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How to Use Facebook As a Muslim

Facebook is the most popular social networking site which is being used by millions of people of every race, gender, and religion: Islam inclusive. Muslims, however, need to be cautious of this social networking site not because the network is anti-Islam or hostile to it; but a Muslim should always be vigilant of their social world. To navigate your page lawfully, as a Muslim, the following are worth noting:

Be Time Cautious
Time is very valuable in all spheres of our lives, and Islam reiterates that very seriously. As a Muslim, you should know when to log on (time not in proximity with your five daily prayers); how much time to spend on (avoiding excessive usage of your time on facebook to interfere with your daily ibadah); and when to log out (ahead of your ibadah activities).

You Can Friend-request a Non-Muslim
Islam is neither a one-sided religion nor a bigoted one. It is an all encompassing religion that tolerates and invites all peoples from all walks of life. So, yes, you can send/accept friend request even from the Jews, Christians and non-believers. By so doing, you not only pave way socially for discussion, you also open a platform for online preaching.

Share Islamic Resources
You can update your page with a good hadith quote or a verse from the glorious Quran. Sharing Islamic resources like the fatwa videos, articles, and links of rich Islamic resources will be a great eye opener to many skeptics and hecklers of Islam as Islam is the most misunderstood religion on earth. No matter how small information you have, share it. Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessing of Allah be Upon Him) said: “the most generous of people after me will be those who will acquire knowledge and then disseminate it”.

Be Cautious of Your Female Friends
You have to be extra careful with your female networks. Be sure to engage with them in the things that are vital, reproductive, and informative. Its haram (forbidden) to be engaging in some chatty-romantic-play with women be it online or offline. And if you can’t avoid flirting with women on facebook, do not befriend them at all.

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Processes of Marriage in Islam

Marriage in Islam is a Sunnah; it must be institutionalize based on the exact Sunnah of our noble Prophet – Mohammad (Peace be Upon Him). If you want to get married in Islam, there are some processes involved. Drop the conservative service of riya’ (show up) and excessive spending that has no place in Islam. Don’t copy-cat the West by engaging into a long romantic courtship that’s in conflict with shari’ah. Turn to Islam! Heed these simple formal processes of marriage in Islam:

Love
Love is the first step of marriage in Islam. A Man has to discover a woman he loves first, and the woman has to reciprocate the love back. Parents have no right to force their daughters into marrying someone they don’t love. Parents only need to give parental advice and suggestions to what they think is best for their daughters. It’s highly recommended for sons and daughters to take the advice of their parents. “There is no love greater than the love of the parents.”

When a man and a woman love each other, it’s best for them to get married. The Prophet (Peace be Unto Him) said, “There is nothing better for those who love one another than marriage.” The rationale behind love in Islam is that it’s best practiced, legitimately, in marriage and not illegitimately out of marriage, whereby couples engage in fornication that will only ruin their worth.

Witnesses
When couples are fully committed to marrying each other, a contract has to be signed at the present of the witnesses. The minimum requirement of the witnesses is two and they must be sane and adult. The guardian of the bride-to-be (which must be her Father if he is around or her relatives – her brother or uncle – if the Father is deceased or absent) must also be present for the contract to be valid.
The main objective, under this stage, is to make the marriage contract public. The Prophet (Peace Be upon Him) says: “No marriage can be made without the presence of a guardian and two proper witnesses.”

Dowry
Dowry (or mehr in Arabic) is the compensation paid to the bride as a pre-condition of marriage in Islam. The Quran says:

“You shall give the women their due dowries, equitably. If they willingly forfeit anything, then you may accept it; it is rightfully yours” (Quran 4:4).

The compensation is in form of cash or some materials like clothing or accessories. There is no maximum limit for dowry in Islam but excessive spending, trying to show up that you’re rich, is haram. At the time of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him), a woman accepted a pair of shoe as her dowry. Another woman received a set of clothes as her dowry and the Prophet endorsed the marriage. The most important thing is that compensation must be paid to a woman as a gift of her loftiness, before a marriage is to be valid.

These steps must be followed by any obedient Muslim who adheres to the Islamic teachings and principles. Don’t frustrate yourself by adopting some bidi’ah (innovation) that will end up jeopardizing your marriage life. If you only love a woman, just make it known to her parents; pay the dowry and make it official by letting the witness signed the contract. This is all what it takes to have a blissful union that secures and harmonizes your entire life in this world.

Don’t Disrespect Your Mother!

