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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

PEACE CONFERENCE 2011 - 10-day International Islamic Conference & Exhibition

Dr Zakir Naik
on behalf of Islamic Research Foundation
welcomes you with family and friends to

10-day International Islamic Conference & Exhibition

InshaAllah from
18 to 27 Nov. 2011, 10 am to 10 pm
Somaiya Ground (over 35 acres)
Sion (E), Mumbai -22


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Islam set to be dominant religion in France

By David Kerr
Paris, France, Sep 17, 2011 / 12:25 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- New research suggests there are now more practising Muslims in France than practising Catholics.

While 64 percent of French people describe themselves as Roman Catholic, only 2.9 percent of the population actually practice the Catholic faith. That compares to 3.8 percent of the population who practice the Muslim faith. The research was carried out by the French Institute of Public Opinion on behalf of the Catholic newspaper La Croix.

More worrying for Islamic authorities in France is the finding that only 41 percent of the country’s 6 million Muslims actually describe themselves as “practising,” although 75 percent are happy to label themselves “believers.” Seventy-percent also claim to observe the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Most French Muslims hail from the country’s former colonies in North and sub-Saharan Africa.

There is also further evidence that mosques are being erected at a much faster rate than Catholic churches. Mohammed Moussaoui, President of the Muslim Council of France, last month estimated that 150 new mosques are currently under construction across the country.

By contrast, the Catholic Church in France has built only 20 new churches during the past decade, and has formally closed more than 60 churches. Many of these are now destined to become mosques, according to La Croix.

Research in 2009 by the Amsterdam School for Social Science Research suggested that nearly 500 new mosques were built between 2001 and 2006, taking the present total to over 2,000. Many of these new buildings, however, were erected to re-accommodate local Islamic communities who had previously been using temporary accommodation – the so-called “Islam of the basements.”

One of France’s most prominent Muslim leaders, Dalil Boubakeur, who is the head of the Grand Mosque of Paris, recently called for the number of mosques in the country to be doubled again – to 4,000 – to meet growing demand.

The lack of building space for France’s Islamic population had led to many mosques not being able to accommodate the believers who arrive for Friday prayers, leaving many Muslims to pray outside in the streets.

But Muslims praying outside of mosques has created political tension.

In December 2010 the leader of the far-right National Front, Marine Le Pen, described such scenes as an “occupation without tanks or soldiers.” She is likely to run for the French presidency next year, and her message is resonating with 40 percent of voters, according to a recent poll for the “France Soir” newspaper.

French President Nikolas Sarkozy has also recently described street prayers as “unacceptable,” adding that the street cannot become “an extension of the mosque.” Last month his Interior Minister, Claude Guéant, suggested Muslims should instead use empty barracks. Prayer in the street “has to stop,” Guéant declared.

In a bid to solve the space crisis in the southern city of Marseille, a mosque to accommodate 7,000 worshippers is currently being built. Twenty-five percent of Marseille's population is Muslim.

Last month a mosque for 2,000 worshippers opened in the eastern town of Strasbourg, where 15 percent of the population is Muslim.

France is often referred to as the “eldest daughter of the Catholic Church,” because the local Church has maintained unbroken communion with the Bishop of Rome since the 2nd century.

But some senior European bishops have long predicted the eclipse of Catholicism by Islam across the continent.

In 1999, Archbishop Giuseppe Bernardini, an Italian Franciscan who heads the Izmir Archdiocese in Turkey, recalled a conversation he had with a Muslim leader for the Synod of European Bishops, which was gathered in Rome. That leader told him, “thanks to your democratic laws, we will invade you. Thanks to our religious laws, we will dominate you.” 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

800 foreigners converted to Islam in 6 months

DOHA: A total of 800 expatriates converted to Islam in the last six months, according to statistical data released by Qatar Guest Centre (QGC).
The Centre, which is affiliated to Sheikh Eid bin Mohammad Al Thani Charity, is planning to publish the stories of these converts in a book to be translated in other languages. Also, QGC is organising in Al Khor advocacy programmes to educate the new Muslims in cooperation with religious guidance and mosque affairs department and Ministry of Awqf and Islmaic Affairs.
Of the 800 new Muslims 67 percent are Filipinos, according to Hadi Al Dosari, Director of Qatar Guest Centre. In its four years of service to Islam and the Muslims, the Centre has been contributing to the promotion of Islam with the number of new converts from various nationalities reaching 919 last year, said Al Dosari.
He said the number of converts to Islam has been increasing steadily for the last years. From 21 new converts monthly in year 2006, the numbers increased to 28 in 2007, 46 in 2008, 52 in 2009 52 and 77 last year.  “These numbers reflect the efforts of the Centre to bring the message to all the communities,” he said.
The Centre is also organising cultural activities which attract a lot of people through lectures, seminars and meetings with various expatriate communities.
A total of 2, 470 lectures which deal with various aspects of life has already been organised by QGC and its tent at the Karwa bus station attracts an average of 1,000 visitors weekly. In addition, lectures, which average 24,100 yearly, are also held in Industrial Area.
Islamic lectures have been well attended such as the one with prominent scholar Zakir Naik spoke on ‘Islam and Media: Peace or War’ in which a large audience of about 8,000 have attended.
The centre also pays regular visits to prisoner, the sick, resident complexes, private companies, shops and malls. He said average visit to prisoners annually have increased to 200 times and 10, 300 in commercial shops.
More and more young people are also participating in the centre’s activities, with 200 student volunteers who distribute booklets and brochures about Islam and the centre. Other means are employed to reach out to the most number of people such as using cars to distribute brochures to many parts of the country and participating in many events of global scale.    THE PENINSULA

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Using toothpaste whilst fasting

Is it permissible to brush one's teeth using toothpaste when fasting?

