Friday Thoughts
Nurturing Mind, Body, Soul - Developing Islam, Iman, ihsan
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How do We Honour Him?

"Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah"

As-salamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullah. Praise and Glory be to Allah Most High and peace and blessings upon the Chosen One, Muhammad al-Mustafa, sallalahu alaihi wa sallam, whom God sent as a Mercy to the Worlds. 

In recent months Muslims all over the world have been concerned to ‘defend the honour of the Prophet’ (God’s peace and blessings be upon him).  Their passions aroused by the juvenile acts of a few insignificant people, some in our community have reacted with temper tantrums, and instead of living up to the teachings of our beloved they have fallen far below the behaviour expected of the community of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). Those who are loved by the Creator do not need creatures to defend them. If we lack honour ourselves, we cannot claim to be defenders of the honour of others. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was the best of all Creation and the most honoured of God’s Messengers. We are honoured by being in his community and living up to his standards; he is the defender of our honour-for what is it about us, in this day and age, that makes us so special?

 

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The Meaning of Holistic Education

Majesty and Beauty

As-salamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullah. Praise and Glory be to Allah Most High and peace and blessings upon the Chosen One, Muhammad al-Mustafa, sallalahu alaihi wa sallam, whom God sent as a Mercy to the Worlds. 

It is becoming fashionable in schools to talk about ‘holistic education’. But it is not often clear to parents or to schools what they really mean by this.

How many of us understand the Arabic sermon (khutba) given by the Imam on Fridays? Unicity College boys attending jumuah prayers last Friday found that the usually unintelligible Arabic of the Imam had suddenly taken on meaning. They recognized the hadith the imam recited as part of his sermon, and if you were to ask them, they would be able to elaborate on some its finer points found in traditional commentary. This is inspiring and humbling. The words of our beloved Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wa salaam) are part of Allah’s revelation to us. How different this is from the prevailing winds of ignorance that have shipwrecked many of the young people in the community as they have grown older in secular schools. As our children grow older, their connection to the deen grows stronger and they learn to understand the words of Allah and His Messenger (peace and blessing be upon him).

Deenway Upper Elementary pupils started work on their history journals this week beginning with an exploration of the ‘Glory that was Rome’. So far they’ve learnt that the Roman empire extended throughout the lands around the Mediterranean Sea. That it was one of the biggest empires of its time and that the emperors of Rome were very powerful. At the same time, in seerah, they came across the expedition to Tabuk led by the Prophet (salalahu alaihi wa sallam) when news reached them of a potential Roman invasion, and also of the letter our Prophet (salallahu alaihi wa salaam) wrote to the Roman emperor Heraclius.  

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Welcome Home!

Ahlan-wa-Sahlan

As-salamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullah.

Praise and Glory be to Allah Most High and peace and blessings upon the Chosen One, Muhammad al-Mustafa, sallalahu alaihi wa sallam, whom God sent as a Mercy to the Worlds.

The first week of the first term of the new academic year is always challenging for parents, children and teachers. With familiar faces returning and new ones joining us we would like to extend a warm welcome (or welcome back) to you all with the ancient Arabic greeting ahlan wa sahlan. Translated roughly this age-old greeting means something like: ‘May you arrive as part of the family, and tread an easy path.’ In other words: “Welcome home. You are with family now.”

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Work, Rest or Play

Work Rest ad Play

Praise and Glory be to Allah Most High and peace and blessings upon the Chosen One, Muhammad al-Mustafa, sallalahu alaihi wa sallam, whom God sent as a Mercy to the Worlds.

Ibn Ata’illah wrote in his famous work Al-Hikam, “Do not look forward to being free of alterities (al-aghyaar) for that is indeed what cuts you off from vigilant attention (al-Muraaqaba) to Him in that very state that He has assigned to you.” In other words, don’t delude yourself into thinking you can fix up your relationship with Allah, after you have dealt with all the distractions of the dunya. The multiplicity of the world and its power to keep us distracted will remain until the very end. The point is to be mindful of Allah, Most High, and what He requires from us at the very moments when that distraction seems the greatest.

As the spring term comes to an end today—and alhmadulillah, the weather brightens some what—we all have a chance to take a break from the 'busy-ness' of the world to work on those things that really matter: our own, our children’s and our families’ relationship with Allah and His Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him). And even if we don’t seem to get a chance to take a break from the demands of the world, we have to make time to reflect anyhow.

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No Substitute for a Human Teacher

the teacher and the student

As-salamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullah. Praise and Glory be to Allah Most High and peace and blessings upon the Chosen One, Muhammad al-Mustafa, sallalahu alaihi wa sallam, whom God sent as a Mercy to the Worlds.

Children and adults thoroughly enjoyed the storytelling session last week with sister Mehded Sinclair—author of When Wings Expand—and other award winning books. Her powerful telling of the story of Musa (alaihisalaam) and the drowning of Pharaoh fired the imagination and brought aspects of his story to life in a very special way. There is no computer, iphone, ipad or tablet on the face of the earth that can replicate the same experience with the same effect. When a human soul, with utter sincerity, love and compassion, sits with a child and shares stories from the Book of Allah, and the life of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him); the heart of the child comes alive, and the spiritual realities of the meanings of those events from the past connect with the innermost being of the child, bringing a unique joy and happiness to its life.

In other words, there is no substitute for the human teacher—whether that teacher is a Prophet, man or woman of Allah (Most High), a parent or a school teacher or even an older relative or sibling. Not even written books can take the place of human interaction. This is why Islamic sciences are learnt by sitting with teachers—not by reading alone but by keeping the company of righteous people.

 

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