Archive for the ‘Children’ Category

Celebrating Israa’ and Mi`raaj

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Got a simple question for you. I was reading that many Muslims are going to celebrate the Isra and Miraj of the Prophet, swas, today. I was unaware of the celebration until yesterday. What is your take. I know I have missed the boat on several things in life, but what is going on. It appears there are masjids in the US that will have special prayers. I kinda feel as I am Rip Van Winkle. When did this start?

Happy Israa’ and Mi`raaj to you. There is no official celebration of the occasion; it’s a new practice of many mosques. The more strict Muslims frown on such practice and call it a Bid`a (novelty), and they would be technically correct, but it’s harmless. A get-together of fellow Muslims to commemorate a seminal event in Islam, the highest honor God has given to any creature, and the launch of the prayer, cannot be a bad thing. Besides, my mosque has a program for the kids. They learn and they play.

Spiritual balance

Friday, December 28th, 2012

Assalaam alaikum,

I have been active in reading the Quran. It is becoming a little easier.

Have many things on my mind. I believe there comes a point in life where all our decisions are made to please Allah subhana wa taala. I have developed a great love for the Prophet Nuh. I can not image living to 950 years. I do not have the patience for humanity that he did. Yes, all prophets and messengers are of the same cloth of sabr.

I am seeking a balance in life. Need your input on spiritual balance. What does a believer do when you feel so alone in the duyna.

Wa Alaykum Assalaam. Being active in reading the Quran is being active in getting closer to God, for the Quran is the word of God. It is the memento God has graciously given us to remember Him by and to remind us that He is always there (As-Samad)), always alert (Al-Hayy), always listening and watching (As-Samee`, Al-Baseer), always welcoming (At-Tawwaab), anxious to forgive us (Al-Ghafoor) and eager to make our wishes come true!

When one realizes that fully, how can one then feel alone? It is only when we let our dark side win over the good side, even briefly, that the feeling of loneliness creeps in, because the light of God does not cohabit with the darkness of ego in the same heart.

One of the repeatedly taught principles of Islam is balance. Extremes on either side are rejected by God and His Messenger (PBUH). And within every aspect of life, balance is also required. One day three people asked about the worship style of the Prophet (PBUH). They were not impressed with the answer! They thought that he did not do much worship because he could afford to; because he has been forgiven all his sins already. So, one of the three said, “I will stay up every night praying.” The second said, “I will fast everyday.” The third said, “I will vow chastity and never marry.” The Prophet (PBUH) heard about that and got upset. He said, “By God, I am the most observing of God among you and the most watchful of Him. But I fast some days and eat some days. I pray part of the night and sleep the rest of it. And I marry women. He who desires a way (Sunna) other than mine does not belong to me.” Narrated by Anas ibn Maalik (RA) and reported and rated authentic by Al-Bukhaari.

When our decisions in life are aligned with God’s teachings, we sail through life. We feel as if we’re under a protective wing. We weather storms. Tumult and confusion that often lead people astray or desperate do not dent us. And we can recognize blessing when it comes. God says in the holy Quran, “Whoever does righteously, male or female, and is a believer, then We shall give them a good life.” (16:97) Otherwise, it’s an uphill battle that makes the world seem to us like a lawless jungle. God says in the holy Quran, “And whoever turns aside from My remembrance, then verily for him is an arduous living.” (20:124)

Did you notice in the story of Prophet Nuh (Noah), peace be upon him, that God told him one day that there will not be any more people who will believe in him? (11:36) That is when he instructed him to build the ark. Noah didn’t stop preaching until God told him to! And even then, he kept hoping against hope that he may be able to save his son who hasn’t accepted God. As the flood waters were rising and the ark was about to sail out, he called upon his son, “O dear son, ride with us! Don’t be among the disbelievers.” (11:42) He knew the son will not believe, because God said so. Yet, he still tried. It wasn’t second guessing God; it was a desperate human effort of a loving father. It didn’t work of course and could not have.

We do not have the privilege that Noah had. We do not know when to stop calling for God with our words and deeds. Therefore, we must keep trying.

Do Muslims have to take an afternoon nap?

Sunday, March 18th, 2012

Verse 24:58 of the Quran defines three periods during which children and servants must knock before entering the bedrooms of adults. One of these periods is “when you have shed off your clothes at noon”. Does this mean that Muslims are required to take a siesta?

LOL. No. When the Quran describes what the Arabs used to do and does not praise it or criticize it, then it is using something they are familiar with to make a point. In Seventh Century Arabia, most houses did not have solid doors to rooms if at all. Children and servants used to go about the house freely all day long and if an adult was taking a nap and has not covered himself or herself, because it was hot, then parts of their bodies may have become exposed to the youngsters. God wants to protect the honor of people and the innocence of children. That is why He specified nap time as one of the three times children and servants must seek permission to enter a room in which an adult may be taking a nap.

The command in the verse is to seek permission. There is no command, nor prohibition, to take a nap! A Muslim is not in violation of this verse if he or she never takes an afternoon nap.

By the same token, when the Quran directs women to cover their bosoms, in verse 24:31, it says that they should use “their head covers” to do that. Does that imply that women are required to cover their heads? No. The Quran is again using a custom to make a point. The custom was that all women, and all men for that matter, covered their heads to protect them from the blazing sun and desert sand. And the point being that it is improper for women to show their bosoms in public, but because, at that time, dresses were customarily designed to show the bosom area, the Quran is suggesting a simple way for women to be modest without having to tailor new dresses. The command in this verse is to cover the bosom, not the head. A Muslim woman who wears a dress that does not show the bosom is already in compliance with this verse, whether or not she’s covering her head.

Does Islam allow marriage to children?

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

Why the need to exploit children via..child brides? Does it not say in the Quran what puberty is? What are the motives behind child brides and its popularity? Who are the scholars who would preach such strange ideology? This is serious.

It sure is serious and must end, for it violates human rights, offends Islam, which is absolved of it, attributes abhorrence to the Prophet (PBUH), who is totally innocent of such foul charge, and contradicts the Quran!

The Muqallid scholars (strict followers of predecessors) are the ones who allow child brides. They are trapped by a Hadeeth that is rated authentic, attributed to `Aa’isha (RA) in which she is reported to have said that she was engaged at age six and married at age nine.

Despite the fact that that hadeeth was rated authentic, it has numerous problems. For one, it is solely narrated by her maid. The Arabs were mostly illiterate. They could not read, write or count. That goes double for their women and goes triple for the slaves. If we believe the Matn (content) of the hadeeth, it is most likely an error in counting: mixing six with sixteen and nine with nineteen, as I postulated in this previous post.

Hadeeths narrated by only a few narrators, called Aahaad in Hadeeth discipline, are not to be relied on for mandates or prohibitions. This hadeeth should never have been relied on for allowing what is obviously wrong.

But the problems with this hadeeth do not end there. It is contradictory to the Quran. The Quran has consistently referred to wives as “an-nisaa'”, the same word for women. Not girls. Children are referred to as “al-atfaal” and nowhere in the Quran or the authentic hadeeth is there any mention of allowance to marry a child!

You’re right that puberty is what transitions a girl into a woman. Verse 24:59 makes it clear that this is what ends childhood.

Taqleed (strict following of predecessors) is the culprit in this atrocity. People who follow blindly, even if what they’re following is abhorrent, illogical or factually false, will do wrong and think they’re doing good! What misguidance!

I read your previous post.

Child brides make no sense. No sense. But, in my manner I wish to bring this to light for Muslim women. We have many good and educated women with time on their hands. Insha’Allah I may be able to write an article and bring this light.
Is this hadeeth in Bukari..or Muslim?

Why are we so preoccupied with the age of Aisha. It seems to be one of the major stumbling blocks in our faith. I do not mean to be childish but we are stuck on it.

The Hadeeth is reported in both books. That’s why it’s so problematic. It defies the established consensus that all hadeeths in these two books are authentic. But the reality is that most hadeeths in these two books are authentic, but not all. For two centuries after the two authors, no one has said that all hadeeths reported in the two books were authentic. All they said was that the two books contain more authentic text than all other books, save the Quran.

It wasn’t until the Fifth Century A.H. (After Hijra, the Islamic calendar), that scholars started to declare that all hadeeths in Al-Bukhaari and Muslim were authentic. That broad statement did not go unchallenged, however. Ibn Hazm Azh-Zhaahiri, a highly regarded Sunni Imaam, has written and showed how some of the hadeeths in these two books were not authentic and should not have been included in them. More recently, Sheikh Al-Albaani, a very well known and very respected Hadeeth scholar made the same conclusion.

Once you free yourself from unwarranted assumptions, such as that one, you’re not stuck anymore. The Quran clears up any confusion, if you’re willing to make it judge any issue.

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!

Do babies see angels?

Friday, October 29th, 2010

Can babies see angels? Is that why they have that irresistible, angelic smile?

No way to know. But I’ll tell a story that my dad, may God bless his soul, told me which he witnessed himself. A good friend of his, let’s call him M died suddenly and he was rather young. M was a model of decency, piety, spirituality and knowledge. After coming back from his funeral, they all went to his widow’s house where the big family and friends were gathered to comfort her. His niece, a four year old girl, suddenly pointed out in front of her and called, “Uncle M!”

Everybody looked where she pointed and there was nobody there. Someone asked her, “What are you pointing at, sweetheart?” She answered, “Uncle M, right there! He is with God and he is calling the Azhaan for the Maghrib (Sunset) prayer!!”

Everybody was stunned and didn’t know what to say.

Six days later, the girl died suddenly and for no apparent reason.

Can Muslims adopt children?

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

Muslims can foster children, but cannot adopt them as adoption is understood in the West, i.e., giving the children their name. This is not unkind; it has to do with the laws of marriage and inheritance. These laws are affected by whether a person is a blood relative.

Fostering an orphan is one of the noblest things a Muslim can do. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “I and the foster of an orphan in the Garden are like these”, and he put two fingers together!