ربّنا آتنا في الدنيا حسنة و في الآخرة حسنة و قنا عذاب النار

    ربّي اشرح لي صدري و يسّر لي أمري و احلل عقدة من لساني يفقه قولي

    اللهم اعنّي على حفظ كتابك يا رب العالمين

    ربّي أسألك البلاغة في الاسلام يا رب العالمين

    اللهم انّي أعوذ بك من فتن الدنيا

    اللهم انّي أعوذ بك من فتن المحيا و الممات

    اللهم انّي أعوذ بك من عذاب القبر

    اللهم انّي أعوذ بك من فتنة الدجال

    اللهم انّي أعوذ بك من نار جهنم

    اللهم انّي أعوذ بك من شياطين الانس و الجن

    اللهم انّي أعوذ بك من قلب لا يخشع

    اللهم انصر دينك يا رب العالمين

    اللهم انصر دينك يا رب العالمين

    اللهم انصر دينك يا رب العالمين

    اللهم اجعل خير أعمالنا خواتمها

    اللهم اجعل خير أعمارنا أواخرها

    اللهم اجعل خير أيامنا يوم نلقاك

    اللهم ثبتنا بالقول الثابت في الحياة الدنيا وفي الآخرة

    اللهم اجعل آخر كلامنا أشهد أن لا اله الا الله وأشهد أن محمدا رسول الله

    اللهم أعنّي على الموت و كربته و القبر و غمّته و الصّراط و زلّته و يوم القيامة و روعته

    اللهم ثبّت قدميّ على الصراط يا أرحم الراحمين

    يا مغيث أغثني من فتن الدنيا

    يا مغيث أغثني من فتن الدنيا

    يا مغيث أغثني من فتن الدنيا

    اللهم ارزقني الرزق الحلال و اصرف عنّي المال الحرام

    اللهم ارزقني زيجة صالحة تعينني على ديني و دنياي و آخرتي و عاقبة أمري

    اللهم ارزقني الذرية الصالحة يا رب العالمين

    سبحانك اللهم ظلمت نفسي فإن لم تغفر لي و ترحمني لأكوننّ من الخاسرين

    اللهم اهدني هداية تامّة يا ربّ العالمين

    ربّي أسألك الجنّة

    ربّي أسألك الجنّة

    ربّي أسألك الجنّة


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Sunday, September 23, 2007

My trip to Baytullah (The 100% Destiny Draft)


In January 2007 I made a promise to document everything about my Hajj (pilgrimage) 2006-2007 trip. My plan was to do it in a novella fashion because I had a lot of theories, comments, and future plans to write about. Why should I write about something that a zillion others have written about before? I would never be able to fully grasp the entire Hajj perspective in one post. Time, as always, was not my friend. It took me five months to write 40 pages right before my computer crashed erasing everything stored in My Documents folder and ever since then I've been hesitant about re-writing it.

To be inspired is one of the things that we, generations of today, need to find in order to proceed with our existence. But to be inspired religiously… that’s something else.

I need to write this for you. I need to remind myself that I could still be a better person, the person I was around the turn of the year.

I’ve come across many people, good people, who said that they weren’t ready to perform Hajj, that they’re not in a point in their lives where they could actually step towards Allah SWT and ask for forgiveness. To those people I say ‘I wasn’t ready either’. I’ve been delaying Hajj since 2002. My excuse was… I wasn’t ready. I didn’t want to repent. I knew that I must change once I go there. Delaying it is so wrong. One never knows when he/she will die. To live a life that is totally directed at pleasing Allah SWT is the ultimate destiny. Climbing Everest will not make you a better man. If you’re living the way Allah wants us to live, why are you afraid? Why do you fear going to Baytullah? Why do you fear facing your sins, begging for forgiveness?

And so I decided to write the following brief points that I think might benefit whoever gets the ultimate opportunity to perform Hajj, the most beautifully reviving rokn.


Sob7an Allah there is something about that place. The fact that as you get to sit there for do3a2 and tafakkor is one of the many signs of mercy bestowed upon us by Allah SWT. You get to remember each and every sin you've ever committed. I was told that I should beware of Al Shaytan when I’m over there for he tries so hard to ruin Arafa for pilgrims… and I must pass that same advice to you.

I was told by a colleague of mine that Al shaytan lurks there. Mafeesh 7ad la beysally wala beyed3y. El nas sob7an Allah are either sleeping, eating, or talking about omoor el donya. I was prepared based on that. As soon as I woke up that morning, I grabbed a chair and sat outside the camp, away from the other people who were with me at the camp, with my small bag that contained my small Quran and do3a2 books. I prayed for myself, my family, my friends, and my colleagues at work. Sob7an Allah... I kept feeling sleepy and dizzy all day. I drank around ten cups of tea and four coffee cups. Wallahy wallahy al shaytan tries to distract you by chit-chats, food (they served us shrimps for God’s sake.), and eyelids heavy as the world. Al 7amdulella I didn't sleep for a second. W sob7an Allah the more you pray, the more sins you remember. الحمدلله على نعمة الاستغفار

الحمدلله على نعمة المغفرة

I remember my father was absolutely shocked when he asked the guys at the camp, ‘So when will we be heading to Arafat?’… Then they said ‘Well, we are at Arafat khalas’. ‘Tab we'll gabal?’ la2 howa keda... I grabbed my cousin and my father and off we went to jabal Arafat... It was awfully crowded so we just stood next to it for a couple minutes, prayed, then left back to the camp.

