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Friday, 15 June 2018

SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST: The Donkey Business - A Short Story.


The Donkey Business: A Short Story

Survival Of The Fittest.
If You Don’t Fight Evil,
It’ll Destroy You!

 (M. Javed Naseem)


وَٱقْصِدْ فِى مَشْيِكَ وَٱغْضُضْ مِن صَوْتِكَ
إِنَّ أَنكَرَ ٱلأَصْوَاتِ لَصَوْتُ ٱلْحَمِيرِ
"And be moderate in your pace, and lower
your voice; for the harshest of sounds
without doubt is the braying of the ass."
(al-Quran 31:19)

Child: Dad! Tell me a story from the Animal Kingdom.
Father: OK son. This is the story of some asses (donkeys) who kicked asses. Once upon a time, there lived in a jungle, some American Asses, some European Asses and some Middle Eastern Asses. After fighting many wars over green pastures and territorial control, the American Asses and the European Asses realized they were a bunch of losers and needed to change their tactics. Their think-tanks suggested that they join hands for strength and power.



They adopted the new strategy and decided to get united. The union increased their strength and the number. They started enjoying power and control over smaller and weaker donkeys. So, they started pretending that they were horses. The fake horses were having good time, taking whatever they wanted from others, and kicking the ‘behinds’ of the Middle Eastern asses, one by one. They asked them to surrender and accept their hegemony to have peace or else. With the new strategy of union, the roles also switched. Now the Middle Eastern donkeys were acting like a bunch of losers, with no cooperation, no coordination, and no direction. 


وَدَّت طَّآئِفَةٌ مِّنْ أَهْلِ ٱلْكِتَابِ لَوْ يُضِلُّونَكُمْ
وَمَا يُضِلُّونَ إِلاَّ أَنْفُسَهُمْ وَمَا يَشْعُرُونَ
“It is the wish of a section of the People
of the Book to lead you astray. But
they shall lead astray (not you) but
themselves, and they do not perceive!”
(al-Quran 3:69)

إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ يُنفِقُونَ أَمْوَالَهُمْ لِيَصُدُّواْ عَن سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ
فَسَيُنفِقُونَهَا ثُمَّ تَكُونُ عَلَيْهِمْ حَسْرَةً ثُمَّ يُغْلَبُونَ
وَٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوۤاْ إِلَىٰ جَهَنَّمَ يُحْشَرُونَ
“The Unbelievers spend their wealth to
hinder (man) from the path of Allah, and so
will they continue to spend; but in the end
they will have (only) regrets and sighs;
at length they will be overcome. And the
Unbelievers will be gathered together to Hell.”
(al-Quran 8:36)


Child: That’s aggression, Dad! And the Middle Eastern Asses, they did nothing in response?
Father: No, they couldn’t do anything because the ruling elite had no legitimacy. Therefore, the locals didn’t support them. They ruled by force and terror. They were afraid of the powerful but scared at the same time to lose their own kingdoms. So, they prayed and waited for the King Lion’s help. Actually, they are still waiting on that. They sent many prayers and lots of messages begging for help. In return, they received a message from the King Lion saying:
“King loves to help those who help themselves. Get up, put your act together and fight back! I’ll be with you.”

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتَّىٰ يُغَيِّرُواْ مَا بِأَنْفُسِهِمْ
Lo! Allah changes not the condition
of a folk until they (first) change
that which is in their hearts.”
(al-Quran 13:11)

وَقَاتِلُوهُمْ حَتَّىٰ لاَ تَكُونَ فِتْنَةٌ وَيَكُونَ الدِّينُ
كُلُّهُ لِلَّهِ فَإِنِ انْتَهَوْاْ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ بِمَا يَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ
“And fight them on until there is no more
tumult or oppression, and there prevail
justice and faith in Allah altogether
and everywhere; but if they cease,
verily Allah does see all that they do.”
(al-Quran 8:39)

Child: I am sure the asses did what the King Lion told them to do.
Father: Not really. They had no Faith and felt weak. They feared the strong and the powerful. So, they preferred to compromise. They made friends with the strong enemy by offering them gifts and bribes; and hired their donkeys for security and protection of their pastures. They became the ‘royal donkeys’.


As a result, the enemy asses did not attack them with brutal force but with ‘lifestyle’ and ‘cultural’ onslaught to change them. In this process, they took control of all the ‘green’ pastures. Eventually, the Middle Eastern asses also started behaving like their European counterparts. They felt they were one of them. But in fact, they were not accepted. They were like the slaves living luxury lives at the mercy of the powerful.

يٰأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُوۤاْ إِن تُطِيعُواْ فَرِيقاً مِّنَ ٱلَّذِينَ
أُوتُواْ ٱلْكِتَابَ يَرُدُّوكُم بَعْدَ إِيمَانِكُمْ كَافِرِينَ
“O you who believe! If you listen to a
faction among the People of the Book,
they would (indeed) render you apostates
after you have believed!”
(al-Quran 3:100)

قُلْ يٰأَهْلَ ٱلْكِتَابِ لِمَ تَصُدُّونَ عَنْ سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ مَنْ آمَنَ تَبْغُونَهَا
عِوَجاً وَأَنْتُمْ شُهَدَآءُ وَمَا ٱللَّهُ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ
“Say: O you People of the Book! Why
obstruct you those who believe, from the
path of Allah, seeking to make it crooked,
while you were yourselves witnesses (to
Allah’s Covenant)? But Allah is not
unmindful of all that you do."
(al-Quran 3:99)

Child: That’s dumb, Dad! I wonder when the Middle Eastern asses are going to learn their lesson and get united to restore their lost honor!
Father: Son! I don’t think it’s going to happen in my lifetime, but it might happen in your lifetime. Keep your hopes alive!

يٰأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُوۤاْ إِذَا لَقِيتُمْ فِئَةً فَٱثْبُتُواْ
وَٱذْكُرُواْ ٱللَّهَ كَثِيراً لَّعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ
O you who believe! When you meet a force,
be firm and call Allah in remembrance much
(and often); that you may prosper”
(al-Quran 8:45)

وَٱعْتَصِمُواْ بِحَبْلِ ٱللَّهِ جَمِيعاً وَلاَ تَفَرَّقُواْ
“And hold fast, all together, by the rope
which Allah (stretches out for you), and
be not divided among yourselves.”
(al-Quran 3:103)


Son: So, Dad! How was the end of the story?
Father: The end is near. It’s approaching fast. But the story continues.
Son: Is there any moral lesson in this story, Dad?
Father: Moral? Oh, yes! Two lessons: “What you sow, so shall you reap”; and “If you can’t defend yourself, you have no right to exist!”
Son: Dad! I think there is another lesson too: “Obey the King if you seek King’s help
or live like miserable slaves!
يٰأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ ٱتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ
وَلاَ تَمُوتُنَّ إِلاَّ وَأَنْتُمْ مُّسْلِمُونَ
“O you who believe! Fear Allah as
He should be feared, and die not
except in a state of Islam.”
(al-Quran 3:102)


Moral: People who like to sit on their asses and have good time only, can’t achieve anything worthwhile. They risk their own existence.

************

Friday, 8 June 2018

HUMAN LIVER: Some Tips & Foods For A Healthy Liver.


Human Liver
You Are Healthy If
Your Liver Is Healthy!

It Performs 500 Functions
Including Blood-Filtering
And Detoxification

Some Tips And Foods
For A Healthy Liver

(M. Javed Naseem)


Human liver is a reddish-brown wedge-shaped organ with two large sections, called the right and the left lobes. The gallbladder sits under the liver, along with parts of the pancreas and intestines. The liver and these organs work together to digest, absorb, and process food. A human liver normally weighs 1.44 kg to 1.66 kg (between 3.2 lbs and 3.7 lbs), and has a width of about 15 cm. It is both the heaviest internal organ and the largest gland in the human body.

The liver's main job is to filter the blood coming from the digestive tract, before passing it to the rest of the body. The liver also detoxifies chemicals and metabolizes drugs. As it does so, the liver secretes bile that ends up back in the intestines. The liver also makes proteins important for blood clotting and other functions. The various functions of the liver are carried out by the liver cells or hepatocytes. The liver is thought to be responsible for up to 500 separate functions, usually in combination with other systems and organs.

The liver is connected to two large blood vessels:  Hepatic artery, and the portal vein. The hepatic artery carries oxygen-rich blood from the aorta, whereas the portal vein carries blood rich in digested nutrients from the entire gastrointestinal tract; and also from the spleen and pancreas.

It's an organ that can be damaged easily if you don't take good care of it. And once you damage it or trash it, it's gone. Currently, there is no artificial organ or device capable of reproducing all the functions of the liver. Some functions can be carried out by liver dialysis which is still an experimental treatment for liver failure. Artificial livers are yet to be developed to promote long-term replacement in the absence of the liver. As of 2017, liver transplant is the only option for complete liver failure.



Keeping Liver Healthy
Dr. Lee Ser Yee, S​enior Consultant at the Singapore General Hospital, shares some ways to keep your liver healthy.

Limit your alcohol intake and drink in moderation
Our liver can only process or break down a small amount of alcohol every hour. Beyond this, it can damage the liver cells and lead to inflammation and scarring (cirrhosis).
For this reason, men and women should limit their alcohol intake.

Regular exercise and have an active lifestyle
Regular exercise is key to a healthy liver. Exercise decreases stress on the liver, increases energy levels and helps to prevent obesity – a risk factor for liver disease. Aim for a total of 150 minutes of exercise, such as brisk walking or swimming per week.

Have a balanced and healthy diet: Less fatty foods and more fibre
High levels of fat in the blood (hyperlipidaemia) and high levels of cholesterol (hypercholesterolaemia) are common causes of fatty liver disease.
Reduce the amount of saturated fats, transfats and hydrogenated fats in your diet.
Saturated fats are found in deep fried foods, red meats and dairy products. Trans and hydrogenated fats are found in processed foods. The liver stores excess dietary fat and fat buildup can eventually bring on fatty liver disease.
Eat more high-fibre foods such as fruits and vegetables and whole grains. For proteins, choose more fish, white meat, beans and nuts and cut down on red meat.


Watch your body weight
Obesity, particularly, abdominal or central obesity, is a major risk factor for developing fatty liver disease. Together with a balanced diet and regular exercise, a healthy weight can be achieved and maintained.
Aim for the ideal body mass index (BMI) target. The healthy cut-off values recommended for Singaporeans are between 18.5 and 22.9.

Get vaccinated
Get vaccinated against hepatitis A and B, both viral liver infections. Hepatitis A is contracted from contaminated food and water- avoid raw or contaminated seafood or shellfish.
Hepatitis B can be contracted through sexual contact, contaminated blood and needles. If you choose not to get vaccinated against hepatitis B, practice safer sex.

