June Vol. 1, 2009
Note: This camp has already taken place.
Offering Beginning and Advanced Islamic Studies,
Real Camping Experience & Exciting Activities
If you’ve never been to our ladies camp before, this is the one for you!
Each summer, Banaatun Noor International (BNI), under the auspices of the International Quranic Open University (IQOU) offers a month-long intensive educational summer camp for those honorable ladies aspiring to perfect their understanding and practice of the traditional way of life as taught by the blessed example of the Holy Last Messenger Muhammad, his noble family and wives, peace be upon them. This summer will offer the same opportunity of learning and practice from the IQOU headquarters in Holy Islamberg, NY.
Organizers say that this year’s camp aims “to offer a new beginning, a fresh start.” Together, the attendees will strive to become exemplary Muslim ladies within and outside of their homes. The beginning of new inspiration and strength is at the core of this summer ladies’ camp. “The love and unity that can only be found in coming together for Allah’s pleasure drives these camps,” previous participants have stated.
The directors of the summer camp are inspired and excited about this year’s camp, stating emphatically that “Strength is Iman (that faith which is put into practice) and Iman is the foundation of our life. We, the Banaatun Noor staff, are looking forward to being there as an aid to you and supplying you with a service that, God willing, will bring every participant success.”
Special care should be taken in preparing for the camp. While the form of the camp will reflect that of previous years, it will limit attendees to 100 campers only, 25 of whom will be returnees; the rest will be undertaking their first-time IQOU summer camp experience.
BNI staff are asking aspiring participants to come with pure intentions, open hearts and minds, and to prepare to be able to receive all that Allah may have for them. Camp organizers advise: “Make your intentions clear to travel, to study, and to absorb the knowledge that will be prepared for us, all for the sake and pleasure of Allah Almighty. We must adhere to the commands of the Holy Quran and Sunnah, or way of life, of our Holy Master Muhammad (peace be upon him), and implement this into our daily lives. The Sunnah must be our creed in every walk of life. We welcome you to join us at this years’ summer camp.”
In order to ensure a place on the limited participant list, the completed application and fee of $200 for the month must be submitted on or before the registration dates of June 13 and 14. Classes will begin on the 15th, and the graduation ceremony will be on July 17, 2009. Participants must be aged 16 or older.
-The International Quranic Open University is a world renowned institution offering the highest quality education of pure, unadulterated Islamic teaching. Thousands have attended classes in both traditional classroom settings and through online collaboration.
Filed under: Education, Magazine/ Culture, May Volume I - 2009, Religion | Tags: Jamal al Quran
Appeal to Pakistan Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to Take Immediate Action to Bring Culprits ForwardPRESS RELEASE
To: Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry
Supreme Court of Pakistan
and the Pakistan Ministry of Religious Affairs
From: United Muslim Advocates Guild
Re: Your Attention to Inaccurate References in Jamal ul Quran Regarding Our Holy Last Messenger (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him)
Date: May 6, 2009
Dear Your Honors:
I write to you on behalf of the United Muslim Advocates Guild headquartered in the United States of America. This letter concerns a current injustice taking place in your country. Approximately four years ago, members of our staff purchased four dozen Holy Qur’ans published by Zia ul Quran – The translator of the English/Arabic edition of Jamal ul Quran is Professor Anis Ahmad Sheikh and the proofreading was done by Professor Muhammad Shaffi.
Upon review, we were shocked to discover the most insulting commentary regarding our Beloved Holy Last Messenger (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him). Specifically, the line to be scrutinized is the seventh ayat of the 93rd Surah, Ad-Duha, hereinafter (“the ayat”). The use of the word “distracted” for the Arabic term dalaala in the ayat when referring to the Holy Last Messenger (peace and blessing be upon him) is incorrect and surely a gross insult to him, to his blessed and pure family (peace be upon them all) and to the entire Muslim world!
We contacted the publishers without hesitation to inform them of this gross error. Our staff strongly suggested the publishers: Pizada Muhammad Hafeez-ul-Barakaat Shah, and his brother Pizada Muhammad Ibrahim Shah place an editor’s slip or notation into each Holy Qur’an detailing the distortion and correcting the inaccuracy of the translation. Shamefully, both made little of the maligning of the Holy Last Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) and treated the whole issue as though it was of no importance and insignificant. Their arrogant, remorseless response was, “We don’t have time for this matter.” The two refused to address the issue further. It is unconscionable to think this matter is occurring in a Muslim country where those in control claim to be Ahli Bait. They profess to be family of our Holy Last Messenger (May Allah be pleased with him) but none has stepped up to protect his Honor.
The correct meaning of the ayah concerned is “We found you absorbed in love of Allah and we show you the way.” This is the same interpretation of the word dalaala as it was used in Sura Yusuf when referring to Hazrat Yaqub (peace be upon him) in order to express the extreme love for his son Hazrat Yusuf (peace be upon him). The Almighty Allah states that: “My Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) is not insane, nor a liar, nor a confused person.” The Arabic/Urdu Dictionary published in Karachi and Lahore concurs that the word used in translation to mean “distracted” is used to describe someone who is weak-minded or one with a mental flaw. The words Pagall (insane , distracted) and Jhoot (meaning lies and insane) were used. To even suggest such derogatory characteristic could exist in the Holy Last Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) is an unspeakable affront to the most perfect of creation and a fraudulent portrayal of Rasooli Akram’s (peace and blessings be upon him) impeccable character. This is a grave offense and may Allah forgive us for having to even associate these words in within the same paragraph of Our Holy Last Messenger!
Further, the United Muslim Advocates Guild and the International Qur’anic Open University have jointly sponsored a newspaper correspondent to travel to your country to personally deliver this letter and to monitor the situation.
To this end, we are respectfully requesting that you exercise your influence to order the publishers to rectify this problem with all urgency. Sirs, you have the authority to rectify this injustice suo motto and we implore you to do so.
If our demand is ignored by the government of Pakistan, then we will be forced to rally and protest against the arrogant and blasphemous statement contained in the publication.
Tahirah Amatul-Wadud, Attorney at Law
Filed under: Education, International, Magazine/ Culture, May Volume I - 2009 | Tags: Book Review
By Lorna Swaine-Abdallah
Islamic Post Staff Writer
The Islamic Post is pleased to present an excerpt from the introduction of the latest book by scholar of Sufic doctrine, Stephen Schwartz called, The Other Islam: Sufism and the Road to Global Harmony. An analysis by the International Quranic Open University (IQOU) regarding Schwartz’ accurate assessment of extremists abusing the name of Islam follows.
First, the excerpt from the introduction to The Other Islam, by Stephen Suleiman Schwartz: “Sufism –Islamic Spirituality in a World of Fear:”
On May 27, 2007, a huge bomb struck the mosque and shrine of Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani in central Baghdad, killing at least twenty-four people and injuring many more. The Jilani shrine is a prominent landmark in the Iraqi capital, and the explosion damaged its dome and minaret.
Shaykh Jilani, who lived from around 1077 to 1166 C.E., has been described as a “patron saint” of Baghdad, and the celebration of his birthday, a custom known as mawlid in Islam, is a favorite festival in the city. His mawlid had taken place a month before the May 2007 blast.
Because Shaykh Jilani was a Sunni Muslim, some Westerners immediately assumed that the attack on his shrine was committed by Iraqi Shia Muslims. But they were wrong. The perpetrators of the Jilani bombing were also Sunnis. The difference was that Shaykh Jilani was known as a Sunni Sufi, and the bombers were Wahhabis (alias “Salafis”), probably from Saudi Arabia, who militantly claim the Sunni banner.
If the fighting between Muslims in Iraq pitted Sunnis against Shias, most Americans would ask, why would Sunnis bomb a Sunni shrine? Was this some bizarre provocation aimed at blaming Shias for the crime and rousing the anger of Sunnis? Every Muslim in the world knows the answer to that question: Sunnis attacked Sunnis in the Jilani shrine bombing because Wahhabis, representing the most extreme, violent, exclusionary, rigid, and fundamentalist interpretation in the history of Sunni Islam –fueled by Saudi petrodollars– despise Sufis and their shrines. Wahhabis also hate and kill other non-Wahhabi Sunnis, as well as Shias, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and anybody else with whom they disagree, including each other.
The rise of Al-Qaida and of Islamist terrorism in general originates more in Wahhabism and the divisions it has created within the community of Muslim believers than in a conflict with the West. And the field of deadly Wahhabi action against Sufis and other dissenting Muslims is not limited to Iraq. Less than five months after the Jilani shrine bomb, a blast at the shrine of another of the most famous Sufis, Moinuddin Chisti, in Ajmer, India, killed two people and injured twenty. The crime occurred during evening prayers when the shrine was crowded with hundreds of worshippers.
