Preparing for Ramadan

Vol 4- Issue 2 Preparing for ramadan copy

“O Allah! Bless us during Rajab and Shaban, and let us reach Ramadan (in good health). Ameen.”

When I told a friend that I was doing research for an article on preparing for Ramadan, she said: “What are you going to write? We know everything there is about Ramadan. We’ve been hearing it over and over again!”

It’s true that Ayahs and sayings related to Ramadan will be the same, because our Deen is complete and will remain so till the end of time. But the fact that we have heard them many times makes us more accountable. We have no excuse to forget the guidance. We shouldn’t tune out thinking “Oh, I’ve heard this before.” Instead, we need to pay extra attention to revising, internalizing, applying and then sharing this knowledge.

For instance, your husband has asked you to pay the telephone bill. If he reminds you once, you could forget. But if you forget after being reminded several times and seeing that note stuck on the refrigerator, you will be left with a late fee and a lot of explaining to do. You heard the same message over and over again and still paid no attention.

Alhumdulillah, we have been taught the basic tenets of Ramadan since we were children. Let’s make Dua to take it a step further this year. We are the selected recipients of this blessed month. There are many non-Muslims and Muslims alike, for whom Ramadan comes and goes without making an iota of difference in their lives. Allah (swt) says that unlike other acts of worship, fasting is only for ME. What an honor! We have the opportunity to do something, for which Allah (swt) will personally decide the reward.

Just like we make preparations well in advance when a favourite guest is coming, we have to prepare in advance for Ramadan, so that we don’t waste time during the precious month.


  • Gather books/tapes/Dua pamphlets in one place, so you avoid wasting precious Ramadan time looking for stuff. If you have loaned some books to a friend or vice versa, see that they get to their respective owners before Ramadan. If you know you have two hours to complete an exam, you wouldn’t want to waste time sharpening pencils or looking for erasers, would you?
  • Host or attend a ‘Welcoming Ramadan’ talk and invite friends, who usually do not frequent these circles.
  • Plan where you will be going for Taraweeh. Find out which venues welcome women. Make child care and transportation arrangements beforehand.


  • Make small packets of dates with the Dua for breaking the fast. Pass these out to people in the Masjid, or your family and friends two weeks before Ramadan. This way you can hope for part of the reward each time they break their fast.
  • Complete your to-do list or postpone unimportant stuff for after Eid.
  • Buy small gifts for the children to mark the beginning of Ramadan. Blow up some balloons and give out candy, so that they know this is a special time. Hang up a Ramadan calendar, so they can count the days till Eid.
  • Complete Eid shopping for clothes beforehand. When I was in school, I used to envy my friends, who would go Eid shopping during the last ten days of Ramadan for bangles on ‘Chand Raat’. My mom made it a point to get us what we wanted for Eid before Ramadan began. We might not have understood the beauty of the lesson she was teaching us then, but, Alhamdulillah, now when I make my decisions about Eid shopping, I emulate her. If you really do need to go to the bazaar, get what you need and don’t loiter around.
  • Buy Eid gifts for family, friends and domestic help and don’t forget the kids. It is up to us, how important we make Eid for our children. If you’re planning to throw an Eid party for them, do the preparations before Ramadan or schedule the party at least a week after Eid.
  • Involve kids in wrapping gifts for the domestic help, so they see you giving them something new, as opposed to your old stuff all the time.


  • Make up the missed fasts before Ramadan.
  • Plan an ideal day by using the natural pegs of Salah. For example: “Between Fajr and Zuhr, I would like to memorize three Ayahs, and between Zuhr and Asr, I would like to listen to a Seerah tape.”
  • Evaluate your previous Ramadan and set goals for this year. Two days of a believer’s life should not be the same, just like each day should be better than the previous one. Similarly, two Ramadan’s should not be alike. Think about what you could have done better and avoid making previous mistakes. Set special, specific goals for the last ten nights of Ramadan.
  • Identify time wasters. Is it a talkative friend, an addictive computer game, the TV or surfing the Internet? Resolve to stay away from these things in Ramadan.

