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Volume 5, Issue 3

Shawwal-Dhul-Qida 1420 January-February 2000

[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)

The dream had finally come true, the IUS Umrah trip had finally materialised into reality and there we were, 15 IUS members jetting off to Saudi to fulfill our spiritual aspirations. This meant that not only were we going to perform Umrah during the Holy Month of Ramadhan and spend Laylatul-Qadr in Mecca, but we were going to completely side-step millennium fever in Britain and all the associated hype. This trip was going to be a well-deserved vacation for all of us, for it was a break from the norm as we had come to know it, from a mundane routine and from a superficial and materialistically determined lifestyle. Our journey began with our departure from London Heathrow on Sunday 19th December, with everyoneâ€&#x;s faces beaming with

Investigating its scientific basis PAGES 4-5

anticipation. However, I personally think the real excitement had already started exactly two weeks earlier in a preparatory seminar for all the participants of the trip. It was during this seminar that we had our first meeting with Dr. Al-Hilli, who was to become our guide. Dr. Al-Hilli gave clear, step -by-step explanations of the rituals involved in performing Umrah, while members scribbled down every word said. Thus the realisation that we were going to the house of God began to set in. The flight from London to Jeddah took approximately 6 hours, and ran smoothly despite the initial 2 hour delay before take-off. We finally reached Medina at around midday on Monday 20th December, and after a few hours rest at our accommodation, we made our way to the

The Islamic Way to celebrate PAGE 6

The practical approach PAGE 7


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Assalamu Alaykum brothers and sisters and welcome to your latest issue of Voice of Unity. I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the Islamic Unity Society to wish you and all your families the best for Eid-ul-Fitr, asking the Almighty (SWT) to forgive us all for our errors and to enjoin us with the blessings of the Holy Month of Ramadhan many more times to come Inshallah. I would like to use my humble editorial space this issue to remind us all of the importance of Prayer. There may be those of you who question my mention of it, for surely no one can doubt the sheer value and esteem given to praying in Islam. I am not doubting the fact that

all Muslims acknowledge this fact, rather I want to highlight our somewhat unfortunate lack of reverence to it. 'Praying' says the Prophet of Islam (SAW) 'is the salvation of the true believer, the pillar of faith, and the light of heaven on earth.' Prayer is the heart of our religion and faith, it is our means of attaining closeness to our Creator, our expression of obedience and gratitude to our Lord. Prayer is a physical manifestation of that which is in our hearts and souls. Hence it is wajib. All this is fine and well known by all Muslims. Even many non-Muslims are aware of the Muslims obligation to pray. Yet the question is how many of us pray all our

Sin and Its effects The Holy Prophet (SAW) said: “Do not look at the minuteness of the sin, but see Whom you have sinned against” He also said: “When Allah Almighty and Glorious sends His wrath on a nation and does not punish them by it, then; their prices will go up (expensive), their lifetime will shorten, their merchants will not gain profits, their fruits will not be abundant, their streams will not become brimful, their rain will be withheld from them, and their vicious ones will dominate over them.” Ameer-ul-Moimeneen Ali (AS) said “The tears do not dry up only because the hearts are hard, and hearts do not harden but because of the

prayers on time and in pure devotion? For the time being let us only consider the five wajib prayers of a Muslim. I am sure even the best of us do not drop everything at Adhan time. How many of us jump out of bed in the morning so as to get to work or university etc on time? Compare this with our eagerness to get up and pray salatul Fajr. Need I say more? It is no good merely acknowledging this sad phenomena amongst Muslims, we must act rather than speak. Surely there are many of us who need to reconsider our attitudes to praying on time. Let us do this now rather than later. Sr. Duha Al-Wakeel, Editor.

abundance of sins.” He also said: “Lacking forgiveness is the worst of deficiencies and hastening in vengeance is (among) the greatest (of all) sins.” He also said: “ If one of you desires to know his standing with Allah, he may evaluate his situation in relation to his sins against Allah; such is his worthiness to Allah, the blessed and Exalted.” Imam Jaffar As-Sadiq (AS) said: “Do you not know that your sins are reported to the messenger of Allah (PBUH)? When he observes a sin against Allah, he becomes displeased. Therefore do not hurt the messenger of Allah but do please him.”


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Sr Fatima Hamadi People seem to have different views as to how hard teaching is, and what it actually involves. Some people admit they could never have the patience to work with children, whilst others think that teaching is an easy job "because of the paid holidays, and finishing at 3:30pm every day." I would like to dispel the former opinion. After a month of starting my teaching degree I soon realised that a teacher's work does not start and end with the school day. In fact the teacher's responsibilities are extremely important outside the classroom, such as constantly liasing with parents, staff and other adults, writing reports during the academic year, planning, and creating a classroom with 'an encouraging learning environment'. Not to mention, meeting after meeting and the INSET (inservice teacher training) days. Facing up to all of these responsibilities, and teaching for a whole day means that by the time holidays arrive teachers are too exhausted to enjoy them. When teaching a teacher must be confident, loud, friendly, clear, alert and extremely patient. Each class will have a variety of children as well as the 'problem child' or 'problem children' who will need and take a lot of your attention. There will also be a range of abilities within the class, and this means more work while planning. It also requires you to become flexible and creative. Another rumour is that teachers are paid badly, unfortunately this is very true. So why would anyone want to take on such a stressful and hardworking job that pays so little? The truth is if you want to be a teacher nothing will convince you otherwise. If you enjoy working with children, as I do, you will really enjoy teaching and find it rewarding and fulfilling. When you are faced with the complete trust of 30 children and their parents, you have a strong sense of power and responsibility to make sure that these children get the best education and school experience possible. You have an amazing energy when you are in the classroom. It is a special thing when a child can add 2 and 2 because of your efforts. One of the rewards of the job is when a parent tells you how much their child respects your opinion, and seeing the improvement each child has made during the year. Islamically learning and gaining knowledge is encouraged. Therefore as teachers we are helping aid this process. Children rely on teachers not only to teach

them the National Curriculum, but to teach them morals, right from wrong and acceptable behaviour. The classroom can be a forum to counter-act stereo types that they may have, and teach children to respect each other. If you are considering doing a teaching degree, this insight is important, as this is what will be expected from you as a student. It is therefore essential to know what a teachers job entails. The Bed (Bachelor of Education Degree) as I chose to do is a professional degree, it is therefore limiting to a career in teaching and education. However the degree itself is enjoyable. The degree includes many different elements so it is not a typical degree. Each year students are taught the curriculum subjects: English, Maths, Science and Information Communications Technology as core subjects and other modules in the foundation subjects (Art, PE, Music, Geography, History, Design and Technology). Within each of these modules you learn to develop your own skills as well as how to apply the subjects to children. In the final year you choose to specialise in one of the foundation subjects. Another core module is 'teaching studies': the theory behind teaching. You actually learn to teach when you are on a teaching 'block practice'. This is where you will visit and observe teaching in schools. The block practices form an important part of the degree. By the time you reach the final year, you are expected to take on the sole responsibility of a class. These experiences will inevitably form the basis of your decision as to how you feel about teaching. There is another route into teaching rather than the four year BEd. The PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate of Education) is a one year course that you can do after graduating from many other degrees. This route gives you more career options and is less stressful than doing the four years of block practices. Of the PGCE, 70% is spent teaching in classrooms. Having graduated this year I am a NQT (Newly Qualified Teacher) which means I am going through a training process. This 'probation' year' is the governments ideas of making sure that all teachers fulfill the DFEE teacher standards. Next year I will be a 'Qualified Teacher' I will than have the opportunity to work anywhere in the world, part time, full time or supply teach. I hope this has been a helpful insight into teaching, there are many more aspects that I have not mentioned (i.e. playground duty in winter) I suggest spending a week in a classroom before making any decision to get a realistic feel of a teaching


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Sr. May Al-Timimi

Throughout the ages, non-believers regarded the question of resurrection as one unworthy of scientific analysis. Early materialistic scholars regarded the return to life after death as impossible, and as a result deemed the subject as unworthy of scientific analysis. Islamic scholars have always maintained that religion and scientific exploration are not opposing forces; they are in fact seen to reaffirm one another. If at any time during our history it was seen that science contradicted true religious doctrine, it has always been proven that it was as a result of the scientific theories being wrong to begin with. The first true break through that came as a result of scientific exploration concerning the subject of resurrection was when the celebrated French scholar Lavoisier, who was the founder of modern chemistry, reached the conclusion that the total quantity of matter in the universe remained stable. This idea later evolved into the most fundamental rule of the physical universe, and it was that matter could neither be created nor destroyed. Using this principle we can argue that since no particle of our physical being could be annihilated it is plausible that it can be recreated from the very elements it sprung from originally. This has certainly been demonstrated to be possible in organisms such as viruses, where it was found that if a virus was broken up into its component parts, it can reform into its original state. However, in the case of the virus its component parts must remain in close proximity to one another, so what of a human body, that once buried, starts to decay and disintegrated and will eventually scatter as its particles become incorporated in other living organisms? In answer to that it is possible to look at the situation from another perspective.

Man was created from clay, and after death returns to his original form, therefore is it not possible to say that since the original clay made man, that the final clay could not be made into that very same individual? Science states that the likely hood of life springing from the vast expanse of the universe is infinitely small, and hence the existence of intelligent life is even less likely. The question of who then against the mathematical odds constructed man, out of clay? Surely it must be the same power that brought into existence our self contained bubble of matter which is the universe. This very power is Allah (SWT), and surely since he made man from clay, he could make him again and again. We know it is possible to make an identical copy of an individual by the process of cloning, by using the persons genetic material (DNA) we can get as far as making an identical body. Therefore is it not conceivable that God who has the most intimate knowledge of who and what we are can create our DNA from its original elements? Allah addresses this matter in this following ayah: ‘ The unbelievers say: ‘ Is this not a strange thing that we should be brought back after dying and turning to dust? Such return is impossible.’ But We are fully aware of what the earth takes from them, and it is We Who possess the Preserved Tablet’ (Holy Quran 50:2-4) The persuasive logic of the Quran goes further on to stress the point of the creator possessing the power to recreate that which was thought to be destroyed: ‘ (O Messenger,) say: ‘ God Who first brought them to life will restore them to life. He has knowledge of all His creation.’ …Is the Creator Who brought into being the heavens and the earth incapable of creating the like thereof? Certainly He is the Creator


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of All – Knowing’ (36:79,81). Having touched upon the subject of cloning, some may say that even a clone can not be said to be the same individual as the original, for a clone may be made when the original individual is still alive. So how can the resurrected being be the same as that which died? The simplest answer to that is that the soul of the person must be the same, and in the case of the clone it is not. Further more, a clone can not be said to be identical to its original donor, even when possessing the same DNA, since twins possess identical DNA material however they are certainly very different individuals. This is further emphasised by the fact that no two individuals can have the same fingerprints, and this is certainly true of twins, and would be true also in the case of clones, since fingerprint patterns are formed as a result of the environment in which a fetus is formed and certainly a clone is not formed in the same environment as that of the original individual. However, Allah (SWT) in his infinite power encounters no difficulty in bringing back even the detailed physical characteristics of a person. ‘Does man imagine that We are not capable of reassembling his decayed bones? We are able even to restore his fingers to their previous state’ (75:34) In this ayah God selects for mention of all the features of man the composition of the lines of his finger tips as an example of his power. This is important because it is possible that individuals should resemble one another with respect to other parts of their bodies, however, no two people can have identical fingerprints. Any individual with intelligence will eventually come to the conclusion that life in the narrow sphere of this world is too petty to represent the ultimate aim of creation. That there is more to us than our physical existence, and that no mechanical force is capable of creating the precise phenomenon that is man is surely evidence of the miracle of creation. Reference: http://al-islam.org/Resurrect/r6.htm

Rainy Days Its a rainy Sunday morning And I’m trying to unwind Something I’ve forgotten Is playing on my mind. Most people read a book Or go out to escape The mundane repetitiveness Of life on this place. But what Islam has given us A present from Allah (SWT) A sublime place to dream of A place that seems so far Gardens of fruit and delight Constant bliss, no day or night No time marching, demanding, No lack, suffer or wanting Just all the things you love. Hazy sunshine on a spring day A blissful repose in a land far away The sound of the ocean gently lapping I awake to the sound of a gentle tapping Time to awake from my heavenly dream Such a place, so beautiful, so serene This material world is no place for me now I know where to go and Islam shows me how.

Sr. Fadak Ali


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Z Sr. Fayeza Suleiman Alhamdulillah, my brothers and sisters in Islam, we have had the „Holy Month of Ramadhan‟ as a gift from our creator. An opportunity to have redeemed ourselves and we will carry on Inshallah in this way in the eyes of our maker. In Islam visiting and greeting each other is called „silat al raham‟ which brings prosperity and long life. Visiting, greeting, shaking hands embracing, naturally creates an atmosphere of love, particularly after performing good deeds under the commandments of Allah (SWT), that day is called ‘Eid‟. Eid-ul-Fitr is one of the most significant occasions recognised by all Muslims and celebrated in different ways. The concept of Eid in Islam is not only confined to celebrations and friendly embraces. Muslims should devote this day to the worship of Allah (SWT) and should beseech Him to approve their virtuous deeds and forgive their sins. This is because the doors of God‟s pardon are kept open on this day and His blessings are bountiful. Imam ZainulAbideen (AS) used to devote the whole night preceding Eid to prayers and worship and has said that „This night is as important as that of LaylatulQadr‟. How do others celebrate Eid? Well, for one whole month a dramatic change occurs in the Muslim community at University. What I would call ‘Ramadhan fever‟. On comes the Shalwaar kameez, mosque hat and tasbih in-hand. The mosques are filled with people attending Quran classes and Islamic talks – and then – it‟s Eid. The mosques become museums for the old and „deprived youth‟ and there are eleven months of freedom to go before the fasting season comes back with enthusiasm. You know it‟s wrong yet Allah (SWT) is Al-Rahman, Al-Rahim as we are told, but Allah (SWT) has created us, he knows our intentions. We have seen how some of our Muslim brothers and sisters mark the end of Ramadhan by immediately succumbing to sins and erasing all the rewards

z gathered during this month. It‟s Eid, so you see flyers and posters around advertising „Eid‟ gigs to mark the occasion at various venues e.g. clubs, concerts etc. The CDs are piled back on the shelves and the Quran sits on the shelf for the rest of the year gathering dust. Ibadat? What‟s that from Shawwal to Shaa‟ban? „Well, we‟ve done our bit for the year‟ you hear people saying – but is this Islam? The Holy Month of Ramadhan has been a time for self-reflection mentally, physically and of course spiritually. We should embark on this process of self–building throughout the year and seek guidance from Allah (SWT). We should aim to practice this self-restraint for the twelve months of the year, not just one. We have to truly submit to Allah (SWT), as the true meaning of Islam is ‘Submission‟. Have you submitted to Allah (SWT)? We have to put Islam into our lives wholeheartedly. Islam is not like Christianity, a once a week commitment, rather it is a 24 hour a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year and ultimately a lifetime commitment. This commitment entails leading our lives on this Earth in accordance with the guidance of the teachings of Islam via the Quran and the Ahlul-bait (AS). Unfortunately today we have the Jummah Muslim, the Ramadhan Muslim, the Eid Muslim, the Hajj Muslim and then we have the Muslims by name but we rarely have the true Muslim. Eid should not be treated merely as a tradition. Rather it should be viewed by appreciating its role as a clear victory of struggling to the peak of willpower during the month of Ramadhan. We should remember that the Day of Judgement is inevitable and we will be asked to account for our deeds in this world. „Today is the day of action and no accounting, and tomorrow is the day of accounting and no action.‟ Inshallah, we began the holy Month of Ramadhan as we meant to carry on, not for just one month a year, but for twelve. Best wishes for Eid-ul -fitr and the forthcoming eids.


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“And your Lord has commnaded that you shall not worship (any) but Him, and you must be good to your parents”. Holy Quran (17:23)

For more than 1400 years, Islam has stressed the importance of correct relationships with our parents. This is evident in many verses of the Holy Quran and the many hadiths from the noble Ahlul-Bait (AS). Below is a comprehensive list of practical action points, as a guide for us all, on building the correct Islamic relationship with our parents. 1

Parents are to be addressed with respect. “Say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour.” (17:23) 2 We must obey our parents at all times, except in the disobedience of Allah (SWT). 3 We must be kind and gentle to them, and not look at their faces with anger or disgust. 4 Taking care of our parents‟ reputation and dignity is a must, and we should not take anything from the house without their permission. 5 We must perform what pleases them, for example purchasing goods for the house without their instructions. 6 Parents are to be consulted in all our affairs, and apologised to if we have to disagree with them. 7 We must answer their call immediately, by replying “Yes my dear father/mother” 8 We should be kind to their friends and relatives and not be a friend of their enemy. 9 We should not argue with them and mistake them but try with gentle manners to clarify the truth. 10 We must not oppose them or lift our voice above theirs, and carefully listen to them, accommodating their wishes. 11 Attempts must be made to help our mothers in their housework, and our fathers in their daily work. 12 We should not travel if our parents object to

13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

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it, and if we do so we must apologise to them and make sure that we are in continuous contact with them. Our parents‟ mistakes or weaknesses should not be shown up in front of guests or others, instead we must keep praising them. Parents‟ rooms are not to be entered without permission. We must try not to eat before them, and always serve them before ourselves. We should not lie to them or criticise them if they do something we don‟t like. We must continuously ask Allah (SWT) for their happiness and wellbeing, as their happiness is also Allah (SWT)‟s happiness. We should not sit in a higher position than them, and be careful not to upset them in any way. We should not hesitate in helping our parents financially to the best of our ability. If you live outside their house (married), increase your visits to them and offer gifts. Always remember that the garden of Jannah is beneath the mother‟s footsteps (hadith). We must respect their rights in this life, and we will be rewarded with similar treatment from our children Inshallah. If they ask us for a favour, we must try our best to complete it, and if not apologise. If we asked them for a favour, thank them for completing it, and forgive them if they didn‟t. We should make du‟a to Allah for your parents‟ health and well-being (if alive) or forgiveness and mercy (if dead). We should also ask your parents to pray for us as well. Always pray to the Almighty: “My lord! Bestow on them Mercy as they did bring me up when I was young.” (17:24)


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Prophet‟s mosque. We were overpowered with a mixture of emotions as we carefully walked towards the mosque under the magnetism of the call to prayer. We were in sheer awe of the beauty of the mosque, and we were amazed by the amount of reconstruction that had taken place in over the recent years. It was humbling to know that it was in these midst the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) spent most of his life as leader of the Muslim Ummah. We were also touched with sadness at the sight of JannatulBaqee, and how the place of burial of four of our Imams, and so many graves of the family and faithful companions of the Holy Prophet, had been reduced to rubble. Our three days in Medina went by all too fast, women could only do ziarat of the Prophet‟s grave between 7 and 11 o‟clock in the morning. After this visits were organised to various sites of historic interest, such as the plane of the battle of Uhud, Masjid-Quba, Masjid-Qiblatain and the rest of the famous 7 mosques. However it was unfortunate that the authorities were slowly shutting down some of these mosques, i.e the Mosque of Fatima (AS) had been blocked off. Before we knew it, it was time to depart for Mecca, our time at Medina had come to an end and it was necessary to bid the peace and serenity of the Prophet‟s burial town farewell. Despite the sadness, there remained a feeling of excitement amongst everyone, for we were leaving Medina to go to Mecca to perform Umrah. One of the main features of Umrah was Ihram. The feeling of purity, equality and new beginnings was epitomised in the sea of white fabric. Although the wearing of white was only wajib for the brothers, it was also mustahab for the sisters, so all of us were dressed in white. Yet as it soon became obvious Ihram was not just about the physical wearing of

white - there were many other conditions and rules that went hand in hand with this. These rules included, amongst others, no arguing, no killing insects, no perfume or any form of beautification and no looking in the mirror. The latter was probably one of the most difficult considering that everywhere in Saudi seemed to be covered in mirrors! Having worn the Ihram it was obligatory to make the niya (intention), this we did from Masjid As-Shajera, that was on the outskirts of Medina. Now the Umrah had truly begun. A plane flight later we were in the holy city of Mecca, and having relaxed a little, off we went to Masjid Al Haram. Reaching there at approximately midnight, we were awed by the amazing view. There were thousands of people, maybe even millions, who knows. All these people of all nationalities and all colours were here in this one place with one purpose of praising Allah (SWT). It was truly amazing. The Umrah itself consisted of Tawaf (circulating seven times) around the Kaa‟ba, Sa‟iy (walking) between the mountains of AsSafa and Al-Marwa, Taqseer(cutting a little bit of hair or nails) and a final Tawaf. One thing that stuck in my head was the image of so many people performing Sa‟iy between the two mountains as Prophet Ibrahim (AS)‟s wife had done all those centuries ago. I could not even begin to imagine the sheer exhaustion she must


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have endured in the hot dusty desert with a crying thirsty child not knowing what to do, yet despite all of that she had complete faith and trust in Allah (SWT). In addition to this I also thought about the fact that Sa‟iy formed an integral part of Hajj and Umrah, and in reality this meant that millions of Muslims, both men and women, were obliged to trace the steps of one woman so many years ago. And the West has the nerve to claim that women are regarded no status in Islam. The remainder of our stay in the Holy City of Mecca took the form of sleeping throughout the early part of the day and staying awake at night. This had the effect of us barely noticing the strain of fasting in such a hot country. Though, saying that it was impossible not to notice that it was Ramadhan. The magical atmosphere could be felt by everyone, and was materialised in the evident generosity of people passing on dates and yoghurt at the Haram for others to break their fast on. We would usually retire back home after Salatul Maghrib and after eating we would usually read Dua Al-Iftititah and listen to a short talk on varied Islamic issues. Our program varied on Laylatul Qadr, whereby we ended up staying a good 14 hours or so in the midst of the Holy Kaa‟ba. Alhamdulilah, in this time we all succeeded in performing many aa‟mal (acts of worship). The only breaks we took were to eat iftar and later on to have sahar. One night in Mecca it rained whilst we were performing tawaf, at first the drops were truly refreshing, unfortunately it did not quite feel the same when we were soaking wet and cold. It was however an unforgettable memory. One disappointing thing about Saudi Arabia was the differential treatment given to certain people. One night during Tawaf, a King of a nearby Arab country decided to grace us with his presence. The Islamic philosophy of worship being about equality and brotherhood seemed to disappear into thin air as an army of soldiers blocked off areas making way for him to perform Tawaf untouched by the commoners.

Unsurprisingly, the cameramen were allowed close up. The next morning as we were leaving after Fajr salat we saw the same process being repeated for a different Arab King. Personally it felt as if the whole ideological foundations of worshipping Allah (SWT) at Mecca were being eroded. Despite all of that, we all felt that this trip was such a blessing - we could not complain. We had been blessed with this once in a lifetime opportunity of performing Umrah during Ramadhan. Furthermore, when the IUS announced that it was organising this trip, nothing could have prepared them for the unprecedented response from the sisters. As a result of the limited number of subsidised places available, some were unfortunately left disappointed. Before leaving Mecca we had the opportunity to visit the Hajj sites of Arafat, Muzdalifah and Mina . The main difference was that they were practically empty now. In addition to these sites we also saw Jabal alThawr (where the Prophet (SAW) and his companion hid during their migration from Mecca to Medina) and Jabal an Noor (where ‘Hara Cave‟ is to be found - it was in this cave that the first verses of the Holy Quran were revealed). It was these places were our Deen has much of its history, and it gave us a sense of identity by being able to see these places in person. On our way to Jeddah airport at the end of our visit, we passed by along the coastal road


10 10 Islamic Personalities of The 20th Century (3)

Br. Mohammed Al-Hilli

Date and Place of birth: February 1919, Fariman, Khurasan, Iran A glance at his life: Martyr Ayotallah Muttahari was one of the eminent and highly knowledgeable Islamic scholars of this century. His father, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein Muttahari was a religious scholar and a pious man, and it was he who personally educated his son Murtada to high standards of knowledge and piety. He was, at a very young age, deeply rooted in learning. He travelled to Mashhad where he pursued his studies for five years, studying Islamic sciences, philosophy, Islamic Law and Arabic literature. At the age of 17, Ayotallah Muttahari travelled to Qum to study in the famous Islamic Educational Centre, the Hawza. It was here where he spent his next fifteen years, being under the guidance and supervision of many distinguished Ulema, including Imam Khomeini (RA), Allamah Tabatabei (RA) and Ayotallah Muhaqaq (RA). In 1952, he formed a council of university students in Tehran and, in 1955, began to teach theology at Tehran University. In the many years of the struggle against the Shah regime, Martyr Muttahari was one of the leading figures who actively campaigned and rallied for an Islamic government. In 1963, he was arrested along with Imam Khomeini, but was released after 43 days due to intense public pressure. After the exile of the Imam outside Iran, Martyr Muttahari took the active role of leadership of the Islamic Movement, and was the link between Imam Khomeini and the Iranian people. After the Islamic victory in Iran in 1978, Ayotallah Muttahari remained a close advisor to Imam Khomeini. In May 1979, the hands of kufr assassinated this eminent scholar in one of the tragedies of this century. Imam Khomeini wept openly on hearing the news and said: “In him I have lost a dear son. I am mourning the death of the fruit of my life.” Publications: Martyr Muttahari was one of the most prolific and outstanding Islamic writers of this century. He was, undoubtedly, a great thinker and philosopher. He wrote continuously from his student days until his assassination in 1979. Martyr Muttahari left behind tens of books on philosophy,

ethics, sociology, history and many other subjects. Much of his work was translated to several languages, and remain valuable treasures today. Examples include „Master and Mastership”, “Man and Universe”, “Women and her rights in Islam”, “Society and histor y” and “Islami c Movements in the 14 th Century”. His contributions to papers and journals were also immense, his articles ranging from philosophical to historical issues. Aspects of his Wisdom: “Islam, which is based on a perfect conception of the Universe, is a comprehensive and realistic school. In Islam attention has been paid to all aspects of human needs, whether they are carnal or spiritual, intellectual or sentimental, individualistic or social and whether they partain to this world or the next.” “Nothing can be more depressing to the spirit of a man than the feeling that he has no liberty and all his acts are controlled by a superpower.” Martyrdom and Place of burial: 1st May 1979 by the Munafeqqeen. He was laid to rest in the precincts of hadharat Ma‟sooma-Qum in Qum. Final note: Few people can doubt the enormous loss to the Muslim World of the Martyrdom of Allamah Martyr Muttahari. He was unique in that he was a thinker who had fully absorbed a comprehensive philosophical training. His work covered a wide range of philosophical and religious subjects, and many issues that play a vital role in the life of Muslims today. He will forever remain one of the greatest Islamic Philosophers and writers. May Allah (SWT) bless his soul.


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Sr. Fayeza Suleiman

“Verily, the knowledge of the Hour (of death) is with God alone. It is He who sends down rain, and He knows what is in the wombs. Nor does anyone know, what it is he will earn tomorrow. Nor does anyone know in what land he is to die. Verily God is all – knowing, All-Aware.’ Sura-et -Luqman (31:34). Islam teaches us never to forget our death and the fact that we must be prepared for it at all times. We come from Allah (SWT) and we return unto him, ‘Inna lil-lah wa ina illayhi raa’jioon’ we are from God and to him we will return. (2:156) We are accountable for all our deeds they being either good or bad. If we are well prepared for death we must not be frightened and must remember that it is our deeds that will determine our experiences after death which takes place in albarzakh, and on Judgement day. Daily, before sleeping Hazrat Ali (AS) used to announce from the mosque, „O people, get ready and make preparations for your journey of the hereafter. May Allah have mercy on you. The proclaimer of death is announcing. Take heed. Be prepared. You will face numerous hazards there.‟ (Nahjul Balagha) The first occasion of death that we must be prepared for is the experiences of the pangs of death. Sheikh Sadooq has quoted Imam Jaffer-asSadiq (AS) as saying, „If anyone wishes to make the pangs of death easy and light, he should maintain good relations with his relatives and should be kind and gentle with his parents‟. The Holy Prophet (SAW) has recommended recitation of Surat Yasin and reading the du‟a „La Ilaha Ila Allah-ul Haleemul Kareem…‟ (There is no god but Allah, the forbearing and gracious) in qunoot as being beneficial. The second occasion of death is – Adeela indal Maut (satanic thoughts in death). During this time Satan approaches people at the time of their death creating and raising doubts in their minds. To conquer Satan at this point one should be in the habit of recalling usul-al-deen regularly, so that one will be reminded of them at the time of death. Reciting the Tasbeeh of Fatemat-al-Zahra, reading

Surat Al-Mu‟menoon on Fridays will also be of great benefit when it comes to the last breath a person takes before death. The third occasion is Wehshat-al-Qaber, this is the loneliness of the grave. This occasion is more severe and painful than the previous occasions. The Holy Prophet (SAW) said „The most fearful time for the dead is their first night in the grave. Help your dead in this time of need by giving charity on their behalf and by praying for them (salat al wah‟sha)‟. It is also beneficial to read „La Ilah Ila Allah Malik ul Haqq ul Mubeen‟ (There is no power except that of Allah, the king, the right, the manifest) one hundred times daily and to read surat Yasin every night before sleeping. The fourth occasion is the constriction of the grave. This is also a difficult time. The grave calls out every day „I am the rest house of travelers. I am a house of horror and also of peace‟. For some the grave will be a garden from amongst the gardens of heaven, and for others a pit from the pits of hell. There are practices which can prove helpful in this regard for example 1) Hazrat Ali (AS) said that reading surat Al-Nesa every Friday will save one from constriction. 2) One who makes a habit of reading surat-Al Zuhhruf will also remain safe from constriction. 3) Imam Jafar-al-Sadiq has said that whoever dies between Thursday noon and Friday noon will be spared constriction. 4) Imam Ali-al-Hadi (AS) said that Salatul Layl is also helpful. The fifth occasion is questioning by Munkir and Nakeer, reciting of Talqeen at the deathbed will aid the person when faced with the two angels. The sixth occasion which is the Barzakh. This is a time of extreme helplessness, only our deeds can help us unless our loved ones aid us by prayers and charity. The last occasion is that of Judgment day. It is the harshest, severest and most fearful of days. It has fifty stations, each one more difficult than the previous one. Here, all that counts is the way in which we have conduct ourselves in our short lives. Justice will be done. Everybody will be paid the full price of their deeds, the nonbelievers will go to hell and the followers of the


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Abdullah, our Muslim passenger is flying on a one way trip to a destination "well known" to all Muslims. It is a one way ticket without any option of returning. Here are the flight details (printed on the ticket!): Particulars of passenger Name:- Abdullah bin Abdullah Actual Origin:- from soil Address:- planet earth (temporary) Flight (voyage) details Place of departure:- life on earth Place of arrival:- life hereafter Place of transit:- 6 ft underground (alone) Time of departure:- unknown but it will be sooner than you expect when you least expected (death) Time of arrival:- day of judgement (not fixed at the time of printing). Only ALLAH (SWT) knows best! Luggage/cargo allowed:- the very minimum, physically 5 meters of loincloth and white cotton wool as required. Strictly prohibited all others useless worldly possessions. Accounting information Once you are at the transit station (grave), our auditors, the two angels MUNKAR and NAKIR will start the the accounting process immediately. The following will be taken to tasks:1) the three questions:a) who is your god? b) who is your prophet? c) what is your religion? d) who is your Imam? (please refer to hadith for more details and Surah Ibrahim verse 27 for the answers?) 2) your deeds on earth (Ps. if you are reading this, it is still not to late to have your "books straightened" now ALLAH (SWT) is most merciful). Flight Conditions (rules and regulations) as stipulated by ALLAH (SWT) through Al-

Qur'an and Hadith: 1) All passengers will be accountable for his/her own deeds. 2) All passengers will only have themselves to blame if their journeys are rough and unpleasant. 3) All passengers will be given fair judgement. 4) All passengers will travel alone without any provision except as stipulated below (these concession will be allowed to defend you):a) your good deeds (amal Salih) b) alms (sadaqah jariah) c) your pious children and d) your useful knowledge Additional (general) information 1) This journey is compulsory to all, regardless of race, language, religion or age. 2) It is non-transferable and no postponement is allowed - if it's time, it's time! (The chief pilot:-the angel of death will not compromise with you on the date and time of departure). 3) Insurance:- It is up to the passenger to insure the journey with their good deeds as Muslims. Disclaimer: The final destination is the sole responsibility of the passenger ... please do not waste the time given to you on this earth, be prepared for this NOT NEGOTIABLE:-ONE WAY TICKET to heaven or to hell, wallahualem.

Apology and Correction In the last issue of „Voice of Unity‟ (Issue 2, volume 5) and in the article ‘Sighting the moon‟, the sentence read: “According to the late Ayatollah Al-Khoei and Ayatollah Al-Sadr, and all of the present day scholars, science and astronomy have progressed so far that they are more reliable than human sightings and can be used to tell us when Ramadhan and Eid are (and, of course any other month)”. We would like to clarify that the Ulema have differing views on this subject ie the issue of astronomy in moon-sighting. We would like to apologise for this error. For more information, please refer to the letter accompanying this newsletter.


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Sr. Oola Ajina

The use of herbal remedies dates back thousands of years and involves the use of plant extracts in the treatment of common illnesses and disorders. Herbalism has proved important in medical research since many of our modern synthetically produced drugs have their origins traced back to the plant world. One such invaluable extract used especially throughout the flu season is Echinacea, which is believed to help strengthen the immune system. During periods of extensive study, Echinacea also helps ensure that the immune system is not vulnerable to things like glandular fever, a typical students ailment. Glandular fever is a very acidic condition, so living on coffee in an attempt to stay awake for exam revision will only encourage it. Echinacea however is thought to deal effectively with the virus responsible for glandular fever, and regular doses of vitamin C and zinc will also help. Also helpful for students preparing for exams, the herb Ginkgo Biloba can be used to boost the blood supply to the brain and improve memory. A refined extract from the leaves of the ancient ginkgo biloba tree has proved effective in increasing the blood supply to the extremities and particularly the brain. As well as speeding up reaction times and memory enhancement, the herb is also believed to help in the prevention of dementia by deteriorating blood vessels and may even delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease. A wide variety of herbal remedies can be obtained from chemists and health food shops. However it is important to note that herbal treatments, like all other medicines, should be used with due care.

‘For the sake of Allah’ The Prophet (SAW) asked his companions “which is the most fundamental and basic tenet of faith?” One said: “Salat (prayer)” The Prophet (SAW) said: “No” Another: “Zakat (almsgiving)” The Prophet (SAW) said: “No” Third: “Fasting” The Prophet (SAW) said : “No” Yet another: “Hajj and Umrah” The Prophet (SAW) said : “No” The last one: “Jihad (holy war)” The Prophet (SAW) said : “Not even that” At last the prophet (SAW) said: “All those tenets mentioned by you are beautiful acts of worship and obedience. But they do not measure up with what I have in mind. Remember, the basic and fundamental tenet is: “To love for the sake of Allah and to hate for the sake of Allah. All your likes and dislikes must confirm with His pleasure.”

The fly It was an Abbasid Court with all its splendour. Mansoor was the king. Just as Mansoor was attending his business, a small fly sat on his nose. With a wave of the hand, he whisked it off. But the fly sat on his nose again. This continued till at last Mansoor felt greatly disturbed. Turning to Imam Jaffer As-Sadiq (AS) who was present that day, he said: “O son of the Prophet, can you tell me why Allah created these lousy flies? “Yes”, the Imam said, “so that the mighty and proud are rendered humble and helpless!”

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1- Troubled Traveller A traveller, on his way to a certain village A, reaches a road junction, where he can turn left or right. He knows that only one of the two roads leads to village A, but unfortunately, he does not know which one. Fortunately, he sees two twin-brothers standing at the road junction, and he decides to ask them for directions. The traveller knows that one of the two brothers always tells the truth and the other one always lies. Unfortunately, he does not know which one always tells the truth and which one always lies. The Question: How can the traveller find out the way to village A by asking just one question to one of the two brothers? 2- Bizarre Boxes Someone shows you two boxes and he tells you that one of these boxes contains two times as much as the other one, but he does not tell you which one this is. He lets you choose one of

Umrah Trip....Continued this mosque had its foundation in the sea, similar to a pier type building. All of a sudden our two weeks were up and we were sitting in the airport lounge (well those of us that weren‟t doing any last minute airport shopping that is) ready to board our flight back home. Although some of the sisters were slightly apprehensive at first about our flight back to London and the implications of the much publicised millennium bug, we all arrived home safely minutes ahead of schedule. It was a sad moment when all the members of the group finally had to part, a special closeness had formed between us, especially the sisters. We pledged that we would remain in contact, and

these boxes, and opens it. It turns out to be filled with $10. Now he gives you the opportunity to choose for the other box instead of the current one (and skip the $10 of the first box), because the second box could contain twice as much (i.e. $20). The Question: Should you choose for the second box, or should you stick at your first choice to maximise the expected amount of money? 3- It’s a Dog’s Age Kurt was one when the family dog Jake was born. When Kurt was eight, he was twice as old as his little sister Katie. Their second dog, Kirby, was born when Katie was two years old. Now, Katie is 2/3 the age of Kurt, and Kirby is 3 times as old as their cat Hunter. How old are they all now? (Answers in the next issue)

reunite to relive the spirit of our magnificent journey to Umrah. The IUS members left with more than just valuable memories of a truly exhilarating spiritual experience, and the majestic sight of the house of God, but with personal vows of self -improvement and aspirations to a better life. I pray to Allah, the Almighty, that He grant us the opportunity to return to His holy city, and that He may help us all on our path to bettering ourselves and in becoming sincere, God fearing believers Inshallah. Sr. Oola Ajina and Sr. Duha Al-Wakeel


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* Alhamdullilah the IUS staged four programmes during the Month of

Ramadhan, which included Iftar, duâ€&#x;a and various talks by distinguished speakers. Throughout this year, Monthly seminars will be arranged Inshallah, which include a main lecture and a current affairs discussion (see below). * After the success of the IUS Umrah Trip, with the help of Allah (SWT), preparations are underway for the next IUS trip to the Islamic Republic of Iran. Although there is plenty of time for registration, we advice members to register as early as possible. * The IUS would like to send its best wishes to you and all the Muslims throughout the world on the glorious occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr, asking Allah (SWT) to accept all our work and fasting during the Holy month of Ramadhan and to give us the energy and power to continue to fast for the coming years Inshallah. * Th IUS is planning to organise and hold a special Eid-ul-Adha celebration dinner, which will include a talk and dinner. Details of the venue and the date will be sent to members soon Inshallah.

IUS Monthly Seminar Friday 4th February @ 5:45pm - 7:30pm Main Speech: Day of Resurrection by Maulana Syed Taqi Rizvi Discussion: Abuse of Muslim Human Rights in the UK and Abroad by Br. Massoud Shajjareh Venue: The School of Pharmacy, 29-39 Brunswick Square, London. Nearest Underground: Russel Square

Eid-ul-Fitr Shahadat Wiladat Shahdat

1 Shawwal Imam As-Sadiq (AS) 25 Shawawal Imam Redha (AS) 11 Dhul-Qida Imam Taqi (AS) 23 Dhul-Qida

Islamic Unity Society Registered Charity No. 1066910 Mail Address: IUS Box 145 37 Store Street

Telephone: 07971 404 647 Fax: 0171 640 2372 Internet: www.ius.org.uk

Sat 8th Jan Tue 1st Feb Thu 17th Feb Tue 29th Feb

Jan - Feb 2000  

Jan - Feb 2000

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