The conflict between Sufis, both Sunni and Shia, and Islamist fundamentalists or clericalists is widening around the world –in terror attacks striking Iraq as well as in reform efforts in Saudi Arabia, amid intrigues among American Muslims at the same time as Sunni fundamentalists and Sufis confront one another in the Balkans, and in the banning of Sufi books in Malaysia.
[...] The Iranian clerical regime is in crisis, and Sufis are increasingly prominent as representatives of a new political and social alternative to the failed scheme of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (the story of the Gonabadi Sufis will be told in chapter 5). Similarly, Sufis are in the forefront of demands for political and social reform in Saudi Arabia, where the anti-Sufi Wahhabis comprise the official form of Islam. For many years the outstanding opponent of fundamentalism in Saudi Arabia was a beloved Sufi, Sayyid Muhammad Alawi Al-Maliki (1947-2004). When his funeral was held in Mecca, private jets choked the Saudi airports for days.
In the Wahhabi mind, to praise a Sufi saint such as Shaykh Jilani, to observe his birthday, and to honor his shrine, is to deviate from strict monotheism, concentrated on God, and thus to treat a personality such as Jilani or Moinuddin Chisti as a “partner” or “equal” of God. According to the same bizarre logic, Wahhabis condemn mawlid birthday events for the Prophet Muhammad himself [peace be upon him]. The fundamentalists deride such customs as a mimicking of Christianity, claiming that extolling the Prophet’s birthday is an unacceptable innovation (bida) in religion and that Muslims must not stray from the original expression of their faith. That was the Wahhabi posture from the beginning: that acclaiming the Prophet’s birthday, Sufism itself (since it is not mentioned specifically in the Qur’an), and honoring Muslim and other saints are all novelties in Islam, to be strictly avoided.
But as Sayyid Al-Maliki and other opponents of Wahhabism have written, in texts appearing since Ottoman times, if Muslims reject all innovations after the era of the Prophet [peace be upon him], they must abandon the written Qur’an (since Islamic scripture was delivered to Muhammad [peace be upon him] orally, and at first memorized), the production of books of knowledge, the erection of minarets at mosques, the construction of schools and hospitals, and numerous other modern customs, including use of sophisticated weaponry in war. Even the most extreme Wahhabis cannot claim to live by such a set of prescriptions, although they may impose them on others. Wahhabi fanatics will not watch television and the Saudi kingdom has no movie theaters, since both are recent inventions.
The faith of Islam continues to challenge Americans and other Westerners with many questions, which for most non-Muslims have remained unanswered. Is Islam a religion comparable to Christianity or Judaism, a political movement, or a violent conspiracy? Does it aim to conquer the world? Does it urge its adherents to commit atrocious acts of terror?
And then, what are Muslims? What do they believe about Islam? And how do they look at their Christian, Jewish, and other non-Muslim neighbors –if not on the same street in an American suburb, then at least on the same continent, as in Europe, and on a single planet? The West has many academic experts on the Middle East –the core Muslim area– and many Muslim and Arab advocates. But few have provided answers to the basic concerns of non-Muslims. The same inquiries have gone without adequate reply, or fallen into the void of forgetfulness, occasionally resurfacing and usually failing to stir new explanations.
[...] Outside university and political circles, hate-mongering self-anointed “experts” on Islam have proliferated, but they are heedless of Islamic, Western, or other history and interested only in selling their shoddy wares by sowing panic. They seek to reinforce suspicion in the Western public that the only trustworthy Muslim is one who has left the religion of Islam or otherwise expressed loathing towards it.
After the atrocities of September 11, 2001, followed by American military action, few Americans comprehended the essence of the situation. Many believed that the Iraq intervention was about fighting terrorism; others thought that, as in the Gulf war of 1991, it was mainly about oil. But then details emerged that had been absent from previous American involvement with the Muslim world. It turned out that Iraq had several differing kinds of Muslims: mostly Arab Shia Muslims, but also Arab and Kurdish Sunni Muslims. Aside from the Kurds, who had been protected by the West in the past and were secure friends of America, both Shias and Arab Sunnis appeared to harbor a homicidal rage against the American presence in the country.
Words such as “Sunni” and “Shia” were novel to most Americans, and almost none of the Westerners who tossed them around in the media had a clear picture of what made them different from one another or why suddenly the Iraq war had turned into what appeared to be a blood feud between them. Even many who knew that neighboring Iran is overwhelmingly Shia could not explain what that really meant for the Iraqi Shia majority –more than 60 percent of the population of Mesopotamia. Some assumed that Iran, with a Persian, non-Arab culture, sought to take over the Arab East. Most Westerners already distrusted Iran as a clerical dictatorship and rogue state.
Other new terms appeared in the Western vocabulary, also without sufficient explanation. From Saudi Arabia, the home of Al-Qaida, came a sudden awareness of Wahhabism. But certain Western experts, journalists, and government representatives were quickly convinced that Wahhabism and its followers, known as Wahhabis, did not really exist –rather. that the Saudi-based form of radical Islam should be called “Salafism.” Once again, none of the Western public figures who talked about “Salafism” showed any knowledge of the origin of the term, its original meaning, or its use by the Saudi Wahhabis (who really are Wahhabis, not “Salafis,” as will be explained further on).
On the edge of this quicksand of misapprehension, disinformation, foreign influence, ignorance, and arrogance there occasionally sprouted, like tiny but fragrant flowers, references to something called Sufism. While Sunni and Shia Islam alike were portrayed by some Westerners as dangerous to the West, and even as Satanic inventions, Sufism was typically mentioned with grudging respect, as a peaceful, spiritual way of Islam based on a journey toward God. But here, too, established expertise and common wisdom weighed heavier than the fragile petals of the Sufi blossom.
~ IQOU Analysis:~
The most refreshing observation to make about Stephen Suleyman Schwartz’ book, The Other Islam: Sufism and the Road to Global Harmony is that his analysis is surprisingly quite accurate in many respects –something very hard to come by in these days with a multitude of orientalists and even so-called Sufis who, far from having a clue, actually misrepresent the Sufi way, (deliberately or not). Schwartz’ research and exposition on the subject, in fact, presents a most favorable impression of the Sufis, while exposing Wahhabism for what it truly is, the worst kind of extremism, a revolt from Orthodox Islam—indeed, a movement to destroy Islam from within, were that possible.
American Sufis and other Muslim groups, can only benefit from the sincere effort and in-depth study that researchers such as Mr. Schwartz, make about this most vital aspect of Islam. Muslim and non-Muslim alike would be well served by examining his work. Schwartz’ work conveys an understanding that while clearly coming from his personal point of view, reveals his insight, and is truly indicative of someone who has come with an open heart to the field of study. The same cannot be said of others such as Annemarie Schimmel and R. A. Nicholson and such of their ilk who twist the facts and misrepresent the Sufi way.
The book delineates the intent of the Wahhabi movement as one that, under the cover of “purifying religion,” incites toxic hatred against those with love for the Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him), his descendants, as well as the Saints and Sufis. Many unsuspecting Muslims would be shocked to learn that the British Secret Service played a very important role in giving guidelines, aims and objectives to this ideology, meant to cause hatred and bloodshed amongst Muslims. To understand this one has to read a very well known book called the “Confessions of Hempher, a British Spy.” It was, according to Hempher, he who recruited one Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab and trained and developed him. Later on, this Ibn Abdul Wahhab was given dangerous and destructive aims to include in his newfound religion called Wahhabism. But do enough Muslims know this or give it due credence?
Mr. Schwartz is quite right in pointing out how these extremists bombed the Holy Shrine of Sultan Mohyuddin Abdul Qadir Jilani, the greatest Sufi of all the times. His family members are still keeping the Qadri Order alive and their numbers are increasing and their followers are found all over the world. Very rightly, has he drawn attention to how the Wahhabis/Salafis bombed the Holy Shrine of His Eminence Moinuddin Chisti in India. Unfortunately, not only this, but these same Wahhabis are the ones who actually trained and equipped the bombers.
Important to note is that the Dar us Salaam publishing house is nothing but a front organization for these enemies of Islam. They openly produce, print and sell books and materials which declare the blood of other Muslims legal.
If anybody is found showing any reverence to the Holy Last Messenger, or celebrates his birthday, he is arrested and sentenced heavily or killed. His birthplace was used as a dump for collecting trash and the date trees which he planted with his own saliva were cut down recently. At same time they maintain the belongings of their elders of Saud in five museums in the Hijaz, the holy land, which they call Saudi Arabia.