Household Duties

  • Freeze, freeze and freeze. Samosas, rolls, Kebabs, Chutneys – whatever your family enjoys. Make it beforehand, so you spend minimum time in the kitchen.
  • Practice moderation. Fasting is not postponing three meals only to make up for at Iftar. Eat what you like but in moderation, so that you are not so full that you can’t even go in Ruku at Maghrib!
  • If you are obsessed about cleaning, do all the detailed tasks before Ramadan, so that you and yours can take a breather. If you are fortunate to have help around the house, plan on being easy on them, as they will be fasting, too.


  • Limit lavish Iftar parties as much as possible. When you want to share a meal, send Iftar to the Masjid, deliver it to your neighbour in advance or find a deserving family. This way, you’ll be reaping the benefits of providing Iftar without having to take out fancy tableware and wearing your prettiest clothes!
  • Take out your phone book and call a relative you haven’t been in touch with ‘because she never calls.’ There might be some hurt feelings or unresolved issues that you can sort out before Ramadan.
  • Offer to watch a friend’s child, when she tries a mini-Itekaf for a few hours. She could return the favour on the days she doesn’t have to fast.

Family Time

  • Decide on a new Sunnah you want to adopt as a family. Miswak? Wudhu before bed?
  • Provide a list of options and have fun choosing.
  • Delegate chores to children according to their age. Your work load will be less, and they will get into the spirit of Ramadan.
  • Make a Sadaqah box and keep it in the kitchen. Encourage family members to pitch in every day.

This very moment, make Niyah to recharge your batteries and make this the best Ramadan yet. So even if, for some valid reason, you are unable to do all that you have planned, you can get reward for your intention, Insha’Allah.

Taraweeh – The Essence of Ramadan

Vol 4- Issue 2 Essence of taraweehUmm Usman highlights some important Ahadeeth discussing the rulings for Taraweeh

The Ramadan nightly prayer has a special merit over other nights. The Messenger of Allah (sa) said: “Whoever observes the night prayer in Ramadan as an expression of his faith and to seek reward from Allah, his previous sins will be blotted out.” (Muslim)

In this Hadeeth, ‘faith’ means the faith in what Allah (swt) has promised the observers of night prayers. ‘To seek reward’ means that the observer’s intent is not for the eye service.

Taraweeh is derived from the Arabic root word Raaha, which means ‘to rest, relax, and use as recreation.’ It is so called, because the believers used to prolong it. After every four Rakahs, they would stop for rest and resume, until Taraweeh was complete.

Taraweeh in Congregation

The Messenger of Allah (sa) was the first to establish the Sunnah of congregational (Jamah) prayer of Taraweeh in Masjid. Then, he did not continue with this Sunnah because of fear that it might be made mandatory on the Ummah in Ramadan, and they might not be able to do it.

Aisha (rta) said: “The Messenger of Allah (sa) observed Taraweeh prayer in the Masjid one night and people prayed with him. He repeated the following night and the number of participants grew. The companions congregated the third and fourth night, but the Messenger (sa) did not show up. In the morning, he told them: ‘I saw what you did last night, but nothing prevented me from joining you, except my fear that it might be made mandatory on you in Ramadan.’” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Number of Rakahs in Taraweeh

The worthy ancestors Salaf As-Salih disagreed on the amount of Rakahs for Taraweeh and Witr. The following numbers are mentioned: 39, 29, 23, 19, 13, and 11 Rakahs. According to a particular view, of all the numbers mentioned, none is sounder than 11 Rakahs. When Aisha (rta) was asked regarding the prayer of the Prophet (sa), she replied: “He did not pray in Ramadan or some other times more than eleven Rakahs.” (Muslim and Bukhari)

However, there is nothing wrong with praying more than 11 Rakahs. Perhaps, this is why different numbers are observed. When the Prophet (sa) was asked about the night prayer, he said: “It may be done in two Rakahs, and if anyone fears the appearance of morning, he should pray one Rakah as a Witr for what he has already prayed.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

In their desire to pray more Rakahs, some people make Taraweeh in extreme speed. This is wrong, especially when the speed leads to a breach of certain rules of prayer. In that case, the prayer will not be valid. Similarly, it is undesirable for an Imam to pray with such speed, whereby the followers would have difficulty observing the necessary deeds in Salah.

