Friday, July 30, 2010


Who I Am !

(An Excellent poem about the Muslim Woman)

What do you see
when you look at me
Do you see someone limited,
or someone free


All some people can do is just look and stare
Simply because they can't see my hair


Others think I am controlled and uneducated
They think that I am limited and un-liberated


They are so thankful that they are not me
Because they would like to remain 'free'


Well free isn't exactly the word I would've used
Describing women who are cheated on and abused


They think that I do not have opinions or voice
They think that being hooded isn't my choice


They think that the hood makes me look caged
That my husband or dad are totally outraged


All they can do is look at me in fear
And in my eye there is a tear


Not because I have been stared at or made fun of
But because people are ignoring the one up above


On the day of judgment they will be the fools
Because they were too ashamed to play by their own rules


Maybe the guys won't think I am a cutie
But at least I am filled with more inner beauty


See I have declined from being a guy's toy
Because I won't let myself be controlled by a boy


Real men are able to appreciate my mind
And aren't busy looking at my behind


Hooded girls are the ones really helping the muslim cause
The role that we play definitely deserves applause


I will be recognized because I am smart and bright
And because some people are inspired by my sight


The smart ones are attracted by my tranquility
In the back of their mind they wish they were me


We have the strength to do what we think is right
Even if it means putting up a life long fight


You see we are not controlled by a mini skirt and tight shirt
We are given only respect, and never treated like dirt


So you see, we are the ones that are free and liberated
We are not the ones that are sexually terrorized and violated


We are the ones that are free and pure
We're free of STD's that have no cure


So when people ask you how you feel about the hood
Just sum it up by saying 'baby its all good' ;)


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Who is the best?

Who is the best?

Allah, The Most Wise says:

"…And show kindness to your parents and to near relatives…" (Quran -4:36)

The Messenger of Allah -Muhammad [Peace be upon him] is reported to have said :


"The best of you are those who are best to their families." (Tabarāni, Sahīh)


For a more detailed article on THE RIGHTS OF RELATIVES visit:


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Forgive & Forget
"So fear Allah and adjust all matters of difference among you.'' (Quran-8:1)


The Messenger of Allah Muhammad [Peace be upon him] is reported to have said:

" If one gives charity it does not diminish his wealth; if one forgives others, Allah bestows more honour on him; and if one humbles himself for Allah's sake, Allah exalts him higher." (Hadith-Muslim)

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Month of Shabaan

The Month of Shabaan and Laylatul Baraa'ah
[15th Night of Shabaan]


The month of Sha'baan enjoys a very special place in the Islamic Calendar because in this month lies a very auspicious night known as LAYLATUL- BARAA'AH (The Night of Emancipation; The night of Freedom from fire). The word Sha'baan means branches of good a'maal (deeds).




In this month Nabi(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) used to fast more than in the preceding months. Hadhrat Ayesha(radhiyallahu anha) reports that: " I never saw the Messenger of Allah(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) fasting in a month so profusely as he did in the month of Sha'baan. He used to fast in that month leaving only a few days, rather, he used to fast almost the whole of the month." (Tirmizi)


However, Nabi(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) advised in several other Ahaadeeth that when the (first) half of Sha'baan has passed, one should not fast (i.e. during the second half of the month). Ulama explain that one should not unduly exert and strain one's self by fasting much (in the second half), for fear of one's health deteriorating before Ramadhaan begins; instead one should rather build strength and prepare one's self for the fasts of Ramadhaan. However, should one have the strength and health, then it would be meritorious and virtous to keep fasts according to one's ability.




On this night Allah's Special Mercy and Forgiveness descends upon His fortunate servants. Furthermore, the announcements seeking out those who want forgiveness well exceed those, which occur every other night of the year.


It is narrated from Hadhrat Abdullah bin Amr(radhiyallahu anhu) that Rasullullah(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said: "Allah looks with special attention towards His creation on the fifteenth night of Sha'baan and forgives all His servants except two categories of people, the person who harbors enmity(hatred) and a murderer." ( Imam Ahmad reports this Hadith with a slightly weak chain of narrators- Targhib-wat-Tarhib)


Hadhrat Uthmaan bin Abil 'Aas(radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Rasullullah(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said: : "On the fifteenth night qf Sha'baan Allah's (special mercy) descends to the nearest heavens. Thereafter, a proclaimer announces:" Is there anyone who seeks forgiveness so that I may forgive him? Is there anyone who desires anything so that I may grant his wishes? Allah thus fulfills the requests of all accept the adulteress and idolator." ( Baihaqi has reported this Hadith -Durre Manthur Page 27 Vol.6)




According to the Ahaadeeth, certain people are deprived of Allah's mercy even on this auspicious night. These unfortunate souls are:

1) Those who ascribe partners unto Allah.