Praise be to Allaah.

Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about using toothpaste whilst fasting. He said: there is nothing wrong with that so long as one is careful to avoid swallowing any of it, just as it is prescribed in Islam for the fasting person to use the siwaak (tooth-stick) 
Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 4/247 

Shaykh Muhammad al-Saalih ibn ‘Uthaymeen said:      
… This leads us to the question: Is it permissible to use a toothbrush and toothpaste whilst fasting or not? 

The answer is that it is permitted, but it is preferable not to use them because the toothpaste is too strong and may go down into the throat. Instead of doing that during the day, one should do it at night. 

Al-Sharh al-Mumti’ by Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 6/407, 408
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

Friday, August 5, 2011

Watch Live Makkah Prayers Online

Not everyone is lucky enough to go to Makkah in Ramadan and pray there.

So here is your chance to watch Live Makkah Prayers online right here.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Things that invalidate the fast

We would like you to give us a summary of things that invalidate the fast.
Praise be to Allaah.
Allaah has prescribed fasting in accordance with the highest wisdom. 
He has commanded the fasting person to fast in a moderate manner, so he should not harm himself by fasting or consume anything that will invalidate the fast. 
Hence the things that invalidate the fast are of two types: 
Some of the things that invalidate the fast involve things coming out of the body, such as intercourse, deliberate vomiting, menstruation and cupping. These things that come out of the body weaken it. Hence Allaah has described them as being things that invalidate the fast, so that the fasting person will not combine the weakness that results from fasting with the weakness that results from these things, and thus be harmed by his fast or his fast no longer be moderate. 
And some of the things that invalidate the fast involve things entering the body, such as eating and drinking. If the fasting person eats or drinks, he does not achieve the purpose of fasting. 
Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 25/248 
Allaah has summed up the things that break the fast in the verse where He says (interpretation of the meaning): 
“So now have sexual relations with them and seek that which Allaah has ordained for you (offspring), and eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of night), then complete your Sawm (fast) till the nightfall”
[al-Baqarah 2:187] 
In this verse Allaah mentions the main things that invalidate the fast, which are eating, drinking and intercourse. The other things that break the fast were mentioned by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in his Sunnah. 
There are seven things that break the fast, as follows: 
1-     Intercourse
2-     Masturbation
3-     Eating and drinking
4-     Anything that is regarded as coming under the same heading as eating and drinking
5-     Letting blood by means of cupping and the like
6-     Vomiting deliberately
7-     Menstruation and nifaas 
The first of the things that invalidate the fast is: intercourse. 
This is the most serious and the most sinful of the things that invalidate the fast. 
Whoever has intercourse during the day in Ramadaan deliberately and of his or her own free will, in which the two circumcised parts meet and the tip of the penis disappears in either of the two passages, has invalidated his fast, whether he ejaculates or not. He has to repent, complete that day (i.e., not eat or drink until sunset), make up that day’s fast later on and offer a severe expiation. The evidence for that is the hadeeth narrated by Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: A man came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said, “I am doomed, O Messenger of Allaah!” He said, “Why are you doomed?” He said, “I had intercourse with my wife (during the day) in Ramadaan.” He said, “Can you free a slave?” He said, “No.” He said, “Can you fast for two consecutive months?” He said, “No.” He said, “Can you feed sixty poor persons?” He said, “No.”… 
Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1936; Muslim, 1111. 
No expiation is required for any of the things that break the fast apart from intercourse. 
The second of the things that invalidate the fast is masturbation. 
This means causing ejaculation or climax by using the hand etc. 
The evidence that masturbation is one of the things that invalidate the fast is the words of Allaah in the hadeeth qudsi in which He says of the fasting person: “He gives up his food and drink and desire for My sake.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1894; Muslim, 1151. Causing ejaculation comes under the heading of the desire which the fasting person gives up. 
Whoever masturbates during the day in Ramadaan has to repent to Allaah and refrain from eating and drinking for the rest of the day, and he has to make up that fast later on.  
If he starts to masturbate then stops without ejaculating, he has to repent, but his fast is still valid, and he does not have to make it up later because he did not ejaculate. The fasting person should keep away from everything that provokes desire and shun bad thoughts. 
With regard to the emission of madhiy (prostatic fluid), the most correct view is that it does not invalidate the fast. 
The third of the things that invalidate the fast is eating or drinking 
This refers to food or drink reaching the stomach via the mouth. 
If anything reaches the stomach via the nose, this is like eating or drinking. 
Hence the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Snuff up water deeply into the nose (when doing wudoo’), except when you are fasting.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 788. If water reaching the stomach via the nose did not invalidate the fast, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would not have told those who are fasting not to snuff up water deeply into the nose. 
The fourth of the things that invalidate the fast is anything that is regarded as coming under the same heading as eating and drinking 
This includes two things: 
1-     Transfusion of blood to one who is fasting – such as if he bleeds heavily and is given a blood transfusion. This invalidates the fast because blood is formed from food and drink.
2-     Receiving via a needle (as in the case of a drip) nourishing substances which take the place of food and drink, because this is the same as food and drink. Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, Majaalis Shahr Ramadaan, p/ 70. 
