Archive for August, 2010
Video: Dr. Zakir Naik’s Interview about Ramadan on Peace Tv:
On August 21st, Dr.Zakir Naik will give lecture on the title “Religion in the Right Perspective” in Dubai. And some other islamic scholars will give lectures(Insha ALLAH)
For more information see the image.
On the beginning of Ramadan, Rhea Nieves, 25-year-old Filipina, who lives in a women’s shelter in the capital has embraced Islam and registered as a Muslim at the Abu Dhabi Sharia Court.
“I was enlightened by the beauty of Islam,” said Ms Nieves, who arrived in the country in October 2008. “Islam is the right path.”
She was introduced to Islam by an Ethiopian housemaid who worked with her for an Emirati employer.
“I watched her pray and also read the holy Quran, which had an English translation,” she said.
She was hesitant, having been born and raised as a Catholic. She attended a Catholic school in Agno, Pangasinan, about 210km north of Manila, and was also a member of a church choir in high school.
Last November, she and the Ethiopian maid fled their employer’s home. “On that day, while we were cleaning the house, she got really angry and hit us both with a wiper and the cord of an iron,” Ms Nieves said. “One time, she even hurled a knife at me. She would often beat me and the Ethiopian maid.”
At the women’s shelter, the Filipino Workers Resource Centre, in Abu Dhabi, she met many Filipina Muslims. She also visited the home of a female relative in the capital.
“The entire family converted to Islam several years ago,” Ms Nieves said. “I got to know their way of life as Muslims and how they prayed five times a day.”
She read books on Islam and listened to discussions between her aunt’s family and visitors.
“I asked them why they embraced Islam,” she said. “They told me that in Islam, I will find all the answers to my questions.”
Back at the shelter, Chemjoy Bungcag, 23, showed her a guide to performing Muslim prayers.
“I converted to Islam at the Sharia Court last April,” Ms Bungcag said. “Last week, Rhea sought my advice whether she should embrace Islam or not. I told her that it was something that she had to decide for herself.”
Ms Nieves said she was hesitant.
“I was worried that my family back home would not accept me if I changed religion, since my siblings and I were all raised in the Catholic faith,” she said. “When the right time comes, I will explain everything to them and let them understand why I chose to convert.”
Ms Nieves has earned the respect and admiration of others at the shelter born and raised as Muslims in the southern Philippines.
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) – Saudi Arabia will test what it is billing as the world’s largest clock in the holy city of Mecca during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, the official news agency reported Tuesday.
The four-faced clock tower will top a massive skyscraper that when completed will be around 1,970 feet (600 meters) tall, the second tallest in the world after Dubai’s Burj Khalifa.
The clock will dwarf London’s Big Ben, once the largest four-faced clock in the world, with dials more than five times greater in area.
The around 130 foot (40 meter) diameter Saudi clock dials are also bigger than the current world champion at the Cevahir Mall clock in Istanbul, which has a 36 meter face set in the transparent roof of the shopping complex.
The complex overlooks Mecca’s famed Grand Mosque, which Muslims worldwide face during their five daily prayers and is part of Saudi efforts to develop the city visited by millions of pilgrims every year.
A three-month test run for the clock will start during the first week of Ramadan – the monthlong period of prayer, reflection and sunrise-to-sunset fasting, the report said. This year, Ramadan will begin Wednesday.
Only one of the clock’s four faces has so far been completed and is covered with 98 million pieces of glass mosaics.
Each face will be inscribed with “God is greatest” in Arabic and fitted with thousands of colored lights. The clock will be visible from more than 16 miles (25 kilometers).
An observatory deck is planned at the base of the clock.
A huge golden crescent moon, 75 feet (23 meters) in diameter, will eventually rise above the clock on a 200 foot (61 meter) spire, from which some 15 beams will shoot up into the sky, the agency added. The entire clock, from the base up to the crescent, itself will be 820 feet (251 meters) high.
German and Swiss engineers designed the clock and according to the Ministry of Religious Endowments, the entire project will cost $800 million.
The seven tower complex is being built by developer Saudi Binladen Group, the press agency reported.
It is noteworthy that the month of Ramadan is a blessed month and an opportunity for every Muslim to draw near to Allah, increase his morality and spirituality and to gain abundant reward. In this regard, Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, president of the Fiqh Council ofNorth America, states:
Almighty Allah says, (Your Lord does create and choose as He pleases …) (Al-Qasas 28: 68)
Allah is the Creator of everything visible and invisible. Everything in the heaven and earth belongs to Him and serves Him. Allah is also the Creator of time and space. As Allah chose some persons to be His Prophets and Messengers, and as He chose some places to become the sacred spots on this earth, similarly He also chose some time to become the sacred time. The sacred personalities teach us about Allah, His will, His rules and commands. The sacred places and times remind us about Allah’s special favors and blessings. In Islam we worship only Allah. We neither worship any person other than Allah, not any space or time. But certain spaces and times inspire us and motivate us to do good things. One of those important and sacred moments for us is Ramadan. It is a special month and a special time. Allah says in the Qur’an:
(The month of Ramadan is that in which was sent down the Qur’an, as a guide to mankind, with clear signs for guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong). So every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting, but if any one is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (should be made up) by days later. Allah intends every facility for you; He does not want to put you to difficulties. (He wants you) to complete the prescribed period, and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance ye shall be grateful. When My servants ask you concerning Me, I am indeed quite near: I listen and answer the call of every caller when he calls Me. Let them listen to My call, and believe in Me; so that they may be guided aright.) (Al-Baqarah 2: 185-186)
The blessed month of Ramadan is a great time and a beautiful time as well. We thank Allah that He is giving us another occasion to witness this blessed time in our life. May He help us to benefit from this season of virtues and blessings and may He grant us His love, mercy and forgiveness now and forever, Ameen.
Ramadan is a great month. This is the month of the Qur’an, and in this month is the Night of Qadr, which is better than one thousand months. Allah chose this month and a particular night in this month to grace humanity with His Final Testament, His Last Message, the Qur’an. The moment of this revelation became a sacred moment, and that time and month became an eternal time for us. Allah chose this time, and He has filled it with His countless blessings. In this month we have a greater urge and desire to do good deeds. This month becomes the month of virtues and blessings for us. This is the month about which the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
“When the first night of Ramadan comes, the devils and rebellious jinns are put in chains and the doors of hell are closed, none of them remains open. The doors of heaven are open and none of them remains closed. And a caller calls, ‘O seeker of goodness, come forward, and O seeker of evil, desist. And Allah has many (in this month) who will be freed from Hell.’ This announcement is made every night.” (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, Hadith no. 618)
Ramadan is meant for our moral and spiritual training and for the purification of our bodies, minds and souls. This is an annual training program for all believers. It is a special time to get closer to Allah and to seek His blessings and bounties. It is a time to learn taqwa (God-fearing), piety, self-discipline and patience. It is a time to give more charity and become more generous. It is a time to seek Allah’s forgiveness and to forgive each other. It is a time to be thankful to Allah for His gifts and bounties and especially His gift of iman.
I urge you, my brothers and sisters, do not miss any day of fasting and do not miss any moment of the blessed month of Ramadan. This is a very precious time and Allah will give us many benefits if we use it in the proper way.
Let us keep the following things in our mind when we observe this month:
1. Intention: Remind yourself again and again that you are fasting in obedience to Allah. Be sincere in your intention. You want Allah to accept your fasting. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Whosoever fasts in Ramadan with faith and seeking Allah’s reward, all his past sins are forgiven.” (Al-Bukhari, Hadith no. 37)
2. Sunnah: Observe the Sunnah in fasting. Take the suhur meal a little before dawn and end your fast at sunset. As much as you can, try to fast as much like the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) fasted. There was no prayer better than his prayer and no fast better than his fast. Try to follow his way of fasting. That is the most acceptable way of fasting to Allah.
3. Wara` (Avoiding everything haram or makruh): Keep your body and mind very clean. Fasting is not just avoiding food and drink. Fasting is to learn how to avoid bad words and bad deeds. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Whosoever does not leave bad words and bad actions, Allah does not care if he leaves his food and drink.” (Al-Tirmidhi 641)
4. Qur’an: Fasting and revelation are inter-connected. Prophet Musa fasted when he received the Torah. Prophet `Isa fasted when he received the Gospel. Prophet Muhammad fasted when he received the first message of the Qur’an. Let us do the same thing. You must fast and spend more time with the Qur’an. Read the Qur’an every day. Try to finish at least one time the whole Qur’an during this month by your own personal reading.
5. Prayer or Salah, Du`a’ and Dhikr: Pray on time and observe all the prayers. Do not ignore the Tarawih or Ramadan night prayers. Make more extra and voluntary prayers. Do as much worship as you can. Do more dhikr (remembering Allah) and du`a’ (supplication) for yourself and for others. Repent and seek forgiveness for yourself and for others as much as you can. This is the best time for devotion and seeking Allah’s forgiveness. Seek the Night of Qadr by special devotion during the last ten nights of this month.
6. Zakah, Sadaqah and Generosity: Ramadan generates the spirit of giving and sacrifice. When we deprive ourselves of food and drink we understand and realize well what it means to be hungry and thirsty. We realize the pain of those who cannot find the basic necessities of life. Be very charitable and generous. Give more to help the poor and needy. Contribute generously to useful social and community projects.
7. Family: Goodness must begin at home. Be very good to your family, immediate family and the extended family. Spend more time and quality time with your family members. Try to have suhur (pre-dawn meal) together. Break your fast together and pray together as much as you can. Do this more at this time. Ramadan should bring you closer to each other. Allah’s special mercy comes on the families that are united, harmonious and peaceful.
8. Good Conduct: Fasting should transform you and should make you a different person. Try to be extra kind and courteous during this month. Forget your quarrels and disputes. Reconcile and forgive. Do not get involved in backbiting, lying, cheating and anything that is wrong. Be very good to Muslims and to all human beings. Be good to your friends and neighbors. Let your non-Muslim neighbors and co-workers know that this is your blessed and sacred time.
9. Tafakkur (reflection): Think, reflect and plan to improve the moral and spiritual condition of your own self and your family. Think about any wrong things and sins you might be doing and decide to correct yourself. Think about any deficiencies you have in your Islamic observances. Plan to change yourself. Think what you can do for the Ummah and for humanity to make this world a better place for everyone. Think about the life after death and the Day of Judgment.
10. Be cheerful and happy: Ramadan is not a time of mourning or sadness. It is a time of thankfulness to Allah. In a Hadith it is reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “When you fast, anoint yourself. Let not the signs of fast be seen on you.” (Al-Bukahri, Al-Adab al-Mufrad) Do not feel tired and miserable. Feel alert and relax. Take things easy. This time is for your own good. Give the greetings of Ramadan to each other and enjoy this beautiful time.
It is reported in a Hadith that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) gave a sermon about Ramadan to a gathering that met towards the end of Sha`ban. He said:
“O People, a great and a blessed month is approaching you. In this month, there is a night that is better than one thousand months. Allah has made fasting obligatory and prayers at night commendable during this month. Whosoever will do a voluntary good deed during this month, it is as if he performed an obligatory good deed at another time and whosoever will perform an obligatory good deed, it is as if he performed seventy obligatory good deeds at another time. This is the month of patience and the reward of patience is Paradise. This is the month of kindness. In this month the believer’s provision is increased. Whosoever will give food to a fasting person in this month, it will bring forgiveness for his sins, will save him from the hellfire and he shall have his reward while the fasting person will not lose any of his reward.” (As-Suyuti, Ad-Durr al-Manthur)
– Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi
Question: Why does Islam degrade women by keeping them behind the veil?
Answer: The status of women in Islam is often the target of attacks in the secular media. The ‘hijaab’ or the Islamic dress is cited by many as an example of the ‘subjugation’ of women under Islamic law. Before we analyze the reasoning behind the religiously mandated ‘hijaab’, let us first study the status of women in societies before the advent of Islam
1. In the past women were degraded and used as objects of lust
The following examples from history amply illustrate the fact that the status of women in earlier civilizations was very low to the extent that they were denied basic human dignity:
1. Babylonian Civilization:The women were degraded and were denied all rights under the Babylonian law. If a man murdered a woman, instead of him being punished, his wife was put to death.
2. Greek Civilization: Greek Civilization is considered the most glorious of all ancient civilizations. Under this very ‘glorious’ system, women were deprived of all rights and were looked down upon.
In Greek mythology, an ‘imaginary woman’ called ‘Pandora’ is the root cause of misfortune of human beings. The Greeks considered women to be subhuman and inferior to men. Though chastity of women was precious, and women were held in high esteem, the Greeks were later overwhelmed by ego and sexual perversions. Prostitution became a regular practice amongst all classes of Greek society.
3. Roman Civilization: When Roman Civilization was at the zenith of its ‘glory’, a man even had the right to take the life of his wife. Prostitution and nudity were common amongst the Romans.
4. Egyptian Civilization: The Egyptian considered women evil and as a sign of a devil.
5. Pre-Islamic Arabia: Before Islam spread in Arabia, the Arabs looked down upon women and very often when a female child was born, she was buried alive.
2. Islam uplifted women and gave them equality and expects them to maintain their status.
Islam uplifted the status of women and granted them their just rights 1400 years ago. Islam expects women to maintain their status.
Hijaab for men:
People usually only discuss ‘hijaab’ in the context of women. However, in the Glorious Qur’an, Allah (swt) first mentions ‘hijaab’ for men before ‘hijaab’ for the women. The Qur’an mentions in Surah Noor:
“Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do.”[Al-Qur’an 24:30]
The moment a man looks at a woman and if any brazen or unashamed thought comes to his mind, he should lower his gaze.
Hijaab for women:
The next verse of Surah Noor, says:
” And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons…”[Al-Qur’an 24:31]
3. Six criteria for Hijaab.
According to Qur’an and Sunnah there are basically six criteria for observing hijaab:
1. Extent: The first criterion is the extent of the body that should be covered. This is different for men and women. The extent of covering obligatory on the male is to cover the body at least from the navel to the knees. For women, the extent of covering obligatory is to cover the complete body except the face and the hands upto the wrist. If they wish to, they can cover even these parts of the body. Some scholars of Islam insist that the face and the hands are part of the obligatory extent of ‘hijaab’.
All the remaining five criteria are the same for men and women.
2. The clothes worn should be loose and should not reveal the figure.
3. The clothes worn should not be transparent such that one can see through them.
4. The clothes worn should not be so glamorous as to attract the opposite sex.
5. The clothes worn should not resemble that of the opposite sex.
6. The clothes worn should not resemble that of the unbelievers i.e. they should not wear clothes that are specifically identities or symbols of the unbelievers’ religions.
4. Hijaab includes conduct and behaviour among other things
Complete ‘hijaab’, besides the six criteria of clothing, also includes the moral conduct, behaviour, attitude and intention of the individual. A person only fulfilling the criteria of ‘hijaab’ of the clothes is observing ‘hijaab’ in a limited sense. ‘Hijaab’ of the clothes should be accompanied by ‘hijaab’ of the eyes, ‘hijaab’ of the heart, ‘hijaab’ of thought and ‘hijaab’ of intention. It also includes the way a person walks, the way a person talks, the way he behaves, etc.
5. Hijaab prevents molestation
The reason why Hijaab is prescribed for women is mentioned in the Qur’an in the following verses of Surah Al-Ahzab:
“O Prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when abroad); that is most convenient, that they should be known (as such) and not molested. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”[Al-Qur’an 33:59]
The Qur’an says that Hijaab has been prescribed for the women so that they are recognized as modest women and this will also prevent them from being molested.
6. Example of twin sisters
Suppose two sisters who are twins, and who are equally beautiful, walk down the street. One of them is attired in the Islamic hijaab i.e. the complete body is covered, except for the face and the hands up to the wrists. The other sister is wearing western clothes, a mini skirt or shorts. Just around the corner there is a hooligan or ruffian who is waiting for a catch, to tease a girl. Whom will he tease? The girl wearing the Islamic Hijaab or the girl wearing the skirt or the mini? Naturally he will tease the girl wearing the skirt or the mini. Such dresses are an indirect invitation to the opposite sex for teasing and molestation. The Qur’an rightly says that hijaab prevents women from being molested.
7. Capital punishment for the rapists
Under the Islamic shariah, a man convicted of having raped a woman, is given capital punishment. Many are astonished at this ‘harsh’ sentence. Some even say that Islam is a ruthless, barbaric religion! I have asked a simple question to hundreds of non-Muslim men. Suppose, God forbid, someone rapes your wife, your mother or your sister. You are made the judge and the rapist is brought in front of you. What punishment would you give him? All of them said they would put him to death. Some went to the extent of saying they would torture him to death. To them I ask, if someone rapes your wife or your mother you want to put him to death. But if the same crime is committed on somebody else’s wife or daughter you say capital punishment is barbaric. Why should there be double standards?
8. Western society falsely claims to have uplifted women
Western talk of women’s liberalization is nothing but a disguised form of exploitation of her body, degradation of her soul, and deprivation of her honour. Western society claims to have ‘uplifted’ women. On the contrary it has actually degraded them to the status of concubines, mistresses and society butterflies who are mere tools in the hands of pleasure seekers and sex marketeers, hidden behind the colourful screen of ‘art’ and ‘culture’.
9. USA has one of the highest rates of rape
United States of America is supposed to be one of the most advanced countries of the world. It also has one of the highest rates of rape in any country in the world. According to a FBI report, in the year 1990, every day on an average 1756 cases of rape were committed in U.S.A alone. Later another report said that on an average everyday 1900 cases of rapes are committed in USA. The year was not mentioned. May be it was 1992 or 1993. May be the Americans got ‘bolder’ in the following years.
Consider a scenario where the Islamic hijaab is followed in America. Whenever a man looks at a woman and any brazen or unashamed thought comes to his mind, he lowers his gaze. Every woman wears the Islamic hijaab, that is the complete body is covered except the face and the hands upto the wrist. After this if any man commits rape he is given capital punishment. I ask you, in such a scenario, will the rate of rape in America increase, will it remain the same, or will it decrease?
10. Implementation of Islamic Shariah will reduce the rate of rapesNaturally as soon as Islamic Shariah is implemented positive results will be inevitable. If Islamic Shariah is implemented in any part of the world, whether it is America or Europe, society will breathe easier. Hijaab does not degrade a woman but uplifts a woman and protects her modesty and chastity.