Neglecting Taraweeh

No one should neglect Taraweeh without a good reason. It is part of physical and spiritual training, and its observation soon after Iftar insures timely and proper digestion of food. Besides, there are spiritual rewards awaiting the observers of this prayer.

Everybody should attend the Masjid prayers, including women, provided they are properly covered. The Messenger of Allah (sa) said: “Prevent not the women servants of Allah, from going to the Masjid of Allah.” However, some scholars state that there must be separate arrangement for ladies when they attend the Masjid to avoid creating Fitna (trails). They should also neither wear perfume, nor raise their voices, nor show their beauty. Allah (swt) states: “They should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof.” (An-Nur 24:31)

‘What ordinarily appears’ refers to the outer garments, for when the Messenger (sa) commanded women to attend Eid prayer, Umm Atiyah (rta) said: “Messenger of Allah, some of us do not have the outer garment (Jilbab).” The Messenger of Allah (sa) told her to let a sister (who has more than one) give her one to wear. (Agreed upon)

It is Sunnah that women pray behind the men in the rear lines. The Messenger (sa) has been reported as saying: “The best lines for men are the front lines, and the worst lines for men are the rear lines. The best lines for women are the rear ones, and the worst lines of women are the front ones.” (Muslim)

The women should leave the Masjid as soon as the Imam says ‘As-Salaamu Alaikum.’ They should not delay without a valid reason. Umm Salmah (rta) said: “When the Messenger of Allah (sa) saluted to end prayer, the women would stand up to leave, and the Messenger (sa) would remain in his place for a while. Allah is the Best Knower, but perhaps the Messenger (sa) did this, so women would leave, before men could overtake them.” (Bukhari)

Taraweeh is significantly the essence of Ramadan. Qiyam-ul-Lail might not be possible for many through out the year except in the holy month of Ramadan. Muslims flock to the Masjid or other Taraweeh congregations in hope of reaping optimum benefit. And why not? Ramadan is the only month when Nafl Ibadah (optional worship) equates to the reward of Fard Ibadah (obligatory worship). May Allah (swt) bless every believer with this golden opportunity to earn His Pleasure. Ameen.

Role of the Media

By Huma Imam


What is the first thing Allah (swt) created? Pen. (Abu Dawood)

What did Allah (swt) say to the pen? Write. (The decree of creation)

What is the first word revealed in the Quran? Read (i.e. Iqra, Al-Alaq 96:1)

Congratulations! We should be proud to be a civilization of the pen. Pen, to this day, remains a potent instrument of communication, giving life to today’s influential modern media, i.e., TV, the Internet, and the print media.

How significant and effective are these mediums of communication? Phenomenal! People like you and I have the power, by Allah’s (swt) Will, to bring about great changes. The motivation to bring about changes is fueled by awareness. This is where the might of the news media plays a vital part. History has witnessed well-informed ordinary people, with the indispensable support of their media, managing to pressurize their leaders into ending futile wars. The initial coverage of the Vietnam War supported the US involvement, but following the Tet offensive, it changed its frame. The bold and uncensored TV coverage helped to turn the public opinion against the war. The ensuing anti-war movements were also given wide media support and eventually led to success.

Another reason for the media’s significance in our lives is its power on influencing social ideals and values, thereby shaping individuals and societies. Today, in the name of globalization, Muslims are threatened by cultural and intellectual invasion through media. As intangible and harmless as it sounds, in the long run, this war and enforcement of ideas is far more deadly than any war in the battlefield. Such invasion leads to the enslavement of a free mind, rendering it aimless, robbing it of its identity, and instilling inferiority complexes. The desperation Pakistani public exhibited at the ban on Indian entertainment channels is a sad but stark example of our society’s enslavement and defeat through media’s control.

Does this mean that we, as Muslims, should shun the media? No.

“Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good (Islam), enjoining Al-Maruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do) and forbidding Al-Munkar (polytheism and disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden). And it is they who are the successful.” (Al-Imran 3:104)

Since the modern media has a far reaching power and a great potential to influence, so why not use them to enjoin Al-Maruf and forbid Al-Munkar? Why not use it to put the correct Islam on the forefront? Why not use it for the wellbeing of Muslims? Why not use it to spread the word of Allah (swt)? Why not use it to wage intellectual Jihad?

“So obey not the disbelievers, but strive against them (by preaching) with the utmost endeavour with it (the Quran).” (Al-Furqan 25:52)

This verse orders us to wage Jihad by proclaiming the truth. We can use media to do just that, i.e., proclaim the truth, defend Islam and Muslims from criticisms and insults of the disbelievers. If Islam and Muslims are attacked physically, then we should also respond through physical might in the battlefields. But if we are attacked on an intellectual level, then it is wise to retaliate with mighty but similarly intellectual defense.

A book, blasphemous to Islam, was recently published. As a result, people went out on the streets protesting with swords in their hands. Did they accomplish anything? The swords were useless there. The attack was with the pen, thus, the defense should also have been with a pen – pen of Muslim intellectuals that would have rebutted their baseless writings.

Thanks to the media, we daily witness the atrocities committed against our brothers and sisters in Kashmir, Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Darfur, Chechnya, etc. By default, we become participants of this violence, as we simply cannot take the position of oblivious viewers.

“The believers, men and women, are Auliya (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another.” (At-Taubah 9:71)

The least we can do for them is voice our condemnation and repulsion through our media. It is better to protest than to accept injustice.

Pen is mightier than the sword

This saying holds true, if the user fulfills the following conditions: good and sincere intention; correct knowledge; training and proper organization on a community level. Alhumdullilah, TV channels, the Internet and the print media are all open to our comments and feedback. Whenever we come across an evil action within these mediums or in society in general, we are duty bound to denounce it. This can be done by contacting the newspaper/channel or writing directly to the author of the offending article/program.

This direct technique becomes most effective, if a number of people take a collective stand. An example of this was BBC’s sacking of a former MP and a popular talk show host Robert Kilroy Silk, who was guilty of racist and Islamophobic comments. His censure was a direct result of active protests and condemnations by Muslims.

Newspapers and magazines

Did you know that after the front page headlines, the ‘Letter to Editor’ column is the most widely read section in a newspaper? You don’t need to be a journalist to write to them. This is a forum that we should read and write to regularly. Why? To show that Muslims have a voice. We need to be heard rather than just be talked about. To be effective and successful in writing to papers you need to:

  • be informed Muslims;
  • hold opinions based on correct knowledge;
  • keep abreast with current affairs and changing political scenarios.
  • This way, you will be able to:
  • bring the Islamic perspective on current affairs to the forefront;
  • persistently challenge the stereotypes of Islam;
  • show that there is a clear difference between Islamic culture and cultural Islam;
  • point out any wrong or injustice you see or experience in your society.
  • When penning your opinions, it is important to stay calm and polite, no matter how provoked, but communicate your feelings firmly.


TV elicits two extreme views from most Muslims. It is either a total and outright rejection by some, terming it as Haram or an unreserved acceptance by others, in the name of freedom of expression. However, the correct perspective is to be aware of TV’s pros and cons and make use of this avenue.

Some scholar has said:

“Every means that helps to achieve the goals of Dawah may be used, so long as it is not Haram.”

Prophet (sa) used to visit the market places of Kaafirs for this purpose. Just because TV has been used for a lot of vice, the knowledgeable people should not shy away from it. The scope of benefit any Dawah school or program offers is limited to the few, who are able to go out and attend it. But if such programs are telecasted, they will reach a million homes. Presented in attractive and modern formats, TV Dawah has an extensive potential to influence a diverse audience.

