Wealth, appearance, children, house, and talents you must be content with your share in these things:
So hold that which I have given you and be of the grateful. (Qur’an 7: 144)
Most Islamic scholars and pious Muslims of the early generations of Islam were poor; needless it is to say, then, that they did not have beautiful houses or nice cars. Yet, despite these disadvantages, they led fruitful lives, and they benefited mankind, not by some miracle, but because they used all that they were given, and spent their time in the correct way. Hence they were blessed in their lives, their time, and their talents.
On the contrary, there are many people who have been bestowed with wealth, children, and all forms of blessings, yet these blessings have been the very reason for their misery and ruin. They deviated from what their inborn instincts were telling them, namely, that material things are not everything. Look at those that have obtained degrees from world-renowned universities, and yet they are paragons of obscurity. Their talents and abilities remain unused. Meanwhile, others who are limited in the scope of their knowledge have managed to make mountains out of what they have been given, benefiting both themselves and society.
If you are a seeker of happiness, be satisfied with the looks Allah has favored you with, with your family situation, with the sound of your voice, with the level of your understanding, and with the amount of your salary. Certain educators go further than this by saying that you should imagine being contented with even less than you actually have now.
Here for you is a list of those who have shone from our Islamic heritage despite each being challenged by various disadvantages:
Ataa ibn Rabah was a world-renowned scholar of his time. He was not only a freed slave and snub-nosed, but he was also paralyzed.
Al-Ahnaf ibn Qays was famous among the Arabs for his singular level of patience. He achieved that fame despite being emaciated, humpbacked, with crooked legs and a fragile frame.
Al-A`mash was among the most famous scholars of hadith in his time. He was a freed slave, he had bad eyesight, and he was poor. His clothes were ripped, his appearance was disheveled, and he lived in straitened circumstances.
In fact, every Prophet was at one time or another shepherd. Dawood (David) was a blacksmith, Zakariah (Zacharia) a carpenter, and Idrees (Enoch) a tailor; and yet they were the best of mankind.
Therefore your value is in your abilities, good deeds, manners, and contributions to society. Do not feel grief, then, over that which has passed you by in life in terms of good looks, wealth, or family; and be content with what Allah has allotted for you.
It is we who portion out between them their livelihood in this world. (Qur’an 43: 32)
Remind yourself of Paradise, which is as wide as are the Heavens and the Earth.
If you are hungry in this world, if you are sad, ill or oppressed, remember the eternal bliss of Paradise. If you do this, then your losses are really profits and the hardships you face are really gifts. The most wise of people are those that work for the Hereafter, because it is better and everlasting. And the most foolish of mankind are those that see this world as their eternal abode – in it reside all of their hopes. You will find such people to be the most grief-stricken of all when faced with calamity. They will be the most affected by worldly loss simply because they see nothing beyond the insignificant lives that they lead. They see and think only of this impermanent life. They wish for nothing to spoil them in their state of felicity. Were they to remove the veil of ignorance from their eyes, they would commune with themselves about the eternal abode – its bliss, pleasures, and castles. They would listen attentively when they are informed through the Qur’an and the Sunnah about its description. Indeed, that is the abode that deserves our attention and merits our striving and our toiling, so that we may achieve the best of it.
Have we reflected at length about the description of the inhabitants of Paradise? Illness does not befall them, grief does not come near them, they die not, they remain young, and their attire remains both perfect and clean. They are in a beautiful home. In Paradise is found that which no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no human mind has imagined. The rider travels under a tree in Paradise for one hundred years and yet he still does not reach its end. The length of a tent in Paradise is sixty miles. Its rivers are constant, its castles are lofty, and its fruits are not only close-by, but are also easily picked.
Therein will be a running spring. Therein will be thrones raised high, and cups set at hand, and cushions set in rows, and rich carpets [all] spread out. (Qur’an 88: 12-16)
The happiness of Paradise will be absolute. So why do we not contemplate this fact?
If Paradise is our final destination and we ask Allah for Paradise – then the hardships of this world are less heavy than they may seem, so let the hearts of the afflicted ones find solace.
