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Top Ten Forms of Halal Entertainment


Many Muslims have a misconception that having fun is Haraam. Nothing could be further from the truth as having fun is part of human nature and Islam is the religion of Al-Fitrah (Human Nature). Unfortunately, despite the fact that most forms of entertainment are Halal, many Muslims seem to indulge in the Haraam forms instead.

So here are my top ten favorite Halal things to do for fun. But remember even Halal forms of entertainment become Haraam through overindulgence and neglecting your Islamic duties:

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10. Eating out:

Everybody enjoys going out to their favorite fast food joint and enjoying a delicious chicken tikka or burger. This is completely Halal and extremely fun, especially when you go with company, so go ahead and enjoy yourself… just make sure the chicken is Halal! ;)

9. Reading:

Not everybody enjoys this but I do, there is nothing like a good book to take your mind of things and help you relax. Of course one must choose a book whose content in Halal and it is preferable to read books by Muslims, unless you have reached the level of knowledge to read Non-Muslim books, and separate the good from the evil.

Don’t forget that the first command in the Quran was to “READ” so enjoy your reading, and may Allah help us all reach
the level where we enjoy reading Islamic books.

8. Swimming:

This one is recommended by the prophet (peace be upon him), and there is no better way to cool off on a hot day! So make sure your Satr is covered and enjoy the water in the upcoming summer.

7. Relaxing:

We all need a break and nobody can pray all day, the prophet (peace be upon him) recommended that we will our lives in balance and said, “An hour for your Lord and an hour for yourself,”meaning that we should split our day and balance between Islamic work and living life. So do not stress, when you get tired, sit back and relax. Its perfectly Halal, just don’t sleep through any salah times.

6. Video Games and Videos:

Not all video games and videos are Haraam; it’s the content that matters. So if you enjoy playing video games and can balance without getting addicted, make sure you only buy Halal games (that means no Grand Theft Auto!). The same with movies and other videos, watch something Islamic or something beneficial and keep away from movies which have shameless scenes and teach bad things.

Most importantly, do not get addicted and sit till Fajr time praying Pro Evolution Soccer, because that would then become haraam. So balance and be careful and responsible when choosing the content, and do not try to fool yourself that a certain movie is halal when you know it is not, because you can not fool Allah or the angels sitting with you watching and writing down every moment into your book of deeds.

5. Nature:

I love nature! Whether it is the ocean, forests, animals, I just love being out in the natural environment. It is one of those times when I feel closest to Allah and feel peace inside me. There is no feeling equal to praying under a tree or on a mountain. Take my word for it and book your next family holiday at some place natural, like the Drakensburg Mountains of South Africa. It is Beautiful!

4. Nasheeds:

I love Nasheeds, in them I have found the perfect replacement for music and a source of both joy and education for myself. It is narrated that Umar (RA) said, “Singing is the companion of the traveler”. I do not know how authentic that narration is, but Imam Malik did say there is nothing wrong with singing while traveling – so load your cars with Zain Bhikha and Dawud Wharnsby CDs, and throw out the Haraam music, and enjoy Halal beneficial entertainment as you drive to work and back!

3. Hanging out with the right crowd:

Your friends either make you or break you. The prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Every person follows the religion of his best friend so be careful whom you befriend”.

Since we are all social beings, hanging out and socializing will be high on our list of ways of having fun, yet it is so important to have the right friends. Your friends are the ones who encourage
you to pray or to skip the prayer and catch a movie. They are the ones who tell you your Hijab looks beautiful or that it makes you look old. In the end, whom you choose to hang out with, makes the biggest difference in who you become.

Sadly, in South Africa we have an added problem in that having fun is looked upon as Haraam as a result many practicing Muslims in this country are B-O-R-I-N-G! So it is even harder to find good friends here who are practicing yet cool and fun, but they do exist. You just have to look in the right places, like at the Al-Kauthar courses and ILM-SA programmes. Hang out with those crowds, you will become a better Muslim and have an awesome time at the time!

2. Playing with kids:

I have two baby boys, two baby nieces, a baby brother, a baby cousin and many other little people in the family and there is nothing that is more fun to me than spending time with these innocent sweet kids and playing with them. Children are a joy and the coolness of my eyes. On this point, I hate people who hate kids and treat them badly, it’s because of such people in our Masjids that many kids grow up traumatized and hate the Masjid and Islam. That is not Islamic at all.

The prophet (peace be upon him) would play with kids even in the Masjid, sometimes when he was in Sajdah, he would be very long because his grandchildren were riding on his back. That’s the Sunnah not banning the kids from the Masjid and growling at them whenever you see them! Playing with children is part of the Sunnah methods of having fun.

One last hadith on this topic, once the prophet (Peace be upon him) kissed his grandchildren in public, a man commented that he had ten kids and never kissed any of them. The prophet (peace be upon him) replied, “What can I do if Allah has removed mercy from your heart, who ever does not show mercy will not be shown mercy,” Think about that next time you mistreat a child.

1. Marriage and all the fun it legalizes:

Being with the opposite gender is the natural desire of every human and it is such a situation that one has the most fun, especially if there is love between them. Islam does not prohibit this but promotes it in the form of marriage while prohibiting it outside of marriage. So dump your boyfriends and girlfriends, get religious and marry a cool religious person!

The prophet (peace be upon him) stressed the importance of marriage many times and also stressed the importance of having a fun marriage. If your marital life sucks, your life in general will be miserable, but if you are happily married and enjoying it (like I am, masha’Allah) then you can cope with every other problem you face. The prophet (peace be upon him) has a fun marital life, he would race with his wives, have food fights with them, joke with them. Study his life with them; he was the perfect husband so let us all follow in his footsteps.

Once the prophet (peace be upon him) advised a young companion who had married an elderly woman, “you should have married someone young (like you) so that you could play with her and she could play with you”. So what are you waiting for?

If you are married, make changes to improve your marital life and make it a source of fun and pleasure for yourself, and if you are not married, get married soon and have a lot of kids so that then do everything else of this list with your wife and kids, its more fun like that than when you are alone.

I hope you all enjoyed and benefited from this list and I hope that it will assist you in living Halal, practicing Islam and enjoying it. May Allah guide us all to the straight and balanced path and put the love of Islam into our hearts.

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Ismail Kamdar, a.k.a Abu Muawiyah, is the Head Tutorial Assistant of the Islamic Online University, and the host of Living Islam on Radio Al-Ansaar. He began his study of Islam at the age of thirteen, and has completed both the Alim course and a BA in Islamic Studies. He is the author of multiple books including Having Fun the Halal Way: Entertainment in Islam, Getting The Barakah: An Islamic Guide to Time Management and Best of Creation: An Islamic Guide to Self-Confidence.

145 Comments

145 Comments

  1. Avatar

    jman

    December 8, 2009 at 3:34 AM

    To this i will add, listening to audiobooks and podcasts. Informative ones! Satirical. comedy.

    And most are free!

    • Avatar

      Atif Mirza

      December 11, 2009 at 4:40 AM

      jman, could you give me a website that provides the free content of audiobooks? Jazakallah.

    • Avatar

      Abu bakr

      June 2, 2010 at 2:57 PM

      It’s just the movies – I mean , I don’t tink one can even coun’t the halaal ones on his fingers .
      I mean something without wasting your time and without music .
      I can’t think of one .
      And which video is not a waste of time .
      So I’m all for physical sports , but any sort of movie or video is weigh out .

      • Avatar

        Usama Zaid Malik

        April 25, 2014 at 1:58 AM

        try Omar series by MBC
        its really good

      • Avatar

        Al Bun

        May 11, 2016 at 11:12 AM

        There are lots of documentaries on social issues, environment, science, nature, mathmatics, etc. which are very beneficial.

      • Avatar

        Amira

        August 20, 2016 at 1:41 PM

        You should watch the merciful servant videos on YouTube there amazing and will not only strengthen your iman but also entertain you a lot.

