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The abode of eternal bliss, where no pain or suffering will ever be experienced is Jannah (paradise). Jahannum (hell) is a place of non-stop punishment. This world is a mixture of pleasure and pain, happiness and grief, health and sickness and generally all types of “ups” and “downs”. Every person in this world experiences problems and difficulties. Some difficulties come as a test from Allah Ta’ala, such as the difficulties that come upon the pious. Other problems and hardships are the result of sins.

The solution to all problems is to turn sincerely to Allah Ta`ala. Irrespective of the nature of the problem, whether it be a financial crisis, a domestic dispute, illness, being afflicted by any jinn or whatever other problem there may be, the solution lies ONLY in drawing the help of Allah Ta’ala. Therefore, while adopting sabr (patience) do the following:

* Make sincere tauba (repent) and engage in excessive istighfaar (seek forgiveness).

* Ensure that you have not transgressed the rights of people.

* Perform all your salaah. Males must perform salaah with jama’ah.

* Ensure that you have discharged your zakaat correctly.

* Protect yourself from all haraam – haraam actions, haraam earnings and haraam food.

Learn and recite the masnoon duas (duas taught in the sunnah) on the relevant occasions. Also spend at least seven minutes daily in one sitting and earnestly engage in dua.

Together with the above one should, with the intention of following the sunnah, resort to permissible methods of treatment, as well as consult people of experience in business and other matters.

Remember! Only Allah Ta`ala can help you.

Alhaadi.org

 

True Mu'min

Amongst the highly emphasised teachings of Islam is to love every Muslim for the sake of Allah Ta`ala. Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) emphatically stressed this lesson when he said: “None of you is a believer until he loves for his brother (his fellow Muslims) what he loves for himself.” (Sahih Muslim)

The message is clear: The person who does not love for his brother what he loves for himself is not worthy of the title of Mu’min (Believer), though his Imaan itself is not negated by this serious deficiency in his life.

What does it really mean to love for others what one loves for oneself? There are two meanings to this hadith.

Firstly, one should treat others in the same manner that one would like to be treated. For instance, every person loves that he should be treated with respect and honour. He does not like to be mocked or ridiculed, or want anyone to harm his life, dignity and belongings. He should therefore treat others in the same manner. He should not harm anyone in any way or desire any ill for anyone.

The second aspect that applies is the following: If you were in the next person’s situation, what would you have desired for yourself. For instance a fellow Muslim is a trader. If you were the trader in his place, what would you have desired for yourself? Surely you would have earnestly wished that your business prospers and is protected from all harm, that it becomes the means of earning the good of this world and the Hereafter, etc. You should now love the same for your fellow Muslim trader. Think in a similar manner with regard to every other person, whoever he may be. What good you would have desired for yourself had you been in his shoes, desire the same for him.

If every Muslim adopts only this one concise teaching of Deen, most of the problems between people would be resolved. Malice, jealousy backbiting, revenge and a host of other social evils will be eliminated. Love and brotherhood will prevail.

We should therefore endeavour to bring this Hadith alive. Wish for the good of every Muslim. Daily make dua for every Believer. If you find yourself not wishing good for any Muslim, especially make dua for him that Allah Ta’ala should grant him the best of both worlds and save him from every difficulty and hardship. Insha Allah this will remove the ill-feeling and generate love. One will then become worthy of the title of “Mu’min”.

Alhaadi.org.za

 

Gaza: Never-ending tragedy

Robert Fisk | The Independent

How easy it is to snap off the history of the Palestinians, to delete the narrative of their tragedy, to avoid a grotesque irony about Gaza which — in any other conflict — journalists would be writing about in their first reports: That the original, legal owners of the Israeli land on which Hamas rockets are detonating live in Gaza.

That is why Gaza exists: Because the Palestinians who lived in Ashkelon and the fields around it — Askalaan in Arabic — were dispossessed from their lands in 1948 when Israel was created and ended up on the beaches of Gaza. They — or their children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren — are among the one and a half million Palestinian refugees crammed into the cesspool of Gaza, 80 percent of whose families once lived in what is now Israel. This, historically, is the real story: Most of the people of Gaza don’t come from Gaza.

