Quote of the week: “There is no Islam without unity, no unity without leadership, and no leadership without obedience.” Umar ibn al-Khattab (rta)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

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Alhumdulillah, Hiba Magazine's blog has moved to:


We will retain this blog and its archives for our readers' benefit, Insha'Allah! 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Ice in the sun

Simple yet powerful reminder about the worldly life and Akhira.

“A man came to the Prophet (sa) and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! Guide me to such an action that when I do it, Allah will love me and the people will also love me.’ He (sa) said, ‘Be detached from this world and then Allah will love you, and do not be attached to what people have and then people will love you.’” (Ibn Majah; Kitab az-Zuhd)

This Hadeeth shows that Allah (swt) loves those, who live simply in this life. It has been said that if having love for Allah (swt) is the best state to be in, then living simply is the best condition to be in.

Living simply means that you should restrain your desire for worldly things in the hope of receiving something better instead. In order to achieve this more easily, you should first realize that the things, which people yearn for in this world, are, in fact, worthless when compared with what we hope for in the next world.

If we know that what Allah (swt) has will remain and that the life to come is better and more lasting, then we realize that the life of this world is really like a piece of ice left out in the sun – it soon melts and vanishes. The Akhira, however, never vanishes. The desire one has to exchange this life for the one to come is strengthened by the certainty that there is no comparison between this life and the next.

Allah (swt) says: “Yes, you prefer the life of this world, but the next world is better and more lasting.” (Al-A’la, 16-17)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Monday, January 7, 2013

Age of Cross-Dressing

Kehkashan Khalid cautions us against being indifferent to the trend of cross-dressing 
The term ‘cross-dressing' has been described as transvestism in ‘The Oxford Dictionary.' The term transvestism is further described as dressing in the clothing of the opposite sex as a form of psychological abnormality. Probably because this is the first step towards an individual's confusion regarding his own gender and identity. This further leads to complex issues of his / her role and responsibilities in the society.
No wonder more than fourteen hundred years ago the Prophet (sa) stated that men, who dress up as women, or women, who dress up as men, will be cursed (Bukhari). At that time, it was probably hard for his people to understand, how this could be possible. Now we see it happening all around us - women cut their hair so short that it is practically plastered to their scalps and go out to work in factories, dressed in jeans and shorts. 
Alternately, men appear more and more feminine, with shaven beards, their hair growing way past their shoulders, their faces made up, and their bodies adorned with gold. Men salons mushrooming everywhere are a key indicating factor of how conscious today's man has really become of his appearance. Gone are the days of rough and tough and rugged to the skin macho image. Now men want to boost a neat and suave look no matter how feminine it may appear.
So walking into clothing store, we see women's embroidered Kurtis in the men's section, because some men want to wear them. Moreover, a cable channel in our very own country airs a man dressed in a pink and gold Sari, hosting a local television show, as if perfectly normal. This novel idea is supposed to be a big hit and considered to be a trend setter. 
The West aids us in the assimilation of such new-found ideas. In the movie "Lilo and Stitch" an alien, who is shown as being the more sensible and concerned one, is gay. Time and again he dons colorful wigs and frivolous makeup, and is shown as being the good-guy. Furthermore, the concept of cross-dressing is now being introduced in books that children read at school, so that they grow up without prejudice towards such people. Children are meant to understand that these people will be allowed to do as they wish because in these ‘modern' times we believe in ‘liberty.'
The Western culture has infiltrated our minds, upset our religious values, and opened new channels for supposedly ‘broadening' our minds so much that we respond to their call like sheep following the shepherd's cry, unable to decide for ourselves. 
The parable of those who reject faith is as if one were to shout like a goat herd to things, that listen nothing, but calls and cries; deaf, dumb and blind, they are void of wisdom.
For those, who reject faith, the highest wisdom and most salutary regulations are lost. They are like ‘dumb driven cattle' that merely hear calls but cannot distinguish intelligently between shades of meaning or subtle differences of values.
A law in the West states that two men may marry each other and for their convenience will be pronounced ‘partners,' rather than the customary ‘husband and wife.' Are we blindly going to incorporate this change into our lives, too?
Of course, it is sad that the West does not know, how truly rewarding it is to follow a way of life, which is as well laid out and clear as Islam. But isn't it an even greater pity that those, who know the truth about Islam's beauty, do not chose to adhere to it either?

Saturday, January 5, 2013

A wedding to remember

Saira Naeem shares a memorable wedding experience with her Tajweed teacher being the bride.

Saeeda Qamar, our Tajweed teacher, came and sat at the head of our class just like she did every day. But today she was not wearing her uniform headscarf; instead, she had a black one. I was surprised, because none of our staff members were ever seen without uniform. My classmate whispered into my ear: “She’s getting married today.” I said: “How do you know?” She pointed to her henna colored hands. Still I was not convinced enough.

Our Tajweed class started, and she kept on correcting us in the same manner as she had always done. When, at the end of the class, Saeeda Baji said an unusually long Dua and started weeping, I realized that maybe it really was her wedding day.

Our Tafseer teacher came in and said: “Do you know that your Tajweed teacher is getting married today and is moving to Karachi?”

I was amazed! I had heard about people committed to Allah (swt), who made the Quran the first priority in their lives, but I had never actually seen a person, who was going to have the so-called ‘biggest day of her life,’ and yet wanted to give her duties to Allah (swt).

She could have easily skipped the class, but this was her conviction - to stay committed till the end. Saeeda Baji said she loved all her students and asked us to hold onto the Quran, which is Allah’s blessing upon us. And her actions spoke louder that her words.

Her wedding was not going to take place in a big hotel or a park with mixed gathering, dances and songs. It was to happen in Shah Faisal mosque. I was wondering, what would the wedding be like? Will she get dressed up? Will she wear makeup? How will the guests eat in the Masjid?

We prayed Asr with the congregation in the upper ladies corner of Faisal mosque. The bride also prayed along with everyone else - not at all bothered about her dress getting messed up. Saeeda Baji was a very pretty bride. Her makeup was just enough. She did not do any back-combing - her hair was tied back nicely, with a Dopatta tucked on her head and around her bosom. She was not wearing a low neckline, quarter sleeves or extremely flashy jewelry. She did not pluck her eyebrows; YET, she was looking so peaceful and graceful.

It was the Noor of the Quran that made her look this way. Many brides spend thousands of rupees on the wedding day just to look perfect. They diet for six months to loose that extra weight, so that their figure looks nice in the tight-fitted shirt. They undergo facials, hair does and all kinds of treatments to get that perfect look. They complete their beauty sleep, take rest at home for a month or so to look FRESH on the wedding day. But this lady did not take even a day off from her commitment to Allah (swt), and Allah (swt) gave her that freshness and beauty without having to do any of the above things.

For a person, who has not experienced the miracle of the Quran, all of this might seem like a fairy tale; but trust me - seeing is believing. Allah (swt) showed me that it is possible to follow His path at any point of time - there will always be Sabiqoon Al Awaloon, who will do their good deeds at the level of Ihsan.

I asked Saeeda Baji’s mother, how they had managed the food arrangements. She said that they ordered lunch boxes plus dinner for people at home. I just thought of the expenses they had saved: hotel and food charges, different kinds of Rasms, such as Joota Chupana, Doodh Pilana extra and a whole lot more.

After returning home, I kept on thinking about this perfect wedding. This union would include Allah’s blessing and duas of all the people she had been with, whether students or colleagues. May Allah (swt) give all our teachers the greatest rewards in this world and the hereafter, and may He give me the Tofeeq to follow their footsteps, Ameen.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Cheesy baked vegetables in white sauce

Boiled potatoes 4
Grated carrots 2
Capsicums ( chopped) 2
Mushrooms 1 tin
Mozzarella cheese 1 packet
Cheddar cheese 1 packet
Peas ½ cup
Black pepper (crushed) 1 tsp
Red chili flakes 1 tsp
Carom seeds 1 tsp
Salt to taste
For white sauce:
Fresh milk 1 liter
Butter 2 tbsp
Flour 3-4 tbsp

  1. Roast 1 tsp red chili flakes and 1 tsp carom seeds.
  2. Peel the 4 boiled potatoes and mash it then ad in grated carrots, ½ cup peas and 2 chopped capsicums. Add in some salt and black pepper.
  3. Add 3 tbsp butter in the pan and add in 3-4 tbsp flour. Roast it and keep it aside. 
  4. After 5 minutes add in 1 liter milk. Keep on stirring it gradually. When the sauce thickens add vegetables along with 1 tin mushroom in it. Heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  5. Take a deep dish and add in sauce with vegetables in it. Also add in red chili flakes and carom seeds. Then add mozzarella and cheddar cheese. Sprinkle some more roasted carom seeds and red chili flakes. Bake it. Serve it with chili sauce.
(Recipe by Chef  Zubaida Tariq)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Stray Bullets of 2013-01-01

By Rana Rais Khan, the Editor of Hiba Magazine

I woke up startled by the deafening sound of gun shots in my almost pitch dark bedroom. After a few seconds, I heard my husband explain: “It's midnight, we’re ushering in the new year.” My 3-year-old now wide awake stuffed her index fingers in her ears and buried her face as deep as she could in the soft blanket. It was beyond her comprehension that why in the earth our perfectly friendly neighbours were firing away in the sky in the middle of the night. Her shock and silence feared me. Upon much insistence, she just uttered: “I don’t like them, they are bad people. Call the police and put them in jail.” And she dug further down into her barrack of blankets.

My mother called our neighbours up trying to drill some sense into them to stop firing mindlessly stray bullets but someone hung up on her thinking her to be a party pooper maybe. What followed were fifteen minutes of non-stop gun sounds echoing in the neighbourhood. Now I knew what it must have been like for people of Gaza, when rockets were fired at them from Israel.

The morning news reported 36 injured in random firing incidents and 1 person dead. The city of Karachi speaks guns only. Whether it is to lodge protests, celebrate weddings or cricket match victories or settle old scores against rivals, etc. This city has seen more killings in the past five years than any battle ground.

If Islam is a peaceful way of life and Muslims are a moderate nation, why do we go out of bounds celebrating happiness or registering our sorrow? Disrupting peace of the society by irresponsible behaviour is a SIN. I repeat it is a SIN. After years of persecution and injustices, our Prophet (sa) had all the reason to celebrate the conquest of Makkah. Did we have men spraying bullets everywhere or women dancing and singing next to men, or people drunk painting the town red? Then who were those people, who were shown on news channels doing just that? Muslims? Has to be a mistake.

If Jannah is what all Muslims are striving for, please, be informed it will be a place of peace. No guns allowed. Kindly recheck your thoughts and actions. The Prophet’s (sa) etiquette to celebrate any joy or triumph was to praise Allah (swt) and fall in prostration, not rock the earth with a boastful display.

O My Lord! Forgive us and guide us to the truth so that we can display wisdom and courage where and when it is needed. Ameen.    

P.S. Can you, please, also de-weoponize Karachi? Suma Ameen.