Thursday, June 29, 2006

On Closer Inspection

I went for an eyesight test about a month ago and alhumdulillah after looking into the back of my eyes with some specialist tools there was no problems found.

Around about the same time I was reading in the paper about how Hitachi are developing a secure mobile phone which uses finger vein pattern recognition to authorise the user. They had already considered finger print and retinal eye recognition, but they discarded with them as finger prints can easily be obtained from the mobile itself, as its covered with them through normal use anyway, and retinal patterns can apparently also be obtained from digital photographs as well.

After some reflection, in both instances it is obvious that something not comprehended or easily viewed by the layman, can on closer inspection, by someone with knowledge and expertise, be sought out, found and utilised by them.

Similar is also the case for the Muslim who may not be aware of the diseases and ill characteristics of the heart that he may possess. A lifetime may be passed in ignorance of these deficiencies whilst he may consider himself to be pious and virtuous because he prays regularly, pays out zakat, keeps his fasts and has performed Hajj. This is where the importance of tasawwuf and the need for a Shaykh as a qualified spiritual mentor comes into play. Through the company and guidance of a Shaykh, one can not only identify such ill characteristics but also go about rectifying them. The ultimate goal one strives to achieve through the Shaykh is purification of the heart and soul and to draw closer to Allah.

May Allah swt give us the ability to take benefit from our Shuyukh and eliminate the diseases/ illnesses of the heart and draw closer to Allah, Ameen.

As wedding season kicks in for me, updates to the blog for the next couple of months may not be as timely and frequent as they are normally. Please remember me in your dua's and visit the many other beneficial islamic blogs linked to here as well. Jazakallah.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Stray Thoughts

In the street you find numerous types of people walking, people of different colours; nationalities; speaking different languages and doing all sorts of different things that will not affect and attract you and draw your attention if you ignore them.

Similarly, the mind is like a street with numerous thoughts coming and going. If like the person on the street who chooses to ignore, you ignore these stray thoughts then like the person in the street you will not be affected in any way.

Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Choose your words well

A woman one day said something that hurt her best friend. She regretted it immediately, and would have done anything to have taken the words back. But they were said, impulsively, in a moment of thoughtlessness, and as close as she and her friend were, she didn't consider the effects of her words beforehand.

In her effort to undo what she had done, she went to an older, wiser woman in the village. Explaining her situation, and asked for advice. The older woman listened patiently in an effort to determine just how sincere the younger woman was, how far she was willing to go to correct the situation.

The wise women said, "There are two things needed to do to make amends. The first of the two is extremely difficult. Tonight, take your best feather pillows, and open a small hole in each one. Then, before the sun rises, you must put a single feather on the doorstep of each house in town. When you are through, come back to me. If you've done the first thing completely, I'll tell you the second."

The young woman hurried home to prepare for her chore. All night long she laboured alone in the cold. She went from doorstep to doorstep, taking care not to overlook a single house. Her fingers were frozen, the wind was so sharp it caused her eyes to water, but she ran on, through the darkened streets, thankful there was something she could do to put things back the way they once were.

Just as the sun rose, she returned to the older woman. She was exhausted, but relieved that her efforts would be rewarded. "My pillows are empty. I placed a feather on the doorstep of each home."

Now, said the wise woman, "Go back and refill your pillows. Then everything will be as it was before."

The young woman was stunned. "You know that's impossible! The wind blew away each feather as fast as I placed them on the doorsteps! You didn't say I had to get them back! If this is the second requirement, then things will never be the same."

"That's true", said the older woman. "Never forget. Each of your words is like a feather in the wind. Once spoken, no amount of effort, regardless how heartfelt or sincere, can ever return them to your mouth. Choose your words well, and guard them most of all in the presence of those you love."

Related posts:
Sins of the Tongue

Monday, June 19, 2006

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

Mufti Ebrahim Desai is a hafiz of the Qur’an and studied higher Islamic education for nine years. Seven years Fiqh - commencing from the Arabic Language, Usool-e-Fiqh, Fiqh substantiated, Usool-e-Hadith, and specializing in Hadith, Usool-e-Tafseer, and specializing in Tafseer. He studied the principles of issuing Fatwas for two years in Dabhel under Mufti Ahmad Khanpuri Saheb, a renown and leading Scholar in India, and another year under the grand Mufti of India, Mufti Mahmoodul Hasan Saheb (RA) (compiler of Fataawa Mahmoodiya – 20 volumes).

He was a Senior Lecturer at Darul Uloom Ta’leemuddin, Isipingo Beach and head of the Fatwa Department of the Jamiat ul Ulama (KZN).

He currently teaches Mishkat, Sahih Bukhari and Tirmidhi and answers fatwa inquires received at Dar Ul Ifta at Madrasa Inaamiyah, Camperdown, South Africa where he is currently based.

