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30 September 2010

10 Steps to Draw Closer to Allah

It should be the desire of every Muslim to draw nearer and closer to Almighty Allah the most compassionate and the most merciful. By drawing closer and near to Allah we gain his help in every aspect of our lives in this world and to be merciful to us so that we may gain mercy in the hereafter in order to enter Jannah in the next world.

When we call upon him he would answer our calls and when we ask of him for anything he would give it to us and when we draw nearer to him then our sincerity and intentions will enable us to become closer to him.

So we should strive to draw nearer to Allah, the Glorified the Exalted, who is the majesty of honour and generosity and the giver of peace, the most high and the most honoured.

So what can we do to draw closer to him? The following are 10 steps for us to draw closer to our Almighty Allah:

1. Fulfilling obligatory duties and abstaining from prohibited matters

The Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) has guided us. And Allah, the Glorified and the Exalted, has guided us how to draw near to Him. As He said According to Hadith Qudsi:

“Whoever draws near to Me among those drawn near by fulfilling what I have made obligatory on them….

You do not draw near to Allah except by fulfilling the obligatory duties which Allah has made obligatory on you; (that is) the obligatory duties from the obligatory duties (Faraid) such as Prayers, and Zakat (obligatory charity), and Hajj, and Fasting and being good to Parents and all these obligatory duties on you draw you near to Allah, the Glorified and the Exalted. And the faraid (obligatory duties) are the first things that draw you near to Allah. You do not reach the door of nearness nor do you reach to the presence of nearness except by fulfilling the obligatory duties. This is the first thing that draws you near to Allah, the Glorified and the Exalted, and you are in His Presence.

So the first thing we need to do is fulfil ALL of our obligatory duties and abstain from that which Allah and his messenger have forbidden us from.

2. Nawafil prayers (superogatory prayers)

Allah says in Hadith Qudsi:

….and My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing Nawafil (voluntary deeds) until I love him, so I become his sense of hearing with which he hears, and his sense of sight with which he sees, and his hand with which he grips, and his leg with which he walks; and if he asks Me, I will give him, and if he asks My Protection, I will protect him..." [Bukhari]

A Source of Elevation for you

The Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wasallam) said: "Ask (anything)." Rabi'ah said: "I ask of you to be your companion in paradise." The Prophet said: “Anything else?" Rabi'ah said: "That is it." The Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wasallam) said to him: "Then help me by making many prostrations (i.e., supererogatory prayers)." [Muslim]


Allah Most High said, “Establish worship at the going down of the sun until the dark of the night, and (the recital of) the Qur’an at dawn. Lo! (the recital of) the Qur’an at dawn is ever witnessed. And some part of the night awake for its recital, as voluntary worship for you. It may be that your Lord will raise you to a praised estate.” [Qur’an, 17: 78-79]

Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family, and companions) said, “The best prayer after the obligatory prayers is the night prayer.” [Muslim]

Abu Umama al-Bahili (Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family, and companions) said, “Hold fast to night prayer, for it was the way of the righteous before you, a way of drawing closer to your Lord, an expiation for wrong deeds, and a shield from sin.” [Tirmidhi, and others] In some narrations, there is an addition, “And it repels sickness from the body.”

And because night vigil time is the best of times for voluntary worship and prayer, and the closest a servant is to his Lord.

So let us make the habit of reading as many Nawafil prayers as we can for more prayers means more prostrations and one is truly the closest to Allah in prostration.

….bow down in prostration and bring yourself the closer (to Allah)." (96:19)

3. Zikr (remembrance of Allah) and glorification of Allah

"…Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest." (13:28)

Remembrance of Allah indeed is the greatest virtue.(29:46).

O ye who believe, remember Allah much. And glorify Him morning and evening (33:42-43)

Remembrance of Allah is the foundation of all good deeds. Whoever succeeds in it is blessed with the close friendship of Allah. That is why the Prophet, peace be upon him, used to make remembrance of Allah at all times. When a man complained, "The laws of Islam are too heavy for me, so tell me something that I can easily follow," the Prophet told him, "Let your tongue be always busy with the remembrance of Allah." [Ahmad].

Remembrance of Allah the best of deeds

The Prophet, peace be upon him, would often tell his Companions, "Shall I tell you about the best of deeds, the most pure in the sight of your Lord, about the one that is of the highest order and is far better for you than spending gold and silver, even better for you than meeting your enemies in the battlefield where you strike at their necks and they at yours?" The Companions replied, "Yes, O Messenger of Allah!" The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, "Remembrance of Allah." (Tirmidhi,Ahmad)

Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, "The similitude of one who remembers his Rubb and one who does not remember Him, is like that of the living and the dead.'' [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Zikr can be done anywhere and anytime

A person may ask, ‘How can we do Zikr all the time whilst we have so many things to do in life such as we go to work, feed the family, pay bills, etc.? Well, the answer to this is that, firstly, it is the Sunnah of Allah's Messenger to work and feed the family which is rewarded by Allah and, secondly, that when a person is working or at school or wherever a person may be this does not mean that he should stop remembering Allah while he is working, while he is serving his customers or while he is programming his computer.

In fact the heart of the believer should be attached to Allah's remembrance throughout his day to day activities such that he protects himself from falling in love with the materials and temptations of this world and that his love for Allah and his Messenger becomes stronger and stronger as time goes by. When a person begins to remember Allah all the time it is then that he becomes conscious of his actions.

Remember: in a place where people are oblivious to dhikir, remembrance of Allah is like being steadfast in jihad, when others are running away. (Targhib, p. 193, vol. 3 ref. Bazar and Tibrani)

"... And the men and the women who remember Allah much with their hearts and tongues. Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward (i.e., Jannah).'' (33:35)

4. Calling upon Allah in Dua (supplication)

Allah the most compassionate says in the Holy Quran, "Call on Me. I will answer your prayer, but those who are too arrogant to serve me will surely find themselves humiliated in Hell" (40:60).

Allah the Exalted, has said: "And your Lord says: Pray unto me: and I will hear your prayer" (Quran 40:60),

"Call upon your Lord Humbly and in secret" (Quran 7:55),

"When My servants question thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me" (Quran 2:186),

"Is not He (best) who listens to the (soul) distressed when it calls on Him, and who relieves its suffering." (Quran 27:62)

Dua’s are never wasted

Aisha radhiallaahu anha said, "No believer makes Dua and it is wasted. Either it is granted here in this world or deposited for him in the Hereafter as long as he does not get frustrated."

Allah’s anger at those who don’t make dua

In fact, it is even wrong to never make Dua, "Whosoever does not supplicate to Allah, He will be angry with Him." [Saheeh Jaami`as-Sagheer #2414]

Dua is a weapon for the believers

Rasullullah is reported to have said, “Dua is the weapon of a Muslim”.

Dua for ones brother in his absence

"The supplication that gets the quickest answer is the one made by one Muslim for another in his absence." [Abu Daw'ud and Tirmidhi]

So let us build a close relationship with Allah by making much dua to him. He loves it when his slave calls upon him and it angers him if his slave does not call upn him.

Let us have full hope that our dua’s will be accepted and if you think they won’t they know Allah is keeping the rewards for you in the hereafter and those rewards are so great that one would wish that none of there duas were excepted in this world just so that one can gain all the rewards for their duas in the next world.

5. Building a close relationship with the Qur’an

Recite the Holy Qur’aan as much as we can for It will come as an intercessor for its reciter’ on the Day of Judgement [Muslim]
Learn the Qur’an and recite it, because the example of one who learns the Qur’an, reads it and recites it in Tahajjud is like an open bag full of musk whose fragrance permeates the entire place. And the person who has learnt the Qur’an but sleeps while the Qur’an is in the heart is like a bag full of musk but with its mouth closed.

Virtues of reciting the Qur’an

“Whoever reads a letter from the Book of Allah will receive a hasanah (good deed) from it (i.e. his recitation), and the hasanah is multiplied by ten. I do not say that Alif-Laam-Meem is (considered as) a letter, rather Alif is a letter, Laam is a letter, and Meem is a letter.” [At-Tirmidhi, Ad-Darimi]

“There is no envy (acceptable) except in two (cases): a person whom Allah has given the Qur’an and recites it throughout the night and throughout the day. And a person whom Allah has given wealth, that he gives out throughout the night and throghout the day.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

It was narrated that Abdullah ibn Mas’ud said: Whoever reads Tabarakallahi Biyadihil Mulk [i.e. Surah al-Mulk] every night, Allah will protect him from the torment of the grave. At the time of the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) we used to call it al-mani’ah (that which protects). In the Book of Allah it is a surah which, whoever recites it every night has done very well. (an-Nasa’i)

Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas and Anas Ibn Malik (Ra) reported that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said, ‘Whoever recited Surah Zilzilah (99) would get the reward of reciting half the Qur’an. Whoever recited Surah al Kaafirun (109) would get a reward as if reading a quarter of the Qur’an. Whoever recited Surah al Ikhlas (112) would get a reward as if reading one third of the Qur’an’. (At-Tirmidhi 2818/A)

Reading, understanding and implementing the Qur’an in our daily lives

The virtues of reciting the Qur’an are too numerous to list. In order to get closer to Allah we need to recite the Qur’an, understand it and implement it in our daily lives.

We should make a target of reading at least a chapter a day. If one can’t manage that then at least half a chapter. If one still can’t manage that then recite at least quarter of a chapter or even a page a day. However much we can manage we should try to recite each day with its meanings and implement what we learn into our daily lives.

Reading a little each day is better than reciting a lot once in a while. We should build a close relationship with the Qur’an which is in fact building a close relationship with Allah!

“Verily Allah raises nations by this book (the Qur’an) and puts down (i.e. destroys) others by it.” [Muslim]

6. Keeping good company

One of the most important things we must do, which sadly many people neglect, is that we should avoid bad company. People we should avoid taking as friends those who speak too freely, who miss Salah, who do not dress modestly, who backbite, slander etc.

The company of such people is poison; just even sitting and talking with them will lead one to commit sins. Just as a person who sits for a long time with a perfume seller begins to smell nice, and a person who sits by a gutter cleaner begins to smell awful, similarly a person who spends time in the company of the wicked eventually gets affected badly by them.

Rather, we should seek out pious friends who fear Allah taala and who have the qualities of humility, charity, compassion, modesty and knowledge. If we sit with them we will always benefit and they will be a means for us to get closer to Allah taala!

The Prophet (saws) said, “The case of the good companion and the bad companion is like that of the seller of musk and the blower of the bellows (iron-smith). As for the seller of musk, he will either give you some of the musk, or you will purchase some from him, or at least you will come away having experienced its good smell. Whereas the blower of the bellows will either burn your clothing, or at least you will come away having experienced its repugnant smell.” [Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim]

Remember: “All friends will be enemies of one another on that Day (Day of Judgment) except those of the virtuous.” (al-Qur’an 43:67)

7. Having fear and hope in Allah

Indeed, no one despairs of relief from Allah except the disbelieving people. (Surah Yusuf 12:87)

One must be hopeful of Allahs mercy and forgiveness and fearful of His punishment. It is this fear that should lead one to seek Allahs forgiveness with hope. Allah says:

Know that Allah is severe in punishment and that Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. (Surat al-Maaidah 5:98)

In the above verse, Allah gives us reason to fear because His punishment is justly severe, as well as good reason to have hope, since He is the Most Forgiving and Merciful. There should be a balance between fear and hope and not too much or too less of one or the other.

We should always remain between fear and hope. For, the right and the approved kind of fear is that which acts as a barrier between the slave and the things forbidden by Allah. But, if fear is excessive, then the possibility is that the man will fall into despair and pessimism.

On the other hand the approved state of optimism is of a man who does good in the light of the Shari'ah and is hopeful of being rewarded for it. Or, conversely, if a man committed a sin, he repents sincerely, and is hopeful of being forgiven. Allah (swt) said:

"Verily, those who believed, and those who migrated and fought in the way of Allah, it is they who are hopeful of Allah's mercy. And Allah is very Forgiving, very Merciful." (Al-Baqarah, 218)

In contrast, if a man indulges in sins and excesses, but is hopeful that he would be forgiven without doing anything good, then, this is self-deception, mere illusion and false hope. Abu 'All Rowzbari has said, "Fear and hope are like the two wings of a bird. If they are well balanced, the flight will be well balanced. But, If one is stunted, the Right would also be stunted. And, to be sure, if the two are lost, the bird will soon be in the throes of death." Allah has praised the people of hope and fear in the following verse:

'Is one who worships devotedly during the night, prostrating himself or standing, fearing the Hereafter, and hoping for the mercy of his Lord (is equal to him who doesn't do these things)?' (Al Zumar, 9)

Hope then also demands fear. If that was not the case, one would be in a state of false security. Conversely, fear demands hope. Without that it would be despair.

Fear and hope, both should be equally proportioned in our hearts, in our worship, and in our dua to Allah. Allah says:

Call out to Him with fear and hope. (Surat al-Araaf 7:56)
They forsake their beds to call their Lord in fear and hope. (Surat as-Sajdah 32:16)

8. Voluntary fasting for the pleasure of Allah

Fasting in general and voluntary fasting in particular is a great worship. Fasting is not restricted to Ramadhan, but it is an act of worship that can be [and should be in some cases] performed at any time and at any place except when not recommended. Indeed, it is a worship that draws the believer closer to Allah and closer to perfection.

Fasting Mondays and Thursdays:

`Aa'ishah said: The Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wa salam, used to fast Mondays and Thursdays". [An-Nasaa’i; Sahih]

Abu Hurairah reported that the most the Prophet, salla Allahu alaihi wa salam, would fast would be Monday and Thursday. He was asked about that and he said: "The deeds of people are presented to Allah on every Monday and Thursday. Allah forgives every Muslim except for those who are deserting each other. He says: "leave them for later." [Ahmad; Hasan]

Intention for voluntary fasting

As opposed to Ramadan, the intention does not have to be made before dawn. The person can intend fasting [and start fasting] after dawn any time [even after noon] given that he did not eat anything. `Aa'ishah said : The Prophet, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, came to us one day and said, "Do you have any [food]?" We said "No". He said: Therefore, I am Fasting". [Muslim and Abu Dawood]

Fasting three days of every month(White days):

Abu Tharr Al-Ghefari said: "The Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, said "O Abu Tharr! if you fast three days of every month, then fast the 13th, the 14th and the 15th [these are call the al-ayaam al-beedh, the white days]". [Ahmad, an-Nasaa'i and at-Tirmithi; Sahih]

“Fasting and the Qur’an will intercede for the slave on the Day of Resurrection. Fasting will say: ‘O My Rabb! I prevented him from food and desires, so accept my intercession for him.’ And the Qur’an will say: ‘I prevented him from sleep during the night, so accept my intercession for him.’ He (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said: ‘And they will (be allowed to) intercede.’” [Ahmad, at-Tabarani, Al-Hakim, Sahih]

So let us get closer to Allah by fasting Mondays and Thursdays or at least 3 days every month on the 14th,15th and 16th. If we leave something for the pleasure of Allah then we will get MUCH greater in return!

9. Sincerely repenting to Allah

Allah says: O son of Adam, if your sins were to reach the clouds of the sky and you would then seek My forgiveness, I would forgive you.

When a person sins and then sincerely turns to Allah for forgiveness, one will find Allah ready to accept his repentance and to forgive him, as this verse indicates:

And whoever does a wrong or wrongs himself, but then seeks forgiveness from Allah, he will find Allah forgiving and merciful. (Surat an-Nisaa 4:110)

Everyone commits sin and does wrong, but Allah is always willing to forgive and He always gives them a chance to repent and seek His forgiveness. A believer should never forget the fact that Allah is so forgiving. If Allah had willed, He could have held everyone accountable for his or her sins, but He has decreed that He shall allow His servants to seek His forgiveness and that He shall in fact forgive who and what He wills. In fact, Allah commands that His servants seek His forgiveness:

And seek Allahs forgiveness. Certainly, Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
(Surat al-Muzzammil 73:20)

Repentance is an act, which purifies the soul and brings the servant closer to Allah. It puts the heart at rest from guilt. It protects one from falling prey to his desires and lusts and increases his faith.

We must ask ourselves this question: Would we be willing to forgive anyone who hurts us and disobeys us constantly as easily as Allah is Able to forgive? Most probably, the answer would be no. But our Creator is the Most Kind and He is the Most Perfect.

Lo! Allah is a Lord of Kindness to mankind, but most of mankind give not thanks. (Surat al-Baqarah 2:143)

In this Hadithi Qudsi, mankind is encouraged to seek Allahs forgiveness and repent, but there are five conditions of repentance, which must be met for ones repentance to be accepted. The first and most important is that the act of repentance be sincerely for Allah alone. Secondly, the person must feel remorse and guilt over his actions so much so that he wished he had never done it in the first place. The third condition is that the person must immediately cease performing the wrong and sinful act. Fourthly, the repentant person must have a firm intention to never commit the sin again. And lastly, the person must repent before it is too late, meaning before death approaches.

However, there is a condition. One must not associate any partners with Allah, which is shirk. And Allah does not forgive shirk and if one dies without believing in Allah alone as ones Creator, then he will be doomed to the Hellfire for all of eternity. So, Allah emphasizes the importance of calling on Him alone. He has no and needs no partners, associates, wives, children, etc. There is no god, but Allah. None forgives sins except Him, so one who is seeking forgiveness should seek it only from Allah.

Allahs forgiveness and mercy is far greater and vaster than the sins of the creation. One must always have trust and hope in Allah in both good times and bad times and especially when seeking Allahs forgiveness. And the believer who calls out to his Lord for forgiveness demonstrates his true weakness and that he is totally dependent on the Creator.

When one confesses his sins to Allah and sincerely repents with hope in Allahs mercy, the heart should come to peace and the soul should feel rest. When a person has hope, he has no reason to despair because it only leads to destruction. Allah gives hope to all, especially those who despair that there is no reason to despair because Allah is the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy. Allah praises those who repent and turn to Him:

And those who, when they commit a lewd act or wrong themselves with evil, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins and who forgives sins except Allah? And they do not persist in what (wrong) they were doing while they knew it. For such, the reward is forgiveness from their Lord and Gardens with rivers flowing through, wherein they shall abide forever. How excellent is the reward of the doers (of good)! (Surah Ali Imran 3:135-136)

10. Having good manners, character and being humble

Many of us think that “a perfect Muslim” is simply one who is correct in the observance of the salah (ritual Prayer), the fasting, the zakah (payment of a certain portion of one’s wealth to the poor), and the Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah). This indeed is not the case.

If the ritual observances do not help the person to be humble, virtuous and truly God-fearing, then he or she is not a real Muslim. A Muslim should be good and just in dealing with others, no matter their religion, and take special care to keep away from all the shameful and sinful things Allah (God) has forbidden.

One can never get close to Allah by being arrogant, full of pride and having a bad character and manners. Those who have humility and are humble and have good character and manners are the closest to Allah and Allah raises their ranks in the hereafter.

The superiority of good character:

Hadrat Abu Darda, may Allah be pleased with him, relates that the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “Nothing is heavier in the scales of a believer on the Day of Judgement than his good behaviour. Allah detests a person who is obscene and shameless”. (Tirmidhi)

Having humility and being humble:

The Prophet (PBUH) said: "He who was humble for the sake of God by one degree, God (SWT) would then elevate them to a degree till they reach the uppermost of high Orders, and he who was arrogant to God (SWT), God (SWT) would then lower him for a degree till he reaches the lowest of low Orders", (Narrated by: Muslim (Hadeeth: 6535).
Al-Nawawi said:

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “And no one humbles himself before Allaah but Allaah will raise him (in status).”

Humbleness is to know the value of oneself, to avoid pride, or disregarding the truth and underestimating people. As the Prophet sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam said, according to Muslim and others, "Al-Kibr is rejecting the truth and looking down upon people" [Muslim, Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud].

Humbleness is for one who is important and significant and he fears to gain notoriety or to become too great among people. Humbleness is that one should humble himself with his companions.

Humbleness is to humble oneself to one who is below you. If you find someone who is younger than you, or of less importance than you, you should not despise him, because he might have a better heart than you, or be less sinful, or closer to Allah than you. Even if you see a sinful person and you are righteous, do not act in arrogance towards him, and thank Allah that He saved you from the tribulation that He put him through. Remember that there might be some riyaa' or vanity in your righteous deeds that may cause them to be of no avail, and that this sinful person may be regretful and fearful concerning his bad deeds, and this may be the cause of forgiveness of his sins.

Humbleness is that your deed should not become too great in your eyes. If you do a good deed, or attempt to get closer to Allah ta`ala through an act of obedience, your deed may still not be accepted, "Allah only accepts from those who have taqwa (fear of Allah)." (Surat al-Maida: 27)

Humbleness is that, when you are advised, if Shaytaan calls you to reject the advice, you must negate him. Because the purpose of advice is that your brother points out the defects that you have.

The arrogant never gives credit to anybody or mentions good about someone, and if he needed to do so, he would also mention five defects of that person. But if he hears somebody reminding him about his own defects, he will not be flexible nor comply due to his inferiority complex. This is why it is among man's moral integrity to accept criticism or comment without any sensitivity or discomfort or feelings of shame and weakness.

We can summarize the teachings of Islam about the Muslim character in the following list:
  • Be truthful in everything, don’t lie.
  • Be sincere and straightforward, don’t be hypocritical.
  • Be honest, don’t be corrupt.
  • Be humble, don’t be boastful.
  • Be moderate, don’t be excessive.
  • Be reserved, don’t be garrulous.
  • Be soft-spoken, don’t be loud.
  • Be refined and gentle in speech, don’t curse and use foul language.
  • Be loving and solicitous to others, don’t be unmindful of them.
  • Be considerate and compassionate, don’t be harsh.
  • Be polite and respectful to people, don’t be insulting or disrespectful.
  • Be generous and charitable, don’t be selfish and miserly.
  • Be good natured and forgiving, don’t be bitter and resentful.
  • Share and be content with what Allah has given you, don’t be greedy.
  • Be cheerful and pleasant, don’t be irritable and morose.
  • Be chaste and pure, don’t be lustful.
  • Be alert and aware of the world around you, don’t be absent-minded.
  • Be dignified and decent, don’t be graceless.
  • Be optimistic and hopeful, don’t be cynical or pessimistic.
  • Be confident and have deep faith, don’t be doubtful and wavering.
  • Be spiritually oriented and not materialistic.
  • Be confident of the mercy of Allah, don’t be despairing and lose heart.
  • Be diligent and vigilant of your duties, don’t be negligent.
  • Be thankful to Allah and constantly pray to Him, don’t be forgetful of His innumerable blessings.
Finally as the righteous say, "The love of Allah is the axis around which all good revolves." If you fall in love with Allah, and then strive to be true in your love--in accordance with the way of the Beloved of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), then you'll find nothing but increasing light and contentment in your life.
And Allah alone gives success.

27 September 2010

The Mother of all Terrorists

To Be Taken Quite Literally!

For those of you who want "FACTS" and "FIGURES" and have the intellect to judge 'GOOD' from 'EVIL' and the courage to know and say out the TRUTH....for the rest you should stop here!

Ever since the United States Army massacred 300 Lakotas in 1890, American forces have intervened elsewhere around the globe 100 times. Indeed the United States has sent troops abroad or militarily struck other countries' territory 216 times since independence from Britain. Since 1945 the United States has intervened in more than 20 countries throughout the world.

Since World War II, the United States actually dropped BOMBS ON 23 COUNTRIES. These include: China 1945-46, Korea 1950-53, China 1950-53, Guatemala 1954, Indonesia 1958, Cuba 1959-60, Guatemala 1960, Congo 1964, Peru 1965, Laos 1964-73, Vietnam 1961-73, Cambodia 1969-70, Guatemala 1967-69, Grenada 1983, Lebanon 1984, Libya 1986, El Salvador 1980s, Nicaragua 1980s, Panama 1989, Iraq 1991-1999, Sudan 1998, Afghanistan 1998, and Yugoslavia 1999.

Post World War II, the United States has also assisted in over 20 different coups throughout the world, and the CIA was responsible for half a dozen assassinations of political heads of state.

The following is a comprehensive summary of the imperialist strategy of the United States over the span of the past century:

Argentina-1890-Troops sent to Buenos Aires to protect business interests.
Chile-1891- Marines sent to Chile and clashed with nationalist rebels.

Haiti-1891-American troops suppress a revolt by Black workers on United States-claimed Navassa Island.

Hawaii-1893-Navy sent to Hawaii to overthrow the independent kingdom-Hawaii annexed by the United States.

Nicaragua-1894-Troops occupied Bluefields, a city on the Caribbean Sea, for a month.

China-1894-95-Navy, Army, and Marines landed during the Sino-Japanese War.
Korea-1894-96-Troops kept in Seoul during the war.

