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Surah Isra' verse 80

A beautiful verse submitted by Seba:
وَقُلْ رَبِّ أَدْخِلْنِي مُدْخَلَ صِدْقٍ وَأَخْرِجْنِي مُخْرَجَ صِدْقٍ وَاجْعَلْ لِي مِنْ لَدُنْكَ سُلْطَانًا نَصِيرًا

And say, Allah let my entry into any task be good, and let my exit from any task be good. And grant me from You an authority to help me (or a firm sign or a proof).* [Quran, 17:80]

* Some interpretations consider this entry and exit to be Prophet Muhammad's entry into Madinah and his exit from Mecca (during the hijra). Instead of taking sides, it is better to consider both interpretations to be true (any Quranic verse can have multiple valid meanings.)

Sparkly TOMS and My Hijab

TOMS Shoes silver
Photo source.
An increasing number of people are learning about TOMS shoes.  The company aims to give a free pair of shoes to a child for every pair that is bought online; "One for One" is their motto.

I bought a pair last week; they're different, attention catching, and conversation provoking.  You know, sort of like hijab can be.

In fact, I was pleasantly surprised about how many people have noticed and commented on my new shoes.  Everything else about me--my ordinary hijab, flowy garments, and overall modest appearance-- stayed the same, yet strangers seemed to feel comfortable making remarks.  They'd start with the shoes and then move on to other aspects of my attire.  Pretty soon, I was telling them about why I wear this "lovely shawl" on my head.

It would seem that the during the strained relationship Muslims and the West are enduring at the moment, sparkly TOMS shoes may just be the thing to bring us together.


Islam Strangers poster

With everything that happens around us everyday, the word 'stranger' beautifully describes how Muslims feel in this world.

Surah Hud verse 23

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَأَخْبَتُوا إِلَى رَبِّهِمْ أُولَئِكَ أَصْحَابُ الْجَنَّةِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ

Verily, those who believe (in the Oneness of Allâh) and do righteous good deeds, and humble themselves (in repentance and obedience) before their Lord, - they will be dwellers of Paradise to dwell therein forever. [Quran, 11:23]

Like fighting pigeons

QuranClub's long time friend and commenter Elfatih submits this great story [edited by QuranClub]:

Once I was in a place where they had a lot of wild pigeons. I asked the people if they could catch such pigeons and they replied, "We can't, because they are very wild."

One day when I was in a gathering, I went to the window to get some fresh air and suddenly I saw two pigeons. I snatched at them and caught them both. I rushed back to the gathering and asked them, "What is in my hands?"

I had already hidden the pigeons behind my back. They kept guessing and giving wrong answers until I showed them the pigeons. They were amazed and they asked me how I caught two when catching one was impossible? I answered: "They were fighting so hard that their beaks were buried in each other's skin. They were blind to me. All I had to do was grab both of them from their heads with a single hand."

I added; I wonder how blind we Muslims are these days, fighting on small differences while our enemy is having all the advantage to plot and plan against us as a whole.

We should open our eyes before it is too late.

-Taken from a program named {The Unity} hosted and presented by the beloved Sheikh Adnan Al'ar'oor.

How to get your sins erased

Reader Seba sends in this hadith:

It has been narrated that the Messenger of Allah ( may the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) said:
Fear Allah wherever you are, follow up a bad deed with a good one and it will wipe it out, and behave well towards people."*
*Narrated by Al-Tirmithi as a good (hasan) hadith.

When giving charity is the right thing to do

Giving charity to the "wrong" person is still the right thing to do. Remember this hadith the next time you fear your sadaqah will be spent only on things like alcohol or cigarettes:
Abu Hurayrah reported Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) as saying: ‘A man expressed his intention to give charity, so he came out with charity and placed it in the hand of an adulteress. In the morning, the people were talking and saying: “Charity was given to an adulteress last night.” He (the giver of Sadaqa) said: “O Allah, to Thee be the praise – to an adulteress.”

He then again expressed his intention to give charity; so he went out with the charity and placed it in the hand of a rich person. In the morning the people were talking and saying: “Charity was given to a rich person.” He (the giver of charity) said: “O Allah, to Thee be the praise – to a well-to-do person.”

He then expressed his intention to give charity, so he went out with charity and placed it in the hand of a thief. In the morning, the people were talking and saying: “Charity was given to a thief.” So (one of the persons) said: “O Allah, to Thee be the praise (what a misfortune it is that charity has been given to) the adulteress, to a rich person, to a thief!”

There came (the angel to him [the giver of charity]) and he was told: “Your charity has been accepted. As for the adulteress (the charity might become the means) whereby she might restrain herself from fornication. The rich man might perhaps learn a lesson and spend from what Allah has given him, and the thief might thereby refrain from committing theft.”’
-- Found in both Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim.
[Editor: Even though logically the story has no problem when compared to what the Quran says, I think it is more likely that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was making a point by telling people about these possible scenarios. We know that in the Quran angels only appear to prophets (and their relatives), and the story doesn't say this man was one. But of course it is possible that this man was the prophet of a past nation.]

QuranClub Photo: The Sea

Scenic sea and seagulls
Photo source.

Lord of all

I love this verse's passionate praise of Allah:
فَلِلَّهِ الْحَمْدُ رَبِّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَرَبِّ الْأَرْضِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
So all the praises and thanks are to God (everything good in this world is attributable to Him), the Lord of the skies and the Lord of the earth, the Lord of all that exists. [Quran, 45:36]

Draw Prophet Muhammad Day

I read that some Facebookers are trying to anger Muslims by encouraging people to draw pictures of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

It should be pretty obvious to all of you what you should do about this, but here I'll say it for those of you who aren't sure: Do nothing.

Non-believers have been making fun of believers since the beginning of time. They have made fun of all prophets and all religions. We Muslims aren't special in this regard.

The Quran has the perfect example for us to follow in this situation:
وَعِبَادُ الرَّحْمَنِ الَّذِينَ يَمْشُونَ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ هَوْنًا وَإِذَا خَاطَبَهُمُ الْجَاهِلُونَ قَالُوا سَلَامًا

And the slaves of the Most Beneficent (God) are those who walk on the earth in humility and sedateness, and when the foolish address them, they reply back with mild words of gentleness. [Quran, 25:63]
Note that the verse says 'with mild words of gentleness'. You shouldn't get angry at them, but more importantly, you shouldn't laugh at them or call them stupid.

It is not our job to correct their mistakes, and it is not our job to stop them from carrying out whatever it is they want to do.
وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ مَا أَشْرَكُوا وَمَا جَعَلْنَاكَ عَلَيْهِمْ حَفِيظًا وَمَا أَنْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ بِوَكِيلٍ
Had God willed, they would not have taken others besides Him in worship. And We have not made you a watcher over them nor are you set over them to dispose of their affairs. [Quran, 6:107]
Keep your dignity and do not argue with them or try to correct them. They don't deserve your attention.

So why did I write about this? Because I don't want to see another pointless Muslim Facebook group trying to fight this. Save your energy for better things.

Good advice

Never argue with fools. They will bring you down to their level and beat you with experience. - Popular online quote.

Surah Ghafir verse 14

فَادْعُوا اللَّهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْكَافِرُونَ
So call upon God and make your worship purely for Him, even though the disbelievers may dislike it [that you are Muslim, that you don't live like them]. [Quran, 40:14]

Surah An-Naml verse 64

أَمَّنْ يَبْدَأُ الْخَلْقَ ثُمَّ يُعِيدُهُ وَمَنْ يَرْزُقُكُمْ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ أَئِلَهٌ مَعَ اللَّهِ
Who begins creation,
then performs it all over again?

Who provides for you
from Heaven and Earth?

Is there any deity alongside God?

[Holy Quran, 27:64]

Prophet Noah's Ark found in Turkey

Noah's Ark photo
Photo of the inside of the Ark. Photo source: Aljazeera.
Prophet Noah's vessel, which is called Noah's Ark in English, was found in the Ararat mountains in Turkey according to [Arabic] and many other news sources.

The researchers who found the vessel say they are 99.9% sure it is Prophet Noah's Ark. Using carbon dating they found that the vessel is 4800 years old.

One common mistake that is repeated in English sources is that Prophet Noah put a couple of every species on the vessel. The Bible and the Quran both say a couple of every type, which can mean every type of animal useful to humans at that time (such as horses, cows, chickens, etc). The storm didn't necessarily kill all organisms on Earth, it might have just affected a limited area.

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