Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Never again will I.....

Never again will I.....



I was waiting at the airport one night,
With several long hours before my flight.
I hunted for a book in the airport shop,
Bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop.

I was engrossed in my book, but happened to see,

A hijab clad lady beside me, as bold as could be,
Grabbed a cookie or two from the bag between,
Which I tried to ignore to avoid a scene

I read, munched cookies, and watched the clock,

This gustly "Muslim cookie thief" diminished my stock
I was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by,

If I wasn't so nice, I'd blacken this terrorist eye!

With each cookie I took, the terrorist took one too.
When only one was left, I wondered what she'd do.
with a smile on crook's face and a nervous laugh,
The thief took the last cookie and broke it in half.

She offered me half, and she ate the other.

I snatched it from the thief and thought, "Oh sister",
This thief has some nerve, and she's also so rude,
Why, she didn't even show any gratitude!"

I had never known when I had been so galled,
And sighed with relief when my flight was called.
I gathered my belongings and headed for the gate,
Refusing to look at the "thieving Muslim terrorist ingrate".

I boarded the plane and sank in my seat,
Then sought my book, which was almost complete.
As I reached in my baggage, I gasped with surprise.
There were my bag of cookies in front of her eyes!

"If mine are here," I moaned with despair.
"Then the others were hers and she tried to share!"
Too late to apologize, I realized with grief,
Never again will I call any Muslim a "terrorist or a thief"!!!!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Why do I wear Hijaab???

Why do I wear Hijaab???

 By Sultana Yusufali
I probably do not fit into the preconceived notion of a "rebel". I have no visible tattoos and minimal piercing. I do not possess a leather jacket. In fact, when most people look at me, their first thought usually is something along the lines of "oppressed female." The brave individuals who have mustered the courage to ask me about the way I dress usually have questions like: "Do your parents make you wear that?" or "Don't you find that really unfair?"
A while back, a couple of girls in Montreal were kicked out of school for dressing like I do. It seems strange that a little piece of cloth would make for such controversy. Perhaps the fear is that I am harboring an Uzi underneath it! Of course, the issue at hand is more than a mere piece of cloth. I am a Muslim woman who, like millions of other Muslim women across the globe, chooses to wear the hijab. And the concept of the hijab, contrary to popular opinion, is actually one of the most fundamental aspects of female empowerment.
When I cover myself, I make it virtually impossible for people to judge me according to the way I look. I cannot be categorized because of my attractiveness or lack thereof.
Compare this to life in today's society: We are constantly sizing one another up on the basis of our clothing, jewelry, hair and makeup. What kind of depth can there be in a world like this? Yes, I have a body, a physical manifestation upon this Earth. But it is the vessel of an intelligent mind and a strong spirit. It is not for the beholder to leer at or to use in advertisements to sell everything from beer to cars!
Because of the superficiality of the world in which we live, external appearances are so stressed that the value of the individual counts for almost nothing. It is a myth that women in today's society are liberated! What kind of freedom can there be when a woman can not walk down the street without every aspect of her physical self being "checked out"?
When I wear the hijab I feel safe from all of this. I can rest assured that no one is looking at me and making assumptions about my character from the length of my skirt. There is a barrier between me and those who would exploit me. I am first and foremost a human being, equal to any man, and not vulnerable because of my sexuality.
One of the saddest truths of our time is the question of the beauty myth and female self-image. Reading popular teenage magazines, you can instantly find out what kind of body image is "in" or "out." and if you have the "wrong" body type, well, then, you're just going to have to change it, aren't you? After all, there is no way that you can be overweight and still be beautiful.
Look at any advertisement. Is a woman being used to sell the product? How old is she? How attractive is she? What is she wearing? More often than not, that woman will be no older than her early 20s, taller, slimmer and more attractive than average, dressed in skimpy clothing. Why do we allow ourselves to be manipulated like this?
Whether the 90s woman wishes to believe it or not, she is being forced into a mold. She is being coerced into selling herself, into compromising herself. This is why we have 13-year-old girls sticking their fingers down their throats and overweight adolescents hanging themselves.
When people ask me if I feel oppressed, I can honestly say no. I made this decision out of my own free will. I like the fact that I am taking control of the way other people perceive me. I enjoy the fact that I don't give anyone anything to look at and that I have released myself from the bondage of the swinging pendulum of the fashion industry and other institutions that exploit females.
My body is my own business. Nobody can tell me how I should look or whether or not I am beautiful. I know that there is more to me than that. I am also able to say "no" comfortably then people ask me if I feel as though my sexuality is being repressed. I have taken control of my sexuality. I am thankful I will never have to suffer the fate of trying to lose/gain weight or trying to find the exact lipstick shade that will go with my skin color. I have made choices about what my priorities are and these are not among them.
So next time you see me, don't look at me sympathetically. I am not under duress or a male-worshipping female captive.! I've been liberated.

Value Everyone!

Everyone is Special!!!

"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].

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Full Cup…(motivational)

The Full Cup…


A wise old Sheikh once lived near a Musjid in Medina. One day the Sheikh heard an impatient pounding on his door. He opened it and greeted a young student, who said, "I have studied with great and wise masters. I consider myself quite accomplished in Islamic teachings and philosophy. However, just in case there is anything more I need to know, I have come to see if you can add to my knowledge."


"Very well," said the wise old master. "Come and have tea with me, and we will discuss your studies." The two seated themselves opposite each other, and the old Sheikh prepared tea. When it was ready, the old Sheikh began to pour the tea carefully into the visitor's cup. When the cup was full, the old man continued pouring until the tea spilled over the side of the cup and onto the young man's lap. The startled visitor jumped back and indignantly shouted, "Some wise master you are! You are a fool who does not even know when a cup is full!"


The old man calmly replied, "Just like this cup, your mind is so full of ideas that there is no room for any more. Come to me with an empty-cup mind, and then you will learn something."

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Bitterness is a Killer!

Bitterness is a Killer!...Don't Poison yourself with it.
By Sister S Bemath

We tend to think that circumstances causes us to become bitter, but this is not always the case. Bitterness is something that happens to us, it is a characteristic we develop. To swallow a daily dose of poison would be unthinkable. Yet this is what you do if you awaken each morning with bitter thoughts that belong to the past. You are poisoning your system.

Bitterness is a killer. But who does it hurt? Only you - for who else suffers that gnawing pain which twists and turns deep in your being? Certainly not the one who has wronged you!. He or she probably is not even aware of it. Bitterness depresses the spirits, stifles creativity, weakens the immune system, obstructs happiness and ruins health.  As a carrier you are the only one who reaps its adverse consequences so why submit to it?

A bitter person always seems to find a good reason to be bitter: "After all I did, he or she left me..." "My parents all favour my brother - nothing I do will please them..." "That false rumour ruined my chances of promotion..."  and the list goes on…Valid reasons, maybe.  Painful, certainly! even worthy of some human emotion. But it takes only a little –yes just a little time and effort to work through the pain, hurt, disappointment, sadness or anger. You must process your emotions, regain your balance, change your attitude or seek counsel.

"Wonderful in theory," a bitter person might say. "But I can't forget." You can forget; but whether you choose to is another matter. It takes time and effort to re-pattern negative thoughts into the conscious habit of replacing them with positive ones. When we harbour negative emotions towards others or towards ourselves, or when we intentionally create pain for others, we poison our own physical and spiritual systems. By far the strongest poison to the human spirit is the inability to forgive oneself or another person. It disables a person's emotional resources. The challenge is to refine our capacity to love others as well as ourselves and to develop the power of forgiveness.

"Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hate. It is a power that breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness."

ALLAH TA'ALA knows what's hidden in the deep recesses of our hearts. Those feelings of pain, anguish, resentment, hatred, bitterness, etc., that we so successfully hide from everyone else, including our closest family members and friends. So why not let it all out. Why not let ALLAH TA'ALA be your "therapist". Let your prayer mat be your "couch" while you reveal and ask the One who is in control, Who knows you better than you know yourself. From the very depth of ALLAH TA'ALA'S fountain of Mercy, bitterness will be cleansed and you shall blossom amongst the flowers of enjoyment. Subhaan-ALLAH !

Beloved Reader! It is better to live in peace than in bitterness and strife. I've known people to go through a lot of trials and hardships and maintain a grateful and gracious spirit throughout. I've seen others face similar trials only to become angry and embittered souls. In both the cases the hardship revealed the heart more than it formed the heart. If we are filled with sweetness and something jostles us, then sweetness spills out. If we are filled with bitterness and we get jostled then battery acid goes everywhere. Overcome the obstacles in your path, be determined, courageous and hard-working. Never be faint-hearted. Be resolute, but never bitter... be beautiful inside and thus you shall become an embodiment of love, joy and happiness.