Indeed, they specialize in murdering the descendants of the Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him). It should interest you to learn that the Director of the Abdul Qadir Jilani Institute of Sufi Sciences and the Vice Chancellor of IQOU, NY, has been attacked more than six times by hired Wahhabi assassins. Fortunately one called Ghulam Sarwar Bhatti was arrested while trying to assassinate Pervez Musharraf, former president of Pakistan. There he confessed that thrice he went to assassinate Syed Mubarik Ali Gilani. The International Quranic Open University (IQOU) maintained one summer campus in the Pakistani Himalayas where staff and students would go for Sufic commemoration and contemplation. In 2002 when the correspondent for The Islamic Post, M. Atiq Shahid and an entire group of American Muslim ladies were there, they attacked. An exchange of fire took place between the attackers and the security guards and then the attackers left. The university had to close its facilities in that area because of the mounting hostility towards Sufis and Syeds.
There are a few other points which need to be brought to serve as further clarification on this most important subject. Wahhabis do not believe other Muslims to be their coreligionists. Therefore to call them a sect of Islam is wrong, amounting to dignifying the group with a claim to credence that only serves to confuse those with little understanding of the true teachings of Islam. Wahhabis are Wahhabis and Muslims are Muslims.
The same can be said for the Shia. Mr. Schwartz, and other writers and researchers should understand that Shia never considered themselves as Muslims. They don’t practice Islam. They have their own religion. The foundation of Islam is based on the five pillars: professing that, “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the Last Messenger,” offering prayers five times a day, giving two and a half percent zakat, fasting for 30 days in the month of fasting and performing Hajj for all those who have capacity and strength. They don’t believe this. Their religion is based on Taqiya: never express your personal opinion but deceive the opponent by giving him the wrong idea and Muta: temporary marriage which is forbidden in all the Semitic religions. It is wrong to assume that Shia adore and follow Ali, son in law of Holy Last Messenger. They do not. Nor they follow the martyrs of Karbala; only once a year they beat their chest and then go home. Particularly, with regard to the Bektashi Order, it is important to be aware that there has not been a single Hafiz (one who memorizes Holy Quran) nor has there been a single Sufi from amongst the Shia.
We acknowledge that 90% of the Muslims of the world follow orthodox Islam, following the Sunnah of Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him), give due respect to all previous Messengers and associate freely with people of the previous Books. At this time, the Sufi doctrine is the only way which can bring peace amongst People of the Books: Jews, Christians and Muslims. However, when we use the term “Jew” we do not mean “Zionists,” as Zionists can best be compared to the Wahhabis. They don’t follow the Torah because the Torah, Gospel and Qur’an are a continuity of one and the same message and the Holy Qur’an is the final message.
There is much more to add as there is no end to Sufic knowledge. It is unfortunate that many Muslims do not recognize, much less understand, this term “Sufism.” Nevertheless the first lesson in the Sufic book of guidance is: “Know that mankind is the family of God. And every man/woman is son/daughter of God (figuratively)” as it has been mentioned many times in the Testaments. Even in the East, many times the term is used commonly. It is high time for us to join hands and make this world full of peace, love and harmony by turning to Sufic doctrine. Muslims, Christians and Jews can come together to participate in this noble effort.
The sincere seekers of truth are welcome to make contact with our university to obtain more information on some of our classic videos on the Sufi order and discipline as well as a number of books for further study. An open invitation is also extended to seekers, researchers and students to pay a visit to the Holy Khanqah in South Carolina. Here they will get accounts of all that has taken place there, as also related by some of our Christian visitors.
Filed under: Education, From the Desk of El Sheikh Sultan Muhyuddin Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani, Magazine/ Culture, March Volume 2009, Religion | Tags: Maulid, Milad
FROM THE DESK OF THE SULTAN:
Excerpts from discourses given by His Eminence, El Sheikh Muhyuddin Syed Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani
The Holy Last Messenger, Peace be upon him, had the mildest of temperaments of all, he was the bravest of all, most just of all and most pious of all. His blessed hand never touched a woman not lawful to him. His generosity was incomparable, to such an extent that at the end of the day not a single dinar was left with him. If by chance any remained, he would not return till the late hours of the night, waiting for someone to take it away. Whatever assets the Almighty had given him he would use them only for his immediate needs, like food, the remaining would be distributed. His food, too, was very simple, mostly dates and barley. If anybody demanded anything of the Holy Last Messenger, Peace be upon him, he would oblige him. In addition, he would spend from his own budget in the way of Allah. He would sew his own shoes and clothes. He would also do the housework. Hence, he would cut meat with his blessed wives. The Holy Last Messenger, Peace be upon him, was more modest than anybody. His looks would never be fixed on anybody’s face. He would accept invitation of both freedmen and others. If a gift were sent (hadiya) he would except it even though it may be a drop of milk or the leg of a hare. He would always return the favor of hadiya by giving gifts. He would consume the hadiya but he would not consume goods sent as Sadaqah and Khairat. He would become angry with people for the sake of Allah but never for his personal sake. He would propagate truth even though it would apparently be detrimental to himself and his Holy Companions.
Some non-Muslims approached and requested his permission to assist him in eliminating his enemies. He replied that he would not take the help of non-Muslims even though at the time he was short of manpower. The Holy Last Messenger, Peace be upon him, in his entire life, has never eaten once for three days running chapati (of wheat) to his stomach’s full. These hardships he would undertake not because of poverty but as precautionary measures to keep his Nafs subdued. He would accept a Walimah invitation. He would visit the sick and accompany a Janaza. He would, without fear, walk alone amongst his enemy without any bodyguard. He possessed incomparable humility and was the most honorable. His talk would never be lengthy and boastful. He had a smiling countenance. He would wear whatever was available. At times, a small blanket and at times an expensive Yemeni chaddar. He would wear a woolen Jubba (gown) made from the wool of Halal animals.
He would wear a ring on the small finger, either on the left or right hand. When riding an animal, he would always ask either his attendant or someone else to mount the animal behind him. Whatever animal was available he would ride it, be it a horse, camel, mule, or donkey. At times he would walk on foot. At times, without the chaddar and cap, he would go to the other end of Madinah to inquire about the welfare of someone. He liked perfumes, but disliked stench, smell, and pungent powder. He would sit with the poor and the needy and would feed the poor. He would respect those exhibiting good conduct. By dealing kindly with notables he would win their hearts. He would extensively meet the members of his family, but never allowed their interference whilst bestowing position. He would gradually try to develop relationship with all. He would not burden anybody. He would accept the apology or explanation of the defaulter. He would never lie, even for the sake of humor. He would witness a Halal game and would not forbid others from witnessing it. In light heartedness, he would even run a race with his blessed wife, Hazrat Sayyidah Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her). If there were noise and tension around he would adopt patience. He had a camel and goat whose milk he and his household used to drink. He had both male attendants and maid servants, who would live in the same conditions as his own household.
Filed under: Education, Magazine/ Culture, March Volume 2009, Religion | Tags: Maulid, Milad
The Milad Shareef is an occasion of happiness on which people assemble and recite the Holy Qur’an to the extent that is easy; they relate the prophecies concerning the appearance of the Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him) which have been transmitted in ahadith (authenticated traditions), and also the miraculous events and signs that took place on his birth. Special gratitude to Allah, the Most High, should be expressed in this month and as much worship of the Most High and charity should be done as is possible, since He has bestowed on us this very great favor (that is, He caused the birth therein) of His Beloved (Peace be upon him )
This festival of celebrating the birthday of the Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him), is a bid’ah hasanah (good innovation), and those arranging it will get blessings, since in such a celebration is found the expression of joy and happiness at the greatness and eminence of the Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him) and his birth.
Imam al-Nawawi (Allah’s mercy be upon him) says in Tahdhib al-Asma wal Lugat: “Bid’ah in the shari’ah (Islamic law) is the invention of that which was not there in the period of the Messenger of Allah, and it is divided into two categories: hasanah (good) and qabihah (evil).” Hazrat Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said about standing in prayer in the month of Ramadhan, “What a good bid’ah this is!” meaning that this is a new thing which was not there before but, however, does not contradict anything that went before.
Imam Muslim writes that the Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him) was asked about the fast on Mondays which he used to keep. The Holy Last Messsenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him) replied, “This is the day of my birth.” This proves that the Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him) kept fast on Mondays to show gratitude for his birth. Imam Bukhari writes that “when Abu Lahab died, someone from his household saw him in a dream, they asked him what happened in the grave. He said, ‘I am being punished severely, but on Mondays, I get water from my finger with which I freed Thuwayba.’ ”
Hafiz Ibn Kathir writes that Abu Lahab freed his slave, Thuwayba, on the day that the Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him) was born. This proves that a kaafir (nonbeliever), Abu Lahab, was happy on the day of the birth of the Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him) and was rewarded by having his punishment reduced. Then, indeed, Allah will bless a Muslim who rejoices the birth of the Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him).
Hafiz Shams al-Din Ibn Nasir al-Din al-Dimashqi in his book, Mawrid al-Sadi fi Mawlid al-Hadi, wrote the following lines of poetry:
“When this is a Kafir and his censure has come (in the Qur’an):
Perish his hands in the fire of Hell forever,
It has been narrated that always on a Monday
(His punishment) is lessened because of his happiness at (the birth of) Ahmad.
