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Discover Islam CD

Discover Islam is a free collection of articles and audio lectures on Islaam with the content mainly aimed at non-Muslims and new Muslims. I see it to be effective as a Da'waah tool. The materials tackle the following subjects:

1) Belief in God
2) The truthfulness and the basics of Islaam
3) Women in Islaam
4) About the Qur'aan
5) Allaah and Creation
6) Muhammad and Jesus (salla Allaahu 'alayhymaa wa sallam)
7) How to become a Muslim
8) Materials for new Muslims
9) Many recitations of the Qur'aan
10) And more...

The speakers are mainly the recent Du''aat and speakers of Islaam such as Dr. Bilaal Philips, Dr. Zakir Naik, Ahmad Deedaat, 'Ali at-Tameemee, Yusuf Estes, and many others.

The download is a CD image (in .iso format) which is available as a torrent at Mininova. The official website itself has placed the torrent at Mininova so it is the official download. After you download it, you can either burn it onto a disk, or emulate it using a virtual disk drive (like Daemon Tools).

You can burn multiple copies of this and keep it in your bag or suitcase so that whenever you get into a Da'waah situation with somebody you can give them the disk so that inshaa'Allaah they will benefit from it. I am not suggesting it as the Da'waah disk but I see it to be beneficial for many new/non-Muslims.

Here is the download link (you need a torrent program like µTorrent):

Democracy and Islaam

"Democracy means government by discussion, but it is only effective if you can stop people talking." - Clement Atlee

Some modernists now claim that the Islaamic government should in fact be a democratic government. It should, they claim, give the people the freedom to do what they please. Now this may sound nice and good. But what is democracy? Democracy is basically a belief that whatever the majority sees as good then it is good, and whatever the majority sees as bad then it is bad. When alcohol was prohibited in the US in 1920, people didn't like it and the government didn't heavily enforce the law so it was subsequently removed. In Islaam, if a ruler declares alcohol to be allowed he will automatically turn a Kaafir because to knowingly allow what Allaah has forbidden or forbid what Allaah has allowed is to imply that you know better than Allaah and this is clear disbelief.

Democracy as is defined and understood has no place in Islaam. The allowed and the prohibited are not decided by the majority nor by the rulers; they are decided by Allaah. Modern day elections where Islaam is put next to communism and other ideologies and people choose which to rule the country has no place in an Islaamic government. The Shooraa is the council that discusses the issues of the country and the government. It is not, as some people claim, "democracy."

Another aspect of this ideology of democracy is that people should not be questioned as to what they do as long as they don't hurt other people. This, again, is not Islaamically acceptable. If somebody drinks alcohol in an Islaamic country then he/she is bound to be punished. If two people commit fornication or adultery then they are to be punished. They are not left alone just because they are "consenting adults." Muslims are a nation that should enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil as Allaah (subhaanhu wa ta'aalaa) stated in the Qur'aan:

كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللّهِ

"You are the best of nations raised for humankind; you enjoin what is good, forbid what is evil and believe in Allaah."*


* Surah Aali-'Imraan, verse 110

The origin of the 'Nerd'

Nerd probably came from a term at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute from the origin of Knurd (which is drunk spelled backwards). Unlike the drunk, the 'knurd' drinks heavily of knowledge and does practically everything opposite of the 'drunk'.

But have you noticed how some things are considered 'nerd' while other things are not? And, even more strange, these things change over time.

If something is 'nerdish', then that means most businesses cannot profit from that activity.

Take books. Books are considered 'nerdish'. However, television is full of advertising. So it makes sense that marketing would portray television as "mainstream" and books as "nerd". They want television to appear 'cool' so they can make money.

Take staying at home for the evening. This is considered 'nerdish'. However, if you go to a fancy club, restaurant, or something else, this is marketed as 'mainstream' and 'cool'. No one makes money if you stay at home for the evening so no wonder they will belittle it.

Take music. Classical music is 'nerdish'. However, pop-culture music is marketed as 'mainstream' and 'cool'. The reason is because they make money off the 'hip-hop'. How can they make money off of Beethoven and Bach?

Take clothes. Keeping care of your clothes and having them last a while is 'nerdish'. However, 'sticking with the fashions' is marketed as mainstream and cool. The reason is because they make money when you keep changing fashions. They make no money if you stick with your clothes.

I think you are seeing the point. Now, let us look at how some of the 'nerd' things change.

Take the Internet. The Internet was a haven for nerds. But as soon as companies could make money off the Internet, then the Internet became 'awesome' and 'mainstream'. Companies who have the Internet as a threat such as newspapers, and certain colleges still try to paint the image that the Internet is for "unsocial nerdish quacking misfits".

Take video games. In the eighties, video games were seen for 'nerds'. However, as soon as gigantic companies such as Sony and Microsoft moved in, they have produced marketing that says, "Hey, gaming is now mainstream! Gaming is hip and cool!" Most video game players have bought this hook, line, and sinker. If you account for population growth and multiple console ownership, gaming has not really grown. In fact, it has even decreased in some areas. (A steady decline over ten years in Japan reversed with the DS phenomenon currently over there. In America, the trend has been downward for a couple of years.) As soon as the major companies moved in, they put out the marketing that it is 'mainstream' and 'cool' because they want your money. It is that simple.

Another video-game example would be the recent invention of the word "hardcore gamer". This used to be the 'nerd'. But they call them 'hardcore gamers' because they can now make money off of you. This is similiar to Hollywood calling those who watch movies all day to be 'greatly cultured' where you could easily call them dorks. (Hollywood won't say that because they make money off them, obviously.)

So any time you see the 'nerd' versus 'cool' mantra, follow the money. Anything in society that people cannot make much money off of is going to be condemned as 'nerdish'. Just be who you are, follow your own interests, and ignore this advertising imagery that drapes society.

From: Pook's Mill.

The Earth speaks?

This is the first time I hear about this. I can't say whether the verses are related to the phenomenon, but maybe.

Give respect

Don't make fun of the beliefs of disbelievers lest they should make fun of Allah. [Quran, 6:108]

Download The Little Prince children's book for free

"The narrator is a downed pilot in the Sahara Desert, frantically trying to repair his wrecked plane. His efforts are interrupted one day by the apparition of a little, well, prince, who asks him to draw a sheep. "In the face of an overpowering mystery, you don't dare disobey," the narrator recalls. "Absurd as it seemed, a thousand miles from all inhabited regions and in danger of death, I took a scrap of paper and a pen out of my pocket." And so begins their dialogue, which stretches the narrator's imagination in all sorts of surprising, childlike directions." [From an review]

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery is a sweet and profound book, it is short, but reading it will probably be one of the most chrished experiences in your life.

The book is available online here:

Tafsir of Surat An-Nisa' Verse 149

"Whether you (mankind) disclose a good deed (that you or others carried out) or conceal it, or pardon someone's rudeness toward you, verily, God is Ever Oft-Pardoning, All-Powerful." [4:149]

At the end of the verse God mentions that He is both forgiving and powerful. This is to show us that although He is able to take revenge from us for our sins, He forgives them. By reminding us of this fact, Allah asks us to follow His example and forgive people even if we have the power to take revenge from them.

We can take revenge from people by replying to a rude remark with one of a similar nature or by taking something from them if they took something from us, etc.

Islam doesn't impose a rule of forgiveness on us. We are allowed to seek punishment for those who have harmed us [Quran, 2:194]. But forgiving people is always the more noble option.

The Google Links Programs scam

The Google Links Programs is another scam similar to the Google Biz Kit scam that we covered earlier, and it is probably by the same people.

The picture to the left is a screen shot of one of their bogus sites called Elk Grove Career Digest, located at both and another address: (notice the www's are part of the address).

Our previous blog post has links to articles that expose these scams.

