Why you should not celebrate Halloween

Can Muslims celebrate Halloween? The above video contains a short excerpt from Sheikh Abdullah Hakim Quick on the concept of Western Holidays and their pagan origins, with specific reference to the holiday of Halloween. The excerpt was from a longer talk titled “The truth about holidays”.

Origins of Halloween

To the surprise of many, the current Halloween celebration was in fact established as part of the Celtic end of year festival known as “The day of Samhain”.

Celts, who lived in modern-day Ireland, celebrated their new year on November 1, whereby October 31st marked the beginning of the darker winter months. Celtics believed that on this evening evil spirits would be resurrected from their graves and haunt the townspeople.

In a bid to ward off such ghosts and evil spirits that may recognise them, they would disguise themselves in costumes and light up bonfires, hoping that such activities would confuse the evil spirits.

Celtic priests would also summon the evil spirits by making animal sacrifices over bonfires to gain information from such spirits about the future and news regarding their crops.

 

Halloween Traditions

In the eighth Century, Pope Gregory III changed All Saints Day from May 13 to November 1, i.e. the day after Samhain.

Many said that this was an attempt to take the focus away from the Samhain festival, however, he day was nevertheless heavily marked with the many traditions of Samhain, including costumes and bonfires.

The night before All Saints Day (October 31st) was also named All Hallows Eve, and later became known as Halloween.

Over time, many of the ancient Samhain traditions have made their way into today’s current Halloween celebrations, including dressing up in evil costumes and lighting bonfires, which have now become Jack-o-lanterns.

Is Halloween Haram?

As Muslims, it is strictly prohibited for us to imitate the ways of pagans and those who worship evil spirits. Despite the fact many may argue that the festival has changed into a cultural event, there is no doubt that Satanists and modern pagans still commemorate the event of Samhain on October 31st, incorporating the very same traditions of Halloween.

As Muslims, our celebrations uphold our faith and monotheism. There is no compromise with the devil. God says in the Quran:

إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ لِلْإِنسَانِ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ
“Indeed, the devil is to man a clear enemy.” (12:5)

Muslim scholars from around the world have warned Muslims of following such devilish practices and advised parents to ward their families from following the night’s proceedings.

“Like many aspects of demonology and the occult, Halloween has been sanitized and made to appear as something “cute.” Along these lines, some Muslims actually have “Halaloween” parties. It’s just “fun.” This is one of the ways children in our society, increasingly Muslim children are no exception, are introduced to occult and demonic symbols and rituals.”
“Halloween as well as Halaloween are Haram!”
Imam Zaid Shakir

Video Original Source: Islam on Demand

While it may be tempting to join in such celebrations, we must remind ourselves of the pagan history and origins of these celebrations. Instead, Muslims should focus their celebration towards what God has made permissible, such as Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha. These celebrations hold great religious significance and is a source of joy and happiness for all Muslims. When Muslim children aren’t given the opportunity to celebrate and cherish Eid, they will be tempted to turn instead to other traditions.

Four things to remember in times of sickness

Four things to remember in times of sickness

Whatever sickness you find yourself struggling with, we can all do with a few tips to help us feel better. Whether you’re a parent with sick children or a struggling patient, here are four tips that will help you.

  1. Never let go of Night Thikr

The Prophet said,

“When you go to your bed, say:

Allahu Akbar (Allah is Greater) 34 times,  

Alhamdu Lillah (All the praises are for Allah), 33 times and

Subhan Allah (Glorified be Allah) for 33 times.

(Sahih Bukhari)

  1. Show gratitude to Allah at all times

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said,

“How amazing is the case of the believer; there is good for him in everything, and this is only so for the believer. If he experiences something pleasant, he is thankful, and that is good for him; and if he comes across adversity, he is patient, and that is good for him.”

Muslim

  1. Ditch the negativity and look at the bright side

“It’s human nature to dwell on the negative and overlook the positive.”

(Psychology Today; Patricia Harteneck, PhD)

Obsessing over negative thoughts makes you more upset and hinders your ability to overcome hardship.    

  1. Remember that sickness cleanses you from sin

Whenever the Prophet ﷺ visited a sick person, he would say:

(لا بأس، طهور إن شاء الله‏)

No harm, (it will be a) purification (from sins), if Allah wills.”

Sahih Bukhari

May Allah keep us all in good health.

The 5 Best Times to Have Honey

5 Failsafe Uses of Honey

There are so many narrations of the Prophet ﷺ about the physical and spiritual benefits of honey. He ﷺ described it as “the condiment of drink”, and used to have it with water every morning.

However, whilst we have all heard of the amazing benefits of honey, we tend to use it very rarely, and often forget it when it is most useful.

By building a routine around the use of honey, we will start to use it more often, and the true benefits that only come with consistent use will start to appear.

Use it when you need energy

Honey is a healthy source of carbohydrates and natural sugars. It’s perfect before or after a workout, and when you’re feeling tired in the morning.

The Prophet ﷺ used to drink a cup of water sweetened with honey.

(Al-Tibb al-Nabawi, by Imam al-Dhahabi)

Take some right before bed

Honey raises your insulin and melatonin levels, which help you to sleep better, and restores your body more effectively whilst resting.

Take 1 or 2 teaspoons right before going to sleep.

Eat it whenever you’re feeling sick

Honey is famous for its ability to treat coughs, colds, and allergies. It’s commonly shown to perform just as well as over-the-counter cough medicine.

The Prophet ﷺ said: There are two cures for you: honey and the Qur’an. The Qur’an is a cure for the soul, and honey is a cure for every illness.

(Sunan Ibn Majah)

Use it to treat a wound

Honey has been used to treat cuts, burns, and ulcers for thousands of years, due to it’s recently shown antibacterial and wound-healing effects.

(Peter Charles Molan, University of Waikato)

Use it to moisturize your hair or skin

Honey can be used for many skin and hair care purposes, and can even treat conditions like dandruff.

(Eur J Med Res. 2001, Therapeutic and prophylactic effects of crude honey)

Mix a few tablespoons with water, or even apply it directly.

 

—-

 

“There issues from within the bodies [of bees] a drink of varying colours, wherein is healing for men: verily in this is a sign for a people who give thought.”

Qur’an 16:69

What’s it like to be Muslim in the NBA

What’s it like to be Muslim in the NBA?

With the NBA Season only just beginning, we take a look at the most famous NBA Muslim players who made their ways into the Hall of Fame without having to compromise their Muslim faith.

Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf

Played in the NBA from 1990 to 2001 with the Denver Nuggets, Sacramento Kings, and Vancouver Grizzlies.

Abdul Rauf first became curious in Islam after his college basketball coach gave him the autobiography of Malcolm X.

During his rookie year with the NBA, he started reading the Quran and soon after converted to Islam.

In 1996 he was suspended for refusing to stand for the national anthem.  He protested “You can’t be for God and for oppression. It’s clear in the Quran, Islam is the only way,”

After negotiating with the NBA, he agreed to return. However this time, he chose to recite a prayer during the anthem instead.

This decision nevertheless eventually led to him being sidelined at the peak of his career and cost him millions of dollars he would have otherwise made.

“(Islam) puts everything into perspective… From the way I worship, to the way I communicate, to the way I give to charity, to the way I look at life. Visiting the elderly. Visiting orphans. It governs everything I do in a positive way.”

Abdul Rauf

Hakeem Olajuwon

NBA Hall of Famer played from 1984 to 2002.

Olajuwon was born as a Muslim in Nigeria and grew up in an “Islamic environment.”

He would study the Quran every day, be reading it in airplanes and before and after his games. He would also fast, Ramadan, even when it fell in playing season.

He surprisingly felt he played better when fasting, and in February 1995, which coincided with Ramadan, he won NBA player of the month.

In 1994, he led his team to win the championships and was named MVP. He, however, chose to auction off his championship ring, due to Islam’s prohibition on men wearing gold.

The following season, upon winning the championship again, the NBA offered him a platinum ring, yet he auctioned it off as well.

When asked what his favourite verse in the Quran was, he replied:

“Oh, you who believe, if you obey and fear Allah, he will grant you Furqan [criterion to judge between right and wrong] and will expiate for you your sins and forgive you and Allah is the Owner of a Great Bounty.”

Quran 8:29

“Being a Muslim gives you structure and discipline in your life. It makes you God-conscious, which regulates all of your actions. Islam is a complete religion which gives you a solution to every situation you may face in life…The Islamic principles are the most upright way of life, and when you practice that, it will reflect in your character.”

Olajuwon

Kareem Abdul Jabbar

Played 20 seasons in the NBA and is the leading point scorer of all time.

He converted to Islam after being inspired by the autobiography of Malcolm X while in college.

He also changed his name from Lew Alcindor to Kareem Abdul Jabbar in 1971 as a symbol of his new found identity.

By going public with his conversion, he believed that he was adding his voice to the civil rights movement to denounce slavery and the religious institutions that supported it.

Despite this, he states that he was drawn to the spiritually fulfilling personal aspects of Islam.

His conversion upset many of his friends and family who felt he was rejecting his American culture, but he, in fact, was only reconnecting with his African roots and abandoning the ideologies of his former slave masters.

In 1972, he travelled to both Libya and Saudi Arabia to study Arabic and learn the Quran for himself.

_____________________________

 

Current Muslim NBA Players

Currently, there are at least 12 NBA players who are Muslim according to the online magazine Muslim Matters and other media outlets:

Player Team
Enes Kanter New York Knicks (center)
Kenneth Faried Denver Nuggets (forward)
Gorgui Dieng Minnesota Timberwolves (center)
Dion Waiters Miami Heat (guard)
Al-Farouq Aminu Portland Trail Blazers (forward)
Jusuf Nurkic Portland Trail Blazers (center)
Omer Asik New Orleans Pelicans (center)
Ersan Ilyasova Atlanta Hawks (forward)
Dennis Schroder Atlanta Hawks (guard)
Salah Mejri Dallas Mavericks (center)
Mirza Teletovic Milwaukee Bucks (forward)
Rondae-Hollis Jefferson Brooklyn Nets (forward)

 

Source: The Undefeated “Being Muslim in the NBA” Marc J Spears.

Al Jazeera “Why Kareem Abdul Jabbar converted to Islam”

May Allah bless all these inspirational men along with the many other NBA Muslim players that weren’t mentioned in this list.

The Story of man in the Quran by Sheikh Mohammed El-Minshawy

The Story of man in the Quran by Sheikh Mohammed El-Minshawy 

This is amazing footage capturing “The story of man”, as depicted in the Quran, recited by Sheikh Mohammed El-Minshawy.

Sheikh El-Minshawy was an Egyptian Quran reciter who became a household name after rising to fame through his unique and compelling voice.

The verse captured in the video is found in Surah Al-Baqarah:

“And [mention, O Muhammad], when your Lord said to the angels, “Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority.” They said, “Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood, while we declare Your praise and sanctify You?” Allah said, “Indeed, I know that which you do not know.”

Quran 2:30

In the interpretation of this verse, the Quranic exegesis Ibn Kathir states that the Angels knew that this type of creature usually commits the atrocities they mentioned. Or, the angels understood this fact from the word Khalifah, which also means the person who judges disputes that occur between people, forbidding them from injustice and sin, as Al-Qurtubi said.

Sheikh Mohammed El-Minshawy Quran
Sheikh Mohammed El-Minshawy

The statement the angels uttered was not a form of disputing with Allah’s, nor out of envy for the Children of Adam, as some mistakenly thought. This is only a question for the sake of learning about the wisdom of that, as if they said, Our Lord! What is the wisdom of creating such creatures since they will cause trouble in the earth and spill blood “If the wisdom behind this action is that You be worshipped, we praise and glorify You (meaning we pray to You) we never indulge in mischief, so why to create other creatures”

Allah said to the angels in answer to their inquiry, “I know that which you do not know”, meaning, “I know that the benefit of creating this type of creature outweighs the harm that you mentioned, that which you have no knowledge of. I will create among them Prophets and send Messengers. I will also create among them truthfully, martyrs, righteous believers, worshippers, the modest, the pious, the scholars who implement their knowledge, humble people and those who love Allah and follow His Messengers.”

Sydney’s Amazing New Punchbowl Mosque

Alhamdulillah, by the Grace of Allah (SWT) the construction of the Punchbowl Mosque in Sydney, Australia is nearing completion. Fixtures and fittings, mihrab and mimbar, calligraphy and carpets are left to go. We invite you at this exciting stage to help finish the Mosque by donating generously.

Share widely with family and friends. Let them also share in the great rewards of building a house of worship for Allah’s sake.

A Marriage of Tradition and Modernity

Sydney’s newest mosque was designed by someone you may not expect. Angelo Candalepas, a Greek Orthodox Christian, was approached by the Muslim community in Punchbowl to design a brand new mosque. He decided it to make it completely unique.The interior walls of the mosque are covered with ‘half-domes’. Each dome will be hand decorated with one of the ninety-nine names of Allah. This process will take an estimated time of 3 months.

“I’ve never felt like an outsider”, says Candalepas. “I’m part of your community, [even though] you have a different faith.”

The mosque has been highlighted for its marriage of traditional Islamic features, such as domes and arches, with a more modern aesthetic.

punchbowl mosque
An artist’s impression of the Punchbowl Mosque project

It was prominently featured by the Sydney Architecture Festival, which held an open-day at the mosque with the architect to introduce the building and its concept to the community

Punchbowl Mosque
Punchbowl Mosque hosted the Sydney Architecture Festival on September 30, 2017. More than 200 visitors were treated to a tour and panel discussion.

half-dome design
The innovative half-dome design by architect Angelo Candalepas saw the mosque featured in the Sydney Architecture Festival

The mosque’s unique aesthetic comes from the hundreds of raw concrete half-domes, each inscribed with one of the 99 names of Allah, as well as a pinhole to create an interwoven display of natural light on the mosque floor.

punchbowl mosque
Dr Zachariah Matthews, left, head of the Australian Islamic Mission, with Campsie Police Commander, Adam Whyte, on a visit to the mosque.

Whilst this was the mosque’s first open day, the ongoing construction has taken over 10 years, at a cost of $12 million.

Scheduled to be finished by next year, the mosque will be open to all non-Muslims interested in finding out more about Islam.

The Richest Man in The World

The Richest Man in The World

This short film is a striking reminder of the true value of wealth and the delusion it comes with. It is quite easy to be easily carried away by the flashy nature of having riches in material wealth, yet how often do we forget the temporal nature of all these items?

Arrogance is a disease that in one way or another potentially affects us all if we’re not careful. Regardless of our social status or where we stand in life, it is important to never let go of humility and gratitude to the One who provided us with such wealth, for the same way He bestowed upon us His blessings, He can just as easily take them away.

The Prophet ﷺ warned humanity quite severely when he stated:

“No one who has an atom’s-weight of arrogance in his heart will enter Paradise.”

(Sahih Muslim)

 

The Prophet also admonished the believers to understand the true value of wealth in his conversation with Abu Dharr, whereby the Messenger of Allah, ﷺ said:

O Abu Dharr, do you say an abundance of possessions is wealth?” I said yes. The Prophet said, “Do you say a lack of possessions is poverty?” I said yes.

The Prophet repeated this three times, then he said, “Wealth is in the heart and poverty is in the heart. Whoever is wealthy in his heart will not be harmed no matter what happens in the world. Whoever is impoverished in his heart will not be satisfied no matter how much he has in the world. Verily, he will only be harmed by the greed of his own soul.”:

(Al Mu’jam Al Kabir Sahih)

 

For tips on how to overcome and remove arrogance from one’s life, click here.

What is going on in Somalia?

What is going on in Somalia?

The long, bloody history of Somalia

Last Sunday saw one of the worst terrorist incidents in Somali history, with at least 300 people dead, and hundreds more that we may never confirm.

Whilst no group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet, the Somali government has pointed to the al-Shabaab militant group, who have been trying to take control of the country since 2006.

But the problems in Somalia aren’t limited to the increasingly devastating attacks by the group. That’s just another symptom of the deep political divisions that have devastated the region and its people for more than a century.

From the late 19th century, the resource-rich region was constantly invaded and fought over by the British, Italian and French governments, who did not formally leave Somalia until 1960. After independence, the Socialist government of Siad Barre was established in a military coup, which eventually broke down in 1991. as the deep political and ethnic divides created by the colonial powers led to the ongoing Somali civil war.

The deep political divides created by the colonial powers reignited, and the ongoing, bloody Somali civil war began.

What is going on in Somalia
What is going on in Somalia?

In 2006, a group known as the Islamic Courts Union took control of most of southern Somalia, challenging the authority of the weak Transitional Federal Government, who they saw as responsible for the violence and instability of the past 15 years. In order to regain control, Ethiopian troops, as well as peacekeepers from the African Union invaded the country in 2008, defeating the ICU, and re-establishing the Somali government. The broken ICU was shattered along ideological lines, with the chairman, Sharif Sheik Ahmed, actually being elected President of the government he had just been at war with.

Another group in the ICU, however, saw this as the ultimate betrayal. A group is known as al-Shabaab, who were renowned for their violent approach, split off and declared war on the new government, plunging the country into its current phase of violence and instability.

Al-Shabaab is affiliated with Al-Qaeda, but are mostly interested in taking control of the region known as the Horn of Africa. They’ve attacked Ethiopia and Kenya, but have focused their efforts on wreaking havoc in Somalia

The country is divided into a number of competing factions, with each controlling sizable areas of the country. This political disunity is a major reason why al-Shabaab can wreak such destruction in the country.

How to stop being Arrogant

Six steps to overcome being arrogant

Iblees (Satan) was the first to show arrogance towards Allah and his creation. When Allah commanded Iblees to prostrate to Adam, he refused and was arrogant, and said, “I am better than him (Adam), You created me from fire, and him You created from clay.”

We all want to have the right intentions and achieve higher spiritual levels without the characteristic of being arrogant drag us down.

So here are 6 tips to help you overcome being arrogant

Understand the severity of being arrogant

The Prophet said, “No one who has an atom’s-weight of arrogance in his heart will enter Paradise.”

(Sahih Muslim)

 Realise your humble origins.

Allah repeatedly admonishes us in the Quran to reflect on our humble origins and acknowledge our limited abilities.

“Has there [not] come upon man a period of time when he was not a thing [even] mentioned?”

Quran 76:1

“Was he not a drop of ejaculated semen?”

Quran, 75:37

“Indeed, you will never tear the earth [apart], and you will never reach the mountains in height.”

Quran 17:37

How to Overcome being Arrogant
How to Overcome being Arrogant

Realise the greatness of God

Pride is a characteristic befitting God alone, as mentioned in the Quran.
“And to Him belongs all grandeur within the Heavens and the Earth”

Quran 45:37

The Prophet ﷺ  said, “Might is His garment and pride is His cloak; (Allah states) whoever seeks to compete with Me concerning them, I will punish him.”

Ibn Al-Qayyim says, “Humility comes from knowing about Allah, His names, attributes and His overall Greatness. Also from knowing one’s self, one’s faults and one’s weaknesses.”

(Kitab Al-Ruh, p. 233.)

Remember your shortcomings

Allah admonishes us in the Quran to avoid self-glorification:

“So do not claim yourselves to be pure, He is most knowing of those who fear Him”.

Quran 53:32

We should always remind ourselves of our sins and always look up towards those better than us to improve.

Spread Salam to the people

The Prophet  said, “The one who initiates the Salaam greeting is free from pride”

(Bayhaqi)

Understand the virtues of humility

The Prophet said, “No one humbles himself for the sake of Allah, except that Allah raises his status”.

(Sahih Muslim)

Four things Somalia needs to do immediately

Four things Somalia needs to finally stabilize the country.

OnePath Network sat down with local Somali community leader, Sheikh Abdul Kadir, Mohamed Jimale to discuss the situation at hand in Somalia and what we can do to ease the situation.
Below is an excerpt of what he labeled “Four things missing in Somalia”, that would potentially help achieve stability in the nation.

Political Engagement with the Somali Public

Engagement is a necessity, whether it is through discussion, forums, exchanging ideas and providing all the necessary paths that they can communicate with the government offices.

Support from the wider Muslim population

Secondly, the Muslim community and the Arab community should be forwarding a lot of help as much as they can; because the international community provides help through organizations who are not interested in the development of the people and the nation of Somalia.

I will urge every Muslim whatever you can do. Whether it’s donating even one cent

To prevent and also support the people now affected by the bomb blast

It will be greatly welcomed by the Somali people.

What Somalia needs to do.
What Somalia needs to do.

The Establishment of a Security Apparatus

Thirdly, a country without a proper security apparatus is not going to last long

It is essential to build a professional and ethically based security apparatus and a justice system. It is essential.

Supporting effective Youth Development

And the most important thing is youth development because the (majority) age population of Somalia is between 18 and 32. The majority of the youth believe and trust the current administration and they look forward to being supportive and working.

But what always when you have a chaotic situation, an uncontrollable situation, a security vacuum and conflicting ideology, there will be some youth that will deviate them from the right path into the wrong path. And that’s what Al-Shabab group and others usually do when they are influencing the youth. They show them the bigger picture but don’t show them exactly what the religious point of view is regarding the actions they are going to commit.