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Voice Of Unity

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Volume 4, Issue 3

January-February 1999

[And united their hearts; had you spent all that is in the earth, you could not have united their

hearts, but Allah united them, surely He is Mighty, Wise] (8:63)

‘O you who believe - fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you so that you may become pious’ (2:183) Allah (SWT) has set special times for certain events throughout the year for us to take part in. These act by getting us away from our daily unawareness and tedious routine, to a more open plane whereby we experience the true purpose of this life. „The Month of Ramadhan‟ is one of these great experiences that bring about new horizons and courage to individuals possessing the right faith and true belief. They are those who enter this month with a will of being Allah's guests. This month is more like a development course that we go through to pick up what we lack in our everyday life - physically as well as spiritually and morally. We need a period during the year in which we seriously consider our own progress in life- to see if it's up to the expected standard. If not, then we need to take the appropriate measures to ensure that our future

progress and development is rightly directed. It is for that reason, this month isn't just a 'fasting month' in as much as it is a self-assessment and construction period. In order to be happy and successful, we need to make sure that when leaving this month we achieve what we have not encountered before. Let us make the most out of this month, and gain the spiritual powers that we're in need of. It is (continued on pages 8-9)

In remembrance of Sayyida Khadija (AS)

Its true meaning

The miracles of the human mind

PAGES 6 & 7

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Voice Of Unity

Editorial

A s s al a m u Al ya k u m brothers and sisters, I pray to Allah (SWT) that this issue of Voice of Unity reaches you in the best of health and Iman, as well as both spiritual and physical strength for fulfilling the duties required within this holy month. Ramadhan is unique. It truly is a blessed month which witnesses millions of Muslims world-wide uniting in striving to please the Almighty; and refraining from their worldly desires with the aim of purifying the soul and strengthening their will power. Ramadhan is a month of r e p e n t a n c e a n d complementing this, thus it is the month of forgiveness. It is an opportunity to wipe away our sins with obedient pious worship and it is an opportunity to start again with a fresh clean slate. Thus it truly is an opportunity not to be missed. This month can also be a

strong catalyst to action because of its remembrance feature. It is a time to remember the poor, those who refrain from food not out of choice but out of circumstance. Therefore Ramadhan is a time to remember others‟ misfortunes as well as our own past errors. Remembrance only serves a useful purpose if acted on positively. Generosity and true repentance from that which is forbidden subsequently become a means of fulfilling our remembrance with positive purposeful action. Ramadhan is also a time of sadness, for it was within this month that Sayyida Khadija (AS) wife of the holy Prophet (SAW) died, and Imam Ali (AS) was martyred. Though Ramadhan also saw the first victory of Islam over evil at Badr where minority forces upheld the true strength of Islam. Ramadhan also

The Prophet (SAW)‟s famous sermon welcoming the Month of Ramadhan: “O People! This is the month of Allah coming to you with Mercy, blessings, and forgiveness; in the sight of Allah, it is the most superior month; its days, nights, and hours are the best. In this month you are the guests of Allah, enjoying His hospitality. You have been rendered among those who have won His grace. Your every breath shall be deemed utterances of glory of His Name, your Sleep a form of worship. Your deeds shall be accepted, your prayers answered. So, with sincerity and pure hearts, pray to your creator in granting you success in fasting this month and reciting His book The wretched is he who is denied the Almighty‟s forgiveness during this august month.

witnesses the birth of the second Imam, the holy Prophet (SAW)‟s grandson Imam Hassan (AS). Most importantly Ramadhan bears witness to the miracle and power of the Holy Quran which was revealed in its entirety in one night, Laylat-ul -qadr. Let us take time out to appreciate the glory of this magnificent month, and the opportunity and challenges it represents. Let us meet those challenges with the purest of intentions, I pray to Allah (SWT) to grant us the pleasure of fulfilling his wishes for many Ramadhans to come. I would also like to take this opportunity to wish all our readers Eid Mubarak. Eid-ulFitr represents the conclusion of this holy month of fasting, prayer and worship, and marks a completed and successful step in the journey of a Muslim individual towards seeking the ultimate pleasure

O People! During this month, the gates of everlasting bliss are ajar; so beseech your Lord not to close them off to you. The gates of the fire are closed , so entreat Him not to open them for you. The devils are in fetters, so implore Him not to set them free lest they should lead you astray. O People! he who strives during this month, to deal gently and politely with people, shall be guaranteed passage to paradise, on a Day when many a foot slips.....He who checks his transgression, Allah shall withhold His wrath from him on the Day of Judgement. Whoever shuns his kinsmen, Allah shall deny him His mercy on the Day of Reckoning. He who recites just one verse of the Holy Quran during this month, Allah shall grant him the reward of having recited the whole book in other months.”


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Academic

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Sr. Farzana Khimji

Radiotherapy is the destruction of malignant cells in the human body using ionising radiation, without damaging normal cells or interfering with the unaffected parts of the body. Therapy radiographers provide the patient with treatment doses of radiation which may cure the cancer, or control its spread. The radiography course is a three year BSc course at honours level and is validated by the College of Radiographers. Half of the course is spent in academic lectures whilst the other half is spent in clinical placements. The academic portion consists of six modules: Biological Science (including anatomy, physiology and pathology), Behavioural Science (containing elements of patient care, psychology and management), Theory of Radiotherapy Practice (including oncology and departmental management), Radiation Science and Technology (starting with an optional foundation course, moving onto applied physics and equipment), Study Skills and the final year Project. During the academic blocks, students are placed on various machines and also shadow the different healthcare professionals, to ensure a variety in the training. Therapy radiographers require a strong scientific background as well as good communication skills with patients. Working in the department involves working as part of a multi-disciplinary team, involving oncology doctors, nurses, councillors, medical physicists, nutritionists, physiotherapists, treatment planners, mould room technicians etc. all of whom have the single objective of caring for the individual patient. Patients are seen by the radiographers on a daily basis during their treatment period, so they get to know the patients really well. Initially, the radiographer must be calm and reassuring as the patients may be apprehensive

about the treatment. Also, the radiographer must be able to spot any changes in the patient‟s behaviour, or any side effects of the treatment to inform the appropriate specialist or healthcare professional. Patients also confide in radiographers, thus counselling skills are essential. Protection also plays a great importance in the radiographer‟s role. Self protection is provided by monitoring film badges which are worn at all times, but patients and other members of staff must also be protected from unnecessary doses of radiation. For this reason, radiographers must pay attention to detail, and be very accurate, as radiation doses cannot be undone or taken back after they have been administered. Due to the high demand for therapy radiographers, most find employment within a few weeks of qualifying. Working in an oncology department is very much a „nine to five‟ job, with little or no on-call work. Radiography offers good and secure prospects for individuals interested in medical sciences. It is a rewarding profession for an individual who has a genuine liking and caring for people who want to help the sick. It offers a responsible position, good potential promotion prospects as well as the opportunity for further specialisation. Thus it can be a rewarding and enjoyable course and profession.


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Laylat-ul-qadr

Sr May Al-Timimi

'In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful' We have indeed revealed, This message, In the night of Power (1) And what will explain, To thee what the Night Of Power is? (2) The Night of Power, Is better than A thousand Months (3) Therein come down The angels and The Spirit, By Allah's permission, On every errand: (4) Peace!…This, Until the rise of Morn! (5) (Surat Al-Qadr- Chapter 97) Laylat Ul-Qadr (The Night of Power) is the night that is better than a thousand months as Allah (SWT) tells us in the holy Quran. It is the night in which the holy Quran in its entirety was revealed to the Prophet Mohammed (SAW). The holy Quran, a noble message of guidance and virtue representing a complete way of life was revealed over a thousand years ago. Year in, year out every Ramadhan Muslims globally celebrate this night reaffirming the magnificence of this Holy Book as an enduring message for all people of all times. The unchanged words of the Almighty continue to be of direct and utmost relevance to mankind, and Laylat Ul-Qadr is celebrated as a magnificent night of glory and revelation. Laylat Ul-Qadr takes place in the holy month of Ramadhan. The Prophet Mohammed (SAW) stressed on many occasions the importance of this month and described in detail, in his sermon the favours of this holy month. Ramadhan is Allah's month, its days are the best days of the year and its nights are the best nights of the year. It is the month in which we have all been invited to be Allah's guests, a

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great honour that goes beyond everyone‟s hopes and aspirations. Our breathing in this month is a form of prayer and our sleep is worship. In this holiest of months all our good deeds are accepted and all our prayers are answered. Thus we must not waste these precious days, and we must ask Allah with pure hearts and repenting souls to forgive our sins, and to grant us all the acceptance of our fasts and to allow us the opportunity of reciting the holy Quran. In this holy month we should also remember those who are less fortunate than ourselves and be charitable to the poor, kind to young, and respectful to the old. In Ramadhan, the doors of heaven are open so we must ask Allah (SWT) not to close them on us, and the doors of hell are closed so let‟s ask Allah (SWT) not to open them on us. Iblis (Satan) and his army are chained so they can not influence us, so we must ask Allah (SWT) that they never again have the power to corrupt us. Our behaviour during the month of Ramadhan should not be the same as that during other months. It is not enough that we should fast from food and water, but all our senses should fast from all that is haram (forbidden) and makrooh (not favoured). Laylat Ul-Qadr is a night in which Allah (SWT) has promised us that our prayer and worship is worth that of a thousand months, and repentance on this glorious night shall be accepted. Our Prophet Mohammed (SAW) and Imams have left us with a wealth of dua'as (supplications) and special prayers for every day of the holy month of Ramadhan. They also stressed the importance of Dua'as since it purifies the soul and it also gets us closer to Allah (SWT). The importance of dua'a is also stressed in the Quran 'Say: My Lord would not


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care for you were it not for your prayer;…' Surat Al-Furqan, (25 :77). There are prayers for every day of Ramadhan and these can be found in 'Mafateeh Al-Jenan' and 'Muntakhab Al-Hassani'. Both Dua‟a books contain a detailed account of the prayers and dua's for all the days of the year. They also contain explanations of the dua's and a short account of their source. The following Dua'as are some of the most important during the month of Ramadhan. i) Dua'a Al-Iftar: This is a short dua‟a that is recited just before iftar (breaking of fast). ' God it is for you that I fasted, and on what you have given me I break my fast, and in you I place my trust ' ii) Dua'a Al-Iftitah: This dua‟a is to be recited every night during Ramadhan after iftar. iii) Dua'a Al-Baha'a : This dua'a is best recited after sahoor, just before the morning prayer. iv) Dua'a Abo Hamza Al-Thamalie: This a dua'a which Imam Zain Al-Abideen (AS) use to recite during sahoor. The Dua'as for Laylat Ul-Qadr however are different. Firstly because the exact date of Laylat Ul-Qadr is not known. It is thought to be one of three: Either the 19th, 21st or 23rd night of Ramadhan. However, the most likely date according to most narrations for Laylat Ul-Qadr is thought to be the 23rd. For each of these

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nights there are special Dua'as, and it is recommended that one should spend all night in prayer. Some of the common Dua'as and A‟mal (deeds) for all three nights are: i) Ghusl (washing one's body). ii) The raising of the Quran iii) Asking Allah (SWT) for forgiveness one hundred times: ' I ask Allah for forgiveness and I repent' For the night of the 23rd of Ramadhan, there are in addition to the above a‟mal other recommended dua'as and a‟mal are: i) Reading of Surat AlAnkaboot(chapter 29), Surat Al-Room (chapter 30) and Surat Al-Dukhan (chapter 44). ii)Reading of Surat AlQadr (chapter 97) a thousand times. All the dua'as that have been mentioned above can be found in the two dua'a books I have already quoted. Conclusively the importance of the month of Ramadhan and the particular importance of Laylat Ul-Qadr cannot be stressed enough. We have a promise from Allah (SWT) that those of us who strive to repent and become better persons, that those who pray to Allah (SWT) day and night with all their hearts, will be granted forgiveness and salvation. May we all inshallah be granted this.


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Personality

Voice Of Unity

Sr. Fatema Panju

During this holy month of Ramadhan, we commemorate the sad demise of Sayyida Khadija (AS), wife of the Holy Prophet (SAW) and mother of Sayyida Fatemah Zahra (AS). Sayyida Khadija (AS) was born in Mecca. Her father was a merchant, like most of the tribe of Quraysh. He used to send caravans containing goods to other cities for trade throughout the year. However, both Sayyida Khadija (AS)‟s parents died within ten years of each other, with the wealth being divided am ongs t t he chi l dren. Therefore, from a young age, being highly intelligent, she took over the family business and expanded it. Women running a business during that time in Mecca was an unusual phenomenon and this distinguished her from the other women in Mecca. She was an extremely astute businesswoman with a huge amount of compassion. This was demonstrated when she used the profits to help the poor, widows, orphans, sick and the disabled people of Mecca. She had a cousin called Waraqa bin Naufal, a very learned man who did not worship idols unlike the rest of the community. Both Sayyida Khadija (AS) and Waraqa believed in one God. Her aklaqh (behavioural conduct) was excellent and the Arabs, who used to look down upon women, called her Tahira – the pure one. She was known as the Princess of Mecca because of her wealth and because she had the largest caravan business in Mecca. Many Arab nobles and princes asked for her hand in marriage but she consistently refused them all. In 595 AD Sayyida Khadija (AS) was

searching for someone to be in charge of her caravan to Syria. Abu Talib, the governor of Mecca, suggested the Prophet (SAW)‟s name to her. His trustworthiness and reliability were well known throughout the city and on that basis she agreed to employ him regardless of the fact that he didn‟t have much experience. Therefore, to aid him, she sent her slave Maysara. The trading caravan was a great success and when she heard of the Prophet (SAW)‟s skills and excellent conduct, she became his admirer. Sayyida Khadija (AS) is said to have proposed marriage to the Prophet (SAW), who accepted. Historians dispute her age. Some say she was forty years old, while others maintain she was twentyfive (the same age as the Prophet), and some say she was twenty-eight. Abu Talib read the Nikkah on behalf of the Prophet (SAW) while Waraqa read it for Sayyida Khadija (AS). Abu Talib paid the mahr for his nephew and fed the people of Mecca for three days in celebration. Sayyida Khadija (AS) also fed the people. The marriage was full of love, understanding and support. Their first child was named Qasim and the second Abdullah. However, both died in their infancy. Their third and final child was Sayyida Fatemah Zahra (AS). When the Prophet (SAW) used to go and meditate in the cave of Hira on Jabal An-Noor, it was Sayyida Khadija herself who would climb up there to give him his food and necessaties. She was also the first person to accept Islam as well as being the first woman to do so. Upon marriage, she donated her vast wealth for the


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propagation of Islam, one of the most unselfish and generous acts in the history of Islam. She gave her wealth to the Prophet (SAW), who used it as he thought appropriate. In 616 AD, the Quraysh isolated the Bani Hashim (the family of the Prophet) and they took refuge in a ravine called Shib e Abu Talib. Sayyida Khadija (AS) was present too and it was her wealth which sustained the muslims at that time. The siege lasted for three years during which time they experienced hunger and thirst along with the cold and heat of the desert. In 691 AD Sayyida Khadija (AS) died. She is thought to have died of poisoning due to eating berries growing in the ravine. The lack of food was that scarce that they had to resort to eating any food growing in the ravine. She died on the 10th of Ramadhan and at the time of her death, there was nothing left of her wealth. Abu Talib also died in this year. The Prophet (SAW) named this year as „Aamul Huzn‟ – the year of grief. Sayyida Khadija (AS) left behind a griefstricken Prophet and a tiny daughter, aged only five. She is one of the four special women of Jannah. Sayyida Khadija (AS) and Sayyida Fatimah (AS) are the role models of all muslim women today. Both during their lifetimes have given us many examples of how Islam expects women to think and behave. For example, Sayyida Khadija by giving her wealth to Islam shows us that money should be spent in the way of Islam. This action also highlights her unselfish, caring and generous nature. Sayyida Fatimah by going to court to claim back Fadaq demonstrates to us that women should stand up for their rights and should fight for them when they are usurped. They both demonstrated that a women is the nucleus of society – from her lap will the next generation will be moulded into soldiers who will fight for our present Imam (ATF) when needed. They showed it is a woman who

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can make the home heaven or hell. They both taught women about Islam and from this we too must learn to undertake the spreading of Islam. Both demonstrated their faith and trust in Allah (SWT) in many ways, and the lesson from this is not to give up our faith, rather stick to it steadfastly no matter how severe the adversity. Each action of their lives is an example and lesson to us which we need to adapt in our own lives if we too, want to gain Allah (SWT)‟s pleasure. ***

Liberty Scarfhead they call me. Uneducated and oppressed I must be, Merely because I have an identity. I don’t conform to the norm So I’m labelled and judged instantly. I don’t care. I can hack it. I’m respected, I don’t need pity I have my dignity. I’m a Muslim woman. And I’m free Free to be me. What my Creator has willed Shall definately be fulfilled I’ll wear my hijab with pride. Sr Duha Al-Wakeel


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Ramadhan

Voice Of Unity

(Continued from page 1)

certainly, a month of promotion not only to our bodies as we fast, yet also to our minds and psychological conditions as we get ever so closer in connection to Allah (SWT). Thereby happiness is a certainty even though we may not be aware of it. As we approach the month of Ramadhan, we like to discover more about its secrets to become more fulfilled and convinced of its benefits to us as individuals and most importantly as a whole society. It is, undoubtedly, somewhat sad to see some people 'practice religion' during this month and gradually ease off once it's over. Such people only gain benefits from this month that are equivalent to how much real devotion and effort into it. Thus, output (in terms of benefits from this month) is equivalent and more importantly dependent on input (in terms of devotion and effort). As we fast during this month, doors of blessings and peace open upon us as Allah (SWT) accepts us as guests in His blessed banquet. Such an invitation is in no way ordinary. We, together, must strive to be Allah's well-mannered servants during this banquet - of those who truly know the meaning of servitude. Certainly not those who step backwards as soon as the month is over, for this month has a limited number of days but can leave unlimited positive effects on us throughout life. The sort of driving forces that faithful believers can draw out of this month, are countless and it depends on the way they react with it by means of insightful understanding and attempt for achievement. After all, it is beginning to look more than a fasting month, because we know there is more to it than that. For the time being, the prayers and supplications are directed from us all to Allah, towards making „the month of Ramadhanâ€&#x; a period of success and enjoyment to all Muslims worldwide. Now let us look at some of the most important aspects, principles, morals and acts that we should be aware of. They are briefly summarised under the following headings. Test for patience Patience brings about divine aid and guidance,

as the holy Quran has pointed out repeatedly. During the month believers start to develop their characters and personalities, due to selfprevention from doing common things that they normally are allowed to do. With time, the depth of awareness and fear of Allah reaches higher levels than before and in turn increases the faith of believers in what they do. It isn't easy at the beginning; in fact it never will be, except we gradually become adapted to it. Patience builds inner strengths and self-possession, leading to the taste of true freedom and pleasure that Allah (SWT) wants us to experience. Hijab, for instance is a symbol of self-possession that gives women in society their real identity. It shows how they resist against the majority, by giving them practical lessons of how selfdiscipline leads to freedom and happiness, even if they are to stand out as a minority within society. Open-minded (not blind) faith pronounces that as long as you are convinced that whatever you do is what Allah (SWT) is pleased with, then donâ€&#x;t let anything else worry you. Some social aspects, however, must be taken under consideration to keep up with society, for Islam is a multidimensional living religion that regards all outlooks. The Month of Hijab Looking into Hijab, widely, we find that one of its outstanding requirements is patience. Hijab, is not only entitled to women, but also to men. Yes, surprisingly it is a wonderful internal and external dress prescribed for human beings, by their Creator Who knows what they exactly lack. Hijab in terms of chastity, modesty and self restraint applies to both genders. Hijab gives personal freedom, which means a world of psychological and spiritual difference.


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The Month of Obedience and Forgiveness Forgiveness is what this month begins and lasts with. To experience mercy and forgiveness, one has to be obedient and keen to do things for the pleasure of Allah (SWT), not for the sake of others. True faith accompanied with sincere intentions as well as real repentence are the vital concepts here. The Holy Quran mentions certain verses in this respect, of which are: ‘Say: O my servants, who have acted extravagantly against their own souls, do not become hopeless of Allah's mercy; surely Allah forgives the faults altogether; certainly He is the forgiving, the merciful‟(39:53); also „And your Lord says: Call upon Me, I will answer you‟ (40:60). This a general assurance for those who sin- but sincerely vow not to do so again. Allah‟s command encompasses the weaknesses of all His servants, not only the believers. This is one sign of Allah's absolute mercy that some take for granted. Response to a prayer is a gift of a great value, so it's not to be overlooked. Therefore, we must put forth effort to appreciate this favour and establish ourselves upon the right foundations, to further appreciate understandably (not blindly) what we follow in life to be happy and successful. The Month of Revelation One other great feature of this month is that the Holy Quran was revealed in it. So great a month, that Allah's final and most complete scripture was descended on the final and most complete prophet to set forth Islam, a final and a most complete religion and a way of life. Let's appreciate the weight of this message and act in its light to be of those who deserve it. Allah (SWT) says ‘The month of Ramadhan is that in which Quran was revealed, a guidance to people and a clear proof of guidance and distinction (between good and bad); whomever of you is present in the month shall fast therein, and whoever is ill or upon a journey, then shall fast a like number of other days; Allah wants ease for you and does not want difficulty for you, and (He wants) that you should complete the number and that you should glorify the greatness of Allah for He has guided you and that you may

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thank’(2:185). After this enlightenment, once again we turn to prayers and appeal as we carry on reading the verse that follows ‘And when My servants ask you concerning Me, then surely I am very near; I answer the prayer of the supplicant when he calls (on Me), so they should answer My call and believe in Me that they may walk in the right path’ (2:186) Here we cry to our Lord to forgive us and to give us the power and guidance we need to get ever so closer to Him until we acquire His acceptance, for He is All-Merciful and hearing. The Month of 'self-opposition' This is certainly the month where we must start to get into the habit of saying NO to some of the things that we normally desire to do. Things that we know are not right. Let's prove to ourselves that we are able and skilful enough to totally avoid them and not do them again. Allah (SWT), undoubtedly, increases in guidance those who genuinely want to change for the better and oppose themselves when they feel there is a need to. If humans lack or have a weak intellectual mind and logic, then the power of desire within them becomes stronger and takes over. We must be careful of the traps of our desires, in order to achieve more. Opposing or going against one‟self needs far more power and determination than one might expect. It is a battle with the 'internal evil' and thus definitely needs great efforts and divine support. The Month of 'Grand Nights' This blessed month has three of the greatest nights (Layali-ul-qadr) of the year. The Glorious Quran was revealed during these nights. A few verses of the Holy Quran are more than sufficient to portray the importance of these nights, which is ‘better than a thousand months. The Angels and the Spirit descend in it by the permission of their Lord for every affair. Peace - it is till the break of the morning (dawn)’ (97:3-5). One must prepare one‟s self in advance for these occasions and most important Continued on page 14


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Ethics

Sr. Oola Ajina

The servant of Allah strives to be sincere in all of his actions. He is someone who checks his intention and safeguards it from corrupt motives. He knows only too well that in order for his good deeds to be rewarded and accepted they must be done purely for Allah‟s sake. This is because the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) has said “Verily actions are but by their intentions, and indeed every person shall be rewarded according to what he/she has intended.” Allah ta‟ala tells us that [Iblis (Satan)] said: “By Your Might then I will surely mislead them all - except for your servants among whom are the sincere.” (chapter 38:82-83)} Sincerity or Ikhlaas is the freeing of one‟s intentions from all impurities in order to come closer to Allah (SWT). It is a characteristic which we should all try to instil within ourselves because, as shown by the previous ayah, it is the sincere believers who will be saved from the misguidance of Iblis. As well as this, the sincere believers also develop an unmistakable closeness to Allah (SWT). This is because when they do any action, be it prayer or talking with friends, they do it with the intention of strengthening their relationship with the Creator. Likewise, they are always conscious that Allah (SWT) is aware of their actions and so they strive to seek only His pleasure. It must however be stressed that good intentions do not change the nature of forbidden actions. One should not be misconceived into thinking that good intentions could turn forbidden actions into acceptable ones, thus the celebrated notion of stealing from the rich to give to the poor has no place in Islam. Instead, permissible actions are made great by the noble intentions behind them. Many great actions, on the other hand, are rendered of less worth due to the fact that sincere intentions behind them are lacking. It is unfortunate that nowadays there can exist ulterior motives behind our actions,

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whether they be for personal gain or otherwise. We seem to have deviated from the pure path of Rasulullah (SAW) and his Ahlul-Bait, instead our intentions have become more materialistic. It appears we may have forgotten the very purpose of our creation, to serve Allah (SWT) and pursue his satisfaction. However, one asks, is the nature of the intention really so important? The answer to this question is yes because it is the intention which differentiates between a sincere action and one to impress others. When an action is done to please a person or group of people then it constitutes to showing off or Riyaa‟. Riyaa‟ is when an action is done for show or purely for the sight of others, and this is a form of Shirk (polytheism). This is because as Muslims the ultimate purpose behind every action should be to please Allah (SWT). However if we do something to earn the admiration of others then that action is no longer for the sake of Allah but for the sake of the people and this is Shirk. Perhaps the worst aspect of this condition is that it is very difficult to detect since the Holy Prophet (SAW) has described it to be more hidden than an ant on a black stone on a dark night. Therefore in order to rid ourselves of Riyaa‟ and instil sincerity into our hearts one should always ask one‟s self „Am I doing this deed for the sake of Allah or am I doing it for the sake of the people?‟ and „Will this action be pleasing to Allah or will it just please the people?‟ It is extremely important that one becomes accustomed to thinking in this way since we do not want to be of those unfortunate people who Allah (SWT) mentions in the holy Quran; those who do not fully comprehend the importance of their intention will only come to see their good deeds appearing as bad ones on the Day of Resurrection. ‘Say: Shall We tell you who will lose most with regards to their deeds? Those whose efforts were astray in the life of this world, while they thought they were doing good works.‟ (chapter 18:103-104) Br. Mohammed Al-Hilli


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With the grace of Allah (SWT) , Muslims throughout the world will be celebrating Eid-ulFitr, one of the four main eids celebrated in the Islamic Calendar. Muslim children have a perception of eid as a day when gifts are exchanged and new clothes are worn. Indeed our great religion has set out clear recommendations for us on this noteworthy day. On the morning of this day, a Muslim should have a bath, wear his/her best clothes, put on perfume and prepare for salat-ul-eid (eid prayer). After the prayer, one would listen to the eid khutbah, usuall y followed by congratulations and exchanging gifts. Yet what many people may forget is this day‟s true reality and meaning in Islam. The word „eid‟ is derived from the Arabic word „aada‟, meaning returned, as people return to this day periodically. Some scholars, however, say that the word comes from „aadah‟ (custom or practice) because people are accustomed to celebrating it. In the Holy Quran, „eid‟ is mentioned in the story of the plea of Prophet Isa (PBUH)‟s followers for food from the gardens of Jannah (paradise): “Isa the son of Mariam said: O Allah, our Lord! Send down to us food from heaven which should be to us an everrecurring happiness (eid), to the first and last of us, and a sign from thee, and grant us means of substinance…” (5:110) Eid is a day when Muslims get together to remember Allah‟s bounties and celebrate His glory and greatness. Eid in Islam carries a distinctive meaning and spirit, being totally different from celebrations in other nations and cultures. In some nations, holidays are taken as a chance to immerse in worldly pleasures, or to be involved in prohibited acts. For Muslims however, this must not be the case, rather it must be an occasion to increase in good deeds, not to take a vacation from Islamic responsibilities or commitments, nor to waste time and money in extravagance. Eid in Islam symbolises the conclusion of an

Eid

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important worship or act, and the determination to continue in obedience and submission to the Almighty (SWT). It is a wholesome celebration of a remarkable achievement of an individual Muslim in the service of Allah (SWT). Eid -ulFitr comes after an entire month of absolute fasting during the holy month of Ramadhan, Eid -ul-Adha marks the completion of Hajj (pilgrimage), Eid-ul-Ghadeer stresses the importance and significance of Wilayat (allegience) in Islam, and Eid Mubahalah signifies the importance of Ahlul-Bait (AS). Eid is a great chance to multiply good deeds and obtain reward from Allah (SWT). How is this to be achieved? Eid is a great opportunity to bring happiness and pleasure to the heart of other Muslims, an example of which is helping the poor and needy. One must remember that not all Muslims throughout the world are fortunate to wear new clothes or eat good food, and so this must not be forgotten. In addition, eid is a day of visiting relatives and friends, as well as making up with lost friends and forgiving them for any mistakes. Most importantly, eid is a day of self-change and self development, looking into one‟s self and reflecting on everyday actions, whether they would please Allah (SWT) or disobey Him. Eid can also be referred to as a day of victory, where a Muslim proves that s/he maintains a strong command over their desires, exercises sound self-control, and enjoys the taste of disciplinary life. In one of the saying of Hadhrat Imam Ali (AS), he says:“Eid is any day where Allah (SWT) is not disobeyed.” Thus if one can hold themselves from disobeying the Almighty for a single day, that is the true achievement and the true eid. Thus the Islamic eid is a Day of forgiveness, a Day of happiness, a Day of remarkable achievement, a Day of peace and thanksgiving and a Day of moral victory. A true eid is all this and much more, because it is a Day of Islam and a Day of Allah (SWT).


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Voice Of Unity

Psychology

Br. Zileyh Hassnane Shah

I have chosen to write an article about the mind, also known as the „Akl‟ or intellect, because I feel that this is one of important aspects in understanding the self. The material and information that I have provided in this article is brief as this subject is very deep in itself and elite scholars globally have written numerous books and reference material regarding this issue. Understanding the mind is part of understanding ourselves and thus understanding our deen. It is possible to gain an understanding of our minds through different elements such as knowledge, how we think and behave, forces that govern our lives, as well as pain and pleasure that may shape our destiny . The mind can be divided into two phases: physical and sub-conscious. I will try to dwell more into of the physical phase as there is not much evidence available to be able to comment on the sub-conscious level and thus it becomes a difficult issue to deal with. Scientific research shows that the average person only uses a few percent of powers of the mind and the worlds great geniuses acquire approximately five to fifteen percent. Think of all the potential that remains! We must therefore learn how to acquire all this power and use it beneficially. To be able to utilise the powers of the mind we have to understand ourselves mainly through knowledge. Knowledge brings understanding, when we understand we are enlightened, and this can then be seen in our actions. According to Imam Ali (AS) „Knowledge is the weapon of the believer‟. So let us be empowered. Knowledge helps to train the mind through exercising it. Exercising through, for example, daily reading and reciting the Holy Quran, analysing the verses, pondering over it, understanding, thinking and reflecting. Allah (SWT) has given us the intellect, ability to think, reason, ponder as Allah(SWT)

says in the Quran:‘Do you not use your intellect?’ (9:87) ‘Do you not ponder?’ (4:82) A hadith qudsi also says to the intellect:‘I have not created a being which I love more than you. Through you I punish and through you I reward’ Islam also teaches us that we must be physically fit. This has a large influence on our minds. The mind and body are bound together and are inseparable. Hence training physically has a natural impact on the mind as well as mental conditioning. Training physically can be in form of martial arts, Silat-haq or any sport which will bring one into a calm sense of mental state, sense of fulfilment and achievement, feeling contentment and progress. All of the positive notions of which have a great impact and influence on our minds. When we are calm we can think clearly, visualise and picture easily, our thinking patterns are more structural and logical, ideas flow more easily. This phase or level is a step or shift upwards towards control. For example: in India , yoga is practised widely. These people are able to perform amazing feats such as stopping their heartbeat and walking on burning embers with no apparent injury. The reason for this is that yoga has obtained extraordinary control over their bodies and minds by exercise and mental discipline. In purely scientific terms these people have learned to control alpha and beta waves. Control is a very important step. If we can master control over ourselves, our physical body, master control over our minds, emotions such as excitement, anger, fear etc. and most importantly master over the powers of concentrations as performance of the mind is affected by this, then we can achieve almost anything in life. This aspect control is the key factor. The control is driven by the level of knowledge, beliefs and Iman we carry. continued in next issue


Voice Of Unity

Brain Teasers

1- There are two rooms, one with three switches and the other with three bulbs. How can you find out which switch opens which bulb, entering each room only once? (Note: Light cannot be seen from one room to another) 2- A person asked Imam Ali (AS): what is the smallest number that is divisible by 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9, and 10? What number did the Imam answer? (answer does not include fractions) 3-There are nine oranges, all having the same weight, but only one is heavier than the others. Using the weighing scale only twice, how would you know which orange is the heavier? (Answers to these in the next issue)

ANSWERS TO LAST ISSUE’S TEASERS 1- Earnie Black was the murderer 2-The three ages when multiplied, must be of the following combinations: 72x1x1 12x6x1 12x3x2 18x2x2 18x4x1 9x8x1

8x3x3 3x24x1 36x2x1 6x3x4 9x4x2 6x6x2

The census taker should have known the number of the house, as he could see it, but he didn‟t know their ages, therefore the house must be number 14. He needed more information to decide whether their ages were 6,6,2 or 8,3,3. When the woman says „eldest‟ daughter, he knows they are 8,3,3.

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Whats On....

Voice Of Unity

These take place on Wednesdays at 4.00pm in Dar Al-Hikma (45 Chalton Street, Euston). Programmes start with congregational prayer and iftar, followed by a speech: Wed 30/12 Maulana Sayyid Taqi Rizvi Inspirational role of Sayyida Khadija (AS) in Islam Tue 05/1/99 Br Mustafa Mawjee Laylatul-qadr and dharbat of Imam Ali (AS) Wed 13/1/99 Maulana Sayyid Melani Lessons from Ramadhan EID CELEBRATION PROGRAMME ON WED 20/1/99, 4.00PM, FEATURING A SHORT TALK BY A SPECIAL GUEST, QUIZ, AND FOOD VENUE: DAR AL-HIKMA

(Continued from page 9)

tantly, set priorities for the acts that are to be done during these nights. The Quran also states ‘Surely We revealed it on a blessed night - surely We are ever warning. Therein every wise affair is made distinct’ (44:3-4). Allah judges in these nights, the on-comings (from good or evil) of the year, according to what wisdom endures. Jurisprudence (Fiqh) of the month There are certain conditions under which fasting is accepted. The main ones are: belief in Islam and faith; intention for the pleasure of Allah(SWT); puberty; maturity and mental consciousness (sanity); ability to withstand

Ina Lilah Wa Ina Ileyhe Rajioon With Saddness, the IUS mourns the death of Hajj Sayyid Dr Muhammad Naqvi, the father of Dr Zaffar Naqvi, the IUS Chairman, who sadly passed away on Saturday 12/12/98. The IUS sends its condolences to his family, and asks the Almighty ta‟la to enter him in the gardens of jannah, and to give his family patience. Please recite surat Fateha.

(hold up); not to faint; purity from menstruation (Haydh) and 'labour period' (Nifas) [for females]; and not to be on a journey exceeding the appointed distance limits. There are, additionally, things that break the fast. They should be clear to us so that we will not fall in their traps. Some of them are deliberate eating and drinking; deliberately lying about Allah(SWT), the Prophets or Imams; deliberate complete immersion of the head under water; sexual intercourse; deliberately remaining in the state of Janabah without washing (ghusl) until dawn; deliberate inhalation (up-take) of dust as well as smoking (note some Mujtehids (scholars) consider smoking to be completely forbidden initially); deliberate vomiting. Whatever act of worship we do in this month, especially during the grand nights, shall be multiplied in reward. So generous an offer, that our sleep and even breath are considered to be acts of worship. Finally, we supplicate to the Almighty to increase us in guidance and knowledge to be aware of the true value of Quran, to be able to give charity to the needy and progress morally in life in the light of Islam to the highest extent possible. Br Haider Jafari


Voice Of Unity

Trips

IUS EID TRIP ’99 SWANSEA For Brothers and Sisters aAn enjoyable day of sightseeing and visiting places a Meeting with other students from around Wales a Date: Saturday 30 January 1999 a Departure: 8.00 am, London Paddington a Arrival: 9.30 pm, London Paddington a Cost: £ 15 per person (heavily subsidised) To book tickets, please contact the IUS Tel No: 0171 436 4786 and leave your details. Payments must be sent by 15/1/99 for full booking (only a few places left - so hurry!!) DEADLINE FOR BOOKINGS AND PAYMENT: 15/1/99

The IUS Introduces THE ACADEMIC CONFERENCE ‘99

“Global Economic Trends and their Impact on Muslim Countries” Presenting various lectures and a discussion panel by expert speakers in their related field Be sure not to miss it! Brunei Gallary, SOAS, University of London

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Voice Of Unity

Ius News

* Month of Ramdhan: The IUS would like to congratulate you on the arrival of the holy month of Ramdhan and Eid-ul-Fitr. May Allah (SWT) bring these glorious days with prosperity and victory to all Muslims throughout the world Inshallah. * Weekly Meetings: The meetings have been attended fairly well, with numerous speakers enlightening the brothers/sisters with different talks. Please see page 14 for programmes in the Holy Month of Ramadhan. Programmes after this month will be sent to members nearer the time. * New Address Reminder: The IUS has a new mail address and telephone number. You can find these in the box at the bottom of the page. Please use them in any correspondence with the society.

COMMENTS?? SUGGESTIONS??COMPLAINTS?? The IUS welcomes any comments, suggestions or any complaints from members regarding its activities. Please feel free to voice your opinion by phone, letter or by e-mail.

Wiladat Dharbat Shahadat *Eid Ul Fitr* Shahadat Wiladat

Imam Hasan (AS) Imam Ali (AS) Imam Ali (AS)

15 Ramadhan 18 Ramadhan 21 Ramadhan 1 Shawal Imam AsSadiq (AS) 25 Shawal Imam Raza (AS) 11 Dhul-Qada

Sun 3rd Jan Wed 6th Jan Sat 9th Jan Tue 19th Jan Fri 2nd Feb Sun 28th Feb

Subject to the sighting of the moon

Islamic Unity Society Registered Charity No. 1066910

Mail Address: c/o IUS Box 145 37 Store Street London WC1E 7BS

Telephone: 0171 436 4786 Email: M.Al-Rashed@ucl.ac.uk ius@ius.org.uk Internet: www.ius.org.uk


Jan - Feb 1999