Monday, October 31, 2011

Who gets to decide when the world is over-populated?

 So the latest buzz is that the world’s population has reached 7 billion. Some people are really freaking out about this, because for them this means that people are having too many babies. Some countries have limited the amount of children that people can have and others, like me are wondering what the point is of making such a big fuss about a thing which we have no control over.

Although people would like to believe that they have control over the amount of people in the world, the truth is that this is something which has been pre-ordained by Allah Almighty, and no one has the right to try and control this. It is Allah who creates and it is Allah who sustains. Allah created the Earth and thus Allah will put people on Earth accordingly.

 The problem comes in however, when people mess around with things that Allah has already pre-ordained. When we humans decide to change the natural order of things then the problems start arising. You see, in my opinion, there should be enough resources on Earth for all its 7 billion people, and likewise, there should be enough space. But these resources as well as the space is so unequally distributed that more than half the people on Earth are suffering, while a small percentage live lives of extravagance and luxury. Now, if everything had to be equally distributed, then there wouldn’t be the type of problems that we have today, and so-called “overpopulation” would never be a problem.

 Instead of making right what is wrong however, we humans have decided to take action by correcting one wrong with another. So now instead of equally distributing resources, etc, we’ve decided that the solution is for people to have less children because then no one has to part with the precious resources which they have wrongfully claimed as their own.

 So when people have many children it’s regarded as “irresponsible behaviour” and “backwardness”. The ideal family only consists of 2 children, or at most 3. Anything above this is craziness. And through all this modern day thinking, we’ve forgotten what Allah Almighty has already told us.

 In the Glorious Quraan Allah tells us that Allah has already pre-ordained how many children each person will have and whether these children will be girls or boys. Clearly, population of the world is in Allah’s hands and human beings have no right to interfere with this.

 Although people today are very eager to point out the “harms” of having many children, I will tell you from personal experience that big families are healthy in many ways. I’m not saying that there are no issues, life isn’t perfect so there always has to be issues. However, with more siblings people have more support. Alhamdullillah I come from a big family (we are 8 children), and for me this was always a blessing. Not only has my family allowed me to stay grounded, my siblings have been my support structure, my friends and confidantes, and many times my punching bag (not literally of course). We are able to do more together as a bigger unit and this has given us strength. I have learnt so many different things because of the differences in each of my siblings. Most importantly though, I have learnt important human values such as sharing and giving!

 This is not only my experience. I have a close friend who also comes from such a big family and she has related similar experiences to me. I have an aunt who had 13 siblings and I’m always amazed when I see the unity and closeness of that family. There are many such stories, stories which strongly support big families. Yet these stories are never heard, and instead when women reach their fourth child then people already begin to act like there’s something wrong with that and like the woman is so irresponsible for having so many kids.

 Allah Almighty has also said in the Glorious Quraan that we should not fear, because Allah will provide for the children we have. So if Allah provides for all the people that Allah has created then what’s the problem? Really, the way I see it, the problem is not “overpopulation”. The problem is “unequal distribution of resources” which basically amounts to selfishness.

 So there are 7 billion people in the world! Alhamdullillah (All praise is for Allah), Indeed Allah is the Knower of all things and if Allah wills then this will increase, and if Allah wills then this will decrease. It shouldn’t be a problem, because after all it is Allah who Creates and Allah is the ultimate Controller of All Things.

 May Allah Almighty guide us and protect us, inshaa-Allah.
Image from here

Friday, October 28, 2011

Great Women in Islam

Alhamdullillah (All praise is for Allah) I once again have the privilege of writing about an amazing Muslim woman, and honestly, when I read about the lives of these great women, I truly do feel honoured, just to be receiving the knowledge of these perfect role models. This post will briefly focus on the life of an amazing woman, known as both "Mother of the faithful" and "Mother of the poor".

  •   Zaynab (May Allah be pleased with her) embraced Islam early on.
  • She was known as “Mother of the poor” because she always helped the poor and the needy.
  • She married Abdullah ibn Jahsh and migrated with him to Abyssinia.
  • Her life with 'Abdullah was a clear example of love, obedience and self-sacrifice in marital obligations.
  • The personality of her husband, 'Abdullah, had really increased her in status; but this made her more humble and more sincere in her love for Allah and His Messenger (PBUH) .
  • She was never seized by ostentation and arrogance when she married 'Abdullah who was a cousin of Allah's Messenger (PBUH).
  • Her husband Abdullah ibn Jahsh was martyred in the battle of Uhud.
  • The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) knew the pain of separation that Zaynab was suffering from. So he made efforts to console her and he proposed marriage to her. She welcomed the proposal and accepted it. And she entered the household of the Prophet (PBUH) as a mother of the faithful.
  • Eight months after this marriage, Zaynab, the mother of the faithful and the mother of the poor seriously took ill and died.
  • She was the only wife of the Prophet (PBUH) who died in his life after Khadeejah. The Prophet (PBUH) was very sad for her departure. He invoked Allah to forgive her and he always remembered her days in patience.
On her character:
  • Zaynab (May Allah be pleased with her) was very pious. The fragrance of her piety spread with her name.
  • She was also very humble and did not show pride or ostentation.
  • She spent most of her time listening to the tales of hardship among the poor and fulfilling their needs.
  • She was a polite and generous lady.

