32 Ways of Honoring Your Parents


Source: How Do We Raise Our Children and What is Obligatory on the Parents and Children – By Muhammad bin Jameel Zeno, pg. 30-31

  1. Address your parents with proper etiquette and do not say to them uff [expression of annoyance] nor rebuke them. And speak to them with good words.
  2. Obey your parents always unless it is something sinful, in which case, do not obey them because obedience to the Creator takes preference over obedience to the parents.
  3. Be kind to your parents and do not frown at them nor stare at them with anger.
  4. Preserve their reputation, honor, and wealth and do not take anything from it without their permission.
  5. Do acts to make things easy for them even when they don’t tell you to, for example, helping them [with things], buying supplies for them, etc.
  6. Seek advice from them in all of your affairs and apologize when you have to disagree with them.
  7. [When they call out to you], quickly answer their calls with smiling faces.
  8. Honor your parents’ friends and family members in their lifetime and after they’ve died.
  9. Do not argue with them and when they do something wrong, clarify the right thing to them with good manners.
  10. Do not keep insisting [things] on them nor raise your voice at them. Listen to their speech and behave properly with them. Also, do not bother one of your siblings out of honor for your parents [because it would annoy them].
  11. Stand up for them when they enter [into the room] and kiss their forehead.
  12. Help your mother in the house and do not delay assisting your father with his work.
  13. Do not travel if they do not give their permission even if it is for something important. But if you must go, then apologize to them [before leaving]. Also, do not cut off writing to them.
  14. Do not enter into their room without their permission especially during times of sleeping and resting.
  15. If you are afflicted with smoking, then do not do so in front of them.
  16. Do not eat food before them and honor them in food and drink.
  17. Do not lie to them and do not blame them when they do something you don’t like.
  18. Do not prefer your wife or kids over them, rather, seek to please them before anyone else because the “pleasure of Allah is in the pleasure of parents and the anger of Allah is in the anger of parents.”
  19. Do not sit in a place higher than them [ex: you sitting in a chair while they are seated on the floor] nor stretch out your feet in their presence out of arrogance.
  20. Do not arrogantly attribute the relationship to your father [ex: I belong to such and such family; my father is so and so high official, etc.] and be warned from denying them goodness or hurting them with even one word.
  21. Do not be stingy in spending on them until they complain to you [for their lack of resources] because this is a shame on you and you will see that from your children [as well]. The one who condemns will be similarly condemned.
  22. Often visit your parents and present them with gifts. Thank them for raising you and tiring themselves for you. Just think about your own children and how much you endure for them.
  23. The person most deserving of your honor is your mother then your father and remember that paradise is under the mother’s feet [based on a hadith which means serving your mother is a means to entering paradise].
  24. Beware of being ungrateful to your parents and their anger because it will bring unhappiness in this life and the afterlife. Your children will treat you like you treat your parents.
  25. If you request something from your parents, then be kind to them and thank them for having given it to you. If they refuse to give you what you requested, then excuse them. Do not constantly ask them for things because it could bother them.
  26. When you are able to earn a living, then work and help your parents.
  27. Your parents and wife have a right on you so fulfill their rights and try to reconcile between them when they disagree.
  28. If your parents argue with your wife [over a disagreement], then be wise and try to make your wife understand that you are on her side if she is right and that [at the same time] you are compelled to please your parents.
  29. If you disagree with your parents with regards to marriage or some other path in life, then seek judgement through Islamic law because it is the best aid for you.
  30. Supplication of the parents is answered, whether good or bad, so beware of their supplication against you.
  31. Have good manners with the people because whoever cursed the people, they will curse him in return [ex: you curse someone’s parents so they in turn curse your parents].
  32. Visit your parents in their lifetime and after their death [at their graves] and give charity on their behalf and often supplicate to Allah for them saying: “My Lord forgive my parents”, “My Lord, have mercy on them both as they brought me up when I was small”, etc.

Was ‘Tahneek’ Specific to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)?


Source: هل تحنيك الصبي خاص بالنبي صلى الله عليه وسلم؟

[Translator’s NoteTahneek is the practice of rubbing a piece of softened date on the roof of the mouth of a newborn. It is a noble practice from Islam with which the newborn is greeted upon entering into the first moments of this life, before any other type of food enters his/her stomach.]

Aisha reported that newborn infants used to be brought to Allah’s Messenger (pbuh). He would bless them and rub their palates with dates [tahneek] (Bukhari and Muslim).

In general, the people of knowledge recommend doing tahneek after a child is given birth. Imam Nawawi even narrated a consensus over it. However, some of the people of knowledge viewed the practice as something specific to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

Shaykh Al-Uthyameen said in Fatawa Noor ‘alaa Al-Darb (6/228):

“Tahneek is the first thing that a child tastes after birth but is the practice legislated for anyone other than the Prophet (pbuh)? There is a difference of opinion over it.

There are those scholars who say that tahneek was something specific to the Messenger (pbuh) due to the blessing in his saliva and to make it the first thing that enters into the child’s stomach mixed with a date, therefore, this is not legislated for anyone other than him.

There are also those scholars who say that it is allowed for anyone and not just the Prophet (pbuh) because the purpose is to have the child’s first taste be that of dates. In other words, whoever does tahneek after a child’s birth, then there is no harm and whoever didn’t do it, then that is ok as well.”

This practice not being specific to the Prophet (pbuh) is what is generally followed by the scholars. The practice is reported from among the salaf [early generations]. There is evidence to show that the practice was well known among the companions of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Imam Ahmad reported in his Musnad from Anas (11617):

“Umm Sulaim gave birth a to a boy one night. She disliked to do tahneek on him until the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) had done so. So I carried him early morning with ajwah dates [to the Prophet (pbuh)] and found the Prophet (pbuh) rubbing tar on his camels or marking them. So I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, Umm Sulaim gave birth last night and she dislikes to do tahneek until you have done so.’ So he replied, ‘Do you have something with you?’ I said, ‘I have ajwah dates.’ So he took some of them and chewed them and then he gathered his saliva and poured it in the child’s mouth. Then the child began to lick it. Thereupon, the Prophet (pbuh) said, “Love of the Ansar is dates.”

Anas’s statement in the hadith, ” She disliked to do tahneek on him until the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) had done so”, shows that the practice of tahneek was well known to them.

Ibn Kathir said in Al-Bidayah wa Al-Nihayah (9/303):

“Al-Hasan Al-Basri was born during the caliphate of Umar bin Al-Khattab. He was brought to Umar and he supplicated for him and did tahneek on him.”

It states in Tuhfah Al-Mawdud (p. 33):

“Muhammad bin Ali narrates from the mother of Ahmad bin Hanbal’s child, ‘When I gave birth, Ahmad said, ‘Bring me those dates.’ Then I said to Ali’s mother, chew these dates and do tahneek on him. So she did so.'”

People of Knowledge recommend that if someone cannot find dried dates, then he should use ripe dates, otherwise, anything that is sweet.

Imam Nawawi said in Sharh Sahih Muslim (14/122-123):

“The scholars have agreed on the recommendation of doing tahneek on a newborn with dates. If this is not possible, then whatever is closest to it in sweetness and meaning. The one who does the tahneek chews the dates until they become liquid [enough] to be swallowed [by the child]. Then he opens the child’s mouth and places the liquid in it so that it enters into the child’s abdomen.”

Some Intresting Facts About Islam in the United States


Following are details about Islam in America which I found very interesting in the Wikipedia article Islam in the United States. The sources for the facts are given in the original article on Wikipedia. I’ve only hand picked certain facts which I found intriguing. Some of the facts are from other articles linked from this original piece. I haven’t really found anything which seems way too out there but if someone does, then please let me know in the comments section below and I will be more than happy to remove it. Please let me know the source as well.

