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Monthly Archives: February 2012

Who is Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him)?

Who is Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him)?

Language: English
Formation : Yusuf Estes
Reveiwers : Muhammad AbdulRaoof
From issues : http://www.rasoulallah.net – Website of Rasoulullah (peace be upon him)
Short Description:
Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, is the man beloved by more than 1.2 billion Muslims. He is the man who taught us patience in the face of adversity, and taught us to live in this world but seek eternal life in the hereafter. It was to Prophet Muhammad that God revealed the Quran. Along with this Book of guidance God sent Prophet Muhammad, whose behavior and high moral standards are an example to us all. Prophet Muhammad’s life was the Quran. He understood it, he loved it and he lived his life based on its standards. He taught us to recite Quran, to live by its principles and to love it. When Muslims declare their faith in One God, they also declare their belief that Muhammad is the slave and final messenger of God.
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Posted by on February 27, 2012 in Know him !

 

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Fasting twice a week can help protect against brain diseases, scientists

Fasting can help protect against brain diseases, scientists say

Claim that giving up almost all food for one or two days a week can counteract impact of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

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A vertical slice through the brain of a patient with Alzheimer’s, left, compared with a normal brain, right. Photograph: Alfred Pasieka/Science Photo Library

Fasting for regular periods could help protect the brain against degenerative illnesses, according to US scientists.
Researchers at the National Institute on Ageing in Baltimore said they had found evidence which shows that periods of stopping virtually all food intake for one or two days a week could protect the brain against some of the worst effects of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other ailments.
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Professor Mark Mattson
“Reducing your calorie intake could help your brain, but doing so by cutting your intake of food is not likely to be the best method of triggering this protection. It is likely to be better to go on intermittent bouts of fasting, in which you eat hardly anything at all, and then have periods when you eat as much as you want,” said Professor Mark Mattson, head of the institute’s laboratory of neurosciences.
“In other words, timing appears to be a crucial element to this process,” Mattson told the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Vancouver.
Cutting daily food intake to around 500 calories – which amounts to little more than a few vegetables and some tea – for two days out of seven had clear beneficial effects in their studies, claimed Mattson, who is also professor of neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.
Scientists have known for some time that a low-calorie diet is a recipe for longer life. Rats and mice reared on restricted amounts of food increase their lifespan by up to 40%. A similar effect has been noted in humans. But Mattson and his team have taken this notion further. They argue that starving yourself occasionally can stave off not just ill-health and early death but delay the onset of conditions affecting the brain, including strokes. “Our animal experiments clearly suggest this,” said Mattson.
He and his colleagues have also worked out a specific mechanism by which the growth of neurones in the brain could be affected by reduced energy intakes. Amounts of two cellular messaging chemicals are boosted when calorie intake is sharply reduced, said Mattson. These chemical messengers play an important role in boosting the growth of neurones in the brain, a process that would counteract the impact of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
“The cells of the brain are put under mild stress that is analogous to the effects of exercise on muscle cells,” said Mattson. “The overall effect is beneficial.”
The link between reductions in energy intake and the boosting of cell growth in the brain might seem an unlikely one, but Mattson insisted that there were sound evolutionary reasons for believing it to be the case. “When resources became scarce, our ancestors would have had to scrounge for food,” said Mattson. “Those whose brains responded best – who remembered where promising sources could be found or recalled how to avoid predators — would have been the ones who got the food. Thus a mechanism linking periods of starvation to neural growth would have evolved.”
This model has been worked out using studies of fasting on humans and the resulting impact on their general health – even sufferers from asthma have shown benefits, said Mattson – and from experiments on the impact on the brains of animals affected by the rodent equivalent of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Now Mattson’s team is preparing to study the impact of fasting on the brain by using MRI scans and other techniques.
If this final link can be established, Mattson said that a person could optimise his or her brain function by subjecting themselves to bouts of “intermittent energy restriction”. In other words, they could cut their food intake to a bare minimum for two days a week, while indulging for the other five. “We have found that from a psychological point of view that works quite well. You can put up with having hardly any food for a day if you know that for the next five you can eat what you want.”

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O you who believe fasting is decreed for you, as it was decreed for those before you, that you may attain salvation. Specific days (are designated for fasting); if one is ill or traveling, an equal number of other days may be substituted. Those who can fast, but with great difficulty, may substitute feeding one poor person for each day of breaking the fast. If one volunteers (more righteous works), it is better. But fasting is the best for you, if you only knew. Quran 2:183-185

((يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ. أَيَّامًا مَّعْدُودَاتٍ فَمَن كَانَ مِنكُم مَّرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَى سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ وَعَلَى الَّذِينَ يُطِيقُونَهُ فِدْيَةٌ وَعَلَى الَّذِينَ يُطِيقُونَهُ فِدْيَةٌ طَعَامُ مِسْكِينٍ فَمَنْ تَطَوَّعَ خَيْراً فَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَهُ وَأَنْ تَصُومُوا خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ ))

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It was narrated that ‘Aishah said:

“The Messenger of Allah used to be keen to fast on Mondays and Thursday.” (Hasan)
أَخْبَرَنَا إِسْحَاقُ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، قَالَ أَنْبَأَنَا عُبَيْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ سَعِيدٍ الأُمَوِيُّ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا سُفْيَانُ، عَنْ ثَوْرٍ، عَنْ خَالِدِ بْنِ مَعْدَانَ، عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، قَالَتْ كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَتَحَرَّى الاِثْنَيْنِ وَالْخَمِيسَ ‏.‏

http://sunnah.com/urn/1123710

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Source
http://www.guardian….ases-scientists
http://esciencenews…..scientists.say
http://healthwirenew…y-the-guardian/

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2012 in News

 

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Red love and dead hearts !

