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Surprise September 27, 2008

Posted by Msfatima in Life.
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I have some very exciting news, I will reveal it once I am back from I’tikaaf.

You will all have to wait and see.

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Patience in the face of persecution September 24, 2008

Posted by Msfatima in Islam, Life.
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Islam revolutionized the lives of many and pulled the pagan Arabs away from their false practices and deities. The reason for Islam’s success was due to the perseverance of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and his followers in the face of arduous persecution from the disbelievers of Makkah. The believers did not falter in their belief nor did they give up, with their entire trust in Allah (SWT). There were many instances where the elite of Makkah were the visionaries in the plotting against the Prophet ﷺ; they used negative propaganda, as well as mental and physical persecution. In the end, the Muslims were victorious due to their belief and continuous struggle on the path of Allah.

When the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ began to openly preach to the people of Makkah there was indifference from the general populace, except for the chieftains who were truly restless. “By God, we cannot tolerate this any longer-our forefathers are denounced, we are called ignorant, and our gods are insulted.” This was what the Quraysh said to Abu Talib the uncle of the Prophet ﷺ in order to stop the Prophet from preaching his message. Since this was not very effective, the Quraysh decided to warn the pilgrims who would come to Makkah for Hajj. Nevertheless the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ would go to the people who had gathered for pilgrimage following them to their camps and invited them to Allah. Close behind Abu Lahab would cry aloud, “do not listen to him for he is a liar; he is an apostate.” Even with the false propaganda, the Prophet was steadfast upon the message and people responded to his call. There was no propaganda campaign launched against the disbelievers by the Muslims even though the opposition was severe, the methods used by the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ were never counter-productive.

Another tactic the disbelievers used against the Muslims due to their animosity was mental persecution, such as calling the Prophet ﷺ a liar, a poet, and a magician along with other slanders. These were ways of degrading The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and the message he brought to the people.

But they say, “[The revelation is but] a mixture of false dreams; rather, he has invented it; rather, he is a poet. So let him bring us a sign just as the previous [messengers] were sent [with miracles].” [Surah Anbiyaa: 5]

The disbelievers of Makkah kept changing their viewpoints about the Prophet’s ﷺ  , even though they believed the message true within their hearts, pride and arrogance stopped them from accepting. The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ had full trust in Allah and told the Prophet in the Quran, Then perhaps you would kill yourself through grief over them, [O Muhammad], if they do not believe in this message, [and] out of sorrow. [Surah Al Kahf: 6]. Allah was telling the Prophet ﷺ to commit no such act since he was grieved over people from his own family not accepting the message, the Prophet was reassured that help will come.

Another scheme the disbelievers of Makkah devised was physical persecution against the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and the believing Muslims. The Quraysh could not attack the Prophet ﷺ directly due to him being under the protection of his uncle Abu Talib (great chieftain of Quraysh) and that is why the pagans directly attacked the body of believers. In one such instance, Ammar Bin Yasir (RA) who was a freed slave of Banu Makhzum was thrown on embers and tortured continuously. When the Prophet passed by he said, “O family of Yasir! Be patient, you will certainly find your place in paradise.” Both of Ammar’s parents were martyred in the way of Allah. The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was telling the believers to persevere and be patient for their sacrifices would ultimately by rewarded by Allah. This was an incredibly trying time for the Muslims but with their unshakable faith in Allah and the hereafter, these pains were incomparable to the reward.

In the end it can be seen that even with the continuing tyranny from the disbelievers of Makkah, the believers remained steadfast only increasing their faith in Allah. This is why Islam was successful for on the 20th of Ramadan, 8th Hijrih, when the Muslims were humbly victorious over Makkah.

References: I mainly used the books The Sealed Nectar and When the Moon Split by Safiur-Rahman Mubarakpuri

ﷺ-Arabic: Salallahu Alayha Wasalam—English: Peace Be Upon Him

Photo credit: BBC-Mark R.

Gratitude September 20, 2008

Posted by Msfatima in Life.
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This video is very concise yet profound. I found myself sitting and staring at my computer screen reflecting. How many blessings do I receive from Allah each day? The faculties of understanding I have been given to write this sentence properly. The senses with which I hear and respond…

Allah has given me innumerable blessings and all I have to do in return is worship Him alone, for Allah deserves to be worshiped. He is Self-Sufficient and The Creator, while we are tiny insignificant human-beings in this vast universe with no power over it. Yet we still walk upon this Earth with arrogance and pride. Acknowledging the blessings Allah has bestowed upon us can lift the barrier that hinders us from worshiping Him as is His right.

Sit and reflect. Find a quiet place, close your eyes, try to think of ALL the blessings you have been given by Allah. Be grateful for them.

I will end with the example of the Prophet (Peace be upon him), who is the best of examples.

Mughira b. Shu’ba reported that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) worshipped so much that his feet were swollen. It was said to him: (Why do you undergo so much hardship despite the fact that) Allah has pardoned for you your earlier and later sins? Thereupon he said: May I not (prove myself) to be a grateful servant (of Allah)?  (Sahih Muslim – Book #039, Hadith #6772)

An ode to Ilm Summit September 16, 2008

Posted by Msfatima in Ilm Summit, Islam.
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Recently I had the chance of going to an intense two-week knowledge retreat in Houston, Texas. Ilm Summit was an out of this world experience and I had many people come up to me asking how it was. My usual response was in one word: perfect. Although it was hard to put it in words how the event was really like, which is why my friends and I decided to write this poem:

Arriving at the airport we were enthused
Not knowing what was ahead of us we became confused
Seeing our Muslim sisters calmed our hearts
Getting to know them we got a head start

Upon reaching Houston we had to wait a while
Eventually the Ilm Summit van rolled up in style
Walking into the ballroom anticipating a welcome speech
Little did we know we were embarking on a journey that would leave our hearts beseeched

Adabh Al Ilm starting off each day
Followed by Bukhari recited in the Hijazi way
A day filled with learning from 9 to 10
Our minds rejuvenated but the knowledge exhausted our pen
The sound of laughter resonating through the halls
As the shuyookh played ping pong with the ball bouncing off the walls

From time management to stories of jinn and exorcism
To the Fiqh of tahara and the evil of consumerism
To the balagha of Quran to Islam’s impact on medicine and the status of Muslims in the West
To the family life of the Prophet (saw) whose example was the best
This was just a taste of the wild card sessions
The purpose of them was to broaden our horizons

The real strengthening of Iman came
When we studied Aqeedah, Fitrah and the history of Spain
With a touch of Fiqh and Maqaasid Ash Shareeah
Attentively listening on edge as Sh Yasir Qadhi said, “onomatopoeia”
His dictionary comprised of dichotomy, ramification and magnum opus
As the students sat baffled trying to focus

How could we forget our intimate gatherings in the lobby
Where the Shuyookh sat surrounded by students answering questions from education to their number one hobby

As the days became more short and numbered
Studying for the exam became more incumbent
Pulling all nighters with coffee and cake
Amazed at how much information our brain could take
Falling prey to Sheikh Yasir’s indubitable advice
“Bring 3 pens as 2 will not suffice”

Coming out of the exam dazed and shaking
With our shuyookh consoling us, don’t worry you are alims in the making

A farewell banquet prepared with class
Speeches, which sieged our emotions that would not surpass
Islam’s true pure sincerity was brought to light
As brothers and sisters only strangers two weeks ago dreaded their departing flight

Waste not, want not September 15, 2008

Posted by Msfatima in Charity, Life, Qur'an.
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Recently I was asked a very profound question, the jist of it was whether North American’s were willing to lower consumption rates in order to help developing countries. After much deliberation my conclusion was no. Unfortunately, we are living in a situation where North American society promotes the amassing of wealth and other benefits, which encourages over-consumption of resources.

Advertisements have tactful subliminal messages that tell the viewer that their self-worth depends on what superficial objects they own. This makes it difficult for consumption standards to be lowered by North Americans, since we are being bombarded daily with many choices. For example, in the supermarket we have close to fifty cereal boxes to choose from and each box with its own appealing package, making a person buy 3 different kinds. The more freedom we have of deciding what we want, the more troubles are attached to it. If we are drowning in indulgence of our wants, we disconnect ourselves more from the problems taking place within developing countries. We become focused on getting the latest gadget or super sizing the house. Our brain slowly becomes desensitized to the hunger and lack of basic necessities being faced by those in poorer nations. Capitalism promotes that when we receive money, we should spend it on luxurious wants rather than helping individuals who are deficient from fundamental needs.

Solutions

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: “Blessed is the wealth of a Muslim from which he gives to the poor, to orphans and to needy travelers.” – Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Hadith 544. The purpose of giving charity is to fulfill the needs of those who cannot attain the means themselves. Society can prosper when members spend not only on their own needs but apportion wealth towards those who require it most. Giving charity also cleanses ones wealth and saves a person from becoming stingy and hoarding their possessions.

If wealth were to circulate through society there would not be a problem with large class divergence neither would there be the lack of support going to lesser-developed countries. Each person would be supported in one way or the other and most of all there would be awareness of the fact that hunger and poverty is an existing reality.

In the Qur’an Allah states, (O Prophet!) Tell those of My servants who believe that they should establish Prayer and spend out of what We have provided them with, both secretly and openly, before there arrives the Day when there will be no bargaining, nor any mutual befriending. (14:31)

Qur’an for all; in every hand, in every heart September 14, 2008

Posted by Msfatima in Life, Qur'an.
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This is the motto incorporated within Al Huda institute, a center of learning for girls and women alike regardless of age, background, and ethnicity. The sound of the takbeerat resonates through the halls, signifying the beginning of class as we all settle in the main hall for Tajweed class. Women of different characters and personalities united for one reason, learning the Qur’an, the sacred word of Allah.

This is where I learn. Where I have made friendships, which will last me a lifetime. This is where I fell in love with the Qur’an and formed a closer bond with the Creator.

How I got there

The Taleem Al Qur’an course was starting for the first time in English in 2007, this was the year I would be going to grade 12. My sister had already done the course in Islamabad, Pakistan where Al Huda was founded. When she returned to Canada, she attended the course again in 2006 but it was in Urdu. From what I had heard from her, it was excellent. When the English Taleem Al Qur’an registration began my mother asked me whether I wanted to enroll or not.

I wanted to but at the same time something was holding me back. I was stuck. I didn’t want to leave my very last year of high school, I felt that I would be missing out on a lot, but after making a lot of Dua I decided to come to Al Huda. And Alhumdullilah, I am happy to say it was one of the best decisions I made in my life.

Curriculum

In a span of five hours we study Tafseer, word analysis of the Qur’an-studying the root words and context by Juzz (portions of the Qur’an). We also have Tajweed, which includes recitation of the Qur’an and learning the rules of Tajweed. As well as Arabic grammar in order to grasp the language better. Recently we started Book of Fasting in which we discuss permissibility’s and forbiddances during the month of Ramadhan. Concurrently, we are learning the Seerah of the Prophet (SAW) which is an excellent class giving us a glimpse into the life of the Prophet.

This is obviously just a summarized version of how the course really is, for more information about Al Huda you can visit here. Al Huda also provides courses for young children on the weekends and Hifz (memorization of the Qur’an) class for men and women, along with much more.

All I can say for myself is that the Taleem Al Qur’an course has been a life-altering experience. My priorities have changed in regards to how I live my life and what choices I make. Being connected with the Qur’an 24/7 has to be the greatest blessing from Allah, Alhumdullilah.

Finally! September 13, 2008

Posted by Msfatima in Life, Qur'an.
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This is just the beginning of many blogs to come, InshAllah. I had been meaning to start one for quite sometime but alas procrastination had gotten the better of me. I’m not planning anything permanent, just a place to compile my thoughts and views on different issues affecting this world.

Anyways on a more interesting note, here are some things about my life. I’ve decided to take the last year off from high school and am attending a full-time Islamic institute, formally known as Al Huda located in Canada. Although I am simultaneously doing online courses for high school as well. Alhumdullillah, I cannot be grateful enough for this blessing that I have, my connection with the Qur’an has strengthened and I have a better and firmer understanding of the deen (religion of Islam). More posts about my school and other things to come, InshAllah.