  • It is the third largest religion in the United States after Christianity and Judaism.
  • According to a new estimate in 2016, there are 3.3 million Muslims living in the United States, about 1% of the total U.S. population
  • Muslims are one of the most racially diverse religious groups in the United States.
  • Native-born American Muslims are mainly African Americans who make up about a quarter of the total Muslim population.
  • One of the earliest accounts of Islam’s presence in North America dates to 1528, when a Moroccan slave, called Estevanico by his Spanish masters, was shipwrecked near present-day Galveston, Texas. He and four survivors subsequently traveled through much of the American southwest and the Mexican interior before reaching Mexico City.
  • One of the first documented Muslims in North America was Anthony Janszoon van Salee (1607–1676), a landholder and merchant of mixed Dutch-Moor descent who settled in New Netherlands (modern New York) in the 17th century. His father, Jan Janszoon van Haarlem, was a convert to Islam and tried very hard to convert his fellow Europeans who were Christian to become Muslim and was a very passionate Muslim missionary. Anthony had four daughters and one of them was named Sara, who married John Emans. They are fifth great-grandparents of Warren G. Harding, the 29th President of the United States, serving from March 4, 1921, until his death. Anthony’s notable descendants include the Vanderbilt dynasty as well, who were once the wealthiest family in America. Cornelius Vanderbilt was the richest American in history until his death in 1877. After that, his son William acquired his father’s fortune, and was the richest American until his death in 1885. The Vanderbilts’ prominence lasted until the mid-20th century. Branches of the family are found on the United States East Coast. Contemporary descendants include fashion designer Gloria Vanderbilt, her youngest son, journalist Anderson Cooper, musician John P. Hammond, screenwriter James Vanderbilt and actor Timothy Olyphant.
  • Records from the American Revolutionary War indicate that at least a few Muslims fought on the American side. Among the recorded names of American soldiers are “Yusuf ben Ali” and “Bampett Muhamed”.
  • Historians estimate that between 15 and 30 percent of all enslaved African men and less than 15 percent of the enslaved African women were Muslims. These enslaved Muslims stood out from their compatriots because of their “resistance, determination and education”. Some newly arrived Muslim slaves assembled for communal salat (prayers). Some were provided a private praying area by their owner.
  • The two best documented Muslim slaves were Ayuba Suleiman Diallo and Omar Ibn Said. Suleiman was brought to America in 1731 and returned to Africa in 1734. Like many Muslim slaves, he often encountered impediments when attempting to perform religious rituals and was eventually allotted a private location for prayer by his master. Omar Ibn Said (ca. 1770–1864) is among the best documented examples of a practicing-Muslim slave. He lived on a colonial North Carolina plantation and wrote many Arabic texts while enslaved. Born in the kingdom of Futa Tooro (modern Senegal), he arrived in America in 1807, one month before the U.S. abolished importation of slaves. Some of his works include the Lords Prayer, the Bismillah, this is How You Pray, Quranic phases, the 23rd Psalm, and an autobiography. In 1857, he produced his last known writing on Surah 110 of the Quran. In 1819, Omar received an Arabic translation of the Christian Bible from his master, James Owen. Omar converted to Christianity in 1820, an episode widely used throughout the South to “prove” the benevolence of slavery. However, some scholars believe he continued to be a practicing Muslim, based on dedications to Muhammad written in his Bible.
  • Prior to the late 19th century, most documented non-enslaved Muslims in North America were merchants, travelers, and sailors.
  • In 1785, George Washington stated a willingness to hire “Mahometans,” as well as people of any nation or religion, to work on his private estate at Mount Vernon if they were “good workmen”.
  • In 1776, John Adams published “Thoughts on Government,” in which he mentions the Islamic prophet Muhammad as a “sober inquirer after truth” alongside Confucius, Zoroaster, Socrates, and other thinkers.
  • In 1797, President John Adams signed the Treaty of Tripoli, declaring the United States had no “character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen.”
  • In his autobiography, published in 1791, Benjamin Franklin stated that he “did not disapprove” of a meeting place in Pennsylvania that was designed to accommodate preachers of all religions. Franklin wrote that “even if the Mufti of Constantinople were to send a missionary to preach Mohammedanism to us, he would find a pulpit at his service.”
  • On December 9, 1805, President Thomas Jefferson hosted an Iftar dinner at the White House for his guest Sidi Soliman Mellimelli, an envoy from Tunis.
  • Thomas Jefferson defended religious freedom in America including those of Muslims. Jefferson explicitly mentioned Muslims when writing about the movement for religious freedom in Virginia.
  • The first country to recognize the United States as an independent nation was the Sultanate of Morocco, under its ruler Mohammed ben Abdallah, in the year 1777. He maintained several correspondences with President George Washington. In December 1777, Moroccan sultan Muhammad ben Abdallah included the United States of America in a list of countries to which Morocco’s ports were open. Morocco thus became the first country whose head of state publicly recognized the new United States. Relations were formalized with the Moroccan–American Treaty of Friendship negotiated by Thomas Barclay, and signed by Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Muhammad ben Abdallah in 1786.
  • Among South Asians in the country, the large Pakistani American community stands out as particularly well educated and prosperous, with education and income levels exceeding those of U.S.-born whites. Many are professionals, especially in medicine (they account for 2.7-5% of America’s physicians), scientists, engineers, and financial analysts, and there are also a large number of entrepreneurs.
  • The number of mosques in the United States in 2011 was 2,106. The six states with the greatest number of mosques were: New York 257, California 246, Texas 166, Florida 118, Illinois 109, and New Jersey 109.
  • Muslims in the United States have increasingly made their own culture; there are various Muslim comedy groups, rap groups, Scout troops and magazines, and Muslims have been vocal in other forms of media as well.
  • America’s Islamic Heritage Museum in Washington, DC opened on April 30, 2011 dedicated to the history of Islamic culture in the U.S.
  • After the September 11 attacks, America saw an increase in the number of hate crimes committed against people who were perceived to be Muslim, particularly those of Middle Eastern and South Asian descent. A publication in Journal of Applied Social Psychology found evidence that the number of anti-Muslim attacks in America in 2001 increased from 354 to 1,501 following 9/11. Arab American Institute reported an increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes ranging from discrimination and destruction of private property to violent threats and assaults, some of which resulted in deaths.
  • 51% of American Muslims express worries that women wearing hijab will be treated poorly, 44% of American Muslim women who always wear hijab express a similar concern
  • In a 2007 survey, 53% of American Muslims reported that it was more difficult to be a Muslim after the 9/11 attacks. Asked to name the most important problem facing them, the options named by more than ten percent of American Muslims were discrimination (19%), being viewed as a terrorist (15%), public’s ignorance about Islam (13%), and stereotyping (12%).
  • 2014 Pew poll found that Muslims were the most disliked religious group in the United States with an average 40% cold rating.
  • 54% of Muslims in America believe that the U.S. government’s anti-terrorism activities single out Muslims.
  • 76% of surveyed Muslim Americans stated that they are very or somewhat concerned about the rise of Islamic extremism around the world, while 61% express a similar concern about the possibility of Islamic extremism in the United States.
  • Overall, from restaurants to supermarkets, halal meat sales are projected at $20 billion in 2016, up by one-third since 2010, according to the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America, which certifies halal food and promotes education on the topic.

We Need Quality Khutbahs in Our Mosques


There was an excellent khutbah (sermon) last week in my local mosque. I looked around to see if everyone was enjoying it just as much as I was and they were! The vast majority of people were really engaged into his talk. Usually most people are not really paying attention. This got me thinking that how great it would be if we had more quality khutbahs in the mosques on a regular basis. The reality is that most khutbahs on Fridays are low quality and it is very difficult to follow the khateeb (speaker). Most Fridays I’m just internally begging the guy to hurry it up and finish so I can go. Afterwards, I can recall little to nothing from what was discussed. I usually end up day dreaming and just delving into my own thoughts during the speech. But it wasn’t like that last week. I was really engaged the whole time. There are a number of reasons why most khateebs give bad quality khutbahs. Following five are the most common ones that I’ve found:

1) English is not their first language – They cannot communicate the message across very well. The listener is lost due to bad grammar, mispronunciation, bad sentence structure, etc. This is not to say that there aren’t some khateebs who give great khutbahs despite English not being their first language. But this is the exception not the rule.

2) They’re not qualified to be speaking – They mix random things up and deliver a khutbah that makes little to no sense and occasionally isn’t even Islamically acceptable.

3) The khutbah is not relevant to the audience – These are khateebs who talk about issues that the vast majority of the audience doesn’t care for because they’re not relevant to their lives. This is why it is ideal that the khateeb be someone who can connect with the culture in which he is giving the khutbah. He shouldn’t be someone who lives in a bubble and is ignorant of what’s going on around him.

4) The khutbah is void of wisdom – This is when a khateeb gives advice in a way which may not be appropriate for the time. Either it is too harsh of an advice or too soft depending on the situation and the topic at hand. The khateeb should be careful and make sure that what he’s saying is not taken either too lightly or too harshly, otherwise, the audience will reject the message. This also includes speaking about issues that the audience is not yet ready for or may find too idealistic. The message should be practical. For example, demanding that people should regularly pray five times a day in the mosque while many may not even be praying regularly in their houses.  A better khutbah would be to talk about the importance and benefits of praying five times a day.

5) The speaker is not built to speak – Public speaking is a form of art and not everyone can do it. I’ve seen very knowledgeable people who cannot give good khutbahs. Some people are just not speakers. They’re not meant for it.

The question is then why do mosques allow this to continue? It’s very simple. There is more demand and less supply. There are so many Friday prayers going on around the country and the mosques are desperate to fill those spots with people willing to give khutbahs but there aren’t enough good quality khateebs available to fill the spots. Most mosques do more than one prayer every Friday plus satellite locations for many of them. If the mosques were to make a good quality khateeb a condition, then you’re not going to be having too many Friday prayers in the country because the supply is too low. So what ends up happening is that mosques will put almost anyone forward as long as they can comfortably talk just to fill the demand of khateebs.

I hope we can have more quality khateebs in the future one day so that they can permanently replace bad quality khateebs. Imagine if we could have good quality khutbahs given each week all across the U.S. It is then, I hope insha’Allah, that more Muslims will get positively influenced and the religion revived among the masses.

Origin of the Idea of Rejecting the Islamic Veil As a Religious Obligation


Following is an excerpt from our much larger essay entitled: Evidences for the Obligation of a Muslim Woman’s Headscarf (Khimar) & Outer Garment (Jilbaab).

If there has always been a consensus over the obligation of a Muslim woman’s headscarf (khimar) and outer garment (jilbaab), then where does the idea of rejecting the Islamic veil as a religious obligation come from among some Muslims? It seems to have two root causes for its existence. First, during the reign of Western imperialism in Muslim lands, they used to look down on the practice of veiling for Muslim women and thought it should be abolished (Campo 2009, 297). Second, some Muslims, who had developed a sort of inferiority complex towards the West, thought it would be wise to adopt Western ideals in order to achieve the same success as their colonial rulers (Ahmed 1992, 148). Thus, it was an imported idea brought in Muslim lands from the outside in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Continue reading