Photo Courtesy: https://mott.pe/noticias

One thing for sure, I really admire women empowerment, girl power, girl-child education, women working together across boundaries and beyond all limits to make a difference and the kind of powerful vibe successful women send off. It’s a beauty really. I mean, for once we don’t have to hate on each other on who’s got longer hair or a better husband, right? Trust me, all women relate to these scenarios, especially the times they almost had cat fights with their frenemies. You know, those ladies who go to work out at the same gym because its the trending thing, give each other those big ‘aaawww nice to see you’ hugs yet wanting to stab one another anyway. Don’t worry, we women have weird relationships. So, I mean for a change we get to hear women working peacefully for more than 24 hours. That’s close to a miracle yo! Okay, maybe a miracle is such a hard word. We do have several aggressive, intelligent women who do work together in a civilized manner and collaborate perfectly, its amazing. And at first, to me, this is what feminism was all about; creating the best out of women; beating stereotypes, elevating one another, appreciating one another, helping one another and of course, being successful together. But then ladies got too excited about it, things escalated and feminists started being radical. It became a competition.

Suddenly we wanted to prove to the world that women are better than men, that we can do without the men, that men are literally useless in our lives, and that yes, women have a right to be an equal to man. Now feminism is quite a wide concept and many feminists are inclined to different definitions of it. I’ll just talk about this one that amuses me; the one where ladies use up a lot of their energy to prove their worth being above the man. The idea which shifted their entire priority from what they should do to what they want to show the world they can do.

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Someone once said that women were not created to do what a man can do, rather, what he couldn’t do. I mean, wasn’t our mother Hawa (Eve) created to give company to our father Adam and not the vice versa? Doesn’t that show that a man actually does need a woman after all. He needs her a lot. It can be a mother, a sister, a wife…whichever female role she owns, a man needs her and that’s undeniable. Just let these men live alone for a week without any woman at all and see how he loses his calm and become the male version of Harley Quinn.

When the prophet p.b.u.h got his first revelation, whom did he run to if not his wife Khadija (R.A.A) to give her comfort? Why then would a woman go beyond limits to prove her worth and status yet the religion already puts her in a very high place?

The ayah in surat Nisaa goes like this, “Men have authority (are protectors and maintainers) over women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband’s] absence what Allah would have them guard.”

Also in a hadith narrated by Abdullah bin Umar, the Prophet (saws) said, “Everyone of you is a guardian and everyone of you is responsible (for those under your ward). A ruler is a guardian and is responsible (for his subjects); a man is a guardian of his family and responsible (for them); a wife is a guardian of her husband’s house and she is responsible (for it), a slave is a guardian of his master’s property and is responsible (for that). Beware! All of you are guardians and are responsible (for those your wards).”

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Our religion hasn’t made us equal because we can never be. Each of the sexes was designated with specific power and roles yet it never made a woman any less valuable than a man. In fact, she was raised in status more than she ever was in the pre-Islamic societies.

The Qur’an’s basic stance is that Muslim women are first and foremost Muslims, the religious equals of men (e.g., Q. 33:73).i.e.in regards to punishment and reward for their deeds, no one will be favoured. It refers to women and men as one another’s “protectors.” (Q. 9:71). Muslim marriage is described in terms of love and mercy (Q. 7:189; 30:21), and the Qur’an describes spouses as “garments” for one another (Q. 2:187).

A woman and a man were meant to partners, associates, each other’s better half. And don’t get it wrong, women are allowed to be vocal, to stand up for their rights, and to be as strong as they desire so long as it doesn’t go beyond the limits of religion.

There is the incident when Umar (R.A.A), the second khalifa of Islam, one day delivered a sermon against the practice of settling large sums as Mahr (dower-money), it was a woman who stood up and objected, saying: Oh Ameerul Mu’mineen, how dare you oppose the Qur’anic dictate that even a heap of gold may be settled on the wife as dowry? Umar did not resent this, but on the contrary showed appreciation for this woman’s courage of her conviction and right to freedom of speech. He exclaimed: “The woman is right and Umar is wrong.”

Also in the story of Khawla bint Tha’labah and her husband Aws ibn al-Samit as is narrated by Imam Ahmad and Abu Dawud and quoted by Ibn Kathir in his tafsir at the beginning of Surat al-Mujadilah.

Khawla said:
“By Allah, concerning me and Aws ibn al-Samit, Allah revealed the beginning of Surat al-Mujadilah. I was married to him, and he was an old man who was bad-tempered. One day, he came in and I raised a particular issue with him again. He became angry and said, ‘You are to me as the back of my mother.’ Then he went out and sat for a while in the meeting-place of his people. Then he came back, and wanted to resume marital relations with me. I said, ‘No way! By the hand of the One in Whose hand is the soul of Khuwayla (i.e., Khawla), you will never get what you want from me after saying what you said, until Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him) decide between us.’ He tried to force himself on me, but I was able to resist because I was a young woman and he was a weak old man. I pushed him away. Then I went to one of my (female) neighbors and borrowed a cloak from her and went to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). I sat before him, told him what my husband had done to me, and began to complain to him about my sufferings because of my husband’s bad temper. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, ‘O Khuwayla, your cousin is an old man, so fear Allah with regard to him.’ I did not leave him until Qur’an was revealed concerning me. He was overcome as he usually was when Qur’an was revealed to him, and when it was over, he said: ‘O Khuwayla, Allah has revealed Qur’an concerning you and your husband.’ Then he recited to me:

[Allah has indeed heard (and accepted) the statement of the woman who pleads with you concerning her husband and carries her complaint (in prayer) to Allah: and Allah (always) hears the arguments between both sides among you: for Allah hears and sees (all things)….to the end of the ayah (Qur’an 58:1-4)

Again in another instance of Khawlah, She met Umar (R.A.A) one day outside the mosque, when al-Jarud al-‘Abdi was with him. ‘Umar, who was the caliph at that time, greeted her, and she said to him, “O ‘Umar, I remember you when you were called ‘Umayr in the marketplace of ‘Ukaz, taking care of the sheep with your stick. So fear Allah in your role as khalifah taking care of the people, and know that the one who fears the threat of punishment in the Hereafter realizes that it is not far away, and the one who fears death fears missing some opportunity in this life.” Al-Jarud said, “You have spoken too harshly to Amir al-Mu’minin, woman!” ‘Umar said, “Let her be. Do you not know that this is Khawla, to whose words Allah listened from above the seven heavens? By Allah, ‘Umar should by rights listen to her.”

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There is so much beauty in a woman being tender, being feminine, being polite and humble, being motherly and caring. It’s for all this a woman is a woman. It’s for this she is regarded as the queen of this universe. Never underestimate a woman who stays at her home taking care of her kids and home. You may call her uneducated, unsophisticated, unclassy but the role she plays in her home is one that is priceless. We can never repay our mothers for the dedication they put on us. Same way we shouldn’t underestimate that ‘housewife’ just because she doesn’t have a well paying job like you do. And if you do have a decent job then go for it honey. Work hard, earn well, help your family, help fellow ladies, treat yourself, own that car you want, go for your dreams, no one will stop you. The religion doesn’t stop you so long as it doesn’t go against Allah (S.W).

We have so many examples to look up to. As one of the few Sahabiyat (female companions) who physically fought in battle in defense of the Messenger of Allah (SWT) and an advocate for Muslim woman’s rights, Nusaybah bint Ka’ab was not only renowned for her courageous efforts on the battlefield, but was also as a loving wife and mother. Aishah (R.A.A) for example was an educator and a renown teacher and Khadijah was a famous business woman. Khansā’ bint ‘Amr bin ash-Sharīd as-Sulamiyya, Rady Allāhu ‘Anhā (Tamādir bint ‘Amr in other texts) She came with her tribe to the Prophet Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa Sallam to accept Islām. She was a famous poet whose Diwān (collected poetry) has already been translated into French. The list goes on and on and on.

Being submissive and obedient to your father/husband/brother doesn’t mean you should be a door mat. It doesn’t mean you should accept oppression or violation of your rights. Fight for your rights when need be, otherwise be obedient. Because yes, a man has authority over you. Not unless you want to fight God for that too?

If we look back into history, we see the good example of how men executed authority on their womenfolk.

Al-Aswad reported: I asked Aisha, “What did the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, do when he was with his family?” Aisha said, “The Prophet would do chores for his family and he would go out when it was time for prayer.”

Narrated by Aisha, Allah’s Messenger (saws) used to patch his sandals, sew his garment and conduct himself at home as anyone of you does in his house. He was a human being, searching his garment for lice, milking his sheep, and doing chores. [Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 5822]

“It is reported that a man came to ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab (radia Allahu anhu) to complain about his wife’s ill-temper.
While he was waiting for ‘Umar to come out of his house, he heard ‘Umar’s wife scolding him and ‘Umar quietly listening to her, and not answering her back.
The man turned around and started walking away, muttering to himself: “If that is the case with ‘Umar, the leader of the believers, who is famous for his uprightness and toughness, then what about poor me?!”
At that moment, ‘Umar came out of his house and saw the man walking away.
He called him and said, “What is it you want of me, O man?”
The man replied: “O leader of the believers, I came to complain to you about my wife’s bad-temper and how she nags me. Then I heard your wife doing the same to you, so I turned around, muttering to myself, ‘If that is the situation of the leader of the believers,then what about me?’”
‘Umar replied, “O my brother, I bear with her because of her rights over me. She cooks my food, bakes my bread, washes my clothes, breast-feeds my child… and yet none of these are her duty; and then she is a comfort to my heart and keeps me away from forbidden deeds. Consequently, I bear with her.”
The man said,“It is the same with me, O leader of the believers.”‘
Umar said: Then, O my brother, be patient with her, indeed this life is short.

Men is this the kind of authority you have over your women? If indeed men were kind and compassionate enough as our role models were, we wouldn’t even be talking about radical feminism right now. It wouldn’t exist. If indeed men and women collaborated hand in hand as it originally was, if men supported their women achieve their goals and dreams and genuinely appreciate their talents and skills, if they sincerely helped their wives and the vice versa, we wouldn’t be so focused in this tag of war on who can do what better. At the end of the day, we all need one another. Work on being a better you without competing on who is bringing more on the table. Thank God for the table instead.

Hey ladies, keep empowering each other, keep working hard, keep fighting against rape, body-shaming, stereotypes and all the negativity around. Keep working for your rights without having to prove your value. You are enough. You always have been. If the man was a house, you’d be the pillar. If he’s the CEO you’d be the managing director. If he was the body you’d be the spinal cord. You might think you are being left behind the scenes, that you need to stand out for you to be appreciated but really,you always play a major role no one can defy that. So don’t waste up your precious energy trying to out-smart or out-do or be a man-hater. You don’t have to call yourself a ‘S-hero’ for you to actually be one. You are better than doing that.

Respect the men. They’ll respect you back. At least some do.

I am not sure if this relates to all women but at least for Muslim women, take note of this: Islam has always uplifted the status of the woman and given her the elevation she needs.

P.S Women were never caged in the first place for them to need freedom. Don’t get it twisted honey.

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So there’s this new local Islamic TV station coming up and it just got me all excited. I mean, if you are a ‘90s baby or prior that, then you will totally relate to all those times you were asked to switch off the TV because ‘there is nothing for you to watch’ or you’d be pushed to go sleep early even when you are having some chronic insomnia. You will even be thoroughly encouraged to go play outside even when the heat is about to unleash its superpowers, just to avoid you from watching something inappropriate. And even as we grew up, there was so much monotony in the stations because if it isn’t ‘Soledad’ in one station then it is ‘the day of our lives’ in the next. Too much misery in the news. Too much stereotype in the real world. Finally, the Muslims have a voice.

Horizon TV it is. It is the first locally oriented Islamic television channel in the country; a project of Tamaz Communications Limited, a company fully owned by Jamia Mosque Committee, Nairobi. With a lot of Islamophobia growing around the world, including our own country, this is a great blessing indeed. This is a wonderful platform for the non-Muslims to learn more about Islam; the true Islam and not the stereotyped one. This is the place where Muslims can acquire further knowledge. This is where we can allow our children to stay tuned to 24/7 because it is simply worth it. This is where hard issues are discussed and challenges are faced. This is where a better understanding of what Islam really is, is brought out. This is where we talk of societal issues that are yet to be talked about; the untold stories, the voices that need to be heard.

We are living in such a negative world at the moment and we really need some source of mega-positivity and inspiration. We need Islamic role models and mentors. We need to acquire knowledge in interesting ways that won’t make the students sleep in boredom. We need to move alongside the rest of the world. And technology is the answer. These visuals actually do have a greater impact than we ever think of it. And this is exactly what Horizon TV aims at: Make a positive difference in our society!

The objectives of the TV station are:
• To provide and support Da’awah activities
• To provide the Muslim community with a platform to articulate their issues and agenda
• To provide a platform where the masses will learn the true picture of Islam and Islamic values
• To educate, inform and entertain the targeted audiences (primary and secondary) within Sharia parameters.
• To produce and broadcast a variety of community programs for di’erent segments of society e.g. women,
children, youth, within the purview with Islamic shariah.
• To facilitate broadcast of other programs whose goals and objectives are in conformity with Horizon TV.

As we approach the D-day of the launch, 24th March, we pray that this becomes a successful project that will help Muslims come together in good terms and to educate both the Muslims and Non-Muslims as well. Horizon will be hosted on Star Times, GoTv, Signet and Bamba. The TV station will cover Nairobi region for starters before expanding biidhnillah.

Ready for great things ahead in shaa Allah!!

By: Imran Abdallah Saeed via https://mylitcorner.wordpress.com

I finished watching the fourth season of 24 the other day.
As if I wasn’t already a big fan of the series, this season just went above and beyond to hook me in even further. Jack. Bauer. What’s not to like about this guy?

The narrative around which the show 24 usually revolves is that a lot can happen in a single day. And boy doesn’t a lot happen in Jack’s life in those 24 hours. His hobbies during the day include kicking butt and running around a lot without, seemingly, stopping once to catch his second wind. He kicks off with staging a store robbery, then single-handedly storms a compound chokeful of terrorists to rescue a government official, then saunters off to the headquarters of an arms dealership to gather intel where he wards off an army of mercenaries, then leads a black-ops mission to retrieve an informant from the Chinese embassy, all while looking as fresh as a November chrysanthemum (I don’t know what that word means either).

And he does all this while constantly being pressured and second-guessed by his bosses who include quite possibly the most incompetent US president ever depicted on a TV or cinema screen.

He is hands-down the embodiment of all our fantasies of resilience and invincibility. Jason Bourne and wimpy James Bond have nothing on him at all.

Perhaps it’s just as well that Jack Bauer is not a very complicated man. He has no philosophies to preach or grand prophecies to narrate to his audience. His dialogue does not include confounding parabole with deep life lessons a la Master Yoda. When a character is that ‘simple’ but fights for his country and innocent people, everyone can relate to him.

His adversaries, on the other hand, are the ones with complicated philosophies and big words, which is why they are so blindly committed to their causes they are willing to die for them. In this season, true to form of most TV and cinema presentations in the recent decade, and of particular interest to this article, Jack’s adversaries happen to be…well…“Muslim” terrorists.

When the first few episodes of season four came out, there was such a huge uproar over the portrayal of Muslims in the show that the Muslim Council of Britain lodged a formal complaint, and it’s hard not to see why. The show depicts a Turkish Muslim family so modern and assimilated in a foreign culture that the mother doesn’t wear a hijab, and the teenage son begins dating a non-Muslim local girl. Which is a big problem because frowny daddy has plans to turn continental US into a radioactive wasteland and his son’s girlfriend jeopardizes that…I think? What follows is borderline sinister and truly heartbreaking.

Feirouz, the teenage son, is pressured by his parents to kill his American girlfriend, because ‘she saw the darn warehouse’ where the father and other terrorists have been hiding a kidnapped government official. Feirouz chickens out and tries to rush his girlfriend away to safety, but she dies in his hands as it dawns on him that his mother poisoned the girl’s drink. You’d expect Feirouz would break down in tears and cry a river, but somehow, he manages to pull himself together immediately and doesn’t seem that distressed. No biggy, mum and dad were right anyway. Then, in a curious turn of events, mother turns against father to protect Feirouz, husband shoots mother, proceeds to kill an uncle and is on the verge of killing Feirouz when Jack Bauer swoops in once again to put an end to the madness. Just a troubled, messed-up family from start to end.

When the complaints began flooding in, the show’s creators promised that Muslims would be cast in better light towards the middle of the season. When that anticipated moment finally came it manifested in an underwhelming, in my opinion, cameo of two scrawny Muslim gun-store owners who helped Jack Bauer fight that army of mercenaries, further propagating the idea that Muslims are always ready for a fight, whether it’s to actively start one or to simply join in.

Alright, so maybe that’s what 24 is all about, gritty scenes with bad guys and good guys gleefully exchanging bullets every chance they get, so maybe that was the best we could have hoped for, but then I remember watching another show, the X-files, where one episode follows two very normal looking (and to some extent timid) Muslim teenagers cruising through an American town in their car until they park besides a building. Then to my genuine, but premature, delight they begin reciting together, a dua so familiar, in accent-free Arabic, I almost joined in. I remember thinking check out these two poor guys shaking and praying, are they going for a job interview or something? I hope they get it, I really do. I felt stupid seconds later when they walked into the building and it went up in one of those colourful explosions Hollywood is famed for.

It put me off so terribly, I watched the rest of the episode with my hand half reaching for the remote, but still curious to see if there would be some redemption for the Muslim community to come later.

It’s really depressing, I tell you, watching a TV show depicting people who claim to share spiritual beliefs with you, speak flawless Arabic and recite verses of the book we recite every day and regard as our life-manual, only for them to later on draw out their AK47s from thin air or don a bomb vest. You look at those people, when they are presented to you initially, hoping to see elements of your own life reflected back to you, but nothing of the sort is forthcoming.

We, Muslims, are people too.

We make embarrassing mistakes, small and big, throughout our lives, like every other human being.

We have an unhealthy habit of crying too much when we lose someone close to us, like most human beings.

We have our moments of comic awkwardness.

Like when we cant decide what to do with our hands while greeting the elderly who are our non-Mahrams (those we are eligible to marry). Our norms dictate it’s more respectful to extend your arm, yet at the same time tell us we shouldn’t when it’s a non-Mahram. Biiig dilemma.

Or that famed three-part Eid hug moment, when visiting relatives and you can’t remember whether you’re supposed to start on the right side or the left, or whether to end it with a kiss on the cheek or not. And if we do finish it that way, then who goes first? And then, you have that scene where both of you try to do it together and end up going around in circles and your necks wrap around each other and give rise to a clumsy two-headed monster.

Or how about the curious glances we contend with when we shout “Allah Akbar” in public after hearing good news. ‘Allah Akbar’ means ‘God is Great’ by the way, not ‘Death to the West’, for anyone here as yet unaware of that fact. In my mind I sometimes imagine a scene where a traditional middle-eastern mother visits her son in the US or Europe where he’s been studying and recently started working, and when the son pulls up at the arrivals terminal in his shiny brand new car, the overjoyed mother breaks into a khaleejy dance singing, “Allahu Akbar, my son’s made it. Allahu Akbar. Allahu Akbar.”

The son jumps outside, fidgeting and smiling nervously and tries desperately to get her to stop, “Ma, mama, ya ummi! Here in the states we say, ‘Yay!’ and sort of jiggle our feet. Quick now, get in the car, before mysterious men in dark suits pull black bags over our heads and throw us in an FBI van, shukran.”

Are none of the above moments or similar worthy of joining the ranks of those classical “famous TV scenes”?

How much longer are we going to have to wait for that modern Muslim family sitcom the world so desperately needs right now?

I don’t know, something’s got to give. Am almost sure of it. That there will come a time in the future when someone in the upper echelons of the entertainment industry will look at the culture of a people who make up a quarter of the world’s population, see past the layers of stereotypes and into the humor and romance in it and finally produce a critically acclaimed, fan-adored show that really, actually captures the life of the modern Muslim.

Until that happens though, this angry “Muslim” on my TV screen, with his bloodshot eyes and his sharp tongue and his gun-trigger-seducing fingers, will remain as strange to me as the mission he dedicates his life –and death­ – to.

Photo Courtesy: http://cdn.inquisitr.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Poltergeist-Exorcism.jpg

Warning: This article is not for the faint hearts.

When I was in Uni, one of my friends who had come to Mombasa for the first time to study, confessed to me about something. He told me of how he was warned of the Mombasa ladies. That sometimes you may be lured by a very beautiful lady only to find out she is a jinn (genie) lol. Well, I couldn’t agree to the statement but neither could I deny it. I very well knew how the upcountry folks tend to be scared whenever they visit Mombasa for the first time. The stories spread and so does the stereotype.

See Mombasa is by the sea which makes it natural that jinns will be more attracted to this part of the town. They love oceans and seas and that is basically their home. Nonetheless, culture and traditions of the ancestors of this area was such that, while some wanted to be as far away from the whole jinn issue, some when to the far extents of hunting them down and using them for witchcraft and personal agendas. Some were just victims while some sought them. And one other fact about Jinns is that they can be inherited in the family which led to generations after generations being innocently possessed.

Now for the scared-chicken me, fate has made it for me such that I have witnessed exorcism more than 5 times. The first time was when I was around 11 to 12 years old in primary school when one of the Muslim girls suddenly got possessed. It was an exam day so you can imagine half the excitement of postponement of my exam at the same time, fear and sympathy for the girl. The school I was in was a Christian school so the Christian teachers together with the director took their bibles and off they started the prayers. The doors to the room were closed and so were the windows so we couldn’t see anything inside. For almost one hour, we could their loud prayers, some commotion inside, more volume and more volume again until that door finally opened. Before I could understand what exactly was happening, my IRE teacher summoned the few Muslims in the school asking for those who could recite qur’an. Apparently, everyone was looking at me; the 12 year old me to go do exorcism to a fellow kid. Right now, thinking about it, I realize how much danger our teacher put us into. Nonetheless, we still went. The girl’s brother, my teacher and I. Upon entering, the Christian teachers left with the look like, “she is all yours.”

The girl didn’t have her head scarf on. Her long hair was so messed up. She was pacing around the room like it was her ego that had taken over; walking arrogantly across like a boss. So I started reciting surat Yasin. I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t know what surah was to be read but I still went on with the surah with her brother and my teacher following along. The girl was laughing at us, mocking us, insulting us; we were being useless. She wasn’t feeling anything. And for once I felt how really small I was. By the time I was done with Yasin and there was no improvement, I remembered surat Jinn and this is when things started getting wild. She was yelling, screaming in pain. I was shaking now, my hands too cold. There was nothing heroic about this; just shudders of fear. After some verses, she was holding my knees. Don’t even ask me how she got there but she was; holding my knees begging me to read louder because, “He is there. I can see him” pointing somewhere above our heads. It was terrifying and my knees wobbled. I almost thought i’d either pee on myself or faint in the process. She then quieted down. My teacher rushed to give her a glass of water and check if she recognizes herself and the people around. Somehow, with time, I was able to get over it but that was never the end of the exorcism sessions I had to attend.

In uni, one of my mates had the same issue and time to time we would have to do the exorcism on her despite knowing that it should be done by experts only. But then within the past few days, I came across far worse case scenarios I had never seen.

In Islam, (for those who don’t know about this) we have our traditional medicine and treatments called ruqya, and despite this being the original and the best medical way to deal with ailments especially the complicated unexplainable ones, we always tend to keep this to be the last option. Ruqya is commonly known for treatment of witchcraft, exorcism, hasad and 3ayn (disastrous envy) but also for normal ailments that could do just good with some herbals and holy treatment.This is the place you go when no scan is telling what is wrong with you. When you see the doctor and he has to call a mini-meeting to discuss what could be wrong with you and they just end up giving you speculations. This is the place you go when doctors and people ask you, “maybe it’s all in your head? Maybe you are just imagining being sick.” This is the place you go when you have lost hope and finally realize only religious treatment will help you.

My sister and I entered the room which was somewhat full with other Muslim ladies. We went to the front rows, sat quietly waiting just like the rest. When the sheikh finally started reciting, slowly I could hear voices behind me and beside me. Someone was crying, almost wimping, another was laughing in a mock. The one in front of me started stretching her hands, moving her head vigorously from left to right, beside us was another who was now groaning like a lion. Right behind me, the young lady was twisting and turning in pain. And I was there, right at the middle of it all, all seeming like a zombie apocalypse horror movie and everyone was getting infected and I was definitely the next. The screams were getting into my head, the cries, the shouts and my hands were already getting cold. Half the time I was holding my sister’s hand and the other half I was hugging myself, head bowed down. I didn’t want to look but hearing the voices only is way worse. So I get glimpsing around me and it was like someone was trying to drown me. My head being shoved in cold water, pulled out, before being shoved right back. There is a lot of sympathy, empathy, confusion and chaos. I almost walked out right at the middle of it because there you are and you see people having literal fights with the unseen. Someone is twisting like she has no bones, another is groaning like she is about to puke, another is shouting, ‘sitokii!!’ (leave me alone) or ‘uskut’ (Keep quiet!), another is half-crying half-laughing, another is holding her head while crying out in pain, another is screaming like a banshee while another is moving about intensely like she is dancing some zumba.

For the first time I was so scared of my own self, too tensed up because you don’t even have an idea what is wrong with you or even what is your situation exactly. I kept checking on my sister and whenever she’d just move a bit i’d get worried until after confirmation that she is okay. I was trying too to not bulge even an inch because my own restlessness was making me worry. So I wanted to convince myself that nothing is wrong and that nothing is wrong with my sister. But then keeping still is almost impossible too. When the one in front started reacting we had to move back a little bit, when the one behind was writhing in pain on the floor, we had to move forward again. I was terrified, shocked and perhaps it was too much for me to see several people ache loudly like that all at once. By the second day end of it all, a lady was still crying while talking in arabic, “Khaliny. Khaliny anta lasta 3unuky” (Leave me! Leave me you are not my neck) while struggling with her neck like she was being strangled. And that’s when I had had enough. I broke down.

I cried at the difficulty of the situation. At how hard it can be for someone to be their own enemy. At how your ailment is something inside you and you can barely do anything about it. I cried at how we really take it lightly how much these people suffer. But then this is way worse than malaria or even diabetics. This is someone inside you who was sent on a mission to destroy you. Someone who is trying to steal your identity, your happiness, your comfort and worst of all, you are the only one who can see it. Someone who can totally take control of your soul, make you do things or harm yourself and others without even knowing it. This is perhaps one of the biggest tests anyone can have. And even while watching the emotional mess, I wanted to disappear right into the wall beside me. It’s not a sight for someone with empathy issues or even crying-an-entire-bucket issues. I believe that the victims are very strong people and I just hope Allah makes it easy for them and pays them abundantly for their patience.

Perhaps this is why we keep being told that whenever we feel we are in difficult situations, we should look at those in worse scenarios than us and thank God anyway. Nonetheless, the religion has always been complete. We have to take these things seriously and recite the duas for the morning and evening sessions. We have to protect ourselves and our children. We have to teach them the duas before going into the washrooms and after, before eating and after, before leaving home and after…We have to ask for Allah’s protection when going to the beaches and new places. We have to read and listen to qur’an more often but more importantly, we have to listen to the ruqya verses more often. Trust me, it is worth it. The way people talk of possessed victims like it is an ordinary and ‘normal’ thing, is quite underrated. They suffer and they need our support, love and care. They need you now more than ever. They need your sincere prayers.

Besides all these dark spirits (which is mostly not everyone’s fault), Mombasa is a beautiful place of it’s own kind. Stereotyping generalizes it way more than it really is. The victims are sick and trust me, they do not like it just like you. Do not be afraid of them or stigmatize them. God is surely for us all.

To end this, below is a ruqya video that is good for you. Make time to listen to the video at least once everyday and let your family listen too. You can always download more videos and audios from the internet. https://youtu.be/oEgZT9cJ4lY (This is different from the one below)

May Allah have mercy on us, protect us and our families from all evil. Ameen.

By: Aisha Zale Navi

Photo Courtesy: http://bestmodernpaintings.blogspot.co.ke/

The hot summer weather had me wishing I was wearing an air condition fitted outfit (seriously, someone should work on that).

‘’I still don’t get it why men can walk in three quarters and vests while muslim women are to cover from top to bottom in this unbearable weather.’’ He argued. And this was the climax of our heated argument. I could have just answered simply; ‘’Jahannam is hotter’’ but I dislike that answer even though it is so true and also I know the person am talking to. He is not the one to accept one word answer or three for that matter. He would have probably said something like, ‘ why can’t God make the earth cooler’. And no he won’t understand the concept of; the earth is a prison for a believer and paradise for a disbeliever. No, he just don’t roll like that. He is a man of reasons. Deep thoughts. Contemplating, arguing and finding logic. Yeah, I hate him sometimes when he becomes so philosophical but not for long because he is my friend and more importantly, it is my duty to answer such questions.

After our long argument which took two hours or more, I sat on my bed and a thought came to my head. ‘I wish I was like Imam Shafi or was it Malik, definitely one of those clever people that were before us who possessed so much wisdom to argue their points.’ Then it hit me, I was not sure which Imam or person I was referring to. I just have a rough idea of this man who was good at debates but don’t know who. Sad, isn’t it? Or may be not that sad because it’s just a debate; after all we should avoid them as much as possible.

What is really sad is that, few of us todaytake time to learn our religion. We are updated on most of the aspects of this world but when it comes to our religion, we are where we left off from madrassa. Some of us are doing a PHD in whatever field we are specializing in but it has never bothered them to learn how to make their swalah better and sweeter. The world that is supposed to be in our hands is in our hearts and the deen whose place is in our hearts is no where near our thoughts. Don’t blame time, because most of our time is consumed on absolutely nothing constructive. In this times whereby you can get anything and everything just by clicking a button, you really want to blame time for your luck of advanced knowledge in religion? Nouman Ali Khan has made it easier for you to get a chance to understand the Qur’an like never before just for $100 per year subscription, Qalaam institute got Seera intensive classes every year at $85, Hadith of the Day sends you daily hadiths at no cost, Islamic Online Universities offers different courses on religion at $100 per semester, there are numerous books on religion found online and teachers too from every corner of the world, Productive Muslim teaches you ways to be productive from life of the Prophet s.a.w at an affordable price.. what then is our excuse?

The worst part is when a non-muslim asks a question about Islam and we have no idea what the answer is, they present their arguments and we answer by getting raged and we are ready to fight for the religion that we  have not taken time to understand it for ourselves. We really need to see the urgency in us learning our deen. We should not leave it to Imams and Aalims. We have to learn it for ourselves. So that, just as you update your mode of whatsapp messenger, you update your reading of Qur’an. In your many dreams in life, fit in something to do with acquiring knowledge of the deen. You don’t have to take it all in, we can leave that for the scholars. But for your day to day life; you need Qur’an, Sunnah, important aspects of fiqhi, seera. Find books or courses on them and spare time on learning it. Every year, under your new year resolution, have something like: ‘’ Do in depth tafsir of Qur’an’’ or any other field you know you are really poor at.

And as I always say: it all comes down to the people we love and look up to. Who are the people we admire the most in our lives. Doctors might tell you Dr. House even though he is a fictional character. But really, do you think he is the best person to be looking up to. Yeah he is a genius according to the series and what not, but is he worthy a role model to a muslim lady or gentleman. I remember when we were preparing for our KCSE, the school will invite people from different fields. Now that I mention it, am not sure if it was form four or form three. My point is, there is this one guy. I don’t remember his name nor his profession but I will never forget his advice. It was as simple as, ‘’whatever you want to pursue in life, make sure you are a muslim first. So that you will be: a muslim teacher, a muslim lawyer’, a muslim engineer etc… not by name but by your way of living.’’ We can achieve this by having the right role models in our lives. If you are a muslim and your number one role model is not Rasulullah s.a.w, then you need therapy.

And my opinion is that, apart from the messenger of Allah may peace be upon him the swahabas,  tabiin and those who followed the religion to the letter would make great role models. Whatever profession you are in, look for a role model from the former people and also current who are in the same field and Allah is pleased with them. So if you are a teacher, get to know Aisha r.a one of the best teachers of her time, if you are in army how about you take some notes on Khalid bin Walid’s life, you are a business lady or gentleman, let AbdulRahman Ibn Awf blow your mind; you are a doctor Ibn Sina, you are a nurse Nusaybah bint Ka’ab, you want to be the president or a leader in anything you have a list to choose from, from the four Caliphates to Ummar Bin Abdulaziz, Architectures you can definitely find someone during Ummayad dynasty… the list goes on and on. We have this great people to look up to with whom we are sure if we follow their footsteps we will be successful in this world and the hereafter. The sad thing is that, we don’t know about them and we don’t bother to know about them. Now this is really really sad.

In this world, we are just passers by and the Hereafter is permanent. What if I tell you that there is a way to be happy in both worlds, won’t you jump at the opportunity to know how can you do it? Well this how… whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever you are dealing with, check and see how intact is your islam. Not by possessing the most beautiful Arabic name (so far mine is the most beautiful :p) but by possessing the most beautiful heart and characters as we were taught by the teacher of teachers Muhammad s.a.w and his Teacher Allah s.w.t. Make time to know Allah and know what He asks of you. Make time to acquire as much knowledge as you can so that you won’t be wishing to be like a wise someone centuries back because you will be that wise someone and you will be able to answer the questions and remove any doubts. Be a carrier of knowledge. This is an advice to myself first and then to you my dear brothers and sisters. Lower your gaze but don’t lower your standards by failing your religion.

And for the one who is curious to know how the argument with my friend went, well… we agreed to disagree. I pray one day, he agrees to agree with me in shaa Allah. May Allah increase us all in knowledge that is beneficial to us and others and make the path of knowledge easy for all of us, may He grant us success in this world and the hereafter, ameen.


By: Hassan Al-Basri

The word Hikmah (wisdom) has been misinterpreted for too long. It means to approach the people in the best way possible, to act in the in most appropriate way, taking that particular situation into account. It has never meant to give a false image of Islam for personal or community welfare. When Muslims are willing to compromise in all aspects of their life, we lose the favor of Allah, emit an image of weakness to our enemies, and lose dignity in the sight of our Creator.


All praise is due to Allah, the Just, the Bestower, and peace and blessings upon our beloved and humble Prophet Muhammad (saws). The most popular catch-cry of today’s generation is the word “compromise“. The weak consider it as harmless, the ignorant hold it as beneficial, and the misguided count it as essential.


This conclusion may seem extreme, but that’s the reality. In Islam, there is absolutely no room for compromise. There is no evidence that the Prophet (saws) ever did so, nor did his companions, or does the Qur’an provide scope for it.This stance also makes rational sense to those who sincerely dwell upon this topic.


A person suffering from a heart condition would be foolish if he chose to consume half of the medicine prescribed, and then took sugar lollies as a substitute for the rest of the tablets. Who is he cheating? Not the doctor, who sought the best possible solution for his condition, nor the pharmacist, who supplied the medicine. The patient is the one at loss.


Surely Allah, in His Wisdom and Mercy chose Islam as the medicine for the ills of humanity and the society we live, a cure for the cancer of interest and woes of politics, the mistreatment of women and the division of society, the nature of man and his insatiable desires.


Why do we Compromise?


There appears to be three main reasons why people will willingly compromise Islam, and those same people will choose those orders Allah has enforced us to follow, according to their own desires and substitute the rest with man-made systems.


1. “We are living in hard times, in a difficult society, and thus Allah permits us to compromise,because (now wait for it)…‘Islam is easy, not hard’”.


A Hadith also quoted is that narrated by Aisha (raa), who said that when the Prophet (saws) had the choice between two actions, he chose the easiest course. True, Islam is easy to follow, but not to the extent that we are permitted to change the rules set by Allah for our own convenience. When asked for proof for the statement we can compromise, they claim that our condition today is similar to that during the Makkan period of the Prophet’s mission. We should bear patiently like he did then, and act as he did in those circumstance.


The fallacy of this argument stands clear when we study the reasons why the Prophet (saws) acted as he did back then, and how later on in his life he (saws) acted differently. We are now living in the Madinah era, the era where the Qur’an was completed. The Makkan period could be seen as a temporary stage where the companions were trained and prepared in that special environment. But Islam was completed, finalized with the ayah: “This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” (Qur’an 5:3)


Islam was then perfected, so by retracing our steps all the way back to the Makkan era is illogical. A cup full of fresh milk will be spoilt if only a drop of blood was to fall in it. Allah has never asked us to go beyond our capacity to please him, thus arguments such as “I must work in a Haram field because I have no choice” is an invalid argument. If our women must mix with men in the workplace, Allah never asked them to go to such extents. If we eat food, which is declared Haram, don’t expect automatic forgiveness, because no excuse remains. We have transgressed the boundaries. Where as most people use their own rationale to substantiate their weak claims, I have the Word of Allah: “Such is Allah, your Lord in truth. So after the truth, what else can there be, save error.” (Qur’an 10:32)


“It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed in a plain error.” (Qur’an 33:36)


Do you consider our current situation to be much worse than that suffered by the Prophet (saws) and his companions, or the other prophets before him? Surely this is the same code enjoined upon the Prophet (saws) and upon us. Yusuf (as) went through many tortures, but never compromised, but instead turned to his Creator: “O my Lord! Prison is more to my liking than that to which they invite me.” (Qur’an 12:33)


It was not in the nature of Yusuf (as), nor in any of the Prophets, nor in any of the righteous servants of Allah, to compromise in order to gain some worldly benefit.


Yusuf preferred jail to falling for the lusts of women.


2. Another false argument is the apologetic one: “We want to show people a religion, which is easy and doesn’t require much effort, not to make people run away from Islam.”


In truth, people have been running to Islam because, when shown in its real light, Islam provides the solutions people have been seeking. They do not want a mixture of Islam with the Kuffir they fled. Showing Islam in a “moderate” or “soft” light will only give the wrong image of an already perfect religion.


3. The third argument is that we must compromise in order to strengthen Islam.


We must enter and join these institutions, join hands with the non-Muslims who are our partners in this life. This way, we can spread Islam, and live happily ever after.


WRONG!!! Again, there is no proof in the Shariah for this view, but rather to the contrary. Surah al -Kafirun is a prime example of this: “Say: “Disbelievers! I do not worship what you worship, nor do you worship what I worship. I shall never worship what you worship, neither will you worship what I worship. You have your own religion and I have mine.” (Qur’an 109)


Muhammad (saws) declared his religion to be that of Ibrahim (as). The unbelievers thus argued that there was no reason for them to leave their own beliefs and take up that of Muhammad’s (saws), seeing they were of the same religion. They sought to compromise with him, proposing that he should prostrate before their gods in exchange for them prostrating before Allah, and he could demand whatever he wanted from them. This Surah was revealed in an uncompromising tone, clearly dividing Tawheed (monotheism) from shirk (polytheism), establishing a true criterion, allowing for no further wrangling. This wasn’t the only situation. When the Prophet’s (saws) uncles felt that he was getting too powerful, they tried to bribe him with the gifts of this world. They offered him the leadership of Makkah, wealth if that was his purpose, the most charming wife if that was what pleased him, yet he refused all these because he only desired that the truth prevailed. Under such harsh and luring circumstances, he (saws) commented that if the sun were to be given in his right hand, and the moon in his left, never would he leave this cause until Allah will elevate it, or he would die striving for this cause. This was his prime opportunity; if it were in his nature to compromise, he could have accepted the leadership, secretly hid his true convictions, and later spread Islam after being confident and powerful enough. Rasulallah (saws) was known as the Trustworthy and due to this fact he (saws) was thus able to kindle the fire of Arab nationalism and would thus have united them. They would have responded gladly to his call, tired of their tribal warfare’s. Thereafter, he could free the Arab lands from the domination of the Romans and the Persians. He could have easily established an Arab state in this way, instead of bearing thirteen years of pain and torture. He could have made the people bow initially before his authority, then he could have used his position of authority to impose the belief in the unity of Allah, and bow before the True God. This was not what Allah desired though, and that is not Islam. Islam seeks the destruction of all forms of evil, through pure ways, not the manipulation of evil to reach a pure goal.


This is not possible, nor permissible. Even in a life or death situation, we are told of the rewards if we persevere and bear patiently. Ibrahim (as) chose to burn in the fire prepared by his own father, rather than to hide his religion, leave the area, and spread the Word of Allah.


If Allah (swt) or the Prophet (saws) have forbidden us to do something, we must believe with all our being that it is forbidden for our benefit. For example: Music – it is Haram (except the duff on certain occasions)…don’t try to change it around to suit your desires, by saying those favourite words we hear over and over again as justification, “I know its Haram ……but..?” If the Prophet (saws) forbade it, that’s it, accept it, don’t try and “Islamisize” it. You can’t, unless of course you think you know better? (istaghfirullah, May Allah protect us from this)


Another example is the issue of Hijab: Many Muslim sisters have even tried to “Islamisize” this act of devotion, which has guidelines and conditions. This stance is very weak…often justified by this saying, “But, if we look more fashionable, the non-Muslims won’t find it so hard to relate to us.” Wrong!!, as Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an: “Never will the Jews nor the Christians be pleased with you till you follow their religion. Say: “Verily, the Guidance of Allah, that is the only Guidance. And if you were to follow their (Jews and Christians) desires after what you have received of knowledge (i.e. the Qur’an), then you would have against Allah neither any “Wali” (Protector or Guardian) nor any helper.” (Qur’an 2:120)


No Excuse Allhamdulillah, we are provided with all the necessities of life. We have enough money to purchase Halal products and these are available everywhere, so we need not compromise in terms of our food. We can freely wear the required clothing asked by Allah, so we have no excuse not to. Our sisters need not mix in our universities or workplaces, because Allah never requested them to compromise Islam to gain worldly knowledge. We can choose our work, our partners, our lifestyle, yet we consider ourselves fighting some imaginary “Jihad” of the nafs. Indeed, you never had an excuse, and you certainly do not now, so cling to the path chosen by Allah; to all of it, for that is the only way we can dig ourselves from this rotten trough we have fallen in. We will inevitably fall if we prefer to attribute orders to Allah, which He never asked for. “Say you (O Muhammad): ‘This is my way; I invite unto Allah with sure knowledge, I and whosoever follows me with sure knowledge. And Glorified and Exalted be Allah. And I am not of the Mushrikun.’” (Qur’an 12:108) “And verily, this is my Straight Path, so follow it, and follow not other paths, for they will separate you away from His path. This He has ordained for you that you may become pious.” (Qur’an 6:153)


(Read more )http://justamuslim.com/compromise/






Hassan Al Basir;

Is a friend,Humanitarian,Mentor,Listener and Future youth advocate Who is Struggling to make his Heart and Mind work together.

His thoughts and words of inspiration may portray piety that he struggles to achieve at Times,If you see him falter kindly make a du’a(prayer) for him.

His blog Justamuslim.com  is a letter to the world Focusing on Deen Reminders and showing the world the beauty of Islam,Promoting peace,Tolerance and Justice among diverse Faiths .


Photo Courtesy: http://www.layman.org/

I write this letter with deep pain in my heart that no doctor, no psychiatrist, no psychologist can cure. I am not the same person I was one year ago and never will I be ever again. I write this letter so that the whole world can know my story. So that the whole world can know the plain truth…the truth that I am no terrorist…to know that Islam has never encouraged terrorism…

 I remember how I walked in the international airport of the foreign land. I was happy like never before. This was my opportunity to raise myself from scratch and I was going to help my mother get her treatment at last. When I just arrived, I took my mother to her room and let her rest before going to meet the ones who had requested my coming to this beautiful new land. The old men had big dreams and they wanted me to be the fulfiller of those dreams. I readily accepted, after all, that was what I came for….
We started a large project of building the biggest masjid, library and madrassa in that entire land. We had big dreams of educating the muslim children that never had the chance to know their religion well. We made big progress in few months and we had people of all sorts getting attracted to our library that had all sorts of books. I soon started teaching the youngsters in the madrassa and we grew very first. We had accomplished what we wanted. People were now flowing in and out of the library and we were requested to increase the opening hours. In few more months we had people converting to Islam…

I finally took my mother for the treatment of the blood cancer she had. I was pleased with myself for I had achieved what I always wanted. During my free time, I did what I loved most-taking pictures of the nature and architectural buildings for that was what I had studied in my home land. Everything went on well and after one complete year, we started having public peace conferences about Islam. We moved to different states of the continent and our name was heard all over…we were spiritually conquering the hearts of the people.

That one night, everything changed and my life was completely destroyed. I was seated with my mother having dinner in our house when the door bell rang. I stood to open the door and there, in front of me were more than five policemen. I stood still for a moment waiting for them to start talking.

“Is this Sheikh Ahmad’s residence?”One of them asked.

“Yes, how may I help you?” but before any one of them could answer, three of the police officers pushed me aside and broke in the house.

“What is happening here?” I quickly asked but there was no answer. The three policemen ransacked the house, breaking everything around.

“Ahmad, what do these people want from you?” my mum hurried to me, fear all over her face.

“You can’t do this. What have I done?” my voice rose up.

“Here’s a search warrant. May you shut up while we do our work!?” one of them snapped.

I stood there helplessly as they threw down all the furniture, books, everything they got hold of. Then one of them suddenly held the Quran and was about to throw it down when my mother, without thinking twice, gave him a hefty slap on the face. The policeman stood up, red with anger and pushed my old mother to the farthest end. Everything happened so fast and my mother was now lying down, very still.

I rushed to my mother and blood was oozing from her head.

“What have you done?! What have you done!?” I shouted loudly.

“Sir, we got them. Here they are,” another policeman said, coming from my room. I raised my eyes to see him holding the pictures of the buildings that I had taken.

The one, who seemed to be the head came to me and boldly said,

“You are under arrest. May you follow us to the station right now.”

“But what have I done?”I asked, panicking.

“You will know everything once we get there,” he said as he handcuffed me.

“But what about my mother? She’s still unconscious.”

“We’ll take care of her. Hey! Call the ambulance,” he said to another policeman. They then took me into their car and I was taken to the station. I was interrogated for hours-why had I taken those pictures from the beginning. It w ent on and on until I finally realized why I was being held. I was a suspect of terrorism. It went from being hours to days and I never was given the chance to rest. I was electrocuted, kept in the darkest of places, denied food and more and more. They were never going to let me go unless I said that I was guilty of having terroristic plans.

Then one day, one of the interrogators came and announced,

“I guess you were surviving until now for the sake of your mother. She is dead now. She died last night in the hospital. You can now speak up.”

The news came as a blow to me and I felt so shattered. Things didn’t get any better in the following months. After some terrible time, I overheard two police officers talking about my case.

“The man is so lucky. This is the fourth day since the people started the demonstrations for his release. I guess he won’t stay any longer. The people have refused to stop the demonstrations…” I didn’t hear the end of that conversation but soon enough, I was released by the court of law after finding me innocent.

I was once more a free man but that didn’t help me at all. My life was completely shattered. I was so weak, so much afraid and I could no longer be the same eloquent man. It is now one year later but I still couldn’t recover my old self and I don’t think I ever will.

So that’s why I am writing this letter to the world. So that they can realize that I never was a terrorist and never has my religion-Islam, ever encouraged any kind of violence. I hope my letter will make things clear- that Islam is a peaceful religion and will always be….