Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Preparing for Ramadhaan

 Preparing For Ramadhaan-The 'Month Of Mercy'
By Sister  S Bemath

As the dawn of Ramadhaan approaches, offering us glimpse of its golden rays of purity, every Muslim around the world prepares to experience the warm ambience which only this month can bring. From Suhoor to Iftaar to Taraaweeh Salaah, Ramadhaan brings together brothers, sisters, parents and children. In order to derive the utmost benefit from the sacred month of Ramadhaan, it is crucial to recognize the spiritual significance and importance of this month. Fasting during this month should be only for ALLAH TA'ALA, and that HE will give the reward for it, for the reward of ALLAH, the Bountiful and Munificent, is greater and vaster than anyone could imagine, Subhaan-ALLAH!


A Hadith so beautifully encapsulates:"The reward for every good deed of Adam will be multiplied anywhere between ten and seven hundred times. ALLAH said: 'Except for fasting, because it is for ME and I MYSELF will give recompense for it. He gives up his food and his passion for ME.' For the one who fasts, there are two times of rejoicing, one when he breaks the fast, and one when he meets his Lord. Verily the smell that comes from the mouth of one who is fasting is more pleasing to ALLAH than the scent of musk." (Hadith:Bukhari and Muslim)

Beloved Reader! This is a month which ALLAH TA'ALA has designated for the revitalization of the soul and one's spiritual ascension after a year full of sin and spiritual retrogression. However, all this will only be possible if we value this precious month and prepare for it accordingly. It is reported that Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) used to commence His preparation two months prior to Ramadhaan by reciting the following supplication at the beginning of Rajab, "O ALLAH! bless us in Rajab and Sha'baan and make us reach Ramadhaan" .This shows the importance of conditioning oneself mentally and spiritually for the advent of this month. Ramadhaan is a long- awaited celestial guest; accordingly, we ought to prepare the grandest reception in appreciation for all of it's beautiful blessings and barakah. It is only through such yearning and longing that the significance of Ramadhaan will develop in our hearts serving as a catalyst to increase our good deeds and to fulfil the objectives of Ramadhaan.

Therefore, we should strike a balance, during this all-too-short blessed month, between our domestic duties and the opportunity this month brings, to draw closer to ALLAH through worship and good deeds. Do not let our household chores and other work distract us from performing the obligatory Salaah at the appointed times or from reading the Qur'aan Kareemf or Nafl Salaah. Nor should we let traditional late-night family gatherings keep us from performing Qiyaam al-Layl and making Du'a. There are three main objectives to attain from this blessed month, namely absolution of one's sins, attainment of piety and enhancing one's communion with ALLAH TA'ALA. In regards to absolution of sin, Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) mentioned, "Whoever fasts and stands for worship in Ramadhaan out of faith and anticipation of reward, all of his previous sins will be forgiven." (Ibn Majah)


The main element mentioned in this Hadith is that our effort and striving in worship throughout the month should be with the zest of Imaan and zeal of reward. The recompense of this will be a thorough effacement of sins. The veil of inhibition that impedes a person from his or her Rabb will be removed and the doors to a life of spiritual bliss, ecstasy and harmony will be flung open. Subhaan-ALLAH!

ALLAH TA'ALA states,

"O you who believe, fasting has made compulsory upon you as it made compulsory upon those before you so that you may become ALLAH fearing." (Quran:2:183)

Alhamdulillah! Fasting is one of the best spiritual exercises to establish piety, patience and a perpetual consciousness of ALLAH TA'ALA and the reward for true patience is Jannah. In this beautiful month four things you should continue to perform in great number, two of which shall be to please your Rabb, while the other two shall be those without which you cannot do. Those which shall be to please your Rabb, are that you should in great quantity bear witness that there is no diety to worship except ALLAH (i.e. recite the Kalimah Tayyibah Laa Ilaaha Illallaah) and make much Istighfaar (beg ALLAH'S forgiveness with Astaghfirullaah)." And as for those without which you cannot do, you should beg of ALLAH, entrance into Paradise and ask refuge in HIM from Jahannam(Hell)." Once a person feels the bliss of being completely pardoned and relieved from the burden of sins coupled with the feelings of ALLAH'S Omnipresence, he or she would have reached a very high pedestal of divine communion. This pedestal is what referred to as the stage of Ihsaan; where a person worships ALLAH as if he or she is seeing HIM or with the full conviction and cognizance that ALLAH is watching him or her.

Beloved Reader! The Mubarak month of Ramadhaan requires special preparation because it requires complete dedication on part of the Mu'min. Below are a few easy ways to Inshaa-ALLAH (ALLAH willing) help prepare our minds and hearts for this upcoming Month of Mercy.

1. INTENTION TO PREPARE:
One of the most essential elements of preparing for the arrival of Ramadhaan is to make the intention for preparation for verily "every action judged by it's intention"(Hadith-Bukhari).  The preparation begins the day you start practicing humility and patience and learn how to control your nafs (desires) and anger.

2. PERFORM REWARDING ACTIONS:
In the spirit of Ramadhaan, it is best to start preparing for the blessed month by performing actions that are rewarding and appreciated by our beautiful ALLAH. According to a Hadith, "If a person says, "SubhaanALLAH"(Glory be to ALLAH) 100 times, a thousand good deeds are recorded for him and a thousand bad deeds are wiped away."

3. INCREASE THE WORSHIP:
To start preparing for the blessed month of Ramadhaan, it is best if you start increasing your worship. This will allow you to adjust your routine for the arrival of Ramadhaan.  Increase all forms of Ibadah(worship) such Fasting,recitation of Qur'an, Zikr, Sadaqah(Charity) , Nafl (voluntary) Salaah etc

4. DETERMINE SPECIFIC DAYS FOR FASTING:
To adjust your body to fasting, it is best that you start fasting beforehand. You should define specific days for fasting. For example, if you fast every Monday and Thursday, you will be more fully prepared for Ramadhaan making the adjustment much easier.

5. READ THE MUBARAK QUR'AAN  REGULARLY:
For individuals who have not prepared for reading and reciting Qur'aan during Ramadhaan, Qur'aan Kareem recitation while fasting becomes difficult. It is best if you start reading the Mubarak Qur'aan  after Fajr salaah on a daily basis just to prepare for the Ramadhaan spirit.

6. ADJUST SLEEPING HABITS:
Ramadhaan teaches us to adjust the way we lead our life. Therefore, before the arrival of Ramadhaan, it is ideal if you start adjusting your sleeping habits. You should start off by going to bed early and rising early. If you are used to this routine, you will not feel sleepy and tired when Ramadhaan arrives.

7. DEFINE OBJECTIVES:
Ramadhaan is the ideal month to embark on your journey to fresh objectives. If you are a smoker and want to quit this habit, you should start off with this month. If you want to be an early riser, still Ramadhaan is the perfect month for you.

In essence, Ramadhaan is the most blessed and rewarding month. Therefore, all Muslims should try their best prepare for this auspicious month of Ramadhaan. Regular recitation of Qur'aan, voluntary charity and recitation and offering prayers will help you prepare for the Ramadhaan spirit. Inshaa-ALLAH!

O Beloved Reader! Let us embellish our Akhlaaq(character) in this beautiful and blessed month with gifts presented by the Prophet of guidance (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam). Let us make this Ramadhaan a means of gaining nearness to Allah Ta'ala and preparing for the eternal journey that each and every one of us must traverse.



"Super Foods"...for Ramadaan

Bismihi Ta'ala

 

"Super Foods"…for Ramadaan

By Umme Faatimah (B.Dietetics Univ. of Pretoria) 

Image result for super foods

The modern world has swept us off our feet in so many ways… our dressing, our lifestyles and most noticeably our eating habits. We have so casually adapted the western culture of unhealthy eating, moving further and further away from the Noble teachings of the Quraan and Sunnah of The Noble Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him).

Yet, the newest nutritional research continues to discover the benefits of certain foods, labelled as "Super Foods". They have also unravelled the great benefits of certain eating habits, such as washing the hands before and after meals, eating with the hands, not drinking with meals…just to mention a few. However, all of this has already been outlined in the Holy Qur'an and Sunnah more than 1400 years ago.

We are certainly the losers if we do not make an effort to practice upon the Sunnah in our homes and kitchens. What better time to bring about these changes than now? Our beautiful Deen offers us the opportunity during the beautiful month of Ramadhaan, to bring about positive changes in our lives- changes that benefit us mentally, physically and spiritually which Insha Allah (Allah Willing) can be sustained for the future.

Physically, fasting gives the digestive system a much needed rest. Energy normally used for digestion is now directed to body detoxification, tissue repair and system healing. 

With that in mind I have chosen to highlight just a few of the favourite foods of our The Noble Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him). With the special month of Ramadhaan fast approaching, we can all ensure we have these foods on our shopping lists. InshaAllah, by us adopting the lifestyle of The Noble Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) we will be rewarded enormously… Ameen.

DATES

Dates are the most mentioned fruit in the Quraan.  They are high in energy, fibre, iron, vitamins and minerals. The Noble Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him)said: " The home with no dates is like the home with no food".(Hadith- Sahih Muslim)

The Noble Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him)used to break his fast with fresh dates and a few sips of water. If he did not find fresh dates, he would use dried dates. He (pbuh) said: "When one of you breaks the fast let him do so with dates, for they are a blessing and if he cannot find dates then with water for it is a purification" (Hadith-Tirmidhi)

He often consumed dates with cucumber, butter, cream or bread. A dessert called "Haisa" made with ghee (butter), dates, cheese and yoghurt was also prepared.

Tips: At iftaar (breaking fast) time, dates can also be used to prepare date milkshakes, date chutney, date desserts as well as sprinkled over salads. For sehri (pre-dawn meal), dates can be used as a softened spread over bread or added into muffins, rusks etc. 

OLIVE OIL

Dieticians and nutritionist the world over have been advocating the use of olive oil for its excellent cardio-protective, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Ongoing research is revealing more and more great benefits on the consumption and application of olive oil.

The Noble Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him)said: "Eat the olive and use it as an ointment as it comes from a blessed tree".(Hadith-Tirmidhi)

Tips: During Ramadhaan, olive oil is best used raw as a dip for breads or as a salad dressing. The lighter olive oils are well suited for cooking and baking purposes. Whole olives can be added to salads as well as de-pitted and added to breads, muffins, pies and pizzas. 

BARLEY

 

A recent Readers Digest article highlighted barley as one of the five healthiest foods we tend not to eat. Yet it was barley that was one of the staple foods in the diet of our The Noble Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him). Modern research is discovering that barley has a very high soluble- fibre content. This helps to keep the arteries clear and healthy.  It has an extremely low glycaemic index (GI), which means it takes a longer time to digest, keeping one fuller for longer.

 

It is mentioned that The Noble Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) consumed barley in the following ways:

 

SAWIQ – a coarse broth prepared from ground wheat and barley - very much like a haleem (soup)

THARID Barley bread covered in gravy cooked with meat

TALBEENAH – A porridge prepared using barley and milk

 

A Hadith in Mishkaat narrates that The Noble Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him)never used sifted flour in his lifetime. We should take lesson from this, as we are all moving to consuming more refined and processed foods where all the beneficial nutrients have been stripped off. Allah SWT mentions in the Holy Quraan grains with their husks, amongst His many gifts to us. Un-sifted flour as used by The Noble Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him)contains all the valuable nutrients found in the bran and germ layers and has a lower GI.

