Archive | April, 2011

Important Tips for a Happy Marriage Life

28 Apr

1) Enter the Marriage with the Right Intention and Renew this Often
Both spouses should enter the marriage with the pure intention of pleasing Allah, (سبحانه وتعالى), in order to receive His grace and blessings. The marriage itself, then, becomes an act of worship, and one for which both spouses will be rewarded. Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) will be pleased with them, and this will be the most critical element in ensuring peace, stability and happiness throughout the marital life. Realize that when an act of worship is continued over a long period of time, it becomes necessary to renew one’s intention often to remain on the correct path and to obtain the most benefit.

2) Remember that Your Spouse is also Your Brother or Sister in Islam
Too often Muslims treat other people outside the home with kindness and sincerity, but then behave in a very different manner when it comes to their own spouses. Muslims should always remember that one’s spouse is also another brother or sister in Islam and that the rights and duties that apply to the general brotherhood (sisterhood) of Islam, should also form the basis of the marital relationship. Obviously, a spouse has rights beyond these, but there should be a clear understanding of the rights of brotherhood (sisterhood) and adherence to these principles.

The Messenger of Allah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said: None of you are true believers until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself. [Bukhari,2/12] Subhanallah, how many marriages could this hadith alone save? It counters every kind of negative treatment and encourages every kind of good treatment!

3) Do Not Hold Unrealistic Expectations
Before marriage, people often have unrealistic ideas about their spouse-to-be, and expect perfection in all aspects. This rarely, if ever, plays out in reality, and can lead to unnecessary problems and concerns. We should recall that Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) created humans as imperfect beings, which means that many mistakes will be made throughout a lifetime. By turning the table and expecting imperfection, we will be pleasantly surprised and pleased when we discover our spouse is much more than we ever hoped for. This, in turn, leads to contentment within the marriage.

4) Focus on the Best in Your Spouse
Since no one is endowed with all of the best qualities, emphasis should be placed on the positive qualities that a spouse possesses. Express encouragement, praise, and gratitude on a regular basis, to strengthen these qualities and to encourage developing others. Make an attempt to overlook or ignore negative characteristics, as the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said, “A believing man should not have any malice against a believing woman. He may dislike one characteristic in her, but may find another in her which is pleasing.” [Muslim, 8/3469]

5) Be Your Mate’s Best Friend
Try to think of what a best friend means and be one to your spouse. This may mean sharing interests, experiences, dreams, failures and upsets. It may involve understanding a spouse’s likes and dislikes and attempting to please him or her in any way possible. A best friend is also usually someone that can be confided to trusted, and relied upon. A spouse should be the kind of friend that one would want to keep throughout life.

6) Spend Quality Time Together
It is not enough to share meals, chores and small talk together. Spouses should also find time to focus on strengthening the relationship.Often couples get busy with their own separate tasks and forget about working on one of the most important elements in life. Quality time may be anything from having a quiet, profound conversation to going for a nice long nature walk, to sharing a special hobby or project. Both spouses should enjoy the particular option they choose and distractions should be kept to a minimum.

The Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) used to race with his wife, ‘Aisha (رضي الله عنها). Sometimes she won, and sometimes he won. Remember, he was in his fifties at the time!–how many of us think we are to “mature” to do something enjoyable that can also, with a proper intention, count as an act of worship and ring in piles of good deeds?

7) Express Feelings Often
This seems like a very “Western” concept and one that some people may struggle with, but it is important to be open and honest about one’s feelings,both positive and negative. The lines of communication should always be open and any concerns should be brought to the attention of the other spouse as soon as they arise. The rationale of this is that, what begins as a simple concern, may grow into a major problem if it is not addressed quickly and properly. The “silent treatment” never fixes anything in the long-term.

8) Admit to Mistakes and ask for Forgiveness
Just as we ask Allah to forgive us when we make mistakes, we should also ask our spouses to forgive us when we make mistakes. The stronger person is the one who can admit when he or she is wrong, request pardon from the other, and work hard to improve his/her aspects that are in need of change. When a person is unwilling to do this, there will be little growth and development in the marriage.

9) Never Bring Up Past Mistakes
It can be very hurting for another person to be reminded of past mistakes. In Islam, it is generally not recommended to dwell on the past. One may remember errors that were made so that they are not repeated, but this should not be done excessively. Certainly, as humans, we are not in the position to judge another person. Advice may be given, but in the proper manner and with the best of intentions and etiquettes.

10) Surprise Each Other at Times
This may entail bringing home a small gift or flowers, preparing a special meal, dressing up and beautifying oneself (this is not only for women), or sending a secret note in a lunch-box. A little imagination goes a long way here. The idea is to spice up the marriage and avoid getting into a dull routine that may negatively impact the marriage.

11) Cultivate a Sense of Humour
Joke with your spouse. This particular aspect goes a long way in preventing arguments and brightening the atmosphere of the home. Life is a constant stream of challenges and tests, and to approach it in a light-hearted manner helps make the journey smoother and more enjoyable. You may also find that your spouse enjoys this characteristic, and looks forward to spending time with you because of it.

In fact, the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) himself joked with his wives, as well as with companions (though without lying), and tolerated some companions who were known for being light-hearted and prankish.

12) Quick Tips for Discussions and Disagreements
Begin with the intention to resolve the issue. If both spouses have this intention and plan to consult together, it is more likely that there will be a successful resolution.
Remember that it takes two to quarrel. If only one person chooses not to argue, there will be no argument. Generally, the one who is wrong does most of the talking.
Both spouses should not be angry at the same time. If one of the spouses becomes upset, it is best if the other tries to remain calm and collected.
Never yell at each other unless the house is on fire. Of course, house fires do not occur very frequently; yelling should occur at about the same rate.
Never go to sleep with an argument unsettled. This is one of the worst things that can happen in a marriage and should be avoided as much as possible. This allows hurt feelings and thoughts to linger and generally exacerbates the problem.
If one spouse needs to win, let it be your mate. Do not focus on winning yourself; this is the main reason that discussions tend to become heated.
Remember your house in Paradise! The Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said: I guarantee a house in the surroundings [suburbs] of Paradise for a man who avoids quarrelling even if he were in the right, a house in the middle of Paradise for a man who avoids lying even if he were joking, and a house in the upper part of Paradise for a man who made his character good.[Abu Dawud, 41/4782]

By Dr. Aisha Hamdan (additional notes are italicized).

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Exciting elections coming up

27 Apr

What’s worrying is I’m actually more excited about the upcoming elections than about the examinations (on my way to my first).

The various reasons accountable could be my recent update in technology which allows me much more frequent updates of the news coupled with the excitement of being able to exercise my right to vote for the very first time (as I’m of votable age).

Not forgetting how the elections has evolved over the years; with 6 more opposition parties making it so uncertain and entertaining to watch the parties a while ago on CNA. Don’t forget to watch for more updates at 11pm tonight!

Salah: Life’s Forgotten Purpose.

26 Apr

Man has taken many journeys throughout time. But there is one journey that nobody has ever taken.

Nobody—except one.
On a vehicle no man has ever ridden, through a path no soul has ever seen. To a place no creation has ever before set foot. It was the journey of one man to meet the Divine. It was the journey of Muhammad, prophet of God, to the highest heaven.

It was al Israa wal Miraaj (the magnificent journey).

On that journey Allah took his beloved prophet ? to the seventh heaven—a place not even angel Gabriel could enter. In the Prophet’s mission on earth, every instruction, every commandment was sent down through angel Gibreel. But, there was one commandment that was not. There was one commandment so important, that rather than sending
angel Gibreel down with it, Allah brought the Prophet ? up to Himself.

That commandment was Salah (prayer). When the Prophet ? was first given the command to pray, it was to be fifty times in a day. After asking Allah to make it easier, the commandment was eventually reduced to five times a day, with the reward of the fifty.

Reflecting upon this incident scholars have explained that the process of going from fifty to five was a deliberate one, intended to teach us the true place Salah should hold in our lives. Imagine for a moment actually praying fifty times a day. Would we be able to do anything else but pray? No. And that’s the point. What greater way than that to
illustrate our life’s true purpose? As if to say, salah is our real life; all the rest that we fill our day with…just motions.

And yet, we live as if it’s exactly the opposite. Salah is something we squeeze into our day, when we find time—if that. Our `lives’ don’t revolve around Salah. Salah revolves around our `lives.’ If we’re in class, salah is an afterthought. If
we’re at the mall, the Macy’s sale is more urgent. Something is seriously wrong when we put aside the very purpose of our existence in order to watch a basketball game.

And that is for those who even pray at all. There are those who have not only put aside their life’s purpose, they have abandoned it completely. What we often don’t realize about the abandonment of Salah is this: No scholar has ever held the opinion that committing zina (fornication) makes you a disbeliever. No scholar has ever held the opinion that stealing, drinking or taking drugs makes you a disbeliever. No scholar has even claimed that murder makes you a non-Muslim. But, about Salah, some scholars have said he who abandons it, is no longer Muslim. This is said based on Ahadith such as this one: “The covenant between us and them is prayer, so if anyone abandons it, he has become a disbeliever.” [Ahmad]

Imagine an act so egregious that the Prophet ? would speak about it is such a way. Consider for a moment what Satan did wrong. He didn’t refuse to believe in Allah. He refused to make one sajdah. Just one. Imagine all the Sajdahs we refuse to make. Consider the seriousness of such a refusal. And yet, think how lightly we take the matter of salah. Salah is the first thing we will be asked about on the Day of Judgment, and yet it is the last thing that is on our mind. The Prophet ? said: “The first thing which will be judged among a man’s deeds on the Day of Resurrection is the Prayer.
If this is in good order then he will succeed and prosper but if it is defective then he will fail and will be a loser.” [Tirmidhi]

On that Day, the people of paradise will ask those who have entered Hell-fire, why they have entered it. And the Qur’an tells us exactly what their first response will be: “And (ask) of the Sinners: “What led you into Hell-Fire?” They will say: “We were not of those who prayed;”(Qur’an,74:42-43)

How many of us will be among those who say “we were not of those who prayed, or we were not of those who prayed on time, or we were not of those who made prayer any priority in our lives?” Why is it that if we’re in class or at work or fast asleep at the time of fajr and we need to use the restroom, we make time for that? In fact, the question almost sounds absurd. We don’t even consider it an option not to. And even if we were taking the most important exam of our lives, when we need to go, we will go. Why? Because the potentially shameful consequences of not going, makes it a non-option.

There are many people who say they don’t have time to pray at work or school, or while they’re out. But how many have ever said they don’t have time to go to the bathroom, so while out, at work or school have opted instead to just wear Depends? How many of us just don’t feel like waking up at Fajr time if we need to use the bathroom, and choose instead to wet our bed? The truth is we’ll get out of bed, or leave class, or stop work, to use the bathroom, but not
to pray. It sounds comical, but the truth is we put the needs of our body above the needs of our soul. We feed our bodies, because if we didn’t, we’d die. But so many of us starve our souls, forgetting that if we are not praying our soul is dead. And ironically, the body that we tend to is only temporary, while the soul that we neglect is eternal.

BY YASMIN MOGAHED

( this was taken from an email & it is true to the best of my knowledge, it is for you to judge)

The Pencil and Eraser

21 Apr

PENCIL
I’m sorry

 
ERASER
For what? You didn’t do anything wrong.
 
PENCIL
I’m sorry because you get hurt because of me. Whenever I made a mistake, you’re always there to erase it. But as you make my mistakes vanish, you lose a part of yourself. You get smaller and smaller each time.
 
ERASER
That’s true. But I don’t really mind. You see, I was made to do this. I was made to help you whenever you do something wrong. Even though one day, I know I’ll be gone and you’ll replace me with a new one, I’m actually happy with my job. So please, stop worrying. I hate seeing you sad.
 
LESSON:Parents are like the eraser whereas their children are the pencil. They’re always there for their children, cleaning up their mistakes. Sometimes along the way, they get hurt, and become smaller / older, and eventually pass on. Though their children will eventually find someone new (spouse), but parents are still happy with what they do for their children, and will always hate seeing their precious ones worrying, or sad….However our parents are getting smaller and smaller each day…One day, all that we would be left with will be eraser shavings and memories of what we used to have.
Allah, Most Wise admonishes us: “Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour. And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say:  My Lord! Bestow on them thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood.” (Quran-17:23)

Source : http://eislaminfo.blogspot.com/

A few good habits (by productivemuslims)

20 Apr

Watch their other videos! *they’re quite cute*

Waking up for worship

19 Apr

The Prophet (peace be upon him) often used graphic description to emphasize a point of importance. A vivid image of action and its effect often gets the meaning across to listeners of all types. The Prophet realized that his audience, and his followers in future generations, included people of widely different levels of education, understanding and imagination. Therefore, a graphic description always helped in making his meaning clear to all people. However, in all that the Prophet said, whether concrete or figurative, he maintained the truth and never deviated from it.

One hadith describes how difficult it is for a person to wake up in order to attend to worship, particularly voluntary night worship, or tahjjud.

Abu Hurayrah quotes the Prophet as saying: “When any of you goes to sleep, Satan ties at the back of his head three knots, saying ‘you have a long night to go, so stay asleep’. If a person wakes up and mentions God’s name, one knot is untied. When he performs his ablutions, another knot is untied. When he prays, the last knot is untied and he begins his morning feeling active and well pleased. Otherwise, he would begin his morning feeling lazy and depressed.[Related by al-Bukhari].

We see a very graphic image in this hadith, with Satan trying to persuade a good believer to sleep, rather than wake up for worship. He even ties three knots to keep him in bed.

  • Scholars say that these knots could be figurative or real. Most probably, this is figurative.
  • They are untied by mentioning God’s name, performing ablutions and prayers.
  • The description is very real.
  • Every time a person tries to wake up for night worship, or for Fajr prayer, he needs to exert a good effort, for the bed continues to beckon him to sleep.
  • Once he mentions God’s name he feels as if a weight has been removed from him and he is better able to act on his intention to wake up for worship

The situation is even clearer when we set our alarm clock to get up at a certain time for prayer. When it goes off we often try to silence it or put it in the snooze mood. Yet if we mention God’s name, we feel better able to get up. Ablution does not merely dispel the desire to go back to sleep, but it also gives us a feeling of refreshment. We can cope with the task ahead, even though we have had only half the length of sleep we normally need. After we have prayed, we are completely fresh. We even feel full of energy.

A person who yields to the temptation and stay asleep, thinking that the night has still a long time to go, may very easily miss his obligatory prayer of Fajr. As a result, his day will have had the wrong start. He feels that he has missed out on an important duty. If this is the result of sheer laziness, he blames himself for having his priorities wrong. He has preferred the warmth of his bed to a duty that would have earned him rich reward from God.

A believer knows that this present life is transitory. It serves as a pathway to the hereafter. Everyone will reap the results of their own deeds. To neglect prayers through sheer laziness does not enhance one’s position in the hereafter. Therefore, he must resolve to deal with this situation, so as not to allow himself to miss obligatory prayers through sleep. Even better, he should occasionally wake up for voluntary night worship. It will benefit him in both this life and the life to come.

Protected: Of family and food

17 Apr

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Goodies to usher in the EXAMS!

17 Apr

  

Treats for Social Work students! Its not as good as the exam welfare pack from NUSSU but to get that, the queue is terribly long and students queue for hours to get that. I usually just wait for the social work’s welfare pack where there is no queue.

Psychology of Personality

13 Apr

While looking for a reference text for my brother in NUS library, i saw so many books related to religion. Actually i shouldnt be surprising but i was surprised, pleasantly so. I saw this book on Psychology of Personality – Islamic Perspective edited by Amber Haque and Yasien Mohamed. Its a compilation of various journals and articles from researchers from all over.

I did not have the mental capability and time to finish the book. Some chapters were so complicated, i felt my head twirling! In the second chapter, i read about how man is a small island and the various intepretation by Isfahani and Ghazali etc.

 

It must be read with intepretations to understand the basis of this and how they came to this.

Movies this weekend

11 Apr

1 MEAN GIRLS 2

Its been sometime since i watched a chickflick so i impulsively decided to do so. I felt so free for the first time in weeks and needed a breather.

Pretty similar to the first mean girls but i bet the first one was funnier. Isnt it always the case, the first movie in the series would be the best compared to the others? (consider Spiderman, Harry Potter, Ice age, Sex and the city etc)

Storyline is about a new girl in town who was paid to befriend this other girl who was friendless (sad right). She was out to beat the mean girls and became one herself, so totally unknowingly. That too happens right, we dont know who we’re becoming when we’re so bent on doing something or out to get something. I’ll give it



2 The Namesake

I saw it on a blog review and decided to give it a go. Though it took eons to get the movie, we didnt give up. Similarly, it was a pretty slow movie, quite different from other typical hollywood movies. Shuffles between Calcutta and Boston, taken quite long ago when mobile phones were inexistent.

The movie tells the story of a young man who used to read to travel but eventually moved to Boston to live and work. He got married and had kids. Life isnt so simple so watch it to find out what happens. The lead of the story if the son of this young man named gogol who as he grew up, didnt like his ‘weird’ name.  

3 Megamind

I enjoyed this movie! Despite the fact that i dont really like animation/cartoon movies. I might be changing taste and this could be because of Mr Q. I really like the blue Megamind. He tried so hard to be evil but he’s not a very successful villain. Again i thought of how even in today’s world, those who cannot measure up to the better students turn out to be ‘villains’ i.e.delinquents and criminals. For Megamind, he was brought up in prison, his environment has provided negative influences. I know im thinking too much of a simple movie.  Cute movie!