Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Eyewitnesses inside Gaza

Live dialogue with a journalist based in Gaza taken from islamonline.net

Saleh Al-Naami - Journalist, Gaza
Monday,Dec 29 ,2008

How is this attack on Gaza different from the other attacks, is Hamas capable of controlling things inside Strip now?

It is obvious that the ongoing Israeli attacks on Gaza are very different in many ways from previous attacks in both Gaza and West Bank.This is a campaign not witnessed since 1967. First, the scale of attack and air raids is immense. Israel until now has dropped about 500 tons of explosives on Gaza. They have dropped bombs that weigh up to one ton from F 16 fighter jets.

Secondly, they dropped these explosives on institutions during work hours.They targeted all kinds of institutions, even houses of worship.

Today alone, Israelis bombed 5 mosques. A prominent mosque is in Jabalia and a nearby house was completely demolished and five girls inside were killed, one of them is 4 years old.

They have targeted peoples homes unlike before when they used to attack mainly public institutions.

As to how Hamas currently manages Gaza, it is fair to say that many key institutions have been damaged, such as police centers and government offices. But people all rally around Hamas because they know it is the one Israel is trying to eradicate Resistance before it stretches its occupation all over the territories.

Hamas is doing its best and people are rallying around it. This possibly against what the Israeili government anticipates.

Are Israeli strikes precise enough as they claim to not hit civilians?
With the populous nature of the Strip, what is the margin of error?

Of course they are very precise in attacking their intended targets, such as mosques, civilian population, gov. institutions..etc.

They are very precise about that. Israel claims that it does not target civilians and that some of these may be killed by mistake in attacks.

This can be understood say if a militant compound is near a mosque or populated neighborhood. But this never is the fact.

A lot of times they target Mosques that and people's homes intentionally in order to make these people revolt against Resistance, but this only backfires on the Israelis. Some of them are now acknowledging this and say that these attacks may even strip Abbas from any legitimacy and and further empower Hamas.

So yes, They are precise in killing civilians and that is their intentions.

What is the real reason of Israel attack on Gaza?

Israel says the reason is to stop resistance groups from attacking Israeli villages with rockets. Whether this is true is a totally different story. During the six month truce, Israel constantly attacked Gaza and imposed a heinous siege on its people. Israel stifled the whole population without food, medicine or Gas.

This is during the truce, when no rockets were fired.
So,the reason then for the Israeli massive attack on Gaza is something different from what they claim. Now the only reason I can think of as an individual who lives in Gaza is this:

Gaza has proved its resistance to the Zionist project for building empire in the Middle East. They (Zionists) want to crash the last strongholds of Resistance in Palestine to make it easy then to take over it and bring back their armed settlers.

source - http://www.islamonline.net/livedialogue/english/Browse.asp?hGuestID=5f2550

And they say Islam is a 'religion of terror'..

If you haven't found out already..

Missiles rained on Gaza..

Everything in their path was destroyed..

More than 350 Palestinians were killed..

More than 1400 were injured..

Many were made up civilians.. including the aged, women and children

The US Government say Israel has the right to defend themselves

As it stands for now, only 2 Israelis have been killed and a few others wounded..

And the missiles keep coming..


Islam sets down clear guidelines as to when war is ethically right, and clear guidelines as to how such a war should be conducted.

In brief, war is permitted:

* in self defence
* when other nations have attacked an Islamic state
* if another state is oppressing its own Muslims

War should be conducted:

* in a disciplined way
* so as to avoid injuring non-combatants
* with the minimum necessary force
* without anger
* with humane treatment towards prisoners of war

Muslims must only wage war according to the principles of Allah's justice.

{Those who believe fight in the Cause of Allah, and those who disbelieve fight in the cause of Taghut (Satan)..} -Qur'an 4:76

Islam allows war in self-defence (Qur'an 22:39), to defend Islam (rather than to spread it), to protect those who have been removed from their homes by force because they are Muslims (Qur'an 22:40), and to protect the innocent who are being oppressed (Qur'an 4:75).

The conduct of war

Islam bans the killing of non-combatants (Qur'an 2:190), or of a combatant who has been captured.

Muslims are forbidden from attacking wounded soldiers (unless the wounded person is still fighting).

The Prophet's view of non-combatants is shown by a hadith in which Muhammad sees a woman killed in the battlefield and condemns the action.

When an enemy is defeated he should be made prisoner rather than be killed:

{So when you meet (in fight - Jihad in Allah's Cause) those who disbelieve, then smite (their) necks till when you have killed and wounded many of them, then bind a bond firmly (on them i.e. take them as captives). Thereafter (is the time) either for generosity (i.e. free them without ransom), or ransom (according to what benefits Islam), until the war lays down its burden..}
Qur'an 47:4

Abu Bakr (the First Caliph) gave these rules to an army he was sending to battle:

Do not commit treachery or deviate from the right path.

You must not mutilate dead bodies.

Neither kill a child, nor a woman, nor an aged man.

Bring no harm to the trees, nor burn them with fire, especially those which are fruitful.

Slay not any of the enemy's flock, save for your food.

You are likely to pass by people who have devoted their lives to monastic services; leave them alone

- Abu Bakr

A noble example of ideal Muslim conduct of war is the capture of Jerusalem by Saladin in 1187. Although a number of holy Muslim places had been violated by Christians, Saladin prohibited acts of vengeance, and his army was so disciplined that there were no deaths or violence after the city surrendered. The residents were taken prisoner, but their ransom was set at a token amount. (source --> http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/islam/islamethics/war.shtml)


Quote from "Ar-Raheequl-Makhtum", The Sealed Nectar, a biography of the Noble Prophet(s.a.w) pg 684, during Dhul-Qa'dah, 6 A.H. about the Muslims' efforts under the leadership of Prophet Muhammad(s.a.w) to propagate Islam in the Arabian Peninsula bearing in mind, during that period, the Arab idolaters were claiming religious leadership and were always the war instigators..

