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Live, Learn & Inspire www.thedawahproject.com March / April 2016 / Issue 18


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

Editorial Team Managing Editor: Anjuma Choudhury Content and Copy Editor: Aseel Saif Religious Content Editors: Raiyyan Clemenston and Essam Zein Creative and Visual Director: Muhammad Abdulmateen Writers: Karimah Bint Dawoud, Anum Babar, Adama Munu, Liz Leonard, Elena Nikolova, Hafsa Waseela, Aseel Saif, Nasrine Abdirachid, Shahina Khatun and Yeota Imam-Rashid Researchers: Bushra Ferjani Contributors: Ayesha Ashiq, Bushra Ferjani and Fatima Diriye 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. Š 2016 Address: The Dawah Project Ltd Registered Office - 14 Bonhill Street London EC2A 4BX Contact Number: 0207 330 1744 (Mon - Fri, 9am - 6pm) Company No - 06864168 Registered Charity Number: 1133424 www.facebook.com/Dawah.Project www.twitter.com/TheDawahProject www.youtube.com/user/TheDawahProjectLtd the_dawah_project


CONTENTS The Muslim Marriage Part 2

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Reflection: 08

The Meaning of Marriage in Society By Yeota Imam-Rashid

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28 10 10

Step by Step Guide of ‘Aqd Al-Nikah’

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He Does, She Does...

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A Harmonious Matrimonial Life

By Aseel Saif

By Adama Munu

By Nasrine Abdirachid

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Women’s AM Corner: Mixed Marriages By Shahina Khatun

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Jesus: A Man and A Prophet By Liz Leonard


The Prophet’s Journey to Allah

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By Anum Babar

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A Traveller’s Guide:

Zürich Connect By Elena Nikolova

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Food Bites:

A Halal Swiss Breakfast By Karimah Bint Dawoud

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BODY MIND SOUL:

Introduction to Cancer: Part 2 By Hafsa Waseela

Recommended Reading By Anum Babar

98 Islam Channel Programmes

Religious Programmes showing in April and May 2016

101 Get Involved Jobs and Volunteering Opportunities


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

The Muslim Marriage (Part 2)

Assalamu Alaikum Dear Readers, Human beings were not made to live perfectly, but it does mean that we strive for ‘Ihsaan’ (excellence) and striving for Ihsaan in life is, indeed, a beautiful struggle. Islam has come to give people the desire to act, the desire to succeed and the desire to excel. Success is within the reach of all as Allah, The Most High, says in the Holy Qur’an: “…remember Allah often that you may succeed…”. [Qur’an, Surah Al-Jumuah: The Congregation, 62:10] May we all be successful on the Day of Judgement. Ameen. Marriage also deserves Ihsaan as we discussed in the previous issue, that it is half of our ‘Deen’ (religion) and rightly so. Ihsaan requires both husband and wife to have deep affection, mercy, mutual respect and understanding, commitment to the marriage and to their Creator. Therefore, part two of ‘The Muslim Marriage’ journey inspires singletons and married couples to see the beauty in marriage, with all the imperfections that comes with it and learn the wonderful ways that help strengthen marriage. Remember, the key to success in marriage is to make the love and obedience for Allah, The Most High, the basis and focus of your relationship with your spouse. May we enter ‘Jannah’ (Paradise) with our spouses. Ameen. In addition, we addressed two of the most important events in Islam and Christianity: ‘Al-Isra Wal-Mir’aj’ and ‘Easter Sunday’.

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The former relates to the Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) celestial journey from Madinah, to Jerusalem and then to Paradise. The latter is the most important day of the year for Christians. It is when they celebrate those three days after being killed; Jesus (pbuh) rose from the dead, called ‘the Resurrection’ and defeated evil forever. But what is the Islamic account on Prophet Jesus (pbuh)? Both of these great Prophets (peace be upon them) have a special legacy in Islam, as narrated by Allah, The Most High, in the Holy Qu’ran. We have it all covered in this issue from thought provoking articles, to writings on lifestyle, such as travel to the chic European city Zurich and enjoy munching on a ‘Halal’ (permissible according to Islamic dietary law) Swiss breakfast. One of our Ilma writers recommends two fantastic Islamic educational books for you to read and gain knowledge from. We also have moving poetry that will stir your mind and spirit. Please send your comments and suggestions to ilmamag@thedawahproject.com We would love to hear from you! Jazakumullahu Khairan The Dawah Project Team

Ilma Magazine / Issue 18


Ilma Magazine / Issue 18

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REFLEC TION

By Islam Channel Senior Producer Yeota Imam-Rashid. Follow Yeota on Twitter: @Ye0ta

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remember once whilst browsing through a card shop looking for a wedding card, I came across one that read,

‘Marriage – it’s not a word. It’s a sentence’. I stopped for a moment to ponder about its meaning; did this card really mean marriage is like a prison sentence? How bizarre! And how even more bizarre to present it to two individuals who were embarking on a journey of life together. It is not an easy decision for anyone to make. Yet, this then led me to think about how marriage is perceived in our society and the number of decreasing marriages taking place. In

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fact, statistics in the UK show that in 2014 just over half the population (51.2%) were married, a decrease from 53.8% ten years ago (according to The Guardian). So, can this perception of marriage be changed? Well, according to  Harry Benson, Research Director of Marriage Foundation and a thinktank that promotes marriage claims: “If we want more of our young two-parent families to succeed as couples, the older generation have got a lot of encouraging to do”. Would parents, in ‘advising’ or ‘encouraging’ their children to marry, really help increase the likelihood of young adults getting married? I highly doubt it. Not if people’s perception of marriage is neg-

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ative. I was then brought back to the card and its message; ‘Marriage is a sentence’. This card pessimistically portrays marriage as being “stuck” with only one individual for the rest of your life because you have entered into a binding contract where you have sworn fidelity and commitment. You are now “trapped” with one person for life. How positively sad is that? Yet, for a Muslim woman, who has now been married coming up to ten years Alhamdulillah (praise be to Allah), this is the opposite of what marriage means to me. I view marriage primarily as a declaration to Allah, The Most High that I intend to spend the rest of my life with this man, in my journey to please Him. Of course, it was not a light decision to make and whilst my then husband-to-be made his decision within a few weeks, it took me much longer to decide whether this was the man, I was willing and happy to take this journey with. Nevertheless, once I made that decision, l left it completely up to Allah, The All Knowing, to carry me through this extraordinary new path because marriage really is that - quite extraordinary. It is exclusive to just the two of you. No one else will be on this journey with you both, not even when children come aboard, as the bond is between you and him. No two individuals in this world will ever go through everything you two have gone through. That is what makes it so special. This journey has had many ups and downs, as most things in life but the one cementing aspect was the fact that we had Islam as our common goal; to please Allah, our Creator. Therefore, whilst it is nice to share hobbies and interests together, what kept our bond strong was not that it was our desire to please Allah, The Most High, but when I am weak

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and struggling in my relationship with Allah, he is there to spur me on and when he is flailing, I am his reminder. I do not want to give any readers a rose-tinted view of marriage nor a morbid perception of it, however, one that reminds us that there are four reasons for which you should marry: Narrated on the the authority of Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet  Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:  “A woman is married for four (reasons): her wealth, noble ancestry, beauty and religion. Choose the religious woman lest your hand is stuck to dust (because of destitution)”. [Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim] And truly the best reason for marrying is her ‘Imaan’ (faith). For this reason, in this second part to the ‘The Muslim Marriage’ edition of Ilma, we delve further into the topic of marriage and discuss the responsibilities that come with tying the knot, what the ‘Nikah’ (matrimony contract) entails and what constitutes a happy married life. A great range of topics will be explored for people looking to get married and great reminders will be given for those who have taken the step, be it just recently or for many years now. Needless to say, I did not buy the card and the card I did end up buying was one that I feel epitomises what marriage is all about: “And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquillity in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought”. [Qur’an, Surah Ar-Rum: The Romans, 30:21]

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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. Visit her personal blog: www.ahijabilife.wordpress.com

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Ilma Magazine / Issue 18


What is Marriage? In any context, marriage is and should be a mutual, formal and legal union between two people. This union consists of signing a contractual agreement. For example, in the United Kingdom, a civil marriage would take place in the registry office and you will legalise your marriage by signing a contract; in which gives both parties legal rights such as, property ownership, etc. Similarly, in Islam you sign, write and verbally declare an agreed contract. Given that one does not mix cultural with religious practises, which of course happens more often than never.

Marriage in Islam In Islam, marriage is commonly translated as the ‘Nikah’. It is the sacred and social contract between the bride and groom. In the Holy Qur'an, the ‘Aqd' (contract) is expressed as a strong covenant: “And how could you take it while you have gone in unto each other and they have taken from you a solemn covenant?” [Qur’an, Surah An- Nisa: The Women, 4:21] Both man and woman must mutually agree on the terms and conditions when entering into this contract. Therefore, they have the right to define the terms and conditions to their liking and then make it part and parcel of this contract. In Islam, the marriage process consists of a few key steps and they are as follows: 1. Mahr (Marriage Gift) 2. Aqd Al-Nikah (The Marriage Contract) 3. Walimah (Marriage Banquet) There may be other practises that you may think I have overlooked, but in fact these are cultural practises. The lavish weddings we have grown accustomed to and the endless requests or at times unrealistic demands from families are not within the teachings of the ‘Deen’ (religion)

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What is the Mahr? The ‘Mahr’ (marriage gift) is a divine order, where the groom is required to give a marriage gift to his bride to be; which is discussed prior to the signing of the contract. This is a vital part of the Aqd: “And give the women (upon marriage) their (bridal) gifts graciously. But if they give up willingly to you anything of it, then take it in satisfaction and ease”. [Qur’an, Surah An-Nisa: The Women, 4:4] Despite the practises we see today, the Mahr given is not about milking the poor groom of everything he owns. Allah, The Most High, only prescribes acts that are of benefit to us and in this case the Mahr represents the commitment and responsibility of the husband to his wife. There has never been a fixed upper limit for Mahr. Allah, The Most High, requires the provision to depend upon the circumstances of the husband: “… But give them (a gift of) compensation - the wealthy according to his capability and the poor according to his capability - a provision according to what is acceptable, a duty upon the doers of good”. [Qur’an, Surah Al-Baqarah: The Cow, 2.236] Therefore, it can be paid in cash, property, object or any agreed way to the bride herself. It is important to remember that the Mahr is only for the bride and not for her family. Unfortunately, in some Muslim societies you see the Mahr going directly to the father of the bride or her immediate family, which of course is incorrect. The Mahr should not in any way come across as a form of selling away your daughter to another man and a woman must never feel like it is. The Mahr may be paid immediately, commonly known as ‘Mit’adim’ to the bride at the time of marriage, or deferred to a later date known as ‘Mit’akhar’, or a combination of both. The deferred Mahr however, falls due in case of death or divorce. The agreed Mahr is not just a verbal contract but a written one too and hence, why it is explicitly written in Aqd Al-Nikah. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) gave each of his wives a payment of Mahr, ranging from token sums, the granting of freedom from slavery when being made a wife, to the payment of 400-500 dirhams. His wife Ramla bint Abi Su12

fyan (may Allah be pleased with her) Mahr consisted of 4000 dirhams, this sum having been fixed by Najashi, the ruler of Abyssinia (Ethiopia) during the time of the Prophet (pbuh). [Abu Dawud, Kitab An-Nikah, 2:235]

Prior to the Aqd Al-Nikah Prior to the signing of the contract a woman must seek the permission from her ‘Wali’ (guardian) in accepting the marriage proposal and in order for it to proceed, otherwise it is considered void. It is mentioned in the ‘Hadith’ (recorded tradition) by the Prophet (pbuh): “The marriage of a woman who marries without the consent of her guardians is void.” [Abu Dawud] The Aqd Al-Nikah consists of the recital of the ‘Sigha’ (formula) which contains the ‘Ijab’ (agreement) of the bride and the ‘Qabul’ (acceptance) of the bridegroom.  For the marriage to be valid the consent of the two parties is not enough, the marriage contract must be performed.

