Monday, April 30, 2007

Home and Going Back Today

as salamu alaykum,

I was home this weekend, going back this morning, wrote out this blog post on Sunday but never got around to actually posting it up…sorry. :)

So at the madesa we’re surrounded by breath-taking scenery. I mean seriously, the creek areas are just amazing, SubhanAllah. There are fish in it too, along with some other wildlife, I love being outside. Going for walks outside, or riding a bike, rollerblading is so relaxing in itself, especially after classes and in free time. And you can’t do enough dhikr about the wonders of Allah (swt)’s creation outside. Spring time not only brings warm weather (I’m tired of the cold man) but it also brings new plant life and wildlife, subhanAllah just seeing everything grow shows how Allah (swt) provides for all.

You know it’s so nice to hear the different typed of birds right at fajr time outside our window. And I can see when the birds go out to look for food for their chicks especially after a rain fall they go crazy with the worms.

Ok besides nature, the classes are now getting more tough or maybe it’s just me…I don’t know exactly, but please do remember me in your du’as. Alhamdulillah I’m still there learning Arabic, still alive and sane.

Ah and I have a few good laughs to share…but I’ll save them for the next time I come home, which is in 2 weeks…

Oh we finished our Nahwa book, practically done the 2nd part of Sarf and it feels great, now all we are having are tests, every week, which pretty much sucks. And the whole house has to go the school building at 8:30am (before I could sleep if I wanted to, because I’m done high school) it’s good I guess since it means more time to study and forces me out my desire to sleep. For example this weekend (Saturday and Sunday) I woke up at 8am…how cool is that?!

I wanna sleep and it’s 3:03am :(

And for the past few weeks I can hardly sleep well, my mind is at overload these days. Pray for me, anyone’s du’as can be accepted...

But I still love madresa and my teachers (especially, May Allah (swt) raise them amongst the Ulema and those that He (swt) loves. Ameen) there’s no doubt about that. I love knowing a nahwa rule with all its examples. It feels great after spending all your time trying to understand it and memorizing it. Indeed, the fruits of labor are sweet…but sometimes no matter how hard you try, it sometimes takes a very long time to see the fruits, and sometimes you just give up in the middle even if it hurts to do so. I’m only saying it because I just went through that phase…well some weird sort of phase but I recently remembered this poem that was recited to Imam Al-Zarnuji, Burhan al-Din, 12th/13th cent. (r) and I’ve been trying hard again, Alhamdulillah, remember me in your du’as all…

Do you desire to become learned and skilled in debate
by any means except labor? There are various kinds of stupidity.
No gain of riches is possible without difficulties
which you must take upon yourself.
How, then, is it with learning?


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Most Virtuous Form of Remembrance & Supplication

As salaamu alaikum

Rasulullah (s) said:
"The most virtuous form of remembrance is "La ilaha illa 'Llah" (There is no deity except Allah) and the most virtuous supplication is Al-hamdulillah (All Praise be to Allah)." [Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah]

Allama Tibi relates that the words La ilaha illa 'Llah have the ability to purify the heart from evil. By proclaiming La ilaha, a person renounces all deities [both tangible and intangible], and through illa 'Llah, he affirms the oneness of Allah alone. The remembrance of Allah penetrates his heart, and he is infused with the sweetness of faith.

Al-hamdulillah has been called "the most virtuous supplication" because supplication is a means of remembering Allah (dhikr) and of asking Him to fulfill one's needs. The words Al-hamdulillah contain both of these elements, since a person who praises Allah praises Him for His favours: and praising Allah for His favours is to indirectly ask Him for more of His bounty. This is essentially gratitude (shukr), regarding which Allah says, "If you are grateful, I will surely add more (favours) unto you." [Quran 14:7]

[Taken from "Provisions for the Seekers" By Shaykh Ashiq Ilahi Al-Bulandshehri, with translation and commentary by Mufti Abdur-Rahman Ibn Yusuf]

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Young Genius

As salaamu alaikum

The Young Genius

Many centuries ago, during the time of the Tabai'n (the generation of Muslims after the Sahabah-- the Companions of the Prophet), Baghdad was a great city of Islam. In fact, it was the capital of the Islamic Empire and, because of the great number of scholars who lived there, it was the center of Islamic knowledge. One day, the ruler of Rome at the time sent an envoy to Baghdad with three challenges for the Muslims.

When the messenger reached the city, he informed the khalifah that he had three questions which he challenged the Muslims to answer. The khalifah gathered together all the scholars of the city and the Roman messenger climbed upon a high platform and said,

"I have come with three questions. If you answer them, then I will leave with you a great amount of wealth which I have brought from the king of Rome."

As for the questions, those were:
"What was there before Allah?"
"In which direction does Allah face?"
"What is Allah engaged in at this moment?"

The great assembly of people were silent. In the midst of these brilliant scholars and students of Islam was a man looking on with his young son. "O my dear father! I will answer him and silence him!" said the youth.

So the boy sought the permission of the khalifah to give the answers and he was given the permission to do so.

The Roman addressed the young Muslim and repeated his first question, "What was there before Allah?"

The boy asked, "Do you know how to count?"
"Yes," said the man.
"Then count down from ten!"
So the Roman counted down, "ten, nine, eight, ..." until he reached "one" and he stopped counting.
"But what comes before 'one'?" asked the boy.
"There is nothing before one- that is it!" said the man.
"Well then, if there obviously is nothing before the arithmetic 'one', then how do you expect that there should be anything before the 'One' who is Absolute Truth, All-Eternal, Everlasting the First, the Last, the Manifest, the Hidden?"

Now the man was surprised by this direct answer which he could not dispute. So he asked, "Then tell me, in which direction is Allah facing?"

"Bring a candle and light it," said the boy, "and tell me in which direction the flame is facing."
"But the flame is just light- it spreads in each of the four directions, North, South, East and West.
It does not face any one direction only," said the man in wonderment.

The boy cried, "Then if this physical light spreads in all four directions such that you cannot tell me which way it faces, then what do you expect of the Nur-us-Samawa'ti-wal-'Ard: Allah - the
Light of the Heavens and the Earth! Light upon Light, Allah faces all directions at all times."

The Roman was stupefied and astounded that here was a young child answering his challenges in such a way that he could not argue against the proofs. So, he desperately wanted to try his final

But before doing so, the boy said, "Wait! You are the one who is asking the questions and I am the one who is giving the answer to these challenges. It is only fair that you should come down to where I am standing and that I should go up where you are right now, in order that the answers may be heard as clearly as the questions."

This seemed reasonable to the Roman, so he came down from where he was standing and the boy ascended the platform.

Then the man repeated his final challenge, "Tell me, what is Allah doing at this moment?"

The boy proudly answered, "At this moment, when Allah found upon this high platform a liar and mocker of Islam, He caused him to descend and brought him low. And as for the one who believed in the Oneness of Allah, He raised him up and established the Truth Every day He exercises (universal) power (Surah 55 ar-Rahman, Verse 29)."

The Roman had nothing to say except to leave and return back to his country, defeated.

Meanwhile, this young boy grew up to become one of the most famous scholars of Islam. Allah, the Exalted, blessed him with special wisdom and knowledge of the deen. His name was Abu
Hanifah (rahmatullah 'alayhi- Allah have mercy on him) and he is known today as Imam-e-A'zam, the great Imam and scholar of Islam.

May Allah shower some of His Mercy in the same way upon our Muslim children who are growing up today. A`ameen Ya Rab`bul aleem.

[Adapted into English from "Manaqib Abu Hanifah" written by Imam Muwaffaq Ibn Ahmad al-Makki (d. 568 Hijri). Dar al - Kitab]

Monday, April 16, 2007

As salaamu alaikum

Loving the Final Messenger of Allah (PBUH)
By: Sh. Omar Subedar

Claiming to love a person is very easy however proving that love can sometimes be a challenge. Today, as Muslims, it is very easy for us to declare our love for the Prophet pbuh yet this declaration is sometimes put to question when analyzing our way of life and our daily practices. When we observe a total contradiction between our lifestyle and the lifestyle of Allah’s final Messenger we should ask ourselves: Am I really true to my word? Is love just expressed by fixing a day to celebrate the birthday of the beloved, sing a few songs in his praise and discuss a couple of events in his life or is there more to it? The worldly renowned scholar, Qadhi Iyaadh writes in his acclaimed book ‘Ash- Shifa’:

You should know that when a person loves someone, he gives preference to him (over all things) and prefers what he likes. Otherwise, he is untrue in his love and is simply a claimant.

