Has Science Become a New Religion?

Has Science Become a New Religion?

By Truth Seeker Staff

In this amazing video by the London Dawah Movement, Brother Abdurraheem Green answers this very problematic question of, has science become a new religion? And what does this mean with respect to Islam as well as other divinely revealed religions.

Join us to see what Brother Green has to say on this…

 

 

 

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God: The Beneficent, the Merciful

God: The Beneficent, the Merciful

Allah, the Beneficent and Merciful, truly deserves our obedience. We should thank Him, not deny His favor.

Allah, the Beneficent and Merciful, truly deserves our obedience. We should thank Him, not deny His favor.

By Salman Al-Oadah

God: The Beneficent, the Merciful

Allah is referred to by His name “The Beneficent” fifty-seven times in the Qur’an.

We read, for instance:

“And your God is One God; there is no god save Him, the Beneficent, the Merciful.” (Al-Baqarah 2: 163)

“The Beneficent is established on the Throne.” (Ta-Ha 20: 5)

As for “The Merciful”, the Qur’an refers to Allah by this name 114 times. For instance:

“For Allah is to all people Most surely full of kindness, Most Merciful.” (Al-Baqarah 2: 143)

“Whoever repents after his wrongdoing and makes amends, then surely Allah will relent towards him; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.” (Al-Ma’idah 5: 39)

The attribute of mercy – which both of these names are derived from – is one of our Lord’s greatest attributes. A believer meets a fellow believer with the greeting: “May peace be upon you and the mercy of Allah.”

We say:

“Praise be to Allah who has prescribed mercy upon Himself.”

“Praise be to Allah whose mercy takes precedence over His wrath.”

“Praise be to Allah whose mercy encompasses all things.”

Allah is described as having the attribute of “mercy” in the Qur’an over 160 times.

Examples of God’s Mercy

It is interesting to consider the ways in which Allah’s mercy appears in the chapter of the Qur’an entitled Mary, which opens with the verse:

“(This is) a recital of the mercy of your Lord to His servant Zechariah.” (Maryam 19: 2)

Here we have mention of Allah’s mercy to one of his choicest devotees, Zechariah, when he beseeched his Lord to bless him with a child in his old age. This shows us how close Allah’s mercy is to those who worship and beseech Him with sincere devotion and humility.

In the middle of the same chapter, we find an account of Abraham’s story. At one point, Abraham says to his father:

“O my father! Do not serve Satan. Surely Satan is disobedient to the Beneficent.” (Maryam 19: 44)

Abraham’s words show us the extreme ignorance that it takes to flagrantly deny Allah and disobey Him. Allah, the Beneficent and Merciful, truly deserves our obedience. We should thank Him, not deny His favor. We should cherish Him in our thoughts and never forget Him. We should respond to His goodness and His favor with our gratitude and devotion.

Abraham then says:

“O my father! I fear lest a punishment overtakes you from the Beneficent, so that you become a comrade of Satan.” (Maryam 19: 45)

Here Abraham warns against the punishment that awaits those who disobey Allah and who spurn His guidance and His way. By referring to it as being “a punishment from the Beneficent”, Abraham is emphasizing how base and offensive it is to reject Allah and faith in Him, so much so that in their rejection and unbelief they become deserving of punishment from Allah, in spite of Allah’s infinite mercy.

The chapter entitled Mary comes to its conclusion with the verse:

“Indeed, those who believe and do good deeds, the Beneficent will bestow love upon them.” (Maryam 19: 96)

This verse relates to us a meaning of great significance. Allah blesses those who believe and do good deeds with love. He loves them and they love Him. He then spreads their love throughout the Earth, so they feel love for each other. In this regard, Prophet Mohammed, peace be upon him, said:

“If Allah loves someone, He summons Gabriel and says: ‘I love that person.’”

Then Gabriel also loves that person and calls out to the heavens: “Indeed Allah loves this person.” Thereafter, the denizens of Heaven also love that person. Thereafter it is manifested as acceptance on the Earth.” (Al-Bukhari, Muslim)

These are some of the significant meanings that should enrich a Muslim’s faith and practice from contemplating on Allah’s mercy.

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Taken with slight editorial modifications from onislam.net.

Salman Al-Oadah is a prominent Saudi scholar. He supervises the website Islam Today (www.islamtoday.com).

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Is Atheism Unnatural?

Is Atheism Unnatural?

By Hamza Tzortzis

Is Atheism Unnatural?

Why do human beings believe in God? This question has engrossed thinkers for centuries. Why are beliefs about supernatural agents and ritual practices derived from those beliefs found in all human societies, across disparate times and far-ranging cultures?

Join us to see this wonderful video…

 

 

 

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What Is Islam?

What Is Islam?

By Truth Seeker Staff

What Is Islam?

In this video, Sheikh Yusuf Estes explains the meaning of Islam as understood by so many Muslims in the world of today. He refutes all false allegations that accuse Islam of being a hostile religion and that it was spread by the edge of the sword.

Join us to watch the video…

 

 

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How to Beat Hard Times

How to Beat Hard Times

By Wael Hamza

We can emerge from difficult times closer to Allah, stronger, united, more skilled, and more guided, but only if we know how to live through them and respond to them.

We can emerge from difficult times closer to Allah, stronger, united, more skilled, and more guided, but only if we know how to live through them and respond to them.

How to Beat Hard Times

Whether you are a Syrian suffering from oppression and massacres by a criminal regime, an Egyptian fearing the brutal attacks of the corrupt supporters of the former government, a Palestinian who has lived his whole life under occupation, a Bengali who faces government crackdowns due to your political views, an American facing guilt by association and discrimination, or someone who observes all of these with a heavy heart, you are just an example of the difficult times our global Muslim community is going through. You may not be going through those trials but you may be faced with personal calamities, such as losing loved ones, facing financial difficulties, or dealing with family conflicts.

Difficult times are part of Allah’s laws in this universe; they are part of the tests that people go through.  They are not necessarily something evil, however. A difficulty we go through, on the contrary, could be a learning experience, a reminder, purification from sins and mistakes, a test of patience and perseverance, or all of these together.

We can emerge from difficult times closer to Allah, stronger, united, more skilled, and more guided, but only if we know how to live through them and respond to them.

There is no one to learn from who better responded to difficult times other than our beloved Prophet, Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). Not only was he a great man with noble character, he was also guided by revelations from Allah Almighty. Following his footsteps is essential to live a successful life and is part of us being Muslims. By definition, Muslims are the ones who bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger. Therefore, following his example is an integral part of Islam.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) went through a lot of difficult times both on a personal and a community level. His life was extremely successful, yet it was the most challenging. By the will and the guidance of Allah, he was able to meet all the challenges he faced and come out of difficult times much stronger than ever before.

In this article, we will learn from our prophet some of the guidance to help us through difficult times we are going through and to enable us to use these challenges to our advantage.

The Prophet Facing Tough Times

We read the Prophet’s story hundreds of years after it was over. It is a successful story that contains one victory after another with a very positive final outcome. This positive experience masked all the difficult times in his life and we tend to overlook them when reading or relating the story, especially in the absence of deep analysis.

The fact of the matter is that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) went through a lot of challenges and difficult times throughout his whole life. In one year, his uncle and his wife, who both supported him emotionally and physically, died. In the very same year, he was subjected to physical abuse from the people of Makkah. The following story, as narrated by one of the Prophet’s companions, Abdullah Ibn Mas`ud, tells you how he was treated during this very tough year:

Seven from the leaders of Makkah were gathering next to Al-Ka`bah while the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was praying. He elongated his prostration. Abu Jahl, one of those leaders, said,

“Who would bring the innards of the camel so-and-so family just slaughtered? We can put it on top of Muhammad while prostrating!”

`Uqbah Ibn Abi Mu`ait, the most idiot amongst them, brought it and put it on the back of the Prophet while prostrating. The Prophet did not move and I (`Abdullah is talking) could not dare to do anything, for I have no clan to protect me.

Fatimah, the Prophet’s young daughter, came and removed the dirt and insulted all of them. The Prophet then raised his head and started supplicating to Allah against them all.

He was also challenged as a messenger tasked by Allah to convey His message. He was called a liar, a sorcerer, a poet, and a fortuneteller, and people started calling him Mudhamam (dispraise worthy) while his name is Muhammad (praise worthy).

His reputation was attacked, and his companions were tortured to the extent that people stopped listening to him. For two consecutive years before he migrated to Medina, only four people believed in him, two of whom died shortly after.

His trip to the neighboring city of Ta’if was just another example of those tough times. He traveled, walking, for over fifty miles to deliver his message to the people of Ta’if and ask for their support. Not only did they mock him, disbelieve in him, and let him down, but also asked their slaves and youngsters to throw stones at him for a few miles until his sandals turned red from his bleeding.

Even after migration to Madinah, his life wasn’t easy. He suffered the curses and the disrespect of the hypocrites in Madinah. His noble wife `Aishah was subject to an ugly rumor spread in the society for days.

Madinah under his leadership was challenged by war from almost every single tribe in Arabia. He witnessed the killing of seventy of his companions among whom was his dear uncle Hamzah.

He faced a siege of ten thousand soldiers, an attack on which his whole city, where all the believers lived, was about to be destroyed.

He faced treason from Jewish tribes in Madinah: some plotted to kill him and others betrayed him to side with an attacking army.

Many of the messengers he sent to teach people Islam were killed in cold blood and he grieved for them for months, seventy of them in one incident and twelve in another.

Learning from our Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him)

How did the Prophet manage to face all these challenges?

How was he able to come out of them stronger and with even more influence?

How did he develop such a community that was able to be steadfast in the face of difficult times during his life and after he died?

Below are a few simple, yet very effective, concepts that the Prophet embraced and taught his Companions.

These concepts are extremely important for us to understand and embrace. While going through the ideas below, you will realize that they are a mix of:

•         Personal qualities the Prophet and his Companions displayed

•         Ideas taught by the Qur’an and the words of the Prophet

•         Practical actions taken by the Prophet to face difficult times

1. Know! Difficulties are inevitable tests

This is the first and the most important concept one should believe in: going through difficult times is almost inevitable.

“Do people think they will be left alone and they will not be tried? …” ( Al-`Ankbut  29:3)

When you claim to believe in Allah, stand for what is right, oppose what is wrong, support justice, or fight oppression, these claims will all be tested. Allah will show who is truthful and who is lying.

This is the tradition of those on the straight path at all times. The Prophet and his companions were asked in the Qur’an, a question that is also asked to all of us,

“Do you suppose that you will enter Paradise untouched by the suffering endured by the people who passed before you? They were afflicted by the misery and hardship and they were so convulsed that the Messenger and the believers with him cried out: ‘When will Allah’s help arrive?’” (Al-Baqarah 2: 214)

2. Know! Difficulties happen by the Will of Allah

It is very important to know and believe that nothing will happen to you except what Allah has decreed for you. The Prophet was asked to say,

“Nothing will befall us except what Allah has decreed for us.” (At-Tawbah 9:51)

He taught one of his young cousins, `Abdullah Ibn `Abbas, “Know that what hits you would not have missed you.

This belief gives you comfort and prevents fear from future difficulty, but more importantly, helps you overcome any difficulty you are already going through. Allah said,

“No misfortune ever befalls unless it be by Allah. And whosoever has faith in Allah, Allah guides his heart …” (At-Taghabun 64:11)

3. Flee to Allah

O Allah I display before you my weakness …” This phrase was part of the prayer of the Prophet while coming back from his trip to Al Ta’if. Taking refuge in Allah and asking for His help and support is a very important action we should do during the time of difficulty. This is a trial by Allah, it happened with His permission, and it is only He who can alleviate it.

4. Examine your actions

If you are not angry with me, I do not care …” was also part of the Prophet’s prayer returning from Al Ta’if. During times of difficulty, we should examine our actions. This difficulty may very well be a warning from Allah that we are doing something wrong. It may be because of our sins and mistakes:

“Whatever misfortune befalls you is a consequence of your own deeds …” (Ash-Shura 42:30)

It may be because we strayed and Allah sent this difficulty to us as a reminder to bring us back. Malik Ibn Dinar, one of the great scholars of Islam, transformed from being an alcoholic person to the great person we know as a result of the death of his own two-year old daughter.

5. Be optimistic

Having hope and being optimistic were two important attitudes the Prophet embraced when facing difficulty.

By Allah, Allah will perfect this matter until the traveler can travel from Sana’a to Hadhramaut fearing no one but Allah and the wolf that may eat his sheep“, The Prophet told Khabbab when he complained to him about the severity of torture he and other Muslims in Makkah were going through. (Al-Bukhari)

It was this hope in Allah, and confidence that there will be ease after difficulty, that kept them going.

This hope was not only kept in the hearts but was also spread through words and attitude. The Prophet mastered optimism and looked for optimism: “Evil omen is false! And I likes Al-fa’l (good omen)” the prophet told his companions. They asked, “What is Al-Fa’l?” He responded, “A good word.” (Muslim)

6. Do not get distracted

One of the very bad consequences of going through difficult times is the amount of distraction the difficulty creates. Ibn Al-Qayim says,

“It is a complete fiasco to be distracted by the blessing away from the One who blesses, and by the trial away from the One who tries.”

Sometimes the difficulty itself scares us away from the good we are doing. Allah says,

“And let it never happen that they might turn you away from the revelations of Allah after they have been revealed to you…” (Al-Qasas 28-87)

The prophet never stopped delivering his message because of a personal difficulty he went through or because of a threat or torture he received from his enemies.

7. Expect reward

This was one of the teachings the Qur’an instilled in the hearts of Muslims. Whether the calamity happens naturally, or whether it is due to the harm of others, being patient and perseverant results in a lot of reward. The calamity will eventually be over,

“Indeed with the difficulty there is an ease. Indeed with the difficulty there is an ease.” (Ash-Sharh 94:5-6)

And when the ease comes, the pain will go away and will be forgotten. What remains and will never go away is the tremendous reward one would get,

“We shall certainly test you by afflicting you with fear, hunger, loss of properties and lives and fruits. Give glad tidings, then, to those who remain patient.

Those, who when any affliction smites them, they say: “Verily, we belong to Allah, and it is to Him we shall return.”

Upon them will be the blessings of their Lord, and it is they who are rightly guided.” (Al-Baqarah 2:155-157)

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Courtesy onislam.net with slight editorial modifications.

Wael Hamza is a Muslim writer, thinker and an active figure in MAS (Muslim American Society), U.S.A.

 

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7 Reasons Islam beats Atheism!

7 Reasons Islam beats Atheism!

7 Reasons Islam beats Atheism!

By Truth Seeker Staff

In this amazing video, one knowledgeable Muslim draws a comparison by the Qur’an and a book that advocates atheism and he proves that it is the Qur’an that is perfectly capable of answering a major as well as crucial question:

What best explains REALITY?

Join us to see the answer to this question…

 

 

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Aishah bint Abi Bakr: Mother of the Believers

Aishah bint Abi Bakr: Mother of the Believers

By Truth Seeker Staff

Many of the learned companions of the Prophet and their followers benefitted from Aishah's knowledge. Abu Musa al-Ashari once said: "If we companions of the Messenger of God had any difficulty on a matter, we asked Aishah about it."

Many of the learned companions of the Prophet and their followers benefitted from Aishah’s knowledge. Abu Musa al-Ashari once said: “If we companions of the Messenger of God had any difficulty on a matter, we asked Aishah about it.”

Aishah bint Abi Bakr: Mother of the Believers

The life of Aishah is proof that a woman can be far more learned than men and that she can be the teacher of scholars and experts. Her life is also proof that a woman can exert influence over men and women and provide them with inspiration and leadership. Her life is also proof that the same woman can be totally feminine and be a source of pleasure, joy and comfort to her husband.

She did not graduate from any university there were no universities as such in her day. But still her utterances are studied in faculties of literature, her legal pronouncements are studied in colleges of law and her life and works are studied and researched by students and teachers of Muslim history as they have been for over a thousand years.

The bulk of her vast treasure of knowledge was obtained while she was still quite young. In her early childhood she was brought up by her father who was greatly liked and respected for he was a man of wide knowledge, gentle manners and an agreeable presence. Moreover he was the closest friend of the noble Prophet who was a frequent visitor to their home since the very early days of his mission.

