Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Answering the Question asked by EVERYBODY!!

When Karin and Richard asked me the question about why was the Afghani man who converted to Christianity trailed to get the death Penalty, I'll admit, I didn't know the answer. I just knew something didn't make sence. I tried to research online but nothing was satisfactory. I asked around and I got a few answers. My research isn't really done but I'll just post something about it before somebody answers something that might make matters worse. This post was email to me by Shaykh Abdullah Adhami...

* There, currently, does not exist an "islamic state"---which is the only legal entity that can 'legitimately' serve the judicial code of shari'ah---within internation law. No singular, renegade, individual can take it upon themselves to enact 'any' laws of islam. Legal and judicial sovereignty lie with the state wherein one is a citizen, resident or visitor.

* Willful apostacy in 'all' traditions is, simply, considered treason. The arabic word for it, (riddah), signifies rejection, opposition, reneging, denial. latter andalusian jurists may have had different perspectives on the question of the punishment for apostacy, due to new political realities that were different from the conditions faced by the early muslims; this is not unlike the evolution of legal thought in judeo-christian tradition.

* The athenians not only believed that treason or sedition should deem a person "the greatest enemy of the whole state." according to athenian law, this person must be "condemned to death, ..., and, as "the dialogues of plato" document, the magistrate who -- by reason of cowardice -- does not suppress him is nearly as bad."

* It is interesting to note that in christianity, "apostacy" not only denominates, total or full apostacy -- or, 'perfidiae' (lit."treachery")---i.e., when someone gives up their faith, whether or not the person embraces another religion---but can also include "apostacy of religiosity," when a religious person leaves the "religious life"; i believe, this is, more specifically, an apostacy of (or against) "monastacism". erasmus (16th cent.), for example, was guilty of both kinds. then, there's "apostacy against ordainment," when a member of the clergy
abandons the ecclesiastical state.

* Under the christian roman empire, apostates were punished by deprivation of all civil rights. they could not give evidence in a court of law, and could neither bequeath nor inherit property. "to induce anyone to apostatize was an offence punishable with death."

* Moreover, in the renowned code of the roman emperor justinian (483-565), "corpus juris civilis," the basis of all [roman] 'canon law', and the basis of ["modern"] civil law, "apostasy was punished by death"; and, there was "no toleration of dissent."

* According to the jewish encyclopaedia (published, i believe, bet. 1901-1910), the biblical codes stipulate that the "one who doubts or ridicules one word of the Torah---or of the rabbinical authors---is an "heretic" in the fullest sense, an infidel... and there is no hope for him." the laws concerning such an unbeliever are very strict, "he may be killed directly, or his death may be caused indirectly."

* Absolutely nowhere in Islamic history---by the testimony of eminent 'western' historians, can one find a doctrine akin to the "cognite intrare" (or, "forced conversion") of st. augustine (354-430 c.e.). as you know, the quran says: "there is no coercion in religion."

This idea that everyone 'must' be compelled to conform to the christian faith, unleashed centuries of unparalleled bloodshed. for a brief time, the ummayad dynasty represented the 'only' aberration in the history of islam---whereby people were categorized as only either "Muslim" or "Other"---and, unsurprisingly, were the shortest lived historically. sadly, some of its dogma still permeates 'canonical [legal] material' that is still taught today.

* There is much about the "Afghan Christian" story that is 'shady'. we should just wait and the truth will be revealed. (even Rev. Samuel Zwemer would be embarrassed.)

* In our modern day, due to the volatility of the geo-political climate, the rulings against (riddah)---even 'if' an islamic state existed---would have to be---necessarily---evaluated from a different legal angle, eminently because of either continual provocation and abuse which would elicit violent psycho-somatic states---(as was witnessed with the defammation of the Qur'an at Guantanamo); or, people on the proverbial fringes---on the edge---who are either paid, or otherwise coopted, to openly "declare" [what appears to be] "apostacy" on Arab global satelite channels, and be sensationally transformed into a media darlings for a little while.

Another post on this matter can be found here

Hope this answers the question.

Peace to all...

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Jesus Christ The Son of Mary and His Blessed Mother (Part 2)


It was related that the Dajjâl would roam the earth and that when he reaches Madîna the Radiant - upon its dweller the best blessings and greetings of peace! - and desires to enter it, the angels will stand in front of him at the gates of Madîna and bar his passage. They will stand in front of him at a place the Messenger of Allâh - upon him blessings and peace - has named for us - al-Jurf - a place known today in Madîna al-Munawwara. He will stand on a mountain there and look toward the Mosque of the Beloved and his grave, saying: "Look there, at that white building: that is the palace of Ahmad." He will try to enter but will be unable. Some of his followers will bring some people. The Prophet - upon him blessings and peace - said that when the Dajjâl stands at the gates of Madîna, Madîna will shake three times; at that time, anyone in whose heart remain hypocrisy and dissemblance or other than firm attachment to God Most High shall be corrupted and follow the Dajjâl. One of the narrations specifies they will reach eighty thousand. God is our refuge from that!


Some of the soldiers of the Dajjâl will seize a man from among the righteous whom they think to be a common person. They will stand him before the Dajjâl who will say to him: "Do you believe that I am your Lord?" He will reply: "No! You are none other than the Arch-Deceiver." He will say: "I am your Lord!" "No! You are the Dajjâl!" He will say: "I am your Lord!" "No! You are the Dajjâl!" He will then order for a saw to be brought. The saw will be placed in the middle of the righteous man's head and he will be sawed in half until he becomes two separate pieces and the horses will pass between the two. Then the Dajjâl will give an order. He will be brought back together again and the Dajjâl will pass his hand over him, after which he will live a second time, by the power of God. When he comes alive the Dajjâl will look at him, thinking that he has definitely gained control over him, and say: "I have caused you to die and caused you to come alive again. Do you now believe that I am your Lord?" The man will reply: "My certitude has only increased that you are the Dajjâl of whom the Messenger of Allâh - upon him blessings and peace - told us!" He will order him to be killed but will be unable to do so anymore.


Just as the Dajjâl orders the righteous man to be killed he will hear a voice crying out: "The Spirit from God, Jesus, has descended!" When the Dajjâl hears the name of our liege-lord `Isâ he will shake and tremble in fear. He will rush to Palestine . There, the army of our liege-lord Jesus and our liege-lord al-Mahdî will meet the army of the Dajjâl at the gate of Ludd. When the Dajjâl looks and sees our liege-lord Jesus, upon him peace, surrounded with a halo of light, the Dajjâl will melt - as mentioned in the hadîth - just as salt melts in water. Our liege-lord Jesus will approach him and so will our liege-lord al-Mahdî. They will strike him with their two swords and kill him.

O nations of the Believers, this matter is not just a story we hear for our hearts to be moved a little. This is about living, this is a method one follows, a path one takes, this is a transaction that is going to take place and in which we are going to be involved. AT THIS VERY MOMENT THE ARMIES OF THE CHRIST ARE GETTING READY AND SO ARE THE ARMIES OF THE DAJJAL. THE MEANING OF THIS PREPARATION IS THAT CERTAIN ATTRIBUTES IN THE HEARTS ARE RISING AND TAKING FIRM ROOT IN THE ARMY OF TRUTH AND RIGHT WHILE CERTAIN ATTRIBUTES ARE ALSO FORMING IN THE ARMY OF FALSEHOOD.


It is also said that the wisdom for which God has the killing of the Dajjâl take place at the hands of our liege-lord the Christ is that the Dajjâl is the manifestation of the oppression of materialism while our liege-lord the Christ is the manifestation of the supremacy of the spirit in this existence. The Dajjâl is also named "anointed" (masîh), but "the anointed arch-liar and deceiver" (al-masîh al-kadhdhâb al-dajjâl). He was named masîh because at some point in his career he will claim that he is our liege-lord the Christ.

This is because when the Jews fought the Christ - the spirit from God - and refused to believe in him and submit to his mission, they then denied that the Christ had appeared even as it was written in their books that the Christ would appear. Therefore, they claimed that our liege-lord Jesus was a great liar - and he is far exalted beyond their claim! - and they opposed him and tried to kill him. But God saved him, {They did not slay him, neither crucified him, only a likeness of that was shown to them} (4:157).

Then our liege-lord the Christ was raised up to the near heaven - upon him peace - and the Jews remained as they were, in their belief that the Christ had not yet come out. They are now waiting for a Christ to come, and their Christ is the Dajjâl. About ten years ago or more a manifestation took place in Tel-Aviv in which a large placard was hoisted, saying: "Welcome to the impending appearance of the Prince of Peace." This is the one they claim to be the Christ, but he is the Arch-Deceiver.


The entire matter is connected to the days in which God caused our liege-lord Jesus to exist.

The time in which our lady Mary was born - the purest and most blessed, upon her peace! - was a time in which the tyranny of materiality held full sway over the Jews. The interests of the world dominated them completely. They even altered the word of God for the purpose of their buying and selling - the rulings of the sacred Law. God forbade usury in all the dispensations, so they altered the rulings and made usury permitted to themselves. They made permitted to themselves much of what God had forbidden them. They made up clouds to obscure the order of the heavenly call which had been directed to them for the purpose of running after material concerns. They became slaves of materialism.
Among the Jews there remained some righteous souls such as the Prophets and their entourage and those that affiliated themselves to them. Among these righteous souls was our lady Hanna the mother of our lady Mary, upon both of them peace. Hanna was one of the righteous women, one of the Godwary, worshipful, devoted to prayer and good works. She had great love for Prophets, saints, and the devotees that were in Jerusalem . When she became pregnant from her husband, she felt that she might give birth to a boy and so she vowed that what she carried in her womb would be dedicated to the service of God. {Lord, I have vowed to You, in dedication, what is in my womb} ( 3:35 ). She vowed that the newborn would serve the temple of Jerusalem so as to become prepared for the service of the Religion.