·         Most important is to Turn to Allah by means of Dua (Prayer). Raise your hands in supplication, for, Du'a is a weapon of a Believer.

·         Every time you think of a past negative situation, replace it instantly with a picture of a positive, happy life.

·         When you feel resentful, bless and forgive the person who wronged you and do not stop praying for the best for those you love.

·         Busy yourself with things you enjoy so that you have no time to brood. Plan something to look forward to. Give to someone who is worse off than yourself. In other words place every negative thought with a positive one until it becomes a habit.

Never allow bitterness to take root or you'll become a twisted, sour human being people will shun.

Bitter thoughts are like weeds. Pluck them out of your heart relentlessly…and in their place will sprout the seeds of joyful new life.

O ALLAH TA'ALA! Reform our character and bless us with cleanliness of the heart. ..Aameen

Final Messenger of Allah- Muhammad Rasulullah [peace be upon him]

Final Messenger of Allah-

Muhammad Rasulullah [peace be upon him]


Allah, The ,Most Exalted, says:


"We have not sent thee(Muhammad[pbuh]) Except as a Mercy to the Worlds." (Surah 21 Aayat 107)


"Certainly, there is an excellent example for you in the Messenger of Allah, for him who looks forward to Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much." (Quran-33:21)


Muhammed sallallahu alayhi wa sallam rose like the sun from the horizon of Arabia and dissipated the intense darkness around the globe. His personality embodied the boldness of Mûsa alayhis salâm , the courteousness of Harûn alayhis salâm , the patience of Ayûb alayhis salâm , the grandeur of Sulaiman alayhis salâm and the humility of Isa alayhis salâm. His leadership stands unparalleled in the annals of history. He despised the pomp of royalty, dutifully carried out the menial tasks of the family, he kindled the fire, swept the floor, milked the cows and mended his own shoes and garments.


The Mission of Muhammad(Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam)


The mission of Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam is eloquently portrayed in a speech which Ja'far (radhi allahu anhu) made to the ruler of Abyssinia in Africa. He said :


"O king! We were a people of ignorance, worshiping idols, eating the flesh of dead animals, committing abominations, neglecting our relations, doing evil to our neighbours and the strong amongst us would oppress the weak. We were in this state when Allah Ta'ala sent to us a messenger from amongst us, whose descent and sincerity, trustworthiness and honesty were known to us. He summoned us to the worship of one true Allah and to divest ourselves of the stones and idols which we and our forefathers had been ascribing to Allah. He ordered us to be truthful in speech, to fulfill all that is entrusted to us, to care for our relatives, to be kind to our neighbours, to refrain from unlawful food and the consumption of blood. He forbade us from engaging in shameful acts and false speech..."


The Fundamental Principles Expounded by Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam at the Farewell Pilgrimage


  1. Belief in one object of worship
  2. Equality of men, irrespective of colour or nationality.
  3. Superiority based solely on piety.
  4. Sanctity of life, property and honour.
  5. Abolition of interest and usury.
  6. The rights and fair treatment of women.
  7. The concept of accountability and personal responsibility.
  8. Importance of the pillars of religion i.e. prayer, fasting, charity and pilgrimage.
  9. The Qur'ân and sunnah as the only source of salvation.
  10. The obligation of (dawah & tabligh)conveying the message.

The Messenger of Allah(peace be upon him) said:


"None of you has perfect faith until I am more beloved to him than his parents, his children and all the people". (Hadith-Bukhari)

Importance of Salaat-Salaam (Durood Shareef/ Sending Blessings)

"Allah and his angels send blessings on the Prophet. O you who believe! Send your blessings on him, and salute him with all respects." (The Holy Quran 56:33)

Abdullah Ibn Abbas Radiallahu anhu reports that Rasulullah (pbuh) said,

"Whoever recites the following Salaat-Salaam(Durood) once, Allah will instruct the angels to keep writing good deeds for him for a thousand days."

Jazallahu annaa muhammadan ma huwa ahluhu

Translation: May Allah reward Muhammad, on our behalf, as much as he deserves. (Hadith recorded in Tabrani)

May Allah bestow us with true and sincere Love of Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam and may Allah give us the strenght and courage to follow the noble and beautiful lifestyle of the the Last & Final Messenger of Allah Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam- Ameen


Monday, September 17, 2012

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.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Want a Palace?...Give up Malice!

Want a Palace(In Jannah)?..Give up Malice!

By: Abu Muhammed 


Every person's honour is sacred. We are duty-bound to respect and honour our fellow brothers and sisters and never…yes NEVER to hold an iota of malice or ill will in our hearts towards them. The Noble Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) tried to eliminate hatred, malice, jealousy and rivalry by inducing brotherhood, sincere love and friendship. (Please note that while in most cases the ahaadeeth mention the masculine gender the same rewards etc refer to the females as well)

Our society is ideally built upon the foundation of brotherhood, as The Noble Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) advised:

"Believers are like a structure, parts of which support one another. The believers, in their mutual friendship, mercy and affection, are like one body; if any part of it complains, the rest of the body will also stay awake in fever." (Hadith-Al-Bukhaari and Muslim).

The Noble Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) also said;

"Do not break off ties with one another, do not turn away from one another, do not hate one another, and do not envy one another. Be O slaves of Allaah brothers." (Al-Bukhaari)

Sayyiduna Anas bin Malik (May Allah be pleased with him) narrates that while we were sitting with The Noble Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) he said, 'A dweller of Paradise will come to you now'.

 As he said this, a man from amongst the Ansaar came, from whose beard the drops of the water of wudhu were falling and he was holding his shoes in his left hand. The second day The Noble Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) repeated his words as the same Ansari came in, in the same condition as the day before. The third day The Noble Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) repeated the same words and the same man walked in, in the same condition as before. When The Noble Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) stood up, Abdullah bin Amr (May Allah be pleased with him) followed that Ansari to his house and said to him,

'I have had a quarrel with my father and have vowed that I will not go to him for three days. Will you please allow me to stay at your house until those three days have passed?'

 The Ansari replied, 'Yes, that is fine with me'

 Sayyiduna Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) continues, Abdullah bin Amr (May Allah be pleased with him) mentioned that he spent three nights with that Ansari but did not see him worshipping at night, except that when he awoke and changed his position on the bed he would praise Allah and say 'Allahu Akbar', until he got up for Fajr salaah.

 Abdullah bin Amr (May Allah be pleased with him) said, 'I did not hear him say anything except good. When three nights had passed in observing him I found his deeds to be quite ordinary and said to him,

 'O slave of Allah. There was no quarrel and separation between me and my father but I heard The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) say that an inhabitant of Paradise is coming to us and you came out on all three occasions. That is why I decided to stay with you and see what (special) deed/s it is that you perform?  However, I did not see you doing anything special. What is that deed which raised you to the rank mentioned by The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him)?'

 The Ansari replied, 'I have no special deeds except that which you saw!'

 Abdullah bin Amr (May Allah be pleased with him) said, "As I turned to go away, the Ansaari called me back and said,

 'I have no special deeds except for the ones you have seen. However I have no ill feelings in my heart towards any Muslim and I am not jealous regarding any favour that Allah has blessed anyone with'"

 Abdullah bin Amr (May Allah be pleased with him) said, 'This is the thing which has raised you to that rank and this is that which is beyond our ability'  (Musnad Ahmed – Muntakhab Ahaadeeth, Page 452, No 175)


 1)      The importance and great virtue of having no malice towards people in general and Muslims in particular.

2)      The importance and great virtue of not being jealous of what others possess. In the context of today's living we can well appreciate the value of this quality. Today we find that even brothers are jealous of each other's possessions. In fact in a Hadith it is mentioned that,

'…be indifferent to what people possess (do not be jealous of what they have) they will love you'

3)       Malice and jealousy are probably the major causes of backbiting and speaking ill of people. It is precisely because this person did not possess either of these two evil qualities that Abdullah bin Amr (May Allah be pleased with him) could say about this man that he did not 'say anything but good'. A good 'barometer' for us to determine whether or not we possess these evil qualities would therefore be, to analyse exactly how much good we say.

4)      Many a time we understand piety to mean that a person spends a lot of time in Nafl Ibaadah like Salaah, Fasting, Zikr, tilaawat of the Quraan or their specific manner of dressing etc, but from this hadith we learn the importance of possessing a clean and pure heart. In fact it is mentioned regarding the day of Qiyamah in the Quraan,

'Youma laa yan fa'u maalu wa la banoon, illa man atallaha bi qalbin saleem'

'…that day wealth and children will be of no benefit (to a person) except the one who comes to Allah with a purified heart' (Qur'an-26:88-89)


However in saying that, we should not live under the misconception, as many people do, that a 'clean heart' absolves us of our obligations to Allah (SWT) like Salaah, Hijaab , Charity, Fasting etc.

We often hear women say, 'I do not have to wear Hijaab because my Hijaab is in my heart! Look at so and so who wears the Hijaab but has a dirty heart!'

 We also hear man say, 'I don't read my salaah five times a day but I do not do such and such things as Mr 'So' and 'So' is doing who stands in the first saff (row) in salaah, or wears Islamic dress etc. At least my heart is clean!'

 We have to understand that these kinds of excuses cannot be used to justify our weaknesses and shortcomings and we have to remember that every person will be judged individually by Allah (SWT)

5)      This incident highlights the simplicity and humility of this man in that he was also unknown among the Sahaaba (May Allah be pleased with him) as Anas bin Malik (May Allah be pleased with him), who is the narrator of this hadith did not even mention his name. The mention of him carrying his shoes in his left hand (a sunnah) and his face and beard still wet with the water of wudhu conjures up an image of simplicity. Being humble in his manner with Abdullah bin Amr (May Allah be pleased with him) is also an indication of his simplicity. Simplicity and humility are qualities that are beloved to Allah (SWT) and, adds weight to our actions as well as raises us up in the esteem of Allah (SWT).

6)      This incident shows to us the great desire that Sahabah(May Allah be pleased with him) had for Paradise and the actions that lead to Paradise . This was because the focus and conviction of Sahaaba (May Allah be pleased with them) was firmly focused on the Akhirah(hereafter). Abdullah bin Amr (May Allah be pleased with him) spent three nights with this man just to learn what action it was that earned this man the glad tidings of Paradise from none other than The Noble Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) himself. We can safely say that we are the beneficiaries of Abdullah bin Amr (May Allah be pleased with him)'s desire to learn, regarding what we learn from this incident.

So if we really and honestly desire that Palace (in Jannah) then give up Malice!
May Allah (SWT) make it possible for us to also develop this quality in our lives because as Sayyiduna Abdullah bin Amr's (May Allah be pleased with him) concluding words allude to this is not an easy quality to attain, except for those whom Allah favours with taufeeq(Devine ability)to bring this quality into their lives.

Unplug and Re-connect

Unplug and Re-connect:

How to Keep Families Connected During Technology Time-Outs

By L Mulla (article edited)


 Unplug & Reconnect



At the risk of aging myself, in the 90's, the term "unplugged" referred to a show where artists musically entertained a small audience without the aid of electric instruments. These days however, when families are encouraged to go "unplugged" they are persuaded to spend time together free of "electronic distractions" or as my older brother, an electrical engineer, says, "e-distractions," for short. Such distractions include the myriad of miniature instant gratification devices otherwise known as Nintendo DS's, iPods, tablets, phones, not to mention larger distractions, like television, gaming consoles such as Wii, Xbox, etc., and the classic home computer. We all know the merits of quality family time on a real-time basis, but the question is: how?

First, it is important to understand the ramifications of the entire family's increased relationship with electronics. Studies show that family bonds are weakening since members are spending more screen time and less face time. Children and adults alike are losing the ability to engage in small talk and are gaining an increased apathy towards others. An increased desire for visual stimulation and a decreased attention span are also compelling reasons to push for familial electronic time-outs. Feelings of detachment of family members from one another leads to an increased reliance on comfort in superficial "e-relationships" and fleeting moments of gratification from Facebook posts, game console victories, and endless text conversations.

This article is meant to point out the importance of giving our technological toys a "time-out" and to tune-in to the family on a consistent basis. The beauty of this concept is that every family, regardless of its size, can custom make a "reconnect plan" of their own.

For example, consider setting guidelines for the family, which include times where technology use is not allowed. Such times can include family meals, a specific hour in the evening, or better yet, an entire day of the week. For some of you, the mere thought of spending more than a few minutes away from your tablet or phone causes increased anxiety. Sadly enough, this is now documented as a new disorder called "cell phone separation anxiety disorder," where sufferers experience increased anxiety if they are away from their phones. Yes, separation from instant gratification devices can be painful, but like lower primates, we can be trained to return to our natural e-distraction free state. We have to re-learn basic skills like getting over boredom, engaging with others in a meaningful conversation, touching dirt and looking for bugs, and even having to talk to our parents' out-of-town guests or long lost relatives.

Now, you may ask, how can we accomplish such a feat when toddlers, teens, and adults have become inseparable from their various screens? First, give before you take away. A classic concept in discipline is to replace an undesirable habit with a desirable one. Simply said, provide fun alternatives for your family. I have heard parents complain that their children only want to play on their electronic devices all day long. Yet these same parents do not spend the time to take their children to the park, play a board game with them, let alone purchase such games, or even make the effort to engage their family members in an interesting discussion.

Below are some easy, family re-connect ideas. But be forewarned, you will receive resistance from at least some of your family members. Even the adults! One key to the success of Operation Unplug and Re-Connect is to first discuss with your family guidelines to be followed. Come up with a Re-connect plan that outlines how often you wish to have family time, e-distraction free. For example, smaller or younger families may wish to have such times once a day. Busier families, on the other hand may be content with a once-a-week schedule. Next, have your family discuss activities that at least most members can agree upon.

Re-Connect Ideas

  • Plan a family get together.
  • Go for a picnic at the beach or park and pack everyone's favorite treat.
  • Go outdoors and discover your surroundings. See who can find the most living things in 5 minutes.
  • Engage your family in a discussion (if you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?).
  • Go for a walk (some family members need more of a temptation like walking to an ice-cream etc).
  • Play a learning game.
  • Be creative and plan Islamic activities.
  • Divide and conquer if necessary: Play ball with some and play building blocks with others.
  • Do community/social work as a family like visiting orphanages, elderly, sick etc

The bottom line is adding meaningful family quality time to our life, minus the electronic devices. We would see healthier home lives and more well-rounded members of the community. Changing familial habits is not easy, but well-worth it. Unplug, re-connect, be patient, and enjoy.

There is Joy in giving!

There is Joy in giving!
By :Abdallah

Just a few weeks ago business dictated that I make a trip passing through country roads and sleepy country towns, landmarked by massive agricultural silos. It was at that time of the year the country landscape is decorated by vast green maize plantations while the road is, on either side, fringed with tall bushes of cosmos bursting forth in yellow, white and different shades of pink both announcing the imminent passing of summer with all it's greenery while also heralding the coming of winter.....

Driving along such quiet, quaint and scenic routes offers an ideal opportunity for deep thought and contemplation and for one to be alone with one's self and thoughts, in spite of the odd pothole here and there.

"Verily in the creation of the heavens and the earth are signs and in the alternation of night and day are signs for those who have understanding" (Ale Imraan, Verse 190)

A few years ago a motor manufacturer's advertising line read 
'life's a journey, enjoy the ride'. 
For many of us though it seems that 
'life's a destiny, miss the ride'

Our lives have become hectic and frantic characterised by a continuous race against time. In so doing, we have opted for the 'highways' instead of the 'byways' little realising the beauty of the byways...we enjoy the selfish exhilaration of speeding down this 'highway' called life, with the wind blowing through our hair and our fancy shades, little realising that these shades have obstructed our view of the scenery the 'byways' of life have to offer...the mountains, rivers and the colourful array of flora and fauna. Our 'speeding', our focus on racing against time - this deadline, that deal, the end result, the 'destination' - has caused us to focus only on finding the 'shortest road', the 'highway', thus preventing us to sit back and take in the beauty that the 'byways' have to offer. The irony is that our 'speeding' is in pursuit of that happiness and contentment which, strangely enough,  lies in 'slowing down' and 'taking' in the scenery.

In the context of life what is this scenery? 

It is the people that we come into contact with or are in contact with in our daily lives. They are those who we know, family and friends, as well as those that we do not, strangers. 

Given the 'speed' at which we are travelling we often take for granted those that care for us and our well being and who go out of their way to make our lives comfortable, to make us smile and strive to make us happy. They are those whom we 'receive' from. If, for a moment, we ponder and acknowledge them, then we would appreciate their act of giving. When doing so we would realise how much joy they bring to our lives because of their 'giving'. This, would in turn, spur us on to give. 

Know that the joy of giving supersedes that of receiving and accumulating because giving brings an inner contentment while accumulating only provides an apparent contentment beneath which lingers the fear of loss. Knowing that some seemingly insignificant word or action has brought happiness and joy to the heart of someone provides more satisfaction than money and wealth can ever bring. It is, in fact, the very essence of kindness to spread goodwill and uplift the heart.

What do we give?
A starting point would be acknowledgment in word, deed (if and where possible) and in prayer (Dua) for those that make some sort of difference to our lives and give meaning. Thereafter we should strive to make a positive difference and impression in the lives of all others that we come into contact with.    
More often than not we have programmed our minds to understand that only that which is 'big, substantial, financial and material' would be considered an act of giving and, in doing do deprive ourselves of the great joy and satisfaction that even a small act of kindness can provide. As a matter of fact The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) has mentioned that,

'Do not belittle any good deed, even if it be meeting your brother with a cheerful face'       (Hadith-Muslim)
'Every good deed is sadaqah(charity). To meet your brother with a smiling face (is sadaqah)' (Hadith-Bukhari)

There is also an incident mentioned in the seerah where Sayyiduna Usama bin Zayd (RA) on one occasion, did not have anything material and financial to contribute in the path of Allah. At the time of Tahajjud he awoke and beseeching and crying unto Allah (SWT) he said,      
 'Oh my Lord, I do not have any financial means to contribute for your sake. Instead, Oh my   Lord, I forgive and overlook all those upon whom I have a right/s due'

The next morning The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) gave him glad tidings and said,
'Oh Usamah! Rejoice for verily Allah (SWT) has accepted your charity of the night' 
From the above it is evident that Islam, while encouraging the giving of material, has not limited the act of 'giving' to that which is material. So start giving today, whether it is a kind word to someone, an acknowledgment of a favour to a benefactor, a little prayer (Dua) for a friend or loved one, giving a loaf of bread to a hungry one or just a smile, for it could be to some the only sunshine that they enjoy today! 

There are so much positives in our lives due, directly or indirectly, to those who care and have concern for us. Let it not be that, when we start to care we realise that those who have done so all along, have stopped.

Before lamenting and complaining of having no time...make the time! 

We need to decide... are we driving? or are we driven?

Stop existing and start living!

Patience in Times of Hardships

Patience with Trials and Hardship


Imagine yourself in this position. Your beloved husband with whom you have grown in Islam, who has supported you through the difficulties of life, who has helped you raise your dear children and who has provided for you by Allah's permission passes away. How would you react? Would you be overcome with despair and grief? Would you fret over who will provide for you and your children? This is what happened to Umm Salamah, one of the great companions of the Prophet (saws) when her husband passed away. How did she react to this trial that befell her? We shall learn later.

Allah has promised each and every one of us that we will face difficulties and hardship in life, whether it be with the loss of a loved one, poverty or fear of something: "And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Sâbirin (the patient ones, etc.)" Suarh Baqarah 2:155] [. The real test for us is how we deal with these trials. As Allah said in the above verse, glad tidings are for the ones that are patient with the trials that he tests us with.

Patience is a means to Allah and His love, His help, His victory, His fortification, His reward, and His company. Patience is a Command from Allah. Allah said:"And seek help in patience and As-Salah and truly it is extremely heavy and hard except for humbly submissive [to Allah ]" [Surah Al-Baqarah 2:45]. Patience is the way to gaining the love of Allah. Allah said:"And Allah loves As-Sabirun (the patient ones)" [Surah Aal Imran 3:146] And the Prophet (p.b.u.h) said: "How wonderful is the case of the believer; there is good in everything and this is not the case with anyone except a believer. If good attends him, he expresses gratitude to Allah and that is good for him; and if adversity befalls him he endures it patiently and that is better for him" [ Narrated by Abu Yahya Suhaib ibn Sinan and recorded in Sahih Muslim]

How should one be patient? Patience takes on importance for the Muslim at the first moment of a trial. The Prophet said: "The real patience is at the first stroke of a calamity" [Narrated by Anas and recorded in Sahih Al Bukhari vol 2 # 389]

This is the time of the true test, when the initial reaction is either patience or impatience, and this is the time when patience is needed most. Allah said in the Qur'an: "No calamity occurs, but by the permission of Allah, and whosover believes in Allah, He guides his heart. And Allah is the All-Knower of everything" [Surat at-Taghabun 64:11]

Ibn Kathir said about this Verse: Whoever suffered an affliction and he knew that it occurred by Allah's Judgement and Decree, and he patiently abides, awaiting Allah's reward, then Allah guides his heart, and will compensate him for his loss in this life by granting guidance to his heart and certainty in faith. Allah will replace whatever he lost for Him with the same or what is better. Ali ibn Abi Talhah reported from Ibn Abbas: '… and whosever believes in Allah, He guides his heart.' Allah will guide his heart to certainty. Therefore, he will know that what reached him would not have missed him and what missed him would not have reached him" [Al Mubarakpuri, Sheikh Saifur-Rahman, tafsir ibn Kathir (Abridges) vol 10 (Riyadh, Darussalam, 2000), pp 24-25]

So the one who is patient does not wail, complain or feel despair about their loss but rather they know that they are the slave of Allah, that He knows what is best for his creation and if they are patient they will eventually be recompensed for their trial. Indeed we see this in the example of Umm Salamah dealing with the loss of her husband. She patiently bore his loss and she remembered the supplication that the Prophet (saws) taught us: "Inna-lillahi wa'inna ilayhi raji'un. Allahumma a-juri fi museebati wa akhluf ni khairan minha -To Allah we belong, and to Him is our Return. O Allah! Take me out of my plight and replace it with something which is better" [Muslim; 2:632]

She was initially reluctant to bring herself to say "and replace it with something which is better" because she thought to herself, "What could be better than Abu Salamah?" Allah soon answered her supplication by marrying her to the Prophet (p.b.u.h), the best of creation and made her from one of the Mothers of the Believers

Sometimes when we're experiencing hardships in our lives we fail to see Allah's wisdom and mercy in the hardships. We become consumed with the hardship itself. However difficult the hardships may be, Allah always helps the believers and intends good for them. Indeed, Allah has His plans.

Allah, The Most Wise says, "For indeed, with hardship [will be] ease. Indeed, with hardship [will be] ease." [Surah ash-Sharh 94: 5-6]

Monday, September 3, 2012

Motivational: When Last Did You Kiss Your Child?

When last did you
Hug or Kiss your Child?



I ran into a stranger as she passed by, "Oh excuse me please" was my reply. She said, "Please excuse me too; I wasn't watching for you." We were very polite, this stranger and I. We went on our way and we said goodbye.


But at home a different story is told, How we treat our loved ones, young and old. Later that day, cooking the evening meal, My son stood beside me very still. When I turned, I nearly knocked him down. "Move out of the way," I said with a frown. He walked away, his little heart broken. I didn't realize how harshly I'd spoken.


While I lay awake in bed, a still small voice came to me and said, "While dealing with a stranger, common courtesy you use, but the family you love, you seem to abuse. Go and look on the kitchen floor, You'll find some flowers there by the door. Those are the flowers he brought for you. He picked them himself: pink, yellow and blue. He stood very quietly not to spoil the surprise, you never saw the tears that filled his little eyes.


" By this time, I felt very small, And now my tears began to fall. I quietly went and knelt by his bed; "Wake up, little one, wake up," I said. "Are these the flowers you picked for me?" He smiled, "I found them out by the tree. I picked them because they're pretty like you. I knew you'd like them, especially the blue."


I said, "Son, I'm very sorry for the way I acted today; I shouldn't have yelled at you that way." He said, "Oh, Mom, that's okay. I love you anyway." I said, "Son, I love you too, and I do like the flowers, especially the blue."

"The Messenger of Allah (Sallahu Alaihee Wasallam) kissed Hasan bin A'lee and Al-Aqra' bin Haabis  sitting with him. So Al-Aqra' said:

"Indeed I have 10 children and I have not kissed any of them." So the Messenger of Allah[pbuh]looked at him and said:

"Whoever does not have mercy, would not be given any mercy." [Hadith, narrated by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim.]

This hadith shows us that whoever does not have mercy towards young children, then he himself would be prevented from receiving any mercy. This is because the rewards and recompense of actions are based upon and will be the same as the type of action that is done. As comes in another Hadith:
"Have mercy on those on the earth The One in the Heaven will have mercy on you."


In our hectic lives and in trying to realise our materialistic ambitions let us not be oblivious to those who are truly near and dear to us.


To most people you are just a number to someone you may mean the world!


So…honestly, when LAST DID YOU KISS OR HUG your child???