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What am I reading?



In these turbulent times of mass killings, predicted in the Prophetic Traditions as signs of end of times, "we need to more religious than ever," says Yasir Qadhi, a Traditionalist Muslim Scholar, Ph.D candidate for Islamic Studies @ Yale University. I'm reading following lecture of Hikhim-ul-Ummat, Hazrat Ashraf Ali Thanwi (r.a): On leaving sins (click to open). Unfortunately, the transcript is available in Urdu, which is, also, difficult to read for people less proficient in Urdu, although footnotes are quite helpful. You can also download it by clicking on "Title" on right panel and then click on "Download".

Lahore Attacks

I'm feeling very sad and disturbed. They say a small number of people in the name of Islam, with technological devices, did this bloodshed of non-Muslims, i.e., Qadyanis. They're not injuring anyone, nor creating social disturbance. The gathering in their worship people would definitely have included children or even women, above all, innocent people, hopefully. The fact that it is done by someone in the name of Islam disturbs me most. If it is true, then I must say my faith, the faith of fitrah, the Primordial and Last religion of God is being hijacked by psycho-paths.

I don't know what could legitimize these deadly attacks in Lahore. They say Islamic extremists have did this - (and I use "extremist" only for those who injure innocent people without any right, or even kill them, indiscriminately) - then all should know that homocide and suicide are two biggest sins in Islam and reward for it is hell. Nonetheless, nobody should assume which community did this horrendous act at the outlook, before outrightly blaming people with beards...

 May Allah make Pakistan a global leader in peace and belief in Transcendence, as well.

Qada Umari: Making up Salats Missed in a Lifetime

By Mufti Shafiq Jakhura

Q. Is there any proof from authentic ahadith of Qada Umari?

A."Hazrat Anas ibn Maalik (R.A.) narrates in a hadith of Sahih Bukhari that Rasulullah mentioned:
من نسي صلاة فليصل اذا ذكرها لا كفارة لها الا ذلك
" Whoever forgets to pray a Salah, it is obligatory upon him that he pray that Salah when he remembers. There is no other way that this can be made up." ( Sahih Bukhari , Kitaabul Mawaaqeet - Hadith 597)
The words of Rasulullah in a hadith of Muslim are as follows:
اذا رقد احدكم عن الصلاة او غفل عنها فليصل اذا ذكرها فان الله عز و جل يقول اقم الصلاة لذكري
" Whenever one of you misses a Salah due to sleeping or due to negligence, it is obligatory upon him that he pray the Salah when he remembers it because Allah (SWT) has metioned, "Perform Salah when you remember me" (Hadith 1569)
In a Hadith of Sunan Nas'ai it is mentioned:
سئل رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم عن الرجل يرقد عن الصلاة او يغفل عنها قال كفارتها ان يصلها اذا ذكرها
" Rasulullah was asked regarding a person who misses a Salah due to sleep or negligence. Rasulullah mentioned that its compensation is that he should perform the Salah when he remembers. "(Nasaai p 171)
These Ahadith as well as many others are clear that any Salah that has been missed must be performed when one remembers. In fact the ayah of the Qur’an recited by Rasulullah in the hadith of Muslim above, also indicates that this ayah of the Holy Quran refers to qada Salah as well, as it was recited in the context of qada.

There is a consensus among the jurists that qada must be made for missed Salahs.

And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best!

Source.

Perennial Quest of Soul

There's an element in our soul, perennial, that wants to seek out Al-Haqq, Allah, and to experience Him, because it yearns to bow before, worship this Supreme Being. It is so beautiful that all beauties of world combined cannot match its serenity. And Allah does not look at our physical outlook, or we can say at our beauties, wealth, etc., but on our heart is His eye fixed!

(Sources: Living Sufism, by S. Hossein Nasr. Iqbal and Quranic Wisdom (?), by Prof. M. Munawar. Al-Quran.)

Fast Food & Haste

I have always been suspicious of nasty old fast food that caused trouble in my stomach when I used to have a liking of it. But since when i have left eating this un-nurturing, little morsels of suspicious meat, cooked in utter 'hastiness', believe me not, my quality of life has increased mani-fold, saving my pocket as well ;) What follows here is research done on the behaviors of fast-food consumers by Toronto University, namely: Fast Food and Impatience; moreover, i received the following summary in an email by Harvard Business Review, The Daily Stat:

Does Fast Food Make People Hasty Well as Hungry?


20% speedier reading. People who had been subliminally exposed to fast-food logos read a 349-word passage in an average of 69 seconds, compared with a control group's 84 seconds, though there was no time pressure, according to a study of 57 undergraduates. Researchers Chen-Bo Zhong and Sanford E. DeVoe of the University of Toronto suggest that the time-saving principle embodied by fast food unconsciously induces haste.

Read research here (pdf).

Group dynamics

Working in a group is like making a beautiful, classical mosaic. It has unity, diversity and coherence, resulting in serenity.

A team work is also like the bowl, heart is. It has many veins, going out in various directions. In order for it to breathe harmoniously, all inputs must be pure, enthusiastic and mixable with total integration. Output: Life.

Rememberance

Today in evening, as I returned from Gujranwala, a city in Punjab, from the marriage ceremony of a pious and scholarly friend, Allah gave me opportunity of attending a conference of ulema commemorating the life and efforts of Hazrat Khawaja Khan Muhammad, who recently passed out. One observation struck me, for it exactly matched with an intuition/feeling of my own that i personally felt about Hazrat Jee whenever i reflected over his death.

One scholar compared the time of Hazrat Jee's birth and death. "When he came into this world, he was crying in pain, and everyone around him laughed and smiled in joy, or even ecstasy. People were distributing sweets in streets and homes. It was a moment of celebration. Why it wouldn't be, as it clearly was a blessing for this ummah, his birth!

"And when he died - he left this world smiling towards his Rabb, Creator and Sustainer, leaving everyone behind him crying in sorrow!" I feel deprived these days of a shelter and of spiritual support, and it only increases as i hear or read more about what he did for the defense of Finality of Prophet of Muhammad... May Allah give Hazrat Jee highest rank in paradise, forgive him totally... Aameen!


***
Later this day, i visited the grand Lahore fort, a place where Mughal emperors (e.g., Shah Jehan) lived, if that's a right designation, excuse me if not. I saw Sheesh Mehal, its extravagantly decorated buildings, swimming pools, courts and gifts for musicians and lady dancers. Actually, i saw the worship of passions of one's self seemed to be at its height in those days in those wretched and dismantled buildings which seem to be haunted by evil spirits (that's the general environment for any sensitive eye)... And now the fools are after safeguarding every detail of it, every painting of lady dancers and those drunken parties, painted on the walls...

Nonetheless. i thought: What comparison between the two histories that I have just mentioned...! Dictionaries would end up if we start describing these two histories - one of taqwa and the other of pangs of power corruption, lustful self-indulgence and what not - yet what would live for eternity would definitely live for eternity. May we have a strong, inner sense of what's useful and what's useless. May it also be reflected in what we think, speak and act upon... May we love Allah "with all our heart, with our mind..."

Literacy, Grammar and Thinking

Ever heard about 'grammar', 'literacy' and 'thinking skills'? Here's a perspective that would ever more illuminate your illuminated mind. A talk on these "keywords" by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf. Thanks to International Board of Educational Research and Resources (their website is worth visiting, filled with extraordinary resources). Watch the enlightening talk session here. (i tried to embed it, but it was too big to fit in here.)

Shaan/Honour of a Mu'min

I read the following hadith on blog Pearls of Wisdom. Comprehend the sanctity of a Mu'min, or a God-fearing believer:
"Abdullah Ibne Abbas (may Allaah be pleased with him) narrates that Rasulullah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) looked at the Ka'bah and said La Ilaha Illallah, how pure you are, and how sweet is your fragrance and how great is your honour! However the honour of a Mu'min (believer) is greater than yours. Indeed, Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) has made you respectable; (likewise) the wealth, the blood, and the honour of a Mu'min has been made respectable; and Allah( subhanahu wa ta'ala) has forbidden us to suspect him of wrongdoing." [Emphasis added.]
Source.

KBS Update

Alhamdulilah, Kirana Bar School today finished its fourth week - a milestone for the administration.

Note: I am not involved in school. Right now I live in another city, so the credit goes to administration, directors, teachers, students and parents.

A pleasant experience

I was relived to see a mosque open after 10 PM. I entered it and saw two children filling the mosque with the fragrance of their eccentric patrolling, dancing in front of a someone performing salah. "Light, space and silence" - so characteristic of any mosque, universally, I experienced again, and enjoyed the prayer of solitude. May we have mosques that are open to human creatures 24/7; while TV, cricket matches, dance parties, restaurants, and other inventions of moderns destroy the sacredness of late night, it also can serve as a antidote to this profanity.

Aftermath

I felt ease and inner joy. I went to a bookstore and looked for that book, although I couldn't find it, I found another of the same author: Islam and the Destiny of Man. I's looking for, Remembering God. Both by late Hassan Gai Eaton. After getting rid of Karen's autobiography, which I had to read for an MPhil thesis candidate to discuss it with him, word by word, I was badly yearning for some Light, some Intellect, some Illumination, to fill the void created by her long life's story. But something that dealt with the same issues as Karen's autobiography did - God, Tradition, spirituality, certainty - written in idiom and style a modern man could understand, written for Western audience, primarily. Nothing clicked my mind than Remembering God, which I had partially read. And I am relieved and joyful at reading Eaton's Islam. The rust of my mind is vanishing caused by Karen's life story. Beauty is overshadowing inner darkness. And Light is approaching horizon after a week's darkness...

InshaAllah, soon I'd share excerpt from the book. I just couldn't wait to write this post...

Dealing with Karen

I am not at all angry with her. Karen has proved to be a quite resourceful writer, in her autobiography The Spiral Staircase, about which I wrote in some previous post. Certainly, she is a fast learner who is emphatic to other voices and perspectives, but, as usual with moderns, sentimental, such that it stops her looking at things the way they are. (Although it was her this quality which made her sympathetic, as well as in her writings, to Islam, in times when it was being maligned in West.) I don't want to list here her grave shortcomings as a good human being which Westerners may never quote as bad manners; but which only the genius of Islam identifies and cures, such as following one's own lust to the extent of making it one's 'god', as Qur'an puts it.

Her story of failure in finding God by becoming part of the Catholic church, as nun, was quite helping and made me more firm in the religion of Abraham. She spend a large part of life as ex-nun despising, disowning and rightly debunking the Church order and all the innovative lies they came up with contrary to the message of Jesus. She came across modern biblical scholarship and this led her to come close, unknowingly at that time (or still) in my view, to the Qur'anic perspective of Christianity: Qur'an severely criticizes the lies they later invented in the name of god; made Sayyidina Isa the alleged Son of God, which she found was only 'Son of Man' as Jesus said. And that much part of Bible available today was written by man, St Paul and other who came before him.

The bottom-line is: My belief in Islam is enhanced by the fact that when I don't see a perfectly traditional Christian, a Buddhist, or else, finding Allah as He is, it is only that Allah himself has closed all other doors to him, except Islam. Even when she started writing A History of God, having nothing other work/project to do, she was done with God, who never responded to his prayers at convent, nor could she feel him for a moment for those seven painful, 'unhealthy' years as a nun...

Use desktop as personal organizer

See how I've put my dull, pointless desktop to a good use. I have set the following man made To-do list created in collaboration with the 'Paint' Labs Ltd. (Click to enlarge.)

In search of guidance

Today, I spent a day with a friend of mine who is in search of guidance. He wants it. Simply. So we visited a scholar of deen in Punjab University, and after his weekly bayan/lecture sat down with him and asked, my friend: 'How does guidance come?' The scholar replied, 'Through the desire of it.' 'And does one develop it?' my friend asked. 'By (a) praying to Allah for guidance, and (b) "striving" for it, just like the way an ill-person goes to a saturated market of doctors and healers, and seeks the best out of them. The litmus test he has: Firstly, the person is a qualified doctor, i.e., he knows deen well; and secondly, the doctor has to have a good reputation of curing people well, i.e., the person acts upon what he knows about deen.'

'Prayer' and 'to strive' are the keys that are also mentioned in a hadith elementary for success. On returning, I enquired my friend about how useful the conversation had been. Clearly, he wanted to see some other people as well, but his instant positive remark reflected satisfaction in the theory or answer of the scholar.

9 Tips for Surviving School

Praise be to Allah, whose praise should precede every writing and speech,
And may blessings be upon Prophet (S.A.W) and his family.

I received a mail today. It read:

Although this is for the Western school going youth but some of us might find it applicable in some contexts within our society.

What followed was an article, 9 Tips for Surviving School. I have produced excerpt of it. Read the whole article here. I found it very useful, and I wish if schools publish such articles in their magazine.
******

"Surviving school as a Muslim youth in the West is not easy. The social requirement upon youth to not only excel in studies but also to exhibit ideal, Islamic behavior outside and inside the home makes leading a healthy student life a truly daunting task. With the combined social pressures of school, family, and friends many youth wonder if it is even possible to balance school and Islam. Sadly, the question is now being increasingly asked: “Is it even feasible to practice Islam in the West?”

It is important to remember that today’s problems are not new nor are their solutions impossible to find. While admittedly the situation of students in the West is far from ideal, all hope is not lost. Here are some quick and simple tips to help the average Muslim student survive school:

1. Find a good social circle: The most driving influence in the life of a student is his social circle, upon which he depends for fulfilling his social and recreational needs. Depending on one’s group of friends, a person is likely to make strikingly different choices in life. A good friend is one who can entertain you and at the same time bring you closer to Allah. If you cannot discuss serious, personal, or religious issues with a colleague, it is likely that your relationship with him is shallow and improvident. Pick friends whose company will improve your character and provide you focus and direction in life. Do not be afraid to lose friends in pursuit of saving your iman. In the end, it is your religion that has priority.

2. Halal-ify your home: Half of a successful student life involves improving the environment outside the house, while the other half depends on having a healthy and Islamically-conducive home. In order to make your home free from distractions, create a quiet and comfortable workspace for yourself. Avoid at all costs the proximity of a television and the internet. Limit your useless activities on the computer by placing it in a high-traffic room. Try to spend as less time alone as possible. Study with someone nearby who will not distract you from your work but will also prevent your mind from wandering and engaging in harmful activities.

3. Spend quality time with family: An important aspect of improving the home environment is improving one’s relationship with family. Avoid domestic quarrels and familial disputes by spending quality time with parents, siblings, uncles, aunts, etc… Take out a half-hour daily to sit and converse with parents. Let them know what you do outside the home and you will gain their trust. Talk to them about your problems and personal dilemmas even if the solutions they provide seem wrong. If individuals inside the home seem unapproachable, look for counsel outside the direct family. Most importantly, if you yourself are an older sibling, make the effort to be a good adviser and counselor for your younger brothers and sisters.

4. Guard your gaze: The most common cause for loss of focus and poor memory is negligence in guarding the gaze. When a student’s mind wants to concentrate on reading, lectures, or work, his evil gaze forces it to daydream about sports, movies, cars, the opposite gender, etc… Avoid these distractions by looking down in the hallways at school and spending as little time as possible in mixed settings. Free yourself from television and internet addiction by simply ridding yourself of access to them. Have a parent regulate and supervise your internet usage through parental control software. Share your passwords with family members to avoid the possibility of engaging in illicit relationships." [Cont'd]

Mitigation & Rediscovery


I need a super-shield against the force of overriding effects of books by humans. I do want my perception to grow at a rate equal to an exploding nubale. But at the cost of negatively effectively my heart, which alone should be purified for Allah - Nay!

Allow me to clear the fog. I am forced to read the autobiography of a writer on world religions, Karen Armstrong: The Spiral Staircase. I haven't yet read her works, except a page or two. Because it is 'an exceptionally impressive autobiography' (Daily Telegraph), it to an extent tends to erode my originality of being a Hanif, follower of Sayyidina Ibrahim, and since i am not left untouched by the power of writing and gifted memory she has, I also tend to imitate her in the way I express myself, even to my own self. This is what I detest.
***
Karen left her family and college at 17 for convent just 'to find God', and then led a very austere, soul-crushing, self-negating, and, as she calls, 'unhygienic' life as a nun for 7 long years at her own will. Failing to find God for a single moment, she left convent and 'returned to secular life'. Later she finds 'transcendence' and 'ecstasy' in comparative study of world religions and discovered the Golden Rule common to all religions: Compassion. I yet have to read those chapters... Nonetheless, I have made a long story short for you.

I was thoroughly impressed by the first part of her life, i.e., the intent of Catholics behind their illegal activities (according to Islam, such monasticism is prohibited). Every single moment and movement, of mind and body, at convent was directed towards God, to attain His presence, and 'to soar like an eagle', as Bible promised. Here they confronted their nafs boldly, directly and brutally, and missed no opportunity to subdue it to God.

But what went wrong with her. Why no one at convent could experience God, the single aim of the experiment, as Karen says? This is the rediscovery. This amplified my own belief in Islam. What ever the Order of Christianity promised to the seeker failed. It is important to note here that this particular Order/System Karen belonged to took Prophet Jesus as son of God (nauzbillah). She failed to find happiness and peace, Allah because Allah has closed all doors to Him, except Islam!

Beautiful part of the ongoing reading is unexpectedness: My certitude in Islam increased by a story of nun who turned secular!

Excellent imitation of Qari Abdul Basit

"The imitation of great people, even, is a kind of blessing." - Hamza Yusuf.

I's happy to hear to this recitation by a Qari rendered in the same way late Qari Abdul Basit did, who barely needs an introduction among Muslims, worldwide. The tilwah is of Surah Takwir - an amazing surah like rest of the Qur'an.

Hazrat Khawaja Khan Muhammad Passed Away

The siraj-e-munir of khanqah Sirajiyah, Mianwali, Punjab, Hazrat Khawaja Khan Muhammad passed away today...

Exotic Atafu Atoll

I was going through the kids section of NASA's official website, and found amazing things like back-winged X-29, but one picture stood above all, of which I am most curious... Subhan Allah! Just look at this:
It is called Atafu Atoll. NASA describes it as: An atoll is a circle of coral built up around an underwater island made by a volcano. Inside the circle is a body of water called a lagoon. Credit: NASA

'The Global Islamic Guidelines for Education'

In a post on this blog I urged Muslims to see how education's engine is being used by evil forces - global education premises are being written by those who don't even know the right purpose of their life. And called them to action. Because the audience of this blog is limited I got one Reply/response to the 'challenge', but because its Singular, manifesting unity of Allah, it is powerful. Please read 6 Global Islamic Guidelines for Education here by RhodoraOnline here.

Kirana Bar School is alive


This is the third week of Kirana Bar School, Sargodha that my father has established. The website is under construction but workable: www.kbps.edu.pk/

I have been talking of education on this blog, which is not the central theme of the blog, at least as I intended. Because I am immersed in it, that's became little obsessed with it. I'd keep you update of the school,.

The mission statement is simple: Our aim is to come up with a holistic educational model which would bring peace to world. Its ideal: Love of Allah and Prophet.

Cutting edge innovation in whole school set-up is urgently needed. We allow every one to counsel us given our criteria!

A cute little gift for my sweet Mother

This weekend when I went home to meet my family, and three little angel-cousins, I gifted my mother this most untidy, but heart-filled oil pastel painting I made (half of it) during English essay writing class :) There's so much connection between beautiful painting and profound writing....
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MuddleHead Signs Off!!

MuddleHead Signs Off!!