The one who looks after and works for a widow and for a poor person is like a warrior fighting for Allah's Cause or like a person who fasts during the day and prays all the night. (Sahih Bukhari)
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"When the servant marries, then he has completed half of the deen. Then let him fear Allah with regard to the remaining half" (Saheeh ul-Jaami no.443)Marriage as an Institution
It is the oldest practice of mankind, an act whose existence coincided with the first creation: Adam and Hawa, the first man and the first woman were nothing less than husband and wife. Since then, the institution of marriage has been held as the only divinely accepted form of companionship between a man and a woman. Even in our so modern society, marriage is still recognized as a positive event, a union that celebrates and brings together two families. We are raised to understand that marriage and weddings are happy events that should be welcome, brides and grooms congratulated and blessed. Even mere strangers are joyful and happy when they randomly see an unknown bride and her groom taking pictures on a random street.
Picture perfect weddings, amazing food, entertainment that is to die for, those are the things people expect at a wedding. A union of two people is indeed an extraordinary thing in our so ordinary world. Islam in particular deems this union so important that it states that marriage is equivalent to half of the deen (religion).
Half of your deen
People often understand this as meaning that it is half of your deen to get married. The act of getting married in itself is considered the accomplishment of half of your Islamic obligations. Thet couldn't be more wrong. Indeed the act in itself is just the picture-perfect fairytale that we are raised to believe, forgetting that the only perfect couple is the one sitting on top of the wedding cake. They are the bride and groom who have an unconditional, eternal smile on their face because ironically they never have to talk to each other.
When the Prophet saw said that marriage was half of our deen, what he meant was the way you behave in the marriage and your actions as husband/wife should draw you closer to Allah. In other words, about half of all of our Islamic virtues such as love, patience, honesty, fidelity, tolerance, chastity, forgiveness, compassion, striving, family, parenthood, mercy…. find their natural expression through married life. Indeed the excellence of a husband’s manners towards his wife, or that of a wife towards her husband will draw them closer to their Lord.
Love and Compassion Photo Source
In the Holy Quran, Allah says
And one of His signs is that He created mates for you from among yourselves that you may find rest in them, and He put between you love and compassion; most surely there are signs in this for a people who reflect. (Ar-Rum 30: 21)
In this verse, Allah in His Infinite Wisdom used the expression “from among yourselves” to remind us that our spouses are an extension of ourselves and we are an extension of our mates. There is no room for selfishness in a marriage, only oneness. ‘I’ and ‘Me’ don’t exist anymore; they should be replaced with ‘Us’ and ‘We.’ Decisions are made together, not individually. They should reflect the wellbeing of everyone, and not just one member of the family unit. Love,mutual understanding and Compassion are what should be felt not resentment, animosity or enmity. These are not my words; these are the words of the One who Created words, Allah Himself. Words that when followed, two different people can strive to achieve one of the most beautiful institutions that He legislated.
How Much Will you pay?
This is why good character and taqwa (God-Consciousness) are at the top of the list of things to look for in a spouse. When a husband and a wife can't find it within themselves to behave in a loving and compassionate manner towards themselves, then they need to reevaluate their Islam and their devotion to Allah. In the words of our beloved Prophet Muhammad saw :
The best of you, is the one who is best to his wives, and I am the best of you toward my wives.When you have a good marriage, most likely you will have a good Islam. It is so much easier for spouses to express and practice the Islamic virtues that are an integral part our faith when they are in a good marriage. So brothers and sisters, how much will you pay for half of your deen? Will you give up your ego to practive half of your deen? Will you give from yourself to attain excellence? How much can you afford? Name your price, how much is half of your deen worth?
A Muslim man can acquire no benefit after Islam greater than a Muslim wife who makes him happy when he looks at her, obeys him when he commands her, and protects him when he is away from her in herself and in his property.
I have always loved rain. Since a very young age I was told to make du'a when it rained. I never thought to ask why, but after coming across the following verse, from the Quran, I fell in love with rain even more.
The next time it rains be thankful because rain is mercy*. Do not complain of the coming of rain, but rather rejoice and take the opportunity to make du'a.وَهُوَ الَّذِي يُنَزِّلُ الْغَيْثَ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا قَنَطُوا وَيَنْشُرُ رَحْمَتَهُ وَهُوَ الْوَلِيُّ الْحَمِيدُAnd He it is Who sendeth down the saving rain after they have despaired, and spreadeth out His mercy. He is the Protecting Friend, the Praiseworthy.