May Allah Almighty help us to become as generous as Zaynab (May Allah be pleased with her). May we learn to be selfless and giving, like she was. May we become humble and pious and follow in the example of this amazing woman, Inshaa-Allah!

Information sourced from:
1. Muhammad ‘Ali Qutb, (2007). Women Around the Messenger. Riyadh: International Islamic Publishing House.
2. Mothers of the Faithful: The Pure And Spotless. Johannesburg: A Saaberie Chisty Publication:
For more detailed reading- books can be downloaded from:

    Tuesday, October 25, 2011

    The horrible effects of alcohol

     It’s almost holiday season and I’m sure that many people can’t wait for the year to end so that they can go off and enjoy the year-end holidays. I’ve noticed something else that comes with the year-end though; it’s an increase in adverts warning people about abusing alcohol.

    Even though warnings are increased around this time every year, every year the amount of people that die because of alcohol related accidents is enormous. Obviously the warnings do nothing but decorate the numerous billboards and street poles!

    I don’t have to elaborate on the terrible effects of alcohol. We know this all too well- reckless driving is only one of them, there are of course many more!

    The reason that I’ve decided to discuss “Drinking and Driving” is because recently I’ve been personally affected by this, in a very indirect way. About 4 weeks ago my aunt’s sister was going home when she met up in a terrible accident. A friend of hers passed away in this accident and she and the lady who helps her clean her home were very badly injured. She was in a semi-conscious state for about 2 weeks and she suffered many injuries. Alhamdullillah (Praise be to Allah) that she now seems like she is on the way to recovery. What does this have to do with the topic at hand you may be wondering, well, we were told that the driver of the car that drove into this lady was drunk on that night!

    Can you imagine that, a night of drinking and partying caused so much harm! This is only one such case, there are many more, it happens all the time and still alcohol is freely available to anyone, at any time, (at least here in South Africa that is the case), and all that they’re doing to combat this is to put up more warnings. It’s crazy really!

    The more I look at it, the more I can see the wisdom in alcohol being forbidden in Islam. This is really such a horrible thing. People become selfish and ridiculous when they are drunk and what’s worse is that other people’s lives are put in danger!

    Then we have the flipside of alcohol warnings, we have alcohol advertisements. Recently there has been talk in South Africa about banning alcohol advertising, but as yet, nothing has been done about this. Whereas warnings remind people that alcohol is unsafe, adverts show off about the “wonderful” lifestyle alcohol can apparently bring you. These advertisements display a life of luxury, friendship, brotherhood, connection, love- all these things can apparently be achieved through alcohol. Basically what they are saying is that if you want a good life then you should drink alcohol. And although this is the biggest load of nonsense, people believe it, because of the way in which it is portrayed. Honestly, I wonder if the people in charge of these alcohol companies actually have a conscience!

    I think about Islamic history and remember the story of the time  when alcohol was forbidden in Islam. The Sahaabah (Companions of the Prophet (PBUH) -May Allah be pleased with them) were drinking alcohol at the time it was banned, and when they heard the revelation they emptied their bottles immediately without the slightest hesitation whatsoever, and they never went back to it again! SubhanAllah! If only all people of today were so strong. In today’s times people can see the ill effects of alcohol, it’s so obvious and blatant, yet they are not willing to leave it despite this. (Of course this does not apply to all people)

    How people can so happily indulge in something that causes harm to themselves as well as others is beyond me, but Alhamdullillah, I think I should be thankful that this is something I cannot relate to.

    May Allah Almighty keep us away from all things which cause harm and may Allah give guidance to us all, Inshaa-Allah!

    Image from here.

    Wednesday, October 19, 2011

    Lamenting the good old days

     I love listening to my parents tell stories of what things were like when they were young. It always transports me back to a time that I can only imagine; A simple time, when people were free to walk around without worrying about getting robbed, kidnapped, murdered, or raped. A time when children could play in the streets for hours on end and parents didnt have to fear for the safety of their innocent ones; A time when bread, milk and meat were bought on a day-to day basis from the local shop around the corner; A time where neighbours knew one another, and treated each other like family. There were no high walls, barbed wire, electric fencing or high rise apartment buildings for that matter stopping people from knowing each other. It sounds like it was a humane time, where everything was simple and easy. And although people had very little in terms of material wealth, they seem to have had an abundance of things with real value.

