Friday, 26 December 2014

Beautiful Recitation of Ayat al-Birr - Nouman Ali Khan


Thursday, 25 December 2014

What is Shariah?



Love this brother, check out his tumblr: http://partytilfajr.tumblr.com/

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Did Islam Spread by the Sword?

 
It’s a common accusation made against Muslims and Islam in general: “The only reason Islam is a world religion is because it spread by the sword.” It’s a favorite remark of Islamophobes who parade as analysts and historians fear-mongering about the threat Islam supposedly poses to the Western World. With it being such a hot topic that causes so much debate, it is appropriate to analyze and study this topic to better understand whether it is valid or not.

Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and Persia – The First Conquests

After the life of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), Islamic expansion truly began in the early 630s, AD. Campaigns against the Byzantine and Sassanid (Persian) Empires were initiated which pitted this new religion of Islam, with its desert Arabian warriors against the established and ancient empires centered in Constantinople and Ctesiphon.
Abu Bakr, the first caliph of Islam, gave these armies rules which would seem very constricting by today’s standards of warfare:
“Stop, O people, that I may give you ten rules for your guidance in the battlefield. Do not commit treachery or deviate from the right path. You must not mutilate dead bodies. Neither kill a child, nor a woman, nor an aged man. Bring no harm to the trees, nor burn them with fire, especially those which are fruitful. Slay not any of the enemy’s flock, save for your food. You are likely to pass by people who have devoted their lives to monastic services; leave them alone.”¹
These rules were very unique and innovative for the time. Just before this Muslim expansion, the Persians and Byzantines had fought a decades-long war that left lands from Syria to Iraq in ruins. Abu Bakr made it clear that Muslim armies do not operate by the same principles and restrict their fights to the armies and governments of the enemy, not the general populace. Islamic Shari’ah law, based on the example of Abu Bakr, clearly forbids the use of force against anyone except in legitimate cases of war against a clearly defined enemy.*
The purpose of this article is not to delve into the tactics and individual battles of this conquest of Egypt, Syria and Iraq. It is enough for our purposes here to state that Syria was under Muslim control by 638, Egypt by 642, and Iraq/Persia by 644. The Byzantine Empire, having lost its religious base in Syria, as well as its commercial base in Egypt was greatly weakened. The Sassanid Empire, on the other hand, completely ceased to exist after the Muslim conquest. Politically, it was a disaster for these two giant empires. But, going back to the main idea of this article, how did Islam as a religion spread in the conquered areas?
Unequivocally, the general populace was not forced or induced to convert to Islam. If anything, they were encouraged to continue living their lives as they had for centuries before. In the example of the conquest of Jerusalem, the caliph at the time, Umar ibn al-Khattab, wrote in the surrender treaty with the patriarchs of city:
He [Umar] has given them an assurance of safety for themselves, for their property, their churches, their crosses, the sick and healthy of the city…Their churches will not be inhabited by Muslims and will not be destroyed…They will not be forcibly converted.²

Full article.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Jail for Leeds thug who threw can of alcohol over Muslim woman

 

AN ISLAMOPHOBIC thug who threw a can of alcohol over a Muslim woman and her child as they walked along the street has been sent to jail.
Kravier Freeman hurled foul-mouthed racist abuse and threatened the woman with a butcher’s knife during the incident in Leeds.
Leeds Crown Court heard that the victim was a young white woman who had converted to Islam and married a Muslim man.
Freeman targeted the 21-year-old as she walked past his home on Berkeley View, Harehills, on July 5, this year.
Freeman, 31, was out of prison at the time of the incident and had been drinking heavily throughout the day with others.
The victim was walking home with her son after getting food from a takeaway at around 8.30pm.

Nick Addlington, prosecuting, said Freeman approached the woman and said: “Why are you with a p***? Why are you wearing those clothes? You are not a Muslim!”
Freeman then followed her down the street and called her a “Muslim bitch” before throwing the can of alcohol over her and her child.
The woman asked Freeman why he was behaving like that and he replied: “Because I hate Muslims.”
Freeman then produced a sliver butcher’s knife and began waving it around as children stood close by.
He then said: “Watch what I am going to do when your husband comes out.”
 
Police were contacted and went to the house. Mr Addlington said there was a “total lack of co-operation” from anyone at the party despite what had happened.
They arrested Freeman and seized the weapon. Freeman was returned to prison after the incident.
He pleaded guilty to racially aggravated assault, affray and possession of a bladed weapon in a public place.
Nick Hammond, mitigating, said: “This was on anybody’s account a thoroughly unpleasant incident.
“It is right to say that this defendant is thoroughly embarrassed about what has happened. He cannot explain why he did what he did. The fact that he was heavily intoxicated is no excuse. It is an aggravating feature.”
Mr Hammond said Freeman had apologised to the victim and pleaded guilty to the offences at an early opportunity.
Jailing him for 12 months, judge Ray Singh said: “You behaved in a vile, nasty and racist manner. For a Muslim to be doused in alcohol – we can only imagine what was going through her mind.”

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Man, 80, accused over acid attack on ex-partner, 20


 Vikki Horsman

WTF is wrong with these men?! :( 
 
A young care worker has described how she suffered disfiguring burns to her face and neck in an acid attack allegedly orchestrated by her former partner, who was 60 years her senior.
Vikki Horsman, 20, told a jury she screamed in pain and glimpsed her blistering face and neck in a mirror as she stumbled back from the doorstep after the assault before dousing her face with cold water from the kitchen tap.
Horsman said the acid, which she claimed was thrown by a man wearing a hood and a bandana as a mask, caused “instant burning, piercing pain”.
The prosecution claims Horsman’s former partner, 80-year-old Mohammed Rafiq, planned the attack with 25-year-old Steven Holmes, who allegedly carried it out, and a third man, Shannon Heaps, 23. All three deny causing grievous bodily harm with intent.
It is alleged that the assault at a house in Tividale, West Midlands, took place in April after Horsman split up with Rafiq because she saw him as controlling and jealous.
Wolverhampton crown court heard that Horsman began to rely on Rafiq after her parents died. He bought her a car but she said he began to accuse her of cheating on him and put pressure on her to convert to Islam and change her name to Aleena Rafiq. Asked by Anthony Warner, prosecuting, if she had been happy to convert, Horsman replied: “Not particularly.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

The trauma of Syria's married children

Maha is a 13-year-old Syrian refugee. At the age of 12 she was forced to marry her 23-year-old husband due to financial difficulties and fear of sexual assault. She is now one month pregnant. Due to her young age, her pregnancy is very weak. She hasn’t been in school since she was 10 years old.
"First of all, I didn't want to get married because I am too young, but my parents forced me to. Second of all, we heard about a lot of rape and kidnapping cases in Jordan. But no, not at all. I didn't want to get married. I am still young, and I wanted to finish my studies." says Maha.

Nadia and her sister Sama fled from their home in Damascus, and were married when they were 15 and 17 years old, in Amman where they currently live.
“I got married when I was 15 years old,” says Nadia, 16, “I was forced to marry because my family and I – ten people – were sharing a very small house with only two rooms… I was aspiring to become a doctor. I left school and didn’t finish my 11th year and came to Jordan. Everything got destroyed.”   
The sisters came with their family and their husbands family (their relatives) and due to cultural norms and financial constraints, the girls were married to their male cousins. Sama recently gave birth to her first child Ahmed.
"These girls, who by fleeing the war in Syria have already been subjected to more than any child should, are at extreme risk of mental health issues resulting from social isolation, stress and abuse," said Saba Al Mobaslat.
"Since I got married I don't feel anything," says Reem, 15, "I do feel sad when I see other girls from my neighbourhood going to school. Whenever I see a woman who has become a doctor or a lawyer or has finished her education I get upset."

Monday, 1 December 2014

10 Green Hadith

Plant a tree even if it is your last deed:
1. Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “If the Hour (the day of Resurrection) is about to be established and one of you was holding a palm shoot, let him take advantage of even one second before the Hour is established to plant it.” (Reported by Ahmad and Al-Bukhan on the authority of Anas in Al Adab Al-Mufrad,)
Planting trees is a renewable source of hasanat:
2. Anas also reported that the Prophet said, "If a Muslim plants a tree or sows seeds, and then a bird, or a person or an animal eats from it, it is regarded as a charitable gift (sadaqah) for him." (Bukhari)
Conserve resources even when used for rituals:
3. Abdullah ibn Amr ibn Al-`Aas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet passed one day by Sa`d ibn Abi Waqas (May Allah be pleased with him) while he was performing wudu' (ritual cleaning of body parts in preparation for prayer). The Prophet asked Sa`d, "What is this wastage?" Sa`d replied "Is there wastage in wudu also?" The Prophet said, "Yes, even if you are at a flowing river." (Ahmad and authenticated Ahmad Shakir)
Keeping environment clean is important:
4. The Prophet warned, "Beware of the three acts that cause you to be cursed: relieving yourselves in shaded places (that people utilize), in a walkway or in a watering place." (Narrated by Mu`adh , hasan by Al-Albani)
5. Abu Zarr Al-Ghafari (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "Removing harmful things from the road is an act of charity (sadaqah)." (Narrated by Abu Dharr Al-Ghafari)
No for over-consumption! Consider recycling and fixing before buying new items:
6. Abdullah ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet said, "The believer is not he who eats his fill while his neighbor is hungry." (Saheeh al-Bukharee (112))
7. Asked about what the Prophet used to do in his house, the Prophet's wife, `A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her), said that he used to repair his shoes, sow his clothes and used to do all such household works done by an average person. (Sahih Bukhari)
8. The Prophet said, "Whoever kills a sparrow or anything bigger than that without a just cause, Allah will hold him accountable on the Day of Judgment." The listeners asked, "O Messenger of Allah, what is a just cause?" He replied, "That he will kill it to eat, not simply to chop off its head and then throw it away." (An-Nasa'i)
Animals should be cared for:
9. Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet said, "A man felt very thirsty while he was on the way, there he came across a well. He went down the well, quenched his thirst and came out. Meanwhile he saw a dog panting and licking mud because of excessive thirst. He said to himself, "This dog is suffering from thirst as I did." So, he went down the well again, filled his shoe with water, held it with his mouth and watered the dog. Allah appreciated him for that deed and forgave him." The Companions said, "O Allah's Messenger! Is there a reward for us in serving the animals?" He replied: "There is a reward for serving any living being." (Bukhari)
10. Abdullah ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet said, "A woman entered the (Hell) Fire because of a cat which she had tied, neither giving it food nor setting it free to eat from the vermin of the earth." (Bukhari)

Monday, 24 November 2014

In Israel, only Jewish blood shocks anyone






Terror is always Palestinian, even when hundreds of Palestinian civilians are killed. The name and face of Daniel Tragerman, the Israeli boy killed by mortar fire during Operation Protective Edge, were known throughout the world; even U.S. President Barack Obama knew his name. Can anyone name one child from Gaza among the hundreds killed?

A few hours after the attack in Jerusalem, journalist Emily Amrousi said at a conference in Eilat that the life of a single Jewish child was more important to her than the lives of thousands of Palestinian children. The audience’s response was clearly favorable; I think there was even some applause.
Afterward Amrousi tried to explain that she was referring to the way the Israeli media should cover events, which is only slightly less serious. This was during a discussion on the ridiculous question: “Is the Israeli media leftist?” Almost no one protested Amrousi’s remarks and the session continued as if nothing had happened. Amrousi’s words reflect Israel’s mood in 2014: Only Jewish blood elicits shock.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

I saw a young girl - probably around 11 or 12 - at Jumu'ah


 

I saw a young girl - probably around 11 or 12 - at Jumu'ah who exemplified to me the current state of this Ummah's growing generation: very bright, clearly frustrated, and quick to point out the obvious while everyone else remains awkwardly silent.
I can see her future going one of two ways:
Either the masjid and the community recognizes her potential and grabs onto it, mentoring her and providing her with resources and outlets for her energy and intelligence, and molding her for a brilliant adulthood inshaAllah - or it will squash all that is fierce and beautiful in her and tell her that Muslim girls and women are not meant to speak up and challenge the status quo even when something is very obviously wrong with it; it will tell her that the Muslim community is unwelcoming and has no place for her; it will tell her that this Ummah prefers to rot from the inside out rather than accept the sting of (legitimate) criticism and grow and improve for others just like her.
Which path will we push her into traversing?

From the excellent Salafi Feminist's FB page. Follow her on twitter:  @AnonyMousey

Monday, 17 November 2014

Veiled Frenchwomen Tell 5 Stories of Harassment

 women in headscarves

 Separated from Other Students

Sirine Ben Yahiaten, 17, has been wearing the veil since she was 14. From December 2011 through May 2012, she says she was harassed by the head of her school as well as other staff members who wanted her to stop wearing wide hair bands and long skirts. Eventually Ben Yahiaten left to complete her education at another school.
It was the month of December and it was cold. I had a long skirt and sweatpants underneath. I was wearing a wide hair band on my head. One of the teachers called me upon my hair band and asked me to remove it. I didn't understand why. He told me that it was an ostentatious sign. There was nothing of ostentatious in my opinion. He asked me three times to remove it. I kept refusing. He then took to me the office of the principal. While waiting for the principal, her secretary told me that I should not be wearing a pair of sweatpants under my skirt because there was a law that bans such dress code. The truth is that there is no law. I tried to explain that the weather warrants my choice of dressing... The principal didn't show up so I was sent back. But on my way back to class, I was asked to return to the principal's office. She told me that my skirt was too long and students walking behind me could fall because of its length, so she said that I was posing a threat to the security of the students. As for the headband, she said it prevents me from hearing well during the class. After that episode, I was sent to study period class everyday until I would agree to take off my hair band and long skirt. Every time I entered the school, someone was waiting for me to accompany me to the study period class since I was no longer allowed to have any contact with other students. I was not allowed to go out during class breaks. I was given exercises to do but I was never given makeup material for the courses that I had been missing.

Full article

Friday, 7 November 2014

Kissed by an angel :)

 


"When a worshipper of Allah uses the siwaak (to clean his teeth), and then stands in prayer, an angel comes and stands behind him, listening to the recitation of Qur’an. The angel continues to listen and draw nearer until he places his mouth over the worshipper’s, so that he does not recite one aayah but that it enters into the angel’s mouth. Therefore, purify your mouth for the recitation of Qur’an."

(Al-Bayhaqi, al-Diyaa', and others; authenticated by al-Albani)

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Raped for punishment in Pakistan: Mukhtar Mai



Mukhtar Mai
I remember everything. It's not something I can forget - it'll always be a part of my life. It happened in 2002. I remember every single thing, even the time it happened.
I was sitting at my parent's house, and they chose me to go and apologise for what my brother had done. I lament that they chose me, but I didn't want this to happen to any of my sisters either.
I tried to commit suicide twice after the incident because I felt like I wasn't getting any justice. What happened to me is another form of honour killing.
Honour is a toxic word. Honour is only for men here, it's not for women, who are always to blame in any given situation. The owner of a woman's honour is a father, brother, father-in-law.
A girl doesn't even have her own home: first it's her father's home, then her husband's home and then ultimately her son's home.
What happened to me is part and parcel of our system. It says that there is a difference between a son and daughter: one is better than the other.
It starts from the mother. When something is cooked, food is first given to the son and father, and if there's any food left over they'll give it to the daughter.
Men and women both have rights, God gave both rights, but it's all about lack of awareness, false traditions created by society, no law. And if there are laws, they are not implemented. Girls are killed for choosing their own partners for marriage.
And they never get justice because the killer is the father and the prosecutor is the mother - this is the system and it's a vicious cycle. Why doesn't a woman ever get justice - is a woman not a human being?
After 12 years, I am still going through appeals to the courts to get justice. The court says you need four witnesses - well I have the whole village as witnesses - but it boils down to the mindset of men in this patriarchal society.
The biggest problem is feudalism and the fact that people don't get justice. When there is no hope of getting justice, then people go to village elders because the police aren't listening to them.
And the elders will make the same decisions as the decision that was made for me.
These traditions need to end: the world is moving forward, and we seem to be standing in the same place.
Things have not improved; the only difference is that women have started asking for their rights. The media has helped a lot.
A woman never used to raise her voice or leave her house, but now a woman goes out, goes to courts, goes to meet lawyers. She is seen everywhere but there is still no justice.
Since my incident in 2002 there have been no similar events in my village. There has been a shift. The feudal authorities used to make decisions, but now there is no council the way there used to be.
Now the policemen make that decision. Even child marriages have been controlled. When I used to leave the village and come back I would find out that some girls from my school as young as nine had been forced to get married.
But now we have even stopped some weddings from happening.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

French Muslims Confront Menace Beneath Ban of Veil


 Woman in hijab on roof
Chatar, 40, who spoke with Women's eNews in a phone interview in September, lives in the small village of Meru, in the Picardie region of France, with her three children and husband. But her fear isn't that of a small-town person in a big metropolis. It's due to her custom of covering her hair with a hijab, part of her way of practicing her Muslim faith.
In her town, Chatar feels that her neighbors both know and accept her. But the stories of Muslim women in big cities getting singled out for hate crimes scare her.
Workers at the Paris Opera recently drew international headlines by ejecting a woman wearing a full face veil, or niqab, which Paris outlawed in 2011. But Chatar's fears are not about the niqab, which she doesn't wear. All she wears is a head covering.
France began frowning on women in hijab in 2004 when the Parliament passed a ban on the display of religious signs in public schools, which meant schoolgirls could not wear the hijab. In 2012, a similar government rule extended to thousands of older women such as Chatar, forbidding them from escorting their children on school outings.
Both bans apply to school settings but for many Muslim women in France today the rulings reach much further, creating a pervasive sense of social prohibition about wearing the hijab that they break at their own risk.
Out of 1,417 Muslims interviewed last year, 2 percent – 30 individuals --reported a physical aggression, found a June 2014 study conducted by the Paris-based Collective Against Islamophobia in France. Women were almost all--97 percent--of those 30 victims.
Elsa Ray, spokesperson for the Collective Against Islamophobia, said street aggressions have been more violent in recent years. In the past veiled women were mainly targets of verbal violence, but the aggression has become more physical.
"The majority of aggressors are men and we have noticed that some women physically attacked were subjected to sexual touching while they had their clothes ripped off. These are signs of male domination," Ray said in an interview at the collective's office.
Last year, a 16-year-old Muslim woman recounted being attacked by two men in a Paris suburb in a piecepublished by the Huffington Post. "Then, he grabbed my arms trying to push me to the ground and he started to press his body against mine while he was holding my head. At that moment, the first guy started to touch my breasts. Then, he took a sharp object and started to scar my face with short and quick movements while the second guy was pressing his body against mine and he was blocking my head," the victim, named Aissetou, wrote.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

When Islam was at its strongest, it was also at its most open-minded.

                      
Ours is the oldest religion in the world,” said the Mandaean high priest to me in 2006, when we met during my diplomatic posting to Baghdad. He did indeed turn out to be the religious leader of an ancient people whose traditions go back to third-century Babylonia; he was also, for me, the man who opened a door to an Aladdin’s Cave of forgotten faiths.
Since then, I have witnessed on a mountaintop in the West Bank a sacrifice of lambs, done by Samaritan priests in precise observance of the Book of Exodus. I discussed Greek philosophy with Druze elders, who regard themselves as a branch of Islam but believe in reincarnation. I searched for the Zoroastrians of Iran, whose founder Zarathustra was among the first to teach (perhaps three millennia ago) that our fate after death might result from the good or evil that we do in our lifetimes. I encountered the Church of the East, which sent the first Christian missionaries to China in the seventh century and once, from its base in Iraq, covered a larger span of the earth than the Pope in Rome or the Patriarch in Constantinople.
These religions have survived fourteen centuries of Islamic rule, and their survival shows not only their own tenacity but also the potential for tolerance within Islam. Now, though, they are vanishing faster than ever before.
The brutal terrorist group called the “Islamic State,” which the U.S. and its allies are now fighting in Iraq, burst onto the front pages in August with a massacre of a little-known people called the Yazidis. The Yazidis are an extraordinary people, who have preserved traditions dating back to the time of ancient Assyria and mixed them with ideas that emerged from the most radical and imaginative of Muslim thinkers. They have faced, by their own tradition, 72 persecutions. That number does not include the Islamic State’s campaign of rape and murder or, in 2007, the world’s second worst terrorist attack, which killed nearly eight hundred Yazidis at Qahtaniyah near Mosul.
When I went back to see the Yazidis in northern Iraq in August, it was like an immersion in a sea of misery. Stranded in tents and dependent on charity, Yazidi refugees saw no future for themselves in Iraq and asked only for asylum in the West. They want to join the 70% of Iraq’s Christians who have already left. As for the Mandaeans, almost all have now sought refuge in Europe, Canada and Australia.
Nor is it only war-ravaged Iraq from which the minorities are fleeing. I could hardly find Zoroastrians in the great cities of Iran, such as Shiraz and Esfahan; instead, I found their fire-temple in north London. I discovered that tens of thousands of Coptic Christians, who keep the language of ancient Egypt alive in their liturgies, now live in the suburbs of Detroit along with more than 100,000 Iraqi Christians.
What amazed me, though, about these religions was that they had survived into the modern era at all. Imagine discovering some island off the coast of Ireland where the Druids still held sway: meeting the Mandaean high priest in Baghdad was similarly a throwback to the distant past. How can a religion conceived in the era of paganism still exist today, after 1400 years of Islam? The answers teach lessons about Islam — and about ourselves.
First, they show the importance of religion. A warped form of religion is what motivated the Islamic State to slaughter the Yazidis. It is also however what helped the Yazidis to survive over the centuries and keep their traditions and their identity. Religion can be a great source of division, but that is intimately linked to its power to gather people and unify them.
Second, when minorities leave, countries are diminished. Islam was the religion of a great world empire, so prestigious that “Islamic State” wants to steal its name: the Caliphate. Islamic State’s brutal and narrow-minded imitation is quite different from the original. The first Caliphs had Christians among their closest counselors; later Caliphs used Jewish astronomers and pagan mathematicians to turn Baghdad into a center of world learning.
When Islam was at its strongest, it was also at its most open-minded. The West’s diversity and its prosperity have similarly gone hand in hand. It is a poor outlook for the Middle East if loses its ancient minorities.