A person who has true love for the Prophet, pbuh, is he upon whom the signs of love manifest.

The first sign of love is that... [click here to read the rest]

Thursday, April 12, 2007

She's My Sister*

As salaamu alaikum

The following story was translated by Muhammad Alshareef from the book Azzaman Alqaadim, and it was his final speech at the 1999 MYNA East Zone Conference.
Take a few minutes to read it. It's kind of long, but really worth the time...

She's My Sister

Her cheeks were worn and sunken, and her skin hugged her bones. That didn't stop her because you could never catch her not reciting Qur'an. She was always vigil in her personal prayer room that our father had set up for her. Bowing, prostrating, raising her hands in prayer, was the way she was from dawn to sunset and back again; boredom was for other people.

As for me, I craved nothing more than fashion magazines and novels. I treated myself to videos until the trips to the rental place became my trademark. It’s a saying that when something becomes habit, people tend to distinguish you by it. I was negligent in my responsibilities and my salah was characterized by laziness.

One night, after a long three hours of watching, I turned the video off. The adhan rose softly in the quiet night. I slipped peacefully into my blanket.

Her voice called me from her prayer room. "Yes? Would you like anything Noorah?" I asked.

With a sharp needle she popped my plans. "Don't sleep before you pray Fajr!"

Agghh! “There's still an hour before Fajr. That was only the first adhan,” I said.

With those loving pinches of hers, she called me closer. She was like that even before the fierce sickness shook her spirit and shut her in bed. "Hanan, can you come sit beside me."

I could never refuse any of her requests; you could touch the purity and sincerity in her. "Yes, Noorah?"

"Please sit here."

"Alright, I’m sitting. What's on your mind?"

With the sweetest mono voice she began reciting:

Every soul shall taste death and you will merely be repaid your earnings on the Day of Resurrection.

She stopped thoughtfully. Then she asked, "Do you believe in death?"

"Of course I do,” I replied.

"Do you believe that you shall be responsible for whatever you do, regardless of how small or large?"

"I do, but Allah is Forgiving and Merciful, and I’ve got a long life waiting for me."

"Stop it Hanan! Are you not afraid of death and its abruptness? Take a look at Hind. She was younger than you but she died in a car accident. Death is age-blind and your age could never be a measure of when you shall die."

The darkness of the room filled my skin with fear. "I'm scared of the dark and now you made me scared of death. How am I supposed to go to sleep now? Noorah, I thought you promised you'd go with us on vacation during the summer break."

Her voice broke and her heart quivered. "I might be going on a long trip this year Hanan, but somewhere else. All of our lives are in Allah’s hands and we all belong to Him."

My eyes welled and the tears slipped down both cheeks. I pondered my sisters grizzly sickness. The doctors had informed my father in private that there was not much hope Noorah was going to outlive the disease. She wasn't told, so I wondered who hinted to her. Or was it that she could sense the truth?

"What are you thinking about Hanan?" Her voice was sharp. "Do you think I am just saying this because I am sick? I hope not. In fact, I may live longer than people who are not sick. How long are you going to live Hanan? Perhaps twenty years? Maybe forty? Then what?" Through the dark she reached for my hand and squeezed gently. "There's no difference between us; we're all going to leave this world to live in Paradise or agonize in Hell. Listen to the words of Allah:

Anyone who is pushed away from the Fire and shown into Jannah will have triumphed.

I left my sister's room dazed, her words ringing in my ears: “May Allah guide you Hanan - don't forget your prayer.”

I heard pounding on my door at eight o'clock in the morning. I don't usually wake up at this time. There was crying and confusion. O Allah, what happened?

Noorah’s condition became critical after Fajr; they took her to the hospital immediately.

Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'oon.

There wasn't going to be any trips this summer. It was written that I would spend the summer at home.

It felt like an eternity had gone by when it was one o'clock in the afternoon. Mother phoned the hospital.

"Yes. You can come and see her now." Dad's voice had changed, and mother could sense something had gone deathly wrong. We left immediately.

Where was that avenue I used to travel and thought was so short? Why was it so very long now? Where was the cherished crowd and traffic that would give me a chance to gaze left and right? Everyone, just move out of our way!

Mother was shaking her head in her hands crying as she made du'a for her Noorah. We arrived at the hospital’s main entrance. One man was moaning, while another was involved in an accident. A third man’s eyes were iced. You couldn’t tell if he was dead or alive.

Noorah was in intensive care. We skipped stairs to her floor. The nurse approached us. "Let me take you to her."

As we walked down the aisles the nurse went on expressing how sweet of a girl Noorah was. She somewhat reassured Mother that Noorah’s condition had gotten better than what it was in the morning. "Sorry. No more than one visitor at a time,” the nurse said.

This was the intensive care unit. Past the flurry white robes, through the small window in the door, I caught my sister’s eyes. Mother was standing beside her. After about two minutes, mother came out unable to control her crying. "You may enter and say salaam to her on the condition that you do not speak too long," they told me. "Two minutes should be enough."

"How are you Noorah? You were fine last night sister, what happened?"

We held hands; she squeezed harmlessly. "Even now, alhamdulillah, I'm doing fine."

"Alhamdulillah...but...your hands are so cold."

I sat on her bedside and rested my fingers on her knee. She jerked it away. "Sorry, did I hurt you?"

"No, it is just that I remembered Allah's words.”

Waltafatul saaqu bil saaq (One leg will be wrapped to the other leg [in the death shroud]).

"Hanan pray for me. I may be meeting the first day of the Hereafter very soon. It’s a long journey and I haven't prepared enough good deeds in my suitcase."

A tear escaped my eye and ran down my cheek at her words. I cried and she joined me. The room blurred away and left us two sisters to cry together. Rivulets of tears splashed down on my sister’s palm, which I held with both hands. Dad was now becoming more worried about me. I've never cried like that before.

At home and upstairs in my room, I watched the sun pass away with a sorrowful day. Silence mingled in our corridors. One after another, my cousins came in my room. The visitors were many and all the voices from downstairs stirred together. Only one thing was clear at that point – Noorah had died!

I stopped distinguishing who came and who went. I couldn't remember what they said. O Allah, where was I? What was going on? I couldn't even cry anymore.

Later that week they told me what had happened. Dad had taken my hand to say goodbye to my sister for the last time. I had kissed Noorah's head.

I remember only one thing while seeing her spread on that bed – the bed that she was going to die on. I remembered the verse she recited:

One leg will be wrapped to the other leg (in the death shroud).

And I knew too well the truth of the next verse:

The drive on that day will be to your Lord (Allah)!

I tiptoed into her prayer room that night. Staring at the quiet dressers and silenced mirrors, I treasured the person that had shared my mother's stomach with me. Noorah was my twin sister.

I remembered who I had swapped sorrows with, who comforted my rainy days. I remembered who prayed for my guidance and who spent so many tears for many long nights telling me about death and accountability. May Allah save us all.

Tonight is Noorah's first night that she shall spend in her tomb. O Allah, have mercy on her and illumine her grave. This was her Qur'an and her prayer mat. And this was the spring, rose-colored dress that she told me she would hide until she got married; the dress she wanted to keep just for her husband.

I remembered my sister and cried over all the days that I had lost. I prayed to Allah to have mercy on me, accept me and forgive me. I prayed to Allah to keep her firm in her grave as she always liked to mention in her supplications.

At that moment, I stopped. I asked myself what if it was I who had died. Where would I be moving on to? Fear pressed me and the tears began all over again.

“Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar…” The first adhan rose softly from the masjid. It sounded so beautiful this time. I felt calm and relaxed as I repeated the mu’adhin’s call. I wrapped the shawl around my shoulders and stood to pray Fajr. I prayed as if it was my last prayer, a farewell prayer, just like Noorah had done yesterday. It had been her last Fajr.

Now, and in sha Allah for the rest of my life, if I awake in the morning I do not count on being alive by evening, and in the evening I do not count on being alive by morning. We are all going on Noorah's journey. What have we prepared for it?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Hassen Rasool - Humanity

Humanity By: Hassen Rasool

This piece by Hassen Rasool is a result of years of research revolving around the subjects of mankind and our existence.
This "tree of humanity", neatly expresses mankind as one family, one body, derived from one root.
"For the tree of humanity to regain it's radiance and splendour it needs to be nourished from a divine source." --- Hassen Rasool 2007

taken from here

Monday, April 09, 2007

Time Flies

Wow I had a crazy long weekend. We went to an expensive, expensive wedding that was..well lets just say, they shouldn’t have spent so much, there was no point what-so-ever.

I also went to an akikah party for 2 mashaAllah very cute girls (twins) at Islamic Foundation Masjid (nugget) and that was a whole lot better then the wedding, the food was actual food, alhamdulillah (I can still taste the delicious biryani mmmm)

Madresa’s going pretty well and boy, time sure flies when we’re buried in our books. We started another nahw book, and it’s so interesting in the sense that we’re going over the rules again, so we know what we’re doing and there’s a bit more explanation with more examples and exercises, alhamdulillah. Ml. Nazim’s plan is that we become Nahwis and Sarfis, and I don’t mind that at all. We also started Qasas un Nabiyeen, I’m really loving it. We translate everything on our own the night before class, and then translate to him and he asks us grammar rules as we read along. Then when we finished Ibrahim (a.s)’s story we had to summarize the whole story in Arabic without looking in the book. Yes. You read that correctly, in Arabic, without looking in the book, to Ml. Nazim. I was having panic attacks and I was nervous like a goat going for Zabiha, because I had never done that with Qasas before. But alhamdulillah we all did it and it was quite surprising actually, I didn’t think I could do it, surely it was a miracle of Allah (swt).

So anyways, we’re having a summer intensive program at our Madresah, and that should be really fascinating and worthwhile for any one who is thinking of coming. It’s not only stunning in the summer there, but being taught there will be an unforgettable experience, inshaAllah in a very good way.

Here’s the flyer, InshaAllah the site will be up soon. So check it out, and spread the word. Mufti Adam Koya and Ml. Nazim Mangera will be among teachers teaching…I mean seriously that’s a major reason to come.

Right then, take care all, sorry I didn’t update sooner, it’s been quite a busy holiday for me. Remember me in your du’as!

Quotes on Knowledge

Imam Zahir al-Din Hasan ibn Ali, known as al-Marghinani recited:

"The Ignorant are dead before their death while the learned live even though they are dead."

The Shaykh al-Islam Burhan al-Din recited:

"Ignorance is a death before death to those that harbor it; and their bodies are graves before the graves."


Thursday, April 05, 2007

As salaamu alaikum

What is this Light
By: Brother Blerim Ibn Azem
22. 11. 2006

Day and night, there is something bright,
Always from somewhere there shines some light.
The sun and the moon, the stars high in the night,
So what is really, the Source of this Light?!

A beautiful morning, after your long sleep,
Through your window darkness, vanished into the deep.
This day is so warm, and the sun is so bright,
From where and how, is really coming this Light?!

I open my Qur’an and read surah TwentyFour,
There it really says: “Noor ala Noor”!
Ya Allah, o Owner of Glory and Might,
From You oh my Lord, is coming this Light!

My heart starts running faster as I think of You,
So High and of all Above, all Praise belongs to You.
That You gave us Islam, is a Mercy provided,
Through Your Rasool Your Book, which will keep us guided.

All the good things, to Your Mercy are due,
Give us Your guidance, that we may please You.
My heart finally found rest, as I acknowledged Your Might,
So from You oh my Lord, is coming this Light!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

As salaamu alaikum

SubhanAllah. The following poem by Rabia al Basri is so beautiful...have a read:

My Greatest Need is You
By: Rabia al Basri

Your hope in my heart is the rarest treasure
Your Name on my tongue is the sweetest word
My choicest hours
Are the hours I spend with You --
O Allah, I can't live in this world
Without remembering You--
How can I endure the next world
Without seeing You ?
I am a stranger in Your country
And lonely among Your worshippers:
This is the substance of my complaint.