The entire Christian calendar is based on a miscalculation, the Pope has declared, as he claims in a new book that Jesus was born several years earlier than commonly believed. The ‘mistake’ was made by a sixth century monk known as Dionysius Exiguus or in English Dennis the Small, the 85-year-old pontiff claims in the book ‘Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives’, published on Wednesday. “The calculation of the beginning of our calendar – based on the birth of Jesus – was made by Dionysius Exiguus, who made a mistake in his calculations by several years,” the Pope writes in the book, which went on sale around the world with an initial print run of a million copies. “The actual date of Jesus’s birth was several years before.” The assertion that the Christian calendar is based on a false premise is not new – many historians believe that Christ was born sometime between 7BC and 2BC. But the fact that doubts over one of the keystones of Christian tradition have been raised by the leader of the world’s one billion Catholics is striking. Dennis the Small, who was born in Eastern Europe, is credited with being the “inventor” of the modern calendar and the concept of the Anno Domini era. He drew up the new system in part to distance it from the calendar in use at the time, which was based on the years since the reign of the Roman emperor Diocletian. The emperor had persecuted Christians, so there was good reason to expunge him from the new dating system in favour of one inspired by the birth of Christ. The monk’s calendar became widely accepted in Europe after it was adopted by the Venerable Bede, the historian- monk, to date the events that he recounted in his Ecclesiastical History of the English People, which he completed in AD 731. But exactly how Dennis calculated the year of Christ’s birth is not clear and the Pope’s claim that he made a mistake is a view shared by many scholars. The Bible does not specify a date for the birth of Christ. The monk instead appears to have based his calculations on vague references to Jesus’s age at the start of his ministry and the fact that he was baptised in the reign of the emperor Tiberius. Christ’s birth date is not the only controversy raised by the Pope in his new book – he also said that contrary to the traditional Nativity scene, there were no oxen, donkeys or other animals at Jesus’s birth . He also weighs in on the debate over Christ’s birthplace, rejecting arguments by some scholars that he was born in Nazareth rather than Bethlehem. John Barton, Professor of the Interpretation of the Holy Scripture at Oriel College, Oxford University, said most academics agreed with the Pope that the Christian calendar was wrong and that Jesus was born several years earlier than commonly thought, probably between 6BC and 4BC. “There is no reference to when he was born in the Bible – all we know is that he was born in the reign of Herod the Great, who died before 1AD,” he told The Daily Telegraph. “It’s been surmised for a very long time that Jesus was born before 1AD – no one knows for sure.” The idea that Christ was born on Dec 25 also has no basis in historical fact. “We don’t even know which season he was born in. The whole idea of celebrating his birth during the darkest part of the year is probably linked to pagan traditions and the winter solstice.”