"The Muslims did not have in mind to seize people's property or kill them through bloody wars, nor did they ever think or using any compulsive approaches in their efforts to propagate Islam, on the contrary, their sole target was to provide an atmosphere of freedom in ideology or religion:

"Then whosoever wills, let him believe, and whosoever wills, let him disbelieve" [al-Kahfi 18:29]

Saturday, December 27, 2008

In search for the truth..

I'd like to quote this metephor shared by bro Nazmi in one of his comments in a previous article of mine,

"Our house is under vicious attack. The roof is on fire and the windows have been broken into. Enemies have surrounded the perimeter and day and night launch their most destructive firepower on the existing foundation. Inside, we stand in the kitchen arguing about who is going to do the dishes"

Yes, that's what happening among some Muslims out there, lashing out at each other, not by wisdom, basic courtesy or arguing to eventually come to a point of agreement of the truth but with total disrespect for one another, inciting hatred and resentment, trying hard to proof one another who's right or wrong in their own opinions, who's Sunnah or not, some even branding each other as enemies, while in reality they are brothers in Islam.

This brings us to the question. Are what they doing and the way they're doing it really Sunnah at all?

For me, I would generally try hard to avoid involvement in such provocative arguments that only wastes time, energy and would not benefit in any way.

Wouldn't it be better if those energy and time were spent thinking and working together to help improve the Muslim community, to excel and have a strong belief that Islam is strong by itself, in its own way, to prove that Islam is a religion that is practical for all in every situation and period of time? And even to direct those arguments to others who're posing a more serious threat to Islam?

Still, I'm gonna touch a little on the Wahhabi issue. Yes, again. Which is one of the topics of argument.

Well what is Wahhabi? No it's not a bird or a plane.. no relation to 'Wasabe' even. Some say they are a sect that has deviated from the Islamic creed. Some say that they are those who are in Saudi. Some say Wahhabis and Salafis are the same. Some say,"Beware of Wahhabis at all cost!!", Some say they are those who practice Islam differently from what we practice at home.

Ok. What do I say?

I say, Wahhabi is just a term that have been manufactured and propagated widely to make already confused Muslims even more confused! That Wahhabis don't exist.

This is my opinion after doing some research of my own from both sides, "anti-Wahhabis" (who are made up of some very sincere practicing Muslims who totally respect the Sunnah and follow their traditions and leaders well) and the so-called "Wahhabis"(who are made up of some very sincere practicing Muslims who totally respect, follow and propagate the Sunnah and don't even know why they have been labelled Wahhabis)

This is what I have found out and I stand by my view.

Now, I'm not going to ask you to immediately believe in what I've just suggested. No no. Not for now, anyway. That would be believing in something blindly which is really not recommended in Islam. I may be right. But then, I'm also a normal human being, prone to making mistakes and I definitely may be wrong! Rather, I'm suggesting for those who are interested, not to judge firstly, but to keep an open mind, do your own research and find out for yourselves.

Then, only after learning from both sides of the story, decide for yourselves which is more accurate.Whether there is really such thing as Wahhabi or that Wahhabis do really exist as others might suggest.

At least then, it would be your own opinion and not under the influence of someone else's. That you have strived to search for the truth, have been fair and just in your judgement and not being biased, relying only on one half of the story and being totally ignorant of the other.

Because, in the end, we are the one's who will be responsible for our own actions... May Allah guide us all to the truth and also guide us whenever we forget or fall into error. Ameen.

And Allah SWT knows best.


Excerpt from this book.. "Siapakah Ahli Sunnah yang sebenar" by Dr Azwira Abdul Aziz link here --> Click!

Jika dilihat dari sudut bahasa, perkataan Wahabiyyah itu sangat quddus (suci) kerana ia berasal daripada perkataan Wahhab yang merupakan salah satu daripada nama Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala (Al-Wahhab). Perkataan Wahhab itu juga sinonim dengan nama ayahnya ‘Abd Al-Wahhab, manakala namanya yang sebenar (Muhammad) menyamai nama Nabi Shallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam. Jika dilihat dari segi kesesuaian nama, sepatutnya gerakan itu digelar Muhammadi dan bukannya Wahabi, kerana orang yang dianggap sebagai pengasas gerakan itu bernama Muhammad dan bukannya Wahhab.

Persoalannya, kenapakah suatu gerakan yang dianggap sesat itu digelar dan dinisbahkan kepada nama Allah yang Maha Quddus, dan juga kenapakah ia dinisbahkan kepada nama ayah dan bukan kepada nama sebenar tokoh berkenaan? Sebenarnya, penulis sendiri sejak sekian lama tertanya-tanya berkenaan hal ini, sehinggalah seorang sahabat mengisyaratkan kepada kewujudan sebuah risalah yang membahaskan persoalan tersebut.

Risalah itu mencatatkan bahawa istilah Wahabiyyah itu pada asalnya adalah gelaran bagi puak-puak Khawarij yang muncul di kawasan Utara Afrika dan Maghribi. Ia dinisbahkan kepada pimpinan puak Khawarij kerajaan Ar-Rustumiyyah bernama ‘Abd Al-Wahhab Ar-Rustumi dan juga pimpinan puak Khawarij Al-Haruriyyah yang bernama ‘Abd Allah Ibn Wahab Al-Wasibi. Kedua-dua puak Khawarij ini muncul lama sebelum kemunculan gerakan dakwah islah Muhammad Ibn ‘Abd Al-Wahhab [Muhammad ibn Sa’ad Ash-Shuwai’ir, Tashih Khata’ Tarikhi Haula Al-Wahhabiyyah, 1413H, Hal: 4, Dalam Prof. Nasir Ibn ‘Abd Al-Karim Al-’Aql, Islamiyyah La Wahhabiyyah, Dar Kunuz Isybiliya, Riyadh, Arab Saudi, 2004, Hal: 36]

Oleh kerana ada persamaan pada nama mereka dari segi kewujudan perkataan wahhab itu, maka persamaan itu, yang lebih merupakan satu “kebetulan”, diambil kesempatan oleh para pendukung bid’ah untuk mengaitkan gerakan islah Muhammad Ibn ‘Abd Al-Wahhab dengan puak berkenaan. Dengan memberinya gelaran puak Khawarij, maka mereka telah berjaya memburukkan imej gerakan islah Muhammad Ibn ‘Abd Al-Wahhab pada kaca mata sebahagian besar umat Islam yang jahil. Akibatnya,usaha baik yang dilancarkan untuk memurnikan tauhid, membetulkan aqidah dan menghidupkan Sunnah Nabi Shallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam telah disalah anggap sebagai gerakan Khawarij yang menyimpang daripada ajaran Islam.

Imej gerakan dakwah islah Muhammad Ibn ‘Abd Al-Wahhab itu menjadi lebih buruk apabila para pendukung bid’ah dengan niat yang jahat sengaja mengaitkannya dengan faktor kejatuhan kerajaan ‘Uthmaniyyah Turki (akan dijelaskan dalam perbincangan Tohmahan 7, insyaAllah). Manakala pada hari ini, terutamanya selepas peristiwa 11 September, istilah wahabiyyah digunakan secara negatif pula oleh media-media barat bagi menggambarkan para pendukung Sunnah yang berpegang teguh dengan ajaran Islam sebagai fundamentalis, ekstrimis, pengganas dan militan agama. Apa yang menyedihkan persepsi negatif barat ini diterima pakai oleh umat Islam sendiri sehingga mereka turut memerhatikan saudara seislam mereka melalui kaca mata barat. Wala Haula Wala Quwwata Illa Billah.


Excerpt from al-Halal wa al-Haram fi Al-Islam(Halal Dan Haram Dalam Islam - edisi Melayu 1980) by Dr Yusuf al-Qaradawi

Saya melihat kebanyakan para peyelidik Islam di zaman moden ini hampir-hampir terbahagi dalam dua golongan:

Golongan Pertama: pandangannya disambar oleh kilauan kebudayaan barat; dan berhala yang besar ini ditakuti mereka sehingga kebudayaan itu disembahnya. Dan untuk ini mereka lakukan dengan penuh pengorbanan serta berdiri di hadapannya dengan menundukkan pandangannya dengan penuh kerendahan. Cara berfikir dan tradisi barat ini mereka jadikan sebagai suatu persoalan yang diterima yang tidak perlu ditentang dan diperdebatkan. Kalau Islam itu sesuai dengan fikiran dan tradisi barat, mereka berusaha menyambutnya; tetapi kalau bertentangan, mereka berusaha mencari jalan untuk mendekatkan, atau beralasan, atau mentakwil dan merubahnya, yang seolah-olah Islam itu diharuskan tunduk kepada kebudayaan barat, filsafat barat dan tradisi barat.

Demikian menurut apa yang dapat kami tangkap dari pembicaraan mereka tentang sesuatu yang diharamkan oleh Islam, misalnya; patung, lotri, riba, free love, penonjolan anggota wanita, laki-laki memakai emas dan sutera dan sebagainya.

Mereka lupa bahawa Islam itu Kalamullah (perkataan Allah), sedang Kalamullah itu selamanya tinggi; ia diikuti, bukan mengikuti, ia tinggi tidak dapat diatasi. Oleh kerana itu bagaimana mungkin Allah akan mengikuti hambaNya; bagaimana pula Khaliq(pencipta) mengikuti makhluk(yang dicipta)?

Firman Allah:

“Andaikata kebenaran itu mengikuti hawanafsu meraka, niscaya langit dan bumi ini serta makhluk yang di dalamnya akan rosak!” (Surah al-Mu’minun:71)

“Katakanlah Muhammad! Apakah di antara sekutu-sekutumu ada yang dapat menunjukkan ke jalan yang benar? Katakanlah: Allahlah yang menunjukkan ke jalan yang benar. Apakah Zat yang menunjukkan ke jalan yang benar itu yang lebih patut diikuti ataukah orang yang tidak dapat memimpin kecuali (sesudah) dia dipimpin (itu yang lebih patut diikuti)? Bagaimana kamu berbuat begitu? Bagaimana kamu mengambil keputusan?" (Surah Yunus: 35)

Golongan kedua: terlalu apatis, fikirannya beku dalam menilai beberapa masalah halal dan haram, kerana mengikuti apa yang sudah ditulis dalam kitab-kitab, dengan suatu anggapan, bahawa itu adalah Islam. Pendapatnya sama sekali tidak mahu bergesar, walaupun seutas rambut; tidak mahu berusaha untuk menguji kekuatan dalil yang dipakai oleh mazhabnya untuk dibandingkan dengan dalil-dalil yang dipakai orang lain, guna mengambil suatu kesimpulan yang benar sesudah ditimbang dan diteliti.

Apabila mereka ditanya tentang hukumnya musik, nyanyian, catur, mengajar perempuan, perempuan membuka wajah dan tangannya dan sebagainya, maka kata-kata yang paling mudah keluar dari mulutnya ataupun penanya yang berguris, adalah ‘haram’.

Golongan ini lupa etika yang dipakai oleh salafus-shalih (para sahabat, tabi’in dan atba’uttaabi’in), di mana mereka sama sekali tidak pernah mengatakan haram, kecuali setelah diketahuinya dalil yang mengharamkannya dengan positif. Sedang yang belum begitu jelas, mereka mengatakan: “Kami membenci”,”Kami tidak suka”, dan sebagainya.

Saya sendiri berusaha tidak termasuk pada salah satu dari dua golongan di atas.

Saya tidak rela – demi membela agamaku – untuk menjadikan Barat sebagai suatu penyembahan, sesudah saya menerima Allah sebagai Tuhanku, Islam sebagai agamaku dan Muhammad sebagai Rasul!

Saya pun tidak rela – rasionalku – terikat dengan suatu mazhab, dalam seluruh persoalan dan masaalah, salah benar hanya mengikut suatu mazhab. Seorang muqallid (pengikut) menurut Ibn Jauzi: “Tidak dapat dipercaya tentang apa yang diikutinya itu, dan taqlid itu sendiri sudah menghilangkan erti rasional, sebab rasional dicipta buat berfikir dan menganalisa. Buruk sekali orang yang diberi lilin tetapi dia berjalan dalam kegelapan.”

Benar! Memang saya tidak akan berusaha untuk mengikatkan diriku pada salah satu mazhab fiqh yang ada di dunia ini. Sebab kebenaran itu bukan dimiliki oleh suatu mazhab sahaja. Dan imam-imam mazhab itu sendiri tidak pernah menganjurkan demikian. Mereka hanya berijtihad untuk mengetahui yang benar. Jika ternyata ijtihad mereka itu salah, akan mendapat satu pahala; dan jika benar, akan mendapat dua pahala.

Imam Malik r.a. berkata: “Setiap orang, kata-katanya boleh diambil dan boleh juga ditolak, kecuali Nabi Muhammad s.a.w.”

Imam Syafi’i r.a. berkata: “Apa yang saya anggap benar, mungkin juga salah; dan yang saya anggap salah, mungkin juga benar.”

Oleh kerana itu tidak pantas seorang muslim yang berpengetahuan (alim) dan memililki peralatan untuk menimbang dan menguji, bahawa dia akan menjadi tahanan oleh suatu mazhab, atau tunduk kepada pendapat seorang ahli fiqh. Tetapi seharusnya dia mahu menjadi tawanan hujjah dan dalil. Selama dalil itu sah dan hujjahnya kuat, maka dialah yang lebih patut diikuti. Kalau sanadnya itu lemah dan hujjahnya pun tidak kuat, dia harus ditolak tidak memandang siapapun yang mengatakannya.

Justeru itulah sejak awal lagi Ali r.a. mengatakan: “Jangan kamu kenali kebenaran itu kerana manusianya, tetapi kenalilah kebenaran itu, maka kamu akan kenal orangnya.” (m/s 2-5 Halal Dan Haram Dalam Islam)

Just to add.. Tidak salah untuk bermazhab, tapi salah apabila kita bersikap extrim, taksub kepada seseorang atau sesuatu pendapat, hingga enggan mengubah kebiasaan terhadap pendapat yang diikuti sejak sekian lama walaupun telah mengetahui adanya bukti(dalil) yang sahih dan kuat diantara hadis-hadis Rasulullah s.a.w.

(di bawah petikan dari artikel di drmaza.com..)

...mereka tidak mendakwa menolak sunah Nabi. Tetapi apabila mereka dapati nas-nas (ayat-ayat) hadis yang tidak bersesuaian dengan selera, kepentingan, kebiasaan atau adat mereka, maka berbagai-bagai alasan diberikan agar dimandulkan isi kandungan hadis berkenaan sekalipun jelas kepada mereka kebenaran hadis tersebut.

Bukan kerana mereka tidak tahu hadis adalah rujukan yang benar dalam Islam namun kerana enggan mengubah kebiasaan atau ketaksuban terhadap pendapat yang diikuti sejak sekian lama.

Tokoh-tokoh cendekiawan Islam yang agung seperti para imam mazhab yang empat dan selain mereka sering menegaskan agar hal yang seperti ini tidak boleh dilakukan oleh seorang Muslim. Sebagai contohnya apa yang disebut oleh tokoh sarjana kita, al-Imam al-Syafii yang melambangkan ketaatan kepada nas-nas sunah dan kebebasan dirinya yang agung dari ketaksuban pendapat.

Beliau pernah berkata: “Setiap apa yang aku ucapkan lalu didapati hadis yang sahih yang diriwayatkan daripada Rasulullah menyanggahi pendapatku, maka hadis itu yang lebih utama, jangan kamu mengikutiku.” (Al-Zahabi, Siyar A’lam al-Nubala. 10/34, Beirut: Muassasah al-Risalah). Katanya juga: “Jika kamu dapati apa yang ada di dalam bukuku menyanggahi sunah Rasulullah s.a.w. maka berpeganglah dengan sunnah dan tinggalkanlah pendapatku.” (Al-Zahabi, Siyar A’ lam al-Nubala. 10/34).

Kata seorang rawi hadis yang besar iaitu al-Humaidi (meninggal 219H): Suatu hari al-Syafii meriwayatkan sebuah hadis. Aku bertanya: “Apakah engkau akan berpegang dengannya?” Dia menjawab: “Apakah engkau menganggap aku ini datang dari gereja, atau memakai tali pinggang Kristian sampai apabila aku mendengar sesuatu hadis daripada Rasulullah s.a.w. lalu aku tidak berpegang dengannya.” (Al-Zahabi, Siyar A’lam al-Nubala. 10/35).

Juga al-Imam al-Syafii: “Setiap hadis daripada Nabi s.a.w. adalah pendapatku, sekalipun kamu tidak mendengarnya daripadaku.” (Al-Zahabi, Siyar A’lam al-Nubala. 10/35). Katanya lagi: “Manusia telah sepakat bahawa sesiapa yang telah ternyata kepadanya sesuatu sunah daripada RasululLah s.a.w. maka tidak boleh dia meninggalkannya kerana pendapat seseorang dari kalangan manusia.” (Ibn Qayyim al-Jauziyyah, ‘Ilam al-Muwaqqi‘iin, 2/263).

Juga katanya: “Setiap perkara yang aku telah perkatakannya, sedangkan ada riwayat yang sahih di sisi ulama hadis daripada Nabi yang menyanggahi apa yang aku ucapkan, maka aku menarik balik ucapanku semasa hidupku dan selepas mati.” (Ibn Qayyim al-Jauziyyah, ‘Ilam al-Muwaqqi‘iin, 2/266). Sehingga beliau berkata: “Apabila sahihnya sesuatu hadis maka itulah mazhabku.” (Al- Zahabi, Siyar A’lam al-Nubala. 10/35).

