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« on: Dec 31, 2007 08:25 AM »


Radical Reform

At the heart of the Islamic creed (al-`aqîdah), among the six pillars of faith (arkân al-imân), lies the recognition of revealed books and the faith and belief that the Quran, the last Revelation, is the word of God (kalâm Allah) revealed to mankind as such in clear Arabic language (“lisânun `arabiyyun mubîn”). To the believing conscience, this is one of the pillars of faith and any reform questioning one of the fundamentals of the creed, of the `aqîdah, could not be accepted, heard nor promoted by the Muslim faithful.

It might be attractive to the restricted circles of rationalists, but it will always be perceived as (at best) out of place, or more clearly as a betrayal of Islamic teachings, by the bulk of believers (whether practising or not, actually). Indeed, this “excess of rationalism” on the part of some early or contemporary thinkers has often led to simply disqualifying the notion of “reform” altogether, since it was perceived as dangerous because it undermined the principles of the Muslim faith or was imported from the Christian universe of reference.

People tend to believe that dogmatic or literalist approaches are caused by the nature of the Quranic text, and that ascribing a human origin to it would suffice to open the way to a historical and contextualised reading. However, this statement performs two dangerous shortcuts. The first one consists in assuming that the status of the text alone determines its readers’ mode of interpretation, while this is far from obvious or inevitable. The history of religions and ideologies is filled with examples of texts produced by guides or thinkers, which have been, and still are, read dogmatically by their adepts or followers. The status of the text can indeed influence the modalities of reading, but in the end, it is the mind and psyche of the reader interpreting it that projects its categories and the modalities of its interpretation onto the book.

Up to very recent times, Marx’s works were sometimes read and interpreted in most dogmatic terms by most atheistic Marxists. A text’s human source by no means warrants a historicizing reading of its contents, and numerous Christian trends, while recognising the various historical strata of the Gospels’ elaboration, still advocate a literal reading of the New Testament. What must be assessed and questioned is often the outlook, psychological set-up and frame of reference of interpreting scholars, and the debate over the status of the text falls far short of resolving the issue of historical and contextualised interpretation.

The other shortcut is methodologically more serious and its consequences are far more harmful. It consists in exporting the experience of Catholic theology into the Islamic tradition: since the historical-critical approach was only possible, in the Christian tradition, once the human source of the New Testament had been acknowledged, it is assumed to be the same – by natural induction – for the Islamic legal tradition. However, this exogenous, imported outlook fails to do justice to the great legal tradition of Islam that has never, since the beginning, linked the status of the Quran (as the “eternal word of God” ) to the impossibility of historical and contextualised interpretation. Indeed, quite the contrary has occurred.

From the outset, the Prophet’s companions (as-sahâba), the following generation (at-tâbi`ûn), then the scholars, the leading figures of the various sciences and schools of law, kept referring to the context, causes (asbâb) and chronology of revealed verses. The sciences and commentaries of the Quran (`ulûm al-Qur’ân and at-tafâsîr), the study of the Prophet’s life (as-sîra), the classification of prophetic traditions (`ulûm al-hadîth) are so many areas of study that were constituted while taking into account the historicality of the revealed Word as well as of the Prophet’s speech and action.

The eternal Word of God was revealed within a specific history, over twenty-three years, and if some texts or injunctions transcend the human History that receives them, some other verses cannot be understood without being inserted within a particular time sequence. Then, human intelligence alone can determine the contents of the timeless principle drawn from the text, while necessarily taking into account its relation to the social and historical context of its enunciation. This critical approach has been known and acknowledged since the beginning by all schools of law.

Source:
"Radical Reform: Ethics and Liberation" - Tariq Ramadan

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #1 on: Jan 03, 2008 01:46 PM »

Joint Accounts

Family expenses are the sole responsibility of the husband/father. Wife is not responsible to share in family expenses. But the joint account is a different matter. Joint account usually means that while the two persons who own the account are alive they own its balances on equal shares but when one of them dies the other becomes the owner of all. This is the way usually joint accounts are defined in most civil and commercial laws all over the world.

The Shari`ah on the other hand does not accept the point that the surviving jointer becomes the sole owner and it continues to regard its ownership on a half/half basis even after the death of one of them. We consider the fact that one spouse puts her/his property in a joint manner an indication that the spouse intends to give one half ownership in that property to the other as a gift. Gifts between spouses are permissible and have no limits whatsoever.

Now, this means that a mother, unless it can be proven otherwise, by putting her income in a joint account, is giving half of it to the father, the same applies to the father.

Hence, if one of them dies, La Samaha Allah, the balance in this joint account is considered owned half/half and the half that belongs to the deceased must be distributed according to the inheritance rules, in which the other spouse will have a share. Of course, properties that are not in joint account will be distributed directly according to the inheritance rules.

Source:
IslamOnline.Net - Monzer Kahf

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #2 on: Feb 29, 2008 01:04 PM »

Fountain Pen

An outstanding publicist, confidant and companion of Al-Mu'izz, the Egyptian sultan in 953 CE, wrote a book called "The Book of Audiences and Concurrence". His name was Qadi abu Hanifah al-Nu'man ibn Muhammad and here he recounts al-Mu'izz commissioning the construction of a fountain pen.

    "We wish to construct a pen which can be used for writing without having recourse to an ink-holder and whose ink
    will be contained inside it. A person can fill it with ink and write whatever he likes. The writer can put it in his sleeve
    or anywhere he wishes and it will not stain nor will any drop of ink leak out of it. The ink will flow only when there
    is an intention to write. We are unaware of anyone previously ever constructing (a pen such as this) and an
    indication of 'penetrating wisdom' to whoever contemplates it and realises its exact significance and purpose." I
    exclaimed, "Is this possible?" He replied, "It is possible if God so wills."

The story continues that a few days later the craftsman brought a pen which wrote when it was filled with ink. The pen could be turned upside down and tipped from side to side without any ink being spilt. The pen did not release the ink except in writing and it didn't leave stains on hands or clothes. Lastly, it didn't need an ink pot because it had its own, hidden away.

Source:
"1001 Inventions: Muslim Heritage in Our World" - Foundation for Science Technology and Civilisation, p. 85

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #3 on: Mar 04, 2008 10:54 AM »


Bufferzone

“Good” Customer Service is all about doing a little extra. Service Center personnel are now taught to ask that extra question: “Have I addressed all your concerns?” or instructed to make sure they thank us profusely for our call. And it is this extra that often differentiates the “good” from the “bad” – the one who we are willing to forgive and give a second chance. And this holds true in many facets of our life.

That extra little bit ensures that the quality of our works never falls below a certain minimum. If we are only targeting for the absolute minimum, once in a while we are going to fall short. And soon enough, if there are agents of procrastination around us, we will find ourselves failing to meet the minimum.

The same can be said about our acts of Worship. In our prayers we often forget to construct this Bufferzone around the Obligatory deeds. The 2 before Fajr, the 4 and 2 around Duhr, the 2 after Maghrib, the 2 and 3 after Isha. They provide that buffer that stops us from falling below the minimum threshold and allowing us to continue with the obligatory. But this buffer and sacrifice, may also dictate whom Allah forgives and provides a second chance.

For example, we can try creating the following bufferzones around our Obligatory prayers:

   1. Increase optional small details: Dhikr, Du’a, etc.
   2. Performing the Sunnah (Optional) prayers
   3. Praying Witr and over time continuously lengthening it
   4. Perform Obligatory prayers at its earliest time not only when it is convenient and there is nothing else to do

Source:
Editorial Contribution

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #4 on: Apr 07, 2008 11:59 AM »

Levels of Quran Study

The Koran may be read at several levels, in quite distinct fields. But first, the reader must be aware of how the Text has been constructed. The Koran was revealed in sequences of varying length, sometimes as entire chapters (suras), over a span of 23 years. In its final form, the Text follows neither a chronological nor strictly thematic order. Understanding, at this first level, calls for a twofold effort on the part of the reader: though repetition is, in a spiritual sense, a reminder and a revivification, in an intellectual sense it leads us to attempt to reconstruct. The stories of Eve and Adam, or of Moses, are repeated several times over with differing though non-contradictory elements: the task of human intelligence is to recompose the narrative structure, to bring together all the elements, allowing us to grasp the facts.

But we must also take into account the context to which these facts refer: all commentators, without distinction as to school of jurisprudence, agree that certain verses of the revealed Text (in particular, but not only, those that refer to war) speak of specific situations that had arisen at the moment of their revelation. Without taking historical contingency into account, it is impossible to obtain general information on this or that aspect of Islam. In such cases, our intelligence is invited to observe the facts, to study them in reference to a specific environment and to derive principles from them. It is a demanding task, which requires study, specialization and extreme caution. Or to put it differently, extreme intellectual modesty.

The second level is no less demanding. The Koranic text is, first and foremost, the promulgation of a message whose content has, above all, a moral dimension. On each page we behold the ethics, the underpinnings, the values and the hierarchy of Islam taking shape. In this light, a linear reading is likely to disorient the reader and to give rise to incoherence, even contradiction. It is appropriate, in our efforts to determine the moral message of Islam, to approach the Text from another angle. While the stories of the Prophets are drawn from repeated narrations, the study of ethical categories requires us, first, to approach the message in the broadest sense, then to derive the principles and values that make up the moral order. The methods to be applied at this second level are exactly the opposite of the first, but they complete it, making it possible for religious scholars to advanc

But there remains a third level, which demands full intellectual and spiritual immersion in the Text, and in the revealed message. Here, the task is to derive the Islamic prescriptions that govern matters of faith, of religious practice and of its fundamental precepts. In a broader sense, the task is to determine the laws and rules that will make it possible for all Muslims to have a frame of reference for the obligations, the prohibitions, the essential and secondary matters of religious practice, as well as those of the social sphere. A simple reading of the Koran does not suffice: not only is the study of Koranic science a necessity, but knowledge of segments of the prophetic tradition is essential. One cannot, on a simple reading of the Koran, learn how to pray. We must turn to authenticated prophetic tradition to determine the rules and the body movements of prayer.

As we can see, this third level requires singular knowledge and competence that can only be acquired by extensive, exhaustive study of the texts, their surrounding environment and, of course, intimate acquaintance with the classic and secular tradition of the Islamic sciences. It is not merely dangerous but fundamentally erroneous to generalize about what Muslims must and must not do based on a simple reading of the Koran. Some Muslims, taking a literalist or dogmatic approach, have become enmeshed in utterly false and unacceptable interpretations of the Koranic verses, which they possess neither the means, nor on occasion the intelligence, to place in the perspective of the overarching message. Some orientalists, sociologists and non-Muslim commentators follow their example by extracting from the Koran certain passages, which they then proceed to analyze in total disregard for the methodological tools employed by the ulema.<

Above and beyond these distinct levels of reading, we must take into account the different interpretations put forward by the great Islamic classical tradition. It goes without saying that all Muslims consider the Koran to be the final divine revelation. But going back to the direct experience of the Companions of the Prophet, it has always been clear that the interpretation of its verses is plural in nature, and that there has always existed an accepted diversity of readings among Muslims.