Ibraaheem ibn Adham  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him was once asked, “O Abu Is-haaq, why are our supplications to Allaah The Exalted not answered?” He answered, “Because your hearts have died due to ten things.” They inquired, “What are they?” Ibraaheem bin Adham  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said:

“1- You know Allaah The Almighty but fail to fulfill His due rights [properly].
2- You claim to love the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), and yet, you have abandoned his Sunnah (tradition).
3- You recite the Noble Quran but do not act upon it.
4- You claim to hate the devil, yet you obey him.
5- You enjoy the Blessings of Allaah The Exalted without fulfilling their due rights.
6- You believe in Paradise but do not exert any effort to enter it.
7- You believe in Hell but you do not seek salvation from it.
8- You believe in death but you do not prepare for it.
9- You focus your attention on others’ shortcomings while forgetting all    about yours.
10- You bury your dead but do not learn from them.”

Disbelief

Coincidentally, when one of my students, who had put a red rose in the pocket of his shirt asked me, “Why doesn’t Allaah The Exalted accept our supplications?” I told him this narration. When I asked him about the red rose in his pocket he answered, “Don’t you know that today is Valentine’s Day? I am celebrating it by putting this red rose in the pocket of my shirt.”
Undeniably, we have all heard of the “the black night of love” and the tradition of exchanging gifts and congratulations, and the foolish face paintings that are done to mark Valentine’s Day. Indeed, we know that the West has allocated a specific day to celebrate ‘red love’ during which chastity, purity and bashfulness are profoundly violated, while praiseworthy jealousy i.e., proper manly zeal, dignity and honor are slaughtered.
On this day, misguided people randomly spread repressed desires – rather, animal desires – both negative and positive, that clash with each other.
In fact, they claim that you are not a man unless you act like one in terms of sins and vice, and you are not virile enough for them if you do not have a lover to whom you can give a ‘red rose’ and with whom you can spend a ‘red night’!
You are not a refined ‘gentleman’ if you did not wish your lover, wife, or female colleague ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’.
I think we all know the story of Saint Valentine and why he was executed on February 14, 270 CE. From that day, he was given the title ‘saint’ because he sacrificed his soul for the sake of Christianity, as he supposedly fostered loving couples. Hence, Christians commemorate his death by celebrating Valentine’s Day and their act is justifiable according to their beliefs.
In fact, Americans and Europeans render this day an open day for indulging in illicit sexual relations on a large scale. Their middle schools, high schools, mixed universities, parks and malls take the necessary measures for this day by providing condoms for men in public toilets and other places where couples are more likely to meet, for protection against sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies.
Moreover, philanthropists donate all that may help ignite people’s desires on that night, and increase their obedience to the devil. In fact, Valentine’s Day for them is a permissible and almost sacred occasion that enables them to get them closer to their god!
How can Muslims allow themselves to celebrate this day that is the most heinous of the Christian festivals? Valentine’s Day is the worst feast of the disbelievers; it is the most erotic and prurient feast.
What has happened to Muslims: our brothers, sisters, sons, daughters and students who were raised to love the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), and were imbued with bashfulness, dignity, pride and magnanimity? Why do they celebrate this?
Are they commemorating Saint Valentine‘s death for having sacrificed his life for the sake of Christianity? Or is it because he used to provide refuge for loving couples?
Shaykh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “Religious feasts are part and parcel of every religion and its rituals; Allaah The Almighty Says (what means) {For every religion We Have appointed rites which they perform…} [22:67]. For example, the Qiblah (direction of prayer) and fasting are fundamental aspects of Islam. Therefore, there is no difference between celebrating their feasts and participating in their rites. In fact, participation in celebrating their feasts implies approval of their disbelief since feasts are the most distinguished aspect of any religion.”
Valentine’s Day is a pagan and Christian celebration and it is impermissible for Muslims to celebrate it, to participate in the celebrations in any way, to sell the goods that people use to show their celebration of that day; since this is considered cooperating with them in committing sins, aggression and making a display of the disbelievers’ rites. Furthermore, it implies imitating them and indicates approval of their wrongdoings and is considered a grave sin that would result in loving the disbelievers.
The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), did not approve of celebrating the feasts of the disbelievers and that of Jaahiliyyah (pre-Islamic era). Anas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that when the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), came to Madeenah, the people had two days on which they used to engage in games. He asked aboutthese two daysandsaid: “Allaah The Almighty has given you better days instead: the Day of Fitr and Al-Adh-ha.” [Abu Daawood and An-Nasaa’i]
 
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Posted by on February 16, 2012 in Relax

 

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The Islamic Workplace

Abdul Malik Mujahid

  1. Ask Him. He Listens: Dua

Turn each anxiety, each fear and each concern into a Dua (supplication). Look at it as another reason to submit to God and be in Sajdah (prostration), during which you are closest to Allah. God listens and already knows what is in your heart, but He wants you to ask Him for what you want. The Prophet said: Allah is angry with those who do not ask Him for anything (Tirmidhi).

