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30 October 2012

Why Do I Wear Hijab?

By Sultana Yusufali

I probably do not fit into the preconceived notion of a “rebel”.  I have no visible tattoos and minimal piercing.  I do not possess a leather jacket.  In fact, when most people look at me, their first thought usually is something along the lines of “oppressed female.”  The brave individuals who have mustered the courage to ask me about the way I dress usually have questions like: “Do your parents make you wear that?” or “ Don't you find that really unfair?”

A while back, a couple of girls in Montreal were kicked out of school for dressing like I do.  It seems strange that a little piece of cloth would make for such controversy.  Perhaps the fear is that I am harboring an Uzi underneath it!  Of course, the issue at hand is more than a mere piece of cloth.  I am a Muslim woman who, like millions of other Muslim women across the globe, chooses to wear the hijab.  And the concept of the hijab, contrary to popular opinion, is actually one of the most fundamental aspects of female empowerment.

When I cover myself, I make it virtually impossible for people to judge me according to the way I look.  I cannot be categorized because of my attractiveness or lack thereof.

Compare this to life in today’s society: We are constantly sizing one another up on the basis of our clothing, jewelry, hair and makeup.  What kind of depth can there be in a world like this?  Yes, I have a body, a physical manifestation upon this Earth.  But it is the vessel of an intelligent mind and a strong spirit.  It is not for the beholder to leer at or to use in advertisements to sell everything from beer to cars!

Because of the superficiality of the world in which we live, external appearances are so stressed that the value of the individual counts for almost nothing.  It is a myth that women in today’s society are liberated!  What kind of freedom can there be when a woman can not walk down the street without every aspect of her physical self being “checked out”?

When I wear the hijab I feel safe from all of this.  I can rest assured that no one is looking at me and making assumptions about my character from the length of my skirt.  There is a barrier between me and those who would exploit me.  I am first and foremost a human being, equal to any man, and not vulnerable because of my sexuality.

One of the saddest truths of our time is the question of the beauty myth and female self-image.  Reading popular teenage magazines, you can instantly find out what kind of body image is “in” or “out.”  and if you have the “wrong” body type, well, then, you're just going to have to change it, aren't you?  After all, there is no way that you can be overweight and still be beautiful.

Look at any advertisement.  Is a woman being used to sell the product?  How old is she?  How attractive is she?  What is she wearing?  More often than not, that woman will be no older than her early 20s, taller, slimmer and more attractive than average, dressed in skimpy clothing.  Why do we allow ourselves to be manipulated like this?

Whether the 90s woman wishes to believe it or not, she is being forced into a mold.  She is being coerced into selling herself, into compromising herself.  This is why we have 13-year-old girls sticking their fingers down their throats and overweight adolescents hanging themselves.

When people ask me if I feel oppressed, I can honestly say no.  I made this decision out of my own free will.  I like the fact that I am taking control of the way other people perceive me.  I enjoy the fact that I don’t give anyone anything to look at and that I have released myself from the bondage of the swinging pendulum of the fashion industry and other institutions that exploit females.

My body is my own business.  Nobody can tell me how I should look or whether or not I am beautiful.  I know that there is more to me than that.  I am also able to say “no” comfortably then people ask me if I feel as though my sexuality is being repressed.  I have taken control of my sexuality.  I am thankful I will never have to suffer the fate of trying to lose/gain weight or trying to find the exact lipstick shade that will go with my skin color.  I have made choices about what my priorities are and these are not among them.

So next time you see me, don't look at me sympathetically.  I am not under duress or a male-worshipping female captive.!  I’ve been liberated.

28 October 2012

Hadith Info: Humble before Tongue

The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “When the son of Adam wakes up in the morning, all of his body parts humble themselves in front of the tongue and say, ‘Fear Allah with regards to our rights! Our wellbeing depends on you. If you remain upright, so shall we. If you become crooked, so shall we.’” [Ahmad]

We have been warned against uttering something callously without contemplating its consequences.

How many women have been divorced by their husbands merely due to the tongue! A man falls into an argument with his wife and she begins to repeatedly challenge him, “Divorce me! I challenge you to divorce me! Divorce me if you are a man!”

He orders her to be silent, perhaps shouts at and scolds her. When things get out of hand, he destroys his own household by eventually telling her that she is indeed divorced.

For this reason, the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) advised that when a person gets angry, he should observe silence, because he otherwise will not be able to control his tongue.

A WORD that comes out of your Mouth is POWERFUL than a BULLET that comes out a GUN.

27 October 2012

The Meaning of EID (Festival)

Sunan of 'Eid-ul-Adha
The word ‘Eid according to the Arabic language refers to a day which returns and in which the people gather.

Actions on the day of ‘Eid:

1. The Takbeeraat. This is done from the night before the ‘Eid prayer (from Sunset). It must be known that there is nothing authentic from the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) concerning the manner in which it is done.

However, it is narrated that both Ibn Mas’uud and Ibn ‘Abbas (radhiAllahu ‘anhu) did the Takbeerat in a certain manner. However, the manner in which it is said is wide. Also it is Mustahabb (recommended) to raise the voice for the Takbeeraat. As for the time when this is stopped it stops when the Salaat-ul-‘Eid begins. For more on the Takbeeraat see here.

2. It is recommended to take a bath for the ‘Eid prayer and to also beautify oneself with the best of clothing.

3. One should eat something after the ‘Eid prayer (as for ‘Eid-ul-Fitr, it is Sunnah to eat something sweet prior to the prayer).

4. It is Sunnah to leave for the ‘Eid prayer from one road and to return from another road.

5. The sacrifice (udheeyah) is done after the Eid salah and prior to the end of the days of Tashreeq following ‘Eid-ul-Adha.

6. One should not pray any prayer before the ‘Eid prayer (after Fajr) and after the ‘Eid prayer (before Dhuhr).

7. The ‘Eid prayer itself is seven Takbeers in the first Rak’ah and 5 in the second. It is prayed in two Rak’ah and there are no sound Ahadeeth to show that the hands should be raised for the extra Takbeers.

8. This prayer is compulsory upon every male and female according to the strongest opinion of the scholars. Hence all should make effort to pray the ‘Eid prayer. As for the sermon it is recommended to stay for it. As for its time it is between sunrise and the Dhuhr prayer.

9. If ‘Eid joins with the day of Jumu’ah those who prayed the ‘Eid prayer do not have to pray Jumu’ah [not Dhuhr] according to the strongest opinion.

10. It is narrated from the Sahabas that they used to say to others “May Allah accept from us and you.” (TaqabbalAllahu minna wa minkum) as an ‘Eid greeting. And as for saying ‘Eid Mubarak and ‘Eid Sa’eed then this is lawful. As for saying Mubarak ‘Eid as a response to ‘Eid Mubarak then one should avoid this.

11. We must remember that it is a day of fun and enjoyment for the Muslims. Therefore, it is recommended that the families involve themselves in amusements that are lawful according to the Shari’ah.

I wish you sunlight to warm you. Moonlight to charm you. A sheltering angel so nothing can harm you. Laughter to cheer you. Faithful friends and family near you. And you pray to Allah swt to hear you, insha’Allah! 

12. From the innovation of ‘Eid is visiting the graves on that day. This has not been recorded in the Sunnah of the Messenger (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).

And Allah knows best.

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23 October 2012

Poem: What do you see nurses?

When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in an Australian country town, it was believed that he had nothing left of any value.

Later, when the nurses were going through his meager possessions, They found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital.

One nurse took her copy to Melbourne. The old man's sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas editions of magazines around the country and appearing in mags for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem.

And this old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this 'anonymous' poem winging across the Internet.

Cranky Old Man
What do you see nurses? . . .. . .What do you see?
What are you thinking .. . when you're looking at me?
A cranky old man, . . . . . .not very wise,
Uncertain of habit .. . . . . . . .. with faraway eyes?
Who dribbles his food .. . ... . . and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice . .'I do wish you'd try!'
Who seems not to notice . . .the things that you do.
And forever is losing . . . . . .. . . A sock or shoe?
Who, resisting or not . . . ... lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding . . . .The long day to fill?
Is that what you're thinking?. .Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse .you're not looking at me.
I'll tell you who I am . . . . .. As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, .. . . . as I eat at your will.
I'm a small child of Ten . .with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters .. . . .. . who love one another
A young boy of Sixteen . . . .. with wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now . . .. . . a lover he'll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty . . . heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows .. .. .that I promised to keep.
At Twenty-Five, now . . . . .I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide . . . And a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty . .. . . . . My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other . . .. With ties that should last.
At Forty, my young sons .. .have grown and are gone,
But my woman is beside me . . to see I don't mourn.
At Fifty, once more, .. ...Babies play 'round my knee,
Again, we know children . . . . My loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me . . . . My wife is now dead.
I look at the future ... . . . . I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing .. . . young of their own.
And I think of the years . . . And the love that I've known.
I'm now an old man . . . . . . .. and nature is cruel.
It's jest to make old age . . . . . . . look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles .. .. . grace and vigour, depart.
There is now a stone . . . where I once had a heart.
But inside this old carcass . A young man still dwells,
And now and again . . . . . my battered heart swells
I remember the joys . . . . .. . I remember the pain.
And I'm loving and living . . . . . . . life over again.
I think of the years, all too few . . .. gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact . . . that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people .. . . . .. . . open and see.
Not a cranky old man .
Look closer . . . . see .. .. . .. .... . ME!!

Remember this poem when you next meet an older person who you might brush aside without looking at the young soul within. We will all, one day, be there, too!

"Your Lord has decreed that you should not worship anyone other than Him, and that you treat your parents well. When either, or both of them, reach an old age do not grumble and do not be angry with them. Rather, always have kind words to say to them." [Quran 17:23]

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21 October 2012

Ask Allah Alone!

It is related that when Prophet Dawud (AS) supplicated, he would say, “Oh Allah, the One who provides sustenance for baby crow in it's nest….”

When the crow chick first hatches from it's egg, it appears white (and featherless). Hence, the (parent) crow does not recognize the chick and due to the difference between their colors, he abandons it. Out of His Generosity, Allah then sends to it a type of worm that is attracted to the smell of it's beak and crawls over it. The chick devours it and is sustained by this type of worm until it grows and it's black feathers grow out. At this, the parent crows recognize him and return to him. No one has the power to control this except Allah:

Is there any creator other than Allah who provides for you?” [Quran 35:3]

And there is no creature on earth but that upon Allah is its provision, and He knows it's place of dwelling and place of storage. All is in a clear register.” [Quran 11:6]

Allah says,

Or who is it that could be an army for you to aid you other than the Most Merciful? The disbelievers are not but in delusion. Or who is it that could provide for you if He withheld His provision? But they have persisted in insolence and aversion.” [Quran 67:20,21]

Oh Allah, do not withhold your provision from us!

When people go out in search of their sustenance, this is a method of seeking the means (sabab). But one must know with certainty that no one provides except Allah. And the greatest of all provision is Jannah, as Allah has called it 'rizq' in His Words.

Therefore, every time you are granted something of this worldly life, anticipate that which is greater (Jannah)!

(Know that) Allah is asked for that which is small and that which is plenty. He is asked for that which is great and that which is insignificant. It is related in some traditions that Allah told Musa , 'Oh Musa, ask Me even for the salt for your food, ask Me for the food for your animal and ask me for the lace of your shoes.' For that which occurs only happens if The One and Only One permitted it to happen.

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19 October 2012

Health Benefits of Avocado

" And from the dates and grapes, you extract wine as well as healthy nourishment. Surely, there is a sign in it for any nation that thinks " [Quran 16:67]

Avocados are distinct fruits with high fat content and calories. Subtly flavorful yet buttery, they are amongst the most popular fruits having nutrition profile similar to that of some edible nuts and seeds.

Some of the common names for this staple fruit are alligator pear, aguacate, butter pear etc.

Prostate Cancer Prevention
Avocados have been shown to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer.

Oral Cancer Defense
Research has shown that certain compounds in avocados are able to seek out pre-cancerous and cancerous oral cancer cells and destroy them without harming healthy cells.

