The Languages of Love

lessons in love

By Amreen Rehman – An MBA graduate from Pakistan’s top business school

“Where are you these days? No messages! No phone calls! You are always busy with work and have no time for your wife!” I angrily said to my husband, who had just gotten back after a long, busy workday, but as always, he ignored me, banged the door, and left the room.

Does this sound familiar?

It means that you have been married for almost a year and love has vanished from your life. Honeymoon days are over, and all that’s left are days full of complaints and emptiness. We are often stuck in such a relationship and passively accept this as being part of the highs and lows of married life. Married now for almost two years, I, too, had become a victim of this and secretly wished for some miracle to happen, which could take us back to the Lalaland of love. Day and night, frustrating thoughts haunted me about my deteriorating relationship, when suddenly I came across a new dimension of love, which played a crucial role in getting my relationship back on track. Shaykh Abdullah Hasan explains this beautiful concept of the ‘five languages of love’ (introduced by Dr. Gary Chapman).

Love is a language, which needs to be understood for a healthy marriage. Shaykh Abdullah Hasan (Imam/Khateeb of Masjid Ibrahim, London and an Islamic advisor at Nour Domestic Violence charity) identifies five love languages that people universally display. He explains how people can identify their primary love language, and how best to express that in the various contexts. People are different and feel loved in different ways; knowing your spouse’s language of love would save you from exerting efforts in the wrong direction. For example, you would stop spending hours in the kitchen trying to cook special meals, if you realize that words of affirmation please your spouse more.

Below are some reflections from the Sunnah, on how the Prophet (sa) demonstrated his love to his wives, based around the five love languages presented by Abdullah Hasan.

1. Words of Affirmation – Express Your Feelings Verbally

The words we use to express our appreciation for our spouse are of immense importance. Complimenting your spouse, thanking each other for small favours, leaving small love notes would surely please your spouse, if this is their primary language of love. It is very important to tell your spouse that you love them. Men in our society find it difficult to say ‘I love you’ simply because of the way they have been brought up. On the contrary, in Islam, this is the basis of chivalry and manhood, as taught by the beloved Prophet (sa).

The Prophet (sa) was once asked by Amr Ibn Al-As (rta): “O Messenger of Allah, who do you love the most?” The Messenger of Allah (sa) replied: “Aisha.” Amr (rta) then asked: “And amongst the men?” The Prophet (sa) then said: “Her father.” (Bukhari)

He showed his love even in her absence. Subhan’Allah! Note how the Prophet (sa) said “her father” and related the answer back to his beloved, even though he was asked about whom he loved the most among the men.

The Prophet (sa) was soft-spoken. He would never raise his voice or his hands on his wives. This is why the wives of the Prophet (sa) all said that they would not want to spend their time with anyone else except him.

2. Acts of Service – Show Your Love Through Actions

Some people find pleasure in doing small things for others. This means that they feel loved, when their partners help in small chores like ironing the clothes, helping in the kitchen, etc. The Prophet (sa) would sew his own clothes, sweep the floor, repair his shoes, service himself (without asking his wives), etc.

Another way of showing your spouse love is beautifying yourself for them. Ibn Abbas would always brush his hair and make sure his appearance was pleasing before entering his home. He would say: “Just as I would like my wife to be beautiful for me, I like to look beautiful for her.” (At-Tirmidhi)

3. Receiving Gifts

Giving gifts is one of the primary actions of expressing love. If your spouse’s language of love is gift-giving, you should make them feel loved by giving gifts on Eids and other special occasions. Even such simple gifts as a homemade cake, card or flowers will convey your love. Little things mean a lot and can totally change your relationship.

Aisha (rta) said: “The people were waiting for Aisha’s (rta) day to give their gifts, wanting by this to please the Prophet (sa).” (Muslim)

4. Quality Time – Give Your Undivided Attention

It is extremely important for a couple to enjoy quality time with one another, especially after having children. This time can be utilized in eating out, talking, taking a walk by the beach, or engaging in other fun activities mutually enjoyed by the spouses. A short vacation can be planned ahead to spend some quality time together. The Prophet (sa) would allocate time and days to each one of his wives adequately and fairly.

5. Intimacy – Physical Touch

Intimacy strengthens the bond between the spouses and is a source for maintaining peace and security within marriage. Both husband and wife have the right upon their spouse to have their conjugal rights and desires satisfied.

It is from the Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger (sa) to passionately kiss one’s wife. Aisha (rta) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (sa) would kiss one of his wives and then leave for prayer without performing Wudhu. Urwa Ibn Zubayr (her nephew) says: “I asked Aisha: ‘It must have been you?’ (Upon hearing this,) Aisha smiled.” (At-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood and Nasai)

Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim reported that the Messenger of Allah (sa) forbade from engaging in sexual intercourse before foreplay. (Tibb An-Nabawi) In a Hadeeth, the Messenger of Allah (sa) said: “Not one of you should fall upon his wife like an animal, but let there first be a messenger between you.” “And what is that messenger?” they asked, and he replied: “Kisses and words.” (Daylami)

Entertaining Each Another

The Messenger of Allah (sa) encouraged his followers to play with their wives and entertain them. Aisha (rta) records that on more than one occasion, she and the Prophet (sa) raced. Sometimes she won and sometimes he won. Most men consider it to be far beneath their dignity to play any games with their wives, and their marriages are duller and poorer due to this.

Surprise Element

Apart from the above stated languages of love, a surprise element is something which can really boost your relationship. One should try to do things a bit differently to please the spouse every now and then. A surprise visit made to the wife when she is at her mother’s place, a surprise drop by at your husband’s work place, or a surprise night out can help in taking the spouses away from their mundane routine.

However, once we have identified the primary love language of our spouse, we must not ignore the other languages, as they all complement each other.

What is your language of love?

Entertainment – Editorial


When we compare reality with the fantasy world of entertainment, our real lives seem as different from reel life as chalk from cheese. The real life seems like drudgery with hours of work, stress, miscommunication, boredom, unfulfilled desires, broken dreams, restlessness, fearsome futures, etc. Thus, it is no wonder that we are too happy to escape into the virtual realm of fun. It grants us solace, merriment and whatever the heart desires, at least for a couple of hours, just as opium helps us forget the lows of life.

Ekta Kapoor, an Indian drama serial producer, states: “People want to have a sense of belonging. This comes with close family relationships. Because the familial connections are fast deteriorating, they feel a vacuum, which is then filled by the myriad of soaps on air. Each and every one of the audience can relate to a particular character in it and hence, imagines it to be his/her story.”

Similarly, the lyrics and the melodies of music are the unsaid expressions of many individuals, who feel this is their only means of communication and self-expression. With the justice and merit system crumbling worldwide, we love watching on-screen heroes setting the world in order. Consequently, sermons on morality and modesty are as welcome as a skunk at a lawn party.

It is important to remember that Islam does not espouse a morbid outlook. Instead, it offers plentiful opportunities to have purposeful fun without having to escape reality. The problem begins when we use the wrong lens to view our own arenas of entertainment. A globalized idea of enjoyment has been generally enforced, which is in direct conflict with our faith. The point to be understood here is that our Deen has no room for immodesty or frivolity, no matter how trendy and acceptable it becomes. We are concerned if a source of entertainment is detrimental to the social values of the world and not just to the Ummah.

As practicing Muslims, we can stay well within our turfs and be romantic, excited, thrilled and humorous. Our Prophet (sa) was as human as anyone can be. We need to learn from the Sunnah. The real challenge is to improve the real life that we lead so we do not have to frequently disappear into an imaginative den or draw happiness by pretending to look and become someone we are not.

Putting up a constabulary will not prevent unchecked leisure. We will have to set our relations right with Allah (swt), and learn to like ourselves and others the way we are. The nature of globalized fun is extreme whether it is celebrity following, self-projection through the social media networks like Facebook and Twitter, or the mall and cineplex culture of consumerism. It becomes the centre of life instead of being a part of life.

Entertainment should be pleasing to nature, and nature (Fitrah) is always pure. Only fleas thrive on filth and spread diseases. In stark contrast, bees seek sweet nectar that heals and drips pure ecstasy. The more we shop for Fatawas to legalize or to advocate the forbidden, the more we are likely to invite Allah’s (swt) wrath upon us.

In a world where 1.4 billion people live in extreme poverty and 16,000 children die of hunger daily (one child every five seconds), how can we justify spending USD1.5 million on making a Bollywood film and USD47.7 million on a Hollywood movie?

Rekha Shetty, corporate doctor and acclaimed writer of “Innovate Happily”, talks about screen time. Her top happiness mantra is: “Too much TV is ‘tele-visham’ (tele poison). Too much stimulation, a mind space crowded by fantasy, people and events, distracts you from focusing on your own mind space, your home, your backyard. Whereas service to others makes the blood flow with serotonins – the happiness chemical.” This is another idea for purposeful fun.

Muslims will have to actively participate in creating fresh and innovative ideas for fun. For far too long, we have left it to those who are, for the most part, unguided and wandering. They may be good people with pure designs, but they are attempting to raise a structure on a crumbled foundation that will eventually fall. This is why we see sports plagued with gambling, talk shows with slander, movies with nudity, and so on.

Muslims are not monkeys. We don’t just do what we see others doing. Instead, we question the promos and cons, and submit only to reality. This issue of Hiba is an attempt to highlight the ideas and efforts of a few such Muslims who have blazed a new trail. May Allah (swt) inspire more to come forward with original and Shariah-friendly ideas. Ameen.

Culturally Yours

culturally yours

By Tasneem Vali – Architect, Academic Coordinator and Freelance Writer and Umm Amal – Freelance Writer

Wikipedia defines ‘cultural Muslims’ as being religiously unobservant: “People who identify themselves with the Muslim culture, because of family background, personal experiences or the social and cultural environment in which they grew up.” They are born into a Muslim household, but do not tread the path of self-discovery. The world is alluring to them, and they think it is not worth their while to explore why they are Muslims.

“O You who believe! Enter perfectly in Islam and follow not the footsteps of Shaitan (Satan). Verily! He is to You a plain enemy.” (Al-Baqarah 2:208) Allah (swt) commands that we commit ourselves totally to the way of life that Islam preaches. It does not allow us to deliberately reject an aspect of Islam, because we think it is outdated or rigid, only to accept another part we like and think is easy to practice. Entering Islam absolutely means that we have to follow its teachings without any exceptions and without any reservations.

The culture of Islam is universal. It means if adultery is a sin in Afghanistan, it is a sin in Germany, too. If gambling is prohibited in Saudi Arabia, it is prohibited also in Las Vegas. On the Day of Judgement, all people will be judged by the same standards. There won’t be a separate code of conduct for Muslims and non-Muslims. But Allah (swt) also celebrates diversity in many ways. For example, we all look different, speak in various languages, and possess unique abilities. Muslims all across the globe fast for 29-30 days but may enjoy their Iftar with Samosas or Hareesa or pancakes, etc. All are Halal and culturally relevant to Muslims belonging to different parts of the world. Where they unite is when they all pick up dates first at the call of the Adhan to follow the Sunnah to break their fast. This is the best amalgamation of Islam’s universal culture and a Muslim’s indigenous roots.

Similarly, Allah (swt) says: “O You who believe, eat of the lawful things that we have provided you with, and be grateful to Allah, if it is indeed He Whom you worship.” (Al-Baqarah 2:172) In this verse, we receive an important guideline about our sources of income: We must ensure our source of income is Halal (permissible) and blessed and it does not come from a prohibited (Haram) source. Thus, if we think as cultural slaves that an income earned through Haram activities, which might make a person wealthy and famous, is acceptable, we need to remind ourselves that the line between Haram and Halal is clear. There is no concept of Robin Hood in Islam; the end does not justify the means.

A trendy practice for show business stars is to thank and praise Allah (swt), and hold Him responsible for their successes, glory and honourable standing in society! Experience and common sense tells us that the lifestyle of entertainment contradicts most of the Quran and the Sunnah, in terms of illicit relations, drinking, shameless talk and attire. These are the signs of the transgressors, not those of the true believers.

Nevertheless, the road to Allah (swt) remains open: “And (commanding you): ‘Seek the forgiveness of Your Lord, and turn to Him in repentance, that He may grant You good enjoyment…” (Hud 11:3).

We have been invited to move from the darkness into the light. There are numerous examples of people giving up a disbelieving lifestyle for Allah’s (swt) pleasure. We have the examples of Cat Stevens (now Yusuf Islam) and Junaid Jamshed, the owner of a clothing line and in the process, a trendsetter in his own right. When he advertised his clothing line, he did not use models; a year later, other fashion houses emulated his concept. The latest ‘cultural Muslim’ coming of age is Shiraz Uppal, who tweeted, “There is only one success: to be able to spend your life in the way your Creator wants it to be spent.”

If we admire any celebrity or icon, we can email or send them inspirational and informative write-ups as soft Dawah. Who knows? Maybe they have never had a conducive environment or access to the truth, and we become their means to salvation. Allah (swt) always has a way out. We must recognize that we have a serious crisis of self-esteem and should use Islam to improve our understanding of the ‘approved’ way of life. It is crucial that we enshroud ourselves with Islam, step out of the cultural enslavement, and become one of those who submit to Allah (swt).

“[Our Sibghah (religion) is] the Sibghah (religion) of Allah (Islam) and which Sibghah (religion) can be better than Allah’s? And we are His worshippers.” (Al-Baqarah 2:138)

The “Fun-damentals” of Entertainment


By Rana Rais Khan – Editor, Hiba Magazine

“And it is He who makes (one) laugh and weep…” (An-Najm 53:43)

Islam is all about human nature. That is why it works in moderation, avoids extremes and takes into consideration the Fitrah (of connectedness to Allah (swt)). This ensures peace and harmony at the societal level rather than serving individual interests popularly known as human rights today. Any trend or inclination that is temporary in nature and may jeopardize people in the long run is never endorsed in Islam. Because it is here to stay till the Hour strikes, Islam is the means through which Allah (swt) has secured mankind’s ultimate success.

How Merciful our Rab (swt) is to have sent us a Prophet (sa), who was purposely granted a tender disposition. Had Muhammad (sa) been harsh, the people around him would have run away and no one would have been able to experience Islam’s true spirit. Our Messenger (sa) also set examples for the Ummah to enjoy their lives in private moments with family or public gatherings with friends. He would race with his wives, swim and wrestle with his companions, allow girls to sing and play the tambourine to announce a Nikah ceremony or to inspire soldiers going to war, joke with the young and the old light-heartedly and have the most smiling countenance. He was playful with little children.

Ibn Umar (rta) was asked: “Did the Companions of the Prophet (sa) laugh?” He replied: “Yes, and the faith in their hearts was like mountains.” It is quite evident that laughter was a part of life even for the pious.

The rule was simple. Whatever was a source of pleasure to Allah (swt) in the name of fun was approved by Muhammad (sa). Therefore he never partook in pleasures that served the Nafs but defied the Shariah. And vice has been around all along. There were people who drank as lords, and liquor was available in abundance. Women were used as an object, and prostitution and adultery was rife. Gambling dens operated for games of chance. Singing and playing of musical instruments was present. Poets wrote poetry of Shirk and celebrated pagan festivals. Very little has really changed in the world of forbidden temptation. The only difference is the medium through which we are accessing it in the 21st century. Unfortunately, the culture of entertainment in general remains as perverse, frivolous and fleeting as ever.

Earlier, physical presence was a condition to be part of frolic. Now we can access everything quickly, freely and cost-effectively through cyberspace. Tragically, in spite of the strides in technology and virtual animation, the content and character of the entertainment world has plunged. Our avenues of entertainment have a direct connection with the social values in which we believe. Since the presence of practicing Muslims is next to non-existent on this front, naturally, we have people with a different set of values who are actively involved in churning out entertainment for us. Then we either endorse it by enjoying it with popcorn or we sit back and criticize it while fuming like a bull. Some boycott it in disgust and anger. But why can’t we fix it or at least, open options for those who wish to have decent and mindful fun? Certainly, Muslims have the means and minds to do it but maybe not many have thought of working in this area.

Muslims will have to work very long and hard, firstly to make valuable contributions and next, to make any impressions at all. This can mean a pleasant and welcome change of out of the box ideas that are pleasing to human nature and yet, decent in their content. The sex and violence filled productions of media and entertainment have killed diversity and creativity to the extent that it feels we have nothing better to offer.

It is sad but true that most of the fun dished out to us is in direct conflict with our basic faith. And we cannot endorse it or accept it for a couple of hours of merrymaking. This is because the impact is far deeper. The obvious and subliminal messages dictate our lifestyle and are a major source of taking us away from Allah (swt). The following are only some of the major issues that arise while indulging in today’s fun:

  1. 1.      Hypocrisy

Adulterating the truth is a very serious sin in Islam. We are commanded to call spade a spade.

  1. 2.      Disrespect for women

Amusingly those who claim to be the champions of women’s liberation abuse her the most. They sell her the false idea that her honour either lies in behaving like a man or using her feminity for immodest show casing.

  1. 3.      Humour

Muslims are required to cautiously pick their subject of humour. It is absolutely forbidden to make fun of our faith in any way and for anyone.

  1. 4.      Ridiculing others

Prophet Muhammad (sa) said: “I am not of those who indulge in amusement. Those who indulge in amusement are not of me.” (Bukhari) It is quite clear that turning someone into a laughing stock and disgracing him is not permissible.

  1. 5.      Falsehood in jokes

Allah’s (swt) Messenger (sa) said: “Woe to him who tells things, speaking falsely, to make people laugh thereby. Woe to him! Woe to him!” (Abu Dawood) Prophet Muhammad (sa) had a unique sense of humour. He was truthful even when he joked and that is exactly what he recommended to others. But the comedy that we watch to laugh is hurtful, immoral, and very shallow.

  1. 6.      Addictive

We find occasional incidents of purposeful fun in the lives of our beloved Messenger (sa). That doesn’t mean that it was the centre of his life. Today, music, soap operas, movies, fashion shows, and Facebook can eat up a greater portion of our day. Forsaking them becomes impossible.

  1. 7.      Satanic in nature

As discussed earlier, contemporary entertainment revolves around a disbelieving culture which has been unleashed upon us. Muslims regretfully behave like the sheep which follow their shepherd, not realizing that they cannot become a part of the world where they don’t belong. It is denting identities and fueling insecurities as most Muslims unquestionably accept these satanic forms of fun, and comfortably sponge it up in their lifestyle.

It is not just merrymaking for a couple of hours. It changes their entire perspective of life. They begin to see the world from the eyes of a disbeliever. And hence, when the same Muslims are urged to steer away from the source of this misguidance, they become reactive and skeptical, casting aspersions on those who wish to preserve their identity as a Muslim and help save the Ummah.

Islam is not grim and grey. It will support everything that has a noble purpose, and oppose everything that appeals to the lower base and carnal desires that end up destructing us. As Muslims, we can blaze our own trails. Many have already made successful attempts.

Secondly, are we here in the world only to kill time and leave behind nothing? Even a dried autumn leaf buries itself to form compost for the new sprouting plantation. As responsible Muslims, the lives we lead must surely serve as the most valuable legacy we can leave to those who come after us.

May Allah (swt) guide us all and honour us with eternal glory and enjoyment in the gardens of Eden. Ameen

Box Feature

Are you knee-deep in contemporary entertainment and want out?

The Hadeeth about moving to a favourable climate and away from sins is really the answer which means we throw out all that corrupts us via entertainment: the TV, the friends, the cellular phones, etc. We stop going to malls, for movies, on Facebook, etc. at least for sometime, especially when we are weak and vulnerable and might get hooked back again.

Make Hijrat. Try ‘out of sight, out of mind’ strategy.

Head for those companions and places which support permissible fun. Hunt for new peers and new past times. Be in the company of inspiring and practicing Muslims via YouTube lectures, audio tapes, and live classes.

Basically, clean the closet of all the dust and cobwebs entirely before you re-decorate. You cannot heal if you are besieged with diseases. That is the bottom line. Once you have a greater control over your Nafs, then you can add some stuff back. Slow and steady doesn’t work.

Music in Islam


By Alia Adil – Freelance writer

Music has always topped the list whenever it comes to so-called ‘controversial’ issues. Some simply hush up anything even remotely related to it, terming it Haram, whereas others have declared it to be permissible. For a layman, there is always confusion as to what is right and what is wrong. In an attempt to clear the fog, let us take a look at what is mentioned in our Shariah regarding singing and music.

In Surah Al-Isra, Allah (swt) mentions the time when Shaitan was granted respite until the Last Day to misguide mankind. Allah (swt) allowed him to use all weapons he could for this purpose, including his voice, Sawt: “And Istafziz [literally means: befool them gradually] those, whom you can among them with your voice (i.e. songs, music, and any other call for Allah’s disobedience)…” (Al-Isra 17:64)

According to Ibn Abbas (rta), Sawt (voice) mentioned in this verse refers to every form of invitation, which calls to disobedience to Allah (swt). Ad-Dahhak said it was the sound of wind instruments. Mujahid interpreted Sawt as Ghina (singing to cause enchantment or sensual pleasure), Mazamir (wind instruments) and Lahw (distraction from important matters).

Then Allah (swt) says:“And of mankind is he, who purchases idle talks (i.e., music, singing, etc.) to mislead (men) from the path of Allah without knowledge, and takes it (the path of Allah, the Verses of the Quran) by way of mockery. For such there will be a humiliating torment (in the Hell-fire).” (Luqman 31:6)

According to Imam Qurtubi, this is one of the three verses, from which scholars have deduced the dislike and prohibition of Ghina(the third one being An-Najm, 53:59-61). The keyword here is Lahw Al-Hadeeth (idle talks).

Abdullah Ibn Masud (rtam) said: “I swear by the One other than Whom there is no god, Lahw al Hadeeth refers to Ghina.” Ibn Abbas said: “It means Ghina and the like.” Mujahid said: “It means Ghina and listening to it.” Hasan Al-Basri said: “This verse was revealed in relation to Ghina and musical instruments.”

Abu Malik Al-Ashari narrated that Prophet Muhammad (sa) said: “There will be groups of people from my Ummah, who will seek to declare fornication, adultery, silk, wine, and musical instruments to be lawful.” (Bukhari)

Prophet Muhammad (sa) also said: “A people of my Ummah will drink wine, calling it by other than its real name. Merriment will be made for them through the playing of musical instruments and the singing of lady singers. Allah (swt) will cleave the earth under them and turn them and others into apes and swine.” (Ibn-Majah and Bayhaqi)

Moreover, it is recorded that Abdur-Rahman Ibn Awf (rta) reported: “The Prophet (sa) took my hand and I went with him to visit his (ailing) son Ibrahim. He was in the throes of death. The Prophet (sa) took him to his breast and held him until he breathed his last. Then he put the child down and wept. I asked: “You are weeping, O Messenger of Allah, while you prohibit crying?” The Prophet (sa) replied: “Verily, I did not prohibit weeping but rather, I forbade two sounds that are foolish and sinful: the sound of musical amusement and Shaitan’s Mazamir in time of joy and blessing; and the sound (of wailing) at the time of adversity accompanied by striking the face and tearing of garments. But this (weeping of mine) stems from compassion, and whoever does not show compassion will not receive it.” (Al-Hakim)

Ibn Taymiyah writes: “This is among the best Ahadeeth that are used to show the prohibition of Ghina.”

Thus, it is clear beyond doubt that Islam establishes a general ruling of Tahreem (prohibition), when it comes to music. However, Islam, being a balanced religion, gives room for amusement and sport that is free from sin and evil consequences. There are some occasions, such as weddings and the days of Eid, where singing and use of Duff (one-sided drum without bells) are permissible (women and girls only). It is recorded that Muhammad Ibn Hatib (rta) reported that the Prophet (sa) said: “Duff and singing in weddings distinguish the permissible from the prohibited.” (Bukhari)

Likewise, singing is allowed in order to gain strength at the time of Jihad and to ease laborious work, as was done by Prophet (sa) and his companions, while digging the trench around Madinah, in preparation for the Battle of Trench. To determine all such occasions and the extent of their permissibility, one must refer to authentic Sunnah of the Prophet (sa).

Instrument-free singing is permissible by consensus, provided certain conditions are met: it must be for a rightful purpose, it must comprise pure, non-erotic lyrics, and one must not excessively indulge in it. Moreover, one can occasionally enjoy Islamic Nasheeds, as long as the content is wholesome, virtuous, and free from polytheism and use of musical instruments.

Ibn Al-Qayyim Al-Jawziyah says: “From among the artful machinations and entrapments of Allah’s enemy (Satan), with which he has snared those possessing little good sense, knowledge and Deen, and by which he has stalked the hearts of the false and ignorant people, there is the listening to whistling, wailing, handclapping and song to the accompaniment of forbidden (musical) instruments. Such things block the Quran from people’s hearts and make them devoted to sin and disobedience. For song (to musical accompaniment) is the Quran (recital) of Ash-Shaytan. It is a dense veil and barrier, preventing nearness to Ar-Rahman.”

Later on in his treatise, he says: “Therefore know that songs have particular characteristics, which faint the heart, causing hypocrisy to sprout therein, just as water sprouts plants. Among its qualities is that it distracts the heart and prevents it from contemplation and understanding of the Quran and from applying it. This is because the Quran and song can never coexist in the heart, since they are mutually contradictory…”

It is often said that music leads to tranquility of the soul. However, the tranquility that one acquires from remembering Allah (swt) is entirely different from the one experienced through music. Allah (swt) says in the Quran “… Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.”(Ar-Rad 13:28)

Let’s Chill


Compiled by Umm Ibrahim – Freelance writer

The world of entertainment is indeed unlimited – it is so easy to get lost amidst the myriad of movies, music, gossip, celebrities and so on and on! Facebook pages have made one’s interaction with all-things entertainment extremely easy.

In order to better understand the arenas of entertainment today, and hunt down the solutions, Hiba Magazine got in touch with the following individuals:

1)      Mr. Tayyab Abid – CEO of Little Deeds; COO of Role Model Institute, and CEO of Tayyab Enterprises,

2)      Imam Jawad Ahmed – O’Level Islamiyat teacher at Generations school, Karachi and Head of Dawah Hotline in USA, called Why Islam (

3)      Dr. Humaira Iqbal – Administration, Fajr Academy and Project Manager for MAP (Muslim Awareness Programme),

4)      Mr. Samir Feroze – CEO,

Following are some of the questions that we asked them, along with their response.

How can Muslims relax and enjoy their leisure hours, without falling into forbidden realms? List top three Halal avenues of entertainment that have worked for you/someone you know.

Tayyab Abid

  • Marriage and all the fun it legalizes.
  • Playing with kids.
  • Hanging out with the right crowd.
  • Eating out.

Imam Jawad Ahmed

They can do so by using their leisure time in fruitful activities, which are enriching and, at the same time, relaxing in nature. They should avoid everything that might break the boundaries set by Allah (swt). Top three would be:

1. Going to a park and enjoying the atmosphere there, or any rides that might be available.

2. Going to a bowling alley, where there is no music and no smoking.

3. Going to the seaside and enjoying the recreational activities such as ATV rides, camel or horse riding, etc.

Dr. Humaira Iqbal

Muslim can do the following:

1. Read good books. (There is a lack of love for books in the Ummah currently.)

2. Shop and buy presents for others, instead of indulging in one’s own desires.

3. Work on self-grooming.

4. Prepare homemade healthy food.

5. Venture on more nature-centred outings, for example, Port Grande, beach, hiking in Islamabad, crabbing in Karachi, etc.

6. Make an effort to socialize and move in the right circles.

7. Exercise regularly.

8. Take up gardening.

Top thee Halal avenues of entertainment that have worked for me or someone I know:

1. Eating out.

2. Speed boating and snorkelling.

3. Spas.

Samir Feroze

I believe Muslims can relax in the same way others can and do the same sort of activities. They just need to be careful of a few things while indulging in them. For example, if physical exercise is relaxing, one can play tennis or go to the gym. These activities would be more challenging if you live in a non-Muslim country, but assuming you are in a Muslim country, both should be reasonably ‘safe’ past times. Gyms can have music blaring, so you could take along an iPod and listen to some Quran, Nasheeds or lectures, etc. I personally do not do this, however, and just try to keep my focus off the music.

I believe playing video games which do not have objectionable content like car racing games, or angry birds, or some games on the wi-fi platform are relaxing and fun too.

Penetration of music is inevitable in our lives, whether we are in the supermarket or watching the news, etc. How can this be tackled?

Tayyab Abid

What can we do if we go to a place where there is music? Well, we can ask them to stop and emphasize that if you don’t, we might leave and not come again. Alhumdulillah, wherever I go, I do this. Alhumdulillah, 80% of the restaurants always listen to me and turn off the music. At the very least, they lower the volume. If they don’t listen, you can leave but before you do, fill out the feedback card with your complaint. Lastly, there are places in Karachi where there is no music (for instance, Snack Attack, Bovi Chic, Student’s Biryani, Biryani Centre, Mr. Burger’s certain outlets, etc.) or is turned off at your request.

Imam Jawad Ahmed

We can avoid in two ways: firstly, we move away from the place, where music is being played or ask them to turn it off. Secondly, we can put our index fingers or thumbs in our ears, where the music is being played, so that it doesn’t penetrate our ears, and at the same time, we try our best to get out of that area.

Dr. Humaira Iqbal

  • Recite Aoodhubillah.
  • Request restaurants to turn off the music.
  • Ask shopkeepers to switch off the music (especially if you are going to buy something).
  • Try going early in the morning, when most stores are empty and playing the Quran. I once gifted a CD of Qari Ghamdi to The Forum and they would play it for me in the mornings.
  • Avoid rush hours, because they always play music at such times.

Samir Feroze

Vote with your money by going to places which do not have music.

Editor’s suggestion: Try distributing a flyer on the position of music in Islam in these joints, and try to educate them. It is possible they are not aware of the admonitions regarding it.


There you have it! There are plenty of solutions, if you want to have Halal fun! Entertainment is not restricted to television or radio! There are plenty of other avenues that can be explored as an individual or as a family! It’s all about being creative and exploring new options. And, of course, it is also about remembering that one’s Deen is not restricted to rituals. It features in everything, even entertainment.

The Fallen Stars


By Rana Rais Khan – Editor, Hiba Magazine

We have heard about the tragic deaths of many celebrities. They rose, they conquered and they shattered. They were gifted people. They had both ambition and opportunities. But when they reached the zenith of their success, their fate catapulted…

Whether it was John Lennon, Marilyn Monroe, Parveen Babi, Heath Ledger, Divya Bharti, Amy Winehouse or Michael Jackson – somewhere down the road, after achieving all that a person desires in this world, they all met a lonely, tragic death.

But why? These people were worshipped by millions of fans around the world. Why and how could they be lonely? Were they insecure, despite being the epitome of fashion and style? They had enough money to last a lifetime – what haunted them?

The truth is that the stars we admire and emulate are also people like us, and they have their own demons to slay. Leading a life under the public’s microscope, and pleasing millions across the world is not easy.

A news channel reporter once explained why Michael Jackson underwent countless painful cosmetic surgeries. The reason was that his father used to pick on him for being the darkest and the ugliest of all the siblings.

Reuters reported: “Whitney Houston, whose soaring voice lifted her to the top of the music world but whose personal decline was fuelled by years of drug use, was found dead in her Beverly Hills hotel room at 48 years of age.”

Parveen Babi, the Indian actress, was found dead in her house several days after she passed away. When it was time for her burial, no one knew what rites to follow because no one knew what religion she belonged to, if any. Once loved by all, she was utterly alone when she died.

British singer, Amy Winehouse, was found dead at her apartment in London. She was only 27 years old. She had won five Grammy Awards and sold millions of albums. But before she died, she had drug and drinking problems and had taken a divorce.

Scores of books can be penned about the misery of these “stars”. Happiness has very little to do with how famous you are and how much money you have. Junaid Jamshaid, former singer, put it aptly: “The human soul has been sent from the sky by Allah (swt); hence, it also needs to be satisfied from things that are divine – the Quran, which was sent by Allah (swt). The body was made with clay, so it needs to be satisfied with what the soil produces in terms of food and water.” However, we indulge the body but leave the soul to starve.

Allah (swt) wants humans to reach a level of piety and goodness. He keeps offering them chances throughout their lives to turn over a new leaf. Satan, on the other hand, tries to lead us to the abyss of doom. No matter what justifications or theories any one presents, the rule is simple: if we obey Allah (swt), our hearts remain happy and content; if we obey Satan, our life becomes living hell.

Turning a blind eye doesn’t change the reality. Popular culture and comfortable acceptance of immodesty doesn’t alter the Fitrah that is here to stay forever. Show business demands Allah’s (swt) disobedience. Regardless of the charity work done and the donations collected for noble causes, the pain will not go away unless the root cause is addressed.

We should keep in mind that supporting people on the road to disbelief includes our patronage of all that they do. We, too, are partners in crime by creating a demand and encouraging them to keep up with the supply. Allah (swt) will question us along with those who actually practice disobedience.

Let us pray that all our extremely talented and gifted brothers and sisters across the globe learn to willingly embrace guidance, serve the Creator, and lead contented lives. “…Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.”(Ar-Ra’d, 13:28)

Life Without The Idiot Box

idiot box

By Naureen Aqueel – Freelance writer

Most parents are prudent when it comes to their children’s safety and upbringing. They go out of the way to ensure their well-being; they carefully select their school, and they teach them not to talk to strangers and to be careful about who they befriend. Yet, inside their homes, they often leave them at the mercy of a complete stranger – the television.

From serving the role of a babysitter to just being the ‘background noise’, while chores are completed around the house, the television today is like an additional family member. According to a study in the USA, an individual watches television for, on average, 1,680 minutes per week. That is equal to two months of nonstop television viewing per year.

It is heartening to see that some families are standing up today and refusing to let their homes be occupied by the TV. While some are limiting the amount of television viewing or moderating children’s viewing habits, others have taken the bolder step of throwing the television out of the house altogether. Life is possible without the idiot box, they say — and here is how:

“I read, blog, talk to friends and family on the phone, and read and play games with the children (to spend my free time),” says Umm Abdullah, a homeschooling mom of eight kids. “The children play games, (computer time on weekends) and they create their own play themes; they also go out on their bikes and play outdoors. There’s a lot to do to have fun; we can’t seem to find the time to do it all.”

Umm Musa’s family has not had television for the past few years, ever since they started gaining knowledge about Islam and observed that “almost all television programmes either contained immorality or stupidity and that apart from the content, television as a medium per se, was addictive and highly passive”.

Asked how she spends her free time, Umm Musa replies: “I believe that time/life has to be spent in attaining the purpose of our life. While doing that, one does have moments of tiredness and a natural need for recuperation. (Non-Muslims have a very different concept of recreation and entertainment, which we have widely imported.) The following helps me recuperate, as well as support my life-purpose: reading good literature, meeting nice sisters, and going to the park.”

The choice not to have a television at home was more coincidental for Mona Siddiqui and her husband, now parents of two children. “My husband and I were setting up our own place then, and we thought we’d buy everything else before we got a television. We were both working at the time, so it just got put off until we realized that we actually liked not having a television. And that’s it – we decided to just never get one.”

Mona feels not having a television allowed her and her husband more time to connect as newly-weds. “We spent our time more productively: cooking together, reading together and so on. Once we had kids, it was pretty much the same – more family time.”

Umm Musa says not having the television in the house has “helped preserve our Haya and Islamic values and has helped the children become creative and capable of entertaining themselves.”

As more and more families begin to realize the perils of having a television in the home, many are stepping up to limit, if not completely remove, its presence from their lives. Families like the ones above prove that life without the television is indeed possible.

The Ancient City of Aleppo


Compiled by Umm Ibrahim

Aleppo, also known as Halab, is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world. It is said to have been inhabited as early as the 2nd millennium BC. Its location at the end of the Silk Road ensured it to be a strategic trading point, midway between the Mediterranean Sea and Mesopotamia. Hence, this Syrian city became known for its commercial and military proficiency.

Aleppo was ruled by a variety of rulers, including the Hittites, Assyrians, Akkadians, Greeks, Romans, Umayyads, Ayyubids, Mameluks and Ottomans. All the rulers left their own marks on the city. Aleppo became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1516, when it had a population of around 50,000 inhabitants. Aleppo went on to become the Ottoman Empire’s third largest city after Constantinople and Cairo.

When the economy flourished as a result of trading activities, many European states rushed to open their consulates in the city during the 16th and the 17th centuries. This included the consulate of the Republic of Venice (1548), the consulate of France (1562), the consulate of England (1583) and the consulate of the Netherlands (1613).

However, in the 16th and 17th centuries, the declining silk production in Iran directly affected the trading activities in Aleppo. By mid-century, caravans were no longer bringing silk from Iran to Aleppo, and local Syrian production was insufficient for European demand. Hence, the European merchants left Aleppo, and the city went into an economic decline that was reversed in the mid-19th century, when locally produced cotton and tobacco became the chief commodities of interest to the Europeans.

The economy of Aleppo was also hit by the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. Coupled with political instability, this contributed to Aleppo’s decline and the rise of Damascus as a serious economic and political competitor with Aleppo.

In spite of this, Aleppo can boast some unique architectural features. According to UNESCO’s website: “Aleppo has exceptional universal value because it represents medieval Arab architectural styles that are rare and authentic in traditional human habitats. It constitutes typical testimony of the city’s cultural, social and technological development, representing continuous and prosperous commercial activity from the Mameluke period. It contains vestiges of Arab resistance against the Crusaders, but there is also the imprint of Byzantine, Roman and Greek occupation in the streets and in the plan of the city.”

The largest covered Souq (open air) market in the world is in Aleppo, with an approximate length of 13 km. Souq Al-Madina is an active trade centre for imported luxury goods, such as raw silk from Iran, spices and dyes from India and coffee from Damascus. Souq Al-Madina is also home to such local products as wool, agricultural produce and soap.

Aleppo hosted 177 Hammams (public baths) during the medieval period, until the Mongol invasion, when many vital structures in the city were destroyed. Nowadays, roughly 18 Hammams are operating in the old city. Apart from these, there are many Masajid, Madrassahs and other religious historical buildings, like the National Library of Aleppo, functioning since 1945, and the Citadel, a large fortress atop a huge, partially artificial mound rising 50 m above the city. It dates back to the first millennium BC.

Aleppo is currently the largest city in Syria. It won the “Islamic Capital of Culture 2006” award, and in recent times, has also witnessed a wave of successful restorations of its historic landmarks. The ancient city of Aleppo also became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986.

People of Substance – Who are They?

people of substance

By Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan – CEO and founder of “Bayyinah”, an Islamic educational institute in the USA

When we think of Islam, we immediately think about the five pillars of our Deen, and feel that it is sufficient to follow them. We appear very religious on the outside but have no character on the inside.

Think back to when the Prophet (saw) invited people to Islam in Makkah. The Sahabah, who allied with him, made incredible efforts along with him. Hence, they were bestowed with the title of Assabiqoon Assabiqoon (first and the foremost believers). They are held in high esteem and honour in the sight of Allah (swt) for all times to come.