You who live in poverty, or are afflicted with calamity, work righteous deeds so that you shall live in Allah’s Paradise. Peace is upon you, because you persevered in patience! Excellent indeed is the. Final hornet (Qur’an 13: 24)
There is no place on Earth as venerated, as central or as holy to as many people as Makkah. By any objective standard, this valley in the Hijaz region of Arabia is the most celebrated place on Earth.
Thousands circle the sacred Kaaba at the centre of the Haram sanctuary 24 hours a day. Millions of homes are adorned with pictures of it and over a billion face it five times a day.
The Kaaba is the epicenter of Mecca.
The cube shaped building is at the heart of the most well-known real estate in the history of mankind; it is shrouded in black and its fair share of mystery.
Here are just a few things that most people may not know about the Kaaba:
10. It has been reconstructed several times
The Kaaba that we see today is not exactly the same Kaaba that was constructed by Prophets Ibrahim and Ismail From time to time, it has needed rebuilding after natural and man-made disasters.
Of course, we all know of the major reconstruction that took place during the life of the Prophet before he became a Prophet . This is the occasion when the Prophet averted major bloodshed by his quick thinking on how to place the Black Stone using a cloth that every tribe could lift up.
Since then, there has been an average of one major reconstruction every few centuries. The last renovation took place in 1996 and was extremely thorough, leading to the replacement of many of the stones and re-strengthening the foundations and a new roof. This is likely to be the last reconstruction for many centuries (inshā’Allāh) as modern techniques mean that the building is more secure and stable than ever before.
9. It used to have two doors … and a window
The original Kaaba used to have a door for entrance and another for exit. For a considerable period of time it also had a window situated to one side. The current Kaaba only has one door and no window.
8. It used to be multi-coloured
We are so used to the Kaaba being covered in the trademark black Kiswah with gold banding that we can’t imagine it being any other colour. However, this tradition seems to have started at the time of the Abbasids (whose household colour was black) and before this the Kaaba was covered in multiple colours including green, red and even white.
7. The keys are in the hands of one family
At the time of the Prophet , each aspect to do with the rites of Hajj was in the hands of different sub-groups of the Quraish. Every one of these would eventually lose control of their guardianship of a particular rite except one. On the conquest of Makkah, the Prophet was given the keys to the Kaaba and instead of keeping it in his own possession; he returned them back to the Osman ibn Talha ® of the Bani Shaiba family. They had been the traditional key keepers of the Kaaba for centuries; and the Prophet confirmed them in that role till the end of time by these words
“Take it, O Bani Talha, eternally up to the Day of Resurrection, and it will not be taken from you unless by an unjust, oppressive tyrant.”
Whether Caliph, Sultan or King – the most powerful men in the world have all had to bow to the words of the Prophet and ask permission from this small Makkan family before they can enter the Kaaba.
6. It used to be open to everyone
Until recently, the Kaaba was opened twice a week for anyone to enter and pray. However, due to the rapid expansion in the number of pilgrims and other factors, the Kaaba is now opened only twice a year for dignitaries and exclusive guests only.
Watch the video attached here to witness the doors of the Kaaba being opened (at 50 seconds) – and the simultaneous gasps of a Million people as they cry out at this auspicious moment.
5. You used to be able to swim around it
One of the problems with having the Kaaba situated at the bottom of a valley is that when it rains – valleys tend to flood. This was not an uncommon occurrence in Makkah and the cause of a lot of trouble before the days of flood control systems and sewage. For days on end the Kaaba would be half submerged in water. Did that stop Muslims from performing the Tawaf? Of course not. As the picture below amply shows – Muslims just started swimming around the Kaaba.
Modern adjustments to the surrounding landscape and flood prevention techniques mean we may never see such sights again. Or will we? Check out this recent video.
4. The inside contains plaques commemorating the rulers who renovated it
For years many have wondered what it looks like inside the Kaaba. Relying on second or third hand accounts from those who were lucky enough to enter just wasn’t satisfying enough. Then one lucky person who went inside took his camera phone in with him and Millions have seen the shaky footage online.
The interior of the Kaaba is now lined with marble and a green cloth covering the upper walls. Fixed into the walls are plaques each commemorating the refurbishment or rebuilding of the House of Allāh by the ruler of the day. Watch the video below of the only place on Earth that you can pray in any direction you want, the House of Allāh, the first place of worship for mankind – the Kaaba.
