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November 13, 2004
Prepare for Battle

by Mostafa Khalifa

[Editor's Note] This article first appeared on Eid-ul-Fitr 1424. It appears once again on the front page of Hidaya on this day of Eid-ul-Fitr 1425. Eid Mubarak, brothers and sisters. Kull 'aam wantum bi khair.

Assalaamu alaikum,

Kull sana wantum tayyibeen ... kull `aam wantum bi khayr ... kull sana wantum salmeen ... Eid mubarak ... Eid kareem ... Eid sa`eed ... Feliz Eid Ul-Fitr ... Happy Eid Ul-Fitr (Feast Celebrating the End of the Fast of Ramadan). Prepare for battle.

Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar! Laa illaha illa Allah!

Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar! Wa lillah-il-hamd!

It is a an amazing blessing that our Creator has given us in allowing the vast majority of all Muslims around the world to celebrate this Eid Ul-Fitr on the same day! No need for explanations to teachers, co-workers and colleagues on why different Muslims they may know are celebrating the same holiday on different days. Recognize this as a mercy our Lord has bestowed upon the Ummah! No doubt that many of us prayed that we would all meet up on the same day to celebrate Eid :) Prepare for battle.

May Allah accept our Ramadan -- our fasting, our prayers, our duaa', our ruku`, our sujood, our qiyaam, our dhikr, our zakaah, our sadaqah, our dawah, our sleepless nights, our early mornings, our new bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood, our rekindling of old friendships, our strengthening of ties with our families and relatives and all of our good deeds we have performed during this blessed month. Let us continue all of these practices, and develop them into habits -- and not into accidents, anomalies and aberrations. Prepare for battle.

Confused yet? Think I may have finally lost it (if you hadn't thought so already)? Maybe, but then again, maybe not ;) Prepare for battle.

So where's the battle, you ask? No, ISRU doesn't have any weirdo speaking this week (remember, no meeting, school is closed on Thursday). This is a battle that requires each and every one of us to enlist. Don't worry, I'm not getting you in trouble with any law enforcement officials.

We just finished a month of all or some of the stuff mentioned above. But we had help. Allah chained up the shayateen to allow us some freedom from their temptations and whispers so that we could get the ball rolling for the entire month. It was a lesson in energy -- potential vs. kinetic. The more we went through the month, the more we seemed to be able to do. The later in the calendar, the more prayers, duaa', charity, etc. we were able to push ourselves to do -- requiring less and less effort -- moving faster and faster downhill like a ball or car rolling down the side of the mountain. Felt good, didn't it?

We all need to understand something. Now that Ramadan is over, Allah has released the shackles on the shayateen. Did you see how full the masjid was a couple of night ago (especially for the last 10 days of Ramadan and Laylatul Qadr)? How many people were at ishaa' tonight (after we found out there was no taraweeh)? How many will be there for the daily prayers tomorrow, next week, next month? Pretty shameful, don't you think?

Here comes the battle. You think the shayateen will be coming at you like they were before Ramadan? You've got to be kidding! They've been chomping at the bit, aching to be freed so they can come at us. Brothers and sisters, the shayateen will be coming at us with a vengeance!!! Prepare for battle.

These first days of Shawwaal, especially all 3 days of Eid, the shayateen will be out in full force. They would love nothing more than to mock each and every one of us -- "Got Islam? Got Imaan? Let's see how religious you've become ... come over here and commit this sin ... go over there and look at this (College Ave -- enuff said) ... forget all that prayer, duaa' and charity -- that show was nice for your family, friends and the imam, now go be worse than you were before we were held back from you! ... You thought your hearts were softened and purified, think again!". Prepare for battle.

So how can we prepare for this battle? We need each other. It has become very difficult to keep the same intensity up as we had in Ramadan. We need to continue to surround ourselves with good brothers and sisters who want to hold strong to each other, to work hard together, to pick one another up when we need that support. Prepare for battle.

We need to be on guard, to keep our defenses up like never before. These next few weeks are critical for us. Are we thinking twice before committing a sin now, or are we jumping head first as if Ramadan was some kind of torture? These weeks will give us some idea if our duaa' and prayers for forgiveness and guidance to the Straight Path (Siraat Al-Mustaqeem) were answered. It may give us an indication if we were able to find Laylatul Qadr (the Night of Power) and if our duaa' and prayers were answered on that night -- a night better than 1000 months! Prepare for battle.

Keep up what you've been doing. Do some extra prayers regularly (even if only 2 nafl prayers per night). Read some Qur'an each day (even if only a few verses/ayaat). Make dhikr each day -- just say subhan Allah, alhamdu lillah, Allahu akbar, laa illaha illa Allah, and astaghfirullah as you walk or drive to school/work. Make duaa' to the Almighty Creator at least twice a day (when you wake up and before you sleep). And continue to strengthen the bonds of friendship, brotherhood and sisterhood with good, upright brothers and sisters by staying in touch with the brothers and sisters you have grown closer to this month and joining forces in doing good deeds, praying together in groups and going with each other to the masjid.

