Tuesday, June 9, 2009

To Love and To Lose

I scanned their faces. I saw nothing but sadness, tiredness and worst of all defeat. It pained me to see my friends like this. How did it get to this? It seemed just like yesterday that we were all sat round the table; laughing and joking, picking at each others kebabs and chips. Today, well today we're sat round the table, gripping our coffee mugs and downcast eyes. The laughter had turned into tears. The jokes had turned into bitter tales.

In an attempt to brighten the mood, i forced a smile and said 'Who's going to finish the last slice? Because i'm not going to hold back for much longer!' They all looked up, a little startled, the air of silence and their deep thoughts had been intruded. One of them looked further down, her lips trembled. I was afraid she was going to start crying. My other friend, Safiyah gave me a faint appreicative smile. Our eyes locked for a few seconds. She could see the desperation in my eyes. I just wanted to do something, anything to help. But the truth is, there is nothing i could do but invite them round to my house for coffee, just to let them know i was there for them.

'I better go.' Farah said getting up. 'He'll be waiting for me to give him his food'
'So what are you going to do?' Aasiya asked tentatively?

Farah sighed 'What i've been doing for the past few months. Pretend everything is ok and just pray for patience after smashing the computer to pieces! ' Even now she tried to lighten the tone through humour, acting unfazed. But her face read otherwise. She had just found out her husband was planning to marry the girl he had met on some internet chat room. For the past few months she'd had an inkling that something was going on, but had tried to ignore the nagging voice. She had noticed the distance, the lack of affection, the divided attention, but she didn't want to believe there was an actual human cause behind it.

In fact all of their situations had come to a climax. I felt like the producer in some movie. The title would be called something like 'To Love and To Lose.' As they were all in a state of loss. Me, included. But, only i had yet to tell them my sorrow. I didn't want the grey cloud to release it's heavy rain drops as that's what would happen if i told them now. I would wait for a better day. I hugged each of them in turn. Lingering onto Safiyah, who had just recieved news that her husband after being held in custody all these days would now be imprisoned. It is for incidents like these that you understand the need for the Day of Judgement, when true justice would be served.

Safiyah, held me and then looked me in the eye and said 'Call me later, yeh?' I tried to avoid her soul searching eyes that bore into me and nodded 'ok.' She knew me too well. I was least worried about her. Although her situation was dire and it was affecting her more than she was letting on, her strength and her unshakeble faith was truly admirable. She would just ride the wave and control the the tide. Allah had blessed her with the virtue of patience. A true picture of patience.

I turned to Aasiya and said 'If you need a place to stay, you know you're welcome at mine. Anytime. Abdullah will make himself scarce.' Her husband had just divorced her. After months of practically hounding her, the weasel of a man just upped and left. Vanished, leaving nothing behind but a note with the words 'Talaq' written 3 times. Three and a half months of marriage and the scoundrel got bored. He realised marriage actually required work. She was devastated to say the least. This had hit her very hard. I was extremely worried about her. Out of the three she was the most vulnerable. 'It's ok. I'm staying at my sister's.' No one else from her family knew.

I walked them all to the door, saying our salaams as they departed. I looked on till i could no longer see their car. I stood in the doorway for a few seconds more, leaning against it. Finding comfort and support on the door frame. I closed my eyes, just wishing to end this day right there and then. It was all too much. I felt my husband come behind me. He gently tugged me and guided me to his warmth and whispered 'Don't worry. Insha'Allah, I'm not going anywhere yet.' But all I could hear was the doctor telling us 'Im afraid Mr Ahmed, the size of the tumour is too big...'

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Small Acts of Kindness

I saw something which made me smile inside yesterday and then think.....

I was coming out of SuperDrugs (Manchester, Piccadily), and there were two scally looking native girls outside, talking to themselves. One was wearing a bubblegum pink velvet Tracksuit and had a sideways pony and the other i think had a hairband in her hair. Hairband girl said to Tracksuit girl 'Go on give it.' Tracky said to to friend 'Should I?' Hairband said 'Yeh go on, just give him a light, help him. Aww look at him.....' So Tracky got her lighter out and gave it to a an old man sitting outside Superdrugs. He had a dishevelled appearance and looked like he had spent the night out there. He was trying to strike a match to light his cigarette without avail. When she reached out to him he gave a surprised appeciative look to her. And that's about all i caught of the little scenario as i passed by.

