Islam and the Right of Privacy

Islam and the Right of Privacy

By Zeinab Hassan Ashry

In Islam, the right of privacy for every individual is highly respected.

Prying into people’s private affairs and spying on their secrets are not permitted even if they are engaged in sins as long as they do it privately and not openly.

Respect People’s Privacy

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, ”Whosoever listens to people’s conversation against their wishes will have molten lead poured into his ears on the Day of Resurrection.” (Abu Dawud and others)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said:

“Beware of suspicion (about others), as suspicion is the most dishonest talk, and do not spy upon each other, and do not listen to the evil talk of the people about others’ affairs, and do not have enmity with one another, but be brothers. And none should ask for the hand of a girl who is already engaged to his (Muslim) brother, but one should wait till the first suitor marries her or leaves her.” (Al-Bukhari)

Be a Big Brother/Sister

Islam builds its community on mutual love, brother-hood co-operation. Muslims are but brothers and sisters. The Qur’an states:

The believers are but a single Brotherhood. So make peace and reconciliation between your brothers. And fear Allah so that you may receive Mercy.

A Muslim should guard the rights of brotherhood. He should do his best to show sympathy toward people and remove their difficulties.

He must strive to overcome his pride, anger, hatred, ill feelings, and jealousy toward people and humble himself toward them.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “A Muslim is a brother of another Muslim, so he should not oppress him, nor should he hand him over to an oppressor. Whoever fulfilled the needs of his brother, Allah will fulfill his needs; whoever brought his (Muslim) brother out of a discomfort, Allah will bring him out of the discomforts of the Day of Resurrection, and whoever covered a Muslim, Allah will cover him on the Day of Resurrection.” (Al-Bukhari)

The Prophet also said:

“Do not envy one another, and do not inflate prices one to another, and do not turn away from one another, and do not undercut one another, but be you, O servants of Allah, brothers. A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim: he neither lies to him nor does he hold him in contempt.

Piety is right here,” and he pointed to his breast three times. “It is evil enough for a man to hold his Muslim brother in contempt. The whole of a Muslim for another Muslim is inviolable: his blood, his property, and his honor.” (Muslim)

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The article is excerpted from the author’s  The True Muslim, published by Islam Presentation Committee (IPC), Kuwait.

 

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What Rights Do Our Neighbours Have Over Us?

What Rights Do Our Neighbours Have Over Us?

“Jibreel kept urging me that neighbors should be treated well until I thought he would make them heirs”, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said.

Islam places extreme importance over the treatment of neighbors. We have to be cordial with them and share our food with them. What other rights do our neighbors have over us?

Sheikh Yahya Ibrahim answers here…

 


Source: Faith IQ

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What If My Parents Want Me to Take off My Hijab?

What If My Parents Want Me to Take off My Hijab?

Your safety, your rizq (your income and provisions) in this life are within the Hands of Allah. Your parents may worry about how an interviewer feels about your faith, but the ultimate decision on your hire-ability isn’t coming from HR. It’s coming from Allah.

Your parents may worry that hijab makes you a target, and given that Muslim women are the most conspicuous targets of Islamophobia, you can understand where their fear is coming from. Your safety though, comes from another place. Allah is your Protector, your Sustainer, and your Guide.

So, how should a person in such a situation respond?

Ustadha Yasmin Mogahed​ explains….


Source: Faith IQ

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New Muslims: Where and How to Learn Arabic?

New Muslims: Where and How to Learn Arabic?

There are a few things that one should do when trying to learn the Arabic language:

Arabic quran

Arabic is the language of revelation. Thus, it’s study should be taken very seriously.

Understand that this is the language of revelation. Thus, it’s study should be taken very seriously. The signs of this understanding are the following:

1- A checked intention; meaning, constantly observe your inner state. I’ve seen a lot of Western students show off their latest understanding of tamyiz (discernment). Beware of this quality because the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said about this type of person, “The Fire! The Fire.”

2- Have a lot of patience. Ibn Malik, the great scholar of grammar (may Allah have mercy upon him) began his famous book the Alfiya (a thousand line poem on grammar) with the line, “Kalamun Lafdhun Mufidun Kastaqim”.

Kastaqim” means to be firm and upright. He opened his blessed poem with that line to say to the student, “Istaqim upon the learning of this language”.

In other words, Arabic, if you really want to grasp its secrets, is not hard, but takes time.

A scholar used to say, “The entrance to Arabic is hard and it’s exit is easy”. Thus, don’t try and over-do things. Once a man had studied for 19 years. He said, “I’ve failed to become a scholar. “What have I learned?” Finally, he decided to leave being a student of knowledge and went back to his village. He sat on a stone well and noticed the rope that held the bucket had warn its way through the stone well.

Suddenly he realized something and said to himself, “Seeking knowledge is like this rope. It takes time, but with patience and focus, a rope can rub through stone”.

3- A lot of supplication: Allah says, “He (Allah) taught men expression”. (Ar-Rahman 55:4)

Thus, you must beg Allah to give you this language.

Remember that learning this language is a means of improving your servitude to Allah. Thus, implore Allah to give it to you.

4- Learning Arabic has a few components:

1) Grammar (Nahw) , Rhetoric (Balagha) and Morphology (Sarf). These are the internal organs of the language, however, know- may Allah have mercy on you, that learning these sciences will give you a technical understanding of the language. Especially if you learn from the classical texts (mutun) in the beginning. Thus, most teachers advise students to start with more basic books, which are current in content, and then later move on to the mutun.

2) Speaking, writing and expression: This is usually the last thing to come.

Arabic letters

Remember that learning this language is a means of improving your servitude to Allah.

But, once one has it, they should praise Allah in abundance because they are expressing themselves in the language of the Qur’an, the language of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the language of “ahl al-Jannah” (the people of Paradise).

I would advise our brothers to begin and communicate with others as often as possible. Although you’ll make mistakes, and we all do, keep trying. Once, I was sitting with a group of Malaysian students from Al-Azhar. They were very strong in the Arabic and I noticed that they only spoke Arabic. I asked one of them, “Mashallah, what is going on with you brothers?” He told me, “We love to make mistakes in Arabic more than speaking our own language correctly.” Thus, you must practice, practice, practice. What you fail to use, will fail you when you need it.

As per your study I would do the following:

1- Leave the classical books until you can understand them and read them with a teacher. The best books I’ve found for learning how to talk are, believe it or not, children’s books. Their language is always great and there are a lot of conversations which will serve as a great assistant for you in the future.

2- Use a common text book that teaches Arabic such as Kitabul Asassi, the University of Medina series and many others.

3- Try to study in a center in an Arab country. It is very important to remember that a language is a culture. Thus, while living in the culture you will learn the expression of the language in its natural state.

4- Work hard

Finally, I would try and memorize some Qur’an and Hadith. Both, and the Qur’an more so, are a means of giving you fasaha (eloquence).

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Source: Suhaibwebb.com

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The Islamic Judicial System and Human Rights

The Islamic Judicial System and Human Rights

By Abdul-Rahman Al Sheha

The judiciary is an independent administrative system in the Islamic government oriented to resolve all types of legal disputes among various claimants. The Judicial system is structured to preserve individual rights; assure the establishment of justice among people, stop oppression, and punish the oppressors. The Islamic system follows the directives of Allah and the Prophet  from the Qur’an and the Sunnah (traditions).

The Islamic Judicial System and Human Rights

Every individual in the Islamic society, regardless of his faith or religious affiliation, position or social status, has certain immutable rights.

There are specific criteria for a judge applying for a position in the Islamic judicial system. The applicant must be a mature, sane, mentally capable and healthy in order to surmount the difficulties and challenges of his job. He must be well educated and informed about the Shari`ah (Islamic rulings and the principles of lawful and unlawful in Islam), as well as be well aware of mundane affairs so not to be deceived or misinformed.

He should have the ability to give verdicts in both worldly and religious spheres. He must be honorable, dignified, honest and with high moral character. He should be a man of upright conduct so that his judgments are well accepted by the parties in dispute.

Islam prescribes a specific code of conduct for judges that should be observed. The following letter sent by the second Caliph, `Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) to one of the assigned judges provides the guidelines for all Muslim judges:

“From the second Caliph, `Umar ibn Al-Khattab, the slave of Allah to `Abdullah ibn Qays, As salamu `alayikum. Judgment among (disputing) people is a precise and obligatory act that should be followed and executed properly. You should (try your best to) understand the people present before you.

Furthermore, none will benefit from a right that is not executed. Give equal consideration and seating arrangements to people in your court so as an influential person may not think to take advantage because of his status. Moreover, a weak person will not lose hope of justice in your court. The plaintiff must present a proof of evidence. A defendant must take an oath if he rejected and denied the claim of the plaintiff. Disputing people may choose to compromise between one another. However, no compromise is acceptable if it renders an unlawful item lawful or vice versa. If you pass a judgment one day, but upon reviewing it on the next, you discover that you made a mistake and the right sentence is not what you passed as a verdict, then (reopen the case) and pass the right sentence. You should realize that returning to the right sentence and judgment is (much) better than indulging deeper in falsehood. Try to understand the confusing matters that have no text of scripture to support them either from the Qur’an or the Sunnah (way of the Prophet, peace be upon him) and study the resembling rulings, sentences and cases, and after obtaining the proper knowledge assess your cases. Then choose the most beloved judgment to Allah and closest to the truth in your eyes. Offer a chance to a plaintiff who claims a matter that is not currently present by setting a definite time for him to prove it. If such a plaintiff produces his proof of evidence, adjudicate the case in his favor. If not, then judge against his case. All Muslims are trustworthy insofar as the testimony is concerned except for a person who has been lashed for committing any shameful act in the Islamic society, or a person who is known for false testimonies, or a person who is either a relative or distantly related to the plaintiff. Allah takes care of all hidden secrets of people and helps you (to judge) by providing evidence. Furthermore, you must not worry, become intolerant, or complain about disputing people in the rightful matters where Allah rewards you for being patient and is pleased with the results. If a person has a good and pure soul with Allah, Allah will (surely) improve the relations of that man with the public.” (At-Tirmithi)

Immutable Rights

Every individual in the Islamic society, regardless of his faith or religious affiliation, position or social status, has certain immutable rights, which include the following:

1- The right to seek judgment against oppressors. An individual may sue his oppressor in the judicial court.

2- The right to have an equal hearing before the judge. This is based on the hadith Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him), instructing `Ali (may Allah be pleases with him) when he commissioned him as a judge, saying:

“Surely, Allah shall guide your heart and fasten your tongue (to the truth). When the plaintiff and the defendant sit before you, do not issue a verdict for one until you hear the statement of the other as you heard the first.” (Abu Dawud)

3- The right to be considered innocent unless and until proven guilty. The Messenger of Allah said:

“If people are given (judgments) based on their claims, you will see people claiming for the blood of others and their wealth. However, the defendant must offer an oath.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

And in Bayhaqi version of the hadith, it ends:

“The evidence must be produced by the plaintiff and an oath must be offered by the defendant.”

4- The right that mere suspicion does not deprive the suspect from his due process of law and specific rights. For instance, a suspect must not be tortured by any means, nor subjected to violence, cruelty or hardship in order to force him to give any confession. Allah’s Messenger forbade this, by extension, when he said:

Allah absolves my Ummah (nation) from the following: error, forgetfulness and whatever they are forced to do.” (Ibn Majah)

The second caliph, `Umar ibn Al-Khattab stated, “A person would not be responsible for his confession, if you inflicted pain upon him or scared him or imprisoned him (to obtain the confession).” (Abu Yusuf in his book Al-Kharaj)

5- The right that only the guilty will be punished for what is within their personal responsibility. This means that no one is to be held responsible for the faults of others.

Accusation, suspicion, and punishment must be confined to the guilty person and not extended to his family members.

Allah, the Just, says in the Qur’an:

Whoever does righteous deed, benefits his own self and whoever does evil, it is against his own self and Your Lord is never unjust to His Slaves. (Fussilat 41:46)

Allah’s Messenger said:

“No one should be taken (guilty) for the wrong doing of his brother of father.” (An-Nasa’i)

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The article is an excerpt from the author’s Human Rights in Islam and Common Misconceptions.

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New Muslims and Halloween

First we would like to congratulate all those who have taken the decision to convert to Islam and accept it as their new lifestyle.

Halloween

Halloween is usually celebrated on the evening of October 31.

Following the shahadah (testimony of faith) many Muslims face many problems. But they should not panic. Islam is a simple religion. Islam does not ask its followers to apply all the rules at once. Islam adopts the process of gradual legislation. It is not expected from a new female convert to wear the hijab few hours after taking the shahadah. It is not expected form from a new Muslim to fast for 30 days immediately without any good preparation.

One of the problems faced by new Muslims is the issue of different celebrations held throughout the year. Halloween or Hallowe’en or All Hallows’ Eve is one example. Halloween is usually celebrated on the evening of October 31. This celebration has its pagan origins. The celebration represents the devil worshipper’s New Year. People wear costumes, go tricking and treating and decorate their houses with witches, spider nets and wasting.

Every Muslim has to celebrate only the celebrations that were celebrated by the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his followers. There are two celebrations in Islam viz. `Eid al-Fitr and `Eid al-Adha. Rather than these two celebrations, a Muslim in not allowed to participate in.

New Muslims find it difficult to escape such situations. But they have to to handle these situation wisely as much as they can.

As for Halloween, they can tell their neighbours ahead of time that according to their belief they are not recommended to celebrate such an event. This will help in introducing you to your neighbours and will be a good opportunity to tell them something about Islam. Some Muslim scholars suggest that you go out with your family and have dinner with them so that no one will be at home at the time of celebration.

New Muslims have to be careful not to do anything that contradict the teachings of Allah and the traditions of the Prophet.

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