Body Modifications: The Pursuit of Desires

Vol 6 - Issue 1 Body modifications copyThe first time I directly witnessed a case of body-piercing was in the 90’s when a childhood friend returned from England after a few years stay. With jaw dropped, I beheld her pierced abdomen, adorned with a sickle-shaped, diamante-studded ‘contraption’ nestled in her navel. The Quran states that Satan will try to trick humans into body modification:

“Verily, I will mislead them, and surely, I will arouse in them false desires; and certainly, I will order them to slit the ears of cattle, and indeed I will order them to change the nature created by Allah.” (Al-Nisa 4:119)

Body modification is also, as Satan himself promised, a means of following one’s desires, in order to change whatever one wants in one’s natural physical form created by Allah (swt). Furthermore, it’s not just the human body that is modified to suit desires; plants and animals are also now subjected to special fertilizers and hormone treatments to make them meet new standards of consumption and higher profit rates. Highlighted below are some of the creation-modification methods used today.

Body Piercing

Body-piercing is a modern-day trend, in which metal rings or other ornaments are worn in openings pierced in the body. The ears, eyebrows, nose, abdomen, chest, or navel could be pierced in several areas. Reasons behind this phenomenon could be a desire to stand out, to imitate an idol or celebrity, or to rebel. In addition, hair is dyed an unnatural color such as purple, blue or green, with several areas of the head shaved off to create ‘designs’. Some people take this so far that their original face is lost amid the designs. It is a clear example of how Satan has led humans to alter Allah’s (swt) creation.

Allah warns us in the Quran: “Surely, Shaitan (Satan) is an enemy to you, so take (treat) him as an enemy. He only invites his Hizb (followers) that they may become the dwellers of the blazing fire.” (Fatir 35:6)

Plastic Surgery and Liposuction

In order to fix sagging skin, fat-rolls, wrinkles – marks of age or excess weight – more and more people are rushing to the plastic surgeon’s scalpel. Procedures include facelifts, tummy-tucks, nose-jobs and breast augmentation. All these procedures involve improvements made to the body, driven by a passionate desire to stay beautiful, look more feminine, or ‘improve’ a specific body-part.

Liposuction is a surgical procedure, in which incisions are made at key areas in the body to suction fat from it in fluid form. It results in fat reduction mainly on the hips, thighs and abdomen.

Sheikh Salih Al-Munajjid, a scholar at, states in his ruling on plastic surgery: “There are cosmetic surgical procedures which are Haram and are not considered to be excusable; these are seen as tampering with the creation of Allah (swt) for the sake of beauty. Examples include: breast enlargement or reduction, and procedures aimed at reversing the signs of ageing, such as face-lifts, etc. The Islamic view is that these are not permitted because there is no urgent need or necessity for them; rather, the aim is to change and tamper with the creation of Allah (swt) for reasons of human vanity. This is Haram and the one who does it is cursed, because it involves two things mentioned in the Hadeeth: pursuit of beauty and changing what Allah (swt) has created.” (Sheikh Salih Al-Munajjid,, verdict number 1006)

The exception to this ruling is removing abhorred scars or natural deformities from one’s body through plastic surgery, so that one does not suffer the psychological trauma of being spurned off by people. Such physical faults could include beard-like stubble on a woman’s face, burn-scars caused by an accident or skin lesions caused by leprosy.


Tattoos are designs embedded under the skin, using needles to infuse coloured dye into the skin’s colour-pigment. They do not get washed off in normal life unless one has them removed because the skin pigmentation is physically changed. Tattooing is a body-marking practice that is thousands of years old. Nowadays, a tattoo depicts a person’s devotion to something.

Abdullah Bin Masood (rta) has narrated that Allah’s Messenger (sa) said: “May Allah curse the women who do tattoos and those for whom tattoos are done, those who pluck their eyebrows and those who file their teeth for the purpose of beautification, and alter the creation of Allah.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Thinning of Eyebrows

Pencil-drawn, thin eyebrows have always been fashionably ‘in’. Fashion models on runways and in glossies promote changing the shape of female eyebrows to look more beautiful and to provide space under the brow for accentuating eye makeup. I know ladies who shave, pluck, wax or thread more than half of their eyebrows to leave just a millimeter-thin line which they accentuate with a brow pencil. What are we actually doing? Wiping off Allah’s (swt) creation and replacing it with our own ‘creativity’?

In rushing to modify the natural brows which Allah (swt) has bestowed us with – simply because the fashion world, beauticians and socialite friends tell us we cannot look beautiful unless we do so – we defiantly ignore and disobey the warning given to us by Allah’s Messenger (sa) in the above Hadeeth.

Transgender Surgery

Several famous people have had sex-change surgery in order to become a woman (if they were born a man) and vice versa. This is not to include those who were tested by Allah (swt) by being born with both types of genitals, then had one surgically removed to eliminate the ambiguity, rather, what is abhorred is the act of having one’s sex changed solely due to a strong desire or whim to do so.

Transsexuals have body-parts surgically added and/or subtracted, in order to achieve their gender transition. They also consume male or female hormones. A transsexual, who recently made news, is an American, Thomas Beatie. Previously a woman, she chose to keep her reproductive apparatus after her transition and gave birth to a daughter because ‘his’ wife was barren.

Artificially Enhanced Meat and Genetically Modified Plants

Certain hormones and chemicals are now routinely added to cattle and poultry fodder in order to make them grow bigger and meatier at a much faster rate. These chemicals are passed on to the humans who consume these animals, causing increased heart disease. Similarly, the DNA or genes of plants are altered by genetic engineering so that these plants become resistant to certain pesticides. Such organisms are known as GM (genetically modified).

Indonesia’s leading authority on Islamic affairs has given the go-ahead to Muslims to consume GM Foods. The reason is the absence of any fatwa that indicates that GM Food is actually Haram. However, consumption of GM Foods (meat or plants) is another thing and the actual action of modifying the basic DNA of plants and animals to produce more meat or perennial fruit is another issue altogether. It goes without saying that it is a way of tampering with the creation of Allah (swt). When man tries to change the creation of Allah (swt), it produces side-effects and negative repercussions.


Some people might think that there’s nothing wrong with changing the creation of Allah (swt) by the above methods. Some term it as ‘scientific progress’ or ‘human ingenuity’. We must remember, though, that Allah (swt) is the One Who created us and He knows best what is good for us. His wisdom is more profound than ours, and we must abstain from disobeying His commands and following the insinuations of our avowed enemy:

“Did I not command you, O Children of Adam, that you should not worship Shaitan (Satan). Verily, he is a plain enemy to you. And that you should worship Me [Alone – Islamic Monotheism, and set up not rivals, associate-gods with me]. That is the Straight Path.” (Yasin 36:60-61)

Know Your Enemy

Vol 6 - Issue 1 Know your enemyHistory of Satan

The word ‘satan’ is derived from an Arabic word which means ‘the far thing.’ It also implies the meaning of ‘being on fire with hatred’ and ‘worthless.’ Iblis (or Diabolos) leads all satans and satanic activities. The word ‘Iblis’ means ‘to be peevish, despairing of any good or happiness’ and ‘to be desperate and miserably sorry.’

After Allah (swt) created Adam (as), He commanded the angels to prostrate themselves before Adam (as). All angels obeyed Allah (swt) except Iblis, as a result of which he earned Allah’s wrath and was driven away from Allah’s (swt) mercy:

“(Remember) when your Lord said to the angels: ‘Truly I am going to create a man from clay. So when I have fashioned him and breathed into him (his) soul created by Me, then fall down prostrate to him!’ So the angels prostrated themselves, all of them: except Iblis (Satan): he was proud and was one of the disbelievers. (Allah) said: ‘O Iblis (Satan)! What prevents you from prostrating yourself to one whom I have created with Both My Hands. Are you too proud (to fall prostrate to Adam) or are you one of the high exalted?’” (Sad 38:71-75)

To this, Satan responded with pride that since he was created from fire and the man from clay, it naturally made him a superior being. In truth, however, this was a figment of Satan’s imagination, lacking any reasoning or reality; even worse – he went into a head-on confrontation with the Lord (swt).

Allah (swt) drove Satan away from Paradise. Now, Satan blames human beings for his inevitable end, thus becoming our worst imaginable enemy. Instead of asking for Allah’s (swt) forgiveness, Satan chose heedlessness.

“Allah (swt) said: ‘Then get out from here; for verily you are outcast. And verily My Curse is on you till the Day of Recompense.’ [Iblis (Satan)] said: ‘My Lord! Give me then respite till the Day the (dead) are resurrected.’ (Allah) said: ‘Verily! You are of those allowed respite. Till the Day of the time appointed.’ [Iblis (Satan)] said: ‘By Your Might, then I will surely mislead them all, except Your chosen slaves amongst them (i.e. faithful, obedient, true believers of Islamic Monotheism).’ (Allah) said: ‘The Truth is – and Truth I say – that I will fill Hell with you [Iblis (Satan)] and those of them (mankind) that follow you, together.’” (Sad 38:77-85)

“For thousands of years now, Satan has been working to achieve his goal. He will continue his stealthy activities until the Day of Judgement, when the life of this universe will come to an end.” (Harun Yahya)

Purpose of Satan’s Creation

Allah (swt) created Satan and his cunning wiles as part of a mechanism by which He (swt) determines those who are faithful to Himself. He tests and trains His (swt) slaves in this earthly life. Allah (swt) has also distinctly defined the difference between truth and falsehood through His Holy Books and His messengers. Our Lord (swt) has not left us unequipped or unaided. He (swt) has clearly stated the consequences of both paths: one leading to eternal damnation and the other to eternal success. Allah (swt) knows that His faithful servants will choose guidance, instead of being misled by Satan. In case they ever fall into his nefarious traps, the guided believers will immediately resort to repentance and revert to Sirat-e-Mustaqeem (the Straight Path).

“’And befool them gradually those whom you can among them with your voice (i.e. songs, music, and nay other call for Allah’s disobedience), make assaults on them with your cavalry and your infantry, share with them wealth and children (by tempting them to earn money by illegal ways – usury, or by committing illegal sexual intercourse), and make promises to them.’ But Satan promises them nothing but deceit.” (Al-Isra, 17:64)

In a later verse, Allah (swt) informs Satan: “Verily, My slaves (i.e. the true believers of Islamic Monotheism) – you have no authority over them. And All-Sufficient is your Lord as a Guardian.” (Al-Isra 17:65)

People of faith have little to lose in the face of Satan. However, those who willfully choose to stay away from the remembrance of Allah (swt) and don’t repent are entrusted to Satan’s company. “And whoever turns away blindly from the remembrance of the Most Gracious (Allah) (i.e. this Quran and worship of Allah), We appoint for him Shaitan (Satan – devil) to be a Qarin (a companion) to him. And verily, they (Satans / devils) hinder them from the Path (of Allah), but they think that they are guided aright!” (Az-Zukhruf 43:36-37)

Knowing our enemy

In the Quran, Allah (swt) has revealed various characteristics of Satan and his followers. Their analysis is of pivotal significance if we want to understand our own wayward behaviour and immediately identify whom we are emulating when demonstrating the following qualities.

· Epitomizes Arrogance

Quran reveals in numerous verses that the prime factor that led Iblis to disobey Allah (swt) was his pride and arrogance. He considered a mere human being to be inferior to himself. His insistence that he was a superior creation of Allah (swt) reflected his conceited attitude. He said: “I am better than he. You created me from fire, and You created him from clay.” (Sad 38:76)

Well, the logical explanation to this is that since Allah (swt) is the Creator of the entire universe – including human beings, angels, Jinn and Satan – He simply creates what He wills in the shape and form He chooses. And every creation is bound to honour its Creator with profound respect. It demonstrates inane ungratefulness to refuse to serve the One Who brought us to life from nothing.

Allah (swt) states in the Quran of such arrogant behaviour: “…there is nothing else in their breasts except pride [to accept you, Muhammad (sa), as a Messenger of Allah and to obey you].” (Ghafir 40:56)

· Comprehends Human Nature

Satan’s greatest success is his understanding of human nature. He has sincerely taken the mankind to be his enemy and makes conscious efforts to destroy it regardless of age, status, culture, race, etc. Satan understands our ideologies and points of view. He is particularly well-acquainted with the desires and weaknesses of humans.

Human beings, in their nonchalance, seldom think meaningfully about his existence, let alone prepare to overcome him. We all know what happens to a warrior who defies his commander and goes to war unprepared. So it should not come as a shock to witness the sinful heedlessness around us today. Satan is getting the better of us.

· Fakes Independence

Harun Yahya explains: “One of the most common errors people make about Satan is assuming that Satan is a power wholly independent of Allah and that he is in a struggle with him. (Surely Allah is beyond that!) This is also one of the Satanist’s greatest errors: thinking that Satan is a separate power; and so they regard his rebellion and disobedience as an example for them to follow. When they in turn rebel against order and virtue, they believe that they are supporting Satan in his own struggle.”

In fact, Satan is a creation of Allah (swt) and subordinate to Him. His rebellion against Allah (swt) was pre-determined in his destiny by Allah (swt). Moreover, Satan does believe in Allah (swt) and fears Him deeply. He knows that the time allotted to him is only until the Day of Judgement, and after that, he will have to pay the penalty for his deeds.

· Strikes upon Weaknesses

Satan lures to sleep all those who feel that they are not morning persons, thus making them miss their Fajr prayer. He coaxes all those who fancy their looks into displaying and flaunting themselves. Satan leads all spendthrifts into wasting their money and resources.

After having done all that, he will not rest in peace. And if any one of the above starts to feel even a bit remorseful, Satan will come back to prompt things like: “Just do it!” “Don’t worry, be happy,” “You deserve it,” “You live only once,” “You are too weak to give it up.”

Satan appeals to the lower self (Nafs): “…Shaitan (Satan) made fair-seeming to them that which they used to do.” (Al-Anam 6:43)

· Implants Hopelessness

The weapon Satan thrives on is his triumph in leading mankind from one sin to another. Once a person stumbles and starts adopting the evil ways of life, he subconsciously knows that his connection with Allah (swt) gets weaker. Some hypocrites even manage to offer religious rituals for satisfying their ego, but do not give up sinning. This is when Satan persuades them that since they have disobeyed Allah (swt) for so long, there is no U-turn any more. So they might as well proceed on the highway of disobedience.

Conversely, Allah (swt) states: “Except those who repent and do righteous deeds, and openly declare (the truth which they concealed). These, I will accept their repentance. And I am the One Who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful.” (Al-Baqarah 2:160)

The doors of repentance are open for all, till the angel of death appears before them, after which repentance is not accepted. People who have wronged themselves should never despair and seize the first opportunity to repent, lest it’s too late. Don’t hold yourself back!

Satan’s End

Allah (swt) has distinctly informed us about the doomed end of all those who wish to follow Satan, make pacts with him, take his counsel, take him as a deity or live according to his incitements. “…and they invoke nothing but Shaitan (Satan)” (An-Nisa, 4:117)

“Did I not command you, O Children of Adam, that you should not worship Shaitan (Satan). Verily, he is a plain enemy to you.” (Yasin 36:60)

“Whoever of them (mankind) will follow you, then surely I will fill Hell with you all.” (Al-Araf, 7:18)

The greatest danger for the humankind is their indifference to the existence of Satan. They do not realize that he prompts them into doing evil, influences them and draws them towards the worst possible end. Such people do not comprehend the purpose of creation of this universe and their significant part in it. They lead empty lives and depart.

Through the Quran and the Sunnah, Allah (swt) has revealed the purpose of His creation, the proper ways of worship and the moral behavior that pleases Him. Nobody will escape death and accountability before his Lord (swt). A person’s thoughts and actions in this world will determine where he will spend eternity.

Let us recognize our true enemy and prepare against him today – the enemy that will try to prevent us from salvation and a profitable end. Let us defeat him with Allah’s (swt) chalked-out strategy for us. A true believer has nothing to fear or lose, for Allah (swt) is always leading the way.

Satanism Movement through the Years

Vol 6 - Issue 1 Satanism movement through the years copyThe Satanism movement, established somewhere in the 1700s, accepts Satan and all his qualities as a guide or model for daily living. The Satanism movement associates Satan with values like pride, independence, individuality, knowledge, achievement, self-centredness and exploration of the unknown and forbidden realms. It regards nature as cruel; therefore, human beings must be cruel as well. Its twisted ideology revolves around materialism, atheism and social Darwinism.

Satanists often identify themselves via frightening make-up (as in case of some heavy metal rock bands) and attire. The media reports their bloody rites, slaughter of animals, torture of humans, rape and suicide. And they insist that their perverse way of life and thinking is a religion in itself.

One might think that Satanism is the creation of some psychologically unbalanced young people. On the contrary, evidence shows that it is the very philosophy of Satanism that makes them unbalanced. People brought up outside the morality of religion, especially the young, are an easy prey for this movement.

Another popular misconception about Satanists is that economic distress and poor familial relations force people to join this movement. The truth is there are two types of people who join the Satanist movement:

(1) those who knowingly choose to be misled and later mislead others to Satanism;

(2) some uneducated, ignorant and troubled individuals who are in the news or on talk shows craving for attention. They may want to clear a position for themselves in society, to make friends, to satisfy their obsessions, to forget their failures, etc.

Among Satanists there are different practices. Though Satanists are not united in one single organization, their basic beliefs are essentially the same.

History of Satanic Worship

According to Harun Yahya: “Satanists have long been associated with the Cabbalists, Rosicrucians, other secret, mystical orders of the Middle Ages.”

It was Aleister Crowly at the beginning of the twentieth century, who founded the concept of what was to become the Satanism movement. Crowly, known as ‘The Beast 666,’ gained popularity for his evil spells, liberal use of drugs and animal sacrifices. His philosophy was ‘Do what thou wilt.’

He wrote a book titled “The Book of Law” which he claimed was inspired by Satan. This perverse publication says that a person must follow his impulse, no matter what disaster of evil may ensue. For example, if someone feels like having some excitement, he shouldn’t restrain himself. If he believes he needs to kill someone, he should not let reason hold him back.

Modern, organized Satanism first appeared in California in the 1960s. Anton Szandor La Vey established the Church of Satan in 1960, despite many lawsuits from protestors. La Vey initially founded an anti-Christian group called ‘The Magic Circle.’ Later, he established the Church of Satan, which still has approximately 10,000 adherents throughout North America. He has also written publications promoting his satanic philosophy.


“Satanism is a philosophy that leads its followers to divinize and to honour and worship their own selves and to think that attaining their own desires is their only goal in life. In this Satanism is much akin to the philosophy of humanism. Contrary to what most people think, humanism is not a philosophy of love, peace and brotherhood, but an anti-religious way of thinking that focuses on the concept of humanity of simply being human and nothing more as a person’s single goal.” (Harun Yahya)

Humanism is also an atheistic movement which advocates that man and the universe spontaneously came into existence and that there was no deliberate plan of creation behind them. Man is the most essential being and no entity is more important than him.

Since man lives on the Earth only once in a life-time, he should fulfill all his desires and obtain maximum benefits for himself. This also eliminates the concept of accountability, so it is easier to feed the self-ego and work in self-interest at literally any cost.

Atheism and Materialism

A great many Satanists are atheists who entirely reject the existance of Allah (swt) and the reality of angels and Jinn. They don’t even believe in Satan as an actual being. For them, he is merely a symbol of hostility toward any kind of organized religion.

The nineteenth century idea that this world is no more than an aggregation of material elements drove people to a spiritual void, where the concept of good and evil became blurred. People who earn more, spend more and exploit more find acceptance in society and are looked up to. Their self-interest is paramount. Only after they have served themselves they might think about others. Qualities like sacrifice, compassion and mercy are regarded as hindrances to success in a materialistic society.

A combination of atheism and materialism floats slogans like “nothing to answer to, other than the consequences of our actions” or “we worship ourselves.”

Social Darwinism

In the nineteenth century, an English economist, Thomas Malthus, presented solutions to population control. This theory greatly influenced Charles Darwin, who further presented the theory of evolution.

Satanism has direct relations with the concept of social Darwinism. According to La Vey, “the devil is a symbol of man’s carnal nature – his lust, greed, vengeance, but most of all, his ego.” So, according to Satanism, human evolution has produced a species of animal (humans) that must survive as other animals do.

Darwin’s theory of all life being a result of blind chance has been proven illogical and nonsensical. Scientifically it has been discredited and buried in the annals of history. However, Satanism thrives on the survival of the fittest just as in a jungle.


The affinity Satanists felt for Darwinism led them to a natural alliance with fascism. According to fascism, the world is an arena of conflict between various races in the struggle for survival – hence, bloodshed, wars and inflicting pain on others is a sacred duty as well as a pleasure.

