Category: Qur’an


The word “Muslim” means one who submits to the will of God, regardless of their race, nationality or ethnic background. Becoming a Muslim is a simple and easy process that requires no pre-requisites. One may convert alone in privacy, or he/she may do so in the presence of others.

If anyone has a real desire to be a Muslim and has full conviction and strong belief that Islam is the true religion of God, then, all one needs to do is pronounce the “Shahada”, the testimony of faith, without further delay. The “Shahada” is the first and most important of the five pillars of Islam.

With the pronunciation of this testimony, or “Shahada”, with sincere belief and conviction, one enters the fold of Islam.

Upon entering the fold of Islam purely for the Pleasure of God, all of one’s previous sins are forgiven, and one starts a new life of piety and righteousness. The Prophet said to a person who had placed the condition upon the Prophet in accepting Islam that God would forgive his sins:

“Do you not know that accepting Islam destroys all sins which come before it?” (Saheeh Muslim)

When one accepts Islam, they in essence repent from the ways and beliefs of their previous life. One need not be overburdened by sins committed before their acceptance, but if the sin involved usurping a right of another human, such as stealing, then they should strive their utmost to return what was wrongly taken. The person’s record is clean, and it is as if he was just born from his mother’s womb. One should try as much as possible to keep his records clean and strive to do as many good deeds as possible.

The Holy Quran and Hadeeth both stress the importance of following Islam. God states:

“The only religion in the sight of God is Islam.“ (Quran 3:19)

In another verse of the Holy Quran, God states:

“If anyone desires a religion other than Islam, never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter, he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (their selves in the Hellfire).” (Quran 3:85)

In another saying, Muhammad, the Prophet of God, said:

“Whoever testifies that there in none worthy of being worshipped but God, Who has no partner, and that Muhammad is His slave and Prophet, and that Jesus is the Slave of God, His Prophet, and His word[1] which He bestowed in Mary and a spirit created from Him; and that Paradise (Heaven) is true, and that the Hellfire is true, God will eventually admit him into Paradise, according to his deeds.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari) Continue reading

World Bank invites bids for Red Sea-Dead Sea canal study

dpa German Press Agency
Published: Thursday April 5, 2007
 

Amman- The World Bank has invited international companies to
bid for a feasibility study to examine the environmental and social
impacts of the 5-billion-dollar Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance
project on the surrounding countries, officials said Thursday.
“The overall objective of the 15.5-million-dollar study is to
evaluate the conveyance of water from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea as
a way to address environmental degradation of the Dead Sea region,”
according to the project’s statement.

The three littoral states – Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian
Authority – have placed advertisements in major local dailies
inviting interested firms to present their offers.

Divided into two sections, the study focuses on the environmental
and social impacts as well as the overall feasibility of the proposed
canal. Companies will be allowed to bid for the whole study or just
one part.

The firm that wins the bid will also be required to examine the
possibility of seawater desalination and energy production.

The World Bank said the winning company should submit its report
within two years. The eventual construction of the canal is expected
to cost around 5 billion dollars, officials said.

The Red-Dead project is part of an international effort to save the
Dead Sea, the level of which has been dropping at a rate of 1 metre
per year, largely due to diversion of water from the River Jordan for
agricultural and industrial use.

During the past 20 years alone, it has plunged more than 30 metres,
prompting experts to warn that it could dry up within 50 years.

The proposed canal will be built along the border with Israel in
Wadi Araba, pumping 650 million cubic metres (mcm) of water annually
from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea. It is expected to generate 550
megawatts of electricity.

The project also entails the setting up of a desalination plant
that provides Jordan with 850mcm of potable water a year.


© 2006 – dpa German Press Agency

Master of the Jinn

By IRVING KARCHMAR

prologue Man is a witness unto his deeds. —The Qur’an, LXXV: 14 In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate. I, ishaq, named the scribe, am commanded by my Master to set forth the tale of the journey, from which, by the Mercy of God, I alone of my companions have returned. Ali and Rami are no more. I saw them enter the fire. And Jasus also, that diviner of hearts, leaped into the flames. What became of the Hebrew sage and his daughter, or of the great Captain, I do not know. They would not leave when I bid them go.

But of this I am certain: The demon waits there still. Baalzeboul—Lord of the Jinn.

We show them the signs, on the horizons and in themselves. —The Qur’an, XLI: 53

At the first light of dawn over the middle desert, the black scarab-beetles come out of the sand and scurry up the face of the dunes to pray. Standing in line after endless line along ridge and crest, they face the rising sun and bow, as if in the prostration of obeisance; lifting their hindquarters to the warmth, gathering the morning dew of the cool desert night into droplets of water that role down the hard shell into the waiting mouth.

I wept at the sight of them. My last tears.

Here is a living mirror of the Merciful, I thought, prayer that is answered each morning with the sustenance of life.Would that my own heart reflected such devotion, that such unguarded surety filled my own breast instead of this wary beat that is man’s lot; this accursed confluence of doubt and desire. Even wonders beyond measure devolve into worldly reason as the mind seeks desperately its own level, its diminishing order.

Rightly did the Master command these words. Well he knew both my doubt and my desire. Even at the beginning, on that day now long ago, each was evident to that unclouded eye.

I had walked all night again without water, bearing west and north across the erg, the great sand sea of the Tenere, hoping to cut the road that led to Agadez. My strength was nearly spent. Three hours before first light I fell exhausted beside the slipface of a small, crescent-shaped dune, half-digging into the barchan to find what warmth I could against the desert night.

The wind had eased and I could see the stars in the moonless sky. Strangely I felt no fear, though I knew I could not live another day. My mind was calm and clear and distant as the stars. The desperation and sorrow that had overwhelmed me was nearly spent, ebbed away with my body’s moisture, lost in the days and nights of my wandering. I could not explain it. Perhaps I had been given some small measure of sakina, that tranquility of heart that comes only with submission to the will of Allah, or perhaps I was mad, delirious from sun and thirst, but as my eyes closed I feared neither snake nor scorpion, nor any wild beast, nor death. Empty and dreamless, I drifted without thought or knowledge into dawn.

When the light woke me I thought for a moment that I was still dreaming. My dulled consciousness could barely comprehend the beetles suddenly rising by the thousands around me, swarming like huge black spots before my startled eyes. I had never seen the like of them, and my first thought was that they had come to devour me. I quickly pulled myself out of the sand and crawled away, but to my surprise they regarded me not at all, hurrying up the dunes to form their lines toward the sun, called by that most ancient of muezzins to prayer.

Tears welled in my eyes as I saw the first droplets of water roll down their carapaces in answer, and so I struggled my own aching shell to kneel toward the dawn, and touched my own forehead to the sand.

The Tuaregs came upon me then, even as I invoked the All Merciful; advancing toward me in answer no less swift than to my insect brothers. Like spectres they came, riding slowly, suspicion narrowing their eyes above veiled faces; uncertain whether they had come upon a madman in the sand or a demon.

They had been following the old salt trail West, guided by the star they call Hajuj, and surely had never found any more unlikely game on a morning’s hunt. I shook my head when they made warding signs at me, but remained silent when they spoke. I could only understand a few words of Tamashek, their language, though I also wore a blue gandura robe, and so not knowing what to make of me they led me to their caravan’s encampment.

There I was given water from a leather flask as we waited for their modougou, their caravan boss, to return. And I thanked the Almighty with every sip, and with every breath I praised Him for my deliverance. Slowly I felt a little better. After some time, the modougou rode in. He wore a long broadsword in a red scabbard and a black turban wrapped to veil all but his eyes; yet by his eyes I knew him. It was Afarnou.

We have met before, Afarnou and I.

“Pah!” he exclaimed, without dismounting. “I had given you all up for dead by now. Where are the others?”

He spoke French well and Arabic badly, but when I did not answer to either he dismounted and looked at me more closely. What he saw I could only guess, for he then explained slowly, as if to one gone simple-minded, that his camels were heavily laden with cones of salt from the mines at Tisemt and bound for Damergu in Niger to be exchanged for millet. Yet he would grudgingly spare one man and two camels to bring me to his father, the Amenukal of the noble people.

A camel litter was prepared and, without farewell, my guide and I crossed the Tenere. In two days we were in Agadez, and here I am still, tended by the Amenukal’s wife and an elderly woman servant in a small room of their modest home.

The Amenukal, I have learned, wields authority over three tribes of the Kel Ahaggar in a loose federation, and is also the amrar, the ‘Drum Chief ’ of his own tribe. What better symbol of a chief ’s authority among the once war-like Tuareg. But that was long ago. The long years of French occupation had changed nearly everything of the old ways.

In courtesy, the Amenukal wears his small kingdom as if it were a robe of honor. He is an old man of impeccable hospitality and courtly manners, who carries himself with such quiet dignity that it ennobles the household.

He stood by my bedside and considered me gravely, but asked no questions at my condition, taking the note I had written without comment. Perhaps I am not the first fool to be found wandering in the desert, or perhaps he expects some reward, but he is a kind and generous host nonetheless, following the Arab admonition, “Do good, and do not speak of it, and assuredly thy kindness will be recompensed thee.”

The two women, however, sit each day by the door outside my room, their whispers full of concern and uncertainty, wondering if I have been struck dumb by hardship and desert sun, or sorcery;

whether I am addled or cursed.

Read more….. http://www.islamicamagazine.com/issue-17/master-of-the-jinn.html 

Well might they wonder.

Now my pens are before me, and white paper and ink. The body is restored, yet the silence continues. I have not spoken since fleeing into the desert; mute to all now save the scribe’s trust. Useless are any words but the full telling of the tale. Allah grant me clear memory.

Do you remember?

from http://www.ilmfruits.com 

January 20, 2007 on 2:57 pm | In Tazkiyyah, Aqeeda
1 Comment | By Taymullah

Why are we on this earth? This time, this place. People, make the use of the situation based on a cycle. The EAT-WORK-SLEEP cycle, which I believe turns out to be boring. Monday work starts, lasts till friday. Then again the same old weekend, were some claim to enjoy.

Or lets look at life as a whole. A person is born, goes to school, goes to university/ college, gets a job. marries, buys a house and he/ she starts a new person’s cycle (their kids).
The same old story again and again.
So again what are we doing here? When Allah created us he sent us down with something, can you remember?

Ibn Abbas (ضي الله عنه) reported that the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) related that,
“When Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) created Adam (عليه سلام), He took a covenant from him in a place called Na’man on the day of Arafah. Then He extracted from him all of descendants who would be born until the end of the world, generation after generation, and spread them out in front of Him in order to take a covenant from them also. He spoke to them face to face saying: ‘Am I not your Lord?’ and they all replied, ‘Yes, we testify to it.’ Allah then explained why He had all of mankind bear witness that He was their creator and only true God worthy of worship. He said, ‘That was in case you (mankind) should say on the Day of Resurrection, ‘Surely we were unaware of all this. We had no idea that You, Allah , were our God. No one told us that we were supposed to worship You alone.” Allah went on to explain that it was also in case some people would say: ‘It was our ancestors who made partners (with Allah) and we are only their descendants; will you then destroy us for what those liars did?’ (Collected by Ahmed, Classified sahih, see Silsilah al-Albani’s al-Ahadith as-Sahihah)

Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said this in an explanation of the verses (interpretation of the meaning): And (remember) when your Lord brought forth from the Children of Adam, from their loins, their seed (or from Adam’s loin his offspring) and made them testify as to themselves (saying): “Am I not your Lord?” They said: “Yes! We testify,” lest you should say on the Day of Resurrection: “Verily, we have been unaware of this.” Or lest you should say: “It was only our fathers afortime who took others as partners in worship along with Allah, and we were (merely their) descendants after them; will You then destroy us because of the deeds of men who practised Al-Batil (i.e. polytheism and committing crimes and sins, invoking and worshipping others besides Allah)?” (Tafsir At-Tabari). (Qur’an 7: 172-173)
The explanation and the ayah’s are clear proof for people, that the reason we are on earth is not for any other than recognizing Allah as our Lord, and worship Him.

Now it can be seen that MUSLIMS are so much into the EAT-WORK-SLEEP cycle. And they go on and on, with the same old reasons, a good house, a good car (which are mostly mortgage based). So lets remember ( and I advive myself first) why we are here, because if we do, and abide by it, then the rewards we will receive will be infinite , unlike the perceived rewards of this world, which are limited and fragile.

References

Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips. The Fundamentals of Tawheed. 2nd ed. Riyadh: IIPH, 2005. 61-62.

I was in Chittagong this past week, went to attend a Gaye Holud (adorning with turmeric) ceremony of my catholic Christian friend- Petros Mendes. It has been quite a while that I had been out of the city. This event came at a great time as I badly needed time out from the mundane events of my extraordinarily stressful life.

           My stress is not with infinite workloads but with people! I sometimes feel that people I love or who I’m close to have this uncanny knack of making my life miserable. While I was in Chitts, Petros’ brother Stan was telling me not to cut my nails at night or throw away my fallen hair, just anywhere. I was puzzled by an educated man telling me this. I’ve heard such tales before from uneducated Maids at our house since I was a child. I could surely not expect Stan, of all people to be parting with Superstitious advice. I enquired for his reasoning of his tale. To my dismay he told me that most Chittagonians believe in Black Magic and that it was a way of life for them. As a matter of fact, Black Magic seems to be used frequently among the ignorant people of Bangladesh, mostly in the rural areas. Ppl use this to get back at their enemies, to cause harm to the one they envy, to enslave ppl, or to marry the man/woman that one desires, a form of enslavement.

        Black Magic is forbidden in Islam, which is mentioned in the Holy Qur’an. If anyone practices the art of Magic, which is always Black, one will become an unbeliever-Kufr. He/she will incur the curse of Allah.

 They followed what the evil ones gave out (falsely) against the power of Solomon; the blasphemers were not Solomon but the evil ones teaching men magic and such things as came down at Babylon to the angels Harut and Marut.  But neither of these taught anyone (such things) without saying: “We are only for trial, so do not blaspheme.” They learned from them the means to sow discord between man and wife. But they could not thus harm anyone except by Allah’s permission.  And they learned what harmed them not what profited them.  And they knew that the buyers of (magic) would have no share in the happiness of the Hereafter.  And vile was the price for which they did sell their souls if they but knew!

                 If they had kept their faith and guarded themselves from evil far better had been the reward from their Lord if they but knew!” (Verses 102 & 103-Surah Baqarah; Al Qur’an) Continue reading