Al Mozdalefa

It took us forever to get to Al Mozdalefa. That’s the place where you collect the stones for the stoning of Al Jamarat. Getting there is not easy and even though you’re sitting in an air conditioned bus, it gets frustrating. My advice to you is, forget about the road, the driver. Don’t look out the window. Just grab a Quran and read. It’ll take away all your worries.

We had to park the bus in the middle of the road near the end of Mozdalefa to collect our stones. We couldn’t find any other spot to park the vehicle. And so I got off the bus with my little torch and headed towards a cliff to collect stones for me and both my parents who were with me on the trip. Now what happened next is beyond any reason known to man. سبحان اللهSomethings can not be explained. Now here’s what happened. Wallahy wallahy stones appeared out of nowhere. I dropped to my knees and started picking the stones out. Once I gathered all stones at a certain area and face some other direction to look for others, when I looked back there’d be more stones to pick from. Sob7an Allah I’m sure that I emptied that spot out, but there’d be more and more a moment later. فعلا... يقول الله كن فيكون

Al Jamarat

KSA did a great job by constructing several routes for the stoning. The whole thing is very organized. There’s even a schedule for every country to follow. Since we, Egyptians, are a superior race, we do not abide to any schedules. The original plan is for each country to be divided into groups. Group A gets to march together in order, stand in line in front of each Jamara, go throw their stones in order, then move over to the next Jamara. The Turks were scary, I must say. They’d follow all the rules, then at the last moment they run, stepping on all that comes in their way, to throw their stones at the Jamara. I swear they looked as if they actually thought they were trying to kill the devil himself. ربنا يتقبل They looked too sincere.

The first time I went alone. To be honest, I was a bit scared. Scared of being crushed in the crowds, of not knowing what to do, or of not having enough stones… I don’t know. But here’s my advice: 1. Go at around 3:30 am (The setting is amaaazing). 2. Avoid crowds. No rush. 3. Count like you’re in kindergarten. I swear I kept messing up on counts every time I threw. Was it the devil messing up my head walla just me being a bit shaky… I don’t know. I’m just glad I had enough stones to throw the Jamara till eternity.

On my way back to the camp after the final throwing, I felt that I was a new man. The relief, the clean slate, the soul liberation, everything… undescribable. If you ask me I’d say that Hajj is not a fardh, it’s a ne3ma.


The second stoning I did with my sister, her two year old daughter, and my brother-in-law. I got to see my niece throw her first stone. :)

I know that I have slipped into Donya once or twice after I got back from Hajj, but I still have the memory of that man with me to remind me every time there’s a chance for sinning revolving around me.

Another piece of advice for men: You know that seamless cloth that you wear for Hajj (Bashkeer or whatever)? Buy two to wear on top of each other. It gets cold down there at Mena and you wouldn’t want the cold to be something to worry about.

Useful tips

1. I performed all tawaf from the roof. It’s beautiful from up there. It’s less crowded so it’s excellent if your wife, children, or parents are with you and you can sit by the fence so you can see Al Kaaba while praying.

2. I didn’t like the fact that, when women were sitting in the front row, some dude would come out of nowhere and ask them to sit way back. If they ask me, I’d say that the guy sitting behind her should be the one leaving his spot. Oh well… nothing’s perfect when it’s human I guess.

3. Try and get a copy of الورد المصفّى المختار. It’s beautiful and it’s sold in almost every bookshop around the Haram. I must have read it like 30 times on my 18 day trip. It says everything a person would want to pray for.

4. I don’t think that I need to remind you not to buy anything except food once you’ve performed 7ijjat Al Wada’a.

5. Since my parents were unable to perform tawaf on their own they had to get wheel chairs pushed by some young kids working at the Haram. I learned later that you can get those chairs from someplace keda downstairs, but you have to register in advance or whatever. I never got the system. So we’d hire those kids to push both my parents we khalas. They’re overpriced though. I don’t think I can remember how much I paid, but I think it was 100-300 Saudi Riyals depending on when they were hired. Tell your parents not to be embarrassed to ask them to walk slowly cos most of them tend to run it like it’s a sporting event.

On the last day at Makka, we couldn’t find them. My father decided to perform Tawaf Al Wadaa by himself. My mother couldn’t so now I had to go look for a wheelchair. Sob7an Allah the moment I walked towards an escalator I found one parked right next to it. I asked the guard if it belonged to anyone and he said that he didn’t know and that I could use it if I wanted to. (The guards are usually very helpful if you learn how to follow the system. Most troublemakers were Egyptians who still believed that other Arabs still ride camels.)

And so… I used the chair and pushed my mother through the tawaf. It was beautiful.