2) Those who harbour enmity against others.

3) Those who habitually consume alcohol.

4) Those who disobey their parents.

5) Those men who wear their clothing etc.below their ankles.(out of pride)

6) Those who commit adultery and murder.

7) Those who sever family ties.

Every Muslim should take stock of oneself and if one is involved in any of the above vices, one should turn to Allah and sincerely implore for forgiveness, lest one be deprived on this night.




Allah Ta'aala says in the Noble Qur'aan: " O you who believe, turn to Allah with sincrere repentance, in the hope that your Lord will remove from you your evil deeds." (Quran: Surah Tahreem - Para 28).

One should turn towards Allah with sincere regret and shame for the sins that one has committed. One should seek Allah's forgiveness for one's sins and make a firm resolution and promise not to commit sin again. However, sins relating to the rights of fellow beings will not be forgiven by mere taubah alone. Allah will only forgive such sins if forgiveness is first sought from the person who had been harmed and a sincere effort to redress the wrong committed against him/her is made.




What should one do on this night?


During this night one should engage oneself in Salaah, Qur'aan Tilaawat, Du'aa, Istighfaar and Zikr, according to one's ability and strength.


 Dua on the 15 th of Sha'ban


Nabi SAW read this dua in sajda on the 15th night of Sha'ban. [Targheeb]
A'uzu bi afwika min iqabik wa auzu bi ridaka min sakhatik wa auzu bika minka la uhsi thanaa an 'alayka anta kama athnayta 'ala nafsik.

O Allah! I seek protection through Your forgiveness from Your punishment. I seek protection from Your anger by means of Your pleasure. I seek protection in You from You, I cannot truly praise You, as You ought to be praised, You are as You have praised Yourself.






Nabi(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) frequently recited the following du'aa: " 0 Allah bless us in Rajab and Sha'baan and make us reach Ramadhaan."


We should earnestly begin preparing for Ramadhaan during this month of Sha'baan by making Istighfaar and cleansing ourselves of sins. We must endeavour to curtail our desires of committing sins, especially with the eyes, ears, tongue, mind and heart. Then we should begin inculcating good practices and bring about a spiritual and moral transformation in our lives in anticipation and eagerness for Ramadhaan.


The virtue of this night as established from Ahaadeeth, is that from the very beginning of the night, Allah Ta'ala turns with special mercy and attention towards the creation and forgives those who repent and seeks forgiveness. Every Muslim should therefore value this night. Turn towards Allah Ta'ala with sincere regret and shame over sins committed and make a firm promise not to return to sin and seek forgiveness from Allah Ta'ala. Have firm hope and resolution in the heart that Allah Ta'ala will surely show mercy and forgiveness. We should value and treasure this night and derive maximum benefit therefrom; remembering to make duaa for the entire Ummah, the living and the deceased. Let us not be deprived of its tremendous blessings due to sheer negligence and indifference.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Anas (radhiallahu anhu) said that he heard the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) say:
 "Allah the Exalted said:
"O son of Adam! As long as you invoke Me and plead to Me, I will forgive you whatever you have committed, and I will not make much of it.
O son of Adam! If your evil deeds reach the borders of the sky, and then you ask Me for forgiveness, I will forgive you.
O son of Adam! If you bring forth the earth full of errors, then you meet Me while you do not associate anything (or anyone) with Me, I will bring forth for you its full of forgiveness."
[At-Tirmidhee -Hadith]

Monday, July 19, 2010


My Conversion to Islam

 Most people do not have the best impression of American converts to Islam. When the subject comes to mind, maybe they think of John Walker Lynn who joined the terrorist group Al Qaeda, or the people who convert to Islam while serving out their prison sentence. Whatever their impression may be, it's most likely not a very positive one. I am going to tell you my story of how I came to embrace the most misunderstood religion in the world, Islam.

    I was born in Richmond, Virginia on August 25th, 1993. My mother was raised Presbyterian, but now is not necessarily practicing, and my father used to be Catholic, but later in his life adopted the ideas of Deism, essentially. I myself was raised Lutheran. My parents took me to church just about every Sunday morning until I was around seven years old or so. I later began going to another Lutheran church with a friend from across the street at age 10, and I continued to go to that church until the age of 13.

    I had always strongly believed there was a God, but it wasn't till middle school that I actually began to have a personal relationship with God. When the hard times came and I was in tears, I somehow felt as if God was helping me get through it, and I was definitely grateful to Him.

