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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Be the Change You Want To See In The World...

After all my years on this earth, how was it, that a single saying by one of the world’s leaders had not passed my eyes and ears?
Be the change you want to see in the world”, by Mahatma Ghandi.
I have since encountered this saying on many occassions over the last few months in different settings and contexts and I think that it has taken as much time to understand and process its true meaning or rather I refused to understand…
Elements of society is one of fault – finding and critics and I myself had fallen into this abyss of negativity. However, recently, I found myself in a rather frustrating situation. I was simply not enjoying life.
My reasons had everything to do with what I didn’t have, with what I wasn’t doing, by who I wasn’t seeing and by the fact that I simply was so busy that I never had any time… hence my immense frustration.

My solution was to change my life in totality. I woke one morning and thought I had the greatest epiphany. I would quit my job, sell all my belongings and wander the earth freely, however, my great idea quickly sank as my practical husband challenged the ‘nuts and bolts” of my great plan, to which I stormed off in a fury of temper.
I was not looking at the blessings that Allah (SBT) had bestowed upon me or the various comforts that I had been afforded. I did not understand that the very frustrations driving my unhappiness were of my own doing and actions and that I was not appreciating the people closest and dearest to me.
It changes with a single thought and the will to change your own life. This is rather clichĂ©’d however, I stopped seeing the glass half empty, but rather started seeing the glass half full.
We can change our lives and make a difference by the way we think, the way we act and interact with others and by the choices we make. My greatest commodity is time… and I had to reach a very firm resolution on how and with who to spend that time. Instead, of constantly trying to reach for the next “fad” or societal status feature, I have decided to enjoy my life as it is, with what I have and to appreciate the people that have moulded, grounded and made such affluent contributions to my life – my family and friends.

The Dreaded "D"

Yes, people do get divorced for concrete, real reasons; but I have also heard some stories where people get divorced for trivial, petty reasons. The Muslim community throws talak around way too casually...

In my opinion, people these days are too lazy and impatient to work through kinks and problems in life and so they take the easy way out... you are overweight; so you get liposuction, you're hungry; so you get a ready-made meal from Woolies, your marriage is not going as planned; eliminate your partner...

Gone are the days when you hear so and so are divorced and gasp...now its like part of life---seems like couples get married just to get divorced.
While men and women should enter into marriages with the intention of it being permanent, Islam recognizes that people do sometimes make poor decisions or change. Thus, divorce and remarriage are allowed as a last resort after estranged couples have attempted to reconcile their differences with the help of family or other counselors.
There is no sure-fire ‘recipe’ for a long and happy marriage…everyones’ experiences vary. I know of a few couples that have gotten divorced…one because of an affair, one because of gambling and another because the wife doesn’t cook like his Mother… There is not only one thing that causes divorce---even a small thing like not wearing the right shoes could send a person over the edge (true story!).
At times I think to myself, why exists there such evils as adultery, gambling, drugs, drinking in life? Marriage is such a beautiful, wonderful thing, why does the Almighty not safeguard the couple from such things coming into their lives and destroying a marriage?
Then it hit me out of the blue---with the help of out local butchery owner…It was weeks before our wedding and fiancĂ© and I were shopping. We know the butcher uncle, so we chatting to him about our upcoming wedding. He gave us this very useful (and proven to be true) words of advice. He told us this ‘Try everything in your power to keep Shaytaan out of your marriage because Shaytaan loves nothing more than conflict…even more-so between husband and wife as it affects not one family, but two famiies.’
Whatever the reason, divorce is an ugly thing and I pray to the Almighty that my marriage works out Insha-allah…after all, that is all we can do…

By:Farzanah Butler

A 12th-Grader Feels For The Children of Gaza

Children in Gaza don’t play in parks or swim in the beach anymore; instead they see massive craters, demolished houses, burnt-out shops, hospital rooms, schools and cars. Amputated limbs, burned skin, still-burning fires cause deep emotional injuries which are more crippling to this nation, even more than any physical damage.

Omar Bandak, a 17-year-old who is a member of the UN Children’s Organisation, says: “We used to go on outings. Here in Bethlehem, there is only home and school to go to. During the curfew we can’t even leave the house. All we want is peace, and to live without tanks and soldiers. I want to be able to feel like other children in the world.”

You and I are blessed. We cannot imagine the daily struggles of the Palestinian child. From watching documentaries on Palestine, I am drawn to the Palestinian people’s resilience... their desire to be free.

