Monday, 14 April 2014 14:55
Consider a person with the following profile:
Age: In the prime of life. Health: Super fit. Beauty: Outstanding. Wealth: Multi billionaire. Qualifications: 7 PHDs. Social Standing: Among the most influential people in the country
Two days later he passed away. His re-written profile now reads:
Age: Dead. Health: Not applicable. Beauty: Body decaying. Eyes have disappeared leaving empty sockets. Hair and teeth have fallen off. Wealth: Left empty handed. Qualifications: Soul did not qualify in anything. Social standing: Besides a few people everyone has largely forgotten him and are not concerned about him in any way.
This is the reality that faces one when death strikes. One is stripped of all external valuables, denuded from one's branded attire and wrapped in plain sheets of cloth, dispossessed of one's wealth, distanced from one's home and luxuries, divested of one's titles and even deprived of one's name – one is now referred to as “the deceased, “the mayyit” or “the janaza”. But... there is some wealth, beauty and strength which will go along with one to the grave. The wealth of Imaan, sincerity, compassion, forgiveness and maintaining family ties; the beauty of hayaa, simplicity and good character; the strength of tawakkul (trust in Allah Ta'ala) and contentment – all these and other such inner values will accompany one to the grave. They will be one's companion on the day of Qiyamah (judgement) and will pave the way to Jannah. Therefore, while making a moderate effort to earn a halaal living, the focus of one's heart and mind must be towards acquiring real values.
Saturday, 12 April 2014 16:17
A beautiful parable in the hadith compares a good friend with a perfume seller and a bad friend with a blacksmith. The least benefit one will acquire in the company of a perfume seller is that one will certainly get the beautiful scent of perfume, which will freshen the mind and heart. Likewise, a good friend will always be a means of benefit. Merely being in his company will incline the heart towards good. On the contrary the least harm in the company of a blacksmith is that one will breathe the toxic smoke that will be all around his environment. Likewise the company of a bad friend is spiritually toxic. Merely being in bad company will influence one towards evil and sin.
STORIES SHAPE LIVES
While human companionship will generally have the greatest effect and influence on one, the company one keeps is much broader than being in the company of friends and associates. Many people spend long hours in the company of novels. Novel addicts can read a thick novel of a few hundred pages in a night or two. “Reading cannot harm you,” exclaim novel readers. The question is: Does a novel really have no effect on the reader? Scientists believe otherwise. According to Dr. Gregory S. Berns, director of Emory University's Center for Neuropolicy in Atlanta, “Stories shape our lives and in some cases help define a person.” Berns says their findings "suggest that reading a novel can transport you into the body of the protagonist." Using MRI scans, the investigators noticed heightened connectivity in an area of the brain (of their subjects) which is associated with making representations of sensation for the body. They explain that, for example, when we merely think about running, we can activate neurons in the brain that are associated with the actual physical motion of running."
In the light of the above consider the contents of the vast majority of novels read by young and old alike. If merely thinking of running activates the neurons in the brain associated with running, which will make one want to start running, what happens to a person reading a novel whose entire plot is intertwined with materialism and illicit relationships? If “stories shape our lives” as scientists have found, what happens to the mind (and body) of the person reading the lurid scenes of zina in almost every novel? The minimum disastrous effect that this will most likely result in is that the heart and mind of the reader will regularly become engaged in zina – Allah forbid. When the mind and heart will be repeatedly engaged in zina, what next? Novel-reading is also among the major contributors towards the shameless behaviour that is becoming the norm (merely to highlight this, a non-Muslim librarian expressed his “confusion” to his Muslim friend as to how come so many Muslim girls and young women donned in purdah borrow such “racy” novels. May Allah Ta’ala save us all from such shamlessness).
Saturday, 12 April 2014 16:13
Question: I often wear jeans and other western attire indoors. If I leave the home, I always don an abaya over my clothes and also wear hijaab. My husband is ok with my dressing but my mother keeps fighting with me that my dressing is indecent. I do not see anything indecent in how I dress, especially since it is only indoors. Please advise. (summarized).
Answer: There are several aspects in your question. We will briefly deal with some of them in point form.
- It is most commendable that you don the abaya and hijaab when leaving the home. May Allah Ta'ala keep you steadfast and enable you to progress further towards adopting the true spirit of hijaab.
Saturday, 12 April 2014 16:10
The excerpts below (taken from various websites) about the history of jeans reveal some noteworthy points:
- “Starting in the 1950s, jeans, originally designed for cowboys and miners, became popular among teenagers especially members of the Greaser subculture. Greasers were a youth subculture that originated in the 1950s in north eastern United States. Their style became popular as an expression of rebellion. Jeans are particularly identified with American culture, especially the American Old West.”
Saturday, 12 April 2014 16:05
Respected Mufti Saheb
Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakaatuh
I am in severe problems and difficulties. I cannot even think why these difficulties have come upon me. What wrong have I done that I have been taken to task in this manner? Kindly make dua for me.
Saturday, 12 April 2014 16:01