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Saturday, 22 September 2007

Poem: The Simple Message of Islam

The Simple Message of Islam

Taken from islamiczone2.netfirms
By Zahid bin Ghulam

This life we are told is indeed a test
so every nation with prophets was blessed
124 thousand we learn from Hadith
prophets came with the message of peace

They had the same message, Allah is one
he has no partners and has no son
Do good deeds and worship your Lord,
help the needy with what you can afford

David, Jesus, Abraham, Moses and more
are some of the prophets that came before
They were only men we mustn't confuse
selected by Allah to bring the good news

After these Prophets had passed away
people got mixed up and went astray
They changed the message to suit their needs
worshipped idols and start bad deeds

Another Prophet Allah would send
and their way of life he would amend
This pattern repeated again and again
until Muhammed the final messenger came

A madman, a poet, a magician or what
all of the above he was not
His honesty and character they had all seen
this pure noble soul they called Al-Amin

Muhammed the truthful, was indeed sincere
Allah's final messenger to many it was clear
He had been appointed to guide mankind
to illuminate ignorant hearts so blind

The message was beautiful and so pure
to the hearts of mankind the wisdom did lure
It filled their lives with love and compassion
Muhammed words? No it can only be revelation

The prophet himself could not read or write
yet Allah gave him this illuminating light
It entered their hearts purifying their souls
and the faithful scribes wrote it on scrolls

In Ramadan the whole Quran was recited and said
even today by millions of Muslims it is read
Every word was recorded like the prophet was told
the exact same message fourteen hundred years old

The Quran is now for all mankind a guide,
it can never be changed and will forever abide,
Its a promise of Allah - an undisputed fact
the message sent to Muhammed will remain intact

No more idols or lords we should erect
the oneness of Allah we should respect
Part of the first pillar known as Tawheed
recited la-illah ha illallah the Muslim creed

We should pray Salah like the prophet taught
and ask for Allah's help like the Prophet sought
To taqwah and unity this will indeed give rise
the second pillar of Islam, the spiritual exercise

We must fast in the whole month of Ramadan
and do good deeds as many as we can
This gift of life we begin to appreciate
by not drinking or eating not even a date

Ramadan is a month Muslims eagerly await
peace, unity and happiness it does create
removing the blinkers a fresh outlook we see
this wonderful month, pillar number three

Some of our wealth we give to those in need
the homeless and hungry we must try and feed
The poor are helped much by this gift so small
this is called Zakat the fourth pillar so tall

To visit the Kabaah, the house of Allah
every Muslim must travel from near and far
Once in a lifetime this great journey we make
the final pillar, a tough task we undertake

The rich, the poor, the black and the white
the male, the female equal in Allah's sight
From all walks of life to hajj they all came
standing before Allah they are all the same

To always be good and honest we must try
we need to remember one day we will die
Only a very small time we can spend here
then we must leave this world so dear

We will be asked about the life we spent
if we did good to heaven we will be sent
this will be decided on the Judgment day
and in heaven or hell we will forever stay

No more guides or prophets will be sent again
instead we have the Quran so deep yet plain
If we get confused to the Quran we turn
a message from the most high from which to learn

For all mankind and forever more
wisdom and teachings it does store
To eternal life it opens the door
the words of our creator that we cant ignore

There are millions of Muslims in the world today
the fastest growing religion experts say
Together to the one true God Muslims Pray
by following the Quran, its only Allah we Obey

Poem: A Man's Trail

A Man's Trail

Taken from islamiczone2.netfirms.com
Author: Dee77

This is the story of an average human
From his story there is so much to learn


"I work through life working day and night
Let me tell you of my miserable plight
Before that, let me thank Allah Most Merciful too
That's why I'm sharing my story with you

From young I was told I had to be the best
I must learn to score for my exams and tests
I studied hard to be the top in class
So that my friends will respect me with all the fuss

In my youth days, I was actually insecure
So much temptations and many are impure
I prayed sparingly but it didn't help me
Why couldn't I feel that Allah was watching me?

I wanted to be the cream of the cake
I didn't allow myself to make a single mistake
I wanted more friends and also be praised
When I didn't get complimented, I felt so dazed
I began to doubt myself again and again
Was I not good enough or was I insane?
I was feeling inadequate for my lack of looks
Was I too fat, short, or did my smile give the spooks?
I learnt to dress up in trendy clothes bought from stores
I wanted people to look at me and say 'wow' in awe

I wanted to be adored, praised and be popular
Success to me is to be top scholar
I wanted to shower myself in fame
I also hoped to earn a big name
I studied hard and topped my school high
I believe that to make friends, success is a tool

Whenever I was with friends and my date was just beside
I felt the pressure to display my witty side
I'm afraid my friends would leave me if I'm not nice enough
So I bought them gifts and other good stuff
Branded clothes, car, intelligence and friends indeed
You may think I have all that I need
But I'm still unhappy inside and I don't even know why
Was I not good enough, too ugly or too shy?

At work, I pleased my boss to show him I was the best
I treated my colleagues lunch and sacrificed all my rest
I was afraid that my boss disliked me if I lazed about
In front of him, I did my best and tried to stand out
Then I climbed the corporate ladder and be my own boss
Finally, I was successful but I was still in a loss
I was cheerful outside but scared inside
I was not even sure what I'm doing is right

I looked around to see all my best friends
I wonder if they still like me if my wealth ends?
I cannot bear to face rejection or even fail
If I become poor and old, will my friendships be stale?
I work hard, but who am I trying to impress?
The fear of losing my reputation is causing me stress
I want friends to respect me forever and ever
I could imagine my friendship to sever

But alas! My business failed me terribly
I was down with illness and suffered painfully
All the people whom I thought were faithful friends
Left me because my status has no stands
I'm left alone and wonder whether it is true?
To make good friends, wealth matters too?

I looked at the side of my bed and saw the Qur'an
Guilt enveloped me because the Qur'an I have read none
Since I was alone and feeling so bored
I explored the Qur'an to know about Allah the Lord

True Muslims friends start to befriend me
It doesn't matter whoever I'll be
They accept me and love me despite my flaws
I don't have to make them like me by using force
I don't have to impress Allah with my witty charm
I already know Allah loves us and protects us from harm

With Allah's help, we can attain peace in self
So let's put doubt back in Satan's shelf
If there are problems with work and with men
Please remember that it's part of Allah's plan
Ask from Allah because He listens to us always
Allah will help us with His Kindness and Grace

I met a man who is unfortunately blind
He then advised me with words so kind
He said, 'Love yourself and be grateful for what you are
You owe it to Allah for coming this far

Allah loves us and makes us Muslims
But many people don't appreciate it, it seems
It doesn't matter if we're poor or earn less
Allah loves who we are and He cares
Don't do good deeds if you do it for show
Or else your spiritual status will sink below

If you're humble, do good deeds and pray to Allah Most Wise
You can earn yourself a place in Paradise
Good Muslims overcome worries and insecurity
They are unfazed even if they are treated with hostility

Why be a slave to affluence and glamour?
Why worry if we are not witty with humour?
Always be yourself, dear brother, have no pretence
Allah will still love you, even if you don't have any fans
Why be afraid, dear brother, when friends shun away
When Allah is there for you it's always that way.'

After the blind man left, my mind started working
I was still surprised and truth starts coming
It seems that I may be a boss or lying here poor
but good Muslims greet me with salaam, a smile and no fear

I kept wondering, what is success to me?
Is it about having friends, or earning a good degree?
I had all these and yet I was not satisfied
Could it be because that Allah was not on my side?

Then I realize that I have been foolish
My INSECURITY is the one that was my leash
Why was I ungrateful to Allah Most Great?
Allah's helping us all the way as Fate

Oh! I'm ashamed for being so proud
When my success was actually a passing cloud!
Now I realize my great big mistake
So I do more good deeds now with sincerity and no fake

Let's learn from this life and tread the virtuous road
Remember that this world is only a temporary abode
Now I live through my life devoted to the Islamic cause
And repent, so Allah will love me despite my flaws."

Remember true success is not about having lots of friends
In fact, it is about passing Allah's tests
Happiness is not about showing off your generous part
In fact, it's about the ATTITUDE of your heart

Say: 'I like who I am and I'm glad to be me
I love being a Muslim and Allah sets my heart free!
I can feel in my mind and in my little heart bone
I confess - with Allah around, I know I'm never alone'.

Poem: The Cookie Thief

The Cookie Thief

Taken from jannah.org
Author: Unknown

A woman was waiting at the airport one night,
With several long hours before her flight.
She hunted for a book in the airport shop,
Bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop.

She was engrossed in her book, but happened to see,
That the man beside her, as bold as could be,
Grabbed a cookie or two from the bag between,
Which she tried to ignore to avoid a scene

She read, munched cookies, and watched the clock,
As the gustly "cookie thief" diminished her stock
She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by,
Thinking, "If I wasn't so nice, I'd blacken his eye!"

With each cookie she took, he took one too.
When only one was left, she wondered what he'd do.
with a smile on his face and a nervous laugh,
He took the last cookie and broke it in half.

He offered her half, and he ate the other.
She snatched it from him and thought, "Oh brother,
This guy has some nerve, and he's also so rude,
Why, he didn't even show any gratitude!"

She had never known when she had been so galled,
And sighed with relief when her flight was called.
She gathered her belongings and headed for the gate,
Refusing to look at the "thieving ingrate".

She boarded the plane and sank in her seat,
Then sought her book, which was almost complete.
As she reached in her baggage, she gasped with surprise.
There were her bag of cookies in front of her eyes!

"If mine are here," she moaned with despair.
"Then the others were his and he tried to share!"
Too late to apologize, she realized with grief,
That she was the rude one, the ingrate, the thief!!!!


---------------------------------------------------

Moral:
(a) We should not be quick to judge others.
(b) We should certainly not jump to conclusions and
(c) We often ignore our own faults, but are quick to notice those in others.

Friday, 21 September 2007

General questions and answers

Quick Questions and Answers
------------------------------------

Have you got a question?

For simple questions on FASTING try the following link:
70 Matters Related to Fasting
(by Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid)

For all other questions (no mater how complex) try the following websites:



Sura's for Salat

Sura's for Salat
(Updated 18.08.2010)

All Transliteration have been taken from the cybersalat software, All MP3 files for listening have been taken from http://www.alafasy.co.nr/ - Recitor - Shaikh: Mishary Rashid Al-Afasy.

Following on from the Basic guide to praying section....

It is important to emphasize that this or any type of [transliteration] text is not a substitute for the original Arabic Qur'an. It is only an attempt to help those who are trying to learn to read the Arabic text, since it is as close to the written text as possible. The English translation is also put there as a guide and should not be used for salat as a substitute. As translation of text can vary between interpreters you may wish to check other translations (in English/other languages) - all links can be found next to this column under the Qur'an reading section.

Here is the Opening Chapter of the Qur’an (al-Fatihah), followed by other passages from the Holy Book that you can use for salat. You are not restricted to use just these passages as ther are so many you can use from the glorious Qur'an.


Sura 001: AL-FATIHAH (THE OPENING)

Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim

Alhamdu lil-lahi rab-bil' alameen
Ar rahma nir-raheem.
Maliki yawmid-deen
iyyaka na'budu wa iyyaka nasta'een
ihdinas siratal mustaqeem.
Siratal lazeena an'amta alayhim.
Ghayril maghdubialayhim walad dal-leen.


LISTEN/ DOWNLOAD - CLICK HERE!

Praise is only for Allah,
Lord of the Universe.
The most kind, the most Merciful.
The master of the Day of Judgement.
You alone we worship and to you alone we pray for help.
Show us the straight way,
The way of those whom you have blessed.
Who have not deserved your anger, Nor gone astray.


Sura 105: AL-FIL (THE ELEPHANT)

Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim

Alam tara kayfa fa-'ala
Rabbuka bi-As-haabil Fiil.
Alam yaj-al kaydahum fii tazliil.
Wa'arsala alayhim tayran abaabiil,
Tarmiihim-bi-hijaaratim-min-sijjiil.
Faja-alahum ka-asfim-ma'-kuul.

LISTEN/ DOWNLOAD - CLICK HERE!

Hast thou not seen how thy Lord dealt with the owners of the Elephant?
Did He not bring their stratagem to naught,
And send against them swarms of flying creatures,
Which pelted them with stones of baked clay,
And made them like green crops devoured (by cattle)?

Sura 106: QURAISH (QURAYSH)

Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim

Li-iilaafi Qurayshin,
Iilaafihim rihlatash-shi-taa-i was-sayf,
Fal-ya'buduun Rabba haa zal'Bayt,
Allazii 'at-amahum-min-juu-inw-waaamanahum-min khawf.

LISTEN/ DOWNLOAD - CLICK HERE!

For the taming of Qureysh,
For their taming (We cause) the caravans to set forth in winter and summer.
So let them worship the Lord of this House
Who hath fed them against hunger.
And hath made them safe from fear.

Sura 107: AL-MAUN (SMALL KINDNESSES)

Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim

Ara-aytallzii yukazzibu bid-Dinn.
Fa-zaalikallazii yadu'-'ul-yatiim,
Wa laa yahuzzu 'alaa ta'aamil-miskiin.
Fa-waylul'lil-musalliin.
Allaziina hum an-salaati-him saahuun,
Allaziina hum yuraa-uuna,Wa yamna-uunal Maa-uun.

LISTEN/ DOWNLOAD - CLICK HERE!

Hast thou observed with him who belieth religion?
That is he who repelleth the orphan?
And urgeth not the feeding of the needy.
Ah, woe unto worshipers
Who are heedless of their prayer;
Who would be seen (at worship)
Yet refuse small kindnesses!

Sura 108: AL-KAUTHER (ABUNDANCE)

Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim

Innaaa 'a'-taynaakal-Kawsar.
Fa-salli li-Rabbika wanhar.
Inna shaani-aka huwal-abtar.

LISTEN/ DOWNLOAD - CLICK HERE!

Lo! We have given thee Abundance;
So pray unto thy Lord, and sacrifice.
Lo! It is thy insulter (and not thou) who is without posterity.

Sura 109: AL-KAFIROON (THE DISBELIEVERS)

Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim

Qul yaa'ayyuhal Kaafiruun.
Laa 'a-budu maa ta'buduun.
Wa laa antu, aabiduuna maa 'a'-bud.
Wa laa ana aabidum-maa abatum,
Wa laa antum aabiduuna maa 'a'-bud.
Lakum Diinukum wa li-ya Din.

LISTEN/ DOWNLOAD - CLICK HERE!

Say : O disbelivers!
I worship not that which ye worship;
Nor worship ye that which I worship
And I shall not worship that which ye worship.
Nor will ye worship that which I worship.
Unto you your religion,and unto me my religion.

Sura 110: AN-NASR (DIVINE SUPPORT)

Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim

Izaa jaa-a' nasrullaahi wal-fa-thu.
Wa ra-aytan-nassa yad -khuluuna fii diinillaahi' afwaa jaa.
Fa-sabbih bi-Hamdi Rabbika wastagfirh.
Inna-Huu kaana Tawwaabaa.

LISTEN/ DOWNLOAD - CLICK HERE!

When Allah's succour and the triumph cometh
And thou seest mankind entering the religion of Allah in troops,
Then hymn the praises of thy Lord, and seek forgiveness of him.
Lo! He is ever ready to show mercy.

Sura 111: AL-MASADD (PALM FIBRE)

Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim

Tabbat yada abi Lahabin wa tabb.
Ma agna anhu maluhu wa ma kasab.
Sayasla naran dhata lahab.
Wamratuhu hamma latal hatab.
Fi' jidiha hablum mim masad.

LISTEN/ DOWNLOAD - CLICK HERE!

The power of Abu Lahab will perish, and he will perish.
His wealth and gains will not exempt him.
He will be plunged in flaming fire,
And his wife, the woodcarrier,
Will have upon her neck a halter of palm-fibre.

Sura 112: AL-IKHLAS (SINCERITY)

Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim

Qul huwal lahu ahad.
Allah hus-samad.
Lam yalid walam yulad.
Walam yakul-lahu Kufuwan ahad.

LISTEN/ DOWNLOAD - CLICK HERE!

He is Allah, the only one.
Allah helps and does not need help.
He does not produce a child, and He
Was not born of anyone.
There is no one equal to Him.

Sura 113: AL-FALAQ (THE DAYBREAK)

Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim

Qul A'uzubi rab-bil falaq.
Min shar-rima Khalaq.
Wa min shar-ri ghasibin iza waquab.
Wa min shar-rin naf-fathati fil uqad.
Wa min shar-ri hasidin iza hasad.

LISTEN/ DOWNLOAD - CLICK HERE!

I seek refuge in the Lord of the dawn,
from the evil of all that He has created,
and from the evil of the darkness of night when it falls,
and from the evil of those (charmers) who blow into knots.
And from the evil of the envier when he envies.

Sura 114: AN-NAS (MANKIND)

Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim

Qul A'uzubi rab-bin nas
Malikin nas. Ila hin-nas.
Min shar-ril waswa sil khan-nas.
Allazi yuwaswisu fee sudu rin-nas.
Minal jin-nati wan-nas.

LISTEN/ DOWNLOAD - CLICK HERE!

I seek refuge in the Sustainer of Mankind,
the Owner of Mankind, Lord of Mankind.
From the evil of the sneaking whisperer.
Who whispers in the hearts of Mankind.
(Whether he be) from among Jinns or Mankind.

You can download all the sura's from the Holy Qur'an from the website: http://www.alafasy.co.nr/ under the section called "Al-Quran al-kareem "

The Adhan & Iqamah

The Adhan (The Call to Prayer)
Taken from islamonline.net

The adhan is the call given to announce that it is time for a particular obligatory Salah (ritual Prayer). Five times a day the adhan is raised from mosques throughout the world. It is a Sunnah (optional duty) that brings its own reward from Allah (God).

The person who gives the adhan is called a muadhdhin. (The English word “muezzin” is a mispronunciation of the Arabic term.)

The adhan begins with an affirmation of the supremacy of Allah (God). Then comes the shahadah (profession of faith), which consists of the profession of the Unity of Allah (God), the negation of shirk (polytheism), and the confirmation that Muhammad (peace and blessings be on him) is the Messenger of Allah (God). And after that, comes the call to the Prayer and to success — our eternal home in Paradise — which also implies our return to the Creator. Each line is repeated for emphasis.

The words of the adhan are as follows:

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar.
Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest.

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar.
Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest.

Ash-hadu alla ilaha illa-llah.
I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah.

Ash-hadu alla ilaha illa-llah.
I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah.

Ash-hadu anna Muhammadar-Rasulullah.
I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah

Ash-hadu anna Muhammadar-Rasulullah.
I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah

Hayya ‘ala-s-Salah, hayya ‘ala-s-Salah.
Hasten to the Prayer, hasten to the Prayer.

Hayya ‘ala-l-falah, hayya ‘ala-l-falah.
Hasten to real success, hasten to real success

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar.
Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest.

La ilaha illa-llah
There is none worthy of worship but Allah.

Note:
In the adhan for the Subh (Dawn) Prayer (also commonly called the Fajr Prayer), the following words are added after Hayya ‘ala-l-falah:

As-Salatu khairun min an-naum, As-Salatu khairun min an-naum.
Prayer is better than sleep, Prayer is better than sleep.


The Sunnah (practice of the Prophet) recommends that while the adhan is being called, one should listen attentively and repeat it silently after the muadhdhin, but when he says “Hayya ‘ala-s-Salah” and “Hayya ‘ala-l-falah” one should say:

La hawla wa la quwwata illa billah.
There is no might or power except with Allah.

After the adhan, it is recommended to say the following du‘a’ (supplication):

Allahumma rabba hadhihi-d-da‘awati-t-tammati wa-s-Salati-l-qa’imati, ati Muhammadan il-wasilata wa-l-fadilata wa-d-darajata-r-rafî‘ati wa-b‘ath-hu maqamam mahmudan illadhi wa‘adtahu.

0 Allah, Lord of this most perfect call, and of the Prayer that is about to be established, grant to Muhammad the favor of nearness (to You) and excellence and a place of distinction, and exalt him to a position of glory that You have promised him.


Iqamah (Standing Up For Prayer)
Iqamah means to stand up for the Salah (ritual Prayer). It is a Sunnah (practice of the Prophet) to call the iqamah just before the Salah begins, whether the salan is performed individually or in congregation.

The words of the iqamah are the same as the adhan, except that after “Hayya ‘ala-l-falah” one says:

Qad qamati-s-Salah, Qad qamati-s-Salah.
Prayer is ready, Prayer is ready.


The words of the Iqamah are as follows:

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar.
Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest.

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar.
Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest.

Ash-hadu alla ilaha illa-llah.
I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah.

Ash-hadu alla ilaha illa-llah.
I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah.

Ash-hadu anna Muhammadar-Rasulullah.
I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah

Ash-hadu anna Muhammadar-Rasulullah.
I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah

Hayya ‘ala-s-Salah, hayya ‘ala-s-Salah.
Hasten to the Prayer, hasten to the Prayer

Hayya ‘ala-l-falah, hayya ‘ala-l-falah.
Hasten to real success, hasten to real success.

Qad qamati-s-Salah, Qad qamati-s-Salah.
Prayer is ready, Prayer is ready.

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar.
Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest.

La ilaha illa-llah
There is none worthy of worship but Allah.

It is recommended that the hearer of the iqamah should repeat it after the muqim (the one who announces the iqamah), and when he says “Qad qamati-s-Salah” the hearer should respond by saying:

Aqamaha-llahu wa adamaha.
May Allah keep it established forever.

MOT certificate

Taken from zain121.blogspot.com (My life in draft)
This article was forwarded by Nazrul Islam

Today I was looking for my MOT certificate for my car to ensure that the MOT was not already due or due recently.

It was obviously just a matter of searching through one of three files, and finally I did find the certificate along with certificates of the other cars in the household.

As I usually tend to the MOT certificates of all the cars, I tend to have a habit of stapling or keeping the MOT report along with the report. Although it is not required, I like to, sometimes, look back at the report and see what errors were found with the car and what faults were attended to during the previous MOT.

Despite this not being the case all the time, it is usually the older cars that require more attention and work to them whilst the newer cars seem to pass the MOT first time. Or the cars which have been well looked after and maintained correctly throughout the year give the least problem during the MOT period.

Whilst scrolling through my MOT report I was glad to find that there were no faults in my car and that looking after the car during the year does pay off. The fact that the car is new and also reliable does give added peace to the level of maintaining that is required on a regular basis.

There are a few cars in the household that required quiet some attention during the MOT period. These are the cars that are used for business purposes and usually take a good beating, taking into account that the building trade is never gentle on cars and a brick on the bonnet becomes inevitable over a period of times.

One of these cars did require quite a lot of attention as it was over twenty years old and was neglected also. At times it required soldering and rust treating and at times it needed hand-brake adjustments. However, one of the other cars, which is also used in the business, despite having a ‘pitiful’ body, required no mechanical work on it as it is well maintained and the only effects apparent on it are the one’s which are on the outside, whilst the engine and mechanics of the car were impeccable.

Well, that was just a short story of me trying to find my certificate, which I thought would be nice to share.

Point

So the point of all that was...

Sometimes, we go through the month of Ramadhan and we hear from many scholars as well as many mosques in regards to all the activities and deeds that we should carry out within this month. We will be told time and again to increase Salaah, Qur’an, Du’a and Dhikr during this month and to ensure that we reap all the benefits of this month.

Many a times, we are also given the resemblance of this month with the MOT of a car; a car requires a service once a year and so do our spiritual bodies.

However, whilst going through these error and fault reports it was very hard to ignore the fact that each car is unique and different in some way or another; depending on the maintenance and care it receives, the way it is driven, the age of the car etc the car will bring along different errors and faults; some minor and others major.

In the same manner, the human is also unique and different in many ways; depending on the care and attention we have been giving to our spiritualism and the amount of effort we have made upon our soul and Nafs, we will also receive a different error report to another individual.

Each care requires different services and in the same manner each individual will also require a different service.

It is vital that we analyse our habits and spiritual status before we step into this month and ensure that during this month we give ourselves the individual service that we require. The guidelines set by the Masajid are in no way incorrect, but instead are, as mentioned, ‘guidelines’. We need to make the effort to investigate those matters which need our attention and which prevent us from acquiring the nearness of Allah. Thereafter, we can work on these errors and achieve, Insha Allah, a certificate of Allah’s mercy, pleasure and freedom from the fire of hell.

May Allah سبحانه و تعالى give us all the inclination to reform ourselves during the month of Ramdhan. May He give us the strength to make changes, to our lifestyles, for the better. May He make this month a month which brings along with it success, elevation in our ranks in the sight of Allah and may it bring us closer to Him. May Allah سبحانه و تعالى make it a month which brings along with it the glad tidings of Jannah and a betterment which will last for our lifetime. Aameen.


A special request for Du’as for me and the entire Muslim population. Supplicate for all of our brothers and sisters and for the increment of the Ummah of our Belover Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم. May Allah bring into open the truth of our Relgion and make it a source of guidance for All. May it truly be a مبارك رمضان (blessed Ramadhan). Aameen.

Salah (Salat) in the Quran

Salah in the Quran

Taken from breatheislam.blogsome.com
By Shaykh Ibrahim Memon Madani
Information forwarded by Nazrul islam


1. Establishing Salah Develops Taqwa (Fear and Awareness of Allah)
“This is the Book in which there is no doubt, a guidance for those who have taqwa; who believe in the unseen, and who establish Salah, and spend out of what we have provided for them” (2: 2-3)

2. Salah Is the Sign of a Believer
“The believers, men and women, are protecting friends of one another; they enjoin good and forbid evil, and they establish Salah, and give Zakah, and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah will have His Mercy on them, and surely, Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.” (9: 71)

3. Establishing Salah Leads to Allah’s Eternal Blessings
“So whatever you have been given is but (a passing) enjoyment for this worldly life, but that which is with Allah is better and more lasting for those who believe and put their trust in their Lord. And those who avoid the great sins and lewdness, and when they are angry, they forgive. And those who answer the Call of their Lord, and perform the Salah, and who conduct their affairs by mutual consultation, and who spend of what We have bestowed on them.” (42:36-38)

4. Those Who Pray Shall Have Nothing to Fear on the Day of Judgment
“Truly, those who believe and do righteous deeds, and perform Salah, and give Zakah, they will have their reward with their Lord. On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.” (2:277)

5. Remain in Allah’s remembrance after prayer
“When have finished performing the Salah, remember Allah standing, sitting, and reclining, but when you are free from danger, perform the Salah. Surely, Salah is enjoined on the believers at
fixed times.” (4:103)

6. Command to Pray with Congregation
“And establish Salah and give Zakah, and bow down (in worship) along with those who bow down (in worship)” (2:43)

7. Special Command Regarding Punctuality of Prayer

“Guard strictly the Salah, especially the middle Salah. And stand before Allah with obedience.” (2:238)

8. Allah’s Help Comes Through Salah
“Seek help through patience and Salah; truly it is extremely difficult except for the humble true believers.” (2:45)

“Oh you who believe! Seek help through patience and Salah. Truly, Allah is with those who are patient.” (2:153)

9. Special Emphasis on Friday Prayer
“Oh you who believe! When the call is made for the Salah on Friday, come to the remembrance of Allah, and leave off business. That is better for you, if you only knew! And when the Salah has ended, you may disperse through the land, and seek the Bounty of Allah, and remember Allah much so that you may be successful.” (62:09-10)

10. Shaytaan Tries His Best in Finding Ways to Take You Away from Salah
“Shaytaan desires only to excite enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah, and from Salah. So will you then not abstain
(from these evils)?” (5:91)

11. Prayer Protects Against Evils
“Recite that which has been revealed to you of the Book, and perform Salah. Verily, Salah prevents from lewdness and evils. And indeed, the remembrance of Allah (by you) is greatest. And Allah knows what you do.” (29:45)

12. Friendship Should Be with Those Who Pray
“Indeed, your protecting friend (Wali) is none other than Allah, His Messenger, and the Believers who establish Salah, and give Zakat, and bow down (in prayer). (5: 55)

13. Allah’s Special Order to Women
“And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves like that of the times of ignorance, and perform Salah, and give Zakah, and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah wishes only to remove uncleanness from you, Oh people of the House, and to purify you with a thorough purification.” (33:33)

14. Hypocrites Are Lazy in Salah
“Verily, the hypocrites seek to deceive Allah, but it is He who deceives them; When they stand up for Salah, they stand with laziness, only to be seen by men; and they do not remember Allah but a little.” (4:142)

15. Laziness in Prayers Leads to Rejection of Sadaqa
“And nothing prevents their Sadaqa from being accepted from them, except that they disbelieve in Allah and in His Messenger, and that they do not come to Salah except in a lazy manner, and that they do not give Sadaqa except unwillingly.” (9:54)

16. Leaving Salah Leads to Shirk
“(And remain always) turning to Him (only), and be fearful and dutiful towards Him, and perform Salah and be not of those who commit Shirk.” (30: 31)

17. Previous Nations Were Corrupted when Salah Was Left
“Then, there came after them a generation who gave up Salah and followed lusts; so they will be thrown in Hell.” (19: 59)

Basic guide to Tashahhud

Following on from the Basic guide to praying section....
Submitted by Nazrul Islam

To complete every second rakat and the last rakat:

Remain seated and recite At-Tashahhud

At Tahiyyaatu lilaahi was Salawaatu wat tayibaatu As Salaamu 'alaika ayyuhan nabiyyu wa rahmatul laahi wa barakaatuh As Salaamu 'alainaa wa 'alaa 'ebaadillaahis saaliheen, (Hands on knees, raise right forefinger:) Ash hadu allaa ilaah ilallaah Wa ash hadu anna Muhammadan 'abduhuu wa rasuuluh

All greetings, blessings and good acts are from You, my Lord. Greetings to you, O Prophet, and the mercy and blessings of Allah. Peace be unto us, and unto the righteous servants of Allah. I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger.




To proceed to the third rakat:
At the end of any time of prayer (when all rakats have been completed): Remain seated, recite At-Tashahhud, and then recite the Salawat:

Allaahumma salli 'alaa Muhammadin wa 'alaa ali Muhammadin Kamaa sallaita 'alaa Ibraaheema wa 'alaa ali Ibraaheema Innaka hameedun Majeed Alaahumma baarik 'ala Muhammadin wa 'alaa ali Muhammadin Kamaa baarakta 'alaa Ibraaheema wa 'alaa ali Ibraaheema Innaka hameedun Majeed

O Allah, bless our Muhammad and the people of Muhammad; As you have blessed Abraham and the people of Abraham. Surely you are the Praiseworthy, the Glorious. O Allah, be gracious unto Muhammad and the people of Muhammad; As you were gracious unto Abraham and the people of Abraham. Surely you are the Praiseworthy, the Glorious.




To Complete the Prayer:

Look over right shoulder (toward the angel recording your good deeds), then the left (toward the angel recording your wrongful deeds); say each time: "Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah"



Making Dua's after the prayer is optional for the individual.

Daddy Can you give me $10?

Daddy Can you give me $10?
Source: english.islamway.com, Author: Unknown

A man came home from work late, tired and irritated, to find his 5 year old son waiting for him at the door.

"Daddy, may I ask you a question?"

"Yeah, sure, what is it?" replied the man.

"Daddy, how much money do you make an hour?"

"That's none of your business! What makes you ask such a thing?" the man said angrily.

"I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?" pleaded the little boy.

"If you must know, I make $20.00 an hour."

"Oh, " the little boy replied, head bowed. Looking up, he said, "Daddy, may I borrow $10.00 please?"

The father was furious. "If the only reason you want to know how much money I make is just so you can borrow some to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you're being so selfish. I work long, hard hours everyday and don't have time for such childish games."

The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door. The man sat down and started to get even madder about the little boy's questioning. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money.

After an hour or so , the man had calmed down, and started to think he may have been a little hard on his son. May be there was something he really needed to buy with that $10.00 and he really didn't ask for money very often. The man went to the door of the little boy's room and opened the door. "Are you asleep son?" he asked.

"No daddy, I'm awake," replied the boy.

"I've been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier," said the man. "It's been a long day and I took my aggravation out on you. Here's that $10.00 you asked for."

The little boy sat straight up, beaming. "Oh, thank you daddy!" he yelled. Then, reaching under his pillow, he pulled out some more crumpled up bills. The man, seeing that the boy already had money, started to get angry again. The little boy slowly counted out his money, then looked up at the man.

"Why did you want more money if you already had some?" the father grumbled.

"Because I didn't have enough, but now I do," the little boy replied. "Daddy, I have $20.00 now... Can I buy an hour of your time?"

Things that break (and do not break) the fast

SAWM (Fasting)
by Shaykh Muhammed Saleem Dhorat
Taken from idauk.org

O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you,as it was prescribed to those before you,that you may (learn) self-restraint (Holy Qur'aan 2 : 183)

Sawm (fasting) means to refrain from eating, drinking and cohabiting from subha sadiq (early dawn) to sunset with a niyyah (intention) of observing fast.

Fasting in the month of Ramadhaan is one of the five pillars of Islaam and is fardh (compulsory) upon every muslim who is sane and mature. Fasting has many physical, moral, and social benefits. However, Allah has made fasting compulsory so that we become pious and God-fearing.

Fasting will not be valid without niyyah. It is not necessary to express the niyyah in words. However it is preferable to recite Allahumma asoomu laka ghadan (O Allah tomorrow I shall be fasting for you only). In the case of Ramadhaan, it is better to make niyyah in the night. However, should a person fail to do so, then it is permitted to make the niyyah during the day before zawaal (midday).

MUSTAHAB (DESIRABLE) ACTS IN FASTING
1. To eat sehri (the meal before subha sadiq).
2. To delay the sehri up to a little before subha sadiq (early dawn).
3. To break the fast immediately after sunset.
4. To break the fast with dates. If dates are not available then with water.
5. To recite this du'a at the time of breaking the fast :-
Allahumma laka sumtu wa bika aamantu wa ala rizqika aftartu
O Allah! I fasted for You and in You do I believe and with Your provision (food) do I break my fast.

THINGS MAKROOH (DETESTABLE) WHILE FASTING
1. To chew items such as rubber, plastic etc.
2. To taste food or drink and spit it out.
3. To collect one's saliva in the mouth and then swallow it.
4. To clean teeth or mouth with tooth powder or toothpaste.
5. To complain of hunger or thirst.
6. To quarrel, argue with filthy words.

THINGS THAT BREAK THE FAST
1. To eat, drink or indulge in cohabitation intentionally.
2. To burn agarbatti (incense) and inhale its smoke.
3. If water goes down the throat while gargling.
4. To vomit mouthful intentionally.
5. To swallow vomit intentionally.
6. To swallow something edible, equal to or bigger than a grain of gram, which was stuck between the teeth. However, if it is first taken out of the mouth and then swallowed, it will break the fast whether it is smaller or bigger than the size of the grain.
7. To drop oil or medicine into ear or nose.
8. To swallow the blood from gums with saliva. However, if the blood is less than the saliva and its taste is not felt then the fast will not break.
9. Snuffing.
10. To eat and drink forgetting one is fasting and thereafter, thinking that the fast is broken to eat and drink again
11. Smoking.
12. To apply medicine to the anus.
13. For women to apply medicine to the urinary organs.
14. To swallow intentionally a pebble, piece of paper or any item that is not used as food or medicine.

In all the above circumstances, only a single fast will become qadha except in the case of number one (1), where qadha and kaffarah both will become obligatory. (Consult an aalim regarding the rules of kaffarah).

THINGS THAT DO NOT BREAK THE FAST
1. To eat, drink or indulge in cohabitation in forgetfulness.
2. To vomit without intention.
3. To vomit intentionally less than mouthful.
4. To have a wet dream.
5. To oil the hair.
6. To use surma (collyrium) in the eyes.
7. To drop water or medicine in the eyes.
8. To clean teeth with wet or dry miswaak (a stick used for cleaning teeth).
9. To apply or smell attar (perfume).
10. To swallow a fly, mosquito, smoke or dust unintentionally.
11. To swallow one's saliva or phlegm.
12. Water entering the ears.
13. To take an injection.

SUNNAHS IN THE MONTH OF RAMADHAAN
1. To observe taraweeh.
2. To increase the recitation of the Holy Qur'aan.
3. To observe i'atikaaf during the last ten days of Ramadhaan.

Sawm (Fasting)
Sawm is a shield, as long as he (the fasting person) does not tear it up. (Nasa'ee)
Fasting is a protection from Shaytãn or from Allah's punishment in the Hereafter. One who indulges in sins whilst fasting such as lying, backbiting etc., they become the cause of the fast becoming wasted.
All good deeds are for the one who renders them, but Fasting. Fasting is exclusively for me (Allah). (Bukhãri)
Fasting is a shield and a powerful fortress. (Ahmad, Bayhaqi)
I swear by that being in whose possession is the life of Muhammad! The odour of the mouth of a fasting person is sweeter to Allah than the fragrance of musk.(Bukhãri)
Fasting is exclusively for Allah, the reward of it (being limitless) no one knows besides Allah. (Tabrãni)

Suhoor
Verily, Allah and His angels send mercy upon those who eat suhoor. (Tabrãni)
Eat suhoor because in suhoor lies barakah. (Mishkãt)

Iftãr
Whosoever gives something to a fasting person in order to break the fast, for him there shall be forgiveness for his sins and emancipation from the fire of Jahannam; and for him (the one who gives) shall be the same reward as for him (whom he fed), without that person's (the one who was fed) reward being diminished in the least. (Ibne Khuzaymah, Bayhaqi)

Whoever gave a person, who fasted, water to drink, Allah shall give him a drink from my fountain where after he shall never again feel thirsty until he enters Jannah. (Ibne Khuzaymah)

The fasting person experiences two (ocassions) of delight: at the time of iftãr and at the time he will meet his Rabb.(Bukhãri)Not a single prayer made by a fasting person at the time of breaking fast is rejected. (Ibne Mãjah)

Note:
If you didn't find what you were looking for please also try the General questions and answers

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Was Islam Spread by the Sword?

This was a question posted on islamonline.net last year. It was beautifully answered and is worth sharing.

The Question (posted by Mark on 04/Oct/2006)
A few days ago, the Pope (Benedictus) said in a speech he was giving: "In the seventh conversation ... the emperor touches on the theme of the holy war. … He addresses his interlocutor with a startling brusqueness on the central question about the relationship between religion and violence in general, saying: "Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."

Obviously, Muslims all over the world are upset, and today an Italian nun in her seventies was shot by gunmen in Somalia. I just wanted to ask the obvious question: Was Islam spread by the sword? How can Muslims continue to say that it wasn't when Muslim armies expanded the Islamic Empire just years after the death of their Prophet? Do they have to kill innocent people to prove it wasn't?

The Answer: (submitted by : Idris Tawfiq)

Salam, Mark.

Thank you for your question. It is, unfortunately, a question that comes up again and again by those wishing to know more about the real Islam.

You see, there are many misconceptions about Islam. Some of them are genuine misunderstandings. Others have been deliberately and maliciously spread so that people will get a false impression about what Islam is really like.

Perhaps one of the greatest misconceptions about Islam is that it was spread by the sword. However, this idea is now so widespread that people accept it as a fact. Even the Pope, whether he intended to or not, caused great offense to Muslims throughout the world by referring to this myth of Islam being spread by the sword.

It is not the place here to discuss the Pope's ill-timed and ill-conceived remarks, but we can address your central question about whether or not Islam was spread by the sword. It is, in fact, a pleasure to do so, since Islam has nothing to be ashamed of.

Indonesia has around 450 million Muslims, which is more than the population of all the Arab countries put together. In fact, Arabs count for only around 18 percent of all Muslims. By far the greatest concentration of the world's 1.1 billion Muslims lives in Southeast Asia. Islam has been deeply rooted there for centuries.

Those who beat the drum of Islam being spread by the sword fail to mention Southeast Asia, since it does not fit into their agenda. No Muslim armies ever went there. In fact, the story of Islam being brought there is quite marvelous and well worth telling.

It was brought not by soldiers, but by merchants. The honesty and integrity of these first few Muslim merchants, whose names are celebrated as part of Indonesia's history, so impressed the people that they wanted to be like them. In closing up their businesses each day at prayer times and in the fair and just way they dealt with their customers, these Muslim merchants drew many to Islam. Their message and their fame spread quickly until millions had embraced their religion.

Soon after the death of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the death of Abu Bakr, the first caliph, the Muslim faithful were led by Caliph `Umar, one of the Prophet's Companions.
When `Umar entered Jerusalem at the head of a Muslim army in 638 CE, just six years after the Prophet's death, he entered the city on foot, as a gesture of humility in a city sacred to Muslims, Christians, and Jews. There was no bloodshed. There were no massacres or forced conversions.

On the contrary, those who wanted to leave were allowed to do so with all their possessions. Those who wanted to stay were granted protection for their lives, their property, and their places of worship. `Umar very famously declined to pray one of the five daily prayers in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, lest in years to come Muslims might try to turn it into a mosque in his memory. Instead, `Umar cleansed the so-called Temple Mount with rose water and built a small mosque there, where the Dome of the Rock now stands.

All of this is in marked contrast to what happened when the Crusader armies later took Jerusalem. Seventy thousand men, women and children were slaughtered. Any remaining Muslims and Jews were driven out. When the city was recaptured by Salah Ad-Din (Saladin), the Christian inhabitants were granted protection and were escorted to safety by the Muslim army. But those who have a different aim would have us believe that it is Islam that is cruel.

When Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) finally entered Makkah at the head of a Muslim army in AH 8, he did so not to force the Makkans to convert, but because they had violated their peace treaty with the Muslims. The Prophet entered with great humility, ordering that there should be no fighting or bloodshed. Instead, he forgave all those who had opposed him and the growth of Islam for so many years. Those who wanted to leave were allowed to do so. The whole city, so impressed by the men they had fought against for so long, converted to Islam.

Another great example that many deliberately choose to ignore is that of the Muslim presence in southern Spain for nearly eight centuries. Described as Islam's Golden Age, this was a time when the Islamic civilization flourished. It was centuries ahead of northern Europe in the way arts and sciences were encouraged and in the way cities and towns were advanced well beyond anything in Germany, France, or England at the same time.

During this Golden Age, the rights of Christians and Jews were respected and honored, and many of them rose to high positions at court. When the Catholic monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella reconquered southern Spain, Muslims and Jews were either forced to convert to Christianity or were put to death. Mosques and synagogues were desecrated and destroyed.

The excesses of the Spanish Inquisition had begun.

We might ask if Islam was taken to America by the sword, or taken to Denmark or Ireland or Poland by the sword. It wasn't. And yet Islam is now the world's fastest growing religion, according to some people.

So what about North Africa? What about the Muslim armies that swept across North Africa, forcing all in their way to become Muslim or die? The army of Muslim general `Amr ibn Al-`Aas entered Egypt in 642 CE. He built in Cairo the first mosque in the whole of Africa. He also ordered that the Muslims had a duty to protect the rights of the Christians living in Egypt.

It was to be another two centuries before the population of Egypt became Muslim. To this day, there are nearly seven million Christians living there. For 14 centuries they have lived in peace with their Muslim neighbors and they were never forced to convert.

Islam is a religion of peace. It is the natural religion of mankind and has existed since the beginning of time.In some countries today we see violence on a massive scale. We see tragedy in Afghanistan and Iraq as the people r espond to the invasion of their countries by foreign armies. We see violence in Palestine as the Palestinians respond to oppression and injustice.

Let it be clear that Islam does not condone violence against innocent people. Perhaps those driven to violence are being mistaken for Islam itself. If individual Muslims present a distorted image of Islam, all Muslims in the world must not be labeled as violent. When IRA violence was at its height in Northern Ireland and Britain in the 1970s and 1980s, no one spoke of Christian terrorists. The ETA bombing campaign in northern Spain is not labeled Catholic. So why are all Muslims linked with violence?

Islam has a very proud history. If Muslims have acted in a less than perfect way, Islam itself has nothing to be ashamed of. Islam teaches respect for all religions. In fact, for Muslims, Abraham, David, Solomon, and Jesus are all prophets of Islam. All of them, according to Islam, taught the worship of one God. The greeting that Muslims give is "as-salamu `alaykum" (peace be upon you).

Islam is not a religion of violence. It is sad that Pope Benedict XVI failed to quote from the many wonderful examples of Islam spreading peace and encouraging learning and tolerance. Instead, he quoted from an obscure source, which was wrong.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) did not ever give the command to spread Islam by the sword. The strongest and also the gentlest of men ever to have lived, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) left behind a legacy of worshiping one God and of respecting all people of good will. His detractors try repeatedly to distort the facts and to paint a different picture. Islam is both very beautiful and very sweet, and its followers spend their whole lives trying to serve Allah and their brothers and sisters.

I hope this answer helps you. Please keep in touch.
Salam.

Forgotten champion of Islam: One man and his mosque

This is an interesting article from the Independent Newspaper. Pictures were taken from the BBC website and Muslim Council of Britain website. Article was published: 02 August 2007

A crumbling house in Liverpool conceals a curious secret: the vandalised remains of Britain's first mosque. Now, finally, the city is set to restore it - and to honour the eccentric lawyer who created it. Michael Savage discovers his remarkable story

Number 8 Brougham Terrace in Liverpool is a derelict semi-detached house. Its whitewashed facade is filthy, its front door scratched and swollen and its rear gates are covered in graffiti.

Pigeons have made the roof their home. The condition of the interior is even worse. Large, orange rings of dry-rot fungus cling to the walls. Pieces of the roof are scattered across the floor.

There is little to suggest that No 8 Brougham Terrace is anything special. But underneath the dust and the mould is a building of extraordinary historical and social significance. This was Britain's first true mosque.



And following years of neglect, it could finally be about to receive the restoration treatment that, given its place in the nation's history, it surely deserves. The Bishop of Liverpool has called for action. The Saudi and Kuwait governments are interested in helping to fund a project that would cost £2.4m.



With Liverpool gearing up to be European Capital of Culture next year, the plight of the forgotten mosque is attracting attention again. That, in turn, has shed light on the astonishing character who founded it on Christmas Day 1889.

William Quilliam was a solicitor. But in late 19th century Britain there was no other solicitor quite like him. He is said to have appeared in court wearing Turkish ceremonial dress. Others claim he travelled through Liverpool on a white Arab horse, or that he was descended from a first lieutenant who fought with Nelson at Trafalgar.


Such stories may well be apocryphal, yet Quilliam was a man whose life needs no embellishing. Few religious figures have championed their faith the way the man who became Sheikh Abdullah Quilliam did. He did so despite often facing hostility from his own countrymen. He was made the Sheikh of Britain by the last Ottoman emperor, converted hundreds to his religion, and was honoured by the Sultan of Morocco, the Shah of Persia and the Sultan of Afghanistan. The mosque at 8 Brougham Terrace was his crowning achievement.

Born in 1856, Quilliam was the son of a wealthy watchmaker, and became a solicitor after training at the Liverpool Institute. But life as a lawyer took its toll on Quilliam and in 1882 he travelled to the south of France to recover from stress. While he was recuperating, he decided to cross the Mediterranean to Morocco and Algeria and it was there that his fascination with Islam began. At the age of 31 he converted to the religion, changed his name to Abdullah and bought a marmoset as a pet.

"He never went anywhere without that monkey," said Quilliam's granddaughter, Patricia Gordon. "It used to sit on his shoulder. He had a little fez made for it and would even take it to the British Museum when he was studying there. He was an old Victorian eccentric. He was his own man and he did what he wanted to do all his life. When he walked into a room, everyone would go quiet. He was a very colourful character."

His love of exotic animals turned his home into a zoo - he reportedly kept a jackal, a wolf, a fox and even a crocodile.

For Quilliam, his own conversion was just the start of his loud and proud association with Islam. He soon found he had the knack of convincing others of its merits. He first began holding lectures on his new religion and then founded the Liverpool Mosque and Institute in the small semi on Brougham Terrace, West Derby Street, in 1889.

Within 10 years of his return to the city, he assembled a following of about 150 Muslims, almost entirely made up of British converts. Scientists and professionals were among Quilliam's group, along with his sons and his mother, who had spent most of her life as a Christian activist. He also produced two journals, The Crescent and The Islamic Review, on a printing press in the mosque's cellar. Both were circulated internationally.

But Quilliam's misssion did not stop at publishing. He set out to help ease Liverpool's social ills, founding the Medina Home, which cared for illegitimate children and found them foster parents. He set up the Muslim College, a weekly debating society and also wrote a book of Muslim hymns in English.

He still found time to write a book. The Faith of Islam was published in 1899 by a small local printer and was translated into 13 languages, with three editions published. Quilliam proudly said that it had been read by Queen Victoria and the ruler of Egypt.

But not everyone appreciated Quilliam's vigour. Soon after he converted to Islam, he was evicted from his house by his landlord, who took exception to his rejection of Christianity. The timing of his book on Islam compounded the vitriolic hatred that some in the Christian community felt for him. "The ongoing conflict with Sudan meant that the very mention of Islam in Britain was like a red rag to a bull," says Professor Humayun Ansari, an expert in British Islamic history from Royal Holloway College, London.

Quilliam was never one to go quietly and launched a series of attacks on the British government. When the Prime Minister, William Gladstone, was due to give a speech in Liverpool urging action against the Ottoman Empire for its treatment of Armenians, Quilliam leapt to the emperor's defence. He gathered his congregation at the mosque to make a rival speech, during which he declared the West was quite happy to ignore "Christian atrocities" elsewhere.

"An American explodes a bomb in the crowded streets of Constantinople and slays innocent women and children and, because he calls himself a Christian he is extolled in England as a hero and as a patriot!" Quilliam wrote. "An Afghan fights for his fatherland in the Khyber Pass, and because he is a Muslim he is denounced as a traitor and a rebel."

According to Professor Ansari, Quilliam paid a price for his stance. "Of course, he was lampooned, but it showed that he was a courageous man, as well as a controversial figure. Although other English people had converted, they tended to keep a low profile. Quilliam on the other hand was much more forthright and challenging, making him a high-profile public figure in the process."

Unsurprisingly, Quilliam developed a difficult relationship with the press. The Liverpool Review described his quest to convert the city to Islam as "silly and unwelcome". He became a regular contributor to the letters pages, attempting to right what he saw as the incorrect popular view of Islam, derived from myths dating back to the Crusades.

He wrote: "When we consider that Islam is so much mixed up with the British Empire, and the many millions of Muslim fellow subjects who live under the same rule, it is very extraordinary that so little should be generally known about this religion. And consequently the gross ignorance of the masses on the subject allows them to be easily deceived, and their judgement led astray."

His outspoken stance also made his mosque a target of abuse. During one confrontation, a crowd of 400 protesters gathered outside the building, hurling mud, stones and rotten vegetables at those leaving the prayer hall. In 1895, a group threatened to burn Quilliam alive.

His efforts to promote Islam brought him praise and powerful friends throughout the Muslim world. The Shah of Persia made him a consul to his country. In 1894, Sultan Abdul Hamid II, the last Ottoman emperor, gave Quilliam the title of "Sheikh al-Islam of Britain", leader of British Muslims. The Sultan of Afghanistan gave him a £2,500 "personal gift", to help him continue his good works.

By the turn of the century, Quilliam had developed ambitious plans to build a mosque from scratch, complete with a dome and minarets. But true to his eccentric character, he took a sudden decision in 1908 to leave Britain, mysteriously heading back to the east and not returning until shortly before his death in 1932.

When Quilliam left Britain, he took with him the energy that had sustained his one-man mission so successfully. Without him at the helm, the institutions he had set up declined, including the mosque. It eventually ended up in the hands of Liverpool City Council. When the authority moved out, it fell further into disrepair, "probably because water got in after thieves took the lead from the roof", said Galib Khan, a leading member of the group attempting to restore the mosque.

Mohammad Akbar Ali, chairman of the Abdullah Quilliam Society set up to campaign for the restoration, added: "Quilliam officially opened it on Christmas Day in 1889 with a special breakfast for 130 of the city's children."

A fundraising meeting earlier this month was attended by the ambassadors of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. But for Mr Ali, there is a wider principle behind finding British money to restore Abdullah Quilliam's legacy.

"Part of the problem faced by young British Muslims now is that they have no Islamic heritage they can truly call their own," he said. "When Muslims born and bred in the UK want to revisit their Islamic roots, they go back to the countries of their ancestors like India, Pakistan or Saudi Arabia. But Quilliam is proof that Britain has its own Islamic heritage. Repairing his mosque with British money, either from the Government or the Muslim community, would act as a powerful symbol of British Islam. It is a religious heritage that all British Muslims can be proud of."

The Bishop of Liverpool, the Right Rev James Jones, is now patron of the fundraising campaign. He admits that being asked to take up the cause presented a "theological challenge" to him, but he was compelled by Quilliam's example. "One of the challenges in today's world is concentrating on the best examples of each other's religions and finding common ground," he said. "Quilliam was a man who did a huge amount of good work that all religious leaders should appreciate and the campaign to restore his institute is worth supporting, both nationally and locally."

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Further Info:

Donations:
The current owners have now decided to sell the property, and the Abullah Quilliam Society is raising funds for the purchase of 8-10 Brougham Terrace in order to restore the historic mosque and establish an educational centre. The estimated capital cost for building conversion and refurbishment is 1.6 million, with an additional 400,000 for professionals fees, furniture and fittings.

Project details are available fromMr Mumin Khan or Mr Mohammad Akbar Ali MBEc/p MEDS, 2 Lodge Lane, Liverpool L8 0QHTelephone: 0151 709 6567 . The Abdullah Quilliam Society is a registered charity (Charity Registration Number 1086228) and the project is supported by Liverpool City Council.

Further Reading:

BBC Heritage: The 'little mosque'

Stories: Stay Sharp !

Taken from english.islamway.com, Author: Unknown

Once upon a time a very strong woodcutter asked for a job in a timber merchant, and he got it. The pay was really good and so were the work conditions. For that reason,the woodcutter was determined to do his best.

His boss gave him an axe and showed him the area where he was supposed to work. The first day, the woodcutter brought 18 trees.

"Congratulations," the boss said. "Go on that way!" Very motivated for the boss' words, the woodcutter try harder the next day,but he only could bring 15 trees. The third day he try even harder, but he only could bring 10 trees. Day after day he was bringing less and less trees.

"I must be losing my strength", the woodcutter thought. He went to the boss and apologized, saying that he could not understand what was going on.

"When was the last time you sharpened your axe?" the boss asked. "Sharpen? I had no time to sharpen my axe. I have been very busy trying to cut trees."

Our lives are like that. We sometimes get so busy that we don't take time to sharpen the axe." In today's world, it seems that everyone is busier than ever, but less happy than ever. Why is that? Could it be that we have forgotten how to stay sharp?

There's nothing wrong with activity and hard work. But God doesn't want us to get so busy that we neglect the truly important things in life, like taking time to pray, to read. We all need time to relax, to think and meditate, to learn and grow.

If we don't take time to sharpen the axe, we will become dull and lose our effectiveness. So start today. Think about the ways by which you could do your job more effectively and add a lot of value to it.

Poem: If Prophet Muhammad (saw) Visited you?

If Prophet Muhammad (saw) Visited you?
Source of Poem: alhudapk.com , Author: Aliya Khanum

I wonder........................

If Prophet Muhammad visited you
Just for a day or two,
If he came unexpectedly,
I wonder what you would do?

Oh I know you would give your nicest room,
To such an honored guest,
And you would serve him your very best.
You would be the very best,
Cause you're glad to have him there,
That serving him in your home
Would be a joy without compare.

But...when you see him coming,
Would you meet him at the door
With your arms outstretched in welcome,
to your visitor?

Or...would you have to change your clothes
before you let him in?
Or hide some magazines and put
the Qur’an where they had been?

Would you still watch those movies,
Or your T.V. set?
Or would you switch it off,
Before he gets upset.

Would you turn off the radio,
And hope he had not heard?
And wish that you did not utter
your last loud hasty word?

Would you hide your worldly music,
And instead take out Hadith books?
Could you let him walk right in,
Or would you rush about?

And I wonder...if the Prophet (saw) spent, a day or two with you,
Would you go on doing the things you always do?
Would you go right on and say the things You always say?
Would life for you continue
As it does from day to day?

Would your family conversations,
Keep up their usual pace?
And would you find it hard each meal,
To say a table grace?
Would you keep up each and every prayer?
Without putting on a frown?
And would you always jump up early,
For Fajr at dawn?

Would you sing the songs you always sing?
And read the book you read?
And let him know the things on which,
Your mind and spirit feed?
Would you take the Prophet with you,
Everywhere you plan to go?
Or, would you maybe change your plans,
Just for a day or so?

Would you be glad to have him meet,
Your very closest friends?
Or, would you hope they stay away,
Until his visit ends?

Would you be glad to have him stay,
forever on and on?
Or would you sigh with great relief,
When he at last was gone?

It might be interesting to know,
The things that you would do.
If Prophet Muhammad came,
To spend some time with you

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Poem: I am a Muslim

I am a Muslim
Source of Poem: Nazrul Islam, Author: Ahmed Junied

I am a Muslim

And God I praise

For all His blessings

My voice I raise

In one God I believe

No equal has He

Lord of the universe

Compassionate to me

Muhammad the prophet

Taught me the way

To be honest and truthful

Throughout every day

The holy Qur'an

To life is my guide

It's teachings I follow

By it I abide

Islam my religion

Preaches good deeds

Mercy and kindness

To the right path it leads

Upon all humanity

God showers His grace

Regardless of colour

Nationality or race

Through working together

Our hopes increase

To live in a world

Full of love and peace

I am a Muslim

And God I praise

For all His blessings

My voice I raise

Fasting: The Moral and Spiritual Characteristics

THE FASTING (SAWM)
Taken from "Islam in Focus" by Hammudah AbDa-Lati
Thanks to Nazrul Islam for forwarding this material.


Another unique moral and spiritual characteristic of Islam is the prescribed institution of Fasting. Literally defined, fasting means to abstain "completely" from foods, drinks, intimate intercourse and smoking, before the break of the dawn till sunset, during the entire month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic year. But if we restrict the meaning of the Islamic Fasting to this literal sense, we would be sadly mistaken.

When Islam introduced this matchless institution, it planted an evergrowing tree of infinite virtue and invaluable products. Here is an explanation of the spiritual meaning of the Islamic Fasting:

1. It teaches man the principle of sincere Love; because when he observes the Fasting he, does it out of deep love for God. And the man who loves God truly is a man who really knows what love is.

2. It equips man with a creative sense of Hope and an optimistic outlook on life; because when he fasts he is hoping to please God and is seeking His Grace.

3. It imbues man with a genuine virtue of effective Devotion, honest Dedication and closeness to God; because when he fasts he does so for God and for His sake alone.

4. It cultivates in man a vigilant and sound Conscience; because the fasting person keeps his Fast in secret as well as in public. In Fasting, especially, there is no mundane authority to check man's behavior or compel him to observe the Fasting. He keeps it to please God and satisfy his own conscience by being faithful in secret and in public. There is no better way to cultivate a sound conscience in man.

5. It indoctrinates man in Patience and Unselfishness; because when he fasts he feels the pains of deprivation but endures patiently. Truly this deprivation may be only temporary, yet there is no doubt that the experience makes him realize the severe effects of such pains on others, who might be deprived of essential commodities for days or weeks or probably months together. The meaning of this experience in a social and humanitarian sense is that such a person is much quicker than anybody else in sympathizing with his fellow men and responding to their needs. And that is an eloquent expression of unselfishness and genuine sympathy.

6. It is an effective lesson in applied Moderation and Willpower. The person who observes his Fasting properly is certainly a man who can discipline his passionate desires and place his self above physical temptations. Such is the man of personality and character, the man of willpower and determination.

7. It provides man with. a Transparent Soul to transcend, a Clear Mind to think and a Light Body to move and act. All this is the never- failing result of carrying a light stomach. Medical instructions, biological rules and intellectual experience attest to this fact.

8. It shows man a new way of Wise Savings and Sound Budgeting; because normally when he eats less quantities or less meals he spends less money and effort. And this is a spiritual semester of home economics and budgeting.

9. It enables man to master the art of Mature Adaptability. We can easily understand the point once we realize that Fasting makes man change the entire course of his daily life. When he makes the change, he naturally adapts himself to a new system and moves along to satisfy the new rules. This, in the long run, develops in him a wise sense of adaptability and a self-created power to overcome the unpredictable hardships of life. A man who values constructive adaptability and courage will readily appreciate the effects of Fasting in this respect.

10. It grounds man in Discipline and Healthy Survival. When a person, observes the regular course of Fasting in consecutive days of the Holy Month and in the Holy Months of the consecutive years, he is certainly applying himself to a high form of discipline and a superb sense of order. Similarly, when he relieves his stomach and relaxes his digestive system, he is indeed insuring his body, not to mention the soul, against all harm that results from stomach overcharge. In this manner of relaxation he may be sure that his body will survive free from the usual disorder and break, and that his soul will continue to shine purely and peacefully.

11. It originates in man the real Spirit of Social Belonging, of Unity and Brotherhood, of Equality before God as well as before the Law. This spirit is the natural product of the fact that when man fasts, he feels that he is joining the whole Muslim society in observing the same duty in the same manner at the same time for the same motives to the same end. No sociologist can say that there has been at any period of history anything comparable to this fine institution of Islam. People have been crying throughout the ages for acceptable belonging, for unity, for brotherhood, for equality, but how echoless their voice has been, and how very little success they have met! Where can they find their goals without the guiding light of Islam?

12. It is a Godly prescription for self-reassurance and self-control, for maintenance of human dignity and freedom, for victory and peace. These results never fail to manifest themselves as a lively reality in the heart of the person who knows how to keep the Fasting. When he fasts in the proper manner, he is in control of himself, exercises full command over his passions, disciplines his desires and resists all evil temptations. By this course, he is in a position to reassure himself, to restore his dignity and integrity and to attain freedom from- the captivity of evil. Once he obtains all this, he has established inner peace, which is the source of permanent peace with God and, consequently, with the entire universe.

Basic guide to praying

Basic guide to praying
Taken from "Islam in Focus" by Hammudah AbDa-Lati

Thanks to Nazrul Islam for forwarding this material. Pictures were taken from a forum from turntoislam.com posted by islamicfajr

The following are the various kinds of prayer:

1. Obligatory (Fard), which includes the five daily prayers, the Friday's noon congregation and the funeral prayer. Failure to observe these prayers is a serious and punishable sin, if there is no reasonable excuse.

2. Supererogatory (Wajib and Sunnah), which includes the prayers accompanying the obligatory services, and the congregations of the two great festivals (Eid) and Friday Prayers. Failure to observe these is a harmful negligence and a reproachable conduct. e.g Taraweeh Prayers, Funeral prayers (Salatu-1-Janazah)

3. Optional prayer which includes all voluntary prayers at any time of the day or the night. Two periods have a special preference: the later part of the night until just before the breaking of the dawn and the mid-morning period. e.g. Tahajud prayers.

The Performance of Prayer

After the worshipper has done the ablution and after the ‘Adhan’ and ‘Iqamah’ are said, the prayer starts as follows:

1. The Early Morning Prayer (salatu-l-Fajr)
In this prayer two units (Rak’ahs) are offered first as supererogatory (Sunnah). These are followed by two other units as obligatory (Fard). Both Supererogatory and obligatory units are offered in the same manner except that, when declaring the intention, one has to distinguish between the two kinds. This is the description of performance:

Act 1. One stands in reverence and humility, facing the Qiblah, raising his hands up to the ears, and says: "Nawaytu Osalli Sunnata Salati-l-Fajr or Farda Salati-l-Fajr (As the case may be); Allahu Akbar."

This means: "I declare my intention to offer the supererogatory or obligatory (as the case may be) prayer of the morning; God is the Greatest of all." Then he lowers his arms and places the right hand over the left one right below the navel.



Act 2. He then says in a low voice the following: "Subhanaka-l-lahumma wa bihamdik, wa tabaraka-smuk, wa ta'ala Jadduk, wa La llaha Ghayruk. A'udhu bi-l-lahi mina-sh-shaytani-r- rajeem. Bismi-l-lahi-r-rah-mann-r-raheem".

This means: "Glory be to You, 0 God, and Yours is the praise, and blessed is Your name, and exalted is Your majesty, and there is no god besides You. I seek the refuge of God from the condemned devil. In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful."


Act 3. Then in a low or audible voice he recites the Opening Chapter of the Qur’an (al-Fatihah), followed by any passage from the Holy Book. (for The Opening and examples of these short chapters and verses click here for details! )

Act 4. Then he says: "Allahu Akbar," (God is the Greatest of all), lowering his head down at a right angle, placing the palms of his hands on the knees and saying in a low voice:
"Subhana Rabbiya-l-'Azeem"

("Glory to my Lord the Great", repeated three times). This is called Ruku’.

After that the standing position is resumed with these words: "Sami’a-l-ahu Liman Hamidah; Rabbana Laka-l-Hamd

(God accepts any who are thankful to Him; Our Lord, praise be to You). When saying this the hands remain on the sides.


Act 5. The worshipper then says: Allahu Akbar, prostrating himself with the toes of both feet, both knees, both hands and the forehead touching the ground. This is the position of Sujud and is accompanied with these words:

Subhana Rabbiya-l-A'La

(Glory to my Lord the Most High, repeated three times).



Act 6. Then with the utterance of Allahu Akbar comes the Julus, a short rest in a sitting posture: the outer side of the left foot and the toes of the right one, which are in an erect position, touching the ground and the two hands are placed on the knees.


After this a second prostration (Sujud) is repeated in the same way with the same utterances as in the first one. This completes one unit (Rak’ah) of the prayer.

Act 7. After the first unit the worshipper rises, saying Allahu Akbar, to assume a standing position for the second unit and recites the Opening (the Fatihah) followed by a Qur’anic passage as in the first unit.

Act 8. When he has finished the second bowing and the two prostrations in the same way as the first,
he takes a sitting position as in Julus and recites the Tashahhud with its two parts.


Act 9. Finally he turns his face to the right side saying these words: "Assalamu ‘Alaykum wa rahmatu-I-Lah (Peace be on you and the mercy of God). Then he turns his face to the left side uttering the same greetings.

This is how any prayer of two units (Rak’ahs), whether obligatory or supererogatory, is performed. When knowing how to perform this prayer in the right way, all other prayers will be found very easy. It should be pointed out that every move or every word in the Islamic prayer has a great significance attached to it and is symbolic of a very deep meaning.

2. The Noon Prayer (Sulatu-z-Zuhr)

This consists of four units as Sunnah, followed by four units as Fard, and then two others as Sunnah (+ 2 units Nafl - This is optional). The performance of the Fard of this prayer is as follows:

(a) The first two units are performed in the same way as in the morning prayer. The Fatihah and a portion of the Qur’an are recited in a low voice. Bowing and prostration postures are observed in the same way.

(b) When reciting the Tashahhud after the second unit, the worshipper stops at the end of the first part of it to resume the posture of standing.

(c) Then he recites the Fatiha only in the third unit without any added portion of the Qur’an.

(d) When he concludes the third unit, he stands for the fourth and recites the Fatihah only as in the third.

(e) After bowing and prostration he takes the sitting posture of Julus and recites the whole Tashahhud with its two parts.

(f) Then he utters the peace greetings right and left.

(g) Offering the two Sunnah units is like the morning prayer but in a low voice.

3. The Mid-Afternoon Prayer (Salatu-l-'Asr)

It consists of four units as Sunnah followed by four others as Fard. These are performed in the same way as the noon prayer and in a low voice.

4. The Sunset Prayer (Salatu-l-Maghrib)

It consists of three units as Fard followed by two as Sunnah (+ 2 units Nafl - This is optional). It may be said in the first two units with a low or audible voice; the third unit is in a low voice. It is performed in the same way as the noon or mid-afternoon prayer except that the fourth unit is excluded and the final sitting here, following recital of the Fatihah, bowing, and prostrations, comes after the third unit, which ends with the utterances of peace greetings. The two Sunnah units are offered in the same way as the Early Morning Prayer.

5. The Evening Prayer (Salatu.l-‘Isha’)

It consists of four units as Sunnah followed by four others as Fard, two as Sunnah (+ 2 units Nafl - This is optional) and three as Witr (higher than Sunnah and lower than Fard) (+ 2 units Nafl - This is optional) . The first two units of the four Fard may be said in a low or audible voice. Other than that, it is performed the same way as the noon or mid-afternoon prayer. The two Sunnah units are performed exactly like the early morning prayer.

As for the three Witr units, they are performed just like the sunset prayer with two exceptions: (a) in the third unit the Fatihah is followed by a portion of the Qur’an, and (b) while standing after bowing and before Prostration the worshipper says these words:

"Allahumma inna nasta'eenuk, wa nastahdeek, wa nastaghifiruk, wa natubu ilayk, wa nu'minu bik, wa natawakkalu 'Alayk, wa nuthni 'alayka-l-Khayra kullah. Nashkurk, wa la nakfruk, wa nakhla'u wa natruku man yafj-uruk. Allahumma iyyaka na’bud, wa laka nusalli wa nasjud, wa ilayka nas'a wa nahfid. Narju rahmatak, wa naklisha 'adhabak; inna 'adhabaka bi-l-Kuffari mulhaq wa salli-l-llahumma 'ala sayyidina Muharnmad wa 'ala alihi - wa sahbihi wa sallim."

This is called Qunut and may be interpreted as follows:
"O God! We beseech You for help and guidance, and seek Your protection and believe in You and rely on You, and extol You and are thankful to You and are not ingrate to You, and we declare ourselves clear of, and forsake, him who disobeys You.

"O God! To You do we pray and prostrate ourselves, and to You do we betake ourselves, and to obey You we are quick, and Your mercy do we hope for and Your punishment do we fear, for Your punishment overtakes the unbelievers.

"O God! Exalt our Master Muhammad and his people and his true followers."

If this Qunut cannot be commanded by memory, it is sufficient to say any recitation similar to it till it is mastered. All the Sunnah (supererogatory) prayers are to be said individually, that is not in congregation except the ‘Eed prayers, and the Witr in the month of Ramadan.

The Sunnah Prayers are not required from a person who has missed some Fard Prayers. Instead, he must make up for what he has missed and offer the obligatory services. Also the Sunnah Prayers are not required, if the due time of the accompanying Fard Prayers has expired. So, if a person misses any prayer and wants to make up for it, he has to offer the Fard only.

If a worshipper does not know how to say his whole prayers in, the Arabic version, he may use any other language he knows if it can express the same meaning of the Arabic. To make the Arabic version easy we are giving the words in transliteration.

The Fard Prayer is much more preferable when offered in a congregation (Jama’ah) led by an Imam. The congregation is best when it is held in a mosque, but it may be held in other places.
Further Reading:
Please also take time to read: Conditions & Rules of Salat and Common Errors (pdf)

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NOTE TO BROTHERS & SISTERS
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A useful software can be downloaded to help with performing salat. It is very good, has lots of sounds, pictures and transliteration. I would recomend this software.
Click here to download cyberSalat (linked to http://www.ussbg.com/ website).
Download the files, extract to anywhere on your computer, click on file called SALAT10 to start the programme. The passwordis aadam.

Also IslamWay.com has designed a full flash program that integrates audio, pictures and videos plus the Arabic transliteration in a very easy step by step explanation. Here is a link Click Here!
There is also "how to pray" section on turntoislam.com. Here is the link Click Here!

If you
ever need help on Salat please email us at info@al-islam.co.uk and we will try to help. It is never too late to start learning salat.