3. There are two kaabas!
Directly above the Kaaba in heaven is an exact replica. This Kaaba was mentioned in theQurʾān and by the Prophet .
The Messenger of Allāh said narrating about the journey of ‘Isra wal Miraaj
“Then I was shown Al-Bait-al-Ma’mur (i.e. Allāh’s House). I asked Gabriel about it and he said, This is Al Bait-ul-Ma’mur where 70,000 angels perform prayers daily and when they leave they never return to it (but always a fresh batch comes into it daily).”
2. The Black Stone is broken
Ever wondered how the Black Stone came to be in the silver casing that surrounds it?
Some say it was broken by a stone fired by the Umayyad army laying siege to Makkah whilst it was under the control of Abdullah ibn Zubair ®.
However, most agree that it was most damaged in the middle ages by an extreme heretical Ismaili group from Bahrain called the Qarmatians who had declared that the Hajj was an act of superstition. They decided to make their point by killing tens of thousands of hujjaj and dumping their bodies in the well of Zamzam.
As if this act of treachery was not enough, these devils took the Black Stone to the East of Arabia and then Kufa in Iraq where they held it ransom until they were forced to return it by the Abassid Caliph. When they returned it, it was in pieces and the only way to keep them together was by encasing them in a silver casing. Some historians narrate that there are still some missing pieces of the stone floating around.
1. It’s not supposed to be a cube shape
Yes, ladies and gentleman… the most famous cube in the world actually started out shaped as a rectangle.
I’ll give you a moment to pick your jaws off the floor.
Right, where were we?
Oh yeah, the Kaaba was never meant to be a cube. The original dimensions of The House included the semi-circular area known as the Hijr Ismail.
When the Kaaba was rebuilt just a few years before the Prophet received his first revelation, the Quraish agreed to only use income from pure sources to complete the rebuild. That meant no money from gambling, looting, prostitution, interest etc. In the ultimate sign of how deeply mired in wrongdoing the Jahili Quraish were, there was not enough untainted money in this very wealthy trading city to rebuild the Kaaba to its original size and shape!
They settled for a smaller version of the Kaaba and put a mud brick wall (called “Hijr Ismail” although it has no connection to the Prophet Ismail (A) himself) to indicate the original dimensions. Towards the end of his life, the Prophet intended to rebuild the Kaaba on its original foundations but passed away before he could fulfill his wish. Apart from a brief interlude of a few years during the reign of Caliph Abdullah ibn Zubair ®, the Kaaba has remained the same shape that the Prophet saw it in.
The history of the Kaaba is not just an interesting story from our past. The Kaaba is a real and present symbol that connects all Muslims together wherever they may be. It also connects us to our glorious and not-so-glorious past so that we may derive lessons and feel that we are a part of an eternal mission. In a day and age where Muslims are increasingly disconnected from our history,as well as each other, the Kabaa reminds us of our shared heritage and bonds. It is a symbol of unity in an Ummah sorely in need of it.
Open Day Every Sunday 3pm – 5pm For Non-Muslims, All Welcome
The open day provides a great opportunity for everyone to come into the MYF and have a look around at their own leisure. You can also listen to the short lectures in the tour which explain the basics of Islamic faith with the opportunity to ask questions.
The MYF also has a seated rest area where people can sit and chat with each other or chat with members of the Muslim community.
Q & A Session
Most importantly, the open day provides an opportunity to mix and chat with the Muslim community and get an insight into their lives and beliefs. Its an opportunity for us all to forge bonds of friendship and respect within the many different communities within Manchester.
This is an open invitation so please pass on to all your friends, family and colleagues.
Free Admission All Are Most Welcome
Our Doors Are Open Is Your Heart?
An intelligent and skillful person transforms losses into profits; whereas, the unskilled person aggravates his own predicament, often making two disasters out of one.
The Prophet (pbuh) was compelled to leave Makkah, but rather than quit his mission, he continued it in Madeenah — the city that took its place in history with lightning speed.