(Quran 42: 28)
*The well-being of the entire environment depends on it.
To find out who I saw, click here.
Last time it was the President of Sudan with his entourage. Shout out your guesses in the comment box and see if you guess the lucky guest of Masjid Al-Haraam.
وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتُ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ يَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ وَيُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَاةَ وَيُطِيعُونَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ أُولَئِكَ سَيَرْحَمُهُمُ اللَّهُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌThe believers, men and women, are Auliyâ' (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another, they enjoin what is good and discourage people from what is bad; they perform prayers and give the Zakât, and obey God and His Messenger. God will have His Mercy on them. Surely God is All-Mighty, All-Wise. [Holy Quran, 9:71]
The Prophet prayed in a Khamisa (a square garment) having marks. During the prayer, he looked at its marks. So when he finished the prayer he said, "Take this Khamisa of mine to Abu Jahm and get me his Inbijaniya (a woolen garment without marks) as it (the Khamisa) has diverted my attention from the prayer." [Sahih Bukhari Volume 1, Book 8, Number 369:]I wonder what the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) would say about the ornamented walls and floors of today's mosques, not to mention the praying mats in our homes.
The Prophet said, "Facilitate things for people (concerning religious matters), and do not make it hard for them. And give them good tidings and do not make them run away (from Islam)." [Sahih Al-Bukhari Volume 1, Book 3, Number 69]
Many of us have different views on love, but we can all agree on the fact that it is a blessing to be loved and to love. I felt the need to point out a few things that one easily forgets.
Our love for Allah (swt) and His love for us is the source of all other kinds of love.In our search for true happiness, we may seek love and comfort in humans. However, we forget that true happiness is derived from love for our Most Merciful Creator. The most flourishing soul belongs to the person who aspires and strives for the love of Allah (swt), as referred to in the following verse:
O ye who believe! Whoso of you becometh a renegade from his religion, (know that in his stead) Allah will bring a people whom He loveth and who love Him, humble toward believers, stern toward disbelievers, striving in the way of Allah, and fearing not the blame of any blamer. Such is the grace of Allah which He giveth unto whom He will. Allah is All-Embracing, All-Knowing. (Qur'an 5: 54)
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا مَنْ يَرْتَدَّ مِنْكُمْ عَنْ دِينِهِ فَسَوْفَ يَأْتِي اللَّهُ بِقَوْمٍ يُحِبُّهُمْ وَيُحِبُّونَهُ أَذِلَّةٍ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَعِزَّةٍ عَلَى الْكَافِرِينَ يُجَاهِدُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَلَا يَخَافُونَ لَوْمَةَ لَائِمٍ ذَلِكَ فَضْلُ اللَّهِ يُؤْتِيهِ مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَاللَّهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ
We have all heard of many different love stories within different cultures and eras, which all ended in disaster. There is also love of power and status as evident in the story of Fir'aun (The Pharaoh), such a love destroyed him. Finally, there is divine love; Hamza, Ja'far and Hanzala (May the blessings of Allah be upon them) died for the cause of true love for Allah (swt) and Muhammad (saaw). There is a significant difference between the love that these noble companions possessed, all those believers who are like them, and the rest of humanity.
True love is from Allah (swt), our love for our parents, children, siblings, spouse and friends is all a blessing from Allah, a blessing that we are to be forever thankful for.
Near the end of our conversation I exclaimed passionately, "I haven't eaten since 9:30 this morning". He did not share my sentiment. It wasn't until after we hung up, that I remembered he was fasting, and thus, hadn't eaten in an even longer time than I.
How was it that I was more hungry than he? Was I imagining my feelings? Was I exaggerating my hunger? Well, yes and no--I concluded that what I was experiencing was primarily based on my frame of mind. I was able to acknowlede that in the past when I did something for the sake of Allah, the task was often easier for me. Today my husband made the intention to fast, fee sabeelillah, and I did not. I was going hungry for no good reason; which made me all the more hungry!
As Muslims we should think about everything in the right frame of mind. If we understand and acknowledge that whatever we are suffering through we are doing it for Allah, then the experience becomes less difficult.
Think of it like this: When you don't eat or drink for 9+ hours for Allah, it means you are fasting. But when you don't eat nor drink for 9+ hours, for any other reason, it only means that you are on the path to starvation.
