How to overcome slander

Three steps to stop slander from affecting you

It’s as though everyone loves Fitnah – whether it’s gossip, backbiting or slander. It adds excitement and drama to our lives and in all honesty, most people enjoy listening to it and spreading it around.

However, it’s a whole lot different when we find out that the gossip and rumors being spread are about ourselves. It’s painful, hurtful and definitely something we don’t ever want to find out.

Spreading gossip is no doubt sinful and it is, in fact, one of the reasons some people are punished in their graves as the Messenger of Allah ﷺ stated.

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ passed by two new graves, and he said:

‘They are being punished, but they are not being punished for anything major. One of them was heedless about preventing urine from getting on his clothes, and the other used to walk about spreading malicious gossip.’

Sunan Ibn Majah (Sahih)

Nevertheless, if you do find yourself the victim of slander, here are three steps to diffuse the Fitnah before it erupts.

  1. Ignore the rumors

The first thing to do when someone comes to you with gossip about yourself – is to brush it off. If someone has said something bad about you – don’t let it affect you – especially when it’s not true. Learn to ignore it.

In fact, this advice is even more so important – for those that are hearing such gossip themselves. You have even more of an obligation to diffuse the situation by not spreading such gossip in the first place. If someone comes to you spreading gossip about someone else – let them know you’re not having it and rather try to protect your brothers’ or sisters’ reputation.

Defend the honor of your brother – so that perhaps Allah will defend your honor on the Day of Resurrection.

Abu Ad-Darda reported: The Prophet ﷺ said:

Whoever defends the honor of his brother, then Allah will protect his face from the Hellfire on the Day of Resurrection.”

Sunan Al-Tirmidhi (Hassan)

  1. Thank Allah

The second thing to do for those who have been victims of slander and rumors is to use such opportunities to thank Allah. Yes, thank Allah. The truth is we all have mistakes and sins that we are guilty of that Allah has kept hidden. You should thank Allah for hiding these sins and instead of making this person busy with the sins you are completely free from.

In fact, you should not only thank Allah – but you should be happy someone is slandering you. Why? Well because every time someone slanders you – they are gifting you their good deeds. The truth is – Allah is rewarding you and elevating your rank every time this happens. You should be happy at such a thought.

  1. Make Duaa for the haters

The third and final thing to do is to make Duaa for the brother or sister that backbit you or slandered you – not that Allah destroys him or her. But that Allah blesses him and guides him. After all, they have gifted you their good deeds, let your Duaa be a returning gift for them. You should feel sorry for them, Allah is obviously displeased with such people’s actions, maybe your Duaa can help them change.

This is in line with the Sunnah of our beloved Messenger, Muhammad ﷺ who made Duaa for the very people who hurt him and his loved ones. This is also according to the character of the Prophets before him as well, as shown in the below narration.

“It is as if I can see the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), telling us the story of one of the Prophets: ‘His people beat him, and he was wiping the blood from his face and saying: “O Lord forgive my people, for they do not know.’”

Sahih Bukhari

It is also narrated that Ibrahim Ibn Adham was once attacked by his people, to which he then proceeded to make Duaa for their forgiveness. When he was asked why he would make Duaa for them, he responded by saying, “I learned that I was rewarded because of their actions and I disliked for them to be punished for this.”

May Allah protect our honor in this life and the next and protect us from slander, gossip, and rumors.

This man was shot by police in his own home

A Muslim American man was “mistakenly” shot dead in his own home.

Abdullah Abdul Muhiman, aka Dullah Beard, was sitting in his home when officers charged in and shot him dead.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig said Abdullah “created a situation” when the police entered by reaching for a weapon. According to Craig, the police were therefore forced to “stop the threat”.

The shooting sparked widespread condemnation of the police force’s actions, with activists and community leaders calling for accountability for his death.

The shooting comes after another black man was shot dead in his home after a police officer entered the wrong house, claiming she had thought it was her own home.

Abdullah’s family has started a LaunchGood campaign to raise money for his widow and children.

Muslim charities help out struggling farmers

Support MAA's Drought Relief Efforts

MAA Drought reliefHelp support MAA in their efforts to provide much needed support to Australian Farmers.

 

 

With Australia’s eastern states facing their worst drought in 400 years, local Muslim communities are doing what they can to support Australia’s struggling farmers.

Last weekend, a group of Muslim charities and community groups pitched in to deliver 33,000 kgs of hay bales to farmers in Goondiwindi, which sits on the border between NSW and Queensland.

 

“A representative [of the farmers] explained to us how important this hay is going to be for the farmers,” said Yusuf Katri of the Muslim Charitable Foundation. “Obviously it’s not enough, but they’re going to try their best to distribute it on an even basis to all those farmers who are in need.”

 

The Muslim community has taken a number of steps in recent months to assist farmers struggling in drought affected areas. Last month, the Grand Mufti of Australia led the Muslim prayer for rain, a tradition of supplicating God for rain in times of dire need. MAA National also delivered 100 food hampers to farmers in Rowena, NSW.

To support MAA National’s efforts for farmer relief, visit their website at maanational.org.au.

Who is Zakat given to?

The 8 Categories of Zakat in the Qur’an

“Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research is a research institute which aims to instill conviction and inspire contribution based on mainstream Islamic texts.”

Zakat, or compulsory charity, is one of the most foundational obligations upon every Muslim. It is the third pillar of Islam and must be given annually.

However, the actual recipients of our zakat are often unknown, and the system by which it is distributed is often not understood.

There are 8 categories of people who must receive Zakat as described in the Qur’an (9:60).

Each category of Zakat helps protect the entire community from different problems:

  1. Al-Fuqara’: The Poor

Zakat for this category protects us from:

  • Ongoing desperation
  • Dislocation from the community
  • A weakening of one’s faith
  1. Al-Masakin: The Needy

Zakat for this category protects us from:

  • Constant financial struggle
  • Lack of communal resources (since there will be fewer Zakat payers)
  1. Al ‘Amilina ‘Alayha: The Administrators of Zakat

Zakat for this category protects us from:

  • Diminished collection
  • Haphazard distribution
  1. Al-Mu’allafah Qulūbuhum: Bringing Hearts Together

Zakat for this category protects us from:

  • Low social and political capital
  • Animosity
  • Lack of influence
  1. Fir-Riqāb: Those in Bondage

Zakat for this category protects us from:

  • Inequality
  • Unfulfilled human potential
  1. Al-Gharimīn: Those in Debt

Zakat for this category protects us from:

  • Poor mental health for those in debt
  • Tension between lenders and borrowers
  • Reduction of lenders if there is no backup for lenders who face bad debts
  1. Fi-Sabeelillah: For God’s Cause

Zakat for this category protects us from:

  • Weakness in the face of external challenges
  • Moral decline within the community
  • Low religious literacy
  1. Ibn al-Sabil: The Stranded Traveller

Zakat for this category protects us from:

  • Social tension within communities if there is an inability to deal with stranded migrants or emergency scenarios.

The institution of Zakat, when implemented correctly,  is a completely comprehensive system to benefit every single member of the community.

Read more in “Zakat is not just charity” by Mufti Faraz Adam

 

A Message to Muslim Activists

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 episode, Dr Mohamed Ghilan sheds some light on the issues of activism, particularly with Muslim activists and how allying themselves with other minority groups may actually contradict Muslim beliefs.

This Man’s Wife is in a Concentration Camp

This man is petitioning the Australian government to free his wife from China

Almaz Nizamidin, an Australian Uyghur Muslim, last saw his wife in March 2017 when he went returned to China to visit.

A month later she was arrested and sent to a concentration camp. She was 2 months pregnant.

Uyghurs are a Muslim minority who mainly live in the Chinese province of Xinjiang, or East Turkestan.

They are facing widespread discrimination and oppression for their faith.

According to a UN Human Rights committee, up to 2 million Uyghurs have now been detained in concentration camps, also known as ‘re-education camps’

In these camps, detainees are forced to denounce their religion, chant propaganda slogans, and are deprived of food and sleep, according to an escaped detainee Omir Bekali.

Nizamidin’s wife, who was 2 months pregnant at the time, was sentenced to 7 years in one of these camps.

He does not know where she is, or what has happened to their child.

His petition, which expires on Wednesday, calls on Parliament to find out what is going on.

Another petition has been organised to bring awareness to the concentration camps.

 

May Allah protect our Uyghur brothers and sisters

Five Benefits of Worship

Five Benefits of Worship

“Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research is a research institute which aims to instill conviction and inspire contribution based on mainstream Islamic texts.

We always hear about the importance of worshipping God, and the responsibility every human has to worship Him alone. Allah says in an important and oft-quoted verse of the Qur’an that,

“I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.”

(Qur’an 51:56)

However, it is also a solace to those who find worshipping Allah difficult that there numerous great blessings to be gained if one does so. These blessings can only be fully gained through worship, and are essential for every human who wishes to live a fulfilling life.

Here are 5 of those blessings that we can remember in the times that worshipping Allah becomes difficult.

  1. Worship is required for inner peace and self-actualization.

Every soul has a restless craving for spiritual fulfillment. By doing dhikr and obeying Allah, our spirits flourish.

The Prophet ﷺ said,

“The difference between the one who remembers his Lord (God) and the one who does not remember his Lord is the difference between the living and the dead.”

  1. Worship is liberating.

Ibn Taymiyyah said,

“The real prisoner is the one whose heart is locked away from its Lord, the Most High and the real captive is the one held captive by his desires.”

Worshipping God empowers you to enjoy the material world without being enslaved by it.

  1. Worship forms the foundation of morality.

When you see yourself as a servant of God and recognize that moral rules come from Him, your values, responsibilities, and behavior become more consistent and you worship the One who made you capable of doing good.

  1. Worship refreshes faith.

The heart is inherently unstable, prone to forgetting and being agitated. Daily salah, wudhu, and dhikr rinse away the stains of the heart and keep it alive and illuminated.

  1. Worship harmonizes humans with the universe.

The entire universe was created to be obedient to God and to serve human beings, so humans can actualize worship. When we voluntarily conform to God’s will, we mirror the entire universe involuntarily conforming to God’s will, and create a harmony that benefits all of humanity.

May Allah make us all of those who truly worship only Him.

Read more in Why Does God Ask People to Worship Him? by Mohammad Elshinawy

The amazing rewards of patience and gratitude

The true nature of gratitude.

In this timely reminder following the blessed pilgrimage of Hajj, brother Hassan Shibly shares some reflections on the virtues of gratitude and patience, as well as their mighty rewards from Allah ﷻ.

In Surat az-Zumar, Allah ﷻ says:

“Indeed, the patient will be given their reward without account.”

(Qur’an 39:10)

The virtue of patience is oft-repeated throughout the Qur’an, and is very often coupled with gratitude, where Allah points to His blessings as signs for those who are patient and grateful

(14:5, 31:31, 34:19, 42:33).

One of the core aspects of both of these virtues is that for them to be truly practiced, they must be applied both in times of ease and in times of hardship.

This principle was alluded to in the hadith of the Prophet ﷺ when he said,

“The real patience is at the first stroke of a calamity.”

This shows that patience and gratitude are not only practiced when it’s easy. For one to be truly patient and grateful, they must embody these virtues even in the most difficult of times.

In his reminder, brother Hassan Shibly describes the different ways in which gratitude can be expressed, in both good times and bad.

“We’re grateful to Allah in good times by using his blessings to serve Him and serve His creation get closer to Him,” he said. “We’re grateful to Allah through hard times by being patient and by recognizing that you know what, it could be much worse, and trusting in His plan and having complete reliance on Him. That’s how believers get the love of Allah.”

We ask Allah to make us of those who are patient and grateful, both in the good times and the bad.

Don’t be a keyboard warrior

Don’t be a keyboard warrior

It’s all too often that we come across such behaviour online. Whether we were on the receiving end of it, or we witnessed others who had fallen victim to it, or we’ve been unfortunately guilty of doing it ourselves – we’re all too familiar with the epidemic of keyboard warriors.

They’re a small online community who consider themselves entitled to police and bully others online to conform to their narrow worldviews and opinions. Through the anonymity of a pseudonym account and behind the comfort of a computer, they have hurled the most vicious of online campaigns of abuse to those around them.

To make matters worse, the religion of Islam is quite often used as the guise for this type of abuse and online-bullying. Unfortunately, it is for this reason, that many keyboard warriors themselves consider their pursuits not only justified but rewarding, yet such statements couldn’t be further from the truth.

No doubt, as Muslims we have the responsibility of advising one another towards goodness and steering one another away from evil – but by no means should we have mistaken this noble role with the kinds of abuse we are seeing online.

At the outset, many of these keyboard warriors engage in abuse, threatening behaviour, foul language and the worst of all, mass-Takfir (the act of declaring a Muslim a disbeliever). All such behaviours are shunned in Islam especially when exchanged between Muslims.

The Prophet ﷺ would say

“ A believer is never a person who scoffs at others, calls them names, or utters vulgar and obscene phrases.”

(Tirmidhi).

Many of these keyboard warriors will also frequently be spotted engaging in disputes on matters in which they have no right to speak upon due to their lack of knowledge. Yet they will openly and recklessly make online comments and verdicts on matters even the biggest of scholars were afraid of speaking on. Such debates often lead them to not only backbiting certain scholars but even to the extent of declaring such people disbelievers.

As the Salaf would commonly say in regards to such people “The bravest of you towards issuing legal verdicts, is the bravest of you towards the Hell Fire”.

Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz would also say “May Allah have mercy on a man who knows his limits and stops at them”.

For those that know people like this or perhaps if you are one of these people yourself reading this, we remind you with the weighty words of the Prophet ﷺ in warning us on the use of our tongue or in this case our keyboards.

“Verily a person utters a word, that he deems harmless, but it results in his falling into the depths of the Hellfire.”

[Tirmidhi; Ibn Majah]