Sunday, January 29, 2012

My little Butterfly.

Tonight like a butterfly coming out of its cocoon my daughter-in-law (ds1's wife) converted to Islam. Alhumdullilah. Present at the conversion was all our family except dd1 and dd2 and the parents of my daughter-in-law. Afterwards I hugged her and I could just feel that it was a great burden off her shoulders. It was a long time coming and we never knew if she would ever convert but today the day came and my daughter-in-law prayed maghrib together with our family. May Allah always guide her and any grandchildren that may come from her and my son and always keep them on the straight path. Amin.

Fundraising Dinner for Syria

Last night I went to a fundraising dinner for Syria with tickets we won last week (no worries, gambling wasn't involved.) It was very disturbing with the videos they played and it really made you lose your appetite. Of course we have to know what's going on but it felt like a weird combination. It really made you feel even more concerned for the situation and more grateful for your own situation but as we were reminded we never know if it can happen to us in the future.

I saw my friend there and also my daughter was there as she was the one who won the tickets. Unlike in my mosque where I always have to sit alone, in this mosque I was surrounded by Asian women and it was a nice change. My friend is Malaysian and her daughter is mixed like mine only the other half is Arab. The other two women were from Thailand and Turkmenistan. I don't know any Thai but I did show off my counting skills in Mandarin.

At the end of the dinner which included many speeches in Arabic and a few in English they started the fundraising. At this point I felt like I really shouldn't have been there because you are dealing with some heavy rollers there. They asked if each table could donate $20,000 for a warehouse of food. Come on they said that's only $2000 each. Oh my like it was $20. But as one woman at the table said if the whole table was comprised of dentists then this wouldn't seem like much to them. I felt that good kind of envy that we are allowed to have in Islam. The envy you have when someone is able to do a good deed that you can't.  Of course you can give less but you wish in your heart that you were one of them. Its just like wishing that you could be a Quran teacher and not a perpetual student. Alhumdullilah I was honoured to be there though. Even without the videos I already had an inside view of what is happening in Syria (which they pronoune Suria) from reading my book club book; Just 5 minutes, 10 yrs in the Prisons of Syria. I suggest you read it and donate.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Halifax Salon offers Muslim Womens only day.

Nice to see a shop being open-minded and catering to Muslim women. I see its open on Monday for them which is usually the day every shop is closed. Read about it here.

Vegetable Oil causes hypothyroidism?

We were discussing oils today and to end an argument I started googling and found this interesting article. I have heard a lot of things cause hypothyroidism including flouride but I never heard about oil.

Friday, January 27, 2012

5 Regrets

What will you regret when you die? This article from Quran for Busy People list the top 5 regrets from people on their deathbed.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Friday Nasihah -Satan's Influence

Living The Quran
Satan's Influence
Al Imran (The House of Imran) - Chapter 3: Verse 155 (partial)
"... Satan caused them to stumble only by means of something that they [themselves] had done ..."
"Satan's influence" on man is not the primary cause of sin but its first consequence: that is to say, a consequence of a person's own attitude of mind which in moments of moral crisis induces him to choose the easier, and seemingly more pleasant, of the alternatives open to him, and thus to become guilty of a sin, whether by commission or omission. Thus, God's "causing" a person to commit a sin is conditional upon the existence, in the individual concerned, of an attitude of mind which makes him prone to commit such a sin: which, in its turn, presupposes man's free will - that is, the ability to make, within certain limitations, a conscious choice between two or more possible courses of action.
Compiled From:
"The Message of The Quran" - Muhammad Asad, pp. 123, 124
Understanding the Prophet's Life (peace be upon him)
Making A Difference
A Muslim is not the one who fights Satan with his sword only and gets catapulted into Jannah (paradise), but rather the one who interacts actively with his environment in order to make a difference. Our actions are witnessed not only by Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him) but also by others as well. Hence, the Muslim is not living in a vacuum; he is continuously acting and interacting with his surroundings. What makes him or her a better Muslim? According to the following Hadith:
"People are dependents of Allah; the closest to Him (Allah) are the ones who are most useful to His dependents. (i.e. other creature)"
(Sahih Muslim)
Thus, the criterion for being a better Muslim is not simply Salah (prayers), fasting, Dhikr, and tasbih (glorifying Allah); it's one's utility to others! In this context the following principle should alarm us: "He who does not concern himself with the affairs of other Muslims is not one of them."
The task of a jama'ah (group) of Muslims is not to serve itself; it is to serve others! The group is not the objective, for in reality it is only an organizational means to accomplish the objective. The interest of such an organization must be subservient to the interest of the Ummah (Nation) and of the outside world. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) directs us:
"Have mercy on those in the land, so that the One in Heaven will have Mercy on you."
(Reported by at-Tirmidhi)
Muslim groups which confine themselves to their membership are losing sight or their objectives are becoming self-serving. In fact, all the preparation and training of the organization's members should be directed towards serving their nation. To establish an organization for the sake of the organization is like building a house for the sake of the house.
The environment and the population, of which the Da'iyah (Caller to Allah) is a part, are the only mediums through which he can perform. They are the only fields of operation in which Allah is testing him during his life.
Compiled From:
"Training Guide for Islamic Workers" - Dr. Hisham Altalib, pp. 15-16

Hadith Forgery
Signs of Forgery: Forgery in Text
[continued from previous issue]
c) Statements that stand in clear opposition to the Quran in such a way that no reasonable compromise and interpretation can be attempted are usually rejected. The so-called hadith, for example, that "The offspring of zina shall not enter Paradise down to seven generations" was rejected by the Prophet's widow, Aisha, as it violated the clear text of the Quran that " no soul shall carry the burden of another soul" (Al-Anam, 6: 164). Similarly the report "whoever begets a child and names him Muhammad, he and his offspring shall go to Paradise" is clearly in conflict with numerous Quranic promises of reward for good work and punishment for corruption and evil. Another example is the so-called hadith that specifies the lifespan of the world at 7,000 years, which stands in contrast to the Quranic declaration: "God only knows the time of the day of resurrection" (Luqman, 31:34).
d) A report may be unhistorical and fail to pass the test of historical reality. The hadith, for example, which is transmitted by Sad bin Muadh and Muawiya that "the Prophet imposed the jizya (poll tax) on the Jews of Khaybar and relieved them of hardship (prospects of war)" is discredited on account of historical facts that jizya was not known at that time and that the Quranic ruling on it was only revealed in the year of the Tabuk, and that Sad bin Muadh had died before this last event. In yet another report Anas bin Malik has stated that "I entered the public bath and saw the Prophet wearing a wrapper and said: O Anas, I have forbidden entry to the public bath without a wrapper." The facts of history show on the other hand that the Prophet never entered a public bath and that they did not exist in Madina at the time.
e) When the hadith smacks of scholastic fanaticism such as the report by Hibban bin Juwayn that "I heard Ali saying that I and the Prophet worshipped God six or seven years before anyone of this umma." It is known on the other hand that Hibban was a fanatical Shii and careless in the treatment of hadith.
[to be continued ...]
Compiled From:
"A Texbook of Hadith Studies" - Mohammad Hashim Kamali, pp. 77 - 78

Convert Story - Get out the kleenex!

This is a shout out to my native brothers and sisters. Yes I'm native. Part native; ojibway. Nothing saddens me more than to see my brothers and sisters suffering after all the colonialization including residential schools that was foisted upon them. I wish for them to go back to the truth, that is believing in the Creator like our ancestors did before the white man came (and yes I am white) and forced Christianity on them. And then there was the introduction of alcohol which is such a scourge on natives. May Allah lead them to the truth. Amin. Watch this video and realize the horror of what it means to be native even now. I've met a lot of part native converts; the most recent a Mohawk. Alhumdullilah we are coming to the truth.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Curing MS Through Food?

An internet friend sent me this video and I thought I would share.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Muslim Matters- Being at Peace with Yourself

Ok I totally ripped this off but I'm not claiming it as my own. I just want you all to read this. As a person myself who had difficulty accepting my quadar at times I really benefited from reading this article and there are many other points as well. Masha Allah on the article Haleh!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

AlSharifa Bathing Suit Review

This is an oldie but a goodie. Some of you will be traveling to warmer climes or maybe just swimming in your local pool or maybe you live on the other side of the world and you are having summer. Whatever the situation you find you need a bathing suit. Why not try an Alsharifa Bathing suit? Read the review here and get 10% off just by typing in the code shoe10.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Nasihah

Living The Quran
Knowledge of God
Al Hajj (The Pilgrimage) - Chapter 22: Verse 8
"Yet, there are some people who argue about God without any knowledge or guidance or even an enlightened book!"
The verse cites three sources that one should base oneself on to have correct knowledge of God. These are:
i) knowledge obtained through the study of, and reflection on, the creation in the light of the Revelation, direct observation and first-hand experience
ii) knowledge gained indirectly from some evidence or as a result of the guidance of a knowledgeable person
iii) knowledge gained from the Scriptures, which illuminates minds and hearts
Compiled From:
"The Holy Quran: Guidance for Life" - Yahiya Emerick, p. 292
"Towards Understanding The Quran" - Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi, Vol. 6, p. 12
"The Quran: Annotated Interpretation in Modern English" - Ali Unal, p. 684

Understanding the Prophet's Life (peace be upon him)
Be A Mirror
It is the duty of a Muslim to help fellow Muslims to stay on the straight path. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) enumerated the conditions to be met in the task of advising others: "Each one of you is like a mirror to the other." (Tirmidhi) In another hadith the Prophet said: "Every Muslim serves as another Muslim's mirror. He safeguards his rights in his absence as well." (Abu Dawud) The following norms emerge in light of the above ahadith:
1. One should not look for the lapses and weaknesses of others. For a mirror does not seek defects. Only on coming face to face does a mirror reflect you.
2. One should not be criticised in one's absence. Once again the similitude of the mirror should be kept in mind; it does not reflect someone in absentia.
3. One should not exceed limits in criticising someone else. For a mirror does not magnify or diminish any feature.
4. Criticism should be forthright and free of any ulterior motive. For, once again, a mirror does not entertain any revenge or grudge.
5. One's criticism should be made with sincerity, genuine concern, pain and love. This removes any bitterness caused by criticism. Sincerity in this context signifies one's concern for the ultimate accountability in the Hereafter. One should help a fellow Muslim in order to avoid any punishment for him on the Day of Judgement. Nor should one entertain any superiority complex. Humility and not arrogance makes mutual care and advice effective.
Compiled From:
"Inter Personal Relations" - Khurram Murad, pp. 34, 35

Hadith Forgery
[continued from previous issue]
Signs of Forgery
Just as the scholars have classified the hadith into various categories so as to identify its strengths and weaknesses from various viewpoints, they have also identified the signs of forgery in hadith from the viewpoints of transmission (isnad) and subject matter (matn).
1. Forgery in Transmission
Signs of forgery in transmission are identified mainly by reference to the reputation and biography of the transmitter. There is a wealth of literature on the names and biographies of the transmitters of hadith and those who are known to have indulged in lying and forgery. Another useful tool that the scholars have utilized is to ascertain the time factor and dates in the transmission of hadith. This is done by verifying whether the reporter actually met the person he or she has quoted as immediate source. Forgery of isnad is also known sometimes by admission of the forger. Similarly, when the transmitter is known for lying and his hadith stands alone in that no one else has reported it - this would be another way of detecting forgery in hadith. And lastly, signs of forgery in transmission are also detected by reference to personal interest and motive. An example of this is a so-called hadith narrated by Muhammad ibn al-Hajjaj al-Lakhmi which reads that "cookies (al-harisa) strengthen the spine" and it turns out that he used to sell al-harisa.
2. Forgery in Text
Signs of forgery in the text of a hadith are identified by reference to at least seven factors:
a) The language of hadith: The Prophetic language is characteristically known for its eloquence and style. Speech of a particular crude variety and style is taken as a sign of forgery. Al-Rabi bin al-Khathim is widely quoted to have said that "there is light in hadith such as the broad daylight that we know it, or else it is dark like the dead of the night that we do not fail to denounce."
b) Corruption in the purpose and meaning of a reported hadith also provides evidence as to its fabrication. The report, for example, that "the ark of Noah circumambulated the Kaba seven times and then prayed two units (rakah) of salah at the end;" or the report that "God created the horse and raced it first and then created Himself from it" are evidently unreasonable and corrupt, and cannot be accepted in the name of hadith. Ibn al-Jawzi is quoted as having said: "when you see a hadith that is irrational, or in conflict with the text or basic principles then know that it is a forgery."
[to be continued ...]
Compiled From:
"A Texbook of Hadith Studies" - Mohammad Hashim Kamali, pp. 75 - 77

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Kabul Beauty School- Library pick

I got this book from the library and I was skeptical because my library has mostly let's save the poor little Muslim women books. This book is like this but there is a twist because the author is also saving herself. I wanted to hate this book but it was very interesting and she did show a lot of compassion and understanding. I'm amazed by some of the things she does considering she's Christian. I don't want to give away the story but this is a very interesting book, in a way its like Butterfly Mosque.

She has a second book too. Check out the interview here where she talks about both books.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Productive Muslim -Now in Malaysia

Coming to Malaysia in February to Klang Valley, Productive Muslim. Hope the Malaysians can afford the high prices though. I know the ringgit is worth only a third of a Canadian dollar but still, it must be hard to afford these prices with such low salaries.

Monday, January 16, 2012

What I've been reading lately....

So I still haven't read Wandering Lonely in a Crowd,Married to a Bedouin or Mom, I'm a Muslim but I have just finished reading The Muslim Marriage Guide by Ruqaiyyah Waris Maqsood that I picked up for the bargain price of 5 bucks at RIS. I wish I had read this ages ago as it first came out in '98 but better late than never. I really enjoyed this book although she had some strange hadith authors I've never seen before although the info seemed sound enough. She is not afraid to be frank in this book which is something Islam is in the forefront of compared to Christianity. Mentioned in the book a lot, are men, who hang out till all hours at the mosque with buddies and guys watching sports all the time. I couldn't relate to this part at all as dh is not like that at all. Most books and blogs seem to talk about Indian/Pakistani or Arab guys so I never see any information about marriage to a Malay ever reflected. I would recommend this book though and it would make a great marriage gift and guys should read it with their wives.

September 2011 Book Club - For God and Country -review

I read this quite some time ago so I am trying to remember it. This book reminded me of My Guantanamo Diary which I read years before. Personally I am not too impressed with Muslims who join the military but I can see how his services were needed as he was a chaplain. This book is very ironic in the way that the tables were turned and the author became as the captors were. I'm glad he got justice in the end but as we can see things have still not improved in Guantanamo to this day especially with Obama's new bill. If you are American then read this book and read My Guantanamo Diary and write to your president and make a difference. And most importantly make dua.

November 2011 Heaven Under Your Feet -Book review

This is pretty late. I took a long time to read this because I was so emo about my miscarriage. When I chose this book I was still pregnant. I think this would have been a great book to read years ago when I first started having kids as a Muslim ( I had 2 when I was Christian) because of the Islamic advice I missed out on. This book is a combination of both worldly and Islamic advice. I like how she includes duas and mentions letting your baby listen to quran while you are pregnant. One thing I disagree with is her opinion on not having your husband at the delivery with you. She says in islamic history a woman would always be present. She also says that men won't be able to take it and will feel less attracted to their wives later. I discussed this topic with dh and he said where is her proof? Good point. I think books should have facts as well and not just opinions. Overall I think its a good book though and I think its great for new mothers and new Muslims mothers especially.

Making the Sunnah Fard.

I'm no scholar but last time I checked doing extra things like sunnah prayers is not fard. Its getting a little tiresome to hear people telling me that I have to do something that is supposed to be an extra thing that you do from your heart for extra reward and making into something compulsory that I should be ashamed of not doing. Last time I checked there are 5 daily prayers. Five! Got that? I'm happy praying my five daily prayers. If I am so inclined I will add more or maybe not. There are 5 pillars in Islam and there are 5 daily prayers. No one would dare to say that there are extra pillars that are mandatory so why say that about prayers. What's next? Umrah is compulsory? Its really starting to get uncomfortable and making what I do like about islam (ie learning quran) start to feel like a chore. Anyone else been through this?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

March 2013 Book Club Pick

Just got an email about an interesting book called The Translator. This is the story of a Sudanese widow in Scotland. Check it out.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday Nasihah

Living The Quran
Independent Personality
Luqman - Chapter 31: Verse 15
"However, if (your parents) try to force you to set up partners with Me, offering (deities) about which you know nothing, then don't obey them. Yet, still keep company with them in this world in a fair manner. Keep yourself on the path of those who turn towards Me, for all of you will return to Me, and I'm going to tell you the meaning of everything you did."
The Quran delineates a practical program for developing a sense of responsibility and for better use of human freedom and free will.
The Quran calls upon man to be and believe as a person free from any hereditary or environmental influences. Each individual must form his own opinion independently towards the truth. His decision in this regard should not be affected by his parents and forefathers or by social habits and customs. Each man must decide for himself.
Even though the Quran often admonishes us to fulfill our duties towards our parents, it warns us not to follow them blindly and describes some parents as ignorant and astray. The Quran gives this warning because it insists that every man must carefully and independently decide about his own beliefs, and should not be carried away by a blind love for his forefathers or their way of life. If the parents are wrong, astray, or ignorant, their children should be free to choose what is right and to reject their parents' false dogmas.
Compiled From:
"The Holy Quran: Guidance for Life" - Yahiya Emerick, p. 292
"Freedom and Responsibility in Quranic Perspective" - Hasan Al-Anani, p, 185

Understanding the Prophet's Life (peace be upon him)
Helping the Poor
Ibn Abbas related that the Prophet said: Any Muslim who gives a Muslim a garment to wear will be in Allah's safekeeping as long as a shred of it remains on him. (Ahmad, Tirmidhi)
Safwan ibn Salim related that the Prophet said: Anyone who looks after and works for a widow and a poor person is like a warrior fighting for Allah's cause, or like a person who fasts during the day and prays all night. (Bukhari)
Anas related that the Prophet said: If any Muslim plants something or sows seed from which a man, a bird or an animal eats, it counts as a charity for him. (Bukhari, Muslim)
Relatives who are needy
Abu Huraira narrated that the Prophet said: The best charity is that which is practiced by a wealthy person. And start giving first to your dependents. (Bukhari)
Salman ibn Amer reported that the Prophet said: To give something to a poor man brings one reward, while giving the same to a needy relative brings two: one for charity and the other for respecting the family ties. (Ahmad, Ibn Majah, Nasai, Tirmidhi)
Compiled From:
"The Quran and Hadiths on the poor and needy: a topical index" - Staff Writer

Hadith Forgery
[continued from previous issue]
History and Context
7. Careless Religious Zeal
Another category of fabricated hadith is associated with the religious zeal of individuals whose devotion to Islam led them to careless ascription of hadith to the Prophet. This is illustrated by the forgeries committed by one Nuh bin Abi Maryam on the virtues of the various suras of the Quran. He is said to have later regretted what he did and explained that he fabricated such hadith because he saw people who were turning away from the Quran and occupying themselves with the fiqh of Abu Hanifa and the battle stories of Muhammad bin Ishaq and that he did so as part of carrying out hisba, that is promoting good and forbidding evil, and that he "lied for the Prophet and not against him". This is considered as one of the worst forms of forgery as it almost succeeds to be convincing and becomes difficult to isolate. Numerous other names occur in the relevant literature, including those of Ghulam Khalil and Ibn Abi Ayyash of Baghdad, who were both known as pious individuals, but who invented hadith on devotional matters. Other examples of this kind include the so-called hadith that "the superiority of Rajab over other months is like the superiority of the Quran over other speech, and the superiority of Shaban over other months is like that of mine over other Prophets, and the superiority of the month of Ramadan is like that of God over His servants."
Other themes of hadith forgery include the urge on the part of courtiers who distorted hadith so as to please and flatter their overlords. Similarly, the desire to establish the permissibility or virtues of certain varieties of food, beverages, clothes and customary practices has led to forgery in the hadith. A number of fabricated ahadith have thus been recorded on the virtues of food items such as rice, lentils, aubergines, and places such as Asqalan, months of the year, days and even certain times of the day, and also of personal names such as Ahmad and Muhammad, etc.
[to be continued ...]
Compiled From:
"A Texbook of Hadith Studies" - Mohammad Hashim Kamali, pp. 70, 71

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mother/Mother-in-law night out

Last night I went out with my daughter-in-law and her mother. It was my daughter-in-law's  idea for us to have a night out. We both wanted to see We Bought A Zoo which was a great choice that I highly recommend. The show is perfect for the family and it is so touching, enjoyable,funny and true to life as its a true story and those are always the best ones. That thought made me think of the Quran and how the stories of the prophets are always the most compelling. After watching the show I went on a rant about how there is no nature where I live and comparing it to the location where the zoo was and the environment it is set in, with mountains and trees. I don't care for zoos or birds in cages as I think no animal should live out the only life they have in prison. Some zoos are more humane than others though. The other thing I like about this show is how they became involved in something bigger than them. It reminded me of Itto's Living Faith blog and how they started a school. I think its important to be involved in something outside ourselves that involves selflessness and fulfills our jobs as Vice-regents of this world. This is the best movie I've seen in a really long time. Go out and see it!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Arrorgance Towards Our Children

This isn't going to be a lecture by a renowned scholar but just little old me and my experiences this past year. Allah has shown me through a few examples with my kids that I had better listen up and listen well. I am sorry kids. I am sorry I thought I knew better. I've always appreciated the honesty of children and how they feel no qualms about enjoining the good and forbidding the evil. But what about other issues? Sometimes they know better too. I will give you 4 examples. I hope you will be a better listener than me.

1. My daughter kept complaining about her apt. I kept telling her she should be grateful and that the situation was great. This daughter is 19 yrs old so you think I would have listened better right? Well I didn't. It ended up that a friend told me about another apt which was better for her so my daughter gave her notice and all heck broke loose. Long story short she ended up getting kicked out through no fault of her own! This was a horrible stressful time for the family and especially her. It ended up that the 2nd apt promised to her wasn't even given to her! Thankfully through friends a 3rd apt was found and she is there happily. If I had listened to my daughter in the first place all this drama could have been avoided... a drama so large people were telling me to call the cops!

2. My son (13) told me he had a problem. I overlooked it thinking it was nothing and the problem spread to everyone! For months! Moral...never procrastinate when kids mention problems. Jump right on them immediately. Investigate don't just assume!

3. My daughter (12) told me Mom you should close up your outdoor umbrella. Since I've never owned an umbrella like that before I thought why should I? Then a wind came up and blew the umbrella down and smashed the glass patio table ( which we had got from the trash). Just because someone is a kid doesn't mean they aren't right.4. Then that summer I also ordered her an item. I told her which one to get. She disagreed but I thought I knew better. I didn't go to all the lengths literally that I should have to make sure if that was the right choice. Turns out she was right and I had to send the item back at my own cost.

Insha Allah I have learned my lesson.

Monday, January 9, 2012

What I'm reading now............

I was at the library today and right beside the counter taunting me was a book I just had to grab; Clutter Busting. Remember my storage dilemma post? Well it is the new year and everyone is organizing so maybe its not really serendipity but who knows? In Islam nothing is a coincidence. I'm only on the introduction but I like the way the author speaks to me. Its refreshing because the author is a male which is different from most organizing books. I need to read this to know if I am really being thrifty or holding onto the past. I've never been a rich person, not even middle class so I always have a fear of not having enough so I know this is part of the problem. I want to see what this book has to say and where I should go with my problem. As an aside have any of you watched Extreme Cheapskates? My son (13) said wow Mom this is really Islamic. Lol....yes being frugal is Islamic but not too over the top. Allah likes to see His blessing shown on us.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Friday Nasihah

Living The Quran
Divine Gifts
Al Nahl (The Bee) - Chapter 16: Verse 81
"And it is God who has granted you shade out of what He has created, and has granted you in the mountains places of shelter [and protection]; and He has granted you garments to protect yourselves from heat [and cold], and others to protect yourselves from your own violence. Thus does He grant in full measure His blessings towards you, so that you might submit yourself to Him [and His guidance]."
Hills, mountains, caves and trees provide people with their natural shade and shelter, while the human mind, gifted by God, can design and build walls and roofs for shade and shelter. Similarly, people first used animal skins to protect themselves from heat and cold, then were able to make better clothing when they discovered how to make use of the wool of animals, the products of silkworms and plants, and how to spin and weave. They also learned how to make armour in order to shield themselves against the attacks of one another.
All these divine gifts and blessings, especially that of the human mind which continuously faces challenges and works out solutions, thus inspiring human development, should guide us to the One who gives and provides, and make us recognize and feel grateful to Him for His creation and care. He is in no need of our thanks, but our direction and devotion to Him will enable us to enjoy genuine freedom within ourselves, towards all others, and attain stability and peace through the varying and successive ups and downs of life.
Compiled From:
"Concepts of the Quran" - Fathi Osman, p. 36

Understanding the Prophet's Life (peace be upon him)
Women Visiting Graves
For a good understanding of the Sunnah, it is important to reconcile sahih (authentic) hadiths that appear contradictory in that, at first glance, their textual meanings are at variance. It is necessary to combine some of them with others, and place each in its correct place, so that they harmonize and do not differ, so that they complement and do not contradict. We do not do so for weakly supported texts except as a voluntary service or act where there is no requirement or duty to do that.
For example, the hadith of Abu Hurayrah: "God's Messenger condemned women visitors to the graves". Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Ibn Majah narrated it, also al-Tirmidhi who called in hasan and sahih, and Ibn Hibban narrated it in his Sahih. Supporting that is what has come in other hadiths prohibiting women following funeral processions, from the import of which is derived the prohibition of women visiting the graves.
In opposition to these hadiths, there are others from which one understands the permissibility for women, as for men, of visiting graves. Among them is his (peace be upon him) saying: "I had forbidden you to visit graves, but [now I say] visit them." [Hakim]"Visit the graves, for indeed they remind of death." [Muslim] Women are included in the general permission to visit graves, and in the need of everyone to be reminded of death. Also among these hadiths is what Muslim narrated (and al-Nasai and Ibn Hanbal) from Aishah. She asked: "How shall I address them? (she meant 'when I visit the graves'). He said: 'Say: Peace be upon the people of the homes of the believers and the Muslims; and God have mercy on the early-comers among us and the late-comers. And indeed we, if God wills, are catching up with you.'" Another example is what the two Shaikhs (Bukhari and Muslim) have narrated from Anas, that "the Prophet passed by a woman weeping at a grave. So he said: 'Fear God and be patient.'..." Now, he forbade her anxiety, but he did not forbid her visiting the grave. Another example is narrated by al-Hakim from Fatimah, the daughter of God's Messenger, that she used to visit the grave of her uncle, Hamzah, every Friday, and she prayed and wept near it.
Moreover, these hadiths demonstrating the permissibility of women visiting graves are more sahih and more common than the hadiths demonstrating the prohibition of it. So combining and reconciling them is possible, in this way: one can interpret the 'condemnation' mentioned in the hadith as warning against wailing, and the like which may apply to both men and women. If reconciling two (or more) hadiths contradictory in outward sense is not possible, then one may resort to preference between them.
Compiled From:
"Approaching the Sunnah: Comprehension & Controversy" - Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, pp. 113-116

Hadith Forgery
[continued from previous issue]
History and Context
5. Storytellers and preachers
Known among the classes of forgers are also professional storytellers and preachers whose urge for popularity through arousing an emotional response in the audience led them to indulge in forgery. They made up stories and attributed them to the Prophet. Included in these are so-called hadith:
  • The first thing that God created was the light (nur) of the Prophet Muhammad.
  • God revived the Prophet's parents and they embraced Islam before him.
  • Intercession is obligatory for one who is named by the name Muhammad.
  • There is no tree in Paradise without the following being written on every one of its leaves: la ilaha illallah, Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, Umar al-Faruq wa Uthman Dhul-Nurayn.
6. Juristic and theological differences
Juristic and theological differences constitute another theme of forgery in hadith. The ulama were thus divided into Ahl al-Sunna, Mutazila, Jabriyya, Murjia, etc., and they disagreed over many issues, such as the attributes of God, the definition of faith (iman), whether faith is only a state of mind or that it relates to both belief and conduct, whether faith is liable to increase or decrease, whether the Quran is created or uncreated and so forth. Some of these differences are known to have led to exaggerated statements, even forgery of hadith. This may be illustrated by the following statement attributed to the Prophet that "Whoever raises his hands during the performance of salah, his salah is null and void." In yet another statement, we read: "Whoever says that the Quran is the created speech of God becomes and infidel ... and his wife stands divorced from him as of that moment."
[to be continued ...]
Compiled From:
"A Texbook of Hadith Studies" - Mohammad Hashim Kamali, pp. 69, 70

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

My Storage Dilemma

Yes I know I'm supposed to be the guru but I just don't know what to do and need advice. Perhaps other big families can advise me. I have so many outgrown clothes now and I cannot donate them or sell them because I am saving them for the next kid and possible potential kids or grandkids. In the meantime the rooms are starting to look like hoarders. I have nowhere to put this stuff. We don't have a garage and our shed is full and that would probably just make the clothes mold anyway. Our storage is full under the stairs. Everything is in boxes but there is nowhere to put it. My children are not having kids so I can't pass those things down. My youngest son is 5 and all his stuff from 4 on down is just sitting in boxes and suitcases. My youngest daughter is 2 and all her stuff is just sitting there too. Then there are all the sizes in between. I have never been in such a situation before. I was managing until the last few years. Now the shoe is bulging and we have nowhere to turn. If I were rich I would just give everything away and replace it if need be but I'm not. I don't like this feeling of inertia which feels like clothing constipation. We should live in this world as travelers but we must also not waste. I am torn between these two platitudes. Help!

February 2013 Book Club Choice - Hearts We Lost

This is another book I saw at RIS and as I have read all Umm Zakkiyah's other books and enjoyed them, I am choosing it for next year. Read and listen to the

Sunday, January 1, 2012

January 2012 book club pick

Mom, I'm a Muslim is the choice for this month. I tried to find this title at RIS but no one had it not even SoundVision who had none of the titles I chose for this year. I think because I have chosen books by non-Islamic publishers they are not available even though they are written by Muslims. I think Islamic stores need to branch out more although I can see why they want to support Islamic book publishers. Muslims need to have more choices. Some of the books I saw at RIS, actually most of them are really old titles but I guess the young people haven't read them yet. One interesting title which I did see was Yes I Would Love Another Glass of Tea. Perhaps that can be my choice for January 2013.

My dad broke my fast.

Yesterday I was fasting to make up for the days I missed and so was dd3. In the morning she woke up and put on mismatched blue, one bright pink. I said to her great now imagine what the visitors will say. She responded mom we never get visitors. And that's true, we can count on one hand how often people come to see us a year. This was the day dh also decided to replace our ahem throne and so I decided since the water was turned off to go use the ladies room elsewhere. As I was walking out the door I saw a man in a truck pull in. I thought he is probably just turning around but lo and behold it was my dad! My dad was stopping by on his way from my brother's (yes I'm not the favourite) and needed to use the facilities, lol and of course visit us. I told him you can join me and go to Timmie's which he did and there I thought about how we could sit and have a coffee and a chat as we never get to be alone together but then I suddenly remembered oh yeah I'm fasting! However my dad bought a dozen doughnuts and I told him I can't eat one now as I'm fasting to make up my days and so is dd3. He said oh well you can save it then. So that is how my dad broke my fast and how wearing mismatched socks brings visitors. Well the water was turned back on shortly after so we are visitor ready! Hello, hello?