Category: Muslim men
Fear of Salaf from the temptation posed by women
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Jinn Aashiq – A Lustful Demon!
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
When You’re Gay and Muslim – Finding Allah’s Meaning in All of It
Waheed Jensen is a Muslim male in his mid 20’s, struggling in this world with being young, open-minded and gay, trapped in a global community of Muslims who claim to follow Islam but lack the application of its most basic tenets. Working to make the world a better place for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. A version of this article appeared on Altmuslimah and VirtualMosque.com.
Ever since I began trying to understand life, one of the crippling realizations about the Muslim communities I reached was this: We tend to bury our problems in a dark hole, dismiss them and hope they will never come back to haunt us. But they often do. We overlook many of our familial, social and cultural issues until they multiply and are about to explode in our faces; at that point, we are notorious for pointing fingers and crying over spilt milk.
Our room is filled with elephants that we barely have an inch to stand, yet we remain oblivious and hope things will get better.
Allow me today to describe one of those elephants. A strange elephant. Allow me to dissect it and hand it over to you, that you may ponder and hopefully open your heart and mind.
Let me start off by saying these three words: I am gay.
Even though you do not know who I am, and maybe the mere fact that I just came out to you right this instant may offend you, confuse you or drive you away from reading the remainder of this article. Let me assure you, this is not one of those articles that tries to promote homosexuality or deliver an airbrushed and Islam-oriented version of all those pro-homosexuality arguments.
Yes, I am gay and I am Muslim, and I am here to offer you a small glimpse into a journey of struggles, passions and hopes. I do not intend to delve into the story of Prophet Lut and his people, talk about the evolution and progression of the LGBT community during the past century, present arguments for or against same-sex relations, or even try to prove my own opinion. I really hope you can read and reflect, and I pray that this small effort of bringing the picture a little closer to you might make the slightest bit of difference in raising awareness, and hopefully open healthy discussions on the topic.
I wholeheartedly believe, in concordance with Islam and its teachings, that sodomy is a major sin. I am against same-sex marriage and intercourse, and I am not in favour of any progressive movements that attempt to explain Quranic verses about People of Lut or sodomy from a modernist or post-modernist approach – in other words, arguments that try to find a leeway and claim that that is a legitimate Islamic perspective.
I hope that this will not drive away readers who are excited about the topic but may be uncomfortable with my statements. I have adopted this position after years of introspection, research, counselling and personal prayer, and I am coming forth today to share with you some of those experiences.
Why Am I Different?
Homosexuality has been present in humanity for centuries, and for as long as it has been there, homosexuals have been struggling with themselves, their families and society at large. To me personally, there was always something different. I could feel it in me from a very young age. Something that I could not explain to others because I thought they would not understand, let alone accept, or maybe because I was too young and immature at the time that I was not entirely sure what ‘it’ was.
It crystallized around puberty; when all the raging hormones started kicking in, those tendencies became obvious. And then the real struggle began.
The struggle led to an explosion of questions. “Why am I different? Why am I not like the rest of my friends or family members? Is this even normal? Am I sick?” Not finding the proper answers, I kept on putting these questions aside. “Maybe it’ll go away. Maybe it’s just a phase.” In my case, it never went away and it was not a phase.
With time I learned that this is something abhorred religiously, culturally and socially. So I tried to adapt. “How do I balance between the feelings and tendencies I have with what my religion, culture and social norms dictate?” So I began a journey of self-exploration and interacting with others, learning from religion, media as well as prominent persons, like religious scholars and major social figures. My schemas kept changing, and I kept on adapting.
Many of us may be brave enough to rebel against what others seem to ‘dictate’ on us, while others suppress their urges, often hiding their identities from those closest to them, generally out of fear, or maybe because they are not just ready to come out yet. I belong to the latter group.
To this date, I have never had the courage to tell my parents or close family members, but I have come out to a close friend of mine a few months ago, and he was extremely supportive Alhamdulillah (all praises to Allah).
One of the most dangerous pitfalls I have personally experienced was thinking that God hated me. He was mad at me. “I must have done something wrong in my life to deserve this ‘punishment’… If God does not accept homosexuality, then why am I a homosexual?” Whether Muslim or not, people struggling in silence can be more prone to deviating to dangerous paths.
So, you find many struggling homosexuals also dealing with bullying, drinking problems, substance abuse, domestic violence, poor academic performance, career problems, pornography or sex addictions, sexually-transmitted diseases, mood disorders like depression and anxiety, and many other issues. (1) I had my own share of bullying, academic problems and mood disorders. Our struggles multiply with time, and many even contemplate suicide.
This is especially true in cases where the individual tries to discuss the issue – often it is just those desires or thoughts that are tackled, not the actual act – with his/her parents or family members who are not receptive to those ideas. If not shown sympathy, care and love, he/she is often shunned, harassed, scorned and sometimes even tortured.
A lot of gay men and women are forced into arranged marriages, taken to local Imams to ‘heal them from their calamity and wrath of God’, or even killed. (2) Some of them take their own lives by themselves. Others live in constant torment while some flee their homes and families in search for a more welcoming environment. That and many have not even yet engaged in any sexual acts whatsoever.
Why We Have Difficulty with Other Muslims
This is why I, along with many fellow homosexual Muslims, find the Western alternative very striking: It offers acceptance and understanding. Things that we dearly miss in our communities, even though we may realize deep down that there is something terribly wrong, the fact that there is someone who accepts us and fights for us and not against us is incredibly more appealing. When we try to talk to other Muslim seemingly-pious and God-conscious brothers and sisters about our sexuality and are shunned by their lack of empathy, respect and understanding, would you find it surprising that we take comfort in talking to non-religious people about our struggles in hopes to find an open mind and a loving heart?
Ironically, the spirit of Islam is all about empathy, tolerance and understanding, yet the practice of Islam carried out by many Muslims shows the opposite.
Trust me, I understand that it is a difficult topic to open up with others, especially people coming from conservative backgrounds. It is difficult news for you to receive, just as it is difficult for me to handle, let alone share with others. However, the fact that I choose to come out to specific people means that those people are exceptionally special to me. To us.
It takes a lot of courage, incredible determination and a full dose of anxiety and fear to even think about coming out to someone, that you can imagine the damage we have to endure when the other person dismisses us or shows no empathy or mercy. It seems like a lot to handle if you ask me.
I remember the first time I decided to come out to someone, I was going through an overwhelming period in my life, yet Alhamdulillah I had some seeds of piety and religiosity inside me. I was around 18, and he was a non-religious psychologist and counsellor. I went to an appointment with him, tried to beat around the bush but ultimately came out to him. And, he was accepting. Later on, I found out that many struggling homosexuals came to him for advice and counselling.
I was hoping that, with the aid of therapy, my orientation would change – this is scientifically known as reparative or conversion therapy; while many studies have been conducted on it and some patients have reported success, a great number of psychiatrists and counsellors have reported failure and more harm done to the patients than good. The progress of my visits culminated in him putting forward the idea of accepting who I am and going all the way with it – in other words, experience my entire sexuality without restraints.
At that point I was really uncomfortable with his proposal, as it was against my Islamic beliefs and my own virtues.
During that same period, I was doing my own reading and researching, trying to find a proper Islamic “solution,” crying for help and praying that I am guided to what Allah pleases. One of the most heartwarming responses was given by a psychiatrist who also has a profound knowledge of Islamic shariah (legal rulings). He was hosted on a TV show, and he was speaking so graciously, so open-mindedly, that his words hit the right chord and I was immediately awe-struck. I cried after finally having found an answer with which my heartfelt ease.
That was pure bliss, Alhamdulillah.
Why Am I Homosexual?
