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Who else can you call upon?


يا رب إن عظمت ذنوبي كثرة - فلقد علمت بأن عفوك أعظم
أدعوك ربي كما أمرت تضرعاً - فإذا رددت يدي فمن ذا يرحم
إن كان لا يرجوك إلا محسن - فمن الذي يرجو المسيء المجرم
مالي إليك وسيلة إلا الرجا - وجميل عفوك ثم أني مسلم



Oh my lord if my sins are great in multitude, then I know your forgiveness is greater

I call on you lord as you have commanded in humility, so if you reject my hand who will have mercy on me?
If only the righteous have hope in you, then in whom should the transgressing criminals hope in?
I have no path to you except hope, and your beautiful forgiveness, and that I am a Muslim.

-Four verses found under Abu Nuwas' pillow when he died..

Why is doing the right thing so hard and can hurt so much sometimes?

Best Answer - Chosen by voters:
Mahatma Gandhi once said the good that war does is temporary--the evil is permanent. This may not be the same thing, but the same concept is still true when you reverse it; the evil truth does is temporary--the good is permanent.

Source: Y! Answers.
Photo credit.

Start your journey to Paradise

"No one can go back and make a brand new start. Anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending." -Source unknown.

Photo credit.

Simple tip to attain Allah's love

'Say (O Muhammad to mankind): "If you really love God then follow me and God will love you."' [Quran, 3:31]

Photo by رمضان كريم.

Got an Itch?

One of the salaf related how sinning is like an itch. Shaitan and the Nafs are like mosquitoes that bite your soul and make you itch. Scratching that itch is sinning. It is better to resist the incredible desire to scratch, bear the torture, and try to remedy by applying an ointment (good deeds). If you start scratching, you will have to go on scratching until you wound the area.



Picture Source

Allah will make sure of it

"Ultimately, an evil plot harms none except its makers." [Quran, 35:43]

Saturday the 22nd of August is the First day of Ramadan 2009-1430

The countries Saudi, Qatar, the Emirates, Kuwait, Yemen, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, the Palestinian lands, the Sunni areas of Iraq, Tunis, Malaysia, and Indonesia have announced that Saturday, the 22nd of August is the first day of Ramadan.

Source: Aljazeera.net.

Photo by Rui Ornelas.

An example for some

"Indeed in the Messenger of God (Muhammad) you have a good example to follow, for him who hopes in (the Meeting with) God and the Last Day and remembers God much." [Quran, 33:21]

Death of the Heart

No, not the stroke; but forgetting about our Creator:

أَوَ مَن كَانَ مَيْتاً فَأَحْيَيْنَاهُ وَجَعَلْنَا لَهُ نُوراً يَمْشِي بِهِ فِي النَّاسِ كَمَن مَّثَلُهُ فِي الظُّلُمَاتِ لَيْسَ بِخَارِجٍ مِّنْهَا كَذَلِكَ زُيِّنَ لِلْكَافِرِينَ مَا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ

"Is he who was dead (without faith by ignorance and disbelief) and We gave him life (by knowledge and faith) and set for him a light (of belief) so that he can walk among people, like him who is in the darkness (of disbelief, polytheism or hypocrisy) from which he can never come out? Thus it is made fair­seeming to the disbelievers that which they used to do."*

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* Surah Al-An'aam, verse 122

Picture by kiwanja

Ramadan - A Way of Life

This is a beautiful lecture by Dr. Bilal Philips about Ramadaan and fasting. He mentions, among other subjects, some of the errors that are done with regard to eating in Ramadaan. The second part of the video is a questions and answers session. You can watch them online at the following Google Video links, or download them from the "Download video - iPod/PSP" link available in the video's page in Google Video:

Part 1





Part 2

Do you fit the description?

"It is guidance and mercy for those who like to do good things." [Quran, 31:3]

Photo by Tim PopUp.

The Nature of the Qur'aan: Created or Uncreated?

Allah is the Creator; He wasn't created. Allah's book, the Qur'aan, is an attribute of Allah, thus it is not a created thing. Those who have claimed the Qur'aan to be a created thing have been thoroughly rebuked in the books of 'Aqeedah.

Recently for the second time I came across a beautiful explanation of the nature of the Qur'aan by Imaam Abu Haneefah (radhia Allaahu 'anhu). In it he says:*

وصفاته في الأزل غير محدثة ولا مخلوقة ومن قال إنها مخلوقة أو محدثة او وقف او شك فيهما فهو كافر بالله تعالى
"And His attributes have always been (existent), not new, and not created. And whoever says that they are created or they are new, or (he) stops to (re)think about them or doubts them, then he is a disbeliever in Allaah, the Most High."


والقرآن كلام الله تعالى في المصاحف مكتوب وفي القلوب محفوظ وعلى الألسن مقروء وعلى النبي عليه الصلاة والسلام منزل ولفظنا بالقرآن مخلوق وكتابتنا له مخلوقة وقراءتنا له مخلوقة والقرآن غير مخلوق
"And the Qur'aan is the Word of Allaah, the Most High, written in books, memorized in hearts, recited on tongues, and revealed to the Prophet (salla Allaahu 'alayhy wa sallam). Our recitation of the Qur'aan is created, our writing of it is created, and our reading of it is created, but the Qur'aan (itself) is not created."


وما ذكره الله تعالى في القرآن حكاية عن موسى وغيره من الأنبياء عليهم السلام وعن فرعون وابليس فإن ذلك كله كلام الله تعالى إخبارا عنهم وكلام الله تعالى غير مخلوق وكلام موسى وغيره من المخلوقين
"And what Allaah, the Most High, mentioned in the Qur'aan relating from Moses and others among the messengers (peace be upon them), from Pharaoh, and from Iblees then all that is the Word of Allaah telling (us) about them and the Word of Allaah is not created while the words of Moses and the others are created."


والقرآن كلام الله تعالى لا كلامهم وسمع موسى عليه السلام كلام الله تعالى كما في قوله تعالى (وكلم الله موسى تكليما)ا
"So the Qur'aan is the Word of Allaah, the Most High, not their words. And Moses (peace be upon him) heard the Word of Allaah, the Most High, as Allaah mentioned in the Qur'aan (And indeed Allaah spoke to Moses.)"


وقد كان الله تعالى متكلما ولم يكن كلم موسى عليه السلام وقد كان الله تعالى خالقا في الأزل ولم يخلق الخلق فلما كلم الله موسى كلمه بكلامه الذي هو له صفة في الأزل وصفاته كلها بخلاف صفات المخلوقين
"And Allaah had the attribute of speaking before He spoke to Moses (peace be upon him) and He was the Creator before He created the creation. So when He spoke to Moses, He spoke to him with the attribute of speaking that He had always had and His attributes are not like those of His creation."


يعلم لا كعلمنا ويقدر لا كقدرتنا ويرى لا كرؤيتنا ويتكلم لا ككلامنا ويسمع لا كسمعنا ونحن نتكلم بالآلات والحروف و الله تعالى يتكلم بلا آلة ولا حروف والحروف مخلوقة وكلام الله تعالى غير مخلوق
"He knows not like our knowledge, He has power not like our power, He sees not like our sight, He speaks not like our speaking, and He hears not like our hearing. We speak by (speech) apparatus and letters while Allaah speaks not by apparatus and not by letters. The letters are created while the Speech of Allaah is not created."

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* Al-Fiqh al-Akbar, the chapter of Al-Qawl fil Qur'aan (regarding the Qur'aan), and partially quoted in Sharh al-'Aqeedah at-Tahaawiyyah

Picture by Zaid Al Balushi (license)

Islaam Up Your Computer

A nice computer or laptop should have at least 30-100 gigabytes of memory. With this amount of memory, people store media files, documents, pictures, and programs. Have you ever checked how much your "Qur`aan" folder (if you have one) uses of this memory? Compare it with your "Movies" or "Music" folders. Some results may cause fainting. But not to worry! There's always a way to brighten the day!

Watching a nice video of Shaykh Maahir leading taraaweeh may not be every one's Friday night plans, but hey, I'm not saying there's no other way to "Islaam up your computer".

Change the sound scheme! Click Start on the bottom left corner of the screen. Why are you shivering? I already told you what we're doing...now lightly click "Control Panel". Harshly click the "sounds" category, then find the sound scheme. Change everything. That's right, change everything. For exclamation, put a recording of you saying "Astaghfirullaah!". For start up, nothing's more peaceful than Shaykh Mishaari 'Efaasi reading Surah Ikhlaas. If you want to go far with this, then for "Critical Battery Alarm" put a recording of your best friend on a roller coaster shouting, "ALLAAH! SAVE ME! I PROMISE I'LL FAST EVERYDAY AND I'LL STOP TALKING TO MY GIRLFRIEND..." It always brings a chuckle to a soul in fear of Computer death.

Photo by Manuel Cernuda.

Ozone layer

"And we made the sky a protective ceiling, but they turn away from our signs." [Quran, 21:32]

Photo by Bonguri.

Are you protected?

"Indeed, God protects those who have believed in Him." [Quran, 22:38]

Photo by symmerania.

Cherry-picking in Islaam

Pronouncing the Shahaadah by a Muslim includes the implication that whatever Allaah has ordered then that is the ultimatum. There is no room for debate in what has been ordered by Allaah. One aspect of negligence here is picking what you like of the religion and ignoring that which doesn't appeal to your taste.

I feel this to be somewhat prevalent in my society and probably also in other parts of the world. The male abides by Islaamic law in getting twice the share of the female. But then he doesn't provide for his wife and children as he should. When his mother gets ill, he makes his sister pay an equal amount to provide medical care for their mother. The sister then thinks "He got twice my share, but now I have to spend even that?!" And that, unfortunately, has made certain women to choose the "legal" (as is called in my city) rather than the Islaamic method of dividing the inheritance so that both the male and the female get the same share.

Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta'aalaa) relates to us the story of some Jewish tribes who would break the law of the Torah in driving out other Jewish groups from their homes but then abide by the Torah in receiving ransom for releasing the captives. He (subhaanahu wa ta'aalaa) then tells us about the seriousness of such act:

أَفَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِبَعْضِ الْكِتَابِ وَتَكْفُرُونَ بِبَعْضٍ فَمَا جَزَاء مَن يَفْعَلُ ذَلِكَ مِنكُمْ إِلاَّ خِزْيٌ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَيَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ يُرَدُّونَ إِلَى أَشَدِّ الْعَذَابِ وَمَا اللّهُ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ


"Do you then believe in part of the Book and disbelieve in the rest? The penalty for those who do this among you is but disgrace in this world, and on the Day of Resurrection they will suffer the most severe punishment for Allaah is not unaware of what you do."*

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* Surah al-Baqarah, verse 85

Picture by Julie Danielle (license)

The price of turning away from Him

'And whoever turns away from remembering Me will have a difficult, pointless life and on the Day of Judgment We will summon him (or her) as a blind person. He will say: "My Lord, why have you summoned me as a blind person when before I was sighted?" He will say: "Thus did Our verses come to you, and you forgot them; that is why you have been forgotten today.' [Quran, 20:124-126]

Do you know anyone else who is like Him?

"He is the Lord of the skies and the Earth and everything in between, so worship Him and be consistent in your worshiping, do you know anyone else who is like Him?" [Quran, 19:65]

Photo by zedzap.

Do women really receive lower wages than men? The Feminist "Wage Gap" farce

"Feminists claim that women are only paid 74 cents for every dollar a man makes. This angers a lot of women. The figures themselves are correct, but they are not presented truthfully. The numbers represent men and women as a whole, NOT comparing a man and a woman in the same company with the same seniority, same experience and education. Men as a whole will always make more than women as a whole because there are stay at home Moms, wives who only work part time, and women who take time off to have babies. Men also work more overtime and more of the dangerous and higher paying jobs. It is against the law to pay a woman less than a man for the same job, and qualifications...so anyone who believes this feminist lie is not very bright." -Pook, Feminism on Trial.

Download free halal HD wallpapers at interfacelift.com

Interfacelift.com is my favorite site for downloading desktop wallpapers. Every few days I look at their new works and pick fresh ones for my desktop. Each wallpaper is available in various sizes from small ones for cell phones to large High Definition sizes like 1080p and 2560x1600.

I have been visiting the website for two years and so far everything I have seen has been halal. The wallpapers are mostly works of professional photography and graphic design.

Takfeer of Iblees

Have you ever thoroughly thought about why and when did Iblees become a Kaafir?* First we have to establish from the Qur'aan that he indeed is a Kaafir. Allaah describes him as such in Surah al-Baqarah:

وَإِذْ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلاَئِكَةِ اسْجُدُواْ لآدَمَ فَسَجَدُواْ إِلاَّ إِبْلِيسَ أَبَى وَاسْتَكْبَرَ وَكَانَ مِنَ الْكَافِرِينَ


"And (remember) when We said to the angels: "Prostrate yourselves before Adam.". And they prostrated except Iblîs, he refused and was proud and was one of the disbelievers."**

Now let us think about the reason of his disbelief. If we say that he is a disbeliever just because he disobeyed Allaah, then every single human being will also be a disbeliever. If it is because he did not repent, we say that even major sins (excpet for Shirk) do not make one a disbeliever and that is our 'Aqeedah. It is the Khawaarij who said (and the neo-s may still say) that major sins make one a disbeliever but this is is not our 'Aqeedah.

Some may say he became a Kaafir because he thought himself superior to Aadam. Superficially, this answer is also insufficient because I think that everybody may feel superior to somebody else even if it be once in their life. The reason indeed may lie in his feeling of superiority to Aadam not due to the feeling itself but what it implied at that moment.

Allaah had commanded the angels ('alayhym as salaam) and Iblees to bow down to Aadam. When Iblees refused to do so, his justification was that he was superior to Aadam. But what did this really imply? It implied that Iblees was basically saying to Allaah that He made a mistake in asking Iblees to prostrate to somebody whom Iblees thought was lower than himself, ta'aalaa Allaahu 'an thalika. When he [i.e. Iblees] attributed a mistake to Allaah and placed his wisdom and thinking higher, that, I believe, was the turning point of his disbelief. He then made it worse by not repenting and also putting forth a challenge that he will misguide every human being on earth except that he won't be able to sway the believers.

This is an important issue of 'Aqeedah that many people are not aware of today. This same principle applies to every ruling that is made by Allaah. If somebody doesn't pray, then their reason determines whether they have indeed apostated or not. If they are not praying because they are lazy but still admit that praying is obligatory, then we cannot say that they have become disbelievers; rather we say that they are committing a major sin and they have no guarantee with Allaah. If, however, and this seems to be more common in my city, they do not pray because they believe that praying is not necessary although they know it has been commanded by Allaah, then they are indeed doing the same thing that Iblees did.

And Allaah knows best.

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* This was mainly inspired by one of the lectures of Dr. Bilaal Philips.

** Surah al-Baqarah, verse 34

*** Picture by Patrick Doheny (license)

The locks upon human hearts [Tafsir of Surah Muhammad, Verse 24]



Surah Muhammad: Verse 24

Will they not, then, ponder over this Qur’an? - or are there locks upon their hearts?

According to Tafsir Ibn Kathir this ayah is a command from Allah to reflect upon the verses within the Quran.

[أَفَلاَ يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْءَانَ أَمْ عَلَى قُلُوبٍ أَقْفَالُهَآ ]

This means, there indeed are locks upon some hearts, firmly closing them so that none of its meanings can reach them. Ibn Jarir recorded from Hisham bin `Urwah, from his father, may Allah be pleased with him, that Allah's Messenger once recited this Ayah, and a young man from Yemen said, "Indeed, there are locks upon them -- until Allah opens them totally or slightly.'' After that `Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, always liked that young man, and kept that to himself until he became in charge, upon which he utilized him (as a consultant).


Continuation of the discussion with Jewish friend about niqab

This is a continuation of the dialogue that was started by a Jewish acquaintance of mine on facebook. She had become interested about the burqa and niqaab because of France's recent ban on such attire. Part 1 of this article can be found here.

Part 2:

Friend: Yes, Judaism has many of the same beliefs regarding modesty. I thought wearing a burqa was for that reason. What exactly does Islam say a woman should cover? I guess we should start from the beginning since I don't actually know! Judaism says at the least cover one's arm past the elbow, a couple inches below the such that when a woman sits her knee is not exposed, one's shirt should cover at least up to the collar bone and married women cover their hair. There are communities that will only wear clothes that goes to their feet and hands and some women who shave their heads so as not to ever expose even a piece of hair. These women are praised for going above and beyond what the Torah tells us too. But there aren't any Jewish women who cover their face. Since our beliefs in modesty are so similar, I am trying to understand why some Muslims cover their face as well. What is it about the face that needs to be covered? Is it more modest? Why? Do they do it only when they get married or or before they are married as well? If it is before they get married, at what age do they start wearing a burqa and not just a hijab? At what age do women begin wearing a hijab?

Of course I am not labeling anyone. I just don't understand why and have been curious. Our religions are similar in so many ways so when there appears to be a different idea I'd like to know why and from where it came.

If you're interested, there is a wonderful book on Jewish modesty called "Doesn't Anyone Blush Anymore?" by Rabbi Manis Friedman. He beautifully illustrates how modesty can be a great tool in one's life through humor, stories and Jewish law. It's a quick and easy read. Since our beliefs in modesty are so similar, I think you would gain a lot from reading it as well, at least I did.



Me: Sure, let's start at the beginning.
Women are instructed to cover in the Quran, however, it isn't spelled out in detail what it means to dress modestly until we take a look at the collection of Hadith. The collection of hadith are the words and traditions of the Prophet Muhammad which where documented and verified by his companions and those alive during this lifetime. They exhibit what he said, allowed, and what he frowned at but didn't say was forbidden, etc. So in the hadith, Muhammad pbuh, was said to have shown on his own body what parts women are able to show if they so choose. They were: The hands and the face and sometimes the feet (there are two different theories on showing the feet, in my opinion feet are allowed because they are just like hands).
The general rule is that Muslim girls should start wearing hijab when they start looking like a woman. I know girls who began to wear it during the first month they got their menses. I personally wore it at the age of 9 even though I didn't have to.

Islamically, covering the hair or face has nothing to do with marriage or a husband's say-so, because it's usually done at or around puberty. I know that certain Muslim men (or their families) will say that they don't want to marry their son to a woman who doesn't cover her hair. And maybe if she really likes him, she will start wearing hijab so that they can marry and everyone can be happy; this is for the wrong reason but I know that it happens. At the end of the day, a woman will not wear it (seriously and consistently) if she does not believe it is good for her. That's just normal and expected.

Why do they do it? Muslim women cover their faces because they want to. I know a few that think it's absolutely necessary for them. One muslima I know who converted to Islam 10 years ago wears niqab/face veil because she doesn't want anyone from her past to recognize her. She admitted to me that she was quite the wild girl and she would be humiliated now if an ex-bf approached her with a "remember the time that we..." story on the street. Another woman does it because she was obsessed for fashion, a slave to trends and knew it was unhealthy so sheforced herself to find a balance. She got to be obscure and sheltered from prying, judging eyes in the public sphere and chic and trendy at home with her girlfriends and for her husband and relatives. Yet another Muslim woman covers because she wants to be just like the wives of the prophet. It is said that those women had special status and would cover their faces when speaking to men that were not related to them or converse with them from behind a screen.



I think anyone can come up with some reasons for why someone would go the extra mile. Basically though, these women cover because they want to for one reason or another. It's the same reason why some Muslims fast outside of Ramadan, or pray more than the prescribed 5 daily prayers, or call their parents everyday. They know it's good to and they are trying to earn the pleasure of Allah. If they can do this extra deed easily they have no excuse not to.

Personally, I decided not to wear niqab here in America for two reasons. Through my research and understanding it is an optional act and though I don't believe it is oppressive in itself, it does put a strain on social interactions when you are out and about in the West. Since I'm very active in my community and I work in the public arena which is filled with non-Muslims, it would not be the best idea for me to wear it because it is looked upon _disgustingly_ here. I've had lots of incidents where random people will ask me about my hijab, yet it's almost unheard of for strangers to approach a niqabi about covering her face. They just stay away from her, period. They already (think they) know her story.

My family is not too hot about the idea of me wearing it either. When my husband and I were in the courting stage, he related to me that it would be as difficult for him to marry a woman that didn't wear hijab as it would to marry one who covered her face in public.

Still, I am for the woman that _chooses_ to be obscure in the public sphere, I respect her wish to be overlooked by those that may attempt to harm her integrity, reputation, mentality, or physiology. I respect her choice. She's obviously benefiting from it, whether it's so she won't be embarrassed by her past or so she won't feel like she must always look flawless and stylish to fit in society.

If the book you mentioned is available in the library I might check it out. Buying books right now is a luxury I cannot afford at the moment, unfortunately.

I apologize for not starting from the beginning in the beginning! I understand why you were confused. My bad.

Friend: Thank you for taking the time to write all of that for me! I know I am ignorant about many of the laws in Islam and I try to ask questions as often as I can, but sometimes I'm afraid because I don't know how to word them and I don't want to seem like I am putting down anyone's customs or observances.

Do the women who wear a niqab often look down upon those who do not? Are there certain areas in the Muslim world that you would not be allowed to go if you did not wear one?

Me: There may be some niqaabis (women who cover their faces) that look down on those who don't. But it's not a common phenomenon; we don't have a name for it or support group for this, you know?
I wear hijaab but don't look down on those who don't. We are all at different levels and abilities at any given moment. I worry about me and what I'm doing to dis/please God. That consumes my time. Others are not like and will judge you by what you wear.

Maybe one or two cities in Saudi Arabia are places where all the women wear niqaab. In that situation I would definitely wear one because otherwise I'd stick out like a sore thumb. And the people in that area would take it negatively (is she rebelling in some way? Is she trying to suggest something? Does she want to tempt our husbands? Does she want to change our traditions here? Does she look down on niqaabis?). In the same way that if you knew that everyone would be wearing white yet, for some reason, you choose to wear black. People would be very confused and surprised and upset by it.

Friend: Thank you for answering all of my questions! We'll have to start a new topic so we don't have to scroll so far down on your wall. Take care!


And that concludes our discussion on the niqaab and burqa. I feel that I am all the better for it. Her questions allowed me to take a look at what I believe and why, and it gave me the opportunity to put words to my thoughts on the subject. Alhamdulillah.

The Passerby under the Tree

The Messenger (salla Allaahu 'alayhy wa sallam) said, replying to some companions who offered him a softer and more comfortable bed:

مَا لِي وَمَا لِلدُّنْيَا مَا أَنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا إِلَّا كَرَاكِبٍ اسْتَظَلَّ تَحْتَ شَجَرَةٍ ثُمَّ رَاحَ وَتَرَكَهَا

"Why should I desire this world?! I am just like a passerby who took some rest under a tree then went away and left it."*

This is very powerful. The recent death of my neighbor led me to come across this in a book. I believe we can sometimes get too immersed in this world and death is a good reminder to get us back to the surface.

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* Narrated by at-Tirmithee in his Sunan (2299), Ibn Maajah (4099), and Ahmad (2608, 3525, 3991), among others, and the wording is of at-Tirmithee. Abu 'Eesaa said at the end "This is a Hasan (good) Saheeh (authentic) Hadeeth" and al-Albaanee agreed with him (As Silsilatul Saheehah, 438).


* Photo by StewBl@ck (Cycling in Dorset for a week) (license)
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