Source:
"Reading The Koran" - Tariq Ramadan

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #5 on: Apr 09, 2008 08:17 AM »

Willing Choice

Choice to sacrifice should be made willingly. This means that you should, by your own choice, come forward to offer whatever you can to secure Allah's pleasure. Your will should harmonize with His will.

This does not mean that one should not feel any pain or discomfort while making a sacrifice. Once you give up your love or your desire or your value, to feel pain is only human. Indeed, if you feel no pain in giving up something, that giving up may not be worth being called a sacrifice. You are throwing away something which is of no value to you. Rather, the greater the pain, the greater the worth of the sacrifice. But pain ought to be followed by contentment; contentment for having given up something you considered valuable for Allah's pleasure which is really the most valuable, for having willingly borne pain for the sake of your love for Allah which supersedes every other love.

Source:
"Sacrifice - The Making of A Muslims" - Khurram Murad

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
Halima
Sis
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Reputation Power: 39
Halima is working their way up :)Halima is working their way up :)Halima is working their way up :)
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Posts: 1714



« Reply #6 on: Apr 14, 2008 01:56 PM »

Interrogation

Some Muslims today have gotten into the habit of interrogating their brothers and sisters about matters of faith and law. They ask them questions about the particulars of the Islam creed or some details of various legal ruling, but their intention is not to learn anything. They already know the answers. What they want to do is see if the person they are asking is on the right creed or has adopted the correct position in certain matters of Islamic Law or have the correct "Islamic" attitude about certain issues.

A classic example of this is to ask "Where is Allah." Yes, the Prophet (peace be upon him) did once ask a slave girl this question. However, the people who go around with this question on their lips, foisting it on every passer-by, forget that the Prophet (peace be upon him) in that instance had a specific reason for doing so. He was trying to ascertain what her religion was, because her owner was thinking about giving her her freedom if she proved to be a Muslim.

Interrogating people about doctrinal matters is a bad habit that Muslims should abandon. Allah has not commanded us to cross-examine each other's faith. Moreover, such behavior can bring about many bad consequences.

For instance, when a person on the street is asked a question about some Islamic issue, whether it be a tenet of faith or a point of law, it may very well be the case that the person does not know the answer. Indeed, it may be that the person has never thought about the question before. Nevertheless, people are usually shy to admit they do not know something. There is a good chance that the person being asked will simply make something up on the spot and say something that is wrong.

Is it, then, right for us to pronounce judgment on this unsuspecting person to brand him or her as a deviant or a sinner?

Allah has not appointed us to be judges over the people. We are merely required to deal with people as they present themselves to us. What is in their hearts is between them and their Lord.

As Muslims, we are supposed to assume the best about others. We are not supposed to harbor suspicions in our hearts. We are not supposed to snoop around for people's faults.

We should never try to get our fellow Muslims to fall into some error so we can "catch them out". We should rather assume the best about them and leave their inward thought to themselves and to Allah's judgment.

What we can and should do is to teach people without first cross-examining what they might already believe. We should give sensible advice to people, guide them to what is right, and do the best we can to be a positive influence in their lives. We should strive to disseminate goodness, ward off evil, and be a source of right guidance. When we conduct ourselves in this manner, we do good for our own souls as well as for others.

Source:
"Cross-Examining Others about Matters of Faith" - Muhammad Ahmad Abd al-Rahman

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
Halima
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« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2008 01:43 PM »

Timidity

There is a big difference between hayaa' and timidity. Timidity is a state of fear due to lack of courage and self-confidence, while hayaa' is a state of modesty and bashfulness, where the person behaves in a certain way to avoid arrogance and ostentation. Hayaa' is not a state of fear; it is rather a feeling of strength. For example, when the woman displays a modest and bashful behavior (in speaking, walking, dressing, etc.), that gives her a sense of distinction. She therefore feels unique and strong but not arrogant. Hayaa' is then the opposite of haughtiness and self-conceit, which are unfavorable attributes. On the other hand, timidity is the opposite of courage and bravery, which are favorable characteristics.

One of the areas where a confusion between hayaa' and timidity occurs is education or the process of learning. A timid person lacks self-confidence, which can make him or her nervous during the class and even afraid of asking questions when necessary.

On the other hand, a person with hayaa' does not fear but rather behaves in a humble way, honoring the teacher and respecting his or her fellow students.

Source:
"IslamOnline.Net" - Zeinab Al-`Alawani


The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
Halima
Sis
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Reputation Power: 39
Halima is working their way up :)Halima is working their way up :)Halima is working their way up :)
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Posts: 1714



« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2008 02:00 PM »

To Be With God

To foster humility in oneself and to keep one's ethical awareness alive naturally means being attentive to human relations, even in their smallest details. This life, led with the constant intention to be in dialogue with God and with oneself, should lead us to learn to listen and to be in dialogue with others. The calls to brotherhood, solidarity, and companionship are all facets of the spirituality of daily life. We have to be spiritually responsible, active, and intelligent in learning to make the fundamental distinction between judging an action and judging an individual, between condemning a gesture and condemning a heart. We must have the clarity to engage in the first but resist the temptation of the second. This way of being among people can be achieved only by working at allowing spiritual and ethical teaching to radiate into all our areas of activity. This would naturally reform the kinds of relations that we too often see at work within Muslim communities - relations based on judgment and rejection of the Other, competition, and power struggles.

Muslim spirituality radiates out from the axis of tawhid and calls human beings, in addition to their religious practice and meditation, to allow the light of the sense of His Presence and His moral precepts to shine on all their areas of activity. This spirituality inspires awareness at the heart of life and society and offers itself as an everyday mysticism, an applied Sufism, which leads individuals to learn to manage the direction and content of their actions rather than simply to be acted upon.

