MY VIEWS ON TERROR Q5:32

Assalaam alaikum, dear readers.

I often do not comment much on the ‘terrorist’ attacks around the world because, I am tired of them. Opinions abound on the topic and I have read articles which echo my thoughts on the topic so I did not want to over-flog the topic. The attacks are becoming rampant with even more lone wolf attacks than before, and the effect on the ummah is painful.

Also, I have not particularly commented on these incidents myself because the information we receive from the media and online is always skewed and flawed, unreliable and seeking to enforce some propaganda (like the linking of the Paris bombing with the Syrian refugees). How can one make an accurate analysis when our sources of information are filled with spurious tales?

Every time I hear of an attack, my heart sinks. My heart always goes out to all the people involved: the victims and their families as well as the killers’ families and the Muslims living in that vicinity. The most recent one in San Bernardino was first brought to my attention by a fellow blogger, Anum. At first, I was filled with trepidation when she mentioned the gun attacks but to be honest, I was secretly relieved there was no mention of terrorists/Muslims…but not for long.

When terrorism began, the group (not neccessarily Muslim) responsible for the attack would release a video of the attack before and during the occurrence. It lent an air of authenticity to the group. Even after the video, the FBI/CIA would analyse if it was genuine or not. Now, all it takes is simply to claim responsibility which personally, I feel anyone can do. Isn’t the game about how many people they can kill in order to strike fear into people’s hearts? Even before the group claims responsibility, the media is already insinuating that it’s Muslims. Heck, even we Muslims think it is one of us!

It is true that most of the terrorists bear Muslim names but surely, if there is anything I have learnt about international (even domestic) politics, it is that things are not always what they seem. However, taking these issues at face value, it seems that the vast majority of these suicide bombers are youngsters, fiery with a new sense of misguided purpose, sorely deficient in sound Islamic knowledge, eager to be brainwashed. For most of the Muslims reading this, terrorism does not make any sense in whatever shape or form but our youth are voluntarily being recruited into ISIS and other terror groups.

‘Abdullah [bin Mas’ud](R.A.) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said:
“In the end of time there will come a people young in years, foolish in minds, reciting the Qur’an which will not go beyond their throats, uttering sayings from the best of creatures, going through the religion as an arrow goes through the target.”- Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2188

The onus is on me as a mother to ensure that those I can directly influence – my children- are positively impacted with the proper Islamic knowledge. (How can they imbibe this knowledge if we the parents do not possess them?) They should integrate with the community, both Muslim and non-Muslim and know that hurting people is unacceptable. Terrorism is abhorrent, plain and simple. No matter how thinly we slice it, no matter how different we may seem, we all bleed the same and hurt when our loved ones are taken from us. They must grow to understand that oftentimes, Islam is rational and if something doesn’t seem right, they should trust their instincts and verify further before they act. They must inculcate strong values which would guide them throughout life and help them manage pressures from their peers.

 

Jabir (R.A.) reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, Iblees placed his throne over the water and then he sends out his troops. The nearest to him are the greatest at causing tribulations. One of them says: I have done this and this. Iblees says: You have done nothing. Another says: I did not leave this person until I caused discord between him and his wife. Iblees says: You have done well.
– Sahih Muslim 2813

Finally, it is my opinion that a sound home with the parents working together as good role models for children will help to stem the tide of terrorism. Every organization needs foot soldiers, recruits and (with the exception of those being forced into these groups) our children should not be susceptible to such brainwashing if we have done our jobs well as parents, with Allah’s Help. We need to sit up and pay attention to the plethora of information available out there corrupting our children. We must censor the TV and the computer; know their friends and visit their schools. It is not enough to be out there raking in the money. It is not all about the money. Children need love, attention, approval. If they get it from you, they are less likely to seek it elsewhere.

In as much as we are having more Islamophobic attacks, we should stand strong, educate people about Islam through our actions and perfect our character. This too shall pass. There was a time in history when Jews were heavily persecuted by the Nazis; Japanese were also humiliated in the US following the Pearl Harbour bombing; Blacks did not have the opportunities they now have in Europe and the US. It is our turn now and in sha Allah, it will become a fading memory. Nothing ever lasts forever. Unfortunately, this may mean that another religion or race may be picked on.

May Allah help us all.

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WHITE FLAG Q24.22, Q41.34-6

We have all fought before, whether it was a full-fledged brawl or the Silent Treatment. We are all human with different characters bound to rub off wrongly and cause friction; what matters is how the fight ends. Do we often blow our lids and throw a tantrum only to forget about the incident the next minute? Or do we quietly stew in fury harbouring resentment long after the incident vowing never to help again?
white_flag
Whichever way, some of us are particularly guilty of refusing to forgive any slight wrongdoing, even after an apology. In fact, an apology seems to worsen the situation and makes it harder to forgive the culprit because we feel the person acted intentionally. We document both the perpetrator and the incident in indelible black ink in the black book at the back of our minds refusing to let go and forgive.

NEWSFLASH! We hurt ourselves more by harbouring such resentment. We erode our inner beauty and morph into pitifully hard, bitter creatures then cannot seem to understand why people don’t like us. Who likes someone who emits such an evil aura, a negative vibe?

WHO DO WE THINK WE ARE seeking forgiveness from Allah when we cannot forgive others?

Jubair ibn Mut’im (R.A.) narrated that he heard the Prophet (SAW) of Allah (SAW) say, ‘The person who severs the bond of kinship will not enter Paradise.’ Sahih Bukhari 5984

Let’s ensure that we end that feud today – particularly if it is with a relative. Go ahead and wave that white flag.

Juma’a Mubarak!

NOiR: Parental Tuesday

[Qur’an in Ramadan 25:Q46.15-Q52.23]

I remember talking to a non-Muslim about the dynamics of a Muslim family and how the mother has the highest priority. She thought it was crappy because in her opinion, once a man marries a woman, they become one and none should be placed above her or allowed to interfere in their marriage.
ram
I explained to her that a good Muslim mother would not put herself in a position where the son would have to choose between her and his wife. He should know where she stands and the wife should help to remind him to fulfil his obligation to his parents especially the mother as ‘Paradise lies at her feet’. A true Muslim is obedient and respectful to his parents unless indicated otherwise.

In the light of this, let us dedicate today to our parents, both alive and late. Let us pray for them especially in all the prayers we perform today. Let us pray that Allah bless them, forgive them, grant them good health and longevity to eat from their fruits of labour. May their lives be pleasing to Him. If our parents are alive, let us remember to call them, care for them and show them patience and love. We can continue to pray for them, give charity or go for hajj on their behalf, if they are late.

Parenting is a huge responsibility and there is nothing we as children can do that is enough compensation for all they have done for us. It is our own duty to provide our own children with proper upbringing (tarbiya) likewise.

May Allah bless us parents everywhere.

NOiR: Salaam Sunday

[Qur’an in Ramadan 9:Q7.171-Q9.45]

We are saying salaam today and who better to say salaam to than our family members. It has been a hectic week and if you are married or from a large family, as a woman, you must have been on your toes. It’s family time today because the family is most deserving of your time. Today, let’s strive be peaceful with our family members and others. No quarelling, fighting, bickering or malice.

As a man, you can take your family to the park, to visit a relation or family friend. You can stay home with them and help out in whatever way you can like helping the kids with their homework, recite the Qur’an with your kids (or nieces or nephews), teach them a memory verse, make repairs in the house, rearrange furniture, prepare iftar together, or enjoy iftar at a restaurant with the family in tow, take everyone to the masjid for Tarawih or lead Tarawih for the family at home…the possibilities are endless. In as much as it is important to spend Ramadan in worship, make the intention to worship with the family today, in sha Allah.

Appreciate your family by enjoying a peaceful day with them today.

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LOVE FOR THE SAKE OF ALLAH Q3.104

As-salaam alaykum, people. I wanted to write a post about loving for the sake of Allah but I’ve realised how hard that is.
love for the sake of Allah
You see, it’s much easier to love people you don’t know or barely know than people you know very well. Does that make sense to you?
In case you do not, allow me to expatiate.

Abu Hurairah was reported to have narrated that the Prophet (SAW) said: Allah will say on the Day of Resurrection, ‘Where are those who have mutual love for My Glory’s Sake? Today, I shall shelter them in My Shadow when there is no other shadow but the shadow of Mine. – Sahih Muslim 2566

Loving for the sake of Allah involves loving and helping people without expectations; wishing for them what one wishes for himself; encouraging each other to good and discouraging evil; excusing each other’s behaviours; hiding each other’s faults; rejoicing with them in moments of joy, grieving with them in moments of sorrow and agreeing to disagree when your views differ.

Muadh ibn Jabal narrated that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: Allah (SWT) said, ‘Those who love each other for the sake of My Majesty shall be upon the podiums of light, and they will be admired by the Prophets and the martyrs. – Jami’at Tirmidhi 2390

Unfortunately, while we tend to love our dear ones anyway, we do have expectations of them, you know? Even though we politely anticipate little or nothing from mere acquaintances or strangers, we expect our favours to be returned by loved ones. We expect our parents to bail us out of any trouble for all the love we’ve shown them over the years. We hope our children will take care of us in our old age following all the time and money we have invested in them. We demand that our friends stick out their necks for us because we have sacrificed for them too. Our spouses are expected to reciprocate our good actions or they face the axe.

