LINEAGE OF OUR BELOVED PROPHET (pbuh) (Seerah X) Friday, Feb 23 2007 

What is Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)’s lineage? Arabs of the old were very preserving of their lineage. That is why if we open up the biography of any famous companion, we will find that his generation has been persevered sometimes up to 15-20 generations, the names of his fathers and forefathers all. Unfortunately, in our times it is not known.

As for our Prophet (pbuh), 21 of his forefathers’ names have been authentically preserved:

Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Abdulmuttalib ibn Hashim (banu hashim—founder of tribe) ibn Abdu Manaf ibn Qusai ibn Kilab ibn Murra Ibn Ka’ab ibn Lu’aie ibn Ghaalib ibn Fihar (he was Quraish so his descendants are known as Quraish, most respected tribe), Maalik ibn Nadhar ibn Kinana (famous person whom Prophet mentioned in a hadeeth) ibn Khuzaima ibn Mudrika ibn Ilyaas ibn Mudar ibn Nizaar ibn Ma’ad ibn Adnan (forefather of the vast majority of Arab tribes).

Even Imam Bukhari has this much lineage in his Saheeh. (more…)

Three Major Events before Prophet’s Birth (Seerah IX) Friday, Feb 23 2007 

DIGGING OF THE WELL

SACRIFICING ABDULLAH IBN ABDULMUTTALIB

INCIDENT OF ELEPHANTS (FEEL) 

We all know the famous story of Ismaeel’s (AS) mother when she was left alone in the dessert where she ran between Safa and Marwa and water came out. She said, ‘zamzam, which means ‘stop stop’. The complete narration is in Bukhari.

The last tribe to leave Arabia was the tribe of Jurhum. They had to leave because of a war, but before they left, they hid the well so their enemies wouldn’t find it.

So the well had been lost for years. Later, Abdul Muttalib saw a dream when he was taking his nap, 4 times in a row. A handsome man will appear and called him to ‘dig up’ with 4 different names (dig up that which is good, dig up that which is beneficial) finally ‘dig up zamzam’. So he knew what the dream was about.

Abdul Muttalib only had his son Haarith at that time. He started digging up with his son until he found the well. When he discovered the well, the first thing to come out of his mouth was, ‘Allah Akbar’ because he still believed in Allah. (more…)

Story of Heraculus & Benefits of Preceding Posts (Seerah VIII) Tuesday, Feb 20 2007 

Heraculus was the Emperor of Rome who was one of the few, if not the ONLY one, who was a Christian scholar. It was not common for the rulers to be learned in their religion.

He saw in a dream that a king has been sent, a ‘king of circumcised people’ as he narrated to his governors. His wazeer/governors comforted him that it must be Jews, because Jews circumcise but Christians don’t. They asked him that why doesn’t he send out a command for a mass-slaughter of all the Jews. So, right when he was about to send the command, Prophet Muhammad’s letter came to him (Prophet used to send out letters to kings and emperors inviting them to Islam). The first thing Heraculus asked was to check if the Messenger was circumcised. So they checked and he was. So then Hearculus said, “This is my dream not the Jews’.

Then he called for any Arab tribe that was passing by and it happened so that Abu Sufyaan’s caravan was passing by Rome. They were stopped and brought to Heraculus. He asked Abu Sufyaan many questions and signs and characteristics of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) (the complete narration is in Bukhari) and he concluded, ‘If what you are saying is true, this is the Prophet that has been promised. And if what you are saying is true then he shall conquer and control the very land under my feet (at that time he was in Jerusalem—and truly Muslims did conquer and controlled that land shortly after, and even the capitol of Roman Empire Constantinople was conquered—in our times it is Istanbul in Turkey). He also told Abu Sufyaan, “I knew that a prophet is about to appear. But I didn’t assume that he will be of your race.” (more…)

Salman Al-Farsi (radiAllahu anhu) (Seerah VII) Sunday, Feb 18 2007 

Reason behind narrating his story and next Heraculus’ story is to show that the people of the Book (Jews Christians) were not only aware of the coming of a new Prophet rather they were anxiously waiting for his appearance.

Story of Salman Al-Farsi: His complete story is narrated in Musnad Imam Ahmad.

He was very intriguing companion. He was a fire worshipper from Persia. His father was the caretaker of the church and his job was to make sure fire never burns out. Salman was responsible to keep the main fire lighten up all the time. Once Salman passed by a church and he was very intrigue by their religion. So, he accepted Christianity. When his father found out he was very upset, and tried every possible way to force him to revert back from Christianity, so much so that he locked Salman in his rooms, tied with chains. Salman managed to run away.

He joined a group of monks going towards Syria, the birth place of Christianity. There Salman dedicated himself at a place of a monk/hermit to the worship of Allah. Salman later narrated that this monk/hermit was a very evil person. He would gather people’s money and use it upon himself and hide it for himself. He wasn’t a pious worshipper of Allah. So when this monk died, Salman told people about him and showed his hidden treasure. Exactly what Allah said in Qur’an about most of the priests that they gather up the money:

“You who believe! Many of the rabbis and monks devour people’s property under false pretences and bar people from access to the Way of Allah. As for those who hoard up gold and silver and do not spend it in the Way of Allah, give them the news of a painful punishment.” (9:34) (more…)

STORIES OF AHNAAF (Seerah VI) Sunday, Feb 18 2007 

However, there were exceptions to the general rule that Meccans were mushrikeen (pagains). Not all the Arabs were upon shirk, very few, a very small minority rejected this shirk and refused to worship the idols. They were called the ‘haneefs’ or ‘hunafa’— meaning, ‘turned away’ and they had turned away form shirk and inclined themselves to only Allah.

Qis ibn Sa’aadah—famous poet who used to come to Meccan and warn Arabs against shirk. Once a year, all Arab tribes would get together, compete and boast and say their poetry to see who would be the best of them. Qis would come regularly and remind them of the Day of Judgment and used to warn them against their shirk. Prophet Muhammad saw him as a young child or a teenager (we don’t know the exact age). He (pbuh) remembered what Qis said very vaguely and after many many years later when the tribes of Qis came to give bay’ah (pledge) in Medina, he asked for Qis. Qis had died. So the Prophet asked his tribesmen to narrate of what Qis had said and when they narrated, Prophet (pbuh) approved of it.

Another incident narrated by Ibn Hishaam in his book of Seerah, was the incident of 4 men. One of the celebrations of Jahiliyya Arabs was when all tribesmen went out to celebrate to their gods, to do tawaf and sacrifice. During this event, 4 men stayed behind and realized that they had something in common. They agree with Arabs’ shirk. So they decided to stay close and become close friends. They realized that this was not the religion of Ibraheem but they didn’t know the truth either. So they decided to travel in search for truth and inform each other about what they found. These four men were:

Waraqa ibn Naufil

Obaidullah ibn Jahash

Uthman ibn alHowairith

Ziad ibn ‘amr ibn nufail (more…)

Raising my Daughter… Saturday, Feb 17 2007 

When I was growing up, I never had a close relationship with my mother. I could not approach her for every question/issue I had in mind, but between my mother and father, I always loved my mother more!

As I grew older, I noticed most of my friends had a very close relationship with their mothers, and it always made me want to have the same with my mother. Unfortunately, it was not until after I got married my mother became ‘informal’ with me, but, by then it was ‘too late’ (for the lack of a better term)!

Now that I look back at my life, I do appreciate her ‘strictness’ some what, not only because it kept me in-check but I was also ‘forced’ to obey her, if you know what I mean. So there are not too many memories of me disobeying my mother even behind her back, not out of respect but out of fear! However, I wish I had a friendly relationship with my mother, more informal then what I had because it did turn me rebellious at times.  

