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From Weakness to Strength via Sabr Modesty in Men... An Overlooked Characteristic The Day of Accounts, Qiyamah: The Driving Force behind being Honest and Ethical Are You a Sagittarius or a Scorpio? Ah! So you believe in Horoscopes! Being Elite is Not a Privilege From Beauty Full to Beauty Fooled... The Myth of Good Looks Looking like a Young or Living like a Young Crises: The Outlook and The Outcome Don't Kill This Sunnah Etiquette of Generosity: The Islamic Ways to Preserve Your Charity The Example of a Donkey... Those Who Dont Give Due Rights to Their Holy Book Sinners and Repenters: Hopes and Assurance from Allah Fruits of Being Thankful to Allah Great Qualities of Believers... Try to Achieve Them The Best Anti Depressant: Innalillahi wa inna ilaihi Rajeoon The Impact of Islamic Environment What is your Gheerah Index? Do you really Posses Gheerah?

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Why Don't You Keep a Beard ?


Delayed Marriages: Bitter Fruits Plucked from the Western Orchards Stumbling Blocks in the Way of Marriages Our Priorities: Marry at 21 or Pursue Studies or Both? Willing to Marry But to Whom? Good Wives and Husbands Age of Consent or Age of Marriage! A Fresh Look at Marriage Prospective Failed Marriages! An Analysis Pre Marriage Counseling: Dare you challenge...! A Pleasant Spouse A Delightful Life... A Wonderful Akhera What is 'Togetherness' in a Marriage life.? Tremors in Marriage life... Haste versus Tolerance Don't Worry about Your Rights but Worry about Her Rights Ways to Matrimonial Happiness Planning to get Married? Then Plan it Properly How to go for a Simple Nikah How Grand Should our Weddings Be? The Big Bang Weddings : How Grand Are Our Weddings? Part II
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When Should You Start to Earn O! Young men? Are You Really Educated or Merely a Graduate? The Economic Terrorism: But No One is Terrified

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Parents & Family

Loneliness in a Crowd : The Pain of Old Age How Good should You be to Your Parents? The Corporate Monasticism and the Daddy-cated Fatherhood Yaa Bunayya! O My son! Concerned Fathers Do you Express Your Affection or Just Display Love? Crime Begins At Home: How We Spoil Our Own Children!
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Sex education or Sexy Education The Do It Yourself Kit to Spoil Kids: (S)expose them Hit Him Hard Man! The Cult of Violence Fast Bikes... Fast life... The Rage of Rash Riding Co-Education in Islamic Perspective Your Friends Reflect Your Personality Celebrity Struck: The Race to Fame and Shame Lewd Musicians and Singers: The Pied Pipers of Today
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Productivity and Wellbeing

Are You Investing Your Time or Merely Spending It

Growing up in a Grown up Manner Dont' Ignore Personal Hygiene Mirror Mirror on the Wall... The Obsession of Good Looks A Hungry world versus a Dieting World Mental Laziness: A Huge Block to Success Junk Reading! Junk Minds! Junk Characters! All That Glitter... A Greedy Civilization of Spendthrifts The Addiction to Spend More : The Hi-Fi Syndrome The High-Fi Syndrome: Are you suffering from it? Breeze before Storm: Dangers Ahead. The Epidemic of Fast Spending Why do we fail on the Financial Fronts? Are We Really Poor or Assuming to be Poor

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Media and Technology

Glamorization of Crime and Obscenity Lets March Into the Media When Nations Fall! Lessons from the History Say! Now Which Sword Overpowered You: The Rising Index of Islam
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Heroes of Islam
Destined to be Honored: My Noble Prophet (Peace be upon him)

Why is Abu Baqr 'as-Siddique'?


Islamic History
Glorious Pages from the History of Islam.


From Weakness to Strength via Sabr....

Sabr enjoys a top privilege in Islam. The Qur'an mentions it between 80-90 times in different styles. In Kitabul Ilm of Sahih Bukhari, Ibn Masood (r.a.)is quoted: As Sabru Nisful Emaan, while Yaqeen is complete emaan. Scholars explain this term as-Sabru nisful emaan that half of Islamic commandments are based on Sabr! If a believer observes patience then he can implement 50 percent of Shariah, and if he is impatient then he may fail to implement a large number of commandments. Scholars prayed a lot for sabr. In Surah Barkarah, verse 250, the translation says: Our Lord! Pour on us Sabr and make our feet firm (in the battle) and help us against those who reject the faith. How can you be firm without Sabr? In the battle you lose your men, your face may injury, you fear being killed, yet you continue being there because it is Sabr which makes you firm that is why the above dua has "Pour on us Sabr..." The magicians who accepted Islam after their magic was over powered by Moosa's Miracle requested Allah, Pour out on us Sabr. It was when the death was close upon them. Those who desire the help of Allah are also told in this verse and other verses of Surah Bakarah. Seek the help of Allah through Sabr and Salah. Sabr is a source of strength. It gives immense psychological strength too. Recall the situation when our Prophet (pbuh) and Abu Bakr (r.a.) were in the cave and the enemies were so close to them that they just had to look at their own toes and would spot the two men. Abu Bakr (r.a.) feared but Rasullulah (pbuh) assured him. What is your opinion about those two when the third is Allah? The verse number 40, of Surah Toubah was revealed commemorating the confidence of the Prophet (pbuh) in Allah and it was an immense display of Sabr. Thousands of years ago another Prophet (pbuh) was rewarded for sabr, who stood on the bank of the sea with no way to escape and his enemies within his sight.

It was here that Prophet Moosa (a.s.), when questioned by his men who were afraid, showed immense patience and rejected their fear saying KALLA! My Lord is with me and He will guide me. The word Kallah means "Impossible!" NOT POSSIBLE that my enemy will catch me. Then he said "My Lord is with me. Pharaoh had a huge well equipped army but Moosa had Allah. With whom is Allah? The Qur'an says multiple times. Allah is with those who show Patience. Moosa (a.s.) showed patience and Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) showed patience, so Allah justified their confidence in Him and helped them because He is with those who are patient. These days Muslim Nations are politically weak. In spite of being 55+ Countries, nobody cares to ask our views, our lives are cheap, our lands are easily accessible, and our rulers can be driven out overnight. The Qur'an testifies with the example of Bani Israel's victory that Sabr is one of the main qualities that turns an entire Nation from a weak society to a power packed community. That is what Moosa (a.s.) said to his people, Pray for help from Allah and bear with patience, for, the earth belongs to Allah to give a heritage to such of His servants as He pleases. Surah al-Ar'af ch 7, verse 128. The community was about to lose sabr when Moosa further said to them: It may be that your Lord will destroy your enemy and make you inheritors in the earth... says the 129th verse of the same Surah. The Bani Israel though they were rebellious and sinners yet they had people who showed extreme patience and that is why Allah appointed leaders among them giving them guidance till they persevered with Sabr and continued to have faith, says in Surah as-Sajdah chapter 32, verse 24. Allah gave them political leadership and religious leadership as well. Out of the 25 Prophets mentioned by name in the Qur'an, a large number of them were from Bani Israel. Prophets like Dawood and Suleman were Kings as well, peace be upon them. The Bani Israel turned into a super power of their time when Prophet Dawood routed the Palestinians and King Suleman was feared by many rulers of his times. Sabr is a quality that transforms not only an individual but an entire community into a strong Nation.

Modesty in Men... An Overlooked Characteristic

My ex-editor wrote a research story during the infamous Gujarat riots and he interviewed some Gujarati females of Ahmedabad and asked them, "Why do you dislike Muslims so much?" Among the many answers he noted down there was one which struck my attention. "Their men cover their women with burkha but have affairs with our girls! The impact of immodest media and liberal education system has taken a toll on the modesty of many Muslim young men. This has given rise to some very wrong attitudes in their minds towards the modest way of Islamic life and at times also brings a bad name to the community. I was interviewing a young man who was a graduate from an Islamic Madrasa. While reading his bio-data, I realised that he had scored excellently in in Deeniyat but it struck me that he did not have a beard except like a little carpet of harvested grass on a lawn. I asked him the reasons. Here is what he said: Look brother, I am doing postgraduation in a college and there are modern students, besides, my mother is looking for girls for me and if I keep a bit long beard, my proposals may be rejected by girls. So I think I will keep it after my marriage.' This may not be true with every graduate from Madrasa but this young man surely became a victim of this attitude. Many young men have this fear of being rejected by girls if they wear an Islamic attire of a fistful beard and an ankle length trouser. So they discard their modesty and try to befriend girls. For them good looking girls, who speak smart English and wear Western outfits even behind the veil and hijab, reject a practicing Muslim man. This is not always true. Some young Muslim males who are modest and do not mix with girls in the campus may be taken as backward or orthodox but modesty and hayaa are from Emaan says the sahih hadith of Bukhari. These boys do end up marrying a good practicing Muslimah. This reminds me of my recent Dubai tour when I visited few shops to purchase goods for my family. I spotted Muslim men who were in Islamic attire dealing with the female costumers in a very decent manner. They never looked up at their faces. That was a delightful thing to note. I wonder how delighted Allah would be upon seeing his young worshipers observing modesty! Some exemplary people in our early generation Muslims really displayed excellent modesty, they never feared that women would reject them. Allah gave 11 wives to his bearded Prophet (pbuh) whose modesty resembled a shy

newlywed bride. Uthman bin Affan (r.a.) was a modest and a shy man yet he got the privilege of marrying two daughters of the Prophet (pbuh). It was Umar bin Khattab's (r.a.) sense of gheerah and modesty that made him eagerly wait for the Qur'anic verse regarding the wives of the Prophet to be revealed. A Muslim man observes his modesty not only when it comes to the dress of his wife or daughter or sister but also in context with other peoples wives, sisters and daughters. That is what we call a Modest Islamic man.

The Day of Accounts, Qiyamah: The Driving Force behind being Honest and Ethical
Satyam is a so called huge company which showed a large number of employees and manipulated their accounts. These types of manipulation is common in many companies and also in those business where some partners are active and others are sleeping partners who just invest. Financial forgeries are the biggest crimes of our times which corrupt the masses in general. I remember a well-known cricketer of Pakistan who was accused of gambling and accepted bribe for letting his national team be defeated. The reason that came out was: I lost my precious savings in the BCCI liquidation and had no options but to accept bribe, the man said. Last decade saw a catastrophic economic crime when a share broker called Harshad Mehta caused a big tumble in the Mumbai share market. I remember very clearly how news about tea-stall owners and small time middle class people lost their precious wealth in the fall of share market index. A woman's story still haunts me. She was a lady from Gujarat and her husband had saved a huge amount for their daughter's marriage which was very close. The lady got carried away by the rising share market index wave and without informing her husband, she sold the entire jewellery and bought the share planning to sale it off a week before the wedding in order to profit more and faster. But Mehta was arrested and the Mumbai share market saw a never seen before plunge and many people including this lady lost their capital as well. Imagine how embarrassing situation for the woman! I dont know the rest of the story as to what happened afterwards. The question is what drives a person to be honest and ethical? What makes a person accountable? How can honesty and ethics be groomed in a person? Are there any syrups or tablets to pull down the index of greed of a person? There are two aspects of responsibilities; Accounts and Accountability. Accounts can be manipulated but accountability cannot be. It is directly connected with your heart and no open heart surgery can exploit it. This reminds me an incident in the life of Umar Khattab who was the famous righteous Khalif of Muslims. He once found that a camel from public property had escaped in the desert. So Umar searched in the afternoon of hot desert and when someone asked him, he replied, "It is a camel from the public property so I am searching for it." In another incident he found a poor widow's child crying for food. Umar went back quickly and carried a bag of food on

his back; his helper too went along with him and offered his help to carry the bag on his back. But Umar replied, "Will you carry the burden on the day of Judgement?" This is accountability. One day you have to stand before your creator and give all the accounts of what you did. The sahih hadith says: No one will be able to move from their place until they have given account of few things; one of them is: where did you earn from and where did you spend? The Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him) announced, "By Allah! Even if my own daughter Fatima steals, I will not hesitate to cut off her hands." This is honesty and honesty is protected through strict laws. Honesty and accountability are not imposed but established by the law. Strict law in the world and stricter after death. That is why Qiaymat is also called THE DAY OF ACCOUNTS... YAUM-E-HASHR.

Are You a Sagittarius or a Scorpio? Ah! So you Believe in Horoscopes!

Amongst the best sellers are the books that can be the best corrupters. For example: Linda Goodman's Love Signs. In my college days, almost every student discussed love signs. They chose friends on the basis of star signs. Proposals for affairs were carefully chosen on the basis of birth dates. Even today people are made to believe in a very gullible manner that people born with certain star signs will make good partners in love. I remember in the late eighties when Saddam invaded Kuwait, suddenly a book that became the best seller overnight. Nostradamus was not known by many, and then he became a household name amongst the book lovers. The publishers claimed that Nostradamus had written a book some 400 years back and had predicted what was going to happen in each century! Nobody cross checked the translations, but accepted it, because one of the so called prophesies matched with the appearance of Saddam Hussein. I saw many Muslims who were regular in worship also falling prey to the fraud book. The publisher really made a fortune out of the book, which perhaps was not predicted by Nostradamus himself. Today there are fortune tellers among Muslims too! They guarantee swiftness in success, blessings in your wealth, and increase in your children. They call you in the name of religion. They are companions of Shayateen. I would rather say that they are the PROs of Iblees. They bless you with the information of ghaib, news about a son or a good job. They give religious title to support or claim. How many of you have noticed that there are even certain newspapers run by Muslims (Urdu too) publishing forecasts for the readers? I declare this to be a massacre of faith when Muslims open up the page of a forecast to see what lies for them in future and believing it religiously not realizing that they are washing off their faith. If you believe in horoscopes then know this: in your horoscope, there is more horror and less scope. I say this because this is predicted in the hadith: Whoever believes in an astrologer has disbelieved in what Muhammad (pea ce be upon him) has brought, i.e. The Qur'an, declares the Sahih Hadith of Abu Dawood.

The other hadith of Sahih Muslim: Whoever approaches an astrologer or a palmist (or a Tarot reader, or a Fengshui or Linda Goodman, or Nostradamus or Vastu Shastra) and believes in what they say, he will have 40 days of Ibadah discredited from his accounts. Very simple!

Being Elite is not a Privilege

Two sections of the society are most promising if they are walk alright but equally dangerous if they get deviated and corrupted. One is the religious scholars and the other Elite class. Today we will study the corruption in Elite class. In Surah al Ar'af the stories of six prophets are mentioned in sequence. Each of them was confronted by their Elite class. 1. Take for example prophet Nuh (a.s.) Surah Al-Ar'af, verse 60: Wa qaaloo Mal'aoo, the leaders of his people said "Ah! We see you evidently wandering (in mind... 2. Wa qaaloo Mal'aoo, The leaders of the people of A'ad said: Ah! We see that you are an imbecile and we think you are a liar! 3. Wa qaaloo Mal'aoo, the leaders of the people of Thamud said: We reject what you believe in... The rest of the Surah goes ahead with different comments given by different elite class. The Arabic word is used Mala'oo which means elite class, the rich and the powerful. What happened to them is told in the next verses that follow. These are the people who existed during the times of every prophet. Barring a few of them, a large number of people were obstacles for the message of truth and they were arrogant and they lead their people to ruin. The Mala'oon of today means the choicest, the best, or most powerful of a group or a class. It can be elaborated as influential class of industrialists, politicians, sports stars, movie stars and rock stars. These people are the ones who initiate trends and the masses follow them. They are also rich class. The rich group called the Power Elite by American sociologist C. Wright Mills is a group of approximately 1% of the US population that controls over 40% of all assets in the United States. If we consider families, 68% of the wealth in the USA is controlled by only 10% of families. This elite class rules the political system, educational system, financial system and foreign policies of the US. Islamically, being elite is not a privilege but a responsibility. Look at the elite class of early Muslims. They were not above the law. An influential tribe came to intercede on the behalf of a woman who stole; they requested that the woman's hands be not cut

off. The Prophet (pbuh) announced: By Allah if my daughter Fatima steals I will not hesitate to chop off her hands. All the Caliphs lived a simple life style and people loved them and prayed for them. The elite Muslims were all from poor class and middle class but Allah granted them the authority over the whole of Arabia and they captured the thrones of Persian and Roman Empire. Today a huge chunk of Muslims community follow the corrupt elite class from movies, rock stars, sports stars and look up at them to be their guide and role model. On the other hand today no section of the Muslim community is under pressure as much as the elite Muslim, be he in any field. Their leaders are hanged, their wealth is scrutinised. In spite of being a group of 53 nations yet no one is interested in hearing their views! The UN never consults them in International matters their places of worships are being watched as hub of terror. Today if the Muslim realise the power and the responsibility of being elite and choose their role model accordingly surely it will not take time for the ummah to regain its lost glory.

From Beauty Full to Beauty Fooled... The Myth of Good looking

When grandfathers in half trousers with their shirts tucked in and sleeves rolled up, move on the beaches displaying the youth, which they have already lost, and grandmothers in sleeveless T-shirts and tight slacks roam around in the malls staring at the windows of fashion stores to look for the latest in the fashion world, then we come to the conclusion that the definition of beauty has changed and so has the perception of beauty. These days, everyone is trying to look good. So the gyms, the diet and health centers, articles and books on health, all are in good business. The other day, a grooming class for males in Mumbai announced that they were entering into their twenty-fifth year. Among the many lessons in the etiquette they teach, one thing that strikes me is "how to be decent with opposite sex." The love pundits know it very well that the best way to impress the opposite sex is to appear and behave decently. Do you think that Iblis could have forced Adam and Eve to eat the forbidden fruit (or what so ever it was)? Surah Ar'af informs us of Ibiss approach in the verse, 21: And he swore that he was their well-wisher... There are modern Iblises around us swearing through hundreds of advertisements in almost every TV channel and every page of Newspapers and magazines that they are the well-wishers of women folk. They are everywhere. They lurk towards the young girls even in pages of Facebook. Unfortunately some of them even appear as sheikhs and muftis in Da'wah and in fiqh, pretending to teach you one thing but wanting you to learn another. It is very amusing to note that even educated people are beauty fooled by the new standards of beauty. It seems that aging people don't want to grow older and young girls, as young as nine, are in a hurry to grow into young women. Comparing themselves with movie actresses and models they have a terrible complex of their looks and their weight. Considering the time spent in gazing at the mirror, if only mirrors were perishable items like shoes and dresses, getting ragged after using, all of them would crack in few weeks.

A little girl shared her experience of dieting on the net: I am afraid of putting on weight, so I stuck a picture of a fat lady on the door of my refrigerator to frighten myself every time I am tempted to open it for having ice cream or butter! People refuse to age, they dont want to look old, and so they seek refuge under the sharp knives of cosmetic surgeons and anti-aging creams to hide their wrinkles and grey hair. Women entering into their thirties are afraid of losing their jobs and their boyfriends to younger girls. A man's class is no more measured by the amount of his wealth. Instead it is measured by the number of female followers he has. Adultery and fornication is served like a tasty dish. Famous men appear in public with beautifooled girls proudly displayed like trophies. School children are also dragged into this pomp and show. Sexy education is jammed inside their minds in the pretext of sex education with the inclusion of 'how to use contraceptives' and 'ways of avoiding unwanted pregnancies'. The age of consent has replaced the age of marriage in many constitutions. People have been given liberty to enjoy with whomever they want, without taking any social or financial burden of females and families. "Fruits of Radical Liberation."

Looking like a Young or Living like a Young

The fear of aging is among the Worlds Top 20 Worst Phobias. The phobic include movie stars, rock singers, celebrities and other sections of the society. For a celebrity, there is no fear like the fear of looking old. A famous Bollywood star is now in his seventies but he cannot unglue himself from the limelight he had seen in his prime youth when the lights of media chased him, covers of magazines were beautified by his looks and actresses were dying to work with him. But now since the younger generation has taken over and every time he sees in his wrinkled face in the mirror he is depressed. At times he gets drunk and shuns himself from the world for two days, locking himself in his bedroom! An over whelming number of actors and actresses undergo the knife of the plastic surgeons to hide their age, because their youthful looks are their way to name, fame and wealth. Hollywood celebrities are probably the most mirror-obsessed, self-pampered people on the earth, and their personal assets are rigorously tended by certified-genius plastic surgeons, throngs of personal trainers, and kitchen staff, headed by famous French chefs consulting with Harvard-trained nutritionists. So the phenomenon may be no more than a skin-deep illusion. In its lists of centenarians by profession, Wikipedia names more than 50 actors, compared with 18 medical professionals, 9 philosophers and theologians, and 9 explorers. It describes how they continued working like youth even after crossing 70s. Our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) participated in war when he was reaching sixty. Abu Ayub Ansari (R.A.), the noted companion of the Prophet (pbuh), participated in the war against Constantinople when he was 80. Dr. Bilal Philips, in spite crossing his 60, looks like a young athlete. Hussein Yee has clean cut muscles like Jackie Chan as he too works out in the gym though is reaching 60. Ahmed Deedat worked out in gym with dumbbells at that age of 68! His best debates took place in his late fifties and early sixties, when he stormed like a hurricane uprooting and knocking out high-fi missionaries like Jimmy Swagger and others. My ex-Editor, Kanti Bhatt is 80 and he still reads a hundred pages of a book, and writes an editorial three times longer than what I write. And he is still the highest paid writer in the Gujarati media!

If you have a mission in your life then age should never be looked as an obstacle or excuse. None of the above mentioned people depended upon cosmetic surgery or cosmetics to hide their age but their performance outshone that of young people. Compare it with the fast growing junk food generation who get on the peak of their career in their teens and fade out before they reach thirty! Their short journey to fame and game gives them an early exit. Some fall to drugs, some chase girls and drown themselves in wine and the rest just dream of becoming like them. Once you are out of the womb of your mother, then nothing can stop you from aging, no matter how many cosmetics you apply. Your aging does not stop even if you stop counting your age. After all it is not important how long you live but how good you lived that matters most. Will the people bear witness that you were good, while walking along with your janazah? Will the angels of death welcome you by seeing your beauty?

Crises: The Outlook and The Outcome

One of the golden pages from the Islamic history, which builds our attitude in facing crises, reads: After the Prophet (pbuh) returned from the Battle of Khandaq, one of the hardest battles, that pitted the Muslims before a huge collection of the enemies, he removed his battle armor to rest, and Angel Jibraeel appeared and said, O Prophet of Allah! I have not yet removed my armor and you removed it so early! We have to move towards Banu Quraiza. Establishing Islam means attending one crisis after another, without getting exhausted. Crises can be a test. Hardships and crises in personal life and collective life make a believer firm and stronger. Among the best outcomes of crises, is that he emerges out with more taqwa and tawakkul, because he has experienced the help of Allah in solving it. Remember: The help of Allah is near and many a times it comes when you see no options yet cling to the only option that is Allah, with patience and preference. Study the case of Moosa (a.s.), when he was chased by the mighty Pharaoh and his entire army, he stood at the bank of the river facing the fast flowing water and no boats to sail them across and no arms to fight back the enemies. At that time even his own people blamed him, "Moosa, we are trapped," as the Qur'an quotes them. What did Moosa (a.s) say? Read in Surah Qasas, Surah Ar'af, and Surah Taha. The Noble Prophet (pbuh) did not say "Hey wait! I have this miraculous stick with me and I will whiz it on the water or at the enemy." Rather he replied, "Allah is with me." It was only after Allah said, "Moosa hit the water with your stick." Moosa (a.s.) looked at the option, till then it was only a stick. Today, for many of us, our bank balances, our influential contacts in the government offices and our relatives are our first options before we turn to Allah. Infact they are the weakest option if approached without approaching Allah. The Sahih Hadith reminds us: "Turn to Allah's help even if the sole of your shoe is torn." Such small issues but refer to Allah! Why? Just to program our minds to refer to Allah regularly and not only during big emergencies. For many of us Allah is the last option, but if you refer to the above two cases Allah is the only option, without His command even the sources cannot cause a benefit to you. Faith happens to be the first casualty of crises when faced by many Muslims. They rush everywhere, from graves of dead saints to taweez (Tameema) sellers, they lose patience and many even give up their regular prayers. If you study Surah Yusuf, when the brothers of Yusuf (a.s.) felt sorry about their acts, what did their father Yaqub say? Do not despair the mercy of Allah, indeed it is kufr to despair the mercy of Allah.

The most important outcome of crises is our attitude towards it. Even in wars, all the warriors may not be able to come out successful like James Bonds and Rambo just because we are in an age of movies TV serials; we have begun to wish that melodramas are always the best end of crises. Musaib bin Umair (r.a.) was among the best dressed young man of Makkah, but he had to leave all the luxury when he parted from his pagan mother. He died in Uhud and his shroud was too short to cover him completely. Study the tragedy of Uthman (r.a). The man who once sponsored the entire Muslim army, had to face a rebellion, he did not get to drink water from the very same well he had donated for the welfare of the community. Will you call these two men as unsuccessful? NO. The outcome of crises can also be Jannah which is the best outcome, Radi Allahu anhum wa radhoo anho, Allah be pleased with them and they are pleased with Allah, Dhalikal fauzuool Azeem, that is the supreme success, Surah Maidah chapter 5, verse, 119.

Don't Kill This Sunnah

Last year a man, dressed in almost rags, was talking to me about the injustice done to him by his brothers in law. He was referring to the distribution of inheritance and said that his brothers in law had refused to share their father's wealth with his wife. He wanted to know what the Qur'an says about the inheritance. After going through the verses that rightly went in his favor, he got up in despair and threw his hands up and left saying, Alas! This sunnah is dead. I watched him walking down the lobby with painful steps. A few years back, an interesting case came up on the table of Mumbai High Court where a Muslim refused to share his father's wealth with his sister. His claim was, My father had already spent money on her wedding, so she has got her share, now everything else belongs to me. The wise jury asked both the parties to get their testimonies and proofs. The brother got a fatwa (I will not disclose which sect gave the fatwa, but you can guess), where the mufti had ruled in his favor. The sister got a fatwa from Madrasa Rahmanya, Ahlul Hadith Kandilvli, Mumbai, and the Mufti stated that since the expenditure of marriage was done in his life time by the father, hence it does not deprive the sister from inheriting her share. The jury gave its verdict in favor of the sister. Many of us display our generosity when it comes to little expenditures but our hearts shrink when it comes to share our houses, shops, lands and other immovable properties, with the rightful heirs. At times it also happens that elder brothers of a joint family refuse or delay the share stating that their younger brothers will blow away their father's wealth. Some come out with excuse that since they are the eldest one, it was their hard work that earned the wealth and the father had no contribution in it. This reminds me two threatening hadiths. The Prophet (pbuh) said, If I give a ruling in favor of a person who argues smartly but is on wrong side, then he is tying a rope of fire around his own neck. On other occasion he said, Whoever snatches away a piece of land (property) unjustly, he will drag the piece of the said property in the court of Allah on the day of Qiyamah, with the land up to seven earth tied on his neck. Take this into consideration: A man is already 45-50 by the time his father dies and he inherits the property. Little does he realize that he has only 12-15 years to live more and yet he clings to the wealth. Surah Takathur begins with the plight of such people who chase wealth and suddenly reach their graves. Here it is: The Mutual rivalry for piling up diverts you, until you reach the grave, Surah Takathur, chapter 102 verse 1-2.

Then why do many of us still refuse to share? The answer is also found in the Qur'an Surah Taghabun Chapter 64, verse 14-15. Indeed among your wives and your children are your enemies (A test for you); so it warns that it is the love and concern for wives and children that man fails in the test of wealth, and the next verse confirms it that it is the children and wealth that is a test for you. Don't fail in this test.

Etiquette of Generosity: The Islamic Way to Preserve Your Charity

Among the earliest injunctions from Allah besides abstaining from shirk, was to be generous. The Quran encouraged in a very motivating manner to spending in the way of Allah. Many people think that they are next to Hatim Tai when it comes to being charitable and feel that they own a monopoly in giving out to poor. It reflects in their attitude and in their expectations from the beneficiaries. Let me remind you a few of the noble etiquette that the Quran wants us to fulfil in order that it qualifies of being accepted by Allah and deserve a reward. Recall the verses form the Quran Surah Baqarah, chapter 2 verse no. 261-274 and check-up the following points. Hope for a multiple reward from Allah when you spend and acknowledge that Allah cares for all and knows everything. Expenditure should be in the way of Allah and not in the way of your ego or your status. There should be no reminders of generosity, neither to the people nor to the beneficiaries. There should be no injury of any sort upon the beneficiaries In order to protect your charity from being nullified, the weakness of the beneficiaries should be tolerated and responded by kind words and forgiveness otherwise your charity will be counted as a show off Charity should be to please Allah and for benefit our own souls Charity should be given from Tayyab i.e. good things halal and good quality. Avoid donating clothes which are torn off, something that you yourself would not prefer to take it if given Dont be afraid in giving but be generous because shaytan frighten your from poverty and instructs you to commit shameless things If you are inspired to give charity then know that it is a hikmah i.e. wisdom from Allah You can disclose your charity if you want to encourage others to be generous You may keep it secret Give charity with a hope that it will be a kaffara expiation for some of your sins Being charitable is a quality gifted by Allah and hope that you will get back more for what you have spent in Allahs way

Give to those who are ashamed to ask or beg before people and they appear to be rich, because of their modesty Spend at night as well as day because emergency can arrive at any time of day so dont delay your charity if the opportunity arrives at night too.

The Example of a Donkey... Those Who Dont Give Due Rights to Their Holy Book
The biggest change that the Qur'an can bring in our lives is that it can make us a giant of a personality, but not unless we give the Qur'an its rights. How many students or reciters of Qur'an amongst us really ask our teachers about the rights of the Qur'an? Let us study some of the very important rights of the Qur'an upon us. It should be recited properly and regularly. Some people are very careless regarding their makhraj of Arabic alphabets themselves. Makhraj in English is understood as enunciation and not pronunciation. How you utter each word can at times make the big difference in the meaning too. I have seen Muslim youth working hard on their English accents and learning Urdu poetry for impressing people in gatherings and making lucrative careers. They attend special courses and pay thousands of rupees to learn those accents, but when it comes to the Qur'an they say, Allah will reward us as per our niyah (Intentions). Just compare the two niyah! It should be Understood Properly: The Qur'an does not give permission to understand its teaching on your own. Consider this: The Prophet (pbuh) was unlettered, an Ummi, and many of his students, the companions, were scholars of Arabic language, yet they went to understand the meaning of the Quranic verses from the Prophet, rather than deriving their own meanings. After all the Qur'an is a book of Laws and Constitution. An excellent example is given by Ibn Kathir in the reference of Surah al An'am chapter 6 verse 82, it is those who believe and confuse not their beliefs with zulm- they are in security, they are on right guidance. Some of the companions of the Prophet (pbuh) went to him and were worried because they felt that each one of them did some thing or wrong or zulm with others sometimes or somewhere. So were they on guidance? The Prophet explained them with the other Qur'anic verse, Surah Luqman chapter 31 verse 13, Indeed Shirk is the highest form of wrong doing (zulm). That is the reason why Hadith is important in understanding the Qur'an. Those who reject the status of hadith may note this. Abdullah ibn Masood (r.a.) was ever ready to travel hundreds of miles to know the context of even one verse. On the other hand, today we have Ibn Kathir online and other tafaseers too yet how many of the internet users really study Ibn Kathir. In my book shop, once I had a young visitor who argued with me about the price of ibn Kathir. I explained him the reasons but he was not ready to agree. Finally I asked him

how much did he pay for his cell phone and the amount came to be three times more than Ibn Kathir! 'Wonderful!' I exclaimed. It should be obeyed: It is not only that how many times you recite the complete Qur'an in Ramadan but it is equally important that how much of the Qur'an you implement in your life. Those to whom the Book is given, they recite it the way it has the right to be recited, al-Baqarah 121. An important verse in Surah Jumuah notes: The example of those who were given the book (Torah) but failed (in obeying), is that of a donkey which carries huge tomes (but understands not). Are we not donkeys? No book in the world has so much detailed of explanations the way the Qur'an has. Every century has seen scores of commentaries of Qur'an by noted scholars, yet when it comes to obeying the Qur'an most of us are like that donkey mentioned in Surah Jumuah, chapter 62 verse 5. I pray to Allah that we dont turn into a community of donkeys. It should be spread. Haza Balagul linnaas This is a message for the entire mankind... ends Surah Ibrahim with this note. It is the duty of every Muslim to spread the fragrance of Qur'an, not just by gifting free copies of the Qur'an Translations to Non-Muslim friends, but by showing them Qur'an in our dealings with people in our personal lives or professional lives.

Sinners and Repenters: Hopes and Assurance from Allah

Note these two hadith: All sons of Adam (r.a.) sin but the best sinner is the one who repents, if you didnt sin then Allah will produce new people who will sin and repent. None of the two hadith issues any open licence to commit sins, rather it gives a hope of pardon from Allah. The difference between the sins of Adam (r.a.) and Iblees was their respective responses after being told that they were wrong. Adam (r.a.) repented but Iblees remained adamant, which ruined him. Many of us want to repent but dont know how to do sincere repentance, some of us do ritual repentance by just chanting Astagfirullah day and night without worrying if their repentance is accepted or not. Some of us appoint middlemen to get our sins pardoned without recalling that one of the attribute of Allah is al Gafoor which means one who forgives repeatedly. Let us revise some important lessons in repentance and make our repentance a real repentance. Do not despair the Mercy of Allah: Prophet Yaqoob (pbuh) told his sons not to despair Allah's mercy in spite of knowing the grievousness of their sin that they tried to kill a Prophet of Allah i.e. Yusuf and separated the father son Yaqub and Yusuf for many years, peace be upon both. Do not delay your repentance: Surah al-Imran gives some easy steps to forgiveness, in verse 133-135. 1. Do not Delay your repentance: Sare'oona ila maghfiranmin Rabbikum Hurry to seek forgiveness from your Lord. This verse is supported by the 21st verse of Surah al-Hadeed insisting that just hurrying is not enough; rather one should be foremost in repenting. Sabiqoo ila maghfiratin min Rabbikum... Be foremost in getting forgiveness from your Lord. Many people plan to seek forgiveness only when they go for Hajj or Umrah or delay till they grow old. The above verses dont agree with them. 2. Do charity act as expiation for sins, and spending on the needy is one such investment (rather than expenditure). Verse no.133 furthers suggests that we spend in the way of Allah during prosperity as well as adversity.

Normally people delay charity during both the situations giving reasons like: these days I am running short of money so I will spend later when I get my increase in income; and in prosperity: I have to buy a car and a new apartment .Thus spending in both the conditions saves us from being greedy as well as miser. The same act is detailed in the 104th verse of Surah at-Toubah: And know that Allah accepts the repentance from His worshippers and charity too and He is indeed Forgiver and Most Merciful. If you want forgiveness then forgive other people too! The above mentioned verse further goes: They control their anger and forgive people. It sounds little difficult to implement. Controlling anger and pain caused by others requires an immense amount of Sabr as Allah says in sura al-Baqarah: Indeed it is a big thing except upon those who fear Allah. A companion of the Prophet (pbuh) was given glad tidings of Paradise just because every night he slept after cleaning his heart of ill feelings he had towards others or hardships or pain caused by others. He did not wait for others to come and say SORRY to him. Rather he initiated forgiveness. Controlling your anger when you are in a position of punishing someone is a great pardon and makes us qualify to get a pardon from the Most Forgiver and Most Merciful. In fact, in Surah Noor, chapter 24, verse no.22, Allah mentions forgiving others as one of the opportunities for receiving a pardon from Him: Let them forgive and overlook. Do you not wish that Allah should forgive you? The context is worth knowing. This verse was revealed to correct abu Bakr as-Siddique (r.a.) who did not give his poor cousin the charity that he gave him regularly just because the later was involved in spreading rumour about Aisha the wife of the Prophet (pbuh). Even an injury of this magnitude should be overlooked if you want to be a candidate of Allah's Mercy. 3. Remembering Allah and not to be obstinate in repeating sins says the last part of the verse. That is as simple as the verse itself. It builds a hateful attitude towards sin. Surah Nisaa's verse 110 elaborates it: And whoever commits a sin or an atrocity upon him and returns to Allah, he will find Allah Oft Forgiving and Most Merciful. Justifying this condition, Surah al Ar'af says: do not commit mischief on the earth after it is corrected. 4. Pray for the Forgiveness of others too. Surah al_Hashr verse 10: And those who came after them say: Our Lord forgive us and our brothers who came before us into the faith and leave not in our hearts (sense of injury) against those who believe.

5. Have you noted how the angels pray for the forgiveness of the believers? Refer Surah Ghafir ch 40, verse 7: And those Angles who carry the burden of the Arsh: 1. They Glorify Allah. 2. They praise their Lord. 3. They believe in Him. 4. (Then) they pray for the believers to be pardoned. 6. Finally, Last but not least, do Toubatun Nasooha, a sincere repentance, an intense repentance.

Fruits of Being Thankful to ALLAH

There are many stories in the Qur'an and the Hadith which we hear and pass by like tales as Islamic entertainments but most of us do not study the motivating morals behind them. They can really change our lives if properly studied and implemented the lessons from them. Let me share two of them. There was a man who had a large orchard which gave a lot of fruits in every season. The man divided the fruits into three parts one third he kept for his family's sustenance the second third for future investments and the last one third he gave away to the poor and it was a huge amount that he shared with the poor and the needy. The man showed gratefulness to Allah by sharing His blessings with the poor. Such was his generosity that the poor in his locality used to wait for his harvest eagerly every time his trees gave fruits. He had four sons according to Sahih Hadith, all of them were unhappy with their father's charity oriented division of fruits and they thought that their father was being too extreme in charity. Few years later the man died leaving behind the vast orchard with ready to yield fruits about to be harvested. So the brothers met one night and decided. Let us go to the farm in the darkness of the night and pluck all the fruits and not give to the poor since our father has already been giving them a lot since many years. So as the Qur'an says in Surah Qalam chapter 68: they walked slowly towards their garden so that the neighbouring poor may not even hear their footsteps. But when they reached the orchard they found it burnt and destroyed. So they thought they were in a different place by mistake but one of them reminded them that they were in the right place indeed and the farm was destroyed by Allah last night. The reason? "Lawlaa Tusabbehoon" They didnt to do the tasbeeh of Allah! The Quran says further that they accepted their mistake and repented with a supplication that Allah will give us in exchange a better garden than this for we turn to Him in repentance. Motivating and Inspiring Morals in the story?

1. Tasbeeh does not only mean to chant Allah's name but also be charitable and generous towards others. 2. If you are ungrateful towards the Blessings of Allah, than Allah may snatch away His Blessings that he has given to you. 3. Being grateful to Allah for His blessings also include sharing His blessings with others. 4. If you have shown ungratefulness yet repenting will undo your evil inshallah. In Musnad e Ahmed, another story of this sort is mentioned by Anas bin Malik (r.a.): Once we were sitting in the company of the Prophet (pbuh) and a beggar came asking for alms. The Prophet (pbuh) had only a piece of date. So he asked a person to go and give that date to the beggar. The beggar, on receiving only one date, got irritated and returned the date and walked away saying, I had heard that his messenger of Allah is very generous. Now I come to know how generous he is, he is offering me only one date which even I can offer him. A few minutes later another man came begging, the Prophet (pbuh) offered the same date to the next beggar. This man tossed up the date happily and kept on saying, Subhanallah, a date from the house of the Prophet! SubhanAllah a date from the house of the Prophet, and he moved happily thanking Allah aloud. The Prophet (pbuh) smiled and asked Anas bin Malik to go to Umme Salam's house and get those 40 Dirhams she had, and he gave it to the beggar. The same 'date' but two different attitudes and two different responses and two different results. Moral of the Story? If you thank Allah you get more. This is precisely what Allah offers in Surah Ibrahim verse 7: And if you be grateful then I will give you more. Now to motivate you, Umar bin Abdul Azeez said: O People grab firmly the blessings of Allah by thanking Him and it will be with you for ever. Do you have a list of blessings from Allah? Though we cannot enlist all His blessings even if we try to but at least some of them can be counted. Look into it and see how many blessings you have thanked Him for...

Great Qualities of Believers... Try to Achieve Them

As-Sabireen, was-Sadiqeen, wal Qaniteen, wal Munfikeen, wal Mustagfireen bil Ashar. These are the five terms used in the 17th verse of Surah Imran. They are the attributes which every Muslim must strive and pray to achieve. Let me explain them briefly. As Sabireen is one who bears patience and Allah says innaha kabiratton illa alal khashieen. Indeed it is a big thing except upon those who fear Allah. Sabr is seen in different places. The most popular is during a crisis. Yet the Prophet (pbuh) said: Indeed Sabr is at the first stroke of Calamity. Most of us lose patience at the first stroke and we rush to our sources, contact before we present our case to Allah. For most of us Allah is the last option, rather He should have been our first and the only option. The other little popular and practised sabr is when you are tempted to commit a sin but you avoid it for the cause of Allah. Umar bin Khattab (r.a.) called this sabr as Sabrul Jamiloon; A Beautiful Patience. As-Sadiqeen are those people who are considered to be the most courageous. The real courage is to speak truth and it is a display of the fact that the person is afraid of Allah and not others as the Qur'an give the witness: O you who have believed! Fear Allah and speak a word directed to the truth. Surah al Ah'zab, chapter 33. Qaniteen means a regular worshipper. For most of us, Salah is the first casualty during a crisis or in the case of luxury. Even Sabr is essential in being a Qaniteen. Sabr in Ebadaah means being regular in worshipping Allah under all the circumstances. Ali (r.a). used to recite the last three Surah i.e the three qools even during the most severe time of his life, i.e. the battle of Siffin. The Prophet (pbuh) never missed the two sunnah of fajr even during the Ghazwa, i.e. the battles in which he participated. Aisha Sidduiqah (r.a.) reported from the Messenger of Allah that Allah loves an act which is done regularly even if it is a small one. Munfikeen are those who spend in the way of Allah whether in prosperity or adversity. During prosperity many people procrastinate or delay good expenditure in the way of Allah. It is during richness that many of us put our luxuries ahead of other people's need. This leads to a type of miserliness or greed. Adversity threatens men from spending on good cause showing a picture of extreme poverty. These two conditions are the real test of a man's generosity.

Mustagfireen Bil as'har; one who repents during the last part of the night. In the darkness he or she discards his warm blanket and washes his face and performs wudhoo and prays tahajjud and repents. This was a regular habit or sunnah of the Prophets of Allah and men around them.

The Best Anti Depressant: Innalillahi wa inna ilaihi Rajeoon...

Kerala a prosperous south Indian state boasts of being the only Indian state with 100 percent of literacy and many Educational Institutions as compared to other Indian states. Japan is the most industrialized nation in the world with its unmatched Suzuki, Sony, Nokia, and Panasonic. Bangalore is the cyber city of India which hosts a large number of Multi-National Companies in its boundaries. Yet all these three places have one thing in Common. They lead the world in suicide statistics. And suicides come from affluent class. They also include the frustrated students who fail to get up to the mark. Whenever the results of Matriculation and Secondary schools are out, news of students committing suicides pour in. Quite surprisingly, these are not the failures in exams but those who are not able to get into medical and engineering are killing themselves. The success of a student is restricted to the grades he gets! 'Career Worship' is being cultivated as new form of God worship by many parents and institutions. With the rate race towards a prosperous job intensified, the expectations of the parents from children also get hyper. I was stunned to see the improvement in achieving percentages in this year's Mumbai results, one in HSC and the other in SSC got 100 out of 100 in Math! The Times of India says that there is a climb in the number of students getting 90 percent and above! A professor in Bhavans College Mumbai once took the introductory lecture of the students of BSc first year. He announced, I believe that this is the most frustrated batch in the entire college! Raise your hands those who don't agree with me. Everybody agreed. That batch was of those students who worked extremely hard from ninth standard and sacrificed all the social activities and confined themselves to their books, coaching classes and buried themselves beneath the piles of books and guides. Yet they did not manage to get admission in medicine and engineering. Every Indian college of science has this batch. No one is exempted. So with this, the parameter of failure has drastically gone up. If you cannot secure an admission in Medicine or IT in spite of getting 80%, then you are a failure! Let me take an analytical stock of the situation from Islamic perspective so that those who have missed the bus may not sink into depressions. Islamically, failure in this word is not the end of the road to success. Note the most encouraging words of Qur'an, the last verse of Surah Imran: Ya aayyuhal lazina aamano fas beroo was saberoo, Oh you who have believed! Be patient and remain patient. In other

translation: O you have believed, preserver and endure and remained station and fear Allah that you may be successful If you analyze the early setbacks or hardships of Muslims you will discover that many failures are the early signs of success. For those who feel that success should be fast and immediate then consider this: In first thirteen years of early Islam, only a handful of people became Muslims, in the next decade almost the whole of Arabia submitted to Islam, and the next decade saw empires like Rome, Persia and Egypt losing out to Islam. Many students have formulated a wrong version of success in their minds. They relate it with their grades. If success is directly proportionate with your achievements then what about those prophets who did not have followers except a handful! Would you call them failures? Many companions of the Prophet (pbuh) were killed or remained poor while other perished in the hot sands of desert and a few even lived to be victims of various trials and tribulation, yet they were entitled to get a merit card from Allah. Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Allah. This is the supreme success, says the second last verse of Surah M-aidah. Islam de attaches you from materialism. It teaches you how to handle failures and deal with it and let not failure cause you a loss in your morale, in your motivation and in your attitude towards your life. And it is very simple. SABR, PATIENCE. If you lose something, a relative to death, wealth in business loss or a chance to build a career which you were dreaming of for years, you only have to say, + The same verse is the best 'anti-depressant assurance' from Allah, those are the ones upon whom are the blessings from their Lord and they are the rightly guided, Surah Baqarah ch 2 verse 156-157. Among the hastiest decision, which also proves harmful emotionally and socially , is divorce. People rush for divorces like any thing. Why many people find themselves incompatible for their spouses but they get along well even with their aggressive boss, disobedient children, stubborn customers and irritating neighbors ? It may seem to many people that spouses can be replaced easily but bosses cant be. Children can be disobedient but spouses should never be. Customers can be stubborn but they follow it up by a profit in deal, spouses don't. You can shut your doors for neighbors but not for your spouse. You can sell your house but cant sell your spouse. So, many people are in a haste to replace them. Spouses err. They fall short in expectations. Their shortcomings strike brighter than their good qualities. These are common features everywhere. If you look at your spouse's errors and shortcomings through microscope then it will give you a magnified image. This is how Shaytan works. Haste is a weapon used frequently by

Shaytan to instigate a man to do wrong and destroy his Akhera. It is haste that leads many warring couple to separation. If haste is a weapon of shaytan, then it is also a test for man. Note these three Qur'anic verses that reflects human pyschology : 1. Man was created weak 'Khuliqal Insaana Dhaeefa' ..Surah Nisaa verse 28. 2. The prayer that man should make for good, he makes for evil, for man is given to Haste ... Surah Al Isra ch 17 , verse 11. 3. Innal Insaana Khuliqa halooa.. Indeed man was created very impatient..Surah Ma'arij chapter 70 , verse 19.

The Impact of Islamic Environment

I have this friend of mine whose daughter is only 7 years old but whenever someone rings the doorbell, the young girl quickly rushes in the bedroom to wear a head scarf. This is the impact of Islamic Environment at home. Another friend of mine has a huge drawing room furnishing not only sofas and a large dining table but also large show case filled with Islamic books rarely read. Books are not meant to be kept just like furniture and status symbols for people to see. No wonder this friend of mine, in spite of having Islamic books could not manage to cultivate an Islamic environment. It was an introduction of Islamic environment for the war captives of Badr that caused many of them accept Islam, while some of them were tied up to the poles of Masjid-e-Nabwi just observing the royal Islamic brotherhood and experiencing extra ordinary warm hospitality from the Muslims, for whom they had come to kill all the way from Makkah. In my school days, I had a Non-Muslim friend who was also my neighbor. He used to visit us during Ramadan, and got a chance to see Islam in our Iftar, Eid, mutual dealings. It took him just few months to become a Muslim and he is a practicing Muslim till today. When he became a Muslim, he was in Yemen as a helper in one of the companies. He recited the shahadah in the Masjid after the Jumuah prayers and experienced a warm hospitality by the localites. People flocked to greet him, welcome him; someone handed over a hundred dollar bill quietly and went away without being noticed. His words, This welcome left a deep mark of Islamic brotherhood in my heart never to be rubbed off. Two decades back, the Mumbai airport was not a very safe place to catch a taxi as stories of passengers being robbed at a knife point or charged higher rates than normal rates were common complains. It was during those days that once I was at the airport to receive my editor and it was midnight when he walked out along with his family. My editor looked for a taxi but did not settle for any till he came across a Muslim taxi driver with a beard and a cap on his head. He quickly rushed to the taxi and hired it. On the way he pressed my hands affectionately and said, The Muslim taxi drivers with beards are the only fellows who can be trusted at midnight if you are with your family. They are religiously honest and safe. They are religiously honest and safe! These words still echo in my mind, a certificate of merit awarded by a customer who had met the taxi driver for the first time yet he was aware of his honesty before he walked out of the airport. When I visited Surat for a lecture tour, I was shown to a petrol pump that belonged to a Muslim who was famous for selling petrol without adulterating it. People queue up and do not mind

waiting, said my host. This was a mass approval of an honest Muslim merchant who was identified by his religious values. When was the last time that you or I were a part of an Islamic environment that promoted Islam through our dealings or are we merely like that book shelf with books for show but no one to use? Fortunately, Islam is not only talking big about Islam but a display of affection and security towards your fellow humans which reflects your noble religion in your dealings with the people. Only then you have submitted to Allah.

What is your Gheerah Index? Do you really Posses Gheerah?

Gheerah is a noble asset. If any one possesses it then Allah has gifted him a noble trait. Look how our Prophet, peace be upon him, responded to Umar bin Khattab's (r.a.) gheerah. In his dream he was taken to a tour of Jannat. It was a huge white Palace. So beautiful that he thought it must be for him. But he was told that it was to be awarded to Umar Bin Al Khattab (r.a.). The Prophet decided to enter and have a look into it. But the moment he saw Umar's hoor was performing ablution he stepped out. He recalled the gheerah of Umar (r.a.). Look at our gheerah. Our women, our girls jump on any wall of namahram and click 'like' and interact with them and search from them a spouse on their own, fall in and out of love, share personal information and chat at midnight hours, and yet we dont feel bad. Rather, millions of fathers don't even come to know that their daughters who pray five times a day have multiple affairs on the internet. She chases good looking young men who sprout beards and update their status with a Qur'anic ayah or a borrowed quotation after every hour. For her, talking about deen to Namahram is not a fitnah. A sahih hadith says.. A dayyus will not even smell the fragrance of paradise "Who is a dayyus? The higher category includes people who earn money by allowing their women to do prostitution. The lower category includes people who dont mind their women, daughters, sisters talking, chatting, dreaming, befriending non-mahrams. Asma bint abu Bakr's husband was Zubair bin Awwam. He was also a man of gheerah. A man who was counted among those ten Ashhar al mubashhara. The ten who got glad tidings of Jannah. His wife respected his gheerah and honoured it. Once she was walking on a hot sunny day, carrying a load of wood. The beloved Prophet, peace be upon him, was passing by on his camel and saw the lady labouring in hot sun. He offered his camel to carry her to her house. The noble lady who honoured her husband's gheerah refused. She recalled her husband's gheerah and preferred to walk in the hot sun carrying the load. Many of our girls are harbouring sweet desires of being proposed by a young man and keep on visiting the profiles of young men. Do they not realise the gheerah of their future husband who would marry them thinking that they are noble girls? Isn't it a deception? That too in the name of deen, girls and boys interact with each other!

The Bani Israel's fitnah was women. It lead them to destruction and threw them down from the sight of Allah. Look at the Bible and note how the scribes have treated women. Multiple rapes, incests everything is there in the religious book! This reflects their mentality. Even today the most vulgar and obscene films were introduced in Hollywood by the Bani Israels. They have corrupted the west. Now it is the turn of Muslims to be tested. One cannot drag a Muslimah out of her hijab. So the approach is new. FACE BOOK. Be friend with boys and learn deen from them. Get impressed by his picture in beard. Follow his notes and shares. Be happy if he tags you. Ask him a question on deen. Get replies and then find out if he is married or not and what type of girl is he looking for. This is how fitnah initiates. Nothing offers you seclusion like the silent lanes of cyber world. Sisters! Shouldn't you be worried about your modesty when a young man tags you to his Islamic note? Why is he tagging you and not your wrinkled skinned and grey haired aunty? Does such question ever arise in your mind? If not, then you are a target in a game and the result is sure.. You will loose.

Why don't you keep a beard ?

A young man once told me that his mother insists that he should shave of his newly kept beard and continue it after marriage. The reason: Many good looking educated girls don't prefer a bearded guy. I did not agree with him and I am sure most of my sisters who are my readers will also not agree. Normally when ever I come across such reservations or hesitation I approach with a question. "Is it a reason or an excuse for not keeping a beard?" The answer is obvious: Of course it is a reason or rather compulsion. Well I have my own arguments for such exaggarated compulsions. Read them and use them to revive a sunnah. Our beloved Prophet had more than 10 wives, and they included the best and the most noble women of that era. The Prophet, peace be upon him had a beard. If Allah can give him 10+ wives will he deprive you of at least one wife just because you are obeying his messenger? King Solomon (Suleman a.s. ) had hundreds wives and he was a Prophet with a beard. Moses, peace be upon him had a beard and he was chosen by Shuaib as a groom for his noble daughter. All the companions of the Prophet, peace be upon him, had beard and in spite of this many had multiple wives. Keeping a beard is a sunnah of all the prophets and their companions. It drives away your inferiority complex and injects in you a confidence that you are acceptable even with your religious uniform. It is a sunnah that you are performing for all 24 hours a day, every minute, every second. Even when you are asleep you are observing a sunnah through a beard. We are so particular about other sunnah which do not last for much time (though every sunnah is precious and important) but we ignore this 24 x 7 sunnah. How much reward are we missing if we dont grow a beard? A person can look good even if he keeps a beard. A person's goodness shines more through is behaviour and dealing with people and not merely by his looks. Imagine the scenario: 700 millions of Muslim growing beard and are seen in the streets, in malls, in colleges, in trains buses.... What an Impact of the community! Right? So grown your beard from today... and let me know..


Delayed Marriages: Bitter Fruits Plucked from the Western Orchards

A marriage delayed is Peace, Affection and Mercy denied. The evidence is in the Verse 31, of Surah Rum: And among his signs is that He created mates for you from you, and in them you find solace, and He made affection and mercy between you. In this are signs for people who are intelligent. How many marriages do you manage to arrange every year? I had asked this question to a matrimonial center a few years back. We have over 500 bio-data, but manage to get only 12- 15 people get married. I thought that his organization was inefficient in fixing marriages, so I cross checked it with a few other centers but the statistics seemed parallel. Its a truth that the Muslims have started delaying the marriages of young men and women without realizing the harm that it is causing to the community and their Deen. If someone wants to gauge the results of delayed marriages then let him study the scattered family life of the West. The marriages there face stiff competition from legalized homosexuality, live-in relations and open affairs celebrated in the media and social circles. An average Muslim youth may not go into these sins due to the social bonds that they are protected with, but there are dangerous secret sinful options due to the suppression of sexual desires lurking at them. If sexual urge is not addressed at the right age and the right way, then there are ways which offer shameless refuge to the youth. This has given rise to porn watching, fantasy sex, masturbation, visiting prostitutes and other secret acts that damage the mental health of a large number of youth. Islam has protected modesty through halal options. The right age of marriage in the Islamic law is the age of puberty, but in a Non-Muslim country like India, the law permits you to get married at the age of 21 if you are a boy and 18 if you are a girl. Why prevent the young people from getting married by frightening them with questions like how will you focus on your career? or how will you feed yourself and your family? and are you standing on your feet?

The Non-Muslim Gujarati Community gets their boys married by the time they are twenty two, and by the time these young men finish their graduation they are also ready to take up the reins of their fathers business or a job. Meanwhile, their father is still young, around 50, who then joins a charitable organization and gives time to community services. There are no less than hundred such centers superbly run by the Gujarati communitys middle aged men who have time. On the other hand, our middle aged men are still busy in looking for extra income to meet the college fees for their children and medical expenditures of their aged parents. Reasons are common for delayed marriages in the society: Boys dont look beyond Education: Boys want to complete their studies and feel that their spouses would disturb them. Ah! There are so many industrialists, entrepreneurs and sportsmen who not only have wives and children but also multiple companies, and events to focus on. Many of them even find time to go around with girlfriends, yet they flourish. So how can your wife be an obstacle in your prosperity? Impractical Expectations: With item girls, fashion models and beauty princess rewriting the definition of good looks, every young man hunts or desires a tall, fair and slim girl. My Dream Girl is the title floating in their minds. On the other hand, the beautiful girls parents prefer men who are rich, own a car and can afford expensive holidays and above all, they must not have many sisters to interfere in the daughters marriage. After all, my daughter is beautifoooool. So the hunt goes on and young men wait for money while the beautiful girls wait for rich men. Lack of funds for Marriage and Rituals: One of the reasons of the Prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him) is clearly mentioned in Surah Araf Ch.7, Verse 157: He frees them from the yokes bonded on their necks Lavish valima, expensive gifts to the relatives of the bride and groom are the yokes in our necks. Islam has made marriage easy. Valimas are not supposed to be hosted in huge halls and invitations are not a status symbol if you cannot afford them. We have elevated these customs but there were marriages in the Prophets time when the sahaba did not invite the Prophet in their valimas! There are a hundred more reasons I can write and refute them all, but for the time being, Ill let you free so that you may think it over yourselves.

Stumbling Blocks in the Way of Marriages

Two most important things around which the focus of many Muslim youth revolves are: Career and Marriage. They also happen to be the most confusing things of their life as they dont know how to go ahead and there are very few counsellors in these fields who can really counsel them from the Qur'an and the Hadith. So in order to make it easy for them to understand the theme I rotate the priorities from Career and Marriage to Marriage and Career putting marriage before Career. Dont get a happy shock. It is in the terms of responsibility. If you read Surah Nahl ch 16 Verse 72: Allah has made from you your mates and from your mates He makes chidren and 'hafadha' (delightful offspring) and provides you rizk from tayyab (good things). Yet you believe in baatil (falsehood) and reject the blessings of Allah? Have you considered the famous hadith: The world is a transit comfort and the best comfort is a mominah wife (pious and good natured) Sahih Muslim Hadith no.1467. If you read the above Qur'anic verse and the hadith together you will realise that marriage is a blessing but our young people discard it, delay it and search for blessings on facebook profiles, in colleges and workplaces! Many delayed marriages are a result of a stretched education after post-graduation especially by young men. Many of them pass away their twenties and almost enter thirties yet you will find them chasing degrees after degrees and pursuing career and dreaming of becoming rich, with a house and a car before getting married! Many of these young men think that marriage will be a stumbling block in establishment of a career or higher education. Those young people staying in the West or cities like West e.g. Mumbai, Karachi, Dubai, get a lot of exposure to obscenity, the Non-Muslims among them fulfill their desires through haram ways and this happens to be one of their reason for avoiding marriage at the right age. Their arguments go like this: If we can get fun for free then why should we get married and get tied up to social and family responsibilities? What about the Muslims young men in these cities? Since they live in an Islamic environment, they dont go for haram options like having affairs or relations out of wedlock so how do they attend their desires?

With young women it is little different. In a Western culture they are educated with a mental preparation of life after divorce, long before marriage. They stay in an environment where her looks are graded and used as currency for prosperity. They are independent because they earn. So they dont want to be a housewife and undergo labour pain, run kitchen, check childrens homework while their husbands are freaking around with other girls. So they too have affairs and divorces and go into live-in relations. In other words, they use haram options. Then what about the Muslim women whose marriages are delayed? They have been brought up in a modest environment but their marriages are delayed due to her post-graduation, lack of funds for marriage expenses and hunt for a rich guy. What will they do? The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said If there comes to you with a proposal of marriage one with whose religious commitment and attitude you are pleased, then marry [your daughter or female relative under your care] to him, for, if you do not do that, there will be fitnah (tribulation) on earth and widespread corruption. Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 1084; Ibn Maajah, 1967. Classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani in alSilsilah al-Saheehah, 1022. This is a hadith which many people may find hard to implement. We have made marriage very difficult and the reasons are just a few, some of them global and some borrowed from un-Islamic cultures.

Our Priorities: Marry at 21 or Pursue Studies or Both?

My paternal uncle was only 18 when he got married. It was the same year when he got admission in medical science. His parents didnt mind getting him married. He completed his MBBS and still lives happily with his family and also he is a better doctor than many of his batch mates. Islamic shariah commands young men to get married when they reach the age of puberty, and the guardians are commanded to get their daughters married when they reach the age of puberty. My country India permits a girl to get married after she completes 18, and boys upon completing 21. I don't know about other Muslim countries but in Sweden the age of consent is 14 years and many other European Nations offer the ages of 14-16 to females as the age of consent. I can't say if the age of consent is also the age of marriage, because age of consent means permission to have an affair. The net result, many girls in US get pregnant while in school and the news of such teen parenting are not taken as shocking news. One of the widest misconceptions about marriage in the Muslim minds is that it hampers your studies and diverts your attention from building a career. A student may not find partying till midnight an obstacle to studies. He hangs around with friends for hours at Resorts, Gyms and Malls. Many Engineering students are engaged in sports and yet that does not prevent them from getting ahead in studies. In fact if you look around, you will find many girls and boys having affairs while studying in high profile courses and still getting good grades in studies! Consider this, girls as young as 11 years old are getting pregnant in the West and they are not ashamed to declare it but proudly display their motherhood and many do not even regret it. Number of births to 15-19 year olds in the US is: 434758, almost half a million. But many Muslim females are ashamed to declare in college that they are married. The reason being that everyone gets married only after their studies is completed. What is happening to everyone around us should not be a ruling for us if we are adhering to the Qur'an and the Sunnah. In fact, many girls studying in Oxford University prefer to get settled instead of pursuing careers. Check this News from the Independent UK. The concept of waiting till one finishes his graduation is being borrowed from the morally corrupt West. They don't have to suppress their sexual desires because they are allowed to have sexual fun that the radical liberation offers them. Islam forbids fornication and encourages marriages. Some scholars rightly quote: Make Nikah easy and let fornication be difficult.

If we look into the example of the generation of Sahaba, we will find that they got married when they reached the age of puberty, and yet they performed their duties properly. Ayesha (r.a.) got married to the Prophet (pbuh) at a young age yet she became a scholar of par excellence in her field of Religious Knowledge. After all: Allah intends easiness upon you, and he does not want to put you into difficulties, says Surah Baqarah chapter 2 verse 185.

Willing to Marry but to Whom?

On one hand we have young Muslims born and brought up in un-Islamic manner, choosing the way of other cultures and ideologies, and on the other hand we have New Muslims born and brought up in Un- Islamic manner as well yet they choose to be an asset for the Muslim community when they join us. They are reviving many precious Islamic traditions which have been dead for us for centuries, and one of them is young unmarried men marrying widows. One of the best obligations of Islam upon the society was widow and divorcee remarriages. Many Muslim women, who had lost their husbands, did not have to wait for long except for their iddah period, and marriage proposals of men flooded their guardians. There were young men who used to marry widows, divorcees and deserted women as a religious ritual. There were no fashion shows or vulgar display of beauties that gave a parameter to grade the looks of women. Young men in those days were awed by women whose stories of taqwa and sacrifice reached them, irrespective to their looks and age. How many young men would be willing to take the hand of a widow today? When much of the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh) is being revived, no one draws attention towards this noble tradition except a few scholars. In fact our young men are totally governed by the view point of the society what will people say? Here is a list of excuses in many of todays young men for not finding a right girl, which I term it as The Cinderella Syndrome. My mother is looking for a girl for me My sister did not like her hair Her dress and her views are too religious and orthodox My parents are asking me to wait. I wish that someone should pose a question to the fatwa websites, Dr. Bilal Philips, Sheikh Salman Oudha and other scholars of Fiqh- Do young Muslim men also require the consent of their wali for their marriage?

Due to this matrimonial chaos, the marriage market looks saturated with only a few boys available for an increased number of women. When the early generations of Muslims chose taqwa as the criterion for choosing a spouse, there was not a surplus of women waiting for marriage as there was a variety of religious men available and they were in abundance. Today many young people, girls and boys, want hours of meetings and have scores of questions to discover whether they are compatible or not. Yet, many complain of unhappiness and wrong choices within a few years after marriage. The reasons are simple: Boys go for looks and just looks, and girls prefer wealth if they possess those looks. Remember: Happiness cannot be judged by how much money your man spends on you but by how much quality time you spend with each other.

Good Wives and Husbands

Among the motivating verses from the Qur'an that charge up a weak faith are the verses of Surah Furqan from 63 to 74. It presents the qualities of the worshippers of Ar Rahman-The Most Gracious. Read them again and spot which qualities do you miss. Among them, the one which fascinated me: And those who pray "Our Lord! Grant unto us Wives and offspring who will the comfort of our eyes and make us the leaders of The Righteous." Ibn Katheer quotes Ibn Abbas regarding this verse: This means, offspring who will work hard to obey Allah and bring the parents joy in this world and the Hereafter (atTabari 19:318). Why is it essential to have wives who can give comfort to our eyes? Refer to 21 verse of Surah ar Room: And among His signs, He created mates for you from among yourselves, IN THEM YOU FIND SOLACE. One of the purposes of having wives is to find solace. Many a time a person returns home to find his wife ready with volumes of complains. Among the qualities of a good wife is that whenever her husband sees her he finds peace and happiness. What are the qualities that make a wife the comfort of a husband's eyes? Refer to Surah an Nisa'a, verse 34: fas-salihati, Qanitaati, Hafizati lil Ghaibi bima hafiz Allahu. Three most desired qualities of a good wife: Salihati, a Righteous woman; a Regular worshipper and a devoutly obedient woman as well as the one who guards in the husband's absence what Allah wants her to guard (her modesty and chastity). The second testimony of a good couple is mentioned in Sura Toubah Chapter 9, verse 71: Believing men and believing women are auliya (protectors, well-wishers and helpers) of each other, they command that which is good and forbid that which is evil. Husband and wives know of each other's weaknesses more than other people so they are called hunna libasalkum wa antum libaasahunna, you are their garments and they are your garments. The duty of a garment is to cover your body and make you look appear able and so are the husbands and wives to each other. They should cover each other's faults and make them appear able through good deeds. Who are good offsprings? Children and grandchildren who would follow the guidance learnt from their parents and pass it on to the next generation while teaching and

implementing it. That is what we say Sawab-e-Jaariyah, a continuous reward, even after the death of the parents. Ibn Abbas, Al Hasan Basri and others said: Leaders who would be taken as examples in good (at Tabari 19:319). Even Ibrahim (a.s.), when Allah offered to make him the Imamun Naas, the leader of mankind, he immediately invoked, "and my offsprings too". Refer to verse 214 of Surah Baqarah. The Arabic word for 'offspring' in the above verse and the verse of Surah Bakarah is "zurriyati". Zurriyati does not only cover our children, but also grandchildren and great grandchildren. Man should be constantly worried about his children's wellbeing from the perspective of Hereafter. Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.) also prayed: My Lord make me regular in salah and my offsprings too. So we pray to Allah that not only He gives us good spouses but also makes us a good partner for our spouses as well and gives us Offsprings that are delight for our eyes. Ameen.

Age of Consent or Age of Marriage! A Fresh Look at Marriage Prospective

Authentic narrations inform us that Abdullah bin Amr bin al Aas, the companion of the Prophet (pbuh) was only 11 years younger than his father Amr bin al Aas (May Allah be pleased with both). So it is said to be the case of Abdullah bin Zubair and his father Zubair bin Awwam (May Allah be pleased with them both). While streaming along the local trends, some of which are global, a majority of Muslims have started taking some Islamic values as out dated and impossible or impractical in today's life. They might not say it but their attitudes and actions show it. A prominent Scholar of India who is well over 60 got married to a young girl of 22, (and this was not an affair). Wherever they go, people in the Muslim circles, react with surprise. Their reactions are like: "What an odd couple! How can a guardian get his daughter get married to a man her grandfather's age! In today's times it should be better avoided." By the way the couple is happy and don't care for the blamers. Alhamdulillah. A comfortable way to be happy, is not to care for "what will people say" if you have not done anything that is haram. If you are ashamed of Islamic values, even of the permitted things, then something is wrong with your confidence, not with the values, because Islamic values never get outdated nor its fruits get stale. One of the many Islamic traditions, that needs to be revived, and which offers solutions to many prevailing problems, is the age of marriage. The West has a similar term, 'The Age of Consent', which means that a girl or a boy is at liberty to choose a sleeping partner. In some Western countries, including Sweden, the age of consent is around 13 years, with some countries having 16 years of age, thus the news of girls getting pregnant in schools and facilities of condoms and anti-pregnancy pills are not looked down upon. It is not a taboo. Islamically, it is a taboo to get involved in illicit relations. Islam welcomes the age of consent if it is associated only with marriage. For example, Islam accepts if a 13 year old girl in Sweden gets married, but a fornicating relationship will not be tolerated.

Government surveys in India reveal that more than 30 percent of girls in inner India get married before they reach 18, but there are no statistics of girls sharing a bed with boys during their school age. The former is taken as a genuine concern of worry while the latter is taken as 'fruits of liberty'. The Prophet's (pbuh) marriage to Aisha, who was more than 10 years younger to his youngest daughter, went un-protested even by his staunchest enemies. No Jew or a Christian or a Mushrik ever raised the issue, but we see that many Muslims, who are educated in the secular environment, feel uncomfortable on being confronted. In fact, the smart Muslim would turn the tables over putting counter arguments on illicit affairs among school age children in most parts of the world. Twenty percent of abortions carried out worldwide are done for the purpose of getting rid of unwanted babies in illicit relations. Islam has offered so many options to make marriage easy and zina (adultery and fornication), difficult. Consider these norms which were very general in those times and essentially required in today's time: Marriages do not include expensive banquets. In one of his marriages, the Prophet (pbuh) asked people to bring whatever eatables they had and the people shared the meal. If a girl likes a virtuous man she can also request her guardian to send a proposal for marriage. A pregnant widow delivered her child and prepared herself for another marriage. Her guardian found it odd and presented the matter to the Prophet (pbuh) who approved it. The age factor is never an issue when arranging a marriage. A truthful man like Abu Bakr Siddique (r.a.) never minded his daughter getting married to the Prophet (pbuh). Ali bin Abi Talib got his daughter married to Umar bin al Khattab (r.a.). Abdullah bin Abbas said: By Allah! Even if I knew that there is only one day left in my life yet I would get married! Size, shape and color never matter. Ummuhatul Mom'ineen Sauda, the wife of the Prophet was a woman of large size, people could identify her easily. Another wife,

Safiyya (r.a.) was short and Khadeeja was 15 years older to the Prophet. (May Allah be pleased with them all) The elderly Khadeeja and the teenage Aisha were the dearest wives of the Prophet (pbuh) and he (pbuh), never showed any signs of regrets for marrying them. Indeed in the Messenger is the best example for you to follow ,Surah al Ahzab, Verse 21. A young maiden accepted the proposal of a dark and short sahabi just on the recommendation of the Prophet. She did not compare her status and looks with his. Narrators say that after the sahabi died there were offers of marriage proposals from many Noble Arabs to this lady, who had accepted the proposal of a man not matching his looks. Abu Talha (r.a.) had been injured in the battle of Uhud and he had a small limp. Despite that he was receiving marriage proposals. Moral of the story? Even noble men love to marry women who do not mind their physical and social shortcomings because of their religious inclinations. This is what is expected when male and female Muslims desire to marry a person of religion. My advice to sisters: Huge and lavish houses and lucrative careers should not be the main criteria for choosing your partner. Prefer Simplicity. Simplicity offers the best alternative. There are very few boys who earn huge amount of money to satisfy your expensive desires and can offer you luxurious tours and designer items, but there are large numbers of boys who can keep you happy with little amount they earn. My advice to brothers: There are very few girls whose looks can fit into the image of the good looking females whom you have been carrying in your minds after watching pictures of models and actresses, but there are large number of girls who will carry on with you in spite of your ups and downs in your life and be happy with what Allah has given you. Choose your spouses from this list. If you don't take up the easy route to peace and tranquility offered by your Creator then you may have to tread on difficult paths made by others. In that case, instead of being the leaders of the world, you will be following the rest of the world meeting more miseries on the way.

Failed Marriages! An Analysis

A young man was once complaining of his matrimonial problems. He said Alas! My marriage has failed. I consoled him, If you are divorced, then Allah will give you another wife, Inshallah. The man retorted, No, No, I am not divorced, and though my marriage has failed, we continue to stay together. We are grading our lives !" This is a common phrase now. It was then that I was introduced to an another category of 'Failed Marriages' in our society. We are not happy but we still continue to stay together. Most of the failed marriages fall in this category. Many couples drag their matrimonial lives unhappily for various reasons. Some are middle aged couples who fear about their own future, especially the wife who may be worried about any future prospective in getting married, while some drag their lives being worried about their kids. What stand my daughter, being 37 years old, will have if I get her divorced, when there are hundreds of unmarried girls of 2530 years, earning and looking good, said a pained father whose daughter continued suffering in her in-laws house, where her husband refused to earn, her mother-in-law made her work for hours and the family believed that though it was a case of a failed marriage, the relation must go on because she had two daughters. Among the best solutions, can be proper counseling. We require good counselors who can talk to the warring couples and sort out their issues. Someone senior in the family or a genuine senior personality can be asked to interfere in the matter and get it solved. Its a big contribution to the society. It brings to my mind the honorable verse from the Quran from Surah Nisa, chapter4: If you fear a breach between the two, appoint two arbiters, one from his family and the other from hers If they wish for peace, Allah will cause their reconciliation. Kindly note the last part of the verse: IF THEY WISH FOR PEACE, ALLAH WILL CAUSE THEIR RECONCILIATION. Once, I was a party among the peacekeepers of my family where we were trying to sort out an about-to-break marriage of my relative. The stubborn couple was in a hurry getting separated as they were into hostile fights since the beginning of their married life. We were all about to give up when my grandmother, Saeeda Abdul Karim Nadiadwala, stormed in at the last moment. She walked up to us and said, Dont take any decision, and let me have a word with the couple for few minutes in privacy. We agreed and the couple followed my grandmother. In few minutes all the three came out smiling and my grandmother announced with an authoritative cheer, They have compromised! It has been twelve years and the couple is still living

together happily. Since then I had been asking my grandmother that what did she do or what did she say to the couple that prevented a divorce within a span of five minutes? She never gave me a reply but used to smile. Later, after ten years, when she was ill in bed, I repeated the question. This time the sick old lady whispered in my ears, I slapped both of them! And then she smiled. Many a times, a timely interference of an elderly person in a matrimonial dispute can save a marriage life even though it seems that it is running into rough weathers. But slaps are not always a solution unless you hold a position in the heart and the mind of the warring couple that goes unchallenged in terms of love and affection. You must have that charisma that people will give up their egos upon your command. This is a sign or characteristic of a good and a successful counselor.

Pre-Marriage Counseling: Dare you challenge...!

Marriage still happens to be amongst the most confusing decisions in the minds of many young Muslims. The reasons are simple: Some of the radical liberal culture has crept in our customs and it has captured our thoughts and decision-making abilities on our social issues. The whole issue has been mixed up with certain economic rules borrowed from capitalism. There is no straightforward counseling done on this issue, nor anything spoken in the sermons. Let me prick a few issues and see if it causes some pain. Earn while you learn: Many grown up boys still remain in the cradle when it comes to financial dependence. Many, in their mid twenties are still thriving on the pocket money given by their fathers! Therefore, the biggest obstacles of the marriage is "late earnings". My first question to young men seeking counseling in marriage is: Why do you start earning late? Which noted economist has asked you that you should not or cannot try your hand in earning while you are studying? I know of so many doctors who used to earn and learn while pursuing medicine. Many American and Canadian students of high schools work as salesmen to meet their expenditure. I know hundreds of Guajarati merchants who study and work in their father's establishment and learn while they study. A large number of postgraduate students of Mumbai University work as lecturers in the same college where they study! Why is it that a large number of young Muslims avoid earning at a young age while pursuing studies? Many of the young men from higher middle class staying in large apartments spend lavishly on their mobiles, shoes and designer clothes, but they reason foolishly that they cannot afford to host a wife! How much do you require for the maintenance your wife? Will she eat from the rizq allotted to you by Allah? Does she have any power to do that? Where ever she goes, the poor little creature will only get what Allah has written for her. Young men are the backbones of the society but they remain dependent upon their parents even when they reach their thirties. In fact, when they keep girlfriends, movies and dresses and other exciting things, they take no stamp of approval from parents. They enjoy their liberty to choose. But when it comes to responsiblities they are in the last rows. In fact, they should be taking part in the discussion about their sister's marriages; they should take active part in looking for a groom for their sisters too. But

they rather stay away or are kept away from decision-making. If they are involved then it will be the practical lessons that the school syllabus will never include. Misconception about the age of marriage: One of the brothers wrote: Some young men prefer to get married at the age of 25, because our own Prophet got married at 25! An astonishing question! I would remind that brother that the Prophet at 25 married a woman of 45 and a widow. How many young men today would begin their matrimonial life with a widow who is older to him? Islam has broken all the barriers that are obstacles for marriages. It encourages marriage, discourages fornication. It commands a simple marriage. It rebukes extravaganza in marriage. Neither status nor age is a rule for disqualification of a proposal. Someone should trace the roots of this uncrowned authority in our marriage customs, and find out who dictated that the difference in age of bride and groom should not be more than few years, or have just borrowed from other cultures? Those who worry about "what will people say?" should shed away this inferiority complex, by reading the biographies of the noblest men on the earth. They will throw out this feeling "what will people say?". The hidden fear: Some sisters are concerned about having proposals from UnIslamic boys. Yes, but it all depends upon who gets the proposals for you and where do you look for the prospective groom. You may come across people who will put invisible pressure upon you like, "if you reject this proposal then you may not get a better one" or "you will remain unmarried" or "get married to this boy and correct him". Many girls get frightened to say 'yes' to such proposals where as some unwillingly give up. The local da'wah centers perhaps can play a good role in getting good proposals. Or a common family friend can help in getting a good proposal. Many females who attend Islamic seminars for women, keep an eye for a good girl for their son or their brother, and many relations are built through these seminars. Finally Allah is the best decision maker. My last question to the young men would be: How long will you wait to get married?

A Pleasant Spouse A Delightful Life... A Wonderful Akhera...

A friend of mine spoke to me about his choice of a Mominah. He said, "She should be a woman of taqwa and should be hijabi but then beneath her veil she should also be slim, tall, fair, modern, smart, fluent in English and also modern dressed. I replied, Oh so you are looking for a Barbie shaped Cinderella beneath the veil! There is an English saying: A man goes in the search of peace and tranquillity throughout the world and returns back home to find it. The Qur'an also points this in Surah Nahl : Allah has made in your houses a place for sakana... To elaborate this Qur'anic view point we can go to Surah Rum chapter 30, verse 21: And among His signs are: He created mates for you from yourselves so that YOU MAY FIND SUKOON IN THEM. The word 'sukoon' or 'sakana' means peace, tranquility. As I say 'a house is built by bricks but a home is built by hearts'. The same verse also elaborates this statement: And Allah created mawwadatun wa rahmah among them. 'Mawwadatun' means love, affection and care, and Rahmah means mercy. These qualities cannot be learnt in 'Marriage workshops and seminars'. It is a monopoly of Allah to put these qualities in our hearts. No tablets no syrups just 'kun fayakoon'. Be and it happens. Have you come across this Hadith? There are four things that make a person bestowed the best in this world and the here-after: A Grateful Heart, a tongue that constantly remembers Allah, a body that bears patiently (psychological, physical, financial and emotional) hardships and a Mominah wife. All these four qualities are also essential for your matrimonial life to be happy. If you judge your spouse from the eyes of other people or from the yardsticks of materialism then you don't possess a grateful heart, rather you will be constantly regretting your marriage with him. If you do not remember Allah and are careless towards your duty to Allah then you can never be grateful to humans too. If you do not stand firmly with your spouse when he or she is going through a rough weather then you are a weak spouse and have missed out many strong things in life.

It is essential that your wife is a Mominah. Let us understand the term 'Mominah' in the context of the above mentioned hadith. Allah gave the best women of that time to our beloved Messenger of Allah (pbuh). Each of his wives had a unique quality that benefitted the Ummah. Khadeejah's wealth was thrown open for the poor in the way of Allah when very few people supported Islam. . Yet it was a unique feat that Jibrael came and greeted Khadeejah! Zainab bint Khuzaima (r.a.) was the most charitable among the women. She was called 'Ummul Masakeen'. Allah be please with them all. Both the wives may not have been scholars in Fiqh like the other wife Aisha (r.a.) was. Yet they raced in good and qualified to be among the best women of their time. Brothers who insist only for a wife who is well versed in fiqh should note this. Your wife can be a fantastic wife if she posesses excellent manners and generous heart and encouraging nature and average in fiqh. But suppose you get a proposal from the family of a girl who is a product of madarasa and good in fiqh? I know many boys would say ' No, she knows laws and shariah and will always fight for her rights!'. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) was so pleased with Aisha (r.a.) a scholar of her time, that he certified, Aisha my wife in this world and here-after. After the death of the Prophet (pbuh), Aisha (r.a.) was a Consultant for all the four pious Khalifa and served a teacher to the 'Tabeein', the next generation Muslims. She carried on the legacy of passing on the knowledge of fiqh to the later generation. Asma bint Abu Bakr, the wife of Zubair bin Awwam (r.a.) was so aware of her husband's gheerah that she was always careful about it. Once she was walking down the hot desert with some material on her head and the Prophet (pbuh) passed by on a camel. Seeing her plight the noble Prophet offered his camel, but she recalled her husband's gheerah and refused the offer (al-Bukhaari (4823) and Muslim (4050)). Gheerah means self-respect, honour and possessiveness. A good wife is one whose husband is pleased to see her, says a popular authentic hadith. Now when does this pleasant smile become due on the face of her husband? Imagine a husband returning home tired and exhausted after a hectic day in office and struggling traffic and finds his wife waiting with loads of complains about his mother or children or neighbours. A nagging wife or a nagging husband can rarely cause a pleasant smile. This is true for men too. A fussy husband always criticizing his wife's style of dressing because the well-dressed young ladies in his office appears more

fashionable to him, cannot notice a charm on his wife's face. He is fussy about food and other things too. One of our biggest problems in generating happiness in our matrimonial life is that we have erected many 'fantasy parameters' for our happiness. These fantasies are borrowed from modern culture of glamour and richness. A pleasant spouse (this is for both husband and wife) fits in this verse: The believing men and believing women are auliya of each other; they command good and forbid evil. Read Surah Toubah verse 71 for more details and examine if we really encourage our spouse in good things or pull him/her down? Do we stop him/her from haram or just nag and complain to our mothers and sisters and friends regarding him/her? Moral of the Lesson? If you want a pleasant spouse she also has a right to have a pleasant spouse. So, the search is within us and efforts on ourselves, to be qualified to be that dream spouse every Momin and Mominah craves for.

What is 'Togetherness' in a Marriage life?

When Adam, peace be upon him, was created he was alone. Allah did not give him a video game to play and pass his time with. Allah did not give him friends to have fun, play football and wander around in Jannah. Right? He gave him a wife. This itself is enough to show the importance of a spouse in our life. When Adam's wife committed an error and Adam to followed it and then realised their mistake he did not blame is wife not did he divorce her. Right? Rather, Adam learnt words of repentance from Allah and then both of them repented together. The Prophet, (peace be upon him) took his wife along during his journeys even when he went to the battle. This is 'togetherness of a couple' that the Qur'an calls it 'Hunna libasa lakum wa antum libasu la hunna. They are your garments and you are their garments. Don't ever think that a marriage without fight can exist. Allah has so many varieties in his treasure that no two person's finger print match, not even eyes. The same is with nature, habits and style. They have uncountable variety. Yet we search for similarities. "Our thoughts don't match" are common dialogues we hear from many couples who are unhappy with each other. Many proposals are rejected on the basis of "our ideas don't match". A man like Umar bin Al Khattab (r.a.) tolerated the shouts of his wife. A complainer who approached him to complain about his own wife heard loud voice of Ameerul Mo'mineen's wife, so he went back. Looking for an ideal spouse is certainly not like looking for a gold coin in the dark with the help of a torch. Rather it is picking up from what is available and be content with her/ him. Well I dont mean that you may even marry an 'ultra unIslamic' person. If you marry a person who is spiritually inclined towards deen and still raw then it can be like a raw gold and you may polish it to increase its value. I know couples who were not too Islamic in their early marriage life but later on both of them learnt and grew together in Islam. My friend Faisal Akhunzada is a very fine example. The husband and his famous model wife walked out of stinking glamour world together and today they are still together learning deen.. Mashallah.

So keep your eyes open and also your heart broad and over look the weakness of your life partner because after all you have to stay together in Jannah to..for ever... Sa'ad bin Ubadah was a sahabi..his gheerah was unmatched... If any of his wife sat on his horse he would never sell this horse. If any of his wife sat on a camel he would make sure that he would slaughter his camel. He was a man of gheerah. He would not tolerate any one to sit on the horse or camel on which his wife sat. His gheerah was admired. People honoured his gheerah so much that if he divorced any of his wives, no sahabi would marry that lady. RadiAllahu anhu ..Allah be pleased with him..

Tremors in Marriage life... Haste versus Tolerance

Among the hastiest decision, which also proves harmful emotionally and socially, is divorce. People rush for divorces like anything. Why many people find themselves incompatible for their spouses but they get along well even with their aggressive boss, disobedient children, stubborn customers and irritating neighbors ? It may seem to many people that spouses can be replaced easily but bosses cant be. Children can be disobedient but spouses should never be. Customers can be stubborn but they follow it up by a profit in deal, spouses don't. You can shut your doors for neighbors but not for your spouse. You can sell your house but cant sell your spouse. So, many people are in a haste to replace them. Spouses err. They fall short in expectations. Their shortcomings strike brighter than their good qualities. These are common features everywhere. If you look at your spouse's errors and shortcomings through microscope then it will give you a magnified image. This is how Shaytan works. Haste is a weapon used frequently by Shaytan to instigate a man to do wrong and destroy his Akhera. It is haste that leads many warring couple to separation. If haste is a weapon of shaytan, then it is also a test for man. Note these three Qur'anic verses that reflects human pyschology : 1. Man was created weak 'Khuliqal Insaana Dhaeefa' ..Surah Nisaa verse 28. 2. The prayer that man should make for good, he makes for evil, for man is given to Haste ... Surah Al Isra chapter 17 , verse 11. 3. Innal Insaana Khuliqa halooa.. Indeed man was created very impatient..Surah Ma'arij chapter 70 , verse 19 'Haste is from Shaytan. and tolerance is from Ar Rahman' declares Sahih Hadith. Note the attribute of Allah here.. Ar Rahman. Most Merciful. Why did Allah not use his other attributes here? Mercy is from Allah. Mercy is required for a patch up. That is why Allah says.. Tolerance is from Ar-Rahman. Tolerance is opposite of haste. If you are in a hurry, don't take a decision. The love in youth evolves into mercy in old age. That is why we see our grandmothers and grandfathers talking for hours and are concerned for each other in their sickness. They remind medicines. They react if their spouse is criticized in their presence. This is mercy attached with love. Those marriages which have survived are case studies for the generation next. Love is not a boiling water that can evaporate after certain temperature but it is a strong plinth upon which the whole building of love and affection stands.

Don't Worry about Your Rights but Worry about Her Rights...Ways to Matrimonial Happiness
When Prophet Ayub (a.s.) was tested by Allah with a severe sickness, he was seventy. He lost all his wealth and his children too left him. Even the people of his town feared infection so they avoided to meeting him and finally they got him shifted out of the town near a garbage can. The only person who did not leave him was 'HIS WIFE'.She remained with him and helped him to carry out everyday necessities that he could not do on his own. Finally she even took up jobs to feed him. She dressed his wounds too...Ibn Kathir, in his Qasasul Ambiya, The stories of the Prophets, gives the reason : She remembered her good time with him and his kindness to her. The story of Prophet Ayub's wife is a case study. We all men want to have such wives who would not desert us in the time of need. What made Prophet Ayub's wife so great in companionship? The answer is there.."She remembered her good times with him and his kindness to her" So the moral of the story is : If you are looking for a wife of that caliber, then you have to be a husband of that caliber. Goodness reaps Surah Rahman says" What else can be the recompense for good, then good itself? In my ' Marriage preparatory workshops' I tell young men " Don't go after studying your rights over your wives, they will come to you. But if you study and give your wife's rights, you will get your rights in return and that too constantly. What are the rights of a wife? Simple ? If you want your wife to be neat, clean and tidy and look beautiful then she also has the similar rights over you. Ibn Abbas, the scholar of the Qur'an and the companion of the Prophet (pbuh) used to be neat, tidy and clean before he went to his wife. When asked, he used to say: It is mentioned in the Qur'an, and he referred to Surah Baqarah, verse 223: They have the rights over you same as you have. Today many married young men leave their house for offices applying the most beautiful fragrant and dressed up in the most formal way. Why not? After all there are beautiful ladies in the office...But when he returns back he is sweating and shabbily dressed. He goes to bed in the same way. But he expects his wife to be well dressed and well smelled.

Many young men still cling to the habit of being with friends at the street corner till late night. They hang around with friends on weekends and go to picnics with friends. At home they are busy with computers and newspapers or TV. There is no communication or very less. It is your right over the wife that while you are away in the office, she works in your house and prepares food for you and waits for you. But it is her right over you that at home you must be busy talking to your family. Share exciting things that happened to you whole day. Men who stray outside without causes are wasting their precious time which can never come back. Today people look for peace and tranquility in Gym, Malls, street corner, yoga classes, friend circles.. but Allah says : Allaho Ja'ala lakum fee buyutikum sakana.. Allah has made peace for you in your houses.. Surah Nahl chapter 16, verse 72...

Planning to get Married? Then Plan it Properly

The summer is here and lots of wedding cards are lying on my table. Some exclusively deserve to participate in the Best Wedding Card competitions. These days your status in the society is directly proportional to your sons our daughters exclusive wedding invitation. Nowadays wedding ceremonies have special Event Planners who plan it according to your budgets. Many new careers have been carved out of this self invented compulsion in social custom. Look at the expenses mentioned below that tell us how our wedding budgets are getting obese .Kindly note that the below mentioned money is not to be spend on the groom and bride but on other people. 1. Hiring the Hall 15,000/ - 1,00,000/ 2. Decorating the Hall 20,000/- 1,00,000/ 3. Welcome drinks 10,000/ - 50,000/ 4. Starters 25,000 3,0,000/ 5. Dinner 1,00,000 - ./ 6. Wedding Cards 7. Hotel rooms for out station guests. 8. Local transportation for outstation guests 9. Gifts to the close relatives of groom by the brides family 10. 1112.. These are some compulsory expenses which have become a norm of our times. People have sold of their flats and other properties to meet the expenses of daughters. A close neighbor I know of, owned a big business and stayed in a large two bedroom apartment. He had four daughters. During the marriage of his first daughter he sold his flat and shifted to a smaller apartment. A couple of years later he sold his smaller flat too and shifted to a smaller apartment. By the time his fourth daughter got married, the man was selling post cards on the footpaths of the city! An Islamic marriage is easy to plan and you can plan to make it easy. But the point is, how do we convince our elders that we want to save their hard earned money? It all depends upon how strong your arguments are. Begin with some questions to yourselves and your elders. Is it necessary to invite a huge crowd even if we are rich?

Do you know how much money just an ice cream costs which is served after the dinner? Is it wise to spend lakhs of Rupees for a few hours of get together? How many nikah take place in our own city every May-June? Hundreds! If we save our wealth from being paid to caterers, decorators! How about conducting nikah in Masjids only? Our Masjids are community centers. We can save huge amount of wealth. Next time when some one in your family is getting married dont forget to offer your polite suggestions. Who knows how many families can be saved from getting bankrupt dues to marriage! And Allah too rightly says who ever intercedes for a good cause shall have a share in it Surah Nisa' chapter 4, verse 86.

How to go for a simple Nikah

My notes on ' Marriages' and 'Careers' get maximum ' like ' clicks on Facebook. One of the reason could be "very less is being told to our youth regarding marriage and careers. So the youth find it interesting. Alhamdolillah. Today I will share with you how to fix up an Islamic Nikah. I mean a simple nikah. One of my friend's son was getting married. They were very rich and could afford a five star hotel for Nikah and walima. But the nikah was in Masjid. The girl was also from a rich family. "Then how did you manage to convince your and her family?" I asked for the benefit of my readers. Note his reply: Nisaar Bhai ! I fixed the venue before the Nikah was fixed ! "How come"? When the girl's family visited us to see the boy I asked, "How would you like to conduct the Nikah ?" So as a father of the groom I put forth, before they put forth any desire of an expensive marriage. I said, : Look, both the families can afford a lavish Nikah, but how about conducting it in a Masjid ? "The family was taken aback. " It is the first marriage in our family so we thought of spending nicely? The reluctant father said. "Yes I would agree to the nikah if the nikah is agreed to be conducted in Masjid. I dont want the father of the bride wearing an expensive suit and standing at the gate of the hall flashing a cosmetic smile, but deep inside he is sad about his daughter going away for ever. The money we spend on decoration, chairs, ice creams, starters, multiple cuisines is a show of only three hours. I would rather give that money to the bride and her groom allowing them to spend where and how ever they want to. " Many people who desire the nikah to be conducted simply cannot resist the pressure of the bride or groom's family. The reason is simple : They cannot back track now after the nikah is fixed. So how about putting this condition when the proposal itself is being considered. So Brothers and sisters " The venue and the budget of the Nikah should be discussed at the time when the proposal is being considered because it will get you an idea of how your in-laws plan to spend. So before you say "YES " first ask "HOW" Watch the menu as well. Even if you hosting a walima yet see to it that you don t stretch your menu and crowd it with starters, and faloodas and ice creams and ... Just fix up one excellent dish,, say Biryani for example.. and offer it with a simple sweet..If

you are rich then add more amount of dry fruits in Biryani but subtract the number of dishes. Let people remember your special dish and dont be bother about your status. Trim down the list of invitees. If the marriage is posted in Masjid then the invitees will understand that there wont be too many cuisines. A rich man's wedding party attracts more guests because of the lavish food and the status attached to it. But now Mashallah many rich and well known Muslims prefer simple Nikah in Masjid. Soon simplicity will became status. Inshallah. If your wedding life begins with simplicity then your journey to Islamic married life is easy and smooth, even if you don't invite me all the way from Mumbai...

How Grand Should Our Weddings be?

Ever since I have written a few notes on Youth, career and marriages, many readers often ask me how much should they spend on their wedding? Some even inquire if it is alright to bow to family pressure if they spend lavishly on the reception (hosted by the brides father) and umpteen items on the menu of waleema. What if our parents can afford the lavish reception (again hosted by the brides father)? Well there is no upper limit in the hadith as far as the number of invitees in the waleema is concerned. One of the sons in law of the Prophet was Uthman bin Affan (r.a.) He married two daughters of the Prophet (pbuh) one after the death of another, and was one of the richest men among the sahaba. The man who sponsored huge expenditure of one third of the entire Islamic army in one of the battles yet he did not invite the same men in either of his waleema except a handful! Something worth to be noticed. Abdul Rahman bin Auf (r.a.) did not invite the Prophet (pbuh) in his wedding and the Prophet did not feel bad about it. Many of us may find this very strange because in our times being invited to a wedding has become a status and privilege. Our marriages are becoming more complicated. Even a middle class person energetically thinks about the numbers of dishes to serve in his daughter or sons marriage. Preparations begin months ahead. Expenditure behind the preparation itself runs high. So what? We can afford it Comes a common reply. Right. We can afford it, but if we refer back to the hadith that states that no person will be allowed to move from his place on the day of Qiyamah till he gives the account of where did he spend his money as well. Even if it is your Halal earnings yet it would be required to justify his expenses.. Now use this hadith as a parameter. Go through the list of the menu of the Reception. 1, 2, 3610.! Chinese, Italian.. Moghlai count the variety of saladsJust have a look at the stock of ice cream.. I dont mean to say that having ice cream or distributing ice creams is haram but look at the way the Ice creams scream in our marriages. Consider this- last week there were news about increase in the rates of milk in Mumbai. The house wives who objected increase in the rates of milk, the same house wives are fond of buying ice creams worth four times the rates of milk. In Mumbai, one litre of milk costs around a dollar ie. 48 INR, but one kg of branded ice cream costs around 200 /INR i.e. 4 Dollars!

The agro Ministry of India says that the ice cream industry is worth 15 billion Rupees in India, and 40 percent of that ice cream is consumed in the western India. From Ahmedabad to Mumbai Ice creams float like foams over sea. In our marriages ice creams have become a staple food. The rates of ice creams in wedding are quoted higher like the other items in the venue. How many weddings take place in Mumbai every year? There are no less than 500 wedding halls in Mumbai alone which cater to higher middle class. How many marriages take place in these halls every year? In Mumbai, Karachi, Lahore, keep counting how many guest push down ice creams into their throats after eating chicken tandooris, biryanis, noodles, seekh and shami kebabs. Just one example. Now assemble the rest of the expenditure you plan to have in your wedding and think how many days will it take you to give the accounts to Allah and justify it? So how grand should your wedding be? Before you answer to your own self, know that there is no grandeur like simplicity.. See you in your wedding.Assalamualaikum..

The Big Bang Weddings : How Grand Are Our Weddings? Part II
Ponder into this Quranic verse-Surah Araf chapter 7, verse 157. The Prophet releases them from their heavy burden and from yokes. Nikah that were supposed to be a simple affair has become a yoke on the community. Our weddings are like Big Bang theory. Like the big explosion that blew particles in every direction and went on stretching its space, our big bang weddings have explosions that blow our money in all the directions, Haldi- Mehdi, Expensive make ups, Multi cuisine receptions, Wedding coats and Dresses for entire family, lavish invitation cards the list keeps on stretching like the universe after the Big Bang Theory. A Muslimah, who is the daughter of a very rich man, was getting married so she insisted that her wedding be simple, and she argued profoundly and courtesy with her mother and it went on for days till she got her point across. Throughout her discussion, her argument was simple and straight: Why should my father celebrate my departure in a grand manner? The parents smiled. The Islamic daughters insistence saved more than half a million Indian Rupees of her father. Moral of the story? Most of us give up to the pressure of parents and other elders of the family, instead of talking to them with respect and politeness. If we be little firm towards Deen our parents will also get inclined InshaAllah. A few months back a friend of mine invited me to his wedding and waleema. It was more like an event than like a wedding. It was an event in actual term. There was an event manager, staffed with an anchor who was giving a running commentary of the activities going on there along with jokes and all. I found it strange like a TV reality show. At times it becomes uncomfortable for us to respond at that time. It was then that I was introduced to a new trend in weddings. People are handing over their wedding management to event planners. Marriage is a big Industry. A new industry of around $11, growing at 25 percent annually. The Indian and Pakistani weddings are famous worldwide. Even the poor want to imitate this grandeur in their own way. Years ago, a young man, who worked with, at my uncles grocery shop in a small village, was getting married. He asked for a loan of ten thousand rupees in those days. It was ten times of his salary. My uncle explained but in vain. The young man borrowed money from his relatives and friends and in few years he had to sell of his house to repay his debt. There are thousands of young Indians and Pakistanis who go out of their way to celebrate their wedding on

things which are enjoyed for only few hours. This has promoted even the banks to come out with loans for weddings, as they say in Gujarati. Where ever there are greedy people, frauds and cheaters dont go hungry. The minimum budget for a wedding ceremony is $34,000, say wedding planners, while the upper-middle and rich classes are known to spend upward of $2 million. (The average American wedding costs $26,327.) This doesnt include cash and valuables given as part of a dowry. Yesterdays Times of India reported that the British Muslims spend a lot on stage decoration and Mehndi ceremony! With the mehndi artists and make-up artists charging around 300 to 500 pounds , weddings are getting expensive globally as average Asian wedding in UK costs around 40 -50 thousand pounds equivalent to 30 lakhs of Rupees!! Two years ago The Time Magazine had published an article The Big Fat Indian Wedding Grows Bigger and Fatter showing how much money Indians spend on their wedding. The article did not have any moral or lesson except that it spoke big and loud about such marriages. In a lay mans language it glamourized and encouraged such marriages. A group of Sikh leaders called for a July 28 meeting of representatives from New Delhis more than 400 Sikh gurdwaras, or temples, to discuss ways to rein in over-thetop weddings. The Sikh leaders said the deluxe wedding trend puts an unfair burden on brides families, who traditionally pay for the parties. I wait for the day our Masajids also call such meetings and rein our expenditures in weddings, with no malice towards anyone who is getting married in near future..


When Should You start to Earn O! Young Men?

Years back during my school vacations, I was instructed by my parents to attend our cloth shop and be a part of the working team. Like all young school boys, I disliked working during my vacations because, like everyone else, I also felt that vacations are just for playing and enjoying. I was told that evenings were meant to play but the rest part of the day was to learn the practical side of business. I had two other boys of my age working with me, who, I was told, were sons of rich men. They were learning the basics of business. Guess what were the basics of business according to them? To keep the shelf clean, to check the bills (no calculators used in those days), to pay electric bills, to talk to the customers, to pack the sold goods nicely, to order tea and snacks for seniors. These are the essential and routine jobs of a business and many business establishments lose customers, good will and money for not paying attention to this routine. Today, those two boys earn a lot of money, more than many MBAs, though they did not do any formal post-graduation in famous universities. I met my friend who is already in his thirties and he wanted to do some more courses in UK, so he was looking for some sponsors. I asked him: Why dont you earn on your own and get money for your own studies? He said: I am fond of learning and learning requires lot of time to focus on so I cannot work! This happens to be a common reply from many young men who are already in their mid-twenties and still dependent upon their ageing fathers to pay their fees and also pocket money. My Gujarati community is quite advanced in this manner. Teenage sons accompany their fathers to banks and help them write accounts too. If you go through the list of the students in the prominent Commerce Colleges of Mumbai you will see Shahs, Jhaveris, and Patels, most of them Gujarati. They learn accounts and do part time jobs right from the year they join their colleges. That is the reason why almost all the Mumbai commerce colleges run from 7am to 10 am in the morning. In my teenage years, we used to stay in a Gujarati locality so I got to learn a lot about their approach towards earning. A young friend of mine used to give tuitions to little

children and he earned around 1000 INR a month! That was a huge amount for a teenager in those days. Today he has taken teaching as his profession and I am told that he earns around a hundred thousand rupees a month! Another young friend of mine used to help his father to run his business and by the time he graduated he took over the entire business. Early experience in jobs, business and sales gives you an edge in your professions as well. Muslim youth should take lessons from this. After all halal earnings, right from early days, are a part of financial education. Learning practical lessons in early youth will give you a speed in moving ahead as well as make way for you to get married early as many of you delay marriages because you are unable to settle till you pass twenty five.

Parents & Family

Are You Really Educated or Merely a Graduate?

An elderly man sought an urgent appointment from me. He spoke at length about his grown up children, elaborating how much he spent on their education thinking that it was an investment and it would return a huge comfort when he retired. His children graduated and post graduated. But he did not find his retired life easy. His wife died and his children kept running after their own careers and their children's education leaving aside the lonely old man to borrow money from his friends or take zakat. A few years back, I was in Pune, sitting before an audience whose background was not known to me. They were Non-Muslims and that was the only thing I knew about them. While I was waiting for my turn to speak, someone whispered in my ear that the majority of them were residents from an "Old peoples Homes". I would explain this term as "Orphanage for Old people"! I quickly changed my lecture draft and focused on how unfortunate those children where, those children who did not find themselves spending their time and money on their parents. The impact was "Subhanallah"! I could see tears rolling down on some old cheeks. The most unfortunate thing about schooling is that after giving eight thousand precious hours of our childhood to school, most of us do not know what we are going to get out of it! Most of the students do not even understand the purpose of education. If you ask a child in Grade I, "Why do you go to school"? He will reply, "Because my mummy sends me." By the time this student reaches his last year of schooling, he has set a tiny goal for himself. "I want to earn" or "I want a good job". What we see and notice around us is that most of us are programmed with a monetary attitude regarding our education. The eagerness to earn lot of money is what is stuck on our minds. This attitude stretches till we finish our studies. Throughout our academic life we are reminded that, If you don't get good grades you will not get a reputed job. Those with this mentality earn money only to make other people rich, by spending huge amounts of money on their own comfort rather than sharing with other people's necessity. If your education is not supported by correct morals and ethics and you dont know how to deal with people, you dont know how to sort out problems in li fe, if your parents are not happy with you, then you are an uneducated person in spite of being a

graduate. It is here that you require revealed knowledge to get the best out of your acquired knowledge. Your acquired knowledge is what you learn from your school and college text books, from your friends, tutors, seniors, from newspapers, from your experiences, whereas revealed knowledge is what your find in the Qur'an and Hadith. Without taking guidance from revealed knowledge, acquired knowledge cannot guarantee you any success. If people focused on revealed knowledge, then we would not be hearing stories of corrupt doctors stealing kidneys and selling them, companies making unhealthy medicines, civil engineers permitting mixing more sand in the cement than the standard rules permit when building a structure. It is high time to include Islamic morals, ethics and laws in our syllabus to leave behind a better world before we die.

The Economic Terrorism: But No One is Terrified

Few years back a newspaper headlines form Midday struck my eyes: Unable to repay loans, more than 5000 defaulters in New Mumbai. We are observing a new system of slavery in todays world. In this system people have willingly sold the ir financial liberty to banks, financial institutions and money lenders. Indeed it is very sad to accept that most of the peoples financial liberty is held and controlled by various financial institutions and banks through housing loans, personal loans, credit cards and whatever other loans they have taken. We are in an age where the economic system has a tremendous impact on our individual lives as well as on the whole society. Our choices, our tastes, our fashion, our food, our entertainment, our culture our national policies as well as international politics are influenced by conventional economic system. The components of this economic system are banks, insurance, credit cards, as well as advertising and marketing world. So whats wrong with this system? This system seems to be prosperity oriented but is it actually? In fact, scholars have already spoken vociferously against this economy stating that this financial system is creating more problems than solving them. In fact we are seeing an emergence of slavery, as well as transformation of an entire civilization in to extravagant resulting in mass depression suicides, divorces, besides this, the present economy strives on obscenity. Let us examine main hazards of this economy system. Mountainous loans: Whether it is the Indians or Americans or Europeans, slavery is being revived almost globally. Individuals, local governments, as well as nations are burdened under mountainous debt. An average American has around 5,500 US$ as debt on his head, Great Britain itself has to pay around 2 trillion pounds to its creditors, this is worse than the economic condition during World War II. One of the Indian state Maharashtra has 12 thousand crores of debt to be paid as per the budget of 2008, the budget said that around 13% of the states income goes in Interest. How much loans are people taking? In India, housing loan is the biggest factor for domestic debt. In 1991, the total housing loan was 3,300 crores and in 2005 the total soared up to 1 lakhs 35 thousand crores. Besides this, personal loans for marriage and other small business went up to 2 lakhs 58 thousand crore.

According to USA Todays survey the greatest fear in US was not terrorism but the fear of running out of money during retirement. Today, the Americans are one of the most unsecured people in the world. Today due to economic meltdown, they have job insecurities which results in social insecurities leading to divorces, adultery, fornications, and domestic violence. This results in a hostile society where we receive news about people committing suicide or killing their whole families. The Moral of the story? Lets learn from the Qur'an itself: Nor strain thy eyes in longing for the things We have given for enjoyment to parties of them the splendor of the life of this world through which We test them; but the provision of thy Lord is better and more enduring. (Surah Taha chapter 20 verse 131).

Loneliness in a Crowd : The Pain of Old Age

An aged father of my friend once called me up and complained about his loneliness. His wife had died two years ago and the man wanted to marry a widow so that he could drive away his loneliness. He said bitterly, My children do not want me to remarry; perhaps they dont want to share my property with their step mother. Two years back I was on in Pune, a cyber-city close to Mumbai, where I was invited to speak in a beautiful outdoor auditorium. There was cool greenery and it was a very comfortable place. I walked around before the talk to enjoy the beauty of well-cut plants and the trimmed grass spread like velvet. I was told that the place was a home for old aged people. I asked, Oh you mean to say that it is an orphanage for old people? Err yes, but the facility is better than homes! My host said and he added we provide best food, there is a TV facility and entertaining games too. Do you provide grandchildren and other relatives too? I asked, and then threw in my anguish, These facilities are provided in our prisons too! The audience in my talk that day were lonely old people of old age home. I told them, You are not unlucky to miss your grandchildren but they are unlucky to have missed out playing in the lap of their grandparents who had an experience of bringing up the parents of the very same children. A person who has grown up with family, and he lives with family throughout his life and youth, but is being sent to a home of old age where he will be spending his time with other old people who are waiting for the sun of their life to set. Every day he waits for someone to visit him and his only visitors are the messages on the cell phone, Hello dad! How are you? Happy father's Day! In Ahemedabad, India there are luxurious old age home with AC-Suites. These ACSuites cant suit the recompense the charm of staying with the family. The trend of packing off old parents to Homes of Old Aged is gaining demand. I am told that there is a shortage of old age homes in Mumbai and cities of Gujarat. According to Hindustan Times July 22, 2006: The most severely isolated and lonely are people are over 75, particularly women- who are widowed and living alone. Source: Help Age India. According to Dignity Foundation (The Times of India, July 8, 2006), a large number of senior citizens are depressed. They may not be physically alone but they feel that there is no one around for them. It is just like remaining thirsty in spite of staying near a spring.

That reminds me of a noteworthy Muslim in the time of the Prophet (pbuh) Owais Qarni who could not meet the Prophet (pbuh) just because he had an ailing old mother to look after. He was highly regarded by the Prophet (pbuh) and his companions. Whenever somebody would go to visit Owais Qarni, Umar bin al Khattab (r.a.) used to convey his greetings to him and request him to pray for him! Another companion of the Prophet (pbuh), was exempted from battle because he had old parents at home. There is no concept of homes for old age in an Islamic society, rather the parents enjoy full rights to stay with their children. "Your parents are yourrparadise or Hell " says a famous tradition coming with an authentic chain of narrators. The first share from the wealth of a child who dies, goes to the parents. Yes they inherit from their property.

How Good should you be to your parents?

The Qur'an says: Be thankful to Me and to your Parents-Surah Luqman verse 14. We can thank Allah in many ways, by worshipping him, and obeying him. But is a mere "Thank you" or a card on "Parent's day" or just a hug with no warmth, enough to display our thank to our parents? Among the verses which we hear the most in our sermons, seminars and personal advices is "Be good to your parents". Can goodness be measured? Can you take a stock of your goodness? NO! But can Allah take stock of my goodess? Yes. If you study the verses related to the the rights of parents you will come across many injuctions that gives us a good parameter to at least analyse how good we are to our parents, rather how bad we are to them. In Surah Baqarah verse 83, Allah says: We took a promise from the Bani Israel that they will not worship any one besides Allah and will be kind to their parents... The Arabic phrase is : Wabil Walidayn ihasana...Ihsan in Urdu means to oblige someone. But in Arabic it means: To offer the best. The root word "Ha Seen Noon" has another word "Husna" which means "To beautify". Now if study the phrase again, we read it "and "Beautify your conduct towards your parents" How does one beautify his conduct. or offer a best conduct? Ihsan also means better response for good, good for evil and it reflects in speech and action. In speech, the Qur'an gives and example inn Surah Nisaa..And when a courtesou greeting is offered to your respond it with better.. the Arabic phrase for better response is with ahsan. Ahsan is a superlative degree of good, and the Hadith explains this verse : when some body says Assalamualaikum, you reply him : walaykumussalam warahamtullah wabarakatuhu Rahmatullahi and Barakatuhu are better reponse. So how can we do ihsan with parents in speech? Surah Isra, verse 23 says: Waqullahuma qaulan Kareema, and talk to them in an honourable manner. ..Dont instruct them but request them. Respond them politely. Correct them respectfully. This is what the Qur'an instructs us when it says: do not say even "UFF" to them. Even a harsh father of Prophet Ibrahim (r.a.) was responded by his son by the term" Yaa Abaati "O my dear father ". This Ihsan was towards a father who is one of the

biggest obstacle in his passion of Touhid. Compare this with our corrections of our parents who are regular in salah and nice people! Even body language is a form of communication, isnt it? Looking harshly at parents can give you negative grades. Aisha (r.a.) said : A man looking harshly at his father is not a man of rightous conduct (In spite of his being a regular in the masjid, giving charity) Ibn Abbas said : Ihsan towards parents also include, not to shake one's clothes before them so as to prevent the dust from our clothers fall on them ! Allah loves kindness to parents says a popular Hadith from Bukhari. But many of us exclude spending on parents. Let us check from the Qur'an: They ask you what should spend? Say: What ever you spend is good on parents. So spending on parents is an act that qualifies you to stand in the ranks of those who do Ihsan with parents. A father has right to spend the money of his son. This is an Islamic ruling with no second opinion. Today we run out of our money in buying expensive gadgets for our wives and kids, while our parents run short of money for their medicines. Let me whisper one more thing- wasting your parent's money is also a bad conduct towards them. In spite of doing all these things have we really thanked our parents? No not possible. Refer to Surah Luqman, verse 14: In travail upon travail did his mother bear him-this means that when we were in the womb of our mothers she carried us with utmost care, and two years of weaning, says the verse. Can we carry our mother continously for 24 hours day and night? No. Then how do we thank her? Since we are not able to return their obligation with Ihsan, with better conduct then they did to us, so we continue doing best to them and yet leave the matter to Allah to reward them. Note this Qur'anic verse : (Pray for them ) My Lord ! Bestow on them your mercy as they cherished me in childhood...

The Corporate Monasticism and the Daddy-cated Fatherhood

"The best among you are the ones who are the best to their families." Perhaps there is no direct statement in any other religion or "ism" that boosts the inspiration to build up a healthy and a happy family life as straight and simple as this command of Islam. Islamic shariah is the only constitution that negates Monasticism in a stern command. And Monasticism, we did not write upon them but they (The Christians) imposed upon themselves (Surah al Hadeed ch 57 verse 27). No Prophet of Allah led a life confined in Monasteries nor did they train their students to do that, but they led a life like you and I. They worked, did business and married. They had children, travelled with families and took part in bringing up their children, till they died. Missing: The Daddy-cated Fathers This age is experiencing a new kind of monasticism among the working men. They stay in the office for long hours, they return home with office papers in their briefcases and office matters in their brief minds. They are like a piece of furniture at home sitting quietly in a corner watching a movie on their iPhone or reading a newspaper, or reading text messages. They play no particular role in family affairs; they are not bothered about their children's whereabouts. They are like paying guests who come late at night and leave early morning and when the month ends they pay their salary as the rent for staying. Dont be one of them. How 'daddy-cated' were the fathers of early generations? Look into the Qur'an for the testimonies. When Prophet Yaqub (pbuh) was on his death bed, he advised his sons not to worship any one besides Allah. Study Surah Luqman, when Luqman, the wise, instructed his son to do good things and stop from bad. The Qur'an also speaks about Moses traveling along with his family. These noble Prophets did their Prophetic job while playing the role as a father too. A successful Muslim is capable of fulfilling multi tasks. Study the following dialogues between a counsellor and the participants in a workshop on parenting: Counsellor: How much do you spend on your children? 1st Participant: Around 500$ a month

2nd Participant: Half my salary and most of my savings 3rd Participant: I never keep an account but I dont spend less than others Counsellor: But excuse me sir, I did not ask how much money you spend, did I? What I meant was how much time do you spend on your children? Most of the fathers measure their contribution to the family with the amount of money they spend on them. Working hard vs. working hardly Many workaholics claim to be busier than they are actually. Some of them are procrastinators of the present pending work and keep on delaying it, and then they sit till midnight to finish it, ignoring homely responsibilities. Some of the workaholics enjoy being away from homes sitting before the computer searching for peace and comfort on social websites. A day comes when they are stunned to discover that their children have grown up and they are still strangers in their own houses! They will regret for missing the beauty of seeing their children grow up. Their children grow up in the company of strangers who arrive in their homes in the form of movie actors and actresses, fashion models, superman, Batman, Tom and Jerry and all that. These are the people who are parenting our children while we are fixed up in our monasteries called 'Offices'. The same is the ruling on those fathers who return to their families only once in two years from the Gulf. I agree with those scholars who rule that it is not allowed to be away from wives for more than four months. Umar bin Khattab did not permit any warrior to be away from the family for more than four months, that too in the case of a war, where as many young men stay away for materialistic gain for years, robbing their children of the rights to have an affectionate father around them when they need.

Yaa Bunayya! O My son! Concerned Fathers

I have a question for the fathers: In 10,000 hours that your children spends in the entire schooling years, what else are they learning besides mathematical formulas, grammar and the stories of the dead? Have you ever studied the character report of your child besides his academic performance? No, because our schools never issue such observations. Our teaching institutions are mere factories of manufacturing Doctors, Engineers and PHDs; Quality not guaranteed. Surah Luqman begins with a reminder that the Quran is indeed a wise book. It further says, We bestowed wisdom on Luqman. It continues by sharing the wisdom in being a responsible father. Three times Luqman is quoted in this Surah, addressing his son, giving those ever fresh advices which many fathers of today dont think their children require. The first and the most prominent one is, Ya Bunayya La tushrik Billah O my son, do not associate any one with Allah. The phrase My son appears many times in the Quran and except in Surah Luqman the rest of the quotes are of the Prophets including Noah, Ibrahim and Yaqoob (pbuh). All these great Prophets and wise men were worried about their own sons along with their nations. In Surah Baqarah verse 137, when Prophet Yaqoob (pbuh) was on his death bed, he called upon his sons and asked, "O my sons! Whom will you worship after my death?" Among his sons was Yusuf, another Prophet. Would Yusuf (pbuh) worship any one else besides Allah? Then why did Yaqoob (pbuh) ask him? It was his fatherly duty to be worried even when he was on his death bed and his son was a grown up man. The same concern was also shown by Ibrahim (pbuh) when he was on his death bed, asking his son not to die except in the state of Islam. Note down, that his sons were Isma'el and Is'haq and both were Prophets. Would a Prophet ever involved in shirk after his father dies? Before a wave drowned his son, the parting advice of Prophet Noah(pbuh) to his son was, Yaa bunayya! O My Son, do not be with those who are in kufr. This day there is no refuge except from Allah. The son did not heed the advice of his aged father who had toiled for 950 years to save the people from the wrath of Allah. When we remind the Muslim fathers to be concerned about their children's aqeedah we are told, "But we are born Muslims, my son prays five times, why do we need to remind our children not to do shirk?" This can be a surprised response from a Muslim father who has not studied the above verses of the Qur'an carefully.

Many Fathers are like paying guests, who leave early morning and return home late night. Every month they just pay their salaries as a rent, not bothered about their growing sons. Many fathers limit their responsibilities by focusing only on the academic brilliance of their children. I know of fathers who are very particular in keeping a watch on their childrens studies and grades. They are suffering from "Career Anxiety". What will my son do after he graduates? For many fathers, the academic equations of their sons go like this: History+ Geography + Maths + Science = Good character! Our children have many teachers besides the academic ones. The rugged movie hero imparts an uncivilized language in him, the playboy sportsmen allures him to take pride in having affairs. The model appearing to be beautiful with cosmetics plastered on her face, gives a direction to our daughters to look at their bodies and realize how over weight or ugly are they! The only real teacher they are missing is a 'Daddy-cated Father'.

Do you Express Your Affection or Just Display Love?

A companion was standing beside the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), when a man passed by them. The companion said, "O Messenger of Allah! I love that man." Upon that the Messenger asked him: "Did you inform him?" He said, No!" The Prophet (pbuh) then said: "Then inform him so that he may love you too." When we were young, we clung to our mothers constantly, and when we returned home from school, we expressed 'tons of natural joy' upon seeing her. With the passing of time, as we are now all grown up, when we return from our colleges and offices, we dont express that love nor do we realize that with the passage of time, our love has evaporated and what remains is a fossil of love in the form of 'get well soon' cards, an artificial smile, or kissing her forehead before people. The same display is seen often in the early matrimonial life. Many of us claim lasting love for our wives, we call up umpteen times from the office, bring ice creams and chocolates, as a declaration of love. Later after a couple of kids, this too gets restricted to evening talks and all that, till one of us dies and the other feels lonely for the rest of his life. A young boy I used to admire in my school days, when we used to play cricket, whenever he saw his mother, he used to throw away his bat and run to her, take her bags of vegetables, and used to carry it to their house, then quietly come back and join us. An amazing expression of love. It is an extreme wisdom of Allah that He did not let human beings invent any instrument to measure love and affection, nor did He give love any material form or color, otherwise most of us would have been exposed as stone hearted people. Imagine, if love would have been red colored and it could fade if unused, then we would run out of red hearts. Love is made by Allah and it cannot be updated with injections and tablets, nor can it be revived in workshops. We just have to realize it and express it. In fact, today love has so many rivals in the form of flirting, exaggerated appreciations and various greeting cards on different special occasions that true love is difficult to be understood, resulting in artificial display of affection.

Allah the Wisest, who is well aware of His creations inside out, knows well that people would display artificial love towards Him so he wisely put a condition in the Qur'an: Qul in kuntum tohhibunallaho... Say, if you love Allah then follow me (The messenger). (Surah Imran chapter 3 verse 31, 32). Now you cannot display love towards Allah in an artificial manner. He, Allah the Exalted, has given the parameter to each one of us to judge how much we love Him. Let us introspect and check it using the 'itteba-e-rasool' the obedience to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), and discover if we really love Allah.

Crime Begins At Home: How we spoil our own Children!

Crime can be classified into two categories: the Moral Sins and Crime. Some moral sins, like adultery and fornication, are punishable sins, so they can be put in the column of crime. Many people take moral sins as lesser crime because many of them cannot be punished by the law and it is between the sinner and Allah. For example if you speak a lie to your teacher or your mother it may go unpunished in this world but Allah will hold you to account later. Just because Allah does not catch you instantly for many of your sins, it does not mean that you have a license to carry on those sins. Some sins can be pardoned by Allah through astaghfar. But many moral sins, if not checked, lead to crime. These moral sins that are nourished in our homes, like weeds in a farm, are results of the attitude of parents themselves. In UK, a child may not be allowed to buy alcohol from a shop nor can he drink in a pub, but he is permitted to drink in the company of elders at home and in family gatherings. These kids, who are introduced to alcohol before they enter their teen age, grow up into alcoholics and are involved in crime like robbing, raping. A study of girls 12-16, sponsored by the British Home Office, found that about 33 percent of them have been bullied in schools (The Times of India, May 9, 2006 from Daily Mail by Bathe Hale). In another incident, a young girl named Tamara was expelled from the school in Britain, when she was only five! Her crime? She struck her teachers with bricks. Her weapons were verbal abuse as well as physical harm. The Mumbai police have also accepted that the Juvenile crime rate is up by 20 percent! In Islamic countries, with the exception of a few, we dont have many problems with alcohol, as it is rarely consumed. So we are saved from thousands of road accidents committed under the influence of alcohol. The reason is simple: we program our children's mind right from the childhood that consuming alcohol is extremely bad, and this lesson remains in the hearts and minds of the Muslims. This shows that programming of children's minds right from an early age is one of the most useful ways of preventing him from being led astray.

Eating of Pork versus eating of a dead man's flesh Let me explain to you with another example. Every Muslim child in every country, every city, is programmed to believe that Pork is haram and the pig is a dirty animal. So we see that the moment some pigs walk into a Muslim neighborhood, little children chase them away with sticks and stones. That is because of programming a child's mind. But does the same child feel hatred about eating human flesh with the same intensity? Though Gheebah (back biting) is denounced as bad as eating the flesh of our dead brother, yet how many of us rate a child's involvement in backbiting as bad as eating the flesh of a pig? We see many elders cherishing it like eating a chicken or thigh beef. So the child grows up while involved in sins like backbiting, which he has studied from his parents and other elders by observing them doing it. Fighting with the enemies versus fighting with Allah and His Messenger (pbuh) It is very common for a Muslim to react angrily whenever he is confronted by a maligning statement against Allah and His messenger (pbuh). When Satanic Rushdie wrote his filthy book mocking at the Qur'an and our beloved prophet (peace be upon him), every Muslim wanted him punished, but many among those Muslims knowingly are themselves involved in war against Allah and His messenger (pbuh). Interest based loans for education, for buying houses and vehicles are growing into unavoidable essential transactions for many Muslims. So the child grows up hating the enemies of Islam but gets into war with Allah and His messenger (pbuh). Ali (r.a.), used to say: Play with your child till he reaches 7, then discipline him till he reaches 14, then keep him with you till he is 21, then set him free, as InshaAllah he is mature. But our little children grow up seeing us breaking shariah in every nook and corner of our lives, we are ourselves badly disciplined and therefore we are programming them to be worse than us.

Youth Sex education or Sexy Education

A few months back, a local school in Mumbai conducted a surprise inspection of school bags. It was a shock for the authorities to discover bundles of DVDs and pictures related to Pornography. What surprised the authorities even more was the number of children who possessed the material and the number of children who shared it with them. Every time such news of sexual adventures of children appears in the media, a dead debate is brought back to life. Should sex education be compulsory in the schools? The Orthodox Guajaratis, Marwaris, Muslims and some Marathi families of India resist the very idea of sex education and they seek refuge in the shade of local political parties. They are blamed for remaining in the closets like turtles in their shell. But they are in large numbers if an honest and a wide survey is conducted. Here is what I found when I tried to peep into the methods and the syllabus of sex education floated by some schools: A male or a female teacher can be teaching to a class mixed with boys and girls discussing about anatomy and other sex related topics. An experienced teacher noted: There were more giggles in the class than in a dark cinema hall where a hot movie is shown. This was the only subject which the children awaited with excitement. The syllabus includes acts of sex, how to use condoms, how to avoid unwanted pregnancies, how to calculate safe dates. There would be no exams on this subject but yet the results are out. In the Western countries, sex is marketed as widely as colas and the age of consent in countries like Sweden is as low as 13 years. According to the latest BBC news report, some manufacturers have come out with extra-small-size condoms exclusively for young boys of 13. According to reports from the British media there are no less than 2000 schools in the UK having wet nurses. The duty of these wet nurses would be to help get rid of unwanted pregnancies, without letting the parents know. A civilization, where adulterous fornicators, paedophiles, gays and lesbians swarm like bacteria in curd, gives a wide opportunity to children in their early teens to venture into morally dangerous zones.

In Islamic syllabus there is no term like sex education, but a variety of issues related to sex, anatomy, sexual hygiene and above all moral and ethics of sexual life are highlighted in a civilized manner. Maintaining hijab through modest dressing and avoiding intermingling with opposite sex are the most important chapters taught from an early age. Children who have reached the age of puberty are not allowed to enter the bedroom of their parents without seeking permission, an excellent right of privacy for the parents. Husbands and wives are not permitted to discuss their bedroom details with their relatives and friends and if some does it, then it is compared to sex performed by a male and female devil in the middle of the market place. The other main difference between the so called sex education and Islamic education of morals and values, is that Islam permits marriage at an early age to allow the satisfaction of sexual desires legally, whereas, the so called sex educators do not touch this subject, they focus more on safe affairs, and sex outside marriage, opening more doors of moral decay for an already sexually rotten society.

The Do It Yourself Kit to Spoil Kids: (S)expose them...

Let me share this paragraph from a note written by a concerned parent on the face book. : The other day, I stumbled upon a channel that aired a dance championship for children. There were judges; two out of three were popular movie actors of yester years. The participants were in their early teen age. It was actually a teenage hunt competition in which participants presented various characters. Quite obviously, every child worked hard, but the last winner had to be extraordinarily exciting. It was a 12 year old girl in her shortest shorts and a tightest T shirt, dancing and swaying obscenely on an item song. At the end of her performance a female judge, also an exactress, advised her: You must take this as a profession! With such counselors around, why do you require vocational counselors? When kids are invited and encouraged to take up filthy careers to reach fame and wealth , then little can be done to erect a wall to protect them. How do you corrupt a child? There are many do it yourself kits avai lable. Expose him to a comic character, spin a mental web of culture around it, invite him to the web, let him get obsessed, then gradually mold the comic character into a corrupt source, but dont remove the attraction, and "the moment the fly sits on the web That is what many 'Merchants of Dreams' are doing these days. Broaden the appeal by introducing more characters from cartoon and animation. That comic book, Batwoman is returning, this time as a lesbian, described as "a lesbian socialite by evening and a crime-fighter later in the night". Batwoman will be the subject of at least 12 issues. It will be the most high-profile appearance by a gay superhero in any book published by the legendary DC Comics. Would kids find Batwoman readable if she were a mere, bespectacled class teacher talking about dusty morals and ethics? Comic books and movies are not the names of tablets for the cure of insomnia. They are to awake the sensuality of kids standing on the doorstep of sexual awareness. The Archie comic teaches that if you are a beautiful and a rich daughter like Veronica then you can have many guys chasing you and if you are a middle class girl like Betty, then you get terrible inferiority complex. Next time if you hear or read about a gay Tarzan or a gay Superman, dont be surprised. After all the 250 million/year industry has to look for new leisure and addictive products.

Has anybody raised this question, Why do kids get influence by bad things? There can be many answers. Note down a few possible answers you can expect from a child whom you see entering into the forbidden zone. Here are a few of them : "Nobody stops us from doing it. " "Many people around us are doing it." "Parents and teachers never tell us that it is really bad." "It is hard to differentiate between the good and the bad." "We dont know that evil is harmful." The side effects of this Sexposure are poisonous and the biggest is an obsession with good looks. Many children are learning to believe that good looks are more important than honesty, courage, generosity and academic grades. In the past one year, the number of teenage boys visiting gym, beauty parlors, and cosmetic shops have increased like anything. Many girls are happy to go under the knife of a cosmetic surgeon, as cosmetic surgery happens to be the fastest growing medical specialty. Students, who find botanical and zoological terms difficult to remember, are more familiar with cosmetic terms like rhinoplasty and otoplasty. Good looks are quickly being accepted as the currency to success. Good looks get some extra marks in receiving attention from the opposite sex, more offers in modeling, fashion shows and proposals from opposite sex with bouquet of roses on Valentines days and birthdays. The teen generation grows faster than youth, breaking more records in obscenity and adventures in sexual escapes. No wonder, among the signs of the Qiyamah is: Sex out of wedlock will be common and the little children will be learning it!

Hit Him Hard Man! The Cult of Violence

With violence running furiously in the blood of teenagers across the globe, people are unable to deal with the menace. Gone are the days when you could whack your kid and put him straight. Teachers are no more objects of threat. Discipline is a fossil. A concerned Psychiatrist once remarked in her editorial: The dangerous difference between a violent movie and a violent video game can be easily spotted. In a movie, you are merely watching someone using a trigger or throwing a bomb, but when you play video games, the trigger is in your hands. It is you who is shooting and killing and finally she concluded: The movies exaggerating violence are dangerous but violent video games pose a bigger danger for the subtle minds of children. Laura Clark of Sunday Times, London, wrote a surprising article in 2005 informing the readers that there were 500 schools in UK having cops in the premises. Later in 2009 the same author, in the same newspaper, updated the news: now there are five thousands schools with cops. Many streets of London and Moscow have night curfews for children under 18, unless accompanied by an adult. A 200 page IPPR declared that 66% of Britons would not dare to stop children from vandalizing a bus shelter. They further told of 1.5 million British now thinking of moving away from their area they live in "because of violent young people hanging around". The curved flyover that runs from Bhendi Bazar to CST Mumbai has been banned for motor cycle riders. Young men race their motorbikes on this silky flyover only to be killed or seriously injured. Motorbikes are not new, but the cult of driving it recklessly is taught by video games of car and motorbike races. It has carved a new mentality of dangerous life style. Those who have been in Arab cities must have also seen the Arab kids driving rough cars and motorbikes and meeting with accidents. The world is turning into a civilization having hostile mentality, with minds getting more concrete upon not finding news with a few killings worth reading. The other day, a man hanging out of a running train was murmuring a song from a Bollywood movie 'Satya': Goli maar bheje mein which means Shoot the bullet in head." It came as a little surprise to me because the words of the song did not match his smiling face.

What do you understand when people take killing ruthlessly as a mere entertainment. The culture of violence decorated and glamorized by the dream merchants is turning into a cult. No wonder we are foretold in Sahih Hadith that when Qiyamah will be near, there will be a lot of killing. In another hadith it says, A person will not know why he is being killed! The most advanced nations have largest killings including suicides. If US lead in violent killings in all forms, i.e. domestic violence, murder, arson, murders by school children, Japan leads in suicide. Hardcore violence and volatile race and killing video games are breeding a new cult of dangers. Being brave is one thing and showing foolish bravery is another thing. If only our youth realize this...

Fast Bikes... Fast life... The Rage of Rash Riding

A rich man in the rich suburb of Mumbai wanders on the streets of Bandra and keeps a watch on motorbike riders. When he spots one of them riding rough, he approaches him and invites him politely to his huge apartment over a cup of tea. He is courteous and friendly in his approach. During the tea he talks about the dangers of bike riding. Then he takes his guest to one of his rooms and shows a youth lying on a bed. He points at him sadly and explains: This is my son who has gone handicap, a result of rash driving. So I appeal you earnestly to think about yourself and the pain your accident gives to your parents too. Once, newspaper screamed about the accident of ex-cricketer and a captain of India, Azharuddin's son. Whether it is Azharuddin or a common man, the pain of son's misfortune always gives an emotional jolt which is bigger and harder than the accident itself. Ayazzudin is one of the million youth who are driven crazy by the bike craze and now struggling for his life. From Dubai to Dacca, rash riding is considered as an art and a display of courage. Midnights races are common in many metropolitan cities. Even ordinary two wheelers are into rash riding. In Dubai alone there is around 1000 death on roads, many of them a result of rash driving. Due to hard rules and laws, the figures have come down but it continues to rise in Mumbai, Karachi and Delhi. Drag race is the new craze in road rage. 1000 Suzuki GSX and other bikes have become a status symbol for the energetic youth. I dont know how fast it can go but reports tell us that it is a race between Motor bike manufacturing companies to be ahead in sales that keeps them updating one brand to another with each new one faster than the other. Reports say that the Suzuki Company has invested 150 crores of Rupees to expand its new plants and new launches. It may be a little here and there for Hero Honda and other bike manufacturing companies too. Heroes of movies also promote the incitement of rash driving. Top film stars playing the roles of robbers and robbing on a bike riding it fast enough to take them beyond the law's hand are becoming saleable products in the film industry. There are scores of bike robbery and rash riding games that can be played on computers, giving an indoor training on how to ride rash.

Even media is influencing and speeding up the corruption of the youth. There are no NGOs to take them to law. Maybe because it is not like terrorism that influences foreign policies. As I pray for the recovery of Azharuddin's Son, I also pray for those millions of fathers whose son are still into rash riding waiting for an accident to happen.

Co-Education in Islamic Perspective Yesterday, a reader wanted to know the reaction of the journalist when I replied to her question, "Why Muslims don't educate their daughters? In the midway of my answer she interrupted and asked, Ok, then why do you prefer to send you daughters to 'Single Sex Schools' only? The answer was again swift and simple: Because there are many single sex schools in Mumbai! Many of these schools, especially the schools run for girls only, display awards from Governments for running girls schools, but if the Muslims send their daughters to the same schools then it is a sign of backwardness, alieness, ghettoism. Statistics inform that the majority of girls in these single sex schools are Non-Muslims! Teen pregnancy is one of the biggest problems in the Western educational institutions. The United States still has a teen pregnancy rate that is significantly higher than other industrialized countries; only one-third of teen mothers will complete high school. From 5 million girls in schools, over half a million teens between 15 and 19 years of age give birth each year in the United States. The best solution opted by the NGOs, the Government officers and the medicos offer to check teen pregnancies is to DISTRIBUTE CONTRACEPTIVES., a site managed by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, states that there are "750,000 teen pregnancies annually. Eight in ten of these pregnancies are unintended and 81 percent are to unmarried teens." Their advice to the students thinking about having sex, "the best way to prevent an unwanted pregnancy is to educate yourself about different forms of contraceptive." In fact one of the reasons for home schooling gaining popularity is moral corruption in schools. There are at least 2000 single sex schools even in US as more and more parents are worried about their children getting spoiled in the schools. Islamically, the same standard rule applies for boys as well. Even boys should be sent to single sex schools preferably to prevent intermingling with the opposite sex. Islam never stands as a barrier between Muslims and Education but cautions you from threats waiting on the journey to education. That is the difference between being educated and remaining ignorant in spite of graduation.

Your Friends Reflect your Personality

There are two fine examples of a good friend and a bad friend in the Qur'an which go unnoticed by many readers: Qarun was from Bani Israel and not from the people of Pharaoh, yet he chose to desert his own people and opted to be doomed along with the Pharaoh. (Surah Qasas, chapter 28, verse 76). Qarun, held in a top position in the ministry of the Pharaoh, and naturally it was expected of him to be a source of benefit to his own people, but rather he was among those who incited Pharaoh against the Bani Israel, especially Moosa (a.s.). It was he who was among those who advised the Pharaoh to kill the male children of Bani Israel and leave the females alive, (Surah Ghafir chapter 40, and verse 24, 25). He was among those who incited Pharaoh to kill Moosa. Qarun and Haman were among those bad advisors who hastened Pharaoh to his own destruction. In the same Surah, the next ayat begins with a man from the people of Pharaoh, who too held a good position in the court, but the Qur'an testifies that he was a believer (Surah Ghafir, chapter 40, verse 28). He advised Pharaoh not to kill Moses (as) and kept on arguing on his behalf. What kind of suggestions and advices your friends give you? Do they allure you to a new movie or introduce you to a non-mahram or accompany you to a mall and insist that you buy expensive cellphones and designer dresses and shoes? Or do they caution you from being immodest and discourage you from plunging into sexual adventures and being extravagant? If you can differentiate between a good advice and a bad advice then you are a good advisor for your own self. The Qur'an highlights an essential quality of a good friend which can be used as a parameter in judging your friends. Open Surah Toubah chapter 9, verse 71, and read it: The believing man and the believing woman are wali of each other. Wali is among the most misunderstood term by many Muslims. The Qur'an uses it for a protector a well-wisher, a guardian and a friend. The wise verse further elaborates, They command that which is good and forbid that which is bad. Do your friends command you to do well and stop you from haram? Rather, I would turn the question in your direction and ask you, Do you yourself qualify this test with regards to your friends? When was the last time that you noticed that your friend is addicted to TV

serials, watching movies or chasing girls? Do you possess enough courage like that believing man from the people of Pharaoh who dared to stand up for the truth in spite of all odds being against him? Bad companions will discourage you; they will try to pull you down and yet continue to be with you pretending to be your well-wishers. You will find many around you. If you refer to Surah Ahzab, Surah 33, verse 12- 13, you will find a mention of such people too: They have a disease in their hearts. So at a crucial junction when the Muslims were busy in encouraging each other, they tried to demoralize them, farjeoo they passed a word, Return back to you homes, trying to cause fissures among the ranks of the Muslims. Do your friends discourage you from going ahead with good things? Or do you discourage your friends from going ahead in good things? The Qur'an describes the plight of a person who will regret for being doomed due to wrong friends: Ah woe to me! I wish I had not taken so and so as my close friend. Surah Furqan, chapter 25 verse 28.

Celebrity Struck: The Race to Fame and Shame

The hunt is on for teenage talents. Everyone in the sports world, movies, TV channels, ad-agencies, or cosmetic world is looking for potential teenage sensations. We are standing in a market where children are products, consumers, heartthrobs, audience, and everything that matters to the marketing world. A 14-15 year old enthusiastic girl waiting in "Be a Celebrity" queue is no more a baby. She applies make up like a lady, she develops habits, styles and ideas of a woman. By the time these "sensations" cross their teenage years they are exhausted of their talents, looks and figures and soon replaced by another younger generation. Figure is the first thing many girls are getting conscious of, and it is followed by a desperate struggle to survive in this dazzling world of fame, resulting in depression, drug intake and suicide in some cases too. I had read about this young actor 'Aarti' from the South Indian film world, who stepped into the shining film world at the age of 14. They say that her graceful dance was the source of her quick ascends to fame. She was labeled as "Lady Luck" and producers started chasing her. She performed with the most popular actors of the South Indian Film industry. By the time she completed her teenage years she had put on weight. A famous actor nicknamed her "gas cylinder", a comment that got huge publicity in the media. Her charm faded off and like a broken mannequin, she was removed from the shelf and replaced by younger girls. Frustrated and depressed at being deprived of the lime light she tried to commit suicide. After gulping down few sips of liquid cleaner she slipped into coma and fractured few bones too upon falling down. Experts blame the possessive nature of the parents of 'celebrity children'. Some fathers of super star kids are cranky. A father of a popular Indian teenage sensation used to bring booze to the studios and used to get drunk. We see many parents in the media trying to market their children's skills and talents in the talent shows organized by TV channels. They look proud of their children. How many hours had they spent in making their children into marketing products? There are fathers and mothers who carry albums of their obscenely dressed daughters from one TV channel to another, in a quest to get a break in the shining industry. There are parents who wouldnt mind their teenage daughters to go out with godfathers to dance, to fashion shows, and film parties. The competition is tough

and girls are available in plenty, each one trying to outscore the others in affairs, in liberty... Lindsay Lohan got into fame at the age of 11, and soon she started getting into a series of car crashes, arrests, and times in Rehabs. She was also arrested for possessing cocaine. Britney Spears started as a pre-teen on The New Mickey Mouse Club and then she was involuntarily committed to a psychiatric ward. There are TV channels that host entertainment shows of children dancing and swaying to lewd music bowing and turning their bodies in all possible obscene shapes and their parents and relatives sitting in the audience, cheering them and some even getting emotional when their children win. Children do have a right to have their own dreams, but someone should teach them the difference between a pleasant dream and a pleasant look-alike dream that can turn into a sudden nightmare when she wakes up but it would be too late. Even dreams should be practical. Desires should be benefiting humanity and not just light a candle of fame. That is where the Islamic perception of certain careers becomes essential.

Lewd Musicians and Singers: The Pied Pipers of Today

In my school book I had a story: "The Pied Piper of Hamelin" written by Robert Browning. It was a fictitious story that happened in a German village which was afflicted by rats. The mayor announced a huge reward for anyone who could get rid of the rats. A musician arrived from somewhere and played his pipe, the rats from all around the town followed him and he walked into the river, followed by the rats intoxicated by his tune. Later when he approached the Mayor for the reward he was refused and was mocked at. He took his revenge. Next evening he played his flute again. This time the little children of the town were mesmerized and they followed him. He entered the opening of a cave and the children followed him, and when the last child had entered, the door of the cave closed. The Pied piper took away hundreds of children from their parents leaving them in grief. Today these Pied pipers are back in new forms. Like Pied Piper of Hamelin these singers and musicians drive away our children from their innocent childhood and duties. There is an invisible movement to stir up the sexual passions among the kids. These kids are the richest consumers throughout the globe. The most powerful buyers come from this age group with an estimated $40 Billion. The number one thing bought by kids is Music Albums. Hanna Montana and Britney Spears are household names in many Muslim families whose culture is colored by western brushes. What do these children get in return except that their iPods and blackberries are full of raunchy and sexy lyrics? Like heavy drinkers we have Heavy listeners", swaying, jumping, and twisting along with hip hops, rap or rock, each beautified with vulgar lyrics. Few decades back there were "Youth Bands", now they have "Teen Bands". I was shocked to see a Muslim singer (guess his name) performing like a Jazz singer, in an American Auditorium, but presenting a Nasheed, and young girls standing on their seats swaying and enjoying! I was told later that the singer has shades of corrupt Sufism. Songs and Nasheed, as long as they are good and goodness oriented, are not objected by scholars. A time will come when a man wakes up as a Muslim but in the evening he will die on kufr!

There are many Muslim singers and musicians, including award winners in Oscars and Grammys, who sing and compose tunes for lyrics which have kufr related phrases. Imagine you find one of those songs good and you hum it many times and death meets you all of a sudden, while you are humming it. In what state will you die? How many of you are aware of the fact that the arrival of Dajjal will be welcomed by many people and the musicians will be leading them. Guess, if the musicians march, would not those who are intoxicated by the music follow like those rats and little children of Hamelin?

Productivity and Wellbeing Are You Investing Your Time or Merely Spending It
The average age of people of this ummah is 65 years. Out of that 15 years are passed away in childhood and early teenage, from the remaining 50 years almost one third is lost to sleep. So, subtracting 16 years approximately from the remaining, you get 34 years as balance to live. What we do in these 34 years will shape our life after death. The choice is ours, whether we waste it away or use it for ourselves and others. In simple words, are we merely spending our time or investing it? That draws our attention towards the common term we use, "Time Pass". In fact there is nothing like time pass, either you are wasting your time or using it. The time is passing anyhow and you cannot control it by slowing it or fastening it. What is the difference between time waste and time invested? Imam Bukhari, the author of the Master piece in Islamic literature Sahih al Bukhari invested his time. He invested 18 years to compile a book that gives him extra ordinary dividends while he sleeps in his grave. Day in and day out he analysed through his sets of strict rules before picking up around 2230 hadith. The book explains in detail the Islamic jurisprudence since 1200 successive centuries! He travelled extensively throughout the Arabia in cross examining the 2, 00,000 hadith that he had memorised during his tenure as a student! Amazing feat! Every year hundreds and thousands of madrasas across the world quote Bukhari to learn and teach Islam. Note the following hadith: When a man dies, he leaves behind three things that benefit him even after his death; righteous children who would pray for him, a Sadaqa-e-Jariya (continuous charity) and the knowledge that he leaves behind for the people to benefit. How do we use out time? Are we merely spending or investing? Time is wealth and you cannot buy it, nor can you transfer your time from your life to someone else's life. It is a thing which you can never get it back. If you lose your wealth you can earn it back. But lost time can never be recalled back. If you fail in exams you have next year to try again but if you fail in your life you never get another chance. The following hadith will make it clear how precious this life is: The Martyr will be allowed to roam in the paradise anywhere he wishes to and he will be asked by Allah, Do you desire

anything more? Yes My Lord! I want to go back in the world and get martyred again, he will desire. "No! You cannot go back." The people before us lived for centuries. Noah (pbuh) worked among his people for 950 years! Yet we are assured that though we are the last to come yet we will be the first to enter into paradise! How come? The answer is simple: Our lives may be shortened but our rewards are multiplied. For example, if we pray five times we are rewarded for praying 50 times. If we pray in congregation we have prayed 27 times. If we pray Isha and Fajr in congregation we have prayed whole night. If we get one Laylatul Qadr we have worshipped for 1000 nights. There are many things we want to do in our lives yet unable to do it. They maybe big dreams like building a school or a hospital and we never get money to fulfil our dreams of sawab-e-jaariah. But have you noticed that there are many things which we can, which we are supposed to do and yet we are not doing it? Make a list of your pending good works that you desire to do and squeeze out time to do it. It might be that you want to write a useful book or memorize the Qur'an or learn Arabic Language. It can be any good thing and you are delaying it. Pick up your pending work and start doing it and that is what we say time invested properly. Remember; time is not wasted in hours but in minutes which we let it slip doing nothing and then: When death approaches one of them he says, O my Lord give me send me back. That I go back and work righteousness in the things I neglected. No! You cant go b ack. Surah al Mo'minoon chapter 23 verse 99-100.

Growing up in a Grown up Manner

There are four dimensions of growth: physical growth, academic growth, intellectual Growth and spiritual growth. Upon entering teenage, most of the boys and girls get more concerned about their physical growth, while their parents remain worried about their academic growth. In our society, including the Muslims, a lot of energy, time and money is spent on these two dimensions. The reason is clear; many people assume that these two dimensions will get them good jobs and good proposals for marriages. So we see crowded coaching classes for better academic grades and overcrowded beauty parlors with girls and boys flocking to update their looks. The most read articles in the periodicals are about career, beauty and health. Dieting and body building have turned our mirrors into the busiest furniture of our houses. This brings our attention to the other two dimensions of growth unattended by most of us: Intellectual growth and Spiritual growth. I have separated Academic growth from Intellectual growth. There are many graduates who have finished their exams with flying colors but they fail in using their education in their practical lives. They may achieve high scores in Mathematics but they never check up their accounts or read between the lines of a bank statement. They may be excellent in studying Shakespeare and Wordsworth's stuff but they are rarely able to write a good letter to an editor, their vocabulary may be good but they are not able to draft a strong argument presenting their views or ideas. The reason is simple: They have not developed their intelligence. People look good, speak stylishly, carry bags of merit cards and certificates but they depend upon others to think and decide on their behalf. The same goes about spiritual growth. With learning and implementing revealed knowledge you cannot attain peace of mind even though you are regular in meditations and earn high salaries and move in good cars. The parameter of spiritual growth or SQ (your Spiritual Quotient) is directly proportionate to their attitude towards their Creator and the following of His guidance. How rightly the Qur'an says: He grants Hikmah to whom He pleases, and he, to whom Hikmah is granted, is indeed granted abundant good. But none remember (will receive admonition) except men of understanding . (Surah Baqarah chapter 2, verse 269)

Dont Ignore Personal Hygiene

In my dusty little shop, a man once stormed in and spat out his frustration. "My daughter is insisting for a khula," the man grieved and continued, "She says her husband's unhygienic habits are totally intolerable for her and the marriage is only few months old!" It was a painful reason but seemed to be a common complaint among many husbands and wives about their spouses these days. I asked him, "Why did you not consider this before finalizing your son-in-law?" He declared "How do I check up the personal hygiene of a boy who is well dressed and displays good manners, but in personal cleanliness, he is very dirty, he urinates while standing, does not shave off his pubic hair and his mouth stinks..! Very few people are able to distinguish the difference between personality and character. Personality is what you are outside and character is what you are inside. Consider this: When you leave for your office, you take shower, apply fragrance and try to remain fresh for the whole day. Your boss, your co-workers and those beautiful ladies in your office are people who expect you to be like that in the office and you are very particular, but in the evening you are sweating, your mouth stinks because you ate all sorts of snacks, tea and other things that requires cleaning of mouth, and you reach home that way to your spouse, and many men remain that way for the rest day. Personal hygiene has been honored in a remarkable position in the list of the characteristics of a believer. It is declared as, "Nisful Emaan", half of faith. If you are unhygienic, shabby and careless towards yourself, then you stand a chance of being shabby towards your faith. One of the most appreciable habits of our beloved Prophet (peace upon him) was to brush his teeth as the first thing he did upon returning home. In order to realize the importance of being hygienic, one has to just ponder at the fact that a religion revealed in a desert where there is an acute shortage of water, expects its followers to be neat, clean and tidy. Lessons in personal hygiene go up the extent that even the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him) shared their personal marriage life to teach the successive generations of followers lessons in personal hygiene: "How the noble Prophet took a bath, how much water he used, how he cleaned his najasat, even trimming of

moustaches and keeping the hair of head and beard clean..., everything required by the Muslims to achieve cleanliness. In spite of all this, when I pass from a slum inhabited by Muslims, I feel hurt on observing the filthy condition they stay in. Indeed Allah loves those who repent and are neat, clean and tidy. (Surah Toubah).

Mirror Mirror on the Wall... The Obsession of Good Looks

A very rich person I know, stays in a south Indian Metropolitan city, has a daughter, and when she was around 20, they started looking for a rich boy to suit the status of the family. His girl, probably, was average looking as almost all of the girls in the world are. Many rich families discarded the proposal upon finding the girl to be average looking and found her too orthodox in hijab. They wanted a girl who wore colorful hijab and could look good even in hijab. That was the status factor perhaps they were also looking for. The hunt went on for two and a half years, and the more proposals got rejected the more worried the girl's parents got. Some well-wishing females advised her to wear colorful hijab and scarf and apply some good make-up while attending weddings so that she can be spotted by women looking for daughters in law. The girl was simple so she chose simplicity. One day she announced before her parents: Daddy Mummy! I give you two months to find a prospective groom for me, after that I will give my biodata to so and so Dawah Center and Ill get married to any good guy without asking how much he earns, if I find him on the Deen. The shocked parents speeded up the search and today the girl is married to a very good boy from the richest family of another city in South India. The family is on the Qur'an and the Sunnah. I am not mentioning the name of the cities, to hide the identity of the family and the girl. Many boys choose girls with a vision of displaying them like trophies where ever they go, be it a marriage ceremony or some other social gathering. A boy would be happy to note that other females in the gathering found his wife to be the most beautiful in the crowd! Some mothers of grooms strive for comments like, "Wow your daughterin-law looks like...!" Someone once passed a comment after receiving compliments about her daughter in law, She looks awesome, like Aishwarya Rai". This reflects that even wives and husbands are being taken up as status symbols. This is one of the reasons that make me uncomfortable when I happen to find myself in a wedding reception where the husband and the wife sit together and all types of people come on the stage and look at the bride and congratulate the husband.

Then there is a camera man standing on the stage recording all these happenings as if the angels Kiraman Kateibeen are not recording anything. This cameraman's lens move on the bride with close ups and other angles and neither the husband, nor the Wali of neither the bride nor any person among the crowd get a feel of gheerah (selfrespect). I would say this is a sin in congregation; or rather a sin approved as normal culture. The most common places people look for grooms and brides are other peoples weddings. They say, "In one marriage there are many marriages taking place." It is right. Men look for good looking young men for their daughters and nieces and women look for young girls appearing pretty (yes appearing pretty through the layers of make ups) and moving here and there being introduced to other ladies. The message, though unannounced yet very clear, "my daughter is very smart and beautiful and we are looking for some great guy for her." For many bride hunters, an extra ordinary beautiful girl has become a status symbol. There are marriage centers in Mumbai, where the match-makers charge higher fees for searching for a very good looking girl! There was this sister who attended Islamic classes which were conducted for college girls during vacations. Somebody spotted her taking contact numbers of fair and slim girls from the crowd. Someone asked her the reason. She replied, "I am looking for some good girls for my nephew!" One of the ladies rightly protested, "Excuse me, kindly dont do this hunting here. There are other girls here who may not be very beautiful and they may get terrible complexes for not being good looking." Someone rightly said to me, "If you want to get an idea about the attitude of Muslim families towards the deen, attend their weddings." My words of advice to my brothers who are getting ready for marriage or ready for marriage but not yet getting ready, selection of your spouse should not be on the basis of what people will say but it should be on how much peace and affection will follow in your married life. As the Qur'an says: And among his signs are, he created spouses for you, IN THEM YOU FIND SOLACE AND HE HAS MADE AFFECTION AND MERCY BETWEEN THEM. In this are signs for people who reflect. (Surah ar Room ch 30, verse 21). Will you reflect in this?

A Hungry world versus a Dieting World

As far as food consumption goes, we have the world divided into two main categories. One is the huge chunk of Afro-Asian countries that dont have food to eat, and the other is the huge piece of the rich Western Nations whose large population goes hungry despite the fact that they have large amount of food stored in their freezers. Whether you are a middle class laborer or a billionaire, your appetite does not have a difference of more than a few chapattis or breads. I happened to be at a dinner with a rich man of our community. This man was a VVIP of Chennai. He had hosted a variety of food on his table as he is famous for his hospitality. But I noticed that the man himself sat on the table and stared at us. He did not touch any item except a cup of soup. I was informed later that he suffered from diabetes and high blood pressure. Allah can give you affordable richness, but yet he may not permit you to enjoy many of the things He has given you. The BBC news of 19 June 2006 reported that "World hunger hits one Billion"! It is true that hunger begins with inequality but it is the unchecked appetite of our menu in our social customs that deprives a large number of people from basic food. Food and consumer affairs minister KV Thomas said that 15-20% of food is wasted in social gatherings. This has made the Indian Government look into the Pakistan's one-dish law on weddings, which limits menu to one vegetable and chapatti or rice. It is a different question, as to how many Pakistani weddings follow this rule. The total loss incurred due to wastage of agricultural food items at various stages was worth Rs. 58, 00 Million in 2004. Ten years ago, agricultural experts meeting in the southern Indian city of Bangalore estimated that food and vegetables worth 350 billion rupees ($7.3bn) are wasted every year in India. My grandmother once shared her experience about her Hajj journey in the early forties. She said that many Saudis in those days used to be dependent upon the wasted food discarded by the Hajis. Today we see a lot of food wasted even in the Arab gatherings! My friend in Da'wah is very particular about protesting against food wastage. This gutsy young man once happened to be in a local Masjid of Mumbai during Iftar. He could not tolerate the scene of pieces of left over fruits being piled up and thrown away in the dustbin. Many of us have a tendency to look away when we are in a position to speak up during such cases. He caught up the trustees and the Imam of the masjid and took up the issue.

It is very astonishing that on one hand Governments call up for population control citing food shortage as a main reason and on the other hand a country like India, with rich fertile soil, still runs short of food due to wastage. Another important thing to be noted: If you visit the book shelf of Amazon you will find hundreds of titles on diet control and weight control. If only one of them is right in its suggestions there is no need to have hundreds of books on the subject. There are no less than 12 thousand weight watchers club in the US and Europe. The Western countries have abundant food due to food processing, yet a huge section of their population especially women go hungry to reduce or control their weight. It is estimated that a dieting woman in US or UK eats only 800 calories, which is one third of the food that a hungry tribal woman of India gets to eat. British girls as young as 9 years old are dieting to achieve a curved figure. After all Allah has His own ways of food control. Doesnt He? Next time when you attend a wedding banquet, make it a point to instruct your younger ones that they should not get excited by the fragrance and the color of the food presented on the table. This will lead them to fill their plates with every colorful item and most of it would end up in the dustbin.

Mental Laziness: A Huge Block to Success

Among some of the wonderful qualities that Allah speaks about his worshippers, one of them is outstanding and draws our attention to a wall that blocks our growth and prosperity. Open Surah al Mo'minoon, ch 23, verse 61: It is those who hasten in every good work and those who are fore most in them... A similar quality of all the previous Prophets is mentioned in Surah Al Anbiya chapter 21, verse 90: These were ever quick in emulation in good works. There are two things to be noted in this verse: good deeds should be hastened, not delayed and while doing good deeds, you should try to be ahead of others. Islam permits you to race with each other to good deeds. That brings to my mind the battle of Tabuk, when Umar bin al Khattab (r.a.) thought of overtaking Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with both) in spending in the cause of Allah, so he presented half of his wealth, calculating that perhaps Abu Bakr(r.a) may not have as much wealth, but to his surprise he found that Abu Bakr(r.a) had brought along with him everything he owned! Maybe Umar(r.a), quantity wise, had brought more but Abu Bakr(r.a), quality wise, had brought 100 percent. One of the reasons why most of the Da'ees do not grow to the level of their potential is because they don't make good use of their time and talents. Most of us have many dreams, desires, ambition of doing good but we keep on delaying till all the enthusiasm gets evaporated and we remain satisfied of receiving at least the reward of intention. Many of us talk of doing things we cannot do but delay things which we are supposed to and could. This is mental laziness which I feel, is more dangerous than physical laziness. The other day I met a young man who was planning to get married. A few months later when I met him again he was still planning! Many students delay studying until a few days before their exams. Many rich people delay spending money for good causes, you can make a list of your own dreams and desires that are pending for a long time though you could have materialized them a long time ago but thought of doing next time. Your list will surprise you when you notice that there were easy things that you had avoided as a result of mental laziness. Many of us, many a times, mix up genuine reasons with excuses. What could have been an excuse; we present it as a reason for not doing a particular work.

Laziness was one thing our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) asked refuge from Allah in his supplications, where as many of his so called followers take refuge in laziness to avoid doing good deeds .

Junk Reading! Junk Minds! Junk Characters!

One of the most striking and common feature of 'Bedtime stories' for little girls is that each of them have a beautiful girl as a central character with wonderful things and exciting things happening only to that beautiful girl. Cinderella, Snow white, Red Rose, these are shown as beautiful and not middle class school girls with spectacles on their noses. Little girls compare themselves with these girls who undergo emotional upsets and loneliness and then finally end up with marrying a good-looking prince. One of the most striking and common feature of Romantic Novels for Teenagers and Early College Girls, is that the central heroine usually has a rival girl who is bothering her boyfriend, and she undergoes emotional upsets and loneliness before finally getting her boyfriend back. One of the striking and common feature of love/action novels for unmarried grown up girls is the detailed descriptions of vulgarity in the bedroom by unmarried couples, thus raising up stormy passions in the minds of the girls who should have been married and settled by now. Obscene reading is fed step-by-step and it increases gradually with books after books, characters after characters and stories after stories. Finding accurate and current statistics on obscene reading is very difficult. The patterns and the numbers change so rapidly every day that they quickly become outdated. In fact, slow romance or orthodox romance is not considered to be immodest or obscene any more so we have books loitering on furniture, shelf and beds of families with no eyebrows being raised on the content of the cover. The way junk food is nicely packed, widely advertised, and made tasty but of no nutritive value, junk reading too is available in the same mode and of no nutritive value to your morals, ethics or happiness. Junk minds are the results of junk books. Today junk writers are best sellers and widely marketed. They sell millions more than dictionaries, thesaurus and scientific themes. Stephanie Meyer, a young American novelist wrote Twilight, a story about an unlikely romance between a human girl and a vampire. The book was published in 2005 and earned the 5th position on the New York Times Best Selling list. Many girls (including Muslims of India and Pakistan too), start reading Sidney Sheldon as young as 14 and the sex content in these books is very high for a 14 year-

old to digest, and in fact, girls cover these books and keep them hidden from their parents and elder brothers. Girls who grow up reading these stories and novels look for the same qualities in their men and when their expectations in romance, looks, style and personality doesnt meet their dream man, they get frustrated. In many cases it ends up in affairs outside marriage or an unhappy continuation of marriage. The same is with boys who read the same books, read stuff about affairs. In them arises a desire to search for a perfect looking girl, tall and fair, trying to match her with the personalities of the girls they have read and dreamt about. All of this is a result of junk reading. 'You are what you read'. The books that you read are the ones that will influence your thoughts, your actions, and your character and finally all of these will be a combination, playing an important role in grading you on the Day of Judgment. That is why Allah has always revealed Books to construct our thoughts properly and shape our characters. The Qur'an is a miraculous book. Just 5000+ verses, but has a tremendous capacity to wipe out all the traces of immodest junk that you have been carrying on your minds all these years, and able to transform your entire personality into a well thought, well behaved and well character personality. Will you still not read it?

All That Glitter... A Greedy Civilization of Spendthrifts

The Business Week Feb 25, 2002 had an interesting cover story The Betrayed Investor; it had interviews of three people who lost more than 30% of their capital in the share market recession. One of the people who lost 30% of his wealth in his portfolio said: I just cant understand how can a business which appears to be so strong, in few months become a fraction of its value! I am not an expert in the financial system but, Alhamdulillah, I try to learn and accumulate as much knowledge as possible. Knowledge that is essential for the peoples good. Now in US, many scholars have started writing against capitalism and the conventional financial system. One such name comes to my mind: Robert Kiyosoki. He writes in his book, The Prophecy, about the dangers of junk investment. This book prophesizes about the coming of a big crash in the US financial world and cites reasons for that. On page 54 he says: It is not bad accounting but bad accountability that is responsible. We are turning into a civilization of greedy and spendthrifts, a lot more than we were 20 years ago. The easy loans facilities, the mortgages, have invited people to take greedy decisions in haste. Suddenly everyone around us has started having everything from luxury watches, to good brand mobiles, and everyone is out on a shopping spree. People seem to look richer than they actually are. These loans, nicely packed and extensively advertised, are available like junk food, and nobody questions its nutritive value. It is due to this that the human society has turned into a civilization of depressed people. As our spending habits are spoiled, people are sinking deeper into debts. People get tempted to buy things they dont require. They buy just for the sake of having it, as a status symbol, whether it is in the form of cellphones, cars, plush houses or even books they dont read. The discredited Credit card culture: Many people have started calling credit cards as THE GHOST IN PLASTIC. It haunts us every time we leave our homes. Today, estimates inform us that the outstanding credit card debt in India alone is 69 billion US$, some say $8 Billion. The US census bureau says that in 2009, the average American had to repay almost 8,500 US$ to credit card companies. More than 40% of American families have spent more than their earnings. In India, credit cards are available and they are as common as tea stalls. There are some very young individuals who hold as many as 5 credit cards from different

companies. Some of these cards even offer a minimum of a hundred thousand rupees credit limit. Our spending habits are spoiled. Our spending habits are affected by the conventional economy. Many people of all income groups, loose a lot of money because they buy things that glitter and are not actually gold. I dont mean actual gold. Many products are bought because of publicity and because of advertisements by actors and sport stars. The products that are advertised more are the ones that glitter more. These ads are extremely expensive, and someone has to pay for it, isnt it? Who will pay: the manufacturers or the customers? Many of us cannot differentiate between gold and something that glitters like gold. So we are buying things glittering like gold for the price of gold. Even in sports we require a referee to show yellow cards or red cards, but who will show these plunderers who rob people in a legal manner?

The Addiction to Spend More : The Hi-Fi Syndrome

Now days, a new term has been coined for the mental disorder, compulsive shopping. They call it: THE HI-FI SYNDROME. A person spending beyond his capacity to repay is said to be suffering from Hi-fi syndrome. In India after the BPO and IT boom, many young people earning around 60 thousand Indian rupees a month developed this habit of spending more. They set high standards of expenditure. They buy expensive cell phones and clothes for each member of the family, for their vacations they want to fly to holiday destinations. Though they can't afford a small car, yet they are tempted to buy an expensive large car. They can afford one bedroom apartment but they go ahead and buy 3 bedrooms apartments. They go to the best restaurants; they buy expensive furniture and electric gadgets. Many of these things are bought out of loans with the thought that their huge salaries would be enough to repay loans in a span of few years. Stress, depression and violence: We are familiar with the news of suicides from across the globe. People are not able to tolerate their financial failures and are killing themselves. This happens in the metropolitan cities. Even in an advanced place like Hong Kong, where they have NGOs to prevent suicides, their suicide hotlines are busier than ever. Japan has 34 thousand suicides per year which is 40% more than it was only a few years back. Take the example of Bangalore, the silicon valley of India. It is a fast city and has no less than 2,000 suicides a year. Statistics say that in the past four years approximately 8,000 people ended their lives in Bangalore alone, including 3,000 females. These were the white collared, educated executives and business men who killed themselves due to debts. The Hi- fi life style is one of the main reasons for suicides in Bangalore. 1. Fast life style: These days, fast earners raise their life standard by spending beyond capacity. Later on, accidentally or due to recession, like nowadays, people are losing their jobs, businesses, as well as savings and capital, yet the expenses are the same. They and their family, continue wanting expensive cell phones, eating in expensive restaurants, designer shoes and dresses. So we have a Mall culture, where many young children think that their father is an ATM machine, so they must have money whenever they want. On one hand the person has a lesser income, on the

other hand his expenses remain the same, this leads to stress and in many cases leads to suicide too. 2. Increased divorces: The Hi-fi life style makes many of us strangers in our own homes. The people who are trying to resist stress look for peace in recreation, chatting on the internet, reading newspapers, or going to clubs with friends, so they may forget their stress for a limited time. But it does not solve their problems. While doing all this, they remain away from their families, they are strangers in their own homes, visit their house like a stranger or a guest and are there like a piece of furniture and go away. Reduced communication with their family members deprives them of a family life thus adding more stress. In fact while ignoring family, people are creating more problems or kindling new volcanoes. Consider this scenario: Your boss is angry in your office due to financial stress and he fires you for no reason. When you return home you scold your kids because of the stress that you have carried home from the office. Reports say that when BPO staff, the pressurized salesmen and the sales executives reach home they are too tired to talk to their wives and children, resulting in loneliness and in many cases divorces too. Garry Becker the Nobel Prize winner explains that recession has always been a factor raising divorce rates. Well, this brings a Qur'anic verse to our attention: Do not be a spendthrift, indeed a spendthrift is the brother of shaytan, Surah Isra.

The High-Fi Syndrome: Are You Suffering from It?

Some years ago my mother went to attend the wedding of a girl known to us. It was conducted in the compound of the groom's apartment, in a town a little out of Mumbai. The house was huge and well furnished with new furniture giving an idea to the visitors that the girl was lucky to have found a well settled boy; the people were waiting for the Qadhi to conduct the nikah. At that, someone from the society came up to the girl's relatives asking for the guardian of the girl; an elderly gentleman got up and introduced himself. The man warned the guardian sternly, You are being deceived by your 'son-in-law to be'! Neither he owns this house nor has he taken it on rent, even the furniture has been brought on rent! Many people appear to be richer than they actually are! Some to deceive others while some do it for the pleasure of being taken as a high class celebrity! They do get a good amount of success because, where there are greedy, cheaters never go hungry..." Many people measure richness through the capacity of earning or the amount of wealth collected, where as some judge it by observing the amount of wealth you spend. The last parameter is today's trend. What remains hidden is that many of these extravagant are turning into 'a class of debtors'. The tempting advertisements allure more and more people into spending more than they can afford. From the Islamic financial perspective people can be divided into four broad groups each can have off shoots of sub groups. 1. Those that earn through halal and spend in halal. 2. Those that earn through halal but spend in haram. 3. Those that earn through haram but spend in halal. 4. Those that earn through haram and spend in haram. Except for the first group, the rest of three are dangerously wrong. In fact extravagance is one of the main reasons for financial depression. A young man gets a good job in a call center and earns money like he never had, so he buys for his family, his wives, his children, his mother and sisters, expensive cell phones and designer clothes. He takes them to expensive tours; he makes them addicted to luxury and all of a sudden comes a financial recession that makes him lose his job. He can control his expenses but the family now cannot adjust to anything beside the high-fi life they had enjoyed.

Experts call is HIGH-FI syndrome. In these cases the person does not cut down his luxuries but cuts down his necessities. He refuses to pay for his old and ailing parents. Mass Extravagance is quickly becoming an accepted form of civilizations. From Government to common citizens including private sector, we are spending the valuable wealth lavishly. India, Pakistan and Bangladesh have a huge population belonging to the middle class, with labour class, clerks, sales men, small shopkeepers, government servants but look at their sales chart for the past five years! Look at their marriages, their furniture, and their life styles. Naturally they are buying beyond their capacity. Most of these items are bought out of loans, hoping to use it today and pay tomorrow. Do you know what the amount of Indias annual food wastage is? Guess! It is 58,000 crore Rupees every year! A nation whose 20 percent of population lives with only one meal a day wastes its 58,000 crores rupees of food every year! The Qur'an sums up this mentality in Surah Isra Ch, 17, verse 26-27: Do not waste your wealth like an extravagant. Indeed extravagant are the brothers of Satan, and Indeed Satan is ungrateful to his Lord. In an Islamic financial system, your financial IQ is connected to your spending wisdom. After all a person who has no knowledge is termed as AN IGNORANT but a person who possesses it and yet does not benefit from it is a SUPERLATIVE IGNORANT.

Breeze before Storm: Dangers Ahead- The Epidemic of Fast Spending

When the punishment of Allah comes, it seizes them from the direction they perceive not. (Surah Araf chapter 7, verse 95.) The punishment of Allah never arrives in procession. It can be a financial earthquake that can throw up an entire civilization into a sudden poverty, resulting in suicides and bankruptcies. That is why I imply that people who are lavish spenders are in a danger of being washed away along with their wealth. Your wealth may be washed away through your children as well. There are many pits and digs where your children are throwing away your hard earned money. Malls are like dream palaces, offering everything a teenager looks for, to escape in the world of fantasy. Popcorn, multiplexes, fast food, rich food, windows displaying colorful dresses, video games, attractive sales girls, huge semi-nude posters of models opening their mouth like a crocodile, not letting you know whether they are smiling or preparing to eat you up . The marketing managers of Mumbai's Malls gleefully reveal that spending in the malls is increasing by 20% every year. The dearest costumers contribute 30% of the income. No salesman would even think of losing this large chunk of costumers. The internet and Mobile Association of India revealed that one fourth of regular online shoppers are aged 18-25. The young spenders, who are at the sunset of their teenage years, happen to be the most lavish spenders. There is no line that determines the boundary between over spending and moderate spending. We can understand rich children spending but the fear grows up when the middle class and lower middle class join the race of buying luxury that they cannot afford. The mountainous growth of cosmetic industry and other fashion accessories has elevated many unwanted products into primary requirements. Many parents show no resistance when their children demand more money than their earnings, to buy branded mobiles, laptops and other latest gadgets. How much money should a child spend? It is high time that we peep into our accounts and differentiate the money spent on children's education, nutritive food and good books and compare it with expenditure on colas, ice creams, chocolates, designer jeans, T-shirts. We are really obstructing the growth of our children's financial IQ by not teaching them where not to spend or talking to them about the evil of extravagance. Many of us, out of our love, conceal our financial restrains and yet let flow money out of our accounts so that the child may enjoy luxury.

How many of us take our children along to the market and demonstrate the art of bargaining? Our teenage boys learn rash motorbike riding earlier than cleaning it, and maintaining it. If you are teaching your child how to buy good clothes then you must also teach him how to iron his clothes or how to pick up dry clothes, wrap and place them in the wardrobe. My earliest lessons in finance were learnt as a salesman in my grandfather's shop. I never went there as a prince-in-waiting to sit on the cash box, but I learnt how to sell, how to respond to customers grievances, how to buy from the whole sellers, how to pack the goods, everything required to run a shop successfully. I have seen and experienced hard crises in finance and realized that they come as afflictions when we spend money on needless things before we spend on what we need. Getting good grades in Math is not enough to make you wise in finance. Nor lessons in investments will make your rich; rather it is the wisdom in spending that saves your wealth from flying away onto other peoples pocket and accounts.

Why Do we Fail on the Financial Fronts?

I happened to visit one of my old friends who had moved to a new house and the invitation was pending. The door of his house welcomed me with the Qur'anic verse: Hazaa min fazli Rabbi, This is the bounty of my Lord. That announcement made me happy until I was told that the house was bought through a bank loan! What arrogant display of hypocrisy! It was then that I realized the value of knowledge in Islamic finance and why knowledge in finance is essential for a Muslim in today's times? Among the things that will be questioned first on the day of Qiyamah will be: Where did you get the money from and where did you spend it? A lot of people incline to haram due to love for wealth and luxury or out of love for their children. These two things weaken our resisting power. The Qur'an cautions us in the 8th verse of Surha Taghaboon: Indeed your wealth and your children are a trial for you. Many people fail miserably in these two trials. A Sahih hadiith acknowledges the Qur'anic verse: The fitna of my ummah is wealth. These days, you will find many well-wishers of our community reminding us about the poverty in the community repeatedly. For them, richness is a sign of prosperity. It is because of our financial greed that many of us refuse to share the inheritance equally. It is because of the quest for luxury that people want to have things by hook or by crook. Many Muslims take advice in investment and expenditure from people who do not know much about the Islamic economy. There are certain people who encourage interest based loans for the welfare of community. If a person fails on the financial front, many of his ibadaah (worships) fail to yield results. Many people earn halal but their expenditure includes a lot of haram, through buying things not required at all, but for status symbol. The wisest chapters in Islamic finance also include where not to spend. If you understand this and you are able to distinguish between a good investment and bad spending, then you can identify a lot of wrong and tempting expenditures and resist them. You can be a kaniteen, a satisfied person.

During Ramadan, I see a lot of Huffaz-e-Quran lining up to recite taraweeh, with each one of them wanting to lead in taraweeh in places where rich people pray. At times I pity them. Many of them prefer to lead the taraweeh in large congregations hoping to get a good income after the khatam-e-Quran. Here is a batch of people whose status will be envied by others on the day of Qiyamah but in this world they have to wait for Ramadan to solve their financial problems. That is their only source of big income throughout the year. The reason is that people dont value Ilm e deen. We spend huge amount of wealth on our childs academic education, hire expensive tutors, buy expensive books, but we bargain like a stingy person when we hire the service of Islamic teachers for our childs religious knowledge, be it tuitions in tajweed, makhraj or essentials of fiqh etc. I had a discussion with a prominent Huffaz, and I advised him to build a parallel career so that he may not be dependent upon the donation in the month of Taraweeh. Last month I met him, and he told me that he is buying a small house. I was happy to receive his supplication for my advice. The other day I advised a trustee of a prominent madrasa that they should include a subject on accounts in their syllabus. They should also be taught essential fiqh and ethics in business dealing too. After all Islamic finance is not only about accounts but accountability as well. Isnt it?

Are We Really Poor or Assuming to be Poor

Every Ummah had a fitnah and the fitnah of my Ummah is wealth, says a popular Sahih Hadith. The hadith means that the Muslims will succumb to financial pressures or get tempted to step into haram and gradually sink deep into it. The above mentioned hadith means that if you fail in your wealth test then many of your ebaadah are in danger. Allah accepts only Halal and Tayyab. Among the wisest lessons in Islam Finance is, "where not to spend." If we master this skill then we will not be enslaved to financial temptations. In simple words, "We will be thankful to Allah for what he has given us." Most of us enter into the forbidden zone of haram earning under the pressure of our children. So the Qur'an warns us regarding that too. Indeed in your wealth and your children there is a fitnah. Now here, fitnah means test. This is precisely what is happening to many of us who cannot differentiate between poverty and relative poverty. Poverty in our times is something that cannot afford you a luxurious life. If your house is a single bedroom apartment and your air-conditioning machine makes more noise than your child, and your car is too small and an old model as compared to your friend's and you cannot afford to take your family to an expensive restaurant nor can you bring out your cell phone and show it to your friends who have branded ones, then you are considering yourself to be poor but actually it is otherwise. It is this wrong concept of poverty that makes many of us greedy and atrocious. Take this case, suppose I am a salary earner and my daughter participates in her rich friend's marriage and sees all that lavish gifts she gets from her rich father. Next year when she prepares for her marriage, she will desire to have such luxury that she saw at her friends place. This may not be with all the girls but many. This is because people follow or love to follow or get tempted to follow the rich and the elite class. That is why if the elite class adopts simplicity inn their customs and lives the trend follows easily and faster.

In the early days, a poor man was one who could neither afford to have a single meal nor a pair of dress to cover his body. It was about such poverty that our beloved Prophet (PBUH) sought refuge from Allah. Today when we recite this dua we seek refuge in Allah from relative poverty, that we may not be deprived of luxuries.

Media and Technology Glamorization of Crime and Obscenity

Two years back a gruesome murder dominated the National newspapers of India. A navy officer flew at midnight hour from a city around 1500 miles from Mumbai and landed up at his girlfriend's flat. He caught her with another man who was an executive in a local media. As per the reports, the two men got into a fight and the navy man stabbed the boyfriend killing him. The cruel story did not end here. The killer cut his body into pieces and packed in a bag and threw it away. Now a producer from Bollywood is going ahead with the love story and has almost completed his movie. But naturally the movie will have songs, romance and everything that attracts audience. In other words a gruesome crime will be decorated with music songs and good looking actors and the murder will be beautified with masculine men indulging into fights. Long back in April 27, 1959 a "crime of passion" sent shockwaves rippling through Bombay. A Navy commander Nanavati shot dead Prem Ahuja, a businessman and a philandering high society playboy who was alluring Nanavati's English wife Sylvia. Play boy, in a modest man's language is a fornicator who corrupts other men's wives, and daughters and then goes away looking for some other prey. Within few years a director from Bollywood made a movie on the love triangle and it was beautified with songs and romance to attract the audience. After all, movies are not made to serve society but to fill pockets of the producers. As Mahesh Bhatt once said, We are shopkeepers of entertainment; we keep those goods that are in demand. When crime and fornication is glamorized and presented to the masses then it helps promotion of crime and immodesty in the society. There was a movie on underworld dons and mafia and one of the song had "maar de goli bheje mein" (hit the bullet in his brain) the message is a violent one but it passed away as an entertaining song with many young school boys finding it good to hear and murmur. A boy in Mumbai arrested for stealing a motor bike confessed before the Police that it was the movie "Dhoom II" that inspired him to steal bikes.

The best way or a readymade kit to corrupt a society is to introduce a popular character as a criminal or fornicator and market him as a mass promotion product. People will not object because everybody sees it as an entertainment. Through entertainment every bad thing including smoking has been promoted to a mass level. Someone should ask the Governments that if they ban smoking why not adultery and crimes in movies too?

Lets March Into The Media

The impact of media should be a grave concern, specially for the Muslims, because we as a community have been at the receiving end and sadly there are very few out there striving and struggling in the strongest form of Jihad in today's time, where winning of hearts and minds of the people is more important for winning over the support from the other section of humanity. Do you agree with me if I say that participating in the media to stand up and speak for Islam is a Fard-e-Kifaya? The Power of Advertisements: Lessons in Media Advertisements run in the veins of media like blood, keeping it alive. It is the adworld that rules the media and calls the shot. That is the reason that many media companies barter human values with obscenity and lies, to remain alive in the cut throat competitions. Naomi Wolf states in her book THE BEAUTY MYTH: The cosmetics are sold multiple times more than household items to women. Cosmetic is presented more of as a necessity than household items like vacuum cleaners, washing machines, bed sheets, curtains. This is the power of advertisement. It can turn junk items into daily necessities and make people throng to buy it. Like junk food that is packed nicely and served deliciously, but no nutritive value, we are fed with junk advertisements. Consider this: Have you ever bought your daily food items like pulses, vegetables and cereals because of excessive advertisements? No! They dont require to be advertised yet people look for it. Now you know the reason why many products have to be advertised? Because we are made to buy though we dont need them. Advertisements have changed our priorities. Calculate the amount of money that people spend on their children's nutritive food, good books and other needs and compare it with the expenditure on colas, icecreams, burgers, music and movies. Do you know that the Indians gulp down Colas worth 6000 Crore Rupees every year (120 Millions of Dollars)? While in India, almost every third child sleeps hungry, the rest of the Indians, Colas are served through advertisements. Advertisements have spoiled our eating and spending habits. The kids are the richest customers throughout the globe. Today, a child of 6-7 years can be faithful to a brand that he sees on TV. There are students in Mumbai who

have 5 different credit cards. Many children consider that their parents are ATMs. Children these days play prominent advisors and consultants when it comes to buying a cell phone, or a shirt, or choose movie as well. Statistics say that maximum products that children buy are Music Albums! What do they get out of it? Obscenity! It not only damages their ears but their character too. The glamour struck generation When evil is glamorized through advertisements people get convinced to buy them. Every year more than one thousand commercials for beer and wine are shown in the US TV. The amount of money spent in advertising beer and wine reaches up to $2 billion. The net result is: The Americans buy $90 billion of alcohol! What is the result? There are more than 15 million of drunkards, in the US and around 5000 road accidents on the American roads just on the night of 31 December every year. There are 11 thousand rehabilitation centres run by the American tax payers. (S)exploitation of Women by the Media: James Cook noted in the Forbes Magazine issued 18 Sept 1978: This economy is and X-rated economy. Careers, promotions, affairs marketing, news circulation, everything strives on obscenity through ad- world. Women are earning more money through their bodies than their skills. 4 years ago Maria Sharapova earned only $2 million US through her victories, but earned 18 million through advertisements. When are we going to tell people about Islam? In this media where advertisements have the longest and the sharpest tongue how many Muslims have come out with an advertisement of Islam and The Qur'an? Let us begin working on it from today Insha-Allah. Make media your parallel career. Take it as a passion. Learn to speak write and analyse.

When Nations Fall! Lessons From the History

Someone has rightly quoted: Knowledge of the past is a key to understanding the present. The human history carries in its pages the downfall of nations after nations. The Qur'an notes some of the biggest down falls and the lessons along with it. In a way, there are six big Nations mentioned in the Qur'an which fell down on its head. The people of the Noah, The People of A'ad, The people of Thamud, The People of Lut, The People of Midyan and then Bani Israel. All the first five Nations had a supreme destruction except Bani Israel. The destruction of Bani Israel is yet to come albeit at the hand of Isa ibn Maryam (pbuh). There are two types of downfall, which can be further classified into multiple other types of falls. The first is the complete destruction like the above mentioned nations faced, the next is the destruction of power and might but the nation continues to stay in the world though with a wretched life i.e. poverty, unemployment, corruption moral and economical downfall. If you study carefully, the past century saw the fall of big nations. The Soviet Union was made up of 15 Republics and ruled over one sixth of the world's land. Today thousands of daughters of The Ruined Empire export themselves to various countries, packed as prostitutes. Those who have been to Dubai will agree with me. Before that, UK was a big power, who boasted that the sun never sets on the British Empire. They ruled Indian subcontinent for almost two hundred years. These two supreme powers met their down fall on the way when their armies visited Afghanistan to rule over them. As Robert Fisk, my favorite author on the Middle East mentions: Afghanistan is the grave yard of super empires. It is easy to enter but difficult to go out from it. The American Presidents may not agree today but their historians will definitely agree tomorrow whereas their eco scientists and socio scientists have already begun to agree and are warning the nation to check their appetite for plundering the natural wealth of the other nations. Jim Nelson Black has written a good book "When Nations Die" and has listed some of the common signs and symptoms: luxury, skepticism, weariness, superstition, a preoccupation with self, promotion of the wrong people, the urge to over spend and A RISE OF LIBERAL OPINION- that is the popularization of attitudes and policies controlled by sentiment rather than sound moral judgment. The US are undergoing this down fall in a unique manner and I, as a Muslim, pity for them. Look at their society and study it. If a society produces street predators and white collar criminals then it has to pay for prison cells. A society in which drug use is rampant must pay for drug treatment centers. The breaking up of families and the

death of thousands of its soldiers means a huge burden on the taxpayers to run foster homes and homes for old ages and pensions. No Nation can continue without moral character and God's blessing. The down fall of Israel has been a continuous process. If you study Surah Yusuf, it speaks about the grand entry of the Bani Israel in Egypt, and Surah Taha tells us that their exit was also a grand one when they saw Pharaoh along with his entire army being drowned in front of their own eyes. Though this race was once "the chosen people of God", they had clouds shading them in the deserts, food coming from the heaven, Prophets after prophets and kings after kings among them yet what happened? Their history tells us about their captivity by the Pharaoh in Egypt, Assyrians and the Babylonians followed by the crusaders and finally Hitler! The Muslim Nations are the next one in the firing line. We are losing our daughters to fashion and music maniacs like Hannah Montana, our young men to smoking, time destructive sports and movies, our money to buy unneeded luxury brands, our faith to shrines of dead saints and our lands to greedy army invading and destroying our infrastructures, hospitals schools, taking away our oil legally, just because they want to give us democracy. No wonder History repeats itself because the world doesn't learn.

Say! Now Which Sword Overpowered You: The Rising Index of Islam...
9 / 11 seem to be upgraded as a Holy day with candles and pictures being published every where from Alaska to Adelaide. 9 /11 has become a global festival with many nations like New Zealand, Australia in competition to please the US by trying to remind its nationals the painful event of 9/11. It is like a person coming to you and scratching your healed wound and reminding you of your pain. A decade ago this day was unofficially declared as a landmark in the relations between Islam and the world. Suddenly Islam was being viewed as a religion of violence. The sceptics among the Muslims thought that Islam will be reined like communism. The things turned out to be different. Islam too has grown stronger than usual with more new entrants crowding the entry gate. The west especially US and UK have grown weaker as new equations have come up with China and India emerging as candidates of new super power. Every year thousands of Filipinos embrace Islam in the Gulf. From Dubai to Kuwait via Saudi, the Filipinos are welcomed in every Islamic seminar and they respond with equal well wishes. "In ten years, Inshallah, Philippines will be a Nation with a dominant Muslim Population," said one of my hosts of Dubai Lecture Tour. I said Ameen to his supplication. There are hardly few hundreds black families in the US which do not have at least one member as a Muslim. Some Gujarati girls Students staying in the company of Arab girls in the UK embrace Islam just by coming in touch with Islamic values and culture, especially the personal hygiene that Islamic teaching offers to individuals. Dawah Centers are a homely name in many cities. Educated and gutsy people are becoming Muslims and giving strength to the community. Hijab is becoming more popular among girls. Walk into any masjid and you will see a lot of young Muslim men sporting beard and waiting for the prayers to begin. Can anyone allege that it is the fear of Islamic terror that is making thousands of people Muslims every year? NO. Can anyone say that the petro dollars are buying the faith of Europeans and Americans? In fact the westerners are fed up with their socially rotten system and are looking for a way out and find a solace in the lap of Islam. That is why if US mourns for the right cause then they will be mourning for

everything that is happening in their country. The fall of the dollar has caused more grief to the American common men but no one mourns from them. Every day around 2000 plus rapes, thousands of robberies every day, domestic violence, killing in schools and homes, when will US mourn these misfortunes? After 9 /11 how many American women are raped in their own nation? How many children have lost their parents to divorces and gay-lesbian marriages? The only comfort is Islam. Therefore, it is not the sword that is defeating the west but it is the comfort of Islam that is wining them.

Heroes of Islam

Destined to be Honored: My Noble Prophet (Peace be upon him)

In the history of mankind, there is only one man whose truthfulness is preserved by the verification of the testimonies of thousands of narrators truthfulness. Imam Bukhari, before writing the most authentic book of Hadith Sahih al Bukhari, penned down the biographies of the people who used to narrate about the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) so that the future generation may examine each narration's authenticity before they pass it on to the others. Nobody knows how Jesus or Rama looked like, but ask a young Muslim school boy studying in a Convent school run by Christian Missionaries and he will tell you that his prophet (pbuh) used to go hungry for many days, he ate dry dates and water many a times, he ate with his right hand and commanded us to follow him. Every minute acts are kept alive. No man in the history of mankind has been tried to malign and yet emerged truthful in his character and in his teaching as Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). No teachings could stand such an extreme form of hostility and yet remain busy welcoming its new adherents every day in every corner of the world. Marxism could not stretch beyond 80 years. Communism gave up the fight against capitalism. Even Christianity lost its original colors and got transformed into a variety of colorful festivals, over powered by secularism and democracy got merged with Ancient Roman paganism. Many other religions are only preserved in the books but Islam. With 60 thousand books written against him and his teachings in just a span of 150 years from 1800 to 1950, yet the man's teaching continues capturing the hearts and the minds of those very countries which are the epic centers of emitting hateful lava. Consider this: A man whose lifestyle is the target of attack for past 1400 years, that life style itself continues to flourish in every latitude and longitude of the world. Even Hollywood, Bollywood are replaced by the next generation whereas young men with flowing beards, and trousers up their ankles are learning to expertise in reciting the Qur'an. Everything that he did young men wants to do. His fashion never dies. He is the only man who has the privilege of being narrated every day across the world. Almost every action of his reflects in the actions of his followers.

People can do PhDs in every lesson he taught. Islam is the only subject on which largest numbers of books are written, against as well as for. If there were media in those days I can imagine the headlines appearing like this, MAKKAH TIMES: The Arab Prophet wins in Badr. BREAKING NEWS OF BBC: Islam captures Arabia. CNN exclusive: The unlettered Prophet wins back Makkah and announces general amnesty. FOX TV latest: Islam heads towards Europe. NDTV: Abu Jahl among 70 killed in Badr. Alas when I see huge crowd protesting in Tunisia, Cairo, I feel like asking them, "Where were you when your Prophet's cartoons were magnified in world Media? If only you would have taken to street in this grand manner before Afghan and Baghdad were attacked." This shows that though we claim love and honor our Prophet but it is Allah who actually sends His blessings and peace upon his noble Prophet that he remains destined to be honored today and also tomorrow as well, with our without our protests and obedience to him. And they wish to blow off the light of Allah but He will never let it happen, Surah Toubah.

Why is Abu Bakr 'as-Siddique' (r.a.)?

During his last days the Prophet (pbuh) made an announcement: I have returned the obligations of every one who has obliged me, except Abu Bakr (r.a.), only Allah can return his obligations. This statement means a lot to judge the stature of a man whose life remains a parameter of comparing one's faith. If you put the faith of Abu Bakr (r.a.) in one weigh and the rest of the ummah in another, yet Abu Bakr's faith would out come out heavier. What makes this man stand one step up than all the other men who themselves belong to 'the best generation on the surface of the earth'. There are important decisions, valuable sacrifices, acts of courage and display of instant obedience to Allah and his Messenger (pbuh) by him during those moments when Islam and Muslims required them the most. These moments stand erect like land marks for anyone who wants a way to Jannah. Let me illustrate a few of them: Though all the companions of the Prophet (pbuh) were truthful yet Abu Bakr receives the honor of being titled as "As-siddique", 'The Truthful'. The man, when offered Islam, did not waste a second to testify that Allah is only one with no partners and Prophet Muhammad is His Messenger (pbuh). It was a spontaneous declaration of faith with no other examples matching it. Today even after declaring in our birth certificates and government records that we are Muslims; we hesitate in implementing many commands of Shariah in spite of being reminded repeatedly. Though all the companions of the Prophet (pbuh) were courageous, Abu Bakr's (r.a.) courageous decision to go ahead with the battle against the rebellious groups from the beduins who refused to pay zakah, presents a parameter of courage when at times you seem to be alone in taking a decision in a crisis. A huge part of the Muslim army was already occupied on the other fronts so many advisors suggested Abu Bakr(r.a.) to wait till things get cool. Note down Abu Bakr's (r.a.) statement: By Allah if no one comes with me I will go alone and fight with them. Kazzab Muslaima, 'The liar and the false Prophet was killed in this battle and the rebellion was uprooted, sending a message that even after the death of the Prophet, Islam will continue to flourish and no changes will be tolerated no matter how militantly some try to change it. Today, Muslims are fighting for lands, for geographical disputes, for winning elections and forming governments, for promoting their sectarian views, for all the reasons except for Tawheed.

That single night in the cave when the Prophet (pbuh) lay with his head on the lap of Abu Bakr(r.a.), when a poisonous insect bit Abu Bakr(r.a.), he bore the pain with patience for not disturbing the Prophet's sleep, remains on the top amongst the examples of patience. Today, many of us get restless in just few minutes, sitting in a seminar to learn just a few lessons from the biography of the Prophet (pbuh). The shortage of fund during the Battle of Tabuq prompted Abu Bakr (r.a.) to spend hundred percent of his possession in the way of Allah. Today many of us find it hard to share just 2.5 percent of their savings to give as zakah! In the later days, one of his sons told him, My father! In the battle of Badr when I fought against you, twice I got you under my sword but I left you alive. Abu Bakr (r.a.) replied, By Allah if you would have got under my sword even once, I would not have spared you. Today many Muslims spare their children from hijab, f rom prayers not even asking them to do it. For those who want to strengthen their faith should study the biography of Abu Bakr (r.a.) and judge where they stand in those qualities of Sabr, Courage, Wisdom and Generosity as compared to the "Siddique". How rightly Allah says: This is the day when the truthful shall be rewarded for their truthfulness, Surah Maidah chapter 5, verse 116.

Islamic History

Glorious Pages from the History of Islam

Friday, Shawwal 6, Hijri 3, Uhad: The dead bodies of 70 Muslim warriors were scattered all around the low area of Uhud. People moved around to identify the dead. Among the dead, a young man with his arms cut off and injuries on neck was lying on the ground dead. Musa'b bin Umair (r.a) had died while struggling to save the Prophet (pbuh). Returning back to Madina, the patience of the Muslim women of Madina matched the heroic performance of their men. A woman struggled to reach the Prophet (pbuh) to find out if he was fine. She was Hamnah bin Jahsh. The prophet announced the death of her brother Abdullah. Innalillahi, she responded. Then she was told about Hamzah bin Abdul Muttalib's martyrdom. Innalillahi, she responded. Then the news of her beloved husband Mus'aib bin Umair was delivered to her, she shouted and wept aloud. The Messenger said, The woman's husband was extremely dear to her. In Makkah, only few years back, young Musaib was well known for his stylish life style, his wardrobe had the best Arab dresses and perfumes. His mother Khunaas Bint Maalik was among the richest ladies of Makkah and people feared her almost to the point of terror because she possessed a strong personality. When the news of his embracing Islam reached his mother, she aimed a heavy blow on him. However, under the pressure of her motherliness, she spared him the beating and the pain, although it was within her power to avenge her gods whom he had abandoned. Instead, she took him to a rough corner of her house and shut him in it. She put shackles on him and imprisoned him there. Mus'ab did not give up Islam so she threw him out of her house asking him to leave every luxury provided by her. He went away wearing a piece of rag cloth to cover himself. When she said to him, Go away, I am no longer your mother, Mus'ab went close to her and said, O Mother, I am advising you and my heart is with you, please bear witness that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is His servant and messenger. She replied to him, angrily raging, By the stars, I will never enter your religion, to degrade my status and weaken my senses! So, Mus'ab left the great luxury in which he had been living. He became satisfied with a hard life he had never seen before, wearing the roughest clothes, eating one day and going hungry another.

He went out one day to some Muslims while they were sitting around the Prophet, and no sooner did they see him than they lowered their heads and shed some tears for his wearing worn out garments. They were accustomed to his former appearance before he had become a Muslim, when his clothes had been like garden flowers, elegant and fragrant. The Prophet (pbuh) saw him with the eyes of wisdom, thankful and loving, and his lips smiled gracefully as he said, I saw Mus'ab here, and there was no youth in Makkah more petted by his parents than he. Then he abandoned all that for the love of Allah and His Prophet! In a famous incident after the victory at Badr, the Muslims captured some Makkans and sought to ransom them. Musab was passing by the ranks of the prisoners and stopped he when saw his brother, Abu Azeez ibn Umayr among them. However, he instructed his brothers captor to bind him securely and to extract a large ransom for the prisoner, because his mother was a very rich woman. When the brother sought to remind Musab of his relationship, Musab replied, I only recognize brotherhood of the faith, this man is my brother, not you! At the end of Uhud, The Prophet (pbuh) stood at the remains of Mus'ab ibn Umair saying, while his eyes were flowing with tears, love and loyalty, Among the believers are men who have been true to their covenant with Allah. (Surah Al Ahzab, chapter 33, verse 23) Then he gave a sad look at the garment in which he was shrouded and said, I saw you at Makkah, and there was not a more precious jewel, nor more distinguished one than you, and here you are bare-headed in a garment! There was nothing to shroud him except his old shirt which could not reach his feet, so his feet were covered with grass and they buried him. These jewels of Islam are the parameters for us to judge how high we can climb to Taqwa. Is our faith capable enough to sacrifice our extravagance style of life? The moral of the story of Mu'sab: Mus'ab did both. He lived for Islam and lived by Islam, and died for Islam and died on Islam. We are ready to die for Islam (as per our claims) but how many of us are willing to live for Islam?