The fundamental question that arises here is: what were their personalities, what did they look like, and how did they dress up? Interestingly, the Shariah had not yet been revealed to them, so naturally there were no laws for abstinence from alcohol, no dress code and no inheritance laws to abide by. Yet, something set them apart from the others. What was it? The brief answer is their commitment to ethics and justice. This was a permanent part of the Sahabah’s life. The following principles also apply to these ‘people of substance’:

The people of substance know how to respond to criticism

It is human nature that we do not appreciate it, when we are corrected. Well, we will seriously have to rethink this attitude and learn to take criticism in our stride. A common woman stood up and corrected Umar (rta), the Ameer ul-Mumineen, in public. How did he react? Did he tell her off? No. He not only listened to her but he admitted his error on the spot.

We should be open to criticism and not jump to self-explanation and justifications for our behaviour. No one is perfect. Even if people hold incorrect notions about us and we feel wronged, there could be 1% truth somewhere. We can work on our shortcomings, only if we actually admit our faults first.

The people of substance turn in repentance to Allah (swt)

Prophet Adam (as) forgot his promise and disobeyed Allah (swt). But he pro-actively turned back to Him and repented sincerely. A genuine and emotional talk with Allah (swt) where we cry out before Him weighs heavier on our scale than hundreds of monotonous words of Istaghfar on a Tasbeeh.

The people of substance foster healthy relationships

Relationships need to be healthy on two levels: relationship with the spouse, and relationship with our parents.

We need to ask ourselves: is our spouse emotionally healthy? It is imperative for the husbands to value and respect their better halves in this world. Being the head of the family, they are the shepherds, who are responsible for their wives and their kids.

Similarly, we need to be the best to our parents. A common question is: who has more rights – wife or parents? This is not a boxing match. Our sense of justice needs to prevail at all times. Parents have their own circle of rights and the wife has her own. No one’s rights should be overstepped. Men have to maintain that balance to ensure cordial homes.

Muslim marriages are one of the biggest issues that the Ummah is facing these days. Unsettled marriages and insufficient Tarbiyah lead to restless individuals, who vent their anger on the society.

The people of substance call others to Islam, using creative ways

We need to think of original ideas of entrepreneurship based on the Islamic system of merit and justice. This will offer successful projects and business opportunities to Muslims. In turn, it will not only elevate their standard of living but also polish their character and help reform the society.

Once, a CEO from Mumbai, who headed a firm of 500 employees, shared his initiative. After the work hours were over at his firm, he had permitted his employees to use the premises and other office resources for their personal study of Islam by taking up on-line classes with various scholars, etc. As their character refined, they became better serving employees, too.

We should not try to hasten change. In time, it will come. Remember Nuh (as). Even after 900 plus years, he persisted with his Dawah. Guidance is in Allah’s (swt) hands. But it is our responsibility to consistently pursue the different means of contributing our share and becoming one of the people of substance. Small deeds can lead to great Barakah. The youth, especially, should become an inspiration and show the beauty of Islam to the rest of the world.

The people of substance collaborate for the greater good

We need to connect with each other: Daees, Alims and Mufakkirs. Islamic scholars need to show the economists of the highest level how an Islamic economic system works. The Ulemas will have to understand the lifestyle and pulse of the society today. Considering the trends, they will have to seek Islamic solutions to close the gap between the learned people of Deen and the masses, and help them implement Halal solutions to their problems.

This is hardly the time to be involved in worrying about the 1% differences among different schools of thought in Islam. We need to come together on the 99% common grounds to solve greater problems plaguing the Ummah, such as killings, unemployment, injustices, etc.

We need to establish new job ethics in the market, fulfill our promises and contracts, build the highest level of educational institutes, create an environment conducive to healthy debates and freedom of speech without anger, engage all intellectuals to form a think tank to operate within the Shariah, help evolve a force of young religious minded people to tackle the present day and age challenges.

To transform ourselves and become one of the people of substance, we need to do the following:

  1. Educate ourselves seriously. Acquire fundamental education in the understanding of the Quran to become intelligent Muslims.
  2. Read the Seerah of our Prophet (sa) by multiple authors. We can pick one each year, comprehend different perspectives, and connect to the Quran.
  3. Learn the language of the Quran and the Prophet (sa) to gain direct access to the plethora of works in Arabic. This will ensure that we grow in the right direction in Islam.
  4. Besides our own field of education, try to take up courses in social sciences, such as sociology, psychology, humanities, etc. This gives an in-depth comprehension of human behavior and facilitates the understanding of Islamic doctrines, too.
  5. As we mature in our studies, we can pose questions to the Ulema for better understanding and meaningful implementation in the real world.

We need to understand that the revival of Islam is directly linked to the quality of education in which we invest. It is appalling to learn that the East Coast of the USA, mainly New York, has more universities in comparison to all the universities put together in the entire Muslim world. The Muslim Ummah will have to raise the bar and set very high standards for itself in order to accomplish great things.

Based on a lecture-shop organized by “LiveDeen”. Transcribed for Hiba by Rana Rais Khan.

Small Talk, Big Ideas!

small talk

By Umm Isam – Writer and Human Resource Trainer

Do you sometimes feel trapped in a gathering where you want nothing else than to escape the talk (read, vicious gossip, frivolous conversations, etc.) going on around you? Or, you pray earnestly for the topic of conversation to change or improve, as you have nothing constructive to contribute personally? Try this:

  1. Pull it out at the right time

We are all bombarded with text messages daily, which are read and deleted. These one-liners are sometimes funny, sometimes wise, and sometimes, worthy of being deleted immediately. Store the ones close to your heart either on your cell or in a small notebook to carry around. Avid readers of quotations or books can also add their favourites to this list. The next time you land in a party and the talk drifts and becomes boring, frivolous, shallow, hateful or simply unpleasant, you will have something worthwhile to share.

  1. Take along your favourite book/magazine

Sometimes, we are so pressed for time that it is simply impossible to note down anything. In such cases, it is best to simply grab and shove in your purse whatever you have been reading lately and loved it so much that you would want the world to know. Your effort to act proactively will grant you immense Sadaqah-e-Jariya, even if you never get a chance to read anything out of it. If you do, it would be extremely meaningful amidst gossips, complains or criticism. You might just be able to change the direction of the talk and generate some great dormant ideas from others, too.

  1. Listen to understand

Gatherings are not just about talking. They are about listening to others, too – a skill that is mainly lost today. Weddings are the perfect place for such counselling therapy. A typical Pakistani marriage reception generally eats up a good three to four hours of your time, if you are just a non VIP guest. These are apt opportunities to understand the root causes of what people say and why they feel the way they do in our society. As a writer, I have found this to be a pivotal chance to observe, listen without judgement and sometimes, simply be a therapist to someone who needed an ear to unload his or her miseries.

  1. Announce the agenda boldly or slip it in subtly

As soon as you arrive, tell your close ones that this will be a vegetarian’s chitchat (meaning no juicy back biting, slandering or suspicion). All others who are interested in consuming some meat should wait for the table to be laid out for dinner or lunch. If your companions cooperate, Alhumdulillah! But if they persistently keep on slaughtering everyone left, right and centre, try to cut your visit short, move out of that group, take another table, and make Dua to Allah (swt) for guidance.

  1. Revive the roots

Get-togethers serve great opportunities for soft Dawah. They need not be stern, unending sermons. They can comprise a fact-based incident from the Prophet’s (sa) life, a verse from the Quran, something you read to your child about a companion, or something you learnt at a workshop or while surfing the Internet. It need not be something that pertains to current celebrities, lifestyle or prevalent fashions. It can be anything that disconnects you from the crazy and mechanical life of today, and helps you travel back in time.