Panama-1895-Army, Navy, and Marines landed in the port city of Corinto.
China-1894-1900-Troops occupied China during the Boxer Rebellion.
Philippines-1898-1910-Navy and Army troops landed after the Philippines fell during the Spanish-American War; 600,000 Filipinos were killed.
Cuba-1898-1902-Troops seized Cuba in the Spanish-American War; the United States still maintains troops at Guantanamo Bay today.
Puerto Rico-1898-present-Troops seized Puerto Rico in the Spanish-American War and still occupy Puerto Rico today.
Nicaragua-1898-Marines landed at the port of San Juan del Sur.
Samoa-1899-Troops landed as a result over the battle for succession to the throne.
Panama-1901-14-Navy supported the revolution when Panama claimed independence from Colombia. American troops have occupied the Canal Zone since 1901 when construction for the canal began.
Honduras-1903-Marines landed to intervene during a revolution.
Dominican Rep-1903-04-Troops landed to protect American interests during a revolution.
Korea-1904-05-Marines landed during the Russo-Japanese War.
Cuba-1906-09-Troops landed during an election.
Nicaragua-1907-Troops landed and a protectorate was set up.
Honduras-1907-Marines landed during Honduras' war with Nicaragua.
Panama-1908-Marines sent in during Panama's election.
Nicaragua-1910-Marines landed for a second time in Bluefields and Corinto.
Honduras-1911-Troops sent in to protect American interests during Honduras' 
civil war.
China-1911-41-Navy and troops sent to China during continuous flare-ups.
Cuba-1912-Troops sent in to protect American interests in Havana.
Panama-1912-Marines landed during Panama's election.
Honduras-1912-Troops sent in to protect American interests.
Nicaragua-1912-33-Troops occupied Nicaragua and fought guerrillas during its 20-year civil war.
Mexico-1913-Navy evacuated Americans during revolution.
Dominican Rep-1914-Navy fought with rebels over Santo Domingo.
Mexico-1914-18-Navy and troops sent in to intervene against nationalists.
Haiti-1914-34-Troops occupied Haiti after a revolution and occupied Haiti for 19 years.
Dominican Rep-1916-24-Marines occupied the Dominican Republic for eight years.
Cuba-1917-33-Troops landed and occupied Cuba for 16 years; Cuba became an economic protectorate.
World War I-1917-18-Navy and Army sent to Europe to fight the Axis powers.
Russia-1918-22-Navy and troops sent to eastern Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution; Army made five landings.
Honduras-1919-Marines sent during Honduras' national elections.
Guatemala-1920-Troops occupied Guatemala for two weeks during a union strike.
Turkey-1922-Troops fought nationalists in Smyrna.
China-1922-27-Navy and Army troops deployed during a nationalist revolt.
Honduras-1924-25-Troops landed twice during a national election.
Panama-1925-Troops sent in to put down a general strike.
China-1927-34-Marines sent in and stationed for seven years throughout China.
El Salvador-1932-Naval warships deployed during the FMLN revolt under Marti.
World War II-1941-45-Military fought the Axis powers: Japan, Germany, and Italy.
Yugoslavia-1946-Navy deployed off the coast of Yugoslavia in response to the downing of an American
Uruguay-1947-Bombers deployed as a show of military force.
Greece-1947-49-United States operations insured a victory for the far right in national "elections."
Germany-1948-Military deployed in response to the Berlin blockade; the Berlin airlift lasts 444 days.
Philippines-1948-54-The CIA directed a civil war against the Filipino Huk revolt.
Puerto Rico-1950-Military helped crush an independence rebellion in Ponce.
Korean War-1951-53-Military sent in during the war.
Iran-1953-The CIA orchestrated the overthrow of democratically elected Mossadegh and restored the Shah to power.
Vietnam-1954-The United States offered weapons to the French in the battle against Ho Chi Minh and the Viet Minh.
Guatemala-1954-The CIA overthrew the democratically elected Arbenz and placed Colonel Armas
in power.
Egypt-1956-Marines deployed to evacuate foreigners after Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal.
Lebanon-1958-Navy supported an Army occupation of Lebanon during its civil war.
Panama-1958-Troops landed after Panamanians demonstrations threatened the Canal Zone.
Vietnam-1950s-75-Vietnam War.
Cuba-1961-The CIA-directed Bay of Pigs invasions failed to overthrow the Castro government.
Cuba-1962-The Navy quarantines Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Laos-1962-Military occupied Laos during its civil war against the Pathet Lao guerrillas.
Panama-1964-Troops sent in and Panamanians shot while protesting the United States presence in the
Canal Zone.
Indonesia-1965-The CIA orchestrated a military coup.
Dominican Rep-1965-66-Troops deployed during a national election.
Guatemala-1966-67-Green Berets sent in.
Cambodia-1969-75-Military sent in after the Vietnam War expanded into Cambodia.
Oman-1970-Marines landed to direct a possible invasion into Iran.
Laos-1971-75-Americans carpet-bomb the countryside during Laos' civil war.
Chile-1973-The CIA orchestrated a coup, killing President Allende who had been popularly elected. The
CIA helped to establish a military regime under General Pinochet.
Cambodia-1975-Twenty-eight Americans killed in an effort to retrieve the crew of the Mayaquez, which had been seized.
Angola-1976-92-The CIA backed South African rebels fighting against Marxist Angola.
Iran-1980-Americans aborted a rescue attempt to liberate 52 hostages seized in the Teheran embassy.
Libya-1981-American fighters shoot down two Libyan fighters.
El Salvador-198-92-The CIA, troops, and advisers aid in El Salvador's war against the FMLN.
Nicaragua-1981-90-The CIA and NSC directed the Contra War against the Sandinistas.
Lebanon-1982-84-Marines occupied Beirut during Lebanon's civil war; 241 were killed in the American
barracks and Reagan "redeployed" the troops to the Mediterranean.
Honduras-1983-89-Troops sent in to build bases near the Honduran border.

Grenada-1983-84-American invasion overthrew the Maurice Bishop government.
Iran-1984-American fighters shot down two Iranian planes over the Persian Gulf.
Libya-1986-American fighters hit targets in and around the capital city of Tripoli.
Bolivia-1986-The Army assisted government troops on raids of cocaine areas.
Iran-1987-88-The United States intervened on the side of Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War.
Libya-1989-Navy shot down two more Libyan jets.
Virgin Islands-1989-Troops landed during unrest among Virgin Island peoples.
Philippines-1989-Air Force provided air cover for government during coup.
Panama-1989-90-27,000 Americans landed in overthrow of President Noriega; over 2,000 Panama
civilians were killed.
Liberia-1990-Troops entered Liberia to evacuate foreigners during civil war.
Saudi Arabia-1990-91-American troops sent to Saudi Arabia, which was a staging area in the war against
Kuwait-1991-Troops sent into Kuwait to turn back Saddam Hussein.
Somalia-1992-94-Troops occupied Somalia during civil war.
Bosnia-1993-95-Air Force jets bombed "no-fly zone" during civil war in Yugoslavia.
Haiti-1994-96-American troops and Navy provided a blockade against Haiti's military government. The CIA restored Aristide to power.
Zaire-1996-97-Marines sent into Rwanda Hutus' refugee camps in the area where the Congo revolution
Albania-1997-Troops deployed during evacuation of foreigners.
Sudan-1998-American missiles destroyed a pharmaceutical complex where alleged nerve gas
components were manufactured.
Afghanistan-1998-Missiles launched towards alleged Afghan terrorist training camps.
Yugoslavia-1999-Bombings and missile attacks carried out by the United States in conjunction with
NATO in the 11 week war against Milosevic.
Iraq-1998-2001-Missiles launched into Baghdad and other large Iraq cities for four days. American jets
enforced "no-fly zone" and continued to hit Iraqi targets since December 1998.

