Friday, February 09, 2007

A Wife

A talk by Shaykh Abdullah Adhami

By getting married you are not just getting a wife, you are getting your whole world. From now until the rest of your days your wife will be your partner, your companion, and your best friend.

She will share your moments, your days, and your years. She will share your joys and sorrows, your successes and failures, your dreams and your fears. When you are ill, she will take the best care of you; when you need help, she will do all she can for you;

When you have a secret, she will keep it; when you need advice, she will give you the best advice. She will always be with you: when you wake up in the morning the first thing your eyes will see will be hers; during the day, she will be with you, if for a moment she is not with you by her physical body, she will be thinking of you, praying for you with all her heart, mind, and soul; when you go to sleep at night, the last thing your eyes will see will be her; and when you are asleep you will still see her in your dreams. In short, she will be your whole world and you will be her whole world.

The best description that I personally have ever read describing the closeness of the spouses to each other is the Qur'anic verse which says: "they are your garments and you are their garments" (Surah Al Baqarah 2:187). Indeed, spouses are like garments to each other because they provide one another with the protection, the comfort, the cover, the support, and the adornment that garments provide to humans. Just imagine a journey in the winter of Alaska without garments! Our spouses provide us with the same level of comfort, protection, cover, and support in the journey of our lives on this earth as garments would do in the Alaskan journey.

The relationship between the spouses is the most amazing of all human relations: the amount of love and affection, intimacy and closeness, mercy and compassion, peace and tranquillity that fills the hearts of the spouses is simply inexplicable. The only rational explanation for these most amazing of all human feelings is that: it is an act of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala, "And Allah has made for you Mates (and Companions) of your own nature ..." (Surah Al Nahl 16:72) Only our Almighty Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala in His Infinite Power, Boundless Mercy, and Great Wisdom can create and ingrain these amazing and blessed feelings in the hearts of the spouses. In fact Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala is reminding those who search for His signs in the universe that these feelings in the hearts of the spouses are among the signs that should guide humans to His existence as He says in the Qur'an, "And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves that you may dwell in tranquillity with them and He has put love and mercy between your hearts: verily in that are signs for those who reflect." (Surah Al Rum 30:21)

But Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala knows that the human heart is not a static entity, it is sometimes weak and at times dynamic. Feelings can and do change with time. Love may wither and fade away. The marital bond might weaken if not properly cared for. Happiness in marriage cannot be taken for granted; continuous happiness requires constant giving from both sides. For the tree of marital love to remain alive and keep growing, the soil has to be sustained, maintained, watered and nurtured.

Remember that our Prophet Muhammad Salallaahu 'aliahi wa'sallaam had found the time to go out to the desert and race with his wife Aisha. She out ran him but later after she had gained some weight, he out ran her.

Remember that the Prophet Salallaahu 'aliahi wa'sallaam took his wife to watch the young Ethiopians playing and dancing their folk dances. The show of emotions is necessary to keep the marital bond away from rusting and disintegrating.

Remember that you will be rewarded by Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala for any emotions you show to your wife as the Prophet Salallaahu 'aliahi wa'sallaam said "one would be rewarded for anything that he does seeking the pleasure of Allah even the food that he puts in the mouth of his wife."

Never underestimate the importance of seemingly little things as putting food in your wife's mouth, opening the car's door for her, etc. Remember that the Prophet Salallaahu 'aliahi wa'sallaam used to extend his knee to his wife to assist her up to ride the camel.

Try to always find some time for both of you to pray together. Strengthening the bond between you and Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala is the best guarantee that your own marital bond would always remain strong. Having peace with Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala will always result in having more peace at home.

Remember that the Prophet Salallaahu 'aliahi wa'sallaam gave glad tidings for those couples who wake up at night to pray together. The Prophet Salallaahu 'aliahi wa'sallaam even urged the spouse who rises up first to wake the other spouse up even by throwing cold water on his/her face.

Always try your best to be good to your wife by words and by deeds. Talk to her, smile to her, seek her advice, ask for her opinion, spend quality time with her and always remember that the Prophet Salallaahu 'aliahi wa'sallaam said "the best of you are those who are best to their wives."

Finally, it is common that spouses vow to love and honor their spouses until death do them part. I do believe that this vow is good or even great, but not enough! It is not enough that you love your wife. You have to love what she loves as well. Her family, her loved ones must also become your loved ones. Don't be like my colleague who was unhappy about his wife's parents coming to visit for few weeks. He candidly said to her "I don't like your parents." Naturally, she angrily looked at him straight in the eye and said " I don't like yours either"... Also, it is not enough that you love her until death do you part. Love should never end and we do believe there is life after death where those who did righteousness in this world will be joined by their spouses (Surah Al Zukhruf 43:70) and offsprings.

The best example in this regard is the Prophet Salallaahu 'aliahi wa'sallaam whose love for Khadija, his wife of 25 years extended to include all those she loved and continued even after her death. It was many years after her death and he never forgot her and whenever a goat was slaughtered in his house he would send portions of it to Khadija's family and friends and whenever he felt that the visitor at the door might be Khadija's sister Hala, he would pray saying "O Allah let it be Hala."

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Little Mosque on the Prairie

- Season 1 Episode 1

A small prairie Muslim community butts heads with locals when their new spiritual leader arrives.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Muslims laud 'Little Mosque on the Prairie'

By Rebecca Cook Dube, Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor

TORONTO - When Alaa Elsayed speaks to churches and civic groups about Islam, he plays a word-association game.

"What's the first thing you think of when you hear the word 'Islamic'?" he asks. "How about 'Muslim'?"

Sometimes, the Calgary imam says, one of the audience members will hesitantly say what many are thinking: "terrorist."

But now, Mr. Elsayed hopes a different word might pop into their minds: "funny."

He - along with millions of other Canadians - has been watching a new show called "Little Mosque on the Prairie," North America's first sitcom about Muslims. Elsayed gave rave reviews to the premiere of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's show about a Muslim community in a small, midwestern town, and he's eagerly awaiting the second episode Wednesday.

"A lighthearted comedy that portrays the Muslim community in a manner that is evenhanded is definitely a welcome change from hearing about Muslims as terrorists, as jihadists," Elsayed says. "This is a great tool for people to learn about Islam in a language they can understand, which is comedy. Also, it's a great indicator that Muslims are an integral part of this community - this is who we are, so accept our differences, not just tolerate them."

Though the show isn't airing in the US except in a few border states, hopes are high there, too.

"We need something to show that Muslims are human," says Kamal Nawash, founder of the Free Muslims Coalition, an anti-extremist group based in Washington, D.C. "I'm hoping it ends up being something like 'Seinfeld' - a show made up by Jews where the whole show is based on humor. It puts life in perspective; it shows people that we're all the same at the end of the day."

Rather lofty expectations for a 30-minute show described by its creator, Zarqa Nawaz, as "a very standard character sitcom."

Ms. Nawaz, a respected Muslim filmmaker who lives in the prairie town of Regina, says her main goal in writing "Little Mosque" was to create a funny, hit show. She seems to have succeeded, at least in the early going. The 8 p.m. pilot episode garnered nearly 2.1 million viewers last week, big ratings for Canada. The top-ranked home-grown sitcom, "Corner Gas" - which coincidentally is also set in a small prairie town - regularly draws 1.6 million viewers.

The first episode introduced viewers to the close-knit Muslim community, in the fictional small town of Mercy, and to the local non-Muslims who regard their neighbors with a mixture of trepidation and tolerance. In the second episode, the new imam, a handsome young man newly arrived from Toronto, sparks a battle of the sexes when he decides to erect a barrier between men and women in the mosque.

"I hope it will open up a door to another community, so people can realize this community has the same foibles and quirks as any community does," Nawaz says, acknowledging that her show is, perhaps, not just another sitcom. "Laughter is a universal language."

The show's producer, Mary Darling, is pitching it to US networks. "We actually think it can do something in the world," she said.

"Little Mosque" certainly represents a change from how Canada's 600,000 Muslims usually see themselves in the media since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. In Canada, tensions were heightened by the arrest last summer of 17 Toronto-area men charged with planning a terrorist attack.

But show doesn't shrink from portraying the realities of a post 9/11 world.

In the first episode, a young Toronto lawyer gives up his practice to become Mercy's new imam, but gets into hot water at the airport.

"Don't put Dad on the phone," he tells his mother on his cellphone as he waits in line. "I've been planning this for months, it's not like I dropped a bomb on him. If Dad thinks it's suicide, then so be it. This is Allah's plan for me."

He's promptly whisked off by security, who don't believe his protestations of innocence.

"If my story doesn't check out, you can deport me to Syria," he says, a sly reference to the plight of Maher Arar - a Syrian-born Canadian citizen who was arrested during a stopover in the US and deported to Syria, where he was tortured. The US acted on Canadian intelligence that Canadian officials recently admitted was inaccurate.

Asad Rahman, a Toronto photographer, says he didn't buy the airport scene: "I don't think any Muslim would really joke about terrorism in an airport."

But he's hopeful that the show will have a positive influence, both on how non-Muslims view his religion and on how Muslims see themselves. "At least somebody is brave enough to bring some humor to this sensitive religion," says Mr. Rahman, a coordinator for a gay Muslim group.

Not every Muslim is a fan, of course.

Tarek Fatah, spokesman for the progressive, Toronto-based Muslim Canadian Congress, says he thought the jokes fell flat.

"It was a tremendous lost opportunity," he says. "I can imagine non-Muslims watching this and saying, 'my God, these people are bizarre.' "

In my humble opinion, I think this show is great. I've seen parts of it and I think it's an excellent way to show truly how Muslims are. The creator, Zarqa Nawaz, before she got the show published she definitely consulted a known prominent Shaykh. It's not like she went through this just because she thought it was ok. That's a good move on her part. Of course there will always be other opinions out there that are against the show but that is what makes us humans. We differ.

I'll be posting the video later, just to keep things more excited.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


What is actually meant by globalization? The word is related to Global that according to Merriam-Webster dictionary means of, relating to, or involving the entire world. What about globalization exactly? This is what it had to say, the act or process of globalizing : the state of being globalized; especially : the development of an increasingly integrated global economy marked especially by free trade, free flow of capital, and the tapping of cheaper foreign labor markets.

The idea of globalization is great when it brings cultures closer but not if kills the identity of your own society or culture completely. That makes me neither 100% against it or 100% with it. I believe it depends on the which aspect of globalization we're talking about.

I grew up in the East and spent a good portion of my adult life in the West. I see good and bad things in both cultures and I all I can say is if we take the best of both worlds, it'll be utopian. I think I'm against the idea of forced globalization, the same idea of forced "American" democracy in the Middle East. I'm sincerely against that. We'd rather work on a true democracy that really benefits the citizens of the Middle East rather than the Bush's Administration and Israel's ethnic cleansing policy ...

When it comes to economic and social aspects, I think when we can search for similarities instead of differences, that's when the world would be a happier place.

As Allah (SWT) says:

"O mankind! Behold, We have created you all out of a male and a female, and have made you into nations and tribes, so that you might come to know one another. Verily, the noblest of you in the sight of God is the one who is most deeply conscious of Him. Behold, God is all knowing, all aware"
(Al Qur'an, Al Hujurat 49:13)

With this said, I believe we should get closer and learn more about one another without disregarding our own identity. Another thing I seriously disagree with is ridiculous man made traditions. I'm against holding on to that with our life and souls. Yes we, Muslims, should stick to we are told by the Qur'an (from God) and Sunnah (from the Prophet(PBUH)). I believe our Creator knows best of how we should live and that's the identity we should stick with. Same goes for Christians and people of other faiths. If people of all faiths truly got to learn, understand and follow what their Holy Books have to say to and about humanity, globalization wouldn't be an issue. It'll be a peaceful and eye opening experience.

The reason I didn't say much about the business aspect of it, because I still haven't decided what I truly feel about it. I need to learn more about that.