Q & A Session on Marriage

Q & A Session on Marriage

How do you progress getting to know a sister and you are not sure you want to propose to her? What should I know about my future wife? What about hanging out? How do you reconcile beauty and deen (way of life)?

Watch this Show to know more about marriage issues.

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Source: Taken with kind permission from thedeenshow.com.

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Islam Denounces Terrorism

Islam Denounces Terrorism

This film, produced by the Science Research Foundation, a Harun Yahya institution, presents the Muslim response to and denunciation of terrorism. Beginning with the event of September 11, the film explains that all kinds of violence against civilians are crimes against humanity and grave sins in religious terms. It is also stressed that terrorism is an inherent feature of secular ideologies like communism, fascism and racism. In contrast, all theistic religions – Islam, Christianity and Judaism – are opposed to terrorism and their ultimate goal is to bring peace and brotherhood to mankind.

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Inspired By Muhammad – Women’s Rights

Inspired By Muhammad – Women’s Rights

During his lifetime, Prophet Muhammad took counsel with and encouraged over 600 female scholars, warriors, nurses, businesswomen, teachers and students.

Are women degraded in Islam? Do women have rights in Islam? Do women have a right to participate in public life? Do women have a right to inherit?

To know the answer to these questions, watch this Show of Inspired by Muhammad campaign in which Sultana Tafadar focuses on women’s rights.

 

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Consideration for Neighbors

Consideration for Neighbors

Your neighbor has rights over you

Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) is loved by all Muslims. He is well honoured and respected by countless others and considered influential in both religious and secular circles.

Mahatma Ghandi described him as scrupulous about pledges, intense in his devotion to his friends and followers, intrepid, fearless, and with absolute trust in Almighty Allah and in his own mission. Muslims all around the world consider him the example to follow in their worship and dealings with others.

The religion of Islam, as taught to us by Prophet Muhammad, urges kind and considerate treatment towards our neighbors. They deserve our respect and good treatment regardless of their religion, race, or colour. In a hadith narrated by `A’ishah, Prophet Muhammad said, “Gabriel continued to advise me to treat neighbors well until I thought he would make them my heirs” (Muslim). This clearly indicates that neighbors’s rights are indeed great.

Commanding the good treatment of neighbors in the Qur’an, Almighty Allah says:

Worship Allah and join none with Him in worship, and do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, the poor, the neighbour who is near of kin, the neighbor who is a stranger, the companion by your side, the wayfarer, and those whom your right hands possess. Verily, Allah does not like those who are self-deluding and boastful. (An-Nisa’ 4:36)

The men and women around the Prophet were constantly reminded of their obligations to their Lord and to one another, including kindness to neighbors. In a hadith, he reportedly said, “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him not harm or annoy his neighbor.” He also reminded — not only his Companions, but all of us who follow him — that a true believer in Allah does not allow his brother or sister to go hungry or live in unfortunate conditions, while he or she is able to help. Today, in a time when old people die alone and forgotten, and when our neighbors both near and far go hungry whilst we have food, we would do well to remember the examples set by our righteous predecessors.

Abu Dhar, one of the close Companions, was told by Prophet Muhammad to add extra water to his broth in order to be able to offer some to his neighbors. Another Companion, `Abdullah ibn `Amr, once asked his servant after slaughtering a sheep, “Did you give some to our Jewish neighbor?”

A believer is encouraged to give gifts even if they are of little monetary value. The true value of the gift is the generous spirit with which it is given. The giving of gifts fosters friendship and mutual support. When the Prophet’s wife `A’ishah asked him about which neighbors she could send gifts to, he replied, “To the one whose door is closest to yours.” Although the closest neighbors are more entitled to our care and interest, Islam urges us to take care of all our neighbors. It is a system that takes into consideration the needs and feelings of others in the greater community.

When one truly understands the teachings of Islam, he or she begins to see that if one member of a community suffers, the whole community feels the pain. After family, neighbors are the people that we depend on the most in times of need and trouble. A bad relationship with neighbors can make life miserable. It is important that people who share a neighborhood be able to trust and rely on each other, regardless of their religion or ethnicity. Neighbors need to feel secure that both their honor and wealth are safe. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) described a good neighbor as one of the joys in a Muslim’s life; he said, “Among the things that bring happiness to a believer in this life are a righteous neighbor, a spacious house, and a good steed” (Al-Hakim). A good neighbor is one who guarantees comfort, security, and safety. For this reason, it is important that one who believes in and obeys Allah does not spare any effort in being considerate of and generous to the neighbors.

Prophet Muhammad warned his Companions against harming or upsetting neighbors. In a hadith reported by Imam Ahmad that is as true today as it was 1400 years ago, the Prophet was asked about a certain woman who prayed and fasted more than was obligatory upon her, and gave generously in charity, but unfortunately, she did not refrain from speaking harshly to her neighbors. He described her as being one of the people of Hell, who would be punished for this. In the same hadith, he was asked about another woman who fulfilled only her obligatory duties and gave very little in charity; however, her neighbors were safe from her harsh tongue and she offended no one. Prophet Muhammad described her as among the people of Paradise. The religion of Islam places great emphasis on the solidarity of families, neighborhoods, and the wider community,

Dealing with a Bad Neighbor

Islam advises its followers to be kind and considerate of neighbors. What happens, however, if one has a neighbor who behaves badly and does not show the respect inherent in the teachings of Islam? Believers are patient and tolerant and do not hold grudges. They strive to mend the broken relationship through good morals and manners and a forgiving attitude in the hope that this will bring about great reward from Almighty Allah. Hence, they patiently bear the annoyances as much as they can. If the situation becomes intolerable, to take a different stance can be a last resort. Publicizing the bad behavior may be an option.

Prophet Muhammad once advised a man to gather his belongings in the middle of the road as an indication that he could no longer live beside his bad neighbor. His neighbor immediately apologised and begged him to return. Nobody likes their bad behavior to be made public, and this is especially true of a Muslim, whose religion requires him or her to have the highest moral standards. Islam places great emphasis on the qualities of respect, tolerance, and forgiveness, and these qualities shown to neighbors are a demonstration of the moral values and virtues inbuilt into the worship of the One God—Allah.

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This article was originally published on islamreligion.com. It has been taken with modifications from onislam.net


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Does Islam Teach Terrorism?

Does Islam Teach Terrorism?

Does Islam allow the killing of innocent people? Does Islam permit terrorism? Can Islam be judged by what some people do?

To know the answer to these questions, watch this Show.

 

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Source: Taken with kind permission from thedeenshow.com.

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Tips for Keeping a Balance in Life

Tips for Keeping a Balance in Life

Islam is about moderation in all affairs, whether religious or worldly.

Islam is about moderation in all affairs, whether religious or worldly.

Are life and the Hereafter enemies? Does seeking worldly affairs affect one’s destiny in the Hereafter?

Or are life and the Hereafter two faces of the same coin? Can a Muslim balance between them and how?

God created us with a purpose in this life: to acknowledge His oneness and to worship Him alone. If we understand the main objective of creating human beings, we will recognize the importance of exerting every possible effort to worship God the proper way.

On the other hand, one has to work to earn his living. One has to interact with others. One has to go here and there. Then, what should one do? Should one isolate himself and live in a ghetto?

No, Islam is not against interaction. Islam does not accept the renunciation of this world. Interaction is not a crime, quite the opposite, as Islam calls for involvement, struggle and change.

A true believer should be involved in worldly affairs by commanding good, forbidding evil, and establishing justice on earth. A Muslim should be an active member in society.

We read in the Quran the story of Qarun (Korah), who was of Prophet Moses’s people, that he was warned by the godly men among his people:

Seek instead, by means of what God has granted you, [the good of] the life to come, without forget¬ting, your own [rightful] share in this world; and do good [unto others] as God has done good unto you; and seek not to spread corruption on earth: for, verily, God does not love the spreaders of corruption!” (Al-Qasas 28:77)

This is exactly what is required from a Muslim; i.e. to strike a balance between his religious and worldly affairs. The question is how to strike this balance?

Managing time is the key for success. If you manage your time correctly, you can do everything you want. You first have to set your list of priorities, starting with the most important, then the less important. You should make the best use of every second in your life. On your way to work or on your way back home, you can simply turn good deeds into acts of worship. For example, you can read the Quran, remember God, seek His forgiveness while you are on the bus or the train.

We have a good example in the life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Lady Aisha was once asked: “What did the Prophet use to do in his house?” She replied: “He used to keep himself busy serving his family, and when it was time for prayer he would go out for it.” (Al-Bukhari)

The Prophet used to help his wives with the housework; this is a worldly affair. However, when the time of prayer came he left everything and went to the mosque to offer the prayer.

Indulging in worldly affairs without paying heed to religious obligations is not recommended in Islam. God says about those people what means:

… whereas they who are bent on denying the truth shall have – even though they may enjoy their life [in this world] and eat as cattle eat – the fire [of the hereafter] for their abode. (Muhammad 47:12)

New Muslims might think that in their transition period they should abandon everything in this life and focus only on strengthening their relation with God. They are right in seeking a strong connection with God. However, they are not right in rejecting this life. The following hadith explains the course of action that the Prophet adopted.

Narrated Anas bin Malik: A group of three men came to the houses of the wives of the Prophet asking how the Prophet worshipped (Allah), and when they were informed about that, they considered their worship insufficient and said, “Where are we from the Prophet as his past and future sins have been forgiven.” Then one of them said, “I will offer the prayer throughout the night forever.” The other said, “I will fast throughout the year and will not break my fast.” The third said, “I will keep away from women and will never marry.”

Allah’s Apostle came to them and said, “Are you the same people who said so-and-so? By Allah, I am more submissive to Allah and more afraid of Him than you; yet I fast and break my fast, I do sleep and I also marry women. So he who does not follow my tradition in religion, is not from me (not one of my followers).” (Al-Bukhari)

This is the moderate approach that should be followed by Muslims whether they are new or born Muslims. Extremism and negligence are rejected in Islam.

There are many Quranic verses that make it clear that a Muslim should not burden himself with what he cannot do:

God does not burden any human being with more than he is well able to bear. (Al-Baqarah 2:286)

Remain, then, conscious of God as best you can, and listen [to Him], and pay heed. (At-Taghabun 64:16)

The Prophet is reported to have said: “… if I forbid you to do something, then keep away from it. And if I order you to do something, then do of it as much as you can.” (Al-Bukhari & Muslim)

Lady Aisha said: “Once the Prophet came while a woman was sitting with me. He said: “Who is she?” I replied: “She is so and so,” and told him about her (excessive) praying. He said disapprovingly: “Do (good) deeds which is within your capacity (without overtaxing yourself) as Allah does not get tired (of giving reward) but (surely) you will get tired;  the best deed (act of Worship) in the sight of Allah is that which is done regularly.” (Ahmad)

These are the guidelines that should be followed. A mid-ground approach will help us grow in faith in this world in a sustained way, and lead to great rewards in the Hereafter.

 

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Hijrah: Perfect Planning and Reliance on Allah

Hijrah: Perfect Planning and Reliance on Allah

Hijrah

The Hijrah event was by all measures an outstanding milestone.

If greatness of historical events is measured by their constructive influences and decisive resultant effects on the motion of life as well as the march of human beings on earth, the value of such events is – besides this – known through the elevated morals, noble principles and ethical demeanors that co-occur with these events.

Hence, the Hijrah event was by all measures an outstanding milestone. It yielded great fruits, displayed lofty principles and values in action, and expounded Prophet Muhammad’s (peace and blessings be upon him) prominent skill in planning as well as putting his whole trust in Allah the Almighty.

This can be seen in so many situations and incidents that took place throughout the course of Hijrah. Some of these will be cited here to help Muslims emulate them and put them into action in due, similar contexts. Two of the many perfect aspects of the Prophet’s personality that appeared during the Hijrah event will be highlighted here: the Prophet’s paramount ability to plan, and putting his full trust in Allah following observing all the possible material means.

Perfect planning

No doubt the Hijrah witnessed a number of extraordinary incidents that show Allah’s perfect care for His Prophet and his personal safety. Foremost among these is the fact that Allah provided him with unseen aides besides showering mercy and tranquility upon him. The Qur’an states this as saying: ”And Allah sent down His tranquility upon him and supported him with soldiers [i.e., angels] you did not see.“ (At-Tawbah 9:40) However, the flow of incidents was guided by the natural laws set by Allah to manage this present life and govern all that takes place therein. This can be seen in what follows.

  • As soon as the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was commanded to emigrate to Madinah he entrusted Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (may Allah be pleased with him), his closest friend and companion, with the information. Two she-camels were purchased and prepared for the journey by the latter. The Prophet agreed to take one of them for himself, known as Al-Qaswaa’ afterwards, provided that he would pay its price.
  • In order to deceive the Quraishites, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) told `Ali ibn Abi Talib (may Allah be pleased with him), his cousin and companion, to sleep in his bed and cover himself with his green mantle and assured him full security under Allah’s protection and told him that no harm would come to him. It is remarkable that `Ali was then less than twenty years old!
  • The Prophet (peace be upon him) hired a guide who knew the desert’s pathways very well to guide them throughout the way to Madinah to ward off any possibility of getting lost. It is also remarkable that the guide who is known by the name `Abdullah ibn Urayqit was then still a disbeliever. However, the divinely-guided Prophet hired him on the basis of having two basic qualities: professional experience as a guide and his well-known honesty.
  • When the Prophet (peace be upon him) and Abu Bakr set out for Madinah they went out from the latter’s house through a skylight or a wicket in order to evade the Quraishites who were resolved on capturing them.
  • In order to further camouflage their escape, the Prophet and Abu Bakr took an unusual route to Madinah. Instead of taking the road to Madinah in north side of Makkah as the polytheists would expect, they walked along a least expected road south of Makkah leading to Yemen. They reached the cave known by the name Thawr where they stayed for three days until the search for them lessened.
  • `Abdullah ibn Abi Bakr used to mix with the Quraishites in their gatherings in order to collect information and then visit the Prophet and his father at the cave to apprise them of the latest situation in Makkah. His sister, Asmaa’ bint Abi Bakr (may Allah be pleased with her) used to carry food provisions to the Prophet and her father twice a day. In addition, `Amir ibn Fuhairah who was tending his master Abu Bakr’s flock, used to follow both `Abdullah and Asmaa’ to erase their footprints. This is due to the fact that the Arabs were famous for tracking and through these footprints they could have figured out which road the Prophet and his companion have taken and the whole plan would have failed.
  • The great caution exercised by the Prophet and Abu Bakr in all their actions throughout the journey; whoever asked Abu Bakr about the identity of his honorable companion (i.e., the Prophet), he would reply that he was a man who guided him on his way. The questioner would think that Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was a guide, in terms of roads, whereas Abu Bakr used to mean guide to the way of righteousness. (Al-Bukhari)
  • Thus, using his wit, Abu Bakr answered the questioner without revealing the Prophet’s identity or resorting to telling lies.
  • Choosing Madinah as the final destination was not a passing thought or a mere chance. Rather, it was a well-studied decision and a predetermined fate. This is due to the strategic geographic location Madinah then enjoyed that would give the forthcoming Muslim state a great influence on stirring events and happenings all over the Arabian Peninsula. Added to this the unique demographical structure as it encompassed the three Jewish tribes: BanuQainuqa`, BanuQuraizah and Banu An-Nadir side by side with the Arabs who belonged to the Aws and Al-Khazraj tribes. Besides, the people of Madinah had amicable relations with Da`wah as they met with the Prophet (peace be upon him) twice in `Aqabah where they swore allegiance to him. Thus, they were prepared for receiving Muslims as well as the Prophet as a first step towards establishing the first Muslim state.

Reliance on Allah

In this pattern that is characterized by putting the Prophet’s full trust in Allah as well as cherishing the material means or natural laws set by Him in the universe, the Hijrah incidents succeeded in a row. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was so protected and supported by Allah Almighty that all the Quraishites’ malicious schemes were defeated. It was Allah’s Will that the plans of Prophet Muhammad succeed and those of the disbelievers fail. He says in the Ever-Glorious Qur’an: “Allah has already set for everything a [decreed] extent.“ (At-Talaq 65:3) And, regarding DhulQarnain, Allah says: “Indeed, We established him upon the earth, and We gave him to everything a way [i.e., means]. So he followed a way.“ (Al-Kahf 18:84-85)

In a narration by Imam Ahmad on the authority of Asmaa’ bint Abi Bakr that she said: “We prepared food provision for them… they set out going around the mountains of Makkah until they found the mountain which they chose as their [temporary] resort. Upon seeing a man in front of the cave, Abu Bakr said, “O Prophet of Allah! He could see us!” The Prophet replied, “No! There are angels that cover us with their wings”. The man sat to relieve himself facing [the mouth of] the cave. Thereupon the Prophet said, “If he could see us, he would not do that.” (Musnad Ahmad)

Despite all the efforts the Prophet has exerted to camouflage the Hijrah event and maintain its secrecy, the Quraishites reached the mouth of the cave where he and Abu Bakr were hiding. This means that when the required human effort is exhausted, comes the aid from Allah Who never lets down or abandons His Prophet and/or his worshippers in a way that may deliver them to His and their adversaries.

The Almighty reaffirms this meaning in the Qur’an that He will protect His Prophet when he is forsaken and/or unattended by all other supporters. The companions were scattered at that time as many of them have emigrated to Madinah earlier, while some remained in Makkah. Thus, the Prophet (peace be upon him) had no one else left beside him at that very time except Allah and Abu Bakr…  

If you do not aid him [i.e., the Prophet] – Allah has already aided him when those who disbelieved had driven him out [of Makkah] as one of two, when they were in the cave and he [Muhammad] said to his companion, “Do not grieve; indeed Allah is with us.” And Allah sent down His tranquility upon him and supported him with soldiers [i.e., angels] you did not see and made the word of those who disbelieved the lowest, while the word of Allah – that is the highest. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise. (At-Tawbah 9:40)

Thus, following taking care of all material means in terms of planning and preparing for the action, the Prophet put his trust in Allah and declared his complete dependence on Him Alone and he earnestly directed his face along with his heart towards Allah seeking His mercy, guidance and assistance. In short, the Prophet (peace be upon him) put his trust in Allah without negligence of material means.

This is a great lesson that needs to be learnt by each and every Muslim who should have strict faith that Allah’s help will descend when one’s human means are exhausted and that s/he should be confident that victory is always from Allah who states: “And victory is not except from Allah, the Exalted in Might, the Wise.” (Aal `Imran 3:126)

To conclude, human effort in the world of observing material means cannot be neglected or made little of by Muslims especially those who shoulder the responsibility of inviting others to the way of Allah under the pretense of depending on Allah and leaving everything to Him. If Prophet Muhammad – though was well protected by Allah – observed all possible human material means to make his plan work out, no doubt we would be more entitled to observe all possible means and use all our cunning and planning skills to make our designs succeed. We have to do all what we can then leave the results to Allah Who knows better than any of His creatures.

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