Nabeela Khan


Today, as I think back and recall a simple school essay I wrote a few years ago, my heart is filled with shame and regret. That feeling of immense joy, that adrenaline rush, which enveloped me when my teacher returned my script to me headed with the radiant red digits, “98%”, now seems like a bitter joke. I feel like a hypocrite. I preached about the benefits of taking calculated risks to better our lives, better ourselves. But those who preach have the responsibility to practice. Who was I to talk when I could not face my own Nafs?
We are all familiar with the word Nafs, it is a word we come across time and time again in Islamic books, lectures and talks, but do we know its true meaning? I was ignorant till last year when, at the age of seventeen, I discovered my true Nafs.
I sat in the silver-grey BMW staring out in a daze at miles upon miles of yellow-green grass baking under the furnace of the harsh unrelenting South African sun. My bloodshot and swollen eyes burned from lack of sleep. I felt a newfound dryness in my eyes. A feeling we experience only when our eyes have no more tears left to cry. As we retreated from the small town I tried to make sense of the past forty eight hours, my mind a whirlwind of emotions. Fear, confusion, disbelief, grief, despair, sorrow, rage and self-blame swirled around me colliding and growing. I sat in the eye of the storm, cold and still, unable to correspond. I hung precariously from a thread which I recognize only now as my faith in my creator.
My hands trembled at the thought of the phone call I had received a day ago at 3:20pm. A hoarse and frantic voice on the other end of the still phone line had hastily blurted out that my best friend had passed away in a horrific car accident. The galloping horses of time which had always seemed to rush past me now stood still. Abruptly. Suddenly. Spirit crushed, I hung in a cloud of emptiness while my shell of a body went into an automatic mode. I packed overnight bags, cleaned the house, showered, changed into a cloak, prayed in a trance and took a 3-hour journey to attend the funeral.
The grey and white house swarmed with strange faces. The crowd was like an ocean. Waves of sobbing, heaving sighs and distressed cries overwhelmed me one after the other. All this while only one line remained on my lips: “La illaha Illalah Muhammad ur rasoolullah”.
At one point my thoughts evolved into anger. “Angry with whom?” I asked myself. Was I angry with almighty Allah? How could I be? My Imaan, only my Imaan had pulled me through this nightmare. In this black period of utter despair my Imaan was my only light. Something stirred within me and I recalled a phrase I read in the English Quran. It states that just as plants wither and wilt in the scorching dry heat of a drought and are then revitalized and rejuvenated to their natural, lush and bright beauty by the rains. So too is the effect of Allah’s tests for us in this world. I realized that I had two options. I could crawl into a little hole and fill myself with hatred and hostility (for which my creator would scorn and punish me) or I could rise above like the wilting rose using Allah’s mercy and the strength of the Imaan He has placed in me as my rain. I chose to see that almighty Allah took my friend away for a reason. He used her beautiful soul, her shining example, to change the lives of others and bring us closer to Him. At that precise moment I said “the time to change is now. If I do not change now, I never will”.
I pondered on all the things I could change in my life to make me a better Muslim and one stood out above the rest. As trivial as it may seem to many people, my Nafs was not observing hijaab (not covering my head). It was a Nafs created by my westernized and foolish ways of thinking which created a barrier between me and my creator. Eight months has passed since that day and although the pain and the loss of someone who was a sister to me is still as tangible as if it were yesterday, my hijaab has become a part of me. It gives me a sense of satisfaction and solace. I know that each and every time I wear my hijaab she will be rewarded by almighty Allah. And wherever she may be, her soul will be happy. May Allah grant all murhooms jannat-ul-Firdaus and May He grant us all the ability to overcome our Nafs and become pious Muslims Insha Allah?

By: Sister
Aaisha Haffejee

Something for every woman to ponder on…

Every woman is seen off from her home on two occasions:
Once when she leaves her parents' home to get married.The second when she leaves her home in this world to travel to her abode in the hereafter. If only all young girls would wait in anticipation for and dream about their second farewell as much as they do for the first. It is a reality that the second is far more important than the first, for our eternal fate depends on how well we are received when we reach our final destination.
Reflect on the following:
First farewell
Second farewell
Anxiety about whether or not the husband-to-be will be happy with her
Whether or not Allah will be pleased with what He sees.
Grand trousseau
Righteous deeds.
Dressed in the most expensive of outfits
Attire of "Taqwa
Invitations are handed out
Allah Himself invites her to Jannah
Hosts welcome the guests