Muslim spirituality teaches us fragility, effort, and service: to be with God is to recognize one's limitations, know them, and serve people, among people.

Source:
"Western Muslims and The Future of Islam" - Tariq Ramadan, pp. 124, 125


The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
Halima
Sis
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Reputation Power: 39
Halima is working their way up :)Halima is working their way up :)Halima is working their way up :)
Gender: Female
Posts: 1714



« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2008 12:20 PM »

Mental Preparation before the Prayer

    * The planning of your daily activities should revolve around the five daily Salah. Do not plan everything else and
       then try to fit Prayer into your busy schedule. Allah deserves a greater place in our lives than that!

    * Ensure that you are conversant with all the rules and regulations governing your Prayer. Research in depth the
       Quranic verses and ahadith relating to the virtues of Salah. Uncertainty in how to perform one's prayer perfectly
       is a major cause of distraction.

    * Be punctual with your Prayer. Get into the habit of praying at the earliest hour. Do not procrastinate. The Prophet
       said, "The deed most loved by Allah is Prayer performed on time." (Muslim) and "only the hypocrites intentionally
       delay their prayers"!

    * Pray as much of your obligatory Salah in congregation as is possible. This is not 'just a good thing' but an
       obligation on every Muslim male. According to the Prophet, if we knew the good in praying in jama'ah we would
       not miss it even if we had to crawl to the masjid!

    * Avoid praying in a state in which you are mentally and physically fatigued.

    * Keep your mind free of worldly worries, evil thoughts, and ideas.

    * Plan what verses/duas you are going to recite.

    * If you do not understand Arabic learn the meaning of what you recite in your Prayer.

    * Remind yourself that engaging in Prayer offers you an opportunity to release yourself from the tensions of this
       world. The Prophet has said that in Prayer was placed the comfort of his eyes. Therefore cherish the opportunity
       to remove the burdens of this world from your shoulders.

    * Use your Prayer to remain focused on your mission in life, which is to bring your entire being to serve only Allah.

    * Use your Prayer as a source of strength, inspiration and enthusiasm for your life and activities.

Source:
"Salah - The State of Mind" - Young Muslims Publications. Please help distribute

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
Halima
Sis
Hero Member
*

Reputation Power: 39
Halima is working their way up :)Halima is working their way up :)Halima is working their way up :)
Gender: Female
Posts: 1714



« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2008 10:44 AM »

Controlling Your Impulses

Man is an amazing creature! We splice genes, build skyscrapers 100 stories high, and fit a thousand million transistors on a silicon chip the size of a fingernail.

I have a friend, Erik Weihenmayer, who climbed Mount Everest - blind! I've read about Joan of Arc, the courageous 14-year-old French girl turned warrior, who saved France from its enemies and was later burned at the stake. I remember watching the TV news coverage of a plane crash in an icy river, and seeing a man pass the lifeline again and again to others until, exhausted and freezing, he sank below the surface, giving his life for people he didn't know. These are examples of the triumph of the human spirit.

So, when I hear someone say, "Teens are going to have sex because they can't control their hormones," I want to throw up. I mean, c'mon. It's not like we're a bunch of dogs in heat. If we can split the atom, we can control our urges. We're human beings, not animals, after all. And we have the freedom to choose.

There are three notable things about our sex drive. First, it is strong. Second, it is constant. And third, it is good. Without it, no one would want to settle down and have children and the world would soon run out of people. It just needs to be used at the right time and with the right person, and it needs to be controlled, just like any other impulse.

I mean, what kind of world would we have if we responded to every passing urge? If you got angry with someone, you'd simply punch'em. If you felt like sleeping in, you'd skip school or whatever and sleep in. Heck, if I gave free rein to my urges I'd weigh 420 pounds, because my instinct is to eat everything I see. But I have to control myself because I don't want to weigh 420. Shouldn't we apply the same logic to our sex urges?

It takes a little discipline, but it's well worth it. As business philosopher Jim Rohn puts it, "We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons."

I just don't buy the idea that waiting to have sex is unrealistic. It's not unrealistic. Millions of teens worldwide have waited and are waiting and so can you. Self-control is stronger than hormones.

Yes, your sexuality is an important part of your life. But it's not the be-all and end-all of your existence, as our culture may lead you to believe. There are more important aspects to little ol' you than your sexuality, like your intellect, your personality, your hopes and dreams. As one teenage girl put it, "We are so much more than our urges."

Source:
"The 6 Most Important Decisions You'll Ever Make" - Sean Covey, pp. 198-200

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
Halima
Sis
Hero Member
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Reputation Power: 39
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« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2008 11:42 AM »

Necessities and Needs

Scholars of Islamic Law make a distinction between matters that are prohibited for their inherent evil and matters that are prohibited only because they have the potential to lead up to the perpetration of an inherent evil. For instance, murder, fornication, and drug abuse are prohibited in their own right. By contrast, a woman showing her face in public is prohibited – by the scholars who regard it as prohibited – because of the temptation that it might cause and that might lead to the sin of fornication or adultery. The woman is not required to veil her face for the mere sake of covering it.

This is an important distinction in Islamic Law. Things that are prohibited in their own right cannot be permitted except in cases of dire necessity (darûrah). For instance, a person may not drink wine. However, if that person is choking on something and can only find wine to save himself, he may drink it out of necessity. By contrast, things that are prohibited only because they can lead to other unlawful activities are allowed for any valid need (hâjah).

Ibn al-Qayyim explains this principle in I`lâm al-Muwaqqi`în:

Prohibitions regarding the means to wrongdoing are not like things that are prohibited for their own sake. Prohibitions regarding the means to wrongdoing will be lifted for a valid need (hâjah). As for things that are prohibited for their own sake, their prohibition is not lifted except in cases of dire necessity (darûrah).

Source:
"Lifting the Veil – A Consideration of Circumstances" - Sâmî al-Mâjid, professor at al-Imâm Islamic University, Riyadh

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2008 07:29 AM »

The Relationship Bank Account

Growing up, what pushed my mom's hot button was when I'd forget to take out the garbage. Too often, on Friday mornings, I'd hear Mom screaming: "Sean, get your rear end out of bed! I can hear the garbage truck coming and you forgot the garbage - again!" Eventually, she resorted to posting reminder notes on everything - the door, the fridge, the vanity, my pillow. "SEAN. DO THE GARBAGE OR DIE!"

I also learned ways to get on Mom's good side. Mom just loved it when I'd get good grades. She'd stick my report card up on the walls for all her friends to see and would brag, brag, brag. She also loved it when I'd help do the dishes or carry the groceries in. That's how I made up for all those missed garbage runs and kept our relationship in the plus column.

The amount of trust you have in a relationship is like a checking account at a bank. I call it the Relationship Bank Account or RBA. If you make lots of small deposits by being thoughtful, loyal, and other such things, you'll develop high trust, or high RBA. When it comes to your parents, how's your RBA? If $1,000 represents a strong relationship with your parents, how much have you deposited? Is there really $1,000 in the bank or is it more like $500? Perhaps you're down around $0 or are overdrawn at -$1,000. Whatever your situation, the formula is the same: You build a relationship a deposit at a time.

Here are five deposits that seem to work well with parents. Of course, with every deposit, there's an opposing withdrawal.

Deposits                                                             Withdrawals
Understand what's important to them                Assume you know
Tell the truth                                                       Lie and cover up
Sense the need and do it                                   Wait until you're told
Remember the little things                                  Forget the little things
Open up                                                              Close yourself off
Use the most important words                            Avoid the most important words

Source:
"The 6 Most Important Decisions You'll Ever Make" - Sean Covey, pp. 130-131

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2008 07:34 AM »

Imbalance and Extremism

Imbalance is betrayed by a one-sided approach to things. Overcome by emotions one looks at things from a particular angle while neglecting other relevant aspects. One pursues a particular course of action and pays no attention to other points. This results in an imbalance in thinking. One reckons only one point as important and underrates other equally significant points. Likewise, one identifies a certain evil as the root cause at the expense of ignoring other major evils. On the issue of rules and principles, one fails to exhibit any flexibility. Conversely, one too keen to get things done may show an utter disdain for norms and employ all ways and means to attain 'success', without any scruples about norms and rules.

This tendency gives way ultimately to extremism. For one who insists on his stance, takes a harsh stand against any dissident voice. He fails to consider others' viewpoint and makes no effort to weigh things justly. Rather, he ascribes the worst motives to divergent views. This makes him as quite unbearable to others. If this tendency is not checked in time, it culminates in suspecting others' integrity, bad temper and use of harsh language, which inflicts a deadly blow upon solidarity.

Source:
"Tazkiyah: The Islamic Path of Self-Development" - Abdur Rashid Siddiqui, p. 30

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #14 on: Jun 02, 2008 09:02 AM »

Seven Perils of Consumerism

Consuming is far from harmless. A lifestyle focused on consumption does the following:

1) Wastes your time—When you flip flyers, search aisles and wait in checkout lines, you lose precious time. When you own a bigger house, an extra car and more appliances, you organize more, clean more, repair more—and lose more precious time. Consumerism steals your time to relax with family, engage in worship or help the community.

2) Distracts you from your goal—Our routines absorb us each day as we earn, buy, store, clean, organize and discard “stuff”. We have little time to contemplate why we perform these tasks and possess these items. Slogans of “Buy now! Enjoy now!” emphasize instant gratification and obscure the deeper purpose and priorities of our lives. We rarely remember to show gratitude for what God gave us. The more we ‘consume’, the more consumerism distracts us from our goal of pleasing God [Quran 102: 1-2].

3) Increases your needs—As you own more, your needs increase. A bigger house requires more furniture, more curtains, more decorations and more cleaning supplies (maybe even a maid!). Now you need to work longer hours to maintain your bigger house. When you work longer hours, you have less time so your needs increase again—you now need outside food, more childcare, a dishwasher, and a vacation to escape the stress! Consumerism traps us in a cycle of ‘own more, need more, work more’.

4) Enslaves you—The fashion industry, with the media’s help, creates, sells and alters styles to keep you spending. If you follow the latest trends, wear what’s ‘in’ and avoid what’s ‘out’, ask yourself why. Are you letting wealthy fashion and media leaders control your wardrobe and your wallet?

5) Creates more responsibilities—Are you ready to account for everything you consume—how you bought it, how you used it, how you shared it? [Quran 102:8] As you own more, you increase your burden of responsibility.

6) Weakens your health—Juliet Schor, in “Born to Buy”, shows that children who lead a consumeristic lifestyle, spending more time watching television and shopping, face greater health problems such as obesity, depression, and low self esteem.  Even adults who are responsible for more financial and physical wealth suffer greater stress and stress-related diseases. A simple lifestyle, with meaningful physical and mental activities, can protect your health.

