Archive for April, 2008

A Woman Warrior
April 30, 2008

 A woman warrior of Islam
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excerpted from the book
‘The Ideal Muslimah’
by Dr. Muhammad Ali Al Hashimi

One of the most distinguished women who took part in the battle of Uhud, if not the most distinguished of them, was Nasibah bint Ka’b al-Maziniyyah, Umm ‘Umarah (May Allah be pleased with her). At the beginning of the battle, she was bringing water and tending the wounded, as the other women were doing. When the battle was going in the favour of the Muslims, the archers disobeyed the command of the Prophet (SAW), and this turned the victory into defeat, as the Qur’an described it:
“Behold! You were climbing up the high ground, without even casting a side glance at anyone, and the Messenger in your rear was calling you back…” 3:153At this point, Nasibah went forward, with her sword unsheathed and her bow in her hand, to join the small group who were standing firm with the Prophet (SAW), acting as a human shield to protect him from the arrows of the mushrikin. Every time danger approached the Prophet (SAW) she hastened to protect him. The Messenger of ALlah (SAW) noticed this, and later said, “Wherever I turned, to the left or the right, I saw her fighting for me.”Her son ‘Umarah also described what happened on that tremendous day: “On that day, I was wounded in my left hand. A man who seemed to be as tall as a palm-tree struck me, then went away without pursuing me to finish me off. The blood began to flow copiously, so the Messenger of Allah (SAW) told me, ‘Bind up your wound.’ My mother came to me, and she was wearing a waist-wrapper, which she had brought, for the purpose of wrapping wounds. She dressed my wound, whilst the Prophet (SAW) was looking on. Then she told me, ‘Get up, my son, and fight the people.’ The Prophet (SAW) said, ‘Who could bear what you are putting up with, O Umm ‘Umarah?’ She said: The man who had struck my son came by, and the Messenger of ALlah (SAW) said, ‘This is the one who struck your son.’ I intercepted him and hit him in the thigh, and he collapsed. I saw the Messenger of ALlah (SAW) smiling so broadly that I could see his back teeth. He said, ‘You have taken your revenge, O Umm ‘Umarah!’ Then we struck him with our weapons until we killed him, and the Prophet (SAW) said: ‘Praise be to Allah (SWT), who granted you victory over him, gave you the satisfaction of taking revenge on your enemy, and let you see the vengeance for yourself.” On this day, Nasibah herself received many wounds whilst she was fighting the people and striking their chests. The Prophet (SAW) saw her, and called to her son, “Your mother! Your mother! See to her wounds, may Allah (SWT) bless you and your household! Your mother has fought better than so-and-so.” When his mother heard what the Prophet (SAW) said, she said, “Pray to Allah (SWT) that we may accompany you in Paradise.” He said, “O Allah (SWT), make them my companions in Paradise.” She said, ” I do not care what befalls me in this world.” Umm ‘Umarah’s jihad was not confined to the battle of Uhud. She was also present on a number of other occasions, namely the treaty of ‘Aqabah, Al-Hudaybiyah, Khaybar and Hunayn. Her heroic conduct at Hunayn was no less marvellous than her heroic conduct at Uhud. At the time of Abu Bakr’s Khilafah, she was present at Al-Yamamah where she fought brilliantly and received eleven wounds as well as losing her hand. It is no surprise that the Prophet (SAW) gave her the good news that she would enter Paradise, and that she was later held in high esteem by the khalifah Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq and his commander Khalid ibn Al-Walid and then by ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (RA)!!!*****************
This was a short story of one of the great women in Islam. May Allah have mercy on her and the other believers.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Guest writer. Talha, Speaks his MIND.
April 29, 2008

Ameen: It is my pleasure to introduce a special guest on the blog. Everyone, please give a LOUD, Assalam alaikum to Talha. Don’t be shy, type away your thoughts Talha. This post is specially set aside for you, so SPEAK!

Talha: Well its kinda hard when your sitting so close to me.

Ameen: Oh, my bad lol. Now Talha, what urged you to want to “guest write” on the blog?

Talha: First of all, thank you for having me on, its a pleasure. Secondly, its about time like damn, how long does a brotha have to wait to write on Ameens blog. But yo, can a brotha get some more space. And by you looking over every word I type, how do you expect me to feel comfortable and let my thoughts flow?

Ameen: Ok. Ok. Fine. I’ll give you some more space but as for watching over the words you type, I have too. Around here I’m the moderator and I moderate lol. Plus, you got a creative mind and I want to make sure your creative thoughts become exposed to the blog. 

Talha: Anways, Im lost for words so do you have anything you want to talk about?

