Wednesday, June 20, 2007

In defense of the Muslim sisterhood

In defense of the Muslim sisterhood

Yvonne Ridley

I have a bee in my bonnet - or hijab to be more precise. On an almost daily basis there are horrific stories pouring out of Tunisia about how the state police are ripping off the hijabs of women living there.

Some of these women, who are merely fulfilling their religious obligation to wear a hijab, have been assaulted, sexually abused and even locked up in prison by the authorities. Unbelievable when you consider western tourists are topless sunbathing on the coastal resorts, soaking up the Tunisian sun.

So it is okay to get your kit off if you are a western tourist who pays handsomely for sun, sand, sex and sangria ...but try wearing a hijab and see what happens in this so-called liberal, Muslim country.
For the rest of the article please visit

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Answer to the Heat Wave of Fitnah: Grab the Umbrella of Taqwa

The Answer to the Heat Wave of Fitnah: Grab the Umbrella of Taqwa

Advice for Summer by Ustadh Suhaib Webb

Assalamu alaykum,

I hope all of you are well and pray that everyone is in a state of being close to Allah. Just 10 short years ago I was struggling as a new convert to Islam and one of the greatest hurdles was the ladies. My college days were rough in many regards. Before my conversion I was a successful DJ (I had just got my hands on a really nice four track mixer. Okay so you know I'm old school. But, in those days I could make it fly) and was about to walk the Burning Sands and pledge Alpha Phi Alpha. All praise be to God that instead I became Muslim and slowly started to pull out of those things. It was rough but the most difficult part was dealing with the other gender.

Young brothers and sisters I feel your pain man. It is difficult and as the summer months roll up it gets more and more difficult to manage as the clothes roll up as well. We all know the routine: "Lower the gaze! Lower the gaze! Lower the gaze!" But, if the heart is not lowered in awe of Allah's magnificence and His tremendous bounties, then how can we expect the eyes to lower?

Tonight I attended a reading of the Shamail Muhamadiyah with Sh. Ibrahim al-Khalifa from Saudi Arabia. He is visiting Egypt for a few weeks and I had just finished my exam and decided to go and listen to his dars. The streets in Cairo are a mix of cars, buses, donkeys, cows and pollution that, seriously, when you make wudu slides off your face. I can only liken the air to a full vacuum bag that spews its contents creating a small cloud of dust. However, in the heat I remembered the homies in the West: My Boyz in Chicago, the brothers in L.A and most importantly the brothers in the Bay. I miss them all. The love for brothers is something that we should cherish and hold on to like we hold on to our checkbooks.

Anyways, after reading from the Shamail, the Sheikh moved on to al-Muhasibi's Risalat Mustarshidin with the tahqiq by Sh. Abdul Fatah Abu Ghuda who is considered one of the greatest scholars of hadith from the last century. The Sheikh was talking about worshiping Allah as though you see the Hereafter close and understand that your time is up. "Be ready! Don't let this life delude you! Be good people. Treat others with respect and worship your Lord as though you are going to leave this life soon." It was a real masterpiece to watch the Sheikh tie vice with the rope of responsibility and knowing that one is going to die one day and answer for his time. Imam al-Muhasibi's text is intense and I felt a buzz in my chest as the Sheikh started to get into the flow.

This is for the all the young brothers and sisters struggling:

The Sheikh, after talking about this responsibility linked it to a very interesting story. That, for me, is the sign of a good Imam,teacher or Sheikh that they can tie things into our daily lives. Thus, such a style gives the din fresh legs, opens up one's heart and soothes the coals of sin. He said that during the time of 'Umar there was a young man who's desires got the best of him. It all started with the look and the next thing the young man was alone with a woman. Suddenly, as the clock was starting to turn, the young man heard a verse of Qur'an being recited that reminded him of Allah's greatness. He left the young woman, stood up shaking from the fear of Allah and fell dead from this fear. 'Umar (may Allah have mercy on him) buried this youth and after hearing how he died walked over to the fresh grave and recited the following verse from Surah al-Rahman, "And for the one who fears the meeting with Allah there are two gardens." Suddenly a response came from the grave reciting the verse, "We have found the promise of our Lord to be true."

Dear brothers and sisters,

The summer is upon you and it is no joke. Statistics show that as the barometer rises that evil rises as well. One of the most important things you can take with you is Allah's awesome nature and bounties. Reflect! Turn off the PS3! Put down the I-Pod and think for a minute! Put handcuffs on your Internet use and know that you will be asked about your youth. Where are you headed? What are you doing and how are you going to use this summer? Take some time away from the gadgets and turn on your heart. Make some goals for yourself to do some good things in your community. Remember that when you see something that causes your temperature to fly that Allah is watching you. He knows what is in your heart and understands that it ain't easy. Ask Him for His help and try to withstand the attacks of Iblis. I have a lot of faith that our young brothers and sisters can do loads of wonderful things in their communities!

Cool the heat of summer with the following:

1. Good friends who take you to good places. The Prophet (sa) said, "A person is on the faith of his friend." One nice note about the hadith of the three people stuck in the cave: if they had not been together then they would have not been able to help each other get out. However, since they were all decent guys they were able to work together and use their good to remove the rock from the cave.