And now that I am raising my own children, I don’t want to create a distance between them and me. I wanted to keep a very close relationship, like a ‘friend’. However, as my daughter, 9, grows up I can see that although she is fairly close to me (at least closer then what I was to my mom), she doesn’t have the same level of respect for me that I had for my mother. It is not that I don’t get upset with her or punish her, but still she is far more ‘outspoken’ then I ever was with my mother. And it is very hard for me to figure out where to draw a line, or can I draw a line if I want her to be close to me?!

I want her to be able to approach me for any and every question/concern of hers, and it is for this reason that whatever she has asked me I have always answered her, even some of the ‘difficult’ questions. But, I also noticed that now she even questions me about everything that *I* do/say, curious to know everything and pretty much interferes in everything that I do! I want to be her ‘friend’ but at the same time I want her to learn to respect me (for the very fact that if she doesn’t learn to respect her mother, she will not be able to respect anyone else). And to be honest, I am not really very sure how exactly to do this.

I know what my parents did for me was best in their minds, especially knowing that they grew up overseas, it is norm to keep a distance between parents and children. But raising children here is like a ‘mission’, but of course not a ‘mission impossible’!!

I don’t have a role model to follow here in West (or perhaps I just haven’t found one yet). How I wish there were written guidelines for raising children to follow step by step, it would have made life so much easy. I know I make mistakes, but I try to learn as I go along, however, I do hope and pray that my mistakes don’t damage my children’s personalities.

How true is what someone once said, “It is easy to give birth, what is hard is to raise them!”

THEY BELIEVED IN ALLAH YET REJECTED ISLAAM (Seerah V) Thursday, Feb 15 2007 

Arabs of old had deviated from path of Ibraheem and Ismaeel (as). And the cause of this deviation was ONE man who introduced an evil practice into the religion. No one dared stop him because of his ‘high’ status and respect in the society. Yet, that one act of evil, slowly but surely started enrooting until no one remembered the ‘real’ religion anymore.

Idoltary spread through Arabia and it became worse so much so that when Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) conquered Mecca in the 8th hijrah, they had 360 idols in ka’bah. Ka’bah which was supposed to be the symbol of tawheed, the icon of the pure worship of Allah, which unites all Muslims upon tawheed and that one symbol became the very place where 360 idols were introduced!

Additionally each tribe had a famous idol that they used to own. Each household used to have an idol that they used to own. Every time a person would go on a journey, he would touch and rub his idol for blessing and as soon as that person would come back he would again touch and prostrate to this idol.

Remember, they didn’t worship idols thinking of them as Creators, or Naurishers, or Providers. Not a single Arab in their Jahiliyya time ever claimed that these idols created them. No Arab ever claimed that al-laat gave him life, or ul-uzza sent down rain or al-manaat gave him children or health. No, none of the Arabs ever believed this.

The amazing thing and the irony of the situation is that all Arabs believed in Allah by the name Allah. They believed Allah is the Creator, Sustainer, Naurisher, the One Who gives life and takes life. What is the proof for this? (23:84-89), (29:61-63)

“Say: “Whose is the earth and whosoever is therein? If you know! They will say: “It is Allâh’s!”…Say: “Who is (the) Lord of the seven heavens, and (the) Lord of the Great Throne?” They will say: “Allâh.”…Say “In Whose Hand is the sovereignty of everything? And He protects (all), while against Whom there is no protector, if you know.” They will say: “(All that belongs) to Allâh.” (23:84-89)

They believed in Allah yet they rejected Islam. This is a very crucial point and a very important point. It shows that mere belief in Allah is not sufficient to be a Muslim. It is not sufficient to believe and know  that Allah is the Creator, Sustainer, Lord. Abu Talib, and Abu Jahal they all believed this.

They refused to direct their worship to Allah. When it came to worship they worshipped Allah and others. They used to excuse that these idols were their intercessors:

“And they worship besides Allâh things that hurt them not, nor profit them, and they say: “These are our intercessors with Allâh.” Say: “Do you inform Allâh of that which He knows not in the heavens and on the earth?” Glorified and Exalted be He above all that which they associate as partners with Him!” (10:18)

Their famous excuse was, “We are too sinful and impure to turn to Allah directly so we must go through these objects, manta uzzah, not because they created, not because they control. No they don’t. But they are closer to Allah and so by going through them we can reach Allah.”

This shows that the crux of Islam is not just belief in Allah. It is to SINGLE out Allah in worship. La illaha illalah doesn’t mean that there is no creator other then Allah. If this was the kalimah, ALL Mecca would have accepted Islam.

Any Muslim who believes in Allah but associates others in du’a, sacrifice etc. then he has fallen into the same mistake as Meccans.

 

Little Do I Thank Allah! Thursday, Feb 15 2007 

Today as I sat comfortably in my warm house (alhamdullilah), I didn’t ‘suffer’ from the cold front that hit DE yesterday, except that my internet connection was cut off for few hours of the day. And my husband’s flight kept getting cancelled until he had to rent a car and drive back home!

I could see from the window everything white, even the trees completely covered with snow. My van was partially buried under the snow and since I didn’t have to go any where, I didn’t bother cleaning the drive way.

Later today, me and my children walked to the masjid (which is 5 minutes walking from my house). It was fun. I was completely covered with long warm coat, gloves, and socks and so were my children, alhamdullialh. But then my mind started wondering around and I started thinking what if I had to walk through this snow without these warm covering on myself?

My children were running around, enjoying and playing with snow, but what if they were forced to stay in this cold without any warm layers? What if I had to helplessly see my children shiver, while I couldn’t cover them with any warm clothes?!

I thought of those homeless people I often used to see lying down under one of the freeway bridges. What would they be doing right now? At least I knew when I start getting too cold and can’t bear it anymore; I have a nice warm house to go back to alhamdullialh. What about those homeless people? What goes through their minds when they get too cold? How do they comfort themselves? What do those mothers do when their children cry and they don’t have a warm blanket to cover them with?

SubhanAllah, how many blessings Allah has blessed me with and how little do I thank my Rabb. Or do I thank my Rabb at all? How many times have I thanked Him for the heater, or for the blankets and comforters, or the warm coats and gloves, or the warm socks and shoes, or the warm water that runs through faucets…and the more I thought the more blessings kept adding up and I couldn’t finish counting them.

And then my train of thought was interrupted as I reached home and got busy in my life again…

“…Verily, man is indeed a manifest ingrate!” (43:15)

“Say it is He Who has created you, and endowed you with hearing (ears), seeing (eyes), and hearts. Little thanks you give.” (67:23)

May Allah azzawjal make us from among the shakereen.

THE RELIGIOUS STATUS OF ARABIA BEFORE MUHAMMAD (pbuh): (Seerah IV) Tuesday, Feb 13 2007 

Each and every nation had a prophet. And the prophets sent to Arabs before Muhammad (peace be upon him) were Ibraheem and Ismaeel (peace be upon them). They were Arabs’ original prophets.

Religion of Ismaeel was practiced by Arabs. Many “remnants” from Ismaeel were still practiced. Of these practices:

* Respecting ka’bah, respecting the places of Muzdalifa, Mina and Arafat.

* Garlanding the sacrificial animals, decorate them in a beautiful way! It is a part of our shareeah as well [those who have been overseas may recall this practice still happens in Muslim lands]

* They would do tawaf around the ka’bah. They would uphold the sacred months etc.

However, they used to commit shirk. How did shirk start?

It started from one individual by the name of Amr ibn Luhair from the tribe of Khuz’a. He was a warrior, a chief, extremely rich and extremely generous. It is said that at the time of pilgrim he would sacrifice 10,000 animals to feed the pilgrims.

So we can well imagine the respect he had amongst the people. It is narrated in the books of Seerah, that he went to Syria (lands of Syria) and he saw ‘Amaleeq’. Amaleeq were the children of Saam, who was the son of Nuh (peace be upon him).

They were very mighty and powerful nation, physically, very tall. They were very daunting and frightening to look at. So Amr saw them worshipping idols. He asked them what were they doing because this was the first time he saw ‘shirk’. So they told him,

“These are our gods, when we ask them for rain, it rains, and when we are in trouble we ask them for help and they help us”. He said, “what a good idea, can you give me an idol to take back with me to Mecca.”

So they gave him an idol by the name of ‘hubal’. And he took it back and placed it in front of the ka’bah.

And this was the first time shirk occurred on that land and because of who he was [his respect and influence in Arabia] people were silent and didn’t object to the evil practice he had started.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “I saw Amr ibn Khuzai dragging his intestines around a well in the Fire of Hell, his intestines all spilling out.” This was the punishment he was getting for the evil practices he introduced.

He also introduced a few more evil practices. Like sacrificing animals for the ‘gods’ [this is mentioned in the Qur’an, by the name of those animals]

He also changed the talbiyyah from ‘labbaik Allah humma Labaik’ to ‘labbaik la shareeka lak shareekan howa lak tamliku howa malak’

This was an added phrase meaning, “You have no partners oh Allah except partners whom you control and you control what they control as well.’ (So you do have partners now oh Allah)

Ancient idols were incorporated in Arab culture as well. Laat, Uzza, Manta were the main tribes of Arabs. Idolatry continued to increase to the extent that one of the companions narrated, Abu Rajj’ah al ‘Utaaridhi:

“We would worship any stone that we found, and when we would find a more beautiful stone, we would take the stone away and start worshipping the more beautiful one. When we would find a more beautiful stone we would worship that stone instead of the previous one. And if we couldn’t find a stone we would gather up the dust, bring out goat, milk it so the dust solidifies and do tawaf around this dust.”

This was the state of affairs reached by Jahilliya (ignorant) Arabs. Even worse was the incident of Naila wal Assaf.

Naila and Assaf were two lovers of Mecca. They committed adultery inside the ka’bah [iyyadhobillah]. As a punishment for their sin, Allah (swt) transformed them to stones so that everyone could learn a lesson. But imagine what Arabs did when they saw this.

They put the stones on the mounts of ‘Safa’ and ‘Marwa’ and started worshipping them!! This was the mentality and level of ignorance of Jahiliyyah Arabs.

 

HOMESCHOOLING…is it Hypocritical? Tuesday, Feb 13 2007 

I home school my two children, my daughter who is now 9 and my son who is 6. I am not sure exactly what I had in mind when I started it (I can’t recall…it’s been a while now). Public school was never an option. Islamic schools, yes that could have been a possibility, but I was not completely satisfied with the academic standard back then with the schools that were available in my area. Secondly, it was about half an hour away from my house.

It was around the same time when I was judging the options of enrolling my daughter at an Islamic school, my husband suggested to concentrate on our daughter’s Qur’an memorization. So my focus got diverted and I decided to home school her.

As we went along, I realized that although it is a very stressful task, it is worth the time and effort. I appreciated the fact that it was a way of providing good educational material—Islamic and secular, and ‘safe’ environment, etc.

I must admit that there are cons too, but I believe that cons are over weighed by the pros, especially living here in US.

However, I just moved recently. I am not very familiar with my community, so I don’t know how much people appreciate home schooling here. In any case, I was invited at a dinner one day (all Pakistani gathering), and some older aunties (ladies) criticized home schooling right in front of me. Her comments included something to the effect, “Those who keep their children at home, didn’t they go to school themselves? Isn’t it hypocritical that they get to go to school but they deprive their children from it?!!!”

She was much older then me, so I didn’t say anything. But there were others who started talking to her. But I felt so bad that my mind, sort of, numbed out and I couldn’t make out any words what others were saying. I had never heard such harsh comments from anyone before. There were others, who had pointed out discipline, or anti-social, or communication, or lack of physical activities problems etc. with home schooled children, but not what she said!

 

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