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The Most Beautiful Man ever to walk this Earth....

Mawlaya salli wa Sallim da'iman abada 'ala habib bika khayril khalqi kullihimi

3/7/06 10:44 pm - mangueca - Ash-Shifa' Winter Retreat with Sheikh Ibrahim Memon

Salaam everyone,

One of my friends went to the Ash-Shifa' Winter Retreat hosted by Temple University last December, and said it was a reallyyy great experience. The Temple MSA has posted the lectures in audio format on their website, masha'Allah. Ash-Shifa' [short for Kitab Ash-shifa bi ta'rif huquq al-Mustafa, (Healing by the recognition of the Rights of the Chosen one)] is one of the best known works on the life of the Prophet (S) and was written by Qadi Iyad during the 12th century. The retreat was all committed to discussing the details of the book, which should in turn strengthen our love for Rasulullah (S). Sheikh Ibrahim Memon is the speaker of the lecture series. Enjoy!
2005 Ash-Shifa' Winter Retreat with Sheikh Ibrahim MemonCollapse )

7/19/05 11:07 pm - muslimwannabe - Rihla to the City of the Messenger of Allah, 'azza wa jal

aSalamu 'alaikoom to all

I'm not sure how many of you have heard about this program called 'deen intensives'. Basically they are programs that last anywhere from a weekend to a month where traditional islamic scholars give out some sort of specific lesson(s) and they are also available to you throughout the weekend/week/month. One of the longer ones is the annual Rihla. Usually this deen intensive takes place in Dar al Islam, a place enclosed off in New Mexico. Beautiful scholars such as Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, Shaykh Habib al Jifri, and even Shaykh Mohammad al Yaqoubi teach at these deen intensives.

This year there was a special Rihla, this one is takin place in no other than the city of our Prophet, sal Allahu 'alayhi waSalam: Madina the Luminous. Hundreds have applied and i believe only about 150 were accepted. However alhamdulillah one (or some?) attendees have started up a blog, here is the site:
http://q-rihla.blogspot.com/

check it out insha Allah

Also if you want more information on Deen Intensives, check out
http://www.deen-intensive.com/

waSalamu 'alaikoom
x-posted to a bunch of communities

6/7/05 01:19 pm - mangueca - Muhammad's (pbuh) earliest experience with civil action

One of the things that I emphasize most to those who are not completely familiar with who the Prophet (S) was is that he was an honest, moral, generous, and compassionate person throughout his whole life- even before prophethood. I believe this is important to note b/c it attests to the fact that he is a prophet of Allah as he did not proclaim the message of Islam for a personal or selfish agenda; he strove against every adversity with his companions and always fought for a just cause. In so doing, he brought an entire empire together, under one law. Emerick mentions how it was Muhammad's (S) quiet job as a shephard that gave him a lot of time to ponder over things. He gives the impression that Muhammad (S) was very much an observer in the setting that he (S) found himself in. While other men his age endulged in activities such as "drinking wine, dancing, and hanging out with prostitutes," Muhammad (S) himself had no desires to take part in such things. We can see, from the passage below, what were the more important issues to him, even in his youth as a teenager.

As we know from what's been said about pre-Islamic Arabia so far, there were no formal establishments of courts, police, and law in that time; most often the only way to resolve an issue was through revenge and much bloodshed. In the time when the Prophet (S) was in his teens, a man who was cheated out of his goods came seeking the help of the Quraysh tribe since at that time they were the custodians and guardians of the Kaa'bah (this was a very respected postion). The Prophet's (S) uncle Zubayr gathered the leaders of various clan in Mecca, and together they took a pledge to do the following:

"to help the poor and the needy, assist the oppressed, protect the weak and secure their rights from tyrants, and to establish peace and harmony among the people."

In later years, Muhammad (S) said, "I would not trade that oath that I took in 'Abdullah ibn Jud'an's house for a herd of red camels. Even today I would not hesitate to be a member of such an institution."