By:Sister Laila Tayob

That Reminded Me…

Being divorced and having 4 kids, makes life quite hectic for me. It helps having a routine but getting there isn’t always easy. It was late afternoon, my usual routine started when I arrived home from work. Checking homework, listening to the day’s events, with all ears and from four mouths. I ordered the 2 small ones into the shower; again many idle threats “scrub you clean or else”. On one such day as I hurried the two out of the bathroom and into the bedroom, all the while listening to the food heating in the microwave, and at the same time telling the 2 bigger kids to set the table, switch on the lights, close the curtains… my daughter lays there starng at me with a very happy look on her face, “Mommy, she says: remind me to also wash, cream and dress you when you get old” well at that moment I just stopped, “ How do you mean baby? “ She says: “Mommy it feels soo nice to lay here when you massage my back and then my legs, I’m so relaxed. Then when you cream me, it makes my skin so soft, I want to do that for you someday”. That reminded me… what you do for your children, will most certainly come back to you. Make every moment precious and every moment count.

By: Sister Ameera

Strength of a Woman

Each and every woman knows that you need not only physical strength but emotional strength to survive in this “man’s world”. Moreover as Muslim woman we know the challenges are not only physical and emotional but we need spiritual strength to endure in this western world. As Muslim woman, we are the foundation to a solid family. Strength of a woman lies in her body, mind and soul. The body: is the outer shell in which protects the mind and soul. Muslims understand our bodies are not ours, but are an amaanat from Allah; therefore we need to take care of our bodies in exercise, nutrition, piercings etc.The mind: which we need to keep strong with Deen, so let not the devil make use of an idle mind. The soul: this will be first place in which Allah will look and judge us accordingly. Let our souls be filled with love for Allah and please Him by doing good deeds, being righteous and modest.
“O, Muslim woman, never belittle any gift you give your neighbour even if it is a hoof of a sheep” (Al-Bukhari & Muslim)
by:Sister Laila Tayob

Take a Minute; Breathe…

Sitting alone in a quiet room, I close my eyes..
I am trying to relax;
I am reading Durood;
Slowly I feel my mind beginning to relax;
I feel peace coming over my entire body;
I whisper softly, “Allah-Hu-Akbar”
I continue, the world is slowly slipping away with each new breath;
I feel the power of each word, my body is totally relaxed;
I start reading, “Al- Mu’min” (The Giver of Peace);
I continue reading it over and over till I let everything go, nothing bothers me, Allah is my protector, I am at peace with myself.
Allah-Hu-Akbar, I discover my renewed self, I am revitalized, regenerated and fully soothed.
I am ready to face the world. I feel true peace.

Our lives have become so busy and stressful. We rush through everything, even our salaah. This life is a gift and we can only appreciate the true beauty of it if we keep reflecting and getting our priorities into perspective. We just need to take a minute, stop and breathe. Remember Allah, and Allah will remember you.

By:Sister Ayesha


Islamically, idolatry, (idol worshiping or shirk) is one of the worst sins.
"When the sacred months are over, slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them.” Surah 9:5
By and large, Muslims are taught that practicing idolatry is haraam and one of the greatest evils committed against the Almighty; and hence steer clear of placing statues, or figurines around the house. Some argue that Muslims found the cartoon depictions of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) to be of the same nature and were thus offended by it.
But what about television shows, such as “Pop Idols”? Many Muslims, other People of the Book and disbelievers seem to have found “gods” or “goddesses” on their popular television shows or other forms of media. They spend hours watching, reading and hearing about these people, (anyone from Aishwaria Rai to Ronaldo to Jennifer Aniston to Dan Brown, etc). The love, admiration and glory given to these MODERN AGE IDOLS are either a form of worshipping them or come frighteningly close to it.

Dua…A Conversation With Allah

Dua is a conversation with Allah which many of us don’t take advantage of. Often in our times of need we turn to people whom we feel are good listeners and can understand what we are going through. We forget that those attributes all belong to our creator. I can assure you that by just engaging in this conversation with your creator you will walk away feeling like it was the best conversation you ever had. You will be filled with the strength to go on and the knowledge that everything will work out the way it’s meant to be and no matter what the outcome you will get through it.
We make the mistake of only making dua when we want something. How about thanking Allah for all that he has blessed us with? And when it seems as if we don’t have anything to live for we should think about those who are fighting for their lives and for Islam in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, and the list goes on…we live lives of luxury in comparison to them.
There are many duas, which we are told to recite for various reasons. One of these duas is the dua for Isthikharah, a dua for guidance regarding important aspects of our lives. I recently asked Allah for guidance about a certain aspect of my life in my daily duas. I did not perform Salaatul-Isthikharah yet I still received my answer and no, it was not through a miraculous dream or by waking up with a feeling, which told me what to do. It was simply by what happened, the obstacles Allah put in my path, which made me realize that what I was hoping for is not what is good for me at this time in my life. The decision Allah makes for us may not be the answer we want to hear but, remember, Allah knows best.
I have been fortunate enough to experience the power of dua and on a number of occasions have made dua after performing salaah and within a day or so (there has been a time when it was just five minutes later) that my dua was accepted/answered. I am not saying that this will definitely happen because ‘Allah answers duas in three ways, he says yes and gives you what you want, he says no and gives you something better, he says wait and gives you the best in his own time.’ I ask you to do yourself a favour and sometime today find five minutes to lift your hands up in prayer and just speak to Allah. I guarantee that it will be a conversation which you will never regret.

I ask you to do yourself a favour and sometime today find five minutes to lift your hands up in prayer and just speak to Allah. I guarantee that it will be a conversation that you will never regret.

Studying Tajweed…An Empowering Process

Alhamdulillah, after 11 years of not attending madressah anymore, it was just over a month ago that I was given the opportunity to study Tajweed. Tajweed, that beautiful subject which teaches us to recite the Qur’an, the word of Allah in the manner it deserves. When listening to the Imams of the Harams of Makkah Mukarramah and Madinah Munawwara one can’t help but get moved by their recitation of the Qur’an and part of this effect it has on us is due to the Tajweed it is being recited with, although there are more factors which contribute to this beautiful recitation.
When learning to read the Qur’an in Madressah we were given basic rules and the focus was on the recitation. Subhanallah, this was a great effort on the part of our Apas but to my own detriment I did not master Tajweed and did not have anyone correcting my Tajweed after leaving madressah. I realised that I could not go on reciting the Qur’an in the manner I did reading page after page without making the effort to recite it properly because each mispronunciation could possibly change the meaning and that is a grave sin which I am committing. It is only through the help of Allah that I have completed the first baby step in my study of Tajweed, that of the pronunciation of the Arabic alphabet. The experience of reading Qur’an has already become one of enrichment as I try and practice applying what I learnt and take cognisance of the Makhraj (source) of the letter as I say it.
There are two types of Faraaidh in the study of Tajweed, that of Fardh-i-een, which is the unconditional obligation upon every Muslim and has to do with learning the basics of Tajweed in order to ensure one’s recitation is correct. The other type of fardh is Fardh-i-Kifayah which is compulsory but can be left under certain circumstances. If one member of the community has this knowledge, the rest of the community is freed from that Obligation only through the mercy of Allah and that has to do with knowing the technical aspects of Tajweed rules.
This is just the beginning of my experience in studying Tajweed and I feel empowered as I read the Glorious Qur’an.

Can we be too enthusiastic?

Islam, a complete way of life. This is what we read and hear when we attend classes and lectures but how much of our lives are really concerned with Islam? We sit happily threw Maghrib at the movies and sleep threw Fajr without even having set the alarm clock the night before.

So we make the conscious decision – I want to be a ‘good’ Muslim. Does this fly with our friends? Even our family members? You start your day by making Fajr and strive to make all you Salaah on time every day, just doing this is strengthening your Imaan. Things in your life going a bit better? So you enroll in a class or two, buy a book, start dressing more modestly, cover your arms and legs and stop wearing a bikini at the beach. Does all this go unnoticed? No, but do you wish it did? Everyone around is still doing the same things, no one is jumping on the band wagon with you. Instead they don’t phone because now you are boring and ‘the ultimate Muslim’, “you only do those things when you get old; you’re young now so have fun!” “Who says you must wear a scarf?” “You don’t need to until after you are married, had your first child or been on hajj?” At what point do we decide that Allah is more important? Our friends will get over it!

By: Lindzi Swinhoe


Month Of Quraan

Days of Fasting
Sacrifice has to be made
Abstinence from all wrong
Patience practiced
Tolerance towards each other
Achieving unity

Nights in Taraweeh
Striving towards spiritual upliftment
Making tilaawat of the quraan
Hoping for Allah’s mercy
Begging for Allah’s forgiveness
In constant awareness of Allah

An atmosphere of Serenity
Feelings of compassion
Barakah-filled sustenance
Experiencing contentment
Through our Love of Allah.

Beautiful Girl...