Remember how you felt as the days, the hours, the final minutes and seconds of Ramadan were slipping away? Many of us were thinking, "Aww man, we were just warming up!" We've done so much good, why let it go to waste? Are we going to have to struggle to get that ball, that old car to the top of the hill again next Ramadan (if we live to see it)? Why not use the momentum we gained this month to push forward? Why not raise more money for needy children all over the world (*I'm still collecting money for Islamic Relief, e-mail me for info*)? Why not come forward to help ISRU, MCMC and your local Muslim center/group and offer any services or skills you have for the sake of Allah? Let us keep striving -- together -- so that we can start the month of Ramadan off with a running start next year?

To do this, these next few weeks are the key. Brothers and sisters, let us promise Allah and ourselves to do everything we can starting today, this very first day of Eid. Let us celebrate together, come together to work together to this end. Prepare for battle.

It starts today. All brothers and sisters who want to do this, send me an e-mail <mostafa@eden.rutgers.edu> with your ideas, suggestions and solutions. Send me what you feel you would be good at it -- whatever it may be. If you can write, cook, teach, speak, jump, tutor, play -- WHATEVER, there is a way we can benefit Islam and benefit the ummah. The ummah needs us now more than ever. Prepare for battle.

Our brothers and sisters, our young and our old, our sick and our weak in Palestine, Kashmir, Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya, the Philippines, Sudan, Gujarat, Guantanamo Bay, Europe, North and South America -- they are all suffering because we have let them suffer, by not fulfilling our duties to Allah and to each other, thinking only of ourselves. I intentionally left this part to the end. We need serious people with enough patience to get through one of my e-mails willing to work toward this goal. I am looking forward to all of your responses, and to working with each of you who have taken the time to read this, think about these words and to do your part to be a part of the solution and the renaissance of our community. Prepare for battle.

Kull sana wantum tayyibeen ... kull `aam wantum bi khayr ... kull sana wantum salmeen ... Eid mubarak ... Eid kareem ... Eid sa`eed ... Feliz Eid Ul-Fitr ... Happy Eid Ul-Fitr. Prepare for battle.

Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar! Laa illaha illa Allah!

Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar! Wa lillah-il-hamd!

Asalaamu `alaikum,

Mostafa Khalifa


of and relating to...

get your gear on because it going to be tough!!!

Posted by: Amr bin Muhamed Gharib at November 30, 2003 03:59 PM

Yes, brother, it will be tough. And we will need to prepare ourselves. But first, we need brothers and sisters to step forward to say how they can help. Any and all skills will be used. I'm sure that if we work together, we will find how best to use all the skills to the highest benefit of the ummah. But like I said, without people willing to come forward and work, we're going to be stuck in the same situation we find ourselves in right now. So please, anyone willing to work, please send me e-mail or even post your ideas here on Hidaya inshaa' Allah. Jazaakum Allahu khayr.

Posted by: Mostafa Khalifa at November 30, 2003 09:13 PM

If anything you read on Hidaya seems to be of value in this cause, feel free to use it. InshaAllah, I'll offer up my ability to write as a weapon in this battle... as long as I get to write while on College Ave - 'nuff said :) -

Posted by: Talal at December 3, 2003 04:13 AM

"To do this, these next few weeks are the key. Brothers and sisters, let us promise Allah and ourselves to do everything we can starting today, this very first day of Eid. Let us celebrate together, come together to work together to this end. Prepare for battle.

It starts today. All brothers and sisters who want to do this, send me an e-mail with your ideas, suggestions and solutions. Send me what you feel you would be good at -- whatever it may be. If you can write, cook, teach, speak, jump, tutor, play -- WHATEVER, there is a way we can benefit Islam and benefit the ummah. The ummah needs us now more than ever. Prepare for battle. "

I am looking forward to all of your responses, and to working with each of you who have taken the time to read this, think about these words and to do your part to be a part of the solution and the renaissance of our community. Prepare for battle.

Asalaamu `alaikum,

Mostafa Khalifa


My point is ... everyone has at least ONE thing they can do well (most of us have been blessed by Allah with more than one talent, skill, etc.). Inshaa' Allah, sharing this information would serve to help us see specific needs of the ummah and which members of our ummah to put to use to help meet those needs.

I hope that clarifies what I'm asking for inshaa' Allah. Jazaakum Allahu khayr.

Asalaamu `alaikum,

Mostafa

Posted by: Mostafa Khalifa aka Mostafa Khalifa at December 3, 2003 06:01 PM

Asalaamu `alaikum,

Ok, for all those who are with me on this, here's what I need --

1) General skills (writing, speaking, graphic design, different languages, sports, cooking, drawing, webpage design, etc.)

2) Field of interest - what Islamic activity you enjoy helping with (fundraisers, sitting at dawah tables, writing articles, organizing/attending halaqahs, etc.)

3) Top 3 things you believe the ummah needs

4) Suggestions/ideas to meet or solve your top 3 needs

If you're willing to work, either e-mail me this information [email]mostafa@eden.rutgers.edu[/email] or respond to this thread of messages.

Asalaamu `alaikum,

Mostafa

Posted by: Mostafa Khalifa at December 3, 2003 08:26 PM

AssalaamuAlaikum, ok here's what I wrote in response.

the ummah needs RELIGIOUS GUIDANCE
-in the form of decent and organized halaqaat (esp for sisters- many sisters don't go to mixed ones and the only other option are ones that aren't as helpful as they can be)!
the ummah needs a good mode of centralized information (maybe there are great halaqaat that I just don't know about)
-the young people need to get active in their communities and spiritually (usually they come from organized regular halaqaat and from university msa's) and for us to be active in our world issues -to be proactive instead of our forced reactivity b/c of our need around the world.
suggestions - majlis al shura -like branches who all communicate w/ each other and distribute info. majlis al shura's great but not enough people involved in distributing info.

i really don't know what to do abt the lack of involvement in many younger muslims. they don't want to do something fun, they don't want to go to a halaqa. ummm.. I give up. I guess for the coming generations we hav to learn correctly so we can teach our children correctly from the start inshaAllah.

we need to find a way to either attract people who have a strong enough knowledge base to our communities to come and give halaqaat on a regular basis (again sisters and brothers) or fund certain people from our community to get the education they need to help the local community.

we need our masaajid to be run by forward thinkers (many are) who think long term and who understand the system that we live in.

extremism in how to deal with social-political issues related to the ummah (in both ways) is rampant. like telling people that if you're involved with politics then you only care about the dunya, or people who are involved in politics not caring as much about the deen. we need to find a better balance than what I'm seeing.

oh yeah. skills. I can contribute graphic design stuff and public relations stuff like press releases.

Posted by: mona at January 9, 2004 03:42 PM

with regards to involving the youth -

It's mostly in the upbringing. If they're religiously motivated from the start they'll continue on that path in their adolescence and adulthood, Insha Allah. And by motivated, I don't mean forced pray and attend Sunday school, when they aren't connecting spiritually at some small level. I know many children who do so just because their parents are watching. And once they cross the threshold, their behaviors do leave a lot to be desired.

Another way would be to make our children strong enough influences so as to invite others who aren't that religiously inclined. I attended a lecture (unfortunately I forget teh speakers name) who mentioned that after an age, peer pressure is what guides the children. So if you're surrounded by religious, righteous influences, you're inclined to think like that too.

Posted by: Saima at January 9, 2004 05:51 PM

Assalamu 'Alaikum,

So why doesn't anyway consider attacking the child-rearing problem head-on? The islamic centers should be a place for expecting parents to go to seek counseling on the matter of raising children. they don't necessarily need to be told what to do, but Rasoolullah (SAW) was a father and grandfather. There is a sunnah that deals with everything, including family matters.

Posted by: Gillette aka Hassan at January 9, 2004 10:35 PM

TEKBIIR!!!!!

I am willing to contribute in any way needed, from writing, to rallying the troops, I am a brother with many skills and trades. Mostafa what you said needed to be said, and now it is time for jihad, For us to truly and honestly take inventory of ourselves and our actions, instead of worrying about others. So an example can be set, first for the ummah, then for those around the ummah. Even though some need improvements, if not changes more than others, still, we all need self improvements, Insha'Allah.

Assallaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatu
And
TEKBIIR!!!!
say it proudly.....

Posted by: Jihad at January 10, 2004 03:51 PM

In the name of ALLAH the most Beneficient the most Merciful.
Assalam o Alaikum!
With due respect to my brother Mostafa Khalifa, I want to make a suggestion, which is not good at all. In my poor opinion, my sisters and brothers in Islam, please join hands with 'WHY ISLAM' in preparation for the battle i.e.'1 877 WHY ISLAM'. They need our support and I swear by Allah that the work they are doing is beyond the expression of my words and my writing ability. At 'WHY ISLAM' they are working for ALLAH julla jalalahu julla shanahu with the help of ALLAH subhanahu wa ta'ala.
Brother Mostafa, preparations for the battle have begun, Mashaa'Allah!
Sisters and brothers, not only the battle is ours, the battle field is ours and hence the victory will be ours, Inshaa'Allah !
GO ISLAM...GO ISLAM...GO ISLAM
TAKBEER...ALLAH hu AKBAR.

Posted by: Muhammad Ali at January 11, 2004 02:00 AM


of and relating to...
Justoju said

A year old yet still good...

When I was younger I used to pretend I was She-Ra (we can substitute that with Aisha) and would practice fighting with a fake sword. The real thing cant be that different right.

Eid Mubarak.

on November 13, 2004 3:27 AM
Rami said

Asalaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabaraktu,

Heh...I was just thinking of this article. Saves me the trouble of writing the 'Happy Eid' article ;)

Kulla Aamun wa entum bi khairun.

btw, when I was little I used to dream I was a ninja turtle...now I'm on my way to becoming a ninja turtle. Alhamdullilah.


Waslaam Warahmatullah Wabarakatu

on November 13, 2004 5:21 AM
Tanweer said

Bismillah,
As-salamu 'Alaikum,
Taqabbala minna wa minkum
Eid Mubarak everyone!!
wassalam
Tanweer

on November 14, 2004 10:12 AM
Faisal Akhtar said

A little late but better late than never I guess.

Eid Mubarak Everyone.

on November 14, 2004 9:05 PM
Z said

Assalam o Alaikum!

In the name of ALLAH the most Beneficient the most Merciful

This is what my idea is to help the Ummah and Islam.

We need to think about how we can contribute to help the world. In most gatherings, I hear people complaining about how the politicians are corrupt. They talk about the corruption in leadership in Islamic countries. I think it time for us to take some action.

There are brothers from all over the Muslim world attending Rutgers, Alhumdurilla. We need brothers who are sincere, mature, practicing the Islamic deen according to Quran and Sunnah, who have broken free from Television and music, attend the mosque as often as possible, have strong morals, avoid what is harm and doubtful, and do everything for the sake of Allah. We need at least one brother from each country who has this characteristic to step forward for the sake of Allah. We also need the brothers who are not currently at this level but want to work towards achieving this goal.

What I am about to ask these brothers to do is not going to be easy. These brothers will have to be willing to sacrifice their lives for the sake of Allah (SWT). Once we have the group of brothers that are willing to sacrifice their life in this Dunyia for the sake of Allah in order to achieve something way better than this world can ever provide These brothers would need to sit down and come up with a goal to reform the Muslim Ummah. The group will meet every week and hand in a summary of what they have done to get closer to this goal. There will be a selected date chosen by the majority for when these entire brothers will have to implement this project.

What is the project you ask? This project is very difficult but with the help of Allah it can be implemented. The project would be reform the muslim Ummah in the Islamic countries to accept Islamic government, which would rule according to the Quran and Sunnah, according to the Islamic Shariah. Teach the Ummah about standing up for the truth for sake of Allah, even if they have to sacrifice their lives. The brothers in the group will finish their education. They will keep meeting every week even after graduation. If they are far away, they will have to keep in contact and submit their weekly logs. The group will also be open to other brothers who are interested in joining cause. Once the selected date is reached the brothers will have to go to their native homeland. They will start the project from their neighborhood. They will try to unite their neighborhood. Teach people about the benefits about doing something for the sake of Allah for others in the neighborhood. Teach them to stand up for truth. Make their neighborhood an example for others that come from different neighborhoods so that they would want this same movement in their neighborhood.

Sooner or later Inshallah there will be a true Islamic government established. The worst thing that may happen is that a brother is assassinated for working in the sake of Allah. Only thing that is actually really hard to deal with is if people are ignorant.

on November 16, 2004 9:13 AM
Justoju said

"We need brothers who are sincere, mature, practicing the Islamic deen according to Quran and Sunnah, who have broken free from Television and music, attend the mosque as often as possible, have strong morals, avoid what is harm and doubtful, and do everything for the sake of Allah."

The single sisters fully support your quest for these brothers.

on November 16, 2004 11:03 AM
Z said

Well these sincere brothers will need pious wifes who are willing to support them in there efforts and live for the after life.

on November 16, 2004 11:17 AM
gillette said

while we're on the topic of setting near wali-like standards for brothers who are looking to get married...

The Prophet (saas)'s manner of walking

Abu Huraira (ra) reports:

"I did not see anyone more handsome than Rasulullah (saas). It was as if the brightness of the sun had shone from his blessed face. I did not see anyone walk faster than him, as if the earth folded for him. A few moments ago he would be here, and then there. We found it difficult to keep pace when we walked with him and he walked at his normal pace."

One of Ali (ra)'s grandchildren, Ibrahim bin Muhammad (ra), says that the Prophet (saas) had an easy manner of walking:

When 'Ali (ra) described Rasulullah (saas), he used to say: 'When he walked, because of the speed and force of the legs, it seemed as if he was descending from a high place'."

Hassan (ra) describes how:

"When he walked, he lifted his legs with vigour, leaned, slightly forward and placed his feet softly on the ground. He walked at a quick pace and took a rather long step. He did not take small steps. When he walked it seemed as if he was descending to a lower place. When he looked at something, he turned his whole body towards it. He always looked down. His blessed glance was focused more to the ground than towards the sky. His noble habit was to look at something with a slight glance. He made salaam (greeted) first to whomsoever he met."

The Prophet (saas)'s manner of sitting

Qaylah bint Makhramah (ra) reports:

"I saw Rasulullah (saas) in the masjid (in a very humble posture) sitting. Due to his awe-inspiring personality, I began shivering."

Jaabir bin Samurah (ra) says:

"I observed Rasulullah (saas) lean on a pillow, which was on his left side."

The Prophet (saas)'s way of speaking

The Prophet (saas) was a man known for his effective, wise and concise manner of speaking. His messages had a great effect on people, and everyone took great pleasure in talking with him. A number of accounts that have come down from his companions also confirm that fact. These are some of them:

"The Prophet (saas) was the greatest of the Arabs in oratory and beauty of speech. He said: 'I am the greatest orator among the Arabs'."

Aisha (ra) describes the Prophet (saas)'s way of speaking thus:

"The speech of Rasulullah (saas) was not quick and continuous as that of yours. He spoke clearly, word by word."

"They said: 'The Messenger of Allah used to talk little and every thing was expressed in this brief talk. In his speech, there was no defect of excess or brevity. The words came one after another like pearls. Whoever heard them remembered them. He was the sweetest in talk among his companions. He used to keep silent for long and not talk without necessity. He used not to talk evil words and what he talked was just."

"He did not use ornamental words…."

"… His companions did never dispute before him."

"He used to smile much before his companions…"

Aisha (ra) again says:

"He spoke in such a way that the words were spaced out so that those who sat with him remembered them."

Abdullah bin Haarith (ra) reports that:

"I have not seen anyone who makes a person more cheerful than Rasulullah (saas)."

Anas bin Malik (ra) tells us the following:

"Rasulullah (saas) used to mingle with us and joke."

Some of the Prophet (saas)'s finer traits

"The Holy Prophet (saas) was the most patient among men, the bravest, the best judge, and he who pardoned most. ... he was the most charitable man. He did not pass a single night hoarding a single dirham or dinar. Whenever any excess money came to him and if he did not then get anyone to accept it as charity, he did not return home till he gave it to the poor and the needy. He did not store up for more than a year the provision of his family members which Allah was pleased to give him. He used to take one fifth of what easily came to him out of dates and wheat. What remained in excess, he used to give in charity. He used to give away in charity to him who begged of him of anything, even out of his stored up provision.

He did not take any revenge for personal wrongs but he used take it for preservation of the honor of Allah.

He used to speak the truth even though it was sometimes a cause of trouble to himself and his companions.

He was the most modest, without pride, and his tongue was most eloquent without prolongation of speech. His constitution was the most beatiful. No worldly duties could keep him busy.

He used to go even to a distant place to see the sick, loved scents and hated a stench or bad smell, sat with the poor and the destitute, ate with them, honored those possessing honor, advised them to do good and show kindness to relatives. He did not treat harshly to anybody and accepted excuses offered to him.

He accepted sports and pastimes as lawful, played with his wives and held races with them.... He did not hate the poor for their poverty nor fear the kings for their mighty power. He used to call the people, high or low towards Allah. Allah adorned him with all the qualities and good administration

At the time when the Quran was being revealed to him, he used to smile most. When something happened, he entrusted it to Allah, kept himself free from his own strength and ability and said in invocation: 'O Allah, show me truth in a true manner or give me grace to give it up. You guide to the straight path whomsoever You will.'

Allah revealed the Quran to him and through it He taught him good manners."

http://www.harunyahya.com/prophetmuhammad04.php

on November 16, 2004 11:29 AM
Justoju said

Good point br. Gillette...

Br. Z: Please add these characteristics to your list.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I know it seems unpractical for women to aim for someone like our beloved Rasool (may Allah bless him and give him peace), but if we dont set him as the bullseye there is no way we will come even 'close' to finding someone who strives for the sunnah (and yes, we are all aware that there is no human as perfect as him.). Its like archery, you have to aim for the bullseye in order to hit the target at all. Besides, can you think of a better target?

Brothers, the problem isnt that we have too many sisters that aim for someone who embodies the sunnah, the problem is that we have too little. Women are all too often willing to sacrifice religious standards for the sake of duniya. A woman who aims for a sunnah-abiding man is the same woman who will put all of her effort into making the next generation into sunnah-abiding muimins. You want to find brothers who have the qualities on Br. Z's list? Find a woman who loves the sunnah and marries the sunnah and then fast-forward 20 years. InshaAllah wa mashaAllah, you will find the brothers you are looking for.

WasalaamuAlaikum

on November 16, 2004 12:18 PM
Justoju said

sorry, I didnt mean "unpractical", I meant "unrealistic"...it is very VERY VERY practical to aim for someone like our Rasool.

on November 16, 2004 12:28 PM
gillette said

(speaking from the perspective of a person with little-to-no experience in these matters)

can anyone expect a carbon-copy emulation of Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam)? should a brother be expected to find an Aisha?

it is practical to aim for the best, but it's also impractical to expect perfection.

on November 16, 2004 2:02 PM
Talal said

"Find a woman who loves the sunnah and marries the sunnah and then fast-forward 20 years. InshaAllah wa mashaAllah, you will find the brothers you are looking for."

Now THAT is an awesome bit of insight, mashaAllah.

Perfection we grant is unrealistic to expect, so why not seek what is very possible... EXCELLENCE.

on November 16, 2004 2:14 PM
Justoju said

Well, the key word in my post is "aim". And yes, you guys should AIM for a Khadijah (RA) or an Aisha (RA) or any of our other great mothers (RA). You want to follow the sunnah? Well part of the sunnah is to marry women of high caliber and honor. Are you going to find someone exactly like them? Probably not. But if you aim for them then you might come closer than if you hadnt aimed for them to begin with.

And we like to think it is soooo difficult to find sunnah-abiding people, but that isnt true. You can find them, you just need to let go of some of the crazy vain superficial requirements that muslims today tend to have. If women and their families stop aiming for wealth, family prestige, looks, etc., and only aim for a pious sunnahfied man who can support his wife, they will find him. But if you say, "ok, he needs to be a doctor, a syed/shareef, a warrior with chiseled features, have a beard up to his perfectly ripped abs, be funny, be an alim and be a qari of masjid-al-harram proportions", then you prolly wont find this guy. And if you do, you are probably dead and in jannah.

on November 16, 2004 4:57 PM
Mostafa ibn Mohamed Khalifa said

Asalaamu `alaikum,

These are all wonderful ideas. I know you all have so much more to offer. Keep 'em coming!

on November 18, 2004 10:13 PM
Faisal Akhtar said

Hey people, the title is prepare for battle, not prepare for marriage (although it seems to me that both are equally difficult to prepare for)

Lol

I cannot believe this somehow turned into another marriage discussion.

I LOVE THIS UMMAH, AND I LOVE THIS DEEN

Takbeer

AllahuAkbar

on November 19, 2004 2:52 PM
Justoju said

I am sorry about turning this discussion into one of marriage (not that there is anything WRONG with that. AllahuAkbar.), but when Br. Z mentioned his quest for those perfectly pious, self-sacrificing sunnahfied brothers, the girl in me couldnt help but scream "Huh! WHERE? Where ARE they?! (and on a calmer note) Whaddya know, we have a common goal, we should network."

Reflex reaction, couldnt help it.

I suppose you guys would react the same way if I mentioned that one unmarried MSA sister who used to be a model and is now a niqaabi who spends her time caring for orphaned children and teaching them memorization of the Quran.

on November 19, 2004 5:19 PM
Mostafa ibn Mohamed Khalifa said

Asalaamu `alaikum,

What do you all think about a weekly discussion group for brothers and sisters? A lot of times, brothers and sisters won't something different than a lecture, they jusrt want to discuss issues facing them. Thoughts?

on November 21, 2004 7:40 PM
Justoju said

AssalamuAlaikum,

Thats a great idea as long as its completely seperated and as long as the participants know the topic well in advance so that they can do some research and come into it with a certain level of understanding of the issue at hand and the evidence and opinions related to it.
I have been to a few discussions where I couldnt help but think "the blind leading the blind." When people discuss without background knowledge it isnt the truth that becomes manifest and that wins--instead its the person who is the most eloquent and advanced in the tactics of rhetoric who comes out on top.

WasalaamuAlaikum

on November 22, 2004 2:10 AM
Mostafa ibn Mohamed Khalifa said

Asalaamu `alaikum,

Here's the setup I had in mind ...

I start off with a short talk (5-10 minutes), then if anyone wants to follow up with questions/comments about the topic, then go off into other issues (nothing really personal, more like a brainstorming session on various things, followed by possible action plans).

Very few rules --

* Maintain proper manners at all times. We're here to work together, not against each other.

* Any religious discussions *must* be based on authentic evidence.

Other than that, I'd like it to be rather informal.

As for separation, do you mean separate discussion groups? Or a separated seating arrangement?

on November 22, 2004 11:56 AM
Justoju said

seperate discussion groups.

on November 22, 2004 1:13 PM
Mostafa ibn Mohamed Khalifa said

Asalaamu `alaikum,

Can you list some pros and cons to either setup? (Everyone who is interested, all good, constructive input is welcome). I've been debating the setup before formally announcing it through my mass lists.

on November 22, 2004 1:57 PM
Mostafa ibn Mohamed Khalifa said

Asalaamu `alaikum,

Some further clarification on the setup ...

Attendees can also come to ask for advice, etc. If they have specific questions, I can take them back to the imams, shuyookh, etc.

As far as timing, it would be once a week, for an hour inshaa' Allah. Again, the idea is to keep things light, wAllahu `alam. This is NOT meant to be a "lecture" or formal halaqah. At the same time, it's not meant to be a hang-out either.

on November 22, 2004 2:16 PM
Talal said

Pros of a separated setup:
-a significant segment of the male and female population would simply be more comfortable and likely to speak up in a segregated environment.

-You'll avoid the usual whispering/talking/private conversations that arise within the brothers and/or sisters because of people not wanting others to hear what they're saying.

It'll be interesting to read the Cons :)

on November 22, 2004 2:49 PM
Mostafa ibn Mohamed Khalifa said

Asalaamu `alaikum,

Also, if there's a specific issue that people would like discussed that week, they can send me the topic/question so I can do some research (FAQ style). In fact, that will be highly encouraged. That way, the attendees have a say in what is discussed, as opposed to a halaqah with a specific curriculum.

on November 22, 2004 2:53 PM
Humayun said

Asalamalikom,

This is an excellent idea mashallah. Its long overdue. Let's put it into reality asap. If you need any help, just contact me.

Walikomaslaam.

on November 22, 2004 3:23 PM
Mostafa ibn Mohamed Khalifa said

Asalaamu `alaikum,

This goes for anyone (including Talal) who posts pros or cons for the setup --

You *must* post both pros AND cons. This will force you to think from all angles. So, since Mr. Sarwani was the first to post pros, I'll be waiting for his cons as well, inshaa' Allah :)

on November 22, 2004 3:28 PM
Talal said

Cons of separated setup:
- If the numbers aren't quite there as far as attendance, then it's possibly alot of wasted effort to have two separate gatherings.
- Ummm.. yeah... I need to get creative:
- We can't go forth with the SHEESHA idea!!!!

Seriously though, from what I've seen with this exact idea in the past, success comes in the ability for all to be as free as possible, in the vein of "La hayaa' fil deen". This just isn't gonna happen with both brothers and sisters there.

I'd say it depends a bit on your aim with the idea. Is it to answer people's questions, or is it to harness brainpower to take over the world.

If it's the latter, then there may be more pros to having both brothers and sisters present. For Q&A though, separate is better.

on November 22, 2004 4:22 PM
Mostafa ibn Mohamed Khalifa said

Asalaamu `alaikum,

As for the aim, I'm not looking to get into the fatwa business ;) I would have to say there are elements of --

* answering people's questions
* creating a forum for Muslims to constructicely discuss issues and interact with each other
* give another option for Muslim gatherings (besides lecture, halaqah, and just hanging out)
* brainstorm ideas and develop plans to act on those ideas

on November 22, 2004 4:40 PM
Justoju said

I think it would be better for brothers and sisters to be separated but in one room (con el filtro de fitna) for the talk given by the speaker of the evening (a different speaker is appointed for each meeting to encourage individual research, participation, and the development of public speaking skills).
Then, after the talk, they should split up and hold the discussion in separate rooms.

The advantage to having it unseparated and in the same room:
If there is no divider-- Attendance will go up because all those weasels (who wouldnt attend a halaqa unless there were girls to ogle) will come, kufi and all.
If there is a divider-- Attendence will go up because people who have a crush on someone who attends the halaqa will have the torturous pleasure of waiting for that special someone to speak, and then inwardly rejoicing when they hear the sweet sound of their obsession's voice coming from the other side of the divider.

on November 22, 2004 9:58 PM
Mostafa ibn Mohamed Khalifa said

Asalaamu `alaikum,

Here are pros I was given by another individual about having a joint discussion group (separate seating of course) --

* each side would hear the questions of the other side. An example where this has shown to be beneficial is the 2 CD set from Ustaadh Muhammad and EmanRush (How to be an Outstanding Husband/How to be an Outstanding Wife). Hearing both sides helped for better understanding.

* good chance split groups would lose focus, turn into hang outs.

This is not a "divider discussion". Please stay focused. Jazaakum Allahu khayr :)

on November 22, 2004 11:11 PM
z said

Asalaamu `alaikum,

Why not just have it online. This way both genders can participate. My brother took an arabic class offered online by Almaghrib Institute thru paltalk. We can probably do something like that. The amir will lead the topic this way we don't have everyone disscussing different topics.

Jazaakum Allahu khayr

on November 23, 2004 8:38 AM
Faisal Akhtar said

Assalam-o-alaikom.
Skillfully done ya ameer-ul-durbaeen.

Pros of having a separate discussion group.

*Problems and questions not very appropriate being discussed in the presence of the opposite gender can be discussed.

*People can be a bit more relaxed and the "accidental" neck turns and "bling bling" can be kept to a minimum.

Cons

*It will definitely turn into a hangout and people will lose focus.

*Input from the other side will be lost.

How to compensate for these cons?

We have a joint discussion with an Ameer leading the discussion to begin while everyone is present (front and back setup) and then the groups split.

Pros

*All the pros already discussed plus, (and please don't take what I am about to say in jest) those of us who are completely out of touch with the other half of this ummah will be a bit more enlightened. One of the reasons Abu Yousaf Riyadh ul Haq discusses Muslims are in such a mess is because one half of the ummah has been rendered completely impotent due the misogynistic nature of the other half. Inshallah, the brothers can have a chance to know the thought patterns and the inner workings of the sisters and vice versa. This will help us work together and inshallah help each other become better Muslimin. One possible benefit I see outright is that the brothers can help to organize some sister activities which the sister couldn’t do before such as sports. While recently, some brothers came under intense fire from the sisters because the sisters thought they were being called fat. That was not at all the intention and inshallah, these sorts of ridiculous misunderstandings can be avoided and the sisters can call us out if they feel we are being unfair and it can work both ways.

walaikomassalam

on November 23, 2004 9:57 AM
Mostafa ibn Mohamed Khalifa said

Asalaamu `alaikum,

Would the cons be served if the weekly group I run be the one when both brothers and sisters attend, and then separate groups (whether the same day or different day) can have follow-up discussions amongst themselves?

on November 23, 2004 11:01 AM
Abdullaah said

I was reading the discussion on this topic and did not finish all of it, just wanted to ask? what is the purpose of the discussion group. I guess if everyone does what they have to and then we are all set, meaning read Qur'aan and Salaah and stuff and that is it and do your job and leave this country to go to a Muslim country or if you are here be involved in da'wah and not be afraid to speak the truth and make du'as for your brothers and sisters in islaam and the true mujaahideens everywhere. I watched "The Message" today and although I dont think it is an excellent movie perse but it made me realize how the early generations of Muslims did so much for our ummah and sacrificed so much. How they became shaheed and many of us are afraid to speak up the truth and stuff.
subhanallaah.
Wasalaamu Alaikum

on November 23, 2004 11:51 PM
Mostafa ibn Mohamed Khalifa said

Asalaamu `alaikum,

When you have the time, please read the conversation on this thread about the discussion group. If it is still unclear, then I can answer your questions inshaa' Allah. Jazaak Allahu khayr for your input :)

on November 24, 2004 1:05 PM
Rami said

Asalaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabaraktu,

So when do these discussion sessions start?

Wasalaam Warahmatullah Wabarakatu

on November 26, 2004 1:22 AM
Mostafa ibn Mohamed Khalifa said

Asalaamu `alaikum,

WHAT: The "Un-Halaqah" ~ Muslim Discussion Group
WHEN: Wednesdays, 11:00AM-12:00PM (starting 12/1/04)
WHERE: Rutgers Student Center, 4th Floor
HOW: Together, bi idhnillah :)

And most importantly, WHY?
===========================
* creating a forum for Muslims to constructively discuss issues and interact with each other
* give another option for Muslim gatherings (besides lectures, halaqaat, and just hanging out)
* brainstorm ideas and develop plans to act on those ideas to improve ourselves, and the Ummah inshaa' Allah

RULES
======
* Maintain proper manners at all times. We're here to work together, not against each other.

If you have any questions about The "Un-Halaqah", or have topics you would like to discuss, e-mail me by Tuesday, at 6pm, inshaa' Allah. Jazaakum Allahu khayr. See you all on Wednesday inshaa' Allah! Meet up on the 4th floor at RSC (we will hold The "Un-Halaqah" in one of the available meeting rooms inshaa' Allah).

Asalaamu `alaikum,

Mostafa


*DISCLAIMER* -- This is NOT a fatwa session. If you would like one, speak to me on Wednesday, and we can work to arrange one inshaa' Allah.

on November 26, 2004 3:33 AM
Mostafa ibn Muhammad Khalifa said

Asalaamu `alaikum,

See you all tomorrow at The UN-Halaqah inshaa' Allah! Details above :)

Asalaamu `alaikum,

Mostafa

on November 30, 2004 2:44 PM
Mostafa ibn Mohamed Khalifa said

Asalaamu `alaikum,

Mashaa' Allah, Wednesday's first meeting of The "Un-Halaqah" exceeded my expectations alhamdu lillah. Please note, The "Un-Halaqah" has moved to Mondays (11am-12pm) from now on (starting this Monday, 12/6) inshaa' Allah. See you all there inshaa' Allah :)

on December 4, 2004 6:58 PM
Mostafa ibn Mohamed Khalifa said

Asalaamu `alaikum,

As we prepare for the upcoming AlMaghrib class in NJ (The Purification Act - visit http://www.almaghrib.org/tpa.php for more info), I also wanted to get a gauge on the time for the Un-Halaqah for the Spring 2005 semester. Again, targetting one hour during the day once a week inshaa' Allah. Please post your suggested times here. If you have more than one, then please rank them in order (1-first preference, etc.). Jazaakum Allahu khayr.

on January 5, 2005 7:21 PM
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