Football: Any Place in Islam?

16 football place in Islam

By Hajji Murat Radjabov – Writer

Today, the world cannot live without football.

A German consulting company “Sportfive” did research in Europe to find out the number of people interested in football. The research was carried out in the leading football countries of Europe. The results were as follows:

  • Germany – 81% are interested in football (which constitutes 53 million people)
  • Italy – 78%
  • Spain – 67%
  • England – 63%
  • France – 60%

The numbers in other countries were very similar. Interest in football has also reached the Muslim countries and Muslims all over the world.

For football players

For practicing Muslims, Islam is not only a religion but a way of life. Generally, it is not forbidden in Islam to play football, as long as the following requirements are met:

(1) During the game, the Aurah (parts of the body that are forbidden for others to see; in the case of men, it is the part of body between the navel and knees) of the players has to be covered.

(2) Under no conditions during the game or in preparations for the game should the players miss their five obligatory players (Salah). Interest in football should not distract them from remembering the Most High or turn into them into fanatics of the game. Likewise, watching the game should not prevent people from performing their mandatory prayers.

(3) Sometimes the dates of significant football events fall in Ramadan, the month of obligatory fasting. Football, however, requires extensive physical exertion. In this situation, no matter how important the game is, Muslim players do not have the right to leave their fasting.

(4) Very rarely does a game go by without any physical trauma for the players. Sometimes, players intentionally do actions against their opponents, which cause them injuries. Such actions are also forbidden in Islam. Purposeful hurting of another person has to be compensated!

(5) Fights, filthy language, and arguments should not be a part of the game.

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Yes to Honesty!

By Muhammad Arif Sirajudinov – Writer

I was inspired to write this article by a story a friend of mine recently told me. People who acquire some wealth and are no longer satisfied with the car they own tend to get into the habit of selling their old car with the aim to buy a new one. My friend also decided to sell his old car and told me the story of how it happened.

“I headed out to a car market with the aim to sell my iron horse, which had suffered quite a bit due to my travels into mountainous areas. On the way, I was already picturing in my mind the dialogue I will have with my customer and thought that most probably I will have to hide some of the shortcomings of my car, in order to sell it at a better price. Then, suddenly, I heard on the radio the Hadeeth of the Prophet (sa): “The one who deceives is not one of us.” (Abu Dawood) I had heard it before, but had not paid much attention to it… well, I was the sort of person who did not lie to others and lived honestly, or so I thought. However, this time, the words of this Hadeeth went straight to my heart and would not leave me. For the remaining part of my journey, I kept on thinking about these words of the Prophet (sa).

Having arrived at the market, I put a price on the windshield of my car, sat down in a shadowy place and in my mind, went through the upcoming conversation with my customer. “And how about the shortcomings?” the customer will ask me. If I will tell him about all the blemishes, he will, of course, wish to lower the price. And I was already in trouble of not having enough savings to add to the price of the old car, in order to buy a new one.

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How Our Habits Construct Our Fate

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By Zulfia Hayrutdinova – Writer

Besides following the obligatory practices of Islam, belief in Allah (swt) and adherence to the Sunnah of our Prophet (sa) entail that we strive towards high morality, continuous self-improvement, and perfection of soul and body. Every believer would like to be in special favour with the Most High: to be the best in deeds, have the most important standing, and be most beneficial for the society. All of us work on ourselves to some degree: every one of us in our own ways, according to our own capabilities and in line with our own understanding of perfection.

When we analyze the results of our work on ourselves, sometimes we realize that we have not achieved much in this life – we have not become better; in some ways, we are even worse than we were a few years ago. We wish to be healthy and fit; however, we do not play sports more often than once a month, thus with every next year becoming more and more ill. We wish to be kind and polite; however, we once again lose our temper on our close ones due to trivial matters. We wish to get up every night for the night prayer; yet, we achieve it only in Ramadan. The endless list of failures goes on and on. Why don’t our efforts bring the desired results? Are we capable of changing towards the good, or maybe that is only for those singled out by Allah (swt)?

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Grow in Iman at Work

grow in imaan at work

 

  1. Focus on the Ultimate Goal: Most people work to earn a decent and Halal income. However, if you want to use your work to grow in Iman, you need to change into a higher gear. You need to make your work fit a larger game plan that you strive for – earning a ticket to Jannah, Bi Izn Allah (swt). Don’t try to make Islam fit your work. Rather, make your work help achieve Islamic goals. In other words, your employer’s mission and vision must be compatible with yours.
  2.  Adopt Islamic Values with Sincerity: Global secularization has caused corporations to define core values for employees, and for professional bodies to establish ethical codes of conduct for its members. The values enshrined in our religion subsume and exceed all ethical principles. Moreover, our intentions for dedicating every action for Allah’s (swt) pleasure makes us sincerer than those who follow such values just to comply with policies and codes. Work is an opportunity for us to develop our true Islamic characters, while fulfilling our professional duties. Our Iman grows when we do our work with Ikhlas.

