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Live, Learn & Inspire www.thedawahproject.com July / Aug 2015 / Issue 14


Learn how to look after your eyes






Islamic Spain

Malaysia & Singapore

17th - 24th October 2015

12th - 23rd March 2016

From its arrival in the year 711, Islam contributed to what was then the most sophisticated state in Europe.

The Far East is exotic, tropical and full of amazing landscapes and scenery. Combined with incredible cuisine, here’s your chance to visit Singapore and Malaysia.

For eight centuries the Moors brought new agricultural techniques, botanical and scientific knowledge, poetry and intellectual development to the rest of the world. Their legacy can still be found all over southern Spain in the countless mosques, castles, casbahs, gardens, baths and monuments they left behind.

We start of in the metropolis of Singapore, before heading north to the Cameron Highlands in Malaysia, Penang, Kota Bahru, Terranganu, Cherating and finally Kuala Lumpur.



• Daily breakfast and halal dinner

• Return direct flights from London Gatwick

• Guided tours of the Al Hambra and Al Baycin, Cordoba, Seville and the Alcazar and Marbella

• 2 nights in Singapore, 1 night in the Cameron Highlands, 2 nights in Penang, 1 night in Kota Bahru, 1 night in Terranganu, 1 night in Cherating and 2 nights in Kuala Lumpur

• 2 nights in Seville, 2 nights in Granada and 3 nights in Marbella • Fully escorted by Serendipity Tailormade • 4* accommodation throughout the trip

The cost of the tour is based on two people sharing a room. Departures from Birmingham and Manchester are available at a supplement of £50 per person, please contact us for more details. A deposit payment of £300 is required to secure your place by the 31st July 2015. Email us for a full itinerary at mail@serendipity.travel

Jordan and Palestine 16th - 23rd May 2016 Travelling to Jordan truly is like travelling back in time, with the Islamic history surrounding the capital to the impressive Treasury at Petra. From here, we travel west to Jerusalem to visit the iconic Masjid Al Aqsa with the intention to pray Jummah in the famous mosque.

• Return flights with Emirates from London Heathrow

• 4* hotels throughout and 5* hotel in Kuala Lumpur • Daily breakfast throughout • Guided tours throughout the tour (contact us for the full itinerary) • Fully escorted by Serendipity Tailormade

The cost of this tour is based on two people sharing a room. A deposit payment of £600 is required to secure your place. A two night stopover in Dubai is also available at a supplement of £175 per person including 2 nights in a 4* city hotel, daily breakfast, airport transfers and a desert safari experience. Email us for a full itinerary at mail@serendipity.travel

Included: • Return flights from London Heathrow • 3 nights in Amman in 4 Star accommodation • 1 night in Petra in 3 Star accommodation



• 3 nights in Jerusalem in 4 Star accommodation • Daily Breakfast and Dinner • Private air condition transportation • Sightseeing, visa fees and border charges.

The cost of this tour is based on two people sharing a room. A deposit payment of £600 is required to secure your place. Book by the 31st December 2015


Visit our sister site Luxury Halal Travel for inspiration on finding your next journey to some of the worlds’ most incredible resorts. We’ve scoured the globe to select hotels and resorts where you will find everything from the ultimate in seclusion and privacy to sumptuous halal cuisine. So whether you’re looking to plan a memorable honeymoon or simply want to find your escapism, click here to start your journey.

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, Anjuma Choudhury, Nasrine Abdirachid, Maryam Issadeen, Hafsa Waseela and Elena Nikolova Contributors: Rahbbya Iftikhar, Nayaab Sattar and Sami Ali Researcher: Anum Barbar Special thanks to our readers, supporters and Islam Channel. For more information about advertising, marketing and sponsorship, email us at ilmamag@thedawahproject.com Official website: www.thedawahproject.com 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) www.facebook.com/Dawah.Project www.twitter.com/TheDawahProject www.youtube.com/user/TheDawahProjectLtd

CONTENTS The Rope of Allah: Part 1


The Dawah Project

Reflection: 14 The Ummah By Aseel Saif


36 18 18 24


The Rope of Allah

For the Sake of Allah By Nasrine Abdirachid

By Yeota Imam

Justice & Humanity in Islam By Maryam Issadeen


The State of Ihram By Anjuma Choudhury

Understanding Udhiya


By Nasrine Abdirachid



A Traveller’s Guide:

Hajj 2015/1436 A.H By Anjuma Choudhury



Eight Most Important Tips for Hajj


Supplications for Hajj & Umrah

By Elena Nikolova

By Hafsa Waseela



Food Bites: Delicious and Easy Eid Al-Adha Meal By Elena Nikolova



The Human Eye By Hafsa Waseela


Recommended Reading

82 Islam Channel Programmes Programmes Showing in August and September 2015

85 Get Involved Jobs and Volunteering Opportunity

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

The Rope of Allah: Part 1

Assalamu Alaikum Dear Readers, This edition we take a look at the ‘Ummah’ (the community of Muslims) and humankind, and evaluate the current position and the position we should aspire towards in our quest to attain Allah Almighty’s pleasure, In shaa Allah (if Allah wills). We can currently see a number of problems such as tribalism, nationalism and racism plaguing the Muslim and non-Muslim communities in many parts of the world, all of which can be eradicated by heeding the advice found in the ‘ayah’ (verse): “And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. And remember the favour of Allah upon you - when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favour, brothers”. [Quran, Surah Al-Imran: Family of Imran, 3:103] Underpinning the notions of ‘The Rope of Allah’ is the strong theme of brotherhood which suggests peace and unity as methods by which to develop a blessed community. To further support this idea of creating a united Ummah we may draw from the teachings of ‘Hajj’- the pilgrimage to Makkah. It may be the support found in our brothers and sisters experiencing the same


physically exhaustive religious rituals or the sense of unity and spiritual awakening from standing in places where the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had stood before us that makes Hajj an experience which encourages a strong sense of unity like no other. These are definitely symbols and teachings we can ponder on and replicate in our daily lives to develop a more enriched Muslim community, In shaa Allah. With the Hajj season approaching, let us make it a beneficial time of reflection and growth as an Ummah, whether you will be one of those that will partake in the pilgrimage or those that will, In Shaa Allah, be fortunate to attend sometime in the near future. ‘Poetic Voices’ is a new feature that will give a platform for recognised and upcoming artists to express themselves whether it is through poetry or spoken word. In this issue, Islam Channel presenter Shahina Khatun reflects upon the headscarf through poetry. Please send your comments and suggestions to ilmamag@thedawahproject.com We love to hear from you! Jazakumullahu Khairan The Dawah Project Team

Ilma Magazine / Issue 14

Ilma Magazine / Issue 14


THE DAWAH PROJECT Registered Charity: 1133424

Will you help us educate millions around the world? We live in a world that is diverse and globalised. As many communities progress technologically, The Dawah Project embraces these advancements, 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.

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+44(0) 207 330 1744 info@thedawahproject.com www.thedawahproject.com

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: www.islamchannel.tv and www.thedawahproject.com

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 60 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.

www.thedawahproject.com 11

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]


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Reflection ‘The Ummah’

Aseel Saif academically majors in Middle-East politics 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.

This issue has been incredibly rewarding to edit as I have gained a great deal of new knowledge from our very talented writers, Ma Shaa Allah (Allah has willed it). This issue not only focuses on Hajj and the journey that precedes it, but also the deeper meaning and effects it has on us, as Believers and human beings. So, naturally as I read the articles, I could not help but long to take on the journey of Hajj myself, In shaa Allah (if Allah wills). Hajj is a journey that may only happen once for many of us and so it is treasured by those who embark on it. It is a journey where many Muslims from every nook and cranny on the face of the earth unite to take part, in unison; the ultimate pilgrimage. It makes you imagine and reflect on the feeling that one would experience as they perform this beautiful obligation. Picture this, you amongst the wider ‘Ummah’ (community of Muslims), dressed in the same simple clothes, following the same steps, saying the same words and all for the sake of Allah, The Most High. Where in this world would you see such a powerful congregation? Only in


the blessed Makkah Al Mukarramah (The Honoured City), Subhan’Allah (Glory be to Allah). This Reflection looks deeply into the bond of comradeship or commonly referred to, in Islamic scriptures, as the ‘bond of brotherhood’. Initially, let us reflect on what we know and understand from this word within common secular definitions. According to the Oxford dictionary brotherhood is the feeling of kinship  with and closeness to a group of people or all people. This definition can be applied and represents the epitome of what we know as the Ummah. Therefore, when I say ‘brotherhood’ there are no political or gender specific connotations to it. What I refer to here, is the sense of community and support we should all have, wherever we may be. So, I am talking to the wider Ummah be it male, female, young or old; we are all one believing in the one God - Allah, The Most High. This concept of brotherhood is emphasised in the Holy Qur’an and in the ‘Sunnah’, teachings and practices of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). This foundation

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was formed by Islam as a pivotal model of the ‘deen’ (religion), and therefore it should be fulfilled by us towards our fellow brothers and sisters. Islam was established on the principle of ‘tawheed’ (Oneness of Allah), which demands the unity and togetherness of hearts. “Believers are indeed brothers…”. [Qur’an, Surah Al-Hujurat: The Rooms, 49:9] We all long for the sense of unity, equality and brotherhood; this is most definitely not, just an Islamic concept but a human one. But unfortunately it is something many communities have began to lack. It is therefore, our duty to rekindle this sense of brotherhood and take every opportunity that is given to us, to do good deeds. We will learn from the articles and especially those describing the ‘Manasik of Hajj’ (Rites of Hajj) that even the smallest of things we do will, and can go far. So we should take this as an example and practise these rites, not only in Hajj but also in our everyday lives. You do not need to wait a whole year to be a good Muslim, but you should be striving to do this on a daily basis. For example, one of the Hajj rites that could and should be practised every

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day is the strict avoidance of harming another with hurtful words or actions. This is a simple act that we can maintain throughout our lives, In Shaa Allah. Hajj is not just an obligatory pillar in Islam, but it is also a symbolic reflection of what the Ummah is and should be. During Hajj and in our everyday lives, no pilgrim or Believer is better than the other, in the eyes of Allah we are all His servants. Therefore, this is not an idea that is exclusively prescribed to those carrying out Hajj but in fact to all humans. No matter how rich or poor you may be, Allah, The Most High, will judge you for who you truly are. None of these materialistic representations of you will matter; it is what is in your heart that matters. It is your heart that will condition the soul. It is what you have done to please Allah, be it in the words you have said or your actions; you will be judged like everyone else. This awareness is what makes you the same as your fellow brothers and sisters. Everyone is struggling in the Ummah and with a support system, such as the bond of brotherhood, we can help each other.


