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Ambode urges Muslims to pray for national progress during Eid-el-Maulud

By Abolaji Adebayo

The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has urged the Muslims across the nation to continue to offer prayers for greater peace, unity and continuous progress of Nigeria as they celebrate Eid-el-Maulud on Friday.

The governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Habib Aruna, particularly enjoined Muslims to follow the exemplary leadership of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) by promoting peaceful co-existence and uphold his legacies of unity, integrity and love for their neighbours.

While imploring Nigerians to shun ethnic, political and religious differences and work towards building a safer and better Nigeria, Ambode said that the celebration of the birth of the Prophet should renew the faith and bond of unity as one people and one nation irrespective of diversity.

“I want to seize this occasion to urge all Nigerians to commit themselves to making a greater effort to imbibe these qualities and values as they celebrate the Prophet’s birth.

“Let me therefore on behalf of all the good people of Lagos State wish our Muslim brothers and sisters a happy Eid-El-Maulud celebration,” he said.

My first trip to Makkah

By Melissa Lucas

In 2013, I was a member of Hadith of The Day and the online platform  shared a hadith about mothers and there was also a competition to enter.

HOTD was donating Umrah flights and accommodation to 5 people who had limited funds to take their mothers along with them to do the Umrah Pilgrimage. You had to write why you thought you should win. When I saw it I thought of my mum.

She was an Australian revert and in her 50’s that had never been to see the house of Allah. I was a new revert that had never been as well and was having a hard time in life and needed an iman boost. I told my mother about it and she convinced me to enter the competition. I didnt think I would ever win the competition but to my amazement I did.

My mother and I were going to spend 5 days in Mecca and 5 days in Medina and I was so thrilled. The best part was telling my mother. We were on a high all day. I took my brother along too, being our mahram. The flight was long and hard but once we got there, that was all forgotten.

First we went to Medina. The place was nothing like I had ever seen before. No greenery was there like Australia but Medina had a sense of tranquility and I was in absolute awe.fb_img_1466590807759 The prophet Muhammed SAW masjid was just divine.

A place I would never forget. I loved spending time there in worship and just reflecting and taking in my surroundings. My mother and I were able to enter the rawdah and it was such a memorable experience.

The shopping was also a lovely experience and I enjoyed connecting with my mother there. Everything about the trip was wonderful. Once we arrived in Mecca, we completed our Umrah at night. It wasnt easy to do as I remember my feet getting sore after a few hours it took to complete the pilgrimage.

fb_img_1466590936221I loved every minute of it though and just reflecting on this now, I remember the feeling being amongst all my brothers and sisters in Islam making dua after dua to Allah SWT.

It was an amazing experience. I must say one of duas was asking for a husband and not only that, a specific person I had in mind if he were to be my husband. When I went back home, life went back to normal and I had the wonderful memories and my connection with Allah was more closer than ever.

A few months later I got a proposal from the same man I made dua to Allah swt to grant me a husband. It was amazing. When you truelly make dua and try your best, Allah does listen and if he wills, he grants your duas true. Alhumdulillah.

I am now a happily married woman of almost 2 years and I look forward to returning to the house of Allah for my Hajj pilgrimage with my husband and daughter in the future, InshaAllah.

I want to thank HOTD for their generosity and also to the donor who made the journey possible for my family and I. Truly the blessings come from Allah SWT and may Allah SWT grant us all Jannatul Firdous Ameen Allahumma Ameen.

 

Seven prophetic strategies of correcting mistakes

By Maha Ezzeddine 

Mistakes are the consequences of life and being human. They help us repent, learn and grow wiser. Mistakes can be catalysts of self-improvement and reminders of our imperfections. Still, we tend to interpret mistakes more as disaster than opportunity.

Prophet Muhammad, the Messenger of God (peace and blessings be upon him) and the most brilliant educator of humanity, approached mistakes not as cause for shame, but as teachable moments. Even though the Prophet taught his companions to strive for excellence and conquer their flaws, mistakes were inevitably made, some minor and some very serious. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) corrected people’s missteps with gentleness, empathy, and creativity. He used mistakes as opportunities to empower people, not break them.

Studying Prophet Muhammad’s (peace and blessings be upon him) example gives us insight on how to help people in their moments of error. In this part we discuss four lessons that highlight some aspects of how Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) mended mistakes:

1. Address the mistakes.

Because mistakes make us uncomfortable, we may ignore them or think they are not our business. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) did not leave mistakes to stand on their own without guiding people towards a solution. He (peace and blessings be upon him) was sincere toward his companions, and at the center of his attitude toward mistakes was a deep love and compassion. He (peace and blessings be upon him) may have chosen to correct a mistake discreetly, delay his reaction, or withhold a response, but he did so with the individual’s best interest in mind.

Sometimes, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) did not even have to use words to correct a mistake. He (peace and blessings be upon him) once left the company of his companions to express disapproval of an action. A change in his posture would indicate to his companions that something was not right. When a mistake was truly grave, he (peace and blessings be upon him) would emphasize his words and repeat them several times.

The young Usamah ibn Zaid was narrating to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) the events of an armed conflict with their enemy. He described one soldier who had cried out, “There is no God but Allah!” out of hope that he would be spared. Usamah told the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) that he then killed the soldier with his sword. When the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) heard this, his face changed. He (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “(How could) you kill him when he said, ‘La ilaha illa Allah’? (How could) you kill him when he said, ‘La ilaha illa Allah’?…” The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) kept repeating these words, until Usamah wished that he could erase all his deeds. He said that he wished he could embrace Islam all over again that day, so that he could start his life afresh. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

2. Be gentle.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was extremely perceptive toward the people around him. He (peace and blessings be upon him) knew when someone was sensitive or vulnerable, and he often approached mistakes with utmost gentleness.

Bedouins were known at the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) for being gruff and somewhat uncivilized. Once a bedouin entered the Prophet’s mosque for the first time. He raised his voice in supplication, “O Allah, forgive me and Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), but don’t forgive anyone else!” The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) smiled at him and remarked gently, “You are limiting something that is vast.”

Later, to everyone’s horror, the man urinated on the masjid floor. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) calmed the dismayed onlookers, and told them to leave the man alone. He vreminded his companions that they were sent to make things easy on people, not difficult. The bedouin later recounted his experience with the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him):

May my mother and father be sacrificed for him. He did not scold or insult me. He just said, ‘We do not urinate in these mosques-they were built for prayer and remembrance of Allah.’ Then he (peace and blessings be upon him) called for a bucket of water to be poured on the ground. (Ibn Majah)

So deep was the empathy the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) had for his people that he did everything possible to make things easy for them. He removed every obstacle that stood between the people and Allah’s forgiveness, and he searched out solutions to individual’s unique circumstances. A man once confessed he was doomed because he slept with his wife while fasting in Ramadan. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) asked if he was able to free a slave. The man said no.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) stayed quiet. Soon, a basket of dates was presented to him. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) took the dates, and looked for the man.

“Take these dates and give them in charity.”

The man said dejectedly, “No one is poorer than me, Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him). By Allah, there is no family in all of Madinah poorer than mine.”

At this, the Prophet’s (peace and blessings be upon him) face broke into a smile.

“Take it and feed your family,” he said. (Al-Bukhari)

3. Connect people with Allah.

Sometimes, we are mortified by the social embarrassment mistakes cause when they really may not be so serious in the sight of Allah. Other times, we overlook mistakes because we’ve gotten used to them and have made so many excuses. But it might be that those mistakes turn out to be mountains in the hereafter. With the remembrance of Allah, we gain a better perspective on our mistakes.

When Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) had spoken roughly to Salman Al-Farisi, Bilal ibn Rabah, and Suhaib Ar-Rumi (may Allah be pleased with them), the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) reminded him that his action may have angered Allah: “Perhaps you have made them angry. By the One in whose Hands lies my soul, if you have made them angry you would have angered your Lord.” Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) rushed to his three brothers, who assured him that they had not been angry. (Muslim)

Once the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him)came across Abu Mas`ud Al-Ansari (may Allah be pleased with him) beating a slave. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said only one sentence: “Allah has more power over you than you have over him (the slave).” Abu Mas`ud freed the slave immediately. (Muslim)

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) would use the power of supplication to help people overcome their faults. He placed his hands on the chest of his companion, or made a special du`aa’ for them in their absence. A distressed boy came before the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and requested permission to commit adultery. The companions were shocked at this bluntness, but the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) beckoned the boy to come closer. Instead of responding harshly, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) asked him if he would like to see someone in an adulterous relationship with his mother, aunt, or daughter. After the boy responded no to each question, the Prophet s(peace and blessings be upon him) imply put his hand on the boy’s head and prayed for him, “O Allah, forgive his sins, purify his heart and make him chaste.”