What is the view then about the servant (of Allah) who spent his whole life
Being happy at (the birth of) Ahmad and died an upholder of the Unity of Allah?”
Hafiz Ibn Kathir also writes: “On the day of the birth of Holy Last Messenger (Peace be upon him), Shaytaan (Satan) cried a lot.” From Ibn Kathir’s narration we can see that to feel unhappy on the birthday of the Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him) is the way of Shaytaan not the way of a Muslim!
-Excerpted from An Introduction to the History of the Milad Shareef (the Birth of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad, may the peace of Allah be upon him and his family), by Imam Jalaluddin al-Suyuti (1445-1505 CE). IQOU-MOA.ORG
Filed under: Education, January Volume I- 2009, Magazine/ Culture | Tags: Embracing Islam
By Talib Deen Abdush Shakoor
Islamic Post Contributing Writer
A newly born family emerged, in Middle Tennessee, from confusion into a path of clarity and enlightenment in December, 2008, when they embraced Islam.
Preliminary discussions began at work, where plans of a Christmas party were underway. Although almost all employees were Christians, only some were willing to participate. Others opposed the idea of celebrating what they called a holiday with pagan rites. Some of the questions brought to light were: “What does Santa Claus have to do with Christ?” “Is it really Jesus’ birthday?” “Why the Christmas tree?” The Christians engaged in debate after debate on the subject of Jesus (peace be upon him).
Being the only Muslim, I felt an invitation, at this point, to convey the views, according to Islam, of the Second to Last Messenger of Allah, who was Jesus son of Mary (peace be upon them). To the best of my ability, I spoke about the many similarities of the two faiths, and compared and contrasted the two books in attempt to portray the unchanging message sent to Muslims, Christians and Jews.
By the Grace of Allah, the Most High, this discourse sparked the interest of several people, one of which was a man by the name of Maurice Benford, who was very enthusiastic about getting together outside of work to talk more. Throughout the night, questions were asked and ideas were exchanged about the matter at hand. Maurice shared his beautiful point of views about what he felt life should be like. He talked about humility in one’s lifestyle, devotion in worship, and sincerity in good deeds. Little did he know, he was describing Islam.
The following night, Muslim brothers got together in Murfreesboro at Muhammad Anwar’s house; and Maurice brought his wife, Annette, and their children, along with another co-worker. They were hungry for knowledge and searching for truth. Yahya Khan, with his knowledge of the Bible, was able to point out inconsistencies within the text, making the point that the Bible has suffered change over time. At the same time, he lectured on the Holy Qur’an still being in its original state, as the last remaining text which is completely the Word of God.
For five hours, the eight of us sat and talked about the beauty of the Islamic way of life with emphasis on the Oneness of Allah, the oneness of the message, and the oneness of the path. Each person had input into the discussion. Questions got complete answers and gaps were filled. Hearts opened and light entered. However, the couple decided to go home to discuss it between themselves. They related having talked until almost sunrise.
The next afternoon, the two called back and stated how impressed they were, not only with the Quranic scriptures as compared to the Biblical ones, but moreso their love of the lifestyle, etiquettes and mannerisms of a Muslim. They’ve decided to meet up again with the intention of taking the next step.
Allah be praised, Ahmad Qadri, who has shown countless people the way to Islam, arrived that day, and was able to take part in this monumental event. “You don’t have to be Muslim to love Allah,” he told the couple, “But you do have to be Muslim to express your love to Allah.”
His words gave the two an abundance of confidence that this was the right decision. “I am absolutely sure that this is it,” said Annette. Then they embraced Islam and then we embraced them as family, along with their six children. Glory be to Allah, the Most High Creator of All.
Today, Maurice is Mahmood, and Annette, Amina. As a family, they all feel very confident and have a lot of peace of mind. As the learning continues, new discoveries add to the construction of their iman. which is the Islamic concept of faith put into practice in everyday life. Their excitement increased to be a part of our blessed community and to meet the rest of the brothers and sisters.
Allah, Exalted is He, has promised the domination of Islam. To be a part of that number is to be showered with His Mercy. But to witness it happen before your very eyes is a rewarding experience in itself. May Allah continue to increase the people, or followers, of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him), and continue to allow us the honor of being used as His tools to manifest His decree. Ameen.
Filed under: Education, From the Desk of El Sheikh Sultan Muhyuddin Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani, Interfaith, January Volume I- 2009, Magazine/ Culture | Tags: Christmas, Jesus in Islam
From the Desk of the Sultan: El Sheikh Muhyuddin Syed Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani
Let us celebrate the birth of Jesus, the son of Mary, who is the Second to Last Messenger of Islam, in a befitting manner. Let us pay him befitting tribute by following the law, by virtue of which he was called savior.
Greetings, oh lovers of Jesus! On this happy occasion, when his so-called followers commemorate by committing adultery, perversion, drinking and gambling in such a manner as if these heinous sins were associated with the teachings of Jesus Christ, let us join hands in upholding the law. Jesus, the son of Mary, came to uphold the Ten Commandments, and exhorted mankind to practice them so that they may be saved. Today, priests and devils have legalized what Jesus forbade, but they cannot save mankind from the evil consequences of sins, some of which are mental diseases, murders, earthquakes, and tornados.
We Muslims want our Christian brothers to know about our book, the Holy Qur’an, (which was revealed to the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad, peace be upon him and all the messengers of God). The Holy Qur’an is the only evidence in the world which confirms the existence of Jesus, the son of Mary.
Lies and Reason.
The priests during the time of this Holy Messenger were not different from the likes of Jimmy Swaggert and James Baker. They invented lies and incorporated heathen mythology and paganism into the Gospel, held Jesus up as the son of God, and invented the fable of dying on the cross for mankind.
To refute this lack of logic, I quote Thomas Paine, a great thinker and moralist, who arrived at the following conclusion when he used reason to understand the Bible: “The Bible and Old Testament are impositions upon the world,” wrote Thomas Paine in the Age of Reason (p. 202), “The opinions I have advanced… that the fall of man, the account of Jesus Christ being the Son of God, and of his dying to appease the wrath of God, and of salvation, by that strange means, are all fabulous inventions, dishonorable to the wisdom and power of the Almighty; that the only true religion is…the belief of one God.” –Age of Reason, p. 202)
I also quote Saint Barnabas, one of the disciples of Jesus, son of Mary, who was deputed by the Holy Messenger, Jesus, to record the Gospels. These were known as the Gospel of Barnabas, and remained in circulation until the 4th century of the Christian era. Later, this Gospel was banned by a papal decree as not being canonical. In the Gospel according to Saint Barnabas, Jesus is quoted by him as saying:
“I therefore say unto you that the Messenger of God is a splendor that shall give gladness to nearly all that God hath made, for he is adorned with the spirit of understanding and of counsel, the spirit of wisdom and might, the spirit of fear and love, the spirit of prudence and temperance, he is adorned with the spirit of charity and mercy, the spirit of justice and piety, the spirit of gentleness and patience, which he hath received from God three times more than he hath given all creatures. Oh blessed time when he shall come to the world!
“Believe me that I have seen him, and have done him reverence even as every prophet hath seen him, seeing that, of his spirit, God giveth to them prophecy. And when I saw him, my soul has filled with consolation, saying: ‘Oh Muhammad, God be with thee, and may He make me worthy to untie thy shoe latchet for, obtaining this, I shall be a great prophet and holy one of God.”
It is ironic to observe that, despite the fact the Jews tried to murder Jesus, the son of Mary, the so-called church raised in his name has no authentic evidence that he ever existed. Our Holy Qur’an is the only evidence of the existence of Jesus, of his mission, and of his raising up alive to the Almighty [as it proven, by God and man, to not have been tampered with]. I now quote from the Holy Qur’an, which also contains the Gospel:
“Behold! The angel said: ‘Oh Mary, God giveth thee glad tidings of a word from Him. His name will be Christ Jesus, son of Maryam (Mary), held in honor in this world and in the Hereafter, and of those nearest to God. He shall speak to all the people, from the cradle and in maturity, and he shall be of the company of the righteous.’
“She said: ‘Oh my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man hath touched me?’
“He said: ‘Even so, God creates what He willeth. When He decrees a plan, He but saith to it, Be, and it is!
“‘And God will teach him the Book and wisdom, the law and Gospel, and (appoint him) an apostle to the Children of Israel, (with the message): I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, in that I make for you, out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by God’s leave. And I heal those born blind and lepers, and I quicken the dead, by God’s leave. And I declare to you what ye eat, and what ye store in your houses. Surely there is a sign for you, if ye did believe.
“‘(I have come to you) to attest the law, which was before me, and to make lawful to you part of what was before forbidden to you. I have come to you with a sign from your Lord. So fear God, and obey me. It is God who is my Lord and your Lord. Then worship Him. This is a way that is straight.’” –House of Imran, Holy Qur’an
In conclusion, I hope this greeting, which contains an invitation for all who identify with Jesus, son of Mary, to join us in upholding the laws of the Almighty and the Ten Commandments, in order to save mankind from the most horrible disasters, incurable diseases, and all kinds of social and moral ills.
Please contact us for further discussion in regards to our mission of bringing Muslims and Christians together on common terms, based on the Unity of God, which will enable us to combat priesthood ignorance, and the exploitation of man by man.
*This document was originally published twenty years ago. Christians and Muslims have since united across the world. The United Muslim Christian Forum was henceforth established by El Sheikh Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani to accommodate the ever-growing unity based upon the Ten Commandments, and an effort to save mankind therewith. To join, contact us:
Filed under: Education, January Volume I- 2009, Magazine/ Culture, Religion | Tags: Ghadeer Khumm, Hazrat Ali
According to a sermon given by the Holy Last Messenger, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and his family, at the Spring of Khumm (Ghadeer e Khumm) on the 18th of Zhul Hijj:
“All Praises are for Allah and we seek His help and we believe in Him and rely upon Him in all matters. We seek His protection from the evil of self and deeds. His protection is such that if He causes someone to go astray there will be no-one to guide him, and anyone He guides, no-one can mislead.
I bear witness there is none worthy of worship other than Allah and Muhammad [peace and blessings of Allah be upon him] is the servant and Messenger of Allah.
O People! All knowing and All Seeing Mighty Rabb [Lord] has informed me that I will be called back and I will accept His call. And I shall be questioned and you as well will be questioned; what answer will you have?” The people said, “We will bear witness that you propagated Islam, guided us and may Allah, the Most High, give you immense reward for that.”
Then, the Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “Do you not bear witness that there is none worthy of worship than Allah and that Muhammad [peace be upon him] is His servant and Messenger; that Jennah (paradise) is haqq (universal truth) and Jehannam (hell) is haqq and maut (death) is haqq and Qiyaamah (the Final Day) will come and there is no doubt in that. And that Allah, the Most High, will give life to the dead?” The people of the congregation said, “Of course, we bear witness!”
The Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “Oh my Allah, be witness. O People, are you listening?” They said, “Yes we are listening.” Then he (peace be upon him) said, “I shall be reaching The Lake (Kauthar) [in Jennah] for preparation, and you should come to my Lake for quenching your thirst. It is as wide as from Basra to Sana (Yemen). In this there are silver goblets shining like the stars of the sky; therefore, listen. Pay attention to how you will treat saqlain (two heavy trusts) when I leave you.” Then somebody said, “Oh Messenger of Allah (peace be upon you), what is saqlain?” He (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The greater of the heavy trusts is the Book of Allah -Holy Qur’an. (He compared it to the likeness of a rope where-by one side is held by Allah, the Most High, and the other side should be held by you.) Hold it firmly. If you hold it firmly you will never go astray. And saqlain asghar (lesser heavy trust) is my itrat (family descendants). My All-Knowing, All-Seeing Allah has informed me that these two will never separate from each other till they reach Lake Kauthar. I have confirmed this from Allah. Do not try to bypass them nor ignore them because this can bring destruction.” Then he held the hand of Ameeril Mo’mineen Hazrat* Ali (the Commander of the Faithful, may Allah ennoble his countenance), raised it till people could see the whiteness of his armpits, all recognized this and he (peace be upon him) said, “Oh People! Which mo’min (s. faithful) is near to the lives of all the mo’mineen?” The people said, “Allah and His Messenger [peace be upon him] know better.” He (peace be upon him) said, “Indeed Allah is my Maula (Master) and I am the maula of the mo’mineen (p. faithful) and I am nearer to them than their lives; however, whosoever’s maula I am, Ali is also maula of that person.” He repeated this thrice. (Imam Ahmad ibn Hambal said, he said it four times.) Then the Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him) continued, saying: “Oh My Allah! You befriend those who befriend Ali and You treat those as Your enemy who treat Ali as their enemy. And You love those who love Ali and show Your anger to those who make Ali angry and You help those who help him and debase those who debase him. Oh Allah, make haqq his companion wherever he may be. Oh People! Be warned. Let this be transmitted to those who are absent, by those who are present.” It was there and then, when they had not even moved that Gabriel [the Archangel, peace be upon him] brought the following wahee (divine revelation), “Today I have perfected your deen (way of life) and have completed My ni’mah (favour) upon you and chosen Islam as your deen.” (Holy Qur’an; 3:19)
The Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and his family) said: “Allahu Akbar [sometimes translated: Allah is the Greatest], for the completion of deen and on completion of Allah’s favour and my Messengerhood being appreciated and wilayah (friendship) of Ali, after me.” Then people started giving congratulations to Amir ul Mo’mineen, Hazrat Ali (may Allah ennoble his countenance), and a group of Holy Companions came forward.
Hazrat Abu Bakr, Hazrat Omar and all were saying, “O son of Abi Talib [meaning Hazrat Ali], Mubarik! Mubarik! [congratulations being sent] That you have spent your mornings and evenings in such a way that you have become our master and the master of every mo’min and mo’mina [f. faithful]!” Hazrat Ibn Abbas said, “By Allah Almighty, this is obligatory upon the necks of the people.” Hazrat Hassan bin Thabit said, “Oh Messenger of Allah (peace be upon you), allow me to say a few verses in honour of Hazrat Ali so you may hear them.” The Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “May Allah’s blessings be upon you.” Then he (Hazrat Hassan bin Thabit) stood up and said:
“On the day of Ghadeer their Messenger is declaring at Khumm, therefore listen to what the Messenger of Allah [peace be upon him] has said…”
Explanation and elaboration of the incident called Ghadeer e Khumm
All the scholars of Ahle Sunnah, and even the Shia’, agree that in the year of the Hajja tul Widaa’(Farewell Pilgrimage) after declaring the last sermon, the Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him and upon his family) while returning from Makka tul Mukarramah (known in Western language as Mecca), on his way back to Medina, on the 18th of Zhul Hijj, he gathered all his companions in a place called Ghadeer e Khumm, which was a spring. Those people who had gone ahead were called back and those following were waited on till all had joined.
The Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him) gave a lot of advice and elaborated many things and recited some ayah of Sura Maida (from Holy Qur‘an) about completion of Deen ul Islam. He made it very clear that his time had come to go back and he will be leaving two very profound things behind. From his blessed tongue the following words were uttered:
“Wa ma yantqu anil hawa”
“He says nothing of his own, but that he says is wahee.” (Holy Qur‘an; 53:3-4)
“kuntu maulahu fa Aliyi maulahee”
“Whose master I am, Ali is also his master.”
Then he made the dua (supplication) to Allah about Hazrat Ali.
Authenticity of Hadeeth Ghadeer e Khumm
In Mishkaat Shareef this hadeeth has been quoted referring to Imam Ahmad ibn Hambal (Volume 3 page 241). The following is the translation:
Hazrat Bara Bin Azab (the companion who confronted Yazid with the words “I saw the Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him and his family) kissing those blessed lips…(in reference to Hazrat Imam Hussein)”) said, “When the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) stopped at Ghadeer e Khumm, he held the hand of Hazrat Ali and said, “Don’t you know I am nearer to the lives of the mo’mineen.” And the Holy Companions said, “Yes, oh Messenger of Allah (peace be upon you).” Then the Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “Oh Allah! Whom I befriend, Ali is their friend. Oh Allah, treat such persons as Your friends who consider Ali his friend. Treat the enemies of Ali as your enemies.” Hazrat Omar met Hazrat Ali (may Allah ennoble his countenance), saying: “O Son of Abi Talib! Great happiness for you that you have spent your mornings and evenings in such condition that you have become the friend of every mo’min and mo’mina.”
*Hazrat is a term of respect for someone near to Almighty Allah.
–This introduction was graciously provided by the Vice Chancellor of the International Quranic Open University, El Sheikh Syed Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani. Any mistakes are the responsibility of the editors, may Allah forgive them their faults.
Filed under: Education, International, January Volume I- 2009, Uncategorized, World | Tags: Darussalam Publications, Wahhabi
By Noora Ahmad
Islamic Post Staff Writer
Do you own the book Ar Raheeq Al Makhtum (The Sealed Nectar, Biography of the Noble Prophet –peace be upon him) by Saifur Rahman Al Mubarakpuri? How about a particular edition of Riyad us Saliheen, the famous An Nawawi compilation of holy traditions with commentary by Hafiz Salahuddin Yusuf? If so, you are hosting texts on your bookshelf by Darussalam Publications which has been known not only to inject false text into the English translations of sayings related from the Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him) and shown utmost disrespect to the Beloved of Allah, but also to have distorted Islamic history –specifically with regards to the descendants of the Holy Last Messenger who are known as Ahli Bait. They demonstrate a complete rejection of the authentic scholars of Islam and even advocate for the killing of pious Muslims, based on scholarly claims proven to be erroneous.
