Saturday, July 11, 2015

Why Religion? Why Islam?

If there is a day that I love that day is Friday. If there is a month that I love that month is Ramadan. Ramadan is the 9th month in the Lunar Calendar wherein the Muslims are ordered to fast for the whole month.

Now, the love I have for Ramadan has nothing to do with the fasting itself but it has everything to do with what it brings and what it means. Some people might find praying 5 times a day a difficult task to do, but for me the hardest tenet in Islam is fasting. With my huge love for food, it’s almost impossible to fast beyond Ramadan.

However, unlike other deeds e.g. praying, giving alms and zakat, being kind to others or even Hajj which are ordered for our own sake, fasting is the only good deed in Islam that is done solely for Allah. As such, it’s simply impossible for those who love Allah not to perform this deed.

Therefore, I truly feel for all the Muslims in China (Uighur community) who are forbidden to fast by the Chinese Government and are forced to eat and drink during Ramadan. May Allah rewards their suffering with rewards equal to fasting and may the Avenger (Al Muntaqim) takes count of those who stop His slaves from worshiping Him.

Narrated Ibn 'Umar:
Allah's Apostle said: Islam is based on the following five principles:
1. To testify that none has the right to be worshiped but Allah and Muhammad is Allah's Apostle.
2. To offer the compulsory congregational prayers dutifully and perfectly.
3. To pay Zakat (i.e. obligatory charity).
4. To perform Hajj (i.e. Pilgrimage to Mecca).
5. To observe fast during the month of Ramadan.

Narrated Abu Huraira:
I heard Allah's Apostle saying, 'If there was a river at the door of anyone of you and he took a bath in it five times a day would you notice any dirt on him?' They said, 'Not a trace of dirt would be left.' The Prophet added, 'That is the example of the five prayers with which Allah blots out (annuls) evil deeds.'

Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah's Apostle said: 'Whoever is made wealthy by Allah and does not pay the Zakat of his wealth, then on the Day of Resurrection his wealth will be made like a bald-headed poisonous male snake with two black spots over the eyes. The snake will encircle his neck and bite his cheeks and say, 'I am your wealth, I am your treasure.' Then the Prophet recited the Holy Verses: 'Let not those who withhold...' (to the end of the verse). (3;180).

As I mentioned above, fasting in Ramadan is of totally different nature than the other four deeds. All those other deeds are for our own benefits since Allah is in no need for us to admit that we’re His slaves, Allah is also in no need of our prayers, zakat or Hajj.
But, we naturally want to please those we love, if our King loves women or men or both we could send models or movie stars for his pleasure. But what can we give to the One who needs nothing, the Giver of All (Al Wahab), the Rich One (Al Ghani), the Pure One (Al Qudus)? Rien. Except for fasting.

Fasting and Ramadan

O you who believe! Observing As Saum (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become At Mutaqun (the pious).

So, who will fast? The Muslims? Not necessarily. In the Qur’an Allah’s calling is directed towards those who believe instead of using the word Muslims because despite so many blessings that come with Ramadan and the very special nature of fasting, there are many Muslims who do not observe fasting.

Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah Apostle said, 'When Ramadan begins, the gates of Paradise are opened.'

Narrated Sahl:
The Prophet said, 'There is a gate in Paradise called Ar-Raiyan and those who observe fasts will enter through it on the Day of Resurrection and none except them will enter through it. It will be said, 'Where are those who used to observes fasts? They will get up and none except them will enter through it.  After their entry the gate will be closed and no body will enter through it.'

When we fast nobody cares. Not a soul will praise or thank us for fasting. Nobody knows how we struggle to control our sharp tongue because we fast. Nobody will give us a gold medal for keeping our temper in check because we fast.

The people we hate will have no idea how we refrain from airing their dirty laundry and bad mouthing them because we fast. Nobody knows how carefully we guard our eyes, our ears, our heart and our mind when we fast.

Last but not least nobody knows how thirsty, hungry and tired we are if we don’t have a behind desk job and have to do the physical labour under the scorching sun.

Fasting is perhaps the closest experience that we’ll ever have in understanding what the poor must endure on daily basis. Unlike us who turn breaking fast into a celebration, the poor people don’t have a guarantee that by sunset they will have something to appease their hunger and thirst. Unlike us who laden our table with mouth-watering food, most of the poor have nothing but water to quell their hunger.

We only need to fast for 29 – 30 days a year, who knows how many days the poor have to fast?

We only need to be patient and control ourselves during the day, but the poor has to be patient for their whole lives.

Fasting is between us and our Lord. Only Allah knows how perfect or imperfect our fasting is. Only the Knower of All (Al ‘Alim) knows how we try to beautify our fasting for Him. And only Allah knows how hard we find fasting is but still do it anyway.

Fasting month is special because besides providing a chance to please our Creator (Al Khaliq) and understanding the plight of the poor, it provides a chance to reconnect with family and friends, a deed which Islam considers as one of the most important deeds there is.

Some of us rarely have a chance to sit together for a meal with our family because we’re so busy earning our living or simply enjoying life. We also no longer have time to keep in touch with old friends but Ramadan brings us all together. It reminds us once again that family is the most important thing of all, not money, not work, it’s people that matters.

Most of reunions in Jakarta are held in Ramadan during breaking fast time. Family who seldom enjoy the company of each other get to be together while breaking their fast. The Ramadan becomes the month for quality time.

Ramadan is also the favourite month of the poor because many people choose to pay their zakat during Ramadan and most people are definitely more generous in Ramadan. The poor no longer need to worry about eating, all they have to do is go to a mosque during breaking fast time, there is always somebody who’ll provide some food for breaking fast.

Narrated Ibn Abbas:
Allah's Apostle was the most generous of all the people, and he used to reach the peak in generosity in the month of Ramadan when Gabriel met him. Gabriel used to meet him every night of Ramadan to teach him the Qur'an. Allah Apostle was the most generous person, even more generous than the strong uncontrollable wind (in readiness and haste to do charitable deeds).

The good thing about living in a country where the Muslims are the majority (FYI, Indonesia is not an Islamic country) is the Government understands that the Muslims need to concentrate on the religious stuff during Ramadan. The working hours is adjusted so that the employees could go home early and have that quality time with their family.

I don’t find fasting overseas hard despite the long hours, however, I really miss the togetherness that Ramadan brings at home.

Human Beings and other Beings

We are extremely weak compare to other powerful and awesome beings that live for hundreds and thousands of years – of course there are other creatures in this expanding universe besides human beings, creatures that when in their original forms could only be seen and heard by other creatures besides human beings – yet even with our short life span and fragile body we are the beloved of the Mighty (Al Jalil).

And indeed, We created man from dried sounding clay of altered mud.

And the jinn, We created aforetime from the smokeless flame of fire.

Let’s see why we are so special.

Unlike animals who know nothing better or angels who know nothing bad, we human beings are not only being given desire and passion to motivate us but we are also blessed with a brain and a heart to guide us.

We are blessed with a freewill to decide whether we want to be good or bad. We are allowed to freely choose our own path. We could choose whether to believe in the Resurrector (Al Ba’ith) or not.

The angels are not equipped with a freewill nor desire. They want nothing in their lives but to please God and follow nothing but His orders. Their very existence means nothing but servitude to the Majestic One (Al Majid) – which as a matter of fact, is also how we’re supposed to live our lives since we too are nothing but the slaves of our Lord.

On the surface the angels might look incredibly impressive because they have so many awesome capabilities that would amaze the mere weak mortal like us, even other powerful beings run away from them out of fear.

However, do you know what the Bestower of Honours (Al Mu’izz) says? He says that we are perfect and that His other creations are being created to serve us. The sun, the moon, the river, the mountains, the universe, every single thing that exists is there to serve us.

And indeed We have honoured the Children of Adam, and We have carried them on land and sea and have provided them with At Tayibat (lawful good things) and We have preferred them above many of those whom We have created with a mark preferment.

And He has made the sun and the moon, both constantly pursuing their courses to be of service to you; and He has made the night and the day to be of service to you.

Unlike the powerful angels, we, the children of Adam are not in the close proximity of our Lord. We have never seen nor hear our Creator. Yet, against all odds we listen to His warnings, we follow His guidance, and we love Him the most.

The angels listen to God because who wouldn’t listen to the All Powerful (Al Qadir) and the Creator of All Power (Al Muqtadir) that is right in front of their eyes? Who wouldn’t listen to their Lord whom they serve day in day out? Who would say no when they have no desire but to obey?

As for love, I’m not sure whether the angels could independently feel love or hate without the bidding of their Lord. Unlike us who are easily controlled by our passion and emotion – in sort rather fickle – the angels are probably the most steadfast and stern creatures there is. They are perfect in a totally different way than us.

However, despite our fickleness once faith enters our hearts, we’ll justify the honour given by Our Lord. Unlike the angels who don’t even sweat to obey God, our journey to listen, obey and love the Inspirer of Faith (Al Mu’min) is no walk in the park.

Sworn Enemy and the Lesson Learned

The very weak us have to fight a powerful being that we could not even see. A powerful being who is bent on vengeance. A powerful being who has sworn to God to destroy us out of jealousy.

We should be grateful that our Lord reminds us of this very important fact for we should never forget that we have a sworn enemy who asked for a respite from our Lord to bring as many of us to his final resting place. Hell.

O you who believe! Enter perfectly in Islam (by obeying all the rules and regulations of the Islamic religion) and follow not the footsteps of Satan. Verily, he is to you a plain enemy.

We need to take a lesson from what happened to Satan. His pride made him refuse to obey the command of the Absolute Ruler (Al Malik). His sense of greatness made him look down on those he deemed to be beneath him, it even made him dare to disobey the Greatest One (Al Mutakabbir).

I’m stunned when I learned about this creature’s behaviour. Where can we find other creatures as stupid and as ungrateful as this one? Ah, I forget. In Hell.

If your Lord orders you to do something you just do it. What’s so difficult with prostrating? If your Lord orders you to be the most hateful person, you do it and prepared to be hated. You shouldn’t be concerned with your own pride or what other people think of you. Even if your Lord orders you to take your own life, your children’s lives, your parents’ lives, or even an innocent’s lives you should do it without hesitation, without question.

Every single thing belongs to God, He could do whatever He wants to do with all His Creations.

If you have an ounce of gratefulness inside your heart, you should do every single thing that your Creator orders you to do no matter how difficult or damaging that order is to yourself. If you know how worthless, powerless, and lack in knowledge you are compare to your Lord you wouldn’t dare to dispute His ruling.

The seven heavens and the earth and all that is therein glorify Him and there is not a thing but glorifies His praise. But you understand not their glorification. Truly He is ever forbearing, often forgiving.

Unlike us who couldn’t see how Magnificent, how Great, how Majestic God is, this outrageous and ungrateful creature named Satan had no excuse to reject the order of the Rewarder of Thankfulness. He had no excuse to say there is no God because he’s been living with an awareness of the Praised One (Al Hamid).

Satan couldn’t say there won’t be any reward and punishment, because there was no way he didn’t know of the consequences of his disobedience towards the Humiliator (Al Mudhill). He knowingly chose to switch his own dwelling from Paradise to Hell as a price for not prostrating in front of Adam thus disobedience towards His Lord.

How should we behave towards our God? We should behave exactly like how we’ll behave on the Day of Resurrection.

On the day when He will call you and you will answer His calls with words of His praise and obedience and you will think that you have stayed in this world but a little while.

If it were me, I’d rather be without pride and insignificant as long as I don’t have to spend the rest of my life in Hell. Besides, how could the weak me dare to refuse the order of the Magnificent (Al Azim) when I have a tendency to say yes to whatever my bosses say?

If we grovel and suck up to higher ups who are nothing but another flesh and blood human beings like ourselves and they could be replaced by another person in a moment notice, what’s so difficult with humbling ourselves in front of the One who truly deserves our devotion?

This is what the Truth (Al Haqq) wants us to take as a lesson learned and a warning:

And remember when We said to the angels: “Prostrate yourselves unto Adam.” They prostrated themselves except Satan. He said: “Shall I prostrate myself to one whom You created from clay?”

Satan said: “See this one whom You have honoured above me, if You give me respite to the Day of Resurrection I will surely seize and mislead his offspring by sending them astray but a few.”

Allah said: “Go and whosoever of them follows you surely Hell will be an ample recompense.”

Satan and his army will have a complete success with some of us (that’s when our level becomes even lower than animals and we don’t deserve the honour given by our Lord). When Satan meets these people he doesn’t have to do anything. It’s like meeting a soul mate, a doppelganger. It’s two become one.

But Satan and his army will also have a complete failure against very few of us (that’s when our level rises higher than the angels). They give these extra ordinary people a very wide berth. One of these people was Umar bin Al Khattab, one of the closest companions of the Prophet. The sound of Umar’s steps is enough to scare them.

Unfortunately, most of the time it’s a fierce constant battle where Satan and his army will have some minor successes and major failure against most of us. That’s why constantly remembering the Protecting Friend (Al Wali) is important, because only by remembering our Lord we’ll be able to defeat our powerful sworn enemy.

And fasting is the best and most effective way to constantly remembering our Lord.

Narrated by Abu Huraira:
Allah’s Apostle said: Allah said: “All the deeds of Adam’s sons are for them, except fasting which is for Me. And I will give the reward for it.” Fasting is a shield or protection from fire and committing sins. If one of you is fasting, he should avoid sexual relationship with his wife and quarrelling, and if somebody should fight or quarrel with him, he should say: I’m fasting. By Him in Whose Hands my soul is the unpleasant smell coming out of the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than the smell of musk. There are two pleasures for the fasting person. One at the time of breaking his fast and the other at the time when he will meet his Lord. Then he will be pleased because of his fasting.

Looking at Satan’s experience I’m sure:
1)     If a person has no pride, he won’t find it hard to prostrate in front of the Highest (Al Ali) and submitting himself in humility to God. A good person should never knowingly let his pride to prevent him from doing good things.
2)     If a person has enough brain, he won’t find it difficult to choose between Hell and Paradise. If one is being offered Paradise why would he chose Hell? If one is being offered eternal life why would he chose a fleeting moment? Unless he is totally without sense.
3)     If a person is a grateful one, he wouldn’t deny so many blessings that have been given to him for free.
4)     If a person is honest he wouldn’t look for a scapegoat for the bad things that happen to him. He would admit that they happen because of the wrong things he did.

Satan blamed Adam for his unfortunate fate. What did the poor Adam does except for being fortunate enough to be blessed? It’s his pride that brought his own disgrace.

Certainly Allah knows what they conceal and what they reveal. Truly, He likes not the proud.

If you are one of those who have a tendency to blame other people for every unfortunate thing that happens to you please be careful. I’m sure none of us want to follow Satan’s foot step. It’s better for us to reflect to see if there’s something that we shouldn’t do or should do and learn from that mistake.

Truly, Allah wrongs not mankind in anything; but mankind wrong themselves.

Although God allows Satan to have his revenge, He sent successions of Messengers to remind us of our enemies and to guide us to the right path. But if some of us still chose to ignore all His warnings and guidance and then end up in Hell, at least they could still be proud of their love for freedom of choice and freedom of expression.

They have freely chosen the enemies who want to destroy them against the warnings that have been given and freely express their contempt for the Ever Lasting One (Al Baqi). They have freely used their freewill to do a very bad trade but at least they would still have their pride, although perhaps by then they would be wishing that they have no pride at all.

And remember when We said to the angels: ‘Prostrate yourselves unto Adam’. So they prostrated themselves except Iblis (Satan). He was one of the jinn; he disobeyed the command of his Lord. Will you then take Satan and his offspring as protectors and helpers rather than Me while they are enemies to you? What an evil is the exchange for the Zalimun.

Faith and Religion

And unto Allah alone falls in prostration whoever is in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly, and so do their shadows in the morning and in the afternoon.

I rarely speak about faith and religion here because it doesn’t matter to me what other people believe in and what they don’t believe in. But this is a holly month and I feel the need to mark Ramadan before it ends with something more than just my frivolous hobbies.

You probably could already sense that I’m a lover of self-control, which by the way is one of the most important foundations in most religions. It’s easy to control and defeat other people if you have power at your disposal but what really counts is when you’re able to control and defeat yourself.

If you ask why do we need to control and defeat ourselves, the short answer is if we’re going to follow only our desires and passions we’re going to be the end of ourselves and everything around us.

If we’re allowed to determine our own rules and values, we’ll grant ourselves unlimited freedom to do whatever we want to do. We’ll create laws and regulation based on our own feelings, tastes and fancies.

The recent case in the USA when the Supreme Court finally legalized the marriage between the same sex couple is only to be expected and nothing to be upset about because laws usually reflect the desire of those in power or the desire of the population at large.

In this case I’m assuming that there are many same sex couples in the USA or there are many LGBT people or the population at large see nothing wrong with granting the LGBT people a right to get married or the powerful people are in full support of this law or all of those things.