With regard to injections which do not replace food and drink, rather they are administered for the purpose of medical treatment – such as penicillin or insulin – or are given to energize the body, or for the purpose of vaccinations, these do not affect the fast, whether they are intravenous or intramuscular (injected into a vein or a muscle). Fataawa Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem, 4/189. But to be on the safe side, these injections may be given at night. 
Kidney dialysis, in which blood is extracted, cleaned and then returned to the body with the additional of chemical substances such as sugars and salts etc. is regarded as invalidating the fast. Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 10/19 
The fifth of the things that invalidate the fast is letting blood by means of cupping 
Because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The cupper and the one for whom cupping is done have both invalidated their fast.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 2367; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood, 2047. 
Donating blood comes under the same heading as cupping, because it affects the body in the same way. 
Based on this, it is not permissible for a person who is fasting to donate blood unless it is essential, in which case it is permissible. In that case the donor has broken his fast and must make up that day later on. Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, Majaalis Shahr Ramadaan, p. 71 
If a person suffers a nosebleed, his fast is valid, because that happened involuntarily. Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 10/264 
With regard to bleeding that results from extraction of a tooth, surgery or a blood test etc., that does not invalidate the fast because it is not cupping or something that is similar to cupping, unless it has an effect on the body similar to that of cupping. 
The sixth of the things that invalidate the fast is vomiting deliberately 
Because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever vomits involuntarily does not have to make up the fast, but whoever vomits deliberately let him make up the fast.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 720, classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 577. 
Ibn al-Mundhir said: The scholars are agreed that the fast of one who vomits deliberately is invalidated. Al-Mughni, 4/368. 
Whoever vomits deliberately by sticking his finger in his throat, pressing his stomach, deliberately smelling something nasty or persisting in looking at something that makes him vomit, has to make up his fast later on. 
If his gorge rises, he should not suppress it, because that will harm him. Majaalis Sharh Ramadaan, Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, p. 71. 
The seventh of the things that invalidate the fast is the blood of menses and nifaas 
Because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Is it not the case that when she gets her period, she does not pray or fast?” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 304. 
When a woman sees the blood of her period or nifaas (post-partum bleeding), her fast becomes invalid even if that is one moment before sunset. 
If a woman feels that her period has started but no blood comes out until after sunset, her fast is still valid. 
If the bleeding of a woman who is menstruating or in nifaas ceases at night and she has the intention of fasting, then dawn comes before she does ghusl, the view of all the scholars is that her fast is valid. Al-Fath, 4/148. 
It is preferable for a woman to keep to her natural cycle and to accept that which Allaah has decreed for her, and not to take any medicine to prevent her period. She should accept what Allaah has decreed for her of not fasting during her period, and make up those days later on. This is what the Mothers of the Believers and the women of the Salaf used to do. Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 10/151. In addition, it has been medically proven that these means of preventing menstruation are harmful and many women have suffered menstrual irregularities as a result. If a woman takes pills and her period stops as a result, that is fine, she can fast and her fast is acceptable.  
These are things that invalidate the fast. All of them – apart from menses and nifaas – only invalidate the fast if three conditions are met: that the person was aware of the ruling and not ignorant of it; that he did it knowingly and not out of forgetfulness; and that he did it by choice and was not forced to do it. 
We should also note some things that do not invalidate the fast: 
Enemas, eyedrops, eardrops, tooth extraction and treatment of injuries do not invalidate the fast. Majmoo’ Fataawa Shaykh al-Islam, 25/233; 25/245 
Medical tablets that are placed under the tongue to treat asthma attacks etc, so long as you avoid swallowing any residue. 
Insertion of anything into the vagina such as pessaries, or a speculum, or the doctor’s fingers for the purpose of medical examination. 
Insertion of medical instruments or IUD into the womb. 
Anything that enters the urinary tract of a male or female, such as a catheter tube, or medical scopes, or opaque dyes inserted for the purpose of x-rays, or medicine, or a solution to wash the bladder. 
Fillings, extractions or cleaning of the teeth, whether with a siwaak or toothbrush, so long as you avoid swallowing anything that reaches the throat.  
Rinsing the mouth, gargling, sprays etc. so long as you avoid swallowing anything that reaches the throat.  
Oxygen or anaesthetic gases, so long as that does not give the patient any kind of nourishment. 
Anything that may enter the body via absorption through the skin, such as creams, poultices, etc.  
Insertion of a fine tube via the veins for diagnostic imaging or treatment of the veins of the heart or any part of the body. 
Insertion of a scope through the stomach wall to examine the intestines by means of a surgical operation (laparoscopy). 
Taking samples from the liver or any other part of the body, so long as that is not accompanied by administration of solutions. 
Endoscopy, so long as that is not accompanied by administration of solutions or other substances. 
Introduction of any medical instruments or materials to the brain or spinal column. 
And Allaah knows best. 
See Majaalis Ramadaan by Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, and the booklet Sab’oona Mas’alah fi’l-Siyaam.
Islam Q&A

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Why are the Muslims not united in their fasting?

