Archive for November, 2007
A very good friend shared this with me a while ago (perhaps around the beginning of this semester). Anyway, ever since I have heard this it changed me quite a bit and I remember how shocked I was when I first heard it. Parts of the reading are always in my head. Sometimes when I try to reflect what I have done for the day I am filled with no other feeling than shame and remember the words of Sidi Khalil Moore, Ya Allah I am praying because I suck. Khayr, May Allah forgive us all, guide us all. “Description of the Righteous” is juss so beautiful, please take the time to read it. I pray that it will benefit you, help you out, and give you the strength that you may need to become closer to Allah:
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Description of the Righteous
It is related that a devout worshipper by the name of Humam came to
Imam ‘Ali (May Allah Ennoble his countenance) and asked him to
describe the pious people so vividly that he could almost see them.
Their speech is truthful; their clothing is moderate;
and they walk with utmost humility. They lower their gaze
from everything Allah has forbidden. They allow their ears to
listen only to that which is beneficial. Their souls accept
exposure to trials and tribulations as easily as others accept
Were it not for their appointed term, their spirits
would not have remained in their bodies the span of a
twinkling of the eye due to their intense longing for their
Lord. Because the Creator is magnified in their souls,
everything else is viewed as insignificant in their sight. Their
hearts are sober; people are safe from any wickedness from
them; their bodies are slim [they don’t overindulge their
appetites]; their basic needs are few; and their souls are chaste.
They patiently endure the few days they spend in this world
knowing that they will be followed by a long, peaceful
rest—this is the profitable life-transaction which their Lord
has allowed them to enter into. The world desired them;
however, they had no desire for it. It imprisoned them, but
they ransomed their souls from it [with their restraint and
At night, their feet are arranged in ranks as they
dutifully recite the Qur’an in slow measured tones. If they
come upon a verse that stimulates [in them] longing [for the
delightful things which Allah has promised] they ponder it,
craving to attain them. Their souls soar due to the intensity of
their longing for those delights. If they come upon a verse
that frightens them [with the threat of Allah’s dreadful
punishment] they hear it reverberating in the depths of their
hearts. They imagine that they hear the dreadful sounds of the
Hellfire in the innermost recesses of their ears. You find them
kneeling down [before their Lord], begging to be liberated
from the Hellfire.
As for their days, they are forbearing, clement scholars.
They are righteous and pious. Fear [of Allah] surrounds them,
piercing them like arrows. One who gazes upon them thinks
that they are sick. However, they are far from being sick.
They are not satisfied with a minimal amount of righteous
deeds, nor do they consider excessive amount of worship to
be great. They see their faults, and they fear that their deeds
won’t be accepted. If someone praises one of them, he says, “I
know myself better than others [know me], and my Lord is
more knowledgeable of me than myself. O Allah, don’t take
me to task for what they say, and make me better than what
they think of me, and forgive me for those sins which they are
One of the signs [of such a person] is that you observe
strength in his religion. His gentleness is accompanied by
sobriety. His faith is coupled with certainty. He longs for
knowledge. He acts with forbearance. He lives moderately, even
when blessed with wealth. He is humble in his worship. He
endures poverty with dignified grace. He patiently endures
trying circumstances. He seeks his sustenance from the lawful.
He hastens to right guidance. He is agitated if he perceives greed
in himself. He works righteousness all the while trembling,
[fearing that his deeds won’t be accepted]. His greatest concern
is gratitude. He arises in the morn preoccupied with the
Remembrance of God. He goes to bed at night overwhelmed,
apprehensive. He rises in the morning overjoyed. His
apprehension arises from the awareness of his heedlessness. His
joy is caused by the bounties and mercy Allah has showered
upon him. If his soul presses him with something he despises, he
does not concede [to it] and withholds from it what it desires.
The comfort of his eye is that which cannot be eradicated [the
reward of his righteous deeds]. His abstinence is from temporal
things. He mixes clemency with knowledge, and speech with
action. He expects death at any moment. His slips are few
[because of his cautiousness and deliberateness in speech and
actions]. His heart is content. He is easy-going. He is constantly
on guard against assaults upon his religion. His lusts are dead.
His anger is suppressed.
People anticipate goodness from him. They are safe from
any wickedness from him. If he is in the company of the
heedless, he is recorded as being mindful [of his Lord]. He
overlooks those who oppress him. He gives to those who deny
him. He joins relations with those who cut him off. He is far
removed from any indecency. His speech is gentle. You find
nothing bad in him. He is always a source of good. During
calamities, he is composed. In dire straights, he is patient. In
times of ease, he is thankful. He does not oppress those he
dislikes, nor does he sin for the sake of those he loves. He admits
the truth before his witnessing is sought. He preserves all he is
entrusted with. He does not hurl abusive names at people. He
never harms his neighbor, nor does he insult people when he is
experiencing hardship. If he is transgressed against, he perseveres
until Allah takes revenge for him. He relies on himself while he
himself is a source of relief for others [they can rely on him]. He
tires himself for the sake of his salvation, not burdening others in
any way. His distance from those who remove themselves from
him is a form of abstinence, while his drawing near to people is
from his gentleness and mercy. Hence, his distance from people
does not arise from arrogance and haughtiness, nor is his
closeness to them motivated by cunning and treachery.
Hearing this, Humam dropped dead. Imam ‘Ali g said,
“This is what I feared would happen to him.”
- From Nahj al-Balagha
Translated by Imam Zaid Shakir, Zaytuna Institute (Ramadan 1426/2005)
I love Talib al-Habib’s nasheeds, MashaAllah they’re just so peaceful and soothing. I found this nasheed online and it is such a beautiful nasheed. The nasheed and video are both so beautifully put together that towards the end it brought tears to my eyes. (Be sure to listen or read the lyrics below) Watch it and judge for yourself:
Lyrics to Songs of Innocence:
Allahu Allahu La ilaha illa Hu
And I sing my songs of innocence
To you my precious child as you lay on your bed
With your sleepy eyes and your heavy head
Rest and dream in peace till morning comes again
I will sing my songs of innocence
I will sing my songs of innocence
And I sing my songs of innocence
As I watch you sleep, think what may lie ahead.
So many the roads that before you spread
Take the way, my child, to the Beloved Friend
Lead a life of truth and innocence
The way of sunnah, the path of the Prophet
Let your words be echoes of his sentences
Let your deeds be shadows of his radiance.
And though the world outside seems cold and hard
And you may feel like you are wandering alone
Do not fear, do not grieve, in Allah place your belief
In his remembrance your heart will find its peace
And I gaze at you in wonderment
How your heart is filled with innocence.
Yo’ull never know the joy you bring to me
How your touch and smile dispel my every grief
May you never lose your innocence
With life’s bittersweet experience
And when the time comes, remember this:
Wisdom is the refinding of innocence.
Now you’re breathing easy, I must call an end
I have sung my song of innocence
And if our paths should never cross again
May God’s peace and mercy upon you descend
We will meet at the gathering of innocence
At al-Kauthar, the fount of abundance
By the Prophet’s hand may our thirst be quenched
We will be with him, and we will be content
Salallahu `alayhi wa alihi
Peace and blessings on him and his family
And all who follow in his blessed way
You and I, my child, may we among them be
You and I, my child, may we among them be…
Will you help me learn of innocence?
Sing a song of love and innocence?
Will you help me find my way back home?
Will you fill my heart with innocence?
May I come to you an innocent?
Let me sing my song of innocence.
New York hunger levels ‘rising’
Over 1.3 million people, one in six New Yorkers, cannot afford enough food, with queues at soup kitchens getting longer, anti-poverty groups say. The New York City Coalition Against Hunger says the number of people who use food pantries and soup kitchens in the city increased by 20% in 2007.
Some of the food distribution points are struggling to meet demand.
The coalition blames the situation mainly on increased poverty as well as government cutbacks in food aid.
No Thanksgiving turkey
“This annual survey of food pantries and soup kitchens shows that more working families, children, and seniors are being forced to seek emergency food,” Joel Berg, the coalition’s executive director, said in a statement.
“Given that hunger continued to increase in the city, even when the economy was still strong last year, it is no wonder that now, when the economy is weakening, lines at pantries and kitchens are getting even worse.”
Some food outlets said they would not be able to distribute turkey rations for Thanksgiving on Thursday, because their federal supplies of food had been cut by as much as three-quarters.
Food Bank, a non-profit organisation which distributes food to about 1,000 pantries, said its shelves were half full compared with usual levels.
According to a survey, 59% of New York’s food programmes, up from 48% last year, said they did not have enough resources to meet demand.
The US Department of Agriculture says 12.6 million households nationwide, or more than 30 million people – 10% of the population – did not have enough food at some point in 2006.
Source: BBC News
I found this on Maniac Muslim, I thought it was clever and it gave me a good laugh; read it and judge for yourself:
Jinn Stories Frighten Class
Written by: Hamzah Moin
Halloween – Sally McDonnell’s class of Grade 3 students received a different kind of scare. “I still can’t sleep at night,” said McDonnell, 33, who is the English teacher for Washington Falls Elementary School Grade 3 class, “this is hands down the scariest thing I’ve ever heard in my life.”