4. Don’t go looking for mistakes.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) often used his role as leader and community educator to correct mistakes for the benefit of all listeners, but in a discreet way that hid the identities of involved parties. He (peace and blessings be upon him) would say, “What of people who commit such an action…” This way, he generally warned people of pitfalls while discreetly alerting the people involved in the mistake to repent and rectify their wrongdoing.

Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)forbade gossip and backbiting, and rejected any broadcast of people’s mistakes. He asked people not to report anything negative about the companions to him. The Prophet accepted people’s words for what they were, and did not probe to uncover hidden flaws. He did not put people under a magnifying glass and guess at their motives. We should avoid searching out people’s mistakes in order to uncover more and greater faults. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said “Whoever searches out the shortcomings of a brother, Allah will search out his shortcomings.” (At-Tirmizi)

Although there were many hypocrites in Madinah—people pretending to be Muslim but secretly undermining the community—the Prophet did not confront or accuse them. On the other hand, when a companion who had fought in the Battle of Badr, Hatib ibn Abi Balta`ah, committed an act of outright treason against the Muslims, the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) refused to condemn the man without speaking to him first. Hatib admitted that he made a terrible mistake, but professed a heart full of belief. That was good enough for the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).

5. Be Strategic.

We cannot read about the gentleness and empathy of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) without also noticing his astuteness in helping people move forward. He (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) weighed priorities, prescribed solutions to people’s problems, and knew when to be forceful and when to be soft. He (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) knew when people had the strength to bear the consequences of their mistakes and when there were other priorities to consider.

By following the Prophet’s (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) footsteps, we can discern the best way to treat underlying problems that lead to mistakes.

When a young man behaved insolently during the call to prayer, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)redirected his negative energy to benefit society.

Abu Mahdhurah, a Makkan teenager, and his friends mocked Bilal ibn Rabah while he made the call to prayer after the Muslims had conquered Makkah. When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)saw this, he summoned the boy who trembled in fear at that point. Instead of scolding him, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) asked if the boy had a strong voice. When the boy affirmed, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) spent some time with him reciting the words of the adhan with him until they were memorized. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) rested his hand on the boy’s chest and prayed for him. Abu Mahdhurah, now enamored with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), asked that he be allowed to call people to prayer. And so, Abu Mahdhurah walked away with the new job title of mu’dhin of Makkah. (Ibn Majah)

6. Use firmness when appropriate.

Gentleness is beautiful, but firmness can sometimes be more effective in prompting personal reform and purification. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) knew when to be firm, and when to be soft. When two companions had been backbiting, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) responded with formidable words, warning them that they had eaten the flesh of their brother to the point that it could be seen between their teeth. When they asked the Prophet for forgiveness, he ordered them to ask their brother for forgiveness instead.

On another occasion, the mistake was a simple one hardly needing words, only a gentle nudge. The young Al-Fadl ibn Al-`Abbas was riding with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)when a beautiful woman came to ask a question. Al-Fadl could not stop himself from staring. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) took the boy’s chin in his hand and turned his face in another direction.

The companions were willing to bear the difficult ramifications of their mistakes. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) held to a high standard those who held themselves to a high standard of accountability. Abu Lubabah was sent by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) as an emissary to the besieged Banu Quraydha, and while negotiating he made a gesture that disclosed what the plans of the Muslims might be. It immediately occurred to Abu Lubabah that he had betrayed the Prophet’s (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) trust by the gesture. He went straight to the Prophet’s (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) Mosque, tied himself to a tree, and vowed not to move until Allah forgave him. Abu Lubabah remained tied to the tree for many days. His wife untied him for prayers, and then bound him up when he was finished. Finally, this verse was revealed,

{And there are others who have confessed their wrongdoing, who have done some righteous deeds and some bad ones: God may well accept their repentance, for God is most forgiving and merciful.} (At-Tawbah 9: 102)

Abu Lubabah insisted that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) untie him with his own hands.

Perhaps one of the greatest stories of accountability is the truthful confession of the three companions who failed to accompany the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) during the Battle of Tabuk. Unlike the hypocrites who made up excuses for their absences and were pardoned by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), the three companions confessed they had no good excuse. The three companions were shunned by everyone for more than a month, an anguishing ordeal. Those three companions may have endured the painful ramifications of their wrongdoing, but they also went through a purifying process that was rewarded with revelation confirming that Allah had forgiven them.

7. Spare people’s dignity.

When correcting mistakes, we must be respectful and sensitive to people’s sense of dignity. There is no room for mocking or belittling. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) criticized mistakes without condemning the person. On one occasion, people cursed a man who failed to overcome his alcoholism. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Do not curse him…what I know of him is that he loves Allah and His messenger.” (Al-Bukhari)

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) acknowledged good intentions, even if they led to improper results. Once a man entered the mosque and since he was about to miss the first rak`ah, he bent down in ruku` while he was still walking and had not yet reached the line. When the man told the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)what he had done, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “May Allah increase your enthusiasm–but don’t do it again.” (Al-Bukhari)

In order to help a young man who was neglecting his night prayers, the Prophet mixed some encouragement `in with the correction. He (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “What an excellent man `Abdullah is! If only he would pray at night…” `Abdullah never neglected the night prayer after that (Muslim)

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) never reminded people of their lapses in the past, but was quick to recall their previous good actions. When Hatib ibn Abi Balta`ah sent a letter to the enemy detailing the movements of the Prophet’s (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)army before the conquest of Makkah, `Umar was prepared to execute him as a traitor. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) warned him to desist, reminding `Umar that Allah had forgiven all sins of those who attended the Battle of Badr, among whom had been Hatib. Tears fell from `Umar’s eyes upon hearing this reminder.

Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) once said,

“All human beings make mistakes often. The best of those who make mistakes often are those who repent [to Allah].”(At-Tirmidhi)

Can you imagine what it would be like to have your mistakes and shortcomings corrected and shaped with the guiding hand of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)? Would he be gentle, or firm, and what priorities would he consider? What would it feel like to have his attention, and to be looked upon with eyes overwhelmed with mercy? If we adopt just some of his amazing techniques in mending the mistakes of people, we will become better teachers and better callers to Allah.

The spiritual meaning of sacrifice

By Maryam Hedayat

The historical background of Eid al-Adha is that the Prophet Ibrahim (may Allah be pleased with him) had a dream in which he was sacrificing his young son, Ismail (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Prophet Ibrahim, a great believer in Allah, took his dream literally and wanted to sacrifice his son. But, according to the tradition, Allah the Almighty sent his angels and asked him to sacrifice an animal instead of his son.

During the celebration of Eid al-Adha, Muslims honor and remember Ibrahim’s (may Allah be pleased with him) trials, by themselves slaughtering an animal such as a sheep, camel, cow or goat.

Allah has given us supremacy over animals and permitted us to eat meat, but only if we pronounce His name at the earnest act of taking life. Muslims slaughter animals in the same way throughout the year. By saying the name of Allah at the time of slaughter, we are reminded that life is sacred. Life is to be valued with utmost act of piousness and holiness.

The meat from the sacrifice of Eid al-Adha is mostly given away to others. One-third is eaten by immediate family and relatives, one-third is given away to friends, and one-third is donated to the poor. It is to divide among those who honestly deserve the share of it rather than consuming all among ourselves.

It is very important to understand that the sacrifice itself, as practiced by Muslims, has nothing to do with apologizing for our sins or using the blood to wash ourselves from sin. This is a misunderstanding by those of previous generations:

“It is not their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah; it is your devotion that reaches Him.” (Qur’an 22:37)

After the five pillars of Islam, Sunnat-e-Ibrahimi (sacrifice) is the most important activity. This sacrifice is the legacy of Prophet Ibrahim who combines the Prophetic patronage from three religions i.e. Jewish, Islam and Christianity. The festival also symbolizes the trial of faith and loyalty towards Allah. It enlightens ours path with true spirit of righteousness and rectitude.

A sacrifice, usually taken to be the slaughtering of animals, is more than that. The physical act of sacrificing of the animals is just a ritual, is just a tradition and is just a sacred practice whereas the essence lies far beyond it and the spirit of it goes far beyond common human perception.

The act symbolizes our will to give up some of our own bounties, in order to strengthen ties of friendship and help those who are in need. It is to train us how to surrender ourselves to the will of Allah for the sake of serving humanity. We recognize that all blessings come from Allah, and we should open our heart and share with others.

