Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Queens of Islam

March 2012 Book club reminder

In two days it will be March insha Allah. The book for this month is Welcome to Islam a convert's tale.

Malays have feng shui - who knew?

I found this interesting article about building practices in Malaysia. I lived in a kampung house for 4 months. I guess they fit in with their environment but too much so in my opinion as even a tent provides more security from mosquitoes and critters than a kampung house. I can understand the airflow needs as these houses aren't air conditioned but I would highly recommend screening the windows. It really would be the best of both worlds.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Nasihah

iving The Quran
Reason to Reflect
Al Fatir (The Creator) - Chapter 35: Verse 37 (partial)
"Didn't We give you enough of a lifespan already, so that whoever would accept a reminder could have been reminded? The warner already came to you, as well, so now you will suffer! The wrongdoers will have no one to help them!"
In this verse Allah the most Exalted addressed the non-believers reprimanding them for wasting their lives, spending them in a state of disbelief, and not leaving their state of disbelief to a state of belief despite the blessings of long lives that Allah bestowed upon them.
He, the most Glorified, has made the blessing of a long life a reason for one to reflect and ponder, and has made one's life as proof against him, as He has made messengers and warners proof and witnesses over him as well. Qatada said: "Know that the length of one's life is a proof against him, so we seek refuge in Allah from being mocked and blamed due to our long lives."
Al-Bukhari narrated on the Authority of Abu Hurayra that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, "Allah will not accept the excuse of any person whose instant of death Allah had delayed till he is sixty years of age."
Compiled From:
"The Holy Quran: Guidance for Life" - Yahiya Emerick, pp. 312, 313
"The Value of Time" - Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghuddah, p. 4

Understanding the Prophet's Life
Small Charity
"If someone gives in charity the equivalent of a date from his lawful and good earnings - and Allah only accepts what is lawful and good - Allah will take it in His right hand and raise it for its giver, in the same way that one of you raises his small colt, until it becomes similar to a mountain." (Bukhari)
This hadith demonstrates how pleased Allah is with a person's sadaqa. It also demonstrates that the amount that is given does not have to be large. A person may not have much that he can give in charity. However, that does not matter. He should still be willing to give in charity for there will be a great reward for him, Allah willing. Indeed, the little that he is able to give in charity may be enough to protect him from the Hell-fire. The Prophet, peace be upon him, advised his Companions and all Muslims by saying, "Protect yourselves from the Fire, even if by just half a date [given in charity]." (Bukhari, Muslim)
In fact, depending upon a person's situation and his desire to please Allah by giving charity, a small amount of charity may be rewarded in a greater fashion than a large amount of charity.
Compiled From:
"Commentary on the Forty Hadith of al-Nawawi" - Jamaal al-Din M. Zarabozo, p. 887
Honest Discourse
The Muslim world is still lacking intellectual exactness. Very limited in number are those voices that go to the limits of honest analysis, that refuse to say something and then keep quite when they see its contrary being applied, that denounce events, governmental policies and silent conspiracies.
One does not protect oneself from one's enemy by concealing from him, and by hiding from oneself, one's defects. On the contrary, it is appropriate to be completely aware and clear about one's own shortcomings. Those who consider the West as an enemy feel that any criticism directed at Muslims is a kind of dishonest compromise especially if it is enunciated in the presence of Westerners. Keen to appear "unwavering", they forget themselves. Yet, to elaborate a critical denunciation in no way means making an "alliance" with the West. It is before anything else remaining faithful to the Message of Islam which, above all, imposes justice and equity. We are opposed to the economic and strategic policies of the West, and this does not mean that the West, in itself, is the enemy. There exist a great number of intellectuals, journalists and researchers who have a genuine concern for understanding and who need to hear, read and refer to an honest and well-thought-out discourse and bring to the fore, without complacency, the gaps and betrayals in the Muslim universe. This, unless we want to persevere in a confinement that neither the Quran nor the Sunna have prescribed.
Compiled From:
"Islam, the West and the Challenges of Modernity" - Tariq Ramadan, pp. 288-290

Monday, February 20, 2012

Convertible Designs - a review

One day I was with my dd4 and she is at an age where she is always asking 'what if' and talking about things she wants to invent. That day she said  I want to invent a coat that turns into a pillow so that I can use it on the long bus ride to school. I said its probably already invented and I'll google it to check. Lo and behold I found a company that had done just such a thing; Convertible Designs. Their theme song could be 'its a pillow, its a coat, its a pillow coat' but they would probably be sued, lol. Anyway I looked at their site and found that their coats did not come in dd4's size (7/8). I contacted the company to see if they would be making some in that size but unfortunately they said they would not be able to. However they said they did have a doll they could give to my daughter and that I could review it on my blog. In the end I got jackets for ds5 and dd5. I received them recently and took some pics. As for the doll, my tomboy daughter liked it and said she loved that it was soft instead of hard like most dolls. She also liked that it came with its own passport and wanted me to write in the first place she traveled with it when we went to the next town. She also liked how when you take off the wings it looks like a person. As for the jackets, we have got a lot of looks from people as no one has anything like this around here. As this is an American company and on the internet its not surprising. Dd3 got right on changing the jacket into a frog for ds5. He was very impressed! What can I say about the company? I think the company is great; they are willing to work with you and they are quick and for my readers they are extending a deal on the jackets. Here's the deal: The code is CANADA2012. It will expire March 31st. The discount is $34 off a purchase of the jacket and free shipping.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday Nasihah

Living The Quran
Sharing Truth
Al-Imran (The House of Imran) Sura 3: Verses 187
"Recall that God took an agreement from those who received previous revelation. They were (supposed to make the message of God) clearly evident to people and not to hide it, but they threw it away behind their backs and made a little profit off of it. What a despicable bargain they made!"
Ibn Kathir writes: In this verse there is a warning to the scholars that they ought not conceal religious knowledge from the people. The Prophet, peace be upon him, has said, "Whosoever was asked about a piece of knowledge and he concealed it, shall have a rein of fire in his mouth on the Day of Resurrection."
It is said that when Zuhri had given up narrating hadith, Hasan bin Ammara went up to him and asked him to relate some hadith. Zuhri told him of his resolve. Hasan told him: "Either you narrate or I will." Zuhri said: "Alright. You do." Hasan narrated Ali's (may Allah be pleased with them) words: "Allah did not make it obligatory upon the ignorant to ask before He had made it obligatory upon the scholars to teach." Hearing this Zuhri narrated forty hadith to Hasan (Qurtubi).
Yusuf Ali adds: "Truth - Allah's Message - comes to any man or nation as a matter of sacred trust. It should be broadcast and published and taught and made clear to all within reach. Privileged priesthood at once erects a barrier. But worse, when such priesthood tampers with the truth, taking what suits it and ignoring the rest, it has sold Allah's gift for a miserable ephemeral profit."
Compiled From:
"The Holy Quran: Guidance for Life" - Yahiya Emerick, p. 60
"Tafsir Ishraq Al-Ma'ani" - Syed Iqbal Zaheer, vol. 2, pp. 169, 170

Understanding the Prophet's Life (peace be upon him)
Spying on others, with a view to detecting their weaknesses, is a serious social evil, for it offends the victim. No one likes that his lapses become common knowledge. This also creates bad feelings in the hearts of others. Often spying cannot be conducted through reliable means. Thus one is liable to entertain a poor opinion of others based on some unreliable reports. The Prophet, peace be upon him, directed:
"Do not be after the weaknesses of fellow Muslims. For one who spies on others Allah will expose his weaknesses. Such a person who is exposed by Allah is bound to be publicly disgraced, even if he retires from social life." [Tirmidhi]
Compiled From:
"Inter Personal Relations" - Khurram Murad, pp. 23, 24
Cool Concepts!
Divine Providence
While it is believed by all Muslims that God is active in human history and that, ultimately, everything is within God's power and decree, the question of free will versus predestination remains a mystery. After the death of the Prophet, one of the first theological disagreements among the Muslims was over this question, and both sides found ample Quranic and prophetic statements to support their claim. The debate was finally put to rest (to some extent) a few centuries later, when a widely respected traditional theologian (Abul Hasan Al Ashari) unfolded a theory of "acquisition" (kasb), by which God was understood to be the Originator or the Creator of the deed while the human being was held responsible. In other words, the debate was put to rest by acknowledging the paradox: God is the only real "actor" or "creator" in the universe, and His power and knowledge envelop everything past, present, future; on the other hand, we feel as if we make choices, and we are promised reward and punishment based upon those choices.
For everyday purposes, pious Muslims live within this mystery. They worship and struggle to be virtuous as they ponder the Divine message hidden in the events of their days and of the larger, global situation. Perhaps, the most tangible way this is perceived is through the pious phrase of exception, "if God wills" (in sha Allah). Whenever a pious Muslim declares her intention to do something or to go somewhere, she says, "if God wills" as an acknowledgement that it may not come to pass even if she makes her best effort. In such cases, it is simply accepted as God's will, which is inscrutable and eternally beyond both human understanding and human judgment.
Compiled From:
"In the Light of a Blessed Tree" - Timothy J. Gianotti, pp. 49, 50

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Yo Bro Where's your Mo

By mo I mean mustache. I don't get it. What's with the new trend of brothers not having a mustache? I know from hadith that Prophet Muhammad (saw) said the Jews only have a beard and the Christians only have a mustache so be different from them and have both. I also know he(saw) told Muslim men to trim their beard. Trim means to keep it short not cut it off. So I am confused. Is this a new sect in Islam? I asked my daughter and she said maybe they can't grow one. That sounds odd to me because in that case wouldn't they have trouble growing a beard as well? Is there anyone who can explain this new trend to me? Its even turning up in kids story books ie Nabeel's New Pants. I must have missed the memo on this one but then again I'm not a guy.

I want to have sex, party and drink and still go to heaven.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday Nasihah

Living The Quran
No Compromise
Al-Qalam (The Pen) Sura 68: Verses 8-9
"So pay no heed to those who deny the truth. They would love that you compromise with them, so that they will also compromise."
A person with faith will not abandon any of its beliefs or values, because its minor points are the same as its major ones. Indeed, in faith there is nothing minor and nothing major: both are the same. A faith is single unity with parts complementing each other. Its advocate will never discard any part of it in order to please someone else.
Islam and Jahiliyyah can never meet halfway or indeed in any way. This is true of Islam everywhere and across all generations. All states of ignorance, or jahiliyyah, are the same: past, present or future. The gulf that separates the two states is unbridgeable and admits no compromise. The two are diametrically opposed.
Several reports speak of what the unbelievers in Makkah tried to achieve by way of compromise with the Prophet so that they would stop criticizing their worship methods. They hoped that he would give them something that would save their faces if they were to follow him. The Prophet, however, maintained a decisive firmness, refusing to give up even a small part of his faith. Additionally, he was extremely well mannered, kind and benevolent towards his tribesmen, eager to make things easy for them. With regard to faith, he was committed, obedient to God's instructions.
The Prophet did not compromise any iota of his faith even during the direst period of his life in Makkah, where he and his few followers were under siege, suffering immense persecution. He never withheld a word that needed to be uttered in the face of such tyrants. He never sought to soften their stance or to avoid their persecution by such compromise. Nor did he ever hesitate to clarify any point that was closely or remotely relevant to his faith.
Compiled From:
"In the Shade of the Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol 17, pp. 185-186

Understanding the Prophet's Life (peace be upon him)
Firm Heart
A person always strives to protect the valuables that he has, and takes every precaution that they are not taken away from him. And without a doubt, the greatest blessing that a Muslim has been given is the blessing of Iman (faith), and hence why he should continually ask Allah to protect his Iman.
Umm Salamah once asked the Prophet, peace be upon him: "O Messenger of Allah! Why is it that most of your dua is (the phrase), 'O He who turns the hearts! Make my heart firm upon your religion (Deen)'?" So the Prophet responded:
O Umm Salamah! There is not a single person of the Children of Adam except that his heart is between two of the Fingers from the Fingers of Allah. So whoever Allah wishes, He establishes and makes firm (the heart on His obedience), and whoever He wishes, He leads astray. [Tirmidhi]
Compiled From:
"Dua: The Weapon of the Believer"- Yasir Qadhi, p. 220

True Forgiveness
There is no doubt that forgiveness frees us. Forgiveness has the power to heal our bodies, our minds, and our spirits - our very lives. But we need to make sure we aren't forgiving just because we think it is the right thing to do or because we are giving in to pressure from others. And we need to make sure that we are not just using forgiveness as another form of denial.
True forgiveness occurs only when we allow ourselves to face the truth and to feel and release our emotions, including our anger, about what was done to us. It is completely premature to forgive if you haven't even acknowledged that you were harmed. When children are asked to forgive abusive parents without first experiencing their emotions and their personal pain, the forgiveness process becomes another weapon of silencing. The same is true of adults who rush to forgiveness. Many people have been brainwashed into submission by those who insist that they are "less than" if they don't forgive.
Many people think that forgiving someone who hurt them is the same as saying that what happened to them was okay or that it didn't hurt them. But forgiveness doesn't mean that what happened was okay. It simply means that we are no longer willing to allow that experience to adversely affect our lives. Ultimately, forgiveness is something we do for ourselves.
Compiled From:
"Healing Your Emotional Self" - Beverly Engel, pp. 113, 114

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Malay Kitchen

Are you an Malay expat? Or maybe you've traveled to Malaysia and miss the exotic food? Or you just like to try new flavours? Then maybe you should be ordering from Malay Kitchen. This company based in the GTA in Ontario is offering many foods from Malaysia for homesick Malaysians and others. Milo, belacan, ketupat? They have it all. Check it out here.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Friday, February 3, 2012

February 2012 Book Club Choice Reminder- I Shall Not Hate

This month's book club choice is I Shall Not Hate.

Has anyone read last month's choice; Mom I'm a Muslim ?

Friday Nasihah

Living The Quran
Noble Character
Al-Qalam (The Pen) Sura 68: Verse 4
"Most certainly, yours is a sublime character."
The whole universe echoes this unique praise of the Prophet (peace be upon him). No writer can describe the value of this testimony by the Creator of the universe; no imagination can give it its words. It is a testimony by God, according to His own measure, given to His servant, in His own words. A sublime character has, according to God's measure, its own unique value which no other creature can imagine.
This testimony confirms Muhammad's greatness in several ways. First of all, by the fact that it is God's own testimony, given in His majesty, and appreciated by the whole universe and echoed by everyone on high. Secondly, his greatness is seen by virtue of the fact that Muhammad was able to receive God's testimony, live with it and know who was saying it. It was God Almighty, in His absolute power and knowledge, that stated it. The Prophet knew his own position in relation to such absolutely great power. He could appreciate this position as no one else could. The fact that Muhammad held his position firmly as he received this word, from its sublime source, without being crushed by the pressure it brought on him, and that he remained calm and stable is the best evidence of his own greatness.
There are many reports about the Prophet's greatness given by his Companions. Indeed, his practical conduct is better evidence than anything reported about him. However, this testimony, given by God Almighty, is greater still than any reported evidence. The message of Islam is so perfect, beautiful, comprehensive and truthful that it could only be delivered by a man who deserved such testimony from God, and by one who would receive such divine testimony with confidence. At the same time, however, God remonstrated with the Prophet for some of his actions but all the while imbibing the same confidence and reassurance. He declared both aspects to all people, hiding nothing. In both situations, he was a noble Prophet, an obedient servant and a trusted deliverer of the divine message.
Compiled From:
"In the Shade of the Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol 17, pp. 180-181
Understanding the Prophet's Life (peace be upon him)
A Way Made Easy
A special, distinguishing quality of the way of the Sunnah is its facility, its convenience and tolerance. Nothing exists in the life of the Prophet, peace be upon him, that hinders the people in their religious life, or oppresses them in their worldly life. Rather he says about himself: "Indeed I am a mercy sent [to you]." [Tirmidhi] He said: "Assuredly, God did not commission me for affliction, nor for bringing affliction to others; on the contrary, He commissioned me as an educator and as a means of ease for others." [Muslim]
He dispatched Abu Musa and Muadh to the Yemen with succinct, comprehensive instruction: "Urge ease, and do not urge hardship; offer good hope [lit. glad tidings], and do not provoke aversion; listen to one another, and do not provoke differences." [Bukhari, Muslim]
About his Messengership, he said: "Assuredly I have been commissioned [to impart] a tolerant true-religion." [Tabarani] He said: "O people! [what is incumbent] upon you is actions that you can bear. For surely God does not tire [cease to persevere] until you tire [cease to persevere]. [Bukhari, Muslim]
Compiled From:
"Approaching the Sunnah" - Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, pp. 8, 9
Hadith Forgery
Signs of Forgery: Forgery in Text
[continued from previous issue]
f) When a hadith is supposed to have been known to vast numbers of people and yet only one person has reported it. The fact that no one else has confirmed it is taken as a sign of forgery. An example of this is the so-called hadith that "Anyone who touches the sexual organ must take a fresh ablution." It is thus stated that if this were a true hadith, the entire umma would have known it and practised it. Since this is not the case, it is likely to be a forgery.
g) When the hadith in question promises a disproportionate reward or an exceedingly severe punishment for a small act that does not warrant the stipulated consequence. Note for example the report "anyone who says 'there is no God but Allah', Allah will create for him a bird with 70,000 tongues each of which speaks 70,000 languages and all will be praying for him."
These were some of the main, although not all, indicators of forgery in hadith. Those who are particularly learned in hadith may be able to detect signs of forgery in other ways that might be peculiar to their ability and understanding of the subject matter or their investigation. It is sometimes stated with regard to the category of hadith known as al-targhib wal-tarhib, that is, hadith which consists mainly of encouragement and warning - that forging this type of hadith does not deserve condemnation and total disapproval. In response to this it may be said that the ulama of hadith who made efforts to isolate the doubtful and corrupt elements from hadith did not make any exception of this kind. The reason for this is not difficult to see: one who fabricates hadith on one subject can also do that with another, and the effects of both are bound to be subversive by undermining the credibility of hadith generally. All forgery must therefore be denounced regardless of subject matter.
Compiled From:
"A Texbook of Hadith Studies" - Mohammad Hashim Kamali, pp. 78

The Inside Story: The Niqab, a sign of devotion or oppression?- CityNews.ca

The Inside Story: The Niqab, a sign of devotion or oppression?- CityNews.ca

Malaysian student in Canada defends niqab!