El Sheikh Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani Hashmi, himself a descendant of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family), advises the Muslims at large: “Keep away from all of their works, including their books, history, even hadiths –traditional sayings of the Holy Last Messenger, everything. They have distorted things, disrespected and dishonored the Holy Last Messenger and his family (peace be upon them all).”
Darussalam Publications promote themselves as a multilingual international Islamic publishing house based in Riyadh, with outlets on all continents. The publisher claims to present “books free from sectarianism and in accordance with the Qur’an and the Sunnah (the way of the Holy Last Messenger, peace be upon him).” However, it cannot be imagined how much division is created when the works presented by Darussalam claim the majority of Muslims have abandoned Islam, and that their blood is lawful to shed.
Darussalam Publications uphold distortions of Islam and mistranslate the holy traditions. The resulting works are used to accuse the community of polytheism. In one such instance, it is found that the publishers mistranslated a hadith wherein a companion of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad, peace be upon him, narrated to the Beloved of Allah his experience setting up a tent in a place not knowing there was a grave underneath, and hearing Surah Mulk from Holy Qur’an being recited from it. The Darussalam translators instead write that it is the visitor who recited Surah Mulk. This was done presumably because to acknowledge pious people to be alive in their graves contradicts the teachings of Ibn Abdul Wahhab, the founder of the Wahhabi (or some say Salafi) movement in 1713. The publishing house’s website refers to Ibn Abdul Wahhab “Imam,” or leader. According to Ibn Abdul Wahhab, who is believed by historians to have been in collusion with a British spy known only as Hempher, declared that Muslims who visit the graves of the pious people with the intention of gaining benefit from them, have abandoned monotheism and deserve death. It was on this premise that thousands of Muslims were massacred in the Najd uprisings against the Ottoman Empire, which established the current kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The works of Abdullah bin ‘Abdul- ‘Azeez bin Baz, the grand mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from 1992-1999, also confirm the teachings of his imam, Ibn Abdul Wahhab, in his various books and in erroneous commentary on the books of others, many of which are widely distributed by Darussalam. In just one example, Bin Baz slanders a companion of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him), Bilal ibn al-Harth in his remarks on the text Fath al-Bari. Bin Baz claims the visit of Bilal ibn al-Harth to the grave of the Mercy to all of the Worlds, Muhammad (peace be upon him), and his asking the Almighty for the sake of the Holy Last Messenger to bestow rain was “aberrant” and “an avenue to polytheism.”
By these things, the publishing house misleads the Muslims with interpolations. However, similar aims are equally achieved by their omissions. While volumes upon volumes have been written by authentic scholars on Islamic history, Darussalam works and books –comparatively short texts– intentionally delete the history of the descendants of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad (may the peace of Allah be upon him and upon his family). This effort to negate the contributions and legacy of the Ahli Bait is in direct rejection of the well-established tradition passed down from the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad, which commands the Muslims to cling to his family and descendents after him, peace be upon them.* For example we find in one text called Commanders of the Muslim Army, by Mahmood Ahmad Ghadanfar, chapters are dedicated to different personages, yet no mention is made of the greatest commander and cousin of the Holy Last Messenger, Ali ibn Abi Talib, nor of his son, the king of martyrs, Hussein ibn Ali. This could be due to the fact that Wahhabis and Salafis, who produce the majority of the works at Darussalam, bear allegiance to the Umayyad clan.
The Umayyads during the time of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him), swore vengeance upon the family of the Beloved of Allah for the Meccan pagan chiefs who were killed during the first battle of Islam, the Battle of Badr, in which the fledgling Muslim state in Madinah defended themselves against the torture and aggression of the Umayyads. Ali ibn Abi Talib, the Lion of Allah, killed 70 of those chiefs. The Umayyads, via Yazid son of Muawiyah son of Abu Sufyan, the main enemy of the Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him and his family), carried out a most bloody and brutal massacre in which Hussein the son of Ali, and the majority of the descendents of the Holy Last Messenger, were martyred. Needless to say, although Imam Hussein continued to fight valiantly, even after suffering extreme hunger, thirst, and witnessing atrocities against his beloved children, his blessed name is not included in Commanders of the Muslim Army.
It seems being free from sectarianism demands the murder of all those who do not agree with the Umayyad, or Wahhabi, philosophy.
Muslims are hereby warned to guard their imaan –the faith foundation which allows the upholding of true Islamic principles—by rejecting all works published and products sold by Darussalam Publications. Thereby, Muslims can hope to not only safeguard themselves and their families from false ideologies, but also take a firm stand against the divisive spread of such teachings in the Muslim community at large. Muslims should be aware that every cent which goes into the coffers of this Saudi-based publishing group is used to distort Islam around the world, in the eyes of Muslims and non-Muslims, for which the entire Muslim world pays.
By Salimah Hunafa, Islamic Post Contributing Writer
Madinah Village, GA– This summer all of the children who live in Madinah Village and the nearby town of Commerce, participated in a reading program for children ages 2-14. Many children read as many as 50-100 books during the program, far exceeding the minimum reading requirement of 25 books over the summer.
Two parties were given to reward the children and the volunteers for their efforts over the summer. The parties consisted of two puppet shows, young ladies in the community singing Islamic songs, award ceremonies, a treasure hunt, books and goodie bags given to all participants, and community dinners.
The goals of the reading program were threefold: a) to give children an incentive to read during the summer; b) for children to develop essential reading skills and habits that lead to fluent reading, and strong comprehension; c) to develop a life long love of books and reading in children.
Reading is the foundation of all learning. Children who do not read during the summer demonstrate a significant loss over the summer. A summer reading loss of three months accumulates over the elementary grades and in several studies became a gap of 18 months by the end of sixth grade. By middle school, summer reading losses produces a lag of two or more years in reading achievement, even when effective instruction during the school year is available.
Children lose ground in the summer in reading due to a number of reasons such as limited access to books and libraries, disinterest in reading due to early unsuccessful reading experiences (books either being too difficult or not challenging enough) for children. These experiences make children feel unsuccessful and provide little incentive for children to persevere.
Reading with your child, reading to your child, and encouraging your child to read for recreation at least a ½ hour each day can turn this trend around. Recreational reading is reading that is not done to complete a class assignment. It is reading something interesting, educational and that a child chooses to read.
Community members can create their own summer reading program with the help of volunteers and at least one coordinator. It is important to cultivate a sense of community both within the program and around the idea of summer learning. As part of the Madinah Village summer reading program there were weekly story-time sessions for children ages 2-12 with each story-time session lasting for 1 hour, which included snacks and craft activities. The story-time groups were divided based on ages, preschool ages (2-3); early childhood ages (4-6); elementary ages (7-12). All of the story-time sessions were held in Madinah Village which made the program accessible and convenient for all families.
In order for any program to be successful, parental involvement is essential. Undoubtedly, parents serve as the first, longest-lasting, and most important teachers in their children’s lives and are the number one motivator for summer reading participation (and many other learning experiences). Several of the ladies in Madinah Village volunteered to read to children of different age groups each week. Maintaining consistency from day to day and week to week, allowing relationships between volunteers and participants to develop and grow throughout the summer is also beneficial to children’s development.
One way that children develop a love of reading is through seeing their parents and other significant adults in their lives reading regularly and who take the time to read to them.
Different methods of learning that can be included in any summer reading program, such as drama, storytelling, educational games, writing and journal exercises, field trips, group reading, art, and crafts activities. Programs that incorporate some of these diverse components are more likely to catch students’ varied interests and keep them involved.
By Saudah A. Haqq, Islamic Post Staff Writer
“I can’t wait!” Fatima Bibi said excitedly, expressing her joy for the new school term. She jumped up and down holding the blue and white balloons that would announce the opening of the Islamberg Children’s Academy in the rural mountain village of Islamberg in Hancock, N.Y.
On a beautiful, sunny Friday, the 5th of September at 5:00 pm, Khalifa Hussain Abdallah and Khadija A. Rahim (Umm Ibrahim) presided over the official ribbon cutting ceremony that dedicated the premises for educating their community’s children from that region.
As balloons were released into the air, parents cheered with “Allahu Akbar, Ya Rasoolullah” as they witnessed the historic event.
Now located on the upper level of the masjid in Holy Islamberg are seven beautiful classrooms, two offices, and a waiting room, all of which were made ready to commence the 2008-2009 school year which began Monday, September 8.
The children laughed and giggled as they ran up the stairs for the Open House, following two days of intense placement testing. The School Board Chair, Amirah Safiya A. Haqq, showed off the rooms, as well as the nooks and crannies that would accommodate students’ belongings. Teachers and children alike, walked around gazing into each room wondering which one would be theirs for the upcoming school year.
