Friday, November 30, 2007

The Final Sajdah

A worshipper who passed away during sajood in Masjid an Nabawi
"Every person will be resurrected in the manner that he died" [Muslim, 2878]

Hardship & Gratitude

Received via e-mail from Brother Mamood Sultan

Here's an excellent reminder from the narrations of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam).

Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said:
' Indeed amazing are the affairs of a believer ! They are all for his benefit; If he is granted ease of living he is thankful; and this is best for him. And if he is afflicted with a hardship, he perseveres; and this is best for him.' [ Muslim ]

And Allah (SWT) said (which means); 'Certainly, We shall test you with fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits; but give glad tidings to the patient - those who, when afflicted with calamity say, 'Truly to Allah we belong, and truly to Him shall we return.' it is those who will be awarded blessings and mercy from their Lord; and it is those who are the guided ones.' [ 2:155-157 ]

Abu Hurayrah (radiallaahu anhu) reported that the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said: 'Hardships continue to befall a believing man and woman in their body, family, and property, until they meet Allah (SWT) burdened with no sins. ' [ Tirmithee ]

Abu Hurayrah (radiallaahu anhu) reported that the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said: 'Whenever Allah wills good for a person, He subjects him to adversity' [ Bukharee and others]

Abu Hurayrah (radiallaahu anhu) and Ka'b Bin Maalik (radiallaahu anhu) reported that the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said: 'The parable of a believer is that of a fresh and moist plant; the wind tilts it this way and that way; and so is the believer; he continues to be subject to affliction. And the parable of a hypocrite is that of a firm cedar tree; it does not shake - until it is uprooted all at once.' [ Bukharee and Muslim ]

'The most in their suffering among the people are the prophets, then the best, then the (next) best. One is afflicted in accordance with his deen (faith). If his deen is firm his affliction is hard, and if his deen is weak, his affliction is light. Indeed, one would be so much subjected to adversity until he walks among the people without any sins. ' [ Ahmad, Tirmithee ]

Anas (radiallaahu anhu) reported that the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said: 'When Allah wills good for a servant of His, He expedites his punishment in this life; and when He wills retribution for a servant of His, He holds his sins for Him to judge him by them on the Day of Resurrection. ' [ Tirmithee ]

Anas (radiallaahu anhu) reported that the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said: 'The amount of reward is in accordance with the amount of suffering. When Allah (SWT) loves some people, He tries them (with affliction). He who then is content (with Allah's decree) has achieved the acceptance (of Allah), and he who is dissatisfied (with Allah's decree) will attain the anger (of allah).' [ Tirmithee ]

Abu Sa'eed al-Khudree (radiallaahu anhu) reported that the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said: 'A muslim is not afflicted by hardship, sickness, sadness, worry, harm, or depression - even if pricked by a thorn, but Allah expiates his sins because of that. ' [ Bukharee and Muslim ]

Sa'eed said, ' I was with Salmaan (radiallaahu anhu) when he visited a sick man in Kindah ( in Persia ), and he said to him: ' Expect good because Allah (SWT) makes a believer’s sickness an expiation (for his sins) and a period of rest. However, when a disbeliever falls sick, he is like a camel whose owner ties it then lets it loose - it does not understand why it was tied nor why it was freed.'' [ Bukharee ]

'Aishah (radiallaahu anhu) narrated that once some pain afflicted the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) causing him to suffer and turn about in his bed. she said: ' Had one of us done this, you would have blamed him.' He (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) replied: 'An ailment is intensified for the righteous. Whenever a believer is afflicted by a hardship, whether it is a thorn or more, a sin is taken off from him because of it, and he is elevated by one rank (in Jannah). ' [ Ahmad ]

Abu Moosa Al-Ash'aree (radiallaahu anhu) narrated that the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said:
'For a travelling or sick person, his deeds will be recorded in accordance with what he used to do when he was resident or well.' [ Bukharee ]

'Abdullah Bin 'Amr (radiallaahu anhu)reported that the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said: 'If a Muslim is pricked by (as little as) a thorn in the worldly life, and he seeks its reward from Allah, some of his sins will be removed, because of it, on the Day of Judgement.' [ Bukharee ]

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Master Foods Status Update

Important Message received via e-mail from Brother Mamood Sultan:

There has been some recent confusion about what Master Foods has been up to with the recent Mars/animal fat issues. Needless to say, the following link has a (short!) list of what is vegetarian so anything that doesn't appear on this list, is not halal in the UK:

www.masterfoodsconsumercare.co.uk/veg_prodlst.asp
www.vegsoc.org/news/2007/mars.html

Also, it is worth noting as a couple of us here have been caught out by this one, Celebrations (mini Twix, Bounty, Mars, Milky Way…etc) are NOT vegetarian; this was confirmed by a phone call to Master Foods.

May Allah (SWT) forgive us what we have eaten from haram food.

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The Cookie Thief

An interesting story which shows that the way we see things is not always how they really are because our knowledge can be limited.

Story by Valerie Cox

A woman was waiting at an airport one night, with several long hours before her flight. She hunted for a book in the airport shops. Bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop.
She was engrossed in her book but happened to see, that the man sitting beside her, as bold as could be - grabbed a cookie or two from the bag in between, which she tried to ignore to avoid a scene.
So she munched the cookies and watched the clock, as the gutsy cookie thief diminished her stock. She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by,Thinking, "If I wasn't so nice, I would blacken his eye."
With each cookie she took, he took one too, when only one was left, she wondered what he would do. With a smile on his face, and a nervous laugh, he took the last cookie and broke it in half.
He offered her half, as he ate the other. She snatched it from him and thought... oooh, brother. This guy has some nerve and he's also rude, why he didn't even show any gratitude!
She had never known when she had been so galled, and sighed with relief when her flight was called. She gathered her belongings and headed to the gate, refusing to look back at the thieving ingrate.
She boarded the plane, and sank in her seat, then she sought her book, which was almost complete. As she reached in her baggage, she gasped with surprise, there was her bag of cookies, in front of her eyes.
If mine are here, she moaned in despair, the others were his, and he tried to share. Too late to apologise, she realised with grief, that she was the rude one, the ingrate, the thief.
How many times in our lives, have we absolutely known that something was a certain way, only to discover later that what we believed to be true ... was not?

She's My Sister - A True Story


I received this emotional story via e-mail from Brother Mamood Sultan.


Translated By: Muhammad Alshareef


"Faith is believing what we do not see. The reward of this faith is to see what we believe."

Her cheeks were worn and sunken and her skin hugged her bones. That didn't stop her though, you could never catch her not reciting Qur'an. Always vigil in her personal prayer room Dad had set up for her. Bowing, prostrating, raising her hands in prayer. That was the way she was from dawn to sunset and back again, boredom was for others. As for me I craved nothing more than fashion magazines and novels. I treated myself all the time to videos until those trips to the rental place became my trademark. As they say, when something becomes habit people tend to distinguish you by it. I was negligent in my responsibilities and laziness characterized my Salah.

One night, I turned the video off after a marathon three hours of watching. The adhan softly rose in that quiet night. I slipped peacefully into my blanket. Her voice carried from her prayer room. "Yes? Would you like anything Noorah?"

With a sharp needle she popped my plans. 'Don't sleep before you pray Fajr!'

"Agh ... there's still an hour before Fajr, that was only the first Adhaan!"

With those loving pinches of hers, she called me closer. She was always like that, even before the fierce sickness shook her spirit and shut her in bed. 'Hanan can you come sit beside me.' I could never refuse any of her requests, you could touch the purity and sincerity. "Yes, Noorah?"

'Please sit here.'

"OK, I'm sitting. What's on your mind?"

With the sweetest mono voice she began reciting:

"Every soul shall taste death and you will merely be repaid your earnings on Resurrection Day"
She stopped thoughtfully. Then she asked, 'Do you believe in death?' "Of course I do."

'Do you believe that you shall be responsible for whatever you do, regardless of how small or large?'

"I do, but … Allah is Forgiving and Merciful and I've got a long life waiting for me."
'Stop it Hanan ... aren't you afraid of death and it's abruptness? Look at Hind. She was younger than you but she died in a car accident. So did so and so, and so and so. Death is age-blind and your age could never be a measure of when you shall die.'

The darkness of the room filled my skin with fear. "I'm scared of the dark and now you made me scared of death, how am I supposed to go to sleep now. Noorah, I thought you promised you'd go with us on vacation during the summer break."

Impact. Her voice broke and her heart quivered. 'I might be going on a long trip this year Hanan, but somewhere else. Just maybe. All of our lives are in Allah's hands and we all belong to Him.'

My eyes welled and the tears slipped down both cheeks. I pondered my sisters grizzly sickness, how the doctors had informed my father privately that there was not much hope that Noorah was going to outlive the disease. She wasn't told though. Who hinted to her? Or was it that she could sense the truth.

'What are you thinking about Hanan?' Her voice was sharp. 'Do you think I am just saying this because I am sick? Uh - uh. In fact, I may live longer than people who are not sick. And you Hanan, how long are you going to live? Twenty years, maybe? Forty? Then what?' Through the dark she reached for my hand and squeezed gently.