The nineteenth century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who called himself the Anti-Christ, published many hateful writings against true religions. His publications were against virtues and morality.

The Nazis were the most inspired group of people who adopted his principles. Today, it’s the neo-Nazis who follow Friedrich Nietzsche. Satanists openly admit their collaboration with fascist groups in Europe and America.


In the past century, more than 120 million people have lost their lives due to communism. This was nothing but a product of self-styled Satanist ideology. The founder of communism Karl Marx was known to be hostile to any kind of religious expression. He also indulged in virulent form of ceremonial Satanism. Michael Bakunin, the founder of anarchism (a radical version of communism), was also a Satanist. He created the ideology of anarchism to destroy state, religion, the family and social values. Satanists greatly admire two of communisms’ bloodiest dictators: Stalin and Mao.


Harun Yahya states: “Satanism has deep roots and rests on a dark philosophy. It has designs upon the future of the world, and its dark church with its thousands of members, together with its publications, make it one of the most dangerous organizations in the twenty-first century.”

Allah (swt) warns us about the one who responds to Satan’s call: “And among mankind is he who disputes concerning Allah, without knowledge, and follows every rebellious (disobedient to Allah) Shaitan (devil) (devoid of every kind of good). For him (the devil) it is decreed that whoever follows him, he will mislead him, and will drive him to the torment of the Fire.” (Al-Hajj 22:3-4)

Greatest Fitnahs of Satan

Vol 6 - Issue 1 Greatest FitnahsThe word ‘Fitnah’ has many connotations in the Quran and Sunnah. The most common meaning of this word is ‘trial’ that is, any situation or object that makes it difficult for a Muslim to obey the command of Allah (swt), abstain from sin or safeguard his faith. A Fitnah is a distraction that deflects a believer’s attention from Allah’s (swt) worship.

Ibn Al-Arabi summed up the meanings of Fitnah when he said: “Fitnah means testing, Fitnah means trial, Fitnah means wealth, Fitnah means children, Fitnah means Kufr, Fitnah means differences of opinion among people, Fitnah means burning with fire.” (Lisan Al-Arab by Ibn Manzoor)

Satan uses diverse Fitnahs to make Muslims deviate from the path of righteousness. It is easy for him to lead most of the mankind astray. For the more devout and knowledgeable Muslims, however, his plots are more subtle.

“Your wealth and your children are only a Fitnah (trial), whereas Allah! With Him is a great reward (Paradise).” (Al-Taghabun 64:15)
Having wealth in any form – money, land, or possessions – gives a person the ability to do impermissible things, which they could not have done in poverty. They can afford more means of enjoyment and worldly pleasures. They also acquire friendship of the society’s influential elite, which leaves them little time for worship or remembrance of Allah (swt).
Even if he’s pious and devout, a rich person finds it difficult to restrain himself from what is Haram, and if he is able to do that, then he occasionally slips, by being extravagant in what is Halal. Calculating his yearly Zakah and keeping track of expenses becomes a tedious task. He is also consumed by thinking of ways to sustain his wealth and status.

Spouses and Offspring
Children are one of Allah (swt)’s greatest blessings. However, if one gets so involved with their children that the latter cause them to deviate from their duties towards Allah (swt), they become a Fitnah for them. Nowadays, Muslims are obsessed with providing the highest standard of living for their children. Luxuries become necessities, and parents allow extravagance under the guise of ‘love’: exorbitantly-priced food outlets, entertainment, designer couture and private-school tuition. I was flabbergasted when I recently read about a Pakistani lady’s 15-year-old son arguing with her to let him go on a skiing vacation to Europe!
Whenever Muslim couples are advised to hasten in performing Hajj or to serve their own aging parents instead of living away from them in foreign countries, or to be more active in Dawah activities, they answer: “First, we have to think of our children’s future.”

Disputes and Divisions in the Ummah
The Prophet (sa) said: “Those of you, who will live after me, will see many differences. Then you must cling to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the rightly-guided Caliphs. Hold fast to it and stick to it.” (Abu Dawood)
Whether it’s a group of bearded ‘Alims’ interrupting each other in heated debates on TV or scholars issuing Fatwas against religious organizations over trivial differences, dissensions among Muslims have increased so much that the Ummah cannot even unite on starting Ramadan fasting or celebrating the Eid together!
Consequently, when people are invited towards Islam, they respond by saying: “How can I know which school of Fiqh is right? If I become religious, I’ll be forever confused about whom to follow. No, thanks; I’m fine the way I am.”

Women – the Greatest Fitnah for Men
“My brother recently said that he might have an accident while driving,” commented a friend of mine, “he keeps getting distracted by the pictures of women on billboards.”
The Prophet (sa) said: “I have left behind no Fitnah more harmful to men than women.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
A young woman’s body and her engaging conversation is the greatest Fitnah for men. Men can ably fight battles, but have no protective armor against the charms of a woman. Even the sway of a woman’s gait, the softness of her voice or the look in her eye can make them falter from grace. The women of one’s family can engage a man so thoroughly that he might neglect his religious duties or acquiesce to earn money unlawfully to fulfill their desires.
Prophet Muhammad (sa) said: “I have not seen any one of deficient intellect and Deen, who is more destructive to the intelligence of a cautious man than you, women.” (Bukhari)

Obscenity, Nudity and Adultery
Uncovered thighs, midriffs and arms; tantalizing eyes and mouths pouring out from advertisement hoardings; explicit and life-sized intimate acts visible at the click of a mouse or a flick of the TV remote. Fahsha (obscenity), which was physically restricted a few decades ago, is just the press of a button away now. On cell phones, computers, television or even fruit-vendors’ push-carts, marketers use carnal imagery to promote any product, be it a deodorant or biscuit. As a result, illicit relationships and adultery are on the rise – one of Satan’s most destructive Fitnahs that gnaws at society’s family structure.

