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)
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The Pleasures of Paradise in Brief


 The Pleasures of Paradise in Brief

 

Paradise

Jannah

God has said in the Quran:

“And give good news (O Muhammad) to those who believe and do good deeds, that they will have gardens (Paradise) in which rivers flow….” (Quran 2:25)

God has also said:

“Race one with another for forgiveness from your Lord and for Paradise, whose width is as the width of the heavens and the earth, which has been prepared for those who believe in God and His messengers….” (Quran 57:21)

The Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, told us that the lowest in rank among the dwellers of Paradise will have ten times the like of this world,[1] and he or she will have whatever he or she desires and ten times like it.[2] Also, the Prophet Muhammad said: “A space in Paradise equivalent to the size of a foot would be better than the world and what is in it.”[3] He also said: “In Paradise there are things which no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no human mind has thought of.”[4]  He also said: “The most miserable man in the world of those meant for Paradise will be dipped once in Paradise. Then he will be asked, ‘Son of Adam, did you ever face any misery?  Did you ever experience any hardship?’ So he will say, ‘No, by God, O Lord!  I never faced any misery, and I never experienced any hardship.’”[5]

If you enter Paradise, you will live a very happy life without sickness, pain, sadness, or death; God will be pleased with you; and you will live there forever. God has said in the Quran:

“But those who believe and do good deeds, We will admit them to gardens (Paradise) in which rivers flow, lasting in them forever….” (Quran 4:57)


[1] Narrated in Saheeh Muslim, #186, and Saheeh Al-Bukhari, #6571.

[2] Narrated in Saheeh Muslim, #188, and Mosnad Ahmad, #10832.

[3] Narrated in Saheeh Al-Bukhari, #6568, and Mosnad Ahmad, #13368.

[4] Narrated in Saheeh Muslim, #2825, and Mosnad Ahmad, #8609.

[5] Narrated in Saheeh Muslim, #2807, and Mosnad Ahmad, #12699.

Seven Ways You Can Save the Planet


Seven Ways You Can Save the Planet

Shehnaz Toorawa

Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said, “The world is green and beautiful and God has appointed you as His stewards over it. He sees how you acquit yourselves…” (Muslim).

Allah tells us in numerous verses of the Quran, that He has
created everything on Earth—animals, rain, plants, oceans, stars, the
sun, the moon—for the benefit of humans. With these favours comes the
role of Khalifah, or guardianship. The Quran tells us,

He it is Who has placed you as viceroys of the earth and has exalted
some of you in rank above others, that He may try you by (the test of) that
which He has given you
” (6:165).

Today the planet is in a mess. Deforestation, desertification,
water pollution, air pollution, soil erosion, extinction of species and the
dwindling of resources indicate that humans are not fulfilling their role of
Khalifah adequately.

What can we do to fulfill our responsibility to protect the Earth? Here are seven small, but effective steps each of us can take to begin the process:

1. Buy less, consume less, waste less.

On average, an individual in a developed nation consumes twice
as much grain, twice as much fish, three times as much meat, nine times as much paper, and eleven times as much gasoline as an individual in a developing nation.(1)

Yet, shopping malls, TV commercials, flyers, billboards, and
the fashion industry continually tell us we don’t have enough and we need
to buy more. The 12 percent of the world’s population that lives in North
America and Western Europe accounts for 60 percent of the world’s private
consumption spending.(2)

The Quran correctly describes our materialistic society in the verse,

The mutual rivalry for piling up (the good things of this world) diverts you (from the more serious things) until you visit the graves” (102:1-2).

While North Americans squander wealth and waste it in luxuries, 825 million people in the world are undernourished (3), 2.4 billion live without basic sanitation, and one billion lack adequate shelter.(4) Destruction of forests, desertification of grasslands, water pollution, depletion of fossil fuels, and the collapse of fisheries around the world warn us that the world’s resources are limited—certainly not enough to support the lifestyle habits of an average North American.

In the Quran, God warns us not to take more than our share of the world’s resources:
“…Do not squander (your wealth) wastefully. Surely the squanderers
are the fellows of the Devils
” (17:26).

In a world of limited resources, we have an obligation to resist consumer culture and squelch the urge to buy, consume, and eventually waste.

The words of the Prophet (pbuh) are a beautiful example of how to live:
Be in the world as if you were a stranger or a traveller along a path” (Bukhari).
The best livelihood is the bare minimum” (Ahmad).

The Quran reminds us that we will be accountable for every item we own and resource we use:
Then (on the day of judgement) you will certainly be questioned about
all the favours you enjoyed
” (102:8).

Next time you’re in line at the cash register, ask yourself if you really need what you’re buying or if you can live without it.

2. Reduce your shower time to five minutes.

The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Excess in the use of water is forbidden, even if you have the resources of a whole river” (Tirmidhi).

Ever noticed how long you spend in the shower? A five-minute shower consumes 100 litres of water. (5)
That may not sound like much, but consider that less than one half of one percent of all water on Earth is fresh water for human use. The rest is sea water or frozen in polar ice caps.(6) Every person on Earth has a share in this water, yet 20% of the world’s population already lacks access to an adequate supply of clean drinking water.(7)
While the average Canadian uses 335 litres of water per day, the average sub-Saharan African survives on 10-20 litres per day.(8) 

The Prophet (pbuh) would perform ghusl, a complete bath, with one Sa’
of water—that’s just 1.6 litres. In a world where water scarcity
and pollution are increasing, every drop counts.

3. Buy locally grown food, without the packaging

Where does the food you eat come from? The local farm or a land far away? In the United States, the average food item travels 2,500–4,000 kilometers.(9) The farther food travels before it reaches your plate, the less money the rural farmer retains.

Multinational corporations that haul, package, and process the food collect a larger portion of the profit.

The farther food travels, the more energy it consumes for pesticides, preservatives, ripening, packaging, processing, transportation and sales. Eating local food results in a healthier diet, more equitable profit distribution,
less energy consumption and less environmental pollution.

4. Take the transit or walk more often

Cars not only guzzle the world’s dwindling supply of fossil
fuels, but the burning of those fuels contributes to urban smog, acid rain,
and other air quality problems. Cars produce large volumes of carbon dioxide
and other greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. The average car
produces about 2.4 kilograms of CO2 for every litre of gasoline‚ or three
to four times its own weight in CO2 every year. (10)

This means more air pollution, more extreme weather and storms, more water contamination and more diseases.

Public transit, cycling or walking are simple ways to reduce energy consumption, improve air quality and lead a healthier lifestyle. If you
normally drive to work, take the transit once a week for a refreshing change.

5. Install energy-saving bulbs and appliances in your home

North Americans consume 30% of the world’s energy—an amount similar to that consumed collectively by all developing countries, holding
more than 80% of the world’s population. While we may flick the light
switch without a second thought, 2 billion people in the world lack access to
electricity or other modern energy supplies.(11)

While it may be impossible for North Americans to forego the luxuries of electricity, heat, stoves, dishwashers and microwaves, we can reduce
our energy consumption through efficiency. Europeans have done it—although
they lead a similar lifestyle, people in the United States and Canada consume
2.4 times as much energy at home as those in Western Europe. (12)

Home appliances are the world’s fastest-growing energy consumers after
automobiles, accounting for 30 percent of industrial countries’ electricity
consumption.(13) The good news is that energy-efficient lighting and appliances have become common in the North American market. Making your home energy efficient is an easy and effective way to reduce energy consumption without sacrificing convenience.

6. Eat more vegetables

Vegetables capture energy for growth directly from a renewable source—the sun, while meat production in industrial countries requires a high input of non-renewable fossil fuel energy. When farmers raise animals on pasture, they require little grain, consume little energy and their manure becomes valuable agricultural fertilizer.

Today, in most industrial nations, rather than being pasture-fed, corporations raise animals in factory farms that consume huge quantities of grain, water, hormones, and electricity and produce tonnes of toxic wastes. Producing one calorie of beef or poultry requires 11–17 calories of feed.(14) Producing 8 ounces of beef requires 25,000 litres of water.(15)

This means that a diet high in grain-fed meat requires two to four times more
land than a vegetarian diet. Health is another consideration—the crowded
conditions of factory farms along with an absence of waste recycling make livestock easy targets for disease.