Wallace's paradox supports the Quran, human brains aren't products of evolution

I once wrote that Islam isn't against the evolution of animals and plants into others, only their evolution into humans. Alfred R. Wallace, a contemporary of Darwin who created his own theory of evolution without knowing about Darwin's, thought the same thing:
"A brain slightly larger than that of the gorilla would . . .fully have sufficed for the limited mental development of the savage [primitive human]; and we must therefore admit, that the large brain he actually possesses could never have been solely developed by any of those laws of evolution, whose essence is, that they lead to a degree of organization exactly proportionate to the wants of each species, never beyond those wants."

Wallace would never solve this paradox, and had to resort to divine intervention as an explanation. He believed that everything on the planet had evolved through natural selection and adaptation—apart from the human brain, that is, which could only have been created by a god. -From The Overflowing Brain by Torkel Klingberg.

Sayyid Qutb's biography [Ebook - PDF] [Islamic books]

Amazingly well-written, simple, honest and well-researched are just some of the qualities that make this book so special. Sayyid Qutb, From Birth to Martyrdom (سيد قطب من الميلاد إلى الإستشهاد) is an Arabic book written by Dr. Salah Abdul Fattah AlKhalidi (د. صلاح عبد الفتاح الخالدي), a researcher who spent 15 years studying Sayyid Qutb's life and works.

During the days when I read this 600 page account, I felt like I was literally living with Sayyid Qutb as he grew up from a clever and courageous village boy to a formidable literary critic (a 25 year episode of his life that Arabic and Western popular media painstakingly hide), to a social and political reformer, and finally to a devout and fearless Muslim activist.

Download Link. (13.1 Megabytes)

Islam needs good marketing

Islam is a product. We are its marketers. We cannot market something that we do not know much about. This is why learning about Islam is so important. And unlike other products, Islam cannot be sold using lies and exaggerated promises. The 'buyer' always has the option to stop using the product whenever he or she likes.

Today's men reject God and worship women instead

The majority of men prefer to subjugate themselves to an exclusive deity, woman (they call this subjection love). This sort of personal deity has excellent qualifications for the satisfaction of religious needs. Woman is ever-present, and, given her own lack of religious need, she is divine. As she continuously makes demands, man never feels forsaken. She frees him from collective gods, for whose favors he would have to compete with others. He trusts in her because she resembles his mother, the deity of his childhood. His empty life is given an artificial meaning, for his every action is dedicated to her comfort and, later, to the comfort of her children. As a goddess, she can not only punish (by taking away his sense of belonging) but she can reward as well (through the bestowal of sexual pleasure).

The most important requirements for woman's divinity are, however, her propensity to masquerade and her stupidity. A system must either overwhelm its believers with its greatly superior wisdom or confuse them with its incomprehensibility. As the first possibility is unavailable to women, they take advantage of the second. Their masquerade causes them to appear strange and mysterious to men; their stupidity makes them inaccessible to scrutiny. While intelligence shows itself in actions that are reasonable and logical, hence permits measurement, predictability, and control, stupidity shows itself in actions that are completely unreasonable, unpredictable and uncontrollable. Women are protected by a screen of pomp, mummery, and mystification as much as any Pope or dictator: they cannot be unmasked and will increase their power unhindered, gaining strength as they go. In return man is guaranteed, in the long term, a divinity in which he can deeply believe.

-Written by Esther Vilar (a woman!) in her book, The Manipulated Man.

Photo credit: Flickr.

Solution for author name feed problem [Feedburner]

I subscribed to one of my own feeds and when in Google Reader I looked at it, I saw that my name had a "" beside it.

If you are using feedburner, go to Edit Feel Details for the feed in question and in the Original Feed box remove the "?default=rss" from the end of your feed URL. The corret URL is like this:
The reason is that RSS needs an email address for the post author and Google just fills it up with a useless email address. When you remove default=rss, your feed will use Atom instead which doesn't have this problem.

Quranic food, a list of the foods mentioned in the Quran

This is a list taken from page 4 of our free report, Quranic Food, A study of the foods and drinks mentioned in the Quran.

