Thursday, 19 October 2017

Root Causes Of Our Crisis - Sh Hamza Yusuf


Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Enjoin justice and forbid evil: Verse of the day

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"Had not God repelled some people by the might of others, the monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques in which God's praise is celebrated daily, would have been utterly demolished. God will certainly help those who help His cause. . .These are the people who, if We establish them in the land, will remain constant in prayer and give in charity, enjoin justice and forbid evil." The Holy Quran, 22:40-41

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Rohingya refugees share stories of sexual violence (Trigger Warning)

Rajuma Begum, 20, survived the August 30 massacre in Tula Toli, believed to have been one of the most brutal incidents of Myanmar army violence. Villagers were taken to a beach by the river where the men were separated from the women and children and then gunned down, hacked to death and bayoneted.
Rajuma was holding her son, Mohammed Saddique, in her arms, when four or five soldiers began taking women away in groups of five to seven.
"They took me along with another four women inside a house," Rajuma recounted, speaking at a school in Kutupalong refugee camp.
"They ripped my son from my arms and threw him [on the ground] and cut his throat," she said, before burying her head in her hands and starting to wail.
"I am thirsty to hear someone calling me 'ma'," Rajuma said between sobs. "I had a younger brother who is 10 years old. I'm sorry to him because they took him and I couldn't save him."
Full article

Monday, 16 October 2017

Ali ibn Abi Talib's Letter to Malik al-Ashtar, the Governor of Egypt

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Excerpts from Ali ibn Abi Talib's letter to Malik al Ashtar, Governor of Egypt, written around 658 AD 
'Develop in your heart the feeling of love for your people and let it be the source of kindliness and blessing to them.' 
 
'Should you be elated by power, ever feel in your mind the slightest symptoms of pride and arrogance, then look at the power and majesty of the Divine governance of the Universe over which you have absolutely no control. It will restore the sense of  balance to your wayward intelligence and give you the sense of calmness and affability.'

'Maintain justice in administration and impose it on your own self and seek the consent of the people, for, the discontent of the masses sterilises the contentment of the privileged few and the discontent of the few loses itself in the contentment of the many. Remember the privileged few will not rally round you in moments of difficulty: they will try to side-track justice, they will ask for more than what they deserve and will show no gratitude for favours done to them. (…) 


'Do not make haste in seeking confirmation of tale-telling, for the tale-teller is a deceitful person appearing in the garb of a friend.'

'Do not disregard the noble traditions established by our forbears, which have promoted harmony and progress among the people; and do not initiate anything which might minimize their usefulness. The men who had established these noble traditions have had their reward; but responsibility will be yours if they are disturbed.'

​'Remember that the people are composed of different classes. The progress of one is dependent on the progress of every other, and none can afford to be independent of the other' 

'He who does not realise his own responsibilities can hardly appraise the responsibilities of others.'

'Beware! Fear God when dealing with the problem of the poor who have none to patronise them, who are forlorn, indigent, helpless and are greatly torn in mind – victims of the vicissitudes of time. Among them are some who do not question their lot in life and who, notwithstanding their misery, do not go about seeing alms. For God’s sake, safeguard their rights, for on you rests the responsibility of protecting their interests.



Thursday, 12 October 2017

Why do mosques keep pretending that men and women don’t hang out outside of the mosque?

As a child, I would run laughing through the mosque as if the entire building was my playground.
When your mother is an influential leader in the community and your dad one of the regular faces at the mosque, you’re welcomed everywhere. You become “the darling.” You are doted on by aunties who squeeze your cheeks and rain down blessings on you, while the uncles always have treats for you in their pockets, and ready to play fun games with you between prayer times.
But as I grew older and puberty loomed, my world became smaller as the areas I could roam steadily shrunk.
I was no longer allowed downstairs (the biggest part of the mosque). The uncles stopped smiling at me altogether. I was suddenly restricted to the “back room.”
Despite this, I would still hang around in the corridors chatting to my brother and the boys I had once played with. After all, this was my kingdom. I’d grown up in this mosque so why should I suddenly be denied the friendships and freedom of my youth.
Inevitably, I would then be reprimanded by some man who found my presence and easy manner with the opposite sex offensive as he shooed me into the sister’s area where he thought I belonged.
The whole charade exasperated me and bored me to tears, because that’s exactly what it was, a charade. I saw those men and women outside the walls of the mosque and their behavior was different. Less guarded. More casual. Empty of the pretense and protocol that governed them within the walls of their religious institution. I saw the men chatting with women in the street and sometimes saw them hand in hand with those women.
For example, the concept of “lowering your gaze” is just that, a concept, yet some men have taken it as a literal rule and refuse to look into the eyes of a woman in the mosque. I remember during Ramadan our mosque would serve dinner every night, and a group of us would always help, passing dishes from the men into the women’s section. One man would pass me plates of food, head turned away from me, eyes completely averted and looking at the floor. Incidentally, I never took it as a sign of respect. I will never take it as a sign of respect. It’s a distortion of a simple statement designed to respect women. They have taken it too far.
They have turned this concept into an irrational normality.
To segregate so completely is an insult to both genders. We are assuming that men are so lacking in control around women that they must be cordoned off. It does women a disservice and dehumanizes them to exaggerate sexual temptation so much so that we must be kept hidden.




Wednesday, 11 October 2017

ON SECRET MARRIAGES | DR SHAYKH MOHAMMAD AKRAM NADWI

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Some brothers and sisters have asked me to comment on a practice that is increasingly reported of travelling Muslim scholars and teachers of Islam in the West, and those who travel to the West as teachers and preachers. This is the practice of contracting secret marriages in the places these scholars visit or pass through.
The first thing to be said is that people generally do not make a secret of actions and relations except when they have some sense that these actions and relations, if known, would be disapproved of. Those who take the responsibility of public teaching of Islam must know that they are seen as representatives of the religion and looked up to as role models. Not only the words they preach but also their actions and lifestyle influence the decisions and actions of others; before God they are liable for that influence and for its consequences in the lives of others. Preachers, teachers, and other public figures in the community, have a responsibility to ensure that their conduct adheres to the ideal of those who fear even to displease God, let alone wilfully disobey His commands or those of His Messenger, upon him be peace.
Every Muslim knows that good deeds repel evil ones. God has said so in His Book: “Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds”. (Surah Hud 114) The effort of preparing for prayers and doing the prayers through the day helps to sustain God-wariness, to prevent failures and shortcomings from becoming established habits with consequences hard to undo. We strive after good thoughts, words and deeds in order to disable and annul temptation, so that we acquire, so far as God wills, something to negate/counter the harms and wrongs that we accumulate to our account over a lifetime.
But how many of us are mindful that the converse is also true: that evil deeds can negate, undo or outweigh good ones? The following is reported by `Abd al-Razzaq in his Musannaf:
Ma`mar and Sufyan al-Thawri narrated to us from Abu Ishaq, who narrated from his wife saying that she called among a company of women on `A’ishah [ra]. A woman said to her: O umm al-mu’minin, I had a slave-girl, whom I sold to Zayd ibn Arqam for 800 with deferred payment of the price. Then I bought her from him for 600 and I paid those 600 on the spot and I wrote him 800 as debt. `A’ishah said: By God!How evil is what you bought! How evil is what you bought! Tell Zayd ibn Arqam that he has invalidated his jihad with the Messenger of God, peace be upon him, except if he repents. (Abd al-Razzaq, al-Musannaf, 8/185)
Note here the strength and presence of mind of `A’ishah [ra]. In her indignation against this legal trick to do what God’s law fiercely condemns and pronounces as illegal (namely, loans on interest), she does not exaggerate or lose her balance of judgment. She does not hesitate to say of Zayd that, by taking part in this transaction, he has annulled his effort of jihad. But she also remembers to say, ‘except if he repents’. Some wrongs (like riba) are indeed so heavy in their nature and their personal and social consequences that that they may annul one’s good deeds. Yet, until death is known to be imminent, the door of repentance is not closed to any sinner, and God has said that He loves to forgive.
Secret marriage is one of several kinds of violation by men of the rights and dignity of women. I have been informed that it is increasingly common for Muslim preachers in Europe and America and for those visiting the West to marry women in secret and for a short period, after which they, presumably, end the marriage, before going on to contract another marriage of the same sort somewhere else. This is a violation of the laws and good purposes of marriage, and a vicious exploitation of women whose circumstances oblige them to enter into such contracts. The wrong is analogous to riba, which is a violation of the laws and good purposes of lending money, and severely injurious to those whose circumstances force them to borrow in this illegal way.
Full article 

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

It looks like the government of India has resorted to ‘Fake News’ to help its case for the deportation of 40,000 Rohingya refugees in India

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India has been a victim of fake news for quite some time now, which seems like a state sponsored campaign. It is visible by the way in which the corporate media which is ruled by the politics of the government, runs with these fake stories. The fake news is propagated as real news, by their Members of Parliaments as well. This might not look big, but the reach the right-wing has, through their troll pages, WhatsApp groups and mainly the corporate News Channels is huge. It becomes a tool for opinion generation, which is false and is based on lies.
By using photographs stolen from irrelevant stories and sources, photoshopping them to fit the false narrative, India is generating fake news to show the Rohingya Muslims as terrorists and killers, while in reality there is absolutely zero ‘evidence’ for it and evidence is the key word here. News is based on legitimate sources, evidence and not on fake, photoshopped propaganda. The problem I have with these is the way people from all the sections of the society, form their opinions based on this fake news which is nothing but an assault against Rohingya Muslims. It is then no longer limited to the followers of the Government of the party in power, but it forces people who have no knowledge, understanding of the issue to make an opinion which is nothing but hateful and they become victims of this propaganda.  These fake claims and stories add fuel to not only to hate campaign against the Rohingya’s, but, also charge up anti-Muslim and anti-Kashmir sentiments. It also undermines any effort the international community might put in putting an end to Myanmar’s program of ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya.
Full article

Monday, 9 October 2017

This Is Why Muslim Men Need to Stop Commenting on Women’s Hijab

Muslim men hijab
“You’re not wearing the hijab properly. Women who dress like that are cursed.”
“Sister, you are misleading the younger generation of Muslimahs.”
“You shouldn’t bother wearing the hijab at all if you are going to wear makeup/tight clothes.”
“You are representing Islam in a bad way when you wear the hijab like that.”

…Sound familiar? It does to me. Thankfully, I haven’t had anyone comment on my own hijab. But I see other Muslim women getting these kinds of comments on a daily basis, not just from other women but often from men.
There is absolutely no reason for random men to give their unwarranted two cents about the way a Muslim woman covers her body. As someone who wears a hijab/headscarf, I’m going to be addressing that aspect of it, specifically.
Most of the time when men give women advice about hijab these days, they do it online on a public platform (which goes against the Islamic etiquette of giving advice). I have seen YouTube videos from Muslim men where all they talk about is how a Muslim woman should cover or the mistakes that many women make, as if there are not other resources out there on this topic. There are videos of men bashing Muslim women for wearing “improper” hijab and being YouTubers.  Men criticizing a Muslim woman’s makeup, outfit, or style of hijab on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc. in the name of “guidance.” This is not sincere advice. This is an attempt to humiliate and control these women.
And then there’s the pathetic argument that if a woman is not practicing hijab perfectly, she shouldn’t be wearing a headscarf at all. Besides the fact that these men are bringing the sin on themselves if the woman actually does remove it as a result of this discouragement, it also just doesn’t make sense. That’s like saying if someone isn’t praying 5 times a day or isn’t praying perfectly, they should just stop completely.
This is not sincere advice. This is an attempt to humiliate and control these women.
Some men say the hijab is a big deal because Muslim women are representing Islam, so if they do something wrong while wearing it, it’s worse than if they were not wearing it while doing that action. But why should the burden of “representation” fall solely on hijabi women’s shoulders? And what about a man who’s sinning? For example, if a man is dating and he is with his girlfriend, should he not pray in front of her because she’ll associate his actions with Islam and think dating is okay in our religion? No, because obviously, one sin doesn’t excuse another. Plus, if someone genuinely wants to learn about Islam, they will learn right from wrong through research regardless of what Muslims are doing.
There’s also an impossibly high standard that Muslim women are held to when they wear the hijab, versus when they don’t. I haven’t been wearing the hijab for most of my life, so I know this is true. As soon as a woman starts wearing a scarf on her head, people (including Muslim men) expect her to be a perfect Muslim. The hijab is not a statement saying, “I’m a perfect Muslim! Be like me!” It’s a sign of a woman’s attempt to draw closer to her Creator through obeying Him. The hijab on my head has literally nothing to do with other people. I’m not doing it to hide from men. I’m not doing it to become a role model for young Muslimahs. I’m not doing it to prove a point to society. The only thing that keeps me wearing the hijab every day, despite all of the struggles it comes with, is my desire to please God. That’s it.
Muslim men are supposed to be a source of support for their sisters-in-Islam. They are supposed to be the people who try to understand our struggles with the most empathy at a time when it seems like nobody on the outside does.

Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/mostlymuslim/2017/07/muslim-men-hijab/#Mer0QqBAlE3AHCpW.99