Search

Submissions

by Rutgers University Muslim Students Association

Category

The Deen is Advice

Wasted Time

“And I keep hittin’ re-peat-peat-peat-peat-peat”

By: Naseeha

Screen Shot 2013-02-22 at 12.29.23 AM

Five Muslims walked into PR, whipped out their laptops and headphones, and immediately became absorbed in Pretty Little Liars and Gilmore Girls.

We see it all the time – time being wasted. When school season begins or when people are busy with jobs, we hear it constantly, “I have absolutely NO time!” But when we get that time, what do we do with it? We waste it. The Prophet Muhammad (saw) said:

“Seeking Knowledge is obligatory upon every Muslim.” (Related by Ibn ‘Adiyy, Al-Bayhaqi & Al-Tabarani)

Sure, we all seek knowledge today. We got our education going and we know everything that our work entails. We know all about the ‘in’ shows and the hottest stars. Heck, we even…wait for it…read…yes, READ! Majority of the people dislike reading (they only do if for schoolwork), but if there’s a really good novel that everyone is talking about… they’ll read it. What people don’t realize is the importance of gaining knowledge on Islam…their deen. This is important especially in today’s society of misconceptions and ‘war on terror’. Unfortunately, many Muslims know very little about Islam. If we as Muslims can’t explain an issue or correct a misconception, then who will? Not only that, but how can we practice fully and to the best of our ability the deen of Islam without learning more about it? With more knowledge comes more of an appreciation for Allah (swt)’s creations, more of an awareness of Allah (swt)’s attributes and qualities, and more taqwa.

“It is only those who have knowledge among His servants that fear Allah.” (Qur’an, Fatir 35:28)

Don’t get me wrong, relaxation isn’t bad – in fact, sometimes it’s much needed. If all our time is put into our jobs, schoolwork, socializing, and relaxation (through entertainment) though, then there’s a serious problem. What happened to learning about Islam? We can all make excuses, but in reality there really is no excuse. We’re all guilty of it, and we need to make a change. Instead of listening to music, we can listen to tafsir, Quran recitation, and lectures on various topics during car rides to work or school. I know plenty of people who have a zillion songs memorized by heart, but all they know from the Qur’an are 5 or 6 surahs from the 30th chapter. Instead of watching dramas, movies, or the food network channel we can watch lectures or even read, YES READ, a book on Islam. Watching/listening to lectures is great, but that cannot be our only source of knowledge. Reading is essential and you can usually get lots of information in a short amount of time. And of course, after gaining knowledge and implementing it, we must share it, even if it’s as little as one verse – The Prophet (saw) said

“Convey (what you learn from me) even if it’s only one verse…” (Related by Bukhari)

I’m sick and tired of hearing people complain about a million jobs and then watch those same people kill a disgusting amount of hours on TV or games. I’m tired of talking with Muslims about something pertaining to Islam and hearing my own echo come back to me because they’re not ‘interested’ in talking about Islam. I’m tired of seeing conversations go back and forth between only 5 or 6 people on a thread of almost 100 Muslims because everyone else doesn’t have the ‘time’ or isn’t interested. Let’s make a change…let’s start by seeking knowledge today.

And now, I leave you with a hadith. Abu Huraira said, The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

“People are like mines of silver and gold; the more excellent of them in the days of Ignorance are the more excellent of them in Islam when they attain knowledge.” (Muslim, Mishkat).

Anyung…AsSalam ‘Alaikum

World is a Mess

By: Naseeha

Screen Shot 2013-02-22 at 12.40.59 AM

The average American is stuck in a bubble. All he or she sees is this endless cycle of school, work, friends, family, TV, music, and some Islamic rituals (if its a Muslim were talking about). Were all drawn into and stuck in this fantasy world this world which makes us forget about our surroundings…our tragic, crumbling, and dying surroundings.

IRAQ

-Bombs fell from the sky like rain
-Soldiers completely rampaged and destroyed the nation while listening to: Kill the f*cking enemy Kill the f*cking enemy Burn, burn, burn the mother f*cker down
-They lined up unarmed civilians and shot them execution style
-Burning…raping…dog attacks…torturing.
-Depleted uranium poisoning caused deformed babies, cancer, etc
-Over one million Iraqis dead
-They targeted hospitals, electric plants, sewage plants, masajid, private residences…
-Its wealth and resources are sucked by the power hungry people that destroyed it
-Etc, etc, etc.

Iraq is bleeding…

AFGHANISTAN

-Bombs and missiles target homes, schools, masajid, hospitals…
-Prisoners are squeezed in freight containers and trapped behind metal doors. They drink their own sweat or the sweat off other prisoners that died; some even drink their own urine. When they cry and pray, the soldiers open the doors and start shooting. After days, hundreds and even thousands die in the containers.
-Shrapnel cluster bombs are used, ripping into people to cause devastating damage
-Soldiers mock, pose with, and desecrate dead Muslim bodies
-Land is so ravaged: would cost about $34 billion to restore agricultural infrastructure
-Civilian death toll increases every year: 3,021 killed in 2011
-Etc, etc, etc…

Afghanistan is bleeding…

PALESTINE

“I don’t know something called International Principles. I vow that I’ll burn every Palestinian child (that) will be born in this area. The Palestinian woman and child is more dangerous than the man, because the Palestinian child’s existence infers that generations will go on, but the man causes limited danger. I vow that if I was just an Israeli civilian and I met a Palestinian I would burn him and I would make him suffer before killing him. With one hit I’ve killed 750 Palestinians (in Rafah in 1956). I wanted to encourage my soldiers by raping Arabic girls as the Palestinian women is a slave for Jews, and we do whatever we want to her and nobody tells us what we shall do but we tell others what they shall do.” – Ariel Sharon, Former Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, architect of the 1982 Sabra-Shatile Massacre, 1956

-Bulldozers crush houses sheltering civilians -Slaughtering…maiming…torturing…impoverishing…degrading…humiliating
-Over thousands slaughtered with tanks, helicopter gunships, warplanes, and missiles -Etc, etc, etc. Palestine is bleeding… CONGO -forced food shortages -4,500 cases of sexual violence in 2007
-War crimes through brutal gang and officer rapes in front of families – male relatives forced to rape their daughters, mothers and sisters at gun point -Pillaging…torturing…raping
-More than thousands injured and homeless
– hundreds dead
-Etc, etc, etc.

Congo is bleeding…

Similarly – Syria, Pakistan, India, Iran, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Lebanon, Kosovo (the list goes on and on) are bleeding.

AMERICA

-Spends trillions on foreign policy while in a debt of more than 15 trillion dollars
-Incarcerations increasing every year with 2.5 million incarcerated in 2006
-Rapidly crippling education infrastructure
-44 million people on food stamps and 47 million living in poverty
-Wealthiest 1% of Americans own more than 1/3 of U.S wealth
-Economy is dying
-Etc, etc, etc.

America is bleeding…

The world is bleeding.

Atrocities are being committed every single day. When small children are seen, youd expect them to receive a smile or a wave – instead they get their brains blown out. Families – father, mother, and children – are blasted into torn body parts while sitting in their living rooms! Bulldozers are flattening homes with people INSIDE of them! Get out of your bubble. The world is a mess…and its time to wake up.

Ciao…AsSalam Alaikum

The Deadly Disease

Screen Shot 2013-02-21 at 11.59.42 PM

By: Naseeha

Screen Shot 2013-02-22 at 12.24.52 AM

I still remember my first day of MSA in High school. We had just formed the group and it was our first meeting. We decided to play an icebreaker game to get to know everyone. It was a predominantly white community, so there were literally about 6 Muslims in all together. Everyone was stating their name and their nationality (yeah, now I realize there really was no point in stating this part). I stood there, eagerly awaiting my turn. The girl on my left side had just finished her introduction and turned to look at me. I smiled and started,

“My name is _____ and I’m half Pakistani and half Indian.”

I turned to look at the guy next to me. He had an odd look on his face. A ‘wow that’s what you are’ kinda look. He held up his face, stuck up his nose, and looked at me right in the eyes and said,

“My name is _____ and I’m Pakistani. [with a proud smile] …PURE Pakistani.”

I barfed.

We may not realize it, but small comments like these show nationalistic pride and/or prejudice towards other nationalities. Some Muslims may think, ‘well, what’s wrong with having some pride in where you’re from?’ We have to stop, look at the big picture, and seriously think about it.

There was once a time when Muslim lands were united. During this time, the Islamic state was the most influential and powerful rule. The Muslims didn’t suffer from oppression, disunity, and stagnation in technology and science. Why is it that we’re suffering from all these things today? Why are Muslims constantly fighting each other? What has made them so weak?

One of the answers is an extremely poisonous disease…a disease that enters your heart, causing your head to swell up with pride. This disease is the disgusting concept of nationalism. Long ago, when the Europeans could not defeat the Islamic state by force, they attacked the hearts and minds of the Muslims. They successfully enflamed national and patriotic sentiments in the Muslims and thus fulfilled their job of disuniting and keeping Muslims apart.

“O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared and die not except in a state of Islam. And hold fast together all of you to the rope of Allah, and BE NOT DIVIDED among yourselves; and remember with gratitude Allah’s favors on you; for you were enemies and He joined your hearts in love, so that by His Grace you became brothers; and you were on the brink of the pit of fire, and He saved you from it. Thus Allah makes His signs clear to you that you may be guided.” [Qur’an 3: 102-103]

Today, Muslim lands are divided into over fifty pieces. Muslims are separated by invisible boundaries and each ‘nationality’ has been brainwashed into thinking that it is superior/inferior to others. Muslims identify themselves as a “Turkish Muslim”, “Arab Muslim”, “African Muslim”, “American Muslim”, “Egyptian Muslim”, “Palestinian Muslim”, “Indian Muslim”, “Pakistani Muslim”, etc. If this isn’t bad enough, we have subdivisions such as Pathan, Sindhi, Punjabi, etc.

“And they have been commanded no more than this: to worship Allah, offering Him sincere devotion, being true (in faith); to establish regular prayer and to practice Zakat; and this is the deen right and straight.” [Qur’an 98: 5]

Our allegiance, devotion, and loyalty are to Allah (swt) and Him alone. Not to a race, not to a certain nationality, and not to a piece of land.

In order to revive the Ummah today, we need to break the chains of nationalism. We need to forget about race, language, and nationalities. I remember when our sister Aisha Khan disappeared, there was a huge uproar. The uproar that was caused when Aisha Khan disappeared should also be seen for the atrocities that occur to our Muslim brothers and sisters overseas. A Muslim living in America is just as dear and important as a Muslim living in Palestine or Pakistan or Africa or anywhere else. It is Islam that runs through our hearts and veins and joins us together. The day that all Muslims realize we must come together as ONE UMMAH and hold the rope of Allah TOGETHER with JOINED hearts will be the day we take a giant step towards revival.

Au revoir…AsSalaam ‘Alaikum

My Sheikh Said So

Screen Shot 2013-02-21 at 11.59.42 PM

By: Naseeha
Note: Quoted conversation may not be exact.

Screen Shot 2013-02-22 at 12.18.11 AM

I was dumbstruck – I felt stupid and idiotic. One minute I was feeling confident and the next I realized that I had just uttered something completely brainless.

It was May 2009, and I was attending my first ‘real experience’ ICNA conference; the last time I had gone was when I was around 6 years old. My knowledge of the ‘in- shuyookh’ was almost zero – the only one I knew was Sheikh Yasir Qadhi. This was because I had taken my first ever Al-Maghrib course a few months before with him. Before I took the course, everyone was raving about how amazing and knowledgeable he was. Since I wasn’t used to sitting for many hours with so much information thrown at me (everyone has their own style of learning), the excitement for me didn’t come from the sheikh himself. Rather, it came from everyone else’s ‘pumping up’ of him and the course. Everyone treated everything he said as if it were…gold.

You know how when you were small, and all of your friends were obsessing over a certain show or toy and you didn’t think it was all that great or you didn’t really understand it or have your own opinion of it so because of your friends, you kind of ‘forced’ your mind to like it and ended up thinking that you really liked it (dang I don’t think I’ve ever written such a long sentence). I remember it happened with me and that anime show Dragon Ball Z. All my cousins went absolutely crazy over that show. I thought it was kind of boring because of all the fighting and whatnot, but I forced myself to like it and, soon enough, I really thought that Dragon Ball Z was my favorite show. Just to clarify, I’m not a dork – I haven’t watched anime shows in a whilei…ts been like, a few *cough* months.

Anyway, I always heard “Sheikh Yasir Qadhi said this” and “Sheikh Yasir Qadhi said that” and “Sheikh Yasir Qadhi is going to be here” and “Sheikh Yasir Qadhi is going to be there. Because of my friends, I was completely dazzled by the great Sheikh Yasir Qadhi way before I even saw him. During the class, he did say some really good things, but I think most of it just flew over my head because, again, it wasn’t my learning style. After the Al-Maghrib class was over, I was convinced that this sheikh was one of my favorites, even though I knew almost nothing about him.

So there I was, standing in the bazaar of the ICNA conference, when I saw a booth with a variety of different foods. I walked over and realized that the man behind the booth was spreading news about how most of the displayed foods were haram.

“Sister!” he exclaimed, happy that I walked over to his booth, “We’re working for blah blah blah” – yeah, I don’t really remember what he said. He picked a bag of Nacho Doritos and asked, “Did you know that most Doritos contain pig enzymes?”

I was a little confused. I knew several people who had stopped eating Doritos because it had something haram in it, but I wasn’t sure what. I remembered then that my friend had said something about Sheikh Yasir Qadhi writing an article and saying that Doritos were ok to eat.

“Yeah, but they’re ok to eat”, I replied.

“There are certain things that Allah (swt) has forbidden us to eat”, he explained. “Pig is haram, and the enzymes in here come from pigs.”

“You know Sheikh Yasir Qadhi?” I asked, rhetorically. I mean, how could someone not know him? “Sheikh Yasir Qadhi said that Doritos are ok to eat,” I stated, triumphantly. I smiled big, thinking that I had changed the man’s mind. He probably didn’t know that Sheikh Yasir Qadhi said they were halal. I felt confident and proud of myself.

“See, this is the problem nowadays”, he said, shaking his head in disapproval.
“Why does he say they’re ok?” “………..”

I had absolutely no stinking idea. “Many Muslims listen to their shuyookh and take everything they say to be a fact”, he sighed, “Shuyookh are normal human beings and make mistakes. If he says something wrong, and you follow blindly, is your sheikh going to stand up for you on the Day of Judgment? Will he be there when Allah (swt) questions you?”

I opened my mouth, closed it, and then smiled like a dodo bird. I was completely dumbstruck. I thought I was making complete sense, but this man broke down everything in a matter of seconds. He gave me his card, and then I told him I had to go I was utterly embarrassed. My sister was with me. “How could you say that?” she cried, reproachfully.

She was right – why the heck did I say that?!?! After the ICNA Conference weekend was over, I thought of the incident over. I was glad that the man in the booth had corrected my way of thinking. Just because someone is given the title of imam or sheikh or scholar doesn’t mean that he/she knows everything and doesn’t make mistakes. We shouldn’t take what they say blindly; we have to be critical. Even the great scholar Imam Shafi said “If I say something, then compare it to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His messenger and if it agrees to them, then accept it, and that which goes against them, reject it and throw my saying against the wall”. I’ve heard people say that because our knowledge is zero and we know nothing, we have no right to question the scholars and shuyookh of today. The fact of the matter is that the knowledge of most of these shuyookh and scholars is dust compared to the scholars of the past. So how can we look at them as these great and amazing people that make no mistakes? With todays technology, we really have no excuse. You can find ayaat, ahadith, and books about almost every Islamic topic with the click of a button! I remember listening to a high-profile speaker once, and he said something that didn’t sit well with me. Later, I found so much that went against what he said and it was clear that he had made a mistake (May Allah (swt) forgive him). However, many people walked out of that talk taking everything he said as the truth.

When Muslims put speakers on such a high pedestal and continuously praise them, they start taking everything the speakers say as a fact, without question. This is extremely dangerous because everyone will be questioned for his or her own actions. Therefore, to make sure we’re doing the right thing that we’re convinced of, we have to go back to the Quran and sunnah.

After getting over the whole ‘Dorito shock’, I decided to read Yasir Qadhi’s article on cheese and Doritos. For some reason, what he said didn’t click with me so I still stayed away from Doritos (recently I found another article online that changed my opinion of cheese again though).

About a year later, I was invited to a friend’s house for lunch. She had put out some snacks and I ran to attack the Chex Mix when I realized that there were Nacho Doritos inside. My hand paused over the bowl and I moved on to the next one. One of the girls in line saw what I had done and asked, “You dont want any?” I shook my head in response. She looked at me and smiled, “You know Sheikh Yasir Qadhi said they’re ok to eat”.

Oh great….

Sayonara…AsSalaam ‘Alaikum.

We’re Just Facebook Friends


Screen Shot 2013-02-21 at 11.59.42 PM

By: Naseeha
Note: Please excuse my sarcasm…I get carried away sometimes.

I hadn’t received one in a while. I was happy, relieved, and grateful. Not having to go through that pang of guilt…that annoying, nerve-wrecking hesitation and that strenuous inner conflict of ‘right and wrong’ over something so simple yet so complicated was a relief. However, all the peace and quiet didn’t last long. One day, I was checking my e-mail, and there it was – ‘Br. So and so wants to be friends on Facebook’…. Nooooo!!!! It was someone I had seen once or twice, maybe even spoken to. He seemed like a decent kid. If this same thing had happened a few years back, I would’ve hit the accept button without even hesitating. Things were different now though…

In the past, I was like most of the crowd – innocent and excited about getting friend requests (Ok, I don’t know if everyone gets excited…but I used to get excited…abnormally excited). Whether it was a male or female, I’d hit the ‘accept’ button; only if I somehow knew them or knew that they weren’t weirdos or crazy people of course…ehem. I was ecstatic – my friends list had reached about 300. Perhaps…no, wrong word… that’s most likely an extremely small percentage of the amount of Facebook friends everyone else has, but that was a pretty big accomplishment for me. In the midst of all my butterflies and sparkles and unicorns, my relative announced that she was deleting all the guy friends she had on Facebook. What??? Deleting ALL the guys?? Ok…she was definitely being extreme. I mean, its not like I’m flirting with them or dating them or that they’re stalking me…we’re just friends on Facebook – completely harmless! And then this relative – this sweet, intelligent, and rational relative (May Allah (swt) give her all the best in this world and the aakhira Ameen), sat me down and attempted to explain herself. I listened, but not ‘really’ listened. I mean, she was like 4 years younger than me…the youngest of our group in fact. No one else was doing anything about it so bah! Ok, I’m not shallow. I thought about it later…like really thought about it. When we accept someone of the opposite gender on Facebook, what exactly are we doing? Were opening them up to our private life aren’t we? They can see all our pictures, all the people we’re friends with, all the comments we post on our friends pictures, all the personal/not-so-personal discussions we have on our walls, and a whole page of info about us. Not just that, but they can comment on all our pictures too…and yeah I’ve seen guys and girls write really awkward comments on each others’ pictures. Ok, maybe all this is a bit much. Well, what if we just make our friends and pictures private to those ‘opposite-gender’ friends? What if the only thing they can do is post on our wall? (Ok, yeah…lets be honest with ourselves…that only rarely happens.) Well, they can still see all the discussions on our wall then. Also, what is the point of them being able to write on our wall? I mean, can’t they just send an e-mail or something if it’s really important? Facebook is a social network and it’s not like I’m overly social with the opposite gender in real life. A simple ‘salaam, how is everything is enough’…nothing past club activities and school work. If that’s the case, adding those ‘opposite-gender’ friends really doesnt make sense. We all know there are limitations between males and females in Islam, and that we shouldn’t go and spill our life story or talk about personal or random things with the opposite sex. Because let’s face it, we’re only human beings and we do have fragile hearts – heck even without close relationships I see people freaking out over a little ‘AsSalaam ‘Alaikum sister’ -_-

Ok, don’t wanna go off topic. Anyway, Facebook is, at the end of the day, a door to your personal life. I’m not saying that opening that door is ‘haram’ or anything (Allahu Alam whether it is or isn’t), but do we really want to take the risk of falling into haram by doing so? We all know the story about the righteous priest who was left to take care of the beautiful young sister of three brothers from the tribe of Israel (if you dont, you can find it here – click ctrl F and look for the word ‘doorstep’ and then read the story from there….sorry I couldn’t find a site with just that story). That simple, innocent act of sending food to the doorstep of her living quarters was a result of the whispering of the shaytaan. Similarly, adding the opposite gender on Facebook is just a simple and innocent act….think about it.

So yeah, after dissecting, flipping over, squeezing, stretching, and thoroughly analyzing the issue, I thought it best for me to delete….yes….delete all my male Facebook friends (family members being an exception). It was hard – especially when the person who added you was your group leader, co-worker in club activities, or a classmate that you saw almost everyday. But Alhamdulillah, no one took it the wrong way (at least I hope they didn’t). If they needed to send me something, an e-mail was enough. Oh, I almost forgot, there was this one time a guy from this organization that I attended a couple of classes from was adding everyone who attended (he was one of the ‘in-charge’ people). It was for PR purposes, but seriously? I received an e-mail everyday from the organization and I was a part of their Facebook group that sent messages constantly – wasnt that enough? We can try and make excuses that it’s for work, but it really is unnecessary because nowadays there are countless ways to contact someone ‘professionally’. I will now end this unintentionally lengthy blog post.

Adios…AsSalaam ‘Alaikum.

…just in case you’re wondering, yes, I did ‘ignore’ Br. So and so.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