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Masjid-Al-Haram: (Picture source)

Once again Mahsallah its that time of the year when Muslims all over the globe are bonded together by the unseen thread of deity and worship. Its now in the month of Ramadan that Allah S.W.T’s mercy takes over his anger, the gates of Jannah (Paradise) are widely opened and the gates of Hell are closed; Iblis (Satan) is chained, no more allowed to pester believers with his evil whisperings.

It is believed that when a fasting believer supplicates to Allah S.W.T with pure heart and sheer dedication, his dua will be accepted by Allah S.W.T. Fasting does not just correspond to staying away from food and ill habits; but to gain a self control over oneself which is always encouraged and needed in Islam. As long as a believer fasts, he/she should absorb himself in Zikr of Allah S.W.T, in recitation and remembrance of Allah S.W.T with a humble heart.

Understanding the fact that blessed are we to live through yet an other month of mercy, we should try to gain as much as we can out of it. Seek forgiveness for yourself, as well as for your loved ones; ask for a better life here and in the hereafter; Beg for strength and courage; pray for good health and happiness; call for strong relations build solely on love; ask for pious and humble children; beseech for respect and humbleness and lastly, remember all your Muslim friends in your prayers.

Ramadan Mubarak .. wishing you all a blessed Ramadan !!!

A little something for those interested in knowing more about Ramadan and fasting. Attached is a booklet created by a sister in hopes of reaching more and more Muslims; May Allah bless her for her effort Ameen

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Much happened this month in my life, an eventful month dareIsay of my life! It was one event that really did catch me off-gaurd and threw me off my comfort level in an instance. This summer I had the fortunate experience of working as a teacher in a summer camp, which provided me with ample experience and a little insight on how schools work here in Toronto; along with a little something I would have managed to exist without !!!

So, It was a friday which translates to an enjoyable all expense paid visit to either of cool places in Toronto. It doesn’t necessarily mean enjoyable to us too, keeping in mind how we literally have to hover around kids guarding and protecting them .. Anyways, I was sitting with a bunch of kids when one my class kids cracked a joke, a joke which did leave me laugh out loud .. And bam! Unknowingly, I seemed to commit a crime against mankind!! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

A little girl’s eye started at me, burning through my soul seemed to question something, I dint quite understand what when I decided to ask her and ‘Why did you just laugh’ came her question in a meek little but shrill voice. It took me some minutes to regroup myself and gather up before I asked ‘Why, Dint you just hear a joke?’ ‘Well! Of course I did but why did you laugh?’ Did I hear her right ??!! ‘What’s wrong with me laughing’ I asked ? ‘Teachers aren’t supposed to laugh’ she reported in her angry little voice, with sheer disapproval twined through it. What!!! was all that came to my mind ..’Of course we laugh, we are just humans like you remember?’ I answered, not quite trusting my voice .. She pouted and left me totally baffled and HURT!

This experience left me sad and heart-broken really ๐Ÿ˜ฆ , Whatever happened to the little respect that we are worth of ?? I am frankly so pissed and spiteful right now that I find myself questioning my career choice .. !!!

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In recent times, have come across many sites talking about how women are exploited and are burdened by laws laid down by Islam. I was ashamed reading them, mostly because I myself am a woman, a strong willed dare I say. Islam is the purest of all religions, the true one indeed, all the believers of which are to assured of them being justified no matter what before Allah if they are/were truthful. ‘How then, are women such-and-such’ was the first thought that evaded my sleep and peace. It cannot be, just cannot be. Allah cannot burden women as claimed by some, He created women with the same hands he created men with, He breathed soul in them just as he did to men, He will decide their eternal fate just as he will of men. Why then, this claim ?

I had to find evidence, to help both me and all the women of the shameful life they must have had led out of such claims. Even the western world declares that men and women are different from each other, Although sharing the same biological name ‘Homo-sapiens’ their similarities end right there. We don’t mind much when the western world says so, do we ? Only when Muslims claim the same, we are considered to have a religion which is partial to men?

A woman of Islam is said to cover herself up from the eyes of stranger men. One way, the rightful way of saying that is a woman is a precious gem, the entitlement of which is only given to her parents and husband. She hides her beauty from hungry eyes and opens up only for her husband. But, the other (evil) way of looking at it is that a woman of Islam is denied the same existence as men of roaming freely without a black cloth covering him head to toe. And sadly, that’s the way world looks at it. Think hard, When a christian nun covers the same body parts as a Muslimah, she is praised for her rightfulness and devotion to her lord, I bet you the same is felt whenever their eyes sees a Muslimah ??!!

In Islam, a woman is allowed to choose a husband of her liking as long as he himself is a believer. If she is forced into marrying someone not of her choice, she possess the right to dissolve the marriage and marry by her choice. Ponder awhile, which religion gives such a right to women ? My Islam does.

Whatever money a woman makes as long as it is by lawful means, she aloneย  secures the right to spend it the way of her choosing. Although married, she remains the rightful owner of her money, not a penny of which can be taken without her permission. If she wishes to spend her money doing such-and-such as long as its done in halal way, she needn’t seek her husband permission nor content. Wouldnt that be accounted for freedom people ??

These are to name a few of the privileges Islam bestows on women. I strongly urge every women out there to make peace with the fact that we aren’t the same as men, We are given some rights over men just as men are given some over us, but the essence of our creation remains the same. Perform good deeds, competing for reward from Allah and targeting Jannah as the main goal of our lives. A woman is just as same as a man, but a man is given a degree of authority over us. Islam doesn’t asks a man to rule over his woman, but it is rather inferred by some of men. The certain degree of authority granted to them over us is much misused than respected, the result of which can be seen and heard quite often in the society.

Islam does not allow neither does it encourage such acts. It is onto men of today to take the responsibility to correct the picture of men in Islam and give women their due respect. In hope we abide therein !!!

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Followed by the wonderful encounters I have had with my non-muslim friends, mostly clearing the dust about Islam;ย  I have had some rather sad issues with my Muslim friends.

We cant really blame non-believers, can we ? They are totally unaware of the grave dangers they would be associated with on the Day of Resurrection. Even Quran states that ‘If only they knew, they would have saved themselves from their would-be plight’. But what be said about Muslims, who happen to know all about Islam yet behave as they would rather not .. ??!!

I maybe a sinful believer, but I do alhamdululillah offer my prayers on time sanctioned by Allah. However, my not-so believer friends prefer otherwise. I often try to drag them along with me to the masjid but it always amazes me the vague excuses they could come up with each time.

I honestly have no problem with that, I advice them to come with me to the Masjid and ask them to fulfill their covenant to Allah but there ends my responsibility on them. I cant force them to do so, Can just suggest and guide them. But, what annoys me are the questions such behavior attracts from my non-believer friends. ‘Aren’t everyone of you supposed to offer prayers ? How come some of you do so and some of you don’t ? Are some people exempted from offering prayers ? Do everyone have a different appointed time to offer prayers ?’ All such questions are innocent one’s coming from a non-believer but what we need to realize is the pathetic example we set before them. We wish night and day that world finally recognize our religion and give its due respect, but why would they when we ourselves are busy disrespecting it ??? Ya Allah!!!

I love my sisters in Islam, but I also hate some of them for such unacceptable behaviour … ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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I was splashing my face with cold water when I looked into the mirror. I was taken aback, with the sight that met my eyes. Somebody of you maybe letting their imaginations run wild and figuring out that it was an alien or something that I saw, Sorry to disappoint you but that’s not what I saw. Staring a bit at the face, It took me a while to sink in that the eyes boring back at me were mine. But why was I getting a weird feeling as if I were suddenly trapped in someone else body ?

I felt like I was not what the mirror says I am; Knew quite well the face and eyes, yet felt alien to me. I suddenly had an urge to touch my face and see for myself if that’s what even the mirror shows. Too afraid to discover otherwise I just kept staring that face. I suddenly felt cold, the cold had nothing to do with the heavy snow outside, It was cold that came from deep inside me, fear dare I say.

Rummaging through my memory to remember what my latest picture looked like, I grew a little relaxed to conclude thats its me. ME ! But why did I had to fight my mind to say out loud that its me ? With still that creepy feeling tugging my senses I suddenly turned away from the mirror. Satisfied that atleast I am not staring at that face anymore, I was shocked to realise the effort it took not to turn back and check if the face still was there.

Having debated quite a lot of whether I should just walk away or just have one last look … I decided to go with the latter one.Gaining an upper hand over my senses I drew in deep breaths and turned slowly, very slowly towards the mirror. And there it was … It was definitely me. This time I was more than sure its me, minus the creepyness I felt awhile back. It felt as normal as it felt everytime I looked at myself in mirror.

Why ? Why was I troubled at first with my sight ? It was almost as if I could see my soul but in a different body. It was nonetheless a scary position to be in .. Have you ever been there ?

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The other day I had a rather interesting question poised by someone, ‘We have heard many advising us to ask Allah to guide us to the straight path, but what really defines the straight path ?’. This is such a question the answer of which should clearly be understood by every Muslim, just dint realize that up until now (Thanks to Raza). As promised, here’s my answer to that.

As for the meaning of As-Sirat Al-Mustaqim, Imam Abu Ja`far At-Tabari said, “The Ummah agreed that Sirat Al-Mustaqim, is the clear path without branches, according to the language of the Arabs. For instance, Jarir bin `Atiyah Al-Khatafi said in a poem, `The Leader of the faithful is on a path that will remain straight even though the other paths are crooked.” At-Tabari also stated that, “There are many evidences to this fact.” At-Tabari then proceeded, “The Arabs use the term, Sirat in reference to every deed and statement whether righteous or wicked. Hence the Arabs would describe the honest person as being straight and the wicked person as being crooked. The straight path mentioned in the Qur’an refers to Islam.

Imam Ahmad recorded in his Musnad that An-Nawwas bin Sam`an said that the Prophet said(Allah has set an example: A Sirat (straight path) that is surrounded by two walls on both sides, with several open doors within the walls covered with curtains. There is a caller on the gate of the Sirat who heralds, ‘O people! Stay on the path and do not deviate from it.’ Meanwhile, a caller from above the path is also warning any person who wants to open any of these doors, ‘Woe unto you! Do not open it, for if you open it you will pass through.’ The straight path is Islam, the two walls are Allah’s set limits, while the doors resemble what Allah has prohibited. The caller on the gate of the Sirat is the Book of Allah, while the caller above the Sirat is Allah’s admonishment in the heart of every Muslim.)

Allah’s statement,

[ุบูŽูŠู’ุฑู ุงู„ู’ู…ูŽุบู’ุถููˆุจู ุนูŽู„ูŽูŠู’ู‡ูู…ู’ ูˆูŽู„ุงูŽ ุงู„ุถู‘ูŽุขู„ู‘ููŠู†ูŽ]

(Not (the way) of those who earned Your anger, nor of those who went astray)

meaning guide us to the straight path, the path of those upon whom you have bestowed Your grace, that is, the people of guidance, sincerity and obedience to Allah and His Messengers. They are the people who adhere to Allah’s commandments and refrain from committing what He has prohibited. But, help us to avoid the path of those whom Allah is angry with, whose intentions are corrupt, who know the truth, yet deviate from it. Also, help us avoid the path of those who were led astray, who lost the true knowledge and, as a result, are wandering in misguidance, unable to find the correct path. Allah asserted that the two paths He described here are both misguided when He repeated the negation `not’. These two paths are the paths of the Christians and Jews, a fact that the believer should beware of so that he avoids them. The path of the believers is knowledge of the truth and abiding by it. In comparison, the Jews abandoned practicing the religion, while the Christians lost the true knowledge. This is why `anger’ descended upon the Jews, while being described as `led astray’ is more appropriate of the Christians. Those who know, but avoid implementing the truth, deserve the anger, unlike those who are ignorant. The Christians want to seek the true knowledge, but are unable to find it because they did not seek it from its proper resources.

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Allah said, ‘And such things that came down at Babylon to the two angels, Harut and Marut, but neither of these two (angels) taught anyone (such things) till they had said, “We are for trial, so disbelieve not (by learning this magic from us).” And from these (angels) people learn that by which they cause separation between man and his wife‘ (Surah Al Bakhara, # 102)

Abu Ja`far Ar-Razi said that Ar-Rabi’ bin Anas said that Qays bin `Abbad said that Ibn `Abbas said, “When someone came to the angels to learn magic, they would discourage him and say to him, `We are only a test, so do not fall into disbelief.’ They had knowledge of what is good and evil and what constitutes belief or disbelief, and they thus knew that magic is a form of disbelief. When the person who came to learn magic still insisted on learning it, they commanded him to go to such and such place, where if he went, Satan would meet him and teach him magic. When this man would learn magic, the light (of faith) would depart him, and he would see it shining (and flying away) in the sky. He would then proclaim, `O my sorrow! Woe unto me! What should I do.” Al-Hasan Al-Basri said that this Ayah means, “The angels were sent with magic, so that the people whom Allah willed would be tried and tested. Allah made them promise that they would not teach anyone until first proclaiming, `We are a test for you, do not fall into disbelief.”’ It was recorded by Ibn Abi Hatim. Also, Qatadah said, “Allah took their covenant to not teach anyone magic until they said, `We are a test. Therefore, do not fall in disbelief.”’

Also, As-Suddi said, “When a man would come to the two angels they would advise him, `Do not fall into disbelief. We are a test. ‘ When the man would ignore their advice, they would say, `Go to that pile of ashes and urinate on it.’ When he would urinate on the ashes, a light, meaning the light of faith, would depart from him and would shine until it entered heaven. Then something black that appeared to be smoke would descend and enter his ears and the rest of his body, and this is Allah’s anger. When he told the angels what happened, they would teach him magic. So Allah’s statement, ‘But neither of these two (angels) taught anyone (such things) till they had said, “We are for trial, so disbelieve not (by learning this magic from us.‘ (Surah Al Bakhara, # 102)

Magic existed before Prophet Solomon. Beforehand, the devils used to ascend to heaven and eavesdrop on the conversations of the angels about what will occur on the earth regarding death, other incidents or unseen matters. They would convey this news to the soothsayers, and the soothsayers would in turn convey the news to the people. The people would believe what the soothsayers told them as being true. When the soothsayers trusted the devils, the devils started to lie to them and added other words to the true news that they heard, to the extent of adding seventy false words to each true word. The people recorded these words in some books. Soon after, the Children of Israel said that the Jinns know matters of the Unseen. When Solomon was sent as a Prophet, he collected these books in a box and buried it under his throne; any devil that dared get near the box was burned. Solomon said, `I will not hear of anyone who says that the devils know the Unseen, but I will cut off his head.’ When Solomon died and the scholars who knew the truth about Solomon perished, there came another generation. To them, the devil materialized in the shape of a human and said to some of the Children of Israel, `Should I lead you to a treasure that you will never be able to use up’ They said. `Yes.’ He said, `Dig under this throne,’ and he went with them and showed them Solomon’s throne. They said to him, `Come closer.’ He said, `No. I will wait for you here, and if you do not find the treasure then kill me. ‘ They dug and found the buried books, and Satan said to them, `Solomon only controlled the humans, devils and birds with this magic.’ Thereafter, the news that Solomon was a sorcerer spread among the people, and the Children of Israel adopted these books. When Muhammad came, they disputed with him relying on these books. Hence Allah’s statement, ‘Sulayman did not disbelieve, but the Shayatin (devils) disbelieved'(Surah Al-Bakhara, # 102).

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