Peace and Unity, if Not Equality, in 21st Century

Assalam’alaikum (Peace Be Upon You),

We are sick, tired, and depressed seeing all the fights, abuse, and discrimination that is currently on going. It seems it is giving many people FREE “abuse card” to behave any way they like. That is plain stupid and pathetic.

Whether one is a Muslim, Christian, Jew, or follows no religion, we all have one common goal, “Peace,” Let us all stand united regardless of color, faith, belief, gender, and etc, and say NO to war and hate.

Please let us stop the hate, but come together with kindness and unity for better and prosperous future!

Hands around earth, international friendship concept
Peace and Unity – Muslimah411.wordpress.com

How to deal with Riya and showoff in Islam? Part 1

Bismillah e rahmani raheem (In the name of Allah (swt) {God}, Most Gracious, Most Merciful)
Bismillah e rahmani raheem (In the name of Allah (swt) {God}, Most Gracious, Most Merciful)+

Assalam alaikum,

I got a question from one of our readers, while I did some research, I was surprised by such vast of information on this topic, which was very interesting. Before I go ahead, I would deeply like to thank that reader for this question, because of you, I got a chance to learn and teach to many other people In Sha’Allah.

Question: How to deal with Riya and showoff in Islam?

Since this is huge topic, I would like to discuss in depth and into parts.

Part 1: Riya

What is riya? Riya has many levels in Islam, but the broad definition could be considered as arrogance. Riya can come in many forms such as in our hearts, minds, verbal aspects, and actions.

Let us explore these aspects:

Hearts: When we win or do something and get praised, we often forget Allah (swt) helped us, and we believe that we achieved by ourselves. We not only forget our Creator, without His help we cannot achieve anything, but we also discredit our family members and our loved ones and leave them behind. We take all the credit and fame.

Minds: We tend to believe in ourselves after we achieve something. That’s “I tried” or “I did”, it becomes all about me, instead of Allah (swt). When we lose something or something goes bad, we say or blame Allah (swt) or family/friends, but never oneself.

Verbal Aspects: We start comparing ourselves to other people, especially people in Islamic history such as Caliphs, Sahabahs, Prophet (saw)’s wives, and Prophet (saw), and etc.

We should never compare ourselves with anyone, especially anyone from Prophet’s time or to Himself. Allah (swt) is the best in Knowledge, let Him be the judge. We can strive to be like them, but we can never be them or compare ourselves with them.

Actions: When hearts and minds become one thought, then automatically our actions follow that train of thought.

Hijab for Both Genders-

Assalam’alaikum,

Hijab for Both Genders, is the third installation to my Hijab parts. Please see Part 1 – Dressing Hijab for Women and Part 2 – Dressing Hijab for Men

In Part 1, we focused on women and in Part 2 the focus was on men, and respectively in the manner of dressing/clothing.

In today’s time, it is extremely emphasized Hijab in the manner of dressing, yet in our Qur’an, hijab is mentioned in the aspect of manners and dressing.

In this part, I would like to explore Hijab, in the perspective of manners, modesty/moderate, and lifestyle.

A believer or a Muslim behaves accordingly to the Qur’an and Muhammad (SAW)’s Hadiths. Also there is a reason for that. We know whatever Allah (swt) has commended us is for our own benefit (in this life and Hereafter) and the benefit of the society.

 Manners: 

  • Smile –  Smiling does not only bring calmness, but also is a sadaqa
  • Self Respect – If you respect yourself, your body, your mind, and your soul, you will automatically respect elders, youngers, and children.
  • Helping Hand – Our Prophet (saw) always helped in and outside the house. He (SAW) helped friends and strangers alike
  • Be Grateful – The whole domain belongs to Allah (swt) and He knows best for you and me, so whatever and whenever you are in life, be appreciative and thankful
  • Lower your voice – this goes for both genders. We have to watch our voice level, tone, and laugh.
  • Walk – Don’t walk hard or with pride. With hard walk, earth is in pain and with pride; the society and people around us are in pain.
  • Cleanliness/Hygiene- This is extremely important, physically and emotionally for oneself and the society
  • Gaze/Tongue – Both genders equally are fully responsible for his/her words and action, whether it is done by tongue, eyes, ears, feet, hands, and etc.