Imam Abmad ibn Hanbal was severely tortured and flogged, and yet he emerged triumphant from that ordeal, becoming the Imam of the Sunnah. Imam Ibn Taymiyah was put into prison; he later came out an even more accomplished scholar than he was before. Imam As-Sarakhsi was held as a prisoner, kept at the bottom of an unused well; he managed therein to produce twenty volumes on Islamic jurisprudence. Ibn Atheer became crippled, after which he wrote Jam `ey al-Usool and An-Nihayah, two of the most famous books in the Science of Hadith. Imam Ibn al-Jawzi was banished from Baghdad. Then, through his travels, he became proficient in the seven recitations of the Qur’an. Maalik ibn ar-Rayb was on his deathbed when he recited his most famous and beautiful poem, which is appreciated until this day. When Abi Dhu’aib al-Hadhali’s children died before him, he eulogized them with a poem that the world listened to and admired.
Therefore, if you are afflicted with a misfortune, look on the bright side. If someone were to hand you a glass full of squeezed lemons, add to it a handful of sugar. And if someone gives you a snake as a gift, keep its precious skin and leave the rest.
And it may be that you dislike a thing that is good for you…
(Qur ‘an 2: 216)
Before its violent revolution, France imprisoned two brilliant poets: one an optimist, the other a pessimist. They both squeezed their heads through the bars of their cell windows. The optimist then stared at the stars and laughed, while the pessimist looked at the dirt of a neighboring road and wept. Look at the other side of a tragedy – a circumstance of pure evil does not exist, and in all situations one can find goodness and profit and reward from Allah.
Is not He [better than your gods] Who responds to the distressed one, when he calls Him… (Qur’an 27: 62)
From Whom do the weak and the oppressed seek victory? Who does everyone beseech? He is Allah. None has the right to be worshipped except Him.
Therefore it is most advisable for you and I to invoke Him during times of both hardship and ease, to seek shelter with Him in difficult times, and to plead at His doorstep with tears of repentance; then will His help and relief quickly arrive.
(Is not He [better than your gods] Who responds to the distressed one, when he calls Him… (Qur’an 27: 62)
He saves the one who is drowning, gives victory to the oppressed, guides the misguided, cures the sick, and provides relief to the afflicted.
And when they embark on a ship, they invoke Allah, making their Faith pure for Him only… (Qur ‘an 29: 65)
As for the various supplications one makes to remove hardship, I refer you to the books of the Sunnah. In them, you will learn prophetic supplications with which you can call to Allah, supplicate to Him, and seek His aid. If you have found Him, then you have found everything. And if you lose your faith in Him, then you have lost everything. By supplicating to Him you are performing one of the highest forms of worship. If you are persistent and sincere in your supplication, you will achieve freedom from worry and anxiety. All ropes are cut loose save His, and all doors are shut save His. He is near; He hears all and answers those who supplicate to Him.
If you are living through affliction and pain, remember Allah, call out His name, and ask Him for help. Place your forehead on the ground and mention His praises, so that you can obtain true freedom. Raise your hands in supplication, and ask of Him constantly. Cling to His door, have good thoughts about Him, and wait for His help – you will then find true happiness and success.
By brooding over the past and its tragedies, one exhibits a form of insanity – a kind of sickness that destroys resolve to live for the present moment. Those who have a firm purpose have filed away and forgotten occurrences of the past, which will never again see light, since they occupy such a dark place in the recesses of the mind.
Episodes of the past are finished with; sadness cannot retrieve them, melancholy cannot make things right, and depression will never bring the past back to life. This is because the past is non-existent.
Do not live in the nightmares of former times or under the shade of what you have missed. Save yourself from the ghostly apparition of the past. Do you think that you can return the sun to its place of rising, the baby to its mother’s womb, milk to the udder, or tears to the eye? By constantly dwelling on the past and its happenings, you place yourself in a very frightful and tragic state of mind.
Reading too much into the past is a waste of the present. When Allah mentioned the affairs of the previous nations, He, the Exalted, said:
That was a nation who has passed away. (Qur’an 2. 134)
Former days are gone and done with, and you benefit nothing by carrying out an autopsy over them, by turning back the wheels of history.
The person who lives in the past is like someone who tries to saw sawdust. Of old, they used to say: “Do not remove the dead from their graves.”
Our tragedy is that we are incapable of dealing with the present: neglecting our beautiful castles, we wail over dilapidated buildings. If every man and every jinn were to try jointly to bring back the past, they would most certainly fail. Everything on earth marches forward, preparing for a new season and so should you.