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Appreciation of Beauty – Shaykh Sadullah Khan

 

In this Pre Khutba talk, Shaykh Sadullah Khan reminds the congregation about the value of appreciating beauty. By cultivating beautiful character traits we are able to replicate the most beautiful and complete person, the Prophet (peace be upon him). In a time where only the outer is accepted and lauded, it would do us well to remember the importance of the inner dimensions of human existence. The Prophet (peace be upon him) was the epitome of inner and outer excellence. As Muslims, we should try our upmost to beautify our inner states so that we may be able to manifest beauty to others in our actions.

* Courtesy of Masjid al – Furqaan (Cape Town)

Content of Character #56: Directing Others to Good

In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Mercy-Giving; and peaceful prayers and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah, his Folk, his Companions and all who are faithful.

Photo by Rémi Walle on Unsplash

 

Welcome to episode 56 of “The Content of Character” podcast. Today we will be discussing the idea of directing others to good. The Messenger of Allah (peaceful prayers and blessings be upon him) said “He who directs others to a good deed is as the one who did it, and assuredly Allah loves the act of aiding the distressed.”

Directing Others To Good

In the collection of the “Content of Character”, it mentions that this was related by Ibn Abi Dunya. This is just one of the many collections you find this hadith in. It is also found in the collection of Imam Ahmad, Abu Ya’la, Ibn ‘Adiy, and others.

The first part of this hadith, “He who directs others to a good deed is as the one who did it” has been rigorously authenticated (sahih). The second half, “…and assuredly Allah loves the act of aiding the distressed”, has weakness in it. Nevertheless, the meaning is sound.

There is a similar hadith that points to the same meaning of the first part, with close wording, and that is found in the collection of Imam Muslim: “Whoever directs others to some form of good, he will have the same reward as the one who did it.”

In yet another hadith, we find a little bit of background about how this wording of the Prophet of Allah (peaceful prayers and blessings be upon him) came about. [It was related] that a man came to the Prophet (peaceful prayers and blessings be upon him) asking him to support him in going out on a military campaign, and the Prophet was unable to do so. So he then sent him to someone else. And when that other person that provided for that man, then the Prophet (peaceful prayers and blessings be upon him) said these famous words: “He who directs others to a good deed is as the one who did it.”


What Does It Mean to Be “As the One Who Did It”?

Let’s look a little bit more closely to these blessed words of the Rasul (peaceful prayers and blessings be upon him) who is the imam of all of those who direct to khayr. ‘Khayr’ is something that is very precious and very important for us as believers. We want to live lives of good that ultimately manifest in the next world with not only entering into paradise, but attaining a gaze upon the noble countenance of our Lord (Glorified and Exalted is He).

This [first] word here, al-dalla, it could be translated as ‘indicate, direct to, point others to, lead others to’. All of these meanings are contained in this blessed word. And what is meant here is that when you direct and point others to good, and we’ll talk in a little bit about what we mean by “good”, you are like the one who does it (ka fa’ilah). And when we talk about being like the one who does it, what do the scholars say about this?

Some of them say it just means a basic level of receiving reward. Just as the one who does it receives reward, you also receive reward; even though the person who actually does the act, according to this opinion of the scholars, might actually receive more reward. So their deed might be multiplied, they might receive three, five, ten, even many times over the rewards that you receive, but you share in that fact that you both get reward. And those who are of this opinion quote the principle (qa’ida) that states the reward that you get for an act is in accordance of the difficulty that goes into that act. The more difficulty, the more reward.

Other scholars like Imam al-Qurtubi, who said that this is not necessarily the case, is that outwardly this hadith indicates that there’s the same reward (musawa), meaning that the one who indicates and points someone to do some type of good, he gets the same reward as that person who actually does it. [al-Qurtubi] rationalizes the argument by saying that we know that Allah the Exalted gives by way of reward what he wills for all acts of goodness that we do.

So this is from the bounty (fadl) of Allah, even if the person who’s actually doing the act is putting in more effort by the fact that he’s doing the act, the one who indicates to him, from the bounty of Allah to do the act gets the same reward. And this is from the fadl of Allah who bestows His bounty upon whom He pleases, in any way He pleases, (Glorified and Exalted is He). So this second opinion means that it’s actually the same reward as the one who actually does it.

How Do We Understand “Good”?

So, if we look to this idea of directing and pointing towards good, how do we understand “good”? What is khayr? We translate khayr as good. And the true definition of khayr is that which will be of benefit in the next world. And so, any particular thing for any particular person, even if it be a bit bitter in this world, it’s difficult for them to go through that particular thing. They don’t like that particular thing.

If it leads to good in the next world, meaning that they will have benefitted by that thing in the next world, and it helps them in terms of the weighing of the scale of the good deeds preponderantly over the scale of the bad deeds, and helps them to enter into Paradise and to attain degrees of Paradise, that is considered to be good.

So in this world, there are certain things that might not appear to be good, but in reality they are good. This is how we truly understand khayr. In this hadith we can understand khayr in a more general way, in that there is worldly good and there is religious good. And so [as we see] here, any type of good that we are a means for, that we point people to, there is a reward that we get for that.

All Good in the ‘Hood

This is the way that we should approach life as believers. We should be people of benefit: meaning that we are always trying to benefit ourselves, but also trying to give benefit. We want to be people that are bringing benefit to our societies.

In many of the conversations that people are having nowadays about Muslim minorities and so forth, and how Islam relates to the modern world, the foundation of these discussions has to be rooted in our understanding of bringing about benefit. We should be contributors in our society. We should let [ourselves] be seen not for the sake of being seen, because this is the way that we are. [This is about] bringing benefit wherever we may be on the face of this Earth.

If people around us, even if they disagree with us, saw us as being beneficial to their societies, and we’re trying to bring about khayr at every single level, in the worldly and the religious sense, […] they will respect us. And this will be the greatest way for us to be able to point others to this great good that lies in the teachings of our Prophet (peaceful prayers and blessings be upon him).

Launch Good

So this should be our perspective: how can we bring about good and benefit for others in every possible way with the words that we say, being very careful about how we speak to every single person, young and old, friends and neighbors, people that we work with?

[How do we] make sure not to incite the lower tendencies in people by being able to control our our egos (nafs)… especially when we’re angry, when we’re driving, when we’re going into stores; [and] also with our actions.

Everything that we do, we want to bring about good. We want to be locks that close the doors of evil, and keys that open up the doors of good. Most important to us is [expressing good] with our state (hal). They are people by virtue of their state that they bring about good people. And we know the famous statement of one of the early Predecessors (salaf), “When the righteous are mentioned, mercy descends.” There are people that are so beneficial to others and that bring about so much good to others, that mercy from the Most High descends just by mentioning them.

I remember asking one of my teachers as we entered a land where Muslims are a minority what happens when a true inheritor of the Prophet (peaceful prayers and blessings be upon him) goes to such a place. He paused very briefly and said one comprehensive word: mercy (rahma). [Mercy] is one of the greatest manifestations of all of good. This is the way believers should be; we should point to, indicate, and direct others towards good with words, our actions, and most importantly our state, [be it] at home, work, and with our friends.

One of the great examples of this we find in the story of our master, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab. It was the end of his life as he’s on his deathbed, that he sees a young man that was wearing his pants a bit low. He indicates to him to pull up his pants. This shows the greatness of the society of the Companions. All the things that we are struggling with in terms of the basics were pretty much a given for the vast majority of them. If there’s something of this nature that relates to etiquette, this was the way that the Companions were. They want everybody to be better in any possible way. So what we need is to create environments that are uplifting so that people can better themselves and prepare for the meeting with their Lord (Glorified and Exalted is He).

Good Grief, Good Relief

In the hadith in the “Content of Character”, it ends by saying, “Surely Allah loves the act of aiding the distressed.” The lahfan is the one who is sad, remorseful, and who has gone or is going through a difficult state. Allah loves for the believer to help people that are troubled and distressed. This is one of the greatest manifestations of pointing other people to good is doing things that can help alleviate the pain of those that are going through trouble.

May Allah the Exalted bless us to implement these blessed teachings of our Prophet Muhammad (peaceful prayers and blessings be upon him), inwardly and outwardly and in all of our different states. When we meet people that direct others to good in all of its meanings, may we receive the blessings of that in this world in the next. And Allah knows best.

Peaceful prayers and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah, his Folk, and his Companions; and every praise belongs to Allah, Lord of all the worlds.


