Falling in love with Muhammad SAW 

It happens to all of us at some point… We fall in love. 💞

And it happens to me still… Every single day. 💞

The more I learn about him, the more I fall in love with him SAW 💞

Falling in love with Muhammad SAW… #DebutBook2012 

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Hope…Muslims Are People of Hope 

The reality of life is that we all feel overwhelmed or weary at times; we feel that our challenges or tests are insurmountable; and we feel like we’re fighting on so many fronts yet we feel alone in this fight, that we have no helpers. At times our passion drains away and we feel like we’re just going through the motions. This is a part of being human, of human emotion. 
In these moments that feel more like months, shaytaan tries to push us into despair. Despair is one of his greatest weapons. If we are in debt, shaytaan tries to get us to despair that we will never get out of this debt. If we are ill, he tries to convince us to despair that we will never recover or find aafiah and ease in these circumstances. If we have committed sins, he whispers to us to despair of ALLAH’S mercy and that we are not worthy of ALLAH’s forgiveness. He tries to make us despair of our future, despair of our salvation, and infiltrates our thoughts so much that we fail to see the beauty in our lives; we fail to recognize our blessings and we falter to hope. 

We, as Muslims need to resist shaytan’s waswasa whisperings. For Muslims must be people of hope, and must see the world through eyes of hope. Muslims, people of faith make life choices that are rooted in hope.

Shaytaan threatens you with poverty and orders you to immorality, while ALLAH promises you forgiveness from Him and bounty. And ALLAH is all-Encompassing and Knowing.” (Al Quraan, 2:186)


Each day as we face the gauntlet of life, we have two different summoning calls echoing in our ears. Shaytaan calls us to fear and to have a clinging love and attachment to this material world.  ALLAH the Almighty, on the other hand, summons us to Hope, Reward, Forgiveness and true blessings. When ALLAH offers us hope, it is not wishing on a star, or having a false sense of unrealistic expectations. Hope is as real as the sun we witness rise every day and the stars and moon that we observe emerge each night, because it’s a part of trusting ALLAH. After all, prayer and du’a is truly about hope.

Al Quraanul Kareem promises us that with every difficulty comes ease. Hope is an acknowledgment of that reality, that things will get better, and a time of ease will come.  When life becomes unbearable and too hard, we need to see through eyes of hope, not the eyes of despair. For hasn’t it being proven that, “if we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change?”

Ibn Al Qayyim ra said, “

Had ALLAH lifted the veil for His slave and shown him how He handles his affairs for him, and how ALLAH is more keen for the benefit of the slave than His own self, his heart would have melted out of the love for ALLAH and would have been torn to pieces out of thankfulness to ALLAH. Therefore if the pains of this world tire you do not grieve. For it may be that ALLAH wishes to hear your voice by way of du’a. So pour out your desires in prostration and forget about it and know that verily ALLAH does not forget it.” 


Losing hope is something that Shaytaan instigates in us, which leads us away from ALLAH. We also need to  know that despair and losing hope in ALLAH are amongst the major sins. On the authority of Ibn Abbas RA, that a man said, “O Messenger of ALLAH! What are the major sins?”

The Prophet SAW replied, “Committing shirk, that is ascribing partners to ALLAH, giving up hope of ALLAH’s mercy and despairing of receiving the mercy of ALLAH. (Saheeh) 

We, Muslims, are not a people of despair. We are a people of hope and people of faith; we are people of repentance and people of invocation; we are people of action and effort. 

One deed of the heart is to have constant hope in the kindness, generosity and favours of ALLAH SWT. We should be optimistic and never lose hope in the bounty of ALLAH which He bestows on whom He wills. However, this hope should be coupled with a reason, or means, for one to feel that it will be realised. Thus, one should keep performing good deeds that give one the opportunity to harbour hope in the generosity and kindness of ALLAH. For if these means are not present, then it is mere wishful thinking on one’s part.

Hope is not for a person who is lazy and does not endeavor to remain upon the path of those who strive and exert great efforts. Such a person is just like someone who wants to grow plants and see them bearing fruit, without bothering to cultivate or water the seeds. Is this person equal to another, who digs the soil, plants the seeds and waters them carefully and regularly? Only the latter can realistically hope that his plants will grow fruitful. This is also the case regarding hope for the bestowal of the mercy and bounty of ALLAH. 

It has been said that, “Faith is not wishful thinking, but rather, it is what is instilled in the heart and proven by good deeds.”

Hope is necessary for those who are heading towards ALLAH’s Pleasure, because if a devout worshiper loses hope, then he is heading for ruin. A sincere Muslim hopes that ALLAH will forgive his sins and that He will enable him to rectify a fault in himself. He hopes that ALLAH will accepts his good deeds and hopes to draw closer to  ALLAH. Thus, hope is one of the most important means that one must possess in order to continue one’s journey towards Jannah and ALLAH’s pleasure with steadfastness, especially during the age of trials and tribulations that we now live in. 


Hope is a means of steadfastness. It is the complete opposite of despair, and to feel despair is to give up on the mercy and kindness of ALLAH SWT, which is a sin in itself, as ALLAH tells us in the Glorious Quraan: “

And despair not of relief from ALLAH. Indeed, no one despairs of relief from ALLAH except the disbelieving people.” (Al Quraan, 12: 87). This was the advice of Prophet Ya’qoob AS to his sons

.

How does one achieve hope?

• By remembering the past favors of ALLAH on us.

• By remembering the promise of great rewards from ALLAH, and remembering His generosity and kindness towards His slaves, especially when His slaves do not even ask Him for them and are unworthy of receiving them. The slave will continue receiving all these blessings and favours as long as he remains upon the straight path.

• By remembering the bounties of ALLAH with regards to our faith, our bodies, our sustenance, our families and life in general.

• By remembering the great mercy of ALLAH SWT and that His mercy precedes His wrath, and that He is the entirely Merciful, the especially Merciful; that He is Kind and Compassionate. Thus, acquiring hope in ALLAH can be achieved by knowing His Names and Attributes.

Those whose hearts are alive and whose faith is being renewed and strengthened each day recognize the fallacy of this world, and realise that this life is like a field in which they plant seeds for the Hereafter. The similitude of the heart is like that of the earth. Just as the earth must have seeds sown in it for it to yield fruits, the heart requires acts of obedience to make it flourish and remain alive. Just as the earth requires continuous attention, watering, digging, and so on, the heart and our Eemaan requires continuous attention; it is enlivened by its obedience of ALLAH. Just as the earth needs maintenance like the removal of harmful weeds from around the plants, the heart needs to be purified from doubts and desires, in order not to ruin the fruits of one’s acts of obedience, which have been irrigated with the water of servitude.

Indeed the higher our hopes are in ALLAH, the higher level of success He gives us. For as Ibn Al Qayyim said, “The heart on its journey to ALLAH is like that of a bird: Love is its head and fear and hope are its two wings.” 

Our beloved Nabi SAW taught us this most beautiful du’a, enshrined in maintaining and having expectations and trust in ALLAH, “

O ALLAH all praise be to You with gratitude and all gratitude be to You with grace. We ask You for the ability and inspiration to do those deeds which are pleasing to You, to have genuine trust and hope in You and to have good expectations from You.”… Aameen 

{This Article appeared in the January 2018 Edition of The Muslim Woman Magazine} 

Stay Inspired 

Envision your purpose and your paradise 💞

~RSB ~Author, Journalist, International Motivational Speaker, Islamic Studies Educator,  Quraan&Master’s Student, Ladies workshop facilitator

 “Enough of a boast that He is my Lord;enough of an honour that I am His slave.”


Happily Ever After… (The Marriage Aspiration) 

Once upon a time, throughout the world there lived many little girls who grew up longing for the same thing… their very own prince charming, love and a happily ever after. You see, these little girls grew up believing the fairytales that they were told.  In their young imaginations they had formed acquaintances with Cinderella, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. Hearing these classic stories over and over again, the little girls felt their pain; they felt their joy and they learnt to believe in and expect a… Happily Ever After.

However, what these classic fairytales forgot to include were what happens after the dream wedding day and those little things that make up the realities of married life.  Ahem, you know, life with the in laws; how to bring up the children; how and where will Prince Charming work and the fact that Cinderella will probably continue doing the household chores till she becomes old and grey.  So for many of these young girls the ‘happily ever after’ became the ‘unhappily ever after.’  Their dreams were shattered; their expectations destroyed for the simple reason that these very dreams and expectations were based on fairytales.

Sadly many marriages today end up in separation or divorce.  Sometimes the marital problem was a serious issue and sometimes it was simply a case of the fairytale expectation syndrome.  Perhaps it is time that the little girl in each of us do a bit of reframing of our perceptions and expectations; perhaps it is time that we correct our ideas on love, romance, the ideal marriage and happily ever after.


LOVE

Every person man or woman; child or adult, would you believe it even animals, seek, need and desire love and affection.  It’s a part of our emotional make-up. Because of this innate desire within us, we believe that it is up to us to find our dream partners and fall in love.  However, we don’t fully comprehend that the hearts of insaan are between the fingers of Rahmaan and that love for one another  is ONLY and TRULY placed into our hearts when the nikah/marriage vows are read. As ALLAH SWT states in Al Quran, “And out of His signs is that He creates mates for you from yourselves, that you may find peace and tranquility in them and He puts between your hearts love and affection.  Surely these are signs for a people who reflect.” (33:21)  

    

Romance

By definition romance is “that what appeals to the emotions in its picturesque ideas in a love relationship.”  There is no place in any dictionary or thesaurus that defines romance as candlelight dinners, bouquets of flowers, chocolates, or having someone write “I Love You” in the sand or sky.  All of that was what appealed to someone else’s emotions.  So when we, as Muslims, bemoan the fact that there is no romance in our marriages and use this as a reason to dissolve this sacred agreement, we are measuring ourselves and our marriages according to another’s requirements and standards.  Perhaps it is time for us to redefine what constitutes romance in our marriages? Perhaps it is time that we discover what truly, “appeals to our emotions”? Wouldn’t you agree that friendship, loyalty, affection, attraction, showing love not merely through words but through actions of consistency like providing and seeing to the needs of the husband or wife or children…wouldn’t you agree that all of the above would greatly “appeal to the emotions”? So if we have any, most or all of the above in our marriages, then don’t we have a good dose of romance?


