Thursday, February 24, 2011

Freedom means nudity

One hundred thousand people in the United Kingdom has embraced Islam in the last decade, according to a broadcast journalist, Lauren Booth. However, British media reaction to the disclosure of this and other matters related to Islam has always been dramatic and negative.

Even 'The Independent', a famous British newspaper with a well known neutral approach claimed that the spread of Islam in Britain can be labelled as "The Islamization of Britain."

These certainly cause a lot of the anger to a community that has always considered Islam as an extreme religion. "Remember," Booth said, "this is not a racist leaflet distributed by the community paper in the suburb, is a highly respected major newspaper. "It makes you think that converting to Islam is not a popular action," she chuckled, referring to the slander that is thrown by the British media against Islam since last year.

An excerpt from The Independent revealed that negative views of the British people for the actions of her conversion to Islam by asking questions to Booth: "What kind of women are willing to embrace a religion that organized religious persecution, repression and murder of thousands of Christians, homosexuals and women who are independent-minded around the world? "

"This is absolutely no sense," said Booth to nearly 300 attendees at a public lecture at the International Islamic University Malaysia, recently. "There is no direct use of critical thinking when talking about Islam. No one ever asked spiritual questions like" What is the nature of God? "" What do you know about the Prophet (Muhammad)? "" What does it mean when we pray five times a day? "" Are Muslims spiritual? I have been waiting to be asked such questions. " .."Instead, after I finished an interview in Britain, a common question asked is" Is the head scarf that you wear tight? "Or" Don’t you miss going to the pub? " [read: lame questions] 

Religion is Not Popular In UK

Booth said the phrase "Living in the Age of Ignorance" is commonly used in describing the Islamic way of life.
In contrast, British and American way of life is regarded as a modern and coveted. Islam is considered as incompatible with British values, which were previously of Christian in character, but is no longer practiced in any meaningful way. Booth herself was a Jew before, but said she grew up with no emphasis on religion. She claimed that most of the people in Britain do not have a religion. Parents will 'mark' their children as Christians on the census card because it is just a habit.


"Of course, when my generation grew up, no one ensure anyone to church every Sunday. But when I was little I liked to pray. At the age of seven years, I will close both hands to interact with God. "

Freedom Means Nudity

 
"We tend to think that we are far richer in terms of emotions and psychology compared to Muslim women," said Booth, "but the truth is in our society, freedom means nudity. She said a woman in Britain has a right to expose her body at any day and at any time she wants. "We have grown up feeling the need to look beautiful in front of men at every level, until we are old. If you do not try to enchant each man you meet and attract them sexually, you are deemed 'not looking after yourself'. [read: this is a personal opinion, i think, let’s not generalize it to all women..but she is a journalist, she studies her subjects before she speaks about them]
"The worst call was when you are said to be looking like someone’s mom.” Becoming a mother is considered as an" off road ". Can you imagine?" It is really sad when a woman is considered to have no aspirations other than just to look pretty for men.


"This seems to say that if it your are not beautiful, there is nothing to look forward to other than death. There is no other role in the community for women other than to look sexy and gorgeous. And this is said to be our freedom."

Exploitation of Women and Children

She also said that the West has created a society that exploits women and children sexually. In the past two years, a leading supermarket even sold "thongs" for 7 year old girls. Printed on the front of the thong the phrase "so many boys, yet so little time." and there was also a picture of cherries (the symbol of virginity) on it! Imagine, made for girls aged 7 years!

However, she was very pleased with the fast rise of mothers in Britain to condemn the vile product. In one protest, they were out in a mass in front of the supermarket burning the under wears. But the very fact that a leading supermarket could even think about making and distributing such clothing simply shows where the real position of women/female is in their society. The famous Playboy brand, which features young girls as 'toys' to man, can now be seen on pencil boxes for children as early as six years old.  And they call this freedom.

Typical Response To Muslim Women

Booth admits that she always looked down on Muslim women before embracing the religion. However, visits to countries in the Middle East due to her capacity as a human rights activist, exposes her to the real personality of a Muslim woman. She recalled her visit to Lebanon in 2007 to interview a government militia Hezbollah, Booth said she met with several students, all in a full hijab, but were also very vocal and smart. "They are nothing like a woman who lives in fear, who will be forced to marry someone against her will as reflected by those in the West.


"They accompanied me to interview a sheikh, and I was amazed at how free they were to interrupt when he spoke, with an occasional show of hands to ask him to stop briefly to allow them to translate for me." In the UK, Booth is impressed with the difference in strength Muslim women shows compared to the non-Muslim women. Her friend, a young mother with two children could manage the family during the day while studying for medical degrees at night. At the end of the week, she was still able to carry out voluntary work.


"Compared to my non-Muslim friends with only one child, She was unable to juggle study and working without complaining, definitely do not cook for the family, what more doing a voluntary work!" Booth believes, all of the extra energy to take care of family and also do  volunteer work come from prayers."I also think that it is the result of wisdom for never drinking alcohol!" she laughed.

The aftermath of a Godless system

She is now aware that Britain is poorer emotionally and psychologically, from the third world countries.
Booth said that the UK is accused of thwarting the welfare of children and was ranked lowest amongst 21 developed countries in this regard. Although it is a rich country, Children's Commissioner for England said the UK is witnessing a generation of young people who are not happy, is not healthy and engaged in risky behaviors, lacking in friendly relations with family members and friends, and are hopeless and insecure.

'UK Report' also shows that child poverty has doubled since 1979 and 31 percent of children had admitted to at least been drunk two or three times. "So, Hooray for freedom. Hooray to the world without God and without ethical guidelines. "

Now, no one is to blamed but themselves because of their choice to live in a world, in a society with a lack in moral guidance..


Booth was in Malaysia as a guest speaker for the Viva Palestina Malaysia, one of the UK branch of the Palestinian Viva, an international non-governmental organization that seeks to establish independent Palestinian state. translated and modified from iluvislam.com

 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Most teens want to dress like Beyonce, but Krista Bremer's daughter wanted to wear a headscarf.

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

“Most teens want to dress like Beyonce, but Krista Bremer's daughter wanted to wear a headscarf. Hear Bremer's story as she explores the place where religion, self-image, and motherhood intersect.”

Nine years ago, I danced my newborn daughter around my North Carolina living room to the music of Free to Be...You and Me, the '70s children's classic whose every lyric about tolerance and gender equality I had memorized as a girl growing up in California. My Libyan-born husband, Ismail, sat with her for hours on our screened porch, swaying back and forth on a creaky metal rocker and singing old Arabic folk songs, and took her to a Muslim sheikh who chanted a prayer for long life into her tiny, velvety ear. She had espresso eyes and lush black lashes like her father's, and her milky-brown skin darkened quickly in the summer sun. We named her Aliya, which means "exalted" in Arabic, and agreed we would raise her to choose what she identified with most from our dramatically different backgrounds.

 
I secretly felt smug about this agreement—confident that she would favor my comfortable American lifestyle over his modest Muslim upbringing. Ismail's parents live in a squat stone house down a winding dirt alley outside Tripoli. Its walls are bare except for passages from the Qur'an engraved onto wood, its floors empty but for thin cushions that double as bedding at night. My parents live in a sprawling home in Santa Fe with a three-car garage, hundreds of channels on the flat-screen TV, organic food in the refrigerator, and a closetful of toys for the grandchildren. I imagined Aliya embracing shopping trips to Whole Foods and the stack of presents under the Christmas tree, while still fully appreciating the melodic sound of Arabic, the honey-soaked baklava Ismail makes from scratch, the intricate henna tattoos her aunt drew on her feet when we visited Libya. Not once did I imagine her falling for the head covering worn by Muslim girls as an expression of modesty.


Last summer we were celebrating the end of Ramadan with our Muslim community at a festival in the parking lot behind our local mosque. Children bounced in inflatable fun houses while their parents sat beneath a plastic tarp nearby, shooing flies from plates of curried chicken, golden rice, and baklava.


Aliya and I wandered past rows of vendors selling prayer mats, henna tattoos, and Muslim clothing. When we reached a table displaying head coverings, Aliya turned to me and pleaded, "Please, Mom—can I have one?"
She riffled through neatly folded stacks of headscarves while the vendor, an African-American woman shrouded in black, beamed at her. I had recently seen Aliya cast admiring glances at Muslim girls her age. I quietly pitied them, covered in floor-length skirts and long sleeves on even the hottest summer days, as my best childhood memories were of my skin laid bare to the sun: feeling the grass between my toes as I ran through the sprinkler on my front lawn; wading into an icy river in Idaho, my shorts hitched up my thighs, to catch my first rainbow trout; surfing a rolling emerald wave off the coast of Hawaii. But Aliya envied these girls and had asked me to buy her clothes like theirs. And now a headscarf.


In the past, my excuse was that they were hard to find at our local mall, but here she was, offering to spend ten dollars from her own allowance to buy the forest green rayon one she clutched in her hand. I started to shake my head emphatically "no," but caught myself, remembering my commitment to Ismail. So I gritted my teeth and bought it, assuming it would soon be forgotten.


That afternoon, as I was leaving for the grocery store, Aliya called out from her room that she wanted to come.
A moment later she appeared at the top of the stairs—or more accurately, half of her did. From the waist down, she was my daughter: sneakers, bright socks, jeans a little threadbare at the knees. But from the waist up, this girl was a stranger. Her bright, round face was suspended in a tent of dark cloth like a moon in a starless sky.

Read more of this inspiring story here .

Written by Krista Beamer

Krista Bremer is the winner of a 2008 Pushcart Prize and a 2009 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award. She is associate publisher of the literary magazine The Sun, and she is writing a memoir about her bicultural marriage.

 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The influence of Naturalist Teachings on world Nations

By Sayed Jamaludeen Al-Afghani (1838-1897)


This is part of the book "Jamal Al-din Al-Afghani, A Muslim Intellectual" that I want to share with you all, because it is very interesting and explains and clarifies a lot about the current situation of the Ummah and the internal caused of its degeneration and subsequent fall.


In this section Afghani studies the causes of the rise and fall of certain nations. According to him there were three beliefs and three qualities which formed the basis of the progress of a nation. The thee beliefs are: man is the noblest among God's creation, his is the noblest nation, and man has been created with the purpose of attaining the highest peaks of perfection. The three qualities are: modesty, trust and sincerity. On the other hand, the decay of the nations was the result of the corruption of these essential beliefs and qualities caused by the teachings of the naturalists.


Greece
Afghani states that by virtue of possessing these beliefs and qualities the Greeks remained unified against the mighty Persian Empire, conquered it and then attacked India. The quality of trust was so deep in their character that they preferred death to treachery. For instance, Themistocles, despite his distinguished services in the conquest of Persia, was expelled from Greece by his own countrymen on charges of high treason, and had to take refuge in Persia. However, when he was ordered by Artaxerxes to command Persian army against Greece, he committed suicide instead of acting as a traitor to his motherland.


The decau of Greece started with the appearance of the naturalist Epicurus and his followers. They rejected belief in God and declared that man is his vanity and pride supposes that the universe is created for his worthless being and that he is the primary cause of the universe and the noblest of all beings. Under the influence of his greed, selfish desires and fancies, man has started believing in the life hereafter, and for this reason, contrary to his own nature, he has bound himself in numerous bonds, taken upon himself many hardships and sufferings and has deprived himself of all natural pleasures and luxuries.

The Epicurean philosphers held that, in fact, man is even inferior to animals. He has learnt all arts and crafts by imitating other animals and insects. For instance, he has learnt weaving from the spider, building houses from the bee, raising mansions from the ant, storing food provisions from the tiny ant and music from nightingale. There is no future life and, therefore, it is pointless to go through sufferings and difficulties. Man should not deprive himself of pleasures by going against nature. The terms "prohibited" or "unprohibited" and "right" or "wrong" are meaningless. Modesty (haya) indicates weakness of soul and should be disposed of. Man should break himself free from all bonds of habits and customs until he can commit without any hesitation actions which are generally regarded by society as base. Men have equal share in property and wealth. Afghani believed that with the popularization of these Epicurean principles among the Greeks, reason and wisdom were gradually replaced by fallacies, sciences and philosophies decayed, morals were corrupted and all virtues gave way to vices. Consequently, the Greeks lost their empire to the Romans and were forced to lead a life of slavery and baseness.


Muslims, do we see any similarity to what happened to the Greeks as a result of atheist and materialistic ideologies and what happened to Muslim countries after the introduction of these atheistic, communism ideology, naturalistic and materialism?


Persia
The Persians by practising the six essential beliefs and qualities enjoyed the highest happiness. They had such deep faith in honesty and truth that they did not borrow money, lest, pressed by circumstances, they might be forced to tell lies and whenever any weakness appeared, it was subdued by the force of the essential beliefs and qualities. Such a state of affairs continued till the reign of Kobad, when Mazdak, the naturalist, appeared as the "Remover of Tyranny" and "Controller of Oppression". His teachings, however, resulted in the uprooting of the very foundations of Persia's good fortunes.


Mazdak held that all principles and customs formulated by man are based upon tyranny, oppression and falsehood. The sacred system of natural law is not rejected as impracticable yet; it is still inviolable and persists in the animal world. Nature is nobler than reason and gives men equal rights with regard to food, drinks and women. One should not deprive oneself of sensuous pleasures even with ones own sister, mother or daughter. Since all wealth and goods are common property of human beings, one should not prevent others from drawing pleasure from a woman by taking her into marriage. It is the duty of a man to reject all principles and customs formulated by the deficient human reason. He should, by virtue of the sacred law of nature, claim any chattel or women he desires and force the usurpers to abandon their oppressive activities. Afghani remarks that as a result of the spread of such corrupt teachings, vices of every kind crept into the Persian society. Although Nausherwan had Mazdak and his followers executed, he ws not able to eradicate the influence of their teachings completely. Besides, it was due to this moral degeneration that the Persians could not sustain a single attack of the Arabs, while their neighbours, the Romans, stood up against the Arabs for quite a long time.


Again, do we not see any similarity to what happened in the Muslim countries after the fall of the Khilafah in 1924 and for a time before that? Actually this process of moral corruption and degeneration began even earlier, after the time of the prophet (pbuh) and the four rightly Khalifs. The reason for our fall was the spreading of these false and corrupts beliefs in the Islamic society and the paralysing of the Muslims as a result of that. The Muslims can and will achieve their power and glory again if they attach themselves to the true teachings of Islam and reject all other false ideologies beliefs, whether they can from socialism, communism, fascism, communism, naturalism, atheism, Baathism, feudalism, Pan-Arabis, Sufism, Shia'ism, and all other sects etc.


The Muslims
Afghani then expresses his views about the naturalists who appeared in Islam and were the cause of its degeneration. He says that it was by virtue of the essential beliefs and qualities that the muslims gained political power and got several thousand non-muslims converted to Islam, but with the appearance of the naturalist thinking in Egypt in the fourth century of Hijra Islam began to show signs of decay.

It was started by the Baatinis who propagated their ideas throughout the muslim world, especially in Persia. Their method was as follows: in the first place they created doubts in people's minds about their beliefs and then made them take a pledge of faith in the Baatini beliefs and, lastly, they carried them to their supreme leader. They believed that anyone who preach their ideology, should always behave hypocritically towards the heads of the islamic state and should be capable of forming his own opinions (that is, without following the religious authorities).

The first principle which was taught to a convert to this school was that the external religious duties (a'mal-i-zahiriya) were meant only for those who had not yet gained access to the truth, or, in other words, acquired true and perfect spiritual leader (see the similarity with Sufism and their tariqa's). Thus, with a true guide, one did not need to observe external duties. In fact, all physical and spiritual duties, beliefs and laws are meant for imperfect and deficient individuals.

Once a man achieves perfection he should free himself from all such bonds and follow ibahat. Similarly, the terms "prohibited" or "unprohibited", trust (amanat) or mistrust (khiyanat), truth (sidq) or untruth (kidhb), virtues (fada'il), or vices (raza'il) have no meaning. The Baatiniya also sought to deny faith in the unity of God and strenghten naturalism by holding that if God exists He should resemble other existent beings. Since God is above all such anthropomorphic expressions, He is neither existent nor non-existent.

Thus, Afghani pointed out that they taught to believe in "the name", while denied "one who is named". For a long time the Baatiniya were busy in their clandestine activities of corrupting the morals of the muslims until at last the Ulama and the political leaders perceived the danger and resisted it. The naturalists, aware of the strength of this resistance, went even to the extent of shedding the blood of thousands of Ulama and of the reformers and political leaders.


One such naturalist declared at Alamout that the Day of Judgement implied the establishment of justice and, since he himself was the incarnation of justice (Qa'im Haq), religious duties were no more to be performed and all were free to act according to their desires. In short, they invited the muslims to all kinds of vices and false beliefs and by preaching anthropomorphic doctrines sought to eradicate faith in God which is the basis of human happiness.


Afghani remarks that as a result of these teachings the muslims degenerated and became weak. It was for this reason that the Tartars, the Turks and the Mongols (also later on the Rafida Shia's, the Crusaders and the Zionist-Crusader Alliance) were able to march into their territories, plunder cities, and massacre thousands of Muslims. However, thanks to the deep-rooted Islamic beliefs and morals which were not completely erased from the minds of the muslims, they succeeded in liberating Syria from the domination of the Tartars, who were themselves converted to Islam later. Yet, the muslims could not completely overcome the weaknesses that had been caused by the teachings of the naturalists in the islamic society and regain their earlier grandeur and power.


Afghani points out that usually the historians describe the Crusades as the starting point of decay of muslim power. He suggests that it would be more correct to trace it back to the propagation of the ideology and thought of the naturalists, which had weakened islam and divided the muslim community into several sects. Afghani states that the Babis who appeared in Iran in his days and had shed the blood of thousands of innocent men, were no other than the followers of the naturalists of Alamout. Their teachinds were similar to those of the Baatiniya.


France
The French were distinguished for their sciences and culture and no European nation was equal to them except the Greeks. This was also due to their following the above mentioned six essential principles. Their decline, however, started in the 18th century when the naturalists, like Voltaire (1694-1778) and Rousseau (1712-1778) revived Epicureanism. They rejected all laws, supported ibahat and ishtirak, described social customs and manners as useless, condemned religion as the invention of human ignorance, rejected belief in God, and insulted the prophets.

These blasphemies influenced the French mind so deeply that they abondoned their own Christian faith and morality. The influence of the false naturalist teachings of Voltaire and Rousseau was apparant in the French Revolution. They corrupted the morals of the French people and divided them into different sects. Gradually, each group followed its own methods of satisfying personal desires and achieving pleasure and completely ignored common good.

As a result, the French could not exercise any healthy influence on either the East or the West and, although Napoleon I tried to reinstate the Christian faith, the influence of such teachings could not be erased completely nor could the differences of the various schools of thought be bridged up. These were also the causes of the defeat of the French at the hands of the Germans. Moreover, there appeared at this time another group who preached in socialism and their ideology was as harmful to the French as the Gernmans were to them. Had the peoples of good faith and morals not resisted these teachings, the naturalists, in order to achieve their aims, would have almost destroyed France.

The Ottomans

The decline nof the Ottomans was also due to the popularization of the ideas of the naturalists among some of their nobles and leaders. Afghani believed that the soldiers who proved traitors during the last Ottoman was (with Russia in 1872) were also the followers of naturalism and claimed for themselves the nomenclature, "peoples of modern thought" (It is amazing that these kinds of people even in our time in the 21st century call themselves with similar names and titles, like moderates, enlightened people, modernists, liberals).

The Socialists, Communists and Nihilists

Afghani includes the socialists, the communists and the nihilists in the same category of naturalists. They all claimed to to be the friends of the poor and the down-trodden. Although each one of these schools expressed its view in its own peculiar way, yet they shared certain common principles and beliefs: they ignored all human distinctions and, in the manner of the Mazdak, allowed all to share everything; all mundane pleasures and comforts were the gifts of Nature; the greatest hinderance in the propagation of the sacred laws of Nature, namely, ibahat and ishtirak, were religion and state, and hence, these two institutions should be destroyed forthwith.

Finding educational institutions the most effective medium for the propagation of their ideas, some of them adopted the teaching profession in European schools, and converted large numbers of people to their own views and ideologies. They were especially successful in Russia. Afghani warned that if the three schools of thought cited above gained strength, they would prove very dangerous to mankind (it is amazing how he predicted what would happen if these teachings would be implemented at the political level, see what happened in the Soviet Union, Europe and Afghanistan as a result of these teachings!). Among the upholders of naturalism Afghani names Mormons who formed two separate societies for men and women in America and declared that all men had full rights over all women.


Afghani states that the materialists or the naturalists have appeared in different communities in different disguises and under different names. Sometimes they described themselves as philosophers, destroyers of tyranny and oppression, knowers of truth, and peoples of secret knowledge (sufi's and esotheriscs, gnostics), and others claimed that their mission was to remove superstition and to enlighten humanity. Again, like all false prophets of the past they also claimed prophethood for themselves. However, mankind protected its morals and society from corruption by virtue of the essential beliefs and qualities bestowed upon it by religions (but in today's world these same people have come now under the cloak of human rights, democracy, rule of law, equality of the genders, liberation of the women, feminism, secularism, liberalism, free market ideology etc., now we really live in the time of Dajjal, because they have deceived a lot of people in believing those falsehoods and they have implemented man-made laws everywhere and removed religion totally from society and politics, actually most of these people nowadays don't even believe in God).


