Monday, May 28, 2007
Check out these cool pictures of our Madresa, Jamiah Aishah Siddiqah on Aishah's blog. The video taken, is of our room. I had to make my bed look perfect... not that it's always messy :)
InshaAllah I'll be going back sometime today (FINALLY!!!!!). And Sh. Nazim is probably going to kill me for missing a week...pray for me!
EDIT: I guess I'm not going back today... :sigh:
Shaikh Abdal-Hakim Murad
1. Activism will only succeed when it remembers that history is in good hands.
2 We must not overestimate the calamities of our age. A misplaced rigorism is less dangerous than an improper liberalism.
3. This sin of the Muslim world: menefregismo.
4. In senescence, religions have two possibilities: Alzheimers (the amnesiac option of the secular elites) and manic-depressive (the false Salafism).
5. Aid for ‘moderate’ Middle Eastern regimes is meals on wheels, because it does not expect to rejuvenate.
6. Postmodernism is Jahiliyya. Each tribe has its own story.
7. The modern West shows that without a Shari‘a there can only be scattered hunafa’.
8. ‘There is no God at all, and Atatürk is His prophet.’
9. The Umma without its Law is like a man without his Prayer.
10. The East is content without form; the West is form without content.
11. It is as fallacious to assert that Islam is unsuited to the age as it is to believe that the age is suited to Islam.
12. Modern India: we are called to put the rahma back into Brahman.
13. Which came first: intolerant preaching or its subject-matter?
14. Whether God can forgive Europe is perhaps the greatest problem of theodicy.
15. Islamic modernism: a danse macabre flirting with the spiritual death of the Enlightenment.
16. Have we become like the Incredible Hulk, ineffectual until provoked?
17. The radicals are announcing only one thing: ‘Attention! This vehicle is reversing!’
18. Wahhabism: the war on polychromy. (Vermeer: the perfect Protestant.)
19. Followers of Antichrist see with only one eye, whose name is Zahir or Batin.
20. St Cuthbert never defeated the Green Man, who has now returned with a Law.
21. The Crusaders served us at least once: they let al-Khidr loose in Sherwood.
22. British Buddhism: who can abide this chinoiserie?
23. Converts: we must jump the gap without losing our clothes.
24. Blake’s Job shows that repentance can never be paid for.
25. William Law plus the social gospel: is anything left before Islam?
26. Versailles is Augustinian; Hidcote is Pelagian.
27. ‘The English lack nothing to make them sound Mussulmans, and need only stretch out a finger to become one with the Turks in outward appearance, in religious observance and in their whole character.’ (The Fugger Letters.)
28. British religious painting: why this indifference to the Passion?
29. Closet converts are the malamatiyya: they know, but are not known.
30. The Abrahamic wandering, for us, but not for Levinas, is to polis, to umm al-Qura. It was Islam, not Judaism, which united Abraham and Odysseus.
31. Hagar, that ‘root out of a dry ground’, the most fertile woman in history.
32. Hagar is the matriarch of liberation because, unlike Sarah, she fends for herself.
33. ‘Judaism is dead; but we are going to give it a magnificent funeral’. (Rabbi Zunz, fount of liberal Judaism.) Is Islam the reverse? And if so, what are the grounds for dialogue?
34. Judaism and Islam have resisted Christianity through eros and thanatos. Hence the magnitude of their victory.
35. Liberal Protestantism: God is no longer the Father, but an occasional and indulgent Grandfather.
36. The ‘universal’ religion is not merely the religion that claims to be for all; it is the religion that claims that God has always been for all. There can be no Muslim ‘scandal of particularity’.
37. Some religions out-narrate others.
38. Annunciation vs. enunciation: the word is best made word.
39. Christianity was providential as preparatio evangelica.
40. The Paraclete was indeed the Comforter. We were in a state of ascetical panic about ourselves.
41. The liberal theory of religion is homeopathic. (The more you water it down, the stronger it will become.)
42. Juda-yi Ism: the absolutizing of a people.
Edom: the absolutizing of a person.
