Saturday, November 29, 2008

When in the Masjid

I've been tagged by a wonderful blogger who I just recently have begun to read: Sister Hijabee over at A Hijabee in DC. Although I'm not usually crazy about tags, I am honored to participate in this one:

The Rules:

Link back to the person who tagged you. List 3 ahadith you’d like to pin up in your masjid and why. Tag some of your fellow bloggers by linking to them in your post and don’t forget to post a comment on their blog to let them know they’ve been tagged.

Here goes - the ones I would like to post in the "women's section" of the masjid:

1. Aisha (ra) reported that Asmaa (ra), the daughter of Abu Bakr (ra), entered into the presence of the Messenger of Allaah (saw) wearing thin transparent clothing. So the Messenger of Allaah (saw) turned away from her saying: 'O Asmaa, when a woman reaches the age of menstruation, it is not allowed that any of her should be seen except this' (and he pointed to his face and two hands. (Authentic, reportedby Al-Bayhaqee)

Update: After writing the "why" to this hadith, I decided to come back to my blog and delete the "why". My explanation was too judgmental and had the power to hurt my Muslim sisters, may Allah (swt) forgive me. If you have read it in your feeder, you will understand why. Suffice it to say, that this hadith speaks for itself.

2. 'Abdullah b. Amr b. al-As reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: When you hear the Mu'adhdhin, repeat what he says, then invoke a blessing on me, for everyone who invokes a blessing on me will receive ten blessings from Allah; then beg from Allah al-Wasila for me, which is a rank in Paradise fitting for only one of Allah's servants, and I hope that I may be that one. If anyone who asks that I be given the Wasila, he will be assured of my intercession. (Muslim)

You have probably experienced it: a bunch of us happy, laughing, chatting sisters in the "women's section" when the Adhan comes over the loudspeakers from upstairs. Maybe someone says "shh". Some may get up to make wudu. But for the most part, everyone keeps talking and laughing. We are supposed to be repeating the words of the Adhan and then be making dua after.

3. Abu Hurairah states that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, "It is unbecoming for a Muslim to desert his brother for over three days. Whoever remains seperated for more than three days and dies, shall enter Hell." (Ahmad and Abu Dawood)

This applies to all Muslims. Some sisters act like teenage girls. What fitnah! If you think that a sister has offended you, talk to the sister about it. We are adults. Then, Insha Allah, you can resolve the matter, ask her for forgiveness, and then move on ...

I tag:

American Muslima Writer


And anyone else who wants to participate :)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Brenden Foster - Can Muslim Children Learn From Him?

Little Brenden Foster, the boy with leukemia who inspired the world, lost his battle to the disease on Friday, November 21, 2008.

Brenden gained the attention of the entire world when his dying wish was publicized: Brenden wanted to feed the homeless. He was worried that homeless people were going hungry and didn't have enough to eat.

Many people responded to Brenden's dying wish. People mobilized food drives, made sandwiches and took them to the homeless people in the streets, donated money and supplies, etc. Others prayed for the success of Brenden's dying wish. People that heard about Brenden's dying wish did whatever they could to make it come true. And come true it did! Better yet, Brenden lived long enough to see his dream come true.

Oh! And Brenden had another wish! He heard that the bees were dying. He wanted to see wildflowers planted all over the world so that the bees could survive. Brenden knew of the benefits that bees provide to mankind. Brenden earned the nickname of "B-Man" because he was so concerned about the fate of bees!

Again, people responded and one pilot even flew a plane that scattered wildflower seeds over the earth.

The legacy of 11-year old Brenden got me thinking: are there any Muslim Brendens in America? Do you know of any, or have you heard any stories about Muslim boys (or girls!) like Brenden?

What if teachers in Islamic Sunday Schools would encourage their students to start beneficial projects like the ones that Brenden inspired?

What if a special children's sadaqa box was put in every masjid to help to fund the dreams of the children? What if all the parents in the masjid encouraged each of their children to donate just a fraction of their allowance to the special box?

What if parents of Muslim children, for example, would motivate their children to donate some of their toys to children in America who didn't have toys?

A project by Muslim children to benefit ALL children in America. Not just Muslim children. Not just projects "overseas". Think of the goodwill! Think of the dawah! Alhamdulillah!

Better yet: what if we Muslim parents raised our children to be selfless like Brenden was? What if our kids would have a "dream" like Brenden had without us adults having to encourage them or motivate them? Wouldn't it be beautiful if our Muslim children thought up these things all by themselves? Alhamdulillah!

Brenden's mom told news reporters that she felt blessed and humbled to have had Brenden as her child.

Maybe tonight each one of us reading this will sit their kids down and share Brenden's story with them. Who knows? Maybe one of our Muslim kids will be inspired to dream!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Kaafir? Mushrik? Atheist? Polytheist?

Disclaimer: I am not a scholar or a student of knowledge. I am only expressing my thoughts about a topic that has been bothering me for quite some time!

I just hate it when I hear Muslims use the word "kaafir".

Why? Because I think that most Muslims who use the word do not actually know what it really means.

Most Muslims I know use the word to describe a non-Muslim, specifically a Christian or Jewish person. In the prison where I work, I hear this from Muslims all the time: "that kaafir who is my cellie" or "that kaafir guard" etc.

But I ran across something interesting while surfing the Muslim websites recently. It is posted over at Abdur-Rahman's site. It appears to be a question that was answered by Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan. The question is: "What is the difference between al-Kaafireen and al-Mushrikeen (i.e., between a Musrik and a Kaafir)." You can read the question/answer in its entirety, but I perked up at the following statement the shaykh made:

" for the Kaafir, then he rejects the existence of Allaah the Mighty and Exalted and does not acknowledge Allaah the Mighty and Majestic, and nor does he acknowledge a religion from amongst the religions. This is the rejecting Kaafir."

Hmm ... I am not a scholar or a student of knowledge, but this appears pretty clear to me: the kaafir is an atheist! He does not believe in Allah. Period.

The kaafir, it appears, knowingly rejects the truth. If he has doubts about the truth and the doubts are removed and he still rejects the truth, it appears that he is a kaafir. No doubt about it. He may even tell you so himself!

Do we Muslims KNOW what other people believe or what is in their hearts? Unless they have declared unbelief out of their own mouths, do we have the right to label or call someone a kaafir without having intimate knowledge of this person, how he/she thinks, what he/she believes, what is in their hearts? I would think that only Allah (swt) can judge this person - or any of us for that matter! Especially on the Day of Judgment.

How do we attract people to Allah's (swt) beautiful and perfect religion if we show contempt for them? For the same people who may be our Muslim brother or sister in the future?

Would Allah (swt) permit a Muslim man to marry a kaafir? Astaghfirallah!

"Oh, but Safiyyah," you might say, "it says in the Qur'an that the Jews and Christians are kaafirs." We know, however, that those particular Jews and Christians WERE kaafir because of the very fact that Allah (swt) has told us so in the Qur'an! He has told us! BUT! He has not told us anything about the people of today. He has not let us in on the scoop! Only HE knows. We are not privy. Allahu Alim! The knowledge is with Him. Not us!

Monday, November 10, 2008

2,000-year-old gold earring found in Jerusalem

As a lover of jewelry - especially, gold, pearls, and emeralds, this find really struck at my heart (sigh!).

JERUSALEM – Israeli archaeologists have discovered a 2,000-year-old gold earring beneath a parking lot next to the walls of Jerusalem's old city, the Israel Antiquities Authority said Monday.

Read the full article here.