According to Abu Hurairah (rta), the Prophet (sa) said: “The Hour will not come until 30 Dajjals appear, each of them claiming to be a messenger from Allah, wealth increases, tribulations appear and Al-Harj increases.” Someone asked: “What is Al-Harj?” He said: “Killing, killing.” (Ahmad)
Suicide bombings, ‘terrorist’ attacks and civilian air strikes have reduced the value of human blood to nothing, particularly in the Muslim-majority countries of the world.
Abu Hurairah (rta) has narrated that the Prophet (sa) said: “There will be Fitnah (civil strife), which will render people deaf, dumb and blind regarding what is right. Those, who contemplate it, will be drawn by it, and giving rein to the tongue during it will be like smiting with the sword.” (Abu Dawood)


The only defense a Muslim has against Satan’s modern-day Fitnahs outlined above is to adhere fast to the Book of Allah (swt) and the Sunnah of His Messenger (sa); to guard his tongue; to abstain from voicing his views; and to neither take sides nor point fingers when killing takes place and to safeguard his religion by even fleeing to the mountains, if the need for doing so arises.

Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri (rta): The Messenger of Allah (sa) said: “A Muslim’s best property will soon be sheep, which he takes to the top of mountains and the places where the rain falls, fleeing with his religion from Fitnah (civil strife).” (Abu Dawood)

Essentially this means that Muslims will ultimately need to isolate themselves from the mainstream life by taking to the mountains (as rural life is more private and slow). Rain and sheep are mentioned to indicate that these would be the source of their livelihood in the mountains, where there is not much other civic life.

The need to take such a measure would be to enable the Muslims to safeguard themselves from the prevalence of rampant Fitnahs in the mainstream city life. These include dissensions and divisions among Muslims, among others, which would result in the Haqq becoming obscurely mixed with Batil, so that involvement in the Fitnah might make a person lose sight of what is right and what is wrong, and eventually, his Iman.

Is Boycotting Fruitful?

Vol 6 - Issue 1 Is Boycotting FruitfulIn surfing the web and reading boycotting blogs, I have encountered a common response regarding the issue of whether boycotting Israeli products is fruitful or not. Responses that can no better describe as either selfish or self-centered. On asked for responses of whether Muslims or Middle Easterners would boycott Israeli products the responses ranged from” “It is not helping?” “It is worthless. Don’t see any results!” to “No one is keeping up with it, so why should I?” Our boycotting attempts are much like acquiring a new membership to a health club on New Year’s Eve. We start off resolute to keep in shape but as the year progresses we tend to slack–only to realize that we are unfit simply because we did not follow through. Boycotting is a simple test and yet we fail miserably–so why expect to pass in bigger tests that I assure you will come in the future.

We seem to have lost our patience as Muslims not to mention our persevering for delayed but long term results. It has become all about self-gratification. I urge you not to buy into this instant culture. 

I can only call those responses that undermine the effects of boycotting as selfish and self-centered. We have dissolved into a culture that I call ‘Instant culture” quite like instant milk, rice, and cereal. We want instant results or else! It doesn’t stop there; we want to see the results with our very own eyes. We want to know if our sacrifices (I am being cynical yes!) of giving up our morning cup of Joe from Starbucks, grabbing a fast meal for our kids from McDonalds, or kicking off the caffeine habit of a Mountain Dew-are bearing fruit, provided we eat the fruit too. It is all about self-gratification. How selfish! I do not know if Starbucks, McDonalds, and products such as Mountain Dew have made themselves home in Yemen, it has been a while since I was home myself. But I am sure there are Israeli products in Yemen, so this article applies to us all—whether in Yemen or abroad.

We are 1.5 billion Muslims and we have millions of rapidly growing supporters all over the world right now–look up all the task forces in many European countries that have positioned themselves in front of grocery stores informing the public of what products to boycott. Are they more passionate about our Muslims brothers and sisters than we are? 

We seem to have lost our patience as Muslims not to mention our persevering for delayed but long term results. It has become all about self-gratification. I urge you not to buy into this instant culture. As Muslims have a promise from Allah the Almighty that He is with those who are patient, but who persevere. A Muslim is never selfish–Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him advised us to plant a seed in our final days-although we may not harvest the fruit ourselves. Seeing results in our lifetime has never been the higher aim of Muslims. Although sometimes Allah the Almighty to keep us steadfast out of His infinite Generosity and limitless Mercy allowed us to see the results of the Danish products boycott, which by the way was a success. Consider for instance Arla’s sales report:

By the end of January 2006, Arla’s sales had come to a standstill in the firm’s key Middle East region as Muslim consumers in several countries boycotted Danish products, and the company was forced to shut down its factory in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. “Our sales in the Middle East have come to a complete stop – in all countries in the region, company spokeswoman Astrid Gade Niels told the BBC. She added: “We have taken 40 years to build up a very big business in the Middle East, and we’ve seen it come to a complete stop in five days. (BBC News, January 31, 2006).