Who performs the Aqd? The individual, who officiates the Aqd must be a sane adult and a practising Muslim, most often an Imam (local religious leader) or a ‘Qadi’ (Muslim judge). This individual must

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The sermon begins with the praise of Allah; His Help and Guidance is sought. Followed by the Muslim declaration of faith in Arabic: “There is none worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad is His servant and messenger”. Then the three verses in the Qur’an are recited in Arabic: 1. “O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allah, through whom you ask one another, and the wombs. Indeed Allah is ever, over you, an Observer”. [Qur’an, Surah An-Nisa: The Women, 4:1]

have sincere intention of reciting the Aqd for the marriage between the specified bride and groom. Customarily, a state appointed ‘Qadi’ (Muslim judge) officiates the Nikah ceremony and keeps a record of the marriage contract. Before the sigha is performed, a ‘Khutbah’ (sermon) is presented. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) made it his ‘Sunnah’ (tradition) to have a sermon delivered in the assembly to solemnise the marriage. The sermon invites the bride and the groom, as well as the participating guests in the assembly to a life of piety, mutual love, kindness and social responsibility.

2. “O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims (in submission to Him)”. [Qur’an, Surah Ali Imran: The family of Imran, 3:102] 3. “O you who have believed, fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice. He will (then) amend for you your deeds and forgive you your sins. And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly attained a great attainment”. [Qur’an, Surah Al-Ahzab: The Combined Forces, 33:70-71]

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It is then concluded by reading a Hadith regarding marriage: “By Allah! Among all of you I am the most God-fearing, and among you all, I am the supermost to save myself from the wrath of Allah, yet my state is that I observe prayer and sleep too. I observe fast and suspend observing them; I marry woman also. And he who turns away from my Sunnah has no relation with me”. [Sahih Al-Bukhari]

The Aqd It is permissible for the Aqd to be recited by the bride and groom on the day, or they can nominate someone else to represent them, who is known as the ‘Wakil’ (representative). The recitation of the formula of Aqd is as follows: The bride says:

“Zawwajtu-ka nafsi ‘ala ’l-Mahri ’l-ma‘lum”. Translation: “I have married myself to you for the dower that was agreed”. The bridegroom answers:

“Qabiltu t-tazwij”. Translation: “I accept the marriage”.

The Walimah Once Aqd Al-Nikah is performed, the marriage must be declared. This is practised in many different ways depending on the culture or family involved. The declaration is usually done by having a feast, party or commonly known as the Walimah; which is ‘Sunnah Mu’akkadah’ – confirmed and encouraged in Islam. Family, relatives, neighbours and friends are invited in order to make them aware of the marriage. Both rich and poor from the community are invited to the marriage feast. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “The worst of the feasts are those marriage feasts to which the rich are invited and the poor are left out”. [Mishkat] It is recommended that Muslims attend these celebrations upon invitation. Prophet Muham14

mad (pbuh) said: “...and he who refuses to accept an invitation to a marriage feast, verily disobeys Allah and His Prophet”. [Ahmad & Abu Dawud] For some cultures the Walimah is spread out into two days, the first for the Bride’s family and the second being for the groom’s family. However, this is not practised everywhere. In all cases, when someone tells you the bigger the better, it is certainly not the case. In fact we are taught in Islam to do things in moderation therefore, one should never feel lesser than another if they are unable to hold an extravagant party. You do not want to enter a marriage with little money or Allah forbid, in debt. The whole point of this aspect of the marital contract is to merely declare to the family and everyone as a whole you are now husband and wife. May Allah grant us righteous husbands and wives, who will help us attain His Almighty’s forgiveness and blessings. Ameen Ya Rab (Ameen Oh Lord). Ilma Magazine / Issue 18


“The love brings them together but the mercy is what keeps them together�. [Imam Zai d Shakir, Mus lim Ame r ic a n Sc hola r ]


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

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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! An increasing number of 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 Magazine, which is released on a bi-monthly basis and is available on Issuu - the fastest growing digital publishing platforms in the world. You can also download the Ilma App for free on the App Store and Google Play. Ilma Magazine provides reflective writings on various aspects of life attracting a diverse range of readers all over the world.

www.thedawahproject.com

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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]


“The thing I admire the most about the Prophet (pbuh) is how he would comfort others’ hearts when his own heart was torn”. [ Anony mous ]


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Mixed Marriages

By Islam Channel Presenter Shahina Khatun and a graduate of Journalism. She is passionate about having the Muslim woman’s voice heard on issues ranging from race, religion and politics. She is also an up-and-coming poet and believes poetry to be a beautiful and powerful medium to connect with people. Follow Shahina on Twitter: @shahina_media and visit her blog www.lyricallyspeakingsite.wordpress.com

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hen a post catches the eyes, whilst scrolling through social media about the negative experiences of individuals due to race, it is deflating to realise the extent to which certain groups of people within the Muslim community feel isolated. This isolation is felt more so, when facing racial and cultural barriers whilst looking for marriage. It may be argued that the lack of mixed marriages is an un-natural phenomenon amongst some Muslim communities, especially since the man, whom we regard to be one of the greatest examples for us, married women from different races and tribes. More importantly, this man, the Prophet (peace be upon him), was sent with a message unique in its ability to bond those unrelated by blood, to unite those beyond borders, language, race and tribe. He was Muhammad (pbuh). He came with a way of life that history has witnessed to be the most just in its values and one that brought people together as one, despite their differences. So often when individuals enter into this beautiful ‘Deen’ (religion), hoping to be a part of this unique bond, hoping to be part of a kind of justice and fairness that they have not tasted prior to Islam, then are left sourly disappointed, just because many within the Muslim community still carry thoughts that are contradictory to the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). One can only imagine the hurt that some brothers’ and sisters’ experience due to this incorrect thinking. Furthermore, Allah has revealed an ‘Ayah’ (verse) regarding this issue: “O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allah is that (Believer who has Taqwa (i.e. is one of the Muttaqeen – the pious). Verily Allah is All-knowing, AllAware”. [Qur’an, Surah Al-Hujurat: The Rooms, 49:13]

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Despite such a beautiful revelation, an important question arises; what causes hesitancy in many parents’ when their children wish to marry outside of their own race and culture? There is no denying that racism exists within the Muslim community and clearly it is not acceptable. However, it would be easy to say that simply racism is at play here, but the answer to this is not always black and white. There are numerous reasons why this is the case. Being scared of the unknown is one of those reasons. It may seem like a strange reason, but it is a reason nonetheless. For parents’ who have migrated to Britain, despite raising their children here, are mainly used to family and friends marrying within the same community and background. Their children considering marriage outside of the community is a new reality and one that is outside of the norm. This lack of familiarity creates a fear of not knowing or understanding the differences in culture. Every so often, in the minds of many parents, it becomes a case of ensuring that they know

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what their children are stepping into. There is a sense of security in being married into a family with whom one shares similar cultural values and more so, if there were to be difficulties within the marriage, there is hope that the shared values would come into play in order to solve those problems. Although, one can appreciate this sense of security or in fact a false sense of security, as knowing what your child is getting into i.e., a culture that one is familiar with, does not lead to security and tranquillity within the marriage. At the end of the day, how many majorly effective differences can there possibly be, between Muslims? If there are cultural clashes between Muslims, we have a common solution and that is ultimately Islam. Then there’s the complex issue of racism stemming from colonialism, especially during the modern period. One

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cannot deny that there is an element of racism within some communities, which stem from seeds planted by imperialists for colonial ambitions. By using differences, amongst Muslims, on the basis of language or race to make a particular group of people feel superior than others creates a superiority complex, which can be detrimental to society as shown in history. Unfortunately, the roots of racism are so deep that often the elements that make a person racist, is not even realised. More often than never, with elders, it is a fear of what the rest of the community will say. With the elders, the onus is on “us” who understand that it is forbidden in Islam to hold any form of racism within us. The onus is on “us”; the younger generation should remove racism from our own minds first and teach it to our elders with good etiquette and manners without patronising them. Sometimes we forget that they too are victims of colo-

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nial brainwashing. It is also worth asking ourselves; is it really befitting to intentionally look for marriage purely out of rebellion where one’s parent may not approve? Should it also be a case of ‘only’ looking outside of the community? If a proposal comes from a person who meets ones criteria for marriage and is from within the same community, is it befitting to decline purely because the person is from the ‘same’ race, out of spite towards one’s own parents? We too should check our intentions. The burden of responsibility lies heavily on the shoulders of our community leaders, local Imams; whom our elders respect and look up to. It is our leaders who carry the knowledge of Islam and hence, need to be much more forthcoming on these issues. Silence on matters that severely affect Muslims is not an option. It needs to be tackled with honesty and with-

out fear as it is their obligation to do so, rather than to shy away from it. The issue of “what the community will say?” would not exist if our leaders came together to propagate the stance of Islam on this matter and informed elders of the dangers of the attitude that is quite common amongst them. The consequence of turning down a marriage proposal from a person who has good character and Taqwa is not minor. There are so many people not married and becoming older or falling into sin purely because elders have been unwilling to accept a proposal from those of different race, caste or tribe. It does not help when most of our local Imams and people of influence have remained silent, even though families have been destroyed because of this attitude.

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It is encouraged in Islam for Muslims to strengthen the bond of unity and love between ourselves. By discouraging each other from entering into mixed marriages strains that bond by causing hurt and disunity. When Allah, The Most High, tells us in the Qur’an: “…We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes that you may know one another”. [Qur’an, Surah Al-Hujurat: The Rooms, 49:13] We are encouraged to know one another and one of the best ways of knowing others is through the bonds of marriage. It is worth noting that things are changing. There is hope and we should be positive as there is a rising awareness and a better understanding of Islam growing amongst our elders and our young people. As a result of this, there are many mixed marriages taking place and numbers are rising with time. Let’s look to speeding up those num-

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bers and removing the thoughts that act as barriers. We, as a community, need to question whether we really want to define and divide ourselves by lines drawn on the map. We need to grow in our Islamic thinking and embrace those who enter Islam with the warmth that they deserve, so that they may and we may taste the beauty of Islam that brought us into the Deen in the first place. Allah, The Most High, tells us in His Book about what we were created with: “It is He who created you from dust, then from a sperm-drop, then from a clinging clot; then He brings you out as a child; then (He develops you) that you reach your (time of) maturity, then (further) that you become elders. And among you is he who is taken in death before (that), so that you reach a specified term; and perhaps you will use reason”. [Qur’an, Surah Ghafir: The Forgiver, 40:67]

We were made from dust and dust we will all become. Thus, from where do we derive the right to this claim of superiority over others? Was it not ‘Shaytan’ (Devil) who refused to obey Allah, The Most High, purely because he felt superior due to being made of fire, whereas Prophet Adam (pbuh) was made of dust? There is certainly a lesson in this for us to learn. Our elders must realise that when a proposal for his daughter is from a man of Deen and good character, do not turn him away due to his difference in race, for surely this goodness is far better and a cause of happiness for one’s daughter, as he may be the goodness that leads her into ‘Jannah’ (Paradise). Moreover, we know Jannah does not discriminate against any race, caste or tribe…and neither does ‘Jahannam’ (HellFire).

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“Detachment is not that you should own nothing, but that nothing should own you�. [C al i ph Al i i bn Abi Ta lib, ma y Alla h be ple a s e d with him]


I can’t seem to find the brother I once knew. He roamed these streets six years before, built a metal cage, allergic to emotions. He experienced raindrops transitioning into puddles.  He’s the main character in a movie showered with endless film extras.  Allowing himself to evaporate into thin air.  Not giving himself the chance to breathe.  Life should not always be grey skies. His hands like slippery ice.  I can’t seem to find the brother I once knew.  Like time, the short hand holds onto him more than I ever could.  Asking for help wasn’t his strong suit, neither was being transparent.  Slip and slide his struggles into leather brown suitcase.  I wonder how long it will take for gravity to take its toil.  When his limbs stop responding to the injustice he’s placed upon them.  I’ll extend my olive branch, water it daily and keep its roots firmly on the ground

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By Fatima Diriye Fatima Diriye is a British-Somali poet and through poetry she explores realms of vulnerability, identity and personal reflections. Fatima is a member of The (un)Heard Words collective, Bards without Borders and has performed with Tongue Fu. She has been mentored by Mohamed Mohamed, Raymond Antrobus and Laila Sumpton.

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“I want you to have a husband who is not just a husband, but one who will be a brother to you, a friend”.

Adama Munu is a both a journalist and TV producer at the Islam Channel. But when she is not working on screen, she is musing over African History with a caramel latte at hand...You can catch up with her on Twitter @adamajmunu

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he societies we live in are organic. That is to say that, in order for an amicable order, everyone plays their part. In each role, there is a balanced equation of roles and responsibilities. The same line of thought can be applied both, to the Muslim home and particularly its cornerstone - ‘the Muslim Marriage’. In my last article, I alluded to some points relating an in-exhaustive list relating to some of the characteristics, which on the advice of Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him) should endeavour to look for in a prospective spouse. One key ‘Hadith’ (recorded tradition) mentioned in the former article is the following: In the Book of Marriage (Kitab Al-Nikah) as recorded in Sahih Muslim, Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) as saying: “A woman may be married for four reasons: for her wealth, her status, her beauty and her religion, so try to get one who is religious, may your hand be be smeared with dust”. It follows to good reason, that if one chooses a spouse on the basis of adherence to the Qur’an and ‘Sunnah’ (teachings and practices of the Prophet, pbuh), then it stands to good reason that we should consider the conduct that is expected by both the husband and wife, in line with Islamic guidelines.

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Before setting into the marital sphere, it is always important for the spouses to remember that, first and foremost, they are brethren to each other and that this beautiful arrangement emanates from a larger network, which we call the ‘Ummah’, the Islamic community or brotherhood and sisterhood amongst Muslims. And that as a Muslim brethren, there is, at the very minimum, certain rights and duties we have towards each other derived from the love that should exist within the community: “No one of you has believed until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself”. [Sahih Al-Bukhari; Sahih Muslim] On an individual note, Muslim men and women are responsible to God for their actions and sayings. Both will be judged, rewarded or punished on equal terms in accordance with Allah’s knowledge; mercy and or justice. Allah, The Most High, says: “Indeed, the Muslim men and Muslim women, the believing men and believing women, the obedient men and obedient women, the truthful men and truthful women, the patient men and patient women, the humble men and humble women, the charitable men and charitable women, the fasting men and fasting women, the men who guard their private parts and the women who do so, and the men who remember Allah often and the women who do so - for them Allah has prepared forgiveness and a great reward”. [Qur’an, Surah Al-Azhab: The Combined Forces, 33:35]

the children at best and men are the gatherers of sustenance. As such, the roles of men and women are also subject to cultures, customs, locality and other such bearings. What will be taken into account is the stratification of expectations on both men and women, as base guidelines from Islam and indeed, there is a lot of literature on this subject. However, we will ponder on some of those rights and responsibilities most pertinent in the relationship and in our modern context. Allah, The Most High, says: “Men are in charge of women by (right of) what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend (for maintenance) from their wealth”. [Qur’an, Surah An-Nisa: The Women, 4:34] “...Upon the father is the mothers’ provision and their clothing according to what is acceptable...”. [Qur’an, Surah Al-Baqarah: The Cow, 2:233]

One point worth considering is that in these times of modernity and globalisation, the roles of both men and women are constantly evolving and changing from what is normally termed as “traditional roles”, whereby women are expected to wholly take care of the home and

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Financial maintenance is one of the most important rights for the wife. The Islamic scholar Ibn Kathir (may Allah have mercy upon him) commented that the latter verse implies he must provide for her without extravagance nor the opposite, according to his ability and the standards set by his society at his time. Other commentators, such as the Tunisian Islamic scholar Ibn Ashur (may Allah have mercy upon him) in his ‘Tafsir’ (exegesis) said that this verse does not mean that all men take care of all women, but that the husband supports his wife according to the norms of society, which should not be surprising as the Qur’an always speaks within the framework of what is customary. The latter point is significant as it is customary in some instances, where some women take care of men and there is nothing fundamentally wrong with this either. The example of this often cited in the example of Khadijah bint Khuwaylid (may Allah be pleased with her). She took care of her husband emotionally and financially. Blogger Lynne Tahil in her piece Ideal Woman elaborates: “Her astuteness and business ability made her business one of the most widespread businesses among the Quraysh”. Through this, she was able to support herself as well as contribute to the well-being of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), who was also earning his own keep and it is well noted that such a woman who provides, although it is not obligatory upon her, will earn a reward for that. Abu Mas’ud Al-Ansari (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (pbuh) said: “Without a doubt, when a Muslim spends money on his family whilst considering (the action as worship), it is an act of charity”. [Ahmad; Sahih Al-Bukhari; Sahih Muslim]

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Having said that, the wife is the guardian of her husband’s wealth, particularly if her work is solely in the home. If she needs to utilise his wealth or property, she may do so with a degree of understanding between them. Allah, The Most High, says: “So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in (the husband’s) absence what Allah would have them guard”. [Qur’an, Surah An-Nisa: The Women 4:34]

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What is equally as incredible is that the husband does not have right to his wife’s property without her consent and she is not obliged to spend in his way, if she does not choose to do so. What applies, at the time of marriage, with the endowment of the ‘Mahr’ or marriage gift also applies in the marital space. Allah, The Most High, says: “And give the women (upon marriage) their (bridal) gifts graciously. But if they give up willingly to you anything of it, then take it in satisfaction and ease”. [Qur’an, Surah An-Nisa: The Women, 4:4] The Saudi cleric Sheikh Abdullah Ibn Jibreen (may Allah have mercy upon him) said: “The wife owns her wealth and she has the right to dispose of it. She may give it as gifts, give it in charity, pay off her debts, give up her rights to money that she is owed or give up her right to inheritance to whomever she wants, whether relatives or others. Her husband has no right to object if she is mature and of sound mind. Her husband does not have the right to dispose of any of her wealth except with her consent”. [Fataawa Al-Mar’ah Al-Muslimah, 2/674] Therefore, when it comes to one’s property, Islam teaches us that in the marital relationship, one must have the utmost respect for the trusts given by Allah, in the form of wealth. In this, we can say that our individualities and aspirations, much of which involves our monetary treasures are made emphatically sacred even within matrimony, such that there is no room for one to take advantage of their spouse. The idea of being in a relationship in which a male’s responsibility is harnessed to his family

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will provide assurance to any woman that her needs are important to her; this in itself provides security within the confines of the marital home. A key question that one may ask is, ‘does this mean that a woman should not go out to work?’ Allah, The Most High, says: “And abide in your houses and do not display yourselves as (was) the display of the former times of ignorance. And establish prayer and give Zakah (obligatory alms giving) and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah intends only to remove from you the impurity (of sin), O people of the (Prophet’s) household, and to purify you with (extensive) purification”. [Qur’an, Surah Al-Ahzab: The Combined Forces, 33:3] We need to keep in mind the context of these verses and for whom they were revealed to. The wives (may Allah be pleased with them) of the

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Prophet (pbuh) were being directly and specifically addressed. Preceding the revelation of this verse, they were commanded not to soften their speech when conversing with ‘non-Mahram’ (marriageable) men due to necessity. After being told to stay in their homes, they were commanded not to overtly display their charms. Whilst Muslim women are expected to follow the examples of the Mothers of the Believers (may Allah be pleased with them); this does not mean that women do not have an important role outside of the home, as well as inside the home. Women are a part of society and should be seen and acknowledged in participating in the function of society. Muslim women can take on beneficial and praiseworthy careers, such as supporting or leading roles in education, health, engineering, law and medicine.

Our history denotes across time and space, women who were the shapers and promoters of their respective localities; were at the forefront of change. In the same way that Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) was pivotal to the spread and awareness of Islam, effectively establishing herself as a primary ‘Dawah’ carrier (inviting others to Islam), as was Nana Asma’u, an educator and poet during the Sokoto Caliphate in West Africa, as was Rufaida Al-Aslamia, a medical nurse from the Bani Aslam tribe in Madinah. Seeking knowledge that is beneficial for one’s self, their religion and the wider community is a pathway to the ultimate pleasure of Allah. Why should anyone prevent this for one’s spouse? The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Whoever follows a way to seek knowledge, Allah will make easy for him a way to Paradise”. [Sahih Al-Bukhari] What is normally seen as a modern construction is in fact found within the rights afforded to Muslim women; the right to be able to earn an education and not be prevented from doing so by her husband. There should of course be amicable arrangements that accommodate other responsibilities that she has within the household. What the UN Convention determines a right is in fact also an obligation in Islam. May Allah make us of those who fervently seek knowledge, act upon it and be benefited by it. Ameen. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in fact made such an endeavour an obligation for both men and women. “To seek knowledge is obligatory on every Muslim”. [Sahih Muslim; Sahih AlBukhari]

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The wife should also be taken as a companion by her husband and both spouses should have love, affection and mercy for each other. Did not Allah, The Most High, say: “And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquillity in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought”. [Qur’an, Surah Ar-Rum: The Romans, 30:21] It reminds me fondly of a saying and advice that my mother repeatedly used to say to me, in the kind of husband she wanted for me: “I want you to have a husband who is not just a husband, but one who will be a brother to you, a friend”.

One should not take for granted the guidelines from the Qur’an and Sunnah on such matters because the Islamic guidelines provide a foundation for a stable marital framework. These can be adjusted to suit the distinctive needs and nature of the respective relationship; relating to custom and locality. Such guidelines and others that have not been mentioned allow for clarity, which makes a marital relationship more amicable and structured leading to peace and security. I pray to Allah, The Most Merciful, to place ‘Barakah’ (Divine goodness and blessing) in all marital relationships and may He guide us to follow in the footsteps of His Beloved Messenger (pbuh) in all matters. Ameen.

According to the well acclaimed author and marriage counsellor John Gray, in his acclaimed book Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, he states: “Men are motivated when they feel needed while women are motivated when they feel cherished”. Both men and women should always show affection and continuously develop love and mercy in all its forms. A Muslim woman is expected to cater to her husband’s physical needs, but he too must ensure that he does the same in the spirit of what is considered lawful in Islam. Therefore, the substantiation that there is room for physical or mental abuse or mistreatment is unacceptable on either side and runs contrary to Islamic teachings. One should take from the example of the Prophet (pbuh) in the way that he dealt with his wives; of which there are scores of examples shown in his biography. “The best of you is he who is best to his family, and I am the best among you to my family”. [Al-Tirmidhi]

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Nasrine Abdirachid shares her top tips on how to avoid marital conflict and maintain a happy and healthy matrimonial life. Nasrine juggles work and marital life in the heart of Kenya, bustling Nairobi.

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hether it was an extravagant event, with chandeliers and bespoke napkins or a quiet family affair, the chaos of the wedding is finally over. The presents have been opened; the feast has finished and now, is the start of the marriage. The umpteen books you have read, countless lectures you have attended and numerous articles (such as this one) you have perused will not fully prepare you for your marriage. This is because every marriage is different; the person giving the lecture or writing the article will only give you advice drawn from his or her own experiences, but only Allah, The Most High, knows what will be in store for you. That being said, Islam gives us great pointers on how to maintain a harmonious matrimonial life, both in the Qur’an and ‘Sunnah’ (teachings and practices of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him). Islam teaches us the purpose of marriage, what is expected from both parties with beautiful examples of love and harmony between husband and wife.

