Tuesday, January 29, 2013
It could have been the splash of red or the overabundance of hearts or the young man in a designer jeans that caught his eye, but Sheikh Hamaad stopped under the bold “Valentine’s day Specials” banner, set his shopping basket on the floor and watched the young man battling to select an appropriate gift from the heaps of hearts, teddy bears and chocolates. Like a busy humming bird he flitted from shelf to shelf struggling to choose.
Sheikh Hamaad approached him as he stood scratching his head, “Asalaamu Alaikum, young man, seems like you’re battling to make a choice.”
“Eish, Moulana, this is more difficult than I thought. And lucky I only have to choose for two of them,” he said, picking up another heart decorated teddy bear, examining the price and putting down with disappointment.
“For your sisters?” Sheikh asked, feigning innocence.
“Naah, just friends, you know how it is. You have to do these things” came the prompt reply.
Sheikh Hamaad remained silent and fixed his gentle gaze on the young man, something more than the loud Billabong T-shirt and hipster jeans told him that this young man had more than a spark of intelligence.
“Tell me, how many Valentine’s gifts do your sisters receive?”
“Hey, hey.... Moulana my sisters are not like that. They don’t do this boyfriend thing. My sisters...they are pure,” exclaimed the young man an angry frown crossing his face. “Just let the guy try and send my sisters one flower and I’ll make him eat it. You don’t know me!”
“Oh,” said Sheikh Hamaad without any apology, “And your mother, how many Valentine’s gifts does she get?”
The young man took a step back and glared at Sheikh Hamaad, “La howla wa....” his words swallowed by his anger, “how can you even say such things about my mother? My mother, she doesn’t do this stuff. She is like an angel. She is pure. How can you say this?”
Sheikh paused, waiting for the silence to absorb the boy’s anger, then said, tauntingly, “So they don’t receive any Valentine’s gifts or have boyfriend’s at all.”
“I told you, Moulana, my family is pure and they don’t do this junk stuff.”
Knowing the moment was right Sheikh but forward his reasoning, “So you really don’t like your sisters receiving these gifts or having boyfriends.”
“No ways,” came the emphatic reply, “not on my life”
“Then don’t you think,” Sheikh ventured, “that other people would also not like their sisters, mothers or aunts to receive such gifts. Just as you would like your sisters to remain pure, they would also like their sisters to be pure?”
The young man dropped his head and shifted his feet nervously, “You have a point, Moulana. Didn’t ever think of it like that. I don’t want to say...but you are right. I shouldn’t be polluting other people’s family if I don’t like my family to be polluted. This is all quite wrong isn’t it?”
“Yes, it’s quite wrong,” without a hint of reprimand in his voice, “this is not our way.”
“But,” he asked, trying to conceal his embarrassment, “It’s not like we doing anything serious. I mean it’s only a gift. Not like we doing something physical...so it should be ok, no?”
Without disturbing his calmness, Sheikh Hamaad replied, “Do you like to go fishing?”
“Now you talking my language. Not a Sunday, not one, that we not by the dam,” he replied his hands waving with excitement, “We sit the whole day me and my buddies. First we prime the place with milie bombs. Just so the fish know we there. And they come, Moulana. They come for the bait. The whole lot, man....carpe, bass, barbell, you name it. But what’s that go to do with buying gifts.”
“When Shaytaan wants to trap someone,” Sheikh replied serenely, “he first puts some bait. Innocent stuff like gifts, the odd sms, just a hello and then when the time is right ....he will strike and how you say...you fall hook, line and sinker. Then he’s got you and it’s not long before he reels you in. So it starts with just a little bait. Just like the little gift that seems so innocent – it’s the bait.”
The young man beamed with this new found revelation and couldn’t wait to ask, “You are so right! And you have an amazing way of getting a point across Moulana, you didn’t just lecture me but you showed me how it is wrong. Thanks a mil. You must have learnt from a great teacher?”
“No doubt, I learnt from the best of all teachers,” Sheikh answered, “In fact, the best of all mankind...The Noblest Messenger of Allah- Rasulallah sallahu alaihi wa salam”
For more info on Valentine's Day: http://eislaminfo.blogspot.com/2012/02/valentines-day.html
Saturday, January 19, 2013
by bint Muhammad
The most honest, just and loving human being
He had the most beautiful, bright shiny smile
And the most highest ranking profile
No one could beat him in eloquence
Yet the mushrikeen said he was a bad influence
Everything he did was not for fame
But it was to help save us from the eternal flame
His humour was also great
Like when he told the old lady she won't enter through Jannahs gate
In Jaahiliyyah they would all in him place their trust
But when he came with the truth, they threw on him dust
His habeebatain were Aa'isha and Abu Bakr
Amoung his sahaabahs expedition was there Al-Ambar
He had given Khalid bin al-Waleed the title of Sayfullah
And his beloved uncle Hamzah was known as Asadullah
At Taa'if he had to endure such pain
But he made dua to Allah that through its progeny the Ummah should gain
At the Battle of Mu'tah was his cousin Ja'far slain
This too caused him a lot of pain
His sword was the Zulfiqaar
And he told us to seek forgiveness from Allah al-Ghaffaar
He prayed sincerely night and day
Just so that humanity may come on to the right way
In the Quraan he is known as an-Natheer
This was amoung the titles given to him by As-Samee'ul Baseer
His last illness proved to be severe
He knew he would not make it another year
While on his deathbed his cry was 'Ummati Ummati'
Knowing all the while that he was sinless, still he prayed to his Rabb, 'Ighfirlee' (forgive me)
Allahumma Salli wa Sallim ala Nabiyyil Ummi
Khairun Naasi min Arabiyyin wa Ajami
Monday, January 7, 2013
For what? You didn't do anything wrong.
I'm sorry because you get hurt because of me. Whenever I made a mistake, you're always there to erase it. But as you make my mistakes vanish, you lose a part of yourself. You get smaller and smaller each time.
That's true. But I don't really mind. You see, I was made to do this. I was made to help you whenever you do something wrong. Even though one day, I know I'll be gone and you'll replace me with a new one, I'm actually happy with my job. So please, stop worrying. I hate seeing you sad.
LESSON: Parents are like the eraser whereas their children are the pencil. They're always there for their children, cleaning up their mistakes. Sometimes along the way, they get hurt, and become smaller / older, and eventually pass on. Though their children will eventually find someone new (spouse), but parents are still happy with what they do for their children, and will always hate seeing their precious ones worrying, or sad….However our parents are getting smaller and smaller each day…One day, all that we would be left with will be eraser shavings and memories of what we used to have.
Allah, Most Wise admonishes us: "Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour. And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: My Lord! Bestow on them thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood." (Quran-17:23)
Just one A
It had been a long two weeks thought Taheera as she stole a moment to gulp down her now lukewarm tea. Yes, it had been two long weeks of covering books, sharpening pencils and struggling to make up sets of pencil colours from leftovers of last year. Getting the kids back to school had been no easy task and she had heard all the stories about school and about the learner who was adamant about working on the floor because her teacher insisted that they do their math without tables; and of the new teacher who marched into the classroom determined to establish his authority, and after banging his books on the desk demanded, "Will all the idiots in this class please stand up!"
After a painfully long silence young Abdool stood up at the back of the class and the teacher said, "Yes young man! Tell us why you think you are an idiot!"
The young man shifted his toppee(hat) nervously and in a near whisper replied, "I don't think I am an idiot, Sir. But I felt bad that you were the only one standing"
She had just put away the last of the dishes when she heard her son at the door. Patting down her greying hair and removing her apron she waited for him to come rushing in as he always did.
"Salaams Ma. Howzit!" he shouted as bounded into the kitchen dropping his heavy school bag at the door. "What's to eat? I'm very starved"
"Wa Alaikum wasalaam. When are you going to learn to say the full salaam. All you young people..."
"Ma, guess what?" he cut her off, "I am going to get seven A's this year. Seven! Ma"
Taheera smiled broadly and replied, "I think you should get eight A's"
"But Ma, I am only doing seven subjects." he said, a quizzical frown creased his forehead. "How can I ever get eight A's. I think the heat of the kitchen is frying your brain, Ma."
She paused for a while, set down the plate of steaming rice before him and said, "In fact, I think you should just get one A. Yes, just one A is enough"
Confused, he ignored his food and stared at his mother, "Ma, you not making sense. What good is one A? And in which subject – Maths, Science, English....no, Ma you really not making sense."
Taheera busied herself with dishing out aromatic curry saying nothing. She moved confidently in the kitchen pleased that she could offer her children a freshly cooked lunch every day. She wiped her hands on the kitchen towel and sat down close to her son.
"You see, my son," she began in her soft voice, "I don't want you to get an A in any subject. Not maths, Science, English or....even accounting."
Yusuf tilted his head in confusion and began to say something, before he could collect his words, she continued, "The A I really want you to get is Allah. If you have Allah throughout your life then you have everything. But if you have all the qualifications, all the letters of the alphabet behind your name...LLB, BA, BSc, PhD, you name it; but you don't have Allah then you have lost out. Not only in the Hereafter, but in this world too. Because," she paused to take a sip of water and waited for her words to sink in before she continued,
"If you have Allah in your troubled times then you have the best of Helpers. And knowing there's no problem that He can't solve, you will never give up hope. And if you have Allah in your good times then you will never forget that all the lovely things you have come from Him and you will never be arrogant. And if He is with you in the grave then what darkness can there be? In fact your grave will be full of light!.. And if He is with you on the day of Judgement then who can deny you entry into His Paradise."
Yusuf shuffled his food around his plate as he stared at his mother with tearful eyes.
"So if you have just this one A you have everything. And Allah will carry you in the difficult times and guide you in the happy times."
Taheera reached for her son's hand and held it tightly. He stood up, his tall lanky frame towering over her and bent low to place a gentle kiss on her forehead, whispering, "Ma, you're a genius."
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Back to School
Schools are about to open and you're probably feeling excited and maybe a little sad that holidays are just about over. Back to School comes with a barrage of projects, homework, sports practice and of course a day filled with pickups and drop offs.
Back to school time also means adjustments for children and families; the first day of grade one, new schools, new classrooms, new teachers and for adults sometimes new jobs.
Change is sometimes exciting and sometimes frightening, but this can also be an opportunity to set new goals. It's is a new year, 1434 of the Hijri Calendar and each year goes so fast like a quick turn of a page. This is why planning and setting goals is so important. As Muslims all our plans should be aimed at achieving our final goal which is to please our Creator Allah Ta'ala.
He who fails to plan, plans to fail!. Here are a few points to keep in mind when planning for this year.
· Niyyah: Our intention before doing anything is very important. The Messenger of Allah(peace be upon Him) has said "Every deed is judged by its intention."(Hadith-Bukhari) Plan and Do lots of good but it must be ONLY to please our Allah.
· Dua: Everyone of us needs to ask and pray to Allah Ta'ala daily for all our needs. A very beautiful dua that The Beloved Messenger of Allah(Peace be upon Him) made whenever he left his home " In the name of Allah,I trust in Allah, oh Allah I seek refuge in You from straying or being led astray or against slipping or being caused to slip or doing injustice or injustice being done on me or doing wrong or having wrong done to me." (Hadith-Abu Dawud)
· Make mashwera/shura (mutual consultation): All activities whether big or small should be discussed. Sit with the family daily at a mutually convenient time and plan our activities. See where we are and where we want to go this year. Check our level of Deen and plan to improve upon it. Discuss our day to day affairs. We may even discuss and allocate turns for house chores, or even who sits where in car, etc…this can save a lot of time and arguments early in the morning. To make Mashwera is a sunnah and will bring great barakah(blessings) in our home. It will also grant us an opportunity to plan our lives Islamically.
· Make attainable goals: Sets goals realistically and intelligently. Set goals that are attainable. Most important Make Deen the priority in our lives. Monitor your progress and place reminders and back your resolutions with planning.
· Family time: Your children need your presence more than your presents. Set aside quality time for them. Be interactive. Listen to them and pay attention to them when they call on you. Engage them in Taleem (Educational programs), for the smaller ones also read Islamic stories and even make it a practice to discuss the day's events with them. There is NO SUBSTITUTE for parental guidance and supervision.
· Homework: Turn off the T.V, BBM, Facebook and other social networks…put away your concerns and concentrate on being a parent. Look through your child's homework diary as your child's teacher uses this as a main connection between you and the school. Don't do homework for them, Do it with them!
· Daily routines: Let your child be involved in the small things like packing lunch, laying out clothes(uniforms) etc this teaches them responsibility. Start bed time routines a week before school starts. Ensure punctuality in Salaah(prayers). Read your duas together in the morning and evening. Make going to and from school educational by reciting duas collectively in the car. In a short time they will memorize the duas of travelling.
· Educational goals: Plan big! Enrol your kids for the best available Islamic Education…enrol your kids for Hifdh (memorisation of the Qur'an).You may have also realised how weak your Islamic knowledge is. Make time to attend some Islamic classes, or sit for Taleem Halqa at the Masjid. Ladies can join the weekly taleem (educational) programs in their area. Consult with your local Islamic Scholars regarding suitable Islamic educational programs.
· Identify your career goals: Choose your curriculum carefully and wisely.Maybe you always talked about making the career switch to a more Halaal source of income or adjusting your work times for salaat with jamaat (congregation). You may need to adjust your times so as to spend some quality time with your family. Whatever your reasons maybe, identify a career that will benefit your family both in this world and the aakhirah(hereafter).
· Wake up every day with a purpose: We wake up often knowing we should be doing something important today, but have failed to plan! Prepare for our higher purpose otherwise our day will become less productive.
· Uniforms and Stationery: Make sure uniforms are purchased timeously and that it conforms with sharia (Islamic requirements). If your kids encounter any resistance from the educational institution regarding their Islamic attire or other Islamic practices then be diplomatic and discuss and resolve the matter with management respectfully. Also ensure that you obtained a list of stationery required early so that it could be budgeted for and purchased well before hand.
· Lunch boxes, breakfasts and diets: Research shows that breakfast eaters have better concentration and muscle co-ordination. Kids need healthy lunch box snacks that maintain blood glucose levels which help concentration, so keep away from fuzzy drinks, chips and chocolates for lunch. A good idea is to plan a lunch box menu for the week.
· Take account of yourself daily: We need to be alert of our development so that we progress. Therefore we need to daily reflect on our progress or a lack of it. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) has said" the feet of the son of Adam will not move on the Day of Judgement until he is asked about five things: how he spent his life, how he spent his youth, from where he acquired his wealth and how he spent it, and what he did with his knowledge." So we need to be conscious on how we profitably use every second of our lives.
Remember that a Muslim sets goals that are in harmony with our accountability in the Aakhirah (Hereafter)... so take pen to paper and plan for a better life, seeking Allah Ta'ala's Guidance, Help and Forgiveness.The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) has encouraged us to make the following du'a "Oh our Lord, give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter, and save us from the torment of the fire."