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Sunday, April 21, 2013

The best dirt cleaner

Abu Umamah (RA) narrates: Rasulullah (SAW) said: Whoever stands up to perform his Wudhu, intending to offer Salah, then cleans his hands; the sins of his two hands fallout with the first drop of water. Then, when he rinses his mouth, and draws water into his nose and expels it; the sins of his tongue and two lips fallout with the first drop of water. Then, as he cleans his face, the sins of his hearing and seeing fallout with the first drop (of water). Then, when he cleans his two arms past the elbows, and his two feet past the ankles; he becomes free of all his offences and sins, just as was his state, the day his mother gave him birth. He (then) said: Then, when he stands for Salah; Allah elevates his position, and if he (merely) sits (without standing for Salah) even then his sitting is free of sins! Source: Musnad Ahmad.

We take bath regularly to clean our body of dirts, but how many of us offer regular prayers daily to clean the real dirts (sins)?



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Miraculous story of how Dr. Bilal Abdul Alim became a Muslim

Personally, I embraced Islam at the age of 24, in the summer of 1975, while studying medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. After a long day of study, I went to bed on a Saturday night with no intention of becoming a Muslim. However, 2 things happened during that night that would change my life completely. First of all, I had a dream in which I was commanded by a strong and firm voice, to embrace Islam immediately. I was reminded of how I had previously studied comparative religion at Wesleyan University, but refused to accept Islam even though I felt in my heart that it was the most practical way of life. When I woke up the next morning, I sat on the edge of the bed contemplating what to do, when the telephone rang. The call came from my ex-roommate from Wesleyan who had embraced Islam after graduation and was living in Washington, D.C. At that time, he was studying to be an attorney at Catholic University School of Law. This phone call was the second and final thing, that convinced me to embrace Islam immediately.

My friend asked me, "Are you ready to become a Muslim?" I replied, "Why are you calling me this early in the morning with such a question?" He answered in the following way, "Last night, I had a dream. In that dream, I saw you smiling, surrounded by a sort of spiritual light (called Noor in Islam). Then, I heard a strong and powerful voice saying, 'Allah has made this man a Muslim in the night and Allah has given him the name, Bilal Abdul-Alim (3 times). So, your job is to call him in the morning, and invite him to accept Islam and, give him his new name." My friend continued by saying, "Don't play games with me! Tell me what happened!" I then related my experience the night before with tears in my eyes. A few days later, I drove non-stop from Houston, Texas to Washington, D.C to accept Islam in the presence of my dear friend, Attorney Haroun G. Cook.

Dr. Bilal Abdul Alim can be reached at: medman@viewislam.com




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A Feast for Clothes

Once upon a time in the Iranian city of Shiraz, there lived the famous poet Sheikh Saadi. Like most other poets and philosophers, Sheikh Saadi was not a rich man. He led a very simple life. A rich merchant of Shiraz invited Sheikh Saadi along with a lot of other big businessmen of the town on the occasion of his daughter's marriage which was to be a grand affair. Sheikh Saadi accepted the invitation and decided to attend.

On the day of the wedding, the host and his family were receiving the guests at the gate. They were ushering all the guests towards the dining hall. All the rich people of the town attended the wedding. They had come out in best of their attires. Sheikh Saadi wore simple clothes which were neither grand nor expensive. He waited in a corner for someone to approach him but no one gave him as much as even a second glance. Even the host did not acknowledge him and looked away. Seeing all this, Sheikh Saadi quietly left the party and went to a shop from where he could hire clothes. There he chose a richly brocaded dress which was embroidered in gold on the margins. He selected a fancy turban and a waist-band to go with it. As he put on the hired dress and looked into the mirror, he found himself a changed person.

With this, he entered the dining hall and this time was welcomed with open arms. The host embraced him as he would do to an old friend and complimented him on the clothes he was wearing. On seeing him, he said, "And here comes our favourite poet. What took you so long, friend? We have been waiting for you for ages! How good of you to have come. The gathering surely would have been incomplete without your gracious presence!" Saadi did not utter a word and allowed the host to lead him to the dining room where other guests had assembled. Tasty dishes had been laid out on grand carpets. Saadi was offered a seat with soft cushions. The food was served in fine crockery and cutlery made out of silver.

The host led Sheikh Saadi by hand and himself served out the chicken soup and the fragrant rice to him. After this, something strange happened. Sheikh Saadi dipped the corner of his waist-coat in the soup and sprinkled some rice on it. Addressing the clothes, he said: "This is a feast for you, you should enjoy it."

All the guests were now staring at him in surprise. The host said, "Sir, what are doing? How can your clothes eat? And why should they? To this query, Sheikh Saadi very calmly replied: "My dear friend, I am indeed surprised with the question coming from you."

"Aren't you the same person who did not even throw a look at me when I came dressed in simple clothes. I can guess that it is my clothes and appearance that matter with you, not my individual worth. Now that I have put on grand clothes, I see a world of difference in reception here. All that I can now say is that this feast is meant for my clothes, not for me."

Taken from Islamic Voice



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Whose is the kingdom today?

When the Samanid ruler, Nasr bin Ahmad ( 301 - 331 A.H), entered Nishapur, he held a court. After ascending the throne, he wanted the proceedings to be started with the recitation from the Holy Qur'an. At this an elderly pious man came forward and recited a section of the surah Al- Mu'min. When he came to the verse (On that Day it will be asked:) "Whose is the Kingdom today?"

Nasr was struck with awe; he descended the throne trembling, took off the crown and fell down in prostration, saying: "O my Lord, Kingdom is Yours, not mine!"



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A bird's nest

Recently, we attended a speech given by a scholar from USA. The speech was mainly about the Greatness of Allah. Here is one interesting excerpt from the lecture: A poet said "Who has taught the birds how to make their nests? The birds make their nests in such a way as if a king is building his palace according to his desires." The birds create beautiful houses with the help of their beaks. They do not use a single stone or brick. They collect straws one at a time and puts them in their place. Within a short time, the birds make a comfortable nest for them to live in. The nest that the birds make using their beaks are so dynamic that we can't even make them using our hands. Indeed, Allah has given the birds this knowledge from His infinite bounties.

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A scholar in China

A Muslim scholar (sheikh) was on a visit to China to give a series of lectures to the local Muslim community. One day, he was scheduled to give a lecture at a local hall and was about to take a taxi along with his companions to that location.

They got into the taxi and the Sheikh asked about the length of time it would take to get to the lecture hall. The taxi driver, through the interpreter, answered "Two hours."

The Sheikh immediately turned to his companions and said: "well, we can't sit in this taxi with the driver for two hours and not tell him about our religion. If we did that then we would be no different than any other non-Muslim or kaffir who uses this taxi. We are the people that Allah (SWT) chose to carry His message and honoured us to be Muslims. It is our duty to tell this person about Islam."

However, the driver was a native Chinese and didn't have a common language with the Sheikh. They had to communicate through an interpreter.

Sheikh to interpreter: "Ask the man if he believes in any religion?"

Driver: "No, I don't believe in religion. I just get up in the morning, go to work and earn money. At the end of the day, I collect my money, go buy some food and drink for my family. What do I need religion for?"

Sheikh: "Ask this man if he has ever heard anything about Islam."

Driver: "Not much. I've seen a tape once and showed Muslims as violent people. I don't know much else."

Sheikh: "Ask him about computers. What does he think of computer?"

Driver: "I think the computer is an excellent invention. It is very useful and very sophisticated."

Sheikh: "Does he think that the computer could have invented itself or does he think that a human being invented it?"

Driver: "A human invented it, of course. It is not capable of inventing itself."

Sheikh: "Which one is more complicated the computer or the human being?"

Driver: "The human being is more complicated, of course."

Sheikh: "O.K., if the computer must have been invented by a human being, then it follows that a human being (which is more complicated) must also have a creator."

Driver: "O.K."

Sheikh: "In Islam, we believe that Allah is the creator of human beings and all other beings. Fine, now let's move on. Assume that you have never seen a computer before and never heard of it. If I brought a computer to you and gave it to you. Would you know what to do with it? Would you be able to use to its full potential?"

Driver: "No, I wouldn't."

Sheikh: "Now, if I gave you a catalogue for the computer, then you will be able to better use it? Correct?"

Driver: "Correct!"

Sheikh: "In Islam, we view Quran as the catalogue used by human beings to manage their lives. Without this catalogue, they will ruin themselves! Now, if this inventor of the computer assembled the machine and printed the catalogue, what would be the next step? He would need to train some engineers and others on how to spread the message about this machine. These people would, in turn, train others and others until everyone knows about the machine. In the example of Allah and Quran, the prophets of Allah play the role of the engineers. They learn the message and teach it to others so that the message will spread. Prophet Muhammad (saw) is the final messanger of Allah and he was ordered to take the message to all human beings."

By this time, the trip was coming to an end and they almost reached the lecture hall. But the Sheikh can see that there were tears coming out of the driver's eyes. The words of the Sheikh was having a significant effect on this driver.

Driver: "These ideas are very interesting to me. Do you mind spending 15 more minutes with me to tell me about this religion?"

The Sheikh agreed to spend those few minutes with this person and did. The man asked many questions and seemed genuine in his desire to learn more about this religion. At the end of these few minutes, the driver said: "I want to join this religion of yours. How do I do that?"

He was told that all he needs to do is say: "I bear witness that there is no God but Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad (saw) is his servant and messenger."



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