“Umm Karima, Zubayda Begum, Umm Sophia, Razia A. Mumin, Naimah Azza, Ayana Umm Jawad, Subhana Umm Ali, and Aisha Begum have graciously accepted positions as the experienced, and dedicated teaching staff in the Islamberg Children’s Academy. Our gratitude also goes to Umar Mubarik who will be Maintenance Manager.
“We expect a dynamic and progressive school term” said Principal Safwa Begum.
Vice Principal Tahira Halim anticipated a lot of hard work and devotion. The Parent Teacher Association (PTA) is enthusiastic about its plans to help make this a highly successful, banner school year.
The School Board extended its heartfelt gratitude to Sheikh Syed Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani, who orchestrated the formation of the new school.
Appreciation was also expressed to the construction crew who worked day and night to erect the K-12 classrooms as well as making modifications at the Islamic Center to house the Pre-Kindergarten and Nursery Room in a very short period of time.
Filed under: Education, Magazine/ Culture, Religion, Sept/Oct Volume - 2008 | Tags: Banaatun Noor
By Umme Mansur, Islamic Post Staff Writer
The graduation ceremonies of the Ladies Annual Summer Camp were held on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, August 31, in Holy Islamburg, New York. It was the culmination of an intensive 30 day program of Islamic Studies. Besides the bestowal of certificates upon all the students, the following awards were presented:
Qirat Holy Quran; 1st. Place, Maryam Amatus Salam; 2nd. Place, Zohra AbdulHameed; 3rd. Place Maryam Rauf.
Speech: 1st Place-Adilla Ahmed; 2nd Place-Jamila Ali; 3rd Place-Tashriha Malik.
Na’at: 1st Place-Banaatus Salaam; 2nd Place-Nusratun Jannah; 3rd.Place-Bustanatus Soraya.
Knitting awards were presented in two categories, those with some experience and those new to knitting. In the beginning group, first place knitting given to Hanan A. Aziz, 2nd. Place to Abidah A. Kareem and 3rd. Place to Ashiqa Muqit. Amongst experienced knitters, 1st. Place awarded to Adilla A Salaam, 2nd Place to Sultana A. Salaam and 3rd Place to Jamila Ali.
The best All Around award was given to Hanan A. Aziz. The 360 award was given to Yasmeen A. Rahman. This was a special award presented in honor of that person who mostly exemplified a strenuous effort to reform herself or show most improvement. This year a Camp Motivator award was given to Rahila Abdullah, a veteran camper. Rayhanah A. Matin delivered a moving speech in Arabic, while Aisha Muqit gave the English translation. Awards were also presented in recognition of ladies who participated in relief efforts of Hurricane Katrina and their work with the Pakistan earthquake victims. Tahirah A. Haqq and Aliyah begum Ali Abdul Haqq were awarded for their hard work and delicious foods prepared in the kitchen. The students of Safiyah A. Salaam, in appreciation of her Arabic instruction, presented her with the Arabic dictionary Al Mawrid. Safiyah A. Khafid was also presented a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a copy if Al Irfaan by her students who were definitely inspired by her moving and affectionate instruction of Uswa-e- RasuliAkram (peace and blessings of Allah be on him).
Filed under: August Volume 1 - 2008, Education, International, Religion, travel, World | Tags: IQOU
By Abu Rashid Qadri, Islamic Post Staff Writer
The International Quranic Open University (IQOU) takes great pleasure in announcing that three of its most advanced students will travel to Egypt, in late September, with the intent of entering the most renowned Islamic University in the world, Al Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt.
Muhammad Mahmud AbdusSabur, Durdana Amatullah Shakir, and Safiah A. Salaam will study Tafsir of Holy Qur’an, AHadith, Fiqah, and Language at the highly acclaimed institute of learning. Their academic pursuits abroad are scheduled to begin with their entrance into the university in October of 2008 for the fall semester.
For over two and a half decades, the Vice Chancellor of the International Quranic Open University, His Eminence, El Sheikh Syed Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani, has worked unceasingly to raise the standards of both Islamic and secular education for Muslims here in America. The very first courses and programs initiated concentrated on the very basic rudiments of learning. Today, through the efforts of this very special pioneer, American Muslims, in particular, have sought and earned certificates, diplomas, and various degrees in a vast variety of subjects, while studying both in the United States, and abroad.
The achievements of these gifted students, and the International Quranic Open University, will serve as a stepping stone to greater academic accomplishments, and Insha’Allah, will result in contributions of greater significance to the global society, for generations to come.
Filed under: August Volume 1 - 2008, Education, Magazine/ Culture, Religion | Tags: Banaatun Noor
Filed under: August Volume 1 - 2008, Education, Magazine/ Culture, Religion
By Aisha Muqit, Islamic Post Staff Writer
Holy Islamberg, NY— “Thanks and praise be to the Almighty, Shukr wal hamdulillah! This course is a dream come true,” said Umm Siddiq, one of the students at the annual Banaatun Noor International (BTI) Ladies Summer School. Umm Siddiq is taking introductory classes leading up to the International Qur’anic Open University’s (IQOU) 2008 fall semester classical course in Islamic studies, Dars ul Azam.
Renowned Islamic Universities abroad have offered the intense curriculum, Dars ul Azam, for centuries. The Vice Chancellor of IQOU, Sultan Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani, has set a syllabus that condenses this traditional eight year program into a unique one year course of study.
“This particular program (Dars ul Azam) provides a unique opportunity for American Muslims to receive this type of formal Islamic education from their homes; which until now one would have to attend university abroad for an extended period in order to receive this information,” said Umm Siddiq.
“I have often read of great scholars who attended the Universities for in-depth education in Islamic Studies and sciences. Scholars such as Jalaludeen Suyuti (RA) who wrote numerous books, taught at university himself for many years, and also coauthored the famous work Tafsir al Jalalayn, which was written entirely in Arabic. Scholars, such as he, are an inspiration for students such as myself,” she continued.
The preliminary classes from the BTI Ladies’ Summer School included:
Introduction to Holy Qu’ran
Uswai Rasooli Akram (SAW)
The Dars ul Azam program includes the following subjects:
Ilm ul Quran (40 subjects)
Ilm ul Hadith (20 subjects), including Mishkat Misabah and Ma’ariful Hadith
Ilm ul Fiqh (including Qadoori Fiqh)
Khitabahe (Islamic way of giving discourse and lectures)
Ilm ul Dawah
Arabic Studies (Ilm ul-Tajweed, Conversation, Writing, Arabic Grammar, Sarfwanahr )
Upon completion of the Dars ul Azam program, students will receive their Bachelors in Islamic Studies from IQOU, which will be conferred upon them at next year’s Ladies Summer School.
“El Sheikh Syed Mubarik Gilani leads the way in educating, uplifting, and purifying those American Muslims dedicated to living their lives in the light of Holy Qur’an and Sunnah,” Umm Siddiq confirmed.
Filed under: August Volume 1 - 2008, Education, Magazine/ Culture, Religion | Tags: Baraat, Nisf, Sha'baan, Shaban
Compiled by ‘Asma Bibi Abdul Haqq, Islamic Post Staff Writer
Abu Hurairah (radiullaho anho) reported the Messenger of Allah, (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam), as saying: ‘’Rajab is the month of Allah, Shabaan is my month and Ramadan is that of my Ummah.
Sha’ban is the eighth month in the Islamic Lunar calendar year and one that holds much reward for those who observe it, being the month of our Beloved Muhammad (Salullahu Alaihi Wa Sallam). During these 29/30 days, there is one night which is the most special of all; it is Nifs Sha’ban. There are specific occurrences on this night, which are as follows:
1. The names of those who are to die in the coming year are given to the Angels.
2. The names of those who are to be born in the coming year are given to the Angels.
3. Those who are to receive sustenance during the coming year, their names are given to the Angels.
4. Allah Ta’ala makes a proclamation for those seeking forgiveness so that they may be forgiven.
5. A proclamation is also made for those seeking livelihood so that they may be given livelihood.
6. A proclamation is made for those in trouble so that they may be released from their troubles.
7. Countless people are freed from Jahannum.
The night of the 15th of Sha’ban or Nisf Sha’ban is the night of the writing of destiny. This Jamaat of Awliya is blessed with the guidance of a perfect Sheikh, a Murshid Kamil, Sultan Mohyuddin Mubarik Shah Gilani, who sent us the Dua by fax from Pakistan on 13 Sha’ban 1416/January 5, 1996 that can and does change destiny. Nine years ago, the moment the fax machine began receiving this blessed dua of Ghaus-e-Azam, Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani, the miracles started in Baitun Noor Holy Shrine and continue. The jammed paper in the fax machine came out pristine clear, a perfect rainbow appeared in the ceiling, and the name of Allah Ta Aala and HIS Habib (countless peace and blessings be upon him) appeared on the wall in layered brilliant rainbow colors.