These*100*instances of American military intervention did not include times when the United States:

(1) Deployed military police overseas;
(2) Mobilized the National Guard;
(3) Sent Navy ships off the coast of numerous countries as a show of strength;
(4) Sent additional troops to areas where Americans were already stationed;
(5) Carried out covert actions where American forces were not under the direct rule of an American command;
(6) Used small hostage rescue units;
(7) Used American pilots to fly foreign planes;
(8) Carried out military training and advisory programs which did not involve direct combat.

U. S. Government Assassination Plots
Following is a list of prominent foreign leaders whose assassination (or planning for same) the United States has been involved in since the end of Second World War. The list does not include several
assassinations in various parts of the world carried out by anti-Castro Cubans employed by CIA and headquartered in the United States:

1949 - KIm Koo, Korean opposition leader
1950's - CIA/Neo-Nazi hit list of numerous political figures in West Germany
1950's Chou En-lai, Prime Minister of China, several attempts on his life
1950s (mid) - Claro M. Recto, Philippines opposition leader
1951 - Kim Il Sung, Premiere of North Korea
1955 - Jose' Antonio Remon, President of Panama
1955 - Jawar Lal Nehru, Prime Minister of India
1959 and 1963 - Norodom Sihanouk, leader of Cambodia
1950s-70s - Jose Figueres, President of Costa Rica, two attempts on his life
1961 - Francois "Papa Doc"Duvalier, leader of Haiti
1961 - Patrice Lumumba , Prime Minister of Congo (Zaire)
1961 - Gen. Rafael Trujillo, leader of Dominican Republic
1963 - Ngo Dinh Diem, President of South Vietnam
1960s - Fidel Castro, President of Cuba, more than15 attempts on his life
1960s - Raul Castro, high official in government of Cuba
1965 - Francisco Caamanao, Dominican Republic opposition leader
1965 - Pierre Ngendandumwe, Prime Minister of Burundi
1965-6 - Charles de Gaulle, President of France
1967 - Che Guevara, Cuban leader
1970 - Salvadore Allende, President of Chile
1970 - General Rene Schneider, Commander-in-Chief of Army, Chile
1970s and 1981 - Gen. Omar Torrijos, leader of Panama
1972 - General Manuel Noriega, Chief of Panama Intelligence
1975 - Mobutu Sese Seko, President of Zaire
1976 - Michael Manley, Prime Minister of Jamaica
1983 - Miguel d'Escoto, Foreign Minister of Nicaragua
1984 - The nine commandantes of the Sandanista National Directorate
1980's - Dr. Gerald Bull, Canadian Ballistics Scientist assassinated by Mossad in Belgium.

Partial List Of Muslim Leaders Assassinated Or Attempted Assassinations
1950's Sukarno, President of Indonesia

1957 Gamal Abdul Nasser, President of Egypt

1960 Brigadier General, Abdul Karim Kassem, Leader of Iraq

1980-86 Muammar Qaddafi, Leader of Libya, several plots and attempts upon his life

1982 Ayatullah Khomeini, Leader of Iran

1983 General Ahmed Dlimi, Moroccan army Commander

1985 Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Fadllallah, Lebanese Shiite Leader (80 people killed in that attempt)

1991 Saddam Hussein, Leader of Iraq

Reference: Blum, William, "KILLING HOPE - U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II," Appendix III U.S. Government Assassination Plots, page 453, Common Courage Press, Monroe, Maine 1995. ISBN 1-56751-052-3 Very likely Victims :

April 4, 1979 - Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Leader of Pakistan, for pursuing making of Nuclear Bomb.

August, 1988. General Ziaul Haq, Military Leader of Pakistan.

1995 - Murtaza Bhutto, Son of ZUlfiqar Ali Bhutto, Anti-American would-be Leader - Pakistan.

March 25, 1975 - King Faisal of Saudi Arabia through his Nephew, Saudi Arabia for imposing 1973 Oil Embargo.

August 24, 1999. Mullah Mohammad Omar, in Kandhar, Afghanistan.

|"À"List Of Known Assassination Plots

1950's Sukarno, President of Indonesia

1957 Gamal Abdul Nasser, President

2001 Since early this year more than 40 Palestinian leaders assassinated through surrogat

The Forgotten Piece of Flesh

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

While many of us remember to supplicate to Allah (azza wa jal) for guidance, knowledge, and Paradise, there is one important thing that we forget to include in our prayers. In a narration that many of us are familiar with, the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said:

“Unquestionably, in the body there is a lump of flesh; if it is sound, the whole body is sound, and if it is corrupt, the whole body is corrupt, and behold, it is the heart.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

Countless scholars of Islam have dedicated books upon books to reformation and purification of the heart because it is the key to success or destruction. Just as doctors today tell us that having a healthy heart is the key to having a healthy body, the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) conveys to us that having a good heart is the key to righteousness. Anas (radi Allahu anhu) narrated that asking for a firm and obedient heart was one of the constant supplications of the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam); and one narration from Umm Salamah (radi Allahu anha) states that this was the dua’ he made the most. This dua’ is:
“Allahumma ya Muqallib al Quloob thabbit qalbi ‘alaa Deenik,”
“O Turner of the hearts, make my heart firm upon Your Religion.”
However, there is another authentic dua’ from the sunnah of the Messenger that is narrated in Sahih Muslim that isn’t as well known. The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “Verily, the hearts of all the sons of Adam are between the two fingers out of the fingers of the Compassionate Lord as one heart. He turns that to any (direction) He likes. Then Allah’s Messenger (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said:

‏اللَّهُمَّ ‏ ‏مُصَرِّفَ ‏ ‏الْقُلُوبِ ‏ ‏صَرِّفْ ‏ ‏قُلُوبَنَا عَلَى طَاعَتِكَ ‏
Allahumma Musarrif al-Qulubi Sarrif Qulubana ‘ala Ta’atika
“O Allah, Turner of the hearts, direct our hearts to Your obedience.”
Meaning of the Words in the Dua’:


Both of these words are from the same root which has many meanings. Of those meanings are, to turn, to divert, to turn from another direction, to avert, and to change. The meaning of this word in this dua’ is to turn or direct. How is this word different from “Muqallib al-Qulub?” There are a few differences linguistically, but the essence of both supplications is the same. Qallaba, just like Sarrafa, means to change and turn the direction of something. The linguistic difference is that qallaba points more to constant moving and turning about, while sarrafa points to changing of the direction. When we make this dua', we are asking Allah (azza wa jal) to sarrif, turn and direct our hearts to His Obedience, while in the other dua', we are asking Allah to thabbit, make our hearts firm on Islam, and not qallib because the heart is constantly changing about and turning directions.


Qulub is plural of qalb which means the heart. Qalb is the general word for heart. It comes from the root which means something that turns around and about and upside down, as mentioned above. It is the nature of hearts that they are constantly changing.