Here’s another case to think about while we’re talking about the freedom of love:

I’m going to assume that most children in the USA are having sex with someone their age, younger or even with older lovers. I’ll consider those below 17 years old or still in school as children (although in Islam when children have already reached puberty they are no longer considered as a child regardless of their age).

If children having sex is a common thing (I’m assuming that everyone in the USA must know at least one child who has already had sex with someone) why don’t we legalize marriage for children? Whatever their age is as long as they want to get married they are allowed to do it.

If the Government is willing to give the full protection of the laws to the same sex couple, shouldn’t they be more enthusiastic in giving this protection to those children?

There should be no age limitation for marriage because those minors don’t wait until a certain age to have sex. Or if sex has nothing to do with marriage what so ever why don’t we legalize sex between children and with children?

If somewhere in the not too distant future we find a large number of people fall in love with their pets (whatever those pets are, a lifeless object included) and they want to marry their pets we might see the laws amended to accommodate their preferences.

What happens if the number of pedophiles has also increased sharply and the public opinion has shifted from viewing their activity as child abuse to love for children. Will the Government legalize the marriage between pedophiles and the object of their affection?

I can easily see that happening. What I’m not sure about is which country is going to be the first to legalize it and when. The pedophiles should take notes from LGBT. It might not happen overnight, but they should not be discouraged. Nothing is more fickle than human emotions and their sense of right and wrong.

That’s how our laws are. We make lawful things unlawful and unlawful things lawful according to our needs and preferences. Our needs and preferences change overtime. There is no right and no wrong because no one knows for sure which is which.

God’s laws are different. They are not made to suit our fancy and preferences. They are made by the Absolute Ruler (Al Malik). They stand firm from the day they were made known to all His creations until the end of time. It doesn’t matter whether we agree or disagree with it. It will be held as a standard to evaluate and judge us by the Judge (Al Hakam).

Nevertheless, I do find it strange how the religious people try to force their values and belief to the people who are obviously not religious and despise religions because religions do nothing but telling them not to do what they want to do.

Moreover there are so many people using religions as a shield and an excuse to do despicable and horrible things to other human beings. It’s like ‘Who are you to tell me that I’m doing a bad thing when it’s pretty clear to me that you are doing even more bad thing than me.’

I’m not blaming them for saying this, but, they need to see the key word ‘using religions as a shield and an excuse to do despicable and horrible things’. It’s like a bunch of robbers or assassins wearing police uniform while undertaking their missions.

It’s the deed and characters that will define a person as good or bad not his outer appearances. But we’ve always been easily deceived by words and appearances.

Our responsibility is only to remind our fellow brothers and sisters. There is no need to feel upset for the actions and choices of others. It’s like offering a coffee or milk to someone who has no liking for coffee or milk.

And if they belie you, say: “For me are my deeds and for you are your deeds. You are innocent of what I do, and I am innocent of what you do.

Before going any further have you ever thought about these:

1.     What do you think is the purpose of your life? Is it really has no purpose at all except to play to your heart content and exploit everything that could be exploited? Or is it just to add another zero to your bank account?
2.     Do you think everything just happens without any reason? The sun rises and sets just because it is so? We come from nothing into something than back to nothing again just because it is so?
3.     Is this short life really all that you want? You born, live, die, and that’s it? Don’t you think that it’s rather wasteful, sad and unfair? There will be no different whether we live our lives as a Saint or as a Devil then. If you believe in reward and punishment it would be hard to accept the fact that this concept don’t exist when it’s really count.
4.     If you’re willing to submit yourself to whom are you going to bow down? To your desire and passion? To money? To the powerful? None?
5.     How do you feel about death?

Religions offer answers to those questions above. Religions also give certainty for those who are never certain about what’s right and what’s wrong. But the most important thing about religions is that they save us from ‘what if’.

If there is no Hell, no Paradise, no God and we end up into nothingness, so what? It’s not a big deal. Whether you’re good or evil nothing happens, we couldn’t even regret why didn’t we become the most vicious and greedy dictator ever. But, if those religions are correct….It’s a very huge deal!

Everyone shall taste death. And only on the Day of Resurrection shall you be paid your wages in full. And whoever is removed away from the Fire and admitted into Paradise, he is indeed is successful. The life of this world is only the enjoyment of deception.

Death is the biggest warning there is. There is no freedom as long as there is death. And what is the true success? Does living a luxurious life in this world constitute as success? Since I believe and think that there should be a life after this life, then the answer is not.

A true success is a success that happens in the end. Like watching a drama when we want a happy ending, we love the good stuff that happen in the earlier or in the middle episodes but it’s the end that counts. If the end sucks it’s nothing but a total waste of our time.

When watching dramas we could wait for reviews from other people before we decide whether to embark on a journey to waste our precious time or not. But nobody returns from death to tell us what happens to them. They couldn’t give a review that we could use to decide what to do with our life and time. We might envy how they live their life but we don’t know what happens to them once that life ends.

Let not the free disposal and affluence of the disbelievers throughout the land deceive you.

A brief enjoyment, then their ultimate abode is Hell. And worst indeed is that place for rest.

And the life of this world is nothing but play and amusement. But far better is the house in the Hereafter for those who are Al Muttaqun (the pious). Will you not then understand?

The biggest losers are the ones who deny the existence of God, the existence of the Day of Resurrection, the existence of Hell and the existence of Paradise. Those who will cry oceans of tears and begging for another chance at life are the ones who live their lives following nothing but their own desire.

If you could but see when they will be held in front of their Lord. Allah will say: “Is not this (the resurrection and the taking of the accounts) the truth?” They will say: “Yes, by our Lord!” Allah will then say: “So taste you the torment because you used not to believe”.


Is it okay for us to create our own God? Is it okay to attribute characters that we think is suitable to our God? Don’t you think if that’s the case we are bound to create a God that’s similar to us? We’ll have a God who has our needs. A God who has our feelings.

Don’t you think if we want to know about God it’s more appropriate to listen from God Himself?

And when my slaves ask you O Muhammad concerning me, then answer them, I am indeed near to them by my knowledge. I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on me without any mediator or intercessor. So let them obey me and believe in me, so that they may be led aright.

The good thing about God is that we’ll never have a one sided love or unrequited love if we’re in love with Him. If we come towards Him walking He comes towards us running.

Narrated by Abu Musa:
The Prophet said: ‘Whoever loves the meeting with Allah, Allah too loves the meeting with him and whoever hates the meeting with Allah, Allah too hates the meeting with him.’

That’s our Lord. That’s how different God is than his slaves.

The Kings, the Presidents, the powerful people, none of them love to meet those less powerful than themselves for fear that those people will want something from them. Most of those people think themselves to be better than the rest the ordinary people and have a reservation about interacting with the lowly.

None of them will take a genuine step approaching the little people who try to approach them, let alone running towards us when they see us moving into their direction. They will put dozen of body guards to keep their privacy. But not the Hidden One (Al Batin).

The big people feel they are too big to talk directly to the little people but not the Supreme One (Al Muta’ali). These people are afraid that someone will want a piece of their wealth but not the Inheritor of All (Al Warith).

Our Lord gives us a direct channel 24/7. He orders us to call Him as often as we like and ask Him for anything directly.  He also loves to hear us beg for His forgiveness, unlike human beings who might murder us after the 100th times expression of sorry. That’s our Creator.

One of the most offensive things besides ascribing partners in worship that we could do towards our God is by assuming that the Pure One (Al Qudus) needs to have a wife and a son too just like the rest of us.

Since most of us feel incomplete without a family, we assume that a God is also in need of a family. Since most of us put family as our most treasured people, we assume that His family is also the most precious thing to God. That’s how silly we are.

The Jews, Christians and the pagans say: ‘Allah has begotten a son (children)’ Glory is to Allah. He is rich free of all needs. He is all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. No warrant you have for this. Do you say against Allah what you know not?

And say: ‘All the praises and thanks be to Allah who has not begotten a son ad who has no partners in His dominion, nor He is low to have a Wali (helper, protector or supporter). And magnify Him with all magnificence (e.g. Allahu Akbar)’

So put not forward simlitudes for Allah as there is nothing similar to Him nor He resembles anything. Truly Allah knows and you know not.

If we think our parents love us their children, their love is nothing compare to the love that Allah has for His creations. The All Compassionate (Ar Rahman) and the All Merciful (Ar Rahim) has written mercy for Himself, so that if any of us do evil in ignorance and there after repents and do righteous good deeds, then surely Allah is often forgiving, most merciful.

And whoever does evil or wrongs himself but afterwards seeks Allah’s forgiveness, he will find Allah Often Forgiving, Most Merciful.

Why should Allah punish you if you have thanked Him and have believed in Him. And Allah is Ever All Appreciative, All Knowing.

Narrated Mu'adh:
I was a companion rider of the Prophet on a donkey called Ufair. The Prophet asked, 'O Mu'adh! Do you know what Allah's right on His slaves is and what the right of His slaves on Him is?' I replied, 'Allah and His Apostle know better'. He said, 'Allah's right on His slaves is that they should worship Him (alone) and should not worship any besides Him. And slaves' right on Allah is that He should not punish him who worships none besides Him.' I said, 'O Allah's Apostle! Should I not inform the people of this good news?' He said, 'Do not inform them of it, lest they should depend on it (absolutely).'

We might stop doing good things completely if we're certain that just by worshiping Allah alone is enough to enter Paradise. We might start doing bad things on purpose if we know how merciful our Lord really is.

Narrated 'Umar bin Al Khattab:
Some Sabi (i.e. war prisoners, children and women only) were brought before the Prophet and behold, a woman amongst them was milking her breasts to feed and whenever she found a child amongst the captives, she took it over her chest and nurse it (she had lost her child but later she found him) the Prophet said to us, 'Do you think that this lady can throw her son in the fire?' We replied, 'No, if she has the power not to throw it in the fire.' The Prophet then said, 'Allah is more merciful to His slaves than this lady to her son.'

Narrated Abu Huraira:
I heard Allah's Apostle saying Allah divided Mercy into one hundred parts and He kept its ninety nine parts with Him and sent down its one part on the earth, and because of that, its single part, His creation are merciful toward each other, so that even the mare lift up its hoofs away from its baby animal, lest it should trample on it.'

The All Compassionate and the All Merciful (Ar Rahman and Ar Rahim) loves those who show mercy towards His creatures.

Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, 'While a dog was going round a well and was a bout to die of thirst, an Israeli prostitute saw it and took off her shoe and watered it. So Allah forgave her because of that good deed.

The Teachings of Islam

If all religions are about guidance to right and wrong so that human beings can be a good and better person, what are the differences between Islam and those religions. Why it has to be Islam?

The biggest differences between Islam and other religions are:

There is only one God in Islam. Allah is the First (Al Awwal), the Last (Al Akhir) and the Ever Living One (Al Hayy). Some religions ascribe partners to God be it a daughter, a son, a wife etc.  But Allah is the Self Existing One (Al Qayyum) who needs nothing and nobody. Free of needs.

Verily, Allah forgives not the sin of setting up partners in worship with Him, but He forgives whom He wills sins other than that and whoever sets up partners in worship with Allah has indeed strayed far away.

Narrated 'Ubada:
The Prophet said, 'If anyone testifies that None has the right to be worshiped but Allah Alone Who has no partners, and that Muhammad is His Slave and His Apostle, and that Jesus is Allah's Slave and His Apostle and His Word which He bestowed on Mary and a Spirit created by Him, and that Paradise is true, and Hell is true, Allah will admit him into Paradise with the deeds which he had done even if those deeds were few.'
If other religions require the slaves of God to use another person in their dealings with God Islam does not. In Islam the relationship between us and God is private and exclusive. There is no need for mediator or intercessor. Personally, I think this is the best part about Islam.

I have an enormous amount of distrust for authority and people in power and no genuine respect for the higher ups for very few of them deserve it. I couldn’t imagine myself bowing to some people who are nothing but slaves of God just like me, but dare to claim that they are a better person.

I would totally hate it if someone tells me that I need them to mediate between me and my God. My first reaction would be, “How much does this charlatan want before he lets me see my God?”

If some religions put some people above others, in Islam all human beings are equal in front of Allah. He doesn’t care about our gender, our skin colours, our ethnicities or our professions. What will differentiate us in front of God is our deeds.

And whoever does righteous good deeds, male or female and is a true believer, such will enter Paradise and not the least injustice even the size of a Naqira (speck on the back of a date stone) will be done to them.

If some religions put the burden of sins on some people, in Islam every person is responsible for their own sins. Why should we be responsible for sins done by others? And why should others be responsible for our sins? There is no justice in this concept.

Although come to think of it, it would be great if someone could carry all of my sins therefore I’m free to completely enjoy myself and make as much sins as I want to. But just thinking about the great injustice done to whomever that poor fellow is make me unable to accept this concept.

Unfortunately, I can totally see most people doing that kind of thing if they have the power to do so. We love sacrificing someone to save ourselves. How many people have a tendency to say ‘No, don’t punish him. It’s my fault. I’m the one who makes mistake’?

But there is no such thing in Islam. Justice in Islam is very clear.

Whoever goes right, then he goes right only for the benefit of his own self. And whoever goes astray, then he goes astray to his own loss. No one laden with burdens can bear another’s burden. And We never punish until We have sent a Messenger to give warnings.

If some religions put the utmost important into being solely focus on God. Islam does not. Islam is all about moderation and balance. 

Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, 'Religion is very easy and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will not be able to continue that way. So you should not be extremists, but try to be near to perfection and receive the good tidings that you will be rewarded, and gain strength by worshiping in the mornings and the nights.

Narrated 'Aisha:
Once the  Prophet came while a woman was sitting with me. He said, 'Who is she?' I replied, 'She is so and so,' and told him about her excessive praying. He said disapprovingly, 'Do good deeds which is within your capacity without being overtaxed as Allah does not get tired of giving rewards but surely you will get tired and the best deed (act of Worship) in the sight of Allah is that which is done regularly.'

If you don’t have money to give for charity don’t worry. Charity or other good deeds don’t require a rich person to do it. Charity comes from the goodness of your heart so it doesn’t always come in the form of money. 

Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, 'Charity is obligatory everyday on every joint of a human being. If one helps a person in matters concerning his riding animal by helping him to ride it or by lifting his luggage on to it, all this will be regarded as charity. A good word, and every step one takes to offer the compulsory congregational prayer is regarded as charity and guiding somebody on the road is regarded as charity.'

Narrated Abu Huraira:
A Bedouin stood up and started making water in the mosque. The people caught him but the Prophet ordered them to leave him and to pour a bucket of a tumbler of water over the place where he had passed the urine. The Prophet then said, 'You have been sent to make things easy and not to make them difficult.'

All those things above are enough to illustrate that God is important but the people around us is equally important. We only have 24 hours and one body. It’s not fair to the people around us if we use our 24 hours only for God. Our faith is not perfect if we’re only good towards Allah. Allah is in no need of our goodness, but the people around us are. Especially our parents.

And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour.

And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy and say: ‘My Lord, bestow on them Your mercy as they did bring me up when I was young’.

If you look into the Muslims’ community you will not find them neglecting their parents. They won’t ever send their elderly to nursing home not because they don’t have money to send them but because Allah has ordered them to treat their parents as King and Queen when they have reached old age.

The most important thing in Islam is the acknowledgement that there is only One God, but after that it’s all about how we behave towards and treat other people.  

Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Amr:
A person asked Allah's Apostle. 'What sort of deeds in or what qualities of Islam are good? He replied, 'To feed the poor and greet those whom you know and those whom you don't know.'

It’s normal to be good to those who are good to us. But Islam is all about the excellence of characters and manners. Therefore you will find most Muslims to be approachable and warm even towards a complete stranger for our beloved Prophet told us than even a smile will be considered as a good deed by Allah.

Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, 'Allah created Adam making him 60 cubits tall. When he created him, He said to him, 'Go and greet that group of angels and listen to their reply for it will be your greetings (salutation) and the greeting (salutation) of your offspring.' So Adam said to the angels, As Salamu Alaikum (i.e. peace be upon you). The angels said, 'As salamu Alaika wa Rahmatullahi (i.e. peace and Allah's Mercy be upon you). Thus the angels added to Adam's salutation the expression, 'Wa Rahmatullahi'. Any person who will enter Paradise will resemble Adam in appearance and figure. People have been decreasing in stature since Adam's creation.

When you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with what is better than it, or at least return it equally. Certainly, Allah is Ever a Careful Account Taker of all things.

Narrated Anas:
Whenever the Prophet spoke a sentence (said a thing) he used to repeat it thrice so that the people could understand it properly from him and whenever he asked permission to enter, he knocked the door thrice with greeting.

However, besides being nice and all smile, there is another face of Islam. Islam is extremely strict when it comes to right and wrong. I particularly love how strict Islam is when it comes to witnesses.

O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice as witness to Allah even though it be against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, be he rich or poor, Allah is a Better Protector to both than you. So follow not the lusts of your hearts lest you avoid justice and you distort your witness or refuse to give it, verily Allah is Ever Well Acquainted with what you do.

Narrated Abu Bakra:
Allah's Apostle said thrice, 'Shall I not inform you of the biggest of the great sins?' We said, 'Yes, O Allah's Apostle.' He said, 'To join partners in worship with Allah; to be undutiful to one's parents.' The Prophet sat up after he had been reclining and added, 'And I warn you against giving forged statement and a false witness; I warn you against giving a forged statement and a false witness.' The Prophet kept on saying that warning till we thought that he would not stop.
I hate seeing a case when we have nothing but A’s words against B’s words. My hatred towards this issue is bigger than my hatred seeing someone wantonly disobeying God’s orders.

Okay, truth be told I feel nothing towards those who chose to disobey God because they are the ones who will bear the consequences of their actions. But those who give false statements and lie when they act as witnesses…I really hate those people. Really, really hate them. The only thing that makes me feel slightly better is the knowledge of ‘the wonderful rewards’ being prepared for them.

Consider not that Allah is unaware of that which the zalimun do, but He gives them respite up to a day when the eyes will stare in horror.

I think all religions are ordering people to do a good deed. But in Islam people are encouraged to direct their good deeds to those who are closest to them first.

Narrated Abu Huraira:
I heard Allah's Apostle saying, 'Whoever is pleased that he be granted more wealth and that his lease of life be prolonged, then he should keep good relations with his Kith and kin.'

Narrated Abdullah bim 'Amr:
The Prophet said, 'Al Wasil is not he one who recompenses the good done to him by his relatives, but Al Wasil is the one who keeps good relations with those relatives who had severed the bond of kinship with him.'

But the relationship in Islam isn't only based on blood relation, breast feeding - yes, breast feeding. Those who are exclusively breast fed by the same woman are not allowed to marry each other as they are considered as brothers and sisters - or marriage. Religion is an equally strong tie that ties all the Muslims together.

Narrated Abu Musa:
Some people asked Allah's Apostle, 'Whose Islam is the best?' (i.e. Who is very good Muslim?) He replied, 'One who avoids harming the Muslims with his tongue and hands.'

Narrated 'Abdullah:
The Prophet said, 'Abusing a Muslim is Fusuq (an evil doing) and killing him is Kufr (disbelief).' Narrated Ubada bin As Samit: 'Allah's Apostle went out to inform the people about the date of the night of decree (Al Qadr) but there happened a quarrel between two Muslim men. The Prophet said, 'I came out to inform you about the date of the night of Al Qadr but as so and so and so and so quarrelled, its knowledge was taken away (I forgot it) and maybe it was better for you. Now look for it in the 7th, the 9th, and the 5th of the last 10 nights of the month of Ramadan.' 

So, why Islam? In the end it’s because Allah has declared in the Qur’an: ‘This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed my favour upon you and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.

And because we have promised our Lord that we’ll admit Him as our Lord once we’re born.

And remember when your Lord brought forth from the children of Adam from their loins, their seed and made them testify as to themselves saying: ‘Am I not your Lord?’ They said: ‘Yes! We testify!’ lest you should say on the day of resurrection: ‘Verily, we have been unaware of this.’

We should choose the most logical and just religion that is closer to our hearts.

Narrated Salim bin 'Abdullah:
My father said, 'I heard Allah's Apostle saying, 'The period of your stay as compared to the previous nations is like the period equal to the time between the 'Ash prayer and sunset. The people of the Torah were given the Torah and they acted upon it till mid day then they were exhausted and were given one Qirat of gold each. And then the people of the Gospel were given the Gospel and they acted upon it till the 'Ash prayer and then they were exhausted and were given one Qirat each. And then we were given the Qur'an and we acted upon it till sunset and we were given two Qirats each. On that the people of both the Scriptures said, 'O our Lord! You have given them two Qirats and given us one Qirat though we have worked more than they.' Allah said, 'Have I usurped some of your right?' They said, 'No.' Allah said: 'That is my blessing I bestow upon whomsoever I wish.' 

Truly, the religion with Allah is Islam. Those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians) did not differ except out of mutual jealousy, after knowledge had come to them. And whoever disbelieves in the Ayat of Allah, then surely Allah is swift in calling to account.

Narrated Hakim bin Hizam:
I said to Allah's Apostle, 'Before embracing Islam I used to do good deeds like giving in charity, slave manumitting, and the keeping of good relations with Kith and kin. Shall I be rewarded for those deeds?' The Prophet replied, 'You became Muslim with all those good deeds (without losing their reward).'

Prophet Muhammad

Verily, there has come unto you a Messenger from amongst yourselves. It grieves him that you should receive any injury or difficulty. He is anxious over you to be rightly guided that you may enter Paradise and be saved from the punishment of Hell fire; for the believers he is full of pity, kind and merciful.

Narrated Rabia bin Abi Abdur Rahman:
I heard Anas bin Malik describing the Prophet saying, 'He was of medium height amongst the people, neither tall nor short; he had a rosy colour, neither absolutely white nor deep brown; his hair was neither completely curly nor quite lank. Divine Inspiration was revealed to him when he was 40 years old. He stayed 10 years in Mecca receiving the Divine Inspiration, and stayed in Medina for 10 more years. When he expired, he had scarcely 20 white hairs in his head and beard.' Rabia said, 'I saw some of his hairs and it was red. When I asked about that, I was told that it turned red because of scent.'

From history we learned that there were always people who stood up against unjust Kings/Rulers. There were always people who dared to contradict the tradition and ancient belief of their people at their own risk. Most of them were Messengers of God.

Prophet Muhammad was the number one target on the death list of his own people. Not only he dared to criticize their God, he destroyed the common practice of slavery.

Narrated Al Ma'rur:
At Ar Rabadha I met Abu Dhar who was wearing a cloak, and his slave too was wearing a similar one. I asked about the reason for it. He replied, 'I abused a person by calling his mother with bad names.' The Prophet said to me, 'O Abu Dhar! Did you abuse him by calling his mother with bad names, you still have some characteristics of ignorance. Your slaves are your brothers and Allah has put them under your command. So whoever has a brother under his command should feed him of what he eats and dress him of what he wears. Do not ask them (slaves) to do things beyond their capacity (power) and if you do so, then help them.'

Muhammad also forbade usury which was another common practice that accumulated perhaps as much wealth as slavery did for the rich. He also told the barbaric Arabs to stop burying their female infants alive. He asked them to educate their daughters properly and treat them well. And in that extremely patriarchal society he told everyone who asked him that instead of their father, a person should put his mother as the most important person in his life.

If both the father and mother order you to do something the first command that you should follow is the bidding of your mother. If both of them call you to come to them you should always come to your mother first.

Narrated Abu Huraira:
A man came to Allah's Apostle and said, 'O Allah's Apostle! Who is more entitled to be treated with the best companionship by me?' The Prophet said, 'Your mother.' The man said, 'Who is next?' The Prophet said, 'Your mother.' The man further said, 'Who is next?' The Prophet said, 'Your mother.' The man asked for the fourth time, 'Who is next?' The Prophet said, 'Your father.'

He gave women who were treated as less than human the right to inheritance. He also gave women the freedom to determine her own life. He told all the men that although a woman needs a guardian to marry them off, they can’t marry her off without her consent and regardless of how displeased men are with their women folks, it’s their responsibility to take a good care of them.

He also told that every master needed to pay their workers before their sweat evaporated. Who told a master on how to treat their own workers? Nobody ever cares about the rights of the slaves, women, or workers before. There was nobody who dared to challenge the best practice of the time hence invited the wrath of his own community.

Muhammad was only an orphan. But this illiterate person dared to contradict the deep rooted belief in his community. A nobody dared to risk his life to correct hundred years of wrong. A thankless job that gave him nothing but hardships, death threat and expulsion.

Do we have enough courage to do what he did in our society? Nope. Most of us will keep our disagreement deep inside our heart. We have no guts to voice our objection out loud. Most of us will look the other way if we happen to see injustice and pretend nothing happens.

Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah:
I gave the Pledge of allegiance to the Prophet that I would listen and obey and he told me to add: 'As much as I can, and I will give good advice to every Muslim.'

Are we going to say the same thing when someone offers his life and blind devotion to us? He is the Prophet, the Messenger of God therefore I see there’s nothing wrong if he wants those people to be his personal slaves. 

Narrated Anas:
The Prophet said, 'Whoever possesses the following three qualities will have the sweetness (delight) of faith:
1. The one to whom Allah and His Apostle becomes dearer than anything else.
2. The one who loves a person and he loves him only for Allah's sake.
3. The one who hates to revert to Atheism (disbelief) as he hates to be thrown into the fire.

That’s why once the faith has entered their hearts all Muslims love Prophet Muhammad more than their own lives, but Muhammad never used his position as the Prophet for anything personal. He showed forgiveness to those who harmed him, kept telling people to do what was good and instead of punishing the foolish who loved to quarrel he turned away from them. That’s how excellent his characters were.

Narrated 'Amr bin Al Harith:
The Prophet did not leave anything behind him after his death except a white mule, his arms and a piece of land which he left to be given in charity.

How many clerics, pastors, priests, religious figures, Kings, and Presidents that we know live in poverty? Prophet Muhammad had become the ruler of Arabia by that time. But the Messenger of God who was also the head of the Muslims' State had nothing to his name. The things he received were quickly distributed to the Muslims community.

He forbade himself and his family to receive charity although they might be one of the poorest. But he would accept gifts presented to him, but even that he never took more than what he and his family needed for the day.

Narrated Ali:
Fatima went to the Prophet complaining about the bad effect of the stone hand mill on her hand. She heard that the Prophet had received a few slave girls. But when she came there she did not find him, so she mentioned her problem to 'Aisha. When the Prophet came 'Aisha informed him about that. 'Ali added, 'So the Prophet came to us when we had gone to bed. We wanted to get up on his arrival but he said, 'Stay where you are.' Then he came and sat between me and her and I felt the coldness of his feet on my abdomen. He said, 'Shall I direct you to something better than what you have requested? When you go to bed say 'Subhan Allah 33 times, 'Alhamdulillah 33 times and Allahu Akbar 34 times, for that is better for you than a servant.'

Despite his very high status, he never asked to be treated differently. When he prayed, he prayed just like everyone else.

Narrated Abu Juhaifa:
Once Allah's Apostle went to Al Batha at noon, performed the ablution and offered a two rakat Zuhr prayer and two rakaat Ash prayer while a spearheaded stick was planted before him and the passers by were passing in front of it. After the prayer, the people got up and held the hands of the Prophet and passed them on their faces. I also took his hand kept it on my face and noticed that it was colder than ice and its smell was nicer than musk.

With his power Muhammad could do as he pleased. He could also order people to do the most impossible tasks there is and they'll do it. But he didn't.

Narrated 'Aisha:Whenever Allah's Apostle was given the choice of one of two matters, he would choose the easier of the two, as long as it was not sinful to do so, but if it was sinful to do so, he would not approach it. Allah's Apostle never took revenge over anybody for his own sake but he did only when Allah's legal bindings were outraged in which case he would take revenge for Allah's sake. 

Narrated Abdullah bin Amr:
The Prophet never used bad language neither a Fahish nor a Mutafahish. He used to say: 'The best amongst you are those who have the best manners and characters.'

Narrated Abu Said Al Khudri:
The Prophet was shier than  a veiled virgin girl.

Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet never criticized any food presented him, but he would eat it if he like it; otherwise he would leave it without expressing his dislike.

In delivering Allah’s rules and regulations, the Prophet was using the techniques that are taught in the teaching college. He spoke slowly and clearly. He also repeated things that needed to be emphasized. But the best thing of all he gave an example on how to do all those things. His life was a teaching that his followers follow. He was a walking Qur’an.

Narrated 'Aisha:
The Prophet used to talk so clearly that if somebody wanted to count the number of his words, he could do so. Narrated Urwa bin Az Zubair: 'Aisha said to me, 'Don't you wonder at Abu so and so who came and sat by my dwelling and started relating the traditions of Allah's Apostle intending to let me hear that, while I was performing an optional prayer. He left before I finished my optional prayer. Had I found him still there. I would have said to him, 'Allah's Apostle never talked so quickly and vaguely as you do.'

Narrated Ibn Mas'ud:
The Prophet used to take care of us in preaching by selecting a suitable time, so that we might not get bored. (He abstained from pestering us with sermons and knowledge all the time).

Those were some of the characters of Prophet Muhammad. His life was an open book to be scrutinized and learned by whoever wants to learn it. But I want to talk about romance. About Love.

Most people seem to be pretty occupied with how many wives he had. They (read: men) absolutely love that. Why? Because they could use it as justification to have as many wives as they desire. What men don’t love having their own private harem?

Men love to pretend to be stupid and ignore how Prophet Muhammad was actually against men having more than one wife because he fully understood what women felt when they had to share their husband with other women.

Narrated Al Miswar bin Makhrama:
I heard Allah's Apostle who was on the pulpit, saying: 'Banu Hisham bin Al Mughira have requested me to allow them to marry their daughter to Ali bin Abu Talib, but I don't give permission, and will not give permission unless 'Ali bin Abi Talib divorces my daughter in order to marry their daughter, because Fatima is a part of my body and I hate what she hates to see and what hurts her, hurts me.'

They also pretend not to understand Allah’s warning against having more than one wife.

You will never be able to do perfect justice between wives even if it is your ardent desire, so do not incline too much to one of them (by giving her more of your time and provision) so as to leave the other hanging (i.e. neither divorced nor married). And if you do justice and do all that is right and fear Allah by keeping away from all that is wrong then Allah is Ever Often Forgiving, Most Merciful.

Yes, it’s allowed for a man to have more than one wife if he could act justly between them. But Allah reminds us that it’s impossible for a man to act justly among his wives. How do men take it? Predictably, they just ignore the last sentence and stick with ‘may’.

I predict that somewhere in the distant future when in every 50 born babies there is only one male infant, those in power will make it mandatory for men to marry at least 10 women. Wouldn’t that just lovely?

Back to Prophet Muhammad.

Could he act justly among his wives? The Prophet tried his best and unlike the rest of us he was a Prophet. Women (not their family or relative) personally came to him to propose marriage. They wanted to be his wife. Another thing that differentiated the Prophet from other men was that sometimes his wives chose to forsake and gave their rights to the one most dear to him.

Narrated Al Qasim:
Aisha said that whenever the Prophet intended to go on a journey, he drew lots among his wives (so as to take one of them along with him). During one of his journey the lot fell on Aisha and Hafsa. When night fell the Prophet would ride beside Aisha and talk with her. One night Hafsa said to Aisha, 'Won't you ride my camel tonight and I ride yours, so that you may see me and I see you in new situation?' Aisha said, 'Yes, I agree.' So Aisha rode and then the Prophet came towards Aisha's camel on which Hafsa was riding. He greeted Hafsa and then proceeded beside her till they dismounted on the way. Aisha missed him and so when they dismounted, she put her legs in the Idhkhir and said, 'O Lord! Send a scorpion or a snake to bite me for I am not to blame him (the Prophet).'

Narrated 'Aisha:
Sada bint Zam'a gave up her turn to me and so the Prophet used to give me both my day and the day of Sada.

Although he was the Prophet he didn’t just lounge on the bed and ordering people around to serve him. He worked while he was at home.

Narrated Al Aswad:
That he asked 'Aisha, 'What did the Prophet use to do in his house?' She replied, 'He used to keep himself busy serving his family and when it was the time for prayer he would go for it.'

Narrated 'Aisha:
During his fatal ailment Allah's Apostle used to ask his wives, 'Where shall I stay tomorrow? Where shall I stay tomorrow?' He was looking forward to Aisha's turn. So all his wives allowed him to stay where he wished, and he stayed at 'Aisha's house till he died there. 'Aisha added: 'He died on the day of my usual turn at my house. Allah took him unto Him while his head was between my chest and my neck and his saliva was mixed with my saliva.

But, that’s not the romance I want to talk about. Some of you might know how much I love nuna romance. I love love that never dies. I love an outstanding heroine. A powerful female lead who is neither stupid nor poor.

I’m not saying that ‘Aisha was stupid for she had one of the best brains of her time nor that the Prophet didn’t love her, for he sure did love her. Neither do I say that ‘Aisha was weak for she definitely wasn’t. She went to war and lead a war party. But as much as she loved the Prophet, she still had to share him with other women and he wasn’t completely hers.

But that’s not the case with Khadija.

Although Muhammad had nothing to his name except for his superior characters and good looks, both were so outstanding that they attracted the attention of Khadija binti Khuwailid.

Narrated Al Bara:
The Prophet was of moderate height having broad shoulders, long hair reaching his ear lobes. Once I saw him in a red cloak and I had never seen a more handsome man than him.'

Khadija was not an ordinary woman either. In the era where women were worthless and owns nothing she was one of the richest persons in their community. When women did nothing but cook and please men, she ran one of the most successful businesses in town.

Although she was already 40 and a widow, she could have any powerful man in town. But she wanted the twenty five year old Muhammad and she proposed to him. The young Muhammad could refuse that proposal. He was a man after all. But he did not. He accepted her proposal and married Khadija who was fifteen years his senior.

How do we know that young Muhammad loved his older wife?

In the era where it was very common for a man to have as many women as he wanted, Muhammad never took or looked at another woman. Khadija was the one and only woman for him until the day she died.

Even long after her death, Khadija was the only woman who made Aisha extremely jealous. On one occasion Aisha admitted that amongst the many wives of the Prophet only few could compete with her in terms of looks and intellect but they didn’t make her as jealous as she felt towards the late Khadija.

Narrated 'Aisha:
I never felt so jealous of any wife of Allah's Apostle as I did of Khadija because Allah's Apostle used to remember and praise her too often and because it was revealed to Allah's Apostle that he should give her (Khadija) the glad tidings of her having a Palace of Qasab in Paradise.

The Prophet was always extremely kind, respectful and generous towards Khadija’s relatives because of his love for her. And once when Aisha voiced her jealousy he replied that to him no woman can compare to Khadija. Meaning not even his beloved young and only virgin wife that he had been ordered to marry who were far superior compare to other women of her life time could compare to Khadija.

He told Aisha that when nobody believed him Khadija was the only person who believed him. When everyone turned their collective backs on him Khadija was the one who stayed firmly by his side. And she was also the mother of his offspring. He could never forget her and her place in his heart could not be replaced by other women.

Other Prophets

I love how respectful Islam is towards all the Prophets before Muhammad. The Qur'an has revealed how outstanding all God's Messengers were.

Say O Muhammad: ‘We believe in Allah and in what has been sent down to us and what was sent down to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and Al-Asbat (the offspring of the twelve sons of Jacob) and what was given to Moses, Jesus and the Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between one another among them and to Him we have submitted (in Islam).

Narrated Anas:
Uthman called Zaid bin Thabit, Abdullah bin Az Zubair, Said bin Al As and Abdur Rahman bin Al Harith bin Hisham and then they wrote the manuscripts of the Holy Qur'an in the form of book in several copies. Uthman said to the three Quraishi persons. 'If you differ with Zaid bin Thabit on any point of the Qur'an, then write it in the language of Quraish, as the Qur'an was revealed in their language.' So they acted accordingly. (Said bin Thabit was an Ansari and not from Quraish). 

Unlike other Holy Books that have been translated and revised so many times that we no longer sure which were the original Words of God and which were things that were written by another human beings, Qur'an maintains its original language. The language which the Words of God were being revealed to His Messenger.

All God's Messengers were outstanding but I feel that besides my beloved Prophet, I love Prophet Moses the most. On one occasion Prophet Muhammad said that he admired the patience of Prophet Moses when he was dealing with his people.

But, the thing that I love the most about Prophet Moses is actually his temper. Yes, he was also a shy person, perhaps as shy as Prophet Muhammad, but if our beloved Prophet had a very calm nature that suited his shyness, the shy Prophet Moses didn't shy away from expressing his feelings loudly and physically. He even dared to ask God who was already talking to him directly to see Him with his own eyes.

And when Moses came at the time and place appointed by Us, and his Lord spoke to him, he said: ‘O my Lord! Show me Yourself that I may look upon You.’ Allah said: ‘You cannot see Me, but look upon the mountain, if it stands still in its place then you shall see Me.’ So when his Lord appeared to the mountain He made it collapse to dust and Moses fell down unconscious. Then when he recovered his senses he said: ‘Glory be to You, I turn to You in repentance and I am the first of the believers.’

I couldn't imagine our Prophet boldly asked Allah for that kind of privilege. After going back and forth asking God to reduce the number of compulsory prayers from fifty to five he no longer had face to ask for yet another reduction.

Prophet Moses strongly urged him to go back and ask for more reduction telling our Prophet that his followers won't be able to pray five times a day. But Prophet Muhammad told Prophet Moses that he was already too shy to ask for more reduction since the number had already been reduced from fifty to five times a day.

Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah's Apostle said, 'On the night of my Ascension to Heaven, I saw the Prophet Moses who was a thin person with lank hair, looking like one of the men of the tribe of Shanua; and I saw Jesus who was of average height with red face as if he had just come out of a bathroom. And I resemble Prophet Abraham more than any of his offspring does. Then I was given two cups, one containing milk and the other wine. Gabriel said, 'Drink whichever you like.' I took the milk and drank it. Gabriel said, 'You have accepted what is natural (true religion i.e. Islam) and if you had taken the wine, your followers would have gone astray.'

Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah's Apostle said, 'The Prophet Moses was a shy person and used to cover his body completely because of his extensive shyness. One of the children of Israel hurt him by saying, 'He covers his body this way only because of some defect in his skin, either leprosy or scrotal hernia, or he has some other defect.' Allah wished to clear Moses of what they said about him, so one day while Moses was in seclusion, he took off his clothes and put them on a stone and started taking a bath. When he had finished the bath, he moved towards his clothes so as to take them, but the stone took his clothes and fled; Moses picked up his stick and ran after the stone saying, 'O stone! Give me my garment!' Till he reached a group of Bani Israel who saw him naked then, and found him the best of what Allah had created, and Allah cleared him of what they had accused him of. The stone stopped there and Moses took and put his garment on and started hitting the stone with his stick. By Allah the stone still has some traces of the hitting, three, four or five marks. This was what Allah refers to in His saying: 'O you who believe! Be you not like those who annoyed Moses, but Allah proved his innocence of that which they alleged, and he was honourable in Allah's Sight.' (33;69)

When Prophet Muhammad got angry his face changed and that's pretty much it. He never got physical for personal offenses. He got incredible self control. Once when his patience almost reached its limit he praised the patience of Prophet Moses who had the Jews to deal with.

But it's not the patience of Prophet Moses that makes me love him. It's this particular part of him as revealed by this Hadith that I love the most:

Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Angel of Death was sent to Moses. When he came to Moses, Moses slapped him on the eye. The angel returned to his Lord and said, 'You have sent me to a slave who does not want to die.' Allah said, 'Return to him and tell him to put his hand on the back of an ox and for every hair that will come under it, he will be granted one year of life.' Moses said, 'O Lord! What will happen after that?' Allah replied, 'Then death.' Moses said, 'Let it come now.' Moses then requested Allah to let him die close to the Sacred Land so much so that he would be at a distance of a stone's throw from it. Abu Huraira added, 'Allah's Apostle said, 'If I were there, I would show you his grave below the red sand hill on the side of the road.'

Narrated Abu Huraira:
A Muslim and a Jew quarrelled. The Muslim taking an oath, said, 'By Him Who has preferred Muhammad over all people!' The Jew said, 'By Him Who has preferred Moses over all people.' The Muslim raised his hand and slapped the Jew who came to the Prophet to tell him what had happened between him and the Muslim. The Prophet said, 'Don't give me superiority over Moses, for the people will become unconscious on the Day of Resurrection and I will be the first to gain consciousness to see Moses standing and holding a side of Allah's Throne. I will not know if he has been among those people who have become unconscious; and that he has gained consciousness before me, or he has been amongst those whom Allah has exempted.'

I also love how Qur'an explains that all those Prophet were basically carrying the same rules and regulations since they were being sent by the same Lord. They all said that there is only one God and they were nothing but the slaves of God and that we should live our lives accordingly to God's rules and regulations.

Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah's Apostle said, 'Both in this world and in the Hereafter, I am the nearest of all the people to Jesus, the son of Mary. The Prophets are paternal brothers; their mothers are different, but their religion is one.'

Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah's Apostle said, 'My similitude in comparison with other Prophets before me is that of a man who has built a house nicely and beautifully, except for a place of one brick in a coner. The people go about it and wonder at its beauty, but say, 'Would that this brick be put in its place!' So I am that brick and I am the last of the Prophets.'

Don't ask me why only Muslims prostrate themselves in front of their Lord now if all the teachings of the Prophets are the same. Don't ask me why only Muslims who don't eat pork. Don't ask me why only Muslims who don't drink alcohol. Don't why me why only Muslims who aren't allowed to have illegal sexual intercourse.

Narrated Abdullah bin Amr:
Allah's Apostle said to me, 'The most beloved fasting to Allah was the fasting of the Prophet David who used to fast on alternate days. And the most beloved prayer to Allah was the prayer of David who used to sleep for the first half of the night and pray for 1/3 of it and again sleep for 1/6 of it.

Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, 'A strong demon fom the Jinn came to me yesterday suddenly, so as to spoil my prayer, but Allah enabled me to overpower him, and so I caught him and intended to tie him to one of the pillars of the Mosque so that all of you might see him, but I remembered the invocation of my brother Solomon; 'And grant me a kingdom such as shall not belong to any other after me' (38;35) so I let him go curse.'

Narrated Malik bin Sasaa:
That the Prophet talked to them about the night of his Ascension to the Heavens, He said, 'Then Gabriel took me and ascended up till he reached the second heaven where he asked for the gate to be opened, but it was asked, 'Who is it?' Gabriel replied, 'I am Gabriel.' It was asked, 'Who is accompanying you?' He replied, 'Muhammad', It was asked, 'Has he been called?' He said, 'Yes.' When we reached  over the second heaven, I saw John (i.e. Yahya) and Jesus who were cousins. Gabriel said, 'These are John and Jesus, so greet them.' I greeted them and they returned the greeting saying, 'Welcome, O Pious Brother and Pious Prophet!'

Narrated Said bin Al Musaiyab:
Abu Huraira said, 'I heard Allah's Apostle saying, 'There is none born among the offspring of Adam but Satan touches it. A child therefore cries loudly at the time of birth because the touch of Satan, except Mary and her child.' Then Abu Huraira recited: 'And I seek refuse with You for her and for her offspring from the outcast Satan.' (3;36)

The Day of Resurrection

All of us must be curious about what happens after we die, what happens when all of us are being resurrected. What is the Resurrection Day?

On the day when the earth will be changed to another earth and so will be the heavens and all creatures will appear before Allah, the One, the Irresistible.

Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet (pbuh) said, 'Seven people will be shaded by Allah under His shade on the day when there will be no shade except His. They are:
1. A just ruler;
2. A young man who has been brought up in the worship of Allah (i.e. worship Allah alone sincerely since from his childhood);
3. A man whose heart is attached to the Mosque (who offers five compulsory congregational prayers in the Mosque);
4. Two persons who love each other only for Allah's sake and they meet and part in Allah's cause only;
5. A man who refuses the call of a charming woman of noble birth for an illegal sexual intercourse with her and says 'I am afraid of Allah;
6. A person who practices charity so secretly that his left hand does not know what his right hand has given (i.e. nobody knows how much he has given in charity);
7. A person who remembers Allah in seclusion and his eyes get flooded with tears.

Narrated Abu Said:
The Prophet said, 'People will be struck unconscious on the Day of Resurrection and I will be the first to regain consciousness and behold! There I will see Moses holding one of the pillars of Allah's Throne. I will wonder whether he has become conscious before me or he has been exempted, because of his unconsciousness ad the Tur Mountain which he received on the earth.'

Generation after generation will be called forward. Prophets after Prophets will be called forwards with their followers.

Narrated Abu Said:
Allah's Apostle said, 'Noah and his nation will come on the Day of Resurrection and Allah will ask Noah, 'Did you convey the Message?' He will reply, 'Yes, O my Lord!' Then Allah will ask Noah's nation, 'Did Noah convey My Message to you?' They will reply, 'No, no Prophet came to us.' Then Allah will ask Noah, 'Who will stand a witness for you?' He will reply, 'Muhammad and his followers will stand witness for me.' So, I and my followers will stand as witness for him that he conveyed Allah's Message.' That is the interpretation of the Statement of Allah: 'Thus we have made you a just and the best nation that you might be witnesses over mankind.' (2;143)

Jesus will also be called forward.

Remember when Allah will say on the Day of Resurrection. ‘O Jesus, son of Mary! Remember my favour to you and to your mother when I supported you with Ruhul Qudus (Gabriel) so that you spoke to the people in the cradle, and in maturity; and when I taught you writing Al Hikmah (the power of understanding), the Torah and the Gospel; and when you made out of a clay a figure like that of a bird by my permission and you breathed into it, and it became a bird by my permission, and you healed those born blind and the lepers by my permission and when you brought forth the dead by my permission and when I restrained the children of Israel from you when they resolved to kill you as you came unto them with clear proofs and the disbelievers among them said ‘This is nothing but evident magic.’

And remember when Allah will say on the Day of Resurrection: ‘O Jesus, son of Mary! Did you say onto men: ‘Worship me and my mother as two gods besides Allah?’ Jesus will say: ‘Glory be to You! It was not for me to say what I had no right to say. Had I said such a thing, You would surely have known it. You know what is in my inner-self though I do not know what is in Yours. Truly, You and only You are the all knower of all that is hidden and unseen.’

‘Never did I say to them anything except what you did command me to say: ‘Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.’ And I was a witness over them while I dwelt amongst them, but when You took me up, You were the watcher over them; and You are a witness to all things.

The father of the mankind will also be called forward.

Narrated Abu Said Al Khudri:
The Prophet said, 'Allah will say on the Day of Resurrection, 'O Adam.' Adam will reply, 'Labbaik wa Sa'daik, and all the good is in Your Hand.' Allah will say: 'Bring out the people of the fire.' Adam will say: 'O Allah! How many are the people of the Fire?' Allah will reply: 'From every 1,000 take out 999.' At that time children will become hoary headed, every pregnant female will have a miscarriage and one will see mankind as drunken, yet they will not be drunken, but dreadful of the coming Wrath of Allah.' The companions of the Prophet asked, 'O Allah's Apostle! Who is that excepted one?' He said, 'Rejoice with glad tidings, one person will be from you and that 1,000 will be from Gog and Magog.' The Prophet further said, 'By Him 'in Whose Hands my life is, I hope that you will be 1/4 of the people of Paradise.' We shouted 'Allahu Akbar!' He said, 'I hope that you will be 1/3 of the people of Paradise.' We shouted 'Allahu Akbar! He said, 'I hope that you will be 1/2 of the people of Paradise.' We shouted 'Allahu Akbar!' He further said, 'You Muslims compared with non Muslims are like a black hair in the skin of a white ox or like a white hair in the skin of black ox (i.e. your number is very small as compared with theirs).'

Nobody will feel save that day particularly the wretched. But who is the worst amongst the wretched that will occupied the lowest Hell?

Narrated by Abu Hurairah:
The Prophet said: ’The worst people before Allah on the Day of Resurrection will be the double faced people who appear to some people with one face and to other people with another face.’


It might be upsetting to hear that we're doomed and about to go to Hell to be punished for eternity. No body likes to hear that horrible news particularly if we feel that we're a good person and don't deserve to go to Hell.

Verily, you will find the strongest among men in enmity towards the believers (Muslims) are the Jews and those who are Al Mushrikun (idolaters, polytheists, pagans and the disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah) and you will find the nearest in love to the believers (Muslims) are those who say: 'We are Christians.' That is because amongst them there are priests and monks and they are not proud.

And when they who call themselves Christians listen to what has been sent down to the Messenger, you see their eyes overflowing with tears because of the truth they have recognized. They say, 'Our Lord! We believe, so write us down among the witnesses.'

Although Allah has explained how the Jews feel about the Muslims, there is always an exception.

Not all of them are alike, a party of those people of the Scripture stand for the right, they recite the Verses of Allah during the hours of the night, prostrating themselves in prayer.

They believe in Allah and the Last Day; they enjoin Al Ma'ruf and forbid Al Munkar; and they hasten in all good works; and they are among the righteous.

But the thing is, do we really know whether we're the ones who is going to Hell or Paradise? No, we don't. It's like applying for a job. The requirements are being announced. Now, it's up to us to try to fulfill those requirements if we want that particular job.

How long do we have to prepare? Unfortunately, nobody knows. Hopefully, long enough and we're not going to fail the exams.

Let's learn from the Pharaoh's mistake. When drowning overtook him, he finally said, 'I believe that none has the right to be worshiped but Allah in whom the children of Israel believe and I am one of the Muslims.'

Allah replied:

Now you believe while you refused to believe before and you were one of the Mufsidan (evil doers and the corrupters).

So this day We shall deliver your dead body out from the sea that you may be a sign to those who come after you. And verily, many among mankind are heedless of our Ayat.

To all my Muslims brothers and sisters who love to spill blood and take the lives of other Muslims, non Muslims, and whomever you feel like killing, please take sometime to think and reflect.

And fight in the way of Allah those who fight you, but transgress not the limits. Truly Allah likes not the transgressors.

May your love for Allah and Prophet Muhammad is enough to be your guidance to the right path. Remember that Allah shows mercy to those who are merciful.

This is the saying that was used by Prophets:
'If you do not feel ashamed, then do whatever you like'

This parting gift for Ramadan is far from deserving of its beauty because of my own shortcomings, nevertheless this is the least I can do for the beloved month.

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