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The Honeymoon Phase The honeymoon phase often refers to the first few months after a wedding when both husband and wife are feeling the initial excitement of the milestone. This period is beautifully loving and romantic. You spend many hours in each other’s company, setting time aside to make memories. Sweet words and soft-spoken conversations during this time is the norm. It is during this phase when a couple tends to be highly sensitive, courteous and considerate of each other’s feelings. Although this phase is lovely, the stage that immediately follows is the most critical time during every marriage. It is every couple’s wish to make the honeymoon phase last for as long as possible, so the blow can be pretty hard when it does end. Be it in the form of work or an academic life, the end is usually signaled by the return of a rather monotonous routine. The couple starts to slowly return to pre-marital commitments and hobbies. During this “post-honeymoon” phase, couples begin to truly understand each other’s habits and pet peeves. Their true colours and character begins to show because as human beings it is only for so long that we can be the absolute best versions of ourselves. This stage is pivotal in a marriage as it can sway either towards forming a stronger relationship or a broken one. The common stresses of life can weigh heavy on a young marriage and it is often throughout the post-honeymoon phase that divorces occur. It is during this time that couples have to set their own house rules, rather than those they followed in their parents’ home. They have to come to agreements and create boundaries. They are no longer living life as an individual, but as a married person, whereby they need to create harmony in the household to appease all parties. The only way to achieve this is through an open dialogue.

Communication A heated argument usually occurs when a topic is brought up during the heat of it, coupled with

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other stresses, which can put a strain on the situation. For example, you have come home from a long, tiring day at work and there is yet another dish in the sink. You decide to bring it up in that moment in an angry tone that causes your spouse to reply defensively (because they too have had a long day) and thus an argument is sparked. Raised voices and disrespect has caused you both to say things you do not mean and now it is not about a dirty dish anymore. You go to sleep angry and go about your day the following morning without speaking to one another. An unwashed mug has caused an unnecessary tension that will now take more than a “sorry” to fix. A better way would be to bring it up in a discussion and perhaps the dirty dish scenario could have been dealt with differently. You have noticed the dirty dish and it has angered you. The Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) advice is to utter the words: “A’udhu billahi min ash shaytanir Ilma Magazine / Issue 18


and reaching a compromise; they promise to wash their dishes and you will set a reminder on your phone to grab groceries after work. Discussions are encouraged, arguments should be limited and fights should be avoided at all costs. Whenever a marital dispute arises, both parties should always remember that the Prophet (pbuh) said: “A believer must not hate a believing woman (i.e. his wife): if he dislikes one of her characteristics, he will be pleased with another”. [Sahih Muslim, 1469]

Top Tips on Keeping Romance Alive Once a couple has succeeded in engaging in an open dialogue and has endeavored to remain steadfast in their relationship during the post-honeymoon phase, the relationship tends to feel much more secure. You begin to understand each other better. You avoid that which your spouse dislikes and try to do that which pleases them and begin to see the return of the initial romance. Here are some top tips on how to maintain the romance and harmony for many years, In shaa Allah (if Allah wills). 1. Maintaining your physical appearance rajim” (I seek refuge in Allah from Satan) and rather than speaking on it immediately to keep silent on the matter. The Prophet (pbuh) said: “If any of you becomes angry, let him keep silent”. [Reported by Imam Ahmad, Al-Musnad, 1/329] Drinking a glass of water to calm you down and washing the dish is a better way to deal with the situation. You should then bring up the issue during a time when you and your spouse are cool, calm and collected. Maybe start off with some praise (you enjoyed the biscuits they bought from the supermarket) and proceed to tell them that you would prefer if everyone cleaned their own dishes straight away to avoid a pile-up at the end of the day. Ideally, your spouse would accept the criticism and rectify the issue, but be prepared for a rebuttal. This now gives them the opportunity to raise an issue with you and this could cause an argument. Avoid arguments by maintaining a soft voice Ilma Magazine / Issue 18

Taking care of how you look is highly important in keeping the romance alive in a marriage. The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Cleanliness is half of faith”. [Sahih Muslim, 223] This means it is a must for every Muslim to maintain good personal hygiene and take care of their outwardly appearance. Bathing regularly is a requirement in Islam. The Prophet (pbuh) said: “It is the duty of every Muslim to take a bath (at least) once every seven days and to wash his head and body”. [Sharh As-Sunnah, 2/166] Beautifying oneself only for your spouse’s eyes is another way to take care of your appearance; this might be through the use of cosmetics, perfume or adornments (such as jewellery). However, this does not only apply to wives, but also husbands. Maintaining your hair and beard and applying perfume for your wife is highly recommended.

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It is reported in Al-Bayhaqi on the authority of Ikrimah ibnAmr ibn Hisham (may Allah be pleased with him), on the authority of Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: “Verily I love to beautify myself for women just as I love women to beautify themselves for me because Allah says:“And the women have the same rights as those that are over them from what is reasonable”. [Surah Al-Baqarah, The Cow, 2: 228] 2. Spend quality time The Prophet (pbuh) teaches us that spending time with your spouse is never a waste: “Everything other than remembering Allah is (considered) wasteful play except four: a man humouring his wife, a man training his horse, a man walking between targets (learning archery), and man learning swimming”. [Narrated by An-Nasaa’i and authenticated by Al-Albaani; Sahih Al-Jami’, 4534] Try to greet your spouse with a smile and cheerful ‘salam’ (greetings of peace) upon seeing them after a long day. Avoid starting the conversation with your sorrows and problems, but begin with laughter, a joke (though not at their expense) and general positivity. Spend moments telling one another funny stories and do not shy away from laughter. 3. Taking interest in your spouse’s interests Asking questions and showing an interest in your spouse’s hobbies and passions increases the love in a marriage. It shows your spouse that you are willing to learn about that which they enjoy, due to the love you have for them. A’ishah bint Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with her) reported: “It was the day of celebration (Eid) and the Abyssinians were playing with shields and spears. Either I asked the Prophet (pbuh) or he asked me whether I would like to watch. I said yes. Then the Prophet made me stand behind him while

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my cheek was touching his cheek and the Prophet (pbuh) was saying,“Carry on, O tribe of Arfida”. I became tired and the Prophet (pbuh) asked me, “Are you satisfied?” I said yes, so I left”. [Sahih Al-Bukhari, 907; Sahih Muslim, 892] The Prophet (pbuh) saw that A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) was interested in watching the celebrations and provided her with a means to do so. He (pbuh) remained with her until she had watched enough. 4. Respect their privacy Sometimes private moments are necessary in maintaining a healthy balance. It is recommended that you spend time separately, pursuing different hobbies. Privacy to pray or read the Holy Qur’an can be very useful. 5. Spend within your means Finances can be a big cause for conflict within marriages, so spending within your means is important to maintain harmony. It is important for both husband and wife to understand the budgeting of the household and to reach agreements on how much each person should spend. Do not allow your eyes to wander and seek unnecessary luxuries that will put a strain on your finances, but rather be content with that which Allah has given you. 6. Guide each other Lastly, guiding each other to seek knowledge in the way of Allah, The Most High and leading your spouse to ‘Jannah’ (Paradise) through encouragement and advice is very important, ensuring that every act you do within your marriage is ‘Fisabilillah’ (in the path of Allah). May Allah grant happy and healthy matrimonial lives for all those who are married and those seeking marriage. Ameen.

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“(And mention) when the angels said, "O Mary, indeed Allah gives you good tidings of a word from Him, whose name will be the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary - distinguished in this world and the Hereafter and among those brought near (to Allah)”. [Qur’an, Surah Ali Imran: Family of Imran, 3:45]

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here is no doubt amongst religious and secular scholars that Jesus (peace be upon him) was born and lived some two thousand years ago. Historians also agree on the impact of this person upon humanity all over the globe, particularly in relation to the Christian religion. But what about the legacy of Jesus (pbuh) within the Islamic religion? How do Muslims view Jesus (pbuh) and what impact did he have on Islam? Jesus or Isa (pbuh) is the name by which he is known and referred to in the Holy Qur’an is loved and revered by Muslims as well as Christians, though in very different ways. The time of Easter particularly highlights this. Easter is a Christian festival and considered to be a tangible link in illustrating the importance of Isa (pbuh) in Christian theology and worship, yet, it also represents a parting of the ways between Muslims and Christians in their understanding of the Messiah (pbuh). There is no doubt of the immensely high position Isa (pbuh) holds in Christianity. He is a pivotal figure of the Christian faith and the observance of Easter is testament to that. From Good Friday to Easter Sunday, Christians all over the world commemorate Isa (pbuh) and his supposed resurrection from the dead.

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stre, the Goddess of Spring and hence, these treats were absorbed into Christian traditions with their reinterpretation, rather than eliminating them altogether. Finally, Easter Sunday is the main celebration and remembrance of Isa’s (pbuh) resurrection from the dead, according to Christian theology. The resurrection solidifies Isa’s (pbuh) position as a central figure of Christianity, but the love and reverence of Isa (pbuh) is taken to the point where he is considered divine within most of the Christian denominations.

Isa (pbuh) in Islam

The week before Easter is known by Christians as a Holy Week, during which we come across anniversaries of pivotal events on the Christian calendar, such as ‘Maundy Thursday’ which commemorates the “Maundy” or feet washing of Isa (pbuh) as well as the last supper with his disciples. This is closely followed by Good Friday, a day that commemorates the alleged crucifixion. We see this symbolised today by the famous “hot cross buns”, on which a cross is made with icing. Although, in reality the “hot cross bun” actually pre-dates this Christian festival and can be traced back to the Saxon tradition of making buns as an offering to Eo-

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Nearly six hundred years later the Prophet Muhammad (phub) received his revelations from Allah, The Most High, via the Angel Jibril (Gabriel, may Allah exalt his mention) and with it came a new understanding of Prophet Isa’s (pbuh) life. Isa (pbuh) is an important figure in Islamic theology, one of the five greatest Prophets, alongside Noah, Abraham, Moses and Muhammad (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon them all), but as with all the Prophets of Islam (peace be upon them), he is not considered to be more than a man. Yet, does this suggest that we as Muslims love Isa (pbuh) any less because we deny he is the ‘Son of God’? The answer is an emphatic no. Islam is a religion built upon ‘Tawheed’, the understanding that Allah is One and shares His sovereignty with

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none other. This concept can be developed further to include the understanding that Allah, as the Creator, cannot be compared to any of his creation, least of all mankind. Fatherhood in its literal understanding is a human attribute; therefore we cannot accept that Isa (pbuh) is the ‘Son of God’. The Qur’an states in Surah AlIkhlas: “Allah, the Eternal Refuge. He neither begets nor is born, nor is there to Him any equivalent”. [Qur’an, Surah Al-Ikhlas: The Sincerity, 2-4] So where does that leave Muslims and our understanding and love of Prophet Isa (pbuh)? One of the tenants of the Muslim doctrine is the belief in all the Prophets (peace be upon them), but it is understood that they are human, albeit exemplary examples of mankind.

made him a venerated figure. The scholar Ibn Kathir (may Allah have mercy upon him) stated that as well as prophethood and apostleship, Isa (pbuh) was honored with many other great qualities and characteristics. The Qur’an clearly refers to his honor: (And mention) when the angels said, “O Mary, indeed Allah gives you good tidings of a word from Him, whose name will be the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary - distinguished in this world and the Hereafter and among those brought near (to Allah)”. [Qur’an, Surah Ali Imran: Family of Imran, 3:45]

It may seem from this that Islam demotes the status of Isa (pbuh) from his Christian legacy; however, a deeper understanding of the evidence provided in the Qur’an suggests something different. Isa (pbuh) was indeed the last Prophet and Messenger before Muhammad (pbuh). He came to denounce the practices of the Pharisees and to reinforce the Law of Moses or Musa (pbuh). He too invited the people to Tawheed, to worship Allah as the One God, with no mediators. Nevertheless, it was not just his message that

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The rank of Isa (pbuh) is evident in the ability that Allah, The Most High, bestowed upon him to cure the leper, the blind and to bring back to life those who had already died. Those wonderful abilities were part of worldly honour. He was also endowed with great wisdom and knowledge, as the Qur’an states: (The Day) when Allah will say, “O Jesus, Son of Mary, remember My favour upon you and upon your mother when I supported you with the Pure Spirit and you spoke to the people in the cradle and in maturity; and (remember) when I taught you writing and wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel…” [Qur’an, Surah Al-Ma’ida: The Table Spread, 5:110] A point on which both Muslims and Christians agree on is that after the miraculous nature of Isa’s (pbuh) birth to the Virgin Mary or Maryam (peace be upon her), the next anomalous events in his life were the words he spoke from his cradle:

who will follow him, thirdly, towards mankind, and his responsibility to his mother. As Isa (pbuh) matured into adulthood, his good character became evident. His truthfulness, justice and humbleness were demonstrated in his model conduct of living. His peaceful disposition and gentleness had a great impact on people in spreading peace, harmony and blessing throughout the community: “Jesus, son of Maryam, saw a person committing theft; thereupon Jesus said to him, “You committed theft”. He said,“Nay, by him besides whom there is no God (I have not committed theft)”. Thereupon Jesus said,“I affirm my faith in Allah. It is my own self that deceived me”. [Sahih Al-Bukhari; Sahih Muslim]

(Jesus) said, “Indeed, I am the servant of Allah. He has given me the Scripture and made me a Prophet. And He has made me blessed wherever I am and has enjoined upon me prayer and Zakat (obligatory alms giving) as long as I remain alive. And (made me) dutiful to my mother, and He has not made me a wretched tyrant. And peace is on me the day I was born and the day I will die and the day I am raised alive”. [Qur’an, Surah Maryam: Mary, 19:30-33] This verse highlights the four responsibilities imposed upon Isa (pbuh). Firstly, towards Allah, The Most High, secondly, towards those

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This ‘Hadith’ (recorded tradition) emphasises not only the truthful character of Isa (pbuh) but also his humbleness by taking the blame upon himself, due to the possibility that his eyes may have deceived him. His words are highly meaningful and they have an implied reference to the fact that Isa (pbuh) was a human being and therefore he could not consider himself to be infallible. A final and crucial point of distinction between the Islamic and Christian understanding of Isa (pbuh) is the issue of the crucifixion; whilst in Christianity, it is taught that Isa (pbuh) was killed, we as Muslims follow the final revelation which affirms the reality of the matter, clarified for Muslims and non-Muslims alike: “And (for) their saying,“Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah”. And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but (another) was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain. Rather, Allah raised him to Himself. And ever is Allah Exalted in Might and Wise”. [Qur’an, An-Nisa: The Women, 4:157-158] Allah spared Isa (pbuh) this undignified ending. Instead of dying on the cross, Isa (pbuh) ascended into Paradise from a hole in the house, whilst one of his disciples volunteered to take his place, by sacrificing his own life this noble companion guaranteed his place in Paradise. Prophet Isa (pbuh) will return to destroy the ‘Ad-Dajjal’ (The False Messiah and Antichrist),

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clarify his position as a man who called to God alone without ascribing himself nor others as partners with the Creator; he will lead the Muslims in a new age, and he will live a normal life. Therefore, Prophet Isa (pbuh) is part of Islamic history, of the call between good and evil, between monotheism and idolatry; and he will return in the future to fulfill his destiny as the Messiah (pbuh). This is the true status and significance of Prophet Isa (pbuh). I end with the words of Sheikh Ahmed Deedat (may Allah have mercy upon him): “No Muslim is a Muslim if he does not believe in Jesus (pbuh). We believe that He was one of the mightiest Messengers of God”.

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Anum Babar has a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Politics, and is currently studying Islamic Scholarship at the prestigious Al-Salam Institute in London. She brings inspirational knowledge into her writing.

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“Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from Al-Masjid Al-Haram to Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa, whose surroundings we have blessed, to show him of our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing”. [Qur’an, Surah Al-Isra: Night Journey, 17:1]

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llah, The Most High, promises His servants that “Indeed with hardship will be ease”. [Qur’an, Surah As-Sharh: The Relief: 94:6]

One of the most difficult years for the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the ‘Year of Sorrow’, and this is when Allah, The Most High, had gifted him with a beautiful guidance to aid and strengthen him, a gift which changed the course of history.

A Glimpse into the Year of Sorrow The Year of Sorrow was one of the most intense periods of time for our beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh); this is because three fateful incidents took place consecutively. These events caused the Prophet (pbuh) extreme distress and a feeling of loss; the death of his uncle Abu Talib, the death of his first wife Khadija bint Khuwaylid (may Allah be pleased with her) and finally the horrific and extraordinary incident of Taif. Abu Talib Ibn Abd Al-Muttalib was the paternal uncle of the Prophet (pbuh), who took care of him (pbuh) as a young child and continued to do so throughout his adulthood. Therefore, the Prophet (pbuh) was close to his uncle and his kinship provided the Prophet (pbuh) with great protection during his early prophethood. When Abu Talib’s death had approached, the Prophet (pbuh) pleaded him to submit to Allah, The Most High, however, he did not accept Islam.

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Following his uncle’s death, the Prophet (pbuh) returned home feeling sorrowful and discouraged. This is when Allah, The Most Wise, sent down verses from the Holy Qur’an to console the Prophet (pbuh) as a reminder of His Might: “You do not guide those you love. Allah guides whom He will, and He knows best those who would be guided”. [Qur’an, Surah Al-Qasas: The Stories: 28:56] Few months later, the Prophet (pbuh) was tested once again with the death of his beloved wife Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her). The passing of his closest and most comforting companion caused him tremendous distress and sorrow. After the death of Abu Talib, the insults from the Quraysh tribe had become more intense and when he returned home he would no longer find his affectionate wife waiting to console him. The incident of Taif also proved a difficult time for the Prophet (pbuh), whereby he travelled to the city of Taif (situated in the Makkah region) to preach Islam, but instead, he was mocked and

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all transactions, marriages and relations of his were boycotted by the enemies. The Prophet’s (pbuh) enemies rejoiced taking advantage of his sadness and vulnerability, and planned this to be the right time for their attacks against him. The treatment from his enemies began to worsen day by day, to the extent that his daughter Fatimah bint Muhammad (may Allah be pleased with her) courageously took on the role to look after her father to the best of her ability; where she would clean the dirt that was rubbed onto her dear father whilst sobbing. Her father (pbuh) would respond with affectionate words expressing his firm trust in Allah’s protection.

A Gift to the Prophet (pbuh) After the Year of Sorrow, Allah, the best of all planners, sent a

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miracle down to the Prophet (pbuh) and this miracle was like no other miracle demonstrated throughout divine history. This celestial journey is known in Arabic as ‘Al-Isra Wal-Mir’aj’. ‘Al-Isra’ means ‘to travel at night’ and ‘Al- Mir’aj’ is ‘the method of rising; ascension’. This miraculous night consisted of two separate journeys that took place; the first was Al-Isra; the journey from the ‘Masjid Al-Haram’ (The Sacred Mosque) in Makkah to ‘Masjid Al-Aqsa’ (The Farthest Mosque) in the holy city of Jerusalem and the second journey was the ascension to ‘Jannah’ (Paradise) from a place where the Dome of the Rock is situated. This journey provided the Prophet (pbuh) with the encouragement he needed at the time in order to revitalise his strength for the remainder of his prophetic mission: “Exalted is He who took His Servant by night

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from Al-Masjid Al-Haram to Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa, whose surroundings we have blessed, to show him of our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing”. [Qur’an, Surah Al-Isra: Night Journey, 17:1] The celestial journey began when the Prophet (pbuh) was approached unexpectedly in Makkah by Angel Jibril or Gabriel (may Allah exalt his mention) where his miraculous journey had begun. It was narrated by Anas Ibn Malik, from Malik bin Sa’sa’ah (may Allah be pleased with them), that the Prophet (pbuh) said: “Whilst I was at the Ka’bah, in a state between sleep and wakefulness, three men came, and one of them who was in the middle came towards me. I was brought a basin of gold, filled with wisdom and faith, and he slit open from the throat to the lower abdomen, and washed the heart with Zamzam water, then

it was filled with wisdom and faith”. [Sahih Al-Bukhari] The Prophet’s (pbuh) heart was washed with Zamzam water, which came from the well located within the Al-Haram and it still exists to this day. This water is blessed and he was washed with it for his heart to be strengthened whilst on the journey to Paradise. The sheer greatness of this miracle would otherwise have had been unbearable for any human being to endure. In order to complete this journey from one city to another city and then to Paradise, the Prophet (pbuh) was taken on an extraterrestrial animal known as ‘Al-Buraq’. It was white and long, slightly larger than a donkey, but smaller than a mule; its speed could reach the distance as far as the visual range could take the animal.

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Before embarking on the journey, he prayed two ‘Ra’kah’ (prescribed movements and words) in Masjid Al-Haram and then mounted Al-Buraq, where he was taken to various places to pray and then finally, he was sent to ‘Bait Al-Maqdis’ (The Pure Holy House); another name for Masjid Al-Aqsa. The Prophet (pbuh) tied Al-Buraq to a post and it was the same post used by previous Prophets (peace be upon them) to tie Al-Buraq. Before beginning to pray in Masjid Al-Aqsa, the Prophet (pbuh) turned around and saw all the Prophets (peace be upon them), whom were lined up to pray with him and waiting for him to lead the congregation. [Seerah of Prophet Muhammad (21): Night Journey and Ascension to Heavens (1), Yasir Qadhi: 2012] Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that when seeing all of Allah’s Messengers (peace be upon them), the Prophet (pbuh) said: “On the night of my ascension to Paradise, I saw (the Prophet) Moses who was a thin person with lank hair, looking like one of the men of the tribe of Shanua; and I saw Jesus who was of average height with red face as if he had just come out of a bathroom. And I resemble Prophet Abraham more than any of his offspring does. Then I was given two cups; one containing milk and the oth-

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er wine. Gabriel said, “Drink whichever you like”. I took the milk and drank it. Gabriel said, “You have accepted what is natural, (True Religion i.e., Islam) and if you had taken the wine, your followers would have gone astray”. [Seerah of Prophet Muhammad (21): Night Journey and Ascension to Heavens (1), Yasir Qadhi: 2012; Sahih Al-Bukhari] The Prophet (pbuh) was then taken on the second part of this journey, Al-Mir’aj. During his tour of the seven heavens, Angel Jibril (may Allah exalt his mention) was questioned at each gate by the angels who were assigned as gatekeepers. They asked whether or not the Prophet (pbuh) had permission to enter and Angel Jibril (may Allah exalt his mention) had responded with a “yes” every time. Angels created by Allah to worship Him alone are pure and do not hold the ability to commit sin, therefore their response was taken as the ultimate truth and entry was granted immediately. It was narrated by Malik bin Sasaa (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (pbuh) talked to them about the night of his ascension to Paradise. He said: “(Then Gabriel took me) and ascended up till he reached the second heaven where he asked for the gate to be opened, but it was asked,“Who is it?” Gabriel replied, “I am Gabriel”. It was

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asked, “Who is accompanying you?” He replied,“Muhammad”. It was asked, “Has he been called?” He said, “Yes”. When we reached over the second heaven, I saw Yahya (i.e. John) and Jesus who were cousins. Gabriel said, “These are John (Yahya) and Jesus, so greet them”. I greeted them and they returned the greeting saying, “Welcome, O Pious Brother and Pious Prophet!” [Sahih AlBukhari] At every gate the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was welcomed by a previous Messenger of Allah, all of whom had also encountered great hardship in the ‘Dunya’ (temporal world). Upon reaching the sixth heaven, the Prophet (pbuh) was welcomed by Prophet Musa (Moses, pbuh) who he embraced. As the Prophet (pbuh) prepared to ascend to the seventh heaven, Prophet Musa (pbuh) began to weep. Prophet Musa (pbuh) was then asked for what purpose was he weeping? Prophet Musa (pbuh) stated that Muhammad (pbuh) would have a larger following than his, of which more of them would enter Jannah (Paradise). Prophet Musa (pbuh) was positively envious as he hoped for his ‘Ummah’ (community) to have earned the most rewards.

A Gift to Mankind The most treasured part of the

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Prophet’s (pbuh) ascension to Paradise was yet to be experienced; the ultimate pleasure, which was to be in the company of Allah, The Most High. Upon entering the highest heaven (seventh), the Prophet (pbuh) could only see abundant light, which had completely engulfed our Lord and when the Prophet (pbuh) returned from Al-Isra Wal-Mir’aj he described it as ‘Nur’ (light): “Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The example of His light is like a niche within which is a lamp, the lamp is within glass, the glass as if it were a pearly (white) star lit from (the oil of) a blessed olive tree, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil would almost glow even if untouched by fire. Light upon light. Allah guides to His light whom He wills. And Allah presents examples for the people, and Allah is Knowing of all things”. [Qur’an, Surah Al-Nur: The Light, 24:35] In this meeting Allah, The Most High, gifted the Prophet (pbuh) with a necessary guide for him and mankind. This gift was the prescription of ‘Salawat’ (Prayers). Although, Salawat was prescribed to the Muslims and the People of the Book (Jews and Christians), in this instance Salawat was made ‘Fard’ (obligatory). The Prophet (pbuh) was initially told that his Ummah are commanded to pray fifty times a day, of which

the Prophet (pbuh) had told Prophet Musa (pbuh). Prophet Musa (pbuh) had responded by telling him that this was unrealistic and difficult for worshippers to do, and to request for Allah to reduce the daily prayers. Allah, The Most High, already knew of this matter and every time the Prophet (pbuh) would ask for a reduction, Allah, The Most Merciful, would reduce the number of daily prayers to five less until the number had reached five daily prayers in total. The Prophet (pbuh) became too shy to ask for another reduction and thus, returned to earth with the prescription of five daily prayers, which is now one of the five essential pillars of Islam. Salawat provided the Prophet (pbuh) with the constant boost he needed throughout his life. It acted as a form of communication with our Lord and solace for when he was in dismay. The gift of Salawat was sent as a mercy to mankind and holds great significance for those who reflect. This journey was truly a miracle of Allah; it demonstrates how Merciful Allah, The Most High is, especially when the Prophet was dealing with deep sorrow. Indeed with hardship comes ease. May Allah make it easy for the Ummah to fulfil our purpose in life and to remain steadfast in remembering Him. Ameen.

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A TRAVELLER’S GUIDE BODY MIND SOUL FOOD BITES RECOMMENDED READING ISLAM CHANNEL PROGRAMMES

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A Traveller’s Guide:

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

Altstadt (Old Town) Lake Zürich Swiss National Museum Zoo Zürich Bahnhofstrasse (City Centre)

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CITY PROFILE

Zürich

Country: Switzerland Capital: Bern is the de facto capital, referred to by the swiss as their ‘federal city’ Largest city: Zürich Official languages (in order by number of speakers): German, French, Italian and Romansh Major religion: No official state religion Currency: Swiss Franc Best time to travel: There is no off-season in Zürich. The city is beautiful all year around. However, if you do not enjoy crowds, avoid visiting Zürich during spring and summer when prices are higher and there are more tourists.

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Overview Switzerland is officially a Swiss Confederation located in Western and Central Europe bordered by Italy, France, Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein. Switzerland is divided into 26 cantons depending on their location. Cantons are the member states of the Swiss Confederation. Interestingly, Switzerland does not have an official capital, but rather a de facto capital, the city of Bern in the canton of Bern. Zürich is the largest city in Switzerland and the capital of the canton of Zürich. It is the most visited city in Switzerland and home to the largest financial district in the world, despite having only approximately four hundred thousand inhabitants. Zürich is also a very popular tourist destination for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. It is a captivating and beautiful city visited by millions of tourists each year. Ilma Magazine / Issue 18


Positioned in the north central of Switzerland at the northwestern tip of Lake Z端rich, the main official language of Z端rich is German, but the spoken language is the local variant of the Alemannic Swiss German dialect. Humans had permanently settled for over two thousand years from the times of the Romans. However, there is evidence of early settlements dating back to 6400 years BC. Z端rich Hauptbahnhof is the largest railway station and a major railway hub in Europe with over 1900 connections per day. Intercity trains leave every half an hour and connect many Swiss and European cities by train all within a few hours of each other, such as Paris, Berlin and Amsterdam. Z端rich Airport, also known as Kloten Airport is a principle hub for Swiss airlines which makes it an easy to reach city and a perfect place to visit whether it is for a weekend getaway or a family vacation. 56 out of the 111 sites of the UNESCO prehistoric pile dwellings are located in Switzerland. The prehistoric pile dwellings are a series of settlements located in the Alps and its surrounding. These dwellings were built from around 5000 to 500 BC on the edges of lakes, rivers and wetlands. Many of these prehistoric dwellings today are located under water or have been built on top of them. Numerous museums have exhibitions with artifacts from that era. Today, these artifacts present a true to life picture of what life in the Neolithic and Bronze era looked like. As a Muslim traveller you will be spoiled for choice when it comes to finding Muslim-friendly attractions. There are plenty of museums, nature exploring and shopping activities available, ready to please every visitor.

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Altstadt (Old Town)

Lake Zürich

One of the most breathtaking places in Zürich is the Old Town, Altstadt, which is definitely the soul of Zürich. Striking medieval architecture and cobble streets with a view of the lake makes this part of Zürich truly magical.

Lake Zürich or Zürisee as it is known in Swiss German is a lake extending on the southeast of Zürich. The lake is formed by the Linth River, which starts from the glaziers of the Glarus Alps; a form of mountains in the Swiss Alps.

Hip cafes, shops, galleries and beautiful buildings accommodate you through the small streets, which inevitably end up by the shores of Lake Zürich. Altstadt is the home to many of the city’s attractions and is the perfect starting point for exploring Zürich. It is highly recommended for you to enjoy the sunset in the Old Town since the glow of the sun on the buildings creates a picturesque backdrop for photography.

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The lake presents beautiful views and offers a tangle of pathways for you to walk through parks and gardens, which are perfect for exploring during your visit in Zürich. The views and scenery makes this city even more attractive. During the summer many locals and tourist even swim in designated areas of the lake. The waters can reach temperatures up to 20 ºC during the hot month of August. One of the most fun ways of exploring Lake Zürich in the summer months is by taking a boat ride around its shore. Ilma Magazine / Issue 18


Swiss National Museum The Swiss National Museum is one of the most important art museums of cultural history in Europe. It is located next to Zürich Hauptbahnhof (railway station) and within walking distance from the Old Town and Lake Zürich. Once you step into the museum you are taken on a historic journey from the prehistoric dwellings to the Middle Ages and all the way up to the 20th century. It also hosts a large porcelain collection as well as wooden sculptures, panel paintings and carved altars.

Zoo Zürich Zoo Zürich is located just above the city of Zürich in Zürichberg and it spans over 27 hectares of land. It is the largest and most visited cultural and educational institution in Zürich. The main objective of the Zoo is not only to provide a fun experience for its visitors but also to get people interested in animals and to encourage them to play an active and important role in the conservation of nature and protection of animals. When visiting the Zoo Zürich you must not forget to visit the Masoala Rainforest, which opened in 2004. The attraction takes its name after the Masoala Peninsula in Madagascar, which is also the source of the hundreds of different native plants and 60 different native animals.

Bahnhofstrasse (City Centre) It is time for shopping! Bahnhofstrasse is Zürich’s main shopping area located in the city centre. You will find high street brands and exclusive specialty boutiques making your shopping experience one of a kind. Bahnhofstrasse is a great place to spend your day enjoying the past architectural buildings, strolling around private banks, discovering the world’s most luxurious brands and boutiques. The street is very pedestrian friendly and you are able to travel around the city via the Zürich Tram Network, which will take you to the famous Paradeplatz Square, home to some of the most expensive real estate properties in Europe. Ilma Magazine / Issue 18

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travel tips Transportation Z端rich offers first class transportation links locally and internationally. A large number of locals as well as tourists use the public transport, such as the train and tram to explore the city. It is easy to navigate around the city as most people are able to speak English. I would highly recommend to using public transport, as it is cheaper safer than taking a taxi.

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Halal Restaurants Zürich is one of the most visited city in Switzerland by Muslims, majority of who are from the Arab countries. The city offers plenty of ‘Halal’ (permissible according to Islamic law) food options. Some of the best choices for Halal restaurants are: •

Yallah Habibi (Lebanese/Mediterranean) | Meinrad-Lienert-Strasse 27, Zürich 8003 | Opening times 11:00am - 12:00am

My Kitchen (Malaysian) | Franklinstrasse 6, Zürich 8050 | Opening times: 11:00am - 2:30pm and 6:00pm - 10:00pm

Bombay Karachi (South Asian) | Stampfenbachstrasse 32, Zürich 8006 | Opening times 10:00am - 09:30pm

Güven Restaurant & Market (Turkish) | Bahnstrasse 80, Regensdorf, Canton of Zürich 8105 | Opening times 11:00am - 10:00pm

If on the other hand, you would like to enjoy some true Swiss cuisine, the restaurants below are some of the best in the city. Please note that there may not be any Halal meat options available at these restaurants. However, on the menu there are many vegetarian and sea food options for you to try. •

Differente - Krone Unterstrass (Swiss, French, Mediterranean) | Schaffhauserstr 1, Zürich 8006 | Opening times 6:30am - 11:00pm 

Kindli (Swiss) | Pfalzgasse 1, Zürich 8001 | Opening times 11:30am - 2:00pm and 6:00pm 10:00pm

Haus Hiltl (International Cuisine) | Sihlstrasse 28 | Zürich 8001 | Open all hours

Prayer Facilities There are several prayer facilities in Zürich; therefore finding a mosque would not be difficult. Madni Masjid or Islamic Society Zürich, is located in Weinbergstrasse 147, Zürich 8806. To know more about the mosque visit www.masjid.ch There is also the Islamic Cultural Association Center located in Birmensdorfer Street 273, Zürich 8005. Zürich is a notable European city. The stunning views such as, from Lake Zürich and the very friendly locals make it a perfect city to explore and visit time and time again. There is something enchanting about Zürich because every time you visit this city you fall in love with it for different reasons. With many Halal food options and places to pray in Zürich, there is not an excuse for you not to visit Zürich this spring or summer, In shaa Allah (if Allah wills). Ilma Magazine / Issue 18

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“And if a person were given all of the world and what is in it, it would not fill his emptiness�. [Ibn Al -Q ayyi m Al -Jawziy y a h, Is la mic Sc hola r a nd J ur is t, m ay Al l ah ha v e me rc y upon him]


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Part 2: Diagnosis and Treatment of Cancer

Hafsa Waseela is in the medical field pursuing her studies to reach her ultimate vocation in becoming a Lecturer specialising in Oncology and Cancer. She is also 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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“There is no disease that Allah has created, except that He also has created its remedy�. [Sahih Al-Bukhari, 7/582]

After being introduced to different causes of cancer in Issue 17, this article aims to give you an insight of a range of diagnostic procedures and the types of treatment available.

However, cancer arises when cells abnormally divide in an uncontrolled manner. Some cancers spread out even to other organs. The cancer is then known as Metastatic cancer. There are a number of causes that can lead to cancer. Amongst them are smoking, unhealthy diet, genetics, lack of exercise, UV radiation from the sun and viral infections.

Let us remind ourselves with a brief overview of what cancer is; our body consists of millions of cells that are the basic building blocks of an organism. They have a number of roles such as structure, taking nutrients from food and converting them into energy. They also have specialised functions and normally, they divide under a controlled basis.

If one experiences a symptom or sign, the doctor will conduct an investigation to see whether it is linked to cancer or is due to another cause. At first, the doctor will ask questions about the medical history of the family and this is followed by a physical examination. Amongst the diagnostic procedures are laboratory tests, scans and other techniques.

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Laboratory tests To help in diagnosis, the doctor may want the patient to undertake various tests. For instance, blood tests and urine tests. This is to measure certain substances, such as finding proteins at abnormal levels (not within the normal reference range) can be a sign of cancer. Moreover, blood tests also assess how well your liver and kidneys are functioning. Though, it is important to state that an abnormal test result does not necessarily mean it is a sign of cancer. For instance, Prostate specific antigen (PSA) is a protein synthesised from the prostate gland. The prostate gland also produces semen. PSA is leaked into the blood. High levels can be a sign of cancer; however, it can also be due to swelling of the prostate known as prostatic hyperplasia, which is a non-cancerous condition. Moreover, it is insufficient to diagnose cancer from just urine and blood tests and thus, it requires other tests (National Cancer Institute, 2016).

Imaging techniques The purpose of this procedure is to create pictures inside the body to aid in diagnosing the problem. X-rays are a common technique and

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utilises a low dosage of radiation. They can be used to illustrate fractures or issues with the bones and joints. It can also be used to present changes in the organs, such as breasts and the lungs (MacMillan Cancer Support, 2016). There are different types of X-rays. Some use cameras to form an illustration on a computer. Other X-ray procedures require injecting a dye into the vein to present in-depth details of different areas of the body, whereas some patients need to drink a liquid that has the chemical barium (MacMillan Cancer Support, 2016). A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI scan) consists of a magnet linked to a computer, which provides detailed images. Ultrasound creates an image called a sonogram via echoes. Echoes are produced due to the ultrasound device sending out sound waves (that cannot be heard) and bounces off tissues. CT scans is an abbreviation for computerised tomography that aims to create a 3D image of the body and this is performed by being injected with a dye or a drink. This allows certain areas to be presented more clearly. In addition, there are other types of scans such as positron emission tomography (PET) where low dose radiation is used to calculate the cell activity and can also be used to distinguish whether or not the tumour is growing and whether or not it has spread to other areas of the body. PET can also be combined with CT to provide

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even more detailed images (National Cancer Institute, 2016). Furthermore, there are also specific scans such as the: bone scan, colonoscopy, mammogram, and colposcopy Bone Scan: The aim of the bone scan is to identify abnormal areas of the bone by injecting a mild radioactive substance into the brain. Colonoscopy: Is a technique that assesses the lining of the ‘bowel’ (intestine) internally, which aids in diagnosing Bowel cancer, if symptoms are being experienced. It consists of a flexible tube that has a light and camera attached to it at the end and is passed into the back passage. Photographs and samples are taken of the bowel lining. Colposcopy: Allows one to examine the ‘cervix’ (lower area of the womb) in detail using a microscope called colposcope. This test is normally undertaken if you experience symptoms linked to Cervical cancer or you have had an abnormal result after conducting a cervical screening test. Mammogram: Is a type of X-ray where low radiation is used to examine the breast tissue, for symptoms and any observations that may be linked to Breast cancer. This is part of the breast

screening procedure that can detect breast cancer no matter how small it is. Breasts are composed of fats and contain two fundamental types of tissue: connective and glandular. The connective tissue acts as a supporting mechanism, whereas glandular tissue consists of milk glands in its lobes. The sooner the Breast cancer is found, the more treatments are available; increasing their effectiveness. Breast cancer screening is normally done between the ages of fifty and seventy. At the early stages of Breast cancer, there are two common types: ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), as it progresses it becomes more invasive. It is important to state that different types of cancers are divided based upon various factors such as morphology. Morphology is the way in which the cancer cells look under the microscope. Another factor is based upon the proteins found on or in cancer cells, where in the latter they are further divided into hormone receptor-positive and triple-negative. Majority of the cancers are carcinomas. Carcinomas initiate in the epithelial cells that line the tissues and organs. In this case, it is the breast tissue. One of the fundamental types of carcinomas is called adenocarcinoma. Adenocarcinoma is when the tumour starts appearing in the glandular tissue. Sarcomas initiate in the fat, connective or muscle cells.

Biopsy A biopsy is a small surgical procedure that involves removing a sample of the tissue. It is then examined under a microscope for any signs of cancer. A biopsy can be conducted via a needle to withdraw the sample. It can be done via an endoscope which is a thin, light tube. There are two types of biopsies: incisional and excisional. An incisional biopsy removes part of the tumour, whereas an excisional biopsy removes the entire tumour (MacMillan Cancer Support, 2016).

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Bone marrow test All of our bones consist of bone marrow, which is the spongy middle area of the bones. A sample can be removed from the ‘pelvis’ (hip bone) or the ‘sternum’ (breastbone) to observe any abnormality. Is there a treatment available for cancer? There are a number of treatments available but it is always important to put emphasis that Allah is the Doctor of all Doctors and He is the one who heals (Ash-Shafi).

Surgery Surgery is the removal of tissue from the body and anaesthetic is needed prior to it. It is one of the main techniques for treatment but is dependent on a number of factors; your general health and well-being, the type of cancer, the stage it is at, how advanced the cancer is and the location of the cancer. Some forms of cancer do not require surgery, such as Leukaemia (Blood cancer) and Lymphomas; a type of cancer that

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affects the lymphatic system (part of the circulatory system and a vital part of the immune system). This is because it is spread throughout the body via the vessels and therefore surgery cannot be done all over the body as this method is not effective enough. In addition, surgery cannot be performed near a blood vessel or any sensitive area as the risks outweighs the benefits. In this case, it can cause more damage to the surrounding areas. Surgery may be the only type one would need and so the earlier the cancer is found, the easier it is for it to be removed. Some patients require other treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy before surgery, to shrink the cancer and to make the removal process easier. This is known as neo-adjuvant treatments. On the other hand, if the cancer has spread to another area of the body, then surgery cannot be a treatment option and requires radiotherapy, chemotherapy or hormonal therapy to control the symptoms. Nevertheless, in some types, it can help increase the life-span of patients and relieve symptoms. For instance, Abdominal cancers can lead to blockage of the intestines and

Ilma Magazine / Issue 18


this can lead to symptoms such as nausea and pain. Thus, operations are conducted to bypass or remove the blockage. On the contrary, there is a chance that the cancer can be removed despite spreading to an organ that resides nearby. For instance, if the cancer has spread from the kidneys to the lungs, surgery can still be conducted to remove the tumours in the lungs. Conversely, it will not cure the cancer but can lower the symptoms associated with the cancer and increase the patient’s lifespan. Furthermore, another type of surgery is called reconstructive surgery, whereby if an organ or tissue has been removed; a false object called a prosthesis is added. For instance, those who have Breast cancer may undergo mastectomy, an operation to remove breasts and a prosthetic breast can be fitted. By conducting surgery it can lower the risk of cancer. For instance, one of the main risk factors

and causes for Colon cancer, a section of the large intestine, is via a rare inherited condition called Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP). Patients with FAP may choose to remove their large intestine.

Chemotherapy This treatment method aims to kill cells (cytotoxic) and there are a number of different approved cancer drugs available. Some patients just have one chemotherapy drug; other patients have a combination of different chemotherapy drugs. It may also involve other treatment methods, such as: Radiotherapy and Hormonal therapy. The choice of drug is dependent on the patient’s health and well-being, the type of cancer, the initial location of the cancer, the organ(s) it has spread to and the grade of the cancer (how the cancer cells look under the microscope).

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Radiotherapy As the name implies, it uses radiation such as X-rays to treat illnesses and in this case, cancer. This emphasises that X-rays can be used for both diagnosis as well as treatment, in moderated doses to not influence the healthy cells but toxic enough to kill the cancer cells by destructing the DNA, which is the abbreviation for deoxyribonucleic acid and contains the genetic information of the cell. The treatment plan via radiotherapy varies from patient to patient, but the aim is to shrink the cancer and to even cure it. According to Cancer Research UK, four out of ten cancer patients undertake radiotherapy as part of their treatment. There are a number of techniques in how radiotherapy can be conducted. It can be done internally by drinking fluid that is absorbed by cancer cells or externally via X-rays (Cancer Research UK, 2014).

Hormonal therapy Hormones are chemical messengers that are created from glands within our bodies, are diffused into the blood and act on their target organ stimulating effects such as growth. Some forms of cancer require these hormones to grow. Therefore, hormonal therapy acts like an antagonistic tool by blocking and slowing the mediating ef-

fects of hormones. Hormonal therapy is most effective in cancers that depend on hormones or are influenced by hormones. For instance, cancers in the prostate, breast, ovarian, ‘endometrial’ (womb) and kidney. As an example, in Breast cancer, the hormones oestrogen and progesterone influence some breast cancers and are known as oestrogen receptor positive (ER+) and progesterone receptor positive (PR+), respectively. Oestrogen binds to its specialised receptors on cancer cells and can cause uncontrollable cell division leading to cancer progression. A common hormonal therapy is tamoxifen that is given to premenopausal and postmenopausal women. Its mode of action is to avoid oestrogen reaching the cancer cells. Recent studies have shown that tamoxifen is more effective when combined with other treatments and current cancer researchers are investigating the duration needed to take tamoxifen. Additionally, all cancer drugs may have one or more side effects, such as hair loss and thinning, fatigue, blood, nausea and others. Ultimately, cancer is a vast sea and researchers within the Oncology field are aiming to unlock answers to questions, work towards creating new effective treatments for different forms of cancer, develop methods of counteracting resistance to prevent loss, make the remainder of life secure and discover something new because Medicine and Science is a life-long learning attribute to the society.

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 Lord 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; Sahih Muslim]

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Invocation for be for e e a ting

Arabic Transliteration: “Alhamdu lillahil-ladhi ‘at’amani hadha, wa razaqanihi, min ghayri hawlin minnee wa la quwwatin”. Translation: Praise is to Allah Who has given me this food and sustained me with it though I was unable to do it and powerless. [A l -Ti rmi dhi , 3/159; Abu Da wud; Ibn Ma ja h]


By Karimah Bint Dawoud

A

ltitude, atmosphere and availability have a lot to do with people’s diet. What is suitable in one part of the world may not be suitable in another. Switzerland is completely land locked by France, Germany and Italy, and so fish is not an extensive part of the Swiss diet. However, other European influences are found in the Swiss Cuisina. Zürich has a strong German cultural influences and the main language spoken is Swiss German as opposed to French spoken in Bern or Guinevere. The Swiss diet is not very ‘Halal’ (permissible according to Islamic dietary law), but seems to suit the mountain people. Zürich is nearly 500 meters above sea level; altitude has a part to play in what they generally eat. It consists plenty of meat; pork, veal, beef, wild flesh, deer and wild boar. There are plenty of smoked, cured and processed meats in the diet, as well as artisan sausages. Most, if not all, the meat in Swiss supermarkets and restaurant will not be Halal, except

in Turkish and Asian eateries, but I would recommend you to check before ordering food. Switzerland is famous for its dairy products, particularly cheese and chocolate. You will need to ask if the cheese is vegetarian, otherwise it will be made with an enzyme called rennet, extracted from the stomachs of calves. Fried potatoes in their traditional dish called ‘rösti’ are filling, but make sure the dish is cooked in vegetable based oil like olive oil and not lard, and also make sure there is no bacon in the fried potato mix. Bread is also a staple part of the Swiss diet and bakeries are filled with various types of breads as well as tarts, sweet and savoury. You can make your own versions of Swiss dishes, such as a cheesy veggie omelette, which is a good alternative to eating meat every day. You can flavour your omelette with cheese, or add onions garlic herbs and veggies to give it an Italian flavor; it is up to you.

WARNING: People, who are taking blood thinning medication, should be cautious about consuming turmeric and ginger as well as their tablets. I would advise you to ask your doctor whether or not you could use the spices instead of the tablets, which are much easier to control. 80

Ilma Magazine / Issue 18


Apple

Oats

Blackberry

Excellent source of fibre and keeps blood sugar stable.

Slowly releases energy and calms the nervous system.

High in vitamin C and fibre.

Yoghurt

Oatbran

It is better than milk as the bacteria, it contains, from fermentation compliments the human stomach more.

High in soluble fibre, beneficial for those with high cholesterol and it is good for lowering blood sugar level.

Mixed Nuts & Seeds

Cinnamon

Ginger

Tumeric

Used as an alternative food preservative, it is anti-inflammatory; reduces arthritis pain and contains anti-infection properties. It is affective against some ulcers, regulates blood sugar, menstrual cycle and boosts fertility.

Anti-inflammatory, good for digestion, nausea and diarrhea. Eliminates cancerous cells in Ovarian cancer and slows down cancerous cell reproduction in Bowel cancer.

Anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant, which means it is excellent for anti-aging, reduces blood clots and plaque in the arteries; this in turn combats risks of strokes.

Ilma Magazine / Issue 18

High in protein, omega 3 and fatty acids; also balances the body system.

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Karimah Bint Dawoud is a qualified Islamic Nutritionist and author of the Gourmand award winning cook book Heavenly Bites: The Best of Muslim Home cooking. She is also the Director of ‘Feed the Need’ an organisation that feeds the homeless in London, UK. Follow Karimah on Twitter: @1karimah

Switzerland is the birth place of the dish Muesli, the sweet fusion of rolled oats, fruit and yoghurt. The basic recipe idea was developed in the early 19th century by Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner for patients in his hospital, as it is a wonderful healthy nourishing meal that combines all of the food groups; simple and complex carbohydrates, protein and fats. The Swiss eat Bircher Muesli any time, any place, anywhere. The process starts the night before and left to flavoury fuse together overnight. The overall colour is pink where the black berry juices blend with the yoghurt, oats and apple. You can eat it for breakfast, brunch or even as a sweet snack after supper in the

Ilma Magazine / Issue 18

evening as it is very healthy and filling. This is a great recipe for Ramadhan to eat at ‘Suhoor’ (pre-dawn meal time), before the Fajr Morning Prayer. Since I left Switzerland and became more infused with the spices of the world, I now add turmeric, ginger and cinnamon to our Muesli at Karimah’s Cuisina. We even add a good sprinkling of black seeds for that Moorish vibe. A version of this recipe is in my award winning book, Heavenly Bites: The Best of Muslim Home cooking, however, as the pages turns and the moon passes, we continue refining our craft; this is a revised improved version of the recipe

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Š Karimah Bint Dawoud


breakfast / lunch

Karimah’s Moor than Muesli overnight Preperation Time: 15 mins

Main Ingredients (per person): • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

50g / 6oz / ½ cup rolled porridge oats soaked overnight in water 75g / 3oz / ¼ cup dried sultanas or raisins 235ml / 8oz / 1 cup organic diary milk or nut milk 1 Apple 15ml / ½oz / 1 tbsp desiccated coconut (optional) 100ml / ½ cup natural yogurt 25g / 1oz / 1/3 cup flaked almonds, toasted 150g / 6-7oz / 1/3 cups blackberries, strawberries and raspberries 1 tsp dry ginger 1 tsp powdered cinnamon 1 tsp powdered turmeric 3 ml ground black pepper 7 dried dates 15ml / ½oz / 1 tbsp clear honey 15ml / ½oz / 1 tsp black seeds

Preparation: 1. Place the oats in a glass container and cover with water. Leave overnight. Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) states that: “The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) commanded us to cover any utensils, to close the tops of water bags and to turn the containers over”. This is done when

Ilma Magazine / Issue 18

there is nothing to cover the utensils, especially at night as there is a day in the year where difficulties descend and enters the utensils that are open. In this ‘Hadith’ (recorded tradition) it states if there is no cover then use a wooden stick and recite in Arabic “Bismillah” (In the Name of Allah) and place it on top of the utensils. 2. The following morning drain the oats through a cloth or sieve. This process removes phytic acid from oats that normally would deprive the body from essential minerals. 3. Place drained oats in a bowl. 4. Cut the dates open and check to make sure there are no insects inside. Chop again and add to oats. 5. Add the sultanas to the oats. 6. Add the spices; cinnamon and ginger. 7. Stir in the coconut into the oat mix. 8. Add the milk and make sure it is well mixed into the oats. 9. Wash and drain the apple and berries. Remove any green bits off the berries and add them into the oats mix. Chop the apple into small pieces and add to the oats immediately otherwise the apple will go brown. 10. You can eat the mixture straight away or place an airtight lid and leave it in the refrigerator overnight. 11. Take out the oats mix from the refrigerator and place the quantity you want in the bowl. 12. Pour yogurt over the top. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with black seeds.

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breakfast / lunch

Swiss Cheese Omelette Preperation Time: 15 mins cooking Time: 15 mins

Main Ingredients (per person): • • • • • • • • • • •

2 free range eggs per person ½ cup of vegetarian hard cheese 30 ml olive oil 1 medium onion 1-3 cloves garlic ½ - 1 tsp ground black pepper ½ tsp sea salt ½ - 1 tsp basil, oregano (optional) ½ - 1 tsp red chili powder (optional) Courgettes, sweet peppers and mushrooms (optional) Fresh herbs like chives or parsley for garnish

Preparation: 1. Crack the eggs and whisk them in a glass jug or bowl until the egg white and egg yolk are completely mixed. 2. Place the yolk in cup/glass beaker. 3. Peel and chop garlic and set aside to allow air to get to it, which enhances its health benefits. 4. Add olive oil to a nonstick frying pan (19cm for two people) or (26cm for four people) and turn on medium heat. It is best to use a rimless lid that covers it, to flip the omelette. 5. Add chopped onion and fry till golden. If desired add the other chopped veggies. 6. Whisk the egg white till its fluffy and firm enough that you can tip the bowl or jug upside down and it remains intact. 7. Meanwhile stir veggies occasionally till softened

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and sautéed. 8. Add garlic to veggies and stir. 9. Add salt, pepper, other optional herbs and spices to egg yolk and stir. Then fold gently into a fluffy egg white. This will slightly reduce the white fluffiness. 10. Add grated cheese to the egg mixture or grate on one side of omelette. 11. Pour egg mixture into the onion/garlic mixture and stir gently. Using a fork, pull the egg mixture from the outside of the pan and inwards to the centre to make sure the eggs and vegetables get mixed thoroughly without turning it into scrambled egg. Do not stir continuously. Once you see egg/cheese mixture has mingled with the veggies, leave it to cook on low heat for five minutes 12. Using a spatula, wooden or metal, gently go round the edge of the omelette leaving it slightly away from the base of pan. Once it has cooked on one side, get the spatula under the omelette and flip it over. 13. Place lid over the pan and use tea cloth to protect yourself from any excess heat. By using the handle of the pan, turn the pan upside down, so that the omelette is tipped on to the plate. 14. Quickly return the pan to the cooker and heat. Then place the upside down omelette back into the pan. 15. If you wish, you can now grate more cheese on to the omelette. 16. Cook in low heat for further five minutes and then cut into two or four pieces before lifting out the omelette. Serve it with salad and dressing.

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Invocation for a fte r e a ting

Arabic Transliteration: “Alhamdu lillahi hamdan kathiran tayyiban mubarakan fihi, ghayra (makfiyyin wa la) muwadda’in, wa la mustaghnan ‘anhu Rabbana”. Translation: All praise is to Allah, praise in abundance, good and blessed. It cannot (be compensated for, nor can it) be left, nor can it be done without, our Lord. [Sahi h A l -B ukh a r i 6/214; Al- Tir midhi 5/507]


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Š Shahina Khatun 2015 Shahina Khatun is an Islam Channel Presenter and a graduate of Journalism. She is passionate about having the Muslim woman’s voice heard on issues ranging from race, religion and politics. She is also an up-and-coming poet and believes poetry to be a beautiful and powerful medium to connect with people. Follow Shahina on Twitter: @shahina_media and visit her blog www.lyricallyspeakingsite.wordpress.com

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The tongue was tied and the mind was blank. But today my Lord has unchained my hand. The Pen has been Raised, the mist has cleared; now let the lyrics flow. And the words inspire, like the rivers gushing forth and the roaring waves. Let the truth be told Because... The Pen has been Raised. ‌Bismillah.

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“As I look back on my life, I realise that every time I thought I was being rejected from something good; I was actually being re-directed to something better. You must convince your heart that whatever Allah has decreed is most appropriate and most beneficial for you�. [Im am A l -G hazal i, Philos ophe r a nd The ologia n, m ay Al l ah ha v e me rc y upon him]


By Anum Babar Anum Babar has a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Politics, and is currently studying Islamic Scholarship at the prestigious Al-Salam Institute in London. She brings inspirational knowledge into her writing.

“Islam is rooted in the idea that knowledge is the most potent force on earth. The more one knows, the closer one gets to the One who knows all. The Prophet, God bless and grant him peace, loved knowledge, and it is the only prayer the Qur’an commands him to supplicate (for increase): “Say: “O my Lord! Advance me in knowledge”. Hamza Yusuf, American Islamic Scholar

Ilma Magazine / Issue 18

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Al-Adab Al-Mufrad A Code for Everyday Living: The Example of the Early Muslims By Imam Al-Bukhari, Leicester: UK Islamic Academy (2012)

Al-Adab Al-Mufrad has been translated from the original Arabic text into the English language and was written by, none other than Imam Al-Bukhari (may Allah have mercy upon him), who was born in 810-870 AD/ 194-256 AH and was one of the most well-respected Islamic scholars at the time, specialising in the area of ‘Usul Al-Hadith’ (the study of collected recorded traditions). His works have transformed the lives of millions of Muslims, by accurately transmitting the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) into written books, which are now easily available across the globe. Al-Adab Al-Mufrad provides a wealth of knowledge relating to the moral conduct of early Muslims in a society that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) led. The reader is introduced on the importance of acquiring such knowledge in the modern world and how it reflects on today’s society. It contains a collection numbering 1,322 on moral conduct alone. These narrations were chosen by our dear teacher Imam Al-Bukhari (may Allah have mercy upon him) specifically on Islamic etiquette and examples of perfecting the Islamic way of life. It enables Muslims to understand that moral law is for both, the individual and the community, from inner emotions like ‘arrogance’ to external attitudes, such as ‘being a good neighbour’. Al-Adab Al-Mufrad has been written in such a manner that it is suitable for all individuals; the general reader and the academic reader alike. Practicing good moral values in Islam are vital and these values were laid down by Allah, The Most High: “…And indeed, you (Muhammad) are of a great moral character”. [Qur’an, Surah Al-Qalam: The Pen, 68:4] Available to purchase at Islamic bookshops and Amazon 94

Ilma Magazine / Issue 18


Qawa’d Fi Ulum Al-Hadith Principles of Hadith

By Mawlana Zafar Ahmad Al-Uthmani, Istanbul: Whitethread Press (2014)

Studying ‘Ahadith’ (recorded traditions) as the basis of Islamic law, theology and ethics is a science that was mastered by very few students of knowledge, who later on became prominent scholars. After the Holy Qur’an, Ahadith is the second source that is used in order to constitute ‘Shari’ah’ (Islamic Divine Law). Al-Uthmani explores the history of Hadith studies, including the four main schools of thought in Islam - Hanafi, Shafi’i, Maliki and Hanbali. He clarifies vital terms for anyone who hopes to decipher the science of Ahadith and includes comprehensive biographies of prominent scholars. Al-Uthmani’s book is slightly unique compared to other Hadith study books because he is writing from a specific perspective as he attempts to explain that the science of Ahadith is not prescriptive in the Shari’ah. He explains further that the science is not absolute or fixed, but instead relative. He outlines clear principles underlying what constitutes Ahadith extraction and offers many examples to accommodate each category mentioned. This book will attract those who have a passion for abstract theories in Islam and those who are exploring facets of Islamic Law or Ahadith related sciences. Available to purchase at Islamic bookshops and Amazon Ilma Magazine / Issue 18

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“And the servants of the Most Merciful are those who walk upon the earth easily, and when the ignorant address them (harshly), they say (words of) peace…” [ Q ur’ an, Surah A l -Furqa n: Cha pte r of The Cr ite r ion, 25:63]


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Ilma Magazine / Issue 18

Telecasts (GMT): May 2016 (Times TBC)

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“Know that a man floating on a piece of wood in the sea is not in more in need of God and His kindness than a person in his home�. [ I b n Q u d a m ah, H anbal i Theol ogi an a nd Sc hola r, ma y Alla h ha v e me rc y upon h i m]


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Profile for Ilma Magazine

Ilma Magazine | March/April 2016 | Issue 18  

Marriage deserves 'Ihsaan' (excellence) as we discussed in the previous issue, that it is half of our ‘Deen’ (religion) and rightly so. Ihsa...

Ilma Magazine | March/April 2016 | Issue 18  

Marriage deserves 'Ihsaan' (excellence) as we discussed in the previous issue, that it is half of our ‘Deen’ (religion) and rightly so. Ihsa...

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