Breast Cancer Protection
Avocado, like olive oil, is high in oleic acid, which has been shown to prevent breast cancer in numerous studies.

Eye Health
Avocados have more of the carotenoid lutein than any other commonly consumed fruit. Lutein protects against macular degeneration and cataracts, two disabling age-related eye diseases.

Lower Cholesterol
Avocados are high in beta-sitosterol, a compound that has been shown to lower cholesterol levels. In one study, 45 volunteers experienced an average drop in cholesterol of 17% after eating avocados for only one week.

Heart Health
One cup of avocado has 23% of the recommended daily value of folate. Studies show that people who eat diets rich in folate have a much lower incidence of heart disease than those who don't. The vitamin E, monounsaturated fats, and glutathione in avocado are also great for your heart.

Stroke Prevention
The high levels of folate in avocado are also protective against strokes. People who eat diets rich in folate have a much lower risk of stroke than those who don't.

Better Nutrient Absorption
Research has found that certain nutrients are absorbed better when eaten with avocado. In one study, when participants ate a salad containing avocados, they absorbed five times the amount of carotenoids (a group of nutrients that includes lycopene and beta carotene) than those who didn't include avocados.

Glutathione Source
Avocados are an excellent source of glutathione, an important antioxidant that researchers say is important in preventing aging, cancer, and heart disease.

Vitamin E Powerhouse
Avocados are the best fruit source of vitamin E, an essential vitamin that protects against many diseases and helps maintains overall health.

Dua/ Prayer
Allahummaghfirlii warhamniy wahdiniy wa 'aafiniy warzuqniy wajburniy war fa'aniy.
(Oh Allah, forgive me and have mercy on me, and keep me on the right path, and keep me healthy, and provide me with halal sources of living, and complete my shortcomings and make my rank high).

17 October 2012

Hadith Info: Be like a Bee

Anas (radi Allahu anhu) said, “I served the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) at Madeena for ten years. I was a boy. Not everything I did was according to the liking of my master, but he never even said ‘Uff’ to me, nor did he say to me ‘Why did you do this?’ or ‘Why did you not do this?’” [Abu Dawood]

This is how the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) was and this is how we should be.

There are some people who cannot see anything on a white page but a black dot. They expect everyone and everything to be exemplary - their spouse, their children, the condition of their house, their meals, the service of their servants, similarly, everything about their co-workers and friends…

If anyone of them falls short, they consume them by their speech, over-criticise and repeatedly pass comments until people become sick of them.

Such people usually punish themselves by their nature. Their closest friends dislike them and avoid their company.

Do not scrutinize everything people do, especially in worldly matters. Learn to overlook such matters. Be like a bee that seeks out the scent and ignores filth. Do not be like a fly that seeks out bloody wounds.

15 October 2012

Take care of your life - You only live once

 Do not undermine your worth by Comparing yourself with others.
It is because we all are different, That's why each of us is special. 

Do not set your goals by what Other people deem important.
Only you know what is best for you.

Do not take for granted the people Closest to your heart.
Cling to them as you would your life, for without them, life is meaningless. 

Do not let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past & future.
By living your life one day at a time, You live all the days of your life.

Do not give up when you Still have something to give.
Nothing is really over until the Moment you stop trying.
It is a fragile thread that Binds us to each other.

Do not be afraid to encounter risks.
It is by taking chances That we learn how to be brave.

Do not dismiss your dreams because To be without dreams Is to be without hope;
And To be without hope Is to be without purpose.

Do not run through life So fast that you forget
Not only where you have been, But also where you are going.

Always remember that Life is not a race,
But a journey to be savoured Each step of the way.

14 October 2012

Poem: When the time comes

When that time comes, it is too late,
To take back all those words of hate.

To reflect on all the things you did wrong,
To wish you hadn't listened to that last song.

Death can catch us all by surprise,
Remember that the next time you tell your lies.

Remember that the next time you're at the club,
Or when you eat meat from Mr.Sub.

Is this how you want to be resurrected on Judgement Day?
Being brought up to your Lord in such a shameful way?

No one is garunteed to live until tomorrow,
When we pass away it brings our family great sorrow.

Why not leave your family with great respect and dignity,
Instead of mother saying"I wish she listened to me".

The care-free, shame-less, lifestyle is beautified be the west,
But all I can say is Allah knows best.

Which brings me back to one question:
Why would you want to die in such a shameful way,
Only to be resurrected like that on Judgement Day.

- By Mwanaisha A -

12 October 2012

A perfect example for Tolerance

We, as his followers of prophet Muhammad (pbuh), have the easy part which is to seek and adopt his gentle qualities and high moral standards into daily practice - The Prophet's Mosque in Madinah 

God has always chosen prophets with the best of characters, morals and spirits.

Since God is All-Knowing, All-Wise, and has ordained man’s destiny before their birth, it is feasible to think that He has already chosen His Prophets before even their entrance to the world.

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was not an exception. God bestowed on him the best of characters, one of which was his exceptional tolerance which is manifested in his life and teachings:

"And verily, you (O Muhammad) are on an exalted (standard of) character" (Al-Qalam 68: 4)

We will examine some examples of his tolerance at the advent of Islam and during its expansion process. In the next article, we will examine his treatment of non-Muslims.

In Makkah

During the first thirteen years of his life in Makkah, he and his followers faced much persecution. Muslims were not ordered by God to fight back due to the fact that they had no military strength yet due to the small following which gradually increased. It was only in Madinah when his following and military power rapidly grew that fighting to protect themselves and the new religion was allowed.

When the Prophet’s opponents greatly increased their persecution, his companions asked him to curse them. At this the Prophet replied: 

"I have not been sent to lay a curse upon men but to be a blessing to them." (Muslim)

His opponents continued to treat him and his companions unjustly and cruelly, but he always prayed for them.

He once decided to personally visit the village of Ta'if, to the east of Makkah, to invite its inhabitants to Islam. The people rejected him, stoned him, ejected him, and made him to bleed. Angel Gabriel came to him and said:

"Allah has heard what your people say to you and how they reject you. He has ordered the angels of the mountains to obey whatever you tell them to do." The angel of the mountains called him, greeted him and said, "Send me to do what you wish. If you wish, I will crush them between the two mountains of Makkah."

