Monday, August 31, 2009

In the Shade of Ramadan 2009 - Episode 9 Light Upon Light

Khaled Bahijri reflects on the parable in the Quran that refers to the guidance of Allah as light upon light. He reminds where the guidance of the light comes from and how we can work to attain that guidance.

Amr Khalid: Quran Stories - Episode 9

In this episode, we are walked through the emotions that Prophet Moosa felt as Allah Subhanoh wa Taala spoke to him, and revealed to him his great mission

Amr Khalid: Quran Stories - Episode 9

Nouman Ali Khan - Being the best to our parents

This is the 16th lecture in the series.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

In the Shade of Ramadan 2009 - Episode 8 Al Hameed

Muslema Purmul reminds us why Allah (swt) is the Most Praiseworthy and how we should be grateful for the blessing that we receive from Al Hameed.

Amr Khalid: Quran Stories - Episode 8

One of the points presented by Amr Khalid in this show was about how the Prophets spent alot of time alone with nature before revelations reached them. It was part of making their belief stronger. Yesterday I had the lovely opportunity for the first time in my life to pray outdoors, in front of an ocean. I took a photo of the view. It's a different experience, praying to the sounds of nothing but the lapping of the water, and lifting your head after the Salam to see Allah's creation in front of your eyes: the sky, the mountain, the water. I think this might be one of the reasons why people are losing their Eman these days, we don't see Allah's creation before our eyes, but are surrounded by concrete monsters.

The photo was taken during the morning time, we prayed later during the afternoon. The sun was in front of us and lighting slightly different. Btw, afternoon is my favourite time of the day =P The period that's like two hours before sunset.


And here's the episode =P

Amr Khalid: Quran Stories - Episode 8

Nouman Ali Khan - The Dua of Ibrahim Peace Be Upon Him

This is the 15th lecture in the series.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

In the Shade of Ramadan 2009 - Episode 7 Controlling Anger

Dr. Imad gives helpful tips on controlling ones temper and observing the proper Islamic character even during frustrating situations.

Amr Khalid: Quran Stories - Episode 7

We follow the Prophet Moosa Peace Be Upon Him as he flees from Egypt and heads to Madyan. Part 1 of the Madyan story. I was awestruck with the location filmings in this episode, I wanna go and see =(

Amr Khalid: Quran Stories - Episode 7

Nouman Ali Khan - The Best Friend Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH)

This is the 8th episode in the series. I couldn't find the 9th episode, sorry guys =(
Allah only chooses the best and so He chose Prophet Ibrahim as His friend. Br. Nouman Ali Khan shows us his character with Allah and brings out the lessons for us to learn from.

Friday, August 28, 2009

In the Shade of Ramadan 2009 - Episode 6 Importance of Islamic Manners

Jamal Diwan explains why observing the proper Islamic characteristics is so important in our dealings with one another.

Amr Khalid: Quran Stories - Episode 6

The sixth episode in the series. We learn of the events that forced Prophet Moses Peace Be Upon him to flee from the city he grew up in, and draw the lesson of the importance of making good decisions in our life on our own.

Amr Khalid: Quran Stories - Episode 6

Nouman Ali Khan - Righteous Company

This is the 7th episode in the series.

Brother Nouman discusses the results of taking friends other than the righteous slaves of Allah.
And no this does not refer to non-muslims, but to muslims and inanimate objects as well. Super amazing lecture, must watch.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

In the Shade of Ramadan 2009 - Episode 5 Why the Heart?

Munir Qtaish of the importance of the heart in it's multiple functions. He urges us to take advantage of Ramadan by focussing on our hearts during this blessed month.
I think about this point quite a lot, the purity of the heart. What's the point of doing anything at all when you're heart is not in it? Let alone Islamic duties when you're just following rules like robots and not understanding why you are doing what you are doing. One of the ways to gain sincerity in my opinion is to gain more knowledge, to understand Islam purely.

Amr Khalid: Quran Stories - Episode 5

In this episode, we are walked through the childhood of Prophet Moses Peace Be Upon him, and the influences that molded him into the incredible leader he grew up to be.

Amr Khalid: Quran Stories - Episode 5

Nouman Ali Khan - Characteristics of the people of Jannah

This is the fifth lecture and the series.

Br. Nouman Ali Khan discusses Ayahs 133-136 of Surah Ale 'Imran, where Allah describes the ones who have attained the Ultimate reward: Jannah.
I think this might be my favorite lecture from the series.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

In the Shade of Ramadan 2009 - Episode 4 "Read!"

Dr. Imad reflects on moments with the messenger of Allah, Mohammad (pbuh). He draws lessons from the first revelation of the Quran, when Mohammd (pbuh) was told to "Read!"

All I could say after watching this episode is Al 7amdullilah for this blessing =)

Amr Khalid: Quran Stories - Episode 4

This episode really tore at my heart strings lol. I never considered in depth the feelings and emotions Prophet Moosa's mother felt as she placed her new born baby in a river, not knowing what will happen to him ... =(

However, Allah promised her that he will be back in her arms, and Subhan Allah He kept to his promise. This ties with the lesson being delivered in the episode: El Twakol 3ala Allah (not sure how to translate this to English ... anyone got any suggestions?) It made me smile so much in the end, how in the end Allah kept to His promise. Allah keeps to all of His promises, but most people don't realize or understand the significance of that.

Amr Khalid: Quran Stories - Episode 4

Nouman Ali Khan - Justice vs Forgiveness

This is the fourth lecture in the series by Nouman Ali Khan. He continues from a point he touched upon in the third lecture Conflict Resolution: the comparison of Justice to Forgiveness.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

In the Shade of Ramadan 2009 - Episode 3 The Importance of This World

Very nice reflections in this episode for us to consider closely during Ramadan to make better our lives =)
Khaled Bahijri draws lessons from a parable in the Quran to remind us of the importance of the life of this world in comparison to the life of the hereafter.

Amr Khalid: Quran Stories - Episode 3

Continuation of the story of Prophet Moses Peace Be Upon Him.

Haven't had time to watch it so can't comment on it yet =(

Amr Khalid: Quran Stories - Episode 3

Nouman Ali Khan - Conflict Resolution

Nouman is the founder and CEO of Bayyinah, as well as the lead instructor for a number of Bayyinah courses including the 'Fundamentals of Classical Arabic' and 'Divine Speech'. His first exposure to Arabic study was in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia where he completed his elementary education. He continued Arabic grammar study in Pakistan, where he received a scholarship for ranking among the top 10 scores in the national Arabic studies board examinations in 1993. But his serious training in Arabic began in the United States in 1999 under Dr. Abdus-Samie, founder and formal principal of Quran College, Faisalabad, Pakistan who happened to be touring the US for intensive lectures in Tafsir and Arabic studies. Under Dr. Abdus-Samie, Nouman developed a keen methodical understanding of Arabic grammar. He further benefited from Dr. Abdus-Samie by internalizing his unique teaching methods and later translating his work into English for the benefit of his own students. Nouman served as professor of Arabic at Nassau Community College until '06 and has taught Modern Standard and Classical Arabic at various venues for nearly 7 years with over 10,000 students nationwide. Currently he has dedicated himself to a seven-year-long project, of conducting a linguistic & literary focus Qur'anic Tafseer series in English. Recordings of sessions conducted so far can be downloaded at

When I was first exposed to Nouman Ali Khan, I was quite impressed with his hold of the Arabic language, and how he was able to communicate directly the Tafseer of the Arabic Quran into English very clearly. His style of talking is laid back, and really logical as it speaks to the current day and age.

I haven't listened to any of his Tafseer sessions that are avalilable on bayyinah yet, so not sure how good they are ... however am pretty confident they are =P

Back in 2007, Nouman conducted a series of lectures after Taraweeh prayers where he would read particular ayat from the Quran then explain them elaborately. Only half of them have been uploaded to the web. I tried searching for the entire series but to no avail =( This is quite unfortunate as I really wanted to listen to the rest of the lectures in the series.

Anyways this is the third episode (couldn't find the first or second xD). Audio is not top notch, but you can hear him speak clearly. Enjoy!

In the Shade of Ramadan 2009 - Episode 2 Al Hadi (The Supreme Guide)

Sorry for not sharing this episode yesterday. Here's an overview of the second episode

Muslema Purmul reflects of one of the Names of Allah, Al-Hadi (The Supreme Guide). She reminds us of lessons that can be learned from this beautiful quality of our Creator.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Amr Khalid: Quran Stories - Episode 2

This episode was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.

I applaud Amr Khalid, as well as his team for the effort that they put into making this show.

In the second episode, the story of Prophet Moosa Peace Be Upon Him is continued. However, before delving any deeper into the story, we are taken back to the time of Prophet Yusuf (Joseph) Peace Be Upon Him. Prophet Moosa is the great grandchild of Prophet Yaqoob (Jacob) Peace Be Upon them both, and we are shown their family tree. Amr Khalid then explains what happened to reduce the children of Israel (who is Yaqoob Peace Be Upon Him) from their high status during the time of Prophet Yusuf, to being slaves during the time of Prophet Moosa Peace Be Upon Them Both.

I've heard this story so many times in my life, but I learnt new information today. I loved how the history of what happened was explained to us, and I did some research and reading after watching the episode to learn more about the Hyksos. They are the group of people whom ruled Egypt during the time of Prophet Yusuf Peace Be Upon Him.

I also came across this rather interesting article regarding the number of Pharohs from the Quranic Prespective. Kinda related to the topic I guess xD

Finally, I loved the moral that was delivered in the show. In our current world, it's hard dealing with justice, since there is more injustice this world than justice lol. May Allah forgive us all for what's happening on the surface of this planet.

I won't embed the video here, but provide a link to it in YouYube in HD.

Amr Khlaid: Quran Stories - Part 2

Yusuf Estes - Why Should We Believe in God?

Another incredible lecture from this Texan Grandpa. I can totally imagine him jumping up and yelling "Yeeha!" xD This video is part of a Malaysian tour the Sheikh did last year, there are many more incredible lectures from the tour that I am yet to share. Also many more I am yet to watch myself. This particular lecture takes place in the Kuala Lumpur Islamic Studies Academy.

I noticed that he gets asked the Hijab and Beard question in every single lecture of his I've watched so far. It's pretty much the same answer, but worth listening to coz he sometimes elaborates with more points.

The lecture has two parts to it, I'll include the playlist to both. Enjoy it as much as I did =)

YouTube Playlist: Yusuf Estes - Why Should We Believe in God? Part 1

YouTube Playlist: Yusuf Estes - Why Should We Believe in God? Part 2

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Makkah Salaat Al Witr and Dua Al Qunoot 1430. 1st Night - 21st Aug 2009 - Sheikh Abdur Rahman As Sudais

Memories of watching this with my Mother is flooding through me at the moment (like it always does when I watch any video showing Ramadan Night Prayers in Maka) Been four years since the last time I spent Ramdan with my family. Is feeling so nostalgic now lol.

Ameen to the Dua.

In the Shade of Ramadan 2009 - Episode 1 Welcoming Ramadan with Change

Another new part to a wonderful Ramadan series: In the Shade of Ramadan 2009. Here is a description of the first episode
Dr. Imad welcomes the blessed month of Ramadan and shares some insight and tips on changing ourselves for the better during this holy month
I loved what he spoke about, and I whole heartedly agree with him =) Change is extremely hard, but once you take that first nasty step, Subhan Allah you will wonder why you didn't take it sooner.

I'll share each new espisode of the series here as well throughout Ramadan.

Amr Khalid: Quran Stories - Episode 1

Part 2 of Amr Khalid's show from last Ramdan (Quran Stories) !

I super enjoyed this show from last Ramadan (I watched it on YouTube a couple of months ago though, not during Ramadan). I love stories so much, especially from the Quran because they all have morals and lessons we can learn and reflect on. There is an aya in the Quran that says each person can find their archetypes in these stories.

An archetype is an original model of a person, ideal example, or a prototype after which others are copied, patterned, or emulated; a symbol universally recognized by all. In psychology, an archetype is a model of a person, personality, or behavior.

In the analysis of personality, the term archetype is often broadly used to refer to

  1. a stereotype -- personality type observed multiple times, especially an oversimplification of such a type; or
  2. an epitome -- personality type exemplified, especially the "greatest" such examples.
I still don't know who I am though lol. I hope I'll realize it one day.

Here's the link to the first episode in HD. Amr Khalid starts out by reflecting on the importance of Ramdan to us Muslims, then he relates the story of Prophet Moses Peace Be Upon Him.

The first thing I noticed about the show this year is the incredible effort at relating the stories to your minds eye by the use of animation as well as telling the story at the location of where it occurred rather than just sitting in a studio. Quite cool.

I'll post the link to each episode on here everyday.

Amr Khalid: Quran Stories - Episode 1

Amazing Revert Story

An Aussie chap speaks about how he went from being an Atheist to a Muslim.

Pretty funny story hehe.

YouTube Playlist: Amazing Revert Story

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Yusuf Estes - Discovering Ramdan

I've got so many lectures of this Sheikh that I want to share, but I'll take it one step at a time rather than flooding this place. This lecture takes place in New Zealand!

The Sheikh talks about his discovery of what Ramadan is during his first month of it after coming to Islam, and he ties it with how alot of Muslims are yet to discover Ramadan themselves. My favourite part of the lecture is when he talks about what Taqwa really is, and how Ramadan is a chance for us to increase our Taqwa.

I thought it would be a nice lecture to share, what with we are still in the first day of Ramadan and so still have the chance to achieve our best during it =)

Btw, the Sheikh looks so adorable with the green sweater worn on top of the Thowb xD

YouTube Playlist: Yusuf Estes - Discovering Ramadan

Friday, August 21, 2009

Ramadan Kareem

Ramdan is here =D I hope it will be a blessed one for all muslims around the world. May Allah accept our fasting, prayers and good deeds throughout the month, and forgive all of our sins. Ameen.

I'll write up what Ramadan means to me, and I hope it will inspire even a single person out there to live this Blessed Month to it's fullest. Excuse me if I have a preaching tone at any point xD That is not my intention, my intention is to share.

Abu Huraira related that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: Whoever fasts during Ramadan with faith and seeking his reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven. Whoever prays during the nights in Ramadan with faith and seeking his reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven. And he who passes Lailat al-Qadr in prayer with faith and seeking his reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven (Bukhari, Muslim).

Every single one of us is truley blessed by Allah, for he has given us the chance to live to another Ramadan. Don't waste this opportunity. This is the month when the door to Paradise is open to mankind, and we can all work our way towards it, inshaAllah.

Living our lives out on this Earth, we come to forget that one day we are going to die. It does not matter what religion you are, if you believe in a god or not, death is certain to every single human being. What's sad is that we do not work for our death, we are instead stuck in this world working super hard for it, while it is nothing compared to what Allah has for us in the next life: Paradise. I used to be one of those persons, and am slowly coming to realize just how big a deal this is.

We worry about the Dunya (life on Earth) saying that we can skip a prayer today no problem, or it's ok to do such a sin it's only minor and after all Allah is forgiving. It doesn't work that way. Allah is indeed forgiving, but only to those who deserve it. How do you know you deserve it? You don't, and neither do I know. Our best deal is to do our best on this Earth in terms of what Allah wants, not what we want. That's what being a muslim means, total submission to Allah's will.