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BURDAT AL BUSAYRI’s has words which are not permitted It is a mistake to praise the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in the words “O most noble of creation, I have nobody to turn to except you when calamity strikes.” The major scholars have denounced this as being wrong. Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, in his footnotes to the book Fath al-Majeed, commenting on the poem Burdat al- Busayri from which these words are taken: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) warned us, according to the report narrated by al- Bukhaari and Muslim, ‘Do not praise me as the Christians praised ‘Eesa ibn Maryam, I am the slave of Allaah and His Messenger.’ Rather the way to venerate him and love him is by following his Sunnah and establishing his religion and rejecting all the myths that the ignorant attribute to him. But most of the people do not do this, and they occupy themselves with this exaggeration and praise which leads them to commit major shirk.” Fath al-Majeed, p. 155

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By Shaykh Muhammad ibn Salih al-‘Uthaymin (RA) ﺱ:234 ﻣﺎ ﺍﻟﻤﻌﺘﻤﺪ ﻓﻲ ﺇﻗﺎﻣﺔ ﺍﻟﺼﻔﻮﻑ؟ ﻭﻫﻞ ﻳﺸﺮﻉ ﻟﻠﻤﺼﻠﻲ ﺃﻥ ﻳﻠﺼﻖ ﻛﻌﺒﻪ ﺑﻜﻌﺐ ﻣﻦ ﺑﺠﺎﻧﺒﻪ؟ ﺃﻓﺘﻮﻧﺎ ﻣﺄﺟﻮﺭﻳﻦ؟ ﺍﻟﺠﻮﺍﺏ: ﺍﻟﺼﺤﻴﺢ ﺃﻥ ﺍﻟﻤﻌﺘﻤﺪ ﻓﻲ ﺗﺴﻮﻳﺔ ﺍﻟﺼﻒ ﻣﺤﺎﺫﺍﺓ ﺍﻟﻜﻌﺒﻴﻦ ﺑﻌﻀﻬﻤﺎ ﺑﻌﻀﺎ، ﻻ ﺭﺅﻭﺱ ﺍﻷﺻﺎﺑﻊ، ﻭﺫﻟﻚ ﻷﻥ ﺍﻟﺒﺪﻥ ﻣﺮﻛﺐ ﻋﻠﻰ ﺍﻟﻜﻌﺐ، ﻭﺍﻷﺻﺎﺑﻊ ﺗﺨﺘﻠﻒ ﺍﻷﻗﺪﺍﻡ ﻓﻴﻬﺎ، ﻓﻬﻨﺎﻙ ﺍﻟﻘﺪﻡ ﺍﻟﻄﻮﻳﻞ، ﻭﻫﻨﺎﻙ ﺍﻟﻘﺪﻡ ﺍﻟﻘﺼﻴﺮ، ﻓﻼ ﻳﻤﻜﻦ ﺿﺒﻂ ﺍﻟﺘﺴﺎﻭﻱ ﺇﻻ ﺑﺎﻟﻜﻌﺐ . ﻭﺃﻣﺎ ﺇﻟﺼﺎﻕ ﺍﻟﻜﻌﺒﻴﻦ ﺑﻌﻀﻬﻤﺎ ﺑﺒﻌﺾ ﻓﻼ ﺷﻚ ﺃﻧﻪ ﻭﺍﺭﺩ ﻋﻦ ﺍﻟﺼﺤﺎﺑﺔ –ﺭﺿﻲ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻬﻢ- ﻓﺈﻧﻬﻢ ﻛﺎﻧﺎ ﻳﺴﻮﻭﻥ ﺍﻟﺼﻔﻮﻑ ﺑﺈﻟﺼﺎﻕ ﺍﻟﻜﻌﺒﻴﻦ ﺑﻌﻀﻬﻤﺎ ﺑﺒﻌﺾ ، ﺃﻱ ﺃﻥ ﻛﻞ ﻭﺍﺣﺪ ﻣﻨﻬﻢ ﻳﻠﺼﻖ ﻛﻌﺒﻪ ﺑﻜﻌﺐ ﺟﺎﺭﻩ ﻟﺘﺤﻘﻖ ﺍﻟﻤﺤﺎﺫﺍﺓ ﻭﺗﺴﻮﻳﺔ ﺍﻟﺼﻒ، ﻓﻬﻮ ﻟﻴﺲ ﻣﻘﺼﻮﺩﺍ ﻟﺬﺍﺗﻪ ﻟﻜﻨﻪ ﻣﻘﺼﻮﺩ ﻟﻐﻴﺮﻩ ﻛﻤﺎ ﺫﻛﺮ ﺑﻌﺾ ﺃﻫﻞ ﺍﻟﻌﻠﻢ، ﻭﻟﻬﺬﺍ ﺇﺫﺍ ﺗﻤﺖ ﺍﻟﺼﻔﻮﻑ ﻭﻗﺎﻡ ﺍﻟﻨﺎﺱ ﻳﻨﺒﻐﻲ ﻟﻜﻞ ﻭﺍﺣﺪ ﺃﻥ ﻳﻠﺼﻖ ﻛﻌﺒﻪ ﺑﻜﻌﺐ ﺻﺎﺣﺒﻪ ﻟﺘﺤﻘﻖ ﺍﻟﻤﺴﺎﻭﺍﺓ، ﻭﻟﻴﺲ ﻣﻌﻨﻰ ﺫﻟﻚ ﺃﻥ ﻳﻼﺯﻡ ﻫﺬﺍ ﺍﻹﻟﺼﺎﻕ ﻭﻳﺒﻘﻰ ﻣﻼﺯﻣﺎ ﻟﻪ ﻓﻲ ﺟﻤﻴﻊ ﺍﻟﺼﻼﺓ . ﻭﻣﻦ ﺍﻟﻐﻠﻮ ﻓﻲ ﻫﺬﻩ ﺍﻟﻤﺴﺄﻟﺔ ﻣﺎ ﻳﻔﻌﻠﻪ ﺑﻌﺾ ﺍﻟﻨﺎﺱ ﻣﻦ ﻛﻮﻧﻪ ﻳﻠﺼﻖ ﻛﻌﺒﻪ ﺑﻜﻌﺐ ﺻﺎﺣﺒﻪ ﻭﻳﻔﺘﺢ ﻗﺪﻣﻴﻪ ﻓﻴﻤﺎ ﺑﻴﻨﻬﻤﺎ ﺣﺘﻰ ﻳﻜﻮﻥ ﺑﻴﻨﻪ ﻭﺑﻴﻦ ﺟﺎﺭﻩ ﻓﻲ ﺍﻟﻤﻨﺎﻛﺐ ﻓﺮﺟﺔ ﻓﻴﺨﺎﻟﻒ ﺍﻟﺴﻨﺔ ﻓﻲ ﺫﻟﻚ، ﻭﺍﻟﻤﻘﺼﻮﺩ ﺃﻥ ﺍﻟﻤﻨﺎﻛﺐ ﻭﺍﻷﻛﻌﺐ ﺗﺘﺴﺎﻭﻯ Question: What is the relied-upon position regarding the straightening of the rows (sufuf)? Is it prescribed for the praying person to join his ankle (ka’b) to the ankle of the person next to him? Please give us the fatwa, may you be rewarded. Answer: That which is correct is that the relied-upon position regarding the straightening of the row is that the ankles should be in line with each other, not the ends of the toes, and that is because the body is supported upon the ankle, and the feet differ in regard to the toes, because some feet are long, and some feet are short. So it is impossible to ensure straightness except by the ankles (i.e. by the ankles being in line with each other). As for joining the ankles to the ankles of the others, then no doubt this is reported from the Sahabah, radhiyallahu ‘anhum, for they would straighten the rows by joining ankles, that is, every one of them would join his ankle with the ankle of his neighbour to ensure being line, and the straightness of the row. So it is not meant as an aim in itself, but rather as a means of achieving another aim, as some of the people of knowledge have mentioned. Therefore, when the rows are completed and the people are standing, it is befitting for every one of them to join his ankle to the ankle of his companion to ensure straightness. It does not mean that he should continue this joining and remain so for the whole salah. From the extremism that has occurred with regard to this issue is what is done by some people in that one of them will join his ankle to the ankle of his companion, and he will spread his feet so far apart until there is a gap between his shoulder and the shoulder of his companion, so he will oppose the Sunnah by doing that. But the aim is that the shoulders and ankles should be in line with each other. By Shaykh Bak’r Ibn Abdullah Abu Zaid Note: The following is a translation by Shaykh Yusuf Estes of the first chapter of the book “La Jadeed Fi Ahkaamis Salah (There is nothing new in the injunctions of Salah)” by Shaykh Bak’r Ibn Abdullah Abu Zaid, the entire book (and importantly the 1st chapter) can be downloaded and read from the following link: http://saaid.net/book/open.php? cat=87&book=3868Regarding the straightening of the rows there are three sunnahs: 1 – Establishing the row and consolidating it, where no ones’ chest or anything from them protrudes out {compared to} to those who are on his side, Hence there will be no crookedness in the line. From amongst the expressions for straightening the rows are: “Istawoo” i.e. straighten your lines, “istaqeemoo” i.e. be straight, upright, “i’tadiloo” i.e. align yourselves, and “aqeemoo saf” i.e. establish the rows. And this establishing of the row, can be accurately implemented by commanding alignment between the necks, shoulders, knees and ankles. It is clear from the guidance of the Prophet {salallahu alahi wa salam} that these expressions were all used interchangeably. 2 – Filling the gaps, to the point where there is no space in it. From amongst the ways of expressing this {is by saying}: “sudu’l khalal” i.e. fill the gaps, and “do no not leave a space for the shaytan.” This sunnah can be precisely implemented by consolidating the lines, i.e. by saying “taraasoo” 3 – Connecting the first rows and the completion of it. This is expressed in the following ways: “atimoo’saf al awal fal awal” i.e. complete the rows, the first one, then the one behind it, and “whoever connects a row, Allah will connect him {by His mercy} and whoever breaks {from} a row {by not filling the gap}, Allah will cut him off ” {by cutting him off from His overall mercy} (see: “Awn Al Ma’bood Fee Sharh Sunan Abu Dawud”). And within these sunan {plural of sunnah} there are many other abandoned sunan; like making dua and asking forgiveness for the first row three times, then those behind twice, the imam coming to the end of the row to straighten it, sending someone to check upon the lines {see: sunan At- Tirmidhee}, and so forth, all from the guidance of the Prophet {salallahu alahi wa salam} way in achieving these three sunan for the lines by: straightening it, filling the gaps and consecutively completing the ranks, beginning with the first one, then the second, then the third and so forth. All this is indicates that straightening the rows has a very important role in establishing the salah, beautifying it, and perfecting it. In this, there is great merit and reward, in addition to binding the hearts and bringing them together as the ahadeeth bears witness to. And this blessed ummah distinguishes itself, and it is unique, in that its’ rows for the salah are like that of the angels, wa alhamdulillah rabil a’lameen. Amongst the things which have been added, is the new stance for the salah which has no source, is what we see from some musaleen {those who line up for the salah}: adjoining to the one to his right, if he is on the right side of the line, and the one to his left, if he is on the left side of the line, is such a manner that he adjusts his heels to joins his ankles to the ankles of the one beside him. This type of stance is something extra from what has been narrated, and also in it {this stance} is extremity in practicing the sunnah. This stance is contradictory for two reasons: Firstly: Joining the feet and adjusting until they are stuck to each other is a clear mistake, apparent burden, new understanding in which there is extremity in practicing the sunnah, severe tightness, bothering oneself with what has not been legislated, preoccupying oneself by trying to fill the spaces when raising up from sujood, and losing the ability to direct the toes towards the qiblah {see: “Fath Al-Bari, vol 2, pg. 344, chapter: directing the toes towards the qiblah” i.e. in sujood”}. And also {in this stance} is the taking of the spot from the one who preceded him to it, in addition to seizing the place of the feet of other without any right. And all of this is making a sunnah out of what