If all the Munafiqs were to go out of Basrah, the city would remain vacant.On the other hand, his description of a Believer is excellent; may we all aspire to be Believers as Hasan described them. Ameen.
The Believer is a man who is the best of all men in regard to work, the most fearful of all men. He is a man of such a nature that the more he does good works, pious deeds, and acts of serving God, the greater the fear he feels within himself, and feels that he will not be saved. The Munafiq is a man who says, 'There are so many people around me (i.e., who are doing the same thing). I shall be forgiven. Nothing bad will happen to me.' Thus he goes on doing evil while indulging a hope that God (will forgive him).(From Hilyah al-Awliya as quoted in Toshihiko Izutsu's book, The Concept of Belief in Islamic Theology, pp. 65-66.)
"Give me back my camel." Said Abdul Mutallib.
"You are worried about your camel, but not about the Ka'ba?" Said the leader.
"I am the master of the camel, but the House (The Ka'ba) has its own Master who will protect it!"
Sadness is something that we have all experienced and are to experience throughout our lives. However, it is the way one deals with such sadness that differentiates them from others.
When we let sadness take us over, we are left in a state of depression, our soul is enervated from acting upon our will, and the body becomes inactive.
Undoubtedly, sadness brings nothing but negativity into our lives. Whether we have lost a loved one, a job, or have become sad due to a long term illness, there is only one answer. We must accept the situation, and supplicate to Allah (سبحانه وتعالى).
We are reminded of this in the Qur'an:
Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAAW) sought refuge from sadness with the following supplication:لَا تَحْزَنْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَنَاGrieve not, for Allah is with us. [Qur'an 9: 40]
O'Allah, I seek refuge in you from anxiety and grief.The occurrences of sadness and grief are out of our control, however, we can strive to use such hardships as trials that will only make us stronger. Everything happens for a reason, so we must be patient.
With this, dearest brothers and sisters, I remind you of the following verse:
WasSalaamu Alaykoumوَقَالُوا الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي أَذْهَبَ عَنَّا الْحَزَنَ إِنَّ رَبَّنَا لَغَفُورٌ شَكُورٌAnd they say: Praise be to Allah Who hath put grief away from us. Indeed our Lord is Forgiving, Bountiful. (Qur'an 35: 34)
A wise Muslim would contemplate upon such burdens as blessings from our Most Merciful Creator.
This life is truly hell for the believer and heaven for the disbeliever (as Prophet Muhammad, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, says), but surely our comfort comes from the fact that our next life will be a reflection and a reward for our struggles in this temporary life.
Like Prophet Moses, let's hold that which Allah has given us and be among the thankful. Let's be content, for we are promised to be amongst the richest of people. Rich in faith (Imaan) rather than temporary pleasures in life. We have many blessings to be thankful for, so let's remember Allah in times of joy and in times of grief.قَالَ يَا مُوسَى إِنِّي اصْطَفَيْتُكَ عَلَى النَّاسِ بِرِسَالَاتِي وَبِكَلَامِي فَخُذْ مَا آَتَيْتُكَ وَكُنْ مِنَ الشَّاكِرِينَ
He (Allah) said: O Moses! I have preferred thee above mankind by My messages and by My speaking (unto thee). So hold that which I have given thee, and be among the thankful. (Qur'an 7: 144)
Umar Ibin Al Khattab narrated that he heard Allah's Messenger say, "If you were to trust in Allah genuinely, He would give you provision as He does for the birds which go out hungry in the morning and come back full in the evening. [Tirmidhi and Ibin Majah (sahih)]This is a beautiful story of a sister who put her trust in Allah! A true reminder that whomsoever puts their trust in Allah will not be disappointed.
Ibn 'Abbas said,
'Allah is enough for us and the best Guardian.' Our dear prophet Ibrahim (عليه السلام) said this when he was thrown into the fire and Prophet Muhammad, (صلى الله عليه وسلم), also said it when they said, 'The people's great army have gathered against you, so fear them.' But that merely increased their faith and they said: 'Allah is enough for us and the best of Guardians.' (Holy Quran, 3:173) (This hadith is from Sahih al-Bukhari)So brothers and sisters, where is your trust? Do you trust your husband? your wife? your parents? your children? your siblings? your coworkers? your boss?.....
Isn't Allah enough for you?
I pray to You, O Allah, to make us trust you and only you.
"If you are angry and you are standing, sit down. If you are sitting down, lie back." Said Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) to Abu Dhar AlGhaffari when advising him about anger. -From the book, Abu Dhar AlGhaffari, by Abdul Hameed Jawdat Sahhar.This advice might sound underwhelming to some of us. But have you ever tried it?
Some people deal with it by going on a shopping spree and are called compulsive shoppers. They shop to deal with their stressful life. Compulsive shopping hides a more serious problem and is only a symptom of the serious issues people might be dealing with. Drug addicts or alcoholics just have different symptoms for the same issue. They smoke or drink to escape from their stressful life.
You shop to escape from yours. The truth is, after that initial adrenaline rush, after the euphoria of adding a new dress, pair of shoes or whatever it is to your collection, you are not any better. Why? Because you are not being honest with yourself, you are not tackling the issues; you are using something to get rid of the symptom, but not of the disease.
Stress, doctors say, usually comes from fear of the unknown, the future, and death. However, Allah (SWT) has already provided us with prevention against those fears.
"And We will most certainly try you with somewhat of fear and hunger and loss of property and lives and fruits; and give good news to the patient" (2:155).So next time you face a stressful situation, identify the cause and then work to reduce or eliminate that cause. In this new year, conquer stress, rather than letting it conquer you. Happy 2010!
As a Muslim, even I would say that not all publicly expressed disagreements with Islam classify a person as a bigot. But there is a fine line between bigotry and non-bigotry; on the Internet, this bigotry - Islamophobia - is usually expressed through the tone of the person's writings. The writer usually takes an attacking, accusatory mode, and rarely allows him or herself to acknowledge that he or she is wrong, let alone that the Islamic/Muslim point has merit. Moreover, the bigot/Islamophobe has no real desire to learn about Islam or Muslims. They already know what they know, so to speak, and are content to remain in a state of ignorance. For a Muslim to correct them would be "to confuse the issue with facts."
Ironically, this is the correct tact to take with Muslims: instead of attack, attack, attack (and showing we Muslims just how ignorant and closed-minded you really are), try asking questions instead and creating a dialog. Instead of assuming that Western conventional wisdom is correct for interpreting Islam and Muslim society, try asking Why? Most often, Western conventional wisdom is wrong in that it doesn't understand why the way things are (with respect to the Qur'an, with respect to Islamic practices, with respect to Muslim society, and so on). Context matters, and most Muslims understand that context far better than non-Muslims do. So don't be afraid to admit to yourself that maybe, just maybe you don't really know the subject as well as you think you do and that you may very well be wrong, and respectfully ask a Muslim for their point of view.
Very few Muslims, if any, would think of a person who comes across as sincerely desiring to learn about Islam and Muslims as an Islamophobe.
For those who haven't seen it.
The following is an atheism-related polemic I wrote that currently doesn't have another home, for this reason for now at least it is staying on this page. Since you are interested in a definition of atheism, you may find it interesting:
No matter how smart an atheist thinks he is, there will always be someone smarter, and more knowledgeable, who believes in God. Therefore why all the arrogance, and why all the self-congratulation when you realize that you with your IQ of 120 are smarter than a religious person with an IQ of 90?
If you look at the world's greatest men and women, the world's greatest achievers, you will find that none of them are atheists (people who identify with the fact that they don't identify with religious people's beliefs), whether they believe in God or not.
What I see is that low IQ people follow the doctrines of their society, whether it is love for God or hatred for him, or indifference. The fact that a lot of dull people are religious doesn't say anything about religion, it says a lot about dull people. They blindly follow whatever is given them. Higher IQ ones question the doctrine, and this is what, in decaying religious societies, leads some of them to become atheists. But those with even higher IQs are too smart to define themselves by what they have found to be false, they instead continue to look for the truth. Only a very near-sighted and arrogant people would define themselves by referring to what they are not. Atheists are proud of the fact that they are not theists, not realizing that the whole time they are parading the medallion of their lack of intelligence: Their incapacity to come up with better systems of life, instead being content with not following the most obviously false doctrines. Great men create their own philosophies of the world, they go on their own journeys in search of truth, they don't stay at home and argue with people less intelligent than themselves to gain little bits of stimulation from the constant ego-inflation that feeling superior to others gains one.
Atheists are people who are smart enough to reject the shallowness of the masses, but dull enough not to see beyond them, instead being happy with not being part of the masses: all they know and hold onto dearly is the fact that they are smarter than the dullest of humanity.
Not believing in God, or the corrupted ideas about God that are believed in your society, doesn't make you dull. But being proud of not believing in God makes you so, because it shows a lack of intelligence or laziness on your part. Not believing in God because idiots believe in him is the same as not believing in scientific facts because idiots believe in them (idiots believe whatever they are told). You may now say, well it is all in the scientific books, just look, science is all rational and well reasoned! And I say, you fool, how often have you studied religious books written by people as intelligent as you or more intelligent? You only compare the words and creations of the most intelligent of humanity (whether theists or atheists), and you assign these to yourself, then you compare that to the beliefs and sayings of the dullest of the religious people, and you, in your arrogance and short-sightedness, think this is a fair comparison. Have you studied Ghazzali, Kierkegaarde, Aquinas, or Tolstoy, and found them to be lacking, or did you, like all those dull people you look down upon, content yourself with following what you are told to follow, which today is dislike for religion, without looking to verify anything on your own?
Don't be an atheist. Be you.
 It seems like most atheist brains lock up when facing this fact, due to an inherent or acquired incapacity to compute it.
 It is exactly like being proud of not believing that 1+1 equals 3. Here, have a prize.
 "I am science and so can you!" is the attitude of every accomplishment-free, mob-following atheist you meet on the internet, thinking that parading his rejection for God puts him in the company of great men, men too intelligent and sophisticated to be atheists.
يَا أَبَتِ إِنِّي قَدْ جَاءنِي مِنَ الْعِلْمِ مَا لَمْ يَأْتِكَ فَاتَّبِعْنِي أَهْدِكَ صِرَاطاً سَوِيّاً"O father! Verily, there has come to me of knowledge that which has not come to you. So follow me. I will guide you to a Straight Path." [Surah Maryam, 43]
Shaykh as-Sa'dee (rahimahullaah) says in his excellent commentary on this verse:
May Allaah guide us to good manners of speech and to follow the truth regardless of the person who yields it.وفي هذا من لطف الخطاب ولينه، ما لا يخفى، فإنه لم يقل: "يا أبت أنا عالم، وأنت جاهل" أو "ليس عندك من العلم شيء" وإنما أتى بصيغة تقتضي أن عندي وعندك علما، وأن الذي وصل إلي لم يصل إليك ولم يأتك، فينبغي لك أن تتبع الحجة وتنقاد لها.ا
"And in this statement (of Prophet Ibraaheem) there is obvious gentleness and humility; for he didn't say "O father! I am a man of knowledge and you are ignorant" nor did he say "You have no knowledge whatsoever!" But rather, he used a phrase that implies "I have knowledge, and you have knowledge; but the knowledge that has reached me has not reached you so you should follow the evidence and the clear signs and submit to them."
In 628 CE, a delegation from St. Catherine’s Monastery came to Prophet Muhammed and requested his protection.* Though even if the document doesn't exist, it is still a good illustration of The Prophet's attitude toward non-Muslims as documented by biographers.
He responded by granting them a charter of rights, which I reproduce below in its entirety. St. Catherine’s Monastery is located at the foot of Mt. Sinai and is the world’s oldest monastery.
It possesses a huge collection of Christian manuscripts, second only to the Vatican, and is a world heritage site. It also boasts the oldest collection of Christian icons. It is a treasure house of Christian history that has remained safe for 1400 years under Muslim protection.
The Promise to St. Catherine:
"This is a message from Muhammad ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, near and far, we are with them.
Verily I, the servants, the helpers, and my followers defend them, because Christians are my citizens; and by God! I hold out against anything that displeases them.
No compulsion is to be on them. Neither are their judges to be removed from their jobs nor their monks from their monasteries. No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims' houses.
Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God's covenant and disobey His Prophet. Verily, they are my allies and have my secure charter against all that they hate.
No one is to force them to travel or to oblige them to fight. The Muslims are to fight for them. If a female Christian is married to a Muslim, it is not to take place without her approval. She is not to be prevented from visiting her church to pray. Their churches are to be respected. They are neither to be prevented from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants.
No one of the nation (Muslims) is to disobey the covenant till the Last Day (end of the world)."
Source: Middle East Online