Why are the Muslims not united in their fasting even though there is only one new moon for Ramadaan? In the past there was the excuse of there being no media or means of communication.
Praise be to Allaah.
The most likely reason for the differences in the start of the fast from one country to another is the difference in sighting the new moon. Such differences are well known and it makes sense that there are such differences. 
Based on this, it is not possible to expect all the Muslims to start fasting at the same time, because this would mean that some of them were starting to fast before the new moon had been sighted and even before it had appeared. 
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about those who call for the ummah to be united in fasting and for the moon sighting to be based on its sighting in Makkah. He said: 
This is impossible from an astronomical point of view, because the sighting of the new moon, as Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said, differs, according to the scientists who are well-versed in this field. Because it differs, then each country should have its own ruling, according to the reports and according to science. 
The evidence from reports is the verse in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 
“So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadan i.e. is present at his home), he must observe Sawm (fasts) that month”
[al-Baqarah 2:185] 
If it so happens that people in a remote region of the world do not see the new moon whereas the people of Makkah do see it, then how can the words of this verse apply to those who have not seen the new moon? The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Fast when you see it and stop fasting when you see it.” (Agreed upon). So if the people of Makkah, for example, see it, then how can we expect the people of Pakistan and countries further east to start fasting, when we know that that the new moon has not yet appeared in their region, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) connected the start of fasting to the sighting of the moon?
 The scientific evidence is the correct analogy which we cannot contradict. We know that dawn appears in eastern regions of the earth before it appears in western regions, so if dawn has appeared in eastern regions, do we have to stop eating even though it is still night where we are? The answer is no. If the sun has set in eastern regions but it is still day where we are, is it permissible for us to break our fast? The answer is no. And the new moon is exactly like the sun, except that the timing of the new moon is monthly and the timing of the sun is daily.  The One Who said (interpretation of the meaning): 
“and eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of night), then complete your Sawm (fast) till the nightfall”
[al-Baqarah 2:187] is also the One Who said (interpretation of the meaning): 
“So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadan i.e. is present at his home), he must observe Sawm (fasts) that month”
[al-Baqarah 2:185] 
So the evidence of both the texts and science indicates that we should establish a separate ruling for each place when it comes to starting and ending the fast, and this should be connected to the physical sign which Allaah has described in His Book and which His Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) established in his Sunnah, namely the sighting of the moon and the sighting of the sun or dawn. 
End quote from Fataawa Arkaan al-Islam, p. 451. 
And he said, explaining this analogy and supporting the argument of those who say that there should be different moon sightings: 
They say that the monthly timings should be like the daily sightings. Just as different countries vary in the start and end of the fast each day, so too they must differ in the start and end of the month-long fast. The difference in daily timings is well known according to Muslim consensus; those who are in the east start fasting before those who are in the west, and they also break the fast first. 
If we accept the differences in sighting with regard to daily timings, then we should also accept it with regard to the month. 
No one can say that the verse “and eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of night), then complete your Sawm (fast) till the nightfall” and the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) “When the night has come from here and the day has departed from here and the sun has set, then the faster may break his fast” are general in meaning and apply to all the Muslims in every region. 
The same applies to the verse “So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadan i.e. is present at his home), he must observe Sawm (fasts) that month” and the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) “When you see it fast and when you see it stop fasting.”
As you see, this opinion is very strong, and the analogy is sound, the analogy between the monthly timing and the daily timing. 
End quote from Fataawa Ramadaan, compiled by Ashraf ‘Abd al-Maqsood, p. 104 
The Council of Senior Scholars issued an important statement on this topic, the text of which is as follows: 
Firstly: The difference in moon sighting is something which is well known, and there is no difference among the scholars concerning this. Rather the difference of scholarly opinion has to do with whether the difference in moon sighting matters or not. 
Secondly: The issue of whether the difference in moon sighting matters or not is a theoretical matter in which there is room for ijtihaad. Even people of great knowledge and piety differed concerning this matter. This is a type of difference which is acceptable, where the one who makes ijtihaad and gets it right will have two rewards, one for his ijtihaad and the other for getting it right, and the one who gets it wrong will be rewarded for his ijtihaad. 
The scholars differed concerning this matter and there are two points of view. One is that the difference in moon sighting matters and the other is that it does not matter. Each group quotes evidence from the Qur’aan and Sunnah, and sometimes they quote the same text, such as when they both quote the verse (interpretation of the meaning): 
“They ask you (O Muhammad) about the new moons. Say: These are signs to mark fixed periods of time for mankind and for the pilgrimage”
[al-Baqarah 2:189] 
and the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), “Fast when you see it and stop fasting when you see it.”
 That is because of different understandings of the texts, and different ways in which each group derives evidence from them. 
Based on the considerations that the Council has seen and examined, and based on the fact that the difference of opinion on this matter does not have any effect that may lead to undesirable consequences, since this religion appeared fourteen centuries ago and we do not know of any period during which the ummah was united in moon sighting, the members of the Council of Senior Scholars think that matters should be left as they are and that this subject should not be stirred up. Each Islamic state should have the right to choose whichever opinion it wishes, based on the suggestions of its own scholars, because each view has its evidence and proofs. 
Thirdly: The Council has studied the issue of proving the new moon by means of calculation, and what has been narrated in the Qur’aan and Sunnah, and they have studied the comments of the scholars on this matter. They have decided unanimously that astronomical calculations carry no weight in determining the new moon with regard to Islamic matters, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “Fast when you see it and stop fasting when you see it.” And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Do not fast until you see it, and do not stop fasting until you see it.” And because of other evidence to that effect. 
End quote, from Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 10/102.
Islam Q&A

Thursday, July 28, 2011

South Africa's Wayne Parnell converts to Islam

Johannesburg: South African fast bowler Wayne Parnell has converted to Islam after a period of personal study and reflection and will celebrate his 22nd birthday on Friday as a Muslim.