Look at the effect of intention. What is our goal when we want to have children, what is our intention? The very deliverance which the Community awaits, at the hands of our liege-lord Jesus, upon him peace! - there will be for Hanna an ample portion of its reward and benefit. For she possessed an intention with God! Look at this fortunate woman who, when she intended that in her offspring there would be someone who serves God, someone who would serve this Religion, when she was truthful in such an intention, God honored her because of her intention, but not in the way she thought. For she gave birth to a female child.

(And when she gave birth to her she said, Lord, I have given birth to her, a female. And God knows very well what she had given birth to; the male is not as the female. And I have named her Mary, and commend her to You with her seed, to protect them from the accursed Satan( ( 3:36 ). What was the reply? (Her Lord received the child with gracious favor(. The sum total of what the hearts of the truthful seek is that their Lord receive them with gracious favor! {Her Lord received the child with gracious favor, and by His goodness she grew up comely. Zachariah taking charge of her} ( 3:37 ). The intention of Hanna made the one she bore to be accepted, even though it was other than what she had envisaged and wished for, since she had wished for a boy and she got a girl.
RIGHTEOUS AND TRUTHFUL INTENTIONS ARE NOT IN VAIN IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD REGARDLESS OF THE JUDICIAL CALCULATIONS OF HUMANKIND AND EVEN IF HUMAN HOPE AND HUMAN PLANS DID NOT MATERIALIZE. A girl came, but intentions are never lost in the presence of God - and thousands upon thousands of men are not worth Mary's foot!


She gave birth to our lady Mary. Our Lady Mary grew up, fed with purity, light, Godwariness, and righteousness. Those of the Prophets, saints, and hermits that were in Jerusalem drew lots to see who would take charge of her. The lot fell to Zachariah. He was a relative of Mary. Zachariah placed her in a mihrab. The mihrab back then was not the prayer-niche we know today but consisted in an isolated cell or tower that had no door nor opening except from the top. It could be entered only with a ladder from the outside and another ladder down into it. Zachariah placed her in it. He would bring her food and go. She practiced her devotions and worship in absolute dedication and chastity, orienting herself wholly to her Lord in her cell.

God showed our liege-lord Zachariah certain wonders. {Whenever Zachariah went into the sanctuary where she was, he found that she had food. He said: O Mary! Whence comes unto you this (food)? She answered: It is from God. God gives without stint to whom He will. There Zachariah prayed unto his Lord} ( 3:37 -38). Consider the saying of God, {There}. Zachariah is a Prophet and therefore better than our lady Mary who is a truthful saint (Siddîqa). However, because of the high rank which our lady Mary gained, upon her peace, she became in a position to teach one of the Prophets! At that point, one of the Prophets actually became her pupil in the Religion.

They said that our liege-lord Zachariah wondered from where the fruits he found there came. They said he would find with her the fruits of winter in the summer season and the fruits of summer in the winter season. He knew full well that no one other than he entered that place which was shut tight and inaccessible - but, more importantly, such fruits were not to be found in the land since they were out of season! She said, {It is from God}.

Yes, O Prophet of God, the fact of the matter is the certitude that sustenance is from my Lord and not from any created cause. We do know that we are commanded to deal with created causes and effects - however, if created causes and effects have been suppressed, then the sustenance of God Almighty can never be suppressed!

{There Zachariah prayed unto his Lord}. He asked for a pious offspring. God gave him our liege-lord John, upon him peace.

Then came the tremendous event in which God manifested Himself and for which He had prepared our lady Mary. {And make mention of Mary in the Scripture, when she had withdrawn from her people to a chamber looking East} ( 19:16 ). The Ulema said that {East} was an allusion to the Orient from where the sun rose - that is, to the East from her perspective. The people are accustomed to praise the East because it is the place from the direction of which the light comes. {When she had withdrawn from her people to a chamber looking East and had chosen seclusion (hijâb) from them} ( 19:16 -17). They said that the hijâb meant she hid herself from mankind to dedicated herself to the Divine worship. After she tasted the sweetness of worship in her cell she wished to taste the sweetness of worship in her travelling on the earth.


{Then We sent unto her Our spirit and it assumed for her the likeness of a perfect man} ( 19:17 ). When she saw our liege-lord Gabriel, he assumed for her an excellent likeness, the likeness of a human being. {She said: Lo! I seek refuge in the Beneficent One from you, if you are God fearing. He said: I am only a messenger of your Lord} ( 19:18 -19). She realized the secret behind his presence - the receiving of the manifestation (tajallî) that dawned upon her from God. {That I may bestow on you a faultless son} ( 19:19 ). What is behind such a gift? {She said: How can I have a son when no mortal has touched me, neither have I been unchaste! He said: So your Lord said} ( 19:20 -21).

Consider now the presence of food for our lady Mary as she was in her cell, dedicated to her worship, without means nor sensory cause. THIS WAS A PREAMBLE SO THAT OUR LADY MARY WOULD UNDERSTAND THAT FOR THE EXISTENCE OF THE NEWBORN, ALSO, THERE WAS NO PRE-CONDITION OF MEANS. The matter was not, for our lady Mary, merely a mental apprehension. Rather, it was a discernment of certitude and of the heart (dhawq yaqînî qalbî). For she witnessed and saw with her very eyes the Divine gift with which human custom and cause-and-effect were breached right in front of her! After that, she did not consider it strange that a customary cause be breached in the occurrence of a newborn child for her.


Then came the time for giving birth. It was said that the spirit [of the child] was breathed into her, the pregnancy took place, and the time of birth came all at one and the same time. Do not think this strange. The matter, from beginning to end, violates custom. The matter is one of the manifestations of the power of God Almighty!

When she felt the time of birth had come, {And the pangs of childbirth drove her unto the trunk of the palm tree. She said: Oh, would that I had died before this and had become a thing of naught, forgotten!} ( 19:23 ). When she reached this stage, the Ulema pondered why she had asked for death while she was in the very midst of Divine generosity. One of them said: "Because she knows that the Israelites had reached such a lowly state of vile attachment to the world and its overwhelming lusts and materialism that they would never accept the sight of God's favor and the breach of customary laws that took place with Mary." Someone else said, "No, she wished that she had not lived to see that day only because God had shown her that her son might one day be worshipped together with God Almighty."

She gave birth to our liege-lord Jesus - upon our Prophet and upon him the best blessings and salutations of peace! The lights of Jesus dawned upon this earth. When he saw the [distraught] state of his mother he addressed her even as he was in her womb or from below her [after birth]. He caused her to apprehend another meaning that reminded her of the magnificence of God Who is with her - High and Exalted! {And shake the trunk of the palm tree toward you, you will cause ripe dates to fall upon thee} ( 19:25 ).

Here we tend to recite this verse without pausing. The palm tree is solid. It is difficult for a human being to shake it. A strong and mighty man would hardly budge a palm tree, even a number of men! The palm tree trunk at the bottom is very large while its top is thin so that the wind can move it. Try to move a fully grown palm tree at the bottom of its trunk, you will not be able. How then can a woman in the weakness of giving birth be able to shake it? Yet this act is demanded of her and it is not sufficient for her to merely see the Divine bounty.
In the first two phases, she saw the Divine gift before her. The first time was for her schooling. Lo and behold, fruits and sustenance descended from the heaven and were laid before her without her asking. The second time she was told that she would give birth without outward nor sensory cause and without connection to any man, again, without her asking. Now, it is asked of her that she herself move the palm tree.

Some of the Ulema said that this was an allusion to the world of cause and effect and to the fact that mankind is not to leave aside material means even though they rely on their Causator. This is a fine explanation. However, there is another meaning. THE CERTITUDE THAT HAD BUILT UP IN OUR MOST BLESSED LADY MARY - UPON HER PEACE - THE VIRGIN, HAD TAKEN ROOT IN HER CONSCIENCE WITH SUCH STRENGTH THAT IT WAS NOW ASKED OF HER TO DO WHAT NO MIND WOULD ACCEPT TO DO WHATSOEVER.


The mind says that in such a state there is no way for her to move the trunk of the palm tree. However, the order or directive came to her from her own child - a breach of custom in its own right, a newborn infant speaking - and with this same breach of custom she was ordered to stretch her hand to do what she knew she was unable to do of her own power howsoever! And this is a meaning from certitude to which our lady Mary ascended.

We own a share of this certitude which we ought to grasp and follow. When God Most Glorious and Exalted asks us to do something from which we find our strength falling short, we ought not to procrastinate obeying the Divine order with the excuse that we are too weak or that others are stronger. The day the Umma reaches the certitude that when they are true in helping God, God will help them [47:7] - at that time the palm trees of existence shall shake for this Community!


Our pure lady the Virgin rose with her newborn child and returned to the Israelites. The Jews received her and saw her whom they knew to be chosen. Some of them might well have harbored jealousy in their souls against her because of her special station. Those whose hearts have muddied or become diseased find it difficult to watch those that are hale respected and honored in the society.

This is what is called jealousy (hasad). The mark of jealousy is recognized in the heart of the jealous person by the fact that when he sees markers of distinction before him - whether in Religion or anything else - something takes hold in his heart; after this he bides his time patiently, patiently, until, when he hears the smallest suspicion or accusation, he shouts "Yes!" loud and clear in its confirmation and is overjoyed at its news. Why? Because in his heart there is filth and turbidity.