Ta’ah means to obey and to submit. The beauty of this word is that it not only means to submit one’s self, it specifically means to submit willingly, voluntarily and on one’s own free will. We are asking Allah ta’ala to direct our hearts to willingly submit and obey Him.

Points of Benefit

Supplications on the heart are found both in the Quran and Sunnah. In the Quran, the believers supplicate,
“Our Lord, let not our hearts deviate after You have guided us.” (Surah Ali ‘Imran 3:8)

Also in Surah Hashr,
“And [there is a share for] those who came after them, saying, “Our Lord, forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in faith and put not in our hearts [any] resentment toward those who have believed.” (Surah Al Hashr 59:10)
Both of these duaas are seeking refuge from Allah in corrupted hearts – the first dua’ seeks refuge from deviation after guidance, and the second dua’ from evil and ill feelings towards fellow Muslims.

The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) constantly made dua’ for a righteous and good heart. From this we learn the status of the heart, and to also supplicate as much as we can for an obedient and firm heart upon Islam. The nature of the heart is to constantly change, and by asking Allah ta’ala in this supplication to direct our hearts to His Obedience shows that we are constantly falling short in our obedience to Him. To make this dua’ is to ask Allah to keep changing back our hearts to His Obedience as we are prone to falter.

Scholars like Imam ibn Qayyim (rahimahullah) and ibn Uthaymeen (rahimahullah) state that the intelligence and the understanding of a human lies in their heart, and not necessarily their brain. Their evidence for this statement is the ayah,
“So have they not traveled through the earth and have hearts by which to reason and ears by which to hear? For indeed, it is not eyes that are blinded, but blinded are the hearts which are within the chests.” (Surah Al Hajj  22:46)

Shaykh ibn Uthaymeen (rahimahullah) says that the brain is like the secretary processing information, then it reaches the heart and the heart decides to do good or evil based on that information.

The heart is the foundation. We must purify our hearts from associating partners with Allah, from bid’ah, from ill feelings against our fellow Muslims and any other evil deeds in our character and our theology. The Muslim should focus on the reformation of their heart as well as accumulating good deeds. The heart is the source of good deeds, and the heart is where we will be tested on the Day of Judgment. Allah (azza wa jal) says,
“But does he not know that when the contents of the graves are scattered, and that within the chests is brought out, indeed, their Lord with them, that Day, is [fully] Acquainted.” (Surah Al 'Adiyat 100:9-11)

In another hadith of the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam), he pointed to his heart and said three times,
“Taqwa (consciousness and fear of Allah) is here.” [Musnad Ahmad]

This hadith shows us that when the heart fears Allah, then the limbs will follow, just as the first hadith narrated that, “if it is sound [the heart], the whole body is sound.”

This dua’ is a constant reminder for us that we are not in control of our guidance. It is crucial for us to make dua’ for our hearts on a regular basis because we do not know where our hearts will stand tomorrow. The hearts of the children of Adam are between the two fingers of Allah, so who else can we turn to than Musarrif al-Qulub to keep our hearts towards the direction of His obedience?

18 September 2010

Parent-Child Relationship in Islam

(1) Rights of Parents (and Duties of children)
Islam recognises family as a basic social unit. Along with the husband-wife relationship the Parent-child relationship is the most important one. To maintain any social relationship both parties must have some clear-cut Rights as well as obligations. The relationships are reciprocal. Duties of one side are the Rights of the other side. So in Parent-child relationship the Rights of parents are the obligations (duties) of the children and vice versa, the Rights of children are obligations (duties) of parents. Islam clearly defines the Rights of Parents (which mean duties of children) and obligations of parents (which means Rights of children).

It is clear that after Allah parents are the persons who give us innumerable favors. They provide protection, food and clothing to the newly born. The mother sacrifices her comforts and sleep to provide comfort to her children. The father works hard to provide for their physical, educational and psychological (and spiritual) needs. It is a matter of common courtesy that if a person does you some favor you feel obliged to him. Verbally you say ‘thank you’ to him. You try to repay and compensate him for his gifts and favors. You feel a sense of gratitude towards him. So it is with Allah and with parents. Allah’s favors cannot be counted or repaid except by thanking Him and obeying His orders. After Allah our parents deserve our thanks and obedience for the favors they had done us. That’s why Quran lays stress on feeling grateful to parents, and doing good to them. “And your Lord has ordained that you shall worship none save Him and shall do your parents a good turn.” What does a ‘good turn’ mean? It includes obeying them, speaking softly, avoiding harsh words or harsh tone, giving them company when they are lonely, caring for their physical and psychological needs (especially in their old age), and praying to Allah that He may bless them and have mercy on them.

As between parents the mother has more rights than the father. The reason is apparent. Mother has borne the child’s burden during pregnancy, has undergone birth pains in delivering the baby, has sacrificed her own comforts to provide comfort to her children, has looked after them and felt worried for their well-being. That is why mother deserves our good treatment more than the father. A Tradition of the Prophet (PBUH) tells us that a Companion asked the Prophet, “ Who deserves my good treatment most?” “Your mother”, said the Prophet. “Who next?” “Your mother”. “Who next?” “Your mother”. “Who after that?” “Your father”. This means that the mother deserves three times more good treatment from her children than the father deserves. Another Tradition wants us to extend kind treatment to close relations on the mother’s side also (even to her friends). A famous Hadith (Tradition) says, “Paradise lies under the feet of the mother”. This means doing good to our mother lead us to Paradise.

As to the reward for doing good to our parents a Hadith mentions the following story: “Three persons of ancient days were once travelling in a mountaneous region. The rain, thunder and lightning made them take refuge in a cave. Mudslide made a stone block the opening to the cave. The persons were entrapped inside. When the storm stopped they tried to push back the heavy stone to get out of the cave but they could not. They wondered ‘what to do now’. At last seeing that their joint efforts also cannot move the stone they decided to pray to Allah sincerely. One of them suggested, ‘each one of us should relate one good thing he has done in his life and beg Allah to move the stone. One said, “One night my old mother asked me to bring a cup of milk for her. During the time I milched the goat and brought it to her she had gone to sleep. I did not think it proper to disturb her. So I stood by her bedside for the whole night till she got up in the morning and then I offered her the cup of milk. O God, if this act of mine was approved by You please shift this stone.” The stone slipped a little but not enough to let them get out. Similarly, the second and the third man mentioned an act of goodness and prayed to God to shift the stone. The stone slipped down and the entry to the cave opened up. So the men got out. This story shows how service to one’s parents leads to blessings from God and rescue from troubles. Now let us summarize the Rights of Parents (Duties of children):

(1) Right to be respected and obeyed:
Parents have a right to be respected and obeyed by children. All parents are well wishers of children. They issue orders and instructions that are in the best interest of children (though children might think ottherwise). So it is the duty of children to obey their orders and act accordingly. Some children listen to parental orders but do not act upon these or show laziness in carrying out these orders. This causes annoyance to parents. Children should remember that annoying one’s parents can lead to God’s wrath.

