Tag Archives: Youth

The Bitter Harvest

by Muhammad Al-Shareef

I was a teacher in the Qur’anic study circle at our neighborhood Masjid at the time. I would see this young boy after Maghrib prayers, you might say he was about fifteen years old. He held a pocket Qur’an and sat alone reading from it – no, he wasn’t actually reading from it, he was just trying to make it seem as if he was. Now and again, he would shyly steal a few glances at us, curious to know what we were doing. Once in awhile, you might see him straining to make out what we were talking about.

Every time I caught his eye, he would avert his head and continue with his recitation, as if he had not intended to look this way.

Day after day, he sat in the same reserved manner, revealing the same timid glance. Finally after Isha Salah one day, I resolved to confront him.

“As Salamu ‘Alaykum, my name is Salman, I teach the Qur’anic study circle in this Masjid.”

‘And my name is Khalid.’

Strange, he replied so fast, as if he had been waiting to share this piece of information for such a long time and expected to be asked.

“Where do you study Khalid?”

‘In the Eighth grade…and I…I love the Qur’an a lot.’

Strange indeed, why did he add that last sentence?

Confidently, I asked him, “Listen Khalid, have you got any free time after Maghrib? We would be honored to have you join us in the class.”

‘What? The Qur’an? The Halaqah? Yes…why, yes of course (happiness overcame him). I’ll be there, Insha’Allah.’

That night, I couldn’t think of anything other than this young boy and the haze that surrounded his behavior. Sleep would just not come.

I attempted to interpret an answer for what I saw and heard, but there was none. A verse of poetry came to mind: ‘the coming days shall unravel the mystery / and the news may appear from where you could never see.’

I turned on my right side and slipped my right hand under my cheek. O Allah, I have surrendered myself to You and to You I turn over my affairs.

*** Subhan Allah, how the calendar was jogging by. Khalid was now a regular in our Qur’anic circle, energetic and successful in memorization. He was friends with everyone and everyone was friends with him. You could never catch him without a Qur’an in his hand, or find him in any other line in Salah other than the first. There was nothing wrong with him except for his occasional long lapses of attention. There were times when his stoned eyes would reflect the fathomless thought going on in his mind. Sometimes we knew his body was with us, but his soul was somewhere else, suffocating in another world. Occasionally, I would startle him. All he had was a mumble to reply with, he would have been the first to admit its fabrication.

One night, I walked with him after class to the beach shore. Maybe his big secret might meet something equally large, relax somewhat, and release its distress and pain.

We arrived at the beach and traced the waves. The full moon was out.

A strange sight. The darkness of the night found the darkness of the sea, with a lit moon in-between them.

It sat somewhat embarrassed at its intrusion, similar to my shyness towards Khalid right then.

The rays of the silent moon rested on the silent waves of the sea. I stood behind the silent boy. The scene was silence.

Just then! It all shattered and crushed to the ground as the young boy fell to the bottom, bleeding his heart with tears. I chose not to interrupt Khalid’s emotional release, perhaps the saltiness of his tears might help him relax and cleanse his distress.

After a few moments he said from behind his tears, ‘I love you all…I love the Qur’an…and those who love it. I love pious brothers, moral, pure brothers.’

‘But…my father…it’s my father.’

“Your father? What is wrong with your father Khalid?”

‘My father always warned me not to hang around with you people. He’s afraid. He hates you all. And he always tries to convince me that I should hate you too. At any chance he gets, he’ll try to prove his point with stories and tales.’

‘But…when I saw you people in the Halaqah reciting Qur’an, I saw something entirely different. I saw the light in your faces, the light in your clothes, the light in your words, even when you were silent I could see the light even then.’

‘I doubted my father’s tales and that’s why I would sit after Maghrib, watching you, pretending that I was part of the circle, trying to share in the light.’

‘I…I remember Ustadh Salman…I remember the time you approached me after ‘Isha prayer. I’d been waiting for that moment for such a long time. When I began the classes, my soul locked itself into a world of purity with your souls. I began the circle and was persistent. I wouldn’t sleep, my days and nights became Qur’an. My father noticed the change in my routine. He found out, one way or another, that I had joined the circle and that I was now hanging out with “terrorists.”

‘Then, on a dark night…

‘We were waiting for father to come home from the coffee shop, his daily ritual, so that we could all have dinner together.’

‘He entered the house with his hardened face and slaps of anger.’

‘We all sat together at the dinner mat. Silence settled on the gathering as usual, all of us were afraid to speak in his presence.’

‘He knifed the silence with his roaring and immediate voice. “I heard you’ re hanging out with the fundamentalists.”

‘I was caught red. My tongue looped and failed. All the words in my mouth attempted to come out at the same time. But, he didn’t wait for the answer…

‘He snatched the teakettle and threw it maliciously at my face.’

‘The room spun and the colors united before my eyes. I stopped distinguishing the ceiling from the walls from the floor, and fell.’

‘My mother held me.’

‘A damp cloth on my forehead reminded me of where I was. The vicious voice turned on my mother, “Leave him alone, or you’ll be in the same lot.”

‘I crawled out of my mother’s lap and whimpered away to my room. He followed me down the corridor with the cruelest curses.’

‘There was not a day that he didn’t beat me in some way. Curses, kicks, throwing whatever was nearest to his hand. My body had finally become a shiver of fear, grotesque colors formed all over. I hated him.’

‘One day while we were sitting at the dinner mat, he said, “Get up, don’t eat with us.”

‘Before I could get up though, he pounced immediately and kicked me in the back, making me slam into the pots.’

‘At that moment, lying there on there on the ground, I pretended to stand taller than him and shout back in his face…’

‘One day, I’ll pay you back. I’ll beat you just like you beat me, and curse you just like you cursed me.’

‘I’ll grow up and become strong. And you’ll get old and become feeble.’

‘And then…I’ll treat you just like you treated me. I’ll pay you back.’

‘After that, I left home and ran away. I just ran, anywhere, it didn’t matter anymore.’

‘I found my way to this beach. It helped me wash away some of the sadness. I held my pocket Qur’an and began reciting until I could continue no longer because of my excessive crying.’

And here, a few of those innocent tears descended again, tears that sparkled under the moon like pearls under a lamp. I couldn’t say anything, the surprise had arrested my tongue. Should I be aghast at this beast of a father, whose heart knew nothing about mercy? Or, should I be amazed at this patient young lad, whom Allah had wished guidance for and inspired with faith. Or, should I be shocked at them both, at the father-son bond that had broken, causing their relationship to transform into that of a lion and a tiger, or a wolf and a fox.

I held his warm hand and wiped away a tear from his cheek. I reassured him, prayed for him, and advised him to remain obedient to his father. I told him to remain patient and that he was not alone. I promised that I would meet his father, speak to him, and try to evoke his mercy.

*** That incident slipped further away with each passing day. I tried thinking of ways to open Khalid’s case with his father. How should I speak to him? How was I going to be convincing? To be frank, how was I even going to knock on his door? Then finally, I collected my courage, rehearsed my plan, and resolved that the confrontation…uh, meeting…would be that day at five o’clock.

When the time arrived, I left for Khalid’s house with all my ideas and questions for his father dangling from my pockets.

I rang the doorbell. My fingers trembled and my knees were melting. The door opened. There it was, standing in the shadow with it’s frowned lips and veins beating with anger.

I tried beginning with a candid smile. Maybe it might smooth out some of the wrinkles before we even started.

He snatched my collar and jerked me towards him. ‘You’re that fundamentalist that teaches Khalid at the Masjid, aren’t you?’

“Well…uh…yes.”

‘God help me, if I ever see you walking with him again, I’ll break your legs. Khalid won’t be coming to your class anymore.’

And then, he mustered all the saliva in his mouth and spit on my face. The door slammed behind it.

Slowly, I unfolded a tissue that was in my pocket, wiped what he had honored me with, and retreated down the stairs consoling myself. Allah’s Messenger – sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam – suffered more than this. They called him a liar, cursed him, stoned him with rocks and caused his feet to bleed. They broke his teeth and placed dung on his back and expelled him from his house.

*** Day after day. Month after month. No sign of Khalid. His father forbade him from leaving the house, even for the congregational prayer. He even forbade us from seeing or meeting him. We prayed for Khalid…Until we forgot about him. Years passed away. One night, after the ‘Isha’ prayer, a shadow walked behind me in the Masjid and rested a familiar harsh hand on my shoulder. The same hand that held me years ago. The same face, the same wrinkles and the same mouth that honored me with what I was not deserving of.

But … something had changed. The savage face had shattered. The angry veins had subsided, belittled and still. The body looked tired of all the pain and conflict, weakened by sadness and grief.

“How are you?” I kissed his forehead and welcomed him. We took a corner of the Masjid. He collapsed on my lap sobbing.

Subhan Allah, I never thought that that lion would one day become a kitten.

Speak up. What’s wrong? How is Khalid?

‘Khalid!’ The name was like a dagger piercing his heart, twisting inside, and breaking off. His head slumped.

‘Khalid is no longer the same boy that you used to know. Khalid is no longer the generous, calm and humble young lad.

‘After he left your circle he befriended a pack of evil boys, ever since he was little he loved to socialize. They caught him at that time of life when a youth wants to leave the house. Vanity, jokes.’

‘He began with cigarettes. I cursed him, beat him. But there was no use, his body had grown accustomed to the beatings, his ears were used to the curses.’

‘He grew quickly. He started staying up with them all night, not coming home until dawn. His school expelled him.’

‘Some nights he would come home to us speaking abnormally, his face loose, his tongue confused, his hands shivering.’

‘That body, which used to be strong, full, and tender, passed away. What remained was a feeble worn frame. That pure frosty face of his transformed. It became dark and filthy. The scum of misguidance and sin clung to it.’

‘Those shy and simple eyes of his changed. They shot red like fire as if everything he drank or took showed immediately in his eyes like some sort of punishment, in this life before the next.’

‘Hostility and disrespect replaced that shyness and cowardice he once knew. Gone was that soft, respectful young heart. In it’s place grew a hardened center, like a rock, if not harder.’

‘Seldom a day would pass without incident. He would either curse, kick, or hit me. Imagine it, my own son. I’m his father, yet he still hits me.’

After releasing all that, his eyes returned wet and bitter. But, he added quickly, ‘I beg you Salman, visit Khalid. Take him with you, you have my blessing, the door is open.’

‘Pass by him sometime. He loves you. Register him in the Qur’anic study circle. He could go with you on field trips. I have no objection. In fact, I am even willing to allow him to live in your homes and sleep over.’

‘The important thing, Salman…the important thing is that Khalid returns to the way he was.’

‘I beg you lad, I’ll kiss your hands, warm your feet, I beg you and beg you…’

He collapsed, crying and wheezing, into the memories of the grief and pain. I allowed him to complete everything he had to say.

Then I addressed him…

“Despite what has passed, let me try. Brother, you planted this seed. And this is your harvest.”

Had I but Known

Anfal, a rich young girl, sat waiting impatiently at the doctor’s clinic to get the results of a medical test. She was in a hurry to attend a party and feared she might be late for her appointment with the hairdresser. She never thought the result would be anything important. It was just a precaution insisted upon by her family.

She had never suffered any serious illness, apart from the odd ache in her, apart from the odd ache in her limbs. Then, it was her turn to see the doctor. She hurried inside to get it over with as quickly as possible. She was surprised to see the doctor look sad and concerned as he asked, “Is this yours?”

She answered, “No, it is my daughter’s.”

She wanted to know the truth and thought that perhaps he would hide the truth, if she told him it was her own. He asked her to have a seat, so she sat feeling somewhat afraid. She looked at him anxiously, as he said,

“Why did not you send a man to get the results?”

Anfal said, “It was on my way so there was no need to send someone else.”

The doctor looked sadly at her and said, “You seem to be an educated girl. You understand the nature of life.”

He stopped talking, and she began to tremble.

She asked, “What do you mean doctor?”

The doctor said, “The result indicates that there is a blood disease.” He looked down at his papers and remained silent. Anfal had to ask him to give her more information. She cried in fear, “Is it cancer?”

He did not look at her, but a cloud of sadness covered his face. It was as if he was sentencing her to death.

She said in a broken voice, “I am finished then.” The doctor knew then that she had lied, but it was too late to hide the truth. He looked kindly at her and said, “I am sorry for you. Why did you lie? Anyway life and death are matters within Allah’s power. Many sick people live long and many healthy ones die.”

Anfal felt as if she were drowning, as if a hard fist was cruelly squeezing her heart. She tried hard to regain her strength and said, “I do apologize. Thank you doctor.”

The doctor encouraged her saying, “Be strong and optimistic. Medical science is constantly progressing. Some of today’s incurable sicknesses can be cured tomorrow I still have hope. Leave me your telephone number.” She repeated the number automatically without knowing what she was saying. Feeling great shock and bitterness, she again thanked the doctor and left.

At home she kept the truth to herself. She did not know how to share it. Anyway, everyone was busy, getting ready for the party. Her mother asked, “Have you been to the doctor? Why did not you go to the hairdresser?” It was just a by-the-way question, needing no answer. She briefly said, “I am not going to the party !”

She went upstairs into her room and locked the door.

She stretched out on her bed fully clothed and listened to her family’s voices, as if they were coming from a far away place. The wind seemed to her to be a funeral sad tune, lamenting her approaching death. The bedroom seemed strange to her as she would be leaving it soon. What about the house? It would not remember her. She was just a guest. Others would take her room and soon forget her. She tried to cry but tears did not help.

She looked around her in pain. Those curtains that she had tried so hard to get, would stay after her. It would not have mattered if they had been made of the roughest fabric, she would leave them for others. She wished she had not troubled herself for such things. She wished she had saved her time and money for more useful things, which could have been helpful to her in her difficulty.

She wondered, “What is useful to me?” She was young, beautiful and rich with everything her heart could desire. Could anything help her and save her from death? She had always longed for an official job with a good salary. She had it, but could it save her from death?

An idea struck her. She hurried to the phone while everyone was away. She dialed the doctor’s number and asked eagerly, “If I travel abroad can I find a cure?”

He said, “There is nothing new abroad. It is a waste of money.”

She put the phone down and sat on a nearby chair.

Her salary would not change matters. She walked through the house’s rooms as if saying her farewells. She paced the small garden and looked at the trees. She whispered, “I wish these trees knew I am leaving them, those stones, walls…I wish these doors knew my hands will soon no longer open them. I wish those flowers, that I planted and watered knew. How often the thorns and hard stones tore my hands!

How often I watered those dying flowers with my tears when there was no water. I wish they knew the meaning of my departure. These fruiting trees were tiny when I planted them. I did my best to help them flourish until they grew up healthy and fruitful. Will they know I am soon leaving? Will they remember my days in their company? What about these seats, I used to rest on. Will they miss my presence? Will they be ready for someone else to settle on them? My writing desk felt my writing in tears and in smiles, does it know I am leaving? Will it miss my pen and papers in its drawers? I wish they all knew I am leaving. I wish I had known I was leaving, then I would not have cared so much for this life. I would not have felt proud and arrogant…

Had I known I were a guest in this world I would not have been cheated or tempted by its luxuries…

Had I known this I would have been aware that leaving a simple life is easier than leaving a luxurious one…

Had I lived a simple life, I would not have found it difficult to cross from this world to the next. My family is now enjoying the party…how often I longed for such parties, how much I cared for fashion and hairstyles! Can they help me now?”

Anfal threw herself down on the nearest chair as if she had realized a truth previously unknown to her.

She said, “What shall I take with me? Nothing but the coffin and my deeds. What kind of deeds will go with me on my long journey? Nothing! Yes, nothing!” She remembered her friend Sarah, who used to advise her and guide her to the right path of Allah. She used to remind her of the Qur’anic verse: …and make provision, for the provision is the guarding of oneself. [Al-Baqarah:239]

She had never considered the importance of good deeds. Now she was in need of such deeds to present to Allah. She would stand to give her account, but what would she say? How could she expect Allah’s mercy when she disobeyed His orders? How could she ask for forgiveness when she never even thought of obeying Him in her life’s affairs?

She wished she had read the Holy Qur’an instead of all those cheap novels. She wished she had gained some knowledge of her religion instead of reading film-star magazines. She continued wishing she had done few things, and not done other things. She wished she had not angered this person or that, and had never lied or gossiped about anyone. She wished she had not been proud and despised the poor.

She said, “I wish I could start my life all over again to make-up for my errors and to obey Allah’s orders. I worshipped my desires and ignored my Creator. I wish I could live for a while to make up for my sins.”

She remembered a Qur’anic verse, her grandfather used to recite: Until when death overtakes one of them he says: Send me back, my Lord. Haply I may do good in that which I have left. By no means! It is a mere word that he speaks, and before them is a barrier until the day they are raised. [Al-Mominun: 99]

Here she said, “Oh God, I do mean it…” Tears burst from her eyes. She cried bitterly in repentance, not pain. She decided to obey Allah in all His orders if she lived a bit longer. The phone rang and she walked towards it lazily. Tears in her eyes she said, “Yes?”

Someone said, “Can I speak to Miss Anfal?” She knew the speaker. It was her doctor. She said, “Yes, speaking.”

The doctor said cheerfully, “Congratulations my daughter! There is nothing wrong with you. Thank God!”

She was stunned with surprise. She did not know what to say. “No disease? How? You are joking, doctor!”

The doctor said, “May Allah protect me I am not joking. I have just got an apology from the analyst. He explained that there was a mix-up with the names. Your name was written instead of someone else. I have your medical report here in front of me. You are quite well. Be thankful to Allah my daughter.”

Excitedly she said, “Thanks be to Allah, Thank you doctor.”

She put the phone down, feeling as if she was new born. She knew she was safe for a while, but death would certainly come one day. She had no time to waste. However long she lived she was a guest.

The first thing she did was to perform her prayer, which she had neglected for a long time. She promised Allah to obey His orders to pray, fast, and stick to wearing decent clothes. She would also give up whatever Allah had forbidden. In order not to forget this, she wrote the Qur’anic verse on a placard and hung it on the wall. On the other side she wrote a wise saying:

“Repent the day before you die. Because you do not know when you will die, then always be repentant.”

Valentines day

This is an old poem I wrote back in 2008 and I thought I would repost it here for the benefit of readers.

by Ahmed

Valentines day is here
its the same each year

we are hit in the pocket
people dash last minute to the supermarket

to buy their loved one a gift
so they can have a temporary lift

and then the day is gone
as quickly as the dawn

and its back to reality for all
til next years valentines call

good mood and emotions consigned to the past
all year they could never last

stop copying bill, freda and ted
why dont we instead do what Islam said

Your situation do assess
Read about how marriage in Islam is blessed

and follow the prophetic example
Sunnahs to follow, so ample

Realise that valentines is just a trick
simply another scheme to get rich quick!

Also read Valentines in Islam Poem.
Wasalam

Beginners guide to Surviving University

Source: As-Sabiqoon Monthly Magazine Issue 9 Sept 2006

Before you is a concise step-by-step guide about surviving at Uni! All I write is based upon my very own experience which has advice in dealing with it life at Uni. It’s worth noting that (as I write) I am a first year and in no way have I experienced all the problems, and due to the nature of the problems mentioned, my advice is not the only advice available. I recommend you to stick to the advice of the scholars and students of knowledge; in other words, it’s just an introduction into surviving the first year! It’s split into two main sections: general advice (which includes advice on handling the workload itself) and Islamic advice, which highlights the main problems faced by every Muslim what to do should in these positions.

General advice

Step1: know your role!
The first step is to actually understand why you are at Uni and what you want to get out of it. Whether you want to go to Uni or you’re being forced to go, make sure you have aims and objectives and actually work towards it. Have an idea of what field (roughly) you wish to go into. Carefully study the course description and individual module description so that you know what to expect and what you should achieve at the end. If you don’t like it, it’s not too late to switch courses or individual modules. Many students switch within the first semester (term) and the Universities expect this.

Step two: your surroundings!
As soon as you start Uni, it’s important that you have a good circle of pious Muslim friends- also maybe non-Muslim friends whom you can give Da’wah to. SubhanAllah, this is so important as you’ll find within a few weeks the majority of non-muslim students heading to the pubs and clubs drinking a few pints and then heading off to the library to do some work. Alhamdulillah many Unis have an ISOC and a dedicated prayer room where you’re more then welcome! In fact, ISOCs have a dedicated group to bring people to the prayer rooms and also start off their talks and Jumua’h Khutbah with short and sweet Naseeha (advice) regarding surviving Uni. The prayer room should be your refuge without distracting you from your purpose to work; so make sure you have good friends, be a regular prayer room user and have a separate place to study.

Step three: do your work!
It’s really easy to be distracted from doing your work. Many students suffer from the whole Uni-cliche lifestyle of going out, partying, having ‘fun’ and plenty of brothers and sisters organise events or invite you to eat with them at restaurants. It’s very easy to just give up and leave your work for later and join them, though quite frankly, if you don’t do your work, you will fail! Uni is very independent and it’s up to YOU to commit yourself. I found that dedicating the day for work and evening for maybe extra/remaining work and going out worked best; make a schedule try stick to it!

Step four: Do your best
Be sincere in what you do; do it to help Muslims climb the society ladder so that we can have an impact on the world again. Be the best (or one of the best thereafter) in your class so that you have good prospects and also so that you can use your position to give Da’wah. And it’s not that hard! A few words here and a few there, people will automatically flock to you to ask for help. Just do your best and remember the results is with Allah (swt):
‘Be mindful of Allah, you will find Him before you. Get to know Allah in prosperity and He will know you in adversity. Know that what has passed you by was not going to befall you, and that what has befallen you was not going to pass you by. And know that victory comes with patience, relief with affliction, and ease with hardship.’
(Imam Tirmizi, Imam An Nawawi’s 40 Ahadith)

Step 5: make the most of it
If you have any problems with your work, go to your lecturers and ask for help. Don’t be afraid to ask during or after the lectures and don’t pretend to understand! If something is explained to you and you still don’t get it, tell them – pound them till you finally get it. If it’s the lecturer you can’t understand then find a PhD student or someone in the same or year above and ask- there’s plenty of them in the Prayer Room.

Use the library, Internet, lab sessions, revision classes, etc. Find a few brothers and sisters who have been through the course who can help and sell you their books for proper discount prices. I bought a 40 pounds book off a brother for just 10 pounds…bargain!

Islamic advice

Uni is literally buzzing with Fitnah, from the people who go there to some of the buildings and books in the library. It’s used as an excuse to propagate false ideas and brainwash the masses…so there must be a few things to beware of:

1. The prayer room
Although (generally) the ISOC is not the problem, the prayer room is always buzzing with people with twisted views and next ideologies. You meet Muslims from many different countries and backgrounds which have influenced the way they think and many of these sects and named-groups operate in the prayer room. Some even call to their beliefs and love to argue and will spark the argument with everyone and anyone. Despite this, you meet the most amazing and sincere people you’ll ever meet who really help you in everyway possible. Not everyone who has a slight difference in mentality to yourself is your enemy and Uni is a good platform to verify all the slander you hear about these groups. If you really want to know what they’re upon… just ask them!

2. The debates
Just as we’ve mentioned, there are those who really love debating, whether it’s about Islam or worldly things. Some named-groups and sects even debate over things that are not only out of their own capabilities of understanding as a layman, but also in matters that a Muslim must not go into whether a layman or the greatest scholar. Therefore, it becomes necessary for you to learn your Deen from trusted sources and be sincere in gaining that knowledge. Learn with evidences from the Qur’an and Sunnah as this not only increases your general understanding of Islam but also creates certainty and it certainly eradicates doubt.
Also, beware of speaking without knowledge. It’s easy to fall into Shaytan’s trap of disagreeing with someone based upon the fact that they belong to one of these groups or sects and not because you yourself know that. You might be arguing on an issue in which they are correct about and you are wrong.

Seeing as everyone in Uni (especially Muslims, sociology, history and philosophy students) begin to act like philosophers they will be more open to ideas. Alhamdulillah this is a great platform to give Da’wah especially collectively, like writing for the student magazines or entering writing competitions and relating it to Islam, its merits and Muslims and their positive impact upon the world. Many Muslims do this and win essay competitions and have their articles publicised; it really does work!

3. The Pubs, etc
Don’t be fooled by the fact that some Muslims hang-out in the pubs staying away from drinking alcohol only playing pool, snooker, table-football and other such activities. Stay away from the pubs and clubs otherwise there’s no doubt that eventually you will either start to ‘loosen up’ in established matters of Islam or maybe even reject it and commit Kufr (disbelief).

4. The library
The more philosophical the subjects are at your Uni are, the more ‘random’ the library materials are. Recently I found the whole set of Salman Rushdie’s books including ‘Satanic Whispers’ and even more recently I found a shockingly western-biased account on Islamic Spain. Much of the books and History are anti-Islamic although we are now seeing a slow emergence of Muslim writers being recognized in the west and having their works published and put into the bookshelves of Universities. Know your religion with certainty; make sure you are grounded in Islam if you bother with such books.

I hope that this advice helps but again I recommend you to the advice of the people of knowledge and the Islamic Societies. They know how to help and go out of their way to do so. You can also go Uni for the lectures and do your work at home. Make the most of all that’s available to you and enjoy your time there. It really does open up your mind and isn’t as bad as some people say.

May Allah (swt) raise your rank and bless you in this world and the next and may He (swt) change our condition for the better and allow us to be the forerunners in this blissful task, Ameen!

Lovesickness

By Shaikh Salmaan Fahd

By no means is love a sickness in and of itself. Indeed, it is the only known cure for many of the problems and ailments that we as human beings suffer from. However, love can turn into an illness if it becomes obsessive, if it goes beyond its proper bounds, or if the object of love is not worthy. When such a situation develops, love indeed becomes a sickness requiring a remedy.

It is Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aalaa)’s order in the world that he sends down to it no affliction without sending down with it its cure. Love is no exception.

The treatment of this illness is as follows:

1. As with all diseases, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

This is why we must lower our gazes and resist taking a second glance at a member of the opposite sex who attracts us. Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aalaa) says: “Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their chastity. That will make for greater purity for them, and Allah is acquainted with all that they do. And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their chastity…” (Surah al-Noor: 30-31)

We can see how Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aalaa) first issues the command to believing men, then repeats the command for believing women, thus emphasizing the importance of lowering our gazes. The fact that Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aalaa) addresses members of each sex individually shows just how important and relevant this matter is to people of both sexes. Indeed, these Verses are one of the few occasions where Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aalaa) addresses men and women separately in the Quraan.

The look is the beginning that can lead to progressively greater ills. This is why Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aalaa) mentions it first, and then follows it up with the command for us to guard our chastity.

A poet long ago observed:

A glance, a smile, a friendly hello,
Some chatting, a date, then off they go!

If some of us find it difficult to carry out this command, they should write these verses down on a sheet of paper and hang them on their wall or place them on the dashboard – whatever it takes to remind them.

2. Thinking about the consequences is often a sobering dose of medicine.

The ability to think about the far-reaching consequences of our actions is one of the distinctive qualities that set humanity apart from other animals. This is why a person just does not go ahead and do everything that tickles his fancy. He first has to think about what is behind it and what will come of it.

For instance, he might pause to think, before embarking upon a certain course of action, that if he does so, he might succumb to AIDS. He might reflect upon how that dreaded disease has already claimed tens of millions of lives, how some of those who were careful – who chose only one sexual partner who even had an AIDS test – nevertheless came down with the disease.

How many people like that do we hear about, some of whom come out and admit that the disease befell them as a punishment from Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aalaa), and hoping that it might at least expiate for their sin?

The same can be said for all the other sexually transmitted diseases. The worst thing of all is to think that an indiscreet man can infect his pious, faithful, and chaste wife with one of these vile diseases.

Another consequence to think about is pregnancy. A man who had repented for his sins once admitted to me that he had intentionally chosen to involve himself with a woman who was sterile. Regardless, Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aalaa) wanted her to fall pregnant and she did.

We should not be heedless of the consequences of our actions. Does anyone want to be responsible for someone coming into this world with no idea who his father is; someone who starts out life already disadvantaged?

Maybe one of us will pay the price for his misdeed in this world. Maybe he will get away with it here, going through life unrepentant and unscathed, only to be humiliated for it before the eyes of all on the Day of Judgment.

Some of the evil consequences of this behavior are psychological in nature. A man, once enamored of women, gets to the point that he can never be satisfied. He eternally craves variety and no degree of beauty is enough. Because of this, he may find himself eternally forbidden the lawful pleasure to be found within marriage. His senses and his sentiments have all been dulled.

Some young men travel abroad and spend their time in the company of prostitutes and other women of ill repute, but if one of them were ever to hear that his wife back home so much as looked at another man indiscreetly, he would divorce her on the spot.

One man lamented: “I would forsake all the women of the world for the sake of one woman whom I knew would get worried if I came home at night a little bit late.” This is the sentiment of any man who possesses wisdom.

3. The communion of lawful love is the best cure of all.

All of the stories of love that we find in our literature – whether it be that of Jamîl and Buthaynah, Kuthayyir and ‘Azzah, Qays and Laylâ, or for that matter their English equivalent Romeo and Juliet – deal with the anguish of unrequited love.

Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aalaa) has placed in what is lawful all that we need so we can dispense with what He has made unlawful. It provides the most fulfilling, satisfying, and deepest expression of love.

The Prophet (SallAllaho alaihe wa sallam) said: “We see for those who are in love nothing better than marriage.” (Sunan Ibne Maajah, 1847 and Mustadrak Haakim, 2724 with a good chain of transmission)

Lawful matrimony is what brings healing to the heart and removes its disquiet. If it is not written for a certain man and women to come together in matrimony, each of them should have faith that there are many others out there with whom Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aalaa) can enrich them with a meaningful and loving relationship.

4. Resignation and a willingness to forsake what is wrong.

No matter how painful it may be to part, it is sometimes necessary. The Prophet (SallAllaho alaihe wa sallam) said: “Whoever maintains his chastity, does so with the grace of Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aalaa). Whoever finds self-sufficiency does so with what Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aalaa) has enriched him. Whoever is patient draws his fortitude from Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aalaa). And no one has been given a gift better or more bountiful than patience.” (Bukhari 1469 and Muslim 1053)

Whoever gives something up for Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aalaa)’s sake should know that Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aalaa) will give him in its substitute something far better.

5. Channeling one’s energies and abilities into what is nobler, more precious, and sublime – the love of Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aalaa)

We express this love by bringing benefit to His creatures, by our obedience to Him, by our Salaah (prayers), our Saum (fasts), our Zikr (remembrance of Him), our Du’aas (supplications), and our Tawaadhu’ (humility). We do so by keeping the company of righteous people and by aspiring to the noblest and most beneficial of goals.

We should channel our energies into what benefits us in our worldly lives and in our faith. Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aalaa) says: “Seek Allah’s help with patience and perseverance. It is indeed difficult except upon those who are humble.” (Surah al-Baqarah: 45)

He says: “Whoever puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is Allah for him.” (Surah al-Talaaq: 3)

A heart that is full of concern for others will be a heart that is full of love – but not a slave to love. It is an empty heart that falls stricken for any visitor who graces its doorstep.

We should take full advantage of our lives and be as productive as possible. We need to develop our talents, our minds, and put our creativity into practice. Yes! Be enamored – but be enamored of truth and knowledge. Be fully in love – but be in love with righteousness.

Source: RightIslam

Muslims and the Internet

Assalam alaykum,
I recently came accross this article which I posted over at http://breatheislam.blogsome.com a long time ago but the advice still holds true and beneficial for us today, so I would like to share with you here again.

When it comes to the internet, so much time is wasted, previously the TV was the time waster but now the internet has surpassed it. We need to worry about this influence a great deal more as concerned Muslims. Many many hours and hours can be spent on the net and if after this one reflects as to what they gained from that period of time, the sad reality in most cases is that it was only flicking and scrolling from screens and webpages. Yes there are benefits to be obtained but in general there is so much time wasted on the internet.

It is so sad that after Isha people can sit on the internet and stay on for so long that the Fajr Salah is missed due to being tired. Visiting some places I asked the father/ parents that your son was awake until 2am, he said ‘oh yes he was doing his homework on the computer.’ Previusly we would know the child was at the library doing his or her homework, but now they do not have to even leave their room. Only Allah really knows what is going on in the childs room whilst the parents are asleep.

Every evil is available at your finger tips now. Just a few words to type and one can have a picture of such filthy evils imprinted onto your heart, evils previously unimaginable.

All these sins have an impact on our ibaadah and our imaan. Even the kuffar and sinners/ criminals in the past would not see some of the things we can so easily view today. Then we ask ourslves why we don’t we experience pleasure and khushu in our ibadaat? This is the effect of our sins on our heart.

The Holy Prophet pbuh said: ‘A look towards the Haram is a poisoned arrow from the arrows of the Iblees.’

How strong is our imaan and how many arrows can our imaan take? Now we are having these arrows shot at us, one after the other through the internet, and Satan continues to deceive us.

May Allah SWT give us the Taufiq to stregthen and protect our imaan from such sins. Controlling our Nafs is key to save ourselves, and we need to realise that when we are in the privacy, darkness and loneliness of our room with the internet, that Allah the All Seeing, All Hearing is All Aware of what we do. If we realise that someone is watching us while we commit such harams, and that they will take us to task tomorrow then we would refrain from the Haram right away. Then how can we continue with these harams when tomorrow we will be called to account for these actions in the court of Allah? How we spent each and every second of our lives will be either for us or against us. If despite realising these points we continue with these sins we should take a serious look with regards to our connection with Allah the Almighty.

Inshallah rememberring these points will save us from the evil influences of the internet.
transcribed from a speach given by Shaykh Ibrahim Madani

May Allah SWT give the ability first of all to me, and then to you to act upon the above and save ourselves from the clutches of the Satan. Duas requested please. Wasalams

Goodbye Facebook

Goodbye Facebook

My high school friends told me about Facebook. Since all of them had an account, I decided to create one myself although I was very nonchalant about my account. I had never displayed my pictures on social sites and told myself that I would not display my pictures on Facebook. But then everybody I knew had their pictures on. So, I started uploading pictures, and before I knew it, I had a million pictures of mine there.

What happened next was that brothers I knew started adding me. I was reluctant in the beginning, but a voice inside me told me to grow up and that it was no big deal. The first comment I got was from a brother I studied with – “Nice picture, Maryam.”  What did he mean by that? I asked myself. Was he being chummy? Honestly speaking, I felt so bad when he wrote that comment on my wall, but then a voice inside my heart told me not to overreact and to show some manners so I thanked him.

I don’t know what happened next, but I started following the dunya. The values I stood up for and walked with became obsolete to me. My compromises turned into huge sacrifices. I became so desensitized and immune to the haram that was happening. I forgot that there was a God out there watching me, and I forgot that I was supposed to emulate the best of mankind- RasulAllah salla Allahu ‘alayhi wasallam. Random people would message me asking me for friend requests; they said I was “pretty” and they wanted to be friends with me. I even got some proposals on Facebook- can you believe it! And there were lists of stalkers who kept sending me stupid messages and songs on YouTube through fake accounts in my inbox.

Later, when I had pulled back a bit from Facebook, I stopped interacting with a lot of brothers there because a verse from the Quran kept spinning in my head:

I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me. [51:56]

When I woke up from my stupor, I realized that I had become some other Maryam I never wanted to be. I had so many friends, but I was never happy because none of them reminded me of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. None of them ever told me that displaying my pictures like that or chatting with random people was wrong and against the sunnah. Shaytan loves spreading promiscuity and hates modesty, and somehow I had chosen to follow him instead of following Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.

Prophet Muhammed salla Allahu alayhi wasallam said:

Modesty is part of faith and faith is in paradise, but obscenity is part of hardness of heart and hardness of heart is in hell. (Ahmad, Tirmidhi)

I had faith, and I was a monotheist. But where was my hayaa, and where were my priorities? I had become a slave of my desires. Islam came to guide man, and here I was in the shackles of my own desires, other people, and the media. Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, has said:

“Have you seen him who takes his own lust (vain desires) as his ilah (god)?” [45:23]

In light of this verse, Imam Al-Ghazali said:

“Those who follow their own passions do not conform to monotheism, because anyone who follows his own passions makes them the object of his worship. The monotheist is he who sees nothing but the One God and only turns his face to Him.”

I removed all my pictures and changed the privacy settings of my account, but I still felt that my soul was filthy. My heart was hard. Even the Quran failed to penetrate my heart and didn’t make me cry anymore. I had everything I wanted, but something inside me was dying. It was my Iman. My Iman was suffocating.

I realized that the only way to purify my nafs was to leave things that distracted me. True, Facebook had its advantages, but for me, it was like alcohol; its detriment was greater than its benefit. So I decided to give it up for the sake of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. For months I struggled with my decision. It was hard saying goodbye to everyone, but I told them that I would be available by email if they needed me, and I requested them to remove, crop, or blur my pictures from Facebook because a voice inside me said, Maryam your face is precious and only for your hubby to see. Yes, I struggled, and it was hard: I gave up so many things which I feared would not benefit me in the Hereafter. I am still in the process of purifying my heart and always will be inshaAllah because it’s a lifelong struggle. Sometimes, things we do seem good to us, but they slowly poison our Iman.

Sheikh Reda Bedier said: “Watch the little things; a small leak will sink a great ship.”

You see, sometimes, we have our feet in two separate boats, one which has the flag of our desires on it and the other which says, “I love you, Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala.” It’s sad how we juggle between what’s necessary and what’s not and prefer what our heart desires over what our Khaliq wants us to do. Ustaad Khurram Murad said:

“Your Qalb (heart) cannot be compartmentalized. You cannot dedicate one piece of it to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and another to some other god, like wealth, status, career, spouse and so on. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is One, Indivisible and wants the human being to be undivided in service to Him. So long as our heart lies in a hundred places, so long as our eyes are set in a hundred directions, so long as we have many loyalties, we shall never be able to achieve that condition of ‘holding onto Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala’.”

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has said:

“O you who believe! Enter into Islam whole heartedly without any reservation.” [2: 208]

I want you to know, that if I can do it, then you can too. If you have anything in your heart that perturbs you greatly and it gives you sleepless nights, ask yourself one question: “Am I prepared for my death, my akhirah?” Truth is, nothing in life is guaranteed but death. After deleting my Facebook account and saying goodbye to it for good inshaAllah, I have so much faith in Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala that He will give me a better platform to do dawah, one that will not distract me inshaAllah.

I pray that each and every one of us succeeds in becoming a believing, steadfast servant for Allah’s sake. May Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, enable us to be amongst those who purify themselves and help us differentiate between right and wrong, Ameen.

Source: I got it covered