Monday, August 30, 2010


Ayahs of the Day:
By the sky, with the constellations, and the promised day, and witness and witnessed, perish the keepers of the trench of fire with fuel: they sat by witness to what they were doing to the believers, whom they resented only because they believed in God, the Almighty, the Praiseworthy, to whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. And God is witness to everything. [85: 1 to 9]

Hadith of the Day:
Learn to lock up your tongue in the prison of your mouths. [Tabarani]

Wise Quote of the Day:
The one who is esteemed by people should deem himself worthy of no such honor or respect, so as not to fall into delusion. [Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak]

Guidance of the Day:
People have different preferences regarding the types of other people they choose to spend time with. For example, generally speaking, I'd rather not spend too much time around people who are irritable and easily annoyed. I also prefer to avoid people who like to commiserate and complain. Part of my preference has to do with the fact that I acknowledge that I'm affected by the people around me. So, if I spend time with complainers, I tend to do a little more complaining myself, and so forth.

This strategy has the potential to have a major influence on the quality of your life. The people around you, particularly those you choose to spend time with, have a great deal of influence on your attitude and state of well-being. If you choose to keep good company, your life will be easier and far less stressful. [Carlson, Don't Sweat the Small Stuff -- with your family]

Food for Thought:
The purpose of life is a life of purpose. Life has a value only when it has something valuable as its object. Having a goal is a state of happiness. You must have long-range goals to keep you from being frustrated by short-range failures. Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pearls of wisdom 273

1. The most noble of mankind in this world are the generous, and the most noble in the afterlife are the God-fearing.

2. Patience is a steed that never stumbles -- the relation of patience to faith is like that of the head to the body.

3. The human being is on a journey -- this world is an abode of passage, not an abode of rest.

4. The Divine word (Qur'an) is the infallible source of spiritual uplifting, it inspires joy and awe and leads to secret conversations with God -- for God reveals Himself to His servants in the holy Qur'an.

5. One who develops the trait of greediness and avarice invites degradation.

6. One who keeps on advertising his poverty and ill-luck will always be humiliated.

7. One who has no control over his tongue will often have to face embarrassment and discomfort.

8. Surrender and acceptance to the Will of God are the best companions.

9. Wisdom is the noblest heritage -- a wise man's mind is the safest custody of secrets.

10. Deep thinking will present the clearest picture of every problem -- patience and forbearance will hide and cover many defects. [Above quotes by Ali radi Allah anhu]

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Ayahs of the Day:
Now what is the matter with them that they don't believe, and do not bow when the Qur'an is recited to them? Instead those who scoff repudiate truth; but God knows best what they keep inside. So inform them of a painful penalty, except those who believe and do the right things; for them there is a reward without diminution. [84: 20 to 25]

Hadith of the Day:
For whoever Allah desires good, He gives him understanding of the religion -- and, verily, knowledge comes through learning. [Bukhari]

Wise Quote of the Day:
Each of your breaths is a priceless jewel, since each of them is irreplaceable and once gone, can never be retrieved. [Imam al-Ghazali]

Guidance of the Day:
Your time and energy are among your most precious and important assets. Therefore it's extremely important to make wise and well-thought-out choices about who you spend your time with. Do you spend time with people who are truly nourishing to you (and your family), or do you choose your company much more randomly? Is the person you are with helping you to grow? Is he or she a person you admire and respect? Do you nourish one another? Do you share similar values? If not, it doesn't mean you can't still be friends, only that you might want to make a decision to spend less time with that person, which will create the time and space to meet new people or to spend more time alone.

This suggestion has nothing to do with making judgments about other people. If you determine that there are people you'd rather not spend so much time with, it doesn't mean that you don't respect and honor them or that you don't think they are terrific people. It also doesn't mean that you think you are any better than them or that they don't have wonderful qualities. It simply means that, all things considered, you'd rather spend your available time either by yourself or with someone else. Keep in mind that each of us has only a certain amount of time to spend with other people, probably far less than we would like. It's up to us to make the best choices we can. [Carlson, Don't Sweat the Small Stuff -- with your family]

Food for Thought:
When the going gets tough, the tough get going. If God slams one door, further down the corridor another will be opened. Being tough isn't being rough or rude but having the strength to meet any situation with an inner resource. Believe in yourself and see yourself as tough and able. You can if you think you can. Every time you think you can't, remove the t and you can. Then use that t to get tough.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Pearls of wisdom 272

1. Let your companionship be with Allah, and befriend others besides Allah within the scope of His companionship.

2. Give in charity every morning from your bread.

3. Be with Allah Most High as if there were no creatures -- that is when you will find Him and become extinct to all else.

