What Do You Think When You Look At Me?

daliaAsalamu Alaikum

Sister Dalia gives an enlightening speech hosted by TED. There is closed captioning (CC) and an interactive transcript for those who require it. What Do You Think When You Look At Me?

Interesting facts:

  1. More women than men revert to Islam, debunking the myth that Islam is an oppressive religion for women…

“The reason why women why women are turning to Islam must certainly have something to do with the honor that Islam gives them and the equality with which it deals with people, not only in gender, but also in terms of race, nationality, class etc. However, the overriding reason why I and so many others like me were attracted to Islam was because Islam answered the most important question which I had ever asked: ‘Why am I here on this earth?’ So I crossed the divide and managed to see what lies on either side…Alhamdulillah I chose Islam.” (Why Women Are Coming to Islam, Ad-Da’wah ilAllah – A Womens’ Islamic Magazine, Zawaj.com)

Related video, “Women Are Converting to Islam More Than Men”

2. There was an increase in Islamic reversion after 9/11…

“Muslim American reports in the Arab press indicate that Muslim proselytizing efforts have been unusually successful since the September 11 attacks. ‘Alaa Bayumi, Director of Arab Affairs at the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), wrote in the London daily Al-Hayat that “non-Muslim Americans are now interested in getting to know Islam. There are a number of signs…: Libraries have run out of books on Islam and the Middle East… English translations of the Koran head the American best-seller list… The Americans are showing increasing willingness to convert to Islam since September 11… Thousands of non-Muslim Americans have responded to invitations to visit mosques, resembling the waves of the sea [crashing on the shore] one after another… All this is happening in a political atmosphere that, at least verbally, encourages non-Muslim Americans’ openness towards Muslims in America and in the Islamic world, as the American president has said many times in his speeches…” CAIR chairman Nihad Awad told the Saudi paper ‘Ukaz that “34,000 Americans have converted to Islam following the events of September 11, and this is the highest rate reached in the U.S. since Islam arrived there.” (Al-Hayat, London, November 11, 2001, Excerpts from “Muslim American Leaders: A Wave of Conversion to Islam in the U.S. Following September 11” © Middle East Media & Research Institute, Sultan.org)

Further reading of an old article I wrote, “The Muslim Woman”

FiAmanAllah,

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Health Benefits Of Sujud

photocreditislamworldsgreatestreligion

Mental Health, Sujood And Du’a
By Ahmad Sakr
The Islamic Bulletin
The Qur’an And Science

As Muslims we know that the Qur’an offers guidance to us in all aspects of our lives. It is indeed a blessing and a guide for all times and places. In today’s modern world full of electronic communication, globalization, technology and the ever increasing pace of western life, it is easy to feel overwhelmed in this society. Stress and depression are two of the most common results of this hectic and fast paced life.

In his recent treatise on depression, Dr. Ahmad Sakr states, “Depression is a universal disease that affects millions of people. Some 10 to 15% of people suffer from it at some point in their lives. This could be due to physical illness or social isolation.”

Situational depression can be caused by a troubling time in someone’s life such as loss of a loved one, loss of a job, moving to a new area, and sometimes just the stress associated with economic survival in today’s world.

Some states of depression can be caused by hormonal factors in women and teens or by the process of aging in seniors.

Common medical symptoms such as tension and migraine headaches, sudden anger or rage, insomnia, obesity, hair loss, allergies, fatigue, memory loss, and lethargy are symptoms of depression and stress. Everyone suffers from stress at some time, but some people are better able than others to handle it.

We are sure to experience stress during the tests and trials that Allah presents to us in this life.

“Be sure We shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods, lives and the fruits of your toil, but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere. Who say when afflicted with calamity: To Allah we belong and to Him is our return. They are those on whom descend blessings from their Lord and Mercy. And they are the ones that receive guidance.” (Qur’an 2:155)

Stress, despair, and depression when approached from a scientific and spiritual basis can be effectively controlled by the ‘prescriptions’ found in the Qur’an. In Surah Al Ra’d,”Those who believe, and whose hearts find satisfaction in the remembrance of Allah: for without doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction.” (Qur’an 13:28)

Prayer is ordered continuously throughout the Qur’an. Allah in His mercy emphasizes its importance over and over so there can be no doubt. “Keep carefully (adhere) to the prayers and (not forgetting) the middle prayer, and stand before Allah in obedience.”

Sujood and Mental Health

SujoodIn his book, Sujood (Prostration), Dr. Ahmed Sakr states, “In Islam the concept and action of prostration (al-Sujood) is very important. It is important physically, medically, morally, spiritually and biologically. Prostration has been mentioned in the Qur’an 92 times in 22 different forms and in 32 different surahs. In the Qur’an Surah Al-Sajdah (prostration) says, “Only those believe in Our Signs who, when they are recited to them, fall down in prostration, and celebrate the praises of their Lord, nor are they puffed up with pride.” (Qur’an 32:15)

With the advancement of science and technology, and the whirl that existence in the west can be, one feels obligated to mention one method that brings peace, harmony, accord, tranquility, and happiness. This practice is Sujood or prostration!

People today are exposed to many daily frustrations. They are also propounded with many electrostatic charges from the atmosphere. These charges are precipitated on the central nervous systems (CNS) which becomes supersaturated. One has to get rid of these extra charges, otherwise, there is the possibility of headaches, neck aches, muscle spasms, etc. The use of anti-depressants, tranquilizers and other mood altering drugs could be reduced or eliminated with the practice of Sujood.

The best way to rid oneself of these extra electrostatic charges is by dissipating them and discharging them from the body. In the same way that an electrical appliance needs to be grounded by the use of an electric cord, a person will find it helpful to do likewise.

The frontal areas of the brain are those that control abstract thought, creativity, conscience, and personality. Therefore, “grounding” oneself by putting the forehead (the frontal portion of the brain) on the ground during Sujood has beneficial medical (grounding) properties. The action of putting the forehead, nose, hands, knees, and toes all in contact with the ground at the same time during Sujood will result in a calming feeling resulting from dissipation of the electromagnetic energy.”

Drs. Abdul Ahad and Mehdi Hassan in their article “Some Medical Aspects of Al-Salat” say about prostration, “During Sajdah, a person has to support his body on knees, hands, and forehead. This posture has its effect on the intervertebral joints, especially cervical and other spinal diseases. During sajdah, while the person lays his body weight on legs flexed at knees, these muscles are put in action to various degrees which aids venous return and acts as a massage for these muscles.”

During prostration, muscles are exercised, blood flow is increased, lung capacity is utilized…all leading to better physical health. This in turn results in better mental health, not only because of the physical activity, but due to the spiritual process also.

Sujood and Du’a

The word Du’a means supplication. It is a communication and dialogue between a believer and Allah. One may make Du’a in any place, in any language, and in any position. The best position to ask Allah (swt) from and to make Du’a in, is while making Sujood. During Sujood, the Du’a is more often accepted by Allah. The best position for dialogue with Allah is during Sujood. The best position to meet Allah in (i.e., death) is while in Sujood. The best way to thank Allah and to praise Him is while prostrating. For this reason the Prophet (pbuh) said: “The closest position that a person can be from God is at the time of Sujood; hence increase your Du’a’.” (Ahmad, Muslim, Dawood)

While prostrating in Salat, a Muslim says three times: “Glory be to my Lord the Highest; and gratitude be to Him.” The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, “Perform Sujood in abundance. Anytime you prostrate to Allah one Sujood, Allah will elevate you one step and erase one mistake for you.”

The real Du’a’ in Sujood is when a person feels and lives a few moments of their life in communion with Allah. When a person is engulfed in the spirituality [and physicality] of Sujood they are momentarily outside of this world. The Du’a’ comes not only from the lips but from the totality of their being…the organs, the bodily systems, the cells, molecules, atoms, nuclei, electrons, neutrons, protons…every part and parcel of that person is with Allah at that moment. When a person reaches this level of communication (called Tadarru) they are not aware of anything else around them. They are taken out of themselves spiritually and their bodies are manipulated in physically beneficial movements.

A person suffering from depression or stress is relieved on all levels through Sujood. They do not have to go through hypnosis to remember subconscious ideas, to find a source of relaxation or to feel at peace. The communion with Allah puts them mentally in a relaxed and peaceful state without yoga. The need for drug therapy with possible side effects can be re-examined. Submitting oneself to Allah relieves the stress of the unknown and turns it all over to Him thereby relieving the individual of undue worries over the future.

Through the process of Sujood a person will be absorbed with the infinite, with the immortal and with the outer hemisphere. When a person reaches such a state of complete communion with the Almighty, to the point that trembling, shaking, crying, or shuddering takes place, it is said that their Du’a’ is being accepted by Allah. It is also said that they are being forgiven by Allah for their mistakes, and finally, that their bodily diseases and especially their mental, neurological and psychological problems will be relieved with the Mercy and Will of Allah. All creatures prostrate to Allah.

They glorify Him, exalt Him, and praise Him. Surah Al-Hajj states: “Seest thou not that to Allah bow down in worship all things that are in the heavens and on earth – the sun, the moon, the stars; the hills, the trees, the animals; And a great number among mankind?” (Qur’an 22:18)

And in Al-Isra’: “They fall down on their faces, weeping, and it increases humility in them.” (Qur’an 17:109)

And this promise from Allah, “O, you who believe! Bow down and prostrate yourselves, and worship your Lord, and do good, that happily you may prosper.” (Qur’an 22:77)

Prostration is good for us mentally, physically, and spiritually. We are the beneficiaries of performing Sujood. As in all aspects of Islamic life, the Holy Quran has answers for all problems and conditions of mankind.

[Specific Areas: Brain areas are associated with specific functions…For example; the occipital lobe is associated with vision, and the cerebellum with balance and coordination. Touch and pressure sensation is perceived within the post central gyrus. Muscle movements are controlled from the precentral gyrus, speech is controlled from an area in the frontal lobe of the dominant hemisphere.]

[Lobes: are broad surface regions of each hemisphere that are named after the overlying bones of the skull. The four main regions are the frontal, parietal, temporal, and occipital lobes.]

Editors Note: We are very pleased to be able to offer Dr. Ahmad Sakr’s excellent Islamic books and literature through The Islamic Bulletin. For more information please see the order form.

Photo Credit: Islam, World’s Greatest Religion

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What Happened To Bob?

islamwillremainforever

Asalamu Alaikum

I transcribed this because sometimes the text in the video was hard to see or did not hover long enough to be read. My remarks are in brackets. Correct spelling and grammar inserted were necessary to make for better flow of reading. Click on the link below to view the video.

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What Happened To Bob “The American Doctor” When He Visited Saudi Arabia?
Wafa Osimi
Transcribed 8 January 2016 by Tara Umm Omar

Dr. Ghrama Alshehri, General Surgery Consultant in Aseer hospital.

There was an American eye doctor who had faced terrible health issues which led him to the intensive care in the hospital.

He was a typical American man, with blue eyes and blond hair. He was also a very conservative Christian.

This man used to have a dream that occurred every other night while he stayed in the hospital.

In his dream, he sees Jesus [Isa, ‘alayhi as-salam] telling him to go to Saudi Arabia and spread Christianity there.

When he got better, he told his wife about this dream and she insisted that he goes and does what he had been guided to do in this dream.

He told her he would think about it.

After a while, he received a call from the Saudi embassy who had a job offer for three months if he wants.

Then he told his wife about this offer and she pressured him to accept the offer in order to spread their religion.

Her attitude was weird because she was actually a very sweet lady but in this case, she was firm and insistent!

He accepted the offer and worked in a hospital in Aseer.

When he arrived at the airport, he started preaching to people about Christianity, saying that Jesus died for us [as in died for our sins].

There was of course no response.

Then he started to preach to us, “his colleagues”.

The host: didn’t he know that you all were Muslim?

The guest: of course!

The host: so he claims that he came to save Muslims from the ignorance.

The guest: he was amazed by our generosity and hospitality.

One day, he suggested to debate about religion.

I said sure, the difference between us is that you say Jesus is God’s son and he was crucified and buried.

If that is true and you have witnesses, I will happily accept all that is mentioned in the Bible [astaghfirAllah!]

The Bible says that all the disciples were dead after that incident so there wasn’t any witnesses of the crucifixion!

Christians assume that Jesus was buried for three days then was risen from death. How can that be proven when all four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, narrate Mary Magdalene’s story in a different version?

Mark’s gospel claims that she was alone by the grave. Whereas Matthew’s gospel narrates that she wasn’t alone. She was joined by another woman named Mary and angel Salome. The third gospel claims that there were men with her. Finally, the last gospel mentioned various names.

The host: so the stories were contradictory!

The guest: indeed.

In the first gospel, Mark says that she saw Jesus and spoke with him. Then in the second one she said she didn’t see him. In the third one, she said she saw angels.

The host: and he kept listening to you?

The guest: yes, he was silent.

The host: did he read all four gospels?

The guest: yes, he read them all.

His name was Bob. I said: Bob, can you tell Dr. Sameer, who is another eye doctor, about this Mary Magdalene who was mentioned in all the four gospels.

Bob laughed and said that the gospels say that Mary Magdalene had a schizophrenic personality and was inhabited by seven devils [a’oodhu billah!]

The guests are laughing at their fellow guest because of his poor English.

The guest: anyway, the doctor didn’t have any witnesses.

Then I asked him, when you were in America, what was your impression about us?

He replied by saying, terrorists.

I said, have you seen any since you came here?

He said, no.

The host: he used to hear about the bad reputation but now he can see for himself that it is not true.

The guest: yes, after that he converted to Islam. But before that, he asked me if he could attend one of our prayers. He wanted to see what prostration feels like. After he saw how great it feels, he was pleased and said, I can’t wait anymore. I want to announce my conversion to Islam but I’m worried about my wife’s reaction.

The host began laughing because of the irony of this. His wife is the one who sent him to spread Christianity and now he became a Muslim!

The guest: his wife called him everyday to see how things were going with that journey!

We told him to call her and see. He called her and she asked him how many people he had converted until now.

He told her that it was a very hard mission because it wasn’t easy to persuade Muslims since they are very attached to their religion.

She said, so are the Muslims in America. I couldn’t persuade anyone but you must keep trying.

He said, they continuously read Qur’an and memorize it. I’ve read it too and it has beautiful ethics.

She said, I have also read it. It is true that Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him] is a prophet and the Qur’an is a heavenly book. I didn’t send you to deny this fact, I sent you to spread your religion.

He said, they are incredibly generous people and I hadn’t seen any terrorism.

She said, I know that. Even American Muslims are decent and aren’t terrorists. That is just the medias actions [opinions].

Then she asked him, have you become a Muslim now? Because if you have, I don’t want our relationship to end.

He said, yes, Muslims can remained married to Christians.

The host laughed and said, he began referring to himself as a Muslim already.

His wife said, so you admit it!

He said, yes, I’ve converted to Islam.

She said, so you will start praying and fasting Ramadan?!

The host: it seems she has knowledge about Islam.

He said, yes, I will perform all Islamic orders.

She said, even the prayer before dawn fajr prayer?

He said, that prayer is the best!

She said, haven’t you noticed that I’ve been going down to the cellar [basement] and locking the door before dawn every single day for the last two years?

He surprisingly said, you’re a Muslim?!!

She said, yes, I sent you to Saudi Arabia to convert to Islam.

Bob was shocked!

She said, you are stubborn headed! You had to see for yourself that these people are not terrorists!

The hosts: this lady is consistent.

Beautiful, beautiful.

International Museum Of Muslim Cultures: Legacy Of Timbuktu

photocreditinternationalmuseumofmuslimcultures.jpgLegacy of Timbuktu
International Museum Of Muslim Cultures
1 February 2015

In the last millennium an important global legacy was uncovered—the literate culture of AFRICA—symbolized in the extraordinary richness of historical manuscripts that still survive. These ancient documents reveal that a sophisticated literate culture flourished in the city of Timbuktu on the edge of the Sahara Desert beginning in the 13th century and lasting more than 700 years. A crossroads of international caravan commerce, including the book trade, Timbuktu was also a celebrated center of learning, attracting scholars, and thousands of students and teachers from many countries and backgrounds.

The International Museum of Muslim Cultures in partnership with the Mamma Haidara Memorial Library in Timbuktu has curated an exhibit of this glorious age and its legacy to America through the tragic events of the slave trade as it presents The Legacy of Timbuktu: Wonders of the Written Word Exhibition.

Books were not only brought into Timbuktu, but local scholars wrote their own works, and artisans scribed, decorated and bound them in a sophisticated local book production industry tied to the global Islamic knowledge industry—activities that culminated in a complex and highly viable socio-economic model. Leo Africanus, celebrated medieval historian, wrote “the buying and selling of books were more profitable than any other commerce in the city of Timbuktu”. The feature attraction will be 25 of the estimated one million manuscripts recently re-rediscovered in the West African country of Mali. Bound in leather, they contain finely articulated calligraphy and colorful, even gilded, illustrations and cover a wide variety of subjects.

Read more here.

Photo Credit: International Museum Of Muslim Cultures

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The Jinn Don’t Like Hijamah

photocredithijamaherbsThe Jinn Cried Out, “Stop It, Stop It”
Written by aminshah
Shahclan Hijama Herbs
May 17, 2013

LEFT PICTURE: Ailments from the unseen realm such as possession of jinn, effects of black magic and evil eye are dismissed by modern medicine as hocus pocus. However, these unseen ailments are confirmed by Quran and Hadith as true and have real effects on the human body. MIDDLE PICTURE: Abou Mohamed, a well known Raaqi in UK, performing Rukyah by reciting Quranic verses to remove jinn from the body of a man. RIGHT PICTURE: Since jinns move around by way of the bloodstream, Hijama plays an important role in expelling jinns from the body.

A couple of weeks ago, a women called us and made an appointment for Hijama. On the day of the appointment, when she arrived, my wife Nusrat welcomed her in and took her to the room to perform Hijama.

At that same time, I was performing Hijama on a male client who was suffering from sciatic nerve back pain. As I was treating the man, I suddenly heard some unusual noises coming out of Nusrat’s hijama room.

I was quite shocked at the weird sounds, so I told my client to excuse me for a minute and walked over to Nusrat’s hijama room. I knocked on the door that was closed and asked, “Is everything alright?”

Nusrat stepped out, grabbed my hand and took me to another room and said, “This woman has a jinn in her. I thought she was kidding when she first told me. But she really has a jinn in her.”

“Really?” I asked. Nusrat went on to say, “Yes, as I’m doing Hijama, the women’s voice changed and she started talking in a man’s voice.”

Worried about any negative reactions on Nusrat, I told her to stop the Hijama and tell the woman to come back tomorrow with her husband, and that I would be present in tomorrow’s session too.

Read the rest of the article here.

Photo Credit: Shahclan Hijama Herbs

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