This is a profound reminder, subhan'Allah. It not only emphasizes to us our duty of helping Muslim brothers and sisters suffering throughout the ummah, but our obligation towards humanity in general: to the weak, the oppressed, the poor- irrespective of religious background. It's enough to just look within the local community that we live in to see the existance of these hardships... and I believe it's important to note this. These were a few of the thoughts that sprang to mind when i came across this passage, and I wanted to share.
 

5/16/05 10:07 am - lilpalmtrees - Martin Lings has passed away...

Dr. Abu Bakr Siraj ad Deen Martin Lings has passed away on May 12th. He is most known amongst Muslims for his English language sirah of the Messenger (peace be upon him), Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources.

He was born in Lancashire in 1909. He received his degree in English at Oxford in 1932, and became a Lecturer in Anglo-Saxon at the University of Kaunas. In 1939, he went to Egypt to study Islam and Arabic, and converted to Islam. The following year he was given a lectureship in Cairo University. He returned to the UK in 1952, and got a degree in Arabic from London University. He was a student and friend of C.S. Lewis, and in turn, became a teacher and friend to Le Gai Eaton, whom he helped bring into Islam.

From 1970-74 he was Keeper of Oriental Manuscripts and Printed Books at the British Museum where he had been in special charge of the Qur’an manuscripts, amongst other treasures, since 1955. Besides being a well respected biographer of the Prophet (peace be upon him), and a translator and author of texts about tasawwuf, Dr. Lings was a modern day authority on William Shakespeare. Last autumn, he put forth his thesis that Shakespeare may have been influenced by Sufism.

Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un. May Allah ta’ala reward him for all the benefit he gave to so many of us whose lives and understanding of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the din were enriched by his work.

4/23/05 03:30 am - muslimwannabe - Mawlid Sharif

aSalamu 'alaikoom wa RahmatuLLah.

It's kind of sad to see that this community isn't all too 'active' but i guess everyone is really busy right now with school and what not, i know i kind of am. well anyway the Mawlid has just passed; a day that will forever be with Blessing and Mercy from the Almighty, for it was the day that God had sent A Mercy upon all mankind in the form of a man, he was a man, but not like any other man who had lived before or will ever live. A man who was chosen as a vessel of the Divine, a final revelation and guidance for this desolate earth which is laden with deception and misguidance for its inhabitants. A man who will intercede for his people, an unlettered man who brought upon a book that created civilizations upon civilizations of books. A man who billions have never even seen but know of his existence, who know of the blessings he brought, who know of the serenity his example brings and of his eternal wisdom. A man whose light was enough to bring our dark encrusted hearts from the depths of darkness.

May Peace and Blessings be upon our Master Mohammad, forever and ever.
O God, shower Your Eternal Barakah upon Your Beloved Mohammad.
Help us to draw closer to You and to him and to never stray from his teachings for which You inspired.
Help us to love You and him more than anything else, take away from us all that takes us away from You.

Ameen. Allahu akbar

3/24/05 08:50 am - lulwa - The Year of the Elephant

so now that I've finally finished reading Mostafa al-Badawi's "Man and the Universe" (I highly recommend it btw), I'm now using my random moments of nothingness (long waits in lines, waiting for class to begin, waiting- eh, always waiting), in reading Emerick's "Muhammad" as much as I can. Sorry I've still not gotten a hold of Martin Lings' "Muhammad," but maybe I'll get it after this one, inshaAllah! Anyway, I'm only just on the part where the Prophet (S) is born; but before I write about other aspects of the life of the Prophet (S) in the days/weeks/etc. to come, inshaAllah, I'd like to write about a significant event that took place in the year which the Prophet (S) was born: The Year of the Elephant. Aside from what's already known about the event- the what, when, how, why of it- Emerick's description of it really made me think of the social effects of this magnificent event.

