Saturday, May 27, 2006

Quake rocks Indonesia

YOGYAKARTA (Reuters) - An earthquake that shook the area around Indonesia's ancient royal city of Yogyakarta early on Saturday killed at least 1,325 people, a government official said.

Kinta, an official from Social Ministry, told Elshinta news radio that the figure did not include people still buried or trapped under rubble of collapsed buildings.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Summer Fashion

Saturday, May 13, 2006

D-8 summit opens in Bali

NUSA DUA: A summit of eight large Muslim countries opened on Saturday on Indonesia's resort island of Bali with calls by Indonesian and Iranian leaders for unity and greater cooperation. Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono urged the members of the Developing 8 (D-8) to address the global oil crisis by working together to develop alternative energy sources, intensify cooperation to combat pandemics and promote dialogue among civilisations.
"We must be able to embrace modernity by becoming forward looking, by becoming knowledge-driven, by advancing a culture of excellence," Yudhoyono said in his speech opening the summit.

Yudhoyono said the D-8 nations wanted to achieve progress "through peace not war, dialogue not confrontation, cooperation not exploitation, justice not double standards, equality not discrimination, democracy not oppression."

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, handing over the grouping's chairmanship to Yudhoyono, urged D-8 member states to work together for the welfare of the Islamic world and the entire world community.

"We are all members of the Muslim ummah (community) and the human society as a whole and thus have shared interests and concerns," he said.

Greater cooperation "will bring about greater strength, dignity and progress to the Muslim ummah... which can be used in the service of international peace and security and also the welfare of the entire international community," he said.

"We can offer a good model of cooperation and understanding based on justice to the world," he said. "In this context the Islamic Republic of Iran feels obliged to mobilise all its means and possibilities to further strengthen D-8."

Paki Fashion

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Question - I am wondering if you will be able to give me some advice on a problem of mine. I live in the United States and I have many friends that are Christians. Some of these friends are male. Recently, my feelings for a male friend have grown deeper. I feel I am falling in love with him. It is at the point where I want to marry him, since he also has feelings for me. However, I do not want to commit anything that is against Islam. Why is it okay for men to marry Christian women yet Muslim women not to marry Christian men? That is what my parents have told me. I don’t know what to do. Can you please give me some assistance? (Neena)

Answer - You should not have taken Muslim or non-Muslim males as your friends. The Qur’an and Sunnah have given us rules about relations between men and women. There are two types of people: Mahram and non-Mahram. Mahram are those relatives between whom marriage is not allowed. Non-Mahram are those among whom marriage is permissible. (See Al-Nisa’ 4:23) Muslim men and women can socialize among the Mahrams, but not among the non-Mahrams. When men and women are in the presence of non-Mahrams then they must lower their gaze (Al-Noor 24:30-31), talk to them in a formal manner (al-Ahzab 33:32). Hence it is clear that Islam does not allow Muslims to have friends from the opposite gender. Males should not have female friends and females should not have male friends. Non-Mahram males and females may talk to each other, but should not socialize or go out in parties. A single male and female should never be together in a place where they are all alone, isolated without the access of any one else. Islam has given these rules to save the men and women from committing sin or getting involved in situations where they might commit sin.

As far as the interfaith marriages are concerned, Islam does not encourage them. The general rule of Islam is that Muslims should marry Muslims. A Muslim male or female should not marry a non-Muslim male or female. (al-Baqarah 2:221). The only exception is given to Muslim men who are allowed to marry the girls from among the People of the Book (al-Ma’idah 5:5), but Muslim women are not given this permission. So it is Haram (forbidden) for a Muslim woman to marry a non-Muslim man. This is the law of Allah and a Muslim when he or she learns about a law of Allah and His Messenger should only say, “I hear and I obey.”

