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10!!!!"##$%&&'(())*+,-&-)'(! October 2010

Issue 8 :: IQRA- Mankind was taught by the Pen

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MUIS Sisters Learning Arabic

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Inside Words of Wisdom-Von Hersi Speaking out for Palestine Bake Sale

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"Verily, We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur'ân in order that you may understand." (V12:2)

Ramadan – The Blessing of gratitude

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Muslims response to aggression

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"And thus have We sent it (the Qur'ân) down to be a judgement of authority in Arabic. Were you (O Muhammad) to follow their (vain) desires after the knowledge which has come to you, then you will not have any Walî (protector) or Waq (defender) against Allâh."

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"A Book whereof the Verses are explained in detail — a Qur'ân in

Jam Packed- Islamic awareness week MSA Journey One world week

Exam Study tips 12 Girls Halaka interview Inspirational

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Arabic for people who know." (V41:3)

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On Being a MUIS Treasurer- Words of Wisdom Mohammed Hersi Almost a year ago, I was nominated and consented to taking up the role as treasurer for our Islamic Society here at Monash University Clayton. In hindsight, I am bewildered by the overly optimistic sentiment that allowed for that particular decision to be taken with so little research. I was taken with rather uncharacteristic enthusiasm for a role that I was very unprepared for. Indeed, I now recall a slightly too self-satisfied smile on the face of our former President, Rifat Islam, somewhat reminiscent of the cheshire cat. I cannot help but project some sinister foreknowledge in that smile. Since then, I’ve been in charge of managing the financial well being of the Islamic Society and budgeting appropriately for the events that the larger committee wishes to hold. I’ve helped to budget for, solicit donations for, fundraise for or otherwise sign a cheque for a great number of events we have held on campus since the start of the year. Last semester, we had an inordinate number of barbecues on campus from a number of clubs, with our own contribution. To round off our smaller, food-centric events, we had a Nando’s lunch for the sisters and a pizza lunch and soccer game for some of the brothers this semester. These events were not as well attended as we would have liked, partly because of our poor advertising habits, but they ended on a happy note. All these events are a pain to organise, pay for and properly receipt, the latter being more of my responsibility than anyone else. We’ve had two very 2

successful fundraising bake sales this year as well, raising $1040.00 for the Mercy Mission da’wah program in semester one and just recently, another that raised $894.55 for the victims of the Pakistan flood disaster. I need not illustrate how major an undertaking it is hosting four on-campus Iftar’s would be. The amount of organisation, planning and effort that goes into these events is what makes for a good event each night we host our members and guests in the Campus Centre Dining Hall and Cellar Rooms. All these activities have made my duties interesting and sometimes challenging, but never overly dull or routine. No one from the rest of the committee can convincingly argue with the person charged with managing the budget and guarding the chequebook with their lives. (This is, of course, is an optional but highly recommended practice of all but the most uninterested treasurers). My tenure as the treasurer of our Islamic Society will soon be over. Traditionally, we have held our Annual General Meeting in October, which provides you, our valued members, plenty of time to think about the future of our society and who shall be leading it in the year to come. Those of our members who would like to try their hand at directing the society should seriously consider speaking to the current committee members to see where their skills and talents would be deployed in the most beneficial manner. Our successes and failures have given us a wealth of experience with which to pass onto the new committee, which should help to provide for a better year for MUIS this coming 2011, insha’Allah. Getting in contact with us is easy. Drop us an email at muis@monashclubs.org and we’d be happy to answer any questions or discuss any concerns in person or electronically.


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Mohammed Hersi

SPEAKING OUT FOR PALESTINE Since the establishment of Students for Palestine on campus at the start of 2009, pro-Palestinian efforts on campus have never been so challenging and so fruitful. For a number of reasons, we’ve had cause to despair of enlightening students about the Palestinian dispossession on campus, and cause to celebrate as one of our long-term goals of becoming an official affiliated student club was finally met in the last weeks of semester.

DID YOU KNOW? Water Supplies in Gaza is unfit for Drinking. However, Israel prevents entry of any sort of materials that are needed to repair the water system. Israeli Soldiers continue to abduct children from their homes, subject them to extreme shock, and torture after leaving them battered and broken for their relatives or friends to collect. People in Gaza remain under a siege that is murderously taking innocent lives. No food, no water, no medical supples and no peace of mind. (Students for Palestine)

The issue of Palestinian dispossession can inflame political passions like no other amongst some students on campus. In others, Palestinian dispossession inspires bewilderment, as this would be one of the few issues of substance intruding into otherwise pedestrian existences made up of partying and going to class. We’ve come across the familiar apathy and hostility in abundance during our efforts to campaign for the Palestinian cause on campus, which is not unexpected. Few, if any, have a personal stake in the issue. What was unexpected was the distinct feeling of isolation in our efforts for the Palestinian cause. It seemed to us that supporters and members of Students for Palestine became less enthusiastic and committed as the news media reported less of the situation of Palestinians in Gaza and elsewhere. Our challenge, in the earlier part of the semester, was maintaining the momentum of the campaign, the moral of activists and attracting the interest of students on campus in the face of all these factors. Last semester was also immensely fruitful for the profile of Students for Palestine and Palestinian issues on campus. In April, a number of events were organized for Palestine Solidarity Week on campus, including a film screening of Occupation 101, and most importantly, the Solidarity Week BBQ, which ended successfully after a few fits and starts. Our Students for Palestine activists and volunteers, and some in the Islamic Society committee, we disappointed by the lackluster turnout among our members and those people who have a stake in the Palestinian issue to our events this last semester. Insha’Allah, the second semester will prove to be more fruitful.

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This second semester, Students for Palestine Monash, in conjunction with all the other Victorian chapters of Students for Palestine, held a special fundraising dinner on the 11th of September, at 6:30pm in the University of Melbourne Members Lounge, in the Union Building. The night comprised of halal food and rink, a Palestinian art auction, a recorded message of support from students in Gaza, a raffle and a very distinguished host; Nazeem Hussein, one half of the comedy due behind Fear of a Brown Planet. This fundraiser-contributed money towards sending much needed concrete to gaza via the VivaPalestina road convoy. Each bag of concrete required $5 rose in donations, with many hundreds or thousands of bags required to help rebuild the shattered and bombed out buildings in Gaza. VivaPalestina and Students for Palestine have chosen concrete because it is still one of the heavily restricted items that Israel prevents from entering Gaza. Many Palestinians who had their homes unceremoniously destroyed by Israeli fighter jets still live in tents and shacks, years after the destruction occurred. It was important to see many Monash Muslims there on the night to show that we care about the people of Gaza, that we care about our fellow students studying in bombed out classrooms, that we care about Gazan’s living in tents unable to rebuild their homes for lack of concrete. VivaPalestina are going to challenge this unjustly imposed concrete restriction.

Pakistan Flood relief Bake Sale

Hiyba Abouzeid

On 1st of September the Islamic society held a bake sale for the devastating floods that have ripped through Pakistan. The 2010 Pakistan floods began in July following heavy monsoon rains in several regions of Pakistan. Present estimates indicate that over two thousand people have died and over a million homes have been destroyed since the flooding began. It is during these unfortunate times that brothers and sisters of all nations and tribes rise to form a helping hand. Monash was among the many groups who held fundraisers to help the people facing the terrible aftermath of these floods. However, hope shines strongly for survivors and though the loss is without a doubt unbearable, a shroud of comfort spreads as the many money donations and medical aid is received. The MUIS bake sale, was a success with every cent that was raised. Many of the girls, naturally, provided much of the baked goods, where it was observed that the soft spot was for the baklava more then it was for the several chocolate cakes. Who would of thought! The bake sale carried on from 12pm (always an hour late) till everything was sold, with dedication from everyone to make the fundraiser as much of a success as possible. Even though Ramadan prevented the consumption of these baked goods, it did not prevent many of the Muslims filling plastic containers of food to save for sunset, mostly the guys. We all hope that the little that we have been able to do provides for the people in Pakistan as much help as our intentions and more.

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MUIS Sisters Learning Arabic

Tazkera Sadeq - ‫ﺕتﺫذﻙكﺭرﺓة‬ “And thus We have inspired unto you (O Muhammad) an Arabic Qur’ân that you may warn the mother of the towns (Makkah) and all around it” [V42:7] The Arabic language is very rich and when translated into any other language, the gravity and profound meaning of the words are lost. It is therefore difficult to appreciate the beauty of the message revelaed in the Holy Qur'an without comprehending the nuances of the Arabic. A knowledge of Arabic would also help us perfect our worship as prayer is in Arabic. When we understand what is said in prayer, our ibadat becomes a source of solace, resuce, comfort and a complete act of worship. In addition, knowledge of Arabic would open up the path to a vast amount of information regarding Islam. Although many Islamic texts have been translated, there remains a plethora of essential volumes and publications that exist in Arabic only. As Muslims, we should strive to learn and understand this beautiful language.

(Bukhari and Muslim). Inshallah, the Arabic classes will continue as a fixed offering from MUIS, most importantly to aid us in our understanding of the Qur'an and Hadith. May Allah (swt) bless the sisters involved in its organization and helping other sisters learn and understand Arabic as well as keeping our rich Islamic heritage thriving and alive. Alhamduliah, its also a great opportunity for sisters to meet each other, cultivating a bond of sisterhood as we meet every week. Praise and glory be to our Lord, Allah (swt) who has guided us and motivated us in our aspiration to learn this beautiful and rich language. Inshallah, through this initiative by MUIS, we hope to learn Arabic, the language of the Qur'an, our Prophet Muhammad (saw), Jannah and to get closer to Allah (swt) through our prayers.

In semester II, 2010, Arabic classes were organized for sisters at Monash Uinversity, Clayton. Alhamdulilah, Monash University features a diverse Muslim population and the Arabic classes were welcomed by sisters of nonArabic speaking backgrounds. Sister Yasmin Elsawi had kindly accepted the role of instructor and offers the classes free of charge. Although learning a new language can be challenging, the mastery of even the basics of Arabic is not without its rewards from Allah (swt). 'Aisha (ra) reported that the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (saw) said: "A person who recites the Qur'an, and reads it fluently, will be in the company of the obedient and noble angels, and he who reads the Qur'an haltingly and with difficulty will have a double recompense." 5


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JAM PACKEDIslamic Awareness Week Fadli Faray Week 3, Semester 2 at Monash was exactly that! It was dubbed ‘Islamic Awareness Week’. It was a great new initiative, which had all the facets to be a success. The incredible poster (which Hersi created) said it all. Documentary screenings, Dawah stalls, prayer room tours and to end the week, a FREE BBQ. It was all in one week. It all started at about 10am on the Monday when Jibriil messages me, ‘Come to Campus Centre. I need some help’. Much to my surprise, MUIS had bought over 30 beautiful ‘Discover Islam’ posters, which needed to be put up around the campus centre. After about 2 hours of learning how to use Velcro tape, a corridor of posters was set up. It was amazing. It was basically FREE DAWAH! The proceedings went off to a great start with the documentary screening. The first episode dealt with the life of the Prophet Muhammad (saw) and this provided a great platform for the public to see the great person the Prophet was. The second and third parts did not disappoint. The Dawah stall was positioned perfectly, just in front of ‘Meeting Point’ and this allowed for many people to pass by the stall. Many questions were asked and it was great to try and break barriers, which were felt by all. Finally, the overloaded week finished off with a BBQ in the middle of the university. It was a great sunny day and as the sausages were sizzling and the lines were full, Insha Allah, with this week, an insight to the true Islam was really felt by all. It was a great week, and I’m sure this initiative can only get better.

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"If My slave comes nearer to me for a span, I go nearer to him for a cubit; and if he comes nearer to me for a cubit; I go nearer to him for the span of outstretched arms”. (Bukhari: 52) The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Convey from me, even if it is one aayah.” “…And Advise each other to patience” (Asr:3)


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MSA Journey- Eat, Pray ‘n’ love. Jibril Ibrahim On the 16th of July a handful of brave brothers from Melbourne embarked on a eye opening and interesting journey far away to the land of Sydney. The purpose of this adventure was to initiate the construction of a national MSA body. What is the MSA? The MSA stands for the Muslim Students Association and is a collective body of individuals who work together with the aim of improving the welfare of Muslim students in educational facilities across the globe. There is an MSA in America, England and Insha’Allah soon there will be one in Australia too. On Friday I left with the President of La Trobe University, brother Ibrahim Yusuf, to begin our journey, which started off very smoothly. As we landed in Sydney we instantly got lost in the airport, and then again in the car-park until our host finally rescued us, only for us to get lost once more as we tried to find our hotel. Eventually we arrived alive where we met various other delegates from around Australia. Skipping over the boring bureaucratic aspects, Friday night saw us all come together over a delicious dinner which included raw meat (which I’m told is a delicacy). This dinner was a great time to mingle and meet the other individuals from interstate and also provided a chance to relax after a busy afternoon. Keeping in the tradition we also managed to get lost again on our way home, passing the cake shop twice some how.

pages of history. After the exercise we talked about Conflict resolution and the Media whilst managing to fit lunch in between somehow. That night we were also guests at a dinner held at Malek Fahd, a beautiful school which reminded me of the equally beautiful private schools in Melbourne East. During this dinner we had the opportunity to listen to a number of short and long speeches, the most notable of which was by a member of AFIC due to its length! Before long dinner was concluded and we were able to curl up into beds other then our own and finally fall fast asleep. Sunday marked the last day of our visit and (controversially) the first day of actual discussions on the MSA. Saturday’s discussion on conflict resolution was put in practise as all delegates waited patiently and exercised self-restraint during the long and technical talks. Midway through the day we had agreed on two proposed structures for the MSA, a top down approach where the MSA national body is the brains and brawn of the entire MSA and a bottom up approach where the power comes from individual campus Islamic societies who work together to create state and national MSA bodies. By the afternoon people were beginning to fatigue and others were nervously checking their watches to make sure they didn’t miss their flights. Before the day was through though we were all able to come together and agree on a proposed MSA skeleton, which Insha’Allah is being worked on as we speak and will be implanted in the coming future.

Like Friday, Saturday was also very fast paced and my normal habit of sleeping in was replaced with an early breakfast. Before we could even finish our Sydney hosts had arrived and the initial meeting had begun. The first workshop saw us splitting into groups and working on a team building exercise known as “The Great Egg Drop”. I’m proud to say that the President of Monash University was part of the winning team, solidifying our reputation in the 7


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ONE WORLD WEEK Jibril Ibrahim At the start of the semester MUIS was invited to participate in One World Week at Monash. ‘Borrowed’ from the University of Warwick, OWW is a weeklong celebration of cultural diversity and heritage with each day dedicated to a different continent.

cooking skills and friendly demeanor of those manning the stall. Overall the day was a great success and

Amusingly enough, MUIS was scheduled for the Asian day probably because the organizers assumed that Islam originated in the Middle East, which in turn is a part of greater Asia. Regardless of the different opinions on geography, this interesting issue raised a great debate on whether Islam could or should be geographically linked to a certain region. I suppose from a narrow perspective you could argue that Islam did originate in what is now Saudi Arabia, but should it still be associated with the region? Has the growth of Islam not warranted a change in address? Is Islam not a religion for all the people, in all the places? Food for the inquisitive mind. Speaking of food, OWW was a great opportunity to test our new form of culinary Da’wah. With sweets from around ‘Asia’ our trusty volunteers lured inquisitive and hungry visitors to our stand where they were bombarded with delicious food. As if that wasn’t enough, the volunteers decided that the food should be free and soon we were the most visited stall in the entire tent, testament to the 8

significantly boosted the image of our society on campus. As the President of MUIS Id like to publically extend my gratitude to everyone involved in organizing and running the OWW stall and also all the other volunteers who, with blood sweat and tears, have helped push the society forward.


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Ramadan- The Blessing of Gratitude Hiyba & Thanaa Abouzeid Without fail, mashallah, every year Monash University proudly holds the annual Iftar during Ramadan every week. Returning to the usual every Friday Iftar, both the brothers and sisters hovered like bees every Friday to come together and eat. A big thank you to all who helped with setting up, as I found out, it is a handful, much stress and chair sliding is involved in preparing for the rush of people who attend to gather over some great company, opposed to the ‘great’ food, alahmdulilah. The lovely sweets nicely packaged are, and can safely be said the highlight of the night, which seals the stomachs that so hungrily consumed the white rice, with some sort of curry on the top. However, the month of Ramadan looks past the food that satisfies ones hunger and into the beauty of the gatherings that this food produces. It could not be a MUIS iftar without all the children and the large crowd of people that so easily offer a smile. To say one feels right at home would be an understatement. And it is not just because Ramadan is the holiest month of the year, besides all the fasting and prayers, abstinence from evil and good deeds, there are those little things we come across during Ramadan that makes the month as joyful as it becomes, one of these being the MUIS iftars. Looking into the essence of Ramadan it’s those little things that we encounter along the way that make us look forward to Ramadan and those things that we

remember. Such as; The first day-THAT feeling of Ramadan, when you wake up for Suhur, knowing the rest of your day is going to be spent fasting. You wake up with a different sense altogether, and there’s a sort of tangible feel to the atmosphere, that alerts every sense in your body, and you can’t help but think “wow it’s Ramadan”. That pang of hunger, weighed in gold. The actual fast, your intention is made, the day is ahead of you. No food, no water for that long stretch of time. Then it hits you that pang of hunger. The one you feel in the pit of your stomach and you cant help but wonder what is taking sunset so long. Except what you don’t notice, is how much it weighs on the scale of your deeds. For that one pang of hunger, like a weight as heavy as gold, carries with it your obedience and sacrifice for God, which you are patient with. That first sip, a drop of water in the drought. The day passes by, and you rush when Maghrib strikes; you lift your glass, you bring it to your lips, and take that first sip of water. This solid moment, in which we take that first sip, is Ramadan means to a few, because it’s unlike any other drink of water. As it passes your throat it streams through your body with a will of its own, and fills your veins with a cool, succulent feeling of finally being satisfied; and it’s just like that solitary drop in the desert, when the dryness of the earth is saturated by rain. Hence, the Iftar’s held at Monash hold great meaning to the essence of Ramadan, not only do we come together as one body, but we experience gratitude like no one else can. And next year, it will all happen again. May Allah grant us that opportunity inshallah.

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A Muslim’s response to Aggression Dr. Salih Yucel, Lecturer, Centre for Studies in Religion and Theology, Monash University

In the last two decades, particularly after 9/11 terrorist attacks, prejudice and abuse towards Islam and Muslims have risen sharply. Some minority Muslim groups and individuals reacted to this with “unislamic” behavior, meaning a set of behavior and actions that are not based on the sacred sources of values and universal principles, and include reactionary behaviors such as violent protests. These reactions mar the reputation of Muslims, especially those in non-Muslim countries. Muslims will naturally feel disturbed when the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) (or any other prophet) is abused in any way since it is a principle of Islam to love the Prophet and follow his example. Islamic principles also set a method of response based on the Qur’an and life of Prophet Muhammad. These two sources set rules on responding to physical aggression against Muslims and non-physical aggression and abuse against the sacred values of Islam. This article will focus on examples from the Qur’an and life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to define how Muslims should deal with offences against Islam using religious values in general. Just like other faiths, Islam is no stranger to assault. The Qur’an refers to the struggle between those who believe in tawhid, One God, and those who are sternly against it, particularly in the epic stories of Adam and Eve and Satan, Jonah and his tribe, and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and the Meccan polytheists. The Qur’an explains that those who were against tawhid used every act and tool to inflict harm and persecute the believers in One God. The first humans as mentioned in the Qur’an, Adam and Eve, were deceived by Satan to eat fruits from the banned tree1. This caused their expulsion from Paradise. Although they had no evil intention when eating the forbidden fruits, Adam and Eve turned to God in repentance immediately. “They said (straightaway), ‘Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive us and do not have mercy on us, we will surely be among those who have

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lost!’" (Araf 7:23). They could have cursed Satan, and asked God to punish him. According to Qur’anic exegete Al-Tabari (838-923), Adam and Eve did not blame Satan, but pointed the finger to themselves1. They did not rebel against God like Satan, but sought forgiveness and mercy from God. For contemporary Muslims, this example depicts the ideal reaction: to criticize oneself before blaming others. Before launching diatribes against those who portray Islam in dislikable colours, Muslims need to turn to themselves, reflect on how well they have represented their faith, and seek forgiveness from God for not reflecting their faith properly. Another leading example is Prophet Jonah who is well known for his total submission and prayer to God during his most difficult and testing times. He had invited his people to believe in God, but was rejected continuously by them. After years of rejection, he decided to leave the city. He boarded onto a ship which later faced a dangerous storm in the midst of a stormy sea. According to the exegesis of the Qur’an, those on the ship believed that someone amongst them had committed a wrong and they were being punished with the storm. Prophet Jonah then confessed that he made a mistake of leaving his people and was subsequently tossed into the sea and swallowed by a whale. Inside the whale, he begged God to be his savior and made the famous prayer, “There is no god other than You, Glory be unto You! Indeed, I was among the wrongdoers” (21:87). Instead of accusing his disbelieving people, he took himself to account. It was after this reflection that God saved Jonah. Another example of oppressed believers turning to God is that of a group that lived before Prophet Muhammad’s time. Non-believers had persecuted them and their prophet was killed by an army. The Qur’an says of them, “What they said (when they encountered the enemy) was, ‘Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and any wasteful act we may have done in our duty, and set our feet firm, and help us to

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victory over the disbelieving people!’" (3:147). According to AlRazi(1149-1209), this group of believers held themselves responsible for their misfortune, asked for forgiveness from God and pleaded to God for victory1. “So God granted them the reward of this world as well as the best reward of the Hereafter. Indeed God loves those devoted to doing good, aware that God is seeing them” (3:148). The Qur’an charts the recommended course of action beginning with (1) seeking forgiveness and (2) reflecting on past deeds, and ending with (3) sincere prayer for help while (4) keeping steadfast on the path of religion, which in turn gave them victory over the enemy. Whether in politics or in social situations, a Muslim needs to respond to aggression with these four actions of this praised group of believers. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) exemplifies and embodies this desirable trait of a believer. He did not curse those who persecuted him and the believers, nor did he directly blame anyone. Out of many examples, this article will focus on three from the Prophet’s life. It was during the most difficult years of his life in Mecca when Prophet Muhammad sought the leaders of the sister town of Ta’if for protection. Having lost his chief protector and uncle, Abu Talib, as well as his supporter, his beloved wife Khadijah, the Prophet needed a secure place for the persecuted Muslims. He travelled to Ta’if with hope, and sincerely addressed the leaders and people of Ta’if for ten days. They mocked him, disbelieving that he was a prophet, and ran him out of the city pelting him with stones. Bloodied and weary, he took refuge under the shade of a tree out of the city limits. According to Islamic historians, an angel appeared before him asking him if he wished for the city of Ta’if to be destroyed. The Prophet didn’t want that out of the hope that even one person may turn out to be an ally and seek the truth1. If this is how the prime example of Islam reacted to those who throw stones at him, then this is how Muslims should react against those who throw words of slander and accusations towards the Prophet. In both his actions and reactions, the Prophet was extremely patient, going through all proper courses of action (i.e dialogue and

diplomacy) and never turning to violence unless it was ordained by God. Patience against aggression is a trait of all prophets. When Prophet Muhammad received a wound in the face by a non-believer during the Battle of Uhud, he pleaded to God, “My Lord, forgive my tribe. They do not know what they are doing.” Even against Abu Jahl, the most aggressive oppressor, and other polytheist leaders, Prophet Muhammad said, “O God, I leave them to you.”1 God may guide them to becoming good people, or punish them as He sees fit. He forgave polytheists who persecuted him, killed his companions, and expelled him and Muslims from Mecca.1 The Prophet’s strategy was to bring people close to Islam and gain more allies instead of challenging those who were against him. Taking a lesson from Prophet Muhammad’s clemency and examples from the Qur’an, saints and other righteous Muslims did not act impulsively, but patiently endured and sought help from God and aim to build relationships with the immediate and wider community. Great Muslim figures throughout history adopted this characteristic of the prophets. Said Nursi (18771960), a contemporary Muslim scholar, was also abused, imprisoned, and exiled unjustly, but he never sought revenge, made curses upon those who mistreated him, nor did he engage in any extreme behavior out of anger. The persecution he underwent led him closer to desiring God’s love and forgiveness. He would offer prayer for hours through invoking God’s names and repeating Prophet Muhammad’s supplications. Even on his death bed, he forgave those who made his life miserable.1 All these examples from the Qur’an and history provide Muslims with a guide to responding to misfortune, abuse, oppression, and calamity. In such situations, a Muslim should: - beseech God even more through various ways, such as ritual prayer, supplication, recitation of Qur’an, invocation of God’s names, and extra prayers, as well as prayers for the unjust individuals or groups to be guided - repent from wrongdoings Continuing on and beg for forgiveness, page 12

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EXAM STUDY TIPS. How not to fail Smell your coffee, this boosts awareness. Then Drink your coffee to strengthen concentration.

Eating Sultanas while studying boots memory

Reading the same line over and over and over again is not worth it if you didn’t understand it the first time. So move on and come back later.

Always expect disappointment, you can only get far if you think you might not get anywhere. Most importantly, start early, and actually open a book to study. Praying can only get you so far without any effort.

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- forgive those who have violated his or her personal rights, and - call himself or herself to account first, reflecting on his or her deeds, sins and shortcomings. The final is the most significant rule: a Muslim should be patient and pro-active. Part of reflecting on past deeds is considering whether the individual or group has taken the necessary and suitable actions to allow for a good cause to occur or prevent an atmosphere of hate and discrimination. To judge the action, an individual or group must consider the act in light of guidelines in sacred texts and civil laws. Actions that provoke people and stir feelings of distrust need to be discontinued. The Muslim communities must reach out beyond their sphere and build relationships that would strengthen the general community and enhance feelings of security. It is not individual or group responsibility to physically defend Islam, but a duty of the Muslim countries’ governments. An individual has to act in the light of these rules and rational thought. When dealing with problems, a Muslim has to think longterm and globally and react positively. Instead of reacting impulsively, a Muslim needs to take planned steps to solving the problem, while keeping in mind how those steps will affect other Muslims both locally and globally. In place of accusing and blaming others, Muslims need to present the preferred action or right information. Finally, a Muslim should turn to God, asking Him to enlighten those who misunderstand Islam, guide those who misrepresent Islam, and direct Muslims to the right actions and thoughts. As God says in the Qur’an, “(O human being!) Whatever good happens to you, it is from God, and whatever evil befalls you, it is from yourself…” (4:79). Muslims should think, “Had we done what was necessary and suitable on time, this evil may not have befallen us?”


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Uniting the Jewels of our Ummah- Interview with Monash Halaka member

A. Thank you Tasnim. The main reason why I attend the halaqa is so that I can improve my Muslim character and become closer to Allah(swt).

Q. That’s great to hear. What do you like best about Halaka? 

A. I really enjoy the way the halaqa is run especially with the three different parts, because each three parts helps improve our character in three different ways. I also really enjoy the fact that you don't feel uncomfortable around the girls who attend the halaq. I feel that everyone there genuinely cares about each other and everybody wants to help everybody else.

Q. It’s nice to hear you say that. Can you share with us please what is the one thing you learnt from this Halaka this

Q. Chantelle, it is a pleasure to have you amongst us. So tell me, why is it that you attend Halaka?

A. The thing I like the best about the halaqa is that it gives practical advice that we can use in this modern day.

Q. Do you like the way the Halaka is run? And you don’t have to be nice because it me who is asking you :D

A. Something that I learnt this year that really shocked me and made me proud was that Islam puts justice before belief, it just made me realize how reasonable and fair Islam really is and made me so thankful that Allah(swt) made me a Muslim. However, I don't think I could really pinpoint one specific thing because every week I learn something else, this is what I love about the halaqa, where constantly building on our knowledge of Islam. 13


Lorem IQRA Ipsum Dolor

:: [Date] [Issue 8] [Issue] :: [2010]

Three Different Trees By Ibnul Qayyim (r.a) The year is a tree, the months are its branches, the days are its twigs, the hours (and minutes) are its leaves and every breath man takes is a fruit of the tree. Thus the fruit of the trees of a person who breathes in obedience to Allah will be sweet and the fruit of the tree of a person who breathes in disobedience to Allah will be bitter. However, the fruit of this tree will only be harvested on the Day of Ma’aad (the day when Man will return to Allah) and the sweet fruit will only be differentiated from the bitter fruit when it will be harvested. Ikhlaas and Tauheed are a tree in the heart (of the Believer). The branches of this tree are good actions and its fruits are a pleasant life in the world and never-ending comfort in the Hereafter and just as the fruit of Jannah will never come to an end nor will it be held back, the same can be said regarding the fruits of Ikhlaas and Tauheed in the Dunyaa.

the heart. The worldly fruits of the tree are fear, worry, sorrow, narrowness of the heart (discontent, cowardice, etc) and darkness of the heart. In the Hereafter the fruits of this tree will be Zaqqoom and everlasting punishment. These two trees have been mentioned by Allah in the following Aayaat of Surah Ibrahim: “Did you not see how Allah presented an example? A pleasant word is like a pleasant tree; its roots are firm and its branches are (high) in the sky, it yields its fruit all the time with the command of its Sustainer.

And Allah presents examples to the people so that they may take heed. And the example of a bad word is that of a bad tree Shirk, lies and Riyaa (doing good that has been uprooted from actions for show) are also a tree in above the earth having no firmness.” (Verse 24 – 26) Allah (swt) says,

“And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient, Who, when disaster strikes them, say, 'Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return.' Those are the ones upon whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy. And it is those who are the [rightly] guided.”

14

Injustice Dima Zeytoun I am me, A person riddled with thoughts. Fulfilling a life of fantasy, Turning it into my own reality. I am not just a face, But layers of complexity, Slowly coming out of the shell That I have so meticulously created I am me, I'm unwritten, undefined. Easily inspired, Not so easily angered. But the knowledge of injustice Burns me to my core. I want to see a vision of the world That I build hope for I long for the day That I see people standing; Standing together. Unarmed. Rid of feelings of superiority and hate. Hand in hand, Hearts together.

What happened to understanding? To acceptance? To peace? Man destroys, man builds and man kills. Are we so consumed in ourselves That we have lost the very thing that binds us together? Are our minds so closed that we cannot see the suffering of our brothers and sisters? Has our hearts hardened and blackened like stone?


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Iqra Issue 8  

Issue 8 is filled with narratives about the many events held by MUIS at monash, not to mention several great peieces of elaborate wrtiting a...