The Internet

According to Internet World Stats, there are approximately 1,094 million Internet users worldwide. Like TV, its potential for good and bad is unparalleled; however, unlike TV, this medium enjoys the benefit of instantaneous and two-way communication for all. The following are some of the ways that you can enjoin good and forbid evil on the Internet:


  • Report offending sites to your Internet service provider, asking them to block or censor them.
  • Do not forward chain letters that promise you some worldly benefit or miracles.
  • Never forward Islamic info emails without reference sources. Verify the authenticity of information.
  • Reply to chain letters and senders of wrong information asking for evidence or enlightening them about the dangers of spreading hype or legends that aim to take advantage of people’s gullibility.
  • Prepare and send short mails to acquaintances reminding them of Allah’s (swt) commands and timely good deeds.
  • Read and write letters and opinion pieces to local and international media.
  • Do not waste time and energy on debating on forums, which slyly aim to provoke Muslims in the guise of discussing religion and politics.
  • Set up and manage websites for social and religious benefit.


Primary Means of Communication

The spoken word or language is the most primitive form of communication. Contrary to the popular perception of the primary means of communication being only gestures and body movements, the first human beings Adam (as) and Hawwa (as) were taught language by Allah (swt) – they were taught the words of repentance and were given guidance from Allah (swt) to follow. As the human race grew, more languages evolved and Allah’s (swt) guidance continued to the different nations and tribes in their respective languages.

(Contributed by Naureen Aqueel)

Target: Family

Hafsa Ahsan speaks out on what television dramas and soaps directly aim at

The last couple of years have witnessed a sudden spurt in the number of private channels, which broadcast a wide range of content for a diverse audience. There are drama serials, soaps, sitcoms, talk shows, satires and what not. Of these, drama serials and soaps are not only the staple diet of an average media consumer – they are also the main constituent of prime time transmission, when the entire family is watching television.

However, these drama serials and soaps have undergone a huge metamorphosis. Following are some of their fallouts, which are a direct attack on the family system.

Conflict Resolution – A Distant Dream

The stories, which once focused on conflict resolution within the family, have now begun to thrive on breeding conflict and propagating new and innovative methods of creating discord between the most sacred of relationships.

This trend has set in, because most private channels telecast soap operas rather than drama serials. Soaps have to have at least a hundred episodes. The only means of stretching the soap opera to infinite proportions is never to solve any conflict – in fact, the key is to keep the members of a family in a constant state of war with each other.

Conspiracies Abound

Domestic politics has taken a completely new dimension with the drama serials on air. Previously, characters of daughter-in-law, mother-in-law and sister-in-law merely shouted at each other or complained vocally to their friends about what they had to go through. Today, these same characters go ten steps further – plotting to get each other killed, they hire professional assassins and feel no shame in pushing their pregnant female relatives down a staircase. One wonders, what sort of message is going out to the vulnerable audience?

Dating Culture

A direct assault to the family system is the portrayal of a dating culture. The difference between Mehrum and non-Mehrum relatives was never there in the first place, but now things have worsened as couples are portrayed hanging out in popular hangouts, sometimes encouraged by their own parents. It may be mentioned here that there are times, when the story is such that an air of sympathy is created for the ‘poor couple’ which ‘cannot date because of the undue pressure of the parents.’

A soap on a private channel showed three girls were shown so desperate to get married that they kept going on dates with one guy after another and then rejecting them for the silliest reasons possible.

Hurdles to Marriage 

Where there are absolutely no obstacles in ‘going out and having a good time’, there are an infinite number of hurdles in getting married – again related to the need of the drama serial to extend itself to hundred plus episodes. If two people get married and start a peaceful life, where’s the drama? So, to create ‘drama’ and ‘action’, evil relatives cause problems, friends of the bride-to-be try to steal away her husband-to-be for themselves, and at times, the couple is married off to other people and then must sneak out to meet each other.

Sanctity of Relationships Gone Downhill

There are certain relationships the sanctity of which we take for granted. The mother-daughter relationship is one example. Father-son relationship is another. Unfortunately, certain drama serials and soaps have directly attacked these very relationships. A while back, a drama serial depicted a mother and daughter as eager to marry the same man. If that wasn’t enough, another serial showed a father marrying the girl his son was interested in. Such portrayals violate the strong bond of trust within these relationships. Unfortunately, our playwrights see this as some staple way to increase viewership.