2. Have some goals for this summer:

1. Community (volunteer with any number of Muslim/Non-Muslim organziations and do something good for your neighborhoods
2. Spiritual (get those five prayers rocking and if you are real with it you will throw in some night prayers and extra fasts)
3. Educational (try and attend some lessons or educational programs that will boost your faith)
4. Family (spend some time with the wife/husband (find one) kids and close relatives

3. Have some nice activities:

1. Qiyam
2. B-Ball tourneys (all nighters) followed by Qiyam, Fajir and some Aunties phat spicy eggs
3. Sleep overs
4. Camping
5. Weekly 'Itikaf (inshallah, when I'm back in the states I'm down)

I ask Allah to help us, bless us and let us use our time well. I would appreciate it if whoever reads this could help us generate a list of things to do this summer.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Behind the writing of "The God of All Things"

The author of "The God of All Things" writes:
The God of All Things

I wrote an article regarding what I went through while I was writing my book. I thought you would find it interesting. Please click here to read:
And if you do find it interesting please do forward to your friends and relatives. That would show that you do care!

Jazak Allah Khair!!


Friday, June 15, 2007

Murid and Murad

From a sister's email:

I was inspired to share this because of Imam Zaid's session
"Survival Guide: Nasiha for Muslim Women". His first advice was:
The first quality you must have to survive is the DESIRE to
survive as a Muslim Women. How to get that desire? To increase
your love for Allah subhana wa ta'ala.


The Difference between a Murid and a Murad

The travelers on the path of love are of two types. The first is
called a murid [seeker], and denotes one whose progress is based
on his own effort and worship. The second is called a murad [one
who is sought], and denotes a person whom the Beloved (subhana wa
ta'ala) Himself wishes to draw near to Him.

The difference between a murid and a murad may be understood by
comparing the lives of Prophet Musa (alayhis salaam) and the
blessed Prophet Muhammad (sallullahu 'alayhi wasallam) . Prophet
Musa (alayhis salaam) was a lover of Allah [muhibbullah], while
the blessed Prophet (sallullahu 'alayhi wasallam) was the
beloved of Allah [mabbubullah]. The distinction is hightlighted
by the following examples.

Example Number One

Prophet Musa (alayhis salam) was granted a meeting with Allah
(subhana wa ta'ala) at Mount Sinai. Allah (subhana wa ta'ala)

And when Musa came to meet Us. (7:143)

However, when the blessed Prophet (sallullahu 'alayhi wasallam)
was granted a meeting with Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) during the
Ascension [mi'raj], Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) stated:

Glorified is He who brought His slave for a journey at night.

The verb "came" [ja'a] is used for Prophet Musa (alayhis
salaam) whereas the verb "brought" [asra] is used for the
blessed Prophet (sallullahu 'alayhi wasallam). Prophet Musa
(alayhis salaam) was told where to come for the meeting, whereas
the blessed Prophet (sallullahu alayhi wasallam) was sent an
angel to bring him to the meeting.

Example Number Two

Prophet Musa (alayhis salaam) prayed:

O my Lord, expand my breast for me. (20:25)

Whereas, regarding the blessed Prophet (sallullahu 'alayhi
wasallam), Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) revealed:

Have We not expanded for you your breast? (94:1)

Example Number Three

Prophet Musa (alayhis salaam) had to climb Mount Sinai to
recieve revelation, whereas the Quran was sent to the blessed
Prophet (sallullahu 'alayhi wasallam)

It is he (Gabriel) who has revealed (this scripture) upon your
heart by Allah's leave. (2:97)

The ways of love dictate that the lover [muhibb] hopes and
desires to meet the Beloved [mahhub] subhana wa ta'ala. Yet
sometimes the Beloved (subhana wa ta'ala) also desires that the
lover come to meet Him. And when the Beloved (subhana wa ta'ala)
also wishesd to meet, then it becomes easy to draw near to Him.

When the Most Beautiful One (subhana wa ta'ala) arranges a
meeting, then the true pleasure of love ['ishq] is attained.
When the lover knows the Beloved (subhana wa ta'ala) loves him
well, then his happiness knows no bounds.

The love of the lover manifests in deep sighs of longing, whereas
the love of the Beloved (subhana wa ta'ala) is subtle and
hidden. The love of the lover weakens his body, while the love
of the Beloved (subhana wa ta'ala) invigorates the lover's body.

When Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) bestows His grace upon a servant,
He opens the way to reach Him. Then the remembrance [dhikr] of
Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) predominates.

****Quoted from "Love for Allah" A Translation of 'Ishq Illahi,
Faqir Zulfiqar Ahamda Naqshbandi, pg 111.

I have omitted the passages of poetry to keep the article
somewhat brief :)


"The total and lasting mistake is to have free time and not
betake yourself to Him, or the obstacles to be few, and not
journey to Him" : Ibn Ata Illah

Monday, June 04, 2007

Jury Duty & Identity Theft

From an email:

As-salamu `alaykum,

This is a real scam that is taking place, and this e-mail is not a
hoax. Forward to friends if you feel it's necessary.


This has been verified by the FBI (their link is also included below).
Please pass this on to everyone in your E-mail address book. It is
spreading fast so be prepared should you get this call.

Most of us take those summons for jury duty seriously, but enough
people skip out on their civic duty, that a new and ominous kind of
scam has surfaced. The caller claims to be a jury coordinator. If you
protest that you never received a summons for jury duty, the scammer
asks you for your Social Security number and date of birth so he or
can verify the information and cancel the arrest warrant.

Give out any of this information and bingo, your identity just got
stolen. The scam has
been reported so far in 11 states, including Oklahoma, Illinois, and
Colorado. This (scam) is particularly insidi ous because they use
intimidation over the phone to try to bully people into giving
information by pretending they're with the court system. The FBI and
the federal court system have issued nationwide alerts on their web
sites, warning consumers about the fraud.

Check it out here: