STANCE of a MUSLIMAH

Our Lord! You truly know all that we may hide in our hearts as well as all that we bring into the open, for nothing whatsoever, be it on earth or in heaven, remains hidden from Allah. {Quran, 14:38}

3/30/2006

Karbala Bands

At the risk of being pointed out as jumping on the bandwagon with these rubber bands, I'm posting this here! Here in the US these rubber bands come in different colors and they serve the purpose of encouraging people to give money to specific causes. I came upon this yesterday. Black bands that say "KARBALA" on one side & "ONE NATION, ONE UMMAH" on the other. I am not sure if all proceeds go to charity or what, I'm pretty sure they do. So for all those who love the idea of wearing these (Muslim or not), and need a kick to give charity..then this is something you'll probably want to jump on to yourself. (click on the title of this post to order them or to just check them out).
ALLAH (GOD) has taught us in the
Quran:
"O believers, be you securers of
justice, witness for God. Let not detestation for a people move you not to be
equitable; be equitable - that is nearer to God-fearing." (5:8)
"...Whoso slays a soul not to
retaliate for a soul slain, nor for corruption done in the land, should be as if
he had slain mankind altogether." (5:32)

3/23/2006

Selfless Desire


Human rights are innately known by all walks of life, they are universal. Feeding an orphan is a responsibility, not an extra credit assignment. Picking up an elderly man's dropped keys at the grocery store is a responsibility, not an excessive chore. Holding the door for a mom pushing her daughter in a wheelchair (even if she's far behind) is a responsibility, not a tremendous mission. It seems that most people get this part of serving others.

But there's a flipside of people's perception to those with impairments, disabilities, and/or handicaps that many people continue to hold true. Having had endless experiences with various people of different cultures, mentalities, illnesses, delays, and of different ages over the past 10 years, I know that one thing is certain. Every human regardless of their strengths and weaknesses deserves and desires to have their dignity nurtured. No matter how young, how old, how sick, how healthy. We all want it, we all need it, and we all deserve it. But the ugly truth is apparent when people are referred to as their diagnosis, when the handicapped parking spot is taken "for just a couple of minutes", when people are looked and judged according to their weaknesses rather than viewed through their strengths. No human is complete, and yet no person is incomplete.

Islam, not just a religion, has but a system prescribed by God, has instilled universal rights, and continues to spell them out for anyone and everyone, Muslim or not. So much so, that Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings upon him) taught humanity that "No one is a true believer until you wish for your brother what you would wish for yourself." (authentic saying: Bukhari & Muslim). This means that all the amenities that are out there for people has to be out there for all people regardless of what "issues or tests are laid out to be dealt with by individual beings.

God created everything and everyone in perfection. A boy born blind born was a child born with a Plan. A girl born deaf was a child born with a Plan. A girl born with cerebral palsy was a child born with a Plan. People can either feel sympathy in their hearts that in essence does not lead to encouraging these people with hardships simplicity. Or they can feel empathy, which fosters motivating and creative means in giving others a chance to succeed. Realizing their weaknesses and incapacities in a view of optimism, and opportunity will enable people to appreciate what they take for granted, and it will provide a means of support for those with impairments, disabilities, or handicaps an opportunity to flourish into their potential. Accommodating others should not be a thing we do whenever we can, it has to be a thing we always do blindly! Glory belongs to God. SubhanAllah.

Islamic rulings demand the wealthy to give wealth, the educated to educate, the truly pious people to really care enough to make a difference and comprehend that no two people are alike. So just because a child has specific weaknesses that most children don't, and just because by a country or state does not enforce specific schools or institutions to provide with special needs”; it should be emphasized that all Islamic schools should be “equipped” by strong faith in worship, and “required” by Allah to serve all Muslim and even non-Muslim children in the community regardless of their challenges. This becomes even truer if the setting is one of Islamic nature.

Rights that have the most direct impact on educating any child or adult include but are not limited to are:
Equality; Social welfare; Basic necessities of life; Individualized Education Own Dignity & Respect Have Opportunity; Benefit of the doubt.

In regards to educating our kids, IDEA 97, a U.S law states that special education is a set of services to support the needs of children with disabilities to succeed in general education classrooms. So, it is no longer acceptable for private schools in nature who fear God, and hope for His Support to discriminate against children who were created with by God's Plan in perfection. Especially since, it is not these laws that should govern compassion. It is the Law of God, in Quran that must.

We did not earn our knowledge, our money, our home, or our health. We do not decide to have children, nor do we know where we live tomorrow. Everything that we see, hear, touch, feel, taste, and live by are not our own, they are tools that God has given us to reach Him and strive with to stay on the Straight Path of faith. Therefore, it is not right that people look down upon others, it is not right that some feel proud to have earned something…anything, and it is not our hard efforts that make something happen or work.

We as a people, Muslim or not have to continue seeking means to reach God, and if it means accommodating others to do so, to give others a chance, then surely the reward will be with God. It’s not extra credit, its not out of the way, it’s not something we should pat ourselves for. It’s a responsibility that God will ask each of on. What did you do to help another soul? What did you do to show your mercy on someone else? What did you do with the means that were lent to you to fight for the rights of others? What did you do?? Every deed counts. Sometimes the ones you don’t consider are the most important ones to complete.

So please remember the next time you see anyone with a need, do not define them by that: He or she is a person with an issue, not an issue that happens to be a person. A disabled lady is a lady with a disability. An amputee is a man with an amputated leg. That is the least we can do, and in result we will see the person first for who she or he is, and not the disability they own.

3/12/2006

Sisterhood Modesty

This is for my dear Muslim sisters who strive to be the most modest Muslimahs they can be. We cover our bodies and protect our beauty for no other reason than to please God. This is our prescription to follow. Our femininity is sacred when we leave our homes, and should be sacred within them. We cover not just from protection of the luring eye of men, we cover ultimately because we trust in Allah's prescribed means of negating all those girly petty reasons that foster vain materialism and unwarranted jealousy. So think about this Islamic Ruling that is often ignored or passed by next time your expected to be at sisters house for some party..ok? Let's always be in the forefront of teaching our little daughters too inshaAllah.
----------------------------------------------
What is a woman permitted to uncover in front of other women and mahrams?
Praise be to Allaah.
The Standing Committee for Academic Research and Issuing Fatwas issued a statement on this matter, which reads as follows:

Praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the Worlds, and blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad, and upon all his family and companions.

The believing women at the beginning of Islam were extremely pure, chaste, and modest, which was the blessing of belief in Allaah and His Messenger and following the Qur’aan and Sunnah. Women at that time used to wear concealing garments, and it is not known that they used to uncover themselves when they met one another or when they met their mahrams. The women of this ummah followed this mode of behaviour – praise be to Allaah – generation after generation until recently, when corruption and impropriety entered the way women dress and behave for many reasons, which we do not have room to discuss here.

Because of the large number of questions that have been sent to the Standing Committee for Academic Research and Issuing Fatwas about women looking at women, and what women should wear, the Committee is telling all Muslim women that women are obliged to have an attitude of modesty, which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) described as being part of faith and one of the branches of faith. One aspect of the modesty which is enjoined by Islam and by custom is that women should cover themselves, be modest and adopt an attitude and conduct that will keep her far away from falling into fitnah (temptation) and doubtful situations.

The Qur’aan clearly indicates that a woman should not show to other women anything other than that which she shows to her mahrams, that which she customarily uncovers in her own home and when doing housework, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “…and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husband’s fathers, or their sons, or their husband’s sons, or their brothers or their brother’s sons, or their sister’s sons, or their (Muslim) women (i.e. their sisters in Islam…"[Quran 24:31]

If this is the text of the Qur’aan and this is what is indicated by the Sunnah, then this is what the wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and the womenfolk of the Sahaabah used to do, and the women of the ummah who followed them in truth until the present day. What was usually uncovered in front of the people mentioned in this verse is what women usually uncover when they are at home and when doing housework, which is difficult to avoid, such as uncovering the head, hands, neck and feet.

With regard to going to extremes in uncovering, there is no evidence in the Qur’aan and Sunnah that this is permissible. This is also the way that leads to a woman tempting or being tempted by other women, which happens among them. It also sets a bad example to other women, as well as being an imitation of kaafir women, prostitutes and immoral women in the way they dress. It was proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” Narrated by Imam Ahmad and Abu Dawood. In Saheeh Muslim (2077) it is narrated from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) saw him wearing two garments dyed with safflower, and he said: “These are from the clothing of the kuffaar –do not wear them.”

It is also narrated in Saheeh Muslim (2128) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There are two types of the people of Hell whom I have not seen: people with whips like the tails of cattle, with which they beat the people, and women who are clothed yet naked, misguided and leading others astray, with their heads like the humps of camels, leaning to one side. They will not enter Paradise or even smell its fragrance, although its fragrance may be detected from such and such a distance.”

The meaning of the phrase “clothed yet naked” is that the woman is wearing clothes that do not cover her, so she is clothed, but in fact she is naked, such as when she wears a thin dress that shows the colour of her skin, or a dress that shows the outline of her body, or a short dress that does not cover part of her limbs.

So what Muslim women have to do is to adhere to the guidance followed by the Mothers of the Believers (the Prophet’s wives) and the womenfolk of the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them), and the women of this ummah who followed them in truth, and strive to cover themselves and be modest. This is farthest removed from the causes of fitnah and will protect them from the things that lead to provocation of desires and falling into immorality.

Muslim women must also beware of falling into that which Allaah and His Messenger have forbidden of imitating kaafir women and prostitutes, in obedience to Allaah and His Messenger, and in the hope of attaining the reward of Allaah, and for fear of His
punishment.

Every Muslim must also fear Allaah with regard to the women who are under his care, and not let them wear things that Allaah and His Messenger have forbidden, such as provocative clothes, or clothes that are revealing or tempting. He should remember that he is a shepherd and will be responsible for his flock on the Day of Resurrection.

We ask Allaah to set the Muslims’ affairs straight, and to guide us all to the straight path, for He is All-Hearing, Ever-Near and Ever Responsive. May Allaah send blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon his family and companions. Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 17/290 It also says in Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (17/297): What a woman is permitted to uncover in front of her children is that which is customarily uncovered, such as the face, hands, forearms, feet and so on.

And Allaah knows best.

3/07/2006

2 Extremes, 1 Day


"No, I’m good. I’ve been canning all night and I’ve got enough. Really. Thanks anyway. You’re young; you don’t know what the real world is like out here, just wait until you get to be 45. I’m 51 and I’ll tell you this, don’t trust anyone, there is no meaning; especially the ***** (a nationality) and *****, but the ***** too. This guy has been working my area, if you see him, don’t tell him you saw me. He has no nerve; everyone knows this is my location. Just run the other way, he’s no good, none of them are. He got on my radio frequency. See you don’t know because you’re so young. I got my friend a job yesterday, she really needed it. But I’m all good. No, I don’t know anyone who would need it. I’m ok; you need not worry about me. Just one more week of this cold weather to go. You should get going, because it’s so brutal out here. 20 or 30 years out here you learn to survive, but you just learn to be careful. Don’t trust anyone."


Waking up that morning there was a plan. A master plan was already set for me to come across this woman on my way into the skilled nursing & rehab facility I work in. Everyone has a different take on life, and it’s so ironic how 2 precious newborns end up with minds and thoughts poles apart from one another as adults. This woman, only a few years younger than my own mother, has no belief in “trust”, and mocked the idea of God creating humanity with a purpose to worship throughout every detail of our lives. Perhaps one day she will see, that even with her, God has imparted Mercy upon. She was dressed warm, and her canning earned her 3 trash bags full of potential money, to eat a warm meal rather heading to the local soup kitchen.

All day I thought of this other soul roaming the streets. That night my husband, the kids & I were invited over another Muslim family’s home, not their house. Little did I know I would be exposed to a reverse situation. Masha’Allah what God wills, happens. A house of royalty, no less it was, at least for this donia/life. This house was a mansion filled with jeweled details embedded in the fabrics of curtains, marble floors with crystal chandeliers floating on top, glass doors with high textile ceilings and lofty yet plush furniture. Not very child friendly (‘Strong Believer’, my almost 3 year old son was a little too excited!!)

I’m really into listening to Imam Anwar Al-Awlaki’s stuff. A few days before this extreme day came, he explained the first 4 things all of will be asked upon. 1. Prayer: did we pray 5xs/day as prescribed? 2. Time: what did we do with it? Waste it & procrastinate? 3. Earnings: How did we get the money we have? Did we steal, gamble, partake in interest, or sell forbidden goods of this world like alcohol etc. & 4. Spend: How did we distribute our money? Did we spend it carelessly and use it just for amusements without expecting judgment? This makes me think of all the times I order this or that from Gap Online, even the clearance items.

Let us be reminded that for everything we think own, it is given and it is a trust, it is not something that belongs to us, but something that is on loan as a trial. By keeping this thought in mind we will find ourselves being more grateful to Allah, our Creator, the Most Generous. Accountability will happen. Praise God for what you have, because there is no assurance you will have it tomorrow. What is easy on the eyes and hearts is not in this world, it is only in Jannah/Paradise. So let that be it our goal. Think, did we pass those quizzes today, or should we study through reflection for the next day? I know I need to study, and hopefully I'll get it tomorrow inshaAllah/God-willing..

May Allah forgive our shortcomings and keep us on the Straight Path. Ameen.

3/03/2006

Mother's Perspective on Prayer

Salaam & Hello to All:

My dear sister in Islam, Um Ibrahim, is working up a Prayer Manual for Muslim Mamas. This is the first section of her "book" that she needs to publish! (InshaAllah) Its geared to Muslim mom's but God-willing anyone needing a a motivator to get going with Prayer will be encouraged. May Allah reward her. (Click on the title of this post to read more of her blog entries, including the table of contents of this manual)...& may Allah reward and guide all of us. Ameen.

"Chapter 1: Committing to the Quantity

Section 4: A Reflection on Prayer, from a Mother’s Perspective

Allah subhanahu wa taala is always telling us in the Qur’an to reflect on the nature around us, our own selves, and his commandments – including Prayer. So let us reflect on prayer from the point of view of a mother. Why did Allah command us to pray? There are five things that bring us happiness as mothers, from our children.

The first thing gives true joy and satisfaction to a mother is when we ask our child to do something and she does it. By praying, we are obeying Allah so he will be pleased on seeing us leave whatever we were doing and go to pray.

Secondly, do you remember how happy you felt when your child started talking? All that time he had been listening to your words and trying to imitate a few words here and there and now finally he can put a sentence together and repeat what he learned. From this, you can see why Allah wants us to memorize Qur’an and recite Qur’an in our prayers. He wants to see what we have learned of His words and is pleased on hearing us recite the Qur’an.

Thirdly, our hearts rejoice when we hear our child says ‘I love you Mommy’ with a hug and kiss, or when she says ‘Thank You’. So imagine how pleased Allah is when we supplicate to Him. In Ruku’ we say ‘Subhana Rabial ‘Atheem which means ‘Glory be to Allah, the Greatest’. In Sujud we say ‘Subhana Rabial A’la which means ‘Glory be to Allah, the Most High’. That is why we get so many blessings from supplication and are advised to do it after the prayer, throughout the day, and before sleep.

Fourthly, let’s not forget the relief a mother feels when her child says ‘I’m sorry’, especially when it’s sincere. Ah, now we can realize the importance of sincerity in prayer and du’a. When your child says sorry only because you told them to say that or they say it in an uncaring way, it only helps a little in soothing your anger. But when they say sorry on their own in that sad voice, then your anger magically disappears. In our prayers when we come up from the first sujud (prostration) we make the du’a ‘Rabbi Ighfirli wa liwalidayyi’ which means ‘O Allah forgive me and forgive my parents’. Allah is giving us a chance to ask for forgiveness in our prayers. We benefit by getting our sins forgiven, and he becomes more pleased with us from our repentance, if it was sincere.

Lastly, a mother is happy to hear her child ask for help when they’re frustrated instead of crying and having a tantrum. A mother loves to help her children. The same can be said of the du’a you can say during and after your prayers. Here, Allah is giving us a chance to ask for His help, because He loves to help us. During your prayer the most powerful position to make du’a in is in the last Sujud (prostration). Here you are prostrated in the most humble position before your Lord who created you and blessed you with many things, so it is most conducive to sincerity.

May Allah help us all in fulfilling this important an beneficial obligation with sincerity and grant us all its rewards and benefits.
Ameen. "

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