Parnell confirmed in a statement on Thursday that he converted to Islamic faith in January this year and is considering a name change to Waleed, which means 'Newborn Son'.

"While I have not yet decided on an Islamic name I have considered the name Waleed which means Newborn Son, but for now my name remains Wayne Dillon Parnell. I will continue to respect the team's endorsement of alcoholic beverages. I am playing cricket in Sussex and this is my immediate focus," said Port Elizabeth-born Parnell.

"As I am approaching my first period of fasting, I ask that this special time is treated with respect. I am a young man, a professional cricketer by trade, and while I can appreciate and am grateful for the public interest in my personal life, my faith choice is a matter which I would like to keep private," said the promising Warriors left-arm seam bowler.

Proteas team manager Mohamed Moosajee, himself a Muslim, said Parnell's Muslim teammates Hashim Amla and Imran Tahir had not influenced his decision to convert from Christianity.

"Wayne already decided a few months ago to follow Islam," Moosajee said of the cricketer, who excelled during the ICC World Cup on the subcontinent.

"The decision to convert was his own decision, but I know nothing of the name change," added Moosajee.

Fellow players, preferring to remain anonymous, said they believed Parnell was very serious about his choice of religion and that he had not touched a drop of alcohol, forbidden to Muslims, since the recent Indian Premier League series.

Supporting Moosajee's denial of influence by Amla, the players said he had never attempted to convert them to his religion, although they had all been very impressed by the discipline and strict adherence that Amla showed to his religion, by refusing to participate in celebrations with them that involved liquor, staying steadfast in his daily prayers even while on tour, and refusing to wear the kit sponsored by South African beer brand Castle Lager.

In his first two years after making his debut for the Proteas in 2009, Parnell developed a hard-living reputation.

In October 2009, he was kicked out of the provincial side Warriors following an incident in a night club in the city of Port Elizabeth in the early hours of the morning.

He came to limelight when he captained the South African Under-19 team in the U-19 World Cup in 2008. He was the youngest player to get a central contract in 2009 at the age of 20 years.

He is the second Christian to have converted to Islam after Pakistan's Yousuf Youhana (now Mohammad Yousuf) in 2006.
Story first published on: Thursday, 28 July 2011 20:46

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Blame the Muslims, won’t you?

YouTube comedian and activist Strange Sanum acts out a parody video, “You Know You’re Muslim When ... ” (IMAGE FROM YOUTUBE)
As soon as reports came in Friday morning about a bombing and massacre in Norway, the knee-jerk rection by media organizations around the world was to speculate that “Muslim terrorists” were the perpetrators.
By the evening, it became clear that a 32-year-old Norwegian Christian man named Anders Behring Breivik was responsible for the attacks.
The error was clear, and yet many continued to try to link the attacks toal-Qaeda’s influence.
Some were not so keen to let the blame continue. On Twitter, YouTube comedian and activist Strange Sanun started a satirical hashtag#blamethemuslims to “highlight how ridiculous it is to blame Muslims for every problem in the world.”
The hashtag #blamethemuslims shined a light on Europe’s Islamophobia and the media’s mistake, which commentator’s around the world were only starting to point out.
Ahmed Moor at Al Jazeera wrote that the Western media’s response “demonstrates the extent to which reactionary bigotry” and anti-Muslim sentiment have “infected mainstream thought.”
Jeff Sparrow at ABC argued that this once again showed Europe’s “mainstreaming of a violent, apocalyptic anti-Muslim discourse.”
The Post’s Right Turn blog came under fire for rushing to make a “jihadist connection.”
And the New York Times was criticized by Glenn Greenwald at Salon for using the word “terrorist” when referring to Muslims but switching to the word “extremist” when the perpetrator turned out to be Christian.
By Sunday, the hashtag had become a trending topic after a series of satirical tweets by Sanum went viral.
Some of Sanum’s best tweets:
“I don’t have a job #blamethemuslims”
“Friday by Rebecca Black? #blamethemuslims”
“‘Wheres your homework?’ ‘I made it into a paper aeroplane and it got hijacked.’ #blamethemuslims”
Those who saw the hashtag but didn’t understand the irony reacted with shock or outrage. Some even sent Sanum death threats.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

How can we prepare for the arrival of Ramadaan?

How can we prepare for Ramadaan? What are the best deeds in this blessed month?.
Praise be to Allaah.


You have done well to ask this question, because you have asked how to prepare for the month of Ramadaan. Many people misunderstand the true nature of fasting, and they make it an occasion for eating and drinking, making special sweets and staying up late at night and watching shows on satellite TV. They make preparations for that long before Ramadaan, lest they miss out on some food or prices go up. They prepare by buying food, preparing drinks and looking at the satellite TV guide so they can choose which shows to follow and which to ignore. They are truly unaware of the real nature of fasting in Ramadaan; they take worship and piety out of the month and make it just for their bellies and their eyes. 


