Archive for the ‘Fun and Sports’ Category

A disproportionate reward?

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Hope you are doing good by the grace and blessings of Allah(SWT).

I was asked this question by one of my friends recently and he asked me whether life in paradise is finite or eternal? I gave him the answer saying eternal. But then he put forward a question saying, when this life we live for(say about 60-70yrs) is finite, then how come righteous people are rewarded with infinite time in the paradise? I had given it a thought and I did derive at an answer. But I would like to hear it from you too brother.

Secondly, I would like to know about Islamic rulings on Movies? And related to Music, Is melody, slow songs, love songs, songs that stir your emotions allowed?

Usually, this question is asked about the flip side: is punishment of the hellfire disproportionate? The answer to both sides of this question is no, for the simple reason that “God does not do a spec’s weight of injustice” (4:40).

One may look at a good deed and think that it is rather minor, but God sees it as fabulous, and because He does, He rewards it more generously than the person who did it ever hoped for. The flip side of this is also true: one may say or do something that he doesn’t think is too bad, but God sees it as a grave sin, and because He does, He punishes it far more severely than the person who committed it ever feared.

To give you an example. God says in the holy Quran, “Did you not see how God strikes a parable of a good word like a good tree: its foundation is firm and its branch is in the sky. It delivers its food every season with the permission of its Lord!” (14:24-25). Did you get the reason for the seemingly disproportionate reward? It is a deed that constantly breeds good deeds. Its benevolent effect does not only positively touch the lives of many contemporary people, but goes on and on for all generations to come. That is why God rewards it so much. And bear in mind that the good deed referred to in this verse appears minor. It is just a good word!

As for your question about music, songs and stirring of emotions, it depends on the environment where the music is played, the lyrics of the songs and the emotion that is stirred and what that leads to. Music is neither good nor bad on its own, as Sheikh Shaarawi once said, may God bless his soul. If it is accompanied by lewd or violent acts or lyrics then it’s forbidden. Otherwise, how can it be bad, when we know that it soothes the soul, puts one in a good mood, a romantic mood or a patriotic mood? Documented evidence is plenty that music speeds up healing of wounds and calms the nerves of patients about to undergo surgery! See the Music category for more posts about this.

Likewise are love songs and love movies. It depends on whether they contain indecent lyrics or scenes. The emotions stirred by music, poetry, motion pictures, or art works in general can be benign and can be malicious. Art is neither good nor bad in the absolute. Art stems from love of beauty and awe at God’s creation and it is in fact an unconscious desire to connect with God, as the late President of Bosnia, Alija Izetbegović wrote in his book “Islam and the West.”

Can I participate in non-Muslim celebrations?

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

My mother was born and raised Catholic but converted to Islam when she married my father. Although she embraced Islam as her religion it didn’t affect her very close relationship with her family. So, whenever there are occasions like Christmas, All Saint’s Day, and birthdays we would usually go as a family. Even after my mother’s passing we still continue the tradition. Are we committing any sin?

Being kind and courteous to your family and relatives is something that Islam emphasizes a lot, even if the family is non-Muslim. What Islam warns against is participation in Zoor (lies and falsehood). God says in the holy Quran,

“And those (worshipers of the Beneficent) who do not witness falsehood, and when they pass by frivolity, they pass dignified” (25:72)

The reason for this warning is that participation in such activities, sooner or later, affects one’s beliefs and may taint his faith. Islam has made it clear that Muslims must express Walaa’ (allegiance) to the truth and Baraa’ (detachment) from falsehood.

It is because of Baraa’ that Asmaa’ bint Abi-Bakr, may God have been pleased with both, refused to receive her mother, Qateela bint Abdil-`Uzza, who was a polytheist, who traveled from Mecca to Medina to see her and brought her a gift. Asmaa’ would not let her in her house and would not take her gift! Just then, God revealed verses 60:8-9,

“God does not forbid you from those who did not fight you because of religion and did not expel you from your homes – from being cordial toward them and acting with equity toward them. Indeed, God loves the equitable.
God only forbids you from those who fought you because of religion and expelled you from your homes and aided in your expulsion – [forbids] that you ally with them. And whoever allies with them, then it is those who are the wrongdoers.” (60:8-9)

The Prophet (PBUH) promptly ordered Asmaa’ to receive her mother, accept her gift and be kind and hospitable to her. These verses correct the misunderstanding that some Muslims have about Walaa’ and Baraa’. These teachings do not imply hatred of non-Muslims; they teach that Baraa’ is the separation from hostile enemies of Islam and that Walaa’ is the allegiance with those who testify to the truth about God.

So, to answer your question, you are not committing a sin if the celebrations you attend are free from falsehood. If a celebration starts to take a religious inclination in which false theology is uttered or blasphemous acts are practiced, then you should immediately excuse yourself and leave, after wishing your relatives well.

The Prophet’s kindness and humor

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

I saw this posted on a public discussion board. It is excerpts from the book “Enjoy Your Life” by Dr. Muhammad Al-‘Arifi. It sheds light on the kindness, merriness and sense of humor of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.

You can sometimes notice the different ways in which people deal with children. When a person enters a public gathering with his son, he shake everyone’s hands one by one, while his son follows suit. Among the people are those who would completely ignore the child, others would barely shake his hand, and others would warmly shake hid and saying, “Welcome, young man! How are you today?” It is the love of that person that will be engraved in the heart of the child, as well as in the hearts of his parents.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) would display the best form of treatment with children. Anas bin Malik – may Allah be pleased with him – had a younger brother; and the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) would play with him and nickname him Abu ‘Umayr. The child had a small bird that he played with. Whenever the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) would meet him, he would joke with him saying, “O Abu ‘Umayr, what happened to al-Nughayr?” meaning, the bird.

He would be kind and playful with children. Whenever he would meet Zaynab bint Umm Salamah, he would playfully say to her, “O Zuwaynib! O Zuwaynib! (little Zaynab)”. Whenever he passed by children playing, he would greet them. Whenever he visited the Ansaar (people of Medina), he would greet their children and shake their hands.

One day as the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) was performing ablution, there came to him Muhammad bin al-Rabi’ who was only five years old. The Prophet (p.b.u.h.) took some water and jokingly splashed it out on the boy’s face. (al-Bukhari)

Once he jokingly said to Anas, “O you, the possessor of two ears!”

We read in various hadeeths that often the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) would smile with his whole face till his molar teeth would show.

Indeed, the Prophet (PBUH) was merry with all people, had a sense of humor and was particularly kind to children.

I also recall reading that he used to put Usaama ibn Zayd on his right thigh, and Abdullah ibn Abbaas on his left thigh and then pedal his two legs such that the two boys go up and down in a cycle like a teeter-totter!

The Prophet (PBUH) was kind even to the children of the polytheists! One day he was being playful with them and a couple of Sahaaba were passing by and were astonished. They said to him, “O Messenger of God! These are the children of polytheists!” He replied, “And who are you?”

Can Muslims celebrate Halloween?

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

Halloween is recognized as a pagan holiday by almost everybody, but it is also recognized as a fun day for kids. So, can Muslims celebrate Halloween for the sake of their kids?

I read in InFocus News magazine about a clever way some American Muslims managed to celebrate Halloween for their kids, without actually celebrating it! What they did is that they held a party in the parking lot of the mosque, on a day other than October 31st, where the kids played and everybody had fun and ate good food. There were no trick-or-treat candy or costumes or any aspects of the macabre. They called the event Halaloween!

Is playing video games allowed in Islam?

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

There is nothing wrong with playing any game unless the game involves, or leads to something prohibited. For instance, playing poker is fine unless it’s played for money. Playing video games is fine unless they distract you so much you miss the prayer.

The issue is not the game nor is it the playing; it’s what is played, what is involved in it, and what it leads to.

Does Islam prohibit women from education and careers?

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

Does Islam prohibit women from getting an education, working outside the home, playing sports, etc., or is that a culture thing?

Everything in Islam is allowed until proven not. It is not the other way around as many Muslims think. This is the consensus of Islamic scholars and one of the foundations of Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence). Thus, the short answer to your question is no! You can pursue a career, get an advanced degree, play in sports and go places as long as you observe Islamic teachings about dress, conduct, the company you keep and the places you go to.

Abdullah ibn Umar, may God have been pleased with him and with his father, put it beautifully when he said, “Work for this world as if you live forever and work for your hereafter as if you die tomorrow!”

Why are art and music banned in Islam?

Monday, February 9th, 2009

Absolutely no music, no song, no dance, no enjoyment, is the Islamic way of life. And art is utterly banned. What kind of culture is that?

Islamic art is renowned for its beauty. It is manifested in buildings, architecture, calligraphy, arabesque, etc. The art that is not allowed is that which depicts living creatures, profanity or blasphemy. Music is not forbidden. Dancing is allowed in the privacy of people’s homes. Only vulgar or blasphemous lyrics and dancing are not allowed. Islam wants to protect people from sin without depriving them of good fun.