Be careful with traditional medicine and remedies
Some of these over-the-counter traditional medicines or remedies contain heavy metals or unknown toxins. They can result in liver toxicity or they can stress and affect the regular functioning of your liver.
Over-supplementation of traditional medicine may cause liver inflammation and can lead to irreversible liver damage or even failure. Please consult your liver specialist prior to consumption if in doubt.

Be careful of weight loss pills or fad diets
Over-the-counter weight loss pills which are available without a prescription may contain toxins and ingredients which can be harmful to the liver such as:
ephedra (ma huang in Chinese)
kombucha
pennyroyal
skullcap
cascara
chaparral
comfrey and
kava.

Fad diets that make your weight swing up and down aggressively put excessive stress on your liver. Be careful of any diet that promises large amounts of weight loss in an unrealistically short period. These diets are usually lacking in essential nutrients and are not beneficial but harmful to your liver.

Take care in consuming liver cleansing and detox diets.
Contrary to popular belief, no particular diet is proven to be liver cleansing. Please ask your doctor or dietitian to help you create a healthy diet.

Take care and protect yourself against Hepatitis B or C
Hepatitis C has no vaccine available currently. Hepatitis C can be transmitted sexually or if there is a chance of blood-to-blood contact.

Practice safe sex and avoid unnecessary sharing of toothbrushes, razors, needles and other personal care items – these can also transmit hepatitis B or C.
If you are a Hepatitis B or C carrier, consult your doctor for a screening program to detect problems early. If your parents are carrier and/or you are not sure, get a Hepatitis screen.

Take care if you have Diabetes, Hypertension and/or High cholesterol:
Diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol form a metabolic syndrome with obesity, posing major risks for fatty liver disease.
Keeping your diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol under good control with diet, exercise and/or medications can help limit and prevent liver damage. Please keep regular follow-ups with your family doctor.

Some anti-cholesterol medicines can occasionally have a side effect that causes liver problems. Some medicines can hurt your liver if you drink alcohol when you take them, or if you take many drugs in combination. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about your medications if in doubt.

Cut down smoking or stop smoking
There are some studies that link cigarette smoking with the development of liver cancer. Smoking can also enhance the toxic effects that some medications (such as Paracetamol) have on the liver.

From: WebMD
Human Anatomy
By Matthew Hoffman, MD
 
Liver Conditions

Hepatitis: Inflammation of the liver, usually caused by viruses like hepatitis A, B, and C. Hepatitis can have non-infectious causes too, including heavy drinking, drugs, allergic reactions, or obesity.

Cirrhosis: Long-term damage to the liver from any cause can lead to permanent scarring, called cirrhosis. The liver then becomes unable to function well.

Liver Cancer: The most common type of liver cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, almost always occurs after cirrhosis is present.

Liver Failure: Liver failure has many causes including infection, genetic diseases, and excessive alcohol.

Ascites: As cirrhosis results, the liver leaks fluid (ascites) into the belly, which becomes distended and heavy.

Gallstones: If a gallstone becomes stuck in the bile duct draining the liver, hepatitis and bile duct infection (cholangitis) can result.

Hemochromatosis: Hemochromatosis allows iron to deposit in the liver, damaging it. The iron also deposits throughout the body, causing multiple other health problems.

Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis: A rare disease with unknown causes, primary sclerosing cholangitis causes inflammation and scarring in the bile ducts in the liver.

Primary Biliary Cirrhosis: In this rare disorder, an unclear process slowly destroys the bile ducts in the liver. Permanent liver scarring (cirrhosis) eventually develops.

14 Foods That Cleanse the Liver
By Dr. Edward F. Group 
(Guest writer for Wake Up World)

Modern society is a sad state that produces many over-processed livers. When we overeat or eat processed or fried foods, and, anytime we are exposed to environmental pollutants or stress, the liver becomes overworked and overloaded. When the liver is taxed, it can’t process toxins and fat in an efficient way.
There are many foods that can help cleanse the liver naturally by stimulating its natural ability to clean toxic waste from the body.

In the past, I have discussed my favorite cleansing foods. This list is more specific and focuses mainly on foods that can help cleanse your liver. Eating the following foods is the best way to keep your liver healthy and functioning the way you need it to. I would encourage you to incorporate these liver cleanse foods into your weekly diet.

1. Garlic
Just a small amount of this pungent white bulb has the ability to activate liver enzymes that help your body flush out toxins. Garlic also holds high amounts of allicin and selenium, two natural compounds that aid in liver cleansing.


2. Grapefruit
High in both vitamin C and antioxidants, grapefruit increases the natural cleansing processes of the liver. A small glass of freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice will help boost production of the liver detoxification enzymes that help flush out carcinogens and other toxins.

3. Beets and Carrots
Both are extremely high in plant-flavonoids and beta-carotene; eating beets and carrots can help stimulate and improve overall liver function.

4. Green Tea
This liver-loving beverage is full of plant antioxidants known as catechins, a compound known to assist liver function. Green tea is not only delicious, it’s also a great way to improve your overall diet. Learn more about the benefits of green tea.

5. Leafy Green Vegetables
One of our most powerful allies in cleansing the liver, leafy greens can be eaten raw, cooked, or juiced. Extremely high in plant chlorophylls, greens suck up environmental toxins from the blood stream. With their distinct ability to neutralize heavy metals, chemicals and pesticides, these cleansing foods offer a powerful protective mechanism for the liver.
Try incorporating leafy greens such as bitter gourd, arugula, dandelion greens, spinach, mustard greens, and chicory into your diet. This will help increase the creation and flow of bile, the substance that removes waste from the organs and blood.