Islam: the absolutizing of God.
43. Our God is too generous to require an ‘economy of salvation’.
44. Have Christianity and Islam exchanged views of each other?
45. Salat is the zakat of time.
46. In the measure that we accept the Prayer it is accepted by God.
47. The dietary laws are an opportunity to fast.
48. Text without context is pretext. ‘He withdraws knowledge by withdrawing the ulema.’
49. Literalism is the laziness that masquerades as courage.
50. The recipe for chaos: the qat‘i grows until the zanni is almost abolished.
51. The false scholar: a muezzin whose fingers are stuck.
52. God’s ada shows that we are made in His image. He functions according to sunan and is not diminished by them. ‘Acquire the character traits of God!’
53. Deed is creed. Lex orandi, lex credendi.
54. Praxis is the content of belief.
55. The lottery: a way of exploiting the weak-willed in order to reward the undeserving.
56. The lottery: a tax on stupidity.
57. The Law: all freedom is difficult.
58. The Tawaf is about Abraham, the Sa‘y is about Hagar. Only in Islam is a woman the initiator of a form of worship.
59. The femininity of the crescent, the masculinity of the cross. (Max Ernst, Men shall know nothing of this.)
60. Layla: the chador of God on earth.
61. Islam is the religion of women because Madina had no place for Oedipus.
62. Women are native to Paradise: is this not the most underestimated disclosure of the Book?
63. Our Paradise shows that the Dionysian mysteries were proleptic.
64. Cranial nudity. Adverte oculos! The hijab is indeed an amulet, which wards off the evil eye.
65. Stay home during the peek season.
66. Veiling the unavailable: noli me tangere.
67. Christian women: celibacy. Muslim women: cellulite. Thus have two prophets been forgotten.
68. It is the economy of desire which shows that Law is pure mercy.
69. Exclusivism is less oppressive to the oppressed than to the oppressor.
70. Bacon, like a pious pasha, has blurred our faces. Is this the condition of postmodernity? To be a two-dimensional cartoon without a face?
71. Nureyev in La Bayadére finally acknowledged the light in his name. Where are we to welcome such penitents?
72. ‘Smoking kills. If you’re killed, you’ve lost a very important part of your life’. (Brooke Shields)
73. It’s called the consumer society because it consumes us.
74. ‘The fact that it is so difficult for present-day man to pray and the fact that it is so difficult for him to carry on a genuine talk with his fellow men are elements of a single set of facts.’ (Buber)
75. ‘Whenever I watch TV and see those poor starving kids all over the world, I can’t help but cry. I mean I’d love to be skinny like that, but not with all those flies and death and stuff.’ (Mariah Carey)
76. The Sunna is suluk, for the Divine Other may only be intuited. ‘Perception does not attain Him, but He attains perception.’
77. The proof of God is the form of the proof.
78. Natural theology is the blind man’s stick.
79. Imamology is a theodicy because it assumes the categoric novelty of Islam.
80. Shi‘ism is a schism, lacking the sea of Mercy.
81. Sunni political theory: the pole star need not be the brightest star.
82. It is in its Ash‘arite occasionalism that Islam most radically sacralises the world.
83. Determinism does not exclude providence, it excludes everything else.
84. Free will secularises by authenticating the alterities.
85. The antinomy of autonomy: our freedom is in the Free.
86. Because the body is the single shared cross-cultural common factor (Mary Douglas), Islam, which affirms it, is dialogical in nature.
87. Islam is a hidden treasure longing to be known.
88. Iman is derived from ‘Immanence’. The centre must be present in the periphery.
89. We should be reluctant to forgive reluctance to forgive. Rigour and mercy circumscribe each other.
90. If you fail to pelt the pillars you can only pelt the pilgrims.
91. The veils of the world must be walked through. The veils of sin must be walked around. (Imam al-Haddad.)
92. Guilt is a warning.
93. To attribute the maqam of da‘wa to one’s self is to be open to the Divine ruse.
94. Wonder is the first passion.
95. The Qur’an shows, it does not just explain.
96. Courtesy and knowledge are like two hands washing each other.
97. Without the inward whom can we worship? The Outwardly Manifest?
98. No-one is uncircumcised, for the bezm-i alast was too joyful to be forgotten entirely.
99. Truth is the further shore of love.
100. Only in Unity can suffering find no place.
Fri May 25, 12:45 AM ET
Thursday, May 31 brings us the second of two full Moons for North Americans this month. Some almanacs and calendars assert that when two full Moons occur within a calendar month, that the second full Moon is called the "Blue Moon."
Read the rest here:
Sunday, May 27, 2007
In April [few years ago now] President Clinton gathered an army of former presidents, state governors, city mayors and hundreds of prominent people from all 50 states to address one of the most pressing problems facing America today. He brought former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Colin Powell, to lead this army. Their task: Solve the problem of 15 million young Americans who are considered at-risk youth. "They are at risk of growing up unskilled, unlearned, or, even worse, unloved," said Powell, who was appointed chairman of President's
He was not exaggerating. 15 million in a total population of about 60 million youth is a huge number. Mostly they come from dysfunctional families and fall victims to the "pathologies and poisons of the street." Every year 3.4 million of them try drugs. Half a million attempt suicide. A lot of them will drop out of high school and will be functionally illiterate in a country with free universal education. Their sexual mores differ little from those of breeding horses (70% have done it before the age of 17). Recently a prominent lawyer and writer, Alan Dershowitz, suggested reducing the age of consent to 15. (Marriage at that age will, of course, remain illegal). Violent crimes committed by these youngsters have become such a problem that in May the Congress passed the Juvenile Crime bill that allows people as young as 13 to be treated as adults in the criminal justice system.
What is Powell's solution for this daunting problem? He will find mentors -- adult volunteers who will take care of these children. But what happened to their own parents? They were not killed in a war, or by a plague, or some other natural disaster. Their problem is self-inflicted. Mothers left the home to "realize their full potential" on the factory floor, in the show room, or in the office. A society that belittled the task of home-making lost the home-makers. With the free mixing of men and women in the work place, one thing led to another. The home was destroyed from both ends.
Life is fun. Home-making is dull. Children are a burden. Now 15 million of them are a burden on the society. It remains to be seen how a society, whose members could not take care of their own children, will make them take care of other's children. But the elite team of American leaders could not bring itself to admitting that the root of the problem has been in the forcing of the women out of the home.
Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev was a little more candid. In his 1987 book Perestroika, he mentions the "paradoxical result of our sincere and politically justified desire to make women equal with men in everything." He notes: "women no longer have enough time to perform their everyday duties at home -- housework, the upbringing of children and the creation of a family atmosphere. We have discovered that many of our problems -- in children's and young people's behavior, in our morals, culture and in production -- are partially caused by the weakening of family ties and slack attitude to family responsibilities." Hence the question: "what should we do to make it possible for women to return to their purely womanly mission?"
Well, Gorbachev (and the world), listen to the best Teacher and Guide for humanity, Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam. He elevated the women from their status as chattel to the dignity of being equal servants of Allah with men. Yet their status in society was not conditioned upon entering man's world. Their most important task is to take care of the home and children. "Take care of your home for THAT is your Jihad." [Musnad Ahmed]. Jihad is the epitome of Islamic life. Declaring home-making as Jihad for women is giving it the highest possible status in an Islamic society.
Not only is it an all-important task, only women are uniquely qualified to do it. It is not by accident that pregnancy and nursing are purely feminine tasks. Allah has given women the special talents and psychological makeup needed to take care of the children. There is no substitute for mother's milk or mother's love. No one can extract and bottle motherly compassion. Her patience, kindness, willingness to sacrifice her own comforts, and her natural affinity for children -- and the children's natural affinity for the mother-- are the key to successful upbringing of children. A mother understands the children's problem even when they cannot express it. She can uniquely sense their needs, both physical and emotional. She can satisfy some of these herself. For others, children need the father. But even he needs her insights in discharging his responsibilities in this area. No day care center or nursery can make up for the absence of the mother and father. "What the children need for their upbringing is not a poultry farm," says Mufti Taqi Usmani.
Mothers are the silent workers who are indispensable for building character of the next generation. A believing mother who understands the crucial nature of her responsibility, will imbue her children with faith and moral values, as only she can. She will raise children with courage, honesty, truthfulness, patience and perseverance, love and kindness, faith and self-confidence. On the other hand, a society without mothers and home-makers will produce at-risk youth.
In a way their role is like that of the archer's in the battle of Uhud. It looked less important, but was the key to the fate of the entire army. If women hold on to their front, the entire army will succeed. If they leave it for "greater action" elsewhere, everyone will lose.
taken from here
Monday, May 21, 2007
by Imaam Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah
ONE: The Prevention of Knowledge: Knowledge is a light which Allaah throws into the heart and disobedience extinguishes this light.
Imaam Shaafi'ee (rah) said: "I complained to Wakee' about the weakness of my memory, so he ordered me to abandon disobedience. And informed me that the knowledge is light. And that the light of Allaah is not given to the disobedient "
TWO: The Prevention of Sustenance: Just as Taqwaa brings about sustenance, the abandonment of Taqwaa causes poverty. There is nothing which can bring about sustenance like the abandonment of disobedience.
THREE: The prevention of obedience (to Allaah). If there was no other punishment for sin other than that it prevents one from obedience to Allaah then this would be sufficient.
FOUR: Disobedience weakens the heart and the body. Its weakening the heart is something which is clear. Disobedience does not stop weakening it until the life of the heart ceases completely.
FIVE: Disobedience reduces the lifespan and destroys any blessings. Just as righteousness increases the lifespan, sinning reduces it.
SIX: Disobedience sows its own seeds and gives birth to itself until separating from it and coming out of it becomes difficult for the servant.
SEVEN: Sins weaken the heart's will and resolve so that the desire for disobedience becomes strong and the desire to repent becomes weak bit by bit until the desire to repent is removed from the heart completely.
EIGHT: Every type of disobedience is a legacy of a nation from among the nations which Allaah Ta'ala destroyed. Sodomy is a legacy of the People of Lut (alayhis salaam), taking more than one's due right and giving what is less is a legacy of the People of Shu'ayb (alayhis salaam), seeking greatness in the land and causing corruption is a legacy of the People of Pharoah and pride/arrogance and tyranny is a legacy of the People of Hud. So the disobedient one is wearing the gown of some of these nations who were the enemies of Allaah.
NINE: Disobedience is a cause of the servant being held in contempt by his Lord. Al-Hasan al-Basree (rah) said: They became contemptible in (His sight) so they disobeyed Him. If they were honorable (in His sight) He would have protected them. Allah the Exalted said:
And whomsoever Allaah lowers (humiliates) there is none to give honor. [Hajj 22:18]
TEN: The ill-effects of the sinner fall upon those besides him and also the animals as a result of which they are touched by harm.
ELEVEN: The servant continues to commit sins until they become very easy for him and seem insignificant in his heart and this is a sign of destruction. Every time a sin becomes insignificant in the sight of the servant it becomes great in the sight of Allaah.
Ibn Mas'ood (radhiallaahu anhu) said: Indeed, the believer sees his sins as if he was standing at the foot of a mountain fearing that it will fall upon him and the sinner sees his sins like a fly which passes by his nose so he tries to remove it by waving his hand around. [Bukhari]
TWELVE: Disobedience inherits humiliation and lowliness. Honor, all of it, lies in the obedience of Allaah. Abdullaah ibn al-Mubaarak said:
"I have seen sins kill the hearts. And humiliation is inherited by their continuity The abandonment of sins gives life to the hearts. And the prevention of your soul is better for it."
