Archive | March, 2013

The beauty of Islam

29 Mar

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Islam: Why haven’t you converted?

As-salam alaikum! May the peace and blessing of Allah be on you!

The weather is terribly hot today in Costa Rica as it should be on a Friday afternoon in March, but it would be an insult to imagine this as being an excuse to not dress modestly during prayer. I won’t say it didn’t take me long for me to realize how important prayer is and being on time, but the journey up to this point has been amazing.

I am quite aware of what people think about Islam in my country. Just to lay out a quick idea of it, my mother was practically forcing me to leave the religion all together. Wow. I didn’t know we ticos believe so wrongly about Islam. Does it have to do with those terrorist incidents that occurred during 911? Or maybe it’s the “preposterous” modest dress women use in this “modern” society? Or maybe it’s that false belief that Muslim men beat their women?

Whatever the reason may be, we all know that in western societies, people have a negative perspective about Islam. Please enlighten me with your thoughts about Islam if you wish. J I would love to get a good laugh this beautiful Friday afternoon.

Despite what the media may be saying nowadays about Islam, I will tell you this. If Islam is such a “bad” religion, then why have I reverted to it? In fact, why have thousands of people worldwide revert to Islam every year? Did you know that in the USA alone, over 100 000 people revert to Islam per year? Insha’Allah that number will get bigger every year.

My advice to you

My advice to those non-believers or kafiroon in Arabic, is to read the Qur’an. Yes, just read it. You can surf endlessly through the Internet, finding both valid and incorrect articles about Islam. However, the Qur’an will always be the same. Regardless of the different translations of it in other languages, it has maintained its Arabic form since the first revelation.

It will open your eyes. It certainly did to me. Quite honestly, I was expecting terrible things from it and didn’t even know what Muslims believed in. But the Qur’an is perfect in its entirety. It’s the only book that has been memorized and recited the most throughout these 1 400 years. I am certain no Christian on the face of this Earth knows the entire Bible from cover to cover. However, thousands and thousands of Muslims worldwide know the Qur’an, all 114 suras of it.

Why Islam is the right religion

Here are some of my personal reasons as to why I reverted to Islam. Of course the reasons are endless.

  1. It’s the only Universal religion. All other religions out there – Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, etc – have come for a certain group or people, like Christianity came for the children of Israel. Islam however, came for the entire humanity, without considering your race, ethnic group, geographical location, language, etc. It came as a message for all humanity. As mentioned in the Qur’an:

…And they say: “None shall enter paradise unless he be a Jew or a Christian.” Those are their (vain) desires. Say: “Produce your proof if you are truthful.” Nay whoever submits his whole self to Allah and is a doer of good, he will get his reward with his Lord; on such shall be no fear nor shall they grieve.” (2:111-112)

What I find beautiful is that all Muslims pray in Arabic, myself included. It’s so breathtaking to know that the entire Ummah (Muslim community) pray in one language only. Alhamdulillah.

2.It’s simplicity. Unlike other religions, Islam is so simple. We are all born Muslims, since Islam means “submission to the will of God.” We are all born submitting ourselves to Allah without even knowing it, just like the trees submit to Allah, the animals submit willingly to Allah. However, we are raised up to have different believes and to worship other besides Allah, like to pray to Jesus, or to different gods.

Even I was baptized into Catholicism without me even knowing, or having a say at it. Muslim children begin praying and obtaining knowledge once they are old enough to speak. They are not baptized or forced into the religion.

Islam is simple in the sense that you worship your Creator. There is no need to have to accept some “divine sacrifice” for our salvation. God is our only savior, and submitting ourselves to Him will give us inner peace.

3.Women are respected in Islam. You’re probably thinking, oh yeah right, women are subjugated in this religion. The truth is that women are respected in Islam. Period. It was during the 20th century that women started having some rights, like voting, being able to work, etc. But before this, women have always been submitted to their husbands or fathers.

Christianity and Judaism are chauvinistic religions. As mentioned in the Bible, women cover their heads for respect to their husbands. In Islam, women cover their heads to protect themselves from perverts. When you choose who decides to see your body, you are respecting yourself. When you dress according to fashion, you have no control as to who can see your beauty, including those perverts that can and will harm you if given a chance.