Others are aware of the real nature of fasting in the month of Ramadaan, so they start to prepare from Sha’baan, and some of them even start before that. Among the best ways of preparing for the month of Ramadaan are: 

1 –Sincere repentance 
This is obligatory at all times, but because of the approach of a great and blessed month, it is even more important to hasten to repent from sins between you and your Lord, and between you and other people by giving them their rights, so that when the blessed month begins you may busy yourself with acts of worship with a clean heart and peace of mind. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 
“And all of you beg Allaah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful”
[al-Noor 24:31] 
It was narrated from al-Agharr ibn Yasaar (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “O people, repent to Allaah for I repent to Him one hundred times each day.” Narrated by Muslim (2702). 

2 –Du’aa’ (supplication) 
It was narrated from some of the salaf that they used to pray to Allaah for six months that they would live until Ramadaan, then they would pray for five months afterwards that He would accept it from them. 
The Muslim should ask his Lord to let him live until Ramadaan with a strong religious commitment and good physical health, and he should ask Him to help him obey Him during the month, and ask Him to accept his good deeds from Him. 

3 – Rejoicing at the approach of the blessed month 
The arrival of Ramadaan is one of the great blessings that Allaah bestows upon His Muslim slave, because Ramadaan is one of the occasions of good in which the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell are closed. It is the month of the Qur’aan and of decisive battles in the history of our religion. 
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 
“Say: ‘In the Bounty of Allaah, and in His Mercy (i.e. Islam and the Qur’aan); —therein let them rejoice.’ That is better than what (the wealth) they amass”
[Yoonus 10:58] 

4 – Discharging the duty of any outstanding obligatory fasts 
It was narrated that Abu Salamah said: I heard ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) say: I would owe fasts from the previous Ramadaan and I would not be able to make them up except in Sha’baan. 
Narrated by al-Bukhaari (1849) and Muslim (1146). 
Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 
From her keenness to do that in Sha’baan it may be understood that it is not permissible to delay making them up until another Ramadaan begins. 
Fath al-Baari (4/191). 

5 – Seeking knowledge in order to be able to follow the rulings on fasting and to understand the virtues of Ramadaan. 

6 – Hastening to complete any tasks that may distract the Muslim from doing acts of worship. 

7 – Sitting with one’s family members – wife and children – to tell them of the rulings on fasting and encourage the young ones to fast. 

8 – Preparing some books which can be read at home or given to the imam of the mosque to read to the people during Ramadaan. 

9 – Fasting some of the month of Sha’baan in preparation for fasting Ramadaan. 
It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to fast until we said: He will not break his fast, and he used not to fast until we said: He will not fast. And I never saw the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) complete a month of fasting except Ramadaan, and I never saw him fast more in any month than in Sha’baan. 
Narrated by al-Bukhaari (1868) and Muslim (1156). 
It was narrated that Usaamah ibn Zayd said: I said: O Messenger of Allaah, I do not see you fasting in any month as you fast in Sha’baan? He said: “That is a month that people neglect between Rajab and Ramadaan, but it is a month in which people’s deeds are taken up to the Lord of the Worlds and I would like my deeds to be taken up when I am fasting.” 
Narrated by al-Nasaa’i (2357); classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Nasaa’i.  
This hadeeth explains the wisdom behind fasting in Sha’baan, which is that it is a month in which deeds are taken up (to Allaah). Some of the scholars mentioned another reason, which is that this fasting is like Sunnah prayers offered beforehand in relation to the obligatory prayer; they prepare the soul for performing the obligatory action, and the same may be said of fasting Sha’baan before Ramadaan. 

10 – Reading Qur’aan 
Salamah ibn Kuhayl said: It was said that Sha’baan was the month of the Qur’aan readers. 
When Sha’baan began, ‘Amr ibn Qays would close his shop and free his time for reading Qur’aan. 
Abu Bakr al-Balkhi said: The month of Rajab is the month for planting, the month of Sha’baan is the month of irrigating the crops, and the month of Ramadaan is the month of harvesting the crops. 
He also said: The likeness of the month of Rajab is that of the wind, the likeness of Sha’baan is that of the clouds and the likeness of Ramadaan is that of the rain; whoever does not plant and sow in Rajab, and does not irrigate in Sha’baan, how can he reap in Ramadaan? Now Rajab has passed, so what will you do in Sha’baan if you are seeking Ramadaan? This is how your Prophet and the early generations of the ummah were in this blessed month, so what will you do? 

And Allaah is the Source of strength.
Islam Q&A

Monday, July 18, 2011

Dawood Vaid, 33

Dawood Vaid, 33
Mumbai, Maharashtra
Parallel Educationist
Sunaina Kumar
Kedar Nath Mandal
'We teach children to learn from the stories of Moses and the Prophet’ says Dawood Vaid
Photo:Ms Gopal
As an immigrant engineer working in an MNC in Dubai, Dawood Vaid’s story was similar to that of countless other Indians. But that was only half of it. The other half began when Vaid, while working as a researcher on educational projects, dreamt of starting something different. The dream was soon realised and in 2007 the Burooj Angels, a Sunday Islamic school, was born. Students in the school are taught Surahs and Hadiths, the fundamentals of Islam, and the stories of prophets, but all this is undertaken with one approach — “fun learning”. Children between the ages of 5-14 can be seen engaged in skits, quiz sessions, art and craft and board games. Vaid says the two-hour sessions are meant to provide parallel complementary education. The medium of education is English and the school even has its own curriculum. “I grew up loving school. I want to share this experience with children, and so our books and educational tools are fun, and not pedagogical,” says the soft-spoken Vaid. In four years, the school has expanded to 24 cities across India, and has 6,500 students. The 33-year-old has recently started primary schools under the name of Red Camel.
Vaid can be contacted at +91 22 27715424

From Tehelka Magazine, Vol 8, Issue 29, Dated 23 July 2011

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Visiting Graveyards on 15th Sha'ban

Question:In the light of the teaching of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, is it a correct Islamic practice to visit graveyards on the night of Shab-e-baraat? please narrate the Hadith related to this night.