Wrong Islamic Concepts

The Islamic method of giving a divorce may be familiar to some, but for many it is still vague. Drama serials and soaps could have played some role here, but since the story has to be fast, who is going to wait for the prescribed period and give three divorces over that period of time? The worse case scenario is when they regret their hastiness and conclude that since no one was around when they said it, they can continue living as a husband and a wife.

In the light of all the above examples, one can see how drama serials and soaps directly attack the family system. There is a dire need for playwrights to research and write on concepts, which are relevant and constructive to the society. The challenge is to show how despite all troubles, families survive and cope.

Junaid Jamshed‘s Media Musings

Vol 4- Issue 2 Junaid Jamshed unpluggedAzeem Pirani and Atefa Jamal recount Junaid Jamshed’s narration of his life in the media

His was not a story of a boy with a song in his heart; rather, Junaid Jamshed doesn’t recall being an ardent music listener at all. Living within a protected environment as a child (his father being an ex-air force officer), Junaid was a studious boy, who enjoyed sports and even played under-19 tennis for Pakistan. It was at college and later university, where he met music lovers and proficient music makers, that he discovered his ability for reproducing songs and soon taught himself to play a guitar for making music of his own.

Junaid’s interaction with the media began as a member of Pakistan’s first official band the Vital Signs. This group of professional musicians worked together for three years, before they caught the media’s attention. Music journalism was in its infancy then and matured with every step the Vital Signs took. The band worked hard to market itself. With no radio FM available then, they relied solely on television and print media. Once Pepsi took them under their wing, they no longer worried about economic stability and concentrated on their music.

Being a ground breaking band in Pakistan, the Vital Signs were celebrities and the first to taste the glamour that came with the role. What helped them to avoid becoming addicted? When Shohaib Mansoor, whom Junaid describes as a visionary, asked them about the basis of their money making, fan following and fame, they replied: “Our work.” To this, Shohaib added: “Don’t go after any of these three things. You will receive them all, but only on the basis of your work.”

“So we always focused on our work all the time,” explained Mr. Jamshed, “and, thanks to Allah (swt), we always considered the running of our houses more important than glamour. Man gets destroyed by the glamour world, when his focus shifts away from his work.” In fact, the Vital Signs made it a point not to discuss the matter of fame, so their only disagreements were about the work itself (sound of the music, etc.). Thus, they worked together for 13 years and remain good friends even today.

“But no doubt, there is a lot of glamour in this field,” Junaid Jamshed pointed out, “but it [glamour] is an unnatural life; it is a life of disobedience to Allah (swt), so there can be no Barakat in it. How can there be any? If I live in your house and disregard your every word, will I ever be at peace there? There will always be some problems to face. Similarly, no one can live peacefully in this world, while disobeying Allah.”

The Vital Signs eventually disbanded, because some of its members felt they had lost the appetite for the work. As most Pakistani music fans know, Junaid continued making music as a soloist.

But then, much to the media’s surprise, he began to change and announced that he would stop making music altogether. The media world was in an uproar. What brought about this sudden decision?

Junaid explains that he met an old school friend Junaid Ghani. This Junaid did not chide nor question his music making; rather, he silently made his presence felt in Junaid Jamshed’s life. All he asked from Junaid Jamshed was to participate in some Dawah work for the Pakistani Dawah group the Tableeghi Jamaat, in order to introduce people to Allah (swt) and His Prophet (sa). As this seemed simple enough, Junaid Jamshed began to enjoy doing it. However, while going door to door with Dawah, he also found many people unwilling to give him the time of day. Used to catching the media’s attention easily, this disregard of his presence deeply wounded him. “Then there was [also] Allah’s help, which is necessary,” Mr. Jamshed observed, “if you don’t lead your life according to the Deen, then no matter what plan for success you may have, you are ultimately going towards disaster and will face the effects of that disaster in this world and in the Hereafter.”

His Dawah work and several strange incidents continued to shake Junaid, giving him the strength he needed to turn away from music making. Once, for example, he was approached by a smart young man desiring to learn music. Junaid tried to dissuade him, when much to his astonishment the young man told him that he was a Hafiz of the Quran and had shaved his beard to be more like Junaid. Stunned, he realized that his music making was corrupting the Ummah itself.