 

Tips: During Ramadhaan, barley can be added to soups and broths or prepared as a drink by boiling and straining mixture. A hadith in Bukhari mentions that The Noble Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) consumed "Sawiq" at iftaar. Barley flour can be used for preparing breads and rotis. Substitute 1.5 cups barley flour for every 3 cups regular flour. Cereals containing barley flakes like muesli can be purchased, or barley flakes can be added to biscuits, muffins, breads and other cereals.

Barley can be prepared as a filling porridge for sehri -Talbeenah.  Soak 1-2 tablespoons whole barley overnight in a flask filled with rapidly boiling water. At sehri time, strain water out and prepare porridge with honey and milk.  (Store bought "pearled barley" has been polished with some of the bran layer removed). 

HONEY

Modern research has been abuzz with the myriad of health benefits associated with honey- anti-inflammatory, immune boosting, energising tonic….to name a few.Our beautiful Deen has encouraged the use of honey 1400 years ago. The Holy Quraan mentions"there comes forth from the bee's belly, a drink of varying colours, wherin is a healing for men".(Qur'an 16:68-69)

 

The Noble Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) further said " Make use of two cures- honey and the Quraan"(Hadith-Ibn Majah)

 

The Noble Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) loved drinks that were sweet and cold and often consumed honey water.

 

Tips:  Honey can be used to sweeten items like tea, fresh juices, milk drinks and cereals etc.  Raw honey which is thicker and creamier has a lower GI, and can be mixed with cinnamon and used as a spread on toast for sehri.  

 

GRAPES AND RAISINS

Grapes have been found to contain resveratrol- a powerful antioxidant that protects the body on a cellular level from damage. The seeds are rich in flavonoids which lower the risk of fatty plaque accumulation on the lining of blood vessels to the heart.

The Noble Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) loved eating grapes. Hadith in Abu Dawood  mentions The Noble Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him )often consumed a drink "Nabeez"- prepared from soaked raisins. Nabeez can be prepared by soaking raisins after Esha (evening) prayer in clean water covered with a plate. The following morning the water can be drunk and the soaked fruit eaten or just use the blender to obtain a beautiful cloudy Nabeez. And, if you soak in the morning, drink in the evening.  Nabeez should be consumed within twelve hours of soaking to prevent fermentation.

Tips: Nabeez or fresh grape juice can  be prepared as a drink after Taraweeh (evening prayer in Ramadaan). Grapes can be served as part of salad or dessert. Raisins eaten with nuts can be enjoyed as a healthy munch after taraweeh salaat.

The Sunnah way of eating is the healthy way of eating.  InshaAllah, let us all strive to revive and bring alive the Sunnahs of The Noble Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) in our homes this Ramadhaan. I have highlighted just a few. Make an intention to eat on the floor, share eating utensils and to fill a third of your stomach with water, a third with food and a third left for air.

Besides the immense health benefits outlined above our greatest rewards really lie in following the Sunnah, as it comes in Hadith mentioned by The Noble Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him):

" The person who follows my Sunnah is the one who truly loves me, and will be with me in Jannah"   (Hadith-Tirmidhi)

 Allah Ta'ala said to His Messenger (pbuh)"Say (to mankind), if you love Allah, follow me – Allah will love you and forgive your sins." (Qur'an:3: 31)  

 Wishing you all healthy eating, the Sunnah way………………….Ramadhaan Mubarak!



Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Slow down!

Slow down !

By:Abdur Rahman Umar

"Can you believe this!" lamented Yusuf as he looked sadly at his leg covered from foot to knee in a thick white plaster cast leaving his plaster stained toes exposed.

"This is so frustrating!" he continued, addressing his exposed toes who had now become his captive audience, "Just when everything was going perfectly. Now this! Like I needed it in my life?"

Ridwaan stood idly by, adding little to the lament being addressed to the toes. He fidgeted wearily with his cell phone paying little attention to the monologue until Yusuf turned to him and asked:

"Did you hear what I said? I really didn't need this in my life. Not at any time, and definitely, definitely not now. I mean..."

