Build People, Not Buildings – Lessons From Al Andalus

by Thaqib Moosa

The USIC trip to Andalusia was genuinely epic. It is quite an interesting part of the world. A place where Muslims ruled for 800 years, survived successive attempts to unseat them, requiring North African back up to help them expel the Christian armies from the North, and then 200 odd years later, they were expelled anyways.

The Andalusian example is one of those examples where we had more soldiers than the enemy, but our divided armies and little kingdoms and bits of treachery couldn’t stand up to a united enemy. Simply put: Divided, we fell. It was quite painful to pray in the fairly small mosque in Granada, the first mosque to give adhaan from a minaret after 511 Gregorian years (in 2003, after the fall of Gharnata in 1492). Thinking about how the weakness and disunity had resulted in the gradual collapse of a bastion of Islam.

These were not people who gave up on the religion. Even in the Alhambra, which was built right after a major defeat as a show of power, closer to the end of Muslim rule in Spain. Even at this time their relationship with the Qur’an was clearly apparent.

The symbolism from the Qur’an is everywhere. 8 pillars supporting a roof with a jewel representing the throne of Allah in the centre. Eight because the Qur’an says wa ya7milu 3arsha rabbula fauqahum yauma2idhin thamaaniya. The most notable example of their understanding of the Qur’an was writing laa ilaaha illallah and muhammadurrasoolallah on pillars at the entrance to a particularly spectacular garden. The symbolism being that belief in Allah and the last messenger will get you into paradise. It is the key. The gardens themselves were gardens with rivers flowing through them and underneath them, the inspiration from the Qur’an was clearly there. Yet despite all of this, when it came to action, when it came time to defend tenets of faith and give up these luxuries, they seem to have flopped.

They built buildings, not people. We remember sa7aaba and every aspect of their lives and their students, we remember the buildings and only remember the leaders through the buildings they built. If they had focused on the people perhaps they would have fought more bravely. One of the attendees was mentioning how scared they felt if all the masaajid in the UK were left and we were forced to leave. One of the things Rasulallah warned us against was Wahn, when the companions asked what Wahn is, He (SAW) replied: Love of the Dunya and fear of death.

May Allah protect us from Wahn and save us from the “death, exile, or conversion” choice which our brothers and sisters faced years ago. Perhaps the ruins of their buildings have only been preserved by Allah (SWT) for us to take lessons from.

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A Vision To Change Lives

By Mevish Rauf

Spain. What goes through your mind when you think of Spain? For some it might be beaches, scenery and good weather – a perfect holiday destination. For others, like myself, that might be half of the story. If acquainted with the history of Spain you’d recall the 700 year old rule of the Moors in South Spain called Andalusia and how they shaped education, language and culture. That is all I knew. Although this prior knowledge did not surprise me much when our tour guide, Abu Bakr, told us the history of Andalusia, I was, however, completely mind-blown by the rest of the information.

In the Andalusian tour we explored three cities: We visited Al Cázar in Seville; cathedral, Calahorra tower and an Andalusian house in Córdoba; and the Alhambra palace in Granada. We also visited villages in the Sierra Nevada mountains near Granada. I learnt much from these places which has influenced my thinking.

From my personal reflections, the most wonderful part of the whole trip was the realisation that not only was Andalusia mighty but also how wonderful the people were. They were God fearing people who had a vision to change and better lives. They relied on God to help them accomplish what they did. They incorporated Islam in their daily lives as well as architectural designs. It was a reminder that it does not matter who you are and where you come from. But what matters most is how much you rely on God. This vision and reliance on God can help the Muslims of today to stand back on their feet and bring back the glory of our past.

USIC Blogs

#Aleppo

by Anonymous

Everyone should understand the severity of what is happening in Aleppo right now. It is not a matter of being Syrian, Pakistani or Arab, this is a matter of being humane and being affectionate towards our suffering ummah and uniting as one to be a voice for the voiceless! Words are not even enough to describe how much injustice is happening right now, how many innocent civilians are being tortured, how many women are being raped and how many children are seeing horrific scenes daily!

Only Allah can assist us in this matter now. I pray Allah give us all tawfeeq to verbally, physically, financially and morally take part in this resistance against inhumanity.

Rasul’ullah said: “The believers in their love, mercy and compassion are like one body, if one organ complains, the rest of the body develops a fever”.

#SyriaIsBleeding

#PrayForOurUmmah

{One Ummah – One Body – One Unity}

 

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Surround yourself…

By Shiekh Sudais

Surround yourself with Muslims who practice the Deen. They are your only True Friends in this Life and in the akhirah.

Sometimes the hardest person for you to correct is yourself. There is no shame in being wrong, the shame is in choosing to stay on the wrong path.

We all take tomorrow for granted because we believe tomorrow will always be there. Tomorrow may be there, but we may not.

Yesterday many thought that they would see today, and today many will think they will see tomorrow.

You may be rich, famous or have a high status in this dunyah, but to the Angel of Death, you’re just another name on the list.

One day you’ll just be a memory for people, and a lesson to others. Do everything you can to please Allah, be a positive lesson.

We walk with our heads high up in the sky, unaware that one day we’ll be trapped 6′ Feet under the ground.

You look for the latest fashion and designer clothes, but don’t forget O’ Son of Adam! You will end up being wrapped up in just a white shroud.

You wouldn’t throw away a diamond to pick up a rock, so in the same way, don’t throw away the Aakhirah (Paradise) by chasing the Dunya (worldly).

How do you expect to get Al-Jannah (paradise) when you haven’t worked for it in Dunya? That’s like expecting to pass an exam you never took a class for.

Allāh knows what you want, what you need, what you deserve, at what time & what place, trust Him & His decisions (is best for HIS creation), He knows while you don’t.

And, make the Qur’an your companion and a part of your life. Don’t let yourself become a stranger to it. The Qur’an is like a friend, the longer the friendship lasts the more you will know of its secrets.

May Allah purify our hearts. And peace and blessings of Allah be upon our noble Messenger of Allah, Muhammad and his household.

USIC Blogs

How do you know if you…

by Anonymous

How do you know if you’re ready for death?

Man’s greatest fear is death.
I want to know that if I were to die right now what would my death be like?

Would it be painful, would it be pleasurable, would it be sweet?

Here is an answer:
Your death will be exactly as your prayer is to you right now.

Why?
Because when you pray salaat what do you do? You go and meet Allah. When you die what happens?

You go and meet Allah. If you dislike meeting Allah while you are in this world in the body, why would you want to meet Allah when you leave the body?

If salaat is sweet to you right now your death would be sweet if you died right now.

If you eagerly wait for salaat, then when death comes to you, you will eagerly wait to be released from this cage and soar to new heights.

If your salaat is a burden on you right now, death will be a burden on you if you die right now.
If salaat is painful,
death will be painful.

Look at your salaat, improve your salaat, and you will improve your connection to Allah,

because…
both of these are nothing but a
meeting with Allah.

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I Longed for Marriage…

by Anonymous

“I longed for marriage”
.. and I got married
But life without children is deserting

Thus “I longed to be blessed with children”
… and I got children
But within no time my small apartment made me uncomfortable..

I therefore longed for bigger house with garden..
well, I got it, though with much efforts
Yes, I possessed a mansion, but my children are grown up by then

Hence, I longed for them to get married…
They are now married, yet official responsibilities give me fatigue

Now I resorted to retirement, to get some rest…
.. I`ve retired, but become single, just as I was after graduation..
.. After graduation I noticed, I approached life, but now,
I bid life farewell..

Still, I do have ambitions..
.. I longed for Quranic memorization..
.. but my memory betrayed me..

.. I longed to frequent fasting…
… yet my health condition won’t allow ..

.. I longed for night devotion “Qiyamul layl”…
.. but my feet can no longer carry me …

VERILY The Prophet (ﷺ) made it categorical that
“Make profit out of five things before five things over take you:

*Youthfulness* before the old age
*Health* before illness
*Wealth* before poverty
*Free time* before busy moment
*Life* before your death”

If your daily routine is empty of the following activities, be quick and insert them NOW…or NEVER:

*Salah
*Daily Quranic recitation routine
*Qiyamul layl
*Alms giving /supporting the needy
*Spreading good word/nasiha/salam

May Allah SWT guide us all
امييييين يارب العالمين

USIC Blogs

The Ongoing Charity of Hazrat Uthman (ra)

by Anonymous

There was a well in a part of Madinah, and it was the only source of water in that part, but the owner insisted on charging for even a handful for water

When ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan came to learn of the Prophet’s declaration of something better than the well in Paradise for whoever can secure it for the community Uthman (ra) offered to buy the well.

The owner declined, at which point ‘Uthman asked him to sell him half of it or rent the well: a day for Muslims and a day for him to sell to whoever he wishes. He agreed. The owner knew Uthman (ra) as a good businessman, and was flattered to have him as a business partner, thinking that this would increase his sales.

The exact opposite happened… no one bought water from him again.

Uthman (ra) opened the well for Allah’s sake, allowing people to fetch as they wanted. The people would fetch two days’ supply on his day and ignore the Jew’s day. Despondently, the owner offerred Uthman (ra) the other half, which Uthman (ra) bought for 20,000 dirhams (really kind of Uthman (ra), if it was me, I would have negotiated it down to a lower price.)

A few years later, another companion of the prophet SAW offered to buy up the well from Uthman (ra). He refused, saying that he had been offered much more. The man kept increasing his offer, and Uthman kept refusing on the ground that he had been offered much more. Baffled, the man asked him who had offered so much, and how much had been offered. Uthman (ra) said…

“Allah has offered ten times the reward for charity given to Muslims”.

The well was kept for the free use of Muslims, up to and after the death of Usman (ra), but the story does not end yet…

During the Ummayyad dynasty, the well and the surrounding ground (still nominally in the name of Usman (ra) since it was charitable and not inherited) were kept for free use by Muslims. Date palms grew on the grounds, and grew numerous overtime. The dates were also harvested and given to charity in the name of Usman bin Affan (ra). This continued during the time of the Abbassid period and later.

In the present history of Saudi Arabia, the decision was made to organise it into a modern plantation. The money was shared into two parts, half to be given in charity, mainly to widows and orphans, the other half to be reinvested.

This plan was (and is still) being carried out. Today, a bank account exists in the name of Usman bin Affan, from which half of all moneys gained from the plantation are remitted, while the other half is still being given out as charity. Out of this money, an amount was invested into purchasing land around the Masjid anNabawi in Madinah. This was developed into a hotel and accomodation for visitors to the mosque, and as per arrangement, half the income was also given out as charity, while half is being remitted to the account to be reinvested.

As at now, disbursements from this charity, started off by the virtuous sahabi, Usman bin Affan (ra), is upwards of SR50million monthly.

The well is known today as Bi’ir Uthman or Bi’ir Rummah. One charitable deed that has earned its giver rewards for over 14centuries.

May Allah reward the Companions of the Prophet (ﷺ), not only for their charitable deeds, but also for the help they provided in aiding our noble Prophet for us, and transmitting his message faithfully down to us for our own benefit. May Allah grant them Jannat al-Ffirdaus and join us with them in the hereafter…Ameen

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