Modesty/Moderate: 

  • Self Respect – Dress accordingly
  • Health/Free Time –  We all love eating, watching movies, hanging out, listening to music (I am not going to lie, cause I do too love all that), but be moderate in that, since in today’s time it is challenging, yet we have to be careful of how we use our health and time. Keep track!
  • Religion/Worldly – We all have responsibilities. Remember that we are in this world for Allah (swt), so don’t become too busy in worldly affairs, take sometime for Him. Though that doesn’t mean that we become extreme in religious beliefs, we also have been told by Allah (swt) that we should enjoy our life as long as it is halal (permitted within the laws of Islam)
  • Waste – Don’t waste food, clothes, or yourself

Lifestyle:

  • Be Knowledgeable – Spread positive knowledge
  • Secrecy/Charity – When you do good deeds, keep that within you and Allah (swt) and trust Him. Don’t share or brag. Whatever you hear, keep it to yourself or if needed share with Allah (swt) only
  • Anger – Don’t become angry or frustrated easily. Remember you are in the specific situation, because Allah (swt) is testing you. Ask Him (swt) for help

Let us become a positive role model for our children and future of Islam. May Allah (swt) make each one of us success in this life and Hereafter. Aameen.

Part 2 — Dressing Hijab for Men

In my earlier posts, I had started the concept of Hijab is pretty huge, so in order for me to try to cover as much as possible, I would need to break into parts. In Part 1 — Dressing Hijab for Women, and in this Part 2 — Dressing Hijab, I would like to focus on men.

Many people and media, keep pointing hijab for women is oppressing (though there is no actual facts, besides minority women’s views), there is no mention at all on men and their hijab!

Hijab is NOT only for women, rather it is EQUALLY for both men and women.

Hijab for men:

  • Jubbas
Jubbas for men
Ankle-length garment, usually with long sleeves, and similar to a robe.
  • Galabiyyas
Galabiyas for men
Classic Islamic men’s wear
  • Modest Tops
descent tops men
For men, in Islam, must cover from the navel to the knee, private parts, and upper front/back body.
  • Kufis
Caps for men
In Islam, men too are highly advised to wear Kufis

Forbidden for men to wear:

  • Silk (100%)
  • Gold (fake or real)
  • Bracelets
  • Earrings
  • Anklets
  • Transparent clothes (tops/bottoms)
  • Any article of clothes/accessories that imitate women

Hate of Islam – Lets Follow Sunnah

Bismillah e rahmani raheem (In the name of Allah (swt) {God}, Most Gracious, Most Merciful)
Bismillah e rahmani raheem (In the name of Allah (swt) {God}, Most Gracious, Most Merciful)

I would like to eventually get into details about our Beloved Prophet Muhammed (SAW) and his life, but right now I would like to discuss our duty as Muslims.

I have started seeing our Prophet (SAW) being abused, verbally and online. It is important not to become judgmental, but let’s use work together to educate those individuals in the best way.

Let’s first remind ourselves, that our Prophet (SAW), the single most perfect man in history, had the following done to him

  • People physically assaulted him.
  • People threw stones at him.
  • People threw dirty intestines on him whilst he was praying.
  • People threw their dirty garbage on him
  • People abused him
  • People killed his loved ones
  • People tried to give him poison in his food
  • They laughed at him, Mocked at him
  • They made fun of Him
  • He lost His two teeth in the Battle of Uhd

Has someone ever thrown stones at you? Have you ever had dirty garbage thrown over your head? Yet somehow our aggressive reactions would lead someone to believe as if someone has actually done this?

So what is our end goal? It’s obviously to reach Jannah and the way to do this is to try to follow the life of our Prophet (SAW) If we try to study him, act like him, perform the Sunnah then we have a good chance of achieving our goal.