“A mother is an Angel in love;” we must treat her with uttermost respect and refrain from doing anything that might hurt her. Remember that your mother is the one who breast-feed you, took care of you, and trained you to become the person you’re today. Don’t disrespect her. You’ll regret it. Hold her as what she’s: “that home we come from, who ran to help us when we fell, or kissed the place to make it well.” Below are 4 things you shouldn’t do to your sweet mother:

1. Don’t Be Rude to Your Mother
Why would you? Your Mother is the most precious gift you have ever had. All that your Mother longs for, from your pregnancy to your weaning period up to yourold-age, is your safety, happiness, and prosperity. Now, the only way you can appease her, because you can never repay her, is to respect her and love her back, obey her and show mercy unto her. By all means, avoid being rude to your Mom.

2. Don’t Speak Harshly to Her
Watch your mouth, son: you’re talking to your Mother! Words are very sensitive. When some one tells us bad words, it will hurts us in our hearts. You don’t want to blemish your Mother’s kind heart with bad words. When you talk to your Mother, try to talk gently to her, in the most respectful manner. Even when she says something that you don’t agree with, recall the way you talk to your boss at work or your girl friend at the dinner and apply the approach when speaking to your Mother at home. After all, your mother is greater than both your boss and your girl.

3. Honor the Words of Your Mother
Your Mother sees what you can’t see. If she advices you on something, listen to her very attentively. A Mother’s advice is full of wisdom; it’s always for your own good. Do not demean your Mother’s words and try to play smart. She might not know the latest fashion or the hottest club in town, but believe me; she knows, too well, what is best for you.

4. Don’t Lie to Your Mother
Lying is a big sin generally. But lying to your Mother is just an added insult to injury. Do not develop the bad habit of lying to your sweet Mom, who wants all the good things for you. Try to be honest to your Mother at all the time. When you tell your Mother the truth, she will offer a solution for you. It’s not just our Mothers who have the burden of responsibility on us; we, too, have certain responsibilities toward our Mothers and one of it is being honest to them.

It’s highly important that you remain respectful to your Mother. You should be kind to your Mother and lower your voice when talking to her. You shouldn’t lie to your Mother nor repulse her, disobey or discredit her instructions. At all the time, in every situation; you should always avoid hurting your Mother.

Bad Mother

So, how do you define a bad Mother?
Any Mother who defies the features of motherhood; namely, nursing, nurturing, comforting, caring, and safeguarding of her child is considered irresponsible and bad. Below are five characteristics of a bad Mother:

1. Carelessness
A bad Mother doesn’t pay much attention to her child. A bad mother is always careless about the diet of her child: she’s always careless to know whether her child eats or not, and she’s always reckless of her child’s activities. A bad Mother doesn’t know her child’s whereabouts – his friends, what he is learning etc. Any Mother who fails to give all the motherly care and support to her child is no good indeed!

2. Unmindfulness
While a good Mother is attentive and mindful to her child, a bad Mother is not. And this has a grave effect on the child’s upbringing. Bad Mothers are less concerned with their kids; they completely neglected their responsibilities as Mothers, as bearers of their own kids, and not as watchers over their ruin.

3. Uneasiness
Many psychologists believed that emotional attachment to our Mothers “provides the psychological foundation and, maybe, even the physical buffer we need to thrive in the world.” A Mother who is not emotionally attached to her child; therefore, may hinder his psychological growth, the research says.

4. Bad Mouthing
Mothers’ words have strong influence on child’s moral development. Not only are Mothers’ words encouraging to their children, their words may aid as a strong moral instruction to their kids. Our Mothers are our teachers who inspired us beyond what any school teacher or philosopher can. Their kind, soft words are motivating to us. A good Mother tells her child a powerful word of advice and encouragement; bad Mother insults her child with words of discouragement and contempt.

5. Abandonment
This is a stage which every irresponsible Mother is incline to reach; that is, the final stage of abandoning her child. After showing no mercy to her child, abusing her role by not comforting her child, and failing to take her uttermost responsibility in taking care of her child; bad Mother finally leaves her child.

Our mothers are supposed to be our models, teaching us good moral behaviors so that we fit well in our societies. Although, a child needs to be obedient to his mother in whatever instruction she gave him, it’s, however, a Mother’s responsibility to inculcate moral behavior to her child and this include giving him excellent care, strong emotional bond, and words of encouragement in the things that are beneficial to him. Any mother who fails to give moral guidance to her child is a bad Mother indeed!

