Islam

Rejuvenated and Prepared

Islam - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 22:48

“Had We sent down this Qur’an on a mountain, verily, thou wouldst have seen it humble itself and cleave asunder for fear of Allah. Such are the similitudes which We propound to men, that they may reflect.” (Surah Hashr, verse 21)

Ramadan reconnects the servant with Allah and places the precepts and primacy of Islam in the minds. This conditioning process should imbue us with the ability and desire to consciously practice Islam, and to never compromise upon its particulars in the face of difficulty. The fast during the day taxes the body whilst the iftar replenishes and relaxes the body.

Symbolic here is that difficult periods will be overcome with ease, as Allah says,

“Indeed, with hardship there will be ease.” (Ash-Sharh, verse 5).

The exegetes point out that in Arabic, “hardship” is in the definite form denoting a single difficulty whilst “ease” is in the indefinite form indicating to multiplicity. I.e. a single difficulty will be followed by the precipitation of many eases.

Enduring the period of difficulty will require harnessing what we have (by the Will of Allah) acquired in Ramadan.  The anti-Islam tides in every level of society are rising. Stability is needed. And there is nothing more stable than the Quran. The Quran reminds that all that occurs, however great, occurs within the Sight and Plan of Allah.

Please remember and supplicate for the oppressed, orphaned, widowed and poor in your prayers. Make conscious Al-Aqsa Masjid in the minds and make present intentions to travel there. Aggression against the blessed sanctuary increases under the cover of geopolitical crisis. It is not in need of donations. What is needed is our presence there.

Eid Mubarak

Categories: Islam

Saudi security foils terror plot targeting Mecca Grand Mosque and pilgrims

Islam - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 22:21

Suspect jolts himself up as interior ministry blameds evil and debase self-serving strategies managed from abroad

Saudi Arabian security forces have foiled a terror plot targeting the Grand Mosque in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, exchanging gunfire with one of the suspects who blew himself up inside a home on Friday, the ministry of internal affairs said.

The ministry described the plot as part of self-serving strategies managed from abroad.

Five people, including a woman, were arrested in security operations in Mecca, the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya news website said, citing interior ministry security spokesman Mansour al-Turki.

Five security force members and six other people were injured, the report said.

Turki told police foiled the terrorist scheme that targeted the security of the Grand Mosque, pilgrims and worshippers.

In dawn raids on Mecca and the Red Sea city of Jeddah policemen arrested suspects before surrounding the bombers location close to the Grand Mosque.

Unfortunately he started shooting towards security personnel once he noticed their presence in the area, which led to an exchange of flame before he blew himself up, Turki said.

The blast partially collapsed the building where he had taken refuge, injuring six pilgrims, Turki said.

He added that four had already been released from hospital, and five security humen were also slightly hurt.

The interior ministry said in a statement it confirms that this terrorist network, whose terrorist plan was frustrated, infringed, in what they would have perpetrated, all sanctities by targeting the security of the Grand Mosque, the holiest place on Earth.

They obeyed their evil and corrupted self-serving strategies managed from abroad the purpose of which is to destabilise the security and stability of this blessed country, the statement said.

The ministry did not name different groups involved in the attack. The ultraconservative Sunni kingdom combated an al-Qaida rebellion for years and more recently has faced attacks from a local branch of the Islamic State group.

Since late 2014 Saudi Arabia has faced periodic bombings and shootings claimed by Isis.

Near the end of Ramadan last year in the Saudi city of Medina four security officers died in an detonation close to Islams second holiest site, the Prophets Mosque.

It was one of three suicide blasts around the kingdom on the same day, in which a total of 7 people were believed killed. The others occurred in Jeddah and in the Gulf city of Qatif.

The US Central Intelligence Agency said those attacks the specific characteristics of Isis.

Most of the targets in Saudi Arabia have been the Shiite minority and security forces, killing dozens of people.

Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has called for assaults against the kingdom, a member of the US-led coalition combating different groups in Syria and Iraq.

Since July last year police have arrested around 40 people, including Saudis and Pakistanis, for alleged extremist links.

Saudi Arabias counter-terrorism abilities which for years were led by Prince Mohammed bin Nayef are well-regarded internationally.

On Wednesday Prince Mohammed was deposed from his posts of crown prince and interior minister, replaced as heir to the throne by King Salmans son Mohammed bin Salman.

Fridays counter-terrorist operation was the first to take place under the new home minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Nayef, who is in his early 30 s.

Prince Abdulaziz is the nephew of the deposed minister.

The Grand Mosque has been the target of activists before. In 1979, a group seized the mosque, home to the cube-shaped Kaaba that Muslims pray toward five times a day, for two weeks as they demanded the royal family renounce the throne.

The official toll of the assault and subsequent oppose to retake the mosque from hundreds of armed militants was over 100 people killed and 500 wounded.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries have cut diplomatic ties to neighboring Qatar and are trying to isolate the energy-rich country over its alleged supporting of activists and ties to Iran. Qatar long has denied those allegations.

Agence France-Presse and Associated Press contributed to this report

Make sure to visit: CapGeneration.com

Categories: Islam

The Last Ten Days of Ramadan Session 6 - Laila Nasheeba

Islam - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 22:20

Lecture speaks of reminders of what to do on the day of the Eid. Also how the Eid prayer is performed and what to do if one is unable to make it on time. PowerPoint: http://sunnahfollowers.net/ppt/Tawheed/Ramadan/EidReminders/img0.html

Categories: Islam

The Virtue of Modesty: The Spectacular Spider-Man No. 16

Islam - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 22:18
If a woman wears revealing clothing, men who look at her will be more sexually aroused than if she w
Categories: Islam

Eid Mubarak!

Islam - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 22:04

Eid Mubarak to all celebrating! May your celebration be joyous and full of Love.

What a Nourisher

The sensible man doesn’t pay attention
to what increases or decreases,
since both pass like a quickly moving stream.
Whether the water of life runs clear
or is tumultuous as a flood,
don’t bother speaking of it—
it doesn’t endure more than a moment.

In this world thousands of animals live happily,
without the throes of anxiety.
The dove on the tree coos gratefulness,
even though her food for the night has not yet arrived.

The nightingale’s glorification is this:
“I depend for my daily bread,
on You who love to respond.”
The falcon delights in the King’s hand,
and no longer looks at carrion.

Look at every animal from the gnat to the elephant:
they all are God’s family
and dependent on Him for their food.
What a nourisher is God!
All these griefs within our hearts
arise from the smoke and dust
of our existence and vain desires.

[Rumi, Mathnawi I: 2289-2296, The Rumi Daybook, tr. Kabir and Camille Helminski]

 

Categories: Islam

​LET'S SUBMIT TO HIS WILL 

Islam - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 21:59

Our belief, the teachings of the Prophets from Adam to Muhammad (Peace be upon them all) – our way, followed by the people of high esteems – the companions of these Prophets. The way is – Submission to the will of Allah. Thus a Muslim is he who submits to the will of Allah. HE created us – but He never said, in any Holy Books – in return give me this or that but He said I gave you Imaan, made you among the selected people, the believers, thus, I need your submission to me in return. I bestowed Imaan upon you – It is my Blessing. He neither talks of Life nor of Parents or wives or of children – indeed they too are his blessings but He talks of Imaan – the grace. 
So shouldn’t we be thankful to our Creator and shouldn’t we submit to His will. 
So, when we call ourselves the Muslims – how much we are submissive to the commandments of Allah Subhanahu Wa Taala. It is not hidden in looks – no one can see it, the connection of ours with our Creator. The situation of heart – is only known to Him, the All-Merciful.  
The Holy Quran mentions, Allah created us in pairs; for every male, there’s a female partner; thus they can surrender to the will of Allah and please Him. The world isn’t for enjoyments at all – yet a part of it is, as school acedemics isn’t fully meant for the enjoyment of students – they feel bored while listening to the lectures of Physics or Chemistry lecturer. The world is same way, a school for us, not meant for enjoyment; but for learning. 
In school, some students remain all time busy with studies – they become the Toppers, they are called the Role models. They win the golden and silver medals – from the High authorities. Although, while they were walking in the path of studies, they sacrificed everything – parents, friends, siblings; their main goal was studies and to earn the rank at finals and they did it. 

There are a second group of students who aren’t so much caring towards studies but they manage, they don’t win the golden medals, but, they achieve the silver and bronze medals. 

These two are said to be; the path for all, to be followed, if one needs success. 

Some students indulge in drugs, illicit relations; they remain all time in pubs and clubs – drinking and dancing. This group is the most cursed in the whole campus. No one talks to them or greets them. 
In this school where the human body is our Uniform and the actual student is our soul – who’s food comes from skies, what are we feeding it with? Which group we’ve chosen to be? Are we the gold medalists or the silver jubilees. 
The blessings of Allah, in return of our submission to His will; are much more greater than the gold medals and silver medals. 

His love for His servant is the love of a mother for her kid multiplied 70 times. SubhanAllah, our Creator loves us so much and we have been displeasing Him since our Birth? 
Let’s take this message from this Blessed month of Ramadan that from now onwards we would completely colourise ourselves either in first group of students or if it seems to be difficult, let we be the second group and at no costs – shall we’ve any connection with the 3rd group. 

May Allah grant us true understanding of Deen. Aameen

Categories: Islam

Ramadan Reflection #30

Islam - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 21:41
Eid Mubarak!

My reflections on this Ramadan…

We have reached the end of Ramadan!

تقبل الله منا ومنكم

May Allah accept it from you and us!

May Allah accept our fasting, our prayers, our worship and all the good deeds we did in the month of Ramadan.

May the mercy and blessings of the Almighty be upon you, your family, and friends.

May Allah grant you a blessed Eid day. Ameen.

 

Let us all take a moment to thank Allah for the BLESSINGS we have been given.

Let us thank Him for allowing us to witness the month of Ramadan.

Alhamdulilah!

Every single one of us was in need of a spiritual detox, a chance to refresh our souls and strengthen our connection with Allah.  When we were fasting,  it was a reminder of our true purpose in life, which is to worship Allah. We sacrificed our food, drink and desires for Him, in hope that He accepts our good deeds and forgives our sins. We stayed awake at night, praying for forgiveness, speaking to our Creator about our hopes and dreams. We cried during the hours of the night whilst making sincere dua. We became closer to the One we were once so far away from. Did you notice how light and cheerful your heart was during this blessed month? Did you feel your soul being nourished by the remembrance of Allah? Did you feel the peace in the depths of your heart when you spoke to Allah in your dua? We should all strive to maintain this beautiful connection and bond with Allah even after Ramadan departs. If we want to find contentment and peace, I’m sure we’ve all realised from this month that we will find it with Him.

I think the Muslim community really came together this Ramadan. It was amazing to see everyone supporting each other when people were facing difficult circumstances. It’s clear that we’re stronger when we are united. When we stick together and put aside our differences, we bring so much benefit to the community. I have so much hope in the future of this generation, the leaders of tomorrow and the role models of today. I can’t express the admiration I have for all those who went out to support the people who were affected by the recent tragedies. Honestly, it made me feel so proud to be a Muslim because these beautiful people truly represented the teachings of Islam. Let’s keep up the good work!

Categories: Islam

Ramadan Day 29

Islam - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 21:30

5:07 pm

Once again, I’ve spent my day deeply submerged in a book. A Fine Balance is about strife and struggle and the rare compassion that it breeds. On more than one occasion I would find myself tearing up at the misfortune of the characters. I have so much to say about these people. There’s this haunting feeling inside that I have seen them through blurred vision, much like that of Dina, one of the four protagonists. In both my travels in India and at home, I have not paid enough attention to ordinary honest people subjected to governmental and gang violence and oppression. Even though this is a work of fiction, I know that the atrocities and inhumanity described occur. I’m embarrassed to say that I don’t acknowledge it more or act against it.

7:14 pm

Fasting voluntarily has reminded of that not everyone can afford to eat three meals a day, sometimes not even one, that not everyone who believes in Islam can afford to make the pilgrimage to Mecca, that not everyone is healthy enough to fast. It’s something I desperately wish I could change but through Mistry’s prose, I’ve come to accept that there is a greater, corrupt hierarchy that plays havoc with the lives of people. God has given us free-will but godless humans have taken that away from so many.

A lot of my friends give me confused looks when they realise that I’m fasting for Ramadan as a non-Muslim. They used to bother me because I detected judgment in those looks. Now, I’m simply grateful to be able the choice to do so.

10:22 pm

You know that feeling you get when you’ve finished a novel. That wistfulness that overcomes you when you close the book and you’re left to stare at the back cover in sehnsucht.  This is how I felt after A Fine Balance. This is how I feel on the second to last day of Ramadan.

 

 

 

Categories: Islam

So Sorry, Satan

Islam - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 20:43
WAR ! It’s Jesus Christ and His church against globalist technocrats
who manipulate the godless in collaboration with Islam.
Just say NO to One World
without borders, language or culture. Our Lord and Savior HAS won, IS winning and WILL win forevermore. Hallelujah.   AMEN
Categories: Islam

Ramadan Reflections, Day Twenty-nine: Sadness, and Elation

Islam - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 20:32

This morning…

I woke up this with sadness commingled with excitement: this could be the last day of Ramadan. As I write this, the announcements are coming in that for the majority of countries, Eid-ul-Fitr (the day of celebration which marks the end of Ramadan) will be tomorrow, Sunday. I read something which described Ramadan as ‘our beloved guest’, to which we bid a sad farewell. It is a beautiful and fitting description, although I wonder whether Ramadan hosts us rather than the other way around.

This afternoon…

I battle the traffic (with generosity and patience! Having my mother with me also helped) to shop ahead of tomorrow, in case it’s Eid. Everywhere is busy, and the halal meat counter is bustling with activity. I am connected to this feeling that a number of us are preparing for something tomorrow, and there is anticipation and excitement as we store our goods in our trolleys.

This evening…

A perfect sunset, and I can’t help but admire the beauty of everything as the fading blaze of orange, purple, pink and yellow fall on every building, tree and streetlight on my way to Euston. My final distribution of food for Ramadan, but not forever. With minutes to go before sunset, I walk up the concourse steps and into a group of people I have come to know, albeit in a very loose sense, over the past few weeks. They have done me the privilege of accepting what I had to offer them, and today, one of the group called me a ‘beautiful person’. That was lovely to hear, but not as uplifting as the feeling of being able to give something to some people who needed it. My bag of provisions was rapidly emptied, and flapping happily in my hand. I looked at my watch; it was time to end my fast and say farewell to Ramadan. I skipped down the steps and ran to my car. There could not be a more perfect end to this month.

If anybody was walking down a small side street near Euston station just after sunset, and peered into a car to find a woman with her face crumpled up in her hands, trying not to cry beyond a couple of tears, don’t worry. That was me, a little overwhelmed by gratitude and the month just passed.

It is now Eid, and to all those celebrating I wish you a joyous and blessed Eid Mubarak, and peace to all.

 

Note: Islam follows a lunar calendar, and the start and end of the months are determined by the phases of the moon, specifically the appearance of the new moon. It is traditionally believed by a large body of scholars that the new moon has to be seen or ‘witnessed’ with the human eye – rather than calculating it scientifically – to confirm the start/end of a month. This is why there is always a lot of anticipation – and heated discussion! – about whether the new moon has been sighted to mark the beginning of Shawwal (the month after Ramadan); Muslims often won’t know until late in the evening whether it is Eid or not. I had planned to write a blog post on this to try and explain all the principles and considerations around this, but it didn’t happen today! I will do so soon (iA).

Categories: Islam

(PART I+II) STUDYING THE SACRED SCIENCES IN THE UK: A CONCISE OVERVIEW OF MY EXPERIENCE

Islam - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 20:09

 

PART I: NEW BEGINNINGS

“My previous post titled ‘STUDYING THE SACRED SCIENCES IN THE UK: A CONCISE OVERVEIW OF MY EXPERIENCE (PRELUDE)’ received remarkable stats (credits to everyone who gave it a read and left positive feedback). In an extremely short time period, the post managed to obtain a staggering 235 views from 12 different countries. Due to a busy schedule, I was unable to upload this post on the day I initially intended to. But through the encouragement of fellow colleagues and friends, I have finally completed Part I and II; concluding this blog series. I hope to continue writing and keeping my readers up-to-date as the journey goes on. An earnest request for duas.”

AmmarJ
27 Ramadan 1438

 

 

OCT.14/2015-6:00PM

After a delayed flight and bumper-to-bumper traffic, I had finally arrived at my destination. The images of the vividly painted dome and towering minarets still lucid in my memory, I can recall walking into the prayer hall only to see hundreds of students paired in groups, many of whom were calmly rocking back and forth with books in hand. What an astonishing sight it was indeed. I was told that this is the allocated time for something called ‘takraar’ (where students revise previous lessons and what is to be taught the following day). Having only studied in Qur’an memorization class, I was clueless regarding how the Aalim class system worked. Due to this reason, there were many new terms and expressions which I was initially not familiar with.

Shortly thereafter, I was introduced to a potential classmate who would turn out to become a very close colleague and friend. Hailing from the notorious streets of Bradford, he was a true personification of a student in the search of knowledge. From the moment he would wake up and retire to bed, each and every period would be well-organized and planned for maximum utilization of his day. A student who I am undoubtedly indebted to for the countless hours he devoted in assisting me during my first two weeks in JIWH. Not only was he of tremendous help, but he was also a critical-thinking student who inspired me to read and question. He would constantly remind my fellow classmates and I the responsibilities which would be assigned to us after graduating. “We are living in times where people will question, so we must be prepared to answer”, I recall him saying one day. At the time, I was incapable of comprehending the weight behind these words. But two years later and back in the far-west, I have finally come to appreciate his long-sightedness. Truly grateful.

As the minutes flew by, I was received and warmly welcomed by numerous students, many of whom appeared extremely delighted to greet me. I would soon come to realize that this noble trait was common amongst many of the students in JIWH. Several of them happened to also originate from outside the EU, causing me to feel less of a stranger. The USA, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa, just to name a few countries. When the time for holidays would arrive, many of the local students would return home where their arrival would be eagerly anticipated by their families. I would be ecstatic to discover a great number of the foreign students remaining behind in Darul Uloom, myself included. Through similar means, the bond of brotherhood which ensued between us was exceptional. The feeling of knowing that you may not be the only one enduring the hardship of being away from home during holiday periods is stress-relieving beyond words. Only the students who have studied/are studying overseas will truly appreciate what has been stated. Nevertheless, this multicultural ethnically diverse student base is undeniably one of the distinctive features of the DU. Many a times I can recall conversing with my foreign colleagues and acquiring a deep insight into Islam in various parts of the world. I was relatively shocked to discover that the challenges Muslims are facing in their respected homelands are not as nuanced as we may presume (in contrast with The West). Due to context relativity issues, I have chosen to not elaborate any further.

 

THE CLASSROOM- CHALLENGES BEGIN TO UNRAVEL

Arriving at a new institution two months late and prior to exams is not the brightest of ideas. Not to mention that it was my very first time laying eyes on an Arabic grammar sheet. After the dawn prayers and a light breakfast, the time had officially arrived to begin my journey of studying the Sacred Sciences, beginning with a lesson of syntax. On that chilly October morning, I can recall walking into the first-year classroom just as the lesson had initiated. All the students were fixated on the teacher as he effortlessly navigates them through the unconfined waters of Arabic syntax. A young well-dressed gentleman in his early thirties, MH was a man of heart; easy going, enthusiastic and down-to-earth. Whatever the circumstances may be, his attendance in the classroom would be unruffled. Due to his jocular nature outside the classroom, students would gravitate towards him and seek his guidance in personal matters. On behalf of my class, I pray that Allah continues to use him as a means of preserving His religion and forgives whatever shortcomings may have occurred from our side. Ameen.

Coming back to the Arabic grammar lesson, it was nothing short of a nightmare to say the least. Due to my late arrival, there was not a single utterance I understood on that day (not to mention the fact that I was still incapable of writing in Arabic or Urdu). With just two weeks left until first unit examinations, I felt as if I had been thrown into the deep end of a winding pool deprived of a life-jacket. On countless occasions, I contemplated the idea of leaving first year Arabic and beginning with Urdu class instead. In this way, I can make my foundation stronger and be able to commence from square one the following year. Although it was a stress-relieving thought, my companion from Canada wholeheartedly persuaded me to carry-on exerting my efforts in catching up to the best of my ability.

My day would begin well before the dawn prayers, a time where only a few souls would be awake offering the optional prayers. Intermittently, the tears of an earnest slave of God would pierce the eerie silence and bring life to those spiritless (feeling) mornings. After fourteen restless nights and pushing my body to levels never experienced, I had finally achieved the inconceivable. It was then and there that I came to realize my true capabilities. I thank my companion for his unrelenting support through the times of hardship and solemnly pray that his efforts become a means of his salvation on The Day of Reckoning. Ameen.

 

2:00pm
After offering the afternoon prayers, I was escorted to the first of two ‘mutaal’ahs’ (study periods) which is mandatory upon the first and second year Aalamiyyah students. The Maulana in charge was an Indian born Gujarati; thin, light-bearded and slightly dark in complexion. He was of medium stature and relatively young, possessing natural piercing eyes which would readily focus on his listener, giving them his undivided attention. I approached the teacher and introduced myself, not knowing that I would soon find myself in an ‘on-the-spot’ interview comprising of 99 questions (rough estimate). A complete hour had elapsed before my meeting finally came to a halt. Thank God. I was informed that this was the Maulana’s method of acquainting himself with his students, if you happened to be Gujarati. My class and I had the auspicious opportunity to be in his mutaal’ah for two consecutive years. As the months passed, I would come to realise that he was a man of principles. Out of admiration and reverence for the knowledge and Prophetic Traditions he had painstakingly studied in his student days, he would solely wear the color white; dressing with simplicity. His ethics and standards would be firmly implemented and apparent in class. When the opportunity would arise to do ‘islaah’ (rectification) of a wrong committed by a student, he would make it his personal responsibility to resolve the issue (a trait famously attributed to the Maulana).

Once the conversation between the Maulana and I had officially come to an end, I was assigned a seat next to several of my classmates. Little did I know that one of them would soon turn out to be my tutor; teaching and aspiring me to become fluent in speaking Arabic. Although he was born and raised in London (and Bengali), he was more eloquent and fluent with the Arabic language than the average Arab teenager. He was given the ability to memorize and study the Qur’an in the blessed lands of Shaam at the tender age of 13. After spending roughly one and a half years in Syria, he was compelled to leave due to the widespread turmoil and visa issues. During my first few weeks in JIWH, I would frequently overhear him conversing with fellow students in Arabic. Absolutely amazed by his speech, I took it upon myself to take lessons from him and numerous other students, whom I will shortly mention (in Part II). Through their companionship and teachings, I benefited to the highest degree; gaining somewhat of a fluency in the Arabic language.

 

 

JIWH-IN COMPARISON TO AN AVERAGE INDIAN DARUL ULOOM

 

JIWH/UK                MASJID BILAL/IND

 

To be brutally honest, JIWH was no less than a luxury hotel in comparison to the average DU in The Subcontinent. With respects to the food, living conditions and the atmosphere inside/outside the classroom, Jamiah has made substantial
advancement and continues to do so (OFFSTED reports clearly denote this fact).

THE CLASSROOM
One significant difference which readily drew my attention was the classroom atmosphere and the informal student-teacher relationship (speaking in regards to the initial years of the Aalimiyyah course). A laid back easygoing vibe at the time of formal lessons is essential in order to keep young, maturing students attentive and interested. One teacher was exceptionally skillful and proficient when it came to the aspect of creating an effective classroom environment. MM’s lessons would be brimming with contagious energy which would bring colour to the dullest of subjects. Whether he was teaching Ibn Hisham Al-Ansaari’s ‘Shothoor-u-Thahab’ or the reputable book on Arabic phonetics ‘Ilm-us-Sigaah’, his habit of explaining with enthusiasm would be unstirred. Questions, discussions, light humour and the occasional ‘roasting’ would all be intermingled into one fruitful lesson.

THE FOOD MENU
When being placed in parallel to the average DU, the food in JIWH is indisputably enticing and pleasing to the taste. Due to the persistent efforts of the principal’s youngest son, I have witnessed the drastic change which has transpired in the past year. I can clearly recall a time in Arbi Awwal when possibly only one quarter (1/4) of the residents in DU would be present during evening meals. From the donuts and toasts which are now being served during breakfast to the assorted pastas/spaghettis which are prepared for dinner; the scope for improvement has decreased immensely (credits to MTA). It has always been his unprecedented desire to transform and revolutionize DU for the residing students to truly feel at ‘home’. After completing my 2016-17 academic year in JIWH, I can earnestly testify that MTA is ever so close to actualizing his vision of a progressive DU, one that it is capable of flourishing in modern times. I sincerely pray that Allah accepts his unwearied efforts and continues to grant him steadfastness in his pursuit. Ameen.

LIFE AS A RESIDENTIAL STUDENT
The perks of residing within the four walls of the institution are plentiful and can be extremely advantageous. Being a student who highly dislikes squandering time and dealing with unneeded distractions, my time spent as a boarding student was profitable beyond measure. The spiritual gratification which is attained through regularly offering the five-time prayers with congregation is ineffable and only one of the numerous advantages. Adding to this, a student is given the capability of completely immersing himself into the unending waters of knowledge with a minimal amount of concerns. This is an inconceivable reality to the students of knowledge in the decades which have elapsed. For the purpose of elaboration, Jamiah offers a wide-range of effective running facilities to cater for students of all backgrounds. Tempting meals three times a day, easy access to laundry services, a functioning heating system throughout the institution, and the list goes on. A student who has truly come to seek knowledge would undoubtedly be able to carry out his objectives with considerable ease.

 

JAMIAH DURING THE WINTER MONTHS

 

 

PART II: MEMORABLE MOMENTS/WORTHWHILE EXPERIENCES

DARUL HUDA WUDOO AREA

 

4:00pm-TEA TIME
The first mutaal’ah comes to an end slightly before 4pm, whilst the second study period does not commence until an hour later; at roughly 5pm. This allows the students to take a nap, relax, or have some exquisite Indian tea in the Madrasah dining hall (courtesy of the DU)! Now the reason why this period is memorable and carries a lot of weight is quite simple; the conversations. This was the time in which couple of my colleagues and I would gather and converse strictly in Arabic. Along with my good friend from London (who studied in Syria), I would be accompanied by another classmate whom I greatly benefited from. He was from a predominant-white town known as ‘Barnoldswick’. Being a British-born Pakistani, this student had a God-given talent when it came to learning a new language. An intellectual prodigy whose minimal attendance in class lessons does not seem to rationalize the eloquence he achieved in the Arabic language. Whenever the opportunity to converse in Arabic presented itself, HA would be the first to seize the moment and utilize it to the best of his ability.

Along with this student, we would be joined by one more member to complete our quartet. Despite being a British-born Bengali, it would be extremely difficult to not mistaken him for an Arab. He has reached such pinnacles in fluency that he has became THE ‘marj’i’ (the go-to guy) whenever the need arises for an English phrase to be translated into spoken Arabic. NA was no doubt the unofficial head of our group. He introduced us to a new-found method of learning spoken Arabic. We were first required to purchase the Oxford Arabic-English dictionary, a decent number of sticky tag notes, and a pocketsize notebook (if needed). The objective of this approach was concise. Primarily, it was to translate all our daily conversations from English into spoken Arabic with the aid of the dictionary. Thereafter, the aim would be to acquire sufficient fluency in the Arabic language for day-to-day conversations in the language and world-view of the masses (this would be achieved through excessive communicating in Arabic). If the equivalent Arabic phrase was found, we would then mark it with a sticky tag for the ease of referring to it when required. In the scenario that the Arabic phrase seemed ‘too formal/posh’, we would verify it with one of the Arab students in the DU for confirmation or an equivalent of that exact expression in Arabic. We would keep a pocketsize notebook and pen handy for jotting down quick notes if need be.

In a span of merely 3-4 months, we made tremendous progression and were now thinking in Arabic prior to English! Our vocabulary had increased immensely, fluency in speech was superb in comparison to the first week, and we now had a solid grounding of the language. I would like to take this opportunity to extend my gratitude and appreciation to NA. Not only was he a brilliant teacher, but he was a role model and exemplar for myself and many others. His hard work ethics was a direct result of his deep love for the Arabic language. I pray Allah instills such qualities within myself and whoever else may be on this journey of seeking knowledge. Ameen.

 

 

‘JALSA’ (GRADUATION)/MEETING SCHOLARS

IMAGES FROM THE 2016/17 GRADUATION CEREMONY

 

Jalsa week in JIWH is by far the most anticipated period during the year. Since the institution’s establishment in 1997, Jamiah has been given the opportunity to host the great luminary of our time ‘Muhaddith-ul-Asr’ Sheikh Yunus Jaunpuri (IND) on multiple occasions (a senior figure at the Mazaahir-Uloom seminary in Saharanpur, India). Despite his old age and wearing health, seldom does Sheikh decline DU’s invitation to complete the final lesson of Sahih-ul-Bukhari. His immense love for Hadith makes him one of the most erudite, profound and exceptional scholars produced by Muslim South Asia in the past century. In fact, it would be no exaggeration to say that he ranks among the most towering personalities in the field of Hadith. Due to his spiritual presence, scholars flock towards DU in multitudes and numbers innumerable from far and wide. Some of the notable shuyookh I was capable of meeting and taking benefit from are as follows:

• Muhaddith-ul-Asr Sheikh Yunus Jaunpuri (IND)
• Aarif-Billah Maulana Qammaruzzaman (IND)
• Sheikh-ul-Hadith Mufti Ahmad Khanpuri (IND)
• Al-Muhaddith Sheikh Sharif Hatim Bin Aarif Al-Awni (KSA)
• Mufti-e-Aazam Mufti Rafi’ Sahib (PAK)
• President of Jamiat Ulama-Hind Maulana Arshad Madani Sahib (IND)
• Sheikh-ul-Hadith Maulna Yusuf Motala Sahib (UK)
• Al-Muhaddith Sheikh Mohammed Akram Nadwi (UK)
• Al-Muhaqqiq Sheikh Mohammed bin Nasir Al-‘Ajami (KWT)
• Al-Muhaddith Sheikh Khalid Al-Sibai (MA)

 

ACQUIRING MY FIRST IJAAZAH IN HADITH
05/26/16- 5:30pm

It was during the jalsa period of the 2015/16 academic year, near the end of Arbi-Awwal. I can loosely recall being seated in the second study period as soon as it had initiated. The jalsa vibes were as strong as ever, the preparations being carried out in full throttle. Everyone was jumbled, students and teachers alike. Sheikh Yunus happened to be in Dewsbury that evening for the first of several programs soon to transpire, which signified that majority of the teachers would be accompanying him on his visit. This resulted in an awfully quiet Darul Uloom (the end of year syndrome in full effect).

Not long after the study period had commenced, one of my colleagues rushed into the classroom informing myself and another student of Sheikh Akram Nadwi’s arrival, along with a couple of guests. Dr. Mohammed Akram is undeniably one of UK’s leading scholars in Hadith and contemporary issues. After receiving in-depth training of the traditional Islamic disciplines in the world-renowned institution Nadwatul Ulema (Lucknow, India), he went on to receive a PHD in Arabic Literature from Lucknow University. He is currently a research fellow at the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies, University of Oxford. I was not well-acquainted with Sheikh Akram’s works before enrolling at JIWH, but it was not long until I came across his biography of Sheikh Abul-Hasan Ali AlNadwi (2013), completing it within a few sittings. I would go on to read many of his other publications, absolutely mesmerized and awe-struck by Sheikh’s profound knowledge and insight. On that blessed Thursday evening, he was dressed in simple attire; a traditional Pakistani kurta and a dull-coloured kufi. My colleague and I walked into the guest room and found Sheikh in an intense discussion with his two guests from abroad; Al-Muhaqqiq Sheikh Mohammed bin Nasir Al-Ajami (Kuwait), and Al-Muhaddith Sheikh Khalid Al-Sibai (Morroco). They had come to meet Sheikh Yunus and possibly receive an ijaazah (authorization) in Hadith from him. Due to unfortunate timing, Sheikh was in Dewsbury and not expected to return until midnight. Nonetheless, it happened to be our lucky day. Dr. Akram Nadwi insisted his guests to grant my colleagues and I ijaazah (the permission to narrate) in the Hadith famously know as ‘Al-Mussalsal bil-Awwaliyyah’ (verbal authorization).

For those who may not be familiar with this practice of the Hadith scholars, it is a tradition which has been in action since the emergence of the Hadith Sciences. The purpose of an ijazah is to establish narration with a chain of transmission (isnad) through which Hadith scholars have upheld the reliability and soundness of texts, either through oral or written transmission. “Were it not for isnad, anyone can say anything (in religion)”, Ibn Mubarak has narrated in the introduction to Sahih-Muslim. Receiving an ijaazah can take place at the end of a cursus of study, but can be granted after a single reading or without a medium of reading whatsoever (if the sheikh deemed the student qualified). There are numerous types of ijaazah and forms of transmitting, but due to lack of time and inappropriate settings, I have chosen to exclude them.

As time went by, there were many more memorable moments and events which took place. My last week in DU was nothing short of an unforgettable experience. All the foreign students were chosen to carry out the duties of ‘khidmat’ (assisting the guests and visitors) during jalsa period. For a full week, we were tirelessly working to prepare and serve meals three-times a day, arranging bedding for the visitors who needed a place to rest, and taking care of any other need which would arise. In addition to this, my experiences in jamaat-tabligh and IDA Khanqa (a sufi lodge) are also worth mentioning. Unfortunately, time restriction does not permit me to do so.

 

I would now like to conclude with these remarks; studying the Sacred Sciences in the UK was a life-changing experience. Besides the fact that it was intellectually invigorating, it was an eye-opener which made me realize Islam is not entirely black and white; many a times there may be a grey shade. If one desires to study Islam in its totality and go below the surface to plump the deeper meaning of the injunctions of Islam, then freedom from the shackles of customs and traditions is vital. Tolerance in differences of opinion, an open-mindset to new and broader horizons, and a want to seek the unadulterated truth are some of the many qualities essential for a student of knowledge. The truth holds a weight of its own, a concept SOK must keep in mind. The opinion of the majority may seem alluring, but the statements of the minority must not be marginalized. Finally, context is crucial and unity is key; we must not forget the turbulent era we live in. I pray Allah accepts these few words which have been said and makes it a source of benefit for my self and others. Ameen.

 

            و آخر دعوانا أن الحمد لله ربّ العالين

Categories: Islam

EID MUBARAK!!

Islam - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 19:58

Eid Mubarak to all Muslims across the globe, I hope your day is immersed in peace and happiness. This Ramadan definitely flew by as usual, but more so due to my exams all being during this month. It’s also been a difficult month for many around the world, and including at home in the UK where a number of tragic incidents and acts of terrorism took place, such as the attack on London Bridge, the burning down of Glenfall tower and the attack on peaceful worshippers leaving Finsbury mosque in London recently. It’s also been tough for the thousands who have died in the hands of warfare and terror all around the world, with many continuously perishing in poverty and famine. May we think of them and keep them in our thoughts and prayers and the focus of our humanity and compassion. Always. <3

Peace,

Bushra

TWITTER: @BushraSpeaks

 

Categories: Islam

Ramadan Interview mit Refinery29 Deutschland

Islam - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 19:26

Spontanfoto; Anja Saleh von Sundus Photography (Ilayda Kaplan)

Der Fastenmonat Ramadan kommt mit dem heutigen Sonnenuntergang
offiziell zu einem Ende und ich kann es kaum fassen, dass ein Monat schon wieder so unheimlich schnell verging!
Eid Sa’eed (“Fröhliches Zuckerfest”) an dieser Stelle!

Vor wenigen Wochen schrieb mich eine der RedakteurInnen
von Refinery29 Deutschland an und fragte ein kurzes Ramadan-Interview an – warum nicht?
dachte ich und ließ mir die Fragen zuschicken.
Und hey, “nicht mal Wasser?” ist keine davon! ;)

Weitere vier Frauen wurden befragt und ich erlaube mir euch eins vorwegzunehmen: eine ist toller als die andere! Aber lest selbst.

Ein Ausschnitt aus dem Interview:

Wenn du Menschen, die nichts über den Fastenmonat wissen, eine Sache darüber erzählen könntest, was würdest du ihnen sagen?

Dieser Monat ist wie eine alte Liebe, die man jedes Jahr aufs Neue kennenlernt und vertieft, um sie im kommenden Jahr sehnsüchtig zu empfangen und ihr ungeduldig von all den Entwicklungen im vergangenen Jahr zu erzählen. Eine Liebe, wie eine gute Freundin, die Hoffnung schenkt und einem die Augen für die kleinen Dinge und vor allem für das eigene Potential, die eigene Stärken und Schönheiten öffnet. So, dass man sich ungeduldig und neugierig selbst reflektiert und kennenlernt, um all dieses Potential auszuschöpfen. Und so wie das mit Liebe oft ist; man kann sie nur kennenlernen, wenn man sich ihr öffnet und sie erlebt, so verschreckend und beängstigend sie zunächst wirken mag. Sie ist es wert.

Nachdem ich diesen Absatz impulsiv und wirklich ohne groß zu überlegen abgetippt hatte, fiel mir ein, dass ich vor Jahren versuchte genau dieses Gefühl in einen Text zu packen – ich werd mich gleich mal auf die Suche nach diesem machen und ihn, sollte er jemals fertig geschrieben worden sein bzw. teilbar sein, eventuell teilen.
Bis dahin euch eine wundervolle Zeit und schöne Eid-Feiertage!

In Liebe und Salaam,
Anja

Categories: Islam

Fun Facts About Me

Islam - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 19:08

I have been meaning to write this post for a long time, I couldn’t because I wasn’t sure what fun facts to write about me, but  hey I finally decided to do because this is my birthday month  and y’all will get know little bit about me as my birthday gift to you… Lets have some fun, shall we!

  1. I am the first-born in a family of two kids and my youngest brother is the love of my life
  2. I am curious person by nature. I am the good detective that no one is willing to hire.
  3. I can’t draw. I  can’t draw a  straight lines even with a ruler to save my life.
  4. Coffee is not for me. I have tried and gave it a fair chance, but then it is not for me.
  5. I have few friends. I am the most  open-minded person ever, but I am also too reserved when it comes to making friends.
  6. I hate politics to the max. Even hate is not doing any justices to my feelings, but that is pure.
  7. I suck at make-up. Well, I shouldn’t, but then I do.
  8. Watermelon is life.
  9. I  am not into  IT  and I am not a fan, but I have managed to build this blog from scratch and the first initials of my blog name are my full names.
  10. Brown has been my favorite color ever since I can remember, but black overtook it recently.
  11. Number 24 is my lucky and favorite number since middle school. I don’t mean it spiritually.
  12. I lost my dad when I was a kid. May Allah bless his soul Amen.
  13. I have phobia of speedy cars (Tachophobia). It is too much. My brain can’t take it. In my head all I see is accident. But I also like the loud rev sounds of cars when I am not in that car LOL.
  14. Pasta is my favorite meal. Pizza and Shawarma are also my cheat meals.
  15. I have soft spot for doll shoes, but not for heels and open shoes.
  16. The love I have for cats and Kitkat are beyond me . They are my sweethearts.
  17. I am a Youtube addict. Diagnosed and confirmed.
  18. I have never attended any concert. Crowded places are never for me.
  19. I am a morning person. Deadlines can’t even keep me up after 12am. The clock in me hasn’t  been raised that way.
  20. I am a crybaby. I am strong, and brave person and I don’t cry for me, but movies, documentaries, happy and sad situations make my eyes ball out. I got a soft heart.

PLUS ONE… I hardly wear jewelry but you find me wearing a ring.

I hope you enjoyed and got to know me a little bit more. Tell me more about you too let’s get to know each other.

Categories: Islam

Windsor Muslims mark end of Ramadan with prayers and festivities

Islam - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 18:43

The Muslim community of Windsor will mark the end of Ramadan on Sunday — along with 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide — through communal prayers and family festivities.

Some 6,000 Windsor-area Muslims are expected to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, which commemorates the end of the month of Ramadan, the holiest month of the Islamic lunar calendar, by gathering at Central Park Athletics, 3400 Grand Marais Rd. E.

Eid al-Fitr is one of the two major holidays of the Islamic faith. Communal Eid prayers will be held at 8 and 10 a.m. at Central Park Athletics, with family festivities to follow.

For the 12th year in a row, Muslims in Windsor organized the Share the Spirit of Ramadan Food Drive, donating more than 1,200 boxes of non-perishable food items to food banks around Windsor.    
Categories: Islam

Immigration, Birds of a Feather and Trojan Horses

Islam - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 18:27

Can it ever be wise to separate compassion, reasonable limits and common sense?

If you have seen the movie Syriana you will have gotten a glimpse of the fears, greed and fanaticism which, often enough, make many peoples both in the West and the Middle East more than a little paranoid of each other. Everyone is afraid of a loaded Trojan Horse slipping into the City in the form of exotic gifts.

This Trojan Horse fear in the West, while not entirely irrational given historical and geopolitical realities, is also grounded in our own angst about certain ill-defined notions like “freedom” and “democracy”. We are afraid that people who do not think like us will use precisely these democratic principles to grow in number in order to jockey for positions of power within the borders.

Europe and the Contraceptive Mentality

In the West today we face a crisis of identity and thought. But do we really think much at all anymore? Or have we surrendered thought itself to the pleasure principle which is infesting us and eating away our very souls? Chesterton said we must “rethink our way back to thought”. Indeed. If we in the West do not return to a moral conception of the dignity of the human person who, unlike the animals, is capable of saying “No!” to his unruly impulses and passions, then we may certainly end as prey for more disciplined rulers.

In the West the contraceptive mentality, after 50 or more years, is bearing its bitter fruit, and many look around and wonder who will be ruling Europe in a hundred or so years (and, indeed, who is increasingly running it now). And while the West may have [mere] military superiority even for a long time to come, it is in the realms of spiritual depths and thought that battles are really won or lost. The WASPS, as Dr. E. Michael Jones, editor of Culture Wars has pointed out in his works, under the influence of men like John D. Rockefeller saw Catholic thought and influence in America as a threat to their own power, so instead of dialog and political compromise they pushed eugenics, population control, the Pill and abortion. But now the old WASP elites, having fallen with us into the contraceptive ditch which they dug with their own hands, have largely in consequence ceded power to others, mainly to media moguls in New York and Los Angeles. Both media and banking interests are for the moment out of Christian control and decadence reigns across the West.

If the only thing that matters to us now is the pleasure principle, the almighty Self, and if we are morally unconcerned about the future of our fewer and fewer children, then the future may be in for a seismic shift indeed. It happened to ancient Rome, as there is no end of telling, and it can certainly happen to us. We need to return to the spiritual and economic foundations that can sustain a culture worthy of the dignity of human beings made in the image and likeness of God. If we Christians contracept ourselves into minority status, it is only natural that others, alien to the European Christian tradition, will maneuver and compete to fill the breach. It’s what we are woefully living through today.

Birds of a Feather

Having said that, it is not wrong for birds of a feather to want to flock together, and, at the same time, to reserve a measured and reasonable sacred space of hospitality, regardless of race or creed, for the truly persecuted and weak of other nations who have been rejected by their own peoples or circumstances. In fact it is natural and wise. This is not the same, however, as simply and thoughtlessly inviting everyone, regardless of world views, to come and compensate for our contraception on utopian grounds. When myopia and utopia combine, trouble looms. Alas, even in the Church today there are not a few who have lost sight of this age-old common sense Catholic tradition. The constant drumming of corporate media propaganda is doubtless largely responsible for this. But wisdom looks to the likely consequences of political positions. Those who shun this common sense risk being responsible for much suffering and conflict.

Borders: Good Fences, Shared Bounty

Love believes in good fences as well as shared pastures. Peoples who do not think alike can still care for one another across different secured borders. We do this by, as St. Thomas defined love, “willing the good of the other”. Peoples who do not think alike and who could not likely live well together can still share much to the benefit of all: their goods through trade, education exchanges (both academic & in the trades), the best and most non-offensive parts of their respective cultures. They can help one another lovingly in times of disasters, natural or otherwise. They can work in concerted efforts to save our beautiful and very wounded earth—especially our precious water supplies and forests and other open spaces, and without dislocating the poor through draconian population control measures.

We can invite the sick to our hospitals for healing so the infirm can return to their own countries whole and with kind thoughts for the “foreigner” who, like the Good Samaritan in the Gospel, tended their wounds as brothers and sisters.

We can share scientific and artistic accomplishments and open our countries to tourism. The works of mercy know no borders, even if political realities must. Borders should never be absolute walls, or provocations, but merely a realistic recognition of very serious difference. As I wrote over 5 years ago elsewhere,

“Clearly, from a Catholic Christian point of view, hospitality toward “strangers” (of whatever race or religion) is a duty of charity. And any kind of arbitrary discrimination based solely on race or ethnicity is incompatible with the Catholic Faith. For we are all God’s children in Adam, whatever our race or ethnicity, even before we are adopted into that greater Community of the redeemed through baptism into Christ. We must especially be solicitous for the poor, the sick, the weak and heavy laden.

“But some liberals and secular humanist globalists have coined the term Xenophobia as a ruse to go beyond merely showing love to the “stranger” in his time of need, and would make it, rather, an all inclusive mandate for a purely naturalistic world order, amounting to the abolishing or blurring of the natural sovereignty of nations (not to be confused with extreme, exaggerated forms of nationalism) toward an artificial and socially constructed homogenization of all peoples according to —one must say it—antichristic values (rejection of the Natural Law, lethal definitions of “compassion,” as in abortion and euthanasia, etc). This is unacceptable to the Catholic mind.”

Putting Aside Utopian Dreams Without Loss of Love

All of this can be done without naive utopian dreams of mixing world views and beliefs which simply do not mix at the end of the day. It is not a sin to be soberly realistic in this regard. Most Muslims or Hindus, for instance, feel more comfortable in lands where Muslim and Hindu belief is honored as the law of the land. Look also at Israel.

We must choose an imperfect peace today over no future at all. And in the West, the thought of both Jerusalem and Athens seeks its own, regardless of the denominations which share these general values, each in their own way.

America

The American model with its sometimes naive (sometimes vicious) conceptions of multi-culturalism (whereas once, hardly long ago, America was peacefully multi-ethnic!) is itself showing grave signs of strain, as witness Messrs Bush’s and Obama’s national “war on terrorism”.

While some of us argue that Mexicans and other Latin Americans could more easily be welcome across our borders (within measured and reasonable limits) since these generally share the same Christian world view Americans traditionally have, Islam is a far more complicated matter. This is evident especially relative to our understanding of religion, church, and state. The differences are much wider between Christianity and Islam than on first appearance, despite the Abrahamic connection [1].

In any case the West must recover its spiritual moorings and not allow alien Utopian schemes to breed conflict and division. The pleasure and profit-for-profits-sake principles have not served us well, but have rather served to weaken our collective spiritual and philosophical immune systems, and exposed us to many potentially lethal ills. And it does little good for the souls of those who are invited here by the Corporatocracy who seek to create a new permanently exploited underclass of docile laborers as it distributes more and more Birth Control and abortion to one and all.

Drug Running

And all of this is to say nothing of illegal Drug Running, the #1 form of terrorism in this nation which kills many thousands every year and destroys many more thousands of lives decade after decade. It makes no sense to complain of terrorism threats or cross-border Drug Running operations while advocating a practically borderless nation.

We must recover our souls, put our clothes back on in defiance of the hedonist moguls who weakens us and our families, and—critically important—welcome babies into our hearts and homes again—this is our very future. It may be hard medicine, but when the patient is very seriously ill, it is precisely what the divine Physician orders. Realism is not the enemy of charity. Good fences make good neighbors it is wisely said.

End Note:

[1] Consider the difference between Christianity’s exaltation of love, even for one’s enemy in principle, its emphasis on reconciliation, etc., in contrast to Islam’s exaltation of honor as one example, and what the latter has meant for far too many Islamic women across the globe, or families entangled in blood feuds etc. One might also reference unacceptable infringements—as we in the West see it—relative to the Western tradition regarding personal liberty, e.g., the severe penalty in Islam for changing one’s religion, differences in marriage laws, traditional attitudes towards women-booty in war, amputations, etc., in Sharia law, etc., etc.

One has no choice but to respect Islam’s right to differ with Christian views on such matters without desiring that they incubate them within our own borders and traditions. Such radically different understandings are best respected across borders in the interest of the peace of all, Christian, Jew, and Muslim, even as dialogue, hopefully, advances.

The Good Samaritan: Christians and Muslims

”But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came across a wounded man; and when he saw him, he took pity on him”.

It is a parable of Our Lord, Jesus of Nazareth, which is instructive in so many ways. When the despised Samaritan saw the wounded man who had fallen into the hands of robbers, he “took pity” on him.

This is at the heart of our religion. The Samaritan did not quiz the man theologically, nor consider ancient quarrels. He simply saw wounded humanity before him and was moved with pity for a brother in grave distress. When we lose this capacity for pity we lose the heart of our humanity and put our religion to shame.

Christians and Muslims, if we are to get along, even across reasonable and necessary borders, must see one another through the prism of this parable. Empathy reflects the presence of the divine in the human heart, reaching beyond strict justice.

The Samaritans were despised among the Jews along with the tax collectors and prostitutes. The Jewish religious authorities made certain that these would be excluded from all fellowship and even eternal life. But when Jesus appeared on the scene, He revealed God’s true heart for all mankind. He was not ashamed to transcend earlier traditions. As is noted,

“He touched lepers, even though they were considered unclean.

He talked to the Samaritan woman, which was considered illegal.

He passed through Samaria, even though everyone else went around.

He made companions of tax collectors and sinners, even though they were hated and despised.

“Jesus, by the look in His eye and the tone of His voice, gave every man and woman hope. Those who had been looked down upon previously, when they heard the words of Jesus, were suddenly transformed and knew that they had been accepted by God. The attitude of Jesus toward sinners and the forgiveness that He offered was a treasure that could only be found by those who had truly realized that they were in desperate need of salvation.” —Bible History Online, http://www.bible-history.com/

—2007, 2016

It is true that birds of a feather naturally flock best together. But in the final analysis it is most important that people think alike in terms of morals and traditional values than look alike. People should love their own races and tribes—God made us many wonderful colors—but always without prejudice to other races and good nations. The universalism of Christ and the particularity of nations were never seen as opposites throughout Christian history. Cooperation and peacemaking between truly sovereign nations is also a moral imperative. To desire and foster conditions under which allwill prosper.

Birds of a feather flock best together. Let Israel be a model. Jews around the world for their own protection and to preserve their Jewish identity founded the nation of Israel. Who can blame them? It is the same with Islamic nations and with all peoples. It is only natural that nations and peoples determine to preserve their own unique identity while cooperating with other peoples for the good of all. Catholic bishops lay down principles concerning compassion to the stranger amongst us and this is only right, but in the final analysis it is the people who forge their own nations by ties of blood and values, and this is the way it will always be.

Categories: Islam

What A Ramadan This Has Been

Islam - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 18:15

What.A.Ramadan.This.Has.Been.

Especially for those of us in Britain.

Fasting for 19 hours a day in 34C heat. Women are the winners here, fasting and going outdoors in the heat while wearing hijab.

I just about managed the fasting with a few hairs on my bald head. If I was wearing a hijab too, I don’t think I would have survived. Respect.

There was the London Bridge attack, in which many of our defenceless neighbours were killed by those in our community who have lost their way. May Allah guide them and open their hearts.

Then the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower which claimed the lives of many in our community and many of our friends and neighbours.

Heroes were made that night. Some of them lived, some died.

There were the three siblings, bride-to-be Husna, and her brothers Hanif and Hamid who chose to burn to death with their elderly parents rather than escape and abandon them.

“We are going to a better place,” were their last words to relatives frantically urging them to escape.

There were the few young men from Tower Hamlets who rushed across London while fasting, just to give water and blankets to the victims.

There were the thousands of others who donated items, opened their homes and wallets and rushed to the aid of the victims.

And then there was the Finsbury Park attack which proved that while Islamophobia does exist in Britain, it does not pose an existential threat to Britain’s Muslims. We will survive this.

Many of those who were with us at the start of Ramadan are no longer with us. Those no longer with us are in a better place than us. May Allah have mercy on them.

Our community is not perfect. Yes, we have our challenges and problems. But if there is one thing this Ramadan has proved, it’s that we are the best community on earth.

And for that alone we all deserve this Eid moreso than other Eids.

While in prison I spent five Eids alone in complete solitary confinement. But on every single one of those Eids, I made sure it was a great and happy day for me.

So whatever our circumstances, let us enjoy Eid. We deserve it.

Eid Mubarak everyone.

Read my story and why I was in prison here.

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Categories: Islam

TheRamadhanBaby #29 - Keep its Essence

Islam - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 18:07

The blessed month bids us farewell.

We can only hope to see it again.

While taking stock of our souls,

Will we find them enriched 

Or hovering around previous levels?

Will we last the many months 

Before another opportunity comes?

We should all regret the leaving 

For more pearls we did not gather

It is a matter of ease

To gain rewards all year long

With the goodness of this month

A little drop a day

Categories: Islam

Moderation ...

Islam - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 17:30

Categories: Islam

Idul Fitri Penuh Arti

Islam - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 17:19

Ramadhan tahun ini telah pergi, datanglah Idul Fitri. Mari maknai agar ia tak terlewat tanpa arti.

Istilah Idul Fitri tentu tiada asing di telinga kita. Tiap tahun ia datang, dan kita pun sambut ia dengan perayaan. Bila kita hendak dalami, secara bahasa, ‘iid (عيد) berarti hari raya sementara fitri (فطر) berarti berbuka puasa, seakar dengan iftar, waktu berbuka ketika usai berpuasa. Hal ini dapat kita lihat bahwa perayaan Idul Fitri memang dilaksanakan setelah berpuasa selama satu bulan penuh di Ramadhan. Hari raya ini menjadi seremoni berbuka dari berpuasa tersebut.

Puasa, atau shaum, atau shiyam, secara bahasa berarti menahan. Yang ditahan utamanya ialah nafsu perut dan kemaluan. Namun ketika berhari raya, bukan berarti nafsu itu kita lepas liarkan setelah sebulan ditahan. Akan tetapi, justru meningkatlah kemampuan pengendalian atas nafsu tersebut.

Kita berpuasa pun bertujuan untuk menjadi muttaqiin, pribadi yang taqwa. Karenanya, ketika kita berbuka pada hari raya ini, jadikanlah momentum untuk menguatkan tekad, bahwa puasa kita benar-benar berhasil. Dengan muncul sifat taqwa dalam diri kita.

Di bulan Ramadhan, kita diperintahkan untuk membayar zakat fitrah. Zakat bermakna penyucian harta dan jiwa sang pemberi. Secara sosial pun bermakna berbagi bahagia menuju hari raya. Dinamakan zakat fitrah, sebab ia membawa harta manusia pada fitrahnya. Yakni, keinsafan bahwa bukanlah kita yang punya harta, melainkan Allah Ta’ala. Pun sadar kita hanyalah dititipi, yang suatu saat nanti akan diminta tanggung jawab oleh Ilahi.

Berpuasa yang dikerjakan secara kesungguhan, menurut sabda Nabi, akan mendapatkan pengampunan dari Allah Swt. Itulah mengapa, banyak orang yang mengharap, ketika telah sampai di hari raya, kembalilah kita pada keadaan yang tidak lagi berdosa. Sebab, bila puasa memang telah diterima, dihapuskanlah segala dosa.

Selama bulan puasa, utamanya pada sepuluh malam terakhir, dianjurkan oleh Baginda Rasul dalam sebuah hadits riwayat Tirmidzi untuk berdoa,

اللهُمَّ اِنَّكَ عَفُوٌ، تُحِبُ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّى

Ya Allah, sungguh Engkau Maha Pemberi maaf, engkau mencintai kemaafan, maka maafkanlah hamba

Inilah doa yang kita panjatkan. Kita mohonkan maaf pada Allah atas dosa-dosa kita. Di hari raya ini, terjadilah tradisi di kalangan kita, untuk saling bermaafan dan saling memaafkan. Sebab kita tahu Allah Maha Pemberi Maaf, maka siapalah kita yang masih tak mau memberi maaf pada saudaranya. Pun insaflah kita, bahwa kita pun punya dosa pada sesama. Maka, bermaafanlah pada momentum hari raya.

Pada malam hari hingga pelaksanaan shalat ‘id, kita disunnahkan untuk bertakbir. Maknanya, kita membesarkan Allah, mengakui bahwa Allah itulah yang Maha Besar, dengan kebesaran yang tiada banding. Sembari menginsafkan, bahwa diri ini tiada patut merasa besar. Maka dikikislah rasa takabbur dari dalam hati.

Saat hari raya, dalam tradisi di negeri kita, berkumpullah bersama keluarga. Ini bermakna, kita merayakan hari bahagia, tidak akan lengkap tanpa keluarga. Kita juga rekatkan lagi silaturahim. Menyadarkan bahwa kita adalah satu keluarga. Mulai dari seibu sebapak, hingga se-Adam dan se-Hawa. Puncaknya, kita bertenggang rasa sebagai sesama anak manusia.

Dari seluruh proses yang kita jalankan itu, muncullah doa yang kita senantiasa haturkan pada handai taulan,

تَقَبَّلَ اللهُ مِنَّا وَ مِنْكُمْ

Moga-moga Allah menerima amalan kami dan amalan kalian.

Semoga, kita dapat penerimaan atas amal di hari raya ini. Juga, kita dapatkan ampunan yang kita mohonkan selama bulan Ramadhan. Dari sana, kita pun saling bermaaf karena kita insaf, diri ini penuh dengan khilaf.

 

Selamat berhari raya, semoga Allah curahkan rahmat dan ampunan-Nya pada kita

 

Semoga tulisan ini dapat semakin mengungkap makna kita berlebaran. Doakan, agar kita dapat terus menyebar kebaikan sesuai kemampuan. Wallahu a’lam.

Salam, Farhan Abdul Majiid

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