Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Example of Fitrah

Check out this adorable little baby and how listens to the recitation of the Quran, mashaAllah mashaAllah. To me, the video is an example of Fitrah where the baby is able to recognize the words that are being spoken (by his attention being caught). Children are such pure and innocent creatures, their souls still not stained by the temptations of the world ... oh how I love them <3

Monday, December 21, 2009

Funny story told by Saudi Sheikh Areefi

I provided a translation of what the Sheikh is saying in the video. Basically imagine that it is him talking. Another point is that when I say the word Prayer, I mean performing Salah. Video is kinda funnier in Arabic coz the Shiekh does voice impressions as he tells the story xD


I remember, a while ago, I was giving a few lectures in Jordan. So I sat in a gathering and I spoke a little about Prayer (Salah). There was an old Jordanian man in this gathering, his age was about 70.

He said to me “Sheikh”.

I turned to him and said “Yes?”

He said to me “I would like to tell you my story with Prayer”

I don’t remember ever coming across anyone before that had a story to do with Prayer. People have stories with a job, stories with ladies they fell in love with … but a story with Prayer? “You have a story with Prayer?” I said to the old man.

“Yes ya Zalameh (Zalameh translates to Man. People in Shaami countries sometimes use it when talking to each other) what are you saying? I told you I have a story with Prayer”

“Ok, don’t get irked. Tell me your story with Prayer.”

“Sheikh, when I was a young man, I was not a very good person: I was rotten. However, I used to Pray. All my bad friends would not Pray, I was the only one amongst them who did. So I entered a Masjid once in order to Pray, and as I lifted my eyes to perform the Takbeera, I saw infront of me written on the wall a Hadeeth of the Prophet Peace Be Upon Him that said: ‘Whomever his Prayer would not stop him performing Fahshaa and Munkar (Sinful deeds), he has no Prayer (i.e.: the Prayer is not accepted with Allah)’ ”

This Hadeeth, by the way, is weak. The old man continues:

“I thought to myself ‘what in the world is this?’ I have no Prayer …? My Prayer does not stop me from sinning so that means I have no Prayer … so what am I Praying for then!? You know what, I will not Pray anymore!’”

--The Sheikh pauses and smiles at the audience--

Instead of thinking “I will not sin anymore so that my Prayer can be accepted by Allah” the old man thought “I will not Pray anymore so that my sins be accepted” ! Look at how Iblees (Devil) plays with people! The old man continues:

“And so, Sheikh, for 10 years of my life after this incident I did not Pray a single Prayer … what is the point of me Praying when I have no Prayer? I was invited to a party at one point after all this time passed, and there was a Saudi man there from Jeddah. And there were so many people in the boisterous party, doing who knows what. The Jeddah man sat next to me, and we both began drinking together. The Jeddah man asked me, and we were drunk at this point: ‘Where is your girlfriend?’

I told him: ‘I don’t have a girlfriend.’

‘How come? Don’t you do Zina? (premarital sex)’

‘No, I don’t do Zina.’

‘Why not?’

‘I don’t want to that’s all!’

‘Well … if you don’t do Zina then why don’t you Pray?’”

Remember, this is them talking to each other and they are drunk. Subhan Allah, sometimes wisdom comes from the most unlikely sources. The old man continues:

“I said to the Jeddah man: ‘I don’t Pray because, look at me, I drink’

‘Listen to me man’ the Jeddah man said ‘Us human beings, we have ropes between us and our Lord of the Worlds. A rope called [Being good to Parents]. A rope called [Reading the Quran]. A rope called [Giving Charity]. A rope called [Prayer]. When you are not good to your parents, you come to the first rope and you cut it. When you don’t read Quran, you come to the second rope and you cut it. When you don’t give charity, you come to the third rope and cut it. Dude, keep the last rope [Prayer] between you and our Lord of the Worlds intact, it might come in handy to you someday!’”

This is them and they are drunk, one of them telling the other to keep the Prayer rope intact incase he needs it later. The old man continues:

“As the Jeddah man finished talking, I thought to myself ‘What he is saying is truly right …’ I stood up, left the party, went home, washed myself and Prayed Maghrib and Ishaa. And since that day I have never left a single Prayer!”

And the reward of bringing the old man back to the righteous path is given to whom? –Sheikh pauses and smiles again—This is one of the benefits of alcohol by the way, because as it says in the Quran (In them there is great harm and also benefit to people).

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Icky toilets

Have you ever entered a toilet in a Muslim country and found yourself on the verge of collapsing from the horror of the sight that is before? I know, I know ... I have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach just thinking about it and I apologize if I caused any more sick feelings in the pit of stomachs out there. However, this is a very important subject in Islam. Cleanliness in Islam is VERY important. That is why we perform the Wudu before prayer, and we purify ourselves with water after certain acts we do as human beings.

Yet, I can't help but be amazed (and I don't mean amazed in a good way) at the way some toilets are used by Muslims. It's horrible, it's disgusting and it's sick. Do they not know that putting harm in a person's way is a sin? Do they not know the etiquette that has been taught to us by our Prophet Peace Be Upon Him when going to the toilet? Do they not know how important it is to be clean and pure?

