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26 March 2012

The ability to see the signs of God

Say: “Praise be to God. He will show you His Signs and you will recognize them. Your Lord is not heedless of anything you do.” [Quran 27:93]

In today’s society, people assess the Qur’an very differently from what is the real purpose of its revelation.

In the Islamic world, in general, very few people know the contents of the Qur’an. Some Muslim people often hang the Qur’an on the walls of their houses within a decorative cover and elderly people read it from time to time.They assume that the Qur’an protects those who read it from “misfortune and trouble”. According to this superstition, they consider the Qur’an a sort of amulet against misfortunes. The Qur’anic verses, however, inform us that the purpose of the Qur’an’s revelation is entirely different from what is mentioned above.

For instance, in the 52nd verse of Surah Ibrahim, God states:

This is a communication to be transmitted to mankind so that they can be warned by it and so that they will know that He is One God and so that people of intelligence will pay heed.” [Quran 14:52]
In many other verses, God emphasizes that one of the most crucial purposes of the Qur’an’s revelation is to invite people to ponder. In the Qur’an, God invites people to reject blindly accepting the beliefs and values society imposes on them and toponder by pushing aside all the prejudices, taboos and constraints on their minds. Man must think on how he came into being, what is the purpose of his life, why he will die and what awaits him after death. He must question how he himself and the whole universe came into existence and how they continue to exist. While doing this, he must relieve himself of all constraints and prejudices. By thinking, while isolating his conscience from all social, ideological and psychological obligations, the person should eventually perceive that the entire universe, including himself, is created by a superior power. Even when he examines his own body or any other thing in nature, he will see an impressive harmony, plan and wisdom at work within its design.

At this point again, the Qur’an guides man. In the Qur’an, God guides us as to what we should reflect on and investigate. With the methods of reflection given in the Qur’an, he who has faith in God will better perceive God’s perfection, eternal wisdom, knowledge and power in His creation. When a believing person starts to think in the way shown in the Qur’an, he soon realizes that the whole universe is a sign of God’s power and art, and that, “nature is a work of art, not the artist itself”. Every work of art exhibits the exceptional skills of the one who has made it and conveys his messages. In the Qur’an, people are summoned to contemplate numerous events and objects that clearly testify to the existence and uniqueness of God and His attributes. In the Qur’an, all these beings that bear witness are designated as “signs”, meaning “tested evidence, absolute knowledge and expression of truth”. Therefore, the signs of God comprise all the beings in the universe that disclose and communicate the being and attributes of God. Those who can observe and remember will see that the entire universe is only composed of the signs of God. This, indeed, is the responsibility of mankind; to be able to see the signs of God...

Thus, such a person will come to know the Creator who created him and all other things, draw closer to Him, discover the meaning of his existence and his life and so prosper. Each thing, the breaths a human takes, political and social developments; the cosmic harmony in the universe, the atom, which is one of the smallest pieces of matter, is each a sign of God and they all operate under His control and knowledge, abiding by His laws. Recognizing and knowing the signs of God calls for personal effort. Everyone will recognize and know the signs of God in accordance with his own wisdom and conscience. Undoubtedly, some guidelines may also help. As the first step, one can investigate certain points stressed in the Qur’an in order to acquire the mentality that perceives the whole universe as an articulation of the things created by God.

God’s signs in nature are emphasized in Surat an-Nahl: 

"It is He Who sends down water from the sky. From it you drink and from it come the shrubs among which you graze your herds. And by it He makes crops grow for you and olives and dates and grapes and fruit of every kind. . There is certainly a sign in that for people who reflect. He has made the night and the day subservient to you, and the sun, the moon and the stars, all subject to His command. There are certainly signs in that for people who use their intellect. And also the things of varying colors He has created for you in the earth. There is certainly a sign in that for people who pay heed. It is He who made the sea subservient to you so that you can eat fresh flesh from it and bring out from it ornaments to wear. And you see the ships cleaving through it so that you can seek His bounty, and so that perhaps you may show thanks. He cast firmly embedded mountains on the earth so it would not move under you, and rivers and pathways so that perhaps you might be guided, and landmarks. And they are guided by the stars. Is He Who creates like him who does not create? So will you not pay heed?" [Quran 16:10-17]

In the Qur’an, God invites men of understanding to think about the issues which other people overlook, or just dismiss using such barren terms as “evolution”, “coincidence”, or “a miracle of nature”. 

