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Feast & Gathering at deceased’s family in Islaam — January 29, 2012
What makes ‘Happy Birthday’ Happy? — December 27, 2011
Plum Cake + Rum / Brandy = Haram — December 26, 2011

Plum Cake + Rum / Brandy = Haram

Rich fruit Cake or Plum Cake is commonly known as Christmas Cake. In India,Christmas is not believed to  be complete without Plum Cake. Its one of the commonly found in the Indian bakeries. It is a moist,dark brown cake with plenty of nuts and dried fruits in it. Fruits and nuts are soaked in rum or brandy several days ahead for the plum-cake.

So believers please be cautious when you are offered a Plum cake. You might as well just ask the person offering you the Plum cake if there is any brandy or rum added to it. Or if you’re somebody who likes Plum cakes ask your baker to make it without the intoxicants. If you would like to make it at home, here’s a recipe :

Few tips for fruit cake:  
  • Always mix your fruit with the flour so the fruis will be scattered all over instead of sinking in the bottom of the cake. 
  •  Try to preserve the fruits with apple or orange juice for about a week prior to making the cake, as the flavour will be more amalgamated and makes the cake tastes better.
  • Ensure caramel is brown but not burnt (!) as this distinctly determines the flavour of the cake
Ingredients:
1 1/3 cup flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs-separated
½ cup mixed peel
½ cup glace cherries
¾ cup raisins 
¼ cup dates
½ cup almonds
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 cup orange juice
(A pinch of salt if using unsalted butter)
For the caramel

½ cup sugar
1 cup water
( Melt the sugar and water on medium heat until it turns golden brown and concentrates into a 1/2 cup caramel)
Method:
1. Mix all the fruits and almond with the orange juice into an airtight container, and keep this in the fridge for a week prior to baking the cake.
2. Using electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until almost white in colour. Add in the egg yolks followed by the vanilla extract. Put this batter aside.
3. Mix the flour with baking powder and cinnamon. By a week’s time, the fruits would have absorbed all the orange juice but should there be remaining juice, drain the juice off and coat the fruits with flour mix.
4. Pour in the flour-fruit mix alternating with the caramel into the batter until well blended.
5. Beat the egg whites until it forms stiff peak meringue, this will take about 8 minutes with stand electric mixer, or slightly longer with handheld mixer. Add the meringue into the batter using fold in technique.
6. Pour mix into a 23 cm cake pan and bake for 1 hour at 170C or until an inserted wooden skewer comes out clean.
Cool the cake on wire rack and decorate it if you like with royal icing, or marzipan and fondant icing. This can be kept for a month in an airtight container.
Are we really loyal to Jesus Christ (Pbuh) by celebrating Christmas? — December 25, 2011

Are we really loyal to Jesus Christ (Pbuh) by celebrating Christmas?

Christmas official, but not generally observed:

In 325AD, Constantine the Great, the first Christian Roman emperor, introduced Christmas as an immovable feast on 25 December. He also introduced Sunday as a holy day in a new 7-day week, and introduced movable feasts (Easter). In 354AD, Bishop Liberius of Rome officially ordered his members to celebrate the birth of Jesus on 25 December.

However, even though Constantine officiated 25 December as the birthday of Christ,Christians, recognising the date as a pagan festival, did not share in the emperor’s good meaning. Christmas failed to gain universal recognition among Christians until quite recently. In England, Oliver Cromwell banned Christmas festivities between 1649 and 1660 through the so-called Blue Laws, believing that Christmas should be a solemn day.

When many Protestants escaped persecution by fleeing to the colonies all over the world, interest in joyous Christmas celebrations was rekindled there. Still, Christmas was not even a legal holiday until the 1800s. And, keep in mind, there was no Father Christmas (Santa Claus) figure at that time.