Giving significance to the night of 15th Sha'ban, visiting graveyards, doing extra Ibaadah (worship) and offering extra Nawaafil Salaah with the intention of specifically doing so on the occasion of 15th Sha'ban, having illuminations, considering it to be the Eid of the dead and keeping awake for the whole night of 15th Sha'ban and encouraging others to do the same -- all these are Bid'ah (innovation) . The prophet and the Sahaabah never did so nor commanded the muslims to do so.
We don't find any evidence of such things in the entire authentic Seerah of the Prophet and his companions. According to Allamah Ibn Rajab Abu Bakr Turtoshi, Ibn Wazzah Qurtubi, Suyuti, Shokani etc. all the Ahadith pertaining to the subject are weak and unacceptable.
The Hadith that is generally quoted to support the practices done on the night of 15th Sha'ban is Zaif (weak) according to Muhaddiseen (the scholars of Ahadith) and is not to be put into practice.
Narrated Aisha (R.A.),
I missed Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) during the night and found him in al-Baqi'. He said: Were you afraid that Allah and His Messenger would deal unjustly with you? I said: Allah's Messenger , I thought that you had gone to some of your other wives. He (the prophet) said: Verily Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, comes down to the heaven of the world in the middle night of Sha'ban and forgives sins even more abundant than the hair of the goats of Kalb. (Tirmidhi, Hadith No. 739; Sunan Ibn-I-Majah, Hadith No. 1389; Ahmad Vol. 6, 238)
According to Imam Bukhari and Tirmidhi, the above mentioned Hadith has a broken chain of narrators in two places, and therefore it is weak. Allamah Ibnul Arabi (543H), in his commentary of Sunan -At-Tirmidhi, titled 'Arizatul-Ahwazi', Vol 3, Pg No. 216 adds: '....further, in it Hajjaj Ibn Artaat is not reliable.'
However, it is established that the Prophet (pbuh) did visit the Baqi graveyard once, as Allah had commanded him and he prayed for Ahle-Baqi (the people of Baqi), but the exact night of this event is not known, as there is no clear proof in this regard. The prophet had done this by the commandment of Allah (swt), therefore the Prophet was an exception to this act.
Aisha (R.A.) says that the Prophet (pbuh) said: "Gabriel came to me and said; Your Rabb commands you to go to the graveyard of Baqi and seek forgiveness for them". (Sahih Muslim, Hadith No. 2256)
It is permissible for men to visit graveyard whenever they wish and pray for the dead, however it is not permissible to fix a specific day or night for the purpose and consider it to be of a special virtue unless we find any proof for doing so from the Qur'an or the authentic Ahadith.
Allamah Ibnul Arabi writes: "There is no reliable Hadith regarding the 15th of Sha'ban. Although certain commentators insist that the verse from Surah Dukhan, chapter 44, verse 4: 'In that (night) is made distinct every affair of wisdom', refer to 15th of Sha'ban, but this is not true, as Allah did not reveal the Qur'an in Sha'ban. The Qur'an was revealed in Ramadan, as mentioned in Surah Baqarah, chapter 2, verse 185, and this can only be statement of a person who transgresses the book of Allah (swt) and is careless of his word". (Arizatul Ahwazi, Vol. 3, Page No. 217)
According to Hadith of Sahih Muslim, Vol. 2, Hadith No. 1885: ".. Most evil affairs are their innovations, and every innovation is an error..."
So Muslims should beware of and steer clear of all innovation and bid'ah.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Muslims are fundamentalists and terrorists? - By Dr. Zakir Naik

