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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Allah's Beautiful Blessings by Aaisha Haffejee

I marvel at the majestic mounds of sand morsels we call mountains...
Their fresh, lush, dense foliage bursting out like fountains...
I'm amazed by the alluring azure vastness we call the sea...
And its whimsical white shores seem so free...
I'm fascinated by the flourishing flowers...
Their radical range of shapes.
The spectacular spectrum of colours...
I wonder into the wilderness...
How many millions more creatures have we  missed...
I feel the flush of wind on my face...
Who taught it to blow breezes, give out gusts, hurl out hurricanes?
Where does it come from? Which place?
By who's hand, could come such lavish lands?
I see the sun as it shines to enlighten my soul...
And then the puzzle pieces become whole...
Allah hu akbar!
None other than our Rabb, our Sustainer, our Provider...
Could create such spleandour
Such beauty,
With Such Harmony,
Such tranquility,
Such mercy,
Oh my beloved Allah, lord of all that is in the heavens and the earth, and all that lies between them...
Grant me the tenderness of taqwah and purity of imaan to appreciate the bounties and wonders you have given us, to be a grateful servant and to praise you and you alone.

Awakening Nightmare by Aaisha Haffejee

I wake in the deep of the dark night,
I feel flustered, anxious, curious as to why my body is drenched in cold, clammy sweat,
I sit up straight,
Breathe I say to myself, breathe..
I flop down flat again,
I pry and push but the band crushing my chest just won't let up,
Inhale... Exhale
My heart thuds harder.. Faster

Am I dying? Is this what the end feels like?
Curiosity melts like ice,
All that remains is bubbling, boiling fear...fear.. Intense fear

Why? Isn't death supposed to be a never ending dream? A slumber so silent and serene?

As my mind spins spirals I drift off to sleep..
I awake to my mothers familiar, frantic call to fajr.
I suck the air into the depths of my soul and sigh,
I made it through the nightmare..
Allah SWT has given me a true wake up call, another chance to change my ways, another shot at redemption,

I perform my wudhu in peace,
Savouring the welcome wash with cool water and being saved from the boiling couldrons of jahannam,

I sit and stand in salaah, so obedient, so still
Humbled by my Creator's mercy, protected from his punishment

I replace the routine scowl I give my parents every morning with a sweet smile and salaam
Grateful for this irreplaceable Allah SWT has granted me.

I spend the day, and every day after that, remembering Allah in every little thing I do, making shukr for this life I've been given and praying for paradise.

Its not too late dear brothers and sisters, we can all aim to attain paradise, eternal peace with Almighty Allah SWT in the aakhirah by doing even one tiny good deed each day...

Don't wait for doom day to arrive, make your death a delightful day

Profile:Aaisha Haffejee

Name: Aaisha Haffejee Date of Birth/Age: 23 May 1991 / 19
Your personal mission statement: To fulfill my role as a sincere servant of my Rabb, to use my knowledge to aid others suffering from ilness, injury or impairment and to help our people to become a better, stronger ummah. Family: I have been blessed with a mother who embodies the true essence of compassion, sabr, love and selflessness, a father who's gentle and genuine affection and care is truely honourable. A big brother who is adored and admired. A sister in law with a unique inner and outer beauty. And last but not least, a sister.. Without whom I wouldn't be half the person I am today. A sister who is a true gift from Allah SWT. High School Education:Westville Girls' High School. Tertiary Education&field of study:Bachelor of Surgery MBChB, 2nd year
Work Experience: Aaisha's Cutiful Cupcakes -own catering business Community Organisations/Clubs/Societies and position therein:MSA - NRM School of medicine, Ameerah & IMA
Areas of community work: KZN orpanages, old age homes. Current fields of interest/ -activities: I absolutely adore cooking and baking, love islamic literature and spending time with family and friends in the rememberance of Allah SWT. plans for 1432: To pass this year academically, inshaa allah. To become more tolerant of others, forgive and forget, turn my heart towards Allah and Allah alone and to correct my own faults, inshaa allah. Advice to muslim women:Whenever you feel down and despondent, remember that you are never alone, Allah SWT is always with you, in every moment of happiness, through every tear, and during every decision. Always have faith in Him and the power of duaa, talk to your Rabb.. He will certainly reply even if its not at the time you desire or in the manner you think is best. Also, remember the importance of dawah, always speak of Allah, his prophets, his sahaabah and his deen, it will bring his pleasure and mercy upon you. What greater honour can there be?

Profile: Quraysha Ismail Sooliman

Date of Birth/Age: 23/7/68 age 42yrs. Your personal mission statement: to empower muslim women. Family: 3 children. Current City:pretoria. High School Education:
Our Lady of Fathima Convent-Durban Matriculation. Tertiary
Education&field of study: BA Psycholog1992/Journalism2010/Currently
Studying Pol Science Honours at UP. Work Experience: finance and
Marketing Yusra Tours. Community
Organisations/Clubs/Societies and position therein: Caring Women's Forum
PTA and MSA Tukkies member. Areas of community work: soup kitchen, informal
settlements(crèches/orphans and bursaries) in Atteridgeville ,Itereleng
Current fields of interest/ activities: motivational speaker and workshop
training for empowerment. plans for 1432: Junior lecturer at UP in Pol
Science/Islamic workshops. Advice to muslim women: Learn your deen and be 'Proudly Muslim'

Reality,Rights and Responsibilities

Quraysha Ismail Sooliman(Journalist and Lecturer Political Science,UP)


17years into a democratic South Africa and the clutches of apartheid still strangle the Muslim community. Narrow visions and fear of intrusion have prevented the best of scholars from facing reality. The reality of an opening and globalized world where every man carries his own destiny, his own burden and his own responsibilities. That Allah has given us free choice and that with that right is the responsibility that comes with each choice we make.


