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Thursday, June 30, 2011

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Christians are more militant than Muslims, says Government's equalities boss

Muslims are integrating into British society better than many Christians, according to the head of the Government's equality watchdog.

Trevor Phillips, Chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission
Trevor Phillips, Chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission  Photo: GRAHAM JEPSON
Trevor Phillips warned that "an old time religion incompatible with modern society" is driving the revival in the Anglican and Catholic Churches and clashing with mainstream views, especially on homosexuality.
He accused Christians, particularly evangelicals, of being more militant than Muslims in complaining about discrimination, arguing that many of the claims are motivated by a desire for greater political influence.
However the chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission expressed concern that people of faith are "under siege" from atheists whom he accused of attempting to "drive religion underground".
In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph ahead of a landmark report on religious discrimination in Britain, he said the Commission wants to protect Christians and Muslims from discrimination, admitting his body had not been seen to stand up for the people discriminated against because of their faith in the past.
In a wide-ranging intervention into the debate over the role of religion in modern Britain, Mr Phillips:
* warned it had become "fashionable" to attack and mock religion, singling out atheist polemicist Richard Dawkins for his views;
* said faith groups should be free from interference in their own affairs, meaning churches should be allowed to block women and homosexuals from being priests and bishops;
* attacked hardline Christian groups which he said were picking fights - particularly on the issue of homosexuality - for their own political ends;
* told churches and religious institutions they had to comply with equality legislation when they delivered services to the public as a whole.
The report, published by the Commission tomorrow, says that some religious groups have been the victims of rising discrimination over the last decade.
It shows that in the course of the last decade, the number of employment tribunal cases on religion or belief brought each year has risen from 70 to 1000 - although only a fraction of cases were upheld.
Mr Phillips spoke after a series of high-profile cases which have featured Christians claiming they have been discriminated against because of their beliefs, with a doctor currently fighting a reprimand from the General Medical Council for sharing his faith with a patient.
While the equalities boss promised to fight for the rights of Christians, he expressed concern that many cases were driven by fundamentalist Christians who are holding increasing sway over the mainstream churches because of the influence of African and Caribbean immigrants with "intolerant" views.
In contrast, Muslims are less vociferous because they are trying to integrate into British "liberal democracy", he said.
"I think there's an awful lot of noise about the Church being persecuted but there is a more real issue that the conventional churches face that the people who are really driving their revival and success believe in an old time religion which in my view is incompatible with a modern, multi-ethnic, multicultural society," Phillips said.
"Muslim communities in this country are doing their damnedest to try to come to terms with their neighbours to try to integrate and they're doing their best to try to develop an idea of Islam that is compatible with living in a modern liberal democracy.
"The most likely victim of actual religious discrimination in British society is a Muslim but the person who is most likely to feel slighted because of their religion is an evangelical Christian."
Senior clergy, including Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, have attacked equality laws for eroding Christianity and stifling free speech, but Phillips said many of the legal cases brought by Christians on issues surrounding homosexuality were motivated by an attempt to gain political influence.
"I think for a lot of Christian activists, they want to have a fight and they choose sexual orientation as the ground to fight it on," he said.
"I think the whole argument isn't about the rights of Christians. It's about politics. It's about a group of people who really want to have weight and influence."
He added: "There are a lot of Christian activist voices who appear bent on stressing the kind of persecution that I don't think really exists in this country."
However, Mr Phillips, who is a Salvationist from a strong Christian background, expressed concern over the rise in Britain of anti-religious voices, such as Richard Dawkins, who are intolerant of people of faith.
"I understand why a lot of people in faith groups feel a bit under siege," he said.
"There's no question that there is more anti-religion noise in Britain.
"There's a great deal of polemic which is anti-religious, which is quite fashionable."
Phillips said that the Commission is committed to protecting people of faith against discrimination and also defended the right of religious institutions to be free from Government interference.
The Church of England is under pressure to allow openly gay clergy to be made bishops, while the Catholic Church only permits men to be priests, but the head of the Government-funded equalities watchdog said they are entitled to rule on their own affairs.
"The law doesn't dictate their organisation internally, in the way they appoint their ministers and bishops for example," he said.
"It's perfectly fair that you can't be a Roman Catholic priest unless you're a man. It seems right that the reach of anti-discriminatory law should stop at the door of the church or mosque.
"I'm not keen on the idea of a church run by the state.
"I don't think the law should run to telling churches how they should conduct their own affairs."
The intervention by the Commission comes after criticism of its £70 million annual budget, which is to be cut drastically.
Mr Phillips, a former Labour chairman of the Greater London Assembly and television producer was criticised for his £110,000 a year salary and was accused of "pandering to the right" by Ken Livingstone, the former Labour London mayor, for saying that multiculturalism had failed.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

If an eclipse is a natural phenomenon, then why should we feel scared and pray?

It is now known that eclipse is nothing but a normal process that occurs after a regular interval (that can be known) of the moon coming between the sun & the earth. Then why was it that Holy Prophet(pbuh) used to pray at that time, though it didn't cause any danger!?


Praise be to Allaah.
When the sun was eclipsed at the time of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), he commanded someone to call out “al-salaatu jaami’ah (prayer is about to begin)”, and he led the people in prayer. Then he addressed them and explained to them the reason for the eclipse, and declared their jaahili beliefs to be null and void. He explained to them what they should do, such as praying and making du’aa’ and giving in charity. He (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The sun and the moon are two of the signs of Allaah; they do not become eclipsed for the death or life of anyone. If you see that then call upon Allaah and magnify Him, and pray, and give in charity.” The Muslims did not know when an eclipse would happen, but when it did happen, they would hasten to do what Allaah had prescribed, such as praying etc.
 When an eclipse happened, they would be afraid that is was a warning of impending disaster, so they would turn to Allaah and pray to Him to ward off that which they feared. When astronomy and the calculations of the movements of the sun and moon became well known in later times, and it became known that the experts could know when an eclipse was likely to happen, the scholars (‘ulamaa’) pointed out that this did not change the ruling, and that the Muslims still had to do what they were commanded to do at the time of an eclipse, even if they knew about it in advance.  But it is not prescribed to concern ourselves with the matter of predicting eclipses, because that is not what Allaah and His Messenger commanded us to do. The scholars also explained that an eclipse may be a sign or a cause of something bad happening to people. When the questioner says that eclipses do not cause hrm, she is speaking without knowledge and objecting to the sharee’ah of Allaah. People do not necessarily know of the events which Allaah causes to happen at the time of an eclipse, and some people may know about that whilst others do not. It could be that because of the Muslims’ prayers, Allaah wards off bad things which are known only to Him. The Muslim must submit to the ruling of Allaah and act in accordance with His sharee’ah, and have faith in His wisdom, because He is the All-Knowing, All-Wise, may He be glorified and exalted.
 (Written by Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahmaan al-Barraak).
 Solar and lunar eclipses are two of the signs of Allaah with which He scares His slaves and reminds them of some of the things which will happen on the Day of Resurrection, when the sun will be wound round and will lose its light and be overthrown and the stars will fall (cf. al-Takweer 81:1), and the sight will be dazed, the moon will be eclipsed and the sun and moon will be joined together (by going into one another, or folded up, or deprived of their light) (al-Qiyaamah 75:8-9). This is why Muslims should be alarmed by eclipses. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to fear Allaah very much, and one day he came out in an agitated state, thinking that the Hour had begun, when the sun was eclipsed during his lifetime… This is indicative of the great extent to which he kept the Hour in mind and feared it. We, on the other hand, have become negligent and most people no longer think of eclipses as anything other than a natural phenomenon which they go out to watch with special glasses, carrying cameras. They limit themselves to the worldly scientific explanation without understanding the reminder of the Hereafter which it brings. This is one of the signs of hard-heartedness and a lack of concern about the matters of the Hereafter. It reflects a lack of fear of the onset of the Hour, and ignorance of the aims of sharee’ah and the reports that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to feel fear when these eclipses happened. The Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) used to stand to pray the eclipse prayer, because they believed that if indeed the Hour had come, they would not then be counted negligent of their prayer, and if this eclipse was nothing to do with the Hour, then they would not lose anything by praying, for they would have earned a great reward. We ask Allaah to make us among those who fear Him and who are afraid of the Hour. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad.
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tony Blair reads the Quran every day

London:  Former British prime minister Tony Blair has become "increasingly open" about the importance of religion, and reads the Quran every day to be "faith-literate".

Blair, who reportedly said he was not interested in religion, converted to Catholicism after leaving No.10 Downing Street in 2007.

The former Labour Party leader now says reading the Islamic holy book ensured he remained "faith-literate", reports the Daily Mail.

"To be faith-literate is crucial in a globalised world, I believe. I read the Quran every day. Partly to understand some of the things happening in the world, but mainly just because it is immensely instructive," he said.

Blair said a knowledge of the faith was important for his role as an envoy for the Quartet of the UN, US, European Union and Russia.

Blair earlier reportedly praised the Muslim faith as "beautiful". He said Prophet Mohammed had been "an enormously civilising force".

The former prime minister said the Quran was a "reforming book, it is inclusive. It extols science and knowledge and abhors superstition. It is practical and way ahead of its time in attitudes to marriage, women and governance".

