Sunday, February 28, 2010

Top 5: Exemptions from Backbiting


This week for our Top 5 we have decided to write about backbiting exemptions in Islam. In our previous article we told you about how bad Ghayba is in Islam. But we haven't completely covered the topic of gossiping; so for those of you wondering when it is ok to gossip in Islam, read the following Top 5.

Now dont get excited, you still arent allowed to gossip. And I beleive we have covered most of the reasons as to why not. But the following are a few exemptions for certain people in certain circumstances.

1) A person who was treated unjustly. This person can go to a Judge or a Leader, complain to him and tell him of the person who has done injustice to him. Technically this is not backbiting because Allah (SWT) said in Surah Nisaa verse 148 what can be translated as "Allah does not like that the evil should be uttered in public, except by him to whom injustice has been done".
The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has said "when a loan has not been paid back, then the loaner can say it in public so that the lender may be punished". -Imam Bukhari

A person who is asking for fatwah (from a person with knowledge). A person may ask for an Islamic legal opinion, in this request he might talk about things that happened between him and somebody else - he may include some things which may not seem good, but Islam allows it as long as your intention is to know the ruling. This exemption is proved from the following tradition of the Prophet (pbuh)- reported by Bukhari:
Hind, the wife of Abu Sofiyaan said to the Prophet that "Abu Sofiyaan was a stingy man and would not spend enough money on his wife and child and that she would have to take money without his knowledge" So the Prophet (pbuh) told her "Take what is enough for you and your child".

3) Advising Muslims what is good for them. For example, when someone asks you about a person that you know whom they are going to marry, or about a business partnership, you are required to tell them the truth. The proof comes from the following story narrated by Bukhari:
Fatemah, the daughter of Ques, came to Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) and said "Abu Jahm and Moa' Wheya both have proposed to marry me, whom should I accept?" To which the Prophet (pbuh) replied "Moa' Wheya is a poor man and Abu Jahm beats his woman". The Prophet (pbuh) mentioned 2 traits about both men that they would not like to hear, yet he said it because he was trusted for advice.

4) Warning Muslims about enemies. If you know for sure that someone is an enemy of Islam, that they pretend to be Muslims from the outside, yet work, plan and think against Islam, then you are allowed to tell others for this person is a Hypocrite. There are many proofs to this exemption, the following one is reported from Bukhari:
A man asked for permission to enter to see the Prophet (pbuh). The Prophet (pbuh) said "Let him come in, what evil he is". That person was a muslim but he was a hypocrite, the Prophet (pbuh) said that so he could warn the Muslims around him of that man.

5) When Identifying someone. It is considered backbiting when you refer to someone from his features such as short, fat, ugly, bald etc. But when identifying someone who really is deaf, blind, mute and handicapped as such - it is permissible.
Our tongues can get us into a lot of trouble so lets stick to what is permissible not make our own exemptions.



Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Gossiping In Islam


We all know that gossiping is bad. We've been raised in societies where gossiping is categorized as an evil act but yet it is common everywhere - in schools, offices, parties, gatherings, street corners and even our own houses. But do we know how bad it is? Leaving hurt feelings and bad relationships aside; lets look at Gossiping In Islam

Gossiping is the vile act of idle talk and rumor spreading between groups of people about a person who is not present. It does nothing but hurt someone else and cause misconceptions between people. Gossiping is otherwise known as backbiting or slandering (talking about a person behind their back in such a manner that if they were to find out they would be extrememly upset).

Although it is needless to say, we are all guilty of this crime - some more than others. Gossiping is present everywhere and some people even openly admit that if it werent for gossiping it would be hard to come up with an exciting conversation. In fact according to evolutionary phsycology gossiping is defined as a means of stirring up conversation and aiding social bonding in large groups.

Backbiting has become so common in our daily lives that without realizing it, we will say something bad or rude about someone - this very fact makes gossiping all the more worse.

Allah says in the Quran
Behold, you received it on your tongues, and said out of your mouth things which you had no knowledge; and you thought it to be a light matter, while it was most serious in the sight of God. (24:15)

So just how bad is gossiping in Islam?

Islam is the religion of peace and compassion, backbiting goes completely against those ethics.

In fact, in Islam, backbiting is considered one of the most destructive of the major sins. This is because backbiting or ghaybah sows enemity and discord amongst the Muslim Ummah and leads to its destruction. It causes hositility amongst neighbours, friends and relatives.

Islam teaches us that not only are we responsible for our own actions, we are held accountable for anything else which we have influence or control over, in our society and the world around us.

Allah says in the Quran:
"Oh you who beleive! Avoid much suspicion, in deeds some suspicions are sins. And spy not neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the dead flesh of his brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting). And fear Allah, verily, Allah is the one who accepts repentance, Most Merciful " (Quraan 49:12)

If everyone thought about these words, and took it to their hearts, they would never backbite again. No one wants to eat their own brothers flesh, and Allah has compared Ghaybah to the most vile act that could ever be done to prove to you just that.

Backbiting is not only done with the tongue. Any gestures or movements with your eyes, hands, head or body that are to make fun of someone is considered as Ghayba. And dont think you are safe if you dont gossip yourself..If you are in the presence of others who are gossiping and you do not stop them, you are just as much to blame as them.

Allah Says in the Quran:
And why did you not, when you heard it, say? "It is not right of us to speak of this: Glory to God this is a most serious slander" (24:16)

Once you say something you can never take it back. And sometimes the harder you try and explain yourself the more of a mess you'll get into. So to make things easier for yourself and to save yourself from any future short comings listen more and talk less!

Allah is the Most Gracious and Most Merciful, ask for repentance and be sure that Allah will accept it. We are told in the Quran that:

Say: O my (Allahs) slaves who have been prodigal to their own hurt, despair not of the mercy of Allah, who forgives all sins, Lo He is the Forgiving, the Merciful. (39:53)
So ask for repentance and try your hardest not to backbite because a simple slip of the tongue can affect you really badly in this life and in the hereafter.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Top 5: Hijabi Must haves

There are endless lists of wants for girls, hmm...make that needs too :)

But the following Top 5 is a list of Must Haves...Hijabi Must Haves

1) Colorful Scarves:

Have one in ever color, shape and size. You never know which outfit, occasion or season will go best with it.

2) Safety Pins:

Safety Pins are like life savers. They help pin your hijab together so that you dont end up with a convertable hijab or a mickey mouse one. Basically it is the main element in a tidy hijab. The only problem is that they can break, and thats why you should always carry a little change purse filled with safety pins. You can get regular ones from the dollerstore, but they are prone to eating your hijab alive..So I recommend the plastice ones shown below:

3) Pins:

These pins help keep our hijab in place and looking good :) They help tuck in corners and pin down loose peices. You can get them in the dollerstore in an arrangement of colors to match your outfit or scarf.. Or you can go more fancy and get the jeweled kind

The first pic is that of a Pink Glacier Pin
The second one is a pic of pins you can get at the doller store - these ones wont harm your hijab.

4) Long Sleeve t-shirts:

These T-shirts truly are must haves - Do you own a sleevless top that you cant wear because a shrug or cardigan doesnt go good on it? Well all you need is a long sleeve shirt. Just like sweaters come in handy during the winter/spring time; these shirts are handy during the summer. They come in an array of different colors and sizes. You can wear them under your maxi dress, tank top, bubble top, or t-shirt. They are the perfect sleeve alternatives. Not only that, but they can cover your chest area if you have a low cut top. Do not wear these tops by themselves because they are really tight and have body hugging fits. Other than that, they are life savers for all hijabi wardrobes. Tip: If the long sleeve t-shirt turns out to be a v-neck, wear it backwards! You can usually get these tops in girl stores like "stitches, Sirens, Urban Behavior, Urban Planet etc" These are canadian stores, but they might be in America as well. If you know where else you can get these tops, leave a comment :)

5) Cardigans:

What makes a cardigan great? Is it that you can find one in any color? Is it that they look ultra hip and stylish on your outfits? Is is that they go great with almost anything? yes! But what's even more fabulous about cardigans is that they are meant to be long and loose. Which in translation means awesome but modest outfits... yaaay hijabis! If you dont have a cardigan get up and go get some! Hijabi or not, these tops are super handy when you dont want to wear a coat, when you need sleeves, when your top is short or tight, or even to add color to your bland outfit. Where can you get them? Anywhere clothes are sold. There are even cardi's for guys.

Bonus #) Dresses:

Honestly it is very rare for a hijabi to buy a shirt - why you may ask? Because shirts for western people mean short.. Then what do they wear? Simple. The answer is dresses.

Sure occasionally there is a nice long top out there, but usually these long tops are worn with tights or nothing at all so they basically end up in the short dresses section.

If you are a hijabi, the best thing to do when you go shopping is look in the dresses isle. It does not need to be a formal dress, look for something casual, something you can wear with jeans -- something you can wear regularly..

Its funny and sorta sad when you see a hijabi (confused and upset) looking through a whole isle of teenie tiny tops. You can find long tops/dresses in girl stores and easily transform them into hijabi apparel like the pic below. You can get more examples through our Modern Hijabi posts

Wear this outfit with a long sleeve T or Cardigan :)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

How to Save your Hijab from Safety Pins


Has your beautiful hijab been a victim of safety pins? Well, there is no longer the need to fear for rips, tears or holes in your nice scarves, thanks to this sister who has an awesome hijab saving tip :)

Take your safety pin and insert a small bead into the tip so it falls into the the pin. now, when you use your pin the end of it wont tangle into your scarf causing rips or holes. The bead prevents your hijab from tangling into the end of the pin.

We recently found this video on youtube, and if you are a hijabi, this is a must watch!