    After middle school ended, I stopped going to church almost altogether. I was displeased with the many of the people at the church I was going to, and the fact many people would go to church and gossip about other members. I didn't feel a part of the Christian community at all. I also began to doubt various Christian teachings, whether I realized it fully, or not. I had a huge issue with believing in the Trinity, or specifically the belief that Jesus is actually God or one with God. During this time I also came to know that the Bible had been changed over the years. This fact made me no longer trust the Bible as the word of God.

    I started looking into many different religions from all over the world. I was especially interested in the Buddhist religion because it just seemed so peaceful and full of great wisdom, but I did not like the fact that it was an atheistic religion. I also looked into the Eastern Orthodox Church as well and Orthodox Judaism. I felt strongly discouraged into looking more into Orthodox Judaism though, because well, I'm not Jewish at all. I looked into Islam a bit, but definitely not seriously at all.

    In 9th grade, I began going to a private school. It was at that school that I met my now best friend Hilly. With lots of long hours talking afterschool, we found that we had so much in common with each other. It almost seemed as if we viewed the world around us in the same pair of eyes. Our morals were astonishingly similar. We both were disillusioned with society and also what we viewed as lack of moral restraint in the world.

    Only later did I find out that Hilly was intensely interested in the religion of Islam and seriously considering the option of converting to the religion. One day he had made a comment that made me think a bit. He told me I had a very Islamic view of the world. I was intrigued by this since I had definitely never associated with anything Islamic. To be honest, I found myself a bit scared of the religion. Islam was something I associated with violence and the oppression of women. When I thought of the religion, I thought of the World Trade Center tumbling down on September 11th, and burqa-clad women living under the Taliban rule I saw on the television.

    Not too long afterwards, Hilly lent me one of his copies of the English translation of the Holy Qur'an and a short book of sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (also known as Hadith in Arabic.) When I read these I was simply amazed. I found myself agreeing with much of what the Prophet Muhammad taught. He taught to worship one genderless, formless God with no partners, always be kind to others no matter what, give to the poor and needy, and perform all of the five daily prayers at their prescribed times. Islam encompassed everything I wanted and needed in a religion: complete monotheism and structure. I started to see a side of Islam that I never even knew existed.

    Of course, I still had lots and lots of questions about Islam. What baffled me was how a person who proclaims themselves Muslim could do such horrible things. Were any of these practices actually Islamic or were they trying to use religion to justify their answers when the justification simply wasn't there? Hilly and I would have long talks about many controversial things Islam was commonly associated with in the media. We discussed things like forced marriage and FGM (Female Genital Mutilation.) After chatting with Hilly for so long and having all of my questions answered, I realized these were cultural practices, and not a part of the religion of Islam. I realized that you have to separate the actions of a follower of a religion, and the actual principles of the religion.

    Only shortly after this, I decided to finally become Muslim. I texted my only Muslim friend Sal and told him about this. To my surprise, his mother was the one who ended up replying instead. She was so excited about my decision. Sal's mother was actually raised Catholic, but later in life became Muslim. She had gone through the same spiritual journey I had, which made me feel a bit more comfortable.

    On February 1st, 2009, Sal's mother took me to the local masjid (mosque) to say the Shahadah (declaration of faith) in front of everyone. I was so nervous at first that I was shaking! I had never been inside a mosque before and honestly didn't know what to expect. Finally, I got to declare my faith in front of everyone. Afterwards, tons of little girls in hijab (Islamic head scarf) came up to me and congratulated me with a big hug. They were from all over the world, places like Bosnia, Afghanistan, Jordan, and Sudan. By the end of it, all my nervousness was gone

    Maybe two weeks or so after I became Muslim, I started to wear the hijab. My mother hated this so much. She said I looked like foreigner in it, not anyone related to her, and that she wanted everyone to see my beautiful strawberry blonde hair and be seen as the Scots-Irish girl I am, not an Arab, or whatever people assumed. My father also strongly disapproved of it and resented to fact that to him I didn't look "Amerkan" enough. Of course, I didn't understand that since America is a melting pot of different cultures and everyone looks different. There really is no "American" look.

    Some of the lifestyle changes were relatively hard for me to get completely used to. It took me about two months or so to finally learn all the prayers. Not only that, I had to get used to praying at least five times a day. Many little things in Islam though weren't difficult for me at all, like not eating pork. Staying away from all intoxicants also wasn't any problem for me either, since it was something I never did anyways because of my own personal beliefs.

    Wearing hijab was a relatively easy thing for me to do. I had always been quite conservative dress-wise, so I felt comfortable in my loose clothes. I simply liked the privacy. I didn't think anyone had the right to see my body anyways if I didn't want them to. I also liked the fact that guys tended to stay away from. I definitely wasn't looking for a romantic relationship either.