But watching the news shows, you’d think that history began yesterday, that a bunch of bearded anti-Semitic Islamist lunatics suddenly popped up in the slums of Gaza — a rubbish dump of destitute people of no origin — and began firing missiles into peace-loving, democratic Israel, only to meet with the righteous vengeance of the Israeli air force. The fact that the five sisters killed in Jabalya camp had grandparents who came from the very land whose more recent owners have now bombed them to death simply does not appear in the story.

Both Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres said back in the 1990s that they wished Gaza would just go away, drop into the sea, and you can see why. The existence of Gaza is a permanent reminder of those hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who lost their homes to Israel, who fled or were driven out through fear or Israeli ethnic cleansing 60 years ago, when tidal waves of refugees had washed over Europe in the aftermath of World War II and when a bunch of Arabs kicked out of their property didn’t worry the world.

Well, the world should worry now. Crammed into the most overpopulated few square miles in the whole world are a dispossessed people who have been living in refuse and sewage and, for the past six months, in hunger and darkness, and who have been sanctioned by us, the West. Gaza was always an insurrectionary place. It took two years for Ariel Sharon’s bloody “pacification”, starting in 1971, to be completed, and Gaza is not going to be tamed now.

Alas for the Palestinians, their most powerful political voice — I’m talking about the late Edward Said, not Yasser Arafat (and how the Israelis must miss him now) — is silent and their predicament largely unexplained by their deplorable, foolish spokesmen. “It’s the most terrifying place I’ve ever been in,” Said once said of Gaza. “It’s a horrifyingly sad place because of the desperation and misery of the way people live. I was unprepared for camps that are much worse than anything I saw in South Africa.”

Of course, it was left to Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni to admit that “sometimes also civilians pay the price,” an argument she would not make, of course, if the fatality statistics were reversed. Indeed, it was instructive yesterday to hear a member of the American Enterprise Institute — faithfully parroting Israel’s arguments — defending the outrageous Palestinian death toll by saying that it was “pointless to play the numbers game”. Yet if more than 300 Israelis had been killed — against two dead Palestinians — be sure that the “numbers game” and the disproportionate violence would be all too relevant. The simple fact is that Palestinian deaths matter far less than Israeli deaths. True, we know that 180 of the dead were Hamas members. But what of the rest? If the UN’s conservative figure of 57 civilian fatalities is correct, the death toll is still a disgrace. To find both the US and Britain failing to condemn the Israeli onslaught while blaming Hamas is not surprising. US Middle East policy and Israeli policy are now indistinguishable and Gordon Brown is following the same dog-like devotion to the Bush administration as his predecessor.

As usual, the Arab satraps are silent, preposterously calling for an Arab summit on the crisis which will (if it even takes place), appoint an “action committee” to draw up a report which will never be written. For that is the way with the Arab world and its rulers. As for Hamas, they will, of course, enjoy the discomfiture of the Arab potentates while cynically waiting for Israel to talk to them. Which they will. Indeed, within a few months, we’ll be hearing that Israel and Hamas have been having “secret talks” — just as we once did about Israel and the even more corrupt PLO. But by then, the dead will be long buried and we will be facing the next crisis since the last crisis.

Arabnews.com

Jerusalem Under Different Rulers

The hot sun scorched the master and his attendant. The long journey tired them. They only had one camel, and they rode it turn by turn. By chance, it happened to be the attendant’s turn to ride the camel the day they were going to reach their destination. “Commander of the Faithful,” said the attendant, “I give up my turn. It will be awkward in the eyes of the people if I ride and you walk.”

“Oh, no,” replied the master, “It’s your turn. I am not going to be unfair.”

They were received by the commanders of the Muslim army. The commanders were wearing clothes of silk, and this enraged the master. He picked up a rock and threw it at them, saying, “Have you changed so much in just two years? What dress is this?”