  1. Water (mentioned 100+ times)
  2. Milk (2)
  3. Honey (2)
  4. Wine that exists in Paradise (2)
  5. Olive oil (1)
  1. Dates (22)
  2. Fruit (14)
  3. Grapes (11)
  4. Grains in general (7)
  5. Olives (6 or 7)
  6. Buckthorn (4)
  7. Pomegranate (3)
  8. Mustard seed (2)
  9. Onion (1)
  10. Herbs, beans and vegetables (1)
  11. Cucumbers (1)
  12. Garlic or wheat (1)
  13. Lentil (1)
  14. Gourd (1)
  15. Banana (1)
  16. Herbage, or Abb (1)
  17. Fig (1)
Animals with halal meat
  1. Cattle (34)
  2. Birds in general (18)
  3. Camels (11)
  4. Calves (10)
  5. Cows (9)
  6. Sheep (8)
  7. Seafood (5)
  8. Quails (3)
  9. Goats (1)
  10. Hoopoes (1)
  11. Meat in general (1)
Photo by rexipe.


"Verily, God is not ashamed to set forth a parable even of a mosquito or so much more when it is bigger (or less when it is smaller) than it. And as for those who believe, they know that it is the Truth from their Lord, but as for those who disbelieve, they say: "What did God intend by this parable?" By it He misleads many, and many He guides thereby. And He misleads thereby only those who are Al-Fâsiqûn (the rebellious, disobedient to God)." [Quran, 2:26]

Photo by nick kulas (licence).

Solution for wrong system time [Windows XP]

Sometimes a computer insists on showing the wrong time. Maybe it has a virus, or maybe its battery is dying. You can solve the problem by using the following guide:

  1. Download Automachron.
  2. After running it click on Host.
  3. Enter
  4. Check 'Run at startup' and 'Sync at startup' to have it regulate your system time when you turn on the computer. You can also adjust Timezone, etc.
  5. Remember, this is not a real solution. It overrides the problem.

It will pass

A student went to his meditation teacher and said, "My meditation is horrible! I feel so distracted, or my legs ache, or I'm constantly falling asleep. It's just horrible!"

"It will pass," the teacher said matter-of-factly.

A week later, the student came back to his teacher. "My meditation is wonderful! I feel so aware, so peaceful, so alive! It's just wonderful!'

"It will pass," the teacher replied matter-of-factly.

Photo by kankan.

Original searchable Arabic text of the Quran in Microsoft Word format [Islamic books]

Download Link

This is an Arabic Quran in Microsoft Word (doc) format. It has been extracted from the seventh version of HARF IT Co.'s Arabic Quran program.

The text has been legally reviewed and approved by the Azhar Islamic university in Cairo (according to the program's website).

Microsoft Word's search capability is great in that whether you search for يتيم or يَتِيمْ, i.e. whether you put harakat or not, it will find your search term. However, when you use harakat, it will only find words that have the same exact ones. If you search for غّ (Ghayn with a shaddah), it won't find anything since that combination doesn't exist in the Quran.

The document has a table of contents at the beginning that you can use by holding Ctrl and clicking on the chapter you want.

Download it here.

The Noble Qur'an by Muhsin Khan - Hilaali [Islamic books]

Most of you probably already own a Khaan/Hilaali English interpretation of the Qur'aan; either an electronic copy or a printed copy. For those of you who don't own it and to place this as a reference for future visitors, you can download the actual book scan from the following link:

Download the Actual Book (either use Right Click -> Save Link as or use a download manager; clicking the link will open it in your browser)

This is one of the (if not the) most authentic interpretations of the Qur'aan available in the English language. It is based on the classical Tafaaseer (commentaries) of the Qur'aan. This download is the actual book so it contains all the footnotes and many interesting subjects at the end of the book.

Download our free report, Quranic Food: A study of the foods and drinks mentioned in the Quran [Islamic books]

Download here

Alhamdulillah, I am happy to announce that our report, Quranic Food: A study of the of the foods and drinks mentioned in the Quran, is ready to be published.