In her youth, already known for her striking beauty and her formidable memory, she came under the loving care and attention of the Prophet himself. As his wife and close companion she acquired from him knowledge and insight such as no woman has ever acquired.

Aishah became the Prophet’s wife in Makkah when she was most likely in the tenth year of her life but her wedding did not take place until the second year after the Hijrah when she was about fourteen or fifteen years old. Before and after her wedding she maintained a natural jollity and innocence and did not seem at all overawed by the thought of being wedded to him who was the Messenger of God whom all his companions, including her own mother and father, treated with such love and reverence as they gave to no one else.

About her wedding, she related that shortly before she was to leave her parent’s house, she slipped out into the courtyard to play with a passing friend:

“I was playing on a see-saw and my long streaming hair was disheveled,” she said. “They came and took me from my play and made me ready.”

They dressed her in a wedding-dress made from fine red-striped cloth from Bahrain and then her mother took her to the newly-built house where some women of the Ansar were waiting outside the door. They greeted her with the words “For good and for happiness may all be well!” Then, in the presence of the smiling Prophet, a bowl of milk was brought. The Prophet drank from it himself and offered it to Aishah. She shyly declined it but when he insisted she did so and then offered the bowl to her sister Asma who was sitting beside her. Others also drank of it and that was as much as there was of the simple and solemn occasion of their wedding. There was no wedding feast.

Marriage to the Prophet did not change her playful ways. Her young friends came regularly to visit her in her own apartment.

“I would be playing with my dolls,” she said, “with the girls who were my friends, and the Prophet would come in and they would slip out of the house and he would go out after them and bring them back, for he was pleased for my sake to have them there.” Sometimes he would say “Stay where you are” before they had time to leave, and would also join in their games. Aishah said: “One day, the Prophet came in when I was playing with the dolls and he said: ‘O Aishah, whatever game is this?’ ‘It is Solomon’s horses,’ I said and he laughed.” Sometimes as he came in he would screen himself with his cloak so as not to disturb Aishah and her friends.

Aishah’s early life in Madinah also had its more serious and anxious times. Once her father and two companions who were staying with him fell ill with a dangerous fever which was common in Madinah at certain seasons. One morning Aishah went to visit him and was dismayed to find the three men lying completely weak and exhausted. She asked her father how he was and he answered her in verse but she did not understand what he was saying. The two others also answered her with lines of poetry which seemed to her to be nothing but unintelligible babbling. She was deeply troubled and went home to the Prophet saying:

“They are raving, out of their minds, through the heat of the fever.” The Prophet asked what they had said and was somewhat reassured when she repeated almost word for word the lines they had uttered and which made sense although she did not fully understand them then. This was a demonstration of the great retentive power of her memory which as the years went by were to preserve so many of the priceless sayings of the Prophet.

Of the Prophet’s wives in Madinah, it was clear that it was Aishah that he loved most. From time to time, one or the other of his companions would ask:

“O Messenger of God, whom do you love most in the world?” He did not always give the same answer to this question for he felt great love for many for his daughters and their children, for Abu Bakr, for Ali, for Zayd and his son Usamah. But of his wives the only one he named in this connection was Aishah. She too loved him greatly in return and often would seek reassurance from him that he loved her. Once she asked him: “How is your love for me?”

“Like the rope’s knot,” he replied meaning that it was strong and secure. And time after time thereafter, she would ask him: “How is the knot?” and he would reply: “Ala haaliha in the same condition.”

As she loved the Prophet so was her love a jealous love and she could not bear the thought that the Prophet’s attentions should be given to others more than seemed enough to her. She asked him:

“O Messenger of God, tell me of yourself. If you were between the two slopes of a valley, one of which had not been grazed whereas the other had been grazed, on which would you pasture your flocks?”

“On that which had not been grazed,” replied the Prophet. “Even so,” she said, “and I am not as any other of your wives. “Everyone of them had a husband before you, except myself.” The Prophet smiled and said nothing. Of her jealousy, Aishah would say in later years:

“I was not, jealous of any other wife of the Prophet as I was jealous of Khadijah, because of his constant mentioning of her and because God had commanded him to give her good tidings of a mansion in Paradise of precious stones. And whenever he sacrificed a sheep he would send a fair portion of it to those who had been her intimate friends. Many a time I said to him: “It is as if there had never been any other woman in the world except Khadijah.”

Once, when Aishah complained and asked why he spoke so highly of “an old Quraysh woman”, the Prophet was hurt and said: “She was the wife who believed in me when others rejected me. When people gave me the lie, she affirmed my truthfulness. When I stood forsaken, she spent her wealth to lighten the burden of my sorrow..”

Despite her feelings of jealousy which nonetheless were not of a destructive kind, Aishah was really a generous soul and a patient one. She bore with the rest of the Prophet’s household poverty and hunger which often lasted for long periods. For days on end no fire would be lit in the sparsely furnished house of the Prophet for cooking or baking bread and they would live merely on dates and water. Poverty did not cause her distress or humiliation; self-sufficiency when it did come did not corrupt her style of life.

Once the Prophet stayed away from his wives for a month because they had distressed him by asking of him that which he did not have. This was after the Khaybar expedition when an increase of riches whetted the appetite for presents. Returning from his self-imposed retreat, he went first to Aishah’s apartment. She was delighted to see him but he said he had received Revelation which required him to put two options before her. He then recited the verses:

“O Prophet! Say to your wives: If you desire the life of this world and its adornments, then come and I will bestow its goods upon you, and I will release you with a fair release. But if you desire God and His Messenger and the abode of the Hereafter, then verily God has laid in store for you an immense reward for such as you who do good.”

