Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Justice ...

"O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against

 yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor." (4:135)

Monday, 29 July 2013

Sacrifice and Brotherhood

On the day of the battle of Yarmuk, I went out to find my uncle on the battlefield, and I had with me a container of water. I said to myself that he had some life left in him, then I would quench his thirst with the water and wash the dirt from his face. Suddenly, I came across him, and he was going in and out of conciousness. I asked him: "Do you want me to give you some water?" so, he nodded his head. Suddenly, he heard another wounded man in the distance calling out in pain. So, my uncle motioned for me to go tend to him. I went to him and saw that he was Hisham, the brother of 'Amr bin al-'As. I came to him and asked if he wanted me to give him some water, and suddenly, we heard the sound of another man calling out in the distance in pain. So, he motioned for me to go tend to him. I came to him to find that he had already died. So, I went back to tend to Hisham only to find that he had died as well. Then, I went back to tend to my uncle only to find that he, too, had died." So none of them, in their love for others had died without quenching their thirst. Such a proof of sacrifice and brotherhood is unparalleled in human history.

This incident was reported by 'Abdullah bin al-Mubarak in 'az-Zuhd' (1/185), Ibn Hajar in 'al-Isabah' (7/34), and also in Ibn al-Mubarak's 'al-Jihad' (1/100) by way of Abu al-Jahm bin Hudhayfah al-'Adawi, by way of 'Umar bin Sa'id. The muhaqqiq of 'al-Jihad' mentions that the chain's narrators are all trustworthy, and Allah Knows best.

Friday, 26 July 2013


The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) once asked a companion: "(Is it true) that you fast all day and stand in prayer all night?" The companion replied that the report was indeed true. The Prophet then said: "Do not do that! Observe the fast sometimes and also leave (it) at other times. Stand up for prayer at night and also sleep at night. Your body has a right over you, your eyes have a right over you and your wife has a right over you." - Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Hadith 127 

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately. . .Always adopt a middle, moderate, regular course, whereby you will reach your target (of paradise)." - Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Hadith 470 

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "The good deeds of any person will not make him enter Paradise (i.e., no one enters paradise only through his good deeds)." The Prophet's companions asked: "Not even you?" The Prophet replied: "Not even myself, unless God bestows His favor and mercy on me. So be moderate in your religious deeds and do what is within your ability. None of you should wish for death, for if he is a doer of good, he may increase his good deeds, and if he is an evil doer, he may repent to God." - Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Hadith 577

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

@RichardDawkins would be horrified!! Muslim girls School given near-perfect mark by inspectors

 This made me :), but would horrify Richard

IT is among the top schools in Bolton and now it is is one of the best in the country – after the government’s education watchdog marked it as outstanding.
Bolton Muslim Girls School was given the highest possible mark by Ofsted, which found it to be close to perfect.
Inspectors reported: “Achie-vement is outstanding. From starting points when they join the school in year seven, all students and groups of students make exceptional progress across all years and a wide range of subjects.
“They reach standards which are well above national averages by the time they leave school.”
All areas of the school’s achievement, teaching, behav-iour and leadership, were given a grade one score, indicating they were outstanding.
Ofsted said: “A distinctive feature of this school is the success it achieves in blending the academic progress of the students with their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.”
Inspectors added that this, coupled with the enrichment opportunities, including week-ly community service act-ivities for pupils, had created “a cohesive and caring society where students recognise their responsibilities to those in the school and the wider community”.
Headteacher Mubaaruck Ibrahim was singled out for praise and described as providing “skilful and inspirational guidance”.
Ofsted highlighted how governors, with the support of a consultant, have identified their development needs and undergone training.
Last year Bolton Council issued the body with a formal warning notice over “a number of concerns about the governance”.
Inspectors added that the body has a good understanding of the school’s performance and provides strong support to the headteacher.
Ofsted said the only area that could be improved was to “build on the outstanding practice in teachers’ marking”.
Mr Ibrahim said: “To be graded outstanding in all categories is a testament to the hard work and commitment of our staff, learners, governors and trustees and the support of our parents and local community. The past six years have been an amazing transformational journey for Bolton Muslim Girls’ School from independent school status to an outstanding school.
Gulam Patel, chair of Bolton Muslim Welfare Trust, said: “All involved in the school have worked enormously hard. Bolton can be proud.”

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

The Malala backlash

Comment: I'm sorry to say this has certainly been my exeperience of many Pakistani's :( Everything is a conspiracy theory and women who speak out are especially demonised as liars and attentions seekers.

WHY has Malala Yousufzai’s speech at the UN on July 12, her 16th birthday, created such admiration all over the world, only to be met with a nasty backlash against the young education activist in Pakistan?
Perhaps the negative reaction of many Pakistanis to the young girl is the carping of jealous nobodies, but it bears examining because it says something profound about Pakistan.
The reaction to Malala’s words was swift in Pakistan; barely hours after she made her inspirational speech, people began complaining about its contents, the fact that the UN had dedicated an entire day to her, and the adulation she was receiving from world leaders by her side. Ignoring the text of her speech, which spoke out for the rights of girls and women and implored world leaders to choose peace instead of war, the naysayers tore down the young woman, her father, and Western nations for supporting her in her quest for education.
The insults flowed freely: Malala Dramazai was a popular epithet that popped up on Facebook pages and Twitter. The whole shooting was staged by “the West” and America, who control the Taliban. She was being used to make Pakistan feel guilty for actions that were the fault of the Western powers in the first place. Posters were circulated that showed Mukhtaran Mai and Malala with Xs through their faces, and berated the two women for speaking out about their experiences in order to receive money, popularity and asylum abroad.
Another popular refrain was “drone attacks”. Why had Malala not spoken out about drones at the UN? Why did everyone care so much about Malala and not the other girls murdered by drones? Why did America kill innocent children with drones and then lionise the young Malala to make themselves feel good that they actually cared about the children of Pakistan and Afghanistan?
It was a shameful display of how Pakistanis have a tendency to turn on the very people they should be proud of. Prof Abdus Salam fell victim to this peculiar Pakistani phenomenon, as well as the murdered child labour activist Iqbal Masih, Rimsha Masih, who recently received asylum for the threats to her life after the blasphemy case, and Kainat Soomro, the brave child who had been gang-raped and actually dared to take on her attackers. Pakistanis have very deliberately abandoned these brave champions of justice, and each time one more joins their ranks, the accusations of fame mongering, Western agendas, and money ring out louder and louder.
The insults to Malala had a decidedly sexist tone, the comparison to Mukhtaran Mai — another Pakistani hero — making it obvious that rather than embracing female survivors of hideous, politically motivated violence, Pakistanis prefer them to shut up and go away, not to use their ordeals as a platform to campaign for justice.
What does this say about Pakistani mentality? Firstly, it illustrates the fact that most Pakistanis are very confused. As British journalist Alex Hamilton said, “Those who stand for nothing fall for anything”. Because we don’t know what to stand for, we fall victim to conspiracy theories, wild imaginings, and muddled thinking about what is so clearly right and wrong.
Secondly, people who deflect from Malala’s speech to the issue of drone attacks may believe they care about drone victims, but it is hard to find what if anything they have actually done for those drone victims besides register their displeasure on social media. Instead, it is a way of deflecting the guilt they feel about their own impotence, their own inability to make any substantial change or impact in this country.
In psychology this is called displacement: these people who feel anger and frustration about themselves channel it into feeling angry about drone victims, or angry against Malala Yousafzai, or anyone who challenges their firmly held belief that this world is controlled by forces greater than themselves. They dislike the challenge to the justification for their own inertia and inactivity, and so they strike out.
Critics are ignoring how Malala pointed out that terrorists are misusing Islam for their own selfish ends: power and control. She rightly stated that Pakhtun culture is not synonymous with Talibanism; a popular narrative used to justify the marginalisation of tribal peoples (and the use of drones and human rights excesses by the military in carrying out operations in the tribal areas of Pakistan).
These statements contradict the political arguments offered by Pakistan’s incompetent leadership in lieu of real solutions to the militancy, and the justification for acts of aggression perpetrated by Western and Nato forces on the Pakhtuns of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
A note of warning: Malala and her cause must not be hijacked by opportunists, money-makers, politicians, or those who wish to use this pure young woman for their own selfish ends. In celebrating Malala, the world should not forget about the thousands of girls who are still in danger from extremist violence in Pakistan. Nor should she be taken up as a cause célèbre by celebrities and other do-gooders to feel smug satisfaction that they are helping her cause by posing for a photograph or attending a dinner with her (Personally, I feel that a young girl who can survive being shot in the head by the Taliban is strong enough to withstand being exploited by anyone).
Malala’s beautiful words must be a source of inspiration for solid action on the ground in the areas most affected by the conflicts she describes. Whether you support her or not, nobody can deny the urgent need to bring education and peace to Pakistan. Don’t ignore this message, even if you feel like shooting the messenger all over again.
The writer is a novelist.
Twitter: @binashah  Source

Monday, 22 July 2013

Indian woman carries British merchant West Bengal 1903

I see many comments along the lines of  'we in the West need to help these poor oppressed women!' well maybe you should be aware the the history of  Western imperialism and colonialism first.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Fasting Leads to Forgiveness

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever fasts in the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping for a reward from God, all of that person’s previous sins will be forgiven." Sahih Al-Bukhari

Monday, 15 July 2013

Umm as-Sa’ad: Quranic Scholar

The elderly lady in the picture is Umm as-Sa’ad. She was born 1925 and memorised the Quran at the age of 15. By the age of 25 she had the shortest chains of recitation (Ijzazh) to the Prophet sala Allahu Alihi wasSalam in the 10 modes of recitation.
She is a PIVOTAL point in Quranic instruction in Egypt and Alexandria in particular. From AbdulBasit abdulSamad to Mishary al-Afaasi…all have recited the Quran upon her seeking approval to teach and recite.
Allah have mercy on her, she recently passed away at close to 90 years old. May Allah reward her for her service to the Quran.
Since 1950 she has taught and licensed in memorization of the quran over 100,000 students.
She married one of her students. She was not blessed with any children through her nearly 50 years of marriage. She would say, “Allah barred me from children and their responsibility, so that I can teach his Word to the children of others."

She also said:
"I feel that my memorization of the Quran is as complete has my knowledge of my own name. I cannot imagine that I can forget a single letter from it or even make a single mistake in its reading from memory. I do not know anything else in life like I do the Quran and its modes of recitation. I did not master any other Science or attend lectures or commit anything to memory except the Noble Quran, the texts related to its modes of recitation."

Alhamdulilah!!What an amazing woman! She is the mother of all whom she taught and the best mother they could have had! 

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Reflections of a Non-Muslim: 1st Day of Fasting

 I am following the diary of this non-Muslim sister who has chosen to observe Ramadan and I was very moved by her experience:

It’s about 9 o’clock at night now as I’m writing this, which means only one thing….I SURVIVED MY FIRST DAY OF RAMADAN!!
16 hours and 17 minutes. 16 hours and 17 minutes of looking the other way when someone was eating. Of seeing water and becoming hyper aware of my dry mouth. Of neglecting the three packs of gum waiting in my purse for me in all their minty glory. 16 hours and 17 minutes without my hourly cup of tea or even COFFEE. Gasp! (As a current coffee addict, that might have been harder to part with than the food.)
…if this were a Tweet, this is when I would add the hashtag “#FirstWorldProblems”. Reading the last paragraph over, I realize how privileged I sound. And relative to the rest of the world’s population, I really am.
I spent so much of my day forcing myself to stop thinking about food and water. But I knew the whole time when it would end. I knew that at exactly 8:36 p.m., I could enjoy iftaar (the first meal of the evening to break fast) and I was counting down the minutes.
Not everyone is so lucky. Not everyone has a timer telling them when their hunger will end. While we sometimes might joke that we FEEL like we’re going to die of starvation or thirst while fasting, we know we won’t. And it’s a terrible and sad realization that there are people who aren’t so sure.
I finally get it. I now see how and why fasting builds sympathy for the less fortunate- and it’s ONLY my first day! I would like to add that I never imagined a Cliff Bar could taste so savoury until I had one for iftar today (iftar is the first meal in the evening after breaking fast).


Friday, 12 July 2013

Mehdi Hasan | Islam Is A Peaceful Religion

I found this an excellent analysis and deconstruction of Islamophobia. Kudos to Mehdi Hasan he is an asset to the UK Muslim community.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Ramadan Advice

1. Eat, drink and be moderate

Almost all of us do it - once Iftar time hits, we just keep plowing food and drink into our mouths till it's hard to move afterwards. And those of us who do it know this is totally contrary to the spirit of Ramadan, through which we're supposed to learn self-control not self-indulgence. Let's try to stick to the Prophetic rule on eating: fill our stomachs with one-third food, one-third water and one-third breathing space, even in Ramadan. 

2. Give a pound a day in charity...or five or ten

The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, was always generous but even more so in Ramadan. Let's open our hearts and dig a little deeper in our wallets this year. Even less than a dollar a day adds up. Whatever you can give, it's the intention that counts.

3. Memorize 4 new Surahs

Memorizing the Quran often seems like a daunting task. But the key is doing it in small bites. Since there are four weeks in Ramadan, try to memorize one new Surah a week. Start off with a short, easy one. Once you've started, you'll build momentum and may even want to memorize a longer one the following week.

4. Go to Tarawih prayers

Post-Iftar, the first urge is to sleep after an exhausting day. But try your best to head out to the mosque for Tarawih prayers. Praying alone is wonderful, but doing it in congregation is fantastic. The community spirit is part of Ramadan's blessings. Don't miss it this year. If going every day is not possible, try going at least one week.

5.Attend the Tarawih prayer in which the recitation of the Quran will be finished

Call the local mosque and find out which day the Imam will be finishing the recitation of the Quran in prayer. Attend to not only hear part of the Quran's recitation in prayer, but also participate in the heart-rending Duas that follow it.

6. Stop swearing and/or backbiting – with a special box

It's hard not to shoot our mouths off when someone's upset us. Whether we utter those four-letter words or backbite about someone to our family and friends, we know this isn't the God-approved way of letting off steam. In Ramadan, when we want to build our spirituality, we've got to wage Jihad against our bad habits.

Try this: get a box and every time you catch yourself swearing or backbiting put some money in it. It could be a buck or less. The point is to choose an amount that makes it feel like punishment.

At the end of the month send the money to a charity or buy a gift for the person whom you've backbitten the most against.

7. Call/email your relatives

You'd think that given the easy access to email, competitive long-distance calling rates, phone cards, etc. these days, we'd keep in touch with family and friends more often. But the opposite seems to be the case, as we get caught up in life's "busyness."

Strengthening ties with family members and keeping in touch with friends is part of our way of life and an act Allah is very pleased with. This Ramadan, call family and friends or at least email them a Ramadan card and ask them how their fasting is going.

8. Go on a technology diet

Even if you work in the IT industry, you can do this. Avoid checking personal email and surfing the web during your fast. After Iftar, instead of plopping yourself in front of the screen, go to Tarawih. The same goes for the television. The point is to try to give our full attention to spiritual elevation this month.

9. Read 5 minutes of Quran a day...just five, not more, not less

Even if you feel you've got absolutely no time, set a timer or the alarm on your cell phone and find a relatively quiet place. You can read the first page of the Quran you open or follow a sequence. The choice is yours. The point is simply to connect with God through His revelation in the month of the Quran.

10. Forgive everyone who has hurt you

Still got a festering wound from the fight with your friend last year? Still upset about something your spouse said during a heated argument? Or are you still bitter about the way your parents sometimes treated you as a kid? Let go of the anger and pain this Ramadan and forgive those who have hurt you. Forgiving someone is not only good for the body, but it's also great for the soul. And in Ramadan, ten days of which are devoted to Allah's forgiveness, shouldn't we lesser beings forgive too?

If you find it very difficult to forgive everyone, forgive at least three people.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Monday, 1 July 2013

Muslims unite to condemn 'extreme depravity' of child grooming in first UK-wide single sermon

 Comment: I am really pleased about this. But we still need to address the patriarchal culture that has subverted Islam and allowed and excused the oppression of women within the Muslim community.

Imams across Britain will today deliver a sermon denouncing the practice of grooming following a series of sexual abuse cases involving Muslims.

The religious speech, which will be read out in 500 mosques, opens with a reading from the Koran that prohibits “sexual indecency, wickedness and oppression of others” and continues to urge congregations to report suspected cases of child abuse.
It is reportedly the first time a single sermon will be delivered in unison across the UK and is organised by campaign group Together Against Grooming with the support of the Muslim Council and Islamic Society of Britain.

The effort comes after the convictions of Muslim men in a string of cases including those in Rochdale, Derby and Oxford, where five men were yesterday sentenced to life in prison for their involvement in a sex abuse gang.
Speaking at their sentencing, Judge Peter Rook told them they committed “exceptionally grave crimes” against girls and that demonstrated “extreme depravity”.
“You targeted the young girls because they were vulnerable, under-age and out of control,” he said.
Ansar Ali, spokesperson for Together Against Grooming, said the group was horrified by recent court cases, adding: “As Muslims, we feel a natural responsibility to condemn and tackle this crime.
"This is the start of what will be a nationwide project in which we seek to work with others to eradicate this practice from all communities."

The sermon’s author, Alyas Karmani, an imam and youth worker in Keighley, West Yorkshire, told the BBC there was a "profound disrespect culture" in the treatment of women.
"Access to pornography, which also objectifies women, is creating a culture where men are now ambiguous when it comes to the issue of violence against women," he said.
Others involved in the sermon’s broadcast at midday prayers today have been keen to ensure sexual abuse is not disproportionately linked to Asian Muslim men.