Abdul Malik Bukhari, 8, was the only Muslim in McDonnell’s class and when she asked him to present something ‘scary’ to the class, he told a true jinn story. “Most of the people in my class would present something like fake eyeballs or some stupid costume they got at the dollar store but not me… I gave them the real deal” narrated Bukhari.
Apparently Bukhari’s tale of jinns and possession came from a true account about his crazy uncle and his expeditions to a haunted jinn house in Pakistan. “It’s the usual jinn story… a disobedient Muslim does something rotten and a jinn uses some cool powers to scare the hell out of ‘em” explained Bukhari. It is reported that Bukhari always pleads to hear jinn stories before he goes to sleep instead of the usual nursery rhymes.
Abdul Malik has always been the most controversial student in the school during Halloween. Last year, Bukhari convinced his entire class to dress up as “Muslims”. “It scared the hell out of the faculty that’s for sure” said an anonymous Grade 3 student. Several children in the class embraced Islam as a result after experiencing how fun it is being a Muslim and not being Freddy Kreuger or a fairy princess for a change.
It’s not all rosy in Mrs. McDonnell’s class. Bukhari has been known to ruffle a few feathers. “I honestly think stories like that should be banned from the classroom,” said Tiffany Murphy, 8, “it’s just a recipe for disaster. Children will become desensitized to horror and violence at such a young age.” Murphy later admitted that she enjoyed the jinn story about the jinn who used its arms like Mr. Fantastic from the Fantastic Four to grab a Qur’an.
Bukhari’s parents have also been notorious for their bizarre antics during Halloween. Khalid Bukhari, 41, says, “We like to hide Hadith reminders in the wrappers of the candy we give out so they know more about Islam” It was reported that 8 children were hospitalized for eating their Hadith reminders, not realizing they were inedible. “It seems their stomachs are daeef (weak)” joked Mr. Bukhari.
Conversion to Islam of Hind:
When Mecca was conquered, many women came to him[SAW] to pledge loyalty to Islam. Among them was Hind. She was wearing a veil as the custom of the age was. The purpose was that she may not be recognized. At the time of Bai’at (pledge), she had behold a bold conversation with the Holy Prophet(SAW):
Hind: ‘O Apostle of Allah which are the things on which you take our pledge?’
The Holy Prophet(SAW): ‘Do not call deity. (with Allah)
Hind: ‘You have not taken this pledge from the men. But we agree to it.’
The Holy Prophet” ‘Do not commit theft.’
Hind: ‘I am in the habit of taking away some of the wealth from the wealth of my husband. I do not know if it is lawful.’
The Holy Prophet: ‘Do not kill your children.’
Hind: ‘We had nourished and brought up our young children whom you have killed at Badr. Now you and the dead persons can decide between yourselves.’
The Holy Prophet[SAW] ignored this rudeness on the part of Hind and she was greatly moved by his magnanimity. She was convinced there and then that he was an apostle of God.
Hind: Now she said: ‘Till now your tent was most hated of all tents for me. But now your tent is the dearest of all tents for me.’ She embraced Islam.
She went home and broke down the idol in her house and said: ‘We had been deceived by you (idol).’
Participation in Battle for Islam:
After the conquest of Mecca, there was hardly need for the women to participate. But, during the regime of Hazrat Umar[RA], there were very hard conflicts with Romans and Persians when women has also to use their swords and daggers. In the Battle of Yarmook, Hazrat Hind and Hazrat Abu Sufyan participated and fought with courage and bravery.
Her Death and children:
She died during the caliphate of Hazrat Umar[RA]. On the same day, Abu Qahafah, father of Hazrat Abu Bakr[RA], also died. Among her children Amir Mo’awia is most well known.
She was a typical Arab women. She had deep sense of self respect, pride, and firm sense of making opinion. She was generous and spent freely. She was allowed to take from the wealth of Abu Sufyan who did not give her a freehand.
Taken from: Biographies of the Women Companions of the Holy Prophet(SAW) and The Ways of Their Sacred Lives by Maulana Saeed Ansari Nadvi, Maulana Abdus-Salam Nadvi, and Allama Syed Suleman Nadvi.
The Way I See It #259
“People say, Oh I could never do that! But when you meet cancer patients you understand the bravery and spirit those people show each and every day. Their struggles motivate and inspire you to test the limits of your endurance and to cross that finish line. You’ll be surprised by what you can do.
Eight time marathoner and leading fund raiser with the leukemia and lymphoma Society’s Team in Training.