  2. Avatar

    Arsi

    December 8, 2009 at 3:49 AM

    i doubt the prophet had FOOD FIGHTS with his wives. isnt that wasting food which we are not allowed to do?

    • Avatar

      Abu Aaliyah

      December 8, 2009 at 7:20 AM

      Not food fight as we would see it in this culture but the incident with Aisha and Sawda, where Aisha made a dish and offered it to Sawda and she did not want to eat it, so she asked the Prophet if she could force it and the Prophet allowed it. Allahu A’lam

      • Avatar

        BrownS

        December 8, 2009 at 4:41 PM

        If I remember correctly from one of Sh. Yaser’s classes, the Prophet (saws) implicitly motioned for Saudah (ra) to retaliate after ‘Aisha (ra) smeared some of the food on her.

    • Avatar

      UmA

      December 8, 2009 at 1:27 PM

      “The companions used to play by throwing watermelon skins at each other, but when it was time for seriousness, they were real men.”

      I came across this quote as being from Imam Bukhari’s Al Adab al Mufrad. Can anybody confirm this quote?

      • Avatar

        Abd- Allah

        December 9, 2009 at 1:09 AM

        Assalam Alaikum

        Yes, this quote is mentioned in Imam Bukhari’s Al Adab al Mufrad as the saying of one of the tabi’in (followers) and it is Sahih.

        “The companions used to play by throwing watermelon skins at each other, but when it was time for seriousness, they were real men.”

      • Avatar

        Amatullah

        December 9, 2009 at 7:54 AM

        Allahu Akbar…Radi Allahu anhum ajma’een.

        Do you know which Tabi’i Abd- Allah?

        • Avatar

          Abd- Allah

          December 9, 2009 at 12:53 PM

          The tabi’i who said this is Bakr bin Abdullah, although in some copies of Al Adab al Mufrad there is a misprint and his name is mentioned as Bakr bin Ubaidullah, but the correct one is the first one.

    • Avatar

      Hajira

      June 17, 2015 at 3:13 PM

      Thats exactly what I was thinking! It seems made up!

    • Avatar

      Ulla

      December 10, 2015 at 5:06 PM

      I was going to say the same thing lol.

  3. Avatar

    Abu AbdurRahman

    December 8, 2009 at 6:12 AM

    Eating Out shouldn’t be #10!!!

    • Avatar

      AbdurRahman Al Madaraasi

      December 10, 2009 at 3:25 PM

      I second this.

      • Avatar

        Abu Muawiyah

        December 10, 2009 at 11:52 PM

        Lol. Eating out by myself is number ten, as for eating out with my wife and kids..well anything fun with my wife and kids are number one and two :)

      • Avatar

        Jojo

        October 25, 2015 at 12:05 PM

        May blessings be upon you all

    • Avatar

      Nadeem Ramjan

      December 12, 2009 at 10:32 AM

      I third this….eating out is essential

    • Avatar

      Cartoon Muslim

      April 21, 2012 at 12:41 AM

      I remember someone saying something like “I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, so I spend my money on food.” I think that’s a good way of looking at it lol.  

      • Avatar

        Riswana

        January 31, 2016 at 2:04 AM

        Hahaha true
        Love for food is real

  4. Avatar

    Justlearning

    December 8, 2009 at 8:36 AM

    I thought the hadith “one hour for you and one hour for your lord” was daeef or similar to that..Can anyone confirm this? Especially cuz a lot of secularists enjoy quoting it.

    • Avatar

      Abd- Allah

      December 9, 2009 at 1:47 AM

      Assalam Alaikum

      I think the hadith “one hour for you and one hour for your lord” doesn’t even exist with that specific wording. However, there is a hadith in Sahih Muslim that is close, but it does not mean what the secularists try to make out of it:

      It was narrated that Hanzalah al-Usaydi said: Abu Bakr met me and said: How are you, O Hanzalah? I said: Hanzalah has become a hypocrite. He said: Subhaan Allaah! What are you saying? I said: When we are with the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) he reminds us of the Fire and the Garden until it is as if we are seeing them with our own eyes, but when we depart from the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), we attend to our wives and children and businesses, and we forget a great deal. Abu Bakr said: By Allaah, we experience something similar. Abu Bakr and I went and entered upon the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and I said: Hanzalah has become a hypocrite, O Messenger of Allaah. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Why is that?” I said: O Messenger of Allaah, when we are with you, you remind us of the Fire and the Garden until it is as if we are seeing them with our own eyes, but when we depart from you, we attend to our wives and children and businesses, and we forget a great deal. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “By the One in Whose hand is my soul, if you continued as you are when you are with me, and continued to remember (Paradise and Hell), the angels would shake hands with you in your homes and on the streets. But, O Hanzalah, there is a time for this and a time for that” (he said it) three times.
      Narrated by Muslim (2750).

  5. Avatar

    Jasmine

    December 8, 2009 at 8:41 AM

    Eating out is the best!
    But I want to say, that many Islamic books are written in bad ways. I find the style to be unsophisticated and overzealous in many books especially Bilal Philips and Dar Es-Salaam books.

    I remember reading this in one of his books;
    “And christians in the west love pigs!!! They go as far as to read stories to their children about pigs and even a movie was made about pigs.. this is disgusting”… etc.etc.

    Since when were PIGS haraam? EATING pigs is haraam ONLY. Pigs themselves aren’t haraam, they are god’s creation. Mentioning pigs and telling stories about pigs isn’t haram and that was a completely horrible exaggeration. We’re not supposed to act crazy and extreme in Islam.

    If people begin writing nicer islamic books then maybe I would choose them before I choose non-muslim novels.

    • Avatar

      Pancho

      December 8, 2009 at 9:25 AM

      ^^True say, most Islamic books are lacking in both style and content, especially from that ilk.

      I would add to the list martial arts, archery, gardening, writing, singing, poetry, decent movies.

    • Avatar

      Ahmed

      December 8, 2009 at 12:20 PM

      I find it difficult to acquire well-written English Islamic books on theology. The ones I’ve come across thus far are usually written in a very dry manner or are rampant with spelling and grammar mistakes (sometimes due to mistranslations, other times I’m not sure if the book even had an editor!). In the end I try to derive what I can from the text despite its flaws.

      Perhaps MuslimMatters could do an article on excellent Islamic or Islamic-themed books in English! A title that came recommended by my father (a White American revert alhamdulillah) was Muhammad Asad’s Road to Mecca (Muhammad Asad, the same one who made a translation of the Qur’an). I’m about half-way through and it is absolutely spell-binding. He has a beautiful and very moving manner of writing; it is clear he was an intellectual, both from his pen and train of national thought. The book is his autobiography, weaving his story of hailing from a Jewish family to his living and traveling amongst the Arabs, his reversion to Islam, and his life with the beduins. Highly recommended, even if he made some mistakes! Book on amazon

      • Avatar

        BrownS

        December 8, 2009 at 4:43 PM

        As far as theology goes I’ve found Dr. Umar al-Ashqar’s Islamic Creed Series to be quite readable.

    • Avatar

      Slave of ALlah

      December 8, 2009 at 1:21 PM

      I totally agree with you when it comes to the Islamic books. I think it has much to do with the fact that many of them are translated over from Arabic and the translators themselves aren’t that familiar with the type of English spoken here in the US.

      Besides that, I have this one book right now, and the guy is starting letters without capitalizing and paragraphs with no capitals, obvious typos, and awkward sentence structures.

      That is one thing we need and that is homegrown American Muslims writing about Islam in easy to read English, not Biblical and not full of typos.

      I think we need to move away from trying to be too proper in the language. I am not saying to use slang but to kind of move away from the Archaic English which so many of our sheikhs are using today. Unfortunately, I believe this will take quite some time.
      But Allah knows the mysteries of mysteries.

      • Avatar

        UmA

        December 8, 2009 at 1:39 PM

        Also another problem is for Westerners who have learned from the traditional scholars. It can be a real challenge for them to translate into idiomatic English, as they get so used to the Arabic style. So instead of ‘we must’ we read ‘it is upon us’ or ‘make wudu’ as opposed to ‘do wudu’ or how about ‘it is but not’ instead of ‘it is only’.

        In sha Allah there is a lot of space for great editors who can bridge that ‘Arabinglish divide’

      • Avatar

        UmmOusama

        December 8, 2009 at 11:43 PM

        Assalamu alaikum,

        Alhamdulillah, there are now many books in English with correct knowledge. When I became Muslim, there were no books at all.

        For the serious student of knowledge, it is a must to learn Arabic. Don’t rest on learning all your knowledge in English because you really lose too much. If you know another language besides English, you will know how much meaning can be lost in translation. Thus, translating a rich language such as Arabic into English is very very difficult.

        As for books written in a too formal English, this is a requirement for any classical books. Book of knowledge need to be written in a formal English. Yes, there should be no grammatical mistakes and no spelling mistakes. No, it shouldn’t be written in a language close to slang. Slang is understood by the youth and not by the adult. Standard English should be used, a language that can be understood in the whole English world. Intelligent newspapers use standard English, TV news use standard English, …

        Umm Ousama

        • Avatar

          Slave of Allah

          December 9, 2009 at 12:20 PM

          I totally agree with you. Standard and clear English but no mistakes in grammar!!! lol

          Its just not right.

    • Avatar

      Ibrahim

      December 8, 2009 at 8:30 PM

      This from a person who loves Christmas and loves to decorate Christmas trees (your blog says so).

    • Avatar

      Amatullah

      December 9, 2009 at 7:29 AM

      It’s time you all learned Arabic then inshaAllah :)

      • Avatar

        Ahmed

        December 9, 2009 at 11:37 AM

        Haha, agreed Amatullah! But I think it is still a valid complaint: eloquent (and factual!) writing is not only good in our dawah to non-Muslims, but also for the countless Muslims who may never learn Arabic, much less Fusha. They too should have access to quality literature on their deen; I don’t think that’s asking too much.

        • Avatar

          Amatullah

          December 9, 2009 at 5:03 PM

          Indeed akhi, I just couldn’t help it!

          Many times, English is not the first language of those who are translating. (that’s what I’ve found–inshaAllah it’s gotten better now with more foreign students of knowledge).

          • Avatar

            Qas

            December 9, 2009 at 5:33 PM

            Verily, what you have stated is upon truth.

        • Avatar

          Abd- Allah

          December 9, 2009 at 5:46 PM

          Translations are just not the same, especially since very few people master both languages well enough to translate classical works. It is not enough to master only one of the two languages. I have seen several mistranslations of hadiths, and that is just based on my limited knowledge, so there are probably much more mistranslated hadiths out there which people are reading in English and understanding them differently than what the prophet peace and blessings be upon him meant!

          • Avatar

            Qas

            December 9, 2009 at 7:10 PM

            In your posts, you often list and explain a hadith in a deep way. I was wondering, if you don’t mind me asking, what your academic background is in terms of Islamic sciences?

    • Avatar

      Zahra

      November 19, 2013 at 9:12 AM

      try the Sealed Nectar. It is a very nice autobiography of the prophet SWS and the style is very easy to read, it reads almost like a novel and you are hooked :)

  6. Avatar

    Sincerity

    December 8, 2009 at 10:23 AM

    Eating out # 1 for those of us who are single =D

    • Avatar

      Sadaf Farooqi

      December 8, 2009 at 11:07 PM

      No, not just for those who are single. :)

    • Avatar

      .

      December 8, 2009 at 11:10 PM

      +2

  7. Avatar

    Ahmed

    December 8, 2009 at 12:02 PM

    Question: since video games contain drawings/3d drawing and music, does that rule them out? Or does their use for fun cause them to be OK?

    • Avatar

      Slave of ALlah

      December 8, 2009 at 1:26 PM

      I think that even besides the fact that it has drawings making it haram, video games should still be avoided simply because of their effect. I mean, it’s pretty hard to just play video games for like 1 hour and go pray Isha. believe me, if you actually play and stop every few hours, you’re gonna pick one or the other, either no video games, or hold off the salah.