Sometimes… Agree to Disagree

“Hmmm…he says potatoe, I say patatoe; he says tamatoe, I say tomatoe…potatoe, patatoe, tamatoe, tomatoe, let’s call the whole thing off!”  For many of us if we cannot agree on something, we inevitably end up having arguments, which sometimes results in ending the marriage.  The sad reality is that some marriages break up because no agreement or compromise can be reached on the very simple things in life: what colour to paint the house or where to send the kids to school.

Yes, marriage is about give and take; not he gives and I take or vice versa, but rather each of us give a little and take a little.  Sometimes we need to simply agree to disagree and not to allow ourselves to become embroiled in arguments as it is stated that that quality which our beloved Nabi SAW detested more than anything else was, to argue.

Have you ever heard about the meeting of the shayateen and their report back to their head Shaytaan? When each of them are asked concerning what mischief they had spread among mankind and they reply, “theft, murder, zina” etc, they are all just merely congratulated.  However, the shaytaan who replies, “sowing discord and causing arguments between a husband and wife,” not only does he get congratulated but to such an extent that he gets to sit on the head Shaytaan’s throne.  That, really leaves us with something to think about…


Take the Time To Remember and To Try Again

To illustrate this point, I would like to share with you a true life story.  I have come to refer to it as “The Lumpy Bed”. A young couple got married and like most couples starting off in life, they weren’t well off.   Their very first bed consisted of a second hand mattress that had all these lumps and inevitably every night they would find themselves both squashed together in the centre of the bed. In the beginning of their marriage, they found it perfect and even when they had arguments, they would find it resolved quickly because, well, they didn’t have a choice, they would be thrown together each night. In this very bed, they shared their dreams, hopes and aspirations for a better life for themselves and their kids.  As time went, the husband worked harder to provide for his wife and children.  They replaced that bed with a better bed; replaced that house with a better house.  And when they had arguments now, they would each cling to the sides of their spacious beds.  Till, the time came when they now had prospered so much in life, that in the event of an argument, they could each afford to sleep in separate rooms.  They forgot about the love that brought them together in the first place; they forgot about the dreams that they shared together and the good times that now seemed so few and far apart. They made the decision to divorce and began to sort and divide their possessions; the wife packed her bags and got ready to leave.  Then the husband called her one last time to their once shared bedroom.  When she entered, she saw the lumpy old bed that he had hauled out of their attic and with tears in his eyes, he asked her to remember, to try again and to go back to sleeping in that lumpy bed.


       

  

The Ideal Marriage

The western world shares its very beautiful promise of marital love in its marriage vows, ‘To love and to honour, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, till death do us part.’ Yet we find that the promise remains elusive in the realities of the hardships of life. What does it mean to truly love? What would it take to have a spouse who loves you unconditionally, who stands with you while the whole world stands against you, who gives up all that he/she has to help with your cause, who loves you through the good and the bad, the happy and sad.  What would it take to have such a partner…what would it take to be such a partner? The world has encountered Romeo and Juliet, Anthony and Cleopatra, Shah Jehan’s display of his love for Mumtaz in his building of the magnificent Taj Mahal. But never before have they encountered such a generous love, such an extraordinary marriage like that of Muhammad and his Khadija, who expressed her love for Muhammad SAW as, “I love thee for my kinship with thee, and for that thou art ever in the centre; and I love thee for thy trustworthiness and I love thee for the beauty of thy character and I love thee for the truth of thy speech.” (Martin Lings: Muhammmad SAW). As ideal marriages go, theirs would be the perfect example to emulate.


Happily Ever After?!!!

In the real world that we live in, happily ever after doesn’t mean no issues to wade through; no compromises to be made and no tears to be shed.  Happily Ever After can be reframed as the opportunity to work at our marriages; to remember and be grateful for the good in one another; to understand that because our hearts are in the control of ALLAH SWT, it is HE who can fill it with love for one another. And to realise that we can attain our newly understood Happily Ever After, through our duas as our Beloved Nabi SAW taught us, “Our Lord let our spouses and children be the coolness of our eyes and make us leaders of the God fearing persons.” (Forty Rabbanas)

Remember and reflect that “A husband and wife that PRAYS together and PLAYS together, STAYS together”…and in reality, isn’t that Happily Ever After?!!! 


{This Article appeared in the April  Edition 2011 of The Muslim Woman Magazine} 

Stay Inspired 

Envision your purpose and your paradise 💞

~RSB ~Author, Journalist, International Motivational Speaker, Islamic Studies Educator,  Quraan&Master’s Student, Ladies workshop facilitator

 “Enough of a boast that He is my Lord;enough of an honour that I am His slave.”

Creating Ummah Awareness~ Walking in Solidarity For Humanity: 120km For Somalia & Burma

The unbearable reality of the various humanitarian crisis that we in the 21st century face, plagues and haunts us like a horrid nightmare that we just cannot awake from. The reality of the starvation of Somalia and the reality of the genocide faced by the Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar- Burma add to the already lengthy list of humanitarian tragedies our generation has been coerced to witness. Haunted by the images of mothers and wives like us, fathers and husband’s like ours, sons and daughters like ours, we ache with a tangible pain for their plight, we find our pillows wet with tears for them before we sleep; we raise our hands beseeching our All Aware Rabb for them in our desperate daily du’as and we dig deep within our pockets to share some of our rizq with them whenever fundraising opportunities arise. In creating and keeping the awareness alive of our Muslim brothers and sisters throughout the world, in the series, Creating Ummah Awareness, we caught up with Humanitarian Journalist Azhar Vadi of Salaamedia upon his return from visiting, aiding and interacting the Rohingya Muslims who currently reside in the Bangladesh refugee camps.   
Q) Allah reward you and Salaamedia abundantly for the level and depth of your various humanitarian projects and journalism. We appreciate the generosity of your time in affording us and the readers of The Muslim Woman Magazine the insight to this project and experience. The reality of what the Ummah faces especially our brothers, sisters and children in Syria, Palestine, Somalia and Burma leaves us feeling devastated and sometimes despondent. We feel the deep desire to do something, anything to assist and benefit them, whilst we sometimes also feel hopeless and helpless. Yet through NGO organizations and awareness created by organizations like Salaamedia we are given some sort of opportunity to do something to benefit them. Alhumdulillah-Masha ALLAH! Once more a great and unique initiative! Please share with us how the idea for this initiative and project was conceived?

Jazakallah Khairan to all at the MWM for the opportunity. The idea was conceived after my recent visit to Somalia during the month of Ramadhan. Travelling with the Al Imdaad Foundation in Somalia, we came across many men, women and children who had walked aver 150km to reach humanitarian aid and medical assistance. My experience in other conflict zones has been the same. People often have to pick up the little they can carry and escape the violence and terror. We have seen the very same scenes in Myanmar as the Rohingya people have fled from the massacres, rape and genocide. So to emulate and experience a small part of what refugees undergo we at Salaamedia and Salaam Foundation decided to walk a distance of 120km to raise awareness and funds for these kinds of communities around the world.


Q) What were the envisioned goals and objectives for Salaamedia from the onset?

Refugees, particularly those who are victims of conflict, need support on several levels. They needimmediate humanitarian aid firstly. But they also require spiritual aid and political support. They need justice loving people around the world to become their voices calling for dignity, equality and peace. They require us to stand by them in solidarity. Our aim has therefore been not only to assist with humanitarian aid, but also to create a platform for their stories to be told and to encourage people to become active citizens of the world where we challenge the injustices that prevail.

Q) Walk us through your state of mind and perhaps those who joined you with regards to the reality of actually walking 120km?

I was joined along the walk by my work colleague, Ali Kandulu. The begin of the walk is usually easy but if you are not the fittest of people, once you pass the 9km to 10km mark your legs begin to take immense strain. Thereafter its really a matter of your mind taking control and you begin to focus on the struggles of the people around the world. While walking we would often make the Dhikr of Allah and this also provided us with inner strength, Alhamdulillah.  

Q) Did you and your team embark on any physical training as a form of preparation? Please share with us a bit about this preparation.

Unlike me, Ali was quite fit. He only really began to feel the strain after the 40km mark. He hardly did any training. I started training two weeks prior to the start off with a group of elderly but very fit walkers in Lenasia. I would do between 7km and 10km a day. And that was about all I did.


Q) What type and level of support have you received from your family, colleagues, the Muslim community and the listeners of Salaamedia?

The support has been amazing, Alhamdulillah. Coming home to home everyday during the walk with encouraging family members was great. My colleagues at Salaamedia were superb in arranging the schools and venues we visited and when we got to our destinations the fantastic reception we received was beyond words. Keabetswe Shilakwe, the driver of our support vehicle also deserves an applause. Driving at a walking pace is not easy at all.

Q) From town to town, city to city, give us an indepth overview and insight into how each stage of the journey progressed, as well as each community’s welcome, support and assistance? 

We started off our journey in Roshnee and received a warm send off by the Vaal Muslim Women’s Forum. As usual their support for Salaamedia and all our projects are unquestionable. We also had horse riders from Roshnee accompanying us for about 10km. By the time we completed our first leg of about 20km my legs and feet were already aching despite the comfortable walking shoes I was wearing.

The second day saw us walking to Lenasia passing the Lenasia Muslim School. The school and its management were most welcoming and we addressed the female high school learners. Most of the community projects in the Muslim community at present are facilitated by females. The work that Muslim women are doing in our communities is phenomenal. It often goes unrecognised and its important that the school has made the focus of this campaign the young Muslimahs who will inshallah continue with this legacy.

Thereafter we visited the Ridgeway Islamic School and we were joined by sister Moonibah Bhayat, another unsung hero of the school reusable sanitary pads campaign. At RIS the learners took to the streets to welcome us and listened most attentively as we explained the situation in Somalia and the newly developing catastrophe in Myanmar. We ended our walk that day in Mayfair meeting many people from the Somali community and the little learners at the Mayfair Montessori.

On our third day we were joined by 4 members of the Mayfair Somali community. Our interaction with our Muslim brothers and sisters from this part of city helped to break so many stereotypes and create bonds of unity and love. The vibe and activity around 8thAvenue in Mayfair is just awesome. From the packed masjid to the friendly coffee shops “Little Mogadishu” has a character that enchants. I’ll never forget the breakfast that was prepared for us at the Auckland Park Academy of Excellence and the brilliant spoken word poetry by the learners at the school. We were then escorted by 4 Vision Tactical vehicles to the Houghton Muslim Academy. What was most heartening was the donations that the all the schools had contributed to the cause. This means that the learners understood the purpose of the walk and appreciated the fact that they could get involved by at least donating towards the cause.

The following day we walked through Alexandra Township and we were reminded about the difficulties that we face as South Africans. The challenge of poverty, unemployment, racism and abuse. We saw struggling schools and people without work living in shacks literally built on top of each other and we committed ourselves to working for a better South Africa as well. In Linbro Park we visited the Qurtuba Islamic Academy and again the attention and preparation we received from the learners was amazing. The day ended with visit to Ashraful Uloom Madressah and Children’s Home run by Ml Suhail Wadee and his mum, Appa Rehana. This institute, despite requiring the funds for their own runnings, donated over R11 000 in total to the campaign.  Our penultimate walk saw us leave a very excited group of children at the ABSIC school in Kelvin and make our way towards the Midrand. Our walk finally ended in Laudium where we were hosted by sister Zaakira Bhika. We also joined a community Park Run and finally addressed the Learner Representative Council at the Tshwane Muslim School. It was all in all an unforgettable journey.   

 Q) What were the highlights of this project for you and Salaamedia?Interacting with the young learners, the leaders of tomorrow and the future of South Africa and the Ummah was undoubtedly a highlight for me.

Q) Knowing what your mission and objectives entailed. Do you feel that the goal and intention that you began with has been successfully achieved, has enough funds been raised, has adequate awareness been created?

We hope that what we have done is accepted by Allah. Our work is to do the effort, the results are in the hands of Allah.

Q) How do you feel we can endeavor to sustain this awareness and be consistent in our aid and assistance to the people of Somalia and Burma?

Humanitarian aid is never a sustainable solution. It’s an emergency response required at a specific time and place. Activism and working for just society where people are not killed or brutalised is a more sustainable means of expanding our energies. We must strive for a world wherein humanitarian aid due to conflict and violence has no purpose because no conflict exists.

Q)The culmination of these fundraising projects is undoubtedly when you get the aid to those in dire need of it. We have heard your report back regarding your humanitarian trip to Bangladesh, truly emotional and moving, to witness all that you have. Describe to us your journey into the refugee camps in Bangladesh and your first hand encounter with the Rohingya Muslims? 

The situation is one of the worst I have ever seen. The stories of rape, torture and destruction is extremely painful. Its not easy sitting in the tent of an elderly woman who has been raped and having her recount the ordeal. It smashes your eardrums listening to the account of how women were tied by their hands above their heads and set alight while babies were flung into flames. For close to half million people to flee in just a matter of 3 weeks, there must certainly be something gruesome they are running away from. And their situation now in Bangladesh is deplorable. Living in perpetual mud due to the monsoon rains in flimsy tents with no clean water, food or medical care is horrendous. There is no sanitation and babies are suffering from all sorts of diseases. The world needs to stand up and quickly end this catastrophe.

 Q) As a humanitarian journalist and as a Muslim, what insight and advices can you share with us Muslims here in South Africa?

Turn to Allah in repentance. Make shukr for what you have. Become active and not passive Muslims. Don’t take the peace Allah has blessed you with for granted. Share with those who have less than you. Display exemplary character to all the people you interact with, Muslim and non-Muslim. Eliminate racism, pride and the sense of superiority. Be humble but always be aware of what is happening around you.

Q) What specific moment, experience or individual stands out for you from yours and Salaamedias latest humanitarian first hand efforts with the Rohingya refugees of Myanmar Burma?Sitting in the vehicle as we drove from camp to camp at a snail’s pace, Rohingya children would silently walk up to the rolled down window and gently stroke my arm stretched outside. They would do that hoping to get my attention and then push out their cusped hands begging for some small change. That touch upon my arm, I will never forget.

 Q) What are your concluding sentiments or message that you would like to leave the readers to reflect on and to keep them motivated in continuously being a part of such efforts and initiatives?Donate your hard earned monies to credible organisations. Those contributions go a long way in making meaningful differences to people you may never ever meet in your life.

Q) Please share with the readers Salaamedia’s links to the podcasts regarding this project as well as the links of the report back from Bangladesh, not forgetting the banking details of the fundraising projects for Somalia and Burma?

Information can be found at http://www.salaamedia.com

As the aid trickles in from around the world the Rohingya refugee numbers continue to swell. It often becomes dangerous as people argue over the meagre provisions. These donations are just the tip of the ice-berg. We need you to continue supporting the #RohingyaRelief project. The food these people receive today will be done and dusted in just a few days. You can donate to: Salaam Foundation

FNB;

 Account No: 62669147665 (cheque account)

Branch: 250 737

Ref: Rohingya (zakaat/Lillah)

Info@salaamedia.com

Azhar and Salaamedia’s endeavours in providing us with  indepth insight into this humanitarian crisis doesn’t end just with report backs and fundraising but Salaamedia together with Trade Route Mall were the first ever to host a Rohingya Awareness Exhibition from Friday the 6th October until Monday the 16th October. (See the attached pictures) An initiative by Yaseen Valley of Trade Route Mall in Lenasia and spearheaded by Azar Vadi  reenacted the tragedy of the most persecuted and suffering people in the world. Thousands of visitors experienced and viewed some videos footage as well. Postcards were written and will be forwarded to some of the refugees around the world. This exhibition provided a better and visual understanding of this tragic narrative. Open daily from 10 a.m to 5 p.m

May our Kind ALLAH take Azhar Vadi, who is a humanitarian journalist and partner at Salaamedia and also one of three directors at the Salaam Foundation as well as his team and such organizations like Salaamedia, Al Imdaad, Islamic Relief, Gift of the Givers and many others from strength to strength and accept all their efforts for the upliftment of the Ummah and humanity at large, ameen. And may ALLAH SWT in His Infinite Mercy grant peace and aafiah to all those suffering in our Ummah and make each of us a means of aiding and alleviating their plight.

SANMWF 3rd Annual Empowerment Conference:Bring It On… Empowered Women empower women 

Like a shot of adrenaline pulsing through the veins, words of wisdom shared between women provides us with a serious dose of motivation and inspiration to be the heroines of our own stories; believe it or not, but the reality is ‘Empowered women empower women.’ 

Every year I eagerly await and anticipate the annual SANMWF Empowerment conference for Women and Youth for two reasons specifically: Firstly, to get this amazing adrenaline dose of motivation, inspiration, enlightenment and empowerment which this conference, true to its promise of dynamic and varied lineup of speakers, provides each year; and secondly, to share some of this awesome empowering inspiration with the you, the dear readers of The Muslim Woman Magazine. 

Good days and bad days, in fact just about any day, a good dose of motivation always makes us feel good: positive and renewed; ready and raring; inspired and focused. We may not always need it, but it sure does energize us. Taking my sixteen year old teenage daughter Zinneerah along with me, I was hoping she would find the same especially as the intimidating exam period looms… The conference and the day did not disappoint us, Alhumdulillah. 

This year, the 3rd annual SANMWF Conference was held at yet another beautiful venue, the Palm Continental Hotel in Mayfair, catering comfortably to the hundreds of women gathered there for the day. The program commenced with the sweet rendition of Qiraat, excerpts of Al Quraanul Kareem by the two well known Haafidhas, Juwairiyya Patel and Razina Omar. 

The dynamic power packed one day conference was all that it promised to be and more. Programme Director and MC, the well known Shamshad Sayed, PRO of SANMWF kept us entertained and informed as she shared some interesting information about the amazing legacies of Muslim women throughout the world, during the course of the day. With a hearty welcome from Sister Hawa Patel, one of the chairpersons of the SANMWF, the conference began with our keynote speaker, Magistrate Farhana Ismail. She is a practicing attorney since 2003 with fourteen years of exceptional legal experience, appointed to the bench as MAGISTRATE In 2017.  Her specialities include divorce and family law, immigration and commercial law.  She is the founding and Executive Member of the Muslim Lawyers Association; Treasurer and Board Member of the Islamic Careline; Accredited Divorce and Family law mediator.

She spoke on a Muslim woman’s recourse within the Framework of the South African Law, touching on Nikah,divorce, children and domestic violence. She enlightened us on quite a few dimensions of the law system in SA and how we can use it to benefit us as Muslim women. Her introduction was quite touching as she spoke about her parents and parents in general. Affirming that the best university are our parents; that we need to pay heed to their advices and afford them and our elders the respect they deserve. 

She afforded us some insight into her personal life and abit about her brother Zubayr who was born with cerebral palsy and lived for only 24 years and how she would assist her dear mum in taking care of this precious soul. Moving onto some of the intricacies of the law, she discussed the Muslim Marriage bill as well as the Terms Children Act in SA, sharing with us our rights as parents, that we are co holders and joint holders of parental rights, whether living together or not living together.  That, children cannot get passport, marry or travel without consent of both parents. And she also shared the breakdown of rights upon children after divorce. 

Her discussion on domestic violence and the laws an abused woman can use were very enlightening. She shared that restraining orders can be placed even whilst you are sharing a home, against the perpetrator, that they cannot enter your room and your space, to assault or abuse you or steal your possessions, this being the Protection harassment act. After her talk we were left feeling emotionally empowered and enlightened, Alhumdulillah. 

In this dynamic line up our next speaker Rahmah Ndamase, a business woman, da’ee and Muslim revert for the past seven years passionately unpacked with us why and where we need to serve humanity.  Her sentiments were that in order to make an impact we always need to serve humanity from the heart with kindness and compassion as did the Messenger of ALLAH SAW and as did the lady who won her heart over to Islam which resulted in her reversion, Alhumdulillah. 

As the lineup of speakers covered a diversity of enlightening topics, Aalimah Mahira Barbosa Ibrahim who hails from Mozambique and has attained a higher Qualification in: Arabic Grammar, Etymology,Linguistics, Qur’an Tajwid, Islamic Inheritance, Commentary and Translation of the Qur’an , Commentary and Translation of Hadith,Jurisprudenceand Legal Maxims,Etiquettes and Morals and is currently teaching at Madressah Muneeratul Banaat(Girls College for Higher Islamic Studies, discussed the wisdom of women’s inheritance in Islam, unpacking the intricacies of inheritance in such an eloquent and witty manner. 

Aalimah Mahira conveyed the undeniable truth that  women gained a high status in every aspect of Islam, as a mother, a daughter and a wife.  How can we not bear testimony to this: The first person to accept Islam was a female, Khadija RA; the first martyr in Islam was a female, Sumaya RA; the first great scholar was a female, Aysha RA. In fact her  beacon of knowledge was  uninterrupted for 48 years and she was documented as being the third or fourth greatest narrator of ahaadith. She emphasised that we women are half of society and we raise the other of half, SubhanAllah! 

Asserting the value of women which ALLAH SWT has decreed and destined for us, whilst modern day man regards and uses women as mere merchandise, a tool of business, Aalimah Mahira shared the amazing Surah and Chapter from Al Quraanul Kareem, Surah Nisaa, just dedicated to women and the laws ALLAH has placed to protect us, our lives, honour and property. She very beautifully expounded the various verses on meerath/inheritance. Again we were left feeling empowered and enlightened, spiritually so, Alhumdulillah. 

Our final speaker for the day was the internationally acclaimed British journalist and author, revert to Islam Sister Yvonne Ridley who was also a chair of the National Council of the RESPECT Party.  She was captured by the Taliban in 2001 and two years later reverted to Islam after giving her captors an understanding that she would study Islam if they agreed to release her. She shared her riveting story in the bestselling book, In the Hands of the Taliban. She is a vocal supporter of Palestine and outspoken against oppression worldwide and has undertaken speaking tours throughout the Muslim world as well as America, Europe and Australia. She is currently working on her new book, to be launched early next year, DON’T KILL THE MESSENGER which is being edited and endorsed by Jurist Mufti Taqi Uthmani.

Yvonne began telling us a little bit about her life now as she resides on a farm on the Scottish border. Her discourse on Muslim women empowerment began with the story of the most amazing empowered Muslim woman of all time Khadija RA. Her proposal and marriage to Nabi SAW and how he never forgot nor did he stop loving her even after her demise. She too reiterated that women are half  of society and give birth to the other half.  She shared stories on other inspirational Muslim women like Al Shafah bint Abdullah, the Women put in charge of the market and economy in Madinah during the khilafat of Umar RA. What she pointed out  was that the position of women in Islam was that they were already running the markets from the seventh century whilst Britain’s first ever Woman, Hilda, to be appointed was only in 1958.  Yvonne Ridley left us feeling intellectually empowered and enlightened. 

After this lineup of dynamic speakers, our day of empowerment was nowhere neardone,  Seido Tasneem a 3rd Degree Black Belt who has trained in Martial Arts and Self Defence under her father locally and internationally for over thirty years specialising in classes for ladies where she teaches extensive self defense for women and girls, demonstrated and taught us some very invaluable self defense moves, that had us itching to try it out…quite physically empowered and enlightened did she leave us too. 

Before the conference concluded with its delicious as always, luncheon, we participated in an interesting discussion and Q & A session with a dynamic panel, consisting of the prolific speakers as well as more panelists who continued to inspire and motivate us.  Here we heard the wise sentiments of Dr Fátima Bhabha, Co-Founder of Beauty and Curves, a Cancer surviver and motivational speaker.  She was followed by Farzana Mayet, the CEO of Panache Promotions and Events, who empowered us through her awesome positive affirmations, my favorite being, ‘Let your passion be your paycheck’, and enlightened us how to become successful business entrepreneurs.  She is also the initiator of the renowned WOMEN OF WONDER Awards. After Farzana, we encountered the young and passionate Naeema Hussein Al Kout is who an Honours Graduate in Physiotherapy and currently completing her community service at Helen Joseph hospital. She was born into a multicultural family wherein she was exposed to diverse societies where Islam was a common factor. Her many passions include Qiraat ,football and community development.  She was infact the only female footballer to play with her hijab on at various prestigious  club championships and has served on various committees and NGO’S. She  shared her belief on how we can excel in all spheres of life without compromising our Islamic faith and identity. The final panelist was Advocate Shubnum Mayet, an advocate by profession  but a humanitarian   by choice;she is the co founder of PROTECT THE Rohingya, where she uses her vast legal knowledge and expertise to ADVOCATE THE CAUSE OF THE ROHINGYA PEOPLE. She passionately unpacked the depth of genocide and our role as fellow Muslims, humans and humanitarians.  The entire team of prolific speakers and inspirational panelists left us feeling, yeah you guessed it… enlightened and empowered. 

Other personalities from Islamic and Muslim Media gracing the 3rd Annual SANMWF Conference were: Safeera Kaka of Cii, who introduced the internationally acclaimed Yvonne Ridley; Faaiza Munshi of RI, who introduced the keynote speaker Magistrate Farhana Ismail; Faheema Patel of RI; Nafeess Dangor Sayed of Global Media; Hawa Meyer of Salaamedia; Nina Bambeni from PROUDLY MUSLIMS;Yesmien Khota Touffie of the Covered Magazine; Khudeja Pochee and myself, Rehana Shah-Bulbulia of the Muslim Woman Magazine as well as a host of profound SANMWF Chairs, Apa Ayesha Hathurani and Sister Faeeza and the chairs of the  forums from around the Province and Country. Other leading personalities present included Suraiya Nawab, Dr Attiyya Rawat Adam, Apa Fatima TTlf,  Melodious Nashid singer Bibi Ayesha Sayed Khan and Apa Farida Mokone. 

As always many will attest to leaving the SANMWF 3rd Annual Conference empowered and enlightened. And for me, what resonated within were the words that truly ‘empowered women empower women, empower others’; and a message that we as women not be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. We need to unfold ours, ourselves; not to search for a hero to safeguard our interests, but to become the heroine of our own story, In sha Allah.

{This Article appears in the November Edition 2017 of The Muslim Woman Magazine} 

Stay Inspired 

Envision your purpose and your paradise 💞

RSB ~Author, Journalist, International Motivational Speaker, Teacher & Student “Enough of a boast that He is my Lord;enough of an honour that I am His slave.” 

​A Little LOVE Goes A Long Way

She marched into the Ancient Herbalist’s Clinic…ANGRY, SEETHING, FURIOUS!  She would not, she could not spend another moment under the same roof as her dictatorial mother in law.  Her mind turned; her eyes bulged; her cheeks puffed.  The Chinese herbalist was renowned for his potions and poisons.  She believed that nothing and no one could alter her mother in law’s intense dislike for her and well, now she had no wish to either.  She ordered the poison and took heed of the Chinese apothecary’s strict instructions, “Put a teaspoon of this poison in your mother in law’s tea for six weeks, before the desired result will be achieved. But ALWAYS REMEMBER that for this period of time, you have to be extra kind and loving to her, in order for this poison to work and also so that no blame will be placed on you.”

Day after day, week after week, the young lady did as she was instructed.  However, as the days and weeks passed, she found, much to her amazement, that her mother in law became her friend.  She had grown to love her and now she didn’t want the poison to work at all.  So before the final week had lapsed, she hurried off to the Chinese apothecary…panting and praying.  She would not, she could not watch this woman that she had come to love die.  When the Chinese herbalist heard her new request, he simply smiled and said, “That was not poison that I had given you, it was only fine sugar.  It was your love and kindness that changed her reaction and relationship with you.  Ah…a little love goes a long way.”


Whilst the aforementioned Chinese fable may be just that…a fable, the message and lesson is simple and sincere. If in every difficult and challenging situation, we would just take a moment and ask ourselves, “How could LOVE change this?” Indeed LOVE has proven itself to be a tangible emotion that has perpetually had the power, capacity and ability to change ways of thinking, circumstance and people.

Can there exist a single being who does not desire to receive or give it? It has the ability to tame the savage and the capacity to enlighten the ignorant. It is enshrouded in the silks of kindness, compassion and mercy. And that’s where he(sallallahu ‘alaihiwasallam)  steps in, for he was rahmatullilaalimeen-the mercy unto mankind.  We witness how our beloved Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihiwasallam)  successfully changed people’s perceptions and beliefs because of his beautiful qualities of conveying compassion, kindness and love to all who encountered him…friend and foe.


Abu Hurairah ra reported that the messenger of ALLAH SAW said, “You shall not enter paradise until you believe and you shall not believe until you LOVE one another.  Shall I not guide you to a thing when you will do it, you will LOVE one another.  Spread the salaam, the peace amongst you.” (Muslim)


As we endeavour to attain the goodness of this world/Ad dunya as well as the next/Al Aakhirah, we need to consciously comprehend that we primarily require beautiful and great sifaat/qualities to be the foundation of our lives. Just as we have found the same in the lives and examples of our beloved Nabi SAW. Ambiyaa AS, Sahabah e Kiraam RA and pious predecessors and let us understand that LOVE is a wondrous thing, with the ability and capacity to change ways of thinking, circumstance and people.  


As Mother Theresa once said, “LOVE is patient; LOVE is Kind.  It does not envy; it does not boast; it is not proud; it is not rude.”


Finally, we recognise that peace is the dominating principle amongst the believers and that with peace, we will, Insha ALLAH, enter Paradise. 


 “True peace begets a desire for mutual love and true love leads to true belief and belief, of course, leads to Paradise.” (Dr Fazlul Karim) And as Muadh bin Jabal ra reported that Nabi SAW shared that ALLAH says, 
 My L
OVE becomes compulsory for those who LOVE one another for my sake and for those who sit together for my sake and for those who spend lavishly on one another for my sake.  Those who LOVE one another for My Magnificence will have pulpits of light for which the prophets and the martyrs will envy them.”


Yes, Alhamdulillah, a little LOVE does indeed go along way.