Inilah imam yang agung. Melarang kita taksub kepada pandangannya tanpa melihat dalil sunah daripada Rasulullah. Demikian juga imam-imam agung yang lain, menyatakan pendirian yang sama. (petikan dari artikel --> http://drmaza.com/home/?p=404)


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Random shots

Photography is one of my favourite pastime.. depending on the situation though. I don't really go out and snap around for one whole day (maybe someday, insya Allah) with the exception of holiday trips or certain events of course, but when I see something interesting, i'd be one who would try to capture it, trying to make it look as 'artistic' as possible..

Ye-lah, sedar juga lah kan 'ke-ameteur-an' diri ni..

Here's a few photos of The Ka'bah, taken with my Sony Ericsson handphone.

The Ka'bah on a 500 riyal note

One week after Hajj

After Dzuhr prayers during Ramadhan

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

How to Benefit from the Qur'an

Just to share.. Article from Madeenah.com..

By Shaykhul Islaam Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah

Reference: Al Fawaa'id. P.20

If you want to benefit from the Quraan, then gather your heart when you read and listen to it, pay close attention, and be [mentally] present as one would be if he were in the presence of the One who spoke it (Allaah) Subhaanahu while he is speaking it (the Quraan), from Him [Allaah] to the slave. For indeed it is a speech from Him to you through the tongue of His messenger.

[Allaah] Ta'aala said:

"Verily, therein is indeed a reminder for him who has a heart or gives ear while he is heedful."

And this is because: The complete effect [of the Quraan] will not occur unless the following are combined:

[1] Something which possesses the ability to give a strong effect;

[2] A place that is susceptible [for the effect to take place];

[3] A condition for the effect to take place is met;

[4] A barrier which obstructs the effect from taking place is removed.

And the [aforementioned] verse incorporated all of these in the shortest, clearest and most substantial phrase.

For His saying;

"Verily, therein is indeed a reminder..."

is a reference to what has already been mentioned from the beginning of the Suraah to this point, and this is what possesses the ability to give a strong effect (the Quraan).

His saying:

"...for him who has a heart..."

This is the place which is susceptible for the effect to take place, and what is meant is: The heart which is alive, a heart which thinks and contemplates about Allaah. As [Allaah] Ta'aala said:

"This is only a Reminder and a plain Qur'aan. That he or it (Muhammad Sal-Allaahu 'alayhe Wa Sallam or the Qur'aan) may give warning to him who is living (a healthy minded the believer)..." [Ya-Seen/69-70]

Meaning: One who has a heart that is alive, and His saying:

"...or gives ear..."

Meaning: He concentrated and turned his sense of hearing to what is being said to him, and this is the condition that has to be met for the speech to have an effect.

His saying:

"...while he is heedful."

Meaning that his heart is present and witnessing, not absent. Ibnu Qutaybah said:

"He listened to the book of Allaah, while his heart and mind were present, and he was not in a state of inattentiveness nor absentmindedness."

And this is the indication to the barrier which prevents the effect from taking place, and it is the absentmindedness of the heart and its absence from thinking, pondering and looking at what is being said to him.

So if there is something that has an effect, which is the Quraan, and a place for that effect to take place, which is the heart that is alive, and the condition is met, which is concentration, and the barrier is removed, which is the preoccupation of the heart and its absence from the meaning of what is being said to it, and its departure to something else, the effect will take place, and it is the benefit and the reminder.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Marah. Cinta. Keimanan.

Islam meraikan perasaan seseorang. Perkara yang bersifat perasaan, agama tak paksa.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Heraclius and Prophet Muhammad

Taken from islamonline.net under Hadith Collections, 'Revelation' from Sahih Bukhari by Living Shari'ah Staff

Volume 1, Book 1, Number 6:

Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Abbas:

Abu Sufyan bin Harb informed me that Heraclius had sent a messenger to him while he had been accompanying a caravan from Quraish. They were merchants doing business in Sham (Syria, Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan), at the time when Allah's Apostle had truce with Abu Sufyan and Quraish infidels. So Abu Sufyan and his companions went to Heraclius at Ilya (Jerusalem). Heraclius called them in the court and he had all the senior Roman dignitaries around him. He called for his translator who, translating Heraclius's question said to them,

"Who amongst you is closely related to that man who claims to be a Prophet?"

Abu Sufyan replied,"I am the nearest relative to him (amongst the group)."

Heraclius said,"Bring him (Abu Sufyan) close to me and make his companions stand behind him."

Abu Sufyan added, Heraclius told his translator to tell my companions that he wanted to put some questions to me regarding that man (The Prophet) and that if I told a lie they (my companions) should contradict me."

Abu Sufyan added, "By Allah! Had I not been afraid of my companions labeling me a liar, I would not have spoken the truth about the Prophet. The first question he asked me about him was:

'What is his family status amongst you?'

I replied, 'He belongs to a good (noble) family amongst us.'

Heraclius further asked, 'Has anybody amongst you ever claimed the same (i.e. to be a Prophet) before him?'

I replied, 'No.'

He said, 'Was anybody amongst his ancestors a king?'

I replied, 'No.'

Heraclius asked, 'Do the nobles or the poor follow him?'

I replied, 'It is the poor who follow him.'

He said, 'Are his followers increasing decreasing (day by day)?'

I replied, 'They are increasing.'

He then asked, 'Does anybody amongst those who embrace his religion become displeased and renounce the religion afterwards?'

I replied, 'No.'

Heraclius said, 'Have you ever accused him of telling lies before his claim (to be a Prophet)?'

I replied, 'No. '

Heraclius said, 'Does he break his promises?'

I replied, 'No. We are at truce with him but we do not know what he will do in it.' I could not find opportunity to say anything against him except that.

