Think modesty (hayā’). What comes to mind? It could be wearing hijāb and dressing modestly. Or maybe it is using decent and clean speech. Or it might be conducting ourselves with dignity and self-respect around the opposite gender. If we know we’ve fallen short in our modesty, we feel the need to change in some way. So, we try to wear more loose-fitting clothes, for example, or wear less make-up. Or we might try to curse a little less, look at lewd images less often, or flirt a little less with a guy friend or girls at work. But sometimes we find it difficult to change these habits and behaviors. Why is that? Part of the reason is that we overlook the inner spiritual dimensions of modesty; we try to cure the symptoms without dealing with the problem at its root. It is almost like trying to save a dried out plant by dipping its leaves in water or fertilizer.
By: Umm Ammarah
Dad what can I do next???…Mum I’m BORED!!! For parents vacations can be really demanding keeping our children occupied. Vacations pose a great challenge for many parents. However holidays can be great fun if parents are positive, creative and interactive. Also during the vacation there is a good opportunity to recharge our kid’s spiritual batteries and start afresh in daily activities. It is a joyous period and a unique break from our busy schedules. We should welcome vacations for its fun.
The excitement surrounding vacations and family trips usually kicks off with strong excitement. However, after only a short time away from the daily routines of school, one phrase parents dread hearing begins to creep into the language of children almost instinctively: “I’M BORED”!
877-Why-Islam releases video by Hamza Tzortzis on how to give invite everyone to worship One and only One God. This video talks about both situations when someone asks you a question about Islam or you approach someone to explain your faith.
877-Why-Islam presents a talk by Nouman Ali Khan. Is Satan real or simply a myth? Do Muslims fear him? How powerful is he? We will explore here the Islamic view of Satan, his approach, and how we are encouraged to protect themselves from his influence.
By: Daud Abdul Fattah Batchelor
The infamous Boko Haram sect erupted on the world stage in 2009 with their aim to establish an Islamic State. Since their subsequent radicalisation resulting from harsh treatment at the hands of State security forces, they degenerated into harassing innocent civilians, especially school children. Boko Haram’s approach is aligned with certain influential opinion-makers in the Nigerian Muslim states who teach that receiving a modern education is evil and forbidden as the popular name of ‘Boko Haram’ implies. Such education is derisively dismissed as “western education” – synonymous with Christian missionaries and British colonialism. Demonisers of such education are often supervisors of traditional “Qur’anic schools”, which follow a restricted non-contemporary syllabus. These are however, still the mainstay of the education system in the twelve northern ‘Shariah-states’. A strong state-driven modern education system is essential, but a state program, which commenced in the 1970s flounded when oil prices fell abruptly. In the northeast and northwest Muslim zones, 50% of children do not attend formal schooling compared with 20% in southern Nigeria. Consequently, large segments of Muslims cannot participate effectively in Nigeria’s development.
By: Paul Kinzelman
Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said that you’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts. However, one of the reason that genuine dialogue and finding a solution to the Gaza conflict are so elusive is because the two sides can agree on very few facts thanks to the perfection of propaganda campaigns featuring selective recall, rewriting of history, and the constant repeating of lies…
Nouman Ali Khan a talk On A Balanced Approach to Religion(an excerpt), in New York City. Feb 21, 2014.
She opens her wardrobe. Two dozen dresses of red, yellow, orange, pink and you-name-it colours are hanging in there. After a cursory glance, she bangs the door shut. “Mom, I have nothing to wear for the party. I’ve been begging you to take me shopping since ages. You never listen to me. What do I do now?”
He is rummaging the fridge for the fourth time. Pizza, chocolate, ice-cream, fruits and juices are stuffed inside. He leaves the kitchen despondently. “There’s really nothing much to eat in here. Let’s go to the café for and have some decent food today.”
She wakes up with the same feelings of depression and dread. Thoughts of suicide are again floating in her mind. She is married to a handsome man, with two lovely kids, a home, and a car, everything most women would ask for. Apparently, life is perfect but there is “something” missing. It is just because she is not married to the man of her dreams.
He thinks his life sucks. He is 17. He has an iPhone, Core i7 Dell, $1,000 monthly pocket money but according to him, his life sucks. Unable to focus on his textbook, he slams it shut and starts pacing in the room as he thinks out aloud. “If my friend can own a Jaguar, why can’t I? Everything sucks.”
Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?
The Effect of Gratitude on Productivity
As we grow up, we get tuned to be ungrateful and not to see the blessings in our life. We focus all our energy and attention towards finding out what we lack. This is really ironic because the more we focus on scarcity, the more we tend to attract it.
You tend to get what you focus on. Being ungrateful to Allah adversely affects our productivity as the mind – which is in a negative state – can hardly contemplate the productivity in life. It goes without saying that a mind that is always looking for shortcomings is not the best tool for a productive lifestyle – be it spiritually, physically, socially, or emotionally.
Western Research vs. 1,400-Year-Old Message
Research has shown that through our thoughts and emotions, we emit powerful signals; these signals have the ability to attract signals of the same frequency. In other words, our positive signals will attract all other positive signals and same goes true for negative signals.
Whenever we are being ungrateful, we are in the negative state of mind and allowing the self-defeating thoughts to emit all sorts of negative energy from us. These can include thoughts such as “I never seem to have enough of money”, “I can never be healthy”, or “I can never find a practicing husband”. This will lead us to attract more negative energy.
Ultimately, we will end up becoming a black hole of despair and getting what we do not want. All the worries, arguments and frustration lead to more of the same. Considering all this, if we want to attract more signals of what we desire to experience, for example, peace, joy, harmony, ease, prosperity, etc., then why not choose our thoughts consciously and carefully? The more you focus on what you have in life, the more you will attract it. In other words, the more grateful you become, the more Allah will bless you.
Today, non-Muslim researchers have discovered these secrets in the name of “natural laws”, while these “open secrets” were given to us in the Qur’an 1,400 years ago.
Psychologists and philosophers have painstakingly conducted researches and have come up with new theories and ideas. This so-called newly discovered information was presented to us in the Qur’an in no uncertain terms. Allah promises that the grateful will be given more:
“And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.” [Qur’an: Chapter 14, Verse 7]
Robert A. Emmons from the University of California Davis and Micheal E McCullogh from the University of Miami conducted a long-term research project designed to study the effects of gratitude. Here are some of their findings:
- In an experimental comparison, those who kept gratitude journals on a weekly basis, exercised more regularly, reported fewer physical symptoms, felt better about their lives as a whole and were more optimistic about the upcoming week compared with those who recorded hassles or neutral life events.
- Participants who kept gratitude lists were more likely to have made progress towards important personal goals over a two-month period compared with subjects in the other experimental conditions.
- Grateful people reported higher levels of positive emotions, life satisfaction, vitality, optimism and lower levels of depression and stress.
This is a readymade formula for attracting more of what you want in life.
Why is gratitude such a key ingredient in a successful life? Does it make sense now?
Gratitude helps us make the shift. Consequently, we are able to attract more good, more love, more joy, more money, as well as better health and blissful relationships in your life. Gratitude is one of the easiest and most frequently used methods to alter the signals one is emitting. What we need to master is the attitude of gratitude – the attitude of appreciating everything in life.
Surah al-Fatihah: A Pillar’s Pillar
It is well known that prayer, one of the pillars of Islam, is incomplete without Surah al-Fatihah. It begins with expressing our gratitude to our Lord for the countless blessings He has showered upon us. Have you ever noticed that many duas taught by the Prophet also start with the same expression of gratitude, “Alhamdulillah”?
The day starts with the morning supplication, “Alhamdulillahilladhi ahyana…” (All praise and thanks be to the One who gave us life…). What is the significance of this? Allah wants you to start your day in His remembrance. This can put us in a super charged state, attracting ample happiness and abundance in life.