In my heart- Forever and Always By!


When I was just a baby,
you sang me your melodious lullaby.
From dusk to dawn you worked in an office,
I was taken care of by Mum and Sis.
As hours passed by…. I became a carefree child,
But, despite my obnoxious demeanour, you were always mild.
You walked me to school each day,
“Don’t leave me father”- with tears I would say.
Bringing me toffees and toys – indifferent to the cost,
listening to my unbearable sulks and taunts.
You were revelry to my heart,
Told me enchanting stories about Prophet Nuh and his ark.
Time flew, once again;
Over the years you were seen with a crooked cane.
You became subtle and old,
a face full of wrinkles and folds.
You became grumpy and cold,
“I don’t want to live”, I was told.
I remembered the times when I would catch a cold;
You’d tell me it came in return of a righteous deed sold.
I repaid your benevolence and love,
With responsibility and affectionate words.
Fulfilled my duties, household chores-
Aiding you while you trotted on the glossy floor.
As days resumed, the moments came near…
When you would become persistent with fear.
The sparkle in your eyes subsided, disappeared-
Before your death, you spoke a few words-
Whispering in my ear, vivid and clear.
“Always remain empathic to commence a noble deed.
These words are golden, so pay heed.
Discover you potential and ingenuity,
Never let hampers defeat your simplicity.
Stay away from decadence and profanities;
Don’t let conceit and aversion weave.
Death is an inevitable phase,
a numerous predicaments you will face.
Have determination and inspiration to dream,
Faith and trust, a strong belief.
Pray for me, as I’ve always prayed for you;
It’s a matter of servitude, ending soon.
Now it’s time to say adieu and good-bye…
But in my heart you’ll stay-
Forever and always by.”

[Family Matters] Honouring Parents by Wael Ibrahim

Elderly ParentsAs Muslims, we have no option to disgrace or dishonour our parents, even if they ask us to commit Shirk, which in itself is an unpardonable sin. Disobedience to parents ranks number two on the list of major offences. It comes before such vices as fornication, killing, etc.

Uqooqullah (linguistically) means to cut off one’s garment. It is one of the major sins in Islam, as if you are severing ties with your parents and Allah (swt). There are nine consequences that may happen to us in Dunya and Akhirah, if we cause displeasure to our parents:

  1. Allah (swt) will shut out your light. Never cut your ties with your dad. You will be left misguided.
  2. You will face disgrace and humiliation in this world.
  3. If you end up disobeying your parents, Allah (swt) will haste your punishment in this world. Hence, lower your wings and be humble before them.
  4. You will experience hardships. You will never be successful as you will find closed doors in your way. A famous historic account tells us about Juraij, who earned the title of Al-Abid- the worshipper. Once he was worshipping while he heard his mother call him. In a dilemma whether to answer her or not, he decided not to. She got frustrated as he didn’t respond to her and cursed him to see the face of a prostitute before he dies. Rest assured, a woman carrying a baby falsely alleged Juraij to be the father of the child. Juraij lost his pious status and was covered with humiliation because he angered his mother. When his mother forgave Juraij, the baby spoke from the cradle to defend Juraij’s honour and he was acquitted.
  5. We are advised never to make Dua against our life, wealth or children lest it comes true.
  6. Those who consume alcohol and dishonour their parents will not cross Al-Quds Masjid. When Jerusalem will be returned to Muslims, such people will be barred from entering it.
  7. Allah (swt) will never look at the one who disobeys his parents.
  8. Good deeds of the one who dishonoured his parents will not be accepted by Allah (swt).
  9. A person who had knowledge and acted upon it, yet failed to honour his parents will not be granted Jannah by Allah (swt).

Transcribed by Rana Rais Khan from a talk at Family Matters at Twins of Faith Karachi organized by Mercy Mission.

(Part 2) From House to Home

Family ConceptSilat-ur-Rahm is to keep regular contact and be in their service with politeness and courtesy. It means to exhibit excellent behaviour towards them. It is also said that reciprocation is not maintaining ties. It is not contingent upon their good behaviour to us. Whether they are practicing or non-practicing Muslims or non-Muslims, we are required to look after these relatives. The Prophet (sa) was asked a multiple times: “Should we offer good kindness even if parents are doing Haram or are abusive and oppressive? He replied: “Yes and continue to do it for Allah’s (swt) sake.” If any relative chooses to break off from us, it can be their choice and their decision to earn Allah’s (swt) wrath but we should never initiate it.

