Isn’t The Woman There My Sister???

25 11 2007

Isn’t the woman there my sister?
in Islam, I mean to say
For I just took my shahadah
at the masjid here today

Isn’t the woman there my sister?
I openly ask without any qualms
The one who just walked past me
Without offering me her salaams

Isn’t the woman there my sister?
Though she stands alone to pray
Each time I move to touch her shoulder
She takes a step and pulls away

Isn’t the woman there my sister?
the lady that is not of my race,
for both of us are muslim women
with varied hues making up our face

Isn’t the woman there my sister?
Who laughed and made fun of me
And those other sisters of mine who listened
Doesn’t their silence make them also guilty

Isn’t the woman there my sister?
Who didn’t call me when I was sick
For she seems to only show concern
for those special sisters, in her own clique

Isn’t the woman there my sister?
Who I invited for iftar in my home
But unfortunately she did not make it
How I wish she had bothered to phone

Isn’t the woman there my sister?
Don’t we both love our religion – this Deen?
Then why am I sharing my lament
About her being uncaring, indifferent and mean?

Isn’t the woman there my sister?
Won’t she open up and try to treasure
The love I want and need to share with her
As we both seek Allah’s Merciful Pleasure

Taken from: www.islamicpoems.com





If You Want To Know How Muslim Women Feel…Ask A Muslim Woman!

17 11 2007

The transcript of the video (for those who can’t view it)

I invite every person, I invite every woman here, every non-Muslim woman here, to stand to the side when we leave here and talk to a Muslim lady. I mean now, let’s not ask Barbara Walters about how Muslim women feel. You know, let’s not ask Tom Brokaw how Muslim women feel, let’s not ask CNN, ABC, FOX, let’s not ask the London Times or the Australian Times, let’s not ask Non-Muslims about how Muslim women feel how they live what are their principles what are their challenges. If you want to be fair ask a Muslim woman, ask my wife. Ask my mother, you see, ask a Muslim woman that knows her religion who has a relationship with her creator, who is stable in her society understanding her responsibilities her relationship, ask her, and after that I think you should be fair to don’t need to ask someone else, but the problem is no one really wants to ask Muslim women, we want to take pictures of women in Afghanistan, and pictures of women in Palestine, and pictures of women in Pakistan, and pictures of women over here, and we want to listen to what people say about female circumcision as if Muslims is got women thousands, 10, 20, 30 thousand, 40 thousand women all over the world is being circumcised, it’s crazy, Stephen Spielberg stuff. And let me give you a statistic that you should know about. If you take a, if you take a quota, in this room right here, I’ll tell you this, most every Muslim woman in this room, will be a college graduate or is a college graduate or is very intelligent and very much socially endowed and within her family the structure we find that women control the wealth more so than wealth, more so than wealth, now what’s that say to you. Now where you find, where you find women oppressed women exploited women mistreated, among Muslim that’s because those Muslims themselves are not representing the principles of the religion, and in every religion you got black sheep. But then again, you can’t tell me, that the 148,000 prostitutes that walk the street in the UK or the 76,000 prostitutes that walk the streets of Holland that have licences to do so, you can’t tell me that all these little young naked little girls walking around Australia with no clothes on, you cannot tell me that they represent liberation. You can’t tell me, that the 2,350 abortions, murders, that take place with these young women, you can’t tell me that it represents sophistication, you can’t tell me that represents liberation. You can’t tell me that a naked woman sitting on a chocolate bar, a naked woman selling everything, toothpaste, everything, you can’t tell me that doesn’t represents exploitation, so let’s put things in context, let’s talk about things correctly, and lets be fair, let’s be objective, we can talk about that a little bit more if you want, but let me give you one more statistic, one more, prostitution, venereal disease, abortion, and paedophilia, and this horrendous number of children being raped and kidnapped that exists in the western world, is almost unheard of, in the Muslim world. So I think the statistics kind of like speak for themselves.





Prophet Muhammad, A Pioneer of the Enviroment?

13 11 2007
A Pioneer of the Environment
By  Franscesca De Chatel
 
 

The idea of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) as a pioneer of environmentalism will initially strike many as strange. Indeed, the term “environment” and related concepts like “ecology”, “environmental awareness” and “sustainability”, are modern-day inventions, terms that were formulated in the face of growing concerns about the contemporary state of the natural world around us. However, a closer look at the Prophet’s life reveals that he was a staunch advocate of environmental protection. One could say he was an “environmentalist avant la lettre”, a pioneer in the domain of conservation, sustainable development and resource management, one who constantly sought to maintain a harmonious balance between man and nature. From all accounts of his life and deeds, we read that the Prophet had a profound respect for fauna and flora, as well as an almost visceral connection to the four elements, earth, water, fire and air. He was a strong proponent of the sustainable use and cultivation of land and water, proper treatment of animals, plants and birds, and the equal rights of users. In this context the modernity of the Prophet’s view of the environment and the concepts he introduced to his followers is particularly striking; certain passages of the Hadith could easily be mistaken for discussions about contemporary environmental issues. Three Principles The Prophet’s environmental philosophy is first of all holistic: it assumes a fundamental link and interdependency between all natural elements and bases its teachings on the premise that if man abuses or exhausts one element, the natural world as a whole will suffer the direct consequences. This belief is nowhere formulated in one concise phrase; it is rather an underlying principle that forms the foundation of all the Prophet’s actions and words, a life philosophy that defined him as a person.

The Prophet’s environmental philosophy is holistic

The three most important principles of the Prophet’s philosophy of nature are based on the Qur’anic teachings and the concepts of tawheed (unity), khalifa (stewardship) and amana (trust). Tawheed, the oneness of God, is a cornerstone of the Islamic faith. It recognises the fact that there is one absolute Creator and that man is responsible to Him for all his actions. The Qur’an says what means:(To God belongs all that is in the heavens and in the earth, for God encompasses everything.) [4:126] The Prophet considered all of God’s creations to be equal before God and he believed animals, but also land, forests and watercourses should have rights. Therefore abusing one of His creations, whether it is a living being or a natural resource, is a sin. The concepts of khalifa, stewardship, and amana, trust, emerge from the principle of tawheed. The Qur’an explains that mankind holds a privileged position among God’s creations on earth: he is chosen as khalifa, “vicegerent” and carries the responsibility of caring for God’s earthly creations. Each individual is given this task and privilege in the form of God’s trust. But the Qur’an repeatedly warns believers against arrogance: they are no better than other creatures:(Surely the creation of the heavens and the earth is greater than the creation of man; but most people know not.) [40:57]

The Prophet incited believers to share the earth’s resources

The Prophet believed that the universe and the creations in it – animals, plants, water, and land – were not created for mankind. Man is allowed to use the resources but he can never own them. Thus while Islam allows land ownership, it has limitations: an owner can, for example, only own land if he uses it; once he ceases to use it, he has to part with his possession. The Prophet recognised man’s responsibility to God but always maintained humility. Thus he said: “When doomsday comes, if someone has a palm shoot in his hand, he should plant it,” suggesting that even when all hope is lost for mankind, one should sustain nature’s growth. He believed that nature remains a good in itself, even if man does not benefit from it. Similarly, the Prophet incited believers to share the earth’s resources. He said: “Muslims share alike in three things – water, herbage and fire,” and he considered it a sin to withhold water from the thirsty. The Prophet’s attitude towards the sustainable use of land, conservation of water and the treatment of animals is a further illustration of the humility of his environmental philosophy.

The Prophet believed that Earth had rights, just as the trees and wildlife living on it

Sustainable Use of Land “The earth has been created for me as a mosque and as a means of purification.” [Al-Bukhari I:331] With these words the Prophet emphasises the sacred nature of earth or soil, not only as a pure entity but also as a purifying agent. This reverence towards soil is also demonstrated in the ritual of tayammum, or “dry wudu’” which permits the use of dust in the performance of ritual purification before prayer when water is not available. The Prophet saw earth as subservient to man, but recognised that it should not be overexploited or abused, and that it had rights, just as the trees and wildlife living on it. In order to protect land, forests and wildlife, the Prophet created inviolable zones known as hima and haram, in which resources were to be left untouched. Both are still in use today: haram areas are often drawn up around wells and water sources to protect the groundwater table from over-pumping. Hima applies particularly to wildlife and forestry and usually designates an area of land where grazing and woodcutting are restricted, or where certain animal species are protected. The Prophet not only encouraged the sustainable use of fertile lands, he also told his followers of the benefits of making unused land productive: planting a tree, sowing a seed and irrigating dry land were all regarded as charitable deeds. Thus any person who irrigates a plot of “dead”, or desert land becomes its rightful owner. Conservation of Water

In the harsh desert environment where the Prophet lived, water was synonymous to life. Water was a gift from God, the source of all life on earth as is testified in the Qur’an: (We made from water every living thing) [21:30] The Qur’an constantly reminds believers that they are but the guardians of God’s creation on earth and that they should never take this creation for granted:(Consider the water which you drink. Was it you that brought it down from the rain cloud or We? If We had pleased, We could make it bitter.) [56:68-70] Saving water and safeguarding its purity were two important issues for the Prophet: we have seen that his concern about the sustainable use of water led to the creation of haram zones in the vicinity of water sources. But even when water was abundant, he advocated thriftiness: thus he recommended that believers perform wudu’ no more than three times, even if they were near to a flowing spring or river. The Prophet also warned against water pollution by forbidding urination in stagnant water. The Treatment of Animals

The Prophet once said, “If anyone wrongfully kills even a sparrow, let alone anything greater, he will face God’s interrogation” [Mishkat al-Masabih]. These words reflect the great reverence, respect and love that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) always showed towards animals. He believed that as part of God’s creation, animals should be treated with dignity and the Hadith contains a large collection of traditions, admonitions and stories about his relationship to animals. It shows that he had particular consideration for horses and camels: to him they were valiant companions during journey and battle, and he found great solace and wisdom in their presence. Even in the slaughter of animals, the Prophet showed great gentleness and sensitivity. While he did not practice vegetarianism, the Hadiths clearly show that the Prophet was extremely sensitive to the suffering of animals, almost as though he shared their pain viscerally. Thus he recommends using sharp knives and a good method so that the animal can die a quick death with as little pain as possible. He also warned against slaughtering an animal in the presence of other animals, or letting the animal witness the sharpening of blades: to him that was equal to “slaughtering the animal twice” and he emphatically condemned such practices as “abominable”. Conclusion It is impossible to do justice to the full scope and significance of Prophet Muhammad’s environmental philosophy in this short article. His holistic view of nature and his understanding of man’s place within the natural world pioneered environmental awareness within the Muslim community. Sadly, the harmony that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) advocated between man and his environment has today all too often been lost. As we face the effects of pollution and overexploitation, desertification and water scarcity in some parts of the world and floods and violent storms elsewhere, it is perhaps time for the world community as a whole, Muslims, Christians and Jews, Hindus and Buddhists, atheists and agnostics, to take a leaf out of the Prophet’s book and address the current environmental crisis seriously and wisely.





Busy

13 11 2007

All of my regular blog readers know that I am usually very diligent in posting and commenting.  However, I have been flat out busy lately. As my children get older it seems that I have less and less time for myself and thus less time for the blog world. Alhamdullilah, though! Kids are only young once.

We were on a schedule here daily with lessons in the morning and I found my time online later in the mornings on through afternoon.  Anyone with children knows that as they change so do the schedules. We have been taking more outings lately and attending playgroups and such. Alhamdullilah, we’ve met many nice people and it is an excellent opportunity to dispell some of the myths and misconceptions about Islam and particularly women in Islam. Unfortunatley, at the end of the day, the last thing I feel like doing is going online. Instead, I want to rest and sleep. haha. I must be getting old…

Well, just thought I would give a little update. 





What If You Found A Watch In The Sand? Very Inspiring Story.

5 11 2007

Suppose you found a watch in the middle of the desert. What would you conclude? Would you think someone had dropped the watch? Or would you suppose that the watch came by itself?

Of course, no sane person would say the watch just happened to emerge from the sand. All the intricate working parts could not simply develop from the metals that lay buried in the earth. The watch must have a manufacturer.

If a watch tells an accurate time, we expect the manufacturer must be intelligent. Blind chance cannot produce a working watch.

But what else tells accurate time? Consider the sunrise and the sunset. Their timings are so strictly regulated that scientists can publish in advance the sunrise and sunset times in your daily newspapers. But who regulated the timings of sunrise and sunset? If a watch cannot work without an intelligent maker, how can the sun appear to rise and set with such clockwork regularity? Could this occur by itself?

Consider also that we benefit from the sun only because it remains at a safe distance from the earth. A distance that averages 93 million miles. If it got much closer, the earth would burn up. And if it got too far away, the earth would turn into an icy planet making human life here impossible. Who decided in advance that this was the right distance? Could it just happen by chance?

Without the sun, plants would not grow. Then animals and humans would starve. Did the sun just decide to be there for us?

We need to experience sunrise. We need the sun’s energy and its light to see our way during the day. But we also need sunset. We need a break for the heat, we need the cool of the night and we need the lights to go out so we may sleep. Who regulated this process to provide what we need?

Moreover, if we had only the warmth of the sun and the protection of the atmosphere we would want something more beauty. Our clothes provide warmth and protection, yet we design them also to look beautiful. Knowing our need for beauty, the designer of the sunrise and the sunset also made the view of them to be simply breathtaking.

The Creator who gave us light, energy, protection and beauty deserves our thanks. Yet some people insist that He does not exist. What would they think if they found a watch in the desert? An accurate, working watch? A beautifully designed watch? Would they not conclude that there does exist a watchmaker, One who appreciates beauty? Such is God who made us.

Taken from http://www.islamhouse.com
author Abdur Rauf Shakir





A Very Powerful Hadith-Our Hearts and Our Deeds

5 11 2007

Our deeds – what we do externally – are judged ultimately by the states of our hearts. These are good deeds. Evil deeds are evil, but these good deeds are in reference to those that we perceive to be a part and parcel of righteousness. Allah will inspect the hearts to determine whether they are truly acts of righteousness.

The Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa sallam had informed us that the first 3 people who would be cast into the Hell Fire are people who were involved in what everybody considers great acts of righteousness. They are the scholar who taught knowledge; the wealthy person who gave from his wealth in charity and the martyr who gave his life fighting in the path of God.

The Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa sallam, in an authentic narration, said that they would be among the first groups of people thrown into because the scholar, when he taught the knowledge that Allah gave him, did not do so for the sake of Allah. He taught so that people would praise him, saying what a great scholar he is and how knowledgeable he is. Allah will say to him: “You received your praise, what you sought in that world. But there will be nothing for you in the next.” So he will be drawn off on his face and thrown into Hell.

Similarly the rich individual – the philanthropist, who was generous with his wealth. He gave and people praised his generosity, but Allah will say, “You did it for the praise and you were praised. There was no sincerity there; it was not for the sake of Allah. You did it for as long as people appreciated it, but when people did not pay you mind, you were not generous anymore. Your generosity was conditional; it was not really for the sake of Allah.” So that individual will be drawn off on his face and thrown into Hell.

And the martyr – the one whom we all assumed had died fii-sabilillah. We would think that his place in Paradise is guaranteed. But Allah will say: “You fought so people would say, ‘How brave this one is! How strong and courageous he was!'” People said it; they praised him, but he did not do it for the sake of Allah, so he will be drawn off on his face and thrown into Hell.

This is all telling us that ultimately, even the highest of deeds can be of no avail if the hearts are sick; if the hearts are corrupt. So the place of the heart should, in our minds, occupy great attention. We have to spend much of our time observing, being aware of the state of our heart. When the Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa sallam described Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, explaining to the people his status over the rest of them, he said, “He does not surpass you by performing more prayers and fasts – there are among you those who pray and fast more – but by something which deeply has embedded itself in his heart… Iman in his heart.” That was where his superiority laid.

So there is no other faculty in the human body and existence that a believer should more concerned about. We have to make sure that this faculty is functioning as Allah wishes it to function. We should be greatly concerned about it. The Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa sallam used to make dua often, beginning: “I seek refuge in you, O Allah, from knowledge that does not benefit and from a heart which does not fear”.