The Prophet once said that in prayer, he would find rest and relief (Nasai). He would also regularly ask for God’s forgiveness and remain in prostration during prayer praising God (Tasbeeh) and asking for His forgiveness (Bukhari).

Allah wants you to be specific. The Prophet advised us to ask Allah for exactly what we want instead of making vague Duas. Dua is the essence of worship (the Prophet as quoted in…

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Posted by on February 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Islamic Perspective on Sex

Language: English
Translators : Abdur-Rahman Murad
Short Description: The author said in his introduction,
         “Islam acknowledges the fact that one\’s sexual desire has to be satisfied. It considers fulfilling this desire a praiseworthy matter, as long as it is done within Shari\’ah limits. It is not disdainful to satisfy this desire, nor should it be neglected.\” He also said, \”In this booklet we will discuss the Islamic method of satisfying sexual desire, and how it can be transformed from a base desire into an act of worship through which a Muslim receives reward.”
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Posted by on February 9, 2012 in Sex !

 

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Western women on a journey of faith

It is a phenomenon that has made the headlines in “The Times” newspaper of London and stirred public conversation from Helsinki to Halifax to Hawaii. It is a bit baffling to most Westerners, but nonetheless a reality that they are coming face-to-face with: Western women, with all their freedoms and of their right minds, are choosing to follow the          religion of Islam, and they are flocking to the religion   at a much faster rate than their Western male counterparts.

Every day in America and across Europe, female voices are, for the first time, breathing the words known as “The Shahaadah,” or the Muslim’s basic declaration of faith.
Although the exact ratio of women converts to men converts is unknown, a poll conducted in the U.S. in the late last decade suggested that the number of American women coming to Islam outnumbers that of American men by as much as 4 to 1. Strolling through some Islamic Centers in North America and Europe gives one the impression that the gap could be even greater.
Whatever the exact statistics, it is no longer debatable; women in the West, (many of them single) are becoming Muslims in unprecedented numbers.
 
The irony of the phenomenon
One of the largest erroneous stereotypes about Islam is that it is a religion which treats women unfairly and disrespectfully. Many who are ignorant on the issue believe Islam teaches that women are worth less than men, and that it strips them of their rights.
At this point, however, a thinking person must ask, “If it is so bad, would not women turn and run from it; particularly those women who are well-educated? Would not the vast majority of reverts be men?” Obviously, women are    finding in Islam something beautiful, something unique. There must be something there that not only attracts them as human beings, but also as women.
 
