Archive for Islam

Two Reasons for the Basmala

There are 2 main reasons why we can choose to start something in the Name of God, the Benificent, the Mericful.

Because Allah started the Quran with the basmala Every important matter that does not begin with the basmala will fall short of blessing; it will be naqis (deficient)

In the name of Allah, either we seek the blessing or we start with the name of the Allah for assistance; seeking his Help

The “ba” ( ب) in (باسم) is seeking the blessing or assistance of God.

So we should start with the basmala to seek blessing and assistance

In Ibn kathir’s tafsir (interpretation of the Quran) it is mentioned that the basmala has 19 letters.

Ibn Kathir said the hellfire has 19 angels called zabaniya.

Each one of those letters is a protection from each of them to protect us from the hellfire

SubhanAllah!

Utter bismillah with your tongue when you start something to make your deeds complete inshaAllah!

Advertisements

Dua Book Download

Bismillah

Salam all,

I am sharing with you all a download of a Dua Book. Please click here to download the file.

The book includes duas for:

Istikharah Prayer

Tahajjud Prayer

Seeking Forgiveness

Sorting out Differences

In Distress

Dua for Parents

Best times to Make Dua

Glorification of Allah

Thanking of Allah

Seeking Wealth

When Travelling

General Well-being

and much much more!!!

Click here to download.

Enjoy and inshaAllah this will be of some benefit to you!

Sheikh Ali Gomaa Backs Zaytuna College

Read this great article from the Washington Times.

One of Egypt’s senior Muslim clerics supports the concept of a Muslim college being established in the United States, telling The Washington Times last week that it would help foster better relations between the West and the Muslim world.

“Things like the Zaytuna College are definitely a step in the right direction,” said Sheik Ali Gomaa, who was in Washington last week as part of a two-day conference, A Common Word Between Us and You: A Global Rights Agenda, held at Georgetown University.

Zaytuna College is expected to open next year in Berkeley, Calif., where it will offer Arabic language and Islamic legal and theological studies. The plan includes becoming a fully accredited, four-year college.

One of Zaytuna’s co-founders is Sheik Hamza Yusuf, who, after a meeting with President George W. Bush following the Sept. 11 attacks, commented, “Islam was hijacked.”

Zaytuna co-founders and Sheik Gomaa say the school would fulfill educational and cultural needs that have long been ignored.

“There are several million Muslims in the United States and rapidly growing Muslim populations in Canada, Great Britain and Western Europe. Yet, there are no accredited academic institutions capable of training students in the varied sciences of Islam while also instilling in them a sophisticated understanding of the intellectual history and culture of the West,” officials say at zaytunacollege.org. “Clearly, there is an essential need for Muslim institutions that can wed Islam’s classical texts with the contemporary context.”

Zaytuna also could help in the war on terror.

Christians and Muslims have said fighting extremism means reaching out to moderates, teaching younger Muslims that Islam rejects violence and hatred, and finding common ground – such as love of God.

Al-Azhar University in Cairo, the world’s pre-eminent Islamic college, supports Zaytuna, said the sheik, who hopes the two institutions of higher learning will cooperate in several ways, including a student-exchange program.

“These are means we can explore. An exchange program can be one way to further dialogue and engagement,” Sheik Gomaa said.

Engagement and dialogue are key to dispelling misperceptions and falsehoods in the West about Islam and misperceptions and falsehoods in the Muslim world about the West.

The sheik laid out his priorities in a meeting with editors and reporters at The Washington Times on Tuesday.

No. 1 is education, followed by the media and social cooperation.

He singled out curriculum and historic texts and documents.

“We are in dire need of reviewing curriculum” and rewriting texts to remove”false” perceptions, the sheik said.

“We can make massive strides forward” if that is done, he said.

Read the article here.

Let me know your thoughts!

I Want this new CD Set by Shaykh Hamza!

I see that Shaykh Hamza has a new release out on Alhambra Productions. It’s a 15 disc series.

I can’t wait to have the money to be able to get it inshAllah.

Here is what they say about it on the site.

In the City of the Prophet, peace be upon him, Hamza Yusuf delivered this series of lectures on this lesser known work, Refinement of the Hearts. The author of the text, the 8th century Spanish master of the Islamic sciences and martyr, Imam Ibn Juzayy al-Kalbi, presents an unassailable Sufism thoroughly grounded in the Book of God.
This small but powerful treatise is one of the finest pieces of Islamic spiritual literature in Muslim history. Hamza Yusuf’s illuminating and engaging reflections bring it to life for any modern Muslim in search of the keys to refining his or her heart in a world that seduces the hearts of humanity.
Doomsday’s singular preparation is to use the opportunity of the world to refine our hearts, for it is a “Day when nothing avails a person, neither wealth nor progeny, only one who brings to God a sound heart.” This wonderful treatise helps us with practical and effective means to do just that. Esentially dealing with the adornment and the beautiful qualities of the heart.

Click here for more info on the CD set.

Buy it! You won’t regret it! Don’t sleep on Hamza Yusuf.
I am never disappointed by his lectures mashaAllah. May God preserve him for us.

Sorry for the Long Hiatus

assalamu alaikom everyone,

I hope everyone had a blessed Ramadan and Eid.

I’m sorry I dropped off with the blogging. I really don’t know what direction I want to take this blog and I’ve been thinking of getting a domain name.

Anyway I will continue blogging and inchaAllah this blog will be more beneficial. I will try to offer some translations of traditional Islamic texts and hopefully I will be starting up a new blog in Arabic.

Please make dua for me.

Fi amanillah

The Hijabi 15

Hey people,

I need to write this post. I put on hijab about 2 years ago now, alHamdulilah. All’s good except I totally regret the pounds I put on because of it. I feel like such a bad Muslim because I’m mad about this even though it’s my own fault. Before I wore hijab my clothes were pretty form-fitting not skin tight but form fitting enough. I had a figure In was proud of and most importantly I was healthy and physically active. The switch of clothing made put my guard down and I gained some pounds. Actually I gained lots of unnecessary weigh (well not ALOT but more than I would like to have put on) and I’m also less physically active because I feel more self concious. So for any girls that are thinking of wearing hijab-go for it! But stay active and healthy. Once you hide in those loose clothes it’s sooo easy to let yourself go and I am so unbelievably upset that I did. Everyone says that you have to beware of the freshman 15 but I say beware of the hijabi 15 new hijabis!! Go for the hijab but not the extra pounds!! And I do NOT think it’s wrong or vain to want to keep a nice figure even if you’re not showing it. It’s for your health and personal satisfaction.

I’m also curious: did anyone else suffer from this?

Cosmopolitan on Males and Monogamy

I was reading through Cosmopolitan earlier this month, I know judge me. Let the judgments fly through. Just for the record, I consider it mindless reading and I don’t read much of it. I know I should pick up quran when I’m bored but trashy magazines are my weakness. As some of you may know…95% of the articles are about how to have sex lol, and every month the titles of the articles don’t differ too much.

Anyway, something caught my eye.

“Fallen New York governor Elliot Spitzer’s penchant for prostitutes has left women everywhere wondering, can men ever be monogamous> “It’s possible but having just one partner is a sacrifice,” says George Weinberg, PhD, author of Why Men Won’t Commit. “Even when a guy adores his wife or girlfriend, the power of desire is really strong. Guys cheat because they want novelty and variety. To them affairs represent freedom. “

Now, I straight up am not an avid supporter of polygamy today, and am against it in the USA for the most part. But I think people have to be less hypocritical when discussing the issue. Whenever a Muslim brings up the issue of male libido as being a defense for polygamy, people tend to jump on that negatively. However, people won’t flinch when they read it from Cosmopolitan, a very liberal magazine. They won’t go around screaming misogynist to Dr. George Weinberg’s comment.

For the record, I think bringing up the point of male desire is dumb for a defense of polygamy. I mean the guy is not getting a stripper, he is getting another wife and eventually family. And if a guy really has great desire I doubt even 4 will do the job. So I don’t think that’s a very good defense of polygamy.

Women and The Nationality Problem in the Arab World

Even though many Arab countries are pretty much secular, in the area of women they go back to being Fred Flinstone.

In Lebanon, women who are income earners cannot go to the \to the bank to open a bank account for her kids. There are 18 family codes.

In this Aljazeera English interview, this Lebanese women talks about how she married an Egyptian man and he left her and her kids are teenagers and they can’t get Lebanese citizenship. Isn’t this outrageous? They have NO health care and no social security and they won’t be able to go to college if they don’t get citizenship.

I am very proud of Morocco, because the nationality law was changed. A woman can now pass on her nationality to her children even if she marries a foreigner yay!. When this law was not in place, women whose husbands abandoned them with kids had many problems and I even know of one that had to forge a Moroccan passport for her son in order ti survive. And we know that Morocco is a country where the women and men alike marry foreigners frequently.

Worse, these women’s groups are subject to harassment by radical political Islamists. In Morocco, they had one of their offices bombed. In Jordan, their websites get hacked and now the website leads people to a website about Saudi Arabia. I don’t know what kind of Islamic law prevents children from basic citizenship rights if their father wasn’t the best of men.

Concentrating in Prayer- the 5 Minute Rule

There was something described to me a couple of weeks ago called the 5 minute rule.  It means that if you were thinking of something other than Allah(swt) for about 5 minutes before the prayer, then it is pretty much a guarantee that you’ll be thinking about that thing during the prayer.

So basically if you watch a movie and try to jump up and pray you’ll definitely think about that movie. If you are listening to akon or jay-z before prayer it will disturb it.

There’s a hadith of the Prophet (May Allah bless him and give him peace.) that Aisha narrated about the Prophet at home. I don’t know the hadith by heart or exactly what it is but the basic gist of it is that the Prophet was extremely playful and kind at home but when the time for prayer came “it was as if he didn’t know us. Do we ever think about what this means in relation to our own prayer? What does this mean?

The Prophet (May Allah bless him and give him peace) was getting into the zone before he spoke to his Lord.

And we llike dance around to hip-hop or Arabic music and pause it and say “Allahu akbar” one second later and expect to be in the zone? We expect to be to completely focused in our prayer?

Did you ever see someone right before they interview for a really big job or for university or med school or grad school?

They are really nervous, if not really nervous, they are studying for their interview with index cards.

They are dressed nicely, they probably have showered and smell good, and they are definitely not dancing or watching a movie 10 minutes before their interview. (I hope not haha) That is because they are getting ready to talk to an important person and they need to be ready.

(These examples are really arbitrary by the way.)

You know what I’m getting at here.

When we pray, we are getting ready to talk to the Lord of the Worlds and we don’t prepare that much at all. We try to keep our wudu all day so we don’t have to repeat it even though wudu id good. If we do have to do wudu, we huff and puff through it or we do it in 10 seconds barely wetting ourselves. We might not be in our best clothes… and you know the rest.

Now let’s quickly go through some parts of the Prayer. We need to interact with our prayer more.

There is a parallel that Shaykh Hamza Yusuf made with the prayer. I have no clue if it’s true or whatnot but I do think it’s beneficial so I’ll say it.

He said that the qiyam (the part of prayer when you are standing and you recite fatiha and whatnot) represents Islam. It represents the prayer.

The ruku (hands on your knees) represents iman, you are praising your Lord during that time.

The sujood (prostration with the head on the ground) represents Ihsan. This is the time when you are closest to your heart.

Also during the qiyaam, your mind is above your heart. In ruku, they are perfectly level and in sujood your heart is above your mind.

On Allahu Akbar:

Translation: God is the Greatest or God is Greater?

Both are true. However the latter is the better translation.

Think about it in terms of the prayer. Maybe you’re not completely concentrated. But you have to say “God is greater.”

God s greater than everything that is happening in your life at the moment.

If you’ve just gone through a crisis and you find it hard to concentrate in prayer, think about the fact that God is greater than all that.

After the ruku

Think about sujood. You are putting your face to the ground. This is worship. Islam really puts an emphasis on how your face really represents your dignity. Muslims are not allowed to strike the face of the opponent in war. No Muslim is allowed to ever strike face of another. Ever. Without exceptions.

So sujood really signifies how much we are humbling ourselves before our creator. We are nothing in comparison. We put our faces to the ground and we say “Glory be to God the highest of the high.”

The tashahud: It’s really nice to know the context of the tashahud.

During Israa and Miraj, we believe that the Prophet (May Allah bless him and give him peace) ascended to the heavens. He was walking through wondering how to adress Allah. We address each other as aslamu alaikom but Allah is al Salam. That is one of his names. So he said “Attahiyatu lilah Azzakiyatu lilah Attayibatus salawatu lilah”

Greetings to God, Righteous offerings to God. Best of Prayers to God.

Then Allah ta3ala responded back to the Prophet:

Assalamu alaika Ayyuha annabi. Peace be upon you O Prophet.

Then the Prophet(May Allah bless him and give him peace) said:assalamu alaina wa ala ilah asaliheen

Peace be upon us and upon God’s righteous slaves.

Of course our beloved (May Allah bless him and give him peace) didn’t forget his umma and included us.

The angels were watching this and then after seeing it said the shahada: “Asshadu inna la ilhaha ila Allah wahdahu la sharika lahu waashaddu anna muhamaddan abu wa rasoolu”

I testify that there is no God but God and that Muhammad is His slave and His Messenger.

Some tips to apply the Rule and help to concentrate in prayer:

  • Wudu-Use wudhu time to reflect on Allah swt. Don’t have conversations during wudu. The act of wudu has to do with cleanliness but that’s not all we use it for. It’s supposed to cleanse you to put you in a state of mind for the act of prayer. We all know that if there is no water available we can use earth so there is definitely more to wudu than cleanliness.
  • Know what you’re reciting! If you don’t know Arabic, quickly read through a translation of fatiha before you pray. This is the part of the quran where Allah teaches us how to make dua to him so know what you’re saying!
  • For people that do and don’t know Arabic- listen to a really good tafsir of surah fatiha or read a good tafsir. Knowing the translation is not really enough. Read the commentary if your translation of the Qu’ran has one. Even if you’ve already read one or taken a class on one, read it regularly to keep yourself refreshed. Sunnipath had a really good special with Shaykh Sohail Hanif on Surah Fatiha It is available on their website. I’ll post my notes from it shortly

Finally, I know that all of us might not have the time to prep for our prayer. In university, we have to rush to pray between classes etc. But you can remember Allah while running to the campus musalla. We should just try our best to get in the zone before we pray, so that our prayer benefits us.

This post is wayy longer than I intended it to be, so back to work.

Amina Wadud and Sparking Conversation and Dialogue

I know this is old news when there was the “historic” jumuah that a woman led. I know it’s way overkill to talk about this. No I don’t support what happened…
But I have to say one of the things that upset me about the Muslim community was the personal attacks that were being made against this woman. People got angry and made many personal attacks against her as a person. That’s not cool. While I don’t support women leading prayers, that’s still not cool.

But my post isn’t about this topic in general. It’s about using what happened as an example of sparking some type of conversation. All too often the most controversial posts on the blogosphere get the most commentary. Then the writer of the blog writes another well written, well thought out better post and it hardly gets any traffic. Why? (This is just general by the way.)

People tend to listen and leave their comments on very controversial posts with radical statements in them. But some excellent well-written posts get ignored because they might be more moderate.

So do we always need to see something extreme to spark discussion? Did Amina Wadud’s jumuah cause just that? If she would have just resorted to some mosque activism about letting women in mosques etc, would that have had the same effect as her radical move? I don’t know what her goal was at all but maybe it was to spark discussion about women in mosques and not have them be imams, but it took something like that to get people talking? Who knows?

A part of me thinks that she might have just added more wood to the fire (echó mas leña al fuego) because this got many Muslims very angry so it was kind of a shooting in the foot.

Do extreme acts make the most difference and spark the most discussion, or do they just aggravate the wound more and make things worse?

hmm. Just thinking and rambling.

By the way check out this great article at by UmmZaid and women and the mosque.

« Previous entries