Criticizing the communist theories of social justice and economic equality, Afghani points out that the needs of human society are dependent upon certain arts and crafts, which are different from each other in their being noble or ignoble and difficult or easy to perform. However, the aim of the materialists is that all human beings, without any distinction whatsoever should have common rights over all pleasures and no individual should enjoy any special rights or prerogatives over another individual and there should be complete equality among human beings. If this principle is accepted, then each individual would refrain from ignoble and hard work (that is, professions) and, consequently, social-life would be ruined and the machinery of mutual transactions and co-operation would come to a standstill. Afghani felt that if this impracticable principle was at all accepted and men succeeded in providing comforts for all, it will result in human society losing all charm, material and spiritual achievements, sciences and industries. For, Afghani argued, the real basis of all human achievements was the love of distinction without which human soul would cease to rise upwards and human intellect would refrain from probing into the realities of life and from solving intricate problems.


Discussing the evils of naturalist teachings Afghani states that since they denied life after death, self-love dominated all activities of the naturalists. Self-love allows to sacrifice universal good for one's own particular good, which means that one can sell one's nation for personal benefits (this is exactly what many communists and false-mujahideen did in Afghanistan). Afghani states that the materialists adopted different methods of propagating their views. In times of peace they did their work openly, while in times of fear and suppression they adopted secret means. They posed as men of letters, friends of the community and well-wishers of the nation (Khalq and Parcham in Afghanistan did exactly this).

On the one hand, they are hand in glove with the thieves, and on the other, they call themselves fellow travellers in the caravan (of Islam). They aim at uprooting the very foundations of the nation and destroy its unity for their own bread (inter-ethnic violence and tribal and language disunity). Afghani holds that besides corrupting the morals of the people, they lead nations towards slavery and misery (now most of the muslims countries have become slaves of the west and their people are among the poorest of all). Again, there are some who, without betraying their beliefs of ibahat and ishtirak, are content with the denial of God and the Day of Judgement.

Undoubtedly these teachings are themselves quite enough to destroy society and culture. Afghani comes to the conclusion that it is impossible to find a naturalist who is cultured and has good conduct. In his concluding remarks, Afghani firmly states that if a religion, howsoever false and the lowest among the religions it may be, is based upon the beliefs of God and of Reward and Punishment (which are commonly held by all religions), it is superior to materialism (naturalism, secularism, atheism, communism) in respect of culture, society, administration and all other human organisations and achievements….

Of all the religions Islam is most capable of ennobling men's souls and leading them to happiness.

Cat Stevens : How I Came To Islam

By : Cat Stevens

From : www.zaharuddin.net

Read about it

All I have to say is all what you know already, to confirm what you already know, the message of the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) as given by God - the Religion of Truth. As human beings we are given a consciousness and a duty that has placed us at the top of creation. Man is created to be God's deputy on earth, and it is important to realize the obligation to rid ourselves of all illusions and to make our lives a preparation for the next life. Anybody who misses this chance is not likely to be given another, to be brought back again and again, because it says in Qur'an Majeed that when man is brought to account, he will say,

 {O Lord, send us back and give us another chance} The Lord will say, {If I send you back you will do the same}

cat stevens

MY EARLY RELIGIOUS UPBRINGING

I was brought up in the modern world of all the luxury and the high life of show business. I was born in a Christian home, but we know that every child is born in his original nature - it is only his parents that turn him to this or that religion. I was given this religion (Christianity) and thought this way. I was taught that God exists, but there was no direct contact with God, so we had to make contact with Him through Jesus - he was in fact the door to God. This was more or less accepted by me, but I did not swallow it all.

I looked at some of the statues of Jesus; they were just stones with no life. And when they said that God is three, I was puzzled even more but could not argue. I more or less believed it, because I had to have respect for the faith of my parents.

pop star

POP STAR

Gradually I became alienated from this religious upbringing. I started making music. I wanted to be a big star. All those things I saw in the films and on the media took hold of me, and perhaps I thought this was my God, the goal of making money. I had an uncle who had a beautiful car. "Well," I said, "he has it made. He has a lot of money." The people around me influenced me to think that this was it; this world was their God.

I decided then that this was the life for me; to make a lot of money, have a 'great life.' Now my examples were the pop stars. I started making songs, but deep down I had a feeling for humanity, a feeling that if I became rich I would help the needy. (It says in the Qur'an, we make a promise, but when we make something, we want to hold onto it and become greedy.)

So what happened was that I became very famous. I was still a teenager, my name and photo were splashed in all the media. They made me larger than life, so I wanted to live larger than life and the only way to do that was to be intoxicated (with liquor and drugs).

with family

IN HOSPITAL

After a year of financial success and 'high' living, I became very ill, contracted TB and had to be hospitalized. It was then that I started to think: What was to happen to me? Was I just a body, and my goal in life was merely to satisfy this body? I realized now that this calamity was a blessing given to me by Allah, a chance to open my eyes - "Why am I here? Why am I in bed?" - and I started looking for some of the answers. At that time there was great interest in the Eastern mysticism. I began reading, and the first thing I began to become aware of was death, and that the soul moves on; it does not stop. I felt I was taking the road to bliss and high accomplishment. I started meditating and even became a vegetarian. I now believed in 'peace and flower power,' and this was the general trend. But what I did believe in particular was that I was not just a body. This awareness came to me at the hospital.

One day when I was walking and I was caught in the rain, I began running to the shelter and then I realized, 'Wait a minute, my body is getting wet, my body is telling me I am getting wet.' This made me think of a saying that the body is like a donkey, and it has to be trained where it has to go. Otherwise, the donkey will lead you where it wants to go.

Then I realized I had a will, a God-given gift: follow the will of God. I was fascinated by the new terminology I was learning in the Eastern religion. By now I was fed up with Christianity. I started making music again and this time I started reflecting my own thoughts. I remember the lyric of one of my songs. It goes like this: "I wish I knew, I wish I knew what makes the Heaven, what makes the Hell. Do I get to know You in my bed or some dusty cell while others reach the big hotel?" and I knew I was on the Path.

I also wrote another song, "The Way to Find God Out." I became even more famous in the world of music. I really had a difficult time because I was getting rich and famous, and at the same time, I was sincerely searching for the Truth. Then I came to a stage where I decided that Buddhism is all right and noble, but I was not ready to leave the world. I was too attached to the world and was not prepared to become a monk and to isolate myself from society.

I tried Zen and Ching, numerology, tarot cards and astrology. I tried to look back into the Bible and could not find anything. At this time I did not know anything about Islam, and then, what I regarded as a miracle occurred. My brother had visited the mosque in Jerusalem and was greatly impressed that while on the one hand it throbbed with life (unlike the churches and synagogues which were empty), on the other hand, an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity prevailed.

THE QUR'AN

When he came to London he brought back a translation of the Qur'an, which he gave to me. He did not become a Muslim, but he felt something in this religion, and thought I might find something in it also.

And when I received the book, a guidance that would explain everything to me - who I was; what was the purpose of life; what was the reality and what would be the reality; and where I came from - I realized that this was the true religion; religion not in the sense the West understands it, not the type for only your old age. In the West, whoever wishes to embrace a religion and make it his only way of life is deemed a fanatic. I was not a fanatic, I was at first confused between the body and the soul. Then I realized that the body and soul are not apart and you don't have to go to the mountain to be religious. We must follow the will of God. Then we can rise higher than the angels. The first thing I wanted to do now was to be a Muslim.

I realized that everything belongs to God, that slumber does not overtake Him. He created everything. At this point I began to lose the pride in me, because hereto I had thought the reason I was here was because of my own greatness. But I realized that I did not create myself, and the whole purpose of my being here was to submit to the teaching that has been perfected by the religion we know as Al-Islam. At this point I started discovering my faith. I felt I was a Muslim. On reading the Qur'an, I now realized that all the Prophets sent by God brought the same message. Why then were the Jews and Christians different? I know now how the Jews did not accept Jesus as the Messiah and that they had changed His Word. Even the Christians misunderstand God's Word and called Jesus the son of God. Everything made so much sense. This is the beauty of the Qur'an; it asks you to reflect and reason, and not to worship the sun or moon but the One Who has created everything. The Qur'an asks man to reflect upon the sun and moon and God's creation in general. Do you realize how different the sun is from the moon? They are at varying distances from the earth, yet appear the same size to us; at times one seems to overlap the other.

Even when many of the astronauts go to space, they see the insignificant size of the earth and vastness of space. They become very religious, because they have seen the Signs of Allah.

When I read the Qur'an further, it talked about prayer, kindness and charity. I was not a Muslim yet, but I felt that the only answer for me was the Qur'an, and God had sent it to me, and I kept it a secret. But the Qur'an also speaks on different l I began to understand it on another level, where the Qur'an says, {Those who believe do not take disbelievers for friends and the believers are brothers} Thus at this point I wished to meet my Muslim brothers.

CONVERSION

Then I decided to journey to Jerusalem (as my brother had done). At Jerusalem, I went to the mosque and sat down. A man asked me what I wanted. I told him I was a Muslim. He asked what was my name. I told him, "Stevens." He was confused. I then joined the prayer, though not so successfully. Back in London, I met a sister called Nafisa. I told her I wanted to embrace Islam and she directed me to the New Regent Mosque. This was in 1977, about one and a half years after I received the Qur'an.

Now I realized that I must get rid of my pride, get rid of Iblis, and face one direction. So on a Friday, after Jumma' I went to the Imam and declared my faith (the Kalima) at this hands. You have before you someone who had achieved fame and fortune. But guidance was something that eluded me, no matter how hard I tried, until I was shown the Qur'an. Now I realize I can get in direct contact with God, unlike Christianity or any other religion. As one Hindu lady told me, "You don't understand the Hindus. We believe in one God; we use these objects (idols) to merely concentrate." What she was saying was that in order to reach God, one has to create associates, that are idols for the purpose. But Islam removes all these barriers. The only thing that moves the believers from the disbelievers is the salat. This is the process of purification.

Finally I wish to say that everything I do is for the pleasure of Allah and pray that you gain some inspirations from my experiences. Furthermore, I would like to stress that I did not come into contact with any

Muslim before I embraced Islam. I read the Qur'an first and realized that no person is perfect. Islam is perfect, and if we imitate the conduct of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) we will be successful. May Allah give us guidance to follow the path of the ummah of Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam). Ameen

BELOW IS CAT STEVENS ( YUSOF ISLAM) BIOGRAPHY

SOURCE

The British singer-songwriter known as Cat Stevens has had many identities in his life: popstar, folk singer, and, most recently, Muslim activist. After a highly successful career in musicduring which he sold over 25 million albums, Stevens left public life in 1979 and took the name Yusuf Islam, becoming a devout Muslim active in cultural education causes in Britain.


Born in London in 1948 to a Swedish mother and a Greek Cypriot father, Stephen Demetri Georgiou was educated in Sweden, where he studied native songs and dances as well as classical music. In the '60s he returned to London, where his father owned a restaurant, and entered Hammersmith College art school.Georgiou began performing guitar-based folk-pop under the name Cat Stevens, and became a regular in local pubs and coffeehouses. Stevens soon attracted the attention of independent record producer Mike Hurst, a former member of the folk-pop group the Springfields; in the summer of 1966 Stevens recorded a demo with Hurst, who shopped it around Britain and landed Stevens a deal with the new label Deram Records.

 
At 19 years of age Stevens released his debut album, Matthew And Son, a pop-rock record which became a hit in the U.K., the title single and "I Love My Dog"both charting in the Top 10. Stevens toured Britain as part of a bizarre package tour withJimi Hendrix and Engelbert Humperdink, and released his sophomore effort New Masters the following year. The 1967 album marked the start of Stevens' long-time collaboration with singer/guitarist Alun Davies, but was a commercial failure. (A singlefrom New Masters, "The First Cut Is the Deepest," became a hit for Rod Stewart in the 1970s.)

 
Several years of wild living caught up with Stevens in 1969, when, near death,he was diagnosed with tuberculosis and spent a year in the hospital undergoing treatment.While recovering, Stevens underwent a spiritual crisis and began studying Eastern religions, practicing vegetarianism, and writing highly introspective songs. A changed man, Stevens signed a new record deal with Island, who had just landed a U.S. distribution agreement with A&M, and began recording new material.


Stevens' first A&M release, 1970's Mona Bone Jakon, was a solid album that established Stevens' new image as a sensitive singer-songwriter. His next record, Tea for the Tillerman, was released later that same year to overwhelming success.With the hit singles "Wild World" and "Father and Son," the album became an instant folk-pop classic and went to No. 1 in the U.S., earning gold status.

 
Before Tillerman Stevens had toured America several times, playing acoustic guitar as an opening act for rock bands like King Crimson and Seatrain; after Tillerman Stevens began headlining extravagant performances, replete with magicians and tigers, dancers and back-up singers. An unprecedented prime-time appearance on ABC's"In Concert" program cemented his status as a U.S. superstar.

 
1971's Teaser and the Firecat repeated Tillerman's success and contained the international anti-war hit "Peace Train." The album also spawned a children's book and short film. 1972's Catch a Bull at Four was Stevens' first and only No. 1 album, and was followed the next year by the less-acclaimed The Foreigner, which went to No. 3.
In 1973 Stevens' brother David visited Israel and, aware of his brother's fascination with religion, returned with a copy of the Koran as a souvenir. Stevens was awed by the book and began studying Islam. His next album, 1974's The Buddah and the Chocolate Box, reached No. 2 in the U.S. but marked the end of Stevens' most fertile period as a performer, his growing interest in Islam slowly eclipsing his song writing.

 
1975's Numbers was an ill-fated concept album that was the first of Stevens' recordings to peak below the Top 10 in Britain. Sensing that the end was near, A&M issued a Greatest Hits collection that June.

 
In 1977 Stevens made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and released the pop album Izitso,a commercial album that was decried by long-time fans as a sell out. In December of that year Stevens formally converted to Islam at a London mosque, taking the new name Yusuf Islam. A&M released what was to be the last Cat Stevens album, Back to Earth, in early 1978; by 1979 Stevens/Islam had married and retired from pop music.

 
During the 1980s Islam settled in London with his wife and five children and became very involved in the local Muslim community, founding one of Britain's top Islamic schools. Meanwhile A&M released a second "greatest hits" package in 1984(entitled Footsteps in the Dark), which included previously unreleased songs Stevens recorded for the 1971 cult movie Harold and Maude.


Yusuf Islam had nearly faded from public consciousness when in 1989 he made the infamous announcement that he supported the Ayatollah Khomeini's death sentence for Satantic Verses author Salman Rushdie. American radio stations stopped playing Cat Steven songs in protest -- WNEW in New York even gave away free copies of The Satanic Verses to listeners who turned in their old Cat Stevens records.

 
In 1995 Islam released his first "record" since retiring from pop music, a two-CD set called The Life of the Last Prophet which features one disc of Muslim chanting and another disc of Yusuf Islam reading a 66-minute biography of Muhammad. Though it was ignored in the West, the double-album reached No. 1 in Turkey and was a hit in most of the Muslim world, where it was lauded by critics.

 
In 1997 Yusuf Islam announced that he is working on an album of Bosnian songs and poems,including a new song Islam wrote about Muslim children killed in the Balkan wars.

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) : The Ideal Husband, Father & Grandfather

 

Prophet Muhammad personifies the roles of perfect father and husband. He was so kind and tolerant with his wives that they could not envisage their lives without him, nor did they want to live away from him. He married Sawdah, his second wife, while in Makkah. After a while, he wanted to divorce her for certain reasons. She was extremely upset at this news and implored him, "O Messenger of Allah, I wish no worldly thing of you. I will sacrifice the time allocated to me if you don't want to visit me. But please don't deprive me of being your wife. I want to go to the hereafter as your wife. I care for nothing else" (Muslim).

The Messenger did not divorce her, nor did he stop visiting her.

Once he noticed that Hafsah was uncomfortable over their financial situation. "If she wishes, I may set her free," he said, or something to that effect. This suggestion so alarmed her that she requested mediators to persuade him not to do so. He kept his faithful friend's daughter as his trusted wife.

Separation Calamity

All of his wives viewed separation from the Messenger of Allah as a calamity, so firmly had he established himself in their hearts. They were completely at one with him. They shared in his blessed, mild, and natural life. If he had left them, they would have died of despair. If he had divorced one of them, she would have waited at his doorstep until the Last Day.

After his death, there was much yearning and a great deal of grief. Abu Bakr and `Umar found the Messenger's wives weeping whenever they visited them. Their weeping seemed to continue for the rest of their lives. Muhammad left an everlasting impression on everyone. At one point, he had nine wives and dealt equally with all of them and without any serious problems. He was a kind and gentle husband, and never behaved harshly or rudely. In short, he was the perfect husband.

Each of his wives thought that she was his most beloved.

A few days before his death, he said, "A servant has been allowed to choose this world or his Lord. He chose his Lord" (Al-Bukhari). Abu Bakr, intelligent and smart, began to cry, understanding that the Prophet was talking about himself. His illness got worse daily, and his severe headache caused him to writhe in pain. But even during this difficult period, he continued to treat his wives with kindness and gentleness. He asked for permission to stay in one room, as he had no strength to visit them one by one. His wives agreed, and the Messenger spent his last days in `A'ishah's room.

Most Beloved

Each wife, because of his generosity and kindness, thought she was his most beloved. The idea that any man could show complete equality and fairness in his relationships with nine women seems impossible. For this reason, the Messenger of Allah asked God's pardon for any unintentional leanings. He would pray, "I may have unintentionally shown more love to one of them than the others, and this would be injustice. So, O Lord, I take refuge in Your grace for those things beyond my power." (At-Tirmidhi).

What gentleness and sensitivity! I wonder if anyone else could show such kindness to his children or spouses. When people manage to cover up their lower inborn tendencies, it is as if they have done something very clever and shown tremendous willpower. But they sometimes expose these very defects unconsciously while bragging of their cleverness. The Messenger, despite showing no fault, sought only God's forgiveness.

His gentleness penetrated his wives' souls so deeply that his departure led to what they must have felt to be an unbridgeable separation. They did not commit suicide, as Islam forbids it, but their lives now became full of endless sorrow and ceaseless tears.

The Messenger was kind and gentle to all women, and advised all other men to follow him in this regard. Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas described his kindness as follows:

`Umar said: One day I went to the Prophet and saw him smiling. "May God make you smile forever, O Messenger of God," I said, and asked why he was smiling. "I smile at those women. They were chatting in front of me before you came. When they heard your voice, they all vanished," he answered still smiling. On hearing this answer, I raised my voice and told them, "O enemies of your own selves, you are scared of me, but you are not scared of the Messenger of God, and you don't show respect to him." "You are hard-hearted and strict," they replied. (Al-Bukhari )

The Messenger discussed matters with his wives as friends.

`Umar also was gentle to women. However, the most handsome man looks ugly when compared to Joseph's beauty. Likewise, `Umar's gentleness and sensitivity seem like violence and severity when compared to those of the Prophet. The women had seen the Messenger's gentleness, sensitivity, and kindness, and so regarded `Umar as strict and severe. Yet `Umar shouldered the caliphate perfectly and became one of the greatest examples after the Prophet. He was a just ruler and strove to distinguish right from wrong. His qualities enabled him to be caliph. Some of his qualities might seem rather severe; however, those very qualities enabled him to shoulder very demanding responsibilities.

Consultation     

The Prophet did consult with his wives. The Messenger discussed matters with his wives as friends. Certainly he did not need their advice, since he was directed by revelation. However, he wanted to teach his nation that Muslim men were to give women every consideration. This was quite a radical idea in his time, as it is today in many parts of the world. He began teaching his people through his own relationship with his wives.

For example, the conditions laid down in the Treaty of Hudaybiyah disappointed and enraged many Muslims, for one condition stipulated that they could not make the pilgrimage that year. They wanted to reject the treaty, continue on to Makkah, and face the possible consequences. But the Messenger ordered them to slaughter their sacrificial animals and take off their pilgrim attire. Some Companions hesitated, hoping that he would change his mind. He repeated his order, but they continued to hesitate. They did not oppose him; rather, they still hoped he might change his mind, for they had set out with the intention of pilgrimage and did not want to stop half way.

Noticing this reluctance, the Prophet returned to his tent and asked Umm Salamah, his wife accompanying him at that time, what she thought of the situation. So she told him, fully aware that he did not need her advice. In doing this, he taught Muslim men an important social lesson: There is nothing wrong with exchanging ideas with women on important matters, or on any matters at all.

She said, "O Messenger of God, don't repeat your order. They may resist and thereby perish. Slaughter your sacrificial animal and change out of your pilgrim attire. They will obey you, willingly or not, when they see that your order is final" (Al-Bukhari).

He immediately took a knife in his hand, went outside, and began to slaughter his sheep. The Companions began to do the same, for now it was clear that his order would not be changed.

The Messenger encouraged us through his enlightening example to behave kindly with women.

Counsel and consultation, like every good deed, were practiced by God's Messenger first within his own family and then in the wider community. Even today, we understand so little about his relationships with his wives that it is as if we are wandering aimlessly around a plot of land, unaware of the vast treasure buried below our feet.

Two Halves

Women are secondary beings in the minds of many, including those self-appointed defenders of women's rights as well as many self-proclaimed Muslim men. In Islam, a woman is part of a whole, a part that renders the other half useful. We believe that when the two halves come together, the true unity of a human being appears. When this unity does not exist, humanity does not exist - nor can prophethood, sainthood, or even Islam.

Our Prophet encouraged us through his enlightening words to behave kindly to women. He declared, "The most perfect believers are the best in character, and the best of you are the kindest to their families" (Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi). It is clear that women have received the true honor and respect they deserve, not just in theory but in actual practice, only once in history - during the period of Prophet Muhammad.

This World or the Next

The wives of the Messenger were given the choice of remaining with him or leaving:

[O Prophet, say to your wives: "If you desire the life of this world and its glitter, then come! I will provide for your enjoyment and set you free in a handsome manner. But if you seek God, His Messenger, and the Home of the Hereafter, verily God has prepared for you, the well-doers among you, a great reward."] (Al-Ahzab 33:29)

A few of his wives who wanted a more prosperous life asked, "Couldn't we live a little more luxuriously, like other Muslims do? Couldn't we have at least a bowl of soup every day, or some prettier garments?" At first sight, such wishes might be considered fair and just. However, they were members of the family that was to be an example for all Muslim families until the Last Day.

