Archive for June, 2011

Maintaining Family Ties

Sunday, June 19th, 2011
Maintaining Family Ties - Darul Ishaat UK

Maintaining Family Ties

A chapter from Fazaail-e-Sadaqaat written by a leading figure in Islamic Scholarship of the last century, Sheikhul Hadeeth Moulana Muhamad Zakariyya. It concerns the all important topics of maintaining family ties, its benefits and the harms in breaking ties of kinship.

Cover: Paperback
Author: Sheikhul Hadeeth Moulana Muhamad Zakariyya
Publisher: Madrasah Taaleemuddeen
Pages: 57
Size: 21 x 15 cm

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With Children

Sunday, June 19th, 2011

How many incidents that occurred in our childhood days do we still remember up until today, be they happy or sad memories? Think about your childhood and no doubt you will remember the day you received a certificate of achievement at school, or when someone praised you in a public gathering, and so on. These are the sort of incidents that become imprinted in your memory such that you can never forget.

We likewise remember the sad memories from our childhood, such as a teacher chastising us, or a fight with a classmate, or being humiliated by a family member. How often does the
good treatment of children not only affect them but also their parents and families, and it earns their love and respect? It is often the case that primary school teachers are contacted by
their pupils’ parents who thank them and express their love and respect merely for the fact that they love and respect their children.They may express their gratitude sometimes by words and sometimes as gifts.Therefore, do not belittle smiling at a child, winning his heart and exercising interpersonal skills with him.

I once delivered a lecture about the importance of prayer to a group of children in a school. I asked them if anyone knew of a Hadeeth concerning the importance of prayer.  One of the children responded saying, “The Prophet   has said: “Between a man and disbelief and polytheism is to abandon the prayer.” I was so amazed by his response and his zeal that I instantly took off my watch and gave it to him, although, my watch wasn’t anything speciaI. This incident encouraged the child to study more eagerly and memorise the Qur’an, since he had felt self-worth.

Years passed by, I went to a mosque and was astonished to discover that the Imam of the mosque was that same child.  He had grown to become a fine young man who had graduated from the Shariah College, and was now working in a court. AIthough, I did not remember him, he had remembered me. Notice how love and respect developed in his heart due to a childhood incident.

I recall being invited to a wedding ceremony once where a bright young man approached me and greeted me very warmly, and then reminded me of his childhood memories of me when I came to his school to deliver a lecture. Sometimes we even notice children who have been treated kindly by someone bringing their parents to him or her and introducing them in the hope that the parents have the same love and respect for the man or woman that they do.

I would not hide the fact that I am very kind and welcoming of children. I make it a point to attentively listen to their sweet conversations, even though they are usually of no substance. In fact, sometimes I am extremely welcoming to them simply in order to win the hearts of their parents.

I used to meet a friend of mine every now and then who would have his son with him, and I would be extremely kind and playful with the son. One day, this friend of mine met me at a
wedding party with this son. He greeted me and said, “what have you done to my son? His teacher at school asked his pupils what they would like to be when they grow up. Some said doctors, others said engineers, but my son said:‘l want to be Muhammad al-‘Arifi:

You can sometimes notice the different ways in which people deal with children.When a person enters a public gathering with his son, he shakes everyone’s hand one by one, while his
son follows suit.Amongst the people are those who would completely ignore the child, others would barely shake his hand, and others would warmly shake his hand saying, “Welcome, young man! How are you today?” It is the love of that person that will be engraved in the heart of the child, as well as in the hearts of his parents.

The Prophet   would display the best form of treatment with children.Anas bin Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, had a younger brother, and the Prophet  would play with him and nickname him Abu ‘Umayr. The child had a small bird that he played with.Whenever the Prophet   would meet him, he would joke with him saying, “O Abu ‘Umayr, what happened to al-Nughayr?” meaning, the bird.

He would be kind and playful with chi|dren.Whenever he would meet Zaynab bint Umm Salamah, he would playfully say to her, “O Zuwaynib! O Zuwaynib!” Whenever he passed by children playing, he would greet them. Whenever he visited the Ansaar, he would greet their children and place his hand on their heads out of compassion. Upon the return of the Muslim army from Mu’tah, the Prophet  along with the rest of the Muslims and their children met them on their way back to Madinah. When the Prophet  saw the children he said, “Take the children and carry them, and please pass me Ibn ]a’far.”They passed ‘AbduIIah bin ]a’far on to him and he held him in his arms.

One day as the Prophet  was performing ablution, there came to him Mahmud bin al-Rabi’ who was only five years old. The Prophet   took some water in his mouth and jokingly blew it out in his face. (al-Bukhari)

Generally, the Prophet  was lively and merry with everyone. He would always try to make people happy. He would always be easygoing with everyone so that people would not become bored in his company.

A man came to the Prophet   wanting a camel to ride on for a journey or expedition.The Prophet  said to him jokingIy,”I will give you an offspring of a came|.” The man became surprised and thought of how he could possibly ride a camel’s offspring that could not carry his weight. He said, “O Messenger of Allah! What would I do with a camel’s offspring? “The Prophet  said, ‘Does a camel give birth to anything but an offspring?’ Meaning; I will give you a grown camel, however, no doubt, it is still another camel’s offspring!

Once, he jokingly said to Anas,”O you, the possessor of two ears!”

A woman once came to the Prophet  complaining about her husband, so he said to her, “is your husband the one whose eyes are white?” The woman became worried and thought that her husband had become blind, in light of what Allah said about jacob, “His eyes whitened from grieving so much…” meaning, he became blind. She went back to her husband terrified and began to look into his eyes carefully. He asked her what the problem was. She said, “The Prophet  said that there is whiteness in your eyes!” The man said, “O woman! Did he not tell you that the whiteness in my eyes is more than the blackness? “meaning; everyone has whiteness and blackness in his eyes.

The Prophet  would react positively to whoever joked or bantered with him and he would smile. Once ‘Umar bin al-khat-tab came to the Prophet   who was at that time angry with his wives, due to their demanding of more allowance. ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him, said, “O Messenger of Allah! lf you recall us when we were men of the Quraysh, we always controlled our women. lf any of our women were to ask for more allowance, we would have jumped up and grabbed her neck! But when we came to Madinah we found the women controlling their men, so our women began to learn these tricks from their women!” Thereupon the Prophet  smiled.‘Umar continued to speak and the Prophet  continued to smile.

We read in various Ahadith that often the Prophet  would smile till his molar teeth would show. He was indeed an extremely kind and friendly companion. lf we were to train ourselves to embrace such skills, we would surely taste the sweetness of life.

A thought…
A child is like soft clay that we shape according to our treatment of it.

 

Key:

Peace be upon him=  Peace be upon him

 

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With the poor

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Many people today view manners in a commercial light. To them, only rich people’s jokes are worth laughing at, and only their faults are considered small and worthy of overlooking.
As for the poor; their jokes are unbearable and only worthy of ridicule, while their faults are magnified and they are shouted down.

As for the Prophet his kindness extended to both rich and poor alike. Anas may Allah be pleased with him said, “There was a man from amongst the Bedouins whose name was Zahir bin Haram. Whenever he came to Madinah for a need, he brought something for the Prophet  as a gift, like cottage cheese or butter. Likewise, the Prophet would prepare something to give to him whenever he wanted to leave, such as dates and so on. The Prophet  used to love him and say: “Zahir is our Bedouin and we are his city-dwellers. ” Zahir was not very good looking.  One day, Zahir may Allah be pleased with him left the desert and came to Allah’s Messenger  but did not find him. He had some merchandise to sell so he went on to the marketplace.

When the Prophet  found out about his arrival, he went to the marketplace looking for him.When he arrived, he saw him selling his merchandise with sweat pouring down from his face, and he wore Bedouin clothes which did not smell good either. The Prophet   hugged him tightly from behind, while Zahir was unaware and could not see who it was.

Zahir became scared and said:”Let me go! Who is this?” But the Prophet  remained silent. Zahir tried to release himself from his grip and started to look right and left. When he saw the Prophet   he relaxed and calmed down, placing his back against the Prophet’s chest. The Prophet  began to joke with him, saying to the public:”  who will buy this slave?! Who will buy this slave?!”

Thereupon, Zahir looked at himself and thought of his extreme poverty, for he had neither wealth nor good looks.

He said: “You will find me unmarketable, O Messenger of Allah.”

The Prophet   said:“But you are not unmarketable with Allah. You are very precious to Allah.”

It was no surprise then that the hearts of the poor were attached to the Prophet  He would gain their respect and love by such an attitude. Many poor people may not accuse the rich
of miserliness in terms of wealth and food, but they can certainly accuse them of miserliness in terms of gracious and kind treatment. How often do you smile at a poor person and make
him feel he is worthy and respectable, so that perhaps at night he might supplicate for you and cause Allah’s mercy to descend upon you from the heavens?

There may be a person with dishevelled hair who is rejected and not cared for, but if he ever asks Allah for something he is always responded to, Therefore, always be humane with the weak.

A hint…
Perhaps just a smile at a poor man would raise you in rank in the sight of Allah.

 

key:= Peace be upon him

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Enjoy the skills

Friday, June 10th, 2011

These skills give us physical pleasure, and I do not mean by this the pleasure of the hereafter only. Rather, it is that pleasure one actually feels in this world. So enjoy these skills and practise them with the old, young, rich, poor, near or far. Use these skills with them in order to guard yourself from their harm, to earn their love, or to rectify them.

‘AIi bin al-jahm was a very eloquent poet, but he was a Bedouin.The only life he knew was the desert life.The Caliph, al-Mutawakkil, was very powerful. People would go to visit him and return with whatever they wished. One day, ‘Ali bin al-jahm entered Baghdad and it was said to him,”whoever praises the Caliph, is bestowed with honour and gifts.”

‘Ali became excited and went to the Caliph’s palace.There he saw the poets reciting their poems in praise of the Caliph and returning with gifts. Al-Mutawakkil was known for his authority, awe and power. ‘Ali began to praise the Caliph with a poem in which he likened him to a dog, a goat and a bucket, whilst other poets likened him to the sun,the moon and the mountains!

The Caliph became angry, and his guards unsheathed their swords and prepared to strike off his neck. But then, the Caliph realised that ‘Ali bin al-jahm was from the desert and that his
personality and poetic taste was shaped accordingly. He decided to change his personality, so he ordered his men to house him in a section of the palace, be treated with kindness and be given all the available pleasures.

Al-jahm tasted some of these bounties and sat on couches side by side with eloquent poets and authors for seven months. One day, as the Caliph was sitting in his nightly gathering, he
remembered ‘A|i bin al-jahm, so he sent for him.When al-jahm finally came to him, he said,”Sing some verses to me, O ‘Ali bin al—jahm!” Al-jahm began to move emotions using soft and kind words, and likened the king to the sun, the stars and the sword.

Notice how the Caliph was able to change Ibn al-]ahm’s personality. How often have we been upset by the bad behaviour of our children and friends? Did we ever try to change their nature successfully? Even more,you should be able to change your own personality by replacing a frowning face with a smiling one, replacing anger with forbearance, and miserliness with generosity. None of this is difficult, but it does require determination and persistence, so be brave!

Whoever reads the life of the Prophet peace be upon him  realises that he would deal with people with these skills and capture their hearts. The Prophet  peace be upon him would not simply pretend to have these skills in front of people and replace his forbearance with anger when being alone with his family. He was never one to be cheerful with some but sulky with his own family. He was never one to be generous with everyone except his own children and wives. Rather;  he always acted naturally. He would worship Allah by his fine manners just as he would worship Him by offering the Duha or night prayers. He would consider his smile to be a virtue, his gentleness an act of worship, and his forgiveness and leniency a good deed.The one who considers good manners to be acts of worship will always remain well-mannered, in war and peace, when he is hungry and when he is full, when healthy or ill, and even when happy or sad.

How many women only hear about the refined manners of their husbands, such as their patience, cheerfulness and generosity, but never witness any of these qualities at home? Such husbands, often when at home, are ill-mannered, impatient, sulky and constantly cursing.

As for the Prophet peace be upon him he said, “The best of you is the one who is best to his family, and I am the best of you to my fami|y.” (al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Maiah, Sahih)

Now read how he would deal with his family: Al-Aswad bin Yazid said, “l asked ‘A’ishah — may Allah be pleased with her  how Allah’s Messenger   would behave in his house. She said: ‘He would be serving his family, and when the time for prayer would come he would perform ablution and leave to pray.”

The same can be said about parents. How often is it that we hear of the good manners that some display, such as generosity, cheerfulness and kind behaviour towards others, and yet with the closest people to them who have the greatest rights over them, such as their parents, wives and children, they are distant and cold.

Yes, the best of you is the best to his family, to his parents, to his wife, and to his children. One night, as Abu Layla —- may Allah be pleased with him — sat next to the Prophet  peace be upon him there came to him, either al-Hasan or al-Husayn, so the Prophet peace be upon him  lifted him up and placed him on his stomach. The toddler then urinated on the Prophet’s stomach. Abu Layla said, “l saw the urine trickling down from the Prophet’s stomach.  So we leapt up to the Prophet peace be upon him but he said:‘Leave my son alone. Do not scare him.”’

When the toddler had finished urinating, he called for some water and poured it over his stomach.’ (Ahmad and al-Tabarani, with trustworthy narrators)

How amazing was the Messenger of Allah  peace be upon him to train and adorn himself with such manners! No wonder he was able to win the hearts of the young and old.

Opinion…
Instead of cursing the darkness, try to fix the lamp.

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Priceless Advices For All Workers Of Deen

Monday, June 6th, 2011
Priceless Advices For All Workers Of Deen

Priceless Advices For All Workers Of Deen

Coming: 20/06/2011

An edited translation of an exceptional discourse delivered in Musjid e Hilal – Durban on Wednesday, March 26 2008.

The speaker, Maulana Muhammad Sa’d Kandhlawi of Nizamuddin outlined an important principle of Da’wat and Tabligh, that all works of Deen enjoy a harmonious relationship, striving for one common cause, something grossly misunderstood by many. He also expounds on the lofty status of the Sunnah, and the essential qualities for every individual to inculcate.

English rendering by Maulana Zeyad Danka.

Cover: Paperback
Author: Maulana Muhammad Sa’d Kandhlawi (Nizamuddin)
Publisher: Darul Mazeed
Pages: 110
Size: 20.5 x 14 cm

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Health Guidelines For Ramadan

Monday, June 6th, 2011
Health Guidelines For Ramadan

Health Guidelines For Ramadan

Coming: 20/06/2011

This publication outlines the need for Muslims to re-focus on the reason for fasting in the month of Ramadan, Due to many decades, if not centuries of confusing tradition and customs with Islamic principles, the perceived purpose of Ramadan has changed. This book outlines what is needed to be done to re-establish the close connection with Allah, The practice of eating exotic, extravagant foods and of over-eating takes away the spirituality that we desparately need during this holy month. This book is intended to read well before Ramadan, to initiate the changes required for a spiritually rearding Ramadan.

A comprehensive work, chapters include: preparing for Ramadan, exercises in Ramadan, physical benefits of performing tarawih prayer, harmful foods, medical benefits of fasting, fasting and losing weight, Diabetes & other illnesses and fasting, psycho-sociological benefits of fasting, oral hygiene in Ramadan, menstruation in Ramadan, and also a few helpful recipes for Ramadan, and more.

The author, Dr Farouk Haffejee, is a family physician with many years of experience in Australia and South Africa.

Cover: Paperback
Author: Dr. Farouk Hafeeje
Publisher: Islamic Medical Association of South Africa – KZN
Pages: 140
Size: 20.6 x 14.6 cm

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The Islam Guide

Monday, June 6th, 2011
Islam Guide

Islam Guide

A thought provoking book that provides an unprecedented exploration of the beliefs, teachings and practises of a religion that encompasses a fifth of the world`s population. Iconic symbols of Islamic history including some of the worlds greatest architecture together with captivating the message of Islam combines to deliver a vibrant and intriguing journey through faith written in an informative, factual and concise manor with stunning colour imagery and exquisite photography of the natural world, it is sure to appeal to all audiences.

The Islam guide is a remarkable achievement and result of over three years exhaustive research by exhibition Islam. The initial concept for this guide was to provide a highly visual and in depth study of the scientific observations of the Quran. Subsequently, this was expanded to provide an overview of Islamic faith.

Publisher: Exhibition Islam
Pages: 355
Size: 21.6 x 20 cm (approx)

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Sample pages:

.

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Do not cry over spilt milk

Saturday, June 4th, 2011

Some people believe that the traits they have been nurtured on, which they are recognised by and which have left a certain impression about them on the minds of others can never be changed. They surrender to this thought, just as a person would surrender to the fact that he cannot change his height or skin colour.

On the other hand, an intelligent person thinks that to change one’s nature can perhaps be easier than changing his clothes. Our nature is not like spilt milk that cannot be scooped up again, rather we are always in control of it and there are certain ways in which we can alter it, and even the way we think!

Ibn Hazm mentions in his work Tawq al-Hamamah a tale of a famous Spanish businessman: There was competition between him and four other businessmen and as a result, they disliked him. They were therefore determined to aggravate him. One morning, he left his house to go to his workplace, wearing a white shirt and turban. One of the four businessmen met him on the way, he  greeted the Spanish businesman, looked at his turban and said, “How beautiful this yellow turban is!” The businessman said,”Are you blind? This turban is white!” He replied,”No, it is yellow! It is yellow, but it looks good.”

The businessman left him and moved on until he met the second of them, He greeted him, then looked at his turban and said, “You look handsome today! Your clothes look fine! Especially this green turban!”

The businessman said, “Actually, the turban is white.”

“No, it is green,” he insisted.

He replied, “lt is white! Go away from me!”

The businessman walked on, talking to himself, and every now and then looking at the flank of his turban to make sure that it was indeed white. He reached his shop and opened up the lock. Meanwhile, there came to him the third of the four businessmen and said,”How beautiful this morning is! And especially your clothes, they look fine! And your beautiful blue turban only adds to your good looks!”

The businessman looked at his turban to ascertain its colour, then rubbed his eyes and said, “Dear brother! My turban is white!”

“No, it is blue. But the important thing is that it looks good, so don’t worry!” the man said, and left, as the businessman began to yell after him saying,”The turban is white!” as he looked at his turban to ascertain its colour once again.

He sat in his shop for a while and couldn’t take his eyes off his turban. Meanwhile, the fourth person came and said, “Greetings! mashaAllah! From where did you buy this red turban?”

The businessman shouted, “My turban is blue!”

He replied, “No, it is red.”

The businessman said, “No, it is green! Actually, no, it is white! No, it is blue, or black!” He then laughed out loud, then screamed, then began to cry and then started to jump up and down!

Ibn Hazm said, ‘Thereafter, I would see him in the streets of Spain. He had gone mad and children would pelt stones at him.’

lf these four people, by using their skills, were able to change not only the nature of the person but also his mind, then how about the tried and tested skills that are supported by revelation which a person can put into practice in order to become closer to Allah?

Put into practice whatever good skills you come across and you will be happy.

lf you say to me, “i cannot.”

I would say to you, “At least try!”

If you say to me, “i don’t know how.”

I would say, “Yes, you do!”

The Prophet  pbuh said, “knowledge is only gained through learning, and clemency is only gained through perseverance.”

A point of view…

The hero is the one who goes beyond his ability to improve his skills, until he becomes able to improve, and perhaps even alter the skills of others.

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Improve yourself

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

You sit with someone who is twenty years old and notice that he has particular etiquettes, logic and thought.You then sit with him when he is thirty to discover that he is exactly the way he was ten years ago and has not improved at all.Yet, you sit with others and you feel that they are actually taking benefit from their lives.You discover that they improve themselves on a daily basis. ln fact, not an hour passes except that they improve either religiously or otherwise. lf you wish to ponder upon the different types of people with respect to self-improvement, then think about the following:

There are those who like to watch those satellite television channels that help their general knowledge and intelligence grow.They beneht from other people’s experiences by watching
constructive discussions, from which they learn the characteristics of debating and improve their language, understanding, and expertise in debate and persuasion.

Then there are those who cannot miss out on a series about a failed love story, or an emotional play, or a horror film, or films about useless fantasies with no link to reality at all. Notice the difference between the two after five or ten years.

Which of the two would have improved the most in his skills and ability to fathom information, gain general knowledge, have the power to convince others, or successfully be able to cope with diverse situations? No doubt the first person! You will find the mannerisms of the first person to be completely different.

When he argues, he does so on the basis of legal references, facts and figures, while the second can only quote the words of actors and singers, so much so that one such person once said during a discussion, “Allah says: ‘Strive, my servant, and l shall strive with you!”

We informed him that this is not a verse from the Qur’an. His complexion changed and he fell silent. l then thought about the phrase and it occurred to me that it is an Egyptian idiom which was imprinted on his mind after watching a drama series!

Let’s look at it from another angle that of reading newspapers and magazines. How many people take an interest in reading beneficial news and information that helps them in developing their personality, improves their skills and increases their general knowledge? Yet, how many are those who cannot read except,  sports and entertainment news? This is true to such an extent that many newspapers compete with each other by increasing the sports and entertainment pages at the cost of other sections.The same can be said about our gatherings and the things in which we spend our time.

Hence, if you would like to be a head instead of a tail, then eagerly try to practice all skills, regardless of what they may be.  ‘Abdullah was an energetic person but lacking in certain skills. One day, he left his home to pray Dhuhr in the mosque.  lt was his zeal for the prayer and respect for his religion which brought him out to pray. He was walking fast in order to reach the mosque before the lqamah was given. On his way, he passed by a date-palm tree on top of which there was a man in uniform, working on the tree. ‘Abdullah became surprised and thought, “Who is this man that does not care about the prayer! It is as if he didn’t even hear the Adhan, or doesn’t care about the lqamah, which is about to go!”

He shouted in anger,”Get down and pray!” The man responded coldly,”OK, OK…” He said, again,”Hurry up and pray, you donkey!”

The man screamed,”You called me a donkey?!” He then took a branch of the tree and descended in order to hit him over the head with it! ‘Abdullah hid his face with his headscarf so the man wouldn’t recognise him and went on to the mosque.The man descended from the tree in anger, went to his house, prayed and rested for a while. He then returned to the tree to finish his job. Then ‘Asr time came and ‘Abdullah went to the mosque again. On his way he passed by the same tree and noticed the same man working. He decided to change his method altogether and said,‘As-salamu ‘alaykum! How are you?”

The man replied, “Al-hamdulillah, I am fine!”

He said,”Give me some good news. How are the dates this year?’

The man said,”Al-Hamdulillah.”

‘Abdullah said, “May Allah give you success and provision,
make your life easy for you, and not deprive you of the reward for your work!”

The man was overjoyed at hearing this supplication and said ameen to the prayer.

‘Abdullah then said,”it seems that you are so preoccupied with work that perhaps you didn’t notice the Adhan for ‘Asr prayer.The Adhan has been called and the Iqamah is about to be
given. Perhaps you should get down, relax a little and get ready for prayer. After the prayer you can get on with your work again. May Allah keep you healthy.”

The man said, “inshaAllah… inshaAllah…” and began to descend gently.

He then turned to ‘Abdullah, shook his hand warmly and said, “i would like to thank you for your excellent manners.As for the one who passed by me at Dhuhr time, I wish I could see him and show him who the real donkey is!”

The resuIt…

Your skills of dealing with others determine how they deal with you.

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