The “Content of Character” podcast is brought to you by Shaykh Yahya Rhodus of al-Maqasid Institute, and powered by SeekersHub Global Islamic Seminary. Listen to this episode in full on the SeekersHub website, or subscribe to the podcast via iTunes, Android, or RSS.

How to Develop The Character of the Quran In Yourself

The state of our characters is a true reflection of our spirituality, says Shaykh Mokhtar Maghrouri so how do we strive to develop ourselves in line with the characteristics oft-mentioned in the Qur’an? Shaykh Mokhtar cites various prophetic traditions and discusses the firm connections of our inner realities to our outward actions.
Our thanks to Al-Madina Institute for this recording.

Resources on The Character of the Quran

Cover photo by Gerry Lauzon

The Best for Mankind, by Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Allah wanted us to be the best of mankind FOR mankind! The nature of this dunya encourages us to cooperate and live together, as Allah (Most High) said in Surah Al-Maidah (2):  “And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression.”  Allah (Most High) created us to be together on earth; we need to support each other and to hold each other’s hand in this path.

The-name-of-Allah-1Allah (Most High) has said that He has made us the best Ummah (Surah Al-Imran, 110), but being the best is actually not in it of itself, but rather it is being the best for mankind.  It is to be the best in guiding, helping, serving and being there as a support for mankind.

That being said, help may only be sought from those who are able to support others, and only people with the purest and kindest of hearts can be in a position of supporting and helping others.  That is why the best Ummah is that with the best of characters.

Allah (Most High) praised Rasulullah (peace be upon him) for his great and exalted character in Surah Al-Qalam (4): “Indeed , you are of great and exalted character.”  Rasulullah (peace be upon him) also told us that the most beloved to him are those with the greatest of akhlaq (characters or manners).  [at-Tabarani, Al-Awsat, 7697]

Having the best of akhlaq is one of the purposes of this deen!

In correcting, maintaining and improving ourselves, we often mistakenly look at the symptoms of our illness, rather than treating the cause of our sins.  In looking at the causes of all sin and evil, our Ulama say the source of all sin and evil are three things:


Arrogance

Arrogance was the first sin to be committed, and was done so by iblis. Because of his arrogance, he refused the command of Allah (Most High) to make sujud for Adam (May Allah be pleased with him). Arrogance is not a visible attribute, but rather an internal attribute that manifests itself in actions and words.  When someone feels that he or she is better than everyone else, or when someone feels so happy and content with themselves to the extent that they think that there is no one like them; these are aspects of arrogance.  These forms of arrogance can lead someone to be like firoun (the pharaoh), who thought he was a god.  It can even lead people to be like the Quraysh, who saw Rasulullah (peace be upon him) only as an orphan, and thought it was not possible for him to be chosen as a Prophet, especially because they felt they held greater status.

The heart of an arrogant person is always filled with hatred.  That is why Allah (Most High) said in Surah Al-Araf (146):

“I will turn away from My signs those who are arrogant upon the earth without right; and if they should see every sign, they will not believe in it. And if they see the way of consciousness, they will not adopt it as a way; but if they see the way of error, they will adopt it as a way. That is because they have denied Our signs and they were heedless of them.”

Allah (Most High) also says in Surah An-Nahl (23):  “Assuredly, Allah knows what they conceal and what they declare. Indeed, He does not like the arrogant.”

Rasulullah (peace be upon him) also mentioned, as narrated in Sahih Muslim, that no one shall enter Jannah even with a half an atom’s weight of arrogance in their heart!

 

Greed

Adam (May Allah be pleased with him) left Jannah due to greed, as Allah (Most High) says in Surah Taha (120):  “Then Satan whispered to him; he said, “O Adam, shall I direct you to the tree of eternity and possession that will not deteriorate?” Even though Adam was told not to eat from the tree, he ate because he was promised a eternity, and because of this desire, he was removed from Jannah.

Rasulullah (peace be upon him) mentioned, as narrated in Sahih Bukhari and Muslim, that mankind becomes old, but two things do not age with him, greed for wealth and greed for a longer life.

