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þ¬° The last two Sacred Months (Zul-Qa’adah and Zul-Hijjah) remind us that another precious year of our temporal life is beginning. /Ö§

Surah-Fatah 01 Surah-Fatah 02 Surah-Fatah 03 Surah-Fatah 04Surah-Fatah 05 Surah-Fatah 06TopTarajem256Surah Al Fath_48 {(The Victory)}

Name
It is derived from the words Inna fatah-na laka fat-han mubina of the very first verse. This is not only a name of the Surah but also its title in view of the subject matter, for it deals with the great victory that Allah granted to the Holy Prophet and the Muslims in the form of the Truce of Hudaibiyah.

Period of Revelation
Traditions concur that it was sent down in Dhil-Qadah, A.H. 6, at a time when the Holy Prophet was on his return journey to Madinah after concluding the Truce of Hudaibiyah with the disbelievers of Makkah.

Historical Background
The events in connection with which this Surah was sent down: One day the Holy Prophet saw in a dream that he had gone to Makkah with his Companions and had performed the umrah there. Obviously, the Prophet’s dream could not be a mere dream and fiction for it is a kind of Divine inspiration as Allah Himself has confirmed in verse 27 below and said that He Himself had shown that dream to His Messenger. Therefore, it was not merely a dream but a Divine inspiration which the Holy Prophet had to obey and follow.
Apparently, there was no possible way of acting on this inspiration. The disbelieving Quraish had debarred the Muslims from proceeding to the Ka’bah for the past six years and no Muslim had been allowed during that period to approach the Kabah for the purpose of performing hajj and umrah. Therefore, it could not be expected that they would allow the Holy Prophet to enter Makkah along with a party of his Companions. If they had proceeded to Makkah in the pilgrim garments with the intention of performing umrah, along with their arms, this would have provoked the enemy to war, and if they had proceeded unarmed, this would have meant endangering his own as well as his Companions’ lives. Under conditions such as these nobody could see and suggest how the Divine inspiration could be acted upon.

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But the Prophet’s position was different. It demanded that he should carry out whatever Command his Lord gave fearlessly and without any apprehension and doubt. Therefore, the Holy Prophet informed his Companions of his dream and began to make preparations for the journey. Among the tribes living in the suburbs also he had the public announcement made that he was proceeding for umrah and the people could join him. Those who could only see the apparent conditions thought that he and his Companions were going into the very jaws of death none of them therefore was inclined to accompany him in the expedition. But those who had true faith in Allah and His Messenger were least bothered about the consequences. For them this information was enough that it was a Divine inspiration and Allah’s Prophet had made up his mind to carry it into effect. After this nothing could hinder them from accompanying the Messenger of Allah. Thus, 1,400 of the Companions became ready to follow him on this highly dangerous journey.
This blessed caravan set off from Madinah in the beginning of Dhil Qa’dah, A.H. 6. At Dhul Hulaifah they entered the pilgrims robe with the intention of umrah, took 70 camels with collars round their necks indicating that they were sacrificial animals; kept only a sword each in sheaths, which the pilgrims to the Kabah were allowed to carry according to the recognized custom of Arabia, but no other weapon. Thus, the caravan set out for the Ka’bah, the House of Allah, at Makkah, chanting the prescribed slogan of Labbaik, Allahuma Labbaik.
The nature of the relations between Makkah and Madinah in those days was known too well to every Arab. Just the previous year, in Shawwal A.H. 5, the Quraish mustering the united strength of the Arab tribes had invaded Madinah and the well known Battle of the Trench had taken place. Therefore, when the Holy Prophet along with such a large caravan set off for the home of his blood-thirsty enemy, the whole of Arabia looked up with amazement, and the people also noticed that the caravan was not going with the intention to fight but was proceeding to the House of Allah in a forbidden month in the pilgrims garb carrying sacrificial animals and was absolutely unarmed.
The Quraish were confounded at this bold step taken by the Holy Prophet. Dhil-Qa’dah was one of those forbidden months which had been held as sacred for pilgrimage in Arabia for centuries. Nobody had a right to interfere with a caravan which might be coming for hajj or umrah in the pilgrims garb in this month; so much so that even an enemy tribe could not hinder it from passing through its territory according to the recognized law of the land. The Quraish therefore were caught in a dilemma, for if they attacked this caravan from Madinah and stopped it from entering Makkah, this would arouse a clamor of protest in the whole country, and all the Arab tribes would have the misgiving that the Quraish had monopolized the Ka’bah as exclusively their own, and every tribe would be involved in the mistrust that now it depended on the will of the Quraish to allow or not to allow anyone to perform hajj or umrah in the future and that they would stop any tribe with which they were angry from visiting the Ka’bah just as they had stopped the Madinese pilgrims. This they thought would be a grave mistake, which would cause the entire Arabia to revolt against them. But, on the other hand, if they allowed Muhammad (upon whom be Allah’s peace and blessings) and his large caravan to enter their city safely, they would lose their image of power in Arabia and the people would say that they were afraid of Muhammad. At last, after a great deal of confusion, perplexity and hesitation they were overcome by their false sense of honor and for the sake of their prestige they took the decision that they would at no cost allow the caravan to enter the city of Makkah.

Comment by annonymous: Thank you both for commenting on this subject. I feel like there is such a gulf, a divide of understanding between cultures, that if it weren’t for Madonna as the subject of the picture, you might think she was trying to initiate a dialog like this. But as Madonna is the focus, it’s about her.  So let’s change that.  I’m not Muslim, but I have a tremendous affinity for what I have seen of the religion/culture, and it’s because I’ve tried to learn about our inherent differences, that I’ve found some wonderful things to appreciate about Islam. (And please, correct anything I may have interpreted incorrectly) I am far from an expert.  In one tradition, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is quoted as saying: “…If the woman reaches the age of puberty, no part of her body should be seen but this — and he pointed to his face and hands.” Islamic dress is one of many rights granted to Islamic women. Modest clothing is worn in obedience to GOD, and has nothing to do with submissiveness to men. Muslim men and women have similar rights and obligations and both submit to God. It’s a commonly held, Judeo-Christian misconception that wearing a hijab connotes inferior status. A proud Muslim woman chooses to wear a hijab to show her deference to God. However, the male head of her family can chose for her to forgo that display. Complete veiling, like Madonnas’ picture, was not advocated by Islam, but by religious zealots, as I understand, they pushed for the practice to be enacted – in the late ’50s. Before then, women almost never completely veiled.  From these and other references, the vast majority of Muslim scholars and jurists, past and present, have determined the minimum requirements for Muslim women’s dress:  1) Clothing must cover the entire body, with the exception of the face and the hands.  2) The attire should not be form fitting, sheer or so eye-catching as to attract undue attention or reveal the shape of the body. Sadly one commonality Christians share with Muslims, is a MAN made interpretation of religious texts, to suit an individual zealots agenda to subsume women’s status. Both the Koran and the Bible have been twisted and taken out of context to minimize and marginalize women’s access to money, education, and ultimately power.  Now back to the point at hand, a hijab is a woman’s choice to wear, to show her obedience to God. Not to man.

Comment by annonymous:
Thank you both for commenting on this subject. I feel like there is such a gulf, a divide of understanding between cultures, that if it weren’t for Madonna as the subject of the picture, you might think she was trying to initiate a dialog like this. But as Madonna is the focus, it’s about her.
So let’s change that.
I’m not Muslim, but I have a tremendous affinity for what I have seen of the religion/culture, and it’s because I’ve tried to learn about our inherent differences, that I’ve found some wonderful things to appreciate about Islam. (And please, correct anything I may have interpreted incorrectly) I am far from an expert.
In one tradition, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is quoted as saying: “…If the woman reaches the age of puberty, no part of her body should be seen but this — and he pointed to his face and hands.”
Islamic dress is one of many rights granted to Islamic women. Modest clothing is worn in obedience to GOD, and has nothing to do with submissiveness to men. Muslim men and women have similar rights and obligations and both submit to God. It’s a commonly held, Judeo-Christian misconception that wearing a hijab connotes inferior status. A proud Muslim woman chooses to wear a hijab to show her deference to God. However, the male head of her family can chose for her to forgo that display. Complete veiling, like Madonnas’ picture, was not advocated by Islam, but by religious zealots, as I understand, they pushed for the practice to be enacted – in the late ’50s. Before then, women almost never completely veiled.
From these and other references, the vast majority of Muslim scholars and jurists, past and present, have determined the minimum requirements for Muslim women’s dress:
1) Clothing must cover the entire body, with the exception of the face and the hands.
2) The attire should not be form fitting, sheer or so eye-catching as to attract undue attention or reveal the shape of the body.
Sadly one commonality Christians share with Muslims, is a MAN made interpretation of religious texts, to suit an individual zealots agenda to subsume women’s status. Both the Koran and the Bible have been twisted and taken out of context to minimize and marginalize women’s access to money, education, and ultimately power.
Now back to the point at hand, a hijab is a woman’s choice to wear, to show her obedience to God. Not to man.

The Holy Prophet had dispatched a man of the Bani Ka’b as a secret agent so that he may keep him fully informed of the intentions and movements of the Quraish. When the Holy Prophet reached Usfan, he brought the news that the Quraish had reached Dhi Tuwa with full preparations and they had sent Khalid bin Walid with two hundred cavalry men in advance towards Kura’al-Ghamim to intercept him. The Quraish wanted somehow to provoke the Holy Prophet’s Companions into fighting so that they may tell the Arabs that those people had actually come to fight and had put on the pilgrims garments for umrah only to deceive others.
Immediately on receipt of this information the Holy Prophet changed his route and following a very rugged, rocky track reached Hudaibiyah, which was situated right on the boundary of the sacred Makkan territory. Here, he was visited by Budail bin Warqa the chief of the Bani Khuza’ah, along with some men of his tribe. They asked what he had come for. The Holy Prophet replied that he and his Companions had come only for pilgrimage to the House of Allah and for going round it in worship and not for war. The men of Khuza’ah went and told this to the Quraish chiefs and counseled them not to interfere with the pilgrims. But the Quraish were obstinate. They sent Hulays bin Alqamah, the chief of the Ahabish, to the Holy Prophet to persuade him to go back. Their object was that when Muhammad (upon whom be Allah’s peace) would not listen to Hulays, he would come back disappointed and then the entire power of the Ahabish would be on their side. But when Hulays went and saw that the whole caravan had put on the pilgrims garments, had brought sacrificial camels with festive collars round their necks, and had come for doing reverence to the House of Allah and not to fight, he returned to Makkah without having any dialogue with the Holy Prophet and told the Quraish chiefs plainly that those people had no other object but to pay a visit to the Ka’bah; if they debarred them from it, the Ahabish would not join them in that, because they had not become their allies to support them if they violated the sacred customs and traditions.
Then the Quraish sent `Urwah bin Mas’ud Thaqafi; he had lengthy negotiations with the Holy Prophet in an effort to persuade him to give up his intention to enter Makkah. But the Holy Prophet gave him also the same reply that he had given to the chief of the Khuza’ah, that they had not come to fight but to do honor to the House of Allah and carry out a religious duty. Urwah went back and said to the Quraish: “I have been to the courts of the Caesar and Khosroes, and the Negus also, but by God, never have I seen any people so devoted to a king as are the Companions of Muhammad (upon whom be Allah’s peace and blessings) to him. If Muhammad makes his ablutions they would not let the water thereof fall on the ground but would rub it on their bodies and clothes. Now you may decide as to what you should do.”

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In the meantime when the messages were coming and the negotiations were going on, the Quraish tried again and again to quietly launch sudden attacks on the Muslim camp in order to provoke the Companions and somehow incite them to war, but every time they did so the Companions’ forbearance and patience and the Holy Prophet’s wisdom and sagacity frustrated their designs. On one occasion forty or fifty of their men came at night and attacked the Muslim camp with stones and arrows. The Companions arrested all of them and took them before the Holy Prophet, but he let them go. On another occasion 80 men came from the direction of Tan’im right at the time of the Fajr Prayer and made a sudden attack. They were also caught, but the Holy Prophet forgave them, too. Thus, the Quraish went on meeting failure after failure in every one of their designs.zakahsoft
At last, the Holy Prophet sent Hadrat Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) as his own messenger to Makkah with the message that they had not come to fight but only for pilgrimage and had brought their sacrificial camels along, and they would go back after performing the rite of pilgrimage and offering the sacrifice. But the Quraish did not agree and withheld Hadrat Uthman in the city. In the meantime a rumor spread that Hadrat Uthman had been killed; and when he did not return in time the Muslims took the rumor to be true. Now they could show no more forbearance. Entry into Makkah was different for there was no intention to use force. But when the ambassador was put to death, the Muslims had no alternative but to prepare for war. Therefore, the Holy Prophet summoned all his Companions together and took a solemn pledge from them that they would fight to death. In view of the critical occasion it was not an ordinary undertaking. The Muslims numbered only 1400 and had come without any weapons, were encamping at the boundary of Makkah, 250 miles away from their own city, and the enemy could attack them in full strength, and could surround them with its allies from the adjoining tribes as well. In spite of this, none from the caravan except one man failed to give his pledge to fight to death, and there could be no greater proof of their dedication and sincerity than that in the cause of Allah. This pledge is well known in the history of Islam as the pledge of Ridwan.
Later it was known that the news about Hadrat Uthman was false. Not only did he return but under Suhail bin ‘Amr from the Quraish also arrived a deputation to negotiate peace with the Holy Prophet. Now, the Quraish no more insisted that they would disallow the Holy Prophet and his Companions to enter Makkah. However, in order to save their face they only insisted that he went back that year but could come the following year to perform the umrah. After lengthy negotiations peace was concluded on the following terms:

War would remain suspended for ten years, and no party would indulge in any hostility, open or secret, against the other.
If any one during that period from among the Quraish went over to Muhammad, without his guardian’s permission, he would return him to them, but if a Companion of Muhammad came over to the Quraish, they would not return him to him.
Every Arab tribe would have the option to join either side as its ally and enter the treaty.
Muhammad and his men would go back that year and could come the following year for umrah and stay in Makkah for three days, provided that they brought only one sheathed sword each, and no other weapon of war. In those three days the Makkans would vacate the city for them (so that there was no chance of a clash), but they would not be allowed to take along any Makkan on return.

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When the conditions of the treaty were being settled, the whole of the Muslim army was feeling greatly upset. No one understood the expedience because of which the Holy Prophet was accepting the conditions. No one was far sighted enough to foresee the great benefit that was to result from this treaty. The disbelieving Quraish looked at it as their victory, and the Muslims were upset as to why they should be humiliated to accepting those mean conditions. Even a statesman of the caliber of Hadrat Umar says that he had never given way to doubt since the time he had embraced Islam but on this occasion he also could not avoid it. Impatient he went to Hadrat Abu Bakr and said “Is he (the Holy Prophet) not Allah’s Messenger, and are we not Muslims, and are they not polytheists? Then, why should we agree to what is humiliating to our Faith?” He replied “O Umar, he is surely Allah’s Messenger, and Allah will never make him the loser.” Unsatisfied he went to the Holy Prophet himself and put the same questions to him, and he also gave him the same replies as Hadrat Abu Bakr had given. Afterwards Hadrat Umar continued to offer voluntary prayers and give aims so that Allah may pardon his insolence that he had shown towards the Holy Prophet on that occasion.
Two things in the treaty were highly disturbing for the Muslims first, the second condition, about which they said that it was an expressly unfair condition, for if they had to return a fugitive from Makkah, why should not the Quraish return a fugitive from Madinah? To this the Holy Prophet replied: “What use would be he to us, who fled from us to them? May Allah keep him away from us! And if we return the one who flees to us from them, Allah will create some other way out for him.” The other thing that was rankling in their minds was the fourth condition. The Muslims thought that agreeing to it meant that they were going back unsuccessful and this was humiliating. Furthermore, the question that was causing them feel upset was that they had accepted the condition of going back without performing the pilgrimage to the Ka’bah, whereas the Holy Prophet had seen in the vision that they were performing tawaf at Makkah. To this the Holy Prophet replied that in his vision the year had not been specified. According to the treaty conditions, therefore, they would perform the tawaf the following year if it pleased Allah.
Right at the time when the document was being written, Suhail bin ‘Amr’s own son, Abu Jandal, who had become a Muslim and been imprisoned by the pagans of Makkah somehow escaped to the Holy Prophet’s camp. He had fetters on his feet and signs of violence on his body. He implored the Holy Prophet that he help secure his release from imprisonment. The scene only increased the Companions’ dejection, and they were moved beyond control. But Suhail bin ‘Amr said the conditions of the agreement had been concluded between them although the writing was not yet complete; therefore, the boy should be returned to them. The Holy Prophet admitted his argument and Abu Jandal was returned to his oppressors.
When the document was finished, the Holy Prophet spoke to the Companions and told them to slaughter their sacrificial animals at that very place, shave their heads and put off the pilgrim garments, but no one moved from his place. The Holy Prophet repeated the order thrice but the Companions were so overcome by depression and dejection that they did not comply. During his entire period of apostleship on no occasion had it ever happened that he should command his Companions to do a thing and they should not hasten to comply with it. This caused him a great shock, and he repaired to his tent and expressed his grief before his wife, Hadrat Umm Salamah. She said, “You may quietly go and slaughter your own camel and call the barber and have your head shaved. After that the people would automatically do what you did and would understand that whatever decision had been taken would not be changed.” Precisely the same thing happened. The people slaughtered their animals, shaved their heads or cut their hair short and put off the pilgrim garb, but their hearts were still afflicted with grief.

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Later, when this caravan was returning to Madinah, feeling depressed and dejected at the truce of Hudaibiyah, this Surah came down at Dajnan (or according to some others, at Kura’ al-Ghamim), which told the Muslims that the treaty that they were regarding as their defeat, was indeed a great victory. After it had come down, the Holy Prophet summoned the Muslims together and said: “Today such a thing has been sent down to me, which is more valuable to me than the world and what it contains.” Then he recited this Surah, especially to Hadrat Umar, for he was the one who was feeling most dejected.

PALAU_FESTA3_WEBAlthough the believers were satisfied when they heard this Divine Revelation, not much longer afterwards the advantages of this treaty began to appear one after the other until every one became fully convinced that this peace treaty indeed was a great victory:

In it for the first time the existence of the Islamic State in Arabia was duly recognized. Before this in the eyes of the Arabs the position of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be Allah’s peace) and his Companions was no more than of mere rebels against the Quraish and other Arab tribes, and they regarded them as the outlaws. Now the Quraish themselves by concluding this agreement with the Holy Prophet recognized his sovereignty over the territories of the Islamic State and opened the way for the Arab tribes to enter treaties of alliance with either of the political powers they liked.
By admitting the right of pilgrimage to the House of Allah for the Muslims, the Quraish also admitted that Islam was not an anti-religious creed, as they had so far been thinking, but it was one of the admitted religions of Arabia, and like the other Arabs, its followers also had the right to perform the rites of hajj and umrah. This diminished the hatred in the Arabs hearts that had been caused by the propaganda made by the Quraish against Islam.
The signing of a no-war pact for ten years provided full peace to the Muslims, and spreading to every nook and corner of Arabia they preached Islam with such spirit and speed that within two years after Hudaibiyah the number of the people who embraced Islam far exceeded those who had embraced it during the past 19 years or so. It was all due to this treaty that two years later when in consequence of the Quraish’s violating the treaty the Holy Prophet invaded Makkah, he was accompanied by an army 10,000 strong, whereas on the occasion of Hudaibiyah only 1,400 men had joined him in the march.
After the suspension of hostilities by the Quraish the Holy Prophet had the opportunity to establish and strengthen Islamic rule in the territories under him and to turn the Islamic society into a full fledged civilization and way of life by the enforcement of Islamic law. This is that great blessing about which Allah says in verse 3 of Surah Al-Ma’idah: “Today I have perfected your Religion for you and completed My blessing on you and approved Islam as the Way of Life for you.” (for explanation, see Introduction to Surah Al-Ma’idah and its E. N. 15).

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Another gain that accrued from the truce with the Quraish was that being assured of peace from the south the Muslims overpowered all the opponent forces in the north and central Arabia easily. Just three months after Hudaibiyah, Khaiber, the major stronghold of the Jews, was conquered and after it the Jewish settlements of Fadak, Wad-il Qura, Taima and Tabuk also fell to Islam one after the other. Then all other tribes of central Arabia, which were bound in alliance with the Jews and Quraish, came under the sway of Islam. Thus, within two years after Hudaibiyah the balance of power in Arabia was so changed that the strength of the Quraish and pagan gave way and the domination of Islam became certain.

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About Buzzle
You want to add life to everyday living. You want to grow. The world around, you want to know. You need not think where to go. We are there for you, always. Find what interests you; explore what you never knew. Unearth the old, stay abreast with the latest. Change your life for the good. Make Buzzle your one-stop destination to find all the information you need. Come, join our world full of intelligent life.

These were the blessings that the Muslims gained from the peace treaty which they were looking upon as their defeat and the Quraish as their victory. However, what had troubled the Muslims most in this treaty, was the condition about the fugitives from Makkah and Madinah, that the former would be returned and the latter would not be returned. But not much long afterwards this condition also proved to be disadvantageous for the Quraish, and experience revealed what far reaching consequences of it had the Holy Prophet fore seen and then accepted it. A few days after the treaty a Muslim of Makkah, Abu Basir, escaped from the Quraish and reached Madinah. The Quraish demanded him back and the Holy Prophet returned him to their men who had been sent from Makkah to arrest him. But while on the way to Makkah he again fled and went and sat on the road by the Red Sea shore, which the trade caravans of the Quraish took to Syria. After that every Muslim who succeeded in escaping from the Quraish would go and join Abu Basir instead of going to Madinah, until 70 men gathered there. They would attack any Quraish caravan that passed the way and cut it into pieces at last, the Quraish themselves begged the Holy Prophet to call those men to Madinah, and the condition relating to the return of the fugitives of itself became null and void.
The Surah should be read with this historical background in view in order to fully understand it.

