What to do when a child is born?


The Newborn Child Born into Islam – Qur’an and Sunnah on parenting

Children are a source of delight and an adornment for the world
granted by Allaah to their parents, they give vigour to the hearts,
joy to the souls, pleasure to the eyes. They are the fruit from whom
good is to be hoped for when they frequently supplicate:

“Our Lord! Bestow on them your Mercy as they did bring me up when I
was small”

and they are the ones in every nation upon whom hope for the future
lies, and they are the youth of tomorrow upon whose shoulders the
call to Islaam is carried. Indeed Islaam has indeed elevated the
status of children and has laid down manners for their treatment
relating to all their affairs and each stage of their and from these
are the manners for welcoming their arrival in this life.

Our Prophet (SAW) was a living example, educating, cultivating the
Muslims upon the practices of Islaam, teaching them how to worship
their Lord in the best of ways. But a number of Muslims have strayed
from his pure teachings and have substituted that which is gold for
that which worthless.

So here are the manners the Prophet (SAW) taught us with regards our
new-born.

Encouragement to have Children

Allaah says, “So now have sexual relations with them,, and seek that
which Allaah has ordained for you.”

And the Prophet (SAW) said, “Marry the loving and fertile because
through you, I will compete with the nations for superiority in
numbers”(Abu Dawood)

And it is important that the Parents bring up their children upon
righteousness, so that the Parents will benefit from them during
their lives and after their death. Allaah’s Messenger (SAW) said,

“A servant will have his rank raised and will say, ‘O my Lord how has
this come about for me?’ He says, ‘through your sons after you
seeking forgiveness for you'”(ibn Maajah)

Know that what has preceded applies equally to both boys and girls,
and indeed Islaam has encouraged the bringing up of girls, and Allaah
condemns those that are distressed at the birth of a girl, and the
Messenger (SAW) came elevating the status of this gift from Allaah,

“whoever takes care of two girls until they reach adulthood – he and
I will come together on the Day of Resurrection (like this) – and he
interlaced his two fingers”(Muslim)

meaning in Paradise. So can their be a greater honour given to
daughters?!

Giving the good news of the Birth

The near of kin who are anxiously waiting should be informed so that
they can stop worrying and congratulate the parents and supplicate
for the baby. Allaah mentions this good news being conveyed to a
number of His Prophets, from them Zakariyyah of his son Yahya,

“Then the angels called him, while he was standing in prayer in a
private room (saying), ‘Allaah gives you glad tidings of Yahya'”

Giving the Adhaan in the ear of the newborn

The first practice to do is to make the adhaan in the ear of the
baby, so that the first words that the baby hears is the name of
Allaah, and the kalima.

It is to be given straight after the birth, or very soon afterwards
as he (SAW) did with his grandson al-Husayn, as is related by Abu
Raafi’ who said,

“I saw the Prophet give the adhaan for prayer in the ear of al-Husayn
ibn Alee when his mother Faatimah gave birth to him,” (Tirmidhee)

It should be given with it’s usual wording in a voice which is
audible to the baby, not so loudly that it risks harm to the baby or
alarms it.

Only the adhaan is to be given, not the iqaamah as well as there is
no authentic evidence to support this. Giving the adhaan only is also
the reported practice of the Khaleefah Umar bin Abdul Azeez. This is
closer to the sunnah, and Allaah knows best.

The sunnah has not specified as to which ear it should be given,
however the Messenger (SAW) used to love to do good actions starting
from the right, so it would be more appropriate to give the adhaan in
the right ear.

4) The Tahneek

This means to softening a date and then rubbing the palate of the new-
born with it just after the birth or soon after. This is done by
putting a piece of the softened date on the finger and rubbing it
from left to right in the mouth of the baby.

Ibn Hajr said, “if one is not able to find a dry date, then a fresh
date should be used, and if that is not available then anything
sweet.” (Fath 9/588)

It is not essential to chew the date rather it may be softened in any
way. The action of chewing as reported in the sunnah was something
specific to the Messenger (SAW) due to the blessings that Allaah had
placed in his saliva.

It is done by the father or the mother or anyone from the People of
Knowledge whose supplication is hoped would be accepted. So he should
perform tahneek and supplicate for the child as was the practice of
the Companions.

Imaam Nawawee says, ” scholars are agreed upon the recommendation of
performing tahneek upon the baby after it’s birth.” (Sharh Saheeh
Muslim 4/122)

Aaishah (ra) reports, “new-born children used to be brought to the
Messenger of Allaah and he would supplicate for blessings for them,
and rub a chewed date upon their palate.” (Muslim)

Naming the child

The baby may be named on the day of it’s birth or later on the
seventh day or past the seventh day, as this is what is clear after
study of all the evidences from the sunnah.

It is the father or the mother who chose the name for the baby. If
they differ amongst themselves then it is the father who has the
choice, he may name it himself or give his wife the right to choose.
The fact that this is the right of the father is shown by the
principle that the child is ascribed and attributed to the father, as
Allaah says,

“Call them (adopted sons) by (the names of) their fathers, that is
more just in the Sight of Allaah”

It is also allowed for the parents to allow others to name the child,
since our Prophet (SAW) used to name some of the children of his
Companions.

The name should carry a good and praiseworthy meaning as the
Messenger (SAW) said,

“On the Day of Resurrection, you will be called by your names and
your fathers names, so make your names good.” (Abu Dawood)

It is recommended to call oneself a servant of Allaah (Abdullaah) or
the servant of any of the names of Allaah. Then it is recommended to
name a child after a prophet, due to the hadeeth,

“call yourselves by the names of the Prophets” (Abu Dawood)

and the hadeeth,

“a son was born to me this night and I called him after my forefather
Ibraaheem” (Muslim)

Then it is recommended to name the child after any pious person in
the hope that it will become like him/her. Then it is recommended to
name by any name which has good meaning.

It is forbidden to name a child with a name that denote servitude to
other than Allaah, for example Abd an-Nabi, Abd ar-Rasool etc, just
as it is forbidden to name them with names that are particular to the
Unbelievers like George, Michael, Susan etc.

The names of tyrants and evil personalities should be avoided such as
Fir’awn, Qaroon, Abu Lahab etc.. Likewise it is disliked to name with
the names of the Surahs of the Qur’aan like ‘Taa Haa’ or ‘Yaa Seen’
as is reported from Imaam Maalik and others. There is no authentic
hadeeth which ascribes the above two as being names of the Prophet
(SAW).

6) The Aqeeqah

After the seventh day of the arrival of the new-born, as a form of
welcome for it and to give thanks to the One who gave the blessings,
it is prescribed to slaughter a sheep. The Messenger (SAW) said,

“Every child is in pledge for it’s Aqeeqah which is sacrificed for it
on its seventh day, and it is named on it, and its head is shaved”
(Abu Dawood)

If the new-born is a boy then two sheep are to be sacrificed, and if
it is a girl then one sheep. This is the position of the majority of
the scholars and Companions. The Prophet (SAW) said,

“for the boy two equal sheep, and for the girl, a single sheep.” (Ibn
Maajah)

So it is permissible to sacrifice the male or female sheep or goat,
and this is best. As for sacrificing other animals then the scholars
have differed over this.

The sacrifice should be done by the father or a close relative, for
our Prophet (SAW) performed the Aqeeqah for his two grandsons. It is
also obligatory to mention the name of Allaah over it while
sacrificing, and if a close relative is performing the Aqeeqah then
he should add, ‘this aqeeqah is the Aqeeqah of so and so’ mentioning
the name of the person on whose behalf he is performing the aqeeqah,
as is reported in the hadeeth related by al-Bayhaqee.

The meat of the sacrifice may be distributed cooked or uncooked,, but
it is preferred that it should be cooked as this leads to greater
blessing as mentioned by a group of the scholars.

Shaving the baby’s head

On the seventh day after the birth the head of the baby should be
shaved. So when al-Hasan was born the Prophet (SAW) told his
daughter, Faatima (RA),

“shave his head and give the weight of his hair in silver to the
poor” (Ahmad)

The right side of the head should be shaved first, then the left as
mentioned in the hadeeth,

“shave, and he indicated to the right side of his head, and then the
left” (Muslim)

It is not permissible to shave a part of the head and leave a part,
as this was prohibited by the Messenger (SAW) as reported by al-
Bukhaaree. The strongest view seems to be that the head of the boy or
the girl should be shaved, as is reported that Faatimah weighed the
hair of her daughter (Muwatta) but the scholars differ on this, and
Allaah knows best.

The shaving should be done after the sacrifice, and our pious
predecessors liked to rub some perfume over the baby’s head after the
shaving.

Then it is prescribed to give the value of the baby’s weight of hair
in silver in charity, and it is recommended to give this charity on
the seventh day also, but it is not necessary to do so, and may be
delayed.

Circumcision

It is prescribed that the boy be circumcised, it is recommended that
the circumcision take place on the seventh day, but it is obligatory
to circumcise before the boy reaches puberty.

Make this Earth a Paradise!


Quran

Quran (Photo credit: manitoon)

-Rayhaanah Omar, founder of Fee Qalbee

Alhamdulillah!

This post is a reminder of the many moral standards & values which al Qur’aan equips us with.

[The relevant Qur’aan chapter and verse(s) are given respectively in brackets at the end.]