(2) Right to scold and rebuke:
It is instinctive obligation of parents to protect their children from physical and moral harm. If a small child puts its hand in fire it is natural urge for you to push the child back, even if the child does not want. It is in child’s interest. So it is with parents. They are duty bound to protect their children in every way, physical, intellectual, moral. If the children have a temptation to do an act that is not in their long-term interest it is the duty of the parents to keep them back from that act or behavior. To this end they may resort to advice, rebuke, scolding, even hitting them. Good children should take all this ‘harshness’ in their own interest. If parents scold them they should bear it calmly. No rude replies, no arguing, no explanations, no comments unless asked for. Parental advice should be listened to and acted upon, even if against children’s own wishes.

(3) Right to be looked after.
Parents have looked after the children for decades. So it is the duty of grown-up children to repay them by way of caring for them and looking to their physical and financial needs. A Quranic verse says: “People ask you (O Prophet) how should they spend. Say, ‘whatever you spend should be spent on Allah (in good cause), on parents, near relatives, on orphans, destitutes and travelers (who fall short of money in foreign lands)”.

(4) Right to be helped:
As parents grow old their energies also decline. So it is the duty of children to help their parents in any household chore in which they can help. Sons can help in lifting heavy things, cleaning home, arranging things etc. Daughters can help in mother’s household work—cooking, washing, cleaning, serving food etc. With good children such help should come automatically, not when asked for. Whenever you see your mother or father doing something extend a helping hand to her/him without their asking. This is what Islam expects from children.

(5) Right to kind words/good behaviour:
Quran urges children to be soft-spoken towards parents and show respect and kindness in their behavior towards parents.

Unforunate as it is, the Western societies have forgotten these lessons. Young children are rude towards parents and show disobedience. As the parents grow old they drive them out from their homes and put them in “Senior Citizens Homes”. Grown up children cannot spare time to attend to the needs of old parents. The busy Western life has led to a break-up of the family unit (so much upheld in Islam). As Muslims we expect our children to adhere to Islamic values and show respect, obedience, kindness, leniency and care towards parents, especially in their old age. Children must not forget the favors and sacrifices of their parents. As good mannered persons they must feel and remain obliged towards parents and try to repay them by kind words and deeds, even with money and material needs. These are the Rights of Parents due from their children (or the Duties of Children towards parents). These Rights and obligations are not found in Islam only. Such values are to be found in all true religions. Quran mentions Hazrat Yahya (John the Baptist) as “kind towards his parents, not tough and disobedient”. Similarly Hazrat Isa (Jesus) is quoted saying to his people, “God made me kind towards my mother (Mary) and did not make me tough and disobedient”. Hazrat Yousuf (Joseph), as a royal Minister in Egypt, called his old, poor parents from their far off home and offered them seats on a high platform (he did not feel shy of behaving in a kind manner to poor parents in the presence of his officials).

(2) Rights of Children

Now let us see the other side of the coin. We have mentioned that Parent-child relation is a reciprocal one. The Rights of Parents (discussed above) are the Duties of children. Now let us see what are the Rights of Children (and Duties of Parents) in Islam. These can be summarized as under:

(1) Children have the right to be fed, clothed and protected till they grow up to adulhood. It is, primarily, the duty of the father to do that. Mother can provide help if necessary. Protection means protection against physical as well as moral and intellectual harm. Parents are duty bound to see that the child’s personality develops in all fields. So if the parents have to resort to strictness for the sake of disciplining the children and protecting them from intellectually, morally and religiously undesirable behaviour, children should not resent their strictness. Let them perform their duty as parents. Children’s duty is not to protest or be rude but to listen and obey. “Their’s not to question why; their’s but to do and die”.

(2) Right to education.
In Islam education is not limited to bookish knowledge but includes moral and religious training also. It means healthy all-round growth of child’s personality. Parents must not only provide for children’s education in schools and colleges but should also take personal interest in their studies, helping them if they can. This gives children a feeling of ‘working with the parents’ and encourages them in studies. Parents should sacrifice their own comfort and social activities and must spare some time to take interest in children’s studies, especially when they are young. Leaving children to the mercy of teachers or tutors is not a wise policy. And of course, parents should not forget or neglect imparting religious/moral training to children. A little sacrifice on part of parents will save children from moral disasters. Effective moral training comes not from sermons, advice and precepts but from parents’ personal examples of good behaviour. It is a famous Tradition of the Prophet (PBUH) that acquisition of knowledge is a must for every Muslim boy and girl. Another Hadith says, “The best of you is one who gives a good education (intellectual and moral) to his children”. Another Hadith lays stress on education of daughters. The Prophet (PBUH) once said, “He who provides good upbringing to 3 daughters shall go to Paradise”. A man asked, “what if one has only two daughters”. “He also shall go to Paradise”. Another man asked, “and what if one has only one daughter?” “He too”, replied the Prophet (PBUH).

(3) Right to love and affection:
Children have many psychological needs also. Small children need to be loved, caressed, kissed and hugged. The Prophet loved children greatly. He would allow his grandsons Hassan and Hussain (R.A) to ride his shoulders even during his prayers. In streets he would offer ‘salaam’ to children, play and cut jokes with them. Sometimes he would even kiss small children in the street. Once a Bedouin saw the Prophet kissing a small kid. Out of wonder he said, “I have eight children but I never kiss them”. The Prophet remarked, “What can I do if Allah has taken away love and compassion from your heart”. The Prophet would show special kindness to orphaned children. Some parents believe that being frank with children is not good from discipline point of view. This is wrong. Love and leniency can do much that fear and strictness cannot do. If leniency leads to rudeness on the part of children it should be mixed with strictness. That will tell the children that parents are basically kind but can be tough if children show rudeness and bad manners. Over-protection and over-care are undesirable. Let the child grow up as a responsible person. Only provide them guidance.

(4) Right to be well provided (materially)
A Hadith says, “It is better for parents to leave their children well provided (financially) than to leave them in poverty”. This means that parents should not spend all that they have on their own comforts and luxuries but must make provisions for children’s welfare after the parents die. These are brief outlines of the Rights and Duties of both parties in the Parent-child relationship. If the parents and children act according to these guidelines they can make the family environment most conducive to peace and satisfaction for the parents and healthy personality growth for children. May Allah bless us all. AMEEN