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by Yusuff Ademola A.

The word ‘Islam’ has been negatively associated with terrorism, violence, aggression, extremism, hardships, deprivation, and imprisonment in these present times. This negative view has been strengthened by the actions of terrorists and ‘orientalists’, who in no way represent the true essence of the religion.  They have hijacked the religion and consequent media attention for their own selfish, evil goals. Hence, the global opinion tends towards viewing Islam as a terroristic and extremist religion.

Most of the times, you would see people arguing that Islam oppresses women; it permits men to marry more than one woman and commands women to use Hijaab. Alternatively, they would claim Islam legalises baseless killing of innocent people – by the way of religious enforcement or apostasy. However, are these really true about Islam?  Does Islam really oppress women? Does it command slaying of innocent people? Are all Muslims terrorists? Wouldn’t you definitely want to find conclusive explanations?

Now, let’s critically analyse answers to these burning questions using the Judeo-Christians’ Bible and the Muslims’ Quran.

Why Does Islam Oppress Women?


There are some views that have been spread about women and their rights in Islam. However, these views are not meant for individual women themselves, but rather as an attack on Islam in particular. The most common issues raised about women’s rights in Islam are the permissibility of polygamous marriage and the use of Hijaab.

Whenever I hear this, I always ask, why are these questions raised against only Islam?  As if it were the only religion that permits polygamy and commands Hijaab. Of course, it is not only Islam that permits polygamy. Then, how is that it is only Islam that oppresses women?  

The Judeo-Christian Bible says:

“And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.” (Genesis 4:19)

“After he left Hebron, David took more concubines and wives in Jerusalem, and more sons and daughters were born to him.” (2 Samuel 5:13)

In fact, Patriarch Abraham, the undisputed father of faith, is recorded in the Bible to have married Sarah, Hagar and a third wife. (See Genesis 16:1, 16:3 &25:31)

Then, what is the problem if Islam permitted polygamous marriage? How does it withhold women’s rights of marriage?

In fact, no woman can be forced into this kind of marriage if she did not wish it. Polygamy is neither mandatory, nor encouraged, but permitted. And, permission to practice polygamy is not associated with mere satisfaction of passion, but rather associated with compassion towards widows and orphans. Islam permits a man to take second wife or more only in the condition that he is sure of being just and fair to them. The Qur’an says:

“And if you fear that you will not deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry those that please you of [other] women, two or three or four. But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one…” (Q4:3)

They would say again that Islam restricts female freedom of dressing by commanding the usage of Hijaab. And, I ask, is it only Islam that commands the use of Hijaab?

Of course, Islam is not the first religion to command the use of hijaab. The Judeo-Christian Bible says:

“But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.” (1 Corinthians 11:5-6, King James Version)

The main reason behind the commandment of Hijaab in Islam is for a woman to be distinguished, to be identified as a respectable Muslim lady, to avoid the annoying glances and glares of the men. As we all know, provocative clothing urges some men to make advances, thereby exposing women to molestation. This may be encouraged and marketed in some societies, but not among the respectable faithful Muslims, where all protective measures are taken to guard women from excess temptation.


Hijaab neither restricts women’s freedom to express their views, to education and career nor symbolizes suppression, oppression or silence. Rather, it is a guard against degrading remarks, unwanted advances and unfair discrimination as it empowers a woman by emphasizing her inner spiritual beauty rather than her superficial appearance. It gives women the freedom to be active members of society, while maintaining their modesty.

To conclude, how does Islam oppress women? If polygamous marriage or the use of Hijaab were deprivation of women’s rights, then why must we attack only Islam? Use the comment box to submit your view on this topic.

Watch out for episode 2 on why Islam commands killing of innocent people. Thank you for reading.


THE MAGNIFICIENT RECIPES OF LIFE- Offered by Our Noble Guest, Ramadhan, to relish forever.

By Saba Mohimeen

بسم للّٰہ الرحمن الرحیم

Ramadhan comes. Ramadhan goes. Some have been observing this for the past many years, Some shall continue to observe, and Some won’t be able to. Ramadhan is the most blessed guest. This guest is not a mere guest, It’s a special and a valuable guest sent to us by The Most Merciful and the Most Beneficent. This guest brings along with it immense sweetness and delicious recipes of worship to get closer to The Almighty Allah سبحان و تعالىٰ
However, not everyone greets this guest joyfully. Some don’t even realize the delicacies it brings to its hosts. For some, it was all about Samosas and Pakoras. For some, it was about Haleem. But, for some, it was about grabbing this opportunity to give the guest its righs. Yes, there are some who are intelligent enough to cherish the delicious delicacies of Ramadhan and some are even more intelligent to savor the scrumptious recipes even after this guest leaves.The true flavors of this noble guest Ramadhan, lingers in the lives of only those hosts who value its precious arrival and remember it even after it says ‘Goodbye, see you next year. God willing’.

Some obedient hosts who have truly submitted their will to Allah سبحان و تعالىٰ honor Ramadhan not only its presence but also in its absence. That’s the true sign of them honoring this blessed guest.But, the main question is: What has this guest offered us so that we may remember and honor it? Ramadhan has taught us many things and some awesome recipes to prepare and relish so that the flavors of Ramadhan linger even after the Ramadhan goes, ofcourse ان شاء الله ﺗﻌﺎﻟﯽٰ, to return another year, Hopefully!It has taught us how to try our best to keep our lives filled with its savoring tips and soul-watering recipes. And believe me, once these recipes are prepared regularly, on a DAILY BASIS, the Heart celebrates Eid immensely. ان شاء الله ﺗﻌﺎﻟﯽٰ


The first and the foremost recipe is “SALAH”. This recipe , if not tasted or savored, the life becomes sour and extremely bitter. This recipe is the most amazing when the ingredients such as Khushoo, Perfection, concentration, calmness, and Taqwa are used properly. This recipe tastes the best when it is served with complete humility, sincerity, and devotion.

Praying on time brings about happiness and peace for this is the noble deed that Allah سبحان و تعالىٰ loves the most and that is to offer the prayers on their fixed times. This is that beautiful deed that is the most delicious and makes our life joyful. This is that deed that is the favorite recipe of Ramadhan. Ramadhan was not the only month to fulfill this obligation sincerely. Every other month requires it too irrespective of the rewards. Make it a practice to offer the Voluntary Prayers.

      Abdullah bin Mas’ud رضي الله عنه reported: I asked the Prophet Muhammad ﺻﻠﯽ الله ﻋﻠﯿﮧٓ ﻭﺳﻠﻢ, “Which of the deeds is love    most by Allah?”  The Messenger of Allah ﺻﻠﯽ الله ﻋﻠﯿﮧٓ ﻭﺳﻠﻢ said, “Salat at its proper time”

– Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim


The second magnificent recipe is the “QURAN”. Quran, when read or recited or memorized or understood adds amazing flavors to life. Most of us engaged a lot if time in the Quran but have we really strengthened our connection with it so that we may stay engaged always?This recipe requires the valuable ingredients such as recitation, contemplation, connection, and submitting to its laws governed by Our Sustainer. This recipe is best when served with beautiful recitation and clear understanding.

It takes us to the wonderful level of Righteousness where the reader or the listener connects with The Almighty Allah سبحان و تعالىٰ. Contemplation over the marvelous verses brings about joy in our lives.

 Narrated Abu Musa رضي الله عنه : The Prophet Muhammad ﺻﻠﯽ الله ﻋﻠﯿﮧٓ ﻭﺳﻠﻢ said, ‘The example of a believer who recites the Qur’an is that of a citron (a citrus fruit) which is good in taste and good in smell. And the believer who does not recite the Qur’an is like a date which has a good taste but no smell. And the example of an impious person who recites the Qur’an is that of Ar-Rihana (an aromatic plant) which smells good but is bitter in taste. And the example of an impious person who does not recite the Qur’an is that of a colocynth which is bitter in taste and has no smell. 

– Sahih Bukhari


The third recipe that the guest offers is the “ADHKAARS”. Yes, it is the remembrance of Allah سبحان و تعالىٰ at all times. Remembering Our Creator brings Taqwa and God consciousness. When this recipe is prepared everyday, the soul and the heart relishes. The beautiful thing is the more we use this recipe, the flavor of our lives embellishes and enhances.This recipe tastes the most delicious when taken in the mornings and evenings regularly and ofcourse we can keep seasoning our lives with many other various adhkaars.

The more frequently it is used, the more sweetness it brings to our lives.For it is in this recipe that lies the true tranquility and the Sakeenah.Remember to Remember Allah سبحان و تعالىٰ always, by not missing the lovely adhkaars taught to us by our Beloved Prophet Muhammad ﺻﻠﯽ الله ﻋﻠﯿﮧٓ ﻭﺳﻠﻢ.

Some of our eminent scholars, May Allah have mercy in them, said

Ibn al-Qayyim said, “The morning and evening adhkar play the role of a shield; the thicker it is the more its owner will not be affected. Rather, its strength can reach to such an extent that the arrow shot at it will bounce back to affect the one who shot it.”

Ibn Katheer said, “Wear the ‘coat’ of adhkar so it can protect you from the evils of humans and jinn. And cover your souls with istighfar so it can erase the sins of the night and day.


The fourth scrumptious recipe is “TAHAJJUD”. This is the luscious recipe prepared only at special hours of the night. This wondrous recipe requires the ingredients such as love, humility, humbleness, devotion, and sincereity. This is that recipe that Ramadhan trained us with and gave us in order to reach to Our Lord, Allah سبحان و تعالىٰ, directly. It is the direct connection to Allah سبحان و تعالىٰ. This recipe when prepared frequently adds up tremendously to the flavors of life.

Abu Huraira رضي الله عنه narrated that Prophet Muhammad ﺻﻠﯽ الله ﻋﻠﯿﮧٓ ﻭﺳﻠﻢ said, “Learn the Qur’an and recite it, because the example of one who learns the Qur’an, reads it and recites it in Ta-hajjud is like an open bag full of musk, the fragrance spreads over the entire place, and a person who has learnt the Qur’an but sleeps while the Qur’an is in his heart, is like a bag full of musk but with its mouth closed.”

-​Tirmidhi, Nasai, Ibn Maja

The Noble Quran states, “Establish prayer at the decline of the sun [from its meridian] until the darkness of the night and [also] the Qur’an of dawn. Indeed, the recitation of dawn is ever witnessed. And from [part of] the night, pray with it as additional [worship] for you; it is expected that your Lord will resurrect you to a praised station.”

– (Surah Isra, 17:78-79).


The fifth majestic recipe is “FASTING”. Fasting brings about self-control and piety. It involves refraining from the desires of the Nafs. Fasting is an amazing recipe to remember Ramadhan. There are various nawaafil fast to observe after the obligatory fasts have been observed. It is an amazing way to express our devotion.

Allah’s Messenger Prophet Muhammad ﺻﻠﯽ الله ﻋﻠﯿﮧٓ ﻭﺳﻠﻢ said, “Fasting is a shield (or a screen or a shelter). So, the person observing fasting should avoid sexual relation with his wife and should not behave foolishly and impudently, and if somebody fights with him or abuses him, he should tell him twice, ‘I am fasting.” The Prophet ﺻﻠﯽ الله ﻋﻠﯿﮧٓ ﻭﺳﻠﻢ added, “By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, the smell coming out from the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than the smell of musk. (Allah says about the fasting person), ‘He has left his food, drink and desires for My sake. The fast is for Me. So I will reward (the fasting person) for it and the reward of good deeds is multiplied ten times.”

– Sahih Al Bukhari


The sixth yummy recipe is “CHARITY”. Charity brings about the love of Akhirah and instills generosity and humbleness. It is a wonderful way to expiate the sins. It decreases the love for money and reminds us of the blessings bestowed upon us by Allah سبحان و تعالىٰ.

