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Dont Peep
 
The eyes are among the most blessed bounties given to human beings. Ask the person who does not have sight – indeed he is in a world of complete darkness. Therefore be thankful for your eyes and repeat the shukr day in and day out. 

This gift from Allah Ta’ala must be used correctly, which in a way is showing thankfulness. Besides evil glances at the opposite gender, one other bad habit (with some people) is peeping into homes. This generally happens when visiting friends and relatives, waiting at the door before obtaining permission to enter. The temptation to peep through the window or open door of the house is a Shaitaani habit. Therefore, the correct procedure is to stand at the side of the door, even if the door is closed. Islam has taught us the highest standards of morals and ethics. 

Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) taught us to be very careful and cautious about our social lives. Each lesson from the life of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and the Sahabah (RA) must be held in the highest esteem. Therefore, never regard a simple lesson like looking into someone’s home to be inferior. So serious is the offence that Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) once reprimanded a person, saying, in a Hadith reported by Bukhari, “Had I known that you are looking (inside) then I would have pierced your eyes because seeking permission is exactly the reason (to prevent) the sight (into the wrong directions).” Another hadith reported by Bukhari and Muslim states that, “Should the people of the household find anyone peeping into their home, they are allowed to pierce the eyes.” 

Once Sa’d ibn Muaaz (RA) approached the room of Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and sought permission to enter, facing the entrance of the room. Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), by way of a hand signal requested him to move onto one side, saying, “Oh Sa’d! Stand in this way (on one side) when seeking permission to enter, because in reality it’s because of the sight that permission is sought.” (Shu’bul Imaan) 

We need to exercise extreme caution when visiting friends and family – even those homes that we often frequent. A similar approach should be adopted to one’s parents’ home. Hadhrat Umar (RA) said that that person who places his sight inside the home before seeking permission has committed sin, which is an act of fisq.


Brotherhood and Unity amongst Muslims

Why is it that when the Muslims of the 21st century hear that there has been an earthquake in Indonesia, Pakistan or a Tsunami along the borders of Asia but do not feel pained? When they hear of such atrocities or sufferings happening to their beloved Muslim brothers across the world there is no shared grief or significant compassion? Why is it that today when we hear that our Muslim brothers and sisters around the world are being tortured mercilessly, their land and posessions destroyed/occupied; their children are being killed/enslaved in poverty and human rights are being annihilated, that we feel no pain?

While we are living and enjoying the comforts and luxuries of the 21st century, our brothers and sisters are being oppressed all around us. It has become such that we have become immune to hearing such afflictions. It has become such that we find it hard to shed even one tear.

My dear readers, whoever you are and wherever you are, have we forgotten the Hadith of Rasullullah May Allah send peace and blessings upon him ?

Rasullullah May Allah send peace and blessings upon him giving an example of Muslim unity is reported to have said in a Hadith:

“The Muslim Ummah is like one body. If the eye is in pain then the whole body is in pain and if the head is in pain then the whole body is in pain”

So we the Muslim Ummah, whatever colour, nationality or gender, wherever we are, are like this body. If we hear that any part of this Ummah is being oppressed, then we should feel this pain.

My dear readers, our oppressed brothers and sisters are crying out for help. They find that the Muslims of the 21st century are asleep and there is no one to help them. The reason why we the Muslims are collapsing is because we do not have any love amongst us. We harbour hatred for one another and our worldly matters and materialistic pursuits have taken over our lives.

Have we forgotten the beloved companions radiyallaho anhum of Rasullullah May Allah send peace and blessings upon him? Have we even realised that they were of different colours and backgrounds. Hazrat Bilal May Allah be pleased with him was from Ethiopia , Hazrat Salman May Allah be pleased with him was of Persian decent, Hazrat Suhaib May Allah be pleased with him was from Rome and Hazrat Abu Zar May Allah be pleased with him was from Gifar.

They used to love each other more than real brothers. These were the Sahabas.

When Rasullullah May Allah send peace and blessings upon him made the Hijrah to Madinah, amongst them was Hazrat Abdur Rahman May Allah be pleased with him.

Rasullullah May Allah send peace and blessings upon him had just established peace between Hazrat Abdur Rahman and Hazrat Sa'ad Radhiallaho Anhu of Madinah. Rasullullah May Allah send peace and blessings upon him tells Sa'ad May Allah be pleased with him to take Hazrat Abdur Rahman May Allah be pleased with him as his brother. Hazrat Sa'ad May Allah be pleased with him says to Hazrat Abdur Rahman, “O Abdur Rahman, I am one of the richest men of Madinah, take half of my wealth and do whatever you want to do with it. I have two wives, take a look at them, whichever one pleases you, I will divorce her so that you can marry her.”