Islam And Universal Brotherhood - Part 1

By Dr. Zakir Naik
There are various types of brotherhoods - brotherhood based on blood relations, brotherhood based on regional affiliations, or brotherhood on the basis of race, caste, creeds, ideology, etc. But all these types of brotherhood are limited in their scope, coverage and benefits.
Islam, on the other hand, prescribes Universal Brotherhood. It rejects the thought that human beings have been created in castes or in different levels. In the Glorious Qur’an, in Surah Hujurat, Chapter No. 49, Verse No. 13, Allah (SWT) describes the Islamic concept of Universal Brotherhood:
‘O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other (not that you 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).
This Verse of the Glorious Qur’an indicates that the whole human race originated from a single pair of male and female. All humans have common great-grandparents and ancestors.
Further, Allah (swt) says that he has made nations and tribes, so that humans can recognize each other, and not so that they may despise each other and fight amongst themselves.
This verse also clarifies that the criteria for judgment in the sight of Allah (swt) does not depend on caste, colour, creed, gender or wealth, but on Taqwa - God consciousness, piety and righteousness. Anyone who is righteous, pious and God-conscious, is honoured in the sight of Allah (swt).
Further it is stated in the Glorious Qur’an in Surah Ar-Rum verse. 22, that:
‘And among His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the variations in your languages, and your colours: Verily in that are signs for those who know.’
These variations in colour and language are not for the purpose of creating animosity or differences between groups of humans. Every language on earth has its own beauty and significance.
A foreign language may sound strange and funny to you, but it sounds sweet to those for whom it is the mother tongue.
Allah says in the Glorious Qur’an, in Surah Israa, Ch. 17, Verse 70:
‘We have honoured the sons of Adam’
Allah does not say that He has honoured only the Arabs or the Americans or a particular race. He states that He has honoured all the children of Adam, irrespective of race, caste, colour, creed or gender.
While there are many religions that believe that humankind originated from a single pair - Adam and Eve (peace be upon them), there some faiths that say, that it is because of the sin of the woman (Eve - may Allah be pleased with her) that the humans are born in sin. They blame only on the woman, which is Eve, for the downfall of human beings.
The Qur’an speaks about the story of Adam and Eve (peace be upon them) in several chapters, but in all the places, the blame is placed equally on both -Adam and Eve (peace be upon them).
According to Surah Araf, Ch. 7 : Verses 19 to 27 Both of them disobeyed Allah (swt), both of them repented, and both were forgiven.
Both are equally blamed for the mistake. There is not a single verse in the Glorious Qur’an, which puts the blame only on Eve (may Allah be pleased with her).
In Surah Taha, Ch. No. 20, V. No. 121, it is stated that Adam (pbuh) disobeyed Allah (swt).
Certain faith, on the other hand state that because Eve disobeyed God, it is she who is responsible for the sin of humankind’. Hence God cursed the woman, and said that she will bear labour pains. This means that pregnancy is a curse.
Islam of course does not agree with this unjust view.
In Surah Nisa, Ch. No. 4, V. No. 1, Allah states: ‘And (reverence) the wombs (that bore you).’
In Islam, pregnancy does not degrade a woman - it uplifts a woman. In Surah Luqman, Ch. 31, V. No. 14, it is stated that:
‘And we have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents. In travail upon travail did his mother bear him, and in years twain was his weaning.’
The Qur’an says in Surah, Ahqaf, Ch. 46, V. No. 15...’We have enjoined on man to be kind to his parents. In pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth.’
Islam states that men and women are created equal.
According to a Hadith mentioned in Sahih Bukhari, Vol.No. 8, in the Book of Adab, Chapter 2, Hasith No. 2:
‘A person came to Prophet Mohammed (saw), and asked him, ‘Who is the person who deserves the maximum love and companionship in this world ?’
The Prophet replied, ‘Your mother.’
The man asked, Who next?’
The Prophet said, ‘Your mother.’
The man asked, ‘After that who?’
The Prophet repeated for the third time, ‘Your mother.’
The man asked, ‘After that who?’
Then the Prophet said, ‘Your father.’
So, 75% or 3/4 of the love and companionship of the children are due to the mother and only 25% or 1/4 of the love and companionship goes to the father. In other words, the mother gets the gold medal, she gets the silver medal, as well as the bronze medal. The father has to be satisfied with a mere consolation prize.
These are amongst the teachings of Islam.
In Islam, men and women are equal - but equality does not mean identicality. There are many misconceptions about the status of women in Islam. These can be removed if one studies the authentic sources of knowledge of Islam and its teachings - the Glorious Qur’an and the Sahih Hadith.
While men and women are overall equal, equality does not mean identicality. Let’s take an example. In a class, two students - student ‘A’ and ‘B’ get the highest marks in a subject - 80 out of 100.
The question paper consisted of 10 questions, each of 10 marks.
In the first answer student ‘A’ gets 9 out of 10, student ‘B’ gets 7 out of 10. So in question 1 student ‘A’ has a degree of advantage than student ‘B’.
In question 2, student ‘B’ gets 9 out of 10, and student ‘A’ gets 7 out of 10. So in question 2, student ‘B’ has a degree of advantage, than student ‘A’.
In the remaining 8 questions, both get 8 out of 10, and if you total the marks of both the students, both get 80 out of 100.
So if you analyze, both student ‘A’ and ‘B’ have got over all equal marks.
But in answers to some questions, student ‘A’ has a degree of advantage and in answers to some other questions, student ‘B’ has a degree of advantage - but in terms of overall marks, both are equal.
Similarly in Islam, men and women are equal.
Brotherhood in Islam does not only mean that the same sexes are equal. ‘Universal Brotherhood’ in Islam means, that besides race, caste, and creed, even the sexes are overall equal. Men and women are equal in Islam, but in some aspects, men have a degree of advantage while in some other aspects, women have a degree of advantage - but overall both are equal.
For example, if a robber enters my house, I will not say, ‘I believe in women’s rights, and I believe in women’s liberation and therefore my sister, my wife, my mother, should go and fight the robber.’
Allah says in Surah Nisa, Ch. 4, V 34, ‘God has given the one (man) more strength than the other’’. Men have more strength than the women.’
So where strength is concerned, men have a degree of advantage. Since they have been given more strength, it is their duty to protect women. Here the men have a degree of advantage.
Where love and companionship from children is concerned, the mother gets three times more love and companionship than the father. Here women have a degree of advantage.
For more details, you can refer to the video-cassettes of my talk on ‘Women’s Rights in Islam - Modernizing or Outdated? Part I has the lecture and Part II has the Question-Answer session.