And by the way, some of us are still boycotting Danish products because they still stoically and unwaveringly stand behind their infamous cartoons in the name of freedom of speech. So, if you are not following through with the Danish products boycott, ask yourself if you have good reason not to and inform us thereof. Fact is, that the result of the Danish products boycott was irrelevant, for we Muslims got the ultimate satisfaction of aligning ourselves with Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, against those who were slandering his reputation–the results were left for Allah Almighty to determine.

Now back to the Israeli products boycott. Some may rationalize that it was easy boycotting Danish products, but boycotting Israeli products is a much bigger challenge? Some may even say, the Danish product boycott was for the best of the best that is Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. My question is, aren’t our Palestinian brothers and sisters worthy of a similar sacrifice. This is not an invitation to contemplate on my question. Definitely they are! No doubt! I strongly hold on to Allah’s Almighty advice:

And slacken not in following the enemy: If ye are suffering hardships they are suffering similar hardships; but you hope from Allah, what they do not. And Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom.” (4:104)

The media only shows Palestinian suffering, but we know that if we truly believe in Allah’s Almighty words, the other side is suffering as well. They will never give us the satisfaction of knowing the fact, but I know for certainty they are. I am sure the rockets that they sarcastically calling “primitive” devices made of simple “home-made ingredients” are frightening them out of their wits–and they see in them a great potential. Why the hullabaloo then? Likewise, you might never know the results of your boycott of Israeli products, but trust me if we follow through and make sure others are as well, it will have a tremendous impact, despite the denial and arrogance on the part of Israel and its supporters which will prevent them from confessing to it.

We are 1.5 billion Muslims and we have millions of rapidly growing supporters all over the world right now–look up all the task forces in many European countries that have positioned themselves in front of grocery stores informing the public of what products to boycott. Are they more passionate about our Muslims brothers and sisters than we are? Know this Muslim numbers are insignificant if they do not choose to climb onto the Boycott Bandwagon. But then why do even need to look at the numbers, they are irrelevant right. Just know for sure that if we follow Allah’s orders of pursuing our enemy and not slacken therein –strangling them economically is one of them–according to Allah Lord of the Universe they will suffer and Allah’s promise suffices me. The question is does it suffice you?

Here is a link to all the brands to be boycotted, clicking on the brand tells you more on why they should be boycotted. Please visit the page and make up your own mind.

Shaitan’s Schemes against the Prophet (sa)

Vol 6 - Issue 1 Shaitan's SchemesSherlock Holmes had Professor Moriarty, Spiderman battled the Green Goblin – every fictitious hero has had to face a devilish, scheming enemy in their action-packed lives. The same is true for our real life heroes – Prophets of Allah (swt) have had to face many enemies, including the devil himself – the Shaitan (also known as Iblis).

It is taken for granted that Shaitan’s Waswasa (whispering) would encourage many people to conspire against the prophets, our guides towards the path of Jannah. However, Shaitan himself has also come physically for leading our prophets astray. For example, Shaitan appeared before Prophet Ibrahim (as), as he prepared to sacrifice Ismael (as) on Allah’s (swt) command. Shaitan was stoned for his efforts by both father and son, and the incident was made an important ritual of Hajj – stoning the pillars at Jamarat. On studying Prophet Muhammad’s (sa) Seerah, we find that this evil nemesis and his aides made physical appearances during the Prophet’s (sa) lifetime, too.

It was during the turbulent times in Makkah, shortly before the Prophet’s (sa) Hijrah, that the Kuffar amongst the Quraish gathered to conspire against the Prophet (sa). They had tried verbal persuasion, physical torture, humiliation, starvation, banishment and even promises of wealth and position to lure Prophet Muhammad (sa) away from his mission of spreading the word of Allah (swt), but it was all in naught. At this point in time, Prophet Muhammad (sa) appeared most vulnerable to them, because his strongest supporters – his uncle, Abu Talib and his wife, Kadijah (rta) – had died.

As the Quraish debated on the best means to silence the Prophet (sa) forever, they were interrupted by an old man. He introduced himself as a well-wisher from the tribe of Najd, was curious to hear their talk and hoped for their success on reaching a sound decision. This old man was Iblis himself, and with his smooth talking he was readily admitted into the meeting! In this way he, too, was present when the Quraish plotted the murder of Muhammad (sa). (Ibn Hisham)

Alhumdulillah, Allah (swt) warned the Prophet (sa) of their plans and temporarily blinded the assassins who surrounded his house, as he left Makkah and made his way to Madinah.

Later, Iblis made his appearance when the Quraish prepared to battle the Muslims at Badr. On hearing the fabricated news that the Muslims from Madinah were intercepting a Quraishi caravan returning from Syria, the Quraish swiftly rounded up their men and armaments for war. They rallied other Arab tribes to help as well and then came a moment of hesitation; they were afraid that the tribe of Banu Bakr (their age old enemies) might attack the Quraish’s army from the rear. Should they advance towards Muslims or not?

It was at this crucial point of indecision that Iblis approached them, disguised as Suraqa Ibn Malik Ibn Jusham Al-Mudlaji – chief of Bani Kinana. He boldly promised: “I guarantee that no harm will happen from behind.” Thus reassured, the army of disbelievers charged forward.

