Saturday, April 30, 2011

Muslim Women Scholars

A Muslim scholar is rewriting history by revealing the extent of women’s influence on the formation of Sharia

Mohammed Akram Nadwi is an unlikely champion for a Muslim gender-quake. Soft-spo-ken and shy, he is a graduate of madrassas in his native India, and an unabashed religious conservative. But the current work of this Oxford-based alim, or religious scholar, could shatter the stock notions of Muslim women’s roles, both in society and Islamic scholarship. Hunting through classical texts, Akram, 43, a researcher at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, has uncovered a tradition of female Muslim scholars dating back to the 7th century.

Muslim women’s religious scholarship is seen as sort of a cottage industry: if women study, it is pretty much in the purdah of their own homes or in segregated rooms in mosques or madrassas. If they teach, they usually teach only women. But trawling through centuries of biographical dictionaries, madrassa chronicles, letters and travel books, Akram has found evidence of thousands of muhaddithat, or female experts in Hadith, the deeds and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad. He has found accounts of women teaching men and women in mosques and madrassas, touring Arabia and the Levant on lecture circuits, issuing fatwas, and making Islamic law.

Who knew that in the 15th century, Fatimayah al-Bataihiyyah taught Hadith in the Prophet’s mosque in Medina, and that the chief male scholars of the day, from as far afield as Fez, were her students? (Such was al-Bataihiyyah’s status that she taught at the grave of the Prophet, the mosque’s most prestigious spot.) Who knew that hundreds of girls in medieval Mauritania could recite al-Mudawwana, a key book of Islamic law, by heart? Or that Fatimah bint Muhammad bin Ahmad al-Samarqandi, a jurist in medieval Samarkand, used to issue fatwas and advised her far more famous husband on how to issue his?

Presumably not the Taleban, who banned women from education while in power, and even now threaten administrators at Afghan girls’ schools. Nor, one imagines, Saudi Arabia, which bans women from driving or travelling freely. A few Islamic historiographers have known about a few women Hadith experts. A century ago Ignaz Goldziher, the Hungarian orientalist, estimated that about 15 per cent of medieval Muslim scholars were women. And Muslims widely acknowledge there have long been learned women, starting with Aisha, the Prophet’s favourite wife.

It is less well-known that she narrated about a quarter of the laws forming the basis of Sharia, and was the preferred interpreter of Sharia by the founders of three of the four schools of Islamic law.

It is so long that his usual publishers, in Damascus and Beirut, have balked at the printing cost. (An Oxford publisher, Interface Publications, will publish the preface to the book in English this summer.) And he is convinced that the women he has found only hint at the true numbers of working women scholars. “If I can find 8,000 in the sources,” he notes, “it means that there were many, many more than that.”

Since Islamic knowledge is based on oral transmission through chains of scholars linking back to Muhammad, narrators’ reliability is crucial. Weighing Hadiths’ authenticity is itself a branch of Islamic science. Few muhaddithat have been accused of fabrication or inaccuracy, notes Akram.

As women didn’t work, they had no reason to invent or embellish prophetic traditions. “Hadith wasn’t a source of income for them, and they didn’t do it because they wanted to become famous,” he observes. Purdah kept their accounts pure.

After the 17th century, women’s scholarship dwindled. Colonial governments, favoring Western-style education, neglected the madrassa system, so custom flourished in lieu of solid Islamic scholarship. Weak leadership from the ulama, many of whom have busied themselves with politics rather than scholarship, has left Muslims ignorant of their own history. Akram believes that Islam’s current cultural insecurity has been bad for both Islamic learning and Muslim women: “Our traditions have grown weak, and when people are weak, they grow cautious. When they’re cautious, they don’t give their women freedoms.”

Akram’s discoveries are particularly powerful because they have been made by a working alim, not a Western academic or a self-styled Muslim reformer. Muslim feminists such as the Dutch reformer Ayaan Hirsi Ali may make headlines in the West, but they often lack credibility among ordinary Muslims. Akram’s approach is fundamentally conservative. Uncovering past muhaddithat could help to reform present-day Islamic culture. Many Muslims see historical precedent — particularly when it dates back to the golden age of Muhammad — as a road map for sound modern societies. “The way Muslim society is now isn’t the way it was in the time of the Prophet,” observes Akram. “Muhammad didn’t hide the accomplishments of his wives or daughters, which many Muslims still do today.”

This work of Nadwi’s has really paved the way for Muslim women to find their predecessors and this without constricting the issue into the subject of “the history of women.”

When Akram lectures at mosques and madrassas around Britain, his research has met with cautious interest. Women are far keener on his research than men, he wryly notes. His audience is a conservative crowd, wary of teachings that unpick social mores.
“People think my work will change the structure of society,” he says. Critics have accused him of championing free mixing between men and women. He is not, and believes that many segregations should be preserved. “I’m not issuing a fatwa that men and women need to study together,” he says. “But Muslim women scholars are part of our history. And by looking at that history, we can bring Muslim society closer to what it once was.”

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Prophetic Intercession and its Types

1.)     In commencing the judgment to alleviate the suffering of the people as they wait;
2.)     In allowing certain people to be excused from the judgment and enter
         Paradise without being taken into account
3.)     In changing the decision concerning some people deserving of Hell to be allowed
         entrance into Paradise instead
4.)     In allowing certain people in one level of paradise to ascend to higher levels:
5.)     In allowing certain people to be removed from hell:
6.)     In lightening the punishment of those destined for eternity in hell

The first two are exclusive to Prophrt Muhammad (alayhi salat wa salaam) alone, while the remainder are shared with other Prophets, angels and righteous humans.  Allah Himself out of His Mercy will remove from Hell (after a long time of being in it) anyone in whose heart was an atom's worth of faith.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Want to Get Married!

Join facebook group: Ya Allah bless me with a Pious Zawj

May Allah bless you with the completion of 1/2 of your faith, Ameen

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Is Marriage obligatory?

According to Imams Abu Hanifah, Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Malik ibn Anas, marriage is recommended, however for certain individuals it becomes Wajib (obligatory). Imam Shaafi'i considered it to be nafl or mubah (preferable). The general opinion is that if a person, male or female fears that if he/she does not marry they will commit Zina (sex outside of marriage), then marriage becomes obligatory. If a person has strong sexual urges then it becomes obligatory for that person to marry. Marriage should not be put off or delayed, especially if one has the means to do so.
A man, however should not marry if he does not possess the means to maintain a wife and future family, if he will not consummate the marriage, if he dislikes children, or if he feels marriage will seriously affect his religious obligation. The general rule is that the Prophet (pbuh) enjoined people to marry. He said "When one marries, they have fulfilled half of their religion , so let them fear God regarding the remaining half." This Hadith is narrated by Anas ibn Malik. Islam greatly encourages marriage because it shields one from wrongful actions and upholds the family unit.

The wife's rights - the husband's obligations.
(1) Maintenance
The husband is responsible for the wife's maintenance. This right is established by authority of the Quran and Sunnah. It is inconsequential whether the wife is a Muslim , non-Muslim, rich, poor, healthy or sick. A component of his role is to bear the financial responsibility of the family in a generous way so that his wife may be assured security.
The wife's maintenance entails her right to lodging, clothing, food and general care, like medication, hospital bills etc. He must provide for her where he resides himself according to his means. The wife's lodging must be adequate so as to ensure her privacy, comfort and independence.
If a wife has been used to a maid or is unable to attend to her household duties, it is the husbands duty to provide her with a maid if he can afford to do so. The Prophet is reported to have said: "The best Muslim is one who is the best husband."
(2) "Mahr"
The wife is entitled to a marriage gift that is her own. This may be prompt or deferred depending on the agreement between the parties. A marriage is not valid without Mahr. It does not have to be money or gold. It can be non-material like teaching her to read the Quran. " Mahr" is a gift from the groom to the bride. This is the Islamic law, unlike some cultures whereby the bride's parents pay the future husband to marry the daughter.
This practice degrades women and is contrary to the spirit of Islam. There is no specification in the Qur'an as to what or how much the Mahr has to be. It depends on the parties involved.
(3) Non-material rights.
A husband is commanded by the law of God to treat his wife with equity, respect her feelings and show kindness and consideration, especially if he has another wife. The Prophet's Last Sermon stresses kindness to women.

The wife's obligations - the husband's rights.
One of the main duties of the wife is to contribute to the success and happiness of the marriage. She should be attentive to the comfort and wellbeing of her husband and vice-versa. The Quranic Ayah which illustrates this point is:
"Our Lord, grant us wives and offspring who will be the coolness of our eyes and guide us to be models for the righteous"
The wife should be trustworthy and honest. She cannot deceive her husband by deliberately avoiding conceiving. She should not have any sexual intimacy with anyone other than her husband. She should not receive or entertain strange males in the house without his knowledge and consent.
She should not accept gifts from other men without his approval. This is meant to avoid jealousy, suspicion and gossip. She shouldn't dispose of his belongings without his permission.
A wife should make herself attractive to her husband and be responsive to his advances. The wife should not refuse her husband without reason as this may lead to marital problems and worse still - tempt the man to adultery. The husband, of course, should take into account the wife's health and consideration of circumstances.

The purpose of 'obedience' in a relationship is to keep the family unit running as smoothly as possible. Obedience does not mean blind obedience. It is subject to conditions:
(a) It is required only if what is asked from the wife is within the permissible categories of action.
(b) It must be maintained only with regard to matters that fall under the husband's rights

Consent of parties.
There is a halal arranged marriage and a haram one. It is OK to arrange marriages by suggestion and recommendation as long as both parties are agreeable. The other arranged marriage is when parents choose the future spouse and the couple concerned are forced or have no choice in the matter.
One of the conditions of a valid marriage is consent of the couple. Marriage by definition is a voluntary union of two people.
The choice of a partner by a Muslim virgin girl is subject to the approval of the father or guardian under Maliki school. This is to safeguard her welfare and interests. The Prophet said:

"The Widow and the divorced woman shall not be married until she has consented and the virgin shall not be married until her consent is obtained. "

The Prophet did revoke the marriage of a girl who complained to him that her father had married her against her wishes.

The purpose of Marriage.
The word "Zawj" is used in the Quran to mean a pair or a mate. In general it's usage refers to marriage. The general purpose of marriage is so that men and women can love one another, provide company to each other, procreate and live in peace and tranquility to the commandments of God.
* Marriage serves as a means to emotional and physical gratification. It is also a form of worship because it is obeying God and His messenger - i.e. Marriage is seen as the only possible way for the sexes to unite under God. One could choose to live in sin but by choosing marriage one is displaying obedience to God.
Marriage is a "Mithaq" - a solemn covenant or agreement. It should not be taken lightly. It should be entered into with total commitment and full knowledge of what it involves. Your partner should be your choice for life. One should be mature enough to understand the demands of marriage so that the union can be a lasting one.

Divorce is an issue related to marriage. Recent studies have shown that the divorce rate has been increasing over the years. ,

“The most hateful halal (permissible thing) to Allah is divorce.” [Surah 2:102].

Though Allah has made it easier for Muslims to get out of a relationship due to unwanted circumstances, still it is considered one of the worst acts in Islam.

From the United States to the Middle East to South Asia, Islam stretches across a diverse terrain of politics and culture with followers and practices as varied as the countries from which they hail. Marriage in Islam is viewed as a religious obligation, a contract between the couple and Allah.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hanafi Salafism: An Oxymoron?

Haitham Al-Haddad

The Islamic Schools of Jurisprudence (madhabs) were formed over a thousand years ago at a time when shari’ah (Islamic law) was practised and Islamic legal theory flourished. It was during this period that jurisprudence took shape as an Islamic science, flourishing as discussion and debate on controversial juristic issues became widespread.

With scholars spread throughout the Islamic lands, individual jurists would attempt to deal with the array of new customs and problems found in their own respective regions. As is inevitable, certain scholars would come to prominence, their knowledge illuminating others as well as setting a yardstick for jurists to come. Consequently, the reputation of certain jurists (fuqaha) would attract students, not only from that specific region but from across the Islamic world. Furthermore, scholars in agreement with the principles of the jurist would also join him so as to create a legal paradigm, this being the starting point for the formulation of the Schools of Thought.
As the Schools multiplied, various juristic manuals were compiled, many a time the opinions of the jurist was noted and recorded by his students. Across the Islamic empire a number of scholars were renowned for their grasp of Islamic law and theological understanding, jurists such as Malik ibn Anas, Al Awza’i, Al Laith ibn Sa’d, Sufyan Al Thawri, and Abu Hanifah. Later generations included Muhammad ibn Hasan Al Shaibani, Abu Yusuf, Ibn Al Qasim, Al Shafi’i and Ahmad ibn Hanbal.

The schools of the early jurists came to be powerful institutions enriching the Islamic legal system providing it with many functions, one of these being the ability to deal with unprecedented issues from various angles allowing future jurists to deal with any given issue comprehensively regardless of time or place. However, a brief look into the history of the Schools of law clearly demonstrates that there have been periods in Islamic history where key protagonists belonging to various schools would instigate negative partisanship viewing the schools as ends in themselves rather than merely as a means to understand the Islamic sources of authority.
As a result of this distorted outlook, the schools subsequently became institutions of disunity which in turn led to the stagnation of the Muslim ummah (nation) as the development of Islamic thought and law had now become nearly non-existent. This rigid view of the schools of thought led to many adherents viewing other schools with suspicion and reproach, and thus, the mutual understanding and open-mindedness that once existed in the formulative years had now been lost.

In contemporary times, such rigidity has continued whereby adherents of a school of law continue to treat others with suspicion even when there is a legitimate difference of opinion. This is seen no more so than in the staunch opposition found directed by the Madhabis (those who remain ardent in strictly adhering to one school of thought) towards the Salafis, viewing them with contempt although in reality there exists no grounds for doing so. Similarly, there are Salafis who incorrectly claim that the Hanafis have relegated the Qur’an and Sunnah below the sayings of Abu Hanifah – something which clearly demonstrates the Salafis’ ignorance.
The Madhabis have advocated a strict adherence to one school of Islamic law. The salafis on the other hand have tended to not to focus on schools of thought, but the sources of Islamic authority themselves. Misunderstandings on both sides have led to a sustained conflict between Salafism and Madhabism which is continuously exacerbated by ignorance, arrogance and insincerity.

This article is merely an attempt to bring about discussion between Salafis and Madhabis with the intention to instigate mutual understanding, unity, and the revival of Islamic thought.

We note firstly that both sides use terminology sparingly without the slightest inclination as to what these terms actually mean. Over time the usage of words tend to warp their meanings and we come to the point where two people use the same term yet argue two very different things. Thus it is clearly apparent that there needs to be some clarification as to the definitions of Salafism and Madhabism, whereby many disagreements take place due to ignorance of their defining characteristics. Aristotle once said, “How many a dispute could have been deflated into a single paragraph if the disputants had dared to define their terms.

The most widespread school of thought in the world today is that of Imam Abu Hanifah (may Allah have mercy on him). The majority of British Muslims are also Hanafis given that most have a South Asian origin and South Asians are predominantly Hanafi. Yet, the term ‘Hanafi’ proves to be allusive for many of those who ascribe themselves as such, since adherence to the Hanafi School of law can be in many different ways and its ambiguity raises the question as to whether ‘following’ Abu Hanifah’s jurisprudence means to adhere to the end result of his evidence-based reasoning (ijhtihad), or the actual methodology (usul) by which he arrived at a particular outcome.

In the same way, many Salafis are not entirely clear as to what Salafism entails, assuming that it is simply to follow the Qur’an and Sunnah – a problematic definition since it implies that others do not. There are none who claim that Abu Hanifah or any other great Imam for that matter did not adhere to the Qur’an and Sunnah - he (may Allah have mercy on him) was one of the four major Imams who have been accepted by the ummah. Thus, it is preposterous to assert, or even imply for that matter, that he disregarded the Islamic sources of Law, and likewise, it is also incorrect to claim that his understanding of Islam had detracted from the way of the Companions.
Scholars such as Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Al Qayyim who are widely accepted as having been major proponents of Salafism often quoted and endorsed many views of Abu Hanifah. Ibn Taymiyyah stated that many a time he would ask his opponents to prove whether he had ever contradicted the way and views of the first three generations of Muslims (which Abu Hanifah belonged to). Furthermore, Saudi Arabian scholars are characterised by many as the archetypal Salafis, yet they too endorse many distinctive opinions of Imam Abu Hanifah as they do other Imams. In fact, there is no single genuine Salafi who rejects the four schools of thought.

In examining the methodology of all the great Imams and scholars, we may conclude that they all had the same approach which can be summarised as follows:
  1. They consider the Qur’an and Sunnah as the eternal and infallible sources of legislation.
  2. They refer to Arabic language as the main tool to interpret the texts of legislation.
  3. They accept the consensus of the Ummah as binding and therefore they see it as a source of legislation.
  4. They strive to follow the truth insofar as they are able to.
There are a number of statements where the four Imams clearly state that in the case of incongruity between their opinions and a hadith, the hadith should always take precedence. A key Quranic instruction is the verse,
O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger, and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority. (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if you believe in Allah and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination.[1]

Problems have occurred when both Madhabis and Salafis blindly and fanatically adhere to the injunctions of their respective Imams without considering the methodology that accompanies them. Consideration of these fundamental principles, the foundations upon which each Imam built his conclusion, should not be ignored. To illustrate this, we find that great scholars within each school would adopt opinions different to those of their respective Imams. For instance, Imam Abu Yusuf, one of the main students of Imam Abu Hanifah, opined as his teacher did with regards to the permissibility of trading in trusts/endowments (waqf).
However, when he visited Madinah, Ismail ibn Ulayyah narrated to him that Umar ibn Al Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) gave away his shares in Khaibar (which were part of a trust/endowment) as charity and never sold them. Imam Abu Yusuf altered his position and said, ‘Had Imam Abu Hanifah known of this, he would have adopted it’.

Another example is taken from the great Maliki scholar Ibn Abd Al Barr (368- 463) who stated that Zakah is obligatory on figs although Imam Malik in the Muwatta’ considered it non-applicable as it did not fit his definition of a commodity upon which Zakat is due. Ibn Abd Al Barr said, “Had Imam Malik known that figs can be stored without being spoilt, he would have declared Zakat obligatory on it.”[2] Examples of this nature are numerous and the underlying principle is that true adherence to a school is where one follows the methodology and approach of his Imam rather than merely following each verdict as an isolated ruling. Some may argue that it is impractical for the laity to understand the principles by which the Imam of a school of thought derived his opinions.
The response to this is to point out that the matter is not for the laity to study and understand the detailed principles in Islamic Law, but instead for them to be open-minded and possess the flexibility that allows them to adopt other opinions once they are satisfied that it is closest to the truth (while remaining tolerant of other orthodox views). However, those who study Islamic law can, to a certain extent, understand the origins of the legal opinion and the method by which it was derived, and thus will be held accountable by Allah accordingly.   

It should also be emphasised that following a particular school does not free a person from putting any effort to follow the truth that has been revealed by Allah the Most High. Allah will not hold people accountable for their lack of adherence to a specific school, but rather for their identification of the correct ruling in any particular matter. Therefore, once an adherent of a school of thought becomes aware of another opinion in opposition to the one adopted by their school of thought, they have been afforded a good enough grounds to investigate further - it is incorrect for anyone to assume that they are not obliged to investigate merely because the opinion does not source from their school.

In conclusion, it is perfectly possible for a Hanafi to ascribe to Salafism whilst a Salafi may be an adherent of a school of thought being convinced of its methodology.  To be a Hanafi is to ascribe to a certain understanding of the Qur’an and Sunnah, whereas Salafism is to ascribe to an Islamic methodology and outlook, namely that of the earliest generations of Islam. There is no contradiction between the two since they are not in the same category. One is to follow an interpretation of the Islamic sources of authority – fiqh; and the other is to have a distinguished manner by which to practise one’s faith and approach its different aspects - manhaj.
Once this is understood, we can call for a revival of the relationship between adherents of the various schools whereby they should strive to follow the same methodology of their Imams. There also needs to be an endeavour where those who attribute themselves to Salafism need to understand what truly is blameworthy when it comes to following Schools of Thought.
Furthermore, we should not limit Salafism to a method of deriving Islamic law, but instead as a way by which to follow the early generations in all aspects of the faith such as believing in and preserving the Orthodox Islamic creed (aqidah), worshipping Allah, keeping away from sins, maintaining morals and etiquettes, and implementing Islamic rules of engagement with Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

It is up to us to achieve a breakthrough in uniting Muslims, something which will undoubtedly ensure a lasting revival since we learn from history that the recovery of a nation is preceded by a revitalisation in its thoughts and ideas. Likewise, such a revival equips the ummah with the necessary tools to free its thinking from narrow-mindedness, partisanship, shallowness, ignorance, and an inferiority complex.  Allah says,

And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allah, and be not divided among yourselves, and remember Allah's Favour on you, for you were enemies one to another but He joined your hearts together, so that, by His  Grace, you became brethren - you were on the brink of a pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus Allah makes His signs clear to you, that you may be guided.[3]

[1] Quran 4:59
[2] See: Tafsir Al Qurtubi (Al Jami’ li Ahkam Al Qur’an); surah Al Ma’idah, verse 141.
[3] Qur’an 3:103

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


The concept of Shaitan in Islam

Shaitan is a arabic word, it mean "enemy" or "adversary" or "evil".
In Islam, Allah created everything in pairs. The pair for a human is a jinn; two beings of higher intelligence created with free will. In between the pair of jinn and human there could be many other creations with higher intelligence like jinn and human. Qu'ran tells us that the jinn race was created long, long before the human race and, for a long time, humans were nothing, not even mentioned.

Has there not been over human a long period of time, when he was nothing - (not even) mentioned? (verse 1) chapter 76.Allah created al-Ins (human) from sounding clay like unto pottery (14), and Allah created al-Jinn (jinn) from fire free of smoke (15): Then which of the favors of Rabbkum (your Sustainer and Nurturer) will you deny? (verse 16) chapter 55

Iblis was of the jinn race and was supposedly a devoted servant of Allah. He attained a very high status and was brought close with the Angels. But Allah knew Iblis and the intentions of Iblis well, and therefore the Shaitan was named Iblis (meaning "desperate"). The angels do not have free will and do not sin, because they do not know how to sin. When Allah created humans, Allah commanded all the angels to prostrate (sujood) to Adam. All angels did so, except Iblis, who refused Allah's direct command.

Iblis was proud and considered himself superior to Adam, since Adam was made from clay and Iblis was created from smokeless fire. For this act of disobedience, Allah cursed the Shaitan to the Lake of Fire for eternity, but gave the Shaitan respite until the Day of Judgment at his request. Iblis obtained permission from Allah and vowed that he would use this time to lead all men and women astray to be devoured in the Lake of Fire. Allah grants the request, but warns the Shaitan that it would have no authority over Allah's sincere abd, devoted servants.

How Shaitan is described in Qur'ran:

It was We (Allah) Who created human, and We (Allah) know what dark suggestions the human psyche makes to him: for We (Allah) are nearer to him than (his) jugular vein (16) chapter 50, Qur'an.

Chapter 114, Verses 6
With the name of Allah, the unconditional Mercy, the eternal Mercy!
Say, "I seek refuge with the Rabb (Cherisher) of humans (1), the King of humans (2), the Elohim of humans (3); -
"From the mischief of the whisperer (of evil), who withdraws (after its whisper) (4), - (The same) who whispers into the hearts of humans (5), among the jinns and among the humans" (6), Qur'an.

The concept is in both Judaism (Yahudianism) and Islam, 'the satan' is the same. Basically, this evil and/or adversary only has the "power of suggestion" and/or "power of whisper". One should not underestimate this so-called "power of suggestion".
The shaitan is the devil that is stoned by stoning the three pillars on the hajj. This takes place in Mina.



Chapter 113, Verses 5
With the name of Allah, the unconditional Mercy, the eternal Mercy!
Say, "I seek refuge with the Rabb (Master) of the dawn (1). From the mischief of created things (2); from the mischief of darkness as it overspreads (3); from the mischief of those who practice secret arts (conniving) (4); and from the mischief of the envious one as he practices envy" (5), Qur'an .

It is the evil within us who is our adversary and with whom we are in constant struggle (jihad) to overcome. It is the jihad within our own selves to overcome our adversary and avoid evil. One can make a connection in the Old Testament to Israel (Jacob) who struggles (jihads) to please Elohim. Iblis is evil (the satan), who defied Allah's direct command.

. After their creation, Adam and Eve (Arabic: aww', ,) were allowed to dwell freely in the Paradise of God meaning the Garden of Eden (al-jannah, ), but Allah forbade them to go near a tree. Again, this was Allah's command to Adam and Eve; the tree may not have been the significant factor in Adam and Eve's punishment

According to the Qur'an, Iblis tricked Adam and Hawwa' into eating from the forbidden tree. Allah then expelled all of them (including the Shaitan) from the Paradise of God and onto earth, with enmity between them, but promised His Guidance will come to all of them. And if they are righteous, then they shall have no fear nor shall they grieve. Adam sought repentance from Allah, and Allah gave Adam inspiration. Allah forgave Adam and aww' and told them:

"Get you down all from here; and if, as is sure, there comes to you Guidance from me, whosoever follows My guidance, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. (Qur'n 2:38)"

It has been a long time since Man's creation and his first contact with the Jinn, Shaitan. Allah always warns those who listen to him that Iblis is still working up until this day, according to Islam so to lead everyone of us to the Hell Fire. But Iblis is not the only one who is misleading mankind, there are about 26,000,000,000 other Jinns doing the same thing

To clarify, the Jinns exceed us far in population as they existed for longer time than us. To understand Iblis, we have to understand his very nature from his race. The Qur'an doesn't mention a lot of things about Iblis like: Did he have parents? among others. The Jinn still appear to some individuals with a strong enough heart to take them. If you think about it, the Jinns are everywhere and even in your own room! According to the Prophet's teachings, Iblis finds it easier to lead the Christians and Jews astray than the Muslims.

 The reason is Muslims believe strongly that these kind of beings definitely exist but they chose not to be seen. The word Jinn also means "hidden" or "unseen". The Jinns don't need technology because they have mastered black magic and alchemy. Using Black magic or alchemy is one of the most common ways they mislead us.

 The only time human beings are protected from Shaitan is during Ramadan. Since the dawn of time, the Jinn (the bad kind and the good kind) have been spying on what the angels are saying about the future events for earth and each person prepared by Allah.

Remember that Shaitan makes the devils, demons, Ifrids, and others do the dirty work for him. Shaitan has a history of murder that goes back during the times of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Some Jinns tried to kill physically one of the Prophet's disciples but most of them failed. Iblis made a commitment with Allah that he somehow and someway will try and lead mankind away from the righteous path.

As long as we do the right thing, we are proving him wrong. Human beings were supposed to surpass the Jinn in respect and degrees. Angels even turn to Human beings and submit to them because of their great knowledge. If angels, the beings of light and purity have  hope for us, why do we let the great leader of the Jinn turn us around?

The Jinns learned many things we don't know yet (eventually we will know them in the future). That's why they possess alien qualities that would seem amazing to us and some of us take them as gods. The Jinns are mortals like us, have free will like us, and have intelligent qualities like us. Humans were created from clay because it is the symbol of pure essence and not fiery which means that Human Beings are made from wisdom and knowledge.

In the end the people with an open mind and a pure heart, will become more powerful than the strongest evil Jinn out there. Some Jinns have turned to Islam and became good and are willing to help the human and their own race. Shaitan is everywhere and he is your enemy. Shaitan will always hate us because we were preferred above him. If a person understands who shaitan is and why he is doing what he does, we will then understand how important it is to avoid him.

Two of the greatest blessings from Allah سبحانه و تعالى are peace and prosperity. Today many Muslims despair over the fact that they are deprived of these two blessings by the enemies of Islam. However, Muslims should realise that they too are responsible for the deprivation of these two blessings and are guilty of inflicting dhulm upon one another mentally and emotionally. This form of dhulm is often overlooked, although it may prove to be more destructive than the former.

Shaitan is man’s avowed enemy and he is relentless in his pursuit of leading mankind astray. The manner in which he leads one astray will differ in accordance with the individual. In contrast, Allah has promised the gardens of paradise for those who remain steadfast...

On the final day of Shabaan the noble Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم delivered a sermon to his companions about the coming month of Ramadhan in order to mentally prepare them. Similarly we should also mentally prepare ourselves so we too may derive benefit from this virtuous month where one obligatory act is rewarded 70 fold. Ramadhan is not a month of feasting and celebration rather it is a month of sacrifice, self-denial, compassion towards others and a time to remember Allah سبحانه و تعالى in abundance. This talk provides an excellent framework of how one should prepare for its coming, how it should be spent and finally how one should proceed after its passing. Virtues of Ramadhan are many but equally there is a warning for those who are neglectful.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tafsir Surah an-Naml

Surah an-Naml reminds the believers of the good tidings of faith in Allah’s book and makes the unbelievers aware of the Hereafter through the realities of the universe. This Surah consists of two main discourses: the first is directed to those who accept the Qur’an as it presents the realities of the universe and the hereafter. Such people can benefit from the guidance of the Quran and become worthy of the promises made in it. The second discourse is directed to those who disbelieve in the Hereafter. On the outset attention is drawn to the universe in order to question them about the glaring realities.Four stories from the past have been retold in order to understand their trails and tribulations in their struggle towards belief, which are:

  • The Story of Musa (as) and Pharaoh
  • The People of Thamud
  • The People of Lot (as)
  • The Story of Sulayman (as) and Queen of Sheba (it is the only time this story is related in the Qur’an)

The greatest hindrance for mankind in following His Book, is the denial of the Hereafter. This Surah seeks to remind the believers to the follow up their belief with obedience and submission in their practical lives.
“Indeed in their stories, there is a lesson for men of understanding.” [12: 111]

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Is America a Democracy or a Republic?

Now, pure democracy does not exist anywhere, and pure democracy is definitely evil.

A simple illustration as proof of pure Democracy
Five people are stranded on a deserted island and decide to live under democracy. Three are men. One of them proposes a new law making it legal for a man to rape women (under certain circumstances, of course). The three men vote yes. What happens next is "democracy" in action.
Because pure democracy brings about despotic rules, to protect those not in the majority and marginal groups, the power of the ruling majority is curtailed by a limiting document called Constitution. The secular republic or Citizenship Republic is defined as: "a Representative Democracy limited by checks and balances called Constitution".

A Constitution nonetheless based on the tenets of men, and not on God's, in fact, God is out in a Citizenship Republic and the nation is secular. Divorce, Abortion, Homosexuality, etc are approved there.

America is a Citizenship Republic (not a democracy) and its Constitution is based partially on the Bible. The drafting of the American constitution did not involve only the Puritans, but unbelievers also, that at best were "deist" believing in some sort of god of their imagining, but not the God of the Bible. So we have a compromised Constitution with some godly input.

Mass Inprisonment is a designed effort in The United States' Racial Caste System!

John Edwards: Black men will end up in prison or dead