Fear No One

March 6, 2014 Leave a comment

Fear no one

Monday 03 March 2014
Written By: Yvonne Ridley

Source: http://www.cageuk.org/article/fear-no-one

In these treacherous times it is becoming increasingly difficult to tell the heroes from the villains, the right from the wrong and even the oppressed from the oppressors. Friends have become enemies and old allies are fractured and broken.

Long held trusts have shattered and there have been few constants in a world in turmoil, and it’s not just the Muslim lands where there is chaos, death and misery.

But one voice which has remained true and pure throughout these dark times is that of Moazzam Begg. His focus has always been steadfast and unwavering; never politically motivated or financially driven he has remained with those in need.

Long before he walked in to the Cage offices in London a free man from the gulag that is Guantanamo, his commitment in life was to help those less privileged than himself. Even in his darkest hours, in the darkest dungeons of Bagram his prayers and thoughts were for those around him including the young taxi driver he saw being beaten and kicked to death by mocking US soldiers.

And he also experienced the brutality of that regime but still Moazzam’s thoughts were not for himself, they were for others – especially for the blood curdling screams of a woman we now know to be that of Dr Aafia Siddiqui. Her screams still haunt him today. Read more…

Lessons from the Life of Nelson Mandela

March 6, 2014 Leave a comment

Shaykh Zahir Mahmood talks about the lessons we, Muslims, can draw from the life of Nelson Mandela. How when the Muslims stop implementing the sunnah, there are non-Muslims who step up and revive it. Lots of food for thought!

What is really happening in the Central African Republic, and what can we do to help the Muslims there?

February 22, 2014 Leave a comment

What is really happening in the Central African Republic, and what can we do to help the Muslims there?

by Musa Cerantonio

central_african_republic_sm

Many of you will have read about the recent massacres being carried out by Christians against Muslims in the Central African Republic. Some of you might have shared the statuses with others, some maybe left a comment, others will have put some time aside to make du’a for the Muslims there. Besides making du’a which is one of the greatest things that a Muslim can do, I dare suggest that almost none would have done anything practical to help the Muslims there. The reason why is not too difficult to explain – It is because almost none of us know anything about what is going on, and even fewer have any idea what needs to be done to help the Muslims there.

Don’t believe me? Then honestly ask yourself the following questions -

Before you read about the events there, did you even know that a country named the Central African Republic existed?

Can you locate it on a map? (despite the fact that the country’s name practically gives away its location, I have found that most still cannot locate it)

What are the major languages of the CAR, and which are the influential tribes? To which tribes do the Muslims belong, and where are they mostly located? What percentage of the country is Muslim?

Who are the Séléka and who is Michel Djotodia?

If you could not answer all or even any of these questions do not feel bad, as most could not answer them simply because most who live outside Sub-Saharan Africa know very little about the area. Don’t be proud of this ignorance however as it is a large reason for why such wars and massacres take place in the region, because most of us simply lack concern for this part of the world, sometimes to the point that we act as if it does not exist. We as Muslims must be concerned for the Muslims of Sub-Saharan Africa and we must be doing our part to support them not just in times of fighting and hardship but also in times of peace. They are are brothers and sisters and they deserve our support just as much as any other Muslim, regardless of where they may be.

So how did this all begin? Why are Muslims being massacred in the CAR? Read more…

Muslims Massacared, flee Central African Republic

February 10, 2014 Leave a comment

A huge crisis unfolds in Central African Republic as the mobs, and others are finding any Muslim and killing them. Muslims are fleeing to Chad en mass and BBC Radio mentioned that at this rate, within a few weeks, there won’t be any Muslims left in CAR! SubhanAllah, this is a crisis and a lot of the major news channels are not highlighting this.

www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-26109987

See this AlJazeera article for more details: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2014/02/muslims-flee-central-african-republic-capital-2014271725248613.html

Am I Worthy of Repenting?

January 24, 2014 1 comment

Concept of Istigfar and Tawbah in Islam

A man (Israeli) who had killed ninety nine people wanted to find out if there was any chance for forgiveness for him. He was directed to a monk who replied in the negative. This outraged him and he killed the monk. He did not quit in his quest for repentance and was directed to a scholar who replied that ‘Who stands between you and repentance?’ and instructed him to go to another city where he won’t be reminded of his sins and would be surrounded by good company. The man set on his journey and died on the way. The angels and mercy and torment, both came to the scene. The angle of torment argued that the man had been a big sinner and deserves punishment, while the angel of mercy put forth the case that he turned to Allah with a repenting heart. An angel was sent to arbitrate and measure the distance between the lands and was he sent to heaven as he was closer to his destination.[1]

This story highlights that Allah is indeed Al-Ghafoor Ar-Raheem (The Forgiving, The Merciful) and forgives those who turn to him. It highlights the Islamic concepts of maghfirah and tawba that Allah is willing to forgive the worst of sins as long as the slave is willing to turn to Allah sincerely and seek repentance. Allah Subhanawatala says:

 

“Say, O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah . Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.” [Surah Zumar 39:53]

Now what is the difference between maghfirah and tawbah? This short paper will look into the Islamic concept of maghfirah (forgiveness) and tawbah (repentance), proofs from Quran and authentic Sunnah, conditions of tawbah as well as benefits of tawbah and istigfar on the Muslim.

In many instances in the Quran, istigfar is mentioned alongside tawbah. For instance, if we look at the following verse:

 

“So will they not repent to Allah and seek His forgiveness? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” [al-Maaidah 5:74]

The word istigfar means seeking forgiveness and is derived from the word “ghafara” or clothe oneself to protect from harm. Read more…

5 Reasons to Fast on Arafat Day

October 12, 2013 Leave a comment

Thinking of fasting the day of Arafat but not sure? Here are 5 quick reasons why you should fast the day of Arafat (Monday).

1. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “For fasting the day of ‘Ashura’, I hope that Allah will accept it as expiation for the year that went before.” [Reported by Muslim, 1976]. This is from the bounty of Allah towards us: for fasting one day He gives us expiation for the sins of a whole year. And Allah is the Owner of Great Bounty.

2. Imam an-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “It expiates for all minor sins, i.e., it brings forgiveness of all sins except major sins.” Then he said (may Allah have mercy on him): “Fasting the day of ‘Arafah expiates for two years, and the day of ‘Ashura’ expiates for one year. If when a person says ‘Ameen’ it coincides with the ‘Ameen’ of the angels, he will be forgiven all his previous sins … Each one of the things that we have mentioned will bring expiation. If there are minor sins for which expiation is needed, expiation for them will be accepted; if there are no minor sins or major sins, good deeds will be added to his account and he will be raised in status … If he had committed major sins but no minor sins, we hope that his major sins will be reduced.”

3. Arafat is a day of Forgiveness from sins, freedom from the Hellfire for the people who are present in the plain of Arafat. Aa’ishah (radhi allahu anha) narrated the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) saying: “There is no day on which Allah frees more people from the Fire than the day of Arafat. He comes close and expresses His pride to the angels saying, ‘What do these people (the Hujjaj) want?’” [Saheeh Muslim]

4. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) was asked about the fasting on the day of Arafat, he said: “It expiates the sins of the previous year and that of the following year.” [Saheeh Muslim]. Imaam at-Tirmidhee (rahimahullah) (d. 275H) said: “The People of Knowledge consider it recommended  to fast on the day of Arafat, except for those at Arafat.” [Jaami'ut-Tirmidhee (3/377)].

5. Imagine, in one single fast you can be forgiven for 2 years of sins. The day of Arafat is Monday. Please make plans to fast on this day and encourage others to do so. Remember, 2 years sins forgiven for 1 day. (the day might vary based on your location – 9th of Dhul Hajj) 

Wasalaam,

Saiyyidah Zaidi
Working Muslim
Source: www.WorkingMuslim.com

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , ,

Why has the civilisation of the Muslims fallen behind others? (Islam Q&A)

October 5, 2013 Leave a comment
Why has the civilisation of the Muslims fallen behind others?
 
 
Q. In these times we notice that the West has advanced far ahead of us in many things but Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “O Children of Israel! Remember My Favour which I bestowed upon you and that I preferred you to the Alameen (mankind and jinns)” [al-Baqarah 2:47]. Have these many blessings that Allah bestowed upon the descendants of Ya‘qoob ceased in our time, or will they continue until the Day of Resurrection? If they have ceased, then why are they advanced so far ahead of us in this world and at this time in so many things? What are we Arabs lacking or what is hindering us from being better than them in our thinking, inventions and manufacturing?

 

 

 

A. Praise be to Allah.

 

It is not fair for anyone who wants to examine the causes of any nation’s decline to focus only on some outward aspects of its decline that everyone can see, because achieving cultural advancement is a huge process in which innumerable interrelated factors play a role; these factors are accumulated throughout the years and penetrate deeply in all aspects of life, which leads to raising the level of communities little by little. Humans can hardly feel this progress because it is like the light of dawn; it keeps coming out until its light spreads over the horizon. 

The Holy Qur’an tells us some of the aspects of material advancement that were – and still are – a means of trials and tests, of which no one understands the great wisdom behind it and the great impact it has on historical dynamics except Allah, may He be glorified and exalted. 

Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“On the Day when those who disbelieve (in the Oneness of Allah Islamic Monotheism) will be exposed to the Fire (it will be said): “You received your good things in the life of the world, and you took your pleasure therein. Now this Day you shall be recompensed with a torment of humiliation, because you were arrogant in the land without a right, and because you used to rebel and disobey (Allah)”

[al-Ahqaaf 46:20]

“Do they not travel in the land, and see what was the end of those before them? They were superior to them in strength, and they tilled the earth and populated it in greater numbers than these (pagans) have done, and there came to them their Messengers with clear proofs. Surely, Allah wronged them not, but they used to wrong themselves.

Then evil was the end of those who did evil, because they belied the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, Messengers, etc.) of Allah and made mock of them.”

[ar-Room 30:9-10]

Al-‘Allaamah Muhammad Rasheed Rida (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

The first Muslims’ belief in the Oneness of Allah (Tawheed), their knowledge of Him, their love for Him and their reliance on Him are what purified their souls, honed their ambitions and gave them a sense of pride and powerthat enabled them to establish truth and justice, and motivated them to conquer lands, rule nations, ransom them from spiritual and intellectual slavery to soothsayers, rabbis, monks and clergy, liberate them from the injustice and tyranny of kings, establish the foundations of civilisation, and revive and develop different branches of science and technology. They were able to achieve all of that in an unprecedented manner that no other nation on earth had ever achieved or even come close. 

Gustave le Bon, the famous sociologist, said: Mastery of different branches of science and technology was not possible for any rising nation in less than three generations: the first generation clings to the past; the second generation started the process of freeing themselves from blind following; and the third generation is the generation of independence and hard work. (He said that this applies to all nations) except the Arabs; they are the only ones who were able to lay the foundation of science and technology in the first generation. 

I say: The cause of that was the teachings of the Qur’an, which taught them to be independent in thinking and to avoid blind imitation. It taught them to be prepared to lead mankind in spiritual and worldly matters alike. But all of that disappeared for subsequent generations, after the demise of the Islamic caliphate and after Arabic civilisation ceased to flourish, when power shifted to the non-Arabs who had nothing of Islam except superficial traditions and were not strongly connected to the guidance of the Qur’an.

Tafseer al-Manaar, 11/173 

We cannot ignore the impact of conspiracies, both internal and external, against our ummah throughout the ages, which led to its enemies getting ahead of it in material matters. But our thought and the thought of our ummah is far above feelings of defeatism, relying on others in order to achieve revival, and feeling overwhelmed in the face of great responsibility, the responsibility of being in a leading position in relation to other nations. As for our enemies among the Israelites, they excelled at making the most of every opportunity and they strove hard in engineering events that had a global impact. They strove persistently for decades until they achieved what they wanted and reached a position of power in our times. But that has nothing to do with the verse (interpretation of the meaning): 
“O Children of Israel! Remember My Favour which I bestowed upon you and that I preferred you to the Alameen (mankind and jinns)” [al-Baqarah 2:47], because this verse speaks of previous blessings that Allah had granted to the Children of Israel throughout history, and is meant to remind them of that. Among these blessings are what is mentioned in the Holy Qur’an, where Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “And (remember) when Moosa (Moses) said to his people: ‘O my people! Remember the Favour of Allah to you, when He made Prophets among you, made you kings, and gave you what He had not given to any other among the Alameen (mankind and jinns, in the past)’” 

[al-Maa’idah 5:20]

Al-Haafiz Ibn Katheer (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

Here Allah, may He be exalted, reminds them of previous blessings that He bestowed upon their fathers and forebears, and the favour He bestowed upon them by sending the Messengers from among them, revealing the Books to them and favouring them above all other nations at that time. End quote.

Tafseer al-Qur’an al-‘Azeem, 1/255 

However, we regard our current situation with optimism that motivates us to advance further and succeed by striving harder to use all possible means, both spiritual and worldlyThe foundation of that is the righteous individual who always remembers that Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, is watching him in all situations. Such individuals are a constructive factor in the reform of communities and families; they do not wait for the revival to be presented to them on a golden platter or hope that programs will be set up for them to achieve that. Rather they hasten to take the initiative and strive hard to do all that is good and beneficial, putting their trust in Allah in the hope that He will bless their deeds, no matter how small, and reward those who do good for their good deeds. Allah, may He be exalted, knows who is trying to spread mischief and who is striving to do good, and the followers of His Messengers will prevail and be victorious if they take the measures that lead to victory and advancement. Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Indeed, they planned their plot, and their plot was with Allah, though their plot was a great (one, still) it would never be able to remove the mountains (real mountains or the Islamic law) from their places (as it is of no importance).

So think not that Allah will fail to keep His Promise to His Messengers. Certainly, Allah is All-Mighty, – All-Able of Retribution”

[Ibraaheem 14:46-47]

And Allah knows best.

Source: Islam Q&A  www.islamqa.com
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