    What I hated a lot about wearing the hijab though was that random people would often stare shamelessly at me, sometimes they were simply curios stares, and others were not so nice. After awhile though, I finally got used to it and hardly took notice. Why should I anyways? They obviously have no sort of manners and I could care less what they think about me.

    Other experiences with hijab were very positive. Some people in my class would go up to me and ask me numerous questions about Islam, which I didn't mind at all. I wanted them to know what Islam really is, not what the media tells them it is. I wanted them to know that you have to separate the actions of a follower of a certain religion and the actual principles of the religion. I wanted them to just understand that many so-called "Islamic" practices are actually just cultural ones. After answering so many questions, I could frequently tell the person felt a bit better about the religion. I would receive the "ohhh, okay" response a lot.

    Another thing about being an obvious Muslim is that I would automatically make a few new friends. Many Muslims, and especially the hijabis (women who wear hijab), are often so happy to see another Muslim. There's a bond that's automatically there because of it. Walking down the street, shopping, etc and just going about my daily life I would often hear the Muslim greeting "Assalamu alaikum", which in English means "peace be upon you", thrown at me. I would then look around the see another Muslimah smiling widely at me.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sha'ban: Merits, Do's, and Dont's

Sha'ban: Merits, Do's, and Dont's

By Mufti Taqi Usmani

- The Night of Bara'ah
    - What Should be Done in this Night?
    - What Should Not be Done in This Night
- Fast of the 15th Sha'ban

Sha'ban is one of the meritorious months for which we find some particular instructions in the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam. It is reported in the authentic ahadith that Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, used to fast most of the month in Sha'ban. These fasts were not obligatory on him but Sha'ban is the month immediately preceding the month of Ramadan. Therefore, some preparatory measures are suggested by Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam. Some of these are given below:

1. The blessed companion Anas, Radi-Allahu anhu, reports that Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, was asked, "Which fast is the most meritorious after the fasts of Ramadan?" He replied, "Fasts of Shaban in honor of Ramadan."

2. The blessed companion Usama ibn Zaid, Radi-Allahu anhu, reports that he asked Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam: "Messenger of Allah, I have seen you fasting in the month of Sha'ban so frequently that I have never seen you fasting in any other month." Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, replied: "That (Sha'ban) is a month between Rajab and Ramadan which is neglected by many people. And it is a month in which an account of the deeds (of human beings) is presented before the Lord of the universe, so, I wish that my deeds be presented at a time when I am in a state of fasting."

3. Ummul Mu'mineen 'Aishah, Radi-Allahu anha, says, "Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, used to fast the whole of Sha'ban. I said to him, 'Messenger of Allah, is Sha'ban your most favorite month for fasting?' He said, 'In this month Allah prescribes the list of the persons dying this year. Therefore, I like that my death comes when I am in a state of fasting."

4. In another Tradition she says, "Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, would sometimes begin to fast continuously until we thought he would not stop fasting, and sometimes he used to stop fasting until we thought he would never fast. I never saw the Messenger of Allah, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, fasting a complete month, except the month of Ramadan, and I have never seen him fasting in a month more frequently than he did in Sha'ban."

5. In another report she says, "I never saw the Messenger of Allah, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, fasting in a month so profusely as he did in the month of Sha'ban. He used to fast in that month leaving only a few days, rather, he used to fast almost the whole of the month."

6. Ummul-Mu'mineen Umm Salamah, Radi-Allahu anha, says: "I have never seen the Messenger of Allah fasting for two months continuously except in the months of Sha'ban and Ramadan."

These reports indicate that fasting in the month of Sha'ban, though not obligatory, is so meritorious that Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, did not like to miss it.

But it should be kept in mind that the fasts of Sha'ban are for those persons only who are capable of keeping them without causing deficiency in the obligatory fasts of Ramadan. Therefore, if one fears that after fasting in Sha'ban, he will lose strength or freshness for the fasts of Ramadan and will not be able to fast in it with freshness, he should not fast in Sha'ban, because the fasts of Ramadan, being obligatory, are more important than the optional fasts of Sha'ban. That is why Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, himself has forbidden the Muslims from fasting one or two days immediately before the commencement of Ramadan. The blessed Companion Abu Hurairah, Radi-Allahu anhu, reports Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, to have said, "Do not fast after the first half of the month of Sha'ban is gone."

According to another report Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam has said: "Do not precede the month of Ramadan with one or two fasts."

The essence of the above-quoted ahadith is that Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, himself used to fast most of the month of Sha'ban, because he had no fear of developing weakness or weariness before the commencement of Ramadan. As for others, he ordered them not to fast after the 15th of Sha'ban for the fear that they would lose their strength and freshness before Ramadan starts, and would not be able to welcome the month of Ramadan with enthusiasm.

Back to Top

The Night of Bara'ah

Another significant feature of the month of Sha'ban is that it consists of a night which is termed in Shariah as "Laylatul-bara'ah" (The night of freedom from Fire). This is the night occurring between 14th and 15th day of Sha'ban. There are certain traditions of Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, to prove that it is a meritorious night in which the people of the earth are attended by special Divine mercy. Some of these traditions are quoted as follows:

1. Ummul-Mu'mineen 'Aishah, Radi-Allahu anha, is reported to have said, "Once Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, performed the Salah of the night (Tahajjud) and made a very long Sajdah until I feared that he had passed away. When I saw this, I rose (from my bed) and moved his thumb (to ascertain whether he is alive). The thumb moved, and I returned (to my place). Then I heard him saying in Sajdah: 'I seek refuge of Your forgiveness from Your punishment, and I seek refuge of Your pleasure from Your annoyance, and I seek Your refuge from Yourself. I cannot praise You as fully as You deserve. You are exactly as You have defined Yourself.' Thereafter, when he raised his head from Sajdah and finished his salah, he said to me: 'Aishah, did you think that the Prophet has betrayed you?' I said, 'No, O Prophet of Allah, but I was afraid that your soul has been taken away because your Sajdah was very long.' He asked me, 'Do you know which night is this?' I said, 'Allah and His Messenger know best.' He said, 'This is the night of the half of Sha'ban. Allah Almighty looks upon His slaves in this night and forgives those who seek forgiveness and bestows His mercy upon those who pray for mercy but keeps those who have malice (against a Muslim) as they were before, (and does not forgive them unless they relieve themselves from malice).'"

2. In another Tradition Sayyidah' Aishah, Radi-Allahu anha, has reported that Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, has said, "Allah Almighty descends (in a manner He best knows it) in the night occurring in the middle of Sha'ban and forgives a large number of people more than the number of the fibers on the sheep of the tribe, Kalb."

Kalb was a big tribe the members of which had a very large number of sheep. Therefore, the last sentence of the hadith indicates the big number of the people who are forgiven in this night by Allah Almighty.

3. In yet another Tradition, she has reported Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, to have said, "This is the middle Night of Sha'ban. Allah frees in it a large number of the people from Fire, more than the number of the hair growing on the sheep of the tribe, Kalb. But He does not even look at a person who associates partners with Allah, or at a person who nourishes malice in his heart (against someone), or at a person who cuts off the ties of kinship, or at a man who leaves his clothes extending beyond his ankles (as a sign of pride), or at a person who disobeys his parents, or at a person who has a habit of drinking wine."

4. Sayyidna Mu'adh ibn Jabal, Radi-Allahu anhu, reports that Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, has said: "Allah Almighty looks upon all those created by Him in the middle Night of Sha'ban and forgives all those created by Him, except the one who associates partners with Him or the one who has malice in his heart (against a Muslim)".

Although the chain of narrators of some of these traditions suffers with some minor technical defects, yet when all these traditions are combined together, it becomes clear that this night has some well founded merits, and observing this night as a sacred night is not a baseless concoction as envisaged by some modern scholars who, on the basis of these minor defects, have totally rejected to give any special importance to this night. In fact, some of these traditions have been held by some scholars of hadith as authentic and the defects in the chain of some others have been treated by them as minor technical defects which, according to the science of hadith, are curable by the variety of their ways of narration. That is why the elders of the ummah have constantly been observing this night as a night of special merits and have been spending it in worship and prayers.

Back to Top

What Should be Done in this Night?

In order to observe the Night of Bara'ah, one should remain awakened in this night as much as he can. If someone has better opportunities, he should spend the whole night in worship and prayer. However, if one cannot do so for one reason or another, he can select a considerable portion of the night, preferably of the second half of it for this purpose, and should perform the following acts of worship:

(a) Salah. Salah is the most preferable act to be performed in this night. There is no particular number of Rak'at but preferably it should not be less than eight. It is also advisable that each part of the Salah like qiyam, rukoo' and sajdah should be longer than normal. The longest surahs of the Holy Qur'an one remembers by heart should be recited in the Salah of this night. If someone does not remember the long surahs, he can also recite several short surahs in one rak'ah.

(b) Tilawa. The recitation of the Holy Qur'an is another form of worship, very beneficent in this night. After performing Salah, or at any other time, one should recite as much of the Holy Qur'an as he can.

(c) Dhikr. One should also perform dhikr (recitation of the name of Allah) in this night. Particularly the following dhikr is very useful:

One should recite Salah (durood) on Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, as many times as he can. The dhikr can also be recited while walking, lying on bed and during other hours of work or leisure.

(d) Dua. The best benefit one can draw from the blessings of this night is prayers and supplications. It is hoped that all the prayers in this night will be accepted by our Lord, insha-Allah. Prayer itself is an 'Ibadah, and Allah Almighty gives reward on each prayer along with the fulfillment of the supplicator's need. Even if the purpose prayed for is not achieved, one cannot be deprived of the reward of the prayer which is sometimes more precious than the mundane benefits one strives for. The prayers and supplications also strengthen one's relation with Allah Almighty, which is the main purpose of all kinds and forms of worship.

One can pray for whatever purpose he wishes. But the best supplications are the ones made by Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam. These are so comprehensive and all-encompassing prayers that all the human needs, of this world and the Hereafter, are fully covered in the eloquent expressions used in them. Actually, most of the prophetic prayers are so profound that human imagination can hardly match their greatness.

Several books in various languages are available which provide these prophetic prayers, and one should pray to Allah Almighty in accordance with them, whether by reciting their original Arabic text or by rendering their sense in one's own language.

(e) There are some people who cannot perform any additional Salah or recitations for any reason, like illness or weakness or being engaged in some other necessary activities. Such people also should not deprive themselves completely of the blessings of this night. They should observe the following acts:

(i) To perform the Salah of Maghrib, 'Isha' and Fajr with Jama'ah in the mosque, or in their homes in case of their being sick.

(ii) They should keep reciting the dhikr, particularly the one mentioned in para (c) above, in whatever condition they are until they sleep.

(iii) They should pray to Allah for their forgiveness and for their other objectives. One can do so even when he is in his bed.

(f) The women during their periods cannot perform salah, nor can they recite the Qur'an, but they can recite any dhikr, tasbeeh, durood sharif and can pray to Allah for whatever purpose they like in whatever language they wish. They can also recite the Arabic prayers mentioned in the Qur'an or in the hadith with the intention of supplication (and not with the intention of recitation).

(g) According to a hadith, which is relatively less authentic, Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, went in this night to the graveyard of Baqi' where he prayed for the Muslims buried there. On this basis, some of the fuqaha hold it as mustahabb (advisable) in this night to go to the graveyard of the Muslims and recite Fatihah or any other part of the Qur'an, and pray for the dead. But this act is neither obligatory nor should it be performed as regularly as an obligatory act.

Back to Top

What Should Not be Done in This Night

1. As mentioned earlier, the Night of Bara'ah is a night in which special blessings are directed towards the Muslims. Therefore, this night should be spent in total submission to Allah Almighty, and one should refrain from all those activities, which may displease Allah. Although it is always incumbent upon every Muslim to abstain from sins, yet this abstinence becomes all the more necessary in such nights, because committing sins in this night will amount to responding to divine blessings with disobedience and felony. Such an arrogant attitude can invite nothing but the wrath of Allah. Therefore, one should strictly abstain from all the sins, particularly from those mentioned in the Hadith No. 3 quoted earlier in this article, because these sins make one devoid of the blessings of this night.

2. In this night some people indulge in some activities which they regard as necessary for the celebration of the Night of Bara'ah, like cooking some special type of meal, or illuminating houses or mosques, or improvised structures. All such activities are not only baseless and innovated in the later days by ignorant people, but in some cases they are pure imitation of some rituals performed by non-Muslim communities. Such imitation in itself is a sin; performing it in a blessed night like the Night of Bara'ah makes it worse. Muslims should strictly abstain from all such activities.

3. Some people spend this night in holding religious meetings and delivering long speeches. Such activities are also not advisable, because these acts can easily be performed in other nights. This night requires one to devote himself for the pure acts of worship only.

4. The acts of worship like Salah, recitation of the Qur'an and dhikr should be performed in this night individually, not collectively. The Nafl Salah should not be performed in Jama'ah, nor should the Muslims arrange gatherings in the mosques in order to celebrate the night in a collective manner.

On the contrary, this night is meant for worshipping Allah in solitude. It is the time to enjoy the direct contact with the Lord of the Universe, and to devote one's attention to Him and Him alone. These are the precious hours of the night in which nobody should intervene between one and his Lord, and one should turn to Allah with total concentration, not disturbed or intermitted by any one else.

That is why Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, observed the acts of worship in this night in total seclusion, not accompanied by anyone, not even by his favorite life companion Sayyidah 'Aishah, Radi-Allahu anha, and that is why all forms of the optional worship (Nafl Ibadah), are advised by him to be done in individual, not in collective manner.

Back to Top

Fast of the 15th Sha'ban

On the day immediately following the Night of Bara'ah, i.e. the 15th of Sha'ban, it is mustahabb (advisable) to keep fast. Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, is reported to have recommended this fast emphatically. Although the scholars of hadith have some doubts in the authenticity of this report, yet it is mentioned earlier that the fasts of the first half of Sha'ban have special merits and Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, used to fast most of the days in Sha'ban. Moreover, a large number of the elders (salaf) of the Ummah have been observing the fast of the 15th of Sha'ban. This constant practice indicates that they have accepted the relevant hadith as authentic.

Therefore, it is advisable to fast the 15th of Sha'ban as an optional (nafl) fast. One can also keep a fast of qada on this day and it is hoped that he can also benefit from the merits of this fast.

Back to Top

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Value Everyone!

 Value Everyone!
"And lower your wing for the believers (be courteous to the fellow believers)". Qur'an-(15:88)

A Sheikh started off his lecture by holding up a R200 note (two hundred South African rand bill) note. In the Masjid filled with about 500 people, he asked, "Who would like this R200 note?"

Hands started going up…

He said, "I am going to give this R200 note to one of you but first, let me do this." He proceeded to crumple the money up.

He then asked, "Who still wants it?"

Still the hands were up in the air.

"Well," he replied, "What if I do this?" And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his feet.

He picked it up, now all crumpled,slightly worn out and a bit dirty. "Now who still wants it?" Still the hands went into the air.

"My friends, you have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth R200.  

Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make, circumstances that come our way and by what others harmfully inflict upon us.

We feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value. Allah has made you special - Don't ever forget it!

Value what Allah has given us, treasure every person and do not look down upon anyone!

Nu`man bin Bashir (May Allah bepleased with them) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said,

"The believers in their mutual kindness, compassion and sympathy are just like one body. When one of the limbs suffers, the whole body responds to it with wakefulness and fever".He (PBUH) illustrated this by interlacing the fingers of both his hands.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Rights of Neighbours

Allah, the Exalted, says:

"Worship Allah and join none with Him (in worship); and do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, Al-Masakin (the poor), the neighbour who is near of kin, the neighbour who is a stranger, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (you meet), and those (slaves) whom your right hands possess.'' (4:36)

 Ibn `Umar and `Aishah (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "Jibril kept recommending treating neighbours with kindness until I thought he would assign a share of inheritance".
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary:  This Hadith illustrates the importance of nice treatment to neighbours in Islam.

Abu Dharr (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) commanded me thus, "O Abu Dharr! Whenever you prepare a broth, put plenty of water in it, and and give some of it to your neighbours".

    In another narration of Muslim, narrated Abu Dharr (May Allah be pleased with him): My friend, (Messenger of Allah (PBUH)) advised me saying, "Whenever you prepare a broth, put plenty of water in it, and give some to your neighbours and then give them out of this with courtesy.''

This Hadith makes it clear that Islam does not like a Muslim to ignore his poor neighbour and eat up everything himself. It stresses that one must take care of his poor neighbours. If a person is not in a position to do more, he should at least add some water in the broth he cooks for his own food and send a portion of it to his deserving neighbour. It leads us to the conclusion that a Muslim should in no case be unmindful of his neighbour and if he is well-to-do, he should be all the more charitable to his neighbours.

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, "By Allah, he is not a believer! By Allah, he is not a believer! By Allah, he is not a believer.'' It was asked, "Who is that, O Messenger of Allah?'' He said, "One whose neighbour does not feel safe from his evil".
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Another narration of Muslim is: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "He will not enter Jannah whose neighbour is not secure from his wrongful conduct".

Commentary: This Hadith reveals that hurting or troubling a neighbour is such a serious offence that it causes Allah's Wrath, and thus punishment in Hell.

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "O Muslim women! No one of you should consider insignificant (a gift) to give to her neighbour even if it is (a gift of) the trotters of a sheep".
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

This Hadith means that neighbours should present gifts to each other. The rich men and the poor according to their means. One who is poor should not think that what he is presenting to his neighbour is not worthy of giving. Even his humble gift, provided it is presented with sincerity, will find acceptance with Allah. According to the Noble Qur'an: "So whosoever does good equal to the weight of an ant (or a small ant) shall see it.'' (99:7)

It is, however, better for a rich person to present a gift which goes well with his means. He should not give anything to his neighbour which is stale or which he does not like for himself because apart from insincerity, such a thing shows his contempt for the neighbour while gift is, in fact, a token of sincerity and brotherhood.

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "No one should prohibit his neighbour from placing a peg in his wall". Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) added: Now I see you turning away from this (Sunnah), but by Allah, I shall go on proclaiming it.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary:  The importance of the injunction contained in this Hadith comes into prominence in localities comprising huts and tents, or at places where the two neighbours still have common walls between their houses. (In big cities each house has its own independent walls.) In any case, it is evident from this Hadith that a Muslim should be considerate of his neighbours. Islam ordains us to co-operate and sympathize with them. All Muslims are likened to a body each organ of which is linked with the other. In the light of this injunction, one can very well understand the rights of the neighbours in Islam.

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "He who believes in Allah and the Last Day let him not harm his neighbour; and he who believes in Allah and the Last Day let him show hospitality to his guest; and he who believes in Allah and the Last Day let him speak good or remain silent".
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary: This Hadith unfolds the fruits of Faith. One who does not have the qualities mentioned in it, is deprived of the blessings of the Faith. Faith of such a person is like a fruitless tree, or a flower without fragrance, or a body without soul.

 Abu Shuraih Al-Khuza`i (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, "He who believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him be kind to his neighbour; and he who believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him show hospitality to his guest; and he who believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him either speak good or remain silent".

`Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: I said, "O Messenger of Allah (PBUH), I have two neighbours, to which of them should I send a present?'' He (PBUH) replied, "To the one whose door is nearer to you".

Commentary:  When a Muslim does not have the means to present gifts to his neighbours and wants to present a gift only to one of them, he should go by the principle laid down in this Hadith. The principle enunciated here is: "One who is the nearest neighbour, should have precedence over all others.''

Abdullah bin `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "The best of companions with Allah is the one who is best to his companions, and the best of neighbours to Allah is the one who is the best of them to his neighbour".

Commentary: Companion is a common word which covers companions in journey and stay. Muslims are ordained to treat all of them nicely. But one's neighbour has precedence over others. Nice treatment to him is the best means to attain a distinctive place with Allah.

 If one wants to live in peace and harmony in his home, he should find a house where there are good neighbours in a safe neighbourhood and decent society.

This hadeeth shows that Angel Jibra'il (A.S.) brought commandments from Allah, concerning the rights of the neighbour so frequently and stressed the need to be kind and courteous to him with such force and regularity that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) thought that the neighbour also will be made an heir i.e. just as parents, children and near relatives inherit the property left by the deceased, he thought that the neighbour, too, will be given a share in it.

Allah informed us that neighbours are an important part of society. Without having good neighbours, people can have a difficult and miserable life. Accordingly, Allah Taa'la informed us to look after our neighbours, to care for them, to keep good relationships with them and to ensure that we have good neighbours. In taking care of our neighbours, Allah Taa'la associated them with the categories of parents, relatives, orphans, poor and needy. In Surah An-Nisa, Allah Taa'la says:

"Serve God, and join not any partners with Him, and do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbours who are near, neighbours who are strangers, the companions by your side, the way-farer and what your right hand possesses: for God loveth not the arrogant, the vain glorious. ( 4:36 )

In this verse, Allah Taa'la categorised for us three types of neighbours that we should take care of. They are:

1) A relative neighbour

2) A strong fellow neighbour

3) A friend neighbour

All of these neighbours, be they Muslim or non-Muslim, are to be taken care of in the best form and in the best manner.

Our beloved Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam informed us that the best person is the one who is good to his neighbour. It is narrated by Ibn Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said:

"The best friend in the sight of Allah is the one who is good to his companions, and the best neighbour in the sight of Allah is the one who is good to his neighbours." (Tirmizi)

We are living in a rat-race society with very few people who are concerned for others, a society where people are treating one another without due respect, where neighbours don't know one another. Neighbours in the same building may not even know one another . People are scared of one another and the rate of crime has increased tremendously. People may see one another being abused, hurt and even killed but their answer would be, 'It's not my business to get involved.' They may hear someone screaming for help and no one would respond; everyone will only selfishly think of themselves.

If we wish to reduce the rate of crime in society, then we should establish a neighbourhood where everyone knows one another. We should get together with our neighbours to protect our society, our families and our properties. We should protect our children from drugs, alcohol, rape, adultery and other vices. It is high time that we take the initiative to correct vice in society. There are enough people from the silent majority who would be willing to help and work together to protect society from harm. Neighbourhood watch schemes are a prime example

In a car driven society we tend to drive past our neighbours, parking as close to our houses as possible without taking a moment to greet and talk to our neighbours. Let us help each other and be sociable without contravening Allah's commands. May Allah guide us. Ameen.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


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

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

Aisha is in full hijab
With a loose all over suit
Emma's in her business wear
With accessories taboot

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

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 main, its men my friend,
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 poshest 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 make up 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