    As much as I love hearing my parents speak about those times, I cant help but feel sadness. See, Ive always thought that I actually belonged in those times instead of these times. And I know that we should be grateful for the times we are in because everything has its benefits and downfalls, but seriously, I cant help getting frustrated with the society we live in today. If those times were humane times, then I think these times can be described as mechanical, robotic, technology driven, crazy times.

    The local news attests to this every evening. The headlines here in South Africa read something like this; Teenager kidnapped on her way to school and murdered, Young child killed for muti (traditional medicine), Killers of farmer were reportedly abused continuously,  Teenager forced to have abortion after affair with her school teacher.... It can go on and on, and its the same story every single day, different people, but the exact same story. Its so depressing and really, where is the humanity in this? The world seems to be filled with crazy people. Then there are the stinking rich who waste money on the most ridiculous of things while people suffer all over the world. Everything about these times seems to be upside down.

    Besides all this though, life in general just seems to have gotten extra complicated over the past, like thirty years or something. Whereas in my parents time (and theyre not that old) very few people had cars, now the roads are so full that traffic makes people go crazy and the instances of road rage are on a steady increase, not to mention serious accidents. Then, when people didnt have proper homes in those times, these days many people own huge homes with many additional rooms, yet there is disunity in families and in society. Whereas before things were less convenient, and everything couldnt easily be purchased at a supermarket, now everything is at our fingertips (literally) but people are unhealthy, unhappy and alone. I could go on and on but I think you get my point by now!

    So yeah, thats why when I hear my parents speaking I have a longing, a longing for simple times, a longing for simple people, for simple interactions with others and for a generally simpler life. Alhamdullillah (Praise be to Allah) there are many benefits in our times, but it still somehow seems that those benefits come at a cost, like humanity as a race is regressing instead of progressing.  I dont know what you think, perhaps I am too old fashioned and boring, but listening to my parents speak about their youth always tends to make me feel like I missed out. Maybe one day it will be the same for my children, maybe theyll look back and regard these times as good times, who knows what the future holds for the human race, in the end, Allah The Creator, is the Knower of all things, across al times!

    All that I can do is try to make my life as simple as possible, after all, wasnt simplicity a beautiful part of the Sunnah (way of life) of our Most Beloved Leader, Muhammad (PBUH).
     Image from here

    Tuesday, October 11, 2011

    On time, health and old age

    If you are a regular reader of this blog you would have noticed that I have not posted anything for a while now. Well, what can I say; sometimes life comes in the way of blogging!
    So here’s the thing, I’ve been really busy with work. I’m sure you must be familiar with those extremely busy moments, you know, those sleepless nights, I can’t think of anything else accept all the work I have to do moments.
    Then to top it off I had a few “off days” last week where I wasn’t feeling too well. I think it was a bug or something.
    Also, my grandmother is staying with us again and although she won’t admit it (she must be the youngest 81 year-old around, always wanting to be on the go), my grandmother needs help. Things are not easy for her anymore; in fact, even walking from one room to the next tends to leave her out of breath.
    So I have some very valid reasons for my short disappearance from blogosphere, but I’m not writing about these things to make excuses, and definitely not to complain.
    Alhamdullillah (Praise be to Allah), my work seems to be easing off, and I am able to do other things once again, (as you can see). My health is back to normal and I feel good once more, and I actually enjoy having my grandmother around. But the real reason I’ve mentioned these things is because it reminds me of a very special hadith. Perfect words of wisdom uttered by our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH);
    The Prophet (saw) advised to: “Take benefit of five before five: Your youth before your old age, your health before your sickness, your wealth before your poverty, your free time before you are preoccupied, and your life before your death
    (Narrated by Ibn Abbas and reported by Al Hakim).

    After reading this beautiful hadith, which happens to be one of my favourites, I’m sure the purpose of my post is much clearer. When I am so busy with work, I definitely miss my free time, when I am sick I long for my health. When I don’t have enough money to buy the things I really want, I look back at times when I could get everything I wanted, and I’m sure that like my grandmother, when I am old, I will fondly recall my youthful days and long for times when I could do all the things I wanted to do without getting tired or ending up sick.

    So this makes me wonder, what about taking benefit from my life before my death? Am I doing enough to ensure that my life is beneficial for me so that I don’t have many regrets in the hereafter, or will I look back and wish that I had not taken my life for granted?  Sometimes we all need to self-reflect and ponder about our lives.

    Alhamdullillah that we have been blessed with the best of wisdom and if we follow it, Inshaa-Allah we will be successful. So let us try harder to take benefit from these 5 things, before we don’t have it anymore. Or, in the very least, let us start by taking benefit of just one of these things, and as time progresses we can move on to another.

    May the Almighty Allah ease all of our burden’s and help us to be the best of people, Inshaa-Allah