In arabic, a human being is called an "insan". The root of the word translates to forget, and that is what a human is, a forgetful creature. We forgot our main purpose to be put on this Earth, and that is to perform Ibada to Allah. I did not use the word (Worship) in place of (Ibada) because that's not really the correct term to use. Ibada does indeed include worshiping Allah by Salah and reading Quran, but it translates into wider circles. The way you eat can be an Ibada if you do it right. The way you wake up can be an Ibada if you do it right. They way you study can be an Ibada if you do it right.

So this Ramadan, cut out all the bad habits in your life and replace them with Ibadas please. I am not going to watch a single soap opera, instead I will read and/or watch articles related to Islam (and spam it here inshaAllah =P) I will increase my Thikr and Tasbeeh of Allah, and increase my reading of Quran, especially after Witr prayer. I will also pray Taraweeh as well, and increase my overall kushu'. InshaAllah, with the will of Allah.

Think of what you want to achieve this month. Even write a list of things you can make Dua to Allah for.

Abu Huraira related that the Prophet said: Allah the Majestic and Exalted said: "Every deed of man will receive ten to 700 times reward, except Siyam (fasting), for it is for Me and I shall reward it (as I like). There are two occasions of joy for one who fasts: one when he breaks the fast and the other when he will meet his Lord" (Muslim).

As you can notice from this Hadeeth, the reward of fasting is not set like the rewards of other deeds in this life. Instead, it comes from Allah and He will reward us with what He likes. Think about what this means. Imagine the rewards of fasting an entire day with complete kushu'.

Abu Huraira related that Rasulullah said: Many people who fast get nothing from their fast except hunger and thirst, and many people who pray at night get nothing from it except wakefulness (Darimi).
Don't be one of these. Try and understand the essence of this relegion, the concept of total submission to Allah, the concept of Ibada ... and you will most defiantly not be one of these people inshaAllah.

And am falling asleep xD This is way too late a time for me to be up, but I really wanted to write this post. I had a lot more to say, but I learnt today during a Web Usability lecture that generally web surfers hate long chunky pieces of text. They prefer short and concise sentences. I tried my best to deliver that and failed T_T But hey, at least it's not too bad.

Ramadan Kareem!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Yusuf Estes - The Beauty of Islam

Ok, enough with the Sulaiman Moola spamming =P I gots a new favourite Sheikh, and am probably gonna be spamming his videos on here in the upcoming days xD Sheikh Yusuf Estes.

First a little about him, the following are little text chunks from his official biography. If you wanna read the whole thing it's here

Sheik Yusuf Estes was born in the midwest United States 1944 to a religious Christian family. They to Houston, Texas in 1949 where he grew in the Disciples of Christ and was baptised into the church in 1956. Over the years he completed his studies in music and became a music teacher, well known entertainer and businessman and finally a music minister calling people to the Lord with his music and Bible.

During his business career he built up a chain of music stores and even had his own television series called the "Estes Music Jamboree". He and his father owned businesses and worked together in spreading religion and politics, all at the same time.

Although he had great wealth, Sheik Yusuf continued to seek the Lord while calling people to Jesus and Christian salvation.

His first encounter with a Muslim occured in 1991 when his father introduced him to a man from Egypt. When he discovered the man was a Muslim he began immediately trying to convert him to Jesus and join the church. However, the Muslim brought about a new understanding about the world's fastest growing religion and a real awakening to true Islam. While trying to convert the Muslim to Christianity Sheik Yusuf learned an important lesson about life, religion and God Almighty: You do not guide the one you love, but it is only God Almigthy Who Guides to His Way, whomever He Wills.

After three months of debates and dialogs with the Egyptian he watched as a Catholic priest friend of his, Father Peter Jacobs, accepted Islam and became a Muslim near Dallas, Texas. Then he, his father, his wife and children all became Muslims.

I came across a lecture of his today morning, called (The Beauty of Islam). The reason why I clicked on the video is because he reminded of my grandfather (may Allah have mercy on his soul) when I looked at the thumbnail image of the video. I kinda felt a bit of nostalgia, and hoped perhaps the old guy in the video would talk like my Hababu (what I used to call Grandpa). Well, I got what I kinda got what I hoped for and even more =D

The same sense of humor as my Hababu! I found myself smiling throughout most of the videos. Also the same method of intresting story telling way of explaining points, mashaAllah. The Sheikh starts out by telling us about the misconception some people have that if you are a pious muslim, life would be dandy all the time. That's not so at all. Allah said in the Holy Quran that he will test the muslims to see who is the truthful and has truly submitted to Allah's will from those who lie. The Sheikh explains this point to us using himself as an example, telling us what happened to him after the time he became a muslim (basically, he lost everything).

I urge you to watch the lecture, it's truly heart warming. And there is a beautiful surprise in the 7th video =P

YouTube Playlist: Yusuf Estes - The Beauty of Islam

(The first video's embbed feature has been disabled, sorry about not including the playlist videos here as well =( )

[Download] Tawfeeq As Sayegh Quran Recitation

Came across a website that offers impeccable quality mp3 files of all the Surahs in the Holy Quran, recited by my (current) favorite reciter: Tawfeeq As Sayegh.