He has authored two fatwa books, Al Mahmood Vol. I & II, a book for Hadith students: Introduction to Hadith, and numerous articles on a wide spectrum of topics and issues relating to Islam.

Mufti Ebrahim Desai also has been visiting the US & Canada for the past 10 years in an effort to educate and revive the Islamic spirit among the Muslims there.

In the spirit of reviving concern for halal earnings and making Muslims aware that our earnings have a great effect on our Spirituality and Faith, Mufti Ebrahim Desai has hosted numerous workshops on making businesses Shariah Compliant. These workshops are held annually in South Africa, and were held this past Ramadan in the US.

Mufti Ebrahim Desai also provides answers to your questions submitted through "Ask the Imam" website. Some of the talks he has delivered may be heard on Al Mahmood website.

May Allah swt give good health and long life to Mufti Ebrahim Desai in order that the ummah continue to benefit from his talks and knowledge. Ameen.

Related posts:
Mufti Abdur Rahman ibn Yusuf
Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam
Mufti Zubair Dudha
Mufti Abdool Kader Hoosen

Thursday, June 15, 2006

World Cup 2006

Sister Aishah requested I did a post in my own words so this is what I came up with.

Reading the newspaper on Tuesday morning I came across an article with the headline ‘Football sickies up 19% already’. This was the headline on workplace absenteeism after just 2 days of the World Cup commencing. The article continued to mention that a study claims that this could rise to 40% absence in the workplace.

Allah alone knows what percentage of the above 19% is Muslim. However, of concern, from a religious angle, would be the absenteeism rate in the Masajid at prayer time for the duration of the World Cup. Based on past experience we know:

Some Muslims rush in to perform Fardh, and speed out swiftly after salams to end prayer

Some Muslims forego praying with the congregation in the Masjid, opting to pray at home instead

Other Muslims not only miss the prayer with congregation but they completely miss the prayer itself as a result of being so engrossed in the football game on the television.

It’s a sight to behold when you watch somebody performing the speed prayer because they are in a rush, they must have so much blood rushing to their head because of the speed with which they bow and prostrate!

Those who miss the prayer altogether so lightly and easily should contemplate the fact that we are told in the ahadith that one who neglects salaah deliberately is on the brink of kufr.

We need to also ponder over the ease with which a Muslim can sit in front of the telly for 90 minutes watching a football game without blinking, yet when top shuyukh from other parts of the country and the world visit we struggle to keep our attention and focus for longer than 20/30 minutes. That of course, is if we can even drag our self to attend the dars, lecture or talk.

If someone was to quiz us as to exactly what we achieve from watching the match, we would be hard-pressed to come up with any solid answers. But still we make grand efforts to ensure we are in front of the box with any possible distractions minimised before the whistle is blown to signify kick-off. Rather odd, especially seeing that despite being reminded time and time again of the virtues of prayer we just cant seem to make it before the first takbeer or iqamah for salaah is said.

And then do we apply as much sincerity and devotion to the performance of our prayer as we would do when watching the football match?

Its also peculiar that for a sporting or entertainment event we keep ourselves updated with exactly what is going on in other parts of the world, but when it comes to our attention of prejudice and injustices being perpetrated against the citizens of countries in parts of the world we seem to turn away and neglect the obligation we have for assisting them.

The purpose of this post was to bring to mind some important lessons which Muslims should draw from the current World Cup ambience which surrounds us and to ensure that we are not negligent in performing prayers. I pray Allah (swt) gives, firstly, me and then the readers the ability to act upon what has been said.


Sunday, June 11, 2006

Daughter of Namrud

Namrud was the oppressive king who threw Ibrahim (A.S.) into the fire. His daughter, Ru‘dah, was watching the scene from above. She noticed that the fire was having no effect on Ibrahim (A.S.). She shouted and asked him the reason for this.
Ibrahim (A.S.) replied: "Allah has saved me from this calamity through the blessing of iman."
She replied: "If you permit me, I will also come into the fire."
He replied: "Recite Lâ ilâha illallâhu Ibrahim khalîlullâh (translation: There is none worthy of worship except Allah and Ibrahim is the close friend of Allah).

She recited this kalimah and immediately dived into the fire. The fire had no effect on her as well. She then came out of the fire and went and rebuked and censured her father. He subjected her to great difficulties but she remained steadfast on her iman.

Lesson: Glory be to Allah! How courageous she was that she did not abandon her iman even when in difficulty! O women! You should also be strong-willed at the time of difficulties and do not act contrary to the Deen even if it equals a hair's breadth.
Source: Bahesti Zewar

Related posts:
Abu Muslim Kholani (R.A)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Gog and Magog

Gog and Magog (Yajuj and Majuj)
The appearance of Gog and Magog is another of the major signs of Qiyamah. Here we recount a brief summary of the history of Gog and Magog and their appearance before Qiyamah.

Gog and Magog are two tribes from the progeny of Hazrat Nuh (A.S.) and they are large in number, such that they constitute nine tenths of mankind.

Dhul Qarnain was a great Muslim king who lived at the time of Prophet Ibrahim (A.S.). During the travels of Dhul Qarnain he came across a people, living in the vicinity of two mountains, who complained to him about the tribes of Gog and Magog that lived behind the mountains. Gog and Magog would emerge causing corruption, bloodshed and plundering the people and then would run away.

Dhul Qarnain using the skills and power that Allah had given him and with the assistance of the people built and put in place an iron and copper wall as a barrier between the two mountains to stop Gog and Magog.

Abu Huraira (R.A.) narrated that every day Gog and Magog try to break free through the wall of Dhul Qarnain until they reach the end of it to the extent that they could actually see the light on the other side. They then return home saying, ''We will break through tomorrow. '' However, Allah causes the wall to revert to its original thickness and the next day they start all over again. This process continues each day as long as Allah wills for them to remain imprisoned. When Allah wishes for them to be released, then at the end of that day they will say, ''If Allah wills, we will break through tomorrow.'' The next day they will find the wall as they left it the previous day and after breaking through the rest they will escape. [Ahmed, Tirmidhi, Ibne Majah]

Prophet Isa (A.S.) will come to know of the release of Gog and Magog and he will lead the Muslims to Mount Tur, as commanded by Allah, for protection and safety. The Muslims will face many hardships and difficulties upon Mount Tur.

Gog and Magog will come forth from every lofty place causing destruction and bloodshed wherever they go. Their first batch will come to Lake Tiberius and drink all of its water. Their last batch will come to it and say, "There was once water in this lake."

Marching on, carrying out pillage and murder to their left and right they will come to the mount of Khamr (a mountain in Jerusalem) and say, "We have killed the inhabitants of the earth, let us now kill the inhabitants of heaven." Thus they will shoot their arrows towards the sky. Allah will return the arrows covered with blood and they will foolishly think they have killed those in the heaven.

Prophet Isa (A.S.) and the Muslims will pray to Allah Almighty to save them from this calamity that has befallen them. As a result Allah will send insects upon the necks of Gog and Magog and in the morning they will all be found dead. The believers will descend from Mount Tur but will find the earth littered with the foul smelling and rotting corpses of Gog and Magog.

Once again the believers will pray to Allah Almighty and Allah will send huge birds to carry and dispose the bodies of Gog and Magog. Thereafter Allah will send down a heavy rain, the waters of which will flow in every part of the earth cleansing it thoroughly. It will rain for a period of forty days.

The Muslims will then reside upon the earth once again, enjoying abundant crops and great prosperity.

Duas requested
Ahmed (now Ahmed mama as of earlier today!)

For further information and detail on Yajuj and Majuj please see:
Yajuj and Majuj by Shaykh Ahmed Ali
Yajuj and Majuj by

Related posts:
Imam Mahdi

Monday, June 05, 2006

Mufti Abdool Kader Hoosen

Mufti Abdool Kader Hoosen is the resident Mufti of Channel Islam International which is an extremely well known and successful radio station. The current radio coverage spans across 65 countries across three continents. (Africa, Europe, Arab Peninsula – also available over the internet).

Mufti Abdool Kader Hoosen:
"I was born in Heidelberg, Gauteng, South Africa on the 20th April 1957. After studying at the primary school in Heidelberg, my parents Ismail and Halima Hoosen (Rahmatullahi Alayhim) motivated me to start memorizing the Quraan Shareef. Thus I started my Hifz in 1968 and completed in 1970 under the tutorship of Hafiz Ebrahim Limalia.

In 1974, I pursued my Islamic studies in Karachi, Pakistan, as I wanted to know what is the meaning of the Noble Quraan. Alhamdulillah, I graduated in 1980 at Jamia Farooqia Karachi,Pakistan. In 1990 I completed my MA with distinction at the Rand Afrikaans University in Islamic studies.

I always yearned to teach at a Darul Uloom and in January 1981, I started teaching at Darul Uloom Newcastle. The portfolios I held there was vice principle, Mufti and Senior Lecturer on Tafseer, Quraan and Hadith etc. After staying for 20 years in Newcastle, I joined Cii in January 2001 as a resident Mufti. My wife, Fathima is a great inspiration for me."

Some talks delivered by Mufti Abdool Kader Hoosen's can be heard and downloaded from Edars website, whilst his radio programmes are frequently aired on Cii. May Allah swt give good health and long life to Mufti Abdool Kader Hoosen in order that the ummah continue to benefit from his talks and knowledge. Ameen.

Related posts:
Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Mufti Abdur Rahman ibn Yusuf
Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam
Mufti Zubair Dudha