THIRTEEN: Disobedience corrupts the intellect. The intellect has light and disobedience extinguishes this light. When the light of the intellect is extinguished it becomes weak and deficient.
FOURTEEN: When disobedience increases, the servant's heart becomes sealed so that he becomes of those who are heedless. The Exalted said:
But no! A stain has been left on their hearts on account of what they used to earn (i.e. their actions). [Mutaffifeen 83:14]
FIFTEEN: Sins cause the various types of corruption to occur in the land. Corruption of the waters, the air, the plants, the fruits and the dwelling places. The Exalted said:
Mischief has appeared on the land and the sea on account of what the hands of men have earned; that He may give them a taste of some of (the actions) they have done, in order that they may return. [Rum 30:41]
SIXTEEN: The disappearance of modesty which is the essence of the life of the heart and is the basis of every good. Its disappearance is the disappearance of all that is good. It is authentic from the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) that he said: Modesty is goodness, all of it. [Bukhari and Muslim] A Poet said:
"And by Allaah, there is no good in life Or in the world when modesty goes."
SEVENTEEN: Sins weaken and reduce the magnification of Allaah, the Mighty in the heart of the servant
EIGHTEEN: Sins are the cause of Allaah forgetting His servant, abandoning him and leaving him to fend for himself with his soul and his shaytaan and in this is the destruction from which no deliverance can be hoped for.
NINETEEN: Sins remove the servant from the realm of Ihsaan (doing good) and he is prevented from (obtaining) the reward of those who do good. When Ihsaan fills the heart it prevents it from disobedience.
TWENTY: Disobedience causes the favors (of Allaah) to cease and make His revenge lawful. No blessing ceases to reach a servant except due to a sin and no retribution is made lawful upon him except due to a sin. Ali (radhiallaahu anhu) said: No trial has descended except due to a sin and it (the trial) is not repelled except by repentance. Allaah the Exalted said:
Whatever misfortune afflicts you then it is due to what your hands have earned and (yet) He pardons many. [Shura 42:30]
And the Exalted also said:
That is because never will Allaah change the favor He has bestowed on a people until they change what is with themselves. [Anfaal 8:53]
Sunday, May 20, 2007
So I’m home again, for the long weekend and I have two lovely tests when I get back. One is the DLA (Duroosul Lagatul Arabiyya, Medina Books) Part 2, lessons 1-20 and the other is the Qasas Book 1, noun test (for the first few pages I have to know the plurals/singulars for every noun)…so yeah I’m in a great need of du’as, especially for DLA. We’ve already been tested for translation of Qasas B1 and alhamdulillah that went excellent. We’re taking tests every week for Nahw, bit of a headache but that’s going better then I thought alhamdulillah…except the last one hehe sorry Ml. Nazim :)
Anyways let’s see what else there is for me to share…We had a savory and I mean savory BBQ about 2 weeks ago and we had loads of fun, I mean there’s no other word to describe it. The night before, some of us girls with Sawdah apa marinated the chicken and made the burgers. Then the next day it was quite a hilarious site when a bunch of us were trying to get the darn BBQ started. We were there fanning with pieces of cardboard and singing nasheeds while coughing on large amounts of smoke for like an hour. Then we played some games, ate, had a another little nasheed session with our very talented (MashaAllah) Sawdah apa, and then we all went and jumped in the creek. The water was cold but the girls, the little kids (like Rayhan and Kulthoom) and even some of the teachers where having too much fun splashing about in the water. Man, it was some day - pretty much unforgettable (Alhamdulillah).
