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Good Character

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Good Character

'...but instead tells himself that he does not mind any of these things...'

This includes suppressing one's anger, and being gentle and humble. Allah Most High has said: Surely, you are of tremendous nature, (The Holy Quran: 68/4)

and: Those who suppress their anger, and forgive other people – assuredly, Allah loves those who do good.(Quran: 3/134)

Bukhari and Muslim relate that Abdullah Ibn Amr (May Allah be pleased with you) said, "The Messenger of Allah (Peace Be Upon Him) was never immoderate or obscene. He used to say, 'Among those who are most beloved to me are those who have the finest character.'"

They also narrate that Hazrat Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her) said, "
Never was the Messenger of Allah (Peace Be Upon Him) given the choice between two things without choosing the easier of them, as long as it entailed no sin. If it did entail sin, he was of all people the most remote from it. Never did he seek revenge for something done against himself; but when the sanctity of Allah was challenged, he would take vengeance for His sake alone."

The meaning of good character is the inclination of the soul towards gentle and praiseworthy acts. This may take place in one’s personal actions for Allah Most High, or in actions which involve other people.

In the former case, the slave of Allah has an open and welcoming heart for His commandments and prohibitions, and does what He has imposed on him happily and easily, and abstains from the things which He has forbidden him with full contentment, and without the least dissatisfaction.

He likes to perform optional good acts, and abstains from many permitted things for the sake of Allah Most High whenever he decides that to abstain in that way would be closer to perfect slavehood to Him. This he does with a contented heart, and without feeling any resentment or hardship.

When he deals with other people, he is tolerant when claiming what is his right, and does not ask for anything which is not; but he discharges all the duties which he has towards others.

When he falls ill or returns from a trip, and no-one visits him, or when he gives a greeting which is not returned, or when he is a guest but is not honored, or intercedes but is not responded to, or does a good turn for which he is not thanked, or joins a group of people who do not make room for him to sit, or speaks and is not listened to, or asks permission of a friend to enter, and is not granted it, or proposes to a woman, and is not allowed to marry her, or ask for more time to repay a debt, but is not given more time, or asks for it to be reduced, but is not permitted this, and all similar cases, he does not grow angry, or seek to punish people, or feel within himself that he has been snubbed, or ignored; neither does he try to retaliate with the same treatment when able to do so, but instead tells himself that he does not mind any of these things, and responds to each one of them with something which is better, and closer to goodness and piety, and is more praiseworthy and pleasing.

He remembers to carry out his duties to others just as he remembers their duties towards himself, so that when one of his Muslim brethren falls ill he visits him, if he is asked to intercede, he does so, if he is asked for a respite in repaying a debt he agrees, and if someone needs assistance he gives it, and if someone asks for favorable terms in a sale, he consents, all without looking to see how the other person had dealt with him in the past, and to find out how other people behave. Instead, he makes "what is better" the imam of his soul, and obeys it completely.

Good character may be something which a man is born with, or it may be acquired. However, it may only be acquired from someone who has it more firmly rooted in his nature than his own. It is well known that a man of sensible opinion can become even more sensible by keeping the company of intelligent and sensible people, and that a learned or a righteous man can learn even more by sitting with other people of learning or righteousness; therefore it cannot be denied that a man of beautiful character may acquire an even more beautiful character by being with people whose characters are superior to his own.

And Allah gives success!

By: Imam Al-Bayhaqi

 

Interview] Secrets of a Productive Muslimah: Na’ima B. Robert

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Become an active member of the ProductiveMuslim community and enrich it with your thoughts. Leave a comment on this article and with it, your presence. We look forward to reading your comments.

 

Productive Muslimah

[Interview] Secrets of a Productive Muslimah: Na'ima B. Roberts - Productive Muslim

At ProductiveMuslimah, we believe the ultimate secret to a successful Muslimah is that she strives with sincere intentions and uses all the resources around her to achieve the highest stations in Paradise. We are always looking for the ‘secrets to productivity’ and wanted to explore how some of the Muslim women today manage time effectively and perform the best in all the roles they hold being a mother, wife, daughter, professional, activist and more! So we decided to get some of the ‘Productive Muslimahs’ of our time in the hot seat to find out their top tips and secrets to become a Productive Muslimah!

We are very excited to be joined in this first part of a series of interviews by Sister Na’ima Robert, a best selling international author, mother of three, public speaker, and Chief Editor for SISTERS Magazine for fabulous women, in our ProductiveMuslimah hot seat so we asked her to tell us her secrets on how she manages to stay productive while juggling her family, her work and her writing!

 

1) We’re very excited to have you share your Secrets as a Productive Muslimah! First, tell us who inspires you to be a Productive Muslimah?

Bismillah

Well, I don’t know about the term ‘Productive Muslimah’; I often feel I am more of an obsessed, driven Muslimah :).

For a long time in my early life as a Muslim, I didn’t do very much outside of the home and my immediate environment. This was due to a combination of factors: women were never really encouraged to get involved in activities that could possibly compete with the demands of the family; I also didn’t see examples around me of other sisters being active or dynamic. When they were, they were often shut down and support was withheld by the wider community. There was a culture of inertia among the sisters, a feeling that, as women, we were somehow incapable of balancing multiple roles and that, really, it didn’t matter what talents we may have, there was no room for us in the public space.

My first champion in those days was my husband: he was the one who encouraged me to shake off that kind of thinking and pushed me to send my picture book manuscripts off to publishers, to try to build a career as a children’s writer. After my first book, ‘The Swirling Hijaab’ was published, I realised that there was a niche in the market and I threw myself into learning all about being a children’s book author, writing manuscripts, query letters and proposals. I started writing more stories and getting more books published, alhamdulillah. I was onto something.

However, it was writing From My Sisters’ Lips that changed everything for me. Along with the publicity when the book was launched came the opportunity to address a much wider audience, to take part in discussion and debate that reached a national audience, to influence the discourse on Muslim women. That was when I was going on BBC Radio, morning TV, writing for The Guardian, trying to share the stories of Muslim women, to counteract the misinformation that was flooding the media.

I began to feel that I was actually doing something significant, something that was touching lives, that could be a force for good, bi’idhnillah. I knew I had to honour the opportunities I was being blessed with so I decided to take to heart something I had heard many years before: Achieve something great for the deen of Allah.

After that intense period, SISTERS Magazine was born, alhamdulillah, not without significant sacrifice and hardship I might add! But we believed it was worth it to have a magazine that Muslim women would be proud to claim, to draw strength, knowledge and inspiration from. Alhamdulillah, 8 years and we’re still here, stronger than ever, with a really fantastic team of editors, writers and lovely readers all over the world.

So, if anything inspires me, it is this: to work for the sake of Allah, for the Muslims, for humanity, to inspire others, to leave a positive legacy and be part of beneficial, blessed work. And that is what I am striving to do, now more than ever.

2) You are a busy Mum, writer and founder of SISTERS Magazine – we don’t know how you manage it all! Where do you find time as a Muslimah to get a balance in all these areas of your life?

I’m going to depart from the accepted script here and say this: balance is the hardest thing to achieve. Often, you’ll get it wrong. Things will slide: it could be the housework, your professional performance, your time with the kids or your husband, or taking care of yourself, or your relationship with Allah. It is the extremely rare individual that manages to keep a balance between all these areas all of the time. That’s why it’s important to go into your projects with your eyes open, with realistic expectations. Super Muslimah exists, but she is the exception, not the rule. The rest of us are simply trying to make sure that our priorities are right, in the dunyah and for our akhirah. Some things are non negotiable. Some things can wait. Some things don’t matter that much in the big scheme of things.

As for me, I know I have chosen a more complicated life than that of a stay-at-home mum whose only concern is for her family and her home. Believe me, I envy her sometimes, masha Allah! But that is not for me. I have made peace with that fact. I have made peace with the fact that I will never be a homeschooler. I have made peace with the fact that I may never be a hafidhah. I have made peace with the fact that my life will constantly be a balancing act, that I will always be juggling. It must be so because I know what is important to me and what I am not prepared to compromise: my deen, my husband and family, and honouring the opportunities that Allah ta’ala has blessed me with. And that means being active, being creative, being a force for change in any way I can, by the grace of Allah ta’ala.

Our predecessors, the women of the Muhajireen and the Ansar, were amazing, strong, dedicated women of faith. I hope to go some way towards honouring their legacy through my work with SISTERS and the other phenomenal Muslim women I have been blessed to work with.

3) You’ve written some wonderful novels with inspiring messages and themes, what advice can you offer our readers or sisters who may be aspiring writers?

Alhamdulillah, there is a wealth of advice on becoming a writer available online. Much of what I learned in terms of technique and industry knowledge came from online sources. So Google it and take some time out to read the blogs, articles and newsletters. They really do give you an excellent grounding in the many aspects of becoming a writer.

My own advice is very simple: Read loads of books, write every day, in lots of different styles, about things you care about. Share your writing with others whose opinions you respect and learn to take constructive criticism without getting upset. And always take a break from anything you write and then come back to it with fresh eyes to edit it – all the best writers edit their own work and make many, many revisions before their manuscript is ready to be sent to an agent or publisher.

Nowadays, there are so many ways to share your work with others: blogs, websites like Productive Muslimah, writing contests, online publications, articles in magazines like SISTERS or Discover, as well as books, either self-published or with a traditional publisher. If you are sincere and have something valuable to say (and I’m sure we all do!), work on finding your ‘voice’ and honing your technique, you will find your readership, insha Allah.

4) What’s your favourite book (or books!) that you would recommend for a Productive Muslimah?

The Qur’an – because it keeps you grounded!

In terms of productivity, I would recommend 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families by Steven Covey & 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey. And I also recommend SISTERS Magazine because I learn something new every single month, alhamdulillah.

And I’m waiting for the Productive Muslimah book to come out now…

5) Finally, what’s the key secret to being a successful ProductiveMuslimah?

A sincere intention – if it’s for less than noble aims, don’t expect the barakah

A clear vision – you need to be able to see what you are trying to do and be constantly refining and redefining your mission and your purpose

A support structure – a supportive husband, friends and family, a good routine for the kids, home help wherever you can get it, alarms, reminder and diaries, good nutrition and sleep, time to relax and recharge and a healthy spiritual life will keep you grounded while helping you reach your potential

A lot of hard work – just don’t expect it to be easy. It is tough but, when you see the fruits of your hard work, masha Allah, there’s nothing like that sense of gratitude and accomplishment.

I pray that Allah ta’ala blesses us with success in this life and the Next, Ameen.

Well thank you to Nai’ma for the wonderful advice and practical tips, there you have it sisters! Let us know your thoughts and comment below, and don’t forget to look out for our next instalment of ‘Secrets of a Productive Muslimah’!


About the Author:

Na’ima B. Robert is author of the Muslimah classic, ‘From my Sisters’ Lips’ and founding editor of SISTERS, the magazine for Muslim women, and DISCOVER, the magazine for curious Muslim kids.
She has written over 10 multicultural children’s books, including ‘The Swirling Hijaab’, ‘Going to Mecca’ and ‘Ramadan Moon’.
Her multicultural novels for teens have won several awards, including a Muslim Writers Award, and include ‘From Somalia, with Love’, ‘Boy vs. Girl’ and ‘Far from Home’. Her new book, ‘She Wore Red Trainers’, is a ‘halal love’ story set in South London. To download the first 4 chapters of Na’ima’s new book, ‘She Wore Red Trainers’, go to www.muslimlovestory.com
For more information, visit www.naimabrobert.co.uk
Link up with her on Facebook, Twitter (@NaimaBRobert) , Instagram and YouTube

 

Jumu'ah Bayans Book Launch - Ash Sheikh Abdul Khaliq

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Assalamu Alaykum,

Book Launch - Jumu'ah Bayans Conducted By Ash Sheikh Abdul Khaliq (Dewabandi)

Collection of Jumu'ah Bayans By Ash Sheikh Abdul Khaliq was Released On the 23rd February 2014 Soon After Asar Prayers At the Postal Headquarters Auditorium, Colombo 10.

On this Occasion the First Volume of Sinhala Translation and the Second Volume in Tamil Was Released.

 

 

   

11 Business Tips for the Muslim Youth

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Productive Muslim

[Productive Youth] 11 Business Tips for the Muslim Youth | Productive MuslimSeeking a lawful earning is our duty as Muslims and utilizing the energy to strive for such a living is a means of worship and a path to blessed monetary rewards. Muslim youth can take some productive steps to learn about business in Islam, invest in great ideas and generate some profit. This article aims to offer such steps, with practical tips on how to achieve them.

Starting out in any business can be very daunting. In the case of youth, your parents may become worried about your financial future. This, in addition to many uncertainties, only serves to increase your limiting beliefs, until you are ready to quit even before you start! When you actually make it to launch period and beyond, you continue to face challenges every day.

 

A productive business is purpose-driven, with goals and outcomes for this world and the hereafter. It is a business that earns you lawful profit, personal fulfillment and adds value to your life as well as that of others. But it is not without its fair share of tests.

“O you who have believed, do not consume one another’s wealth unjustly but only [in lawful] business by mutual consent” [Qur’an: Chapter 4, Verse 29].

Why Engaging in Business is Important

“The truthful, trustworthy merchant is with the Prophets, the truthful, and the martyrs.” [Jami` at-Tirmidhi]

Doing business is important for several reasons, ranging from personal to professional. This is especially true for Muslim youth. Some of these reasons are:

  1. Utilizing knowledge and energy in a productive way
  2. Using money in a productive way
  3. Exploring passion, skills and creative talents in a beneficial way
  4. Benefiting the Ummah (Muslim consumers) with specialized goods and services
  5. Creating jobs for others (within an Islamic environment and in accordance with Islamic principles).
  6. Providing opportunities for halal trading and ethical investment options
  7. As a means of livelihood: earning provisions from halal sources
  8. Opportunity for da’wah in the community by providing excellent prices, products and services
  9. Generating profit to help the growth of the Muslim economy
  10. As a means of worship and a permissible way of life by building a framework governed by the shari’ah

Steps to Doing Business Productively

Although there is no simple success formula for setting up and running a business, you can take productive steps when starting out, and with each step as you progress. With these steps, you can achieve a lot with your business and build a strong connection with Allah sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He).

1. Sincere Intention
Consider your business an act of worship, so every action is done sincerely for Allah’s sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He) sake and according to the shari’ah.

The deeds are considered by the intentions, and a person will get the reward according to his intention…” [Sahih Bukhari & Muslim]

Try it:

Check yourself with these three questions:

  1. Why am I really doing this?
  2. Is it purely for Allah’s sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He) pleasure?
  3. Is it to gain popularity or conform to societal pressures?


2. Perform Salatul Istikhara
Pray for divine guidance. Familiarize yourself with this prayer and utilize it for every business decision you are faced with, no matter how small it may seem.

Try it:

  • Memorize the wording and understand the meaning of the supplication.
  • Consult your trusted others, e.g. mentors and family members, about the options.
  • Put your trust in Allah sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He).


3. Seek Expert Advice (Shura)
Shura is the process of making decisions by consultation and deliberation among those who have an interest in the matter on which a decision is to be taken, or others who can help them to reach such a decision.

“And those…whose affair is [determined by] consultation among themselves[Qur’an: Chapter 42, Verse 38].

Try it:

  • Seek the opinion of knowledgeable people, experts and mentors regarding the knowledge required.
  • Note the different ideas and issues brought forth and perspectives given.
  • Make an informed decision based on ideas offered.


4. Keep Learning
Study the Islamic principles of running a business and then familiarize yourself with the state laws, as well as specific guidelines of the industry you are going into. Invest in your learning and stay updated on new developments. Ignorance is not an excuse!

A time will come when one will not care how one gains one’s money, legally or illegally.” [Sahih Bukhari]

Try it:

  • Register with a library and set up a personal one at home.
  • Subscribe to journals, magazines and expert blogs, such as Islamic investment network.
  • Research and attend reputable business trainings.


5. Consider Your Finances
Whether you have a big or small budget, invest wisely and avoid wastage, debt and interest (riba). The general rule is that all financial arrangements that the contracting parties agree to follow are lawful, as long as they do not include an element of riba.

Rather than adopting the concept of interest, Islamic finance is based on ownership of assets and the sharing of risk, found in these two concepts: Musharakah and mudarabah. The two basic categories of financing are: 1) profit-and-loss-sharing (PLS), also called participatory modes, i.e., musharakah and mudarabah and 2) purchase and hire of goods or assets and services on a fixed-return basis, i.e., murabaha, istisna’a, salam and leasing. This is unlike Western finance, which is largely based on principles of interest, debt and risk transfers.

Allah is Pure and, therefore, accepts only that which is pure…” [Sahih Muslim]

Try it:

  • Seek ways of securing personal or halal loans rather than riba-based loans. Most Islamic loans are partnerships or joint ventures, but are called loans because they accomplish pretty much the same thing conventional loans do.
  • Explore all buying options and search for good deals before hiring people or making purchases.
  • Work on becoming financially sound and seek expert financial advice when you need it.


6. Explore New Ideas and Opportunities
Fuse your passion and interests with your knowledge and existing skills and abilities. Utilise this in providing value in the form of unique products and services to others.

Try it:

  • Use a Mind Map to generate ideas.
  • Ask and listen out for what people around you need and conduct surveys.
  • Be on the lookout for different opportunities.


7. Find Balance
Take care of your body, mind and soul. Find time for your spiritual nourishment, physical well-being, social relations as well as emotional fulfillment.

Try it:

  • Use ProductiveMuslim’s Daily Taskinator to optimize your time daily for different activities.
  • Write out your business vision.
  • Make each action intentional and directed towards your vision and goals.


8. Commit to Excellent Standards
Focus on your character and the great value you can provide through your business by aiming for excellence. Follow diligently in the business steps of the trusted one, al-Amin ?allallahu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). He was known to be honest by everyone, a fact not even the disbelievers could deny, and had a high moral character. In fact, Lady Khadijah Bint Khuwaylid ra?yAllahu 'anha (may Allah be pleased with her) hired him based on his reputation as an honest and reliable person. His excellent qualities were experienced first-hand by her servant, Maysarah, who accompanied him on the trade journey and later recounted the details to his mistress.

Try it:

  • Seek ways to add value, more value, and yet more value to your business.
  • Take account of your general character and strive to work on your weaknesses.
  • Read how the Prophet ?allallahu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) lived his life as a tradesman and Lady Khadijah ra?yAllahu 'anha (may Allah be pleased with her) as a successful business owner.


9. Find Networking Opportunities
From local events such as coffee mornings, to online groups and masterminds such as those found on Facebook and LinkedIn, you can reach out to Muslims with similar values to share ideas and collaborate in meaningful ways.

Try it:

  • Search for a business group or create one.
  • Be an active participant.
  • Connect with peers, experts, mentors and coaches for advice and support.


10. Embrace Failure
Nothing will ever go exactly as planned, so do your best and learn from each mistake. Our world, and especially the business world, is never all about positive experiences; rather it has some glittery aspects and many rusty ones.

Try it:

  • Remember that you are not perfect.
  • Ask yourself: “How can I do better next time and what changes can I make now?”
  • Read about business success stories that started out as failures for inspiration and motivation.


11. Purify Your Wealth
Beyond spending on basic livelihood, you are obliged to pay zakat if applicable to your level of wealth. It purifies your wealth and gives you the opportunity to empower other Muslims. Just as seeking wealth is important, so is giving from your wealth. Doing so frees you from the greed of simply accumulating money for your worldly desires.

Try it:

  • Aim to make your business a life-changing one for your target audience.
  • Give charity, discounts, freebies, scholarships and mentoring opportunities.
  • Be humble and thankful for the opportunity to share your knowledge, skills and services. Say a heartfelt ‘Alhamdulillah‘ each day.

Let’s Call it a Business

There are many examples of Muslim youth engaging in productive businesses of various kinds, from coaching and consulting to catering and retail. Videoblogger and filmographer Ali Ardekani (aka Baba Ali) is just one example of such success stories. His businesses include game development, a Muslim film company and a Muslim matrimonial site.

As a young man or woman, having a business is an opportunity to become a better Muslim because you are tested with upholding sincerity in all of your dealings as well as fulfilling the rights of others. The framework of such a business is governed by Islamic law in a similar way that most parts of your life as a Muslim are. So, as much as using your business to earn lawful wealth and enjoy using that wealth is your right, you must also ensure that you seek success in the hereafter through it. After all, everything is a test: your life, your business and your earnings.

”Your wealth and your children are but a trial, and Allah has with Him a great reward” [Qur'an: Chapter  64, Verse 15].

“Indeed there is a fitnah for every Ummah, and the Fitnah for my Ummah is wealth.” [Tirmidhi]

Do you own a business? Are you in the process of developing one? Do you have a business idea? Regardless of the stage you are at, please share some of your productive business steps and experiences below!


About the Author:

Amina Edota is passionately committed to inspiring other young Muslims find opportunities in their lives — to think better, feel better and live better — and to have a better connection with Allah sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He) through those opportunities. With a background in Science and Education, Amina loves to explore ideas and make things happen. Through work and other interests, she has enjoyed interacting closely with people of all age groups from pre-school to seniors.She has also mentored young people from different backgrounds. Find her at www.YouthlyHub.com for some inspiration on how to embrace the opportunities in your youth.

 

PAFFREL ELECTION MONITORING 2014

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ALL CEYLON YMMA CONFERENCE being a founder member of PAFFREL will take part AT THIS ELECTION TOO,
YMMA will be covering Colombo Central and Colombo North,
"OPEN TO ALL COMMUNITY AND GENDER" all member and CIVIL society interested in taking part in the Monitoring process, CONTACT VP Mr Saleem.
We need Impartial people from independent civil society to come forward and contribute to the rule of law and make sure a FREE AND FAIR ELECTION.
National President
YMMA
Contact # 0777309458 or 0772269059
email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

   

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