Allah (Most High) tells us in Surah Az-Zumar (30):  “Indeed, you are to die, and indeed, they are to die.”  We forget this reality, and instead we want to have more of everything.  Allah (Most High) also reminds us of this in the following ayahs:

“Beautified for people is the love of that which they desire – of women and sons, heaped-up sums of gold and silver, fine branded horses, and cattle and tilled land. That is the enjoyment of worldly life, but Allah has with Him the best return.” (Surah Al-Imran, 114)

“Indeed, Allah [alone] has knowledge of the Hour and sends down the rain and knows what is in the wombs. And no soul perceives what it will earn tomorrow, and no soul perceives in what land it will die. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.”  (Surah Luqman, 34)

“And for every nation is a [specified] term. So when their time has come, they will not remain behind an hour, nor will they precede [it].”(Surah Al-Araf, 34)

We should also remember the Hadith that was narrated by Abdullah ibn Omar (May Allah be pleased with him) when Rasulullah (peace be upon him) told him to be like a wayfarer in this dunya.

Also, we should remember the words of Imam Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) when he said dunya is travelling away from us, and, as such, dunya has given us its back, but al akhira is travelling towards us; both dunya and al akhira have children, so be from the children of al akhira, because no action is taken without accountability, for tomorrow there is only accountability!

 

Hasad (jealousy and envy)

Hasad is the very trait that Allah (Most High) asked us to seek refuge from in the verse of Surah Al-Falaq.  Hasad is also the first sin to be committed by the children of Adam, when Cain killed Abel out of jealousy, and it is the worst of attributes.  Hasad is when you see all that is good as being deserved by you and no one else!  Allah (Most High), by relating to us the story of the children of Adam, is telling us the extent that people can go to via hasad, and the level of crime that hasad may cause them to commit.

In speaking about hasad, Allah (Most High) mentions in Surah An-Nisa (54-55):

“Or do they envy people for what Allah has given them of His bounty? But we had already given the family of Abraham the Scripture and wisdom and conferred upon them a great kingdom.”

Rasulullah (peace be upon him) also mentioned in a Hadith narrated in Bukhari and Muslim, that we should not hate each other, have jealousy or envy, turn our back on others, and should not cut our relations; rather, we should be in the slavehood of Allah (Most High) as brothers.

fire-burn-woodIn a Hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him), in Sunan Abu Dawood, Rasulullah (peace be upon him) mentioned that we should be away and warn from hasad, as hasad can do to hasanat (good deeds) what fire does to wood.

Also, Syedina Hasan (May Allah be pleased with him) said: I have never seen an oppressor who looks like he is being oppressed!  This is the reality of hasad; you see the people of hasad always upset and crying upon seeing the khair in others.

Abdullah ibn Masud (May Allah be pleased with him) also mentioned that we should not be the enemy of the blessing of Allah (Most High), as those who have hasad towards what Allah (Most High) has given others.  The problem of hasad is not the fact that one is jealous or envious of a particular person, but rather it is having issue with Allah’s (Most High) decree!

All three attributes mentioned rotate and serve one another.

May Allah (Most High) remove from us all these blameworthy attributes, and may Allah (Most High) fill our hearts with His love and the love of Rasulullah (peace be upon him). May Rabbi guide us, and may He make us the Ummah that spreads khair and helps everyone, and in doing so, is the best FOR mankind!

SoulFood – Embark on a Journey Within – Ramadan Podcast with Ustadh Amjad Tarsin

Soul FoodWe invite you to join us as we embark on a ‘journey within’ with the SoulFood FM daily Podcast. Each day we have been treated with a short but succinct podcast from Ustadh Amjad Tarsin.  The topics covered so far have been eye-opening and compelling. Ustadh has spoken about topics such as patience, character, anger and arrogance.
If you haven’t already tuned in, all the previous podcasts are available for you to listen to at your own pace, but you will be so hooked that you’ll be listening to them all straight up!
What is SoulFood?
“On the Day when... the only one who will be saved is the one who comes to God with a sound heart.” (Quran 26: 88-89)How do we achieve that? What does that mean?
SoulFood looks at the ways to refine the heart, seeking its virtues and ridding oneself of its vices.
Don’t forget to subscribe.
Who is Ustadh Amjad Tarsin?
Ustadh Amjad Tarsin was born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He obtained his Bachelors of Arts at the University of Michigan in English Literature and Islamic Studies. It was during his university years that Amjad developed a deeper connection to his faith, becoming involved with the MSA, studying the Islamic sciences with teachers locally and internationally, and becoming actively involved in community service and interfaith work.
After spending a transformative year abroad, he returned to America to start his studies at University of Michigan Law School. Yearning to fulfill his calling to religious education and service, Amjad changed career paths and enrolled in Hartford Seminary’s Islamic Chaplaincy program. In 2012 he was selected as University of Toronto’s first full-time Muslim Chaplain.

The Muslim Standard of Excellence in Work and Life – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani


muslim-making-dua-by-the-ocean
Shaykh Faraz Rabbani shares seven principles principles for making our work an act of worship. These are seven principles understood clearly from the Qur’an and Prophetic Sunna:
1. Purpose
Make your life, career, and work truly a means to seek Allah Himself.
2. Seeking benefit
Seek Allah in work by seeking true benefit: for yourself and others, both worldly and spiritual benefit.
3. Excellence in work
Strive to work in the best of ways, as excellence is beloved to Allah.
4. Upholding Being True and Trustworthy
These are two qualities central to what it means to be a believer. It isn’t an accident that these are two qualities that the Beloved Messenger of Allah (peace & blessings be upon him & his folk) was known by even before Revelation: the True (al-Sadiq) and Trustworthy (al-Amin).
5. Upholding Sincere Concern
Seek the good for others, as you seek it for yourself: “None of you believes until they wish for others the good that they wish for themselves,” said the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). And religion itself was defined by the Blessed Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) as being sincere concern: “Religion is sincere concern (nasiha).” This sincere concern applies to one’s employers, fellow workers, one’s customers or clients, and for all God’s creation.
6. Upholding Excellence of Character
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Deal with people on the basis of good character.”
7. Knowing and Upholding Limits, through sound contracts
Without observing the Limits of Law in one’s dealings, one will invariably fall into wrong and wrongdoing; harmed relationships; and grave sin. “The Lawful is clear and the Unlawful is clear,” said the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). Learn the limits of the Law related to your work. Learn about how to have sound and virtuous contracts and dealings. And uphold your commitments with excellence and steadfastness.
mic_hub_sfrShaykh Faraz Rabbani closes this important lesson by mentioning some of the keys to succeeding in upholding these principles.
Listen to the full audio here.
Related posts:

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani recently also spoke on Fair Trade, the talk can be found on the IslamCast here.
This talk was delivered at an Islamic Living fair in Toronto, as part of SeekersHub Toronto’s community outreach. For SeekersHub Toronto’s programs, see: http://www.SeekersHub.org
Please support SeekersHub Global / SeekersGuidance as it reaches over 10,000 students each term through its completely free online courses, through Knowledge Without Barriers. Make a donation, today. Every contribution counts, even if small: https://seekersguidance.org/donate/

Mercy, The Stamp of Creation by Dr Umar Faruq Abd’Allah

This paper examines the role of mercy in the Islamic tradition and eternal salvation, and its imprint on all affairs of the universe. Although Islam is often proclaimed as the ‘religion of peace,’ theologically, it is more accurate to refer to it as the ‘religion of mercy.’
God has designated mercy as his primary relation to the universe and sent his greatest prophet, Muhammad, as its emissary.
Following this, Muslims are commanded to be vanguards of mercy to the world in fostering benefit and averting harm. Islam enjoins a healthy and spiritually alive heart and teaches a law of universal reciprocity by which God shows mercy to the merciful and withholds it from the unmerciful.
The Prophet Muhammad said:
“People who show mercy to others will be shown mercy from the All-Merciful. Be merciful to those on earth and He who is in the heaven will be merciful to you.”
Click here to read the article
http://www.nawawi.org/?p=113

Understand the Instructions First, Before You Take The Exam – Imam al-Haddad

Two Treatises

In the text, ‘Two Treaties Mutual Reminding & Good Manners’, by Imam Abdallah ibn ‘Alawi al-Haddad the following is mentioned regarding how to treat creation when we detest their behavior:

“It is in a believer’s nature to love that which God loves and to detest that which God detests.  Thus, a believer will detest ugliness and chaos, which in the context of human behavior is willful disobedience to God, leading to all kinds of evil and sin.

But a believer detests only evil thoughts, feelings, and deeds, never a human being as such, or for that matter any other created being.  Human beings belong to the Creator; they are attributed to Him.  He treats them with mercy, providing for them generously, even as they disobey and rebel against Him.

The believer must of necessity model his feelings and behavior on his Lord’s. He may thus disapprove of someone’s behavior, but this should never prevent him from treating him with gentleness and courtesy, helping him when in need, counseling him whenever appropriate, and imploring God to guide him to the straight path.”

The text, Two Treaties Mutual Reminding & Good Manners, is highly recommended. Available through IslamicBookstore.com and elsewhere.

(with thanks to Sidi Nasir al-Amin)

 

 

Six Steps to Instilling the Attribute of Courage in Muslim Children – Ustadha Shireen Ahmed, SeekersGuidance Instructor

Six Steps to Instilling the Attribute of Courage in Muslim Children – Ustadha Shireen Ahmed, SeekersGuidance Instructor

by Umm Umar (Shireen Ahmed) 

As parents, there are many attributes we want to teach our children. We want them to be kind, upright, humble, thoughtful, well mannered… the list is endless. When it comes to being courageous, there are a few concrete steps we can take to guide our children in this direction:

1. Build confidence. Teach children to keep trying, even when they initially fail. This scenario often comes up when they are playing, especially when building structures, that often can come crashing down. Helping them to increase their determination and see the fruits of their efforts on various small projects, can help them to become more confident about their own abilities.

 

As a parent, we also need to teach them to realize the full meaning of “la hawla wa la quwatta illah billah”, that they have no power

Girl in Thought.jpg
or ability without help from Allah Most High. This helps them to achieve the balance between being confident, yet not arrogant. When one realizes they only are able to do what they can do, because Allah Most High has granted them that ability (and not through just their own efforts), they in turn become more grateful to their Creator, for His innumerable blessings upon oneself. This type of realization also helps a child to turn more towards their Creator when they need help. When they want to achieve something, it should be a habitual practice to begin with the name of Allah (basmala) and to supplicate that Allah Most High gives them success (tawfeeq) in their efforts.


Parents should also encourage their children to become more independent as they grow older. Giving them new responsibilities, with tasks they can reasonably fulfill – can teach them that their capabilities become much more vast as they age.
2. Overcome fear. Children should be taught to express their fear instead of being paralyzed by it. Help create situations for them where they can gradually “get over” any unfounded fears they have.

For example, if they don’t want to go upstairs alone one could teach them to say “la hawla wa la quwatta illah billah” or “hasbiAllah wa ni`mah wakeel” and to repeat that as often as they feel fear. My mother used to encourage me to recite Ayat al-Kursi whenever faced with fear. This type of turning to Allah Most High when in a state of need, can help them to complete tasks rather than avoiding them.

3. Face the Unknown. Encourage your children to have bravery in new situations. The most common example of this is when meeting new people, especially adults. They need to be taught to smile, speak loudly, and to shake hands when meeting new people when you are with them. They should not be hiding behind you, or whispering so softly that the person cannot hear them. This takes time, but your coaching in this area will help them in the long term.

4. Do the Right Thing. This is perhaps the most important area where we need children to demonstrate courageousness, confidence, and independence. Muslim children need to be able to stand up for their beliefs, despite any negative repercussions it may have. This means if everyone else is dating at their school, they have the confidence to say, “I’m not into that.”

They need to be able to take a stand in the face of peer disapproval, and this will take place when you are not present. This is where many of our youth fall, as they can put up one face towards their parents, and yet a completely different (and often contradictory) appearance in front of their peers. The topic of how to help children in this area is very vast, so I will just give a few brief pointers here. Children should realize that even though their parents may not see them, Allah Most High knows and their actions are being recorded. They should feel a degree of shame to be found in any sort of disobedience to their Creator, when He has blessed them with innumerable blessings in this world. Encourage them to be careful about who they choose as close friends, as this will in turn affect their own character development. One can also use the example of the Prophet (صلي الله عليه و سلم ) as a role model, how he stood up to a whole society to stand up for the truth.Indonesian Kids Laughing.jpg
Another innovative way this idea of standing up for the truth, and doing the right thing can be addressed with our youth is have them listen to some of the Native Deen songs on this subject, “My Faith, My Voice” “I Am Not Afraid to Stand Alone” and other songs.

5. Set a Good Example. Children often watch their parents as examples in how they deal with scenarios where they may feel afraid, or sick, or when they experience great loss. They should be hearing you supplicate to your Creator in times of need. Complaining or saying “if only I had done this (or that) this wouldn’t have happened” would be considered to be blameworthy. Rather accept the decree of Allah Most High, and exemplify patience and courage when you are forced to deal with misfortune. May Allah Most High protect us all from this.

Abu Hurayra said that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer although there is good in each. Desire that which will bring you benefit, and seek help from Allah and do not give way to incapacity. If something happens to you, do not say, ‘If only I had done such-and-such.’ Rather say, ‘The decree of Allah. He does what He will.’ Otherwise you will open yourself up to the action of Shaytan.” [Muslim]

Anas said, “The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, passed by a woman who was weeping at a grave and said, ‘Fear Allah and show fortitude.’ She said, not recognizing him, ‘Leave me alone. You have not been struck by such an affliction as mine!’ She was told, ‘It is the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.’ She went to the door of the Prophet and, finding no one guarding the door, she said, ‘I did not recognize you.’ He said, ‘The time for fortitude is at the first shock.'” [Agreed upon]

Other good examples we can set before our children are examples from the Seerah. Our Prophet (صلي الله عليه و سلم ) demonstrated the attribute of bravery many times, and he is our ultimate role model.

Anas ibn Malik (رضي الله عنهم ) said: ‘The Messenger of Allah (صلي الله عليه و سلم ) was the best of the people, and he was the most generous of the people, and the bravest of the people. One night the people of Medinah heard a loud noise and they became overwhelmed with fear. The men went out to see what the noise was, only to find the Prophet (صلي الله عليه و سلم ) riding his unsaddled horse, and coming from the direction of the noise with his sword wrapped around his neck. He said to them, “Don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid. I found (my horse) very swift”.

The companions also often exemplified courage, and this can be see especially in the examples of Abu Bakr as-Siddiq or Sayyidna Ali (رضي الله عنهم ).

Other beneficial examples we can set before our children is that of our parents or other older relatives who have stories of how they overcame adversity, such as moving to a new country or faced danger, yet succeeded. This in turn helps the children to have greater respect for their elders, and helps them to have more admiration for them.
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6. Avoid Foolish Bravado. Being brave does not mean we should encourage our children towards risky activities or stunts to prove courageousness. One should not take unnecessary chances or neglect safety in a futile attempt to prove bravery to others. Rather, one needs to balance physical courage with common sense.

Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “The strong man is not the one who throws people in wrestling. The strong man is the one who has control of himself when he is angry.” [Agreed upon]

May Allah Most High give us success in raising our children in the best way, and may we instill good character in their hearts, ameen.
About Ustadha Shireen Ahmed
“The responsibility of raising righteous children is both one of our greatest challenges and opportunities in life.”
Ustadha Shireen Ahmed (Umm Umar) inspires her students as a living example example of what is possible when one is committed to gaining sacred knowledge.  Teacher, student, activist, mother, wife — Umm Umar shows that it is possible to balance worldly responsibilities with the pursuit of knowledge.
Umm Umar was born and raised in Canada, where she graduated from the University of Toronto with a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology. During her university studies, she was actively involved in MSA work at the local and national levels. After graduation, she set out to formally pursue sacred knowledge, studying Arabic at the University of Damascus and Islamic studies at Jamia Abi Nour and taking private classes in Qur’anic recitation, Prophetic traditions,, Islamic Law (Hanafi) and the Prophetic biography.
While living in Jordan, Umm Umar helped establish SunniPath’s online courses. At SeekersGuidance, she is the Course Development Manager, bringing years of and insight to facilitate meaningful Islamic learning online.  After ten years abroad she returned to Toronto, Canada, she resides in Toronto, Canada, with her husband and three children. Between continuing her studies of the sacred sciences and homeschooling her children, Ustadha Shireen is working on her first publication, a translation and commentary on a classical Islamic text on parenting, Simt al-‘Uqyan (Thread of Pure Gold).

Modesty in Islam – Shaykh Ibrahim Osi-Efa – Video

YouTube – MUST SEE!!! The blessing of being a muslim – Do you appreciate it?:

A talk by Shaykh Ibrahim Osi-Efa on modesty in Islam (in three parts). This is a powerful clip from it:

The full videos:

Modesty in Islam: Part 1 of 3

Modesty in Islam: Part 2 of 3

Modesty in Islam: Part 3 of 3

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