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Quran Easy is a universal message for all the people that Holy Quran is not a difficult book to understand, but is very easy. This Holy book had been sent by Allah on last Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) in 23 years period. We had put an effort to spread Allah message and to guide human beings towards the path that leads to success and glory. Nobody is going to live forever in this world so we should think and ponder over it. Holy Quran is a book from Allah to guide you.   Read More

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The internal combustion engine (ICE) is an engine where the combustion of a fuel (typically petroleum derived such as gasoline or diesel fuel) occurs with an oxidizer (usually air) in a combustion chamber that is an integral part of the working fluid flow circuit. In an internal combustion engine the expansion of the high-temperature and high-pressure gases produced by combustion apply direct force to some component of the engine. The force is applied typically to pistons, turbine blades, or a nozzle. This force moves the component over a distance, transforming chemical energy into useful mechanical energy. The first commercially successful internal combustion engine was created by Étienne Lenoir.

The internal combustion engine (ICE) is an engine where the combustion of a fuel (typically petroleum derived such as gasoline or diesel fuel) occurs with an oxidizer (usually air) in a combustion chamber that is an integral part of the working fluid flow circuit. In an internal combustion engine the expansion of the high-temperature and high-pressure gases produced by combustion apply direct force to some component of the engine. The force is applied typically to pistons, turbine blades, or a nozzle. This force moves the component over a distance, transforming chemical energy into useful mechanical energy. The first commercially successful internal combustion engine was created by Étienne Lenoir.

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The Places in Between

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Such a reconfigured national consensus, or a way of doing without one, seems equally imperative in the case of Hispanic immigrants in America, Muslims in France, Palestinians in Israel, Tamils in Sri Lanka, Kurds in Turkey, and Tibetans in China. The old question—what is a country, and what is its basis?—has become menacingly relevant long after it appeared to have been settled. In that sense, it is not facile to wonder if we are all Indonesians now, facing the perplexities of a shattering old order.

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Dedicated to promoting timely understanding and debate on a broad spectrum of ideas and trends in Islam and the Arab World through filtration, translation and analysis of original language text.

Typhoon Haiyan Visualization

This interactive piece by @ebayinc captures the impact of global donations following Typhoon Haiyan.

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A century of hard work on the Panama Canal

By Juan José Rodríguez | 14 August, 2014 Thursday الخَميس (al-khamīs) 18 Shawwal, 1435

ipad-air-displayFrom painter Paul Gauguin’s illness-ridden misadventure in the Central American rainforest to tugboat captain Eileen Vinueza’s purple nail polish and sneakers, working on the Panama Canal has changed considerably in the past century.

Digging a massive trench across the Isthmus of Panama was grueling work for the men brought in from around the world to build the canal, whose 100th anniversary this Friday is a testament both to the engineering genius of the era and their backbreaking labor.

Historians estimate that more than 27,000 workers died building the canal, mostly of malaria and yellow fever.

One of those who fell ill was post-Impressionist master Gauguin, who took up a job on the canal for several weeks when he found himself stranded penniless in Panama, but left sick and unemployed as the French effort to complete the waterway collapsed.

The tropical diseases that ravaged the workforce were one of the main factors that caused the failure of the French project, launched in 1881 but abandoned eight years later in a haze of design flaws, corruption scandals and bad debts.

Today, a small French cemetery in a tree-lined grove near the canal stands as a reminder of the men who died on the project, its hundreds of nameless white crosses representing just a small fraction of the total.

Most who worked on the canal in the 19th century came from France, China and the Caribbean, particularly Jamaica.

Slogging away in rain and stagnant water festering with fever-carrying mosquitoes, they were typically abandoned by their companies when they fell ill, or even fired so the firms would not have to pay their hospital bills.

Poor nutrition and sanitation exacerbated their health problems.

Conditions were not much better after the United States took over the project in 1904, importing 150,000 workers in a massive push to the finish.

Some 5,600 workers died in the breakneck, decade-long American effort, adding to the 22,000 deaths during the French campaign.

- Long hours, demanding work -

Conditions have changed for the better in the century since the waterway finally opened, but a job on the Panama Canal still means hard work.

Vinueza looks relaxed enough with her enormous sunglasses, jeans and purple nails, but steering her 26.5-meter (87-foot), 6,250-horsepower tugboat around the canal is a challenge in its own right.

“This is my little house. Sometimes I spend up to 16 hours here. I had to give away my dog Aniara because I didn’t have time to take care of her,” Vinueza told AFP as she steered her tug toward her latest client, the Bahamas-flagged bulk carrier CS Chara.

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Guiding huge container ships into the canal’s locks takes nerve and absolute control at the wheel.

It remains a profession dominated by machismo. Vinueza, 31, is one of just three women captains on a staff of about 200.

She was the first woman to land the job after the United States handed the canal over to Panama in 1999.

Tugboat captain is just one of a long list of employment opportunities on the canal, which provides 10,000 jobs and $1 billion a year for the Panamanian economy.

Employees say the jobs were once considered among the best in the country, but working conditions have deteriorated in recent years.

“Before, when you got out of school, everyone wanted to come to the canal. Now they’re realizing that it’s not a golden panacea anymore,” said engineer Rogelio Bramwell, who has worked on the canal for 22 years.

“I have to leave at five in the morning to get here at eight, and we don’t have a quitting time. You can’t make any plans,” added Edgar Gomez, a 55-year-old sailor, before abandoning his half-eaten plate of rice and beans to rush back to work.

But Vinueza says she is proud to be part of the canal.

“I’m excited to be working here for the 100th anniversary. I’ll be part of history, and I’ll be able to tell my grandkids about it,” she said.

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Consecutively escalating (Undisturbed increase) ツ Derived from the word “shu’ba”, which means branch.

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The fifteenth of Sha’ban, which is commonly referred to as “Laylatul Bara-ah” (refer: Tafseer Razi and Ruhul ma’ani, surah 44. Ayah:3) is one of the significant nights in the Islamic calendar.

Ibnul Haj (rahimahullah) states:

“The salaf (pious predecessors) would sanctify this night and prepare themselves for it in advance”

(Al-Madkhal, vol.1 pg.299)

Some people, due to being ill-informed actually refute the auspiciousness of this occasion. The following paragraphs serve to correct that false notion.

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Ahadith on the virtue of the night

There are several ahadith (plural of hadith) in which the merit of the 15th of Sha’ban has been discussed.

1)     Amongst them is the narration of Sayyiduna Mu’azh ibn Jabal (radiallahuánhu) that Rasulullah (sallallahuálaihi wasallam) said:

“Allah Ta’ala pays special attention to his entire creation on the fifteenth night of Sha’ban and forgives all of them except one who ascribes partners to Him and one who harbors enmity in his heart.”

 (Al- Mu’jam al-Awsat hadith: 6776 and Al-Mu’jam al-Kabir vol.20 pg.108-109)

Reliability of this narration

Imam Ibn Hibban (rahimahullah) has classified this narration as sahih (authentic) and has included it in his book – Al-Sahih(Sahih ibn Hibban vol.12 pg.482; hadith:5665). Hafiz Al-Haythami (rahimahullah) has mentioned that all the narrators of this hadith are reliable. (Majma’ al-Zawa’id vol.8 pg.65)

2)     Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radiyallahu’anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said:

“On the middle night of Sha’ban Allah Ta’ala’s mercy come to the first sky and He forgives all besides the polytheists and those who harbour enmity for their brethren”

(Musnad Bazzar & Shu’abul Iman of Baihaqi, hadith:3546)

Reliability of this one

Hafiz al-Mundhuri (rahimahullah) has classified this as sound (لا بأس به) in his Al-Targhib (vol.3 pg.459). 

Al-Haithami (rahimahullah) says: “Abdul Malik hasn’t been declared weak by Ibn Abi Hatim, and the rest of the narrators are reliable” (Majma’uz Zawaid, vol.8 pg.65)

In fact, Hafiz Ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) has also classified one of its possible chains as hasan (sound). (al-Amali al-mutlaqah pgs.119-1222)

Abundant narrations

Besides the above two narrations, there are many other Sahabah (radiallahuánhum) that narrated ahadith regarding the merit of this night. Among them are the following:

3)     Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah (radiallahuánhu) (Musnad al-Bazzar hadith: 3551 and Amali of Ibn Sam’un.

Hafiz Sakhawi (rahimahullah) has said: “There are no narrators in this chain that have been declared unreliable.” Al-Ajwibat ul-Mardiyyah vol.1 pgs.325)

4) Sayyidatuna Aishah (radiyallahu’anha) (Sunan Tirmidhi, hadith: 739, Musnad Ahmad, hadith: 26018 & Shu’abul Iman, hadith: 3545)

5) Sayyiduna Abu Tha’labah (radiallahuánhu) (Shu’abul-Iman, hadith:3551)

6) Sayyiduna Awf ibn Malik (radiallahuánhu) (Musnad al-Bazzar, hadith: 2048, see Majma’uz Zawaid, vol.8 pg.65

7) Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘As (radiallahuánhu) (Musnad Ahmad hadith 6642, classified as “layyin” i.e, slightly weak by Mundhiri and Haithami rahimahumallah, Targheeb, vol.3 pg.460 & Majma’uz Zawaid, vol.8 pg.65)

8) Sayyiduna Abu Musa al-Ash’ari (radiallahuánhu) (Ibn Majah hadith 1390; Shu’abul -Iman hadith 3552)

9) Sayyiduna ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (radiallahuánhu) (Ibn Majah hadith: 1388; Shu’abul -Iman hadith: 3542)

10) Sayyiduna ‘Uthman ibn Abil-‘As (radiallahuánhu) (Shu’abul-Iman hadith 3555)

11) The Tabi’i, Kathir Ibn Murrah (rahimahullah). (Shu’abul -Iman hadith: 3550) (see Ajwibat al-Mardiyyah vol.1 pgs.325-332)

12) The Tabi’i,Yahya ibn Abi Katheer (rahimahullah). (Shu’abul Iman, hadith:3544)

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Collective strength

The collective strength of these (twelve) narrations cannot be refuted.

After quoting some of the above narrations, Imam Baihaqi (rahimahullah) says:

“…when they are combined they acquire some strength”

(Da’watul Kabeer; see: Is’aful Khullan, bima warada fi laylatin nisf min Sha’ban, of Shaykh Hammad Al-Ansari (rahimahullah) pg.19)

Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) has also accepted the collective strength of these narrations. (Majmu’ Fatawa. See below)

The Grand Mufassir, ‘Allamah Alusi (rahimahullah) has termed those who refute the virtues of the night entirely as “rash” and “reckless”. (Tafseer Ruhul Ma’ani, surah:44, Ayah:3)American Muslim Day Parade Winds Through New York City

Shaykh ‘Abdullah Siddeeq Al-Ghumari (rahimahullah) (a recent Moroccan Faqih and Muhaddith) has also termed this as an exaggeration. (Husnul Bayan fi laylati nisf min Sha’ban, pg.7)

 Statements of the Scholars

The general virtue of this night has been accepted by many great ‘Ulama of the past.

Amongst those many great scholars who have attested to the virtue of this night are:

Verdicts of the Tabi’un

1)     Imam ‘Ata ibn Yasar (rahimahullah) –the great Tabi’i of Madinah- said:

“After Laylatul-Qadr, there is no other night in the year that is more virtuous than the middle (15th) night of Sha’ban(Lataif al-Ma’arif, pg.264 & Sunan Sa’eed ibn Mansur; refer: Husnul Bayan, pg.11)

2)     Khalifah ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul Aziz (rahimahullah) wrote to his governor in Basrah: “Allah Ta’ala pours his mercy in abundance on four nights of the year, so ensure that you benefit there from. One of them being the middle (15th) night of Sha’ban” (Lataiful Ma’arif, pg.263. After quoting this, Ibn Rajab has expressed his reservation on the attribution of this statement to ‘Khalifah ‘Umar.)

3)     &  4) There exists a narration from Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radiyallahu’anhu) and from Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (radiyallahu’anhuma) in which they two attest to the virtue of this night. (Lataiful Ma’arif, pg. 262 & Musannaf ‘Abdur Razzaq, hadith:7927) However, the authenticity of this unverified.

 Muhammad Shamsi Ali, Marc Schneier

Those after the Tabi’un

5)     Imam Shafi’i (rahimahullah) mentioned that duas are accepted by Almighty Allah on the 15th of Sha’ban. (ibid, pg. 264 & Sunan Baihaqi; refer: Husnul bayan,pg.7)

6)     Imam Awza’i (rahimahullah) was of the view that people should engage in individual worship on this night. (ibid, pg.263)

7)     Imam Is-haq ibn Rahuyah (rahimahullah) also approved of spending this night in worship/in the masjid. (ibid, pg.263)

8)     Imam al-Majd ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) (Faidhul Qadeer, vol.2 pg. 317)

9)     Hafiz Ibn Taymiyyah has said, ‘As for the middle night of Sha’ban, there are various narrations that have been narrated regarding its significance and it has been reported from a group of the Salaf (predecessors) that they performed salat in it individually. Hence, such a deed cannot be disputed.’ (Majmu’ al-Fatawa ibn Taymiyyah vol.23 pg.132)

10)  Ibn Rajab al-Hambali (rahimahullah) writes: “Every Muslim is recommended to avail himself for ‘ibadah on this night” (Lataif, pg.265)

11)  Hafiz Zaynuddeen al-‘Iraqi (rahmatullahi’alaih) (Faidhul Qadeer, vol.2 pg.317)

12)  Ibnul Haj –Demise: 737- (rahimahullah) states: “ This night has great virtue and abundant good” (Al-Madkhal, vol.1 pg.299)

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Scholars who would personally engage in ‘ibadah (worship) on this night

Tabi’un

Hafiz Ibn Rajab (rahimahullah) has cited that the following (and other) Tabi’un would engage in ‘ibadah (worship) on the fifteenth night of Sha’ban;

1)     Makhool (rahimahullah)

2)     Khalid ibn Ma’dan (rahimahullah)

3)     Luqman ibn ‘Amir (rahimahullah) and others…

Those after the Tabi’un

4)     Hafiz Ibn ‘Asakir –Demise:571- (rahimahullah) the author of the volumous “Tareekh Dimashq” (in 70 volumes) would also engage in ‘ibadah on this night. (Siyar A’lamin Nubala, vol.20 pg.562)

5)     Ibnul Haj –Demise: 737- (rahimahullah) states: “The salaf (pious predecessors) would sanctify this night and prepare themselves for it in advance” (Al-Madkhal, vol.1 pg.299)

Summary

From the above paragraphs it is clear that:

  1. The virtue of the night is reported by more than ten Sahabah (radiyallahu’anhum) and Tabi’un (rahimahumullah)
  2. There are verdicts of over ten ‘Ulama (from the Tabi’un onwards) that support this.
  3. To engage in worship on this night (in addition to other occasions) has been the practice of numerous ‘Ulama.
  4. That those who totally refute the merit of this night have been labelled as reckless and exaggerate.
  5. That this night is actually considered as:

The second most auspicious night of the Islamic calendar”!

All of the above sufficiently confirm the significance of the 15th night of Sha’ban.

 Al-Azhar Mosque and University

Books on this topic

This discussion is further supported by the fact that several ‘Ulama have even written dedicated booklets on the virtue of the night. Among them are:

1)      Hafiz Ibn ‘Asakir (rahimahullah) entitled: “Fadhlu laylati nisf min Sha’ban” – see: Al-Ajwibatul-Mardiyyah, vol.1 pgs.328.

2)     Imam Ibnul Akhdar (Rahimahullah) entitled: “Fadhlu Sha’ban”- see:Al- Ajwibatul-Mardiyyah vol.1 pg.328.

3)     ‘Allamah ibn Hajar Al-Haitami (rahimahullah) entitled: “Al-Idah wal bayan…”. I have a copy of the manuscript in my possession.

4)     Al-Ajhuri (Maliki) rahimahullah. See Husnul bayan, pg.5

5)     ‘Allamah Sakhawi (rahimahullah)- see: Is’aful Khullan, pg.1- (Shaykh Hammad Al-Ansari has cited this as a booklet on the virtues of the fifteenth of Sha’ban. Although it seems like Sakhawi’s (rahimahullah) main discussion in it is the issue of fasting after the 15th of Sha’ban, it is possible he discussed the virtue of the night too, like he has done in his: “Ajwibat al-Mardiyyah” vol.1 pgs.325-332. Wa Allahu A’lam)

6) Ibn Dihyah (rahimahullah)- see Is’aful khullan.

7) Ibn Rajab (rahimahullah) has a detailed section on the virtue of this night in his acclaimed book: “Lataiful Ma’arif”

Recent Scholars

8)     Shaykh ‘Abdullah Siddiq Al-Ghumari -Morocco- (rahimahullah) entitled: “Husnul Bayan fi laylati nisf min Sha’ban”

9)     Shaykh Hammad ibn Muhammad Al-Ansari -Madinah Munawwarah- (rahimahullah) entitled: “Is’aful Khullan, bima warada fi laylatin nisf min Sha’ban”

10)     My Honourable Teacher, Al-Muhaddith Shaykh Fadlur Rahman Al-A’zami (may Allah protect him)FRANCE-ISLAM-RAMADAN

Final Cautionary Note

In addition to du’a and istighfar (seeking forgiveness from Allah Ta’ala), on this night one should engage in any act of worship that one feels comfortable with.

Some people engage in acts of bid’ah (innovation) on this night. There are no specific salats etc that are prescribed for this occasion. The ‘Ulama of the past and present have always refuted these innovations.

Some contemporaries use the statements of these Scholars to refute the significance of the night itself. This is incorrect and irrational. The negation of certain innovated practices on this night does not necessitate the denial of the virtue of the night itself!

 

May Allah Ta’ala guide us all, and may He allow us to maximise our benefit from the auspiciousness of this night.

And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

FOR about a thousand years, roughly from the 7th century onwards, the people under Islamic rule made striking advances in their material and intellectual culture.

The contribution of those advances to modern Western philosophy, sciences and technology has been extensively studied. But I want to speak about their distinctively Islamic qualities.

The area under Islamic influence stretched overland from the Atlantic in the west to the borders of China, and across the Indian Ocean to the islands of the Malay archipelago.

This vast area was commercially interconnected with much continuous and profitable exchange of goods. It was also culturally interconnected, with prodigious traffic in books and ideas, scholars and travellers.

Its people busied themselves in seeking knowledge and writing it down. So much so was this that, to this day, there remain huge quantities of manuscripts, from different ends of the Islamic world, yet to be catalogued and studied.ISRAEL-PALESTINIAN-JERUSALEM-DEMO

The regional diversity and assimilative embrace of Islam as a civilisation is manifest in the names by which great figures in Islamic scholarship are best known: al-Qurtubi, al-Fasi, al-Iskandari, al-Dimashaqi, al-Baghdadi, al-Isfahani, al-Bukhari, al-Dihlawi and al-Jawi.

The language of communication among scholars was mostly Arabic, with Persian and Turkish becoming important later in the east. This dominance of Arabic was not the result of any policy to diminish local languages. It was simply a gradual extension of the authority of the language of the Quran and its teachings.

Muslims believed that the way of life defined by the Quran summed up the best of the teachings of the past. They expected that non-Muslims, too, would have knowledge, skills and virtues. They expected to learn from them and to fit that learning with Islam.

Islamic civilisation thus self-consciously set out to co-exist with and absorb the cultures of others. It did so from a position of political strength.

The House of Wisdom (Bayt al-Hikma) in Baghdad, funded by the Caliph, is the best-known example of this attitude. Translations were commissioned of works in every branch of learning, from metaphysics to the science of making poisons. Once translated, these works were studied critically, then improved and extended.

The dominant streams in this flood of knowledge were Hellenic, Persian and Indian. The Chinese script proved too severe an obstacle to the absorption of Chinese philosophy and science. However, Chinese influences are found everywhere in the material culture of the Islamic world, in decorative motifs, and in the skills of making paper, ceramics, glass, metal-ware, textiles, dyes and drugs.

The Quran presented the teaching of all God’s messengers as a unified legacy. Muslims set out to harmonise older traditions of learning with that legacy. This effort was not universally admired.

In particular, the presentation of Islamic teachings in the style of Greek philosophy remained controversial for centuries. In the end, it had a more enduring influence on the medieval Christian world than on Islam.

Such controversies did not dampen Muslims’ self-confidence. In general, Islamic norms continued to encourage intellectual adventure and achievement. Muslims were aware of living in prosperous, stable societies, and comfortable with non-Muslim communities among them. They considered themselves forward-looking, inventive and multi-cultured.

Their best scholars made innovations of lasting importance in mathematics and experimental science, and applied them in technical instruments, manufacture, and engineering. And the wealthiest royal courts competed to own and display the results.

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Al-Jazari’s famous water-clock illustrates this well. Its water-raising technology is Greek; the elephant, inside which the great vat of water is hidden, represents India, the rugs on its back are Persian; on top of the howdah sits an Egyptian phoenix; on its sides are conspicuously Chinese red dragons. This deliberately multicultural device was constructed shortly after the Crusades.

All that said, while Muslim societies were stable, their governments were often not: regime change was usually violent and disruptive. Politically, the Muslims became ever weaker and more divided.

Little now survives of their cultural self-confidence; even less remains of the personal and political skills they had developed to manage life alongside different communities and confessions.

Their ways of organising long-distance commerce and regulating free markets have vanished completely. The material remains of the rest — all the thinking in all the books, colleges, libraries and hospitals — interest only medievalists, museums, and tourists.

The past still has presence in the public spaces; you still hear the call to prayer, even in secularised city centres. There is still a feel of Islam in private homes and personal manners.

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We can objectively map the movements of books, ideas and scholars from one end of the Islamic world to the other in every century until the modern period.

The recovery following the Crusades and Mongol conquests included the building of madrasa and colleges that taught a rich, varied curriculum.

There is little evidence of that during European colonial rule. The madrasa of that era were not well funded. They could afford to focus only on Islamic sciences narrowly defined.

For the rest of their education, Muslims had to leave the cultural space of Islam. A division became established between religious and secular education, between old and modern, with Islam on the side of the old. That division is at the heart of the present challenges facing Muslims in every part of the world.

A child walks near members of the Muslim community attending midday prayers at Strasbourg Grand Mosque in Strasbourg

When we memorialise the legacy of the Islamic past — when naming public institutions, or presenting past glories in books and museums — we should remember that this legacy was built on Muslims’ confidence in Islam.

This confidence was sustained by material prosperity, combined with a sufficient degree of political and legal stability. Without prosperity and stability, the constraints on political and economic decisions are too strong for people to make their own choices for their future.

We need only look at the difficulties in post-recession Europe to know that feeling powerless to shape the future is not special to Muslim societies. It is not related to their being Muslim but to the material conditions in which they are Muslim.

The end-goal is hardly a matter of dispute among the vast majority of Muslims. It is to re-establish connections between Islamic upbringing and education and modern secular, technical education.

The latter provides the means for individuals to make their way in the world, to have things to do in it and to enjoy doing them successfully. The former provides them with their religious orientation and identity.

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Religious orientation is not itself the goal. The aim is not to have people identify as Muslims; the vast majority already do that. Rather, the aim is to enable them to prosper in the world in ways that express and test, inform and improve, their identity as Muslims.

As the Chinese saying puts it, the journey of a thousand miles begins from where your feet are. We in the Muslim world can only set out from where we stand in reality. That reality needs to be stated bluntly.

Today, Muslim identity is not sufficiently relevant to how things are done in the world, especially in the collective spheres of life.

Muslim identity is not the engine of prosperity, of either the production or the distribution of wealth. Muslim identity is not the engine of knowledge, of collecting it, or adding to it, or disseminating it. (This is true, rather unexpectedly, even of knowledge about the past legacy of Islam.) Muslim identity is not the engine of political and legal order. Or rather, it is not so in a positive way. Instead, we see mainly negative expressions of it. We see it in a despairing withdrawal from the evils of power: in the attitude that the status quo, however bad, is still better than chaos.

We see it also in despairing violence intended to erase the status quo, without any labour of understanding and analysis about what will follow.

The end-goal is to make being Muslim relevant and effective in the quest for knowledge, in the quest for prosperity and in the quest for political order. Except in the sphere of personal courtesies and private concerns, being Muslim is no longer the currency of exchange neither among Muslims themselves, nor between them and non-Muslims.

To make it so again is a task of huge scale and complexity. Our first priority must be to establish institutions and forums so that the present challenges are properly identified, and then try to guide expectations towards realistic, achievable goals.

The hurdles in the way are real and substantial.

First, there is the hurdle, as I said, of determining what is do-able and specifying it intelligently, in the light of local realities; in the way that sustains momentum towards the next objective; and without losing sight of the end-goal.

Second, there is the hurdle of co-ordinating effort with other societies and states. Priorities can vary sharply with local conditions. Therefore, there will be a need for trust among policy makers, with tolerance for variable levels of competence and energy.

Thirdly, there is the hurdle of rejection by those who oppose any attempt to bring religious concerns into the public sphere. The response will sometimes be concession, compromise and conciliation. At other times, it will take the form of steadfastly holding one’s ground. In either case, alert flexibility — the readiness to adjust to different circumstances — is essential.

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Among general objectives, the most inclusive is to build up the commercial, financial, trade and cultural ties between Muslim societies.

One measure of the need is the low values and volumes of bilateral trade between Muslim-majority countries, compared with their trade with non-Muslim countries.

Another measure is the low values and volumes of trade outside the dollar-dominated banking system.

Another is the low numbers of Muslims travelling for higher education from one Muslim country to another; the general preference, for those who can afford it, remains Europe or America.

Yet another measure is the massive inflow of cultural product from the non-Muslim into the Muslim world — the information and imagery people get from their televisions and computers; the advertising that influences the things they want to own; the time they give to sports and other entertainments.

All of this shapes people’s horizons, and their understanding of what is important and what is possible.

For the states that make up the Islamic world, the need to work together is clear. Modern technologies make it much easier to do that than it used to be. The sacrifices needed for cooperation to succeed are widely understood. But we should also highlight the benefits of a strengthened economic base in Muslim states, through increase in trade and long-term investments in human development.

The distribution of resources favours Muslim nations, but they lack the will and confidence to manage them to best advantage. If only because they are Muslim nations, their leaders have a special responsibility to nurture that will and confidence.

Their aspirations and policies should be consciously linked to the history, culture and faith that Muslims share. If enough far-sighted individuals have the courage of their Islamic convictions, what seems desirable but unrealistic can become a realistic and achievable goal.

Muslims are commanded to “bid to the good and forbid from the evil” (amr bi-l-ma`ruf wa-nahy `ani l-munkar). This entails commitment to the direction and quality of the whole social ethos. Not just traditional forms of family life and neighbourliness but also religiously valid ways of earning a living, co-operatively with others and with the natural environment.

As I mentioned, in the past, Muslims traded globally. The expansion of Islam’s influence followed the trade routes out of its Arabian heartland. For Muslims, economic effort is an integral part of responsible living.

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We have a reliable record of how the Prophet and his companions went about discharging that responsibility. Muslims may not engage in practices that deliberately and systematically deprive others of their livelihood, and then, in response to a separate impulse, give charitably to relieve the distress their economic practice has generated.

Rather, the effort to do good works and the effort to create wealth must be sustained as a single endeavour. Both means and ends must be halal.

More Muslims need to join, with each other and with non-Muslims, in the urgent need to balance the creation and distribution of wealth so that a good life is available to all, including future generations.

Muslims’ efforts to develop techniques of financing and investment that are free of usury and uncertainty (speculation) are pertinent to the wider concerns about ethical investment, fair and genuinely free trade, and abolishing the export, through debt-slavery, of poverty, instability and pollution to the poorest and weakest on this earth.

We have seen over the last forty years massive growth in the stocks of Islamic financial capital. But these stocks are not being deployed to develop the economic capacity of Muslim countries. It seems that the wealthiest Muslims, individually or as sovereign powers, prefer the safe, quick returns from investment in the non-Muslim world.

In many Muslim states, economic infrastructure and activity remain linked to servicing the economies of former colonial powers. Those linkages are not sustained only by fear, but by individual and institutional inertia — by lack of will and imagination on the part of officials to take the necessary steps to put in place the needed skills and systems.

One reason that Muslims do not invest their wealth and talents in Muslim countries is that those countries are unstable, unsafe and unproductive to work in.

This vicious circle is not a function of those countries being Muslim: similar socio-economic conditions elsewhere have similar effects — an exodus of energy, talent and money.

Many Muslim states inherited their political boundaries from the colonial era. Those boundaries increased dependence on the colonial power to keep order. The anti-colonial struggle provided a shared history for communities separated by ethnic and religious differences. In the post-colonial era they have not been able to find common ground. Solidarity is not a precondition, but an outcome, of the effort to identify common purposes. It is something that has to be, and can be, constructed.

Muslim man prays

To make Muslim identity effective in the world, a major policy commitment must be to make justice and fairness the decisive value for all modes and levels of governance.

This means allowing independent centres of authority to emerge and recognising their concerns and aspirations. It means a redistribution of opportunities to acquire wealth and influence, so that decision-making is not concentrated in the same few hands.

This must be a process, not a gesture. It must be given the time it needs, according to local conditions, to happen gradually.

In this way all parties learn to trust and work with each other to mutual benefit. If government is seen to be in the service of the people as a whole, its security is guaranteed by them.

We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worldsA complete solution for mankind in the light of Quran and Hadees

 

Dad Who Defers To Son Sends Wrong Message To Daughter

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By Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: You were wrong to advise “Starting Anew in Ohio” (Nov. 7), the mother of a 10-year-old girl who wanted the bigger bedroom in their new house, to have her kids draw straws. When the girl made the request, her older brother said he didn’t care. The time to have drawn straws was when the girl first made the request, not two months afterward.

The girl is at an age when children can be particularly sensitive about trust issues, and the boy is old enough to know that words have consequences. If the parents reverse course now, the girl will learn that her parents’ promises mean nothing, and the boy will learn that he doesn’t have to worry about what he says because he can always change it later.

These are not good lessons to teach children. That the father would bow to the boy’s request made the situation worse. Maybe he’d think twice if he realized his daughter will now always doubt his word. — JUDY IN OHIO

DEAR JUDY: You are not the only reader who told me my answer wasn’t up to my usual standards. In fact, not a single person who wrote to comment agreed with me, and their points were valid.

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Their comments:

DEAR ABBY: Your solution won’t keep the peace in that household; it will end it. The daughter will learn her parents can’t be trusted to keep a promise; the son will think he can take anything he wants from his sister because, as the male, he gets his way.

No, Abby, a promise is a promise. And if there’s any lesson more important to teach our children, I can’t imagine what it is. — HOLLY IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR ABBY: This is the time to teach that 12-year-old “young man” to be a man of his word. He made the decision that his sister could have the room. The daughter had the guts to ask for what she wanted. Good for her for asking for what she wants. Now they should draw straws to determine the outcome?

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The message this sends to the children is, “If you’re older, you can get what you want. If you make a promise, you can break it.” The daughter should not lose out on what she was promised. — DANIELLE IN WISCONSIN

DEAR ABBY: May I offer a suggestion? The children should be told that each year around the anniversary of their moving to the new house that they will change rooms. It may take some effort and energy, but the benefit would be that both brother and sister get to experience the larger bedroom. It will teach them to compromise. — TAMI IN COLORADO

DEAR ABBY: Having been through this type of situation as a child, I can tell you it destroyed my trust in my mother. Believe me, this will have far-reaching and unintended repercussions in that little girl’s life. A promise is a promise! — CANDACE IN THE ROCKIES


DEAR ABBY: Whatever happened to respect for your elders? None of my six nieces and nephews has ever called me “Uncle Sam,” nor have any of their children called me “Mr. B.” When the 5-year-old called me “Sammy,” a name I loathe, I nearly snapped. Am I out of line? — SAM IN SHEFFIELD, MASS.

DEAR SAM: If “Uncle Sam” is what you prefer to be called, you should have made that clear to your siblings when the nieces and nephews were little. Children are imitative. If their parents call you and refer to you as just plain Sam, don’t blame the children for doing the same. I don’t know how old the kids are now, but it may be a little late for you to start complaining about this.


Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at wwwpages: DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.


To order “How to Write Letters for All Occasions,” send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby — Letter Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price.

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Iran says may send forces to Pakistan to free border guards

Reuters – Mon, Feb 17, 2014 (Reporting by Michelle Moghtader; Writing by Yara Bayoumy; Editing by Sami Aboudi and Toby Chopra)

Iran said on Monday it would send forces into Pakistan to free five border guards said to have been kidnapped by militants if Islamabad did not take measures to secure their release.  According to Iranian media reports, the guards were seized on February 6 in the Iranian province of Sistan-Baluchistan by militants who allegedly took them across the border to Pakistan.

“If Pakistan doesn’t take the needed steps to fight against the terrorist groups, we will send our forces into Pakistani soil. We will not wait for this country,” Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli was quoted as telling the semi-official Mehr news agency.

A Sunni insurgent Iranian group calling itself Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice) had claimed responsibility for the kidnapping, according to a Twitter account purporting to belong to the group.

The account’s authenticity could not be immediately verified.

The area where the kidnappings took place has a history of unrest, with the mainly Sunni Muslim population complaining of discrimination by Iran’s Shi’ite Muslim authorities, a charge Iran denies.

Iranian security forces have also fought drug traffickers in the region that borders Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The Iranian armed forces’ deputy chief of staff was quoted as telling the semi-official Fars news agency that Iran would “show tough confrontation in this case”.

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“We will have no soft stand in this case and our neighboring country … should account for its lack of action,” Major General Hossein Hassani Sa’di told reporters in Tehran on Monday, according to Fars English language website.

Sa’di said the guards were still alive, and underlined that “political and military measures are underway to set them free”, without elaborating.

Interior Minister Rahmani-Fazli said an Iranian delegation would visit Pakistan on Monday to secure the guards’ release, state news agency ISNA reported.

In October, 14 Iranian border guards were killed and three others captured in the same area in an attack that ISNA said was carried out by Jaish al-Adl.

Sunni Muslim militant group Jundollah, which Iran says is linked to al Qaeda, has claimed a number of attacks and kidnappings since 2003, including a 2010 suicide bombing that killed dozens of people at a Shi’ite mosque.

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Compare your supermarket

By Souqalmal.com | Souqalmal.com – Mon, Feb 17, 2014

We are comfortable grocery shopping in our usual supermarket which is often close to home or work. However, if you are trying to spend less and save more this year, maybe a look at the grocery store 5 minutes further can help. Yes, true enough individually, the price difference seems miniscule especially but when you add up the basket on a weekly basis, don’t be surprised that you can save as much as 10-15% every week!

In order to give you further insight on the matter, Souqalmal.com compared prices of 11 everyday products you would usually buy from your supermarkets in Dubai. The stores we selected for comparison were Carrefour, Union Coop and Spinneys.

We discovered that out of the three supermarkets, you would pay the least at Union Coop for all the 11 products followed by Carrefour. However, the price difference between Carrefour and Union Coop was just AED 0.8.

Spinneys was the most expensive supermarket for all 11 products where the total bill was 11.2% higher than Union Coop.

Care products such as shampoo and baby diapers had the largest price disparity between the three supermarkets. Pampers at Union Coop were AED 5.75 cheaper compared to Spinneys and AED 1.75 cheaper than Carrefour.

Amongst the cleaning products category, detergent was cheapest at Carrefour and was 15.4% less in price compared to the same detergent in Spinneys.

Milk and what looks like the basic food such as flour and sugar were almost the same price in all three supermarkets. So for baking a cake, potentially all three supermarkets would do.

Have a look at the full price list of our selected products in the table below.

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Keeping these findings in mind, consider the following scenario. If on average you were to buy these 11 products twice a month you can save up to AED 38 for the month and that is only on the 11 basic products.  Generally weekly shopping amount to a few hundreds a week!

However, for a fair comparison, you have to keep in mind factors such as product availability and personal preferences.

If you wish to find out prices of other products in supermarkets, check out Dubai Government’s web portal Sallety.ae. It allows consumers to view prices of products in different supermarkets. Through this portal you can also stay up to date on latest offers and register complaints. In fact, there is even a mobile app available making it convenient for customers to access information.

At the end of the day, comparing prices before buying always help you save money.

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Here’s A Really Cool Photo Of Sochi From Space

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“Mohsin,” in Arabic, in the Quran, in singular or plural form, as it means, one who does good and is of service to others.

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Each purchase you make at a Mr. Rebates‘ store will earn you up to 30% cash back on every dollar you spend!  Once you’ve earned enough rebates, you can simply cash out and you will receive a check or Paypal payment!

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As only the Islamophobes, who hate Islam or those Muslims, who want to enforce Shariah Law, of their imagination, by hook or crook, make headlines, the compassionate teachings of the Holy Quran are lost to the ordinary, non-Muslim observer.

The Holy Quran talks about One God and one human family.

Here, I want to stress the Quranic message of compassion, love and kindness by cataloging, as many verses, as I can, realizing that it can never be an exhaustive list as other readers will continue to find new ideas of mercy and grace in other verses of the Holy Quran.

I will count the verses, in this post, as I go along.

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The Quran stresses that righteousness is not in precise observance of the rituals but in acts of compassion and kindness.  It says that the litmus test for true belief and genuine worship is that it leads to compassionate living:

1. It is not righteousness that you turn your faces to the East or the West, but truly righteous is he who believes in Allah and the Last Day and the angels and the Book and the Prophets, and spends his money for love of Him, on the kindred and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and those who ask for charity, and for ransoming the captives; and who observes Prayer and pays the Zakat; and those who fulfill their promise when they have made one, and the patient in poverty and afflictions and the steadfast in time of war; it is these who have proved truthful and it is these who are the God-fearing.  (Al Quran 2:178)

Every Friday in the second part of the sermon, Muslims all over the world hear a verse, which stresses, justice, kindness and natural mutual love as among the closest blood relatives:

2. Indeed, Allah enjoins justice, and the doing of good to others; and giving like kindred; and forbids indecency, and manifest evil, and wrongful transgression. He admonished you that you may take heed. (Al Quran 16:91)

Allah says that to be godly is to be compassionate.  He makes His relationship or His Providence to the common man, conditional to common human compassion, by claiming that those, who wish to find Him, will succeed only if they are kind and compassionate to the common people:

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3.  And as for those who strive in Our path — We will surely guide them in Our ways. And verily Allah is with those who are of service to others. (Al Quran 29:70)

4.  Indeed, Allah is with those who are righteous and those who do good.  (Al Quran 16:129)

... any claim to such irresistible power would be false pride and arrogance, but for Allâh(swt) it is simply the truth

… any claim to such irresistible power would be false pride and arrogance, but for Allâh(swt) it is simply the truth

Allah says that we should be the first and take initiative to do good to others, but, if others have been kind to us, in the first place, we have no choice, but to return the favor:

5.  The reward of goodness is nothing but goodness. (Al Quran 55:61)

In one of the verses, which is recited at the time of marriage ceremony, Allah links the responsibility owed to Him to kind treatment of the in-laws relationships:

6.  O ye people! fear your Lord, Who created you from a single soul and created therefrom its mate, and from them twain spread many men and women; and fear Allah, in Whose name you appeal to one another, and be mindful of your duty to Allah, particularly respecting ties of relationship. Verily, Allah watches over you.  (Al Quran 4:2)

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Narrated Uthman ibn Affan::

Yazid al-Farisi said: I heard Ibn Abbas say: I asked Uthman ibn Affan: What moved you to put the (Surah) al-Bara’ah which belongs to the mi’in (surahs) (containing one hundred verses) and the (Surah) al-Anfal which belongs to the mathani (Surahs) in the category of as-sab’u at-tiwal (the first long surah or chapters of the Qur’an), and you did not write “In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful” between them?

Uthman replied: When the verses of the Qur’an were revealed to the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him), he called someone to write them down for him and said to him: Put this verse in the surah in which such and such has been mentioned; and when one or two verses were revealed, he used to say similarly (regarding them). (Surah) al-Anfal is the first surah that was revealed at Medina, and (Surah) al-Bara’ah was revealed last in the Qur’an, and its contents were similar to those of al-Anfal. I, therefore, thought that it was a part of al-Anfal. Hence I put them in the category of as-sab’u at-tiwal (the seven lengthy surahs), and I did not write “In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful” between them.

In the very beginning of every chapter or Sura of the Holy Quran, except one, we read, “In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful.”

Allah is not only the Gracious and the Merciful, but, also wants humanity to be gracious and merciful, to each other, in their spheres and this can be inferred from many verses of the Holy Quran.y642^#$

As this verse is in the beginning of 113 chapters, except for Sura Taubah and in the middle of one Sura.

7-120.  In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful.

Let me make a suggestion here, now, that we have 120 instructions from the All Knowing God, to be kind, merciful and compassionate.

Anyone, who has conscious or unconscious desire to benefit from political Islam, should first try this repeated teaching of being compassionate for a few decades.  May be it will assuage his or her political ambition and bring him or her to true teachings of Islam.