4. You are encouraged and obliged to seek knowledge. In Islam, you are required to obtain knowledge. For example, why am I here? Who created me? What’s my purpose in life? These are questions Allah encourages us to ponder about in the Qur’an. We are even encouraged to know about the prophets and the origins of the Qur’an. Christians and Jews are never truly told where their Bible came from, since even the scholars of Christianity have no knowledge of this! Furthermore, once you start investigating the Bible, you lose belief in it, since it is corrupt and has been changed throughout the years by men.

5. You find happiness in Islam. Islam is perfect; Muslims are not. Allah is perfect and has a plan for each and every one of us. He loves his creation, and shows this to us through His attributes, such as He is all Forgiving, in His grace, His justice and in His love for us. When you pray, you know why you do so. You know the reason for life, the reason behind every action you do. And finally, you know this world is a test, for the next life to come.

Islam gives you something no other religion will ever give you. It makes you submit only to your Lord, your Creator. You follow the Sunnah or prophetic way because you know the prophet (peace be upon him) was enlightened and guided by God. There are no errors in the religion.

6. And finally, it’s the only religion that God will accept. Once you know about Islam, you have been exposed to the truth. You know that worshiping others besides Allah is a form of shirk, or idolatry. Even Christians break their divine laws by worshiping Jesus as their Lord and savior. The Qur’an tells us that Allah will only accept this religion. So don’t try to hide from God. Allah knows what is in your hearts, and He will guide only those whom He wishes.

Insha’Allah you will reflect on the beauty of Islam. Subhanallah that Islam has been given to us, as a way to obtain Jannah and to submit voluntarily to the will of Allah.

And Allah (subhana wa’tala), the most Beneficent, the most Merciful knows best.

Chao 🙂

References:

Islamic. (2000). Recuperado el 28 de march de 2013, de Why Accept Islam?: http://www.islamic.org.uk/whyislam.htm

Adim, S. A. (2004). La Mujer en el Islam y en el Judeocristianismo: Mito y Realidad. Madrid, España.

Ghounem , M., & Rahman, A. (1998). Geocities. Recuperado el 29 de marzo de 2013, de Why are so many Women converting to Islam?: http://www.geocities.com/athens/agora/4229/women.html

Holy Qur’an. (s.f.). Recuperado el 25 de Febrero de 2013, de http://quran.com/2/170

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The Need for Worship

29 Mar

Bismillah hirRahman nirRaheem

In the name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful

Salat-Salah-in-Islam

As-Salaam Alaikum Wa-Rahmatullahi Wa-Barakatuhu. 

What is my purpose in life?

Why do we bow down in prostration? Have you ever wondered why we worship? Have you ever wondered why we exist and why Allah wants us to submit to his will?

We have an obligation to obtain knowledge in our faith. Unlike other religions, Allah (subhana wa’tala) wants us to seek knowledge. We must know the reason behind our actions. If not, then we would be performing salah in a ritual-like manner. And thus, our intention would not be right.

The answer to these questions lies in the Sacred Qur’an. Allah says:

And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me (51:56)

Our purpose in life is to worship Allah (swt) according to the Sunnah. The prophet (salalahu alayhi wa’salam) and all the other prophets (peace and blessing of Allah be upon them) that came with the message of Allah were enlightened by our Lord. This is why the Sunnah (prophetic way) is the correct way to worship our Lord.

So why do we need to worship Allah (swt)? Why don’t we just worship Allah (swt) when we feel the need to, or when our hearts desire? Isn’t it better to pray to Allah (swt) when we truly want to and the intention is good?

Unfortunately, this is something we as humans can’t rely on. I can personally say that when I was a Catholic, God was a one-time a week thing, and would usually pray to Him in times of despair.

Allah (swt) brought down with the prophet Muhammad (saws) 5 compulsory prayers per day, for the remembrance of our Lord. When we forget Allah, the doors of evil are open and we are more exposed to falling into sin.

It is important to remind you that when you perform your acts of worship, that you do it to please Allah and with that good intention. Otherwise, your act of worship will not be accepted.

 

Let’s look at the reasons to why we need worship:

  1. We were created to worship. We Need Allah (swt). Allah does not need us. He, the All Mighty, the All Knower, does not need his creation. However, we as humans need Him. We were created for the purpose of worshiping our Lord. This does not mean that Allah will be less or more if we worship Him, but we as humans will fall into the hands of Shaytaan if we ignore this. We as the creation need our Creator.
  2. To remember Allah. As I said before, we as humans will lack remembering Him. Islam teaches us to remember Allah constantly, as Allah said in the Qur’an:

O’ you who believe! Remember Allah with much remembrance. (33: 41)

3. Worship is life. Dedicating all our lives to Allah is what our Creator wants from us. Eventually through time, we will learn to want to please our Lord in every action we do. The Prophet (saws) said:

He who loves for Allaah and hates for Allaah, gives for Allaah and withholds for Allaah, has perfected his faith.

Also, in the Qur’an it says:

Say: Surely my prayer, my sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allaah, the Lord of all the worlds. (6:162)

 

Why do calamities strike? 

Since this life we live in is simply a test to obtain jannah or end up in the hellfire, Allah will put certain calamities through our paths to test us and see if our faith remains constant and strong.

So don’t fall into despair and lose all hope in Allah (swt) when calamities strike. Know that Allah (swt) is testing you, and as is said in the Qur’an:

Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity. (2:286)

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Worship is the purpose for which we as humans were created. You will notice those that lack in worship to their Creator will befall in error and negative causes will occur. We see now that there are more suicide rates in western society than in those Muslim countries. Celebrities, who seem to have “everything” in life will end up overdosing or ruining their lives.

Allah (swt) is truly the way to obtain peace in this life and the next. Insha’Allah this has been useful to you as to not neglect your worship, including your salah, fasting, zakat and other forms of worship.

And as the Qur’an says:

Indeed, it is in the remembrance of Allaah that hearts find rest. (13:28)

Chao.

What does the Qur’an say about the Bible?

11 Mar

Bismillah hirRahman nirRaheem

In the name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful

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There are a lot of Muslims that talk bad about the Bible and Jewish scriptures. They have no knowledge whatsoever. In the Qur’an these scriptures are mentioned and discussed about in a rather positive light.

During my investigating prior to becoming a Muslim alhamdullilah (all praise be to Allah) I decided to investigate the topic of the Bible. I wanted to know what the Qur’an had to say about the Bible; not just what Muslims say, as we as people are imperfect, but the word of Allah isn’t.

I’ve mentioned this book in an earlier blog post, but I’ll mention it again, as it cannot get enough recognition of how meticulous and outstanding the amount of research and effort put into it is. It’s called The Bible, the Qur’an and Science by Dr. Maurice Bucaille, and by clicking the title you will be sent to another page where you can download it from.

It’s a very exhaustive study on the Bible, and then on the Qur’an.

What I can get out of it that will help support my article is the amount of data it complies to explain how the Bible has contradicted itself in many parts of the chapters, as well as the errors and unlikeliness in it.

However, the point here isn’t to degrade the Bible, no matter what translation you may have in your hands, but in fact to take the essence of it out to expose its main idea: the oneness of God.

The Torah, other Jewish scriptures and the Bible all mention the oneness of God. If you can find one sentence in the Bible where our beloved prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) states clearly and evidently says that “he is God,” I would be astonished by your false accusations.

Never is it mentioned in these scriptures that Jesus (pbuh) came down on earth and admitted being God on earth. Now of course it’s been twisted and manipulated by man in a way that the trinity is invented from it, as well as affirming that Jesus is the one son of God, but these things are never truly mentioned being said by the prophet himself.

So why so much hatred from the Muslim community?

If you take the Qur’an and read it, you won’t be able to support your accusations towards the Bible, even if the Bible was written by humans and manipulated over the course of time. And that is a topic I’d like to later discuss.

But the question lies in what then does the Qur’an say about these scriptures?

Now prepare yourself, the Muslim-rejecters reading this, for what you’re about the read.

Before I continue further on, I’d like to inform you that I am in no way a scholar of any sort, but in fact a learner of Islam as you. If you would like to truly confirm a valid opinion, do so with your imam at your nearest mosque, or a sheikh or scholar of Islam.

The Qur’an does actually talk about the Bible. In fact, those that follow Biblical and Jewish scriptures are mentioned as people of the Book:

O People of the Book! (5:68).

