Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday Nasihah

Living The Quran
Al Furqan (The Criterion) - Chapter 25: Verse 63
"For true servants of the Most Gracious are they who walk gently on the earth, and who, whenever the jahilun address them, reply 'Peace' (salam)."
Muslims have traditionally used jahiliyyah to refer to the pre-Islamic period in Arabia and so it is usually translated "the Time of Ignorance." But although the root J-H-L has some connotations of "ignorance," its primary meaning is "irascibility": an acute sensitivity to honour and prestige; arrogance, excess, and above all, a chronic tendency to violence and retaliation. Jahili people were too proud to make the surrender of Islam; why should a karim moderate his behaviour and act like a slave ('abd), praying with his nose on the ground and treating the base-born like equals? The Muslims called Abul Hakim, their chief enemy, "Abu Jahl" not because he was ignorant of Islam - he understood it all too well - but because he fought Islam arrogantly, with blind, fierce, and reckless passion. But the tribal ethos was so engrained that Muslims continued to exhibit jahili symptoms long after they had converted to Islam. Jahiliyyah could not be eradicated overnight, and it remained a latent menace, ready to flare up destructively at any moment.
Instead of succumbing to the jahili spirit, the Quran urges Muslims to behave with hilm, a traditional Arab virtue. Men and women of hilm were forbearing, patient, and merciful. They could control their anger and remain calm in the most difficult circumstances instead of exploding with rage; they were slow to retaliate; they did not hit back when they suffered injury, but left revenge to Allah. Hilm also inspired positive action: if they practiced hilm, Muslims would look after the weak and disadvantaged, liberate their slaves, counsel each other to patience and compassion, and feed the destitute, even when they were hungry themselves. Muslims must always behave with consummate gentleness and courtesy. They were men and women of peace.
Compiled From:
"Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time" - Karen Armstrong, pp. 79, 80

Understanding the Prophet's Life (peace be upon him)
Courage and Generosity
God sometimes links prayer (salah) and the alms-due (zakah) together and sometimes links these two with patience. All three are essential: prayer, the welfare due and patience. The well-being of the believers depends upon all three, both for their own piety and for the improvement of others - and never more so than whenever discord and tribulation are intense, for the need then is all the greater. The need for tolerance and patience is common to all mankind, and these are vital to human welfare in both the religious and worldly spheres.
That is why people always praise courage and generosity in one another - indeed, it is these that the poets extol in their writings - just as they blame one another for stinginess and cowardice. There is universal agreement among the whole of humanity to praise truthfulness and justice and to condemn lying and tyranny. Some desert Arabs once begged so demandingly of the Prophet, on him be peace, that they forced him into a thorn bush which caught on his cloak. He turned to them and said: "By Him in Whose hand is my soul, if I had a flock as numerous as these thorns I would divide it among you; then you would not find me a miser, a coward or a liar."
Compiled From:
"Public Duties in Islam" - Ibn Taymiyya, p. 103

Cool Tips!
Connecting to Prayer
Praying five times a day can be a struggle for adult Muslims, but an even greater one for young people. At a time when texting and other technology offer fast-paced distraction, encouraging our youth to establish Salah can seem impossible.
But this pillar of Islam keeps us all grounded in our faith. It is that necessary daily reminder of Who we are accountable to, as well as Who is our greatest Benefactor. It keeps us connected to Allah in all circumstances, and it is a gift and obligation we must pass on to young Muslims.
Here are a few ways to start that process.
1. Set the example
As is the case with all other good habits, parents, mentors, teachers, and others young Muslims look up to must be praying themselves. But we need to not only be offering our prayers. We must also truly reflect the level of concentration and commitment it takes, by praying on time, doing our best to focus, and offering the prayers diligently.
2. Establish prayer in the home
Kids learn faith first and foremost from the family and within the home. This is where prayer as a way of connecting to Allah needs to be discussed and shown in practice. Make it a habit to pray in congregation when going to the Masjid is not possible. Avoid having everyone pray in their own little corner of the house. Start today by designating one space of the home for this purpose.
3. Don’t discourage even small steps toward prayer
Prayer is a long-term commitment that requires the kind of dedication that’s hard to muster for many older people, let alone young people distracted by the ding of texts on their phone or other issues. Praise even the performance of a short, two-Rakat prayer, and encourage youth to take it to the next level.
4. Don’t discount strength in numbers
Whenever possible, pray in congregation with other Muslims outside of the family, especially other youth. This can be at weekend school, or even joining one of the prayers at a full-time Islamic school with the administration’s permission. This will show that prayer isn’t something "weird" that only you and your family do. Rather, it is something other young Muslims do regularly, as well.
5. Make prayer time parent time
Spend a few minutes after each prayer with your young Muslim connecting, asking or answering questions about an issue of concern, or simply making it a time for hugs, jokes, and lighthearted hanging out.
Compiled From:
"8 Ways to Connect Young Muslims to Prayer" - Samana Siddiqui

April Book of the Month choice reminder.

Spring is here and April is just around the corner so its time for the book club reminder. This month's choice is A Quiet Revolution. This book is also available for KOBO. My library didn't have this, so my first e-book purchase ever, is this one! Did you know that you don't have to buy an e-reader or Vox to get books? You can just have a KOBO app on your computer,tablet or phone. You already knew that? Or maybe like me you didn't. Insha Allah this month you will join me whether you're kicking it new or old school.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Jannah Jewels 2

The second book is now available at amazon, check it out here  Dd3 (12 yrs old) loved the first one and its hard to get her to get her nose out of graphic novels right now so that is saying a lot!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Small hijra, big tears.

Remember I told you about my daughter-in-law converting? Well now my son and her are making hijra to a better Muslim community. This is awesome news right? But its been oh so sad for me. I will get to see them once a month when we go to get halal meat but that's about it. Insha Allah they will visit too since her parents are here too and I wasn't the only one crying was her Mom. I know this is good for them and for my future grandchildren but I wish I was there also; the place where my daughter is at university, the place where my sister and nephews live, the place that was instrumental in finally making me say shahadah. May Allah allow us to follow them there. Amin.

Stupidest Book Ever!

So on Saturday I was making up one of my fast days and decided to read a library book called The Bestest Ramadan Ever. Its for teens but I think that its good for parents of teens to read these book and get the low down. I thought this book like other teen muslim novels would show how the  teen starts off badly but in the end becomes a better Muslim. So not! I want to hurl after reading this book. I realize that there are actually Muslims like this but this book gives you no hope. If  you liked All American Muslim and didn't cringe, then you will love this book. Otherwise run for the hills. The character thinks Ramadan is a great weight loss program and that's it. She thinks she is great for getting through it without cheating but doesn't pray, doesn't give charity and doesn't even make dua for Allah to accept her fast at the time of fast breaking. Its unbelievable but it gets worse. During Ramadan she finally gets a boyfriend and kisses him! One of the reasons Ramadan is the bestest! Ahhhh.....Ok read this only if you really want to know how bad some Muslim teens are but otherwise forget it. The book ends with them celebrating Eid on the beach, not the mosque, wearing bikinis and hoping their future kids will be even less religious than them!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Popeye's is not halal?

I guess this might be old news to some of you but I just found out. Apparently not all Popeye's have hand slaughtered meat as of last year. I've also heard rumours that besides the chicken a lot of their products are not halal either. I have no proof  of that though but I've been told the gravy has pork for instance. I never eat gravy since its made from blood anyway. Sigh...this is depressing. Already we can barely eat out anywhere. Popeye's is where we eat once a month.

Friday Nasihah

Living The Quran
Al Jathiyah (Kneeling Down) - Chapter 45: Verse 13
"And He has made subservient to you, what is in the heavens and what is on the earth, all together from Him; in that are signs indeed for people who reflect."
This verse states a highly significant principle in Islamic faith and law the jurists have inferred: that the general rule about any substance is that God has allowed its use, as long as no specific rule in the divine law has stated that it is forbidden. The divine laws in the Quran and Sunnah are not comprehensive with regard to all that is allowed, but they comprehensively and specifically indicate what is forbidden. All what is not indicated in the divine sources as forbidden is considered allowed and lawful as long as it is not harmful, since whatever causes harm is forbidden. If anything shares the properties of something forbidden in the Quran and Sunnah it may be considered forbidden through a convincing analogy.
Compiled From:
"Concepts of the Quran" - Fathi Osman, p. 47

Understanding the Prophet's Life (peace be upon him)
Cursing (la'n or la'nah) normally consists of an expression of disapproval or displeasure and invocation of affliction upon the object of the curse. Curses are often uttered by calling the curse and wrath of God upon someone or something.
According to a hadith reported by Muslim, someone asked the Prophet, peace be upon him, to call the curse of God upon the polytheists, to which the Prophet replied, 'I have not been sent to curse. I have been sent only as a mercy.'
Cursing particular individuals or groups is 'a dangerous violation', except when this is specified, for example, in the Quran where God has cursed individuals such as the Pharaoh and Abu Jahl. Apart from cases like this, it is unlawful to curse a particular person by name, partly because it is just possible that the person concerned, if a non-Muslim or a sinner, might have become a Muslim, or might have repented. If cursing a disbeliever is unlawful, then it is all the more so with regard to a transgressor and heretic. It is thus concluded that cursing a particular individual, even a disbeliever, is unlawful and must be avoided.
Cursing is discouraged even when it is not addressed to a person, when it is uttered in vain, or when it is addressed to objects and natural phenomena. It is reported from Ibn Abbas that when a man cursed the wind in the presence of the Prophet he was told 'curse not the wind for it is ordained [to take its course]. When a person inappropriately curses something, the curse returns to him.' [Tirmidhi]
Compiled From:
"Freedom of Expression in Islam" - Mohammad Hashim Kamali, pp. 182-185

Point of View
Sometimes people who try to explain what lies behind certain Islamic legislation or aspects of Islamic worship, put their points of view very forcefully, implying that they have understood everything there is to understand. This is not the proper way to explain Quranic statements and Islamic legislation, except where the reasons for such legislation are expressly stated in the Quran or the Sunnah. It is always preferable to state our point of view adding that it is all that we have been able to understand of the wisdom behind a certain piece of legislation. The possibility cannot be excluded that there may be other reasons behind it which we have not been able to determine. In this way, we assign our human mind to its proper position with respect to Quranic statements and Divine legislation.
For example, it has often been said that the purpose of having ablution (wudu, ghusl) before prayer is to maintain cleanliness. It may be true that cleanliness is intended through ablution, but to emphasise that it is the only reason why ablution is required before prayer is to follow an approach which is neither correct nor safe. Indeed, there came a time when some people suggested that there was no longer any need for this "primitive" method of cleanliness when we live in a clean environment, with people taking care of their daily cleanliness. If ablution had been legislated for this purpose, then it would no longer be necessary before prayer. However, when we look at the alternative for ablution (tayammum) it becomes evident that it does not serve the purpose of cleanliness at all. There must be some other purpose behind ablution. Perhaps ablution has been ordered as an intermediary step taking us away from our daily preoccupation in order to prepare us psychologically for prayer, which is a great meeting with God.
If we try to determine the wisdom behind every aspect of worship or piece of legislation, according to a rational analysis or in line with what contemporary science may reveal, stressing always that this is the only reason for it, we move away from the proper method of understanding religious statements and Divine legislation. We, thus, open the way to sophistry and futile argument. In addition, we leave ourselves open to mistakes, especially when our analysis is based on what contemporary science and research reveal, when it is always changing or amending what it used to consider a proven fact.
Compiled From:
"In The Shade of The Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol. 3, pp. 159-161

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What would it take to get you to join?

So the bookclub is looking a little dead. I know some of you live in places that don't have these books but for the rest of you what would get you to join the bookclub? If its a financial problem I know that a lot of the books can be accessed at the library or through inter-library loan or you can even ask the library to purchase them for you...I shamelessly do this all the time..hey its taxpayers money right? What are your thoughts? Loved to see  you reading and sharing your thoughts.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The 18th Best Place to Retire is.................

Drumroll please.............its Malaysia. Vietnam is 17 . Read the article here.  Would you retire overseas? I just want to be where my kids are insha Allah.

Monday, March 19, 2012

February 2012 Book Review - I Shall Not Hate

This book was hard to put down; I Shall Not Hate. 

After reading this book I can now say I know why they just don't leave. Why don't Palestinians just leave is what I always thought before reading this. I have to say that the author really amazes me and I wonder how anyone can be this positive after all he has been through. To have hope in such a situation boggles the mind. To forgive in this situation shows how deep his faith is. Dr. Izzeldin Abulaish is a man on a mission and insha Allah he will see some of his work come to fruition. As an outsider I have less hope than him and always feel that nothing is really going to change until the Mahdi and Isa (a.s.) come but in the meantime the world needs people like Izzeldin to blaze a trail to peace and harmony. I too hope that his daughter's deaths will not be in vain. May Allah bring peace to this world soon. Amin.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday Nasihah

Living The Quran
Al Rum (The Romans) - Chapter 30: Verse 22
"And of His signs are the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your tongues and colours. In this, behold, there are messages indeed for the learned."
In this verse two signs are mentioned: the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of mankind's tongues and colours. These signs, on the one hand, point towards the possibility and occurrence of the life Hereafter. On the other, the same Signs also underscore that this universe is under One God alone, the Creator, Master and Ruler. Thus the two beliefs, Resurrection (Akhirah) and the Oneness of God (Tawhid) are intertwined.
When one reflects on the origin of the initial energy that assumed the form of matter with its combination of elements to create an awe-inspiring universal system and then further reflects on the functioning of this system for many millions of years with its precise regularity and discipline, one can only conclude that this could not have happened by mere chance, that it is the work of the All-Embracing Will and Command of the All-Knowing, All-Wise Creator.
Attention is drawn here to only two aspects of diversity, namely, speech and colour, but if one looks around, one will find countless different species of man, animal, plant and the like. Even two leaves of a tree are not exactly alike. Anyone who observes this wonderful phenomenon with open eyes can only conclude that the Maker of the universe is ever-engaged in His creative and sustaining activity.
Compiled From:
"Words That Moved the World" - Qazi Ashfaq Ahmad, pp. 68, 69

Understanding the Prophet's Life (peace be upon him)
Purification is half of the faith. [Muslim]
There is a great deal of difference of opinion as to what the Prophet, peace be upon him, exactly meant by this statement. Below are some of the explanations that have been offered by the scholars:
"Purification is similar to half of the prayer."
"Purification is half of the faith because it encompasses the outward form of submission."
"Purification from associating partners with Allah and sinful living is half of faith."
"Purification in the sense of avoiding sins is half of the faith."
"Performing ablution is an act of faith."
"Ablution is half of the faith because it removes the external impurities."
"Purification of the heart from its spiritual diseases is one half of faith."
Many of the above meanings are consistent with each other and it is possible that more than one of them is meant. Purification may mean the general sense of purification or it may mean the specific act of ablution.
Compiled From:
"Commentary on the Forty Hadith of al-Nawawi" - Jamaal al-Din M. Zarabozo, pp. 868, 869
Women's Activity
Islamic work has been the scene of spreading hardline ideas that now govern the relationship between men and women, adopting the strictest opinions to be found on this issue. The basis in ibadah and religious learning was participation and there never existed in Islam a mosque that had been reserved for women alone or not visited by men. Women attended the sessions in which the Prophet taught Muslims the Deen. They also participated in (or at least attended) the Juma prayers, the two Eid prayers and the congregational prayers together with men. They asked questions about various matters without being prevented from learning the Deen because of their shyness.
The problem of women's Islamic work is that it is men who direct it, not women; and men are careful to maintain their grip on it and thus not giving the chance for female leadership to emerge. Men impose themselves on women's Islamic work, including even women's meetings, as they exploit the shyness of practising Muslim women and never allow them to take command of their own affairs. In this way, no female talents are given a chance to prove themselves in the pursuit of the Islamic Movement or to be seasoned by experience and struggle and learn from the 'school of life' by trial and error.
Compiled From:
"Priorities of The Islamic Movement in The Coming Phase" - Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, pp. 91-94

Thursday, March 15, 2012

March 2012 Book club choice -Welcome to Islam

I think I might have forgotten to post this? This month's choice is Welcome to Islam.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Friday Nasihah

Living The Quran
Fruits of Striving
Al Najm (The Star) - Chapter 53: Verses 39-41
"Man can have nothing but what he strives for. The fruit of his striving will soon come into sight. Then he will be rewarded with a full recompense."
For all committed people the above passage carries an inspiring message. It is especially relevant for institutions engaged in training younger generations, for it contains an elaborate moral code and set of guidelines for the young.
The Promise
Allah has promised man that he will obtain success in his striving. It is emphasized in the Quran that man's efforts will bear fruit. As to the time-scale of gathering the fruit of one's striving, the Quran hints that this may take a very long time. Man is thus told not to despair if he does not gain immediate results. Man is to be credited for much in the world - the vast empires, the rise of various civilizations, the spread and advancement of knowledge, and intellectuals appearing on the public scene. All these are manifestations of man's striving.
Knowledge Without Action
Abstract knowledge alone will neither increase us in power, nor strengthen our situation. Likewise if a brave warrior in possession of ten Indian swords and other weapons was alone in the wilderness, and a great ferocious lion attacked him, do we think the weapons could defend him if they were not used against the lion?
By the same principle, if a man read a hundred thousand theories, they would be of no use to him if he did not try and apply them. Therefore, if we studied a hundred years and collected a thousand books, we would not be prepared for the Mercy of Allah, the Exalted, except by action.
Three Principles to Remember
From this verse three important principles can be derived:
  1. that every person will get only the fruit of his own deeds;
  2. that the fruit of one person's deeds cannot be given to another unless he has a share in that deed;
  3. that none can attain anything in the Hereafter without the desire to strive for it.
Some people wrongly apply these principles to the economic problems of the world and conclude that no person can become the lawful owner of anything except of his or her own earned income. While Islam encourages everyone to work hard to earn their own livelihood, there are provisions, such as Zakat and inheritance laws that allow one person's income to be transferred to others on the basis of their moral and legal entitlement.
Compiled From:
"Guidance from the Holy Quran" - Sayyid Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi, pp. 229, 230
"Dear Beloved Son" - Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali
"Towards Understanding the Quran" - Abul Ala Mawdudi
go to the top ^
Understanding the Prophet's Life (peace be upon him)
Wealth and Prestige
Two hungry wolves sent against a sheep will not do more damage to it than a man's eagerness for wealth and prestige does to his or her religion. [Ahmad, Tirmidhi]
The Prophet (peace be upon him) was explaining that the damage done to a person's religion (deen) by his eagerness for accumulating wealth and attaining prestige is no less than the damage done by two hungry wolves to a flock of sheep. This is quite obvious, for if a human's faith is sound, he will not have an eagerness or anxiety over these secondary things. Once the heart has tasted the sweetness of true servitude to Allah and love for Him, nothing else will be dearer to him than that and nothing else will take priority over Allah in one's life.
How many times do we find ourselves having to choose between obedience to Allah and doing that which we know to be right or following our desires in pleasing others or self-gratification by means that are prohibited? Surely the two choices are not equal and a person of character is content with the former in all circumstances.
Let us remember this hadith the next time we 'sacrifice' some duty of Islam for some worldly gain, the next time we are 'prevented' from praying due to our 'busy schedule' or embarrassment amongst people, the next time we are so 'blinded' by our devotion to our career, academic or leisure pursuits that we forget our responsibilities towards our families, communities, and most fundamentally, our own preparations for the akhirah (hereafter).
What good is all that if one was to lose his or her connection with Allah and closeness to Him and hence any hope of inner peace or spiritual contentment?
Compiled From:
"Al Ubudiyyah" - Ibn Taymiyyah
go to the top ^
Perfectionistic Parents
Instead of receiving encouragement and support from their parents, children of perfectionistic parents tend to receive only criticism, demands, and sometimes ridicule. Consequently, they often grow up feeling inadequate, incapable, awkward, or inept. Since they receive little praise or constructive guidance, their self-esteem is usually very low, and they have little faith in their own abilities. They are often overwhelmed with anxiety whenever they have to perform in any way, and this sets them up for failure. In addition, people raised by perfectionistic parents tend to suffer from any or all of the following problems:
  • A sense that they are valued for what they do instead of for who they are (doing versus being)
  • A tendency to be self-critical, never satisfied with themselves or their performance
  • A tendency to doubt themselves and to second-guess
  • An inability to identify and express their emotions
  • Compulsive behaviours (extreme dieting, overexercising, excessive cleaning)
  • Depression
Compiled From:
"Healing Your Emotional Self" - Beverly Engel, p. 51

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Book I just read...Act like a lady

Just finished reading Act Like a Lady, Think like a Man by Steve Harvey.  This books subtitle is What men really think about love,relationships, intimacy and commitment. A lot of the stuff I knew but contrary to what all women think men only think about all day ..yeah food and you know what, this author says the number one thing men think of all the time is success. How they will get a job, how they will keep that job, how they will move ahead in their lives. Its their number one priority. Well this was written by a Christian who does mention God a lot but one would hope that a Muslim man's top priority would be his relationship with God before anything else. Some advice is unislamic like waiting for 90 days to put out, ahem. Islam says wait until the wedding night. I still think though this book has a lot of useful interesting information and would be especially good for non-Muslims to read regarding putting more worth on themselves and expecting nothing less than the ring.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Friday Nasihah

Living The Quran
Al Baqara (The Cow) - Chapter 2: Verse 282 (partial)

"Believers! Whenever you contract a debt from one another for a known term, commit it to writing. Let a scribe write it down between you justly, and the scribe may not refuse to write it down according to what Allah has taught him; so let him write, and let the debtor dictate; and let him fear Allah, his Lord, and curtail no part of it..."
Borrow only if necessary
You should try to relate your consumption to your income remembering the saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him), "May God prevent me from sin and borrowing." You are not supposed to borrow unless it is necessary.
Borrow for a Fixed Time Period & Record It
When friends and relatives borrow from one another it is generally considered unseemly either to commit these loans to writing, or to have them attested by witnesses. Such an act is considered a sign of distrust. However, God enjoins that whenever loans or business transactions take place, their conditions should be recorded in black and white and should be attested by witnesses so that there remains no ground for misunderstanding or dispute. In times such as ours, when every action, whether at personal, social, political, or economic level is recorded and computerized, we may be able to appreciate the practicality, wisdom, and sophistication of the commandments of Allah and the Prophet (peace be upon him), given to us as a blessing, over 1400 years ago!
Three Kinds of People whose Du'a will not be Accepted
In a Hadith, the Prophet (peace be upon him) mentioned that there are three kinds of people whose grievances and Dua will not be accepted or heeded by Allah. One of them is a person who loans out his money to a person without making anyone a witness to that transaction. [at-Tabari]
Compiled From:
"Islam - The Natural Way" - Abdul Wahid Hamid, p. 67
"Towards Understanding the Quran" - Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi, Vol. I, pp. 221-223

Understanding the Prophet's Life (peace be upon him)
Abu Saeed reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) came to us while we were discussing about Dajjal and said, "Should I not inform you of that which I fear for you even more than the dangers of Dajjal? It is the hidden Shirk (Riya); A person stands to pray, and he beautifies his prayer because he sees the people looking at him." (Sunan Ibn Majah vol. 2, #3389)
The primary cause of riya is a weakness in Iman (Faith). When a person does not have strong faith in Allah, he will prefer the admiration of people over the pleasure of Allah.
There are three symptoms that are indicative of riya, and it is essential that a believer avoid all of them.
1. The love of Praise - As mentioned in a hadith of the first three people being thrown into the hellfire; the scholar (who taught for fame), the martyr (who fought for fame), and the person who gave his money in charity (so people would say he is generous). All three of these people desired the pleasure of people over the pleasure of Allah. The person who desires the praise of people must feel some pride in himself, for he feels himself worthy of being praised. There is a danger, therefore, of him becoming arrogant and boastful.
2. Fear Of Criticism - No one likes to be criticised. The dislike of criticism regarding religious practices may be divided into two categories:
a) The first category is that of a person who neglects a commandment of Allah in order to avoid the criticism of his peers.
b) The second category is that of a person who obeys certain commandments of Islam, not for the sake of Allah, but because he fears people will look down on him and criticise him if he does not do it. For example, a man may perform his formal prayers in the mosque because he does not want people to criticise him for praying at home, or to think that he is not praying at all.
3. Greed for people's possessions - If a person covets what other people possess, whether it is rank, money or power, then he will wish them to envy him similarly. For example, if he is jealous of a position of a certain person in society, he will try by every possible means to attain the same position. Such desires lead people to spend their lives putting on a show for other people so that they will admire their rank, money, or power.
Compiled From:
"Riyaa: Hidden Shirk" - Abu Ammar Yasir al-Qathi

It is good to celebrate festive occasions, which is a human urge and a natural requirement. Islam, being the religion of nature, realizes the desirability of the celebration of joyous occasions with certain conditions. Islam does not desire that we should impose upon ourselves an artificial reserve and seriousness not warranted by the occasion, and wear a pensive look all the time, killing all the attractiveness in our personality. Islam gives us full permission to celebrate all legitimate festive occasions so as to enable us to remain fresh with ambitious desires, new and fresh hopes, and ever newer paths to tread. It is our ignorance of Islamic knowledge to assume that the celebration of certain occasions runs counter to the tenets of Islam.
If you have been privileged to fulfill some religious mission, i.e. Hajj; you or one of your close relatives has achieved a high position in learning; you have been blessed with success in business or achieved some monetary gains; you have distinguished guests visiting your home; you have a marriage or birth in your home; you have heard the news of the recovery of a relative from long illness; it is your natural right to celebrate such occasions, provided you remain within the social limits prescribed by Islam, and that you thank Allah for this happy occasion in your life. Islam not only permits merry-making, but it considers it quite in conformity with it.
Ka'b bin Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) says, when Allah accepted his repentance (i.e. Tawba for staying back from a Muslim military expedition) and he heard the good news, he immediately presented himself before the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and greeted him. The face of the Holy Prophet was at that time glowing with cheer, and whenever he used to be happy, his face glowed like the moon, and the companions would then understand from the glow of his countenance that he was in an extremely joyous mood.
Compiled From:
"Discipline For Muslim Youth" - S. M. Madni Abbasi, Vol. II