Thursday, 29 May 2014

The 'other' hijabi

The Other Hijabi

When I see you, I confess, I assess how good your outer hijab is. As if your outer hijab is a direct indication of your inner hijab. I look at your clothes; are your sleeves full length, are you covered until your ankles, is nothing of your hair or neck showing, is nothing you are wearing see-through and then finally I assess your 'fashion-sense'.I look at your face; how much make up are you wearing, are you wearing earrings outside of your hijab? Then I ask myself are you light skinned and light eyed, are you a convert like me? I look at who your with; is that your husband, if not it better be your brother, do your friends wear hijab, are your children well behaved, does your daughter wear hijab? I look at your behaviour; are you loud, are you smoking, are you eating/drinking at places selling haram food or which support certain regimes we oppose, are you compassionate towards your fellow humans and animals, do you litter and do you drive carefully?

From this short paragraph one might think that these issues are not the nicest of issues to assess somebody on, however how do you think non-muslims assess us hijabis? Being a hijabi is like being a live representative of Islam, people will judge whatever you do and say directly or indirectly as to be due to your religion. Think of it this way, if you would see a nun drinking in public, would you not very surprised and instantly question their belief in the teachings of Prophet Jesus (a.s.) and with it the entire religion of Christianity itself.

Dear other hijabi, 

may Allah bless you and your family. 
You have brightened my day by your mere presence,
being in a society where modesty in dress is an oddity
you have made me feel stronger and not alone.
May Allah give you the strength to wear your hijab with pride
and may Allah guide you to always remain on His path.




Sunday, 14 July 2013

Ramadan mubarak 2013


 Dear readers,

salam aleikum, peace and blessings be on to you. Firstly I would like to congratulate all of you with the arrival of the holy month of Ramadan. A month filled with remembrance of God and physical restrain allowing for greater spiritual development. May your prayer, dua and fast be accepted by the Almighty God and may you always be guided by Him on the straight path leading to Paradise, insha'Allah.

          Secondly I wanted to apologize for my obscenely long absence and the great gaps of time between my posts. As I explained in some posts before I am pursuing a Master degree and have been quite busy doing so. I have however not forgotten about this blog and will try to keep updating it with new posts as Ramadan goes on. I have made many of my good decisions during or after Ramadan, which points out the great effect this holy month has on one's spiritual situation. During my first Ramadan I decided to quit listening to haram music and I am still grateful to God for giving me the strength to keep this up.
I encourage anybody to leave a habit which in itself might not seem so harmful, but which could lead to further actions or habits which are haram. This is obviously easier said than done. However when you're having trouble leaving a bad habit remember this saying of Imam Ali (peace be upon him); 'The best form of worship is breaking a habit or an addiction'. (Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 2873.) I can totally relate to this saying, because I have experienced the uplift in faith and general content with life, not only when I reverted to Islam but also after I started wearing the hijab (veil) and when I left haram music behind. In modern day psychology it is the norm to say that keeping up or breaking a habit for 40 consecutive days will lead to a greater chance of keeping up the change afterwards. All I can say is, try it for yourself and get closer to God by leaving habits which potentially lead to sin behind. 
Now on a different note, as it is the holy month of Ramadan, I would like to share a series of very strong lectures by Sayyed Ammar Nakshawani. I first watched the lecture of Day 3 as this was the most recent one at that time, but I surely recommend watching the other two lectures preceding it as well. I will shortly discuss the content of the 3rd lecture as it really made me reconsider how I was going to spend Ramadan. 
This lecture was mainly about how the majority of us Muslims recite the Quran, at least in our 5 daily prayers and then also in supplications (duas) and ziyarat. However this recitation, how valid is it when we do not know what we are saying? I as a revert could fully relate to this question, as I myself felt I was just repeating sounds when I first started praying. I mean we all either understand Arabic well enough or have translations to help us understand at least the words/sentences of the Quran, however the context and reason why the verses were revealed at those exact times and situations are mostly unknown to us. Let me give you an example mentioned in this lecture which I found really underlined the importance of UNDERSTANDING and ACTING ACCORDING TO the Quran rather than mere recitation and memorization. The enemies of the Prophet (peace be upon him and his family), who later proved their pure hatred towards him by participating in the massacre of Kerbala, were memorizers of Quran meaning that they knew all the surahs and all the verses off by heart. A process which takes years of practice and hard work to perfect. Looking however at their deeds and their sheer ignorance to the request of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his family) to safeguard both the Quran and his family, will prove that they might have memorized the text of the Quran but its meaning alludes them completely. This is also emphasized in the many hadiths stating that one hour of contemplation/pondering upon Quranic verses is worth more than 7 years of worship. 
So as I know that my understanding or even memorization of the translation of the Quranic verses I recite during my prayers is quite low, I decided to change this by reading the Tafsir (or the meaning of the verses)of the Quran. This gave me a much better feeling than mere recitation of the Arabic text, although it gives me a feeling of inner peace and tranquillity, my need for knowledge and understanding is greater as this will again lead to a longer lasing feeling of peace. One this note I would like to share the link to the comprehensive English translation of Tafsir Al-Mizan writen by the great religious scholar Allamah Tabatabai. 
To make a long story short; this Ramadan try to make permanent changes, try to break bad habits and cultivate better ones, read Quran but also try to understand it (even if its a slow process, it is a lasting process), do not forget to give alms to the poor as this is a great way of worship and staying humble (as Allah's blessings can be taken away and given to anyone), fast not only by not eating, but also by abstaining from back-biting and bad deeds, it is important to enjoy this month and to increase the relation you have with your loved ones.


My dear readers, I thank you for reading this post 
and insha'Allah I will continue to post during Ramadan and afterwards.
May Allah bless you for your efforts in this blessed month and for all the months to come. I send my Ramadan congratulations to you and your families and please pray for the less fortunate ones being oppressed, killed and force-fed in Palestine, Pakistan, Syria, Guantanamo Bay and sadly enough many more places across the world.



Ramadan 2013 lectures by Sayyed Ammar Nakshawani

 




 

Friday, 15 February 2013

Documentaries: Does God Exist Online? - Ahlulbayt OnDemand


Salam aleikum dear readers,

as I have been quite busy pursuing my academic career, I haven't had much time to write new blog updates. However I have not sat still, at the moment I am reading a book about the meaning of life. This book is very stimulating and will insha'Allah lead to a great blog update soon. Until then I found this grate documentary about the benefits and pitfalls of social networks and the internet in general on Ahlulbayt TV. Its not just a documentary concerning the and directed to the numerous youths using the internet every day, it also mentions the concerns of Islamic scholars, parents and students. It is definitely worth the watch!

 
Be safe online and don't forget Allah swt is everywhere, as He is Exulted, Unlimited. Be grateful for His protection and blessings every day and as we keep our intentions pure we have no one no fear but Allah. And as Allah knows what is public and private, keep away from haram and promote good. May Allah forgive us our sins and may we all be granted the eternal blessings of Paradise, insha'Allah!


Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Muharram 2012


Salam aleikum brothers and sisters,

this Muharram I want to share these great lectures given by Sayed Mahdi Al-Modaressi, I could give you lengthy introducing texts and describe the content of these lectures for you. However I could not do the words of this great man justice.
So do your soul a favour and watch (some of) these videos, 
it will wake up those who sleep, it will increase Dhikr (remembrance of Allah) 
and insha'Allah improve our understanding of the sacrifice of Imam Hussayn (a.s.) and his blessed companions.

The Muharram Sermons 2012 - Sayed Mahdi Al-Modaressi

 
 Night 1
 
 Night 2
 
Night 3

 Night 4
 
 Night 5
 
Night 6

 Night 7
 
 Night 8

 Night 9

*All these videos and many more are available on www.ahlulbayt.tv
Ya Hussayn, ya Hussayn, ya Hussayn!


Monday, 23 July 2012

Ramadhan mubarak

 
Dear readers,

Salam aleikum and Ramadhan mubarak!
Insha'Allah all our efforts this month will be rewarded,
may Allah swt make your fast easy and may you achieve greater spiritual grounds.
I wanted to write this blog update firstly to congratulate everybody with the beginning of the Holy month of Ramadhan, secondly to apologize for my long absence and thirdly to share some things about Ramadhan that maybe not everybody thought or thinks about. As I congratulated you with the beginning of the month of the Holy month of Ramadhan, my second point on the agenda was to apologize for my absence. I am truly sorry for not working on this blog for the last 3 months. I have been quite busy. I finished my studies and obtained a Bachelor of Science and on top of that I got married :). So as you can imagine, it has been quite busy these last few months. But alhamdullillah Allah swt has given me great people which have helped me during this period. Insha'Allah they are rewarded for their efforts and kindness and may their reward in the next life be even greater. 
Thirdly and most importantly is the information about Ramadhan that I for one was also not so aware of, until recently. As I knew before, it is good to eat during Suhur (the time just before morning prayer), however I did not know that there are extra du'as you can do which will isha'Allah help you through a day of fasting, especially long ones you experience during summer. 

It is recommended to read Surah Qadr at the time of Suhur, the verse is as seen here and the translation is the following: 

In The Name Of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful
(1) Surely We revealed it on the grand night.
(2) And what will make you comprehend what the grand night
(3) The grand night is better than a thousand months.
(4) The angels and Jibreel descend in it by the permission of their Lord for every affair,
(5) Peace! it is till the break of the morning.

Here is a list of Du'as recommended at the time of Suhur:
As these acts of worship are all before the beginning of the fasting day,
here are some for Iftar (the breaking of fast). It is recommended to read Surah Qadr again
and to recite the following du'a upon breaking the fast:
O my Allah, for Thee, I fast, and with the food Thou gives me I break the fast, and I rely on Thee.
It is advisable to say the following at the first bite of food taken:
iftaar03
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful, O He whose indulgence is boundless, forgive me.
Dua-e-Ahad
This supplication brings about great merit. The Holy Prophet (saws) recommended this dua to Imam Ali (as) and said that Jibreel (as) came to me and said," Whoever in the holy month of Ramadhan before iftaar recites this dua, Allah (swt) answers his prayer, accepts his prayer and fasting, grants his ten requirements, forgives his sins, removes his grief's, makes his heart at ease, grants his wishes, makes his deeds to ascend upward with the deeds of prophets and righteous saints and on the Day of Judgement brings him to HIS presence with his face illuminated like a bright moon."

Also a nice document on the Etiquette of Iftar, which in most cases is forgotten.
One should be reminded of the status of this month, even when one is not required to fast any more,
one should strive to keep a high spiritual level.
Remember that when fasting, one does not only refrain from eating food, one should also refrain from letting the tongue say bad words, letting the eyes see bad things and letting the ear hear bad sounds/words. For on the Day of Judgement, all these parts (and more) will testify against us. Insha'Allah for all of us, let their testimony is kheir. I wish you a blessed Ramadhan yet again and insha'Allah I will have the time to post another update soon!
Khodahafez (Be under the protection of Allah swt)
Most of this information is taken from the following website: