What is faith? There are six pillars of faith

While faith simply means to trust, to believe in [to have faith in something or someone], many spiritual people [muslims and non Muslims] believe that faith is to believe in God the Supreme and to trust His words.

What differentiate Muslims to others, is the notion of doing things ONLY TO PLEASE ALLAH. Muslims have full faith while doing so, that Allah will respond to their acts with rewards and blessings

This is not the case with many people who are NOT  pious. They are stressed for superficial reasons, such as, being late for a movie; having not enough money to celebrate Valentine with pomp; having not enough money to buy their children the latest gadgets.

However rich unbelievers may be, they often feel the emptiness of their lives!!! A life which lacks sense and objective.

 

it is well known that Eman is profession in the heart and by the tongue, and action by the heart, tongue and the limbs. EMAN is much more than the mere word of profession – I believe, I trust.

Today, many people are embracing Islam without truly understanding what being a Muslim implies!!! It is the duty of the sheikh to explain to them and to give them time to think and analyse that after the shahadah, they need to learn and put into practice.. It is the beginning of a new life…..towards righteousness, goodness and towards the highest goal which is to seek Allah’s pleasure only.

 

But believers look for a higher goal – TO PLEASE ALLAH AND TO WIN HIS LOVE – Ammaara Uddeen

 

I wish you all a life full of blessings and inner peace

Sister Ammaara

 

 

Is your dawah effective, or do you need to keep your mouth shut from time to time?

O Muslims, when you have nothing to say, shut your mouth. I know it is difficult but people succeed through efforts. Practise silence and you succeed. It is a sunnah to learn to keep your mouth shut when you do not know what to say or when you do not have the level of education to explain something or you are being out of subject. Look at the way you often address people from your own community and look how the follower of Jesus are inviting. They appeal to your emotions. It is easy for people to become an easy prey to their preach especially when you are depressed, isolated and you are fed up with a community which constantly pressure you with laws while you are mentally tired and need a rest. Be aware that wisdom is not given to all, many of you need to work out on their character. Doing dawah even with the best of intention can result in big problems if you are not a good listener and you do not give to others the right to accept or to reject your arguments.

 

  Hmmm!!!!

Is our community failing drastically?

While the economic and social conditions are changing and many women have to strive to make a living, many scholars of Islam are still saying that Muslims should copy the models of people who lived centuries ago.
They have to be dressed exactly with the same outfits as women were doing several centuries ago and they must wear only black clothes which represent their uniform!!! They should not drive and they should not work!!!
Each generation its own challenge and its own fitnah. Our community is now facing dire problems and it seems while a few are trying to workout some of these problems, others are criticising. Many men and women are full of negative criticism. They know how to criticize but they do not know how to communicate; they know how to destroy but they do not know how to construct; they know how to condemn but they do not know how to praise and encourage. They know how to copy the past but they do not know how to respond to reality.
This is the society we are living in and many reverts are learning from them!!! it means that when they embrace Islam, they also learn the diseases of the community. They lose their good manners, their past awareness and become a cultural Muslim. This is sad because our community needs different people who can assist with management, good manners, communication and societal empowerment. Our community does not need photocopy, people who imitate others, imitate their teachers while the teachers, even in nodding the head, talking or using the same expressions!!! These kinds of things, we must say : “STOP!!!!”
Issue of driving cars 
I remember once a woman whose husband suddenly died [having no children] and was driving her car to take her Saturday Deen lesson, the scholar [not aware that the lady was now a widow] was angry about those women who drive cars.
He was lecturing behind a pardah and the women were all sitting and listening to him. So, the women were quite upset and disturbed. One asked him: “who should drive them?” The teacher said: “Your husband only !!!” the widowed lady replied: ” what if her husband is dead?” He replied: “Her son?” the lady asked again: “and what if she has no son?” He replied: “She should take the bus!” and the crowd of ladies was angry, there was an uproar and they said: ” Do you know what taking bus mean? We have to travel so far, getting into the bus with our long dresses which is very difficult and the males want us purposely to sit in the middle, as if guarded by two men and we in the middle, touching us as if unintentionally, making us feel that we have entered the worst place ever, and if we happen to sit at the back, our situation is even worst”
 
And the scholar kept silent…..
People think they can learn for 5 years, even 10 years the Deen of Allah; they are still ignorant as we all do!! learning the set up, the sociological aspect of the country is important to give credible advice and to assist people in their reality.
The issue of marrying a woman because she needs financial support and moral support
Many women need help but who tell you, O men, that they want to marry you?
Once a divorced revert woman needed some financial support for the loan of her house. She has some thirty years old with an under aged son. She went to the masjid to apply for help. A married man of some sixty years old, still robust for his age, heard this and proposed to help the woman….he asked her for nikah. The woman said she was not interested in marriage but she needed ONLY some help. But the man insisted for a nikkah to get this help. And this man is married with children.
Once a widow  who looks young in her forties with a charming face said to me:
“You know I will never seek help from any man in our community. It is a shame!!! Once I needed Rs 5000 and I asked help in my community; a man who is supposed to be pious, said to me: no problem I can help you but I need to come to your place this evening!” And the widow said that she understood that his intention was not good, and she refused and the man did not support him.
There are many cases like this where men believe that women MUST marry, if they refuse, they say: “It is a fitnah, you must marry, you do not have the right to refuse!” And when these women say: “Ok, if it is fitnah, I accept to marry but please do not sexually harrass me as I am not prepared to enter in such relationship as i still love my dead husband” So the men said: Sorry, I cannot help you!”
Does help equates sexual relationship in some people mind? It means this perspective does not stand upon justice and fairness towards each and everyone. 
Conclusion 
Why do many men think that helping and supporting a woman need to be done through nikkah? Why do some men pressure women for nikkah? If you have a good intention and you want to help your sisters in need in the community, you can do so through a community welfare centre, through a jamaah where women responsible in this community will provide the money to those women. There is no need for men to personally get involved with helping these women if these women are NOT part of your mahram. This creates unnecessary problems and can involve more fitnah because staying alone with a non Mahram will end up with shaytan whispering to you. While at the beginning you had no sexual intention against her, you will end up with illusion and you will try to justify your attitude by verses of the Quran and hadith!!!! Be well aware that the Tempter is indeed a liar and his mission is to take you out of your comfort, out of your peace by giving you advice that you may think wise but the outcome can be disastrous for you and your family.
You cannot force a woman to marry you because she is asking for financial support. This is called tyranny and this is called passion. You want this woman for you and if you marry her, you can help her and if you cannot have the woman, you cannot help. This is an egoistic approach.
You can only marry a woman if the woman WANTS to marry you and is interested in you.
Da’ees nowadays are inviting for second marriage to safeguard the community. They say women are many and men few
Asking other men to marry women who are in difficulties or to tell them they will learn Arabic with these women, is only a perspective. In marriage, two perspectives must meet – the male and the female perspective. While you are marrying with a perspective in mind, make sure if the woman spouses your idea!!! A woman is not a puppet nor a doll, even though she may look so attractive to your eyes. She is a human being as any human being. She has weaknesses as well as qualities. She has her own point of view. While you may want to marry her with the objective of learning Arabic, she may not be prepared to teach you because she wants to learn your language rather!!! While you may want to marry her because she is knowledgeable, you may be too weak in the Deen to converse with her and this may end up with clashes!!! While you may want to save her from a country which is in war, she may not adapt to your culture and to your family very soon!!! While da’ees are pressuring and inviting men to marry a second time, there are many men who are not interested to do that and this is their right!!!
Consulting women and children before taking a decision
A woman has all her right to refuse you. She has her own choice. She has the right to choose a man according to her own criteria. Moreover, if you want to have a second wife, you need to discuss it thoroughly with your first wife and children. This is fairness. Consultation has been mentioned in Surah The consultation and those who consult each other in their affairs, are indeed successful. It is not an islamic way to do things in secret and to betray your loved ones: your wife who supports you everyday, who cooks your food, cares for you when you are sick and your children who think good of you. When they hear that you have lied to them or you have kept secret such vital things, they will hate you for the rest of your life, they will backbite you or they will feel the hurt but will not say anything in front of you. Your children’s balance rests upon your right and correct attitude towards their mother and themselves.
Islam is based on mercy. What Allah has not imposed on you, do not  make it a burden on you and on your family. Do not burden and tyrannize  those who need you. Make them pleased with you so that they will make dua for you and when you die they continue to support you with duas. But if you enforce laws upon them which are not compulsory and they cannot accept it, then their frustration can be a cause of your failures.
Allah has never forced anyone to marry a second time. If you are looking for a second wife, you need to see the pros and cons of this future union. You must be ready to work out two households and also two different characters and be able to manage your time between two families. You need to adapt yourself that you will no longer stay in ONE HOUSE but in TWO HOUSES with two different women who have themselves their own thoughts, their own ideals, their own habits, their own qualities, their own physical weakness [if ever], their own fears, distress, hope and ambition. You need to adapt to two different types of food, two different ways of looking at life, of raising children….you need to consider all these
You need to see the environment in which you are living. How far can you implement this in your society? You will have to discuss it with your children. Do not build a masjid and destroy another one. Allah has never burdened anyone with a second marriage. The prophet [peace be upon him] has come to spread tawheed the oneness of God. he has not come to enforce a second marriage.
While some scholars and da’ees are enforcing polygamy in their society, telling you that there are many women who are single, women are more than men….what they are not telling you is that there are a big number of men who are single, not married, either not interested in marriage, or the dowry asked by women is too huge….or they simply do not know how to meet single women, divorced women and widowed women. They are not telling you that the jama’ah must be better organised and Muslims should know each other better so that when a single, divorced or widowed woman is looking for marriage, this can be known within the jama’ah. Moreover, parents must educate themselves and educate their children that a single man can marry a widow, a divorcee or a woman older that them. This will lessen many problems in the community.
Parents must stop pressuring their sons about marrying a girl with white complexion or a girl having social status, working and career lady or a girl having financial means. Too much business is not needed in marriage, if really you say, you do not want to be alone!!!
O men do not think that all women are silly, uneducated and weak. It will be a terrible fitnah to believe this. Allah has created women to support their husbands morally, physically and spiritually. Do not impose on women things that which were imposed upon you, you would never been able to handle yourself!!!
When you impose difficult laws on your wife, you kill her beauty and her ability to develop spiritually and mentally. Then after some time, you will be the one to be fed up with her and you will want another woman. Why? Because in a house, she has become you and she is no more herself!!! Do not kill the personality of others. Do not try to change others. The real change occurs through awareness and insight while you learn and study. Study is not simply sitting and listening to a sheikh or a’lim; there are many activities that a woman can do to participate for her own growth and inner development
Feel free to exchange your thoughts
Sister Ammaara
 