Narrated Abu Wail رضي الله عنه from Hudhaifa رضي الله عنه: Umar رضي الله عنه asked the people, “Who remembers the narration of the Prophet Muhammad ﺻﻠﯽ الله ﻋﻠﯿﮧٓ ﻭﺳﻠﻢ about the affliction?” Hudhaifa رضي الله عنه said, “I heard the Prophet ﺻﻠﯽ الله ﻋﻠﯿﮧٓ ﻭﺳﻠﻢ saying, ‘The affliction of a person in his property, family and neighbors is expiated by his prayers, fasting, and giving in charity.”

– Sahih Al Bukhari


The Seventh Flavorful recipe is “CHARACTER”. Ramadhan brings us this recipe especially because without it, our life is distasteful.The important ingredients of this recipe are refraining from anger, abuse, lies, hypocrisy, backbiting, and hatred.Instead, in order to relish the taste of Good Manners, it requires us to season our lives with generosity, truthfulness, distributing sweet words, humbleness, and spreading Salaam.

Narrated Masruq رضي الله عنه: Abdullah bin ‘Amr رضي الله عنه mentioned Allah’s Apostle ﺻﻠﯽ الله ﻋﻠﯿﮧٓ ﻭﺳﻠﻢ saying that he was neither a Fahish nor a Mutafahish. Abdullah bin ‘Amr added رضي الله عنه, Allah’s Apostle said ﺻﻠﯽ الله ﻋﻠﯿﮧٓ ﻭﺳﻠﻢ , ‘The best among you are those who have the best manners and character.’

– Sahih Al Bukhari

 These were some of the important healthy recipes offered to us by Ramadhan to enjoy all year long.Remember to prepare them with a clean heart and only for the sake of Allah سبحان و تعالىٰ. Always remember that Time matters a lot!

This is the element that governs all other recipes. Ramadhan was not the only month to refrain from useless activities such as listening to music, watching movies and soaps, engaging in waste gossips, and wasting time unnecessarily. As a Muslim, we are always in the Submission Mode to Allah سبحان و تعالىٰ. He is the Lord of every other month. Know that coming back to what we were prior to Ramdahn is a dangerous sign that we haven’t valued our guest.

 Besides this, always pray to Allah سبحان و تعالىٰ to keep us steadfast on the right path and to firm our hearts.

 رَبَّنَا لا تُزِغْ قُلُوبَنَا بَعْدَ إِذْ هَدَيْتَنَا وَهَبْ لَنَا مِنْ لَدُنْكَ رَحْمَةً إِنَّكَ اَنْتَ الْوَهَّابُ

Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate after you have guided us and grant us from yourself mercy. Indeed, you are the Bestower. (Al-‘Imran:8)

 Allah سبحان و تعالىٰ is the only one who can guide the misguided and keep the guided on guidance.May Allah سبحان و تعالىٰ make us from those who fear Him always and value the essence of Ramadhan.Verily, these recipes are a way to a serene heart and a serene heart is the way to Allah سبحان و تعالىٰ. The recipes are rich in nutrients such as rewards, peace, true happiness, and enhancing the connection with Allah.  ان شاء الله ﺗﻌﺎﻟﯽٰ

 So, enjoy these recipes. Let the Heart celebrate Eid everyday. Honor the guest even in its absence. Blend your lives with these flavors and let the consistency of life be smooth and peaceful.

 جزاك اللهُ خيراً

 Suggestions are most welcome. May Allah سبحان و تعالى accept this tiny work and may we be from those who stay in the Ramadhan mode all year long.




By sister Gianna

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Now that the blessed month of Ramadan is over, it’s time to think about the year ahead. Our iman is high and we want to keep that peaceful buoyant feeling. Have you ever wondered why we are so happy in Ramadan? It’s because we do what we were created to do. While we went without food, we were nourishing our soul. What will keep our spirituality awake in the months to come?

Hold Yourself Accountable

What if today was the last day of your life? Would you be content to spend it consuming McDonald’s for the soul? Don’t settle for going back to what you were doing before Ramadan. Now is the time for a personal reassessment. Time to be honest with  yourself about your thoughts and actions. Before anyone else, we are responsible for yourself. I’m reminded of a story I once heard about a patient and a glass of water.

