Issue 103 » February 2, 2001 -




"They impress on you as a favour that they have embraced Islam. Say: 'Do not consider your Islam as a favour upon me. No indeed, it is Allah who has favoured you by guiding you to the Faith (Iman), if you were true and sincere."

[Al-Quran- Sura Al-Hujurat 49:17]


Historical Background:
The above verse was revealed after some people from Bani Asad came to visit the Prophet (peace be upon him). They said they had come on their own accord, that he (Prophet) had not even sent any person to them to convey the message of Islam. It is related that once during a drought, some people from the tribes of Bani Asad came to Madina and asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) for some financial help and repeatedly said, "We became Muslims without any conflict; we did not (even) fight against you the way some other tribes fought you." By this they clearly meant to point out that their refraining from fighting against the Prophet (pbuh) and the very fact that they accepted Islam, was a favour for which they must be rewarded by the Prophet (pbuh) and the Muslims. It was this same attitude and conduct of the Bedouins living around Madina, which is being criticized by Allah in these verses. Everytime these type of people came to the Prophet (pbuh) demanding something, and pretending to be sincere Muslims, Allah exposed their inner states to the Muslim community.

Our State Today:
  • What is our state of Iman (faith) today? Just imagine today's Muslims living during the time of Prophet (pbuh).....What would his reaction be to our state? But regardless of what others think, let us remember, Allah knows the inner states of our hearts.
  • WE are very lucky indeed to have such a HUGE favour from Allah, i.e. Islam! To have been born into a Muslim family and to have been born with the thirst of knowledge and to have such a big and pure heart which may continue to grow in our quest of striving for Islam.
  • However let us not forget the fact "that it is by His Grace you became brothers (in faith), and you were standing on the brink of the Pit of Fire and then He saved you from it." (Quran 3: 103)
[By Br. Ahmer Ali, University of Toronto, Mississauga]
continued from issue # 102....
Ramadan and Eid are no longer unknown to many non-Muslims in America. They are now mentioned along with Christmas and Hannukah, as media coverage of Ramadan this year indicates. That said, though, there will always be that new student, your child's teacher next year, or a boss and co-worker who need to know about our celebrations, as well as issues which concern us.
One good project to work on is creating more awareness of Islam in schools and the workplace. There are still issues which cause mis-understanding and confusion. Hijab, prayer and Friday prayers are still
issues of contention in a number of workplaces and schools.
To be continued in the next issue....
[Taken from www.SoundVision.com]
Thought-provoking Bits from Islamic Literature
Time is far more precious than gold!
(A Nasiha from Imam Hassan Al-Banna)
"...I have looked into the saying, 'Time is made of gold', and I do not approve of it. Time is far more precious than gold, for time is life. Is it not true that your life is nothing but a few hours and you never know when they will end? Dearest brother, be stringent with your time and do not spend it except in that which is significant, and acquire pleasure in that which is lawful.
In the heavens there is calmness and on the earth there is beauty. In the gardens there is freshness and in you there is a sign. In the sea there is might and in the air there is nourishment. Take from all this comfort for your soul and recovery for your mind. And do not waste your time by being unmindful, this will shield you from good and lead you to evil ..."
[Taken from "LETTER TO A MUSLIM STUDENT" by Hasan al-Banna (Rahimahullah:1906-1949)]
Reflections on Tazkiya and Self-Development
Genuine Effort is required
Following are the prerequisites of Tazkiya (Self-development):
3- Genuine Effort :
In order to succeed, you must have a deep desire to make a genuine effort to fulfill your obligations as a Muslim, as Allah says in the Quran: "But as for those who strive hard in Our cause - We shall most certainly guide them onto paths that lead unto Us: for, behold God is indeed with the doers of good. [al-Ankabut 29: 69.]
With desire, of course, come actions. But know that it is not solely the results of your endeavours that count; what matters most is that you made your best effort. This is a very important point to appreciate because without genuine effort nothing can happen. Those who think that Prayer alone can work miracles are not living in a realistic world. Prayers are part of the effort, but Prayers are not the whole answer. If you pray, `Allah! Guide me and make me good', it is not going to bring you any benefit unless you are also determined to become good and make an effort towards becoming good. Once you have done the latter two things, then, of course, Prayer will be a source of baraka or Divine grace that will further inspire and strengthen your efforts. The initial desire and the ensuing effort to do and become good, is part of the continuing process of self development, a process that may begin at any point in life that you choose and continue till your last breath.
There will never be a point when you will be able to say that you are now a perfect person or that you have achieved your full potential. If at any point you feel so, then be sure that is the starting point of your downfall, On the other hand, you may find that the greater your desire to fulfill your obligations as a Muslim, the more you feel beset or plagued by frustration, despondency and despair in your heart and mind. All of us, whether young or old, have experienced these diseases, and often just give up. What we should try to remember at such times is that it is the intention and effort that matters, not the result. This effort must be a continuing process.
To be continued in the next issue....
[Taken from "In the Early Hours" by Ustadh Khurram Murad (Rahimahullah), edited by Riza Mohammed. Now also available at http://www.youngmuslims.ca/online_library/default.asp]
15 Points on the Wisdom of Prohibition of Alcohol
Following is a list of reasons and wisdom behind the prohibition of drinking alcohol in Islam:
4- Alcohol prevents people from remembering God.
5- It prevents and/or delays Muslims from performing their daily prayers. Even if they pray they will not understand the meaning and significance of what they are doing and saying. As Allah says in Surah An-Nisa (4:43), "O you who believe! Do not attempt to pray while you are drunk, with a mind befogged, until you can understand what you are saying...."
6- Those who drink will be denied Paradise. As the Prophet (peace be upon him) said in a Hadith, "There are three persons to whom God has forbidden Paradise: One who is addicted to alcohol beverages, an undutiful son, and a cuckold who connives in his womenfolk's adultery."
To be continued in the next issue....
[Compiled from "The Adolescent Life" by Dr. Ahmad Sakr]