Some Common Mistakes in Ramadan

May Allah bless Um Abdullah for sharing this with us.

(For those of you who want their article to appear on my blogger, kindly send your article to saleha_ipcblogger@hotmail.com with your name, country of residence and contact number – your details will never be sold out to anyone, that’s a promise. However, if you do not wish your name to be mentioned in the article, do inform us and we will post the article as “Anonymous” or “Name Withheld”)

 

1 – Taking Ramadan as a ritual: For many of us Ramadan has lost its spirituality and has become more of a ritual than a form of worship. We fast from morning to night like a zombie just because everyone around us is fasting. We forget that it’s a time to purify our hearts and our souls from all evil….we forget to supplicate, forget to beseech Allah to forgive us and ask Him to save us from the Fire. Sure we stay away from food and drink, but that’s about all.

 

2 – Too much stress on food and drink: For some people, the entire month of Ramadan revolves  around food. They spend the ENTIRE day planning, cooking, shopping and thinking about food, instead of concentrating on the prayer, Quran and other acts of worship. All they can think of is FOOD. So much so that they turn the month of fasting into the month of feasting. Come Iftaar time, their table is a sight to see, with the multitudes and varieties of food, sweets and drinks. They are missing the very purpose of fasting, and thus, increase in their greed and desires instead of learning to control them. It is also a kind of waste & extravagance. “…..and eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allah) likes not those who waste by extravagance” [Surah al-Aa’raf: 31]

 

3 – Spending all day cooking: Some of the sisters (either by their own choice or forced by their husbands) are cooking ALL day and ALL night, so that by the end of the day, they are too tired to even pray Ishaa, let alone pray Taraweeh or Tahajjud or even read Quran. This is the month of mercy and forgiveness. So turn off that stove and turn on your Imaan!

 

4 – Eating too much: Some people stuff themselves at Suhoor until they are ready to burst, because they think this is the way to not feel hungry during the day and others eat at Iftaar like there is no tomorrow, trying to make up for the food missed. However, this is completely against the Sunnah. Moderation is the key to everything. The Prophet (pbuh) said: “The son of Adam does not fill any vessel worse than his stomach; for the son of Adam a few mouthfuls are sufficient to keep his back straight. If you must fill it, then (fill) one-third for food, one-third for drink and one-third for air.” (Tirmidhi) Too much food distracts a person from many deeds of obedience and worship, makes him lazy and also makes the heart heedless.

5 – Sleeping all day: Some people spend their entire day (or a major part of it) sleeping away their fast. Is this what is really required of us during this noble month? These people also are missing the purpose of fasting and are slaves to their desires of comfort and ease. They cannot bear to be awake and face a little hunger or exert a little self-control. For a fasting person to spend most of the day asleep is nothing but, negligence on his part.

 

6 – Wasting time: The month of Ramadan is a precious, precious time. Before we know it, this month of mercy and forgiveness will be over. We should try and spend every moment possible in the worship of Allah so that we can make the most of this blessing. However, there are some of us who waste away their day playing video games, or worse still, watching TV, movies or even listening to music. Subhaan Allaah! Trying to obey Allah by DISOBEYING Him!

 

7 – Fasting but not giving up evil: Some of us fast but do not give up lying, cursing, fighting, backbiting, etc. and some of us fast but do not give up cheating, stealing, dealing in Haram, buying lotto tickets, selling alcohol, fornication, etc. and all kinds of impermissible things without realizing that the purpose of fasting is to not stay away from food and drink; rather the aim behind it is to fear Allah. “O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become pious” [Surah al-Baqarah: 183]  The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Whoever does not give up false speech and acting upon it, and ignorance, Allah has no need of him giving up his food and drink.” (Bukhari)

 

8 – Skipping Suhoor: The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Eat suhoor for in suhoor there is blessing.”(Bukhari, Muslim). And he (pbuh) said: “The thing that differentiates between our fasting and the fasting of the People of the Book is eating suhoor.” (Muslim)

 

9 – Missing the golden chance of having your Dua accepted: The prayer of the fasting person is guaranteed to be accepted at the time of breaking fast. The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Three supplications are not rejected: the supplication of a father, the supplication of a fasting person, and the supplication of a traveler.” (Al-Bayhaqi). Instead of sitting down and supplicating at this precious time, some people forego this beautiful chance, and are too busy frying samosas, talking, setting the food, filling their plates and glasses, etc. Think about it….Is food more important than the chance to have your sins forgiven or the fulfillment of your supplications.

 

10 – Fasting but not praying: The fasting of one who does not pray WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. This is because not praying constitutes kufr as the Prophet (pbuh) said: “Between a man and shirk and kufr there stands his giving up prayer.” (Muslim)

 

11 : Praying ONLY on the night of the 27th: Some people pray ONLY on the 27th to seek Lailat ul-Qadr, neglecting all other odd nights, although the Prophet (pbuh) said: “Seek Lailat ul-Qadr among the odd numbered nights of the last ten nights of Ramadan.” (Bukhari, Muslim)

 

Women’s Rights in Islam

A few days ago, my friend and I were discussing education around the world and she said that Islam needs to modernize and set special rights for women because (what she noticed is that) in Muslim countries, the women have no right to education. When I asked her why she thinks so, she said that in Muslim countries, the adult literacy rate of females is always less than that of males. To reply to her, I quoted Zakir Naik (a renowned comparative religion scholar): “If you have a brand new Mercedes and you ask for a person who does not know how to drive to test drive that Mercedes and he wrecks the car, who will you blame: the car or the driver? Obviously, the driver should be blamed. Similarly, if you find faults with the Muslims, don’t blame Islam for it, blame the Muslims for not practicing Islam.”

Anyways, I noticed that a lot of people (including Muslims) don’t know that Islam has already set rights for Muslim women. The following is an excerpt from http://www.themuslimwoman.com/herrights/womensrights.htm. This particular website is all about Muslim women, a personal recommendation from me.

*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*

The Conditions of Women in Arabia before Islam

In those days before Islam, women were treated like slaves or property. Their personal consent concerning anything related to their well-being was considered unimportant, to such a degree that they were never even treated as a party to a marriage contract.Women were used for one purpose, and then discarded. They had no independence, could own no property and were not allowed to inherit. In times of war, women were treated as part of the prize. Simply put, their condition was unspeakable. In addition, the birth of a daughter in a family was not an occasion for rejoicing, but was regarded with humiliation. The practice of killing female children was uncontrolled.
With the advent of Islam came the verse from the Quran condemning those who practiced female infanticide: “And when the news of (the birth of) a female (child) is brought to any of them, his face becomes dark, and he is filled with inward grief! He hides himself from the people because of the evil of that whereof he has been informed. Shall he keep her with dishonor or bury her in the earth? Certainly, evil is their decision.” (An-Nahl 16:58-59) And as part of a description of various events on the Day of Judgment, the Quran mentions: And when the female (infant) buried alive (as the pagan Arabs used to do) shall be questioned. For what sin she was killed? (At-Takwir 81:8-9)

Outside Arabia conditions for women were no better. In India, Egypt, and all European countries in the Dark Ages, women were treated worse than slaves. They were not regarded as human beings but as sort of a sub-species between humans and animals.

Allah (SWT) Gave the Arab Women Their Rights

The rights of Muslim women were given to us by Allah (SWT), who is All-Compassionate, All-Merciful, All-Just, All-Unbiased, All-Knowing and Most Wise. These rights, which were granted to women more than 1400 years ago, and were taught by the perfect example of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), were given by the one Who created us and Who alone knows what rights are best for our female natures. Allah (SWT) says in the Quran: “O You who believe! You are forbidden to inherit women against their will, and you should not treat them with harshness, that you may take away part of the Mahr (bridal-money given by the husband to his wife at time of marriage) you have given them, unless they commit open illegal sexual intercourse. And live with them honorably. If you dislike them, it may be that you dislike a thing and Allah brings through it a great deal of good.” (An-Nisa 4:19) The most basic right of a woman in Islam is the knowledge and recognition that she never has to ask or demand or fight for her rights which are guaranteed to her by Allah (SWT) Himself.

Rights That Islam Gives to Women

Human Rights

Islam considers a woman to be equal to a man as a human being and as his partner in this life. Women have been created with a soul of the same nature as man’s. Allah (SWT) says in the Quran: O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife (Eve), and from them both He created many men and women and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allah is Ever and All-Watcher over you.” (Al-Nisa 4:1) And in the words of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW): “Assuredly, women are the twin halves of men.” (Sahih reported by Abu-Dawud (RA)

Islam does not blame Eve alone for the First Sin. The Quran makes it very clear that both Adam and Eve were tempted, that they both sinned and were both forgiven after their repentance. Allah (SWT) says in the Quran: Then Satan whispered suggestions to them both in order to uncover that which was hidden from them of their private parts (before); he said: “Your Lord did not forbid you this tree save you should become angels or become of the immortals.” And he (Satan) swore by Allah to them both (saying): “Verily, I am one of the sincere well-wishers for you both.” So he mislead them with deception. Then when they tasted of the tree, that which was hidden from them of their shame (private parts) became manifest to them and they began to stick together the leaves of Paradise over themselves (in order to cover their shame). And their Lord called out to them (saying): “Did I not forbid you that tree and tell you: Verily, Satan is an open enemy unto you?” They said: “Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If You forgive us not, and bestow not upon us Your Mercy, we shall certainly be of the losers.” (Allah) said: “Get down, one of you an enemy to the other (i.e. Adam, Eve, and Satan, etc.). On earth will be a dwelling-place for you and an enjoyment, – for a time.” He said: “Therein you shall live, and therein you shall die, and from it you shall be brought out (i.e. resurrected).”(Al-A’raf 7:20-25)

In Islamic law a woman is an independent, unique individual in her own right. She has the same responsibilities towards herself, towards Allah (SWT) and towards other human beings as the male, and will be punished or rewarded in the Hereafter without discrimination towards her female gender.

Civil Rights

There is no compulsion in religion according to the Quran: There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the Right Path has become distinct from the wrong path. Whoever disbelieves in Taghut [anything worshipped other then the Real God (Allah)] and believes in Allah, then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break. And Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.” (Al-Baqarah 2:256) A Muslim woman is not permitted to change her family name to her husband’s name upon marriage. She is always known by her father’s name, as a mark of her own identity. In choosing a marriage partner, her consent to accept or reject any prospective suitor for marriage must be respected. A Muslim woman has the right to seek divorce, if necessary within the laws of Islam.

Muslim Women Have the Right to Go Outside of Her Home

Muslim women are not forbidden from going out in the community, working, or visiting relatives and female friends, if there is no objection from their guardian/husband and they are covered and behave and speak according to Islamic guidelines and, if necessary, escorted by their Mahram (a close male relative). However, a woman’s home should be the main base that she works from. Allah (SWT) instructed the wife’s of the Prophet (SAW): O wives of the Prophet! You are not like any other women. If you keep your duty (to Allah), then be not soft in speech, lest he is whose heart is a disease (of hypocrisy or evil desire for adultery, etc.) should be moved with desire, but speak in an honorable manner. And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves like that of the times of ignorance, and offer prayers perfectly (Iqamat-as-Salat), and give Zakat and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah wishes only to remove Ar-Rijs (evil deeds and sins, etc.) from you, O members of the family [of the Prophet (SAW)], and to purify you with a thorough purification.” (Al-Ahzab 33:32-33)

A Woman in Islam Has the Right to Get an Education

In the words of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW): “To seek knowledge is obligatory on every Muslim.” (Declared Authentic By Shaikh Al-Albaani) Muslim here meaning male and female Muslims, as women are the twin halves of men. The Prophet (SAW) also said: “Whoever follows a way to seek knowledge, Allah will make easy for him a way to paradise.” (Declared Authentic By Shaikh Al-Albaani) A woman in Islam has the right to knowledge and education. Allah (SWT) encourages women to read and keep up the learning process. He also bestows His mercy upon all who seek knowledge, and gives them high status:Is one who is obedient to Allah, prostrating himself or standing (in prayer) during the hours of the night, fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the Mercy of his Lord (like one who disbelieves)? Say: “Are those who know equal to those who know not?” It is only men of understanding who will remember (i.e. get a lesson from Allah’s Signs and Verses). (Az-Zumar 39:9) O you who believe! When you are told to make room in the assemblies, (spread out and) make room. Allah will give you (ample) room (from His Mercy). And when you are told to rise up (for prayers, Jihad, or for any other good deed), rise up. Allah will exalt in degree those of you who believe, and those who have been granted knowledge. And Allah is Well-Acquainted with what you do. (Al-Mujadilah 58:11) This is referring to religious knowledge, in the first place, and to any other kind of knowledge, in the second place, where one has the intention of benefiting herself, her family and the Islamic society. Additionally, a husband should not forbid his wife from going out of the house to seek basic religious knowledge, unless he is teaching her at home. The Quran advises mankind to pray: Then High above all be Allah, the True King. And be not in haste [O Muhammad (SAW)] with the Quran before its revelation is completed to you, and say: My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.” (Ta-Ha 20:114)

The Right to Go to the Mosque

The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “If someone’s wife asks his permission to go to the mosque, he should not deny it to her.” Women should be covered Islamically, according to the Muslim woman’s dress requirements. At the same time, a woman’s prayer in her home is better, from the standpoint of her household duties and duties as a mother. Also it is better in the sense that it prevents unnecessary mixing with men. The Prophet (SAW) also stated on another occasion: “But their homes are better for them.” (Reported by Abu Dawud and Ahmed)

Islam Gives Men and Women Equal Rights

In reality, and in Islam, the rights and responsibilities of a woman are equal to those of man, but they are not necessarily identical with them. Equality and sameness are two very different things. I think you’ll agree that, for one thing, women and men are physically very different from one another, although they are equal to each other in other important ways.
In the West, women may be doing the same job that men do, but their wages are often less. The rights of Western women in modern times were not created voluntarily, or out of kindness to the female. The modern Western woman reached her present position by force, and not through natural processes or mutual consent of Divine teachings. She had to force her way, and various circumstances aided her. Shortage of manpower during wars, pressure of economic needs and requirement of industry forced women to leave their homes to work, struggling for their livelihood, to appear equal to men. Whether all women are sincerely pleased with these circumstances, and whether they are happy and satisfied with the results, is a different matter. But the fact remains that whatever rights modern Western women have, they fall short of those of her Muslim counterpart! Islam has given woman what duties her female nature. It gives her full security and protects her against becoming what Western modern women themselves complain against: a “mere sex object.”

Continue reading @ http://www.themuslimwoman.com/herrights/womensrights.htm

Cost of a Mother’s Love

A little boy came up to his mother in the kitchen one evening while she was fixing supper, and he handed her a piece of paper that he had been writing on. After his mother dried her hands on an apron, she read it, and this is what it said:

For mowing the lawn: $5.00
For cleaning up my room this week: $1.00
For going to the store for you: $ .50
Babysitting my kid brother while you went shopping: $ .25
Taking out the garbage: $1.00
For getting a good report card: $5.00
For cleaning up and raking the yard: $2.00
Total owed: $14.75

His mother looked at him standing there, the boy could see the memories flashing through her mind. She picked up the pen, turned over the paper he’d written on, and this is what she wrote:

For 9 months I carried you while you were growing inside me: No Charge.
For all the nights that I’ve sat up with you, doctored and prayed for you: No Charge.
For all the trying times, and all the tears that you’ve caused through the years: No Charge.
For all the nights that were filled with dread, and for the worries I knew were ahead: No Charge.
For the toys, food, clothes, and even wiping your nose: No Charge,
Son, when you add it up, the cost of my love is: No Charge.

When the boy finished reading what his mother had written, there were big tears in his eyes, and he looked straight at his mother and said,
“Mom, I sure do love you”.

And then he took the pen and in great big letters he wrote:

“PAID IN FULL”

*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*

“Your Lord has decreed that you should worship nothing except Him, and (show) kindness to your parents, whether one or both of them attain old age (while they are) still with you, never say to them ‘Uff ! nor scold either of them. Speak to them in a generous fashion. Protect them carefully and say: ‘My Lord, show them mercy, just as they cared for me as a little child'” (Holy Quran 17:23-24).

It is reported that a man came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and asked: “Messenger of Allah, who is the most deserving of good care from
me?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: “Your mother”. Then, the man asked: “Who next?” The Prophet replied: “Your mother” The man asked again: “Who next?” The Prophet replied: “Your mother” Once again, the man asked: “Who next?” Then the Prophet replied: “Your father and then those relatives who are closest to you (in relation).” (Sahih Muslim)

Description of the Prophet (pbuh)

Physically speaking, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the most handsome of people. He was of medium height, not too tall and not too short, of medium build, of white going slightly red-brown skin color, with a completely full head of shiny black slightly curly hair that would reach to his shoulders at its longest, hair which was sometimes dyed slightly red and/or yellow, a taut neck, an extended black thick beard with a few white hairs, firm un-raised cheeks, a fine slender nose, wide white eyes with a slight reddish tinge with strikingly black pupils, a flat chest and stomach, well-statured, thick heavy hands with slightly long fingers, very soft palms, smooth large feet, no excess fat or flesh on the heels, and a gait of one leaning slightly forward when he walked. May Allah bless and bestow peace upon him.
 
He had a large back, broad shoulders, in between which slightly to the left one could see the Seal of Prophethood – a slightly raised piece of skin . May Allah bless and bestow peace upon him.
 
When he met people, he would turn his whole body to meet them. He was the first to greet people, having a wide smile, with a face that was immersed in blessed light that shone and radiated like a bright moon.
 
He had a firm handshake which he would not let go of until the other person let go yet at the same time was so gentle that if a small girl was to take his hand and lead him around the town, he would follow in tow.
 
It was difficult for people to compose themselves in his presence due to the sheer awe of his countenance and the shock of how handsome he was. His gravitas and presence was such that despite his medium height, he seemed taller than those surrounding him. May Allah bless and bestow peace upon him.
 
He would love to wear cotton shirts, some similar to a thawb, short and long but never below the ankles, sometimes short-sleeved so that one could see his white clean arm-pits and sometimes long to his wrists. He disliked woollen garments except for the occasional use of a woollen over-garment, mostly white yet sometimes colorful garments particularly striped, sometimes red-striped, but never wore anything saffron in color. He would wear a turban, sometimes a two-piece outfit with a sarong type lower garment, and would accept and wear the clothes of foreigners given to him as a gift. May Allah bless and bestow peace upon him.
 
– From the “Commentary to the Shama’il Al-Muhammadiyyah”

What about alcohol ???

The WHO (World Health Organization) claims that alcohol kills more than AIDS, TB or violence. Click here for details…

 

 The Prohibition 

 Hadith – Al-Tirmidhi #580, Narrated AbudDarda’   : …don’t drink wine for it is the key to every evil.

Hadith – Abu Dawood, Narrated Umar ibn al-Khattab  :When the prohibition of wine (was yet to be) declared, Umar said: O Allah, give us a satisfactory explanation about wine. So the following verse of Surat al-Baqarah revealed; “They ask thee concerning wine and gambling. Say: In them is great sin….” Umar was then called and it was recited to him. He said: O Allah, give us a satisfactory explanation about wine. Then the following verse of Surat an-Nisa’ was revealed: “O ye who believe! approach not prayers with a mind befogged….” Thereafter the herald of the Apostle of Allah  would call when the (congregational) prayer was performed: Beware, one who is drunk should not come to prayer. Umar was again called and it was recited to him. He said: O Allah, give us a satisfactory explanation about wine. This verse was revealed: “Will ye not then abstain?” Umar said: We abstained.

The Noble Qur’an – al-Baqarah 2:219 : They ask you (O Muhammad ) concerning alcoholic drink and gambling. Say: “In them is a great sin, and (some) benefit for men, but the sin of them is greater than their benefit.” And they ask you what they ought to spend. Say: “That which is beyond your needs.” Thus Allâh makes clear to you His Laws in order that you may give thought.


Selling and Buying

 Hadith – Al-Tirmidhi #2776, Narrated Anas ibn Malik  : Allah’s Messenger cursed ten people in connection with wine: the wine-presser, the one who has it pressed, the one who drinks it, the one who conveys it, the one to whom it is conveyed, the one who serves it, the one who sells it, the one who benefits from the price paid for it, the one who buys it, and the one for whom it is bought.  


Dying when Addicted

Hadith – Muslim #4963, Narrated Abdullah ibn Umar : Allah’s Messenger said: Every intoxicant is Khamr and every intoxicant is forbidden. He who drinks wine in this world and dies while he is addicted to it, not having repented, will not be given a drink in the Hereafter.