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Real Parents, Real Heroes

real parents, real heroesHuman relations are a complex and sensitive web of emotions. Family is the foundation of every society. Why does family matter? Well, around one-fourth of the Quran instructs humanity about family matters. Over 1200 verses pertaining to familial matters specify rulings, injunctions, and advice from Allah (swt) to us.

The strength that we gain from our family enables us to go forward and tackle the challenges of life. Hence, a family is sacred, and it is mandatory for Muslims to pay attention to their families and energize them. If the family system crumbles like a feeble mole hill, the society disintegrates also.

True parents are true leaders

The other day, I was brushing my teeth. My fourteen-year-old son Yusuf stood next to me. He was brushing his teeth and making all kinds of swishing sounds and gurgles much to my dislike. For the first time, I realized that he had grown taller than me. I asked him: “Yusuf, what kind of weird sounds are those? Didn’t I ever teach you how to brush your teeth?” He replied: “No dad, you didn’t.”

It just dawned on me that every fault in my child was my failure as a father because I hadn’t modified his attitude or act. True parents are true leaders of their families. In Islam, servants and leaders are one. If one cannot serve his team, he cannot lead. Our Prophet (sa) was always the first in a battle and the last in a caravan. A very important book by Simon Sinek titled Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t is worthy of mention here, as it can facilitate the concept of true leadership and parenting.

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How Much Do You Love Allah (swt)?

how much do you love AllahGoing through Surah Saffat (37), I came across a very beautiful section. Right after Allah (swt) talks about Ibrahim (as) when he, as a young man taught his people about Shirk and Tauheed, it is mentioned that when Ibrahim (as) grew old, Allah (swt) blessed him with a beautiful son named Ismail (as). Ismail (as) learnt to walk but we don’t know his exact age. Some scholars state that he had just started to walk, while others say that he could actually walk at the same pace as his father Ibrahim (as), so he might have been thirteen years of age.

Nevertheless, Ibrahim (as) saw in his dream that he was killing his son. This is mentioned in the Quran:

“And, when he (his son) was old enough to walk with him, he said: ‘O my son! I have seen in a dream that I am slaughtering you (offer you in sacrifice to Allah), so look what you think!’ He said: ‘O my father! Do that which you are commanded, Insha’Allah (if Allah will), you shall find me of As-Sabirin (the patient ones, etc.).’” (As-Saffat 37:102)

Ibrahim (as) beautified his son Ismail (as) on that day, put on him his best clothes, and fed him a great breakfast. Then he took him to the place of slaughtering. Some scholars of Tafseer state it was Mina, which is in Makkah, while others say it was Syria.

“Then, when they had both submitted themselves (to the Will of Allah), and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead (or on the side of his forehead for slaughtering).” (As-Saffat 37:103)

When Ibrahim (as) laid Ismail (as) on the ground and sharpened his sword, tears rolled down his cheeks. Verse 103 states “Falamma Aslama” (“when they had both submitted themselves (to the Will of Allah)”) and “Wa Tallaho lil Jabeen” (“he had laid him prostrate on his forehead”). This is strange because when you place someone on the ground, you generally have him lie face up, so when you cut the neck, you simply slit the windpipe. If you place him face down, you will have to cut his spinal cord in the bones.

So why did Ibrahim (as) put him face down? And what was the purpose of asking Ibrahim (as) to slaughter his son?

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Boys Adrift

13 boys adriftNotice how most boys today prefer exercising their thumbs playing virtual sports rather than exercising their bodies through real life contact sports? How girls regularly bag top positions in school examinations though our boys are marked as “having potential”? Moreover boys in particular are labelling school as boring as they grow beyond their nursery class ages. Many parents assure themselves that this simply is the way boys are, and “it’s just a phase”, but step back and observe the young men of today.

An increasing number of young men cannot dedicate themselves to a single job. They are easily demotivated by workplace stress, and are unwilling to be productive members within their family circles. Is there a connection between the two? According to Dr Leonard Sax, in his book Boys Adrift, there is not only a connection but the situation is a growing epidemic.

Dr Leonard Sax, a family physician and psychologist, addresses educators and parents alike, as his book highlights five key factors negatively effecting boys today. One of them is video games; it’s not only the violent ones which are leaving a negative impact on impressionable boys’ minds. His book explains how sports games are also contributing to demotivating boys. Another factor is environmental toxins; Dr. Sax outlines the connection between the reason your bottled water tastes funny when left out in the sun, and the endocrine disrupters which are causing male fish to produce eggs like their female counterparts.

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What Constitutes Manhood?

12 manhoodBy Majid ibn Abdur-Rahman – Writer 

What type of men would you like to see in our Ummah, the community of Prophet Muhammad (sa)? What constitutes a man? Is it the moustache or the beard? There are so many who have both.

Manhood does not depend upon years. We can often see a seventy-year-old man with the heart of a child: he rejoices over trivial entertainment, sheds tears over petty issues, covets what he does not possess, and greedily clenches whatever falls into his small hands, so that others would not play with it. He simply is a small child with a moustache and beard.

However, by the grace of Allah (swt), there are children who, despite their young age, can be extremely manly in their words, deeds, thoughts, and noble behaviour.

A Chip off the Old Block

chip off the old blockThe best thing a man can teach his children is good manners. However, quite often, while raising kids, parents do not take dining etiquettes into consideration. They assume that children will learn them either naturally or simply through observation. In contrast, we find our beloved Prophet (sa) meticulously coaching and training not only kids but adult Sahabah at the dining mat. Here are the top five things he (sa) taught them:

Begin with the right intention and Allah’s name

Umar bin Abu Salamah (rtam) reported that Muhammad (sa) said: “Mention Allah’s name (i.e. say Bismillah before starting to eat), eat with your right hand, and eat from what is near you.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

It is necessary to pronounce Allah’s name before dining in order to attain Barakah, and be mindful of not transgressing the boundaries of moderation. Overeating is highly distasteful in Islam and a sign of indulgence in Dunya, leading to a weak Iman. We especially forget to utter Bismillah when we are eating out, partying at someone’s house or away from our home or routine.

The Prophet (sa) also instructed to eat with our right hand. It is Satan who eats with his left hand. Fathers of left-handed children need to help their kids learn this from an early age; otherwise, it becomes second nature, which is cumbersome to break.

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Words of the Wise – Luqman’s Advice to His Son

luqman's advice to his sonLuqman, the wise, is known in history for his understanding, knowledge, and eloquence. As the Quran states: “And indeed We bestowed upon Luqman Al-Hikmah (wisdom and religious understanding, etc.)…” (Luqman 31:12) He was a righteous servant of Allah (swt). His full name was Luqman bin Anqa bin Sadun, and he was a dark-skinned slave from Ethiopia. He was a carpenter by profession.

The name of Luqman’s son was Tharan. To Luqman, he was also the closest and most beloved of all people, who deserved to be given the best knowledge. Even today, Luqman’s wise counsel for Tharan is quoted and reflected upon for guidance. What was so dazzling about Luqman’s advice for his son? And how many of us impart the same to our offspring today?

“…Luqman said to his son, when he was advising him: ‘O my son! Join not in worship others with Allah. Verily, joining others in worship with Allah is a great Zulm (wrong) indeed.’” (Luqman 31:13)

This wise father attached his son to the mighty source of man’s ultimate success – His Lord. Luqman knew that if Tharan’s relationship with his Creator was firmly positioned, he would have few worries left. He also clearly stated the supreme oppression that man can commit, which is to associate partners with Allah (swt), and grant honour and obedience which is due to Him (swt) to others who are mere creations.

“And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years – give thanks to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the final destination.” (Luqman 31:14)

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Who is Truly Strong?

truly strongBy Irada Mirzamagomedova – Writer

Strength. Power. What comes to mind when we hear these words? Someone may imagine a muscular athlete with a stern face, while someone else may think of the power of a thought or a word.

So who, in your opinion, is truly strong? Is it someone who can bend iron rods or pull a truck on his own? Yes, such people are ‘strong’ in the physical sense of this word; we cannot argue over this. However, how can we identify a person with a strong spirit? Here intuition will be of no help as a person with a strong spirit can only be identified through his deeds and his words. Have you ever heard the statement: strong is not the one who beats, but the one who can tolerate the beating? It is a fact that no special talent is needed to hurt someone. However, helping another person or finding enough strength within oneself to refrain from replying to an offender in kind is something that is in decline today.

It is not always true that those who possess willpower – which characterizes them as a strong person – are able to live through the hard times and trials of life without collapsing and falling in the eyes of the society as well as close ones. Often, the reason behind all the troubles of a ‘strong’ person is his inability to accept his own weakness. Unwilling to admit this, such people swing from one extreme to another as they seek a way out of difficulties, making use of means which exceed the limits of morality and conscience. Today, we witness such cases in our society more and more often.

Who is the strong one today, according to the standards of society? Is it someone who has power, money, and beauty?

Translated from Latvian to English by Laila Brence

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Five Moments to say ‘I Love You’ to Your Wife

iloveu

  1. When she feels wronged or has committed wrong.

Due to our human nature, most of us tend to move into a reactive mode in two phases of our life: a) when someone has been unjust to us and we are looking for allies and evidences to prove our innocence, and b) when we have perpetuated injustice upon others and try to evade responsibility, either out of ignorance or guilt. In both cases, a spouse’s relationship is tested. It is not recommended to encourage incorrect behaviour but it is best to first reassure your wife that you love her, in spite of her being the victim or the victimizer. Once your emotional account is loaded and she appreciates your sincerity, she will normalize faster and overcome the emotional disturbance within her.

  1. When she falls ill.

Today, nobody welcomes sickness, unlike the Sahabah and our predecessors who got worried when Allah (swt) did not send them ailments. They would think that perhaps He (swt) wanted to grant everything to them in this world and, hence, hold back any chances for repentance. Yes, one should never pray for illness, but when it arrives, it is advised to exercise patience. Help your wife to do that by spending some extra time with her. If that is not possible, ask her what will comfort her. Perhaps employing some reliable help for the house for cleaning or cooking, or maybe letting her spend time with her own family would help. Inform her that her recovery means a lot to you. A bouquet of flowers or something she loves will always cheer her up, too.

  1. When PMS arrives.

This is a state that men most misunderstand because they are not educated about it.  Biologically, a woman becomes very vulnerable during her menstruation period. Due to her hormones, she may become moody, depressed, unnecessarily angry, and at times weepy, too. And you may or may not even be the reason for a battle she decides to pick. It is best to exercise patience with her and not demand things she would not be able to deliver in such a volatile state of mind. The Prophet (sa) is known to rest his head in Aisha’s (rtam) lap while she was menstruating. He handled her very gently and fondly. In the absence of intimate relations between spouses, some women also feel unwanted and under-valued. Hence, a reassurance of your love for her will bring back her sense of belonging.

  1. When your baby is on the way.

Most women are pampered when the first baby is on the way. However, they do experience a mixture of emotions ranging from elation to fear of labour and the upcoming responsibilities. They still need your support every now and then, especially if you live in a joint family setup and do not get sufficient time together. If the pregnancy is a difficult one, where the woman experiences severe nausea and vomiting, and is prescribed bed rest, it is even more challenging for the mother-to-be. For women who are expecting a child and who already have kids to worry about and care for, you can provide trusted help for the house, occasional retreats to her family’s care, if that comforts her, and your tender understanding.

  1. After your baby has arrived.

Amidst the joy of a new baby and postpartum pain of delivery, a new mother is literally besieged with emotions and responsibilities. She has sleepless nights, emotional and physical distress of establishing breast feeding, postpartum bleeding causing weakness, biological developments in the body, influx of guests and family wanting to greet the newly-arrived baby, and in case where she has older children, the guilt of not being able to take care of them. On top of that, she is not able to offer Salah, which makes her spiritually vulnerable. Also, after the arrival of the new baby, the husband and wife sometimes don’t get sufficient time together to talk and share. Hence, make the additional effort to fulfill her needs and spend time with her, facilitating her in her efforts to re-build emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Quranic recitations can be played for the mom and baby to protect them from Satan’s attack.

In times of happiness, one is emotionally self-sufficient and might not need to hear terms of endearment so often.  “I love you” should therefore be said and felt more often in times of distress and misery.

 

O Ameer! Lead Your Family!

ameer

“Men are the protectors and maintainers (Qawwam) of women, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient (to Allah and to their husbands), and guard in the husband’s absence what Allah orders them to guard (e.g. their chastity, their husband’s property, etc.)…” (An Nisa 4:34)

 

Allah (swt) says that men are the Qawwam of women. The word Qawwam is derived from the Arabic verb Qama/Uqeemu, which means ‘to stand’. Qawwam is an exaggerated/excessive form, which indicates constant standing. Just as a bodyguard continuously stands guarding a VIP, the man of the family is supposed to watch over and protect the women of the household. The verse above explains that he is given this function because he is required to spend his wealth on them for their maintenance. When one spends on someone continuously, it is natural that he will protect them from all dangers. He will empathize with them and will be inclined to manage their affairs with their best interest in mind.

The applied meaning of Qawwam thus encompasses a range of responsibilities of the man, which include financially providing for his family, protecting them, empathizing with them, understanding them, managing their affairs, making decisions that affect them after proper consultation with them, providing the space and opportunities for the constant learning and growth as well as catering to their every physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, educational, and financial need. In short, his role is that of an enabler of success of all members of the household. In order for him to carry out all these responsibilities successfully, he has been granted the leadership role of an Ameer of the family.

Abdullah bin Umar (rtam) reported: The Messenger of Allah (sa) said: “Every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. The leader of the people is a guardian and is responsible for his subjects; a man is the guardian of his family and is responsible for his subjects; a woman is the guardian of her husband’s home and of his children and is responsible for them; and the slave of a man is a guardian of his master’s property and is responsible for it. Surely, every one of you is a shepherd and responsible for his flock.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

It is apparent from the above Hadeeth that every group of people should have a leader for its proper function. It is not possible for a group to have two leaders or else chaos will ensue. Thus, for a family unit, Allah (swt) in His infinite wisdom has chosen the men to lead. It does not matter how weak the man is or whether he earns less than his wife; he is supposed to be ultimately responsible for all family members.

This does not mean that the man of the house is a dictator, who does not consider in his decisions the Shoora (consultation) of all his family members. It does not mean that he is to be feared by those under him, or that he can enforce decadent cultural restrictions, which have little to do with Islam. Rather, the husband should study the Prophet’s (sa) Seerah deeply for improving his leadership skills. For supporting the husband, the wife is required to be obedient to the husband, as stated in the above verse. However, it is worth noting here that the wife’s obedience is first to Allah (swt), then to the Prophet (sa), and only then to the husband. Thus, if the husband makes demands against the commands of Allah (swt) and His Prophet (sa), she should decline to be obedient.

Part of the responsibility of the Ameer is to engender leadership skills in those under him. The primary manner to do so is to be good role models themselves. Children may be trained to accept more responsibilities at a young age, for example, they can be asked to take care of their pets, be the captain of their school cricket team, be the imam at home leading their siblings and cousins in Salah, or babysit their siblings while the parents are away. Leadership skills can formally be learned in a Boy Scouts / Girl Guides troop. The key element in making the next generation future Ameers of their families and societies is to make them feel empathic towards others. This can be done by engaging them in charitable services for those less fortunate than them. Lastly, by providing them with comprehensive Islamic knowledge, parents would help them understand their roles as young adults. The guidance from the examples of the Prophet (sa) and his companions are invaluable in this respect.

Men are made responsible for a gamut of their family’s needs and, hence, are given leadership roles by Islam. Like everyone under a leader, the wife is required to help the leader by being obedient to him, provided nothing is being demanded against Islamic principles. The man of the family should consult with his family members and do everything that is in their best interest. He should use his position responsibly to help all the family members develop themselves. He should not misuse the privilege of leadership he is given. He is responsible to pass on good leadership skills to their offspring, so that they become exemplary future Ameers.

 

Time: An Amanah at the Workplace

time

“To live means to work. Work is the life of a person.” (Voltaire)

We spend the largest portion of our life at the workplace. In fact, our entire life is aimed at earning what we would spend on our livelihood. Eight to twelve hours at work, eight hours for sleep, two hours in commuting, an hour for getting ready… and what is left? We eat so that we can live, and we spend our life on earning our sustenance. I urge you not to waste your time at the workplace.

Are you surprised? Just think about it – does it make sense to live only for eating? Most probably, your earning is sufficient for providing you not only with food but also with clothing, a place to live, treating yourself from time to time with something nice and, once in a while, for taking a vacation. I dare to assume that among my readers are also those who earn sufficiently and are able to afford nearly everything they wish for. Yet, we work too much and have too little time for anything else but work. Is it worth it to spend the precious time allotted to us by the Most High on such trivial pursuits?

However, I do not urge you to adopt a lazy and parasitic lifestyle. Not at all. You should work and work a lot. When I say “do not waste time at work”, I mean “do not waste it on useless pursuits”. Any time that you spend on something other than for Allah (swt), the Most High, is wasted. Whatever we do with the Niyyah (intention) other than that is useless for eternity.

Where?

If we pose the question “where to work?”, then the obvious answer is “wherever it is beneficial”. Any efforts we put forth towards caring for those close to us and their well-being can be filled with deep meaning if we continuously keep our Niyyah focused by reminding ourselves Who we are doing it all for? Whose pleasure are we seeking? Who is our real boss? This is the factor which transforms the otherwise senseless and tiresome situation of “living so we can eat and eating so we can live” into a spiritual act of service to Allah, the Most High. Reaching such a level of commitment is not as difficult as maintaining it; however, in this lies true happiness and success.

Furthermore, simply having the intention of “I will do it for the sake of Allah (swt)” is not enough; the quality of the work has to match the intention. This is because “for the sake of Allah (swt)” means “for seeking His pleasure” which is possible only if He accepts what you are doing. What job can be done for the sake of Allah (swt)? It can be any job, including housework, as long as it does not involve anything forbidden. Some people think that working for the sake of Allah (swt) is possible only in the field of religion, which is not so. What matters is not where but how we work.

How?  

The most important question, the answer to which will help you stop wasting time at work, is: how to work? For the sake of Allah (swt) you have to perform your duties in the best manner, as He does not accept anything other than that. A person who leaves for his work in the morning and returns home in the evening does not do anything which would draw him nearer to Jannah if he does not put his best efforts into doing it. It is necessary to keep in mind that your boss is not this “mean and evil guy” in charge of you, but the One for Whose sake you have made the intention to work. Likewise, it is as necessary to remember that your salary is not that “meagre amount of cash which is not enough for anything anyway” but your real salary is your professional activities that are written down in the Book of Life as your good deeds, accepted by your Supervisor. Religion is like a magic wand that changes reality; everything is transformed when viewed through a spiritual lens. The most annoying and senseless job turns into an act of worship, a way of expressing love, a deed with a capital letter.

If you could see how Allah (swt) the Most High watches over you during every minute of your work, would you allow yourself to be careless, to take endless tea breaks or to spend your work time on empty conversations? If the management installs security cameras for observing their employees, it significantly increases their productivity. A believer knows that even without such cameras in place, he is continuously being observed by the One Who hears and sees everything – the One Whom he is serving. The money you earn by carrying out your duties late and negligently is stolen money. For example, if your work time is eight hours with one hour for lunch break, but you spend three hours of it on idle pursuits, do you have any right to take money for this time? If your management would know of the tasks you have not completed, they would not pay you for them in full. Thus, it is unfair to carry out your duties partially while receiving full payment for them. Your earning stops being Halal if it is earned unjustly. It is even more unjust in front of your own self and your soul to think that you are working for the sake of Allah (swt) while carrying out your duties non-seriously – if you do that, you are merely cheating your own self! Besides, the Most High cannot be deceived into accepting badly performed duties. The only way out for a careless employee is to repent.

If only I could work in the field of religion… 

Some Muslims think that if they would be working in the field of religion, it would be easier for them to work for the sake of Allah (swt) only. The truth is that the responsibility level of such employees is so high that it makes their work not easier but more difficult. However, a hardworking person, not a lazy one, a true professional, not the one who purchases his diploma, and any person who continuously remembers where and for whose sake he is working, is a representative of Islam. Imams and Alims are not the only representatives of the field of religion. People working in Islamic educational institutions, Islamic shops, facilitating enforcement of Deen anywhere, etc., also belong to the same field and are also responsible for shaping the image of Muslims. If any one of them carries out his duties heedlessly, he directly harms the religion of Allah (swt). Instead of taking upon yourself such responsibility and failing to fulfill it, it truly is better to be a simple sweeper, who keeps in good order the territory entrusted to him.

We work according to what we get paid

Sometimes we hear the following complaint: “If only I would be paid more, I would work better”. If you have taken up this job and are not satisfied with your salary – leave and find another job! However, the unique position of a believer is such that he knows that no matter where he is or what he is doing, he would not receive more or less than his Rizq. What is decreed for you today will definitely reach you, no matter where and for what salary you are working. If you are working for the sake of Allah (swt) on a small salary but sincerely, you are richer than the one who works for the sake of his Nafs (desires), no matter if he carries his duties out well or not. And if you are working for the sake of Allah (swt) but underperform deliberately, then you are poorer than the most poor and are living in self-deceit.

I pray to Allah (swt) the Most High to accept what we are doing for His sake and teach us to do it in such a way that we would not be ashamed of it on the Day of Judgement. Ameen.

Translated for Hiba by Laila Brence. Source: http://islam.ru/content/obshestvo/9947

Time Management, the Sunnah Way

time management sunnah

  1. Set Your Goals in Life
  • Your goals will shape your life and your schedule.
  • When doing any task, always begin with the end in mind.
  1. Self-Discipline is the Key
  • Break such habits as procrastination and laziness.
  • Make a weekly schedule along with a daily one and stick to it.
  • Realize the difference between urgent and important. The urgent things may not always be important.
  • Everything else will fit in automatically.
  • Avoid distractions caused by such unimportant things as messages, posts, tweets, and mails.
  • If the task is large or time-consuming, divide it into small chunks and start working on it immediately. Don’t procrastinate.
  • Allah (swt) does not expect immediate results from us. He wants us to grow and learn on a constant basis, as He loves consistent good deeds. Even the Shariah was revealed gradually.
  1. Delegate and Take a Break
  • Avoid burnout and fatigue. Narrated Abdullah bin Amr (rta): News of my daily fasting and praying every night throughout the night reached the Prophet (sa). He sent for me or I met him, and he said: “I have been informed that you fast everyday and pray every night (all the night). Fast (for some days) and give up fasting (for some days); pray and sleep, for your eyes have a right on you, and your body and your family (i.e., wife) have a right on you.” The Prophet (sa) said, twice: “Whoever fasts daily throughout his life is just as the one who does not fast at all.” (Bukhari)
  • Recharge yourself. Make time for Halal fun with your family; it is Sunnah.
  • Do teamwork. Delegate tasks to others, if they are able and willing to do it.
  • The Prophet (sa) used to delegate tasks to his companions according to their abilities.
  1. Eliminate Time-Wasters (Al-Laghw)
  • Eliminate things that don’t give you any benefit, especially the Haram ones.
  • Even if the time wasters aren’t Haram, it is better to replace them with something productive.
  • A good example is from Imam an-Nawawi’s childhood: he used to prefer studying rather than playing outside with the other kids. He prioritized studying over other usual things because that’s what he really wanted to do.
  1. Bonus Tips
  • Multi-task only if it is beneficial. Avoid it where it is harmful, for example, during family time.
  • Keep positive company. Be with those who increase your Iman, and who motivate and stimulate you to accomplish your goals.
  • Be open to advice and correction. Learn from your mistakes. Don’t let your ego stop you from growing.
  • Learn to say ‘no’ politely if somebody wants you to do something that distracts you from your schedule.
  • Stay fit and healthy, because the opposite of fitness is laziness. Health and fitness are a part of Deen.
  • Strive for excellence. Do everything with Ihsan. This is the characteristic of a true Muslim.
  • One way to discipline yourself, or to break bad habits, is by giving a fine in the form of charity every time you indulge in that behaviour .
  • Reward yourself with small treats when you stick to your routine or accomplish your goals. A nice ice-cream would work.

Transcribed by Ahmed Faraz. This is an abridged transcription of a webinar conducted by Shaykh Kamdar. For complete transcription, visit www.hibamagazine.com.

 

 

The Social Impact of Borrowed Living

borrowed living

The one-world materialistic consumer culture, which is deliberately being promoted throughout the globe, is affecting us. We are falling into the trap of living a lifestyle based on loans: house loans, car loans, education loans, investment loans, credit cards, digital money, and money borrowed from friends and family. All this is affecting us, our families, and our society in a negative manner. Let us study the impact of borrowed living and look at some ways to counter it.

Responsible borrowing may sometimes be inevitable. The Prophet (sa) once borrowed from a Jew. The problem is a lifestyle of borrowed living which is being promoted nowadays. Most of such transactions are based on Riba and lead to a never-ending vicious cycle, which is intended to trap the borrower, adversely impacting him, his family, and the whole society.

The primary impact of borrowing is on the borrower. It affects his character as he becomes prone to lying, deceiving, making false promises and cheating. He also becomes a victim of corruption in trying to pay back the monthly installments to his creditors with whom his relations can easily turn sour. They say that if you want to destroy your friendship, borrow from a friend. Such a person becomes hated in the society. People curse him for not paying back on time. He becomes lonely and sometimes, even depressed and suicidal.

Such people are prone to be led away from truth and reality. They live in the artificial world of advertisements, movies, music, and perpetual entertainment, which help them find comfort and draw them away from focusing on their problems. They develop a mentality of constantly acquiring things, rather than taking care of the weak. They look down on others, who apparently have less than them, and as they do not give the Zakat (due to their loans), the poor become envious of them. With easy access to loans, the borrower has little motivation to develop good work ethics, enterprise, planning, accountability, responsibility, innovation, reform, service, learning, and vision in his work. All this promotes a hollow ostentatious lifestyle, without any meaning, spirituality, or wisdom.

A person living such a lifestyle is deprived of all the blessings, as his transactions are based on Riba, which Allah (swt) has promised to make devoid of any blessings. He lives a wasteful life, and Allah (swt) calls such spendthrifts the ‘brothers of Shaitan’. The borrower’s relationship with Allah (swt) becomes weak as he begins to fear people and the future instead of Him. He always feels guilty and dissatisfied with life, trying to find an escape from his predicament. This weak relationship with Allah (swt) causes his relationships with those around him to deteriorate. He starts perceiving his family, colleagues, neighbours, friends, relatives, etc., as potential creditors. Becoming entrapped in this mentality, he only manages to increase for himself the pressure of his financial problems.

As an Ameer of the family, a man is supposed to provide Halal income, protection, and good Tarbiyah for those under his authority. All these become difficult for a borrower. His family becomes addicted to the easy life, and their demands increase day by day. This leads to family problems and misunderstandings. From a young age, children learn from their parents the destructive character traits that come with borrowed living.

A society, in which the majority of people are trapped in such a mindset, develops serious social problems. These destroy its very fabric, leading to deceit, thefts, violence, crime, killings, addictions, increase in materialism, and loss of spirituality. People become concerned only with competing with each other in acquiring things and living out enviable fashions and trends. They lose sight of what matters most in life and live out the hollow lifestyles of the celebrities they watch on the mainstream media. At a macro level, even governments sell their independence through financial enslavement, which affects millions of citizens.

A Way Out

The solution to these maladies is to not get trapped in a credit-based system in the first place. Try not to take any loan ever, if you can help it. Instead of a credit card, use cash, or at least a debit card. If credit cards are unavoidable, you can ask your bank to automatically pay the monthly balance from your account. The best cure is to change your lifestyle and live within your means. Instead of living a materialistic lifestyle, adopt a spiritual one. Engage in learning and teaching, rather than shopping and partying. Adopt the Sunnah in your daily routine.

Realize that the Prophet (sa) called the market the worst place and the Masjid the best. When you enter the market, recite the Dua for it. When you do go out for shopping, always make a list before leaving the house. Only buy the items on the list. Do it like a chore on fixed times on a weekly basis, not like an outing or entertainment which the mall culture these days promotes. Spend the least possible amount of time shopping. Do it without the wife and kids and after a meal. If you can help it, do not visit the market in between your weekly trips.

Make priorities for spending. For example, you may decide to spend on charity, learning, and health, while cutting expenditures in other areas. Engage in free entertainment like going to parks and beaches, instead of going to movies and malls. Eat at home by learning or asking your wife to learn to cook your children’s favorite fast foods like donuts, cookies, cakes, and pizzas. You can do it as a family weekend in the kitchen once in a while. Buy off season clothing. Do your Eid shopping months in advance before the prices rise. Go on vacations locally, instead of going to faraway places.

Brothers, who are about to tie the knot, should take into consideration the spending priorities of their spouse-to-be. If she is known to spend on extravagant fashions, etc, will you be able to provide that through your loan-free Halal income? Also consider future responsibilities once the family begins and grows. A girl with simple and realistic needs will be closer to Allah (swt), easy to please and caring.

The Prophet (sa) refused to lead the funeral prayer for those who had outstanding loans. The following Hadeeth confirms this. A dead person was brought to the Prophet (sa) so that he might lead the funeral prayer for him. He asked: “Is he in debt?” When the people replied in the negative, he led the funeral prayer. Another dead person was brought and he asked: “Is he in debt?” They said: “Yes.” He (refused to lead the prayer and) said: “Lead the prayer of your friend.” Abu Qatadah said: “O Allah’s Messenger (sa)! I undertake to pay his debt.” Allah’s Messenger (sa) then led his funeral prayer. (Bukhari) Even Halal loans are not encouraged, due to all the reasons cited above.

Today’s social architects promote borrowed living. They aim to keep the general public deluded and entrapped so that they keep earning and prospering at their expense. As practicing Muslims, we should see through their schemes and neutralize them. Borrowed living affects not only the individual, but also the family and society. Resolve to live within your means by adopting a simple Sunnah lifestyle with known priority areas for spending. A slave of Allah (swt) does not rest until he frees himself from all forms of enslavement. This includes financial slavery.