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.



THE COVER GIRL

THE COVER GIRL

 
Walking down the road, sporting the latest handbag , designer shoes and the trendiest figure hugging abayah….Wow is she turning heads around here! Is this our new cover girl?
 The Beloved Messenger of Allah( S.A.W ) said: There are two types of people who will be punished in hell and whom I've not seen:(the second type)Women will be dressed but appear to be naked, they will attract others to themselves, and they themselves will be  attracted to others. Their heads will appear like the humps of the camels, they will not enter Paradise and they will not smell its fragrance which can be smelt from such and such a distance.
Shaytaan's ambition is to mislead. When a muslimah makes a niyyah to wear the hijaab he jumps into action.
Plot 1: He tries to stop her. If he fails…
Plot 2:Misleads her in donning hijaab. She thinks she is covering,but chooses a figure hugging abayah or she lifts the jalabeeb instead of lowering….
So lets ask ourselves,are we really covered girls or do we want to be "cover girls?"
There is a parable of a flower and a pearl both striking in their beauty, lets ponder and take a lesson, which one do we want to be?
Suddenly, a tinge of distress appeared on the flower. "Nothing accounts for sorrow in your talk; so why are u depressed?" The pearl asked."Human beings deal with us carelessly; they slight us. They don't grow us for our sake but to get pleasure from our fragrance and beautiful appearance. They throw us on the street or in the garbage can after we are dispossessed of the most valuable properties; brilliance and fragrance"
The flower sighed. And then  the flower said to the pearl: "Speak to me about your life! How do you live? How do you feel it? You are buried in the bottom of the sea. "
The pearl answered: "Although I have none of your distinctive colours and sweet scents, humans think I am precious. They do the impossible to procure me. They go on long journeys, dive deep in the seas searching for me. You might be astounded to know that the further I lay, the more beautiful and brilliant I become. That's what upraises my value in their thought. I live in a thick shell isolated in the dark seas. However, I'm happy and proud to be in a safe zone far from wanton and mischievous hands and still the humans consider me highly valuable" Do you know what the flower and the pearl symbolize?
 Think ..Think..
You will find that The flower is the woman who shows her charms and the pearl is the veiled woman who conceals her beauties.
Ponder  about it!
"O Prophet(pbuh)! Say to your wives and your daughters and the women of the faithful to draw their outer garments (jilbabs) close around themselves; that is better that they will be recognized and not annoyed. And Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.(Al Quran Al-Ahzab:59)



Sunday, October 2, 2016

MUHARRAM- REFLECT, RESOLVE AND RECLAIM

MUHARRAM-  REFLECT, RESOLVE AND RECLAIM

by Sister Jasmine Khan
 

Muharram is one of the sacred months of the Islamic year. Muharram is the month with which we begin our lunar calendar. It commemorates the Hijrah undertaken by our beloved The Beloved Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) to Madina, where he was welcomed with sanctuary. It is one of the four sanctified months about which the Holy Quran says:

 "The number of the months according to Allah is twelve (mentioned) in the Book of Allah on the day He created heavens and the earth. Among these (twelve months) there are four sanctified."(Qur'an:Surah 9, Verse 36)
 
These four months, according to the authentic traditions, are Dhul-Qa'dah, Dhul-Hijjah, Muharram and Rajab. All the commentators of the Holy Quran are unanimous on this point, because The Beloved Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) in his last sermon, declared: "One year consists of twelve months, of which four are sanctified months, three of them are in sequence; Dhul-Qa'dah, Dhul-Hijjah, Muharram, and the fourth is Rajab." 
 
 It is derived from the word 'haraam' which means forbidden. What is forbidden during this month is fighting. We are not heads of countries that wage war on others, but we have our own battle fields in our homes, families, workplace and even our neighbourhoods.
 
Most of us live at such a frenetic pace that when we get home from work we are tired and stressed. This is the time when impatience and intolerance flares up and we fight with our partner or our children. A good thing to do is to remember who they are and what they mean to us.  With consciousness it becomes possible to think before flaring up. The same thing often happens at work as well. When we remember that we are all working to provide a service, even if we never know who benefits from what we do, it could change our attitude.  There are many of us who are not on speaking terms with family members, holding onto grudges, whether real or imagined. We should be aware that we are all different and unique, and that we are all the divine creations of Allah. Being conscious is not enough; we have to be Allah conscious, so that even if we cannot see Allah, be aware that Allah is seeing us. This should make us pause and consider before we act impulsively, or live in enmity.
 