As we will learn in the feature article ‘The Rope of Allah’, Allah, The Most High, tells us in the Qur’an how important this bond between Believers and their faith is: “And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. And remember the favour of Allah upon you - when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favour, brothers”. [Quran, Surah Al-Imran: Family of Imran, 3:103] Allah has instructed us to hold onto and maintain this ‘rope of Allah’, as a gift and blessing He has bestowed upon us. Therefore, we should remember that everything prescribed to us has wisdom behind it, some more obvious than others but in this case, it is apparent, that this bond is pivotal to maintaining peace amongst each other. Moreover, in a peaceful and understanding environment we can thrive intellectually, socially and personally. We maintain an ethos that


everyone feels welcome and protected. We can see this when we reflect on history and especially to the time of leader and warrior Salahuddin Al-Ayyubi (may Allah have mercy upon him). It took him eighteen years to persuade and unite the Muslims, in order to liberate their lands. During that time Salahuddin ruled over Egypt and Syria, where Muslims were growing to be weak and disunited. This was due to their disparate riches and natural strength, which was the cause of many fights and disagreements amongst each other. Yet, Salahuddin, through his perseverance and understanding, worked to unite them. Within five months, when he successfully united and revived the hearts of the Ummah, almost all of the blessed lands returned to the Muslims. By Friday 27th Rajab (2nd October 1187 C.E), Muslims were in the Holy Land of Jerusalem. This was a powerful era for Muslims that we must not forget. “Verily, with hardship there is relief”. [Qur’an, Surat Ash-Sharh: The Relief 94:6]

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Every aspect of Islamic traditions such as Ramadhan, Eid and Hajj, encourages Muslims to come together as a community and so we should take a moment to think why this is the case? The reason is beautiful and that is the creation of a sense of unity and brotherhood. These practices make us better human beings; they bring us back to our origins and humble us. These are traditions that help us become more appreciative of what we have and been blessed with. A more interesting example of this can be seen in the BODY MIND SOUL article about the intricacies of ‘The Human Eye’. We do not necessarily think much of it, but from the description you will read, you will see that the eye is far more complicated than you may think. Everything that is within it is connected together to an incredible level of accuracy and fragility; to a point that without them working together it will not function to its best ability. So if one nerve or even an aspect of your body, that is connected to the eyes harmed, it can no longer

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function the way Allah, The Creator, intended it to. This analogy can be applied to us; the Ummah. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “The similitude of believers in regard to mutual love, affection, fellow-feeling is that of one body; when any limb of it aches, the whole body aches, because of sleeplessness and fever”. [Muslim] If we break the bond of brotherhood, we weaken our strength as a community and thus we suffer and do not progress. And so let us be cautious in what we feed this bond, keep it healthy and maintain it, by preserving its foundations of remembrance of Allah’s Majesty, Mercy and Forgiveness. May Allah guide us and strengthen our bond as a caring and loving Ummah He has prescribed us to be. Ameen.



Yeota Imam discusses the importance of unity in Islam.


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“And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. And remember the favour of Allah upon you - when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favour, brothers”. [Quran, Surah Al-Imran: Family of Imran, 3:103]


his often quoted verse depicts the unique bond between Muslims, of brotherhood; a bond that forms the basis of relationships between Believers and one that goes deeper than that of kith and kin. Any bond, however close, will appear weak in comparison to this bond that demonstrates a tie, a commitment to each other for the sake of Allah, The Exalted and Great. It is in this verse where Allah, The Exalted and Great, also reminds the Believers of the duties he or she holds towards this brotherhood of Islam by holding onto what is described as ‘His rope’. And what is this rope that is being referred to? Ibn Kathir (may Allah have mercy upon him) discussed the meaning of “the rope of Allah” as ‘the Qur’an’ and Abdullah ibn Masood (may Allah be pleased with him), in his ‘tafsir’ (exegesis), describes this ‘rope as a direct command on everyone to hold tight onto the Qur’an and the ‘Sunnah’ (Prophetic teachings) as practiced and understood by the companions’. It is important to understand that this verse is in context of the tribes of ‘Al-Aws and Al-Khazraj’ who had many wars between them in the pre-Islamic times (Al-Jahiliyah).

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They were bitter enemies of one another, with hatred and ill-feelings and hence because of that there was extended fighting and confrontations between them. When Allah gave them Islam they embraced it and became brothers to one another. Once the greatest of foes, they were now loving each other out of the Majesty of Allah, having good ties for Allah’s sake as well as encouraging one another in righteousness and God-consciousness (taqwa). So the Qur’an; the Word of Allah is what the Believer needs to hold onto tightly, in thought as well as in action. This command is immediately followed by “and do not be divided”. Time and again the Qur’an refers to the Muslims as being one ‘Ummah’ (community of Muslims) consolidating this important message. The actions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) throughout his life also demonstrates this further. Despite delivering this message to a society embedded in tribalism where wars were fought over trivial issues and racism was rampant, the Prophet (pbuh) was able to disintegrate these barriers of class and race, in a period of thirteen years, because of the unifying message of Islam, commanding the Muslims to leave tribalism and believe in the One God; Allah, The Most High.


These examples are still so relevant to what the Ummah of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) faces today. The ideas of nationalism, tribalism and racism are embedded within the Ummah, as are the ideologies that are causing disunity to the detriment of the Muslims, whether as individuals or a wider community. The theme of unity in Islam should be highlighted not just to the ignorant Muslims, but also as a model to non-Muslims who can see how Islam unites people according to their beliefs and actions, rather than the colour of their skin or where they happened to be born. The practise of not marrying from a race that is darker than our own, or accepting a proposal from a family who has a different language from our own, or a father rejecting the hand of a man who proposes to his daughter, simply because he is from a different caste; all reflect that the very attributes Islam came to eradicate, but have risen once more in light of people not understanding their religion. The concept of the Ummah beautifully demonstrates how one Muslim should feel towards another. That they are part of the same entity, same bond and this bond is one that is sacred in the eyes of Allah, The Most High. Their goal is the same; to please Allah, Exalted is He, The


Great, by abiding by His commands. This is what binds us and make us leave our old prejudices in a way that nothing else can or ever could. One extraordinary example is how we all humble ourselves in front of Allah together as we lay our foreheads daily on the floor in ‘sujood’ (bowing down in Prayer). Truly, belief in Islam is the ultimate unifying force present on the earth today. “The one who calls for asabiyya (tribalism), fights and dies on asabiyya is not one of us”. [Abu Dawud, Sunan, 5121] The one body that the Prophet (pbuh) spoke about is prevalent when we see the generosity meted out towards the ummah who are suffering around the world, through the various avenues of charity. The unity of Muslims is felt most strongly in Ramadhan, when the Ummah comes together to fast for the pleasure of Allah, The Exalted and The Great, with hundreds breaking their fasts together in the mosque or homes, to celebrate this sense of belonging to one community. The feeling of unity is matched, if not succeeded, during Hajj when brothers and sisters from all corners of the earth come to their Lord’s place

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“There were tens of thousands of pilgrims, from all over the world. They were of all colours, from blue-eyed blondes to blackskinned Africans. But we were all participating in the same ritual, displaying a spirit of unity and brotherhood...”

of worship and stand in a two piece garment to devote to none but Him; where there is no difference between a wealthy person and a pauper. And it is with an extraordinary story that I wish to end this feature on unity that brought one great man to this very realisation of ‘One Ummah’ like he had never experienced before. And I speak of the great man, Brother Malcolm X and also known as El Hajj Malik El Shabazz, his pilgrimage to Makkah. Riddled with discrimination against black people, Malcolm X grew up in America (1925 to 1965) where black people had to sit behind white people on buses, used different toilets and could not work in certain professions because of their skin colour. While the journey to the House of Allah can be a major turning point in many Believers’ lives, through this experience, Malcolm X witnessed the light of true Islam during his Hajj in April 1964. A former member and speaker for the Nation of Islam, a black spiritual and nationalist movement, he believed the white man to be the devil and the black man, to be superior. But after leaving the Nation of Islam in March

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1964, he made Hajj, which helped change his perspective on Caucasian people and racism completely. This excerpt of a letter Brother Malcolm wrote, beautifully explains how his eyes opened up to a completely new outlook on race, during Hajj. “There were tens of thousands of pilgrims, from all over the world. They were of all colours, from blue-eyed blondes to black-skinned Africans. But we were all participating in the same ritual, displaying a spirit of unity and brotherhood that my experiences in America had led me to believe never could exist between the white and the non-white. During the past eleven days here in the Muslim world, I have eaten from the same plate, drunk from the same glass and slept in the same bed (or on the same rug)-while praying to the same God with fellow Muslims, whose eyes were the bluest of the blue, whose hair was the blondest of blond, and whose skin was the whitest of white. And in the words and in the actions and in the deeds of the white Muslims, I felt the same sincerity that I felt among the black African Muslims of Nigeria, Sudan and Ghana. We are truly all the same brothers”.



“Allah has made ihsaan (excellence) obligatory for everything, so when you sacrifice, sacrifice excellently; and when you slaughter an animal, then perform the slaughter excellently; and let any of you sharpen his knife and let him put the animal at ease�. [Sahih Al-Muslim]

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Maryam Issadeen looks at the tenets of justice and humanity in Islam; how they were practiced in history and how they have been enjoined upon mankind.