A bible found after 1500 years which contradicts the essence of Christianity

he leather-bound text, written on animal hide, was discovered by Turkish police during an anti-smuggling operation in 2000.
It was closely guarded until 2010, when it was finally handed over to the Ankara Ethnography Museum, and will soon be put back on public display following a minor restoration.
A photocopy of a single page from the handwritten ancient manuscript is thought to be worth £1.5million
The Oldest Bible rejects the ideas of the Holy Trinity and the Crucifixion and reveals that Jesus predicted the coming of the Prophet Muhammad.In one version of the gospel, he is said to have told a priest: ‘How shall the Messiah be called? Muhammad is his blessed name’.And in another Jesus denied being the Messiah, claiming that he or she would be Ishmaelite, the term used for an Arab.
The oldest copies of the book date back to that time, and are written in Spanish and Italian.
The Vatican had made an official request to see the scripture – a controversial text which Muslims claim is an addition to the original gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke and John.
In line with Islamic belief, the Gospel treats Jesus as a human being and not a God.

 

VATICAN VERY CONCERNED ABOUT THE 1500-YEAR-OLD BIBLE WHICH WAS FOUND IN TURKEY

The 1500-year-old Bible, which was discovered during 2000 in Turkey, deeply concerns the Vatican, as it discards the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. If this Bible is proven real, it could easily change the religion we knew.

But if this particular Bible is fake, a Medieval hoax, then they all are. The Vatican wants to see this Bible. Based on the results of several carbon dating tests, this Bible is at least 1500 years old. This Bible holds the gospel of Barnabas, and is referred to as the ‘Gospel of Barnabas’ Bible. The Bible resides in the depositum of Ankaran Justice Palace, a Turkish courthouse for safe keeping.

According to the gospel of Barnabas which is the gospel of one of the disciples of Jesus Christ, it is stated that Christ was never crucified. Instead, the Judas was the one who was crucified and Christ rose to heaven while alive. Moreover, according to this Bible, Christ was just a prophet who spoke the word of God and not the Son of God.

The Apostle Paul is referred to as The Impostor. According to official press statement, the Bible was taken from a mob of smugglers in a Mediterranean region operation. Mob of smugglers was accused of trafficking antique relics, performing illegal archaeological digs, and being in the possession of explosives. This ancient Bible is said to be worth at least $28 million

Religious experts and specialists in Tehram are certain that the Bible is an original. It is written in Aramaic in gold letters on loosely bound blackened leather. During the Council of Nicea, it is believed that the Catholic Church chose some Gospels and tossed many others which do not appear in the regular Bible. Among those rejected gospels is the Gospel of Barnabas.

But the Vatican appears to be worried about this ancient Bible. In August 2015, the Vatican Insider, a project run by the Vatican newspaper La Stampa, published an article stating the Gospel of Barnabas Bible was possibly a forgery written during the Middle Ages by a European Jewish scholar, offering reasons why this Bible might be a very old hoax.
The Vatican has made an authorized request to the Turkish government to examine the Bible. However, anything that the Vatican concludes will be supported by the believers of the Christian faith, while atheists, agnostics or others might wonder whether it is real or not.

Author’s argument: if this Bible is authentic, then Christianity as we know it is a lie, if this Bible is fake then all Bible’s are fake, ergo Christianity as we know it is a lie. ( via mirrorspectrum.com)

http://beforeitsnews.com/paranormal/2015/12/vatican-very-concerned-about-the-1500-year-old-bible-which-was-found-in-turkey-2501420.html

[http://mecca.net/hajj-information/]

Hajj Information

INTRODUCTION

Hajj is the pilgrimage to Mecca (Makkah al-Mukarramah) during the month of Dhul-Hijjah. It is one of the five pillars of Islam. Every Muslim is obligated to perform Hajj once in their lifetime if they have the financial means to do so.

Allah (the Glorified and Exalted) says in the Holy Quran:

“And Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca (Makkah al-Mukarramah) to the House (Kaaba) is a duty that mankind owes to Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala), those who can afford the expenses.” [EMQ 3:97]

“And perform properly the Hajj and Umrah for Allah.” [EMQ 2:196]

“And proclaim to mankind the Hajj (pilgrimage). They will come to you on foot and on every lean camel; they will come from every deep and distant (wide) mountain highway (to perform Hajj).” [EMQ 22:27]

Prophet Muhammad () said:

“Islam is that you testify that there is none worthy of worship (in truth) but Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, you establish the prayer, you pay the Zakah, you fast in Ramadan, and you perform pilgrimage to the House (of Allah) if you have the capability.” [Muslim]

“Islam is built upon five; to testify that there is none worthy of worship (in truth) but Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, and to establish the prayer, to pay Zakah, to make pilgrimage and fast in Ramadan.” [Muslim]

HAJJ IS WORSHIP

In Arabic the word Ibadah (worship) is a noun composed of all which pleases Allah (the Glorified and Exalted) whether the deeds are ones intentions (action of the heart), sayings (action of the tongue) or actions (bodily actions). Unfortunately, Hajj is also one of the ritual acts where many people involve themselves in shirkiyat (polytheism) and bidah (innovation). Imam Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “What a noise in hajj, but very few are performing hajj” and that was in the time of Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) where people were supposed to be closer to the wahi (revelation)!

Today Muslims may perform Hajj according to their own interpretation; this is not allowed as the ritual act has a form which must be in accordance with what Prophet Muhammad () brought us. There is ample evidence for this that include the following:

Prophet Muhammad () said:

“Take (learn) your ritual acts from me.” [Ahmed]

Prophet Muhammad () also said:

“He who does an act which our matter [Islam] is not [in agreement] with will have it rejected.” [Muslim]

We have been ordered by Allah (the Glorified and Exalted) to follow Prophet Muhammad ():

Say: “If you (really) love Allah then follow me (the Messenger) , Allah will love you and forgive you of your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [EMQ 3:31]

“And whatsoever the Messenger gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it).” [EMQ 59:7]

“Indeed, in the Messenger of Allah you have a good example.” [EMQ 33:21]

Prophet Muhammad () explicitly warned us from innovating in Islam. He said, “And the worst of all affairs are newly-invented matters and every innovation is a misguidance, and every misguidance is in the fire of Hell.” [Abu Dawud] [Tirmidhi]

HAJJ IS OBLIGATORY

It is obligatory on the Muslim who fulfils the conditions for going to Hajj, to perform it at least once in their lifetime.

Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that Prophet Muhammad () addressed us and said:

“O people, Allah has made Hajj obligatory for you; so perform hajj.”

Thereupon a person said: “Messenger of Allah, (is it to be performed) every year? He (the Prophet) kept quiet, and he repeated (these words) thrice, whereupon Allah’s Messenger () said: If I were to say “Yes,” it would become obligatory (for you to perform it every year) and you would not be able to do it.” [Muslim]

THE VIRTUES OF UMRAH AND HAJJ

There are many virtues for the ones who perform Hajj or Umrah correctly. Some of them have been listed below:

1) It is one of the best deeds.

Abu Hurairah reported:

Prophet Muhammad () was asked about the best of deeds. He () said: Belief in Allah. He (the inquirer) said: What next? He () replied: Jihad (struggle to the utmost) in the cause of Allah. He (the inquirer) again said: What next? He () replied: Hajj Mabrour (an accepted pilgrimage).” [Bukhari- Chapter of Hajj].

2) The best supplication is on Arafat.

Prophet Muhammad () said:

“The best supplication is the supplication on the day of Arafat (i.e. on Arafat).” [Tirmidhi – Chapter of Supplication]

3) It is expiation (kaffarah) for sin.

Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger () as saying:

“An Umrah is expiation for the sins committed between it and the next, and hajj which is accepted will receive no other reward than Paradise.”[Muslim]

4) You will return like the day you were born (sinless).

Narrated by Abu Hurairah:

Allah’s Apostle said, “Whoever performs hajj to this House (kaaba) and does not approach his wife for sexual relations nor commits sins (while performing hajj), he will come out as sinless as a newly-born child.” [Bukhari]

5) The Hajj for the woman is Struggle (Jihad).

Narrated by Aisha (the mother of the faithful believers, who said:

I asked the Messenger ()) “Messenger of Allah is there jihad for women” The Prophet () said, “Yes there is jihad upon them, there is no fighting involved in it, Hajj and Umrah.” [Ibn Majah] #3013

6) Its reward is Paradise (Jannah).

Prophet Muhammad () said:

“The accepted hajj has no other reward, except Paradise.” [Bukhari] #1773

THE PREPARATION FOR HAJJ

1) Taqwa.

Allah (the Glorified and Exalted) says:

“O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared and die not except as a Muslim (in a state of Islam).” [EMQ 3:102]

Prophet Muhammad () said:

“Fear Allah where ever you are.” [Tirmidhi]

2) Study the Rulings (ahkam) related to Hajj.

Studying the Islamic rulings related to hajj. This will cause greater awareness and thereby increase ones taqwa.

Allah (the Glorified and Exalted) says:

“Those who truly fear Allah, among His Servants, who have knowledge.” [EMQ 35:28]

It will also ensure that a person is not ignorant with regards when to perform a particular action whilst on Hajj and thereby avoid making any errors or bidah (innovation)

3) Give people their Rights (haqouq).

Give back what was given to you in trust (amanah) by others, as you do not know whether you will return from Hajj. It may be that Allah (the Glorified and Exalted) has decreed that your life ends whilst you are there.

Allah (the Glorified and Exalted) says:

“And if you are on a journey and cannot find a scribe, then let there be a pledge taken (mortgaging); then if one of you entrust the other, let the one who is entrusted discharge his trust (faithfully), and let him be afraid of Allah, his Lord. And conceal not the evidence for he, who hides it, surely his heart is sinful. And Allah is All-Knower of what you do.” [EMQ 2:283]

4) Leave worldly matters (dunyaa) behind you.

The hajj has hardship associated with it, which will test each and every one of our limits. We should be concerned with performing all the hajj rites correctly. Avoid taking more than what is necessary as it will only become a distraction, this could be even in the case of mobile phones, laptops, cameras, camcorders, etc.

Imam Ali (may Allah be pleased with him)) said:

“The hour of your life is three, the first hour passed and you don’t know if Allah (the Glorified and Exalted)) accepted it. The hour you are in now invest with good deeds. The hour coming you don’t now if you going to reach it.”

5) Clear your debts (adyaan) if you have any.

The one in debt must always have intention to pay back the creditor.

Prophet Muhammad () said:

“Whosoever takes money of the people and has the intention to give it back Allah will pay it back on his behalf, and whosoever takes it without the intention to pay it back, Allah will waste it.” Muslim]

6) Remove the diseases (amraad) of the heart.

Get rid of diseases such as nationalism, arrogance, backbiting, hatred, partisanship and showing off.

Prophet Muhammad () said:

“He is not one of us who calls for `Asabiyyah, (nationalism/tribalism) or who fights for `Asabiyyah or who dies for `Asabiyyah.” [Abu Dawud]

Prophet Muhammad () also said:

“Leave it, it is rotten” (Muslim and Bukhari) in reference to racism, nationalism, and patriotism.”

7) The funding for Hajj should be lawful (halal).

Do not use money from usury, gambling, and the sale of alcohol sale or any other means of fasad (corruption).

Allah (the Glorified and Exalted) says:

“O you who believe! Fear Allah, and give up what remains of your demand for usury, if ye are indeed believers.” [EMQ 2:278]

Prophet Muhammad () said:

“Verily Allah is pure and accepts only what is pure.” [Muslim].

Prophet Muhammad () also said:

“The halal (lawful) is clear and the haram (unlawful) is clear.” (Bukhari).

8) Be careful of oppression (zhulm).

Stop oppression such as to prevent your wife from going to hajj or not to leave enough provision for the wife is she is left behind. Even to leave the cat alone at home without making provisions for it is zhulm.

THE PILLARS OF UMRAH AND HAJJ

During Umrah and Hajj there are many religious acts carried out in order to fulfill the pilgrimage. Some of them are Pillars which are obligatory and some are recommended. It is important that you understand these and fulfill the pillars in order for it to be accepted.

There are three Pillars of Umrah:

1) Ihram – the Hajj clothes.

2) Tawaf – circumambulation of the kaaba.

3) Sa’ee – going between Safaa and Marwah.

Any other action, such as praying two rakah behind Maqam Al-Ibrahim, drinking Zamzam water and trimming the hair are recommended (mandoub).

There are four Pillars of Hajj:

1) Ihram – the Hajj clothes.

2) Arafat – standing in Arafat.

3) Tawaf – circumambulation of the kaaba.

4) Sa’ee – going between Safaa and Marwah.

Any other action, such as praying two rakah behind Maqam Al-Ibrahim and drinking Zamzam water, stoning Jamrah, Udhiyah/Qurbani (sacrifice) and shaving the hair are recommended (mandoub).

THE THREE DIFFERENT WAYS TO MAKE HAJJ

1) Hajj Al-Ifrad – Solely Hajj (without Umrah).

2) Hajj Al-Qiraan – Umrah and Hajj with no break in ihram.

3) Hajj At-Tamattu – Umrah and Hajj with a break in ihram.

Make sure you are clear in your intention. So say “Labaykallah Umrah” or say “Labaykallah Hajj Tamattu” (if you are performing Hajj Tamattu).

THE CONDITIONS OF THE PILGRIM

Hajj becomes obligatory upon the one who fulfills the following conditions:

1) Al-Islam – To be Muslim.

2) Al-Aql – To be sane.

3) Al-Balough – To be mature (i.e. reach puberty).

4) Kamal Al-Hurriyah – To have complete freedom i.e. is not a slave.

5) Al-Istataa’ah – To have capability. The capability is three:.

A. Finance – to pay for travel and expenses, and have no debts.

B. Health – to be able to perform all the rites of Hajj.

C. Security – to be able to travel to and from without harm.

6) Wajoub Al-Mahram – A woman must have a mahram with her when she goes to Hajj.

If a Muslim fulfils all the above criteria, then he or she should not delay performing the Hajj, rather it would be considered Qada (missed/owing).

IHRAM

Ihram is an Arabic word that denotes a sacred state in which a Muslim must enter in order to perform Umrah or Hajj. The Ihram has two aspects: Zone (Miqat) and Clothes (Libas).

IHRAM OF THE MIQAT ZONE.

The Miqat is the place where every pilgrim must wear their ihram and make intention to perform Umrah or Hajj. The pilgrim must not pass this zone without ihram; otherwise they will have to pay fidyah (penalty). The Messenger () specifically named the Mawaaqeet (zones) and for whom they are applicable.

Prophet Muhammad () said:

“(the Miqat) for the people of Madinah is Dhul Hulaifah, for the people of Sham is Al Jahfah, for the people of Najd is Qarn Al Manzil and for the people of Yemen is Yalamlam.” (Bukhari).

Prophet Muhammad () also said:

“For the people of Iraq (their Miqat is) Dhaat ‘Irq’.” [Nasai – Chapter: The Rites of Hajj]

The Mawaaqeet (Zones) For Umrah And Hajj

There are five zones:

1) Dhul Hulaifah is 450km to the north of Mecca (Makkah al-Mukarramah) and is the Miqat for the people of Medina.

2) Al-Juhfah is 187km north-west of Mecca (Makkah al-Mukarramah); people also call it Rabigh, usually for people from Jeddah and also those coming from Syria, Jordan, Palestine and Lebanon.

3) Qarn Al-Manazil is 94km to the east of Mecca (Makkah al-Mukarramah) overlooking Arafat and is the Miqat for the people of Najd.

4) Yalamlam is 54km to the south of Mecca (Makkah al-Mukarramah) and is the Miqat for those coming from Yemen.

5) Dhatu Iriq is 94km to the north-east of Mecca (Makkah al-Mukarramah) and is the Miqat for the people of Iraq.

However, today it has become common practice for the pilgrims to wear their ihram before reaching the Miqat and to make their intention once they reach the zone. If you travel to Hajj by plane, they will announce when to wear the ihram and make niyah (intention). Those pilgrims not flying will make ihram at the closet Miqat to them and those residing inside the zone i.e. (Mecca (Makkah al-Mukarramah)) will start from where they are.

IHRAM OF THE LIBAS (CLOTHES).

A person that is in the state of ihram is called muhrim (masculine) and muhrimah (feminine).

THE HAJJ CLOTHING FOR MEN:

The Men’s clothes entail two helmless towels (color white preferred) and slippers.

1) Ridaa’: is the towel used to cover the upper torso.

2) Izaar: is the lower towel, sometimes this is clipped on by a belt. or safety pin. It must cover the part of the body that is between the navel and knees.

3) Ni’aal: are the slippers; the straps should not cover majority of the feet. In ihram you cannot wear shoes of any form.

The Prophet Muhammad () said:

“let some of you wear Ihram with the Izaar, Ridaa’ and Niaal.”

The recommended acts before putting on the ihram:

It is recommended for the muhrim to clip his fingernails, trimming the moustache, shave off the hair from under the armpits, shave the pubic hair, make ablution or preferably taking a complete bath (ghusl), to comb their beard and hair.

Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said:

“It is Sunnah for a pilgrim to take a complete bath before entering the state of ihram or before entering Mecca (Makkah al-Mukarramah).” This is reported by Al-Bazzar, Ad-Daraqutni, and Al-Hakim, who considers it a sound hadith.

Perfume may be used on the body as well as the Hajj clothes initially, even if it continues to smell afterwards.

Ibn ‘Abbas said:

“Allah’s Messenger () combed his hair, wore some perfume, put on his Hajj clothes, along with his Companions, and then he set out from Medina accompanied by them.”(Bukhari)

Once in the state of Ihram do not put perfume or cover your head with anything (such as a hat).

THE HAJJ CLOTHING FOR WOMEN

Women’s clothes entail Khimar and Jilbab, without Niqab or gloves.

Prophet Muhammad () said:

“women who make Ihram should not cover their face nor wear gloves.”

A woman may temporarily cover her face by her hand, or make sadlu, which is to bring the khimar slightly over the face temporarily to shield the face from foreign men. If she keeps the covering on for longer than necessary she will have to pay fidya (penalty) for this.

Women usually cover using the following:

Khimar: A head scarf which must cover up to the jabe (chest).

Jilbab: The outer garment which must be loose.

Niqab: A face veil (NOT ALLOWED IN IHRAM).

Kinah: A mask from leather used a lot by the women from Kuwait and other Khaliji (Gulf) states (NOT ALLOWED IN IHRAM).

There is no restriction for the woman regarding the colors she can wear. White is the best color to wear at the time of Hajj. However, women must take care to wear a dark tunic beneath it so that the sun will not shine through it revealing their form. The feet is considered awrah by the majority of the schools of thought (Hanafi does not accept this), so women are allowed to wear socks and shoes while in ihram.

CONDITIONS IMPOSED WHILST IN IHRAM

What is permitted in Ihram?

1. Bathing and changing

2. Women wearing shoes

3. Cupping, opening abscess, pulling a tooth

4. Wearing a belt or ring

5. Wearing non-perfumed kohl to the eyes

6. Killing flies or harmful animals

7. Sitting under the shade of a umbrella, tree or even a tent

What is prohibited in Ihram?

1. Sexual intercourse

2. Fighting or arguing

3. Wearing sewn clothes

4. Cutting the hair

5. Trimming the nails

6. Using perfumed soap

7. Wearing perfume

8. Wearing hats (men)

9. Getting engaged

10. Getting married

11. Hunting

You must pay a penalty if you commit any of the acts prohibited in ihram, which will usually mean an extra sacrifice.

HOW TO PERFORM HAJJ TAMATTU

Hajj Tamattu is the type of Hajj where Umrah and Hajj are combined with a break in wearing the ihram. Umrah is performed BEFORE Hajj.

IHRAM FOR HAJJ AL-TAMATTU

1) Wear your Ihram before or at the Miqat, this time for the intention of doing Umrah.

2) Once you finish Umrah you can change into ordinary clothes until the 8th of Dhul Hijjah.

3) On the 8th day of Dhul Hijjah put on your Ihram, which can be done in your hotel, you do not need to go back to the Miqat. Make intention for Hajj.

4) The ihram must be taken off on the day of sacrifice (no sooner).

AL UMRAH

NIYYAH (INTENTION)

The best niyah is the one in the heart; however on Hajj we openly proclaim our intention which can be said as follows: “Labbaik Allahumma Umrah wal Hajj”.

TALBIYAH

It is the Sunnah to recite the Talbiyyah loudly (for men) from the point of the Miqat until you reach Mecca (Makkah al-Mukarramah).

The Talbiyyah is as follows: “Labbaik Allahumma labbaik, labbaika la shareeka laka labbaik, innal hamda wanne’matah laka wal mulk, la shareeka laka” (“Here I am, O Allah! Here I am; Here I am, there is no partner unto You, Here I am; all praise and favors and sovereignty belong to You, there is no partner unto You”).

ENTERING MASJID AL HARAM

1) Recite the Talbiyyah until you enter Masjid al-Haram. You can enter the Masjid from any gate available and leave by any gate.

2) Enter with right foot first. The Sunnah is to say the following when entering: “Allahhummaaftah li abwaba rahmatik” (“O Allah the doors to your mercy”)

3) Once you have entered Masjidul Haram make Al Idtibaa’, which is to uncover the right shoulder and cover the left with the ridaa’ (upper towel).

TAWAF AL QADOUM (CIRCUMBULATION OF ARRIVING)

1) Go straight to Al Hajr Al Aswad (The Black Stone) and start your tawaf from there. There is no need to make salutations of the masjid (i.e. pray tahyahtul masjid), as tawaf is salah.

2) Touch the black stone with right hand and say Allahu Akbar. It is worth noting that Prophet Muhammad () used to kiss it and then say Allahu Akbar.

a. Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said when approaching the Black Stone: “I know you cannot harm nor benefit, but because I saw the Messenger () kiss you, I do it” (Muslim).

b. You can put your walking stick on it as Umar al Khattab did.

c. If you can not touch the black stone, raise your right hand and point towards it and say Allahu Akbar. To point the hand is called ‘Istilam’. Don’t raise your left hand.

d. Then make tawaf around the kaaba anti-clockwise seven times.

Dua (ءاعد) supplication during Tawaf

1) You may recite the following Dua whilst making tawaf: “Subhanallah, walhamdulillah, wala ilaha illallah, wallahu akbar, wala hawla wala quwwata illa billah” “Glory be to Allah, All praise is to Allah, there is no god but Allah. There is no power and no strength except in Allah.”

2) Towards the end of each tawaf (round) when passing Yemeni Corner recite the following dua

“Rabbana aatina fidduniya hasanah wa fil aakhirati hasanah wa qina azaban nar.”

(“O Allah, our Lord, give us good in this world, and good in the Hereafter, and save us from the punishment of fire”).

3) It is acceptable to recite the Quran during tawaf since it is dhikr (remembrance).

4) You may make dua in any language you while performing tawaf. However, it is recommended in Arabic since it is part of the Sunnah.

5) Study the dua of Prophet Muhammad ().

Raml (walking quickly with short steps)

1) The Sunnah is to hurry in the first three tawaf (recommended for men not women). This is known as Raml.

2) The last four should be done at ease. Thus, it’s better if the women meet their men at a meeting point after making the tawaf.

Taharah (Purity)

1) You must have purity for tawaf the minimum being wudu.

2) If you forget how many tawaf you made, then build on yakeen (certainty) and continue counting from the last tawaf.

3) If you break your wudu during tawaf, you must go back and make wudu and start the count from the last full tawaf, i.e. starting again at the Hajr Al-Aswad (The Black Stone).

PRAYING BEHIND MAQAM AL-IBRAHIM

1) When you have completed your seventh Tawaf, cover right shoulder with the ridaa’ (towel).

2) Go to Maqam Al-Ibrahim and pray two rakats of voluntary salah (nafilah).

3) You need to pray behind Maqam Al-Ibrahim. However, you can pray anywhere in the masjid as a divine permit if you are unable to pray directly behind the Maqam Al-Ibrahim.

5) Don’t pray in Jama’ah (congregation).

6) Prophet Muhammad () used to recite the following surahs:

A. Surah Al-Kafiroun – “Say O you Disbelievers” [EMQ 109] in the first rakah.

B. Surah Al-Ikhlas – “Say He Allah is One” [EMQ 112] in the second rakah.

DRINKING ZAMZAM WATER

1) After praying 2 rakat at Maqam Al-Ibrahim, touch or kiss the black stone and say Allahu Akbar (recommended).

2) Then drink Zamzam water.

3) Perform Sa’ee.

SA’EE (BETWEEN SAFAA AND MARWAH)

Dua’ (supplication) between Safaa and Marwah

Firstly go to Mount Safaa, any step of it, and face the qibla. Raise your hands, and say the following verse: “Innas-Safaa wal marwata min sha’aairillah” (“Verily! Safaa and Al Marwah (two mountains in Mecca (Makkah al-Mukarramah)) are of the Symbols of Allah”).

Then say the following dua three times. “Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Laa ilaha ilallah wahdahu lashareeka lahu, lahul mulku wa lahul hamd, wa huwa ala kulli shayyin qadir, laa ilaha ilallah wahdahu, anjaza wadahu, wanasara abdahu, wahazamal ahzaab wahadau” (Allah is Great! Allah is Great! Allah is Great! There is none worthy of worship except Allah alone, no partner has He, for Him is the sovereignty and the praise, and He is able to do all things. There is none worthy of worship except Allah alone, He helps his servants, He dealt with the confederate alone).

Key Points to Remember:

1. Start the Sa’ee at Mount Safah.

2. Always focus on the kaaba when making dua’.

3. It is recommended to make dua three times whenever you reach Mount Safaa and Marwah.

4. It is not necessary to go right to the top of Mount Safah or Marwah rather any point of it.

5. During the Sa’ee there is bit in the middle where to hurry is recommended which is called Raml, this for both men and women (women should take care not to expose themselves).

6. You may continue to perform Sa’ee if you have lost your wudu since the Sahabah (may Allah be pleased with them) were giving the permission to do so. However, you must be on wudu at the start of Sa’ee.

7. If the time for Salah enters while performing Sa’ee, then break away to pray Salah and then continue from the last full cycle that you stopped at.

8. The last Sa’ee (i.e. the 7th one) should finish on Mount Marwah.

Note: On Hajj Tamattu you need only to do Sa’ee once which is done with the Umrah, there is no need to do it again. However, you will have to do the Sa’ee again if you stay in Mecca (Makkah al-Mukarramah) after Hajj.

HAJJ

A summary of what is required on each key date has been given below.

7TH OF DHUL HIJJAH

1. You must stay in Mecca (Makkah al-Mukarramah) and not leave for Mina. This is sometimes done for the convenience of the travel agent and not from the Sunnah.

8TH OF DHUL HIJJAH – YAWMUL TARWIYYAH

1. Make ihram, from anyplace you are in Mecca (Makkah al-Mukarramah), you do not need to go to any mosque.

2. It is recommended to make ghusl (bath) and wear perfume beforehand.

3. Go and pray fajr at Masjidul Haram, then go to Mina.

4. At Mina you will pray Zhuhr and Asr combined without shortening. You will do the same with magrib and Isha.

5. You must be in Ihram before you go to Mina. If you do not have your ihram on you need to go back to Mecca (Makkah al-Mukarramah) to make ihram.

6. You will spend the night in Mina.

9TH OF DHUL HIJJAH – YAWMUL Arafat

AL WAQIF BIL Arafat (STANDING AT Arafat)

1. After sunrise you must leave Mina to go to Arafat

2. Make sure you pray Fajr in Mina first

3. The Messenger () said “Al Hajj al Arafat – Hajj is Arafat”

4. You can go to Masjid Namirah (optional)

5. The Imam will give a khutbah then lead the Zhuhr salah and then tell the Hajjis to combine their salah with Asr

6. Stay in Arafat until Maghrib. Cant leave Arafat before Maghrib

7. The is a place called Wadi Urana in Arafat; you must avoid to stand there

8. If you have a horse or a camel it is recommended to stand over it. The Messenger () stood over his camel and made dua facing the qibla

9. Whilst in Arafat you can do dawah, command good and forbid evil, read Qur’an, the best is to make dua (supplication). Te Messenger () said the best dua’ is the one of Arafat,

10. the Messenger () made the following dua in Arafat:

“Laa ilaha ilallah, wahdahu laa shareeka lahu , lahul mulku wa lahul hamd, yuhyi wa ymeet wa huwa ala kulli shayyin qadr” (There is none worthy of worship except Allah alone, no partner has He, for him is the sovereignty and the praise, he is the one who gives life and takes life and he is able to do all things).

THINGS TO AVOID AT Arafat

1. Do not pray Maghrib in Arafat but join it with Isha in Muzdalifah

2. In Arafat, avoid any dunya (worldly) matter

3. Idle chit-chat or political talk

4. Do not cover the head with ihram

5. Do not hunt, shave, cut tree whilst in ihram

6. Do not make a special point of standing on the Jabl Ar Rahmah (Mount of Mercy) as it is bidah to believe it is more rewardable

AL WAQIF BIL MUZDALIFAH (STAYING AT MUZDALIFAH)

1. The Messenger () left after sunset for Muzdalifah

2. Leave Arafat with tranquility

3. Find a place in Muzdalifah and stay till fajr

4. Pray Maghrib and Isha shortened and combined i.e. make one adhan and two Iqaamat; you have until the middle of the night to do this.

5. If you do not reach Muzdalifah before midnight you need to stop where you are and pray

6. In Muzdalifah you can go to an area called Misharul Haram where there is a masjid. Once you are there face the qibla and make dua t this is the Sunnah of the Messenger ()

7. You need to collect stones from Muzdalifah to use to stone the Jamaraat

8. Women may leave Muzdalifah before fajr i.e. when two thirds of the night has passed to go to Mina Ibn Abbas (ra) said: “The Messenger () sent me with the weak women, the elderly and the disabled people when it was two thirds of the night”

10TH DHUL HIJJAH – YAWMUL NAHR (The Day of Slaughtering)

1. This is the Day of Eid al Adha

2. Pray Fajr at Muzdalifah and then travel to Mina to stone the Jamrah

3. Make Talbiyyah as you go to Mina, and travel at a hurried pace

4. First pray Zhuhr in Mina before you go to Wadi Muhasr (the place to stone the Jamarah)

RUMI JAMRAH AL AQABAH (STONING THE FIRST JAMRAH)

1. There are three Jamaraat there:

a. Jamarah As Sughra (Small)

b. Jamarah Al Wasatah (Middle)

c. Jamarah Al Aqabah/Al Kubrah (Big)

2. You must only go to Jamrah Al Aqabah on this day.

3. Stone the Jamrah with seven stones saying “Allahu Akbar” each time.

4. Ensure the stones actually hit the Jamrah, preferably going into the hole/funnel

5. When stoning the Jamarah Mecca (Makkah al-Mukarramah) should be on your left and Mina to your right

6. Once you have finished stoning you will go and make Qurbani (sacrificial slaughtering of an offering)

DHABIH AL HADI (SLAUGHTER AN OFFERING)

1. It is rewardable to do the slaughtering yourself

2. If you cannot then delegate this duty to someone who is trustworthy

3. The condition for the one that slaughters are that he must be Muslim and prays

4. If you delegate the slaughtering, verify that it took place, either by confirming or witnessing it.

5. Normally people will offer a sheep for slaughtering, though you can offer extra to please Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) i.e. a camel etc, note this is not obligatory

6. Once you have slaughtered then shave or trim the hair

TAQSEER WAL HALAQ (TRIMMING OR SHAVING HAIR)

1. Men have to option to shave the head (recommended) or trim. Women should only trim their hair. The Messenger () made dua’ three times for the one who shaved their hair, whereas he () made dua only once for the one who trimmed his hair.

2. You may now have a wash and change out of ihram and wear fresh clothes

3. After that all prohibitions are removed except having intercourse with your wife, this is called: At Tahallul

TAWAFUL IFAADAH

1. Go back to Masjidul Haram and make seven circumbulations around the Kaaba (Tawaful Ifaadah)

2. There is no need to prayer two rakat behind Makam Ibrahim after this tawaf

3. There is no need to do idtaaba’ as you will make tawaf in your ordinary clothes

4. Then do the Sa’ee for Hajj between Safaa and Marwah

5. Leave Mecca (Makkah al-Mukarramah) to return back to Mina before midnight

6. All that all things are halal even your wife.

THE ORDER OF ACTS ON THE 10TH OF DHUL HIJJAH

The ayah says, Then let them complete the prescribed duties (Manasik of Hajj) for them, and perform their vows, and circumambulate the Ancient House (the Kaaba at Mecca). (Al-Hajj 22:29)

From which we derive the order of acts on the day as follows:

1. Rumi – Stoning Jamarah

2. Halaq wa Taqseer – Shave or trim hair

3. Dhabi Hadi – Slaughter animal

4. Tawaful Ifaadah – Tawaf of Hajj

However to do it in a different order is acceptable as the following hadith say. Narrated by ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amar:

I saw the Prophet near the Jamarah and the people were asking him questions (about religious problems). A man asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! I have slaughtered the Hadi (animal) before doing the Rami.” The Prophet replied, “Do the Rami (now) and there is no harm.” Another person asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! I got my head shaved before slaughtering the animal.” The Prophet replied, “Do the slaughtering (now) and there is no harm.” So on that day, when the Prophet was asked about anything as regards the ceremonies of hajj performed before or after its due time his reply was, “Do it (now) and there is no harm.” [Bukhari]

11TH DHUL HIJJAH

RUMI (STONING) DAY 2

1. From Mina after Zhuhr Salah go to Stone the Jamaraat.

2. Start by small, then middle and then the biggest; using 7 stones for each jamarah.

3. Mecca (Makkah al-Mukarramah) should be on your left hand side and mina on your right.

4. Make dua facing the qibla, after stoning the small and middle Jamaraat, but not after the big one.

5. Spend the night in Mina.

12TH DHUL HIJJAH

RUMI (STONING) DAY 3

1. From Mina after Zhuhr Salah go to Stone Jamarah.

2. Go there and start by small, then middle and then the biggest; using 7 stones for each jamarah.

3. Mecca (Makkah al-Mukarramah) should be on your left hand side and mina on your right.

4. After this go back to Mina and leave for Mecca (Makkah al-Mukarramah). You must leave the borders of Mina before Maghrib.

5. The one who does not must stay for a forth day and complete stoning prior to leaving. You have the length of the entire day to do so and then leave.

TAWAFUL WADAA’ (FAREWELL TAWAF)

1. Tawaful Wadaa’ is the farewell tawaf for when you leave Mecca.

2. There is no prayer behind Makam Ibrahim for this tawaf.

3. It can be left, but best not to leave it more than two days.

4. Upon completion of Tawaful Wadaa’ you must leave the Miqat area.

Ibn Abbas (ra) said,

“The Messenger () said the last thing you do in Mecca after mina is to leave Mecca.”

THIS NOW COMPLETES YOUR HAJJ. Should you remain and stay in the province then please note that the remainder of stay is not part of hajj nor should be attributed to it. A common practice is to go to Madinah after hajj and to stay there 8 days to complete 40 sessions of prayer. This is not part of Hajj and is a bidah (innovation) should it be attributed to Hajj. However you may travel to Madinah after Hajj and pray as often as you like in the Prophet () Mosque ‘Masjid an-Nabawi is the second Most Holiest Mosque.

Islam, Culture and women

Islam, Culture and Women
by Ruqaiyyah Waris Maqsood

How can anyone justify Islam’s treatment of women, when it imprisons
Afghans under blue shuttlecock burqas and makes Pakistani girls marry
strangers against their will?

How can you respect a religion that forces women into polygamous
marriages, mutilates their genitals, forbids them to drive cars and
subjects them to the humiliation of “instant” divorce? In fact, none of
these practices are Islamic at all.

Anyone wishing to understand Islam must first separate the religion from
the cultural norms and style of a society. Female genital mutilation is
still practised in certain pockets of Africa and Egypt, but viewed as an
inconceivable horror by the vast majority of Muslims. Forced marriages
may still take place in certain Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi
communities, but would be anathema to Muslim women from other backgrounds.

Indeed, Islam insists on the free consent of both bride and groom, so
such marriages could even be deemed illegal under religious law.

A woman forbidden from driving a car in Riyadh will cheerfully take the
wheel when abroad, confident that her country’s bizarre law has nothing
to do with Islam. Afghan women educated before the Taliban rule know
that banning girls from school is forbidden in Islam, which encourages
all Muslims to seek knowledge from cradle to grave, from every source
possible.

The Koran is addressed to all Muslims, and for the most part it does not
differentiate between male and female. Man and woman, it says, “were
created of a single soul,” and are moral equals in the sight of God.
Women have the right to divorce, to inherit property, to conduct
business and to have access to knowledge.

Since women are under all the same obligations and rules of conduct as
the men, differences emerge most strongly when it comes to pregnancy,
child-bearing and rearing, menstruation and, to a certain extent, clothing.

Some of the commands are alien to Western tradition. Requirements of
ritual purity may seem to restrict a woman’s access to religious life,
but are viewed as concessions. During menstruation or postpartum
bleeding, she may not pray the ritual salah or touch the Koran and she
does not have to fast; nor does she need to fast while pregnant or nursing.

The veiling of Muslim women is a more complex issue. Certainly, the
Koran requires them to behave and dress modestly – but these strictures
apply equally to men. Only one verse refers to the veiling of women,
stating that the Prophet’s wives should be behind a hijab when his male
guests converse with them.

Some modernists, however, claim that this does not apply to women in
general, and that the language used does not carry the textual
stipulation that makes a verse obligatory. In practice, most modern
Muslim women appreciate attractive and graceful clothes, but avoid
dressing provocatively.

What about polygamy, which the Koran endorses up to the limit of four
wives per man? The Prophet, of course, lived at a time when continual
warfare produced large numbers of widows, who were left with little or
no provision for themselves and their children.

In these circumstances, polygamy was encouraged as an act of charity.
Needless to say, the widows were not necessarily sexy young women, but
usually mothers of up to six children, who came as part of the deal.

Polygamy is no longer common, for various good reasons. The Koran states
that wives need to be treated fairly and equally – a difficult
requirement even for a rich man. Moreover, if a husband wishes to take a
second wife, he should not do so if the marriage will be to the
detriment of the first.

Sexual intimacy outside marriage is forbidden in Islam, including sex
before marriage, adultery or homosexual relationships. However, within
marriage, sexual intimacy should be raised from the animal level to
sadaqah (a form of worship) so that each considers the happiness and
satisfaction of the other, rather than mere self-gratification.

Contrary to Christianity, Islam does not regard marriages as “made in
heaven” or “till death do us part”. They are contracts, with conditions.
If either side breaks the conditions, divorce is not only allowed, but
usually expected. Nevertheless, a hadith makes it clear that: “Of all
the things God has allowed, divorce is the most disliked.”

A Muslim has a genuine reason for divorce only if a spouse’s behaviour
goes against the sunnah of Islam – in other words, if he or she has
become cruel, vindictive, abusive, unfaithful, neglectful, selfish,
sexually abusive, tyrannical, perverted – and so on.

In good Islamic practice, before divorce can be contemplated, all
possible efforts should be made to solve a couple’s problems. After an
intention to divorce is announced, there is a three-month period during
which more attempts are made at reconciliation.

If, by the end of each month, the couple have resumed sexual intimacy,
the divorce should not proceed. The three-month rule ensures that a
woman cannot remarry until three menstrual cycles have passed – so, if
she happens to be pregnant, the child will be supported and paternity
will not be in dispute.

When Muslims die, strict laws govern the shares of property and money
they may leave to others; daughters usually inherit less than sons, but
this is because the men in a family are supposed to provide for the
entire household.

Any money or property owned by women is theirs to keep, and they are not
obliged to share it. Similarly, in marriage, a woman’s salary is hers
and cannot be appropriated by her husband unless she consents.

A good Muslim woman, for her part, should always be trustworthy and
kind. She should strive to be cheerful and encouraging towards her
husband and family, and keep their home free from anything harmful
(haram covers all aspects of harm, including bad behaviour, abuse and
forbidden foods).

Regardless of her skills or intelligence, she is expected to accept her
man as the head of her household – she must, therefore, take care to
marry a man she can respect, and whose wishes she can carry out with a
clear conscience. However, when a man expects his wife to do anything
contrary to the will of God – in other words, any nasty, selfish,
dishonest or cruel action – she has the right to refuse him.

Her husband is not her master; a Muslim woman has only one Master, and
that is God. If her husband does not represent God’s will in the home,
the marriage contract is broken.

What should one make of the verse in the Koran that allows a man to
punish his wife physically? There are important provisos: he may do so
only if her ill-will is wrecking the marriage – but then only after he
has exhausted all attempts at verbal communication and tried sleeping in
a separate bed.

However, the Prophet never hit a woman, child or old person, and was
emphatic that those who did could hardly regard themselves as the best
of Muslims. Moreover, he also stated that a man should never hit “one of
God’s handmaidens”. Nor, it must be said, should wives beat their
husbands or become inveterate nags.

Finally, there is the issue of giving witness. Although the Koran says
nothing explicit, other Islamic sources suggest that a woman’s testimony
in court is worth only half of that of a man. This ruling, however,
should be applied only in circumstances where a woman is uneducated and
has led a very restricted life: a woman equally qualified to a man will
carry the same weight as a witness.

So, does Islam oppress women?

While the spirit of Islam is clearly patriarchal, it regards men and
women as moral equals. Moreover, although a man is technically the head
of the household, Islam encourages matriarchy in the home.

Women may not be equal in the manner defined by Western feminists, but
their core differences from men are acknowledged, and they have rights
of their own that do not apply to men

English convert to Islam, Ruqaiyyah Waris Maqsood, is the author of over
thirty books on Islam and other subjects.

Email: Ruqa…@aol.com
Website:  http://members.aol.com/Ruqaiyyah

 

Islam, Culture and Women
by Ruqaiyyah Waris Maqsood

How can anyone justify Islam’s treatment of women, when it imprisons
Afghans under blue shuttlecock burqas and makes Pakistani girls marry
strangers against their will?

How can you respect a religion that forces women into polygamous
marriages, mutilates their genitals, forbids them to drive cars and
subjects them to the humiliation of “instant” divorce? In fact, none of
these practices are Islamic at all.

Anyone wishing to understand Islam must first separate the religion from
the cultural norms and style of a society. Female genital mutilation is
still practised in certain pockets of Africa and Egypt, but viewed as an
inconceivable horror by the vast majority of Muslims. Forced marriages
may still take place in certain Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi
communities, but would be anathema to Muslim women from other backgrounds.

Indeed, Islam insists on the free consent of both bride and groom, so
such marriages could even be deemed illegal under religious law.

A woman forbidden from driving a car in Riyadh will cheerfully take the
wheel when abroad, confident that her country’s bizarre law has nothing
to do with Islam. Afghan women educated before the Taliban rule know
that banning girls from school is forbidden in Islam, which encourages
all Muslims to seek knowledge from cradle to grave, from every source
possible.

The Koran is addressed to all Muslims, and for the most part it does not
differentiate between male and female. Man and woman, it says, “were
created of a single soul,” and are moral equals in the sight of God.
Women have the right to divorce, to inherit property, to conduct
business and to have access to knowledge.

Since women are under all the same obligations and rules of conduct as
the men, differences emerge most strongly when it comes to pregnancy,
child-bearing and rearing, menstruation and, to a certain extent, clothing.

Some of the commands are alien to Western tradition. Requirements of
ritual purity may seem to restrict a woman’s access to religious life,
but are viewed as concessions. During menstruation or postpartum
bleeding, she may not pray the ritual salah or touch the Koran and she
does not have to fast; nor does she need to fast while pregnant or nursing.

The veiling of Muslim women is a more complex issue. Certainly, the
Koran requires them to behave and dress modestly – but these strictures
apply equally to men. Only one verse refers to the veiling of women,
stating that the Prophet’s wives should be behind a hijab when his male
guests converse with them.

Some modernists, however, claim that this does not apply to women in
general, and that the language used does not carry the textual
stipulation that makes a verse obligatory. In practice, most modern
Muslim women appreciate attractive and graceful clothes, but avoid
dressing provocatively.

What about polygamy, which the Koran endorses up to the limit of four
wives per man? The Prophet, of course, lived at a time when continual
warfare produced large numbers of widows, who were left with little or
no provision for themselves and their children.

In these circumstances, polygamy was encouraged as an act of charity.
Needless to say, the widows were not necessarily sexy young women, but
usually mothers of up to six children, who came as part of the deal.

Polygamy is no longer common, for various good reasons. The Koran states
that wives need to be treated fairly and equally – a difficult
requirement even for a rich man. Moreover, if a husband wishes to take a
second wife, he should not do so if the marriage will be to the
detriment of the first.

Sexual intimacy outside marriage is forbidden in Islam, including sex
before marriage, adultery or homosexual relationships. However, within
marriage, sexual intimacy should be raised from the animal level to
sadaqah (a form of worship) so that each considers the happiness and
satisfaction of the other, rather than mere self-gratification.

Contrary to Christianity, Islam does not regard marriages as “made in
heaven” or “till death do us part”. They are contracts, with conditions.
If either side breaks the conditions, divorce is not only allowed, but
usually expected. Nevertheless, a hadith makes it clear that: “Of all
the things God has allowed, divorce is the most disliked.”

A Muslim has a genuine reason for divorce only if a spouse’s behaviour
goes against the sunnah of Islam – in other words, if he or she has
become cruel, vindictive, abusive, unfaithful, neglectful, selfish,
sexually abusive, tyrannical, perverted – and so on.

In good Islamic practice, before divorce can be contemplated, all
possible efforts should be made to solve a couple’s problems. After an
intention to divorce is announced, there is a three-month period during
which more attempts are made at reconciliation.

If, by the end of each month, the couple have resumed sexual intimacy,
the divorce should not proceed. The three-month rule ensures that a
woman cannot remarry until three menstrual cycles have passed – so, if
she happens to be pregnant, the child will be supported and paternity
will not be in dispute.

When Muslims die, strict laws govern the shares of property and money
they may leave to others; daughters usually inherit less than sons, but
this is because the men in a family are supposed to provide for the
entire household.

Any money or property owned by women is theirs to keep, and they are not
obliged to share it. Similarly, in marriage, a woman’s salary is hers
and cannot be appropriated by her husband unless she consents.

A good Muslim woman, for her part, should always be trustworthy and
kind. She should strive to be cheerful and encouraging towards her
husband and family, and keep their home free from anything harmful
(haram covers all aspects of harm, including bad behaviour, abuse and
forbidden foods).

Regardless of her skills or intelligence, she is expected to accept her
man as the head of her household – she must, therefore, take care to
marry a man she can respect, and whose wishes she can carry out with a
clear conscience. However, when a man expects his wife to do anything
contrary to the will of God – in other words, any nasty, selfish,
dishonest or cruel action – she has the right to refuse him.

Her husband is not her master; a Muslim woman has only one Master, and
that is God. If her husband does not represent God’s will in the home,
the marriage contract is broken.

What should one make of the verse in the Koran that allows a man to
punish his wife physically? There are important provisos: he may do so
only if her ill-will is wrecking the marriage – but then only after he
has exhausted all attempts at verbal communication and tried sleeping in
a separate bed.

However, the Prophet never hit a woman, child or old person, and was
emphatic that those who did could hardly regard themselves as the best
of Muslims. Moreover, he also stated that a man should never hit “one of
God’s handmaidens”. Nor, it must be said, should wives beat their
husbands or become inveterate nags.

Finally, there is the issue of giving witness. Although the Koran says
nothing explicit, other Islamic sources suggest that a woman’s testimony
in court is worth only half of that of a man. This ruling, however,
should be applied only in circumstances where a woman is uneducated and
has led a very restricted life: a woman equally qualified to a man will
carry the same weight as a witness.

So, does Islam oppress women?

While the spirit of Islam is clearly patriarchal, it regards men and
women as moral equals. Moreover, although a man is technically the head
of the household, Islam encourages matriarchy in the home.

Women may not be equal in the manner defined by Western feminists, but
their core differences from men are acknowledged, and they have rights
of their own that do not apply to men

English convert to Islam, Ruqaiyyah Waris Maqsood, is the author of over
thirty books on Islam and other subjects.
Website:  http://members.aol.com/Ruqaiyyah

Read other articles by Ruqaiyyah Waris Maqsood on this site here
http://www.islamfortoday.com/ruqaiyyah.htm

Men and women are equal

I have chosen to repost the article about gender equality in Islam

Gender Equality in Islam

by Muslim Women’s League
September 1995

“I shall not lose sight of the labor of any of you who labors in My way, be it man or woman; each of you is equal to the other (3:195)”

Spiritual equality, responsibility and accountability for both men and women is a well-developed theme in the Quran. Spiritual equality between men and women in the sight of God is not limited to purely spiritual, religious issues, but is the basis for equality in all temporal aspects of human endeavor.

Adam and Eve: Gender Equality

The concept of gender equality is best exemplified in the Quranic rendition of Adam and Eve. The Quran states that both sexes were deliberate and independent and there is no mention of Eve being created out of Adam’s rib or anything else. Even in the issue of which sex was created first is not specified, implying that for our purpose in this world, it may not matter.

“O mankind! Be conscious of your Sustainer, who has created you out of one living entity (nafs), and out of it created its mate, and out of hte two spread abroad a multitude of men and women. And remain conscious of God, in whose name you demand your rights from one another, and of these ties of kinship. Verily, God is ever watchful over you! (4:1)”

Quranic translators disagree on the meaning of “nafs” in the above verse which Muhammad Asad translates as “living entity.” Many claim that “nafs” translates as “person,” that is, Adam. But according to Asad and other scholars, God created humankind and its sexual counterpart out of its own kind. The Arabic word referring to mate (zawj) in the above Quranic verse is grammatically neutral and can be applied both ot male and female interchangeably. So it is not clear, nor should we conjecture, that Adam was created first, Eve was created out of Adam, or that Eve/woman is innately subservient to Adam/man. The fact that this Quranic verse does not specify one specific sex over the other is proof of gender non-bias and equality. It is commonly (and mistakenly) argued that Adam was created first, and that by this gesture God finds the male dominant and superior to the female; however, the wording of the Quran in the aforementioned verse does not support this claim.

The Quran describes how Adam and Eve were told to avoid a specific tree, which they both approached. For this act of disobedience to God, they were consequently banished from the garden; however, later both repented and were forgiven by God. The Quran does not allude to Eve tempting Adam to eat from the tree and being responsible for their downfall. In the Quranic version, both were held accountable and both paid the price for their choices, proving that gender equality is an intrinsic part of Islamic belief. (See Quran 2:30-37)

Accountability, Independence, and Freedom of Choice

Women are independent individuals, as exemplified by the fact that all human beings will be accountable for their own intentions and deeds on the Day of Judgment when “no human being shall be of the least avail to another human being” (82:19) If men were ultimately responsibile for women (fathers for their daughters, husbands for their wives, etc.), then this accountability would be solely on men’s shoulders to bear until the Day of Judgment. But this is not the case: “And whatever wrong any human being commits rests upon himself alone; and no bearer of burdens shall be made to bear another’s burden…” (6:165)

Consequently, we cannot be judged according to our own deeds unless we have the freedom of choice to do so. This free choice carries with it the responsibility to make the right choices or paying the consequence for wrong ones, best exemplified by Adam and Eve.

Equality in Practice

In the Quran, reference to men and women is through attributes and deeds, by which we will be judged. The most pious of us, or those who follow God’s commands, are referred to as “believers” or “mu’mineen” (pl.) in the Quran. In many references, in fact, the Quran resonates this equality by eloquently repeating “men and women” with ethical and practical qualities throughout the verses, and even emphasizes this ten times in the following verse:

“Verily for all men and women who have surrendered themselves unto God, and all believing men and believing women, and all truly devout men and truly devout women, and all men and women who are true to their word, and all men and women who are patient in adversity, and all men and women who humble themselves before God, and all men and women who give in charity, and all self-denying men and self-denying women, and all men and women who are mindful of their chastity, and all men and women who remmber God unceasingly: for all of them has God readied forgiveness of sins and a mighty reward.” (33:35)

It is paramount to understand tha tthe Quran equates being a “mu’min” (sing.) with actual practice, so that it is not enough to just have faith in principle; we must put our faith into practice. The same applies to our belief in the equality of men and women; gender equality as outlined in the Quran must also be put into practice. In reference to the above verse, modern scholar Laila Ahmed in “Women and Gender in Islam” says that “the implications are far-reaching. Ethical qualities, including those invoked here–charity, chastity, truthfulness, patience, piety–also have political and social dimensions.”

http://www.mwlusa.org/topics/equality/gender.html

Does Islam say: beat your wife?

I have chosen to repost the article below on women, islam and deviations.
this articles has shed light on the wrong interpretation of a verse of the Quran concerning women
ROUKAYA
19-07-2008, 09:25
Articles on Women, Islam and Deviations
Punishing Disobedient Wives
Ghada Al-Hori • Al-Watan

I find it unacceptable when some people twist the meaning of a particular verse in the Holy Qur’an — especially the one which permits a husband to beat his disobedient wife. Those who do the twisting must understand that the permission is only given under certain circumstances and that the beating is intended as a remedy for specific situations. It is unfortunate that some well-known and respected Muslim scholars have either willingly or unwillingly joined a campaign seeking to distort the meaning of that particular verse.

In many cases, they have given a different meaning from the one actually intended. The verse — number 34 in Surah IV — reads as follows: “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore, righteous women are devotedly obedient and guard in (the husband’s) absence what Allah would have them guard. And to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first) and (then) refuse to share their beds (and last) beat them (lightly), but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means of annoyance.”

It is quite obvious here that Islam adopts a gradual approach starting with verbal admonishment of the wife, then seeks a period of refraining from conjugal relations and, finally, if the husband finds the situation very serious, he may strike his disobedient wife.

Some scholars have even suggested that the punishment (beating) cited here is not of the physical nature and that what the husband is required to do is stay away from the disobedient wife. In short, they say the husband should leave the house and go to another place. This is not what is actually intended in the verse.

The beating which is only prescribed in the case of disobedient wives is intended to serve as a remedy in an unusual situation. If the husband feels the wife is behaving in a disobedient and rebellious manner, he is required to rectify her attitude — first by kind words, then gentle persuasion and reasoning. Beating as a last resort must never be understood to entail using a stick or any other instrument that would cause pain or injury.

The fashion of saying foul words in public

Foul language

`Abdullah bin `Amr bin Al-`as (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) did not indulge in loose talk nor did he like to listen to it. He used to say, “The best of you is the best among you in conduct.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

It is a shame and you will agree with me, to see boys swearing in public in front of their wives, mothers, sisters and children

the bad culture of swearing – using foul words is a dirty, filthy culture which has nothing to do with the beauty and purity of Islam

What more? today you can see many girls and women who wear the hijab or not, who wear the niqab or not, use foul languages in public or among their friends, on the telephone.

They speak very loud, laugh very loud and talk very loud…

Know that fashion has nothing to do with impurity, foul words and shamelessness

It is important for parents to educate their children since an early age. however, we can see clearly that some parents are themselves in these vices. husbands and wives find it natural to act shamelessly in public

So, you say you follow the Sunnah?

You say you love Muhammad [peace be upon him]?

Know that talking is not actually doing the action

 

 

 

 

Muhammad, the excellent communicator of all times

There is nothing more important than communication among mankind.
Communication is the tool wherewith you establish contact with other people around you.
Communication can be oral, verbal, with signs etc
Animals communicate among them without words and human beings have been given the most perfect form of communication: words
Words are powerful: they can either destroy you or shape you. so, the one who is powerful in enunciating the right word at the right time with the right person is surely a wise individual – Ammaara Uddeen
Having said this, let us see how Communication is an important tool to build friendship, to invite people towards Islam [dawah]. Many Muslims have good intention of inviting their non Muslim friends, colleagues to Islam but they do not know how to do it. they do not possess the qualities of a good communicator. This can be learnt through training or by observing the best of man, Muhammad [peace be upon him]
 Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) actively communicated with the people around him. He was interested to talk to the people because he knew that success lies in communication. 
I have provided below some excerpts taken from the internet
[http://www.lastprophet.info/some-of-prophet-muhammad-s-principles-of-communication]
 
The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) spoke to a variety of people. Some of them were able to see him, listen to him, share their daily life with him and constantly be under his influence. Others did not have such an active relationship with him, while still others joined the believers later or were part of the following generation.
 
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was able to understand the social psychology, as well as the individual characteristics of the people who made up the society, and thus used different methods of communication
For example, he acted according to the conditions of the region he was in when eating, drinking or dressing. Again, when speaking or delivering a speech, he constantly observed the abilities of the addresses who listened to him, and the examples he used were chosen from a world in which the addresses lived and which they understood well. From animals, the most common examples he would use would be camels and from plants he would use the date.
Some of the people around him were from the city while others were Bedouins (living in the desert). For this reason, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), while forwarding a message that was to cover all ages and all people, acted wisely in the difficult task of establishing communication with the first addresses; he chose methods that were in accordance with their concepts and thoughts, their perceptions and abilities.

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