One afternoon a patient in a hospital bed spilled a glass of water. Since he was too sick to get out of bed, he called for his nurse to help clean the puddle. His nurse looked down at the puddle and decided it was too big for her to clean so she called housekeeping thinking it was their job to clean it up. Housekeeping arrived and told the nurse it’s too small for them, it is her responsibility to clean it. The patient sat and watched his nurse and the housekeeper argue. The patient then took the entire pitcher of water and poured it on the floor and said “Is that a big enough puddle for you two to decide?”

Where there is a lack of accountability, there is a lack of action. Small problems can turn into bigger ones when no one takes responsibility. Our internal arguments often run this way. When we feel that struggle, we should be like the patient and pour the water of accountability into ourselves. When we were young we would say “It was broken” it is only when we mature that we have the courage to say “I broke it”. The good news is that we can clean up that puddle and fix what is broken inside us. Anchoring ourselves within ourselves.

Notice Patterns

Life is full of ebb and flow. Our iman isn’t always at the highest point or even close to what we would like it to be. If we notice the times when we have that peaceful feeling as well as the times we experience the opposite we will start to see patterns. By slowing down your routine these patterns will come into clear focus.

The word “patterns” occurs twice in the Qur’an in the Muhammad Pickthal translation. Once in surah Al-Furqan (25:74)

And who say: Our Lord! Vouchsafe us comfort of our wives and of our offspring, and make us patterns for (all) those who ward off (evil).”

and again in surah Al-Qasas (28:41)

“And We made them patterns that invite unto the Fire, and on the Day of Resurrection they will not be helped.”

The word patterns in other translations become “leader” and “example”. The first ayat talks about a good pattern to follow, that of a strong and complete family unit. A place where our hearts find rest. The second ayat refers to extinguishing Pharoh and his soldiers in the sea. In these patterns are clear choices. We can either become leaders, or examples.

Living in a conscious state comes from the practice of the Beloved Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, who would frequently resort to the Cave of Hira at night to seek comfort in the Remembrance of Allah. Our beloved  Prophet SAW says ,

“…If your state of mind is always the same as it is at the time of dhikr (remembrance of Allah), the Angels would shake hands with you

and would greet you on the path by saying, ‘Assalamu alaykum.’” [Muslim: Book 37, Hadith no. 6624]

Reflection is a progress on our travels through this life. Reflection is to watch the heart and fill it with thoughts of Allah so that Allah’s remembrance dominates the heart and soul and becomes ones natural pattern.

Set Loving Challenges

You know your own God-given talents. By doing what inspires you within your scope of abilities you will happily float along, but when you act with ihsan you fill your sails by challenging yourself to be even better. Take small actions. The tasks in our everyday lives may seem insignificant but when you pay attention to them and perform them to the best of your ability, treating them as if they were very significant, a type of excellence is fostered. Helen Keller said “I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.”

There are so many things we can do to polish our hearts on our journey. First we need to do some personal accounting to manage the 168 hours in a week. Finding time in a busy work week requires a bit of planning. A good practice is to remember and understand one or two of His beautiful names per week. Another practice is to choose an ayat and learn all you can about it’s meaning. Khutbas are readily available from modern scholars and it takes only 10-15 minutes a day to listen to one on the drive to work. What do you do on your 15 minute break? How about tasbih while your tea cools? And after your tea cools, savour each sip. Take a walk in a nearby park, enjoying and reflecting on nature. Write your thoughts down in a journal. Doing a little deep sea diving each day to discover those pearls of wisdom will change the way we pay attention to the particularities and distinctiveness of our actions.

Stay Woke

Now that the blessed month of Ramadan is over, it’s time to become wayfarers on a spiritual journey seeking knowledge to enhance our daily practices. We are given the means to choose the right tools to remove the barking dogs from our house so the angels may enter in. Each person who strives toward an awake state will perceive truths according to their capability. Each person, a differently coloured jewel will reflect the same light but with a different intensity and hue. Be accountable, make decisions and take action.


By Yusuff Ademola Adesina



What Next After Ramadan?