As Muslims, we can appreciate that it was Allah SWT alone who defended the Kabah from being destroyed by Abrahah and his army of elephants- but in the time in which it took place, before the advant of Islam, the religion of the majority of the Arabs lied in idolatry. Though they believed in Allah as the "supreme" god, they credited their religious successes to His "mediators," the idols. So place yourselves for a moment in this setting: you live in a prosperous land (Mecca), which had, "developed the reputation in Arabia of being the premiere site for religious pilgrimage" (p.23), it had tied to its roots the legend of the patriarch Abraham (A) and his son Ishma'el (A), and the abundance of the Zamzam well also. Now there comes this guy who builds this huge holy shrine of his own in a distant land (Abyssinia; modern day Ethiopia), with the best architectural designs of the time, in the hopes that it will divert the traffic going to Mecca to his holy site instead. My first thought would be who does this guy think he is, coming in here thinking he can change generations old of a tradition?! Needless to say, Abrahah's attempt to get the Meccans (and everyone in general) to pay pilgrimage to his shrine, was fruitless and this angered him with so much jealousy that he decided to go and destroy the Kabah.

So basically, at this point, it's a war of religion. And this is exactly how the Meccans viewed it; so much so that after the entire ordeal passed (with the Kabah still standing, and Abrahah and his army painfully defeated by the miracles of Allah), it strengthened the Meccan Arabs in the matter of religion. Believing that since the idols had protected the Kabah from crumbling, they perceived that their's was therefore the stronger, and correct system of beliefs. From this point on, the elders of Mecca took measures to secure the survival of their faith by prohibiting any Christian or Jew from entering the city unless they were a pilgrim, slave, or servant- fearing that monotheists (as represented by Abrahah, who was a Christian) would try to destroy "the center of idolatry in Arabia" (p.27). This is why "no Jewish or Christian community ever took roote in Mecca" (p.27).

Emerick goes on to describe how 'Abdel-Mutallib (the Prophet's (S) grandfather) especially epitomized the religious traditions of the Meccan Arabs (p.28). Since he was already a deeply pious man, this event of Abrahah and the elephants, refinding the Zamzam well, and barely escaping the ordeal of sparing his youngest and favourite son ('Abdullah, the Prophet's (S) father) from being sacrificed (a pledge he had made to Allah if he were blessed with 10 sons, he would sacrifce one of them) strengthened his faith in the traditional beliefs all the more. B/c 'Abdel-Mutallib was such a respected man who honored the traditional beliefs, it is no wonder then that the Prophet's (S) uncles (and other near relatives) were some of the most opposed to Islam in the beginning, and the hardest to convince of its message.

So overall, I think that important lessons are to be derived from the event. For one, it underlines our own limited understanding of why things happen the way they do, where we attribute it's happening to what is most current in our lives, whereas we should understand that everything comes from, and occurs by the Will of Allah. The Meccans, for example, knew no other way of believing other than in their idols, and so they associated every outcome in life within the control and power of the idols they worshipped- that something good happened b/c it was in their favour or luck, and that bad befell them for other reasons. Imagine the consequences of living in such ignorance? By that token, since the entire event totally renewed some of the Meccan's spirit in their own faith of idolatry, imagine how incredibly difficult it must have been for the Prophet (S) to face such a group of people? And even then, so many came into the fold of Islam; subhanAllah then, that only reinforces the fact that Allah SWT truly guides those whom He wills, those who sincerely seek the truth.

3/17/05 05:16 pm - lulwa - al-Burdah

as salaamu alaikum!

I was trying to find something online that had Qasidah Al-Burdah (the Poem of the Mantle) by Imam Al-Busiri in both the Arabic and English translated text and found this really good link that has it, alhamdulillah! Um, I don kno why the person posted their phone number in big huge writing at the top- but you can ignore that! =P

The top half of the page has the entire translation of the poem, but if you scroll to the bottom of the page and open the links (comes up in word document), it has the first seven chapters (in Arabic) line by line posted with a translation below each. Awesome! For [background] info on the famous poem that praises the Prophet (S), go here. ma'asalaama!