Eid al-Adha is celebrated for certain number of days but its impact is required to last the entire year. Eid al-Adha is like a symbolic rehearsal of high values and it is essential that these values be translated into practical life all the year round. We must be reminded all the moments of our living by how religiously we have gone through the act of sacrificing.

Perhaps, most of us think of the spiritual sacrifice as giving something up, but we have to look inside ourselves to see why we are sacrificing something in the first place.

In fact, sacrifice is an act of submission to Allah. It is to submit to the will of the Almighty. Sometimes Allah asks us to sacrifice something important to us in order to learn that there is something greater beyond it. But sadly we fail to translate the essence of its sacrificial values in our life!

Furthermore, we need to practice the spiritual effect of sacrifice so that we learn to rely on Allah’s provisions rather than the things we have built for ourselves. It is a part of submitting to Him.

Eid is also a day on which Muslims remember the deceased, visit the sick, see relatives and friends, overlook grudges, help the needy and show kindness and generosity to all.

Overcoming the common grievances against each other that prevent our mutual co-existence is the ultimate spirit of sacrifice. It is also a day for rejoicing by getting involved in a good, clean and honest enjoyment.

Sacrifices contribute to the success of our struggle. They strengthen our inner spiritual and moral resources and develop qualities of character which are essential to our struggle at every level of our existence.

Every act of sacrifice nourishes and increases our Imaan, that is to say ‘Faith’, for it transforms a verbal confession and a mental conviction into a living reality. It confirms, and thus increases, our love for Allah, for every step we give up something for the sake of his love.

It reinforces our loyalty and faithfulness to Allah, for all other loyalties become secondary as they are sacrificed for the sake of this loyalty. In short, sacrifices bring us nearer to Allah and develop a sort of invisible communication with the Creator. It makes us feel stronger and firmer.

The process is mutually interactive: the stronger the faith, the greater the will and capacity to sacrifice, the greater the sacrifices, the more internalized and deeper the faith. That is indeed the secret of our good and balanced living.

Sacrifices are essential for the development of all moral qualities, but especially for the development of tolerance, strength, determination, firmness and purpose. These can be summed up in just one word patience (Sabr).

Every sacrifice reinforces the quality of patience, making it grow in quality and strength. Forbearance, in turn, sustains and increases the capacity to sacrifice.

All promises of help from Allah, all assurances of success in this world and rewards in the Hereafter, have been made conditional upon the attainment of sacrifice and patience.

Indeed, sacrifice is the essence of life and we should leave no stone unturned to sacrifice our money, comfort and time for the sake of Allah. We should make an effort to live truly to the expectations of the spirit of sacrifice that the festival of Eid al-Adha stands for.

Mosques, churches not affected by NGOs’ regulation bill-Reps

By Newsdesk

The Deputy Majority leader of House of Representatives, Buba Jibril, has disclosed that the lawmakers will pass 2010 Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) Regulation and Co-ordination bill, aimed at forestalling illegal activities of some organisations in the country.

Jibril explained that Churches, Mosques and other religious organisations and quasi financial institutions were not affected by the bill because they were not NGOs.

The lawmaker, who made the clarification in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja on Friday, said that the bill is to ensure transparency and accountability in administration of NGOs.

“Churches, mosques, esusu and market women associations are not affected by the bill. The NGOs bill is primarily to set up a commission to regulate their activities and provide a platform for robust relationships between them and the government for the interest of Nigerians. Recent developments have shown that some people registered NGOs to solicit funds for selfish motives.”

He added that recently, in the north eastern part of the country, some NGOs were reported to have funded activities of insurgents in the country.

“The bill is not peculiar to Nigeria; it exists in many countries, particularly in the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) sub-region, Africa and other continents,” he explained.

“NGOs and Civil Society Organisations are voluntary organisations registered to partner government at all levels to fill gaps wherever they exist. They are supposed to be partners in progress with the government; therefore there is the need for a commission to regulate their operations.

In spite of criticisms from some quarters on the bill, Jibril said the bill was justifiable, saying, when the bill is for public hearing, anyone can express views, including corporate bodies and government agencies and the standing committee will do justice to the bill.

“Going on cheap propaganda and blackmail and even calling on world bodies to assist in withdrawing any bill from the National Assembly will not be popular,” he added.

