Thursday, 29 December 2011

Will Power

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH – THE SOURCE OF MERCY – THE MOST MERCIFUL

TRAIN YOUR WILL POWER

MANY PEOPLE FAIL TO GET AHEAD BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO WILLPOWER TO DO WHAT THEY KNOW THEY SHOULD BE DOING. NOR CAN THEY HELP THEMSELVES TO AVOID THE THINGS WHICH THEY KNOW WILL RUIN THEM. MANY SUCH PEOPLE WOULD LIKE TO GIVE UP SMOKING, TO STOP USING DRUGS, OR TO AVOID AFFAIRS OUTSIDE OF MARRIAGE. MANY FIND THAT GAMBLING OR ALCOHOL ADDICTION IS WRECKING THEIR LIVES. YET THESE PEOPLE HAVE NO WILLPOWER TO SET THEIR LIFE ON THE RIGHT COURSE. THEY FEEL HELPLESS, AND THEY HAVE TO DEAL WITH A NAGGING CONSCIENCE THAT PRICKS THEM WITH WHAT THEY COULD HAVE DONE, OR SHOULD HAVE DONE.

YET THERE ARE SOME STRONG-WILLED PEOPLE WHO SEEM TO BE ABLE TO DO WHAT THEY KNOW IS RIGHT AND AVOID WHAT THEY KNOW IS WRONG. SUCH PEOPLE EXPERIENCE PEACE OF MIND KNOWING THAT THEY ARE DOING THE RIGHT THING. THEIR WILLPOWER IS OBVIOUSLY WORKING FOR THEM. BUT HOW DO THEY DO IT? WHAT IS THE SECRET? THE SECRET IS THAT YOU CAN TRAIN YOUR WILLPOWER.

SUPPOSE YOU MADE A RESOLUTION TO SKIP LUNCH FOR A MONTH AND ACTUALLY STUCK TO YOUR DECISION. YOU MAY SAVE YOUR LUNCH MONEY, LOSE A FEW POUNDS, DEVELOP SYMPATHY FOR THE POOR, AND GIVE YOUR DIGESTIVE SYSTEM A MUCH-NEEDED REST. MORE IMPORTANTLY, YOU WILL STRENGTHEN YOUR WILLPOWER.

THE REASON THIS WORKS IS THAT YOU TEACH YOURSELF TO AVOID LUNCH EVEN WHEN YOU KNOW YOU COULD HAVE IT IF YOU DECIDE. YOUR STOMACH MAY GROWL, BUT YOU WON'T LISTEN. THUS YOU TRAIN YOURSELF TO IGNORE THE CALLING OF YOUR LOWER PHYSICAL SELF AND REACH FOR THE HIGHER GOALS OF REAL HUMAN ACHIEVEMENT. IF YOU STICK TO YOUR DECISION DAY AFTER DAY FOR A MONTH YOU CAN DEVELOP A REGULAR HABIT OF DOING THE RIGHT THING EVEN WHEN YOUR DESIRES ARE CALLING FOR SOMETHING ELSE.

EVERY YEAR, FOR ONE MONTH, ABLE MUSLIMS GO THROUGH A SIMILAR FASTING EXERCISE. THEY OBSERVE THE FAST AS A COMPULSORY PRACTICE WHICH GOD PRESCRIBED IN HIS REVEALED MESSAGES, ESPECIALLY IN HIS LAST REVEALED BOOK. ONE OF THE MANY BENEFITS THEY EXPERIENCE FROM FASTING IS ITS TRAINING ASPECT. THE WILLPOWER THEY DEVELOP IN THE ONE MONTH HELPS THEM TO CONTINUE DOING THE RIGHT THING AND AVOIDING THE WRONG THROUGHOUT THE YEAR. 

THEY FIND THE FAST SUCH AN EFFECTIVE METHOD OF SPIRITUAL TRAINING AND OF ACHIEVING A CLOSENESS WITH THEIR CREATOR THAT MANY MUSLIMS ALSO KEEP SOME ADDITIONAL, OPTIONAL, FASTS ON OTHER DAYS OF THE YEAR. THEY EAT AN EARLY BREAKFAST BEFORE DAWN AND A LATE DINNER AFTER SUNSET. FROM DAWN TO SUNSET THEY WOULD HAVE NO FOOD OR DRINK; THEY WOULD ALSO REFRAIN FROM SEXUAL ACTIVITY. MUSLIMS TRAIN THEMSELVES WITH THE HELP OF GOD TO FULFILL THEIR NATURAL NEEDS IN THE TIME AND MANNER WHICH GOD DECLARED SUITABLE FOR HUMAN DIGNITY AND WELL-BEING. DURING THE FAST MUSLIMS ALSO TRAIN THEMSELVES TO AVOID LYING, CHEATING, BACKBITING, AND ALL MANNER OF FALSE SPEECH AND IMMORAL ACTIONS. THE MONTH OF RAMADAN IS AN IDEAL TIME TO STRENGHEN AND TRAIN YOUR WILL POWER.

Writer

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH – THE SOURCE OF MERCY – THE MOST MERCIFUL

Your Rights Will Remain Ceased, until ...Ink of a Scholar is mightier than the Sword of a Soldier ...and all the variations there of ... nevertheless ...the idea is powerful. 

A recent survey of career choices reveal young Muslims' top three pursuits as: Medicine, Computer Science and Law. We all know too well, the world needs others too. How about Journalism? If you think; Why Journalism, you are not alone.

The answer is because of Double Standards. It is a justified crusade when few lives are lost, but it is not when entire generations are killed. Euphemisms like "collateral damage" and "civilian casualties" heightens these double standards to painful proportions. 

A Just & Universal Standard is badly needed. When a human being dies, a Journalist must write, a "human being" died. It is that simple. But in the real world it is not happening. 

If your antenna is fine tuned, you pick up signals of injustice, corruption, exploitation and you boil with rage. If you are a Cowboy, you go out or send someone out for you and physically force changes. But if you are not and we hope you are not, you deal with the Cowboys. And the most noble way to deal with them is with knowledge and words.

Journalism involves the huge responsibility of providing accurate information and reporting the truth. In the search of which, no hurdle is too high, no danger so perilous to retreat. A journalist is spurred by an inner pain about an outer reality and addresses it with the only weapon of wisdom - knowledge and words. Journalism is a quest for truth, a crusade to expose injustice and wrongdoing by getting to know the true facts and then using words to communicate them effectively.

Journalists are also spurred by angst: how can you let people suffer, how can you allow reality to be buried, how can you allow a lie to be perpetuated. You can and will make a difference with the weapons you have, with knowledge and with words.

A Journalist's moment of triumph is when usurped land is restored to the rightful owners, the guilty are punished, when citizens selflessly watch over each other, when food is distributed to the famine-stricken, when a corrupt minister or a careless King is dethroned and so on.  

Today we face a new angst: Neither many parents are encouraging their children to pursue Journalism or Mass Communication, nor many young men and women are willing to opt for higher ideals rather than higher earnings.  

Our rights to protest double standards will remain ceased unless we begin to learn to side step landmines, escape from tank fires and duck the bullets. The choice is yours ... Doctors, Engineers and Lawyers alone cannot save the world and bring peace, harmony and justice for all.

ZamZam

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH – THE SOURCE OF MERCY – THE MOST MERCIFUL

MAKKAH'S WATER

Comes the Hajj season, and I am reminded of the wonders of Zumzum. Let me go back to how it all started.

In 1971, an Egyptian doctor wrote to the European Press, a letter saying that Zumzum was not fit for drinking purposes. I immediately thought that this was just a form of prejudice against the Muslims and that since his statement was based on the assumption, that since the Ka'aba was a shallow place (below sea level) and located in the centre of the city of Makkah, all the waste water of the city collecting through the drains fell into well holding the water.

Fortunately, the news came to King Faisal's ears who got extremely angry and decided to disprove the Egyptian doctor's provocative statement. He immediately ordered the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources to investigate and send samples of Zumzum to European laboratories for testing the pot-ability of the water. The ministry then instructed the Jeddah Power and Desalination Plants to carry out this task. It was here that I was employed as a desalting engineer (chemical engineer to produce drinking water from seawater). I was chosen to carry out this assignment.

At this stage, I remember that I had no idea what the well holding the water looked like. I went to Makkah and reported to the authorities at the Ka'aba explaining my purpose of visit. They deputed a man to give me whatever help was required. When we reached the well, it was hard for me to believe that a pool of water, more like a small pond, about 18 by 14 feet, was the well that supplied millions of gallons of water every year to Hajjis ever since it came into existence at the time of Hazrat Ibrahim, many, many centuries ago. I started my investigations and took the dimensions of the well. I asked the man to show me the depth of the well.