When such filth and turbidity had taken root in the hearts of those people, they felt that in the special distinction of our liege-lord Mary - upon her peace - lay an implicit address to themselves. They seemed to hear the message: "You ought to return to purity, O those who have polluted yourselves with the world and its lucre and its show to which you should never have attached yourselves! Here, before your eyes, is a weak woman that has been honored with this high station of purity while you, who lead your society, how far behind you have left purity!"


Thus, the state of purity of the Virgin Mary was a state of admonition that had been overturning the beds of those possessed of insight among the worshippers of money and materiality. Now, as soon as they saw the nursing infant in her arms, they became overjoyed. {They said: O Mary! You have come with an amazing thing!} ( 19:27 ). Why did they not ask when they had a chance to learn something? But their muddied hearts could not bear to see the purity of the Virgin before their eyes. This is the wont of those who have polluted themselves with the worship of Mammon. It is too much for them to see purity revered and followed among the people.

{Then she pointed to him. They said, How can we talk to one who is in the cradle, an infant?} ( 19:29 ). God did not give them pause for her to answer them. Lo and behold! our liege-lord the Christ replied to them and spoke although he was a nursing infant: {He spoke: Lo! I am the slave of God. He has given me the Scripture and has appointed me a Prophet} ( 19:30 ). He listed the meanings which God Most High had especially bestowed upon him and the ranks with which He had honored him. He made the key to that list the affirmation that he was the slave of God, his servanthood to God Most High. Then, proceeding from the secret of his servanthood to God Most High, came the ranks: {He has given me the Scripture and has appointed me a Prophet}.

Then he described himself as blessed, then he described himself as dutiful so we would know that the secret of dutiful piety is not binding merely upon those who possess it but also applies to others. THE SOCIETIES THAT RECOGNIZE THE DEGREES OF PIETY AMONG ITS PEOPLE OF MERIT ARE THE SOCIETIES THAT RISE UP IN THE RANKS OF MERIT.

God had said to her before she went back out to her people: {And if you meet any mortal, say: Lo! I have vowed a fast unto the Beneficent, and may not speak this day to any mortal} ( 19:26 ). Ponder this meaning. The rule would have been that He tell her: "Get ready to answer them. Say to them, God is able over all things. Give them the proof and the evidences: I carried and gave birth in a very brief time, you saw me just before and I was not pregnant, if this had been a falsehood or a sin, this should have taken the normal span of time, nine months...." But He did not give her permission to speak nor to prove her innocence. {Say: Lo! I have vowed a fast unto the Beneficent, and may not speak this day to any mortal}. Meaning, in facing this [trial] I have turned entirely to my Lord Almighty and Glorious.

{Then she brought him to her own folk, carrying him. They said: O Mary! You have come with an amazing thing. O sister of Aaron! Your father was not a wicked man nor was your mother a harlot} ( 19:27 ). Ponder this here. It was said that {O sister of Aaron} implied parentage. It was also said that Aaron was proverbially known for integrity and purity. That is: You who have reached, because of your purity, a proverbial level. {Your father was not a wicked man nor was your mother a harlot}. This is a preamble for the charge that is coming up. After falsehood settles firmly in the heart of the dishonest person, he becomes refined in the art of bringing out that falsehood. "We know so well that you are righteous and goodly, but this - this terrible thing you have done!!" They seem happy to see evil.


{Then she pointed to him. They said, How can we talk to one who is in the cradle, an infant?}. The answer came. {He spoke: Lo! I am the slave of God. He has given me the Scripture and has appointed me a Prophet and has made me blessed wheresoever I may be} ( 19:29 -31). So then blessing is with our liege-lord Jesus wherever he is. When he walked upon the earth blessing was with him wherever he walked, and after he ascended to the heaven blessing ascended wherever he ascended.

{And He has enjoined upon me prayer and almsgiving so long as I remain alive and has made me dutiful toward her who bore me, and has not made me arrogant, unblessed} ( 19:31 -32). And now the fruit of what preceded: {Peace on me the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I shall be raised alive! Such was Jesus, son of Mary: a statement of the truth concerning which they doubt?} ( 19:33 ). When this meaning came into broad daylight they were crestfallen and remained unable to say anything.


Our liege-lord Jesus grew up, fed with purity. When God willed to send him forth, his mission among his people was the mission of the spirit: to link the hearts back with their Lord and revive values and morals. This is the reason we do not find, in the Evangel, much talk about rulings and laws but instead find that the Evangel focuses on morals, parables, and spirituality. For our liege-lord Jesus said, as is mentioned in the Evangel: "I was sent for the lost sheep of the Sons of Israel." That is, God sent me to those whom the world has so overwhelmed that they have become as dumb beasts, unconcerned by other than food, drink, and lusts, without the least heed to rising to any Divine connection.

When they did not accept that magnificent mission, denying its truth, plotting against it, denigrating it and defaming our liege-lord Jesus while some of them believed in him, God desired to cleanse him and raise him up to the second heaven. He raised him up - upon him peace - and the days passed while they remained in their disbelief, defacing the creed, far from spirituality and connection, and so until the time came when our liege-lord Muhammad appeared - upon him and his House blessings and peace! Our liege-lord Jesus had given the glad tidings about him in the Evangel.


Our liege-lord Muhammad appeared! God gave him a Book and He gave him rulings. He guaranteed that they would not be altered nor changed. The people then remained, on this earth, in the fold of true submission (Islâm) and belief (îmân). The spirituality of our liege-lord Muhammad's proofs pointing to God rose and became disseminated in his Companions and the people of his House as well as all those that followed. The entire Community rose up in the levels of their connection to God and showed such wonders that the onlooker can hardly believe that such deeds took place at the hands of human beings other than the sinless Prophets.

These wonders appeared in many of the individuals of this Community and in their human transactions. Their spirits are intimately connected with the One True God, Most High and Exalted - monks by night and knights by day. And so the centuries passed. The world began to enter many of the hearts of the followers of this religious Community. The Prophet had predicted - upon him blessings and peace - that every Community had its [golden] calf. That is: a calf that is worshipped apart from God Most High. He said: "And the calf of my Community is the dinar and the dirham." He also said, upon him blessings and peace, as narrated in al-Bukhârî: "I do not fear that you will commit idolatry after me" - because the creed is well-preserved - "but I fear for you the lure of the world."

One day, the zakât funds came from al-Bahrayn, the poor among the Companions came from the outer limits of the city, hoping for the generosity of the Prophet - upon him blessings and peace - with something from that zakât. The Beloved Prophet - upon him blessings and peace - turned around after the dawn prayer and saw that the mosque was full. He said: "Have the news reached you that the zakât of al-Bahrayn has arrived?" They said, "Yes, O Messenger of God!" He said, "Receive the good tidings and be glad, then! By God! I do not fear poverty for you. However, I fear that the world will be laid wide open before you just as it was laid open for those before you, and you will compete in it just as they competed in it, and it will destroy you just as it destroyed them."

He also said to some of his Companions one day: "What will you do when a dish is brought to you in the morning and another dish in the evening?" That is: what will you do when you start eating twice in the same day? For some of our liege-lords the Companions might have spent three days without eating, yet they took up their swords and fought in the way of God. Yet they prayed at night and fasted by day, learned and taught and called people to God! They owned hearts that had become completely disconnected from material concerns in the sense of followership. They remained connected to material concerns only in the sense of worshipping their Lord. They treated such concerns purely as ways and means, without any attachment to them.

As a result, one of them saw no harm in facing an entire army alone. It should come as no surprise that Ja`far ibn Abî Tâlib took up the flag in his right hand, then his right hand was cut off, but his soul did not allow him to let the flag go down because his heart had lifted up the flag well before his hand! The flag was in his heart. So the left hand took it up, then the left hand was cut off, then he carried it up with his two limbs, then he fell on the ground but the flag never fell from him. In his body there were over eighty cuts from sword-blows, spears, and arrows. All these cuts were in the front of his body for he had been facing the enemy at all times and never thought of fleeing. Stranger yet is that when water was presented to him so that he could relieve his thirst in the throes of death, lips parched, completely exhausted, he said: "I am fasting."

These are the attributes with which God granted them victory. "I am fasting." They said: "In such a time, on such a day? Break your fast today and you will fast again tomorrow!" He replied: "I long to break my fast in Paradise ." Such was his state. Then he gave up the spirit [in Mu'ta, Jordan ], and the Beloved Elect - upon him blessings and peace - was sitting in the presence of his Companions [in Madîna] when he described the entire battle in detail. After this, he - upon him blessings and peace - rose his head and said: "Wa-`alayk as-Salâm, wa-rahmatullâh, wa-barakâtuh, O Ja`far!" The Companions expressed surprise, whereupon he said: "That was Ja`far, the angels carried his spirit to Paradise and he refused to enter it until he first greeted me!"

Such were those who owned spirits attached to the highest realities - love and its heartfelt discernment. Their spirits were not dedicated to pleasures nor motivated by them. Rather, they reveled in and tasted the love of God and His Messenger. Since these were their states, God exalted their lights. `Umar ibn al-Khattâb, God be well-pleased with him, who used to nap or sleep under a tree on the dirt, then would get up and dust himself off, is the one at whose hand the two greatest empires of corruption at the time were conquered - the Romans and the Persians.


Such was the state which the Messenger of God - upon him blessings and peace - left behind when he left us. Then the Community began to go backward. Love of the world crept forward. The calf held sway over the hearts. The people hanged back from true guidance. Materialism captured their hearts. The people stood in need of those that would return them to their spiritual realities. Since the faith was preserved from corruption through the Divine guarantee that it would never be altered exclusively of other faiths, the rulings of the Law remained intact - in the books.


At that time, the manifestation of spirituality will descend, in this age of utter materialism, and will link back the individuals of this Community to their Book, their Religion, and the guidance of our liege-lord Muhammad - upon him blessings and peace. He will walk the earth, not with the dispensations of previous times that were in use before him - since they have been corrupted - but he will orient the people and spread goodness, peace, faith, and Islâm in the earth through rules and rulings taken from the noble Qur'ân and from the guidance of our liege-lord Muhammad because these were not corrupted. The rulings remain the rulings but our liege-lord Jesus will come in order to transform them into living rules that will reach to the hearts of all people.

After the manifestation of absolute spirituality appears in this existence in the face of absolute materiality, the latter will crack and cave in before the former, because materiality comes second to the spirit. Materiality was created only as a servant to the spirit, were it not for the foolishness of the people and their covetousness that caused them to make of themselves servants of materialism! WHEN THE MANIFESTATION OF THE TYRANNY OF MATERIALISM LOOKS AT THE MANIFESTATION OF THE SUPREMACY OF THE SPIRIT IT SHALL MELT AND BE POWERLESS TO RESIST. AT THAT TIME THE DIVINE VICTORY WILL APPEAR IN PLAIN SIGHT, AT THE HAND OF OUR LIEGE-LORD JESUS, UPON HIM PEACE.


Jesus will kill the Dajjâl and the earth will be filled, from east to West, with the lights of Islâm and faith. There will not remain a single house in existence except the lights of belief and guidance will enter it. Those truthful and sincere followers of Jesus that love him and are connected to him will enter Islâm at his hands at that time. It is among the great wonders that Jesus will descend "at the site of the white minaret East of Damascus" while at the very side of this minaret there is a Christian church, as if, upon his descent, he will be greeted both by the Muslims and the Christians.

The Muslims will welcome him in their Salât so that he will pray among them. Then he will receive his followers that lived their lives believing in him and loving him so that he will join them into his Godly troops. After this, they will march one and all to fight the oppression and the enmity of the Jews at that time. Then God will raise up His light-tower over this world.


We must remember that what we just heard is not merely a story for our souls to be moved a little or for our thoughts to perk up temporarily or become joyful or shed tears. The discourse about our liege-lord the Christ is a method to be followed. Those that possess this guidance and this discernment and taste for the spirit and for their connection to spirituality will be the ones at whose hands God will open the gates of deliverance for this Umma. We must know that even if the greatest manifestation of the deliverance we await will take place at the descent of our liege-lord the Christ, nevertheless, it is not part of our Religion that we should wait until our liege-lord the Christ descend and be content with the evil which we are experiencing.

The story of the Christ was assigned, and news of it came from the mouth of our liege-lord Muhammad, only so that we would know that this is the path of right guidance. Namely, that the linkage of hearts must be to their Almighty and Glorious Lord and that materiliality belongs underhand and underfoot. Putting God first, before anything else, is the way of safety and success.

It would have been possible for the Messenger of God ( never to tell us anything about this. He could have said, You will be victorious, end of the matter. But why, O Messenger of God, did you teach us and remind us of all this, that salvation and victory will be at the hands of our liege-lord the Christ? So that we would live this right here and now and be prepared for this victory. Let each of you rise in the morning and reach the night as he is preparing the Umma of the Prophet ( for this final victory.

Let each rise in the morning and reach the night with his heart bound to his Lord with hoops of steel, preferring God to everything else. When the world comes to him with its pomp, trying to delay him from his connection to his Lord, he prefers his Lord to everything else. He does not accept for the world to enroll him. He refuses to cheat or deceive in his buying and selling, in his trading, in his property. He is not a slave to the dinar and the dirham.

The Messenger of God Muhammad said: "Perish the worshipper of gold and silver and silk, who agrees when given and, if he does not get anything, becomes angry. He has perished and failed! [Or: Perish, and failure to him!] If adversity come to him, may it not go away." That is, his state is a state of affliction. Consider the words of the Prophet, "If adversity come to him [literally: If he gets pricked by a thorn], may it not go away [literally: he does not remove it]." That is: when a thorn pricks him, he can very well remove it with pincers, but no! It is not the case. What is the meaning of these words? Worldly people, when disease afflicts them, go to the physician and undergo an operation in the best hospital, end of story. The meaning is that the thorn, as trivial as it may be, spoils one's serenity. It embitters him and troubles his peace. A thorn! Ouch! What! But! He feels disturbed, afflicted. The Messenger of God says, in this context, that the one who is a worshipper of gold and silver, living for appearances - a silk shirt - when a problem happens to him, he sips its sequels and treats it as a disaster, so that even when the disaster is gone, its agony lingers in himself.

But the one who is connected to God, God honors him. Even in the worst affliction, God causes to descend upon his heart the coolness of contentment so that he is at peace with God Most Glorious and Exalted and accepts His Decree that came to pass.

Reflect and nourish your feelings with such high meanings. Ask for your connection and your portion of the meaning of your affiliation to the army of truth and the rallying-place (fustât) of belief so as to come out of the predicament in which we are. Whoever neglects the purification of his heart and the correction of his character, his heart will be overcome by hypocrisy - our refuge is God! - little by little until he leans to the rallying-place of disbelief which is devoid of all faith.

The battle of disbelief and belief is coming whether we like it or not. However, preparation for that battle is not merely with weapons or swords or strategy! Rather, preparation for that battle is by getting ready hearts whose fill is God - hearts that do not become full except with the magnification of the Almighty. This is the real preparation for what is coming upon this Community.

Jesus Christ The Son of Mary and His Blessed Mother (Part 1)

This article is taken from Sunni Path. When I saw this, I thought it'll be an important article to share. It might clear some misconceptions of what we truly believe of Prophet and Messenger Jesus (May Allah be pleased with Him.)

by Shaykh Al-Sayyid Al-Habib 'Ali Jafri
Translated by Shaykh Gibril F. Haddad

Upon our Prophet Muhammad and his House and upon them the blessings and peace of God

Translation of a talk given in Arabic at Dâr al-Fatwâ in Beirut , Lebanon on 10 January 2003 by the Shaykh AL-SAYYID AL-HABIB `ALI JAFRI OF YEMEN

Translated by GF Haddad - - Dhul-Qi`da 1423

Note: Dâr al-Fatwâ in Beirut is the chief Sunni body in charge of giving fatwâ in the Republic of Lebanon and comprises an Islamic University that delivers bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees in the Sharî`a.

[Subheadings and emphases added by the translator]

{Glory belongs to God Who has sent down upon His servant the Book and has not assigned unto it any crookedness} (18:1). I bear witness that there is no god but God alone, without partner, and I bear witness that our liege-lord Muhammad is His servant and Messenger. Allâh bless and greet and lavish His benediction upon him and upon his forefathers and brethren among the Prophets and Messengers - our liege-lords Abraham, Moses, Jesus and all the intervening Prophets, and upon his House and Companions and those that follow them faithfully until the Day of Judgment!


To proceed: God Most High, the Exalted, has granted us immense honor and chosen us for this magnificent Religion, the Religion of Islam which He was well-pleased to make the seal of all religions, the Religion that is right and true for all times and all places. One that belongs to such a Religion prepares himself for a most important task and tremendous mission: excellence in bringing forth to the people of the earth the manifest proofs for the discourses, the directives, and the manifold guidance of heaven.

Thus, the greatness of this Religion is that it has come to prepare its adherents and followers for an immense task, the most important task in this existence: to warn the people of the earth against the errors in which they live and which signify, in this world, great destructive strife and dissension and all sorts of diseases and problems while they signify, in the next world, great hindrance from the convoy of the blessed whom God the Most Glorious chooses for His good pleasure. This is our mission.


When the Muslim and the Believer becomes fully aware and comprehends his mission, he is then able to understand others with that comprehension of his mission. And to the extent that the Muslim and the Believer only dimly understands the greatness of the mission with which God entrusted him exclusively of others, he is hardly able to understand well and widen the scope of his relationship with creatures in all their variety.

When we say "hardly able" we do not only mean the wrong behavior that stems from inflexibility, prejudice, and extremism. We are saying that he is hardly able to understand in all the senses of being hardly able to understand, whether through inflexibility, or wronging others, or harming them without any justification, or, on the other hand, because of a debility he finds in himself which causes him to lose touch with his own mission. >From this debility follows the dissolution of his personality into his connection to his surroundings in this world. He is liquefied just like a liquid. He takes the form and color of his container and cannot have the least influence on others. Both matters are wrong.


However, when the Believer fears God and fully comprehends the gravity of his mission, he realizes that his Religion is the one vast Religion: vast - vast! - and comprehensive. If he comprehends how to inter-relate with it, he becomes vast enough for the folk of the earth and the folk of the heaven in his connection and his relationship.



Every inability that any creature on the face of the earth experiences in fully comprehending [the Religion] in the sense of understanding how to inter-relate with others around him - mostly human beings but also jinn, inanimate forms, vegetation, and animals - every such inability is caused only because such a person has contented himself with his egotism and his exclusive attachment to the demands of his ego. THE STRONGER THE EGO BECOMES IN MAKING ONE DO ITS WILL OR FULFILL ITS DEMANDS AND ITS LUSTS, THE WEAKER DOES ONE BECOME IN UNDERSTANDING HIS SURROUNDINGS WHETHER IN PERCEPTION (FAHMAN) OR ABILITY (TA'AHHULAN).

Thus, the weakening of comprehension is connected with perception; and the weakening of comprehension is connected with ability. Perception is the basis, after which it produces interaction (ta`âmul).


Also among the manifestations of the magnificence, vastness, preparedness (tahayyu'), and suitability (salâhiyya) of this Religion for action in every context of time and place: the fact that this Religion has produced excellence in all of its past ages; guided us to connect us to everything right and good in what has passed; and assigned for us in this a golden rule by which we know how to produce everything right and good in all things to come.

This is why our Religion is the only Religion that comprehends the totality of the Prophets and Messengers in belief, confirmation, loyalty, and love. You do not find any of the other religions believing in all the Prophets. You only find, here, an exception of this Prophet, there, an exception of that Prophet, and there, yet other exceptions. As for us, the Muslims, God has made it religion for us to have complete belief and faith in the message of all the Messengers and the Prophethood of all the Prophets. More than that: the belief of any given believer among us becomes invalid if he does not believe in the Prophethood of Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Noah and other of the Prophets whom God Most High mentioned in His Book.

The vastness of acceptance we just mentioned makes our Religion encompassing and comprehensive (jâmi`). It is the quintessence (khulâsa) of what the Prophets have conveyed and enjoined to their respective communities. Anyone of us that reads and recites the Qur'ân with contemplation of and affect from the magnificent greatness of that Book, will find news from our liege-lord Noah; before him, our liege-lord Adam; after them, Hûd; after him, Sâlih; after him, Abraham; after him, Moses; just as the news do come regarding our liege-lord the Christ - upon our Prophet and upon him the best blessings and salutations of peace!


What is the purpose of all this in the context of our receiving our guidance from our liege-lord Muhammad, upon him blessings and peace? Would it not be enough that the news come to us [only] regarding our liege-lord Muhammad? No, because THE ORIGIN OF THE NEWS CONCERNING OUR LIEGE-LORD MUHAMMAD IS A VAST CAPACITY OR RECIPIENCY (SI`A) INTO WHICH WAS POURED THE QUINTESSENCE OF WHAT ALL THE PROPHETS BROUGHT SO THAT IT WOULD BE EMBODIED IN THE PERSON OF OUR LIEGE-LORD MUHAMMAD. The blessings of my Lord and His salutations of peace upon him and his House!

On this basis we can know the high rank of our liege-lord the Christ, upon him peace. On this basis we can know the high rank of his mother - Mary, upon her peace. Thus do we know that the two of them have received an exalted rank in the presence of God Most Glorious and Exalted. We also know that our liege-lord Jesus stands out from the rest of the Prophets, in our relationship with him, with a special characteristic.


Our relationship with the entirety of our liege-lords the Prophets consists in belief, love, faith, and the learning of lessons and wisdoms from their stories, the reports that come from them, and their lives. We may hear, for example, that the father of Prophets, our liege-lord Abraham, upon him peace, stands out in his connection to us, in a way, because Primordial Monotheism (al-hanîfiyya) is ascribed to him; also, because he is one of the forefathers of our liege-lord Muhammad - upon him blessings and peace; and because he actually supplicated for God to send Muhammad at the end of times.

Moses, upon him peace, obtained a special characteristic in his connection to us in the fact that he is the one that advised our liege-lord Muhammad - upon him blessings and peace - to ask God Most Glorious and Exalted for leniency when the prayer was made obligatory - fifty daily prayers.

However, our liege-lord the Christ, upon him peace, stands out in his connection to this Community of Islâm (Umma). Together with the lessons we take from God Most High in the Qur'ân and from the words of the Beloved in the Sunna - God bless and greet him and his House and Companions - in the reports about our liege-lord Jesus, the jihad of our liege-lord Jesus, the high character of our liege-lord Jesus, the values of our liege-lord Jesus, the immense rank of our liege-lord Jesus before his Lord, the superlative knowledge of our liege-lord Jesus which he received from his Lord, in addition, WE, THE MASSES OF THE MUSLIMS, HAVE A SPECIAL CONNECTION WITH A CERTAIN GREAT MISSION OF OUR LIEGE-LORD THE CHRIST.


This great mission is that, among the major signs of the final Hour and among the keys of the huge deliverance that will dawn upon this Community of Islâm, there will come a time on this earth when the call to the pre-morning prayer will be raised in Damascus - at the white minaret East of Damascus; the imâm will want to step forward to lead the prayer when - lo and behold! - the people will watch in astonishment while our liege-lord Jesus descends from the heaven, his two hands resting on the wings of the angels, his head seemingly dripping with water, wearing clothes which our liege-lord Muhammad - upon him blessings and peace - described in great detail. He said that the color of his clothes resembled saffron dye, as if his clothes had been dyed with saffron and wars.

Our Prophet Muhammad - upon him blessings and peace - described for us the very appearance of the clothes in which Jesus would descend! Such vestmentary description signifies nothing other than additional emphasis on reflection, perception, and discernment (dhawq) for the meaning of our connection with this great master who was thus honored by his Lord.


He will descend. When the Imâm Muhammad al-Mahdî - a scion of the Prophetic House - sees him as he was readying himself to lead the prayer, he will move back and say to our liege-lord Jesus: "Step forward, Spirit from God!"

It has been mentioned in the hadîth that the breath of our liege-lord Jesus, the day he descends, does not encounter a disbeliever whose belief is despaired of, except that disbeliever will die on the spot. This is due to the greatness of the spiritual state in which our liege-lord Jesus will descend: a heavenly state for one beloved of God among God's servants whom He caused to perdure in the nearest heaven for more than two thousand years, after which he descends to this earth. Hence, as stated in the hadîth narrated by al-Tirmidhî, he does not breathe one breath except every disbeliever this breath reaches will die on the spot, and his breath reaches the extent of his gaze. That is, when our liege-lord Jesus descends upon this earth, his breath will reach as far as his eyes can see.


When our liege-lord the Mahdî sees him he will move back and say: "Step forward, Spirit from God!" Jesus will say: "The call to prayer was raised but for you, therefore, step forward!" Then our liege-lord Jesus will pray behind our liege-lord al-Mahdî. Because of this, it was said that among the immense merits of this Community of Islâm is that a Prophet beloved of God and brought near Him - one of the Messengers of High Resolve (ulîl-`azm) - will pray behind an individual from this Community.

After the dawn prayer, our liege-lord the Mahdî will step back and hand over the leadership of the Community of Islâm to our liege-lord Jesus. When our liege-lord Jesus receives the leadership of the Community he will take up the flag and prepare the army to march to Jerusalem so as to seize it back and return it to truth and guidance and light.


In that time the Great Deceiver or Dajjâl will have appeared. All the uproar and loud cries of the voices of money and materialism in the world today, in all their manifestations, are only preliminaries for the Dajjâl. Everything that you see in this world producing weak souls and raising entire generations with the most tenuous of links to principles and values - people made into worldly automatons, worshippers of the world, their sole concern the world, their thought the world, their religion the world, their consciences the world - when the people are ripe in this sense, the Dajjâl will emerge onto this world in the form of a missionary - a reformist missionary.

He will appear among the people then he will acquire fame and more fame. Many miracles will show at his hands. He will claim Prophethood. Then he will claim Divinity - our refuge is Allâh! We might very nearly have to envisage or imagine that a Muslim can actually follow some misshapen creature walking this earth and whom he will consider his Divine Lord!

However, the Most Beloved - God bless and greet him and his Family - told us about the Dajjâl. He said he might enter an all-Muslim town and then exit it, all its population now disbelievers! God is our refuge from such a thing! Someone asked, what is the reason? It was said that the reason is that he will go to people whose hearts have grown attached to love of the world and whose entire identities have thoroughly mixed with the world and its train. For such, "whoever pays leads" (man yadfa` yutba`)!

This is what the people are being trained for today. They are being prepared for the Dajjâl and his sovereignty. They are being educated today - in their economy, their politics, their societies, their relationships, their commerce, their undertakings and derelictions - all on the debilitated foundation that is the attachment of hearts to trivial worldly interests.

Whoever pays leads. For this was it related that the Dajjâl will roam the earth. God will permit that people be tried at his hands. He will have control of their sustenance - agriculture, food, water - to the point he will say, "O heaven, rain!" and rain will pour; "O earth, sprout!" and vegetation will grow; "O plantations, bear fruit!" and fruit will ripen; "O living one, die! O dead one, rise!" and the dead will rise. God will grant him these displays and watch those whose hearts have latched upon externalities (mazâhir) be seduced while those whose hearts have latched upon the Hidden and Manifest (al-bâtin al-zâhir) remain oblivious to all but Him.

It was related that the Dajjâl will roam the entire earth. It was related from the Beloved that he said: "Let none of you ever wish to meet the Arch-Deceiver!" In addition to the extreme gravity of the warnings of the Beloved against the Dajjâl, he even said that there had never been any Prophet except he warned his people about the strife of the Dajjâl. Indeed, IN EVERY PRAYER, AFTER RECITING THE FINAL WITNESSING OF FAITH (TASHAHHUD) AND THE BENEDICTION UPON HIS PURE SELF, HE WOULD SEEK REFUGE IN HIS LORD FROM "THE TRIAL (FITNA) OF LIFE AND THE TRIAL OF DEATH AND THE TRIAL OF THE ARCH-DECEIVER MASIKH." May God save us and you from his trial!

He - upon him blessings and peace - insisted so much on the terrible gravity of the Dajjâl's strife before the Companions that some of them said, "We believed he was already among the date-trees of Madîna." They believed he had arrived and would appear any moment among the people because of the fear caused by the reports of the Prophet - upon him blessings and peace - about him.


Despite these incessant warnings and the fear caused by this forthcoming strife, the Messenger of God - upon him blessings and peace - said: "Whoever recites Sûrat al-Kahf the night before Jumu`a and its day, God will protect him from the strife of Dajjâl."

O Messenger of God! You told us of a calamity that would shake the entire earth - a man that would control the world from East to West, roaming the earth, in his hand many of the powers that cause these calamities. The people of faith will experience hunger, poverty, distress. Then you said, after warning us of this terrible disaster that would befall us - so great that the Companions themselves thought the Dajjâl had almost come out - that the remedy is to recite Sûrat al-Kahf the night before Jumu`a and its day? One Sûra of the Qur'ân containing one hundred and ten verses. Are you telling me that if I recite it, I will be safe from this huge disaster?

He says yes! So that you would understand that the greatness of this safety and salvation are linked to God Most High. WE ARE A COMMUNITY OF ISLAM WHOSE SALVATION AND SAFETY AND PRESERVATION DO NOT DEPEND ON SHORT-SIGHTED EXTERNALITIES AND POWERS NOR ON THEIR "MOVERS AND SHAKERS". We are a Community whose paths of salvation in the world and the hereafter consist in the attachment of our hearts to this most glorious Book, in the arousal of feelings in our hearts telling us of the greatness of the message that comes from God. There is no Muslim that regularly reads Sûrat al-Kahf every night before Jumu`a and every day of Jumu`a except he obtains a guarantee from the Beloved Elect - upon him blessings and peace - regarding his salvation from the trial of the Dajjâl.

It was related from both Ibn Mas`ûd and al-Hasan al-Basrî that they received the news or rather heard the rumor that the Dajjâl had come out. Al-Hasan laughed. He was asked "What makes you laugh?" He replied: "If he came out now, the boys of al-Basra would play with him the way they play with a foot ball." Why? Because in the time in which al-Hasan and Ibn Mas`ûd were told of this rumor, the people had a firm foothold in certitude in their relationship with God. The sway of the Dajjâl and his power cannot in the least affect hearts upon which the lights of certitude have dawned. THE SWAY OF THE DAJJAL HOLDS ONLY OVER HEARTS WHOSE CERTITUDE HAS WILTED AND WHOSE ATTACHMENT TO EVANESCENT MATTERS HAVE GROWN STRONG.

To be continued...

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Itqan - 'Perfection' Drives SHUKR's Fashionable Islamic Clothing Line

This is where I do my shopping lately... The only regular store is in Damascus. It's a pretty small shop and doesn't usually have everything you see online. For the most part of it, it has a good collection that I LOVE...

By Sajjad Chowdhry
Posted, January 31, 2006

In the business world the bottom-line is everything. Business leaders usually ask, "If I do X versus Y, how much money will I make, or will it lead to increased brand equity or a more efficient operation which will make me more money, etc.?"

But a growing number of business people are also asking questions like, "What is the social impact of my business?", "How many jobs will I create?", "Are my employees satisfied and do they thrive in the work environment created for them?" For many Muslim entrepreneurs who are asking such questions, the basis of their business planning is Islam-- informing their internal and external business policies by drawing freely from Islamic sources.

One such company making its mark is Shukr Islamic Clothing which provides the underserved Muslim market in the West with high quality clothing, based on both traditional Islamic and contemporary Western designs.

Its online and direct mail operations serve the Muslim communities in the UK and the USA.

The company's concept took form about 6 years ago when a British man named Anas Sillwood was looking for a part time job to support himself. He, along with a group of students studying in Damascus, was inspired to create a line of clothing for Muslims rooted in Islamic sensibilities yet not outwardly too ethnic (Pakistani, Arab, etc.).

Many, or most, of these students were European or American converts to Islam. The Shukr team wanted to create " quality, fashionable Islamic clothing" that was relevant to their own cultural frameworks which they could wear without getting surprised looks from people on the subway or walking down the street.

Diverse backgrounds

While members of the Shukr team all shared their new experiences in Damascus their backgrounds varied considerably. Their common interest in Islam and in creating an Islamic clothing line with modern sensibilities gave them the ability to bring all of their experiences forward in order to make Shukr a strong concept and a successful venture.

They also all used their experiences from their lives before accepting Islam to make Shukr as modern and relevant a project as possible.

While Mr. Sillwood studied the social sciences at the famed London School of Economics others brought corporate experience to the venture. One prominent member of the team was a college drop out who became an international model walking the runways and catwalks of Milan , Paris , and New York while modeling for Vogue and other top icons of the fashion world.

This experience in particular gave the Shukr team a distinct competitive edge in understanding what kinds of concepts and styles the conventional fashion world was using and for what reasons. In other words this gave the team a benchmark to create Islamic styles that are just as fashionable as the West yet practical for Muslims which are also elegant and stylish.

The Objective and the Responsibility

As one of the founding members of the company told us, "We did not want to export other styles like Shalwar Kameez. We wanted to create viable options for people who had taken on a new identity." Their concept strives to speak the Islamic modesty with the sophistication and elegance of the West.

As their concept took form, the Shukr team decided that as socially responsible and aware people one of their prime motivations and goals in operating this business would be to give something back to the communities in which they lived in Damascus. In short, they wanted to give thanks to the people with whom they lived. Hence the name Shukr which is the Arabic word for Thanks.

Since members of the team were studying the Islamic sciences they chose to base this Thanks in the Qur'anic ayah which says, "If you give thanks, I shall certainly increase you." (Qur'an 14:7). So Shukr decided that all of its production would be handled in Damascus . From a business perspective it certainly did not hurt that Damascus has been known through the centuries for its high quality textiles and garments industries. And from a CSR perspective the Shukr team gave thanks to their community by returning something to them in the form of jobs and opportunity. The name also helps to reinforce the concept in their customers - human beings need to always be thankful for what God has bestowed on them.

Seeking God's Pleasure

Before the Shukr team set out to build its operation, its members all decided on one principle - that their ultimate motivation would be the pleasure of God.

Before the Shukr team set out to build its operation, its members all decided on one principle - that their ultimate motivation would be the pleasure of God. In its own particular sense as a fashion design house the Shukr team drew on particular hadith to guide them in the proper direction. For example, a hadith from the collection of Muslim states, "Allah is beautiful and He loves beauty." In another hadith from the collection of Tirmidhee, "Allah loves to witness the traces of His bounties upon his servant." These ahadith spur the Shukr team to create items of beauty for their customers to wear and express their Muslim identity.

Appealing to God Consciousness

This idea extends into their marketing concepts as well. While their garments are sold on the basis of their look, practicality, or fabric, one of their other key selling points is that the dress of a Muslim speaks to a higher goal in pleasing God rather than pleasing one's peers.

The Shukr team quotes a verse from the Qur'an to support this approach which reads, "Children of Adam, dress well whenever you are at worship." (Qur'an 7:31). They emphasize modesty as a hallmark of the Muslim character which they are helping uphold as a core value with their fashions and style.

To remind its customers that they are mainly dressing for God rather than other people the company does not photograph their models' faces. The aim is to emphasize the clothing and not the image of the person wearing the clothes.

Perfection as an Objective backing a Money Back Guarantee

Because the Shukr team strives to produce the highest quality clothing they are driven by another prophetic tradition which states, "Verily God loves that when one of you does something, that he perfect it."

As the company's website declares, "The SHUKR philosophy is founded upon the concept of itqan, perfection. which translates into a concern for quality, and this is what SHUKR is striving for in its product range." Customers who are not satisfied with their purchase can return the products for a full refund within 20 days of purchase.

From Bazaars to Catwalks

While the company has mostly participated in bazaar like environments to promote their clothing lines they also interestingly organized a fashion show complete with a catwalk at the annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). The show held separate sessions for men and women but a representative of the company did indicate to us that catwalks showcasing male fashions may be opened up for women to attend as well since their research shows that women tend to buy more for men than men buy for women.

The Future for Shukr

The Shukr team is currently planning their future strategies. The company currently has offices in the United States and the UK . When asked if the company has considered approaching Western fashion houses with their original designs, a member of the team replied that they will take things incrementally in this regard. In the meantime the plan is to increase their exposure and increase sales - objectives that every business owner can appreciate.

Their existence is proof positive that the ethical and legal considerations of Islam can inform the process of modern day business decision making.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Change once again...

About days ago, I applied for another job... Yeah most people know that I love my job. Well, it's true I do love my current job but it's not stable. I'm a freelance and it's not cutting it. Lately there are no projects to work on and it's driving me up the wall because if there are no projects there's no cash and I'm just sitting there doing nothing.

I can't just stay and home and do nothing. I tend to overthink things and just cause more chaos in my, as it is, chaotic mind. So I took that bold step and look for another job but this time as fulltime. I want a stable salary and stable work, all together.

I applied to a new Islamic Arabic Satellite Channel called Al Resala (The Message) It's probably the most positive non-traditional Islamic Channel that ever existed. It's proactive and it teaches all sorts of stuff that's beneficial for our generation and the younger ones.

The owner of the Channel is the well known Prince Waleed ibn Talal of Saudi Arabia and the manager is Dr. Tarik Swaidan from Kuwait. The Channel is aired from Egypt. It has a strong message and that is to get Muslims back to the original way, being moderate, proactive, tolerant and just.

This is the logo of that Channel. I first thought it's just a bird as in the bird that sends messages etc... As it turns out to be, it's more than that. It's also hand reaching out. I believe that's just beautiful. On the bottom it's the name of the Channel in Arabic and under that is the Channel's motto: Innovation and Faithfulness. I'm not too sure if this is the best translation but I hope that at least the point of it is clear enough.

I really hope I get a job there even though it'll mean I'd have to relocate once again... I don't care, I got to do what I got to do. Wish me luck guys...

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Few Random Thoughts...

Every time I'm on here wanting to post something, I lose my train of thought and end up not posting anything. It's quite annoying actually. I need to post but I'm not really that focused. I guess it's because last week was one of the seriously hectic and this week I'm recovering.

Last week, people have been in and out of my place everyday, not something I'm used to. Usually I'm alone enjoying the peace and quite. The kitchen is being renovated so on Tuesday people came for that. I had plans that day but it didn't work out because I had to stay at home. I wish they even finished. There were something wrong with the stuff they got and needed to be fixed. I waited and waited and they're suppose to come back again this week... Blah...

Along with that, my uncle's wife and cousin came from Qatar and stayed over my place. My cousin is getting married to a man, I'm not too sure if he'd truly make her happy. That's a whole different story that I really don't think it's my business. Every time I try to save somebody from misery they end up making me miserable if I don't get into trouble. Whatever...

I thank God, now my cousin is married and my uncle's wife stopped bothering me about getting married and how I should be a good house wife. BLAH!! That seriously worn me out. I mean I have my own belief when it comes to that but she refuses to see it and she butts in something that she has nothing to do with. My own mother doesn't even bother me with it. I seriously thank GOD for that. My mom told her not to bring the subject to me because I don't think of marriage the same way as 3/4 of the people I know.

One thing that makes me relieved with my mom is that she finally understood my point of view in marriage and she's not desperate in marrying me off. It's because I talked to her about it and she knows what I want, I guess. Communication is always good. My aunt bothers me with this to the degree I'm ready to bang my head on the wall. Yes, I'm not getting any younger but marriage isn't what I live for. I know if I ever do, it'll be a good thing because I'll have all sorts of support and vice versa. I do accept the fact that it might not happen either. It might be even better for me. It's all in hands of The All Knowing. He knows what's best for me more than I do. I do what I need to do and I accept what will come.

My uncle's wife doesn't see that though... She believes that it's my fault for not finding a husband. I don't get it. She asked me if I found somebody I really get along with. I told her, not exactly and then she asks and who's to blame if I don't get along perfectly with everybody here. I'm like what the ?!?! I have a different mentality from majority of people here and I don't think it's anybody to blame... I'm a open minded religious person who has goals in life and am working on them with passion and I allow no human to stand in my way. That's not normal in the old traditional Arab community. Girls are expected to stay at home and their goals is their families and that's it. I'm not against of having that as one goal but for me, I don't want to make it my only goal. I want to do more in helping this community than just raising a great generation. I have talents that I know I should use to serve my religion.

It just blows my mind how traditions are taking over Islamic values. I mean, a woman in Islam is free to have job and do whatever she pleases with her time as long her family does not suffer. I'm totally with this concept because a woman is the sustainer of society that starts with family in my belief and Islamic belief as well. Arab traditions is killing that important concept and is stripping women from their Islamic rights just for she can serve her husband and that's it, nothing else.

I'm nauseated by that idea. Men and women were created to complete each other not to oppress and to be oppressed. They are suppose to be a team. Each has an amazingly important role in life and build a healthy society.

I know that it is in men's nature to want be leaders and hence Islamically they are the leaders of the household but it doesn't mean that women don't have a say. They sure do have. Everything she owns belongs to her, and everything he owns also belongs to her and if he doesn't provide for her and her children, she has the right to sue him or divorce him, it's up to her.

Truly religious men who are humble and truly, fear and love the Lord, would probably treat their wives like Queens as the Prophet (PBUH) treated his wives.

When He died, he died in the arms of his wife, 'A'isha as he requested. Now how romantic is that?

They used to race and usually 'A'isha would win. So once for a week the Prophet (PBUH) fed her fattening food for a week so she can gain weight... She did and when they raced she lost. Hehehe... I love the humor in that story. It's soo cute.

Once there was a carnival sorta thing and 'A'isha wanted to see it from the window of their home. So he put up his arm up, so she can lean on it to take a look... Every once in a while He'd ask her, if she's done, and she'd reply that she's not. Then he got really tired and she said, "I got bored a while back but I just wanted to see how much you cared for me." Another sweet story...

Once, 'A'isha asked the Prophet (PBUH) "how string is your love to me?" He'd reply, "As a knot on a rope." Every once in a while She'd ask, "how's that knot doing?"

Once there was this Muslim man from the time of the Prophet (PBUH) whose wife would always yell at him. He couldn't stand it and decided to go talk to somebody about it. As he walked to Omar's (One of the Prophet's companions) home he heard his wife yelling at him too behind the closed doors. The man was bewildered and decided to go back home. Omar, heard him and so he rushed to the door to see what's wrong. So they both go for a walk and the man tells Omar, "I came to your to tell you about my wife but I see your wife is doing the same thing" Omar smiled and replied, "Our wives take a lot from us and get really stressed with their work they have in their hands. Taking their yelling is the least we can do for them"

Excuse me, if I butchered the stories especially the last one but I'm just typing them as I remember them. Anyways, the point is that if men today followed the Prophet's and His companions way women would be the happiest beings on earth.

It's interesting where this post went. I guess, this is seriously bothering me lately. The relationship between a husband and his wife is suppose to bring peace and love in the name of Allah. It suppose to make both of their lives filled with tranquility. Islamically, that's how it's suppose to be but stupid man made traditions is killing that.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Together in Harmony.

When my site was first featured in Kevin Site's Hotzone over a thousand people stopped by my blog to check it out. One of these people was a church musician, Mark Frazier who was fascinated by one of my music pieces. After contacting me and taking my permission, he used my piece "Hope" in a service at South Congregational Church in Concord, NH...

The reason I accepted is because I figured that this move will help people who will get to know about this that Islam is about tolerence and can work together with other faiths. In the end we all pray to the same Creator.

This is what he had to say in the Church's bulletin... Please click here to read it.

With all that said, I hope that I can carry out the peace process with all faiths.


What is Prayer (Salah) in Islam all About? (Part 3)

This is my final post of prayer. This information again was taken from Islam Online. After this post, it's back to the normal journal posting but of course in an Islamic prospective. And no, I haven't forgotten about the post about Jihad, I'm still working on that. So sit tight and you'll get to read it sooner or later.

The Place of Prayer

The worshiper must have a clean place to perform the Prayer where there are no impurities on the ground. Also there should be no statues or pictures in front of him. It is not necessary to have a prayer rug or special cloth, but many find this convenient, especially in public places or at work.

What to Wear While Praying

A man must be covered from the navel to the knees when performing ritual Prayer. It is highly recommended that he also cover his chest and shoulders. A woman must be covered from head to foot with opaque clothing, with only her hands and face showing. It is best if she covers her feet while praying.
It is not necessary to have special clothes to pray in. However, most women find it convenient to have a one- or two-piece loose garment that they can put on over their other clothes when they pray at home.

The Adhan
The Adhan (the Call to Prayer) should precede the obligatory Prayer, followed by the Iqamah (a shortened version of the Adhan signifying that the worshipers have stood up and are ready for the Prayer). If the Adhan and the Iqamah are already given, (by others) and the worshiper is about to perform the Prayer in congregation, he can simply join the congregation. If he is going to perform one of the obligatory Prayers alone, it is recommended that he say the Adhan and the Iqamah before performing the Prayer. For more details, read: The Adhan (The Call to Prayer). You can also Listen to the Adhan.

Steps in Ritual Prayer

The Prayer is made of a series of postures and movements, each set of which is called a rak‘ah. Each Prayer consists of two or more rak‘ahs (the Arabic plural is rak‘aat). The Prayers must be said in Arabic (except for new Muslims who cannot yet do so).

Before beginning the Prayer, the worshiper must have the proper intention to pray. He should say in his heart his intention to pray a particular Prayer and how many rak‘ahs he will pray. Details of this will be given later.

First, let us see how the Fajr (Dawn) Prayer is performed. It consists of two rak‘ahs, and it is said aloud, not silently.

1. Face the qiblah, which is the direction of the Ka‘bah (the Holy House of Allah in Makkah). For the qiblah in your town, consult the local mosque or

2. Raise the hands to the ears and say aloud:

Allaahu Akbar.

(This means: Allah is Greatest.)

3. Place the left hand on the chest and then place the right hand over the left hand. Recite aloud Al-Fatihah (the Opening Surah of the Qur’an). Al-Fatihah must be said in every rak‘ah of every Prayer.

Al-hamdu lillaahi Rabbi-l-‘aalameen.
Maaliki yawmi–d-deen.
Iyyaaka na‘budu wa iyyaaka nasta‘een.
Ihdina-s-siraatal mustaqeem.
Siraatal-ladheena an‘amta ‘alayhim ghayr-il maghdoobi ‘alayhim, wa la-d-daalleen.

(This means: In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds.
The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Master of the Day of Judgment.
You (alone) we worship; You alone we ask for help.
Show us the straight path,
the path of those whom You have favored, not (the path) of those who
earn Your anger nor of those who stray. Amen.)

4. Recite aloud any surah, or at least a few verses, of the Qur’an. For example, here is Surat Al-Ikhlas (number 112):

Qul huw-allaahu ahad,
Lam yalid, wa lam yoolad,
wa lam yakun lahu kufuwan ahad.

(This means: Say: He is Allah, the One and Only;
Allah, the Eternal, Absolute.
He begets not, nor is He begotten;
And there is none like unto Him.)

5. Raise your hands to your ears as you did at the beginning and say aloud:

Allaahu Akbar.

Then bow down, placing your hands on your knees and keeping your back straight.
This position is called ruku‘, and in this position say silently three times:

Subhaana Rabbiy al-‘Azheem.

(This means: Glory be to my Lord, the Supreme.)

6. Return to the standing position while saying aloud:

Sami‘a-llaahu liman hamidah.

(This means: May Allah hear the one who praises Him.)

Then say silently:

Rabbanaa wa laka-l-hamd.

(This means: Our Lord, for You is all praise.)

7. Raise your hands to your ears and say aloud:

Allaahu Akbar.

Then prostrate, with your forehead, nose, hands, knees, and bottoms of the toes touching the ground. Keep your forearms and elbows raised off the floor. This position is called sujud. While in this position, say silently three times:

Subhaana Rabbiy al-A‘laa.

(This means: Glory be to my Lord, the Most High.)

8. Say aloud:

Allaahu Akbar.

Then sit up on your heels.

9. Again say aloud:

Allaahu Akbar.

and prostrate again. Again say silently while prostrating:

Subhaana Rabbiy al-A‘laa.

(This means: Glory be to my Lord, the Most High.)

10. Say aloud:

Allaahu Akbar.

Then stand up.

You have now completed one rak‘ah (unit) of the Prayer. You will now repeat the steps, but you may recite different verses of the Qur’an after Al-Fatihah.

11. Place your hands on your chest as before and recite Al-Fatihah (the Opening Surah of the Qur’an) aloud. Remember that Al-Fatihah must be said in every rak‘ah of every Prayer.

Al-hamdu lillaahi Rabbi-l-‘aalameen.
Maaliki yawmi–d-deen.
Iyyaaka na‘budu wa iyyaaka nasta‘een.
Ihdina-s-siraatal mustaqeem.
Siraatal-ladheena an‘amta ‘alayhim ghayr-il maghdoobi ‘alayhim, wa la-d-daalleen.

(This means: In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds.
The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Master of the Day of Judgment.
You (alone) we worship; You alone we ask for help.
Show us the straight path,
the path of those whom You have favored, not (the path) of those who earn Your anger nor of those who stray. Amen.)

12. Recite aloud any surah (or a few verses) of the Qur’an. For example, you may recite Surat Al-Falaq (number 113):

Qul: A‘oodhu birabbi-l-falaq
Min sharri maa khalaq,
Wa min sharri ghaasiqin idhaa waqab,
Wa min sharri-n-naafaathaati fi-l-‘uqad,
Wa min sharri haasidin idha hasad.

(This means: In the name of Allah, the Compassionate the Merciful.
Say: I seek refuge in the Lord of daybreak
From the evil of that which He created,
From the evil of the darkness when it is intense,
And from the evil of malignant witchcraft,
And from the evil of the envier when he envies.)

13. Raise your hands to your ears as you did at the beginning and say aloud:

Allaahu Akbar.

Then bow down with your hands on your knees (ruku‘). In this position say silently three times:

Subhaana Rabbiy al-‘Azheem.

(This means: Glory be to my Lord, the Supreme.)

14. Return to the standing position while saying aloud:

Sami‘a-llaahu liman hamidah.

(This means: May Allah hear the one who praises Him.)

Then say silently:

Rabbanaa wa laka-l-hamd.
(This means: Our Lord, for You is all praise.)

15. Then say aloud:

Allaahu Akbar.

and prostrate as before (sujud). While in this position, say silently three times:

Subhaana Rabbiy al-A‘laa.

(This means: Glory be to my Lord, the Most High.)

16. Say aloud:

Allaahu Akbar.

and then sit up on your heels as before.

17. Again say aloud:

Allaahu Akbar.

and prostrate again. Again say silently while prostrating:

Subhaana Rabbiy al-A‘laa.

(This means: Glory be to my Lord, the Most High.)

18. Say aloud:

Allaahu Akbar.

then sit on your heels as before.

19. While sitting, rest your hands on your thighs and say silently the words of the first part of the Tashahhud:

At-tahiyaatu lillaahi wa-s-salawaatu wa tayyibaat.
As-salaamu ‘alayka ayyuha-n-nabiyyu wa rahmatu-llaahi wa barakaatuh.
As-salaamu ‘alayna wa ‘ala ibadillaahi-s-saaliheen.
- Ash-hadu an laa ilaha illaa-llaahu, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduho wa rasooluhu.

(This means: All glorification is for Allah. All acts of good deeds and worship are for Him. Peace and the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon you, O Prophet. Peace be upon us and all of Allah’s righteous servants.

- I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger.)

- It is recommended to point your right index finger forward while reciting this part.

20. Because this is a two-rak‘ah Prayer, you will now recite silently the second part of the Tashahhud:

Allaahumma salli ‘ala Muhammadin wa ‘ala aali Muhammadin kamaa sallayta ‘ala Ibraheema wa ‘ala aali Ibraheem. Innaka hameedun majeed.
Allaahumma baarik ‘ala Muhammadin wa ‘ala aali Muhammadin kamaa baarakta ‘ala Ibraheem wa ‘ala aali Ibraheem. Innaka hameedun majeed.

(This means: O Allah, exalt Muhammad and the family of Muhammad as You exalted Ibrahim (Abraham) and the family of Ibrahim. Verily You are full of praise and majesty. O Allah, bless Muhammad and the family of Muhammad as You blessed Ibrahim and the family of Ibrahim. Verily, You are full of praise and majesty.)

21. Now say the Tasleem to close the Prayer. Turn your head to the right and say aloud:

As-salaamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullah.

(This means: Peace be on you and the mercy of Allah.)
Then turn your head to the left and say aloud:

As-salaamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullah.

This completes the Fajr Prayer of two rak‘ahs (units).

Prayers of More Than Two Rak‘ahs

1. The other obligatory daily Prayers have more than two rak‘ahs. Perform the first two rak‘ahs in the same manner as the Fajr Prayer, through step 19.

After reciting the first part of the Tashahhud (ending with “Ash-hadu an laa ilaha illaa-llaahu, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduho wa rasooluhu.”) at the end of the second rak‘ah, stand up and pray the third (and fourth) rak‘ah as you did the first two, with the exceptions noted below.

2. The third and fourth rak‘ahs are said silently, and there is no need to recite other Qur’an verses. Only Al-Fatihah is recited.

3. If it is the Maghrib (Sunset) Prayer, at the end of the third rak‘ah, recite both parts of the Tashahhud and close the Prayer with Tasleem.

4. If it is the Zhuhr ( Noon ), ‘Asr (Afternoon), or ‘Isha’ (Night) Prayer, perform four rak‘ahs. At the end of the fourth rak‘ah, recite both parts of the Tashahhud and close the Prayer with Tasleem.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

What is Prayer (Salah) in Islam all About? (Part 2)

We're back with the what is Salah series of posts. There more to come.
The information is taken from Islam Online.

Conditions of Prayer: Physical Purity

By IOL Team 14/08/2003

Physical purity means cleanliness of the body, clothing and environment. According to the rules of Islam, Muslims should keep their bodies and clothing clean from any impurities, especially the body wastes of humans and animals.

Islam insists on the use of clean water to cleanse the body of impurities, and only when water is not available can a person use other things. Even the clothing should be perfectly clean from any impurities. For that reason, Muslim bathrooms have a source of running water or pitchers of water next to the toilet.

Similarly, any animal discharges — including the saliva of dogs — are unclean and Muslims should make sure their clothing, environment, and bodies are free of those impurities.

Muslims must have perfect physical purity to pray the Salah (ritual Prayers).

Wudu’ (Ablution)

Before performing the ritual Prayer known as Salah, the Muslim’s body must be totally purified. To be in this state, one must perform the ritual washing known as wudu’ (ablution). The best way to learn wudu’ is to watch others do it. Here are the steps for wudu’:

1. Have the intention of purifying your heart.

2. Wash your hands, front and back, up to and beyond the wrist three times, right hand first, then left.

3. Rinse your mouth three times, scooping the water up with your right hand.

4. Wash your nose three times by sniffing water up the nostrils and blowing it out.

5. Wash your face three times.

6. Wash each arm up to and beyond the elbow three times, right arm first and then the left.

7. Pass the wet palms of both hands over your head and back. Then rub the inside and outside of the ears with the thumbs and forefingers.

8. Wash your feet up to and beyond the ankle three times, right foot first and then the left. Make sure the water gets between the toes by using your fingers.
You are in this state of ritual purity of wudu’ until you urinate or defecate, pass wind, sleep, or become unconscious. If you do any of these things before or during the Salah, you must repeat the wudu’.

Ghusl (Bathing)

A state of major impurity results from actions like sexual intercourse or sexual discharge for both men and women. A person in such a state much perform ghusl (bathing) before praying Salah or reading the Qur’an. Women also have to perform ghusl after their menstrual periods and postpartum bleeding.
The procedure for ghusl (bathing) is as follows:

1. Make the intention for ghusl.

2. Wash the private parts, using the left hand. Then wash the left hand three times.

3. Perform wudu’ (ablution) as described above, except for the feet.

4. Pour water over your head to thoroughly wet your hair three times.

5. Wash the whole head and body three times, starting with the right side. Use your hands to make sure that water reaches every part of your body.

6. Wash your feet up to and beyond the ankles three times, making sure the water gets between the toes.

A Muslim must bathe the whole body at least once a week. It is highly recommended that this be done each Friday before the congregational Prayer.

Because the Salah (ritual Prayer) requires that one be in a state of purity, a woman is excused from Salah during her menstrual periods and after childbirth until the postpartum bleeding stops or 40 days have passed, whichever comes first. She can and should make other kinds of prayer, such as du‘a’ (supplication), five times a day while she is unable to perform Salah. When her bleeding stops, she must perform ghusl (bathing) before performing Salah.

To be continued...

Friday, March 10, 2006

Pics of the Ka'ba and the Black Stone.

I just wanted to show a pic of the Ka'ba and the black stone to compliment the other post. :)

Ka'ba in the city of Mecca.

The Black Stone.