The Prophet said:

"Rather, I hope that Allah will bring forth from their loins those who will worship Allah alone and not associate anything with Him." (Al-Bukhari)

In the early Makkan period when the enemies of the new religion far exceeded the Prophet’s companions in number, it often happened that when the Prophet would stand to pray, his foes would come near him and whistle and clap in order to disturb him, but the Prophet would not even once show his anger at such acts. He always opted for the policy of tolerance and avoidance of confrontation.

In one instance when the Prophet was praying at the Ka’bah while his enemies were watching his every move and action, one of his adversaries put on his back the intestine of a slaughtered camel during his prostration. The Prophet did not react and stayed in that position. His daughter, Fatimah, rushed to take the filth off his back and cleaned him up.

In Madinah

Later, when Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and many of his companions migrated to Madinah, again his great character in dealing with his companions and enemies was further manifested.

In Madinah, the Muslims were in the process of establishing the new Islamic state. Yet, their enemies in Makkah did not spare much time to wage war against them and pursue them even in Madinah.

In the battle of Uhud, when his Makkan enemies attacked the Muslims, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) suffered head injury and his front teeth got smashed. When the blood started to seep from his head, he swabbed it saying:

"If a drop of my blood fell on the earth, those infidels will be destroyed by Allah." Umar told him, O Messenger of Allah, Curse them! The prophet replied: "I wasn't sent (by Allah) to curse. I was sent as a mercy." Then he said: "O Allah, Guide my people!" (Authenticated by Al-Albani)

God confirms his blessed character by saying:

"And We have not sent you forth but as a mercy to mankind." [Quran 21:107]

The Prophet once said:

"A true believer is one with whom others feel secure." (Al-Bukhari)

He manifested these words with action and was not fast to revenge or rebuke a wrong doer.

A Bedouin once entered the mosque and started to urinate in it. Mosques at that time had no walls and carpeted floors and the ceilings were palm leaves held up by palm stems. The people ran to (prevent and restrain) him. The Prophet said:

"Do not interrupt his urination (i.e. let him finish). Then the Prophet asked for a pitcher of water to be poured over the place of urine." (Al-Bukhari)

One of the prophet Jesus’(pbuh) famous saying is: “Love your neighbor like yourself.” Prophet Muhammad  (pbuh) complemented this by saying:

"By God, he is not a believer, by God, he is not a believer, by God, he is not a believer, with whom his neighbors are not secure." (Al-Bukhari)

This includes tolerance for actions they may do that is not pleasing to one.

It is reported that one of the Prophet’s neighbors was a Jew who hated the Prophet. Each day he would throw trash on his way. The prophet never rebuked him. One day, the Jew did not show up. The Prophet asked about him, and was told that he was sick. So, he went to visit him and inquire about his health with kindness. Upon seeing this, the Jew embraced Islam.

The enmity of his worst enemy toward his most beloved was also met with awesome goodness.

Hamza was among the Prophet’s most beloved uncles. During one of the battles, Hend, the wife of Abu Sufyan, the arch enemy of the Prophet, had ordered her slave to find Hamza and pierce him with his arrow. Upon seeing him dead, she rushed to his body and cut out his liver and started chewing on it while filled with rage. Upon the conquest of Makkah, the Prophet did not seek revenge on her and accepted her and her husband as new converts and gave them full protection.

Anas ibn Malik, who served the Prophet for ten years, said that the Prophet never rebuked him:

"When I did something, he never questioned my manner of doing it; and when I did not do something, he never questioned my failure to do it. He was the most good-natured of all men." (Al-Bukhari)

Such manners of tolerance gained him the respect even of his enemies, and his followers stood by him through all kinds of hardship and misfortune.

Despite all the concessions Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) made with the Makkans, the later violated the same treaty they signed earlier.

Although his worse enemies were the Makkan Arabs at the beginning, but in Madinah, the Jews did not spare any effort to conspire against him, even after treaties were signed with them. However, he tried to be as fair with them as possible and only waged war against them when they broke treaties which caused much loss of life of Muslims.

Once, when the Prophet was sitting at a place in Madinah, along with his companions, a funeral procession passed by. On seeing this, the Prophet stood up. One of his companions remarked that the funeral was that of a Jew. The Prophet replied:

"Was he not a human being?" (Muslim)

Since Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) wished to avoid war at all costs, he strove to bring about a peace agreement between him and the Makkans. After great efforts on his part, the non-Muslims agreed to a ten-year peace treaty, which was drafted and signed at Al-Hudaybiyyah, a place outside Makkah.

During this important meeting, the Makkans insisted on a number of extremely provocative acts. For instance, the agreement mentioned the Prophet’s name as “Muhammad (pbuh) the Messenger of Allah.” They insisted to replace by “son of Abdullah.” The Prophet accepted peacefully and deleted the appellation. Similarly, they made the condition that if they could lay their hands on any Muslim they would make him a hostage, but if the Muslims succeeded in detaining any non-Muslim, they would have to set him free. The Prophet even relented on this point for establishment of peace in the region. He was clearly setting examples of fairness and tolerance while exposed to injustice and intolerance.

Despite all the concessions Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) made with the Makkans, the later violated the same treaty they signed earlier. It was then that the Prophet finally marched with his huge army to Makkah and without any resistance conquered the city which was once the abode of his worse enemies.

As mentioned earlier, the Prophet and his followers suffered a great deal during their thirteen years of living in Makkah and after their migration to Madinah. His own tribesmen and even family members continue to oppose him in not only in Makkah but rose to fight him in Madinah for over 20 years. They did not spear any effort to inflict the worse humanly possible hardship on them. In Makkah, it included, torture, sanctions, taking their lives’ belonging, separating family members and slaughtering them wherever they could find them. With God’s help and his and his companions’ steadfastness in Madinah and upholding the message of Islam, they finally conquered Makkah. Its leaders came to him fearing that he would kill them as all conquerors do. But instead, he said:

"Go! You are all free!" (Authenticated by Al-Albani)

Prophet Muhammad's (pbuh) mercy and tolerance did not exclude his worse enemies. Such tolerance awed his enemies who were now the newly converted Muslims. The end result is a clear history that is registered to this day. Message of Islam spread across the world, to include on fifth of the global population.