The officers replied, “Commander of the Faithful, we are in a land where the value of clothes worn tells the status of a man. If we wear ordinary clothes, we will command little or no respect among the people.” This answer cooled the anger of the master.

Who was the master? It was none other than the second Caliph, Umar (May God be pleased with him). He had journeyed all the way from Medina to Jerusalem to sign a peace treaty with the rulers of Jerusalem.

Afterwards, Umar signed the peace treaty. It read as follows:

“This is the protection which the servant of God, Umar, the Ruler of the Believers, has granted to the people of Jerusalem. The protection is for their lives and properties, their churches and crosses, their sick and healthy and for all their coreligionists. Their churches shall not be used for habitation, nor shall they be demolished, nor shall any injury be done to them or to their compounds, or to their crosses, nor shall their properties be injured in any way. There shall be no compulsion for these people in the matter of religion, nor shall any of them suffer any injury on account of religion... Whatever is written herein is under the covenant of God and the responsibility of His Messenger, of the Caliphs and of the believers, and shall hold good as long as they pay Jizya [the tax for their defense] imposed on them.”

The gates of the city were opened and Umar went to the Masjid Aqsa, the third most holy place in Islam, and prayed. Afterwards, the Bishop of the city invited him to tour the biggest church of the city. Umar was in the church when the time for the after-noon prayer came. The Bishop offered to let him pray in the church.

“No,” replied Umar, “If I do so, the Muslims one day might take this as an excuse to take the church from you.” So Umar prayed on the steps of the church. He then gave the Bishop a pact that forbade the Muslims from ever praying on the steps of the church.

Thus was the conquest of Jerusalem by the Muslims. Muslims, Christians, Jews, and others lived together peacefully under Muslim rule until 1099 CE when the Crusaders conquered Jerusalem.

The French historian Michaud (1767-1839), who traveled in the Middle East and wrote a book on the Crusades called Bibliotheque des Croisades (Library of the Crusades), says on the conquest of Jerusalem by the Crusaders in 1099, “The Muslims were massacred in the streets and in the houses. Some fled from death by precipitating themselves from the ramparts; others crowded for shelter into the palaces, the towers and above all, in the mosques where they could not conceal themselves from the Crusaders. The Crusaders, masters of the Mosque of Umar, where the Muslims defended themselves for sometime, renewed their deplorable scenes which disgraced the conquest of Titus. The infantry and the cavalry rushed pell-mell among the fugitives. Amid the most horrid tumult, nothing was heard but the groans and cries of death; the victors trod over heaps of corpses in pursuing those who vainly attempted to escape.”

“There was a short lull in the act of slaughter when the Crusaders assembled to offer their thanksgiving prayer for the victory they had achieved. But soon it was renewed with great ferocity. All the captives, whom the lassitude of carnage had at first spared, all those who had been saved in the hope of rich ransom, were butchered in cold blood. The Muslims were forced to throw themselves from the tops of towers and houses; they were burnt alive; they were dragged from their subterranean retreats, they were hauled to the public places, and immolated on piles of the dead. Neither the tears of women nor the cries of little children--- not even the sight of the place where Jesus Christ forgave his executioners, could mollify the victors' passion... The carnage lasted for a week. The few who escaped were reduced to horrible servitude.”

Raymond d'Agiles, who was an eye-witness, says, “Under the portico of the mosque, the blood was knee-deep, and reached the horses' bridles.”

Such was the cruelty shown by the Crusaders. In total contrast to this, the Muslims, when they had conquered Jerusalem showed total respect and nobility. They let the population alone. They shed no blood. They made sure that the churches weren’t changed into Masjids.

The treatment that Umar gave wasn’t one isolated event in Muslim history. There were hundreds of such incidents. In fact, all of these were in line with the tradition Prophet Muhammad Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam (Peace be upon him) set when he conquered Makkah. The day in which he declared to the pagan Makkan chiefs, “You are free from all fears today. May God forgive you.”

When the Muslims re-conquered Jerusalem in 1187, they again showed extreme mercy and kindness. The ruler at the time, Sultan Salahuddin Ayyubi, gave free pardon to the Christians in the city. Only the soldiers were required to pay a very small fee. However, the Sultan himself paid the fee for about ten thousand people. His brother paid it for seven thousand people. Salahuddin also allocated one of the gates of the city for people who were too poor to pay anything to leave from there. A number of weeping Christian women carrying their children in their arms approached the Sultan and said, “You see us on foot, the wives, mothers and daughters of the warriors who are your prisoners; we are quitting forever this country; they aided us in our lives, in losing them we lose our last hope; if you give them to us, they can alleviate our miseries and we shall not be without support on earth”. The Sultan was highly moved with their appeal and set free their men. Those who left the city were allowed to carry all their bag and baggage. The commanders under the Sultan competed with each other in showing mercy to the defeated Crusaders.

Today, the Zionists in Israel are doing similar to what the Crusaders did.

Innocent civilians are randomly tortured and killed. Little children are shot. Hospitals regularly overflow with patients. Entire blocks are bulldozed for no reason.

Palestinians on the streets during curfew, even those seeking medicine or food are shot out of hand. Kids throwing stones at heavily armored tanks are gunned down, schools are destroyed, clinics ransacked, homes plundered, tank shells lobbed into marketplaces and missiles hurled into crowds.

While settlers fill their swimming pools, Palestinians go begging for water; the Israeli army destroys wells.

Countless orchards nurtured over generations have been wiped out, marketplaces bulldozed, civilian infrastructure everywhere trashed, often for no apparent security reason.

Palestinian paramedics are beaten to a pulp by the Zionist soldiers, used as human shields by them, kidnapped or delayed for hours from reaching patients.

Israeli soldiers use terrifying methods of torture. They beat innocent people going about their daily lives. They detain random people for undefined periods of time. They use poison gas against protesting civilians. They shell crowded houses in the middle of the night. They routinely disallow Muslims to offer their prayers in Al-Aqsa Masjid, the third holiest site in Islam.

Jerusalem is a holy land for Muslims, Christians, and Jews. All live there. All have ruled there at different times. But their rules were not the same. Some filled it with justice; others with oppression.

Albalagh.net

 

GAZA ON FIRE

 

Allah says in the Noble Qur’an:

سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَى بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلاً مِّنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ البَصِيرُ

Glory be to Him Who made His servant to go on a night journey from the Sacred Mosque to the remote mosque of which We have blessed the precincts, so that We may show to him some of Our signs; surely He is the Hearing, the Seeing.

[Al-Israa, Ayah 1]

What does Al-Aqsa Mean to Us?

  • Islam’s First Qiblah - Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam instructed the early Muslims to perform Salah whilst facing towards Al-Quds before the revelation to face towards Makkah as Qiblah.

  • Its sanctity is matched only by Makkah and Madinah - In the Noble Qur’an there are many verses implying that the Land of Palestine, the city of Jerusalem and the entire environs are set apart as blessed. The land around Masjid Al- Aqsa is referred to 70 times in the Qur’an.

  • Land of the Isra and Miraj -The Night Journey of Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam was to Jerusalem. It was from here that the Ascension to the Heavens took place.

  • Virtues of praying in Masjid Al Aqsa are exalted - Up to 500 times more virtuous than any Masajid other than Baitullah and Masjid Nabawi sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam. (Hadith: Abu Darda; Al Bukhari).

  • It is an article of Islamic faith to respect all the Prophets - As many Ambiyaa were associated with Al Quds and its surroundings, every inch has become an object of reverence.

  • Linked to the Last Day - Maimunah bin Sa’d radhiallahu ‘anha asked: ‘O Prophet of Allah! Tell us about Baitul Maqdas,’ to which he replied, ‘It is the land of gathering and resurrection.’ (Abu Dawud)

  • Waqf - After ‘Umar ibn Khatab radhiallahu ‘anhu signed an agreement, he refused to distribute the land amongst the Muslim soldiers and declared it an Islamic endowment [waqf] for the benefit of future generations. Waqf, by definition, is a property that belongs to Allah until the Day of Qiyamah. Islamic literature is filled with references to Palestine as an Islamic trust or endowment.

  • Sahabah - Approximately four thousand Sahabah radhiallahu ‘anhum are buried in this sacred land.

 

What’s happening in Palestine Today?

  • Extrajudicial killings and assassinations by Israeli occupation of Palestinian freedom-fighters and activists are well-documented.

  • Zionists continue to implement their policies of exclusion by building an apartheid wall on Palestinian land.

  • Land is routinely expropriated for establishment of illegal settlements of migrant settlers from around the world except Palestinians.

  • Palestinian refugees within Palestine and beyond are denied their right of return to their homeland.

  • The so-called Israeli-Arabs risk losing their citizenship at any given time while more and more settlers are naturalized so long they claim Jewish descent. With the exception of Jordan, all other Arab states have not given Palestinian refugees citizenship status.

  • Palestinian people live in squalor and abject poverty in Lebanon, Syria and in the Occupied Territories.

  • Acts of provocation such us excavation of the area around and under the Haram al-Sharif under the pretext of archaeological research are sanctioned as legitimate.

  • Routinely such provocation leads to confrontation through which disproportionate force is used against Palestinian defending the Haram al Sharif to decimate, terrorize, maim and put under siege the wider Palestinian community.

  • The Palestinian economy is at the mercy of the Occupying Power: Israel decides what can be imported or exported, restricts movement of people and controls access to all borders and sea.

  • Israeli stands out a record-breaker in ignoring United Nations resolutions. In cases where no resolution was passed against Israel, it was with complicity of the US vetoing such a resolution.

 

Where is GAZA?

  • Gaza, which is one of the most densely populated areas in the region, which has been suffering a large scale humanitarian over the past 18 months. It is boarded by ‘Israel’ in the north and east, Egypt in the south and the Mediterranean to the west. Present day Gazans originally resided in the Occupied Territories and were later forced into this region by the Israeli regime only to expand its own land mass.

  • Israeli war planes have repeatedly bombed and utterly demolished Gaza's only power plant. About 700,000 of Gaza's 1.3 million people have had no electricity, and have been without basic necessities of day to day life.

  • In short, over a million civilians have been trapped in their homes listening to Israeli shells, while facing the awful prospect, within days or weeks, of having to give toxic water to their children that may consign them to quick but agonizing deaths.

  • Gazans are practically living in the world largest ‘concentration camp.’

 

Who is Hamas?

  • Hamas is organization which draws its guidelines from the principles of Islam. Its interpretation of reality, life, humanity and conduct stems directly from the Islamic ethos, thus creating a departure from the ideology of the PLO which is founded on Palestinian/Nationalistic Consciousness.

  • According to Hamas, the issue of Palestine is the responsibility of the Ummah and not merely of those residing there. Thus, the liberation of this land is binding upon every Muslim.

  • The cornerstone of this movement is that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Endowment (waqf); therefore no person can renounce and abandon it or a portion of it.

  • Believing that a divided leadership would undermine the interest of the region, Hamas has and continuously strives to maintain healthy relations with the Palestinian Authority and other regimes in the Arab world.

  • Based upon these fundamentals, the Hamas Administration has always posed a threat to the Zionist State of Israel to achieve its sinister goals and dreams. This is despite the fact that Hamas was democratically elected in February 2006 by its people to administer the affairs of the region of Gaza.

 

Who broke the ‘Truce’?

  • The Egyptian-mediated truce between Hamas and Israel took effect on 19 June 2008. The six month ceasefire deal stipulated that Hamas, will halt the fire of homemade shells into Israeli territory, in exchange for Israel lifting the 12 month-blockade and ceasing all military attacks against the Gaza Strip. In addition the truce deal included that Israel and Hamas will start to conduct indirect talks over a prisoners swap deal. Both Hamas and Israel announced that they agreed on the conditions.

  • Throughout the truce Israel did not lift the siege on Gaza as required and on more than 20 occasions during this six month period they defied the articles of the truce.

  • The most recent series of airstrikes on Gaza is not just an attack on Palestinians, rather an attack on the collective conscience of the world. The past 40 years clearly reflect that with each act of military aggression against Palestinians by Israel, the more intense the resistance becomes.

  • Historical fact indicates that Israel always manufactured a motive to expel or kill Palestinians. In 1980’s there was Sabra and Chatilla; prior to that the flattening of Beirut; thousands of Palestinians were killed for throwing stones during the first Intifada; thousands more killed during the second intifada apparently to stop suicide bombing and; the current justification is Hamas and the Qassam rockets. Each time the Palestinian demon is evoked as an existentialist threat.

  • The facts are clear: Palestinians in Gaza are fighting for their very survival, against annihilation by the state of Israel, who could so easily push them into the sea. They have no armed forces to match against sophistication of Israeli army, only crude weapons and a steely resolve never to give in to the occupier.

 

Our Attitude

  • There’s no need for despondency. Remember the words of Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, “How wonderful is the affair of the believer, for his affairs are all good, and this applies to no one but the believer. If something good happens to him, he is thankful for it and that is good for him. If something bad happens to him, he bears it with patience and that is good for him.” (Muslim)

  • In another narration Nabi sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam is reported as saying: “The greatest reward comes with the greatest trial. When Allah loves a people He tests them. Whoever accepts that wins His pleasure but whoever is discontent with that earns His wrath.” (Tirmidhi and Ibn Maajah)

  • The ‘Ulama explain that any difficulty befalls a believer either as a means of forgiveness or of raising one’s rank in the eyes of Allah if he finds himself living the obedience of Allah. However, if perchance a believer has strayed from the path of righteousness, discomfort comes his way as a wake call to come back to Allah.

 

What must we do?

  • Du’a is the weapon of a believer. Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam said: “The du’a of a Muslim for his brother (in Islam) in his absence is readily accepted. An angel is appointed to his side. Whenever he makes a beneficial du’a for his brother the appointed angel says, 'Aameen. And may you also be blessed with the same.” [Sahih Muslim]

  • Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam said: “Believers (in their mutual concern for each other) are like a single individual, if his eye is in pain, his entire body is in pain, if his head is in pain, his entire body (becomes restless) with pain. (Muslim) Their pain is our pain, their loss is ours! The minimum we can do is read the Qunoot-e-Naazila and beg Allah for His forgiveness and mercy.

  • Educate yourself and your community about Palestine and the issues related to it.

  • Support causes for Palestine through charity.

  • Engage the media and government in the highlighting of the issue of Palestine as a humanitarian crisis.

Jamiatul Ulama

Tel: +27 11 373 8000 Fax: +27 11 373 8022

1st Floor, Baitul Hamd Building, 32 Dolly Rathebe Road, Fordsburg, 2033

P.O.Box 42863, Fordsburg, 2033, Johannesburg, South Africa

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Web: www.jamiat.co.za

 

 

Aged twenty-four, Azaam (not his real name) is currently working as a recruitment consultant and is studying IT part time. There was an unfortunate time in his life when he was addicted to drugs and they became his companion as he struggled through a difficult period of his life. He has traveled a long and complex road in search of freedom and a life of abstinence. Here is Azaam’s story.

Childhood

Growing up in a home with his parents, brother and sister, life seemed quite normal. However, with much difficulty Azaam admits that at the age of six or seven, he was sexually abused by a family member. Talking about such things is taboo in his family and community and as a result, Azaam had to live with this dark secret that tainted his life forever. From that day forward he chose to dissociate himself from life and his family, to run to a “safe” place within himself, a place where things felt ok.

The Beginning

At the age of sixteen, Azaam was introduced to marijuana. His first encounter with the drug was with a group of friends whom he met up with after school one day. “To be honest, I felt nothing, but I felt ok with myself.  It was the first time that I felt at home with myself,” admits Azaam.

The use of Marijuana progressed onto experimenting with other drugs, which led to his choice of drug, Cocaine. At first, he only used cocaine on weekends and sometimes during the week, but within a month he was addicted and could not sleep for weeks at a time.

For six months, he used it every day. At the age of nineteen Azaam was not working and lived alone at university. He had a house and a car. “Everything around me was falling apart, yet I did not care, and just continued to spiral down,” said Azaam.

Eventually he managed to clean up for about six months. Unfortunately, by that time the damage was done. He was soon on his way back home to South Africa. After being back for approximately a year, his life took a formidable, yet familiar turn.

He went back to using Cocaine, although this time it was different because he was at home with his family. For about six months he managed to hide it from his family, but eventually they came to know what was happening. Azaam admits that he knew he had a problem, but figured he could overcome it alone. His family found it difficult to come to terms with his problem.

The Road to Recovery

Throughout Azaam’s life he visited psychiatrists and therapists. “I was always able to manipulate people to get the result I wanted,” said Azaam.  There came a point when he realized that he wanted to make a change in his life. This time he wanted that change to be for himself, not for his family or anyone else.

“I remember my mum and I went for an evaluation, in which the counselor did a urine test for me. I will never forget the way my mum looked at me, and I could not shed a tear,” he added.

The following week he went into rehab on his own account. “They say when you do drugs, from the first hit you close a door in your mind, and open a new one. This is entirely true,” said Azaam.

Azaam has been on the road to recovery for about a year and a half. About eight months ago he relapsed. He was at a crossroad; he could either continue using drugs to the point of death, which was his goal then, or he could clean up, but this time without rehab.

Azaam said, “The last eight months have taken me through every emotion, and feeling. Things I’ve suppressed from a child are coming out. The days don’t get any easier, and life doesn’t cut you any breaks.  I’ve had to relearn basic skills, such as how to deal with a basic situation."

He continued, "There are a few things that I have learnt: you have to have faith in your higher power, and you have to be honest, and willing to change.  I developed an emotional dependency on drugs, and I used them no matter what I felt. They used to help me get away from reality.  I used them because I wanted to, and I didn’t know any other way of being.  I’ve since developed little coping skills and have realized my true passions in life.”

A Word of Advice

Azaam’s advice to the youth is that they should always try and do the right thing. He commented, “Everything happens for a reason in life. It’s all about how you look at it. Remember that whatever you do, you are not the first to have done it and won’t be the last.”

He continued, “I know it’s not easy to stop using drugs, and the craving doesn’t ever go away, but when you are willing to make that change, trust me, the universe will work in your favor, and you will be guided. Now that I look back on what has happened, I realize that all this has brought me to where I am.” Azaam’s greatest support during his difficult times has been his family and his faith in Almighty Allah.

Creativity

Poetry and painting are two things that Azaam truly loves. He started writing poems at the age of thirteen. When writing, Azaam says that he feels like a child again. He feels free, and does not have any concerns about people’s judgments. When writing he explores his emotions and feelings, which he can freely express.

Writing poems allows him to open his mind and influence people’s perceptions of things. It also makes him realize that he is not the only one going through this kind of problem. It is a way of connecting and hopefully allowing others to see that they are not alone either. Writing has become an effective outlet for Azaam to express his innermost feelings.

Choices

In a sense, Azaam has dissociated himself from his past. “I’ve been forgetting that I am a recovering addict, and it’s at these times that I need to remind myself of the reality of my past.  They say for an addict there are only three choices in active addiction: jail, institutions and death. I’ve done one of them and been very close to the other two.”

It is with much courage that Azaam has faced his problems and is determined to make a positive, lasting change in his life. I pray that Almighty Allah will guide him, grant him ease in his endeavors, everlasting success and keep him firm on the straight path.

Finally, I hope that the story of Azaam will be an example for others who are going through a similar situation. I hope they can be inspired by this story and take the first step towards recovery.

By  Tasneem Moolla

http://www.islamonline.net

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