November 30, 2005
And then there is undesirable envy, or jealousy. Jealousy and envy are among the most destructive emotions or feelings one can have towards another human being. They are often manifested as an evil wish towards others or in being happy when misfortune befalls them. The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) warned against envy, He (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said:
"Beware of jealousy, for verily it destroys good deeds the way fire destroys wood." [Abu Dawood]
The one who is jealous, hating the favors bestowed by Allah (swt) upon someone else, is an oppressor (which is forbidden; Hadith Qudsi 17), and one who will go beyond bounds to act, dictated by jealousy, is deserving of punishment unless he repents.
The one affected by the oppressor should be patient of the harm afflicted upon him by the one who is jealous, and he should forgive and overlook, just as Allah (swt) said,
"Many of the People of the Book wish that if they could turn you away as disbelievers after you have believed, out of envy from their own selves even after the truth has become clear to them. But forgive and overlook until Allah brings about His Command." [Surah al-Baqara 2:109]
"...Verily, he who fears Allâh with obedience to Him (by abstaining from sins and evil deeds, and by performing righteous good deeds), and is patient, then surely, Allâh makes not the reward of the Muhsinûn (good-doers - see v.2:112) to be lost." [Surah Yusuf 12:90]
As for the person who is tried and harmed for choosing obedience to Allah, then he will be rewarded for the actual trial and it shall be written as a righteous action for him. Allah, the Most High, said, "That is because they suffer neither thirst nor fatigue, nor hunger in the Cause of Allah, nor do they take any step to raise the anger of disbelievers nor inflict any injury upon an enemy but it is written to their credit as a righteous deed. Indeed Allah wastes not the reward of the doers of good." [Surah at-Taubah 9:120]
Jealousy is a sickness of the heart and soul of mankind and few of us are secure from it. On finding envy or jealousy in our hearts we should strive to snuff it out and treat it with patience and taqwa of Allah (swt), for that which we do not act upon in speech or action cannot harm us. Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah: Allah’s Messenger salla allahu alayhe wasalam said:
"Beware of oppression, for oppression will turn into excessive darkness on the Day of Resurrection; and beware of niggardliness, for niggardliness destroyed your predecessors." (Hadith 26:203; Muslim)
Commentary: This Hadith makes it abundantly clear that there will be utmost justice on the Day of Resurrection. So much so that Allah will redress even the grievance of the aggressed animals against the aggressors. Thus, this Hadith serves a severe warning for people. When animals, who are devoid of sense, will not be forgiven, how would mankind be, which is gifted with senses? The latter will not be pardoned if they are guilty of having been unjust to anyone without adequately compensating them.
"Say: I seek refuge with the Lord of the Daybreak. From the evil of what He has created. And from the evil of the darkening (night) as it comes with its darkness. And from the evil of the witchcrafts when they blow in the knots. And from the evil of the envier when he envies." [Surah al-Falaq 113:1-5]
"By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, none of you believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself." [Bukhari Volume 1 Book 2 Number 12 and Hadith Qudsi 13]
Compiled by ~Aishah Illustration from: Brothers Grimm. Grimms' Fairy Tales [Little Red Riding Hood]. Ella Dolbear Lee, illustrator. Chicago: M. A. Donohue & Co., 1920.
November 29, 2005
November 28, 2005
November 24, 2005
Food for thought: The Qur'an is a Message from Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala to humanity. It was transmitted to us in a chain starting from the Almighty Himself (swt) to the angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad (saas). It took 23 years (610 CE to 622 CE) to complete the revelation of the Qur'an; this in and of itself, is a perfect example of how long we might consider it could possibly begin to take for a revert or person just beginning to embrace Islam from his/her heart to fully develop in the deen! But honestly? Perfecting our deen is a lifelong process if you really think about it.
So imagine the revert who is bombarded in his/her first days, weeks, months, the first year...by brothers and sisters telling them, you have to do this, and you have to do that...and all now! Imgaine if we truly knew the rate at which Islam loses reverts because of this bombardment of information and demands?!?!
We need to step back sometimes and consider at what point our discussions and arguments are doing more harm than good; bottom line.
And that's the end of my rant...I'll turn it over now to the sister who wrote the blog post from Living Tradition. Outside of what I just said, what she said wraps it up pretty tight. (continued here) Copyright © 2005 Aishah Schwartz Permission is granted to circulate among private individuals and groups, to post on Internet sites and to publish in full text and subject title in not-for-profit publications. Contact author for all other rights, which are reserved.
November 21, 2005
November 19, 2005
November 18, 2005
November 15, 2005
November 14, 2005
November 13, 2005
November 12, 2005
During the first year-and-a-half that I worked with the firm I was just your regular American female dressing casual/professional for the office, always wearing my hair nicely styled, meticulously applied makeup, and sporting nails that were freshly manicured every other week in correlation with my pay dates. *lol* (Toes included!)
So imagine being the proverbial "fly on the wall" the day I first walked into the offices where I was working wearing jelbab and hijab! It was the most incredible experience!
On the morning that I made the decision to wear my hijab to work a sign that I was doing the right thing came as I approached the mammoth glass doors to the main lobby of the office building.
As I reached to pull open one of the doors, the door opposite to me on the left began to push open simultaneously, and while everything that happened in those few moments passed so quickly that I did not even get a good glimpse of the person who spoke to me, barely even having a chance to respond because I was so stunned, what I heard clear as day were the words, "Assalamu Alaikum!" Subhan'Allah! That was the last thing I had expected to hear!
But, Al-hamdulillah, words and images that will remain forever embedded in my memory as I walked across the lobby, entered the mirrored elevator, pressed the "6" button for my floor, and gazed at my reflection on the elevator wall. My cheeks were flushed and my heart was racing as I contemplated what would happen once the doors opened and I stepped out...but having heard those words, I felt more like Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala was with me more than ever...and I was confident that I had made the right choice.
Thank goodness I chose my first day as one of the days in the middle of my boss's vacation because for the next two days I couldn't get one bit of work done for answering questions! Al-hamdulillah!
I never felt such wonderful support for a decision in my entire life! I was astounded! The reaction of my colleagues spoke volumes for the "diversity" policy that the firm is so well known for! Al-hamdulillah! Insha'Allah sisters young and old, new and re-newed (*smile*) you will wear your hijab with confidence, too!
Copyright © 2005, Aishah Schwartz Permission is granted to circulate among private individuals and groups, to post on Internet sites and to publish in full text and subject title in not-for-profit publications. Contact author for all other rights, which are reserved.
November 09, 2005
Car horn honking. If I ever thought the amount of horn honking was bad in KSA, let me tell you something. Here the language of horn honking is spoken almost more than Arabic!! Unbelievable the amount of it!!! My favorite form of noise pollution comes from the neighbor that clears his throat 5,000 times a day. I'm not kidding folks. Like the sound of someone gagging and almost throwing up that much makes me wonder what is left of the inside of his esophagus! Brother, p-l-e-a-s-e!!! Get help! So, during this time of re-adjustment I have basically fallen asleep once my brain and body get flat worn out. One day I sleep about 2 hours and the next day I sleep 10-12. *lol* Yea, nuts, eh? The only salvation I can find in getting to sleep is to have a fan running nearby. It generates what is called "white noise" which blocks everything else out of my head. Even the clock that chimes every hour-and-half hour from the living room! Al-hamdulillah! Then, of course, I have had to re-adjust to the amount of time my dh has to spend with me since his return to work. Yes, I'll have to admit I had become spoiled. I think mom had, too. Mom is also used to eating the larger meal of the day around 3:00 PM while dh and I don't usually eat until around 6:30 PM. I jokingly said to dh today, "I'll sit with you to eat one day, and then sit with mom to eat the next, etc." That eliminates either of them being the one that eats alone all the time. Am I diplomatic or what? *lol* It's turning out that mom and dh are the early birds, so they have a few minutes together in the morning when they take their tea and maybe eat some bread and cheese; that's the time when I am usually asleep. Al-hamdulillah. But, so as to not leave you feeling too sorry for me *she says tongue-in-cheek*, today was better, overall. I whined to dh a little bit and he spent some time with me *lol* - and the three of us had tea in the living room this evening where we have now moved the TV for the winter months since the sitting area in mom's room is colder in the evenings now that winter is approaching. It really (gosh, what's another word for 'sucks'??) that it's now getting dark outside at 6:00 PM. Anyhow, the highlight the evening came after dh went to his computer. Mom and I were left to watch TV. She always insists I take the remote control so I can find an English channel (she is so sweet); there are three channels that I surf between. *Wahoo!* Tonight I settled on an old episode of "My Wife and Kids". It had Arabic subtitles so I think mom was following along somewhat. The episode was minus the "Mrs." as she was on 'real life' maternity leave. In the storyline dad was taking care of the kids while mom was away taking care of their grandmother who had become ill. So, just toward the end of the episode there was a 'flash-back' sequence where the father was rewinding history to tell his youngest daughter, "Of course I remember when you were born!" The audience is subsequently presented with a vision of dad sitting on a chair in the living room reading the newspaper. A seriously pregnant looking wife is laid up on the sofa with a book; looking extremely miserable. Suddenly mom sneezes hard and the camera instantaneously flashes back over to the dad who catches a small, naked doll-baby over the top of his newspaper as if his wife had just thrown him a football!!! You should have seen mom's face!!! Talk about a Kodak moment!! I don't think she had ever seen anything like that in her life!!! She laughed! And I laughed! And we sat there together laughing to the point of mom catching the length of the scarf she was wearing to cover her mouth so she wouldn't laugh out loud! And she 'sneezed' again and waved her arm, reenacting the scene, and laughed some more! *lol* Oh, my goodness! The scene was priceless!
So, there you have it. All's well that ends well *smile* to get through life all you have to do is bounce. Copyright © 2005, Aishah Schwartz Permission is granted to circulate among private individuals and groups, to post on Internet sites and to publish in full text and subject title in not-for-profit publications. Contact author for all other rights, which are reserved.