What to do at the Time of Natural Catastrophes?

by Shaykh Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

Everyone is aware of the devastation that natural disasters bring with them. Many lose their lives, hundreds of thousands lose relatives, entire communities are wiped out and countless buildings and properties are destroyed. Thousands, even millions are left homeless, having lost everything they once owned, living under open skies with nothing to eat and cover themselves with. Even after the calamity has subsided, the death toll continues to increase with the spread of disease. Read more

Islamic Tarbiyah: An education perspective

Tarbiyah of our children

By: Ummu Abdir Rahman
Al-Ihsaan Institute

Tarbiyah is the art of training our human natures appropriately at various levels and in different situations to help in the complete growth of a person’s disposition. In this article we will discuss tarbiyah of our children from an educational perspective.

The following are some practices, which if adopted, would instill a proper routine and method of assisting our children in their school work as well as Maktab and madrasa learning In-sha-Allah.

  1. For the sake of Allah – Teach your children that everything they do should be done for the pleasure and love of Allah Subhaana wa Ta’ala, in such a way they would not develop of seeking pride over their actions. Rather, their love would grow towards doing actions for Allah’s acceptance, charity, good deeds and humility. This is a discipline which many adults lack. Therefore to have your child grow up with the mind-set and values of seeking Allah’s pleasure in everything, is a foundation every parent would want for the success of their children.

back to school

  1. Set an example: speaking properly –Children are likely to imitate the parents in their behaviour whether that behaviour is unhealthy, damaging or decent, uprigh
    t and well-behaved. The minds of children are like sponges, in that they absorb quickly and plentiful. One important aspect to give attention to is that of speaking properly,
    with proper grammar and etiquette. If this is implemented from an early age then it makes it easy for your child to adopt grammar skills as well as to display proper mannerism.
  1. Encourage Reading – Make it a house rule to spend some time reading together whether it is Ta’leem, reading from a book of hadith, learning duas, surah, learning about the stories of the Prophets or Sahabah etc. In this way your child will learn that:
    1. Reading is important and should be encouraged.
    2. Family time is something to cherish and make an effort towards.
    3. The topic being read is important and to be practiced upon.
    4. There are many lessons that can be learnt from different situations.
    5. Books are a respectable source of knowledge which we learn from.
  1. Parents should be involved – When parents keep a positive interest in their child’s schooling, we find the child grasping the many concepts and subjects being taught at school better. Subsequently, they excel at learning. Parents being involved means helping with homework, revision, supervision as well as spending quality time with them. It is particularly important to spend some time doing revision of the day’s lessons to reiterate the concepts learnt, for a better understanding and memorization.
  1. Proper Time Management – children need predictability, structure and guidelines, as these give them a sense of security and order in the world. By having a routine and time for different things the child would understand that the world is not to be lived in an unruly manner, but there are guidelines and directions to be followed.
    1. Bedtime – Setting and following a bedtime routine allows sufficient time for the child to rest and rejuvenate for the events of the next day. Without a proper bedtime, we find that children tend to become sleepy and lethargic during the school day. So much so, that learning becomes decelerated and attending school becomes laborious and exhausting for the child.
    2. Morning Routine – So too, in having a morning routine, the child understands that there is a certain order and time for things to be accomplished. Thus creating a manner of discipline from an early age. The school day is scheduled by order and allotted times, therefore the concept would not be foreign to the child, but instead, they would be already accustomed to organisation and orderliness.
  1. Extra-Curricular Activities – Get your children involved in after school programs or even weekend programs such as Maktab, exercise, reading club, outdoor sports etc. so that their time is not spent doing unproductive things like watching television or playing video games. Encourage them to become active, thereby working their brains as well as their bodies. This will help them to lead a healthier lifestyle whilst using the favours they have received from Allah Ta’ala beneficially. In that way, they will be able to focus and concentrate better at school and for learning on a whole.

These are just a few guidelines to assist us in making the Tarbiyah of our children a bit easier, whilst executing our duties as parents and eventually reap utmost reward from our Creator In-sha-Allah. May Allah Subhaana wa Ta’ala give us the ability and the guidance to fulfil the rights of our children upon them. Ameen….

 

 

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF THE BELOVED PROPHET ﷺ

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF THE BELOVED PROPHET ﷺ

By: Mufti Hanif Patel

MORNING

Prophet Muhammad (peace and salutations be upon him) would wake up after his dawn nap at the call to prayer by Bilal RA. He would use the siwak (miswak), say his supplication, perform ablution and offer two rakats of sunnah of Fajr prayer. He would then lie down on his right side for a short while. When the people had gathered<!--more-->, Bilal RA would stand close to the Prophets house and inform him. As the Prophet (peace be upon him) would enter the mosque, Bilal RA would call the iqamah and the companions would assemble in rows and would be led in prayer by the Prophet.

The Prophet PBUH would then observe his Fajr prayer with the congregation followed by remembering Allah and supplicating to Him. The Prophet would then sit cross-legged facing his companions in the mosque until sunrise. He would sometimes ask his companions to narrate to him if any of them had a dream. He would hear the dream and provide his interpretation. Sometimes, he would relate his own vision and himself provide the interpretation. The companions would occasionally narrate tales of pre-Islamic period, recite encomiums and couplets and, with due regard, share humour. The prophet would listen to his companions and smile with them.

Thereafter, the Prophet PBUH would offer Ishraq prayer. Often at this time he used to distribute the booty as well as stipends to the people. Thereafter the meeting would be dispersed and the Prophet would proceed to the apartment of that wife whose day it was. The Prophet would then go on his morning round to visit his wives. When the sun sufficiently went up, the prophet would observe Dhuha prayer. After that, he would return to the Masjid and sit with his companions settling personal matters, deciding disputes and imparting religious education. This time was known by everyone to come and visit the Prophet if they had any queries or required anything from him. The people would bring to him their new born babies or a new harvest for him to pray upon. The Prophet would receive delegations and greet them and enquire of their conditions. He would occasionally pay visits to his daughter and grandsons, or some of his relatives and companions, or he would engage himself in the service of his family and completed his own chores such as repairing his shoes, milking the animals and helping in the home. At noon, he would have his nap prior to Zuhr prayer (to allow his body to rest and be active and ready for night prayers). He sometimes took meals twice a day and mostly only once a day which was before this siesta. He would eat with a group of his companions sharing from a single big dish. However, on Fridays, he and his companions would only take a nap after Friday prayers followed by meal.

NOON

After waking up and observing the Zuhr prayer in the congregation, the Prophet PBUH would generally address his congregation if something had happened. He would return home (which was adjacent to the masjid) to observe the voluntary prayer. He would then once again sit with his companions and attend to their needs. It is also now that the Prophet would visit the markets of Madinah Tayyibah, attend to some business, look into the dealings of shopkeepers, examine their merchandise, inspect their weighing and measuring tools and, if during the visit any individual required his help, he attended to their needs.

AFTERNOON

After observing Asr prayer in the congregation, the Prophet PBUH would make his evening round, visiting the apartments of each of his wives, enquiring their welfare, and staying with each of them for a short while. This he did so regularly so that every one of them realised how much he valued each of them, time and punctuality. The Prophet would spend this time to relax with his family.

EVENING

After having observed Maghrib prayer early in congregation, the Prophet PBUH would go to that wife`s apartment whose turn it was for him to pass the night by and he would stay there and observe sunnah and awwabin prayers. Mostly, all the wives came over there; as also other ladies of Madinah Tayyibah gathered there for at this time the Prophet would impart religious teachings to the women. In short, this was the madrasah for the women where they used to have lessons in religion from the Prophet. Here the women used to put forward their cases, difficulties and complaints and he would solve them. The Prophet would sometimes eat his dinner at this time. However, at times, there would be nothing but dates and water and months would pass and no food would be cooked in any of the houses of Prophet. Thereafter the Prophet would go to the mosque for Isha prayer.

NIGHT

After observing Isha prayer with congregation, the Prophet PBUH would return to the apartment where he had to pass that night and he would lie down on his bed. He would sometimes go to visit some of his companions discussing the affairs of the community. However, he would return early and sleep until midnight. He always slept on his right side and generally placed his right hand under his cheek, facing towards the qiblah. He kept a siwak (miswak) at the head of the bed which he would use before going to sleep and on waking up. While going to sleep, he would recite specific chapters from the Quran and blow on the hands and wipe them from head to foot. . He would perform ablution, use siwak and slept until midnight. Upon waking up, he used to mildly rub the face and eyes with hands, supplicate to Allah, apply the siwak, perform ablution and observe Tahajjud prayer. He would spend about one-third of his night in praying, supplicating, reciting and in prostrating. The Prophet would then wake his wife and they would observe the witr prayer. Thereafter he would take rest and lay down when only one-sixth of the night remained. The call to prayer for Fajr would then wake up the Prophet from his dawn nap. This was his daily routine. ﷺ

courtesy: askourimam.com

Whats with all this texting, forwarding, coping and pasting craze??


Using Social Media and Technology Responsibly

By: Shaykh-ul-Hadīth, Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

A key feature of the era we live in is the rapid development of technology and the continuous impact this has on our lives, both in terms of the way we live and how we spend our time. As Muslims we understand that the purpose of our lifesocial-media-connection
is to acquire the pleasure of Allāh ta‘ālā, by spending each moment of our life in accordance with His commands. As Allāhta‘ālā is the All Knowing, He was completely aware of all material and technological developments that
His servants would witness when He revealed the Glorious Qur’ā
n and showed us its practical application through the blessed life of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam. Therefore, Alhamdulillāh, Allāhta‘ālā has equipped the ‘Ulamā until the last day with the tools to guide the Ummah on how it should use any new developments, whilst not forgetting its ultimate objective.

A significant phenomenon of our time is the emergence and widespread use of the internet and smartphones which has led to new methods of communication, such as social media and email. Whilst social media and email has led to a revival of reading and writing, often the content and quality is highly questionable. Therefore, one must be mindful not to fall prey to the harmful aspects of these mediums, for example using them to engage in, or even publicise, acts of disobedience to Allāhta‘ālā.
My objective is to outline some guidance for those who use the internet and smartphones, specifically in relation to messaging, email and using social media applications such as WhatsApp and Facebook. By sharing with readers some essential Islāmic teachings in this regard, inshā’allāh, we will be able to use technology productively, safeguarding ourselves from harmful activities.

Forwarding Messages Requires Precaution

A common trend upon receiving a message is the thoughtless and endemic usage of the ‘forward’ button. Messages are instantly forwarded to others, without proper understanding of its content nor consideration for the recipients. Many messages received are vague in nature; the truth behind them being seldom known. To spread a message without substantiating its content is very detrimental and could lead to sin, as to forward a lie is to spread a lie and be in support of it. Messages should never be shared until the content is verified and authenticated. False news or incorrect information regarding any matter can cause others unnecessary worry and concern, and will be tantamount to spreading a lie. Our Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said:

To narrate whatever one hears is enough for an individual to be considered a liar. (Muslim)

More Precaution for ‘Islāmic’ Messages

Messages of an Islāmic nature demand even more precaution. Verses of the Glorious Qur’ān and ahādīth of our beloved Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam with their translations are often carelessly miswritten or many times are sheer falsehood; yet are haphazardly forwarded and shared on social media. Messages promising fabricated virtues for baseless actions are shared with a caption to forward to as many as possible. At times emotional blackmail and false threats are also included, ‘if you do not forward this message to at least x amount of people then such and such shall happen to you’, naturally all such messages are a complete sham. Our Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam warned us:
Whosoever speaks about the Qur’ān without knowledge should take his place in the Fire. (At-Tirmidhī)
In another hadīth he sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam mentions:
A lie against me is not similar to a lie against any (normal) individual; whosoever lies regarding me should take his place in the Fire. (Al-Bukhārī)
One should be precautious when forwarding messages with seemingly Islāmic teachings without being completely sure of their authenticity or else such grave warnings await us. Once authenticated, messages maybe thoughtfully shared.

Permission to Share?

At times, messages are of a personal nature; information or news regarding a certain individual or institution or even a country. One should contemplate before forwarding whether the sender or those whom the information is regarding would consent for the details to be shared with others? Has specific permission been granted to forward and spread the message? If not, then it would be totally unethical and in many cases a sin to do so.

A Beneficial Message?

If we stand back and objectively reflect, we will conclude that a large percentage of emails and messages received on social media applications are of a futile nature. Our Dīn encourages engagement in prosperous activities and to avoid spending invaluable time and energy on any endeavours which are of no avail or in some instances harmful. Our beloved Nabīsallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said:

It is from the excellence of an individual’s Islām that he leaves Lā ya‘nī (those things which do not benefit him). (Abū Dāwūd)

The Islāmic teaching regarding futility is eloquently set out in the hadīth above. One must contemplate before writing or forwarding any message, “Is it of any benefit in this world or the hereafter?” If the conclusion is negative, then this is a futile action which every Muslim should abstain from. Furthermore, sending or forwarding messages of such a nature may become the cause of others engaging in futility as well. Futility is in essence a waste of time and energy. Whilst one may ask what is the harm if a futile action is mubāh (permitted); it is akin to receiving a gift of £100 and thereafter throwing it down the gutter. Any reasonable person would be shocked and amazed at such an action, as whilst no apparent harm was suffered, the benefit that should have been achieved wasn’t and so in reality there has been a loss. Futility also brings one to the boundary of sin and therefore it is best to avoid, as it can easily lead to disobedience directly or indirectly through other actions which may follow. May Allāh ta‘ālā save us.

A Clear Message?
If all the above guidelines are dutifully met, then one should finally consider whether a message will cause any misunderstanding or misconception amongst those who receive it? After all it is an Islāmic principle and also a general etiquette of life, to always consider whether sharing information has the potential to cause a misunderstanding. Ibn Mas‘ūdradhiyallāhu ‘anhu mentions:
Whenever you speak to people regarding something which is beyond their intellect, it will surely be a means of fitnah (tribulation) for some of them. (Muslim)
If one is unsure or even has the slightest doubt whether a certain message could cause a misunderstanding, then it should not be shared. We should be extremely careful and considerate in this regard, as this will bring peace and comfort to all.  

Recording or Taking Photos without Permission

The use of technology to record private conversations of people without their permission is against the teachings of Islām. A person is generally informal when in private with one’s close associates and generally the topics discussed are within a specific context and with the relevant background known to those present. If excerpts from such conversations are shared, it can become the means of causing immense misunderstanding and result in serious consequences. One should respect the privacy of others when in private environments and only record their voices when clear permission is granted. The same principle applies to taking photography or video filming at a private or an informal gathering.

Photography & Video Filming: Respecting the View of Others

It is widely known that there is a difference of opinion amongst the ‘Ulamā regarding video filming and photography; some adopt the view of permissibility whilst others take a precautious stance. To make a video of or to take a picture of someone who holds the latter view is extremely unfair and discourteous. This is tantamount to open disrespect for the personal view of that individual and gravely inconsiderate.
I would appeal to my readers to pay due attention to the etiquettes mentioned above in relation to certain aspects of using technology and bring them into practice. May Allāh ta‘ālā grant us all the understanding of our beautiful religion and its all-encompassing teachings of pure and considerate morals and ethics. Āmīn.
© Riyādul Jannah (Vol. 25 No. 2, Feb 2016)

This Thing Called Parenting…

 

I’m looking for the manual— you know the one that tells you all about how to raise a kid?

Okay, so there’s no instruction booklet for raising children, but there’s still a responsibility to use all the resources we have, right? I’m the least qualified to be handing out parenting tips (I’m not even a parent!) but over the years, I’ve learnt a lot. So, here’s my tuppence worth.7b67f60b3ddcc9279a46b270fd2e16f68d99998d

  1. Duaa

First is a given. Never, ever, ever, underestimate
the power of Duaa. Making Duaa for your children even before you have them is the best place to start. What’s better, the Duaas are already in the Quraan and what more beautiful Duaas are there than the ones made by previous Prophets, who were friends of Allah ﷻ, for their own children? Be consistent in making Duaa for your children even if you think it’s trivial (full marks in exams?). And, if you really want something, then don’t miss Tahajjud Salah. If you don’t wake up to ask Allah ﷻ, The Most High, when He’s descended to the lowest heavens to listen to us, then you don’t really want it.

  1. Use the Manual we DO have!

Parenting is not something new and parents have had to adapt their methods and skills according to the generation of children. The Quraan and Sunnah are our guides so use this priceless tool! If you’re still unsure about certain things and how to go about them Islamically, speak to your local Imam for advice. We cannot ignore the Hadith about starting children praying at seven and then at fifteen, when our teenager would rather watch football than catch the last ten minutes of Asr, suddenly lash out at them about how hot the fire of Jahannam will be! There is wisdom in every command ordained upon this Ummah from Allah ﷻ and His Rasul ﷺ so let’s put our full trust in them.

If your child was to ask you a question, or ask for advice, open the Quraan and Sunnah with them and advise them through the lives of the Sahabah and Prophets (upon them all be peace). Let’s teach them to rely on our two greatest tools in every aspect of their lives.

  1. Role Model

You are your child’s very first iconic figure from the moment they are born. Children inherently absorb so many things parents don’t even mean for them to. They listen and see everything.  What they see is what they will do and to tell them, “Do as I say and not as I do,” is simply not good enough. If you pray where your child can see you, then soon enough they will mimic your movements even if they’re too young to understand what they’re doing. How happy my Nabi ﷺ would be to see such a sight! Take them to the Masjid from a young age and let them love being there! You are their focal point and their world when they are younger and they want to be just like you when they grow up (they usually change their minds later), so teach them through modelling everything you can whilst it lasts!

  1. Environment

Parents cannot create an environment of television, free-mixing etc., and then expect their children to be the Awliyaa of Allah ﷻ. C’mon, let’s get real. The environment parents raise their children in has to be conducive to raising strong leaders of the Ummah and plays one of the biggest roles in their upbringing. Get rid of your filthy magazines from your shelves and your music CD collections (no matter how rare of a collector’s item they are, they go). Create a routine where no one leaves the house without reciting some Quraan and make that a habit that they inculcate within them for the rest of their lives. Have a bookshelf in every room with age-suitable Islamic books for them to read. There’s enough reputable Islamic literature out there for everyone! Engage with them, learn with them and make it fun! Set aside a daily five minutes’ Halaqah and select a Hadith to talk about; have a weekly Prophet’s story time and make it exciting; have them research a topic and present it to the family as a weekend project. There is so much to do and to keep children busy no matter how old they are!

They must also feel safe. Being good parents doesn’t just mean catering to their physical needs, providing food and a roof over their heads. Parenting is so, so much more. If your child had an issue (and teenagers have an endless list of those), who is the first person they would turn to? Would it be you? Really? You want it to be you, but have you created an environment and relationship where they’d feel comfortable talking to you without having you lashing out some horrible punishment or rebuking them to the point where they’d never speak about another issue ever again? If parents can’t guide, then who will? Be their friend, their guide, their mentor, but draw the line. You’re the parent and if they forget that sometimes, remind ‘em who’s boss.

  1. Be Just

Children are quick to notice how their siblings are being treated in comparison to themselves and once they’ve established there’s some form of favouritism going on, it doesn’t end well. Never, ever favour any of your children over another. In simpler terms, the eldest doesn’t get the stick all the time and the youngest doesn’t have first dibs at everything, neither through any fault of their own. This way, we’re also teaching them to be fair in every matter in their lives. That also includes gender inequalities. Yes, their roles are different so we approach them differently but there can still be equality in different ways.

  1. Never compare your children to anyone else’s

That’s not even fair. Your child is unique and their abilities are different. Face it, you’re never going to have a perfect child. Where they excel in some aspects, they’ll need polishing in others, but that doesn’t make them any less worthy than the Ahmeds’ kid next door. Your child’s abilities must be celebrated and praised and then watch them naturally flourish through your encouragement. Don’t create a bitter resentment in them by comparing them to their friends. They are different so
Get.
Over.
It.

  1. Show some love!

Yes, you wouldn’t feed them and clothe them and pay the bills if you didn’t love them (blah, blah), but is it really going to kill you to say the three words? In such a promiscuous world, wouldn’t you rather they heard them from you than (ummm) someone else? If you don’t explicitly show them, they’ll look for someone who will. Be generous in your affection towards them and for God’s sake, kiss your children. Remember the Hadith about the bedouin with ten children? Exactly.

Discipline them, but follow it up later with some kind words. You can text the world, but your own child? Surprise them with a text at any random time everyday and see how you light up their world (really!). With constant naggings and telling offs, your child needs to know that at the end of it all, you really do love them.

I could go on and on, but these are my top seven I think! May Allah ﷻ grant us all offspring who will be the coolness of our eyes and give us the Tawfeeq as parents or when we become parents InshaaAllah, who emulate every aspect of the lives of the Prophets and Sahaabahs (upon them all be peace) before us.

May our sons have the faith of Ismaeel Ibn Ibraheem (A), may their bravery equate to the likes of Khalid Ibn Waleed (R), and may they emulate the modesty of Uthmaan Ibn Affaan (R).

May our daughters love like Khadijah Bint Khuwaylid (R), may they be as steadfast as Aasiyah Bint Muzahim (A), and may their strength be of Maryam Bint Imraan (A).

Parents and non-parents alike, I would love to read your top tips in the comments below InshaaAllah!

Zainab Bint Husain

Muslim Contribution to Science

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By: Mufti Hanif Patel

The Qur’an repeatedly highlights the importance of acquiring knowledge and an education. The first command of the Quran was to “Read in the name of you Lord Who created; He created man from a clot. Read and your Lord is most Honourable, Who taught to write with the pen, taught man what he did not know””. The same command is reiterated later on, Read more

The Romantic Prophet (P.B.U.H)?

 bisous-pebbles-1-sexy-gostaffo-red-tarun87-little-of-everything-longhand-hanks-faves-kaw-valentine-love-_largeHow to be romantic with your spouse

BY: 

As the days come to closer to one’s marriage, excitement, ecstasy and elation pump through the bride and groom.  The build up to marriage is an experience of thrill and jubilation.  When the marriage is solemnised, one’s happiness and delight is on the verge of brimming and tipping over.  When the newlywed couple meet for the first time, words cannot describe the sweetness, bliss, serenity, pleasure and elation tasted by the two. Read more

Worried about your Sustenance?

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By Shaykh Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

Recently, I was approached by a concerned brother who had been facing some difficult times with regards his provision and sustenance. This is something that many of us face at some time in our lives. Naturally, when we are in this situation, we begin to panic and look for ways out. Some bear the situation remaining within the laws of Sharī‘ah and with patience make it through, whilst others fail in this test from Allāh ta‘ālā and take to prohibited means to try to solve their problems. Read more

What to do at the Time of Natural Catastrophes?

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Everyone is aware of the devastation that natural disasters bring with them. Many lose their lives, hundreds of thousands lose relatives, entire communities are wiped out and countless buildings and properties are destroyed. Thousands, even millions are left homeless, having lost everything they once owned, living under open skies with nothing to eat and cover themselves with. Even after the calamity has subsided, the death toll continues to increase with the spread of disease. Read more

Hajjis returning…Should we make it a duty to meet them?

hajj-2015

Should we Meet the Hajjis (Those coming from Hajj)?

Year after year there are Hujjaj (those who go for Hajj pilgrimage) who return to us from our loved ones and those in our community. Unfortunately, a lot of people only give importance to this blessed travel at the time of the departure of the Hajj groups. However more importance is actually due when they  are returning. That Hajji or Hajjah who has completed their rituals according to the method taught by the Sunnah, and had full sincerity in their forms of ‘Ibadah will certainly gain a great honour in the sight of Allah Ta’ala. Read more