When someone insults Islam or our Prophet (SAW), or Allah (SWT), of course we all get deeply hurt, but what I witnessed a few days ago, was perhaps worse. A barrage of abuse from Muslims to the offenders swearing and insulting back. Did our Prophet (SAW) act like this? Of course not, so by acting in this way are we really defending our faith or weakening it? I feel we are weakening it, we are showing just how weak we can be.

Did our Prophet (SAW) lose such control? Engage in such filthy language? We all know certain people hate unconditionally, and in this case, it was a group of young teenagers who were spouting such hate, but we also know, or should know that many non Muslims respect Islam, respect Muslims, but when they see us defending our faith in such a violent aggressive manner, what must they think?

Once when the Prophet (SAW) was being physically abused in Taif, he was bleeding from having stones thrown at him, Angel Jibraeel (AS) came to him and said, “the Angels of the Mountains can crush these ignorant people between the mountains, should you wish O Muhammad (SAW).”

Bleeding from head to toe and battered and exhausted, the Prophet (SAW) was faced with a choice; should he or should he not seek to destroy the people who had just humiliated him (SAW) by having their children chase him (SAW) out of town while throwing stones at him (SAW)? And for what crime? All he (SAW) had wanted to do was convey the message of the Oneness of Allah (swt) to His creation and seek benefit his own people.

However, although they hurt him, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) looked beyond his own wounds and forgave them, replying to the Angel of the mountains he said,
‘No, do not destroy them, for I hope that Allah (SWT0 will bring out of their offspring people who worship Him (SWT) alone without associating any partner with Him (SWT) in worship.
What a beautiful excellent response. Look at the humility. The control of anger and hurt!

The way you respond to insults has an impact on the actual image of Islam. So lose this anger, lose the bad language and become an advert/role model for Islam. Ignore the ignorant who hate unconditionally, if someone criticises Islam and you feel you can have an intelligent conversation with them, then do so politely, they will think so differently of you, even if they don’t agree, they will respect the way you have conducted yourself.

You will promote Islam much more effectively this way if you control yourself.
That’s real faith.

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says what means in the Quran,
“Hold to forgiveness; command what is right; but turn away from the ignorant”.

He subhanahu wa ta’ala also says what means,
“And when they hear vain talk, they turn away therefrom and say: ‘To us our deeds, and to you yours; peace be to you: we seek not the ignorant.’

Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said
“The strong is not the one who overcomes the people by his strength, but the strong is the one who controls himself while in anger.”(Bukhari :: Book 8 :: Volume 73 :: Hadith 135)

Respect & Kindness — The Key to Success

We have come to a time, where many people don’t know or feel to be kind or respectful towards other human beings. No matter what our beliefs, religion, education, class, status, gender, wealth, and etc is, we still have a responsibility to be kind and respectful to another human being.

Sitting  behind a computer doesn’t change anything, we still have to be kind and respectful to each other. You may not agree to someone’s opinion, perspective, dress, and etc, yet you are still responsible as a human being to be kind and respectful

“There is a reward for kindness in every living thing”– Prophet Muhammad (SAW)

Part 1 — Dressing Hijab for Women

Hijab is a scarf that covers head and chest of women.

  • Scarf cannot be too tight, that an individual has hard time breathing/eating, and etc
  • Scarf cannot be transparent or see through
  • Scarf cannot be too short, that it shows ears, hairs, and neck (front and back)

Part 1—In order to do hijab, one HAS to be dressed modestly.

Modest meaning

HAS TO BE                     CANNOT BE

Loose fitting tops                    Cannot be transparent/see through/cannot be tight or revealing                    in any aspect/cannot be tight fitting

Loose fitting pants                  Cannot be transparent/see through/cannot be tight or revealing in                any aspect/cannot be tight fitting

Loose fitting skirts                  Cannot be transparent/see through/cannot be tight or revealing in                any aspect/cannot be tight fitting

Long sleeves                           Cannot be transparent/see through/cannot be tight or revealing                    in any aspect/cannot be tight fitting

No makeup/Light make up     Cannot be full of make up

Light perfume/fragrance          Cannot be heavy of fragrance

Clean or henna nails                Cannot use nail polish

Feet covered with socks/tights         Cannot show feet/ankles

Soundless shoes/low sound shoes     Cannot wear high heels that make loud sounds

Reality of Hijab Introduction

In today’s society, hijab is basically labeled as “women/religious oppression” or on flip side of it “fashion”  So what is the reality of Hijab? Many individuals are extremely confused and unfortunately have relied on media.

Let me try to clear and provide proper understanding. Hijab is not simply a cloth and only for women, it is more than just a head piece and hijab is equally (more so) for men. Let me illustrate and share some guidelines for both men and women.

Since hijab has so much in depth information, I am going to break into parts.

Hijab

Muslimah’s Hijab Challenge from South Africa

Assalaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wabarakaathu.

As a teenager, I remember my father reprimanding me if I did not have a scarf on when I left the house. Being a typical teenager, with no thoughts of accountability, it did not take me long to realize that I can wear it when I leave the house but there was nothing compelling me to keep it on. And so it carried on. I would wear my scarf when I left the house and if I was not with my father, I took it off. Oblivious, or rather consciously blocking the verse, “…and whatsoever good ye do, lo! ALLAH (swt) is aware of it…” Noble Qur’an, Surah 2, Verse 215) from my mind. But I always knew at the back of my mind and in my heart that I would like to wear the hijab someday, just not then! ‘When I get married’, was that someday.

Well, ’someday’ eventually dawned on me. I got proposed and married within three months. Trousseau shopping was rushed, and then to complicate things, a little voice reminded me “You’re getting married-time for that scarf”. Subhan’Allah, I now not only had to go out and get clothes, I needed scarves to match. I was also consciously more careful with my choice of clothes. I made sure that they were long sleeved and that my tops were longer as I knew that wearing a scarf with short sleeves or short tops were defeating the purpose of hijab.

For my wedding I wore an eastern outfit and had my hair covered, though not fully. I now wish I had covered it fully. The most beautiful brides I remember now are those with their hair (and necks) fully covered, with no part of their body showing. There is a noor emanating from these brides that goes beyond physical beauty. For myself, it was the day after my wedding that the true test began. The fact that my husband approved of my hijab made it much easier for me as did the fact that I had a dear friend and cousin -in-law who was already wearing a scarf. I was not the only one among my peers that was doing it. At times though, I must admit, it was very difficult for me. Although I did not wear revealing clothes before, I was very fashion conscious – latest fashion trends, hair always done up and make-up applied. Now, I often felt ‘old fashioned’. Comments by those close to me to that effect hurt more than you can imagine. I was constantly reminded about my dressing in the past and more often than not was asked “What happened to you?” not in a complimentary way, I might add. Often my husband was blamed or given credit for my adopting the hijab, depending on which way people looked at it. These comments made me stronger and I did not ever consider taking it off. I persevered and Alhamdulillah a few years later, also with my husband’s consent, I started wearing an Abaya. I’ve emphasised my husband’s approval because sadly many sisters fight their own jihad with regards to their husband disapproval of their hijab. Some only wear it when their husbands are not with them; some have to endure their husbands open contempt of it or even verbal abuse. Here I must add, that we must remember not to judge anyone especially those that outwardly seem to be regressing with regards to their hijaab, after having adopted it. We have no idea what their circumstances are, rather we should make dua for them and seek ALLAH (swt)’S protection from that happening to us.

Today as a mother of three daughters, I realize that my father’s demands all those years ago were a result of love and concern for me and not ‘to make my life difficult’ as I believed his intentions to be. I often wonder if my decision would have come sooner had I been encouraged by my parents to start wearing the hijab as a pre-teen. Alhamdulillah this realization has made it possible for me to be conscious of my daughters dressing. My eldest is now thirteen years old, and has been in hijab before she became baaligh (puberty), Subhaan’ALLAH. To this end I must give credit to her Muallimah (Muslimah teacher who teaches Islam), at that time, which made my job effortless. May ALLAH reward her with the best of rewards and continue to use her to inspire our daughters, Ameen.

Dear Sisters, to those of you that have a sincere desire to wear hijab and are thinking about it, May ALLAH make it easy for you to please Him. Remember ALLAH says in a Hadith Qudsi, “…And whosoever comes to me walking I will go to him running….” (Muslim, Ibn Majah and Ahmad). That is ALLAH’s promise dear sisters that is all it takes. Take the plunge and put it on! Everything to lose and the pleasure of ALLAH to gain. HE will make it easy for you. Do not be like me and wait for that ‘someday, one day, Insha’ALLAH…’ I had no guarantee that I would live to see ‘someday’ and neither do you. May ALLAH fill the hearts of those standing in your way with understanding. Subhaan’ALLAH, some of my greatest critics are now wearing the hijab!

May ALLAH guide us and all those that have a sincere desire to adopt hijab to follow HIS commands and make it easy for us and them. May ALLAH guide all our actions with sincerity and the best of intentions and accept our little steps towards HIM. Just as HE has made our outward dressing in conformity to HIS commands, May HE change the conditions of our hearts and improve our character.

I thank ALLAH for granting me the ability to realize that true pleasure and sweetness of Imaan (faith) comes with pleasing HIM alone. I have learnt by experience that fulfilling the Rights of ALLAH and pleasing HIM, has a ripple effect of pleasing those around you that matter, in my case, my husband and parents. May ALLAH bless them. Ameen

South Africa Masjid

Importance of Shahada

Bismillah e rahmani raheem (In the name of Allah (swt) {God}, Most Gracious, Most Merciful)
Bismillah e rahmani raheem (In the name of Allah (swt) {God}, Most Gracious, Most Merciful)

Ok, in my previous post I described the meaning of Shahada, now it is time to illustrate the importance of Shahada.

Islam is the only religion that solely depends on Shahada

I testify there is no God, but Allah (SWT) ( الله سُبْحَانَهُ وتَعَالَى), He has no partners.

By believing and saying this is you are sincerely acknowledging that Allah (swt) is the sole Creator of all, and the Supreme Authority over everything and everyone in the universe.

You believe with your soul, body, mind, and heart to:

  • Trust Allah (swt) — Everything happens for good by Will of (Allah (swt)
  • Believe in Allah (swt) — He has the Power over everything in the world, between Heaven and Earth, everything Known and Unknown, everything that is Seen and Unseen
  • Obey Allah (swt) — Five Pillars of Islam, Living by the word of Allah (swt) that is written in Qur’an, following Hadiths of Muhammed (SAW), and being part of Ummah
  • Worship Allah (swt) — Praying Qur’an, Salah, Dua, and etc only to Allah (swt) and no one else. Acting/behaving within Islam

I testify Muhammed (SAW) (صلى الله عليه وسلم‎ ) is His last Messenger and Prophet. 

You believe with your soul, body, mind, and heart to:

  • Belief in the Prophethood of Muhammad (SAW) (Peace and blessings be upon him)
  • Guidance brought by him and contained in his Sunnah (traditions of his sayings and actions),
  • Intention to follow his guidance faithfully.
  • Acknowledging and accepting Muhammad (SAW) (Peace and blessings be upon him) was also a human being, a man with feelings and emotions, who ate, drank and slept, and was born and died, like other men.
  • He had a pure and upright nature, extraordinary righteousness, and an unwavering faith in Allah (SWT) and commitment to Islam, but he was not divine.
  • Muslims do not pray to him, not even as an intercessor, and Muslims abhor the terms “Mohammedan” and “Mohammedanism”

Muslim’s Duty to Allah (swt)

  • Be an exemplary example of good behavior towards all, Muslims and non Muslims alike
  • Act and dress modestly (all Muslims – men and women)
  • Dawah-Spread good through your positive behavior and example
  • Appreciate- Thank Allah (swt) frequently and help people who are in need, regardless of their beliefs