The Messenger reacted by going into retreat. The news spread, and everyone rushed to the mosque and began to cry. The smallest grief felt by their beloved Messenger was enough to bring them all to tears, and even the smallest incident in his life would disturb them. Abu Bakr and `Umar, seeing the event in a different light as their daughters were directly involved, rushed to the mosque. They wanted to see him, but he would not leave his retreat. Eventually, on their third attempt, they gained entry and began to rebuke their daughters. The Messenger saw what was happening, but only said, "I cannot afford what they want" (Muslim).

The Qur'an declared [O wives of the Prophet! You are not like any other women] (Al-Ahzab 33:32).

Others might save themselves by simply fulfilling their obligations, but those who were at the very center of Islam had to devote themselves fully so that no weakness would appear at the center. There were advantages in being the Prophet's wives, but these advantages brought responsibilities and potential risks. The Messenger was preparing them as exemplars for all present and future Muslim women. He was especially worried that they might enjoy the reward for their good deeds in this world and thereby be included in [You have exhausted your share of the good things in your life of the world and sought comfort in them](Al-Ahqaf 46:20).

Life in the Prophet's house was uncomfortable. For this reason, either explicitly or implicitly, his wives made some modest demands. As their status was unique, they were not expected to enjoy themselves in a worldly sense. Some godly people laugh only a few times during their lives; others never fill their stomachs. For example, Fudayl ibn `Iyad never laughed. He smiled only once, and those who saw him do so asked him why he smiled, for they were greatly surprised. He told them, "Today I learned that my son `Ali died. I was happy to hear that God had loved him, and so I smiled" (Abu Nu`aym, Hilyat al-Awliya'). If there were such people outside of the Prophet's household, his wives, who were even more pious and respectful of God and regarded as Mothers of the Believers, would certainly be of a higher degree.

It is not easy to merit being together with the Messenger in this world and the hereafter. Thus, these special women were put to a great test. The Messenger allowed them to choose his poor home or the world's luxury. If they chose the world, he would give them whatever they wanted and then dissolve his marriage with them. If they chose God and His Messenger, they had to be content with their lives. This was a peculiarity of his family. Since this family was unique, its members had to be unique. The head of the family was chosen, as were the wives and children.

The Messenger first called `A'ishah and said, "I want to discuss something with you. You'd better talk with your parents before making a decision." Then he recited the verses mentioned above. Her decision was exactly as expected from a truthful daughter of a truthful father: "O Messenger of Allah, do I need to talk with my parents? By Allah, I choose Allah and His Messenger" (Muslim).

`A'ishah herself tells us what happened next: "The Messenger received the same answer from all his wives. No one expressed a different opinion. They all said what I had said." They did so because they were all at one with the Messenger. They could not differ. If the Messenger had told them to fast for a lifetime without break, they would have done so and endured it with pleasure. However, they endured hardship until their deaths.

Some of his wives had enjoyed an extravagant lifestyle before their marriage to him. One of these was Safiyyah, who had lost her father and husband and had been taken prisoner during the Battle of Khaybar. She must have been very angry with the Messenger, but when she saw him, her feelings changed completely. She endured the same destiny as the other wives. They endured it because love of the Messenger had penetrated their hearts.

Mothers of the Believers

The Messenger was the perfect head of a family.

Safiyyah was a Jew. Once, she was dismayed when this fact was mentioned to her sarcastically. She informed the Messenger, expressing her sadness. He comforted her saying, "If they repeat it, tell them, 'My father is Prophet Aaron, my uncle is Prophet Moses, and my husband is, as you see, Prophet Muhammad, the Chosen One. What do you have more than me to be proud of?'"

The Qur'an declares that his wives are the Mothers of the Believers (Al-Ahzab 33:6). Although 14 centuries have passed, we still feel delight in saying "my mother" when referring to Khadijah, `A'ishah, Umm Salamah, Hafsah, and his other wives. We feel this because of him. Some feel more love for these women than they do for their real mothers. Certainly, this feeling must have been deeper, warmer, and stronger in the Prophet's own time.

The Messenger was the perfect head of a family. Managing many women with ease, being a lover of their hearts, an instructor of their minds, an educator of their souls, he never neglected the affairs of the nation or compromised his duties.
The Messenger excelled in every area of life. People should not compare him to themselves or to the so-called great personalities of their age. Researchers should look at him, the one to whom angels are grateful, always remembering that he excelled in every way. If they want to look for Muhammad they must search for him in his own dimensions. Our imaginations cannot reach him, for we do not even know how to imagine properly. God bestowed upon him, as His special favor, superiority in every field.

Ideal Father & Grandfather

Prophet Muhammad was an extraordinary husband, a perfect father, and a unique grandfather. He was unique in every way. He treated his children and grandchildren with great compassion, and never neglected to direct them to the straight path and to good deeds. He loved them and treated them tenderly, but did not allow them to neglect matters related to the afterlife. He showed them how to lead a humane life, and never allowed them to neglect their religious duties or to become spoiled. His ultimate goal was to prepare them for the hereafter. His perfect balance in such matters is another dimension of his divinely inspired intellect.

Anas ibn Malik, the Messenger's servant for 10 continuous years, says, "I have never seen a man who was more compassionate to his family members than Muhammad." (Muslim) If this admission were made just by us, it could be dismissed as unimportant. However, millions of people, so benign and compassionate that they would not even offend an ant, declare that he embraced everything with compassion. He was a human like us, but God inspired in him such an intimate affection for every living thing that he could establish a connection with all of them. As a result, he was full of extraordinary affection toward his family members and others.

All of the Prophet's sons died. Ibrahim, his last son, died in infancy. The Prophet often visited his son before the latter's death, although the  Prophet was very busy. Ibrahim was looked after by a nurse. The Prophet would kiss and play with him before returning home. (Muslim) When Ibrahim took his last breaths, the eyes of the Prophet started shedding tears. `Abdur-Rahman ibn `Awf said, "O Allah's Messenger, even you (weep)!" The Prophet said, "O Ibn `Auf, this is mercy." Then he wept more and said, "The eyes shed tears and the heart grieves, and we will not say except what pleases our Lord, O Ibrahim ! Indeed we are grieved by your separation." (Al-Bukhari)

The Messenger was completely balanced in the way he brought up his children. He loved his children and grandchildren very much, and instilled love in them. However, he never let his love for them be abused. None of them deliberately dared to do anything wrong. If they made an unintentional mistake, the Messenger's protection prevented them from going even slightly astray. He did this by wrapping them in love and an aura of dignity. For example, once Hasan or Husain wanted to eat a date that had been given to be distributed among the poor as alms. The Messenger immediately took it from his hand, and said, "Anything given as alms is forbidden to us." (Ibn Hanbal, Muslim) In teaching them while they were young to be sensitive to forbidden acts, he established an important principle of education.

Whenever he returned to Madinah, he would carry children on his mount. On such occasions, the Messenger embraced not only his grandchildren but also those in his house and those nearby. He conquered their hearts through his compassion. He loved all children.

He loved his granddaughter Umamah. He often went out with her on his shoulders, and even placed her on his shoulders while praying. When he prostrated, he put her down; when he had finished praying, he placed her on his back again. (Muslim) He showed this degree of love to Umamah to teach his male followers how to treat girls. This was a vital necessity; only a decade earlier, it had been the social norm to bury infant or young girls alive. Such public paternal affection for a granddaughter had never been seen before in Arabia.

The Messenger proclaimed that Islam allows no discrimination between son and daughter. How could there be? One is Muhammad, the other is Khadijah; one is Adam, the other is Eve; one is 'Ali, the other is Fatima. For every great man there is a great woman.

As soon as Fatimah, the daughter of the Messenger, entered the room where the Messenger was, he would stand, take her hands, and make her sit where he was sitting. He would ask about her health and family, show his paternal love for her, and compliment her.

Fatimah, knowing how fond he was of her, loved him more than her own self. Her great mission was to be the seed for godly people. She always watched her father and how he called people to Islam. She wept and groaned when the Messenger told her that he would die soon, and rejoiced when he told her that she would be the first family member to follow him. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) Her father loved her, and she loved her father.


* This article was taken, with slight modifications, with kind permission from the author's website.

Surah Al Fatihah, First Surah in Al-Quran




بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
ٱلۡحَمۡدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ (٢) ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ (٣) مَـٰلِكِ يَوۡمِ ٱلدِّينِ (٤) إِيَّاكَ نَعۡبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ

نَسۡتَعِينُ (٥) ٱهۡدِنَا ٱلصِّرَٲطَ ٱلۡمُسۡتَقِيمَ (٦) صِرَٲطَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَنۡعَمۡتَ عَلَيۡهِمۡ غَيۡرِ ٱلۡمَغۡضُوب
ِ عَلَيۡهِمۡ وَلَا ٱلضَّآلِّينَ (٧)


Al-Fatihah

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful (1)


Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, (2)
The Beneficent,the Merciful. (3)
Owner of the Day of Judgment, (4)
Thee(alone) we worship; Thee (alone) we ask for help. (5)
Show us the straight path, (6)
The path of those whom Thou hast favoured.
Not (the path) of those who earn Thine anger
nor of those who go astray. (7)

On intellectual properties, PCF works and InsyaAllah

Apparently, there are certain things about my study that I could not write in this blog because they are intellectual properties. Therefore, they are not my right to discuss with anyone about… That’s why I have taken down all of my “research related” pictures from this blog (sad). Regardless, there is something that I could share with you guys…that my PhD is literally providing me with many many sleepless nights. It’s 4 am in the morning & I haven’t slept yet. and by as early as 6am, I’ll be the first person to pop my head in PCF. What does that tells you?

Well, I might need help with my PCF works but I just feel that it would be so unfair to other people if they had to do mine. After all, it’s my research. As a result, I have never asked anybody to help me at all… not once. Even last Tuesday when I felt like fainting in PCF, I forced myself to finish my work, no matter how slow it was taking me. My biological rhythm will be so messed up by the end of my study duration, no doubt. But those are the sacrifices you have to make to succeed in life.

A note on a new development of this blog, I actually have a passionate atheist reader who is very much interested in Islam, Too bad he doesn’t know about it yet. We shall call him Stevie Wonderful (cute name =^.^=). I have forwarded Stevie the link to Quran explorer website. He is still resistant to read the Quran though, which was normal for someone who is facing a “change”… self inertia is really something that he has to find courage to overcome himself. But if he has the genuine thirst for knowledge, that I know he does, he will overcome it, InsyaAllah…Although it is stated in the second surah of the Quran since1500 years ago that…

إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ سَوَآءٌ عَلَيۡهِمۡ ءَأَنذَرۡتَهُمۡ أَمۡ لَمۡ تُنذِرۡهُمۡ لَا يُؤۡمِنُونَ (٦

“As for the Disbelievers, Whether thou warn them or thou warn them not it is all one for them; they believe not.” (6)

- Al Baqarah, ayat 6

…I still pray that Allah will open up Stevie’s heart to Islam. As I said, if I knew the key to paradise, it would be so selfish of me not to share it. And I know what is the key to paradise, so I shall share this knowledge with as many friends as possible. My bosses wonder why would I want to have a blog. This is why.

Stevie was asking me about how to navigate the Quran explorer. He didn’t know where to start. Pardon me Stevie, I forgot you’ve never read the Quran before. It is read from right to left, so when you launch the explorer, you’ll be greeted by the first surah. To go to the next surah, click the reverse button instead of the forward button. Have faith reading, Stevie, the way Richard Dawkins putting faith on his scientific methods on the pendulum experiment. and InsyaAllah, you’ll find the way.

XOXO,

Ana

p/s:

InsyaAllah means “With Allah’s will”

 

  

My peeping hole

imageNot everyone keeps a journal, simply because journal keeping is not for everyone. It takes a lot of effort to document things that happen in your life, no matter how trivial they may be. People who don’t keep a journal finds it time consuming and redundant. But people who do, love it to bits. To me a journal is where memories are made immortalized for future safekeeping and it is the single activity I had been consistently do ever since I was 8.

Everyone agrees that history making memories like weddings, childbirths, vacations (especially overseas) and graduations are important to be remembered, but I think all memories are just as important, especially given the fact that Alzheimer’s disease seems to attack at a much earlier age nowadays, Nauzubilah.

This blog is therefore, my journal. 

And strangely, you are reading it. 

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You are reading one person’s personal account of everything that happens in her life. Things that amuse her, things that touched her heart, things that made her angry and everything else in between. It’s a privilege, really. Do I feel exposed when other people read my journal? well, a little bit, may be. But, at times, that is the only way I could get messages across. And at times, it is the only place where I could ease my frustrations out about life in general. 

I am not sure if all of my musings are of any interest to anybody, but what I learnt from the very busy body human society, if there is a peeping hole on the wall, everybody will want to have a peek. bahak bahak bahak.

Welcome to my peeping hole, people.image
But what you have to know is that you are peeking at only 0.0005% of my actual life. There are so much more going  on in here that I feel too personal to share. And one more thing, now that I know you are reading my blog…well, yes, you. I am going to write more about you too.   

My policy is simple, if you don’t like what I write, don’t read it, Hunnies. nobody is forcing you to. 

XOXO
Ana

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I love you forever & ever

Well readers,

I am pretty impress to learnt that the phantom date “14-2-2011” passed without me writing any “valentines related entry”. Surely by now you all know that Muslims don’t celebrate Valentine’s day. Well, what with It being of Christian in origin and all. But it is naive to think that we don’t celebrate love.

Every culture has it’s own way of celebrating love and setting aside a special day to remember our loved ones are good. Just don’t ignore them when it’s not “love your lover day” anymore, all right.

As you probably noticed, I am a crafty person. But crafting takes a lot of time and time is what I don’t have to leisurely spent to crafting. Alhamdulillah, I not long ago I found Daisytrail.com when I was looking for a place to get free samples of digital scrapbooking. Apparently, with the free Craft artist compact software, you could do more than just scrapping… and the free stuffs don’t just end there. every few months they give out free scrapbooking kits that you could also use in your own scrapbooking soft ware. Just be sure to download the right file format.

Here is an example of a card I made yesterday. I also uploaded it to daisytrail.com and received pleasant comments and likes from fellow crafters. click for a larger image.

i love you forever and ever

Owh, happy days…

till then, Ana

 

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