He who expects nothing will not be disappointed. Man can only try but only Allah can exceed our expectations.

Sadly, it is exceedingly difficult for me to love loved ones unconditionally and have no expectations of them; and harder to forgive them when they let me down. #sigh!

Any one with a short cut around this?

May we be among those who will be placed on pedestals of light.

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PAYING VISITS Q33.53

Although I am a medical doctor, I hate visiting the sick in the hospital and staying long. I just worry that I am burdening the patient with my stay and would rather do a quick check-in and –out. I am also uncomfortable staying long at people’s houses for a visit. It feels like extending my handshake to the elbow. As a woman, I am aware of the hoops women jump through to make their guests comfortable at their own expense and it seems unfair to take full advantage of that.

We should not visit people unannounced unless we are extremely familiar with them. There is really no excuse why anyone will suddenly drop by in this era of cell-phones, free emails, text messages and instant messaging. This will give your host time to prepare and possibly purchase or cook/bake what to host you with. Not all homes are fully-stocked 24/7.

As much as is possible, a non-mahram male should not spend the night in the house of a couple. It inconveniences the woman who has to observe her hijab in your presence. Her house is her sanctuary, somewhere she can let her hair down and dress down. You ruin this tranquillity for her particularly when you prolong your stay; her only reprieve limited to her bedroom. Between the inconveniences of a tropical temperature and special times like breastfeeding, her hospitality can quickly turn to hostility.

Fellow women who travel with their toddlers need to be mindful of them. We should not leave them to run amok, destroy appliances, break dishes, defecate or urinate indiscriminately, and leave food crumbs in their trail. Pick up after your children.

We should also endeavour not to make a nuisance of ourselves by staying out late, disrupting the peace in the house by playing loud music or having noisy friends over. Destroying property in their houses is also a big no-no.

Narrated Abu Shuraih Al-Ka’bi quoted Allah’s Messenger (SAW) as saying: Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, should serve his guest generously. The guest’s reward is to provide him with a superior type of food for a night and a day and a guest is to be entertained with food for three days, and whatever is offered beyond that is regarded as charity. And it is not lawful for a guest to stay with the host for such a long period so as to put him in a critical position. – Sahih Bukhari 6135

Also try to involve yourself in helping around the house and following the house rules. Take your dish to the kitchen and wash it, preferably. Clean up after yourself and make your bed. Assist by taking the children off their parents’ hands by playing with them or helping with their homework.

Do not pry into their affairs particularly if they are a couple and unless your advice is sought, or it is absolutely necessary, keep most of your thoughts to yourself. Do not take sides without listening to both sides of the story.

When preparing to leave, inform your hosts ahead of time so they can accommodate dropping you off at the airport or car park, into their plans.

As the host(ess), we are duty-bound to treat our guests kindly. Having snacks, some juice or cake handy can save us embarrassment when friends pop in unannounced. We should be patient and accommodating and try to involve our guests in our activities if they are staying for long. Time should be set aside daily to converse with them no matter how tight our schedule is.

And when they leave, we should see them to the door and try not to make our relief obvious!

So, who do you plan to visit this weekend?

TIES THAT BIND Q47.22-3

Family: The bedrock of the society; that unit we can do anything for; a group of people we can let our hair down with. They know all our quirks but love us anyway. Love them or hate them, we are stuck with them.

I have always wondered why some families seem like a jalopy car, trudging along, with its occupants too scared to get out of the vehicle and take a peek under the hood/bonnet. Perhaps, in fear that stopping to remedy it will cause the car not to start again. Instead, all the members in the family remain on board, burying their heads and ignoring the obvious tensions within.

Why?
ties that bind
We are scared to sever the ties that bind, and for good reason. We are frightened to resolve family conflict for fear that it will escalate and rip the family apart. We would rather keep honouring the ties of kinship for as long as possible.

Other times, we are just plain ol’ cowards; content to sit back and not upset the apple cart. Tensions are often more common in large families particularly where autocracy is practised, or a matriarch makes all the family decisions whether anyone likes it or not. This way, other members of the family feel relegated and oppressed their views unheard.

Truth be told, no matter how pragmatic a leader is, there will always be voices of dissent. However, effort should be made to ensure that people’s views are heard and respected even if not followed. Regular family meetings should be scheduled for this to occur and no one should have his/her wishes imposed on others, as much as is possible.

As family, we should also not take each other for granted, despite how easy it is to do so. Instead, we should respect each others’ views and be kind in our dealings. And this should not be restricted to the adults alone, even the children should have their say and their suggestions considered.

As the Yoruba adage goes: Ile-Ife (a great historical Yoruba town) was built by both the youths and the elderly.

May Allah grant us wisdom in all our affairs and strengthen our ties of kinship.