Heraclius asked, 'Have you ever had a war with him?'

I replied, 'Yes.'

Then he said, 'What was the outcome of the battles?'

I replied, 'Sometimes he was victorious and sometimes we.'

Heraclius said, 'What does he order you to do?'

I said, 'He tells us to worship Allah and Allah alone and not to worship anything along with Him, and to renounce all that our ancestors had said. He orders us to pray, to speak the truth, to be chaste and to keep good relations with our Kith and kin.'

Heraclius asked the translator to convey to me the following, I asked you about his family and your reply was that he belonged to a very noble family. In fact all the Apostles come from noble families amongst their respective peoples. I questioned you whether anybody else amongst you claimed such a thing, your reply was in the negative. If the answer had been in the affirmative, I would have thought that this man was following the previous man's statement. Then I asked you whether anyone of his ancestors was a king. Your reply was in the negative, and if it had been in the affirmative, I would have thought that this man wanted to take back his ancestral kingdom.

I further asked whether he was ever accused of telling lies before he said what he said, and your reply was in the negative. So I wondered how a person who does not tell a lie about others could ever tell a lie about Allah. I then asked you whether the rich people followed him or the poor. You replied that it was the poor who followed him. And in fact all the Apostle have been followed by this very class of people. Then I asked you whether his followers were increasing or decreasing. You replied that they were increasing, and in fact this is the way of true faith, till it is complete in all respects.

I further asked you whether there was anybody, who, after embracing his religion, became displeased and discarded his religion. Your reply was in the negative, and in fact this is (the sign of) true faith, when its delight enters the hearts and mixes with them completely. I asked you whether he had ever betrayed. You replied in the negative and likewise the Apostles never betray.

Then I asked you what he ordered you to do. You replied that he ordered you to worship Allah and Allah alone and not to worship any thing along with Him and forbade you to worship idols and ordered you to pray, to speak the truth and to be chaste. If what you have said is true, he will very soon occupy this place underneath my feet and I knew it (from the scriptures) that he was going to appear but I did not know that he would be from you, and if I could reach him definitely, I would go immediately to meet him and if I were with him, I would certainly wash his feet.'

Heraclius then asked for the letter addressed by Allah's Apostle which was delivered by Dihya to the Governor of Busra, who forwarded it to Heraclius to read. The contents of the letter were as follows:

"In the name of Allah the Beneficent, the Merciful (This letter is) from Muhammad the slave of Allah and His Apostle to Heraclius the ruler of Byzantine. Peace be upon him, who follows the right path. Furthermore I invite you to Islam, and if you become a Muslim you will be safe, and Allah will double your reward, and if you reject this invitation of Islam you will be committing a sin by misguiding your Arisiyin (peasants).
(And I recite to you Allah's Statement:)
'O people of the scripture! Come to a word common to you and us that we worship none but Allah and that we associate nothing in worship with Him, and that none of us shall take others as Lords beside Allah. Then, if they turn away, say: Bear witness that we are Muslims (those who have surrendered to Allah).' (3:64).

Abu Sufyan then added, "When Heraclius had finished his speech and had read the letter, there was a great hue and cry in the Royal Court. So we were turned out of the court. I told my companions that the question of Ibn-*Abi-Kabsha) (the Prophet Muhammad[*Abu Kabshah was not the father of the Prophet but it was a mockery done by Abu Sufyan out of hostility against the Prophet]) has become so prominent that even the King of Bani Al-Asfar (Byzantine) is afraid of him. Then I started to become sure that he (the Prophet) would be the conqueror in the near future till I embraced Islam (i.e. Allah guided me to it)."

The sub narrator adds, "Ibn An-Natur was the Governor of llya' (Jerusalem) and Heraclius was the head of the Christians of Sham. Ibn An-Natur narrates that once while Heraclius was visiting ilya' (Jerusalem), he got up in the morning with a sad mood. Some of his priests asked him why he was in that mood? Heraclius was a foreteller and an astrologer. He replied, 'At night when I looked at the stars, I saw that the leader of those who practice circumcision had appeared (become the conqueror). Who are they who practice circumcision?' The people replied, 'Except the Jews nobody practices circumcision, so you should not be afraid of them (Jews). 'Just Issue orders to kill every Jew present in the country.' While they were discussing it, a messenger sent by the king of Ghassan to convey the news of Allah's Apostle to Heraclius was brought in. Having heard the news, he (Heraclius) ordered the people to go and see whether the messenger of Ghassan was circumcised. The people, after seeing him, told Heraclius that he was circumcised. Heraclius then asked him about the Arabs. The messenger replied, 'Arabs also practice circumcision.

'(After hearing that) Heraclius remarked that sovereignty of the 'Arabs had appeared. Heraclius then wrote a letter to his friend in Rome who was as good as Heraclius in knowledge. Heraclius then left for Homs. (a town in Syrian and stayed there till he received the reply of his letter from his friend who agreed with him in his opinion about the emergence of the Prophet and the fact that he was a Prophet. On that Heraclius invited all the heads of the Byzantines to assemble in his palace at Homs. When they assembled, he ordered that all the doors of his palace be closed. Then he came out and said, 'O Byzantines! If success is your desire and if you seek right guidance and want your empire to remain then give a pledge of allegiance to this Prophet (i.e. embrace Islam).'

(On hearing the views of Heraclius) the people ran towards the gates of the palace like onagers but found the doors closed. Heraclius realized their hatred towards Islam and when he lost the hope of their embracing Islam, he ordered that they should be brought back in audience. (When they returned) he said, 'What already said was just to test the strength of your conviction and I have seen it.' The people prostrated before him and became pleased with him, and this was the end of Heraclius's story (in connection with his faith).

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Master these basics..

Basics that looks simple on paper but many struggle with, their whole lives.. even for myself.. subhanAllah..

But we have to start somewhere, somehow and start NOW.. Don't wait till it's too late.. Time is precious my dear friends.. May Allah guide us, ease our struggles and grant us success..

Excerpt from 'The Ideal Muslim' by Muhammad Ali Al-Hashimi..

What Muslims need to know

The first thing that the Muslim needs to know is to read the Qur'an properly (with tajweed) and to understand its meaning. Then he should learn something of the sciences of hadith, the seerah of the Prophet (peace be upon him), and the history of the Sahaabah and Taabi'een, who are prominent figures in Islam. He should acquire as much knowledge of fiqh as he needs to ensure that his worship and daily dealings are correct, and he should ensure that he has a sound grasp of the basic principles of his religion. This is the duty of the Muslim who is not a specialist in the sciences of shari'ah. If he is a specialist in a branch of shari'ah, then he does what every Muslim should do, which is to do his best to learn his specialty thoroughly and be successful in it. It goes without saying that every Muslim also needs to learn Arabic properly


In addition to that, something that Muslims should take note as regards to seeking knowledge as a Muslim..

He should be proficient in his specialty

Besides this, the Muslim turns to his own specialty and gives it all of his energy and pays a great deal of attention to it. He approaches it like a Muslim who believes that it is a religious obligation to work in his field of specialization, whether it is in shari'ah or in another area of religious knowledge, or in another field such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, engineering, astronomy, medicine, industry, commerce, etc. Therefore he should become proficient in whatever field he has specialized in, and should spare no effort to read whatever has been written about it, both in his own language and in others if he is able to. He should keep abreast of developments in his field through continual reading and study of all its aspects. This is because, in these times, the smart Muslim is the one who achieves great academic success, which will raise his status in the eyes of other people. This in turn will enhance his da'wah, so long as he presents it sincerely and earnestly, and in accordance with the spirit of Islam and its teachings about knowledge.

Islam has made knowledge a duty, whereby the one who seeks it draws closer to Allah and adopts it as a means of earning His pleasure. So we see that the scholars of the early generation used to emphasize these sublime principles in their introductions to their books, because through the knowledge that they spent their lives spreading, they were seeking to earn the pleasure of Allah, and they presented the results of their study purely for His sake.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Aging in better perspective..

Excerpt from 'Tuesdays with Morrie' by Mitch Albom

Morrie had aging in better perspective.

"All this emphasis on youth - I don't buy it," he said.

"Listen, I know what a misery being young can be, so don't tell me it's so great. All these kids who came to me with their struggles, their strife, their feelings of inadequacy, their sense that life was miserable, so bad they wanted to kill themselves...

"And in addition to all the miseries, the young are not wise. They have very little understanding about life. Who wants to live every day when you don't know what's going on? When people are manipulating you, telling you to buy this perfume and you'll be beautiful, or this pair of jeans and you'll be sexy - and you believe them! It's such nonsense."

Weren't you ever afraid to grow old, I asked?

"Mitch , I embrace aging."

Embrace it?

"It's very simple. As you grow, you learn more. If you stayed at twenty-two, you'd always be as ignorant as you were at twenty-two. Aging is not just decay, you know. It's growth. It's more than the negative that you're going to die, and that you live a better life because of it."

Yes, I said, but if aging were so valuable, why do people always say,"Oh, if I were young again." You never hear people say, "I wish I were sixty-five."

He smiled. "You know what that reflects? Unsatisfied lives. Unfulfilled lives. Lives that haven't found meaning. Because if you've found meaning in you life, you don't want to go back. You want to go forward. You want to see more, do more. You can't wait until sixty-five.

"Listen. You should know something. All young people should know something. If you're always battling against getting older, you're always going to be unhappy, because it will happen anyhow."

"And Mitch?"

He lowered his voice.

"The fact is, you are going to die eventually."


"Mitch, it is impossible for the old not to envy the young. But the issue is to accept who you are and revel in that. This is your time to be in your thirties. I had my time to be in my thirties, and now is my time to be seventy-eight.

"You have to find what's good and true and beautiful in your life as it is now. Looking back makes you competitive. And, age is not a competitive issue."

He exhaled and lowered his eyes, as if to watch his breath scatter into the air.

"The truth is, part of me is every age. I'm a three-year-old, I'm a five-year-old, I'm a thirty-seven-year-old, I'm a fifty-year-old. I've been through all of them, and I know what it's like. I delight in being a child when it's appropriate to be a child. I delight in being a wise old man when it's appropriate to be a wise old man. Think of all I can be! I am every age, up to my own. Do you understand?"

I nodded.

"How can I be envious of where you are - when I've been there myself?"

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Hajj two-O-O-eight..

Alhamdulillah, I had the opportunity to perform Hajj again this year. This time, it was not performed on two wheels, but a bus trip from Mina to Arafah and then by my two feet from Arafah to Muzdalifah then to Mina.

While last year's was smooth sailing, alhamdulillah it was the same too this year, only with a more intensive workout and strenous for the legs. Till now, the muscles at the back of my ankle area is still sore. It's probably my own fault too, brisk walking the whole 2-3 hrs from Arafah to Muzdalifah. Dah lah lama tak exercise. Or maybe age is catching up with me.. Or maybe, tak cukup minum susu koot. Lack of calcium? Lack of proteins?

I guess now I have some idea how it was like during those days when modern transportation was non-existant.

But it was probably harder back then. Longer routes, scarcity of toilets, water, lights, improper resting areas and the list goes on. Masya Allah.

During a visit to a hajj camp, again I encountered people complaining at the slightest fault they find even when everything is readily available. Some even requesting for special preferences and would demand in an authoritative manner. What's with the arrogance? Pampered much we are. A'uzubillah min dzalik.

We have to view hajj in a broader sense, what is the purpose of hajj? What is the significance of all muslims donning the same type of clothes and having to follow the same set of rules, regardless of race or status.

Humans are all equals and the only difference is their state of piety and their deeds to Allah and none other. All the stature, comfort and riches of this world will be worth nothing if they are chased only for our own selfish desires. Death is inevitable. We will leave everything behind. What then, after death?

We must always remember where is our final destination, what's our purpose, our true goal in life and believe in what Allah have promised us if we keep working towards that ultimate goal. As Allah says in the Noble Qur'an:

{Verily, we have created man in the best stature (mould). Then we reduced him to the lowest of the low. Except those who believe (in Islamic Monotheism) and do righteous deeds. Then they shall have a reward without end (Paradise).}
(Surah At-Tin : 4-6).

Anyway, i'm at Mina currently, posting this through my sony ericsson K810i phone. We have to stay at Mina for at least 2-3 nights as part of the Hajj rituals. It seems to be less crowded as compared to last year, probably due to the stricter rules being imposed for outsiders and the advert of 'No Hajj without permit' vastly propagated through the media before that, hence resulting in a decrease of the number people willing to take the risk of performing hajj without a proper permit.

Hm, May Allah grant us ease and success towards performing and completing Haj. May Allah cleanse our hearts and purify our souls, guide us whenever we forget or fall into error and accept our deeds. May Allah grant us success with Paradise and protect us from the Hellfire. Ameen, ya Rabb al-'Alameen.

Alhamdulillah, for this repeated opportunity.

- on the way to Muzdalifah from Arafah (k810i)

None has the right to be worshipped except Allah alone, without partner, to Him belongs all soveriegnity and praise and He is over all things omnipotent.

Allah is Almighty!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Have a Soft Heart

Spotted at islamonline.net..

By Sheikh. Muhammad Al-Mukhtar Ash-Shanqiti
A Prominent Muslim Scholar — Saudi Arabia

There are many ways through which one can become deeply devout and pious and have a soft heart. The best and most important of such ways is to have deep faith in Almighty Allah. True believers who deeply understand Almighty Allah’s attributes and names revere Allah with all their hearts and show complete obedience to His teachings. Whenever they hear a verse of Almighty Allah’s Book or a hadith of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), they hasten to abide by the teaching implied therein, uttering in deep faith {We hear, and we obey. (We seek) Your forgiveness, our Lord. And to You is the return(of all)} (Al-Baqarah 2:285).

Things That Help One Attain Piety and Devotion

1. Understanding Almighty Allah’s Attributes and Names

When believers contemplate Almighty Allah’s names and attributes and believe that only in Almighty Allah’s hand is the dominion over all things and that only He Almighty can protect them but none can protect against Him Most High, they will do their best to vie in doing good and avoiding evil. Thus, understanding Allah’s attributes is the best and most important step that fills one’s heart with reverence for Almighty Allah and draws one closer and closer to Him Most High.

When you experience such a state, you will be ever mindful of Allah Almighty, and in every moment of your life, whether a moment of blessing or trial, your faith in Allah’s greatness and bounty is asserted.

One who truly knows Allah Almighty has a heart filled with awe of Him Most High. On the other hand, one who never cares about knowing Allah Almighty is far away from understanding His attributes. One who is in such a state is hardhearted and never beholds how severe Almighty Allah’s punishment may be and how limitless His mercy and bounty are. One who has no concern for knowing Almighty Allah deviates from the right path and is not bothered by violating Allah’s laws and teachings. The only aim such a one lives for is to get worldly pleasures.

Moreover, such a one keeps deviating from the right path, despairing of Allah’s mercy, for he or she is ignorant of Allah’s boundless forgiveness that He Most High grants to whoever returns to Him in repentance.

2. Contemplating Almighty Allah’s Book

It helps one become more pious and devout to contemplate Allah’s Book, whose verses guide one to the right path. Mind what Allah Most High says about His Book: {(This is) a Book, the Verses whereof are perfected (in every sphere of knowledge), and then explained in detail from One (Allah). Who is All-Wise Well-Acquainted (with all things)} (Hud 11:1).

When believers deeply contemplate the verses of Almighty Allah’s Book, their eyes fill with tears and their hearts turn unto Allah Most High in deep penitence. Their hearts in such a state are like a barren land that has bloomed after being watered with Allah’s illuminating words. They find themselves then thirsty for doing good for Allah’s sake and wholeheartedly willing to do what pleases Him Most High.

A true believer who reads Almighty Allah’s Book in deep contemplation feels great awe of Him Most High.

{Allah has sent down the Best Statement, a Book (this Qur'an), its part resembling each other (in goodness and truth) (and) oft-repeated. The skins of those who fear their Lord shiver from it (when they recite it or hear it). Then their skin and their heart soften to the remembrance of Allah. That is the Guidance of Allah. He guides therewith whom He wills; and whomever Allah sends astray, for him there is no guide}
(Az-Zumar: 23)

The influence of the Qur’an on its attentive listeners is amazing. There are some Companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) who embraced Islam immediately after listening to some of the Qur’anic verses. When they listened to these verses, they promptly believed in the truthfulness of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and gave up worshiping the idols, declaring faith in Almighty Allah alone.

We are to bear in mind that the Qur’an is the speech that the Only Lord directs to His creatures of mankind and jinn, and thus its teachings are to guide them to His right path. Allah Almighty guides the one who is keen to comprehend its words and contemplate its meanings. {And We have indeed made the Qur’an easy to understand and remember; then is there any that will remember (or receive admonition)?} (Al-Qamar 54:22).

3. Remembering the Day of Judgment

One of the things that help one get closer to Almighty Allah and hasten to return to Him in repentance is remembering the Day of Judgment. One must bear in mind that there is an end to every beginning, that after death there is no chance to reform one’s mistakes, and that one’s abode after this world is either Paradise or Hell.

When you deeply realize that the life of this world is temporary and that its pleasures will inevitably come to an end, this certainly will lead you to despise this world and return to Almighty Allah in sincere repentance. If you visit graves and reflect on the conditions of its dwellers and how, sooner or later, you will join them, you will realize the ineffectiveness of running after the worldly gains, and will, in deep awe, submit heart and soul to Almighty Allah’s will.