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Thursday, September 20, 2007
Significance of Ramadan

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
Significance of Ramadan
Shaykh Abdool Rahman
Resident Scholar – Islamic Foundation, Villa Park

شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِيَ أُنزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِّنَ الْهُدَى وَالْفُرْقَانِ فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ وَمَن كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَى سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ يُرِيدُ اللّهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلاَ يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ وَلِتُكْمِلُواْ الْعِدَّةَ وَلِتُكَبِّرُواْ اللّهَ عَلَى مَا هَدَاكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ
Ramadhan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur'an as a guide to mankind also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (between right and wrong). So every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting but if anyone is ill or on a journey the prescribed period (should be made up) by days later. Allah intends every facility for you He does not want to put you to difficulties. (He wants you) to complete the prescribed period and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance you shall be grateful.(2/185)

There are many aspirations and hopes for Ramadhan: but we can only achieve nearness to Allah SWT when we sacrifice the physical needs in order to grow spiritually. Fasting no doubt is the topmost manifestation of this fact amongst the Ibaadaat (Acts of worship). If we examine the Pillars of Islam we come to realize what it takes to attain its peak.
· Shahaadah is life itself. No wonder why we say that so and so got Shahaadah when they die in The Path of Allah SWT.
· We sacrifice our time for Salaah. Praying five times daily requires that we are conscious of our time so as to serve Allah SWT, The Most High.
· We sacrifice wealth as we give our Zakaah. This is when we willingly take out that portion of our wealth and give it to the poor and needy and the other recipients and expenditures of Zakaah.
· Then comes Fasting wherein we sacrifice our pleasures and appetites from the break of dawn till up to sunset.
· As for Hajj we sacrifice time and wealth to perform this once in a lifetime Ibaadah.
Of all the sacrifices that we perform on a daily basis one may conclude that Fasting is indeed the most challenging and for this in a Hadith of Abu Hurairah who reported that the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, said: "Allah said: 'Every action of the son of Adam is for him except fasting, for that is solely for Me. I give the reward for it.' Allah SWT says: "
In another Hadith Rasoolullah (SAS) said: Every good deed of the son of Adam would be multiplied, a good deed is receiving a tenfold to seven hundred fold reward. Allah SWT has said: “With the exception of fasting for it is done for Me and I will give a reward for it. Indeed the fasting person abandons his passions and food for My sake.”
This is what makes The Month of Ramadhan is so special. We sacrifice the inner self to attain a higher goal in life; Taqwa.
The virtues of Ramadhan are numerous but let us just remind ourselves of a few as we fast this Ramadhan.
Fasting a Shield:
Rasoolullah (SAS) said: The fast is a shield. If one is fasting, he should not use foul language, raise his voice, or behave foolishly. If someone reviles him or fights with him he should say, 'I am fasting,' twice.
The Breath of a Fasting person in the Sight of Allah SWT is better than Musk
Rasoolullah (SAS) said: By the One in whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, the [bad] breath of the one who is fasting is better in the sight of Allah on the Day of Resurrection than the smell of musk.
Happy moments for a Fasting person
Rasoolullah (SAS) said: The one who is fasting is happy at two times: when he breaks his fast he is happy with it, and when he meets his Lord he will be happy that he has fasted."
Fasting will intercede for its doer on The Day of Judgment
Rasoolullah (SAS) said: "The fast and the Qur'an are two intercessors for the servant of Allah on the Day of Resurrection. The fast will say: 'O Lord, I prevented him from his food and desires during the day. Let me intercede for him.' The Qur'an will say: 'I prevented him from sleeping at night. Let me intercede for him.' And their intercession will be accepted."
Fasting is amongst those deeds that lead to Paradise
Abu Umamah reported:: "I came to the Messenger of Allah and said: 'Order me to do a deed that will allow me to enter Paradise.' He said: 'Stick to fasting, as there is no equivalent to it.' Then I came to him again and he said: 'Stick to fasting."
Fasting removes its doer from Hell Fire
Rasoolullah (SAS) said: "No servant fasts on a day in the path of Allah except that Allah removes the hellfire seventy years further away from his face."
Only a Fasting person enters the Gate of Rayyaan on The Day of Judgment
Rasoolullah (SAS) said: "There is a gate to Paradise that is called ar-Rayyaan. On the Day of Resurrection it will say: 'Where are those who fasted?' When the last [one] has passed through the gate, it will be locked."
Sins are forgiven
Rasoolullah (SAS) said: "Whoever fasts the month of Ramadan with faith and seeks Allah's pleasure and reward will have his previous sins forgiven."
Special bounties of Ramadhan
Rasoolullah (SAS) said: “ Five bounties have been given to me in the month of Ramadhan that were never given to any of the Prophets before me.
­ As for the first one: When the first night of Ramadhan comes Allah SWT looks at His servants and whoever Allah looks at He will never punish.
­ The second: The smell of a fasting person’s breath is sweeter in the sight of Allah SWT than the smell of musk.
­ As for the third: Angels ask for forgiveness for the fasting persons every day and night.
­ The fourth: Allah SWT commands His Paradise saying: Prepare yourself and beautify yourself for My servants, so that they can rest from the tiredness of this world and enter My generosity.
­ And finally, When the last night of Ramadhan comes Allah SWT forgives all the sins of His servants. On hearing this a man asked: “ Is it the Night of Power? The Prophet peace be upon him replied: “No, Don’t you see people who work they receive their payment when they have completed their job?”
The Dua of a Fasting person is answered:
Rasoolullah (SAS) said: "There are three people whose supplications are not rejected: the fasting person when he breaks the fast, the just ruler and the supplication of the oppressed".

Dear readers, these are only some of the many virtues of Fasting in The Month of Ramadhan. It brings so much good and the seeker of good tries to make full use of it.
In addition to these benefits we can also enjoy some social benefits:
q The togetherness of this Ummah in the obedience of Allah SWT.
q Hope for the togetherness in breaking the fast with members of the community and members of the family. We are told in a Hadith: “Whoever gives food to a fasting person to break his fast shall have his sins forgiven and he will be saved from Hell Fire and he shall have the same rewards as the fasting person without his reward being diminished.”
q The coming together: Allah SWT Hand is on the Jamaa’ah.
q Spending time with our brothers in I’tikaaf
q Praying Salaatu Taraweeh in congregation.
Rasoolullah (SAS) said:
Whoever stands up for prayers in Ramadhan out of faith and hoping for a reward from Allah SWT he will have his previous sins forgiven.
q We do hope for the strengthening and building of good social conduct;
The Prophet said, "Whoever does not give up false statements (i.e. telling lies), and evil deeds, and speaking bad words to others, Allah is not in need of his (fasting) leaving his food and drink."
q No fighting or harming each other.
q Generosity during this month.
q Training the little ones to fast.
We can hope for economic benefit:
¨ For the poor and needy they hope for enrichment during Ramadhan.
¨ For the rich a purification of their wealth.
We can go on and on with the many benefits but the greatest achievement for Ramadhan is the spiritual benefit. It is the development of Taqwa .
Taqwa entails:
¨ Fearing Allah SWT
¨ Developing the consciousness that Allah SWT is watching over you.
¨ Practicing the Revelations of Allah SWT
¨ Self-discipline
¨ Self-control
¨ Self-restraint
¨ Preparing for the Akhirah
¨ Protection from evil actions and evil deeds fearing the consequences.

Let us ensure that by the time we finish our Fasting in The Month of Ramadhan we would have developed the following:
¨ Taqwa
¨ Love because when we observe fast we do it out of love for The Rabbul Aalameen. Only when we love our Lord then we know what true love is.
¨ Optimistic we hope to please Allah SWT and for the reward from Allah SWT
¨ Genuine devotion, sincerity and closeness to Allah SWT because when we fast these are the virtues that we try to cultivate. The secrecy of our Ibaadah.
¨ Patience
¨ Selflessness and sacrifice
¨ Willpower and self control how do we use our tongues.
¨ Brotherhood
I would like to conclude with a beautiful poem about Fasting in The Month of Ramadhan.

يا ذا الذي ما كفاه الذنب في رجب ... حتى عصى ربه في شهر شعبان
لقد أظلك شهر الصوم بعدهما ... فلا تصيره أيضا شهر عصيان
و اتل القرآن و سبح فيه مجتهدا ... فإنه شهر تسبيح و قرآن
فاحمل على جسد ترجو النجاة له ... فسوف تضرم أجساد بنيران
كم كنت تعرف ممن صام في سلف ... من بين أهل و جيران و إخوان
أفناهم الموت و استبقاك بعدهم ... حيا فما أقرب القاصي من الداني
و معجب بثياب العيد يقطعها ... فأصبحت في غد أثواب أكفان
حتى يعمر الإنسان مسكنه ... مصير مسكنه قبر لإنسان

O you who had not sinned enough in Rajab. And has continued to sin in Sha’ban.The month of fasting will shelter you after them, so do not transform it also into a month of sinning and corruption.Recite the Qur’an and glorify Allah with all effort. For indeed! It is a month for glorification and the Qur’an.Deny your bodily appetites, seeking its salvation. Eventually, the earth will consume your carcass and skeleton.How many deceased people have you known who fasted amongst your neighbors, brothers and relation?Death took them away, leaving you behind. So get serious, for the living are quite close to those beyond!You take delight in the ‘Eid clothes as they are cut. But tomorrow your burial shroud will be put on .How long will the person build his worldly home? Knowing that his real home is the grave and beyond.

May Allah SWT make this our best Ramadhan.
posted by Sama Oman @ 1:44 AM   48 comments
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Searching For Her

Okay…how to tell you this… I missed great opportunity to create nice and lovely friendship with this sweet, lovely and calm girl… I took this picture while she was busy with her magazine when we were waiting for our flights in first time… it is not clear…but enough to start my search. We shared same flight and waited for long time last week. We only smiled at each other different times and finally I talked to her, but only for a minute… as we were busy to change the flight and then, we left!!!… I really regretted leaving before even giving her my address.
I can't tell much about it now…I need to find her if there is a possibility…

Hints:
She is German… "I don't know her name…so I called her Carol"
She was heading to Munich in Germany last week… AND She had "Hello Kitty Doll" in her big bag "LOL…I liked that doll"

I will be really grateful for anyone who can give me information about her….

*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*

I think traveling is a great opportunity to meet various people and maybe create friendship with some… I really liked to chat with that girl more…but I left and I regretted that. I love to smile to all people no matter who they are… smiling is the key to open any heart.
posted by Sama Oman @ 10:16 AM   15 comments
Friday, September 14, 2007
Ramadan Is Here

Wishing you a blessed Ramadan…. And may your prayers be answered.

PS/ Sorry for my absence…I was outside Oman the whole week…I will try to write about it soon.
posted by Sama Oman @ 9:39 AM   8 comments
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Oman at 18th place in fiscal freedom
MUSCAT Oman is ranked 18th this year in the World Economic Freedom rankings, up from the 24th spot in 2006, according to the Economic Freedom of the World: 2007 Annual Report, released on Tuesday by the International Research Foundation (IRF) of Oman.
The report was prepared by the Fraser Institute of Canada in association with independent research organizations in 71 countries including the IRF.
Economic freedom in the Sultanate is growing faster than the world average. Director of the Centre for Globalization Studies at the Fraser Institute Fred McMahon said that the report measures the extent to which individuals and families are free to make their own decisions. “You are in the best position to decide what to buy, what to make and what to sell, said McMahon.
It was economic freedom that had transformed Ireland in the about 20 years. From 10 to 20 per cent unemployment it now had a shortage of labour, it had become richer than Canada in terms of per capita income.
“Very poor regions like Hong Kong and Singapore had become prosperous by establishing economically free economies,” said McMahon. Hong Kong tops international rankings for economic freedom, with Singapore a close second and New Zealand in the third spot. Hong Kong gets 8.9 out of 10, Singapore gets 8.8, US gets 8.1, Germany and Oman is ranked 18th with 7.6.
The Sultanate is just behind the UAE for regional lead.
The report uses 42 measures to create the index. They include the legal system, size of government taxation, trade regulation and tariff. Oman’s scores (higher value indicates greater freedom) in key components are: Size of government changed to 5.7 from 5.9 in last year’s report; legal structures and security of property rights changed to 7.7 from 7.5; access to sound money changed to 9.4 from 8.6; freedom to trade internationally changed to 7.3 from 7.8; regulation of credit, labour and business changed to 8.0 from 6.6.
McMahon said if Oman had to go further, it should reduce the size of government. Government consumption was very high at 35.5 per cent and it crowds out the private sector and reduces economic freedom. In the legal system the achievements were great, but there were complaints that the enforcement of contracts was slow, complicated and difficult, said McMahon.
Omani Centre for Investment Promotion and Export Development CEO Dr Salem Al Ismaily said such reports help attract investment as prospective investors study the country before deciding to invest. He said presently $15 billion in investment was on the ground and the volume was very high pushing up the cost of cement.
The Economic Freedom of the World report, 2007, also includes research which shows that by liberalizing trade with foreign nations, economically free countries can exert a positive even if modest impact on economic freedom in less free nations.

posted by Sama Oman @ 3:18 AM   169 comments
Monday, September 03, 2007
أنا و حكاية النقاب

حسناً... أنا جربت و لبست النقاب... بدأ الأمر منذ سنوات قليلة وأنا في رحلة تسوق مع أختي... وجدت أمامي أنواع منها...كنت دائما أضحك وأسميها "أقنعة"...و أتذكر فتاة بالمدرسة كانت ترتدي لدى خروجها من المدرسة نقاب و عباءة و قفازات و جوارب كلها اسود في اسود...لا يظهر منها أي شيء ...كنت انظر لها بفضول شديد ... تبدو كشبح أسود...وكانت بجد تلفت الأنظار لها أكثر... عموماً بدافع الفضول قررت شراء واحد...كنا نضحك و لا أدري لماذا اشتريته يومها...لم أكن أتصور أني سأرتديه...عندما جربته أول مرة شعرت بالاختناق...وكنت مستنكرة أقول لنفسي: من تتحمل أن تبقى مخنوقة خلفه طوال ساعات وربما خلال يوم كامل.... وكنت أرفعة لأستنشق هواء و أرجعه...كان الأمر مضحك جدا وكنت أضحك و ألقي النكات... لكن مع الوقت تعودت عليه و أصبح أمر عادي...

أعجبني فيه عدة أشياء:
منحني حرية مراقبة الآخرين بدون أن أكون أنا محط الأنظار والمراقبة ... عندما ترتدي فتاة النقاب لا يعرف الشخص من التي خلفه ...لهذا عندما أصادف أشخاص اعرفهم لا يعرفون أني أنا التي خلف النقاب و أظل اضحك عليهم لأني أراقبهم وهم لا يعرفون من أكون... وهذا مهم كون هناك أشخاص لا أحب أن أقابلهم *ثقيلي الدم*...
الأمر الأخر أن النقاب ساعدني لما اذهب لأماكن فيها اختلاط و ازدحام....لا يجرؤ أحد أن يقترب و يضايقني...سابقا كنت أنزعج جدا من المضايقات و النظرات التي تلاحقني ...وقد خفت الآن منذ بدأت البس النقاب.

طبعا هناك عيوب له:
بعض البنات "الله يصلحهم" يرتدين النقاب وبعدها يرسمن عيونهن رسم رهيب...كحل و آي شدو و أصفر و أخضر و أحمر...يعني شو الفايدة من النقاب وقتها....صارت البنت تلفت الأنظار أكثر و أكثر بعيونها المرسومة... وكما تقول صديقتي العيون تشد أكثر خاصة لما تظهر بهذا الشكل... لو ما يلبسنه أحسن. كما أن هناك من ترتديه و ترتدي معه ملابس أو عباءة ملونة مبهرجة و ضيقة و تضع الماكياج و العطور والبخور... فتلفت الأنظار أكثر و أكثر لها.... كما لا ننسى أن بعض الشباب العابث استغله بشكل سلبي للتنكر و الدخول لأماكن مخصصة للنساء أو التصرف بشكل غير لائق.

نظرة البعض للنقاب... إخواني مثلاً ضد النقاب و عندما بدأت ألبسة ضايقوني بتعليقاتهم و انتقاداتهم...أخي يرفض أن أمشي بقربه و يقول دائماً ليضايقني: "ابتعدي عني... لا أعرفك... أنتي إرهابية.... "
لوووووول...هاهاهاها... كنت أضحك لأني اعرف أنه يقولها ليضايقني و ليحثني على التخلي عن لبس النقاب....خاصة عندما أخبرته ببعض المواقف لي مع بعضهم و انه فضلوا الابتعاد و الانسحاب من أمامي بالسوق...لوووول...
فرد قائلاً: ما ألومهم....يخشون منك لأنك تبدين إرهابية....و خطر متخفي.

لكن بصراحة: لماذا النظرة لمن ترتدي النقاب سيئة لهذا الحد؟؟؟ وأمر أخر ....أليس النقاب أمر شخصي و ليس فرض؟؟؟
لماذا بعض الناس يفرضونه على النساء كأنه أمر لازم و مفروض؟؟؟؟؟؟؟؟

أنا لم يفرض أحد علي الأمر...أحببت أن أجربه لوحدي و بدون ضغوط.


أحد أخواني قال لي مرة: لماذا ترتدي النساء النقاب؟؟؟ إذا كانت زوجات الرسول...أشرف النساء ... لم يرتدين النقاب ....كما أن الرسول لم يأمر أسماء بنت أبي بكر رضي الله عنها بتغطية الوجه و اليدين ... بل قال إلا هذا وأشار لوجهه و يديه. كذا الأمر بشأن الرجال و اللحى ... لماذا يطيل البعض لحيته بشكل غريب مقزز و بلا تشذيب و تعديل... المسلم يجب أن يكون حسن المظهر و مهندم و لائق و نظيف... والله يحب أن يرى نعمته على عبده...الله لم يأمرنا أن نكون مبهدلين غير لائقين...الرسول نفسه كان يحب الطيب و التطيب و البخور... وكثير من الصحابة كانوا يلبسون أحسن لبس و يخرجون بأفضل هيئة... وهذا لم يغير إيمانهم والتزامهم... كما أن الانطباع الأول مهم ... وعلى المسلم أن يكون بمظهرة و أفعاله دعوة متنقلة للإسلام.... لكن ما نراه الآن هوا لعكس.

الحقيقة أنا معه بكل كلمة و معه حق في نقده... على المسلمين أن يتحلوا بالحلم و اللين و التصرف اللائق... عليهم أن يحسنوا من مظهرهم و يعمروا الدنيا لا يخربوها ... عليهم أن يندمجوا مع الآخرين لأخذ و نشر الفائدة.

عموماً........لم أعد أرتدي النقاب كالسابق...بدأت اخرج بدونة.... ولا أرتدية إلا قليلا ...غالباً عند التسوق لأخذ راحتي بدون أن تلاحقني النظرات الفضولية.

الآن ما هي نظرتكم أنتم تجاهه؟؟؟
posted by Sama Oman @ 3:13 AM   15 comments


   


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