Power, Fasting in Shaban, Dealing with TV
Issue 538 » July 17, 2009 - Rajab 24, 1430
Al-Isra (The Night Jorney)
Chapter 17: Verse 80 (partial)
It is a reality of our world that power only respects power. For transforming society and the world according to Islamic ideals, great power needs to be acquired and mobilised. This is why the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, prayed and worked for gaining power and authority as mentioned in this verse of the Quran.
Power is crucial for advancing positive values and changes in society and for checking corruption and evil. However, it is only a means and not an objective in itself. Power is for Islam, for implementing Islamic values and justice, for the betterment of humanity and not for any personal or national vested interests. Islam stresses that power should be accountable and accessible, and not become an instrument of manipulation, persecution, aggression and injustice.
Power takes many forms and is generally distributed unevenly through society. Besides faith in Allah, determination, cohesion and moral power, other sources of power that can be mobilised by a movement include: money, material resources, technology, sources of information, media and political platforms, as well as skills and specialised knowledge.
Islam instructs Muslims to seek means for strengthening themselves - they should endeavour to become strong in faith, strong spiritually and morally, strong socially, physically, intellectually, financially, and militarily. Although corrupt elements did their utmost to eliminate the Prophet Muhammad and his Companions and resisted reforms and changes in society, he was however alert to their plots and prepared his social movement well to meet their aggressions and hostilities.
"Building A New Society" - Zahid Parvez, pp. 203, 204
Fasting in Shaban
Ayesha said: "I never saw the Messenger of Allah fast a complete month except for Ramadan, and I have never seen him fast more in a month than he did in Shaban." [Bukhaari, Muslim]
Usamah ibn Zaid inquired: "O Messenger of Allah, I never find you fasting in any month like you do during the month of Shaban." The Prophet responded: "That is the month the people neglect. It comes between Rajab and Ramadan. It is a month in which the deeds are raised to the Lord of the Worlds. I love that my deeds be raised while I am fasting." [An-Nasaa'i, authenticated by ibn Khuzaimah. Hasan according to al-Albaani]
Narrated Abu Hurairah, Allah's Messenger said: "When the month of Shaban is halfway, do not fast." [Reported by the five, Ahmad disapproved it].
As-San`aanee says in Subul us-Salaam: "One can fast provided he has to observe a compensatory fasting (in lieu of the Fard - obligatory ones) or the other prescribed ones which may be categorised as Wajib (compulsory). However, the volitional fasting is prohibited lest one should be subjected to exhaustion and weakness that may in turn render the Ramadan obligatory fasting difficult for him."
Six Tips To Dealing with TV
It's tough to escape peer pressure when your friends keep talking about the clothes, the music and the stars. Today, Television defines teen culture. With its barrage of alluring advertisements and captivating shows, it tells you what is cool and what is 'in' and 'out. Let Islam, not the media, decide your dress code, morals, and values.
1. Watch what is Halal. Stick to the most "clean" material you can find. TV should be used with discretion to watch educational and insightful programs or decent entertainment.
2. Remove the TV from your room. Having a TV set in your own room encourages you to watch it more. You are less likely to be tempted by Shaytan to watch something indecent when you have a parent, a sibling, or a friend watching with you. Remember, Shaytan loves attacking people who are 'bored', sitting idle, or in a company of bad people. Keep the TV in the main room, where it won't distract you.
3. Adopt and support Islamic media. Hundreds of educational or entertainment multi-media products crafted by Muslim artists, writers, producers, and singers hit the market every year. These cartoons, movies, and songs could be enjoyable for the entire family!
4. Limit viewing time. If you have to watch TV, limit yourself. Write down a number of hours per week and stick to your limit.
5. Keep the box off when you're doing other things. Whether you're eating dinner, doing your homework, or reading a magazine, you dont need the TV to be on at the same time--keeping it on simply encourages you to watch TV more and neglect other activities.
6. Have a TV free get-together with friends. Make the following rule: no one will watch TV or movies in the living room. If you want to go further, make it a rule that the topics of conversation cannot revolve around the latest twist in a soap opera or the most recent plot on a sci-fi show. Play basketball, go for a walk, do anything but watch TV.
"Turn off TV - Turn on Life" - Young Muslims Publications