Furthermore, he observes that the media makes a person seem like a public commodity. The gossip and fan following had disastrous effects on his family life. Junaid found his family drifting away from him, and he was constantly stressed by this.

When Junaid Jamshed finally announced his departure from music, the media’s reaction was severe. Although initially he gave up in front of the immense pressure from the media and sponsors, later he did manage to stand his ground.

Shaitan made him worry about what to do next. By Allah’s (swt) Mercy, Junaid Jamshed now runs a successful chain of clothing stores popularly known as J..

Surprisingly, he is still working with the media. How did this come about? At the suggestion of Mufti Taqi Usmani and the support of Maulana Tariq Jameel, Junaid Jamshed released two albums of Nasheeds (musicless recitations for praising Allah (swt) and His Messenger (sa)) as an alternative to musical (Haraam) songs. He also gives Dars on television and is using the media towards making people aware of the Islamic banking as an alternative to the conventional (Riba based) banking.

The media attention now aids Junaid in Dawah and working towards gaining Allah’s (swt) pleasure. His family can clearly see and appreciate his efforts for the Deen. Though the people using the media for spreading good are assisting each other, Junaid Jamshed cautions: “One should not set out in the way of doing good on ones own; rather, he should ask for elders’ [wise people] advice and then do it. Otherwise, the efforts to spread good would spread Fitnah instead.”

Junaid Jamshed aptly concluded his narration by explaining Surah Ar-Rad (13:11): “Allah will not change the condition of a people, as long as they do not change the state of themselves.”

Junaid Jamshed aptly concluded his narration by quoting from Surah Ar-Rad: “Allah will not change the (good) condition of a people as long as they do not change their state (of goodness) themselves (by committing sins and by being ungrateful and disobedient to Allah).” (Ar-Rad 13:11)

Fear of loss obstructs the desire to turn away from sin. Junaid Jamshed observes that Allah (swt) will test one’s firmness of faith but then: “When Allah decides to make someone His friend, He makes that person beloved and respected by the people. Then, He exalts Himself and His Prophet (sa) through that person. An example is the Sahabahs – every Hadith first quotes the name of the narrator (Sahabah) and then the words of Allah and His Messenger. Such is the manner of respect Allah bestows upon His friends.”


Pakistan still sees Junaid Jamshed in the media eye, still holding a microphone, still using his voice. Now, however, he speaks for the pleasure of Allah (swt).

Information Warfare

Absar H. Kazmi exposes the new tactics of 21st century warfare and suggests the ways of curtailing its effects on Muslim society

In approximately 653 Hijri, Halaku Khan, grandson of Genghis Khan, attacked Iraq. He deposed and killed the Khalifah, plundered the vast resources of the Islamic State, massacred the citizens, and took complete control. For any common observer it was clear that a ruthless and powerful leader had taken advantage of his strength to conquer and oppress a weaker people. Halaku Khan himself would probably not have denied this.

A few years ago, Iraq was attacked again. The leader was deposed and recently killed; the vast resources are being plundered; the citizens are daily being massacred and raped. However, this time, strangely enough, the conquerors are claiming that they are not oppressing the people at all; rather, they are liberating them.

In these strange days, when the so-called ‘civilized’ nations have united in war against ‘terror’ (all those, who would dare to oppose their system), we see a conflict – both physical and verbal. Many of us fail to see that contrary to the days of old, today the greater war is not the physical war with guns, tanks, and cluster bombs, and it is not limited to any particular geographic location. Rather, the greater war of today is an intellectual war – a battle to win the hearts and minds, a war, in which the weapon is information. The true winner in this war of information is the one, who manages to control the public opinion. The physical battles we witness are merely symptoms of this deeper and much more sinister conflict.

Why things have changed? The ‘Halaku Khans’ of today have realized something very important – it is much more effective to enslave a people psychologically than physically. A people enslaved only physically may not be ready for an immediate revolt, but hatred for their conquerors would always remain in their hearts. However, a psychologically enslaved people will come to regard the ideology and culture of their conquerors with awe and admiration, while beginning to perceive their own religion, culture, and even race as inadequate and inferior. Thus, they will willingly accept subjugation.