Eid and a Mother’s Woes


By Abdul-Malik Mujahid – General Manager, Darussalam Publishers and Distributors

The following incident has been related by Shaykh Abdul-Khaliq Al-Qarni, who is a famous Daee (caller to Islam) in Saudi Arabia. He says this incident was narrated to him by a jeweller:

A few days before Eid, a man entered my shop along with his wife, his mother and his child. His elderly mother, who was carrying the child, went to stand in a corner of the shop. The couple started browsing the different jewels and finally chose jewellery sets worth twenty thousand Riyals. In the meantime, the mother was also attracted to the priceless gems. She went over to the display of gold rings, where she found one she liked and placed it on her finger. That ring was priced at a hundred Riyals.

According to the jeweller, when the son went over to the counter to pay the bill, he handed twenty thousand Riyals to him. The jeweller requested him for another hundred Riyals. “For what?” The son asked. “We just agreed upon this price.”

“The extra hundred is for the ring that your mother has purchased,” replied the jeweller.

The son pulled a face: “Really! What use do old women have for gold?” He went over to his mother and asked her where the ring was. Realizing that she was wearing it, he wrenched it from her hand, placed it back on the counter, picked up his purse, and started to walk out of the shop. The jeweller was stunned.

The mother tried very hard not to show her emotions publically. She silently picked up her grandson and followed the son out of the shop. Once they had reached the car, the jeweller heard the son’s wife burst out in anger at her husband. “Why did you take the ring away from your mother? Why did you not let her have it? You broke her heart with this attitude. Now, if she leaves the house, who will take care of our son? Who will wash his feeder?”

Upon hearing this, the son re-entered the shop and asked the jeweller to give him back the ring that he had previously thrown onto the counter. The jeweller complied and handed it to him. He paid for it and came back outside. However, when he presented the ring to his mother, she replied, “By Allah, I will never wear gold again. I only wanted this ring to wear on Eid day. I wanted to celebrate Eid with other people. Now, I have no wish to join in the Eid celebrations. May Allah forgive you, my son!”

Adapted (with permission) from Waldain published by Darussalam. Translated and compiled for Hiba by Umm Ibrahim.

Shop for Hajj!


By Sabina Rizwan Khan – Freelance writer and certified Youth Trainer

“Umm e Tooba”

“Umm e Tooba” lives up to its tagline “Beauty of Modesty”. This fantastic shop is situated in Kurta Gali, Tariq Road. It is an optimum mixture of huge variety and fine quality. You can easily get all sorts of Abayas and Hajj products. Their price range is very reasonable. All products are of top quality. A huge variety of Abayas, scarves, Hijabs and Chaddars are available, from plain to coloured, simple to hand embroidered. Hajj products include Ihrams, belts, scarves, air pillows, and a two-function bag to carry prayer mat and slipper bag. Facility of alteration is offered and all products are available the year around.

Address: C-955, Zaidi Studio, Near Jheel Park, Tariq Road, Karachi.

Telephone: 34301023 / Cell: 0322-2223571

“Hijab ul Hareem”

Providing top notch quality is what “Hijab ul Hareem” believes in. Located at main Tariq Road, this shop offers all types of Abayas and Hajj products. A wide range is available in Hijabs, Abayas and scarves with discounts. Hajj variety includes Ihrams, belts, prayer mats, scarves, caps, travelling bags, etc. Prices are pocket friendly and alterations are available. However, the best news is that “Hijab ul Hareem” has five branches all over Karachi, so you can visit the nearest one any time. All products are accessible all around the year.

Products and price range:

Ihram for male: Rs. 1650/- (towel material)

Ihram for male: Rs. 1000/- (cotton material)

Belt: Rs. 200/- (parachute material)

Belt: Rs. 450/- (leather)

Ihram for female (cotton): scarf with head cap: Rs. 325/- to Rs.800/- (sizes from extra small to extra large)

Ihram for female (jersey): scarf with cap: Rs. 375/- to Rs. 775/- (sizes from extra small to extra large)

Plain Abaya (black/coloured): Rs. 3000/-



“Hussein Itar House”

“Hussein Itar House” serves with variety and quality. Placed in central Gulshan-e-Iqbal, it offers all Hajj products at easy prices. These items include Ihrams, belts, caps, etc. Though only plain Abayas are available for ladies, but one can get scarves, Hijabs, gloves and Chaddars very easily. Along with this, as their name suggests, you can get wide range of alcohol-free perfumes and Itars. All items are available all year. Bulk order should be ordered with delivery time period of at least 1 week.

Address: Shop no. 5, Royal Terrace, SB-4, Block no. 2. Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi.

Telephone: 34813662 / Cell: 0321-3932689

“Basic Hijab Shop”

“Basic Hijab Shop” depicts elegance and quality. Conveniently located at main Tariq Road, it presents huge variety in Hajj and Abayas. Products of high quality are offered at affordable rates. Hajj products include Ihrams, belts, scarves, travel bags, prayer mats, etc. Abayas range is good, with excellent material along with scarves, Hijabs, shawls, gloves, pins, etc. Other items exclusive here are Itars, beautiful Tasbeehs and travel soaps. Products are available the year round.

Address: Lavish Mall, Near Rabi Centre, Tariq Road, Karachi.

Telephone: 3858886


Why Zabeeha? Is There a Choice?


By Fahmida Abdul Sattar (IR Analyst) and Tasneem Vali (Architect, Academic Coordinator and Freelance Writer)

“Is this burger Halal?”

“Of course, it is beef!”

“No, I mean to say is it Zabeeha?”

“What is that? Allah (swt) has allowed us to eat beef, right?”

“Alhumdulillah, we are allowed to eat and drink everything, other than those that fall into the category mentioned in Surah Al-Ma’idah, verse 3.”

“Oh! And what is that, can you explain?”

Forbidden to You (for food) are: Al-Maytatah (the dead animals – cattle-beast not slaughtered), blood, the flesh of swine, and the meat of that which has been slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allah, or has been slaughtered for idols, etc., or on which Allah’s Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering…” (Al-Ma’idah 5:3)

The concept that chicken, beef, mutton and all types of meat ‘allowed’ in Islam are permissible (Halal) is erroneous. There is a simple clause, in the verse quoted above, about how that animal MUST be slaughtered.

The next logical question is: why this way and is it harmful to the animal? Most non-Muslims think this is a barbaric way of killing an animal in order to consume it. However, modern science and common sense proves the rationality of this approach. It is also harmless for the animal, which is treated with respect as per the Prophet’s (sa) Hadeeth: “Verily, Allah, has prescribed proficiency in all things. Thus, if you kill, kill well; and if you slaughter, slaughter well. Let each one of you sharpen his blade and let him spare suffering to the animal he slaughters.” (Muslim)

Science also proves that a swift incision at the throat causes severance of blood and oxygen supply to the brain. Hence, the animal immediately loses consciousness and sensation. Therefore, Zabeeha is the most painless method of slaughtering an animal, as it feels no pain after its jugular vein is cut swiftly. Moreover, the Islamic method promotes that the animal should be well-fed and relaxed prior to slaughtering. Amazingly, the condition that another animal shall not witness the slaughter is also mentioned.

In most of the slaughterhouses today, captive bolt stunning method is widely used, which is considered to be the most painful method. It causes no loss of consciousness and the animal feels a great deal of pain while being slaughtered. The animal loses consciousness due to extreme pain!

The second reason Zabeeha is the preferred humane method is that it causes swift draining of bacteria-hormone-carrying blood away from the body. The heart pumps longer, which is the sign of healthy and hygienic meat, whereas in captive bolt stunning, blood does not flow out rapidly – it settles in some body parts, as the heart’s pumping is affected after the spinal cord is severed. It must be kept in mind that, while slaughtering the animal according to Zabeeha rules, the cut should not be so deep that it severs the spinal cord or head.

Ultimately, for hygienic and healthy meat, Western countries are resorting to ritual slaughtering in the way of Islam. However, they do not pronounce Allah’s (swt) name and so are deprived of the blessings that are brought by one’s invocation to Allah.

Changing One’s Personality

enjoy your life

By Dr. Muhammad Abd Al-Rahman Al-Arifi – Prominent figure in the field of Dawah and author of more than twenty published works

The diversity in people’s personalities becomes noticeable when one analyzes the way they react to the various stories or incidents that are related to them. You can carry out this experiment yourself: Try relating a sad story to a group of people and see how differently they react.

I recall delivering a Friday sermon, wherein I mentioned the story of Umar’s (rta) assassination. When I came to the part where Abu Lulu, the Magian, stabbed Umar (rta), I said in a loud voice: “Suddenly, Abu Lulu jumped at Umar (rta) and stabbed him three times! The first stab hacked his chest. The second went into his stomach. Then, with all his strength, he thrust his sword into Umar (rta) below his navel and dragged the knife across his body until his intestines emerged.”

I noticed that people’s reaction to my words varied: Some individuals closed their eyes, as if they were witnessing the murder taking place in front of them. Others wept. Yet others showed no reaction at all.

Another lesson that I have learnt from my life is that you will almost inevitably come across another person, who is uncouth and ignorant. Such a person can neither articulate himself appropriately, nor is he courteous to his audience.

I recall one such person sitting in a public gathering. He decided to relate an incident involving a shopkeeper. As he related the story, he said: “This shopkeeper was huge, like a donkey.” He then said: “He looked like Khalid!” While saying this, he pointed at the person next to him. I have no idea how he managed to liken poor Khalid to a donkey!

Can one change his own personality to suit the personality of the one with whom he is interacting? The answer is: Yes.

Umar (rta) was known for his strong personality. One day, a man quarrelled with his wife and came to Umar (rta) to ask for advice. When he stood at Umar’s (rta) door and was about to knock, he heard Umar’s (rta) wife shouting at him, while he remained silent. He neither shouted back, nor rebuked her!

The man was amazed, and turned to leave. Umar (rta) heard a noise at the door. He went out and called the man: “What do you need?”

He said: “O Ameer Al-Mumineen, I came to you to complain about my wife, but then I heard your wife shouting at you!”

Umar (rta) said, “She is my wife who sleeps with me, makes food for me, and washes my clothes. Shall I not be patient with her?”

One must be patient with others and try to ignore their bad traits in light of their virtues. The amazing person in this regard is he who is able to win all kinds of hearts by knowing the personality of the one with whom he is dealing. If he travels with a miser, he wins his heart by being economical. If he sits with the emotional, he too becomes emotional and his companions love him. If he accompanies the light-hearted, he jokes and laughs along with them. He deals with each situation accordingly and thus, earns people’s love.

Adapted (with permission) from Enjoy Your Life published by Darussalam. Compiled for Hiba by Bisma Ishtiaq.

Fathering Results


By Ruhaifa Samir – Freelance journalist and staff blogger at and

Fathers find it challenging to earn a decent living, while attending to the social and emotional needs of the family. The fact remains that mothers, in general, still spend more time with the children and have more responsibility for their day-to-day care, while fathers have more responsibility for earning money.

Studies have shown that when fathers play an active role in the lives of their children, the results produce confident and secure individuals. A noted sociologist, Dr. David Popenoe, one of the pioneers of the relatively young field of research into fathers and fatherhood, says: “Fathers are far more than just ‘second adults’ in the home. Involved fathers bring positive benefits to their children that no other person is as likely to bring.”

Though the game is changing ever so slowly, Alhumdulillah, many fathers have been making efforts to be there for their children. This writer questioned some of these fathers on how their increased role and contribution in the family had affected their children, and also, what was the one thing they had done that had improved their relationship with their children and brought promising results, if not absolute success.

Azeem Pirani is a homeschooling father of eight children. His wife and children chose to answer this question on his behalf, defining the one single thing that he has done as: “Giving each of us TIME”. Due to the varied ages of his children, he gives each of them time the way they need it. In the words of his wife: “Once in a while, he takes the older ones out for a snack, where he can discuss growing up issues and their lives with them; he does the same for our ten and eight year-old boys, too. He also gives undivided time to the little ones to listen to them and talk to them.” He makes time for his wife by being her advisor, counselor and staying with the children, so she can take an uninterrupted nap when she asks for it.
Dr. Khalid Bhamba, a homeschooling father for his 11-year-old son and a very busy doctor, is involved in many charitable and social projects. However, he ensures that he keeps his Saturday and Sunday evenings free to spend time with his children and Monday mornings for his wife. Taking time out from his busy schedule has been instrumental in the positive upbringing of their children.

Shehryar Mohsin said that spending time with his family enabled him to teach his three-year-old daughter to take decisions for herself, seeking guidance only when needed, even though she was very young. He says: “My strategy is to teach her how to make proper decisions and get rid of the ‘fear’ that makes you a poor decision-maker in your life.” The effect of this has been improved faith and trust in her parents because “she feels more secure and protected knowing that even if she makes a wrong choice or takes an inappropriate step ahead, she’ll always have her father’s hand to guide her.”
Another father, Abu Muaz, is homeschooling his one-year-old son. He says that since his son is very young, simply giving him time in the evening and playing with him keeps him happy. But the one thing he has done that he feels will give him promising results in the near future and is already impacting his son indirectly is that he and his wife regularly discuss what their vision for him should be. He says: “We talk about where we want to see him when he grows up, and come up with routines and activities (not only for him, but for us, too, being his role models), which we then try to implement. Things like how often we should take him out, what we should be reading to him, how we need to increase our Dhikr of Allah (swt), so that he learns about this, too.”

Abu Shaheer was yet another person who offered his insights on this question. He said: “The one thing I have done as a dad in our family is to revive the Sunnah of ‘Shura’ or ‘Mushwara’ – that is mutual consultation. We have a weekly Shura about family affairs, sitting on the ground in a circle, going one by one with each kid and their mother; even if it’s choosing which restaurant to go out for dinner.” The Shura system in their house has not only provided quality time for interaction between them, but has also given an opportunity to their children to make valuable suggestions and feel important. This has had great results because not only has it inculcated responsibility in the children, but there are also no complaints with the outcome of the decision, since it was collectively made and not forced upon anyone. Abu Shaheer claims: “It has made the kids more mature for their age.”

Dr. Muhammad Abid Ali, a Master Mariner by profession, is also a holder of PhD in education, MBA in HR and Finance, and the initiator and founding member of two education research institutes. He is also the father of four grown-up children, who are, Masha’Allah, serving the Deen in their own capacity. When asked about his role as a father, Dr. Abid replied: “At times, I have tried to recollect what I exceptionally did to raise my children from the Islamic perspective, and all that I could remember was what I did not do and could have done better as a father. Later in life, I realize there were a lot of deficiencies in our upbringing of our four children. May Allah (swt) forgive us for that. People keep on learning in life and many will realize later the weaknesses in their obligations towards Allah (swt) in taking care of His trusts that we have been given as a test. Were it not for his mitigation of the harmful effects of our actions, the humanity would have long been done with. The little positive thing that I may have done is not to force them into any set of belief except that of basic Islam, and the freedom to think and express what ever they thought is correct. I believe I did not superimpose my ideas or beliefs upon their inexperienced but intelligent minds. Since my childhood, I have tried to remain strictly Allah-centred. If you put it in a slogan, it will be ‘All for Allah (swt) alone’. With the exception of Allah’s (swt) pleasure, nothing is of any avail in this life logically. I encouraged them to dedicate their lives to the service of Allah (swt), for that is the safest way of conducting life in this earthly sojourn. Alhumdulillah, I see them realizing this. On my part, I have tried to maintain an effective communication with my children, though I was frequenting the ship as my profession. However, I remember I maintained effective communication with them through letters and later, through e-mails.”

Indeed, the increased role and contribution of the fathers in their respective families has had a profound effect on them. The children learn, grow and thrive under the firm, loving and supportive hands of their fathers, enabling them to become well-rounded personalities in all respects.

However, sometimes, initiatives don’t bring about results that were expected, in which case the fathers try out new ways to impact their children. Abu Muaz puts it aptly: “Of course, there are times when some things don’t work out in which case we try to figure out where we went wrong and how to correct them in the future.”