The Beloved Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said that on the 10th day of Muharram we should be more generous to our family: "One who generously spends on his family on the day of Aashora, Allah will increase (his provision) for the whole year." (Hadith:Baihaqi).
 
We do not have to confine such generosity to the tenth day, or for that matter, for the month of Muharram. Nor does generosity have to be limited to monetary spending. We can be more generous with our time; when a child runs to tell you something while you are busy it will make a world of difference to him if you stop to listen. In this way you will be giving time as well as kindness. The child will feel validated and very often will then leave you to continue what you are doing.  Opening up to your family about your thoughts, dreams and hopes, is an excellent method of getting them to share theirs. Knowing the hopes and dreams of your children is invaluable as a means of achieving family cohesion. Another form of generosity you can share with your family is to share with them painful moments, and what you learnt from the experience.  This could lead to them sharing things which had hurt or traumatised them and as a family you can brainstorm what lessons   can be learnt from their experiences.

 

This year Muharram is falling very close to the silly season, and we can very easily get caught up in the hype of the summer break. It is also very difficult to focus as the body clock is winding down after a year of working and this can make us jittery and inclined to go a bit haywire.  This is the time when reflection is very important; we need to think about what we have done and what we plan to do next. Allah speaks several times in the Quran about the need for reflection, particularly in the following lines:

 

"If we had caused this Quran to descend upon a mountain, thou, (O Muhammad) verily hadst seen it humbled, rent asunder by the fear of Allah. Such similitude coin We for mankind that haply they may reflect" (Quran-Surah Hashr: V 21).

 

Come the end of December and everyone makes resolutions, as Muslims we should be making resolutions on a daily basis. The hujaaj are returning now from having performed the fifth pillar of Islam, and as we rush to greet them we could easily forget that this is the last month of our year, that Muharram is mere days away.  Now is the time to engage in reflection, to resolve to make the shift to do better. We know that we are going to be judged by our intentions, so let us try to have only good intentions for the rest of the year, Insha'Allah.

 

The word resolve has a two-fold meaning:  it means to make a resolution or intention to do something, but it also means to solve an issue.  Many of us carry unresolved issues, and these clutter our lives and prevent us from true spiritual connection. It is hard to have closeness to Allah when we harbour grudges against people for real or imagined slights. Forgiveness is the key; it does not excuse the other person's action, but it does set us free. It is also important to forgive ourselves when we feel we have done something we subsequently regret. We are all born pure,natural and innocent; we are born with a Fitrah. Somewhere along the way we have become contaminated by experiences, environment and conditions.  The thing is not to beat yourself up about it, acknowledge what happened and accept it. Now try to do better. Resolve to reclaim your Fitrah, the perfection that Allah created you with. It has not been lost, it has just been overlaid with a lot of things, but it is still there.

 

In the stormy sea of life we have often been tossed around, but with Allah consciousness we can keep our heads above water.

 

"The believer is the ship and the world is the water. As long as the water remains outside the ship, it will sail through it. Once the water enters the ship, it will sink. So navigate through the world, but do not let it enter your heart and sink you into itself"(Imam Al Ghazzali)

 

Use this period to reflect, resolve and reclaim what we were truly meant to be, Insha'Allah.


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

UDHIYA - QURBANI

Udhiya (Qurbani)
 

 

What is Udhiya?
 

 

'Udhiya' is an Arabic word meaning "blood sacrifice", and 'Qurbani' is an Urdu and Persian word derived from the Arabic word "Qurban" which literally means an act performed to seek Allah Ta'ala's pleasure. It is technically used for the sacrifice of an animal slaughtered for the sake of Allah Ta'ala.

 

The sacrifice of an animal has always been a recognised form of worship in many religions, but in the 'Shariah' (Islamic sacred law) of The Last and Final Messenger of Allah Ta'ala (Peace be upon him) the sacrifice of an animal has been recognised as a form of ibadah (worship) during the three days of the month Zul Hijjah, namely the 10th, 11th, and 12th .

 

This is to commemorate the unparalleled sacrifice offered by the Prophet Sayyidna Ibrahim, Alayhi Salam, when he, in pursuance to a command of Allah Ta'ala conveyed to him in a dream, prepared himself to slaughter his beloved son, Sayyidna Isma'il, Alayhi Salam, and actually intended to do so, but Allah Ta'ala the Almighty, after testing his submission, sent down a sheep and saved his son from the logical fate of slaughter. It is from that incident that the sacrifice of an animal became an obligatory duty to be performed by every Muslim who has the means to do it.

 

On who is it obligatory?

 

Qurbani is Wajib (obligatory) on every Muslim who is

  • Of sound mind - mature (has reached the age of puberty),
  • Muqeem (i.e. he is not a Shari traveller)
  • Possesses the amount of 612,36 grams of silver or wealth equivalent to that value which is in excess of one's basic needs and debts on any of the three days of Qurbani. It is not necessary that this amount be in one's possession for a complete lunar year. (please do consult your local Islamic Scholars for more details and exact value in your local currency)

 

What the Quran and Hadith says:

 

Allah Ta'ala Ta'ala, The Most Wise says:

 

"It is not their meat nor their blood that reaches Allâh, it is your piety that reaches Him. Indeed He has subjected them (animals) to you so that you may glorify Allah for guiding you, and give glad tidings to those who excel in good." (Quran-22:37)

 

The Noble Messenger of Allah Ta'ala(Peace be upon him) is reported to have said:

 

"For every hair that is on the sacrificial animal, one reward is recorded for the person making the Qurbâni."

 

"There is nothing dearer to Allâh during the days of Qurbâni than the sacrificing of animals. The sacrificed animal shall come on the Day of Qiyamah with its horns, hair and hooves (to be weighed in reward). The sacrifice is accepted by Allâh before the blood reaches the ground. Therefore sacrifice with an open and happy heart."

"Whoever has the capacity to sacrifice and does not do so, should not come to the place where the Eid prayer is offered." (Hadith-Ibn Majah).

 

Therefore if you have the means to do Qurbani, do not ignore this important part of Deen. There are many more details that relate to Qurbani which we have not covered in this brief article.

 

For a detailed article on the Laws & Virtues of Udhiya (Qurbani) please visit: http://eislaminfo.blogspot.com/2010/10/qurbaniudhiyya.html

 

If you still need more info regarding Qurbani please contact: admin@daruliftaa.net


Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Artist-motivational

The Artist
 

 

Once upon a time, a well-known painter was finishing his painting. It's an incredibly beautiful painting to be shown at the Airport during the upcoming Hajj Season.

 

The painter wanted this painting to be a master piece. He worked on it for weeks on the top of a 24 storey building. He was consumed by and excited with his own painting that he unconsciously took a few step backward while admiring the 2 x 8 m painting. He didn't look back when he walked backward. He kept on walking backward until it was a step away from the edge of the 24storey building. Just one more step backward and he could have fallen to his death.

 

A man saw what the painter was doing and was about to shout at him to warn him when he realized that his shout might surprise the painter and thus make him take that fatal one step backward and fall down. So the man took a brush and some paint and began to paint on the beautiful painting until it was completely damaged.

 

Upon realizing what happened to his painting, the painter got very angry and moved forward to hit the man. However, some other people who were also present at the vicinity held him and showed him his last position which almost made him fall.

 

MORAL: Sometimes we have painted our future with such beauty and dreamed of beautiful days we will spend with our loved one, but then Allah seemed to destroy our beautiful painting when Allah sees what danger lies ahead of us. Sometimes we are angry and annoyed by what Allah has done to us, but one thing we have to keep in our mind is that our Creator Allah is Most Wise an always keeps our best of interest in mind!

So when Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta'ala , in His Infinite Wisdom, tests us with a situation that we think is  difficult or takes away something that in our mind was good for us, we need to remember that perhaps it may not be so. Perhaps if we had continued in our way, it might have been harmful for us and whatever Allah decreed for us is actually better for us, for He is All-Wise and All-Knowing.

Allah 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." (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.