammad’s Sword

November 19th, 2009 1 comment

(78)

An insightful article … read on.

by Uri Avnery

September 27, 2006

Since the days when Roman Emperors threw Christians to the lions, the relations between the emperors and the heads of the church have undergone many changes.

Constantine the Great, who became Emperor in the year 306–exactly 1700 years ago–encouraged the practice of Christianity in the empire, which included Palestine . Centuries later, the church split into an Eastern (Orthodox) and a Western (Catholic) part. In the West, the Bishop of Rome, who acquired the title of Pope, demanded that the Emperor accept his superiority.

The struggle between the Emperors and the Popes played a central role in European history and divided the peoples. It knew ups and downs. Some Emperors dismissed or expelled a Pope, some Popes dismissed or excommunicated an Emperor. One of the Emperors, Henry IV, “walked to Canossa ,” standing for three days barefoot in the snow in front of the Pope’s castle, until the Pope deigned to annul his excommunication.

But there were times when Emperors and Popes lived in peace with each other. We are witnessing such a period today. Between the present Pope, Benedict XVI, and the present Emperor, George Bush II, there exists a wonderful harmony. Last week’s speech by the Pope, which aroused a world-wide storm, went well with Bush’s crusade against “Islamofascism,” in the context of the “Clash of Civilizations.”

IN HIS lecture at a German university, the 265th Pope described what he sees as a huge difference between Christianity and Islam: while Christianity is based on reason, Islam denies it. While Christians see the logic of God’s actions, Muslims deny that there is any such logic in the actions of Allah.

As a Jewish atheist, I do not intend to enter the fray of this debate. It is much beyond my humble abilities to understand the logic of the Pope. But I cannot overlook one passage, which concerns me too, as an Israeli living near the fault-line of this “war of civilizations.”

In order to prove the lack of reason in Islam, the Pope asserts that the prophet Muhammad ordered his followers to spread their religion by the sword. According to the Pope, that is unreasonable, because faith is born of the soul, not of the body. How can the sword influence the soul?

To support his case, the Pope quoted–of all people–a Byzantine Emperor, who belonged, of course, to the competing Eastern Church. At the end of the 14th Century, the Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus told of a debate he had–or so he said (its occurrence is in doubt)–with an unnamed Persian Muslim scholar. In the heat of the argument, the Emperor (according to himself) flung the following words at his adversary:

“Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”

These words give rise to three questions: (a) Why did the Emperor say them? (b) Are they true? (c) Why did the present Pope quote them?

WHEN MANUEL II wrote his treatise, he was the head of a dying empire. He assumed power in 1391, when only a few provinces of the once illustrious empire remained. These, too, were already under Turkish threat.

At that point in time, the Ottoman Turks had reached the banks of the Danube . They had conquered Bulgaria and the north of Greece , and had twice defeated relieving armies sent by Europe to save the Eastern Empire . OnMay 29, 1453 , only a few years after Manuel’s death, his capital, Constantinople (the present Istanbul ) fell to the Turks, putting an end to the Empire that had lasted for more than a thousand years.

During his reign, Manuel made the rounds of the capitals of Europe in an attempt to drum up support. He promised to reunite the church. There is no doubt that he wrote his religious treatise in order to incite the Christian countries against the Turks and convince them to start a new crusade. The aim was practical, theology was serving politics.

In this sense, the quote serves exactly the requirements of the present Emperor, George Bush II. He, too, wants to unite the Christian world against the mainly Muslim “Axis of Evil.” Moreover, the Turks are again knocking on the doors of Europe , this time peacefully. It is well known that the Pope supports the forces that object to the entry of Turkey into the European Union.

IS THERE any truth in Manuel’s argument?

The pope himself threw in a word of caution. As a serious and renowned theologian, he could not afford to falsify written texts. Therefore, he admitted that the Qur’an specifically forbade the spreading of the faith by force. He quoted the second Sura, verse 256 (strangely fallible, for a pope, he meant verse 257) which says: “There must be no coercion in matters of faith.”

How can one ignore such an unequivocal statement? The Pope simply argues that this commandment was laid down by the prophet when he was at the beginning of his career, still weak and powerless, but that later on he ordered the use of the sword in the service of the faith. Such an order does not exist in the Qur’an. True, Muhammad called for the use of the sword in his war against opposing tribes–Christian, Jewish and others–inArabia , when he was building his state. But that was a political act, not a religious one; basically a fight for territory, not for the spreading of the faith.