“O mankind! Eat of that which is lawful and good on the earth.” [The Quran, 2:168]

I have often thought about making a list of foods mentioned in the Quran. I knew that dates were mentioned a lot. And so were grapes, but what else?

I couldn’t find any comprehensive Quranic food guides on the internet. I decided to make my own.

This is the product of many days of work. I offer it as it is and make no guarantee that it is perfect. If you find a funny mistake or if you think I have left something out, please get up and visit us at to type us a comment there.
I have separated the foods into three categories; drinks, plants and animals.

I have ordered the contents of each category by frequency of their mentioning in the Quran. The one mentioned most is at the beginning.

In some places two items have the same number of mentions. I have put first the one that was mentioned nearer to the beginning of the Quran.

There is a summary on the next page that you can use as a reference, for example for when you want to make a shopping list.

-Ikram Kurdi

Note: The flesh of hoopoe (a bird) is included in the book as halal food however a brother wrote us saying that it is not halal according to Sahih and Abu Dawood ahadith.

The Archangel Meekaa'eel

I read this interesting narration about this honorable angel, Meekaa'eel ('alayhys salaam), a few months ago. I am still amazed by it:*

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم لجبريل عليه السلام: ما لي لم أر ميكائيل ضاحكا قط؟ قال: ما ضحك ميكائيل منذ خلقت النار

"The Messenger of Allaah (salla Allaahu 'alayhy wa sallam) asked Jibreel ('alayhys salaam): Why is it that I have never seen Meekaa'eel laugh?
(Jibreel ('alayhys salaam)) answered: Meekaa'eel has not laughed since the creation of hell."

Note: This is not an enoucragement for you to quit laughing. I just personally admire this attitude of this honorable angel.


* Musnad Ahmad (12864) and others. The Hadeeth is classed as Hasan by Shaykh al-Albaanee (as-Sailsilah as-Saheehah, 2511)
Photo by Zevotron (license)

What if I never knew about Islaam?

The Prophet (salla Allaahu 'alayhy wa sallam) said:*

أربعة (يحتجون) يوم القيامة رجل أصم لا يسمع شيئا ورجل أحمق ورجل هرم ورجل مات في الفترة فأما الأصم فيقول رب لقد جاء الإسلام وما أسمع شيئا وأما الأحمق فيقول رب لقد جاء الإسلام والصبيان يحذفوني بالبعر وأما الهرم فيقول ربي لقد جاء الإسلام وما أعقل شيئا وأما الذي مات في الفترة فيقول رب ما أتاني لك رسول فيأخذ مواثيقهم ليطيعنه فيرسل إليهم أن ادخلوا النار قال فوالذي نفس محمد بيده لو دخلوها لكانت عليهم بردا وسلاما

"Four kinds of people (will protest on) the Day of Resurrection (to Allaah): the deaf man who doesn't hear anything, the insane person, the very old man, and a man who died in the interval (the time between the two Messengers of Allaah, 'Isaa and Muhammad (salla Allaahu 'alayhimaa wa sallam)).

The deaf man will say "My Lord! Islaam came and I didn't hear anything." The insane will say "My Lord! Islaam came but children were chasing me with stones." The old man will say "My Lord! Islaam came but I didn't understand anything." As for the one who died in the interval, he will say "My Lord! No messenger from You came to me." So Allaah will take their covenant that they will obey Him. Then He sends them the word that they must enter the Fire. The Prophet (salla Allaahu 'alayhy wa sallam) said "By Him in Whose Hands is Muhammad's soul, if they enter it, it will be cool and safe for them.""

In another narration, the Prophet (salla Allaahu 'alayhy wa sallam) said at the end:**

فمن دخلها كانت عليه بردا وسلاما ومن لم يدخلها يسحب إليها

"So whoever enters it, it will be cool and safe for him. And whoever doesn't, he will be dragged into it."

Nobody is left out. Allaah, the Most Wise and the Most Judge, doesn't punish anybody unless He has sent him a messenger:***

وَمَا كُنَّا مُعَذِّبِينَ حَتَّى نَبْعَثَ رَسُولًا

"And We (Allaah) never punish until We have sent a messenger (to give warning)."


* Musnad Ahmad (15712), al-Mu'jam al-Kabeer lit-Tabaraanee (839), and Saheeh ibn Habbaan (7481). The Hadeeth is classed as Saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaanee (as-Silsilah as-Saheehah, 1434)

** Musnad Ahmad (15712)

*** Surat al-Israa', verse 15

Photo by Aube insanité

Homeland Security Terror Threat Levels

Via: Otowi

How to Pray

The Messenger of Allaah (salla Allaahu 'alayhy wa sallam) said:*

صَلُّوا كَمَا رَأَيْتُمُونِي أُصَلِّي

"Pray as you saw me praying." For the later generations (including us) this would translate into "Pray according to what is authentically narrated about my way of praying."

Built solely upon authentic narrations, the book Sifat as-Salaat written by Shaykh al-Albaanee takes us through the Messenger (salla Allaahu 'alayhy wa sallam)'s prayer from the beginning till the end. Prayer is an integral part of our lives which we perform five times a day. It is, thus, essential for us to check for the basis of our actions during the prayer. This book is an excellent guide for this purpose.

The book has been translated into English and is professionally prepared. The verses of the Qur'aan are included in it as images and references have been given for all the texts quoted. If you prefer the original Arabic book, it is also available for free download. The English file contains a number of other excellent books on prayer and ablution.

Download English Translation

Download Arabic Version


* Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (595, 5549, 6705) and Musnad Ahmad (19625) among others
Photo credit: dominikgolenia

The personification of anger in the Quran

"And when the anger became silent at Mûsa (Moses), he took up the Tablets, and in their inscription was guidance and mercy for those who fear their Lord." [7:157]

Az-Zamakhshari says, "[The Quran talks about this incident] as if the anger was telling Musa: Say this to your people! Throw down the tablets! Seize your brother's head by the hair!."

This personification is what gives the verse its strong impact on the reader.

Source: Artistic Imagery in the Quran by Sayyid Qutb.

Photo credit: challiyan.

Sabily, the Islaamic Ubuntu

Sabily and its Use

Sabily is an "Islamized" version of Ubuntu, a distribution of the Linux operating system that can be installed on a computer just like Microsoft Windows. An important difference between Windows and Linux distributions is that (almost) all Linux versions are free and open-source while Windows isn't.

Sabily is a modified version of Ubuntu customized to have an Islaamic look and feel, and packed with Islaamic and educational software. You can use Sabily as an independent operating system on your computer instead of Windows.

The Design

The design is very beautiful. All the major interface elements, from the login screen and the pointer to the desktop environment, have been "Islamized".

The pointer is trailed with an animation displaying, successively "Glory be to Allaah", "All Praise is due to Allaah", "There is no god except Allaah", "Allaah is Greatest". The login screen, as seen on the right, is very neat and shows the Shahaadah (testimony of faith) above the login form.

A beautiful green wallpaper with an Islaamic calligraphy is set as the desktop background. The screensaver is gorgeous. It is basically a picture slideshow displaying (the English interpretation of) a verse of the Qur'aan related to the image. Thus, the overall design is very good and gives an Islaamic feel to a certain degree.

The Contents

Sabily offers all the applications that you need for regular computer tasks. We can divide the type of applications into three: general, educational, and Islaamic applications.

The general applications include everything you need as an average computer user. These include:

1) (a free open-source alternative to Microsoft Office)

2) Photo editing tools like GIMP (free open-source alternative to Adobe Photoshop), F-Spot Photo Manager, Inkscape (vector graphics editor), Scribus (publishing software), and many others

3) Internet software including Firefox, Evolution Mail, Pidgin Internet Messenger, Transmission BitTorrent Client, and Remote Desktop Viewer
4) Multimedia tools like VLC Media Player, a sound recorder, and a movie player
5) System tools like a disk burner, a virus scanner, and a web filter (parental control software)

The educational applications include a software suite for children, a periodic table, a math expression solver, plotting and geometric constructions software, touch-typing tutor, vocabulary learning, and many many others. Though not really educational, there is also an entire section for games.