"What's so special about now?" enquired Ridwaan not bothering to look up from his cell phone.

Yusuf ignored his question, shifted painfully in his chair and struggled to get his leg into a comfortable position. He stared at some of the graffiti on his plaster cast "Mojo was here!" "Oops. My brain just hit a bad sector" "On the other hand, you have different fingers" and some other writings that became a bit smudgy with the first attempt at taking a shower.

"I mean how does someone rupture an Achilles tendon playing tennis? It must be a one in a million thing, and I am the one! So now I sit – six weeks with this thing on my leg. Six weeks! and at a time when the business is going so well. Just when we got the Department of Education tender for printing. There's so much to do .... preparation, layout, design. Yo! It was going crazy at work."

Ridwaan stopped fidgeting with his cell phone long enough to exclaim, "So what's the hassle. You get a nice break and fully paid on top of it!"

"You don't understand, do you!" said Yusuf, glaring at him. An uncomfortable frown crossed his forehead, "You don't know what it means. I really didn't even have enough time to eat let alone take a six week break. We were working 12 hours a day to get that tender out. So what happens now?"

"I know exactly what it means," replied Ridwaan, "It means you were moving too fast so Allah put down a speed breaker"

"What!" he exclaimed, "What you mean...speed breaker?"

"You see, sometimes when we rush through life and we forget the important things then Allah puts down a speed bump so we can slow down and reflect. Maybe a little sickness or a small problem. Just to ponder on what we're doing and what we should be doing. And that's it! You were chasing like a madman so you got hit with a speed bump."

He paused allowing his words to sink in then continued, "You know most of us get so caught up in life then we forget about Allah, our salaah becomes just a ritual and the family ...well, they even forget who we are. I bet your kids call you Uncle by now?"

"Hey, it's not that bad," said Yusuf struggling to find a comfortable position for his plastered leg, "But I hear what you saying. Things were getting a bit out of hand. I missed my daughter's pre-school jalsa, my son's graduation and dropped a couple of salaahs on the way and jip, Allah knows what else I gave up for this tender...."

Yusuf fell silent pondering on his situation, a thin smile broke on his lips and his face lit up with this new found understanding, "So this wasn't all bad then. Actually...."

"It was for you own good," Ridwaan completed the sentence for him, "Too often we forget the real things in life...our Allah, our Deen, our families and those so called little things we tend to forget."

"Yup," chorused Yusuf, "I remember a clever guy telling me once, pay attention to the little things in life, for one day you may find out they were actually the big things. Really can't believe Allah's mercy and kindness upon us. It is, as they say, more than that of a mother. He cares for us and even what I thought was a horrible misfortune was actually an act of kindness from Him."

Allah, The Most Wise, says:"…and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know." ( Qur'an-Surah Baqarah: 216)

A calamity that makes you turn to Allah is better for you than a blessing which makes you forget the remembrance of Allah.

 Let us slow down and ponder of the journey of life and make more calculated decisions that will not only benefit us in the transitory life of this world but more so in the eternal life of the Hereafter.

 



How many “likes”?

How many "likes"?

 

By Sister Sumaiyah Seedat







How many times have we posted a picture that we thought to be something great and to our surprise the picture receives a meager 10 "likes"?...Instant removal !

In our quest to boost our self-confidence, we have become egotistical and as fake as the filters we apply to our pictures on social media. Sadly, our lives have come down to us needing constant validation from others, some of whom are complete strangers to us! This is unhealthy because we build unrealistic views on life and suddenly what Allah Ta'ala has given to us is not enough.

 

We find fault with our complexion, our weight, height even the colour of our hair requires some sort of modification. We are indeed so vulnerable. The filters applied to pictures are deceptive and brainwashing and yet so many of us strive to look that way.

 

"You will never look like the girl on the front page of the magazine, as even that girl doesn't look like her original self"


The harms of abusing social media are not only the inferiority-complex it gives its users, it also commonly leads to a narcissistic approach to life. One has reduced their self-worth to the amount of 'likes' they accumulate on their 'selfies' and thus feeding their ego's when they have indeed overlooked that
"Allah does not like the arrogant, the boastful" (Qur'an An-Nisa, 4:36).

 

Really, our beauty is sacred; we are beautiful because we are the work of Allah! You do not need validation from any human being.


The next time you are about to post a 'selfie' that you are convinced is going to get you many likes, ask yourself 3 things:


1. Would I be comfortable showing this picture to my children?
2. Would I be pleased if they grew up to do the same?
3. If I were to take my last breath tomorrow, would my pictures work for or against me in my grave?

Islam is not about doom and gloom, but in fact it's about being in peace and harmony with our Creator 'Ar-Rahmaan'.

 
"Never despair of the mercy of your Lord" (Qur'an Az-Zumar 39:53)


No matter how far you may have strayed, do not let Shaitaan (Satan) misguide you into thinking that there is no way back, the doors of forgiveness are always open.

Always remember, a pretty face is temporary and inner beauty more important than outer beauty. Rather aspire to
"be so beautiful that others can't take their HEARTS off you"

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Respect for Aged

What goes around…comes around!

Respect for our elders-The Story of the Wooden Bowl
 

 

A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year - old grandson.

The old man's hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered.

The family ate together at the table. But the elderly grandfather's shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor.

When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth. The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess.

'We must do something about father,' said the son. 'I've had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor.'

So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner. Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl.

When the family glanced in Grandfather's direction, sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone.

Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food.

The four-year-old watched it all in silence. One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor.

He asked the child sweetly, 'What are you making?' Just as sweetly, the boy responded,

'Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food in when I grow up. ' The four-year-old smiled and went back to work.

Remember what goes around comes around! How you treat your elders so will you be treated.

Allah, The Most Wise, says: "And We have enjoined on man to be good and dutiful to his parents" [Al-Qur'an 29: 8]

"And your Lord has decreed (commanded) that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents..." [Al-Qur'an 17: 23]

The Messenger of Allah, Muhammad(peace be upon him) is reported to have said:

 "A parent is the best of the gates of Paradise; so if you wish, keep to the gate, or lose it."[Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 4928 :Narrated byAbu Darda ]

These are few, there are lot more that describe the importance and value of parents. So you see, This is like a chain. Today you give respect, love and honour to your parents and tomorrow you will get it all from your children InshaAllah! Let us all be wise builders and role models for our children.

So now Choose Yourself what do you want to take with you in your old time, A WOODEN BOWL or A FRUITFUL TREE.


Object of Despair

OBJECT OF DESPAIR
 


Emma is a lawyer
And so is Aisha too
Colleagues going into court
At about half past two

Its 1 O'Clock right now
Aisha prays before the trial
They chat about this and that
Conversing with a smile

Aisha is in full hijab
With a loose all over Abaya (Cloak)
Emma's in her business wear
With accessories and other gear


Emma's really quite bemused
At Aisha's Godly ways
She looks Aisha in the eyes
And very firmly says


You're a smart girl Aisha
Why do you wear that across your hair?
Subjugated by "man"-kind
An object of despair


Take it off my sister
Let your banner be unfurled
Don't blindly follow all around
DECLARE YOUR FREEDOM TO THE WORLD

Aisha is amazed
But not the least bit shy
She bravely puts her milkshake down
And gives Emma the reply


My dear sister Emma,
Why do you dress the way you do?
The skirt you're wearing round your waist,
Is it really you?


Now that we've sat down
I see you tug it across your thighs,
Do you feel ashamed?
Aware of prying eyes?


I see the way you're sitting,
Both legs joined at the knees,
Who forces you to sit like that?
Do you feel at ease?


I'll tell you who obliges you,
To dress the way you do,
Gucci, Klein, and St. Laurent
All have designs on you!


In the market, its designer labels for real,
Who dictate the whims of fashion,
Generating all the garb,
To incite the basest passion


"Sex Sells" there is no doubt
But who buys with such great haste,
The answer is likes like you,
Because they want to be embraced...


They want to be accepted,
On a level playing field
Sure, with brain and intellect
But with body parts revealed


Intelligence and reason
Are useful by and by
But if you want to make a mark
Stay appealing to the eye


You claim your skirt is office-like
A business dress of sorts
Would we not laugh at Mike?
If he turned up in shorts?


His could be the smartest of pants
Pinstripe from Saville Rowe
But walking round like that my friend
He'd really have to go


Why do you douse yourself in creams
To make your skin so milky?
Why do you rip off all your hair
To keep your body silky?


A simple shower's all you need
To stay respectable and clean
The time and money that you spend
Is really quite obscene


Why do you wake up at dawn,
To apply a firm foundation,
Topped with makeup and the like,
In one chaotic combination?


And if you should have to leave the house
Devoid of this routine
Why do you feel insecure
That you should not be seen?


Be free my sister Emma
Escape from your deep mire
Don hijab today my friend
And all Islam's attire


Avoid all those sickly stares
Or whistles from afar
Walk down the street with dignity
Take pride in who you are


Strength lies in anonymity
Be a shadow in the crowd
Until you speak and interact
When your voice will carry loud


You're a smart girl Emma
Wear this across your hair
Don't be subjugated by "man"-kind
An object of despair


To use your very words my friend
Let your banner be unfurled
Don't blindly follow all around
DECLARE YOUR FREEDOM TO THE WORLD


Year End Functions and Parties

Year End Functions and Parties
 
 
 
(By Year End Parties/Functions specific reference is being made to Functions that include alcohol, music, merry making, free and lustful intermingling of sexes and dancing.)
 

It's approaching that time of year when people at the workplace forget about the rules in their need to hold parties and year end functions to let off steam. Besides the Islamic repugnance for such gatherings, it is common knowledge that such parties are misused as an excuse to go beyond what company rules and the law allows.

Due to the relaxed atmosphere created by the social nature of the event, music and alcohol, employees and management alike often make the mistake of behaving in ways that they would not do during normal working hours. This they do for many reasons including the mistaken beliefs that: Such behaviour is normal at parties; nobody will mind because it is year-end; people are more tolerant at parties; I can just say 'I meant it as a joke'; The party is outside working hours and/or away from the office so the rules don't apply; on Monday nobody will remember what I did.

There maybe "some pressure" from management to attend. Be mindful that there is no obedience in disobedience! In other words to comply with management and disobey Allah is extremely unwise. To uphold your Islam will not bring you disgrace. Rather be classified as "anti-social" than ever incur the wrath of Allah. Allah will NEVER disappoint you so long as you are true and faithful.

If you "have to" or "want to" attend, be particular of not transgressing the Laws of Sharia. For those who are going to attend we have the following suggestions:

·         Well ahead of time inform the organisers about your halaal dietary requirements. According to hadith that flesh that is nourished by haraam is destined for the Fire of Hell. If in doubt abstain. Moderation is key. You can always eat and drink at home.

·         Dress Islamically. Your dress is your protective armour. The function is still a business function, so conservative dressing is a good choice. Many functions have themes. Be mindful of your deeni obligations.

  • Don't overstay. Usually most functions are started off by welcome speeches. If you fear fitnah(evil) thereafter-leave! Spend the least amount of time at the function just for appearance. But don't overstay your welcome by partying until the wee hours.

·         Do remember that although office parties are intended as social events to reward employees and raise morale, they remain strictly business events. Do act as though your behaviour is being observed every minute (because it is!).

·         Do conduct yourself professionally at all times. Don't use the office function as an excuse to blow off steam. It's still a company function, so proper etiquette and decorum matter.

·         Be in a state of wudhu(preferably). We are thought according to hadith that Whudu is a weapon and protection for a Muslim.

·          Perfume: A hadith states, The woman who perfumes herself and passes through a gathering is an adulteress. (Hadith_Abu Daoud and al-Tirmidhi)

·         Do keep your hands to yourself. Don't flirt, and do avoid any other inappropriate behaviour. The office function is not the time to end your career with the company by doing something inappropriate or haraam.(prohibited).

·         Don't spend all evening talking business. You'll forever have the label as the office bore. Rather steer your discussion in a constructive way. Remember that you are an ambassador of Allah! If possible bring in Deen by talking about the beautiful aspects and wisdom of ISLAM!

·         Salaah( Prayer)- Don't miss your Salaah or even make it Qadha. Allah  says: "Then woe to those prayer performers. Who are heedless of their prayers (Qura'n Part 30, Surah Ma-oon, verse 4-5). According to hadith:"Prayer is a pillar of faith. Whoever abandons it has destroyed his faith." (Baihiqi)

·         Make Dhikr.Any gathering in which Allah and His Noble Messenger (peace be upon him) are not remembered is accursed according to hadith.

·         Do keep all conversations positive and upbeat. Don't spend the evening complaining, bragging, correcting, whining, or ridiculing. And do avoid controversial subjects (such as, politics, etc.) and off-colour jokes.

·         Don't monopolize conversations and, especially, don't talk about yourself or your accomplishments all the time.

·         Do show interest in others. Do be gracious and thank co workers and team members for all their help and hard work during the past year. And don't even think about gossiping about others. Prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him) said : "Who protects his tongue from unlawful utterances and his private parts from illegal sexual intercourse, I shall guarantee him entrance into Paradise." (Hadith-Bukhari and Muslim)

·         Avoid touching the opposite sex. The Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) said, It is better for one of you to be pricked in the head with an iron pick than to touch a woman whom it is unlawful to touch ( Hadith al-Tabarani and al-Bayhaqi)

·         Sit when eating and drinking: It is indeed a great sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) .

·         Do take the time to network and schmooze with people at the function who can influence your career or who you may not see regularly, such as top management, people from other departments, and employees from other locations. You can begin building or strengthening business relationships, so do introduce yourself and build your network.

·         Don't forget to thank the person responsible for making necessary  arrangements for halaal food. And do consider sending a thank-you note to top management for accommodating you as a Muslim.
 

Evil Deeds usually present at Year-end Parties/Functions:

·         Alchohol: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "...don't drink wine for it is the key to every evil." He (pbuh) also said, "Every intoxicant is Khamr and every intoxicant is forbidden. He who drinks wine in this world and dies while he is addicted to it, not having repented, will not be given a drink in the Hereafter." (Hadith Muslim)

·         Music & Dancing: The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) is reported to have said:

"There will appear people in my Ummah, who will hold adultery, silk(for men), alcohol and musical instruments to be lawful" (Sahih al-Bukhari)

"Music makes hypocrisy grow in the heart as water cause plants to grow" (Sunan al-Bayhaqi).

"Verily Allah has forbidden alcohol, gambling, drum and guitar, and every intoxicant is haram" (Musnad Ahmad & Sunan Abu Dawud).

·         Adultry: Islam totally forbids adultery and also those things that lead to it. Allah Most High says:"And do not come near to adultery, for it is a shameful deed and an evil, opening the road (to other evils)" (al-Isra, 32).The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) is reported to have said:  "Whenever a man is alone with a woman the Devil makes a third." (Hadith Tirmidhi)

May Allah guide us and protect us and guide us to live a life in His total submission and according to the Sunnah(lifestyle) of His beloved and Final Messenger Muhammad (Salallaho alihe wassallam)…Ameen

PLEASE NOTE: We do not condone, encourage or support unislamic practises of year-end parties or functions. These functions are latent and synonymous with many practises that are at variance with the Laws of Allah.