Here are two samples, Surat al Layl and Surat al Inshiqaaq .


Here is the website (is in arabic) --> CLICK!

Perfect opportunity to download the files and put them on your mp3 players for Ramadhan =) (and beyond =P)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

[Quran Recitation] Moutasem al-Hameedi - Surat Al Baqarah {Verses 145 - 157}

Inshallah the following verses will calm your hearts like it just calmed mine. Listen to it intently.

[Quran Recitation] Surat Fatir {Verses 27-28}

A nice compilation of images/videos along with verses from Surah Fatir to make you look deeper into the world around you.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

[Quran Recitation] Tawfeeq As Sayegh - Surat A'raaf {Verses 1 - 34}

Very beautiful recitation of powerful ayat from Surat Al A'raf.

Subhan Allah.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sulaiman Moola - Fasting and Taqwa

Another awesome lecture from my favorite Sheikh. In light of the holy month fast approaching, this lecture relates to fasting. He doesn't really tell you in it how to build up your taqwa, or how to fast poperly as a series of instructions, more like uses stories and ayat from the Holy Quran to make us understand the essence of this month. There are three parts (videos) to the lecture. Enjoy!

YouTube Playlist: Sulaiman Moola - Fasting and Taqwa

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Dr. Muhammad Salah - How to develop khushu'

Dr. Muhammad Salah is one of the well-know scholars in US
He lead the Islamic Center of Victoria, Texas and founded two Islamic and Arabic schools, Namely Iman Stems and the Muslim Generation.

He teaches at Al-Azhar University,Shariah Academy and London College.
He speaks Arabic and English fluently
He presents a famous TV program called Correct your recitation.

He obtained his BA in Shari'ah and Islamic Law from the University of Al-Azhar and BA in pharmacology.
He obtained a four-year diploma in Muslim arts and Arabic calligraphy
He obtained the pre-master diploma in Islamic studies from the American Open University.
The following episodes are taken from a series on Huda TV called (The Prophet's Prayer) and it Dr. Muhammad Salah discusses Islamic prayer, and issues related to it. The complete series is available on youtube for those interested. However in this post I will only share episodes that deals with quite a crucial part of a Muslim's prayer and that is khushu'.

In order for Allah Subhanho wa Tala to be pleased with a prayer and to accept it, one must be in complete khushu', meaning their mind must be focusing on Allah and the prayer only, because basically as we pray we are between the hands of Allah, and how would it look like if we are communicating with Him with no reverence or consciousness? Pretty rude I'll say xD

The following four episodes explain what exactly is khushu' and how one might develop in it in their prayer. I've embedded a youtube playlist that includes them all (this is the first time I've come across this youtube feauture. You can scroll through the episodes either mb the arrow buttons on the side of the video area or click on the little icon that's on the right of the play button to see the list of videos invluded in the playlist) I've also linked the link to the playlist on youtube, incase you don't like the embedded playlist =P

Hope they enlighten you as much as they enlightened me.

YouTube Playlist: Dr. Muhammad Salah - How to develop khushu'

Saturday, August 15, 2009

[Quran Recitation] Tawfeeq As Sayegh - Surat A'raaf {Verses 35 - 34}

Absolutely beautiful recitation by Tawfiq As Sayegh of aya 35 to 54 from Surat Al A'raaf. I found my heart melting with the recitation, must listen.

For those whom are interested, you can find the English translation of the ayat read here. Scroll down to the appropriate aya (35). Unfortunately, a lot of the beauty of the words being said are lost with the limitations of the English language as well as the human mind in translating (no offense to both =P)

This is my explanation of the ayat coined together from different sources, and Allah knows best.

In the ayat, we come across some scenes that will happen during Youm el Qeeyama (Day of Resurrection), mainly conversations between different groups of people. Throughout the Quran, vivid description of Youm el Qeeyama is given to us, as well as of Paradise and of Fire and their people. This is to make our hearts yearn for Paradise, and be fearful of Fire. To be aware that our time on earth is not but a sigh of breath, and that our real goal is working for the hereafter.

Allah starts by addressing mankind, telling them that He did His part by sending them messengers with His signs and the truth. The people whom believed and made better themselves have no fear of what is to come. However, the people who rejected the message, and even scorned it have a portion of Fire waiting for them. Here's a rather beautiful description (at least in my opinion) where Allah describes destiny in the form of the book, and that (the wrong doers in this case) will receive their portion that is written in the book, i.e: their destiny of death (because we are all destined to die on this earth). Angels will descend on them at this point to take their soul and will ask them "Where are the things you used to worship besides Allah?" And they will answer "that they have left us and sworn upon themselves they they are kufar (disbelievers)", after it was all too late.

The disbelievers will be told to join the company of men and jinn whom have died before them and entered Fire. Every time a new nation of people enters Fire, they will curse their predecessors, because it was due to them being astray off the straight path that led to them being influenced in being astray as well. Once the last nation enters, they will cry out to Allah to give the very first nation double the torment they (the last nation) are receiving, since it was due to the first nation that all other nations were lead off the righteous path. Allah will tell them that for each there is double torment but they are not aware of that. The very first nation in Fire will speak to the very last nation and tell them that they (the last nation) are not any better than them (the first nation). They ended up in Fire as well and thus should taste the doom as well.

In the following aya, Allah again points out how vile the crime is of those who disbelieve His signs and scorn them, saying that the gates of heaven will not be opened to them nor will they ever enter paradise until a camel can pass through the eye of a needle! This is impossible , and hence Allah is saying that it is impossible for such disbelievers to enter Heaven and again it shows the absolute vileness of their crime. And thus, that is their reward: a bed of hell and folds of more Fire covering above them.

Then Allah goes on to describe the people on the straight path. He tells us that he does not burden a soul on this Earth except with what we can carry (therefore complaining that one cannot bear to live anymore due to problems is folly, Allah is testing you and you should be patient and work your way through it by having faith in Allah and remembering Him always). For those whom believe in Allah and his signs and do good on this Earth, they will be the people of Paradise, forever more in it.

Allah tells us that all ill feelings in their heart will be removed (from what I understand, vile feelings such as jealousy, greed, anger, etc) and rivers will be following from beneath their feet in Paradise. They will praise Allah, thanking him for what He has bestow upon them and that he had guided them on Earth towards Paradise in the Hereafter, for they know that they could not have been on the right path had Allah not guided them towards it, acknowledging as well the truthfulness of Allah's Prophets. The dwellers of Paradise will be told: this (Paradise) if for you, you have earned it with what you have done on Earth.

The people of Paradise will call upon the people of Fire, saying that "We have found exactly what our Lord has promised, so have you have found what your Lord has promised?" The people of fire will answer simply "Yes". And then a caller will call from between them that curse of Allah is upon the evil-doers (this aya really gave me goosebumps, the whole idea of having Allah's curse upon one's self ... Allah keeps it away from all of us)

Again, the evil-doers are described, this time as being those who bar people from the straight path of Allah and instead make it crooked (I guess the people being described her are those who influence people from their path of righteousness, whether with wrong advises in terms of religion, or because they do not want them to practice it) and they also do not believe in Judgment Day.

In the following aya, Allah describes the People of A'raaf. A'raaf in Arabic means heights. I'll paste the English translation of the ayat then explain it as per what I have learnt from my research today

Between them is a veil. And on the Heights are men who know them all by their marks. And they call unto the dwellers of the Garden: Peace be unto you! They enter it not although they hope (to enter).

And when their eyes are turned toward the dwellers of the Fire, they say: Our Lord! Place us not with the wrong-doing folk.

The Heights are the veil, and it's probably a wall (due to it being decribed as Heights) right in the middle between Paradise and Fire, and on them will be men whom can recognize the dwellers of Paradise and Fire by the mark on their face. With the people of Paradise, a light will be shining from their faces, while with the people of Fire, their faces will be blackened by the black fire in which they dwell in.

These people on the Heights are the People of A'raaf, and they are men whom their good deeds and bad deeds are equal. One of the Scholar saids that they are also Muslims whom went out to Jihad in Allah's sake without the permission of their parents, and were killed during it. Because they disobeyed their parents, they can't enter Paradise, but because they died for the sake of Allah, they can't enter Fire. They sit on the height throughout Judgment Day, watching the people as they enter Paradise and as they enter Fire, asking Allah and praying to him that will be able to enter Paradise, and that he would keep them away from Fire. They give their Salam (peace) to the people of Paradise when their eyes look upon them, yearning to be among them. And when their eyes are turned towards the dwellers of Fire, they pray to Allah to not place them among them.

The People of the height will call upon wrong-doers that they recognize from the mark on their face, and will ask them "What benefits did your arrogant and haughty ways on Earth bring you now?" They are acknowledging the evil doings of those people.

Allah will bestow his mercy on the People of A'raaf, and they will be told to enter Paradise, and that they should hold no more fear in their hearts nor be sad anymore.

Here is another aya that gave me goosbumps as well, Allah describes to us the image of the people of Fire calling upon the people of Paradise to pour on them some water, or anything from what Allah has bestow upon them. The people of Fire will be so desperate to gain just anything from Paradise to relive them of their torment. But the people of Paradise will tell them "Allah has forbidden these upon you" and hence will not give them what they want, for they are the ones who took Allah's religion as an amusing game, and instead immersed themselves in the pleasures of the Earth, being deceived by it in the end. They forgot Allah on Earth and their meeting with him on Judgment Day and rejected His signs, and hence Allah will forget them for the rest of their days in Fire.

These people do not enter fire with no accountability. Allah has sent upon them scriptures, containing knowledge and mercy in order to guide those who believe. Instead, the people of Fire chose to ignore the scriptures and signs, and hence they gained their place. They chose to wait, to see if the relevations brought by the Prophets are true, but when the relevation that they have ignored does become true, and they see their place in Fire, it's too late for them to do anything. They try and ask if anyone could intercede for them and plea on their behalf to save them for Fire, or if they could be sent back to their life on Earth to do good instead of the bad they previously did. Allah is drawing an image for us of the desperation of these people when they realize what's going to happen to them: they ask for the impossible (not in terms of Allah's abilities, but in terms of what they want). They have doomed themselves, and all the haughtiness and false ideas they had in life will dissolve.

In the final aya featured in the video, Allah asserts Himself as the lord of all creation; He who created the Heavens and the Earth in 6 days then established Himself on His Throne. He created the night and the day, and in the aya He describes each as being in a never ending pursuit of the other. He created the Sun, the Moon and the stars, and they are governed by laws He has created and put them under. To Him alone does the creation and command belong. Glorious is Allah, the Lord of all the worlds (this might refer to the seeing world and the unseen world, or that literally there are other worlds out in space. Scientists have rule that their being other "Earths" out there as possible)


In another light that's kinda related but not exactly, I came across a poem called (Al Araaf) written by Edgar Allen Poe while researching! It's based on Surat al A'raaf from the Quran.

It's the longest poem written by the poet. For more about the poem, click here, and for the actual poem, click here.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Interview with Former Bad boy Rap Artist Loon who accepted Islam

Subhan Allah ... May Allah bless him.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Amir Sulaiman - She Said I Prefer A Broken Neck

Ok, so this post does not feature a video by a Muslim Scholar, but it features a video by a Muslim Poet.

Amir Sulaiman's poem is amazing. I've lost the number of times I've listened to his performance. It brought tears to my eyes the first time I heard it. To me, the poem speaks on an issue Muslim women, as well as women in general face: dealing with a broken heart.

I once heared a Scholar say that women, as a creation, where given a small portion of the rahma that Allah Subhano wa Talla has on mankind. Rahma is kind of hard to translate to English completely. As a word, it basically means mercy. But it doesn't only entail that. Rahma is when a mother runs to her child, her heart in her throat, after she hears him give out a scream of pain. Rahma is when a sister spends all her money buying her little siblings a present instead of spending the money on herself. Rahma is when a daughter tells her mother to sit down and rest, and that she will do the chores instead, even though she is more tired. Rahma is when a daughter kisses her father's forehead after an argument, and asks his forgiveness, even if the father was in the wrong. Rahma is when a wife asks about the wellbeing of her husband behind his back just to make sure that he is ok, even though they are currently having a fight and are separated.

It isn't just mercy, it's a compassionate feeling that is a part of every women. However, as per what the Scholar said, the experiences a woman goes through in life could erode this rahma, making it disappear slowly day by day till there is nothing left. Emotional pain, not physical pain. He warned men of being a hand in the erosion of a woman's rahma, playing with their emotions. Can you imagine a mother with no compassion for her children, no heart warming smile for them? That scares me lol

So when the girl in the poem says that she prefers a broken neck to another broken heart, I get what she means. Love is more important to her than having a lover. But then, he tells her that it's true that the experiences she might go through is bloody and rough, even the beautiful experience of giving birth leaves a scar on a woman. In life, we go through the rough times but there is always, and I mean ALWAYS light at the end of the tunnel. We may not see it now, we may instead experience pain and gain scars, but one day it won't matter because we will gain absolute happiness and peace, whether it is in this life or the hereafter, by Allah's will.

"…It may be that you hate something when it is good for you and it may be that you love something when it is bad for you. Allah knows and you do not know." (Surat al-Baqara: 216)

However, the part that brought tears to my eyes is when he spoke of his mother. What she did for them, how she cared, and that what he remembered of his childhood was not poverty, but her rahma. It is because of this, he was brought up in a way understanding why a woman would prefer a broken neck to a broken heart.

"But when I think about my childhood, I don't think about poverty
I remember how she hugged me, kissed me, taught me, loved me.
And I know you prefer a broken neck to another broken heart
Broken parts that litter the night sky like stars.
But remember, even the beauty of birth leaves its own scars
And know that you will find your home, right where you are
We will find our homes right where we are."

The energy and compassion that is poured out to someone that is loved by a woman is unlike any force on this earth, and when that someone hurts them ... well i guess you understand. And this is a tiny part of Allah's rahma created within a woman. The Scholar said that if you want to understand the rahma of Allah, watch a mother with her child.

Hope what I am trying to say makes sense lol. Ahh ... I adore this poem xD

Dr. Imad Bayoun - Optimism

Dr. Imad Bayoun is widely recognized for his commitment to religious education, especially among the youth. As a lecturer for the Muslim American Society (MAS: a religious, social, cultural and educational, not-for-profit organization) and as a council member of the MAS-Inland Empire chapter, Bayoun spends most of his free time teaching others about Islam. His unique way of speaking talking to the heart has inspired many. Bayoun was born in Beirut, Lebanon, and came to the United States in 1989. He currently resides in Riverside and works as an entomologist, employed as the Insectary and Quarantine Officer at the University of California at Riverside.

Here are two short lectures given by the Dr. revolving around the topic of Optimism. It made me think at the end of it "Where exactly does happiness come from?"

Optimism in life leads to positive energy, which leads to happiness. I always thought my happiness lies in the things that surround me to be honest. My family, my accomplishments, my friends. Not so much material things though I never really had an incredible interest in them, it was more like if I had something then YAY! ... and if I don't then YAY! as well. It didn't matter to me.