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mirror Mirror on the Wall..... The Obsession of Good Looks

For many bride hunters, an extra ordinary beautiful girl has become a status symbol. There are marriage centers in Mumbai.. where the match makers charge higher fees for finding out a very good looking  girl !There was this sister who attended Islamic classes which were conducted for college girls during vacations. Somebody spotted her taking contact numbers of fair  and slim girls from the crowd. Some one asked her the reason. She replied, "I am looking for some good girls for my nephew...!" One of the lady rightly protested " Excuse me! Kindly dont do this  hunting here.. there are other girls here  who may not be very beautiful and they may get terrible complexes for not being good looking."

 A very rich person I know, stays in a south Indian Metropolitian city, has a daughter, and when she was around 20 they started looking for a rich boy to suit the status of the family. His girl, probably, was average looking as almost  all of the girls in the world are.  Many rich families discarded the proposal upon finding the girl to be average looking and found her too orthrodox in hijab. They wanted a girl  who wore colourful hijab and could look good even in hijab. That was the status factor perhaps they were also  looking for. 

   The hunt went on for two and a half years, and the more proposals got rejected the more worried the girl's parents got. Some well wishing females advised her to wear colourful  hijab and scarf  and apply  some good make up while attending some one's marriage so that she can be spotted by women looking for daughters in law. The girl was simple so she choose simplicity. One day she announced before her parents : Daddy Mummy ! I  give you two months to find out a prospective groom for me, after that I will give my bio data to so and so Dawah Center and I ll get married to any good guy without asking how much he earns, if I find him on deen.. The shocked parents speeded up the search and today the girl is married to a very good boy from the richest family of another city in South India. The family is on Qur'an and Sunnah. I am not mentioning even the name of the cities , to hide the identity of the family and the girl. 

   Many boys choose girls with a vision of displaying them like trophies where ever they go, be it a marriage ceremony or some other social gathering. A boy would be happy to note that other females in the gathering found his wife to be the most beautiful in the crowd!  Some mothers of grooms love for comments like " Wow you daughter in law looks like .......!" Some one once passed a comment after recieving compliments about her daughter in law " She looks awesome like "Aishwariya Ray". This reflects that even wives and husbands arebeing taken up like status symbols.

   This is one of the reasons that make me uncomfortable when I happen to find my self in a wedding reception where the husband and the wife sit together and all types of men come on the stage and  look at the bride and congrajulate the husband. Then there is a camera man standing on the stage recording all these happenings as if the angels Kirman kateibeen are not recording anything. These camerman's lens move on the bride with close ups and other angels and the husband, nor the Wali of the bride nor any person among the crowd get a feel of gheerah (self respect). I  would say this is a sin in congregation, or rather sin approved as normal culture.

 Some one rightly said to me, " if you want to judge the attitude of  Muslim families  towards the deen attend their marriages" 

The most common places people look for grooms and brides are marriages of  other people. They say," In one marriage there are many marriages taking place..." It is right. Men look for good looking young men for their daughters and neices and women look for young girls appearing pretty (yes appearing pretty through the  layers of make ups) and moving here and there being introduced to other ladies. The message though un announced yet very clear, "my daughter is very smart and beautiful and we are looking for some awesome guy for her...."

 My words of advice to my brothers who are getting ready for marriage or ready for marriage but not yet getting ready.... Selection of your spouse should not be on the basis of what people will say but it should be on how much peace will you get and affection will follow in our marriage life. As the Qur'an says : And among His signs are, He created spouses for you in  THEM YOU FIND SOLACE AND HE HAS MADE AFFECTION AND MERCY BETWEEN THEM...   IN this  are signs for people who reflect  (Surah ar Room ch 30, verse 21).. Will you reflect in this?

Author : Nisaar Nadiadwala writes and speaks on socio-educational issues from Islamic view point. He can be reached at

Mirrors too lie some times

Friday, June 3, 2011

Effects of ‘SINS’

We all are aware of Sins’, minor and major, avoiding and abstaining one’s self from sins is a must for each and every person.
Some very common ones nowadays are….watching obscene and gibberish stuff [including T.V. serials, movies, music videos and other such nonsensical prorgammes], listening to music, inter-mingling with the opposite sex, having girl friends & boyfriends [& so called ‘friendship relationships’’ with the opposite sex], wearing exposing clothes [i.e. not covering themselves properly and revealing their beauty to strangers.], going to pubs and discs and behaving like animals, drinking, gambling, backbiting, eating haraam wealth, working for riba interest based banks [as well as multiplying money through bank’s interest] etc. etc. the list goes on… there is no end to it……….  
The point is that the one who is indulging himself into sin; there is bad news for him/her. Mentioned below are ‘10 very critical Effects of Sin’[the last one being the most dangerous]
I want every reader to put himself and check about his/her life… in what activities are they indulged in, to put himself in front….. and make an analysis….whether he/she can be affected or not because of their activities………………….!  May Allah save us all from sins and from their effects …Aameen…..!
1 – Being deprived of knowledge: Knowledge is the light which Allah causes to reach the heart, and sin extinguishes that light. When al-Shaafa’i sat before Maalik and read to him, he admired him because of the intelligence, alertness and understanding that he saw in him. He said, “I think that Allaah has caused light to enter your heart, so do not extinguish it with the darkness of sin.”
2 – Being deprived of provision: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘A man is deprived of provision because of the sins that he commits.’” (Narrated by Ibn Maajah, 4022, classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh Ibn Maajah, in Musnad Ahmad, narrated that Thawbaan)
3 – Sense of AlienationA sense of alienation that comes between a person and his Lord, and between him and other people: One of the salaf said: “If I disobey Allah, I see that in the attitude of my riding beast and my wife.” 
4 – Things become difficult for him: Things become difficult for him so that he does not turn his attention towards any matter but he finds the way blocked or he finds it difficult. By the same token, for the one who fears Allah, things are made easy for him. 
5 – The sinner finds darkness in his heart: The sinner will find ‘darkness’ in his heart which he will feel just as he feels the darkness of night. So this darkness affects his heart as the physical darkness affects his vision. For obedience is light and disobedience is darkness. The stronger the darkness grows, the greater becomes his confusion, until he falls into innovation, misguidance and other things that lead to doom, without even realizing, like a blind man who goes out in the darkness of the night, walking alone This darkness grows stronger until it covers the eyes, then it grows stronger until it covers the face, which appears dark and is seen by everyone.
‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Abbaas said: “Good deeds make the face light, give light to the heart, and bring about ample provision, physical strength and love in people’s hearts. Bad deeds make the face dark, give darkness to the heart, and bring about physical weakness, a lack of provision and hatred in people’s hearts.” 
6 – Deprivation of worship and obedience: If sin brought no punishment other than that it prevents a person from doing an act of worship which is the opposite of sin, and cuts off access to other acts of worship, that would be bad enough. So the sin cuts off a third way and a fourth way and so on, and because of the sin he is cut off from many acts of worship, each of which would have been better for him than this world and everything in it. ….So he is like a man who eats food that is bound to cause a lengthy sickness, and thus he is deprived of many other foods that are better than that. And Allah is the One Whose help we seek. 
7 – Sin breeds sin….. until it dominates a person and he cannot escape from it. 
8 – Sin weakens a person’s willpower: It gradually strengthens his will to commit sin and weakens his will to repent until there is no will in his heart to repent at all….. so he seeks forgiveness and expresses repentance, but it is merely words on the lips, like the repentance of the liars, whose hearts are still determined to commit sin and persist in it. This is one of the most serious diseases that are most likely to lead to doom. 
9 – He will become desensitized and will no longer find sin abhorrent,so it will become his habit, and he will not be bothered if people see him committing the sin or talk about him. 
For the leaders of immorality, this is the ultimate shamelessness in which they find great pleasure, such that they feel proud of their sin and will speak of it to people who do not know that they have done it, saying, “O so and so, I did such and such.” Such people cannot be helped and the path to repentance is blocked for them in most cases.
10 – [The most dangerous] - Hearts turned upside down & Shaytaan takes over him: When there are many sins.. they leave a mark on the heart of the person who commits them, so he becomes one of the negligent. As one of the salaf said, concerning the Qur’anic aayah – 
“Nay! But on their hearts is the Raan (covering of sins and evil deeds) which they used to earn” [Surah al-Mutaffifeen 83:14]  
This means sin after sin. 
How this starts is  that the heart gets stained by sin, and if the sin increases then the stain grows bigger until it becomes the raan (covering of sin and evil deeds), then it increases until it becomes a seal, and the heart becomes covered and sealed. If that happens after a person had been guided and had understood, then his heart is turned upside down, and at that point the Shaytaan gains control over him and directs him as he wants. 
My dear brothers and sisters….. get rid of all sins to be safe from these evil- consequences.  Live your life in accordance to the Qur’an and Sunnah…….rather than regretting on the Day of Judgment….. REPENT NOW!... and Purify yourself …..don’t deceive yourself and don’t follow the accursed Shaytaan……it will cause nothing but destruction……!
May Allah guide us all to the straight path and help us all to abstain from all kind of SINS!

JazakAllah Khairun
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