The Prophet (pbuh) allowed us to eat meat and, like all other foods, meat is one of Allah’s favours that He permits us to enjoy.

However, we need to apply the principle of moderation, a key aspect of the Prophet’s (pbuh) lifestyle, in our diet. Eating more vegetables, without abandoning meat, can make a significant difference in the amount of natural resources each of us consumes.

Next time you bite into that steak, think of the energy that went into producing it.

7. Recycle and compost

Canadians generate approximately 1.7 kg of waste per person per day.(16) When we use recycled materials along with recycling and composting our household waste, we significantly reduce our energy consumption and waste production.

Producing aluminium from recycled material, for example, requires 95 percent less energy than manufacturing it from raw materials.(17) Keep in mind that having a recycling box or a compost bin doesn’t justify consuming more and wasting more.

Reducing consumption is still the best way to reduce our impact on the environment.

Where do you Stand? Calculate Your Ecological Footprint

The ecological footprint is a tool that assesses the environmental
impact of an individual, a region or an activity. Your ecological footprint
indicates the amount of biologically productive land area required to support
your lifestyle based on the amount of resources you use and the amount of wastes you produce.

Calculations show that the planet has available 1.9 hectares of
biologically productive land per person to supply resources and absorb wastes—yet the average person on Earth already uses 2.3 hectares worth.

These “ecological footprints” range from 9.7 hectares claimed by the average American to 0.47 hectares used by the average Mozambican.(18)

Calculate your ecological footprint and discover your impact on the planet at
http://www.redefiningprogress.org/.
The results may shock you!

Muhammad (saws): A Role Model for a New Millennium


The human need for role models
Have you ever heard of Moses, Jesus, Confucius, Krishna or the Buddha? How about Gandhi, Mother Theresa or Martin Luther King? If you live in the West, there’s a good chance that you know a bit about these people and their accomplishments. In man’s eternal search for immortality and meaning, many leaders and heroes, both true and false, have made their appearance on the world stage. The respect and reverence shown to such figures among people of every nationality, in every age, points to a deep human need to believe in someone greater than oneself, in an attempt to transcend the confines of one’s own limited existence. We see this theme recur in world myths, legends, hero stories, and in the idealisation of people who have been raised by their followers to superhuman or godly status.
Most educated people today are sceptics,
and view such stories as the charming remnants of a simpler age. And with globalisation and the steady stream of new religions and ideologies that people are exposed to, it may be hard to know what to believe. Some find it easier to ignore spiritual questions altogether, focusing instead on their relationships, careers and ‘getting ahead’. Yet we know that excessive materialism stifles the mind and spirit; despite technological advances, the deep yearning to believe in a Higher Power, true leadership, and an ultimate purpose in life remains. In this day and age, who can be trusted as a guide in both spiritual and worldly matters?
There is one leader,
still largely unknown to the West, who is an extraordinary role model that people of all backgrounds can relate to: the Prophet Muhammad. The details of Muhammad’s remarkable life have been carefully preserved and have been subjected to the scrutiny of historians, east and west. In contrast to others who have achieved renown for their accomplishments in a limited sphere of activity, Muhammad’s achievements span all major areas of life. The historian Michael H. Hart wrote:
My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world’s most influential persons may surprise some readers and be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels. Hart, Michael, The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History.
Why does the average European or American
know so little about a man whose life was so exceptional? Irrational fears and negative propaganda, dating back to the Crusades and exaggerated by the media, have created a ‘mental block’ for many people against all things Arab or Islamic, and the two terms are often mistakenly confused. As we enter the age of the global village, is it not time for those who pride themselves on being unprejudiced, independent thinkers to put aside these mental relics from a bygone era? We invite you to take a few minutes to explore a new understanding of religious leadership, and in so doing, to catch a glimpse of a man who is loved by one-fifth of the people on this planet.
The concept of Prophethood in Islam
For a Muslim, a Prophet does not primarily imply someone able to foretell the future – although most of Muhammad’s predictions have already been fulfilled in astonishing ways – but a man sent by God to call people to repent, have faith, and dedicate their lives to doing good, thereby helping them rediscover the purpose for which they were created. Prophets are not considered to be Divine, and are not prayed to or worshipped – though they were men of outstanding character and spirituality who were protected from committing sins, performed miracles, received revelation and communed with God. Islam teaches that God is One, without partner or associate; no human being can share in any of the qualities that are unique to the Intelligent Creator and Sustainer of our vast and complex universe. Muhammad was no more than God’s honoured servant and Messenger, yet he embodied the best of human potential, and that is what continues to make him so appealing and accessible today. Last in a line of Prophets and Messengers sent by God to all people on earth – including Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus – who effected the large-scale transformation of individuals and society, Muhammad was unsurpassed as teacher and guide. Speaking of his own role as the last true Prophet before Judgement Day, he said:
‘The parable of me in relation to the Prophets who came before me is that of a man who built a house beautifully and well, except that one brick in its corner was missing. The people went around it and wondered at its beauty, but said: “If only that brick were put in its place!” I am that brick, and I am the last of the Prophets.’
Muhammad’s personal life
Muhammad was born in 570 AD to a noble family of Makkah, and was a descendant of the Prophet Abraham. Orphaned at six, Muhammad was a thoughtful youth who worked as a shepherd and helped his uncle with the trade caravans. As a teenager he rejected the immoral customs of his people, who had become steeped in idolatry, and joined a chivalrous order, earning the nickname ‘The Trustworthy’. At age 25 he found employment with a wealthy widow of 40 named Khadijah, managing her business. Impressed by his honesty and character, Khadijah proposed marriage and he accepted. Despite their age difference, they were happily married for 25 years, and were blessed with six children. After Khadijah’s death Muhammad married several women for political and humanitarian reasons, as was expected of a man of his position; all but one were widows and divorcees. He was a loving and considerate husband and father, and his family was devoted to him despite his voluntary poverty, for he put into practice his own advice, ‘the best of you is the one who is best to his own family.’
Muhammad, the Prophet
Muhammad received his first revelation from God at 40, through the Angel Gabriel. He continued to receive revelations for 23 years, on topics ranging from the Oneness of God and His wondrous handiwork, to stories of earlier prophets, morality and ethics, and life after death. These revelations became collectively known as the Qur’an, and are considered by Muslims to be the literal word of God; the Prophet’s own words were collected separately. Muhammad’s call to monotheism and social reform was heavily opposed by the Makkan elite; after enduring thirteen years of intense persecution, he and his followers were invited to relocate to Madinah, a town to the north that had been torn apart by generations of intertribal warfare. Muhammad successfully settled their differences and forged a bond of brotherhood between the two warring factions, as well as between the locals and the new emigrants. For Arab tribal society, this was an amazing accomplishment. The early Muslims learned to implement the golden rule under the Prophet’s tutelage: ‘No one truly believes until he desires for his brother what he desires for himself.’
Muhammad’s legacy: the Madinan model
For Muhammad, religion was not a matter of personal conviction alone but a complete way of life, and Madinah flourished under his leadership. The Madinan model of government, based on justice, respect for human dignity and God-consciousness, became the template to which Muslims have looked for guidance and inspiration ever since. The Prophet drew up the world’s first constitution in which the rights of religious minorities were protected, and entered into treaties and alliances with neighbouring tribes.
He sent letters to the rulers of the Persians, Egyptians, Abyssinians and Byzantines, announcing his message of pure monotheism and inviting them to accept Islam. For the first time in history, women, children, orphans, foreigners and slaves were granted extensive rights and protection. Many of the Prophet’s concerns seem surprisingly ‘modern’: he condemned racism and nationalism, saying ‘there is no superiority of an Arab over a non-Arab, or a white man over a black man, except in righteousness.’
He established laws protecting animals, trees and the environment. He encouraged free trade and ethical investments, but secured workers’ rights and forbade usury. He worked for peace, but defined the parameters of the judicious use of force, when force was needed. He convinced people to give up alcohol, drugs, prostitution and crime, and promoted healthy living.
He condemned domestic violence, encouraged his wives to speak their own mind, and granted Muslim women many rights not dreamed of in Europe until centuries later, including the right to own property, reject arranged marriages, and seek divorce because of incompatibility. And the Prophet encouraged his followers to seek beneficial knowledge wherever it could be found, with the result that Muslims never experienced a conflict between science and religion, and led the world in many fields of learning for centuries afterwards.
Although his enduring legacy can be observed in everything from art to politics, Muhammad’s greatest achievement by far was to re-establish pure monotheism. As simple and straightforward to understand as the nucleus at the centre of an atom, the concept of One God lies at the heart of Islamic culture. Muslims turn to their Creator for guidance, without the need for intermediaries, or the loss of dignity that idolatry and superstition bring.
The Prophet accomplished all this through the strength of his character and personal example; he inspired in his followers a love, devotion and sense of awe that was unparalleled. While other men would have been corrupted by the absolute power that he wielded in his later years, Muhammad remained humble, ever aware of the Source of his blessings. ‘I am just God’s servant,’ he said, and ‘I have only been sent as a teacher.’ Although he spent his days in serving people and his nights in prayer, he preached religious moderation and balance; he forbade his followers to adopt a monastic lifestyle and preferred that they establish strong families and engage themselves in bettering the world around them, while remaining deeply conscious of God.
In the brief space of one generation and during his own lifetime, the Prophet Muhammad* successfully transformed the faith, mentality and culture of the people of Arabia; within 100 years his message had touched the hearts and lives of millions in Africa, Asia and parts of Europe. The Prophet foretold that each succeeding generation would be worse than the one before it, and true to his prediction, Muslims have not always understood or honoured his example. But Muhammad’s teachings, speeches and customs were carefully noted down by his Companions, and compiled into books of authentic sayings which are available in translation.
Along with the Qur’an, they form the holistic foundation of a satisfying way of life for practising Muslims, while for others, they provide a fascinating glimpse into the heart and mind of an exceptional man and role model from whom much can be learned.

Peace Within


Peace Within

Alia Ahmed 

Peace in heart makes life beautiful.

There once was a king who offered a prize to the artist who would paint the best picture of peace. Many artists tried their luck. The king looked at all the representations, but there were only two that fascinated him. Ultimately, he had to choose between them.

The first depiction was of a calm and quiet lake. The lake was a perfect mirror of placid, pacific mountains all around it. Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds. It seemed a perfect picture of peace.

The other image had mountains too, but these were rugged and bare. Above was an enraged sky, from which rain fell and in which lightening played. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a furious, foaming waterfall. Apparently, this was not at all, the required piece of art. But when the king looked closely, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush, growing in a crack in the rock. In that bush a mother bird had built her peewee nest. There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her nest – in perfect peace!

Any idea, which one turned out to be the award-winning illustration? The king chose the second one. Why? “Because,” explained the king, “peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be cool, calm and collected in your heart. That is the real meaning of peace.”

The narration above, compels one to ponder and cogitate. We may state that man’s basal needs can be totted up as the need for preservation, the need for knowledge and the need for peace and harmony. Since the basic unit of humanity
is an individual human, it is evident that in order to achieve peace in the outer world it must first be attained within the hearts of all the individuals.
Consequently outer peace, or world peace as you may put it, is a by-product of personal tranquility and mental satisfaction of individuals that inhabit it.

Thomas Kempis had said, First keep the peace within yourself, then you can bring peace to others. Some people have a view that peace will come to them when they control every single element in their lives. Maybe they are just oblivion to the fact that this is not within our reach. We cannot control everything in our lives. One must understand the difference between things that are within our control and things that are beyond that.

The concept of Predestination (‘Qadr’) is central to this understanding. On the other hand, religious scholars and intellectuals are of the view that the tribulation and distress in today’s world may have a perspicuous cause – we have lost the path that lead to salvation by missing out on God’s cardinal instructions.

Inner peace is a feeling of calmness and satisfaction within ones heart. But the delicate question is, how can that be attained? ?Imaan? ? the true faith in Allah subhanhu wa ta’ala and the collective term for all those beliefs on which the Islamic faith is based – is the sole positive and real ground for a person’s inner calmness and rapture.

This Arabic word is derived from the root word a-m-n, pointing towards peace and tranquility that a believer enjoys in his heart as a result of practicing and bolstering these beliefs. There must be a total submission to God‘s commands; no
half-hearted consents. Real happiness and peace can be found by submitting to the commands of the Sustainer of this world and by remaining content and satisfied with His Decree.

It is said in the Quran,

Truly in remembering God do
hearts find rest. (13:28).

Dhikr‘ or ‘the remembrance of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala’ leads to God consciousness, which persuasively brings forth total submission to His commands. Thereupon, it is imperative that in order to bring tranquility into our lives we must live according to His Commandments.

Another significant factor that massively contributes towards acquiring a complacent soul is ‘Shukr‘ or ‘thankfulness’  to God.

‘Shukr’ is derived from the root word, sh-k-r, and its literal meaning is when a cow feeds on less fodder but gives more milk.

Conspicuously, it indicates how a believer should be. He should be grateful to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala under all  circumstances. To attain inner peace we must look for abundance in our lives while minimizing the negatives.

We must learn to develop a sense of gratitude within ourselves for all that we have been so lucky to be blessed with. Come to think of it, most of us have a great deal in our lives to make us blissfully content but unfortunately we
lack the ability to acknowledge and appreciate it.

A lot is taken for granted and many blithe, simple moments in daily life are disregarded and forgotten. Ungratefulness takes away tranquility from within our hearts. As Melody Beattie had so rightly said, Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.

It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace
for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. So true!

The station of gratitude (shukr) is considered the best and the highest of all the stations of faith (imaan). Gratitude also includes in itself the virtue of Patience (sabr). When we look at the life of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihi wassalum) we find that there is nothing greater then his patience and gratitude.

He was ‘Saboor’ (patient) and ‘Shakoor’ (thankful). The reality is that a servant of Allah subhanahu wa ta?ala can be in one of the two states during his life time. Either he is enjoying a bounty for which he should be thankful for, or he may be suffering a calamity that he should meet with patience and forbearance.

Muslim states the Hadith:

“Amazing is the believer,
for whatever Allah decrees for him! If he is tested with a bounty, he is grateful for it and this is better for him; and if he is afflicted with a hardship, he is patient with it and this is better for him.”

Patience mainly has three forms:
(a) Patience for avoiding the prohibitions and sins,
(b) Patience for acts of worship and obedience,
(c) Patience required in the face of afflictions and hardships.

The Quraan explicitly mentions the finest tools that may be applied to help ease the effects of sufferings and hardships and those are Patience (Sabr) andPrayer (Dhikr).

It is stated in Surah-e-Bakarah, verse 152-153:

“Therefore remember Me (by praying, glorifying (dhikr)). I will remember you, and be grateful to Me (for my countless favors on you) and never be ungrateful to Me. O you who believe! Seek help in patience and As-Salah (the prayer). Truly, Allah is with the As-Sabireen (the patient).

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has pointed-out the virtues of Dhikr, Shukr and Sabr in this surah and their stately significance in our lives. One may conclude that ‘Sakina’ (peace and tranquility) within the heart is a gift from Allah subhanahu
wa ta’ala, and the most essential ingredients that contribute toward a serene and placid heart are Remembrance of Allah subhanahu wa ta?ala, Gratitude and Patience. Consequently, a heart that remains thankful and patient, while in constant remembrance of its Creator, can never lose peace within.

You should know him!


You may be an atheist or an agnostic or you may belong to any of the religious denominations that exist in the world today. No matter what you are, and no matter what your religious and political beliefs, personal and social habits happen to be— YOU STILL MUST KNOW THIS MAN!

He was by far the most remarkable man that ever set foot on this earth. He preached a religion, founded a state, laid down a moral code, initiated numberless social and political reforms, established a dynamic and powerful society to practice and represent his teachings, and he revolutionized the worlds of human thought and human action for all time. His name was Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) – and he accomplished all these wonders in the unbelievably short span of twenty-three years.

Muhammad (peace be upon him) was born in Arabia in 570 CE, and when he died at the age of 63, the whole of the Arabian Peninsula had changed from paganism and idol worship to the worship of One God; from tribal quarrels and wars to national solidarity and cohesion; from drunkenness and debauchery to sobriety and piety; from lawlessness and anarchy to disciplined living; from utter moral bankruptcy to the highest standards of moral excellence. Human history has never known such a complete transformation of a people or a place before or since.

The Encyclopedia Britannica calls him “the most successful of all religious personalities of the world.”

Bernard Shaw said, “if Muhammad (peace be upon him) were alive today, he would succeed in solving all those problems which threaten to destroy human civilization in our times.”

Thomas Carlyle was amazed as to how one man, single-handedly, could weld warring tribes and wandering Bedouins into a most powerful and civilized nation in less than two decades.

Indeed no other human being ever accomplished so much, in such diverse fields of human thought and behavior, in so limited a space of time, as did Muhammad (peace be upon him). He was a religious teacher, a social reformer, a moral guide, a political thinker, a military genius, an administrative colossus, a faithful friend, a wonderful companion, a devoted husband, a loving father—all in one. No other man in history ever excelled or equaled him in any of these difficult departments of life.

The world has had its share of great personalities. But these were one-sided figures who distinguished themselves in but one or two fields, such as religious thought or military leadership. None of the other great leaders of the world ever possessed so many different qualities to such an amazing level of perfection as did Muhammad (peace be upon him).

You should know this Man!!!

The lives and teachings of other great personalities of the world are shrouded in the mist of time. There is so much speculation about the time and the place of their birth, the mode and style of their life, the nature and detail of their teachings and the degree and measure of their success or failure that it is impossible for humanity today to reconstruct accurately and precisely the lives and teachings of those men. Not so with this man Muhammad (peace be upon him). Not only was he born in the fullest blaze of recorded history, but every detail of his private and public life, of his actions and utterances, has been accurately documented and faithfully preserved to our day. The authenticity of the information so preserved is vouched for not only by faithful followers but also by unbiased critics and open-minded scholars.

At the time of his death his teachings were not mere precepts and ideas straining for fulfillment. They had become the very core of the life of tens of thousands of perfectly trained individuals. At what other time or place and in relation to what other political, social, religious system, philosophy or ideology—did the world ever witness such a perfectly amazing phenomenon? Except, of course, Islam, which was established as a complete way of life by Muhammad (peace be upon him) himself. History bears testimony to this fact and the greatest skeptics have no option but to concede this point.

In spite of the phenomenal success which crowned his efforts, he did not for a moment claim to be God or God’s incarnation or Son —but only a human being who was chosen and ordained by the Creator to be a teacher of truth to mankind and a complete model and pattern for their actions. He was a man with a noble and exalted mission —and his unique mission was to unite humanity in the worship of the One and only God and to teach them the way to honest and upright living in accordance with the laws and commands of God. He always described himself as a Messenger and servant of God, as indeed every single action and movement of his proclaimed him to be.

Today, after the lapse of some 1400 years, the life and teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) have survived without the slightest loss, alteration or distortion. Today they offer the same undying hope for treating mankind’s many ills which they did when the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was alive.

One in every five persons on this earth firmly believes Muhammad (peace be upon him) to be God’s last Prophet and Messenger. Not only individuals, but entire countries, take pride in declaring allegiance to his way of life. There are 54 such Muslim states today, ranging from those as large as Indonesia and Bangladesh, with populations of 200 and 125 million respectively, to those as tiny as the Brunei and Maldives with populations of 260,000 and 230,000. Even in non-Muslim countries, large Muslim populations constitute significant minorities, as much as the 120 million in India and the 20 million in China. Indeed, within the last half century, Islam has become the second largest religion in most European countries, as also in America and Canada.

Black and white, red and yellow, followers of the Prophet Muhammad come from all human races. Whether in Asia or Europe, Africa or America, in every nook and cranny of the globe, you are sure to find Muslims. They live in the most advanced metropolitan areas, in primitive nomadic tents, and everywhere in between.

In this century, just as in the each of the fourteen centuries following his death, countless men, women, and children have lived their lives following the footsteps of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and loving him as no one else in history has been followed or loved. They have eaten and dressed, walked and slept, married and raised families, believed and acted, worshipped and ruled, made war and peace, lived and died, just as he did or taught them to do.

Indeed, never in history has a man influenced mankind, even beyond his death, so deeply and pervasively as the Prophet Muhammad has. He brought light and peace to countless hearts and lives. His followers love him more dearly than their own selves. In him they find their greatest source of inspiration and guidance. He is the ultimate norm and the perfect example for them. It is in his example that they find their chief source of support and comfort in personal vicissitudes and tribulations and it is to his teachings that they look to lead them through social and political turmoil. His teachings inspired them to greater and greater heights of spiritual and moral upliftment and achievement in civilization, and still do.

In short, Muslims believe that through the Prophet Muhammad, a human like themselves, God has spoken to them and given them an example and a model for all times to come and in all aspects of life, both private and public.

Muhammed (peace be upon him) – A Brief Description


Sheik Yusuf Estes Muhammed

 

Muhammed – A Brief Description

You may be a Christian Protestant, Catholic, Jew, an atheist or an agnostic; or you may belong to any of many different religious denominations existing in today’s world. You might even be a communist or believe in man’s democracy as the rule on earth.
Whoever you are and whatever ideological or political beliefs, social habits you may hold, there is no doubt –

You Must Know This MAN – MUHAMMAD (peace be upon him).

He was by far the most remarkable man that ever set foot on this earth. He preached a religion, founded a state, built a nation, laid down a moral code, initiated numerous social and political reforms, established a powerful and dynamic society to practice and represent his teachings and completely revolutionized the worlds of human thought and behavior for all times to come.

“HIS NAME IS MUHAMMAD” (peace be upon him)

He was born in Arabia in the year 570 C.E. (Common Era), started his mission of preaching the religion of Truth, Islam (submission to One God at the age of forty and departed from this world at the age of sixty-three.

During this short period of 23 years of his prophethood, he changed the complete Arabian Peninsula from paganism and idolatry to worship of One God, from tribal quarrels and wars to national solidarity and cohesion, from drunkenness and debauchery to sobriety and piety, from lawlessness and anarchy to disciplined living, from utter bankruptcy to the highest standards of moral excellence. Human history has never known such a complete transformation of a people or a place before or since – and IMAGINE all these unbelievable wonders in JUST OVER TWO DECADES.

The world has had its share of great personalities. But these were one sided figures who distinguished themselves in but one or two field, such as religious thought or military leadership. The lives and teachings of these great personalities of the world are shrouded in the mist of time. There is so much speculation about the time and place their birth, the mode and style of their life, the nature and detail of their teachings and the degree and measure of their success or failure that is impossible for humanity to reconstruct accurately the lives and teachings of these men.

Not so this man. Muhammad (peace be upon him) accomplished so much in such diverse fields of human thought and behavior in the fullest blaze of human history. Every detail of his private life and public utterances has been accurately documented and faithfully preserved to our day. The authenticity of the records so preserved are vouched for not only by the faithful followers but even by his prejudiced critics.

Muhammad (peace be upon him) was a religious teacher, a social reformer, a moral guide, an administrative colossus, a faithful friend, a wonderful companion, a devoted husband, a loving father – all in one. No other man in history ever excelled or equaled him in any of these different aspects of life – but it was only for the selfless personality of Muhammad (peace be upon him) to achieve such incredible perfection.

Muhammad (peace be upon him) was nothing more or less than a human being. But he was a man with a noble mission, which was to unite humanity on the worship of ONE and ONLY ONE GOD and to teach them the way to honest and upright living based on the commands of God. He always described himself as, ‘A Servant and Messenger of God’ and so indeed every action of his proclaimed to be.

Today after a lapse of fourteen centuries, the life and teachings of Muhammad (peace be upon him) have survived without the slightest loss, alteration or interpolation. They offer the same undying hope for treating mankind’s many ills, which they did when he was alive. This is not a claim of Mohammed’s (peace be upon him) followers, but the inescapable conclusion forced upon by a critical and unbiased history.

The least YOU can do as a thinking and concerned human being is to stop for a moment and ask your self: Could these statements sounding so extraordinary and revolutionary really be true? And supposing they really are true and you did not know this man MUHAMMAD (peace be upon him) or hear about him, isn’t it time you responded to this tremendous challenge and put in some effort to know him?

It will cost you nothing, but it may prove to be the beginning of a completely new era in your life. By Eng. Husain Pasha.

We invite you to make a discovery of this wonderful man, MUHAMMAD (peace be upon him), the like of whom never walked on the face of this earth.