This is the love that the Sahaba had amongst them. Can we find any two people in the world like this today? And this is the love that Islam is asking from all the Muslims around the world today.

Has the time not come for all of us Muslims to unite again? The unity, which our Prophet May Allah send peace and blessings upon him has taught us, the unity that the Sahabas had, the Unity of Islam.

(Inter-Islam)
Household Advices

Teach yourself and the family one Sunnah and one sin. Why sin? In order to recognize that it is a sin and identify to abstain from it.

 

  • Every household should read the following daily:

        100 times Kalima Tayyibah
        100 times Durood Shareef
        100 times Istighfaar.

  • Meet and keep in touch with the pious.

 

  • Some ta'leem should take place on a daily basis – reading of Hayatus
  • Sahabah, Hayatul Muslimeen, Fadaail A'maal, etc.

 

  • Learn to make dua for every need. Be thankful for everything.


Insha Allah, in practicing these simple points, it is hoped that greater love will be generated among family members and a greater deeni awareness will be created in the home environment.


Tajweed: Basic overview - part 1

Tajweed is defined as the precise methodology of enunciating the letters of the Quran. Tajweed is part science and part art. The science is in the exact pronunciation of the Arabic letters and the rules for enunciation of the words and phrases of the Quran. The art comes in the style and beautifying the recitation.

The majority of this discipline is concerned with the correct pronunciation of the Arabic alphabet. For this there are two method of learning. First is by description of the place of origin of sound, known as the Makhraj (plural Makharij). There are 17 Makharij or places of sound origin encompassing the lips, tongue, palate, mouth and throat.. In other words, all of the Arabic letters originate from one of these 17 sites.

It is crucial to know where the sound of a letter is supposed to originate in order to pronounce it correctly. The second method of learning the pronunciation of the Arabic alphabet is by listening and following. Once the correct pronunciations have been mastered, the Rules of Tajweed can be learnt.
 

How to Learn Tajweed

Tajweed and its application can only be learned under a qualified teacher. The rules themselves can be studied independently, but their correct application can only be done by listening to, reciting, and being corrected by, a qualified teacher of the Qur’an. Today even many Arabs are unaware of the rules of Tajweed. Unfortunately many do not know proper Tajweed. In the days of Rasulullah (sallallahu- alayhi-wasallam), there was no need for the study of Tajweed because they talked with what is now known as Tajweed; in other words, it was natural for them. Now, over 14 centuries later, colloquial Arabic has changed radically from the classical Arabic with which the Qur’an was revealed, and Arabs have to study Tajweed, just in the same way that non-Arabs do.

HOW TO LEARN TAJWEED

The first step is finding a qualified Qur’an teacher who will listen to you and point out your mistakes, and help you practice fixing them. You will need to learn the Arabic letters and vowels too. What if there aren’t any qualified teachers where I live? Then your task is going to be a little harder, but certainly not impossible. You need to work with tapes of good reciters, for example, the Imams of the Haram, or Shaikh Khalil Khusry. You will need to work on the pronunciation of letters by getting a description of the articulation points and practice placing your tongue, lips, or finding the place in your throat where the letter is articulated from, and compare it to the letter when recited by the Sheikh.

COMMON TAJWEED MISTAKES

The two most common tajweed mistakes made by non-Arabs are the timings of the vowels, and madd letters, and in the articulation points of the letters (makharij). This mistake, is a major problem that needs to be addressed by all non-Arabs, whether they are Westerners, Europeans, Africans, from the Indo Pakistani subcontinent, or from Eastern Asia. At the outset, the letters that occur in Arabic that are not common in other languages would be what one would imagine to be a problem, but in fact, there are letters in Arabic that are similar to other languages, but do not share the same articulation points with their counterparts. A third mistake incurred by Arabs and non-Arabs alike is in making proper stops and starts. There is more than one aspect to this mistake. The first aspect is that the proper way to stop on a word is by putting a sukoon, or absence of a vowel on the last letter of the word. It is not allowed to stop using the harakah, or vowel on the last letter of the word. The second aspect of stopping is that of stopping at a place that doesn’t contradict the meaning intended by Allah, the Exalted. The same mistake can occur when zstarting up after stopping and taking a breath. One cannot just start on the next word arbitrarily, instead the meaning needs to be considered, and the start should be on a word that portrays the correct and complete meaning, even if the reciter needs to go back two or three words.

IMPORTANT NOTE:

One note that is of utmost importance. It is vital that the Muslim learn the Arabic letters and vowels and recite the Qur’an using them, NOT a transliteration. Transliterations do not take into account the various letters that sound similar to the untrained ear, but are very different in pronunciation. The Qur’an is the word of Allah, revealed to man as a guidance, and we have to be extremely careful to read it, as best we can, with proper pronunciation. Reading a transliteration can lead to changing the meaning of the Arabic Qur’an by mispronouncing letters.

Tajweed: It's importance 

One of the many miracles of the noble Qur'an is that regardless of the number of times it is recited, one never gets tired nor bored with its recitation. Allah Ta'ala says in the noble Qur'an, "Indeed the believers are those who tremble with fear when Allah is remembered, and when the verses of the Qur'an are recited before them it increases their belief; and upon Allah they have complete trust." (8:2) One of the salient points mentioned in this verse is that when a believer recites the noble Qur'an in the correct manner, it increases his faith and belief in Allah. Reciting the noble Qur'an in the correct manner means to recite it with Tajweed.

What is Tajweed?

Tajweed means to recite every letter correctly, i.e. from its proper origin of pronunciation coupled with its stipulated attributes. Allah Ta'ala says in the noble Qur'an, "And recite the Qur'an with Tarteel (in a slow pleasant tone and style)." (73:4) The Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) has said, 'Indeed Allah desires that the Qur'an be recited in the manner it was revealed.' When asked about the meaning of Tarteel, Ali (Radhiallaahu Anhu) replied, 'It means that the Qur'an should be recited with Tajweed and with due observance to the rules of Waqf (pausing or stopping at the end of the verse).'

Necessity of Learning Tajweed:

Since the Qur'an emphatically commands us to recite the Qur'an with Tarteel, we have to recite it with Tajweed. Tajweed is not like all other subjects which we are able to separate from the Qur'an but instead Tajweed and Qur'an work hand in hand. According to some scholars, the verse, 'Verily my people have renounced the Qur'an' (25:30) has two interpretations. Firstly, it could mean that they had renounced the Qur'an by not believing in it and practicing upon it. And secondly, it could mean that they used to recite the Qur'an in such a disgusting manner that it sounded like senseless and meaningless jabbering.' Reading the Qur'an without Tajweed could also be included in the second interpretation. The Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) has said, 'The Qur'an will either testify in your favour or against you.' Hence, if we fail to observe the requirements of the noble Qur'an during our recitation, the Qur'an will testify against us. If we are unacquainted with these prerequisites, we are compelled to acquire the laws of Tajweed. Due to the vastness of the Arabic language, any small mistake in pronunciation of a letter or word may change the meaning of that word. For example, the word 'Qalb' (with q) means 'heart', if read 'Kalb' (with k), it will mean a 'dog'. So just as how in any other language we learn pronunciation of letters and words, for example, in English we learn that 'ph' stands for 'f' (as in phone) and not pone. Similarly, in the Arabic language, we also have to learn pronunciation of letters and words, which we term as 'Tajweed'.

Some people read so much of the Qur'an but because they do not know the correct pronunciation of the letters, they change the letters, which then changes the words which eventually leads to the changing of the sentence and meaning of the Qur'an. We should remember that from the time and generation of the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) till now, no one has ever denied this fact that Tajweed is definitely important. It is only now in our generation that people have lost respect and forgotten the status of Tajweed. We get some people nowadays who spend hours and hours reciting the Qur'an thinking that they are getting and attaining great rewards. But because their pronunciation of letters is incorrect, a very big problem arises. It sounds very small when we say, 'I am only pronouncing a letter incorrectly.' But did this thought ever cross our minds that when a letter changes in a word, the word changes and if a word changes in a sentence then the whole sentence changes and eventually the meaning also changes.

The Qur'an is the word of Allah. If we change the word of Allah then Allah Ta'ala will definitely get angry with us and take us to task. So from all this, we can see the importance of reading the Qur'an with Tajweed. May Allah give us the ability to read the Qur'an correctly so that we may earn the mercy of Allah Ta'ala.

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