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29 October 2014

Poem: The torments of Hell


If only you knew the torments of hell
It is the worst of places where anyone could dwell
It is in existence even as we speak
And for its inhabitants the outlook is bleak
On the day of rising, hell will be in view
A terrible sight, if only you knew
It will be brought forward by 70,000 reigns
And 70,000 angels will be on each of those chains

After burning for a thousand years , it's flames turned white
A thousand more years, now it's as black as the night
You think the flames are bearable, you're totally wrong
The flames are of hell are sixty nine times as strong
In a flash it will disintegrate all of your bones
The hellfire will be fuelled by man and stones
The thickness of your skin will greatly increase
Causing your threshold for pain to greatly decrease

The people in hell are there to stay
They will melt to nothing, 70,000 times in a day
70 years it will take, for a stone that is thrown
to hit the bottom of hell and it won't be alone
the food of hell resembles a devil's head
and to drink, boiling water and blood bright red
which cuts up the bowels, everything will fall out
the inhabitants of hell will scream and shout
some will be taken out by Almighty Allah's command
but the polytheists will stay eternally damned

Take up Islam, the only way to succeed
and if you don't, you're unfortunate indeed
brothers and sisters, help determine your fate
once you see hellfire, it'll be far too late

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28 October 2014

Friends according to Islam

We should choose the friend that believes in and abide by our religion (Islam) and gives great respect to what Allah (SWT) and Prophet Muhammad (saw) had ordered us. And we should stay away from the one who is not well mannered and gives no attention to what Islam is about or what pleases or displeases Allah (SWT), for he will surely affect us negatively. There is no good if the companion drowns us in sins and displeasing Allah (SWT). The bases for the actions of those who follow the evil ways are corrupt; their actions are built upon misguidance and deviation.

Good friends are those who share with their companions both happiness and sadness. If we share our feelings with the wrongdoers whose actions are worthless and based on corruption, then we are following the same ways and standards as they are doing, and we will end up being as corrupt as they are, and then we are in a big trouble, how can we face Allah's (SWT) dissatisfaction and displeasure? Instead of making friends with the misguided ones we should befriend the righteous, yet treat the rest in a gracious and just manner. Staying at sufficient distance is necessary; yet treating everybody in a noble and kind manner is required.The danger of having corrupt friends isn't confined to the worldly life. Such friendships produce repentance on the Day of Resurrection, too!

Allah (SWT), the Exalted says in the Noble Qur'an:

"And (remember) the day when the unjust one shall bite his hands saying: O! Would that I had taken a way with the Messenger! O woe is me! Would that I had not taken such a one for a friend! Certainly he led me astray from the reminder after it had come to me;" - Quran 25:27-29

The two main regrets on the day of judgement are (1) Not following Prophet Muhammad (saw) on the path of guidance and (2) Befriending a person who diverted one from the truth.

Ali ibn Abi Talib (as) has said: "The felicity of this and the next world lie in two things: firstly, keeping secrets; and secondly, friendship with the good. And the miseries of this and the next world are summed up in two things: firstly, divulging secrets; and secondly, friendship with wicked persons."

So take heed before the inevitable day of judgement comes and we are reckoned for our acts.
Allah (SWT), the Exalted says in the Noble Qur'an:

"Friends on that Day will be enemies one to another, except al-Muttaqun" (i.e. those who have Taqwa/Piety)." - Quran 43:67

It is wise to choose moderation in dealing with friends. Excessive love and confidence in friends are unacceptable since it happens that a friend may change into an enemy and use the secrets that he had shown as weapons.

Allah (SWT), the Exalted says in the Noble Qur'an:

"And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression."- Quran 5:2

There are three types of 'friends'...


Those that are necessary like nourishment and you cannot live without them; those that are like medicine and are beneficial, so you need them sometimes; and finally, those that are like a sickness and you do not need them at all!

Prophet Muhammad (saw) has said, "The believer is like a mirror to other believers (in truthfulness)." Like a mirror, your friend gives you an honest image. He forgives your mistakes, but does not hide or exaggerate your strengths and weaknesses.

Once Prophet Muhammad (saw) was asked, "What person can be the best friend?" "He who helps you remember Allah (SWT), and reminds you when you forget Him" the Prophet Muhammad (saw), counseled.

Ali ibn Abi Talib (as) said: "A friend cannot be considered a friend unless he is tested on three occasions: in time of need, behind your back and after your death."

Indeed if we establish these as the standards of friendship, the believers shall soon find themselves enveloped with friends who will take them closer to Paradise and farther away from the fire of hell.
Allah (SWT) says in the Noble Qur'an:

"O you who believe! Take care of your souls; he who errs cannot hurt you when you are on the right way; to Allah is your return, of all (of you), so He will inform you of what you did."- Quran 5:105

There are certain tips to remember if you wish to keep a stable friendship.

  • Do not dispute with him and do not be hostile to him.
  • Do not ridicule him. Do not quarrel with him. Instead accord friends the respect they deserve.
  • Do not hold him in contempt nor consider him to be lower than you. Instead guard the honor of your friends during their absence and after their death.
  • Do not claim precedence and supremacy over him. Instead forgive the short-comings of your friends, because everyone makes mistakes in life.
  • Do not crack indecent jokes with him.
  • Finally, we ask Allah (SWT) to make us of the righteous ones and give us companions that will take us away from His Wrath and lead us to His Pleasure and Paradise.
Source: Huda TV

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27 October 2014

5 Muslim Inventions That Changed The World

 Coffee

About 1,600,000,000 cups of coffee are consumed every day around the world. Billions of people rely on it as part of their daily routines. And yet, very few people are aware of the Muslim origins of this ubiquitous drink.

According to the historical record, in the 1400s coffee became a very popular drink among Muslims in Yemen, in the southern Arabian Peninsula. Legend goes that a shepherd (some say in Yemen, some say in Ethiopia) noticed that his goats became very energetic and jumpy when they ate beans from a particular tree. He had the courage to try them himself, noticing they gave him an energy boost. Over time, the tradition of roasting the beans and immersing them in water to create a sour yet powerful drink developed, and thus, coffee was born.

Regardless of whether or not the story of the shepherd ever really happened, coffee found its way from the highlands of Yemen to the rest of the Ottoman Empire, the premier Muslim empire of the 15th century. Coffeehouses specializing in the new drink began to spring up in all the major cities of the Muslim world: Cairo, Istanbul, Damascus, Baghdad. From the Muslim world, the drink found its way into Europe through the great merchant city of Venice. Although it was at first denounced as the “Muslim drink” by Catholic authorities, coffee became a part of European culture. The coffeehouses of the 1600s was where philosophers met and discussed issues such as the rights of man, the role of government, and democracy. These discussions over coffee spawned what became the Enlightenment, one of the most powerful intellectual movements of the modern world.

From a Yemeni/Ethiopian shepherd to shaping European political thought to over 1 billion cups per day, this Muslim innovation is one of the most important inventions of human history.

Algebra

While many secondary school students struggling through math classes may not particularly appreciate the importance of algebra, it is one of the most important contributions of the Muslim Golden Age to the modern world. It was developed by the great scientist and mathematician, Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khawarizmi, who lived from 780 to 850 in Persia and Iraq.

In his monumental book, Al-Kitāb al-mukhtaar fī isāb al-jabr wa-l-muqābala (English: The Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing), he set forth the basic principles of algebraic equations. The name of the book itself contains the word “al-jabr”, meaning “completion”, from which the Latin word algebra is derived. In the book, al-Khawarizmi explains how to use algebraic equations with unknown variables to solve real-world problems such as zakat calculation and inheritance division. A unique aspect of his reasoning for developing algebra is the desire to make calculations mandated by Islamic law easier to complete in a world without calculators and computers.

Al-Khawarizimi’s books were translated into Latin in Europe in the 1000s and 1100s, where he was known as Algoritmi (the word algorithm is based on his name and his mathematical works). Without his work in developing algebra, modern practical applications of math, such as engineering, would not be possible. His works were used as math textbooks in European universities for hundreds of years after his death.

Degree-Granting Universities

Speaking of universities, that is also an invention made possible by the Muslim world. Early on in Islamic history, mosques doubled as schools. The same people who led prayers would teach groups of students about Islamic sciences such as Quran, fiqh (jurisprudence), and hadith. As the Muslim world grew however, there needed to be formal institutions, known as madrasas, dedicated to the education of students.

The first formal madrasa was al-Karaouine, founded in 859 by Fatima al-Fihri in Fes, Morocco. Her school attracted some of the leading scholars of North Africa, as well as the land’s brightest students. At al-Karaouine, students were taught by teachers for a number of years in a variety of subjects ranging from secular to religious sciences. At the end of the program, if the teachers deemed their students qualified, they would grant them a certificate known as an ijaza, which recognizes that the student understood the material and is now qualified to teach it.

These first degree-granting educational institutes quickly spread throughout the Muslim world. Al-Azhar University was founded in Cairo in 970, and in the 1000s, the Seljuks established dozens of madrasas throughout the Middle East. The concept of institutes that grant certificates of completion (degrees) spread into Europe through Muslim Spain, where European students would travel to study. The Universities of Bologna in Italy and Oxford in England were founded in the 11th and 12th centuries and continued the Muslim tradition of granting degrees to students who deserved them, and using it as a judge of a person’s qualifications in a particular subject.

Military Marching Bands

Many students who attended high schools and universities in the Western world are familiar with the marching band. Made up of a group of a few hundred musicians, a band marches onto a field during a sporting event to entertain the audience and cheer on the players. These school marching bands developed from the use of marching military bands during the Gunpowder Age in Europe that were designed to encourage soldiers during battle. This tradition has its origins in the Ottoman mehter bands of the 1300s that helped make the Ottoman army one of the most powerful in the world.

As part of the elite Janissary corps of the Ottoman Empire, the mehter band’s purpose was to play loud music that would frighten enemies and encourage allies. Using enormous drums and clashing cymbals, the sounds created by a mehter band could stretch for miles. During the Ottoman conquest of the Balkans throughout the 14th -16th centuries, mehter bands accompanied the fearsome Ottoman armies, who seemed almost invincible even in the face of huge European alliances.

Eventually, Christian Europe also caught on to the use of military bands to frighten enemies. Legend has it that after the Ottoman siege of Vienna in 1683, the retreating Ottoman army left behind dozens of musical instruments, which the Austrians collected, studied, and put to their own use. Armies all over Europe soon began implementing marching military bands, revolutionizing the way war was fought in Europe for centuries.

Cameras

It’s hard to imagine a world without photography. Billion dollar companies like Instagram and Canon are based on the idea of capturing light from a scene, creating an image from it, and reproducing that image. But doing so is impossible without the trailblazing work of the 11th century Muslim scientist, Ibn al-Haytham, who developed the field of optics and described how the first cameras work.

Working in the imperial city of Cairo in the early 1000s, Ibn al-Haytham was one of the greatest scientists of all time. To regulate scientific advancements, he developed the scientific method, the basic process by which all scientific research is conducted. When he was put under house arrest by the Fatimid ruler al-Hakim, he had the time and ability to study how light works. His research partially focused on how the pinhole camera worked. Ibn al-Haytham was the first scientist to realize that when a tiny hole is put onto the side of a lightproof box, rays of light from the outside are projected through that pinhole into the box and onto the back wall of it. He realized that the smaller the pinhole (aperture), the sharper the image quality, giving him the ability to build cameras that were incredibly accurate and sharp when capturing an image.

Ibn al-Haytham’s discoveries regarding cameras and how to project and capture images led to the modern development of cameras around the same concepts. Without his research into how light travels through apertures and is projected by them, the modern mechanisms inside everyone’s cameras would not exist

Source : Agencies | 10 Oct 2014

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26 October 2014

Picture Perfect: Kindness towards animals



An example as to how Muslims are punished for mistreating animals can be found in the hadith (oral traditions telling the story of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and which have been recorded in writing). When a woman kept a cat locked up and failed to feed the cat until the cat died, the woman was "put to hell.”

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19 October 2014

Hadith Info: Sail or Sink



The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Truly, whoever takes the Hereafter as his (primary) concern, Allah places his richness before his eyes (his heart feels content), gathers his inner self (so he is at peace with himself), and this worldly life comes to him with compliance. And whoever has this worldly life as his (main) concern, Allah makes his poverty appear imminent to him, disunites his inner self (so he feels disgruntled and unhappy) and he does not gain anything from this worldly life except what had been destined for him.[Tirmidhi]

A boat needs water to go places: Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) made the things of this world for you to use. But when water enters the boat it sinks: Don't let the love of worldly things enter your heart or it will sink you.

How can one decrease one’s concern for this world? When you talk less about something its importance begins to decrease in your eyes. So try not to talk about the things that are not an Akhirah seeker’s primary concern.