We are doing proper Silat-ur-Rahmi when it is hard and painful. When we don’t have any Dunya’s interest, it is literally at our own expense, that’s when we have done it. We are trying to maintain what is disconnected and broken. In Islam, it is one of the key obligations, and hence, most highly rewarded and also most punishable actions. What are we trying to achieve? We are trying to please them. Some of them may be easy to please while others very difficult. Some may be high maintenance people while others may have simple needs. Silat-ur-Rahm is a tailored thing. It is constructed around customs to please our relations. Silat-ur-Rahm is sometimes unfair but our deal for Jannah. Our attitude towards it should change from that of a burden to an opportunity because it makes the society healthy. Imagine sending gifts, relieving burdens and what not.

As Muslims we have been tasked to improve the society. For this job, we need more people to rise and tackle the situation. For this very reason such monumental emphasis has been placed upon Silat-ur-Rahm. The Prophet (sa) also offered Dawah to his family first then to others.

Silat-ur-Rahm is sometimes unfair but our deal for Jannah. Our attitude towards it should change from that of a burden to an opportunity because it makes the society healthy.

Mothers are most emotionally weak. They need our regular love and attention. They need to be called, hugged and talked to. Kindness and constant connection is the focus. Conversely for fathers obedience is the focus. If we do not call them regularly it won’t hurt them, but what they crave for is respect and control. They will always want to be part of our important decisions in life. The target is to manage expectations. However, obedience is in what is Maruf (good). There is no obeying our parents in anything Haram, or that which is not obligated. For example- if our father tells us to drink six glasses of water everyday, it is not necessary to follow him as it is not linked to the Akhirah.

Lastly, the nuclear family is the one that includes our spouse and children. Make no mistake but it is families that get married not just a man and a woman. One should marry someone who loves Allah (swt) more than his spouse. He/she will be a fair and Muttaqi partner lifelong. The Quran defines a marital relationship aptly. It is governed by love and mercy. Love is what makes the relationship kick off. It’s when we feel all the excitement and experience our honeymoon. This is like a T20 cricket match. However, its mercy that keeps the match going. When we are patient with one another, overlook faults and drop our expectations. Because we know that it’s a long inning.

Love is what makes the relationship kick off. It’s when we feel all the excitement and experience our honeymoon. This is like a T20 cricket match. However, its mercy that keeps the match going.

No matter what our struggle is in our marital life, we need to turn on the mercy button. Be easy about our own rights; think about the benefit of our children. When we are out of love, depend on Islam and Ehsan. Once a woman complained to Omar (rta) as the Khalifa about not being able to love her husband. He replied with anger that there were hardly any homes where couples lived a loving life. Real world is very different from the fantasy world we imagine or paint for ourselves. A husband takes precedence in obedience over his wife’s father. Every wife should try to earn such a relationship that her husband pleasingly values her desires and dreams.

About our offspring, we need to build a level of trust with them that they love us too much to hurt us. They do not fall into Haram fearing the impact it will have on us. If we are not our child’s best friend, there will be hundred others ready to become his friend at the drop of a hat. We ought to have more confidence in the relationship of love and stop outsourcing our child’s education. We can’t pay our way out by expecting others to do a good job, since we don’t want to do it ourselves.

Tarbiya cannot be purchased. We are lured into a false sense of security. Parents need to filter information after kids return from school because much Haram practices are happening out there; having said that, we can’t ban our kids from life. We can’t put them in a cave and teach them there.

Lastly and most importantly, it is not obligated to obey the in-laws; however, it is inconceivable for a God-fearing Muslimah to forsake her husband’s parents if she loves Allah (swt) and cares for her husband’s feelings. It is known that mothers-in-law have the hardest time letting go off their married sons in the Eastern culture. The West is not like that. Hence, every woman becomes the enemy she hated most once she steps into the shoes of a mother-in-law. The remedial measure is to part the families offering mutual space and respect. An arrangement should be made to look after old parents by their own children in terms of best care and quality time spent. Otherwise, it will be a punishable sin in the hereafter.

In conclusion to build the right family we must always read the Quran as if it is speaking to us directly. If we read it like a third party, we will never be able to reap the benefits of a fulfilling familial life. This was the attitude of the Sahabah. They never thought, “Oh what will happen to others.” They owned every verse of the Holy Book and internalized it to build a house to home.

Transcribed for “Hiba” by Rana Rais Khan from a talk at “Live Deen”, Karachi.

(Part 1) From House to Home

home_1361726270_540x540After becoming a distinguished practicing Muslim, a person’s primary concern becomes his family. Mainly because he realizes that his Akhirah is dependent upon it. A family offers diverse relations – people with obligatory rights, next come Silah-e-Rahmi and further Ihsani rights. If we don’t define them and do not understand these parameters, they become over-whelming. Because of a culture of respect in the East, we still have comparatively stronger family bonds. In the West they are not a priority for them. Parents don’t depend on their kids or vice versa.

We should be provoked into thinking about the value of children with respect to our deeds. There will be a time we will be needing support from our children. Our child could be the difference between fire and Jannah or one level of Jannah from another level of Jannah. This process of raising kids is called Tarbiya. We love our parents because of the Tarbiya they gave us. People of other religions love their parents because of love.

Islam commands not to even utter the word ‘Uff’ to our parents, but to say to them a respectful word. To lower our wings when we have learnt to fly great heights, at a time when we no longer need them. Before we begin to believe in our own nonsense and strut around with a puffed up chest, we better calm down. We ought to become humble and exhibit merciful kindness.

Allah (swt) states, “And ask Me about your parents.” (17:23-24)

We pray for them because of the effort they put into us when we were young, ensuring we turn out to be practicing. It is Karma- “do to them exactly as they did to you.” As a parent, we do not want a hassle filled life forever; hence, we go out of the way to raise a righteous child who will serve us in later years. When we are dead, our virtuous deeds will not end. Our child will come to aid us in the hour of need in our grave with his supplication for us and kind actions in the world transferring Sadaqah-e-Jariya.

A school and a Madrasa give Taleem (education). Their job is data input and processing, transfer of Ilm (knowledge). Hence, a teacher is called a Muallim. Parents on the other hand offer Tarbiya (nurturing) and are Murabbis. They invest intellectually and emotionally and spend time with each child on a one to one basis. This is a slow process that cannot be rushed.

Parents offer Tarbiya (nurturing) and are Murabbis. They invest intellectually and emotionally and spend time with each child on a one to one basis.

A child is like a canvas. It will display whatever we paint on it. We need to spend time with our children with love and patience and produce something worthwhile. It’s like preparing a ‘Murabba’- the science of creating a fresh fruit jam reveals how it requires many months to get the right texture, flavour, colour, etc. It needs regular monitoring. People value products of time, care and concern. Actor Brad Pitt is known to have bought an entire jam factory in France in appreciation of their distinguished taste. Imagine a child is similar. He/she stands out among others when the child has been raised likewise.

A child literally worships his parents; hence, Tarbiya should be done early. The main job should have been done by the age of seven. Reason being that as a child grows up; he realizes that there are other adults and influences in his world too in the form of teachers, friends, gadgets, etc. The kid might just decide that I can be like any of these big guys. We should become the person of trust our child can come to at any time and age of his life. This cannot happen if we keep relegating our responsibility to others. Our tangible and quality relationship makes the difference. A well-tended garden that has been seeded watered and pruned stands out in comparison to a jungle that has been left to grow on its own.

Tarbiya should be done early. The main job should have been done by the age of seven.

It seems in the modern day and age, the father’s role in a Muslim family is over-emphasized. It needs to be realistically assessed. A responsible father has to earn a decent living for the family, he is obligated to be at the Masjid five times of the day and he is also needed to be at the helm to lead many community service matters. That doesn’t mean that the fathers go missing or indulge in nonsense or behave irresponsibly.

Alongside the role of a mother is understated as a Murrabiya. Traditionally many scholars and men and women of great feats and achievements were raised solely by their mothers. Mainly because Allah (swt) has granted a natural generic skill set to women. They have an intrinsic bottomless well of patience within them. I observe this as a teacher too. Though I hope to deliver high quality of education to my students, but I do find myself struggling with kids. At times, my mind is blown away. But my female counterparts have a phenomenal ability to be patient with children.

Traditionally many scholars and men and women of great feats and achievements were raised solely by their mothers.

The greatest manifestation of mercy is in the womb of the mother. The baby receives complete charity in the form of oxygen, fluid, food, etc. If she cuts the cord, the child dies instantly. Hence, in the Arabic language the word ‘Rahm’ stands for a mother’s womb and from this another word ‘‘Rahma’ is derived which means mercy. People of Rahm are your family and ‘Silat-ur-Rahm’ means people connected to you with this link.

The Prophet (sa) emphasizing the family ties stated: “The one who does not maintain family ties will not enter Jannah.” (Bukhari). Ulool Arham are the womb relations from your mom i.e. her brothers and sisters.

Our obligatory rights are upon our family members with blood ties or our Mahrams by relations. This is a small group of people that include our father, mother, grandparents, grandchildren, father’s brothers, father’s sisters, niece, nephew, etc. This does not include our cousins whom we can marry. So technically if we do not maintain ties with our uncle (Father’s brother), it is a punishable sin, whereas if we ignore our ties with our cousin, it is not punishable. We need not look after him/her if we do not want to. Grandparents enjoy the same obedience and rights as our parents do.