Christmas becomes popular:

The popularity of Christmas was spurred on in 1820 by Washington Irving’s book The Keeping of Christmas at Bracebridge Hall. In 1834, Britain’s Queen Victoria brought her German husband, Prince Albert, into Windsor Castle, introducing the tradition of the Christmas tree and carols that were held in Europe to the British Empire. A week before Christmas in 1834, Charles Dickens published A Christmas Carol (in which he wrote that Scrooge required Cratchit to work, and that the US Congress met on Christmas Day). It was so popular that neither the churches nor the governments could not ignore the importance of Christmas celebrations. In 1836, Alabama became the first state in the US to declare Christmas a legal holiday. In 1837, T.H. Hervey’s The Book of Christmas also became a best seller. In 1860, American illustrator Thomas Nast borrowed from the European stories about Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of children, to create Father Christmas (Santa Claus). In 1907, Oklahoma became the last US state to declare Christmas a legal holiday. Year by year, countries all over the world started to recognise Christmas as the day for celebrating the birth of Jesus.

What Did Jesus Say About Christmas?

 The Christmas Experience:
The perfect Christmas tree is bought. Adorned with ornaments and glittering with tinsel, it stands by the window. The stores are crammed with shoppers hunting for presents and the little ones anxiously waiting for Santa.

Busy with Christmas fever, wonder did you ever, did the Bible or Jesus made any injunction on Christmas ever?

Ponder upon the following analysis on Christmas, and the Truth will become clearer and clearer.

Does Christmas have Biblical Evidence?
The word ‘Christmas’ does not exist in the Bible. The Bible has closed lips on the entire feast of Christmas, with one exception, the decoration of a tree. The Bible itself criticizes the decoration of the (Christmas) trees:

“The customs of the people are worthless, they cut a tree out of the forest, and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel, they adore it with silver and gold, they fasten it with hammer and nails so it will not totter” (Jeremiah 10-3,4).

European Pre-Christian pagans superstitiously believed that the green trees had special protective powers. In fact the use of the Christmas tree began only in the 17th century in Strasbourg, France and from there it spread to Germany, Britain and then to the U.S. “Tree worship was a common feature of religion among the Teutonic and Scandinavian peoples of northern Europe before their conversion to Christianity…German settlers brought the Christmas tree custom to the American colonies in the 17th century. By the 19th century its use was quite widespread”. (Compton’s Encyclopedia, 1998 Edition)

Jesus (peace be upon him) not God. HE never claimed Divinity:

Al-Qur’an (chapter 5: verse 72)
John (14:28)
John (10:29)
Mathew (12:28)
Luke (11:20)
John (5:30)
Acts (2:21)

The Bible does not support the Christian belief in trinity at all. One of the scribes once asked Jesus (peace be upon him) as to which was the first commandment of all, to which Jesus (pbuh) merely repeated what Moses (pbuh) had said earlier:

“Shama Israelu Adonai Ila Hayno Adonai Ikhad.”
This is a Hebrew quotation, which means:

“Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord.” [The Bible, Mark 12:29]

Was Jesus born on Dec. 25?
Neither the date 25th Dec. nor any other date on Jesus’ birth is mentioned in the Bible. It was not until the year 530 C.E. that a monk, Dionysus Exigus, fixed the date of Jesus’ birth on Dec. 25th. “He wrongly dated the birth of Christ according to the Roman system (i.e., 754 years after the founding of Rome) as Dec. 25, 753″. (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1998 ed.) This date was chosen in keeping with the holidays already indoctrinated into pagans beliefs.

Roman pagans celebrated Dec. 25th as the birth of their ‘god’ of light, Mithra.

“In the 2nd century A..D., it (Mithraism) was more general in the Roman Empire than Christianity, to which it bore many similarities” (The Concise Columbia Encyclopedia, 1995 ed.)

Other pagan ‘gods’ born on Dec. 25th are: Hercules the son of Zeus (Greeks); Bacchus, ‘god’ of wine (Romans); Adonis, ‘god’ of Greeks, and ‘god’ Freyr of Greek-Roman pagans.

What about Santa Claus?
If aliens descended on earth during the Christmas season, they would undoubtedly believe Christmas as being Santa’s birthday. The words ‘Santa Claus’, appear nowhere in the Bible.
However, Saint Nicholas (Santa Claus) was a real person, a bishop, who was born 300 years after Jesus. According to legend, he was extremely kind and set out at night to bring presents to the needy. After his death on 6th of Dec., school boys in Europe began celebrating a feast day each year.

Queen Victoria later changed the celebration date from Dec. 6th to Dec. 24th eve.

Did Jesus or his Companions Celebrate Christmas?
If Jesus meant his followers to celebrate Christmas, he would have practiced it himself and enjoined it on his followers. There is no mention in the entire Bible that any of his followers ever celebrated Jesus’ birthday like Christians do today.

“The church did not observe a festival for the celebration of the event of Christmas until the 4th century” (Grolier’s Encyclopedia)

Thus we see that neither the Bible nor Jesus and his companions say anything about the celebration of Christmas which currently involves fanfare, commercialization, and extravagant spending, devoid of any spiritual relevance.

Ruling on Christmas & New Year for Muslims:

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah. have mercy on him) said in his commentary on the ayah (interpretation of the meaning), “And those who do not witness falsehood [al-zoor]…” [al-Furqaan 25:72]:As regards the festivals of the mushrikeen: they combine confusion, physical desires and falsehood, there is nothing in them that is of any religious benefit, and the instant gratification involved in them only ends up in pain. Thus they are falsehood, and witnessing them means attending them.This ayah itself praises and commends (those who do not witness falsehood), which has the meaning of urging people to avoid taking part in their festivals and other kinds of falsehood. We understand that it is bad to attend their festivals because they are called al-zoor (falsehood).It indicates that it is haraam to do this for many reasons, because Allah. has called it al-zoor.

Allah knows best.

http://muslimfaith.wordpress.com/2011/12/24/are-we-really-loyal-to-jesus-christ-by-celebrating-christmas/

WHY NO BIRTHDAYS ??? — November 20, 2011

WHY NO BIRTHDAYS ???

On the other hand, Islam has not prescribed any festival for the birthday of any person, however great or significant he may be. The prophets of Allah are the persons of the highest status amongst all human beings. But the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, or his noble companions never observed the birthday or anniversary of any of them. Even the birthday of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, which was the most happy day for the whole mankind was never celebrated by the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, himself, nor by his blessed Companions.

The Companions of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, remained alive after him for about a century, but despite their unparalleled and profound love towards the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, they never celebrated the birthday or the death anniversary of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam. Instead, they devoted their lives for promoting the cause of Islam, for bringing his teachings into practice, for conveying his message to the four corners of the world and for establishing the Islamic order in every walk of life.

Halloween: A Pagan Celebration — October 31, 2011

Halloween: A Pagan Celebration

Halloween is a Western celebration originated by Celtic pagans and traditionally applied to the evening of October 31. It is completely based on rituals involving dead spirits and devil worship. Moreover, it symbolizes the beginning of the ancient Druid new year, who hold that the dead revisit their homes at that time, thus in essence, Halloween represents the devil worshipper’s New Year’s celebration. Mexico, which has a similar celebration at the same time, calls the day, “El Día De Los Defuntos” (The Day of the Dead). Therefore Muslim commemoration of such a day is absolutely haram; as it involves the worst elements of shirk and kufr. Indeed, participation in it is similar to one commemorating Christmas or Easter, or congratulating the Christians upon their prostration to the crucifix. In fact, it is worse than congratulating them for drinking wine, fornication and so on. Muslim parents therefore should advise their children accordingly and not allow them to participate in these celebrations. 

Historically, Halloween precedes the Christian feast of Hallowmas, All Hallows, or All Saints’ Day. The observances connected with Halloween originated among the ancient Druids, who believed that on that evening, Saman, the lord of the dead, called forth hosts of evil spirits. The Druids customarily lit great fires on Halloween, apparently for the purpose of warding off all these spirits. Among the ancient Celts, Halloween was the last evening of the year and was regarded as a propitious time for examining the portents of the future. The Celts also believed that the spirits of the dead revisited their earthly homes on that evening. After the Romans conquered Britain, they added to Halloween, features of the Roman harvest festival held on November 1 in honor of Pomona, goddess of the fruits of trees. 

