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}

5/23/2006

By Chance?


" On the Day when those who disbelieve (in the Oneness of Allah Islamic Monotheism) will be exposed to the Fire (it will be said): "You received your good things in the life of the world, and you took your pleasure therein. Now this Day you shall be recompensed with a torment of humiliation, because you were arrogant in the land without a right, and because you used to rebel and disobey(Allah)."
{Quran, 46:20}

What is it exactly that makes us hold onto "chances?". What does it even mean? We all say it "Chances are this.." or "Odds are that.." But Allah is the Best of Planners, and it is His Wisdom that determines what happens, how it happens, where it happens, who it happens to, and why it happens. Every detail of life is His Will.


Last night my husband and I were talking about reliance on Allah to decide, and His Hearing of all supplications (in Arabic, duaa) made to Allah Alone (and even by polytheists, or others who claim the neccesity to have a 'middle-man' for that matter). Where-ever we are He is there, knowing the depths of our souls, even without a fraction movement of the lips. He is All-Aware.

We all make duaa (don't we?), asking God to guide us in this life and bless us with the best in the Hereafter, or at least most of us maybe, I would say that those who are not Muslim who believe in One Eternal God would ask for this too. Here's my question though, I have thought of. "Why is it He Chooses to answer them at times and refuse at other times?" Well, I've got an answer too. It's because for the Strong Believer, (a Mu'min) he/she knows that Allah Knows what is best for a person, that the person's mind is limited, and even though those who are strong in faith might ask Allah for something that harms the that faithful servant rather than aids him/her reaching Allah's Reward, here or in our afterLife. As far as someone who doesn't believe or even care to seek Allah's Help, then Allah wouldn't have a reason to answer supplication. Although because He is the Most Kind, Most Patient, Most Merciful, He answers their calls, and demonstrates Mercy on them so they may take heed and reflect.

In return of Allah answering our supplications, what do we do? We rejoice for having an answered prayer, then we forget how that happened in the first place, and end up taking credit for something we feel we've earned ourselves, rather than being grateful, ending with a feeling of self-sufficiency which leads to AROGANCE. SubhanAllah/ All Glory belongs to Allah. We are so stupid and idiotic. Everyone needs to find the Truth in their souls, and if they find it, they have to be courageous enough to claim it.

Allah says: {Quran, 10:21}

"And when We let mankind taste of mercy after some adversity has afflicted them, behold! They take to plotting against Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.)! Say: "Allah is more Swift in planning!" Certainly, Our Messengers (angels) record all of that which you plot."

So back to the "chances" thingy. There are no such things as chances or coincidences. If you hold something up in the air and let it go, it's going to fall. This is a law of gravity, of physics, is one created by ALLAH, not by you or by me. If one studies hard, they get good grades, again..a principle set by ALLAH. If one "accidently" gets into a car "accident", this is also a scenario that was planned while that driver was still in the womb of his/her mother. Oh, and isn't this why we are told to say "God-Willing"? I plan, you plan, but Allah is the Best of all Planners. Allah is surely the Greatest.

"And never say of anything, "I shall do such and such thing tomorrow." Except (with the saying), "If Allah will!" And remember your Lord when you forget and say: "It may be that my Lord guides me unto a nearer way of truth than this."" {Quran, 18:23-24}

Allah gives us the will to decide between faith and disbelief, wrong and right actions. It is relative to the situation we are presented with. Tomorrow I could die, today even. But will I choose within the next hours of my life to be grateful for all that was given to me or be proud of my accomplishments? Allah Knows what I will do and with the freedom He has given me, therefore it is already written, my future. But because I don't have a clue what my future is, and you don't either, we have to assume that we will do our best. This is the hope Allah has given us until the moment of death.

Let's pray that we are of the grateful ones and not those who are arrogant enough to deny the blessings of Allah. Learn more about destiny, free will, and all tht good stuff by clicking on the title of this post.

5/21/2006

Colors Submit

Allah gave each of them a gift before bedtime, the growing loves of my life. Praises belong to Allah. An enormous perfect rainbow bright and vivid! Glittery strong at the bottom staring at my family and seeming to glide right into the tree-tops. It must have been complete, though our eyes did not witness it. As it rained while sunny bright, we noticed its shadow before it vanished first. All Glory belongs to GOD/Subhan'Allah!! I had never seen one so huge in my life, and the shadow..well it was like a faded twin! Although we didn't see it form, we saw the colors get deeper and more shiny rich. My husband went out in the rain to click a picture of it before it was to die away. Thinking about it now though, it had a quick life. A life that worshipped Allah. Sounds silly to some, but I swear by everything in me it's true. This rainbow's lifespan was at least 8 minutes, just up there in the sky worshipping our Creator, its Creator. Shy and beautiful at first, radiant and confident for the next few moments, and ending its existance modestly and warm. All I kept thinking, was why did Allah choose two to appear in so much magnitude and grace before our eyes? Humbling no doubt. Subhan'Allah. The kids can't wait to slide down rainbows in Jannah/Paradise. (God-willing, InshaAllah). What God Wills, the colors of Felicity are far more attractive and not anything we even have the ability to preceive. This rainbow was more proof against those who fail to reflect. Although perhaps it was also alive to give people hope in Allah's Mercy and Grace.
"Have they not observed things that Allah has created, (how) their shadows incline to the right and to the left, making prostration unto Allah, and they are lowly?"
{Quran, 16:48}

Everywhere

"Oh you who believe! Bow down, and prostrate yourselves, and worship your Lord and do good that you may be successful. "
{Quran, 22:77}
1.5 Billion and increasing. Everywhere you go, Muslims are there. Click on the title above to see the proof. Ever wonder why Islam is the fastest growing religion on Earth, and the second largest in the world? Or why the Muslim population has increased by 235% over the past 50 years? Why Christianity has increased by only 47 percent, Hinduism by 117 percent, and Buddhism by 63 percent. Makes you wonder how Islam is the second largest religious group in France, Great Britain, and USA? Or why a religion that seems to oppress women has a ration of coverts 4 women to 1 man? As a Muslim this is not needed for me to confirm my beliefs, but it does prove that the people of this world is a little bit better than I sometimes think. Just something to think about. Click on the link below to read the proof.
(there is slight differences in numbers comparing different sources, they are all quite similar):

5/19/2006

Return

"He will forgive you your sins, and admit you to Gardens beneath which Rivers flow, and to beautiful mansions in Gardens of Eternity: that is indeed the Supreme Achievement." {Quran, 61:12}
One of the things that keeps me afloat in life is hope that whatever is that I am doing is the right thing and that I have a chance of be granted God’s Mercy. Everyone has ‘skeletons in the closet’. Here in the US, this phrase is in reference to those who have secrets that people wish not to be revealed. In Islam, if someone has given up a bad act or deed, it is best to conceal it, not sharing one’s forbidden acts with others, even to those closest to you. The reasoning of this is that there is more harm in exposing corruption than hiding it. If someone displays wrongdoings openly, like current day talk show hosts who make their living off of it, then there is a greater susceptibility of these situations becoming the norm and therefore we people get immuned and feel like the deception, fraud, nudity, and something as “simple” as vulgar language, is simply common and totally accepted. Islam is not just about an individual practicing his/her religion. Its about a total concept of community with Muslims and non-Muslims. I remember sitting in an Intro to Philosophy class when I was in college, almost a decade ago. My professor said something that I hadn’t considered before which I hold true to. He taught us that the 6:00 news is really not news. I don’t even remember what his name is, but I recall him saying it was chitchat gossipy scandals that point the finger dramatizing the lives of civilians. You know when you have those turning points in your life? Well this was one of them for me. At that time in my life I was also pregnant with my first child, and I thought he was so right that I began to wean myself away from trash talk like Ricki Lake (another talk show) and even those fashion magazines which relate to absolutely nothing about reality nor anything of which I aspired to be, nor wanted for my baby. Alhamdulilah, Praises belong to Allah.

It’s real tempting sometimes for me to turn on the TV and watch Oprah or even Dr. Phil, but what do these have to do with me? My beliefs? My purpose? My being??!! Absolutely NOTHING. So then I start to think what is it that glamorizes the life of people who are completely lost and unsuccessful in this life and certainly in the next if they don’t smart up? I don’t have the answer, and I can sit here and blame Shaitan/Satan. But didn’t Allah give me a will? He did give me, little speck me, a will to defy the nonsense in this world. It will be me, not my parents nor my husband, which will be accountable for what I do-see-hear-touch, or indulge in. So my constant struggle, my jihad, is just that. My life is supposed to be a representation of the path Allah has established for humanity, and the path that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has explained, and the path that the 4 best of women of all of humanity, Maryam: mother of Jesus (pbuh), Khadija: wife of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) Essya: wife of the wicked Pharoah, and Fatima: daughter of Prophet Muhammad(pbuh). May Allah grant them the best for their pious and righteous ways.

But all of this is not about me, its about repenting. We are insignificant without Allah. We are not better than the next. One who has strong faith in Allah may lose it all in a second, and one who is a Kaafir, an atheist, may end up with the strongest of faith. It’s happened in history, and it happens all the time. For this reason, we all have to rectify ourselves, no matter how holier than thou we may be, or think we are! Another point is that although it could be that a bad situation we partook in is a learning situation, this does not mean we should say, what many people today say “I don’t regret anything of my past because I learned from it.” I don’t know, I don’t think this is right. It’s cool to admit our faults, but it’s not ok to proclaim that without our faults we wouldn’t have been guided. Because we don’t have a clue as to what or wouldn’t have happened. Just like we don’t have a clue as to what state of faith, or lack of we will die in. Maybe its through those faults that we felt weak and felt we needed to ask Allah for guidance and therefore supplicated for Him, so we got it. But this does not justify us saying that our past is something we should credit for getting to the point of further faith or closer to Truth. I don’t even know if that makes sense to whoever of you is reading this. All I mean is, to acknowledge you’ve done something wrong is the first part in solving it. Whether Muslim or not, be reminded to “return”, to repent, to seek Tawbeh. Allah is the Most-Merciful. Surely, with repenting comes guideance.

Enough of my rambling, and check out this article I’ve linked to the title of this post.

"And turn you all together in repentence to Allah O Believers, that you may be successful." »[Qur'an, 24:31] In the Quran, Allah also tells us: «"Surely Allah loves those who turn unto Him in repentence and loves those who purify themselves."» [Qur'an, 2: 222]

May Allah forgive all of us and may we be amongst the inhabitants of Jannah. Ameen.

5/09/2006

k-9 & Islam

Dogs are loved animals by the elderly, children, adults who are healthy, and those afflicted with various conditions. They are considered part of the family here in the US. This is to be taken quite literally too. Many couples even choose to have dogs rather than having children, and often times are referred to as their babies. Whenever we hear the phrase “man’s best friend”, everyone knows it means a pet that is a dog. Sipping beverages with shared cups, sleeping in the same bed, licking faces of babies, having doggy day-care systems, a potty to buy for a pup, and schools to teach polite humanly manners for the sake of having a "socially appropriate" K-9 friend are all too common.

My 5 year old came home the other day from school relaying a conversation she had with one of her teachers. They were talking about dogs and so 'Mercy' told Ms. Teacher “Dogs are fun, but they are dirty.” Teacher says: ”Dogs are not dirty?! Who told you that?” Mercy says: “Yeah they are, my mommy said that!” After Mercy shared with me the conversation a few days ago I felt compelled to teach Ms. Teacher what the Islamic stance is on dogs. I have always wondered how to politely inform others that I don't want their "babies" licking me, jumping on me, or touching me in any way, or my children for that matter. My mom suggested to tell people that we are all allergic to dogs, while I've been known to just say that my kids are afraid of them (which is actually partially true because of an incident that happened to one of them at the age of 2.5, but thats a whole other story I won't get into now). I am not happy about using these excuses, but I just haven't figured out a way to explain what my perspective, the Islamic perspective is on dogs without insulting their care-takers. After last week's conversation at Mercy's school, and this weekend's comment from a dog-owner at the park: "Oh, they don't want to play with you" said in a sad tone to her golden, long-haired dog, I have been compelled to set some things straight here! The last thing I want is for people to assume that just because Muslims don't share a crazy love towards dogs, does not by any means indicate that Islam is hateful towards them or even animals in general.

This is how it really is. True Muslims love to be clean, so much so that anything that interferes with purity is considered a hardship or burden. Wouldn't you agree that most people love to be clean anyways? So with Muslims, its not just about a feeling of cleanliness one feels after a morning shower, its about purity throughout the day and night. This is one of the reasons why we wash our hands, arms, face, rinse our mouths, head, behind our ears, and feet up to our ankles about 5 times/day before we pray to God. This is the most basic of rituals and duties of a Muslim. In Quran, Allah tells us:

"Oh you who believe! When you intend to offer prayer, wash your faces and your hands (forearms) up to the elbows, rub (by passing wet hands over) your heads, and (wash) your feet up to ankles. If you are in a state of Janaba (i.e. post sexual relations), purify yourself (bathe your whole body)." (Al-Ma'idah 5:6) "Truly, Allah loves those who turn unto Him in repentance and loves those who purify themselves (by taking a bath and cleaning and washing thoroughly their private parts, bodies, for their prayers etc.)." (Al Baqarah 2:222)

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

"Cleanliness is half of faith and Alhamdulillah (Praise be to Allah) fills the scale, and SubhanAllah (Glory be to Allah) and Alhamdulillah (Praise be to Allah) fill up what is between the heavens and the earth, and prayer is a light, and charity is proof (of one's faith) and endurance is a brightness and the Qur'an is a proof on your behalf or against you. All men go out early in the morning and sell themselves, thereby setting themselves free or destroying themselves." (Sahih Muslim)

My findings about the way Islam sees dogs have been from reading authentic sayings of Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him), Quran, particularly the story in the chapter Al-Kahf, along with scientific knowledge of the innate qualities of dogs from random sites maintained from people whom seem to love them more than anything or even anyone else, and not least on the list, vets whom have posted information that every k-9 owner should know.

To backtrack for a second, everything has been created with a purpose, and ALL of creation with the same purpose of worshipping God alone; not only people, but rocks, birds, clouds, grass, pigs even, and yes dogs. God has never created a single creation without purpose, without that purpose. As humans we have the ability to reason, reflect, and write. These abilities are not given to other creations, not even at the very least. We have the ability to do, act, proceed, and accomplish things that don't constitute factors within primitive ways. This fact alone does not make us wiser. What makes us exceed from other “creations of God” is the use of our abilities, our given talents in the path of reaching God’s Pleasure. Having said all that, it is not right for anyone who calls himself a Muslim, who claims to love Allah, and who aims to be steadfast in attaining Allah’s Compassion to put down any of His creations, even pigs..even dogs!! When I say put down, I mean be cruel, or even disrespectful towards them. Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him) was quoted saying:

"A prostitute was forgiven by Allah, because, passing by a panting dog near a well and seeing that the dog was about to die of thirst, she took off her shoe, and tying it with her head-cover she drew out some water for it. So, Allah forgave her because of that." (Bukhari, Muslim)

Several roles are attributed to dogs. Dogs can be trained to be different things for different people, they can learn to be loyal companions of people. They do demonstrate certain intelligence, feelings, playful, and can be even taught to respect to authority, to at least some extent. Dogs are also known to be protectors. These resourceful qualities Allah has granted dogs make them useful towards humans in ways that other animals may not be. For these reasons, through Islamic Law, also known as Shariah, it is allowed to use dogs for hunting, farming, herding livestock. The Shariah Council in the UK has even lifted the ban for people who are blind, deaf, or handicapped back in 2002, to utilize guide dogs in facilitating their ease towards independence, and facilitate safety. So in Islam dogs can certainly be utilized in helping any typical person get particular jobs done, as well as being a compensatory aid for those afflicted with certain conditions. These are valid points in the benefits of caring for dogs, however to be fair, we have to consider that there are many people who are disabled, or have been handicapped without the use of dogs too, and do just fine without them as well. Also, many people farm, herd livestock, and hunt without a k-9 companion.

So again back to the point where Muslims, like me, (called crazy) are saying things about dogs being ritually impure. Here are a few things I found. Worms! Toxocara canis is a roundworm found in dogs. The eggs of these worms are also found in dog feces (sorry about the details!!). Supposedly it causes stomach-aches, sore throats, asthma, and to my surprise in rare cases causes blindness. The eggs can remain active in the soil for many years long after the dog mess has disintegrated. Dogs, by their very nature are hunters, eat carrion, and blood even if they are domesticated. When allowed to run free, they will eat dead animals if they find them. They are not particular about where they leave their excrement and have been known to even relieve themselves on human legs. Although they are smart, their understanding is limited so their strong territorial instinctive drive can come across very harsh if the dog is unfamiliar with who you are. As loving, wonderful, and beautiful even, dogs can be, these characteristics do not, and cannot ever change their nature, which keeps them impure animals.


For this reason of impurity Muslims are educated not to have dogs as pets for the sake of just companionship. As explained, to have them for assisting them for specific causes is permissible so long they avoid the licks, sharing the bed etc. Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him) taught us:

"If a dog drinks from your vessel, wash it seven times." (Bukhari, Muslim)

It makes it difficult on the Muslim to live a clean lifestyle due to the very nature of a dog, no matter how many doggy camps, doggy lessons, or doggy schools he/she’s been too. And for the record, there are many people who are not Muslim who would also agree! To have compassion for dogs is a must, as for all animals, to have mercy on them is also a must, but to consider them as clean animals is a false attribute to them, and this needs to be remembered. Below is a quote taken from an article. You can read it in full by clicking on the title of this post above.

"...Dogs in Islam
Many Muslims have misunderstood Islam’s teachings regarding dogs, and this misunderstanding has led to the mistreatment of these animals. The Prophet said, “Purifying a container that a dog has licked (in order for human’s to use it) is done by washing it seven times, the first washing being with dirt.”
2 However, according to some scholars, a dog’s fur is considered pure3. Nonetheless, Muslims are discouraged from keeping dogs inside their homes, as the Prophet has been reported as saying that angels do not enter into a house that has a dog.
However, just because one does not keep a dog inside the home and doesn’t drink after it, that does not give one the right to neglect it, mistreat it, or kill it. The usefulness of this creature of God is indisputable. No other animal can compete with it in its loyalty to its caregiver, its abilities as a guard, and its talent for hunting. In fact, the Qur’an narrates in Surat Al-Kahf, or “The Cave,” the story of some pious youths who took refuge in a cave from the persecution and violence of the unbelievers. That these righteous people had a dog with them, and the fact that Allah mentions the dog and counts the dog among them, indicates that dogs are permitted to live among people. [And you would have thought them awake, whereas they were asleep. And We turned them on their right and on their left sides, and their dog stretching forth his two forelegs at the entrance (of the cave as a guard)] (Al-Kahf 18:18).
So dogs may be used for guards as well as for hunting, as the Qur’an also states:
[They ask you about what is lawful for them (as food); Say: Lawful unto you are (all) things good and pure: and those beasts and birds of prey which you have trained as hounds, training and teaching them (to catch) in a manner as directed to you by Allah; so eat what they catch for you, but pronounce the name of Allah over it and fear Allah, for Allah is swift in reckoning] (Al-Ma’idah 5:4).
In two separate hadiths narrated by Abu Hurayrah (the cat-loving Companion), the Prophet told his Companions of the virtue of saving the life of a dog by giving it water and quenching its thirst: one referred to was a man who was blessed by Allah for giving water to a thirsty dog. The other was a prostitute, who filled her shoe with water and gave it to a dog that was lolling its tongue in thirst. For this deed she was granted the ultimate reward: eternal Paradise.

Islam asks people to reflect upon this and be aware of each person’s duty toward God’s creatures, which He has put on earth for our use, not for our abuse. When the Prophet was asked if God rewarded acts of charity to the animals, he replied, “Yes, there is a reward for acts of charity to every beast alive.”"

5/02/2006

Gay Corruption

Living in the only state in USA that legalizes marriage for homosexuals, the ideal state that promotes the so-called rights of gays and lesbians, and the state that is quickly encouraging tolerance in the minds of public school children through lies that this is natural, through lies that there is no harm, and through lies that people who condone this are ignorant is an enormous threat to justice. It was 1997, I had just started wearing hijab (about a year or so) and had moved down to Florida to complete my BSc. in occupational therapy. I also worked in a nursing home down there as a licensed assistant OT. The best thing that Allah did for me was place me with another Muslimah to room with in an apartment my father had bought. Although she was in medical school, and I was in a completely different university, this worked out. It was a hard thing to leave my family, but Allah then appointed me to meet my husband 2 days after I moved down there. I couldn’t help but praise Allah for that.

That 1st year having lived so far away from everything I ever knew prepared me for what I am seeing today. Allah’s will to have me work in South Beach, Miami was a small detailed phase of my life that allowed me to witness what the typical lifestyles of people who lived in the town of Sodom in Palestine, must have been thousands of years ago. Having walked into a facility aimed at nourishing people and caring for them during times of weakness while seeing men flirt with one another and women holding hands in the streets to show their attraction towards each other were repulsive, distasteful, disturbing sights. My rehab director was a gay speech therapist who lived with his partner for 10 plus years, plus 6 other people who openly committed sodomy, with “gay-pride” as they call it. They would always ask me questions of Islam. “Why do I have to cover my hair?” “What do we Muslims believe?” You know, the basics. Some of them didn’t ask, but seemed to like me, for whatever that is worth (and honestly, I could care less- because even if they did like me, I am sure they still thought of me of that weirdo girl ‘who’s got no flavor to work it’!!). I remember sitting beside a resident in the rehab gym as I was having her ride an upper extremity bike for endurance training, when the female rehab aide, the only african-american working in that building, and only a couple years younger than me at the time 18 or 19, starting inquiring about my beliefs as a Muslim. She asked: “Can a person who’s gay be a Muslim?” Maybe it was the other way around. But the point is, I said: “No, Muslim can not be gay, and gays can not be Muslims! It doesn’t work like that!” Let me just add there were “gay” ears all around me, one was sitting right beside me.

So my point in all this is I am seeing more and more around me everywhere I go. I don’t go to too many places, but the places I do go to, like BJ’s (a wholesale store) is filled with people who flaunt this lifestyle. The colors of the rainbow are so beautiful but they have even ruined that beauty. The librarian of my daughter’s public school is part of this community, the indoor play-place we went to last week is a member of this warped inner-society, even the petting zoo we overheard inappropriate conversations regarding their corrupted views. I didn’t think I would have to teach my children about the story of Prophet Lot (peace & blessings be upon him) until they get to be a lot older. But now I am rethinking, it’s actually got to happen much sooner than that. When I read that a man was arrested when trying to dismiss his son so not to be exposed to a storybook celebrating the gay lifestyle not too long ago, and only a few cities away from where I am, it frightened me. As a mom I am worried, but as a Muslimah Mama I pray to Allah to guide my children away from the corruption that they grow up questioning everything and accepting what is true, even if they are the only ones. Call me homophobic, I won’t get offended, say I am discriminating, I’ll say “whatever”. What is wrong is clear, and what is right is clear. I do not need the majority vote to justify what I know as truth in my heart, what is true in Quran.


May Allah guide us all in guiding our children. Please check out the link about who Prophet Lut (Lot) by clicking on the title of this post, and if you have children do not hesitate to educate them, it might be their time to know.

Almighty Allah revealed:
""The people of Lot (those dwelt in the towns of Sodom in Palestine) belied the Messengers when their brother Lot said to them: 'Will you not fear Allah and obey Him? Verily! I am a trustworthy Messenger to you. So fear Allah, keep your duty to Him, and obey me. No reward do I ask of you for it (my Message of Islamic Monotheism), my reward is only from the Lord of the 'Alamin (mankind, jinn and all that exists). Go you in unto the males of the 'Alamin (mankind), and leave those whom Allah has created for you to be your wives? Nay, you are a trespassing people!"

They said: "If you cease not, 0 Lot! Verily, you will be one of those who are driven out!"

He said: "I am, indeed, of those who disapprove with severe anger and fury your (this evil) action (of sodomy). My Lord! Save me and my family from what they do."

So We saved him and his family, all, - except an old woman (his wife) among those who remained behind. ""{Quran 26: 160-171}

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