But the human beings in my life, family and friends as well as making something of my life, these used to drive me insane at times and bring me incredible joy at other times. If something did not go according to what I had hoped, it would affect me really badly, if someone spoke to me in a way that hurt me, it would bring me down to rockbottom. And this was really taking a toll on me. I thought these were the things that define a blessed life.

But right now, talking about how I used to be, it seems so alien to me. I guess I am beginning to realize the importance of faith in Allah, optimism when viewing my surrounding and contentment with all that I have. That's where I find true peace, and hence joy.

It's hard to describe it .. the feeling. Its almost like you see a certain shade of blue and everyday you look at it, it's the same color. If anyone asks you what shade of blue it is, you confidently answer them. But then one day, when you actually scrutinize it closely, you realize it was infact a different shade of blue, not the one you thought it was all this time! The veil over your eyes that was telling you it's the wrong shade of blue is gone.

By no means am I totally enlightened yet =P Still got more to learn and understand. Al HamduLillah.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Moutasem al Hameedi - Trials & Tribulations in Life

The recitation of this Sheikh is quite different, something new to my ears. It's like he is following a tune.

In this short video, the Sheikh reads some ayat from Surat Al 'Ankaboot (The Sura of the Spider) that realte to the trials and tribulations in the life of a human being and how the reaction of someone with pure Iman is different to others. The Sheikh gives a nice explanation of the Ayat, short and to the point.

I came across this video as well, called Mount Iman. It's clips of different Scholars whom are going to attend an Islamic summit called Mount Iman. It does not revolve around a single topic, However, the things mentioned in the video resonate so true. I will search for the seminars that were previewed in this video. I hope I find them xD

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sulaiman Moola - The ideal role model Prophet Mohammed (PBUH)

Another video from one of my favourite Sheikhs. In this one, he touches upon the life of the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) and how he was molded as a role model for muslims across generations.

It amuses me how the Sheikh begins with one topic, then kinda soldiers on to another and another without completly delivering the idea, then moves backwards to complete each one with so much enthusiasm. It's kinda like when you are Wiki surfing, you open one article and before finishing it open another in a tabbed window, then open yet another and another, and THEN you move backwards reading each article completely till you reach the initial one, reading that completely as well.

Daily Jewish Prayer & Submission

Came across this pretty interesting video of a jewish prayer. Apparently the practice of kneeling bowing the head to the ground stopped becoming a daily part of jewish prayer, most don't even know it was actually a part of the prayer custom.

This is the comment from the uploader on youtube

In our days there are not many Jews who still kneel and bow during regular daily prayer. A noticable number of Orthodox Ashkenazi Jews do bow to the ground during Yom haKipurim and Rosh haShana. Most Jews are not even aware that such is the historical practice of the Jewish people to kneel and prostrate during regular daily prayer. Therefore, be prepared that if you kneel or prostrate in most synagogues, you are sure to get reactions of surprise. They may or may not be encouraging reactions. Nonetheless, so long as you are still able to concentrate properly while praying and are willing to endure the possible consequences of bowing and prostrating in public, I only encourage you to do so. It is a shame to fear men more than the Most High. How can bowing or prostrating be a sign of arrogance, especially when you know people may look upon you negatively for doing so? Rather, it is an expression of humility and submission to the Almighty.
There uploader wrote alot more, I suggest you click on the video's link and have a read of the entire comment. The following two quotes (which is from this website that the uploader shared in his comment as well) are intriguing

"Now when Daniel knew that the document was signed, he went into his house; Now in his roof chamber he had windows open toward Jerusalem; and he continued kneeling on his knees three times every day, making requests and giving thanks before his G-d, AS HE HAD BEEN DOING BEFORE..." Daniel 6:11-14 [10-13]

"As for me, I shall call unto the All-powerful Authority, and the ALL-TRANSCENDENT One will save me. Evening, morning, and noon, I shall make supplication and moan; and He has heard my voice." Psalm 55:17-18
And here is the video showing the jewish prayer. Now where have you seen something similar to this before =P

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Sulaiman Moola - Depression Vs Contentment

Sheikh Sulaiman completed his Hifzul Qur'aan at the age of 14 in the year 1989, thereafter continued his studies for 7 years in the field of Tafseer, Hadeeth, Fiqh, Aqaaid, & the Arabic language. Sheikh is presently a Lecturer/Ustaadh in Johannesburg / South Africa where he resides with his family.

Alhamdulillah by the grace of Allah his travels & lectures have been a means of great inspiration to many across the globe.

Mashallah, incredible speaker! I was pulled into the lecture with the way the Sheikh shared ideas in a straightforward and crystal clear way, as well as his awesome humor lol. The lecture brought the biggest smile to my face. It's not necessary for you to be "depressed" to listen to it, a wide array of topics is covered all tied in the end to being content with life =) It's defendantly a must must must watch, deep reflection and offers food for thought.


Bism'Allah al Rahman al Raheem

Gonna share videos I come across that speaks of the beauty of my religion: Islam.

Like many people out there, my concentration span is pretty short, therefore lecture videos that actually catch my attention indicates that the speaker and/or topics being covered is pretty good!

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