All praise and adoration is to Allah. May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon the last messenger, Prophet Muhammad, his households, his companions, and those who are following the path of righteousness until the Last Day.

During the month of Ramadan, one will notice that everyone is actively engaged in one good deed or the other. When you went into any Masjid during Ramadan, you will definitely find people engaging in various different acts of worship; as some were reading Qur’an, some were doing dhikr, some were observing voluntary prayers, whilst others were reading Islamic books – they were actually doing all these to straighten their faith in Allaah, and seek His guidance and forgiveness. And, of course, that is the spirit of Ramadan – the month of all good deeds and good characters.

Now that the month of Ramadan has slowly come to an end, the most important question to ask is, what next after Ramadan – do I need to continue my good deeds or give a pause till the next Ramadan?

Well, before answering this question, I’d like to firstly mention to you that Ramadan is a month of reminder and solidification. It comes once in a year to remind you of good deeds and the commandments of your Lord, and to solidify the practice of these commandments and good deeds in your heart.

To answer the question, you need to realize that the sign that your deeds in the month of Ramadan were accepted by Allaah is steadfastness – that is, being able to continue the good actions you picked up in Ramadan. The month of Ramadan is definitely not the end line, and the Lord of the month of Ramadan, is the same Lord for the entirely time. Thus, the deeds you picked up in Ramadan should not end after it, for indeed, the most beloved deed in the sight of Allah is that which is done consistently. Abu Hurayrah (Allaah pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allaah (PBUH) said: “Take on only as much as you can of good deeds, for the best deed is that which is done consistently, even if it is little.” (Sunan Ibn Majah)

The most obvious deed you performed during Ramadan was fasting. So a clear indicator that your fasting was accepted will be to see how well you are able to continue fasting throughout the year. The following is the list of voluntary fasting you could perform after Ramadan:

  • Fasting six days in the month of Shawwal

Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) as saying: “He who observed the fast of Ramadan and then followed it with six (fasts) of Shawwal. It would be as if he fasted perpetually” (Sahih Muslim)

  • Fasting on the day of Arafah

Abu Qatada(Allah be Pleased with him) narrated that: the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) was asked about fasting the day of Arafah and he answered “It expiates the sins of the preceding year and the coming year” (Sahih Muslim)

  • Fasting on the day of Ashura

Abu Qatada(Allah be Pleased with him) narrated that: the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) was asked about fasting the day of Ashurah and he answered “It expiates the sins of the preceding years.” (Sahih Muslim)

  • Fasting on  Mondays and Thursdays

Abu Qatada(Allah be Pleased with him) narrated that: the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) was asked about fasting on Monday, and answered “it was the day on which I was born, on which I was commissioned with prophet-hood or revelation was sent to me” (Sahih Muslim)

Abu Hurairah(Allah pleased with him) narrated that: the messenger of Allah (PBUH) said “The deeds are presented on Monday and Thursday, so I love that my deeds be presented while am fasting” (Hasan Hadith, Tirmidhi)

Your constancy in Salaat (Prayer) is another indicator that your deeds were accepted in the month. You observed Taraweeh every night and visited the mosque every day of Ramadan; you shouldn’t let these stop after Ramadan. Its continuation shows that you deeds were accepted. Recall the hadith of Aisha describing the performance of Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) Taraweeh, she said that the prophet never observed more than 11rak’ats in the month of Ramadan or any other month. This is a sign for you that you needn’t relent; continue your Qiyaamul-Layl as you were doing it in Ramadan.

In conclusion, do not refrain from any act of worship you have engaged in during Ramadan; pray in congregation, give alms, adhere to the sunnah of Prophet Muhammad [PBUH], be generous, be compassionate, rely upon Allaah, read the Quran and ponder over its verses, enjoin what is good and forbid the evil. May Allah have mercy upon you.

Jazakumul-Laahu Khayran. May Allah reward you with goodness for following the series up to its end. I pray that Allah make this concluded Ramadan a blessed, merciful turning point to your life, may He accept your good deeds and forgive your shortcomings.

Taqabbal-Laahu minnaa wa minkum.

Remember me in your dua.