  • 01 – Respect and honour all human beings irrespective of their religion, colour, race, gender, language, status, property, birth, profession/job and so on [17/70]
  • 02 – Talk straight, to the point, without any ambiguity or deception [33/70]
  • 03 – Choose the best of words to speak and say them in the best possible way [17/53, 2/83]
  • 04 – Do not shout. Speak politely keeping your voice low. [31/19]
  • 05 – Always speak the truth. Shun words that are deceitful and ostentatious [22/30]
  • 06 – Do not confound truth with falsehood [2/42]
  • 07 – Say with your mouth what is in your heart [3/167]
  • 08 – Speak in a civilised manner in a language that is recognised by the society and is commonly used [4/5]
  • 09 – When you voice an opinion, be just, even if it is against a relative [6/152]
  • 10 – Do not be a bragging boaster [31/18]
  • 11 – Do not talk, listen or do anything vain [23/3, 28/55]
  • 12 – Do not participate in any paltry. If you pass near a futile play, then pass by with dignity [25/72]
  • 13 – Do not verge upon any immodesty or lewdness whether surreptitious or overt [6/151].
  • 14 – If, unintentionally, any misconduct occurs by you, then correct yourself expeditiously [3/134].
  • 15 – Do not be contemptuous or arrogant with people [31/18]
  • 16 – Do not walk haughtily or with conceit [17/37, 31/18]
  • 17 – Be moderate in thy pace [31/19]
  • 18 – Walk with humility and sedateness [25/63]
  • 19 – Keep your gazes lowered [24/30-31, 40/19].
  • 20 – If you do not have complete knowledge about anything, it is better to maintain silence. You might think that speaking about something without full knowledge is a trivial matter. But it might have grave consequences [24/15-16]
  • 21 – When you hear something malicious about someone, keep a favourable view about him/her until you attain full knowledge about the matter. Consider others innocent until they are proven guilty with solid and truthful evidence [24/12-13]
  • 22 – Ascertain the truth of any news, lest you smite someone in ignorance and afterward repent of what you did [49/6]
  • 23 – Do not follow blindly any information of which you have no direct knowledge. (Using your faculties of perception and conception) you must verify it for yourself. In the Court of your Lord subhaanahu wa Ta’ala, you will be held accountable for your hearing, sight, and the faculty of reasoning [17/36].
  • 24 – Never think that you have reached the final stage of knowledge and nobody knows more than yourself. Remember! Above everyone endowed with knowledge is another endowed with more knowledge [12/76]. Even the Prophet [sallalaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam] was asked to keep praying, “O My Sustainer! Advance me in knowledge.” [20:114]
  • 25 – The believers are but a single Brotherhood. Live like members of one family, brothers and sisters unto one another [49/10].
  • 26 – Do not make a mockery of others or ridicule others [49/11]
  • 27 – Do not defame others [49/11]
  • 28 – Do not insult others by nicknames [49/11]
  • 29 – Avoid suspicion and guesswork. Suspicion and guesswork might deplete your communal energy [49/12]
  • 30 – Spy not upon one another [49/12]
  • 31 – Do not backbite one another [49/12]
  • 32 – When you meet each other, offer good wishes and blessings for safety. One who conveys to you a message of safety and security and also when a courteous greeting is offered to you, meet it with a greeting still more courteous or (at least) of equal courtesy [4/86]
  • 33 – When you enter your own home or the home of somebody else, compliment the inhabitants [24/61]
  • 34 – Do not enter houses other than your own until you have sought permission; and then greet the inhabitants and wish them a life of blessing, purity and pleasure [24/27]
  • 35 – Treat kindly” Your parents, Relatives, The orphans, And those who have been left alone in the society [4/36]
  • 36 – Take care of The needy, The disabled, Those whose hard earned income is insufficient to meet their needs, And those whose businesses have stalled, And those who have lost their jobs. [4/36]
  • 37 – Treat kindly ” Your related neighbours, and unrelated neighbours ” Companions by your side in public gatherings, or public transportation. [4/36]
  • 38 – Be generous to the needy wayfarer, the homeless son of the street, and the one who reaches you in a destitute condition [4/36]
  • 39 – Be nice to people who work under your care. [4/36]
  • 40 – Do not follow up what you have given to others to afflict them with reminders of your generosity [2/262].
  • 41 – Do not expect a return for your good behaviour, not even thanks [76/9]
  • 42 – Cooperate with one another in good deeds and do not cooperate with others in evil and bad matters [5/2]
  • 43 – Do no try to impress people on account of self-proclaimed virtues [53/32]
  • 44 – You should enjoin right conduct on others but mend your own ways first. Actions speak louder than words. You must first practice good deeds yourself, then preach [2/44]
  • 45 – Correct yourself and your families first [before trying to correct others] [66/6]
  • 46 – Pardon gracefully if anyone among you who commits a bad deed out of ignorance, and then repents and amends[6/54, 3/134]
  • 47 – Divert and sublimate your anger and potentially virulent emotions to creative energy, and become a source of tranquillity and comfort to people [3/134]
  • 48 – Call people to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful exhortation. Reason with them most decently [16/125]
  • 49 – Leave to themselves those who do not give any importance to the Divine code and have adopted and consider it as mere play and amusement [6/70]
  • 50 – Sit not in the company of those who ridicule Divine Law unless they engage in some other conversation[4/140]
  • 51 – Do not be jealous of those who are blessed [4/54]
  • 52 – In your collective life, make rooms for others [58/11]
  • 53 – When invited to dine, Go at the appointed time. Do not arrive too early to wait for the preparation of meal or linger after eating. Such things may cause inconvenience to the host [33/53]
  • 54 – Eat and drink [what is lawful] in moderation [7/31].
  • 55 – Do not squander your wealth senselessly [17/26]
  • 56 – Fulfil your promises and commitments [17/34]
  • 57 – Keep yourself clean, pure [9/108, 4/43, 5/6].
  • 58 – Dress-up in agreeable attire and adorn yourself with exquisite character from inside out[7/26]
  • 59 – Seek your provision only by fair endeavour [29/17, 2/188]
  • 60 – Do not devour the wealth and property of others unjustly, nor bribe the officials or the judges to deprive others of their possessions [2/188]

As bearers of al Qur’aan, may we continuously strive to perfect our manners & morals, following the best of all role models, Sayyidinaa Muhammad (sallalaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) – ameen.

Stay inspired!

Rayhaanah

Humility


God created human beings to worship Him and a practising Muslim in, essence, should be able to worship God in every second, of every hour of every day.  Islam is a way of life and it means nothing more, or less, than submission to the One God.
Allah says in the Holy Quran:
“And I (God) created not the jinn and humans except they should worship Me Alone.” (Quran 51:56)
The concept of God in Islam describes Allah as the most Merciful and the most Loving and whatever He prescribes for humankind is in the best interest of humankind.  Submission to the will of God is a pathway to purity, to peace and ultimately to Paradise.
The word Quran most frequently uses to describe worship is Ibadah.  Ibadah is the root of the word ‘ubudiyyah, which means to express ones humility or humbleness, and as with most Arabic words there are many shades of meaning.  Ibadah involves more then an awareness of humility.  It is the complete sense of humbleness that overcomes one who is totally submitted to the will of God, the Almighty.
 Worship is submission to God, the essential part of submission is humility.
Allah says in the Holy Quran:
“So glorify the praises of your Lord and be of those who prostrate themselves (to Him).” (Quran 15:98)
Humility can guide us to Paradise, just as its opposite, arrogance, kibr in Arabic, can only lead us into Hell.  It is Satan’s arrogance that caused his expulsion from Paradise; when he refused to humbly obey God’s command and prostrate before Adam, the father of mankind, he condemned himself and his followers to Hell.  Satan’s lack of submission, or humility, resulted in one of the most pious of God’s creatures falling into the abyss.
Except Satan, he refused to be among the prostrators.  Allah said, ‘O Satan!  What is your reason for not being among the prostrators?  ‘Satan said: ‘I am not the one to prostrate myself to a human being, whom You created from sounding clay…” (Quran 15:30-35)
No one who behaves arrogantly or who acts as if he or she has power over others is capable of true submission.  All power and strength is from Allah alone.  All human beings are equal in the sight of Allah and the distinctions between nations, tribes, and families are only to know each other and not for the sake pride.
“O mankind!  We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another.  Verily, the most honorable of you with God is that (believer) who has At-Taqwa (God consciousness).  Verily, God is All-Knowing, All-Aware.” (Quran 49:15)
Humility is Piety
The main pillar of worship, Ibadah, is the prayer.  The congregational prayer  is performed in rows where all men stand before Allah as equals.    There is no special place for the rich or powerful, the meek and poor are not relegated to the back lines.  Each man bows his head in humility knowing that his brothers, on either side of him are equally important in the sight of God.  Only one thing raises one man or woman above another – piety.  True piety or righteousness is not achievable without cultivating a sense of humility.
“And turn not your face away from men with pride, nor walk in insolence through the earth.  Verily, God likes not each arrogant boaster.” (Quran 31:18)
Humility comes from knowing about Allah and recognising His greatness, venerating Him, loving Him and being in awe of Him; and it comes from knowing about oneself and one’s own faults, and weaknesses.  Allah gives this characteristic to those who struggle to become close to Him through deeds of piety and righteousness.
 A companion close to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)  heard him say,
“Wealth does not decrease because of charity, and God increases His slave in honour when he forgives others.  And no one humbles himself before God but God will raise him (in status).” (Saheeh Muslim )
Humility is one of the greatest blessings Allah can bestow on a human being.  It allows one to achieve genuine submission.  Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) was truly submitted to Allah; his character was one of complete humility and based on sincere trust in Allah.  He was a model of kindness and humbleness.  In fact, the characteristics displayed by Prophet Muhammad were the exact opposite of pride and arrogance.  Every aspect of his life reflected humbleness, even his walking, talking, sitting or eating.
The Prophet(pbuh) did not behave towards others as if he was better than they were, nor did he spurn manual work.  One of his companions reported that Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) worked happily with servants or workers.  Other companions related that the Prophet(pbuh) tidied his house, tied camels, feed animals, ate meals with his servants, and helped them in kneading dough and bringing provisions from the market.  It was also reported that he used to visit the sick, attend funerals, ride on a donkey, slow down his pace for the sake of the weak and accept invitations from the poor.
The companions of Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) and the early generations of Muslims understood the concept of humility.  They behaved humbly towards God and mankind because of their love for God, and their fellow man, and fear of punishment in the Hereafter.
During his Caliphate, Omar ibn Al Khattab was marching upon Damascus with his army.  Abu Ubayda was with him.  They came upon a little lake.  Omar descended from his camel, took off his shoes, tied them together, and hung them on his shoulder.  He then took the halter off his camel and they entered the water together.  Seeing this in front of the army, Abu Ubayda said, “O Commander of the Believers! How can you be so humble in front of all your men?”  Omar answered, “Woe to you, Abu Ubayda!  If only anyone else other than you thought this way!  Thoughts like this will cause the downfall of the Muslims.  Don’t you see we were indeed a very lowly people?  Allah raised us to a position of honor and greatness through Islam.  If we forget who we are and wish other than the Islam which elevated us, the One who raised us surely will debase us.”
The one who is truly humble is the one who is truly blessed.  Every time he feels superior to others, he remembers God, the Most Great and Omnipotent, and humbles himself in true submission.
“And the slaves of God are those who walk on the earth in humility and calmness, and when the foolish address them (with bad words) they reply back with mild words of gentleness.” (Quran 25:63)
Note: Allah: Arabic word for God.

The Ideal Personality of a Muslim


 

His Attitude Towards God

One of the most distinguishing features of the Muslim is his deep faith in God and his conviction that whatever happens in the universe and whatever befalls him, only happens through the will and the decree of God.  The Muslim is closely connected to God, constantly remembers Him, puts his trust in Him and is obedient towards Him.

His faith is pure and clear, uncontaminated by any stain of ignorance, superstition or illusion.  His belief and worship are based upon the teachings of the Qur’an and the authentic Hadith.  He feels that he is in constant need of the help and support of God.  He also has no choice in his life but to submit to the will of God, worship Him, strive towards the Right Path and do good deeds.  This type of mentality will guide him to be righteous and upright in all his deeds, both in public and in private.

A Muslim also recognizes the signs of the unlimited power of God in the universe, and so his faith in God increases.  God says:

“Verily, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and (in) the difference of night and day are tokens (of His sovereignty) for men of understanding.  They remember God, standing, sitting, and reclining, and consider the creation of the heavens and the earth, (and say): Our Lord!  You did not create all of this in vain.  Far removed are You from every imperfection!  Preserve us from the punishment of the Hellfire.” (Quran 3:190-191)

His Attitude Towards His Self; Mind, Body and Soul

A Muslim pays due attention to his body’s physical need taking good care of it and promoting its good health and strength.  He does this by being active, not eating excessively.  Rather, he eats enough to maintain his health and energy because he understands that a strong believer is more loved by God than a weak believer.  The Prophet, may God praise him, said: “Indeed a strong believer is more beloved to God then a weak believer.  In the both of them are good virtues.”  God, the Almighty, says:

“Eat and drink; but be not wasteful, for God does not love the people who waste.” (Quran 7:31)

He also pays attention to his personal hygiene because the Prophet, may God praise him, placed great emphasis on it.  His appearance is always neat and clean.  His oral hygiene is also very clean because the Prophet encouraged the use of the siwak (tooth-stick from the Arak tree).  However, he does all of this in accordance with the Islamic ideal of moderation; avoiding the extremes of exaggeration and negligence.  God, the Exalted, says:

“Say: Who has forbidden the adornment of God which He has brought forth for His slaves, and the good things of His providing?  Say: Such, on the Day of Resurrection, will be only for those who believed during the life of the world.  Thus do We detail Our revelations for people who have knowledge.” (Quran 7:32)

In addition to taking care of his physical self, a Muslim also takes care of his mental self.  This is done by keeping away from drugs and stimulants.  He also does not forget to exercise regularly to maintain his physical fitness because there is a direct relationship between the physical health and mental health.  He also takes care of his mind by pursuing beneficial knowledge; religious and secular.  God says:

“And say: My Lord!  Increase me in knowledge.” (Quran 20:114)

A Muslim also pays as much attention to his spiritual development as to his physical and intellectual development.  He does so in a precisely balanced fashion which does not concentrate on one aspect to the detriment of others.  For this reason, the life of a Muslim revolves around the worship and remembrance of God; five daily prayers, fasting the month of Ramadan, etc.

His Attitude Towards People

With his parents, the Muslim is an example of sincere obedience and love.  He treats them with kindness and respect, infinite compassion, utter politeness and deep gratitude.  He recognizes their status and knows his duties towards them through God’s command.  God says:

“Worship God and do not ascribe any partner to Him and (show) kindness to the parents.” (Quran 4:36)

With his wife, the Muslim exemplifies good and kind treatment, intelligent handling, deep understanding of the nature and psychology of women, and proper fulfillment of his responsibilities and duties.

With his children, the Muslim is a parent who understands his great responsibility towards them.  He pays attention to anything that may influence their Islamic development and give them a proper education.  This is so that they may become active and constructive elements in the society, and be a source of goodness for their parents and community.

With his relatives, the Muslim maintains the ties of kinship and knows his duties towards them.  He understands the high status given to relatives in Islam, which makes him keep in touch with them, no matter what the circumstances.

With his neighbors, the Muslim illustrates good treatment and consideration of others’ feelings and sensitivities.  He puts up with their mistreatment and turns a blind eye to his neighbor’s faults while taking care not to commit any such errors himself.

A Muslim’s relationship with his brothers and friends is the best and purest of relationships because it is based upon loving for the sake of God.  He is loving towards them and not cold-hearted.  He is loyal to them and does not betray them.  He is sincere and does not cheat them.  He is tolerant and forgiving.  He is also generous and supplicates for their happiness and well being.

In his social relationships with all people, the Muslim is well-mannered, civil, noble, and characterized by the attitudes which Islam encourages.  Some of these characteristics are: not being envious of others, fulfils his promises, modesty, patience, avoiding slanders and obscenities, not interfering in that which does not concern him, refraining from gossiping, and avoiding stirring up trouble.

These are the qualities and attitudes that every Muslim strives to make as part of their character and personality.  For this reason, a society that has residents with such characteristics is one that will enjoy true happiness and peace.

Why the world needs Islam today?


These are some of the distinct features of Islam, which make it necessary for modern man to seek his salvation through this ideology:

First, it must be well understood that Islam is not a mere ideological vision. It is a practical system of life that fully appreciates all the genuine needs of humankind and tries to realize them.

Second, in trying to meet the genuine requirements of man, Islam effects perfect balance between all areas of life and activity. It starts with the individual maintaining a balance between the requirements of body and soul, reason and spirit and in no case allows one side to dominate the other.

It does not suppress the human instincts in order to make the soul ascend the higher planes, nor does it allow man, in his efforts to fulfill his bodily desires, to stoop down to the low level of animalism and hedonism. On the contrary, it makes them both meet on a single higher plane, doing away with all the internal psychological conflicts that threaten the human soul or set a part of it against the other parts.

In the social sphere, it proceeds to achieve equilibrium between the needs of the individual and those of the community. It does not allow an individual to transgress against other individuals, or against the community. Nor does it allow the community to commit transgression against individuals. It also does not approve of one class or group of people to enslave another class or group of people. Islam exercises a beneficent constraint on all these mutually opposed forces, prevents them from coming into collision with one another, and harnesses them all to co-operate for the general good of humankind as a whole.

Thus, Islam strikes a balance between different sectors of society and between different aspects of existence, spiritual as well as material. Unlike Communism, it does not believe that economic factors, i.e. the material aspect alone, dominate human existence. Nor does it contribute to what the pure spiritualists or idealists say, claiming that spiritual factors or high ideals alone are sufficient to organize human life. Rather, Islam holds that all these diverse elements put together, form what is called human society; and that the best code of life is that which takes note of all these, making full allowance for body as well as reason and spirit, arranging them all in the framework of a harmonious whole.

Third, it must always be kept in mind that Islam has an altogether independent existence of its own as a social philosophy and an economic system. Some of its outward manifestations may on the surface appear to resemble those of Capitalism or Socialism, but in fact, it is far from being the one or the other. It retains all the good characteristics of these systems, yet is free from their shortcomings and perversions. It does not extol individualism to that loathful extent which is the characteristic of the modern West. It was from this germ that modern Capitalism sprang and institutionalized that concept of individual freedom, where man is allowed to exploit other individuals and the community only to serve his personal gain. Islam guarantees personal freedom and provides opportunities for individual enterprise, but not at the cost of society or ideals of social justice.

The reaction to Capitalism has appeared in the form of Socialism. It idolizes the social basis to an extent that the individual is reduced to an insignificant part of the social machine with no existence of his own. Therefore, the community alone enjoys freedom as well as power, the individual has no right to question its authority or demand his rights. The tragedy of Socialism and its variants is that they assign to the State absolute powers to shape the lives of the individuals.

Islam strikes a balance between the two extremes of Capitalism and Socialism. Being appreciative of their role, Islam harmonizes the individuals and the State in such a way that individuals have the freedom necessary to develop their potentialities and not to encroach upon the rights of their fellowmen. It also gives the community and the State adequate powers to regulate and control the socio-economic relationships to guard and maintain this harmony in human life. The basis of this whole structure as visualized by Islam is the reciprocity of love between individuals and groups; it is not erected on the basis of hatred and class conflict, as is the case with Socialism.

It may also be pointed out here that this unique system of life as visualized by Islam, did not originate as a result of any economic pressure, nor was it an outcome of some mutually conflicting interests of antagonistic groups of people. It was revealed to the world as the ordained system of life, at a time when men attached no particular importance to economic factors, nor did they know anything about social justice in the sense we know it in modern times. Both Socialism and Capitalism are much later developments. Islam presented its scheme of social reform much before any of the social movements of our times. It guaranteed the basic needs of man – food, housing and sexual satisfaction – more than 1400 years ago. The Noble Prophet (pbuh), said: ‘Whosoever acts as a public officer for us (i.e. the Islamic State) and has no wife, he shall have a wife; if he has no house, he shall be given a house to live in; if he has no servant, he shall have one; and if he has no animal (a conveyance), he shall be provided with one. Anyone who takes more than this has exaggerated (i.e. taken more than he deserves).’ [Ahmad]
This historical announcement of fundamental human rights not only contains those rights voiced by many a revolutionary in our times, it adds to them some more as well, without necessitating any inter-class hatred, bloody revolutions, and without rejecting all those human elements in life that do not fall under the above three heads: food, housing and family.

These are some of the salient features of the Islamic code of life. They are sufficient to show that a religion with such laws and principles, that is comprehensive and includes the complete human existence, emotions, thoughts, actions, worship, economic dealings, social relationships, instructive urges and spiritual aspirations – all arranged in the framework of a single harmonious but unique system of life, can never lose its usefulness for mankind. Nor can such a religion ever become obsolete, as its objectives are the same as those of life itself and therefore, destined to live on so long as there is life on this planet.

Considering the existing state of affairs in the contemporary world, humankind cannot reasonably afford to turn its back upon Islam or reject its system of life. Humankind is still afflicted with the most savage and odious forms of racial prejudices. Surely, the world in the twentieth century has yet a great deal to learn from Islam. Long ago, Islam freed humanity from all racial prejudices. It did not content itself with the presentation of a beautiful vision of equality alone, but it achieved in practice an unprecedented state of equality between all people, black, white or yellow, declaring that none enjoyed any superiority over the others except in virtue and piety.

It not only freed the black from slavery, but also fully recognized their rights to aspire even to the highest seat of authority in the Islamic State. They could become the heads of the Islamic State. The Prophet (pbuh), said: ‘Listen and obey even if a black slave be appointed as your superior, so long as he should enforce amongst you the Law of Allaah (God).’

How can also the world of today ignore the message of Islam, stricken as it is with the evils of imperialism and tyranny with all their barbarous attributes? Islam alone can help humankind shake off these chains. It is opposed to imperialism and all forms of exploitation. The way Islam treated the people of the countries it conquered was so generous, just and sublime that the eyes of ‘civilized’ Europe can hardly penetrate those heights. We may in this regard cite the famous decision of the Caliph ’Umar   to whip the son of ’Amr bin Al-‘Aas, the victorious general and honored governor of Egypt, as he had beaten an Egyptian Copt without any legal justification. This shows the social liberty and human rights that were enjoyed by the subjects of the Islamic State.

Then there is the evil of Capitalism that has poisoned all life. Its abolition and the need to rid humanity of its evil consequences again call for Islam.

Fourth, Islam prohibits usury and hoarding which, taken together, form the mainstay of the Capitalist economy. This, in other words, means that Islam alone can effectively check the evils of Capitalism as it did check them 1400 years ago.

Finally, the world with the shadows of war still hanging over it cannot but turn towards Islam – the only way to establish and maintain real peace on this earth. The era of Islam has in a way just started, not ended; it is not a spent force, but a living dynamic force, its future is as bright as its great historical past is glorious, when it illumined the face of earth at a time when Europe was still groping its way in the dark recesses of Medievalism.

Prophet’s (pbuh) first Friday sermon in Al-Madinah


Prophet’s (pbuh) first Friday sermon in Al-Madinah

The following is a sermon that is mentioned in ibn Al-Qayyim’s famous book Zad Al-Ma’ad (Provisions of the hereafter). This book is one of the important resources of knowledge for those who seek to know the Seerah of their Prophet (S.A.W.S.) as well as, the Fiqh learned from it. This is a book that is unique in that it explains the Sunnah through the Seerah and the Seerah through the Sunnah.
This sermon was delivered when the prophet (S.A.W.S.) first arrived in Quba / Al-Madinah and before he (S.A.W.S.) built his mosque in Al-Madinah.
Ibn Ishaq reported on the authority of ‘Abdur-Rahman Ibn Ka’b Ibn
Malik that he said (part of the narration): “After the Messenger ofAllah arrived in Al-Madinah and he stayed In Quba’ on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and he built their mosque, then he left on Friday and time for Friday prayer overtook him in the land of Banu Salim Ibn ‘Awf, and so he prayed it In the mosque which was in the middle of the valley before the building of his mosque.
Ibn Ishaq said: “It was the first sermon which he delivered; according to Abu Salamah Ibn ‘Abdur-Rahman – and we seek refuge with Allah from attributing to him anything which he did not say – he stood up among them and praised Allah and extolled Him, then he said:
“As for what follows, oh, you people! Send forth for yourselves (good deeds); you know for sure, by Allah, that a person among you will be struck down unconscious and he will leave his sheep without a shepherd, then his Lord will surely say to him – and there will be neither intermediary nor screen between them: “Did not My Messenger come to you and communicate (the Message), and did I not give you wealth and favor you? And what did you send forth for yourself?” And verily, he will look right and left, but he will see nothing; then he will look in front of him and he will see naught but the Hell-fire. So whoever is able to shield his face from the Fire, even if it be only by giving a piece of a date in charity, let him do so; and whoever was unable to do so, let him (shield it) by saying a good word, for the reward of a good deed is multiplied by ten times seven hundred times. And may the Peace, Mercy and Blessings of Allah be upon you.”
Ibn Ishaq said: “Then the Messenger of Allah, delivered a second sermon, saying:
“All praise and thanks be to Allah, I praise Him and I seek His Aid. We seek refuge with Allah from the evil of ourselves and from the wickedness of our deeds. Whomsoever Allah guides, there is none can misguide him and whomsoever Allah sends astray, there is none can guide him. And I testify that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah, Alone, without partners. The best of speech is the Book of Allah. He whose heart has been beautified with it by Allah and whom He has admitted to the fold of Islam after he had disbelieved will be successful, for he has chosen it (Allah’s Speech) over that of all of mankind. Truly, it is the best of speech and the most eloquent. Love what Allah loves; love Allah with all of your hearts. Do not become tired of Allah’s Speech, nor of mentioning His Name and do not make your hearts hard towards it. Hence, amongst everything that Allah creates He chooses [something]; Allah would call it: His Kheerah (best) in terms of deeds; His favorite ones amongst the servants; that
which is good and useful in terms of speech; So worship Allah and do not associate anything with Him and fear Him as He should be feared and be sincere to Allah in the righteous words which pass your lips and love one another with Allah’s Spirit between you.Verily, Allah hates that His Covenant should be broken. And may the Peace, Mercy and Blessings of Allah be upon you.”
(Source: ‘Zad Al-Ma’ad’. Mentioned by Ibn Hisham in ‘As-Seerah An-Nabawiyyah’ from Ibn Ishaq, but without any chain of narrators. See ‘Zad Al-Ma’ad’ vol. 1, page 374 published by Maktabah Al-Manar Al-Islamiyyah)

5 Time Management Tips for Muslims!


– Zohra Sarwari (International author,speaker and Life Coach)
“By (the Token of) Time (through the ages), Verily mankind is in loss, Except those who have faith, and do righteous good deeds, and (join together) in the mutual teaching of Truth, and of Patience and Constancy.”
(The Qur’aan 103:1-3)
  

 
It’s the beginning of your work day; you sit down at your computer to start a project that you are already days behind on. The phone rings. You talk to your co-worker for twenty minutes about an event you are planning for the weekend. After you hang up you decide to check your Facebook status, respond to a few emails, and head to the break room for a snack. Before you know it, it’s been two hours and you still haven’t gotten any work done on your project.  And now you have a pile of work you need to get done in addition to your project, and not nearly enough time to do it. Sound familiar? If it does, you are in major need of a time management makeover.
The first thing you should be aware of is: you must manage your time. Time keeps on moving no matter what you do. You have 24 hours, 1440 minutes or 86,400 seconds each day to use how you will. To say manage implies that you have some control over it, which you do. While you can’t control getting more time in a day, you can control what you do with the 24 hours that you have- inshAllaah.
Charles Bruxton once said, “You will never ‘find’ time for anything. If you want time you must make it.” These tips are designed to help you make more time for yourself. Whether you choose to use it to get more work done, spend more time with the family or enjoy a book while swinging in a hammock is up to you.
Here are 5 tips to help you use your time wisely, be more productive and as a result feel happier and less stressed as a Muslim.
1. Know where you time is going: If you want to fix your time-leak you need to find out where the problem is. The easiest way to do this is to sit down with a pen and paper and map out your day. You have 24 hours; write down how you think you spend them.  The easiest way to do this is to create a simple chart blocking out hours you spend doing certain activities. A sample daily chart may look something like this:
Sleeping:    8 hours
      Eating (including prep) 2 hours
      Work: 8 hours
      Travel: 1 hour
      Salah:  1 hour
      Exercise: 1 hour
      Shower/dress: 1 hour
      Other: 3 hours
      TOTAL: 24 hours.
Your times will vary according to your personal schedule and priorities. Now that you have a vague idea of where your time is spent it’s time to get more specific. You need to write down exactly where you time goes.
For example, you know you spend 8 hours at work, but you’re not getting everything done. Why? Take a notebook with you to the office and make note of everything you do and how much time you spend doing it. Write down every coffee break, Facebook perusal, water cooler discussion and projects. At the end of the day, you may be surprised at how much time you spend doing unimportant things because you get distracted.
“There are two blessings which many people lose: (They are) health and free time for doing good.”
 
(Bukhari 8/421)
2. Set goals: What is your ultimate goal? As Muslims everything we do if we do it for the sake of Allaah subhana wa Tala- it counts as ibidah for us.  Do you want to have more time at the end of the day to relax or more time to spend with your family without feeling guilty? Maybe you work from home and you’d like to get more work done to increase your income, so you need to be more productive. Whatever your goal is, learning to use your time more efficiently will help. Write down your goal and post it where you can see it. When you start to get distracted look at your goal and remind yourself to focus.  If you want to add Qur’aan during the day, but have no time for it, maybe you can add 30 minutes while driving to work, and 30 minutes while driving back home, inshAllaah.
 Creating goals can be an effective way to stay on task. When we consistently remind ourselves why we need to make a change, we are more likely to stick to our plan.
Along with creating other goals you can create specific time-management goals. For example, set a goal of only checking your Twitter feed after you have completed a certain project or after working for a certain amount of time. Reward yourself when you meet a goal inshAllaah.
3. Begin everything with Bismillah, and start and end your day with a plan: Take 20 to 30 minutes every morning to write down what you need to do for the day. Prioritize your list. By making a list of everything you need to get done first thing in the morning, you get your brain on track. At the end of the day take anything that is left over and write it on your list for the next day. Every morning you’ll be adding to the list of leftover items from the day before. If you can, put these left over items at the top of your list so that you don’t have a short list of things that keep tagging along with you week after week.
 
 
 
 
“Get hold of 5 things before 5 things happen: your youth before old age, your health before sickness, your riches before poverty, your leisure before business and your life before death.”
4. Prioritize your list: List the top six things that you must get done for the day. For some people listing more than six things can be overwhelming. Rank the items on your list from the most important to the least important and tackle them in order. When you get one thing done move on to the next, until you get through your list. You may or may not be able to get everything on your list done. If you don’t finish all six items move the remaining items to the next day and rank them accordingly.
5. Schedule email and phone calls: Set time limits for the projects you are working on and set aside specific time to handle smaller tasks, such as checking your email or returning phone calls. Checking your email every five minutes and answering the phone every time it rings can be real time –suckers. Ignore your phone and return the calls at a later time, unless you are waiting for a call that is vital to one of your projects.
The most important thing to remember is that you choose what to do with your time. You need to choose what is most important, and it’s not always going to be work.  For me and my family it making sure we are doing ibidah and remembering Allaah in everything we do, inshAllaah.
According to John Hall Gladstone: “To comprehend a man’s life, it is necessary to know not merely what he does but also what he purposely leaves undone. There is a limit to the work that can be got out of a human body or a  human brain, and he is a wise man who wastes no energy on pursuits for which he is not fitted; and he is still wiser who, from among the things he can do well, chooses and resolutely follows the best.”  I pray that this article was beneficial to you, and that you will inshAllaah use it in your life.