has not been legislated. Secondly: whenever the Prophet {salallahu alahi wa salam} ordered the alignment between the shoulders and the ankles, he would also order the alignment between the “necks” as in the hadeeth of Anas {radiallahu anhu} as narrated in the sunan of An Nasa’i {pg 813}. All this meaning: straightening the row, making it parallel and the even, and filling the gaps, does not mean to literally “join or stick {ilzaaq}”, for indeed joining neck to neck is impossible, joining shoulders to shoulders in every standing is clearly burdensome, joining knee to knee is also impossible, and joining ankle to ankle is to a certain extent unattainable in addition to it being burdensome, difficult, and busying oneself in every rakat, which is clear and apparent. Therefore, it is clear that aligning is in four cases: the neck, the shoulders, the knees and the ankles – all from one door. The intention behind it being to encourage the establishing of the rows, consolidating it, making it straight and even without any crookedness or spaces, and by this the goal of the legislator {Allah} is achieved. Al Hafidh ibn Hajar says “what is meant by straightening the rows is to be aligned upright in a common manner, or what is meant by it is to fill the gaps….. ” { “Fath ul-Bari” the explanation of saheeh Al Bukhari, vol. 2, pg. 242}. And this is the fiqh of the ahadeeth for straightening the rows, as in the hadeeth of ibn Nu’man ibn Bashir {radiallahu anhu} who said “the Messenger of Allah (may peace-be upon him) used to straighten our rows as one would set an arrow upright, until we thought that we had understood. One day he turned with his face whereby he saw a man whose chest was bulging out from the row, so he said: straighten your rows or Allah would create dissension amongst you,” {sunan Abu Dawud}. This is the sahabahs {may Allah be pleased with them} understanding of straightening the rows: Standing straight and filling the gaps, not sticking the ankles together. This is why when imam Al Bukhari said in his naming the chapter: Chapter joining the shoulder to shoulder and foot to foot in the line, and Nu’man ibn Bashir said: “saw that a man would join his ankle to the ankle of his companion”. Al Hafidh ibn Hajar said “what is intended by this is to greatly emphasize the straightening of the rows and filling the gaps.” { “Fath ul-Bari” the explanation of saheeh Al Bukhari, vol. 2, pg. 242} The proof of Al Hafidh ibn Hajar untainted understanding of the hadeeth from Bukharis’ title of the chapter, is Nu’man ibn Bashir statement, as also recorded in the Saheeh of ibn Khuzaymah (nos.160), the Sunan of Ad Darqutanee (vol. 1, pg. 282), and in the Sunan of Abu Dawud where Nu’man ibn Bashir said “I saw {that} a man would join his shoulder to the shoulder of his companion, his knees to his knees, and ankle to ankle” {this is the wording of the hadeeth as it came in the Sunan of Abu Dawud}. Thus, joining knees to knees is impossible, hence, it becomes clear that the meaning of the hadeeth is encourage and emphasize filling of the gaps and straightening of the rows, and not the actual joining and sticking. This is why Al Khataabee said about the hadeeth that has been narrated by Ibn Abbas {radiallahu anhu} from the Prophet {salallahu alahi wa salam} that he said “the best of you are those of you who have the most gentle shoulder in salah” {Abu Dawud and others. It is hasan according to al- Albaanee, Saheeh ul-Jaami no. 3264) }, “the meaning of it is to have tranquility throughout the salah, and to be comfortable within it, and not to push nor rub against the shoulders of the one next to him” {Mu’aalim As Sunan, and Awn Al Ma’bood Fee Sharh Sunan Abu Dawud: vol.2 pg. 369} This concept can be further explained by using the example of the narrations of the different wordings for “at tawaruk” in salah, {i.e. to sit with the left upper thigh on the ground and the right foot being upright, in the last at tashahud}, as in the hadeeth of Abi Hameed As Sa’dee {radiallahu anhu} who said about the Prophet {salallahu alahi wa salam} “and he would sit on his bottom”. This manner of expression is a type where a general word or phrase is used, however, only part of that word or phrase is intended; “itlaq al kul wa iradtul ba’d”. For it is impossible for the one who does the “tawarruk” to place his whole bottom on the ground, this is why in other wordings of the hadeeth it says: “he sat on his left side”, “he put his left leg on the ground”, “he sat on his left side mutawarrikan”. Thus, it is not possible that a person of intelligence to derive from the wording “and he would sit on his bottom,” the ability to sit his whole bottom on the ground, for this is impossible naturally and conceptually, just as the case for the wordings for being straight as has been mentioned before. Look at the hadeeth about the merits of salah in its time, for it is as ibn Daqeeq said in “Al Ahkam” {vol. 2, pg. 38}, “it has never been narrated from any of them (the salaf) that they used to be extreme (yushadid) in this, to the extent that {they say that} the first takbeer should take place exactly at the beginning of the time of the salah {to get the blessings of praying the salah in its time}” And Allah is most knowledgeable about His rulings. Translated by Shaykh Yusuf Estes

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Why Did We choose Islam? Converts share their experiences Perfect work Islam’s coherent structure of moral teaching and practical life programme attracted me. It is a perfect work of architecture. All its parts complement each other: nothing is superfluous or lacking. – Muhammad Asad (Leopold Weiss) True freedom I am attracted to Islam’s concept of One God. Nothing is like Him. This belief in the Oneness of God librates man from servitude to any human being and this is true freedom. The direct relationship between God and His servants also attracted me. – Ibrahim Khalil (Philobus) Perfection Islam is perfection Compared to other scriptures, The Qur’an is like the Sun compared to a match. Anyone who reads the Word of Allah with a mind that is not completely closed to the Truth, will become a Muslim – Saifuddin Dirk Walter Mosig Inner Peace When I read the Qur’an, I really felt that this is a belief that I should have. I can’t really explain it, only one who has reverted would understand, because it’s a feeling, an inner peace. – Canadian Sister Books against Islam I came to Islam after reading the books written against Islam. I felt that these writers feared the dynamism of Islam. They put it to utter disgrace because they feared it. Oneness of God It is pure monotheism. It has a clear moral system. No scripture expresses the message of the Oneness of God as clearly as The Qur’an – Yahya Slow Dawning It was a slow dawning. It wasn’t like I woke up one night and said ‘This is it’. Reading the Qur’an answered my questions of faith in a logical manner – Carole Strum Science I am convinced that the Qur’an is the Word of God. Things mentioned in the Qur’an were discovered by scientists in the last 100 years. The only one who could have known those things 1400 years ago was God. – Khadija Evans Liberating Because you cover yourself up you’are not seen as a sex symbol, and because people cant judge you on your appearance, they have to judge you as a Human Being. That’s quite liberating. You don’t need anything else once you’ve found Islam. – Bahiya Malik (Lucy Norris) Reason Having a mind that accepts ideas on their factual merit makes believing in a religion difficult because most religious require acceptance by faith. Islam appeals to man’s reasoning. – Dr. Jeffery Lang Liberated When I became a servent of Allah, I became liberated from all other forms of servitude. Others may thing they are liberated but they are addicted to hoarding wealth, unlawful sec and intoxicants. – Yahya Donald W. Flood Nothing irrational The logical and fascination style of The Qur’an penetrated deep into my soul. In Islam there is no irrational or unbelievable tenet or anything contradictory to modern science. – Dr Hamid Marcus Life Itself To some people religion, is a private concern like an amateur hobby. But when I read The Holy Qur’an I knew that Islam is no hobby but life itself! – Maryam Jameelah (Margaret Peggy Marcus) True equality I realized that Islam gives True equality not only to men and women, but to all races and classes, and individuals are differentiated only their level of piety – Karima Slack Razi After research I came into Islam after more then 30 years of research and life experience. Attaining peace through submission to Allah impressed me the most. Whenever I feel troubled my mind goes to the soothing words of the Qur’an. – Suleyman Ahmad Embryology When I read the Qur’an I cried in joy of finding the truth. I was graduating in microbiology at that time. The description of the embryological process in the Qur’an [unknown at that time] impressed me. Once I was sure The Qur’an is truly from God, I accepted Islam. – Erin Saumaya Fannoun Complete system The teachings in Islam resembled the values I had been taught: belief in God, respect for others, truthfulness, courtesy, charity and honour. In Islam these are integrated into a complete system that is easy to understand. – Greg Noakes Found the missing pieces I came to know that Muslims believed in all the previous prophets, the miraculous birth of Jesus (pbuh), that there is no need for a mediator, that Jesus(pbuh) is a prophet and that there was another Prophet Muhammed(pbuh). I found that I had discovered all the missing pieces that I had been searching for. – Aminah Vanderdrift Superficial freedom It seems that a Western woman’s happiness hinges on her access to nightclubs, alcohol and revealing clothes; and the absence of such freedom in Islam is seen as an infringement of basic rights. Such superficialities have very little to do with true happiness. – Haiqa Khan Very definite Islam is very practical, providing guidance on every aspect, including prayers, diet, cleanliness, manners and respect for parents. Right and wrong are definite in Islam. Limits are set, I was never able to find this [in my previous religion]. I thank God daily for the gift of Islam – Zahrah Riddle Meaningful I found myself agreeing with what I was reading in The Qur’an rather than arguing against it. By the time I had finished reading it I was convinced that I had found something important and meaningful. – Bushra Finch Worship the creator In Islam we worship The Creator. Others worship stones, or men as incarnations of God. You should worship the One that created everything. Reading The Qur’an will cut down your journey in search of the truth about life. – Abd-ul Waahid Paterson Found my way At the moment of my conversion, no angels sang hymns and no beam of light hit me, but I was filled with an enormous sense of peace and hope. I finally found my way. – Nuh Brecheen Appeals to the truth-seeker Islam is rational, natural and appeals to the truth seeker. The belief in one God frees us from superstition. It naturally leads to equality, for all have been created by the same God and are the servants of the same Lord. – Muhammed Aman Hobohm Living Principle The Qur’an touched me in a way that nothing else ever had. When I read the Yusuf Ali translation, I just cried. Islam has grown into a living principle in my life. I am a better Muslim this year than I was last year. – Joanne Richards No Free ride There’s no free ride in Islam. Everyone is responsible for his actions. Islam has the answer to racism, feminism, abortion, high murder rates and drug selling. It shows human beings how to live their lives right. – Shaheed (Damian Williams) Jesus in Islam In Islam I found the real Jesus. As a leader of believers, and a prophet to love as an example. It was Islam that made me love him. – Abdul Azim (Greogor Shepard) No Hocus-Pocus In the Qur’an, there is no hocus-pocus, no spookism, no mysticism, just plain, simple understanding ‘Truth’. When I heard the call for prayer, I felt a closeness to god that penetrated my heart and soul. – Abdussalam Sipes (Clinto Sipes) Nothing to offer Muslims are the hardest people to convert to another faith because there is nothing to offer them! In Islam, there is a relationship with Allah, forgiveness of sins, salvation and promise of Eternal Life. – Khadijah ‘Sue’ Watson

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ARE FACEBOOK POSTS/COMMENTS CAUSING US RIYA(SHOWING OFF)??? AOODUBILLAHI MIN ASSHAYTHAANI RRAJEEM BISMILLAAHIRRAHMAANI RRAHEEM ASSALAAMU ALAIKUM WA RAHMATHULLAHI WABARAKATHUHU Riya'(show- off) is the practice of performing any of the various forms of worship in order to be seen and praised by people. I believe most of us using the Face book for sharing Islamic knowledge and dawa. We post and write notes for this purpose alone which is for the sake of Allah. But most of us when we read the posts of other brothers &sisters, we write comments praising them, sometimes we over praise them. Please do think, in this way are we not causing our brothers & sisters develop Riya who posts /writes notes for the sake of Allah?.In fact we are harming them by praises. “Take care not to praise someone to his face; this would be to behave like a evil flatterer. The Prophet Muhammad (salla’Allahu ‘alayhi wasalam) heard a man praising another man, praising him greatly. The Prophet said, ‘You have destroyed him – or you have broken the man’s back.'” [Abu Musa al-Ash’ari, Riyad as-Salihin] Even when we ourselves post / write notes purely for the sake of Allah, the ‘like’ and ‘comments’ may change our intentions unknowingly in a period of time. Slowly we start doing activities unknowingly for the good feeling we get from the comments. ‘Riya’ is a sin, destroys all the benefits that lie in righteous deeds and brings on the one who commits it a serious punishment. Mahmood ibn Lubayd reported, Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) said : “The thing I fear for you most is ash-Shirk al-Asghar (minor shirk). The Companions asked O’ Messenger of Allah, what is minor shirk? He replied, ‘ar- Riya’ (showing off), for verily Allah will say on the Day of Resurrection when people are receiving their rewards, ‘Go to those for whom you were showing off in the material world and see if you can find any reward from them.” Reported by Abu Hurairah (radhiALLAAHU anhu): The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “He who does not acquire knowledge with the sole intention of seeking the Pleasure of Allah but for worldly gain, will not smell the fragrance of Jannah on the Day of Resurrection.” [AbuDawud]. “He who lets the people hear of his good deeds intentionally, to win their praise, Allah will let the people know his real intention (on the Day of Resurrection), and he who does good things in public to show off and win the praise of the people, Allah will disclose his real intention (and humiliate him).” — The Messenger of Allaah sallALLAAHU alayhi wa sallam. [al-Bukhaari, vol.8, no.506] So brothers & sisters please keep the following in mind before we post/write comments,or before praising other brothers & sisters. 1. Please check your intention before posting/writing anything. If it is for the sake of ALLAAH, you will gain rewards for it. If it is for people’s praising comments, it will earn you a minor shirk. 2. Please think once, before you praise a person. Please do not over praise any brother / sister who is benefitting us by sharing the knowledge. If you want to praise them, please make dua for them in your heart. This benefits them, not your comment that praises them. Instead, your praise may make them develop Riya unknowingly. If you really want good for our brother/sister, please do not praise excessively. INSTEAD SAY JAZAK ALLAAH KHAIRAN OR ALHAMDULILLAAH. 3. Please share your views and try to add some more points in your comments that may benefit and give more thoughts to the writer &others. 4. If you like their post/notes share it with others instead of praising them with your comments. A writer may think how do i know who is reading my posts. We are writting & posting only for the sake of Allah. Let anyone read or not, our reward is with Allah SUBHANAHU WA THA’ALA. 5. It is our human nature we feel good if someone praises, that’s natural. But that feeling should not cause the person develop riya and spoil his/her next time deeds. 6. There is nothing wrong in postingyour thoughts/feelings in status. But make it others to think about it. Trick of Shaytan with Riya to lessen our Ibadah In between our effort to avoid riya(show off) beware of the Devils whispers! For Example:when we are about to post a good article, the Shaytan will wishper ‘Dont do it people might think you are a show off’. Do not leave an Ibadah in order to avoid Riya, but instead do more of it, just be sincere and keep in mind that we do it ONLY to please Allah ta’ala. So we have to be careful of both things: 1. Avoid riya(show off) 2. Do not avoid doing good deed for the fear of Riya. DUA against riya. ‘Abu ‘Ali, a man from Banu Kaalil, said, “Abu Moosa al-Ash’ari addressed us and said, “O people! Fear this shirk as it is more hidden than a crawling ant.” ‘Abdullah ibn Hazm and Qays bin al- Madaarib both stood and said,”By Allah! You should clarify what you have said, otherwise we shall bring ‘Umar with authority on our behalf or without it”. He then said, “Rather I will explain to you what I said. Allaah’s Messenger (sallALLAAHU alaihi wa sallam) addressed us one day and said, “O People! Fear this shirk as it is more hidden than a crawling ant.” Then someone whom Allaah had willed to speak said: ” And how shall we save ourselves from it when it is more hidden thana crawling ant, O Messenger of Allaah?”. He said, “Say “Allahumma inni a`udhu bika an ushrika bika wa ana a`lamu wa astaghfiruka lima la a`lamu” [O ALLAAH I seek refuge in YOU from knowingly associating partners with YOU, and I seek YOUR forgiveness for that which I do not know]. Let us use the Facebook as a tool for gaining rewards, not as tool to develop Riya that spoils our deeds. May Allah save us from the Riya and help us to make our intentions purely for HIM, aameen. This is not intended to hurt anyone’s feelings but this is just a reminder to all of us including me. Your Lord knows best what is inyour inner-selves. If you are righteous, then, verily, He is Ever Most Forgiving to those who turn unto Him again and again in obedience, and in repentance. (Chapter #17, Verse #25)

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Allah’s Apostle (sallallähu alaihi wasallam) said, “Whoever has wronged his brother, should ask for his pardon (before his death), as (in the Hereafter) there will be neither a Dinar nor a Dirham. (He should secure pardon in this life) before some of his good deeds are taken and paid to his brother, or, if he has done no good deeds, some of the bad deeds of his brother are taken to be loaded on him (in the Hereafter).” [Bukhari Book:76 No:541]

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