Living in the age of information, we may feel that we are somehow more aware of what is going on around us. We must realize, however, that often it doesn’t really matter how much information we can access but how that information is presented. Information presented incorrectly or selectively can literally make the good seem evil and portray the oppressor as the oppressed. The following are some of the manipulation methods used for achieving this:


If two unrelated objects are shown together enough times, eventually, people will begin to associate them. In the 19th and early 20th century, black people were often illustrated and described in the American media as ugly and stupid; therefore, they came to be regarded as such by the common public. Over the past few decades, the same media has helped to change this image by portraying the blacks as attractive, intelligent, and creative.

Outright Deception

An example of outright deception by the media is the recent uproar in Pakistan waged against the Hudood Ordinance. According to numerous local newspapers, many hundreds of women are currently serving time in prison, because they claimed they were raped but were not able to produce witnesses, as was supposedly stipulated within the Hudood Ordinance. The truth is that the Hudood Ordinance does not require any witnesses in the case of rape. Also, according to Mufti Taqi Usmani, a former chief justice, not a single woman was sent to prison for lack of witnesses, while he presided.

Playing with Words

In the media, people practicing Islam in its totality are often referred to as extremists, whereas those, who practice only selectively or do not practice at all, are referred to as moderates. The implication of this, of course, is that the Messenger of Allah (sa) himself was an extremist, because he brought these commandments and ordered all Muslims to follow them.

Another example is the recent war between Lebanon and Israel. For gaining public sympathy, the western media was constantly claiming that Israeli soldiers had been kidnapped by Hezbollah and Hamas. Soldiers do not get kidnapped – they are held as prisoners of war.

Selective Sharing of Information

There are numerous examples of half truths being used by the current American and British administrations in order to gain approval for their attack on Iraq.

The sudden exposure to western media coupled with such other factors as general lack of critical thinking, ignorance of Islamic ideology and history, as well as lack of Muslim role models, has had a devastating effect on Muslim societies. The Muslim youth have developed a major inferiority complex and have blindly begun to ape western culture. Many have also started calling for changes in Islam, in order to bring it more in line with western ideals. At the same time, these youth have begun viewing those working on promoting Islamic teachings as backward, naïve, and out of touch with reality.

It needs to be clarified that information, specifically the media, is a tool, which can be used for both constructive and destructive purposes. However, the way it is presently used, especially by the western powers, is clearly not in favour of Muslims or Islam. There are a number of things we can do to protect ourselves and our families from becoming casualties in this ideological war:

Learn History

Specifically, Islamic history. Attacks are already being waged against the character of our Holy Prophet (sa) as well as other personalities from Islamic history. We must arm ourselves with information, in order to defend our faith.

Think Critically

Don’t just take information for granted. Question what you hear, if it doesn’t make sense to you. Question this article! Learn to ponder and think about what has been said to you. Do not place teachers and scholars on such high pedestals that you are afraid to question them (respectfully of course). Imam Malik was once sitting near the grave of Rasool Allah (sa). He pointed to the grave and said: “You can accept or reject from anyone, except the owner of this grave.”

Verify Information

Allah (swt) has commanded us in the Quran to verify information, when it reaches us. Don’t just sit in front of CNN or FOX news, accepting everything you hear; rather, verify it against other media sources, such as Al Jazeerah and even Haaretz.

Minimize Television Viewing

Television is not a very interactive form of media, as we really cannot control, what we are viewing. Therefore, we must try to narrow down television viewing only to educational content and always accompany our children, while they are watching television.

Become a Role Model

There are very few Muslim role models in the world today. Thus, if we do not take the responsibility for becoming a source of guidance and inspiration to our own children, they will probably find some other source, which, most likely, will not be a source we approve of.

Finally, we must constantly pray to Allah (swt) as our beloved Prophet (sa) taught us: “O Allah, help us to see the truth as truth and give us the ability to follow it; and help us to see the falsehood as falsehood and grant us the ability to abstain from it.”