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November. 2012. Vol.13, No: 164.

Contents
1. Editorial 2. Question Answer 3. Lesson from the Qur’an 4. Lesson from Sahih al-Bukhari 5. Racial Equality in Islam 6. The Arrows of Satan 7. Conveying the Message with Clarity 8. Arrogance, ?Humbleness and . . . 9. Qur’anic Sciences 10. My Mother’s Hands 11. A Miracle Please 12. The Spiritual Wayfarer 13. The Corruption in Muslim Children’s 14. ‘Orphans’ . . . With Parents! 15. From Debt to Death 16. The Ideal Prophet 17. The Innocence of White People 18. Bitterness is a Killer!.... 2 3 5 7 9 11 13 14 16 18 20 21 24 28 30 33 37 39

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EDITORIAL

All thanks for Almighty, the most Merciful and Exalted

Do you know the ratio of the Muslim population in your area? After knowing this, what is the percentage of those who assemble together five times a day - facing a single direction, Qibla, according to the instructions of the revealed book, and in following their only Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), pray to the one and only Lord? What is the percentage of those who keep fast in the month of Ramadan with utmost consciousness and carefulness? How many are those on whom Zakaah is obligatory and they keep on paying it continually? How many of those having the competence to go for Haj have fulfilled this obligation? Presently you may find it unnecessary to answer these queries but in future the feel of this need will be accompanied by regret and remorse. If you have risen to address these issues it is also incumbent upon you to stimulate those who are asleep. In case they don’t respond to you and the danger is eminent and close, stir them and stir them well. In the state of negligence, they may spell out harsh words on to you; in this conflict, you may feel shocked by their approach, but will you, because of these apprehensions, forget your responsibilities? How many mosques are there in your locality and what is their condition? Are they well-attended and in good condition or desolate and in need of necessary repairs? What about the Islamic schools (madrassas) and their maintenance? Is there any arrangement for the education of orphans and down-

trodden? Any means for providing livelihood to helpless widows? Something to meet the basic requirements of life for aged, paupers and crippled ones? Have all the people of your locality, your friends, relatives, neighbours, servants etc., become familiar with the important and fundamental principles of Islam? Are the teachings of Qur’an being disseminated far and wide? Do people take cognizance of the religious issues and worldly affairs? Are your neighbours aware of their obligations and what it means to be a Muslim? If you have been able to comprehend the upcoming dangers, isn’t it then imperative upon you, irrespective of whether you will be ‘rewarded’ infamy or disgrace for your endeavour, to warn those unaware and unconcerned? Do the people of your locality consider it necessary to take part in the activities beneficial to Muslims? How much have they helped different religious and educational efforts? Have they been able to recognize the value of the Islamic newsletters and pamphlets? Have they taken it seriously to buy and publish the Islamic literature? Have they learnt the lesson to coalesce with the Muslim brethren outside; grieve on their grief; turn restless for their wounds? If their sensitivity has faded away and they are ignorant with regard to the worth of their multifaceted life, then, doesn’t the responsibility lie upon you, and aren’t you supposed to question yourself?

Acquisition of material wealth in worldly grad is not as harmful as the acquisition of worldly gain under guise of the Deen.
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Question. How long after a proposal is it advisable to make nikaah? Answer. Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) advised Ali (radiyallahu anhu) thus: Don’t delay in executing three things: Salaah when the (mustahab) time enters. A Janaazah when it is ready to be performed. An unmarried person when you find a suitable partner for him/her. (Sunan Tirmizi #171) From the above hadeeth we understand that the nikaah should be done as quickly as possible after the proposal. Not adhering to this advice of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) very often leads to haraam contact between the boy and girl and many other wrongs and unnecessary and unfounded formalities. Therefore, the nikaah should be performed as soon as possible. And Allah Ta'ala knows best Question. I am living with my in-laws and I am expecting and was wondering what are the islamic views regarding going to my mother’s house for confinement. People keep taunting and saying it’s not permissible. Answer. Just as on other occasions you may go to your mother’s place, there is no problem in going to the mother’s place for the confinement. Generally people prefer to do the confinement at the mother’s place so

that the daughter may receive special attention and recuperate completely with someone who she is very comfortable. However, it is good that this is done with the mutual understanding of the spouses. And Allah knows best Question. Is it permissible for a woman to perform Umrah with her friends who are travelling with their mehrams in a group? Answer. According to the Hanafi school of thought, a woman can only travel on a journey of more than 78 kms (about 48 miles) be this for Umrah, Hajj or otherwise, if she is accompanied by her husband or a Mahram relative. Mahrams refer to those males that are perpetually haram for her to marry, like her father, grandfather, brothers of her father and mother, sons, grandsons, her brothers, and sons of her brothers and sisters. Hence if the woman concerned does not have a mahram then she cannot travel in this way i.e. with her friends and their Mahrams. And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best Question. Is it allowed to wear abayas with stones and embroidery fixed onto it? If it is allowed, up to what extent can it be adorned? Answer. Beauty is supposed to be displayed in the home in the presence of the husband, children, and mahram relatives. It is not meant to be displayed in public. The beauty of a woman is a private treasure and not a
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public property to be enjoyed by one and all. Thus, the purpose of the Abaya is to conceal the body and make one unattractive when emerging from the home. Needless to say, beautifying the abaya defeats the very purpose of the abaya. The Qur’an commands that women should not even stamp their feet in a way that part of her beauty may be revealed. How can then it permit them to publicly adorn themselves with outer garments that are attractive or revealing? A hadith actually curses the woman who uses any type of perfume at a place where its fragrance would reach nonmahram men. Further, it categorically states that women should stay out of public view. When she leaves her home the shaitan looks for ways to tempt people through her. Hence, abayas that have revealing features or any type of attraction are not only impermissible but they are shameful and a cause of fitnah and evil. May Allah protect us all. However, if the Abaya is worn at home and only in the presence of other females or one's husband, then it could be beautified. And Allah Knows Best. Question. I live in the UAE, and my parents are considering conducting my nikah online via video conferencing to a girl who is currently in the US. If all the guardians (wakeels) are present, is the nikah on video conferencing permissible? If yes, how would we sign the nikah document? Can it be signed later via a courier service? Answer. Nikah (marriage) cannot take place on telephone, or via video conference where both the contracting parties and the necessary witnesses are not at the actual/physical location of the contract, because it is a neces4 (Vol.13, No: 164)

sary condition for a valid contract of marriage that at least two witnesses should be present at the time of marriage and should witness both offer and acceptance by the respective spouses or their representative. This necessary condition cannot be fulfilled in a telephone conversation or via video conference etc. However, if A wants to marry B without both being present at one place, he can authorize anyone of his friends or relatives living at the place where B is to contract his marriage and appoint him his agent to pronounce offer or acceptance on his behalf. If, for example he selects C to be his agent for this purpose, he should authorize him in the following words: "I authorize you to contract my marriage with B, daughter of D, on a sum of .... as dower." Then, at the time of marriage ceremony in presence of at least two male witnesses, the girl may pronounce her offer saying, "I married A, son of E on a sum of .... as dower." If there is a Qadi or a Nikah Khwan duly authorized by the girl, he can also pronounce offer in the following words: "I gave B, daughter of D in marriage with A on the sum of .... as dower. " C, the agent of A, will say in reply, "I accepted this marriage on behalf of A.” The offer can also be initiated by C as an agent of A. In this case he will address B in the following words: "Being a duly authorized agent of A, I marry A, son of G, to you on a sum of .... as dower.” In this case B will reply, "I accepted this marriage." In both cases, it will be a valid contract between A and B, where after they will be treated as husband and wife duly wedded to each other according to Shariah. (adapted from Contemporary Fatawa - Mufti Taqi Uthmaani). And Allah Knows Best.

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Commentary: Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani

Surah Al-Imran 1-6
Imran is the name of the father of Sayyidah Maryam (AS). Al-Imran means progeny or family of Imran. In verses 33 to 37, reference is made to this family, and therefore this Surah is named after it. Most parts of the Surah were revealed at a time when the Muslims, after migrating to Madinah, were facing different hardships from their enemies. The battle of Badr was the first was the first formal encounter with the pagans of Makkah. Even though the battle was won by the Muslims, it fuelled the enmity of the pagans against Muslims, and the next year they attacked Madinah where the battle of Uhud was fought with a temporary setback to the Muslims. Although the Muslims were in direct conflict with the pagans of Makkah, the Jews and the Christians living in and around Madinah started supporting the pagans, in violation of their pacts with the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). On intellectual level, argumentation with these groups was also going on . This is the background against which most verses of this Surah were revealed. Surah 1: Al-Baqarah has addressed mostly the Jews with brief hints to the Christians, while the main focus of the present Surah is on the Christians with some references to the Jews. A delegation of the Christains had come to the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) from Najran. Almost half of this Surah from the beginning deals with their arguments, explaining the correct status of Sayyiduna Masih (AS) (Jesus Christ), and establishing that the consistent message of all the prophets (AS) has been to believe in the Oneness of Allah without even a slightest departure from it. In this context, the Muslims are also warned against the conspiracies of the Jews. A detailed account of the battles of Badr and Uhud has followed with ancillary issues that emerged from them. The Muslims are directed to learn lessons from these battles, especially from the Uhud in which the Muslims faced a setback due to some naïve mistakes. Some Islamic rules and injunctions also Zakah, Riba (interest or usury) and mostly about Jihad are also mentioned, and at the end, all the people are invited to ponder on the marvelous creation of heavens and the earth and the wise system of time and space, so that it may lead to appreciate the Power and Wisdom of their Creator and to believe in His omnipotence and Oneness.

ۡ ۡ ْ ‫بِسم اہلل الرحمن الرحیم‬ ِ ِ َّ ِ ٰ َّ ِ ِ ْ ۤ ٓ ٓ ۡ ْ ‫الم ۙ 1 اہلل َل اِٰل اَِل ہو ۙ الَح القیوم ؕ 2 نَزل‬ َّ ٰ َ َ َّ ُ َّ ُ ُّ َ ُّ َ َ َ ُ ْ ْ ۡ ۡ ‫علیک الکتب بالحق مصدقًا لِّما بۡی یدیۡہ‬ ِ َ َ ِّ َ ُ ِ ّ َ ِ ٰ ِ َ َ َ َ َ َ َ ۡ ۡ ۡ ۡ ْ ۡ ْ ً ‫واَنزل التورىۃ واَلنجیل ۙ 3 من قَبل ہدی‬ ِ َ ِ ِ َ َ ٰ َّ َ َ َ ُ ُ
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Verse 1-6

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With the name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the VeryMerciful. 1 Alif. Lām. Mīm. [3:1] Allah: There is no god but He, the Alive, the All-Sustaining. [3:2] He has revealed to you the Book with the truth, confirming what has been before it, and has sent down the Torah and the Injīl *3:3+ earlier to give guidance to mankind, and has sent down the Furqān (the Criterion of right and wrong). Surely, those who have rejected the verses of Allah, for them there is severe punishment. Allah is Mighty, the Lord of Retribution. [3:4] Surely, Allah is such that nothing is hidden from Him, neither in the earth nor in the sky. [3:5] He is the One Who shapes you in the wombs as He likes.2 There is no god but He, the Mighty, the Wise. [3:6] 1. These are isolated letters found in the beginning of different Surahs are called Al-Haruf-ulMuqatta’at. The correct position about them is that their exact meanings are not known to anybody. It is a divine secret that may be disclosed only by Allah in the Hereafter. Since no practical issue depends on their knowledge, our ignorance about them does not have any adverse effect on our faith or practice. 2. As mentioned in the introduction, the beginning part of this Surah was revealed as answer to the arguments of the delegation of the Christains that came from Najran. They argued that the birth of Masih (AS) (Jesus Christ) without father is a proof to his being god. This verse says that all people are created by Allah. He is the One who shapes them in the wombs of their mothers, no matter whether they are born in normal way through a father or in an abnormal way without a father. The birth of Masih (AS) was in fact a manifestation of Allah’s power, because he was shaped by Allah in the womb of his mother like any other person, but without the mediation of a father.
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ْ ۡ ۡ ْ ِ ‫لِّلناس واَنزل الفرق َ ؕ اِن اّلیۡن کفروا بایت اہلل لَُہ‬ ِ َّ َ ّ ۬ ‫َ ُ ْ ان‬ ِ َّ ِ ٰ ِٰ ُ َ َ َ َ َ َ ُ ۡ ٌ ْٰ ٌ ٌ ‫عذاب شدیۡد ؕ واہلل عزیۡز ذُوانتقام 4 اِن اہلل َل یخفی‬ ٍ َ ِ ِ َ َ َ ِ َ ُ َ َ َ َ َّ ۡ ۡ ۡ ْ ۡ ْ ‫علیہ َشءٌ ِف اَلَرض وَل ِف السمٓاء ؕ 5 ہو اّلی یصورکم‬ ِ َ َّ ِ َ َ ِ ِ َ ِ َ َ ُ ُ ّ ِ َ ُ ِ َّ َ ُ ْ ْ ۤ ۡ ۡ ْ ۡ 6 ‫ِف اَلَرحام کیف یَشٓاء ؕ َل اِٰل اَِل ہو العزیۡز الحکیم‬ َّ ٰ َ ِ ِ َ ُ ِ َ ِ َ ُ َ َ َ َ ُ َ ُ

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Opposites makes a Match A very pious and soft natured lady married a very ill-tempered husband. One day the wife said to her husband “You are indeed unfortunate. You have been staying with me for such a long time and yet you have not reformed yourself.” The husband replied, “Why call me unfortunate? Could there be anyone more fortunate than me, that I have a wife like you. In fact you are the unfortunate one that you have a husband like me.” At times marriages seem to be a combination of two persons with direct opposite personalities. If one’s marriage feels the same, then keep in mind that this is common. All we need to do is to turn to Allah and thereafter to work as a couple through our differences. Many have done it and enjoy a happy marriage. You too can do the same.

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Dr. Rafiq Ahmad

The Book of Ablution
perform ablution but they could not find it. Later on (a pot full of) water for ablution was brought to Allah's Apostle . He put his hand in that pot and ordered the people to perform ablution from it. I saw the water springing out from underneath his fingers till all of them performed the ablution (it was one of the miracles of the Prophet). Comments Hadhrat Anas (RA) says that one day the time of Salaah set in and they looked for the water to perform Wudu, but they could not find it. A man got some water in a pot for Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). This much water was insufficient for a large number of people to make Wudu. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) placed his blessed hand in that pot and water started flowing out from his fingers like a fountain. All the Sahaaba present performed Wudu with this water and also drank it. This is one of the miracles of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) that water flowed from his blessed fingers. Imam Bukhari (RA) has got this Hadith here to prove that Tayammum becomes mandatory only when all the means to find out water have exhausted. Secondly, the Ulema have inferred that it is permissible to perform Wudu with Zam Zam water as Sahaaba performed Wudu with the water which flowed out of the blessed fingers of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) which obviously is more sacred than Zam Zam. Note: Ulema are of the opinion that it is Makrooh to perform Wudu with Zam
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Chapter 32 : To look for water when the time of Salaah is due. Hadhrat Ayesha (RA) says, “Once the Fajr Salaah was due and water was searched for (for Wudu) but it was not found. Thereupon the verse of Tayammum was revealed. Purpose of Tarjamatul Baab Imam Bukhari (RA) is of the opinion that to search water for ablution becomes mandatory once the time of Salaah sets in and not before that. Since before the time of Salaah sets in, Salaah itself is not mandatory, so how can it be necessary to search water before it. If anyone arranges water to perform Wudu before the time of Salaah, it is preferable but not mandatory. Hadith No. 166 -

Narrated Anas bin Malik (RA) I saw Allah's Apostle when the 'Asr prayer was due and the people searched for water to

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Zam if water is available.

that human hair detached from the body is “Najas” ritually impure. Hadith No. 167 -

Chapter 33 : Status of the water with which human hair has been washed (whether it is usable for ablution or not). Ata bin Rabah saw no harm in making threads and ropes of human hair and the utilization of the thing that is licked by a dog and the passing of dogs through the Musjid. And Zuhri said, “If a dog puts its mouth in the pot containing water and there is no other water available for ablution then this water can be used for ablution”. And Sufyan Thouri said, “This is the juristic verdict in real sense, Allah said, “And if you find no water then perform Tayammum” (4:43). And this (left over water of dog) is after all water only, but an apprehension comes to mind whether it can be used for ablution or not, so it is better to perform ablution with it and also to perform Tayammum as precautionary measure. Purpose of Tarjamatul Baab While further supporting his opinion that one should explore all the means of finding out water for ablution before doing Tayammum, Imam Bukhari here says that if water is available, one should perform ablution even if it is left over of a dog and that if human hair falls in it, it can still be used for ablution. Imam Bukhari here agrees with Hanafite school of thought that the human hair is “Taahir” i.e., ‘ritually pure’ even if detached from the body. In other words it means that if there is human hair in food or water, there is no problem to consume or use them. Imam Shafa’ee (RA) is of the opinion
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Narrated Ibn Sirin (RA) I said to 'Ubida, "I have some of the hair of the Prophet which I got from Anas or from his family." 'Ubida replied. "No doubt if I had a single hair of that it would have been dearer to me than the whole world and whatever is in it." Comments Hadhrat Ubida says that it is dearer to him than the whole world and whatever is in it to have a single hair of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). From this Imam Bukhari (RA) proves that the hair is Taahir because Najas things are not preserved as sacred. Hadith No. 168 Narrated Anas (RA) “When Allah's Apostle got his head shaved, Abu- Talha was the first to take some of his hair”. Comments This is an incident of Hajat-ul-Wida, when Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) shaved his blessed head at Mina. He asked Abu Talhah (RA) to distribute his hair and Abu Talhah (RA) was the first to get some of it. Cont’d on page 23

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Siba’i Mustafa
Probably one of the most wonderful things about Islam is that it’s history is rich with the representation of many races. In Islam, no race ever had to fight for equality. No matter where you go in the world, Muslims of all races and colors stand shoulder to shoulder in prayer as equals. Despite all the politics and culture, when it comes to Islam, we all pray together in the same row. This is especially apparent in Hajj where people from all over the world stand together. In Islam, the people who are considered more superior or higher in rank or level are those with the most Taqwa (piety) and knowledge. In the Quran it says, {Verily the most honorable of you with Allah is that [believer] who has Al Taqwa} (49:13) During the Prophet’s (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) farewell speech, he said, “People come from Adam and Adam came from dust. There is no superiority of an Arab over non-Arab, or of a white person over a black, except in terms of piety (Taqwa).” And realize that this superiority is not the type in which people exercise today, one of showing off or being self righteous, but it was something completely normal and these people of greater Taqwa are those that also live humbly among the people. We have so many examples of this equality in our history. On the conquest of Mecca, the Prophet (S commanded Bilal (who was Ethiopian) to climb on top of the Kabba and give the call to prayer. Before Islam, the Kabba was a place of honor and a sanctuary for the Arabs but between the Muslims no one saw anything wrong in a black person stepping on it with his feet. This act by the Prophet 1400H years ago was more of a statement of human dignity and an affirmation of Bilal deserving this honor to make the call to prayer because of his faith and knowledge regardless of his skin color. One day the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) heard Abu Dharr saying to a man, “Oh son of a black woman!” The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) immediately rebuked him saying, “Are you insulting his mother?!? Verily you are a man in whom there is ignorance.” This statement by the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is a strong statement implying that it is ignorance that leads to racial discrimination and there is a clear line between knowledge and ignorance in an Islamic civilization. There was another story when the Muslims went to conquer Egypt and they were able to reach Babylon. The ruler, Al Muqawqis, was willing to negotiate with the Muslims and requested a delegation from them to be sent to him. Amr ibn Al Aas, the leader of the Muslims, sent a delegation of ten men and put Ubadah ibn Al Samit as the delegation spokesperson and leader. Ubadah was a very tall, very black man and upon looking at him, Al Muqawqis, became scared of his blackness. “Keep this black man away from me and let someone else speak to me,” said Al Muqawqis. All of the men of the delegation said, “This black man is the best
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among us in wisdom and knowledge (taqwa); he is our leader and the best among us. We all refer to his opinion, and our leader (Amir) has issued instructions to him and not to us, and has commanded us not to go against what he says. “How can you be pleased that this black man is the best among you; rather he should be the least among you,” replied Al Muqawqis. “Not at all!” said the Muslims. “Even though he is black as you can see, he is one of the highest in position among us; he is one of the earliest Muslims, and one of the best in wisdom and knowledge. Blackness is not something that is despised among us.” So Al Muqawqis looked at Ubadah and said, “Come forward, O black man, and speak to me kindly, for I am afraid of your blackness and if you speak harshly you will make me even more afraid.” Ubadah, seeing that he scared al Muqawqis said to him, “Among our army are a thousand black men who are even more black than I am.” Here is another story. Abdul Malik ibn Radwan made a declaration during Hajj that no one was allowed to issue any fatwas to the people except Ata ibn Abi Rabah who was the Imam of the people of Mecca, a scholar and faqih (jurist). Ata was also a black, one eyed, flat nosed, crippled man. Can you think of any other civilization throughout history that gave such an honor to a man despite his color and physical condition? This was over a thousand years ago and Ata was so honored, loved and revered and so many thousands of white men graduated from his teachings at his school. Our history is flooded with stories like these. Of black people and those of other races who were scientists, literati, respected source of Islamic Jurisprudence, etc. Another example was Kafur Al Ikhshidi who was the black slave who ruled Egypt in the fourth century hijri and who was written about and praised by the poet Al Mutanabbi. Many people don’t know that Imam Muslim and Bukhari were not Arabs. Some say they were Persian others say they were from somewhere near Russia. But they were skilled in the Arabic language and were able to understand the Quran and Hadith and are till today respected sources of knowledge. Its funny how today the most racial discrimination is found in the most advanced and prominent countries. Even history is made to seem that it was the white man who did anything and everything. However, Islamic history gives credit where it is due and we are indebted to all people, blacks, whites, Arabs, Persians, Turks and all other races for helping our religion grow and prosper. And it is the only civilization that is also rich with prominent women from the beginning to the present day.
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Will we Drink Poison? In the last verse of Surah Faatiha, the Quraan declares: Not (the path) of those who have incurred Your (the Jews) wrath, nor of those who have gone astray (the Christians). Daily in our salaah, we are making this dua that Allah saves us from the ways of the Jews and Christians. The question is, as Muslims, do we hate their ways as we should? If we truly detest a particular way of life, we will not follow it. If we are always seeking protection from a certain poison, is it possible that when it is offered to us that we immediately drink it? We are daily asking for protection from the ways of the Jews and Christians. Why do we then follow them in our manner of eating, dressing, marriages, business dealings and social dealings? Let us bring alive our actions in accordance to our beautiful Deen and follow the lifestyle of Rasululullah (sallallahu alahi wasallam) in every aspect of our lives.

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Satan readies himself and chooses his prey carefully. He is determined as he shoots the arrows of looks to go through your eyes, tearing the veils of modesty and chastity. This arouses the desires of the weak heart, which commands the body to pursue the satisfaction of such desires. The tongue speaks, the legs walk, and thus, unlawful acts are committed and the soul falls into the mire of sin. “That is purer for them” In order to ward off this Satanic cycle, Allah The Almighty instructed his believing slaves, both men and women, to lower their gaze. He told them that this would purify them. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {Tell the believing men to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Indeed, Allah is acquainted with what they do. And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts.} [Quran 24:30-31] Ibn Al-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy upon him, said in Al-Fawaa’id that Sahl ibn ‘Abdullaah, may Allah have mercy upon him says, "Abandoning the order is greater than committing the prohibition in the sight of Allah because Aadam (Adam), may Allah exalt his mention, was forbidden to eat from the tree and when he ate from it Allah accepted his repentance, but Satan was ordered to prostrate to Aadam, when he refused and Allah did not accept his repentance." Ibn Al-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy upon him, said in Ad-Daa’ wad-Dawaa’, “Look at the accuracy of the Quranic expression in the order to lower the gaze, as if Allah The Almighty reminds us that not lowering the

gaze causes the doom of the doer and his suffering in this life and in the Hereafter. Failing to lower one’s gaze is the basis for the problems that afflict man. An unlawful look generates thoughts, then thoughts generate ideas, then ideas generate desires, then desires generate will, which develops into resolve and determination, then the action inevitably takes place if there is nothing to prevent it.” This is the destructive cycle of Satan, which traps the one who does not lower his gaze, then records the images and scenes seen by his treacherous eyes. Satan waits for the moment of weakness in man's faith to release these images and scenes in his mind and soul, igniting his sexual desire, which dominates the heart that commands the body to disobey Allah The Almighty, and so on in a consecutive sequence. The more the images vary, the easier arousal and falling into sin will be. On the other hand, the less the images and scenes, the weaker their impact and influence on the heart will be. According to a saying, "Patience over lowering the gaze is easier than patience over the pain of its consequences." O Muslim who does not lower his gaze, if your eyes roam around looking at the charms of beautiful women, you would plant in your heart thorns of loss and regret. “Allah knows that which deceives the eyes” Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {He knows that which deceives the eyes and what the breasts conceal.} [Quran 40:19] This is a great verse and the interpreter of the Quran, Ibn Mas‘ood, may Allah be pleased with him, tells you its meaning, "It refers to a man who enters a person's house
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where there is a beautiful woman among them, or that a beautiful woman passes by them, and while they do not notice him, he looks at her; when they see him, he lowers his gaze. However, Allah The Almighty knows that he inwardly wishes to see her private parts." The great scholar, Al-Ameen AshShinqeeti, may Allah have mercy upon him, said in Adhwaa’ Al-Bayaan, "The verse contains a warning for the one who betrays with his eyes by looking at what is unlawful for him. The slave of Allah will stand before Allah and be questioned about his senses. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {Indeed, the hearing, the sight and the heart - about all those [one] will be questioned.} [Quran 17:36] If you will be questioned on the Day of Resurrection about your stares and looks, have you prepared an answer for this? The fornication of the eyes To make this act more repugnant to the souls, the Prophet, Sallallahu alaihi Wasallam, called it adultery of the eyes. It was narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, Sallallahu alaihi Wasallam, said: "Allah has written for the son of Aadam his inevitable share of adultery. The adultery of the eye is looking (at what is prohibited), the adultery of the ears is listening (to what is prohibited), the adultery of the tongue is uttering (what it is unlawful to utter), the adultery of the hand is doing (what is prohibited), the adultery of the legs is walking (to what is prohibited) and the heart desires and wishes for (adultery) and the private parts affirm that or contradict it." [AlBukhaari and Muslim (this is the wording of Muslim, may Allah have mercy upon him)] In Sharh Saheeh Muslim, An-Nawawi, may Allah have mercy upon him, said, “The meaning of the Hadeeth is that a share of adultery is written for the son of Aadam. Some people commit actual adultery by entering the male genital organ into the genital organ of a
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female who is unlawful to him. Other people commit adultery in the figurative sense by looking at the prohibition or listening to adultery and its relevant affairs, or by touching with the hand a non-Mahram (marriageable) woman or kissing her, or by walking to commit adultery, seeing, touching, or forbidden talking with a non-Mahram woman, or by inner thoughts. All these things belong to metaphoric adultery. By "The private parts affirm that or contradict it" it means that adultery might actually happen through the private parts or might not take place by entering the male genital organ into the female genital organ even if he is close to doing it. Allah knows best.” Public corruption Giving free rein to the gaze has corrupted most human beings; the display of beauty no longer has limits, and indulgence in luxury no longer has restraints. Adornment, clothing and fashion have penetrated our minds, surpassed all the restrictions and barriers, and has become like a sea of chaos where good taste is drowned and the pure, chaste heart is spoiled. Destruction of homes It is noticeable that one of the most important causes of problems in many homes is failing to lower the gaze. When the husband releases his gaze, a comparison will seep into his heart between his wife and the corrupting programs made by some people to tempt others. This comparison causes many problems in homes, when the husband asks his wife to give him what he sees from dissolute women and provocative images are imprinted in his mind. It is also noticeable that releasing the gaze is one of the main reasons for the delay in marriage. That is because the young man already has in his mind multiple examples of beautiful girls, especially those whom he Cont’d on page 21

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By: Omar Husain The student of knowledge, Da`ee (caller), or Scholar has been given a great blessing by Allah to be in a position to learn, and teach others. However, with teaching comes a great responsibility, as you are responsible for people's spiritual well being. With this in mind, I feel it is important to highlight a few ways to be more effective for those who are in positions of teaching or preaching, be it a small weekly halaqa (study circle), a course, or an Islamic conference. Do Not Assume People Know This is a mistake we see often in our religious teachers. Just because you don't even think twice about who Imam Nawawi is, or who Ibn Qayim is, does not mean anyone else has a clue who these great individuals were. It would be more effective to perhaps mention something briefly about them, and proceed. I remember one time, someone mentioned the term "Malikis", as in followers of Maliki fiqh (jurisprudence), and a brother, who regularly prays and fasts, asked, "Are they Muslims too!!!" This was not intentional; he just had no idea what the term meant. Also, people in your audience are constantly changing. New generations are there for the first time, people who have started taking their religion seriously are there for the first time, new converts, etc. By being clear, you are only helping all of them out. Don't Forget to Translate An inspiring or informative class or lecture could be even better by not leaving Arabic terms or phrases untranslated. I have seen this many times with teachers, especially the more advanced they get. Sometimes, it is central to the theme of the subject. So, for example, you have to translate "urf", or Qur'anic verses completely, otherwise it is less effective for the audience. It is frustrating for a listener to be following you every step of the way, and then lose you at your main point because you used language they don't understand. Observe General Etiquette on Stage Nothing is more discouraging or disheartening to your audience than seeing a presenter or speaker texting away on the stage, or looking around randomly. It shows, fairly or unfairly, that you don't care, and that you don't want to be there. If you don't want to be there, why should anyone else? Like it or not, this is what people are thinking. Yes, sometimes it is necessary in coordinating events, but keep it to a bare minimum. Do Not Be Sarcastic When Answering a Question No matter how ridiculous a question seems to you, laughing sarcastically is the worst thing that can be done. Keep in mind, at least that person is asking to try to find out the truth. By mocking their question, you are telling them, "What a stupid question to ask." Is that going to encourage them to come to the masjid, lecture, or class in the future or discourage them from doing so?
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Come pared

Pre-

Your audience is giving their time, and often money, to be there. They could be several other places, but they chose to come listen to you. Showing up without properly reviewing your material and wasting time gathering your thoughts because you did not before kills the momentum of the class, lecture, presentation, etc. Unless you've been teaching a subject for years and don't need to review, you owe it to the audience. M a y Allah make us amongst those who have the ability to convey the message, and more importantly, follow it. Ameen.
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Khalid Baig
It has been called ummul-amradh, or the root of all sicknesses of the heart. Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, warned that a person having even an iota of it in his heart will never enter paradise. This deadliest of all sins is kibr, or arrogance. No one likes arrogance — in others. We never like a person who is haughty, too proud, or condescending. We detest a person who belittles us and has a huge ego. Similarly we love people who are humble, polite, and easy to talk to. We love people who give us respect and honor. Thus if we follow the principle of treating others the way we like to be treated, most of these problems might be cured. In reality, the treatment of ummul -amradh requires a deeper look. For that we need to appreciate the difference between adab or manners, on the one hand and akhlaq or morals on the other. While adab deal with one’s external disposition, akhlaq as defined by Islam deal with our inner thoughts, feeling, and attitudes. In a healthy personality, the manners and morals are in harmony. But it is also possible to have the former without having the latter. The first concerns itself with how a person deals with others. The second is concerned with what a person thinks of himself. Two persons showing humbleness in their dealings with others, may have exactly opposite ideas in their minds. One may do it out of his or her “generosity”; the other may do it because he genuinely thinks that he is not better than the other person. The first person only has a shell of humbleness, which will crumble when tested. It is the second person who is really free of arrogance. Real greatness belongs only to Allah, our Lord, Creator, and Master. Human beings are just a creation of Allah — and a very small creation in comparison to the unimaginably vast universe. Anyone who understands this will realize that our proper status is only that of servants of Allah. In fact for a Muslim the real human model is none other than Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, who is the greatest of all human beings. His greatness lies in being the humblest of all servants of Allah! It is impossible for any person who has this consciousness to entertain any notions of his own greatness. This leads us to the definition of kibr, given in a famous hadith: “Kibr is to knowingly reject Truth and to belittle other people.” This hadith

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exposes two strains of this deadly disease, both dealing with our exaggerated ideas of self-importance. The first suggests that I am more important than the Truth. The second suggests that I am more important than other people. We know about the Quraish and Jews of Arabia who had come in contact with Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, and who knew in the heart of their hearts that he indeed was the Messenger of Allah. Their arrogance, though, kept them from accepting it. History has recorded statements from some of them who said we know he is the Promised Prophet but we will keep on opposing him to maintain our leadership. While that was the most blatant form of arrogance, we can witness the same attitude on a smaller scale in our discussions and arguments. A person realizes that he was wrong, but then his pride keeps him from admitting it. No matter how polite or “humble” that person may appear to be ordinarily, this test shows the presence of arrogance in his heart. It is arrogance that keeps a person from saying “I am sorry.” The second strain involves our feeling of superiority with respect to other people. Islam’s teaching is that one should never consider oneself greater than other people, because that Judgment will come from Allah, and Allah alone, on the Day of Judgment. None of us knows what our end will be, whether we will end up being a winner or loser over there. The person who appears to be nobody here may end up with eternal bliss because of his goodness that only Allah knew. The person who is a big shot here may end up among the sinners who will be punished there, because of his evil that only Allah knew. How foolish, it is then to congratulate ourselves over our fleeting “superiority”. What if a person does have edge over another person in measurable worldly terms? How then can he not consider himself

superior than the other person in that respect? The point is sometimes made in half jest: it is difficult to be humble when you are so great. Islam does not ask us to reject reality and imagine we don’t have what we really do. Rather it asks us to take a deeper look at the reality and not be misled by a superficial perception of it. And the simple reality that escapes many is that our health, wealth, talents, and power are not of our own creation. Allah gave those to us as a test and He can take them back whenever He wills. Those who are conscious of this reality, their blessings will produce gratitude in them; those who are blind to it will develop pride and arrogance. Some forms of kibr are subtle. If a person is embarrassed to bow to Allah in the presence of non-believers, that is a case of “kibr in the face of Allah,” says Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi. While throughout history humanity had agreed on the evil of arrogance and the virtue of humbleness (despite its failures in practice), this century has seen new dogmas that aim at changing the definitions of good and evil. Humbleness is no longer desirable. Rather, one has to avoid “Inferiority Complex.” Alfred Adler (1870-1937) gave us that term. According to him, life is a continuous struggle to move from a position of inferiority to a position of significance. Those who fail to make the progress, develop inferiority complex, which can be treated by increasing selfesteem. Unfortunately today such pseudoscience is accepted as gospel truth. The truth is that problems arise when we turn away from reality. A humble person is a happy, content, grateful person who thanks Allah for his blessings and has no notions of his own superiority. False notions of superiority or of one’s entitlements in life, on the other hand, lead to frustrations and complexes.
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Justice Maulana Taqi Usmani Nowadays a voice is being raised that every individual should take up the task of understanding Qur’an according to his own comprehension. Though it is all more necessary to understand the Qur’an but lack of fundamental knowledge in this regard can drive a person towards unknown extremes and wrong interpretations. This is the next article in the direction of acquiring some fundamental requirements for interpreting the Qur’an correctly.
SECOND SOURCE: TRADITIONS OF THE HOLY PROPHET (Sallall ahu Al ai hi Wasallam) The second source of exegesis of the Quran are the traditions of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). The Quran has clarified at many places that the real purpose of sending him in this world was for him to explain the Quranic verses through his words and deeds: “And We have now revealed to you (O Prophet) the Admonition that you may make clear to mankind what has been revealed unto them”. (16:44) In this verse Allah has made it clear that the purpose of his advent was to explain the Quran. It further says: “Certainly Allah has conferred a favour on the Believers when He sent among them a Messenger from themselves, who recites to them His revelations, and purifies them, and teaches them the Book and the wisdom, though before that they were certainly in manifest error”. (3:164) Further, it has been stated in Surah An-Nisa. Surely We have revealed the Book to you (O Prophet) with truth, so that you may judge between people by means of what Allah has shown you. (4:105) “And We have not revealed the Book to you except that you may make clear to them that
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wherein they differ, and as a guidance and mercy to a people who believe”. (16:64) In these verses the Quran makes itself clear that the purpose of sending the Prophet in this world was only that he may teach the people the guidance of the Quran and its deep knowledge and thereby guide them how to live properly. Hence it is proved from the Quran itself that the Prophet’s (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) teachings are a significant source of exegesis of the Quran. Even otherwise it does not call for a lengthy reasoning to stress that the correct meanings of the Book may best be explained by the one on whom it has been revealed. There can be no one more stupid than the one who claims, that the, exegesis is better known to him than the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) to whom the Quran was revealed. Some people try to create a confusion that the importance of the Prophet’s (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) sayings cannot be denied but we cannot rely upon them as they have not reached us through authentic sources. But this type of thinking casts aspersion on Allah that on the one hand He has sent the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) as the Teacher of the Quran that every Muslim was obliged to follow till the Last Day, but on the other hand, He made no arrangement to pre-

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serve his teachings and explanations. Can such a thing be said by one who believes in the eternal wisdom and supreme authority of Allah, and who has read the following verse of the Quran? Allah does not charge a soul save to its capacity. (Al-Baqarah, 2:286) Some people go to the extent of saying that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was the Teacher of the Quran as long as he lived but in our times his teachings are not needed. (I seek forgiveness of Allah for narrating it). This is to say that the Companions needed a Prophet to teach them the Quran although Arabic was their mother tongue, they were aware of the nuance and idiomatic use of the words, and they not only knew the revelationary background but in fact passed through it and they witnessed the causes of revelation of each verse. As against that people of our times whose mother tongue is not Arabic who do not go through the environment of revelation and the revelationary background claim that t hey do not need the guidance of a Prophet to learn the exegesis of the Quran. Can any reasonable and just man swallow such absurd notions? How reliable are the means through which the teachings of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) have reached us is a very detailed subject of study. Libraries have vast collections of literature on the subject of Hadith and Asma-ur-Rijal (the names and character of men). It is a different matter, to hunt for excuses to satisfy personal bents but if these subjects are studied with a sincere motive and unbiased mind one cannot resist drawing the conclusion that Allah has not made the teachings of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) obligatory without ensuring its preservation in a manner that is beyond human imagination. Leaving aside the other branches of the science of Hadith, if we just go through the subject of Asma-ur-Rijal (The term literally means "Names of the people" but in religious terminol-

ogy of Islam it is applied for "Names and characters of the narrators of Hadith.") an achievement of the people of which they may feel proud we will see that it has no parallel among any other people. Every Hadith from the times of the Prophet M till today is well recorded in relevant Books with full information of its analysis and the narrator. It includes details on his birth, his education and lessons on Hadith which of the narrators he had met, his general character, the state of his memory, the cautions he exercised in narrating a Hadith and the opinion in which he was held by his contemporary scholars and those after that time? These books exist even today and if anybody desires to find answers to these questions, he may go through the pages of these books and the answer will be there. We do not intend to initiate a detailed discussion on the preservation of Hadith because a vast literature on this subject already exists and can be consulted for this purpose. However, we wish to point out that there is no logic in denying the use of the Traditions of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) for an exegesis of the Qur'an whether viewed through the Quran, common sense and historical events or through any other rightful method. However, it is true that in today’s vast collection of Traditions we find authentic as well as unsound narrations. Therefore, before taking a decision on the basis of a narration found anywhere, one must thoroughly verify the narration on the basis of relevant principles. The scrutiny of those narrations found in the books of exegesis is particularly essential because most of the commentators have just collected all sorts of traditions in their book without bringing their research and investigation into discussion in the Traditional manner. Hence only such persons can benefit from them who hold an expert view on the Science of Hadith and its related subjects and who know the principles of picking out the authentic from the unsound narrations.
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The Noble Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said, 'Come near the pulpit,' and we came near the pulpit. When he ascended the first step of the pulpit, he said, 'Ameen.' When he ascended the second step, he said, 'Ameen.' When he ascended the third step,he said, 'Ameen.' When he descended, we said, 'O Prophet of Allah sallallahu alayhi wasallam, we have heard from you today something which we never heard before.' He said, 'When I ascended the first step, Jibra'eel appeared before me and said, 'Woe to him who found the blessed Month of Ramadan and let it pass by without gaining forgiveness.' Upon that I said: Ameen. When I ascended the second step, he said, 'Woe to him before whom your name is mentioned and he does not read/ send blessings on you. 'I replied: Ameen. When I ascended the third step he said,'Woe to him in whose presence his parents or either one of them attains old age, and (through failure to serve them) he is not allowed to enter Paradise .' I said:Ameen."(Hadith-Reported by Haakim) Motivational Story: My Mother's Hands Eid was nearing and I felt it was necessary to get my Mother a new Abaya (Cloak or Jilbab) as her other Abayas were frail and worn out. I stopped by on Saturday morning and told my mum to come along as I have a surprise for her. I don't normally like to go shopping and I'm not a patient person, but we set off for the mall together. We visited nearly every Islamic Clothing Store that carried ladies' Abayas, and my mother tried on many. We were so undecided as some were too huge and others too small...some were just right
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but the colour was not so smart etc. As the day wore on, I grew weary. Finally, at our last stop, my mother tried on a lovely Brown Abaya that had lovely beige ribbon trimmings. The Abaya had some bows in front. As I stood in the dressing room with her, I watched as she tried, with much difficulty, to tie the bows. Her hands were so badly crippled from arthritis that she couldn't do it. Immediately, my impatience gave way to an overwhelming wave of compassion for her. I turned away to try and hide the tears that welled up involuntarily. Regaining my composure, I turned back to tie the bow for her. Our shopping trip was over, but the event was etched indelibly in my memory. For the rest of the day, my mind kept returning to that moment in the dressing room and to the vision of my mother's hands trying to tie that bow. Those loving hands that had fed me, bathed me, dressed me, caressed and comforted me, and, most of all, prayed for me, were now touching me in the most remarkable manner. Later in the evening, I went to my mother's room, took her hands in mine, kissed them and, much to her surprise, told her that to me they were the most beautiful hands in the world. Tears started following profusely from her aged and weak eyes as I narrated how I appreciated all that her beautiful hands had done for me since I could remember. I could not forget how she stood at my bed side for days and fed me with those beautiful hands while I recovered from an accident. I was aged 17 at that time. Today at 33 and I can only pray that some day Allah will let my hands, and my heart achieve such

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a beauty of their own. Eid morning came and before the Eid prayer I entered my aged mother’s room and requested the honour of tying the bow on her beautiful Abaya. She gently nodded her head. My eyes soaked with tears…my heart filled with gratitude I thanked Allah for this great honour on this beautiful day of Eid. "We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents: In pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth." (Quran- Surah al-Ahqaf; 46: 15) The Prophet M u h a m m a d (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is reported to have said: "Jannah (heaven) lies under the feet of your mother"(Hadith- ibn Majah) Let us not wait for Mother's or Father's Day or any other occasion to show kindness to our parents!Do as much good today as our parents may not be with us tomorrow!!!! Source: Talimi Board

The Great Knowledge and Insight of Ibn ‘Abbas from a Young Age
Narrated Ibn Abbas (RA) Umar (RA) used to make me sit with the elderly men who had fought in the Battle of Badr. Some of them felt it (did not like that) and said to 'Umar "Why do you bring in this boy to sit with us while we have sons like him?" Umar replied, "Because of what you know of his position (i.e. his religious knowledge.)" One day 'Umar called me and made me sit in the gathering of those people; and I think that he called me just to show them. (my religious knowledge). 'Umar then asked them (in my presence). "What do you say about the interpretation of the Statement of Allah: 'When comes Help of Allah (to you O, Muhammad against your enemies) and the conquest (of Mecca).' (110.1) Some of them said, "We are ordered to praise Allah and ask for His forgiveness when Allah's Help and the conquest (of Mecca) comes to us." Some others kept quiet and did not say anything. On that, 'Umar asked me, "Do you say the same, O Ibn 'Abbas?" I replied, "No." He said, 'What do you say then?" I replied, "That is the sign of the death of Allah's Apostle which Allah informed him of. Allah said: '(O Muhammad) When comes the Help of Allah (to you against your enemies) and the conquest (of Mecca) (which is the sign of your death). You should celebrate the praises of your Lord and ask for His Forgiveness, and He is the One Who accepts the repentance and forgives.' (110.3) On that 'Umar said, "I do not know anything about it other than what you have said." Sahih Bukhari, Volume 6, The Book of Exegesis of the Quraan, Hadith No. 4642.
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Reehab Ramadan She stood alone on the rooftop looking up at the night sky with tears that refused to fall; they had already been falling for too long. She asked Him, 'Allah, do you still love me?'-She listened for an answer and didn't hear anything. There was no sign sent from above, there was no message in the clouds. She wanted a miracle. She wanted to see the answer to her question laid out before her. What she didn't realize though, was that His answers were all around her, she just had to open her eyes to see them. Often times we call out to Allah, praying for a miracle, praying for something to change drastically and instantly-but we look around and see nothing. We go on living in a world without miracles, constantly passing through days without miracles. The truth is, it's not that there are no more miracles; it's that we refuse to see them for what they are. Our Beloved Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) stood in front of the people one morning, telling them of a journey he made the night before. He told them of alisraa wal-miraaj in which he traveled across countries and rose to the heavens for a sacred meeting with his Lord. Those listening to the account split into two groups: those who accepted the miracle and welcomed it open heartedly and those who denied the possibility of any such journey taking place and denied the miracle all together. Those who accepted the miracle were instantly blessed with the magnificent feeling of awe and love for the One who made that miracle possible. Those who denied the miracle didn't get any such feeling of awe and love, nor did they
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find themselves in a miraculous situation, one we all wish to find ourselves in one day. Every day, this same scenario occurs, on a smaller, but still miraculous, scale. And every day, we get to choose what group we will be a part of: those who accept the miracle and are instantly rewarded; or those who deny the miracle and reap nothing. What we don't realize however, is that when we deny the miracles that occur before our very eyes every day, we deny their effect in our lives and are left scrambling for hope. Whenever we find ourselves in a difficult situation, the first and most important thing we need to remember is that no matter what happens, nothing we do on our own will cause any beneficial change to occur. The only One in our lives that can make a change is Allah Himself-when He wills it and with His might, not ours. With this in mind we begin our struggle with spiritual action rather than physical action. Before even moving a muscle we turn our hearts and minds to Him and ask Him for a miracle. This, of course, doesn't mean we should not put our own effort into fixing our situation; rather, it means that we recognize that our actions are simply a means. The means is not what changes the situation, the change lies in the miracle. With that in mind, no situation is beyond repair, no problem is too big, and no hope is too ambitious. On that same note, Allah has told us that He is as we think of Him. If we do not fully believe that Allah will change our situation, then He won't. If we do not think that we will see miracles in our day-to-day lives, then we won't. If we do not think that He can

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miraculously change our lives from pits of misery to a life of love and worshipping Him, then he won't. When we full-heartedly believe in the miracles of our Lord, we will begin to see them each and every day. Miracles don't necessarily have to be a message in the clouds or a crystal clear dream. Rather, miracles can be seen in the smallest of things. It can be that moment when we feel like we are too weak to carry the burden that has been placed on our shoulders, and then He shows us an ant carrying a load many times its size to remind us that if He brought us to it, He'll bring us through it. It can be seen in that excruciating fear we go through when we realize we forgot to turn off the electric stove and our house will surely burn down, and we return home to find the rain caused the electricity to go out, saving our house and our cooking reputation! It can be seen in that moment when we feel like our faith has hit an all-time low, and He blesses us with people to give us exactly the reminders we need, in the manner that we need it in. These are not all 'coincidences'; rather they are miracles from the One above, bringing us closer to Him. But of course, it just depends on how we look at it. Action Item: Try it for yourself. Over the next few days, keep your eyes wide open for His miracles, and feel free to ask for them. You'll come to see they're everywhere; we just have to wake up and pay attention. Cont’d from page 12 watches on television and searches hard to get one like them. Yet, he will not get what he wants, because what he sees on television is generally deceptive beauty and false femininity, and thus leads him to delay his marriage and affects the marriage of Muslim girls with him.
Source: islamweb

The Journey Towards Peace and Tranquillity One of the greatest Islamic theologians, Imam Abu Hamid Al-Ghazzali (RA) wrote an account about the soul in his works Ihya’ `Ulum ad-Din (Revival of the Religious Sciences) and Kimiya’i Sa`adat (The Alchemy of Happiness). The nafs (soul) is the commander and overseer of what the heart feels, the eye sees and the tongue states. The soul is recognized as a vehicle that can be guided and trained to do good or bad deeds, and can lead a person to eternal bliss or wrath. Hence, the goal of a Believer is to realize his full potential; in order to do so, he must understand the main purpose for coming into existence—to worship the Creator so that his soul can return safely to its blissful home. The soul can be classified under two categories: the rational, which meets spiritual needs, and the non-rational, which is shared with animals and humans, and meets physical needs such as food, shelter, and the desire to reproduce. Balancing spiritual needs with physical needs reminds a person that he or she is a traveller in this world and will not live forever. The great Imaam Al-Ghazzali (RA) explains in the Alchemy of Happiness, “The soul should take care of the body, just as a pilgrim on his way to Mecca takes care of his camel; but if the pilgrim spends his whole time feeding and adorning his camel, the caravan will leave him behind, and he will perish in the desert”.
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This example signifies that in order to reach his destination, a traveller must maintain and care for his transport in order to keep it intact for the journey. More importantly however, the traveller should not forget his ultimate destination in the process. In the Qur’an, the soul is divided into three stages of spiritual development referred to as: * al-Nafs al-Ammara (the sinful soul), * al-Nafs al-Lawwama (the lamenting soul), and * al-Nafs al-Mutma’inna (the satisfied soul). Imaam Al-Ghazzali (RA) writes, “These three conditions of the soul are not to be thought of as distinct stages, but rather as different aspects or potentials within the soul, which are present simultaneously, some being latent and others active. Their relative strength is contingent upon four factors: * man’s inborn disposition, which may be good or evil, angelic or animal; * his upbringing; * his self-discipline in adulthood, * and finally, Allah’s grace” (Ihya `Ulum adDin). Al-Nafs al-Ammara is characterized by evil, and if not checked, can lead to destruction of itself and of other people. Imaam Al-Ghazzali (RA) discusses the process of alNafs al-Ammara by stating, “Similarly, one venial sin leads to another, until the basis for salvation is lost through the destruction of the basis of faith at the moment of death”. The state of Ammara is thus the absence of faith that constitutes a meaningless life where the soul no longer separates itself from evil actions and has no sense of how to balance its non-rational and rational sides. Allah, warns in the Qur’an, “Have you seen the one who takes as his god his own desire? Then would you be responsible for him? Or do you think that most of them hear or reason? They are not except like livestock. Rather, they are [even] more astray in
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*their+ way” (25:43-44). These verses reveal how one who follows his whims and ignores Allah’s (Exalted is He) authority over him cannot be a servant of Allah, Almighty. Such a person has misused the gift of intellect and has gone farther astray than cattle, which neither disobey a spiritual command nor commit injustices in this world. The second potential stage of the soul is al-Nafs al-Lawwama, which tries hard to abstain from evil acts, consistently questions itself, and constantly repents. Allah, Almighty states, “And *by+ the soul and He who proportioned it; And inspired it [with discernment of] its wickedness and its righteousness; He has succeeded who purifies it; And he has failed who instills it *with corruption+” (91:7-10). The lamenting soul is crucial as it represents the struggle for change within the self: “That is because Allah, Almighty would not change a favour which He had bestowed upon a people until they change what is within themselves. And Indeed, Allah is Hearing and Knowing” (8:53). The lamenting soul aims to become aware of its actions and to stop itself before committing an evil deed, or to replace an evil deed with good. This struggle between the self and the soul fluctuates as one can easily become occupied by the glitter of this world and forget the purpose of one’s existence. Imaam Al-Ghazzali (RA) narrates that Sufyan al Thawri once said, “Never have I dealt with anything more difficult than my soul, which sometimes helps me, and sometimes opposes me” (Ihya `Ulum ad-Din). Therefore, the key to balancing one’s soul in favour of goodness is to understand what the soul needs so that it will not fall into a state of forgetfulness or neglect. It is with the Mercy of Allah, Almighty that He reminds us, “So remember

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Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me. O, you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed Allah is with the patient” (2:152-153). Strenuous effort, determination, and reliance on Allah, Almighty are required in order to begin the difficult process of shaping the self as an ally of the soul. Furthermore, Allah, Almighty uplifts those among His servants who struggle to reform themselves, by reaffirming, “Say, O my servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the Mercy of Allah. Indeed Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful” (39:53). The struggling soul is given hope that it may look forward and aim high at achieving an elevated level that is nearer to Allah, Almighty. The last and highest stage of the soul is al-Nafs al-Mutma’inna, in which the soul has reached a state of peace and tranquillity through aligning its will with the Will of its Creator. Imaam Al-Ghazzali (RA) remarks, “The aim of moral discipline is to purify the heart from the rust of passion and resentment, until, like a clear mirror, it reflects the light of Allah” (Kimiya’i Sa`adat 23). The analogy of the mirror enhances the idea that the heart reflects truth only if it is pure. Therefore, one needs to fill one’s heart with complete love for Allah, Almighty so as not to be deceived by the outward appearance of the world. It is the nature of the human being to love what Allah, Almighty loves and hate what He hates. The spiritual soul is determined to become one with the commandments of Allah, Almighty in order to fulfill the desire to be with Him in Eternity. Blessed is the soul that strives in the cause of Allah, Almighty, for it not only lives under the shadow and protection of Allah, Almighty in

this world, but will also be asked to return happily to Him when it has succeeded in preserving its pure and truthful nature. Allah ,Almighty tells mankind, “*To the righteous it will be said+, ‘O reassured soul; Return to your Lord, well-pleased and pleasing [to Him]; And enter among My [righteous] servants; And enter My Paradise’” (89:27-28). This world is a station created to shape one’s heart and soul into the best of moulds; purifying it to be worthy of residing in the eternal bliss of Paradise. Knowledge of the different states can bring a person closer to ascending to the highest state. The third stage is attained through complete love, devotion, and trust of Allah, Almighty Allah, Almighty reassures, “And when My servants ask you, [O, Muhammad], concerning Me—indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be *rightly+ guided” (2:186). May Allah, Almighty protect us from a heart that does not fear, eyes that do not tear, ears that do not hear, and from a soul that is not satisfied. Ameen Submitted by: Muhammad Qasim Cont’d from page 8 Hadhrat Anas (RA), the son of Ummi Sulaim who was at that time married to Abu Talhah, grew up in the house of his father and therefore got this hair which Abu Talhah had preserved. From this Hadith, it is inferred that preserving the things of pious people as sacred is permissible as Sahaaba themselves used to preserve the hair of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) as a token of blessings.
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Imam ar-Rabbani Mujaddid al-alf ath-thani Let it be known that this slave, that is, [al-Imam ar-Rabbani Mujaddid al-alf aththani+ Ahmad ibn ’Abd al-Ahad, who is greatly in need of Allah’s compassion, the first of them being to protect him, his ancestry, masters and disciples against the troubles of the Rising Day, for which I offer Him my invocations, has seen with regret that the people of our time have become increasingly slack in believing in the necessity of Prophets’ (AS) coming, in the twenty-five Prophets whose names are given in Qur’an, and in obeying the religion brought by the Last Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Moreover, some powerful people with authoritative positions have been persecuting pious Muslims who diligently follow Islam. There have appeared people who mock the blessed name of the Last Prophet and substitute the blessed names given to them by their parents with absurd names. Mosques are either being demolished or turned into museums or stores. Islamic cemeteries are being made into playgrounds or places for rubbish. Disbelievers’ churches are being restored in the name of monuments. Their rituals and festivals are being celebrated by Muslims, too. In short, Islam’s requirements and Islamic customs are being abhorred or totally abandoned. They are being called “retrogressive.” Disbelievers’ and atheists’ customs, false religions, immoral and shameless acts are being praised. Efforts are being made to
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spread them. Depraved and squalid books, novels and songs of the disbelievers are being translated into the languages of Muslims and sold. In this way efforts to annihilate Islam and Islam’s beautiful ethics, which result in Muslims’ Iman weakening, are being carried on while unbelievers and nihilists are increasing. Moreover, even men of religion, who must be healers for the disease of disbelief, are falling for this disaster and drifting into calamity. I have studied the causes for this corruption in Muslim children’s belief and have scrutinized the origin of their doubts. I have come to the conclusion that there is only one reason for the slackness in their Iman. And the reason is that much time has elapsed since Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), while at the same time some fanatical, short-sighted, religiously nescient politicians and some ignoramuses, who pass themselves off as scientists, talk on religious matters and have their words accepted as true. I have spoken with people who read and believe the writings of such sham scientists and who therefore describe themselves as enlightened, modern people. I have seen that they err mostly in comprehending the rank of prophethood (nubuwwa). I have heard many of them say, “Prophets endeavoured so that people should get on well with one another and form beautiful habits. This has nothing to do with life in the next world.

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Books of philosophy, too, provide ways of getting on well and forming good habits. Imam Muhammad al-Ghazali divides his book Ihya ’ulum ad-din into four sections. In the first section he explains beautiful habits, which he terms Munjiyyat (things that save). In the other three sections, he writes about salat, fasting and other ’ibadat. This book of his resembles books of philosophy. And this shows that ’ibadat are not munji (able to save) and that salvation depends upon beautiful habits.” Others say, “One who has heard of the Prophet, his ayats and miracles but who disbelieves this information because centuries have passed ever since, is like a person who lives in the mountains or in a desert and has not heard about the Prophet at all. Like the latter, the former may not have Iman, either.” In response to them, we say that, Allah pitied human beings in the eternal past and willed to send them Prophets to guide them to perfection and to cure the diseases in their hearts. In order to fulfil these duties of theirs, Prophets must threaten the disobedient and give good news to the obedient. They must inform the former of the torment and the latter of the rewards in the Hereafter. Man desires to attain things that come sweet to him. In order to attain them, he goes astray, sins and harms others. The sending of Prophets was necessary for protecting men from doing evil and for providing them with a peaceful and comfortable life in this world and the next. Life in this world is short. Life in the next world is endless. For this reason, attaining happiness in the next world takes precedence. Some ancient philosophers, in order to sell more of the books they had prepared with their own views and imaginations, embellished them with ways of beautifying one’s morals and doing useful acts, which they had read in heavenly books or heard from those who believed in these books. Concerning Hujjat al-Islam Imam Mu-

hammad Ghazali’s (RA) explaining ’ibadat in his book; scholars of fiqh explained how to carry out ’ibadat, but they did not describe their subtle particulars because their purpose was to state the conditions for and manners of performing ’ibadat properly. They did not look to men’s souls and hearts. The task of describing devolved on scholars of tazkiyah. Al-Imam al-Ghazali combined the knowledge of religion that provided for physical betterment and outward deeds with the knowledge of tazkiyah, which enables one to attain inner cleanliness. He explained both of them in his book. He named the latter Munjiyyat, that is, teachings that prevent calamity, yet he said that ’ibadat, too, were munji. The way of making ’ibadat a means of salvation can be learned from books of fiqh. Those teachings of salvation which pertain to the heart cannot be learned from books of fiqh. They can be understood better by reading the explanations of that exalted imam. We have not seen the medical scientist Calinos or the grammarian ’Amr Sibawaih. How do we know that they were experts in those branches of knowledge? We know what the science of medicine means. We read Calinos’s books and hear some of his statements. We learn that he gave medicine to the ill and cured them. Hence we believe that he was a doctor. Likewise, when a person who knows the science of grammar reads Sibawaih’s books or hears some words of his, he knows and believes that he was a grammarian. By the same token, if a person knows well what prophethood is and studies Qur’an and the Hadith ash-sherif, he will understand thoroughly that Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was in the highest grade of prophethood. As one’s belief in the above-mentioned scholars would never be upset, so the slanders and vilifications of the ignorant and deviated will never undermine one’s Iman in Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), since all the sayings and
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behaviours of Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) guide people to perfection, make their beliefs and behaviours correct and useful, and illuminate their hearts so as to cure them of diseases and purify them of bad habits. This is what prophethood (nubuwwa) means. A person who lives in mountains or in a desert [or a communist country] and has not heard of Prophets is called shahiq aljabal. It is impossible for such people to believe in prophethood or that Prophets were sent. It is as if no Prophet has come for them. They are excusable. [After their accounts are settled following death, they, like animals, will be eternally annihilated without entering Paradise or Hell. The same is the case for disbelievers’ non-adolescent children.] They are not commanded to believe in Prophets. Concerning them, Surat al-Isra declares: “We do not torment unless We send a Prophet before!” (ITHBAT AN-NUBUWWA, Imam arRabbani Mujaddid al-alf ath-thani) In every nation, there exist ignoble, irreligious, immoral, and base people who may be tempted, deceived and cajoled into becoming irreligious. Every father must teach his children how to read Qur’an; send them to religious courses; teach them how to perform wudu’, ghusl and salat; how to fast; what is halal and what is haram; and have them practise them. Irreligious cannot mislead a person who is brought up to be such a Muslim. Our Prophet ‘Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam’ said, “All of you are like shepherds of flocks. As a shepherd protects his flock, so you should protect those under your command from Hell! You should teach them Islam! If you don’t, you will be held responsible.” And once he said, “Many Muslim children will go to the Hell named Wayl because of their fathers, for their fathers, being seized by the ambition of earning money and making merry and running after worldly af26 (Vol.13, No: 164)

fairs only, did not teach their children Islam and the Qur’an. I am far removed from such fathers. And they are away from me. Those who do not teach their children their religion will go to Hell.” And once he said, “Those who teach their children the Qur’an or who send them to teachers of the Qur’an for each letter of the Qur’an they will be given rewards as if they visited the Kaaba ten times, and on the Day of Resurrection a crown of sovereignty will be put on their head. All people will see it and admire it.” And once he said, “Teach your children how to perform salat (ritual prayer). When they are seven years old, command them to perform salat. When they are ten years old, beat them if they do not perform it and have them perform it.” And once he said, “When a Muslim’s child worships, his father will receive as much reward as he gets. When a person teaches his child to sin and whenever this child commits sins, his father also will be recorded sinful to the same extent.”Ibni Abidin says at the end of the section on the makruh actions in namaz, “If a person has his child do the things that are haram for himself to do, he has committed a haram. A person who has his son wear silk clothes or ornaments him with gold or who has his children drink alcohol or lets them urinate in the direction of qibla [The direction a Muslim turns when performing namaz. This direction points to the Kaaba.], or causes them to stretch their legs in the direction of qibla will be sinful.” The hadith in the book Murshidunnisa states, “The salats and fasts of those who do not observe the rights of their wives and children will not be acceptable.” Imam-i Ghazali says in his book Kimya-i Sa’adat, “For example, it is haram (forbidden by the religion) for women to go out with naked head, arms and legs. Also, it is haram for them to go out by covering themselves with thin, tight, ornamented and coloured garments. Not only will such women be disobedient to

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Allah and sinful, but also, their father, husband, brother and uncle, who are responsible for them; that is, the one who lets them go out in this manner will be their accomplice in disobedience and sin.” The basis of the Islamic religion is to learn and teach Iman, the fard and haram. Allah has sent Prophets (AS) for this purpose. When these tenets are not taught to youngsters, Islam will be demolished and annihilated. Allah commands Muslims to do Amr-i ma’ruf. That is, He says, “Communicate and teach my commands.” And He commands them to do Nahy-i anilmunkar. That is, He says, “Communicate my prohibitions and do not condone their being done.” Our Prophet said, “Teach Islam to one another! If you give up Amr-i ma’ruf, Allah will send the worst among you upon you and He will not accept your prayers.” And he said, “The reward that is given to all worships when compared with the reward given for the ghaza (war in the way of Allah) will be as much as a drop of water compared to an ocean; and the reward given for ghaza, versus the reward given for Amr-i-ma’ruf and Nahy-i-munkar, is like a drop of water versus an ocean.” It is for this reason that Ibni Abidin says at the end of the fifth volume, “The thawab for a fiqh savant’s helping Muslims is more than the thawab of jihad.” In short, a child is a deposit in the hands of the parents. The child’s pure heart is like a precious gem. Like wax, a child can take any shape. When small, it has not taken any shape. It is like pure soil. You will reap what you sow in pure soil. If children are taught the tenets of Iman, the Qur’an and the commandments of Allah and accustomed to doing them, they will attain religious and worldly happiness. Their parents and teachers will share this happiness of theirs. If they are not taught and trained, they will become unhappy. The sin of each evil they will commit will be given to their parents and teachers, too. Allah declares in the sixth ayat of Surat-ut -tahrim, “Protect yourselves and those in your homes and under your command from the fire!” It is more important for a father to protect his children against the fire of Hell than against worldly fire. And protecting them against the fire of Hell is to teach them Iman, the fard and haram to accustom them to worshipping, and to protect them against irreligious and immoral friends. The source of all kinds of immoral deeds is an evil friend.

One Tight Slap
A young girl was once walking along a road. After a while she sensed that she was being followed. She turned around to find a boy walking behind her. She asked him as to why he was following her. He replied that he loves her deeply and was infatuated with her extreme beauty. She said to him, “My beauty is nothing. My sister is walking behind and she is much more beautiful than me.” As soon as she said this, the boy turned around to look behind him. But as he turned to look, the girl gave him a tight slap and said to him, “Do you not have any shame? You claim to love me, but you turn your gaze towards someone other than me!!” Lesson: In the very same way, it should never be that we claim to love Allah but our hearts are inclined to the haraam fashions, lusts and temptations of this temporary world. The one in who’s heart the love of Allah has settled will never look in any other direction.
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By A. Muhammad Yusuf It’s a beautiful sunny day, Moosa and Fatima, two bubbly and vibrant 5 year old twins, try to draw their parent’s attention to the lovely sandcastles they had been constructing for hours in the garden. Dad is too busy viewing television and replying to emails on his mobile while mum has for the last few hours been chatting with her friends and updating her Facebook page. Mum and dad, hardly take notice of their kid’s achievement. Both parents are usually so involved in their work and social environments that they “hardly” get time for their kids. Apart from the first four weeks spent with mum after birth both Moosa and Fatima have ever since infancy been inhabitants of a day care centre. In the evenings mum picks them up on her way back home from office. Dad returns usually late in the evening and both parents barely have time to interact with their kids before its time to sleep and wake-up again. A strange phenomenon of children with both parents but are “modern day orphans”. Due to many parents deep engrossment in the material and social environment, they are unable to spend basic and vital time with their children, thus neglecting them and reducing them to the level of “modern day orphans”. Parents are there, but in reality they are not “there”. Child neglect, very common type of child abuse, is a pattern of failing to provide for a child's basic needs; it not only relates to lack of food, education and clothing but extends to the child’s emotional and spiritual
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needs as well as hygiene and supervision. Child neglect is not always easy to spot and the guilty parents are so often oblivious of this syndrome. Recently a teacher from Primary School asked her students to write an essay about what they would like for them... At the end of the day while marking the essays, she read one that made her very emotional. Her husband, that had just walked in saw her crying and asked her:- What happened? She answered:- Read this. It's one of my student’s essays. Oh Allah, tonight I ask you something very special: Make me into a television. I want to take its place. Live like the TV in my house. Have my own special place and have my family around ME. To be taken seriously when I talk... I want to be the centre of attention and be heard without interruptions or questions. I want to receive the same special care that the TV receives when it is not working. Have the company of my dad when he arrives home from work, even when he is tired and I want my mum to want me when she is sad and upset, instead of ignoring me... and... I want my brothers to fight to be with me... I want to feel that family just leaves everything aside, every now and then, just to spend some time with me and last but not least make it that I can make them all happy and entertain them... Allah I don't ask you for much... I just want to live like every TV. At that moment the husband said:-

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'My God, poor kid. What horrible parents! She looked up at him and said:- 'That essay is our son's!!! Makes you think doesn't it?? The significance of child neglect should come as no surprise, given the present day lack of parental care and nurturance. It is so crucial to offer our children care in terms of educational training, emotional support and spiritual guidance. The heart of a child must be filled with love and Imaan (faith). A child’s mind must be entertained with proper guidance, knowledge and wisdom and not left to be nurtured by peer pressure, social networking and immoral television programs. Allah, The Most Exalted says: “ O ye who believe! Save yourselves and your families from a Fire …”(Qur’an- 66:6). The Noble Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: "Everyone of you is a protector and guardian and responsible for your wards and things under your care and a man(parent) is a guardian of his family members, and is accountable for those placed under his charge." (HadithBukhari and Muslim) Every word, facial expression, gesture, or action on the part of a parent gives the child some message about self-worth. It is sad that so many parents don't realize what messages they are sending. One of the greatest titles in the world is parent, and one of the biggest blessings in the world is to have caring and loving parents to call mum and dad. There is no friendship, no love, like that of the parent for the child. Have fun with your kids, laugh with them, talk to them – children remember having fun more than they remember having things. When they’re older, they look back and remember fun things you did together, not the expensive play stations, ipods, mobiles or toys they had. The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was casual

and loving towards children. He once kissed his grandchild while another companion of his witnessed this action and said; “I have ten children and have never kissed one of them.” The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) cast a look at him and said, “Whoever is not merciful to others will not be treated mercifully.” (Hadith-Al-Bukhari) Children are a great boon both in this world and even more in the hereafter... The Noble Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) in this context, said: When someone dies, their works (righteous acts) come to an end, apart from three: Sadaqah Jariyah (ongoing charity), beneficial knowledge, or a pious child who prays for them (the deceased). (Related by Imam Muslim in his "Sahih"; Al-Tirmidhy, Al-Nasa'y and Imam Ahmad) And never …yes never neglect and create “orphans” of them while both of you are still around…Children are indeed among our greatest assets…Love and care for them when they need it most and they will love and care for you when you need it most!

Cont’d from page 32 "I don't want anyone to live my experience, but every day there are more widows to console," she says. "But the problem won't last forever. At this rate, there will soon be far fewer poor people because they will all have killed themselves." So whatever plans young Muslims may have for migrating, they must think very carefully and make sure they know what are they getting into, otherwise their dreams could turn into nightmares. Remember the words of the Master and Provider: ‘And whoever fears Allah, He will find a way out for him, and will provide him from means he could never imagine.' (The Qur'an, Surah al-Talaq: 2-3).
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Pervez Akhtar

Thousands of Europeans are finding self-destruct as the only way out of the vicious circle of debt
Millions of young men across Asia, Africa and other so called developing countries have been and are still trying desperately to find a gateway to the Americas, Australia or Europe. By hook or crook they try to reach the lands where they imagine there are streets that are paved with gold. Their desperation to leave their families, friends and communities where their roots reach deep can be likened to the thirst of a Bedouin travelling across the Rub` al Khali. No matter what it takes, they have to reach the shores of some foreign land to satiate their thirst. While some do manage to acquire a few scraps of gold after straining every sinew of their body for almost half a century, a majority end with up with nothing more than a pretty pan full of bread. However, for quite a number of years the milk and honey of these lands of hope and opportunity have been turning sour and bitter. While it is not the purpose of this article to dissuade young people from trying their luck in these advanced industrial nations, it might be useful to, at least, give them a glimpse of the reality behind the towering skyscrapers, the flashy shopping centers and the ritzy rail systems. It seems ironic that while their doors to foreign workers to fill their shortfall are still slightly open, their own citizens are being driven to death by the very
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same economic system. Have a look at some of the examples below and decide for yourself. "Dear love, I am here crying. This morning I left a bit early, I wanted to wake you, say goodbye, but you were sleeping so well I was afraid to wake you. Today is an ugly day. I ask forgiveness from everyone ... A kiss to you all. I love you, Giuseppe." This was the suicide note left by Guiseppe Campaniello for his wife on March 28th 2012. On that day Giuseppe set himself on fire in front of the Equitalia office in Bologna after he received a final notice about the doubling of a fine he could not pay. He died in a burn ward nine days later. He never had the courage to tell his wife, (hence the suicide note) about their dire financial straits because of a mix of pride and embarrassment, she said later. In late May, Marco Turrini reached his breaking point. Out of work for more than a year and under pressure from tax collectors, the 41-year-old publicity agent picked up his four-year-old son, Samuele, and 14month-old daughter, Benedetta, and threw them out of their sixth-floor window in a suburb of Milan. He then struggled to push his wife to the same fate. She escaped, but he turned to the window and jumped. He died on impact, but his two young children lin-

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gered for several long minutes while neighbors tried to save them. The story is tragic, but continues to repeat itself in scenes of desperation across Italy. Austerity and Suicides Turrini and Guiseppe are two of more than 80 Italians whose suicides can be linked to austerity measures since the beginning of the year. Tiziana managed to form a group of the grieving widows of suicide victims dubbed "white widows" by the press. Their first march was in Bologna; they walked from the charred sidewalk where Guiseppe set himself alight to the burn ward where he died. They waved white flags to symbolize their surrender and many carried their husbands' suicide notes. Tiziana plans to stage marches in Rome and in the poorer southern areas of the country as the situation gets worse. "There is no way to find closure when your husband takes his life because he can't afford to support his family," said Tiziana. "I cannot even bear to think how desperate he must have felt to end it that way." Her aim is to build a network of suicide victims' family members and to call attention to the plight of Italy's new poor. Many more have killed themselves in Greece, which once boasted the lowest suicide rate in Europe. There, 1,727 people have killed themselves (or attempted to do so) following the financial strains of the austerity measures since 2009. The ghastly trend is on the rise in Spain, too, where unemployment rate for people under 25 years old is now more than 50 percent, which helps explain why that age group has the fastest-growing suicide rate in that country. In Ireland, which has been in recession since 2009, deliberate self-harm rates have doubled since the crisis began. In the countries most affected by the euro-zone crisis, depression is on the rise and suicides

are spreading. "The main reason for the rise in suicides is the recession and now austerity— both making hard times more difficult and reducing funding for mental-health services," says David Stuckler, a Cambridge professor who co-authored a report on the health effects of the economic crisis in Europe. "Usually an epidemic is thought of as a shortterm increase in a disease—by that criterion, suicides would be an epidemic." Across the southern countries, especially, suicide has become the only way out for many people who can no longer support their families or pay their employees. Most recent suicide victims are self-employed craftsmen and entrepreneurs or retirees, whose monthly pension was slashed in half in Greece after harsh austerity cuts. In early April, a pharmacist shot himself in the head, splattering blood across Syntagma Square in front of the Greek Parliament as onlookers watched in horror. "I see no other solution than this dignified end to my life so I don't find myself fishing through garbage cans for sustenance," said the note in his pocket. Public suicides have become a symbol of personal pain for many, but a sad inspiration for others. The week before the first Greek elections on 6th May failed to result in a new government, a geology professor who lost his job hanged himself from a lamppost, a student shot himself in the head because he said he had no future, and a priest threw himself off a balcony in despair over his parishioners' woes—all in the same day. On average, one person a day commits suicide in Greece. The frequency has numbed the press, who now tend to report the suicides only when they happen in public places. While life-insurance policies are generally nullified in suicide cases, debts are often buried with the dead. In some cases, suicides are premeditated for months while the victims put their paperwork in order to en(Vol.13, No: 164) 31

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sure their survivors won't be saddled with lingering debt. "We get a lot of calls asking about what will happen to my family if I kill myself," a spokesperson for SOS Suicidio Artigiani, a suicide hotline for craftsmen set up two months ago in Treviso. Debt-collection and Death For the survivors of the Italian suicide victims, there is no question that the methods and pressure put on by debt collectors played a vital role in pushing their loved ones over the edge. Equitalia, Italy's public collection agency, has come under fire for the threatening way its collectors are treating those in debt. The state agency has been tasked with collecting $154 billion in back taxes and late fees stemming from decades of tax evasion. Equitalia slaps a 9% commission on top of the uncollected fees to do the state's dirty work. It also chases down car fines and unpaid bills for private creditors, sometimes with commission fees up to 15%. In 2010, the agency reported a €1.29 billion profit for collecting just €8.87 billion in taxes. This year, thanks to efforts to rein in tax evaders, Equitalia's profit could be almost 20 times higher. Last month, it dropped the interest rate slightly, but the unforgiving doubling and tripling of fines that can't be paid by deadlines turns an ordinary tax debt or late fee into a crisis situation. Arpino's note specifically blamed Equitalia for "their determination to ruin my life." Recently, Equitalia reached an agreement with the National Council of the Order of Labor Consultants in an attempt to analyze and identify situations in which extreme measures of tax collection could turn life threatening. Equitalia's head defense lawyer against debt-ridden clients quit publicly last April to protest the "Equitalia methods" of collection. "I am willing to give up my fees and this work to save my dignity," says Gennaro De Falco. "I do not know if this will help,
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but at least it is something to ease my conscience. And it may help to restore a modicum of dignity to lawyers and to give everyone an opportunity to reflect on the social and ethical management of this crisis." A Bomb but not from a Terrorist A growing number of communities have forced the collectors out, taking the laborious task of tax and fee collection back in-house. The company and its employees have also been the target of several violent attacks by anarchist groups in recent months. In December, a small bomb injured the director of the Rome office. In early May, 54-yearold Luigi Martinelli stormed into the Bergamo office with a rifle and took 15 employees hostage before finally surrendering to police after an 11-hour standoff. He owed back taxes that he couldn't pay by the Equitalia deadline. All he wanted was a little more time to pay without having the fee increased, he told police. "White widow" Tiziana Tiziana says that Equitalia should not be pulling a profit to collect taxes and fines that the state has ignored for years. She says technocrat Prime Minister Monti is "a banker who can count money and collect taxes, but he wasn't elected and he is not accountable to anyone." She says he and the interim government have not taken into account the true desperation of the citizens. She points to the fact that Italian parliamentarians are still among the highest paid in Europe while the citizens are being strangled by austerity cuts. "How can we respect this government when parliamentarians are still earning €30,000 a month and regular people cannot put €10 worth of food on the table? They all have blood on their hands," she says in a tearful interview. "They are turning us into a mafia of the desperate, and for what reason? This is not democracy. This is not liberty." Cont’d on page 29

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The Ideal Prophet

Maulana Syed Sylaiman Nadvi (RA)
There may be people who might hold forgiveness and kindliness to be the greatest of virtues. These two, in their opinion, are enough to attain the perfection of spirit; but can anybody assert that man has no other moral affection, feeling, and emotion? Do not emotions like anger, charity, love, hatred, greed, contentment, retaliation and forbearance play any part in shaping human behavior? He alone can claim to be a perfect guide who can tell us how to keep a happy mean between all these natural propensities. If anybody still persists that sublimity of prophetic character consists merely of kindliness, charity, and forgiveness, let him also tell the world how long the followers of such a prophet were able to follow the example of their mentor? Innumerable Christian kings have wielded the scepter from Constantine to this day, but why could nobody ever enforce the teaching of his Savior as the law of the land? How can, then, the conduct of a prophet not followed by his own followers be recognized as a perfect norm to be followed by others? Every prophet of Allah came to guide us with some distinguishing feature of his own. Nuh’s (AS) life presents the picture of righteous indignation against heathenism while Ibrahim (AS) is the iconoclasm's fugleman. Musa (AS) is the matrix of war, government, and legislation; Isa (AS) is the specimen of humility and charity, forgiveness and contentment; Sulaiman (AS) is the symbol of royal splendor; Dhun-noon (AS) is an illustration of penitence and contrition; Yousuf (AS) displays the zeal for preaching the truth even in the dungeon; Dawiid (AS) Psalms sing of lamentation and God's glorification; Yaqub (AS) is the mirror of absolute reliance and resignation to the Will of God; but, all these characteristics have been rolled into one perfect model for the entire humanity in the life and character of Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). A tradition, although not very authentic, related by Khatib Baghdadi says that when Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was born a celestial voice was heard commanding the angels: "Take Muhammad from one land to another and to the depth of the ocean so that the whole world, every man and jinn, every beast and bird, and every sentient being may know his name and fame. Give him the morals of Adam, gnosis of Sheet, courage of Nuh, faithfulness of Ibrahim, eloquence of Ismael, resignation of Ishaq, oratory of Salih, wisdom of Lut, perseverance of Musa, endurance of Ayyub, obedience of Younus, fighting spirit of Yusha, melody of Dawood, love of Daniyal, esteem of Ilyas, chastity of Yahya, and abstinence of Isa and bathe him in the waters of their morals." The writers who have
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quoted this tradition intended only to emphasize the comprehensiveness of Muhammad's (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) character. This tradition illustrates the engaging qualities granted individually to each prophet of Allah, but which were ultimately united in the person of the last and the most winsome amongst all of them. The different aspects of the Prophet's (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) life clearly indicate the comprehensiveness of his character. If you behold the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) migrating from Makkah to Yathrib, your mind's eye would surely recall Musa (AS) running away from Egypt to Midian. The anchorite meditating in the cave of Hira had all the earmarks of the mendicant on Mount Sinai. The only difference between the two, if there was any, lay in the wakeful eyes of Musa (AS) and the meditating mind of Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam); the one had fixed his gaze on the exterior while the other was concentrating on the inner core of Ultimate Reality. Mark the striking similarity between the preacher summoning the Quraish on Mount Safa and the sermonizer on the Mount of Olives. Behold the resemblance between the Commander of the faithful on the planes of Badr and Hunayn, Ahzab and Tabuk and the Prophet leading the Israelites. The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) foretelling the doom of the seven Makkan chiefs had the very appearance of Musa (AS) cursing Pharoah and his partisans who had rejected him after witnessing his miracles; but when Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) raised his hands to invoke blessings on his enemies at Uhud, he bore a striking resemblance to Isa (AS) seeking prosperity of his foes. Were you to behold Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) acting as a judge in the Mosque at Madinah or fighting the infidels,
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he would appear to have all the features of Musa (AS), but when you rivet your eyes upon him engaged in night long prayers and vigils, you would have a glimpse of Isa (AS). If you hear him reciting the Qur'an and glorifying the Lord, you would undoubtedly take him much the same as Dawood singing the Psalms; if you bring to your mind his triumphant entry into Makkah, you would see him very like Sulaiman (AS), and if you picture him in the confinement of Shuy'ba Abi Talib, you would find the very image of Yousuf (AS) languishing in the Egyptian prison. Musa (AS) brought the law that binds the Israelites, Dawood (AS) sang the praises and hymns of Allah, and Isa (AS) illustrated piety and sound morality but Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) combined all— the law-giver, the pious worshipper, and the paradigm of moral virtues. In words and letters, they all are described in the Qur'an: in action, the character of Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) presents a perfect and practical example of all of them. There is yet another aspect of Muhammad's (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) allembracing character. Let it be illustrated by the two types of educational institutions found nowadays; first, the specialized college imparting instruction in technical and professional courses, and, secondly, the universities which cover all the different branches of learning. The institutions of the first category, viz. colleges for the teaching of medical science turn out specialists in only one branch, like the physicians, engineers, business executives, agricultural experts, etc. This is because the students taking admission to them are trained in only one branch of knowledge. It is, however, obvious that expertise in any one branch of knowledge, trade, or calling is not adequate to meet the various needs of soci-

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ety which needs all the different types of specialized vocations for its progress and balanced development. Were all of us to study a particular art or science and devote ourselves to the same pursuit, the world would come to a standstill, signaling the breakdown of society. Thus, if all men were to become pious ascetics devoted to God, the human society would lose its social order instead of achieving perfection. Now let us judge the prophets by this standard. "Wherefor ye shall know the tree by its fruits," [Mt. 7:16] is a too well known saying of Isa (AS). Likewise, the academies and their standards of education are known by their alumni. Now, if you direct your mind upon those academies whose revered teachers were the prophets of Allah, you would find normally ten or twenty learners, occasionally the number rising to seventy, or a hundred, or a thousand disciples, but never exceeding ten or twenty thousand at the most. But, when you come to the last prophetic school you would see more than a hundred thousand pupils around the great mentor. If you go further, and try to find out who the schoolmen of earlier prophets were, where they lived and what they did, what their attainments, morals, and characters were and what improvement they brought about in the human society of their times, you are more likely to not get any answer to these questions. In the case of the last Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), however, you will find the names and addresses, characters and achievements of all his disciples preserved in the pages of history. Likewise, all the religions lay a claim to the universality of their teachings without any barrier of nationality or country. But the claim can be accepted if it can be shown that the founders of those religions actually enlisted disciples belonging to other nations and races

or they even invited those people to join their company irrespective of color and race and language, or that a few persons belonging to an alien people responded to their call. No prophet of the Old Testament invited any people beyond the borders of Iraq, Syria, and Egypt. In other words, the call of all the Israelite prophets was confined to the countries where they lived, or, to be more specific, their whole endeavor was limited to the guidance of the Children of Israel. So was the case with the ancient prophets of Arabia. Isa (AS) slammed the doors of his seminary against the face of alien races, for he unequivocally proclaimed: "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel" [Ibid, 15:24]. He did not even consider it "meet to take the children's bread and cast it to dogs," [Ibid, 15:26] by preaching his Gospel to the nonIsraelites. The great sages of Hinduism would have perhaps never thought of diffusing their teachings beyond the sacred land of Aryaverta [land of the Aryans, i.e. India]. Some of the Buddhist kings, undoubtedly, sent missionaries to other countries but we do not find anything of the kind in the life of the Buddha himself. Let us now look towards the alma mater of the students of the unlettered teacher of Arabia. Who are the disciples here? They are Abu Bakr, 'Umar, 'All, 'Uthman, Talha, and Zubayr belonging to the Quraish of Makkah; Abu Dharr and Anas come of the Ghifari tribe living in Tahamah near Makkah; Abu Hurairah and Abu Tufail b. 'Amr hail from Yemen and belong to the tribe of Aws; two more, Abu Musa al-Ash'ari and Mu'adh b. Jabal are from another tribe of Yemen; Dammad b. Tha'laba comes of the tribe of Azd; Banu Tamim, another tribe, is represented by Khabbab b. alAratt; Munqidh b. Habban and Mundhir b. A'idh are the children of Banu 'Abd al-Qais, a
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tribe of Bahrain; 'Ubayd and Ja'far are the Chiefs of Oman; and Farwa b. 'Amr is from Ma'an near Syria. And, who is this Negro? He is Bilal from Abyssinia. Here are also Suhayb, the Roman; Salman, the Persian; Firuz from Dailama; and Sunjit and Markabud from Iran. The treaty of Hudaybia, signed in 6 A.H. 627 C.E. marks the beginning of an era of peace long cherished by Islam. Quraish and the Muslims agreed not to attack one another and the right of the Muslims to preach their faith was recognized by the Makkans. What was the pursuit to which the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) applied himself after securing peaceful conditions? He sent letters to the rulers, kings, and emperors of adjoining countries inviting them to join their faith in the Unity of Allah. Dihya b. Khalifa al-Kalbi took his letter to Caesar, who was Heraclius, King of Rome; 'Abd Allah b. Hudhafa Sahmi went with credentials to Chosroes of Iran; Hatib b. Abu Balta' to the Muqauqis, ruler of Alexandria; 'Amr b. Umayya to Negus, the King of Abyssinia; Shuja' b. Wahb al-Asadi to Harith b. Abu Shimr al-Ghassani, the lord of Syria; and Salit b. 'Amr to the chiefs of Yamama. The letters sent by the Prophet of Islam (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), unique in the history of religions, furnish a conclusive evidence, if one were needed, that Islam recognizes no barriers in inviting humanity to its creed. It was meant, from the first day, for the whole world, for every man belonging to any family, tribe, or country and speaking any language.
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When Last Did I Thank My........
In many cases married life has boiled down to moaning, groaning demanding and complaining. Let every wife ask this question to herself: “When last did I sincerely say a heartfelt “Jazakallah” to my husband? If one cannot recall when last one did this, the question is: “Why can‟t you remember? Should this not have been a regular aspect?” Unfortunately we have forgotten the lesson of gratitude to a very great extent. If he says or does just one thing against our temperament or desire, often our immediate response is: “You have never done anything for me”. Yet the husband may have done so much for us. Due to being very emotional and impulsive by nature, we are quick to speak out our mind and feelings. It is time we remedy the situation by simply concentrating and recounting the favours of the husband. For a while, let us forget all those never ending desires of ours and this will allow us to appreciate and be thankful to our husband. Our thanks and happiness will once again bring alive the spark in our marriage. Yes indeed, husbands must also be grateful to their wives. Let us take the lead and show them how it is done.

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Michael Muhammad Knight
So I’ve just received an email from a reader, asking whether I might have something to say about The Innocence of Muslims. “Is tolerance for satire really a concept that is not compatible with Islam?” he asks. “Is there something about all this indignation that ‘we,’ the West, don’t understand?” When asked to explain Muslim rage, I have an answer, but I already know the response to my answer. A defender of “Western civilization” will tell me, “Yeah, but we aren’t violent. They’re the ones who kill people over religion.” If numbers matter, however, the mythology of “America” kills many, many more people today than any myth of “Islam.” To sustain a pseudo-secular military cult, we have produced a nation of cheerleaders for blood and murder. We speak of the cult’s heroic work as “sacrifice” and say that it’s all for a divine cause of “freedom.” That’s what we send out there, at them. This is not simply a world in which one side has a sense of humor and the other does not, or one side is “modern” and “enlightened” while the other side needs to catch up. The modern, enlightened side is burning people alive. Innocence is simply the playground bully calling your mother a slut after already breaking your jaw, and then wondering why you can’t take a joke. I am not trying to excuse violence. As an artist, I support everyone’s right to make shitty, cheap-looking art, and I do not believe that bloodshed is ever an acceptable way of responding to art. But in the big picture, this isn’t really about violent religion vs. nonviolent art; it’s violence vs. violence. Last week, the day on which my column runs happened to fall on September 11. My column was not about September 11; I offered no recollections of the day, no meditation on where we’ve gone as a nation since then, no diagnosis, no hope for a better future, and no apology on behalf of “moderate” Muslims. Instead, I wrote about drugs. It seems that every year, the anniversary produces a number of Muslim bloggers and commentators publicly performing our love of peace, assuring everyone that we, too, shared in the suffering of that day. I am thankful for them and respect their efforts, because this is work that needs to be done. But I did not try. The reason for my silence on 9/11 is that I am not only Muslim. I am also American. I am also white. I am male and heterosexual. However, I am not asked, as an American, to reflect on the yearly anniversary of our atomic bombs falling upon Japan, or our countless military interventions throughout the world. There is no date on the calendar for me, as a white person, to demonstrate that I have properly reflected on slavery and the generations of inequality and naked white sadism between the slave era and our own unjust present; we could potentially have such a day, but often turn it into
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shallow self-congratulation. As a white person, I am not asked to consider the wanton murders of young black men by white cops or white civilians, or the white terrorism of shootings in gurudwaras, as directly relevant to my identity. Nor do I have a designated anniversary for reflection, as a straight man, on the horrifying statistics of rape or the ways in which heterosexism makes this country unsafe for so many. As a Muslim, however, people do expect me to show evidence of my soulsearching over a single event, and I am regularly instructed by popular media to imagine 9/11 as a cancer within my own self. Journalists ask me about Islam’s “crisis” as though it’s a private demon with whom I must personally wrestle every day; meanwhile, my whiteness remains untouched and unchallenged by the decade of hate crimes that have followed 9/11. Journalists don’t often

ask whether “white tradition” can be reconciled to modern ideals of equality and pluralism, or whether the “straight male community” is capable of living peacefully in America. When it comes to my participation in America, my whiteness and maleness are far more likely than my Islam to wound others, and thus perhaps more urgently in need of “reform” or “enlightenment” or whatever you say that Islam needs. Again, this is only if numbers matter. Yes, there’s something that we, the self-identified “West,” don’t understand: ourselves. We see the violence that we want to see. We ignore our legacy of hatred and destruction, always wondering how they can even look themselves in the mirror. Michael Muhammad Knight is the author of eight books, including Journey to the End of Islam, an account of his pilgrimage to Mecca.

Divine Wisdom
There is divine wisdom in every decision of Allah. Our unhappiness and complain upon the occurrences in our life is due to our failure in understanding the divine wisdom of Allah. For instance Allah grants some couples only girls while others have only boys. Both couples are unhappy and tend to complain. This is due to our nature of desiring that which we do not have instead of appreciating that which we have. Yet Allah „s decision for us is filled with wisdom. Therefore always look at the positive side of things. Take for example a woman who is expecting her first child and suffers a miscarriage. She feels that her world came to an end, failing to realise that if that child lived to be a disobedient child then she would really have felt her world coming to an end. Many couples complain that they have no children. They should reflect that if they had a child who was extremely disobedient, their lives would have been in complete turmoil. Allah protected them from this calamity. However, they can certainly make dua for pious children. We simply need to submit ourselves to the divine wisdom of our merciful Allah.
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Sister S Bemath
We tend to think that circumstances causes us to become bitter, but this is not always the case. Bitterness is something that happens to us, it is a characteristic we develop. To swallow a daily dose of poison would be unthinkable. Yet this is what you do if you awaken each morning with bitter thoughts that belong to the past. You are poisoning your system. Bitterness is a killer. But who does it hurt? Only you - for who else suffers that gnawing pain which twists and turns deep in your being? Certainly not the one who has wronged you!. He or she probably is not even aware of it. Bitterness depresses the spirits, stifles creativity, weakens the immune system, obstructs happiness and ruins health. As a carrier you are the only one who reaps its adverse consequences so why submit to it? A bitter person always seems to find a good reason to be bitter: “After all I did, he or she left me...” “My parents all favour my brother - nothing I do will please them...” “That false rumour ruined my chances of promotion...” and the list goes on…Valid reasons, maybe. Painful, certainly! even worthy of some human emotion. But it takes only a little –yes just a little time and effort to work through the pain, hurt, disappointment, sadness or anger. You must process your emotions, regain your balance, change your attitude or seek counsel. “Wonderful in theory,” a bitter person might say. “But I can't forget.” You can forget; but whether you choose to is another matter. It takes time and effort to re-pattern negative thoughts into the conscious habit of replacing them with positive ones. When we harbour negative emotions towards others or towards ourselves, or when we intentionally create pain for others, we poison our own physical and spiritual systems. By far the strongest poison to the human spirit is the inability to forgive oneself or another person. It disables a person’s emotional resources. The challenge is to refine our capacity to love others as well as ourselves and to develop the power of forgiveness. “Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hate. It is a power that breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness.” Allah knows what's hidden in the deep recesses of our hearts. Those feelings of pain, anguish, resentment, hatred, bitterness, etc., that we so successfully hide from everyone else, including our closest family members and friends. So why not let it all out. Why not let Allah be your "therapist". Let your prayer mat be your "couch" while you reveal and ask the One who is in control, Who knows you better than you know yourself. From the very depth of Allah'S fountain of Mercy, bitterness will be cleansed and you shall blossom amongst the flowers of enjoyment. Subhaan-ALLAH ! Beloved Reader! It is better to live in
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peace than in bitterness and strife. I've known people to go through a lot of trials and hardships and maintain a grateful and gracious spirit throughout. I've seen others face similar trials only to become angry and embittered souls. In both the cases the hardship revealed the heart more than it formed the heart. If we are filled with sweetness and something jostles us, then sweetness spills out. If we are filled with bitterness and we get jostled then battery acid goes everywhere. Overcome the obstacles in your path, be determined, courageous and hardworking. Never be faint-hearted. Be resolute, but never bitter... be beautiful inside and thus you shall become an embodiment of love, joy and happiness. HOW TO DEAL WITH BITTERNESS: · Most important is to Turn to Allah by means of Dua (Prayer). Raise your hands in supplication, for, Du'a is a weapon of a Believer.

· Every time you think of a past negative situation, replace it instantly with a picture of a positive, happy life. · When you feel resentful, bless and forgive the person who wronged you and do not stop praying for the best for those you love. · Busy yourself with things you enjoy so that you have no time to brood. Plan something to look forward to. Give to someone who is worse off than yourself. In other words place every negative thought with a positive one until it becomes a habit. Never allow bitterness to take root or you'll become a twisted, sour human being people will shun. Bitter thoughts are like weeds. Pluck them out of your heart relentlessly…and in their place will sprout the seeds of joyful new life. O Allah! Reform our character and bless us with cleanliness of the heart. ..Aameen

Four Steps to Rectify a Wrong
When you see a wrong: Step one: Do not loose your temper. The moment you loose your temper, you cannot think correctly and cannot say the right things. Thus we should learn to control our temper. Step two: Be careful of our language. Do not say such words that will hurt the person. Often in anger we speak out our mind but later on we regret over our words. Step three: Explain to the person the wrong that he/she has done. Generally we become angry but we do not explain the mistake to the person. Step Four: Give the person a solution, provide an alternative. Explain to the person what should be done and how it should be done in future. After adopting these four simple steps in rectifying a wrong, Inshallah with the command of Allah, only good will come out of it. At all times our gaze and trust should be on the mercy of Allah.
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