4. Be with creatures as if there is no self -- that is when you will always act justly and be safe from bad consequences.

5. Leave everything at the door of your retreat and enter it alone -- then you will see your intimate friend (Allah) in your solitude with the eye of your inner most being.

6. Do not swear, whether truthfully or falsely, deliberately or absentmindedly -- this will bring about self-control.

7. Avoid lying, whether in jest or in earnest -- with this Allah will purify the mind.

8. Beware of promising something to someone and then failing to keep the promise -- breach of promise is tantamount to lying.

9. Avoid cursing anything in the realm of creation, or hurting anything from a mere atom upward -- this is one of the moral standards of the pious and the champions of truth.

10. Refrain from contemplating sinful offences, and restrain all limbs and organs from participating in them -- such efforts bring the quickest reward to heart and body in the present life of this world, as well as the good things in the hereafter. [Above quotes by Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani]

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Ayahs of the Day:
As for the one who is given his record behind his back, he will cry for destruction as he roasts in a blaze for he used to be happy among his people: he assumed he'd never return. But no, his Lord was watching him. So I swear by the evening glow and the night and what it envelops and the moon when it's full -- you will surely mount from one level to another. [84: 10 to 19]

Hadith of the Day:
No one is truly faithful unless truth enters his heart, and truth does not penetrate the heart unless the tongue is truthful. [Ahmad]

Wise Quote of the Day:
Happy the man who freed himself from his "self" and united himself with the Infinite. When you sought refuge in the Qur'an of God, you mingled yourself with the essence of the prophets. The Qur'an is a narrative of the states of the prophets who glory in the blessed ocean of His majesty. [Mawlana Rumi]

Guidance of the Day:
Keep good company. Most people acknowledge the fact that we are affected positively and negatively by the people we spend the most time around. Kids are affected by their parents and vice versa, and spouses are affected by one another, as are siblings. We are all affected by the people we work with and by our friends and neighbors.

There are times, of course, when we have little or no control over who we spend our time with -- at work, for example. In these instances, it's often the case that we simply have to make the best of it. The same is sometimes true with certain family members. You spend time with them not only because you love them, but simply because they are family -- you have no acceptable alternative.

There are other times, however, when we have absolute control over who we spend our time with. For example, our friends and people we invite into our homes and talk with on the telephone. [Carlson, Don't Sweat the Small Stuff -- with your family]

Food for Thought:
Prayer is the spiritual gymnasium in which we exercise and practice Godliness. Every time you pray, if your prayer is sincere, there will be new feeling and new meaning in it which will give you fresh courage, and you will understand that prayer is an education. The highest prayer is not one of faith merely; it is demonstration. Such prayer heals sickness, and must destroy sin.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Pearls of wisdom 271

1. It is your duty to remember Allah in every circumstance, because this brings all that is good together.

2. You must cling to the lifeline of Allah, because it wards off harm and injury.

3. You must be prepared to meet the events decreed by destiny, because they are bound to happen.

4. Know that you will be held responsible for how you behave in action and at rest.

5. Attend to what is most appropriate at the moment, and beware of redundant physical activities.

6. It is your duty to to obey Allah and His Messenger and those who continue his work.

7. Offer prayers of supplication on every occasion.

8. It is your duty to think well of all the Muslims and to relate to them with good intentions, work hard to secure their general welfare.

9. Do not end your day with bad feeling, rancor or hatred for anyone still in your heart, pray for those who have wronged you.

10. You must eat only lawful food, and ask people versed in knowledge of Allah about things you do not know. [Above quotes by Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani]

Friday, August 13, 2010


Ayahs of the Day:
When the sky bursts open and hearkens to its Lord and is given its due, and when the earth is distended and throws up what is in it and becomes empty and hearkens to its Lord and is given its due: O man, you are striving toward your Lord, and you will meet your Lord; then the one who is given his record in his right hand will be called to account for an easy reckoning and return to his people delighted. [84: 1 to 9]

Hadith of the Day:
Our Lord says: "Do not be misled by your egos, or you will be led away from the truth and into lies." [Hadith Qudsi]

Wise Quote of the Day:
Three things destroy a person: Persisting in sins with false hopes of repentance; delaying repentance with the delusion of long life; and despairing of His mercy. [Shaqeeq al Balkhi]

Guidance of the Day:
Buying or leasing a simpler car saves money and possibly trips to the mechanics. Having fewer things means less things to take care of, insure, think about, worry about, and keep clean. Each item you purchase on credit is more to pay for you, but is also one more bill to pay each month. I can go on, but I'm sure you get the picture. Voluntary Simplicity is not about giving up everything you own. To the contrary, there are obviously certain instances when obtaining (rather than getting rid of) something makes your life easier and simpler. For example, I can't imagine giving up my computer or fax machine. To do so would clearly make my life far more complicated and difficult.

Voluntary Simplicity is not about any single decision, nor is it about voluntary poverty. It's more of a direction, a series of conscious decisions that you make because you want to improve the quality of your life. The key is to take an honest look at what's truly important in your life. If you'd like a little more time, a little more energy, and a little more peace of mind, I encourage you to explore this topic a little more carefully. [Carlson, Don't Sweat the Small Stuff -- with your family]

Food for Thought:
Our minds can shape the way a thing will be because we act according to our expectations. All that a man does outwardly is but the expression and completion of his inward thought. To work effectively -- he must think clearly; to act nobly -- he must think nobly. The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts -- you cannot escape the results of your thoughts. You will become as small as your controlling desire, as great as your dominant aspiration.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Pearls of wisdom 270

In the name of Allah the Compassionate, the Merciful

Tyranny of Trends
By Dr. Afzal Ahmad

We are slaves to social trends of all sorts, either because of our vain desires or our egotistical needs for self-satisfaction.

Be it the trend in eating out at the newest hip restaurant opened on the other side of the town or shopping when there is nothing better to do or acquiring lot of things just because they are new -- not that you need them. A lot of us have to have the latest trendy clothes and jewelry. Some of us have to have the latest gadgets like G3 network cell phones like the new iPhone 4, the ultra new Apple iPad, flat screen TV sets, latest video games console, 16 megapixel cameras and ultra light and thin laptop computers. Some have weakness for flashy and trendy cars loaded with everything except the kitchen sink and the chauffer. Most of us are guilty of acquiring big and lavish houses and second homes whether we need them or not or whether we can even afford them or not.

This slavery to trends and fashions of all sorts is the antithesis to sustainability, frugality, common sense and above all, the value system Islam espouses. A lot of us are so obsessed with fashion and glamour that we become oblivious to the double scourge of wastefulness and extravagance. Most of our economic and environmental problems stem from our desire to show off and impress others. Talk to any waste management experts and they will tell you about the crisis in finding ways to deal with disposal of these discarded products -- especially the ones that have non biodegradable and harmful components and chemicals. Go to any garbage dumping site and one can appreciate the old adage -- one's garbage is someone else's meal ticket. What to say about poor countries all around the world, even prosperous country like ours, some people make a living off the things discarded by others.

Simplicity and sustainability in everyday living, development, manufacturing and use of these products is paramount to the survival of the human race and it is the Islamic thing to do. Our narcissistic desire to self indulge when there are people, adults and children in the world who are going hungry, going bare feet, have no clothes and shelter, is the epitome of a gross egotistical behavior.

As Muslims we are enjoined by our Maker, Allah SWT to avoid excesses and observe and practice moderation in all aspects of life.

"Thus We have made you (to be) a nation of middle, that you may be witnesses over mankind and that the Messenger (PBUH) may be a witness over you" (Holy Qur'an, 2: 143)

The Arabic words used in the above ayah is "Umatan Wasatan" and is variously translated as "a nation of the middle", "the people of the middle path" or "people of the center position" -- a community that avoids all excesses and keeps an equitable balance between the extremes and a community that when they spend on others is neither wasteful nor stingy (Qur'an 25:67)

Children are very impressionable to what we say and what we do as parents. Any insincerity, hypocrisy and duplicity in our talk and walk are readily picked up by our children. If we want our children to be good citizens of the future and "a nation of middle" we need to lead by example. After parents, children are most influenced by their peers. Seeing and hearing their peers talk about how rich they are and how they have second homes in far away places and have fancy boats, cars or houses can lead to lot of uncomfortable questioning by our children. We should constantly talk to our children about the middle path -- the path of moderation. We need to display it ourselves as an example for our children to see. We need to continuously tell our children about things that are important than just material things. We need to talk to them about love, respect, simplicity, frugality and excellence in morality, behavior and acquisition of knowledge.

This upcoming Ramadan we should all pray that Allah SWT give us guidance to become "the people of the middle path"- Ameen.

Wish each one of you, a very blessed and meaningful Ramadan.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Ayahs of the Day:
The sinners used to laugh at the believers, winking at each other when they passed them; and when they went back to their families they'd return jesting: and whenever they saw them they'd say, "They are sure misguided!" But they were not sent to be guards over them. And on this day the believers will laugh at the scoffers, observing from atop thrones; aren't the scoffers to be paid for what they have been doing? [83: 29 to 36]

Hadith of the Day:
All people pass a test in their life. The test of my people is what they do with the goods of this world. [Tirmidhi]

Wise Quote of the Day:
The one who takes his wealth from unlawful means is deprived in trusting in Allah. [Abdullah ibn Mubarak]

Guidance of the Day:
Interestingly enough, this movement toward a slightly simpler life is not limited to the superwealthy. Instead, its wisdom is seen by a wide range of people from vastly different economic circumstances. Sometimes, simplifying your life can involve major shifts like choosing to live in a smaller, less expensive apartment rather than struggling to pay for a larger one. This decision can make your life less stressful because it will be far easier to pay your rent.

Other common decisions involve things like eating more simply, sharing and passing the clothes to others, or saying no to more opportunities to do things. The idea, of course, is to make decisions that enhance your life in the sense of making it a little easier, a little less complicated. I know a number of people with very limited incomes who have chosen to embrace this philosophy, and in every case, they claim it has paid handsome personal dividends. [Carlson, Don't Sweat the Small Stuff -- with your family]

Food for Thought:
Anger begins in folly, and ends with repentance. An angry man is again angry with himself when he returns to reason. The greatest remedy for anger is delay. Anybody can become angry -- that is easy; but to be angry with the right person, and to the right degree, and at the right time, and for the right purpose, and in the right way -- that is not within everybody's power and is not easy -- but that is what everyone should strive for.

Friday, August 06, 2010


Ayahs of the Day:
As for the destiny of the righteous, they will be on high. And what will let you know what is high? An inscribed appointment for which those granted access to God will vouch. Indeed, the righteous will be in happiness, gazing from atop thrones. You will recognize a refulgence of felicity in their faces; they will be given sealed pure wine to drink, its seal being musk. So let those with longings long for that -- its blend will be from a fountain in paradise, a fountain from which those granted access to God will drink. [83: 18 to 28]

Hadith of the Day:
No one is truly a servant of God until he is able to watch his tongue. [Tabarani]

Wise Quote of the Day:
Someone who seeks to travel the path of Allah should begin with a sound repentance from all the sins. [Imam al-Haddad]

Guidance of the Day:
Many people have found that "keeping up with the Jones" and continuing to run on the proverbial treadmill is overwhelming and counterproductive, in addition to being stressful and time consuming. Many of us have fallen into the habit of ever-increasing wants, needs, and desires. It seems that most of us believe that more is better -- more stuff, things to do, experiences, and so forth. But is it really?

At some point, we get so busy that it prevents us from enjoying our lives. It seems that virtually every minute of every day is scheduled and accounted for. We rush from activity to activity, usually more interested in "what's next" than we are in what we're doing in the present. In addition, most of us want bigger apartments, a nicer car, more clothes, and more stuff. Whatever we have, it's never enough. Our appetite for more seems to be insatiable. [Carlson, Don't Sweat the Small Stuff -- with your family]

Food for Thought:
Until you value yourself; you won't value time, until you value time, you will not do anything with it. Time is what we want most, but what we use worst. Time is a coin of your life, it is the only coin you have and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest other people spent it for you. As if we could kill time without injuring eternity.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Ramadan Mubarak!!!

God says, concerning His Majestic Book: The Month of Ramadan in which the Qur’an was revealed, a guidance for mankind, [containing] clear proofs of guidance, and the criterion of distinguishing right from wrong. Al-Qur’an 2:185

We encourage all of the believers to refrain from all of the ruinations of the tongue during Ramadan. In his seminal work, “Quickening the Religious Sciences,” Imam al-Ghazali mentions them as the following:

a) Speaking in matters that do not concern one.

b) Excessive speech.

c) Speaking about sinful matters.

d) Disputation and contestation.

e) Argumentation.

f) Excessively embellished speech.

g) Lewd, insulting, or crude speech.

h) Invoking the Curse of God on someone.

i) Singing indecent songs, or relating immoral poetry.

j) Excessive joking.

k) Sarcasm and ridicule.

l) Revealing secrets.

m) False promises.

n) Lying and false oaths.

o) Backbiting and slander.

p) Instigating tense relations between people.

q) Being two-faced.

r) Praising someone who is either undeserving, or unable to remain humble when praised.

s) Speaking about involved subjects and ideas one lacks the necessary knowledge or eloquence to adequately convey.

t) Ordinary folk speaking in subjects that are the domain of specialists.

May God spare us from these ruinations both during and after Ramadan.

The Prophet, Peace and Blessing of Almighty God be upon Him, said: “Whoever fails to leave off ruinous speech, and acting on it [during Ramadan], God does not need him to leave off eating and drinking.” Al-Bukahri

We encourage the believers to avoid all arguments, disputes, and unnecessary worldly entanglements during this blessed month. This is a time for deep devotion and dedication to Allah.

We encourage the believers to work to restore any severed relations or kinship ties they may be experiencing. This is a time when the gentle breezes of Divine Facilitation are blowing. Any good we endeavor during this blessed month will come to bear its proper fruits, Insha Allah.

We encourage all of the believers to eat simply during this month. One should try to make a vow to give up unnecessary, and generally unhealthy fare during this blessed month. Pizza, ice cream, fast food, pastries, and soda should all go. We should make our solidarity with our suffering brothers and sisters in other lands real, and not something confined to speeches and pamphlets.

If one is in the habit of watching television, or listening to commercial music, one should also try to give these things up for Ramadan. They are things that divert us from the remembrance of God in any case. During this special month when every letter we recite from the Majestic Qur’an is tremendously rewarded, we should busy ourselves with recitation, and drop other pastimes.

Married believers should encourage their wives to engage in spiritual pursuits during this month, i.e. reciting the Qur’an, attending Tarawih, etc. They should especially avoid burdening their wives with long hours in the kitchen in order to host extravagant Iftars. While it is certainly virtuous to provide the wherewithal for the believers to break their fast, dates, water, and simple dishes suffice in that regard.

These are some of the things we wanted to convey to you. Hopefully, they will prove of benefit. Again, we wish you a very successful Ramadan and would like to thank all of you for past, present, and future support. May Allah bless us to serve you better in the future.

On behalf of the Zaytuna Staff,

Your Brother in Islam,

Imam Zaid Shakir

Wednesday, August 04, 2010


Ayahs of the Day:
As for the destiny of the deviants, they will be in a prison. And what will let you know what the prison is? A sealed fate. Woe to the scoffers on that day who deny the reality of the day of requital, which none deny but an aggressive sinner who when Our signs are read to him calls them myths of ancients. By no means! But what they have been doing has taken possession of their hearts. Oh, no! They will be shut out from their Lord that day, and they will be roasting in hell: and they will be told, "This is what you used to deny." [83: 7 to 17]

Hadith of the Day:
A good deed hidden from the view of others is better than one performed in public. But a good action undertaken by a well-known person who others will follow is still better. [Bayhaqi]

Wise Quote of the Day:
Look at the heavens and realize who its Creator is, and be wary that he always knows your states. [Bayazid al-Bustami]

Guidance of the Day:
Explore voluntary simplicity. There is a popular, grassroots movement that is quickly gaining momentum, finding its way to many diverse groups of people. This movement is called Voluntary Simplicity. As the name suggests, it involves simplifying one's life by choice rather than out of need.

It means you put a ceiling on your desires, not necessarily because you have to but because you want to -- you see the wisdom and potential for peace in placing a ceiling on what you want so that you can enjoy what you already have. Simplifying your life frees up time, money, and energy so that you can have more of each for yourself and for your family. [Carlson, Don't Sweat the Small Stuff -- with your family]

Food for Thought:
Sin is first a simple suggestion, then a strong imagination, then delight, then assent. No sin is small -- no grain of sand is small in the mechanism of a watch. Fools make a mock at sin. Commit a sin twice and it will not seem to you a crime. Sins and dandelions are a whole lot alike -- they're a lifetime fight that you never quite win.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Pearls of wisdom 269

1. Ask Allah for contentment with what He has allotted and arranged.

2. Ask Allah for constant safekeeping in the situation in which He has placed and installed you as a trial.

3. You do not know in which lies the good, whether in poverty of in affluence, in misfortune or in well-being.

4. He may be trying you in order to complete your human development, and to elevate your station.

5. He chooses for you the highest, the most splendid, the loftiest and the best, while you decline to accept.

6. Relate to the rich with dignity and to the poor with humility.

7. Practice humility and sincerity -- which means constant contemplation of the Creator.

8. Do not distrust Allah in worldly matters, but humbly submit to Him on all occasions.

9. Mortify yourself, so that you may come to life -- the people nearest to Allah Most High are those with the best moral character.

10. The best of deeds is keeping one's innermost being from any inclination toward that which is apart from Allah Most High. [Above quotes by Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani]

Monday, August 02, 2010


Ayahs of the Day:
Woe to the cheaters who demand full measure when they receive from the people but short them when they measure or weigh for them. Don't they think they'll be resurrected for a trying day, the day when humankind will stand before the Lord of the universe? [83: 1 to 6]

Hadith of the Day:
Whoever seeks knowledge in order to have recourse to something other than Allah, or for the pleasure of anyone except his Lord, might as well prepare himself for punishment in Hell. [Tirmidhi]

Wise Quote of the Day:
When death comes it does not return empty handed, so occupy every moment in preparedness of it. [Shaqeeq al Balkhi]

Guidance of the Day:
Many of the messages we send our kids stem from what's going on inside us. Are we frustrated and reactive -- or are we calm and responsive? Are we patient and supportive or demanding and aggressive? Are you a great listener, or do you have a tendency to interrupt others or finish their sentences? If so, is it any wonder why our children have difficulty paying attention to and/or listening to our instructions? One of the things we need to work on is our tendency to rush, yet ironically, we get annoyed when our kids are impatient. Again, the behavior in the home is affected by the hidden messages we send our kids.

Take a look at your own hidden messages and signals. In all likelihood, there are many things you are doing well and other areas that may need improvement. Don't worry about it -- welcome to the human race! The most important thing is to be aware of the power of your hidden messages. Once you are, you can catch yourself when you are sending a message that is inconsistent with what you might actually desire. With a little practice in this area, I think you'll agree that asking yourself "What messages am I really sending to my kids?" is an important question indeed. [Carlson, Don't Sweat the Small Stuff -- with your family]

Food for Thought:
The soul that has no established aim loses itself. Choosing a goal and sticking to it changes everything. The great and glorious masterpiece of man is how to live with a purpose. Laboring toward distant aims sets the mind in a higher key, and puts us at our best. What counts is not to live, but to live aright.