The gist of the talk is the following: Homosexuality as an orientation is a disorder in one’s fitrah (human nature and disposition). “Treatment” of such a disorder involves therapy, familial and social support, personal discipline and a whole lot of other things. However, this therapy, which is tailored on a case-by-case basis, may or may not work. The mode of therapy is different between individuals, just like every case of homosexuality is different between people.
Mind you, the term “therapy” here is used loosely to mean dealing with the issue from different aspects rather than reverting one’s sexual orientation.
If many of us, homosexuals, dive deeper into our childhood and upbringing, we can pinpoint certain events that have taken their toll on us one way or another. Many of us have experienced child abuse, be it sexual, physical or intense emotional abuse that was brutally damaging to our body and soul, or lived in dysfunctional families that ultimately caused a lot of psychological damage. (3)
I, for one, had my own share of psychological and sexual abuse as a child from people closest to me and witnessed intense domestic violence that crippled my mind for a decent period of time. Such events were so incredibly powerful that they became ingrained in my psyche and took their toll on my thinking and behaviour.
Others have been desensitized to issues related to sexuality and gender roles from a young age, that their perception of masculinity and femininity is quite erroneous. I can recall several stories of struggling homosexuals I know who grew up in homes where one parent was more dominant in their life (e.g. present most of the time while the other was absent, provided greater emotional, psychological and social support while the other did the exact the opposite), such that either parent’s gender became more dominant on their lives and personas, and hence their perception of gender and sexuality deviated from the normal.
It is worth noting, however, that many people grow up in normal environments with no such issues during childhood, yet end up finding themselves attracted to the same gender. So there is no discrete thumb rule or cause as to whether someone will end up identifying as a homosexual or a heterosexual. It is not a simple black or white situation.
In addition to the above, it has been asserted that there are other acquired causes – we are bombarded on a daily basis with sensual and sexually-explicit material, from billboards, magazines and newspaper articles, to online material on social media websites. Sex and sexuality are heavily emphasized in TV shows, readings and discussions, whether openly or not. We have become accustomed to seeing semi-naked and naked bodies, our concepts of beauty, femininity and masculinity have radically evolved over time and we have become desensitized to these matters. (4)
There is an unbelievable amount of time and resources spent on creating better bodies: muscular, dreamy and good-looking men, and gorgeous women with “perfect” facial and body features. In addition, many of the inter- and intra-gender boundaries have drastically changed over time. Taken together, these matters overwhelm the human mind, and the effects are undoubtedly palpable.
Again, these and countless other events affect people’s heart, mind, body and spirit differently. People struggle to cope in different ways. Some people, like myself and countless others, may eventually find themselves with a specific worldview, having had a culmination of experiences, as well as a specific orientation that may or may not be modifiable. Just like these examples are struggling in and of themselves, homosexual thoughts and tendencies are no less than struggles as well.
Will I Have a Partner in Life?
When I see married men and women sharing affection, enjoying companionship and raising children, it hurts. A lot. Not the jealous I-hope-they-lose-all-that kind, but the painful realization that this is not something I can ever attain. Because of my situation, my ibtila’ (struggle in life), the idea of marrying someone from the opposite sex is not practical at all or even fair for me or my potential spouse. Many shuyukh advice homosexuals to get married for their tendencies to dissolve; while this may work with a handful of people, a large number of us does not find it physically or mentally plausible.
Many of the things other people, including those shuyukh themselves, take for granted – like relationships, marriage and having children – are the exact things we struggle with day in and day out. Personally, and unlike Muslim heterosexuals, I do not have safe and lawful options through which I can channel and fulfil those desires. Therefore, I try my best to remain steadfast and struggle for the sake of Allah. If that is not incredible Jihad, I do not know what counts as such.
While it may seem unfair and even preposterous to some people to keep struggling and not fulfil our desires, especially in this time and age, that is where the beauty lies. Within Islam, we are not held accountable for our thoughts, feelings, desires and tendencies as long as we do not act upon them. There are three ideas worth mentioning here.
First, Allah has promised in the Quran that He “does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity” [2:286]. Taken in line with Islamic teachings, this means that Allah knows how painful my struggle is and knows that I can handle it. Every time I ponder upon this idea, I am overwhelmed with incredible awe and gratitude. Of all people across centuries, He has chosen specific people for this particular test. Indeed, life is nothing but a few years and the True Life is in the Hereafter, so no matter how agonizing the struggle is, there will be an end to it.
Second, there is an immense reward and unimaginable blessings, both in this life and the Hereafter, by staying true to God’s decree and struggling for His sake. The greater the struggle, the more the rewards in sha Allah (God willing).
Third, and just like the popular saying goes, “when God closes one door, He opens another.” So, if issues like intimacy and procreation may seem like dead ends for Muslim homosexuals, we find openings in other aspects of life. Many homosexuals across history have been known for incredible gifts in writing, public speaking, music, cinema, scientific discoveries, literature and art. (5) Studies have reported that homosexuals exhibit high levels of empathy and compassion compared to heterosexuals. (6)
Because we have suffered and are constantly struggling, we have big hearts that know no boundaries. If we utilize our God-given gifts wisely and for the greater good, we can do wonders inshaAllah.
We All are Trying to Find Answers
Of course, there are Muslim homosexuals and pro-gay rights advocates who adopt a completely different perspective. Some try to balance between their religious duties while keeping in line with their orientation; in other words, they carry out their desires yet remain true to their duties. Others denounce Islamic rules altogether arguing that in modern times, such rules do not apply, hence they call for a reformation in Islamic laws taken for granted as solid foundations of religion.
Others are still struggling between balancing Islamic law and their own sexuality, searching for answers that provide them with ultimate satisfaction.
I am in no way trying to prove myself right and others wrong. This article is solely intended to highlight some of the struggles I go through as a Muslim homosexual, and I have taken the liberty at some points to speak on behalf of fellow struggling homosexuals because of our shared tribulations. Whatever your position is on this matter, I respect you and love you as a human being, your desires are legitimate and in no way make you less of a human being.
However, based on my beliefs, I do not accept specific actions that you may do which go against Islamic law. And there again, you are no less of a human being, and I still respect you as an individual. This falls at the heart of Islam – if someone like me who is struggling with his/her own desires can adopt such a stance, then so can everyone else. Maybe if we focus less on demonizing other people and concentrate more on helping one another, things would start to change for the best.
If you are a homosexual reading this, please know that my heart is with you. I of all people understand the daily struggles you are going through, and I salute your bravery and high spirit. Please remember that Allah is Merciful and Forgiving, no matter how much people tell you otherwise. Stay strong, and if you ever fall into the traps of Shaytan (the devil), repent to the Almighty with a pure heart and know that He accepts and welcomes the sincere. Pray to remain steadfast. Fasting is a powerful weapon so try your best to fast regularly.
Also, try to do sports and channel your energy in healthy ways. Surround yourself with the good company of pious people, and keep daily companionship of His Book. Pursue a higher purpose in life, for you are already on a high track. Trust me, I understand that the struggles may reach excruciating levels – it is at those moments that our inner cores are tested.
Make your struggles entirely for His sake, and they will be worth it. You will come out stronger and braver than before. With today’s explosion of sexuality and acceptance of same-sex relations, do not swallow the bait. Keep yourself in the company of Him for that is all that ultimately matters.
If you are a heterosexual reading this and assuming you may be uncomfortable with such a topic, I understand that this may be overwhelming for you at first glance. Take it easy on yourself, and certainly take it easy on others. We all have our own struggles, so let us make this journey we call life a little bit less difficult for one another. Let us shift our focus from pointing out each other’s faults and instead work together for more empathy, compassion and love.
There is a difference between respecting someone and accepting his/her actions; the former must be there at all times. If we disagree or have different lifestyles, and certainly if we make mistakes, please do not judge us. Bear with us. Listen to us, be there for us, for if you ever need us we will be there for you.
Even though we may not get the chance to experience what it means to have a spouse, be intimate or even raise a family in this life, I pray that Allah accepts our struggles for His sake and fulfil our desires in the Hereafter. Yes, I am a gay Muslim, and I am proud – proud that Allah has chosen me and many other brothers and sisters for this particular struggle in this life. And for that, and for all His countless blessings we say, Alhamdulillah.
“I hope that the world turns and that things get better. But what I hope most of all is that you understand what I mean when I tell you that, even though I do not know you, and even though I may never meet you, laugh with you, cry with you… I love you. With all my heart, I love you.”
(V for Vendetta)
1. Lee, R. (2000). Health care problems of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender patients. Western Journal of Medicine, 172(6), 403–408.
2. Kesvani, H. (2015, April 18). Meet The Gay Muslims Living In Straight Marriages. http://www.buzzfeed.com/husseinkesvani/gay-muslims-in-straight-marriages
3. Schneeberger, A. R., Dietl, M. F., Muenzenmaier, K. H., Huber, C. G., & Lang, U. E. (2014). Stressful childhood experiences and health outcomes in sexual minority populations: a systematic review. Social psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology, 49(9), 1427-1445.
4. Qadhi, Y. (2009, April 13). Dealing With Homosexual Urges: Yasir Qadhi to Muslim Student. http://muslimmatters.org/2009/04/13/dealing-with-homosexual-urges/
5. Rictor Norton (compiler), “The Great Queers of History, Part 1: Born before 1800″, 1 May 2004 <http://rictornorton.co.uk/greatgay/greatgay.htm>.
6. Salais, D. A., & Fischer, R. B. (1995). Sexual preference and altruism. Journal of Homosexuality, 28(1-2), 185-196.
Unapologetically Telling The Truth Is A Terrible Thing to Admire
Why do we value “unapologetically telling the truth like it is” so highly? When did this become an actual thing that we lionize and aspire to? Why do we celebrate those who do this?
What’s the point of telling it like it is, even if people hate it? And what does it say about us as a community if this is how sincerity and authenticity is expressed? When did it become some type of significant accomplishment that is lauded by others?
There’s obviously an immediate benefit. You gain notoriety, fans, social media engagement, and maybe even just enough of a following to leverage a career (or presidency) out of it.
I have noticed a trend lately, particularly in discourse about Islamic issues online, where people are being heralded and promoted for telling it like it is.
This culture appears to be an overreaction to another problem (as most extremes often are) – speaking about issues without any principles, or watering down and politicizing them. When something in regards to the religion is watered down, the perception is that this is done from a position of weakness.
By speaking the unapologetic truth harshly, a person may feel they are taking on a task for the community that others are not. They are giving voice to a perspective that may otherwise be silent. They are providing objective and accurate intellectual analysis without any emotion or sugar-coating.
Validation follows. Others encourage them for speaking up and saying the things they are unafraid to say. This makes the person feel they are taking on an important task on behalf of the ummah, and continue to do so. Then they get more fans and comments, and the cycle continues.
This validation loop, particularly online when it is in the form of likes and comments, makes it challenging to engage criticisms of this approach objectively. After all, everyone is telling you this is incredible – why should you listen to the few uptight people who are so focused on tone instead of the unapologetic truth bomb you are dropping on people?
This justification comes from prioritizing the utility of giving a correct point of view over how it is delivered – especially when this point of view is drowned out by all the people with the wrong understanding.
When given real feedback on tone or etiquette, people who pride themselves on being unapologetic or authentic will respond by deflecting this advice. Focus on the intellectual merits of the argument they’ll argue. Or they will deflect it by pointing to some type of bad character on the part of people who hold the opposing viewpoint as them. Don’t worry about my bad attitude, worry about that other person’s character instead. Or they’ll appeal to authority and declare that they already have teachers or mentors that give them advice, so they are free to dismiss comments no matter how legitimate. For people who pride themselves on being objective or intellectual, these are all profoundly childish responses.
What is billed as being authentic or unapologetic is really a mask for laziness and ego.
The Qur’an lays out a model that we’ll refer to as the ‘high-competency’ approach:
By an act of mercy from God, you [Prophet] were gentle in your dealings with them—had you been harsh, or hard-hearted, they would have dispersed and left you—so pardon them and ask forgiveness for them. Consult with them about matters, then, when you have decided on a course of action, put your trust in God: God loves those who put their trust in Him (3:159).
Where in this ayah does it appear that the approach of telling the cold hard truth would fall?
Telling the unapologetic truth without regard for how people take it is the easy way out. Anyone can do that. The problem is that it does not work. It causes people to get turned off. Those who lionize this approach will counter by saying, “so what?” They put the blame on the people who can’t handle the message instead of taking responsibility for how they deliver it.
That’s why it’s lazy. It’s a low competency form of delivering a message. The only people who celebrate it are ones that already agree with it. It does not accomplish the ultimate task of winning hearts and minds or changing someone’s viewpoint.
Instead, it puts the focus on the person giving the message – how courageous, authentic, and direct they are. This makes the communication inherently ego driven because the intended audience is now ignored. The actual content of a person’s message also gets lost as they start to craft their identity around speaking forcefully instead of effectively. They show no concern for the recipient of the message, only in themselves.
The task of winning hearts and minds, or changing someone’s ideological worldview, is not done through a hot take on Facebook. It is done as the ayah above indicates – with kindness in dealings with them.
Giving hot takes on social media builds fans and followings, not relationships. The ultimate irony is that unapologetically speaking the truth actually prevents people from developing the relationships to affect positive change in the community because no one wants to be around them.
“How well you take criticism depends less on the message and more on your relationship with the messenger. It’s surprisingly easy to hear a hard truth when it comes from someone who believes in your potential and cares about your success.” –Adam Grant
It requires the hard work of building relationships with people and building community. True leaders understand that this requires years of investment into people – not all of which will be documented on social media. Success means playing the long game.
It means going to a tyrant like Fir’awn, and still speaking kindly because the ultimate intent is different than to just tell it like it is.
It means that when the young man walks into the masjid of the Prophet (s) and asks permission to commit zina (adultery), that the Prophet (s) takes him and teaches him kindly. He could have easily reminded him about the jurisprudential rulings about adultery, and the prescribed punishment – no doubt that would be unapologetically speaking the truth. But it would not have achieved the intended outcome, so the Prophet (s) had to take the approach that would actually produce results.
But wait, what about all the times in the life of the Prophet (s) when harshness was used? Didn’t he speak the truth clearly? Yes. There are always going to be situations where this is called for strategically as a tool intended for a specific result. The problem we are highlighting is not of speaking the truth clearly, but one of expressing it in a harsh way such that people are turned off. And worse, people who respond to the harshness with cheerleading and zealousness instead of genuine care and concern for the one who is wrong to gain some sense of rectification.
There is something deeper at play here than ego or taking the easy way out. Authenticity.
Authenticity is the buzzword we use to express sincerity. When I tell it like it is, I am being authentic and sincere. Not fake. Not a sell-out.
Authenticity presents a paradox: Do you do what’s effective, or do you do what is true to yourself? We might reach a certain level of success and influence by being a certain way. The challenge is getting to the next level. If that means suddenly changing how I communicate or speaking with what I term to be watered down political jargon, then no thanks. This is the mindset that allows us to morally justify our unapologetic approach, and actually double down on it when told to act otherwise.
Authenticity is a barrier to personal growth. We use this idea of it representing sincerity as an excuse to keep from changing. We have to shift from delivering the information people need to know (low-level) to creating the conditions of increasing learning (high-level).
This requires putting in the work to change our approach and character.
The Prophet (s) said that ‘the two characteristics that led the most people into Paradise were consciousness of Allah and good character’ (Tirmidhi).
Don’t let anyone subvert this in the name of unapologetically speaking the truth.
Low competency individuals are drawn to telling it like it is. High competency individuals are attracted to painting the vision of how things could be – and building the bridge to help and serve people in getting there.
International Men’s Day
PIERS MORGAN’S ADVICE ON INTERNATIONAL MEN’S DAY: Don’t let hypocritical radical feminists turn men into a bunch of neutered, grovelling, blubbering doormats, ladies – or we’ll ALL live to regret it
I have a confession. I am a man. The worst? I’m actually proud to be a man and I like being masculine
I have a confession to make.
This isn’t easy, and I’ve taken a long time to summons up the strength to do it.
I’m aware that just by admitting to what I’m about to admit, I will subject myself to all manner of global shame and ridicule.
I’ll be taunted, abused, shunned and reviled.
But as Sir Winston Churchill once so rightly said: ‘You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.’
OK, here goes…
I am a man.
Yes, on International Men’s Day 2018, I am hereby identifying as the biological sex that I was born to.
This alone is enough to risk making me a social pariah these days, but that’s not even the worst of it.
I’m a man who’s actually proud of being a man, and who also likes being MASCULINE.
I realise this is a horrendous thing to say, and I can only offer my insincere apologies to all the radical feminists now exploding with rage as they read my shocking statement.
If there’s one thing they loathe even more than the M-word, it’s the longer M-word.
Masculinity simply means ‘having qualities or appearances traditionally associated with men.’
That’s it, nothing more sinister.
Yet thanks to women of radical feminist persuasion who’ve gleefully hijacked the #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns to serve their own man-hating purpose, masculinity has become the most controversial, detestable word in the English lexicon.
And it’s now impossible to be ‘masculine’ without also being accused of ‘toxic masculinity’.
Radical feminists (here’s Madonna in her shirt touting her ‘radical’ position) have hijacked the #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns to serve their own man-hating purpose, masculinity has become the most controversial, detestable word in the English lexicon
Even Prince Charming whisking Cinderella off from captive hell to a life of happiness is an evil that must be expunged from society – led by furious Keira Knightley and her ultra-feminist knights in PC armour.
‘Cinderella waits for a rich guy to rescue her,’ she sneered. ‘Don’t. Rescue yourself! Obviously!’
Fine empowering words until you remember that the Prince gallantly saved Cinderella from abuse and slavery and they genuinely loved each other.
Then it doesn’t seem quite so ‘obvious’, does it?
One of the very worst of the many terrible things about radical feminism is the scourge of pathetic male virtue-signallers that urge them on.
As an obvious (or so I thought..) tongue-in-cheek joke this morning, I tweeted: ‘Happy #InternationalMensDay! Stay strong lads, we’re not illegal – yet.’
Most people reacted in the way I would react if someone else had tweeted that – by laughing.
Others weren’t so amused, bombarding me with hateful abuse about my supposed ‘toxic masculinity’.
A man named Box Brown, who has a verified Twitter account and claims to be a New York Times best-selling cartoonist, replied simply: ‘Die.’
How laughably hypocritical; this angry little clown races to attack what he presumably perceives to be my aggressive maleness, yet does so by saying he wants me dead.
Hypocrisy is sadly a prevalent theme with much of modern feminism.
The likes of Kim Kardashian and Emily Ratajkowski have both built hugely lucrative careers out of stripping off in the supposed name of ‘feminist empowerment’.
Hypocrisy is sadly a prevalent theme with much of modern feminism. Kim Kardashian and Emily Ratajkowski have built lucrative careers out of stripping off for ‘feminist empowerment’
When in fact what they’re really doing is selling nudity and sex.
I have no problem with that – just don’t pretend it benefits any other woman or is anything that Emmeline Pankhurst and her Suffragettes would have ever done.
They were too busy risking their lives to win women the right to vote than to have time to writhe naked in spaghetti and ludicrously claim they were doing so to liberate womankind.
When I say this kind of thing, women ask me to cite an example of what I consider real feminist empowerment.
So let me give you one from yesterday when a 17-year old German girl driver named Sophia Flörsch was competing in her first Formula 3 World Cup race at the Macau Grand Prix.
The race featured male and female drivers, and she qualified purely on merit.
On the fourth lap, she struck another driver’s car as she approached a bend at 175mph.
The collision caused Sophia’s car to spin out of control and catapult several hundred yards through the air into a wall.
It’s the most horrifying car crash I have ever seen, and everyone who watches it would presume she must have died.
But Sophia lived, despite fracturing her spine.
And within a few hours, she tweeted: ‘Just wanted to let everybody know that I am fine but will be going into surgery tomorrow morning. Thanks to everybody for the supporting messages. Update soon.’
No fuss, no playing the victim.
Can you even imagine the scale of self-pitying hell that would be unleashed on the unsuspecting public if any of the Kardashians had a minor 25mph car prang today in which they broke a diamond-encrusted toenail?
Sophia has an incredible talent for driving a car, and incredible courage too. She is a rising star in a male-dominated sport determined to prove she can mix it with the men and I applaud her for it.
THAT is true feminist empowerment – not flipping the bird in topless selfies to millions of impressionable young girls.
While I joke about International Men’s Day, of course I understand and appreciate there is a very serious side to it too.
The stats tell the grim story: 76% of suicides are men, 85% of homeless people are men, 70% of homicide victims are men, men serve 64% longer in prison and are 3.4x more likely to be imprisoned than women when both committed the same crime.
So it’s not all a patriarchal bed of roses being a man.
But I fully accept that women have historically been treated unfairly in terms of equality, and that many women continue to be treated unfairly.
I also fully accept that women have been subjected to far more harassment, sexual abuse and domestic violence than men.
That is where the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements have performed a valuable public service in highlighting and exposing genuinely bad, unacceptable and in some cases criminal behaviour.
In fact, I don’t know any of my male friends who wouldn’t agree with that.
However, what I refuse to accept is that all masculinity is therefore now automatically a bad thing or that being a man is suddenly something to be ashamed about.
Nor do I believe that most women actually want the kind of neutered, emasculated, papoose-clad, permanently apologising doormats that radical feminists are trying to make us become.
Let me therefore offer some friendly advice from a man who loves women:
Men like me don’t want to hear that universities (and one in Wales, UK actually did this,.) have banned the word ‘mankind’ because it’s offensive to women, not least because ‘women’ itself contains the word ‘men’.
We don’t want to be told we can’t appreciate a female star’s beauty because it’s offensive to feminists, then see feminists like Ellen de Generes openly objectifying famous men’s bodies at awards shows – to no complaint.
We don’t want to be informed that James Bond has to stop hitting on women because it’s now deemed politically incorrect, especially as none of the women he ever hits on seem to be anything but ecstatically thrilled about it.
We don’t want to be disapprovingly frowned at for opening doors for women or standing up for them on trains or when they walk into a room, or paying the bill for dinner if we want to. Chivalry is a good, not oppressive thing.
We want to pride ourselves on being a protective modern day hunter and provider, in whatever capacity that manifests itself to the benefit of a woman or family – without promptly being labelled a ‘dinosaur’ or ‘caveman’.
We’d like to preserve the right not to be seen blubbing in public every five minutes just to prove we’re in touch with our emotional side.
In short, we’d just like to still enjoy being men if that’s OK?
Just as we’d like women to enjoy being women.. and yes, for gender-fluids to enjoy being men AND women if that makes them happy.
The best conversation I’ve had about all this was with the singer Annie Lennox who said it was ‘important to bring men with you’ on the feminist journey.
‘But,’ she cautioned, ‘the debate has to be less hostile to men for that to happen.’
But, by the same token, we need to celebrate men. Even just a little. And, today is the best time to question our reluctance. I invite you, for example, to ask yourself the last time you read an article praising men. No, not an article praising one man (like an explorer, carer, sportsman or teacher), nor an article about a group of men, such as a team of rescuers or medics.
I’m talking about men as a whole. Cast your mind back. You can’t remember, can you? Indeed, have you ever read such an article?
And yet you’ll be familiar with articles praising women. According to recent media reports, women are better than men at working under pressure, taking financial responsibility, teaching, managing people, caring, driving, showing stamina, raising money, being surgeons, being doctors and being engineers. And those are just the ones I found through a quick Internet search.
In summary, women are better at lots of things. But men, it appears, are better at, well, nothing. No wonder there’s a crisis of masculinity.
Some might say that there darn well should be a crisis of masculinity, given the horrendous revelations of sexual harassment and assault over the last year. Why should we give men any credit at all, given what we’ve learned?
It’s an understandable view. Sexual harassment is horrible and unforgiveable. If anyone harassed or assaulted a woman or girl in my family, the red mist would descend more quickly than you could say ‘metoo’. But how many men are guilty? One in five? One in ten? A small minority, certainly. Yet, we seem to be blaming men in general.
According to the narrative, men can only be the baddies. Last month there was even a debate about whether hate crimes against men should be recognised. Just think about that: we accept because it is obviously right to do so, that misogyny is disgusting. Yet we are ready to pontificate about whether hate crimes against men are even worthy of our attention.
And while we are right, of course, to strive for equality between men and women at the top, where men still dominate, we should also cast an eye lower down, where there are twice as many homeless men as women, ten times more male than female prisoners, and three times more men than women who commit suicide. Oh, and a million children are growing up without their fathers.
In her speech in Downing Street upon becoming Prime Minister, Theresa May said her priority would be to help the disadvantaged, pointing out that “If you’re a white, working-class boy, you’re less likely than anybody else in Britain to go to university”. Two years on, nothing has changed.
Yet, we still think the male gender is always the nasty gender.
Consider the men you know – family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances. Most of them, like most women, have great qualities. Up and down the Britain, millions of them care for their families, are loyal to their friends, work hard and behave as decent citizens. They are not an abusive, privileged elite. They are good people with noteworthy qualities.
So, let’s recognise them. Today’s their day.
Why We Don’t Pray When We’re On Our Period – A Reflection on Allah’s Attributes As The Merciful and The Creator
I came across the post below on Buruj Lan-dan’s page on why we as Muslim women don’t pray when we’re on our monthly periods, and it’s a topic that’s been on my mind for a while so I wanted to share it with you adding my own reflections at the end.
Why don’t we pray when we are on our monthly cycles?
A dear friend of mine explained it to me and it blew me away. May Allah protect her always.
There is not a deed as great as the prayer. And no one is excused from it under any circumstances. Even men in battles are commanded to pray in whatever way they can.
But the only time a servant of Allah is entirely excused from praying and from even making up the missed prayers is when as a woman you suffer from all the difficulties that come with menstruation.
I love how my friend worded the wisdom behind it.
“Allah has mercy on you because He knows no one around you will”
Your boss doesn’t care if you come late to work because you were suffering from cramps in the morning. Your children don’t demand any less on those days of weakness and tiredness. Your husband doesn’t have any more patience with your mood swings when sadness or anger overwhelms you for no reason. When you step out, nobody knows how much your body either aches or how much your mind is distracted by incessant thoughts. You are on your own.
So, Allah the Most Merciful, Ar-Raheem, Ar Rahman, removes His obligation on you because no one else will.
We could’ve been commanded to make them up – if the reason was purely Taharah (purity) but we weren’t. He gives us a break when no one will.
The other time a woman is excused is when she has given birth. Her body, her mind labours to bring another life into the world and becomes occupied with taking care of it – and again Allah excuses her.
This is what makes me fall in love with Allah and Islam even more. For only Allah could know the intricate details of our struggle and give us what we need the most – mercy. – From Buruj Lan-Dan’s Facebook Page
It’s common for us to jokingly refer to our periods as holidays because we’re absolved from the responsibility of praying. After a few days however the effect quickly wanes and we find ourselves craving the doses of serenity that we get through prayer. One of the focal benefits of Salah is that it forces us to remember Allah SWT hence being away from it can sometimes make us feel like we’re no longer in that state.
Whenever I’m on my period, I’m reminded of the ayah below:
“We will show them Our Signs in the universe, and in their own selves until it becomes manifest to them that this (the Quran) is the truth” [Fussilat 41:53]
On the earth are Signs for those of assured Faith; as also in your own selves: will yet not then see?” [Al-Dhariyat 51:20 – 21]
In fact, my periods are a time when I am heavily conscious of Allah. Marvelling at the creation of my body and how perfectly it functions. Especially on months when I go through heavy periods, and I’m continually amazed at the way my body self-regulates. (No kidding, some days I feel like I’m gonna bleed out!) There are different ways in our lives that Allah reminds us that is Al-Khaliq, The Creator, and for me, my menstrual cycles are a special reminder of the one who has created me and created me in the best of forms.
I mean think about it, having regular menstrual cycles is a sign that the body is functioning normally, so remember to thank Allah for your health and the numerous blessings that he has given you through your body.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Teenage Years: Most Difficult for the Parents
“Stop trying to control my life!”
“I hate you!”
O Traveller to the Haram! Part II
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
For those going first time it is easy to get lost, there are a lot of hotels and sometimes they all look the same to you and you might be quite a distance from the Haram. For the first few days go with someone to the Haram, and remember the walk back and picture a big hotel or shop nearby, e.g my hotel is near Hilton or behind Movenpick. Keep the hotel card, especially if you have elderly parents with you.
Remember, those going for Hajj there will be approximately 3 million people in Hajj. Thinking of that should give you the ability to be more patient. Hajj is nothing but an expression of love. During the journey towards Allah, the haji bears all difficulties with great patience. Also, bear in mind there will be delays. If you arrive late at Arafat or Muzdalifah you will still be rewarded for your intention so do not fret or frown. Arafat day try and spend the most time in Dua from Dhuhr to Maghrib in a standing position (as long as possible). Arafat to Muzdalifah is usually a difficult one as most if not all of the people take the buses as it is dark after Maghrib. It is ideal to walk the rest of Hajj, saves you from the headache of buses. If your bus is late, spend the time in dhikr and Qur’an not talking or gossiping or on WhatsApp and social media. Don’t let Shaytan take advantage.
Allah SWT has made things easy for us now, personal hygiene is more important at times like this not just for you but to take other people into consideration too, the elderly the sick those who have terminal illnesses who will be around if you’re not washing to keep clean you will spread germs.
There are even some things that recite the talbīyah alongside a muḥrim when one recites it. “There is no Muslim who recites the talbīyah during the Ḥajj andʿUmrah but that everything which is to his right and left also recite it with him. Whether it is rocks, trees or even soil, to the farthest ends of the earth in each direction, from here and from there.” (Tirmidhī)
Daily Items to take to the Haram/Masjid: Draw string bag for slippers, musalla, water bottle, Qur’an, dua books/tasbih, mobile phone and money.
Janazah Salah Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Rasulullah ﷺ said: “Whoever attends the funeral procession and offers the Janazah Salah, will get a reward equal to one ‘qirat’, and whoever accompanies it till burial, will get a reward equal to two ‘qirats’. It was asked, “What are two qirats?” He answered, “Like two huge mountains.” (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 1325 and Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 945)
For those travelling for the first time, there will be Janazah Salah after every Fardh Salah almost. You will hear an announcement, “As-Salah ala Al-Amwaat” or “As-Salah ala Al-Atfaal” (Prayer for the deceased or prayer for children). We should seize the opportunity as it takes only a few minutes to pray. As a lot of people tend to forget the method and women may never have prayed Janazah Salah, the method is here:
Method of Janazah Salah:
The manner of performing Salatul Janazah is as follows:
The body of the deceased must be placed in front of the Imam who leads the Salah.
The Imam stands on line with the chest of the deceased.
Everyone in the congregation must have the intention of performing Salaah Al Janazah for the sake of Allah and in prayer for the deceased.
Make the intention of praying behind Imam.
One must then say Allahu Akbar while raising both hands as in Takbeer At Tahreema (the same manner in which one raises his hands to begin the daily Salah).
Then fold your hands as one does in his daily Salah.
At this time, one must recite the 1) Thana. The Thana is:-
“Subhanakallahumma wa bihamdika wa Tabarakasmuka wa Ta’aala Jadduka wa laa ilaha Ghairuka.”
2) After this, a person must say Allahu Akbar again, but must not raise his hands.
At this time, one will recite the Durood, (preferably the same as recited in the daily Salah).
3) Then say Allahu Akbar once again without raising the hands. After this takbeer, one will make the dua for the deceased.
Based on who the deceased is, one will recite the relevant dua. That is, there is a special dua for adults, and one for a minor boy and another for a minor girl.
The dua for an adult is:
Allaahurnmaghfir li hayyinaa wa mayyitinaa wa shahidinaa wa gha-ibinaa wasaghirinaa wa kabirinaa wa dhakarinaa wa unthanaa,
Allaahumma man ahyaitahu minnaa fa’ahyihi ‘alal islam wa man tawaffaitahu minnaa fatawaffahu ‘alal imaan.
O Allah! Forgive those of us that are alive and those of us who are dead, those of us that are present, those of us who are absent, those of us that are young and those of us that are adults; our males and our females. O Allah! Whomsoever of us you keep alive let him live as a follower of Islam and whomsoever you cause to die, let him die as a believer.
The dua for a girl child is :
Allaahum maj ‘alhaa lanaa fa-ra—tanw waj ‘alhaa lana aj-ranw wa zukhranw waj ‘alhaa lana shaafi’atan wa mushaf-fa;ah
O Allah, make her our forerunner, a source of reward and treasure and make her plead for us and one whose plea has been accepted.
The dua for a boy child is:
Allaahum maj ‘alhu lnaa fa-ra—tanw waj ‘alhu lana aj-ranw wa zukhranw waj ‘alhu lana shaafi’an wa mushaf-fa’aa
O Allah, make him our fore runner, a source of reward and treasure and make him a pleader for us and one whose plea has been accepted.
NOTE: If you don’t know any of the above Duas then pray Rabbana Aatina Fid Dunya hasanah wa fil Aakhirati Hasanah wa qina azaaban naar.
When the Salatul Janazah is finished the body should be taken to the cemetery for burial.
And Allah knows best.
Women and Jamat
As most women don’t attend the Masjid for Salah in UK, they may not know how to perform missed Rak’aat with the imam:
Witr in Ramadhan
Those who go for Umrah in Ramadhan, usually have a dilemma whether or not to pray Witr with the imam. As the imam will pray 2 rak’ah then 1 separate. It is allowed for Hanafis (people who follow Hanafi fiqh) to follow the imam in Witr. Please see fatwa below:
The preferred view of Hadhrat Mufti Muhammad Taqi Uthmani Saheb (hafidhahullah) is pray 2 rak’ah nafl with the imam and then don’t pray the 1 rak’ah separate, just make dua in the qunoot/dua after rukoo.
Also, after Taraweeh Salah there is no announcement for Witr like the Masajid in England. So many people stand up for Witr thinking it is still Taraweeh and their intention will still be for Taraweeh, which will invalidate the Salah. It would be nice if they could announce Witr Salah in the Haram, otherwise we must keep a track of Rak’ahs.
Keep your belongings with you at ALL times. In the hotel keep your suitcase and luggage locked, do not trust anyone, not even the workers. Take minimum money to the Haram, 40-50 Riyal. You should not need more than that, maximum 100 Riyal. The day you decide to go shopping, take extra money. But on a daily basis, you might need money for a drink/ice cream or something to eat. There are thieves everywhere! As blessed as Haramayn Shareefayn are, unfortunately the thieves are NOT. They will cut your pockets and run. Men should try and sew pockets into their trousers for safety. Keep your mobile and money in there. Women keep small handbags and keep close to you, not dangling off your shoulder. Then there are other thieves or beggars who make stories up! They lost their passports or documents. Or even say they lost their wife and children. I personally do not give a Riyal to any of these guys, not because I am stingy but I want my money to go to the right place. If you don’t believe me, read this:
If you want to give Sadaqah or Zakah give it to the cleaners in Haram. With Zakah, you have to let them know it is Zakah.
If your belongings do get stolen or lost, there is a lost and found office called “daftarul mafqoodaat” in Arabic. It is near Safa and Marwa but far, far behind it. You have to go outside and it is a long walk, I’ll be honest. Try praying these duas:
فِيهِ آيَاتٌ بَيِّنَاتٌ مَّقَامُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ
In it are clear signs (among which is) the Maqam-e-Ibrahim.
Maqam-e-Ibrahim refers to the stone on which Nabi Ibrahimﷺ would stand when he was building the Ka‘bah. As the height of the building rose, the stone would automatically rise, lifting Nabi Ibrahimﷺ so that he could continue to build the Ka’bah, and when it was time for Nabi Ibrahim ﷺ to return to the ground, the stone would automatically descend.
The impression of the blessed footprints of Nabi Ibrahim ﷺ can be seen in the stone until today. It is obviously a miracle for a stone to automatically rise and descend, based on the need of the person standing on it, and for a hard stone to soften sufficiently so that it could be imprinted with his footsteps. It is for this reason that Allah Ta‘ala says that the Maqam-e-Ibrahim contains clear signs (that will guide one to recognize Allah Ta‘ala).
The Maqam-e-Ibrahim is housed in a round structure made from glass and metal, located on the mataf, close to the door of the Ka‘bah.
‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Rasulullah ﷺ said, “The Hajr-e-Aswad and Maqam-e-Ibrahim are two precious stones from the precious stones of Jannah. Allah Ta‘ala has extinguished their radiance. Had Allah not extinguished their radiance, they would have illuminated everything between the east and the west.” (Sunan Tirmidhi #878)
Take it easy
If you are going for Umrah in Ramadhan, take it easy as you are fasting as well as doing Tawaf and other acts of Ibadah. Sometimes just going to and from the Masjid can be tiring. Be sure to look after the elderly and those in your group too. If you are going for Hajj, do not tire yourself before Hajj. Some people do excessive Tawaf and Umrah before the days of Hajj then feel weak before Hajj. Remember you are “there for Hajj” make the most of it and be prepared for the 5 main days in sha Allah.
Ibn Majah (757) narrated a hadeeth, “Whoever removes anything harmful from the mosque, Allah will build for him a house in Paradise.”
Anything found in the masjid is Waqf, please us it carefully, including the cups for Zamzam. Many people waste the cups and do not dispose of them correctly. A masjid MUST be kept clean; whether it is your local Masjid or Masjid Haram. Just because it is an extremely large Masjid does not mean it can be littered. Also on a side note, I would just like to mention here, many mothers make their children wear socks or t-shirts with picture or cartoons. This is completely Haraam! Please avoid this.
Keep on remembering the purpose you are here for, make a daily schedule/routine. When the heat overburdens you, remember the heat of hell fire. If you are stood in long queues or waiting amongst crowds of people, think of Qiyamah and the multitudes of people. I believe Haram Shareef is the only place you can depict Qiyamah, truly. When listening to the Qur’an in Salah, imagine the time when Jibreel AS descended upon the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him).
Beware. Not all food is reliable in Saudi Arabia, especially chicken as we all know a LOT of the chicken is imported. Try and ask a reliable mufti saheb in the UK for an up to date list of reliable restaurants/takeaways. Please don’t be naive and think it is a Muslim country, so everything is Halal. Ask the workers if the chicken is “Watani” which means local/slaughtered in Saudi Arabia. When I went for Umrah in Ramadhan 2018, I asked Mufti Ibrahim Saheb Raja of Blackburn as Mufti saheb visits Haramayn ever year. He enumerated the following: in Makkah alTazaj in Bin Dawood and also the McDonald’s, he said near Ibrahim Khaleel road there are many Pakistani restaurants that serve Watani chicken, you just need to ask and confirm. In Madinah, there are much more. To name a few, Rawi, At-Tabakh, Nirala, Miraj and Dawoodiya.
Ma Sha Allah! I will always praise and support women who wear the niqab, it is one of the greatest Jihads of the time – whether home or away. But, sadly, many women go to the holy lands and stop wearing their niqab or it becomes part-time. My dear sisters, simple advice is that you wear a niqab for many years. Some of you since you were teenagers. Not a single non-mahram has seen your face! Then you go for Hajj/Umrah and uncover your face because it’s too hot or at lunchtime for ease or in the hotel because you feel suffocated. Remember, there will be many men travelling with you from your locality and relatives who have never seen your face. Is it worth it for a few weeks to lose this modesty? Stay strong in sha Allah, Allah’s Jannah awaits you. You will be the queens of Jannah.
Shaykh Haji Faruq Saheb (Allah have mercy on him) would say, on the road to Madinah try and pray Surah Kawthar 1000 times. Once you enter Madinah start continous durood, so before you reach Masjid Nabwi ﷺ your salutations reach the beloved Prophet ﷺ.
“There are angels of Allah SWT who convey to me the salutations of the Ummah.” (an-Nisai)
Take a booklet of forty duroods and pray daily along with a fixed amount of other duroods, 100, 200 etc.
Read Seerah books beforehand or take one with you to inculcate the love of the Prophet ﷺ
The rule is not to harm anyone, anywhere. But in particular, make an extra effort in Madinah Shareef not to argue or cause inconvenience to anyone. Even the animals, birds, plants etc. This is the City of the Prophet ﷺ, the City of Mercy.
DO NOT COMPLAIN! If you do not like something, stay quiet. Women, in particular, have a habit of commenting and criticising negatively. Such silly mistakes can deprive someone of visiting the holy lands again. There is a famous story of a man who visited Madinah and had some yoghurt. He found the yoghurt sour and complained! The same night the Prophetﷺ came in his dream and said, “If you don’t like the yoghurt of my city, then don’t come again.”
Mount Uḥud even loves those who obey Allāh and His Messengerﷺ
“Uḥud is a mountain which loves us and which we love.” (Bukhārī)
Imām al-Nawawī (Allah have mercy upon him) comments and says: “Mount Uḥud truly loves us because Allāh has endowed it with a quality whereby it is able to feel love.” (Sharḥ al-Nawawī)
Salat was Salam upon our beloved Prophet ﷺ be done from anywhere in Masjid Nabwi but better in front of the Rawdhah Mubarak.
Try and pray at least two Rak’ah in Riyadhul Jannah, without pushing or causing inconvenience.
Shaykhul hadith Hadhrat Mawlana Muhammad Zakariyya (Allah have mercy upon him) would say, “When shopping in Madinah, make an intention to benefit the people of Madinah.” And I would like to add, do not haggle too much with the residents of Madinah.
Try and visit the place of Badr about 2 hours from Madinah Shareef. And there is a well on the way Bi’r Shifa. The water is known for Shifa/cure.
For those who do not know much about which dates to buy, I am no expert but the standard dates which people generally buy are:
Try and go to a date farm rather than the date market, the farms are not far from Masjid Nabwi ﷺ. And remember each type of date has its quality. E.g. You will get cheap Ajwa 40 or 50 Riyal per kilo but that will be low quality. Whereas the 60-70 Riyal per kilo will be higher quality, much larger and softer.
There are many suggestion boxes, usually near the doors/gates. Feel free to make positive suggestions. There are definitely many improvements to make in both places, we need to think of them and criticise constructively. We need to become a thinking Ummah, we need to produce deep thinkers in sha Allah. Also, take a notebook and pen and write down any thoughts you get. Sitting in the Haram you get some remarkable thoughts, don’t let them go! It could be changes to your life or something beneficial for the Ummah. Alhumdu Lillah, both parts of these blogs were a result of taking a notepad and jotting things down which I thought would benefit people. If you are a poet, writer, blogger, pen down your love and contemplations for these places to spread the respect and sanctity of these places. Here are two poems I wrote:
Lastly, use your time wisely and make it fruitful and productive. You never know when you will go again. Avoid arguments, this is not the place for arguments. Please don’t treat it like a holiday, you are not in Dubai or Morocco! They said in Arabic, “al-Istiqamah fawqa alf Karamah.” Steadfastness is better than 1,000 miracles! When you return back to the UK, keep up with your Salah, wearing Hijab or keeping a beard and practising every Sunnah. Especially those Sunnah connected with Hijab. Reflect on your age and life. How you can change and remove sin and vice from your life.
Allah accept your Hajj/Umrah and make it easy and bring you back safely. Fi Amanillah.
Please pray for me too.
Ismail ibn Nazir Satia (One who is in dire need of Allah’s forgiveness, mercy and pleasure)
1 Dhul Qa’dah 1439
Opening of Bukhari Shareef by Hadhrat Mufti Muhammad Taqi Uthmani Saheb (Hafidhahullah)
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Masjid Hidayah, Old Trafford – 14/04/2018
Allah has granted this book a miraculous, wonderful and astounding status in terms of acceptance.
Imam Bukhari (Allah have mercy upon him) is buried in Uzbekistan, near Samarqand.
Ishaq ibn Rahwaye (Allah have mercy upon him) is the teacher of Imam Bukhari (Allah have mercy upon him), he authored a book, “Musnad Rahwaye” which is actually being published now. Once in class, Imam Ishaq stated, “I wish all the Saheeh Hadith of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) were gathered together in one compilation.
There were already books gathered with Haidth, but contained Saheeh, Hasan and Dhaeef Hadith.
The Dream and Glad Tidings
This comment of his teacher, ignited a burning fire in the heart of Imam Bukhari (Allah have mercy upon him), and he had an ardent passion to fulfil this request. Immediately after, Imam Bukhari (Allah have mercy upon him) had a dream of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him). In the dream Imam Bukhari (Allah have mercy upon him) had a fan in his hand, through which he was sending coolness to the blessed and illuminous face of our beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). The interpretation of which was, ‘I will gather Saheeh Hadith together, distinguishing them from the other unauthentic Hadith.’ He was very fortunate to be blessed with this honour. He would scrutinise and examine each Hadith carefully, sifting and picking out the authentic Hadith.
Scrupulousness and Diligence
For every Hadith, he would do Ghusl, pray 2 rak’ah and perform Istikharah. Mufti Saheb mentioned there are different narrtions as to how many Hadith in total are compiled in Bukhari Shareef. Some Ulama say, 7,000+ and some 8,000+ if we go with the minimum number, 7,000 Hadith – this would mean Imam Bukhari (Allah have mercy upon him) performed at least 14,000 rak’ah of Salah, performed Ghusl 7,000 times and then did Istikharah.
Thereafter he would show his Ustadhs; Abu Zur’ah (Allah have mercy upon him), Yahya ibn Mu’een (Allah have mercy upon him) and Ishaq Rahwaye (Allah have mercy upon him).
Islam and Arabs
The Arabs have pride and rightly so, they would have pride that Islam was established in Arabia. But Imam Bukhari (Allah have mercy upon him), was a resident of Bukhara. His Arabic wasn’t the most eloquent and articulate. He was accomplishing this task.
The weakest part of Bukhari Shareef in terms of linguistics is Kitabul Tafseer. This is evident, because Imam Bukhari (Allah have mercy upon him) wasn’t an expert of the Arabic Language. Hence some of words weren’t translated the best. For example,
يزاد في هذا الباب “هَمّ” هذا الحديث instead of the word ايضاً
The word “هَمّ” is Farsi, but instead of ايضاً he wrote that word.
Thus, the Ummah has a consensus the most authentic book after the book of Allah is al-Jami al-Bukhari. A person cannot become an Alim without studying Bukhari Shareef.
The Student’s Enthusiasm
Allah opens ‘Uloom for the teacher upon the eagerness and zeal of the student. Just like a baby cries and milk draws forth from the chest of the mother.
Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (Allah have mercy upon him) once stated to his students, “Whatever you have achieved is through me, but if you did not have the burning desire in your souls I would not have had such inspirations and stimulus as well.”
Remember, in the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), Abu Jahl and Abu Lahab were also present. But they had no zeal to learn and change.
Our chain (sanad) is very important to us, this differentiates us from other religions. No other religions have such a system of “Sanad.” My Shaykh, Dr Abdul Hayy Arifi (Allah have mercy upon him) used to state a parable:
If there was a train that travelled from Karachi to Lahore, it was a fast train, very clean and travelled with speed. When it left the station at Karachi the station master attached a very old carriage at the end of this fast train, so that it can get “serviced.” When the train moved, the old carriage started squeaking! Somoene asked the old carriage, “Where are you going?” It replied, “You are lauhing at me, because my state is weak and poor. I may look deprived and pathetic, but the truth of the matter is when this new train reaches Lahore… so will I! Because my buffer and chain couplers are attached to this fast train.”
Likewise our connection to Ulama and pious people should be close and strong.
Imam Malik (Allah have mercy upon him) said: “If it were not for the Asnaad, people would say what they wanted.”
If we look at the Bible/Injeel and those people who sanctify this book, as Muslims we do as well to a certain extent. There is no chain to prove this book is still authentic. 300 years passed after Eesa (peace and blessings be upon him), there were many different variations of the Bible. In Nice, France, there was a conference in which all the priests decided we need to know which Bible is authentic. There was great dispute and disagreement. They decided to pray to God and fall in prostration and pray to Allah, at the same time they put all the Bibles on a table in a locked chamber. We pray that those Bibles which are fabricated, they fall on the floor. All night they did this, upon the crack of dawn they opened the door of the chamber. All the Bibles had fallen on the floor, except four. The historian who narrates this story further adds, they decided that four Bibles were authentic. But they had forgotten to write who had the keys to the chamber for that night!
Acquiring Knowledge Under a Teacher
It is important to study with a teacher, because of the student’s passion Allah blesses the teacher with noor and uloom and barakaat. This isn’t possible when the student studies alone. The system of studying under a teacher is finishing, it is very rare in the world such Hadith books are taught from start to finish. It only exists in India/Pakistan, due to the blessings of our Akabir. Many times I have experienced, I have done my motala for the a Hadith lesson, looked at the commentary as well. But in the lesson such things came into my heart that I had not known or researched. Quran and Hadith has been made by Allah in such a way in cannot be studied alone.
Never Miss a Hadith
In Karachi, we have 400-450 students in the final year – Dawrah. At least 60 -70 have never missed a Hadith, let alone missing a lesson. We call them ‘sahib e tarteeb’.
“All actions are dependent upon their intentions.”
“انما الاعمال بالنيات”
This Hadith is abused many times by people, they use it for wrongful purposes. People perform wrong actions and say, “my intentions are good. My heart is clean!” This is wrong, knowledge is important.
E.g. Someone is praying Salah incorrectly, you went ahead and showed him his mistakes which could break his Salah. He ignored you and said, “All actions are dependent upon their intentions… so my Salah is okay and correct!” This is wrong. You cannot use this Hadith to justify your wrong actions and lack of knowledge.
My late father, Hadhrat Mufti Muhammad Shafi’ (Allah fill his grave with noor) went for Hajj. When he reached Mina he had some guests who were known to be religious and in the political field, they arrived to meet him. My father questioned them if they had performed Rami? One replied, “No! I have made a representative (wakeel) on my behalf to perform Rami (stoning).” My father reprimanded him saying, “This is not permissible when you have the capability. This is only for those people who are unable to perform Rami!” The man said, “انما الاعمال بالنيات” (all actions are dependent upon their intentions). To which my father laughed and said, “If that was the case, there is no need for a representative as well. Just make an ‘intention’ of Rami.”
A wrong action does not become correct because the intentions are good. E.g a person steals money to give in Sadaqah, this is wrong.
Niyyah (intentions) play a major role in our everyday life, a mubah action can be rewarded if the intentions are good. If a person eats food to gain strength for ‘Ibadah and to do shukr, he/she will be rewarded accordingly. It is the same for spending time with one’s wife, to please her and act upon the Sunnah – you will be rewarded. The Prophet of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) raced with his wife, showed her the Ethiopian slaves playing for entertainment. All of this can gain reward if your intentions are correct.
My late father went for Hajj when I was a young boy 12 or 13 years old. Upon his return, he gifted me with a watch. I was so happy as I had never worn a watch before this. He remarked, “I bought this watch so you can tell the times for Salah. That should be your intention for wearing it.” Just look at the intention and reward behind this.
My late brother Muhammad Zaki (Allah have mercy upon him) who passed away many years ago, he would sing Naats and Nasheeds. He also had beautiful writing. When he learnt to write my father said, “Your first letter will be written to Hadhrat Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Allah have mercy upon him).” When Hadhrat Thanwi received the letter, he replied, “It is pleasing to see you can write in such a fashionable way. But make your intention to write in such a nice manner, that it makes it easy for people to read, I am making you into a Sufi.”
People have different definitions of ‘Sufis’, a true Sufi is he who does everything for Allah. Not the one who flies in the skies!
It is vital we correct our intentions on every action we carry out. Mufti Saheb then mentioned the Hadith of the first group of people being thrown into Hell; one of which will be Ulama, those who learnt Ilm and taught for other than Allah.
Allah save us. Ameen.
Hadhrat Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani Saheb (Hafidhahullah) is one of the leading Islamic scholars living today. He is an expert in the fields of Islamic Jurisprudence, Economics, Hadith and Tasawwuf.
Born in Deoband in 1362H(1943 CE), he graduated par excellence form Dars e Nizami at Darul Uloom, Karachi, Pakistan. Then he specialized in Islamic Jurisprudence under the guidance of his eminent father, Mufti Muhammad Shafi RH, the late Grand Mufti of Pakistan. Since then, he has been teaching hadith and Fiqh at the Darul-Uloom, Karachi.
My Lord, I come to Your door as a beggar complete indigence, bringing only my humility and shame. A beggar who has neither a joli nor a begging-bowl.A beggar slain by his desires and cravings. Having squandered the treasure of Deen and intellect at the hands of the ego; Having sacrificed contentment of heart at the altar of lust and pleasure.
Losing my wealth in the quick-sand of heedlessness and sin. I have come to seek refuge under the covering of your Kaabah. Through the stains of sin the heart’s world is suffering. Aspirations are weak, the will broken and hope is dead. From whence should I find the strength to express the heart truly?
For in this snare have I passed every moment of my life. In short, having been burnt at the stake of my own ill-deeds. In abject poverty due to the evil of my state. To you have I brought my ill-stricken fate. Empty-handed of any deed befitting your House.
This House of yours, which is your court of Love and Grace, O Lord Tis wholly Light and the repository of all Lights O Lord Being completely ignorant of the manners of your Doorstep. A beggar knowing not how to beg. My tongue fails to convey my heart’s feeling. O Lord, have mercy on this wordless speech! These eyes are dry, O Lord, knowing not how to weep Festering spots in the heart that can’t be cleansed out. O my Lord I have come to your door as a beggar wholly indigent, in abject humility and full of shame.