Aishah’s reply was:

“Indeed I desire God and His Messenger and the abode of the Hereafter,” and her response was followed by all the others.

She stuck to her choice both during the lifetime of the Prophet and afterwards. Later when the Muslims were favored with enormous riches, she was given a gift of one hundred thousand dirhams. She was fasting when she received the money and she distributed the entire amount to the poor and the needy even though she had no provisions in her house. Shortly after, a maidservant said to her: “Could you buy meat for a dirham with which to break your fast?”

“If I had remembered, I would have done so,” she said. The Prophet’s affection for Aishah remained to the last. During his final illness, it was to Aishah’s apartment that he went at the suggestion of his wives. For much of the time he lay there on a couch with his head resting on her breast or on her lap. She it was who took a toothstick from her brother, chewed upon it to soften it and gave it to the Prophet. Despite his weakness, he rubbed his teeth with it vigorously. Not long afterwards, he lost consciousness and Aishah thought it was the onset of death, but after an hour he opened his eyes.

Aishah it is who has preserved for us these dying moments of the most honored of God’s creation, His beloved Messenger may He shower His choicest blessings on him.

When he opened his eyes again, Aishah remembered Iris having said to her: “No Prophet is taken by death until he has been shown his place in Paradise and then offered the choice, to live or die.”

“He will not now choose us,” she said to herself. Then she heard him murmur: “With the supreme communion in Paradise, with those upon whom God has showered His favor, the Prophets, the martyrs and the righteous…” Again she heard him murmur: “O Lord, with the supreme communion,” and these were the last words she heard him speak. Gradually his head grew heavier upon her breast, until others in the room began to lament, and Aishah laid his head on a pillow and joined them in lamentation.

In the floor of Aishah’s room near the couch where he was lying, a grave was dug in which was buried the Seal of the Prophets amid much bewilderment and great sorrow.

Aishah lived on almost fifty years after the passing away of the Prophet. She had been his wife for a decade. Much of this time was spent in learning and acquiring knowledge of the two most important sources of God’s guidance, the Quran and the Sunnah of His Prophet. Aishah was one of three wives (the other two being Hafsah and Umm Salamah) who memorized the Revelation. Like Hafsah, she had her own script of the Quran written after the Prophet had died.

So far as the Ahadith or sayings of the Prophet is concerned, Aishah is one of four persons (the others being Abu Hurayrah, Abdullah ibn Umar, and Anas ibn Malik) who transmitted more than two thousand sayings. Many of these pertain to some of the most intimate aspects of personal behavior which only someone in Aishah’s position could have learnt. What is most important is that her knowledge of hadith was passed on in written form by at least three persons including her nephew Urwah who became one of the greatest scholars among the generation after the Companions.

Many of the learned companions of the Prophet and their followers benefitted from Aishah’s knowledge. Abu Musa al-Ashari once said: “If we companions of the Messenger of God had any difficulty on a matter, we asked Aishah about it.”

Her nephew Urwah asserts that she was proficient not only in fiqh but also in medicine (tibb) and poetry. Many of the senior companions of the Prophet came to her to ask for advice concerning questions of inheritance which required a highly skilled mathematical mind. Scholars regard her as one of the earliest fuqaha of Islam along with persons like Umar ibn al-Khattab, Ali and Abdullah ibn Abbas. The Prophet referring to her extensive knowledge of Islam is reported to have said: “Learn a portion of your religion (din) from this red colored lady.” “Humayra” meaning “Red-coloured” was an epithet given to Aishah by the Prophet.

Aishah not only possessed great knowledge but took an active part in education and social reform. As a teacher she had a clear and persuasive manner of speech and her power of oratory has been described in superlative terms by al-Ahnaf who said: “I have heard speeches of Abu Bakr and Umar, Uthman and Ali and the Khulafa up to this day, but I have not heard speech more persuasive and more beautiful from the mouth of any person than from the mouth of Aishah.”

Men and women came from far and wide to benefit from her knowledge. The number of women is said to have been greater than that of men. Besides answering enquiries, she took boys and girls, some of them orphans, into her custody and trained them under her care and guidance. This was in addition to her relatives who received instruction from her. Her house thus became a school and an academy.

Some of her students were outstanding. We have already mentioned her nephew Urwah as a distinguished reporter of hadith. Among her women pupils is the name of Umrah bint Abdur Rahman. She is regarded by scholars as one of the trustworthy narrators of hadith and is said to have acted as Aishah’s secretary receiving and replying to letters addressed to her. The example of Aishah in promoting education and in particular the education of Muslim women in the laws and teachings of Islam is one which needs to be followed.

After Khadijah al-Kubra (the Great) and Fatimah az-Zahra (the Resplendent), Aishah as-Siddiqah (the one who affirms the Truth) is regarded as the best woman in Islam. Because of the strength of her personality, she was a leader in every field in knowledge, in society, in politics and in war. She often regretted her involvement in war but lived long enough to regain position as the most respected woman of her time. She died in the year 58 AH in the month of Ramadan and as she instructed, was buried in the Jannat al-Baqi in the City of Light, beside other companions of the Prophet.

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Taken with slight editorial modifications from http://www.islamicweb.com.

 

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Tips for Staying Healthy While Observing Fasting

Tips for Staying Healthy While Observing Fasting

By Truth Seeker Staff

Staying Healthy

To stay in shape during a fast, it is also advisable to stay out of the sun, spend most of the day in cool places and avoid strenuous exercise.

Tips for Staying Healthy While Observing Fasting

During Ramadan, practicing Muslims change their eating habits dramatically.

Questioned by Relaxnews, nutritionist Charlotte Debeugny provided her recommendations to religious fasters looking to make the most out of this festive time of year.

Pack in fibre and protein at Suhoor

Suhoor and Iftar, the two daily meals during Ramadan, are taken before dawn and after dusk, respectively. Suhoor is crucial, as it is the faster’s last meal before facing the day. So it is important to make sure this pre-dawn meal contains protein (found in eggs, cheese, yogurt, nuts, etc.) and fibre (fruit, vegetables, whole grains, etc.), both of which help stave off hunger over a long period.

Avoid overeating after sundown

After a day of deprivation, there is a strong temptation to overindulge at Iftar. To curb the pangs of hunger before reaching for calorie-rich foods, try having a bowl of cold soup or a healthy salad. The evening meal should also include protein, whole grains, and vegetables.

Especially during Ramadan, it is important to avoid empty calories and junk food, to eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetables per day, and to ensure that each meal includes healthy portions of protein and dairy products.

Eat almonds and dates instead of rich desserts

While Ramadan is a festive time of year, it has the potential to negatively impact one’s health. Eating at night rather than during the day affects the body’s metabolism, thus increasing the risk of weight gain. Fasting can also lead to cravings for foods that are high in sugar and fat, which can also impact your waistline. Charlotte Debeugny recommends eating a few dates or almonds instead of the extremely calorie-rich pastries served during Ramadan, such as baklava or halva.

Avoid the sun and stay hydrated

To stay in shape during a fast, it is also advisable to stay out of the sun, spend most of the day in cool places and avoid strenuous exercise. Eating fruit before sunrise is a good idea, as the water it contains helps to hydrate the body during the day. Be careful not to drink too much water at once. Coffee and tea are to be avoided, as they can actually lead to increased thirst and dehydration. For additional energy, try drinking smoothies or fruit juice diluted with water.

Adapt fasting to your physical condition

Before starting a fast, it is necessary to talk to a doctor, particularly for seniors, diabetics taking medication to control their insulin levels, pregnant women and pre-adolescent children. Those with compromised health who still wish to fast for Ramadan should consult their doctor to develop a fasting plan adapted to their condition. At the first symptom of failing health, it is important to stop fasting.

 

Note from the Editor:

Along with having healthy food while we are fasting during the month of Ramadan, we should not forget the core essence of the ritual of fasting in Islam, namely to obtain Taqwa (piety) and fear of Allah, the Creator of all and everything. Allah the Almighty says in the Ever-Glorious Qur’an what means,

“O you who have attained to faith! Fasting is ordained for you as it was ordained for those before you, so that you might remain conscious of God. [Fasting] during a certain number of days. But whoever of you is ill, or on a journey, [shall fast instead for the same] number of other days; and [in such cases] it is incumbent upon those who can afford it to make sacrifice by feeding a needy person. And whoever does more good than he is bound to do does good unto himself thereby; for to fast is to do good unto yourselves – if you but knew it. It was the month of Ramadan in which the Qur’an was [first] bestowed from on high as a guidance unto man and a self-evident proof of that guidance, and as the standard by which to discern the true from the false. Hence, whoever of you lives to see this month shall fast throughout it; but he that is ill, or on a journey, [shall fast instead for the same] number of other days. God wills that you shall have ease, and does not will you to suffer hardship; but [He desires] that you complete the number [of days required], and that you extol God for His having guided you aright, and that you render your thanks [unto Him].” (Al-Baqarah 2: 183-185)

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Taken with slight editorial modifications from AFP Relaxnews: http://malaysiandigest.com

 

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Ramadan: Month of Fasting or Month of Feasting?

Ramadan: Month of Fasting or Month of Feasting?

By Sarah Ghias

ramadan

If a person overeats in the evening and indulges in heavy, fatty foods, this offsets the physical benefits of fasting.

Ramadan: Month of Fasting or Month of Feasting?

The holy month of Ramadan is a time of restraint, reflection, and renewal. Muslims make every effort to better themselves and to be drawn closer to their Creator.

They guard their tongues, engage in long hours of worship, exercise patience, and open up their hearts and pockets to charitable causes.

However, when it comes to consuming food during the evening hours, some believers fall short of following the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him (PBUH).

In order to compare the eating habits of Muslims today, during the month of Ramadan, with that of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) an informal survey was conducted.

In 2008, over 270 participants from around the world were asked about their consumption habits during this sacred month.

Sixty percent of participants were from the US, 20% from the Middle East, 10% from South Asia (Indian Subcontinent) and 10% were from other countries.

Breaking the Fast

Regarding the iftar meal, it is encouraged to break your fast as soon as it is permissible to do so. The Prophet (PBUH) would hasten to break his fast.

Sahl ibn Sa`d reported that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “The people will not cease to be upon good as long as they hasten in breaking the fast.” (Bukhari and Muslim).

It is reported that the Prophet (PBUH) would also break his fasts with dates as do 86.5% of the survey participants; this is a Sunnah that is well followed by Muslims today.

Anas Ibn Maalik said: “The Prophet (PBUH) used to break his fast with fresh dates before he prayed. If he didn’t find fresh dates then with dried dates. If there were no dried dates then with a few sips of water.” (Abu Dawood).

Imam Ibn Qayyim Al Jauziyah states in his book “Healing With the Medicine of the Prophet” that breaking the fast with dates “is a wise decision because fasting empties the stomach of food. Thus the liver would not find any sufficient energy that it could transfer to the various organs. Sweets are the fastest foods to reach the liver when one eats ripe dates the liver accepts it, benefits from it and then transfers the benefit to the rest of the organs of the body.”

After this process, the body is ready to accept and digest additional food. Thus ideally, one should break their fast with a date and after praying the Maghrib prayer, they should continue with their meal.

This gives the body ample time to prepare itself for the sudden increase in food intake. 58% of respondents to the survey stated that they eat their meal after the Maghrib prayer.

Overeating

It is during the Iftar meal that we consume the most and often overindulge ourselves.

40% of participants admitted that they eat at least twice as much for Iftar than they eat for a regular dinner in any other month.

Fifty percent of respondents to the survey admitted that they overeat during Ramadan and 62% felt that they eat heavier and richer foods during this blessed month.

Thus, it is a cause for concern that especially in this holy month of Ramadan, when the nafs (self) should be kept in check, some choose to overindulge and eat in extravagance.

Fasting during the daylight hours has several health benefits; it cleanses the system and removes harmful toxins from the body.

When the body is fasting and not occupied with the process of digestion, its organs are given an opportunity to rejuvenate and restore themselves, in turn allowing the one who fasts to recover from various ailments.

However, if a person overeats in the evening and indulges in heavy, fatty foods, this offsets the physical benefits of fasting.

It is generally presumed that since one is restraining from food and drink during the daylights hours, the body needs increased input during the non-fasting hours.

This isn’t the case, however, as the body regulates itself when it is in fasting mode and has the opportunity to utilize its storage of body fat.

To remain healthy and active during Ramadan, the amount of food intake isn’t as important as the variety of foods we eat.

The Prophet (PBUH) was known to eat an assortment of foods including meat, fruit, bread, and dates, according to Imam Ibn Qayyiim.

Thus to maximize the physical benefits of fasting it is desirable to eat less but have a balanced diet which taps into the major food groups.

As for the types of foods eaten during Ramadan, 67% of respondents said they eat 3 or more different types of dishes, with the over 30-year-olds eating more of a variety of foods than the 18 – 30-year-olds.

Fifty-seven percent of the participants stated that they eat fried food for iftar and 34% of them said that the majority of their meal consists of this type of food. Thirty-four percent of respondents include desserts in their iftar meal.

Suhoor, the Blessed Meal

The Prophet (PBUH) strongly recommended eating Suhoor. Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri reported that the Messenger (PBUH) said: “Eating the Suhoor is blessed. Do not neglect it even if you take a gulp of water because Allah and His angels invoke blessings upon those who partake in the pre-dawn meal.” (Ahmad).

It is encouraged by the Sunnah to delay the Suhoor as much as possible and eat until the last permissible minute.

70% of the respondents claim that they delay their suhoor till the last moment.

According to ‘Amr ibn Maimun: “The companions of Muhammad (PBUH) would be the first to break the fast and the last to eat their Suhoor.” (Al-Baihaqi, Abdur-Razzaq, and Al-Haithami; Sahih).

For Suhoor it is recommended to have high fiber, slow digesting foods that satisfy the hunger for longer; oats and fiber-rich fruit are good options to have.

The Prophet used to eat dates for Suhoor and it is recorded that he said: “The best Suhoor for the believer is dates.” (Abu Dawood, Al-Baihaqee, and Ibn Hibbaan).

Dates are a powerhouse of nutrients and an instant source of energy; they are high in sugar, fiber, iron, potassium, and magnesium.

Consuming dates allows one to feel satiated for an extended period of time, making it a perfect food to start your fast with.

Forty-nine percent of the respondents said they have tea or coffee for Suhoor, this isn’t a wise option as caffeine is a diuretic which doesn’t provide us with sufficient hydration and causes us to lose liquids along with essential minerals from our body.

Sixty-one percent of respondents who are over 30 drink tea or coffee in the morning and 42% of respondents younger than 30 drink tea or coffee.

Ramadan is an excellent opportunity to rid ourselves of addictions to caffeinated drinks. One should drink plenty of water and pure fruit juices instead.

Moderation is Key

Allah says in the Qur’an,

“Eat of the good things We have provided for your sustenance, but commit no excess therein.” (Taha 20:81)

The body of mankind has been blessed with is an Amanah (trust) from Allah.

It is an obligation to take care of it and fuel it with that which is good.

The Prophet (PBUH) is reported to have said, “The stomach is the tank of the body and the veins go down to it. When the stomach is healthy the veins come back in a healthy condition, but when it is in a bad condition, they return diseased.

Islam emphasizes moderation in every aspect of life and it is essential that this concept be applied to food intake as well.

Imam Ash-Shafi’ said: “I have not filled myself in sixteen years because filling oneself makes the body heavy, removes clear understanding, induces sleep and makes one weak for worship.”

Temperance in eating leads to a healthy body, a sound intellect, and a gentle disposition. It curbs our desires and positively affects the physical as well as the spiritual being of the heart.

This point is further explained by Imam Ibn al-Qayyim when he said: “From the Mercy of the Mighty and Most Merciful is that He has prescribed for them fasting, which will cut off the excesses of eating and drinking, and empties the heart of its desires that divert it in its journey towards Allah the Most High.”