Every time I’m there I have so many things I want to blog about, but I forget by the time I sit on the computer at home…it’s quite annoying. But there is a solution: we write down all our moments at JAS and blog ‘em all on one blog. Yup, and that blog is finally up and running Alhamdulillah, and I can’t wait to share it, so here’s the link:
Intensive Summer Arabic Studies Program Site : summerarabic.org
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Abu Dharr (ra) narrates a lengthy Hadith in which he states:
"I asked the Messenger of Allah (S) to advise me. The Messenger of Allah (S) said, 'I exhort you to fear Allah for it is the finest adornment for all your [worldly and religious] affairs.' I said, 'Advise me further.' He (S) said, 'Hold fast to the recitation of the Quran and the remembrance of Allah Most Great and Glorious, for it will mean that you will be remembered in the heavens, and it will be light for you on earth.' I said, 'Advise me further.' He (S) said, 'Observe long silences, for it repels Satan and will assist you in your religious matters.' I said, 'Advise me further.' He (S) said, 'Refrain from excessive laughter, because it deadens the heart and takes away the light of the face.' I said, 'Advise me further.' He (S) said, 'Speak the truth, even though it may be bitter.' I said, 'Advise me further.' He (S) said, 'Do not be intimidated by the rebuke of others in the way of Allah.' I said, 'Advise me further.' He said, 'Let your own weaknesses disinterest you from the weaknesses of others.'" [Bayhaqi]
SubhanAllah, Rasulullah (S) has advised us a great deal as to how we can attain Jannah in the Akhirah and yet do we follow it? He (S) said (meaning more or less) that he has left two things behind for us and by holding on to those two things we shall not go astray. They are: the Quran, and his Sunnah. All we have to do is follow the example of the beloved of Allah and we'll be okay in the Akhirah InshaAllah.
We brush the small things aside thinking they're not important. But in reality we are ignorant, thinking that it won't matter whether or not we refrain from these "small" evils because they've become so prominent in the society we live in and become such a norm that we don't even regard it as a sin (ie. swearing/cursing, backbiting, lying, cheating). People are so ignorant now that they commit sins openly not caring the slightest. One of my teachers was saying how in the time of the Prophet (S) if the Sahabah (ra) missed a Nafl (voluntary) act, they would feel as if they've done something wrong - even though it wasn't Fardh upon them to do it. And today we see people intentionally not performing the Fara'idh (obligatory acts, ie. Salah). Then we go on and on about how the state of the Ummah is in a huge crisis. Well ofcourse it is. If we aren't taking responsibility over our individual actions and improving ourselves, how on earth will we help improve others and help strengthen the Ummah?
Everything starts out small. We can't just jump to "let's save the Ummah that's in crisis" without first changing ourselves and those around us for the better. We all should take heed in all that we learn, no matter if it's the smallest thing, or even if we've heard it a thousand times before. Check yourself and see if you've made that change within yourself or are atleast trying to. Act upon the advice you hear because that is what will truly help you...and whether we know it or not, we are in need of that help because we're such sinners.
The example of the Prophet (S) is the greatest help we could ask for. Follow his Sunnah and his advice and InshaAllah we will be of those whom Allah forgives and has mercy upon on the Day of Judgement. It might be tough in the beginning, and we'll have to keep reminding ourselves over and over again, but we should put in that little effort from our side, and InshaAllah He will help us with the rest.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
I've been meaning to make chocolate mousse for a while now, and Alhamdulillah I finally got around to it a couple days ago. I always thought it was quite difficult and required some real cooking/baking skills. But hey, I (of all people) did it! Thus we conclude, it's not as difficult as it seems, and still tastes delicious - as if you really did have those amazing skills at hand and conjured up a little taste of heaven.
I cut up some strawberries and poured the mousse over it, then put little pieces of strawberry on top and left it in the refrigerator to set. It tastes awesome MashaAllah! I was extremely happy with the result. It wasn't so sweet either, which is good. The strawberries were really an added bonus. It was like a burst of flavour in your mouth and was a great addition to the mousse. Obviously, chocolate and strawberries are just meant to be. But ofcourse, it still tastes just as great by itself.
I was going to try topping it off with whipped cream and chocolate shavings (of any chocolate)...but...it's all gone *-) so I guess I'll have to try that when I make it again InshaAllah. Here are some pics I took of it that night: