Ilma Magazine | March/April 2015 | Issue 12

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Live, Learn & Inspire March / April 2015 / Issue 12




ABU DHABI Islam Channel





The Emirati Kitchen


The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

“Verily your Lord is Generous and Shy. If His servant raises his hands to Him (in supplication) He becomes shy to return them empty.” [Al-Tirmidhi]

Management Chairman: Mohamed Ali Harrath The Dawah Project Manager: Azma Gaffar

Editorial Team Managing Editor: Anjuma Choudhury Content and Copy Editor: Aseel Saif Religious Content Editor: Raiyyan Clemenston Creative and Visual Director: Muhammad Abdulmateen Writers: Yeota Imam, Aseel Saif, Aisha Ahmed, Nasrine Abdirachid, Maryam Issadeen, Hafsa Waseela Contributors: Fatema Begum Special thanks to our readers, supporters and Islam Channel. For more information about advertising, marketing and sponsorship, email us at Official website: Ilma Magazine is published bi-monthly by The Dawah Project. Subscription is free. All rights reserved by The Dawah Project. Reproduction in whole or in part without written consent/permission is strictly prohibited. The opinion expressed in each article is the opinion of its author and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Dawah Project. Therefore, The Dawah Project carries no responsibility for the opinion expressed thereon. The Dawah Project Ltd Registered Office - 14 Bonhill Street London EC2A 4BX Company No - 06864768 Registered Charity Number: 1133424 Tel: 0207 330 1744 (Mon - Fri, 9am - 6pm)

CONTENTS The Quality of Worship and Education (Part 1)


The Dawah Project

Reflection By Yeota Imam



18 14 14 The Concept of Purity in Islam By Aseel Saif



The Power of Du’a By Yeota Imam

30 The Blessed Months

By Nasrine Abdirachid

The Quality of Worship By Nasrine Abdirachid

Lifestyle Section




Recommended Reading

64 Islam Channel Programmes Programmes Showing in April and May 2015



44 36 Body, Mind, Soul

Prophetic Medicine By Hafsa Waseela

A Traveller’s Guide:

Sophisticated Abu Dhabi By Aisha Ahmed


Food Bites: The Emirati Kitchen By Aisha Ahmed

66 Get Involved Volunteering Opportunities

Editorial In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Compassionate.

The Quality of Worship and Education: Part 1

Assalamu Alaikum Dear Readers,

achieving quality worship that can be put at its best practise in time for Ramadhan 2015 and the future, In shaa Allah.

We pride ourselves in propagating the importance of education, especially Islamic Education, and spreading this vision far and wide. Islam is an intellectual religion that guides the follower in every aspects of their life and also inspires them to pursue worldly gains only for the sake of Allah, The Most High, and be rewarded in the Hereafter, In shaa Allah. Therefore everything we do should be an act of worship.

We want to welcome Sister Hafsa Waseela, who is pursuing her dream of becoming a Lecturer in Oncology and Cancer. You will read her informative writings in the BODY MIND SOUL feature.

Issue 12 brings you back to the basics of worship in Islam such as the ‘Salah’ (Prayer), ‘Wudhu’ (ablution) and ‘Du’a’ (supplication). It is important for Muslims to perform their religious duties with ‘ihsaan’ (excellence) and ‘ikhlas’ (sincerity), and this edition is here to motivate you in

Please send your comments and suggestions to We love to hear from you!


In Part 2, we will continue to provide Ramadhan gems and shed light on the importance of seeking religious and secular education.

Jazakumullahu Khairan The Dawah Project Team

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The Dawah Project Who are we?

We live in a world that is diverse, dynamic and globalised. Whilst technology develops, The Dawah Project embraces these innovations, spreading Dawah at an international scale. We utilise Television, Radio and Digital Media promoting a better understanding of Islam and the Muslim way of life. It is our mission to provide comprehensive education about Islam for Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

Islam Channel - Religious Programming

watched online via: and

We live in a world that is diverse, dynamic and globalised. Whilst technology develops, it is vital that we spread Dawah through the media - the most powerful form of mass communication.

Radio Campaign in Africa and Asia

Islam Channel is an English speaking channel, free to air and is broadcasting in over 136 countries - Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia. The Dawah Project sponsors the Religious Programmes on Islam Channel; assists in improving the current programmes and provides new programmes throughout the year. Viewers favourite programmes such as IslamiQA; Recite; Soul Search; Live Hajj broadcast; Live Arafah day and Footsteps of Ibraheem are all sponsored by our subscribers. Islam Channel is available on Sky 806, Freeview 244 via VisionTV and can be


In countries where access to technology is expensive or illiteracy rates are high, radio continues to play an important role in sharing information. Radio broadcasts can provide realtime information, broadcasted 24 hours a day to provide the most recent updates to listeners. Radio stations have the ability to reach across borders and become a source of information where reliable information is scarce. When access to the internet is blocked and phone lines are cut, people can still search the airwaves for trustworthy sources. Even electricity is not a necessity for battery-operated and hand-cranked radios.

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The Radio Campaign was launched in 2011 and we are currently working in Africa where 44 percent of the population is Muslim and over 80 percent of Africans are tuning in every day listening to their local radio station, making it a crucial source of information. Currently, The Dawah Project is working to set up analogue radio stations in Tunisia, Nigeria, Gambia, Uganda, Sierra Leone and Rwanda. We want to educate the diverse African community about Islam.

The International Dawah Centre The International Dawah Centre campaign was introduced in April 2012. Our aim is to provide a centre for everyone to have a better understanding of Islam resulting in a more knowledgeable and harmonious international community.

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Ilma Magazine We are witnessing a digital revolution! More people have their own computer, laptop, iPad and smart phones. The digital industry is always developing. We took advantage of this phenomenon by producing an e-magazine called Ilma, which is released on a bi-monthly basis and is available on Issuu - the fastest growing digital publishing platform in the world. Visit www.issuu. com /dawahprjct Ilma Magazine provides reflective writings on various aspects of life attracting a diverse range of readers all over the world. 09

Update: The International Dawah Centre Campaign Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuhu

Dear Patrons, In April 2012, The Dawah Project launched The International Dawah Centre Campaign. The purpose behind launching an International Dawah Centre is to fulfil our obligatory duty of inviting people to have a better understanding of Islam, resulting to a more knowledgeable, tolerant and peaceful international community. By the will of Allah, The Most High, and the generosity of our Muslim brothers and sisters, till present we have raised £116,000 towards this ambitious project. We want to assure all our donors that the money raised so far, has been put aside into a savings account. At the time, our aim was to purchase the Kassaba building in North London. The reason why we could not go through with this building was due to legal conditions attached to Kassaba; a 2999 years lease, which meant that the landlord could impose certain covenants on us. Since then, we have found an alternative building, Alhamdulillah, that we are pursuing. This particular building is located in the UK for which we have already paid a refundable deposit and now we are waiting for legal obstacles to be cleared, In shaa Allah. Inclusive to this campaign, we are in the process of acquiring land in Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda (Central Africa) to have an International Dawah Centre, In Shaa Allah. We have also been offered a prime location in Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria (West Africa) and we are in talks with Gambia’s government (West Africa) to acquire land, all of which will be part of this great Dawah mission. Your patience, understanding and generous contributions are sincerely appreciated and we hope to still have you on board supporting this great mission, In shaa Allah. May Allah, The Most High, reward you immensely for donating towards this cause and may it be an on-going source of Sadaqah Jaariyah for you and your family In shaa Allah. We will update you on these campaigns accordingly. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require any further information.

Jazakumullahu Khairan

Mohamed Ali Chairman “And whatever you spend in good, it will be repaid to you in full, and you shall not be wronged.” [Qur’an, Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:272]


“He gives life and causes death, and to Him you will be returned.” [Qur’an, Surah Yunus: Jonah, 10:56]

Reflection ‘The Power of Du’a in Worship’ By Islam Channel Producer Yeota Imam Follow Yeota on Twitter



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t the moment, I am studying the ‘Seerah’ (the life of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him) with some sisters in my local area. A recurring theme that comes up time and time again is the way the Prophet (pbuh) relied on ‘du’a’ (supplication) and in leaving things to the care of Allah, The Most High.

There were many nights where the Prophet (pbuh) would stand up in ‘Tahujjud’ (night prayer) begging, pleading and asking for Forgiveness, Allah’s Victory, Allah’s Guidance and Allah’s Mercy on the Muslims. Each time I hear this, it leaves me in awe. Why, you might ask? Because after I have completed a ten minute du’a, I think to myself, ‘Alhamdulillah’ (praise be to Allah), that was a good du’a, if Allah wills and then I think about how the Prophet (pbuh) made du’a and it leaves me deeply troubled. He was promised Paradise and yet he stood in prayer all night till his feet would swell up. We all know that the Prophet (pbuh) had the strength of ten men but what we do not know and what we must ask ourselves is ‘do we make du’a even worthy of one servant?’ This leaves me thinking about how he would spend four to six hours in du’a and ‘Salah’ (Prayer), and never complained. It makes me wonder and marvel at what his (pbuh) words

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of depth, devotion and articulation for his Lord must have been. This understanding has changed my perception towards du’a and I try to remind myself of this every time I bring my hands together for His sake. The power of the du’a can never be underestimated and as frequently stated in many books; it is indeed the ‘weapon of the Believer’. Yet, why is du’a sometimes the last action we turn to when in calamity and not the first? Could it be because we are idle in begging Allah for things we want? Surely this is something we should not be and sounds somewhat strange? Considering how important it is and how often it is mentioned in the Qur’an. This edition of Ilma looks at ‘The Quality of Worship’ and in particular the du’a - the tool and weapon of the Believer, and delves into the many different aspects of this beautiful and powerful weapon. From the ways in which we make du’a, what it should mean to a Believer, to how to make an effective du’a and praise Allah, The Most High, in the manner He should be praised. May we turn to du’a at every juncture in life; may we be active Muslims like the Beloved Prophet (pbuh), his companions and our brothers and sisters who stood up and still stand up to wrong and supplicate with the deepest of sincerity. Ameen.



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Freelance Writer Aseel Saif academically majors in Middle-Eastern Studies and is an avid blogger in subjects such as religion, culture and politics. Her Palestinian roots form the foundations of her passion for writing and expressing herself to the world. Please visit her blog


ccording to Ahadith from Muslim and Bukhari, Muslims believe that every human being is born in a state of ‘tahara’ (purity). This relates to the fundamental concept in Islam of ‘fitra’ – the natural disposition of the human being. To maintain this purity of fitrah one must have total adherence to the guidance of Islam. Tahara is, therefore, an all-encompassing idea that plays a role in everything we do. For this article, I will focus on the importance of purity in the ritual act of ‘Salah’ (prescribed prayers) and the general spiritual and personal acts of a Muslim.

Physical Purity It was said by the Prophet (peace be upon him): “No prayer is accepted without tahara (purification)...” [Muslim]. Tahara here refers to the cleanliness of the body and the praying environment, thus it is required for a Muslim to purify himself for the five daily prayers, wear their best clothing, and to make sure it is clean.

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“O Children of Adam! Wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer.” [Qur’an, Surah Al-‘Araf: The Heights, 7:31] In Islam there are two types of physical impurity causes which are considered minor and major. Minor causes require ‘wudhu’ (ablution) to be carried out and major causes require ‘ghusl’ (full body wash according to a specific method). Minor impurities include: urinating, excreting, breaking wind, etc. A Muslim who experiences one of these minor impurity causes must wash themselves according to the ritual of wudhu before he or she can pray. Major impurity causes include: ejaculation, being on menses, etc. The ghusl is obligatory to cleanse the body from major causes of impurity. For women, during their menstruatio, they should neither perform the five formal prayers nor fast. After their menses ends, women should perform ghusl, then they can resume to their religious duties.


Steps of Ghusl 1) The ‘niyyah’ (intention) is crucial. You must intend that you are performing ghusl to purify yourself from a state of major impurity whether ‘janabah’ (sexual impurity), menstruation or postpartum bleeding – without uttering such intention verbally. 2) Say the ‘tasmiyah’ - “Bismillah” (“I begin in the name of Allah”). 3) Wash your hands and then the private parts. 4) Perform wudhu as you would for Salah. You may delay washing their feet until the end of your ghusl. 5) Pour at least three handfuls of water on the head, running your fingers through your hair and face, so that water reaches your hair roots and scalp. 6) Then pour water over the rest of your body, beginning with the right side. You should make sure that you wash your armpits, ears and navel. Then wash your feet if you have not already done so. Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) reported: “When Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) would perform ghusl due to sexual intercourse, he would first wash his hands, then pour water with his right hand into his left, washing his private parts. After that he would perform wudhu as he would for the Salah, and then take water and rub it into the roots of his hair with his fingers. [Lastly] he would wash his feet.” [Sahih Al-Muslim, 316]

4) Inhale water into your nose. Use your right hand to cup water and inhale it into your nose three times. 5) Wash your face. Wash your face three times by spreading your hands from your right ear to the left, and from the edge of the hair to the chin. 6) Wash your lower arms from wrists to elbows, leaving no part dry. From your wrist to your elbow, wash your right arm with your left hand three times and then wash your left arm with your right hand three times. 7) Clean your head. Using your wet hands, gently wipe your forehead from the eyebrow to the hairline. Also wipe down your hair, the back of your neck, and your temples. Do this one time. 8) Wash your ears. Using your wet hands, gently wipe in and out of your ears. 9) Wash each of your feet. Clean up to the ankles and make sure water goes between the toes. Start with your right foot and wash each foot three times. Allah, The Almighty, intends to make every situation easy for us and thus when there is no water available, a Muslim is allowed to perform ‘Tayammum’ (dry ablution).

How to perform Tayammum in place of Wudhu or Ghusl

Steps of Wudhu

Make your niyyah:

1) Make niyyah to perform washing.

“I am doing Tayammum in place of wudhu (or ghusl), for the pleasure of Allah and to seek closeness to Him.”

2) Wash your hands. Use your left hand to wash your right hand. Do this three times. After that, use your right hand to wash your left hand three times. Wash in between your fingers and all the way up to your wrists


3) Take water into your mouth. Use your right hand to cup water into your mouth three times.

When performing Tayammum, strike the earth with your hands while parting the fingers. Then you wipe over your face with the palm of your hands, and wipe both hands.

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Spiritual Purity As stated previously, one cannot separate the ritual from the spiritual - it is apparent that, with every action we take, niyyah is accompanied by it. And so, as we wash our bodies, we are also spiritually cleansing our souls. With every deed we do, we are prompted to remember Allah, The Most High. On a daily basis Islam teaches Muslims to clear their hearts from negative attributes that could harm themselves and others. Through the exemplary actions of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), Muslims have learnt a great deal on how to attain this. The Prophet (pbuh) used to invoke to Allah saying: “O Allah! Praise be to You as much as that which fills the heavens and the earth and as much as You will. O Allah! Purify me with snow, hail and cool water. O Allah! Purify me of sins as a white dress is purified of dirt.” [Ahmad] Purity is not just a physical act, but it is also expressed through the heart and through our actions, which will pave our way to Paradise. The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Anybody who believes in Allah and the Last Day should not harm his neighbour, and anybody who believes in Allah and the Last Day should entertain his guest generously, and anybody who believes in Allah and the Last Day should talk what is good or keep quiet (i.e. abstain from all kinds of evil and foul talk).” [Narrated by Abu Hurayrah, Sahih Al Bukhari, Vol: 8 Hadith 47] ilma Magazine / Issue 12

Allah Almighty bestowed His blessings on Maryam (Virgin Mary), may Allah be pleased with her, because of her purity and ‘Iffah’ (chastity). Allah rewarded her by raising her status to become one of the most perfect of women ever created. Allah Almighty says in the Holy Qur’an: “Behold! The angels said: O Mary! God has chosen you and purified you chosen you above the women of all nations.” [Qur’an: Surah Al-Imran: The Family of Imran, 3:42] The attainment of spiritual and physical purity of the self should be a goal for every Believer, as it brings us closer to Allah, The Most High. It benefits us in many ways, such as physical hygiene and comforts us mentally. Thus, let us not forget that everything that Allah prescribes has wisdom behind it. When you are doing your wudhu make sure you appreciate every movement. Let every drop of water cleanse your skin and heart. Feel the Mercy of Allah. Allah, The Exalted, says: “But those who believe and do deeds of righteousness, We shall soon admit to Gardens with rivers flowing beneath - their eternal home; therein shall they have companions pure and holy.” [Qur’an, Surah Al-Nisa: The Women, 4:57] May Allah help us be among His pure servants, and help us obey Him and those whom He has ordained us to obey. Ameen.



Freelance Writer Nasrine Abdirachid explores how one can improve the quality of their worship


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t times it can seem that the daily stresses of life occupy our minds constantly, from as small as what to have for dinner, to disagreements at the workplace or financial worries. Switching these thoughts off and devoting one’s mind, body and soul entirely to worship can be difficult. ‘Khushoo’ is described as humility, serenity and tranquility; total and complete submission and concentration on any act of worship. Khushoo is a necessity in ‘Salah’ (Prayer) and Allah, The Most High, says in the Holy Qur’an: “Successful indeed are the believers, those who offer their Salah (prayers) with all solemnity and full submissiveness.” [Qur’an, Surah Al-Mu’minoon: The Believers, 23:1-2] So how does one go about striving for and attaining this success?

Before Worship Firstly, it is important to change the way one views worship. It is easy to rush through Salah; to say the words without contemplating on their meanings, doing the required actions hastily and sometimes incorrectly, and completing the prayer without being truly present. But one cannot expect to achieve ‘ihsaan’ (excellence) without committing wholeheartedly to Salah. Rather than treating Salah as a necessary chore, one must see it for what it truly is; a blessing, and an escape from the stress in this life. Salah is a chance to leave behind the worries of this world and immerse oneself

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in the bliss of the Hereafter. It is a golden opportunity to converse with Allah, The Exalted, and relay your worries in ‘sujood’ (prostration), the point at which a Believer is closest to Allah. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “The closest that a servant is to his Lord is when he is in prostration.” [Muslim]

Preparing for Worship Dedicating five minutes out of an hour lunch break to worship, will not help you achieve humility. Nor will humility occur when offering prayers right before the start of your favourite programme. Giving yourself enough time to prepare for worship and praying the Salah at its prescribed time is important in the concept of khushoo as the Prophet (pbuh) said: “Five prayers which Allah has made obligatory. Whoever does ‘wudhu’ (ablution) properly for them, prays them on time, does ‘ruku’ (bowing in prayer) properly and has perfect khushoo, it is a promise from Allah that he will be forgiven, but whoever does not do this, has no such promise – if Allah wishes, He will forgive him, and if He wishes, He will punish him.” [Reported by Abu Dawood, no. 425; Sahih Al-Jaami’, 3242] Performing ‘wudhu’ (ablution) properly in good time, repeating the ‘adhaan’ (call to prayer) after the ‘Muadhin’ (the one who calls to prayer), using a toothbrush for oral hygiene and wearing one’s best clothes, are all ways in which we can prepare to stand in Salah. These all strengthen khushoo and reinforce one’s intentions.


“The heart on its journey towards Allah, The Most High, is like that of a bird. Love is its head, and fear and hope are its two wings. When the head is healthy, then the two wings will fly well. When the head is cut off, the bird will die. When either of two wings is damaged, the bird becomes vulnerable to every hunter and predator.” [Ibn Al-Qayyim: Madarij As-Salikeen]

During worship Creating an environment of calm before worship is vital in achieving humility and concentration. Reserving an area of one’s home for worship is often advised. Whilst understanding that the act of worship you are about to undertake carries much weight upon your scales. When asked how he maintains khushoo in Salah, Hatim bin Al-Asam (Allah have mercy upon him) related a beautiful reminder: “When the time for prayer is at hand. I make a proper ablution, go to the spot where I attend to pray and sit there until all my limbs and organs are in a collected state. Then I stand up to perform my prayer, placing the Ka’bah between my brows, the bridge over Hell beneath my feet, Paradise to my right and Hell to my left, and the Angel of Death behind me, thinking all the while that this is my final prayer. Then I stand between hope and fear. I carefully pronounce “Allahu Akbar!” (God is Great). Then I recite the Qur’an harmoniously, bow in humility and prostrate myself submissively. I then sit back on my left haunch, spreading out the left foot, raising my right foot on the toes. I follow this with sincerity. Then I wonder whether or not my prayer has been accepted.” [Inner Dimensions of Islamic Worship by Al-Ghazali]


Renewing your ‘niyyah’ (intention) prior to offering your prayers is also a vital part of worship. With any act of worship, be it Salah, reciting the Qur’an or giving ‘sadaqah’ (voluntary charity), your intentions determine whether or not the worship is rewarded. Doing an act of worship entirely for the sake of Allah, The Most High, shows humility, sincerity and a fulfilment of ‘Tawheed’ (the Oneness of Allah) . It is important to remember that khushoo is not something that transpires from nothing, rather it emerges from the love you have for Allah, hope in His Mercy and fearing His Punishment. Ibn Al-Qayyim (Allah have mercy upon him) said, “The heart on its journey towards Allah, The Most High, is like that of a bird. Love is its head, and fear and hope are its two wings. When the head is healthy, then the two wings will fly well. When the head is cut off, the bird will die. When either of two wings is damaged, the bird becomes vulnerable to every hunter and predator.” [Ibn Al-Qayyim: Madarij As-Salikeen] Therefore, maintaining the balance of hope and fear in one’s worship will undoubtedly strengthen khushoo and increase ‘ikhlas’ (sincerity). May Allah, The Merciful, make us from among those with khushoo in every act of worship and may those acts be accepted and rewarded. Ameen. ilma Magazine / Issue 12


“Friday is divided into twelve hours. Amongst them there is an hour in which a Muslim does not ask Allah for anything but He gives it to him. So seek it in the last hour after the afternoon (Asr) prayer.” [Sahih Abu Dawood]


Du’a Yeota Imam explores the power of supplication to Allah, The Most High, and how it is a form of solace and a potent weapon for the Believer. She reminds us of the proximity of our Lord and the Mercy He continues to bestow upon us when we utter His name.


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“And your Lord said: Invoke Me [i.e. believe in My Oneness and ask Me for anything] I will respond to your (invocation).” [Qur’an, Surah Al-Ghafir: The Forgiver, 40:60]


he Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “There is nothing more dear to Allah than a servant making du’a to Him.” [Al-Tirmidhi] I recall once when I was having a meeting with a colleague at work - in the middle of our conversation he excused himself and went into ‘sajood’ (prostration) and laid his forehead to the ground making ‘du’a’ (supplication). At that time I had recently started practising and thought it was quite strange for him to do that, but my perception of that moment has changed vastly over the years. That incident has come back to me many a time and, for me, it defines ‘the power of du’a’. The fact that Allah, The Most High, is always close to the Believer and how we can call upon Him whenever we wish, is a great blessing. Allah loves to be asked and He encourages His slaves to ask of Him. Allah, The Most High, says: “And your Lord said: Invoke Me [i.e. believe in My Oneness and ask Me for anything] I will respond to your (invocation).” [Qur’an, Surah Al-Ghafir: The Forgiver, 40:60]

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Du’a is a conversation we have with Allah, our Creator, our Lord, the All Knowing, the All Powerful. This act, in itself, is extraordinary. To converse with Allah is the most liberating and awe-inspiring conversation you can have. He who has created you, Who is there to listen to every word you have to say, Whom we can turn to because we know that He, Alone, can lift our suffering and solve our problems. The feeling and relief we feel after describing our difficulties to our Creator, is a feeling that cannot be attained by talking to any of Allah’s creation. When a servant asks, do not doubt the du’a will be answered. There have been many times when the power of the du’a has taken my breath away and like me, I am sure there have been moments when your du’a has been instantly answered - almost before the words leave your lips. Those moments have been so humbling, so incredible and so moving. I recall such an occasion on my recent ‘Hajj’ (pilgrimage to Makkah). We had been baking in our tents at Mina (Makkah Province) for a day and a half and suddenly I wished for rain! So I lifted my hands and raised my gaze towards the Heavens and asked, “Ya Allah, grant us some rain and bring relief to your pilgrims…”


No sooner had I uttered these thoughts, a sister excitingly ran into our tent exclaiming, “It’s raining sisters! It’s raining!” And there was a huge cry of excitement in our tents and many sisters grabbed their headscarves and ‘jilbabs’ (long loose fit coat) and ran out to experience this rare and unique moment. A moment that I am sure, many will always remember. It was truly breath-taking to see the ‘Ummah’ (the community of Muslims) from all corners of the world with their hands out making du’a to Allah, in the blessed rain, in their ‘ihram clothing’. The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Du’a is the essence of Ibadah (worship).” [Al-Tirmdhi, Ahmad]. Du’a can change fate, while no action of ours ever can. It is the essence of worship. With it, a Believer can never fail and without it a Believer can never succeed. And it is for these reasons that making du’a should be the first and the last resort of the Believer, closely followed with ones plans and actions. So when we open our hands in du’a and ask Allah to fulfil our wishes of this world and the next – what are the ways we can increase the likelihood of our du’as being accepted? What will enable us to make the best du’a to the only One who can answer our du’as? When making du’a it is imperative to believe in ‘Tawheed’ (the oneness of Allah) and that noth24

ing and no one else can help you except Him. And secondly plead and ask Allah with ‘ikhlas’ (sincerity). We should instil in ourselves these two ingredients when making du’a. So what are the most effective ways to call upon the Lord?

1) Use the names of Allah We should ask of Allah by His most beautiful names. Call him ‘Ar-Rahman’ (The Merciful) and beseech for His Mercy, call him ‘Ar-Razzaq’ (The Provider) and ask Him to increase our sustenance. Allah, The Most High, says: “And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allah, so call on Him by them, and leave the company of those who belie or deny (or utter impious speech against) His Names.” [Qur’an, Surah Al-Araf: The Heights, 7:180]

2) Do not be haste in du’a I am sure many of us have unfortunately rushed through a du’a at the end of ‘Salah’ (Prayer) due to some pressing matters. But is this the way to ask something from our Lord when we dearly want His assistance? Fadaalah ibn ‘Ubayd (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “Whilst the Messenger of Allah ilma Magazine / Issue 12

(peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was sitting, a man came in and prayed and said, “O Allah, forgive me and have mercy on me.” The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, “You have been too hasty, O worshipper. When you have prayed and are sitting, praise Allah as He deserves to be praised, and send blessings upon me, then call upon Him.” [Al-Tirmidhi, 3476] Doing things in haste will rarely achieve quality and why would you be haste when Allah is listening to you and His servant is asking from Him? Make the time for Allah ‘azza-wajal’ (the Powerful and Majestic) and be sincere and hearty in your du’as.

opposed to being obligatory - out of love for the Messenger of Allah, and out of a yearning to please Allah, the Mighty and Exalted. However, an apt example of the reward that comes from supplicating for the Prophet (pbuh) is the following narration: “O Messenger of Allah, I send blessings upon you a great deal; how much of my prayer (du’a) should be for you? He said: “Whatever you wish.” He asked: “One quarter?” The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Whatever you wish, and if you do more it is better for you.”

3) Sending blessings upon the Prophet (pbuh)

He asked: “Half?” The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Whatever you wish, and if you do more it is better for you.”

Many people are not aware of the fact that it is highly recommended to send blessings to the most beloved creation of Allah. The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Every du’a is kept back until you send blessings upon the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).” [Al-Tabaraani in Al-Awsat, 1/220; Sahih Al-Jaami’, 4399]

He asked: “Two thirds?” The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Whatever you wish, and if you do more it is better for you.”

In light of the wording, it can be mentioned that there are many supplications which do not contain the mentioning of the Prophet (pbuh), indicating that it is something we should do, as ilma Magazine / Issue 12

He lastly asked: “Should I make all my du’a for you?” The Prophet (pbuh) replied: “Then your concerns will be taken care of and your sins will be forgiven.” [Narrated by Al-Tirmidhi, 2457] As such, one is strongly encouraged to send blessings on the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.


4) Raising the hands When making du’a the palm of the hand should be raised heavenwards, in the manner of a humble beggar who hopes to be given something. Abu Dawood narrated that Salman (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Your Lord, may He be blessed and Exalted, is Kind and Most Generous, and He is too kind to let His slave, if he raises his hands to Him, bring them back empty.” [Sahih Abu Dawood, 1320] Such is the Mercy of the Creator.

5) Be firm in your du’a The Prophet (pbuh) said: “No one of you should say, ‘O Allah, forgive me if You wish, O Allah, have mercy on me if You wish’; he should be firm in his asking, for Allah cannot be compelled.” [Sahih Al-Bukhaari, 6339; Muslim, 2679] Allah, The Most High, is capable of anything and therefore this should be reflected in the way we ask of Him. Ask Him knowing He is capable of giving and do not be weak in your asking.

6) Make du’a for everyone Making du’a for others is not only a beautiful act but has much reward from the All Merciful. We should make du’a not only for ourselves, but also for our parents, brothers and sisters, spouses and children, relatives and friends, teachers and the Ummah, who are struggling everywhere. We should pray for them for the good in this world as well as in the Hereafter. The Prophet (pbuh) said: “The dua of a Muslim for his brother (in Islam) in his absence is readily accepted. An angel is appointed to his side. Whenever he makes a beneficial dua for his brother the appointed angel says, Ameen. 26

And may you also be blessed with the same.” [Sahih Al-Muslim] Not a Salah or day should go by without us making du’a to Allah. Let us not make du’a a ritual we do at the end of Salah. We know it is encouraged to make du’a when it rains, at the time of sunset, when we are fasting, between ‘Asr’ (the late afternoon prayer) and ‘Maghrib’ (just after sunset prayer) on ‘Jumu’ah’ (Friday Congregation), and in the last third of the night when everyone else is asleep. Some may consider the du’a when all other efforts have failed - an act of last resort. This indeed is a loss as the du’a is the most powerful weapon a Believer possesses – it is a blessing from Allah, The Most High, and has been given to us at any time. Whilst du’a is imperative and a deed loved by Allah, The Most High, it needs to be followed by action. We cannot sit at home and make du’a for a job and not fill out job applications or ask to pass an exam and not revise. This is certainly not the action of a Believer. This is not the way of our Prophet (pbuh). I want to end on the example when the Prophet (pbuh) was about to embark on the Battle of Badr in Arabia, 624 CE. The Muslims were small in number in comparison to the Quraysh tribe. The Muslims had an army of three hundred and Quraysh, one thousand. It was said that the night before the battle, the Prophet (pbuh) stayed awake all night supplicating for victory to the extent the companions were worried as he had not prepared and planned for battle. Then, when the Prophet (pbuh) planned for battle it seemed as if he had not supplicated enough. Such was the ‘tawakkul’ (trust in Allah) and action of the Prophet. He did each action with such ikhlas and ‘ihsaan’ (excellence). Let us take these examples and make du’a with much sincerity for when we have a conversation with Allah, The Most High. The outcome will always be positive, either in this world or in the Hereafter.

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Prophet Musa (Moses), peace be upon him, recited this supplication before exchanging with Pharaoh.

“Rabbish rahlee sadree, wa yassir lee amree, wa ahlul uqdatammin lisaanee, yafqahu qawlee.” Translation: “O my Lord! Expand for me my breast [with assurance] and ease for me my task and untie the knot from my tongue that they may understand my speech.” [Qur’an, Surah Al-Taha: Disambiguation, 20:25]

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ilma Magazine / Issue 12

Once again, the blessed month of Ramadhan draws nearer. Maryam Issadeen looks into some of the significant events that took place in the months leading up to it, namely Rajab and Sha’baan.

Rajab The month of Rajab carries a special virtue. Allah, The Most High, says in the Holy Qur’an: “Indeed, the number of months with Allah is twelve (lunar) months in the register of Allah (from) the day He created the heavens and the earth; of these, four are sacred. That is the correct religion, so do not wrong yourselves during them.” [Qur’an, Surah AtTaubah: The Repentance, 9:36] The respected ‘mufassirun’ (exegetes of the Qur’an) have specified these special months as being Muharram, Rajab, Dhul Qa’dah and Dhul Hijjah i.e. the 1st, 7th, 11th and 12th months of the Islamic calendar. These sacred months are considered a time for Muslims to go above and beyond their usual efforts and strive even more earnestly to avoid sin in any form. With regards to the approaching month of Rajab, opinions vary on what should or should not be done therein. The following Hadith narrated by Uthman Bin Hakim specifically mentions fasting in the month of Rajab:

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“I asked Sa’id b. Jubair (may Allah be pleased with him) about fasting during Rajab. He said: Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) told me that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) used to fast to such an extent that we thought that he would never break his fast; and he would go without fasting to such and extent that he would never fast.” [Sunan Abu Dawood, 2430] One of the most significant events to take place in the month of Rajab was the ‘Isra’ (the night journey) and ‘Mi’raj’ (ascension). This blessed encounter took place on the 27th of Rajab (according to the majority view) and involved the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) being carried from Masjid Al-Haram in Makkah to Masjid Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem in the company of the archangel Jibreel. The Prophet (pbuh) led a congregation of prayer with the Prophets of Allah, The Most High, and thereafter he ascended to the seven heavens, being greeted in each heaven by a Prophet (pbuh). It was on this blessed journey that he was given the gift of five daily prayers from Allah, The Most High. Whilst this was a great day indeed for the Prophet (pbuh) and Muslims alike, there is no special ‘ibadah’ (worship) or prayers attached to the day itself.


“One of the most significant events to take place in the month of Rajab was the ‘Isra’ (the night journey) and ‘Mi’raj’ (ascension).” “This blessed encounter took place on the 27th of Rajab (according to the majority view) and involved the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) being carried from Masjid Al-Haram in Makkah to Masjid Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem in the company of the archangel Jibreel.”

Sha’baan The month of Sha’baan likewise carries special significance, as can be seen in the following Hadith narrated by Usamah Bin Zaid (may Allah be pleased with him): “I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, I do not see you fasting any month as much as Sha’baan.’ He said: ‘That is a month to which people do not pay much attention, between Rajab and Ramadhan. It is a month in which the deeds are taken up to the Lord of the worlds, and I like that my deeds be taken up when I am fasting.” [Sunan An-Nasa’i: 2357] The common practice of fasting specifically on


the 15th of Sha’baan is not accepted by the majority of scholars. However, fasting on the 13th, 14th and 15th of every month is considered a virtuous act, as mentioned in the following narration by Musa Bin Talhah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: “I heard Abu Dharr, at Ar-Rabadhah, saying: ‘The Messenger of Allah said: if you want to fast at any time during the month then fast on the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth.” [An-Nasa’i: 2424] With this in mind, fasting from the 13th to the15th of Sha’baan, seeking the reward of emulating the ‘Sunnah’ (teachings and practices of the Prophet, peace be upon him), is completely acceptable. Sound narrations exist

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which have shown that fasting is not advisable after the middle of Sha’baan, such as the following Hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah (may Allah be please with him): “The Messenger of Allah said: “When a half of Sha’ban remains then do not fast.” [Al-Tirmidhi: 738] While the Prophet (pbuh) himself would fast much, sometimes all of Sha’baan, it is recommended that we avoid the latter stage (particularly those not accustomed to doing so normally), so as to preserve our energy and enthusiasm for Ramadhan. As we are near the sacred month of Ramadhan, we have been blessed with the months

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of Rajab and Sha’baan to mentally and physically prepare ourselves. As one would train for a being sporting event, so too should we avail ourselves of the opportunity to be prepared for Ramadhan. As the scholar Abu Bakr Al-Warraq Al-Balkhiyyu (Allah have mercy upon him) said: “Rajab is the month of planting seeds. Sha’baan is the month of irrigation and Ramadhan is the month of harvest.” [Lata’if AlMa’arif, Al-Hanbali Oh Allah, make the months of Rajab and Sha’baan blessed for us, and let us reach the month of Ramadhan. Ameen.




Prophetic Medicine Freelance Writer Hafsa Waseela is in the medical field and is continuing to pursue her studies to reach her ultimate vocation to become a Lecturer specialising in Oncology and Cancer. She is an artist, poet and is an active member of a number of dawah organisations, community associations and charities in the UK and abroad. To find out more about her work, please visit the following website


ilma Magazine / Issue 12

Prophetic Medicines


Black Seed









Medicine The work of prominent Muslim Physicians such as Ibn Sina, hailing from as early as 1000 C.E, have been republished and applied due to their continuous benefits of holistic treatments; the origins of their work actually originating over 1400 years ago, preserved in the Qur’an and Sunnah (teachings and practices of the Prophet). ‘Prophetic Medicine’, known as ‘Al-Tibb Al-Nabawi’ in Arabic, highlights the benefits and blessings of the foods recommended by the Prophet (peace be upon him). I will endeavour to provide a brief insight into the history and advantages of dates and will highlight the vast contributions Islamic traditions and sciences have given to civilisation.

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Dates, known by some as the ‘Bread of the Desert’, are filled with nourishment and contain a high nutritious and medical value. Allah, The Most High, has mentioned palm trees numerous times in the Glorious Qur’an and that it will be amongst the food for the dwellers of Paradise. Just how the olive is an important element in the Mediterranean, the date palm is just as important from a health, economical and religious perspective in the Arabian Peninsula, to the extent that it is the centre of the royal emblem of Saudi Arabia, located above the crossed swords. Today, it is widely grown in many countries that have a dry climate where, depending on the variety of insect species, is either done by insect or hand pollination. There are more than six hundred varieties of dates!


History of Dates The special properties of dates have been recorded as far back as the ancient civilizations, more than five thousand years ago. Ancient Egyptians believed the date palm to be a symbol of fertility, whereas Ancient Greeks utilised date palm as a sacred tree and portrayed their triumphant pageants. According to some historical studies, the date was first cultivated by descendants of our Prophet Nuh (Noah), peace be upon him, in Madinah after the People of Nuh were punished by Allah, The Most High, via flooding for their disbelief. Thus, there comes to no surprise that even our Beloved Prophet (pbuh) Mosque was built with date palms due to its beauty. Columns and beams were built from trunks, whereas thatching and prayer mats were made of palm leaves. The initiation of planting of date palms in Madinah then broadened to the coast of Africa and Asia, and even in Spain where it serves as a reminder of the Islamic influence there, and in Rome it is used as a decorative motif in mosaics. Currently, the production of dates rose thrice times over the past four decades, whilst the global population has increased twice. This emphasises the rapid growth of the production of dates.

What are the secrets of this valuable nutriment through different stages of our lives? Can it be used as a remedy for some diseases? Dates consist of carbohydrates (88%), fat (2.55%), protein (2.3-5.6%), vitamins, minerals and fibre. There is more oil present in the seed (7.79.7%) than the flesh (0.2-5%). It is a good source for natural antioxidants and anti-mutagenic properties. There is also fluorine that aids in preventing tooth decay. Amongst the minerals present in various proportions in dates are calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, lead, sulphur, cobalt, aluminium, sodium and selenium. Potassium is needed to maintain muscle contractions in the body. Moreover, dates consists of twenty three types of amino acids and a minimum of six vitamins including Vitamins A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), C and Nicotine Acid (niacin).


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Dates and the Digestive System There are high amounts of natural fibre in dates and therefore, individuals with constipation and other digestive problems can benefit. It acts as a laxative and stimulates the bowels and relieves constipation. Our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “A household that has dates doesn’t feel hunger!” [Sahih Al-Muslim] Dates can be used to treat obesity. Obesity is caused by a continuous feeling of hunger which ignites the individual to eat large amounts of food that that have a high carbohydrate and fat content. Therefore, eating several dates’, aids in reducing hunger.

Dates and the Blood Dates have high iron content. Iron is needed to produce erythrocytes (red blood cells) that carry oxygen around the body. Thus, dates can assist in preventing and/or treating anaemia. In addition, it can increase levels of reticulocytes, haemoglobin and platelet counts.

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Dates and Women Dates are useful for enriching breast milk and several studies have revealed that children whose mothers eat dates on a regular basis are less likely to have disease and infections. Studies have shown it can help with infertility and can treat sexual disturbances for both men and women. Dates can increase hormonal levels of oestrogen and testosterone. It can also strengthen the body and increase energy levels. The great worth of dates for women can be seen using an exemplary role model and one of the women of Paradise, Maryam (Virgin Mary), may Allah be pleased with her. When she was pregnant with our Prophet Isa (Jesus), peace be upon him, Allah, The Most High says: “There upon she conceived, and retired to a far off place. And when she felt the pangs of childbirth she lay down by the trunk of a palm tree, crying: ‘O, would that I had died and passed into oblivion. But a voice from above cried out to her: ‘Do not despair. Your Lord has provided a brook which runs at your feet, and if you shake the trunk of this palm tree it will drop fresh ripe dates into your lap. Therefore rejoice. Eat and drink. And should you meet any mortal say to him: “I have vowed a fast to the Merciful One and will not speak to any man today.” [Qur’an, Surah Maryam: Mary, 19:22-25] Allah prescribed and requested Maryam to consume dates at the time of birth. This would aid in making her delivery both comfortable and easy. But how? The uterus is a muscular organ that needs a supply of natural sugar as it regulates its contractions which aids in delivery. To further assist in delivery, it cleanses the colon and intestines.

Dates, Cancer and Diabetes! The exact cause of Cancer and Diabetes is unknown; there are a number of causes. It may be due to genetic alterations or a disturbance in 39

metabolism. Treatment is expensive and causes an economical burden worldwide. In addition, dates have ‘monosaccharides’ (carbohydrate) which aids people with Type 2 Diabetes. In relation to Cancer, recent studies have discovered that Ajwa dates from Madinah, known for dryness, softness and cost in the date market in Saudi Arabia, contain elements that have anti-cancer properties similar to commercially available anti-oxidant drugs such as Ibuprofen, Celebrex, Naproxen and Aspirin. The study was conducted between researchers from the King Saud University in Riyadh and University of Michigan in the USA. Amongst the elements that Ajwa dates contain is ‘flavonoid glycosides’ that have anti-inflammatory benefits. It also has a Cyclooxygenase inhibitory effect that can be found in anti-inflammatory drugs. The mineral Selenium prevents cancer and aids the immune system.

Dates Protect Against Poisoning Our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “Whoever eats seven dates in the morning, will not be affected with witchcraft nor poisoning that day.” [Sahih Abu Dawood] A question immediately rises as to why sevilma Magazine / Issue 12

en dates? Seven dates are sufficient to do two things: Firstly, it provides the required in-take of vitamins, salts and minerals for the body. Secondly, it can remove toxins from the body such as lead. Lead (Pb) is a toxic metal element that, if exposed to humans can affect them physiologically, biochemically and through behaviour. Accumulation of toxins has risen due to pollution making infants and young children vulnerable. Lead absorption in the intestines is taken up by ‘erythrocytes’ (red blood cells) and is spread to all organs around the body. This results in oxidative stress. A research study was conducted by Baraka et al. at the Department of Forensic Medicine and Clinical Toxicology, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University. They discovered that Ajwa dates have anti-oxidant properties against lead acetate poisoning on the following vital organ tissues: heart, lung, kidney and liver. Ahmad et al. also discovered that dates can cure lead-induced haemotoxicity. Moreover, dates also aids in alcohol intoxication (strictly forbidden in Islam), whereby drinking dates in combination with water provides rapid relief as it affects the psychological state making it more stable.

Dates Treating a Sore Throat or Cold Studies have shown that drinking date juice can aid in treating sore throats, fever and cold.

Dates and Ramadhan The blessed month of Ramadhan is near us in which the Qur’an was revealed in. Our Beloved Prophet (pbuh) said: “When any of you breaks his fasting he should eat dates cause dates are blessing, if he didn’t find dates then drink water cause water is purifying.” [Sahih Abu Dawood] As stated earlier, dates have ‘monosaccharides’ which are sugars that are easily absorbed. The wisdom behind having dates to break our fast can reduce hunger and removes toxins from the body. This reduces lethargy and weakness caused from accumulating toxins.

Dates and Children Does your child have diarrhoea? A paste consisting of dates and honey can be utilized for treatment. It is also useful for newborns but needs to be soaked in water, which will make it easy for the newborn to eat and can be easily digested. Overall, there are many benefits of dates and our Beloved Prophet (pbuh) has alerted us of its nutritious value via the Qur’an and Sunnah; highlights the benefits and wisdom behind the commandments. This in turn shows how the religion of Islam benefits the Muslim in all aspects our everyday life; spiritually, mentally and physically.

Supplication for Healing Sickness “Allahumma Rabban-nasi, adhhibil-ba’sa, washfi, Antash-Shafi, la shifa’a illa shifa’uka, shifaan la yughadiru saqaman.” Translation: O Allah! The Rabb of mankind! Remove this disease and cure him or her! You are the Great Curer. There is no cure but through You, which leaves behind no disease. [Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Al-Muslim]

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ilma Magazine / Issue 12

A Traveller’s Guide:


Abu Dhabi Explore Abu Dhabi’s sophisticated lifestyle and community centre-points, from the traditional culture re-enacted, to the vibrant shopping centres commonly known as ‘malls’ there. You will find contemporary architecture meshed in with stunning heritage like the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. It is a great city to spend time with your family.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Eighth largest mosque in the world

Al Ain Oasis Ancient Falaj irrigation system

Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital Award winning Falcon hospital

Miraj Islamic Centre Collection of Islamic Art from all over the world

Heritage Village Experience the desert way of life

Abu Dhabi Shopping Malls Modern shopping

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Country Profile

United Arab Emirates By Freelance and Lifestyle Writer Aisha Ahmed Location: United Arab Emirates Capital: Abu Dhabi Largest City: Dubai Major Languages: Arabic and English Major Religion: Islam Currency: UAE Dirham (AED) Climate: Hot summers between June and September reaching up to 49C and in the warm winters it can drop down to 31C. Best time to Travel: October-April

Overview Abu Dhabi emirate is the capital of United Arab Emirates and the largest of the UAE's seven member emirates. This sophisticated capital has developed fast into a cosmopolitan metropolis hub for holidays, working opportunities and potential business growth for inhabitants and foreigners. Today, Abu Dhabi is the country's centre of political and industrial activities, due to its booming oil and gas industries, and a major cultural and commercial centre. Abu Dhabi houses important intuitions such as Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates and the corporate headquarters of multinational corporations. Due to the large amount of capital earned from oil revenues, Abu Dhabi invests their money back into financial services and tourism, to diversify its economy. Abu Dhabi is the fourth most expensive city for international employees in the region, and in 2014 was the 68th most expensive big city in the world by Fortune Magazine and CNN.


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Culture Islam, Arabia and Business Abu Dhabi’s culture is firmly rooted in Arabia’s Islamic traditions. Islam is more than a religion; it is a way of life; from what to wear to what to eat and drink. It is a shining example of Islam’s strong commitment, honour for guests and hospitality. Many UAE and even non-UAE nationals wear traditional dress in public. For men, this is the ‘kandura’ - a white full length shirt-like garment, which is worn with a white or red chequered headdress, known as a ‘ghutra’. This is secured with a black cord called ‘agal’. Sheikhs and important businessmen may also wear a thin, gold-trimmed robe known as the ‘bisht’ over their kandura at important events. Women wear a long, loose black robe, the ‘abaya’ that covers their normal clothes with a ‘sheyla’ (headscarf). Non-Muslims are free to practice their own religion and women are able to drive and walk around comfortably. It is advised that tourist take into consideration of the local traditions and culture by adhering to a modest dress sense. In order to cope with the heat it is encouraged to wear long,

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loose clothing made from natural materials containing cotton or linen. If one is to wear skirts or trousers it should be knee-length or longer. Also, it is better to avoid wearing tight form-fitting clothes or expose thighs, cleavage, midriff or upper arms. Short sleeve tops are acceptable. It is a good idea to have a loose shirt, jacket or shawl with you at all times, even in hot weather, as the air conditioning can be extremely cold in the mall, restaurants and cinema. Despite the drastic economic development from the last thirty years, Abu Dhabi continues to promote traditional cultural and sporting events. While normal touristic photography is acceptable, it is polite to ask permission before taking photos of locals and residents, particularly women. Photographs of government buildings, military installations and ports and airports are not allowed, for security reasons. Cameras are banned in public areas that are designated for women and children only.


Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi, UAE One must visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. The mosque’s first ceremony was the funeral of its namesake, Sheikh Zayed, who is buried at the site. It is the eighth largest mosque in the world and the largest in the UAE. It can accommodate up to 40,000 people, and houses the world’s largest marble mosaic that is located in the courtyard. Three dozen design companies worked on the mosque. To make the mosaic, white marble was imported from twenty eight different countries to complete the pattern, as well as importing chandeliers from Europe and carpets from Iran. In total it features 82 domes, over a 1,000 columns, 24 carat gold gilded chandeliers and the world’s largest hand knotted carpet. Reflective pools surround the mosque, amplifying its beauty. The striking white and gold colours shining in the sun transform at night by a unique lighting system which reflects the phases of the moon. The mosque is free to enter and visitors are asked to cover up in loose clothing, as expected in other mosques. As a special precaution wearing light colours is preferred as it gets very warm and also it is better to wear sunglasses as the reflection from the white marble becomes very bright.


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Al Ain Oasis Al Ain, UAE This is the largest oasis in the city of Al Ain, within the Emirate of Abu Dhabi; it is situated north of the Al Mutawa’a district and east of the Al Jahali district. The main central district of Al Ain is to the north, bordering Al Ain City and the Omani Town of Al Buraimi to the northwest. The oasis is known for its underground irrigation system ‘falaj’, which brings water from boreholes to water farms and palm trees. The falaj irrigation is an ancient system dating back thousands of years and is implemented in countries such as Oman, Iran and China. Adjacent to the oasis are Al Ain National Museum to the east, showcasing ancient past of the region and Al Ain Palace Museum to the west, which houses a large collection of material about the ruling family. To the south is Al Ain Sports Club.


as Al Ain O E A

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Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital Abu Dhabi, UAE Close to Abu Dhabi International Airport, the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital is the world’s largest, and most advanced, falcon hospital. Its highlight is a falcon display museum as well as a facility with free-flying falcons. Guided tours of this award-winning specialist hospital are available. You can visit the luxurious wards where the birds are kept, explore the museum, which gives an insight into the noble desert sport of falconry, or try your hand at the pursuit in the lush gardens. It is an amazing experience for the whole family! ilma Magazine / Issue 12

Falcon H Abu Dha


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Miraj Islamic Centre Abu Dhabi, UAE This centre offers an extensive collection of displays of unique Islamic art pieces sourced from around the Muslim world showcasing items from: Egypt, Syria, Iran, India, Iraq, Kashmir and Russia. Displays include meticulously hand woven pictorial and bejewelled carpets, silk textiles, jewellery, marble pieces, Arabic calligraphy engraved vases and miniature paintings. Experienced staff are on hand to brief visitors on the history and origin of the pieces and the techniques used in making them.

Miraj Isl

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Abu Dha

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With two branches in Abu Dhabi, the 100,000 square feet flagship Centre adjacent to the fivestar Hilton Abu Dhabi Capital Grand Hotel and just 500 metres from Abu Dhabi’s iconic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, is a stunning new world class museum, and the Marina centre features a rooftop cafÊ with panoramic views of Emirates Palace and the Arabian Gulf. Both are open daily from 9am - 7pm. This venue is completely free admission and Miraj offers visitors a complimentary pick-up and drop-off service from their hotels.

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Heritage Village Abu Dhabi, UAE Run by the Emirates Heritage Club, this reconstruction of a traditional working oasis village which provides an interesting glimpse into the emirate’s past. This includes traditional aspects of the desert way of life, including lit campfire with coffee pots brewing, a goats’ hair tent, and a falaj irrigation system (oasis), are attractively displayed in the open museum. There are workshops where craftsmen demonstrate traditional skills, such as metal work and pottery, while women sit weaving and spinning. The craftsmen are happy to share their skills, and may occasionally give you the chance to practice. The little spice shop is range of dried herbs, plenty of chatter. This everyday malls in Abu specialist shopping.

a treat! You can get a handmade soap and is different from your Dhabi providing some

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Abu Dhabi Shopping Malls Abu Dhabi, UAE From traditional markets to ultra-modern malls, Abu Dhabi has a lot to offer for the shopper. Spacious, modern and air conditioned, the malls are a welcome escape from the heat and a world of choice when it comes to shopping. In Abu Dhabi, malls are a place to catch up with friends or for a family outing - and the enjoyment can go on until late at night. During festive occasions such as Eid or Ramadhan, malls are venues for special events such as Arts and Entertainment often featuring international acts. Malls to visit: Abu Dhabi Mall, Al Wahda Mall, Marina Mall and Boutik Mall. They all showcase international brands. ilma Magazine / Issue 12

Shoppin Abu Dha

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“O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqun (the pious).” [Qur’an, Surah Al-Baqarah: The Cow, 2:183]


Ilma Magazine / Issue 11

The Emirati Kitchen The Emirati Kitchen is a fusion of dishes from all around the world, but their traditional food must not get confused with the cuisine of the Levant. You will find a lot of meat, grain, dairy and sea food on the Emirati menu.

By Freelance and Lifestyle Writer Aisha Ahmed

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Main Course

Marak Samak Fish Stew with Halwayoh Preperation Time: 25 mins Cooking Time: 30 mins to 1 hour

cuisine Fish is tra ditional to the Emirati local and is known as ‘Halwayoh’ in the It is Arabic (pronounce d hil-why-oh). y ver has fish an Emirati delicacy. The is It n. small scales and is easy to clea amya rather plu mp fish and has a cre find in white flesh. This may be hard to tive rna alte the countr y you live in, so an Sea , fish that can be use d are Salmon Red and r ppe Sna Bass, King Fish, Red Hamour. stews, Halwayoh is great for cooking in ver y is It ing. baking, and even in fry If it. k delicious however you may coo ket, you sho uld find this in the fish mar to e rar is It ion! buy it without hesitat it but tly, cos find and will be a little bit is worth it!

Ingredients (Ser ves 4) slices • 1 kg fish cut into 3-inch

For the marinade

, 1 tablespoon • 3 clo ves of garlic minced be bought at (can e tur Arabian Spice Mix can make you or p sho any oriental foo d ow) bel r the the spice, see fur , grated • 1 inch cube of fresh ginger • 1 tsp salt

For the stew 2 tbsp corn oil d 1 cup of onion, finely cho ppe 2 clo ves of garlic, minced 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated 1 large tomato, skinned, de-see ded, and cho ppe d 1 to 2 green chilies Mix 1 heap tsp of Arabian Spice 2 Maggi stock cubes 1 tsp tur meric pow der 1 tsp cumin pow der 1 tsp cinnamon pow der d, 2 inch cube of drie d tamarin soaked in hot water 2 tbsp tomato paste 6 cups of water ed 2 drie d black lemons (also call bic) ‘Lo omi Aswad’ in Ara d 1/2 cup cilantro, finely cho ppe 1/4 cup of corn oil for frying

• Juice of 1 lemon 55

ilma Magazine / Issue 12

Arabian Spice Mix Makes 3 cups

1/3 cup ground black pepper 1/3 cup ground coriander seed 1/4 cup ground cinnamon 1/4 cup ground cloves 1/2 cup ground cumin 3 tbsp ground cardamo m 1/4 cup ground nutmeg 1/2 cup paprika 1/4 cup turmeric 1 tbsp ground ginger 1 tbsp all spice 1 tbsp broken bay leaf, ground 1/4 cup drie d limes, ground (remove seeds before grin ding )


Grin d and mix all ingredients after roasting as above; store in a tightly sealed jar

1. Mix all marinade ingredients together. Thoroughly rub the fish with marinade and set aside for 20 minutes. 2. Heat 1/4 cup of corn oil in a wok or deep frying pan. Then add the marinated fish pieces. Lightly fry until golden brown. Yo u do not want to thoroughly cook the fish because you will be letting sim mer and finish cooking in the it stew. Drain on a plate line d with paper towels.

3. In a medium size d pot, heat the 2 tablespoons of corn oil. Add the cho ppe d onion and sautĂŠ until the onion is soft and translucent. 4. Add the garlic, ginger, tomatoe s, and green chili. Stir until the tomato has become soft. 5. Add the Arabian Spice Mix, Mag gi stock cubes (or equivalent), tur meric, cumin, cinnamon, and black drie d lemons. 6. Add the tomato paste, tamarin d juice, water and then stir. Brin g to a boil and then let sim mer 20 minutes. for 7. Add the cilantro and then gen tly add the frie d fish chunks. Cov er and sim mer for another 10 min s. Ser ve in bowls with a side of cru sty bread. Bil-hana wa ash-shifa; in goo dne ss and health! ilma Magazine / Issue 12



Luqaimat Preperation & Cooking Time: 45 mins


ilma Magazine / Issue 12

one of the po puMost Arabs enjoy Luqaimat. It is nth of Rama dhan. If lar desserts ma de in the holy mo en in that particular yo u co uld peak into an Arab kitch batter resting on a month, yo u will fin d a Luqaimat r licking snack or kitchen table ever y day. A finge yet tastes amazing. dessert which is easy to prepare,

Ingredients (Ser ves 5) • • • • • • •

1 cup all-purpose flour 3 tbsp milk pow der pinch of salt pinch of sugar tbsp yeast cup water ltr oil (for frying )

For the Sugar Syrup • 2 cup sugar (for syrup) • 1 cup water • 1 tsp lemon juice

Preparation • Now prepare the sugar syru p by adding the sugar, lime juice in a pan with water, boil for several minutes for the syrup to be formed. Allow it to cool.

• Combine all the ingredients namely flour, milk pow der, salt, sugar, yeast and make the dough adding water and knead well. Lea ve the dough to rest for 15 min utes and allow rising. • Use a tablespoon to cut the dough into small pieces, deep fry these pieces in vegetable oil (or any oil that has no flavour) until golden brown. Remove the frie d pieces and allow it to cool a bit. • Now add the frie d pieces into the sugar syrup and ser ve as a delicious snack, you can eat this war m or cold.

ilma Magazine / Issue 12


The Purification of the Soul Compiled from the works of Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali, Ibn Al-Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah and Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali, London: Al-Firdous Ltd Farid. A (1993, 2nd ed.) Purification of The Soul, based upon the works of such prolific scholars as Ibn Al-Qayyim and Al-Ghazali, is an excellent introduction into the manners in which one can develop his or her self spiritually. If a clean heart is what is required to please Allah, The Most High, and to enter ‘Jannah’ (Paradise), it makes sense that we should strive to learn about what purifies it, and what corrupts it. The book elaborates upon sins and corrupt states of being, as well as the characteristics which not only keep one’s heart in a high status, but draws one closer to Allah. A must have for any home library. Available at all Islamic Bookshops


ilma Magazine / Issue 12

“Knowledge exists potentially in the human soul like the seed in the soil; by learning the potential becomes actual.” Imam Al-Ghazali

Disciplining the Soul Al-Hafiz Abu’l Faraj Ibn al-Jawzi (d. 597 AH), Birmingham: Dar as-Sunnah Publisher (2011) A brilliant read on practical solutions to the problems of inner self. Allah, The Most High, has created and given mankind gifts, for the purpose of benefiting from them. The desire for food and eating nourishes the body and the dislike for anger prevents harm. However, if the soul is unchecked and desires are uncontrolled, the desire for food becomes excessive leading to gluttony and other spiritual diseases such as excessive anger, stinginess, extravagance, excessive sexual desires and arrogance. This is a timeless writing on spiritual diseases resulting from undisciplined soul leading to corrupt behaviour. Available at all Islamic Bookshops

ilma Magazine / Issue 12


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ilma Magazine / Issue 12


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ilma Magazine / Issue 12

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