"In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of night and day, there are Signs for people of intelligence: those who remember God standing, sitting and lying on their sides, and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth: “Our Lord, You did not create this for nothing. Glory be to You! So guard us from the punishment of the Fire." [Quran 3:190-191]

As we see in these verses, people of understanding see the signs of God and try to comprehend His eternal knowledge, power and art by remembering and reflecting on them, for God’s knowledge is limitless, and His creation flawless. For men of understanding, everything around them is a sign of this creation.

"There are so many signs in the heavens and the earth. They pass by them without paying any attention!" [Quran 12:105]

25 March 2012

Picture Perfect: Gift of Father

22 March 2012

Worrying about Death

Those who know the supplication prayed in Salatul Janazah, the funeral prayer, must have noticed the words that the supplication begins with..

“Allahummagfirli hayyina wa mayyitinaa…..”

Did you note the first phrase of the supplication?

It begins with a prayer for those who are alive !!!!!

O Allah forgive those of us who are living and our dead..

The title of the salat( prayer ) is?

Salatul Janzah, the prayer for the dead.

But it begins with?

“O Allah forgive those  of us who are living.”

The same salatul Janzah begins with Surah al Fatiha and in the entire surah Fatiha the supplication is for the person who is alive.

There is no mentioning about the dead !!!

It is about guidance…

Ever wondered why when praying for dead we are praying for our selves first?

Every man is reponsible for himself..

Note this Qur’anic verse ...

Ya ayyuhal ladhina amanoo, koo anfusakum…O You who believe ! Save yourselves ……

Then comes the next command.. and your family….but first? .. Your self…


When we die, people will not even call us by our name.. rather they will say : “When is the mayyat being taken ? “

They will not  ldentify you by your name.. but? Mayyat.. so!!!

Nisaar Nadiadwala when alive, he is called Nisaar bhai or Brother Nisaar but the moment he is dead, the dead Nisaar Nadiadwala is now Mayyat..

When you leave the world  the people left behind will ask ”what has he left behind ? ” but when you go up,  you will be asked , “What have you brought along ?!!!!”

Life is only one chance... But most of our life is passed away chasing careers and collecting wealth which we leave behind.

But don’t forget that the accounts of this wealth  is also carried along with us. That is why the Qur’an reminds us : Let every soul look for what he has sent for the morrow….Surah al Hashr ch 59 verse 18

So what have I and you sent ahead for morrow?

Slanders ? Back biting ? Insults of people? Check your account before Allah calls you for the  account….

If you are really worried about your death then be concerned about your life.. Live it properly.

by Nisaar Y. Nadiadwala
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20 March 2012

Vatican says: Islam Surpasses Roman Catholicism as World's Largest Religion

Islam has surpassed Roman Catholicism  as the world's largest religion, the Vatican newspaper said Sunday.
"For the first time in history, we are no longer at the top: Muslims have overtaken us," Monsignor Vittorio Formenti said in an interview with the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano. Formenti compiles the Vatican's yearbook.

He said that Catholics accounted for 17.4 percent of the world population -- a stable percentage -- while Muslims were at 19.2 percent.

"It is true that while Muslim families, as is well known, continue to make a lot of children, Christian ones on the contrary tend to have fewer and fewer," the monsignor said.

Formenti said that the data refer to 2006. The figures on Muslims were put together by Muslim countries and then provided to the United Nations, he said, adding that the Vatican could only vouch for its own data.
When considering all Christians and not just Catholics, Christians make up 33 percent of the world population, Formenti said.