'There's no difference between us; we're all going to leave this world to live in Paradise or agonize in Hell. Listen to the words of Allah:

"Anyone who is pushed away from the Fire and shown into Jannah will have triumphed."
I left my sister's room dazed, her words ringing in my ears:

"May Allah guide you Hanan - don't forget your prayer."
Eight O'clock in the morning. Pounding on my door. I don't usually wake up at this time. Crying. Confusion. O Allah, what happened?

Noorahs condition became critical after Fajr, they took her immediately to the hospital ... Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un. There wasn't going to be any trips this summer. It was written that I would spend the summer at home. After an eternity...

It was one O'clock in the afternoon. Mother phoned the hospital. 'Yes. You can come and see her now.' Dad's voice had changed, mother could sense something had gone deathly wrong. We left immediately. Where was that avenue I used to travel and thought was so short? Why was it so long now, so very long. Where was the cherished crowd and traffic that would give me a chance to gaze left and right. Everyone, just move out of our way. Mother was shaking her head in her hands – crying – as she made dua' for her Noorah.

We arrived at the hospitals main entrance. One man was moaning, another was involved in an accident and a third's eyes were iced, you couldn't tell if he was alive or dead. We skipped stairs to Noorahs floor. She was in intensive care. The nurse approached us. 'Let me take you to her.' As we walked down the aisles the nurse went on expressing how sweet a girl Noorah was. She reassured Mother somewhat that Noorah's condition had gotten better than what it was in the morning.

'Sorry. No more than one visitor at a time.' This was the intensive care unit. Through the small window in the door and past the flurry of white robes I caught my sisters eyes. Mother was standing beside her. After two minutes, mother came out unable to control her crying.

'You may enter and say Salaam to her on condition that you do not speak too long,' they told me. 'Two minutes should be enough.'

"How are you Noorah? You were fine last night sister, what happened?"
We held hands, she squeezed harmlessly.

'Even now, Alhamdulillah, I'm doing fine.'
"Alhamdulillah ... but ... your hands are so cold."
I sat on her bedside and rested my fingers on her knee.
She jerked it away. "Sorry ... did I hurt you?"
"No, it is just that I remembered Allah's words:

"One leg will be wrapped to the other leg (in the death shroud)"
... Hanan pray for me. I may be meeting the first day of the hearafter very soon. It is a long journey and I haven't prepared enough good deeds in my suitcase.'

A tear escaped my eye and ran down my cheek at her words. I cried and she joined me. The room blurred away and left us – two sisters - to cry together. Rivulets of tears splashed down on my sister's palm which I held with both hands. Dad was now becoming more worried about me. I've never cried like that before.

At home and upstairs in my room, I watched the sun pass away with a sorrowful day. Silence mingled in our corridors. A cousin came in my room, another. The visitors were many and all the voices from downstairs stirred together. Only one thing was clear at that point ... Noorah had died!

I stopped distinguishing who came and who went. I couldn't remember what they said. O Allah, where was I? What was going on? I couldn't even cry anymore. Later that week they told me what had happened. Dad had taken my hand to say goodbye to my sister for the last time, I had kissed Noorah's head.

I remember only one thing though, seeing her spread on that bed, the bed that she was going to die on. I remembered the verse she recited:

"One leg will be wrapped to the other leg (in the death shroud)"
and I knew too well the truth of the next verse: "The drive on that day we be to your Lord (Allah)!"

I tiptoed into her prayer room that night. Staring at the quiet dressers and silenced mirrors, I treasured who it was that had shared my mother's stomach with me. Noorah was my twin sister. I remembered who I had swapped sorrows with. Who had comforted my rainy days. I remembered who had prayed for my guidance and who had spent so many tears for so many long nights telling me about death and accountability.

May Allah save us all. Tonight is Noorah's first night that she shall spend in her tomb. O Allah, have mercy on her and illumine her grave.

This was her Qur'an, her prayer mat and …and this was the spring rose-colored dress that she told me she would hide until she got married, the dress she wanted to keep just for her husband. I remembered my sister and cried over all the days that I had lost. I prayed to Allah to have mercy on me, accept me and forgive me. I prayed to Allah to keep her firm in her grave as she always liked to mention in her supplications.

At that moment, I stopped. I asked myself: what if it was I who had died? Where would I be moving on to? Fear pressed me and the tears began all over again.

"Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar..."
The first adhan rose softly from the Masjid, how beautiful it sounded this time. I felt calm and relaxed as I repeated the Muadhdhins call. I wrapped the shawl around my shoulders and stood to pray Fajr.

I prayed as if it was my last prayer, a farewell prayer, just like Noorah had done yesterday. It had been her last Fajr. Now and inshaAllah for the rest of my life, if I awake in the mornings I do not count on being alive by evening, and in the evening I do not count on being alive by morning.