Thursday, November 29, 2012

35 Acts of Kindness in 5 Minutes or Less each!

35 Acts of Kindness in 5 Minutes or Less

By Samana Siddiqui

Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Every act of kindness is a Sadaqa (charity)” (Bukhari, Muslim).
Very often though, we feel we don’t have the time for kind gestures, despite our best intentions. These 35 ideas are just some quick things we can do to practice this essential part of our faith.
  1. If someone owes you money, call or email them to extend the time they have to pay you back, or forgive the debt altogether. “If anyone would like Allah to save him from the hardships of the Day of Resurrection , he should give more time to his debtor who is short of money, or remit his debt altogether” (Muslim).
  2. Teach a child one short verse of the Quran. “The best of you are those who learn the Quran and teach it to others” (Bukhari).
  3. Plant something edible. “If any Muslim plants something or sows seed from which a man, a bird, or an animal eats, it counts as a charity for him” (Bukhari, Muslim).
  4. Say something that will help make peace between two people. This is considered an act of charity (part of a Hadith in Bukhari and Muslim).
  5. Pour water into someone’s glass or get someone a glass of water. This is also considered an act of charity.
  6. Offer a glass of lemonade on a hot day or hot chocolate on a cold one to the delivery person or mailman/mailwoman.
  7. Help a person load their grocery bags or stuff into their car, or help them mount the bus or train (Bukhari, Muslim).
  8. Say something nice to someone else as, “…a good word is charity” (Bukhari, Muslim).
  9. If you find debris on the road or highway, remove it or call the local number to inform the state’s highway patrol about it so others won’t be harmed. Removing harmful things from the road is also a form of Sadaqa (Bukhari, Muslim).
  10. Text a parent, spouse, child, or friend to tell them you love them.
  11. Order a gift online. “Exchange presents with one another, for they remove ill feelings from the hearts” (Tirmidhi).
  12. Call or email someone’s boss or supervisor about good customer service you received from a waiter, nurse, mechanic, teacher, etc.
  13. Write a glowing online review of a business you’ve had a good experience with.
  14. Stop backbiting in its tracks by changing the subject during a conversation.
  15. Call to set up a cleaning appointment for a sick or elderly relative or friend.
  16. Take out the trash for your elderly or sick neighbor.
  17. Let someone go in front of you at the checkout line when getting groceries.
  18. Give a good tip.
  19. Hold the door for someone.
  20. Give up your seat for someone, especially an elderly person. “He is not of us who does not have mercy on young children, nor honors the elderly" (Tirmidhi).
  21. In terms of the latter part of the above-mentioned Hadith, stop yourself from scolding a kid who’s done something naughty but harmless.
  22. Write and mail off a handwritten thank you card.
  23. Smile and say “have a nice day” to a homeless person.
  24. Let another driver take that parking spot.
  25. Defuse tension by cracking a clean joke.
  26. Smile. It’s Sunnah and good for your health.
  27. Make a positive Dua for someone you can’t stand.
  28. Say Salam to someone you’ve seen around but don’t really know. “You should provide food, and greet both those you know, and those you do not” (Bukhari, Muslim).
  29. When you get home, say Salam to your family. “When you enter your home, greet your family with the salutation of ‘Assalamu alaikum’. This will be a source of blessings for you and your family” (Tirmidhi).
  30. Forgive someone.
  31. Make an online donation to a cause or charity dear to a family member or friend.
  32. Bite your tongue and stop yourself from saying something unkind.
  33. Give someone wise and gentle advice. Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Religion is advice.”
  34. Complete a short task one of your parents asked you to do, whether it’s taking out the trash, emailing a relative, or doing some research about a product or medicine they need.
  35. Hold a crying baby so its parent can get five minutes to relieve their stress a bit.

Taken from soundvision website

Thursday, November 15, 2012

5 sins and their effects upon the Ummah today- Hadith

5 sins and their effects upon the Ummah today- Hadith

 Abdullah bin Omar (RA) reported that Rasulullah (SAWS) addressing the immigrant Muslims said, “There are five evils. If you are involved in them or they penetrate amongst you, it would be disastrous. I seek the refuge of Allah from your involvement in these evils. These evils are:

1. Fornication:

If it becomes common and open [in the society], it will cause and infect so many diseases that were never heard by the previous nations.

[How correct is this warning of Rasulullah (S). The epidemic of AIDS is the direct result of fornication - sex outside wedlock. World is so much scared of it that it has become a terror of great magnitude. Translator]

2. Defalcation [cheating] in weight and measurement:

If a nation is involved in this evil, Allah penalizes it from draught and famine and oppressive regimes overtake it.

3. Non-payment of Zakah:

Rain stops pouring on the people who commit this crime. Had there been no birds and animals in that region, there would have been no rain at all.

4. Breach of commitment with Allah and His Prophet (S):

When this breach becomes prominent, Allah imposes the rule of non-Muslims that deprive them of so many things.

 5. Not governing by Laws of Allah:

If the Muslim Rulers do not govern as per directives of the Book of Allah, Allah creates disruption in the Muslim society and they start fighting among themselves.

[From Ibn Ma’jah & Baihaqi]

This Hadith diagnoses our conditions today accurately and also gives us a prescription to come out of these problems. All the 5 evils are prevalent in the global ummah now and we can see their disastrous results upon the Ummah. It's clear that there is a direct link betwen our sins and our socio-economic and political problems. We actually need to do sincere Tawba leading to a "spring" of Spirituality and Taqwa in all our affairs. Empty slogans and western concepts of so-called "democracy and freedom" will not really help.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Top 5 excuses we make for Backbiting and the Islamic reply

Backbiting is one of those Islamic topics that often gets sidelined. Appearing as one of the frequent tarbīyyah topics in common circles and gatherings, the issue may be forgotten or ignored. This is severely problematic, as backbiting is one of the most devastating sins a person can ever commit, and not keeping ourselves reminded about it can lead to grave consequences.
To make it fresh in our minds again, let’s tackle the issue in a practical way. Here are 5 common misconceptions that we ourselves or others you encounter may have about backbiting, what is misunderstood, and how to respond to them.

Misconception #5: I’m not backbiting, I’m just saying.
When people respond with, “I’m just saying,” they’re telling themselves that what they’re mentioning is not something so bad as backbiting, it’s just “saying” things as they are. In other words, they’re trivializing the act, and telling themselves that backbiting isn’t really all that bad.
But backbiting is no walk in the park. It’s one of the most disgusting acts one could ever commit. That’s why Allah subḥāna wa ta’ālaasks those who backbite, “Would one of you love to eat the flesh of his dead brother (or sister)?”1 God Himself is comparing backbiting to something vilely rancid, so no one is fooled to think it’s not an inhuman act like that of murder or rape. The imagery of you eating the dead carcass of the person you’re talking about really paints a clear picture.
Not only that, Allah is asking us if we would love eating that flesh. It’s as if He is saying not only is backbiting as disgusting as eating that person’s dead flesh, when we backbite, it’s as if we enjoy eating it, too.
Response: Describe to them how disgusting an act backbiting really is.
“You’re not, just saying. You’re going to that person’s body after their janāzah, ripping off their thigh, chewing it up, and enjoying it, too.”

Misconception #4: I’m not backbiting, everyone already knows about this person, anyway.
If a person is mentioning things about someone already known, not only are they still backbiting, they’re following the footsteps of hypocrites. The hypocrites of Medinah spread rumors about ‘Ā’isha, may Allah be pleased with her, and as a result were cursed by Allah to the depths of Hellfire.2
Hellfire, which was intensified by Allah for thousands of years, turning its flame from orange to red to yellow to black3, and burns 70 times worse than Earth’s fire (minimum 210th degree burns?)4. The same Hellfire where those who spread lies about others get hooks pierced into their cheeks and slammed back to rip off their faces, and are given scalding hot puss to drink as relief.
If everyone already knows about it, why spread it and potentially go to the horror that is Hell? And if not the Hellfire, then being punished in the grave with copper nails repeatedly scratching your face and chest off?5 The risk simply isn’t worth it.
Response: Remind them about the punishment of backbiting and how it makes spreading rumors not worth the risk.
“Mentioning what everyone already knows about somebody is a dangerous path to Hellfire. Is spreading the news so important that it’s worth living with black fire that’s 70 times hotter, boiling puss drinks and having your cheeks ripped off your face?”

Misconception #3: I’m not backbiting, I’m warning others about a person’s mistakes.
Human beings have a natural desire to warn others about harm. That’s why when they see something wrong with someone else, they’ll personally identify those characteristics as a problem, make a decision to be careful about it for themselves, and naturally want to notify others about it as well.
But that’s where the problem comes in. We want to naturally talk about someone else’s faults, but if we do, it’s backbiting. How can we get past this natural desire that’s so troublesome?
Simple. First we need to realize which of these natural tendencies is okay and which isn’t. It’s completely okay to be adverse to the faults of others. However, telling others about those mistakes, while naturally easy, is the major sin of the two.
The Prophet sal Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said backbiting is “talking about your brother in a manner which he does not like.”That means saying anything about the person that they wouldn’t want you to counts as backbiting. If you know the person you’re talking about wouldn’t like what you’re saying about them, don’t say it.
If we feel the desire to go out and warn someone about it, do so on the person with the faults in the first place in a kind and sincere manner. Our problem as Muslims is that we talk a lot about people behind their backs but never confront them in person.
Seconldy, on an encouraging note, remember that by not backbiting, we get closer to guaranteed Paradise. The Prophet sal Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said whoever guarantees control over what is in between their thighs and their jaws, he will guarantee them Paradise.7
This guarantee is awesome in two ways. Not only makes not backbiting easier because of the amazing goal attached to it, it comforts us in the fact that our religion understands. Notice how the Prophet sal Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam asked for whoever guarantees control, showing that he knows it’s natural to lose control. But at the same time, he’s encouraging us to take that control and work towards Paradise.
Response: Explain to them what backbiting is and the reward of abstaining from it.
“Talking about others negative traits in anyway shape or form is backbiting and none of your business, and if you stay away from it you’re working towards guaranteed admission to Paradise.”

Misconception #2: I’m not backbiting, I’ll tell them later or I don’t care, I can say it to their face.
Some people justify backbiting by thinking if they inform the person later they were talking about them behind their back, it makes the act okay. But telling someone you backbit about them after the fact is a part of the process of repenting and making up for the sin. It has to be done sincerely, with regret and shame for the act, driven by a balanced fear of Allah’s punishment and a hope in His Mercy.
Trying to justify backbiting by telling someone you backbit about them is like trying to justify believing Prophet Jesus, peace be upon him, as the son of Allah by saying you will just repent later. Not only is it an imbalance between fearing Allah and having hope He will forgive you, it doesn’t make the act okay to commit in the first place.
What’s worse is when some people claim they, “don’t care” about backbiting and they supposedly can or will say what they backbit about someone to their. Not only is that even more of a misunderstanding than planning to tell them later, it just shows two things. One, they’re just a jerk. It isn’t bad enough that they’re backbiting, but they have to go and act “brave” by claiming they can tell the person the insult to their face.
In addition to being a jerk, they also need to be careful when they say, “I don’t care.” Do they really not care? And what do they not care about? They don’t care about incinerating in that 70 times hotter black fire we mentioned before? And having their cheeks ripped off your face and having to drink searing hot puss afterward? Are they really sure they don’t care? Chances are no.
Response: Backbiting about someone with the intention to tell them later doesn’t make it okay. It’s still backbiting. And claiming you, “don’t care” and can say it to their face shows that you’re a jerk and don’t care about the Hellfire.

Misconception #1: I’m not backbiting, it’s true.
This, by far, is the most common misconception and response we find Muslims making when we warn them about backbiting. They think that backbiting is only when you mention bad things about people that aren’t true. Is that really the case?
Going back to the definition of backbiting, the Prophet sal Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said backbiting is to mention things about your brother (or sister) which they don’t like. After the Companions heard this definition, one of them asked, “what do you think about if what I say about that person is true?”
“If (that) is actually found (in that person) what you claimed, you, in fact, backbit him. And if that’s not in that person, it’s slander,” the Prophet sal Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam answered.
This shows that we’ve got it all wrong. Just because what we’re saying is true, doesn’t mean it’s not backbiting. In fact, it proves that we are indeed backbiting, because backbiting is true information. If it wasn’t true, we’d be doing something worse than backbiting, slander.
That makes a whole lot of things count as backbiting. That’s why when ‘Ā’isha said about Ṣafīyya, the wife of the Prophet sal Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who was the daughter of a Jewish leader, that, “she’s short,” he got upset and said, “you have said a word that if were to be dropped into the sea it would contaminate it.”8
‘Ā’isha and the Prophet sal Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam knew about Ṣafīyya’s height. So did everyone else who saw her in Medinah, and all the people from her tribe before she married the Prophet. In other words, what ‘Ā’isha said was as true as it gets. But the fact that it was true made it backbiting. And if something as small as what she said was poison to the entire sea, what about when we talk about how people may be gaining weight, undergoing a divorce, losing their hair, struggling to control their anger, failing to give up a public sin, or anything else they wouldn’t like said about them?
Response: Inform them about truth being backbiting and falsehood being slander.
“Yeah, you’re backbiting, because the Prophet sal Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam if it’s true, which you’re saying it is, then it’s backbiting.”

Backbiting is no misdemeanor. It’s a federal offense. In fact, it’s more than that. It’s a universal act of ethical treason, the likes of which transcend this world and has severe consequences in the next.
We need to remember that when we signed up to become Muslim, we agreed to follow all of the rules, and one of the rules is that for anyone else who signed up for the contract of Lā ilāh ha illa Allāh, Muḥammmad al-rasūlullāh you can’t ever talk behind their back. Doing so is not only a horrible sin and a disgusting act, it’s one of the worst things you could ever do to your Muslim brother or sister.
While you may be fired up to use the responses to these misconceptions and are trying to think of people you could use them on, ask yourself if the person to respond to is none other than you. Do you have these misconceptions about backbiting? Have you ever made any of these five justifications or something similar to them? If so, give yourself the responses and work on yourself first, and eventually, you can work on correcting others, as well.

1. Qur’ān: Surah Ḥujurāt, chapter 49, verse 12, Sahih International translation
2. Qur’ān: Surah Nūr, chapter 24, verse 11
3. Ḥadīth: Sunan al-Tirmidhī
4. Ḥadīth: Bukharī 3265; Muslim, 2843
5. Ḥadīth: Sunan Abī Dāwūd 4875, Book 41, Number 4860
6. Ḥadīth: Muslim, Book 032, Chapter 18, Number 6265, narrated Abū Hurairah
7. Ḥadīth: Bukharī, Volume 8, Book 82, Number 799, narrated Sahl bin Sā‘d
8. Ḥadīth: Sunan al-Tirmidhī 2502, Sunan Abī Dāwūd 4875

Monday, November 5, 2012

Do you oppress your wife? Check list

Short Points On Oppressing one's wife:
By Mufti Ismail Musa Menk
  • Giving preference to your friends over your wife is oppression.
  • Screaming and yelling at your wife is oppression.
  • Coming home late each night or coming to bed late each night without a valid excuse is oppression.
  • Wasting time on the internet or phone, television or games whilst your wife is waiting for you is oppression.
  • Not spending reasonable time with your wife is oppression.
  • Not commending her upon her goodness, sacrifice and achievements whilst only harping on her weaknesses is oppression. Be fair!
  • Not correcting her in the most loving manner and going around publicizing her errors or wrongdoings is oppression.
  • Not providing at least the basic food, clothing,  shelter and other basic needs for her is oppression.
  • Not appreciating that she is someone's daughter or sister and treating her like a slave is oppression.
  • Allowing your mother or family members to disrespect or maltreat your wife is oppression.
  • Allowing others to invade her privacy is oppression.
  • Not giving her the rest that she deserves post child birth is oppression.
  • Swearing and cursing your wife is oppression.
  • Making false promises to your wife is oppression.
  • These are just some ways that men oppress their wives.
  • Shame upon those men who oppress their wives.
  • Are you one of them?
  • Well, change your ways, apologize and repent before the Almighty overtakes you with His Wrath.
  • Remember the Holy prophet Muhammed (pbuh) says, "The best of you are those best to their wives." 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Praise of Prophet Muhammad (s) by First Chinese Ming Emperor, Zhu Yuanzhang

Praise of Prophet Muhammad (s) by First Chinese Ming Emperor, Zhu Yuanzhang
 edited (by yursilnaqshi)
Since Creation of Universe
Heaven has already appointed,            
Faith Preaching Giant Saint,
From West He’s Born,
To receive Holy Scripture,
With thirty part Book,
To guide all creations,
King of all Kings,
Leader of Holy Ones,
With Support from Divine,
To Protect His Nation,
With five daily prayers,
Silently hope for peace,
With heart toward Allah,
Empower the poor ones,
Save them from calamity,
See through the Unseen,
Pulling souls and spirits,
Away from all wrongdoings,
Mercy to the World,
Walking ancient Crowned Path,
Evil vanquished to One,
Religion Pure and True,
The Noble High One.

Taken from-