7) Destroys our Environment—An individual in a developed nation consumes three times as much meat, nine times as much paper, and eleven times as much gasoline as an individual in a developing nation. This materialistic lifestyle sucks up natural resources and dumps tonnes of waste on the planet. Where does our garbage go? Many toys, electronics, and household items North Americans consume and discard ends in piles on landfill sites in developing countries where the toxic chemicals seep into water and soil. Each item we consume involves consequences we rarely consider.

Source:
"Unclutter Your Life: Reclaim Your Mind, Body and Wallet" - Shehnaz Toorawa

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #15 on: Jun 04, 2008 12:06 PM »

Mudârabah

A common profit-sharing commercial venture in Islamic Law is known as mudârabah. This is where one party finances the venture and the other engages in the activities of the business. In other words, one party gives money to the other party to do business with it. They agree to share the business profits according to a pre-agreed percentage.

The scholars make it clear that it is absolutely essential for the two parties to agree to divide the profits between them according to a fixed pre-agreed percentage, like 50-50, 60-40, or 70-30.

It is not permissible to guarantee a minimum return on investment, since the profitability of the venture is not guaranteed. It is likewise impermissible to specify a specific sum of money from the profits – like $1000 dollars – as a return for the investor, since this leads to an uncertain percentage share of the profits for both parties.

If the parties have agreed upon a percentage share of the profits, there is no harm if the trading partner provides a fixed monthly sum to the financing partner on the basis of expected profits, if that is convenient. However, at the end of the venture – or for a continuous venture, after a fixed period of time, like six months or a year – any shortfall or excess needs to be paid out. This is to ensure that the financing party receives the agreed-upon percentage share, no more and no less.

Source:
IslamToday.com - Fatwa by Ahmad al-Rashid

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #16 on: Jun 06, 2008 06:29 PM »

A Question of Dignity

Soon the Olympic Games will be taking place in China. Sports and politics must not be mixed, we are told, as if China’s stance were not political! The Chinese, in fact, have adopted a policy that intertwines and confuses the two. But it is impossible to celebrate a political authority or a government, impossible to participate in “sport”, when an entire people is oppressed, when its existence is denied, when it is humiliated by that same government. Markets and economic interests, the forces that have already purchased such a deafening silence, can no longer justify our cautious calculations as we confront the shameful images that have come to us, for so long, from occupied Tibet.

We cannot allow ourselves to be misled by eminently political and symbolic gestures presented as “purely sporting” or “purely cultural” (is it not striking to see some of those who criticized us for promoting a boycott of Israel—whose government continues to oppress the Palestinians—at the Paris Salon du livre and the Turin Book Fair, using precisely the same arguments in denouncing China?). They are fooling no one. Our duty is one of coherence: no more selective criticism, no more cowardly silence; there can be no culture, no sport devoid of ethics, stripped of their dignity. Boycotting the Olympic Games, as long as the Tibetans are being crushed, is a question of human dignity and intellectual decency.

It is no longer enough to philosophize, to expostulate, in our carpeted offices, our salons, our universities, on the benefits of “non-violence” and the greatness of soul of its spokesmen and leaders while, though our political cowardice and our economically motivated hypocrisy, we seemingly spare no effort to drive to violence resisters who have nothing left to lose, who have already lost everything.

These words are written for the women and men of Tibet, for those who are still standing upright, for my friends in the resistance who have taken the decision to accept no longer the silence of complicity, to countenance no selective denunciations. Whatever the price to be paid.

With you, our world is less ugly, our humanity not so sad.

Source:
"The Tibet Boycott: a question of dignity" - Tariq Ramadan

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #17 on: Jun 09, 2008 05:25 PM »

How Trust Works

Trust is one of the most powerful forms of motivation and inspiration. People want to be trusted. They respond to trust. They thrive on trust. Whatever our situation, we need to get good at establishing, extending, and restoring trust - not as a manipulative technique, but as the most effective way of relating to and working with others, and the most effective way of getting results.

Most of us tend to think about trust in terms of character - of being a good or sincere person or of having ethics or integrity. And character is absolutely foundational and essential. But, to think that trust is based on character only is a myth.

Trust is a function of two things: character and competence. Character includes your integrity, your motive, your intent with people. Competence includes your capabilities, your skills, your results, your track record. And both are vital.

You might think a person is sincere, even honest, but you won't trust that person fully if he or she doesn't get results. And the opposite is true. A person might have great skills and talents and a good track record, but if he or she is not honest, you're not going to trust that person either. My wife, Jeri, recently had to have some surgery. We have a great relationship - she trusts me and I trust her. But when it came time to perform the surgery, she didn't ask me to do it. I'm not a doctor. I don't have the skills or the competence to do it. Even though she trusts me in most arenas, she knows I don't have the skills to perform surgery.

Once you become aware that both character and competence are vital to trust, you can see how the combination of these two dimensions is reflected in the approach of effective leaders and observers everywhere.

Source:
"The Speed of Trust" - Stephen M. R. Covey, pp. 29-31

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #18 on: Jun 14, 2008 10:08 AM »

Shariah

Cleverly manipulated exposure to the imagery of a whip cracking on a naked back and a veil enshrouding a woman’s face has led many to believe that the Shariah , the divine code of Muslim conduct, is in reality no more than a collection of values and practices that are primitive, uncivilized and barbaric. What to a Muslim is the object of his longing and endeavour has been very subtly projected as a relic from the dark ages which enslaves the woman and inflicts punishments on the criminal which are cruel, inhuman and degrading.

The Quran most certainly does prescribe corporal punishment for certain serious social crimes and it does lay down the principle of retribution, or qisas; it is very emphatic, too, about the crucial role of the family in human society and therefore insists on assigning different well-defined roles to men and women; and it does lay down many other regulations and laws and expects Muslims to obey the eternally valid injunctions of God and His Prophet.

But will these and similar provisions of the Shariah really plunge society back into darkness? Are they inhuman and barbaric? Are they an indicator of Islam’s inability to keep pace with the demands of human progress? The issues need to be examined seriously to determine the place and valued of the Shariah and its provisions in the ultimate order of human civilization and happiness. The need for this examination is especially acute in the view of the dogmatic position adopted by the West on these questions. A host of Western writers have said it, and the media continue to harp on the same theme: unless Islam is prepared to relent on these and other legal provisions of the Shariah there can and will be no accommodation; only a continuation of Western rejection of Islam’. Such vehemence makes one wonder whether the loud chorus about the Shariah, and such of its specific provisions as pertain to women and punishment, is in all cases the result of genuine misunderstanding and moral indignation, or whether the issue is merely being used by some as a whipping-boy to settle scores with Islam – old and new.

No apologies or excuses are needed to explain away or make acceptable to the West what has been so clearly laid down by the Quran and the Prophet in this regard and what has been so consistently accepted and adhered to by Muslims. There should be no place in dialogue with the West for such tortuous, self-deprecating arguments as: ‘polygamy is permitted, but the conditions of justice attached to it makes it effectively prohibited’. Or: ‘Corporal punishment is prescribed but hedged in with such unworkable requirements of evidence that it is virtually impossible to carry it out. Or, at least, it cannot be carried out unless an "ideal" just society is established, when it will in any case become unnecessary’.

Why those who advance this specious logic should think that God would lay down things which were impossible to practice is not made clear. As if He does not know how to say what He means, and say it clearly! Such excuses are unfair to the Quran and the Prophet, and an affront to their wisdom, and at the same time illogical and implausible to the unconvinced.

Source:
“Shariah: The Way of Justice” - Khurram Murad

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #19 on: Jun 16, 2008 04:13 PM »

Cracks in the Social Mirror

When it comes to how you feel about yourself, which mirror are you looking at? There are two mirrors to choose from. One the social mirror, the other the true mirror. The social mirror is a reflection of how other people see you. The true mirror is a reflection of the real you. Looking to the social mirror is bad news for several reasons:

The social mirror is unrealistic. Somehow the media has sold everyone the lie that looks are everything. And we've bought it! Our culture proclaims that if you are good-looking, skinny, or buff, you can have it all - popularity, boyfriends, girlfriends, success, and happiness. The problem is that the images of how we're supposed to look come from movies and magazines that feature unrealistic models of perfection.

The social mirror is always changing. If your self-perception comes from how others see you, you'll never feel stable, because opinions, fads, and fashion are always changing. It's hard to keep up. You'll start to feel like Alice in Wonderland.

The social mirror isn't accurate. You are so much more than the opinions of others. You are so much more than how you look on the outside. You have beauty and potential that no one recognizes, not even you.

Beware of the social mirror.

Source:
"The 6 Most Important Decisions You'll Ever Make" - Sean Covey, pp. 269-273

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #20 on: Jun 21, 2008 09:43 AM »

Religious Laws

Royal authority implies a form of organisation necessary to mankind. It requires superiority and force, which express the wrathfulness and animality (of human nature). The decisions of the ruler will therefore, as a rule, deviate from what is right. They will be ruinous to the worldly affairs of the people under his control, since, as a rule, he forces them to execute his intentions and desires, and this may be beyond their ability. This situation will differ according to the intentions to be found in the different generations. It is for this reason difficult to be obedient to the ruler. Disobedience makes itself noticeable and leads to trouble and bloodshed.

Therefore, it is necessary to have reference to ordained political norms, which are accepted by the mass, and to whose laws it submits. The Persians and other nations had such norms. The dynasty that does not have a policy based on such (norms) cannot fully succeed in establishing the supremacy of its rule.

If these norms are ordained by the intelligent and leading personalities and the minds of the dynasty, the result will be a political (institution) with an intellectual basis. If they are ordained by God through a lawgiver who establishes them as (religious) laws, the result will be a political (institution) with a religious basis, which will be useful for life in both this and the other world.

This is because the purpose of human beings is not only their worldly welfare. This entire world is trifling and futile. It ends in death and annihilation. The purpose (of human beings) is their religion, which leads them to happiness in the other world. Therefore, religious laws have as their purpose to cause (them) to follow such a course in all their dealings with God and their fellow men. This (situation) also applies to royal authority, which is natural in human social organisation. (The religious laws) guide it along the path of religion, so that everything will be under the supervision of the religious law. Anything (done by royal authority) that is dictated by force, superiority or the free play of the power of the wrathfulness, is tyranny and injustice and considered reprehensible by (the religious law), as it is also considered reprehensible by the requirements of political wisdom. Likewise, anything (done by royal authority) that is dictated by considerations of policy or political decisions without supervision of the religious law, is also reprehensible, because it is vision lacking the divine light. At the resurrection, the actions of human beings, whether they had to do with royal authority or anything else, will all come back to them.

Source:
"Al Muqaddimah" - Ibn Khaldun, Chapter 3, Section 23

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #21 on: Jun 23, 2008 03:38 PM »

Advise to Imams

The Imam’s mandate for leadership is based upon his practice. The role of the leader is to lead, but you can’t lead something that will not move. To develop movement, the leader must be active, and he must teach by example. His strength is his kindness. He understands that Ibaadah (worship) is just for Allah alone, not himself. So, he is patient and understanding with his brothers as he teaches. His teaching never strays from the basics, no matter how much he knows or thinks he knows, i.e., shahadah, prayers, fasting, zakat, hajj. Everyone will not and cannot learn or practice it to the same degree. All worship is for Allah…Qur’an and Hadith are the source of ilm (knowledge) for the Ummah. Fard Allah bi-li ibaadah (worshipping Allah alone), ijmaa and ijtihaad (consensus and informed reasoning) must be rooted in Shariah (Islamic law).