Spokesmen for the Vatican and the United Nations did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment Sunday.

16 March 2012

Picture Perfect: Before Sweat Dries

15 March 2012

Poem: Let me hold you

Mother, I have something to say
Something that should have been said long ago
Something I can't keep in any longer
Something I have to say before my time's up

When I fell you picked me up
When I broke down you dried my tears
When I was sick you never left my bedside
Even though you were much sicker than I ever was

When I gave up you made me fight back
When I felt like dying you gave me the reason to live
When Dad died and I blamed you you never fought back, not even once
Even though you were falling apart inside

When I ran away you hunted me down and brought me home
When I lost my temper and punched another kid you were the only one who understood
When I failed my classes you never scolded me
Even I could see the pain in your loving, brown eyes

Mother dear, I'm sorry for how I've treated you
I regret the pain I've caused you
I never realised how much you did for me
I would have never made it as far as I have without you

Mother dear, I'm trying to tell you I'm sorry, truly
I've wasted my time without you
Now, as you lie old and sick on your deathbed
Let me hold you as you've held me throughout these past years

14 March 2012

The Business of Marriage

The Hindustan Times Weekly Magazine had an interesting cover story on THE NEW BUSINESS OF MARRIAGE .(October 30, 2011).

The report says that those Marriage brokers who have a list of rich boys or beautiful girls preferably richer too, earn million of Rupees a year to fix up a wedding. Let me serve some of their findings..but remember most of these findings are related to Non Muslim communities of India but also serves a reflection of the Muslims society too in many places, countries and cities.

1.The average age for both men and women is 26 -28…. (if you or your son or your sister or brother fall in this category then it is not healthy for the society, because we know that many unIslamic societies don’t mind illicit affairs so these youth have a way to satisfy their natural need, but in a Muslim society it is not allowed.. so what options do our youth have? Neither they are married nor would they go for affair…)

2. On average there are more women ” in the market” than men !!!!!

In the 30 – 36 age group, there are 15 women to one man

In the 26 – 30 age group, there are 7 women to one man

3. For men, the most important is looks, the second is a rich girl. For the women, the single most important criterion for eligibility is wealth or salary, the second is education. For the parents of both men and women the most important criteria is wealth !!!!!

4. The registration fee by marriage brokerage firms that caters to the rich class ( read… that sells the bio-data and portfolios of rich and good looking girls and boys) is between 300 US$ to 600 US$.

Once the deal is clicked the completion fees ranges from 2000 US $ to 6000 US $. Some brokers of elite class charge a percentage of total expense of the wedding.

5. One broker shared the craze he came across…. “I asked a family who came looking for a match for their son, ” what type of girl you are looking for ?” They replied, ” We want a BRANDED GIRL ” ( A daughter of a rich and famous family is called a branded bride)

This reminds me a painful incident I came across. I visited a Muslim matrimonial brokerage firm and asked them how many applications do you get every year ? He replied, ” We receive around a 100 applications of girls a year ” And how many you manage to get married out of those 100 ? I asked. He replied.. Only 2 or 3 !!!! Remember, this firm catered to middle class families.

Indeed marriage has turned into an industry, and it is sad to note that even Muslim marriages are turning into expensive events catering to decorators, big halls, caterers, beauty parlors, dress designers…..

Note this Qur’anic verse from Surah Nahl ch 16 verse 72..

Allah has created from you mates from your own nature and from your mates He has created for you children and grand children and provided of you good rizq ( sustenance).. Will you then believe in vain things and be ungrateful to Allah’s favour ?”….

Don’t forget to note that in this verse Allah calls weddings as His blessings..will you delay or deny it by making it complicated?

By Nisaar Nadiadwala

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13 March 2012

Picture Perfect: Plant a Tree

[Bukharee, Adab (Manners), 27; Muslim, Musaqah, 7, 10]

10 March 2012

Why I Don’t Celebrate my Birthday?

From next week onwards the top right corner of your FaceBook Wall will remind you for a few days that Nisaar Yusuf’s birthday falls on 10 March. Well, I know there are many people in this world who are happy that I share some space in this world with them and some even accommodate me in their hearts and their supplications.

Come along with me and have a little different look at the birthdays from a different angle.

Here we go:

The first two verses from Surah Ambiya frighten me every birthday:

Closer has come to mankind their day of accounts and they are still heedless! They listen with ridicule to each fresh warning that comes to them from their Lord and remain engaged in the sports!

(World cup cricket, Grand Slams Olympics, World cup Soccer…..)

The Surah further reminds us the plight of a few nations before us who were humiliated and driven out of the world through a dreadful punishment, never can they come back.

Next time when some one wishes you a happy birthday, ask him: “Are you happy that I have lost a precious year form my life and I am on the way to death”?

Let us see who are the people whose birthdays are celebrated and Why?

Pharaoh, the Egyptian king, celebrated his birthday by executing his chief baker  (Genesis. 40:1-23)

The New Testament figure, Herod the Tetrarch, reluctantly ordered the beheading of John the Baptist on his birthday.(Mattew 14:3-11)

Gandhiji’s Birthday is celebrated on 2 October, Sri Krishna’s Birthday is celebrated on Gokulastmi, Buddha’s Birthday is celebrated in Vesak, Ambedkar’s Birthday is celebrated on 14 April, and so is Mahavir’s Birthday celebrated on Bhadrapad and also Rama’s Birthday is celebrated in the month of April as Ramnavami. Jesus Christ’s Birthday is celebrated on 25 Dec.

If you study the list of these big people whose birthdays are celebrated you will notice three striking points:

1. Many of them are worshipped as Gods by their followers.

2. Those who are not worshipped as Gods are feared to be forgotten by the later generations if no one reminds about them.

3. Barring people born in the past century, i.e Gandhiji and Ambedkar, there are no records of the birthdays of the rest of the birthdays celebrated! They are only un mathematical assumptions.

Even the birth date of Jesus Christ goes unrecorded in the Bible!

Celebrating birthdays is not the custom of Ahl e kitab but Pagans.

Study any reputable encyclopedia or visit a well-stocked public library and you will discover that Christmas was celebrated by immoral, pagan idol worshippers—people who many times sacrificed their own children to pagan gods—2,000 years before Christ was born!

December 25th originally marked the time of the winter solstice. These idol worshippers held pagan festivals to celebrate the “rebirth” of the sun when the days began to lengthen.

In fact, the Bible is silent on the exact dates of the births of all God’s faithful servants—Jacob, Sarah, Noah, Abel, Samuel, Job, Esther, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Moses and the rest of the good people.

Do we require to celebrate the birthday of our Prophet (pbuh) too ?

My Prophet (Allah’s peace and mercy be upon him) never celebrated his birthday, though some people celebrate his birthday. Their brand of celebration includes screaming their love towards the Prophet (pbuh) and cursing those who don’t join them in their celebrations. If you have noticed minutely, this year the pomp and show was brighter than the past years but the crowd has surely shrunk. Even the companions did not celebrate the Prophet’s birthday. Rather, they celebrated his prophet hood in every part of their life by adhering to his commands and traditions. We also accommodate him in our salahs by reciting the Durood upon him before we end the salah.

According to the sixth edition of The Columbia Encyclopedia (2000), Muhammad is the most common given name in the world, including variations. It is estimated that more than 150 million men and boys in the world bear the name Muhammad.

What a memorable way of keeping his memories alive!

Infact it is not important when you were born but how you live your life that matters.

by Nisaar Y. Nadiadwala

Author: Nisaar Yusuf loves to promote Islamic values through his speeches and articles. He can be reached at

05 March 2012

Picture Perfect: Remain Silent

Book - Sahih Bukhari

WHY do earthquakes occur?

WHY do earthquakes occur? A student of geology will say they are a result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth’s crust that creates seismic waves. That’s the process of how earthquakes occur, but not an answer to why earthquakes occur.