The “why” factor
When women and men are asked why they accepted Islam, they often give similar answers: they were attracted to the logic within the religion, the emphasis on family and societal values or the fact that the Quran and Hadeeth have been preserved accurately. But many times, the women give an answer for reverting that men do not, and the reason they give are: for the rights and status of women in Islam. (It is not often, it should be noted, that one hears a reverted brother say he came to Islam “because of the rights and status of men in Islam.”)
Dina Wallis, a British revert from Roman Catholicism who frequently writes on women’s issues and has contributed in translating the Holy Quran, pointed out that a Western woman coming to Islam has a bit of a different journey than that of a Western man. “In many ways, a woman who becomes a Muslim has more to gain than man,” she said. “Of course from the spiritual side, there is no difference – they both discover Allaah’s true religion and gain their true selves spiritually. But a woman coming to Islam, in addition to gaining the spiritual truth has a double advantage because she is also re-gaining her true self as a woman.”
Women discover, in becoming Muslims, that they should have been able to exercise their God-given rights: the rights to be respected, to be able to stay home with their families, to be able to be valued for more than a physical appearance as well as political and economical rights. “Also, a woman’s role changes more drastically than a man’s,” said Wallis.
“As for men coming from the western culture to the Islamic culture, their role is basically by the same in society: they are considered the main `breadwinner,’ the head of family, et cetera. But in Islam, women can be women, and enjoy their soft, natural femininity, as well as being fully provided for. They do this without losing their rights to vote, work, be treated kindly, and get an education.” she said.
Also, the worth of the woman in Islam is much more noticeable than in the West. Women begin to dress modestly and feel liberated by the ability to go out without showing off their bodies or making up their faces. In Islam, they are valued simply for being a wonderfully special thing: a woman.
Halimah Stevens was raised a Southern Baptist in Columbia, South Carolina. She has been a Muslim for nearly two decades and is now married with five children. But she can still recall the pressures she underwent as a young, non-Muslim woman living in the West. The most obvious of them was the attempt to get attention through physical means. “When I was growing up, I remember, `what can I wear to get attention? How tight will this be?’ That is how regular teenage girls are. They want to be seen as impressive, get a boyfriend and get someone to look at them,” she said. “It was all about your appearance. When you become Muslim, you are taught to be modest. You keep your dignity and you character becomes honorable, you begin to like yourself again for who you are inside. You can look yourself in the mirror with satisfaction and know that your being goes much deeper than flesh and size.”
She says her value as a Muslim woman is not even comparable to that when she was a Christian woman living in the West. “It is just like black and white. There is a big difference. I feel totally valued as a Muslim woman. I am so loved and so respected for my mind and my heart now. When I look back at my life before I embraced Islam, I see how important my body and clothes were to everyone; including me.”
Western “Women’s Liberation” movement: Why it did not satisfy:
The 1960’s and 70’s brought about a sort-of revolution for women, in which various organizations and ideals comprised what came to be known as the “Women’s Liberation Movement.” Women were fed up with being treated as second-class citizens. They were not receiving equal pay in the workplace, nor equal education and job opportunities. In 1970, for example, women were earning an average of just 54.5% of a man’s salary. Also, they felt tired of being seen just as “sex symbols”, mothers and being paraded around in beauty pageants.
Many of their complaints were valid, as seen from an Islamic viewpoint. They should have had equal pay for an equal job done, as well as the right to education and to work. Also, women should be valued for the amazing people they are, not just for physical characteristics.
But other complaints suggested they should have to spend time or effort on their children, certainly no more than their husbands were spending. In fact, child-rearing became perceived as an obstacle to true achievement. Success was measured only by how far one got in a job or how impressive a woman’s resume was, not by how great of a family she could inspire and raise.
The Women’s Liberation Movement (WLM) of Great Britain fought for free contraception and abortion on demand, and pushed for free 24-hour nurseries, run by public workers, so that they would be freed from the “burden” of watching their kids. Being “just” a devoted mother and housewife—two of the most important jobs within a healthy society—became occupations they were ashamed of.
They began to deny, and place shame upon, the concept of womanhood and femininity itself. Many groups made headlines after publicly burning symbols identified with womanhood, the most famous incident being the burning bras. They cursed their own reproductive systems and pushed to be seen as identical to men.
“I was really looking on the `liberation’ movement from the outside,” said Wallis, who was just a young lady living in southern England at the time. “I was not really part of it myself – I did not participate in the events, which seemed a bit lunatic. However, I try to place myself in their position.” “It was a new thing, and women were tired of being deprived of certain things like working, and getting equal pay for it,” she continues. “I think that women have since realized, it has really brought them nothing positive. Women now are going back and valuing their prime role in life. Even western women are realizing that it is a great benefit to be able to stay at home with the kids and put the family as the top priority. This is something Islam has always given them, without depriving them of going out to work if it is the right environment,” she said.
Some radical groups even called for the total separation of males and females, saying women will never have any need of men. The radical feminist group “SCUM” (Society for Cutting up Men) called for the ultimate destruction of the male gender (they claimed men were just genetically incomplete females), and claimed women could learn to reproduce on their own.
Although most groups were not so radical, they did start with the basic premise that if a husband could have a full-time successful career, then a woman should, too. In the end, they got their careers, but at a costly price.
When Halimah Stevens went to visit her family in Georgia, her Aunt Betty confided in her something that broke Halimah’s heart. “She told me, `My life is ruined by this women’s lib thing.’ She was working so hard to keep up with everything, because the men in the family were saying, `You have got to work, too.’ She told me, `All I want to do is stay home and take care of my house, and paint more. I never had kids and I wonder was it because I worked so hard all my life? Now I am asking myself: was it really worth it?’”
In Islam, a husband cannot ask a woman to go out and “pitch in” with family expenses. He bears the full financial responsibility of providing for the family. If the wife wants to contribute, then that is her decision. But she has the freedom of deciding how much she gives, and when enough is enough.
Women did eventually gain the rights to get into the workplace and start climbing the corporate ladder, but had to take on manly attributes in order to get anywhere – in their clothes, behavior, and even manner of speaking.
They achieved some things, but again, at the expense of the family, and of their own identities.
Islam gives sweeping rights to women: economic, political, and social, but without depriving them of their natural femininity. Muslim women are not ashamed of softness, of being a caring and devoted wife or mother, of reclaiming their true femininity. Nor are they threatened by a man making a major decision or taking charge in certain matters. Why? Because a Muslim woman knows for sure that she has rights over her husband, and that there are certain boundaries which he can never cross.
Women, through the Women’s Liberation Movement of the 1960’s and 70’s, were also taught it was beneficial to be masculine, and that it was detrimental to be modest. It is a rare day a business woman wears a long, flowery skirt to work; trousers and suit jackets are the norm. Television broadcasters only hire women with low, “authoritative” voices. Very short, masculine hair styles are more common in the workplace than longer hair-according to one fashion magazine; a very short hairdo tells others you are “assertive” and “an achiever.”
“Sadly their abilities to act masculine in dress and ethic or look physically attractive are what they valued for these days. Women take on masculinity as a means of achieving, as a way of being valued. That sends out the message that femininity, womanhood,   is worthless; women in Islam have that value without having to masquerade and act manly, and also without losing their guaranteed rights. It is only because women are undervalued as women that they resort to all that,” said Wallis.
Many women who come to Islam discover how wonderful it is to grasp true femininity, and to live like a woman for the first time in their lives. That includes anything from dressing, speaking to behaving in a feminine way.
Muslims believe that for a woman to strive for masculine behavior, or vice versa, goes against Allaah’s natural plan and His perfect creation.
The U.S. chapter of the WLM (Women’s Liberation Movement) protested outside the 1968 Miss America contest, hoping to put an end to the competition. They considered it to be degrading to the women involved, and humiliating to suggest that the ideal American woman should be the one who looks best in a swimsuit or an evening gown.
However, instead of pushing for more modesty in their own dress codes, many women began to wear less and less clothing as a symbol of their “freedom” to go against society. The results have been devastating: a society saturated with women being used as food for the hungry, in advertising, entertainment, and in a woman’s everyday act of deciding what she has to wear or how she should look.
“Primarily they found it degrading in the end,” said Wallis. “It degraded their womanhood and themselves as human beings. They were turned into objects that were sold on billboards, and gawked at in beauty pageants. Most women now turn their backs on these things, like the Miss Universe Pageant.
Most women see them as a way in which women are paraded and not something that elevates them as human beings. I think it ran its course and came to a natural end.”
 
Myth: They only convert for their husbands…
One “excuse” non-Muslims like to give for the mass numbers of women reverting is that they do it because they are brainwashed by a Muslim man whom they hope to marry. Needless to say, a conversion done for the sake of another human being or for anything other than their Creator would not be a true conversion. That person would, sadly, be submitting to an individual rather than to Allaah. But a good look at the knowledge and devotion of women converts today indicates that, for several reasons, this simply is not the case.
20-year-old Emilee Rauschenberger is known by her friends and colleagues at New York University for her intelligence, her sense of humor, and her headscarf. An American of German descent, she has a ready answer for anyone who approaches her and asked her if she changed her faith for a Muslim man.
“Definitely not. I learned about Islam only through female Muslims. I converted because I studied Islam and Christianity, and found Islam to be the most amazing religion. Comparing the two, I found more validity in Islam, and so I knew I could be nothing else but a Muslim.”
And she’s not alone. When asked if she knows of others who came to Islam as single women, she starts a lengthy list. “There’s Jill, Paula, Johnni, Joie, a Colombian sister named Jovanna, a girl from Denmark named Mariam …”
And then there’s ‘Aa’ishah Al-Ansary, from New Jersey, who converted while still in grade school.
“Someone in my house must have been reading a pamphlet or booklet on Islam, and they accidentally left the information by mistake in my room. I just read it, and it made more sense to me than any other religious lessons I had before. So I went back to school, and I said: `I am a Muslim, and my name is ‘Aa’ishah,’ which I knew was a Muslim name.”
Responding to the stereotype that women revert for the sake of men, she says, “You have to live your life for yourself. In the same way you can only become Muslim for yourself.”
She can recall lots of women who meet men from Muslim cultures, but who are not practicing. Then, the woman gets interested in practicing Islam, and eventually leaves or divorces the man because of his negligence to adhere to the faith.
Also, she says there is nothing less amazing or impressive about those women who do first learn of Islam through their husbands. That is a beautiful way for Allaah to guide someone, she says, by allowing them to make such a remarkable journey with their lifelong companion. “Maybe some women do come to Islam by their husbands, if that is how Allaah chooses. That is certainly not something to be embarrassed about, or something to lessen the credibility of their journey to Islam. Allaah guides us all in different ways.” she said.
 
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Posted by on February 9, 2012 in The message

 

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Are women mentally inferior to men in Islam?

http://en.alukah.net/Thoughts_Knowledge/0/924/

One of the issues that the opponents of Islam launch their attacks through is the issue of woman’s status in Islam. They accuse Islam to be bias against women and that men are superior to them not only physically but also mentally.

One distinct manifestation of the issue is that two women witnesses are equivalent to one man as stated by Allah’s Saying: “And get two witnesses out of your own men. And if there are not two men (available), then a man and two women, such as you agree for witnesses, so that if one of them (two women) errs, the other can remind her” [Surat Al Baqarah: 282].

 And by the Hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him) that was narrated by Abu Sa`id Al Kudry: “On his way to `Eid Prayer Allah’s Prophet passed by a group of women and said: O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women).”They asked, “Why is it so, O Allah’s Prophet?” He replied: “You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone MORE DEFICIENT IN INTELLIGENCE and religion than you. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you.”The women asked: “O Allah’s Prophet! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?”He said: “Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?”They replied in the affirmative. He said: “This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Is not it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?”The women replied in the affirmative. He said: “This is the deficiency in her religion.”

In this article we shall shed some light on this issue taking into consideration the recent scientific discoveries in the fields of neurology and psychology that might help better understand the meaning of the Ayah and the Hadith.

In the Arabic version of the Hadith the term “intelligence” not mentioned but instead the term: (mind = عقل “Aql“) is used which simply means “The mechanism by which the brain responds to an emotional event properly and functions accordingly” and this is tightly relevant to the magnitude of control a person (man or woman) can exert on his or her feelings and sentiment at the time of the event and not related to intelligence, and the more emotional a person is, the less Aql is likely used to face such event.

To illustrate this point, consider the following Hadith of Anas: “The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was at one of his wives’ home when another wife sent him a plate of food. The one that the Prophet was at her home hit the hand of the servant who was carrying the plate. It fell down and broke into pieces. The Prophet smiled and collected the broken pieces and the food and said: “Your mother [His wife] is jealous.”

In this Hadith, the Prophet’s wife, who sets a typical example to Muslim women, could not control her emotions and was motivated at that moment by her feminine instinct of jealousy.

In the foregoing Ayah there is no indication of women’s lack of intelligence. It simply emphasizes, indirectly, that women are subject to stray and be misled by memorization of some issues of certain nature, namely memories that are not of emotional nature or of numerical nature but not all the time, that is why the Glorious Quran used the character “أنAnn = If ” which, linguistically, is a character of “Probability but not Certainty.”

The question is: Why do women usually have this peculiarity but not men?

The answer has been furnished in recent years by the progress of science and development of technology in the field of Neurology as many gender anatomical brain differences have been found between men and women that may shed light on this issue as well as other issues that show, on one hand, that gender physical differences exist between men and women, but on the other hand, such differences make both genders complementary to each other.

In fact women, being more emotional and sentimental ( less Aql or mind they get sometimes ) than man, are a sign of “beauty and professionalism” which makes them fit for their role as daughters, wives, and mothers.

So, Islam does not consider women inferior to men mentally and intellectually but rather it looks at them as “precious creatures” that deserve extreme attention and care by men:

Anas narrated: “The messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was once traveling (in a caravan and women were riding the camels) and a black boy named Anjashah was chanting for the camels. The messenger of Allah said: “O Anjashah, drive the camels slowly as they are carrying “Qawareer = Crystals.”

In this Hadith the messenger (peace be upon him) likened women to exquisite crystals which are unique in beautiful appearance, etching, intricate, and fragility.

Scientific Reasoning:

Sex differences begin in the womb when the testicles of a developing baby boy start churning out the male hormone “testosterone” in substantial quantities which is then transformed by specific enzymes within the brain, bind to brain tissue and begin to transform it.

Between 18 and 26 weeks gestation, the developing brain is permanently transformed.

This means that a neonate has either a male brain (masculinized brain) or a female brain before birth, an assertion that was supported by castration of the male newborn laboratory rats (within 20 minutes of birth by Caesarean section). Despite being castrated, the castrated rat’s brain remained masculinized throughout life.

What does it mean to have a “male brain” or a “female brain ?

To answer this question, sex differences in structure, function, and development must be considered:

A) Structural differences between a man’s brain and a woman’s brain:

1- Total brain size: fig-1

There is a difference in the average brain weight of about 11-12% more in adult man than the average brain weight of a woman.

2- Cerebral Cortex: fig-2

The sheet of neural tissue that is outmost to the cerebrum of the human brain. It is linked to memory, attention, language, and thought.

The brain cells and brain tissue is 4% and 100 gms respectively more in man than in a woman, i.e., man has a greater functional reserve than woman, hence, this may explain why women are more vulnerable to dementia.

3-Cellular connections: fig-3

This is the number of neurons present and studies show that man has more neurons in the cerebral cortex whereas women have a more developed neuropil (the space between cell bodies) which contains synapses, dendrites and axons. These neuropils render better communication among neurons.

4- Corpus collosum: figs-4,6,7,9

Research shows that a woman’s brain contains a larger corpus collosum, which signifies that women can transfer data between the right and left hemisphere faster than men, who tend to be more left brained.

5- Inferior parietal lobule (IPL):fig-5

It is the segment of the brain, which deals with the mathematical abilities. It has been found that the IPL is significantly larger in man than in woman and the left side IPL is larger in man, whereas in woman the right side IPL is larger.

6- Orbitofrontal to amygdala ratio (OAR):

It is the ratio of the size of the orbitofrontal cortex (region involved in regulating emotions) to the size of the amygdala, (region involved in the production of emotional reactions).

Studies have proven that women harbor a substantially larger orbitofrontal-to-amygdala ratio (OAR) than men.

From these findings one can deduce that women might be more capable of controlling their emotional reactions.

7- Limbic size: fig-7

The deep limbic system of a woman is larger than the limbic system of man. The advantages associated with this are that women are more able to express their feelings and are more concurrent with their feelings than men. Another upside is that due to the deeper limbic system women are able to bond better with others. The disadvantage is that women are more prone to depression, especially during the onset of puberty, before menses, or after giving birth and at menopause

8- Symmetry, Gray matter, and White matter: fig-8

Man brain shows more hemispheric asymmetry: The left hemisphere looks different from the right hemisphere. In woman, the two hemispheres are much more alike.

In woman, there is proportionately more grey matter, and less white matter; vice versa for man. Woman has a higher concentration of grey matter in the neocortex (the phylogenetically ‘newer’ part of the cerebral cortex), whereas man has more grey matter in the entorhinal cortex, one of the ‘older’ areas of the brain (Grey matter contains neural cell bodies, in contrast to white matter, which does not and mostly contains myelinated axon tracts and so called due to the white color of myelin which is a waxy material that insulates the axons (nerve fibers) whereby neurons communicate with one another).

In a study by Dr. Haier and some colleagues at the University of California, Irvine showed men to have 6.5 times the amount of gray matter related to general intelligence than women, and women have nearly 10 times the amount of white matter related to intelligence than men. Gray matter represents information processing centers in the brain, and white matter represents the networking of —or connections between— these processing centers. This may help to explain why men tend to excel in tasks requiring more local processing (like mathematics), while women tend to excel at integrating and assimilating information from distributed gray-matter regions in the brain, such as required for language facility.

These two very different neurological pathways and activity centers, however, result in equivalent overall performance on broad measures of cognitive ability, such as those found on intelligence tests.

The study also identified regional differences with intelligence. For example, 84 percent of gray-matter regions and 86 percent of white-matter regions involved with intellectual performance in women were found in the brain’s frontal lobes, compared to 45 percent and zero percent for males, respectively.

The gray matter driving male intellectual performance is distributed throughout the brain

better than men using both of sides of brain in brain activities enables women to be at sensing emotional messages in conversations, gestures, and facial expressions, and are thus more sensitive.

Women start to speak and read at an earlier age than men and are generally better in verbal skills, such as learning a different language.

Men are better in spatial coordination and have a better sense of direction. They excel in math and are great at interpreting three-dimensional objects .

9- Other differences:

a) Hypothalamus: fig-6

A gland that controls a number of basic functions of life is twice as large in “hetero” men as in women and homosexuals.

b) Anterior Commissure: figs-4,7,9

Connects several areas of the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain is larger in

women than men.

c) Massa Intermedia: fig-9

A structure that crosses the third ventricle between the two thalami, is larger in women.

d) Cerebellum and Pons: figs-4,6 .

Cerebellum controls posture and balance and pons, which is connected to the cerebellum, controls consciousness are both larger in men than in women.

B) Functional differences between a man’s brain and a woman’s brain: Language 1-

Utilizing Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Dr. Lurito and his associates found in 2001 that, upon listening to a novel and mapping the brain response in volunteer men and women, men used only the left hemisphere to process language while women used both brain hemispheres to do the same task.

These findings were consistent with the findings of Dr. S. Shaywits and her colleges in 1995 who found that right handed men used the left brain hemisphere when reading whereas women used both brain hemispheres while reading.

These findings may also explain the symmetry of female brains and the asymmetry of male brains.

2- Navigation (Tackle a problem):

It has been confirmed that men and women use different strategies to navigate in a virtual environment. Men use abstract concepts such as directions and distances whereas women use landmarks and concrete things that can be seen or heard.

Neuroscientists have attributed these sex-linked differences in strategies to differences in brain areas used by men and women in navigation task, namely, women use the cerebral cortex while men use the left side of the hippocampus, a neucleus buried inside the brain and activated in men during navigation but not in women.

3- Emotions:

It was discovered that in women brain activity associated with emotions occurs in the “cerebral cortex” but in men it is localized in the “amygdala”, a primitive subcortical area of the brain.

This finding was supported by the results that neuroscientists at Harvard University obtained when examined how emotions are processed in kids aging between 6 and 17 years old using sophisticated MRI. They found that 6-year old kids (males and females) could not express their feeling as the locus of emotions was stuck in the amygdala and not processed to the part that does the ‘talking,’ namely, the cerebral cortex. This was also the case with 17-years-old boys, whereas 17-years-old girls were able to express their feelings indication of linkage between the amygdala and the cerebral cortex (Hence, women are more emotional than men).

4- Thinking:

Psychological studies have shown that women focus on a set of problems at once (a collective perspective) and view the elements of these problems as interconnected and interdependent and women cannot separate their experience from problems, while men tend to focus on one or a limited number of problems and have the ability to separate themselves from experience.

Sex and memory:

Memory is a function of multiple areas of the brain such as hippocampus (fig-7) and prefrontal cortex and divided into sensory, short-term and long-term memory.

Researchers have found evidence that women outperform men in long-term verbal episodic memories (events associated with emotions or tend to be verbal in nature, meaning associated with words, such as weddings and accidents), while men are better than women in short-term visuospatial episodic memories (events usually not associated with emotions) such as images and visual cues.

Memory is affected inversely by age, (hence by estrogen and testosterone hormones levels), emotions, mood, frustration and depression, factors that women are more vulnerable to than men because of their biological nature.

 


In Islam are Women inferior to men? If so, why?

Answered by Mufti Ahmed Desai (Damat Barakatuhum):

Western, liberal and UN-Islamic ideas have distorted your mental vision. What is your conception of inferiority? the Qur’aan says about the Prophets/Ambiyaa (alayhimus salaam):

“These are the messengers. We have given some ranks over (or above) others.”

Even the Ambiyaa are not equal. Rasulullah is superior in rank to Nabi Musaa . In fact he is superior than all the Ambiyaa (alayhimus salaam). Thus, in relation to Rasulullah all the Ambiyaa (alayhimus salaam) are inferior. Hadhrat Jibreel is the highest ranking Angel. In relation to him, Hadhrat Israafeel is inferior. In relation to Qur’aan Shareef, the Hadith is inferior. In relation to the Kab’ah, Masjidun Nabawi is inferior.

