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Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu
Eid Ul Adha is next week and we still have a few more days left of the most blessed days in the year: the first ten days of dhul hijjah.
I’ve really been enjoying the following videos on dhul hijjah by Sheikh Haitham Al- Haddad. Check them out inshaAllah:

For me, just like during the last ten nights of Ramadan, in these blessed days I find myself curious as to how other Muslims are utilising these moments for multiple reward. If I see that a sister is paying more attention to her character, I feel compelled to also work on my own. If I find a sister reading more Quran, I feel guilty at the amount I am reading and try to race to catch or even surpass her own amount. It is this type of competition that is halal and recommended amongst the Muslims. And I don’t know about you, but I find that when I compare myself to sisters who are better than me and do more good deeds than I do, then it pushes me to do more.

In contrast, there is a type of competition that I see amongst the Muslims which can destroy any good works and destroys the heart.
Let me tell you something I heard in a lecture once. The Sheikh was talking about sincerity. He asked how do we know if someone is sincere? And he gave the example of two sheikhs. One sheikh, Sheikh A has been giving a circle to his students regularly for some time. The students have benefited immensely. Another sheikh, Sheikh B starts another circle not far from the location of the previous talk. Some of Sheikh A’s students leave his circle and instead start attending the dars of Sheikh B.

Now, if Sheikh A would start to feel angry/upset that his students have gone to another Sheikh for knowledge this is a clear indication that there was a problem in his sincerity to begin with. But if Sheikh A feels happy that his students are also learning and benefiting from someone else, then this is a clear sign of his sincerity.

I give the above example, because we should compete to do as many good deeds as possible. But if we start to feel sadness and envy in our hearts because a sister has gone to another sister for advice. Or sisters leave one circle to go to another then there was a problem in our sincerity.
I think it is a shame if all the ajr (reward) that could have been accumulated has been lost because our sincerity was absent.

If we remind ourselves that something is for the sake of Allah, then it wouldn’t matter if so-and-so sister sets up a circle in the same location as ourselves. We wouldn’t feel jealousy in our hearts if sisters gravitate towards one particular sister and not us. We would be over joyous if another group of brothers and sisters set up a project similar to our own. Its all about intention.

So, here is the litmus test: next time one of the above situations occurs, see how you feel and that should give you some indication as to whether you are sincere. And truly Allah knows what our hearts conceal. If you find that there are negative feelings when there should be positive ones – happy for the sake of Allah, then perhaps its time to take a break and focus on your intention and sincerity.

Wasalamuu alaikum

Umm Raiyaan
 
http://ummihomeschoolsme.wordpress.com/
https://stepstohislove.wordpress.com
http://www.islamichomeeducation.co.uk/

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Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu
 
 
When I became a Muslim eleven years ago, I had a very positive view of Muslims. At that time I just LOVED all Muslims. Naively, I thought that they were all good, all caring, all respectful, and were united.
Naturally, that view has somewhat changed. Over the years, I have met some lovely sisters mashaAllah and I have met some not-so-nice ones. But one thing that still bothers me to this day, is the lack of respect Muslims have when they differ on opinions or follow different figures of knowledge. Eleven years ago it was so bad that I questioned whether I should remain in a religion where everything is haram and Muslims constantly warn one another against this sheikh and that sheikh. It was a very negative time for many.
In 2010, things have changed somewhat but there still seems to be a ‘which-sheikh-do-you-follow’ mentality. Or if you mention a brother’s talk you listened to, or someone that you take knowledge from, then it creates a bad air as the sister believes that you are taking knowledge from someone deviant. I have seen this type of scenario cause Muslim sisters to separate who once had a wonderful friendship.
To me (and this is my personal opinion), as long as the Sheikh is upon the Quran and sunnah and his aqeedah is that of Ahlus Sunnah wa jamaah – then we take the good and leave the bad. But it should not cause us to separate from our sisters or to view them negatively. Of course, there are some paths in Islam which are clearly ‘dodgy’ and some that actually are borderline kufr. And here, we should display hikmah (wisdom) and gentleness in correcting.
Also, what gives us (Muslims who have a tiny bit of knowledge to criticize and criticize and criticize others?!) Sisters claim, that when ‘warning’ against certain brothers that this comes from their Shuyookh. But perhaps not every sister values the opinion of that sheikh. And also, I’m sure certain shuyookh would ‘warn’ in a very different manner than many Muslims do.
I want to share a beautiful story of the people of the past who clearly understood how to deal with others who have different opinions to them:
Imam Malik one day entered the Masjid after Asr. Towards the front of Masjid An-Nabawee he drew closer and sat down. Rasul Allah had commanded that anyone who enters the Masjid should not sit until he first prays 2 rakas as a salutation of the Masjid. Imam Malik was of the opinion however that Rasul Allah’s forbiddance of praying after Asr took precedence and so he would teach his students to not pray the tahiyyatul Masjid if they entered between the Asr and Maghrib time.
At that moment that Imam Malik sat down, a young boy had seen him sit without first praying the 2 raka’s of Tahiyyatul Masjid. The young boy scorned him, “Get up and pray 2 rakas!”
Imam Malik dutifully stood up once again and began praying the 2 rakas. The students sat stunned: What was going on? Had Imam Malik’s opinion changed?
After he had completed the salah, the students swarmed around and questioned his actions. Imam Malik said, “My opinion has not changed, nor have I gone back on what I taught you earlier. I merely feared that had I not prayed the 2 rakas as the young boy commanded, Allah may include me in the Ayah…
“And when it is said to them, ‘Bow (in prayer)’, they do not bow.” – al mursalat 77/48.
Imam Ahmad held the opinion that eating camel meat nullifies ones Wudhu, an opinion that the majority of scholars differed from. Some students asked him, “If you find an Imam eating camel meat in front of you and – without first making Wudu – then leads the Salah, would you pray behind him?” Imam Ahmad replied, “Do you think I would not pray behind the likes of Imam Malik and Sa’eed ibn Al-Musayyab?”
So, as people who do not have knowledge with the likes of the above mentioned, let us not start labelling, start bickering, judging and hold negative feelings in our hearts with those who differ with us.
With the time that we are living in, it is time for us to unite upon the fact that we are all Muslims who try to adhere to the Quran and Sunnah.
And Allah knows best.
 