A better phrased question will be: Who causes earthquakes to occur and why? Allah says in the Qur’an:

Say: ‘He has power to send torment on you from above or from under your feet, or to cover you with confusion in party strife, and make you to taste the violence of one another.’” (Qur’an, 6:65)

Allah sends earthquakes as a punishment for some because of their sins and as a reminder or warning for others to repent and mend their ways. Allah says in the Qur’an:

And We sent not the signs except to warn…” [Qur’an, 17:59]
Just as Allah sends down blessings for His creation in the form of rain, good cultivation and abundance of sustenance, He also sends down warnings and punishments in the form of earthquakes and tsunamis. Allah says:

And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much.” [Qur’an, 42:30]

The above verse is of particular importance. It shows that whatever calamity that strikes us is a result of our wrong deeds. Moreover, Allah pardons a lot. Meaning, the punishment doesn’t come except when people have crossed all limits. The place where a calamity strikes may have both good and bad people. When sins rise in a community and a punishment is sent down, it also affects the good people. While that calamity is a punishment for the sinners, it becomes a source of purification or a reminder for the good doers. The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to seek refuge with Allah from His torment and punishment.

Increase in the frequency of earthquakes is also a sign of the Day of Judgment. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The Hour (Last Day) will not be established until (religious) knowledge will be taken away (by the death of religious learned men), earthquakes will be very frequent, time will pass quickly, afflictions will appear, murders will increase and money will overflow amongst you.” (Al-Bukhari, 2/17 no. 146)

The prophecy of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) seems ever approaching. Time is passing by quickly, though the day still has 24 hours. The religiously learned are fewer than the past and crime rate has increased multifold.

Allah says in the Qur’an:

Evil has appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned, that He (Allah) may make them taste a part of that which they have done, in order that they may return.” [Qur’an, 30:41]

The calamities are not a full recompense, but only a part for what man does. Were we to be punished for all that we do, there would be no creature living on earth.

And if Allah were to punish men for that which they earned, He would not leave a moving (living) creature on the surface of the earth; but He gives them respite to an appointed term, and when their term comes, then verily, Allah is Ever All-Seer of His slaves.” [Qur’an, 35:45]

The purpose of calamities is, as mentioned in the verse quoted earlier, “…in order that they may return.” They are a lesson for us to return to the straight path and to return to the obedience of God. Disasters are a lesson for us to repent to Allah for our sins and reform ourselves. Allah has promised reward and blessings in this life and the hereafter for those who truly turn to Him in repentance.

…Except those who repent and believe (in Islamic Monotheism), and do righteous deeds; for those, Allah will change their sins into good deeds, and Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Qur’an, 25:70]

And if the people of the towns had believed and had the Taqwa (piety), certainly, We should have opened for them blessings from the heaven and the earth, but they belied (the Messengers). So We took them (with punishment) for what they used to earn (polytheism and crimes).” [Qur’an, 7:96]

Refuting atheistic belief

It is unfortunate that some Muslims have also started to speak like atheists. Scoffing when it is told that earthquakes are because of sins and arguing that it is no more than a natural geological activity. First of all atheists have no ground for their assertion because they don’t believe God exists which is the biggest lie ever uttered. It is a direct rejection despite the lucid signs in form of the perfect creation and faultless system created by God.

Their argument about earthquakes being the result of natural geological activity holds no more ground than a claim that this published article on paper or website is a result from the functioning of a machine (printer or computer) without any effort of a human brain behind it that has made it make sense.

Writing and getting it printed is much simpler an activity than the complex and perfect system of this universe that include earthquakes. It is blasphemy to claim that there’s no Almighty Creator controlling and overseeing what is happening in the world.

"By the age, man is indeed at loss, except those who have faith and do good works and (join together) in the mutual teaching of truth, and of patience and perseverance." [Quran103 .1,2,3]

Don't count the days, make the days count.

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