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Islam and gender: Men and women allowed to pursue knowledge in the same gathering

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The term 'gender-mixing' has negative connotations. It alerts the haram radars of most of us. But it can actually be halal if we follow Allah's Shari'ah during gatherings where it occurs.

How well Shariah is applied is up to the people who rule the institutions.

This subject came up in regards to the new university in Saudi that is called KAUST. I don't expect the university's officials to be serious about following Shari'ah. But they are using these rulings to justify their permitting gender mixing.

[Some of the most noted scholars in the Islamic world have added their voices of support this week to those of senior sheikhs in the Kingdom for King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.

Earlier this month the Secretary General of the Board of Senior Ulema in Saudi Arabia spoke of Kaust as a “beacon of science and welfare for the entire world”, following another member of the board, Sheikh Abdullah Suleiman Al-Mane’e, who had earlier described the university as a step toward “the Islamic World recovering its leading role in science”.

In the last few days the head of the International Union for Muslim Scholars, Yousef Al-Qaradawi, put forward his views, and now the Grand Mufti of Egypt, Ali Jum’ah, has given his backing.]

Gender mixing in pursuit of knowledge permissible in Shariah [The Islam Awareness Blog]

Ibn Ata'Allah Aliskandari: Reflect on this

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"Nothing benefits the heart more than a withdrawal [from this world] that leads one into a realm of reflection." -Ibn Ata'Allah Aliskandari

"Those who remember Allah (always, in prayers) standing, sitting, and lying down on their  sides, and think deeply about the creation of the heavens and the earth, ( saying): "Our Lord! You have not created (all) this without purpose, glory be to You! (Exalted are You  above all that they associate with You as partners). Give us salvation from the torment of the Fire." [Holy Quran, 3:191]

ما نَفَعَ القَلْبَ شَئٌ مِثْلُ عُزْلةٍ يَدْخُلُ بِها مَيْدانَ فِكْرَةٍ - إبن عطاء الله السكندري
قال تعالى:(الذين يذكرون الله قياما و قعودا و على جنوبهم و يتفكرون في خلق السماوات و الأرض ربنا ما خلقت هذا باطلا سبحانك فقنا عذاب النار) آل عمران الآية 191

A sign of love

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“The sign of having love for Allāh ta’ala is that you strive to emulate the Prophet sallalhu alayhi wasallam in every aspect of your life. Allāh ta’ala says: ‘Say (O Muhammad sallalhu alayhi wasallam): “If you really love Allāh then follow me, Allāh will love you…”’(3:31)”

A Sign of Love [In Shaykh's Company]

More about loving Allah on QuranClub: Why you should attain Allah's love - How much do you love Allah?

Destroy Islam: How to

From the time of the Crusades, Christians have been thinking about ways to destroy Islam, and before that, the Jews of Madinah and the Pagans of Mecca.

The Creator and Owner of the universe has decided to make Islam victorious over everything that challenges it. Not necessarily through bloody wars, for God's methods are more elegant.

These clever plans could have worked, and Islam could have been destroyed, I assume, had God not preserved Islam. They have put their best minds at use, for almost a thousand years and five other centuries, yet their work bears no fruit.

The issue is that trying to destroy Islam is like being inside a video game and trying to destroy the person who is playing the game. We are all inside a universe that could be a simulation for all we know, and everything is completely run and maintained by God on God's system. All of the variables are in God's hands. God has infinite ways of causing a plan to fail, and usually these ways are hidden and not grand failures. It could be as simple as causing a person to forget an idea or thought, thus causing the plan to not even get created. And if it gets created, He could cause the child of the plan's leader to get sick, and in that way distract the leader from the plan, and cause it to lose steam and become discarded eventually. And so on.

We are all inside God's game. There is no way to beat the player that's playing us.

It's not just like God is the most powerful player. God is the only player. We are all being played. We have no more power than a sock puppet, any power we have is given by God and could be taken away in an instant, and when that happens, there is absolutely no way to gain it back, for who can we ask for help if God doesn't want us to be helped?
On March 18, 2004 RAND, the influential U.S. think tank, released a report to help ‘civilize’ Islam by effacing it and remaking it in the image of Western secularism. In the report, Civil Democratic Islam: Partners, Resources, Strategies, Cheryl Benard writes, “Modernism, not traditionalism, is what worked for the West. This included the necessity to depart from, modify, and selectively ignore elements of the original religious doctrine.”
In order to “depart from, modify, and selectively ignore” elements of Islam, Benard suggests a simple strategy: label, divide, control. After labeling each group of Muslims, she suggests pitting one group against each other. Among other strategies, Benard suggests “encourag[ing] disagreements between traditionalists and fundamentalists,” and “discourag[ing] alliances between traditionalists and fundamentalists.”
Quote from Seeking Ilm.