How to Respect Your Mother

One of the fundamental tasks of a child is to honor and respect his Mother earnestly. In both the great faiths – Islam and Christianity – a strong obligation is placed on a child to show much respect to his Mother. In Islam, a strong warning has giving on a child, “Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be kind to your parents” (Holy Quran 17:23). And in Christianity, a strong commandment has ordered, “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise, “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth” (Ephesians 6:2-3). Both these injunctions are divine call from God, commanding us that we respect our parents. Following are some steps you can follow to respect your mother earnestly:

Treat Her with Goodness
Your Mother loved you when you were young, and she will continue to love you even when you grow old. Know that your Mother always puts you first. So, why not show some courtesy to her? You should treat your Mother like a princess. You should do the thing that pleases her, buy something that is appealing to her, greet her throughout the day, call her if you’re far away from her, and do anything that can put a smile on her face.

Treat Her with Kindness
Your Mother always treats you with kindness; you need to return back the favor. Treat your dear Mother with dignity and honor and tightly hold on to her more than anything.

Speak Nobly to Her
Your Mother is your teacher, your instructor, and your motivator: respect her for that and keep showing your appreciation towards her both in words and in manners. When talking to your Mother, speak gently to her as if you’re speaking to someone you’re highly respecting. Recall that your Mother is better for you than anybody else. You should respect your Mother better than anyone because your Mother’s worth can never be compared with anyone else.

Say No to Her
Do not say NO to your Mother. By any means, do not defy your Mother’s advice because she thinks beyond your narrow mind and foresees more than what your eyes can see. Even when your Mother advises you on something you are not sure of, try to explain your disapproval in a humble manner.

These are some of the tips you could use to avoid disrespecting your mother. Our mothers are very special creation that we can’t afford to demean them or hurt them. You can follow these tips to respect your mother earnestly and keep her happy all the time.

Abuja City: The Allure of Nigeria

Welcome to Abuja city: the center of excellence, the Africa’s paradise, the most alluring city of Nigeria. The city is well planned with modern architecture and mid-range tall buildings. Built in 1980s, when Lagos, which was the former capital, was overpopulated; Abuja officially became the new capital of Nigeria on December 12, 1991.

The city was gorgeously designed. Its roads network is superb – trouble-free to tour the whole city with ease. The city is decorated with colorful tree flowers and covered with serene whether to cool you down. Located at the center of Nigeria, Abuja is a landmark of unity in the multi-ethnic and multi-religious Nigeria. The city is a center of shopping and night out. There is no limit to what you can buy or eat or where you can go or what fun to catch. The city’s attraction, its soothing accommodation, and its beautiful landmarks, makes it the hottest destination for sightseeing in Africa.

Aside from its European style
architecture, magnificent fountains, and lush landscaping, the most amazing aspect of the city of Abuja is its diversity. Visitors can browse a Wonderland for roller coasters, have dinner at Drumstix, complete with pastries and beef roles, catch some fun at the Millennium Park, view some pottery at Ladi Kwali Pottery Center, grab a drink with friends at Ceddi Plaza or Orchard Garden, do some fun clubbing at Soho, enjoy a spa at Mcili and Breeze in Bloomsbury Plaza, and if you’re a golfer; the 18-hole green international standard golf course awaits you at the IBB Golf and Club in the city.

There are a number of shopping malls and plazas in the city. From the popular Banex to the wonderful Ceddi Plaza, AUA Plaza, Metro Plaza, Sahad Stores, and many more. You can shop for variety of items from these shopping malls and plazas, ranging from designer shoes, branded hand bags, perfumes, clothes, chocolates, and women accessories. There is also a new landmark of entertainment in the city – the Silverbird. A mall that electrifies the city with its huge 33,000 sq m of retail space and full of superb departmental stores, bars, restaurants, pharmacy, supermarkets, spas, beauty shops, food courts, and 12-screen cinema for movie watchers.

Abuja is the newest city in Africa. It has beautiful skylines and landmarks. Notable landmarks in the city include Central Bank of Nigeria headquarters, the Nigerian Presidential Complex, the Ship House, the National Stadium, the National Mosque and the Christian Centre, the Castle of Law, Aso Rock and Zuma Rock. Also, Millennium Tower and Cultural Center is currently being build, a skyscraper at 170 metres (560 ft) which, if finished, will be the tallest building in Nigeria.

Abuja is a beautiful city. Tourists come from different part of the world to enjoy the calm nature of the city, especially during the summer because of the city’s peaceful atmosphere. So, no matter what the nature of your tour is, Abuja city, no doubt, would be an exciting place for vocation.

Does Islam Endorse Boko Haram?

Enthrone in what seems to be his palace, from where he commands his forces to bombard us, with two Kalashnikov rifles install in the background; Imam Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram appeared bold and unflinching in a video entitled, “Message to Goodluck Jonathan”, which was posted on YouTube. Wearing a brown check turban dazed to his right shoulder, the Imam was securely camouflaged in a bullet proof jacket holding a huge siwak in his right hand. His message was blunt and direct, but off point. Beginning with his opening remark in fluent Arabic, which was dominated by Quranic verses, but way out of context; the Imam was pushing hard to defend the heinous violence committed by his sect. “To those against whom war is made, permission is given (to fight), because they are wronged; and verily, Allah is most powerful for their aid” (Quran 22:39).

Shekau, like gazillion number of terrorists out there, likes to manipulate Quran to make his evil actions justified. The verse he quoted was actually referring to the Prophet and his people to stand firm in self defense from the severe persecution they had suffered from the Quraysh. “(They are) those who have been expelled from their homes in defiance of right, (for no cause) except that they say, “our Lord is Allah…”” (22:40).

For Boko Haram to base its actions on this verse, is fallacious. Looking at the historicity of the sect since 2002, from Maiduguri to Kanamma in 2004; no member has been persecuted by any regime until the sect’s fierce re-emergence of furor in 2009 which clashed with Yar’adua’s heavy grenade of power leading to the killing of its leader, Muhammad Yusuf. Whether Yar’adua handled them wrongly is another line of argument, but there is no justification whatsoever by Boko Haram to try to retaliate the way they have being doing at the cost of the innocent lives of Nigerians.

Boko Haram sect no doubt claim to be Muslims and their manifesto is clearly to Islamize Nigeria by using force to convert the non-Muslims, and imposing shari’ah by any means necessary. “This religion of Christianity you are practicing is not a religion of God– it is paganism…” said Shekau in the YouTube video gesturing fiercely with his hand, “We are trying to coerce you to embrace Islam”.
Unlike Boko Haram, Islam in stronger terms rejects this tactics.

Nowhere in Quran is changing people’s religion lawfully stated, not to talk of serving as a requisite for war. Despite the earnest desire of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be unto Him) to convert the Meccans to Islam, he never used force as a means and Allah tells him that, “even if you’re eager that they should, most people will not believe”.

The incessant bombings and killing of innocent lives by the Boko Haram sect is antithetical to Islam. While the sect mercilessly shells bombs to destruct and kill, all in the name of retaliation, Islam has no justification for their cruel action. In its most cruel attack in Kano in January this year, it claimed the lives of more than 250 innocent people including women and children. How will you retaliate on the soul that didn’t touch you? If Shekau is trying to argue strictly Islam, he should then begin now.

Prophet Muhammad constantly forgives those that fault him, had not destroy innocent souls, and ordered no one to use force in order to gain converts. You cannot propagate a message by force. Allah commands us that in preaching His message, we should do it in “wisdom and kind enlightenment and debate with them in the best possible manner” because in the end, He knows best who the guided ones are”.

It’s very hypocritical of Boko Haram to pretend that they are Muslims “fighting for the cause of Allah”, and repeatedly insisting that their actions are justified. They will argue that their bombs are meant only to crush the security personnel. Again, what gospel gives them the right to do so? Are the security personnel not humans? Even if Shekau would like to say, “We attack them because they kill our people”, we ask him. Were the innocent people you are attacking, same security personnel that killed your people? It’s a really shallow kind of argument to base the Boko Haram bombardment on the retaliation factor.

Allah frowns at the sect’s actions and it’s repeatedly manifest in the holy Quran that “killing one soul is as though killing the whole humanity, and saving one soul is as though saving the whole humanity”.

It is a wicked fantasy for Boko Haram to equate their actions with the religion that denounces violence, mayhem and conflict out of its doctrine. A Muslim is a tolerant folk who understands the beauty of plurality and religiosity as nature’s gift. War is regulated by the Quran and hadith and cannot be waged loosely such as Boko Haram wants it.

The merciless killing of innocent Nigerian souls by the sect is tantamount to genocide or ethnic cleansing in consequence of ignorance, radicalism and extreme ideologies. Islam, as peaceful as it preaches, holds no such sect as its adherents, and if Jamaat Ahli- Sunnah Li- Da’awati wal Jihad (People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teaching and Jihad) which should otherwise be Jamaat Ahli-Bid’ah Lil- Harb wal Qital (People Committed to the Satanic Innovations for War and Massacre) insist that they are Muslims, the Quran instructs, “let there be no compulsion in religion”.

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