Consider this. This old man struck a cord in those two scally girls' hearts. He looked lonely and sad and they wanted to help him in any little way they could. Although helping him clog up his lungs is detrimental to his health, so in the long run it's not very helpful. Nevertheless their heart was in the right place, Now i don't have a very high opinion of scallies, be they Caucasian, Asian or African. I am not a fan of scallies. Period. But even they have hearts. Some of us muslims could take lesson from them and im not talking about their dress sense!

Unfortunately for non muslim do gooders, their work is of no worth in the Hereafter as Allah says 'Shall we inform you of the greatest losers as to their deeds? (They are) those whose effort is lost in wordly life, while they think that they are doing well in work.' (18: 103-104)
We need to be careful we don't fall into this category people, as muslims, because our deeds can be lost also through wrong intentions. We think we're doing so much good but then comes the time of Reckoning and we have nothing.............That indeed would be the greatest lost.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Parable of an Ant

It's amazing what memories an infestation of ants in the kitchen can trigger. For those who hear the word Ants and squeal 'Eeewwwww' don't worry i have got rid of them for now, (a more permanet measure is being looked into), as a very dear friend thoughtfully made a trip to Tesco and bought me an Ant killer spray. Really sometimes it's such acts of kindness that reminds you why they're from the best of the best! She's one of them that just surprises you and that's why its all the more special. Yeh i know it's only an Ant spray..........JazakAllah Khayr Saabirah.

Enough, this post is not supposed to be about friendship, well i guess it is kinda. Well i'll let you decide.

Anyway the memory i am referring to at the top of my post is a story i once made up back in my Teens. I was probably 18/19yr. It was a bed time story for my little sister (but she is actually taller than me, nearly 18yr now, masha'Allah). I've been told my bedtime stories don't actually put people to sleep, it keeps them awake to find out what happens next and puts them in deep thinking mode. So don't ask me to put your kids to sleep!

Back to the story........titled

(some modern adaptions maybe made, hey it's upto me, it's my story!)

The Whole Journey

The sun is scorching and it's that time of the year again. Ant Migration. The whole colony move to another area in search for food. Nobody would believe this was the life of ants. In the commercial world they are a nuisance and only worthy of being squished and ultimately face death by spray. But then if you enter the world of cars and human traffic then you do so at your own risk, as they are less tolerant than most creatures. Many ants are just comfortable with the sandy plains and natural surroundings of green fields and rich moist soil.

As they all pack their belongings, taking as much or as little they have they prepare to make what will be their most important journey for the year. It will be their place of dwelling, a place to rear their young ones, a place to maybe grow old in and for some their place of burial. But this move is not just a migration it is an escape......

Every year the Big Bodies locate the homes of the ants and devour them for their breakfast, lunch, evening meal and they have a midnight party every other night. So in actual fact there is no place safe from harm for the ants, except for those who survive through the migration.

Most of them are ready now and will march forth in the burning heat, each to their own. With their bundles on their back they make their inevitable journey. The more strong ants in front line, the mothers behind their little ones ushering them along and the weak ants, if they make it, crawl behind them all. Each to their own.

This year; one Ant in particular is falling behind. He has experienced many a migration, therefore very familiar to this procedure. However due to age and weakness, as he has had much to bear since losing many loved ones along the way, his strength is beginning to cave in mind and body. His bundle is larger than most, he has many more memories to carry, more sentiments packed up and out of his kindeness he packs more material goods than he needs to in order to share with his fellow ants once they are all safe in the wilderness. Generosity comes at a price.

He pushes along, panting and drawing his breath to keep the rythm going. He has to stop to put down his load and then to hoist it back up again. This slows him down further, but if he didn't take this ritual rest then he would surely collapse. He looks around him, all the other ants scurrying past him, not taking a second glance at him. He realises he does have the largest bundle. Everyone packs light, no wonder, when they reside in the place of migration, they fight amongst each other for food and shelter. They don't prepare properly before hand. He looks on sadly and almost despairs, he almost thinks 'why bother, am i even going to make it?' But despite his negativity it is not in his nature to give in to such thoughts. He must go on, make it worth the while. He hopes to join his deceased ones and make them proud that he was able to survive using his strongest instincts, because not one of them gave into weakness or torture. They died an honourable death and he too would reach their ranks.

Shall i ask, he thinks to himself, shall i ask for their help. Maybe, just maybe one of them will help me, if they could just take one package off me, i could move a littler faster and i would be their right hand ant for life. He braves it and calls out to one who appears strong and quick on his legs. 'Excuse me, excuse me,' he attempts timidly. The ant turns around and says with great annoyance 'Do you think I am in a position to excuse anyone?' With that he takes off even faster. Still wanting to think good of his fellow ants he asks another. This time they are ants in a group, maybe they will help him, he calls out to them. To his dismay they scorn him. They snigger and make fun of him, blaming him for carrying a heavy load. He feels ashamed and decides not to ask anyone else for help. He continues on lagging behind and alone.

Long periods of time has gone by and the ant is hoping the journey is nearing its end. Suddenly, he hears a commotion just a little ahead of him. He hears frightened exclaims and gasps. Other ants race forward to see what the problem is, but still the cries continue. Afraid that his ant community is in danger he tries his best to speed up. As he approaches closer, there are only a few ants left surrounding the area but not moving any further. He looks at them searching for an answer but then he himself finds himself falling directly into what seems to be the problem. It was a trap set by the Big Bodies. They dug a hole into the gound, which normally isn't a problem, since ants are the inventers of holes in the ground. Unfortunately, this hole is not an ordinary hole. It is lunchtime and at the bottom of the hole are open hungry mouths, ready to crunch whatever the Big Bodies find first. Not distinguishing one ant from another, equality is their best policy.

The Ant finds himself just above the hole and accepts his fate, and prays that the Big Bodies are food poisioned by him. He waits for death to end his prayer, but he realises he is still praying because he is still alive! What is going on? He looks up, he is still hovering above the hole. e could feels the sides burning him, but he was happy to still alive! And then it dawns on him. His saviour is none other than his heavy load on his back. It had prevented him from falling through. The hole is not wide enough for him and his load to get through. It is bridging the gap of the hole. Despite the danger below him, he becomes very excited and calls out to the surviving ants above ' Use my load as a bridge, walk across, you won't fall in!' The panic around them subsides at his suggestion, they look at each other dubiously, but then they know they have no other choice. They begin to form a line and march across. As the last one crosses over, they help pull The Ant up, bundle load included. The greedy Big Bodies were too busy chomping they hadn't even noticed their evening meal had not fallen into their trap.

The remaining ants stood around silently not knowing what to say, their heads down. The ant could feel their remorse, he knew and in response he smiled at them to let them know it's ok. They gave a sigh of relief and moved towards him to express their gratitude. They gathered around him and moved together as one, lifting The Ant up on to their backs as you do with a true hero. As representatives of a true ant colony they continue their journey of migration.

Friday, February 29, 2008

I Am The Owner......

........Of my very own laptop and now i have the Net! Alhamdulillah! Whoohoo!! Really it's an amazement for me. See the computer has never been mine and there were times i was limited and i would have to stop what i was doing and get off which would result in very annoyed me or argue my case and create an annoyed sibling. But now it's mine, all mine (evil gleam in the eye). Ok, but i will share it.....occasionally. If others want to use it, then you will have to agree to the terms and conditions first (there's the evil gleam again).
But no, actually we all know all Praise and Thanks goes to Allah for bestowing this peice of luxury on me (yeh i know get over it, it's only a computer, big deal).
But you don't understand........it's all mine!!!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Faith is..........

When pagan Arabs made a generous offer to the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) an he responded 'If you were to put the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left hand i would never leave this religion,'

When the Prophet Ibrahim (Alayhi wa sallam) was held over the burning fire he called out 'Hasbiy Allah wa ni'mal wakil.'

When Yusuf (Alayhi salam) was invited to temptation and he stood firm and he said 'I seek refuge in Allah.'

When Hajar was abandoned by her husband and she kept her trust saying 'Allah will not leave us. In Him i put my trust.'

When the sea was in front of Musa (Alayhi salam) and the army of firawn was behind them and he reassured his people 'Nay, verily, with me is my Lord. He will guide.'

When Isma'eel was offered for sacrifice and he told his father 'you will find me amongst the patient.'

When Zakaria (Alayhi salam) would find food in Maryam's chamber and she replied 'This is from Allah.'

Faith would be when i close my eyes to die and i lift my finger to the sky and testify i bear witness there is no Deity worthy of worship except Allah and i bear witness Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.

Can we have this faith?

Scattered pieces............

After years of searching, I have come to the conclusion that i was looking in the wrong places all along. Now i am still searching and yearning, i've come to realise that no human can give me what it is i truly want. I know what it is that i want, i know where to find it and i also know what i need to do to get it. But mentally, emotionally and physiologically i haven't prepared myself for it. I wasted my energy pursuing other interests. It takes huge amounts of willpower and in my case lots of biting my lips to keep myself silent.

Sabr. You know that word only means something to me when Allah mentions it in the Qur'an. When people use it, my ears are deaf to it, i'm sure it is genuine naseeha, but it just doesn't contain meaning for me. But when Allah gently reminds me in the Qur'an, then i understand what it is and a calmness descends.
'Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un.' Truly we will find out how strong our belief in this was when we return.

'....and man was created weak.'
Really i have assessed myself over and over and i can't find a better phrase to describe myself than the above Qur'an ayah.
I am my own greatest enemy. An enemy in denial. Well maybe with writing this the denial stage maybe coming to an end.

We get caught up in life, with things that happen to us. Unfortunate incidents, brilliant memorable days and we lose sight of what it was that we were first intent on. Our experiences scar us. Busy days distract us. Slowly, slowly we slip away. Then all of a sudden we need it, and we haven't got it. But yet we desperately need it as you know its the only thing that will stop you from destruction. You see yourself fall and you cannot find it in you to pick yourself up. A very dangerous place to be. You want to save that drowning child but you've forgotten how to swim.
Only tears fall and the stone in the chest doubles in size and you remind yourself
'No soul is burdened more than it can bear.'

You don't know a precious thing til its gone because you were too busy chasing after something else..........

Monday, December 17, 2007

Al Kauthar - The Real Deal

The Real Deal
5th & 6th January
Sh. Tawfique Chowdhury
Geoffrey Manton, Manchester Met
Oxford Road

Taste the AlKauthar Experience....ENROL NOW!
Limited spaces

Gems from students who have already done the course previously... see what you're missing!
Charity is a contract. I have learnt that in marriage contracts you can make conditions such as Emaan’s (in the case study) which I hope to follow.

The honest business man will be raised with Prophets in Paradise. Subhanallah!One who owns the land, owns the sky above itYou grow in your knowledge and wisdom every time you learn something new about Islam. Brothers & Sisters do not take this lightly.

Marriage is a compromise.
To boycott or not to boycott. It is one thing to know the strongest opinion, it is another to actually know how to apply it!
If Allah (SWT) has prohibited a product, he has also prohibited the sale of the product

A believer will never be happy in their heart, with something doubtful.

Lending results in half the reward of giving in charity

What is for you will not pass you, and what passes you is not for you

It weakens your soul, and you realize; there are so many things that you could do better, when you know better

Imam Abu Hanifa rahimahullah would not even sit under the shade of the trees of a person he has given a loan to, because he feared this benefit could fall under riba

Allah wishes to remove any matter that may cause us to have dispute

The end does not justify the means…

Overview of the Course
The Real Deal
Sh. Tawfique Chowdhury

"And Allah has permitted trade, but forbidden riba" [AlBaqarah: 275]
One of the most difficult and confusing issues to Muslims now a days are the matters pertaining to the rulings of buying and selling. With trade and commerce having expanded with such rapid force, many are searching for what Islam has to say about it all. Of recent, a surge in global Islamic finance and the renewed interest in Shariah business law - requires us to understand the basic principles upon which Islam bases its ruling.
In this course, you will be introduced to:
The fiqh of Commerce in Shariah
Transactions and their classifications
Forbidden contracts and their understanding
The correct understanding and application of Riba
Understand heylah and how to detect it
Understand how the element of uncertainity may affect the validity of a transaction
Principles of halal investment
Manners of a Muslim businessman
Comparisons between Western commercial law and Shariah business law
Discussion of tens of the most popular modern business transactions - everything from credit cards, road side assistance, pyramind schemes, ebay, unlimited downloads, no deposit lay-bys, cash back policies, modern Islamic mortgages and investments in bonds, stocks and metals, laws on business and intellectual property, franchising..
Discussion of sample contracts from Islamic financial institutions
A preliminary study of how to Islamize large scale economic policies and ensure smooth transition to a riba free economy.

"I have never attended a more beneficial lecture. It just blew away my mind!" [Quote from a student]

These series of lectures are best sellers world wide. This particular course goes into much more detail than the lessons that may be available in the market under the title: "Halal and Haram of Business Transactions", so even if you have seen that DVD, you still need to attend this course to gain full and maximum benefit.

Who is this course for?
Every Muslim who wants to fear Allah and steer clear from falling into haram and riba.
Businessmen who want to learn about Islamic business policy and ettiquets.
Muslims who want to have a deep insight into understanding the goals and purposes of Shariah in business and trade.
Students of Law faculties trying to understand the basis of Islamic Commercial Law.
Finance professionals who would like more insight and clarification as to the Islamic logic behind many of its rulings.
New Muslims who want to understand their Deen.
What will you come out with at the end of the course?
A binder complete with notes on the details of the principles of Islamic commercial law.
Hundreds of examples on how the rules and regulations are applied practically.
Understand how the the Islamic commercial system is far superior and just than the current systems.
Practical understanding of the rulings of a large number of modern transactions.
Motivation to applying the rules towards deducing solutions to our current problems.Course materials
When you sign up for a course, at the first session, you will be given a binder full of notes and important reading regarding the fiqh of Commerce 101. You will be able to take down notes directly in the folder - this will stay with you for your future reference. In addition, the online facility will have extra points for reading and analysis including sample tests to check your understanding.

Course particulars

Faculty: Fiqh Type: Core topicCredits: 3Duration of Course: 18 hours which includes 4 instructor led sessions of 4 hours each + 2 hours of online tasks

Timing and Venue
Please check the enrolment page for course timings and venue in your city.

Don't be afraid of the hours. AlKauthar Institute seminars are not long lectures upon lectures hours on end. There will be many different and new ways we are imparting knowledge to ensure we make it interactive, interesting, exciting and thought provoking.
Times include a 2 hour break in the early afternoon
There will be plenty of refresher breaks in between hours to ensure student attention is maximised
We only have limited seats at each seminar. So to ensure you don't miss out we encourage you to enrol as soon as possible to confirm your seat.

Why Enrol?

Knowledge is power. It increases when you give it. It is needed by Kings and beggars alike. It eases the path to paradise. We are constantly reminded in the Qur’an and Sunnah of the importance of gaining Islamic knowledge so as to apply it in our lives. At AlKauthar Institute we have attempted to make this path as easy as possible for a Muslim, but in the end it will require your own individual commitment, dedication and hardwork to gain the pleasure of Allah.

The benefits you receive for the fee you pay for these courses will far out weigh the benefits you will receive from the payment of any other course such as university fees, professional membership fees, conference fees amongst many others.
Practicality is always emphasised. You will learn so much in such little time and in such a manner that will ensure that you will be able to impart that knowledge straight away. Come and experience the AlKauthar Method and the world's first Case based islamic learning.
Give your islamic education solid direction. One course at a time you will edge closer to a diploma, degree and honours.
Instructors who will provide engaging and enjoyable university level lessons in a professional manner at ideal venues complimenting our technology focused teaching style. Our instructors also have plenty of experience dealing with Muslim affairs in the West.

Our student advisors and online student centre, most notably the e-learn facility will be pioneering the way in the delivery of Islamic education. This is combined with the support of an online community consisting of your instructors and your fellow students from around Australia and the world.

AlKauthar Institute is aiming to develop a pioneering world class Islamic learning institute, providing a professional and refreshing approach to Islamic courses which will touch the hearts and revive the souls. Come and see for yourself how we attempt to seek the reward of Allah by enriching the lives of individuals and communities.

Rarely do opportunities like this come our way whilst we are healthy and able. Take advantage of the chance! What will you be missing out on if you don't?

* Qualified and Capable Instructors* Intensive Short Course Format* Extensive Student Resources* Hands on Approach* International Scope* Student Focused
'Enriching lives through knowledge...'