‘Justice’ is explicitly mentioned numerous times in the Noble Qur’an, often as a direct command for the Believers such as in the following verse:

“O you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah and be just witnesses and let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice. Be just: that is nearer to piety, and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Well-Acquainted with what you do”. [Qur’an, Surah Al-Ma’idah: The Table Spread, 5:8]


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ustice is especially important in the case of those in a situation of power. The reward of being a just ruler is clearly mentioned in a ‘Hadith’ (recorded tradition) narrated in Sahih Al-Muslim [1031] and others: “Seven are (the persons) whom Allah would give protection with His Shade on the Day when there would be no shade but that of Him..”. The Hadith goes on to elaborate about these seven types of people, the first of which to be mentioned is the ‘just ruler’. Abdullah Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with them both) narrated a Hadith wherein he heard the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) likewise mentioned the lofty rank of those who deal justly: “Behold! The Dispensers of justice will be seated on the pulpits of light beside Allah, on the right side of the Merciful, Exalted and Glorious. Either side is the right side, both being equally meritorious. (The Dispensers of justice are) those who do justice in their rules, in matters relating to their families and in all that they undertake to do”. [Sahih Muslim, 1827] From the history of Islam, we have innumerable noble leaders who exemplified justice, for us to look up to and learn from. First and foremost was our beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) who was known for his honourable character long before the advent of Islam. He was an honest and reliable trader, as well as a trustworthy man who earned himself the nicknames “Al-Amin” (The Trustworthy) and “Al-Sadiq” (The Truthful). He was also known for his ability to resolve conflicts, a skill demonstrated during the rebuilding of the ‘Ka’bah’ (a unifying focal point for Islamic worship) after it had sustained damage.

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The Quraysh tribe leaders were in disagreement regarding who should place the sacred ‘Hajar Al-Aswad’ (The Black Stone) in its rightful place on the outside of the Ka’bah, each of them believing they had the right to do so. They agreed to leave the matter to the first person who entered the courtyard of the Ka’bah. It was none other than the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) who entered shortly after. He quickly realised the importance of allowing all the leaders to be involved in the process, so he diplomatically solved the problem by having The Black Stone placed on a large cloth which was then simultaneously carried by all the leaders of Quraysh. Finally, Muhammad (pbuh) himself placed the stone in its rightful place. This decision was met with approval from all those involved, and clearly demonstrated the Prophet’s (pbuh) ability to judge and act fairly. Another leader, renowned for his emphasis on social justice, was the Caliph Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him). He was known to patrol the streets of Madinah at night in the interest of the welfare of his people. One night he came across a widowed woman who was surrounded by children crying while she stirred a pot on the stove. Without revealing his identity, he enquired about the children’s distress. The woman replied they were crying from hunger, and that she was stirring pebbles in the pot to try and lull them to sleep. She complained about the negligence of the Caliph. Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) was deeply affected by this and immediately bought some food, carried it on his own back and remained with the woman until he saw her children being fed. He then instructed her to go to the local treasury for her food needs in the future. The instructions of the Qur’an to act justly are not something particular to the ‘Ummah’ (community) of Muhammad (pbuh). Allah, The Most High, says in the Qur’an: “We have already sent Our Messengers with clear evi-


dences and sent down with them the Scripture and the balance that the people may maintain [their affairs] in justice”. [Qur’an, Al Hadid: The Iron, 57:25] The verse mentions “Our Messengers”, suggesting that the previous Messengers of Allah, The Most High, (peace be upon them) were likewise sent to establish justice and that this was the objective of the scriptures they came with. The Qur’an and ‘Sunnah’ (Prophetic teachings) provide us with general standards for living with integrity and deal fairly with everyone and generally any means which lead to the upholding of justice are acceptable, as long as they do not violate Islamic Law. Beyond justice in society, Muslims are commanded with many more obligations towards mankind. Humanity is paramount in Islam not only between Muslims, but between people of different faiths as well. Many examples exist of the peaceful and harmonious coexistence of different faiths during the era of Muhammad (pbuh) and those after him. Islam also stresses on the importance of treating ones neighbours well. A’ishah bint Abi Bakr (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: “Jibreel impressed upon me (kind treatment) towards the neighbour (so much) that I thought as if he would confer upon him the (right) of inheritance”. [Sahih Al-Muslim, 2624] In a time where Islam is sometimes incorrectly portrayed as an oppressive or violent religion, one need simply look to the core teachings of Islam to see how incorrect these views are. Islam advocates for social justice, humanity, compassion and general goodwill and all of these characteristics as well as many more are enjoined upon all its followers. It is now up to Muslims, worldwide, to uphold the true teachings of their faith to help bring about the social justice that society today is so badly in need of.

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“Jibreel impressed upon me (kind treatment) towards the neighbour (so much) that I thought as if he would confer upon him the (right) of inheritance�. [Sahih Al-Muslim, 2624]

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A Brief List of Moral Etiquettes enjoined in Islam

1. Good treatment of one’s parents Abdullah ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The pleasure of the Lord lies in the pleasure of the parent. The anger of the Lord lies in the anger of the parent”.  

2. Maintaining ties of kinship Kulayb ibn Manfa’a said: “My grandfather said, ‘Messenger of Allah, towards whom should I be dutiful?’ He said ‘Towards your mother, your father, your sister and your brother. Then towards your relative, the nearest to them. This is an obligatory duty and those ties of kinship must be maintained’”.

3. Duties towards one’s neighbours Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “I heard the Prophet (pbuh) say, ‘That man who filled his belly while his neighbour is hungry is not a (good) believer...’”.

4. Removing harmful objects from a path Abu Barza Al-Aslami (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “I said, ‘Messenger of Allah! Tell me an action that will help me enter the Garden.’ He (pbuh) said ‘Remove harmful things from people’s path’”.

5. Love between each other Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Prophet (pbuh) said, ‘By Him who holds my soul in His hand, you will not enter 28

the Garden until you submit. And you will not submit until you love one another. Spread the greeting and you will love one another. Beware of hatred for it is the razor. I do not say to you that it shaves the hair. Rather, it shaves away the deen (religion)...’”.

6. Cursing others Abu Darda (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Prophet (pbuh) said, ‘Those who are in the habit of cursing will be neither witnesses nor intercessors on the Day of Judgment...’”.

7. Visiting Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Prophet (pbuh) said, ‘When a man visits his brother (who is ill or pays him a general visit), Allah says to him, “You have been good and your steps are good and you have deserved a place in the Garden”’.

8. Refusing to speak to others Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, ‘It is not lawful for a Muslim to refuse to speak to his brother Muslim for more than three days so that when they meet, they go their separate ways. The better of the two is the one who initiates the greeting’”.

9. Supplicating for others in their absence Abdullah Ibn Amr (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Prophet (pbuh) said, ‘The swiftest supplication to be answered is the supplication of someone for another in his absence’”. Ilma Magazine / Issue 14


Praying to Allah, The Most High, for all things, no matter how small

Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “I make supplication in everything I do, even that Allah make the stride of my animal comfortable so that I may enjoy that”.

11. Sending salutations upon the Prophet (pbuh) Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Prophet (pbuh) said, ‘Whoever sends salutations once for me, Allah blesses him ten times and removes ten errors from him’”.

12. Patience after supplicating Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, ‘The supplication of any of you is answered as long as he does not get impatient and say, “I made supplication and I have not been answered...’”.

13. The importance of greeting Abdullah ibn Amr (may Allah be pleased with Ilma Magazine / Issue 14

him) said: “A man asked, ‘Messenger of Allah, what Islam is the best of Islam?’ He (pbuh) said, ‘Feeding people and giving the greeting to those you know and those you do not know’”.

14. Good character Abu Darda (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Prophet (pbuh) said, ‘There is nothing which weighs heavier in the balance than good character...’”.

15. Speaking of the faults of others Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “When you feel the need to mention your companion’s faults, remember your own”.

16. Multiculturalism The Prophet (pbuh) was known to have welcomed people of all backgrounds to Islam. Africans, Arabs, Persians and both non-Muslims and Muslims alike were welcomed in his society. He honoured them and respected them and regardless of their faith, they lived peacefully alongside the Muslims of the time. Source: Al-Adab Al-Mufrad by Imam Al-Bukhari (may Allah have mercy upon him)





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“The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear” [Rumi]


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“And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me”. [Qur’an, Surah Adh-Dhariyat: The Winnowing Wind, 51:56]

Nasrine Abdirachid reflects on what it means to do acts “for the sake of Allah”.


he meaning of life is clear in the Qur’an and ‘Sunnah’ (Prophetic traditions); solely and wholeheartedly worshipping Allah, The Most High. The way you lead your life, the choices you make and the people you surround yourself with, all affect the quality of this worship. Fortunately there are many acts of worship and ways of attaining the reward of Paradise. Alongside Prayer (Salah), Fasting (Sawm) and Charity (Sadaqah), acts of kindness, such as being good to neighbours or showing love towards your spouse can all add to your scale of good

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deeds. Even the smallest acts, such as saying ‘Praise be to Allah’ (Alhamdulillah) midsentence or giving ‘greetings of peace’ (Salam) to a stranger are all acts that count as worship. Many of us tend to pass the small acts off as habit, but these all fall under the broader umbrella that is ‘Remembrance of Allah’ (dhikr). It truly is a blessing to know that any deed you do with Allah on the forefront of your mind will be rewarded accordingly. But how do you ensure that these deeds, however small, are ‘fi sabilillah’ (for the sake of Allah)?


Acts for His Sake: Intention

Loving for His sake

The reasons and intentions behind why we choose to do an act of worship is an important factor in whether we will attain reward or accumulate sin. For instance, while being kind to your neighbour is a good deed for which one could gain a lot of reward, baking a pie in the hope they will trim their hedges is not quite the intention that would class this act as being for the “sake of Allah”. While this example demonstrates doing something for personal material gain, showing off in acts of worship is considered a major sin.

Loving for the sake of Allah is the most beautiful form of love. It overcomes the love in fairy tales and the Hollywood notions of affection. It trumps familial love and spousal love. The love for the sake of Allah is the love of Paradise. It is the love that all those who inhabit ‘Jannah’; the Islamic concept of Paradise, have for one another.

‘Riyaa’ (showing off), often described as the hidden ‘shirk’ (worshiping other than Allah), effectively invalidates acts of worship, rendering the good deed void. Standing for a lengthy Prayer or giving in charity for the sake of being seen and praised by others can be detrimental to one’s belief as this contradicts the testimony of faith; to worship none other than Allah, The Most High. Curbing your desire for attention and praise during worship is vital in attaining the reward for which you strive. If riyaa develops during an act of worship, it is important to renew your intentions and remind yourself of the initial reason. It is important to clarify that being happy with your good deeds and acts of worship, such as the relief of standing for ‘tahajudd’ (voluntary night prayer) or the joy of giving in charity, does not constitute riyaa. Rather the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said; “Whoever feels happy because of his good deeds and sad because of his bad deeds, that is the Believer.” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was asked about that and said: “That is the first glad tidings of the Believer”. [Majmoo’ Fataawa Al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 2/29, 30]


Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Prophet (pbuh) said: “Allah will ask on the Day of Judgment: Where are those who loved each other for the sake of My glory? Today, on a day when there is no shade but mine, I shall shade them with My shade”. [Sahih Al-Muslim, 2566] It is a source of strength and power. It eliminates the need to feel love reciprocated, because when you love for the sake of Allah, you do not need it to be returned. You know that your reward for this love and any act that develops from it will have its rewards with Allah. That is the beauty of this love; knowing that no matter the outcome, Allah knows what is in your heart and will reward you for it. Loving your mother, your father, your brother, your sister, your spouse and showing kindness to a guest because Allah has prescribed it upon you. And above all, the binding factor of this love is the one who loves all those who love Allah. Loving every individual in the ‘Ummah’ (community of Muslims), as they proclaim the same ‘Shahada’ (testimony of faith) that you do. Allah says in the Holy Qur’an: “The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and establish prayer and give zakah (obligatory alms giving) and obey Allah and His Messenger. Those, Allah will have

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mercy upon them. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise”. [Qur’an, Surah Al-Tawbah: The Repentance, 9:71]

Giving up for His Sake Love is an intense emotion that can lead to good or destruction. As much as we can love for His sake, we can just as easily love that which is destructive for us. It is important to understand that giving something or someone up for Allah, also has its rewards. Whether it is an enjoyment that is sinful or a habit that weakens your faith, giving these things up for Allah will only bring forth a replacement worth much more. Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “Let not your love be infatuation, and let not your hatred be destruction.” It was asked, “How is this?” He said, “When you love, you are infatuated like a child; and when you hate, you love destruction for your companion”. [Al-Adab Al-Mufrad, 1322]

Simply Living for His sake The most fruitful and rewarding way of living your life is with the intention of taking each step of each day with the hope that you will do something that will please Him. Ensuring you follow Allah’s commandments and leaving that which is prohibited. Living life according to the teaching of the Prophet (pbuh) and reviving the Sunnah as much as you can. Constant renewal of our intentions and constant reflection on why we are doing acts of worship, will only strengthen our faith. Allah knows what is in our hearts, but may we be among those whose hearts are pure and whose outward actions reflect this purity. Ameen.

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Ilma Magazine / Issue 14

“And proclaim that the people shall observe Hajj pilgrimage. They will come to you walking or riding on various exhausted (means of transportation). They will come from the farthest locations”. [Qur’an, Surah Al-Hajj, The Pilgrimage, 22:27]

Anjuma Choudhury explores how one should reach ‘the state of ihram’ on Hajj.

The Fifth Pillar of Islam, ‘Hajj’, occurs annually in the month of Dhul Hijjah; the twelfth and final month of the Islamic lunar calendar. It is obligatory for every sane adult to attend this special journey to Makkah in Saudi Arabia, at least once in their lifetime, provided that they have the financial and physical capabilities to do so. Before you perform Hajj, you must clear your debts, repent to Allah, pardon yourself of any wrongdoing toward others, etc. Then can you go on the blessed journey in ‘the state of ihram’. ‘Ihram’ is defined as a sacred state during Hajj or ‘Umrah’ (lesser pilgrimage) but there are three connected meanings. 1. The two pieces of cloth worn by male pilgrims. 2. The very act of starting Hajj or Umrah by making the intention that one is now starting Hajj or Umrah and saying the ‘Talbiyah’ (a specific invocation for during Hajj and Umrah). 3. The state of sanctification in which the pilgrims are during Hajj or Umrah. After putting on ihram (first meaning) and making the intention of ihram (second meaning), the pilgrims enter automatically the state of ihram, which requires Ilma Magazine / Issue 14

them to avoid certain things. Below are more details on ihram in its three senses.

Wearing the Ihram Before wearing the ‘ihram clothing’, it is highly recommended that you observe personal hygiene as taught in Islam: chipping finger and toe nails, shave off the armpit and pubic hair, comb the hair on the head and beard, trim the moustache and thereafter perform ‘ghusl’ (full body wash according to a specific method) or at least make ‘wudhu’ (ablution). Men must wear the two piece white cloth. One is wrapped round the upper part of the body except the head. It is normally draped over both shoulders but in certain times it is to be draped over one shoulder. The other is wrapped round the lower part of the body. You can fix this piece with a belt, a money belt, or a pin. Women must wear their ‘jilbab’ (long loose fit coat) and show only their face and hands. There are no restrictions as for women’s footwear. But for men, footwear should not cover the toes and ankles. Socks and shoes, therefore, should not be used by men. 37

Make Niyyah

kah. It is the miqat for the people coming from Iraq and beyond.

Now after putting on the clothing of ihram, you are ready to start your pilgrimage by making the ‘niyyah’, the intention of starting Hajj or Umrah. You make the intention after performing one of the obligatory prayers or after praying two ‘rak’ats’ (prescribed movements and words in Prayer). For the intention of performing Umrah, you recite:

3. Al-Juhfah is 183 km to the northwest of Makkah. This was the miqat for the people coming from or passing through Syria and Egypt. It was on the eastern coast of the Red Sea, but it has completely disappeared and Rabigh (to the north of Al-Juhfah) is used as this miqat now.

“Umrah, Labbayka, Allahuma, Umrah”. Translation: O Allah, I answer Your call by performing Umrah. As for Hajj, the intention varies according to the type of Hajj you want to perform: In ifrad Hajj, you are going to perform only Hajj and therefore you make the intention of Hajj saying, “Labbayka, Allahuma, Hajja” (O Allah, I answer Your call by performing Hajj). In tamatu Hajj, you are going to perform a full Umrah followed by a break and then a full Hajj. Therefore, you make the intention of Umrah saying, “Labbayk, Allahuma, Umrah” (O Allah, I answer Your call by performing Umrah). On Dhul-Hijjah 8, you start Hajj so you make then the intention of Hajj saying, “Labbayk, Allahuma, Hajja” (O Allah, I answer Your call by performing Hajj). In  qiran  Hajj, you are going to combine Umrah with Hajj, so you make the intention of both Umrah and Hajj saying “Labbayk, Allahuma, bi Hijjah wa Umrah” (O Allah, I answer Your call by performing Umrah and Hajj). [Source: T. Hashmi and A. Malik, Hajj & Umrah made easy] There are certain places at which you should make your intention. These stations are called ‘mawaqit’ (plural of miqat). You must wear your ihram clothing at your fixed miqat and make the intention of ihram. There are five mawaqit:


4. Qarn Al-Manazil is 75 km to the east of Makkah. It is the miqat for the people of Najd (central region of Saudi Arabia) and the pilgrims who pass by it. 5. Yalamlam is 92 km to the south of Makkah. It is the miqat for those coming from Yemen and the pilgrims who pass by it. If you are traveling by land, it is easy to stop at the miqat and make the intention. People traveling by air are usually notified when reaching the miqat or a short time before so that they can make the intention. In such a case you are supposed to be ready, having put on your ihram clothing in advance. You must make the intention of Hajj from 1st Shawwal to 9th Dhul-Hijjah. It is not possible to start Hajj on 10th Dhul-Hijjah or afterwards because this means missing the ritual of staying in Arafah on the day or night of 9th Dhul-Hijjah, which is one of the pillars of Hajj.

Prohibitions during Ihram • Pilgrims must refrain from cutting nails and hair until the Hajj is completed. • Pilgrims must not wear any scented products. Non scented toiletry products are available and these can be bought over the Internet, from Islamic goods shops, or your local pharmacy. • Marriage contracts must not take place until the Hajj is completed.

1. Dhul-Hulaifah is in southwest of Madinah and 450 km from ‘Al-Masjid Al-Haram’ (Makkah). It is the miqat for the people coming from Madinah and beyond.

• During the pilgrimage, sexual activity, foreplay, intimacy with words, smoking and using profane language are strictly forbidden.

2. Dhat-Iraq is 94 km to the northeast of Mak-

• Other forbidden activities include hunting animals or eating game meat, quarrelling or Ilma Magazine / Issue 14

Dhul-Hulaifah 450 km

Dhat-Iraq 94 km

Al-Juhfah 183 km

Qarn Al-Manazil 75 km

Yalamlam 92 km

fighting, and taking oaths, in addition to any other regularly prohibited acts. • Men and women should refrain from looking at each other inappropriately. • Women must exercise strict modesty in their appearance and should not apply make-up or any other cosmetics. • Women should not wear the ‘niqab’ (veil covering the face) and gloves, although they can cover their head to some degree when nearby ‘non-Mahram’ men. This is highlighted in the ‘Hadith’ (recorded tradition) of A’ishah bint Abi Bakr (may Allah be pleased with her) said, “Riders were passing by us, and we were in ihram with the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), so when they came Ilma Magazine / Issue 14

near, each of us would lower our jilbab over our faces and when they went away we would uncover our faces again”. [Al-Fiqh ‘ala’l-Madhaahib al-Arba’ah, 1/645] • Men should not cover their heads or wear sewn clothes, such as, shirts, robes, trousers, turbans, hats, gloves, socks and so forth. The rites of Hajj return the pilgrim to his or her primary purpose; to worship Allah, The Most High, and to strive for the eternal Hereafter. The worldly distractions and attractions of this world disappear; social status, wealth, and pride are just a few of the components which have no place in this special ritual. In Hajj, all worshippers are truly equal in the eyes of Allah, The Creator. 39

Nasrine Abdirachid explores the significance of ‘Udhiya,’ its conditions and philosophy.

“Say (O Muhammad): Verily, my Salah (Prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the Aalameen (mankind, jinn and all that exists). He has no partner. And of this I have been commanded, and I am the first of the Muslims”. [Quran, Surah Al-An’am: The Cattle, 6:162]


Ilma Magazine / Issue 14

Ilma Magazine / Issue 14


The origins of Udhiya

The importance of Udhiya

It seems the word sacrifice often carries negative connotations, but in reality to sacrifice merely means to sincerely give something up and offer it to Allah. While there are numerous sacrifices you can make for the sake of Allah, such as leaving a place that is detrimental for your faith or breaking a bad habit; offering an animal in the name of Allah and for His sake is a very important act in Islam.

References to sacrifice are often found in the Holy Qur’an alongside commandments to perform obligatory ‘Salah’ (Prayer). Allah says in the Qur’an:

‘Udhiya’ (also known as Qurbani) is the Arabic word for ‘sacrifice’, namely the sacrifice of an animal, of cattle, for the sake of Allah. To sacrifice an animal is regarded as an act of worship in Islam. The origin of this noble act can be traced back to the story of the Prophet Ibraheem and his son, the Prophet Ismaeel (peace be upon them). Prophet Ibraheem (pbuh) received a commandment where he was instructed to sacrifice his son for the sake of Allah. Upon telling his son about the commandment, Prophet Ismaeel (pbuh) did not hesitate and encouraged his father to fulfill his responsibility. Faithfully and willingly, he and his son were eager to please Allah and perform the act, but due to His abundant Mercy, Allah replaced Prophet Ibraheem’s (pbuh) son with a goat just as he was about to complete the sacrifice. Their response was to rejoice and praise Allah. The significance and philosophy of Udhiya is that, it is an act of complete and total submission to Allah. Prophet Ibraheem (pbuh), who was willing to sacrifice the life of his son, was eager to prove his devotion to Allah in spite of the grief it may have caused him. For us, the act is intended to prove your willingness to wholeheartedly adhere to and obey a command of Allah. In addition, reflecting upon Ibraheem‘s (pbuh) test, we should glorify and thank Allah for not being put through such a testing trial.


“So turn in Prayer to your Lord and sacrifice”. [Qur’an, Surah Al- Kawthar: The Abundance, 108:2] For it to be found next to one of the most important acts of worship, shows the significant weight the act of sacrifice carries in Islam. It is a prescription upon every sane and capable Muslim. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “Whoever has the capacity to sacrifice and does not do so, should not come to the place where the Eid prayer is offered”. (Ibn Majah).

The conditions of Udhiya As with all other acts of worship, Udhiya carries conditions. There are six conditions that the offering must meet. 1. The animal should be from a breed that is herded, known as ‘an’am’ (animal of cattle); these include camels, cattle, goats and sheep. 2. The animal must be of mature age. This is an animal considered to be of adult age. This is five years old for a camel, two years old for a cow and one year old for a sheep. However, if one cannot find an animal of mature age, it is permissible to offer a sheep of premature age, which means of six months and above. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “Do not sacrifice anything but an adult animal, unless it is difficult for you, in which case you may slaughter a six-month old lamb (jadh’ah)”. [Sahih Al-Muslim] 3. The animal must be free from defects that would invalidate it as an offering. There are four specific defects that apply according to the recorded tradition of the Prophet (pbuh):

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i. Obvious defects of the eyes, including a sunken eye or a deformed eye, as well as signs indicating that the animal is blind in one or both eyes (such as discoloration or cloudiness). ii. Clear illness; if an animal exhibits symptoms of illness such as appearing disoriented, fever, open wounds or skin ailments are all regarded as clear illnesses. iii. A limp is also a considered a defect, particularly, if the animal is unable to support itself upright properly. iv. Emaciation or lack of nutrition is another defect that invalidates the offering. [Muwatta Imam Malik] 4. The animal being sacrificed must belong to the person offering it. It must not be a stolen or confiscated animal, or one that has been obtained under false pretences. If the animal does not belong to the person offering the sacrifice, then permission must be sought from the owner. This condition applies because one must not disobey Allah in an attempt to please Him. 5. The animal being offered for sacrifice must not have rights associated with another, such as being a loan or on mortgage. 6. The animal must be sacrificed on the days as specified by the ‘Shari’ah’ (Islamic Divine Law and Moral Code). These are the four days in the Islamic month of ‘Dhul Hijjah’, specifically the day of ‘Eid Al-Adha’ (festival of sacrifice) and the three days thereafter. Any sacrifice offered before the Eid day or after the three days is not valid. The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Whoever slaughters (his sacrifice) before the prayer, it is meat that he has brought to his family, but that is not the sacrifice”. [Sahih Al-Bukhari]

Dividing and eating Udhiya

its meat is eaten and given in charity and according to most schools of thought, it is obligatory to give some of the meat of the animal as charity and eating some is highly encouraged, while some may be given as gifts. This is because Allah says: “Then eat thereof and feed therewith the poor having a hard time”. [Qur’an, Surah Al-Hajj: The Pilgrimage, 22:28] The Shaafa’is said it is favoured that: “He should eat one third himself, feed one third to whomever he wants, and give one third in charity”. [Nayl Al-Awtaar, 5/145; Al-Siraaj Al-Wahhaaj, 563]

The beauty of Udhiya Udhiya is an act of worship done solely to receive Allah’s pleasure; to do something entirely for His sake and attain the rewards. The Prophet (pbuh) was asked: “O Messenger of Allah, The Most High, what is Qurbani?” ‘He replied, “It is the sunnah (tradition) of your father lbraheem”. ‘They asked again, “What benefit do we get from it?” ‘He answered, “A reward for every hair (of the sacrificed animal)”. ‘They asked, “And for wool, O Messenger of Allah?” ‘He replied, “A reward for every fibre of the wool”’. [Ibn Majah] Often described as the Sunnah of the Prophet Ibraheem (pbuh), the origins of this noble act teaches us many lessons to learn, such as having complete trust in Allah, The Most High, complete submission to His word and commands, and displaying with our actions the love we have for Him in our hearts. May we all be among those who sacrifice spiritually, mentally and physically solely for the sake of Allah and reap the promised rewards of those who do. Ameen.

Once an animal has been offered as sacrifice, Ilma Magazine / Issue 14











“When you’re going through something hard and you start wondering where Allah is, just remember the teacher is always quiet during the test”. [Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan]


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Ilma Magazine / Issue 14

A Traveller’s Guide:

It is beneficial for everyone to learn and know the Hajj schedule, even if you are not able to attend this year, for you never know when Allah, The Most High, will decide to invite you to His Sacred Mosque; ‘Masjid al-Haram’. The following is a brief introduction to the rituals and rites of Hajj. By Anjuma Choudhury and Elena Nikolova

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Before Hajj The pilgrims usually arrive into Jeddah; Saudi Arabia, the major port city nearest to Makkah (45 miles distance). From there, they travel with their Hajj group to Makkah. As they approach Makkah, they stop at one of the designated areas to shower and change clothing, entering into a state of devotion and purity for the pilgrimage. They then begin reciting an invocation: “Labbaik Allah humma labbaik! Labbaik la sharika laka labbaik! Innal hamda! Wan-ni’mata! Laka walmulk! Laa sharika lak!” Translation: Here I am, Oh God, at Your command! Here I am at Your command! You are without associate! Here I am at Your command! To You are all praise, grace and dominion! You are without associate! The sound of this chant echoes over the land, as the pilgrims begin to arrive into Makkah, by the thousands, for the sacred rites.


(8th of Dhul-Hijjah) On the first official day of the pilgrimage, millions of pilgrims travel to Mina, a small village, which is in the east of Makkah. There, they spend the day and night in enormous tent cities, praying, reading the Holy Qur’an and resting for the next day.


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(9th of Dhul-Hijjah) On the second day of the pilgrimage, the pilgrims leave Mina, just after dawn, to travel to the Plain of Arafat, which is known as the ‘Day of Arafah’. The pilgrims spend the entire day at the Mount of Mercy asking Allah, The Most High, for forgiveness and making supplications (ad`iyah). Muslims around the world, who are not at the pilgrimage, join them in spirit by fasting for the day. After sunset on the Day of Arafah, the pilgrims leave and travel to Muzdalifah, an open level area, roughly halfway between Arafat and Mina. There they spend the night praying, and collecting small stone pebbles to be used the following day for ‘Jamarat’ which is the ritual of ‘Stoning the Devil’.

DAY THREE (10th of Dhul-Hijjah)

On the third day, the pilgrims move before sunrise, this time back to Mina. Here they throw their stone and or pebbles at pillars symbolic of ‘Shaytan’ (Devil). When throwing the stones, the pilgrims recall the story of Shaytan’s attempt to dissuade Prophet Ibraheem (peace be upon him) from following Allah, The Most High, command to sacrifice his son. The stones represent his rejection of Shaytan and the firmness of his faith (imaan). After casting the stones, most pilgrims  slaughter an animal  such as a sheep or a goat and give away the meat to the poor. This is a symbolic act that shows their willingness to part with something that is precious to them, just as the Prophet Ibraheem (pbuh) was prepared to sacrifice his son at Allah’s command. On this day, Muslims celebrate ‘Eid Al-Adha’; ‘Festival of the Sacrifice’. This is the second of the two major festivals in Islam each year. Ilma Magazine / Issue 14


DAY FOUR (11th of Dhul-Hijjah)

The pilgrims’ then return to Makkah and perform ‘Tawaf Al-Ifadah’; seven circuits around the ‘Ka’bah’. The Ka’bah is the focal point of Islamic worship built by Prophet Ibraheem and his son Ismail (peace be upon them both). The pilgrims’ also pray near a place called ‘The Station of Ibraheem’ which is reportedly where he stood while constructing the Ka’bah. The pilgrims’ then walk seven times between two small hills (Al-Safa and Al-Marwah) near the Ka’bah situated in the complex of Masjid Al-Haram. This is done in remembrance of the plight of Prophet Ibraheem’s wife Hajar (may Allah be pleased with her), who desperately searched the area for water for herself and her son, before a spring welled up in the desert for her. At the present time, the pilgrims drink from fountains that provide ‘Zamzam water’, which continues to flow today, Subhan’Allah (Glory be to Allah).


(92th of Dhul-Hijjah) On the last day of the Hajj, the pilgrims must perform ‘Tawaf Al-Wada’ around the Ka’bah to mark the end of the pilgrimage. Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated: ‘The people used to head off in every direction and so the Prophet said: “None of you should depart until he makes as his last act Tawaf of the House”. [Sahih Al-Bukhari] As for the menstruating women, they are permitted to leave without waiting as narrated also by Ibn Abbas: “That the Prophet gave concession for the menstruating women that she should depart before (Farewell) Tawaf as long as she had made Tawaf of Ifadah”. [Sahih Al-Bukhari]   The pilgrims leave The Sacred Mosque with faith, hope and strength, In shaa Allah (if Allah wills). 52

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After Hajj Once the Hajj is completed, many Muslims take advantage of their travel time by visiting the city of Madinah, 270 miles north of Makkah. In 622 CE, the ‘Ansar’, ‘The Helpers’ of Madinah provided refuge and safety to the early Muslim community, when they were being persecuted by the powerful Makkan tribes. Madinah became the centre of the growing Muslim community, home to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his followers for many years. Pilgrims visit the ‘Al-Masjid an-Nabawi’ (The Prophet’s Mosque), where he is buried, as well as other ancient mosques, and the many historical battle sites and graveyards in the area such as the ‘Jannat Al-Baqi’ where many of the Prophet’s (peace be upon them all) relatives and companions were buried (may Allah be pleased with them). After Hajj, the pilgrims return home with renewed faith and perspective on life, In shaa Allah.

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Elena Nikolova is the creator of MuslimTravelGirl.com She helps Muslims travel the world in style without breaking the bank. You can connect with her on Twitter: @MuslimTravelGrl

Many people start their Hajj journey and are not sure about what they will experience or even what to expect. To make this trip as comfortable as possible, I have put together the top eight essential things you should know before embarking on this journey of a lifetime. With over two million pilgrims visiting the city of Makkah, it can be crowded and dangerous if one is not careful. Overall, Hajj should be a spiritually uplifting experience.


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Official Documents Make extra copies of your official documents. Place a copy in your luggage and have a copy to carry with you at all times. If you lose one of the copies, you will have an extra set of documents in a safe place.

Vaccination Make sure you have been vaccinated with all the necessary vaccinations and have obtained the vaccination certificates as they may be requested by Saudi officials. The most common vaccinations obtained are ‘Hepatitis A’ and ‘Typhoid’.

Exercising Many people start their Hajj pilgrimage without taking into consideration their physical state. It is vital to exercise before your Hajj as it will make it a lot easier for you to perform your religious obligations, which can be physically demanding. You can walk twenty miles or more during your Hajj, especially as some distances are easier walked than using the coaches, due to traffic congestion. So being fit is vital and it is recommended to start walking and exercising up to six months before your Hajj.

Packing Make sure you have packed essentials in your luggage that can make your stay in Mina much more pleasant. Include towels, tissues, plastic cups, a small backpack, slippers and travel toiletries. For the sisters, it is recommended to take ‘jilbabs’ (long and loose-fit coat or garment) that are comfortable and breathable. The one piece ‘khimar’ (head covering) are very handy during Umrah and Hajj, as they can stay put and cover your hair without you worrying constantly. Extra sheets, travel pillow and a camping mattress will be easy to carry and can make your sleep more comfortable.

Extra essentials Have one extra jilbab and ‘ihram clothing’ which is the two white un-hemmed sheets worn by men, in your suitcase as well as some hygienic products in case your bag gets lost. For arrival at the Hajj terminal, stock on snacks as you will be waiting. Many people will wait for four hours Ilma Magazine / Issue 14

or more to be checked. A pillow and mattress can also prove very handy as well. Perhaps even keep a pocket sized supplication book with you so you can make every precious moment worthwhile.

Toilet facilities Take into account your food and water consumption, even before entering the plane to Jeddah and also throughout your Hajj. Flying can make you dehydrated, so try to balance your water intake as you might need to use the washroom more often than necessary. This can be problematic if you are in the Hajj terminal or Mina, where toilets are limited and very basic. It is recommended that you use the washroom whilst on the plane, as chances are they are hygienic and more comfortable.

Know you shall be pushed Pushing is part of Hajj and Umrah. It is one of the things that frustrate pilgrims the most since there is no justification for why people should push each other. Some want to finish earlier or they just want to be at the front row, so be patient and expect this to happen. There is no gender segregation during tawaf especially when it comes to pushing. If you are a woman, try to stay close to your ‘mahram’ (husband or unmarriageable kin).

Be patient Your patience will be tested greatly and having patience is beautiful. Do not forget that there are over three million people like you who have come to visit their Lord and perform Hajj. Some may behave irrationally or things might not go as you have planned or wanted. Recall that Allah, The Most High, is the best of planners and so just “go with the flow”. Always remember you are a guest in The House of Allah, His Majesty. The above should not scare you or put you off from performing Hajj, they are just a few recommendations so you know what to expect and have an amazing experience, In shaa Allah. Hajj is one of the most transformational journeys a Muslim could ever experience. There is hardship but as Allah, The Most High, says in the Qur’an, Surah Ash-Sharh, “with hardship comes ease”. [Chapter of The Relief, 94:5] 55

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 www.hafsaabbas.com

Performing ‘Hajj’ (Pilgrimage to Makkah) is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, a requirement for a Muslim to perform at least once in their life. This is an obligation for every man and woman but is dependent upon whether they are able to financially and physically fulfil the pillar. Over two million Muslims regardless of race, creed and status meet one another at the ‘Ka’bah’ (a focal point of Islamic worship) also known as the ‘House of Allah’ to perform the ultimate form of worship; Hajj. There are a number of ‘ad`iyah’ (supplications) that are recited.

Supplications at Ihram Before anything, it is important to do ‘ihram’ which means ‘to forbid’ and consists of a dual action of ‘niyyah’ (intention) and ‘Talbiyah’, which is a specific invocation for during Hajj and ‘Umrah’ (lesser pilgrimage). In ihram, when the pilgrim prepares for Hajj, purifies and dresses in ‘ihram clothing’ and


offers two units of ‘Nafl Prayer’ (voluntary Prayer). This is followed by continuously repeating the words of Talbiyah whereby men say it aloud whilst women say it under a subdued tone. The words of Talbiyah are the following: “Labayk Allahuma Labayk. La baykallah shareeka laka labayk. Innal hamda, walni’mata, laka wal-mulk, la shareeka lak”. Translation: I am present, O Allah, I am present, there is no partner unto You. I am present. Definitely praise and glory is yours (for You). The Kingdom is also Yours. There is no partner for You. [Sahih Muslim] Following this, other ad`iyah can be made pleading to Allah, The Most High. ‘Dhikr’ (remembrance of Allah) can also be performed such as: “Allahu Akbar, Subhan’Allah, Alhamdu Ilma Magazine / Issue 14

Lillah, Subhan’Allahi, Wabi Hamdih, Subhan’Allahhil Atheem”. Translation: Allah is Great, Glorious is Allah, All Praise to Allah, All Glory is to Allah and all Praise to Him Glorified is Allah, the Great. [Sahih Muslim and Al-Tirmidhi]

Supplications when approaching Masjid Al-Haram When entering ‘Masjid Al-Haram’ also known as the ‘Sacred Mosque of Makkah’ via the right foot first, the following ‘du’a’ (supplication) is made. “Allahumaaftah lee Abwaab rahmatika”. Translation: Oh Allah open for me the doors of your mercy. [Sahih Muslim, 1/494] There is also a report in Sunan Ibn Majah on the authority of Fatimah bint Muhammad Ilma Magazine / Issue 14

(may Allah be pleased with her): ‘’Rab ighfir li say-eati, wa aftah li abwab rahmatak”. Translation: O Allah, forgive me my sins and open for me the doors of Your mercy. [Sahih Ibn Majah, 1/128-9] This is followed by continuously reciting Talbiyah.

Supplications when performing Tawaf on Umrah ‘Tawaf’ consists of circling around the Ka’bah seven times with love, peace and devotion. Supplicate your intention for Umrah and ensure that the ‘Hajr Al-Aswad’ (The Black Stone) is on the right side. The tawaf can then be initiated and supplications can be then be recited.


Yamani Corner

Shami Corner Iraqi Corner

The Black Corner

Supplications at Rukn Yamani When reaching the fourth corner of the Ka’bah known as ‘Rukn Yamani’, touch the Ka’bah and continue reciting the following supplication till you reach the Hajar Al-Aswad. “Rabbana atina fid-dunya hasanah, wa fil-akhirati hasanah wa qina athaaban-nar”. Translation: O our Lord! Grant us the good in this life and in the Next Life and save us from the penalty of Fire. [Quran; Surah Al-Baqarah: The Cow, 2:201] It is important to note that there is not a specific du’a to be recited during tawaf. Recite as many supplications from your heart as possible to Allah, The Most High. 58

Supplications at Maqaam Ibraheem After completing tawaaf, go to ‘Maqaam Ibraheem’ (The Station of Ibraheem) and recite the following verse: “Watakhithoo, min maqaami ibraheem musalla”. Translation: And take you (people) the Maqaam (place) of Ibraheem as a place of Prayer. [Qur’an, Surah Al-Baqarah: The Cow, 2:125] Pray two ‘raka‘at’ (prescribed movements and words during Prayer) as close to the maqaam as possible, if this is not possible, then anywhere in the Masjid Al-Haram will suffice. Ilma Magazine / Issue 14

First rak’ah: Surah Al-Fatihah [The Opening, 1:7] followed by Surah Al-Khafirun [The Disbelievers, 109:6]. First rak’ah: Surah Al-Fatihah [The Opening, 1:7] followed by Surah Al-Ikhlas [The Sincerity, 112:4].

Supplications at the Zamzam Well The ‘Zamzam Well’ is located in the basement of the Masjid Al-Haram and the following du’a is said whilst drinking the blessed water: ‘’Allahuma ini as-aluka ilman nafi’an, wa rizqan was’an, wa shifa min kol da’’. Translation: O Allah, I seek beneficial knowledge, wide sustenance and cure from all ailments from You. [Sahih Muslim; Ibn As-Sunni]

Supplications during Sa’ee ‘Sa’ee’ consists of walking back and forth seven times in a state of ablution between ‘Al-Safa’ and ‘Al-Marwah’. Al-Safa and Al-Marwah are hills where the former is located south of the Ka’bah whereas the latter is located at the north of the Ka’bah. As you leave the boundary of the mosque, recite the following du’a which is recited for entering all mosques: “Bismillahi was-salaatu was-salaamu ‘alaa rasoolillahi, Allahum-ma inee a’-aluka min fadhlika, Allahum-ma a’simnee minash-shaitaanie-rajeem”. Translation: In the name of Allah, and prayers and peace be upon the Messenger of Allah. O Allah, I ask You from Your favour. O Allah, guard from the accursed devil. [Sahih Muslim] Ilma Magazine / Issue 14

It is important to make intention for sa’ee at Al-Safa; so as you approach Mount Safa, the following part of Surah Al-Baqarah (Chapter of The Cow) is recited: “Innas-safaa wal marwata min sha’aa’irillaahi” and then, “’Abda’u bimaa bada’allaahu bih”. Translation: Verily, Al-Safa and Al-Marwah are from the symbols of Allah. [2:158] I begin by that which Allah began. [Muslim] Following this, one must climb on Al-Safa until they are able to see the Ka’bah. Facing the direction of the Ka’bah, the following du’a is supplicated thrice: “Allahu Akbar” (Allah is Great) followed by: “Laa ilaaha illa Allah, Wahdahu laa Sharika lah, Lah ul-Mulk, Wa lah ul-Hamd, Wa huwa ‘ala Kulli shay’in Qadeer, Laa ilaaha illa Allah, Anjaza wa’dah, Wa Nasara ‘abdah, Wa hazam al-Ahzaba wahdah”. Translation: There is nothing worthy of worship except Allah, Alone. He has no partner, To Him belongs the kingdom, and all praise belongs to Him, and He has power above all things, There is nothing worthy of worship except Allah, He fulfilled His promise, Granted victory to His servant, And alone He defeated the allied army. [Sahih Muslim] After completion, one must walk to Al-Marwah and repeat the same procedure as when going up the Mount Safa, facing the ‘Qiblah’ (direction of the Ka’bah), raising your hands and supplicate. This completes one circuit. Continue the whole process until seven circuits have been performed, Make abundant ad`iyah! Open your hearts! Glorify Allah, The Merciful!



“All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black not a black has any superiority over a white except by piety and good action�. [The Last sermon of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) at Mount Arafah: 9th Dhul Hijjah, 10 A.H.]

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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 www.hafsaabbas.com

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Allah, The Most High, has created and given us eyes to enable us to see. The human eyes surpass even the man-made devices. The eye is like a flower; the flower requires the petals around it as well as other parts in order to function; if any of these were missing, how would the flower be able to survive? Similarly, all parts of the eye need to co-exist and function in order to give us the sense of sight. If we lose the eye lid, the remaining parts of the eye will be damaged, consequently losing our eyesight. If the production of tears stops; it will cause dryness to the eye leading to blindness. Subhan’Allah (Glory be to Allah), how Allah is our Merciful Creator who formed the eye, gave it the function of seeing and attached it to our head; enabling us to learn about our surroundings more than of other four senses: hearing, touch, taste and smell. For instance, reading Qur’an, being able to see where we pray, watching Islamic programmes on TV, being able to see where we drive, and many other uses.

Say: ‘He it is Who brought you into being and made for you the ears and the eyes and the hearts’: little is it that you give thanks...”. [Qur’an, Surah Al-Mulk: The Sovereignty, 67:23]

“Say: ‘He it is Who brought you into being and made for you the ears and the eyes and the hearts’: little is it that you give thanks...”. [Qur’an, Surah Al-Mulk: The Sovereignty, 67:23] The average size of a newborn’s eyeball is 18mm in diameter (axial length – front to back). As the newborn grows into an infant, the eye grows slightly to 19mm and then continues gradually as age increases to approximately 24-25mm (1 ½ inch) in diameter. The eyeball is protected in the skull called an ‘eye orbit’ or ‘eye socket’ which grows as the eye grows. Layers of soft, fatty tissue surrounds the eye socket in aid of protection and movement easily. There are three extraocular muscles traversing the tissue regulating the eye motion: medial and lateral rectus, superior and inferior rectus and superior and inferior oblique muscles.

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The Visual Process How are we able to see? The human eye enables us to visualise and interpret the colours and shapes by processing the light they reflect; without the light it is unable to sense objects. Light waves from an object enter through the cornea of the eye. The cornea is a clear dome at the front of the eye. The light progresses through the pupil which is a circled opening in the middle of the coloured iris. 1. Variation in the incoming light intensity alters the pupil’s size. Due to the pupillar light response, the brighter the light, the smaller the pupil whereas the dimmer the light, the more the pupil dilate. 63

Tips on how to look after our Eyes! There are several techniques in how to look after our eyes and maintain good vision.

Regular eye tests It is vital to have regular ‘eye tests’ not because we need glasses, or to alter a prescription, in fact it is to check your eyes for general health issues; early signs of eye conditions which can be treated easily if diagnosed early. This is because anyone can develop issues with the side of having a potential higher risk of getting eye disease than others. For instance, the elderly are prone to having developed sight problems such as difficulty reading; this is due to weakening of the eye muscles and is part of the ageing process. By the age of sixty, one would need reading glasses as well as prescription lenses.

Errors in Vision There can also be refractive errors with the eyesight such as Myopia (Short-sighted), Hyperopia (Far-sighted) Astigmatism and Presbyopia. Myopia is where the incoming light from a far-distanced object focuses before it reaches to the back of the eye. Hyperopia is where the incoming light from a far-distanced object has not focused by the time it reaches back of the eye. Astigmatism is the most frequent refractive error. This is where cornea or lens is not circular shaped (spherical). Instead they are cylinder-shaped. Thus, there is no focal point inside the eye and is spread out. Presbyopia commonly occurs above forty years of age. It is caused by lack of flexibility of the crystalline lens and weakening of the ciliary muscles that are responsible for controlling the focus of the lens. Consequently, this causes difficulty in maintaining a clear focus of a nearby distance. Thus, an eye can be seen with clearness either artificially such as with glasses or contact lenses, or over a far distance naturally or via a photorefractive process called ‘laser surgery’; different types are discussed later on.


Glaucoma, is linked to increase of the eye (optical) pressure that can damage the optic nerve; the nerve that connects the eye to the brain. If left untreated, this can lead to tunnel vision and then blindness. If detected early, these complications can be resolved with eye drops. Cataracts, is a gradual clouding to the eye lens and is resolved through a simple operation that restores sight. The elderly are also prone to getting Floaters which are tiny spots that float vision. They are harmless however if they continue to persist it can indicate an underlying health issue. Thus, please see an Optician. Age-related Macular degeneration (AMD) can also occur where the disease of the retina is caused by ageing. One type is called dry macular degeneration where it gradually worsens with time whereas the other type gets worse rapidly. Emergency attention is needed for prompt treatment. The elderly is also prone to general health issues such as Diabetes and High Blood Pressure. Individuals, who are above the age of sixty, are able to have a free NHS (UK’s public health care system) eye test every two years. However, those who are above the age of seventy are able to have a free test annually. Nevertheless, if one is unable to leave their home due to any form of disability or illness, they are able to have a NHS

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eye test at home. For further information contact your local Optician if they do home visits and if not contact NHS England. In relation to the eyesight of children, children may not complain about their vision but will mention something along the lines “...i can’t see properly”. Look out for signs such as eye rubbing, blinking, holding objects close, sitting close to the TV and so forth. It is recommended to visit the Optometrist to undergo further investigations. Additionally, those from small ethnicity groups such as African-Caribbean have a higher risk of developing Diabetes and Glaucoma than other ethnic groups. Moreover, the South Asian community also have a higher incidence of developing Diabetes and Diabetic Retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is where the retina is damaged. In addition, those who have a family history of eye disease, or those who have a learning disability need to have frequent eye tests. However, generally speaking it is recommended for everyone to have an eye test every two years at the Opticians. Moreover, if you have a concern with your eyes, you should see either your Optician or your GP immediately, rather than wait for the time frame. Similar to adults, children should have their eyes regularly checked bi-annually.

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Eating more healthily Your food intake should include a range of fruits and vegetables to keep the retina healthy as well as your overall health. This will protect your eyes against AMD and cataracts. The best known vegetable to eat that aids the eyes are ‘carrots’ which increase the blood flow and eye function. When carrots are sliced, there are three circles shown; the pupil and iris just like a human eye. Subhan’Allah, Allah is the Most Wise. Spinach and kale are other examples that are good for the eye’s health. Both contain antioxidants: lutein and zeaxanthin that protect the eye from the sun’s radiation, smoking and pollution. Studies have shown they are able to go into the lens and retina, and absorb visible light that damage the eye. Strawberries, grapefruits, brussels sprouts, oranges, papaya and green peppers all contain Vitamin C; an antioxidant. Sunflower seeds and nuts contain Vitamin E. Vitamin C and E co-work to maintain healthy tissues.


Smoking Smokers are more prone to get AMD than non-smokers.

Exercise Studies have shown that exercise reduces the risk of losing one’s eyesight that is caused by hypertension, diabetes, atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries) because it allows good circulation and oxygen intake.

Sleeping The more we sleep, the more our eyes are lubricated continuously.

Laser Eye Surgery Laser surgery is undertaken to correct eyesight and has become really popular over the years. It consists of re-shaping the cornea using an excimer laser. ‘Lasik’ is the most common procedure conducted in the UK. This consists of cutting across the cornea and a flap of tissue is raised. The surface exposed is reshaped using an excimer laser and the flap of tissue is replaced. It can correct both short and long sighted but may be unsuitable for patients who require correcting high prescriptions.


The type of laser surgery can be discussed with your Optometrist who will also discuss with you other several methods to correct the vision such as ‘contact lenses’ and ‘spectacles’. Complications of the laser surgery procedure occur five percent or less of cases. Majority of the cases, people arrive back to work between a few days to a week. After the operation, some patients have dryness in the eyes where it can be resolved using artificial tears. Some patients who have high degree of short-sightedness and or long-sightedness will have glare or halo effects whilst driving at nights. Cases of blindness are rare.

Contact Lenses If you want to wear contact lenses, it can increase the risk of eye infections. Thus, it is important you wear reusable contact lenses; they need to be disinfected by soaking them in fresh solution each time. If you decide to wear disposable lenses, they do not require cleaning as they are worn once and thrown away. Ensure to have regular check up with your Optometrist. If you wear extended-wear lenses where they are exclusively designed to wear overnight, you can continuously wear it for one month before discarding. Please do not sleep wearing lenses unless your Optometrist advised you to do so. The Optometrist will advice you on how to take care of your contact lenses if they need to be removed temporarily.

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Radiation from the Sun There are a number of ways to protect the eyes. Amongst these are the following:

A) Sunglasses Strong sunlight can damage the eyes and several studies have confirmed it increases the risk of cataracts and is also linked to pterygium (growths on the surface of the eye).Thus, it is recommended to wear sunglasses or contact lenses that have an ultraviolet filter installed for protection. Sunglasses need to have one of the following: 1) UV 400 label 2) 100 percent UV protection Too much contact with the sun’s UV rays also increases the risk of skin cancer. UV rays can cause skin penetration and damage cells which can potentially become cancerous. One will not be able to distinguish whether they have UV rays damaging their skin. Those at risk of skin cancer are those with pale skin, moles, family history of skin cancer or are prone to sunburn. Those with naturally darker skin (brown/black) are less likely to have skin cancer due to darker skin forms a sort of protection against UV rays. It is recommended to: • Stay in the shade between 11 am and 3 pm; • Take extra care with children

• Use factor 15 plus sunscreen • Report mole changes or unusual skin growths to your GP

B) Good lighting Ensure windows are clean and curtains are opened so you are exposed to daylight.

C) Sunbeds are unsafe Even with sunbeds one is still is exposed to harmful UV rays. This still increases risk of skin cancer, premature ageing of skin, sunburnt skin, dryness, itchy skin, bumpy rashes, eye irritation and cataracts. Ultimately, our eyes form part of our senses and are our windows to the outer world. It acts as a bridge by sending photons (units of light) from the environment that surrounds us and transfers this information to our vision centres located in the brain. We should thank Allah, The Most High, for this blessing and not take it for granted. Allah, The Most High, states in the Glorious Qur’an: “Then He proportioned him and breathed into him from His [created] soul and made for you hearing and vision and hearts; little are you grateful”. [Qur’an, Surah Al-Sajdah: The Prostration, 32:9] My dear brothers and sisters, we should aim and strive to look after our eyes and our health as a whole. For indeed, they are an Amanah ‘Trust’ from Allah, The Most High.

Supplication for Healing Sickness “Allahumma Rabban-nasi, adhhibil-ba’sa, washfi, Antash-Shafi, lashifa’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]


“Obey Allah and His Messenger and do not dispute with one another, otherwise you will fail and lose your strength. Have patience - Allah is with those who are patient�. [Quran, Al-Anfal: The Spoils of War, 8:46]

Elena Nikolova is the creator of MuslimTravelGirl.com She helps Muslims travel the world in style without breaking the bank. Follow Elena on Twitter


Delicious and Easy Eid Al-Adha Meal ‘Eid’ is a special occasion for Muslims; a celebration to be enjoyed by the whole family, including the chef. You should not have to spend hours in the kitchen preparing the “Eid feast”. I have found some mouthwatering recipes that are easy to make, yet taste delicious. So you can enjoy more time celebrating and less time cooking!

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Main Course

Lamb Dish with Cranberry Juice, Walnuts and Raisins Preperation Time: 10 mins Cooking Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

b dish. If yo u are like This is an easy an d delicious lam hes an d yo u ten d to me an d struggle to cook lamb dis l inspire yo u. This is a avo id them, then this recipe wil dish an d it makes a great b lam ard nd sta a to ist tw at gre change for yo ur taste bu ds.

Ingredients (Ser ves 4) ulder • 750g boneless roasting sho joint of lamb • 1 red onion finely sliced ed • 4 sticks celery finely slic ed • 4 clo ves garlic finely slic • 80g walnuts, cho ppe d • 50g of raisins • 500ml of cranberry juice • 1/2 cup of water


ves, • 1 cup of fresh parsley lea cho ppe d • 2 tbsp flour • 2 tbsp olive oil • 1/2 stick cinnamon • 2 bay leaves to • Seasoning salt and pepper taste

Acco mpaniment

Steamed Rice or Pitta Bread

Ilma Magazine / Issue 14


1. Cut the lamb into small cubes. 2. Place the flour and seasoning to taste in a tray. Toss the lamb cubes in the flour. 3. Heat a large pan and pour in two tablespoons of olive oil. Wh en the oil heats, add as many lamb cubes as they fit in the pan but just in one layer. Cov er with a lid and cook for a few minutes until soft and bro wne d evenly. Remove the cubes fro m the pan and repeat the process with the remaining pieces until they are all cooked . Return all pieces into the pan and turn down the heat. 4. Add the onion, celery, garlic, cinnamon, walnuts, raisins and bay leaves to the pan. Put the lid back on and cook ver y gen tly for three to five minutes, unt il the onion is softened. Make sure you stir often, so not hing sticks to the bottom of the pan.

5. Add the 500ml of cranberry juice into the pan. Stir the juice into the lamb and top up with water to cover all the pieces of meat. Sim mer ver y gently an hour and a half, or until the lamb is ten der, adding a litt le water now and then if the dish gets dry.

6. Once the meat is rea dy, remove it fro m the heat. You can now disc ard the cinnamon stick and bay leaves so they do not lea ve a sour taste. Season to taste and sprinkle with the parsley. Ser ve the dish with hot rice or pita bread as accompanimen t. Ilma Magazine / Issue 14



Sweet Chocolate Soufflé Preperation Time: 15 mins Cooking Time: 30 mins

te soufflé that can A delicious mo uthwatering chocola d co ok seem like a make even the most inexperience ssert is crispy on the chef in the kitchen. This rich de ocolate on the inside, outsi de an d mo ist an d full of ch te lovers. Easy to making it perfect for the chocola d impeccable timing. make, yet it requires precision an ily meal an d impress It is a perfect way to en d a fam yo ur guests on Eid.

Ingredients (Ser ves 4) • • • • • •


150g of plain dark chocolate 60g butter 100g caster sugar 4 tsp of plain flour 4 eggs 20g cocoa pow der (optional)


es or 4 or more ramekin soufflé dish disposable alu minum ramekins

Reco mmen de d Vanilla ice-cream

Ilma Magazine / Issue 14

Preparation 1. Start this chocolate soufflé rec ipe by buttering the insi des of fou r ramekin individual soufflé dishes. Put 10g of flour into one of the dishes and rotate it to coa t the surface. Tip all the excess sugar into another dish and rota te to coat it. Repeat on the other dishes

2. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas mark 6.

3. In a pot bring some water to boil, reduce the heat and wait unt il the water is hot but there are no bubbles. Add the chocolate and butter in a glass bowl. Place the glass bowl on top of the boiling water pot. Make sure no water enters the chocolate mixture. Mel t the chocolate and butter while top on the hot water. Once the on chocolate mixture is melted rem ove from the pot making sure tha there is no water entering the mix t ture. This process of cooking is called bain-marie. 4. In a separate bowl whisk fou r eggs, while adding the sugar and flour in the process making sure the mixture is thick and smo oth . 5. Pour the chocolate mixture into the eggs and flour mixture mak ing sure there is no water dripping from the bain-marie proc ess entering into any of them. Wit h a spo on gently mix them together. 6. Fill the prepared soufflé dish es with the mixture, right to the top just abo ve the rim. If you do not have ramekin soufflé dishes you can buy the aluminum single use ramekins as well. 7. Be careful not to get any of the mixture on the edges of the dish es or the chocolate soufflés will stick and will not rise evenly. Set the dishes in a roasting tin and place them in the oven. 8. Bake for abo ut nine minutes, reducing the temperature to 190 °C/Gas mark 5 as soon as the chocolate soufflés start to rise 9. When the chocolate soufflés are puffed, remove them from the ove n. Quickly place on plates. Sprinkle with cocoa pow der, plac e some vanilla ice-cream on the side and ser ve immediately.

Ilma Magazine / Issue 14



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Ilma Magazine / Issue 14

Ilma Magazine / Issue 14


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Ilma Magazine | July/Aug 2015 | Issue 14  

This edition we take a look at the ‘Ummah’ (the community of Muslims) and humankind, and evaluate the current position and the position we s...

Ilma Magazine | July/Aug 2015 | Issue 14  

This edition we take a look at the ‘Ummah’ (the community of Muslims) and humankind, and evaluate the current position and the position we s...