Oyo declares today Hijrah holiday

By Newsdesk

The Oyo state governor, Abiola Ajimobi, has declared Thursday, a work-free day across the state in commemoration of the new Islamic Calendar year, first Muharram (Hijrah) 1439 AH.

The declaration was made through a statement by the Secretary to the State Government, Olalekan Alli, yesterday

It reads, “The governor has enjoined all and sundry to use the occasion to pray for the peace, unity and sustainability of the state in particular and country in general.”

The Islamic New Year is on the first day of Muharram, which is first month of the Islamic calendar, being observed by Muslims across the globe as a holy month.

The statement enjoined workers to return to their duty posts on Friday.

Woman invents doll to teach children Quran verses

By Newsdesk

After struggling several months to find toys which could help impart her Islamic faith on her daughter, a French woman, Samira Amarir, has invested her doll to teach children verses of Quran.

Now the Barbie-lookalike, Jenna, doll, which she designed from scratch to recite four chapters from the Quran, has entered mass production and has gone on sale in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, United Arab Emirate (UAE) and other Gulf Arab countries.

Amarir stressed that the doll was designed using online modeling software but decided to give it a dark skin tone and little makeup to differentiate it from others.

She said: “When my daughter Jenna turned two years old, I was looking for a toy or a tool. The idea was to come up with a toy that would enable her to learn the Quran fast and easily while she plays.”

Jenna, with a name derived from the Arabic word for heaven, comes in a lengthy abaya robe dress with a matching purple headscarf to portray Islamic faith.

“For me it was important that the doll would show something my daughter can recognize herself in, or recognize her mother at least,” she said.

The four chapters that Jenna recites are short and designed to be easy for a child to memorize. Within days of beginning to play with the doll, she began reciting verses.

Amarir and family have moved from their home in France to the United Arab Emirates to market the doll in the wealthy and religiously conservative Gulf.

NAHCON, states muslims boards, plans medical services partnership

Okikiola Qasim

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has reaffirmed its policy to partners with State Muslim Pilgrims’ Welfare Boards, Agencies and Commissions to save cost for both State and Federal Governments, in an effort to effectively manage medical service delivery to the Nigerian pilgrims for 2017 Hajj.

The head of the media team NAHCON, Uba Nana, in a press statement said that the commission would provide 70 per cent off all medical consumables while the state would be left to provide the balance of 30 per cent and also would provide 40 per cent of the total required medical personnel the hill state would complement the remaining 60 percent. The policy which was initiated and partly implemented in the last Hajj, NAHCON

The Chairman of NAHCON, Barr. Abdullahi Mukhtar Muhammad, while briefing senior management staff of the Commission on the development on Tuesday  in Abuja, reiterated the resolve of his leadership to ensure that Nigerian pilgrims receive the maximum services due to them during the forthcoming Hajj through the initiatives being introduced in all the critical components of Hajj including accommodation, feeding, medical amongst others.

The medical reform was commended last year by the Saudi authorities which expressed happiness with Nigeria reducing the number of clinics in the Holy Land.

He gave an instance of Pakistan with over 260,000 pilgrims but with only one big clinic in Makkah and about 150 medical personnel, as compared to Nigeria which before the 2016 Hajj used to have many clinics and thousands of personnel to serve 75,000 pilgrims. “these medical personnel’s are needed in our hospitals.

The reform will drastically reduce the number of personnel who would be useful in our state and federal hospitals and medical centers”, he said.

The medical reform was commended last year by the Saudi authorities which expressed happiness with Nigeria reducing the number of clinics in the holy land.

He gave an instance of Pakistan with over 260,000 pilgrims but with only one big clinic in Makkah and about 150 medical personnel, as compared to Nigeria which before the 2016 Hajj used to have many clinics and thousands of personnel to serve 75,000 pilgrims.

“these medical personnel’s are needed in our hospitals. The reform will drastically reduce the number of personnel who would be useful in our state and federal hospitals and medical centers”, he said.

Muhammad urged the state boards to fully key into the system for a more coordinated, efficient and effective medical service delivery as personnel would be posted to states other than their origins for them to share ethnocultural experiences, thus enhancing national integration and coexistence through Hajj. This is also done in the allocation of accommodation to pilgrims in Madinah.

Sultan, MUSWEN, wade into OAU MSSN legitimacy crisis

By Okikiola Qasim

The Sultan, President General Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Sa’ad Abubakar and Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria (MUSWEN) has waded into legitimacy crisis by summoned a stakeholders meeting of all parties involved in the crisis rocking Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN)

The executive Secretary of MUSWEN, Prof Daud Naibi, who disclosed the development in a release to the newsmen said this was a sequel to series of petitions and counter-petitions received by the Sultan of Sokoto, Abubakar and MUSWEN on the same matter.

The Sultan, NSCIA, directed MUSWEN under the leadership of its Executive Secretary, Prof. Noibi to find a lasting solution to the lingering crisis.

To this end, letters have been forwarded to all those concerned in the matter to appear before the MUSWEN reconciliatory meeting slated for Monday, April 17 in Ibadan.

Those invited were the OAU Muslim Graduates Association (UNIFEMGA), OAU Muslim Community, the parties of MSSN OAU branch, the Osun State Muslim Community, MSSN B -Zone, MSSN Osun State Area Unit and Ife Muslim Community.

In a letter written to all the stakeholders, they were to send in their representatives with their presentation before the panel on April 17.

It would be recalled that Akeem Idowu led MSSN OAU branch has petitioned all the Muslim bodies that one Abdurrasheed Bakare of the same institution has been using the name of MSSN and parading himself as the leader.

Sequel to this, the spiritual head of the institution, Prof. Abubakr Sanusi, also disowned Abdurasheed Bakare group alongside other stakeholders in the community.

The stakeholders include Prof. Sanusi, the Chief Imam of the OAU Central Mosque, Dr. S.O Oseni, as well as the Muslim Community of the Institution headed by Prof. Isiaka Aransi.

In separate letters addressed to the Dean of Students’ Affairs (DSA) and which were made available to newsmen,  they stated that the activities of the group are not in tandem with dictates of Islam and that of the recognised and registered  Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN) on campus headed by  Akeem Idowu of Public Administration Department.

Similarly, the Muslim Alumni body, UNIFEMGA through its National President, Engr. Abdulwaheed Odeyimka had raised an alarm over the existence of an illegal Muslim Students body on campus masquerading as the original and recognised MSSN.

A similar alarm was raised by the recognised MSSN Amir, Akeem Idowu to the Acting Vice Chancellor and the DSA to quickly arrest the situation as the group was using the name of MSSN to perpetrate illegal activities on campus and extorting money from innocent Nigerians to execute its illegal programmes.

Worried by the consequences of the students’ action, the Sultan directed MUSWEN to urgently nip the matter in the bud.

The authorities of OAU had equally endorsed Akeem Idowu as the recognised and registered MSSN group on campus and set up a disciplinary committee to sanction any erring group or students.

 

Fatwa:How should Muslims seek knowledge?

Prepared by Okikiola Qasim

Q. What is your advice to someone who wants to begin the journey of seeking knowledge, in terms of what he should begin with? And how can he do that?

  1. Praise be to Allah

The way in which Muslim should begin to seek knowledge is by starting with the most important matters. The seeker of knowledge should be keen to have a sound beginning so that he can remain steadfast in seeking knowledge and not waste his time and effort.

The aim in seeking knowledge is so that the Muslim can rectify himself and others. So the seeker should begin with matters that are important to himself first of all, then for those around him.

The first step:

The seeker of knowledge should begin by attaining some general knowledge of the texts of revelation because they are the main source of the religion of Allah, may He be exalted. So he should begin by memorizing the Holy Qur’an, as much as his energy and free time allow, and he should be keen to understand what he memorizes.

For this purpose, we advise him to study the Tafseer of Shaykh ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan as-Sa‘di (may Allah have mercy on him), because this author is one of those who is well-known for sound belief, and his Tafseer is written in straightforward language and easy to read.

At the same time, the seeker should strive hard to study ‘aqeedah (belief) and fiqh (jurisprudence); he cannot delay that because the seeker has a need for that for himself, and so that he can advise and guide the people around him.

With regard to ‘aqeedah, we have previously explained how to learn it gradually, in fatwa no. 226903.

With regard to fiqh, the best is for the seeker to begin with the madhhab that is most widespread in his own environment, for the following reasons:

  1. Because it will be easier for the seeker to find a shaykh who is well-versed in that madhhab, from whom he can learn and who can guide him;
  2. Because learning the madhhab of his fellow countrymen will help the seeker to call his fellow countrymen to the truth because by doing so he will be able to seek help from the books that are available and the views of local scholars when there is a need for that.

Based on that, you can look for a shaykh in your local environment who is trustworthy in terms of his knowledge and religious commitment, and start studying with him, with the easiest text of the madhhab which will give you the view that is regarded by the scholars of that madhhab as more correct.

The shaykh will be able to tell you of the evidence for every issue, without too much elaboration, and will help you to avoid a lot of the scholarly opinions that will not help you at the beginning of your quest for knowledge.

The second step:

As you memorize and study the first source of the law of Allah, may He be exalted, which is the Holy Qur’an, you can also begin to study the second source, which is the prophetic Sunnah beginning with the most important, then the next most important.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

There is no book better than the Book of Allah, may He be glorified and exalted. What I advise my brothers to do is to focus on the Holy Qur’an, memorising it, understanding it and acting upon it, for the Sahaabah (may Allah be pleased with them) did not go beyond ten verses until they had learned them and what they contain knowledge and prescribed actions; they learned knowledge and put it into practice at the same time.

Then after that, you should focus on the hadiths that have been soundly narrated from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him).

It is well-known that the hadiths that have been soundly narrated from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) are very many, and the seeker of knowledge who is at a beginner or intermediate level cannot learn all of them, but there are some books on this topic which can be referred to, such as ‘Umdat al-Ahkaam by ‘Abd al-Ghani al-Maqdisi (may Allah have mercy on him); al-Arba‘een an-Nawawiyyah by an-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him); and other brief books.

Then after that, he can move on to somewhat longer books, such as Buloogh al-Maraam and al-Muntaqa min Akhbaar al-Mustafa. Then after that, he can read further in the books of hadith, such as Saheeh al-Bukhaari and Saheeh Muslim.

End quote from Majmoo‘ Fataawa wa Rasaa’il Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (26/375-376).

After you have built a solid foundation in fiqh and gained an understanding of the most important issues of ‘aqeedah, you can prepare yourself for deeper study of the laws of Allah, learning about differences of opinion and how to determine which view is more likely to be correct, as there are specific tools for this task that you cannot do without, the most important of which are ‘ilm an-nahw was-sarf (study of Arabic language and grammar), ‘ilm usool al-fiqh (the fundamentals of fiqh) and ‘ilm al-hadith (study of hadith).

With regard to ‘ilm al-hadith, please see fatwa no.153227, in which there is a detailed discussion of how to seek knowledge of hadith.

With regard to usool al-fiqh, the best is for the student to acquire knowledge thereof gradually, according to the books of usool of the madhhab that he is studying. So you should consult your shaykh from whom you are learning fiqh so that he can advise you as to how you should begin studying usool al-fiqh.

With regard to ‘ilm an-nahw wa’s-sarf, you should begin with al-Ajroomiyyah and the commentary thereon, at-Tuhfat as-Sanniyyah by Shaykh Muhiy ad-Deen ‘Abd al-Hameed (may Allah have mercy on him).

Then Qatr an-Nada wa Ball as-Sada by Ibn Hishaam.

Then after that, Alfiyyat Ibn Maalik, with its commentary by Ibn ‘Aqeel (may Allah have mercy on him).

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

With regard to nahw (Arabic grammar), he should start with brief books first, such as al-Ajroomiyyah, which is a useful, blessed and brief book that is divided into portions that the beginner can grasp, especially if Allah enables him to find a scholar who can explain it to him. Then after that, I advise him to memorize Alfiyyah Ibn Maalik (may Allah have mercy on him) and understand its meanings, for it is a blessed Alfiyyah in which there is much good.

End quote from Majmoo ‘ Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (23/376).

In addition to these books, there are other books that discuss details of morphology (sarf) that the author of al-Alfiyyah did not deal with. The student may choose whatever he thinks is easy for him.

The third step:

After the seeker has learned about the most important tools of ijtihad, he may begin the step of deepening his knowledge of different views and ways of determining which view is more likely to be correct, whether that is in the field of fiqh, Tafseer or hadith commentary.

It is also essential for the student to observe the etiquette and manners of seeking knowledge, which has been explained previously on our website, in fatwa no. 10324.

And Allah knows best.

Fatwa: 230969

Source: Islam Question and Answer