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The Holy Quran suggests compassion and kindness to be a recipe to turn ones enemies into bosom friends:

121-122. And good and evil are not alike. Repel evil with that which is best. And lo, he between whom and thyself was enmity will become as though he were a warm friend.  But none is granted it save those who are steadfast; and none is granted it save those who possess a large share of good. (Al Quran 41:35-36)

Now, I am going to catalog all occurrences of the word “Mohsin,” in Arabic, in the Quran, in singular or plural form, as it means, one who does good and is of service to others.  Two of these occurrences have already been counted above and I will not repeat those here:

123.  It shall be no sin for you if you divorce women while you have not touched them, nor settled for them a dowry. But provide for them — the rich man according to his means and the poor man according to his means — a provision in a becoming manner, an obligation upon the virtuous.  (Al Quran 2:237)

124.  Those who spend in prosperity and adversity, and those who suppress anger and pardon men; and Allah loves those who do good.  (Al Quran 3:135)

125.  So Allah gave them the reward of this world, as also an excellent reward of the next; and Allah loves those who do good.   (Al Quran 3:149)

126.  And who is better in faith than he who submits himself to Allah, and he is a doer of good, and follows the religion of Abraham, the upright? And Allah took Abraham for a special friend.   (Al Quran 4:126)

127. So, because of their breaking their covenant, We have cursed them, and have hardened their hearts. They pervert the words from their proper places and have forgotten a good part of that with which they were exhorted. And thou wilt not cease to discover treachery on their part, except in a few of them. So pardon them and turn away from them. Surely, Allah loves those who do good.  (Al Quran 5:14)

128.  So Allah rewarded them, for what they said, with Gardens beneath which streams flow. Therein shall they abide; and that is the reward of those who do good.  (Al Quran 5:86)

129.  On those who believe and do good works there shall be no sin for what they eat, provided they fear God and believe and do good works, and again fear God and believe, yet again fear God and do good. And Allah loves those who do good.  (Al Quran 5:94)

130.  And We gave him Isaac and Jacob; each did We guide aright, and Noah did We guide aright aforetime, and of his progeny, David and Solomon and Job and Joseph and Moses and Aaron. Thus do We reward those who do good.  (Al Quran 6:85)

131.  And remember the time when We said: “Enter this village and eat therefrom — wherever you will — plentifully; and enter the gate submissively and say: ‘God! forgive us our sins.’ We shall forgive you your sins and We shall give increase to those who do good.  (Al Quran 2:59)

132.  And create not disorder in the earth after it has been set in order, and call upon Him in fear and hope. Surely, the mercy of Allah is nigh unto those who do good.   (Al Quran 7:57)

133.  And when it was said to them, “Dwell in this town and eat therefrom wherever you will, and say, ‘God! lighten our burden,’ and enter the gate in humility, We shall forgive you your sins, and surely We shall give increase to those who do good.”  (Al Quran 7:162)

134.  No blame lies on the weak, nor on the sick, nor on those who find naught to spend, if they are sincere to Allah and His Messenger. There is no cause of reproach against those who do good deeds; and Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful.  (Al Quran 9:91)

135.  It was not proper for the people of Medina and those around them from among the Arabs of the desert that they should have remained behind the Messenger of Allah or that they should have preferred their own lives to his. That is because there distresses them neither thirst nor fatigue nor hunger in the way of Allah, nor do they tread a track which enrages the disbelievers, nor do they cause an enemy any injury whatsoever, but there is written down for them a good work on account of it. Surely, Allah suffers not the reward of those who do good to be lost.  (Al Quran 9:120)

136.  And be thou steadfast; for surely, Allah suffers not the reward of the righteous to perish.  (Al Quran 11:116)

137.  And when he attained his age of full strength, We granted him judgment and knowledge. And thus do We reward the doers of good.  (Al Quran 12:23)

138.  And with him there entered the prison two young men. One of them said, ‘I saw myself in a dream pressing wine.’ And the other said, ‘I saw myself in a dream carrying upon my head bread of which the birds are eating. Inform us of the interpretation thereof; for we see thee to be of the righteous.’  (Al Quran 12:37)

139.  And thus did We establish Joseph in the land. He dwelt therein wherever he pleased. We bestow Our mercy on whomsoever We please, and We suffer not the reward of the righteous to perish.  (Al Quran 12:57)

140.  They said, ‘O exalted one, he has a very aged father, so take one of us in his stead; for we see thee to be of those who do good.’  (Al Quran 12:79)

141.  They replied, ‘Art thou Joseph?’ He said, ‘Yes, I am Joseph and this is my brother. Allah has indeed been gracious to us. Verily, whoso is righteous and is steadfast — Allah will never suffer the reward of the good to be lost.’  (Al Quran 12:91)

142. Their flesh reaches not Allah, nor does their blood, but it is your righteousness that reaches Him. Thus has He subjected them to you, that you may glorify Allah for His guiding you. And give glad tidings to those who do good.  (Al Quran 22:38)

143. And when he reached his age of full strength and attained maturity, We gave him wisdom and knowledge; and thus do We reward those who do good.  (Al Quran 28:15)

144. A guidance and a mercy for those who do good.  (Al Quran 31:4)

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145.  And he who submits himself completely to Allah, and is a doer of good, he has surely grasped a strong handle. And with Allah rests the end of all affairs.  (Al Quran 31:23)

146.  ‘But if you desire Allah and His Messenger and the Home of the Hereafter, then truly Allah has prepared for those of you who do good a great reward.’  (Al Quran 33:30)

147.  Thus indeed do We reward those who do good.  (Al Quran 37:81)

148. ‘Thou hast indeed fulfilled the dream.’ Thus indeed do We reward those who do good.  (Al Quran 37:106)

149. Thus do We reward those who do good.  (Al Quran 37:111)

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Arabic script. Eghra, Read. The first Quoranic...

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150. And We bestowed blessings on him and Isaac. And among their progeny are some who do good and others who clearly wrong themselves.  (Al Quran 37:114)

151. Thus indeed do We reward those who do good.  (Al Quran 37:122)

152. Thus indeed do We reward those who do good.  (Al Quran 37:132)

153. They will have with their Lord whatever they desire; that is the reward of those who do good.  (Al Quran 39:35)

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154. “Or lest it should say, when it sees the punishment, ‘Would that there were for me a return to the world, I would then be among those who do good!’”  (Al Quran 39:59)

155. And before it there was the Book of Moses, a guide and a mercy; and this is a Book in the Arabic language fulfilling previous prophecies, that it may warn those who do wrong; and as glad tidings to those who do good.  (Al Quran 46:13)

156. Receiving what their Lord will give them; for they used to do good before that.  (Al Quran 51:17)

157. Thus surely do We reward those who do good.  (Al Quran 77:45)

158.  Nay, whoever submits himself completely to Allah, and is the doer of good, shall have his reward with his Lord. No fear shall come upon such, neither shall they grieve.  (Al Quran 2:113)

159.  And spend for the cause of Allah, and cast not yourselves into ruin with your own hands, and do good; surely, Allah loves those who do good.  (Al Quran 2:196)

When it comes to the specifics, as to who is most deserving of our compassion and kindness, the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him, advised in favor of the fathers.  There is a popular Hadith that almost every Muslim knows.  A companion of the Prophet, asked him, “Who is most deserving of my good treatment?”  ”Your father,” said the Prophet.  Companion asked and then after him?  ”Your father,” repeated the Prophet.  It was only on the fourth query that the Prophet said, “Your mother.”

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Let me, now, tabulate a few verses about the parents:

160. And remember the time when We took a covenant from the children of Israel: ‘You shall worship nothing but Allah and show kindness to parents and to kindred and orphans and the poor, and speak to men kindly and observe Prayer, and pay the Zakat;’ then you turned away in aversion, except a few of you.  (Al Quran 2:84)

161. They ask thee what they shall spend. Say: ‘Whatever of good and abundant wealth you spend should be for parents and near relatives and orphans and the needy and the wayfarer. And whatever good you do, surely Allah knows it well.’  (Al Quran 2:216)

162. And worship Allah and associate naught with Him, and show kindness to parents, and to kindred, and orphans, and the needy, and to the neighbor that is a kinsman and the neighbor that is a stranger, and the companion by your side, and the wayfarer, and those whom your right hands possess. Surely, Allah loves not the proud and the boastful.  (Al Quran 4:37)

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163. Say, ‘Come, I will rehearse to you what your Lord has forbidden: that you associate not anything as partner with Him and that you do good to parents, and that you kill not your children for fear of poverty — it is We Who provide for you and for them — and that you approach not foul deeds, whether open or secret; and that you kill not the life which Allah has made sacred, save by right. That is what He has enjoined upon you, that you may understand.   (Al Quran 6:152)

‘164. Our Lord, grant forgiveness to me and to my parents and to the believers on the day when the reckoning will take place.’  (Al Quran 14:42)

165. Thy Lord has commanded, “Worship none but Him, and show kindness to parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age with thee, never say unto them any word expressive of disgust nor reproach them, but address them with excellent speech.  (Al Quran 17:24)

166. And We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents; but if they strive to make thee associate that with Me of which thou hast no knowledge, then obey them not. Unto Me is your return, and I shall inform you of what you did.  (Al Quran 29:9)

167. And We have enjoined on man concerning his parents — his mother bears him in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning takes two years — ‘Give thanks to Me and to thy parents. Unto Me is the final return.  (Al Quran 31:15)

168. And We have enjoined on man to be good to his parents. His mother bears him with pain, and brings him forth with pain. And the bearing of him and his weaning takes thirty months, till, when he attains his full maturity and reaches the age of forty years, he says, ‘My Lord, grant me the power that I may be grateful for Thy favour which Thou hast bestowed upon me and upon my parents, and that I may do such good works as may please Thee. And make my seed righteous for me. I do turn to Thee; and, truly, I am of those who submit to Thee.’  (Al Quran 46:16)

There are additional verses about the parents in the Holy Quran, but, as I am feeling more comfortable about my target of 200, I am going to leave those and talk about the teachings about spouses:

169.  It is made lawful for you to go in unto your wives on the night of the fast. They are a garment for you, and you are a garment for them.  (Al Quran 2:188)

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170.  Consort with them in kindness; and if you dislike them, it may be that you dislike a thing wherein Allah has placed much good.  (Al Quran 4:20)

What does the Quran says about the weakest in our society, the orphans?  Here, are a few vereses:

171. And they ask thee concerning the orphans. Say: ‘Promotion of their welfare is an act of great goodness. And if you intermix with them, they are your brethren. And Allah knows the mischief-maker from the reformer. And if Allah had so willed, He would have put you to hardship. Surely, Allah is Mighty, Wise.’    (Al Quran 2:21)

172. And if you fear that you will not be fair in dealing with the orphans, then marry of women as may be agreeable to you, two, or three, or four; and if you fear you will not deal justly, then marry only one or what your right hands possess. That is the nearest way for you to avoid injustice.  (Al Quran 4:4)

173. And when other relations and orphans and the poor are present at the division of heritage, give them something therefrom and speak to them words of kindness.   (Al Quran 4:9)

174. And they seek of thee the decision of the Law with regard to women. Say, Allah gives you His decision regarding them. And so does that which is recited to you in the Book concerning the orphan girls whom you give not what is prescribed for them and whom you desire to marry, and concerning the weak among children. And He enjoins you to observe equity towards the orphans. And whatever good you do, surely Allah knows it well.  (Al Quran 4:128)

175. So the orphan, oppress not.  (Al Quran 93:10)

The Holy Quran advises us to be compassionate to any one who asks for our favor:

176.  And him who seeks thy help, chide not.   (Al Quran 93:11)

Continuing with verses about kindness and compassion in general:

177. Those who believe and do good deeds — the Gracious God will create love in their hearts.  (Al Quran 19:97)

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One of the attributes of Allah is ‘The Merciful,’ Arabic word رحيم (Raheem) and the believers are required to emulate the attributes of Allah in their limited spheres.  I just searched the word رحيم  in Arabic search for the Quran in Alislam website and found that it occurs at least 227 times, including the first verse of each of the chapters of the Holy Quran, except for one.   As we highlighted before, there are 114 mentions of ”In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful,” in the Quran, which we have already counted.

This gives me 113 additional mentions for being kind and merciful:  177 + 113 = 290.

I saved one of the most important verses in this regards, for the very end, “And We (Allah) have sent thee (Muhammad) not but as a mercy for all peoples.”  (Al Quran 21:108)

Now our count here is 291.

I rest my case!

(Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD) Read more: http://www.themuslimtimes.org

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May Allah give us true understanding of our faith.  Ameen!

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: deąℓ$ / fącţs ~excellences lies in the fulfillment of one’s duties towards Allah(swt) :

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A new paradigm of Muslim politics (Part 2) hinopterabonasusolum The Islamists articulate an Islamic ideology in trying to respond to their current political and economic problems. They have always imagined that Islam provides a solution to all problems, a complete and ready-to-use divine system with a superior political and economic model. They argue that Muslims must return to the roots of their religion. Islamism entails a political ideology articulating the idea of the necessity of establishing an Islamic government, understood as a government that implements the Shariah.

Unfortunately religious states are among the most corrupt states on earth. Beyond the rhetoric of Islam is the solution; Islamists do not have any feasible alternative to many modern phenomena. There is no cogent alternative to modern state system, political economy and technology.

So after realising the real challenges of the modern world and in response to the changing trend of Islamism discourse, as early as 1996, Asef Bayat has used the term “post-Islamism” as a term to denote a new phase in political Islam (see his article “The Coming of a Post-Islamist Society”, in Critique, Fall 1996, pp 43-52). It is basically a manifestation of new condition where, following a phase of experimentation, the appeal, energy, symbols and sources of legitimacy of Islamism get exhausted, even among its once-ardent supporters. As such, post-Islamism is not anti Islamic but rather reflects a tendency to resecularize religion and is marked by a call to limit the political role of religion.

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Written by hsobel on August 26, 2013. Posted in Blog

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“If you don’t have a touch screen you’ll be able to enjoy an exciting experience maybe more revolutionary than touch itself on Windows 7 and Windows 8. That’s right. Windows 7 and no touch screen.” Well that’s was our expectation several weeks ago when we pre-ordered. Although this is a great innovation and apps are being developed for AirSpace the Leap Motion “app store” it is a work in progress. Good for a glimpse of future gesture technology but not ready for consumers prime time. For example, I downloaded the app I thought was reason enough to buy the Leap Motion controller. Trying to calibrate and control the device to make it reasonable to control apps in Windows 8 difficult. Many of us had thought this was the holy grail to using Windows 8 on a non touch screen. Truth is it’s not quite ready yet for consumers. Geeks will get a thrill but then go back to using their mouse and keyboard which is much easy and accurate if you don’t have a touch screen. There are some interesting apps in the catalog like Frog Dissection but most in the catalog are better called proofs of concept.

Bayat also asserts that post-Islamism is not only a condition but also a project, a conscious attempt to conceptualize and strategize the rationale and modalities of transcending Islamism in social, political and intellectual domain. Post-Islamism represents an endeavor to fuse religiosity with rights, faith and freedoms, Islam and civil liberties and focuses on rights instead of duties, plurality instead of singular authority, historicity rather than fixed and rigid interpretation of scriptures, and the future rather than the past (see Bayat’s Islam and Democracy: What is the Real Question?, ISIM Papers, N8, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2007).

The experience of AKP in Turkey has provided to the Islamists wherever they are with a model that strives for a post-Islamism agenda that is more appealing to the masses irrespective of creed, race, gender and social status. It is a model of Muslim politics in a passive secularist rather than an Islamic state. The three pillars of AKP model – pragmatism, Muslim politics and passive secularism – are interrelated. The party’s pragmatism encourages it to pursue policies for their substantive, not ideological, worth. At the same time, a commitment to promoting Islamic values allows the party to pursue Muslim politics in a secular state (see Ahmet Kuru’s Muslim Politics Without an Islamic State – Can Turkey’s Justice and Development Party be a Model for Arab Islamists?, Policy Briefing, Brookings Doha Centre, 2003).

Recommendations for the Islamists

The Islamists, especially in Malaysia, should learn from the experience of their Turkish brothers and sisters. The fear from ill-informed ideas about secularism should be dispelled. The AKP model has been shown to be a success in practising Muslim politics without seeking the establishment of an Islamic state – a state whose constitution declares sharia to be the source of law – making it more attractive to many enlightened Muslims and more palatable to the significant minority of the other faith.

The fight to turn this country to become an “Islamic State” is a lost cause. There is no foreseeable future for such politics. Muslims should learn to live in a secular state and promote fundamental Islamic values like justice, freedom, equality, tolerance and good governance. Unfortunately Islamists tend to focus disproportionately on issues related to hudud and criminal laws and were seen to be so obsessed with women’s bodies rather than their rights that actually undermine Islam’s moral principles and ethical goals. On a similar note, it is inappropriate and strange for a state or a country to debate on the place of Shariah in its constitution or the enactment of hudud laws when they are still struggling about disposing garbage bags to meet Islam’s basic emphasis on cleanliness.

The reformists in the Islamic Party of Malaysia (PAS) should also rethink their position and their aspirations. Whether it is wise for them to keep toeing the hardline way of the ulama in the party or to pursue separately the post-Islamism agenda they have been promoting all these while and to strive for “a state of care and opportunity” as they named it. Obviously their Turkish brothers have shown them a clear example although the Turkish experience is not to be copied and pasted to our context without a proper debate.

Regarding secularism, perhaps it is wise to look back at what was said by Rachid Ghannouchi, leader of Hizb en-Nahdah (The Renaissance Party) when he stressed that there is no inherent incompatibility between Islam and secularism. He defended a degree of separation between political and religious affairs in what is known as as-siyasi (the political or profane) and ad-deeni (the religious or sacred).

Ghannouchi said: “It is not the duty of religion to teach us…governing techniques, because reason is qualified to reach these truths through the accumulation of experiences. Religion, however, is supposed to provide us with a system of values and principles that would guide our thinking, behaviours, and the regulations of the state to which we aspire.” (see Rachid Ghannouchi’s speech at the CSID Conference in Tunisia, March 2, 2012, Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy). – October 8, 2013.

The days of Tashreeq:ccd42f28f7fbccc37a8b38eeec275ebe2

This is the great object held out by this association; and the means of attaining it is illumination, enlightening the understanding by return from a reverie or digression to reason, which will dispel the clouds of superstition and of prejudice.

Praise be to Allaah. The days of Tashreeq are the 11th, 12th and 13th of Dhu’l-Hijjah. There are several verses and ahaadeeth which speak of their virtue:
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1 – Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And remember Allaah during the appointed Days”[al-Baqarah 2:203] These are the days of Tashreeq. This was the view of Ibn ‘Umar and most of the scholars. 

2 – The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said concerning the days of Tashreeq: “They are days of eating, drinking and remembering Allaah.” Dhikr (remembering Allaah) is enjoined during the days of tashreeq in several ways: 

-         Remembering Allaah immediately after the prescribed prayers by reciting Takbeer. This is prescribed until the end of the days of Tashreeq according to the majority of scholars.

-         Remembering Him by saying Bismillaah and Allaahu akbar when slaughtering the sacrificial animal. The time for slaughtering the hadiy and udhiyah lasts until the end of days of Tashreeq.

-         Remembering Allaah when eating and drinking. It is prescribed when eating and drinking to say Bismillaah at the beginning, and to praise Him (say Al-hamdu Lillaah) at the end. According to the hadeeth narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “Allaah likes His slave when he eats something to praise Him for it, and when he drinks something to praise Him for it.” Narrated by Muslim, 2734.

-         Remembering Him by saying Takbeer when stoning the Jamaraat on the days of Tashreeq. This applies only to the pilgrims on Hajj.

-         Remembering Allaah in general. It is mustahabb to make a lot of dhikr during the days of Tashreeq. ‘Umar used to recite Takbeer in Mina in his tent, and when the people heard him they recited Takbeer too and Mina echoed with the sound of their Takbeer. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“So when you have accomplished your Manaasik [rituals of Hajj], remember Allaah as you remember your forefathers or with a far more remembrance. But of mankind there are some who say: “Our Lord! Give us (Your Bounties) in this world!” and for such there will be no portion in the Hereafter.

201. And of them there are some who say: “Our Lord! Give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the Fire!””

[al-Baqarah 2:200-201] 

Many of the salaf regarded it as mustahabb to make a lot of du’aa’ during the days of tashreeq. 

The words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), “These are days of eating, drinking and remembering Allaah” indicate that eating and drinking during the days of Eid are means that help one to remember Allaah and obey Him; perfect gratitude for the blessing means using it to help one obey and worship Allaah, 

In His Book Allaah commands us to eat of good things and thank Him for them. So whoever uses Allaah’s blessings to commit sin is showing ingratitude for the blessing of Allaah, so he deserves to have it taken away from him. 

3 – The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade fasting on these days: “Do not fast on these days, for they are the days of eating, drinking and remembering Allaah.” Narrated by Ahmad, 10286; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 3573.

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Abdul Malik al Qasim: Download from IslamFuture
Language: English | Format: PDF | Pages: 44 | Size: 1 MB

See Lataa’if al-Ma’aarif by Ibn Rajab, p. 500.

O Allaah, help us to do righteous deeds and make us steadfast until death; have mercy on us, O Most Generous Giver. Praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the World.

IslamCamp G. Nakar, Lucena City – Muslim students in the province of Albay can now learn Arabic language and Islamic Values Education with the completion of the first-ever Madrasah in Bicol – a Muslim school with core emphasis on Islamic studies and Arabic Literacy.Southern Luzon Command (Solcom) chief Lt. Gen. Caesar Ronnie Ordoyo said that with the help of the ABS-CBN Sagip Kapamilya, through Program Director Tina Monson Palma, they formally turned-over the Madrasah two-room school building to the Department of Education (DepEd) at the Daraga North Central School in Bagumbayan, Daraga, Albay.Brig. Gen. Yerson Depayso, commander of 9th Infantry Division, Col.Vicente Yordan, chief of the Army’s 51st Engineering Brigade, and Lt. Col. Bernard M. Bautista, commanding officer of the 565 Engineering Construction Battalion, also witnessed the event.Daraga Mayor Gerry Jaucian, DepEd-Albay officials, and members of the Umada Muslim community witnessed the acceptance the building’s symbolic key.Ordoyo said Army troopers only took 60 working days to finish the project, instead of the 90-calendar day target, with the support extended by the ABS-CBN Sagip Kapamilya program.He added the school will be primarily used for teaching Islamic studies and religious laws, and intends to accommodate the religious needs of Muslims in the area, consisting of 90 pupils.The new facility is also open for out-of-school youths, and Muslims who want to study – regardless of grade level and age, he added.The Arabic Language and Islamic Values Education (ALIVE) curriculum will be implemented every Saturday, while regular syllabus will be during weekdays.“It is important to give our Muslim schoolchildren equal opportunity by providing them Islamic-friendly, and culturally-sensitive education,” Ordoyo said, adding that investing in education is also one way of addressing other socio-economic challenges that trigger conflict.“Differences in faith and creed will not cause conflicts among Muslims and Christians if everyone is being treated fairly. In a country where Muslims are often subject to discriminations and negative branding due to the atrocities committed by only some of our brothers, it is important that we recognize that they too can excel if they will be given appropriate education based on their orientation,” Ordoyo emphasized.

How to Make up for missed prayer

Answer:  What if one misses prayers

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol,  no person,  no grave, no prophet,  no imam,  no dai,  nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

Unless it is a life and death situation,  or something that is beyond ones control like oversleeping,etc. one is not allowed to miss any of their ‘fard’ or obligatory prayers.  If one regular misses a ‘fard’ prayer without a valid reason,  it is a huge sin in Islam.  The prayers are a duty prescribed by Allah that must be prayed on time.

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 4 Surah Nisaa verse 103:

Indeed the Salaat is a prescribed duty that should be performed by the believers at appointed times.

Q-1:  If you miss your Fajr prayer can you still do your Namaz after the prescribed time i.e. if the correct time is 5.30 am and you have until 7 am to do it but you forgot can you still pray after 7 am but before the Zuhr prayer?

Abu Qatadah related that sleeping through the prayer time was mentioned to the Prophet (saws), and he said, “There is no negligence in sleep, but negligence occurs while one is awake.  If one of you forgets a prayer or sleeps through its time,  then he should pray it when he remembers it.”

Recorded by an-Nasa’i and at-Tirmidhi,

Anas related that the Prophet (saws), said, “Whoever forgets a prayer should pray it when he remembers it, and there is no expiation for it save that.”  Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.

Reported ‘Imran ibn Husain, “We went with the Messenger of Allah during the night. When the last portion of the night came, we became tired and fell asleep. We did not wake until we felt the heat of the sun. Some of us tried hurriedly to purify ourselves. The Prophet ordered us to be calm. Then we rode on until the sun had risen, and we made ablution.   He ordered Bilal to make the call to prayer, and then prayed two rak’ah before the (obligatory) morning prayer. Then we stood and prayed.”

In light of the above traditions, if one forgets or oversleeps the time for fajr prayer, he should pray when he remembers it (making sure that the sun has completely risen).

Q-2:   Also if you miss your Asr prayer which is for example at 5.30pm and the Isha prayer is at 6.50 pm can you still pray your Asr Namaz just before the Isha prayer?

Again,  if one misses the Asr prayer,  he should pray as soon as he remembers it. If one remembers the missed Asr prayer,  just before the Isha prayer, then he should pray the Asr prayers, then the Magrib prayers (if he has not prayed it),  and then the Isha prayers. One should always pray in  the sequence of the prayers.

In response to your response that if a person repents not fulfilling all obligatory fasts and prayers, then repentance is enough for Allah to forgive you, infact if a person repents not fulfilling his obligation to pray, he must make qadha prayers and fasts in order to be forgiven– this is a requirement for Allah to forgive us in any matter- we must make up for it in some way- unless we are unable to compensate for our missed obligation, in which case our sincerity in wishing we could meet that obligation is judged. Allah is forgiving, but only if we make up for our mistakes. And regarding the comment that we cannot read Quran for a deceased person- why is there an ayah in the Quran that states: Read Quran before Quran is read for you. We may not be able to send the ajr for our deeds to some one else- however it is said that a deceased person’s soul feels peace upon hearing someone recite

Answer: Make up fasts and prayers

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol,  no person,  no grave, no prophet,  no imam,  no dai,  nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

Your Statement: In response to your response that if a person repents not fulfilling all obligatory fasts and prayers, then repentance is enough for Allah to forgive you, infact if a person repents not fulfilling his obligation to pray, he must make qadha prayers and fasts in order to be forgiven– this is a requirement for Allah to forgive us in any matter- we must make up for it in some way- unless we are unable to compensate for our missed obligation, in which case our sincerity in wishing we could meet that obligation is judged. Allah is forgiving, but only if we make up for our mistakes.

At the time of the Prophet (saws), when people converted to Islam from polytheism, they were not required to pray the obligatory prayers and fasts that they had missed all their lives in their days of ignorance. And once a person accepted Islam, it was not conceivable in those times that he would not pray and fast!

But today, because of the deterioration of the practice of the deen, we are faced with a dilemna whereby people who call themselves muslims but do not pray or fast for years at end!   Thus, when such people turn back to Allah in sincere repentance and Taubah, and make a solemn covenant with Allah Subhanah that they will from now on follow all the commandments of Allah and His Messenger (saws); the scholars of Islam are unanimous in their opinion that these people’s missed obligatory prayers and fasts should be treated like the missed prayers and fasts of a person who accepts Islam anew. And they have opined that such a person, who has turned back to Allah in sincere repentance and Taubah,  must from now on increase the quantity of his ‘nafl’ or voluntary prayers and fasts to compensate for his missed prayers. Their opinion is that if a person, who has not prayed or fasted for years on end and then turns back to Allah,  but is required to offer all his missed prayers and fasts as ‘qada’,  chances are it might be too much of a burden for him,  and he might turn back to unbelief!

Jabir reports that the Prophet (saws) said, “Between a person and disbelief is discarding prayer.” (Related by Ahmad, Muslim, Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah.)

Buraidah reported that the Prophet (saws) said, “The pact between us and them is prayer. Whoever abandons it is a disbeliever.” (Related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi, an Nasa’i and Ibn Majah.)  Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 580 Narrated by Abu Darda’

The Prophet (saws) instructed me: Don’t associate anything with Allah even though you are cut into pieces and burnt; and don’t abandon the obligatory prayer intentionally, for he who abandon the obligatory prayer intentionally, protection (guaranteed to him) because of his being a Muslim will be withdrawn (from him); and don’t drink wine for it is the key to every evil.

There is absolutely no harm, and in fact it would be purer for a person who has missed obligatory prayers and fasts for years on end, if he could repeat these prayers and fasts as ‘qada’.   He will undoubtedly receive a huge reward from Allah for his repentance and deeds. But even if a person who has disobeyed Allah Subhanah all his life, and wants to return to Allah in sincere Taubah and repentance; and makes a solemn covenant with His Lord that he will from now on obey and follow Allah and His Messenger (saws) and does righteous good deeds according to the Quran and Sunnah; it is expected that the Merciful Lord will turn to him in Mercy and forgive all his past sins.

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 39 Surah Zumur verses 53-54:(O Prophet) say: “O My servants who have wronged their own souls….Do not despair of Allah’s Mercy!  Surely, Allah forgives all sins.  He indeed is the All Forgiving, All Merciful. Return to your Lord and submit to Him before the scourge overtakes you; for then you may get no help from anywhere.”

It is reported that the Messenger of Allah (saws) said in an authentic narration: “Taubah (sincere repentance) removes all previous sins.”

Your Statement: And regarding the comment that we cannot read Quran for a deceased person- why is there an ayah in the Quran that states: Read Quran before Quran is read for you.

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There is no such aayah in the Glorious Quran that states ‘Read Quran before Quran is read for you’!!!!

Your Statement: We may not be able to send the ajr for our deeds to some one else- however it is said that a deceased person’s soul feels peace upon hearing someone recite

It may have been said by someone, but this statement was not said by the Messenger of Allah (saws) that ‘a deceased person’s soul feels peace upon hearing someone recite (The Quran)’!   And for acts of worship, we must always follow what is said by Allah and His Messenger (saws).  Besides, there is absolutely no evidence that the Messenger of Allah (saws), his noble ‘ahly-bayt’, or any of his noble companions ever read Quran for the ‘ajr’ or peace of any deceased person!

Abu Hurairah reported that The Prophet (saws), said, ‘When a person dies all his good deeds cease except for three: a continuous act of charity, beneficial knowledge, and a righteous son who prays for him’.” (Muslim, and the Sunan)

Also Abu Hurairah reported The Prophet (saws) said, ‘The righteous works that continue to benefit a believer after his death include the knowledge that he taught and spread among others, a righteous son whom he leaves behind, or a copy of the Qur’an that he bequeaths to his inheritors, or a mosque that he builds, or a rest house that he builds for the wayfarers, or a canal of water that he digs for the benefit of others, or a charity that he gives out of his property during his life while he is sound of health.  He will continue to receive reward for all these even after his death.’ (Ibn Majah)

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coexist21-e1311278356169In a poll released last month by the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University, just as Israeli and Palestinian negotiators were poised to meet for the first direct talks since 2010, 55.7 percent of Israelis said they favored negotiations. The talks are the latest attempt to complete a peace process set in motion by the Oslo Accords, which turn 20 years old this month.

All power in this world belongs to Allah. None else has any strength. Nonetheless, God has endowed man with the capacity to acquire knowledge, the faculty to think and the rationality to judge between right and wrong. God has granted man freedom in this world so that he may be tested. He wants to see how man utilizes the power and free will with which he has been endowed.

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Ze’ev, a 27-year-old who sells drinks and snacks at a kiosk in Tel Aviv, says he supports the two-state solution. “We need quiet, and we need to achieve equality,” he said. “We can’t treat the guys sitting on other side with contempt and them having contempt for us.”

But when asked about evacuating settlements — a key condition for creating two separate nation states for Israelis and Palestinians — he becomes less certain. “It’s very difficult for me to decide on that, because I don’t live there, in the settlements,” he said. “And unless you put yourself in their shoes, you can’t really decide for certain.”

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‘Paradox’ of public opinion

“This is the regular paradox of the Israeli public opinion,” said Tamar Hermann, a senior fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute and director of the Peace Index project, a monthly survey of Israeli public opinion. “They’re in love with the concept, but once we get down to detail, support sharply drops.”

Still, she believes that if Israelis were presented with a clear and comprehensive agreement, then that ambivalence might decrease. “If the decision makers — especially people like [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu who are not perceived as peaceniks — say that this deal, and especially the security aspects of the deal, are OK, then we might well see some support,” she said.

RELATED: PALESTINIANS SAY PEACE PROCESS IS DOOMED

But far from taking responsibility and presenting the Israeli electorate with a clear choice, Netanyahu’s government seems to be deferring to voters in the most direct way: by making withdrawal from any territory under Israeli control subject to a referendum. Netanyahu’s second most important coalition partner, nationalist religious leader Naftali Bennett, who initiated the referendum law and rammed it through the legislature early last month, said a referendum was meant to ensure that any agreement had the blessing of the majority of Israelis.

“I’d like to ask this of the opponents of the referendum: If you say the people are with you, what are you afraid of?” he said to fellow Knesset members during the vote on the referendum law. “Why not let the people decide?”

One referendum opponent is Zehava Galon, leader of Meretz, the leftist Zionist party. “I don’t think we should be shifting responsibility onto the people,” she says. “There were elections just a short while ago. If you endow the government with the responsibility to make decisions, including difficult diplomatic ones, there is no justification to once again seek the confirmation of the people.”

But although there is some disenchantment with Netanyahu’s coalition, and opposition parties like Meretz have been gaining support in the polls, the prospect of Israelis approving a two-state solution in a popular vote is relatively bleak. In the Israel Democracy Institute survey, 54 percent of respondents said they didn’t think a proposal to create two states would pass a referendum.

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Fear, fire and blood

Even Israeli enthusiasm for negotiations as an idea appears to diminish as the time for talks draws nearer. Particularly since the collapse of the peace process in the Second Intifada, which began in 2000, Israelis have tended to be more positive about talks when prospects for negotiations seem the most remote.

“Those who oppose the two-states solution usually also make the argument (that) it’s not going to happen anyway,” says Hermann. “Those who support it are not consistently sure if it can still happen. They might feel differently about it — opponents of the two states are probably quite happy to say it’s not going to happen — but overall, most people in Israel think the chances for a two-states solution are very small.”

Of course, there are many reasons for Israelis to be skeptical about the two-state process. In fact, nearly every event of the last two decades, since Oslo, has served to erode support for it. The catastrophic mishandling of the peace talks in the 1990s — with their failure to bring the majority of Palestinian armed factions to the table or, indeed, give them any reason to even grudgingly support negotiations — resulted in a devastating wave of political violence that overwhelmingly targeted Israeli civilians and made the very words “peace process” synonymous with fear, fire and blood. This political violence was often directed at the poorest Israelis — those who would use public transport and shop in outdoor markets — thus further cementing nationalist sentiments among groups already alienated by the Left, such as the ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) and new immigrants (most prominently, those from the former Soviet Union).

rb9rbtThe outbreak of the Second Intifada — the Palestinians’ reaction to even greater hardship visited upon them by the peace talks — strengthened the belief among Israelis that Palestinians weren’t actually committed to peace. But the halt to violence in 2006, after the decimation of most Palestinian armed resistance and the shift to nonviolence by many Palestinian activists, seems to have only served to convince Israelis they can obtain security and peace of mind without giving an inch.

The only front that still remains volatile is Gaza. But Israel’s disengagement from the Gaza Strip, followed by the split between Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas, helped reframe Gaza in the minds of Israelis as almost a separate conflict. That helps to explain why few people in Israel notice the conspicuous absence of Hamas from the negotiating table or questions about Gaza from the discussions.

Still, referendums and public opinion are not the enemies of peace talks and reconciliation. Progress toward resolving violent ethnic nationalist conflicts, such as Northern Ireland, has hinged on consensus-building and public opinion. But they need to be won, and the public needs to be ready.

To judge from the Israel Democracy Institute polling, Israelis are far from ready. They’ve been burned badly by peace talks in the past — though nowhere near as badly as Palestinians — and so far have lost little by maintaining the status quo of occupation. While recent history suggests that a return to political violence would reinforce rather than weaken the occupation, it also suggests that Israelis are unlikely to take the risks involved in a viable peace agreement unless the status quo becomes less convenient for them.

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Strong People Always Have Their Life in Order Even With Tears in Their Eyes, They Still Manage to say, “I’M Okay,” with a Smile.

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Muhammed A. Quddus, Northern Nevada Muslim Community member

At the risk of simplicity, a religion is a passionately held belief system — a way of life – that, inter alia, provides to its followers certain codes of conduct for a better life in this world and a remarkable eternal life thereafter. The divine source of this faith system gives it the qualities of sapience and timelessness. The laws of God are inarguably distinct from the “manmade laws” of a land. While the “laws of a land” are expected to keep pace with the ever-changing socio-political-economic configuration of a society, the “laws of the Lord” are immune from societal oscillation. The Islamic Holy Book of Quran, being the words of Allah, is intended to serve the humanity in perpetuity.

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By Abu Amina Elias for FaithinAllah.org

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

The first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, the month of the Hajj pilgrimage, are a virtuous and blessed time for performing good deeds and remembering Allah. The good deeds performed during these ten days are greater than all others, except for someone who shows exemplary bravery and is martyred in a just cause for the sake of Allah.

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Ibn Abbas reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

مَا الْعَمَلُ فِي أَيَّامٍ أَفْضَلَ مِنْهَا فِي هَذِهِ

No good deed done on other days is superior to what is done on these first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah.

Then some companions of the Prophet said, “Not even struggling in the cause of Allah?” The Prophet said:

وَلَا الْجِهَادُ إِلَّا رَجُلٌ خَرَجَ يُخَاطِرُ بِنَفْسِهِ وَمَالِهِ فَلَمْ يَرْجِعْ بِشَيْءٍ

Not even struggling in the cause of Allah, except in the case of a man who goes out with his life and wealth in danger and returns with nothing.

Source: Sahih Bukhari 926, Grade: Sahih

Allah swears by the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, which indicates their great importance.

Allah said:

وَالْفَجْرِ وَلَيَالٍ عَشْرٍ

By the dawn and the ten nights…

Surah Al-Fajr 89:1-2

It is recommended to increase our glorification of Allah and acts of charity during these first ten days.

Allah said:

لِّيَشْهَدُوا مَنَافِعَ لَهُمْ وَيَذْكُرُوا اسْمَ اللَّهِ فِي أَيَّامٍ مَّعْلُومَاتٍ عَلَىٰ مَا رَزَقَهُم مِّن بَهِيمَةِ الْأَنْعَامِ فَكُلُوا مِنْهَا وَأَطْعِمُوا الْبَائِسَ الْفَقِيرَ

That they may witness benefits for themselves and mention the name of Allah on appointed days over what He has provided for them of animals. So eat of them and feed the poor and downtrodden.

Surah Al-Hajj 22:28

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Muslims should increase the declaration of the oneness of Allah (tahleel), the exaltation of Allah (takbeer), and the praise of Allah (tahmeed). This is to say the following supplications:

لا إله إلا الله

La Ilaha Illa Allah

There is no God but Allah.

الله أكبر

Allahu Akbar

Allah is the greatest.

الحمد لله

Al-Hamdulillah

All praise is due to Allah.

Ibn Umar reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

مَا مِنْ أَيَّامٍ أَعْظَمُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ وَلَا أَحَبُّ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ الْعَمَلِ فِيهِنَّ مِنْ هَذِهِ الْأَيَّامِ الْعَشْرِ فَأَكْثِرُوا فِيهِنَّ مِنْ التَّهْلِيلِ وَالتَّكْبِيرِ وَالتَّحْمِيدِ

There are no days greater and more beloved to Allah then these ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, so increase in them your declaration of the oneness of Allah, your exaltation of Him, and your praise of Him.

Source: Musnad Ahmad 5423, Grade: Sahih

It is an obligation to perform the Hajj pilgrimage at least once for those who are able to do so.

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Allah said:

وَلِلَّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلًا

Due to Allah from the people is a pilgrimage to the House for whoever is able to find a way.

Surah Ali Imran 3:97

Proper performance of the Hajj pilgrimage will result in the complete expiation and purification from sin.

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

مَنْ حَجَّ هَذَا الْبَيْتَ فَلَمْ يَرْفُثْ وَلَمْ يَفْسُقْ رَجَعَ كَمَا وَلَدَتْهُ أُمُّهُ

Whoever performs the pilgrimage to this house without having intimate relations or committing wickedness, then he will return pure like the day he was born from his mother.

Source: Sahih Bukhari 1723, Grade: Mutaffaqun Alayhi

It was not the regular practice of the Prophet to fast during the first ten days of the month.

Aisha reported:

مَا رَأَيْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ صَائِمًا فِي الْعَشْرِ قَطُّ

I never saw the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, fasting during the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah.

Source: Sahih Muslim 1176, Grade: Sahih

However, the Prophet would sometimes fast during the first nine days of the month.

CYCLING-TOUR OF QATAR-POSTCARD

Hunaida ibn Khalid reported:

بَعْضِ أَزْوَاجِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَتْ كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَصُومُ تِسْعَ ذِي الْحِجَّةِ وَيَوْمَ عَاشُورَاءَ

Some of the wives of the Prophet said that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, would fast for nine days during the month of Dhul-Hijjah and on the day of Ashura.

Source: Sunan Abu Dawud 2437, Grade: Sahih

It is highly recommended to fast on the day of Arafat for those not performing the Hajj pilgrimage, as it is expiation and purification from sins. The day of Arafat is the ninth day of Dhull-Hijjah.

Abu Qatadah reported: A man came to the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, and he said, “What is your view about fasting on the day of Arafat?” The Prophet said:

أَحْتَسِبُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ أَنْ يُكَفِّرَ السَّنَةَ الْمَاضِيَةَ وَالْبَاقِيَةَ

I consider it with regard to Allah that it expiates the sins of the previous and upcoming years.

Source: Musad Ahmad 22115, Grade: Sahih

It is not recommended to fast on the day of Arafat for those who are performing the Hajj pilgrimage, although it is permissible to do so, in order that they have more strength to perform supplications.

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Abu Najeeh reported: He asked Ibn Umar about fasting on the day of Arafat for those who are at Arafat. Ibn Umar said:

حَجَجْتُ مَعَ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَلَمْ يَصُمْهُ  وَمَعَ أَبِي بَكْرٍ فَلَمْ يَصُمْهُ وَمَعَ عُمَرَ فَلَمْ يَصُمْهُ وَمَعَ عُثْمَانَ فَلَمْ يَصُمْهُ وَأَنَا لَا أَصُومُهُ وَلَا آمُرُ بِهِ وَلَا أَنْهَى عَنْهُ

I have performed the Hajj pilgrimage with the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and he did not fast it. I performed it with Abu Bakr and he did not fast, with Umar and he did not fast, and with Uthman and he did not fast. I do not fast it, nor do I command it or prohibit it.

Source: Sunan At-Tirmidhi 751, Grade: Hasan

At-Tirmidhi said:

وَالْعَمَلُ عَلَى هَذَا عِنْدَ أَكْثَرِ أَهْلِ الْعِلْمِ يَسْتَحِبُّونَ الْإِفْطَارَ بِعَرَفَةَ لِيَتَقَوَّى بِهِ الرَّجُلُ عَلَى الدُّعَاءِ وَقَدْ صَامَ بَعْضُ أَهْلِ الْعِلْمِ يَوْمَ عَرَفَةَ بِعَرَفَةَ

The practice among the majority of scholars is that it is recommended to break fasting on the day of Arafat in order for a man to have strength to supplicate, but some of the scholars would fast on the day of Arafat while at Arafat.

Source: Sunan At-Tirmidhi 750

A Muslim should not fast on Eid Al-Adha or the following three days (tashreeq) because these are celebrations for eating, drinking, showing gratitude, and remembering Allah.

Uqbah ibn Amir reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

يَوْمُ عَرَفَةَ وَيَوْمُ النَّحْرِ وَأَيَّامُ التَّشْرِيقِ عِيدُنَا أَهْلَ الْإِسْلَامِ وَهِيَ أَيَّامُ أَكْلٍ وَشُرْبٍ

The day of Arafat, the day of sacrifice, and the three following days are our celebrations for the people of Islam, so they are days of

eating and drinking.

Source: Sunan At-Tirmidhi 773, Grade: Sahih

Therefore, as Muslims we should increase our good deeds of prayer, fasting, and charity during the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. If it is possible we should perform the Hajj pilgrimage, but if it is not possible then we should fast on the day of Arafat.

Renovation and repair-Largest mosque-Jama Masjid-Delhi

Success comes from Allah, and Allah knows best.

- See more at: http://www.faithinallah.org/the-blessings-of-the-first-ten-days-of-dhul-hijjah/#sthash.MrZKASFF.dpuf

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There’s nothing quite like an unbelievable bargain to remind you that the GITEX Shopper is back in town. And a new, arguably crazy, deal by Dubai-based retailer Sharaf DG certainly takes home the prize.

Purchase a Hisense 84-inch ultra high-definition (4K) smart TV for approximately AED130, 000 and get a free BMW 316i sedan to go with it.

There are absolutely no strings attached, apart from paying the money to buy the TV.48cccea84982fd0429c9b13235763acc

Although Sharaf DG, BMW and Hisense have invested in this marketing stunt together, apparently neither of are in it for profits.

Nilesh Khalkho, CEO of Sharaf DG, says as of Sunday afternoon, it has received 11 confirmed orders.

“We have 22 cars and 25 TVs ready for delivery. In case the demand goes beyond that, then the three partners will have to discuss how the logistics can be done, because the cars have to be imported. If it exceeds, then the customer will have to wait until December to get the car,” he says.

On a side note, Kippreport recently spotted two separate but equally unusual classified ads on Dubizzle.com.

Interestingly, both advertisers are selling identical 84-inch TV sets for AED45,000 andAED75,000 respectively. We wonder what that’s about…

Islam gives guidance about all aspects of life, including matters of public decency. Islam has no fixed standard as to the style of dress or type of clothing that Muslims must wear. However, some minimum requirements must be met.

Islam gives guidance about all aspects of life, including matters of public decency. Islam has no fixed standard as to the style of dress or type of clothing that Muslims must wear. However, some minimum requirements must be met.  wwwpages: islam.about.com/od/dress/p/clothing_reqs.htm

FeedingNineBillion

How will we feed nine billion people? Food experts from around the world gathered for the first Global Food Security Conference in the Dutch town of Noordwijkerhout this week to discuss solutions for feeding a hungry planet. Hundreds of ideas were tabled during the three-day event, but ..

29agyh  Repelling Evil with Good and Winning the Hearts of Enemies

1. HISTORY AND MOTIVATION The Islamic Calendar, which is based purely on lunar cycles, was first introduced in 638 C.E. by the close companion of the Prophet (PBUH) and the second Caliph, `Umar ibn Al-KHaTTab (592-644 C.E.) RAA. He did it in an attempt to rationalize the various, at times conflicting, dating systems used during his time. `Umar consulted with his advisors on the starting date of the new Muslim chronology. It was finally agreed that the most appropriate reference point for the Islamic calendar was the Hijrah. The actual starting date for the Calendar was chosen (on the basis of purely lunar years, counting backwards) to be the first day of the first month (1 MuHarram) of the year of the Hijrah. The Islamic (Hijri) calendar (with dates that fall within the Muslim Era) is usually abbreviated A.H. in Western languages from the latinized Anno Hegirae, “in the year of the Hegira”. MuHarram 1, 1 A.H. corresponds to July 16, 622 C.E.

A Brief Introduction To The Islamic (Hijri) Calendar (Thursday, 2013/10/03 | 27 Dhul Qada, 1434)

The Hijrah, which chronicles the migration of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) from Makkah to Madinah in September 622 C.E., is the central historical event of early Islam. It led to the foundation of the first Muslim city-state, a turning point in Islamic and world history.

  • To Muslims, the Hijri calendar is not just a sentimental system of time reckoning and dating important religious events, e.g., Siyaam (fasting) and Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah). It has a much deeper religious and historical significance.

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    Yet this model goes well beyond this capability by offering various useful complications, including a poetic and exclusive display of the moon and sun phases. The new El Primero Chronomaster Open Grande Date Moon & Sunphase.

    Muhammad Ilyas quotes Nadvi who wrote:

       ``It (the advent of the 15th century) is indeed, a unique
         occasion to ponder that the Islamic Era did not start
         with the victories of Islamic wars, nor with the birth
         or death of the prophet (PBUH), nor with the Revelation
         itself.  It starts with Hijra, or the sacrifice for the
         cause of Truth and for the preservation of the Revelation.
    
         It was a divinely inspired selection.  God wanted to teach
         man that struggle between Truth and Evil is eternal.  The
         Islamic year reminds Muslims every year not of the pomp
         and glory of Islam but of its sacrifice and prepares them
         to do the same.''

    From a historical angle, Ilyes quotes Samiullah who writes:

        ``All the events of Islamic history, especially those
        which took place during the life of the Holy Prophet
        and afterwards are quoted in the Hijra calendar era.
        But our calculations in the Gregorian calendar keep 
        us away from those events and happenings, which are 
        pregnant of admonitory lessons and guiding 
        instructions. ...And this chonological study is 
        possible only by adopting the Hijri calendar to 
        indicate the year and the lunar month in line with 
        our cherished traditions.''

    2. SPECIFICATION AND METHOD

    The Islamic (Hijri) year consists of twelve (purely lunar) months. They are: (1) MuHarram; (2) Safar; (3) Rabi` al-awal; (4) Rabi` al-THaani; (5) Jumaada al-awal; (6) Jumaada al-THaany; (7) Rajab; (8) SHa`baan; (9) RamaDHaan; (10) SHawwal; (11) Thw al-Qi`dah; and (12) Thw al-Hijjah.

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Learning to read the Yaseen Surah with Tajweed

The most important dates in the Islamic (Hijri) year are: 1 MuHarram (Islamic new year); 27 Rajab (Isra & Miraj); 1 RamaDHaan (first day of fasting); 17 RamaDHan (Nuzul Al-Qur’an); Last 10 days of RamaDHaan which include Laylatu al-Qadar;1 SHawwal (Eid al-fiTr); 8-10 Thw al-Hijjah (the Hajj to Makkah); and 10 Thw al-Hijjah (Eid al-‘aDHHaa’).It is considered a divine command to use a (Hijra) calendar with 12 (purely) lunar months without intercalation, as evident from the following verses of the Holy Qur’an (Trans: A. Yusuf Ali):They ask thee the New Moons Say: They are but signs To mark fixed periods of time In (the affairs of) men And for Pilgrimage. (II:189) The number of months In the sight of Allah Is twelve (in a year) So ordained by Him The day He created The heavens and the earth; Of them four are sacred; That is the straight usage So wrong not yourselves Therein, and fight the Pagans. (IX: 36) Verily the transposing (Of a prohibited month) Is an addition to Unbelief: The Unbelievers are led To wrong thereby: for they make it lawful one year, And forbidden another year, Of months forbidden by Allah And make such forbidden ones Lawful. The evil of their course Seems pleasing to them. But Allah guideth not Those who reject Faith. (IX: 37)

For religious reasons, the beginning of a Hijri month is marked not by the start of a new moon, but by a physical (i.e., an actual human) sighting of the crescent moon at a given locale. From the Fiqhi standpoint, one may begin the fast in RamDHaan, for example, based on “local” sighting (IKHTILAF AL-MATALE’) or based on sighting anywhere in the Muslim World (ITTEHAD AL-MATALE’). Although different, both of these positions are valid Fiqhi positions.

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{[in the name of God, the merciful and compassionate] (surah yaseen) bismillahir rahman nir rahim}

48d2b28ecec811e29e1622000a9d0ec7_7Since the Islamic calendar is purely lunar, as opposed to solar or luni-solar, the Muslim (Hijri) year is shorter than the Gregorian year by about 11 days, and months in the Islamic (Hijri) year are not related to seasons, which are fundamentally determined by the solar cycle. This means that important Muslim festivals, which always fall in the same Hijri month, may occur in different seasons. For example, the Hajj and RamDHaan can take place in the summer as well as the winter. It is only over a 33 year cycle that lunar months take a complete turn and fall during the same season.Astronomically, some data are definitive and conclusive (i.e. the time of the BIRTH of a new moon). However, determining the VISIBILITY of the crescent is not as definitive or conclusive; rather it is dependent upon several factors, mostly optical in nature. This makes it difficult to produce (in advance) Islamic calendars that are reliable (in the sense that they are consistent with actual crescent visibility).Efforts for obtaining an astronomical criterion for predicting the time of first lunar visibility go back the the Babylonian era, with significant improvements and work done later by Muslim and other scientists. These efforts have resulted in the development in a number of criteria for predicting first possible sighting of a crescent. However, there remains a measure of uncertainty associated with all criteria developed thus far. Moreover, there has been little work in the area of estimating crescent visibility on global (as opposed to local) scale. Until this happens, no Hijri calendar software can be 100% reliable, and actual crescent sighting remains essential especially for fixing important dates such as the beginning of RamaDHaan and the two `iyds.The slight differences in printed Islamic calendars, worldwide, can therefore be traced to two primary factors: (1) the absence of a global criterion for first visibility; and (2) the use of different visibility criterion (or method of calculation). Weather conditions and differences in the observer’s location also explain why there are sometimes differences in the observances of Islamic dates, worldwide.Readers interested in further information should consult Mohammad Ilyas’ excellent book “A Modern Guide to Astronomical Calculations of Islamic Calendar, Times & Qibla,” Berita Publishing, 1984, (ISBN: 967-969-009-1). The book contains a thorough discussion of the Islamic calendrical system and related historical and scientific developments. It also presents an interesting proposal for a universal Islamic Calendar based on a global visibility criterion and the concept of a Lunar Day (or International Lunar Date Line).Waleed A. Muhanna

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The following traditions are authentic supplications from the Sunnah in Arabic with English translation and references.

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

كَلِمَتَانِ حَبِيبَتَانِ إِلَى الرَّحْمَنِ خَفِيفَتَانِ عَلَى اللِّسَانِ ثَقِيلَتَانِ فِي الْمِيزَانِ سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَبِحَمْدِهِ سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ الْعَظِيمِ

Two phrases are beloved to the Most Merciful. They are light on the tongue but heavy on the scale: Glory and praise to Allah, and glory to Allah the Almighty.

Source: Sahih Bukhari 7124, Grade: Sahih

Egypt, Cairo, downtown, Mohamed Ali mosque inside the Citadel

Anas ibn Malik reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said when leaving his house:

 بِسْمِ اللَّهِ تَوَكَّلْتُ عَلَى اللَّهِ لَا حَوْلَ وَلَا قُوَّةَ إِلَّا بِاللَّهِ

In the name of Allah, I trust in Allah for there is no power or might but with Allah.

Source: Sunan At-Tirmidhi 3426, Grade: Sahih

Abu Dharr reported: When the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, would go to sleep at night he would say:

بِاسْمِكَ نَمُوتُ وَنَحْيَا

In the name of Allah we die and we live.

When the Prophet woke up he would say:

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي أَحْيَانَا بَعْدَ مَا أَمَاتَنَا وَإِلَيْهِ النُّشُورُ

All praise is due to Allah who has given us life after our death and to Him is the resurrection.

Source: Sahih Bukhari 6960, Grade: Sahih

Al-Bara ibn Azib reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

 إِذَا أَخَذْتَ مَضْجَعَكَ فَتَوَضَّأْ وُضُوءَكَ لِلصَّلاَةِ ثُمَّ اضْطَجِعْ عَلَى شِقِّكَ الأَيْمَنِ ثُمَّ قُلِ اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْلَمْتُ وَجْهِي إِلَيْكَ وَفَوَّضْتُ أَمْرِي إِلَيْكَ وَأَلْجَأْتُ ظَهْرِي إِلَيْكَ رَغْبَةً وَرَهْبَةً إِلَيْكَ لاَ مَلْجَأَ وَلاَ مَنْجَا مِنْكَ إِلاَّ إِلَيْكَ آمَنْتُ بِكِتَابِكَ الَّذِي أَنْزَلْتَ وَبِنَبِيِّكَ الَّذِي أَرْسَلْتَ

When you go to bed, perform ablution as for prayer, then lie down on your right side and say: O Allah, I submit my face to You, and entrust my affair to You, and commit my back to You, out of hope and fear of You. There is no refuge or place of safety but with You. I believe in the Book that You have revealed, and the Prophet you have sent.

Protest rally at the Juma Mosque. Makhachkala, Dagestan

The Prophet said further:

وَاجْعَلْهُنَّ مِنْ آخِرِ كَلاَمِكَ فَإِنْ مُتَّ مِنْ لَيْلَتِكَ مُتَّ وَأَنْتَ عَلَى الْفِطْرَةِ

Make these your last words, for verily whoever said this and died in the night will have died upon natural instinct.

Source: Sahih Muslim 2710, Grade: Sahih

Aisha reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

إِذَا أَكَلَ أَحَدُكُمْ طَعَامًا فَلْيَقُلْ بِسْمِ اللَّهِ فَإِنْ نَسِيَ فِي أَوَّلِهِ فَلْيَقُلْ بِسْمِ اللَّهِ فِي أَوَّلِهِ وَآخِرِهِ

When one of you eats a meal, let him begin in the name of Allah. If he forgets to say it in the beginning, then let him say: In the name of Allah in its beginning and ending.

Source: Sunan At-Tirmidhi 1858, Grade: Sahih

Abu Umamah reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, would finish a meal and he would say:

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ كَثِيرًا طَيِّبًا مُبَارَكًا فِيهِ غَيْرَ مَكْفِيٍّ وَلَا مُوَدَّعٍ وَلَا مُسْتَغْنًى عَنْهُ رَبَّنَا

All praises is due to Allah abundantly, purely, and blessed, neither insufficient, nor abandoned, nor ignored from our Lord.

Source: Sahih Bukhari 5142, Grade: Sahih

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

مَنْ جَلَسَ فِي مَجْلِسٍ فَكَثُرَ فِيهِ لَغَطُهُ فَقَالَ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَقُومَ مِنْ مَجْلِسِهِ ذَلِكَ سُبْحَانَكَ اللَّهُمَّ وَبِحَمْدِكَ أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ أَسْتَغْفِرُكَ وَأَتُوبُ إِلَيْكَ إِلَّا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا كَانَ فِي مَجْلِسِهِ ذَلِكَ

Whoever sits in a gathering and indulges in idle talk but before getting up he supplicates: O Allah, glory and praise be to you and I testify there is no God but you and I seek your forgiveness and I repent to you; then Allah will forgive him for whatever happened in the assembly.

Source: Sunan At-Tirmidhi 3433, Grade: Sahih

Anas ibn Malik reported: When the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, entered the washroom he would say:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ الْخُبُثِ وَالْخَبَائِثِ

O Allah, I seek refuge in you from wicked and noxious things.

Source: Sahih Bukhari 142, Grade: Mutaffaqun Alayhi 

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Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri reported: When the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, wore a new garment he would name it, for instance, a turban or a shirt or a cloak, and the Prophet would say:

اللَّهُمَّ لَكَ الْحَمْدُ أَنْتَ كَسَوْتَنِيهِ أَسْأَلُكَ خَيْرَهُ وَخَيْرَ مَا صُنِعَ لَهُ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّهِ وَشَرِّ مَا صُنِعَ لَهُ

O Allah, praise is for you that you have dressed me with it. I ask you for its goodness and the goodness for which it was made. I seek refuge in you from its evil and the evil for which it was made.

Source: Sunan At-Tirmidhi 1767, Grade: Sahih

Ibn Abbas reported: Between the two prostrations in the night prayer, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, would say:

رَبِّ اغْفِرْ لِي وَارْحَمْنِي وَارْفَعْنِي وَارْزُقْنِي وَاهْدِنِي

My Lord, forgive me and have mercy upon me. Raise my status, provide for me, and guide me.

Source: Musnad Ahmad 2890, Grade: Sahih

Aisha reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, would say during his bowing and prostrating:

سُبُّوحٌ قُدُّوسٌ رَبُّ الْمَلَائِكَةِ وَالرُّوحِ

Glory to the Holy, Lord of the angels and the spirit.

Source: Sahih Muslim 487, Grade: Sahih

Ibn Abbas reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and  blessings be upon him, would teach us the testimony of faith just as he would teach us a chapter from the Quran, and he would say:

التَّحِيَّاتُ الْمُبَارَكَاتُ الصَّلَوَاتُ الطَّيِّبَاتُ لِلَّهِ السَّلَامُ عَلَيْكَ أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ وَرَحْمَةُ اللَّهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ السَّلَامُ عَلَيْنَا وَعَلَى عِبَادِ اللَّهِ الصَّالِحِينَ أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ

Greetings, blessings, prayers, and good things are for Allah. Peace be upon you, O Prophet, and the mercy of Allah and his blessings. Peace be upon us and upon the righteous servants of Allah. I testify that there is no God but Allah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.

Masjid-Agung-Al-Karomah

Source: Sahih Muslim 403, Grade: Sahih 

Aisha reported: When the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, would invoke peace, he would say:

اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ السَّلَامُ وَمِنْكَ السَّلَامُ تَبَارَكْتَ يَا ذَا الْجَلَالِ وَالْإِكْرَامِ

O Allah, you are peace and from you is peace. Blessed are you, the Majestic and Generous.

Source: Sahih Muslim 592, Grade: Sahih

Abdurahman ibn Awf reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, would stand at night to pray and he would open his prayer by saying:

اللَّهُمَّ رَبَّ جَبْرَائِيلَ وَمِيكَائِيلَ وَإِسْرَافِيلَ فَاطِرَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ عَالِمَ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ أَنْتَ تَحْكُمُ بَيْنَ عِبَادِكَ فِيمَا كَانُوا فِيهِ يَخْتَلِفُونَ اهْدِنِي لِمَا اخْتُلِفَ فِيهِ مِنْ الْحَقِّ بِإِذْنِكَ إِنَّكَ تَهْدِي مَنْ تَشَاءُ إِلَى صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ

O Allah, Lord of Gabriel, Michael, and Israfel, Originator of the heavens and the earth, Knower of the unseen and the seen, You judge between your servants concerning that in which they differ. Guide me, by your permission, in what people differ concerning the truth. Verily, you guide whom you will to the straight path.

Source: Sahih Muslim 770, Grade: Sahih

masjid-almuttaqin2

Ibn Abbas reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, would say in his night prayer:

اللَّهُمَّ اجْعَلْ فِي قَلْبِي نُورًا وَفِي سَمْعِي نُورًا وَفِي بَصَرِي نُورًا وَفِي لِسَانِي نُورًا وَأَعْظِمْ لِي نُورًا

O Allah, put light in my heart, put light in my hearing, put light in my seeing, put light on my tongue, and give me light in abundance.

Source: Musnad Ahmad 3291, Grade: Sahih

Ibn Abbas reported: When the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, would pray at night, he would say:

اللَّهُمَّ لَكَ الْحَمْدُ أَنْتَ نُورُ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَلَكَ الْحَمْدُ أَنْتَ قَيِّمُ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَلَكَ الْحَمْدُ أَنْتَ رَبُّ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَنْ فِيهِنَّ أَنْتَ الْحَقُّ وَوَعْدُكَ الْحَقُّ وَقَوْلُكَ الْحَقُّ وَلِقَاؤُكَ الْحَقُّ وَالْجَنَّةُ حَقٌّ وَالنَّارُ حَقٌّ وَالنَّبِيُّونَ حَقٌّ وَالسَّاعَةُ حَقٌّ اللَّهُمَّ لَكَ أَسْلَمْتُ وَبِكَ آمَنْتُ وَعَلَيْكَ تَوَكَّلْتُ وَإِلَيْكَ أَنَبْتُ وَبِكَ خَاصَمْتُ وَإِلَيْكَ حَاكَمْتُ فَاغْفِرْ لِي مَا قَدَّمْتُ وَمَا أَخَّرْتُ وَمَا أَسْرَرْتُ وَمَا أَعْلَنْتُ أَنْتَ إِلَهِي لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ

O Allah, the praise is for you, for you are the light of the heavens and the earth. The praise is for you, for you are the Sustainer of the heavens and the earth. The praise is for you, for you are the Lord of the heavens and the earth and whatever is therein. You are the truth, and your promise is the truth, and your speech is the truth, and your meeting is the truth. Paradise is the truth and Hellfire is the truth, the prophets are the truth and the Hour is the truth. O Allah, I surrender to you and I have faith in you. I rely upon you and I repent to you, and it is for you that have opposed my enemies and it is to you whom I refer for judgment. So forgive my past and future sins, those which I did in secret or in public, for it is You alone whom I worship and none has the right to be worshiped except you.

Source: Sahih Bukhari 7060, Grade: Sahih

Masjid Selat Melaka in Malacca - Malaysia

Hasan ibn Ali reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, taught me some words to say in the witr prayer:

اللَّهُمَّ اهْدِنِي فِيمَنْ هَدَيْتَ وَعَافِنِي فِيمَنْ عَافَيْتَ وَتَوَلَّنِي فِيمَنْ تَوَلَّيْتَ وَبَارِكْ لِي فِيمَا أَعْطَيْتَ وَقِنِي شَرَّ مَا قَضَيْتَ فَإِنَّكَ تَقْضِي وَلَا يُقْضَى عَلَيْكَ وَإِنَّهُ لَا يَذِلُّ مَنْ وَالَيْتَ تَبَارَكْتَ رَبَّنَا وَتَعَالَيْتَ

O Allah, guide me among those you have guided, pardon me among those you have pardoned, protect me among those you have protected, bless me in what you have given me, and save me from the evil of what You have decreed. Verily, you alone decree and none can pass decree upon you. Verily, he cannot be humiliated whoever is protected by You. Blessed are You, our Lord, the Exalted.

Source: Sunan At-Tirmidhi 464, Grade: Sahih

Ubay ibn Ka’b reported:  When the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, would conclude his witr prayer with invocations of peace, he would say:

سُبْحَانَ الْمَلِكِ الْقُدُّوسِ

Glory to the King, the Holy.

Source: Sunan Abu Dawud 1430, Grade: Sahih

Aisha reported: I said, “O Messenger of Allah, I see that you know which night is the Night of Decree. What should I say during it?” The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

قُولِي اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عُفُوٌّ كَرِيمٌ تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي

O Allah, verily, You are forgiving and generous. You love to forgive, so forgive me.

Source: Sunan At-Tirmidhi 3513, Grade: Sahih

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Abdullah ibn Mas’ud reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, would say:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ الْهُدَى وَالتُّقَى وَالْعَفَافَ وَالْغِنَى

O Allah, I ask you for guidance, righteousness, abstinence, and self-sufficiency.

Source: Sahih Muslim 2721, Grade: Sahih

Jabir ibn Abdullah reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, would teach us to pray for guidance in all matters just as he would teach us a chapter from the Quran. The Prophet said:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْتَخِيرُكَ بِعِلْمِكَ وَأَسْتَقْدِرُكَ بِقُدْرَتِكَ وَأَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ فَضْلِكَ الْعَظِيمِ فَإِنَّكَ تَقْدِرُ وَلَا أَقْدِرُ وَتَعْلَمُ وَلَا أَعْلَمُ وَأَنْتَ عَلَّامُ الْغُيُوبِ اللَّهُمَّ إِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ هَذَا الْأَمْرَ خَيْرٌ لِي فِي دِينِي وَمَعَاشِي وَعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرِي أَوْ قَالَ عَاجِلِ أَمْرِي وَآجِلِهِ فَاقْدُرْهُ لِي وَيَسِّرْهُ لِي ثُمَّ بَارِكْ لِي فِيهِ وَإِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ هَذَا الْأَمْرَ شَرٌّ لِي فِي دِينِي وَمَعَاشِي وَعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرِي أَوْ قَالَ فِي عَاجِلِ أَمْرِي وَآجِلِهِ فَاصْرِفْهُ عَنِّي وَاصْرِفْنِي عَنْهُ وَاقْدُرْ لِي الْخَيْرَ حَيْثُ كَانَ

O Allah, I seek guidance from your knowledge and power from your might, and I ask you from your tremendous favor. Verily, you have power and I do not have power, and you know and I do not know. You are the knowing of the unseen. O Allah, if you know that this matter is good for my religion and my livelihood and my ending (or he said: if it is better for my present and latter needs), then decree it for me and make it easy for me and bless me in it. But if you know that this matter is evil for my religion and my livelihood and my ending (or he said: if it is worse for my present and latter needs), then divert it from me and keep me away from it, and decree for me what is good for me and make me content with it.

Source: Sahih Bukhari 1113, Grade: Sahih

Aisha reported: One night I missed the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, from bed, and when I looked for him my hand touched his feet while he was in prostration. They were raised and he was saying:

اللَّهُمَّ أَعُوذُ بِرِضَاكَ مِنْ سَخَطِكَ وَبِمُعَافَاتِكَ مِنْ عُقُوبَتِكَ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْكَ لاَ أُحْصِي ثَنَاءً عَلَيْكَ أَنْتَ كَمَا أَثْنَيْتَ عَلَى نَفْسِكَ

O Allah, I seek refuge in your pleasure from your anger and in your forgiveness from your punishment, and I seek refuge in you from you. I cannot fully praise you, for you are as you have praised yourself.

Source: Sahih Muslim 486, Grade: Sahih

Ibn Abbas reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, used to say:

اللَّهُمَّ لَكَ أَسْلَمْتُ وَبِكَ آمَنْتُ وَعَلَيْكَ تَوَكَّلْتُ وَإِلَيْكَ أَنَبْتُ وَبِكَ خَاصَمْتُ اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِعِزَّتِكَ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ أَنْ تُضِلَّنِي أَنْتَ الْحَيُّ الَّذِي لَا يَمُوتُ وَالْجِنُّ وَالْإِنْسُ يَمُوتُونَ

O Allah, I have surrendered to you, and I put my faith in you, and I put my trust in you, and I have turned to you, and I have contested my opponents for your sake. O Allah, verily, I seek refuge in your power from going astray, for there is no God but you. You are the Living who never dies while the jinn and humans die.

Source: Sahih Muslim 2717, Grade: Sahih

islamic-quotes-about-education

Towards Peace, Stability, Sustainable Development in Asia Pacific
-Tuoitrenews would like to introduce to readers an article by Sergey Lavrov, Foreign Minister of Russia.
Recent years have witnessed deep geopolitical shifts that fundamentally changed the global landscape. Against the backdrop of global transformation processes, the role of Asia Pacific region is rising as a significant factor that is determining now and will most likely determine the mainstream of international developments in the nearest future, becoming an influential player of emerging polycentric world order architecture.
In the present turbulence of world economy and finance, Asia Pacific states despite the fact that their high growth rates are slightly slowing down will continue to demonstrate the energy of growth and remain the locomotive of global progress. Today the Asia Pacific is a vital center of economic development and progressive political influence as well as an attractive area for cooperation, a cross point for interests of key stakeholders and major multilateral institutions.
Certainly, Russia being an integral and organic part of the region is also strengthening its presence here. For us this is a matter of principle. Our greater involvement in regional community affairs is a major precondition for securing continued national development as well as social and economic rise of Siberia and the Far East.
It is our clear commitment to ensure strength, stability, security and prosperity of the Asia Pacific. Intensification of the “Eastern” track policy, development of regional bilateral ties, participation in inter-governmental structures are among Russia’s foreign policy priorities. This has been noted in the new edition of the Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation signed by the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin on February 12, 2013.
Russia’s policy in the Asia Pacific is deliberate and focused, aimed at truly stable balance of power and elaboration of cohesive regional agenda. Implementation of these goals is based on the solid foundation of our bilateral relations with regional countries, many of which are filled with time-tested friendship and multifaceted cooperation. Our contacts with China, India and Vietnam have been upgraded to strategic partnership. Ties with ASEAN states, the US, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Australia, Canada are also developing on a strong and mutually beneficial basis.
The increasing engagement of Russia with inter-governmental organizations and dialogue mechanisms – Shanghai Cooperation Organization, BRICS forum, ASEAN Regional Forum, Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia, Asia Cooperation Dialogue, Russia-India-China format, East Asia Summit and Asia-Europe dialogue – is of key importance for us. The prospect of developing productive interaction between these structures is an integral part of the long-term task to shape a strong regional and international network of relations.
The logic of Russia’s foreign policy in the Asia Pacific proceeds from the recognition of the fact that creation of an advanced environment of international relations in the region in line with modern realities is of crucial importance. Such a configuration must simultaneously provide broad opportunities for the promotion of multilateral trade, economic and investment cooperation, eliminate existing multi-dimensional security challenges, prevent the emergence of new threats and serve to form an integrated economic and political space.
Asia Pacific needs a system to ensure equitable cooperation, genuine balance of power and harmony of interests. It is necessary that every country along with other partners could participate in drafting a new agenda for regional relations and in resolving urgent development problems. We advocate a non-discriminatory regional order without any imposition of unilateral approaches, any division into leaders and supporters but with inter-state communication based on trust and mutual respect.
Asia Pacific countries have made outstanding pace in this direction. The Foreign Ministers of East Asia Summit member-states at their last meeting decided to launch multilateral consultations on regional security. In fact, consensus was reached on the necessity to develop the most reasonable approaches to strengthen security and develop interaction, to seek arrangements on mutually acceptable rules of the game.
Russia believes that such architecture should be based on the indivisibility of security, peaceful settlement of disputes, non-use of force or threat of force, rejection of confrontation and cooperation directed against third countries and partnership between multilateral organizations.
In order to achieve these goals we aim to promote and strengthen economic integration with primary accent on the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.
In 2012 Russia presided over the APEC forum for the first time and, according to partners’ assessments, we coped quite well with this mission. The most important is that our proposed priorities, as one could say, “hit the bull’s eye”. Let me recall that along with traditional tasks of advancing trade, investment liberalization and regional economic integration we highlighted issues of ensuring food security, improving production and supply chains and encouraging innovative growth in the region. We also promoted cooperation in energy, health care, fight against terrorism and corruption as well as emergency preparedness, which is also important for the region. Relevant Russian proposals are under implementation.
On the eve of the forthcoming APEC summit scheduled for October 7-8, 2013 in Bali, I believe it is necessary to point out that Indonesia – the present APEC chair – has ensured a proper succession of the forum agenda.
Support of the multilateral trading system and attaining the Bogor Goals remain the key tasks. Development of a network of free trade agreements forms the essential basis to implement them. Russia closely tracks the dynamics of cooperation in this area which takes place within the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, Trans-Pacific Partnership and other formats. We consider it important that these agreements should cope with the WTO principles and be as open as possible for all.
This is the approach Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan as member states of the Customs Union are committed to. By now, we have made significant progress in establishing a powerful regional development centre – the Single Economic Space – aiming at creating the Eurasian Economic Union by January 1, 2015 and thereby forging a link between Europe and the Asia Pacific. We believe that interaction between the Customs Union and APEC could serve our common interests.
Russia is ready to contribute to the discussion on sustainable growth with equity proposed by the Indonesian chairmanship. We consider the course for improving financial, regulatory and other conditions for business development, especially small and medium enterprises, creating new high quality jobs, advancing infrastructure development and investments as a priority.
An integral part of a new model of sustainable development and equitable growth is fair access for all participants of economic development, all APEC economies to physical and technological resources. Russia is ready for further cooperation in providing food security and promoting mutually-beneficial scientific, technological and innovation exchanges. We intend to continue our live involvement in this activity.
Issues of energy security in the Asia Pacific deserve special attention. In the framework of APEC constructive discussion pertaining to their “green” and environmental components continues. It is no doubt important. At the same time we see it is timely to bring up such issues as improving regulatory measures in energy, ensuring transparency and predictability of energy and raw-materials markets. It is necessary to diversify energy balances of regional economies, including through the increase of the share of ecologically clean natural gas and atomic energy.
We are continuously committed to further cooperation in other areas to ensure secure development in the region, first of all in the framework of the APEC consolidated counter-terrorism and secure trade strategy. It s important to promote interaction in preventing corruption, illegal trade and other types of organized crime. We will actively participate in implementing measures on emergency agencies’ personnel and equipment cross-border movement facilitation in order to eliminate consequences of natural disasters and human-made catastrophes. We expect to intensify contacts between national crisis management centers having in mind the prospect of their possible future integration into an efficient regional network.
Another priority proposed by Indonesia for APEC – strengthening regional connectivity to create a comprehensively integrated Asia-Pacific community – also provides broad cooperation opportunities. Russia considers these tasks timely and reasonable.
We fully support commitment to adopt practical measures to ensure transparency of economy and improve taxation systems. Russia is ready to make a substantive contribution to the framework of connectivity in the APEC region, also through implementing our initiatives in supply chain area.
In order to ensure innovative development we are committed to actively participate in coordinating measures to facilitate cross-border movements of students, researchers and education services providers. We are also interested in discussing opportunities for regional tourist exchanges.
This year Russia became a full member of the successfully functioning APEC Business Travel Card system specifically set up to facilitate visas procedures. We believe that this would intensify contacts between entrepreneurs and officials responsible for economy-related matters and thus expand trade and Russia’s economic cooperation with other APEC member-economies.
In short, Russia proposes a transparent policy and economic agenda for the region. Our goal is equal cooperation of all countries with no exception in order to strengthen peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia Pacific.

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The North American Free Trade Agreement was negotiated between the United States, Mexico, and Canada between 1991 and 1993. It is the largest free trade
area in the world, with a GNP of almost $5 trillion, and encompassing a population of over 360 million. Building on earlier US-Canada free trade accords, the final agreement establishes the progressive elimination of most tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade between these two countries and Mexico over a transition period that began on 1 January 1994 and will conclude on 1 January 2008. The agreement also facilitates cross-border investment, and includes side-agreements addressing cooperation on labour and the environment.  NAFTA is best seen as the institutionalization of previously dense economic interdependence in the region. Incentives for the formalization, regulation, and deepening of this ongoing process came from changing global economic and strategic conditions. The instability introduced by the end of the Cold War and its related geopolitical developments made both a regional integration strategy, and good relations with Latin America, an attractive alternative for the US. NAFTA would, however, become a controversial domestic politics issue, being opposed mainly by unions and the environmental lobby, but eventually piloted through the US Congress by a bipartisan coalition. The Mexican government’s decision to pursue a NAFTA had its origins in the desperate need for resources of capital and investment posed by the debt crisis and the exhaustion of the import substitution industrialization (ISI) strategy. Mexico saw in NAFTA an institutional structure that would bolster investor confidence by locking in the market-oriented reform package of which it was part. It was also seen as an effective response to the problems created by the growing interdependence between the two countries, given the profound asymmetry characterizing US-Mexican relations. Canada, which like Mexico is crucially dependent on the US market, decided to join the initially bilateral talks despite less apparent benefit from a free trade area with Mexico, due to lack of a more attractive alternative and fear of exclusion. The business community also oppressed for a mechanism that would insulate Canada from protectionist pressures in America.
-Andrew Hurrell/Laura Gomez-Mera

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The presidents of Colombia, Peru and Chile, and Mexico’s minister of economy agreed on Wednesday to liberalize 92 percent of their countries’ goods and services as part of the nascent regional economic integration bloc, The Pacific Alliance.
“We have just reached an agreement to liberalize trade between the four countries for 92 percent of the goods, and we are going to reach 99 percent in three to seven years,” Chilean President Sebastian Pinera told business representatives attending the first Pacific Alliance Summit.
Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Chile are on the path of free trade and consolidation to strengthen their economies and create a more seamless and easier environment to do business.
The economic bloc, created less than three years ago, is the world’s seventh-largest recipient of foreign direct investment, attracting $71 billion in 2012.
These four countries, major allies of the United States in Latin America, were disappointed by U.S. President Barack Obama’s shortcoming in not mentioning the region in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.
“I was a bit sad yesterday that President Obama did not mention Latin America, not one single time,” Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos told an audience attending The Pacific Alliance business summit.
“He mentioned the Middle East. He mentioned China. But not one single country in Latin America was mentioned in his speech. The strategy for the United States lies South of Rio Grande. Businessmen know where the strategic opportunities are,” Santos added.
The economic bloc has investment potential for infrastructure projects that amount to almost $56 billion.
“We are advancing in many other areas such as infrastructure integration, customs integration, capital markets and energy,” Pinera said.
One example of the integration has been consolidation of embassies and commercial offices abroad.
“We already have four embassies under one roof in Ghana,” Mexican Economy Minister Idelfonso Guajardo said. He added that citizens of the economic bloc do not need tourist visas, so the number of Peruvian, Colombian and Chilean visitors to his country has increased.
Peruvian President Ollanta Humala said that although the Pacific Alliance is an economic bloc, the group created a scholarship fund so their citizens can study in any of the four countries. The alliance will also work to improve university accreditation.
The Pacific Alliance has 210 million people, the majority of them young, and their combined economies make 35 percent of Latin America gross domestic product.
“One country can go fast, but together can advance faster and better,” Humala said.
-Manuela Badawy

Apple_Black_HoleDUBAI (Reuters) – Dubai unveiled plans to become a centre for business that follows Islamic principles in areas from banking and insurance to food processing, tourism and education.
With a freewheeling commercial culture and a diverse population with cosmopolitan lifestyles, the booming emirate of 2.1 million people is not known for its Islamic scholarship.
But in the past few decades, Dubai has used its international ties to become the Gulf’s main centre for finance, trade and travel. Officials said they would now focus on business related to the religious beliefs of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims.
“The total foreign trade of the Muslim world is $4 trillion. This shows the potential that is available for Dubai,” Mohammed al-Gergawi, chairman of Dubai Holding, a conglomerate owned by the emirate’s ruler, told a conference.
In finance, Dubai wants to become a top centre for the issuance and trading of Islamic bonds, which are structured to avoid the payment of interest. It aims to rival the main hubs for Islamic bonds, Kuala Lumpur and London, by creating a set of clear, commonly accepted standards.
Abdulaziz al-Ghurair, chairman of the authority overseeing Dubai’s financial centre, said the emirate would also focus on Islamic re-insurance. In conventional insurance, risk is transferred from one party to another; under Islamic rules, risk is shared among members of an insurance fund.
Because there are only 19 Islamic re-insurance firms globally, Islamic insurers are forced to transfer some of their risk to conventional re-insurers, creating a business opportunity for Dubai in establishing more firms, Ghurair said.
He predicted the global Islamic re-insurance market would grow to $20 billion by 2020 from $11 billion at present.
Islamic endowments, estimated to be worth hundreds of billions of dollars globally, are another area which Dubai is targeting. Analysts say many of them invest their money passively and inefficiently, creating potential for economic gains if they are reformed.
Dubai intends to establish by the first quarter of next year an International Endowment Authority, headquartered in the emirate, which will promote best practices in the global industry, officials said.
The emirate will get involved in the business of certifying halal food and other products that are prepared under Islamic principles. It plans to set up an international laboratory and accreditation centre by the first quarter of 2014, aiming to gain 10 percent of the global market in the next three years.
Officials said they would also promote Dubai as a centre for Islamic tourism, education and fashion, though they did not give details of those initiatives.
(Reporting by Andrew Torchia and Mirna Sleiman; editing by Tom Pfeiffer)

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TOKYO—Japan is boosting efforts to attract Muslim tourists from Southeast Asia, with an increasing number of stakeholders in its tourism industry studying up on how to accommodate the visitors’ culture and needs, according to officials from the Asean-Japan Center (AJC).

-By Leila B. Salaverria

These are parts of efforts to lure more tourists to the country and help it recover from its long economic slump, as well as prepare for an expected influx of visitors running up to 2020, when it will host the Olympic Games, said Dananjaya Axioma, director of the Tourism and Exchange Division of AJC.

The AJC plays a role in educating Japanese officials, companies and tourism stakeholders about the needs of Muslim tourists.

directions-to-utown-musollah

Intensive campaign

Last month, the AJC hosted seminars in four Japanese cities on how to welcome Muslim tourists from the region. There are plans to develop a website providing information about Muslims to the Japan tour industry.

“Japan is taking a special approach focusing on Muslim tourists. It’s quite an intensive campaign,” Axioma told visiting reporters from Southeast Asia recently.

He said that in anticipation of the 2020 Olympics, more tourists could be expected to come to the country, including Muslims.

Japan’s visa exemption for visitors from Malaysia and Thailand is also expected to bring in more visitors, he noted. Some tour organizations have been helping lobby for the same visa rules for other countries in the region like the Philippines and Indonesia.

The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has a goal of attracting 25 million tourists by 2020.

Influx of visitors

Japanese businesses were becoming more interested in learning about Muslim culture because of the influx of Muslim visitors, especially from Malaysia and Indonesia, Axioma said.

The AJC has been teaching the Japanese that it would not be so difficult to handle the needs of Muslim tourists, he said.

For instance, if tour operators cannot provide halal food to the visitors, since such items are not widely available in Japan, they are taught that they can provide a friendly place for the Muslims, such as restaurants that do not serve pork or that offer pork-less dishes, he said.

The AJC is also planning to introduce halal products to Japanese businessmen, he said.

Hotel operators are being told to provide a prayer area for Muslim visitors and are being taught about the Qibla, or the direction Muslims must face when praying. post01-islamindonesia

Axioma said hotel operators have reacted positively so far.

Southeast Asia is home to a significant Muslim population. Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world, over 200 million, and more than half, or about 17 million, of Malaysia’s population are followers of Islam. The Philippines has around 4.6 million Muslims.

When Indonesia it became the 2nd largest following the separation of it emerged as the most world. Today about 88% of Muslim. In recent years there more orthodox declared independence in 1945, Muslim-majority nation in the world; Bangladesh from Pakistan in 1971, populous Muslim country in the Indonesia’s 235 million people is has been a trend toward a interpretation of Islam.

  • What is this? Top definitions & references about hobby, art, health, sport, culture, science, and technology.

Asymmetrical organizations like al-Qaeda often develop their own countercultures, with special texts, lore, and codes of conduct, which are usually outside the boundaries of their society’s, or religion’s, accepted norms.

Al-Infitar Qur'AN82

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Surah Al-Infitar

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful!

When the heaven is left asunder, when the stars are scattered, when the oceans are made to explode, when the graves are hurled about, each soul shall know its earlier actions and its later ones. O man, what has lured you away from your gracious Lord, Who created and moulded you and gave you an upright shape? He can give you whatever form He wills. Shun it ! but you deny the Last Judgement. Yet there are guardians watching over you, noble recorders, who know all your actions. Surely the righteous shall be in bliss, while the wicked shall be in Hell, where they shall be thrown on the Day of Judgement; nor shall they ever be absent from it. Would that you knew what the Day of Judgement is ! Oh, would that you knew what the Day of Judgement is! It is the day when no soul can be of any help to any other soul and when Allah reigns supreme.

Commentary:

This short surah refers to the great upheaval discussed in the previous surah “The Darkening“, but gives it a special colour. It has a different rhythm, deep and calm. It adds a touch of expostulation coupled with an implicit threat. Hence, it does not detail the scenes of the great upheaval as in the previous surah, where these scenes are dominant. The scenes here are shorter, in order to suit its quieter atmosphere and slower rhythm.

At the opening the surah mentions the cleaving of the sky, the scattering of the stars, the bursting of the oceans and the hurling of the graves as simultaneous with every soul’s knowledge of its earlier and later actions, on that solemn day. The second part starts with the remonstrance combined with an implicit threat to man who is the recipient of abundant grace; yet he does not show any gratitude for Allah’s grace. “O man what has lured you away from your gracious Lord, Who created and moulded you and gave you an upright shape. Hle can give you whatever form He wills.” The third part provides the reason for such an ungrateful attitude. The denial of reckoning and judgement, the surah tells us, is the source of every evil. The reality of the meting out of reward and punishment at the Last Judgement is re emphasised; Shun it! but you deny the Last Judgement. Yet there are guardians watching over you. Noble recorders, who know all your actions. Surely the righteous shall be in bliss, while the wicked shall be in Hell, where they shall be thrown on the Day of Judgement, nor shall they ever be absent from it.

The final part gives an idea of how fearful the Day of Judgement is, how everyone is absolutely helpless and all power belongs to Allah: Would that you knew what the Day of Judgement is! Oh, would that you knew what the Day of Judgement is! It is the day when no soul can be of any help to any other soul and Allah reigns supreme.

So the surah represents yet another way of portraying the same basic principles stressed in this thirtieth part of the Qur’an in various methods and styles. When the heaven is cleft asunder, when the stars are scattered when the oceans are made to explode, when the graves are hurled about, each soul shall know its earlier actions and its later ones. In the commentary on the previous surah we described the feelings generated in people when they visualise the universe undergoing a change so violent that it leaves nothing in its familiar shape and condition. We also said that such feelings tend to pull man away from anything which gives him a sense of security, with the exception of Allah, the Creator of the universe, the One Who lives on after everything has died and withered away. Man’s heart is thus made to turn to the only true being Who neither changes nor dies, to seek His support and security in the face of the general upheaval which destroys everything that seemed once to be permanent. For nothing lives for ever except the Creator Who is the only one worthy of being worshipped.

The first aspect mentioned here of the universal upheaval is the cleaving or rending of the sky, which is mentioned in other surahs: When the sky is split asunder and becomes rose red, like stained leather. (Al-Qur’an 55:37) When sky will be rent asunder, for on that day it is frail and tottering. (Al-Qur’an 69:16) When the sky is rent asunder. (Al-Qur’an 84:1) That the sky will be split or rent asunder on that hectic day is certain. What is meant exactly by such rending, and how the sky will look after it has been rent are difficult to say. All that we are left with is a feeling of violent change which overwhelms the universe, as we see it, and a realisation that its perfect system will no longer be in operation.

The violent upheaval in the universe causes the stars to scatter after they have been held together by a system which makes every star keep to its orbit, along which it may move fearfully fast, without swerving out of it. If the system is broken at any time, as will happen when the life of the stars comes to its end, they will just disappear in the wide space, as does a particle of dust running loose. The explosion of the oceans may refer to their being overfull to the extent that they drown the dry land and swallow the rivers. It may, alternatively, mean an explosion which separates oxygen from hydrogen, the two gases which form water. Thus water returns to its original gas condition. The verse may also be taken to refer to a nuclear explosion of the atoms of the two gases. If this is the case, then the explosion would be so fearful that our nuclear devices of today would seem, in comparison, like children’s toys. The explosion may also take a different form, totally unknown to us. One thing, however, we know for certain is that there will be horror far greater than any man could have ever experienced. The hurling about of the graves may be a result of one of the events mentioned above. It may also be a separate event which occurs on that eventful day. As the graves are hurled about people are resurrected and stand up again, back in life, to face the reckoning and receive their reward or punishment. This is complemented by the verse which follows the description of these events: Each soul shall know its earlier actions and its later ones. That is, each soul shall come face to face with what it has done and what it left behind of the consequences of its actions; or, what it has enjoyed in this present life and what it has saved for the hereafter. The knowledge, however, will accompany these horrific events. It will indeed be one of them, for it terrifies the soul no less than any of the other events mentioned earlier.

The Arabic expression used here may be translated literally as “a soul shall know … ” It is, however, in Arabic a neater and more effective denotation of “each soul shall know … ” Furthermore, the knowledge by every soul is not the end of the matter. It has consequences which are as violent as the scenes portrayed here of the great upheaval. The consequences are merely implied, not stated here, which is again more effective. After this opening which alerts men’s senses and consciences, the surah, by means of gentle remonstrance coupled with an implicit threat, touches the hearts of men who busy themselves with trivialities. It reminds man of Allah’s very first act of grace towards him, namely, his moulding in such an upright perfectly proportioned shape. Allah could have easily given him any form He wished. Yet man is ungrateful: O man, what has lured you away from your gracious Lord, Who created and moulded you and gave you an upright shape? He can give you what ever form He wills. The address appeals to man’s most noble quality, his humanity, which distinguishes him from all creatures and assigns to him the highest position among them. This quality represents Allah’s gracious blessing to man and His abundant generosity to him.

This appeal is immediately followed by a gentle remonstrance: “What has lured you away from your gracious Lord?” What makes you neglect your duties to your Lord and behave impudently towards Him when He has given you your humanity which raises you above all His creation and provides you with the ability to distinguish between right and wrong. A few details of Allah’s generosity are then added: “O man, what has lured you away from your gracious Lord, Who created and moulded you and gave you an upright shape.” It is an address which appeals straight to man’s heart. He listens to the remonstrance of Allah when He reminds him of His grace while he continues with his erring ways and impudent behaviour towards Him.

Indeed, man should reflect deeply over his creation, his physically and physiologically perfect constitution. Reflection should prompt him to show his genuine gratitude, deep respect and real love to Allah, his gracious Lord, Who has blessed him with such constitution, perfect, upright and handsome. The miraculous aspects in man’s constitution are far greater than what he sees all around him and what he can imagine. Perfection and the right balance are easily evident in man’s physical, mental and spiritual constitution. Full volumes have been written on the perfection of creation as evidenced by man. It is perhaps useful to include here one or two quotations from such works.

The human body is composed of a number of specialised systems: the skeleton, the muscular system, the skin, the digestive system, the blood circulation system, the respiratory system, the procreative system, the lymphatic system, the nervous system, the urinal system and the senses of tasting, smelling, hearing and seeing. Everyone of these systems is miraculous and far more wonderful than any scientific achievement which makes man possessed with wonder. Yet man tends to overlook the wonders of his own constitution ! A contributor to the British Scientific Journal writes:

Man’s hand is one of the most remarkable wonders of nature. It is extremely difficult, indeed impossible, to invent a device which can match the human hand for simplicity, efficiency, ability and instant adaptability. When you read a book you take it in your hand, then you hold it in the position most suitable for your reading. The same hand will automatically correct the position of your book whenever a correction of position is necessary. When you turn a page you place your finger underneath the paper and apply the amount of pressure needed for turning the page. When the page is turned no more pressure is applied. You also use your hand to hold a pen and to write. With your hand you use all the tools you need such as a spoon, a knife or a pen. You use it to open or close the window and to carry anything you wish to carry … Man’s hand has 27 pieces of bone in addition to 19 groups of muscles. [A. Nawfal, Allah and Modern Science, Cairo, 1957 Arabic]

 

A part of the human ear is a series of some four thousand minute but complex arches graduated with exquisite regularity in size and shape. These may be said to resemble a musical instrument, and they seem adjusted to catch, and transmit in some manner to the brain, every cadence of sound or noise, from the thunderclap to the whisper of the pines and the exquisite blending of the tones and harmonies of every instrument in the orchestra. If in forming the ear the cells were impelled to evolve strict efficiency only that man might survive, why did they not extend the range and develop a superacutness? Perhaps the power behind these cells’ activities anticipated man’s coming need of intellectual enjoyment, or did they by accident build better than they knew?’ [A.C Morrison, Man Does Not Stand Alone, London, 1962, pp. 63-4]

The visual functions are carried out mainly by the eye with its 130 million retinal light receptors. The eyelids with the eyelashes at their tips protect the eyes day and night. Their movement, which is involuntary, keeps out dust particles and other alien bodies. The eye lashes throw their shades over the eye to lessen the intensity of light. Furthermore, by their movement the eyelids prevent the eyes from becoming dry. The fluid around the eye, which we call tears, is a highly effective, most powerful disinfectant …

In human beings, the taste function is carried out by the tongue, through groups of the taste cells which are located in the taste buds of the mucosal surface of the tongue. These buds are of different shapes: some are filamentary, some mushroom-shaped and others are lenticular. They are supplied by fine branches of the glosso-pharangeal nerve as well as the nerve which carries the taste sense. When we eat, these fine branches of the taste nerve are stimulated and convey the impulses of the taste sensation to the brain. This system is located at the front of the tongue, so that we may reject what we sense to be harmful. It is this system which helps us sense whether what we eat is bitter or sweet, hot or cold, sour or salty, etc. The tongue contains nine thousand of these fine taste buds, each of which is linked with the brain by more than one nerve. Hence we may wonder: ‘How many nerves have we? What are their sizes? How do they function individually and how do they combine to give the brain their various types of sensation? The nervous system, which effectively controls the body, is composed of fine neurons which cover every part of the body. The neurons are linked to larger nerves which are, in turn, linked to the central nervous system. Whenever any part of the body feels any sensation, even the slightest change of temperature, the neurons convey this sensation to the peripheral nerves which, in turn, convey it to the brain so that it may order the necessary action. The signals are carried through the nerves at the speed of 100 metres per second. [Allah and Modern Science, Cairo]

If we think of digestion as a process in a chemical laboratory and of the food that we eat as raw materials, we immediately discover that it is a wonderful process which will digest anything edible except the stomach itself. First into this laboratory we put a variety of food as a raw material without the slightest regard for the laboratory or how the chemistry of digestion will handle it. We eat steak, cabbage, corn and fried fish, wash it down with any quantity of water, and top it off with alcohol, bread, and beans. We may add sulfur and molasses as spring medicine. Out of this mixture the stomach selects those things which are useful by breaking down into its chemical molecules every item of food, discarding the waste, and reconstructs the residue into new proteins, which become the food of the various cells. The digestive tract selects calcium, sulfur, iodine, iron and any other substances which are necessary, takes care that the essential molecules are not lost, that the hormones can be produced and that all of the valid necessities of life are on hand in regulated quantities, ready to meet every necessity. It stores fat and other reserves to meet such an emergency as starvation, and does all this in spite of human thought or reason. We pour this infinite variety of substances into this chemical laboratory with almost total disregard of what we take in, depending on what we consider the automatic process to keep us alive. When these foods have been broken down and are again prepared, they are delivered constantly to each of our billions of cells, a greater number than all the human beings on earth. The delivery to each individual cell must be constant, and only those substances which the particular cell needs to transform them into bones, nails, flesh, hair, eyes, and teeth are taken up by the proper cell. Here is a chemical laboratory producing more substances than any laboratory which human ingenuity has devised. Here is a delivery system greater than any method of transportation or distribution the world has ever known, all being conducted in perfect order.’ [Man Does Not Stand Alone, pp. 88-89]

A lot may be said about every other system of the human body. But wonderful as these systems are, man may have them in common with animals. He, however, is privileged to possess his unique mental and spiritual qualities which are regarded in this surah as a special favour from Allah. After the surah has dealt with the humanity of man, it mentions the perfection of his creation and the right proportioning of his mould: O man, what has lured you away from your gracious Lord Who created and moulded you and gave you an upright shape.

Let us reflect on our powers of comprehension, the nature of which is unknown to us. The mind is the medium of comprehension but the working of our minds and how they function remain to us incomprehensible. If we suppose that what we grasp is transmitted to the brain through the nerves, where and how does the brain store its information? If we compare the brain to a magnetic recording tape, every man needs in his average lifetime of sixty years a great many’ billion metres on which to record such a huge multitude of pictures, words, meanings, feelings and responses so that he may, as he actually does, remember them several decades later. Furthermore, how does man sort out individual words, meanings, events and pictures to mould them together in a sort of coherent education? How does he transform information and experiences into knowledge? Yet this is by no means the most significant of man’s distinctive qualities. There is that wonderful ray of Allah’s spirit which provides a link between man and the beauty of the universe and its Creator. As this link is established, man can experience at clear, bright moments a sense of communion with the infinite, the absolute, which prepares him for a blissful eternal life in Allah’s paradise. Yet man has no power to comprehend the nature of his spirit, which is Allah’s greatest favour to him and which makes him a man. Hence Allah addresses him by this quality of his “O man! ” then remonstrates with him directly: “What lures you away from your gracious Lord?” Thus man is reminded of Allah’s greatest favour, but he stands impudent, negligent of his duties to Allah, unashamed and ungrateful. But man does not need more than to realise the source of this remonstrance and what attitude he adopts when he stands before his Lord to be absolutely overwhelmed by shame: “O man! what lures you away from your gracious Lord, Who created and moulded you and gave you an upright shape. He can give you what ever form He wills.

The surah moves on to explain the reason for man’s impudence and negligence, namely, the denial of the Last Judgement. It emphatically confirms the reality of reckoning, reward and punishment: Shun it! but you deny the Last Judgement. Yet there are guardians watching over you, noble recorders, who know all your actions. Surely the righteous shall be in bliss, while the wicked shall be in Hell, where they shall be thrown on the Day of Judgement: nor they shall ever be absent from it. The English expression “shun it” is used here to render the meaning of the Arabic word “kalla” which is a command to desist and an indication of a change of subject and style. Hence the following verses are in the form of a statement. “Shun it! but you deny the Last Judgement.” You think that reckoning and accountability are falsehoods, and this is precisely the cause of your impudence and negligence of your duties. How can any person disbelieve in the Judgement and still lead a life based on goodness and right guidance? Some people may achieve a higher degree of faith: they worship Allah because they love Him, not out of fear of punishment nor in hope of reward. But these people continue to believe in the Last Judgement. They fear it and look forward to it at the same time, because they hope to be with their beloved Lord. When man, however, flatly rejects the Day of Judgement he will be devoid of politeness and light; his heart and conscience are dead. You deny the Day of Judgement when you will certainly face it. Everything you do in this life will be counted for or against you. Nothing is lost, nothing forgotten: ” Yet there are guardians watching over you, noble recorders, who know all your actions. ” These recorders are the angels charged with accompanying men, watching them and recording all what they do and say. We do not know and are not required to know how this takes place. Allah knows that we are neither given the ability to understand it nor are we going to benefit by understanding it because it does not affect the purpose of our existence. Hence it is useless to attempt to explain by our means what Allah has chosen not to reveal to us of the world of the imperceptible. Sufficient it is to us to feel that we do not live in vain and that there are noble recorders who note what we do, in order to be alert and prudent.

The Supreme Council of Russia’s Muslim leaders, called Muftis, has condemned Somali terrorists of the al-Shabaab grouping for using Islam as a pretext for an attack on the Westgate mall in Nairobi, Kenya, that took the lives of over 60 people and wounded a hundred.

The Muslim elders said they felt “distressed and offended” by the news of this deadly attack.

“The Mufti Council angrily condemns the terrorists and criminals who acted under the guise of Islam,” they said.

“Islam abhors terrorism. The Holy Quran says that murdering an innocent is alike massacring the entire mankind. A terrorist and a criminal cannot be Muslim, same as a Muslim cannot be a terrorist.”c-pyramid

The spiritual leaders said they strongly believed that the culprits were in for retribution, since the Holy Book condemns murderers to hell.

Voice of Russia, TASS

Mendez says many Arab and Pakistani Muslims seem critical of the Latinos’ efforts to adopt Islam.

Since the atmosphere of the surah is one of benevolence and nobility, the description of those recorders given here is that they are “noble”, so that we may feel shy and try to be polite in the presence of these noble angels. It is natural for people to exercise extra care not to say or do anything impolite or disgraceful when they are in the presence of noble people. How careful would they be if they realised that they were all the time in the presence of angels. The surah indeed arouses the most noble feelings of our upright nature by portraying this fact in such a familiar way.

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We are then told of the destinies of the righteous and the wicked, which are determined by the reckoning based on the recordings by the noble angels: Surely the righteous shall be in bliss, while the wicked shall be in Hell, where they shall be thrown on the Day of Judgement, nor shall they ever be absent from it. The end is certain. That the righteous shall dwell in blissful happiness and the wicked shall end up in Hell is already determined. A “righteous” person is the one who consistently does “right” actions, i.e. good deeds of all kinds, until doing them becomes an intrinsic quality of his. The adjective “righteous” has connotations which fit in well with nobility and humanity. The contrasting quality, “wickedness”, carries connotations of insolence and impudence as the wicked indulge in their sinful actions. Hell is a proper recompense for wickedness. The surah emphasises the certainty of this punishment: “where they shall be thrown on the Day of Judgement. ” Then it re-emphasises it: “nor they shall ever be absent from it.” They cannot escape it in the first place, nor will they be allowed to leave it, not even for a short while Having stated what happens on the Day of Judgement, the surah emphasizes again the certainty of that day, since it is denied by some. The emphasis is provided here in the form of a rhetorical question which enhances the mystery surrounding the object of the question. The surah then states the complete helplessness of everyone, the absolute impossibility of giving or receiving support and that Allah is the absolute sovereign on that awesome day: Would that you knew what the Day of Judgement is! Oh, would that you knew what the Day of Judgement is! It is the day when no soul can be of any help to any other soul and Allah reigns supreme. The form “would that you knew … ” is in Arabic a form of rhetorical question often used in the Qur’an. It suggests that the matter under discussion is far beyond our imagining and understanding. This is stressed here by repetition of the question before details about conditions on the day concerned are given: “It is the day when no soul can be of any help to any other soul.” It is total helplessness when everyone stands alone, busy with his own problems, unable to think of anyone else, relative or friend. “And Allah reigns supreme.” He indeed reigns supreme in this life and the next. This fact, however, becomes so clear on that day that no one can overlook it, as the ignorant and the conceited do in this life. The surah closes with an air of fear and speechless expectation which contrasts with the air of violent horrors of the opening. In between the two man is addressed with that remonstrance which overwhelms him with a feeling of shame.   9089868-large

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Read in the name of your Lord Who created. He created man from a clot. Read and your Lord is Most Honourable, Who taught (to write) with the pen. Taught man what he knew not.

(Surah Al Alaq 96:1-5)

In Islam, the status of man is measured with respect to the knowledge and understanding. It is evident from the following verse:

Are those who know and those who do not know alike? Only the men of understanding are mindful.

(Surah Al Zumar 39:9)

The reason to give importance to education is that it is the key factor that develops the manner and way of life in the society. It is education that identifies Allah and His commandments and teachings to the people.

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VoQ online is the shorter name of Voice of Quran online Almighty Allah sent the first voice message to Prophet Mohammad Peace Be Upon Him through Angel Gabriel in cave of Hirra. This was the first lesson of the Quran.

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SECULAR THINKING APPROACH 

It is a pity fact that in the present era, the Muslims are still following and accepting secular or western thoughts in almost all the fields of life despite the fact that they have regained the significant territory in the world after the long time of slavery and colonial captivities. As far as our economic or business activities are concerned, we are also following the secular economic system. This behaviour has also been effected business education where the secular theories are being taught without consideration that these are absolutely opposite of Islamic teachings.

It is a fact that any economic system affects the overall living behaviour of the certain region as it is not only just an economic system but shows an overall thinking of the certain society. Unfortunately, our minds are psychologically slaves of the West where the man-made theories are dominant rather than following religious approach. Due to this reason, we do not think with independent minds and blindly follow or teach secular economic theories.

SEEKING OF KNOWLEDGE 

It was narrated that Anas bin Maalik said: The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said “Seeking knowledge is a duty upon every Muslim”.

(Sunan Ibn e Majah, Book of Sunnah, Hadith no 224)

The seeking of knowledge is necessary for every Muslim but what knowledge? The answer is that the knowledge that can develop the man as a good person of the society and the knowledge that can be the source to fulfil the objectives that Islam requires from the people. It is very sorry to say that the prevailing business education is failing to fulfil these two requirements as it is against the teachings of Islam.

It was narrated that Abu Huraira said: “The Messenger of Allah said: ‘Whoever acquires knowledge by which the pleasure of Allah is sought, but he only acquires it for the purpose of worldly gain, will not smell the fragrance of Paradise on the Day of Resurrection.”

(Sunan Ibn e Majah, Hadith no. 252)

The below mentioned hadith is enough for eye opener for us and all those Muslims who obtain knowledge just for the worldly gain and this is the common phenomena now a day and the most sorrow fact is that the our renowned universities and colleges are also marketing their degrees as the products for worldly gain.

It was narrated from ‘Umar that the Messenger of Allah said: “Whoever seeks knowledge in order to argue with the foolish, or to show off before the scholars, or to attract people’s attention, will be in Hell.”

(Sunan Ibn e Majah, Book of Sunnah, Hadith no 253)

We can observe that education has been become absolutely commercial and it is only the way to fill the gap of demand and supply of human resource for capitalists. When we inject capitalistic economic approach in our young blood generation, our young generation thinks in the particular capitalistic way. Therefore, we may say that education has also been made to support and flourish capitalistic advantage.

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DELIVERY OF KNOWLEDGE 

Abdullah bin Abi Qataadah narrated that his father said: “The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: ‘the best things that a man can leave behind are three: A righteous son who will pray for him, ongoing charity whose reward will reach him, and knowledge which is acted upon after his death.’

(Sunan Ibn e Majah, Book of Sunnah, Hadith no 241)

The major consideration here is what type of education. In the context of present business education, can we fall our teachers in the above-mentioned hadith. The answer is absolutely in negative as how this education is good as it is against the commandments of Allah and His Messenger (SAW). The teacher who is delivering the education which is against the commandments of Allah and His Messenger (SAW) is, no doubt, committing a great sin as the graduates will follow the rules and think in the same way as he delivers.

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Now on TV so much talk about the strange natural phenomena that make us afraid.
One of them is the phenomenon of splitting sky. I think the media exaggerate the issue so that makes people uneasy.
If only a document of a splitting sky/cloud, I’ve seen with my own eyes before. It occurred in the Lumajang’s sky. On July 2, 2010 at 5.14 AM. 
I snap several pictures of the sky at that moment, because I think it pretty unique. 
You can see for yourself….
And see, Alhamdulillah there is no bad thing happened in Lumajang… :)
distortion

Al-Inshiqaq Qur'AN84

Surah Al-Inshiqaq

How to Pray (Salah)

Make the intention to perform Namaz.

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Subhaanak-Allaahumma, wa biham-dika, wa tabaarakasmuka, wa ta’aalaa jadduka, wa laa ilaaha ghayruk.
O Allah, how perfect You are and praise be to You. Blessed is Your name, and exalted is Your majesty. There is no god but You.

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everything0ing

Driven by technological advances, innovative manufacturing techniques, the biggest domestic energy boom in a century and a new generation of pragmatic, tested leaders in industry, education and government, the nation’s industrial core is rebounding. thPIVGG14G

Employment in manufacturing hubs is rising. Foreign companies from Toyota to Airbus to Fiat are basing their most advanced facilities in the U.S. The biggest, boldest American companies from Caterpillar, Boeing and GE, to John Deere, GM and Ford are showing the world that the heartland is every bit as much a high-technology hotbed as either coast. Together with thousands of small companies spread across the nation, they are truly Reinventing America and redefining its role in the Global Economy.

Visit Reinventing America coverage on Forbes.com as we convene a first-of-its-kind summit of the industrial executives, entrepreneurs, academics and elected officials leading this revolution.

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