Our Murshid Kamil is imploring each of us to recite this dua properly and to know that it is very important in that it is the only dua that changes your decree.
Program for Shab-e-Baraat, 15th Sha’ban
Dua for Nisf Sha’ban should be immediately offered after sunset. (There is a specific manner for reciting this dua, please contact us for that.)
“Ya Allah, Thou favors all and needs the favor of no one. Oh Most Exalted and Supreme and Bestower of Rewards, there is no deity save Thee. Oh the “backbone” of those who seek Thy help; and You are the Refuge of those who seek Thy protection; and You are the Abode of Peace for those who are stricken with terror.
Oh my Allah. If you have written my name in Thy Book (Loh -e-Mahfooz) as unlucky, miserable or destitute, or deprived of rizq (provisions) in abundance, then, Ya Allah, delete that.
Ya Allah, for the sake of Thy fadl, may my misery, my depravity, my destitute situtation and shortness of rizq be changed in Thy Book (of destiny) and be written as lucky, bestowed with rizq in abundance and may I be the one granted competency to do virtuous deeds because, ya ALlah, Thou hast spoken and Thou speakest the Haqq (truth) in Thy revealed Book, (Holy Qur’an), and Thy Messenger has spoken also that, “Allah deletes whatever He willeth, and preserves whatever He willeth; and with Him is the Book of Destiny.”
Ya Allah, for the sake of Thy greatest tajally (Divine manifestation of His Noor, Names or Words), during the midhalf night of Sha’baan in which the Almighty, All Wise gives judgment on every issue (to befall until the next Sha’baan) and fulfills it as well, we beseech and implore Thee, ya Allah, to save us from all adversities, miseries, trials about which we know and don’t know but indeed You are the best Knower, the Most Exalted and Supreme One.
Blessings be upon our Master, the Last Messenger Muhammad and upon his descendents, companions and walees.”
The word Sha’ban [in the Arabic script] is spelt with five letters: shin, ‘ain, ba’, alif and nun. The shin stands for sharaf [nobility], the ‘ain for ‘uluww [sublimity], the ba’ for birr [piety], alif for ulfa [harmonious intimacy], and the nun for nur [radiant light].
These are the gifts from Allah (Exalted is He) to His servant in this month. It is a month in which treasures are laid open, in which blessings are sent down, in which faults are forsworn, in which sins are expiated, and in which benedictions are multiplied upon Muhammad ( Salla Allahu ta’ala ‘alayhi wa Sallam), the best of human creatures.
This is the month of blessings upon the Chosen Prophet. Allah (Exalted is He) has said:
Allah and His angels shower blessings on the Prophet. O you who believe, invoke blessings upon him and salute him with a worthy salutation. (33:56)
The blessing from Allah is mercy; from angels, intercession and petition for forgiveness; and from the believers, supplication and appreciation.
Filed under: August Volume 1 - 2008, Education, From the Desk of El Sheikh Sultan Muhyuddin Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani, Magazine/ Culture, Religion | Tags: Advice, Gilani, Holy Quran, Sura Ra'ad
Excerpts from the works of El Sheikh Syed Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani, Chief Editor of the Islamic Post
“The ways of Allah are very difficult to understand. He puts people through many changes to prepare them to play their role in life.” –From the Introduction to the Holy Qur’an
“Allah, the Almighty Creator, alone, is enough to bring about a change in this world. We must turn to Allah with our whole heart and soul, seek forgiveness and come back to the fold of Islam. Be regular in your salaah, being the five-times daily prayers, and read Holy Qur’an. Be kind to your non- Muslim and Christian brothers. Try to bring them back again to the fold of Islam. Jesus is the second Messenger of Islam (may the peace of the Almighty be upon him).” –Selection from the Discourse on Sura Ra’ad
Filed under: August Volume 1 - 2008, Education, Magazine/ Culture | Tags: Islamic curriculum, Islamic school, Muslim homeschool, Muslim teacher
Tips for New Educators:
Preparing a Standard School Curriculum
-Research and plan properly.
By Zahidah Faruq, Islamic Post Staff Writer
“Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave.” This maxim is a tradition of the Holy Last Messenger Muhammad, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and his family. It applies to men and women, boys and girls.
“If the actions of a teacher are contrary to what he preaches, it does not help toward guidance, but it is like poison. A teacher is like a stamp to clay and a student is the clay. If the stamp has no character, there is no impression on the clay,” wrote Hazrat Imam Ghazzali, may Allah have mercy upon him, said in his famous book Iyha Ulumiddin under the section on knowledge.
What is curriculum development? The term curriculum is used in different ways by parents, the education community and the business world. A standard definition of curriculum is defined as what is taught, its scope, and sequence. Instruction covers how, where and by whom the curriculum is taught. Education philosophies, attitudes, values and appreciations may be informal or hidden aspects of a curriculum. Most curricula are sequential, meaning they build on the previous lessons and subjects. The development of a standard curriculum is a lengthy task normally done by an entire curriculum team.
A home school curriculum can be simplified, however. The key to every curriculum is for the educator to know what the student is expected to know –and what the student should be able to do– at each grade level and in each subject.
The simplest way is to break down reliable textbooks into unit studies, and form the broken down form into a curriculum. (Continues below…)
A seasoned educator may omit textbooks entirely, or use them only as resource books, adding a variety of sources such as the internet, libraries, museums, and field trips to places like farms, zoos and observatories, to develop their curriculum.
Islamic Cultural View
For Islamic schools, or home schools, an Islamic view is the best to establish. This curriculum; and uses Islamic cultural resources, books, and videos, as the backbone to all lessons, in all content areas. This is similar to the approach in parochial schools, and gives a firm grounding in understanding of Islamic heritage.
Standard K-12 curriculums are broken into various categories such as primary, elementary, intermediate, and high school. Each category is broken into content areas; these are detailed below.
Standard Primary Level
The standard primary level curriculum concentrates on language development, phonics, sight words, phonemic awareness, spelling rules, reading fluency and comprehension; beginning mathematics, introduction to science and social studies; introduction to the Arabic language, teaching the stories from Holy Qur’an, stories about the life of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad, peace be upon him, known as seerah, and stories of other Holy Messengers (Joseph, Noah, Moses and Jesus, among others, peace be upon them all) and Islamic etiquette, among other things.
Standard Elementary Level
The standard elementary school curriculum concentrates on subjects such as: Quranic studies, memorization or hifz; the Islamic belief system, termed aqidah; the life story of the Holy Last Messenger, peace be upon him, which is known as seerah; Islamic history and law; calligraphy, Arabic reading and writing; mathematics, science, social studies, and English language arts with emphasis on writing development.
The Intermediate level continues to concentrate on the same subjects, but at a more technical level: Quranic studies and commentary, hifz of longer ahaadith, which are the traditions of the Holy Last Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him) as well as Holy Qur’an; more detailed classes in aqidah, seerah, Islamic law and history; calligraphy, and Arabic reading and writing. Then there is pre-algebra and algebra, literature analysis, life science, physical and earth science; history (global and American), and English language arts with an emphasis on writing skills.
At this level students begin to choose electives.
High School Level
At the High school level, all of the core subjects are still taught. However the curriculum becomes specialized and technical. Advanced science, math and English are taught for a year at a time. Islamic law, science of ahaadith, in depth study of Holy Quranic commentary and commentary of ahaadith are introduced. Electives are now a part of high school credit-earning. Advanced courses prepare the student for entrance into college, trade school or employment.
The sources given below are just a sampling of some of the options available for curriculum development or enhancement.
School District Curriculums
Curriculums developed by local school districts are aligned with the state’s educational standards and tied to federal education mandates and high stakes testing. Student competence is tested at various grade levels. If you are a parent or community member, you are able to access these curriculums or curriculum maps from your local school district free of charge.
Online Virtual Schools
Virtual schools refer to online schools that offer student services and courses that are conducted through Internet technology. Some virtual schools offer a full K-12 curriculum. The virtual school may use different types of media in the implementation of the curriculum. DVD’s, video segments, animation and graphics are usually infused throughout the lessons. A teacher or tutor may be assigned to monitor the student’s progress, intervening when he, or she, needs help understanding a lesson.
Many correspondence curriculums span the grades K-12, and cover the core curriculum areas and/or electives in the higher grades. Textbooks, workbooks and other teaching aids are included with some of the more expensive systems. These curriculums normally have the lessons scripted out, month by month, for the entire year. The process is simple; the educator reads the material, and follows the script. Student progress is tracked by way of tests and quizzes.
A Final Word.
Remember, you do not have to reinvent the wheel. The internet, the library, and your local community all offer a wide array of materials and resources for educators, home school parents and students. Take the time to do the research and properly plan. Your curriculum, and the result it produces, will be enhanced tenfold.