Ameen: Actually I do. I don’t know if I told you but awhile ago, when you first got traded to the other team, one of my readers wanted me to ask you to come and guest write on the blog. I think the reader wanted you to share your new feelings about life on the other side of the fence. You know what I’m talking about right?

Talha: Yo, just cause I got married it doesnt mean Im playing for the other team. Im still a man, you know? And I sympathise with the men more than I do with the women cause I’ll always know what my brotha’s are going through but with women, its like taking a discover U course and discovering new things every minute of the day.

Ameen: Anyways, lets be nice and why don’t you tell us about life on the other side?

Talha: What do you want me to tell you? That is SUCKS! Causes it doesnt. But yo, when I first got married, I told my wife that I felt like a NBA rookie who just signed a multi year contract and she said to me, “but unfortunately for you, you wont be getting paid millions in cash”, I was like DAMN! She just ruined my mood and thats when she said, “you’ll be getting your currency in good deeds”.   

Ameen: So you signed a multi year contract? How many years was the contract?

Talha: I think the little fine writing at the bottom of the contract said, “Till death due us apart” but Im going to have to double check and get back to you.

Ameen: Good luck with that inshAllah. Were there any signing bonuses though?

Talha: A few. One of them was, a warm cooked meal on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. As for the rest of the week, Im still trying to work that into the contract but it looks like conditions are holding back progress.

Ameen: What kinda of conditions?

Talha: You know, just your average NOT so every day conditions. Like for example, taking out the garbage will lead to home cook meals on Tuesdays and showing up 15 minutes early for our family meetings will reward me with dessert after the Sunday meal and a few others but thats life.

Ameen: It doesn’t seem like much fun. Anyways, our time is almost up so….

Talha: What do you mean time its almost up? YOOOOO, this is a blog!

Ameen: And I got things to do today and I cant sit here all day right? Anyways, were gonna play a game and its called, rapid fire. Basically, Im gonna ask you some short questions and I need from you SHORT answers ok inshAllah? Are you ready?

Talha: I was born ready!

Ameen: Whats the first thing that comes to mind when I say, “children”

Talha: Not ready.

Ameen: Almaghrib’s Rays of Faith

Talha: eman rush

Ameen: Favourite companion?

Talha: Abu Talha

Ameen: Your wife reminds you of what woman from the Seerah?

Talha: Jameela Bint Abdullah

Ameen: Ramadan?

Talha: InshAllah

Ameen: Grapes?

Talha: Do you have some?

Ameen: Divorce?

Talha: The Palestines vs. Jews

Ameen: Faminist? 

Talha: Please Allah, dont make my wife a faminist

Ameen: And finally, marriage?

Talha: Hard. Difficult.. Complicated. Fruitful. Filled with blessings. Ups. Some downs. Patience and lots of “keep your mouth shut” cause problems start with words and grow with words.

Ameen: There you have it folks. A few wise pointers for those of you who will take the step over into the Unknow World of *coughs*. Talha, thanks for joining us and inshAllah, maybe we can do it another time.

Talha: Yo before I go, did you see that commercial? The one where an average Joe comes out of his 2008 Sonata and attempts to walk into a resturant but before he could walk away from his car, a well dressed, rich man approaches him and says, “Thats a beautiful Sonata. I’ll give you $1 million dollars to spend one night with it?” and the man who owns the cars starts to think about it for a few seconds and than says, “Ehh…NO!”. But the joke is, the Sonata is only worth 20,000 and the rich man wants to pay $1,000,000.00 to spend ONE NIGHT with it loooooooooooooooool. Its SOOOO funnny.

 

Ibn Abass responds to Muawiyah
April 27, 2008

Once Abdullâh bin Abbas radiallaahu ‘anhu took permission to visit Muawiyah radiallaahu ‘anhu. At that time a number of dignitaries among the Quraish were present there, and Said ibn al-Aas was sitting at Muawiyah’s right hand. When Muawiyah saw that Ibn Abbas was coming in, he said to Said, ‘O Said! By Allâh, I will put such questions to Ibn Abbas that he will be unable to answer them’. Said said, ‘Ibn Abbas will never fail to reply to your questions’.When Ibn Abbas sat down, Muawiyah asked him, ‘What do you say about Abu Bakr radiallaahu ‘anhu?’ He said:

 


“May Allâh subhanahu wa ta’ala have mercy upon Abu Bakr, he followed the Qur’ân, he was away from the deviation, and inadvertent towards the indecent (obscene) acts. He used to forbid the evil (and what is wrong); and was having the (full) knowledge of the religion. He feared Allâh, stood in worship before Him at night, kept fast during the day, was saved from the evils of the world. He was determined for doing justice with the creation, for enjoining what is good and to resort to it. He thanked (Allâh) in all circumstances, and remembered Allâh in the morning and evening. He was harsh in correcting his own soul. He excelled his friends (companions) in piety, sobriety, renunciation (of the worldly ends), righteousness, taking care of (himself from worldly abasement), reliance (upon Allâh’s providence), and equality. May Allâh punish the wicked one, till the day of judgement who dishonours him.”


