Tuesday, July 15, 2008

France rejects veiled Muslim wife

hmmm, not exactly sure what to think of this. The French accuse this woman of "insufficient assimilation" but is that really any reason to deny her citizenship?! On the other hand, she's living a life (according to this small article) in seclusion and as a servant to her in laws, not a life of dawah in a non-Muslim country, I mean how much dawah can you do with your face covered?

Page last updated at 19:34 GMT, Saturday, 12 July 2008 20:34 UK
France rejects veiled Muslim wife

Faiza M was described to be living "virtually as a recluse"
A French court has denied citizenship to a Muslim woman from Morocco, ruling that her practice of "radical" Islam is not compatible with French values.
The 32-year-old woman, known as Faiza M, has lived in France since 2000 with her husband - a French national - and their three French-born children.
Social services reports said the burqa-wearing Faiza M lived in "total submission to her male relatives".
Faiza M said she has never challenged the fundamental values of France.
Her initial application for French citizenship was rejected in 2005 on the grounds of "insufficient assimilation" into France.
She appealed, and late last month the Conseil d'Etat, France's highest administrative body which also acts as a high court, upheld the decision to deny her citizenship.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


by Yahya Emerick
"Islam teaches that wudu is done this way." The man said confidently.
"But you're wrong," the young man replied. "That's totally against the laws of Islam."
"But it says in a hadith that." The older man started saying.
"That's a weak hadith!" The younger man interrupted.
"Oh Yeah! What's your daleel (proof)? I read in a book that the blessed prophet said to"
By this time both men were fuming. The young man screamed, "I read in a book, too, that"
But before he could finish his sentence, the older brother pushed him and he pushed back. A fight would ensued if some quick-thinking brothers nearby didn't break it up.
The two brothers eyed each other angrily and left in opposite directions. Those who remained just shook their heads in silence. Here were two brothers ready to fight over a difference of opinion.
The funny thing was, they both were right. They just didn't know how to handle a difference of opinion. The blessed prophet once remarked, "Difference (of opinion) in my Ummah are a blessing."
He didn't mean that Muslims should argue about everything or be divided, rather, he was pointing out that it was good for Muslims to think, to reason together, to discuss things and that if they disagreed over something, that it was all in the pursuit of knowledge. If anyone uses differences of opinion to form competing groups, then they have done wrong and may find themselves in trouble on the day of judgment!
Allah is very harsh against those who make divisions. He said, "And be not like those who split up their way of life and become mere sects, each group rejoicing in what it (claims) it has." (Qur`an 30:31-32).
Also he said, "As for those who divide their way of life and break up into sects, you have no part of them at all. Their affair is with Allah. He will tell them the truth of what they did in the end." (Qur`an 6:159).
Once the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), said that the Jews divided up into 71 sects, or groups, the Christians into 72 and that his community would eventually divided up into 73. Then he said they would all be in the fire except one. When the people around him asked which one was going to Paradise, he replied that it was the one which would follow his example.
We are blessed as a community in that we have our original book and the complete record of the life of our prophet. If anyone comes and says, "This or that is Islam," we can easily check and verify whether or not it's true. If it doesn't come from the Qur'an or Hadith, then it can't be Islam. So we must use those two sources to explain what Islam really is. Sincere people seek to learn and practice the truth and Allah guides those who seek him. Anything else is opinion.
On many occasions Muslims have disagreed over what something means or what to do. The key is to follow the Islamic manners of how to deal with differences. We don't have to agree all the time, but we don't fight over disagreements as if we were enemies. And if we are truly wrong and realize it, we must not stick to a false position out of pride or fear of "losing."
An arrogant person refuses to accept logic and a proud and vain person never likes to listen to guidance. In contrast, the Qur'an states, "Those who, when they hear the signs of Allah being recited, humble themselves" So be humble where knowledge is concerned.
Before the battle of Khandaq, the Muslims had to decide what to do. Some wanted to go out and fight while others wanted to stay in the city and defend from there. The prophet listened to both sides and in the end, he agreed with those who wanted to defend from the city. He didn't barge in with his own personal preferences nor did the Shura, or group discussion, become heated and full of antagonism. People disagreed over an issue but united after a majority decision was taken.
Allah, the exalted, gave us a formula for dealing with differences when he said in the Qur`an that this book is Al Furqan, the standard to go by. And further he instructed us to follow the example of the blessed prophet (Qur`an 33:21)
If we have a disagreement, especially between the followers of one Madhab (School of Fiqh) and another, we must respect each other's opinions and present our evidence. In the end, even if neither side proves a point, we must be courteous and respectful. If we find our position is wrong, then we would be a fool to stick with something that is not true. Simply say, "Alhumdulillah," and thank the brother or sister for helping you to understand Allah's Shari'ah better. Khalifa 'Umar once said, "Allah bless the person who makes me a gift of my own faults."
I've seen countless showdowns between people with different opinions in which the end-result was ill will and hurt feelings. What's even worse is that such a display of rude behavior on the part of people who are supposed to know Islam makes other Muslims shy away from the Masjid and Muslim gatherings. It has an even worse effect on new converts and potential converts. Muslims handle their differences with proper adab, or manners.
I still remember an inter-faith dialogue meeting I sat in on several years ago. There were about ten Muslims, ten Jews, and fifteen Christians. Over the course of several hours, it became obvious to all that the Jews present were completely disunited, to the point that secular Jew were arguing with the orthodox who were in turn calling the reform Jew fakes.
The Christians, who represented at least ten different sects, fared no better. They disagreed on just about everything when topics in their religion came up. Two Christians even got into an intellectual duel which lasted almost fifteen minutes. The moderator, who was a Lutheran preacher, saw that his forum was descending into chaos. So he tried to get the Muslims to go at each other's throats also to deflect from the obvious disunity among the Jews and Christians present.
He brought up the old Sunni-Shi'a issues and tried to make disunity among Muslims, the primary topic of the gathering. None of us Muslims, about seven men and three women, had ever met before. We came from different regions of the metropolitan area. Three had identified themselves as Shi'a on the names list we all had. I wondered what would happen.
To my great relief, no matter which Muslim spoke, male or female, Sunni or Shi'a, we were all talking with one voice. We agreed on practically everything and felt a tremendous feeling of victory in our hearts. Despite the preacher's repeated accusations, insinuations, biting remarks and finally, obvious attempts to divide us, we united as one and handled any differences respectfully and wisely. We had no shouting matches, no glaring differences or understandings. Indeed, after the meeting we knew we were all brothers and sisters while the Christians and Jews kept their distance from each other. They were pairing up with us to talk in the social time.
When we have differences, we must not forget that it does not take away from our primary bonds of Iman. On one occasion, Khalid ibn Walid and Saad ibn Waqqas were having a heated argument. After Khalid left, a friend of Saad's started saying bad things about Khalid. Saad immediately stopped the man and told him, "The disagreement between us does not affect the bond of our Iman." (From: God-Oriented Life)
Once 'Umar ibn al-Khattab, who was the Khalifa, or political leader, went up to a person he disliked and told him to his face, "I don't like you." The person merely answered back, "Are you going to take away my rights?" Umar replied, "I don't like you, but I will respect your rights." Clearly, that is the best example for us to follow with regards to dealing with the differences among us.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

I Hate my neighbours

I know this is completely unIslamic for me to be talking about people like this but I'm 7 months pregnant and it's a million degrees out, I really just need to vent.
It seems to me like people these days just don't know how to raise their children, it's like they are afraid to discipline them, either that or they're just too lazy. Everyday I have to listen to the kids next door scream and cry ( what miserable little brats ). Unfortunately these kids belong to the owner of the house and it's either we move out or put up with it, moving out would be great, but at the moment is a little difficult. Something I found out first hand while in Syria, was that people like this will never change and they lack any ounce of respect. To add to this daily frustration, yesterday the neighbours came home at 10:30pm and decided since they don't have to work the next day it must not be too late to let their little brats run up and down the stairs and scream for half and hour. Then at 12:30 am they decided they haven't made enough noise yet so they stood by our bedroom wall only to have some loud conversation with their weekend guests. Having had enough of their ignorance my husband called the owners cell, but to no avail, we politely tapped on the wall to get our point across, I mean if we can hear them they can certainly hear us. These people just couldn't take a hint, my husband finally went down stairs and knocked about 10 times on their door....no answer, and as he looked up he saw all those loud people looking back at him like he had no business knocking on their door so late. I don't think they ever got the hint because this morning what did I wake up too, the miserable kid crying it's brains out. Common sense people, you don't give your kid enough sleep of course they are going to be grouchy miserable little unhappy brats.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Urgency of The Da'wah

Dawah Is something that is seriously lacking, while where I live at least. We have days where the mosque will have an open house and once a year the MSA will put on an Islamic Cultural expo, but I think we need to do more, classes on Islam should be held at community centers not just at expensive universities. Mosque's should have community events, not just for the Muslim community, but for the general population of the community. I grew up going to Sunday school in the church and have seen all that they do to welcome people to Christianity, fairs and weekly charities were a common thing and attracted many people. InshAllah one day the mosques will do the same, for now I found this article very interesting, enjoy!
Urgency of The Da'wah
Allah (swt) says: "Say, This is my way: I call to Allah with sure knowledge, I and whosoever follows me. and Glorified and Exalted is Allah. And I am not of the Mushrikeen" [Yusuf:108]Carrying the Dawah is the task of Prophets. It is of the best and most honourable deeds. Allah (SWT) says: "Who is better in speech than the one who calls (men) to Allah, works righteousness, and says I am one the Muslims ?" [Fussilat:33]For the believers who possess the Islamic Aqeeda, the current world we are living in should agitate them to carry the guidance that they posses so that it becomes established and removes the evils that are drowning the world. This will lead to a blazing passion and urgency for the Dawah. Our lowly situation will not be reversed without our actions, it is the actions of the Dawah that lead to change and open the path to revival. When our mothers and sisters cry out in Iraq or Palestine from the pain inflicted upon them by the aggressors, when a fighter cries out in Chechnia and Afghanistan due to being bombarded, when the child in Darfur has tears of pain and hunger streaming down his face. It us that must respond to this call because today there is no Khalifah like al-Mu'tasim to rescue the women of the Ummah, there is no Umar bin al Khattab to send food for the hungry, there is no Salahudeen to protect the Islamic lands. Rather today it is us who are the guardians of this Ummah and who are responsible to bring back the protection, honour and might to this Ummah by re-establishing the Khilafah, the shade of Allah (swt) on the earth.Allah (swt) entrusted us to be the witnesses over humanity, He (swt) says: “We have made you the best nation to be witnesses over mankind. And the Messenger as a witness over you.” [Al-Baqarah:143]Indeed it is a great responsibility, the entire world and its problems rests upon our shoulders. But remember together with responsibility comes reward and with reward comes Jannah.Hasan al Basri narrated that Allah's Messenger (saw) said: "He whom death overtakes while he is engaged in acquiring knowledge with a view to reviving Islam with the help of it, there will be one degree between him and the Prophets in Paradise." [Al-Tirmidhi]Anas narrated that our beloved Prophet Muhammad (saw) said: "There is some people in my Ummah that they are rewarded like the reward of the beginners of this Ummah; this is because they are forbidding what is wrong" [Musnad Ahmad] Let us be these people by enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong. The Dawah should never become a tiny flickering flame in our hearts so that we become slow in carrying it. The burning urgency of the situation of the Ummah generates the roaring fire in the heart of the believer, this should never dissipate turning us into passive beings hesitant in the actions of the Dawah rather than being the inspirational leaders of it. This disease is one implanted by the Shaytan, it is his call to transform the energetic into the lazy, the active into the passive and the Dawah carrier into the lifeless drone. Indeed laziness, isolation, despair and defeatism are among the calls of Shaytan and he is trying relentlessly to lure the Dawah carriers away from the Deen and the Dawah. Allah (swt) mentioned that the Shaytan, Iblis said: "I will make the wrong fair seeming to the believers".Therefore we must banish the Shaytan and all his whispering from our hearts and minds. Allah (swt) says:“Say: I seek refuge with the Lord of mankind, the King of Mankind, the God of mankind, from the evil of the sneaking whisperer who whispers into the hearts of mankind.” [An-Naas: 1-5]The pace of the Dawah must be faster than our heart beats as it is more important than our interests and our blood, it is something that should awaken the sleeping and make the walking run.The Prophet (saw) was most truthful when he (saw) said: “The grinding wheel of Islam is turning. So, turn with it wherever it turns.” [Tabarani]
Abu Ismael

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Today Sucks!!!

Today is a really shitty day, it's now been a year since a friend of mine that I've known since I was 7 passed away. All my other friends that knew her are in another city and I really wish I was there with them, like we were last year. This friend never judged me, even when I told her I was getting married at 19 to someone who could have very well used me for citizenship purposes ( thank God, I really don't have to worry about that). Instead this person threw me a wedding party, and invited everyone I knew. She was sweet and loving and did so much for others. She was able to travel and teach and absorb another culture. If there is one thing I will regret for my entire life is that we drifted apart during the last few years of her life and for that I'm truly sorry. Good friends are hard to find, and they can never be replaced.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sects are HARAM in Islam

Jum'a Khutba: Islam vs. the Sects
The topic of my discussion today is about unity among Muslims. As we all know, Muslims are a very divided people. The existence of 57 Muslim nations instead of one bears witness to this unfortunate fact. We find all the excuses in the world to create division amongst ourselves. We divide ourselves on according to race, sect, our pre-Islamic cultures, political opinions, ancestry and even on the imams we follow! Brothers and sisters, none of these excuses for separation are considered valid by Allah, and therefore we should not consider them valid either.
A good Muslim is one who is without denomination, faction, or any other special loyalty. The prophet (SAWS), in his final speech to the whole Ummah, said that between Muslims, there are no races or tribes. We have divided the Ummah which our nabi (SAWS) tried so hard to keep together. Allah warns us, in verse 105 of surah #3 not to allow ourselves to dissociate. The verse reads:

The approximate meaning in English is:"And be not like those who are divided amongst themselves and fall into disputations after receiving clear signs: for them is a dreadful punishment in store".
Islam, being a flexible religion, allows for a variety of opinions and customs, as long as they do not contradict the religion. As mentioned, religious disagreements between the so-called sects of Islam can be resolved by turning to the Quran, not by segregation. The Quran is the book of guidance for ALL OF mankind. How can we convince anyone of this if we cannot even be united amongst ourselves! We are making a mockery of ourselves to non-muslims by refusing to follow the simple instructions of our own holy book! Allah's disapproval of disunity among Muslims is evident in verse 103 of surat Al-Imran:
The approximate meaning is:And hold fast, all of you, to the rope of Allah, and do not separate. And remember Allah's favour unto you: how you were enemies and He made friendship between your hearts so that you became brothers by His grace: and how you were upon the brink of an abyss fire, and He did save you from it.
Thus, Allah maketh clear His revelations unto you that haply you may be guided.
The ayah refers to how the Meccans and Medinians were united by the grace of Allah. This example illustrates how Islam was, and should still be, a uniting force between Muslims despite any superficial differences which may exist between us. The ayah also tells us that the Quran contains very clear guidance. Given that, there is no reason why any two Muslims should not practice Islam the same way, the way Allah has instructed.
The most shameful division among Muslims is that of denomination; the major ones being sunni, sheea, and ismaeli. These are all artificial divisions which have absolutely nothing to do with Allahs revealed deen. Who are we to cut up Allahs deen into little pieces, especially when Allah has forbidden us to do so? This is a crime committed by nearly 1 billion Muslims. A study of the history of these sects reveals that they were created PURELY by political disagreements. Later, innovations in religion lead to religious differences. An honest study of the Quran easily reveals these innovations (which I will not mention for the time being, due to time constraints). Nowhere in the Quran is there any mention of sunni, sheea, or ismaeli, and so we must make these terms alien to our vocabulary!
The Quran is very clear in this matter. Allah has declared that sectarianism is Haram. As Muslims, we are prohibited even from involvement with people who restrict themselves to a so-called subdivision of Islam. This point is mentioned in verse 159 of surah #6:
As for those who divide their religion and break up into sects, thou hast NO PART IN THEM IN THE LEAST, their affair is with Allah, He will in the end tell them the truth of all that they did.
It is interesting to note that when Quran refers to those who will inhabit the jahannam, Allah often mentions that they will see the truth of all that they did or that they will receive just treatment for all that they used to do. These endings are never mentioned for those people who will enter Paradise. They are reserved especially for the sinners; those sinners who will be punished. So you be the judge: What do you think is in store for those people just described? Verses 27-28 of surah #45 of the Quran make this comparison too, but they also stress that on the Day of Judgment, followers of all sects will be in the same category. These verses read as follows:
...The Day that the Hour of Judgment is established, that day will the dealers in falsehood perish, and thou will see EVERY sect bowing the knee, every sect will be called to its record: This day shall ye be recompensed for all that ye did.
It is obvious that sinners are being described. Bowing the knee is a phrase used to describe the position of the wrongdoers on the Day of Judgment. In the example given, the sinners are those people who claim loyalty to ANY so-called sect of Islam.
A Muslim is defined as one who follows the religion of Allah, Al-Islam. Divisions exist to separate differences. If we divide ourselves, it is due either to some worldly difference between us or a difference in faith (as mentioned, neither is justifiable). A deliberate alteration of faith does not create a sect of Islam, it creates a distinct faith which the followers may claim to be a sect of Islam. Thus, there is a great danger involved in attributing oneself to one of the many so-called sects of Islam. Loyalty is allowed only for Allah, His messenger, and to those people who claim loyalty to Allah and his Messenger (SAWS) (i.e. the Muslims). Those of us who declare loyalty to a specific sect had better beware; sect of Islam is a contradiction of terms. You can have one or the other, not both! In accord with this, verse 32 of surah #30 of the Quran reads:

And be not like those who join gods with Allah, those who split up their religion and become (mere) sects, each party rejoicing in that which is with itself!
The words, "that which is with itself" refer to those differences which people use to justify their separation from Islam. Notice that polytheism, the greatest sin, is prohibited along side with division of religion. This pairing, like everything else in the Quran, is deliberate. It is meant to demonstrate the magnitude of this crime.
All of us must refuse to attribute ourselves to any of the man made divisions of Islam. If anyone asks you if you are Sunni, or Sheea, tell them that you are a Muslim, who believes in the seven beliefs, and practices the five pillars. Tell them that you strive to live according to the way Allah has instructed in the Quran.
Take a moment to reflect upon these questions: To what sect did Mohammed (SAWS) belong to? Whose example was the best example of how a Muslim should live his/her life? If the prophet (SAWS) were alive today, what would his opinion be on this subject? Should we, being followers of Islam, not try to keep our opinion consistent with the prophets (SAWS)? How can a non-Muslim be attracted to Islam knowing that there are so many versions of it, and if a non-Muslim decides to embrace Islam, wouldn't his/her joining of a sect ruin such a beautiful decision? During the time of our beloved prophet (SAWS), Muslims called themselves just that, Muslims. Nobody was a Sheea, or a Bohra, or an Ahmedi, or a Sunni, or an Ismaeli, or a Qadiani or a Duruz, or a Bahai, or an Ansarullah, or anything. All Muslims were equal. Everyone proudly proclaimed the Shahada:
Ash-hadu Allaa ilaaha ill-Allahu WaHdahu laa shareeka lah, wa Ash-hadu Anna MuHammadan abduhu wa rasooluh!
I now call upon all of you to immediately renounce any special religious loyalty which you may posses. For the love of Allah, the one who created you and blessed you with his deen, forget that you belong to any group and be proud that you are Muslim. And renouncing the sect is not enough if we continue to practice Islam with our differences. We must investigate what caused the formation of the sect and what characteristics of the sect are incompatible with Islam. We must seek knowledge of our religion in order to practice it as perfectly as we are capable. It is obvious that anyone who belongs to a sect and claims to be Muslim believes that their sect represents true Islam. I have two things to say to that. First of all, merely labeling oneself as one kind of Muslim or another is Haram as it is division in the most direct sense. Secondly, look up the date the Islam was revealed and then look up the date that your sect of the religion was born. After finding that they are not equal, dont even dare to claim that your sect is true Islam. That would be an insult to the Rasoolullah (SAWS).
As a final reminder, I will introduce another quote from the Holy Quran that again points to the fact that unity among Muslims is an indispensable, fundamental part of Islam:
The approximate meaning is:"Verily, you are one Ummah. I am your Lord, worship me"

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Are Islamic Forums Really Islamic? Do Muslims Act UnIslamic?

I have been a Muslim for over two years now. Whilst I am deeply satisfied with Islam on an intellectual and theological level, much too often I have been far from happy in my experiences with fellow Muslims on a practical level. I have faced considerable difficulties in my attempts to develop as a Muslim. Although I have made the acquaintance of many Muslims, this has been mostly only on a superficial level. I have to admit when I first converted to Islam the first thing I did was look for friends and information online. I went to "Islamic forums" and joined some yahoo groups thinking it was the best way to find the Muslim community. Well I should have gone somewhere else because both of these online communities turned out to be a very big mistake. In the yahoo group I joined I found myself sticking up for a new sister who had a dog, only to be attacked by another member who said I wasn't a Muslim and should say my shahada over again because nothing would be accepted of me, the moderators of that group let this woman publish all her hatred towards me and my opinion not even caring that I had just become a Muslim a few months back and was still learning. The forums if anything were much worse. The first forum I ended up joining was not moderated and had people putting Islam down using the most unintellectual words I have ever heard in my life, as well there were people airing their dirty laundry around about their husbands or boyfriends and that was coming from Muslims!!!! I went back to that site to see if anything has changed, only to find out it was closed, thank God!! You see even though that was a horrid site, I did meet 2 wonderful people there, unfortunately one of them I completely lost contact with. I moved on to other forums, I will not name them but I will say that it became very disheartening when I was seeing topics called "Deviated Sects, And Callers" and threads such as "Protect Yourself Against Suffism and Sufis", and "What Happens to Women Without Hijab".
There are many excellent sites out there, but I would caution the new Muslim not to accept the information on all sites blindly, particularly if they have an arrogant, strident or unpleasant tone or stray from plain facts and concentrate on controversial opinion or on an overtly political agenda. I would also urge new Muslims to avoid email forums or chat rooms about Islam absolutely. There are some nasty people lurking there - self-styled pseudo scholars preaching hellfire, doling out personal abuse and decrying sincere Muslims as non-believers. I was left utterly demoralized at one time and very, very angry on several occasions. I have now unsubscribed from all such forums. New Muslims should keep in mind the Hadith: "Verily, Allah is mild and is fond of mildness, and He gives to the mild what He does not give to the harsh." (Muslim) If a website or e-group you come across is far removed from the above, then remove yourself from it! There are also nice, well-meaning people who offer advice about matters of faith and practice without being in any way qualified to do so. If they get things wrong, they could unwittingly be leading the uninitiated astray and doing more harm than good. Be wary of accepting anything without a quotation from the Quran or authenticated hadith to back it up. Having said that, if it is one of the nasty brigade who has come seemingly armed with references, firstly check the actual quotation in your Quran. Have they really only quoted what is there or have they embellished it with their own interpretation? It happens. And, if the quotation is genuine but sounds harsh to your ears, then use a commentary to become aware of the context in which the verse was revealed. Read widely. For every hard-line, unpleasant interpretation, there is usually a mild one from a serious writer or scholar. Based on my personal experience, my advice either to new Muslims or anyone considering the possibility of accepting Islam would be simply to judge a religion not by its adherents, many of whom may fall far short of the ideal in a variety of ways (and I include myself in that!), but rather by the theology and teachings of the religion itself. Only a handful of people have been of any help to me and quite a few hard-line politicos and joyless, uptight puritans have been a real hindrance. However, despite my great disappointment at both the lack of organized support available to new Muslims rather than God-centered Islam so prevalent today, plus my intense dislike of the nasty behavior and attitudes of some of the Muslims I have encountered in person but mostly online, I have most definitely found in the religion of Islam an intellectual and theological satisfaction that I never knew in Christianity. And at the end of the day, one's beliefs about God are what truly matters.