Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Selflessness

The Delight of Selflessness

By Abu Muhammad Yusuf 

 

 

Sacrifice is part of nature. The excruciating pain a mother endures patiently at childbirth, the years a teacher spends in educating children, the medical personal who attend to accident scenes in the dead of night, the police who patrol the streets during odd times and extreme weather, the Mujahideen who protect the borders of Islam, the patience of innocent civilians under oppressive regimes are just but a few examples of sacrifices for humanity.

 

"Great achievements and happiness is the born out of sacrifice and not out of selfishness"

 

Sacrifice may vary in degree and form. Sometimes it may be little and at times it may be immense. It could mean surrendering some of our wealth, time or even health for the benefit of others. Sacrifice is an important part in our contribution to society.

 

"Sacrifice always brings joy to both the beneficiary and the giver. Sacrifice is a part of life. It's supposed to be. It's not something to regret. It's something to aspire to."

 

 Allah Ta'ala promises to give you back and most certainly He will increase it manifold. Allah Ta'ala says;

 

"Say, 'Indeed, my Lord extends provision for whom He wills of His servants and restricts (it) for him. But whatever thing you spend (give) – He will compensate it; and He is the best of Providers." (Qur'an Saba', 34:39)

 

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

 

"No one of you is a believer until he loves for his brother that which he loves for himself." (Hadith –Bukhari & Muslim)

 

There is an incident about a little girl named Ameena who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year old brother Abdullah, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness. The doctor explained the situation to her little brother Abdullah carefully, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister Ameena who needed it urgently to survive.

Abdullah hesitated for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, "Yes I'll do it, if it will save her." As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, seeing that when the blood was given, colour was returning to Ameena's cheeks.

After some time Abdullah's face grew pale and his smile faded. Then Abdullah looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, "Will I start to die right away?"

Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister Ameena all of his blood in order to save her life.

 

This is the ultimate in self-sacrifice where a person is willing to give his life. Daily we all face a challenge to what extent will we give. If we cannot give the ultimate, then let us at least do whatever "little" we can to bring about joy or benefit to others.

 

"Value and appreciate the people who sacrifice 'something' for you as maybe their 'something' was their 'everything' "

Piety,sacrifice and giving are all inter-related. Allah Ta'ala says;

 

"Never will you attain righteousness until you spend (give) from that which you love. And whatever you spend(give), indeed Allâh is Knowing of it." (Qur'an 3:92)

 

Sacrifice usually is accompanied by difficulty and our sincerity is put to test. It's easy to sacrifice and give to those who give back. The real test is to give to those who can give you nothing in return. This reality is often very difficult for people to grasp, that whatever one gives or sacrifices for in a good cause is not really lost. When you sacrifice something precious, you're not really losing it. you're just passing it on to someone else and hoping for a reward from your Creator.

 

In fact there is a huge source of reward for the giver both in this temporary world and even more so in the Hereafter. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) is reported to have said;

"He who removes from a believer one of his difficulties of this world, Allah will remove one of his troubles on the Day of Resurrection" (Hadith-Muslim)

Let us sacrifice our "little" for humanity, remember drops form puddles and puddles form rivers and rivers form oceans!

Courage!

Courage!
By Sister S Bemath


Many of us are poor imitations of what we ought to be . . .

It is a fact of life that all successful people have one trait in common—courage. Without it there is little hope for achievement and fulfilment. We can never be our true selves until we learn to be courageous. Courage enables us to face difficulty, danger or pain in a way that allows us to maintain control over a situation. We can build courage by identifying things that frighten or challenge us and thinking of strategies for coping with them. We can also build courage by remembering that nothing can harm us unless ALLAH wills it and nothing can benefit us unless ALLAH wills it. Many of us are poor imitations of what we ought to be, our actions often governed by other people's opinions—hardly a satisfactory way to control one's destiny.

So what is courage and how can it transform the routine lives most of us seem to lead? It is not just mastering of fear. Courage requires us to remain steadfast in our beliefs. It asks that we stand by the convictions we express and never give in an inch, no matter what the cost. It can be likened to taking a blank sheet of paper and writing the first sentence of novel; to saying "No" when "Yes" is so much easier. It is the force which thrusts life onwards. It is to be cultivated and nurtured. If you know what you want to do with your life, take your first step forward today. Deep down most us know what we want, we simply lack the courage to take that first step, so we procrastinate. And, together with indecision, procrastination can prevent you from ever achieving anything.