6. Infections. Now that’s something you gotta be prepared to face. Sob7an Allah I felt like my body kept pushing away the virus in fear that I wouldn’t be able to perform the Hajj duties for the three of us. I kept resisting until the final day when I performed the final stoning. Right there and then… I breathed in all the virus in the world. I did not care anymore. I was done. :)

Make sure you pack all required medications before you leave. Toilet paper is a must. Toilet seat protection (whatever they call it) is a must. Panadol Cold & Flu (the green one) is useful. We couldn’t find it over there.

7.If you’re gonna buy a galabeyya aka deshdasha from there, make sure you ask the dude if the material isn’t transparent. Yes, there are cheap ones over there.

8.لا جدال لا جدال لا جدال . YOU MUST REMEMBER THAT.

9. Speaking of clothes… they sell excellent clothes fel Madina.

10. It gets very, very crowded before and after prayer. So make sure you get there at least 30 mins before prayer and only leave 30 mins after.

11. Make sure your slippers are the exact fit of your feet. Things get kinda loose when you’re stuck in a crowd and someone could accidentally trip you over by stepping on your slipper.

12. If you find yourself at a crowded area, make sure your mother or wife are in front of you and put your hands around them to push away anybody who feels the need to push (There are many of those).

13. I’d hate to say this, but the guys from Southern African countries really know how to punch and push. At one point they totally pushed my mother to the ground. They do that at tawaf and they usually gang up against others. Bottom line… avoid them, Turks, and Malaysian women.

14. If you get a chance to leave your praying carpet and go to get a Zamzam water cup at Al Haram, make sure you bring the guy sitting next to you a cup. The look on their face leaves a mark on your soul wallahy. It also got me to know three people. One Algerian who kept telling me how much he wishes to live in Egypt and study at Al Azhar (if only he knew), one guy from Cameron who works at the WHO, and another Iranian fellow whom we still email from time to time.

15. All things put aside, I will never forget that South African woman whom I overheard while she stared at the Ka’aba saying ‘La ilaha illa Allah’.

The group from Azerbaijan hugging and kissing each other in congratulation for completing Hajj right after their tawaf al wada’a, the groups from Australia, the US, the UK, and the two guys from Denmark… they all got me to thinking…

هل حسابنا حيكون زي حسابهم؟

ربنا يتقبل منّا و منكم و منهم ان شاء الله

If you have any questions regarding Hajj, please don’t hesitate to contact me @ ragin.raven@gmail.com

Saturday, February 03, 2007

يا غثاء السيل


قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم:
توشك ان تداعى عليكم الامم كما تداعى الاكلة الى قصعتها.
قيل : اومن قلة
نحن يومئذ؟
قال : بل انتم كثير ولكن كغثاء السيل ويوشك الله ان ينزعن
المهابة من صدور اعداءكم وان يقذف فى قلوبكم الوهن.
قيل: وما الوهن؟
قال: حب الدنيا وكراهية الموت.

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم:
ستاتى على أمتى سنوات خداعات يكذب فيها الصادق و يصدق فيها الكاذب ويؤتمن الخائن و يخون فيها الامين وينطق فيها الرويبضه.
قيل: وما الرويبضه؟
قال: الرجل التافه السفيه يتكلم فى أمر العامة.

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم:
سيأتى زمان على أمتى يستحلون فيه الحرام و الحرير و الخمر و المعازف.

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم:
سيأتى زمان على أمتى يكثر فيها شرب الخمر وسيسمونها بغير اسمها.

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم:
سيأتى زمان على أمتى يكثر فيها التعامل بالربا ومن يحاول اجتنابه فلن يسلم من غباره.

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم:
سيأتى زمان على أمتى القابض فيه على دينه كالقابض على جمرة من النار.

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم:
صنفان من أمتى لم أرهما لن يدخلا الجنه ولم يشموا رائحتها وان رائحة الجنه لتشم على مسيرة حمسمائة عام....الصنف الاول ..رجال معهم اسياط كأذناب البقر يعذبون بها الناس......ونساء كاسيات عاريات مائلات مميلات رؤوسهن كأسنمة البخت المائلة.

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم:
سيأتى زمان على أمتى ينزل فيه رجال على ابواب المساجد يركبون الركبان الفاخرة ازواجهن متبرجات كاسيات عاريات العنوهن فأنهن ملعونات .

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم:
سيأتى زمان على أمتى يجلس فيه الرجل السمين على الاريكه يقول اعمل بالقرآن ولا اعمل بالسنة.

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم:
أشتقت لاخوانى.
قيل: نحن يارسول الله؟
قال: بل انتم اصحابى ولكن اخوانى
من سيأتون بعدى ويؤمنوا بى ولم يرونى...اجر الواحد منهم بأجر خمسين منكم..لانكم تجدون على الخير اعوانا اما هم فلا.

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم:
ولد الاسلام غريبا وسيعود غريبا فطوبى للغرباء.