Jesus said: “You will recognize them by their fruits.” The treatment of other religions by Islam must be judged by a simple test: How did the Muslim rulers behave for more than a thousand years, when they had the power to “spread the faith by the sword”?

Well, they just did not.

For many centuries, the Muslims ruled Greece . Did the Greeks become Muslims? Did anyone even try to Islamize them? On the contrary, Christian Greeks held the highest positions in the Ottoman administration. The Bulgarians, Serbs, Romanians, Hungarians and other European nations lived at one time or another under Ottoman rule and clung to their Christian faith. Nobody compelled them to become Muslims and all of them remained devoutly Christian.

True, the Albanians did convert to Islam, and so did the Bosniaks. But nobody argues that they did this under duress. They adopted Islam in order to become favorites of the government and enjoy the fruits.

In 1099, the Crusaders conquered Jerusalem and massacred its Muslim and Jewish inhabitants indiscriminately, in the name of the gentle Jesus. At that time, 400 years into the occupation of Palestine by the Muslims, Christians were still the majority in the country. Throughout this long period, no effort was made to impose Islam on them. Only after the expulsion of the Crusaders from the country, did the majority of the inhabitants start to adopt the Arabic language and the Muslim faith–and they were the forefathers of most of today’s Palestinians.

THERE IS no evidence whatsoever of any attempt to impose Islam on the Jews. As is well known, under Muslim rule the Jews of Spain enjoyed a bloom the like of which the Jews did not enjoy anywhere else until almost our time. Poets like Yehuda Halevy wrote in Arabic, as did the great Maimonides. In Muslim Spain, Jews were ministers, poets, scientists. In Muslim Toledo, Christian, Jewish and Muslim scholars worked together and translated the ancient Greek philosophical and scientific texts. That was, indeed, the Golden Age. How would this have been possible, had the Prophet decreed the “spreading of the faith by the sword”?

What happened afterwards is even more telling. When the Catholics re-conquered Spain from the Muslims, they instituted a reign of religious terror. The Jews and the Muslims were presented with a cruel choice: to become Christians, to be massacred or to leave. And where did the hundreds of thousand of Jews, who refused to abandon their faith, escape? Almost all of them were received with open arms in the Muslim countries. The Sephardi (“Spanish”) Jews settled all over the Muslim world, from Morocco in the west to Iraq in the east, fromBulgaria (then part of the Ottoman Empire ) in the north to Sudan in the south. Nowhere were they persecuted. They knew nothing like the tortures of the Inquisition, the flames of the auto-da-fe, the pogroms, the terrible mass-expulsions that took place in almost all Christian countries, up to the Holocaust.

WHY? Because Islam expressly prohibited any persecution of the “peoples of the book.” In Islamic society, a special place was reserved for Jews and Christians. They did not enjoy completely equal rights, but almost. They had to pay a special poll-tax, but were exempted from military service–a trade-off that was quite welcome to many Jews. It has been said that Muslim rulers frowned upon any attempt to convert Jews to Islam even by gentle persuasion–because it entailed the loss of taxes.

Every honest Jew who knows the history of his people cannot but feel a deep sense of gratitude to Islam, which has protected the Jews for 50 generations, while the Christian world persecuted the Jews and tried many times “by the sword” to get them to abandon their faith.

THE STORY about “spreading the faith by the sword” is an evil legend, one of the myths that grew up in Europeduring the great wars against the Muslims–the reconquista of Spain by the Christians, the Crusades and the repulsion of the Turks, who almost conquered Vienna. I suspect that the German Pope, too, honestly believes in these fables. That means that the leader of the Catholic world, who is a Christian theologian in his own right, did not make the effort to study the history of other religions.

Why did he utter these words in public? And why now?

There is no escape from viewing them against the background of the new Crusade of Bush and his evangelist supporters, with his slogans of “Islamofascism” and the “Global War on Terrorism”–when “terrorism” has become a synonym for Muslims. For Bush’s handlers, this is a cynical attempt to justify the domination of the world’s oil resources. Not for the first time in history, a religious robe is spread to cover the nakedness of economic interests; not for the first time, a robbers’ expedition becomes a Crusade. The speech of the Pope blends into this effort. Who can foretell the dire consequences?

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What are the First Ten Days of Dhu’l-Hijjah?

November 17th, 2009 1 comment

bismillah

With the onset of the 12th and final month in the Islamic Calender, Dhu’l-Hijjah, we have the most blessed days of the year (with the last 10 nights of Ramadhān being the most blessed nights) as taken from various narrations.

To understand this, we must appreciate that from the immense mercy of Allah ‘azza wa jall, is His giving us specific extra opportunities during our lives to really take advantage and grab the chance to please Him and worship Him even more, thanking Him for his countless bounties and grace.

When we’re told that a single prayer in the Haram in Makkah is equal to 100,000 prayers, we don’t stand around and ask why! We get on with it! That’s because we all appreciate what a great opportunity it is to seize the moment.

Likewise Allah jalla wa ‘alā gives up special times and places and occasions to use in a similar way i.e. the Day of Nahr (i.e. the Day of Hajj on the 10th of Dhu’l-Hijjah), the Day of ‘Arafah, the Month of Ramadhān, the Hour of acceptance before Maghrib on the Day of Jumu‘ah, the time beween the Adhān and Iqāmah etc.

Likewise we have certain places too, such as the two sacred Mosques of Makkah and Madīnah, Masjid al-Aqsā, the Rawdha of the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), the Black Stone, the Multazam, the plain of ‘Arafah, the Masjid of Khaif, etc.

All these times and places are there to make use of just like these ten days and when we have the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) informing us in Sahīh al-Bukhāri that,

“There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days”

…then we’d be mad not to act!

What to do in these Ten Days

In no particular order:

1. Fast – every one of these days if possible and if not then especially the 9th of Dhu’l-Hijjah for those back in their homes. And why are you fasting this day of ‘Arafah? Because the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“Fasting the day of ‘Arafah: I hope Allah will expiate thereby for the year before it and the year after it.” (Muslim)

Now that’s what you call a good reason.

2. Make a Sacrifice on behalf of yourself and your dependents. Do it locally if possible so as to share in the meat but if this is not possible, there are plenty of charities (such as Interpal and Human Appeal) that will do it for you in needy areas. Remember, no cutting of your hair or your nails during this period of time until after the sacrifice has been done i.e. after ‘Eed day.

And if you’re a ’stud’ who likes to prepare himself for ‘Eed – well, you should have of thought of that one beforehand… ;-)

3. Make as much Dhikr as you can; this includes reading the Qur’ān of course, sending salawāt upon our beloved Messenger (‘alayhi’l-salātu w’l-salām) and as the Salaf used to do: much Takbīr, Alhamdulillāh, Subhānallāh and Lā ilāha Illallāh as possible.

4. Reflect. Yes, think for a little while and reflect upon your year so far. Reflect how quickly the time has passed by between the last Hajj and this Hajj. Reflect whether you’ve improved since Ramadhān, whether you have benefited yourself and others.

5. After that, I’m sure like me you’ll realise that we can do much better and we’ve probably underachieved big time. So it’s seeking Forgiveness and Repentance time. And Du‘ā time! Use the day, use the nights, increase in extra prayers, increase in charity to wipe the slates clean, and increase all your happy good actions because remember folks, Allah jalla wa ‘alā says:

وَأَقِمِ الصَّلاةَ طَرَفَيِ النَّهَارِ وَزُلَفًا مِنَ اللَّيْلِ إِنَّ الْحَسَنَاتِ يُذْهِبْنَ السَّيِّئَاتِ ذَلِكَ ذِكْرَى لِلذَّاكِرِينَ

“Establish Prayer at each end of the day and in the first part of the Night. Good actions eradicate bad actions. This is a reminder for a people who pay heed.” (al-Hood, 114)

May Allah accept our good deeds and make it easy for us, Amīn!

What Happens Next?

Then it’s ‘Eed! And as my mother always used say, it’s BIG ‘Eed! Enjoy yourselves, eat, drink and be very merry as the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) told us:

“The day of ‘Arafah, the day of Sacrifice, and the days of al-Tashrīq (the 3 days after) are our festival, and they are days of eating and drinking.” (al-Tirmidhi, Sahīh)

Don’t be guilty about it either; if you’ve done your duties correctly, observed the Sunnah correctly, given charity generously, then this is the time to smile! And for three days too! And don’t forget to keep making those takbīrs loudly and proudly all over town as per the action of the Companions, from the Fajr prayer on the Day of ‘Arafah until the ‘Asr prayer on the 13th of Dhu’l-Hijjah.

And Allah knows best.

Source:

Categories: Advice, Articles Tags: