Jumaah #21

Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh,

One of my favourite Qaris! 🙂

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Freedom to Syria!

Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh,

This is such an impressive form of activism taken in Australia! There are many ways to spread awareness about the situation in Syria and this is one creative way of doing so.

I haven’t been following with the updates on Syria because most often than not, there are gruesome pictures of people being brutally murdered in the news and I cannot bear to see them. Ya Rabb, I feel so helpless that I can’t do much for them except dua. Can you imagine being trapped in a place where you have nowhere to run and hide and yet there are tyrants hunting you? I don’t think anyone is able to truly fathom what it feels like to be in their position.

Latest news is that the mujahideen are in Syria to help and insha’Allah victory. May Allah reward them for their sacrifice! Next place they should head is Myanmar to help the Rohingya Muslims. Subhan’Allah, so many of our Muslim brothers and sisters are being ruthlessly killed =,(

There’s a story which was narrated by Sh Navaid Aziz in the video (I’ve posted this before but reposting below) about the Sahabah, Abu Dhar (May Allah be pleased with him). When Abu Dhar was asked what made him decide to be the guarantor for the boy, his reply was “I saw a Muslim in need and I did not want anyone to say that a Muslim was in need and no one was there to help him”. I cried watching the video when it reminded me of Muslims around the world being oppressed and slaughtered and yet we are helpless. The Ummah is so weak that we are not even able to defend ourselves.. ya Rabb =,(

Jumaah #20

Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh,

(I just remembered that I’ve not had Jumaah reminders for ages!)

This Ramadan, let’s train ourselves insha’Allah that when we hear Al-Laghw, we immediately disassociate ourselves from it. Our time in the blessed month is too short to waste with idle talk. A reminder for myself and all of you bi’ithnillah.

Making the changes – Sh. Omar Suleiman

Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh,

How many of you out there listen to Sh. Omar Suleiman’s lectures too? I feel like he is being overshadowed by speakers like Bro Nouman Ali Khan and Sh. Abdul Nasir Jangda when Sh. Omar’s lectures are equally as inspiring. One of my favourite lectures is this one that I posted up. Khayr insha’Allah..

Here’s the outline of his lecture:

1. Eliminate the poisons in your life that are not allowing you to change

“Do you really think Allah SWT is going to give you khushoo’ in your Salaah when your eyes have been going all over the place, all day and all of a sudden you are going to Salaah and Salaah is going to be okay?”. Get rid of those things that will be a hindrance to you, excelling your relationship with Allah SWT.

2. An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.

“Stop yourself before you fall into those situation”

3. K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple Sunnah)

“Find something small in your life that you are capable of doing and stick with it. Eventually, that will accumulate. Eventually, that might be the cause of you entering into Jannah”

4. Think progress

” Think progress, don’t think backwards. Shaitan always pulls you this way and Allah SWT always calls you forward”

5. “On your way to becoming a good Muslim, don’t become a crappy human being”

“Becoming a more religious person should not make you a jerk. It should not make your character worse. It should not make you more condescending towards people. It should make you more humble. It should make you more loving. It should make you more compassionate. It should make you more caring. Don’t become a terrible person on your way to becoming a better Muslim.”

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Good practical tips by him masha’Allah! I like the 3rd and 5th points especially. We tend to overdo our ibadaah to the extent that we become ‘burn out’ overtime. But the best is to be consistent in our deeds rather than doing being too enthusiastic and eventually abandoning them later.

The 5th advice resonates the most with me. I find that when we start to become more practising in our Deen, we strive to perfecting ourselves, and at the same time we expect others to be on the same path too when we should understand that everyone is on a different spiritual journey. We see a lot of jerks these days when really, there is no need to be harsh when correcting others.

Let me know what you think of his lecture!

5 Gems from Prof Tariq Ramadan’s lecture

Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh!

I can’t say how fortunate I was to be able to attend Prof. Tariq Ramadan’s lecture titled “Religious ethics in Post Modern Society” last night. The title itself sounds complex and I admit that at the beginning of the lecture, I was losing focus. It was only towards the end when he started to tie everything to today’s context, well.. he just blew me away 🙂 I kept uttering ‘Masha’Allah’ under my breath each time he says something profound. Here are some gems which I managed to jot down during the lecture and insha’Allah share some of my views. Like he said in the lecture.. “Don’t be passive believers or listeners.”

1) “Education is not just transmitting knowledge, but transforming behaviour”

We are so caught up with the paper chase that we don’t realize the importance of education can have on our lives. In schools, students are taught to regurgitate facts but yet fail to allow space for them to think critically. The goal that is always emphasized is to achieve the highest marks and compete to be in the best schools and yet we fail to fathom the ultimate objective of education: transforming people. How is it that we strive to produce students who can memorize and score top marks and yet unable to have the compassion for others?

2) “What are you using your knowledge for – to serve humanity or yourself?”

Prof Tariq mentioned something which I’ve always felt very strongly about. Each time someone asks me for advice about what career path they should take, my reply has always been that as long it benefits both you and humanity, then it’s a path worth taking. This does not mean that they should only limit themselves to volunteer or social work but there are in fact, many careers which can be used for the benefit of others too. An example is that if a student decides to work as a researcher, he or she could possibly focus on finding cures for diseases that have still no cures. Or he could be an economist and try to alleviate the problems affecting the third world country. Really.. the list is endless and all this boils down to what exactly is your objective for education.

3) ” The worst type of colonization is not the colonization of the mind, but in fact is the colonization of attitudes.”

This is something that we fail to recognize! Prof Tariq mentioned about producing people who are not ignorant but they are selfish in their ways. Are we concerned for the poor? What are we doing about the people who are oppressed around the world?

4) “The wrong use of rationality is arrogance. Be humble with rationality”

Have intellectual humility. ‘Nuff said!

5) Blaise Pascal: “We are generally the better persuaded by the reasons we discover ourselves than by those given to us by others.”

A sister asked about ‘crystallized intelligence’ of the older generation who are unwilling to accept new ideas. In other words, to dissect the term further, she was asking about how do we deal with people who are so deeply rooted in their beliefs that they reject anything that seem foreign to them. (I thought she asked a good question considering I constantly face such people). Prof Tariq then told her about the steps we can take to communicate with them. He quoted from Blaise Pascal (which I think it’s slightly different from the one I used above but it’s basically about the art of communicating).

Step 1: Catch his/her attention in a positive way

Step 2: Start with something that you agree upon

Step 3: Understand the psychology of the other person (i.e. put yourself in their shoes)

Step 4: Never tell someone that they are wrong

How useful masha’Allah! We tend to jump at each other’s throat without considering these steps first! Especially when practising our Deen, sometimes we disagree with each other (face it, even the Sahabahs do not agree with one another!) but the manner in which we advice each other, is completely atrocious. We are quick to say “you are doing Haram!” or “you are going to Hellfire for doing that” without first considering the psychology of the person (step 3). Prof Tariq also said that we may look at an issue from a different angle, thus we may think that our opinion is correct (and others wrong) but from their point of view, they understand it differently. It is important that we try to understand each other’s stand before passing judgements on each other.

Say for example a sister who does not wear hijaab. Rather than being quick to judge her about not wearing hijaab, we could at least try to ask the reason why is she delaying it. It could be that she is a new Muslim or that her family doesn’t allow her or that she faces some hardship wearing it. I remember a sister whom I used to live with wore hijaab when her parents were around but removed it when she attends classes. One person labelled her a ‘part-time hijaabi’ as a result, but when we became closer friends, she opened up to me about the difficulties she was facing.  Al-Hamdulillah she understands that it is a command from Him but she just needed the extra push to overcome her obstacles.

My sisters back in Australia had mentioned this repeatedly when we had our weekly halaqah. I see them practising these steps and I find that we understand and respect each other better albeit there are some things we disagree about. At the end of the day, it should not be about being the one who is ‘correct’ but trying to understand and accept different views of others without verbally harming anyone.

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Believe me, these are just 5 gems out of so many which I could have written down but didn’t have time to. I love the way he thinks and the way he forces us to contemplate on issues. Amazing! I’m going to buy one of his books “In the Footsteps of the Prophet (PBUH)” where he captures the life of Prophet sallallahu alayhi salam and then applying to the modern day. *Can’t wait!*

Sisters, you have a role to play in the Ummah too!

Assalamualaikoum wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh,

This sister is living my dreaaaaammmm!!! 🙂 The fact that she is educated and has memorized the Qur’an is enough to blow anyone away BUT she gives back to the community too masha’Allah! (and also, she’s married!). And who said wearing the niqaab is a barrier to help others? This sister has clearly proven others wrong!

I would love to be able to do exactly the same work as this sister.. but someone told me that I would need to be rich to be able to not work and at the same time support myself 😦 Also, being involved in the community is one of the criteria I would like in my future spouse. Allah knows best.

Sisters, who says that we cannot contribute to the Ummah? Apart from raising righteous children, we also have a part to play in the community. Yes, our priority is our family and children, but if we were to truly emulate Prophet’s wives and the sahabiyaat, they too, were involved in helping people. We can help our Ummah in many ways – not only limited to physical help as shown in the video – but we can volunteer our time teaching others the Qur’an, raise funds for a new Masjid or even write articles about Islam online. And we can even do these within the confines of our own homes! What is stopping us for reaching out to others?

p/s/ by the way, al-Imdaad foundation is a fantastic organization to support if you would like to volunteer/donate. I had a wonderful opportunity to work alongside them last year and to learn about their charity work worldwide (not limited to just Africa) is just amazing masha’Allah!