 
Wasalamuu alaikum
Umm Raiyaan xx
 
http://ummihomeschoolsme.wordpress.com/
https://stepstohislove.wordpress.com
http://www.islamichomeeducation.co.uk/

Bismillah


 
Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,
 
As many of you know, I home educate my children and keep a blog to document our homeschool journey. On my blog, I documented an honest day from the time I woke up from fajr to the time I went to bed. I included everything to see how I spent my time in a day. It was useful and one thing that I noticed was that I shout too much at my 2.5 year old son! We all have our weak points and one of mine is that I shout too much at him.
 
Well, a very sweet sister sent me a lovely email after reading my blog post. You don’t have to have kids or be shouting at your kids to read and benefit from her short message. But, if like me you do shout at your husband, or your sister/brother, or indeed your kids then her points really are going to leave you thinking. By Allah, by the time I finished reading her email I was fighting back the tears…
 
Hope you will benefit inshaAllah.

Here is a part of her email:

Sister, I read about you shouting at your children, as I do and everyone I know do. You said you need to work on your anger management.

I want to share something with you. Last month I was reading about abusive men. I read a few books written by non-muslims just to understand what pushes a man to be so angry all the time. And then I looked to Islam to see how to cure this problem. What I found opened my eyes as to the reasons why I shout too. So this is what I want to share with you. InshaAllah.
In short, they say abusive men are angry not because they have anger issues but because they look down on their wives and kids. The books said, in the minds of these men, women and children are of lesser status than them so they don’t feel obliged to treat them well. Another issue is that men feel entitled to certain treatment and rights, such as the food to be always cooked, a clean house, their clothes always clean and ironed and the wife always smiling and understanding. But they don’t feel obliged to offer almost anything in return because they believe since their wives are of lesser status they don’t need to put any effort into the relationship. Obviously not all men hold these beliefs but a big amount of Muslim men do. I have been discussing the issue with my husband from an Islamic point of view and talked to him how beliefs are passed from a father to a son. Sometimes Muslim men don’t realise that they hold such beliefs at all and that they contradict Islam. This is a very short explanation. Now, what concerns me is that from Islam we women should take care of the house, the kids and when we add home education we end up with a long list of demands which can put a lot of pressure on us. So we may say that this is the only reason why we shout at the kids. We are under stress and we lash out on them from time to time because of this. But I asked myself, do I shout at sisters if they annoy me? I don’t. Do I shout at my mum if I am stressed? I don’t. So why can I restrain myself with other people but I end up shouting at my kids. The answer to this is very disturbing to me. I realised I give myself permission to shout at my kids because there will be no consequences, or at least no immediate consequences. If I shout at other people there will be immediate consequences. When I realised this I realised that my anger isn’t out of control. That I give myself permission to shout and I give myself permission who I should shout at. It was a scary discovery. Then I delved deeper and asked myself if I feel I can shout at my kids because they are of a lesser status. Or do I feel they are? I was thinking, if I remember that they are muslims and as such have the same status as me, (even if they are small) and I don’t see immediate bad consequences for my actions, Allah will certainly hold me to account for how I treated them. Shouting stresses them, sometimes scares them, it teaches them nothing but that if you want to impose your will you shout it out, it teaches them to shout and be out of control, it teaches them to act immature. It teaches them that it is okay to overpower those weaker than us. Hmmm. This is when I realised I need to stop and that I will stop only if I recognise the fact that they have equal status to me in Islam and that they have been given to me as amaanah (a trust): to take care of them and make them worshippers of Allah.

This is a very very short part of what I realised. But I wanted to share it with you. Maybe you will disagree. Maybe your reasons are different. I am not saying you have the same issues like me. I just thought that maybe sharing my thoughts can be beneficial inshaAllah.

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