Prophet Muhammad's (pbuh) character and qualities are not only for the Muslims to follow, but the sincere seekers who learn about him.

These are only a few among many examples of the Prophet’s tolerance and noble character. Aisha, the wife of the Prophet was asked regarding the character of the Prophet (peace be upon him). She said very simply, that:

"The character of the Prophet was the Quran." (Muslim)

Clearly, the Prophet molded his own life in accordance with the ideal pattern of life that he presented to others in the form of the Quran revealed to him by God. He never beat a servant, or a woman, or anyone else. He did, of course, fight for what was right. When he had to choose between two alternatives, he would take the easier course, provided it involved no sin. No one was more careful to avoid sin than he. He never sought revenge on his own sake for any wrong done to him personally. He was tolerant. Only if God’s commandments had been broken would he meet out retribution for the sake of God. It was such conduct which gained the Prophet universal respect.

Scholars further explain about the Quran being his character:

“What this means is that he followed its etiquette and adopted its attitude. Whatever was praised in the Quran, he was pleased with, and whatever was condemned in the Quran he hated. It says in one report that Aisha said: His attitude was the Quran, whatever it was pleased with he was pleased with and whatever it hated he hated.” (Ibn rajab in Jaami’ al-‘Uloom wa’l-Hukam (1/148))

One may say, since he was the last Prophet and messenger to mankind, no other can ever be quite like him. This is true because none shall ever have to shoulder a fraction of the responsibilities he had to bear. However, we, as his followers, have the easy part which is to seek and adopt his gentle qualities and high moral standards into daily practice; for the Prophet's life was divinely chosen to function as a practical manual of how one should better himself.

Prophet Muhammad's (pbuh) character and qualities are not only for the Muslims to follow, but the sincere seekers who learn about him, praise his noble character and wish to follow it.

Goethe, a famous German writer, artist, and politician of the 1800s, marveled over the achievements and status of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) saying:

"We Europeans with all our concepts and ideas have not yet attained that which Muhammad (pbuh) attained, and no one will ever surpass him."

"I searched in history for the loftiest example for man to follow, and I found it in the Prophet Muhammad. Thus the truth must prevail and become supreme, because Muhammad succeeded in subjugating the whole world by means of the message of Divine Oneness."

By Raya Shokatfard (Inspired by the Prophet's Character)
Freelance Writer - USA

Read more about famous Non-Muslims Quotes about Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) - Click here

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09 October 2012

Hajj: Eternal Lessons

Allah says, "That they may witness things that are of benefit to them" [Quran 22:28]. The benefits of Hajj are both worldly and religious (spiritual). With regards to the religious benefits, the one who goes for Hajj earns the pleasure of his Lord and comes back with all his sins forgiven. He also earns immense reward that he cannot earn in any other place; one prayer in the Sacred Mosque in Makkah, for instance, is equal to a hundred thousand prayers elsewhere, and Tawaf (circumambulation of the Ka`bah) and Sa`i (pacing between As-Safa and Al-Marwah) cannot be done anywhere else. Other benefits include meeting other Muslims and discussing their circumstances, meeting scholars and learning from them and asking them about one’s problems. Whereas the worldly benefits include trade and business, as well as other kinds of earnings that have to do with Hajj.

To enlarge the Image, Click here
Furthermore, there are many virtues of the rituals of Hajj and there is much wisdom to be found behind them. Whoever is blessed with proper understanding of them is blessed with much goodness. For example:

01-When a person travels to perform the rites of Hajj, he is reminded of his journey to Allah and the Hereafter. When he travels, he leaves behind his dear friends, wife, children, and homeland, and the journey to the Hereafter is similar.

02-The one who goes on this trip equips himself with enough provisions to help him reach the sacred land, so let him remember that for his journey to his Lord, he needs to have sufficient provisions to help him get there safely, as well. Regarding this, Allah says, "And take provision, but indeed, the best provision is taqwa (fear of Allah)" [Quran 2:197).

03-Traveling is a kind of torment and the same is true, but on a larger scale, of the journey to the Hereafter. Ahead of man there are the stages of passing away, the grave, the gathering, the accounting, the scales and As-Sirat (a bridge that will be laid across Hellfire, for people to pass over on the Day of Judgment), followed by either Paradise or Hell. The blessed one will be the one whom Allah saves.

04-When the pilgrim puts on the two garments of his ihram, he cannot help but be reminded of the shroud in which he will be wrapped after he dies. This prompts him to give up disobedience and misdeeds. Just as he gives up his regular clothing for Hajj, likewise he has to give up sins. Just as he has put on two clean, white garments, he has to make his heart clean and pure, and guard his senses so they remain clean and pure, uncontaminated by the stains of sins and disobedience.

05-When he says “Labbayk, Allahumma, labbayk (Here I am at your service, O Allah, here I am)” at the miqat (the place where one enters into the state of ihram), he means that he has responded to his Lord; so how can he still insist on sinning and not respond to his Lord’s call to refrain from disobedience? When he proclaims “Labbayk, Allahumma, labbayk,” he must also take it to mean, “I am responding to Your prohibition of committing sins, and this is the time from which I am giving them up.”

06-By ceasing to do some originally permissible things, let alone forbidden matters, while in the state of ihram and keeping himself busy with the Talbiyah and dhikr (remembrance of Allah), the pilgrim gives himself a good idea about how a Muslim should be. In this way, he trains himself to give up some things that, in principle, are allowed but that Allah has forbidden for him at the time of ihram. So how come he violates the commands of Allah and commits forbidden deeds, at all times and in all places?

07-When he enters the Sacred House of Allah, which He has made a sanctuary for mankind, the pilgrim remembers Paradise, which no one can reach without striving hard and making a rigorous effort—the greatest thing that will keep a person safe on the Day of Resurrection.

08-Kissing the Black Stone, which is among the first rituals to be carried out, teaches the visitor of Allah to honor the Sunnah and to not oppose the laws of Allah with his feeble reasoning. He comes to recognize that there is wisdom and goodness behind the laws and rites that Allah has prescribed for mankind and trains himself to submit totally to his Lord. It is narrated that `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said after he kissed the Black Stone, “I know that you are only a stone and that you can neither benefit nor harm. If I had not seen the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) kiss you, I would not have kissed you” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).

09-When the pilgrim does Tawaf, he is reminded of his father Ibrahim (peace and blessings be upon him) who built the house so it would be a place of resort for mankind and a haven, and that he called them to perform pilgrimage to this house. Moreover, our Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) also called humanity to perform pilgrimage to this house, to which prophets Musa, Yunus, and `Isa (peace and blessings be upon them) also came for the same purpose. This house was a symbol and a meeting place for these prophets.

10-When the pilgrim drinks the water of Zamzam, he is reminded of the blessing that Allah has bestowed upon mankind in the form of this blessed water, from which millions of people have drunk throughout history, yet it has never dried up. The pilgrim is encouraged to make du`aa’ (supplications) when he drinks it, according to the hadith in which the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said, “The water of Zamzam is for whatever it is drunk for” (Ibn Majah and Ahmad).

11-When he does the Sa`i, the pilgrim is reminded of the trial that afflicted Hajar, the mother of Isma`il (peace and blessings be upon him). He remembers how she ran back and forth between As-Safa and Al-Marwah searching for water that would save her from what she was suffering, and especially so she could give her little son, Isma`il (peace and blessings be upon him), water to drink. When one remembers the struggle and patience of this great woman, it makes it easier to bear one’s own problems and to face, with full determination, the challenges of life.

12-The standing in `Arafah reminds the pilgrim of the throngs of people on the Day of Resurrection. If the pilgrim is tired due to being in a crowd of thousands, how will it be to stand among the hordes of people on a day that is as long as fifty thousand years?

13-When he throws the pebbles at the Jamarat (the three stone pillars in Mina), the Muslim trains himself to obey Allah unquestioningly, even if he does not understand the reason and wisdom behind this act, and cannot make the connection between rulings and their purpose. This is a manifestation of complete submission to Allah.

14-When he slaughters his sacrificial animal, the pilgrim is reminded of the great incident when our father Ibrahim submitted to the command of Allah to sacrifice his only son Isma`il (peace and blessings be upon him) after he had grown up and become a helping hand for him. He is also reminded that there is no room for sentiments that go against the commands of Allah. This teaches him to respond to what Allah orders, as Allah tells us that Isma`il (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “O my father, do as you are commanded. You will find me, if Allah wills, of the patient” [Quran 37:102]

15-Once the pilgrim comes out of the state of ihram that he was in and things that had been forbidden to him become permissible again, he is thus taught about the consequences of patience and that after hardship comes ease. The one who responds to the call of Allah will have joy and happiness and such delight that cannot be felt by anyone except those who have tasted the sweetness of obedience, such as the joy felt by one who is fasting upon breaking his fast or by the one who prays during the last part of the night, after he has finished praying.

16-After he concludes performing all the rituals of Hajj as they were prescribed by Allah and in the manner that He loves, the pilgrim has hope that his Lord will forgive all his sins, as the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) promised in the hadith: Whoever does Hajj for the sake of Allah, shunning (during his Hajj) all sexual matters, and keeping away from sins, will come back as (free from sins) as he was on the day his mother gave birth to him. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) This encourages him to turn over a new leaf, free of evil deeds.

17-When he comes back to his wife and children and experiences the joy of meeting them again, this reminds him of the greater joy of meeting them in Paradise. This also teaches him that the greatest loss is losing one’s self and family on the Day of Resurrection, as Allah says,"Indeed, the losers are the ones who will lose themselves and their families on the Day of Resurrection. Unquestionably, that is the manifest loss!" [Quran 39:15]

By Sheikh Muhammad Saleh Al-Munajjid

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07 October 2012

Hadith Info: Inquire About Relatives

The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Inquire after your relatives so that you can perform Silah Rehmi. Without doubt Silah Rehmi creates love among relatives, abundance in wealth, and increase in lifespan.[Musnad Ahmed]

To fulfill the rights of Silah Rehmi, when dealing with relatives keep the following five points in mind:

1. Inquire about them,
2. Help and cooperate in their time of need,
3. Try to remove the hardships they are encountering,
4. Meet them with a cheerful face,
5. Pray for their well-being in both worlds.

What is not Silah Rehmi?

Suppose your relatives need help in kidnapping a person for ransom, or in planning a burglary, should you help them? You might answer, “No, because this will get us into trouble. If we get caught then we risk going to prison. If we don’t get caught, Allah is still watching and we will get punished more severely on the Day of Judgement.”

Thus, helping relatives with crimes is not Silah Rehmi: Silah Rehmi is to advise them against it, try to stop them from acting on their bad intentions, and if nothing else works, then dissociating from them so you don’t get punished along with them.

The same logic applies if your relatives want to commit the crimes of backbiting, socializing among men and women, having music in gatherings, mocking Allah’s religion or Messenger, etc. It is no favour (Silah Rehmi) to your relatives for you to aid them in this or participate in their sins.

06 October 2012

Poem: Failure doesn’t mean you’re a failure

Failure doesn't mean you're a failure,
it does mean you haven't succeeded yet.

Failure doesn't mean you haven't accomplished something,
it does mean you have learned something.

Failure doesn't mean you’ve been a fool,
it does mean you have a lot of faith.

Failure doesn't mean you’ve been disgraced,
it does mean you were willing to try.

Failure doesn't mean you don't have it,
it does mean you have to do something in a different way.

Failure doesn't mean you're inferior,
it does mean you're not perfect.

Failure doesn't mean you've wasted your time,
it does mean you have a reason to start fresh.

Failure doesn't mean you should give up,
it does mean you should try harder.

Failure doesn't mean you'll never make it,
it does mean it will take a little longer.

Failure doesn't mean God has abandoned you,
it does mean he has a better way.

04 October 2012

Brief description of the Islamic months (Meanings)

Islamic Months

Allah tells us in the Quran that as far as He is concerned the count of months is twelve (9:36) and that it has been that way since He created the Earth. He tells us that four of the twelve months are sacred and that we shall not wrong our souls by fighting during these Sacred Months.

The Sacred Months have been tampered with and alternated by those who do not truly follow the word of God, the Quran (9:37), the four Sacred Months are Zhul-Hijja, Muharram, Safar, and Rabi I (12th, 1st, 2nd, 3rd months of the lunar calendar).

Muharram ~ is the first month of the lunar calendar. It means ‘forbidden’. It is the second Sacred Month in which all fighting is forbidden.

Safar ~ the second month means ‘void/yellow/whistle’. It is a month known as ‘the whistling of the wind’ when the dry air blows through the sand dunes. It is the third Sacred Month when all fighting is prohibited.

Rabiul-Awwal ~ the third month of the calendar means ‘first month of spring’. It is the fourth Sacred Month in which fighting is not allowed.

Rabi-uthani ~ the fourth month means ‘second month of spring’, the month before the dry season begins in the desert.

Jumadi-ul-Awwal ~ the fifth month brings the first month of summer and means ‘first month of parched land’ when there is a lack of rain.

Jumadi-uthani ~ the sixth month which means ‘second month of parched land’.
Rajab ~ the seventh month of the calendar means ‘to respect’.

Sha’ban ~ the eighth month means ‘scattered’ when the tribes went in search of water.

Ramadan ~ the ninth month of is the month of fasting and it means ‘intense heat’. It is during this month that everyone who is able should fast from dawn until sunset.

Shawwal ~ the tenth month means ‘elevated’ when the female camels become pregnant and there is a shortage of camel milk.

Zhul-Q’ada ~ the eleventh month of the lunar calendar means ‘truce'.

Dhul-Hijja ~ the twelfth month meaning ‘pilgrimage’ is the beginning of the Hajj period when pilgrims make their way to Mecca to perform, possibly a once in a lifetime pilgrimage for God. It is the first Sacred Month which begins a cease to all fighting for four months.

The Islamic calendar is based purely on the lunar cycle and it is not synchronized with the season of the year. It drifts each solar year by about eleven days and comes back into position with the solar cycle every thirty three years. The solar year has 365 days while the lunar year has 354 days.

The first year of the Hijrah calendar, used in countries like Saudi Arabia and Indonesia, was the year in which the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) migrated from Mecca to Medina, known as the Hijrah. The corresponding Gregorian date is July 15th 622 AD.

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03 October 2012

Muslims are like one body

Why is it that when the Muslims of the 21st century hear that there has been an earthquake in Indonesia, Pakistan or a Tsunami along the borders of Asia but do not feel pained? When they hear of such atrocities or sufferings happening to their beloved Muslim brothers and sisters across the world there is no shared grief or significant compassion? Why is it that today when we hear that our Muslim brothers and sisters around the world are being tortured mercilessly, their land and possessions destroyed/occupied; their children are being killed/enslaved in poverty and human rights are being annihilated, that we feel no pain?

While we are living and enjoying the comforts and luxuries of the 21st century, our brothers and sisters are being oppressed all around us. It has become such that we have become immune to hearing such afflictions. It has become such that we find it hard to shed even one tear.

My dear readers, whoever you are and wherever you are, have we forgotten the Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)?


Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) giving an example of Muslim unity is reported to have said in a Hadith:

"The Believers, in their mutual love, mercy and compassion, are like one body: if one organ complained, the rest of the body develops a fever." [Bukhari & Muslim]

The Muslim Ummah is like one body." If the eye is in pain then the whole body is in pain and if the head is in pain then the whole body is in pain, if one member becomes sick then the other members of this one body will take care of the sick one:”

So we the Muslim Ummah, whatever colour, nationality or gender, wherever we are, are like this body. If we hear that any part of this Ummah is being oppressed, then we should feel this pain.

"O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And God has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things)."[Quran 49:13]

My dear readers, our oppressed brothers and sisters are crying out for help. They find that the Muslims of the 21st century are asleep and there is no one to help them. The reason why we the Muslims are collapsing is because we do not have any love amongst us. We harbour hatred for one another and our worldly matters and materialistic pursuits have taken over our lives.

Have we forgotten the beloved companions radiyallaho anhum of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)? Have we even realised that they were of different colours and backgrounds. Hazrat Bilal  was from Ethiopia , Hazrat Salman  was of Persian descent, Hazrat Suhaib  was from Rome and Hazrat Abu Zar  was from Gifar.

They used to love each other more than real brothers. These were the Sahabas.

"And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allah and be not divided among yourselves, and remember Allah's Favour on you, for you were enemies one to another but He joined your hearts together, so that, by His Grace, you became brethren, and you were on the brink of a pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus Allah makes His Ayat clear to you, that you may be guided." [Quran 3:103]

This is the love that the Sahaba had amongst them. Can we find any two people in the world like this today? And this is the love that Islam is asking from all the Muslims around the world today.

Has the time not come for all of us Muslims to unite again? The unity, which our Prophet  has taught us, the unity that the Sahabas had, the Unity of Islam.

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01 October 2012

Hadith Info: Value of Bismillah

Companion was riding behind the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) when his mount stumbled, so he said: May Allah destroy Shaitaan.” The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Do not say this, for it makes Shaitaan grow in stature so much that he becomes as great as a house. Say, ‘In the name of Allah,’ for this makes him as insignificant as a fly. [Abu Dawud]

Shaitaan’s shrinking happens as a result of the blessing of saying “In the name of Allah.”

A scholar was expounding the virtues of Bismillah when a man in his audience, himself well known, wondered aloud how such benefits were possible with only the taking of Allah’s name. The scholar said, “You donkey! What do you know?!”

The man broke out in a sweat and turned red with embarrassment at being called a foolish animal in front of such a large crowd. The scholar asked him why he looked so peeved. The man mentioned it was his use of the word “donkey” for him. So the scholar said, “When the word ‘donkey’ can have such an effect, can’t the word ‘Allah’ have any effect?”