Once you know what you want, make up your mind to look ahead—with courage. Some people are always planning to do great things; they declare they know exactly what they want and how to go about it. Yet somehow they never get started; never get past the preparatory stage because fear enters the picture. They lack the courage to step into the unknown. If you are such a person, make up your mind to put fear behind you, to go ahead, to make decisions. When you've made your decision, it's time for action. Pluck up your courage and ACT! DON'T let yourself down.

Let me give you a practical illustration. Let's assume you feel you should be promoted. You work hard and keep hoping. But that's not good enough. Your employer probably takes it for granted that you're satisfied, so it's up to you to set the wheels in motion concerning your future. Speak to your employer. Ask to consider you for a better position when one is available. Be bold. Explain why you deserve promotion. If your employer refuses even to consider your request you must either accept the situation or look for another job which will give you the opportunities you're looking for.

No matter how difficult it may seem. Make the choice to live consciously. Do not succumb to that half-conscious realm of fear-based thinking, filling your life with distractions to avoid facing what you feel in those silent spaces between your thoughts. Either exercise your human endowment of courage and progressively build strength to face your deepest, darkest fears to live as the empowered being you truly are, or admit that your fears are too much for you, and embrace life as a mouse. But make this choice consciously and with full awareness of its consequences. If you are going to allow fear to win the battle for your life, then proclaim it the victor and forfeit the match. If you simply avoid living consciously and courageously, then that is equivalent to giving up on life itself, where your continued existence becomes little more than a waiting period before physical death—the nothing as opposed to the daring adventure of life.

Courage, according to the Qur'aan Kareem, requires fearing nothing and no one other than ALLAH; not hesitating to act in the way which conforms the nearest to ALLAH'S good pleasure, and showing determination. Amongst the most important characteristics of the faithful are that they do not give up when faced with difficulty, and fear nothing and no one but ALLAH. They know that there is no power other than HE. This fosters courage in them, to overcome any kind of fear. An example of such exemplary behaviour is given in the Qur'aan Kareem:

(It is the practice of those) who preach the Messages of ALLAH, and fear HIM, and fear none but ALLAH: And ALLAH suffices as a Reckoner. (Qur'aan 32, Verse 39)

Don't give up without embracing the daring adventure your life is meant to be. You may go broke. You may experience failure and rejection repeatedly. You may endure multiple dysfunctional relationships. But these are all milestones along the path of a life lived courageously. They are your private victories, carving a deeper space within you to be filled with an abundance of joy, happiness, and fulfilment.

A rose only becomes beautiful and gives fragrance when it opens up and blooms. Its greatest tragedy is to stay in a tight-closed bud, never fulfilling its potential... So, recognize your potential and utilize them. That is strength undefeatable!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Fwd: Motivational- Fasting

Sincerity of a young Muslimah

There was a little girl (six years old) who was fasting in Ramadhan, even though it is not obligatory on people below the age of puberty. She was in school, and at lunch time, when all the other children went out to eat and have lunch, she sat in the classroom, because she was fasting. Her (non-muslim) teacher thought that she was too young to fast, and so said that it was not necessary, and she could eat a little. The girl still didn't eat. Then the teacher said: "Your parents are not here, it doesn't matter if you eat a little". The girl replied: "I am not fasting for my parents, I am fasting for Allah". This simple statement had such a profound effect on the teacher, that later she accepted Islam.


An Exceptional Prayer...Salaatut Tasbeeh

An Exceptional Prayer…Salaatut Tasbeeh

In life there are occasions and opportunities where a person has a chance to increase in profits and rewards significantly. One such opportunity is the Blessed Month of Ramadaan, wherein rewards are multiplied enormously. This is a time where we can exert ourselves in prayers to gain nearness to Allah Ta'ala.

An exceptional prayer that can be performed in Ramadaan as well as throughout the year is Salaatut Tasbeeh, a special prayer taught to the Muslim Ummah by The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him).

Salatut Tasbeeh is a special Salaah that carries great rewards and blessings.  Hazrat Abdullah ibn Abbas (R.A) reports that Nabi (S.A.W) said to him: "O Abbas! O my uncle! Should I present to you a gift? Should I bestow something to you? Should I inform you of something greatly beneficial? Should I show you such an act which, if you render it, Allah will forgive all your sins – old and new, those committed in error and those committed deliberately, sins committed publicly or privately? The act is to perform four Rakaats (Salatut Tasbeeh) ... (after the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W) taught him the way of performing this Salaah, he said): If possible, perform this Salaah daily; if you are unable, then perform it once a week. If you are unable, then perform it once a month; if you are unable, then perform it once a year and if you are unable to do even this, then perform it at least once in a lifetime." (Hadith-Abu Dawood)

WHEN TO PRAY:

 

This Salaah (namaz) is offered in four rakat at any convenient time and can be read in any part of the day and night keeping in mind the forbidden times for performing Salaah (i.e. Zawal , Sunrise and Sunset times). It is an excellent practice during the Mubarak(blessed) nights of Ramadhaan or on any other auspicious night.