The Prophet (PBUH) warned against submitting to our desires when he said, “My greatest fear for you is the appetites of transgression with regard to your stomachs and your privates and the inclinations which lead astray.” (Ahmad).

Thus we should eat only that which is beneficial and only enough to sustain us and give us the strength to carry out acts of worship and obedience.

A well-known hadith reported by al-Tirmidhi relates that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “Man fills no vessel worse than his stomach. A few morsels should be enough for him to preserve his strength. If he must fill it, then he should allow a third for his food, a third for his drink and leave a third empty for easy breathing.

This concept is emphasized in the Qur’an where Allah says,

“Eat and drink: but waste not by excess, for Allah loves not the wasters.” (Al-A`raf 7:31)

Ramadan is an opportunity to reevaluate one’s relationship with food. It allows one to realize that they can get by without eating for several hours and that their bodies are capable of functioning on a moderate amount of consumption.

Ramadan is fast approaching so instead of spending the coming weeks stocking the pantry and freezer with delights to feast on when the sun sets, let us focus our attention on perfecting our ibadah (worship) so that we may savor the bountiful treats of Jannah (Heaven) without having to worry about clogged arteries or accumulating extra pounds!

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Courtesy onislam.net with slight editorial modifications.

Sarah Ghias is a freelance writer who currently resides in Texas, United States. She graduated with Honors from the University of Texas at Dallas with a Business Administration Degree. You can contact her by sending an e-mail to ScienceTech@islam-online.net.

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Scientists: Fasting Triggers Stem Cell Regeneration & Fights Cancer

Scientists: Fasting Triggers Stem Cell Regeneration & Fights Cancer

By Truth Seeker Staff

Fights Cancer

Fasting may help to combat cancer and boost the effectiveness of treatment

Fasting Triggers Stem Cell Regeneration & Fights Cancer

A number of ancient health practices are proving to be effective in multiple ways. We recently posted an article about meditation, and how

neuroscience can now explain what happens to the brain when we meditate. Now, scientists have discovered the first evidence of a natural intervention triggering stem cell-based regeneration of an organ or system. The study was published in the June 5 issue of Cell Stem Cell by researchers from the University of Southern California. The research shows that cycles of prolonged fasting protect against immune system damage and induce immune system regeneration. They concluded that fasting shifts stem cells from a dormant state to a state of self-renewal.

Human clinical trials were conducted using patients who were receiving chemotherapy. For long periods of time, patients did not eat which significantly lowered their white blood cell counts. In mice, fasting cycles “flipped a regenerative switch, changing the signaling pathways for hematopoietic stem cells, which are responsible for the generation of blood and immune systems.”

“We could not predict that prolonged fasting would have such a remarkable effect in promoting stem cell-based regeneration of the heatopoietic system. When you starve, the system tries to save energy, and one of the things it can do to save energy is to recycle a lot of the immune cells that are not needed, especially those that may be damaged. What we started noticing in both our human work and animal work is that the white blood cell count goes down with prolonged fasting. Then when you re-feed, the blood cells come back. ” – Valter Longo, corresponding author.

Again, because fasting significantly lowers white blood cell counts, this triggers stem cell-based regeneration of new immune system cells. More importantly, it reduces the PKA enzyme, which has been linked to aging, tumor progression and cancer.(1) It’s also noteworthy to mention that fasting protected against toxicity in a pilot clinical trial where patients fasted for 72 hours prior to chemotherapy.

“Chemotherapy causes significant collateral damage to the immune system. The results of this study suggest that fasting may mitigate some of the harmful effects of chemotherapy.” Co-Author Tanya Dorff

Fasting is a tradition that’s been incorporated into many ancient cultures, from Vedic to Buddhist and more, fasting should not be confused with starvation. It’s the process of restraining and control from the sensorial experience of eating and at the same time making sure you are doing it correctly. When I fast, I usually do water fasts and I have been doing them for almost eight years now and I always feel great and full of energy after doing so.

More Research

1. Fasting helps protect against brain disease:

Researchers at the National Institute on Aging in Baltimore have found evidence that fasting for one or two days a week can prevent the effects

Fights Cancer

Scientists found tumour cells responded differently to the stress of fasting compared to normal cells

of Alzheimer and Parkinson’s disease. Research also found that cutting the daily intake to 500 calories a day for two days out of the seven can show clear beneficial effects for the brain.

2. Fasting cuts your risk of heart disease and diabetes:

Regularly going a day without food reduces your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Studies show that fasting releases a significant surge in human growth hormone, which is associated with speeding up metabolism and burning off fat. Shedding fat is known to cut the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Doctors are even starting to consider fasting as a treatment.

3. Fasting effectively treats cancer in human cells:

A study from the scientific journal of aging found that cancer patients who included fasting into their therapy perceived fewer side effects from chemotherapy. All tests conducted so far show that fasting improves survival, slow tumor growth and limit the spread of tumors. The National Institute on Aging has also studied one type of breast cancer in detail to further understand the effects of fasting on cancer. As a result of fasting, the cancer cells tried to make new proteins and took other steps to keep growing and dividing. As a result of these steps, which in turn led to a number of other steps, damaging free radical molecules were created which broke down the cancer cells own DNA and caused their destruction! It’s cellular suicide, the cancer cell is trying to replace all of the stuff missing in the bloodstream that it needs to survive after a period of fasting, but can’t. In turn, it tries to create them and this leads to its own destruction

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Read More:

More Than 1 Billion People Stopped Eating and Drinking: Discover Why

An Atheist Finds Islam Through Fasting Ramadan

 

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