6. Avocados
This nutrient-dense super-food helps the body produce glutathione, a compound that is necessary for the liver to cleanse harmful toxins.

7. Apples
High in pectin, apples hold the chemical constituents necessary for the body to cleanse and release toxins from the digestive tract. This, in turn, makes it easier for the liver to handle the toxic load during the cleansing process.

8. Olive Oil
Cold-pressed organic oils such as olive, hemp and flax-seed are great for the liver, when used in moderation. They help the body by providing a lipid base that can suck up harmful toxins in the body. In this way, it takes some of the burden off the liver in terms of the toxic overload many of us suffer from.

9. Alternative Grains
It’s not only that you need alternative grains like quinoa, millet, and buckwheat in your diet, it’s that if you’ve got wheat, flour, or other whole grains in your diet, it’s time to make changes. Your liver is your body’s filter for toxins, and grains that contain gluten are full of them. A study last year found that persons who experienced gluten sensitivities also had abnormal liver enzyme test results, and that’s just one of many.

10. Cruciferous Vegetables
Eating broccoli and cauliflower will increase the amount of glucosinolate in your system, adding to enzyme production in the liver. These natural enzymes help flush out carcinogens, and other toxins, out of our body which may significantly lower risks associated with cancer.

Watermelon (fruit and juice) 
  • Watermelon is one of the best fruits for cleansing the kidneys and stimulating proper liver function, thanks to its diuretic properties and ability to detox the body.
  • The juice from watermelon is the healthiest way to consume it because it’s more quickly absorbed into the tissues and bloodstream, which further stimulates good kidney function.
  • Always choose fresh watermelon. If your fruit is overripe, it can cause more problems than benefits.


11. Lemons & Limes
These citrus fruits contain very high amounts of vitamin C, which aids the body in synthesizing toxic materials into substances that can be absorbed by water. Drinking freshly-squeezed lemon or lime juice in the morning helps stimulate the liver.

12. Walnuts
Holding high amounts of the amino acid arginine, walnuts aid the liver in detoxifying ammonia. Walnuts are also high in glutathione and omega-3 fatty acids, which support normal liver cleansing actions. Make sure you chew the nuts well (until they are liquefied) before swallowing.

13. Cabbage
Much like broccoli and cauliflower, eating cabbage helps stimulate the activation of two crucial liver detoxifying enzymes that help flush out toxins. Try eating more kimchi, coleslaw, cabbage soup and sauerkraut.

14. Turmeric
The liver’s favorite spice. Try adding some of this detoxifying goodness into your next lentil stew or veggie dish for an instant liver pick-me-up. Turmeric helps boost liver detox, by assisting enzymes that actively flush out dietary carcinogens.
Other liver cleanse foods not listed above include artichoke, asparagus, kale, and brussel sprouts.


About the author:
Dr. Edward F. Group founded Global Healing Center in 1998 and is currently the CEO. Heading up the research and development team, Dr. Group assumes a hands-on approach in producing new and advanced degenerative disease products and information.
His Global Healing Center has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the internet.


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Friday, 1 June 2018

BADR -- THE FIRST WAR OF ISLAM (17th Ramadan)


17th of Ramadan
Battle of Badr
The First War Of Islam

313 Devotees of Islam
Wrote A New Chapter In
The History Of The World

(M. Javed Naseem)


“Let not the unbelievers think that they
can get the better (of the godly). They
will never frustrate (them)”.
(al-Quran 8:59)

Badr is the first major encounter (a real war) between the newly-born nation of Muslims and the evil-living unbelievers (Kaafireen), the Quraish of Makkah. This was the one historic event that changed the course of history of not only the Arabia but of the entire universe.

At the dawn of Islam in Makkah, Muslims were killed, injured, tortured, robbed and persecuted. They were humiliated and bullied every day by the rich and powerful Makkans. Eventually, they were expelled. Some fled their homes and took refuge somewhere else. It is happening again today in every place where Islam has its foothold. Muslims are being massacred, their homes and homelands being destroyed and the survivors driven out as refugees. In the West, they are targeted and have become victims of discrimination and Islamophobia.

The history of mankind tells us that it is the oppressed that conquer the oppressors in the end! That’s how Allah balances out the injustice, persecution, aggression, corruption, transgression and inequality. He helps the oppressed to break the shackles. The history of David and Goliath is being repeated – and we know the outcome very well! It’s a matter of time only.

 “And We wished to be Gracious to those who
were being oppressed in the land, to make them
leaders (in Faith) and make them inheritors.”
(al-Quran 28:5)

The Battle of Badr has been referred to in the Holy Quran; and Allah called it a “Day of Furqaan”. The Arabic word ‘furqaan’ means to separate or to distinguish. It was the 17th day of Ramadan, in the 2nd year of Hijrah (7th of March, 623 A.D., some put it as March 17, 624 A.D.)) when the Almighty Allah separated/distinguished the Truth from Falsehood; the Light from Darkness; and the Guidance from Ignorance! He gave the believers a great victory and vanquished the hopes and aspirations of the disbelievers who wanted to wipe out Islam which had started gaining popularity.
Muslims were a tiny minority and were constantly persecuted by the politically powerful and financially strong Quraish. 

A few days before Ramadan, reports reached Madinah that a trade caravan of Quraish was returning to Makkah from Syria. The caravan was carrying not only merchandise but also weapons. It was estimated that the caravan had made a profit of 50,000 Dinars (pieces of gold). The weapons and the huge amount of money were to be used to equip an army to fight against Muslims. The caravan was led by Abu Soufyan, a Makkan stalwart and staunch enemy of Muslims at that time.

(The battle-ground of Badr. Modern city of Badr is in the background.)
Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.), after consultation with his companions, decided to intercept the caravan. He appointed Abu Lababa as Governor of Madinah, and left the city for Badr, a village in the south-west of Madinah. It was 8th of Ramadan. Scholars differ about their exact number (ranging from 305 to 319) but most of them agree on 313. About 80-90 of them were from Makkah (‘Muhajireen’) and the rest were ‘Ansar’ (locals) of Madinah. They settled and took up position in a valley which was known for its water wells. Muslims took control of a strategic well/water reservoir and blocked off some other wells. The enemy had to cross the valley, in front of Muslims, to reach the water wells.
The poor Muslims had no clue that they would never see the Quraish caravan, but instead have an encounter with 1000-strong Quraish army of Makkah.

Here’s a look at the background:
Muhajireen (refugees or emigrants) were actually the victims of aggression and oppression; and were expelled by the Quraish leaders of Makkah. They were also forced to leave behind family members, their homes, properties and cattle/camel herds. They arrived in Madinah empty-handed. The Makkans confiscated their properties and cattle/camel herds. On top of it, Muslims were not allowed to fight back (in the beginning). They were very angry. They suffered the worst kind of persecution at the hands of Quraish of Makkah for 13 long years.

Eventually, when Allah’s permission came and Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) told them that they were allowed to fight back, they were looking for an opportunity to recover their losses. But Allah had a different plan for them.

Abu Soufyan somehow got the information about this ambush and changed the route but at the same time he sent a message to Makkan leaders to come to his rescue. The Quraish leaders of Makkah got furious and decided to teach Muslims a lesson. They sent an army of 1000 fighters to eliminate Muslims. They were equipped with war gear, 100 horses, 700 camels laden with war material and other supplies; and bands of chanters/drum-beaters.
Muslims, on the other hand, were not prepared for any armed confrontation as they did not have the means for it. The 313-men contingent had only two horses and 70 camels and little or no war equipment. Some of them had swords but no shields. To reach the valley near Badr, they had to walk or share the ride by two or three.


When the Quraish army reached Badr, they received a message from Abu Soufyan that the caravan had safely passed the region, therefore, they could return to Makkah. Abu Jahl, an arrogant leader of the Quraish, was leading the troops. He refused to return to Makkah without victory.
A Muslim patrol party captured a waterman who confessed that he was part of the group supplying water to the Makkan army. It was a shocking. When Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) heard that the Quraish of Makkah had dispatched an army of 1000 men and they were just on the other side of the hill, he got worried and called a meeting to decide what to do next.
Muslims were a little worried and the Prophet (s.a.w.) kept invoking Allah. Later, he addressed them and while giving glad tiding of a victory, said:
“Allah has promised you one of the two, either the caravan or the army”.

“Behold! Allah promised you one of the two
(enemy) parties, that it should be yours.
You wished that the one unarmed should be
yours, but Allah willed to justify the Truth
according to His words and to cut off
the roots of the unbelievers.”
(al-Quran 8:7)

Subhan-Allah! That’s how Allah works! The poor Muslims wanted to capture the trade caravan with its expensive merchandise and other goods, camels, horses; and be content with it. This was referred to in the Quran as the ‘unarmed party’ of the enemy. The other party was ‘armed’ – the army of the Quraish of Makkah – which Muslims could not even dream of facing at that stage and level, let alone capturing or conquering it! Makkans were considered the richest and the strongest people in the region. But Allah wanted to justify the Truth, therefore, He created the circumstances too. 

On the night before the battle, Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) made a very long and intense supplication (‘dua’) to Allah. He was praying under a tree, crying until the sun rose. He was standing up, raising his hands toward heavens. Some of the words he uttered:

“O Allah! I invoke You for Your promise of victory.
Here come Quraish full of vanity and pride. They
Oppose You and call Your Messenger a liar. O Allah!
If You decide that we be defeated today, and if this little
band of your believers perishes today, there would be
none left in the land to worship You!”

At that particular time, those 300-plus people were the only Muslims on the face of the earth and in the case of a defeat, they would be wiped out. When Abu Bakr (r.a.a.) saw this, he came to console the Prophet (s.a.w.). He held the Prophet (s.a.w.)’s hand in his hand and said: “That’s enough! Allah will certainly fulfill His promise He made to you.”

Allah’s re-assurance came and Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) felt the contentment and peace, satisfaction and confidence to stand up to the challenge facing them. His prayers were answered right then and there.

 “Remember you implored the assistance of your
Lord and He answered you: "I will assist you
with a thousand of the angels, ranks on ranks."
(al-Quran 8:9)

The night before the battle, while Muslims slept, a heavy rain fell. On the morning of Friday, the 17th of Ramadan, 2 A.H., the two armies advanced and drew closer to each other. The rain had been heavier on the side of Quraish, making the ground soft and movement difficult. On the side of Muslims, however, the rain had packed the sand down hard, making it easy for them to march.

In the morning, after having examined the ranks, the Prophet (s.a.w.) then went to a shelter made of palm branches from which he could command the battle. Abu Bakr stayed with him, while Saad Bin Mu’adh, with several of the Ansaar, stood outside guarding the hut.

(Top guns challenging each other for duals.)
The battle started in the Arab tradition with the big warriors of Quraish, like Walid Ibn Utba, Utba Ibn Rabia, and Shaiba, coming out and challenging the opposition for duals. Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) sent his uncle Hamza (r.a.a.), his cousin Ali (r.a.a.) and his companion Ubaida (r.a.a.) to fight the star warriors of Quraish; and they killed the Quraish heroes sending terror wave in the ranks of the Makkans. Ubaida (r.a.a.) was fatally wounded though and died later (being the first martyr of Badr). Then the troops attacked each other in regular fighting. By noon, the battle was over as Makkans fled the scene leaving dead bodies and material behind.

Nicholson writes:
“But the importance of Mohammed’s success
(in the battle of Badr) cannot be measured by the
material damage which he inflicted (upon the pagans of 
Mecca). Considering the momentous issues involved, 
we must allow that Badr, like Marathon, is one of the 
greatest and most memorable battles in all history.”
(A Literary History of The Arabs, by A. Nicholson, 1969).

The battle of Badr claimed some big heads of the Quraish of Makkah; the most important among them was Abu Jahl, his brother and his son. Abu Jahl was considered as ‘Pharaoh for Muslim Ummah’. Umayyah Ibn Khalaf was another big notable killed in Badr. According to one narration, he was killed by his own ex-slave Bilal (r.a.a.). Abu Soufyan survived and returned to Makkah to prepare for another war. In total 70 Makkan fighters were killed and another 70 captured as prisoners of war.

(The names of the 14 martyrs of Badr (Shuhada-e-Badr) on a memorial.)
On the other hand, from among the Muslims, 14 people were martyred. Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) and his contingent returned to Madinah, a week before the end of Ramadan, glorifying and thanking the Merciful Lord for His help at Badr. Allah has promised victory to the true Believers:

“O Prophet! Rouse the Believers to the fight!
If there are twenty amongst you, patient and
persevering, they will vanquish two hundred;
if a hundred, they will vanquish a thousand
of the Unbelievers, for these are a people
without understanding.”
(al-Quran 8:65)

This was the first major encounter between Muslims and the Makkans where Muslims captured prisoners. So, the Prophet (s.a.w.) consulted his companions on the subject of ‘prisoners of war’. There were all kinds of suggestions based on different sentiments. Abu Bakr suggested to pardon them and accept ransom for their release. In the end, the Prophet (s.a.w.) announced: “We will ransom the prisoners”.
According to some narrations, they were given the choice to accept Islam and win freedom; or to teach 10 Muslims ‘how to read and write’ and win freedom. Otherwise, the ransom amount was fixed at 400 Dirhams per prisoner.

Like many other ‘Firsts’ of the history of mankind, Badr also set the first example of the treatment of prisoners of war. Their lives were spared; they were treated humanely; they were provided with shelter and fed properly, even when some Muslims did not have food to eat and survived on dates and water.    
Sir William Muir, the famous British orientalist, known for his hostility towards Islam and Muslims, wrote:

“In pursuance of Mahomet’s commands, the citizens
of Medina and such of the emigrants who possessed 
houses, received the prisoners and treated them
with much consideration. ‘Blessings be on the men
of Medina’, said one of these prisoners in the later
days, ‘they made us ride while they themselves
walked. They gave us wheaten bread to eat
when there was little of it, contenting
themselves with dates’.”

The Battle of Badr is a constant reminder to the Muslims that if they fear Allah, the way Allah should be feared; and if they obey Allah and His Prophet (s.a.w.), the way they should be obeyed, Allah’s help is guaranteed!

 “Call to mind when you were a small (band),
despised through the land, and afraid that men
might despoil and kidnap you. But He provided
a safe asylum for you, strengthened you with
His aid, and gave you good things for
sustenance, that you might be grateful.”
(al-Quran 8:26)

(Excerpts from my book “The Way (Sunnah) Of The Prophet (s.a.w.)”, chapter “Muhammad (s.a.w.) At War – Badr.”)

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Friday, 25 May 2018

RAMADAN TARAWEEH PRAYER: Not an obligation, but a special option.


Ramadan Taraweeh Prayer
Not An Obligation, But
A Special Option With
No Fixed Number

(M. Javed Naseem)


It is so surprising to see that people are so un-informed or ill-informed on the subject of Taraweeh prayer during the month of Ramadan. Let me shock you with this revelation that there is no mention of “Salaat-ut-Taraweeh” (Taraweeh prayer) in the Quran, nor in the authentic Ahadith of Bukhari. The only mention we find in the Quran and in authentic Ahadith, is of the “Qayam-ul-Layl” (rising or standing to prayer at night) which scholars have named as ‘Salaat-ul-Layl’ or ‘Tahajjud’; and the ‘Qayam-i-Ramadan’. Qayam-i-Ramadan is a special prayer our Prophet recommended us to offer only during that particular month to gain extra rewards. The scholars later called it ‘Taraweeh’.

The funny thing is that none of the two prayers or ‘Qayam’ is referred to or connected to the night prayer (Salaat-ul-Isha). Both of those prayers are described or referred to the ‘later’ part of the night, before the morning (Fajr) prayer – in other words, the time of ‘Tahajjud’ prayer. That means that the special Ramadan prayer (Taraweeh) is the prayer that should be performed at the time of Tahajjud, and not with Isha prayer.

“Truly the rising by night is most potent for
governing (the soul), and most suitable for
(framing) the Word (of Prayer and Praise).”
(al-Quran 73:6)

“Stand (to prayer) by night, but not all night,
half of it, or a little less, or a little more;
and recite the Quran in slow, measured
rhythmic tones.”
(al-Quran 73:2-4)

Here’s how it all started during the month of Ramadan in Madinah:
Narrated Urwa that he was informed by Aayesha (r.a.a.), ‘Allah's Apostle went out in the middle of the night and prayed in the mosque and some men prayed behind him. In the morning, the people spoke about it and then a large number of them gathered and prayed behind him (on the second night). In the next morning the people again talked about it and on the third night the mosque was full with a large number of people. Allah's Apostle came out and the people prayed behind him. On the fourth night the Mosque was overwhelmed with people and could not accommodate them, but the Prophet came out (only) for the morning-prayer (Fajr). When the morning-prayer (Fajr) was finished, he recited Tashah-hud and (addressing the people) said, “Amma ba'du, your presence was not hidden from me but I was afraid lest the night prayer (Qayam) should be enjoined on you and you might not be able to carry it on.”
So, when Allah's Apostle died, the situation remained like that (i.e. people prayed individually).’
(Bukhari, Book 21 & 32, No. 229)

In other words, it is not necessary to perform Taraweeh prayer in congregation; or in a mosque; or soon after the Isha prayer. It is an optional (Nafl) prayer preferably to be performed in the last part of the night, but before the Fajr prayer.

Finishing the Quran 2 or 3 Times:

The Quran is Allah’s message (or command) to us and we should pay attention to it. It is a ‘how to’ for a Muslim as it tells us how to live and conduct ourselves. Allah requires from us that we study the Quran, understand it, ponder (think) upon it, and finally act upon it or live by it. Reading it without understanding it or without living by it does not serve its purpose.
The following verse of the Quran also clarifies the matter for those ignorant people who insist on finishing (reading) the Quran 2 or 3 or 5 times during a particular period. Finishing the Quran in one month is NOT required. You can recite as much as you easily can. Allah is the most Merciful and Generous to give you the countless rewards.

“Your Lord does know that you stand forth
(to prayer) nearly two-thirds of the night,
or half the night, or a third of the night, and
so does a party of those with you. But Allah
does appoint night and day in due measure.
He knows that you are unable to keep count
thereof. So, He has turned to you (in mercy).
Recite, therefore, of the Quran as much as
may be easy for you.”
(al-Quran 73:20)

The subject is vast but I would like to be as brief as possible. I prefer to quote you some authentic Ahadith. Study them, along with the Quran – especially Surah al-Muzammil – and make up your own mind. It’s your life and it’s your Hereafter! Only you would be questioned about it.

Remember one thing! The prayer of Isha (night) is obligatory (Fard/Farz) while Tahajjud and Taraweeh are optional (Nafl) prayers. Obligatory prayers have fixed number of Rakaats, whereas optional prayers have no fixed number. You perform as much or as little as you easily can. Two Rakaats are the minimum to offer.


There are many narrations (Ahadith) on the subject of ‘Night Prayer’ and, if you study all of them, you come to the conclusion that Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) generally performed 11 (occasionally 13) Rakaats (of prayer) at the time of Tahajjud (the last 1/3rd of the night) and it included 3 Rakaats of Witr prayer as well. The 13-Rakaats session also included in it the 2-Rakaats of Sunnah (Nafl) prayer of Fajr.

Don’t over-do it!

Remembering Allah and offering prayers is an excellent thing to do but at the same time we should remember that Allah sent us to live in this world so that we have to handle the affairs of this world too. We need to keep the balance. We should not force or kill ourselves for the sake of ‘prayer’ by over-doing it. Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) prohibited it in the following Hadith:

Hadith:
Narrated Aayesha, (r.a.a.): “Once the Prophet (s.a.w.) came home while a woman was sitting with me. He said, "Who is she?" I replied, "She is so-and-so," and told him about her (excessive) prayers.
He said disapprovingly: "Do (good) deeds which are within your capacity (without being overtaxed) as Allah does not get tired (of giving rewards) but (surely) you will get tired; and the Deen (good, righteous deed, act of worship) loved most by Allah is that which is done regularly”. (Bukhari, Book 2, No. 41)

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Offering optional prayers is like
putting extra money in your saving
bank account. You can benefit from
their rewards in the Hereafter when
your good deeds might not be enough
to save you from the Hellfire!

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Hadith:
Narrated Aayesha (r.a.a.): “Allah's Apostle used to offer eleven Rakat and that was his prayer. He used to prolong the prostration to such an extent that one could recite fifty verses (of the Quran) before he would lift his head. He used to pray two Rakat (Sunna) before the Fajr prayer and then used to lie down on his right side till the call-maker came and informed him about the prayer.”  (Bukhari, Book 21, No. 223)

Hadith:
Narrated Aayesha (r.a.a.): “Allah's Apostle used to give up a good deed, although he loved to do it, for fear that people might act on it and it might be made compulsory for them. The Prophet never prayed the Duha prayer, but I offer it.”
(Bukhari, Book 21, No. 228)


Quality, Not the Quantity:

Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) did not perform too many Rakaats of prayer late night. He generally offered 11 or 13 Rakaats (including Witr prayer) but he used to recite a lot of the Quran in those Rakaats.

Hadith:  
Mughirah bin Shubah (r.a.a.) reported that Rasul-Allah (s.a.w.) performed such lengthy ‘Nafl’ (optional) prayers, that his feet used to swell. Once, the companions said: "O Messenger of Allah! You undergo such hardships despite that Allah has forgiven your past and future sins."
Rasul-Allah (s.a.w.) answered: "When Allah Taala has blessed me so much, shouldn’t I be a grateful servant of Allah?”

Hadith:
Abu Hurairah (r.a.a.) narrated: "Rasul-Allah (s.a.w.) performed so many ‘nawafil’ (optional prayers) that his legs swelled. Someone asked him: “You endure so much pain while you have been given the good news that Allah has forgiven your past and future sins?” The Prophet (s.a.w.) replied: “Should I not be a grateful servant then?”

Hadith:
Narrated Al-Mughira: “The Prophet used to stand (in the prayer) or pray till both his feet or legs swelled. He was asked why (he offered such an unbearable prayer) and he said, "should I not be a thankful slave."
(Bukhari, Book 21, No. 230)

Hadith:
Narrated Abdullah bin Amr bin Al-aas, “Allah's Apostle told me: The most beloved prayer to Allah is that of David and the most beloved fasts to Allah are those of David. He used to sleep for half of the night and then pray for one third of the night and again sleep for its sixth part and used to fast on alternate days."
(Bukhari, Book 21, No. 231)

Hadith:
Narrated Abu-Wael: Abdullah said, "One night I offered the Tahajjud prayer with the Prophet and he kept on standing till an ill-thought came to me." We said, "What was the ill-thought?" He said, "It was to sit down and leave the Prophet (standing)."
(Bukhari, Book 21, No. 236)

Hadith:
Narrated Ibn Abbas: “The prayer of the Prophet used to be of thirteen Rakat, i.e. of the night prayer.”
(Bukhari, Book 21, No. 239)

Hadith:
Narrated Masruq: “I asked Aayesha (r.a.a.) about the night prayer of Allah's Apostle and she said, ‘It was seven, nine or eleven Rakaats besides the two Rakaats of the Fajr prayer (i.e. Sunnah)."
(Bukhari, Book 21, No. 240)

Hadith:
Narrated Aayesha (r.a.a.), “The Prophet (s.a.w.) used to offer thirteen Rakaats of the night prayer and that included the Witr and two Rakaats (Sunnah) of the Fajr prayer.”
(Bukhari, Book 21, No. 241)

Hadith:
Narrated Abu Huraira: “Allah's Apostle (s.a.w.) said, ‘Our Lord, the Blessed, the Superior, comes every night down on the nearest Heaven to us when the last third of the night remains, saying: "Is there anyone to invoke Me, so that I may respond to invocation? Is there anyone to ask Me, so that I may grant him his request? Is there anyone seeking My forgiveness, so that I may forgive him?"
(Bukhari, Book 21, No. 246)

Hadith:
Narrated Abu Salma bin Abdur Rahman: “I asked Aayesha (r.a.a.), ‘How is the prayer of Allah's Apostle during the month of Ramadan."
She said, "Allah's Apostle never exceeded eleven Rakaats in Ramadan or in other months. He used to offer four Rakaats – do not ask me about their beauty and length, then four Rakaats, do not ask me about their beauty and length, and then three Rakaats." She further said, "I said, 'O Allah's Apostle! Do you sleep before offering the Witr prayer?' He replied, 'O Aayesha! My eyes sleep but my heart remains awake'!"
(Bukhari, Book 21, No. 248)  

Hadith:
Narrated Aayesha (r.a.a.): “With the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, the Prophet used to tighten his waist belt (i.e. work hard) and used to pray all night, and used to keep his family awake for the prayers.”
(Bukhari, Book 32, No. 241)



Night of Qadr (Lailat-ul-Qadr:

Hadith:
Narrated Aayesha (r.a.a.): Allah's Apostle used to practice Aitikaf in the last ten nights of Ramadan and used to say, "Look for the Night of Qadr in the last ten nights of the month of Ramadan ,"
(Bukhari, Book 32, No. 237)

Hadith:
Narrated Ubada bin As-Samit: The Prophet came out to inform us about the Night of Qadr but two Muslims were quarreling with each other. So, the Prophet said, "I came out to inform you about the Night of Qadr but such-and-such persons were quarreling, so the news about it had been taken away; yet that might be for your own good, so search for it on the 29th, 27th and 25th (of Ramadan).  
(Bukhari, Book 32, No. 240)

Hadith:
Narrated Aayesha (r.a.a.): “Allah's Apostle said, Search for the Night of Qadr in the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan."
(Bukhari, Book 32, No. 234)

Fake Ahadith:

We should be very careful about Ahadith. There are so many fake, fabricated and weak Ahadith printed in the books that people just ‘copy and paste’ without caring about their authenticity. Muslims don’t have the habit of verifying the contents of religious messages and translations. Any Hadith that does not conform to the teachings or message of the Quran, or contradicts the teachings/message of the Quran, or deviates from it in interpretation, is NOT authentic. Simple as that!

Hadith:
Narrated Ali, (r.a.a.): The Prophet (s.a.w.) said: "Do not tell a lie against me for whoever tells a lie against me (intentionally) then he will surely enter the Hellfire.”
(Bukhari, Book 3, Ch. 38, No.106)

Hadith:
Narrated Abdullah bin Zubair: “I said to my father, "I do not hear from you any narration (Hadith) of Allah's Messenger (s.a.w.) as I hear (his narrations) from so-and-so?”
Zubair replied, "I was always with him (the Prophet, s.a.w.) and I heard him saying, “Whoever tells a lie against me (intentionally) then (surely) let him occupy his seat in Hellfire”.
(Bukhari, Book 3, Ch. 38, No.107)

Hadith:
Narrated Salama: “I heard the Prophet (s.a.w.) saying, "Whoever (intentionally) ascribes to me what I have not said, then (surely) let him occupy his seat in Hellfire."
(Bukhari, Book 3, Ch. 38, No.109)

{Excerpts from chapter: ‘Prayer of the Prophet’ of my book: “The Way (Sunnah) of The Prophet (s.a.w.)”}

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