-H

3/6/05 02:49 pm - lulwa - Chronology of Events

As salaamu alaikum,
Sorry I haven't finished the remaining three topics that I meant to cover in the previous post =\ I'm known for my short attention span =P Anyways, I was looking at some of the appendices in the back of Emerick's book and it had this nifty outline of the major events that took place during the Prophet's (S) life. I think we should use this as a starting point to list some of other events that took place, just so it can all be easy to refer to =) I can think of two off the top of my head that aren't listed here, but I don't know what year it took place so I'll have to look it up. Comment on whatever else you think should be added to the timeline and I'll make the necessary changes to the post =) Hopefully this will get everyone involved- it's been a lil dead in here- Hello! =P Take care ppl, ma'asalaama~
An Outline of the Major Events of Muhammad's (S) LifeCollapse )

2/18/05 12:59 am - silenceisbtrayl - Oral tradition and Tribal Customs

My description/information is based on Yahya Emerick's Muhammad, en equally excellent biography of the Prophet s.a.w. , alhamdulillah. I think, that in order to appreciate the message that Muhammad s.a.w. came with, it's important to understand the atmosphere, culture, and way of life that existed prior to the delivery of his message to his people. A lot of seerahs do well to mention this at the very beginning of retelling the biography of the Prophet s.a.w. by going over the following key concepts:

1. The role of oral tradition
2. Tribal customs
3. Idolatry and other religions
4. Mecca, the Kabbah, and the Well of Zamzam
5. Lineage of the Prophet s.a.w

[1.] Oral tradition was so important as the history, legends, news, and stories through the poetry and prose of the storytellers is what preserved the identity of the people. In the time just before and during the Prophet s.a.w., the arabic language was at the pinnicle of its creativity in all the world; being a well-versed poet was probably one of the most respected title one could have and therefore it's no surprise that the Quraan, whose composition astounded the poets of its time so much that even the best of them affirmed that something like this could not have been created by man. With the beauty of its language and equally its message, the Quraan especially appealed to the poets of this age.

[2.] One's tribe was one's nation and within each tribe, many customs prevailed. Emerick does a great job of weighing both the admirable and nightmarish sides of tribal customs. Bravery, honouring of the guest, loyalty, and generosity towards strangers were deeply rooted virtues of Arab culture as a whole. In listing the other side, Emerick describes how "Arab human rights were quite backward, even for its time"
(a.) Women had few precious rights- if any.
==A woman basically became the property of man upon marriage and had little say in her choice of spouse. Even upon the death of her husband, she was passed on to be inherited by her son and could be made his wife!
==Female infanticide- burying daughters (not just newborns) alive in order to avoid the burden of having to care for females who will have to be wed off anyway.
=="Women had no rights of divorce or inheritance rights and certainly no political voice."
==A man could marry as many women as he wanted- there was no limit nor any rule on how to treat each one. Women were merely seen as property and so the more a man had, the more he was considered to be wealthy, 'prestigious,' and worthy of 'respect'.

(b.) Slaves propbably fared worse than did women
==Slaves had absolutely no legal or tribal protection. Belonging to a tribe entitled you to protection so long as you remained unconditionally loyal to it.
==Slaves could be bought, sold, beaten, treated in any way by their owner, and sometimes even killed at the owner's whim.
==A person could even be kidnapped from any tribe and sold into slavery against their will.

(c.)Orphans- "were often swindled out of their inheritance and treated as pariahs."
in short, Arabian life was harsh.

I was going to paraphrase Emerick's other points of this first chapter, but I think that's enough for one post, as I'm not a fan of long making ones =P I'll continue the other points in a seperate one, inshaAllah =) But as you can see, the message that Muhammad s.a.w came with did much to dispel these practices, subhanAllah. To have acheived to get rid of practices that were very deeply rooted in the culture in just a span of 23 years is why he s.a.w is considered one of the most revolutionary person in history and possibly the biggest and most important spokesman for the oppressed peoples of the world. please share your insights as well~ ma'asalaama

2/14/05 03:16 pm - saad - Amazing

Well, i hav read many sirahs but this is really amazing
Its written in more of a novel sort of way
rather, story form
Mashalla
I apologize that i started it late, but its worth starting
i m at v begining, 9th chapter
where r u ppl?
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