(Transcribed for “Hiba” by Rana Rais Khan from a talk at “Live Deen”, Karachi.)

[To be continued Insha Allah]

[Twins of Faith Karachi] Family Matters by Br. Adnan Rashid

familyAllah’s (swt) greatest gift to Muslims is Iman (faith). Something they never pursued and were awarded effortlessly. But what is Iman? It is belief and action combined together based on the Ilm (knowledge) one has acquired. Yes, it’s a pre-requisite that Ilm must be followed up by Amal (action); otherwise, Ilm is not even considered to be Ilm.

Iblees (Satan) is most knowledgeable. He maybe is more learned than all the Ulema of the world collectively. Why? Because he has been around the longest. He was there even before Allah (swt) created Adam (as). And he worshipped Allah (swt). So where did he fail? How did he become Rajeem (the cursed and rejected one)? Significantly, because he failed to act upon the knowledge he earned. He recognized Allah (swt) to be the Supreme Creator, Who solely deserved to be worshipped, but blinded himself to His divine guidance. Hence, Ibless became a Kafir. Ilm without action is a recipe for Jahannum.

Numerous orientalists and non-Muslims have studied Hadeeth and Aqueedah in more depth than many Muslims on Earth. But it doesn’t save them. Knowledge and action are intertwined. One is vain and useless without the other. If we are granted knowledge and we do not act upon it, we are considered to be hypocrites. If we do not have knowledge and we act as per our desires, we can cause Fitnah and perform Bidats (innovations in Deen).

Abu Hurairah (rta) once saw an old man with a young boy. He advised the lad about the Islamic Adab: “Do not walk ahead of your father and do not sit before him.”

We need to approach our families with the knowledge of the Quran and the Sunnah, especially when delivering their rights upon us. Family is one of the greatest blessings from Allah (swt). It is an important opportunity to please Allah (swt) and enter Jannah. As Muslims, we must recognize who is who in the family. It is essential to understand the value and status of your parents, spouse, children and extended family.

Orphans are the ones, who know the true importance of having a family. Once, our beloved Prophet (sa) was travelling along with his companions (rta). Suddenly, he came to a halt and began to weep. His companions (rta), unable to see his grief, cried along with him, until Umar ibn Al-Khattab (rta) asked him: “Ya Rasool Allah (sa), why are you crying?” He replied: “My mother is buried here.”

Why did Allah (swt) place Jannah beneath the mother’s feet? Because it can only be attained by serving her. After mentioning Shirk as an unforgivable sin, Allah (swt) places disobedience to parents next in line. They can either be our doors to Jannah or gateway to Jahannum.

Once, the Prophet (sa) descended the pulpit thrice, and each time he uttered: “Ameen”. The companions (rta) asked him, why he did so? The Messenger (sa) explained: “Gabriel (as) visited me and informed me: ‘Woe to the person, who finds Ramadan but doesn’t enter Paradise.’ I said: ‘Ameen.’ Then he said: ‘Woe to the person, who, upon mentioning your name, doesn’t send Salawat upon you.’ I said: ‘Ameen.’ Lastly, Gabriel said: ‘Woe to the person, who finds his parents in their old age and fails to attain Jannah.’ I said: ‘Ameen.’ ”

Appreciate your ties with the kith and kin and pave your way to Jannah.

Abu Hurairah (rta) once saw an old man with a young boy. He advised the lad about the Islamic Adab: “Do not walk ahead of your father and do not sit before him.”

Many times kids do not out-rightly misbehave with their parents, but it’s that one shrug of shoulders, gesturing of the eyes or wrinkling with their forehead that does it all. The Quran doesn’t even permit us to utter ‘uff’ to them. If a word shorter than that would have been known, that would also have been forbidden to say against one’s parents.

How Allah (swt) defends the honour of a mother? When Maryam (as) gave birth to Isa (as) and brought him to her people, she was falsely accused. At the moment she pointed to Isa (as,) who was still an infant in the cradle. He spoke for his mother as a miracle. Allah (swt) granted him the power to do so. Isa (as) confirmed to the people that he was special. He was most importantly a slave of Allah (swt), He had been given a book (Injeel) from Allah (swt), he had been made a prophet of Allah (swt) and he was obedient to his mother.

I see the Western society collapsing from within. I have seen kids curse their parents. It’s an unbelievable phenomenon. Their family institution has disintegrated. On the other hand, Islam is great. It gives the right to people they deserve. Appreciate your ties with the kith and kin and pave your way to Jannah.

Transcribed by Rana Rais Khan from Br Adnan Rashid’s talk at Twins of Faith Karachi, organized by Mercy Mission.

