Making sense of the killings


Image Courtesy

Today the very fabric of society stands shaken. What and who can justify the killings of innocent kids?

If we travel back into time around 220 BC, China was divided into three kingdoms. Those were the times when amazing Chinese poetry was written; romantic heroes were depicted in movies to come; new dialects emerged and great laws were written down. But tragically, those were also the times when China was constantly at war within. Those battles caused unbelievable harm to the people of China who perished in millions. They couldn’t tolerate each other. They would wage war if one clan combed his hair differently than the other clan. That was a reason for them to hate each other. Many smaller nations hurt them in that vulnerable stage.

Today, we see a powerful superpower in the face of China standing united. Yes, united. That was the key. When they realized how division had weakened them, they joined hands to become one. And so, every household today has a high percentage of its merchandise either coming from China or being manufactured there- be it mobile phones, the clothes we wear, the furniture we use, etc.

A very famous parable circulates about three bulls and a lion. As the three stood together, the lion could not hunt them. Then the lion had an opportunity to trap one of the bulls. It cunningly convinced two bulls to break away from the third one. Hence, the two stood back, and let the lion devour the third bull. Next, the lion ate the second bull promising refuge to the one left alone. Lastly, as predicted, the lion pounced on the third and final bull. Just before the third bull was about to die it commented “In reality I was eaten the day I let the first bull be eaten for my own benefit. My death was sealed the day I was de-united. I am just being killed today.”

“Muhammad (sa) is the Messenger of Allah. And those who are with him are severe against disbelievers and merciful among themselves.” (Al-Fath 48:29)

Are we behaving mercifully towards our brothers and sisters? Or the ways of Khawarij have cracked into us? Khawarij were a group of people who had long beards and knew the Quran beautifully; yet, earned Allah’s (swt) anger. Their main worry was to fight other Muslims. For them it was said that they will leave the religion as an arrow leaves the bow. There was much less Iman in their hearts.

If we do not prevent ourselves from this behaviour, if we do not control the agenda, if we do not curb the hatred and rancor- we are heading towards disaster. If only we rewind the scene to the time when Allah’s (swt) had a conversation with His angels as described by the Quran. The angels showed concern to their Lord (swt) that is He going to put on earth His Khalifah who will spill blood? Allah (swt) informed them that He knew what they knew not. It was Allah’s (swt) great plan. And what was that? Allah (swt) was going to change the world through knowledge.

Whoever acted according to the revealed knowledge would be merciful.

Knowledge will ennoble them, bring logic and reason to them, and guide their hearts to mercy. What we see is a byproduct of ignorance about Allah (swt). They have forgotten Allah (swt), so Allah (swt) has made them forget their meeting with Him on Yaum-ul-Qiyamah. It is knowledge that enlightens you about the rights of others; the more you learn, the more you discover your own ignorance and strive to better yourself.

Even the fish in the oceans prays for the one who seeks knowledge. If Ulema of Islam are not the Auliya (helpers) of Allah (swt) – I don’t know who is?

We need to launch schools, colleges and universities of the international level that can impart education on Deen and Duniya both. We need to invest in projects that ensure spiritual, as well as, intellectual uplift. The products of such ventures will bring back the lost glory of knowledge, and academics as was the case from 9th until 14th century when Muslim scholars and their scholastics ruled the world.

AmribnulAas (rta) conquered North Africa thrice. Each time he conquered it, the country went back to fighting internally. Then he altered his strategy, and brought Sahabah from Madinah to come and live with the population. Rest assured everything calmed down. The knowledgeable companions brought light of their knowledge and actions, and illuminated the hearts of the people.

Hassan Al Basree once said that the Himmah (strength) of a Jahil (ignorant) is his narration.

But the concern of an Alim (scholar) is action on the knowledge he has gained. There is a strong co-relation between Amal (action) and Ilm (knowledge). As the Quran questions- is the one who know equal to the one who knows not?

Without true action- in the light of the Quran and the Sunnah- every knowledge seeker becomes a hypocrite or a pseudo-intellectual carrying a label and huge degrees. But, there is no Barakah left in his knowledge. He is as blind as the ones following him. He suffers from a disease of self-righteousness. He knows better, and cannot see the goodness of others; hence, he claims superiority. The essence of Taqwa (fear of Allah’s (swt) presence) is lost. All that one wants to tackle is his own differences, even if he has to resort to violence. This sickness has become rampant in the Ummah today.

We have two sides of the coin. On one hand, we have extremists who follow self-construed understanding of Islam, and take up arms to endorse it. On the other hand, we have modernists who dilute Islam, and call for an understanding that suits to their liking and lifestyle. But, Islam is moderate, and cannot be understood according to our own desires.

Bukhari narrates that before the last hour strikes; there will come a part of time that shall be full of Fitnah.

A man will sleep a believer and wake up a disbeliever. And He will sleep a disbeliever and wake up a believer. This will be due to a tremendous trial. The heart of a believer is weak and fragile. A stupid doubt can lead him to atheism, and his heart can waver as soon as a Fitnah strikes.

But, when I see Pakistan, I see tremendous hope. When there is good, there is opportunity; and when there is bad, I see greater opportunity. Every nation takes approximately twenty five years to rise. Look at Japan after Hiroshima bombing and Germany after its collapse. Pakistan has three great assets:

  1. Over 60% of its population comprises of youth. This is spectacular demographic. Nowhere in the world do you find this kind of a number. All we need to do is invest in their right education. Invest Dollar 1 today to save Dollars 10 tomorrow. This youth can be the fulcrum of change with the right leadership and mentorship.
  1. Islam is in the D.N.A. of every Pakistani. False ideologies will not take root here for long.
  1. Pakistanis are an extremely charitable nation. Even abroad in England 10 Downing Street reported that an average annual donation of a Muslim to another Muslim is Pound 668. And a large portion of it comes from Pakistanis.

I, being the chairman of Mercy Mission, want to personally see this growth. By the year 2030, I dream to see a pious, confident, selfless and self-sufficient Pakistan. It is our organization’s goal to help build a world where Muslim communities live faithfully, and benefit the society globally. And our change will come through education, Insha’Allah.

Transcribed from a talk at Motiwala residence for Hiba by RanaRais Khan



Apprehending the Ramadan Once Again



                                                  Image Courtesy


We have once again come to the holy month of Ramadan by Allah’s (swt) Will; the sacred month when the Quran was revealed- bringing good news and mercy; and as a reminder to the believers.

The spirituality, radiance and zeal- which are so distinctive of Ramadan- make this month the sultan of the year, with a unique sacredness and meaning for Muslims; and which has encompassed the entire Islamic world.

During the month of Ramadan- longed for just like a month in every period throughout history with its special virtues- we will observe the worship of fasting with our Muslim brothers, and be thankful for all the blessings our Lord has granted us; and perform prayers in crowded communities by praising His name. We will preserve the limits of Allah (swt), as we are informed in the verses of the Quran and the Sunnah of our Prophet (sa), enhance our feelings of helpfulness, solidarity and brotherhood, and close our ranks with love. The fasts that we break together, and our prayers will be the means for overflowing our hearts with love of Allah (swt).

While we are wishing for goodness and mercy for all Muslims in the month of Ramadan, we unquestionably remember our brothers who are being persecuted in every corner of the world. In this Ramadan, we remember that there is an urgent need for unity and solidarity for the salvation of Muslims who are under persecution and oppression in Myanmar, Syria, Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Patani, Kashmir, East Turkestan, Moro, and Crimea, as well as, many other parts of the world; as we remember the innocent people, the people of Middle East have been shattered by mischief, and all kinds of affliction; and are facing the most ruthless siege. We must never forget the images of innocent people devastated with automatic rifles and bombs, and the dead bodies of children lined up next to one another.

It is not possible for us to remain insensible while millions of our brothers are downtrodden. Every time we break our fast, we will be mindful of them and hold them in our prayers. We will say, be it in small or big gatherings, that the only salvation of the Islamic world is in Islamic Union, and that Muslims should be united at once, and that delaying this unification is unlawful. Also, we believe that every one of us will act with the utmost conscience, and make significant strides on this path.

Indeed, the solidarity of Muslims, their being in unity and embracing one another should be the top priority in the Islamic world.

Millions of innocents are expecting a helping hand from their Muslim brothers. We must empathize to their dire straits by putting ourselves in their place, and striving for their salvation with our greatest efforts, is one of our major obligations. We need to be aware that we will have to account for every drop of blood that is shed; every guiltless person who is martyred or disabled because of an injury; or every aggrieved individual in starvation.

There is no doubt that it is already time for the Islamic world to unite. When all the lands of Islam act in alliance and togetherness, they will make enormous progress by Allah’s (swt) will; and the mischief we see throughout the world, will come to an end. It is essential for Muslims to come together in unison for the bloodshed to stop, for the anarchy and terror to end, and for tranquility, welfare and security to prevail all over the world.

We hope that in this sacred month, Muslims will put aside their dissention, and come together; and attain days of serenity, radiance and peace by the Will of our Lord. All Muslims should leave aside the fighting, conflict and resentment this Ramadan, act in alliance and seek ways to save their brothers under oppression so that the seemingly unceasing strife is brought to an end in the Islamic world. By realizing that our religion enjoins peace and brotherhood, we wish that all divisions and bitterness be eliminated so that the lifelessness, disagreement and disputes arising from differences are removed; and that Muslim brothers and sisters can reconcile. And again, we pray that this blessed month is the means for laying the foundations of a delightful, peaceful and luminous period in the Islamic world, just like the Age of Bliss.





Brands to Boycott – With Alternatives

Back in 2012, in line with the information provided on Innovative Minds, Hiba Magazine circulated a flyer titled “Brands to Boycott” which provided a list of companies that heavily invest in Israel and also contribute to its economy. This list provided some handy alternatives, especially for Pakistani-based readers. With the current conflict in Gaza, we are again providing this list for those who feel helpless in the face of the situation and wish to do something to support their Muslim brothers and sisters in Palestine.

If you are one of those who wonder whether boycotting is fruitful, we encourage you to check out an excellent article by our writer, Lamya Almas: Is Boycotting Fruitful?

There is another one titled: Shopping can kill.

The list is as follows (courtesy Innovative Minds)



To find out why these companies are on this list, visit

Another list circulated by Christian Science Monitor mentions the following well-known brands on the boycott list:

  1. P&G Pampers
  2. Victoria’s Secrets
  3. Volvo
  4. Intel
  5. Motorola
  6. Hewlett-Packard (HP)
  7. McDonalds

Alternatives for those who are based in Pakistan

Pasta: Kolson / Bake Parlour / Crispo

Milk  / Flavoured Milk: Olpers / Good Milk / Haleeb / Millac / Pakola Milk

Powdered Milk: Millac / Haleeb Skimz / Nutra Mil / Skimillac

Coffee: Coffee Break / Brazo

Instant Noodles: Shoop / Knorr / Indomie

Tea: Tapal / Kohinoor / Standard’s Prime Tea / Vital tea

Cooking Oil: Habib / Sunlight / Meezan / Seasons / Sufi / Eva / Coroli / Soya Supreme / Canolive

Soaps: Breeze / Capri / Tibet / Sufi Bath Soap / Bodyguard

Shampoo: Bio Amla / Medicam / Dabur Amla

Detergents: Sufi Soap Vermicelli / Pak Surf

Washing soaps: Safon Detergent Bar / Safon Detergent Liquid

Dish-washing soap: Safon dish-washing bar (Sufi), Aan soap

Soft Drinks: Pakola / Gourmet Cola

Toothpaste: Hamdard / Dentonic / English / Soda White / Dabur / Shield

Ice-cream: Igloo / Omore / Hico / Iceberg

Personal care products: Saeed Ghani / Olivia / Care / English / Tibet / Etude / Avon

Dairy products: Haleeb / Nurpur / Olpers /

Electronics: Waves / Millat / Super Asia / Pak Fan / Toshiba / Sony / Hitachi / LG / Mitsubishi / Samsung (printers)

Yoghurt: Al-Marai / Millac Yoghurt

Mineral Water: Eva / Pakola’s Vital / Sufi / Qarshi’s Springley / Osloo

Custard, Jelly and Jell-O: Happy Home / Delve Desserts

Juices and Instant Drinks: Maaza / Sunsip / Frooto / Tropico

Candies: Candyland / Hilal

Baby Products: Shield Blessings / Mothercare / Susu

Diapers: Canbebe / Susu / Diapy / EQ /

Toothbrushes / Mouthwash: Shield Products

Readers and local companies are requested to add to this list for public benefit.

We have tried our best to ensure that the above list is correct as of July 12, 2014. If you find any error in it, please email us at and it will be corrected, Insha’Allah!

My Family on Fire!

unityImagine waking up one morning to the horror of finding your loved ones brutally killed. All of them, one by one, were slain like carrots. In every room that you peek – your brothers’, sisters’, parents’ and children’s – you find they’ve been tortured, heartlessly massacred and mutilated. What will be your reaction? Will you sit still? Or stay utterly optimistic that you will be spared? Or you won’t have time to think about them and you’ll just have breakfast and go about your daily routine like you always do? Or will you be cowardly and evasive, giving excuses that you can’t do anything?

If you think this is just a fictitious scenario, you’re wrong! Step out of the shell covering you – ‘my life and my world’ – and look around! A sister in Iraq, a brother in Palestine, a father in Philippines, a mother in Syria, a brother in Afghanistan, a son in Burma, a cousin in Xinjiang (China), another in North Pakistan, a brother in Yemen, sisters in Somalia, friends in Algeria, an aunt in Egypt… and so many others in the persecuted Muslim lands. My family, your family is on fire! Yes, they are our family!

Prophet Muhammad (sa) said: “In their mutual love, mercy and compassion, the believers are like one body: if one organ complained, the rest of the body develops a fever.” (Bukhari, Muslim)

Do you feel for them, pray for them and shed tears for them, like you would have for a family member? Have you done anything practical to aid and support them?

Do give this a thought and draft an action plan, for on the Day of Judgment, you will be answerable before Allah Almighty (swt), the Judge. Do prepare an answer! Today is all you have.

[Hadeeth Commentary] The Reality of Hasad (Jealousy)


Related on the authority of Abu Hurairah (rta) that the Prophet (sa) said: “Do not be envious of one another; do not artificially inflate prices against one another; do not hate one another; do not shun one another; do not under cut one another in business transactions; be as fellow-brothers and servants of Allah (swt). A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim. He neither oppresses him nor humiliates him nor looks down upon him. Piety is here – and he pointed to his chest three times. It is evil enough for a Muslim to hold his brother Muslim in contempt. All things of a Muslim are inviolable for another Muslim: his blood, his property and his honour.” (Muslim)

This Hadeeth is about the rights of a Muslim. A Muslim has more rights upon another Muslim compared to a non-Muslim. This Hadeeth clarifies the things which you should not do to another Muslim. This does not in any way mean that all these things are allowed if the other person is a non-Muslim. Certainly, Allah (swt) demands that we be fair and just to all.

Unity is one of the greatest aims Islam asks Muslims to strive for and Allah (swt) forbids any division among the Muslim Ummah. The Quran urges Muslims in countless verses to remain united. Allah (swt) says: “And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allah (which is Islam) and be not divided among yourselves…” (Al-Imran 3:103)

Several guidelines steer Muslims to practice deeds resulting in unity. Simultaneously, Islam prohibits many actions that can lead to divergence in the Muslim Ummah. The very first action that the Prophet (sa) forbids us is envy (Hasad). The fact is that Hasad led Shaitan to envy Adam (as) and lose his status among the angles. Hasad is also responsible for the first sin committed on earth by Cain (Qabil) who murdered his brother Able (Habil).

What is Hasad?

Hasad means desiring the removal of a blessing from somebody else that has been bestowed upon him by Allah (swt). For instance, somebody is blessed with wealth/children/knowledge and you feel Hasad. Hasad is having this feeling in the heart. It is felt in matters of both Deen and Dunya. The envious person actively wishes the removal of the blessing from another person, and wishes for them to get deprived even though he or she might not receive a similar blessing. For example, thinking about how someone is wealthy and always travelling; feeling upset because you cannot do the same. You just do not want another to have something you do not have, or cannot attain.



Ibn Taymiyah also included in the definition of Hasad that one hates the person having a blessing and feels that they do not deserve it, even if you do not know that person. The reality is that you hate something that Allah (swt) has given someone. Allah (swt) distributes the blessings and you are accountable for your feelings.

Levels of Hasad

Ibn Rajab states in his definition that it is part of human nature that a person dislikes anyone who is better than him in virtues. He says that people differ in their attitudes and he lists five categories of envy that people have:

  1. Some people will make the effort through action/speech to end the bounty received by someone whom they envy.
  2. Others will try to take it away from the person they envy and then try to get it for themselves.
  3. Some people do not make any effort by action/speech to harm the one whom they envy. This category of people can be of two types:
    1. The one who does his best to eliminate the feeling of envy within himself but he cannot overcome it. In spite of this, he keeps fighting and struggling against it. Ibn Rajab says: “This type of person is excused from punishment.”
    2. The one who thinks about envy and practices it repeatedly. He does not make any effort to fight it even though he does not do any harm by action/speech. He wishes that the bounty of the envied one gets lost. Consequently, this person deserves punishment.
    3. Those people who envy someone but do not harm. They do not even wish the loss of the bounty from the envied one. Instead, they make an effort to attain a similar bounty or virtue for themselves. Ibn Rajab says: “If this bounty is worldly virtues/ bounties, there is no benefit in that. But if it is a righteous virtue, then it is good.”
    4. Some people who whenever feel envy, they do their best to stop it and do something good for the person whom they envy. Also, they make Dua for that person until they love him because envy is usually associated with hatred. Ibn Rajab says: “These people are the best believers since everyone is subjected to indulge or be trapped by envy.” (40 Hadeeth Nawawi)

We should keep in mind that unlike the sins that are temporary, Hasad is more dangerous and worse as it is in the heart and can last for days and years. For example, drinking alcohol is a sin at the time of the act. But Hasad is a long-term sin. When you hate someone else for being blessed, it is akin to your objecting to Allah’s (swt) decree. If you look at Hasad from this angle, it makes it easier for you not to strive to compete with others, but to accept what Allah (swt) has decreed for you. Prophet Muhammad (sa) said: “Nobody will attain faith until you love for your brother what you love for yourself.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Why is Hasad prohibited?

By Allah’s (swt) Will and Permission, Hasad can cause harm to another Muslim. Hence, it is an evil deed. This is a quality of Shaitan; even if you wish bad for someone, it can happen. The Prophet (sa) said: “Creeping upon you is the disease of those people before you: envy and hatred. And hatred is the thing that shapes. I do not say it shapes the hair but it shapes the religion. By the One in whose Hand is my soul, you will not enter paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another. Certainly, let me inform you of such things that you may establish: spread the greetings and peace among yourselves.” The Prophet (sa) also mentions: “Hate and business transactions are tied together with Hasad. If you do not envy, you will love and if you love you will not be unjust or unfair.” (Ahmad and Tirmidhi).

“And those who annoy believing men and women undeservedly, they bear on themselves the crime of slander and plain sin.” (Al-Ahzab 33:58)

Muslims are the helpers and supporters of one another; they should treat each other with tolerance, love and mercy. This is how a Muslim should be.