Then Muawiyah asked Ibn Abbas, ‘What do you say about Umar bin Al Khattab radiallaahu ‘anhu?’ He replied:


“May Allâh have mercy upon Abu Hafs (i.e. Umar). I declare by Allâh: he was a confederate of Islam, a shelter for the orphan, an abode of the faith (iman), a refuge of the weak, a castle for the truthful (i.e. Hunafa, which may also mean muslims), a fortress for the creation, and a helper for the miserable. He stood for the (assistance to the) truth with patience and contentment until: Allâh made His religion superior; the countries were conquered; and Allâh was remembered throughout the lands: near the rivers (and seas), on the hills, in the fields, and in the forests. He faced with dignity the foul language, was thankful (to Allâh) both in hardship and comfort, and remembered Allâh all the time. May Allâh punish the one, until the day of judgement, who hates him.”


Then Muawiyah asked him, ‘What do you say about Uthmân bin Affan radiallaahu ‘anhu?’ He replied:


“May Allâh have mercy upon Abu Amr (i.e. Uthmân): I swear by Allâh, he was most respectable in the family. He used to keep relations with good men, and was a great patient among those who fight in the way of Allâh. He offered Tahajjud salat in the last part of the night, and wept abundantly when Allâh was remembered before him. He was thoughtful for the cause (of Muslims) day and night. He got up for every noble act, and was always ready for good deeds. He kept away from every such act which leads to the disaster (in the hereafter). He was the one who fed the army of the Prophet in the battle of Tabuk, and who entrusted the well of water to the Muslims. He was the son-in-law of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam for two of daughters. May Allâh punish the one, until the day of judgement, who curse (and abuse) him.”


Then Muawiyah asked him, ‘What do you say about Ali bin Abi Talib?’ He replied:


“May Allâh have mercy upon Abul Hasan (i.e. Alee): I swear by Allâh, he was the banner of guidance, the cavern of the piety, the abode of the wisdom, mountain of good, light for the one who travels in the darkness of night. He was the inviter (caller) towards the Broad way (i.e. the religion of Islam), and the scholar of the revealed books. He stood firm with the correct interpretation of the Qur’ân and with the reminding sermon. He was attached to the means of guidance. He renounced injustice, tyranny, and the ways which lead to disaster. He was the best among those who accepted the belief and acquired piety. The leader of all those who put on shirt or wrapped up in a mantle; the most virtuous among all those who established justice and equality; and the most successful lecturer, besides the Prophets and the Prophet Mustafa (pbuh). He was among those who offered salat towards the Qiblas i.e. Jerusalem and Mecca. There is none who can claim to be equal to him. He was the husband of the best woman (i.e. Fatimah), and the father of the two grandsons (of the Prophet). I have not seen anyone similar to him, and I will not see (in future) as well until the day of judgement, anyone similar to him. May Allâh punish the one , until the day of judgement, who curses him, may Allâh’s curse be upon such person”


Then Muawiyah asked him, ‘What do you say about Talha and Zubair radiallaahu ‘anhu?’ He replied:


“May Allâh have mercy upon both of them: by Allâh, they were chaste, pious, and were among those who surrender to Allâh’s will (i.e. Muslims). They were pure, among those who purify others, witness (to Allâh’s religion), and scholars (of Islam). They committed a mistake, and Allâh willing, He subhanahu wa ta’ala will forgive them. They were in the company of the Prophet from the beginning, they helped Allâh’s religion and were on the good deeds.”


Then Muawiyah asked, ‘What do you say about Abbas?’ He replied:


“May Allâh have mercy on Abdul Fadl : by Allâh, he and the Prophet belonged to the same tree. He was coolness for eyes, and was chosen by Allâh. He was the cavern for the nations and the leader of the uncles (of the Prophet). He, due to his vision, overcame all difficulties and had great sight in the ends of the matters. He was decorated with the knowledge. The virtues of other persons are worthless before him. The glory of other families is of no value before the glory of his family. And it is due to the fact that his family is based upon Abdul Mutallib who was the most dignified of the Qureshites who walk or ride.”

 

I am a MAN
April 25, 2008

 

From the beginning,

my mother held me,

and said, “Mohamed is your name and that’s what it will be.

Remain patient my son and avoid envy.

You are a man, lead your family

I took her advice and trained hard to be a marine

Converting my room into war-game scenarios practiced by the navy

 

Now my brothers and I have grown

and we fight bravely for our own

but if I die tonight while I stand alone

find my father and tell him I said, “Goodbye”

with a broken heart.

Surely, I’ll ask my Lord about him

and I hope He causes me to enter paradise with him.

 

And if you pass by my mother and you find her crying,

do me a favor and leave her in that state for the night

because tears relieve growing pains

and her emotions overtake her like stormy rain.

I know her to be strong

but she’ll breakdown when she sees my casket and realizes I’m gone

 

Dear Lord forgive my mother cause she made me into a man

who loves death like he loves life,

knows wrong like he knows right,

And is commited to Islam like he’s committed to being a Man

 

If only I had lived 1,400 years ago

I told my mother, I would have taken on a different role.

I would have been a great father by day,

And a brave soldier by night

but for now I’m trapped in my mind,

between poetic words that I write.

 

And one day, I’ll break away and run free

O’ Men, by the lake is where you’ll find me

Sitting amongst the brave warriors who will never compromise with their deen

 

21 Questions
April 24, 2008

Another page from Poetic Justice. 21 questions with limited answers. Space is not an issue but unfortunately time is of great essence. Which has forced me to reveal only the first few verses from the lastest poetic work.

Why does my body clash with the soul

Aggressively jumping on the attack

Forcing mediation from my part, while I stand in the cold

 

What happened to love

It held a strong position and a known meaning

but now it’s a tool for men to use against women.

And in five years, it will be non-existent

 

I wonder what destroyed respect

For one, the elders took it for granted

while the parents neglected to teach it to their children

and now we got a clash of generations.

Forcing representatives from both sides to agree, “this has become an issue”

 

Women often ask, where are the men

Probably in their bedrooms overwhelmed.

Trapped between delusional thoughts

or perhaps, secluding themselves with locked hearts.

Either way, success is ours.

And I promise, there will never be a reason for you to stress

instead, release your tension and be free

 

While you’re at it, define marriage for me?

Some say, it’s like being buried in a deep ditch,

looking upwards with a nervous twitch.

But perhaps, marriage resembles the wilderness of life in the grave

Once you crossover to the other side,

There is NO coming back

 

How should you treat money

A man said, “like a beautiful slave girl.

Be gentle and treat her like a precious pearl.

Don’t exceed the limits and buy her jewellery from Earls

And never allow it to rule over your morals

 

Dont Stereotype, Bro
April 23, 2008

Stereotypes do exist. In fact, some are interesting but more often than not, they expose the ignorance that exists within an individual. For amusement, lets examine a few stereotypes and put them to the “true or false” test. Do you agree or disagree with the following stereotypes?

1) Lets start off with an easy one. Chinese/Japanese folks cant drive. True or false? I don’t know. Although when I looked into the stereotype, I noticed in the city of Toronto, insurance companies give a higher quote to potential customers in areas that are predominately “Asian” (which is the politically correct word for Chinese). I attempted to contact a few different insurance companies in order to get a better explanation but for the most part, I got no solid answers. Although, one of the representatives for an insurance company responded to my inquiry as to why Chinese neighbourhoods pay higher for car insurance than any other neighbourhood in the city, he said, “more accidence are likely to occur in such neighbourhoods”. Boy, talk about being stereotypical. Maybe facts do speak for themselves but all I know is, when I watched “Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift”, not once did it cross my mind that Japanese/Chinese people cant drive. In fact, if they can drift then they don’t need car insurance 🙂

2) Older Somali men are losers.True or false? Well, my father is an “older Somali man” and I don’t think he’s a loser. Well, on second thought, I don’t think my father would place himself in the “older Somali men” category to begin with. He’s 46 with a strong physical body and a mind that can process information three times the speed I could. Which reminds me, last summer he called to inform me of his intentions to marry a 26 year old women and I was like, “(damn) papa, you got to be joking me right?” He responded with, “son, I’m living in my prime” and I was like, “yes, you are papa”  🙂 . But this notion that older Somali men spend way too much time at Tim Hortons, gossiping about useless information while restiring emotions of tribal tension through debates that existed and divided the Somali communities, is unfair in my mind. Yes, its true, that some (ok fine, many) Somali men spend their wealth chewing khatt,  prefer hanging with their friends than their families and forget to invest in the lives of their children but lets cut them some slake. On second thought, I remember doing monthly collection for the masjid for the past several years and I cant tell you on how many occasions I would knock on the door of a Somali household and when the door was answered, I noticed the woman was preoccupied with the children, cleaning the house, while the “older Somali man” sat on the couch and criticized her for doing a “poor job”. What nerve he has and even more, why doesn’t he get off his lazy behind and follow the sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saw) who use to assist his wives with the house chores? What makes him too proud to help his wife around the house when the best of the creation use to do it willingly?  And to make matters worse, I would encounter a man who would answer the door and tell me, “sorry, we don’t have anything to spare this month, maybe next month”, I would be like, “inshAllah” and smile as I walked away. I didn’t understand why such a man felt a need to explain his situation to me unless of course he was hiding something? Or maybe he felt guilty for lying to me?  Hmmmmm…after all, the money wasn’t for me but in reality, I was encouraging him to donate to the masjid for the benefit of his worldly life and the next. The funny thing about the whole situation is how on so many occasions, Allah would expose the same man who told me, “sorry, I don’t have anything, maybe next month”  and you wouldn’t believe where I would see him? In a lineup at Coffee Time with his boys *shakes head*. But don’t get me wrong, neither of the examples I provided above are sufficient to be used to justify the stereotype but it only leaves some unanswered questions regarding older Somali men. In the end, I think they have a lot of work to do in becoming better fathers, not to mention, the percentage of Somali youth that are dropping out of high school is growing with each year and that’s an issue that needs to be addressed. More needs to be done to narrow the gap between the generation of our fathers and the next generation of leaders.

3) Women talk a lot. True or false? *be careful homeboy, this is a sensitive subject and most of your readers are women. I know, but its cool. I’ll try to provide support for both sides* As I was saying, is such a stereotype true or false? Well personally, I cant support one claim or another but I do think this stereotype exists and its an interesting one. I remember one brother that I highly respect had invited me to accompany him to Tim Hortons so we can catch up. This brother was a little older then myself (maybe in his late 20s or early 30s while Im 24) so we sat down and I remembered he had recently gone back home to get married so I asked him about the experience. On a side note, this brother really praises the women in our Motherland and he would often encourage me along with some other brothers, to take a trip back home and find our wives there, but it is what it is and only Allah knows best. Back to the topic, I was sitting with the brother and mashAllah he is amazing. This brother is so connected to the masjid and has an easy going personality. Most of the brothers  I know have taken him as a big-brother type of adviser so when he speaks, we tend to listen. While were seated and drinking our hot beverage, he said, “I married a quiet women from back home. I never heard her raise her voice in any situation and her character impressed me the most about her”. I grew more interested in his story so I cleared my mind and started to focus on his every word. He continued, “so when I married her, alhamdulilah I did, I noticed the quiet, soft spoken woman that I had married transformed into a woman who had lots to say. She talked and talked and I actually enjoyed hearing her tell me about her life before she met me. I was just trying to build my bond with my new wife so I listened and cared about what she had to say, until one night, I was laying beside her and she started to tell me a story about “such and such”. I became interested in the story and I wanted to know the facts but she kept on mixing her opinions with emotions until I had fallen asleep. The next morning when I woke up, I went up to her and I said, “baby, so how did the story end…?” and she said, “you fell asleep on me…”. I didn’t want to tell her that I fell asleep because she was taking too long in telling me the story or that she was talking too much so I asked her to forgive me and later during the day, she retold the whole story to me”.As I listened to the brother, I tried to abstract some lessons from his story but before I could say anything, he said to me, “I think women talk a lot but that’s what makes them unique. They talk and we like to listen but if only they could keep to the facts of the story then we would be fine.”.

4) Young couples that get married, just find themselves divorced.True or false? Now this stereotype is one for the ages. Let me begin by saying, its true that a lot of young people have gotten married in the past 4-5 years and perhaps 50% are now divorced. Those are the facts but lets take a closer look as to WHY this occurs. For one, lack of patience with one another. Both members of the marriage need to come to the realization that problems will find you and you better learn how to deal with them. Its not rocket science or anything, all its takes is respect and mercy for one another and marriage life wont be so mad. Secondly, a common understanding between the couple is vital to the success of the relationship and what better common understanding can there be then, Islam? The beautiful thing about Islam is, both the wife and the husband have rights and obligations. So learn your rights and fulfill your obligations and inshAllah everything will work out for the best and if not, be patient with the results (easier said than done but may Allah be with you). Lastly, marriage is a LONG term commitment and not just a “I’m feeling good today so do you want to get married” type of relationship. The purpose of marriage is to help each other in becoming better people, more fulfilling servants to Allah and to assist one another in the long journey to meet Allah. Thats marriage but unfortunately, many young people have yet to understand the purpose behind marriage and until they do, the numbers of those getting divorce will continue to rise. And Allah knows best.

 

Almaghrib: Now or Never
April 22, 2008

I was stressed. I couldnt believe I was going to miss Rays of Faith with Waleed Basyouni and I had no one to blame but myself. It all started when I was asked to wait on some brothers who couldnt make up their minds as to why they should attend the class. While they debated within themselves, I was running out of time and my opportunity to reserve a seat was fading. When push came to shove and pressure was applied on those brothers , alhamdulilah they decided the class was “for them”. I contacted Almaghrib about their Rays of Faith and they informed me, “sorry brother, the class is sold out”. I couldnt believe it. I was so so MAD. For a week, I walked up and down the hallway in my house, asking myself “why are you so foolish? How can you miss out on this class?”. Until finally I came to the realization that the matter was no longer in my hands. I had to let the issue go and accept the fact that Allah had decreed this for me. I was pissed but I was content. Alhamdulilah I uttered to myself while seated at the kitchen table, writting down a few of the lessons I had learned from the experience.

Lesson number 1) Don’t ever delay  matters that carry much benefit even if you convince yourself, time is no longer an issue. Because time is of great essence and will forever be an issue.

Lesson number 2) Some brothers are not reliable so be smart, dont invest in them

Lesson number 3) Address Allah with all your issues even with matters as small as, “signing up for an almaghrib class”

Lesson number 4) Money is not an issue, therefore excuses shouldn’t exist

Lesson number 5) Allah selects whom He wills to admit into His pleasure and to join such ranks, I got to do my part. No excuses. Just do or die. I got to make it so move out of my way.

Despite the fact that I learned a few lessons, I was so frustrated with the idea of perhaps missing another Almaghrib class. I called the “main brother” who had convinced me to wait until we had created a power of ten group before I paid and when I finally got him on the phone, I grew silent. I had nothing to say. Instead I started to remember an ayaat from Surah Tawbah where Allah says, “If they had intended…”, which re-enforces the importance of making a good intention, “they would have made some preparation for it..” . Through the reality that poured from the ayaat, I could find no ONE to blame or hold accountable but myself. I didn’t make any preparations for the class therefore I was about to miss it. Plain and simple, if I didnt do my part, how could I expect Allah to hand it over to me without effort?  And so with a saddened voice, I informed the brother, “Yo, the class is sold out. I mean, SOLD OUT!” and the brother responded “How, the class isn’t for another month or so?”. I understood his question and his sad state of emotions but I just needed to remind him of an important fact, so I told him, “this is Majd homie and around here, almaghrib classes get SOLD out. It was our fault so lets just move on inshAllah”. He was shocked and overwhelmed with emotions. We decided to take our case to Allah and thank Him for granting us an opportunity to attend the class, afterall, we were healthy and living in the prime of our lives. We had much to be grateful for but nevertheless, deep down inside, we continued to pray  to Allah and we hoped He would open another door for us and if not, I WAS so gonna learn from my lessons to wait on others.Until one night, while I was at work, news came that registration had reopened for Rays of Faith. I jumped and screamed and in the process, scared my co-worker who fell out of his chair. He looked at me with uncertain eyes, thinking perhaps I became possessed by Jinns since I had spent the majority of the night reading about their stories. So right there and then, I logged into my almaghrib account and paid online. I couldn’t afford to waste anymore time and I wasn’t about to wait on some next brothers. Only to find out, a few hours later, almaghrib was offering a discount on the original price and I heard a quiet voice within asking, “if only you had been more patient, perhaps you could’ve taken advantage of the discount right?”. Wrong. There is a time for patience and there is a time for action and I decided, now was a time for ACTION.

Be Patient, Success is Ours!
April 22, 2008

Often times, we like to complain about our situation as believers in Allah. “Oh look at the situation of the Muslims in Palestine and Iraq” we often utter, forgetting about the promise in which Allah has made to us. Remember when Allah revealed to the companions of the Messenger of Allah after they experienced a tough defeat during the battle of Uhud, when Allah said to them “So do not become weak (against your enemy) nor be sad, you will be superior (in victory), if you are indeed believers”. Allah revealed this verse to comfort the hearts of the believers during a time when their moral was low. Likewise, this same verse relates to us now as it did to the Muslims who lived over 1,400 years ago. Although it is true the Muslims around the world are for the most part, oppressed, we shouldnt overlook what is forming before our very eyes.  

In a recent article published around the world, breaking news came out of Vatican City when Islam was proclaimed to be the world’s largest religion. “For the first time in history, we are no longer at the top: Muslims have overtaken us,” Monsignor Vittorio Formenti told the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano in a recent interview. He further stated that the Catholics accounted for17.4 % of the world’s population while the Muslims were at 19.2 %. Despite the fact that a set of unfortunate events took place on September 11, 2001, Islam has continued to be the fastest growing religion in the world. Islam has caused so much worry to enter the hearts of so many people, that even Pope Benedict had often criticized the more secular Europeans for committing “a sort of moral and cultural suicide in ignoring their Christian roots”. When Pope Benedict was still a cardinal, it was quite obvious that he worried about the successful path in which Islam was upon. He once wrote, “Islam, a competitor, is gaining strength through Muslims conviction” and if I had the opportunity to run into the Pope during his trip across the United States, I probably would of casually walked up to him as the 101 Secret Service agents who surround him watched me closely and said, “Allah is the foundation of our strength for He has promised us success in this world and in the next as long as we stay true to our covenant”.  

Lets not get it twisted, Pope Benedict is not alone in his worry that Islam and the Muslims are upon success. In fact, the mere desire that the Muslim youth have towards marriage is in indication that success is coming. While society continues to portray women as sex objects, more and more Muslim youth are falling in love with the idea of getting married. Although, lets be real and admit that marriage is more difficult than what we would believe (and those of us who are married can attest to it), marriage will always be superior to being single. And if society and Shaitan continue to promote the boyfriend-girlfriend/live together for a while  lifestyle, while the hearts of the Muslim youth are attracted to marriage, that is an example of success descending upon the Muslims.

Also remember the hadeeth of the Messenger of Allah when he (may Allah have mercy on him) encouraged his Ummah to get married and have plenty of children so that he (saw) may be pleased with the size of his Ummah on the Last Day. Now take that hadeeth and examine it to our period of time. In an editorial I read from the Globe and Mail a few weeks ago, the author criticized with intellect, the path in which society has taken. A path that no longer values the institution of family and marriage is non-existent. While the Muslims (in particular, the youth) are getting married at an extremely high rate( scary for some people to admit), the rest of the youthful society has abandoned the ship.The point is, Muslim youth are getting married and having children, which in result, has boosted the population of Muslims around the world. I could remember while I was reading the editorial, I started to laugh with shame and not because the facts within the article were untrue (in fact it was very well written and honest), I was ashamed at my inability to realize the role the youths must play in order for success to reach this Ummah. And lets be real, for the youth to desensitise their souls from years of witnessing the corruptions of society, they should get married. When they get married inshAllah, Allah will bless that couple with children and the higher the percentage of youth that get married, the more Muslim children brought into this world (inshAllah). So what right? Wrong. If you could for one second open your eyes and realize, numbers in religion matters. While other religions and lets use Christianity as an example, delay having children until in their 30s or 40s, the Muslims are upon a different path. Allah has said, “And kill not your children for fear of poverty. We shall provide for them as well as for you” and through this promise of Allah, the Muslim population continues to grow. And in due time, as more and more people from other faiths accept Islam as a way of life, in addition to the large rate of Muslims getting married and having children, perhaps Islam will no longer be the fastest growing of the world but rather, the RELIGION of the world. So be patient my brothers and sisters, success will be ours.  

 

My introduction to the world of JINN
April 18, 2008

I was probably around nine years of age and nothing stood with greater importance than staying up late. One of the few incentives my mother placed on granting us the opportunity to stay up late was attending Islamic classes on Saturday mornings. My brother’s rebelled against the condition because Saturday morning was prime time for cartoons but my mother held her ground. She gave no inch. Therefore we gathered in our bedroom and agreed that staying up late was better and more rewarding for us than watching a few hours of cartoons. So from than on, every Saturday morning, we signed a contract to attend a four hour Islamic session with children we knew little about. At first, those classes were tough and more for my brothers than any one else. It seemed like all the children had plenty of questions to ask but as for us, we couldn’t take our eyes off the clock. I remember on one occasion, my brother got so frustrated with all the “lame” questions that were being asked, he decided to speak on top of all the voices in the class. He asked, “brother, if I ask Allah for something, will He grant it to me?” and our teacher responded, “ask Him and inshAllah He’ll grant it to you”. So my brother lowered his head and whispered, “please, please Allah, make this class end” and I couldn’t hold myself from laughing so I just broke down. I was literally crying. When our mother came to pick us up, our teacher reported how we “weren’t on our best behavior” and the result, we had an early appointment with our beds. I still remember the heated debate I had with my brothers on that night. 

A few years later, I remember attending a class at that same Islamic center and my teacher introduced us to the world of Jinn. A world filled with beings I had never heard of. Sure attending public school, we’ve heard people claim they’ve witnessed their uncles get possessed or walking down the street, Im sure we’ve all seen those who converse with themselves, but JINN? What was my teacher talking about?

I remember he briefly sumed up the creation of Jinn by mentioning the story of Adam (as) and Iblees. I remember his statement, “Jinn are as real as men. They’ve been created from smokeless fire and although we can’t see them, they exist”. I jumped out of my seat and asked, “We can’t see them? Brother, what do you mean? Can they see us..?” and my teacher answered in the affirmative. I was shocked. I looked over my shoulders and paranoia grew. Suddenly my innocent classmates lost their credibility. I couldn’t trust anyone and because of some uncertain feelings that grew with strength, I remained quiet for the remainder of the class. When I got home, I chased my uncle around the house and asked 101 questions about my new knowledge. “Today, you wouldn’t believe what we learned in class…”, I said to my uncle. “Abdullah, taught us about a creation called Jinn or something? And he said, we cant see them but they can see us..? Tell me that’s not true..? How can I defend myself from something I can’t see uncle? Where do they live? What do they eat? Is Jinn, the Arabic word for aliens?” My uncle addressed my need to know with great wisdom. He observed silence. I realized to get answers, I needed to stop talking. So I continued to look at my uncle awaiting from him the answers to my many questions but he said nothing. “Abti (unlce), tell me…”, I impatiently asked. Again, my uncle looked at me with a slight smile to his face but silence poured from his lips. I was starting to lose hope that my uncle would ever answer my questions and just as I turned to walk away, my uncle called me back and asked me to sit. I thought, “why is he asking me to sit down? Are Jinns that bad?” but I obeyed his command and I seated myself humbly before him. Thinking back, I could remember fighting myself to keep quiet because I knew if I started to ask more questions, my uncle would lose his patience. He said, “there is a time for everything and there will be a time when you can handle the knowledge of Jinn but right now, all you need to know is Allah created them so don’t be afraid”. “And….but…..uncle…where do they LIVE!”, I asked trying desperately to remain silent. My uncle smiled and said, “Mohamed, I know you and your imagination will destroy you. So leave it alone and I promise when you can handle it, I will tell you everything about them…”. I walked away from my uncle disappointed. I really wanted the answers to my questions and I told myself, one way or another, I was going to satisfy my need to know. Some time later, after some deep plotting and careful planning, I got the answers to my questions. And boy was I not ready for my new knowledge. I grew SHOOK. I became sleepless and worst of all, I developed something called paranoia. After all my hard work to gain the knowledge of the Jinn, I realized, knowing about the unseen was not much fun. My uncle was right and I learned the hard way. Alhamdulilah though, I managed to survive that period of my life and looking back, I actually grew as a child. I matured really fast because I realized there was more to life than what we can see.

 

 

Where are the Role Models
April 17, 2008

I open my eyes, only to realize, where are those men who will lead me to prosperity? I slip my feet into my Air Max and set off into the cold world, in search of a role model. Instead I find corruption, envy, hate, cowards, deceivers, liars and the worst of them all, the hypocrites. After a long day of mixing with society, I find myself seated on a bench in a quiet section of the park. I look off into the sky, but suddenly Im overtaken by shyness and I return my gaze to find a piece of gum on the ground. Then and there, Poetic Justice finds me.

I Wanna Be like:

 

 I want to be like AbduAllah Ibn Az-Zubair,
I want to turn my back on the world like Mus’ab Ibn Umair,
I want to be honoured like Sa’d Ibn Mu’aadh,
And die like Khaalid Ibn Sa’iid

I wanna show my courage to Allah like Ibn Waleed
And remain firm to my beliefs.
I wanna defend life with dignity,
Until I meet Allah whom I believe in with certainty

I wanna marry a sister who resembles Aisha
While my character resembles that of the Messenger of Allah (saw)
And so my short stay in dunya can be filled with peace and tranquility

I ask Allah to grant me children so I can train them to be like Jabir
And posses courage like that of Jafar
And to become educated in the halal wa haraam like Mu’aadh ibn Jabal

I want to serve Islam
I wanna be a great speaker of this religion like Suhail Ibn Amr
And fight bravely like Urwah Ibn Amr
While guarding my worship of Allah like Abu Darda