Archive for August, 2011

Babar Ahmad: All We Want is a Court Case || Sign the Petition NOW

// August 27th, 2011 // No Comments » // Announcements, Blog

A British man has been held in prison for SEVEN YEARS without a trial to prove his guilt. Not in a secret prison in a far away land ruled by an oppressive dictator: right here, in merry old, democratic, rule of law, innocent till proven guilty, England. It doesn't matter your religion, or skin colour: if you believe in due process, you will sign this petition. Simple as.


Put Babar Ahmad on trial in the UK

Babar Ahmad is a British Citizen who has been detained in the UK for 7 years without trial fighting extradition to the USA under the controversial no-evidence-required Extradition Act 2003. In June 2011, the Houses of Parliament, Joint Committee on Human Rights urged the UK government to change the law so that Babar Ahmad's perpetual threat of extradition is ended without further delay. Since all of the allegations against Babar Ahmad are said to have taken place in the UK, we call upon the British Government to put him on trial in the UK and support British Justice for British Citizens.

This is an official government e-petition (read more about them here): we need 100,000 signatures and the petition will debated in British Parliament. It's not one those flakey e-petitions we've been asked to sign a million times before for countless causes… this one can make a difference, God willing, so please do not ignore it!

Further, your signature will not be publicised on search engines – so your boss will never find out (but why that should worry you is another matter entirely).


Please sign, and please share.

For the non-Brits, unfortunately, only UK citizens can sign, but your prayers are needed, and I am sure you have some British friends and relatives knocking about that you can encourage.

Lastly, I'd like to end with some powerful words posted by Imam Abu Eesa Niamatullah on his Facebook page today. As always, he tells it 'like it is' with his endearing Northern charm, māshā’Allāh – may Allāh bless him!

No excuses: EVERY Muslim from the UK that has an internet connection needs to sign this petition. Babar is your brother. And he needs you. And know that Allāh will fulfil the needs of the one who fulfils the needs of his brother.

This is something which is easy for us all to do. So don't blame anyone if Allāh casts you aside like we cast our brother aside in his time of need.

Ok look, I've been studying this petition for a good few weeks now thinking of the best way to approach this, but the time for me to act is right about now.

E-petitions have been making the headlines recently especially post the riots but personally I decided to use Premiership football Joey Barton's campaign recently in getting a Parliamentary debate on the secret files for the Hillsborough Disaster. I wanted to see if this was really true and whether it could work.

What I've learnt is that it is true – if we can get 100,000 signatures from UK citizens on an e-petition before the 10th of November, then we can get Babar's case debated. I see this as one of our final chances before something disastrous happens in his case i.e. being extradited to the gulag which is the US “Justice” system.

How Joey Barton basically did it was to go “sick” (read: mad crazy) on all the networks, especially Twitter, repeatedly posting the same request again and again, to all people, shaming those who were ignoring him and persisting right to the end. It was perhaps not very ethical but I personally was impressed with his success. And we CAN do the same.

Babar Ahmed is a wonderful brother. And he is my friend. And he has been wronged. And he deserves whatever sacrifices we can make for him, especially when it isn't any sacrifice at all!

Don't get me wrong – I'm no bleeding Liberal. I don't support or believe I should help every single Muslim prisoner who is clearly guilty or that which is against Islamic law. If the Muslims can't punish them for their crimes then let someone else save us from their harm. Allahu'l-Musta'an.

But Babar is guilty of nothing. Indeed just as he has been treated, I could be treated myself the very same. And I swear astaghfirullah if you let me down like we've let Babar down, I really WILL be guilty of a crime when I find you all on my release!! =)

So please use this blessed time, where the hearts are softer, and the help of Allāh is more palpable, to send this petition to everyone you know. BUT DON'T SEND OUT A MASS EMAIL!

No. Send a personal email to every single UK contact you have, by name, with a personal greeting and message. And beg them to sign the petition. If 1000 of us did this with 100 friends, we're done. It really is as easy that, I'm not asking the world here! It might take a bit longer sure, but use your Copy and Paste skills with a little bit of initiative and we're there.

Subhanallah, you know something? As crazy as this might sound, I really honestly believe we can do this. I really do. 100,000 is a big ask from just the UK with perhaps only 4-5 times that amount being online at all, but I can feel it in my bones. Yara, if we go home and register our parents up with an email address then we're already on the way. Go and do the same with your elderly family in the UK, the uncles in the Masjid, all those people who'd never use the internet at all because you do everything for them normally. Well, do THIS for them.

I put my trust in Allāh and then I put my trust in you. I am making this plea because it's not asking you for a lot, and there really is a possibility that it might help Babar. At least I will be able to face him one day and say: I tried my best.

Jazakumullahu khayran.

AE

Why Hasn’t My Dua Been Answered?

// August 25th, 2011 // No Comments » // Blog

I was going through the archives on the blog, and found a long comment that I had posted in response to a question asked by a reader. The comments were about dua – specifically, about prayers that one may have made for a long time that have not yet been answered. As Ramadan is a month of dua, as well as Qur'an and fasting, I thought I would post my response here as a reminder to myself and others, inshā’Allāh.

i have a lot of questions about dua that i've had for a long time, that it seems like i've almost asked the whole world about but i could never get a satisfactory answer. when you want something badly, but you're told to let go, does that mean that you don't make dua for that thing anymore? some people say you just make a general dua, but that doesn't make sense to me. others say you make dua with all your heart but you leave it to God and you don't worry about it. but i can't help but keep praying and waiting for the response, and praying passionately does not equate to letting go in my mind.

anyways, i don't know if any of this makes sense, but i want to know dua miracle stories. i know anything is possible and i've been praying for a long time, but i just don't know when i should or how to stop making dua (if that makes any sense).

well, sorry for the long post, but a response would be greatly appreciated.

Wa 'alaykum salam wa rahmatullah

In terms of your questions, I'm sorry to hear of your worries. I suggest reading a book on the etiquette of Dua written by Sh. Yasir Qadhi. It may help to answer your queries.

I'm not sure what to advise without knowing the specifics, but one narration I find to be generally helpful is the manner in which Allāh, Al-Wahhab – the One who gives generously without limit or taking account – accepts the Dua of His slaves. I'm going to quote from memory now as I'm writing this reply via my iPod after Fajr! :)

Let's pretend I prayed for £1000. Basically, there are four ways which the Prophet, sallalahu 'alayhi wa salam, explained that Allāh may accept my Dua:

1) Allāh grants the person whatever they asked for. E.g., He grants me the £1000. Yey!

2) Allāh removes some harm from the person, equivalent to – or even greater than – what they asked for. E.g., Allāh saves me from a car crash that would have caused £2000 worth of damage!

3) Allāh grants me something else instead, of equal or greater value. E.g., Perhaps he may grant me good health so I can work for that £1000, and lots more besides. Who can put a price on good health? :)

4) Allāh keeps the Dua with Himself until the Day of Judgement where He will recompense His slave so generously for it, that the person will wish on that Day that all his prayers from dunya had ended the same way – I.e., that he never got what he asked for, and instead received the reward of Akhirah. How amazing, subhanAllah!

In summary, we ask Allāh for many things, some more fervently than others. Allāh, the Generous, loves to receive these duas, and no sincere Dua goes unanswered – however, He does not always respond in the way we expect, or even want Him to.

The thing is, much of what we want may actually be harmful for us – even the “good”, like wealth, health, marriage to a certain person, etc. But our sight is so limited, we just don't realise. Yet Allāh, al-Hakim, the most Wise, does know, and He does not oppress His slaves. Therefore He has chosen to answer duas in the alternative ways described above out of Love and Mercy for us. Just like a parent who denies their child every luxury, as they know it'll 'spoil' them!

So, I would not stop asking for whatever you're asking for, unless you know deep down that Allāh has denied you it for a good reason. Otherwise if you're confident this Dua is something that you really need, continue to ask Allāh for it with all sincerity and devotion. However, also know that He may be answering it in ways you just don't realize. If you're not sure what you're praying for is of benefit, why not ask Allāh using salatul-istikharah? :)

Other important points. Allāh sometimes delays granting His slave something that He prays for, simply because He loves that His slave turns to Him so sincerely! Again, no good Dua goes unrewarded, because such an act is considered as worship by Allāh.

Also, I recommend the etiquette book because it explains some very good points about how we should call upon Allāh, e.g., begin by praising Him, sending salawat upon His messenger, asking for forgiveness, and calling Him by His beautiful names. Also, the best times to make Dua, e.g., when one is fasting, last third of night, last hour of Jumuah, while travelling, etc.

In fact, our sins can serve as a barrier between us and Allāh. Frequent istighfaar removes that barrier. Sending salaam upon the Prophet is also beloved by Allāh, and is in itself one of the best Dua you can make. May Allāh send His peace and blessings upon the Prophet, his family & companions, āmīn!

SubhanAllah, I started off not really knowing what to write, and by Allāh's will have written an essay!

I pray you find the above advice of benefit. It certainly serves as a reminder to me too. May Allāh grant you the peace of mind you seek – āmīn.

Wa'salam

Mehzabeen


I also find solace in this quote that has been attributed to Umar bin al Khattab, radiallahu anhu, but Allāh knows best:

“I am not worried about whether my du'a will be responded to, but rather I am worried about whether I will be able to make du'a or not. So if I have been guided by Allāh to make du'a, then (I know) that the response will come with it”

Wanted: Single White Female (Muslims)

// August 23rd, 2011 // 7 Comments » // Blog

I saw the following advertised in the weekly Islamic Events UK email:

CONTRIBUTORS NEEDED FOR DOCUMENTARY ON CAUCASIAN MUSLIM FEMALES

The BBC World Service, Heart and Soul series, is making a programme on Caucasian Female Muslim converts to Islam over the last 10 years since 9/11. We are looking for Muslim sisters happy to share their own personal experiences of converting into a faith which has been on the political agenda over the past decade. The basis of this programme is to mark 9/11 by celebrating these personal, spiritual journeys. The programme will be broadcast on radio internationally.

For further information please contact:
E-mail: saba.zaman[@]bbc.co.uk / kristine.pommert[@]bbc.co.uk
Tel: 020 7557 3144 / 020 7557 3048

Okay, so the 'White Female Muslims' don't have to be single. Catchy titles are hard to resist.

I wonder what other programming to expect around the 10th anniversary of 9/11? Honestly, I'd prefer the hermit life over those coming few days. And I'm not even in the US – God help my American brethren.

Zakat: Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is

// August 20th, 2011 // No Comments » // Blog

** Click here for an updated list of Zakat charities for 2013 **

The recent riots in the UK only made me more certain that, as a British Muslim, this country is where my Zakat belongs.

Not because my money will be going to youth projects, or urban outreach per se – but because the UK community is in dire need of the Mercy of Allāh – and Allāh's Mercy is poured down upon those who obey Him with love.

After my last post encouraging British Muslims to spend their Zakat in the UK, I am finally putting my money where my mouth is.

Tonight, I donated my Zakat to the following three charities:

It is Allāh who decides how much a penny is worth, and how far a pound can stretch. So perhaps my Zakat did not amount to very much; but if it was earned in a halal way, and was spent as it should be, I am certain Allāh will place His Blessing in it, and thereby raise my humble donation to a level that would put billionaire philanthropists to shame – inshā’Allāh. :)

I only share this info to encourage you to donate your Zakat wisely. Allāh says:

“Tell My Servants who have believed to keep up the prayer and give, secretly and in public, out of what We have provided them, before a Day comes when there will be no trading or friendship.” [Qur'an 14:31]

May Allāh accept it from me, and from those who actually do the hard work of spending the money where it is needed – āmīn!

British Muslims: Your Zakat is Needed in the UK too

// August 7th, 2011 // 4 Comments » // Blog

Image Source: National Zakat Foundation.

** Click here for an updated list of Zakat charities for 2013 **

Alhamdulillah, many of us in the UK are blessed with sufficient wealth that we can pay our bills, send our kids to school, and eat our three meals a day. In the midst of these blessings, it's easy to forget that there are people struggling all around us. The poverty in this country is more hidden than that of overseas, and our government's system of benefits and social care – though a noble ideal – is not perfect, with spending cuts, and many people slipping through the net: especially refugees, a significant percentage of whom are Muslim.

Zakat is a sacred duty, and is not like regular charity that can be given to anyone who is in need, whatever their faith and circumstance. There are specific rules about who must pay, how much, and to whom*: one of those criteria is that priority must be given to the needy people in your own land before anyone else – your neighbours.

Therefore I encourage my fellow British Muslims to seek out such cases, and support those organisations that are working selflessly to make sure that you fulfill your duty to Allāh in the right way.

Two such charities that I know of are JIMAS (http://www.jimas.org/zakahappl.htm) and the newly formed National Zakat Foundation (http://www.letusbelieve.com/). Click through to their websites to read about the tragic cases of Muslims suffering in the UK, and how your Zakat will help them, inshā’Allāh.

True, there are many overseas causes that need our help, both in the 'homelands' of India and Pakistan, as well as in East Africa, Palestine, and so on. I strongly urge you to generously donate your sadaqah (voluntary charity) to charities that work in these areas: both to their emergency campaigns, and those working on long term development.

However, Zakat is special; it must be spent as Allāh commanded – and our Muslim neighbours have more right on us than those who are far away. This is a fact of Islam that cannot, and should not be ignored. So please spend your Zakat wisely, and encourage your families and friends to do the same.

The Messenger of Allāh, Peace Be Upon Him said, “The best of companions with Allāh is the one who is best to his companions, and the best of neighbours to Allāh is the one who is the best of them to his neighbour” 
[At-Tirmidhi]

May Allāh accept it from us. May He alleviate the suffering of those near and far, and make it easy to serve and obey Him in the way that best pleases Him. Āmīn.

* Download your FREE guide to Zakat today, as prepared by 1st Ethical: http://www.1stethical.com/2011/07/20/the-official-launch-of-our-free-zakah-ebook/

 

 

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