Friday, 2 June 2023

Feeling Paralyzed by Stress and Fitna? | Khutbah with Dr. Omar Suleiman

Listen to this khutbah by Dr. Omar Suleiman as he explains how we can get maintain productivity when we are feeling paralyzed by bad news and stress.

Thursday, 1 June 2023

The Prophetic Teachings on Caring for and Feeding Animals


Islam holds a deep reverence for all of Allah's creation, including animals. The teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) emphasize the importance of treating animals with kindness, compassion, and respect. In this blog post, we will explore some of the profound hadiths that highlight the virtue of caring for and feeding animals, underscoring the significance of animal welfare in the Islamic tradition.

Hadith 1: The Reward for Showing Kindness to Animals
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "A good deed done to an animal is like a good deed done to a human being, while an act of cruelty to an animal is as bad as cruelty to a human being" (Bukhari). This hadith underscores the interconnectedness of all living beings and highlights the moral responsibility Muslims have towards animals. It emphasizes that acts of compassion and kindness towards animals are greatly rewarded and should be considered on par with acts of kindness towards fellow humans.

Hadith 2: The Woman Granted Paradise for an Act of Kindness
The Prophet (peace be upon him) narrated the story of a woman who entered Hellfire because of her mistreatment of a cat, warning his companions about the gravity of such actions. He said: "She did not feed it or give it a drink when it was restrained, nor did she set it free to eat from the vermin of the earth" (Bukhari and Muslim). This powerful hadith serves as a reminder that neglecting or causing harm to animals can have severe consequences, highlighting the importance of caring for their well-being.

Hadith 3: The Reward for Providing Water to Animals
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) narrated: "While a man was walking on a journey, he became extremely thirsty. He found a well and went down to drink from it. Upon coming out, he saw a panting dog eating the moist earth from extreme thirst. The man said, 'This dog is suffering from the same thirst that I was.' So he went back down into the well, filled his shoe with water, and gave it to the dog to quench its thirst. Allah appreciated his action and forgave him" (Bukhari and Muslim). This beautiful hadith highlights the significance of providing water to thirsty animals and the immense rewards granted for such acts of compassion.

Hadith 4: Prohibition of Animal Cruelty
The Prophet (peace be upon him) forbade the mistreatment and abuse of animals. He said: "Verily, Allah has prescribed Ihsan (proficiency, perfection) in everything. So when you kill, kill well; and when you slaughter, slaughter well. Let each one of you sharpen his blade and spare suffering to the animal he slaughters" (Muslim). This hadith stresses the importance of performing acts of mercy and kindness, even when slaughtering animals for consumption, ensuring that their welfare is a priority.

Hadith 5: The Reward for Feeding Animals
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "There is a reward for serving any living being" (Bukhari). This hadith encompasses the broader concept of feeding and providing for the needs of animals. It highlights the virtue of selflessness and the rewards associated with fulfilling the basic requirements of all living creatures.

The teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) teach us the significance of caring for and feeding animals with kindness and compassion. Islam emphasizes the ethical treatment of animals, recognizing their rights and encouraging their well-being. By following these Prophetic teachings, we can foster a culture of empathy and responsibility towards all creatures, creating a world where animals are treated with the dignity and care they deserve. Let us strive to embody these teachings in our lives, becoming stewards of compassion and advocates for the welfare of all animals. I was truly inspired by the following story and the example of this kind-hearted brother I believe his as acted according to all the hadith and guidance alhamdulilah.

Wednesday, 31 May 2023

The History Of Al-Khawarij

The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, warned his followers of a group of people who would arise after his death. The Prophet mentioned their arrival and characteristics no less than 10 times. Among the characteristics he mentioned were: They would worship so much that “you shall consider your worship and your prayer and your recitation of the Qur’an to be nothing compared to theirs.” Meaning, their outward actions, like praying and reciting the Qur’an, would be on overdrive. And yet, “They shall recite the Qur’an but it will not leave their throats.” Meaning that their understanding of the Qur’an will not go any farther than their recitation, and they will not have religious knowledge or insight. 

Tuesday, 30 May 2023

Virtues of Caring for Neighbors in Islam


Islam places great emphasis on fostering harmonious relationships within society, and one of the fundamental teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is to look after our neighbors. The hadith literature contains numerous teachings that highlight the significance of treating neighbors with kindness, respect, and care. In this blog post, we will explore some of the remarkable hadiths that emphasize the virtues of looking after our neighbors.

Hadith 1: The Believer and His Neighbors
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "He is not a believer who eats his fill while his neighbor beside him goes hungry" (Bukhari and Muslim). This hadith beautifully encapsulates the essence of Islamic teachings regarding the rights and responsibilities we have towards our neighbors. It emphasizes the importance of ensuring that our neighbors are not in need or distress while we enjoy our blessings.

Hadith 2: The Angelic Testimony
In another hadith, the Prophet (peace be upon him) stated: "Gabriel kept on recommending me about treating the neighbors kindly and politely, so much so that I thought that he would order me to make them as my heirs" (Bukhari and Muslim). This narration reveals the significance of treating our neighbors with utmost kindness and respect. The angel Gabriel's constant reminders emphasize the magnitude of this virtuous act.

Hadith 3: The Right of the Neighbor
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "Jibril continued to counsel me regarding the neighbor until I thought that he would inherit from him" (Muslim). This hadith underscores the importance of fulfilling the rights of our neighbors. It encourages Muslims to extend their assistance and support to their neighbors, making them feel secure and valued members of the community.

Hadith 4: The Scope of Neighbors
The Prophet (peace be upon him) defined the extent of neighbors in a hadith, stating: "Your neighbor is seventy houses ahead and seventy houses behind, seventy houses to your right and seventy houses to your left" (Ahmad). This narration broadens the definition of a neighbor, encompassing a considerable range of households surrounding us. It implies that we have a duty to care for and establish good relations with those in our immediate vicinity.

Hadith 5: The Neighbors' Rights
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him not harm his neighbor" (Bukhari). This hadith beautifully encapsulates the essence of the Islamic teachings regarding the treatment of neighbors. It reminds us that our faith is incomplete if we cause harm or inconvenience to our neighbors. Instead, we are encouraged to treat them with kindness, consideration, and empathy.

The teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) emphasize the importance of caring for our neighbors, ensuring their well-being, and promoting harmonious relationships within our communities. These hadiths highlight the virtues of treating our neighbors with kindness, respect, and support. By following the Prophet's example, we can foster a sense of unity, compassion, and neighborly love. Let us strive to implement these teachings in our lives, making our neighborhoods a source of harmony, cooperation, and blessings.

Monday, 29 May 2023

Exposing Britain's Honour Killings - Nina Aouilk Tells Her Story

How can any father do that to this daughter 💔. The powerful Nina Aouilk podcast live on James English YouTube channel


Friday, 26 May 2023



We are IMMY AND TANI- A full time travel family. Today was difficult day for us to share in our Pakistan To Saudi Arabia series. We explore the cities of Hebron and Bethlehem with you all and what we witnessed was extremely sad and unbearable.

Thursday, 25 May 2023

Juwayriya bint al-Harith (ra): A Blessing to Her People

She was a distinguished woman due to her lineage, beauty, and nobility before Islam. But our mother would go on to be distinguished by a specific form of worship. She was a blessing to her people through her marriage to the Prophet ﷺ and an example for our Ummah.

Wednesday, 24 May 2023

How Millions Are Trapped In Modern-Day Slavery At Brick Kilns In Pakistan

Entire families in Pakistan work dangerous jobs at brick kilns to pay off snowballing debts to kiln owners. Workers don't have bank accounts and make so little they have to keep borrowing just to get by.

Friday, 19 May 2023

To sisters who have recently been divorced..........


To sisters who have recently been divorced/gotten a khula just wanted to share a reminder that the majority of the wives of the Prophet صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ save Aisha رضي الله عنه were PREVIOUSLY DIVORCED/WIDOWED.

Zaynab bint Khuzayma
Safiyya bint Huyayy
Zaynab bint Jahsh
Umm Habiba
Juwayriya bint al-Harith
(May Allah have mercy on them all)

Our society solely focuses on the act of marriage. Yes, Marriage is ibadah but DIVORCE WITH IHSAAN IS ALSO IBADAH.
If you got married but later found out that your marriage or your spouse produced fitnah, produced abuse and produced sins, then you are better off without each other.
You did what was right for you, for your children and for your eeman all within shariah and obedience to Allah.
Please don't expect the society or community or even loved ones to understand the decision you made through pain, through struggle, through sleepless nights and tears of blood. Please don't let others, their opinions and assumptions rob you of your peace of mind and healing.
My dear sister please don't be naive, people are going to talk about you and conclude their own stories about your divorce and why your marriage failed. People talk. Your job is NOT to correct their gossip or offer explanations.

You will lose friends.
You will lose family.
But Allah will replace with better people and better opportunities always.
❝And surely what comes after is better for you than that which has gone before.❞
{Surah Ad Duha 93: Verse 4}
Your focus should be on co-parenting in healthy way.
Your focus should be helping your children unlearn the unhealthy example of marriage they saw.
Your focus should be on building the new.
This is your new life. Accept it and move forward in faith and tawakkul. Divorce is not the end of the world, it's just a page in your book on your journey of life.
🤲 May Allah make things easy for you all, grant you healing and bless you with the best always - Allahumma ameen. 

Make divorce an option after exploring other alternatives fully:
1. Counselling/Therapy
2. Temporary Separation
3.  Prayers and learning what marriage is Islamically.
4. If possible a second chance and time frame to change behaviours, addictions and harmful patterns.
5. Counsel with wise people without any bias towards either of you.

From Ideal Muslimah

Thursday, 18 May 2023

Lost In distractions - Nouman Ali Khan


Ustadh Nouman delves into the wisdom behind the Quran's prohibition of addictive behaviors, and highlights how such addictions can lead to spiritual, emotional, and physical harm, ultimately distancing us from our faith.


Wednesday, 17 May 2023

AI and ChatGPT: Spiritual Resilience and Ethics | Khutbah by Dr. Omar Suleiman


With the advent of AI and ChatGPT, how do Muslims approach convenience and rapid technological innovation with the proper spiritual resilience and framework needed to thrive?

Tuesday, 16 May 2023

Yaqoob عليه السلام call for Allah’s help

Over the years, I developed a habit of subconsciously reciting واللہ المستعان whenever I faced something that disturbed my peace. But I was never aware of the background story of such powerful word until only recently when I heard about it in a lecture by on Surah Yousuf. 

The word, Wallahul Musta’aan, as mentioned in the Quran, was said by Yaqoob عليه السلام when his sons came up with a false story of what happened to Yousuf عليه السلام. Yaqoob  tried his best to find the truth but his sons teamed up to defend their heinous act and lies. Tired of the situation, Yaqoob asked Allah for Sabrun Jameel (beautiful patience) followed by Wallahul Mustaa’an. 

According to the commentators of the Quran, Wallahul Musta’an is used to call for Allah’s help when you find yourself in impossible situations, when people team up against you to defend their lies, when people accuse you of something false, when you have given your best and desperately waiting for desired results, when you feel you’re in a situation where there’s no way out. It’s literally saying to Allah that I have given my best and now I am taking a backseat, I want You to take charge of the driving seat and solve this matter with your Divine intervention. 

And patience automatically becomes beautiful when with all your heart, mind, and soul you leave the matter on Allah.
Sharing it with you all because I thought it might brighten someone’s day. Don’t worry if the situation seems impossible, remember you’re asking the One who just have to say ‘Kun’ and it is.
You are asking the One who calls Himself, Al-Fattah. Who creates a way out when there seems to be no way. So take a backseat and let Allah do the rest.
Wallahul Musta'an - “Allah is the one sought for help”  

From Ideal Muslimah

Monday, 15 May 2023

Shams al-Ma'arif - The Most Dangerous Book in the World?


Shams al-Maarif  - The Sun of Knowledge - was originally written by a 13th-century Algerian Sufi scholar, Ahmad al-Buni, and has been controversial in the Middle East for centuries due to instructing readers on how to create talismans using the names of God and other occult practices, such as numerology. There are charms and amulets for needs as varied as growing crops, increasing wealth, and finding true love.

Al-Buni also suggests ways to make contact with jinn and other supernatural beings - a decision that left him open to charges of sorcery from other Muslims.

Friday, 12 May 2023

What do you "gain" from praying to Almighty Allah regularly?


Rumi was once asked:
What do you "gain" from praying to Almighty Allah regularly?
He replied: Usually "I don't gain anything", but rather "I lose certain things".
And he quoted everything he lost praying to Allah Almighty regularly:
1 - I lost my pride
2 - I lost my arrogance
3 - I lost my anger
4 - I lost stress
5 - I lost greed
6 - I lost the pleasure of lying
7 - I lost the taste of sin
8 - I lost impatience
9 - I lost despair and discouragement

Friday, 14 April 2023

‘We lay like corpses. Then the raping began’: 52 years on, Bangladesh’s rape camp survivors speak out

 It was the summer of 1971, and the distant murmurs of a war that began months earlier had made their way to Rajshahi in Bangladesh, across the north bank of the Padma River, to Noor Jahan’s door. The 14-year-old was playing in the courtyard with her little sister when a loud military truck came to a halt outside the family’s farmhouse.

Armed soldiers threw the two girls into the back of the truck, where they discovered several women sitting back to back with their hands tied. “They told us to look down and to remain silent,” recalls Jahan, now 65. The truck continued through the small town, making several stops; each time loading more women and girls into the back as if they were cattle. All the women were sobbing silently, Jahan describes, too afraid to make a sound.

“We had no idea where they were taking us. I watched from the corner of my eye as the marigold fields surrounding our home disappeared from sight,” says Jahan. “I remember clutching my sister’s hand tightly and being terrified the entire time. We had all heard about the Butcher of Bengal and his men.”

The Butcher of Bengal was the nickname given to Pakistan’s military commander, Gen Tikka Khan, notorious for overseeing Operation Searchlight, a murderous crackdown on Bengali separatists in what was then East Pakistan, which led to a genocidal crusade during the liberation war that followed.

But Jahan was about to become a victim of another brutal tactic of the Pakistani army. Alongside the killings, soldiers carried out a violent campaign of mass rape against Bengali women and girls, in what many historians believe amounted to a direct policy under Khan’s command to impregnate as many women as possible with “blood from the west”.

When the truck finally came to a stop, the girls found themselves in military barracks. The next few months were a blur for Jahan, who regularly passed out during her confinement. “We lay there like corpses, side by side. There were 20, maybe 30, of us confined to one room,” she recalls tearfully. “The only time we saw daylight was when the door creaked open and the soldiers marched in. Then the raping would begin.”

During the conflict that led to the birth of Bangladesh, military-style rape camps such as the one in which Jahan was held were set up across the country. Official estimates put the number of Bengali women raped at between 200,000 and 400,000, though even those numbers are considered conservative by some.

Though ethnic rape was feature of Partition years earlier, what Bengali women experienced was one of the first recorded examples of rape being used as a “consciously applied weapon of war” in the 20th century. But despite its shocking scale, little remains known about it outside the region.

Within Bangladesh, widespread stigma led to the women being ostracised by their communities, and their horrifying accounts were often suppressed by shame. Today, a plaque on the wall of the Liberation War Museum in Dhaka says it all: “There are not many records of this hidden suffering.” Yet in every corner of Bangladesh, there are survivors with terrifying testimonies.

In August 1971, Razia Begum had gone looking for her husband, Abu Sarkar, who had been missing for several days. She wandered anxiously through the abandoned streets of Tejturi Bazar in Dhaka, where Sarkar was a fruit seller, but he was nowhere to be found. Begum turned a corner, when she found herself face to face with a group of soldiers. She tried to run but was struck on the head with a rifle; a scar she still bears.

Begum was dragged to a nearby forest where she was raped repeatedly over a period of weeks. The soldiers were stationed close by and returned at different times of the day. “They tied me to a tree and took turns raping me during their breaks,” says Begum, now 78. After they were done with her, the soldiers threw Begum into a shallow ditch.

A passerby eventually found her and took her to a shelter, which Begum describes as a lost-and-found for women who were abducted during the war. Such makeshift shelters had been set up in districts across the region for the many women who had been abducted and abandoned miles from their home.

“Women didn’t often leave the house during that time, so many of us didn’t even know our proper addresses,” says Begum. Begum’s husband tried four different shelters before he found her and took her home. “I don’t like to think about what happened,” says Begum. “But after all these years, it has been difficult for me to forget. I still have nightmares.”

On 16 December 1971, the war came to an abrupt end. Although independence had been won, thousands of Bengali women, such as Jahan and Begum, would be rescued from shelters and rape camps across the country.

Maleka Khan, then secretary of the Bangladesh Girl Guides Association, was tasked with mobilising female volunteers to help with war recovery efforts. But after learning about the discovery of women who had been raped and held captive in underground bunkers near Jahangir Gate in Dhaka, Khan decided to lead the rescue mission herself.

When Khan arrived, she was shocked by what she saw. “There were women who were completely naked,” Khan, now 80, says. “They were abandoned in bunkers, where they had been kept and tortured during the war.” Khan bought the women clothes and, after helping them out, she describes carefully wrapping them in saris and blankets.

“They were in a state of shock and couldn’t speak,” says Khan. “Some had their hair chopped off, while others were heavily pregnant. There was an air of disbelief about the whole thing. It was all so horrific.”

The women were taken to safe houses provided by the government of the newly independent Bangladesh. In an effort to integrate rape survivors back into society, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founding father of the nation, granted them the honorific of Birangona (war heroine) and established a rehabilitation programme for the women, of which Khan became executive director.

“It has been 52 years and we still haven’t received an apology from Pakistan for the horrendous war crimes it committed against the Bengali people,” says Saida Muna Tasneem, Bangladesh’s high commissioner to the UK.

Bangladesh has already succeeded in getting genocide recognition from the Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention and Genocide Watch, and US Congress recently introduced a historic resolution recognising that a genocide occurred in 1971. The government is now lobbying for the UN and international community to recognise that a genocide was committed during the liberation war.

“Lack of recognition remains an open wound for the millions who were directly impacted by the atrocities that took place, many of whom are still alive today,” says Tasneem. “This dark chapter of history has been kept in the shadows for too long.” 


Wednesday, 12 April 2023

‘We’d have died of hunger’: the charity kitchens feeding millions in Pakistan


There is a crowd outside the Khana Ghar food kitchen. Men wait patiently on one side as a group of women push forward, clutching photocopies of identity cards. “Every second day of Ramadan we give one-month’s food rations because we close our kitchen,” says Parveen Saeed.

“But we can only give one bag to one family, and we need their ID cards to check that, says Saeed, 63. “There are more and more mouths to feed than we can cope with.”

An older woman in traditional Pakistani dress in an office
Parveen Saeed, who started Khana Ghar 22 years ago. The banner commemorates her Pride of Performance award, Pakistan’s highest civil prize, which she received from President Arif Alvi in 2021. 

Saeed has been operating the kitchen in one of Karachi’s poorer districts for more than 20 years, and says she has never known it to be so busy. Pakistan is experiencing a series of crises that is pushing people to the brink.

Food and fuel prices, already on the rise before the Ukraine war began, have rocketed over the past year. The price of a kilo of flour has risen from 58 to 155 rupees (45p) since the start of 2022. Rice has more than doubled, while petrol has gone from 145 rupees a litre last year to 272 rupees now.

This is compounded by record inflation rates – surging in February to 31.5%, the highest in half a century. This week, the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association warned that the country’s textile industry is facing “imminent collapse” due to production cuts. About 7 million people have already lost their jobs in the sector since the Covid pandemic. Another 7 million jobs are at risk in the steel industry, where factories are closing as costs rise.

The World Food Programme predicts 5.1 million Pakistanis will be facing severe hunger by next week – an increase of 1.1 million people from the previous quarter.

In Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, the problems have brought long queues at food banks. Ahmed Edhi, from the Edhi Foundation, which has provided free meals for more than 40 years, says he is seeing “well-dressed men from offices” coming to the city’s centres.

These people are not beggars, they have become destitute. Where are the jobs?
Parveen Saeed, food kitchen manager
“These people are not beggars, they have become destitute,” says Saeed, as she points to the queue outside her kitchen in Taiser Town, Karachi. “Where are the jobs?”

Before Covid, meals for 6,000 people a day were provided here. The number rose to 7,000 during lockdowns, but in the past four months the figure has been 8,200.

“Food prices have hit the sky,” says Saeed, who charges three rupees (less than 1p) for a plate of curry and roti flatbread for those who can afford it, and gives it for free to those who cannot. Some days, she does not have enough. “It is heartbreaking as they have waited for a couple of hours, only to leave empty-handed.”

Pakistan’s political turmoil has diverted attention away from such daily issues. “Sadly, there is no conversation, no debate within political circles about how the daily wage-earner is feeding his family at a time when the prices of food have skyrocketed,” says Fawad Chaudhry, a minister in the previous Tehreek e Insaf government of Imran Khan.


Thursday, 6 April 2023

Good deeds in Ramadan


During Ramadan, Allah, the most merciful, rewards those who remain on the path of truth. Therefore, reading the holy book of the Quran, performing good deeds, offering charity, reciting duas are highly recommended.

Abu Hurayrah told that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:

“Every action a son of Adam does shall be multiplied—a good action by ten times its value, up to 700 times. Allah says: With the exception of fasting, which belongs to Me, and I reward it accordingly. For, one abandons his desire and food for My sake. There are two occasions of joy for a fasting person: one when he breaks his fast, and the other when he meets his Lord, and the (bad) breath (of a fasting person) is better in the sight of Allah than the fragrance of musk”.

– Al Bukhari

Further, Umm Saleem told that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:

“(The performance of) `Umrah during Ramadan is equal (in reward) to performing Hajj with me”.

– Al Albani

Thursday, 30 March 2023

Uncle who murdered niece and dumped body 'like rubbish' jailed for life



An uncle who murdered his 20-year-old niece before dumping her body "like rubbish" has been ordered to serve a minimum of 25 years of a life sentence behind bars.

Repair man Mohammed Taroos Khan, 53, killed Somaiya Begum in an attack at her home in Binnie Street, Bradford, on June 25 last year, Bradford Crown Court was told.

Her decomposing body was found 11 days later wrapped in a rug, tied up with string, on land used as a dumping ground on Fitzwilliam Street, Bradford.

Prosecutor Jason Pitter KC  said she was “dumped and left to rot and decompose on wasteland like rubbish, such that she was not recognisable”.

He said her body was so decomposed it was not possible to find a cause of death but there was an 11cm long metal spike embedded in her chest which had punctured her lung.

Miss Begum had been living at the property with another of her uncles and her grandmother under the terms of a forced marriage protection order, following attempts by her father, Mohammed Yaseen Khan, to force her to marry a cousin from Pakistan “by threat of violence”, a jury heard.

However, the judge refused to speculate on the motive behind the brutal killing.

Khan had denied murder but admitted a charge of perverting the course of justice by disposing of Miss Begum’s body and burning her mobile telephone.

However, he was found guilty of murdering her on Tuesday.

Sentencing Khan to life in prison on Wednesday, Mr Justice Garnham said: “It is not possible to identify a motive for this dreadful attack by you on an innocent young woman.

“It is said you did not support her forced marriage to the cousin in Pakistan.

“It is said you did not share the view of your brother, Yaseen, about the role of women or the obligation of Somaiya to obey her father.

“Moreover, it is pure speculation to consider whether this murder was part of some appalling family agreement.”

He told Bradford Crown Court: “All that matters for present purposes is that the jury have found you guilty of the heinous crime of murder.

“I decline to speculate on your motive and I reject the prosecution’s suggestion that I should treat this as any form of so-called honour killing."

The grey-haired defendant sat in the glass-fronted dock wearing a grey fleece and a black body-warmer and flanked by two security officers as the judge outlined the callousness with which he disposed of his niece’s body.

Mr Justice Garnham told him: “You showed absolutely no respect for the dead body of your niece in the way you dumped it unceremoniously, wrapped in carpet and covered in scrap material, amongst rubbish on waste ground.

“You left it there to rot in the summer heat and, when it was found, Somaiya’s face had been eaten away by maggots.

“Inevitably the loss of this bright, vibrant young woman is felt acutely by other members of her family.”

The judge described Miss Begum as “an intelligent young woman of real spirit and courage” and recalled that her uncle, Dawood Khan, had referred to her in court as the “light of his life”.

The jury heard that Miss Begum’s family had already been split in two by a previous dispute before her father’s attempts to force her to marry when she was 16.


Thursday, 23 March 2023

Fasting: Training for the Believer


It is only natural that fasting should be decreed to the nation that is duty bound to launch a campaign to establish the Islamic way of life that Allah has laid down for mankind, to call people to accept it, and to testify against them in respect of their attitudes to it. Fasting is a manifestation of man’s determined will and his relationship with his Lord, which is based on total obedience and submission to Him. Fasting is also a demonstration of man’s deliberate disregard of all his physical needs. He willingly forgoes these needs in order to achieve his aim of winning the pleasure of Allah and earning His reward. These are necessary elements in the training of the believers so that they are able to bear the pressures and hardships of the way they have chosen. It is the thorny way, full of obstacles. 

On both sides of it there are all sorts of pleasures and temptations that beckon the travelers, trying to force them off their course. We may add also that fasting has numerous advantages for health that continue to be discovered as time passes. I am personally not inclined to relate religious duties and directives, especially in matters of worship, to their apparent physical advantages. The underlying purpose of all such duties and directives is to equip man adequately to fulfill his role in his life and to prepare him for the achievement of the standard of perfection designed for him in the hereafter. Nevertheless, I do not deny any benefit that we may observe or that scientists may discover to result from the fulfillment of such religious duties and directives. It goes without saying that Allah takes into consideration the physical constitution of man before He lays down his duties for him. We must not, however, relate our religious duties solely to what our human knowledge discovers. Our knowledge is, after all, limited and cannot comprehend fully the divine wisdom behind everything that relates to man and his education and training, let alone comprehend everything that relates to the universe.

Allah realizes that man requires help and motivation in order to respond to duty and fulfill it regardless of its benefits. It takes time for man to get used to a certain duty and to be convinced of its wisdom. Hence, the decree of fasting starts with the address made to the believers, which reminds them of their essential quality, that is, their belief in Allah. They are then told that fasting has always been a duty required of the believers in all religions. Its principal aim is their education and training so that their hearts acquire a high standard of sensitivity and purity and that the fear of Allah is well established in them: (Believers, fasting is decreed for you as it was decreed for those before you, so that you may be God-fearing.) To fear Allah, then, is the great aim of fasting that looms large before our eyes. As the believers fulfill this duty, in total obedience to Allah and in pursuit of His pleasure, they feel the quality of fearing Allah to be a life within them. 


This is, indeed, the quality that guards their hearts against spoiling their fasting by indulging in sin. Those who are addressed by the Qur’an are fully aware of the value Allah attaches to this quality of fearing Allah and being conscious of Him. Its acquirement is something for which they yearn. Fasting is a tool with which it is achieved, or we may say, a way that leads to it. Hence, the Qur’an raises it before them as a noble objective that they try to achieve through fasting. They are then told that fasting is prescribed only for a certain number of days. It is not to be practiced every day in their lives. Exempted from it, however, are the ill until they have recovered, and the travelers until they have settled: ((Fast) a certain number of days. But whoever of you is ill, or on a journey, shall fast instead the same number of days later on.) Taken at its face value, the statement concerning the exemption of the ill and the travelers is general, unrestricted. Hence any illness or journey is a good reason for exemption from fasting, provided that compensation is made when the case that justifies the exemption no longer obtains. This is my understanding of this general, unqualified Qur’anic statement. Moreover, it is more in line with the Islamic concept of relieving the strain and causing no hardship. The exemption is not related to the severity of the illness or the hardship of the journey; it is related to sickness and traveling generally. The purpose of the exemption is that it is Allah’s wish to make things easy, not hard, for man. We cannot claim to have full knowledge of the divine wisdom behind relating this exemption to sickness and traveling generally. There may be some considerations known to Allah and unknown to man in these two cases. There may be some hardships that may not immediately appear to us or we may tend to overlook. Since Allah has not attached this exemption to any particular reason, we refrain from making any judgment concerning it. We obey any statement Allah has made, even if its wisdom does not appear immediately to us. 

What is certain is that there is a wisdom behind it, although we may not necessarily recognize it. Some people may fear that such an opinion may cause people to be lax or to neglect their worship duties for any reason. Indeed, this is what has prompted Islamic scholars to adopt a more strict attitude and to lay down conditions. This argument, however, does not justify, in my opinion, attaching any restrictions to an unqualified statement made by Allah. Islam does not compel people to be obedient. Its method is to implant in them the fear of Allah so that they obey Him. The acquirement of the quality of fearing Allah is the particular aim of this type of worship. He who tries to make use of a certain concession made by Allah in order to evade fulfilling a duty is, in the first place, devoid of goodness. With such an attitude, the aim behind the religious duty cannot be fulfilled. We must not forget that Islam is a religion laid down by Allah, not man-made. Allah knows best that this religion achieves a perfect balance between the relaxation of certain duties and strict adherence to duty. A certain exemption or concession may serve a certain interest that cannot be served otherwise. Indeed, this must be the case. Hence, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) has ordered Muslims to make use of the concessions and exemptions Allah has allowed them. If it so happens that people in a particular generation have become corrupt, their reform cannot be achieved through an extra-strict application of Allah’s rules, but through their education and motivation to acquire the quality of fearing Allah. 

If a strict application of the rules that govern human transactions may be used as a deterrent or as a means to prevent evil when corruption spreads, the same cannot be applied to matters of worship. Worship is a relationship between man and His Lord that has no direct effect on the interests of human beings, in the same way as the rules governing human transactions have. Appearances in matters of worship are irrelevant, unless worship is based on fearing Allah. If this quality is present, no one would try to evade a duty or utilize a concession except when he is fully satisfied that making use of it is preferable, in obedience to Allah, in the particular case in which he finds himself. A strict application of the rules that govern acts of worship generally or a tendency to restrict the exemptions that have not been qualified originally may cause some people to refrain from using them when they need them. Moreover, it has little effect in checking those who want to be evasive. It is far better to handle matters in whatever way Allah has made clear to us. He has far more wisdom than us and He knows best the interests, immediate and not so immediate, served by all His rules that lay down duties or relax them. As for the exemption from fasting in cases of illness, it appears to me that the exemption applies to every case that may be reasonably described as illness, regardless of its nature or intensity. It is compulsory for anyone who makes use of this exemption to compensate for the days of Ramadan that he does not fast because of illness or traveling. Each day is compensated for by fasting one day at any time during the year [except for those days in which fasting is originally prohibited such as the two `eids]. The weightier opinion is that there is no need to fast on consecutive days when one fasts in compensation for the days he did not in Ramadan. By Sayed Qutb

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Wednesday, 22 March 2023

Ramadan: The Month of Mercy to Muslims


Mercy is a favor from Allah that He puts in the hearts of whomsoever He wills of His servants. Verily, Allah will have mercy on His servants who show mercy to others, as He is the Most Compassionate the Most Merciful. He loves the merciful and calls to mercy. He orders His servants to enjoin patience and mercy. A person may lack mercy for some reasons, such as the abundance of sins and disobedience. This is because sins stain people’s hearts to the extent that they ultimately blind them until their hearts become harder than stones. 

 Allah, speaking about the Children of Israel, says: {And yet, after all this, your hearts hardened and became like rocks, or even harder}. (2: 74) Allah also says about them when they opposed and rebelled against the Divine law: {Then, for having broken their solemn pledge, We rejected them and caused their hearts to harden}. (5: 13) Among the things that cause a loss of mercy is arrogance with wealth and pride with riches. Allah says: {Nay, verily, man becomes grossly overweening whenever he believes himself to be self-sufficient}. (96: 6-7) The day the heart is disciplined with faith and good deeds it fills with mercy and kindness. Another reason for the weakness of mercy is the abundance of gluttony and saturation, because they give rise to contempt and recklessness. Hence, the month of fasting was prescribed to crush this unruliness and ill discipline. The fasting person is naturally among the most merciful people. That is because he has tasted hunger, experienced thirst, and endured hardship. Therefore, his soul is enveloped with mercy, care and gentleness for Muslims. 

 Mercy is something that every Muslim is required to show to his brother Muslim. It is a requirement from every responsible custodian toward those under his care. He should feel sorry for them and be lenient towards them. Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, is reported to have said: “O Allah! Whoever is entrusted with authority over any affair of the Muslims and made it difficult for them, make it difficult for him. And whoever is entrusted over any affair of the Muslims and is kind towards them, be kind towards him.” 

 In an authentic Hadith, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, also said: “Whoever oversees an affair for my nation and disappeared or abandoned them without fulfilling their needs while impoverishing them, Allah will debar him from his needs and impoverish him on the Day of Judgement.” Mercy demands that the scholar and teacher should be gentle toward his students and lead them to the easiest and best ways to love him and benefit from his teachings. If he does this Allah will decree for him the most excellent and abounding reward. Listen to the manner in which Allah praises His Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him: {And it was by God’s grace that thou [O Prophet] didst deal gently with thy followers: for if thou hadst been harsh and hard of heart, they would indeed have broken away from thee}. (3: 159) 

Mercy further requires from the imam that he should not make worship difficult for his followers or cause them harm. On the contrary, he should be merciful, kind and wise. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “Whoever leads the people in prayer must make it easy because among them are the old, the sick, the young and the needy.” It was narrated that when Mu`adh once extended the prayer the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said to him: “Are you a troublemaker O Mu`adh? Are you a troublemaker O Mu`adh? Are you a troublemaker O Mu`adh?” In the same manner, when `Uthman Ibn Abu Al-`As Ath-Thaqafi requested: ‘O Messenger of Allah, make me an Imam of my people.’

 The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: ‘You are their Imam so lead the prayer according to the weakest of them and take a caller to prayer who would seek no payment for doing so.’ Mercy dictates that the one who calls to Islam must advise those whom he is inviting with tenderness. That he should, moreover, clarify issues to them with concern. He should not hurt, defame people or even revile the disobedient in public. Allah advised Moses and Aaron to employ the following methods in their call to the tyrant Pharaoh: {But speak unto him in a mild manner, so that he might bethink himself or [at least] be filled with apprehension}. (20: 44) He also says: {Call thou [all mankind] unto thy Sustainer’s path with wisdom and goodly exhortation, and argue with them in the most kindly manner}. (16: 125) 

The eminent jurist and Islamic scholar, Imam Ash-Shafi`i wrote: Support me with your advice in private, and avoid advising me in public. Surely giving advice among the people is a kind of reproach, which I would rather not listen to. If you disobey and ignore my wish, don’t be saddened if you are not obeyed. Mercy is required from a father to his children. The mercy of the father or mother towards their children has the greatest effect on their integrity, well-being and obedience. Self-praise and harshness only open the door to despair. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “Kindness was never bestowed upon something except that it beautified it, and it was never removed from that thing except that it made it ugly.” O you who fast and cause hunger to your stomach, there are thousands of stomachs more awaiting a meal. Will there not arise from amongst you those who would feed them? O you who fast and cause thirst to your liver, there are thousands more who await a mouthful of water. Will there not arise from amongst you those who would quench their thirst? O you who fast and wear the finest garments, there are naked people out there awaiting only a piece of cloth to cover their bodies. Will there not then come forth from amongst you those who would clothe them? O Allah! We implore to you to bestow on us your extended mercy that will forgive our sins and erase our misdeeds and errors. 

By Sheikh `Aa’id `Abdullah Al-Qarni

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Tuesday, 21 March 2023

Huge fire at Rohingya refugee camp leaves thousands without shelter


An estimated 12,000 Rohingya have been left without shelter after a fire tore through part of a cramped refugee camp in southern Bangladesh on Sunday, destroying health centres, learning facilities and mosques.

The fire broke out at Camp 11 of Cox’s Bazar refugee camp, which is home to more than 1 million Rohingya refugees, including 700,000 who fled their home country, Myanmar, after a brutal military crackdown in 2017.

Tin Lwin, whose home was destroyed in the blaze, said the fire began at about 2.40pm on Sunday afternoon. His two young children were out playing at the time, he said, adding that it was two hours before the family was reunited. “There was a huge crowd. I was also busy trying to save my house,” he said. “It was a very bad time.”

The family spent Monday morning cleaning the burned debris that was once their shelter, and fixing a temporary roof. “We are still in fear, honestly, that this might set fire again. There is no safety or security here,” he said.



Monday, 20 March 2023

Hadith: Good Neighbours


The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: "By God, he does not believe!..." When asked who he was referring to, the Prophet replied: "That person whose neighbor does not feel safe from his (or her) evil." Sahih Al-Bukhari 

Friday, 10 March 2023

India: Why Muslim women are at risk of losing it all


Amid the desk-thumping cheers of the lower house of the Indian parliament, detrimental decisions were rattled off as part of the 2023 budget process this month, marking yet another step towards disempowering Muslims in the country. This is the same house where the ruling right-wing government often fashions itself as the messiah of Muslim women, even as they endure a potentially devastating assault on their social, economic and political rights.

Amongst myriad cuts to budgets affecting minorities and women, the government has cut funding to help students from minority communities pass preliminary exams, while slashing the budget for madrassas.

From the right to choose what to wear, to the right to education and work, Indian Muslim women are at risk of losing it all

From the right to choose what to wear, to the right to education and work, Indian Muslim women are at risk of losing it all. Yet, despite this urgency, the public outcry is not nearly as pronounced as it should be.

Ongoing global debates around the right to education (in the context of Afghanistan) and the freedom to choose how to dress (in the context of Iran) have comfortably ignored Indian Muslim women - and this is hardly a new phenomenon.

Backlash against the Taliban, one would like to believe, stems from their clear negation of women’s rights. Yet, much of the international outcry actually stems from the legacy of US military intervention in Afghanistan and the Orientalist inclination to “save” Muslim women.

Along the same lines, the leader of India’s right-wing government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, insists that he has “freed” Muslim women. But Muslim women - fearless and with their fists raised - would disagree.

She stood alone, fearless and veiled head-to-toe, heckled by men in saffron scarves. This is how Muskan Khan, the “poster girl” for last year’s hijab-ban protests in the Indian state of Karnataka, subverted the stereotypical representation of a Muslim woman in the Indian imagination.

She was educated and indomitable, a subversion of the essentialised label of victimhood accorded to Indian Muslim women that is often incorrectly blamed exclusively on Muslim men. A year later, women like Muskan are facing the brunt of the Indian state’s harmful legislation, as well as a climate of violence and intimidation.

Minority Affairs Minister Smriti Irani was among many admirers of the newly released budget, which she praised for its focus on “inclusive development”. Ironically, the government has significantly slashed the budget of the ministry she heads - and the scale of these cuts is hard to ignore.

For minority educational empowerment, the budget allocation has been reduced from Rs 2,515 crores ($304m) to Rs 1,689 crores ($204.5m). The allocation for skills development and livelihoods was cut by 99 percent, while incentives for free coaching and other allied schemes were reduced by around 60 percent.

Indian Muslims have been fashioned within the Indian nation-state through a legacy and language of violence

This follows a trend that started last year. In December, the government discontinued the Maulana Azad National Fellowship, a scholarship for students from minority communities pursuing higher education. The fellowship was initially implemented more than a decade ago upon the recommendations of the Sachar committee, which highlighted the abysmal state of social, economic and educational conditions for Muslims in India.

Such steps are incongruous with government data. Indian Muslims continue to have relatively low access to education, particularly with regards to higher education, where enrolment numbers for Muslim students have been on the decline. Muslim students also tend to rely more on government institutions than non-Muslims. With little-to-no government support, students from Muslim communities will find it increasingly difficult to access education.

Interestingly, the enrolment of Muslim women in higher education has been growing in proportion to that of Muslim men. But this discouraging package of legislation is set to undo these strides, compounding the disadvantageous position that Muslim women in India occupy within the matrix of their religious, gender and class identities.

The ruling government insists that Muslim women “feel safe” under the BJP, and in justifying the hijab ban, it asserted that “misguided” Muslim women need to be brought into the “mainstream of education”.

If this is the case, why are Muslim women dropping out of colleges in Karnataka? A recent report by the Karnataka branch of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties found that more than 1,000 female Muslim students dropped out of schools in five districts during the hijab row.

The fallout of anti-Muslim legislation is not restricted to Muslims from economically underprivileged backgrounds; there is also an ongoing exodus of urban Muslims. Many young Muslims, especially women, are finding that safe public spaces are disappearing for them. Muslim women have been targeted through sexist mock “auctions”, while also facing significant hiring biases.

This wholesale assault is a recipe to intimidate and disempower Muslim women in India, buttressed by a culture of communalised rhetoric, in which convicted rapists are prematurely released and go on to receive a hero’s welcome. A language of intimidation, along with open calls for violence against Muslim women, are being normalised by mainstream news media, popular culture and vigilante internet trolls. Hate is being manufactured here.

The tepid reactions to this urgent crisis show that the foundations from which this project draws its strength are not new. Indian Muslims have been fashioned within the Indian nation-state through a legacy and language of violence, wherein Muslim women exist only as victims who need to be saved from violent Muslim men, or as sexualised objects on which wars of religious nationalism are to be played out.

In videos about the Karnataka hijab controversy, while Muslim teachers had to remove their veils before entering schools and Muslim students who refused to do so were sent home, the only woman allowed to exist on her own terms was a teacher imposing “discipline”. She wore a sari and a bindi - the only acceptable image of an “Indian” woman in the populist imagination. 


Thursday, 9 March 2023

Sha`ban Fasting: Any Specific Days?


No doubt that Muslims are urged to strive hard in getting close to Allah with all forms of acts of worship; they should take that as a top priority. However, they are instructed that whatever they do, they should not deviate from the teachings and principles set by the noble Prophet, Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). He has set for us a shinning model that we should follow in order to keep firm on the right path. Therefore it’s very important for a committed Muslim to make sure that his acts of worship have basis both in the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). In this regard, the prominent Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf Al- Qaradawi states: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was keen on fasting in the month of Sha`ban more than he was in other months. `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) never fasted for a whole month except in Ramadan. This refutes what some people do; observing fast for three consecutive months: Rajab, Sha`ban and Ramadan, followed by six days of Shawwal . That is, they start fasting at the beginning of Rajab until the seventh of Shawwal, leaving nothing but the Day of `Eidul-Fitr.

 Neither the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) nor his Companions or even their successors were reported to have done so. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to fast some days of every month. `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) sometimes would observe fasting continuously, to the extent that his Companions thought he would never break fast, and in other times he would refrain from fasting to the extent that they thought he would never fast again. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) usually observed fasting on Mondays and Thursdays and three days of each month (the 13th , 14th and 15th). He sometimes used to fast every alternate day, following the pattern of Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him). He even made this clear: “The best way of fasting in Allah’s sight is that of Dawud, who used to observe fasting every alternate day.” 

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to observe fasting in Sha`ban more than he did in other months. This was a kind of self-preparation for the coming of Ramadan; that is, to act as some sort of girding oneself for Ramadan. But there are no textual evidence that there are specific days in Sha`ban in which fasting is commendable. It is, by and large, impermissible for one to prefer certain days to observe voluntary fasting or certain nights to perform Night Prayers, lacking any juristic basis for that action. Religious acts are not left for man’s whims. Rather, they are subject to Divine legislation. Thus, specifying certain times and places for worship and the description of different acts of worship are the matters of the Divine, not that of human.

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Tuesday, 7 February 2023

Hadith of the day

 ‘Amr ibn Murrah reported: A man came to the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and he said, “O Messenger of Allah, what do you think if I testify there is no God but Allah and you are the Messenger of Allah, I perform the five prayers, I pay the obligatory alms, and I fast the month of Ramadan and stand for prayer in it. Among whom will I be?” The Prophet said, “Among the truthful and the martyrs.”
Source: Ṣaḥīḥ Ibn Ḥibbān 3438
Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to Al-Arna’ut

Thursday, 2 February 2023

First Mosque in India


 Cheraman Juma Majsid or Malik Deenar Juma Masjid located in Kerela is the first mosque of India, built during the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad in 629 AD.

The historic mosque was built in the typical Kerala style and is one of the best-kept architectures in the district.

Malik Ibn Deenar was a companion of Prophet Muhammad and is considered the first to bring Islam to India. In 624 AD, Malik Ibn Deenar and twelve of his trade associates landed in Kerala. The delegation consisted of Sharaf Ibn Malik, his brother Malik Ibn Deenar and his nephew Malik Ibn Habeeb Ibn Malik. Their distinct way of trade and the practice of Islam soon attracted the attention of the then ruler Cheraman Perumal. Over time the king was fascinated by the doctrines of this new religion and he embraced Islam.

According to another oral tradition, Cheraman Perumal, the Chera king, went to Arabia where he met Prophet Muhammad and embraced Islam. From there he sent letters with Malik Ibn Dinar to his relatives in Kerala, asking them to extend their hospitality to the latter.

The mosque is believed to have been erected on 13th Rajab, 22 Hijra (A.D.642). Malik Ibn Deenar's son Malik Ibn Muhammad was nominated as the Qazi of the mosque. It contains the grave of Malik Ibn Mohammed, one of the descendants of Malik Ibn Dinar.

The mosque was renovated in the 11th century and again in the 18th century with generous help from the local people. The front portion was expanded in 1974 and further expanded in 1984. The older part of the mosque including the Sanctum Sanctorum is left untouched and is still preserved. Its grandeur is kept alive by the wooden steps and ceiling.

People of all religions come to this mosque. The Hindus bring their children to the mosque to conduct their Vidyarambham Ceremony which introduces them to the world of knowledge, letters, and the process of learning.

A festival is celebrated here every year to commemorate the arrival of Malik Ibn Dinar. Another festival is held once every three years, in memory of the death anniversary of Malik Ibn Dinar. Thousands of pilgrims gather for this festival, called Uroos, during the festival, food and clothes are distributed to all those who are in need. 


Tuesday, 31 January 2023

Hadith on helping others


The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) told a companion: "Help the weak or do some good for a person who cannot work for himself (or herself)." His companion replied: "(But what) if I cannot do that?" The Prophet said: "(Then at least) refrain from harming others, for this will be regarded as a charitable deed (on your part)." Sahih Al-Bukhari 

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "O people! Greet others in peace, feed (the poor and needy), behave kindly to your relatives, offer prayer when others are asleep, and (thus) enter Paradise in peace." Al-Tirmidhi

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "There is an abode in paradise. . .prepared for those who are polite in their speech, provide food (to the needy), fast frequently, and (pray) when other people are asleep." Al-Tirmidhi