The Celtic tradition of lighting fires on Halloween survived until modern times in Scotland and Wales, and the concept of ghosts and witches is still common to all Halloween observances. Traces of the Roman harvest festival survive in the custom, prevalent in both the United States and in Great Britain, of playing games involving fruit, such as ducking for apples in a tub of water. Of similar origin is the use of hollowed-out pumpkins carved to resemble grotesque faces and lit by candles placed inside.

How therefore is the Muslim to understand this matter in the light of the shari‘ah? Firstly, the Prophet sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam said in an authentic narration: “Whosoever resembles a people is from them.” This is a general statement prohibiting the Muslims from imitation of the kuffar. Any Muslim, who thereby, participates with the non-Muslims in their celebrations, particularly those which involve clear shirk and kufr— is asking for the wrath of Allah and misguidance to descend upon him like it has descended upon them. Allah ta‘ala says: “And those who do not witness falsehood, and if they pass by some evil play or evil talk, they pass by it with dignity.” [Al-Furqan, 25:72]

According to the major Companions and their students such as Mujaahid, Rabi‘ ibn Anas and Adh-Dhahhak, the word “falsehood” used in above verse refers to “the holidays of the mushrikeen.” Others like Muhammad ibn Sireen are more explicit, stating that the verse defines “the people of shirk practicing their shirk, and (the verse admonishes us) not to participate with them.” Thus the believers are those referred to in the verse as “not witnessing falsehood.” 

At-Tabari explains this aspect, when he says: “It is not allowed for Muslims to attend their [the disbelievers’] holidays and festivals because they are a type of evil and falsehood. If the people of good mix with the people of evil without putting an end to what they are doing, then they become like those who are pleased and influenced by the evil. And we fear falling into Allah’s anger because of their gathering.” The resemblance referred to here includes all the aforementioned ways. At-Tabari further explains the above mentioned verse, (And those who do not witness falsehood), “They do not assist the people of idolatry in their idolatry, nor do they associate with them.”

It was the sunnah of the Prophet sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam to differ from the non-Muslims, particularly in those matters which were specific to non-Muslims. In Sunnan Abi Dawud, Anas ibn Malik says that when the Prophet sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam came to Medinah, there used to be two festivals in which the people engaged in playing sports. So the Prophet asked, “What are these two days?,” they replied, “We used to play sports during these in the jahiliyah (time period before Islam).” The Prophet sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam then said, “Verily Allah has given you two better days, the Day of Adha and the Day of Fitr.” 

This not only shows that the Prophet sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam did not acknowledge these days, but also shows that Allah has dignified the Muslims with days which are pleasing to Him and superior in merit. Indeed, the glorious companions understood this and applied its ruling to the fullest extent. Abdullah ibn ‘Umar said, “One who settles in the lands of the non-Muslims, celebrates their New Year’s Days, and behaves like them until he dies, will be raised with them on the Day of Resurrection.”

I pray that this brief response clarifies this issue about the origin of Halloween and the Islamic position on it. And Allah knows best, and to Him is our return. Ameen.

http://muslimleicester.wordpress.com/2011/10/31/halloween-a-pagan-celebration/

Touching feet respect — August 18, 2011

Touching feet respect

Allah is our witness, there is no better example of one’s love, adoration, reverence, and respect for another human being than the love the noble companions had for the Messenger of Allah (SAW); but never ever did they touch his feet as a sign of their respect.

Respect is not displayed by one’s touching another’s feet; but one’s respect and adoration for an elder should be displayed by saying a kind word of salutation, being absolutely mindful and obedient to their every legal wish, and being absolutely kind, humble, tender, just and merciful with them in all their matters.