It was in the very midst of the battle that Shaitan revealed his true self as a traitor and a liar. The Muslims were rapidly gaining ground on the battlefield and Angels had begun to descend, by Allah’s (swt) command, to aid the Muslim army. Seeing this, Shaitan fled. Indifferent to the pleas of his allies, he deserted the Kuffar’s army and plunged into the sea.

Sheikh Safi-ur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri has recorded these incidents of Shaitan’s interference in our Prophet’s (sa) life in his noteworthy book “Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum” (“The Sealed Nectar”).

Shaitan’s workers amongst the Jinn have also been recorded to have made an effort to entice Prophet Muhammad (sa). It has been recorded by Imam Bukhari that Abu Hurairah (rta) narrated the following words of the Prophet (sa): “Last night, a big demon (Afreet) from the Jinns came to me and wanted to interrupt my prayers (or said something similar), but Allah enabled me to overpower him. I wanted to fasten him to one of the pillars of the Masjid, so that all of you could see him in the morning, but I remembered the statement of my brother Sulaiman (as stated in Quran): ‘My Lord! Forgive me, and bestow on me a kingdom such as shall not belong to any other after me: Verily, you are the Bestower’ (Sad, 38:35).” The sub-narrator Rauh said: “He (the demon) was dismissed humiliated.”

These incidents prove that Shaitan is conniving, and even those most beloved to Allah (swt) are not spared from his plots to misguide. Truly, we are unable to stop his efforts; yet, we are not his helpless prey. Allah (swt) has armed us with Dua and Salah to protect us from Shaitan’s plotting. As we learn from the Seerah of the Prophet (sa) and the lives of the prophets before him, Allah (swt) will protect those who seek His protection, and help those who seek His aid. May Allah (swt) grant us refuge from the evil schemes of the Shaitan. Ameen.

Fitrah: Your Disposition Towards Virtue

Vol 6 - Issue 1 FitrahYour foot slipped and you ended up with another sin on your deeds account. “Can’t really help it,” you say, “I’m just a sinful human being – unable to resist temptations.” But is the case really as simple as it appears? Are we really doomed to stumble from sin to sin, writing it off to the weakness and imperfection of human nature and our inclination towards the sin?

At times, even without being aware of it, many Muslims have unduly succumbed to the Christian idea of the inherent sinfulness of human nature, the history of which reaches back to the Fall of Adam (as) in Paradise. According to the Christian version of the story, Adam’s (as) disobedience stripped him of the original perfection Allah (swt) had created him with, and along with Adam (as), the whole of the human race was plunged into ruin and has since been in bondage to sin. Thus, according to this doctrine of original sin, every child is born in sin and in an impure state – inherently, unable to do good, please God or gain salvation. It is through the Christ’s obedience and his sacrifice on the cross (where he suffered and died for all the sins of the whole mankind) that Christians are restored to their original perfection. Salvation for Christians is based on faith in this sacrifice of Christ.

In contrast, for Muslims, it is inconceivable that any person should be punished for the sins committed by others. In Islam, every human being is responsible in front of Allah (swt) for his/her own deeds. Thus, salvation in Islam depends on both faith (Iman) and good conduct (Ihsan).

Christianity and Islam also differ on the notion of the inherent human nature. If Christians believe that every person is born in an impure state, then Islam advocates just the opposite. Every child is born in a state of Fitrah – natural purity and original goodness, which inclines a person towards right actions and submission to Allah (swt). Fitrah is our inherent disposition towards virtue, which endows us with the ability to differentiate between right and wrong.

Abu Hurairah (rta) has narrated that the Prophet (sa) said: “Every child is born on Al-Fitrah [true faith of Islamic Monotheism (i.e., to worship none but Allah Alone)], but his parents convert him to Judaism or Christianity or Magianism, as an animal gives birth to a perfect baby animal. Do you find it mutilated?” (Bukhari)

Islam recognizes that all children, no matter if they are born to Muslim or non-Muslim parents, possess this original state of Fitrah, and if they die before attaining maturity, they go to Paradise. As the above Hadeeth states, it is the social circumstances after the birth that cause the child to diverge from Fitrah. Thus, if someone follows the wrong path, it is not because something is wrong with his/her innate nature, but because of the negative effects of social circumstances and the emergence of the person’s own Nafs (desires) after the birth.

Allah (swt) has not left us helpless in front of our Nafs. Tawbah or repentance has a very significant role in a Muslim’s life. Although we are born in a state of original goodness, all of us are subject to temptations. Allah (swt) has given us the ability and opportunity to repent our sins, which means that we are able to admit our errors and turn away from them towards Allah (swt). Awareness of the divine mercy of Allah (swt) and our own predisposition towards virtue gives us hope of salvation and increases our confidence about our own potential to do right and resist wrong. Instead of complaining about the flaws in our nature, we should stand firm on our Fitrah, resist temptations of Shaitan and turn our faces towards Allah (swt).

“So set you (O Muhammad (sa)) your face towards the religion (of pure Islamic Monotheism) Hanif (worship none but Allah Alone). Allah’s Fitrah (i.e., Allah’s Islamic Monotheism) with which He has created mankind. No change let there be in Khalq-illah (i.e., the religion of Allah – Islamic Monotheism); that is the straight religion, but most of men know not.” (Ar-Rum 30:30)