Women can't wear Hijab in many countries these days. Even Tunis!! سبحان الله

The Tunisian gov't has restricted the wearing of "Islamic headscarves" (that's what they called it, hijab) in government offices and it discourages women from wearing hijab on public streets and at certain public gatherings. Soon, I reckon, people who'd want to pray would have to go do it in a cave in fear that people might arrest them or shoot them on sight. I fear that the day is soon to come.

لا حول و لا قوة الاّ بالله

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم:
ستأتى فتن على امتى كقطع الليل المظلم يصبح الحليم فيها حيران فيصبح فيها الرجل مؤمنا و يمسى كافرا ويصبح الرجل كافرا ويمسى مؤمنا يبيع دينه بعرض من الدنيا.

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم:
اذا تبايعتم بالعينه ورضيتم بالزرع وتبعتم اذناب البقر فسينزل عليكم غضبا من الله .

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم:
لو علمتم ما أعلم لضحكتم قليلا ولبكيتم كثيرا .
سئل رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم:
متى تقوم الساعة؟
قال: اذا ضيعت الامانة فانتظر الساعه
قيل: وكيف تضيع الامانه؟
قال: اذا وسد الامر لغير اهله.
قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم:
تركت فيكم ما ان تمسكتم به فلن تضلوا بعدى ابدا ....كتاب الله وسنتى.

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم:
سيأتى زمن على أمتى يتبعون من كان قبلهم شبرا بشبر حتى اذا دخلوا جحر ضب دخلوا وراءهم.
قيل: من يارسول الله...اليهود و النصارى؟
قال: فمن؟

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم:
ما الفقر اخشى عليكم ولكن اخشى عليكم الدنيا ان تفتح عليكم كما فتحت على الذين من قبلكم فتنافسوها كما تنافسوها فتهلككم كما اهلكتكم.

قال تعالى:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَارَى أَوْلِيَاء بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاء بَعْضٍ وَمَن يَتَوَلَّهُم مِّنكُمْ فَإِنَّهُ مِنْهُمْ إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِين
Al-Maeda, Chapter #5, Verse #51

People have to know, they have to be told. I fear that on the Day of Judgment that perhaps I won't only be judged for the things that I did, but also for the things that I did not do. We can't keep saying ربنا لا تحاسبنا على ما فعل السفهاء منّا forever. We have to remember that if Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) stayed in his cave and prayed until he died or held on to his religion along with his wife and few friends, we wouldn't be Muslims today. If he hadn't walked miles and miles to Al Madina Al Monawwara, we would have been more lost than we are today. Knowing the language, being born Muslims… there is a responsibility.

اللهم انّي أسألك الجنّة و نعيمها و استبرقها و أعوذ بك من النّار و سلاسلها و أغلالها

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Friday, February 02, 2007

On being "alright"


There's this guy at work whose desk is right next to mine. Out jobs are different, but we keep each other company when it gets cold and boring. Like every other fella, he's got problems; too many problems though. He does it all. He lies to everybody he knows, he doesn't pray, he doesn't talk to his father unless he wants money, he drinks alcohol that led him into wrecking two new cars in less than six months. He's lucky he's still alive. He also commits adultery. The good news is that he's half British, he's funny, and he almost does the job assigned to him at work.

In the eyes of the people of today, he's "alright".

He's told me about most of his problems. From his point of view, his problems are financial problems… and of course… it's his father's fault. His father doesn't give him any money, says he's a lost cause. Like many people, he sought the illusion of "independence" by moving out when he was 19. I wouldn't move out; not unless I was getting married; other than that, I'd rather stay home and take care of my aging parents. It's the least that my parents deserve. الحمدلله

Yesterday that guy was telling me that he wants to buy a new car and that he's going to need to apply for a loan if there's any chance he's going to afford it. That was when I asked him to describe his day-to-day flow for me. He said that he's stopped committing adultery and drinking alcohol. He uses weed every now and then. He talks like he's been resurrected, repented, like he deserves heaven and beyond.

When he describes how he lived his life with the sex and the drinks and the drugs, he often uses the term زي أي شاب (like every other fella). The problem is that this has become the norm in our society. Perhaps the alcohol and the sex can make us feel good for a while, but that's only illusive. Maybe it's because we can feel pleasure, but we can feel the truth. We can see a hot chick, but we can't see God.

لا اله الاّ أنت سبحانك اني كنت من الظالمين

I never said that I was a good Muslim. I'm far from that. But when it comes to giving advice when a person can, I believe that one should. I told him that one shouldn't claim that he's found truth, not unless he wants to. One can't say 'I'll get better. I've already stopped drinking'. People who say that usually go back to doing every sin they ever did and more.

I told him about my mom's friend's son. He was another cliché of "like ever other fella". He didn't pray, performed certain sins, and took life for granted. He knew two different kinds of friends though. He knew those who attended lectures at mosques after prayer and did what God created them to do… and he also knew other friends who did what he did. They went places, did things… like… every other fella. In the eyes of the people of today, they're "cool".

Cool is attitude, I'd say; not acts. In the end, when we die, none of that would matter though.

Anyways, so my mom's friend's son met his "religious" friends around his block who told him that they're going to attend a lecture, if he wants to join them. He says no and calls up his other friends who were all busy that day, so he decided to go to the lecture. He did, and then he headed back home and started praying and praying. His mother to pray Al Fajr (Dawn prayer) and finds him praying in his room, so she figured she'd get ready for prayer then they could pray together. When she went back to call him over, she found him in al-sojood position (during prayer). She waited, but he didn't move. He was dead. Allah waited for him to repent his sins. يا سبحان الله

اللهم بعلمك الغيب و قدرتك على الخلق أحيني ما زالت الحياة خيرا لي و توفّني اذا كانت الوفاة خيرا لي

When I went to perform Hajj late in December and I first laid my eyes on al Ka'aba, I felt as if I've been taking life for granted for so long and God never punished me for it. He was waiting for me to repent. Could someone ever be so kind? That's Allah.
I cried there. I've been so lost.

At the end of the story, my work buddy was standing there, giving me that look… the look that says Please don't tell me that kind of shit. Don't be so uptight.
Was that him looking back at me or was it someone else, something else?

تهدي من تشاء

اللهم اني أسألك رحمة من عندك تهدي بها قلبي و تجمع بها أمري و تلم بها شعثي و تخفظ بها غائبي و ترفع بها شاهدي و تبيّض بها وجهي و تزكّي بها عملي و تلهمني بها رشدي و تردّ بها ألفتي و تعصمني بها من كل سوء.

اللَّهُ نَزَّلَ أَحْسَنَ الْحَدِيثِ كِتَاباً مُّتَشَابِهاً مَّثَانِيَ تَقْشَعِرُّ مِنْهُ جُلُودُ الَّذِينَ يَخْشَوْنَ رَبَّهُمْ ثُمَّ تَلِينُ جُلُودُهُمْ وَقُلُوبُهُمْ إِلَى ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ ذَلِكَ هُدَى اللَّهِ يَهْدِي بِهِ مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَمَن يُضْلِلْ اللَّهُ فَمَا لَهُ مِنْ هَادٍ

Az-Zumar, Chapter #39, Verse #23

Allah has revealed the best announcement, a book conformable in its various parts, repeating, whereat do shudder the skins of those who fear their Lord, then their skins and their hearts become pliant to the remembrance of Allah; this is Allah's guidance, He guides with it whom He pleases; and (as for) him whom Allah makes err, there is no guide for him.

اللهم انّي أسألك فعل الخيرات و ترك المنكرات و حب المساكين و ان تغفر لي و ترحمني و اذا أردت بعبادك فتنة فتوفّني اليك منها غير مفتون.


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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Dark and slippery


I still read new articles and posts and endless debates about Hijab; about how the world feels icky about women covering their hair; about how well-known figures of Arabic literature and political titles and men whom the Arab world granted respect succeeded at bending the words of God and self deluded themselves, as well as others, into thinking that perhaps those who wear it didn’t really understand what God really wanted. They should listen to us, they said. We're smarter.

The problem wasn't in the fact that they said that really. The problem was that people listened. It's as if veiled women were suffocated, trapped, captured by something evil, and held on to a hope that they can still expose their hair. The next thing you know, they're off to the hairdresser; then comes the makeup… سبحان الله

Some people sell their Akhera for the cheapest things.

خَتَمَ اللّهُ عَلَى قُلُوبِهمْ وَعَلَى سَمْعِهِمْ وَعَلَى أَبْصَارِهِمْ غِشَاوَةٌ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عظِيم

Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #7

Allah has set a seal upon their hearts and upon their hearing and there is a covering over their eyes, and there is a great punishment for them.

Allah seals whomever He wishes with a layer, a membrane; their eyes and ears and hearts. The word Donya comes from Dana'a دناءة i.e. lowliness. How is it possible that we still believe, in our subconscious, that Al Donya is the only place where we can be rewarded for our doings, good or bad?

وَالَّذِينَ هَاجَرُواْ فِي اللّهِ مِن بَعْدِ مَا ظُلِمُواْ لَنُبَوِّئَنَّهُمْ فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَلَأَجْرُ الآخِرَةِ أَكْبَرُ لَوْ كَانُواْ يَعْلَمُونَ

An-Nahl, Chapter #16, Verse #41

And those who fly for Allah's sake after they are oppressed, We will most certainly give them a good abode in the world, and the reward of the hereafter is certainly much greater, did they but know;

Women have it tough. From the day they're born, they're born with a load of responsibility on their shoulders. That I understand. But Allah is The Just, isn't He? Both genders are required to do certain things that the others are born exempted from. It is our choice to use every license granted from God. If we're sick, we can skip a day of fasting in Ramadan. If we can't stand up while praying we don't have to. We also have the choice to go to hell if we don't want to see the truth.

وَقُل لِّلْمُؤْمِنَاتِ يَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِنَّ وَيَحْفَظْنَ فُرُوجَهُنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَلْيَضْرِبْنَ بِخُمُرِهِنَّ عَلَى جُيُوبِهِنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا لِبُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ آبَائِهِنَّ أَوْ آبَاء بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَائِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَاء بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِي إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِي أَخَوَاتِهِنَّ أَوْ نِسَائِهِنَّ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُنَّ أَوِ التَّابِعِينَ غَيْرِ أُوْلِي الْإِرْبَةِ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ أَوِ الطِّفْلِ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يَظْهَرُوا عَلَى عَوْرَاتِ النِّسَاء وَلَا يَضْرِبْنَ بِأَرْجُلِهِنَّ لِيُعْلَمَ مَا يُخْفِينَ مِن زِينَتِهِنَّ وَتُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ جَمِيعاً أَيُّهَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

An-Noor, Chapter #24, Verse #31

And say to the believing women that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts and do not display their ornaments except what appears thereof, and let them wear their head-coverings over their bosoms, and not display their ornaments except to their husbands or their fathers, or the fathers of their husbands, or their sons, or the sons of their husbands, or their brothers, or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or those whom their right hands possess, or the male servants not having need (of women), or the children who have not attained knowledge of what is hidden of women; and let them not strike their feet so that what they hide of their ornaments may be known; and turn to Allah all of you, O believers! so that you may be successful.

The "educated" people of today hold on to that verse like it meant salvation. To some people… it's the only verse they know by heart. They use it to debate that جيوبهن didn't mean bosoms. I still don't know where they got that idea, but then again I guess they have that seal on their hearts and eyes. I have a friend of mine who actually said that he wouldn't get married to a veiled girl. My theory, the one that I had before I started reading Quran again الحمدلله, was that if I had to choose between two identical girls, same look, voice, mindset, everything… I'd go for the veiled one. My reason was that the veiled one took one step closer to God.

I must say that now my ideology regarding certain things has changed. I would never marry a girl who isn't veiled. My theory is that if she can't be trusted with her relationship with Allah, how can I trust her with us, with my children? Is it because she can see me, but she can't see God? Well… I wouldn't see her all the time, but God can.

And yet they still debate…

One of the major issues of today's Muslim world is not being able to cast down ones eyes whenever a person of the opposite sex walks by or whatever. We look like we have the right to look. We have many excuses of our own. Some say 'Well, they asked for it, didn't they? They wanna be looked at'.

What about the things Allah asked you for? You're allowed one look… and it'd better not be a long one. Looking is a form of adultery… adultery is one of the major sins. Can you really afford that? Do you have that many blessings to spare?

حيجي يوم حيبقى الواحد في عرض حسنة واحده يمكن تنجيه من النار.

I used to think that beauty is probably Lateatia Casta or Heidi Klum or whoever. But then again when I went to Al Masjid Al Haram and saw a girl all covered up from head to toe, look at the Ka'aba, pray, and cry her eyes out… my definition of beauty evolved into something better. That girl knew what to risk and what not to risk. That… is probably life's ultimate question.

يَا نِسَاء النَّبِيِّ لَسْتُنَّ كَأَحَدٍ مِّنَ النِّسَاء إِنِ اتَّقَيْتُنَّ فَلَا تَخْضَعْنَ بِالْقَوْلِ فَيَطْمَعَ الَّذِي فِي قَلْبِهِ مَرَضٌ وَقُلْنَ قَوْلاً مَّعْرُوفاً

Al-Ahzab, Chapter #33, Verse #32

O wives of the Prophet! you are not like any other of the women; If you will be on your guard, then be not soft in (your) speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease yearn; and speak a good word.

Again… yet another verse to challenge the "educated" people of today, to have their eyes feast upon. The long phone calls between unrelated people of the opposite sex, the messenger chats, the "dates"… as named by people who are too afraid to know the truth. That verse doesn't just signify talking delicately, does it? It signifies every sort of interaction that involves men, even if you're anonymous in that form of interaction, even if it's only blogging. It is today's voice isn't it?

Some would challenge the verse and say that it was addressed at the wives of the Prophet only, but then again… if other women were permitted to do whatever they wanted… wouldn't they want to do what's right? Don't they understand the kind of consequences it may cause them, that God only wants to protect His mankind creation from harm by His commandments? If the late Lady Diana is your role model, then you really should change your reading material.

اللهم نسألك رضاك و الجنّة و نعوذ بك من سخطك و النار

O God, we ask of you guidance and heaven… and we ask for your refuge from your indignation and hell.

A couple of months ago, my mother fixed me up with an arranged marriage sort of thing. I didn't have the guts to go. I told them that it's too risky. I can't risk getting married to someone whom I don't know. What if she turns out to be a b####, what if all she cares about is the money… what if, what if… what IF, I said. I was a fool. See, that's the problem with us, young Muslims of today; we make excuses for ourselves to get in touch with girls, check them out, then walk away when misfortune happens. I'd say that if a man had Niyyah (intention) to get married to avoid life's evil charms, went to a mosque and asked to get married to a good Muslim girl, Allah wouldn't let him down. It's all about the Niyyah. How could Allah bless a relationship over the phone, the internet, or even a cup of coffee?

اللهم احفظنا من الضلالة

We keep saying that there are no good Muslim girls out there, but then again… they won't be sitting at cafés, they wouldn't be out with you… but they're out there.

In the end, I must agree with one thing about the world. The world is too damn slippery. Whenever you try to get out, to follow what's real, you find a zillion things to pull you back in; a female co-worker who used to be a good friend, gossip opportunities, a work duty that involves you missing out on a prayer… But then again, I think it's like that at first only. I'll borrow words from an Egyptian Islamic TV presenter whom I was lucky enough to catch on Iqra' when I quote him and say:

It's like being in a dark room for a very long time and then somebody turns on the light… You know how your eyes hurt for a minute or so? That's what it's like.

It's not the light's fault, is it?

It won't be easy not to stare at the opposite sex, not to miss out on a prayer, not to gossip… but what if all those are tests? Remember how you, "educated" online person, wanted to pass the finals at school so bad? It's all a question of risk… What are you willing to risk and what are you willing to risk for? Priorities… It is slippery, but insha'a Allah we'll manage just fine.

اللهم ثبت أقدامنا على الصراط المستقيم

اللهم امنحنا و لا تمتحنا

اللهم ارزقني الرزق الحلال و اصرف عنّي المال الحرام

اللهم نعوذ بك من فتن الدنيا

اللهم ارزقني زوجة صالحة تعينني على ديني و دنياي و آخرتي و عاقبة أمري

يا أرحم الراحمين


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Monday, January 29, 2007

ويضرب الله الأمثال للناس


Gorgeous yet humble, black… yet bright, huge yet small…

I leaned later from the bus driver, as he drove away from it, that that was Jabal O7od (Mount Ohod). It's located in Al Madina Al Monawwara, KSA, for those of you who haven’t heard of it before; and no, it's not the one in the picture. I still remember how I felt when I first saw it on my last trip there. I was there before back when I was 10, but then again when you're that young you haven't been exposed to the adult life aka Al Donya. When you're that young, the devil hasn't been able to get to you yet, to make you believe that this is it… this life is yours for the taking.

Yeah well… don't we all love to hear that?

We are adults now aren't we, all mighty in our own deceiving eyes, all welcomed to Al Donya?

I still remember every bit of it… that big mountain. They say that from above, the mountain shapes the word Muhammad in Arabic… I've read about things with the words Allah and Muhammad shaped on them a thousand times. The fish, the tomato, the tree… I've seen them all… in jpg format. But it does so happen that once you actually see something like that with your own eyes, you’d want to keep it forever. That tangerine had to be eaten though or disposed of unfortunately. I did take a picture of it, but what was almost a miracle has now become another jpg file.

On the road from Al Madina to Jeddah, where the airport I took off from is located, all you can see is one black mountain after the next. So black and humble, yet so beautiful. سبحان الله

The one thought that hit me then was a question: How can people in Europe and the Americas, where the most beautiful sceneries in the world are located, still doubt the existence of God? أفلا يتفكرون

Allah said in the Quran that mountainsالرواسي و الجبال are created to set an example to people. As big as they are, they can still be brought down to the ground out of fear from the Al Mighty. من خشية الله They're there to make man understand that even though man thinks he's the king of his own world, he still is small and insignificant.

Atheism numbers today would shock the people who lived a thousand years before dinosaurs.

يا سبحان الله... تهدي من تشاء

ربنا بيحط غشاوة على الأبصار و الأسماع و القلوب

They have waterfalls and meadows. They've invented robodog… and still they doubt the one thing that matters.

اللهم احفظنا من الضلالة

The pyramids, the acropolis, the Yemeni ancient houses build inside mountains قوم عاد, the Mayan ruins, and more and more leftovers of civilizations that lived thousands of years from today. We look at them in awe, take a couple pictures, and get on a plane back home. Allah said in His book that those ruins will be left there to signify some truth, to make people who are still alive understand that there was once a civilization that disbelieved in God… and He sent for an earthquake, a flood, a rumbling, to punish them, to give them what they deserved and take away what they didn't. Examples, examples, and more.

In Egypt, we use the ancient ruins for tourist attraction. We serve wine and offer gambling opportunities nearby to add more to our country's GNP. اللهم احفظنا

Yeah well, I just thought I should share this one.

يهدي الله لنوره من يشاء.. ويضرب الله الأمثال للناس.. والله بكل شيء عليم

Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Day the earth becomes flat


It's exactly like the digestive system; once you hear about it, you remember school. You remember calculus and the unappealing Pythagoras theorem. You remember a poem titled Eldorado and how your teacher asked you to pull a piece of paper out of a glass bowl. You remember how on that piece of paper a poem title was written and you remember how you had to recite that poem. That was how we were tested. If only all poems were short. You remember it all.

It's exactly like that… the Day of Judgment.

I mean ain't it true? Once you hear the words 'Day of Judgment' يوم القيامة, don't you just remember school? Doesn't it feel like a title to one of those poems you've managed to forget along the years, one of those biology chapters, one of those theorems they now have scientific calculators to solve in a matter of seconds?

We've forgotten what's important haven't we? We've managed to do everything that God has asked us not to do and forgot about the things that would make us immortal in Heaven.

Heaven!! Heaven has been described so many times in the Holy Quran.

تجري من تحتها الأنهار...… So many times that that's probably all one can remember if asked to describe it.

Last week, a friend of mine described a Depeche Mode concert by saying 'It felt like Heaven'. يا سبحان الله

Al donya is just too slippery, isn't it?

People also refer to many things as heaven. Drugs, sex, a music concert, wine…

اللهم نسألك الجنّة و نعوذ بك من النار

Now close your eyes for two minutes and picture that you've just died… right here and right now. I won't go into details of عذاب القبر (The torment of the grave), but picture that it has begun… Yawm El 7ashr, Yawm Al Qiyamah. Allah said in the Quran that He will change the Earth. Maybe Yawm el 7ashr will be when God flattens the earth; no plateaus, no oceans, no rivers, no mountains… just one clear and round planet… and we're all gonna be standing there next to each other.

Now think of an excuse for the things that you've done, for the things that you haven't. God said do this and don't do that… I, for one, am probably gonna be standing there, crying my eyes out, begging for forgiveness and mercy. You can't say I didn't know. You can't say that you're sorry. It's right there. It's everywhere. We're in 2007 and if you want to learn about Islam you can find out through books, the internet, or the nearest mosque of Islamic center. If you're not sure about a certain issue you can ask. The excuse that you didn't have time to look it up won't be valid then, will it?

Just try to picture it and you'll know what I'm getting at.

We tend to do certain things to move up in the world, or at least to delude ourselves that we are actually moving up. The many nights that we go to bed and remember the number of times we've lied today… the zillion times we've called it a white lie.

Is it really?!

We lie to escape a meeting and we lie to our parents to go out. We lie to get more money and we lie to do less work. We lie to avoid a friend and we lie to smoke and do drugs. We lie to get a date and possibly… just possibly… get laid.

The number of times we were asked 'Hey have you heared about XYZ?' and said yes when we actually haven't… because we didn't want to look like a fool.

When The Day comes, we might just feel like one.

Society demands things that we tend to forget are not necessarily right.

What if right there and then, on that day, we face another truth… what if we're told then that there are no white lies?

What are we going to do then? The number of sins we'll be carrying on our shoulders, on our Meezan.

Don't some of us pray, fast, and do their zakat, and think that they're doing just fine? For some people (we may be included), the catastrophe won't be the major sins (الكبائر)… it may be the minor sins (الصغائر)… the ones we do on a daily basis and actually believe are okay.

The number of times we've spoken about people behind their backs, the times we've made them look bad. Don't we all do that at work? Talk about a supervisor, a colleague? Call a certain someone on their office number and tell them about an incident that involved your manager and made him look like an idiot? The number of times we were glad we witnessed it just to have a story to TELL.

Surprise surprise… Ghayba (backbiting) and Nameema (gossip)… do they ring any bells?

Those may just be the things that throw some people in hell. اللهم احفظنا

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) once was walking with some of his companions when he stood in front of two graves and prayed for them. When asked why, he said that they're being tortured (عذاب القبر), and not for major sins. One is being tortured for not cleansing himself after urination, and the other for habitually spreading intimate or private rumors or facts (gossip - نميمة).

إنهما ليعذبان وما يعذبان في كبير أما أحدهما فكان لا يستبريء من البول وأما الآخر فكان يمشي بين الناس بالنميمة.

The things we do to get the acceptance of others.

Are they worthy of such a sacrifice?

ربنا ظلمنا أنفسنا و ان لم تغفر لنا و ترحمنا لنكوننّ من الخاسرين

Are you willing to trade God's forgiveness for the approval of your society?

اللهم لا تجعل الدنيا أكبر همّنا

و لا تجعل مصيبتنا في ديننا


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Saturday, January 13, 2007

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم


السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

Today marks the launch of a new blog spot that I pray that Allah will grant me time and determination to post words that would benefit my fellow Muslims and also those who are interested in knowing more about Islam.

So far I have only uploaded one item: الورد المصفّى المختار collected by Abdul Aziz Bin Abdul Rahman Al Faisal Al Soud. I guarantee you insha' Allah that once you've read it it'll become like daily "food to the soul"… and may God guide us all to the straight path.

و الله الهادي

I am also working on a project called 'The 100% Destiny'. It'll include my own experiences regarding matters of Al Donia (the material world that surrounds us) as well as my days performing Hajj and being there and wishing to never return. I hope that others may find it useful and may find motive in considering performing one of the principles of Islam if they can afford it.

I will also add the Holy Quran for listening and for reading insha' Allah.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me at ragin.raven@gmail.com if you have any suggestions or contributions to the page.

In the end, I hope that this page may be of use to those in need.

و الله يهدي من يشاء

اللهم اهدنا في من هديت

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The Holy Quran

The 100% Destiny


الورد المصفى المختار

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31 English Dua'as to choose from

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Al Sa3a PPT

Al Qiyama PPT


For suggestions or contributions, please don't hesitate to contact me

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