Tag Archives: islam en costa rica

La verdadera belleza de una mujer

29 Jul

As-salam alaikum (la paz esté contigo). Una de las preguntas más comunes que se hacen las mujeres no musulmanas es, ¿por qué deben las mujeres musulmanas cubrir su cuerpo y cabello? Si vivimos en un mundo “civilizado” y modernizado, donde cualquier mujer puede andar por las calles como se le antoje, ¿por qué entonces es necesario vestir modestamente?

Vivimos en un mundo donde la imagen física de la mujer vale más que su inteligencia y forma de ser. Para una mujer latina, su cuerpo, su forma de vestir y su atracción naturalmente hermosa es de más importancia que cualquier otra cosa.

Desde niñas somos enseñadas a ser coquetas, a vestirnos decentemente, es decir, no salir de la casa sin antes peinarnos y andar ropa coqueta y femenina, y luego en nuestra juventud somos reforzadas a atraer al sexo opuesto con ropa provocativa. Sin embargo, es importante dejar claro que esto es parte de nuestra cultura. Para muchos países la cultura latina no es de gran prestigio debido a la forma en que somos representados por las novelas, películas y en las noticias, sin embargo, la belleza exterior es una parte normal y común en las familias latinas y ha llegado hasta no verse incorrecto que una mujer se vista (o en realidad se desvista) de esta forma.

La cultura occidental es considerada muy “liberal.” Pero yo les hago la siguiente pregunta: ¿Somos libres realmente como mujeres en esta cultura?

En la cultura “civilizada” de hoy en día, cada mujer es “objetizada,” es decir, se utiliza su cuerpo para vender desde carros hasta mangueras jardineras (no se burlen, ya que lo he visto anunciado en televisión). Es común ver en las revistas y anuncios por las calles partes del cuerpo de una mujer para vender productos; unos labios para vender licores, los ojos para vender maquillaje,  la parte trasera para vender jeans o pantalones ajustados, etc.

Una mujer cristiana puede ir a misa son vestidos cortos, pantalones ajustados, blusas que se deje al expuesto sus pechos y curvas, y tacones altos y llamativos, sin ser rechazada por la sociedad ni vista como vulgar o provocativa. Aunque así no sea el caso en otros países o regiones más conservadores, esto es muy común en Costa Rica y si vas con ropa modesta es considerada una monja o desarreglada.

Para la mujer musulmana, nuestro cuerpo no es algo que queremos lucirle al resto del mundo. No necesitamos llamar la atención del sexo opuesto o de las demás mujeres de esta forma para sentirnos aceptadas o bonitas. Sabemos que la belleza no está en nuestro cuerpo, cara o cabello. Sabemos que tarde o temprano, todo esto desvanecerá con el tiempo; se nos cae el pelo, se nos hace arrugas y aumentos o bajamos de peso.

Cuando atraes a un hombre con su físico, él no te respetará si eres inteligente o no, si eres amable o no, o si lo respetará a él en el futuro. Simplemente le interesa su cuerpo, sus curvas y si dejas tu belleza femenina al expuesto, le estarás dando la iniciativa de que para usted es permisible que te vean como un objeto sexual meramente.

Yo, como mujer musulmana y representante del Islam en mi país, al igual que las demás mujeres musulmanas en mi país con dignidad, respeto a sí mismas, y orgullo, te diremos qué es la verdadera belleza de una mujer.

No necesito cambiar el tono de mi piel para que otros me admiren. No necesito modificar el contorno de mis ojos, ni el color de mi cabello, ni la altura que tengo para sentirme bonita, cuando sabemos que todas estas modificaciones son falsas y temporales. Somos felices de ser como Alá (exaltado sea su Majestad) nos trajo al mundo; somos una creación perfecta en Sus Ojos, una admiración sin defectos para Él (exaltado y glorificado sea Él).

No necesito lucir mi silueta al público para sentirme atractiva, ni andar con vestimentas caras y llamativas cuando sabemos como mujeres musulmanas, que millones de niños y mujeres como nosotras se mueren de hambre porque no tienen ni siquiera boronas de pan en sus mesas.

La atracción y belleza verdadera la llevamos dentro de nuestro ser; somos dignas de ser admiradas y dignas de ser tomadas como ejemplo para las demás mujeres. Somos las que cualquier niño desearía como madre, y las que cualquier hombre con piedad y temor a Alá desearía como esposa, con respeto hacía nosotros mismas y orgullo de cubrir la belleza que Alá (exaltado sea su Majestad) nos ha dado.

Les daré un ejemplo muy sencillo y simple. La perla es conservada en su concha, sin ser expuesta a los demás. A pesar de que nadie puede verla, no quiere decir que su belleza y valor no se disminuya. Es más, por estar conservadas y no expuestas a los demás, su valor sube y es de mayor admiración.

¿Andarías por tu casa luciendo su dinero, oro y cosas de valor a los demás? Por supuesto que no. Sabemos que las cosas de valor son guardadas en un depósito donde no todos lo vean. Esto es porque son cosas de mucho valor para nosotros, y lo cuidamos como merece.

Una mujer musulmana es mucho más valiosa, y digna de ser cuidada como tal. Somos más valiosas que el dinero o el oro o los diamantes, o una perla. Nos damos el respeto y puesto que merecemos, uno de prestigio y de honor.

Inclusive ni necesitamos luchar por nuestros derechos femeninos, ya que se nos fueron otorgados hace más de 1400 años, con la revelación del Sagrado Corán.

Las verdaderas víctimas de opresión y explotación femenina son las no musulmanas, que son constantemente molestadas por su apariencia sexual. ¿Por qué creen que se vende tantos productos para adelgazar, hayan tantas operaciones de aumento de busto, liposucción, y otras operaciones meramente físicas en los países occidentes? ¿Por qué creen que los salones de belleza pasan llenos todos los días?

Hay tanta atención para nuestra apariencia física, pero tanta negligencia hacia lo que realmente importa, lo que llevamos por dentro. ¿Te has preguntado alguna vez si te llevarías todo esto contigo cuando mueras? Por supuesto que la respuesta es no.

En el Islam, la mujer tiene los mismos derechos que el hombre. No somos oprimidas como dicen falsamente en las noticias y en muchos países occidentales. La falta de conocimiento y el impedimento a educarse son factores de esta ignorancia en muchas personas.

¿Quién nos puede decir que somos oprimidas simplemente por querer cubrir nuestro cuerpo y protegernos, cuando tenemos un capítulo entero en el Sagrado Corán dedicado a las mujeres (Sura o capítulo 4, “Las mujeres”)? Además, se le tiene un Sura entero a la Virgen María, el número 19. Si fuéramos tan oprimidas como las noticias y prensa quieren que nos veamos, no tendríamos ni voz ni derechos.

Sin embargo, con la revelación del Noble Corán, fue la primera vez que se les daba derechos a las mujeres y siguen siendo derechos por los cuales mujeres de nuestra sociedad “modernizada” y “civilizada” han tratado de luchar para adquirirlos y no logran ganar sus derechos; siguen siendo vistas como una atracción sexual carente de inteligencia.

Por esto y muchos motivos más, debemos sentirnos orgullosas de ser mujeres musulmanas, que nos respetamos y somos respetadas por los demás. Yo elijo quién me mira con deseos sexuales – y este debería ser solamente nuestros esposos – y quien no me ve de esta forma. Camino libremente por las calles porque sé que no necesito quedarle bien a nadie, ni que me juzgan por mi físico. Me enfoco en lo que realmente es la belleza de una mujer, mi taqwaa (piedad o temor en Alá), mi forma de ser, mi espiritualidad, y en beneficiar a los demás con mis actitudes y carácter.

Di, ¡Alhamdulillah que soy una mujer libre de estas ataduras mundanas, que soy libre de cualquier deseo de este mundo, y que cada día le agradezco a Alá por ser como soy! Lo único que quiero modificar y cambiar es mi relación con Alá (glorificado y exaltado sea su Majestad), en acercarme a Él ya que es el Único digno de mi adoración, y en beneficiar a las demás mujeres el gran regalo que tenemos, de ser mujeres musulmanas libres de estas cosas materiales que no nos dan nada a cambio!

Insha’Allah (si Alá lo permite) esto te haya beneficiado, ya seas musulmana, o una mujer con creencia en Alá (exaltado sea su Majestad). A mí el Islam me libró y me ha hecho la mujer que siempre quise ser, una mujer digna de respeto, con humildad, paciencia, sabiduría y taqwaa (temor a Alá); y sé que estas y muchas más cualidades seguirán creciendo en mí, tal como lo deseo para mis hermanas en Costa Rica y demás países leyendo esto, ¡insha’Allah!

Y Alá sabe mejor.

Chaíto.

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Fasting Week Two Thoughts

21 Jul

As-salam alaikum. About two weeks ago the entire Muslim ummah began our fasting. SubhanAllah, it’s been great and I’ve been able to pass through the days and take full advantage of them.

One of the things that concerned me the most wasn’t the fasting, but how I would manage my time in regards to reading the Qur’an, reading other Islamic books and reciting and trying to memorize parts of the Qur’an.

Surprisingly it’s gone quite well and I’ve succeeded so far in reading one juz of the Qur’an daily as well and having plenty of time for other things. What I like to do is read some Qur’an before or after my prayers, so that way I can have more dhikr or remembrance in Allah throughout the day.

Since I’m the only Muslim in my household, I was worried if I would be able to wake up every morning for suhoor. I wasn’t much of a morning person before reverting and even as a Muslim we all struggle to wake up for fajr. But Alhamdulillah I have woken up every morning on time, and have been able to have my suhoor or breakfast every day.

A week ago my father came to visit us. My parents are divorced and he lives about 4 hours away, so he always tries to visit us every 2 weeks. I was really hoping he would have come the Sunday before Ramadan began, but he ended up coming right in the middle of it all. I wasn’t concerned about having to fast and going with them to eat, but how was I going to tell him I was fasting? He doesn’t even know I’m Muslim, and quite frankly I’m not prepared to tell him it all just yet. My relationship with my father isn’t the best and since we barely see him, I don’t like to share much with him.

The smells were tantalizing. We decided to go to a mall in San José and I do have to admit my mouth was watering the whole time. However, after a while I got used to it and even forgot about the hunger. He was really worried why I wasn’t eating; he offered me everything there was, from chicken to chili to ice cream to even some mangos at a food stand there.

Finally, I told him in front of my brother, who didn’t know I was fasting, either. You see, I’m not going to go around telling everyone that I am. It’s something very personal and we fast to get closer to Allah, to control our bodily desires and to remember the poor and needy. It’s not to tell the entire world that you are fasting. Besides, they won’t understand, especially if they’re Christian. I did have to tell my mother as I knew she would get worried seeing me not eat all day (especially since I love to cook and make really delicious meals at lunchtime hehe).

So there I was, trying to explain to my father I was fasting.

Nobody really fasts here. There’s this so-called “fasting” during lent in Catholic religion where you abstain from meat for one entire day. Oh, and you can eat fish if you want instead. So, it’s not fasting for me. It’s just a day where you decide to be a vegetarian, but then decide not to and have fish instead.

So I was really worried what he would think. Would he think I was crazy? Or would he scold me and start blaming my mom about all this? I mean I’m 21 but he still doesn’t see me like an adult. But Alhamdulillah he took it quite well and even made a joke about it, how fasting was only for healthy people since he is a diabetic and wouldn’t be able to fast for too long.

Once I got home my mom asked right away what he said. I guess she has this idea in her mind that he would get angry at me or something. I didn’t mention to her that I hadn’t told him I was Muslim. I mean I did say quite clearly “in Islam…” but I don’t know if he associated that with his daughter being a Muslim or not. He didn’t ask any questions, so I didn’t bother to explain to him my personal decisions.

So Alhamdulillah Allah has truly been listening to my du’aas. Of course He always have, but I had taken it all for granted until past experiences that have shown me the mercy of Allah. We are truly blessed to be Muslim, if only others could realize this.

The rest of my fasting has gone quite well. Please share your own personal experiences on the comment section if you’d like.

Strangely, I really don’t get hungry when maghrib comes. I know it’s strange, as everyone is gorging themselves with food, but I don’t know why I don’t get hungry. Maybe it has to do with the fact that maghrib here is at 6:00 p.m. and everywhere else it’s around 8:00 or 9:00. But honestly I don’t feel hungry even at that time. Do you get really hungry when maghrib comes? Let me know if it’s not just me that this happens to.

One night a cousin came, so I broke my fast with some water and started to prepare some food afterwards. We ended up having dinner around 8:30 p.m. and I really wasn’t feeling like extremely hungry. I don’t know, maybe it’s because I have my mind on other things and not so concerned about the hunger.

May Allah reward you this Ramadan and bless us and protect us from the evils of Shaytaan. May Allah accept our fasting and our salat, and insha’Allah may He reward us Jannah. Ameen.

Chao!

There is no such thing as true love… Or is there?

15 Jul

This is directed to those people that happen to love a person more than they love Allah. If you are one of them, then listen up.

Love is not the fairy tale it seems to be. Neither is it forever. To be more realistic, nothing in this life is forever. We all die. We all retire our jobs. We all grow old and lose our young attractions. There is nothing that speaks stronger in this life than death. Because some can lose their jobs and others won’t, but as Allah (subhana wa ta’aala) says in the Qur’an:

Every soul will taste death. (Qur’an, 3:185)

So why are we so attached to these worldly desires? It is clear proof that we will all perish, pass away, and new generations will substitute our position in this life.

People will hurt you, even when you least expect it.

They will forget about you.

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Their love is limited.

Whether it be your spouse, your parents, or anyone you had a strong connection with, in the end it is a temporary love or one that will eventually hurt you.

You will get your heart broken, they will lose trust in you, and the word “forgiveness” doesn’t even exist in their hearts.

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Unlike human beings, who are full of errors and mistakes, Allah (subhana wa ta’aala) is the only one that will love us even more than our own mothers do.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) told us:

Allah is more compassionate towards His slaves than this mother towards her child. (Reported by Muslim)

Allah will never hurt you. Allah will love you even when you are committing sin. And do you know what the most wonderful part of it is? That Allah CAN forgive us. Unlike those people that we love, if we commit mistakes they cannot forgive us for them. Allah’s mercy is bigger, greater and more important to have than any finite human being like ourselves.

Say: O My servants who have transgressed against their own souls, despair not of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Qur’an, 39:53)

It is also narrated in this hadith qudsi (meaning that it is an interpretation of what Allah says):

O son of Adam, as long as you call upon Me and put your hope in Me, I have forgiven you for what you have done and I do not mind. O son of Adam, if your sins were to reach the clouds of the sky and then you would seek My forgiveness, I would forgive you. O son of Adam, if you were to come to Me with sins that are close to filling the earth and then you would meet Me without ascribing any partners with Me, I would certainly bring to you forgiveness close to filling it.

Subhanallah.

Allah is the MOST forgiving. This forgiveness is the only one we should seek. Because He is the only one that will judge us on the day of judgement. Let’s make du’aa for this:

Ya Rabb, make us of the pious, of the believers, whom associate none with you, whom have taqwaa deep in their hearts, whom actions are directed towards you and towards you only! Ya Rabb, we seek your forgiveness, and we ask nothing in return, only of what you shall bestow upon us. Ameen!

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Allah will never hurt us.

Allah will never try to look for revenge.

Allah loves us and is closer to us than our jugular vein. Even after He, the All Mighty, created us with errors, He has mercy upon us and waits for our true and sincere forgiveness.

Now tell me, who in this world is like that?

Who, from the people you love, has these qualities? No one. Because Allah (subhana wa ta’aala) is incomparable.

This is why we shouldn’t love people more than we love Allah. Because His love is the only pure, merciful and beneficent love we need in our lives.

Sufficient for us is Allah. (Qur’an, 3:173)

Allah will never forget us.

Unlike people, Allah will remember us if we remember Him. Allah (subhana wa ta’aala) says in the Qur’an:

So remember Me; I will remember you. (Qur’an, 2:152)

Allah’s love is limitless.

His love for us has no boundaries. For humans, if we commit a mistake, they forget us, they say mean things to us and forget about the love and connection you once had with them.

For Allah, this is not the same. Even after we have fallen in sin, even if our sins are thicker than the foam of the sea, if we ask for his sincere forgiveness, Allah will forgive us. Insha’Allah.

Take my story as an example. Before becoming Muslim, I was in the worst of sins. If I would have died in this state, I would have gone to hell because of it. Allah (subhana wa ta’aala) says to us in the Qur’an:

Indeed, Allah does not forgive association with Him, but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills. (Qur’an, 4:48)

Also, Allah says to us:

O my son, do not associate [anything] with Allah . Indeed, association [with him] is great injustice. (Qur’an, 31:13)

If Allah wished, He could have made me die in that state of shirk (associating others with Allah). Because He ta’aala has proven to us many times how hundreds of people die in the state of shirk every single day. In my country it is hundreds each day! May Allah protect us from those that do.

But Allah is so merciful, He has chosen us to be Muslims, from this darkness that we are in. Even after we have committed the worse sin there is for Allah, He still forgives us and gives us time to repent!

Where will you find someone like this in this dunya (world)?

People are greedy, selfish, stubborn and egotistic. Their only desire is to please themselves. There is no true love for many people, and it is only until you get hurt by them that you realize what their true intentions really were.

It is hard for us to forgive others. There are those that never accept forgiveness from you, no matter how true and pure your repentance is.

But for Allah we can commit sin as many times, that if we truly repent from our hearts, He will forgive us. Subhanallah, all Glory be to Allah!

Let us take advantage of this Ramadan to seek forgiveness from our Rabb, our Lord. This is the month to ask for sincere forgiveness to Allah, so do not take it lightly!

When you are sad, stressed out, or in depression, read Qur’an and you will see how peace will enter your heart by remembering Allah.

Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest. (Qur’an 13:28)

And Allah knows best.

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My Pre Ramadan To-Do List

4 Jul

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As a means to help others out there who aren’t quite sure what they can do right before Ramadan begins, I’ve decided to share this list with you on things you can do just before Ramadan.

I know many people are too busy with work, school, children or other time consuming activities, so insha’Allah this list will help you prepare for Ramadan.

Before I begin, it’s important to highlight this following hadith:

Abu reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “When half of Sha’ban remains, then do not fast.” [at-Tirmidhi]

Fasting this last week is not recommended. I had the intention of fasting a few weeks ago, but Alhamdulillah I found this hadith narrating the importance it is to not fast right before Ramadan.

Plan a food calendar.

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If this is your first Ramadan, or you are unsure of what to eat for suhoor and iftar, then plan ahead. Make sure to base your early breakfast – suhoor – around enough vitamins and nutrients to help you withstand the long hours of fasting throughout the day.

The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) would break his fast with ripe dates before he would pray. If those were not available, he would eat dried dates. If those were not available, he would drink some water. [Abu Dawud]

It was Sunnah (prophetic way) for the Prophet (saws) to break his fast with dates, and if they were not available then with water.

Watch Ramadan Prep series on QuranWeekly.com

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An easy way to help you learn before Ramadan, to prepare you and to spend some time remembering Allah ta’aala (dhikr) is by watching these informative videos. There is a new video up every night at 7:00 p.m. Costa Rican time if you are interested in watching them. You can look back to the previous 4 videos they have up to catch up, and they also have the videos from last year’s Ramadan Prep series if you’d like to learn from those as well. Insha’Allah we can learn how to prepare ourselves for Ramadan before it finally comes.

Learn a new Surah

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A great and simple way to improve yourself before Ramadan is by memorizing a part of the Qur’an.

Whether it be an ayat, or an entire Surah to recite in our Salat (prayers), it is very important to take advantage of this month and actually learn from the Qur’an.

How many people fast just with their bodies? The true fasting is that which is in the heart, abstaining from evil thoughts and devoting your time and effort to learning and acting upon the Qur’an.

This website will help you learn to memorize a Surah or Ayat of the Qur’an: www.MountHira.com

Hear a short Podcast from Bayyinah Institute.

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These small podcasts are free, and open to anyone in desire to improve their emaan.

I know that here in my country, the ummah is spread around the country in different parts. Therefore, I can’t indulge myself in the activities held in the masjid for distance and financial reasons, so what better way than to learn Qur’an through the Internet.

So far I’ve listened to the first 21 ayats of Surah Al Baqarah from two separate podcasts. They have helped me learn what these ayats truly hold, and the ustadh Nouman Ali Khan is a great teacher to obtain knowledge from.

Here is the link to the podcasts. Feel free to download or hear as many as you’d like. Just remember that it is better to hear a short 30 minutes per night than to try to hear 2 hours of tasfeer, which can be exhausting to the mind.

http://podcast.bayyinah.com/category/002-surah-al-baqarah/

Learn and practice du’aas

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Another simple way to prepare yourself for Ramadan is to practice easy du’aas before and after an action. Not only is this beneficial to you, but also you will learn to perform actions for the sake of Allah (subhana wa ta’aala) and achieve humbleness and taqwaa (fear or piety to Allah).

You can find tons of duaa’s online and websites that can help you memorize duaa’s.

I recommend you write them down, and hang them around your room for you to memorize them. For example the du’aa said when you wake up and before you go to bed you can hang next to your bed so you can remember to recite it. Or even saving them on your phone is a good idea.

I will leave you with a du’aa to help you retain whatever you listen to or read.

According to Imam Ali ibn abi Talib to retain in memory whatever one listens or reads, recite the following dua’a after every obligatory salat.

In the name of Allah the most kind the most merciful.

Glory be to Him who does not treat the citizens of His kingdom unjustly.

Glory be to Him who does not let the torment and pain come suddenly upon mankind.

Glory be to the compassionate the merciful.

O Allah, fill my heart with true enlightenment, wisdom, understanding and knowledge.

Surely you are able to do all things.

SUBH’AANA MAN LAA YA-TADEE AA’LAA AHLI MAMLAKATIHEE SUBH’AANA MAN LAA YAAKHUD’U AHLAL ARZ’I BILWAANIL A’D’AABI SUBH’AANAR RA-OOFIR RAH’EEMI ALLAAHUMMAJ-A’L LEE FEE QALBEE NOORAN WA BAS’ARAN WA FAHMAN WA I’LMAN INNAKA A’LAA KULLI SHAY-IN QADEER

Commit yourself to watching a Ramadan series video every day

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There are two Ramadan series I’ll be watching this Ramadan insha’Allah.

The first one is from Qur’an Weekly, called the Quranic Gems. You can watch the video on their website, and tune in every day to hear a specific part of the Juz for that day commented on. Here is the link to their website: http://www.quranweekly.com/quranic-gems-series-ramadan-special/

The second series I’ll be watching insha’Allah are live clases every day for the month of Ramadan. Here is the link, and you can enroll for free with your name and e-mail account. http://www.ramadanwithquran.com

Insha’Allah you can enroll as well. If you have any other series we can watch for Ramadan please link in the comment section for others to benefit from.

Make voluntary prayers

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We all know we are obliged to complete our fard prayers every day. Another simple yet rewarding way to improve your emaan is to also make Sunnah prayers when you perform your Salat. Not only will this help you strengthen your connection and taqwaa with Allah (swt), but when you are feeling down or spiritually low, you will sacrifice making your Sunnah or voluntary prayers, but not sacrifice your fard prayers.

When Ramadan comes, you will be performing your five salat, and on top of that making voluntary prayers as well. Thus, your emaan will grow insha’Allah.

Our prayer will be the first thing questioned upon on the day of Judgment. Allah (swt) says in the following hadith:

The Messenger (S.A.W.) told us in an authentic hadith , “The first thing the people will be accountable for on the Day of Judgment is prayer, Allah will say to His angels (even though he already knows) : “Look at my servants prayers. Were they complete or not?” If they were complete It will be written as complete. If they were not fully complete Allah will say: “See if my servant has voluntary prayers, If he has them Allah will say: Complete his obligatory prayers shortage with his voluntary prayers.” Then the rest of his deeds will be dealt with in the same manner.” {Reported by Imams Ahmad, Abu Dawood, An-Nisa’i, and Al-Hakim}

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Insha’Allah this list will help you improve your emaan and help yourself prepare for Ramadan.

Remember that fasting without true emaan and having true intentions, is not the same as if you just fasted with your body. Fasting is far more than abstaining from food and drink. It is also a means for you to come closer to Allah, to fast with the heart and for the intention to be only for the sake of Allah.

“and fast, it is better for you, if only you knew” [al-Baqarah, 2:184]

Thoughts on Halal (Lawful) Meat

16 May

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As-salaam alaykum. So I get daily hadiths sent to my e-mail that I like to read each night. Today’s hadith was rather interesting, and I thought it would be very important to mention as it includes anyone living in a non-Muslim country.

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Narrated Abu Tha’laba Al-Khushani (Radi-Allahu ‘anhu):

I said, “O Allah’s Prophet! We are living in a land ruled by the people of the Scripture; Can we take our meals in their utensils? In that land there is plenty of game and I hunt the game with my bow and with my hound that is not trained and with my trained hound. Then what is lawful for me to eat?” He said, “As for what you have mentioned about the people of the Scripture, if you can get utensils other than theirs, do not eat out of theirs, but if you cannot get other than theirs, wash their utensils and eat out of it. If you hunt an animal with your bow after mentioning Allah’s Name, eat of it. and if you hunt something with your trained hound after mentioning Allah’s Name, eat of it, and if you hunt something with your untrained hound (and get it before it dies) and slaughter it, eat of it.”

Bukhari Vol. 7 : No. 387

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I’ve always had questions on whether or not we should eat meat – obviously pork not included – that comes from a non-Muslim butcher. However, I’ve taken the easy way out and have decided to hide these doubts at the back of my head ever since I reverted to Islam.

Now however, after reading this hadith I realized that this is of great importance and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Also, it had come up in one of my conversations with the man that introduced me to Islam on whether or not I should share the same utensils with my family, since they do happen to eat pork.

It’s funny, how this afternoon my family and I went to do the groceries and my brother went with my mom to pick out some meat at the stands. I stayed back and waited for them, and I could see how my mom took some pork sausages, and I saw my brother telling her to buy the chicken one instead. It made me smile, as I could read out his lips, explaining to her that I didn’t eat pork.

Alhamdulillah my family respects this.

One time my brother made lunch, and I could see how proud he was after serving it to us. It was some spaghetti with sauce, but once I took the first bite I knew he had added ham to it. Very politely, I told him if he had added ham to it, and he said he did. When I told him that I didn’t eat pork, he apologized multiple times, and even asked me if he should make something else for me.

Subhanallah, what a nice family I have. Despite the fact that they don’t share my religious beliefs (although I do ask Allah (subhana wa’ tala) to guide them towards the right path that is Islam), they still respect my decisions.

Anyways, back to the main topic.

This hadith answers my questions about whether or not I should eat “halal” meat, not slaughtered by Muslims, and if I should share my eating utensils with my family.

The first part of this hadith talks about the utensils you use to eat. If you cannot find utensils of your own, you should therefore wash the ones that the non-believers use. This I do always; disinfecting utensils is of vital importance nowadays, and it’s something that I’m very careful about.

Another option would be that if you have the capability of obtaining your own utensils and having them separate from the non-believers, than you should do so. However, I find this very isolating and personally couldn’t do this. Imagine how uncomfortable having “your own” utensils; I’d feel greedy somehow, and would feel like I’m slowly isolating myself from them.

I understand my family is not Muslim, but I also always wash the utensils I use, and I also know they don’t drink alcohol in them.

Finally, it mentions the eating of meat from non-believers. The hadith is very clear on this point. It says, paraphrasing of course, that you can eat from the meat that you have caught and that have mentioned the name of Allah before slaughtering it. In other words, if the name of Allah is not mentioned before the animal that is killed, then don’t eat it.

In other words, become a vegetarian.

I always wondered if I could eat meat that wasn’t killed in the name of Allah, and this hadith shows me that I can’t.

This explains why Muslims always try to find “halal restaurants” when they dine out like in the United States or other countries. I always thought to myself, why don’t they just eat vegetarian meals instead?

But being Muslim isn’t about being a vegetarian.

You can eat meat as a Muslim; it’s a natural human desire. Did you know that it’s been scientifically proven that men get happier when they’re told they’ll have meat for dinner?

And as a matter of fact, I don’t want to be a vegetarian. How boring, the life of a vegetarian. They try to “save animals,” somehow believing if they don’t eat meat they’ll get everyone to be vegetarian just like them.

And I also feel like vegetarians are always picky, gay and annoying.

It’s like something only “rich people” would do, since they can now choose their food.

I can imagine what my grandmother would have thought if one of her children came up to her and told her “I’m a vegetarian now.” She would have wooped that child, since back in the day my father and his family didn’t have much to eat. Alhamdulillah that has changed.

What I mean to say is that I don’t like vegetarians because they throw away perfectly edible food just “to save the animals.” It’s something I don’t believe is beneficial to anyone.

However, when it comes to Allah (subhana wa’tala) there are some sacrifices you must do for the sake of Allah.

When we pray, we say At-tayatu lillahi was-salawatu wa-tay yibatu which translates to: All prayers and worship through words, actions and sanctity are for Allah only.

We should do every act in our lives for the sake of Allah only. Not for the animals. Not for any other bunch of pathetic excuses vegetarians use, because all they really want is the attention they desperately find to being accepted into society.

So no matter how difficult it can be, I understand the importance to find halal meat, and this includes that which has been slaughtered in the name of Allah.

This will be hard to find. Especially here in Costa Rica.

You see, for those not familiar with Latin countries, we’re a bit of a “haram” culture in certain things.

For instance, ticos (Costa Ricans) love pig. You will always see pork being served in every party, like chicharrones, gallos de chancho, picadillo de chancho, etc. There will always be a barbecue outside with pork being the main dish on the menu.

Also, alcohol is indispensable in my family parties. There always has to be beer, wine, whisky, tequila; anything with alcohol in it is acceptable in Latin society.

And finally, how can you exclude the Latin music and the tons of dancing there is in every party. I love Latin music, it’s always so cheerful and it makes you want to dance to the rhythm. But put pork, alcohol and music together and you’re in one big haram mess.

But it’s not impossible to be Muslim in this country.

I’ve heard of a Turkish bakery in San José, so they must be Muslim; and I’m pretty sure the imam and his family at the masjid in San José buy their meat somewhere halal.

Insha’Allah I can find a way to eat halal, even if it means sacrificing my love for meat, all in the name of Allah (subhana wa’tala).

For those living in non-Muslim countries, know that you are not alone. This hadith is clear evidence of the importance of eating halal, since it helps purify and clean our body and mind.

May Allah grant us guidance, reward us for our good deeds, forgive us from our bad ones, and continue blessing us with health, love for His word, and submission to his will.

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.