The Islaamic applications are:

1) Zekr (powerful Qur'aan application with many features, including verse by verse recitations to be played either loaded from the online service (in the small version), or offline (in the full version); this software is also available for Windows)

2) Othman Mushaf

3) Thwab (for reading books in .bok format used by al-Mawsoo'ah ash-Shaamila)

4) Monajat (displays popup supplications periodically)

5) Minbar Prayer Times

6) Hijra Applet (Hijri calendar)

Download and Installation

Sabily can be download by a torrent (recommended) or by a direct link (HTTP). You also choose whether to download the full version with recitations, the full version without recitations or the small version. The full version (1.4 GB) has all the software included in it. The one with the recitations (2.8 GB) also offers offline Qur'aan recitations for the Zekr application. The small version (935 MB) mainly contains the Islaamic applications. To choose the version and the method of download, visit their download page. Here is the torrent link for the full version without the recitations (if you don't have a torrent software, try μTorrent):

After the download is complete you will have an (.iso) file in the download location. If you want to try Sabily as an independent operating system on your machine, burn this (.iso) file onto a disk using any burner (e.g. InfraRecorder). Remember to choose the option (Burn an ISO File) because if you burn the (.iso) file onto the disk as a data disk, it won't work. The (.iso) file is like a zip archive only that it does not compress the files within it. After you burn the disk, place it in the disk drive of your computer and restart, boot from the disk and you will be presented with the welcome screen. Now you can either choose to try the disk without any changes to your hard disk (recommended before installing to make sure it works), or you can directly install Sabily onto your machine. The installation screens are straightforward and understandable. Do take note that in the step where you choose the location to install Sabily, the entire hard disk is chosen as default. This means that everything on your hard disk will be erased. If you don't want that, choose the second option and specify a drive on your disk instead of the entire disk.

If you don't want to run Sabily as an independent OS on your system, you can use a virtualization software. VirtualBox is an excellent freeware for this purpose. The benefit of this type of installation is that you can access the OS without restarting your main OS. The cost is that you need a lot of free RAM, disk space, and memory.

Finally, I would recommend this operating system for Muslim children. It is a nice (Islaamic) way to get them acquainted with the computer. I would also recommend it to the average computer user who does not have a special need for Windows. May Allaah reward the developers and purify their intentions for His sake.

Halal My Life is a website with a beautiful idea

Halal My Life is a website with one simple purpose. It collects everyday stories and anectodes about Muslims who stood firm on doing the halal thing. For example:

"I once went to a school field overnight and while I was their I had pray Isha and since they were staying in that room, I didn’t have the courage to pray in front of them. I tried thinking of praying in the bathroom but i knew that was wrong. So I told shaitan down and told my friends I had to pray. One of my Christian friend actually said, Hey i pray every night to. So with that I prayed. HML."

The content of the site is fully user-generated. It is a new project by the good Muslim teenagers from The Muslim Voice, inshAllah it will grow to a great success.

How to extract fonts from PDF files

Have you ever seen a beautiful PDF file and wished you could use its fonts? I have. This evening I spent more than an hour trying to find a way to extract a font from an absolutely beautiful Arabic book (it used a variant of Microsoft's Traditional Arabic font). Google, like usual, was useless for this type of rare endeavor. But thanks to God, I remembered a software company known as Process Text Group who specialize in text software.

I went to their website. Sadly there was no mention of a PDF font extractor. However, I looked at the details page for their PDF converter, and Alhamdulillah! It said it could extract fonts.

You can download the program from this page. It is a trial version, but functional nonetheless. Go to View-->Fonts to view and save the fonts you want.

Sayyid Qutb's definition of 'Shaheed' (martyr)

"Shaheed is the person who bears witness that Allah's law is more precious to him than his own life."

Sayyid Qutb said the above line to an officer who asked him about the meaning of Shaheed during his 'trial' in 1966, a trial that was fabricated to justify killing him. It was denounced by lawyers and human rights organizations all over the world.*

It is said that he said "Alhamdulillah" and smiled when he was read his death sentence.