Part 2 – Chaplain Yusuf Estes

lightMy father was very active in supporting church work, especially church school programs. He became an ordained minister in the 1970’. He and his wife (my stepmother) knew many of the TV evangelists and preachers and even visited Oral Roberts and helped in the building of the “Prayer Tower” in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They were also strong supporters of Jimmy Swaggart, Jim and Tammy Fae Bakker, Jerry Fallwell, John Haggy and the biggest enemy to Islam in America, Pat Robertson. Dad and his wife worked together and were most active in recording “Praise” tapes and distributing them for free to people in retirement homes, hospitals and homes for the elderly.

In 1991, he began doing business with a man in Egypt and told me that he wanted me to meet him. Then my father mentioned that this man was a “Moslem.” I couldn’t believe my ears. A Moslem, no way! I reminded dad of the various things we had heard about these people, how they are terrorists, hijackers, kidnappers, bombers and who knows what else! Not only that, but they don’t believe in God, kiss the ground five times a day, and worship a black box in the desert. My father insisted that I meet him, however, and reassured me that he was a very nice person. So I gave in and agreed to the meeting.

I was looking for a huge man with flowing robes and a big turban on his head, a beard halfway down his shirt and eyebrows that go all the way across his forehead. But this man had no beard. In fact, he didn’t have hair on his head at all; close to bald. And he was very pleasant with a warm welcome and handshake. It didn’t make sense. I thought Muslims were terrorists and bombers; what was this guy all about?

I decided to get the right to work on him. He needed to be “saved”, and the Lord and I were going to do it! I was winning souls to the Lord day after day, and this would be a big achievement for me – to catch one of these “Moslems” and convert him to Christianity.

I asked him, if he liked tea, and he said he did. So off we went to a little shop in the mall to sit and talk about my favorite subject – beliefs. We talked about the concept of God, the meaning of life, the purpose of creation, the prophets and their mission, and how God reveals His will to mankind. We also shared a lot of personal experiences and ideas. Constantly on business trips, we became good friends.

One day, I came to know that my friend, Muhammad, was going to move out of the home he had been sharing with someone and would be living in the mosque for a time. I went to my dad and suggested that we could invite Muhammad to our big home in the country and he could stay there with us. After all, he could share some of the work and expenses, and he would be there whenever we were ready to travel. My father agreed, and Muhammad moved in.

I recall asking Muhammad how many versions of it were there. He told me that there was only one Quran and that it had never been changed.

One day, while visiting a friend in the hospital, I met a Catholic priest in a wheelchair, who seemed extremely depressed. The priest began to share his story of being a missionary for over twelve years in South and Central America, in Mexico and even in New York’s “Hell Kitchen.” When he was released from the hospital, he needed a place to recover. Rather than let him go to stay with a Catholic family, I suggested my dad that we invite him to come and live with us in the country, along with our families and Muhammad. It was agreed to by all.

After settling in, we all began to gather around the kitchen table after dinner every night to discuss religion. My father would bring his King James Version of the Bible, I would bring out my Revised Standard Version of the Bible, and my wife had another version of the Bible (maybe Jimmy Swaggart’s Good News for Modern Man). The priest, of course, had the Catholic Bible (which has seven more books it than Protestant Bible). We spent more time talking about which Bible was the right one or the most correct, than we did trying to convince Muhammad about becoming a Christian.

In the meantime, I had finally read the Quran in translation. I recall asking Muhammad how many versions of it were there. He told me that there was only one Quran and that it had never been changed. He also let me know that the Quran had been memorized in its entirety by hundreds of thousands of people in many different countries. Over the centuries, millions have memorized it completely and taught it to others, letter perfect without mistakes.

This did not seem possible to me. After all, the original language of the Bible had been a dead language for centuries, and the original documents had long been lost.

One day, the priest asked Muhammad, if he might accompany him to the mosque to see what it was like there. They came back talking about the experience, and we could not wait to ask the priest what it was like and what types of ceremonies they had performed. He said they just prayed and left. I said, “They left without any speeches or singing?” He said that was right.

A few more days went by and the Catholic priest asked Muhammad, if he might join him again for a trip to the mosque. But this time, they did not come back for a very long while. It became dark and we got worried that something might have happened to them. When they finally came in the door, I immediately recognized Muhammad, but who was this with him wearing a white robe and cap? It was the priest! The priest had become a Muslim!

I immediately recognized Muhammad, but who was this with him wearing a white robe and cap? It was the priest! The priest had become a Muslim!

So I went upstairs to think about things over a bit and began to talk to my wife about the subject. She then told me that she too, was thinking to enter Islam, because she knew it was the truth. I was really shocked then. I went downstairs and woke up Muhammad and asked him to come outside with me for a discussion. We walked and talked that whole night through. By the time he was ready to pray the morning prayer, I knew that the truth had become clear at last and then it was up to me to do my part. Behind my father’s house, I found an old piece of plywood and right there I put my head down on the ground facing the direction, in which Muslims pray five times a day.

In that position, with my head on the ground, I prayed, “O God, if You are there, guide me, guide me.” After a while, I raised my head and noticed something. No, I didn’t see birds or angels coming out of the sky, nor did I hear voices or music, nor did I see bright lights or flashes. What I noticed was a change inside me. I was aware then that it was time for me to stop lying and cheating and doing sneaky business deals. It was time that I really worked at being honest and upright man. So I went upstairs and took a shower with the distinct idea that I was “washing” away the sinful old person that I had become over the years. I was now coming into a new, fresh life – a life based on truth and proof.

Around 11:00 a.m. that morning, I stood before two witnesses, one the ex-priest (formerly known as Father Peter Jacobs) and the other Muhammad Abdul Rahman, and announced my Shahadah (testimony to the oneness of God and the prophet hood of Muhammad (sa)). A few minutes later, my wife followed suit and gave the same testimony.

My father was a bit more reserved on the subject and waited a few more months, before he made his commitment. But he did finally accept Islam and began offering prayers right along with me and the other Muslims in the local mosque. My father’s wife was the last to acknowledge that Jesus could not be a son of God, but that he was a mighty prophet of God.

Our children were taken out of Christian school and placed in Islamic schools. And now, ten years later, they were memorizing much of the Quran and the teachings of Islam.

If I were to stop here, I’m sure you would have to admit that this is an amazing story. But it is not all. The same year I met a Baptist seminary student from Tennessee who came to Islam after reading the Holy Quran while being in Baptist Seminary College! There were others as well. I recall the case of Catholic priest in a college town who talked about the good things in Islam so much that I was compelled to ask him why he didn’t enter Islam. He replied, “What? And lose my job?” His name was Father John, and there is hope for him yet.

The very next year, I met a former Catholic priest, who had been a missionary for eight years in Africa. He learned about Islam while he was there and embraced it. He then changed his name to Omar and moved to Dallas, Texas. Two years later while in San Antonio, Texas, I was introduced to a former Archbishop of the Orthodox Church of Russia, who learned about Islam and gave up his position to enter Islam.

I have encountered many more individuals, who were leaders, teachers and scholars of other religions, who learned about Islam and entered into it

I have encountered many more individuals, who were leaders, teachers and scholars of other religions, who learned about Islam and entered into it, from amongst Hindus, Jews, Catholics, Protestants, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Greek and Russian Orthodox, Coptic Christians, non- denominational churches and even scientists who had once been atheists. Why? Because they all became aware of the truth. I suggest to any seeker of truth the following:

  • Open your mind, heart and soul.
  • Clear away all prejudices and biases.
  • Read a good translation of the meaning of the Holy Quran in the language you understand the best.
  • Take time.
  • Read and reflect.
  • Think and pray.
  • Continue asking the One who created you to guide you to the truth.
  • Keep this up for a few months and be regular in it.
  • Above all, do not let others who are poisoned in their thinking influence you while you are in this state of “rebirth of the soul.”

The rest is between you and the Almighty Lord of the universe. If you truly love Him, then He already knows it, and He will deal with each of us according to what is in our hearts.

May Allah (swt) guide you on your journey to truth. And may He open your heart and your mind to the reality of this world and the purpose of this life. And peace to you and guidance from Allah (swt), the One Almighty God, Creator and Sustainer, of all that exists.

Source: “An Undeniable Fact – Prominent Church People Enter Islam” by Dr. Abdurahim bin Mazher Al- Malki. Excerpt printed by permission of the publisher Dar Abul-Qasim, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (           

A Whiff of Fancy

rollercoster2I can still remember that day down to the smallest detail at 1:08 in the morning, on the 11th of September 2004 when he said, “After you graduate from grade school, we will go to Enchanted Kingdom, there we will ride on a Roller Coaster and Carousel, let’s see on which of these rides we’ll spew!” I stared at him questioningly then he answered, “Never mind. Isn’t it obvious? Of course it would be the one that can lift and pull you up to the highest peak and move back and forth along the same section of the track!” he replied with pupils unfocused but a smile so serene, “Hindi rin…(Maybe not…)”

That promise was never brought to reality because four months later, my Daddy passed away. Since then I was left with this question, “What is the essence of making promises if they are made to be broken?” That simple promise of my Dad was like a whiff of perfume — it brought memories, bliss and excitement, but as it does, just like a whiff of perfume, it faded away so quickly. I still wonder if I could ever have the chance to see him again and tell him everything I should have said before.

A fearful fact is the undeniable truth that this day could be our last. It is better to be prepared to face our Creator on a daily basis rather than wait or guess when our last day might be

September 11, 2004, my warrior had flown away from me. I found it hard to have the strength to let him go. Things happened so fast, fate took him away and left me vulnerable to misery. In a blink of an eye, his promise as well as his presence vanished out of sight. This unexplainable amalgam of hatred and longing was always there and I cannot deny the fact that I was broken.

Years went by and I became a lifeless robot, doing things just for the sake of finishing them. Then it started to intensify when I saw a carousel, it almost crushed my heart and broke me into pieces. Back then, I never believed that time is a big healer. I always thought it depends. I always believed that sometimes you only get to be healed when you decide to be cured. But Allah is so good and time indeed is a healer. During those times when memories weakened me and I felt like giving up, it was as if a small voice spoke to me and reminded of the people around me – of the family and friends that I had. It occurred to me that I was apparently gifted… that I was blessed. I realized that life should not be spent on crying over spilled milk. Yes, my father was gone but I still had a mother, a sister and a brother who could ride with me on a roller coaster and carousel. I realized that Allah was teaching me to trust in His timing. I should not be in a hurry. I should not be impatient. I should not try to make things happen in my strength because God has a timetable for all our heart’s desires. I learned that I should let God do it in His way and what I can really do is to trust Him and surrender my whole life to Him.

A fearful fact is the undeniable truth that this day could be our last. It is better to be prepared to face our Creator on a daily basis rather than wait or guess when our last day might be – for life is random. Who knows what will happen next? We’ll never know for sure.

I realized that Allah was teaching me to trust in His timing. I should not be in a hurry. I should not be impatient. I should not try to make things happen in my strength because God has a timetable for all our heart’s desires. 

I am Giselle M. Manabat, 20 years old. Though I already accepted the fact, for a hundred times over, that my father’s gone, I am still a girl who weeps like a frightened child and seeks for her father in the darkness of the night. I put in mind that his promise had been a fantasy and will always be a fantasy. But it still would be a pleasure if one day he would come back to me and bring that promise into reality. I still wish, deep in my heart, that one day, against all odds, he would be coming back to the door he walked out of… and I guess, I will patiently wait for that day to come, forever and always…

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The Prophet (sa) and his Daughters


Allah (swt) says in the Quran: “Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad (sa)) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes for (the meeting with) Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much.” (Al-Ahzab 33:21)

“And We have sent you (O Muhammad (sa)) not but as a mercy for the Alamin (mankind, Jinns and all that exists)….” (Al-Anbiya 21:107)

Without doubt, one of the greatest gifts Allah (swt) has given to the believers is perfect guidance, which Muslims can follow with the assurance that it will not lead to a dead end. This guidance is the last revelation – the Noble Quran – and the way of Prophet Muhammad (sa), who practically showed us the religion of Allah Almighty (swt) and explained it in great detail, as is mentioned by Abu Zarrah (rtam): “When the Prophet of Allah left us, we had all the knowledge (even) about every bird which flies above us.”(Ibn Hibban)

One of the most important aspects of every person’s life is the relationship with one’s children. Let us see what our Prophet’s (sa) conduct was as a father.

According to one of the opinions, the Prophet (sa) had three sons: Al-Qasim, Abdullah (At-Tahir) and Ibrahim – and four daughters: Zaynab, Ruqayyah, Umm Kulthoom and Fatimah, whom he called Az-Zahra (the flower). The daughters outlived his sons and they were from his first wife, Khadijah (rtaf). It must also be mentioned that most reports about the Prophet’s (sa) relationship with his daughters date back to the Madinah period – the time, when all of them were of full age and already married. This is due to the fact that most knowledge about his private life came through his wives, all of which, except Khadijah (rtaf), he married either shortly before Hijrah or after it. Most reports came through Aisha (rtaf), who has narrated more than two thousand Ahadeeth, which constitute the fourth largest source from among the Sahabahs.

Pondering over the reason Allah (swt) gave to the Prophet (sa) so many daughters that outlived his sons, the scholars are of the opinion that it was so in order to show that he did not rely on his sons, as was a custom among the Arabs of the time, and in order to confront the Jahiliyah tradition of hating daughters.

The Prophet (sa) was overjoyed about the birth of his daughters, unlike the neglectful attitude Arabs had towards their daughters. This proved that there is no reason to worry about the birth of daughters, and that the Rizq of every person is with Allah (swt). The Rizq does not decrease because of the number of children or the birth of daughters. The Prophet (sa) also has said that a person who will raise two righteous daughters will stand next to him on the Day of Judgement. (Muslim)

All of the Prophet’s (sa) daughters were born before his prophethood; therefore, when the command of Allah (swt) came (“And warn your tribe (O Muhammad (sa)) of near kindred.” (Ash-Shuara 26:214)), the Prophet (sa) ascended the mount of Safa and called his tribe to Islam: “Oh, the people of Quraish, ransom yourselves – nothing else will help you in front of Allah (swt),” and also his daughters: “Oh, Fatimah, the daughter of Muhammad, ask me how much you wish of my money but it will not help you in front of Allah (swt).” (Bukhari) All of his daughters accepted Islam and later migrated to Madinah.

The Prophet (sa) did not delay the marriages of his daughters, choosing for them husbands who were known for their wisdom and sharp mind (like Abu al-As ibn al-Rabia, to whom he gave his eldest daughter Zaynab), or their Iman and shyness (like future Khalifah Uthman ibn Affan – a man in front of whom even angels felt shy and to whom he gave two of his daughters: Ruqayyah and after her death, Umm Kulthoom). After the death of his second daughter, the Prophet (sa) gave a brief description of this righteous man: “If I had a third daughter, I would give her to Uthman in marriage.” (Al-Asbahani)

He gave his youngest daughter Fatimah (rtaf) in marriage to Ali ibn Abu Talib (rtam), who stood at the forefront in almost all of the important battles of the Muslims. The Prophet (sa) respected his daughters and never forced husbands of his choice upon them. He always sought their opinion. After Ali (rtam) had asked for Fatimah’s (rtaf) hand in marriage, he informed her about it in a subtle way: “Ali mentioned you.” Fatimah’s shy silence was a sign of her acceptance, and they were married. (Ibn Sad)

The Messenger of Allah (sa) tried to help in solving the marital problems of his daughters and encouraged happiness and harmony among the spouses. One day, having come to visit his youngest daughter, the Prophet (sa) did not find Ali (rtam) there. When he found out that they had had a small marital argument, the Prophet (sa) went in search of him and found Ali (rtam) in the Masjid, where he was sleeping on the floor. Carefully clearing away the soil from Ali’s (rtam) face, he woke him up, in order to help the couple make up. (Bukhari)

When the Prophet (sa) saw the necklace of his deceased wife, Khadijah (rtaf), which was sent from Makkah by his daughter Zaynab as ransom for her husband, Abu al-As, who had not yet converted to Islam, he could not remain indifferent. He asked the permission of Muslims to release his daughter’s husband and let him go back to her to Makkah. He received their permission. (Abu Dawood)

When the Muslim army went out for their first decisive battle against the disbelievers of Makkah, the Prophet (sa) left Uthman ibn Affan (rtam) in Madinah with his daughter Ruqayyah (rtaf), who was ill at the time, thus showing by this action that caring for relatives is of utmost importance in any situation.

Yet, at the same time, he did not give his daughters any privileges, which would raise them above other Muslims. He said about his youngest daughter, who resembled him like no one else in the way she spoke and walked: “I swear by Allah, if Fatimah, the daughter of Muhammad, would steal, I would cut off her arm.” (Bukhari)

One day, the Prophet (sa) noticed Fatimah (rtaf) entering his home. Since there were guests in the Prophet’s (sa) home, she left straight away. The next day, he went to visit her, in order to inquire why she had come. Fatimah (rtaf) did not say anything, but Ali (rtam) explained that he had requested her to ask from him a servant. Due to the hard work, the skin on her hands had become very rough; due to sweeping the floor, her clothes were dirty. To this, the Prophet (sa) answered: “Oh Fatimah, fear Allah (swt) and fulfil your duties in front of your Lord by doing the household chores. But when you go to sleep, recite Subhan’Allah thirty-three times, Alhumdulillah thirty-three times and Allahu Akbar thirty-four times, together one hundred, and this will be better for you than having a servant in your home.” (Abu Dawood)

The Prophet (sa) did not try to gift the Dunya to his daughters. He always pointed to the importance of the Akhira, especially when there was a choice between the two. Shaykh Ibn Taymiyah has analyzed that the one who will recite the above mentioned Dhikr before sleeping will not be overcome by tiredness, because the Prophet (sa) presented it as a solution to this particular complaint. It should also be mentioned that the Prophet (sa) himself, being the best among people, never looked down upon household chores and always helped his wives. This was narrated by his youngest wife Aisha (rtaf), when she was asked about what the Prophet (sa) would do while he was at home: “He did house chores together with his family, but when the time for Salah arrived, he went to the Masjid.” (Bukhari)

May Allah (swt) help us appreciate and emulate the Prophet’s (sa) example and reap unaccountable benefits resulting from it. Ameen.