For the satisfaction of your heart, let me explain why Muslim men are allowed to marry women from among the People of the Book and why Muslim women are not allowed to do so. First of all, it is not an honor or a privilege to marry a non-Muslim. It is a burden and a big responsibility. It is better to abstain from such marriages. Muslim men who are living in non-Muslim countries in particular should not marry non-Muslim women. However, man being the head of his household is more capable to handle the needs and problems of his non-Muslim (Christian or Jewish) wife. Muslims believe that Moses and Jesus were prophets of Allah and so they give them full honor and respect. Jews and Christians do not consider Prophet Muhammad as the prophet of Allah. Thus they are unable to give the same respect and honor to him and to his followers. A Jewish or Christian woman with a Muslim husband will be in a much better position than a Muslim woman with a Jewish or Christian husband will. Even then, there are many non-Muslim women who married outside their faith say that they wish their religion too had forbidden them, because they know how difficult and hard it is to be the wife of a husband who has a different faith.

A Muslim woman should know that Allah has really honored her and made it easy for her by not allowing her to marry a non-Muslim man. According to the Qur’an, the husband is the head of his household, his wife should obey him. Allah does not to put the Muslim woman in a position that a non-Muslim become her head in her own private life. Allah has spared her from being under the authority of a non-Muslim husband.

Please abandon the idea of marrying a non-Muslim, unless he truly accepts Islam. If you marry a non-Muslim, this will be a major sin. You will be living in sin and your relationship with that non-Muslim will be illegitimate in the eyes of Allah. May Allah protect you from all sins.

Interfaith Marriages

Muslim men and women are told to seek faithful spouses with a strong, good belief, and not allow non-Muslim standards of selection influence them. Muslim men can marry only Muslim, Christian, or Jewish chaste women, while Muslim women can marry only chaste Muslim men.

Allah (s.w.t.) said: {{This day are (all) good things made lawful for you. The food of those who have received the Scripture is lawful for you, and your food is lawful for them. And so are the virtuous women of the believers and the virtuous women of those who have received the Scripture before you (lawful for you) when you give them their marriage portions and live with them in honor, not in fornication, nor taking them as secret concubines. Whoso denies the faith, his work is vain and he will be among the losers in the Hereafter.}} [Al-Qur'an: Al-Ma'idah (5:5)].

A Muslim man is discouraged from marrying a non-Muslim woman if there is no Islamic State or if he is not living in an existing Islamic state, since the non-Islamic states do not recognize his rights as head of the family to raise the children Islamically. On the contrary, the children will most likely be brought up in their mother's religion, since the Muslim husband does not have his Islamic rights in his non-Muslim wife's country.

There are many tragic examples of Muslim men who tried to take their children to their Muslim countries after they divorced non-Muslim wives. The women in many of these cases succeeded in bringing the children back to be raised in the non-Islamic societies as non-Muslims. The fathers are referred to as kidnappers (of their own children) in the non-Islamic media. Unfortunately, even the governments in Muslim countries these days help the non-Muslim wives to get custody of the children. This is due to the absence of an Islamic state which would protect Muslim children from being kidnapped by non-Muslim wives to be raised as non-Muslims.

Muslim men should consider these issues before they marry non-Muslim women, especially when the man is strongly influenced by her physical appearance. A Muslim man should look to the future and consider his duties toward his children. The cases mentioned show clearly the damage that can be done to children in interfaith marriages, and while a personal sin may be easy to forget and repent from, one may never overcome the problems that arise because his children were raised as non-Muslims as a result of his negligence concerning providing the right spouse and community for them. Children have the right to be brought up in an Islamic environment by good Muslim parents.

The benefits of marrying a non-Muslim woman are minimal when both live in a non-Islamic state. The woman and her relatives would not see how Muslims live as a community, nor would they have close contact with family, should the Muslim man decide to marry her and live outside the Islamic State. Marrying a chaste Christian or Jewish woman in a non-Islamic state should be considered as a last resort and as the only alternative to keep him from falling into adultery. Men, however, should be aware of the fact that most women in non-Islamic societies do not qualify as chaste women in Islam, (i.e. abstention from unlawful sexual activities). Some Muslim men ignore these conditions and ignore the commands of Allah when they are misled and fooled by a smile from a non-Muslim woman.

Abdullah Ibn `Abbas, a famous companion of the Prophet (s.a.w.) and a famous scholar, said that Muslim men should not marry Christian or Jewish women from people who are enemies of Islam.

Dr. Yusuf Al-Qaradhawi, a contemporary Muslim scholar, said that the Christian or Jewish women can be married only if the four conditions summarized below are satisfied:

She must be Kitabiyyah, i.e. Christian or Jewish by faith, and not by virtue of birth into a Christian or Jewish family. Many women who live in Christian or Jewish societies today are atheists, Buddhists or Bahai's. These women are prohibited for Muslim men. A woman who commits apostasy, by becoming a non-Muslim after being a Muslim, would not be allowed to marry a Muslim man, since apostasy is much worse than unbelief.

She must be Muhsanah, which means chaste and virtuous. Women who are involved in illicit relationships with men are prohibited for Muslim men. Most non-Muslim women these days do not qualify as Muhsanat (chaste and virtuous women who abstain from sexual activities outside marriage), and Muslim men should fear Allah and keep this condition in mind.

The woman should not be from people who are fighting Islam or are helping others to fight Islam. Since Israel is at war with Islam, all Jews around the world are helping Israel, Muslim men should not marry Jewish women is she is from people who help Israel.

There should be no threat or possible harm from marrying her. For example, if a man's children would not be raised as Muslims, he should not marry her. If the courts in a non-Islamic society would give the children to her in the case of divorce, then he cannot marry her, unless she agrees that he would have the children in the case of divorce.

Dr. Yusuf Al-Qaradhawi also said that Muslim men may not marry Christian or Jewish women if the Muslim community is a small minority in a huge non-Muslim society, and such marriages would make it impossible for Muslim women to find Muslim men to marry. This is classified under "limiting the allowed" in the Islamic jurisprudence. Dr. Yusuf Al-Qaradhawi used the example that if all people grew cotton instead of wheat, the government would have the right to stop them from doing so, since wheat is a necessary food ingredient, even though growing cotton is allowed in normal cases.

Non-Muslim women who repent and accept Islam are treated as any other Muslim if their acceptance of Islam is sincere and not merely for the purpose of marrying Muslim men. Islam forgives all that was before it. Some people, however, accept Islam by name only to marry a Muslim, without showing the least change in their lifestyles to prove that they are following Islam. One should not marry from such people.

There are many Muslim girls of a marriageable age who are living in non-Islamic countries, and it is the duty of the Muslim men to protect these girls from marrying non-Muslim men, which is absolutely prohibited in Islam. If Muslim men loosely practice their right to marry Christian or Jewish women, the Muslims girls in non-Islamic societies will be forced into unwanted circumstances and Muslim men will be at least partially responsible and will get their share of the punishment from Allah.

In considering marriage to a non-Muslim woman a man should remember that marriage is more than the private marital relationship. A good Muslim woman would provide her husband with total security, comfort, trust, tranquility, and happiness, and would raise the children as good Muslims. A man would not have to see his children taken to a church every Sunday without being able to prevent it or live with the concern that his wife would teach his children un-Islamic traditions. It is much easier to trust a Muslim woman than to trust a non-Muslim woman who does not fear Allah, and know that He is watching her all the time. And certainly a woman who does not fear Allah, who sees and knows everything, will not fear or obey her husband who is only home in the evenings.

Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) said: {A woman is chosen as a wife for her wealth, beauty, family, and faith. Win the one that has the faith or you would ruin your life.} (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).

The following verses from the Qur'an beautifully give us the guidelines for selecting the right spouse: Allah (s.w.t.) said: {{Do not marry Mushrik women (idolatresses) until they believe; a slave woman who believes is better than a free woman who does not believe, even though (the idolatress) woman may appear very attractive to you. (Likewise) Do not marry (your girls) to Mushrik men (idolaters) until they believe; a slave man who believes is better than an unbeliever, even though he (the Mushrik) may attract you. These Mushriks invite you to the fire, but Allah, by His Grace, invites you to His Jannah (Heaven), and forgives by His leave, and (Allah) makes clear His messages to people so that they might bear them into mind.}} [Al-Qur'an: Al-Baqarah (2:221)]

Friday, May 05, 2006

Segway Polo