He died in his sleep

Our young brother died in his sleep

Brother Muhammad Yakub Genel was once featured on OnePath Network’s Living Muslim show two years ago speaking about the virtues of Ramadan, yet today we farewell him after he passed away in his sleep last week at the young age of 18.

His death comes as a shocking reminder that death doesn’t discriminate. It does not come for a certain age group, a certain class of people, it isn’t even restricted to the sick; it simply comes unannounced and it has been guaranteed for all of humanity.

As Allah ﷻ states in the Quran:

كُلُّ نَفْسٍ ذَائِقَةُ الْمَوْتِ

“Every soul will taste death”

Quran 3:185

In this reminder, brother Mohamad Hoblos, not only reflects on Genel’s appearance on the Living Muslim show but also on his first memories of meeting with him a few years ago at a Mosque Fundraiser.

We ask Allah to have mercy on our young brother Muhammad Yakub Genel and enter him into the Highest stations of Paradise. Ameen.

Can Science be used to disprove God?

The reason why science can never be used to disprove God.

The beginning of a series of conversations with Dr. Mohamed Ghilan exploring a range of topics involving science, faith, activism, and education.

Dr. Mohamed Ghilan is a student of knowledge who has a Ph.D. in neuroscience. He has previously given lectures on the biography of the Prophet Muhammed ﷺ, Fundamentalism in Islam, Islam and science, the message of Islam, Jesus in the Qur’an, in addition to others. He has also taught an introductory course on Islamic Jurisprudence according to the Maliki School as well as an introductory course on Islamic Theology.

In this first episode, Dr. Mohamed Ghilan puts forth his argument that science cannot be used to disprove religion because it involves a separate paradigm.

Ghilan also sheds light on the myth that most scientists are atheists, citing a study by the Pew Research Centre which determined only approximately 17% of scientists consider them atheists. Historically speaking many renowned scientists were also believers in a greater supreme being.

Be sure to keep posted for future videos in this series of “Conversations with Dr.Mohamed Ghilan.”

Muslims in Sydney pray for rain

Muslims across Sydney pray for rain

Muslims in Sydney have come together to pray for rain as NSW experiences its worst drought on record.

The prayers come as a response to the current drought which has left farmers across NSW in dire conditions desperate for rainfall.

The prayers were organised by Auburn Islamic Community Centre and were led by the Mufti of Australia, Dr. Ibrahim Abu Mohamad. The ‘rain prayer’, otherwise known as ‘Salat Al-Istisqa’ in Arabic, is a famous tradition of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ that has been practiced for centuries. It has traditionally been prayed at times of minimal rainfall and drought as a means of beseeching Allah to send down rain.

Muslims gather at Wyatt Park, Lidcombe to pray for rain in response to the NSW drought.

Rain is viewed as a mercy from Allah, not only to humanity, but to all life forms including plants and animals. The rain prayer is a means of congregating the Muslim community to seek Allah’s forgiveness and plead for His mercy. The act of supplicating to Allah for rain and the subsequent arrival of rainfall is well documented in many authentic narrations of the Prophet Muhammad.

Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that a man entered the mosque on Friday while the Prophet ﷺ was addressing the people. The man said: “O Messenger of Allah, our wealth has been destroyed and we have no transport to the market place. Supplicate for us for rain.” The Prophet raised his hands and said: “O Allah, give us rain. O Allah, give us rain. O Allah, give us rain.”Anas said: “By Allah, at that time there were no clouds in the sky and there was no house or building between us and the mountain. From behind the mountain came a cloud looking like a shield. By the time it reached the middle of the sky, it burst and started to rain. By Allah, we did not see the sun for one week.

Then, on the next Friday, a man entered the mosque from that (same) door while the Prophet was making the address. The man faced the Prophet and said: ‘Our livestock is dead and the paths are unpassable. Ask Allah to make it stop.’ The Prophet raised his hands and said: ‘O Allah, around us and not upon us. O Allah, make it upon the hills, small mountains, bottom of the valleys, and plantations.’ The rain stopped and we walked out in the sunshine.”

(Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The prayer is also followed by a short sermon after in which the Imam invokes Allah through a long supplication in an act of humility and servitude to God. It is through this act of seeking God’s forgiveness that rain is said to then descend as a mercy from Allah. This is based on the verse in the Quran in which Prophet Noah beseeches his people to seek Allah’s forgiveness so that He may send upon them rain and various blessings.

فَقُلۡتُ اسۡتَغۡفِرُوۡا رَبَّكُمۡؕ اِنَّهٗ كَانَ غَفَّارًا ۙ‏

I said to them: “Ask forgiveness from your Lord; surely He is Most Forgiving.

يُّرۡسِلِ السَّمَآءَ عَلَيۡكُمۡ مِّدۡرَارًا ۙ‏

He will shower upon you torrents of rains from Heaven,

وَّيُمۡدِدۡكُمۡ بِاَمۡوَالٍ وَّبَنِيۡنَ وَيَجۡعَلۡ لَّـكُمۡ جَنّٰتٍ وَّيَجۡعَلۡ لَّـكُمۡ اَنۡهٰرًا ؕ‏

and will provide you with wealth and children, and will bestow upon you gardens and rivers.

Quran 71:10-12

We ask Allah to alleviate the drought from Australian farmers and send down rainfall in abundance.

Why do Muslims perform the Qurban?

The practice of the Prophet Abraham, peace be upon him

As the time for the annual Muslim pilgrimage comes near, so too does the Qurban, or animal sacrifice, that accompanies the end of the pilgrimage and the celebration of Eid ul-Adha.

The Qurban is a tradition that points back to the famous story of the Prophet Ibrahim, who was commanded by Allah to sacrifice his own son as a test.

“[Ibrahim] said, ‘O my son, indeed I have seen in a dream that I [must] sacrifice you, so see what you think.’ He said, ‘O my father, do as you are commanded. You will find me, if Allah wills, of the steadfast.”

(Qur’an 37:102)

However, once they had proven their willingness to obey the commands of Allah, Allah intervened and allowed Ibrahim to sacrifice an animal instead.

“And when they had both submitted and [Ibrahim] lay [Ismail] down, We called to him, ‘O Abraham, You have fulfilled the vision,’ Indeed, We thus reward the doers of good. Indeed, this was the clear trial.”

(Qur’an 37:103-106)

This story is the basis of the Qurban, a ritual sacrifice of a cattle, goat, sheep or camel that takes place after the prayers of Eid ul-Adha on the 10th of the Islamic month Dhul Hijjah.

This practice was strongly encouraged by the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, who when asked about the sacrifice said,

It is the way of your forefather Ibrahim…. There is one reward for every strand of wool.”

(Musnad Ahmad)

The meat of the Qurban is typically distributed first amongst the family of the one who sacrifices the animal, and then amongst the poor and needy in society, as stipulated in the Qur’an.

“We have made camels part of God’s sacred rites for you. There is much good in them for you, so invoke God’s name over them as they are lined up for sacrifice, then, when they have fallen down dead, feed yourselves and those who do not ask, as well as those who do. We have subjected them to you in this way so that you may be thankful.”

(Qur’an 22:36)

Due to the many difficulties and tragedies facing Muslims around the world today, the Qurban is typically performed by charities who distribute the meat amongst the poor and needy around the world. One such charity is Muslim Aid Australia, whose Qurban offers can be accessed at http://bit.ly/OPNMAAQurban1

May Allah accept all of our sacrifices in this blessed time.

Muslim women fight against Niqab Ban in Denmark

Danish women stand up against the Niqab Ban

Thousands have taken to the streets in Copenhagen, Denmark to protest the country’s Niqab Ban that came into effect this Wednesday.

The protests organised by Danish Muslim Women’s Group “Kvinder I Dialog” (Women in Dialogue) set out to stand against the Government’s stance of “hatred and Islamophobia”.

The women argued that the newly introduced Ban discriminates against their rights to freely dress as they wish according to their religious beliefs.

Sabina from Women in Dialogue also argued that she felt the new law criminalised her for simply expressing her identity and practicing her faith.

“Every time I step outside my front door, I am a criminal. I have to stay in my house, isolated. I cannot go to the grocery store, I cannot go out.”

“Wearing this is an important spiritual choice for me. And now it is also a sign of protest. Every time the government does this, they make me firmer in my belief”.

“We need to send a signal to the government that we will not bow to discrimination and a law that specifically targets a religious minority,” Sabina, said as she marched on Wednesday.

The new law allows Danish Police officers to force women caught wearing a face veil out of public areas and also fine them up to 1000 Danish Krones. Repeat offences can also be fined up to 10,000 Danish Krones.

Muslims currently amount to approximately 5% of Denmark’s 5.7 million population. There are also only between 150-200 women in Denmark who wear the Niqab daily according to a Copenhagen University study, signaling the absurdity of such a ban.

We ask Allah to make the situation easy for all Muslim women in Denmark who are currently facing the repercussions of this senseless ban, along with all other Muslim women throughout Europe facing similar circumstances.

An Australian is Being Detained in a Jordanian Prison without Charge

Ismail Alwahwah detained in Jordan

An activist with the organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia has been detained without charge in Jordan.

Ismail Alwahwah, the leader of Hizb ut-Tahrir in Australia, was taken into custody last week after arriving in Amman, Jordan, with his wife.

Jordanian authorities have since denied him access to his family or to legal representation, despite not yet being charged with any crime.

Alwahwah suffers from various forms of illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension and recently underwent surgery.

In a letter sent to the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop, Alwahwah’s son Anas Abu Malek said, “Ismail is an Australian citizen, and we are requesting the Australian government expend every effort to secure Ismail’s immediate release.

A petition calling for his release has so far garnered 4,400 signatures.