Allaah is Watching

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When you think that nobody is watching, be sure that Allaah is watching.

أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَعْلَمُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ مَا يَكُونُ مِن نَّجْوَى ثَلَاثَةٍ إِلَّا هُوَ رَابِعُهُمْ وَلَا خَمْسَةٍ إِلَّا هُوَ سَادِسُهُمْ وَلَا أَدْنَى مِن ذَلِكَ وَلَا أَكْثَرَ إِلَّا هُوَ مَعَهُمْ أَيْنَ مَا كَانُوا ثُمَّ يُنَبِّئُهُم بِمَا عَمِلُوا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ

"Have you not seen that Allaah knows whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth? There is no secret counsel of three, but He is their fourth (with His Knowledge, while He Himself is over the Throne, over the seventh heaven), nor of five but He is their sixth (with His Knowledge), not of less than that or more, but He is with them (with His Knowledge) wheresoever they may be; and afterwards, on the Day of Resurrection, He will inform them of what they did. Verily, Allaah is the All-Knower of everything." [Surat al-Mujaadilah, 7]

Ibn Al-Qayyim quote: The need for Allah

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“Truly in the heart there is a void that cannot be removed except with the company of Allah.

And in it there is a sadness that cannot be removed except with the happiness of knowing Allah and being true to Him.

And in it there is an emptiness that can not be filled except with love for Him and by turning to Him and always remembering Him.

And if a person were given all of the world and what is in it, it would not fill this emptiness.”

- ibn al Qayyim al Jawziyyah


Death is knocking on your door

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As Salamu Alaykoum dear brothers and sisters!

Death is an inevitable end for all of us. However, this life is merely the beginning. We are living a trial, an exam that has two outcomes, failure or success.

How could the soul not give pause to the call, the call of worship to its Creator? To Allah, the most Merciful, the most Forgiving? Or to the beauty of the first bird's call just before Fajr--the call that awakes every soul to the worship of Allah?

It is depressing to ponder upon our sins and our ungratefulness. However, if we remember Allah (swt) in everything we do, then InshaAllah our death will lead to success into Jannat Al-Firdaws.

"Those who remember Allah, standing, sitting, and lying on their sides, and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth: "O Lord, You have not created this for nothing. Glory be to you! So safeguard us from the punishment of the fire."
(Surat Al-Imran: 191)

الَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللَّهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَى جُنُوبِهِمْ وَيَتَفَكَّرُونَ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ رَبَّنَا مَا خَلَقْتَ هَذَا بَاطِلًا سُبْحَانَكَ فَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

Death is knocking on your door. Are you ready to meet your Creator?


The beauty of Allah's creation: Dark canyon

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Other awesome stuff: Australia's morning glory - Veiled mountain - Scenic volcanic mountain - 1000 Km long Australian clouds - Vastness of Allah's creation - Volcanic blast makes a hole in the clouds

Prophet Muhammad: Attributing Blessings to Allaah

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An aspect of being thankful to Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta'aalaa) is to recognize His blessings and attribute them to Him. In (secular) scientific terms everything is attributed to "Nature", to avoid mentioning anything about a Divine power. What they have done, however, is in fact take nature as their god.

The Prophet (salla Allaahu 'alayhy wa sallam) once prayed Fajr at al-Hudaibiyyah with his companions, following rainfall during the night. When he had finished the prayer, he turned to the people and said: "Do you know what has your Lord said?". The companions replied "Allaah and His Messenger know best." So he replied:

قَالَ أَصْبَحَ مِنْ عِبَادِي مُؤْمِنٌ بِي وَكَافِرٌ فَأَمَّا مَنْ قَالَ مُطِرْنَا بِفَضْلِ اللَّهِ وَرَحْمَتِهِ فَذَلِكَ مُؤْمِنٌ بِي وَكَافِرٌ بِالْكَوْكَبِ وَأَمَّا مَنْ قَالَ بِنَوْءِ كَذَا وَكَذَا فَذَلِكَ كَافِرٌ بِي وَمُؤْمِنٌ بِالْكَوْكَبِ
"He [Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta'aalaa)] said, ‘This morning one of My slaves became a believer in Me and one became a disbeliever. As for the one who said: “We have been given rain by the virtue of Allaah and His mercy," is a believer in Me and a disbeliever in the stars. But as for the one who said, “We have been given rain by such and such a star,” he is a disbeliever in Me and a believer in the stars.’"*
One might say: "You backward people don't open your eyes to the facts. Science tells us that it rains because tiny bubbles in the air..." and follows his scientific explanation of how rain forms. We say: "Science can only explain how it works but not why it is so. Nobody can give a 'scientific' answer to the 'why'" We give the answer to the "why" and say: "Because Allaah willed so."

* Reported by al-Bukhaaree (801, 980), Muslim (104), and others, and the wording is of al-Bukhaaree.

Cartoons: Definition of 'terrorist'

Terrorist cartoon

My new favorite definition of the term "Terrorist":
Terrorist [ˈtɛrərɪst]: "the person with the smaller bomb".

Terrorist cartoon

Defining a 'Terrorist' [In the Shade of Islam]

Ibn Khaldoon quote: We don't have the brains for it

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"The example of someone who wants to understand God and the Unseen world with his brain is like someone who wants to weigh a mountain with a goldsmith's scale. -Ibn Khaldoon in his Al-Muqaddimah.

Other recent quotes on QuranClub: The most Merciful - Rely on Allah and He will provide for you - Loving your children is not enough for them - Kindness as a means of Da'wah

Perfection belongs to Allah (swt)

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As Salamu Alaykoum dear brothers and sisters!

In one of my earlier posts I discussed the fact that perfection is non-existent. Perfection can only be associated with Allah (swt), the evidence for this is all around you.

Look at the creation of the universe, does it not leave the mind bewildered? This universe is a sign of Allah's perfection.

Throughout the Quran, Allah (swt) summons us to think of the universe as a mere creation for man.

"And he has made everything in the heavens and everything on the earth subservient to you. It is all from him. There are certainly signs in that for people who reflect." (Surat Al-Jathiya: 13)

وَسَخَّرَ لَكُمْ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا مِنْهُ إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآَيَاتٍ لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ

Disbelievers attribute the formation of day and night, the movements and the location of the earth and the sun merely to coincidence. This is great heedlessness. Allah (swt) created perfection for us, though we are sinful beings. We must familiarise and feed our soul with such perfection, only then will we understand the love of Allah (swt), to Him we must attribute perfection.

"He has made night and day subservient to you, and the sun and moon and stars, all subject to His command. There are certainly signs in that for people who use their intellect." (Surat An-Nahl: 12)

وَسَخَّرَ لَكُمُ اللَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ وَالشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ وَالنُّجُومُ مُسَخَّرَاتٌ بِأَمْرِهِ إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآَيَاتٍ لِقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ

"Have they not looked at the sky above them: how we structured it and made it beautiful and how there are no fissures in it? And the earth: how we structured it out and cast firmly embedded mountains onto it and caused luxuriant plants of every kind to grow in it, and instruction and a reminder for every penitent human being." (Surat Qaf: 6-8)

أَفَلَمْ يَنْظُرُوا إِلَى السَّمَاءِ فَوْقَهُمْ كَيْفَ بَنَيْنَاهَا وَزَيَّنَّاهَا وَمَا لَهَا مِنْ فُرُوجٍ (6) وَالْأَرْضَ مَدَدْنَاهَا وَأَلْقَيْنَا فِيهَا رَوَاسِيَ وَأَنْبَتْنَا فِيهَا مِنْ كُلِّ زَوْجٍ بَهِيجٍ (7) تَبْصِرَةً وَذِكْرَى لِكُلِّ عَبْدٍ مُنِيبٍ (8)

Perfection does truly belong to Allah (swt), to him is our return.


Islamic money management: Don't let money sink your boat

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I don't usually like analogical proverbs. But this one is new to me. And it is a great way to think about money:

"Money is like water. A boat needs water around it to sail smoothly and safely. But the moment the water starts climbing into the ship, it starts sinking. Likewise, we need money to sail our boats of life smoothly. But if the money enters our hearts, our lives will start sinking." -Comment left by a QuranClub reader.
More about money on QuranClub: Money in Islam: Is there a limit on how much you can keep? - Illusory Grandeur and Ungratefulness - Objects of worship

Imam Al-Ghazzali quote: The most Merciful

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As Salamu Alaykoum dear brothers and sisters!

Allah (swt) is our creator, he is aware of every thought in our minds, of every sorrowful emotion, of every aspect of our lives. In times of joy we must remember to thank our most Merciful creator. Whereas, in times of grief we must be patient, for patience is truly a virtue, as well as thankful.

"In God, there is no sorrow or suffering or affliction. If you want to be free of all affliction and suffering, hold fast to God, and turn wholly to Him, and to no one else. Indeed, all your suffering comes from this: that you do not turn toward God and no one else."

–Imam Al Ghazzali


Siblings in Islam: The perfect role model

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As Salamu Alaykoum dear brothers and sisters!

Being an older sister to three siblings is truly a blessing, yet very challenging as I am meant to fulfill the role of a "perfect role model". Perfection is an imaginary term, it is nonexistent in mundane reality.

I very much doubt the idea that I can be the "perfect role model" to my siblings. I strive to set a good example for them whilst nourishing their minds with beautiful thoughts and knowledge. We are all role models to one individual or another. Therefore, we carry the great joy of developing and nurturing the beauty of Islam within the individual(s).

A role model is an open minded soul, who plants the seed of divine love in his brother or sister.


Signs of Good and Bad Endings

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Signs of a Good End

1. Declaring the shahadah at the time of death.
2. Dying with a perspring forehead.
3. Dying on the night or day of jumu'ah.
4. Martyrdom on the battlefield
5. A woman's death because of pregnancy or delivery.
6. Dying while defending one's property or family.
7. Dying while defending one's deen.
8. Dying during self-defense.
9. Dying while doing a righteous deed.
10. Being praised after death by the righteous Muslims.

Signs of an Evil End

1. Dying while in a state of disbelief.
2. Committing suicide.
3. Dying while performing an act of disobedience.
4. Refusing to say shahadah at the time of death.
5. Being condemned after death by the righteous muslims
6. Addiction to alcohol.
7. Ill treating the parents.
8. Sudden death.
9. Dying before repenting from a major sin.

Umm Salama's Dua [Duas from Prophet Muhammad]

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Umm Salama, the wife of the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him), reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying:

If any servant (of Allah) who suffers a calamity says: "We belong to Allah and to Him shall we return; O Allah, reward me for my affliction and give me something better than it in exchange for it," Allah will give him reward for affliction, and would give him something better than it in exchange.

She [Umm Salama] said: When Abu Salama [her husband] died. I uttered (these very words) as I was commanded (to do) by the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him). So Allah gave me better in exchange than him. i. e. (I was taken as the wife of) the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him). [Muslim]

عن ام سلمه رضي الله عنها قالت : سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول : « ما من عبد تصيبه مصيبة ، فيقول : إنا لله وإنا إليه راجعون : اللهم أجرني في مصيبتي ، واخلف لي خيرا منها، إلا أجره الله تعالى في مصيبته وأخلف له خيرا منها . قالت : فلما توفي أبو سلمة ، قلت كما أمرني رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فأخلف الله لي خيرا منه رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم . رواه مسلم

The Dua of Umm Salamah [The Muslim Idealist]

More about supplication on QuranClub:

Somalia's pirates benefit the sea

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The increasing levels of piracy off the coast of Somalia have caused an unexpected spin-off, raising the levels of fish in the sea.

Fisherman in Kenya have reported bumper catches of shark and shellfish because commercial fishing boats from China and Japan have been scared away.

Now the fishermen are able to catch up to £200 worth of fish per day in an area where the average daily earnings are less than £5.

The massive factory trawlers which used to drain their fish stocks have been scared away and that means there is a huge bounty for local fishermen as well as helping to restore the health of the marine eco-system.

The 'benefit' of Somalia's Pirates [My Hijrah for Allah]

Hadith: Rely on Allah and He will provide for you

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Umar bin Al-Khattab رضي الله عنه narrated: I heard Allah’s Messenger صلي الله عليه و سلم saying:

“If you all relied on Allah with due reliance, He would certainly give you provision as He gives it to the birds who issue forth hungry in the morning and return with full belly at dusk.”

[at-Tirmidhi, ibn Majah]

Islamic money management: Is there a limit on how much you can keep?

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Can a person be insanely rich and a good Muslim at the same time? The Companions of the Prophet Muhammad (saw) didn't think so.

Ali bin Abi Talib (ra) says: "4,000 dinars is necessary for life. Anything above this is hoarded goods."* By 'hoarded goods' he meant the term mentioned in the following verse:

وَالَّذِينَ يَكْنِزُونَ الذَّهَبَ وَالْفِضَّةَ وَلَا يُنْفِقُونَهَا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَبَشِّرْهُمْ بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ

"Announce painful torment to those who hoard gold and silver and do not spend them for God's sake." [Holy Quran, 9:34]

We can use Salman Al-Farsi's (ra) way of life to translate the 4,000 dinars into today's currency. Salman was a close friend of Ali and they shared similar religious views. He used to store in his house enough provisions to last his family a year. He would give away everything else he made.*

It is your right to have a comfortable life. And saving money is allowed in Islam. But there is a limit as Ali bin Abi Talib said.

If you have everything you need, and your budget for a year is $20,000, you can keep the 20,000. But anything above this will go into the category of 'hoarded goods'. You should give it away, or start a charity organization with it.

*As mentioned in Wi3adh As-Salateen (وعاظ السلاطين) by Dr. Ali Al-Wardi.

More on QuranClub about money: Illusory Grandeur and Ungratefulness - Objects of worship

The beauty of Allah's creation: Australia's morning glory

We already posted about this. Here is a picture if you missed the video.

Some of these clouds can be as long as 1000 kilometers.

Friends in Islam: Choosing the right friends

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Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta'aalaa) states in the Glorious Qur'aan:

وَيَوْمَ يَعَضُّ الظَّالِمُ عَلَى يَدَيْهِ يَقُولُ يَا لَيْتَنِي اتَّخَذْتُ مَعَ الرَّسُولِ سَبِيلاً يَا وَيْلَتَى لَيْتَنِي لَمْ أَتَّخِذْ فُلَاناً خَلِيلاً لَقَدْ أَضَلَّنِي عَنِ الذِّكْرِ بَعْدَ إِذْ جَاءنِي وَكَانَ الشَّيْطَانُ لِلْإِنسَانِ خَذُولاً

"And (remember) the Day when the wrong-doer will bite on his hands, saying: "Oh! Would that I had taken a path with the Messenger. Ah! Woe to me! Would that I had never taken so-and-so as a friend! He indeed led me astray from the Reminder [the Qur'aan] after it had come to me. And satan is ever a deserter to man in the hour of need."(1)

Keeping righteous practicing Muslim friends is essential for maintaining a healthy spiritual environment in our daily life. Friends affect our Eemaan level. If they are righteous, they will inspire us to increase our knowledge and Eemaan. Conversely, an effective way to downgrade our Eemaan is keeping friends who smoke, drink alcohol, or never go near religion (maybe except when making a religious 'joke').

"It doesn't matter if my friends drink alcohol. That is not going to affect me," some might say. But first, these Muslims are sharing in their friends' evil by simply "tolerating" their drinking habit. And second, their unique power of staying clean of alcohol while their friends drink can only hold weight in their heads. In weeks, or months, they will get used to the behavior of their friends. They will start considering it normal, maybe even cool. And when that happens, during a moment of depression or excitement, they will be pushed into drinking by the encouragement of their great friends.

The Prophet (salla Allaahu 'alayhy wa sallam) best described the similitude of the good and bad companions when he said:

مَثَلُ الْجَلِيسِ الصَّالِحِ وَالْجَلِيسِ السَّوْءِ كَمَثَلِ صَاحِبِ الْمِسْكِ وَكِيرِ الْحَدَّادِ لَا يَعْدَمُكَ مِنْ صَاحِبِ الْمِسْكِ إِمَّا تَشْتَرِيهِ أَوْ تَجِدُ رِيحَهُ وَكِيرُ الْحَدَّادِ يُحْرِقُ بَدَنَكَ أَوْ ثَوْبَكَ أَوْ تَجِدُ مِنْهُ رِيحًا خَبِيثَةً
"The example of a good companion and a bad companion is that of the bearer of Musk and the worker on the bellows. The bearer of Musk would give you some of the perfume, you either buy it or you smell its fragrance. The worker on the bellows, on the other hand, either burns your body or your clothes, or you smell a bad odor from him."(2)

Look at your friends; are they bearers of Musk or workers on the bellows?
(1) Surah al-Furqaan, 27-29
(2) Reported by al-Bukhaaree in his Saheeh (1959 and 5108) and Muslim in his Saheeh (4762)

Other posts by Rawa: Knowing Allaah at All Times - First thing you will be asked about on the Day of Judgment

Free Islamic HD wallpaper: Blue sky

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Abdul Basit's At-Takweer MP3 download

Download here. [Mp3 - 1.6 MB]

Another one of Sheikh Abdul Basit Abdus Samad's best recitations.

Prayer cleanses the soul

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As Salamu Alaykoum brothers and sisters!

When we find the world closing in on us, there is no one to turn to except our creator. We directly go into sujjud, even the disbelievers bow down in sujjud during times of need, they do not realise that this is a key part of Islam.

"When the world pushes you to your knees, you are in the perfect position to pray" -TheSoulOfaRose

Two wrongs do not make a right

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As Salamu Alaykoum brothers and sisters!

Frustration makes us blind to the words of Allah (swt) at times of grief and anger. A wrongdoer may hurt us physically and emotionally. However, we must familiarise ourselves with the following verse:

"We ordained therein for them: 'Life for life, eye for eye, nose for nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth, and wounds equal for equal.' But if any one remits the retaliation by way of charity, it is an act of atonement for himself. And if any fail to judge by (the light of) what God has revealed, they are (no better than) wrong-doers." (Qur'an 5:45).

وَكَتَبْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ فِيهَا أَنَّ النَّفْسَ بِالنَّفْسِ وَالْعَيْنَ بِالْعَيْنِ وَالْأَنْفَ بِالْأَنْفِ وَالْأُذُنَ بِالْأُذُنِ وَالسِّنَّ بِالسِّنِّ وَالْجُرُوحَ قِصَاصٌ فَمَنْ تَصَدَّقَ بِهِ فَهُوَ كَفَّارَةٌ لَهُ وَمَنْ لَمْ يَحْكُمْ بِمَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ فَأُولَئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ (45)

Da'wah techniques: Kindness

"Kindness has converted more sinners than either zeal, eloquence, or learning." -Frederick William Faber

This sounds true to me, though there is no statistical data to prove it.

Previous quote: Islam is action, not just devotion.
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Pray underwater if you have to

May Allah accept their prayers.

The beauty of Allah's creation: Veiled mountain

Other awesome stuff: Scenic volcanic mountain - 1000 Km long Australian clouds - Vastness of Allah's creation - Volcanic blast makes a hole in the clouds
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Islamic parenting: Why it is bad to tell children they are smart

"Scientific studies have shown that you can destroy a child by calling them “smart.” Even when they’re very young, little kids know that being “smart” is what makes them special – and so, the first time they encounter something they don’t understand immediately, it’s a threat. Their specialness is in danger of being stripped away. And if they lose that smartness, then what are they?

Kids who are called smart take fewer chances. Why risk all that glorious social acclaim for a stupid test? And if you don’t really try, then you can still be smart – you may have potential, but even a six-year-old knows that having the potential to be smart gives you more benefits than finding out that no, you’re not really smart at all.

Far better to tell a kid that they’re hard working. Hard work is something you can’t take away. Hard work is something that can always be improved. Smart can just… vanish."

Other parenting tips: Bringing up a family - Torso splays
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Biography of Sheikh Abdul Basit Abdus Samad

At the request of one of our readers, here is a short biography of Sheikh Abdul Basit Abdus Samad:

"Sheikh 'Abdul-Bâsit 'Abdus-Samad was born in 1927 and died in 1988. He came to Cairo from the city of Armant in Upper Egypt in 1950, having established his reputation in the south. He was the first reciter in his family, but his grandfather was a religious scholar of al-Azhar training. Sheikh 'Abdul-Bâsit is probably the best-known of Egyptian reciters outside of Egypt, as he was the first to make commercial recordings of his recitation, and he has travelled extensively outside of Egypt. Sheikh 'Abdul-Bâsit is one of the four top-ranking reciters in Egypt. He was the first president of the newly formed Reciters' Union. Sheikh 'Abdul-Bâsit is admired for breath control and his high-pitched, clear voice.

Three recordings of the entire Qur'ân by Sheikh 'Abdul-Bâsit are available: two in the transmission of Hafs (one murattal and one mujawwad) and one in the transmission of Warsh 'an Nafi'."

Sheikh Abdul Basit recitations available on QuranClub for download: Surah Ad-Dhuha and Al-Inshirah - Surah At-Tariq.

This biography was taken from this page.

The beauty of Allah's creation: Scenic volcanic mountain

Quranic verse: The Safe Sanctuary الحرم الآمن


أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْا أَنَّا جَعَلْنَا حَرَماً آمِناً وَيُتَخَطَّفُ النَّاسُ مِنْ حَوْلِهِمْ أَفَبِالْبَاطِلِ يُؤْمِنُونَ وَبِنِعْمَةِ اللَّهِ يَكْفُرُونَ

العنكبوت : 67

"Have they not seen how We have granted a safe sanctuary while men are being kidnapped all around them? Yet they still believe in falsehood and disbelieve in God's favor!"

Al-Qaradawi: Niqab is Neither an Obligation Nor an Innovation

In short: The majority of scholars believe that women are allowed to show their faces.

"I wish to begin by emphasising a fact that does not really need emphasis as it is eminently and undeniably well-known among the people of knowledge. It is that the view that wearing the niqāb is not an obligation, and that it is permissible for a Muslim woman to uncover her face in front of unrelated men, is the view of the majority of the legal scholars (jumhūr al-fuqahāʾ), since the time of the Companions (Ṣaḥāba).

So there is no justification for this contrived clamour, this artificial storm, that some sincere people, who are not scholars, and some zealous students of knowledge, have created against what the illustrious dāʿiya, Shaykh Muḥammad al-Ghazālī has said in some of his books and articles. They give the impression that he has invented new and unprecedented opinions, while they are in fact no more than the statements of respected imams and jurists, as we shall demonstrate.  We will show that this is the position that is best supported by the evidence and traditions (āthār). It is backed up by [scholarly] reflection and contemplation, and is corroborated by the reality on the ground in the best times [i.e. the times of the best generations]."

Islamic Living series - Tip Number 3

Mosque sunsetThe Verse:
وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ

Translation: "And you do we call on for help" [Holy Quran, 1:5]

Application in daily life: Make Allah your first refuge when you need help. Only He is able to change your situation. When you need people's help, ask Allah first, then go to them. They can always refuse, but if you ask Allah, He may soften toward you their hearts.

Tip 1 - Tip 2 - Browse All Tips

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Sheikh Abdul Basit's recitation of Surah Ad-Dhuha and Al-Inshirah

Download here. [Mp3 - 0.9 MB]

This is another one of Sheikh Abdul Basit's best Quran recitations.

Islam is action, not just devotion

Blue mosque"Existence was given us for action, rather than indolent and aimless contemplation; our worth is determined by the good deeds we do, rather than by the fine emotions we feel. They greatly mistake, who suppose that God cares for no other pursuit than devotion." -Elias Lyman Magoon

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Free Islamic art: Baqara 186

You are free to use this anywhere you like.

Translation of the verse:
"Whenever My servants ask you about Me,
[it means] I am Near.
I answer the appeal of the prayerful one
whenever he appeals to Me.
Let them respond to Me,
and believe in Me
so they may be directed!" [Holy Quran, 2:186]

Photo source.

Tip #2: Give all the credit to Allah - Daily Islamic Living series

Today's verse:
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

"Praise be to God, Lord of the Universe." [Holy Quran, 1:2]

Application in everyday life: We should be grateful to Allah and show our gratefulness by saying alhamdulillah. We should do this, for example, when we press the Power button on the computer and it turns on.

Alhamdu-lillah literally means "The credit is all Allah's." It means, "It is by Allah's grace that I exist, that I know Him, and that this thing exists that I am grateful about." It is a great expression of submission to Allah.

Photo source.

العطاء و المنع [Arabic]

عن العطاء و المنع، نتحدث اليوم:
عندما يأتيني نقص فى الأنفس و الثمرات، أبادر بشكر ربي؛ فلعله خير. لماذا ينعم الله علي بالمنع و الابتلاء هذه الفترة؟ هل يحبني و يختارني للامتحان؟
و عندما تسير الأمور على خير، و تغيب الابتلاءات لفترة، فإنني اتساءل. لماذا ينعم الله علي بالعطاء الآن؟ و ربما أراد سبحانه أن يريحني قليلا و يعطيني من فضله أو إنني نجحت فى الامتحان. هل سبحانه و تعالى أوقف الاختبار و الامتحان؛ لأنني لا استحق الابتلاء؟ ثم أراجع أفعالي و قلبي؛هل بعدت عن ربي؟ لماذا لم يمتحني هذه الفترة؟ ربما هذا و ربما ذاك.
أنا أنظر للمنع و العطاء نظرة واحدة، فكلاهما من الله نعمة علينا و إحسان لنا. و تأتي الحكمة الثامنة و الثمانون من حكم ابن عطاء الله السكندري لتقول لي:

العطاء من الخلق حرمان و المنع من الله إحسان

هيا بنا نتفهم ما المنع و ما العطاء؟
العطاء من الناس يكون فى الأغلب بأجر و بمقابل. إن لم تعط غيرك سابقا، لما أعطاك شيئا لاحقا. و ما هذا بعطاء. إنما هو تبادل و تدوير للمصالح و المنافع. و على قدر الأخذ يكون العطاء. عليك أن تحرم من شئ ما مقابل شئ ستأخذه. بل قد ينقطع عطاء الناس فى أي وقت لموتهم مثلا؛ فيكون حرمانا. لكن تعلقك بعطاء الخلق و البشر، يجعلك تغفل أحيانا عن الحقيقة. و هي أنه لا فضل لأحد من الخلق على أحد. بل هو خير الله فى الأرض يعطى من هذا لذاك و يسبب الأسباب للتبادل. لا تتعلق بعطاء الخلق؛ فتنسى الخالق. لا تتعلق بأحد من الناس ظانا أنه يعطيك. لا تحرم نفسك من متعة و نعمة التعلق بالله المعطي الوهاب. إنما عطاء الخلق حرمان لا عطاء.
بينما العطاء من الله بلا حدود و بلا أسباب. حتى لو انقطعت عبادتك. ألم تر إلى الله يعطى العاصي و الفاجر؟ و ما نقص من ملكه شئ لو اجتمع الكل على أتقى أو أفجر قلب. فهذا عطاء بلا أخذ. و هذا عطاء لا حدود له. لأنه سبحانه و تعالى الحي الدائم الوهاب. ما أجمل هذا العطاء! إذن لماذا لا تتعلق به؟
و ماذا عن المنع من الله؟ و عندما يمنعنا سبحانه يمنعنا لسبب و علة. قد يكون اختبارا أو ابتلاءا حسب ما فعلته أنت و حسب درجة حبه لك. نعم، يمنع الله الخير عمن يحبه و يحبهم! ألم تر إلى القوم تغسلهم و تنقيهم التجارب المريرة و الخبرات الأليمة،فيزدادوا إيمانا و تقربا إلى الله. و سبحانه و تعالى يمنع عنك قدرا من المال أو يحرمك من الثمرات أو يغيب عنك بعض الأهل بالموت، لكي يجلوك و يقربك له لأنه يحبك. فإن صبرت؛ يرفعك لدرجة أعلى من الصابرين و المحتسبين. ما هذا بمنع و لا حرمان.
لا تنس أن الله حرم الرسول الكريم محمد بن عبد الله صلى الله عليه و سلم من الولد، فمات ابنه إبراهيم صغيرا. و جاءت السورة لترد على الجاهلين الذين ظنوه منعا لخير. إنما الحرمان من الله ابتلاء و عطاء. بل الآخرون هم المحرومون من هذا العطاء. (إن شانئك هو الأبتر) سورة الكوثر 3.

من يعلم الغيب إلا الله؟: قد يكون منعه لشيء، لما لا تعرفه أنت من علم الغيب. فتظن بعقلك أن المنع إنما منع لخير قادم و هو فى الحقيقة درء لشر أشد. كأن يمنعك من نجاح أو يمنعك من تقدم و هو يختبرك و يجلوك أو لأنه ليس هذا الميعاد الأفضل لهذا الخير. فتظن أنه منعك حرمانا، لكن سبحانه منعك لا حرمانا كما البشر. إنه عطاء الرب عندما يمنع، لو تتدبرون.

الظاهر فى منع الله أنه نقص، لكن الباطن عطاء و إحسان.
الظاهر فى عطاء الناس أنه زيادة، لكن الباطن نقص و حرمان.
لا تتعلق بعطاء البشر. و لا تجزع من منع الرب.
تأدب مع الله و هو يمنع، و تأدب معه وهو يعطى.
كنا معه دائما.

و لنا كلمة أخرى :
لا تنس أن العطاء من الله يكون أحيانا اختبارا. فإن شئت شكرا أو عقابا. ألا تذكر قارون و قومه! أين ذهب ما أوتى من عطاء؟ لقد كان عطاءا فى الأصل، ثم صار اختبارا، ثم بما فعله قارون صار عقابا مستحقا. و لا يظلم ربك أحدا، لكن الناس أنفسهم يظلمون.لا تأمن مكر الله عندما يعطيك، إنما يختبرك أحيانا.
لا تنس أن المنع من الله يكون أحيانا اختبارا. هل كان حرمان قوم قارون منعا أم اختبارا لهم؟ بالطبع هناك من نجح فى الاختبار و عرف الحق. و لا تأمن مكره عندما يمنعك. قد يكون مقدمة لخير لا تعلمه. فاصبر على قدرك و أحبه؛ ليحبك الله.
أحبوا كل شئ من الله سواء أعطى أم منع. لا تنخدعوا بعطاء أو منع البشر. هل تعامل البشر خيرا من الله؟!

و أخيرا، من المراجع نعرض لكم هذا التوضيح :
العطاء من الخلق حرمان: أي أنه إذا أعطاك الخلق شيئا ما، فأخذته غافلا عن الله؛ سبحانه و تعالى فهو و إن كان عطاء فى الظاهر، لكنه حرمان فى الباطن و فى الحقيقة، لما فيه من غفلتك عن الله و غياب القلب عن الحق.
و المنع من الله إحسان: أي منع الله لك، و عدم إعطائك إحسان لك ، لأنه و إن كان منعا ظاهرا فهو عطاءا باطنا، لأنه يقتضي الالتجاء إلى الله، و دوام العبودية لله.

و لما انتهى الكلام ختمناه بقولنا: سبحانك اللهم و بحمدك نستغفرك و نتوب إليك.
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