This Hadith teaches us that if you stumble, or your child trips, or you have a tire blowout, say “Bismillah.” The mishap didn’t happen because of Shaitaan, but was from Allah’s Decree.

If a person attributes the accident to Shaitaan (such as by saying, “May Shaitaan perish!”) this false attribution of power to Shaitaan makes him swell with arrogance. The remembrance of Allah reduces Shaitaan in size and humiliates him.

Non-Muslims Quotes: Philip K. Hitti

Philip Khuri Hitti (1886 - 1978)

Each and every aspects, not only what he said but also what was his posture when he said that is also available to us today, even after 14 centuries. No one till to date is able to point a better person than him to follow. He was the best of the human being who said "Follow Me".

Even his worst enemies never called him a liar, they said "O Muhammad, we do not call you liar, But we deny "Him" who has given you a "Book" (Quran) and inspired you with a "Message"

- Philip K. Hitti -

Ref:  The History of Arabs

Diseases are a part of our test

Allah (God) Almighty, is most merciful and compassionate, without any doubt. Yet his actions can not be fully comprehended by our incompetent minds. What simplifies this issue is that we all agree that Allah is fair, just, wise and knowing. That means whatever he-Almighty- does, is with a legitimate purpose although we may not be able to understand, just why.  For example, a caring and loving doctor and father may be forced to amputate the leg of his only son. There is no doubt that this father loves his son. Yet his action was for the sake of this beloved son, although it may seem cruel to those who do not understand the circumstances. Allah –Almighty – has the greater and higher example, and it is not to any of his creatures to question his doings as it is mentioned in Sura 21 verse 23 (interpreted means: “He cannot be questioned for His acts, but they will be questioned (for theirs)”.

It is a Muslim’s belief that suffering of pain, hunger, tragic accidents etc, are due to one’s sins, for Allah wants this suffering to erase these sins which were made by this Muslim. Allah says in Sura 42 verse 30 interpreted means:   “Whatever misfortune happens to you, is because of the things your hands have wrought, and for many (of them) He grants forgiveness”. It is also apparent that man in times of crisis gets closer to Allah and starts repenting, while in times of ease and comfort he is far from remembering the blessings of Allah and he uses these gifts and blessings in committing sin after sin.

Allah -Almighty- has shown man the path of good and evil, and he gave him the power and will to choose. Therefore, man is accountable to his deeds and the punishment he receives for them, for life in this world is merely a test, but the results are to be known in the hereafter and Allah knows best.
Courtesy - Islam Q&A 


Diseases are one of those things in our lives reminding us of how weak we truly are. Our perfectly protected bodies can be severely impaired by a tiny bacteria or a virus that is invisible to naked eye. Actually a little thinking will make us understand that it is surprising for our bodies to be so heavily affected by a bacteria. It is so, because Allah created our body with flawless protection systems,  especially our immune system.  It can be comfortably called a ‘strong army’ fighting against the enemies of our body. However, despite all these protective systems, humans can’t help but fall ill very frequently. This should make us understand that Allah could have created us in such a way  that we would never get ill. Viruses, bacteria would not affect us at all, or these tiny ‘enemies’ specially prepared would not have existed at all. However, any person, at any time, can find himself struggling with a health problem for no apparent reason. For example, one virus entering the body through a small cut on the skin can spread throughout  the body in a short amount of time. No matter how advanced the technology is,  the simplest virus can overpower us very easily.

These are not far-fetched scenarios, they can happen to anyone at anytime; this should make everyone ponder on these facts thoroughly. Just like all other weaknesses, diseases also are specially created by Allah for us. Man has a tendency to be arrogant and conceited, forgetful of his weaknesses. These diseases help man see and understand his weaknesses and also see the true, undesirable nature of this life.

The diseases are tests created by Allah so that Muslims will long for heaven, contemplate the blessings, the gift of health granted to them by Allah and give thanks to Him and also realize how weak they are, which should make them surrender to Allah with all their hearts.

Man tends to take many things for granted in life. However, all those things in this world that we love so much are simply the blessings created by Almighty Allah.

For example, many people forget that it is a huge blessing that every morning we are able to get up and stand and walk easily on our  feet. However, a tiny problem in one foot could cause a big problem, impeding daily activities. A person who has a foot ache will then be able to better appreciate the thousand steps he takes during the day without feeling any pain.  

A devout Muslim takes this and many other seemingly unimportant things as opportunities to give thanks to Allah and get closer to Him. He remembers that Allah gave him a great blessing by making him a healthy person. He also sees one more time that it is Allah that gives the disease and only Allah can heal him, and therefore turns to Allah for recovery. Every moment when there is a feeling of pain, he remembers Allah and keeps his heart focused on Allah all the time.  

" He who created me and guides me;
He who gives me food and gives me drink;
and when I am ill, it is He who heals me;
He who will cause my death, then give me life;
He who I sincerely hope will forgive my mistakes on the Day of Reckoning.
My Lord, give me right judgment and unite me with the salihun;
and make me highly esteemed among the later peoples;
and make me one of the inheritors of the Garden of Delight " [Quran 26: 78-85]

Diseases make us understand that being attached to this world is utterly pointless. They also show us that everything we have is a part of  our test.  in this way we can understand that  we are only the poor servants of Allah and can be easily defeated and even killed by germs. Allah created us, and He protects us from all kinds of dangers surrounding us. No matter how much one tries to think otherwise and try to persuade himself that he is powerful, he can never help or even protect himself if Allah doesn't wish it. If Allah wills it, Allah can give one diseases and create other weaknesses in his body that will perfectly make him understand his frailty (The condition of being weak and delicate) .

This life is a place of testing created by Allah. Every person is responsible for spending his life in a way that pleases Allah and is tested constantly for this purpose. Those who are following the orders of Allah and display good morals will deserve to live in heaven forever. However, those who continue to be arrogant and prefer a couple of decades of this life over eternal heaven will not be able to rid themselves from weaknesses, troubles and problems both in this world and in the hereafter.

"Be sure we shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil), but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere" [Quran 2:155]