 

The Tasbeeh(words of praise)  to be recited in Salatut Tasbeeh:

 

 "Subhan allahi wal hamdulillahi wa la ilaha illal laahu wallahu akbar"  

 The words "La Hawla wala Quwwata illa billahil Aliyyil Azeem" may also be added at the end of the above Tasbeeh.

 

METHOD:

 

FIRST RAKA'AH

·         After Thana - 15 Times

·         After the Surah and before Ruku - 10 Times

·         In Ruku after the Tasbeeh - 10 Times

·         In Qaumah (standing position after Ruku) - 10 Times

·         In (first) Sajda after the Tasbeeh - 10 Times

·         In Jalsa (sitting position between the two Sajdas) - 10 Times

·         In (second) Sajda after the Tasbeeh - 10 Times

·         The second, third and fourth Rakaats will be read in the same manner.

 

Note:

1. In every Rakat, the Tasbeeh will be recited 75 times totalling 300 times in the entire Salah.

2. There are also other methods of praying Salatut Tasbeeh which is correct and acceptable.

POINTS TO REMEMBER:

 

1) Do not count loudly.

2) Do not count by holding a Bead Tasbeeh(prayer beads) or a counter in your hand.

3) You may count by pressing the fingers as a reminder. For example if you are in Ruku. You may press small finger of your right hand first for the first count, then the finger next to it for second count, then the middle finger for third count, following this method until you reach the small finger of left hand will give you an exact count of ten. Use the same method in Qiyaam, Sajdah and Jalsa.

 

May Allah Ta'ala accept our ibadah(worship) and grant us an elevated position in Jannah(paradise).



SADAQATUL-FITR

THE IMPORTANCE OF SADAQATUL-FITR

*

Rasulullâh Sallallâhu 'alayhi wasallam said: "The fast remains suspended between Heaven and Earth until the fitrah is paid."

*

Sadaqatul fitr [fitra] is compulsory charity which becomes payable on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr.

*

Fitr means to break fast or to refrain from fasting. Hence the Eid after the fasts of Ramadhân is called Eid-ul-Fitr, as it is the day of rejoicing after the completion of fasting. On this occasion of happiness, as a sign of gratitude one has to give a specific amount in aims, which is called Sad'qatui-Fitr. To purify and obtain complete blessings for the fasts of Ramadhân Mubârak one has to give Sadaqatul-Fitr. Thus it is wâjib to give Sadaqatul-Fitr to purify one's fast. The true object in giving Sadqatul-fitr on this happy, occasion is also to assist the poor and needy, so that, they may rejoice with the more fortunate.

*

Ibn Abbas (ra) reported that the Prophet (saw) made the Sadkat-ul-Fitr obligatory for the purpose of: purifying our fasting from vain talk and shameful mistakes, to make arrangements for the poor and the needy for food and clothing (for the festival of
Eid).
(Hadith: Abu Dawud, Ibn Maja)

*

Sadaqatul Fitr (or fitrah) is wâjib [compulsory] upon all Muslims -male, female and children fitrah should preferably be paid before the Eid Salâh.

It is not permissible to delay the payment of fitrah later than the Day of Eid.

*

What amount Should be paid

The amount of Sadqatul Fitr is 1.633kg of wheat or 3.266kg of barley or the equivalent in cash. Please consult your local Islamic Scholars[Ulema] in your area for exact amount.It is highly recommended that this amount is paid in advance so that the contributions could be used for the benefit of the poor on Eid day



Friday, May 8, 2015

The Pillar of Society!

The Pillar of Society!

By Abu Muhammad Yusuf

 

 

The foundation of the tallest tower in the world is hidden, yet it is the most important part of the building. A mother is indeed an important part of our society, yet her role and contribution is seldom acknowledged!

A man came asked the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) " Who from amongst mankind warrants the best companionship from me? He replied: "Your mother." The man asked: Then who? So he replied: "Your mother." The man then asked: Then who? So the Prophet replied again: "Your mother." The man then asked: Then who? So he replied: "Then your father." (Hadith- Bukhârî )

The secret of her importance lies in the tremendous burden and responsibility that is placed upon her and the difficulties that she has to shoulder - responsibilities and difficulties some of which not even a man bears. This is why from the most important obligations upon a person is to show gratitude, kindness and good companionship with her.

Quite often and mainly due to our social environment, the importance of mothers is seriously downplayed and demoted to a menial job.

There was once an officer at the driving license counter who asked the lady, "what is your occupation ?" the woman seeking renewal of her license seemed to be puzzled.

So the officer said, "ma'am, are you employed....have your own business or...."

The woman replied, "oh, yes !! I have a full time occupation. I am a mother"

Officer : "we don't have 'mother' as an option for occupation. I will write it down as 'housewife'. That takes care of all questions."

This had happened long ago, and was forgotten.

Years later when the same lady went to get her license, the public relations officer was a somewhat pompous woman.

"Your occupation?" she asked in a rather authoritative tone.

The lady just had an inspiration and replied, "I am a researcher in the field of child development, nutrition and inter-personal relationships."

The lady officer stared at her in amazement. She calmly repeated her statement, and the lady officer wrote it down verbatim.

Then, unable to conceal her curiosity, she politely asked, "what exactly do you do in your profession, ma'am ?"

She was feeling good about having described her occupation so calmly and confidently. She replied, "my research projects have been going on for a number of years (mothers never retire !!). My research is conducted in the laboratory as well as in the field. I have a CEO and a senior Director (CEO is Allah of course and the Director is my entire family). Have received two honours in this field (a son and a daughter). My topic is considered to be the most difficult part of sociology (all moms will agree!!). I have to work more than 14 hours every day. Sometimes even 24 hours might not be enough and the challenges are tougher than many other professions. My compensation is in terms of mental satisfaction rather than money."

After this brief introduction she could see that the officer was thoroughly impressed. After completing the licensing formalities, she came to the door to see her off.

This new viewpoint about her occupation made her feel much better on her way back home. She was welcomed by her 5 year old research assistant at the door. Her new project (6 month old baby) was enthusiastically waiting to meet her.

She had earned a small victory over the governmental red tape and society stereotyping. She was no longer 'merely a mother'. Instead she was now a highly placed functionary in a service vital for humanity - motherhood !!!

'Mother' - isn't it a great title. Fit to be added to the nameplate on the door or even on your sporty car numberplate!!!

By this standard, grandmothers deserve to be called senior research officers, and great grandmothers qualify as 'research directors'. Aunts and other ladies of that age group can be called 'research facilitators'.

Mothers are indeed of noble stature in society and their position is elevated to the highest position in Islam. The Noble Messenger of Allah(peace be upon him) emphatically proclaimed;

" Jannah (paradise) lies under the feet of your Mother!" (Hadith Ahmed,Sunan Ibn Mâjah).

Allah Ta'ala, The Most Wise says;

"Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him and that you be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour. And out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility and say, "My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood."(Noble Quran 17:23-24)

We don't need to wait once a year and be commercially exploited on Mother's Day to recognize this great personality, celebrate her today, tomorrow and everyday!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Honesty is the only policy...

Honesty is the only policy…

 

 

Several years ago a Sheik recounted what happened to him after he had moved to London. He often took the bus from his home to the downtown area. Some weeks after he arrived, he had the occasion to ride the same bus. When he sat down, he discovered that the driver had accidentally given him a twenty pence ('tuppence') too much change.  As he considered what to do, he thought to himself, you better give the twenty pence back. It would be wrong to keep it. Then he thought, "Oh, forget it, its only tuppence. Who would worry about this little amount? Anyway the bus company already gets too much fare; they will never miss it." Just than the verse of the Qur'an flashed through his mind like a lightning… "O you who believe!  Fear Allah and be with those who are truthful." (Qur'an-9:119).   

 

When his stop came, the Sheik paused momentarily at the door, then he handed the twenty pence back to the driver and said, "Here, you gave me too much change". The driver with a smile, replied," Aren't you the new Imam in this area? I have been thinking lately about accepting Islam and going to worship at your Mosque. I just wanted to see what you would do, if I gave you too much change." When the Sheik stepped off the bus, his knees became weak and soft, he had to grab the nearest light pole and held on for support, and looked up to the heavens and cried, "Oh Allah, I almost sold You and Islam for twenty pence!"

 

In the pathway to wisdom, Honesty is the first step! The final Messenger of Allah is reported to have said: "When something weighs on your conscience, give it up." [Hadith-Tirmidhi]