In relation to the elder brother, the younger brother is inferior. In relation to a mother, her son, even if he is a great Aalim and a Saint, is inferior. In relation to a elder sister, the younger brother is inferior. In relation to Hadhrat Abu Bakr , Hadhrat Umar and all the Sahaabah and the entire Ummah are inferior. In raltion to the Ustaadh, his students are inferior. In relation to a Shaikh, his mureeds are inferior whether male or female.

In every level of society there are ranks and gradations. The concept of blanket equality is a stupid idea of Kuffaar. The husband has been made the chief of the family by Allah Ta’ala. It is his responsibility to maintain and train his wife and children. He has the highest rank in his home. He is superior to his wife and children even if his sons are the greatest saints and he an ignorant farmer.

Is it an insult to all the Ambiyaa (alayhimus salaam) to say that they are inferior to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)? On the contrary, they all are proud to be the inferior followers of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Similarly is it with all the ‘inferior’ beings cited above as examples. The Qur’aan categorically states:

“For men over them (women) is a rank.”

What problem do you or any Muslim have with this assertion of Allah Ta’ala? the problem is only that westernism and kufr liberalism have imposed on the minds of people that the higher male ranks relegates women to chattlehood. Modernist and deviated Muslims have been made to understand that women in Islam are contemptible; that men are free to abuse and denigrate them. But every Muslim who has even a slight understanding of Islam knows that these western ideas are plain garbage which the enemies of Allah gorge out. Even in Jannat there will be different ranks among all levels of people. When according to Islam even two men are not equal, what is wrong if there is not equality between men and women? But since deceived people have been indoctrinated to believe that ‘inferiority’ means contemptibility, they feel awkward with Islamic teachings.

A woman with her piety can surpass any man in rank by Allah Ta’ala. By Allah Ta’ala, the criterion of superiority is Taqwa. Innumerable women will have higher ranks by Allah Ta’ala than males on account of their Taqwa. Every Mu’min is aware of the lofty rank of Hadhrat Aisha (radhiyallahu anha). She was the Ustaadh of numerous Sahaabah. She was the most beloved Wife of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhis salaam). She will be entering Jannat centuries before numerous male Sahaabah. What idea will you now gain when it is said that she is inferior to her husband. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhis salaam)? Is any contempt implied for her by this claim? We in fact say that contempt for her is Kufr. Thus, gradations in society are the creation and command of Allah Ta’ala. The Khalifah, sultan or king may be a corrupt and immoral man. But, the Shariah commands obedience to him in all his lawful orders. His rank is superior to others here on earth.

In Islam woman is not inferior to man in terms of the concocted meaning ascribed to ‘inferiority’ by the western kuffaar enemies of Islam.

References:

1- The Glorious Qur’an.

2- Sahih Al Bukhari and Muslim.

3- Reuwen Achiron, Shlomo Lipitz, and Anat Achiron: “Sex-related differences in the development of the human fetal corpus callosum: in utero ultrasonographic study”, Prenatal Diagnosis, 2001, 21:116-120.

4- Christine Mack, Robert McGivern, Lynn Hyde, and Victor Denenberg: “Absence of postnatal testosterone fails to demasculinize the male rat’s corpus callosum,” Developmental Brain Research, 1996, 95:252-254.

5- Theodore Rabinowicz et al:”Structure of the Cerebral Cortex in Men and Women”, Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology, 2002, 61 (1):46-57.

6- C. D. Good, I. Johnsrude, et al:”Cerebral asymmetry and the effects of sex and handedness on brain structure: a voxel-based morphometric analysis of 465 normal adult human brains,” Neuroimage, 2001, 14 (3):685-700.

7- Melissa Frederikse et al: “Sex differences in the inferior parietal lobule” Cerebral Cortex, 1999, 9:896-901.

8- L. S. Allen and R. A. Gorski:”Sexual dimorphism of the anterior commissure and massa intermedia of the human brain”, Journal of Comparative Neurology, 1991, 312:97-104.

9- Michael Phillips, Mark Lowe, Joseph T. Lurito, Mario Dzemidzic, and Vincent Matthews “Temporal lobe activation demonstrates sex-based differences during passive listening,” Radiology, 220:202-207, 2001.

10- N. Sandstrom et al:”Males and females use different distal cues in a virtual environment navigation task”, Brain Research: Cognitive Brain Research, 1998, 6:351-360.

11- Arthur Wunderlich et al:”Brain activation during human navigation: gender-different neural networks as substrate of performance”, Nature neuroscience, 2000, 3 (4): 404-408.

12- William Killgore et al:”Sex-specific developmental changes in amygdala responses to affective faces,” NeuroReport, 2001, 12:427-433

13- V. S. Caviness, D. N. Kennedy, et al:”The human brain age 7-11 years: a volumetric analysis based on magnetic resonance differences”, Cerebral Cortex, 1996, 6:726-736


Selected From Alukah.net

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2012 in Sex !

 

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