Even going to the toilet can be a way of getting 7asanat (good deeds) if performed in the correct Islamic way, and yet can also end up being a saye2a (sin) when done in a wrong and harmful way.

Like I said in the previous post, Islam is more than just the 5 pillars (i.e: shahada, prayer, fast, zaka, hajj) but it encompasses every aspect of the life, even going to the toilet! The following video elaborates more on the topic. I apologize if anyone found this post and/or the video a bit icky, but it truly is a problem that needs to be addressed. InshaAllah people will begin realizing just how important this topic is, and teach themselves as well as their children the proper way of using toilets.

Been to Hajj and back again

Salam Alekoum readers out there!

It's been a long while, has it not? =P I am back home right now, been home for more than a month so far and I must say already itching for work xD Initially I wanted a holiday until February but that's just too long I am already starting to feel bored and want to be able to do something worthwhile with my time (along with the other things I do like reading, drawing, cooking, etc)

One incredible thing that did happen to me so far is that I went to Hajj =) It was not planned at all. I just walked in one day on my Mom and Dad discussing the idea of going to Hajj, they asked if I would like to come, I said YES! and my Dad kinda banged his hand on the table in this hardcore way and went "Ok, we are going to Hajj this year!" I think this was like two weeks before Hajj, so we had a tiny amount of time to prepare ourselves. I felt so happy and so incredibly grateful for Allah blessing me with the chance to be going on this journey so easily and with no complications. Hamdullah, hamdullah, hamdullah!

The journey of Hajj in the means of 3ibada (worship) and doing the manasek (the different procedures) was so amazing. My favourite day was waqfat el 3arafa (Arafa) when we went to the mountain and all sat around out it in the different camps. On this day, from the time the sun rises, to the time the sun sets, all a person's sins can be forgiven with his Duaa to Allah. I took this day upon myself as a day I would contemplate all the blessings that I had in my life and thank Allah for them (or atleast I tried my best coz no matter how hard I try I will never be able to see all the blessings that have been bestowed on me), to ask for forgivness for the bad things I have done for my life, and finally to pray for myself as well as for my dear family and friends.

Seeing the Masjid el 7aram for the first time in my life really moved me to tears. I couldn't believe I was finally looking at it. And what was more amazing was the AMOUNT of people streaming towards it. The best way I can describe it is for you to imagine an ant mound, and thousands of tiny ants streaming towards it from every single direction. That's how the people were moving towards the Masjid for prayer. I couldn't believe the sheer number of humans I saw there, Subhan Allah, and we (My Mom, Dad and I) were just a speck in the stream as we became a part of it.

I saw people there of every race in the world during Hajj, faces that I have never seen the likes of before in my life. A nice activity to engage in is to sit somewhere where you can watch a crowd of people moving along, and remember the following verse from the Quran:

وَأَذِّن فِى ٱلنَّاسِ بِٱلۡحَجِّ يَأۡتُوكَ رِجَالاً۬ وَعَلَىٰ ڪُلِّ ضَامِرٍ۬ يَأۡتِينَ مِن كُلِّ فَجٍّ عَمِيقٍ۬

And proclaim unto mankind the pilgrimage. They will come unto thee on foot and on every lean camel; they will come from every deep ravine

(Surat Hajj, verse 27)

I must say though, there were a few scary moments during my time there. Due to the huge number of people, sometimes the crowds can get a little stiffling and it would kinda make me start hyperventilating coz I really do not like crowds and being in the middle of so many human beings. However, I kept repeating the Duaa (Allahuma yaser wa la tu3aser) (Oh my Lord, make it easy and dont make it hard) and hamdullah I was able to get through some really tough situations that I normally would not be able to go through. My father literally pulled me out of a crowd of people during Rami el Jamarat because I was getting pulled away from him by the stream lol. My elbow was really sore later on that day xD

Another thing that disappointed me is the behaviour of some Muslims in terms of throwing trash and even dealing with people. I was shocked at the amount of garbage in Meena, it was so bad it started to reek. Have they forgotten the ahadith of the Prophet Peace Be Upon Him dealing with keeping a place clean and beautiful as well as not throwing garbageon the ground. Also, the behaviour of some Muslims in terms of smashing into people when they are walking was really not cool. It seems that people forget that Islam is more than just the 5 pillars, but a whole way of life. All I can say is Allah yhdeena jamee3an inshaAllah.

I came back from Hajj feeling kind of a mix of emotions as a result of my experience there. I was sad due to the some of the behaviour and sights I saw there, but feeling incredibly happy that I was able to perform the journey and to have read so much Quran as well as Duaas in such a short number of days. I was terribly ill and so exhausted, and ended mostly sleeping during the next week after our return and recovering from a fever I had. However, looking back now on my time in Maka and the Hajj, I hope that Allah will grant me the chance to perform this journey again one day if He so wills it for me coz I really would love to go through it again, no matter how much of a Jihad it is.

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