Allah mentions how there are those unfaithful Christians and Jews, as there are unfaithful Muslims, that have taken the scriptures and corrupted them, in a way that they made it seem it were from Allah.

But the transgressors changed the word from that which had been given them (2:59).

This is purely out of self-recognition and claiming that they were enlightened from above; something that Allah says did not truly happen.

There were also those that would “guess” things as well as make them public in a way to obtain an income from this.

Among them are unlettered folk who know the Scripture not except from hearsay. They but guess. Therefore woe be unto them who write the Scripture with their hands and then say, “This is from Allah,” that they may purchase a small gain therewith (2:78-79).

So as you can see, the Qur’an clearly acknowledges the faults that have been made by these false believers of the Book. This is important to know, since therefore we don’t actually know precisely which parts of the Bible and Torah have been afflicted by these unfaithful ones.

Another misconception is that many believe Muslims don’t even believe in the Bible. They believe that Muslims do not accept these scriptures and that they therefore probably don’t believe in the prophet Jesus and the rest of the prophets (peace be upon them all).

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Islam is the continued and last religion of those that came before the prophet Muhammed (salalahu alayhi wa’salam).

The same religion has He established for you as that which He enjoined on Noah … and that which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses, and Jesus (42:13).

Islam is an Arabic word that means: “submission to God.” It does not mean worshipping the prophet, it does not mean worshipping some other God or Gods. In fact, the word Allah is a word that Allah has given himself as it cannot be corrupted by man to mean something else.

The word God has been used in the past to represent false gods and idols, for instance in Greek mythology with the god Zeus that overpowered the rest of the “minor” gods.

You can even take the word God and create “gods” from it by simply adding an “s” at the end of the word, or give God a gender by creating “goddess” and making the word female-oriented.

Unlike this, the word ‘Allah’ you cannot change in any way. It means God in Arabic. Allah is Allah. Period. There is no changing the word to give it another meaning and you can’t make it plural, either.

So now that you see how pure and monotheistic Islam is, you will find clarity in the following ayat:

But say, “We (Muslims) believe in the Revelation which has come down to us and in that which came down to you (Jews & Christians); our Allah and your Allah is One” (29:46).

There is no distinction between the God we praise to the God Christians or Jews praise. Of course there may be a slight change in the sense that Christians have given God human-like attributes and made him a human.

This in our religion is considered shirk (idolatry or creating partners with Allah) in Tawheed al-Asmaa was sifaat (the belief that Allah is One in his attributes and that he has no similitude). Therefore, Muslims and Christians have differences in this point of view, but according to the Bible Allah does not have any partners. You can read more on this topic in my article: Why is it that Christians don’t understand Muslims? 

There is also a misconception on what Christians and other religions think Muslims worship. As is mentioned in the Qur’an:

We believe in Allah, and in what has been revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and in (the Books) given to Moses, Jesus, and the Prophets, from their Lord: We make no distinction between one and another among them (3:84).

As Muslims, we do not worship Muhammad (saws) despite the fact that to him the Qur’an was revealed.

We must understand that both the Qur’an and the Bible are scriptures teaching us to worship one God and one God ONLY.

We do not make distinctions between any of the prophets, but we take our prophet (saws) as an example to be able to reach closer to Allah (swt).

So if the Qur’an and the Bible both believe in the unity and oneness of Allah, then why was there a need for the Qur’an?

The Qur’an came down in revelation for the following:

This Koran is not such as can be produced by other than Allah; on the contrary it is a confirmation of (revelations) that went before it, and a fuller explanation of the Book (10:37-38).

The Qur’an came down as a guardian of the scriptures before and to maintain the unity of Allah (swt) and his message to mankind. Also:

To thee We sent the scripture in truth, confirming the scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety (5:48).

This is why the Prophet Muhammad (saws) is considered the “seal” of the Prophet Hood, since he came with the final revelation to mankind and up to this day, Muslims throughout the world have preserved this message and the tawheed (maintaining the unity of Allah). Therefore, there has been no reason to bring down further revelation.

There are numerous amount of Muslims that can recite the entire Qur’an. The ENTIRE Qur’an mash’allah (God has willed it). How many Christians do you know that can recite the ENTIRE Bible?

In fact, let’s take it to the next level.

How many Christians do you know that can recite a chapter of the Bible?

I highly doubt you know anyone who can.

When I was a Catholic, and I read this – that there are Muslims that can recite the Qur’an from cover to cover – I was truly astonished of this religion.

This is what kept me hooked to researching and investigating more and more on Islam. I would read entire books about Islam, about the Prophet, about the message of Islam, and of course the Sacred Qur’an and the authentic Hadeeths.

For a Muslim to recite the Qur’an in his day-to-day life is something that impressed me even more. I had once tried to read the Bible. To be honest with you, I couldn’t get passed the first few pages of Genesis.

But amazingly enough, I find more interest in reading the Bible and the Torah now as a Muslim, than I did when I was a Catholic.

There is a Hadeeth reported by Mu’aadh Ibn Jabal (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah send peace and blessings on him) said:

That, a human being, will not move forward (in other words, he’ll just be fixed standing – and will not be able to move forward) on the Day of Judgment, with their Lord, unless and until they’re asked about 5 things.  (…)And about, his or her knowledge, and what they did with that knowledge? 

So even though I am Muslim and believe in the Qur’an, Allah (swt) encourages us to know the truth and not be of the ignorant. How useless it would be if we were to perform our 5 salah (prayers) without knowledge of what we are reciting or with the intention it is made.

So thus, the Qur’an is the continuity of the monotheistic religions of our fathers and forefathers. However, people have gone astray in these religions and have started worshipping idols, saints and have created false ideas about their Lord, even claiming to have a savior, when Allah (swt) is in fact our only savior and the only One that we should worship.

We as Muslims recite each and every day at least 17 times a day sura al-Fatiha. And there is an ayat (revelation) in this sura in which we ask Allah (swt) to guide us on the right path and not go astray:

The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray. (1:7)

Scholars have said that the first part {The path of those upon whom you have bestowed favor} is in reference to the Muslims, the second part {not of those who have evoked [Your] anger} is talking about the Jews, and the final part {or of those who are astray} is directed to the Christians.

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Insha’allah (God willing) there have been no errors in the document, but if there were I take all responsibility as I am finite in my knowledge, where Allah (swt) is infinite and extent from any errors.

The Qur’an encourages us to read these scriptures and not ignore them like Christians do with our prophet (saws) and the revelation. However, we are most certainly not Christians and see no dangers in obtaining valid proof.

As Muslims, if a Christian or Jew were ever to come to us with certain “valid” proof from their Bible about a certain topic, no matter what that topic may be, we can clearly say to them: “But you changed your Bible.” (And to believe this even more, go ahead and read the book by Dr. Bucaille that is outstandingly impressive).

We have clear proof from the Qur’an that they have indeed changed their scriptures and can support this with the Qur’an.

And Allah (swt) knows best.

May Allah (swt) guide you.

Chao.

References:

Campbell. (2004). The Bible as seen by the Qur’an and the Muslim traditions. Retrieved March 10, 2013, from What the Qur’an says about the Bible: http://answering-islam.org/Campbell/s2c1.html

Green, S. (2004). Answering Islam. Retrieved March 10, 2013, from What does the Qur’an say about the Jewish and Christian Scriptures?: http://answering-islam.org/Green/onbible.htm

Holy Qur’an. (n.d.). Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://quran.com/2/170

¿Existe un Coran en las librerías de Costa Rica?

6 Mar

Quran_DS0480

Bismillah hirRahman nirRaheem

En el nombre de Alá, el Clemente, el Misericordioso

As Salamu ’Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. Que la paz y bendición de Alá esté sobre todos ustedes. Por fin, ¡mi primer artículo en español! Se que tardé mucho, pero espero que la comunidad hispana me apoye bastante especialmente de mi bello país que es Costa Rica.

Al caminar las calles de mi pueblo, me he dado cuenta de algo asombroso: ¡no existe ni una sola copia del Sagrado Corán en nuestras librerías! Es muy lamentable, ya que a través de esto es por lo cual la población no conoce sobre el Islam.

Hace unos meses atrás traté de buscar un Corán para poder leerlo. Ya lo había leído a través de  mi iPod; sin embargo, creo que es un poco más placentero leer un libro físico que por una pantalla el tamaño de una libreta de notas.

Fue muy frustrante tener que entrar a cada librería y que en cada una me dieran la esperada noticia de que no existía este libro en ella. Al pasar los días y no tener ningún éxito en mi búsqueda, decidí comprarlo por internet.

Los precios de algunos me asombraron, ya que venían más elaborados y con una portada de tapa dura. Pero, el transporte vía aéreo para comprar por internet aquí son muy elevados, hasta inclusive para un libro pequeño y que no pesa casi nada.

Subhanallah un mes antes de tomar mi Shahada, fui a visitar una hermana en el Islam y poder hablar sobre su experiencia como musulmana. No iba con ninguna intención de pedirle el Corán ya que yo me imaginé que ella se encontraba en la misma situación mía: decepcionada de las librerías de Costa Rica. Hasta le llegué a comentar esto y me respondió que ella también le había pasado y que no se puede encontrar un Corán en las librerías de nuestro país.

Por obra y gracia de Alá (subhana wa’tala) la hermana me regaló un Corán, que afortunadamente venía en inglés. Luego me comentó que los Corán no se venden, sino que se regalan. Supuestamente no es viable darle a un no musulmán un Corán ya que el libro no puede ser tocado por alguien que no crea en el Islam. Pero sino no sabríamos del Islam y además de esto, ya mi corazón estaba bien identificada como musulmana desde ese entonces.

Por lo tanto, si no hubiera sido por esta amable hermana que me regaló un Corán, yo hasta el momento no tendría un Corán. Me cuestiono las otras mujeres y hombres en mi país que tal vez quieran conocer sobre la palabra de Dios (swt) pero que sin embargo no tengan acceso a un Corán físico.

Se que por el internet es muy fácil encontrar un Corán y leerlo, pero personalmente yo prefiero un libro que se pueda tocar y pasar las hojas fácilmente.

Así que, le pregunto a mi pueblo tico, ¿qué nos pasa? Esta bien que este país sea un país Católico, pero le pido respuestas a la comunidad musulmana aquí en mi país.

Creo que como solución debemos de poner más libros en la calle. No solamente el Sagrado Corán, sino también libros que eduquen a nuestra comunidad sobre el Islam, sobre tawheed – la unificación de un sólo Dios – y sobre nuestro profeta (salalahu alayhi wa’salam), que estoy casi segura que nadie conoce.

Yo lo digo por experiencia propia. Alhamdulillah que yo pude conocer sobre el Islam, pero no por medio del Corán, ni por algún amigo musulmán o algún conocido. Creo que nuestra comunidad musulmana debe de crecer, pero para que esto suceda, debemos de iniciar con la educación.

Y unos de estos pasos es llenando nuestras librerías con el libro el Corán y con información sobre el Islam que sea válida y correcta.

¿Como queremos ver más musulmanes en Costa Rica si ni siquiera saben que existe el Islam?

Si hubiera dependido de mi comunidad para conocer el Islam, hubiera seguido creyendo que el Islam era falso, que eran terroristas y que los musulmanes no amaban al profeta Jesús (paz y bendiciones estén sobre él).

Una buena manera de incrementar la curiosidad sobre el Islam es a través de las universidades y colegios de nuestro país. En cada pueblo, hay mínimo una o dos iglesias católicas. En mi pueblo existen aproximadamente unas 7 iglesias, y es un pueblo muy pequeño. ¿Lo pueden creer? Casi el 90% de nuestro país es Católico Romano, y a pesar de que yo lo vea como una religión incorrecta y que están cometiendo el pecado más grave ante Alá, shirk (asociar a otros con Alá), mi pueblo no piensa lo mismo.

Por esto es que debemos de informar más. Por el momento creo que las redes sociales son nuestro mejor – y peor – enemigo, ya que es por donde se acerca más a la sociedad joven y futura de nuestro país.

Obviamente hay mucha información falsa sobre el Islam, más en el idioma español ya que no existen muchos hispanos musulmanes. Por esto debemos de informar correctamente a nuestra comunidad tica.

Nadie nació con conocimiento y debemos de entender que la ignorancia nos enferma. Nos ha enfermado a tal extremo, que seguimos creyendo en las falsedades de una iglesia Católica que han degradado a Alá (swt) lamentablemente. Que Dios los tenga en su misericordia y que se arrepienten ante Él.

Como Alá dice en el Corán:

Da lo mismo que adviertas o no a los infieles: no creen. Alá ha sellado sus corazones y oídos; una venda cubre sus ojos y tendrán un castigo terrible. (2:6-7)

Mi misión inshallah es poner el Corán y varias copias en las librerías; por el momento que sean las más conocidas del país que se encuentran en los “molles” y también en las ciudades más grandes como San José y Heredia.

Será algo lento, pero inshallah tendremos, como musulmanes, la valentía de llevar a cabo esto.

El Islam es la religión más pacífica que existe. Nunca ha tenido la obligación de llevar a alguien a creer en ello a través de guerras o a la fuerza. Es por esto que poniendo el Corán en las librerías, la gente lo tomarán por conciencia propia y no seremos como aquellos Testigos de Jehová que le van a tocar la puerta a la gente como desesperados.

El Islam también hay que saber que no es para todos. Como Alá dice en el Corán:

Los siervos del Compasivo son los que van por la tierra humildemente y que, cuando los ignorantes les dirigen la palabra, dicen: «¡Paz!» (25:63)

Así que no tema a aquellos que no creerán nunca en el Islam, ya que en sus corazones hay un sello que no los dejan ver la verdad. Siempre tenga paciencia y no deje que los ignorantes te quiten la paz, ya que este es el Shaytaan que te tratará de vencer.

Inshallah Alá (swt) nos guiará hacia el Paraíso. Y Alá sabe mejor.

Chao.

Contact with the Opposite Gender in Costa Rica

6 Mar

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Bismillah hirRahman nirRaheem

In the name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful

As Salamu ’Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. May the peace and mercy of Allah be with you. I’ve been thinking about writing on this topic for a while now but needed a bit more of validity to my opinion before I courageously posted it up.

Here in my lovely, tropical country the weather hasn’t been so pretty. Which I don’t mind, since I happen to love the cold weather. People from all across the nation greet each other with kisses, hand shakes and even occasional hugging. Hand shaking isn’t so common here but instead ticos tend to greet the opposite gender with a kiss on the cheek.

From what I’ve read there is a lot of comments and Hadeeths mentioning hand shaking with the opposite gender as being haram (illegal) or highly not recommended. This is primarily due to the Prophet’s (salalahu alayhi wa’ salam) example towards his treatment to non-mahram women (relatives).

The word used both in the Qur’an and Hadeeths to define touching is lams. Strictly speaking, this is in reference to actions that precede sexual intercourse. In other words, any act with a lust intention or fitnah (temptation) behind it.

I assume that back in the day, if you were to kiss a woman you would have the intention on marrying her. Now, in this chaotic world we are living in, even the act of sexual intercourse is not associated with marriage. I believe that even in Muslims this has slightly been corrupted in our generation.

Despite this, many scholars such as Imam Al-Shafi`i and Imam Abu Hanifah have strong arguments as to how the slightest touching of the hands can end up invalidating your wudhu or state of purity. This is further explained in the Qur’an:

O you who believe! Do not approach Salah after… lāmastum (touching) women, but if you do not find water, then perform Tayammum with clean earth, rubbing your faces and hands. Truly, Allah is Ever Oft-Pardoning, Oft-Forgiving. (4:43)

Although in the Qur’an the word touching does not state specifically what kind of touching or with what intention it’s done with, scholars have found two meanings for the act of touching the opposite gender: touching with lustful intention, and touching without this desire behind it.

I strongly believe that we as Muslims should not shake hands, let alone kiss when greeting the opposite sex no matter what your intention may be (you never know what the other person is thinking or what their intentions are). Not only is there no authentic Hadeethic proof that the Prophet (saws) was seen shaking hands with a non-mahram woman, but it’s also mentioned in the Qur’an as I quoted before.

Of course physical contact with your spouse and close family members is not considered haram, since they are mahram to you. Also, a Hadith narrated by A’isha (may Allah be pleased with her) as recorded in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad states that:

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to kiss `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) and then go to pray at the masjid without renewing his ablution.

It’s those not related with us that we must be careful with.

In Costa Rica, if you are already a local here you will know just how hard it is to avoid this contact with the opposite gender throughout the day. If you’re not a local, then I’ll quickly describe it for you.

In Hispanic culture, if you’re a woman you greet both male and female with a kiss. There doesn’t exist hand shaking in our culture as we find his “cold” and not friendly-like. This is usually only performed during interviews or in the work field. When greeting friends and family members you usually greet them with a kiss on the cheek. If you’re really close with them or haven’t seen them in a while you might also see people hugging.

This whole kissing thing isn’t considered strange or taboo in our culture. Boys and girls won’t giggle or feel embarrassed when greeting each other like this, unlike in other western cultures where even a hand shake is awkward.

So therefore, it’s always been a “normal” thing for me to greet people with a kiss. Whether it be an uncle or cousin, or friends from my university, I found nothing wrong or haram in it.

In fact, I once had a friend that backed away when I was going to greet her with a kiss, which I then considered her to be really weird after that happened. Now, I find it normal for her to have done that.

So what can you do if you live in a society where kissing or even hand shaking is normal between the opposite gender?

First, we must find the logic behind not greeting someone with a kiss or hand shake.

We live in a society where all these haram things are now halal to us, and this has been done through Shaytaan’s meticulous planning to make us fall astray from the path. Think to yourself. How can approaching a male and planting a kiss on his cheek not be strange for you? Would you like your husband or wife to do this with other males or females?

Not only is it disrespectful to your spouse (or future spouse), but it’s also disrespectful to you. You are giving permission to this person to touch you in this manner, so what wrong would it be if he happened to touch you on another place if you’re already allowing him to kiss you?

Once you’ve realized the wrongness in it, and how disrespectful it is for you as a woman or man, you will find it easier to want to respect your body. It’s much more peaceful to know that you are the one who decides who kisses you or touches you, then to know that any man or woman can come up to you and plant a kiss on your face.

If you don’t respect your space, then who will?

Finally, keep in consideration the word of God, the Qur’an and what it tells us:

And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent (35:31)

If you dress in a modest and very “Islamic” way as I like to put it, when you tell someone that you do not greet with a kiss or with a hand shake, or with any other physical contact, they will find it easier to accept. As where if you dress like everyone else is dressing, with shorts or clothing that clings on much to tightly to your body, then they will want to laugh into your face, since you will be dressing in a manner that will obviously attract the opposite sex.

Think further into it. If you see a woman on the street with very modest clothing (like a nun in Catholicism) then you will automatically respect that woman. The way you dress makes a statement of it’s own that you won’t have to put into words each time someone will greet you.

I’m not a Hijaabi (one that wears Hijab) yet, but inshallah when I decide to use the hijab, I think that men would automatically feel drawn back from me, and they will respect my decision on whether or not I greet them the way everyone else does.

In the end, it’s all about respecting yourself.

Keep in mind that in a Hispanic culture, there will be men (or women if you’re a guy reading this) that will want to greet you with a kiss. And sometimes it’s not even in a lust manner; it’s just the way they’ve been raised up. But keep in mind that if you allow yourself to be exposed like this, you are also permitting him or her to have permission to do other things or say things to you disrespectfully. It might not happen, but you are allowing yourself to be in that situation.

If there is fear of fitnah or desire in it, then it is most surely haram.

I feel that women in my country have lost this shyness altogether. Even the men have lost their shyness towards women. When you avoid any contact with the opposite gender, you feel not only good with your effort in doing so, especially in a country where everyone greets this way, but you would also have more affection and love for those that truly care for you, such as your spouse.

Inshallah this will make you meditate (metaphorically speaking) about greeting and touching the opposite gender in your country. May Allah (swt) give you health and blessings each and every day!

Chao.

References:

al-Qaradhawi, S. Y. (4 de Junio de 2008). Shaking hands with a non Mahram. Recuperado el 5 de Marzo de 2013, de Suhaib Webb: http://www.suhaibwebb.com/islam-studies/faqs-and-fatwas/shaking-hands-with-a-non-mahram-dr-yusuf-al-qaradawi/

Holy Qur’an. (s.f.). Recuperado el 25 de Febrero de 2013, de http://quran.com/2/170

Khalfe, M. A. (s.f.). Does touching the opposite sex break ones Wudhu? Recuperado el 5 de Marzo de 2013, de http://islamictext.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/does-touching-the-opposite-sex-break-ones-wudhu1.pdf