Where do I begin; there are so many things I’d like for you to know, to learn & to experience, but I realise that I cannot teach you & protect you from everything, because there are things in life that you’ll have to learn & experience for yourself.
Life is a challenging journey, and I realise that the most precious gift I can give you, is the gift of Imaan, wrapped with guidance and lots of encouragement & sealed with a Mothers Love.
Although you are too young to understand any of this now, I trust that as you grow up, you will always keep these words in your heart and refer to them when you need it. Your life’s journey has just begun, and I watch you as you explore and try to take in this world around you, discovering new treasures everyday. Today im with you, holding your hand, always in your shadow waiting to help you in case you stumble, but my beautiful daughter time passes too quickly and soon you wont need me behind you all the time.
These are very trying times and the words are too many and pages too few, but I trust that if you remember these five things, you will find that peace and happiness that everyone seems to be searching for.
● Remember that you are a Muslim first, before you are anything else; because without Imaan all our achievements are meaningless.
· Remember that you are Beautiful no matter what anyone says; because there is beauty in each and every creation of Allah Taala.
· Always be respectful& kind to everyone you meet, irrespective of age, religion or race; because kindness begets kindness.
· When life gets you down from time to time, always remember Allah and go back to the Sunnah of Nabi (SAW); for our every answer lies either in the Quraan or the Sunnah.
Remember that your joys are my joys, and your sorrows are my sorrows, and we share such a bond that no force on this earth can break, so come what may remember that im always here for you with an open mind and open arms.

Your Loving Mother
By: Sister Ayesha

The Month Of All Months

Alhamdulillah, by the grace and mercy of Allah Taala we have been given the wonderful opportunity to witness another Ramadaan. The preparations began a good six or seven weeks before with all the ladies labouring extremely hard in the kitchen. I’m sure that all my sisters out there are more than adequately prepared with their freezers full of all sorts of exotic delicacies. Although I understand the importance of this aspect of our preparations, my concern is what have we done to spiritually prepare for this blessed month.

We busy ourselves with so many trivial things that sometimes we lose sight of our main objectives. We place so much emphasis on our frivolous customs, especially the food, that we rob ourselves of all the special blessings of this month. Most of us will rush through Asr salaah just so that we can get a head start on the grand iftaar feast, and we usually finish just a few minutes before adhaan. Yet this is one of the most important times in the day for the assured acceptance of duaas.

Ramadaan is such a blessed month, a month wherein Allah sends down his special mercies and blessings upon us. It is an opportunity for us to turn over a new leaf in our lives, to seek forgiveness for our past sins, to cleanse ourselves spiritually, to increase our good deeds & inculcate piety within ourselves, but most importantly it is an opportunity for us to draw ourselves closer to Allah Taala.

Let us all make a firm commitment to change our focus to what’s really important & take full advantage of this opportunity. May Allah Taala give us all the hidaayat to better ourselves, to continue our good deeds year-round, & may He forgive us all our shortcomings. Ameen .

By: Sister Ayesha


We’ve been taught that Jannat lies under the feet of our mothers, and if you take the time out to actually process the depth of that sentence, you will realise very quickly how important our mothers truly are. From the day she heard that you exist, she has been taking care of you and ensuring every possible comfort comes your way. When times get hard and you feel lost, a mother will always be there for you, listen to your troubles, be happy for you when you do something well and just be an overall light in your life.

To me, I feel that we take them for granted, and that to be absolutely honest, we may not always take the time out to see how they are doing, but that’s the nature of a mother isn’t it…because they never complain, we never actually see how much they do. And if for some reason they are not around, you can feel their absence to such an extent that the light that permeates your home feels as if it has disappeared.

I suppose in the mix of feelings that I’m trying to portray, lies the message of the importance of an indelible person in all of our families. A person, who not only cannot be replaced, but should not be ignored. A woman so special and so full of guidance, that Islam has elevated her to the heights of importance.

Let’s go home today and give her a hug just for being who she is, and for those who don’t have that special person in their lives for whatever reason, just take a moment out to remember how special our mothers are…..
By: Farhana Bham


Marriage means a different thing to everyone; for me marriage is one of the most beautiful things in this world. It’s the union of two souls brought together by Love, and more importantly the completion of one’s Imaan. When two people love each other solely for the pleasure of Allah, there can be nothing but Barakah and happiness in that union.

Despite this, we see so many broken marriages around us. Some don’t even make it past a few weeks, let alone months or years. We need to ask ourselves where are we going wrong? I believe that the answer lies in us going back to the Sunnah of Nabi (SAW) and breaking away from western ideals that we have succumbed to.

The secret to building a successful marriage is to approach it as you would the building of a house. You have to start with a solid foundation otherwise, your house will eventually collapse. Imaan, love, understanding and respect amongst other things form an important part of your foundation. You also need to remember that a house needs ongoing maintenance and so does every marriage.

As the seasons change from autumn to winter and spring to summer, so do the seasons in our lives change. As we progress, our hopes, dreams and aspirations also changes. To sustain that happiness together, we need to continuously work on our marriages and make improvements as life changes.


By: Sister Ayesha

What’s In A Name?

Islam is a religion unlike any other and this we can see just by it’s’ name. A name that Allah T’aala gave and Islam is not named after an individual or tribe of people, like Judaism is named after the tribe of Judah, Christianity after Christ and Buddhism after Buddha. The word Islam is derived from the Arabic word ‘Aslammal’ and encompasses the qualities of our religion. These five qualities are: surrender, submission, sincerity, obedience and salaam which means peace. If these are the beautiful qualities of Islam then who is a Muslim? ‘Mu’ in the Arabic language means ‘one who does’ and hence a Muslim is one who practices these 5 qualities and follows the guidance granted to us in the Quraan and the Sunnah of out Prophet Muhammad (SAW). May Allah grant us the ability to follow the teachings of the Quraan and the Sunnah and not to be just Muslims by name.

Reference: Sheikh Yusuf Estes Talk on 13/5/08


In my most humble opinion, I question what drives us to do what we do on a daily basis. I mean, we get an education to secure a job, in order to earn money (to me, money is not an evil but it’s what we do with it that’s evil). We are nice to people most of the time because we need something in return and we buy the nicest clothes because we have a desire to show who we are through what we look like. Don’t get me wrong, there are amazingly wonderful and caring people in this world, but those are few and far between…

What disturbs me are the true reasons that drive people to do what they do. It’s scary that actions can be directed by pure unkind and cruel behaviour-emotions like jealousy could lead to such harsh words that I find truly sad. And I will be the first to take these words as advice…we need, as young intelligent Muslim women, to remember what we come from and what is really important in life before we choose to unleash the less nicer individual that exists in all of us. Life is too short, too brittle and way too much of a test to give in to our lesser sides.

Be good to your families, to your friends, to your neighbours but mostly be good to yourselves and stay true to who you are.
By: Farhana Bham


Many times we see mothers slap or hit their children when they are naughty or disobedient, yet those children cling on to their mothers and refuse to leave them. Although the child is getting a hiding well deserved, how can the child leave its mother? Where would the child go? If that child is not prepared to leave its mother, similarly, we should never leave our Creator? There is no one else for us, except Allah.

When afflicted with difficulties and trial, then sabr should be exercised, or when granted the best of bounties and gifts, plenty of gratitude and appreciation should be expressed. In both conditions, the person retains his trust and his faith in Allah, and together with the acceptance, patience and tolerance exercised, the heart is blessed with the sweetness of imaan. No matter what the condition or circumstance, our dependence upon Allah should be as the child's dependence upon its mother!

Handing all matters to Allah, resigning oneself to the decisions of Allah and believing that there is great wisdom in His decisions, creates peace in one's life.
Thus, to protect the imaan of His servants, Allah grants some people favourable conditions while for others, less favourable conditions because Allah knows full well that instead of coming to Him, making ibadah and shukr, they will squander in haraam, so He decides for us, in order for our imaan to remain intact!

2:216 "…But it is possible that you dislike a thing which is good for you, and that you love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knows, and you know not."

The real test is in suppressing the nafs from haraam. On doing this, Allah will ignite our hearts with the nur of imaan. An example: After the government declares an area, a disaster area, they supply the material, sand, cement, etc, for the reconstruction of homes or buildings that were destroyed. In a similar context, when evil desires make their way into our hearts and we smash and destroy them for the pleasure of Allah, then this fragile building (our heart) is shattered into thousands of fragments!! On the pain and grief experienced at this destruction, Allah will reconstruct our hearts with the sweetness and the nur of imaan.

This relationship with Allah is analogous to two pages stuck firm by glue. That glue has created such a 'strong' bond that the page can be torn, but the two pages will never separate. This is the kind of relationship we need to build with our Creator, that irrespective of the condition, we will never separate ourselves from Him.

By:Naadira Moosajee-Moola

In Memory Of…

Our society has witnessed the tragic deaths of young people in recent times. As a dedication to those who have passed away the youth themselves have created Facebook groups in their memory where members who have joined the group have posted messages of loss, longing and goodbyes for the deceased. While this group may be a way for the youth to come together and express their grief and share their sadness I feel that the time spent posting messages and pictures of the deceased could be better utilised by reading Surah Yaseen or making dua for him/her. Posting pictures and writing messages of how much you will miss them does not comfort the soul of the deceased but dua and reciting Quraan does. May Allah help us to remember the closeness of death each day and that the best we can do for those who have passed away is to pray for them. Ameen.

What does it mean to be a Muslim?

A day in a life of a Muslim
Before the crack of dawn, I hear my Lord calling me. It’s an invitation from Him, Allah to have a heart to heart conversation with me. I open my eyes, I smile and I know its time once again to meet my Lord face to face. I thank Him for the wonderful sleep and for allowing me another day on this earth to obey Him as best as I can.
Lifting myself from the warm bed and into the bathroom I run. After visiting the toilet, brushing my teeth, I begin the wudhoo, ablution. This is a special way of washing the different parts of my body in preparation of meeting my Lord.
I enter my bedroom; remove my prayer rug and I begin, Allahu Akbar, Allah is the greatest. What an awesome feeling! I can now finally speak to the All-Powerful, the Greatest. I know that I am praying the same way as the angels do. This has been told to me by our beloved Prophet Muhammed (peace is upon him).
After my prayer, I choose either to snuggle in bed for a few minutes or I decide to begin my daily routine. I feel a renewed sense of peace and know that this day is the best day of my life.
I am aware that in order for me to be in this constant state of peace, I need to choose to protect my senses and my thoughts from being exposed to anything that would pollute or disturb this peace. All praise is due to Allah, Alhamdulillah.
I choose now to see only wholesome and pure images whether it be in real life, or on a screen or on any paper. I choose to walk on a path that is away from any evil places, I choose to hear talks, music or conversations with others that would be wholesome and pure. I choose to eat and drink wholesome, pure and nourishing food and drink. I choose to speak the truth at all times, no matter what the circumstance. I choose to speak with kindness and love. I will seek to understand before I am understood. I choose not to judge or belittle any of Allah’s creation. I choose to think pure, wholesome and positive thoughts.
As I tread on Allah’ earth, I am reminded that everything I own belongs to Him and I have been chosen to be His trustee on this earth. Now that makes me very conscious of how I am using the gifts granted to me, e.g., water, food, money etc. I am aware that abusing Allah’s gifts would truly harm His creation and I choose to be the best trustee that I can be. I choose to share my gifts, my money, my time and my knowledge.
As the day goes by, I come across several challenges. As I face these challenges one by one, I understand and experience that as soon as I put effort with total trust that Allah is in control and that He is there to assist me through the day, I experience miracles. I see the challenges change into opportunities and I find that they have become blessings in disguise. Subhan Allah (glorified and perfect is Allah).
Allah invites me to a formal meeting with Him five times a day, before dawn prayer, the noon prayer, the late afternoon prayer, after sunset prayer and the night prayer. These meetings are a great opportunity for me to reflect, ponder and renew my intention and purpose for being here on earth. I can seek forgiveness, ask for my needs, thank Allah for His blessings, etc.
I live and plan my daily life in five segments. From before the crack of dawn to the noon prayer, then from noon prayer to the late afternoon prayer, then from late afternoon prayer to after sunset prayer and then sunset prayer to the late night prayer. Finally rest, from the night prayer to the dawn prayer. When I plan my day in these segments, I find blessings in my time and I feel recharged and energised after every segment. All praise is due to Allah.
As I reflect on my life as a Muslim, my day seems sooo easy. It’s like eating your favourite chocolate, says my son. Not sooo, I say. It’s a continuous inner struggle... This inner struggle has only one goal and that is Allah (swt). It’s the most painfully pleasurable struggle. This struggle has only one purpose, this struggle knows the end results, this struggle wants to struggle. It’s like a marathon runner or cyclist who is struggling, but he loves the pain and the sweat and the struggle, because he knows that what the end result will be and he desires the end result.
I am so grateful to the Almighty for choosing Islam, which means “peace” as a way of life for humanity. The peace and contentment is incomparable to any I have ever known, Subhana-Allah. (Perfect is Allah)

7 Reasons to Read the Book of Allah

1. Inimitable: It dares you to disprove it. How? It says that humans cannot write a book like this even if they pooled all their resources together and got help also from the spirits. The Noble Qur’an said this 1,400 years ago and yet no one has been able to disprove it. Billions of books have been written, but not another one like the Qur’an.

2. Incorruptible: It is the only religious sacred writing that has been in circulation for such a long time and yet remains as pure as it was in the beginning. The Qur’an was kept intact. Nothing was added to it; nothing was changed in it; and nothing was taken away from it ever since its revelation was completed.

3. Unsurpassable: The Qur’an is Allah’s final revelation to humankind. Allah revealed the Torah to Moses, the Psalms to David, the Gospel to Jesus, and finally the Qur’an to Muhammad. Peace be upon Moses, David, Jesus and Muhammad. No other book will come from Allah to surpass His final revelation.

4. Indisputable: The Qur’an withstands the test of time and scrutiny. No one can dispute the truth of this book. It speaks about past history and turns out right. It speaks about the future in prophecies and it turns out right. It mentions details of physical phenomena which were not known to people at the time; yet later scientific discoveries prove that the Qur’an was right all along. Every other book needs to be revised to accord with modern knowledge. The Qur’an alone is never contradicted by a newly discovered scientific fact.

5. Your Roadmap for Life and Afterlife: The Qur’an is the best guidebook on how to structure your life. No other book presents such a comprehensive system involving all aspects of human life and endeavour. The Qur’an also points out the way to secure everlasting happiness in the afterlife. It is your roadmap showing how to get to Paradise.

6. Allah’s Gift of Guidance: Allah has not left you alone. You were made for a reason. Allah tells you why He made you, what He demands from you and what He has in store for you. If you operate a machine contrary to its manufacturer’s specification you will ruin that machine. What about you? Do you have an owner’s manual for yourself? The Qur’an is from your Maker. It is a gift for you to make sure you function for success, lest you fail to function.

It is a healing from Allah. It satisfies the soul, and cleans the heart. It removes doubts and brings peace.

7. Your Calling Card to Communicate with your Lord: Humans are social creatures. We love to communicate with other intelligent life. The Qur’an tells us how to communicate with the source of all intelligence and the source of all life – the One God. The Qur’an tells us who God is, by what name we should address Him, and the way in which to communicate with Him. Are these not seven sufficient points for reading the Qur’an?

By: Naadira Moosajee-Moola.

A Tear and A Smile

I’m writing this as I go through one of the most trying times in my life. I must have sat down to write this article a hundred times, but I never had the will or courage to actually finish it. They say that the things that are closest to your heart are the hardest to share, & maybe that’s the reason why, but I decided that if my meagre effort can inspire just one person, then surely its well worth the effort.
What is life without hope, & what is hope without faith??? No matter how you look at it, they are all intertwined & no matter how hard you try, you cannot separate them. Love gives meaning to life, but its hope & faith that keep you going from day to day. Hope is that tiny spec of sunlight that filters through the storm clouds. It’s always there; it’s just that sometimes it’s hard to see it. When life becomes too much to bear & when the tears & sorrow envelope you, its hope that keeps you going, & your faith in Allah that pulls you out.
I don’t think that that I have ever allowed myself to slip this low & to lose this much hope, but each test that we face is different. Each time we come out on top, it makes us stronger, emotionally & spiritually, & ultimately brings you closer to your Rabb, your Allah. The harder your test, the bigger your opportunity to strengthen your Imaan. These realisations haven’t come easily, & I know all about the heartache, frustrations & anger that you feel when you sitting at your lowest & your world seems to be crumbling at your feet. I admit that sometimes it’s hard to find that hope, but remember that Allah will never abandon you, you just have to reach out your hand and He will be waiting to pull you out. Have faith & a little bit of sabr & never lose hope. Stop concentrating on everything that’s wrong in your life, & start thinking about everything that’s right in your life & all that you are thankful for. You’ll be surprised how a simple change in your thinking can make such a huge impact on your overall wellbeing.
Life is a series of smiles & tears, as a wise man once wrote “I would not exchange the sorrows of my heart for the joys of the multitude. And I would not have the tears that sadness makes to flow from my every part, turn into laughter. I would that my life remain a tear & a smile.” Khalil Gibran

A Tribute to Mothers by: Laila Tayob

In a western world, one day per year, is set aside to pay tribute to mothers.This day has become so commercialized, that it is no longer about the sentiments of a mother, yet one big money making scheme.Mothers are the women whom have shaped us into the adults we are today, they kissed our scraped knees, helped us with homework, baked us cookies and so much more.As Muslims we are taught and commanded but Allah (SWT) to respect our mothers and to cherish them.As the hadith clearly states: “Jannah lies under our mother’s feet”.Hence we should not fall prey to the promotional tactics and tricks associated with only mother’s day on a western calendar but give recognition to our mothers every day.Through warm greetings, smiling, offering a helping hand and showing appreciation and gratitude to our mothers, not because the west tells us to, but because we love them and truly appreciate all that they do for us!