Archive for August, 2012

Info-graphic; lets do our bit to help

 

 

Lets do our bit to help, if everyone was to help just one person then we wouldn’t have any of these problems. Lets stop worrying about just ourselves and look at the wider world we live in

The Prophet (sa) said:

“He who removes from a believer one of his difficulties of this world, Allah will remove one of his troubles on the Day of Resurrection; and he who finds relief for a hard-pressed person, Allah will make things easy for him on the Day of Resurrection; he who covers up (the faults and sins) of a Muslim, Allah will cover up (his faults and sins) in this world and in the Hereafter. Allah supports His slave as long as the slave is supportive of his brother…”

What’s your excuse for not helping out?

I woke up in the early hours of the morning thanks to my stomach grumbling for more food; I made my way to the kitchen and served myself. As I stared at the clock, it was almost 5am, to which I thought I will make a point to go to the mosque for the Morning prayers. I excitedly got ready and made my way towards mosque.

As I was making my way to the mosque, I saw a line of beggars sleeping on the pavement, the watchmen doing their job and the road side coffee sellers roaming around to earn their piece of bread. As I got closer to the mosque, I heard someone call out for help, when I turned to see who it was; I noticed an old man in his African designed tricycle, asking someone to lift him up so he could sit on the pavement. I saw a youth run towards him, lift him and place him where he wanted. This made me ask myself a question: ‘Had the youth not been there, would I have gone to help out?’ Well, I wasn’t sure about it, but my excuse would be: ‘I was getting late for prayers.” I was just trying to fight the inner guilt within me, by coming up with any excuse I could, however, the truth was, I was wrong.

My journey didn’t end here, as soon as I got done with the prayers, I sat down on one corner of the mosque and observed what people would do on a Sunday at 6am in the mosque. The scenery was inspirational, everyone had a book in his hand, some had the Quran, some had the book of supplications whilst some offered their prayers. There was however, a group of individuals who really caught my eye. An old man at the age of 50+ sat down with his son and started preaching him the Quran, something I thought was more like his duty and isn’t doing a favor to anyone. However, something exciting happened a few minutes later, the size of the group had increased; it had almost 12 kids seated, everyone holding the Quran and listening to the old man. These were no 20 year olds, they were 8-10 year olds. The man would recite a verse, they would repeat after him, he would translate for them and then give them a story and a lesson that they could learn from it. Upon enquiring, I was told this practice has been going on for over 2 years and is held every Saturdays and Sundays. I once again asked myself, “Would I have done that to help out?.” Only to hear my conscious speak to me and give up all the excuses it could to stop me from doing it.

As I sat down, pondered over what I saw in the early hours of a nice blissful Sunday, I kept asking myself the question. “What is my excuse for not helping out.”

Day in, day out we see people struggling in life, some can’t walk, some can’t talk, some have failed in their eyesight whilst some remain with nothing but the sincere hope of having someone to help them. Not only that, we tend to see our community struggle in various ways, yet we all let the others do the work.  You don’t need to be a superhero to help out, nor do you have to be a billionaire, all you need is the WILLINGNESS to help out. Your help doesn’t necessarily have to be on a large scale, you don’t have to go to Palestine to help out the oppressed; you can dedicate a facebook status to help spread the word. You don’t’ have to be an office bearer or a teacher in your community to help out, you could follow the example of the old man who helped kids recite the Quran when their parents were fast asleep at home! He didn’t only help the kids, but he also helped their parents in making sure they don’t fall short of their duty.

Just make sure, the next time you do cross the streets, or go to mosque, sports, or anywhere in the world, your first move should be to HELP! Don’t be like me, making foolish excuses, rather; re draft your question, from:

“What’s my excuse for not helping out?”  To: “How May I help You?”

Let’s set an example for others to follow, and be one of the first ones to help in making this world and our community a better place to live!

I end by echoing the words of Imam Ali (pbuh): Do not feel ashamed if the amount of charity is small because to refuse the needy is an act of greater shame.”

Just so we know, Charity doesn’t necessarily have to be monetary!

Link

What is Wudhoo- A Very Inspirational Video

Sheikh Ammar describes Wudhoo in the eyes of Imam Ali (as) and Imam Khomeini (RA)

Yaum-e-Gham by Muzafer M Alidina

Wikipedia’s article on Yaum-e-Gham (day of sorrow)easily identifies it as “a day commemorated by some Shi’i Muslims”[1]. The truth is, much like the historic Quds day, this day should be remembered by majority of the Muslim world today. Also known as Yaum-e-Inhedam (day of demolition) in Shi’i circles, the importance of the day for the wider Muslim community is still greatly undermined.

What happened?

Exactly 89 years ago, Supreme Judge Suleiman Bin Bulaihed ordered the demolition of Baqee on the 8th of Shawwal 1344 AH. The families of abd-al-Wahhab and Ibn-Saud first formed the Saudi State in the late 18th century. They came with a certain brand of Islam, with repercussions until today.  Although the problem of extremism is being better understood today, we as Muslims still make the same mistakes. We to treat religion as a buffet, where one can choose religious principles which sooth them, and defy and vilify religious values that don’t feel too comforting.

The graves of Baqi were first demolished in 1806, under the tutelage of Saud bin Abdulaziz. The Ottomans regained control of the area and rebuilt the graveyard in 1818. After the House of Saud captured different regions of Medina during the Conquest of HIjaz, Bin Saud ordered the destruction of the graves of Baqi in 1925. [2]

What it means today

The Wahhabi and Salafi ideologies are taking great precedence today, from the infighting in Syria to the Shabeeha constantly referred to in the media. For Muslims, and especially for those from the school of Ahlul-Bayt, the day is supposed to depict the ongoing injustice and oppression by the House of Saud in Saudi Arabia. A prominent Shi’i scholar from Qatif in Saudi Arabia was shot wounded and captured by Saudi police over a month ago. He, like many others, was critical of the House of Saud. Until today, Ayatollah Nimr remains on hunger strike.[3]

The House of Saud is also known for spreading its teachings across the Muslim world. Not too long ago, we heard of the desecration of shrines in Mali by “extremists” or “al-Qaeda linked groups”. Irrespective of their names and to whom their allegiance belongs too, the whole world saw it as a terrorist threat. Even the multi-faceted United Nations came out to condemn the actions[4].  For those of us who don’t know, Mali is a West African country – one that is geographically quite far away from the Saudi peninsula. But the mentality has reached there. And it will continue.

For those from the school of Ahlul Bayt, just this past Friday there was news that the rebel Free Syrian Army has desecrated the mausoleum of Hazrat Mohsin, son of Imam Hussein (a.s) in the city of Aleppo. The point is, even if you don’t care about what happened 80 years ago, and you don’t think your stand against this ideology can make a difference – think again. It’s affecting our lives today, and it’s doing so extensively.

 

 

To understand this from a religious perspective, please refer to this:

http://www.islamicinsights.com/religion/history/desecrating-the-signs-of-god-the-baqi-tragedy.html

To understand this from a historical & political perspective, please refer to these:

http://www.iqraonline.net/ibn-taymiyah-ibn-abdul-wahab-ibn-saud-the-partnership-of-extremists/

http://www.world-federation.org/Secretariat/Articles/Archive/CommemoratingYaumeGham.htm

 

 

The Spirit of Eid-al-Fitr by Meysam Rajani

 In the name of Allah, the most compassionate, the most merciful

 

(I beseech You) that You may send blessings upon Muhammad and the Household of Muhammad,

 

And You may include me with every item of goodness with which You have included Muhammad and the Household of Muhammad,

 

And that You save me from any item of evil from which You have saved Muhammad and the Household of Muhammad,

 

            As we transform towards feast mode (indeed, Eid is a feast), let us take a minute and ponder over the actual reason for celebrating this day. If one is the same person they were thirty days ago, what are we actually celebrating?

 

O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqun (the pious) (Al Qur’an 2:183)

 

Have we achieved what Ramadhan was supposed to achieve? Have we increased our affinity towards piety? Have we achieved a certain degree of Taqwa? Have we even strived towards achieving piety? If not – what exactly are we celebrating? Are we celebrating the release of Satan by going back to our sinful ways, which we gracefully avoided when we were guests of Allah (SWT)?  Eid-al-Fitr is indeed a day of significant celebration. However, it is very unlike the material idea of festivity. Food, drink, clothing, are all parts of our Eid feast, but how do we feed ourselves spiritually on this day? To take our struggle for Taqwa to the next level, what do we need to do? What can we ask from God that will take us from the piety we achieved during the month of Ramadhan to the next realm of God-consciousness?

 

O Allah, I beseech You that You may include me with every item of goodness You have included in Muhammad and the Household of Muhammad.

This is an excerpt from the du’a we recite in the Qunoot of Salat-ul-Eid. And what a beautiful prayer it is. We’re not asking for any specific needs of ours, yet this prayer encompasses all of our needs. SubhanAllah, we are asking from God to give us the goodness he gave to the best of His creation. Imagine if we were sincere in this prayer, full of remorse from our sins, fresh with a clean slate from the month of Ramadhan, blessed from the nights of Qadr and culminated to another level on the day of Eid, imagine what the Almighty could bless us with. The honesty and trust of RasulAllah(SAWW),  the bravery of Ameerul Mo’mineen(AS), the morals of Az-Zahra(AS), the generosity of Al-Mujtaba(AS), the selflessness of Aba-Abdillah(AS), the worship of Zain-al-abideen (AS), the knowledge of Al-Baqir and As-Sadiq (AS), the politeness of Al-Kadhim (AS), the patience of Ar-Ridha (AS), the piety of At-Taqi(AS), the guidance of Al-Hadi (AS), the spirit of Al-Askari (AS) and the presence of Al-Mahdi(AS), all to our own capacities. What more can one ask for?  This is the true celebration of Eid. If we have been true to our purpose of fasting, if we have been sincere in controlling our base desires, and we lift our hands in Qunoot and recite this prayer on the day of Eid, we are rejoicing God’s blessings on us, we are enjoying the bounties of God that he bestowed upon the best of his creation.

 

And that You save me from any item of evil from which You have saved Muhammad and the Household of Muhammad,

 

            While we do realize the blessings we have gained during the month of Ramadhan and this day of Eid, we must also realize that another being is also celebrating today. Satan has now been released from his actual and metaphorical chains that the Almighty imposed on him. So we ask in the same Du’a, save me from all evil that You saved the best of your creation from. And what evil has the Almighty saved Muhammad and his household from:

 

 And abide in your houses and do not display yourselves as [was] the display of the former times of ignorance. And establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah intends only to remove from you the impurity [of sin], O people of the [Prophet’s] household, and to purify you with [extensive] purification. (Al Qur’an 33:33)

 

The Almighty saved the prophet’s household from the impurity of all sins and purified them with a thorough purification. If during this holy month of Ramadhan, we’ve been remorseful of our sins, we’ve repented with utmost regret in the nights of Qadr, and wept at the words of Dua Kumayl, and now we lift our hands in Qunoot and ask the Almighty to purify us from sin, like he purified his best creation, then we will have truly reached a point where we can participate in the feast of Eid-al Fitr.

 

Only two lines of Du’a, summarize all our needs and all that we hoped to achieve during the month of Ramadhan. The combination of the qualities of the Ahlul Bayt (AS) (to our own capacities), and the strong barrier and protection from the evils of sin that Allah(SWT) granted the Ahlul Bayt (AS) (again, to our own capacities) is truly what we need to achieve the objective of fasting – Taqwa. Primarily, it is this achievement of a level of piety that we celebrate during Eid, not the end of Ramadhan, not the resumption of eating and drinking during the day.

 

And what is the importance of Taqwa in our lives as Muslims:

 

O mankind! We created you from a single soul, male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, so that you may come to know one another. Truly, the most honored of you in Gods sight is the greatest of you in piety. God is All-Knowing, All-Aware. [49:13]

 

The greater our level of Taqwa, the more honored we are in the eyes of Allah(SWT). InshaAllah with the help of the Du’a we recite in Salat-al-Eid, we all will be able to achieve a greater height of Taqwa, especially after the spiritual cleansing applied during the month of Ramadhan.

 

Eid Mubarak

Gallery

Eid Mubarak by Ali M M Dewji

Eid Mubarak

Message behind Eid Ul Fitr by Mujtaba Somji

EID-UL-FITR

 

Eid -ul -Fitr is a unique festival. It has no connection with any historical event nor is it related to the changes of seasons or cycles of agriculture. It is not a festival related in any way to worldly affairs. Its significance is purely spiritual. It is the day when the Muslims thank Allah for having given them the will, the strength and the endurance to observe fast and obey His commandment during the holy month of Ramadhan.

This day, in Muslim world, brings rejoicing and happiness. The rejoicing is not, however, at the departure of the month of Ramadhan; it is the happiness which man feels after successfully completing an important task.

So far as the passing away of the month of Ramadhan is concerned, Muslim religious leaders of the early days of Islam always felt profound sorrow when it came to an end, as they felt that they were being deprived of the spiritual blessings which were associated with the month of fasting.

Eid-ul -Fitr is related to such a month of blessings, because it is on this day that the strict restrictions of the preceding month are lifted. Unfortunately, in some places, this resumption of the normal activities is misinterpreted as a licence to indulge in activities prohibited in Islam, like gambling, etc.

Fortunately, such trends are not common yet; but such people should be made to understand the significance of Eid -ul-Fitr. Religious observances of the Eid-ul-Fitr are designed to offer thanks to Allah that He helped us in accomplishing the aim of Ramadhan.

Surely, it would be an affront to Allah if anybody, after thanking Him for completing that spiritual training, goes right away sinning against Him! Had such person known the meaning and purpose of Eid-ul -Fitr, he could not have indulged in such un-Islamic activities. Eid-ul-Fitr can be interpreted as a three-fold blessing:

First it provides one more occasion for the Muslims to thank God and remember His blessings.

Secondly, it affords an opportunity of spiritual stock-taking, after the month of Ramadhan. A Muslim can now ponder over the strength (or weakness) of his will power; he can see, in the mirror of Ramadhan, what were the strong (or weak) points of his character, because under the stress of fasting, the hidden qualities (or evils) of human character come to surface in such clear way which is, perhaps, not possible otherwise.

Thus a man gets a chance of self-diagnosis of the traits of his character, which probably no one else may ever detect.

Thirdly, it enjoins the well-to -do persons to share a portion of what they have with their poor brethren. On the eve of Eid-ul-Fitr, a Muslim is obliged to give to the needy food-stuff at the rate of a prescribed weight, on behalf of himself and of every member of his family, including servants and guests who were sheltered under his roof on that night. It would certainly be pleasing to God if we did not forget these lessons after Eid-ul-Fitr.

Incidentally, here the difference between religious and materialistic outlooks becomes sharper. Religion exhorts a man to give, by his own free will, a share of his wealth to those who are less fortunate, and to give it for obtaining the blessings of God. Materialism teaches him to snatch from others whatever they have got without any regard to the moral or ethical questions involved.

Thus, the religion tries to strengthen the highest qualities of the human character; materialism strives to make him the slave of the lowest animal instincts degrading him to the level of the beasts.

On this day, special prayers are held the world over, between sunrise and noon, when the Muslims assemble, in large congregations, wearing their best dresses standing shoulder to shoulder, demonstrating for everyone the universal brotherhood which is another distinguishing feature of Islam — the religion of God.

In East Africa, special Eid barazas. are held in which the Muslims, as well as the non-Muslims, participate whole-heartedly. Thus, it provides the country-men with a chance to strengthen the ties of brotherly love and a national unity.

Let us re-dedicate our life to the cause of humanity, which is the best way to demonstrate our love of God. Let us resolve that our energies, in the coming year, will be directed towards strengthening a society based on mutual respect, brotherly love, and universal understanding.

Let us decide that, in the coming year, we will build a social order which would bring not only the material benefits, but also the spiritual satisfaction.

And, in the end, let us pray to God in these words:

“O Lord, make us clean from our errors by the close of the month of Ramadhan, and take us out of our sins when our fast comes to end. And bless us on this Eid day, the day of our festival and our break-fast; and let it be the best day, which passed over us, and forgive us our sins known and unknown.”

Eid-ul-Fitr is the most important festival in the Islamic calendar. The day does not mark any historical event or episode; but its existence provides the Muslim for an occasion to offer thanks to Allah for having given him the strength and the will to observe fast during the holy month of Ramadhan.

It is also an occasion for prayers when the Muslims gather in large congregations, standing shoulder to shoulder, to demonstrate the equality and equity which is the inherent feature of Islamic society all over the world.

But the greatest significance of this day of rejoicing lies in the fact that on this day every Muslim is enjoined to give the needy food at the rate of the prescribed weight per every member of his household, including servants and guests who were sheltered under his roof the preceding evening.

Eid-ul-Fitr then serves a three-fold purpose: It places upon every Muslim the obligation to remember Allah and offer Him thanks; it affords him an opportunity of spiritual stock-taking in that he can now ponder over the strength of his will or the weakness of his character, as the case may be, which manifested itself during the preceding month; it also is the day for the haves to share a portion of what they have with the have-nots.

And, for those persons who disobeyed this command of Allah this is the day of an end to the month-long pangs of conscience, inner struggle and continuous realisation of the feebleness of their character. No more will they have to argue, without much conviction, against fasting‘. No more will they have to think up an excuse every morning for not fasting’. No more will they have to say “Oh, but fasting is old-fashioned; it was not meant for the modern world.”

It is not my object here to explain the philosophy of fasting. Almost everyone realises the spiritual, social, scientific and medical benefits which are derived from fasting. But so far as a Muslim, a true believer, is concerned, it should be sufficient that fasting is prescribed in the Holy Book, and as such is the command of Allah. Should one seek to justify Allah’s commands?

The measure of a man’s love for his Creator is his unquestioned obedience to the commands of the Creator. When for whole month a Muslim has obeyed Allah, unquestioningly, without complaint, without regret, and ,when he has spent his time in prayers, in humility and in charity, should one wonder, if at the end of this period, the Creator may Himself turn to such creature of His and say: “It is now for thee to ask for Me to give.”

Ramadhan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, is the period when man is subjected to a supreme test. Without compulsion, without coercion, the Muslims throughout the world obey God; and every day from dawn to sunset abstain not only from sensual pleasures but even from the necessities of life like food and drink. Some do this in shivering cold, some in burning heat, some do it where days are short and others where days are interminably long. The rich fast as well as the poor, the master as well as the servant; the parents as well as the child; the ruler as well as the subject. They all fast, regardless of the colour or their social position.

Having done this, for one whole month, today on this auspicious day of Eid-ul-Fitr, every Muslim should be ready to face the year that lies ahead with renewed strength, greater understanding and universal goodwill. He has fasted to acquire piety, discipline and self-control. Now the habit of unquestioning obedience to God is cultivated in his heart and mind. He is now trained to accept the commands of Allah, in the remaining eleven months of the year, with the same unwavering loyalty. He has emerged from the month of Ramadhan with a new personality and a stronger character, confident of his ability to subordinate his desire to his will, his emotion to his intellect.

No longer will it be difficult for him to refrain from intoxicating drinks; no longer will he turn away from his less fortunate brethren; no longer will he fail to understand and appreciate the pain of hunger, the pangs of thirst.

So the training period of Ramadhan has come to an end. Now we are entering the era of normal activities of life. If the lessons learnt in Ramadhan have left their marks upon our character, we are entitled to enjoy Eid-ul-Fitr.

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