Sayyid Qutb made a mistake that cost the Muslim Ummah dearly. He was killed quickly after it and thus he didn't come to see its results (or he'd have corrected it probably). I'll write about it in a future post inshAllah.

*As mentioned in his biography, Sayyid Qutb from Birth to Martyrdom, by Dr. Salah Abdul Fattah AlKhalidi.

50 second recitation of Surah 114 (an-Nas) by Mishary Alafasy

The video isn't professionally done but the recitation is great.

Quran program for Malayalam language speakers

Update (September 2009): I realized that the problems I have with this program are because of my 120 DPI font settings. Normal computers have a 96 DPI setting so you shouldn't have a problem using the program.

A few days back I received an email from a group called Huda Info Solutions. They have made a Quran program that includes a translation of the Quran in the Malayalam language, a lanugage from South India.

There is a detailed explanation with screenshots at the program's website so I don't need to say much about what it can do.

When I tested the demo version its interface seemed broken as the hover effects were out of place. Choosing Malayalam-English comparison caused the program to close. Which can be considered a good thing since it doesn't offer an exit option. (the official screenshots show one though)

This demo version allows only the last 10 Surahs to be viewed. I pressed play on Suratun Nas (last Surah of the Quran). It was supposed to underline the verse that was being recited, however, it underlined another one. You can see in the picture that when it was reciting verse 2, the end of verse 6 was underlined:

The program on my computer looks quite ugly compared to the screenshots on their website. Perhaps the problems I see are because of compatibility issues. Or maybe the developers have focused their efforts on the commercial version and have stopped updating the demo, which would be a mistake since the demo is supposed to help potential customers decide whether they should buy the product or not.

They are selling it for 199 rupees, which according to is equal to a little over four USD.

The program is supposed to work on Windows 98, ME, NT, 2000 and XP. (I use XP)

If Everyone Were Just Like Me - A Muslim children's book

"In this book, four Muslim children from different parts of the world explore their personal strengths and weaknesses in rhythmic verse, with an underlying message of global diversity and tolerance. This beautiful picture book, written by an educator, is a treat for the entire family."

I designed the book's online store. But my involvment ended there, I make no profit from the books sold. I post this to give coverage to a book I like, and as a tribute to the author who is a good friend of mine:

Bayyinah K. Muhammad has spent most of her teenage and adult life teaching, both informally and as a licensed teacher in several public schools as well as private Islamic institutions. Muhammad is currently a lecturer at Eastern Michigan University in the College of Education, while obtaining her second Masters, this one being a Master of Fine Arts in educational theatre.

The lack of a significant body of literature representing Muslims has prompted her to write If Everyone Were Just Like Me, a children's book and Unveiled: Stories from the Lives of Muslim Women, a touring performance piece. Future works in progress are Nazeeh, another story for young readers and Homegrown Jewels, a guide to home school teaching for Muslim parents. Muhammad lives in Michigan, near her granddaughter and four of her six children.

You can order the book here.

Today's Quranic word: 2. Bismi

Bismi stands for 'In the Name Of'. It is a structure made up of three elements:

Bi: With, by or in.

Ism: Name.

When bi is joined with ism, an i is removed:
Bi+ism=Bism (or you can say they share the i, but no Arabic grammar teacher will allow you to say that)

I (this is the sloped dash, or Kasrah, at the bottom left of the diagram): It stands for 'of'.

I have explained "In name of". But where is the 'the', like in 'In The Name of'?

It is embedded. When we say Bismillah, or In the Name of Allah, the word 'Name' becomes definite because we linked it to Allah. It is as if Name of Allah is a single entity, a noun. We can't say The Muhammad since Muhammad is already definite, in the same way, we can't say The Name of Allah (In Arabic that is).

The above paragraph might not make sense to you if the only language you know is English. All you need to know is that Arabic has more than one type of 'the', sometimes it is embedded in the structure.
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