First he took a shower and descended into the water. Then he straightened his body. I saw that the water level came up to just above his shoulders. His height was around five feet, eight inches. He then started moving from one corner to the other in the well (standing all the while since he was not allowed to dip his head into the water) in search of any inlet or pipeline inside the well to see from where the water came in.

However, the man reported that he could not find any inlet or pipeline inside the well. I thought of another idea. The water could be withdrawn rapidly with the help of a big transfer pump which was installed at the well for the Zumzum storage tanks. In this way, the water level would drop enabling us to locate the point of entry of the water. Surprisingly, nothing was observed during the pumping period, but I knew that this was the only method by which you could find the entrance of the water to the well. So I decided to repeat the process. But this time I instructed the man to stand still at one place and carefully observe any unusual thing happening inside the well. After a while, he suddenly raised his hands and shouted, "Alhamdollillah! I have found it. The sand is dancing beneath my feet as the water oozes out of the bed of the well." Then he moved around the well during the pumping period and noticed the same phenomenon everywhere in the well. Actually, the flow of water into the well through the bed was equal at every point, thus keeping the level of the water steady. 

After I finished my observations, I took the samples of the water for European laboratories to test. Before I left the Ka'aba, I asked the authorities about the other wells around Makkah. I was told that these wells were mostly dry. When I reached my office in Jeddah, I reported my findings to my boss who listened with great interest but made a very irrational comment that the Zumzum well could be internally connected to the Red Sea. How was it possible when Makkah is about 75 kilometres away from the sea and the wells located before the city usually remain dry?

The results of the water samples tested by the European laboratories and the one we analyzed in our own laboratory were found to be almost identical. The difference between Zumzum and other water (city water) was in the quantity of calcium and magnesium salts. The content of these was slightly higher in Zumzum. This may be why this water refreshes tired Hajjis, but more significantly, the water contains fluorides that have an effective germicidal action. Moreover, the remarks of the European laboratories showed that the water was fit for drinking. Hence, the statement made by the Egyptian doctor was proved false.

When this was reported to King Faisal he was extremely pleased and ordered the contradiction of the report in the European Press. In a way, it was a blessing that this study was undertaken to show the chemical composition of the water. In fact, the more you explore, the more wonders surface and you find yourself believing implicitly in the miracles of this water that God bestowed as a gift on the faithfuls coming from far and wide to the desert land for pilgrimage.

Let me sum up some of the features of Zumzum.

a.. This well has never dried up. On the contrary, it has always fulfilled the demand for water.

b.. It has always maintained the same salt composition and taste ever since it came into existence.

c.. Its potability has always been universally recognised as pilgrims from all over the world visit Ka'aba every year for Hajj and Umrah, but have never complained about it. Instead, they have always enjoyed the water that refreshes them.

d.. Water tastes different at different places.

e.. Zumzum's appeal has always been universal.

f.. This water has never been chemically treated or chlorinated, as is the case with water pumped into the cities.

g.. Biological growth and vegetation usually takes place in most wells. This makes the water unpalatable owing to the growth of algae causing taste and odour problems. But in the case of the Zumzum well there wasn't any sign of biological growth.

h.. Centuries ago, Hajra searched desperately for water in the hills of Safa and Marwa to give to her newly born son Ismail. As she ran from one place to another in search of water, her child rubbed his feet against the sand. A pool of water surfaced, and by the grace of God, shaped itself into a well which came to be called Zumzum.

Wisdom

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH – THE SOURCE OF MERCY – THE MOST MERCIFUL

DEFINING WISDOM - WISDOM HAS BEEN DEFINED AS ...

THE ABILITY TO MAKE CORRECT JUDGEMENTS AND DECISIONS, FORESEEING CONSEQUENCES AND ACTING TO MAXIMISE BENEFICIAL RESULTS, MAKING THE BEST USE OF AVAILABLE KNOWLEDGE, THINKING WHAT IS BEST AND DOING WHAT IS BEST IN ANY GIVEN SITUATION. HIKMAH (DENOTING 'WISDOM') IS A POSITIVE TERM USED REPEATEDLY IN THE NOBLE QURAN AS A CHARACTERISTIC OF THE RIGHTEOUS [THE NOBLE QURAN 2:251; 4:54;  5:110], AS A QUALITY OF THOSE WHO TRULY UNDERSTAND [THE NOBLE QURAN 31:12].

THE NOBLE QURAN IS REFERRED TO AS THE WISE QURAN [THE NOBLE QURAN 36:2]; THE BOOK OF WISDOM THE VERSES OF A BOOK OF WISDOM [THE NOBLE QURAN 10:2; 13:2] 

WISDOM IS REFERRED TO AS AN INTEGRAL COMPONENT OF THE MESSAGE AND GUIDANCE PROVIDED BY DIVINE REVELATION ... TAUGHT THE BOOK, THE WISDOM, THE GOSPEL AND THE TORAH [THE NOBLE QURAN 5:110] AND EVEN THE ALMIGHTY REFERS TO HIMSELF AS THE MIGHTY, THE WISE [THE NOBLE QURAN 2:209]. 

WHEN PROPHET ABRAHAM PRAYED FOR THE FULFILMENT OF THE MISSION OF PROPHETS, HE PRAYED FOR ONE WHO WOULD "RELATE SCRIPTURE TO THE PEOPLE, CONVEY HIKMAH (WISDOM) AND PROVIDE A MEANS OF PURIFICATION." [THE NOBLE QURAN 2:129] 

HIKMAH IS THE LOST PROPERTY OF THE BELIEVER; THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD (P B U H) SAID AND HE ENCOURAGED US TO TAKE WISDOM FROM ANY SOURCE IN KEEPING WITH THE SHARIAH. IN THE CASE OF DEBATING AND ARGUMENTATION, HIKMAH SHOULD BE THE PRIMARY INSTRUMENT [THE NOBLE QURAN 16:125] HIKMAH (WISDOM), 'AQL (MIND)

AT TIMES THE WORD HIKMAH IS INTERCHANGED WITH 'AQL; AS EVIDENCED IN THE SAYING OF, THE TONGUE OF A WISE PERSON IS BEHIND THE HEART AND THE HEART OF A FOOL IS BEHIND THE TONGUE. 

HIKMAH & 'ILM.

THOUGH 'ILM (KNOWLEDGE) MAY OPEN THE DOORWAYS TO HIKMAH, BUT HIKMAH IS DISTINCT FROM 'ILM. KNOWLEDGE AND INFORMATION PROVIDES MEANS FOR ENLIGHTENMENT; REMEMBER ALLAH'S BLESSINGS AND THE (TRUTHFUL INFORMATION) SENT THROUGH THE BOOK AND THE WISDOM IT PROVIDES BY WHICH YOU MAY BE ENLIGHTENED. [THE NOBLE QURAN 2:23]

THE PROPHET SAID: ASK THE LEARNED, CONSULT WITH THE WISE AND ACCOMPANY THE POOR. THERE ARE MANY WHO KNOW MANY THINGS, YET ARE LACKING IN WISDOM. IN OUR AGE... PEOPLE SEEM MORE THAN EVER PRONE TO CONFUSE WISDOM WITH KNOWLEDGE, AND KNOWLEDGE WITH INFORMATION. 

PHILOSOPHY IS HARMONISED KNOWLEDGE MAKING A HARMONIOUS LIFE; IT IS THE SELF-DISCIPLINE, WHICH LIFTS US TO SERENITY AND FREEDOM. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER, BUT ONLY WISDOM IS LIBERTY.

THE SADDEST ASPECT OF LIFE RIGHT NOW IS THAT SCIENCE GATHERS KNOWLEDGE FASTER THAN SOCIETY GATHERS WISDOM. THOUGH 'BOOK KNOWLEDGE' ENHANCES THE POTENTIAL FOR WISDOM; WISDOM IS OFTEN ATTAINED BY LEARNING IN OTHER WAYS; THE THREE METHODS WE MAY LEARN WISDOM: FIRST, BY REFLECTION, WHICH IS NOBLEST; SECOND, BY IMITATION, WHICH IS EASIEST; AND THIRD BY EXPERIENCE, WHICH IS THE BITTEREST.

VIRTUE & WISDOM 

ETHICS IS THE BRANCH OF PHILOSOPHY, WHICH ATTEMPTS TO UNDERSTAND THE NATURE OF MORALITY; TO DEFINE THAT WHICH IS RIGHT FROM THAT WHICH IS WRONG. THE FUNCTION OF WISDOM IS TO DISCRIMINATE BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL. THE FOUR CARDINAL VIRTUES ARE WISDOM, COURAGE, SELF-CONTROL AND JUSTICE.

IN ISLAM, WISDOM IS ALWAYS LINKED TO VIRTUE. "YOU SHALL NOT ACCEPT ANY INFORMATION, UNLESS YOU VERIFY IT FOR YOURSELF. I HAVE GIVEN YOU THE CAPACITY FOR HEARING, SIGHT, AND THE INTELLECT, AND YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR USING THEM EFFECTIVELY. YOU SHALL NOT WALK WITH ARROGANCE ON EARTH, YOU CANNOT BORE THROUGH THE EARTH, NOR CAN YOU BE AS TALL AS THE MOUNTAINS. ALL IMPROPRIETY IS CONDEMNED BY YOUR LORD. THIS IS OF THE WISDOM INSPIRED TO YOU BY YOUR LORD. YOU SHALL NOT SET UP ANOTHER OBJECT OF WORSHIP BESIDE ALLAH, LEST YOU END UP IN HELL; BLAMED AND DEFEATED." [THE NOBLE QURAN 17:36-39]

THE CARDINAL VIRTUES TO LIVE BY ARE ... PIETY, CONTENTMENT, PATIENCE, GRATITUDE, HUMILITY, MODESTY, GENEROSITY, COURAGE, ENTHUSIASM, BENEVOLENCE, TRUTHFULNESS AND TRUSTWORTHINESS. 

EFFECTIVE WISDOM

THE HEIGHT OF WISDOM IS TO PROPORTION OUR WANTS TO OUR POSSESSIONS, OUR AMBITIONS TO OUR CAPACITIES, OUR EMOTIONS TO OUR CONSCIENCE AND OUR DEEDS TO OUR VALUES. IT IS UNWISE TO BE TOO SURE OF ONE'S OWN WISDOM. IT IS HEALTHY TO BE REMINDED THAT THE STRONGEST MIGHT WEAKEN AND THE WISEST MIGHT ERR.

THE BEST AND SAFEST THING IS TO KEEP A BALANCE IN YOUR LIFE, ACKNOWLEDGE THE GREAT POWERS AROUND US AND IN US. IF YOU CAN DO THAT AND LIVE THAT WAY, YOU ARE REALLY A WISE MAN. WISDOM IS A BOUNTEOUS THING THAT IS INVALUABLE AND ALLAH REMINDS US IN THE NOBLE QURAN:

WHOEVER IS GRANTED WISDOM HAS INDEED BEEN GRANTED SOMETHING TREMENDOUSLY BENEFICIAL; BUT NONE REFLECT EXCEPT PEOPLE OF INSIGHT. [THE NOBLE QURAN 2:269]

Actions

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH – THE SOURCE OF MERCY – THE MOST MERCIFUL

TIME IS THE CONTAINER THAT CARRIES THE ACTIONS...

LIFE, AGE, TIME… ETC, ALL THESE ARE WORDS REMIND MAN OF ALL HIS EXISTENCE THROUGH THE SECONDS, MINUTES, HOURS, DAYS, MONTHS AND YEARS. 

MAN HAS TO CONTEMPLATE ABOUT THIS TIME THAT CONSUMES HIS LIFE IN A GRADUAL MANNER. HE HAS TO CONCEIVE IT AS THE CONTAINER THAT CARRIES THE ACTIONS, WHICH DETERMINES HIS FATE. WHEN MAN UNDERSTANDS TIME THROUGH THIS PERSPECTIVE HE WOULD STRIVE TO LEAD AN EFFECTIVE LIFE, ALWAYS USING HIS MIND AND DEVELOPING IT, NOT FORGETTING TO BE EMOTIONAL BUT BALANCED, AND MAKING SURE THAT HE MAKES RELENTLESS EFFORTS TO HELP OTHERS BUILD A BETTER LIFE AND DEVELOP THEIR POTENTIALS. 

WHEN MAN GOES BACK TO ALLAH’S WORDS IN THE NOBLE QURAN HE WILL FIND THAT HIS LIFE IS HIS CAPITAL WHICH HE TRADES WITH GOD: {THEN SHALL ANYONE WHO HAS DONE AN ATOM’S WEIGHT OF GOOD, SEE IT! AND ANYONE WHO HAS DONE AN ATOM’S WEIGHT OF EVIL, SHALL SEE IT }[99:7-8]. {NEVER WILL I SUFFER TO BE LOST THE WORK OF ANY OF YOU BE IT MALE OR FEMALE} 3:195. IF YOU DO NOT USE YOUR TIME AND LEAVE IT EMPTY OF GOOD WORK, THEN YOU WILL MEET YOUR GOD (S.W.T) WITH A LIFE THAT IS NEITHER RICH NOR MEANINGFUL, BUT IF YOU FILL IT WITH GOOD DEEDS AND CHARITIES, THEN IT WILL ELEVATE YOU TO A PLACE CLOSE TO ALLAH (S.W.T) AND YOU WILL ENJOY THE BLISS OF PARADISE. 

THEREFORE, YOUR LIFE IS EQUIVALENT TO WHAT YOU CARRY IN IT. 

ALLAH (S.W.T) HAS TALKED ABOUT LIFE IN SEVERAL VERSES. HE SAYS: {AND ALLAH DID CREATE YOU FROM DUST; THEN FROM A SPERM-DROP; THEN HE MADE YOU IN PAIRS. AND NO FEMALE CONCEIVES, OR LAYS DOWN (HER LOAD), BUT WITH HIS KNOWLEDGE. NOR IS A MAN LONG-LOVED GRANTED LENGTH OF DAYS, NOR IS A PART CUT OFF FROM HIS LIFE, BUT IS IN A BOOK (ORDAINED). ALL THIS IS EASY TO ALLAH [35:11]. THUS ALLAH (S.W.T) HAS DETERMINED HOW MUCH YOU LIVE THROUGH THE CIRCUMSTANCES THAT WILL MEET YOU IN YOUR LIFE AND WHICH WILL DETERMINE IF YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE A LONG OR A SHORT LIFE. EVERYTHING HAS BEEN ALREADY WRITTEN. 

HURRY UP BEFORE YOUR LIFE ENDS! 

YOUR LIFE IS LIMITED, AND NOBODY WILL LIVE MORE THAN WHAT HE IS DESTINED TO, THEREFORE HURRY UP BEFORE IT ENDS AND MAKE USE OF THE CHANCE YOU HAVE AND FILL IT WITH GOOD DEEDS. 

ALLAH (S.W.T) ALSO TELLS US ABOUT HOW WILL THE DWELLERS OF THE HELL PLEAD:{THEREIN WILL THEY CRY ALOUD (FOR ASSISTANCE): “OUR LORD! BRING US OUT: WE SHALL WORK RIGHTEOUSNESS, NOT THE (DEEDS) WE USED TO DO!” “DID WE NOT GIVE YOU LONG ENOUGH LIFE SO THAT HE WOULD SHOULD RECEIVE ADMONITION? AND (MOREOVER) THE WARNER CAME TO YOU. SO TASTE YE (THE FRUITS OF YOUR DEEDS). FOR THE WRONGDOERS THERE IS NO HELPER)[35:37]. 

IT IS AN OPPORTUNITY, AND OPPORTUNITIES PASS AS QUICK AS CLOUDS. THEREFORE, REPENT BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE. 

WE ASK THE ALMIGHTY ALLAH TO HELP US WITH WHAT HE HELPS THE GOOD ON THEMSELVES… LEAD US TO SPEND OUR LIFE IN OBEYING ALLAH AND LEARN HOW TO BE PIOUS IN ALL OUR DAYS AND NIGHTS. AMEEN.

Test

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH – THE SOURCE OF MERCY – THE MOST MERCIFUL

THE WORLD IS A TEST 

THE LIFE OF THE WORLD IS NOTHING BUT A GAME AND A DIVERSION. THE ABODE OF THE HEREAFTER—THAT IS TRULY LIFE IF THEY ONLY KNEW. (SURAT AL-'ANKABUT: 64)

EVERYTHING ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH IS CREATED FOR A PURPOSE. IT IS A MOST DEFINITE FACT THAT EVERYTHING YOU SEE AROUND YOU SERVES A SPECIAL PURPOSE. THERE IS ALSO A PURPOSE FOR WHICH YOU AND THE REST OF HUMANITY EXISTS: HE WHO CREATED DEATH AND LIFE TO TEST WHICH OF YOU IS BEST IN ACTION. HE IS THE ALMIGHTY, THE EVER-FORGIVING. (SURAT AL-MULK: 2)

AS THE VERSE ABOVE EXPLAINS, ALLAH PLACED MAN TEMPORARILY IN THIS WORLD TO TEST HIM. HE TESTS US WITH WHAT WE EXPERIENCE IN LIFE; HE CREATES THIS LIFE IN ORDER THAT BELIEVERS MAY BE DISTINGUISHED FROM THE NON-BELIEVERS, AND BY WHICH THEY MAY BE PURIFIED OF EVIL, AND WORTHY OF THE REWARD OF PARADISE. IN OTHER WORDS, THE WORLD IS MERELY A TESTING-GROUND WHERE WE CAN EARN THE GOOD PLEASURE OF ALLAH.

ALLAH HAS MADE CLEAR THE LIMITS TO OBSERVE, AND THE BEHAVIOUR BY WHICH HE IS PLEASED OR DISPLEASED. ACCORDINGLY, A PERSON'S TEMPERAMENT IN THIS WORLD DETERMINES HIS REWARDS OR PUNISHMENT IN THE HEREAFTER. THEREFORE, EVERY SINGLE PASSING MOMENT BRINGS US CLOSER TO EITHER PARADISE OR HELL: YOU WHO BELIEVE! HEED ALLAH AND LET EACH SELF LOOK TO WHAT IT HAS SENT FORWARD FOR TOMORROW. HEED ALLAH. ALLAH IS AWARE OF WHAT YOU DO. (SURAT AL-HASHR: 18)

ALLAH WARNS PEOPLE AGAINST NOT BEING GREEDILY ATTACHED TO THE TEMPORARY AND ALLURING JOYS OF THIS WORLD. THAT IS BECAUSE, NEITHER WEALTH, BEAUTY NOR SOCIAL STATUS, THAT IS, NOTHING A MAN POSSESSES IN THIS WORLD, WILL BE OF HELP TO HIM IN THE HEREAFTER. HE WILL LEAVE BEHIND EVERYTHING HE HAD, INCLUDING HIS BODY. HIS BODY WILL DECAY IN THE EARTH; THE POSSESSIONS OF WHICH HE HAD BEEN SO PROUD WILL BE UNABLE TO RESIST THE IRREPRESSIBLE DAMAGE OF TIME. ALL ALONE, HE WILL BE BROUGHT TO THE PRESENCE OF HIS LORD TO GIVE AN ACCOUNT OF HIS DEEDS. HOWEVER, DESPITE THIS APPARENT REALITY, ENGROSSED WITH EVERYDAY ROUTINES, THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE TOTALLY FORGET THE TRUTH OF DEATH AND THE HEREAFTER; THEY ASSUME THEIR LIFE TO BE CONFINED TO THIS WORLD ONLY. ALLAH EXPLAINS THIS ATTITUDE IN THE NOBLE QUR'AN AS FOLLOWS: THEY SAY, "THERE IS NOTHING BUT OUR EXISTENCE IN THE WORLD. WE DIE AND WE LIVE AND NOTHING DESTROYS US EXCEPT FOR TIME." THEY HAVE NO KNOWLEDGE OF THAT. THEY ARE ONLY CONJECTURING. (SURAT AL-JATHIYYA: 24)

HOWEVER, THESE PEOPLE DISREGARD ONE CRUCIAL FACT; THE LIFE OF THIS WORLD IS ACTUALLY QUITE BRIEF. CONSIDER A MAN IN HIS THIRTIES. IF HE WERE TO CONSIDER HIS LIFE, IT WOULD CERTAINLY SEEM THAT IT WAS A "FLEETING." IF HE WERE ASKED WHAT HE THINKS ABOUT THOSE 30 YEARS, HE WOULD SIMPLY REMARK THAT EVERYTHING HAS PASSED SO QUICKLY. IF HE WERE ASKED TO TELL HIS STORY, HIS REMINISCENCES WOULD ONLY ADD UP TO A FEW HOURS TALK. THIS MAN WILL PROBABLY HAVE 30 MORE YEARS TO EXPERIENCE, AND WHICH WILL PASS AS QUICKLY AS HIS PAST DAYS. IN MANY VERSES, ALLAH DRAWS OUR ATTENTION TO THE BREVITY OF THIS LIFE AND INFORMS US THAT PEOPLE WILL ADMIT THIS FACT IN THE HEREAFTER: ON THE DAY WE GATHER THEM TOGETHER—WHEN IT WILL SEEM IF THEY HAD TARRIED NO MORE THAN AN HOUR OF A SINGLE DAY... (SURAH YUNUS: 45)

ON THE DAY THE LAST HOUR ARRIVES, THE EVILDOERS WILL SWEAR THEY HAVE NOT EVEN TARRIED FOR AN HOUR. THAT IS THE EXTENT TO WHICH THEY ARE DECEIVED. (SURAT AR-RUM: 55)

TO HINDER MAN FROM UNDUE ATTACHMENT TO THIS WORLD, ALLAH HAS INSTALLED VARIOUS FLAWED AND UNDESIRABLE ELEMENTS INTO THIS LIFE, AND THUS STRESSED THE TEMPORARY NATURE OF THIS WORLD.

THIS IS CERTAINLY ONE OF THE SUBJECTS OVER WHICH MAN HAS TO REFLECT; ANYTHING YOU CHERISH OR DEEM VALUABLE IN THIS LIFE AGES, YOUR LOVED ONES PASS, ONE AFTER ANOTHER, EVEN THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE AROUND YOU GROW OLD, BECOME SICK OR FALL WEAK... THE MOMENTS YOU SO MUCH ENJOYED, OR THOSE YOU HAD SO LOOKED FORWARD TO, ARE ALL NOW PART OF THE PAST. THAT ALSO APPLIES TO THE MOST TRYING TIMES YOU EXPERIENCED. IT WILL ALSO HOLD TRUE FOR YOUR FUTURE EXPERIENCES, THE COURSE OF THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, WHICH WILL SEEM AS BRIEF AS THE BLINK OF AN EYE. YOU WILL CONTINUALLY BE TESTED, A TEST THAT WILL GO ON UNTIL DEATH CATCHES UP WITH YOU... THEN, AS EVERY MAN WHO HAS EVER ENTERED THIS WORLD, YOU WILL BE REPAID IN FULL FOR WHAT YOU HAVE DONE, AND THUS YOUR ETERNAL LIFE WILL BEGIN. HOWEVER, MAN NEVER DESIRES ANYTHING BEAUTIFUL OR ENJOYABLE TO FADE. YET, IN THIS FLEETING LIFE, SUCH A WISH CANNOT BE FULFILLED. SO, HOW CAN ONE ATTAIN THEM? PARADISE IS THE ONLY PLACE WHERE THEY WILL BE REALISED.

NEVER FORGET THAT THE WORLD IS NOT THE PROPER PLACE TO FULFILL THESE DESIRES. IF YOU TRULY YEARN FOR THE EVER-LASTING FAVOURS, NEVER FORGET THAT YOU MUST NOT PURSUE THE LIFE OF THIS WORLD, BUT SEEK THE HEREAFTER BY PREPARING YOURSELF FOR IT.

DISBELIEVERS WHO ARE IGNORANT OF THESE FACTS, HOWEVER, TRY TO CONFINE EVERYTHING THEY DESIRE INTO THIS TEMPORARY WORLD. SUCH PURSUE AIMS FOUNDED IN THE PERVERTED BELIEF THAT DEATH BRINGS AN END TO THIS WORLD. THUS, IT IS IN THIS WORLD THAT THEY SEEK TO ATTAIN ALL BLESSINGS AND PLEASURES. FEARING THAT DEATH WILL DEPRIVE THEM OF THEIR DESIRES, THEY STRIVE TO MAKE THE MOST OF THIS LIFE. HOWEVER, THEIR EFFORTS ARE VAIN; THIS WORLD IS UTTERLY DEFICIENT. THE REAL ABODE OF MAN, THAT IS, THE HEREAFTER IS THE PLACE THAT OFFERS THE BEST AND INCORRUPTIBLE FAVOURS THAT MAN CAN ENJOY; HOWEVER, ALL SUCH FAVOURS ARE SAVED ONLY FOR TRUE BELIEVERS WHO SERVE ALLAH AND NO ONE ELSE. THE FAVOURS ENJOYED BY DISBELIEVERS ARE CONFINED ONLY TO THIS WORLD. ALLAH RELATES THE WAY IN WHICH THE DISBELIEVERS WILL BE EXPOSED TO FIRE IN THE NOBLE QUR'AN AS FOLLOWS:

ON THE DAY WHEN THOSE WHO WERE DISBELIEVERS ARE EXPOSED TO THE FIRE: "YOU DISSIPATED THE GOOD THINGS YOU HAD IN YOUR WORLDLY LIFE AND ENJOYED YOURSELF IN IT. SO TODAY YOU ARE BEING REPAID WITH THE PUNISHMENT OF HUMILIATION FOR BEING ARROGANT IN THE EARTH WITHOUT ANY RIGHT AND FOR BEING DEVIATORS." (SURAT AL-AHQAF: 20)

THAT IS ALSO WHY THE PROPHET (PBUH) DREW ATTENTION TO THE IMPORTANCE OF THE ACCOUNTABILITY OF ONE'S SELF AND DEEDS:

A WISE MAN IS THE ONE WHO CALLS HIMSELF TO ACCOUNT (AND REFRAINS FROM DOING EVIL DEEDS) AND DOES NOBLE DEEDS TO BENEFIT HIM AFTER DEATH; AND THE FOOLISH PERSON IS THE ONE WHO SUBDUES HIMSELF TO HIS TEMPTATIONS AND DESIRES AND SEEKS FROM ALLAH THE FULFILLMENT OF HIS VAIN DESIRES. (TIRMIDHI)

AS RELATED HERE, NOTHING COULD BE MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE DEEDS DONE WITH THE EFFORT OF AVOIDING THE PUNISHMENT OF FIRE. IN SOME CASES, A STUDENT WOULD STUDY HARD TO GRADUATE, A BUSINESSMAN TO ACQUIRE GREAT WEALTH, AND YET ANOTHER WOULD SACRIFICE ANYTHING TO ATTAIN A PRESTIGE. HOWEVER, THERE IS NO GUARANTEE THESE PEOPLE WILL LIVE LONG ENOUGH TO ATTAIN THESE GOALS; THAT STUDENT MAY NOT LIVE TO SEE HIS GRADUATION DAY, FOR INSTANCE. ONE THING IS CERTAIN, HOWEVER; HE WILL RETURN TO HIS LORD AND WILL HAVE TO GIVE AN ACCOUNT OF HIS DEEDS ON THE DAY OF JUDGEMENT. AS FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT EXPECT TO MEET US AND ARE CONTENT WITH THE LIFE OF THE WORLD AND AT REST IN IT, AND THOSE WHO ARE HEEDLESS OF OUR SIGNS, THEIR SHELTER WILL BE THE FIRE BECAUSE OF WHAT THEY EARNED. (SURAH YUNUS: 7-8)

DISEASES, ACCIDENTS OR OLD AGE, OF WHICH WE MUST TAKE HEED ARE BUT EVIDENCES THAT THIS WORLD IS NOT A PLACE FOR WHICH WE ARE TO FEEL ATTACHMENT: DO THEY NOT SEE THAT THEY ARE TRIED ONCE OR TWICE IN EVERY YEAR? BUT STILL THEY DO NOT TURN BACK. THEY DO NOT PAY HEED. (SURAT AT-TAWBA: 126)

AS IS EVIDENT FROM THE VERSE, "...YOU DESIRE THE GOODS OF THE WORLD, WHEREAS ALLAH DESIRES THE HEREAFTER... " (SURAT AL-ANFAL: 67), ALLAH REPEATEDLY REMINDS US THAT THIS WORLD IS FLAWED SO THAT ALLAH'S SERVANTS CAN ATTAIN THE BETTER PLACE IN THE HEREAFTER.

ALL THE WHILE, ALLAH WILL GRANT TRUE BELIEVERS, WHO ASPIRE TO THE LIFE OF THE HEREAFTER, A GOOD LIFE ALSO IN THIS WORLD. BELIEVERS ARE THOSE WHO ATTAIN ALLAH'S BEST FAVOURS BOTH IN THIS WORLD AND IN THE HEREAFTER: THERE IS GOOD NEWS FOR THEM IN THE LIFE OF THE WORLD AND IN THE HEREAFTER... (SURAH YUNUS: 64)

THE LIFE OF THE WORLD IS NOTHING BUT A GAME AND A DIVERSION. THE ABODE OF THE HEREAFTER—THAT IS TRULY LIFE IF THEY ONLY KNEW. (SURAT AL-'ANKABUT: 64)

Sunni - Shia: Brief History

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH – THE SOURCE OF MERCY – THE MOST MERCIFUL

Both Sunni and Shia Muslims share the most fundamental Islamic beliefs and articles of faith. The differences between these two main sub-groups within Islam initially stemmed not from spiritual differences, but political ones. Over the centuries, however, these political differences have spawned a number of varying practices and positions which have come to carry a spiritual significance.

The division between Shia and Sunni dates back to the death of the Prophet Muhammad, and the question of who was to take over the leadership of the Muslim nation. Sunni Muslims agree with the position taken by many of the Prophet's companions, that the new leader should be elected from among those capable of the job. This is what was done, and the Prophet Muhammad's close friend and advisor, Abu Bakr, became the first Caliph of the Islamic nation. 

The word "Sunni" in Arabic comes from a word meaning "one who follows the traditions of the Prophet." On the other hand, some Muslims share the belief that leadership should have stayed within the Prophet's own family, among those specifically appointed by him, or among Imams appointed by God Himself.

The Shia Muslims believe that following the Prophet Muhammad's  death, leadership should have passed directly to his cousin/son-in-law, Ali. Throughout history, Shia Muslims have not recognized the authority of elected Muslim leaders, choosing instead to follow a line of Imams which they believe have been appointed by the Prophet Muhammad  or God Himself. The word "Shia" in Arabic means a group or supportive party of people. The commonly-known term is shortened from the historical "Shia-t-Ali," or "the Party of Ali." They are also known as followers of "Ahl-al-Bayt" or "People of the Household" (of the Prophet).

From this initial question of political leadership, some aspects of spiritual life have been affected and now differ between the two groups of Muslims.

Shia Muslims believe that the Imam is sinless by nature, and that his authority is infallible as it comes directly from God. Therefore, Shia Muslims often venerate the Imams as saints and perform pilgrimages to their tombs and shrines in the hopes of divine intercession. Sunni Muslims counter that there is no basis in Islam for a hereditary privileged class of spiritual leaders, and certainly no basis for the veneration or intercession of saints. Sunni Muslims contend that leadership of the community is not a birthright, but a trust that is earned and which may be given or taken away by the people themselves.

Shia Muslims also feel animosity towards some of the companions of the Prophet Muhammad, based on their positions and actions during the early years of discord about leadership in the community. Many of these companions (Abu Bakr, Umar, Aisha, etc.) have narrated traditions about the Prophet's life and spiritual practice. Shia Muslims reject these traditions (hadith) and do not base any of their religious practices on the testimony of these individuals. This naturally gives rise to some differences in religious practice between the two groups. These differences touch all detailed aspects of religious life: prayer, fasting, pilgrimage, etc.

Sunni Muslims make up the majority (85%) of Muslims all over the world. Significant populations of Shia Muslims can be found in Iran and Iraq, and large minority communities in Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, and Lebanon. It is important to remember that despite all of these differences in opinion and practice, Shia and Sunni Muslims share the main articles of Islamic belief and are considered by most to be brethren in faith. In fact, most Muslims do not distinguish themselves by claiming membership in any particular group, but prefer to call themselves simply, "Muslims."

Satan

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH – THE SOURCE OF MERCY – THE MOST MERCIFUL

SATAN CALLED A WORLDWIDE CONVENTION.

In his opening address to his evil servants, he said, "We can't keep the Muslims from going to Masjid. We can't keep them from reading the Noble Qur'an and knowing the truth. We can't even keep them from forming an intimate, abiding relationship experience with Allah. If they gain that connection with Allah, our power over them is broken.


So let them go to the masajids, let them have their conservative lifestyles, but steal their time, so they can't gain that relationship with Allah. This is what I want you to do, servants. Distract them from gaining hold of their creator and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day!"


"How shall we do this?" shouted his servants. "Keep them busy in the non essentials of life and invent innumerable schemes to occupy their minds," he answered. "Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, and borrow, borrow, borrow. Persuade the wives to go to work for long hours and the husbands to work 6 - 7 days a week, 10-12 hours a day, so they can afford their empty lifestyles. Keep them from spending time with their children. As their family fragments, soon, their home will offer no escape from the pressures of work!"


"Over-stimulate their minds so that they cannot hear that still, small voice. Entice them to play the radio or cassette player whenever they drive, to keep the TV, VCR CDs and their PCs going constantly in their homes. And see to it that every store and restaurant in the world plays non-Islamic music constantly. This will jam their minds and break that union with Allah."


"Fill the coffee table with magazines and newspapers. Pound their minds with the news 24 hours a day. Invade their driving moments with billboards. Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, mail order catalogues, sweepstakes, and every kind of newsletter and emotional offering of free products, services, and false hopes. Keep skinny, beautiful models on the magazines so the husbands will believe that external beauty is what's important, and they'll become dissatisfied with their wives. Ha! That will fragment those families quickly!"


"Even in their recreation, let them be excessive. Have them return from their recreation exhausted, disquieted, and unprepared for the coming week. Don't let  them go out in nature to reflect on God's wonders. Send them to amusement parks, sporting events, concerts and movies instead. Keep them busy, busy, busy!! And when they meet for spiritual fellowship, involve them in gossip and small talk so that they leave with troubled consciences and unsettled emotions."


"Go ahead, let them be involved in soul winning. But crowd their lives with so many good causes they have no time to seek power from Allah. Soon they will be working in their own strength, sacrificing their health and family for the good of the cause. It will work! It will work!"


It was quite a convention. And the evil servants went eagerly to their assignments causing Muslims everywhere to get busy, busy, busy and to rush here and there. I guess the question is: has the devil been successful at his scheme? You be the judge! Friends, this message was sent to me by someone who cares and thought I could share it with you. Please take heed of the message it brings:


B - Being
U - Under
S - Satan's
Y - Yoke


Are you BUSY?

Deeds

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH – THE SOURCE OF MERCY – THE MOST MERCIFUL

Righteous Deeds

"Righteous deeds" (amelunsalihan) are one of the key concepts of the Qur'an. In Arabic, the word "righteousness" comprises the meanings of good, beneficial and right. In Arabic, the verb "to amend"(islah) is also derived from the same root. Consequently, in English, every type of beneficial and good work or action done for the good of religion is expressed by the word "righteous deed." In terms of the Qur'an, on the other hand, each act and all behaviour designed to seek the favour of God is a "righteous deed". The salvation of an individual is not attained only through faith; righteous deeds, the signs of sincere faith, also save the soul. Saying "I believe" yet failing to comply with the commandments of religion does not lead man to salvation.

In the Qur'an God states the following about this issue: Do men think that they will be left alone on saying, "We believe", and that they will not be tested? We tested those before them, and God will certainly know those who are true from those who are false. (Al-Ankabut, 2-3) The way a believer does righteous deeds proves his mettle. His deeds indicate his perseverance, stability, determination and loyalty-in other words the depth of his faith. In the Qur'an God informs us about the various kinds of righteous deeds. Communicating the message of Islam to people, striving for the prosperity and the benefit of the Muslims, trying to attain a better understanding of the Qur'an, solving every kind of personal and social problem of the Muslims; all these are important righteous deeds. The fundamental Islamic forms of worship, such as saying prayers to God, fasting, spending for the cause of God and the pilgrimage to Mecca are also among the important righteous deeds.

Righteousness does not consist in whether you turn your faces towards the east or the west; what is righteous is to believe in God and the last day, and the angels, and the Book, and the messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer, and practise regular charity; to fulfill the contracts which you have made; and to be firm and patient, in pain (or suffering) and adversity, and in times of war. Such as do so are people of truth. Such are the God-fearing. (Al-Baqara, 177) Yet there is another point that deserves mention: what makes an act a righteous deed is not its result but the "intention" behind it. That is why for an act to be a righteous one, it should be done purely to seek the approval of God. This is what really distinguishes a "righteous deed" from "charity", a concept prevalent in the ignorant society.

A righteous deed is done to seek the approval of God; on the other hand, the concept of charity in an ignorant society, is based on a spirit of social solidarity and a personal desire to make a reputation as a "charity lover". The verses below explain why the deeds of believers are by no means similar to alms-giving. They perform (their) vows, and they fear a Day whose evil flies far and wide. And they feed, for the love of God, the indigent, the orphan, and the captive, (Saying)"We feed you for the sake of God alone: no reward do we desire from you, nor thanks." "We only fear a day of distressful wrath from our Lord." (Al- Insan 7-10)If any acts ostensibly complying with the definition of "righteous deeds" are not intended to seek the good pleasure of God, they cease to be "righteous deeds." This is simply because they are done to please other people. This is, in terms of the Qur'an, "associating partners with God", which is a great sin. In the following verse, God explains how an act of worship done to attain not the approval of God, but other people loses its value and becomes an ordinary act.Woe to the worshippers, who are neglectful of their prayers; who only want to make a show of piety. (Al-Maun, 4-6)

Similarly, spending, which is a righteous deed in the presence of God, becomes an ordinary act if done to demonstrate one's generosity in order to impress people. God describes the difference between spending to gain His approval and to satisfy one's own desires: O you who believe! Do not cancel out your charity by reminders of your generosity or by injury,- like those who spend their substance to be seen by others, believing neither in God nor in the last day. They are in parable like a hard, barren rock, on which there is little soil: on it falls heavy rain, which leaves it just a bare stone. They will be able to do nothing with anything they have earned. And God does not guide those who reject faith. Those who spend their substance, seeking to please God and to strengthen their souls, are like a garden, high and fertile: heavy rain falls on it, and makes it yield a double harvest, and if it does not receive heavy rain, light moisture suffices it.

God sees well whatever you do. (Al-Baqara, 264-265)We have prepared a shameful punishment for those who spend their wealth for the sake of ostentation but who have no faith in God and the last day: If any take the evil one for their intimate, what a dreadful intimate he is! And what burden would it be on them if they had faith in God and in the last day, and they spent out of what God has given them for sustenance? For God has full knowledge of them. (An-Nisa, 38-39)In brief, what turns an act into a righteous deed is the intention behind it. If the intention is a righteous one, then the deed also becomes righteous, even if the desired result is not attained. For instance, with the intention of seeking the approval of God, a believer may work hard towards a desired end, yet his efforts may not fructify. However, this is not important; he shall still have his reward from God. Every believer should acknowledge that there is a reason why God does not always let the individual reach his goal: "It is possible that you dislike a thing which is good for you, and that you love a thing which is bad for you. But God knows, and you do not know." (Al-Baqara, 216) Only God knows if the desired end will have beneficial consequences for man.Hence, the result of each deed always rests with God.

Each task should be done solely to please Him. As stated above, intention is the essence of a righteous deed. This is due to the fact that God is free of all needs. Consequently, He actually does not need any of the acts that His servants perform. God states the following in one of His verses:O you men! It is you that have need of God: but God is the One free of all wants, worthy of all praise. If He so pleased, He could destroy you and replace you with a new creation. Nor is that (at all) difficult for God. (Fatir, 15-17) He can do anything He wills when He wills it. He does not need the deeds and efforts of believers to make His religion prevail:Do not the Believers know, that, had God (so) willed, He could have guided all mankind (to the right)? (Ar-Rad,31)In brief, if a man does righteous deeds, it accrues to his personal benefit. Right action is surely the way to attain an eternal salvation. As the Qur'an, puts it: If any strive (with might and main), they do so for their own souls: for God is free of all needs from all creation. (Al-Ankabut, 6)One who says prayers, fasts, spends in the cause of God, or supports Islam, becomes himself the beneficiary.

It is he himself who needs to do good works; surely he shall have forgiveness and a great reward in return. For the same reason, in the presence of God, a righteous deed is acceptable only when it is the expression of a good intention:It is not their meat nor their blood, (i.e. of camels which have been sacrificed) that reaches God: it is your piety that reaches Him: He has thus made them subject to you, so that you may glorify God for His Guidance to you and proclaim the good news to all who do right. (Al-Hajj, 37)Therefore, while performing a righteous deed, it is of vital importance to keep oneself occupied with the remembrance of God. To this end, a believer should pray to God for the acceptance of his services. The prayer of the Prophet Abraham and Ismail sets a good example for all believers. Remember Abraham and Isma'il raised the foundations of the House (with this prayer):"Our Lord! Accept (this service) from us: For You are the All-Hearing, the All-knowing. Our Lord! make of us Muslims, bowing to Your (Will), and of our progeny a people Muslim, bowing to Your (will); and show us our place for the celebration of (due) rites; and turn to us (in Mercy); for You are the Oft-Returning, Most Merciful. (Al-Baqara, 127-128)The address of God to David and his people also stresses the significance of prayer, and of giving thanks to God during the performance of a righteous deed:

They worked for him as he desired (making) arches, image, basins as large as reservoirs, and cooking cauldrons fixed (in their places ) : "Work, sons of David, with thanks ! But few of my servants are truly grateful !" (Saba, 13)This is surely the type of service that strengthens one's faith in God: One's statement of "I believe" is reinforced with this service and mount to God: "To Him mount up (all) words of purity: It is He Who exalts each deed of righteousness." (Fatir, 10)A devoted believer who performs righteous deeds all throughout his life will surely attain the gardens of heaven and will be rewarded most generously by God in the hereafter:As for those who believe and do good works no burden do We place on any soul, but that which it can bear,- they will be companions of the Garden, therein to dwell (for ever). And We shall remove from their hearts any lurking sense of injury; beneath them will be rivers flowing; and they shall say: "Praise be to God, who has guided us to this (felicity): never could we have found the right path, had it not been for the guidance of God: indeed it was the truth, that the messengers of our Lord brought to us." And they shall hear the cry: "Behold! the garden before you! You have been made its inheritors, for your deeds of righteousness." (Al-Araf, 42-43)

How knowledge is recognised in the student

Al-Hasan Al-Basri – may Allah have mercy on him – said:

"When a man seeks knowledge, it would not be long before it could be seen in his humbleness, his sight, upon his tongue and his hands, in his prayer, in his speech and in his disinterest (zuhd) in worldly allurements. And a man would acquire a portion of knowledge and put it into practice, and it would be better for him than the world and all it contains, if he owned it he would give it in exchange for the hereafter."


Death is the great equaliser. When it comes, nothing of material value can save anyone. The rich man lies beside the poor, the labourer beside the business tycoon. The ones who enjoyed worldly luxuries and those who suffered in life both lay there buried.

Qiyamah

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH – THE SOURCE OF MERCY – THE MOST MERCIFUL

The Signs of Qiyamah 

We are fortunate to have been given so much knowledge of the coming events as the Last Day (Qiyamah) draws closer. No other people have been blessed with such details of the future trials and events that will overcome mankind. While the prophecies in the Qur'an and those told to us by Muhammad (Peace be upon him) are already coming true as time unfolds, Muslims are either unaware or remain unserious regarding their value. Use this knowledge to prepare yourselves and strengthen your faith.

We must also admit that the end times certainly are very near by virtue ofthe many minor signs coming true. Only Allah (SWT) Knows the exact occurrence of the events, but the signs He has blessed us with certainly confirm that we are on the verge of change. This is a matter to be taken seriously. 

Begin your journey now. 

The Minor Signs of the Last Day   

Qiyamah will come when... 

Hadhrat Abu Musa Ash'ari (R.A.) narrates that Rasulallah (Sallallahu Alayhii Wassallam) said, "Qiyamah will come... 

* When it will be regarded as a shame to act on Quranic injunctions. 
* When untrustworthy people will be regarded as trustworthy and the trustworthy will be regarded as untrustworthy. 
* When it will be hot in winter (and vice versa). 
* When the length of days is stretched, i.e. a journey of a few days is covered in a matter of hours. 
* When orators and lecturers lie openly. 
* When people dispute over petty issues. 
* When women with children come displeased on account of them bearing offspring, and barren women remain happy on account of having no responsibility of offspring. 
* When oppression, jealousy, and greed become the order of the day. 
* When people blatantly follow their passions and whims. 
* When lies prevail over the truth. 
* When violence, bloodshed and anarchy become common. 
* When immorality overtakes shamelessness and is perpetrated publicly. 
* When legislation matters pertaining to Deen is handed over to the worst elements of the Ummat, and if people accept them and are satisfied with their findings, then such persons will not smell the fragrance of Jannat. 
* When the offspring become a cause of grief and anger (for their parents).

The following is part of a lengthy Hadith narrated by Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas'ood
(R.A.) when he inquired from Rasulallah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wassallam) about the Signs
of Qiyamah. 

* Music and musical instruments will be found in every home. 
* People will indulge in homosexuality. 
* There will be an abundance of illegitimate children. 
* There will be an abundance of critics, tale-carriers, back- biters and taunters in society. 
* People will establish ties with strangers and sever relations with their near and dear ones. 
* Hypocrites will be in control of the affairs of the community and evil, immoral people will be at the helm of business establishments. 
* The Masjid will be decorated, but the hearts of the people will be devoid of guidance. 
* The courtyards of Masjids will be built beautifully and high mimbars (pulpits) will be erected. 
* Gangsters and evil people will prevail. 
* Various wines will be consumed excessively.

Auf bin Malik (R.A.) says: I came to Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) while he
was in his skin tent during the Tabuk expedition. He said to me, "Count six things before
the advent of Qiyamah: 

1 My death 
2 The conquest of Jerusalem 
3 Mass deaths amongst you people, just as when sheep die in large numbers during an epidemic 
4 Abundance of wealth to such an extent that if a person were to be given a hundred Dinars he will still not be satisfied 
5 General anarchy and bloodshed, that no Arab household will be spared from it 
6 Then a life of peace as a result of a peace agreement between you and the Banil Asfaar (Romans) which they will break and attack you with a force consisting of eighty flags and under each flag will be an army of twelve thousand men." (Hadith: Sahih Bukhari).

IRAQ and SYRIA

Abu Nadhrah says: "We were sitting in the company of Jabir bin Abdullah (R.A.) when he said: 'Soon the people of IRAQ will neither receive any food (grain) nor any money.'" We asked, "Why would such a thing happen?" He replied, "Because of the non-Arabs." (i.e. they will prevent food from going into Iraq, in the form of "sanctions" to this day.) He then said: "Soon the people of Shaam (SYRIA) will neither receive any money nor grain." We asked as to why this would happen. He replied: "Because of the Romans (christians)."

CONCEITED PEOPLE:

Hadhrat Abbas (R.A) narrates that Rasulallah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wassallam) has said, "Islam will spread far and wide, across the seas. Horses will cross the land and seas in the cause of Jihaad. Then a time will come wherein a group of people will emerge which recites the Quraan. They will claim, 

'We have recited the Quraan and is there anyone who understands the Quraan better than us? There is NO ONE more proficient than us in the study of the Quraan.'

Then Rasulallah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wassallam) asked the Sahaba, "Do you see any good in their conceited claimants will be from my Ummah and will be the fuel of the Fire."

Foreward

Signs of Qiyamah

All praise is due to Allah, the Creator and Sustainer, and may His choicest Peace and Blessings be upon His pious servants, foremost among them Our Beloved Nabi, Sayyidena Mohammed (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). 

The Quraan reminds us time and again that this universe has been created temporarily and at an appointed time it will surely be annihilated, "Everyone thereon will be annihilated and only the Countenance of your Mighty and Glorious Sustainer shall remain." The exact date and time of this event, termed as Qiyamah, is known to Allah Alone, "Verily Allah Alone has the knowledge of the Hour," (Quraan). The Quraan and the Hadeeth have however informed us about various signs which will occur prior to Qiyaamah and which will be indicative of the closeness of the event. It is indeed very unfortunate to note that despite having before us the various warnings and signs regarding Qiyaamah which have been mentioned by none other than Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), and handed down to us via the authentic of the noble companions, yet certain people professing to be Muslims attach no importance whatsoever to these teachings. Instead, they show deep interest in the baseless vague predictions of some Kaafir. Inaccurate and being capable of interpreted in various ways these predicitions hold no Shari importance.
                      
Major Signs of Qiyamat 

All Praise is to Allah Ta'ala, our Creator and Provider. Salaam on His best of Rasuls, Hazrat Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), the Universal Guide who expounded the Deen-ul-Islam which provides salvation in this world, the grave and the Aakhirat. Blessing be upon the Sahabah (R.A.) who were living examples displaying the practicality of our beautiful Shariat. 

Man obtains knowledge and information via three basic sources viz. 

1. The five senses. 
2. Imagination and "Aqal" (Intellect). 
3. Inner Illumination (Kashf, Ilham, Wahy).

These are various forms of spiritual inspirations: 

"Wahy" - Divine and protected revelation that is only granted for the guidance of mankind through the Ambiyaa (A.S.) and come in three ways: 

1. "Wahy Qalbi" - related to the heart. 
2. "Kalam-Illahi" - direct speech with Allah Ta'ala. 
3. "Wahy Malaki" - via the angels. 

Further "Wahy" can be divided into two types: 

1. Matloo - often recited (Qur'an). 
2. Ghair Matloo - not often recited (ahadith - Sayings of Rasulullah(Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam)

Kashf and Illham are two separate entities. According to Imam Rabbani, Kashf is termed sensation while Ilham is closer to intuition. Ilham is more accurate than Kashaf because the latter is the lifting of the veil from something and the former is a direct inspiration into the heart. (Faiz-ul-Bari. Vol. 1 p19) 

Imam Ghazali (R.A.) states: "Kashf is bestowed on a pious person who is steadfast in Zikr. Piety is the gateway to Zikr and Zikr is gateway to Kashf" (Ihya-ul-Uloom. vol.3), whilst it is recorded in Faiz-ul-Bari vol. 1 p17 "What the aulias see through Kashf and the Ambiya via their insight while awake, cannot be seen by others". 

However, in relation to dreams, Fatah-ul-Bari vol.12 p315 reads: "Dreams can be interpreted in a number of ways and according to certain rules. While every human being dreams, Ilham is vouch safed only to the virtuous and chosen few". 

Concerning the preditions etc. of non-believers, Allah Ta'ala says: "Lo! the devils do inspire their minions" sura 6 verse 122. This proves that the devil whispers into their hearts. Further Allah Ta'ala says: "Shall I inform you upon whom the devil descend! They Descend on the evil, sinful and false ones." Sura 26 verses 221/2. The inspiration of the devil is confined to those who are steeped in apostasy, heresy, and shirk. 

The simple and fundamental guideline is: "Every Kashf, Ilham or dream shall be judged in the light of the Qur'an and Sunnah and if contrary to the Qur'an and Sunnah they shall be rejected." 

The Signs of Qiyamat thus form an integral part of Iman. Rejection of it is Kufr. 

The Signs of Qiyyamat are divided into two sections: 

1. Minor: These are the signs from the birth of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) to the time of the appearance of Hazrat Imam Mahdi. 

2. Major: These are the signs from the appearance of Imam Mahdi to the Blowing of the Trumpet. 

I have only translated the text of Aalalaat-e-Qiyyamat aur Nuzul-e-Essa - If one is interested in references then refer to the original text. 

I pray to the Almighty Allah to grant us the taufeeq to awaken us from the deep slumber we are in and to shrug off the thick sheer cloak of neglect which presently enshrouds us and to take the responsibility to show the path of salvation to the whole of mankind. 

By the grace of Allah Ta'ala, this booklet was translated in Masjid-un-Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), Madina Munawwara, during my Haj trip to The Blessed Land. May Allah make this a source of illumantion in the darkness of the grave Insha-Allah. (Ameen). 

The Planet

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH – THE SOURCE OF MERCY – THE MOST MERCIFUL

THE PLANET ON WHICH WE LIVE AND ALL LIVINGS HAVE BEEN SPECIALLY DESIGNED

THE SUN AND THE PLANETS WHICH ORBIT IT ARE ALL IN A GALAXY KNOWN AS THE MILKY WAY. THERE ARE OTHER STARS AS WELL AS THE SUN IN THE MILKY WAY. THE NEAREST OF THESE TO US IS 4 TRILLION KILOMETERS (2.5 TRILLION MILES) AWAY. YOU CAN IMAGINE THAT DISTANCE IN THIS WAY: THE SPACE SHUTTLE, ONE OF THE FASTEST-MOVING VEHICLES EVER MADE, CAN TRAVEL AT A MAXIMUM SPEED OF 28,500 KM/HOUR. WERE YOU TO TRAVEL TO THE NEAREST STAR AT THAT SPEED, THE JOURNEY WOULD TAKE 5,760 YEARS. BEARING IN MIND THAT THERE ARE 250 BILLION STARS IN OUR GALAXY AND JUST HOW FAR AWAY THE NEAREST OF THESE IS, ONE CAN SEE HOW VAST OUR GALAXY REALLY IS. IF WE THEN CONSIDER THAT THERE ARE SOME 300 BILLION GALAXIES JUST LIKE OURS IN THE UNIVERSE, THE VASTNESS OF THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE BECOMES EVEN MORE APPARENT.

THE NUMBER OF PLANETS AND STARS IN THE UNIVERSE IS FAR GREATER THAN THAT OF ALL THE GRAINS OF SAND ON ALL THE BEACHES ON OUR EARTH. DESPITE THIS, HOWEVER, ONLY ONE PLANET POSSESSES THE NECESSARY ATTRIBUTES FOR LIFE: OUR EARTH.

THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE CONCLUSION FOR ANYONE WHO THINKS A LITTLE ABOUT LIFE: THE PLANET ON WHICH WE LIVE, HUMAN BEINGS AND ALL OTHER LIVING THINGS HAVE BEEN SPECIALLY DESIGNED. THE FACT THAT THERE IS SUCH A DELICATE EQUILIBRIUM AMONG ALL THE CONDITIONS NECESSARY TO SUPPORT LIFE ON OUR PLANET IS ONE OF THE PROOFS OF THIS. THIS BECOMES IMMEDIATELY APPARENT WHEN WE EXAMINE THE OTHER PLANETS IN OUR SOLAR SYSTEM.

ALLAH IS THE CREATOR OF EVERYTHING AROUND US, VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE. THE HEAVENS AND EARTH, THE MAGNIFICENT EQUILIBRIUM IN THE UNIVERSE AND ITS DESIGN ARE ALL HIS. MATERIALISM ON THE OTHER HAND, WHICH DENIES THE FACT OF CREATION, LIVES ON AS A SUPERSTITIOUS BELIEF BEYOND THE BOUNDS OF SCIENCE. WITH THE BIG BANG THEORY EVEN THE MOST DYED-IN-THE-WOOL MATERIALISTS HAD TO ACCEPT THIS FACT, AND A GREAT MANY WELL-KNOWN SCIENTIFIC MAGAZINES HAVE TAKEN THIS AS THEIR COVER STORIES AND MADE IT KNOWN TO ALL OF HUMANITY. 

THE DELICATE BALANCES IN THE UNIVERSE, AND ALL THE ENTITIES IN IT, LIVING OR OTHERWISE, ARE ALL PROOFS OF ALLAH'S SUPERIOR ART OF CREATION. THE CONCLUSION ARRIVED AT BY MODERN SCIENCE IS NOTHING OTHER THAN A CORROBORATION OF A TRUTH REVEALED IN THE NOBLE QUR'AN 1,400 YEARS AGO. THAT TRUTH IS REVEALED THUS: 

"YOUR LORD IS ALLAH, WHO CREATED THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH IN SIX DAYS AND THEN SETTLED HIMSELF FIRMLY ON THE THRONE. HE COVERS THE DAY WITH THE NIGHT, EACH PURSUING THE OTHER URGENTLY; AND THE SUN AND MOON AND STARS ARE SUBSERVIENT TO HIS COMMAND. BOTH CREATION AND COMMAND BELONG TO HIM. BLESSED BE ALLAH, THE LORD OF ALL THE WORLDS." (THE NOBLE QUR'AN, 7: 54)

A NEW WORLD AWAITS YOU: INDEED - THE WORD OF ALLAH

WHAT YOU READ IN THE NOBLE QUR'AN IS THE WORD OF ALLAH, THE LORD OF THE WORLDS, WHICH HE HAS CONVEYED TO YOU IN A HUMAN LANGUAGE, ONLY BECAUSE OF HIS INFINITE MERCY AND CARE AND PROVIDENCE FOR YOU. THIS ACT OF DIVINE MERCY IS ENOUGH TO AWE AND OVERWHELM YOU AND INSPIRE YOU TO EVER GREATER HEIGHTS OF GRATITUDE, YEARNINGS AND ENDEAVOURS TO ENTER THE WORLD OF THE NOBLE QUR'AN.  THE MAJESTY OF THE NOBLE QUR'AN IS SO OVERPOWERING THAT,

IF WE HAD SENT DOWN THIS NOBLE QUR'AN UPON A MOUNTAIN, YOU WOULD HAVE SEEN IT HUMBLED, SPLIT ASUNDER OUT OF FEAR OF ALLAH. (THE NOBLE QUR'AN 59:21)

INDEED, NO TREASURE IS MORE VALUABLE AND PRECIOUS FOR YOU THAN THE NOBLE QUR'AN, AS ALLAH SAYS OF HIS GENEROSITY:

O MEN! THERE HAS COME TO YOU AN EXHORTATION FROM YOUR LORD, HEALING FOR WHAT IS IN THE HEARTS AND A GUIDANCE, AND A MERCY FOR BELIEVERS.(THE NOBLE QUR'AN 10:57)

SAY: IN (THIS) BOUNTY OF ALLAH AND IN HIS MERCY IN IT LET THEM REJOICE. IT IS BETTER THAN WHATEVER THEY AMASS. (THE NOBLE QUR'AN 10:58)