Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Strange... But True

Art Appreciation

It might have been a 12-year-old’s idea of freedom of expression, but school officials were less than impressed.

During a school outing, the youth stuck a piece of chewing gum on a painting worth $1.5 million dollars at the Detroit Institute of Arts. The facility now has to figure out how to remove the sticky stain from Helen Frankenthaler’s 1963 abstract painting entitled The Bay.

The boy was suspended from school, but only after school staff chewed him out.


Monday, February 27, 2006

Offended? What Are You Going To Do About It?


What Are You Going To Do About It?

Article by Shaykh Omar S. - Jami'yyatul Ulama Canada (CCMT)

"When living in a community a person comes across many people of different personalities and natures. While some people may be friendly to him others may not choose to be as courteous and instead be hostile towards him. Out of their hostility some maybe rude to him, swear at him and at times even may shout a racial slur at him (if he belongs to a different ethnic group). When being pushed into this type of situation a person tends to react. Sometimes he lets his emotions get the better of him and subsequently responds in an inappropriate manner while at other times he maintains his calm and either puts the whole incident behind him or counsels the offender in a friendly way. While the first mode of action generally produces a negative result, the second conduct, although it maybe difficult to adapt for many in the heat of the moment, eventually opens a new window of opportunity all the time.

As a series of derogatory cartoons depicting out beloved Prophet PUBH as a terrorist and supporter of terrorism was being published in a various European newspapers, Muslims throughout the world felt insulted, offended and became absolutely outraged over these publications. As a result thousands of Muslims in several countries decided to take to the streets and engage in rioting, arson and flag burning while shouting, “Destroy Denmark. Destroy Israel. Destroy George Bush. Destroy America!” and holding placards with typical slogans such as, “Kill those who mock Islam,” “Europe, you will pay, extermination is on the way,” “Europe your 9/11 will come!” Although many other Muslims held peaceful demonstrations and continue to do so in other areas of the world yet it is the improper actions of out people that catches the attention of the general public, leaving a sour taste in their mouths. One journalist wrote, “I am dismayed that a few publishers felt it necessary to give gratuitous offense to 1.1 Billion people. Just because you have the right to say a thing doesn’t always mean you should. Still, what’s more dismaying is the way some in the Muslim world have chosen to respond. At least 10 people have lost their lives in these riots, all over a series of cartoons. And you wonder: Are they so far removed from the realities of the world the rest of us occupy that they don’t’ see the damage they’re doing to their faith, their people, themselves?”

Another columnist wrote, “I’ve long been skeptical of the ‘Religion of Peace’ for at least 3,000 reasons right off the top of my head. I think the evidence is going my way this week.”

However, in the light of the mixed reaction witnessed around the world in recent weeks, one may ask, “How am I supposed to respond to these derogative cartoons which serve no rational purpose whatsoever?” Well, as Muslims, the fist place we’re supposed to resort, when looking for answers, is our manual and guide to life, the Qur’an. This is the book that out creator has described as, “a clarification for all things” (16:89) and is the book that always provides us with the best solution is every circumstance. Allah declares, Indeed, this Qur’an guides to that which is most suitable…” (17:9)

In regards to how one should respond when being put in a difficult and challenging situation, Allah has instructed us to adopt one of three methods..."


Sunday, February 26, 2006

Did You Know?

Did you know? In 2005, almost 5 million people worldwide were infected with HIV; that's 10 people per minute. Source

Did you know?
Each year, 182,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and 43,300 die. One woman in eight either has or will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. In addition, 1,600 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 400 will die this year. Source

Did you know?
Cancer is the leading cause of premature death - or early death - in Canada: 954,000 potential years were lost in 2000 as a result of cancer. This represents 31% of the potential years of life lost resulting from all causes of death. Source

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Exercise of Pas Anfas

At a conference last year, a friend of mine showed me this piece written at the end of this book (which my sister bought that day). That piece has stuck with me and I can really say that it works. SubhanAllah, it’s a great joy for me to share this gift. I still have not read the entire book because I have so many to still finish, but I really recommend this book to everyone.

The Exercise of Pas Anfas

For strengthening presence of mind, increasing zeal, and improving memory, one of the simplest and most efficacious exercise known is Pas Anfas, or “Guarding the Breath”. This is a breathing exercise and its method is as follows:
Take a deep breath. When inhaling concentrate on the word Allah. When exhaling concentrate on the syllable hu. Do this repeatedly.
In the beginning, practice this exercise in solitude until you feel a warm sensation. Thereafter, perform it at all times: while walking, sitting and so forth. In all states, endeavor to establish this concentration. At first some effort will be required. However, after a short while one’s breathing will be so conditioned that it will become second nature and will happen spontaneously without one having to continuously strive to do it.
(page 132)

The Book: The Path to Perfection

An edited anthology of the spiritual teachings of Hakim Al-Umma Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanawi

By Shaykh Masihullah Khan

To read more about to book or to order it online, click here

Sunday, February 19, 2006

The Bedouin

A Bedouin once joined the Imam for Faajr Salat. He had an appointment after the prayer but the Imam decided to recite Surah Baqarah. As a result of the length of this Surah, the Bedouin was delayed and missed his appointment. The next day he arrived early and joined the Imam again, who this time began to recite Surah Feel (the Elephant). Completely angry, the Bedouin broke his prayer and left the mosque, shouting
“Yesterday you read the Cow and finished the Cow and today you are reciting the Elephant, you will probably finish at midnight”.

Friday, February 17, 2006


" The people of Jannah can not wait for the arrival of al-Jumuah,
to fill their eyes more and more with the presence of the Almighty.
For this reason al-Jumuah has been named the day of more (increase)."


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Advice from my Teacher

“Remember one thing, do not let Shaitan over power you. Sometimes it may happen that you are trapped in between what to choose- always choose the one that will take you to the right path…or that which is beneficial…”

Sister Mariam P.

Who is a blessing, gift, mercy and a source of guidance from Allah (swt) for my soul. For it was through her that I learned to love Allah (swt) and His Rasul (s.a.w). It was through her that I saw the Rope of Allah (swt)…May Allah (swt) bless this Ummah with more teachers like her, and May He (swt) raise her amongst the Ulema.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Desire, Lust and Sin

A month or two ago, I was searching for something in the Q&A section in SunniPath. I cannot remember what it was, but I ended up reading through the first page of the results. So I got to this article, and it was a really good article. There was this one part in particular that stayed with me and with all this "love in the air" it made me go back looking for the article today.

Ibne Qayyim Rahmatullah alaihi says:

"The reason for every loss, misfortune and evil in this world and the hereafter is sin and opposing the Laws and Commands of Allah Ta'aala. Moreover, sin destroys bounties and blessings as fire burns wood. It is possible to divide the harms of this vile act as follows: Shar'i (Religious) Harms The Shar'ee harms are many. Some of them are as follows: a decrease in taufeeq (success granted by Allah Ta'aala); corrupt ideas; hard-heardtedness, an aversion towards people, cheerlessness in the heart and to be deprived of knowledge.

The greatest spiritual harm caused by this evil act is the inability to remain steadfast on Deen. As long as a person is entangled in this evil habit, shaytaan will gradually remove him from his friends until he dislikes their company. Thereafter, shaytaan will draw him into the mud of desires until he is deprived altogether from remaining steadfast on Deen. How many youth have been deprived of Tahajjud, fasting, recitation of the Quraan, acquiring knowledge, associating with friends, etc. because of the commission of this evil.

A person who commits this sin becomes weak in front of shaytaan and his nafs-e-ammarah (lowly-self) instructs him to do evil. Hence, he will not have the ability to oppose his nafs in order to carry out the Commands of Allah Ta'aala. Hasan Basri Rahmatullah alaihi has said: "A person deprives himself of performing Tahajjud by committing sins."

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Light Upon Light

When man falls into the darkest of corners and holes in the path, he thinks it’s all over, well that’s if he realizes where he is, because some stay blind.

After some time, he opens his eyes, it’s dark, and he only sees a few streams of light.
He suffers in pain, with heart ache and mental anxiety. He screams to the darkness,

“Ahhhh I hate life, I’ve fallen, and keep falling I can’t get up! Death if you are near, my life is no good and it isn’t about to get any better, life is a living HELL, why don’t you just take me now!”

He breathes hard and his brain tells him to lie down,

“Take deep breaths…in and out…Allah…hu…”

He sits up, and thinks,

“How did I get here?”

Contemplate is what he does, see now, he finally thinks. He thinks,

“What have I done, to get here?”

Oh and there is brighter light, a thought,

“I have forgotten my Lord and abandoned His ways. I have lost all sincerity in my prayers to Him, and when was the last time I sent salams, on angel wings to him, my Beloved Nabi (s.a.w)…I’ve forgotten him too. Oh my heart is that why you ache in so much pain? Or is it really death?”

Fear lashes the depths of his soul,

“No death, please don’t come now I’m not ready to die…”

He looks up with tears streaking his face; he blinks once, twice, and sees more light. There are streams of light shining so bright right down to him, warming him, filling him with hope.

“Oh Allah, is this your Noor? You are still with me, even though I ran away from you…not once, not twice but countless times. Oh Allah you are indeed the Most Merciful, and the Most Forgiving. Forgive me my sins and make me stronger so I can no longer disobey you, Oh my Lord.”

The light seems to get brighter and brighter, streaks of light pierce through the darkness like arrows.

He looks around, he was in no corner or hole, he was still on the path. When he had forgotten Allah, Allah removed all His Noor from the path only leaving some strings of light so that His servant might see where he is and stands.

It is when we the servants forget where we are, and get absorbed in the love of this dunya that we become blind. We become so blind that we can no longer see the reality. The reality is that this world, this life is a trial, a journey to the eternal home in Jannah, with Allah (swt) and our Beloved Nabi (s.a.w).

"And when My servants ask you concerning Me, then surely I am close. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he cries unto Me."

(Surah Al-Baqarah:186)

Ibn ‘Abbas (r.a) said that one of the du’as that Rasulullah (s.a.w) made during the night prayers was,

“O Allah, place light in my heart, light in my tongue, light in my hearing, light in my sight, light behind me, light in front of me, light on my right, light on my left, light above me and light below me; place light in my sinew, in my flesh, in my blood, in my hair and in my skin; place light in my soul and make light abundant for me; make me light and grant me light.”

(Transmitted by Muslim and others)
For full hadith in English and arabic click here

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Humility of Rasulullah (s.a.w)


“Know that humility (tawadu`) is among the greatest, most beautiful and most noble of praiseworthy traits. By humility the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) was made superior to the first and last (of creation), for he was (Allah bless him and give him peace) the most humble of people. He was given the choice between being a king-prophet or a slave-prophet, and chose the latter… From his humility was that he used to ride a donkey, let others ride with him, he used to visit the poor, milk his own goats, raise his garments [for long garments were considered a sign of arrogance], fix his own sandals, serve himself, feed his animals, tidy his house, tie his donkey, eat with servants and workers, and carry his own provision from the market.”

(Jami` al-Usul fi al-Awliya, 31)

Monday, February 06, 2006

"Earth from Earth"

"Earth from earth"

Abu Musa al-Ash`ari - Allah be well-pleased with him - relates that the Prophet (s.a.w) said –

“ Truly, Allah Most High created Adam from a handful of earth He took from all the corners of the earth. Hence did human beings come according to the earth: among them the red, the white, the black, and those in-between; the plain and the arduous; the vicious and the good.”

It was narrated by Abu Dawud and al-Tirmidhi (who graded it hasan sahih) in their Sunan, and Ahmad in his Musnad - Allah Most High have mercy on them.

The closest we can get to Allah in this Dunya is in Salah, particularly in prostration. We lower our knees and forehead to the earth, to the dirt the lowest of all elements. Not only does it instill humility in the depths of our souls but it also reminds us where we are from.

We have been created from the earth, born in the wombs our mothers, taking the journey of life and soon to taste death, returning us to the depths of the earth. Where upon reality will become crystal clear…

"Life is short, time is precious, death near, and the distance to travel great, while the moment of standing before God to account for everything, however insignificant, is daunting and hard,"

Imam al-Haddad