And in this reality, women from the west are embracing Islam- not because we have reached out to them (

in fact, we have remained still very much shrouded in an apartheid mentality and we endorse the idea that Islam in South Africa is an Indian privilege)but because of globalization and the opening of the world’s borders whether through technology or migration or relocation.


So when the prophet Muhammad (SAW) instructed us simply to ‘not prevent the women from the mosque’ his incredible

naseeha (advise)carried a vision of a world that would still evolve from the time and context in which he lived. The mosque was always to be the centre of learning and development, the centre for creative thought, building Islamic unity and strengthening good companionship.


As the function and utility of the mosque vanished and instead it became only a place of prayer, then so too did the Islamic spirit start to wane and weaken. And in striving to revive the Islamic spirit, communities the world over are restructuring the functions and utilities of the mosques so that Muslims can start to rebuild themselves spiritually.


And part of this restructuring includes a space for women in the mosques- even the small Island country of Maldives has women’s prayer facilities in every one of its mosques. Female tourists do not have to stand in the street whilst their husbands pray, they are equal in prayer and equal in their rights to have access to a place of prayer, especially when they are not at home.


Western women(see the email below from Sister Bonnie who is a revert Muslim from New Zealand) who embrace Islam in a globalized world need access to a mosque or Islamic community centre where there is on-going instruction, stimulation and inspiration. This religion is not of hermits and monks- most of the greatest acts of worship are collective and demand a collective spirit.


It is for this and many more realities that we have been campaigning for the right of women to attend the mosques. This right does not mean a negation of the female’s responsibilities nor her ignorance in answering to her Creator about the conditions she needs to fulfil when she leaves her home for any reason what-so-ever(

the conditions are not limited to attending the mosques alone), but it is a right that is necessary for specific and important realities.


These include: when the woman is travelling, working in a city where her work place is not conducive to private prayer and there is a mosque nearby or if she is a revert and her parents do not know of her Islam and she cannot tell them and hence the only place she can pray in safety and peace is in the mosque, otherwise she cannot pray at all. This last scenario is a growing reality and three young ladies at the University in which I lecture have been in this predicament. They can only pray salaat when they come to the campus mosque or when they are near the DuToit Street mosque, especially for iftaar and Maghrib in Ramadaan and the Eid prayer. 

It is here that they actually get to be a part of the Islamic community and experience the Islamic brotherhood, celebrating the praises of Allah with the takbirs of the Eid salaat or sharing a meal at iftaar provided by the generous.


If these facilities did not exist, it would be extremely difficult for these sisters to incorporate the prayer into their lives or learn how to pray let alone learn to pronounce the Arabic

tasbeehaat in the starting and most crucial phase of their embracing Islam. And they would be denied the benefit of the essence and virtue of Ramadaan and the Eid- again, both of which are closely tied to a community and collective spirit.


Women have rights to attend the mosques and those rights carry with them responsibilities- it is up to us to master both.


The men need to restructure their thought on women’s rights to bring it into accordance with the Quraan and Sunnah and at the same time, we need more pro-active programmes, education and engagement in the mosques. The reality of the globalised economic world means that women leave their homes for work or travel, other women are reverts with no access to a community or private home space, hence they need access to the mosque to pray-

and this does not mean that demanding the right to pray in the mosques implies that women will be praying in them all day, each day, 5 times a day. 

Part of the effort to cater for the reality of Muslim women in the market-place has been the increasing number of ‘jamaat-khanas’(JK) in various shopping malls, airports and restaurants. If this is not a ‘make-shift’ mosque, then what is it? It certainly isn’t ‘one’s home’, so how come it’s ok for women to pray in the JK but not in a mosque?


To claim that the women are ‘out of control’ and cannot come to the mosques, is to blow hot air. If the men were serious about bringing the women to Islam, they would have made a conscious effort to provide alternatives to the ‘mall and makeup’ for the women. This would mean encouraging women to attend daily classes in the mosque closest to their homes where there should be all sorts of social and spiritual programmes. But this requires effort, commitment, preparation and of course time. Are the men prepared to give any of this to the Muslim women?


Many men are(see below), but in some parts of South Africa it suits the men to ignore the Muslim women’s rights to spiritual and educational up-liftment. So let them cook the biryani and serve the tea instead! Men deserve spiritual and culinary rewards, as for the women..?


There are realities, and there are rights and then there are responsibilities. Why is it so difficult to embrace all? Unless of course, we are too comfortable and too complacent.> On 17 Dec 2010, at 16:05, Bonnie Kurt wrote:>> > Salam Sister> >> > I really hope you don't mind me emailing you like this but I kind am> > left with no other option, I found your email address whilst> > researching Arabic Islamic ladies networks. I am a New-Zealand revert> > who came to live in South Africa six weeks ago, when I was living in> > New Zealand I attended Arabic classes, Ladies Quran classes, attended> > many lectures for women on various Islamic subjects and of course> > prayed every Friday at the Mosque. Since I have come here I have found> > nothing available for ladies, I was even reduced to tears when I> > learnt that females could not pray at virtually all mosques. Because I> > am new to Islam ( I only converted this year) I really need all the> > help I can get, do you know of any classes or anything like that> > available?> >> > I am living in Centurion but am able to drive> >> > Thank you so much for any guidance you are able to give me on this> > matter> >> > Bonnie 

So who will stand for the Muslim women? And where should the travelling women, the revert women, the women shopping in the malls and it’s prayer time pray if the home is not at that point a realistic option? These are realities challenging Muslim women today- will those who deny women their rights provide an alternative?