Based upon our collective niyaat, we are the Ummah (community) of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). He never named the community, so we don’t name it. We are the Ummah, and this is sufficient. Imams and jamaats may name masajids and jamaats, but Allah and His Messenger has named the community, Ummah.

The Imam must be prepared to do most of the work without thanks from those who benefit, and without compensation. Your reward is with Allah. Stay away from making up and giving out offices of authority…amir of this and minister of that, etc. The Prophet only appointed authority, as he needed it. Men were tested in their practice before being given authority. Allah will raise from the ranks those who are fit to lead. If you doubt me, then name the positions of authority before the year of deputation.

Source:
"Advise to Imams" - Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #22 on: Jun 25, 2008 04:39 PM »

Drained of Love

It seems that we have forgotten how to act like human beings. Despite all the qualities we possess which the angels envy, we engage in acts that even evil spirits would be embarrassed of. We are overcome with rancor and hatred, flushed with fury, and regard one another with feelings of vengeance. Our breasts are drained of love, a haze of loathing obscures our feelings, and for so many years now the magical aura of love is alien to our perceptions. We constantly produce evil in our thoughts. Destroying our environment, assimilating everything into those things we like, and suppressing the "other" have become almost routine. So many of us act upon our emotions and abandon rational thinking. We trample and silence those who do not think the same as us; this, indeed, is our most distinct character. We plunge forward, headstrong, on our own way, without considering for even a moment that there may be other solutions to different problems; thus, we lead the way to destruction in many cases where we could have been a means for constructive solutions. Winning hearts by addressing one another in sincere tenderness is like a long-forgotten tradition that has fallen out of fashion.

We are frenzied by facing the numerous challenges of oppositional thought and their representatives, all generated by our selfishness. We easily become enraged and filled with hatred; we crush others if we are powerful enough. If we are not, then we do not hesitate to defame them, damaging their dignity with all the power of the media and the facilities at our disposal, causing more grievous harm than death can possibly cause. In the face of all these inauspicious facts, all that can be heard in the world is either the joyous laughter of the tyrants or the screams of the wronged. There are so many countries that have been suppressed for decades, their victimized peoples engulfed. Minds are pacified, emotions and enthusiasm are extinguished, and people becoming alienated from their own values, and thus find that they approach one another with enmity. Violence is everywhere, as savage as, or perhaps even more atrocious than that caused by any barbarian.

Everything and every one expect a helping hand from us; however, responding with indifference and poverty in most cases, we aggravate their desolation. With no sign of emotion, indolence pervades, and their cries are not echoed. Those who sympathize with them do not have the power or the means to help. Witnessing all this violence every day is no different than dying over and over with each incident.

Shaken in despair, we cannot help but say "Then, this is how nations will devour one another; friction will continue between the masses and no one will sincerely love others. People will no longer be concerned for others and no one will extend a hand to the wronged; no mercy will be shown for the victim, people will not welcome one another, no sense of security will remain, mad people, whose thoughts, speeches, and hands are stained with blood, will shape the fate of the world, and once again it will be an era of tyrants . . ." This situation cannot continue; if it does, then the end of humanity and human values is eminent.

Source:
"Longing For Love" - Fethullah Gulen

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #23 on: Jun 30, 2008 04:19 PM »

Ten Useless Assets

1. Knowledge that is not acted upon.

2. Deeds that have no sincerity or is not based on following the righteous examples of others.

3. Money that is hoarded, as the owner neither enjoys it during this life nor obtains any reward for it in the Hereafter.

4. The heart that is empty of love and longing for Allah, and of seeking closeness to Him.[/color][/b]

5. A body that does not obey and serve Allah.

6. Love of Allah without following His orders or seeking His pleasure.

7. Time that is not spent in expiating sins or seizing opportunities to do good.

8. A mind that thinks about useless matters.

9. Service to those who do not bring you closer to Allah, nor benefit you in your life.

10. Hope and fear of whoever is under the authority of Allah and in His hand; while he cannot bring any benefit or harm to himself, nor death, nor life; nor can he resurrect himself.

Source:
"Ten Useless Matters" - Ibn ul Qayyim al Jawziyyah

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #24 on: Jul 03, 2008 02:40 PM »

Self-Confidence

Ibn Kathir reported that an influential man from Syria used to visit Umar ibn al-Khattab, the second Caliph, in Madinah regularly; then, one day, having been away for longer than usual Umar enquired after him and was told that the man had taken to drinking heavily. Umar wrote him a letter saying:

For your sake, I praise God, there is no God but He. He forgives sins and accepts repentance; His punishment is severe and His bounty is infinite. There is no God but He, and all shall return to Him.

He then turned to those around him and asked them to pray that God might accept the man's repentance. When the letter arrived, the man kept repeating the words: "He forgives sins and accepts repentance; His punishment is severe." He was heard saying: "I am being warned of God's punishment and promised His forgiveness," until he broke down sobbing, and from that day he abstained from drinking for good. When the news reached Umar, he said: "This is what you should do when someone commits a misdemeanour. Advise him, reassure him gently, never let him lose his self-confidence, pray to God for his sake, and do not help Satan to mislead him."

Today there are professed Muslims who have all but given up on God's mercy, and whose sole preoccupation seems to be to castigate and belittle others.

Source:
"A Thematic Commentary on the Quran" - Muhammad al-Ghazali, p. 514

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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