      Just like tv, they are very hypnotic and can change your way of thinking. There are many studies out their that show how they change the way people thank and change our view of reality. That alone to me is haram. And television is the biggest culprit.

      Correct me if I am wrong

      • Avatar

        Siraaj Muhammad

        December 8, 2009 at 4:03 PM

        I grew up being a gamer, and it is addictive, but personally speaking it was never addictive enough for me to forgo salaah.

        Siraaj

      • Avatar

        Ahmed

        December 8, 2009 at 4:41 PM

        I too was a gamer and I left it only recently, alhamdulilah. Though entertaining, I feel countless hours were wasted, just as you said Slave of Allah. Now I actually have time to get back to some of my old, hopefully healthier habits: reading, writing, getting outside :)

    • Avatar

      paraiso

      December 8, 2009 at 5:04 PM

      Drawings are haram?

      I guess muslim artists should all prepare to go to hell. Oh and poets… I guess Rumi and other great muslim poets should prepare for the fire.

      These silly radical interpretations are why the golden age of islam finished and plunged into darkness. Back then people actually used the brains, now it has become ingrained traditions.

      • Avatar

        Slave of Allah

        December 8, 2009 at 5:38 PM

        It is a touchy subject. Because even those who say drawing is haram have drawings when they advertise their cd’s and use computer graphics and all this. For me, I guess its the purpose. Video games are just a huuge waste of time, and one can do so many better things than being hypnotized by a box.

        I did come off like I totally believe they are haram which I do not believe. I mean, the Saudi tv channels show children’s, cartoons, and stuff. What the Prophet (Peace and BLessings be upon him) said must have been referring to a particular type of artist. If not, then aloooooooooot of people are in deep trouble because there seems to be little tolerance of drawings and sculptures from those hadiths. Forgive me if I made any mistakes.

        Allah knows

        • Avatar

          paraiso

          December 8, 2009 at 10:42 PM

          There are *touchy* subjects that are relevant to everyday modern life (hijab, war etc.) and then there are *non issues* that should have been resolved 1399 years ago. this one of them.

          person below states “is is true angels do not enter house where there are pictures?” our brightest minds are spending their time wondering whether angels will enter their house if there is a picture in there? this is the equivalent of the great christian puzzle ” how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?” from the 1200s. NO ANGELS WILL NOT ENTER YOUR HOUSE. NOW GO LIVE IN A CAVE.

          It’s not anyone holding us back, it’s ignorance and radical interpretations combined with poor analysis that have hinder the Islamic world.

          • Avatar

            Rifai

            December 9, 2009 at 12:01 PM

            Equating the question “is is true angels do not enter house where there are pictures?” – which has a clear answer in authentic Hadiths to a great non Muslim puzzle which is utterly irrelevant begs the question … how are the two the same useless thing? The question is hardly an unwieldy philosophical musing – it has an answer. Lest u come back and tell us it doesn’t matter, I say it does, though I don’t expect anyone will be hung up enough over it to cause the overall state of the Ummah to degrade. I don’t think anyone here is saying that we should focus on these matters, but to ignore them altogether as being unimportant is just being disrespectful of our religion if not worse.

      • Avatar

        Ahmed

        December 8, 2009 at 10:16 PM

        Sorry, I really should have clarified: I meant drawings of living creatures, e.g. animals, human beings, etc. I actually happen to know a Muslim artist who creates beautiful works almost entirely without living things (exception: ceramic tile-work of the Kabah with small notches around the Kabah to denote people).

        Not sure how poetry got drawn into the conversation though…to my understanding poetry is good so long as the content is OK.

        And Allah knows best!

        • Avatar

          paraiso

          December 8, 2009 at 10:35 PM

          so you guys avoid cameras? family pictures? what about the medical artists that were so critical to pushing forward modern medicine (there were even MUSLIM ONES! shocking… http://www.nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/islamic_medical/islamic_10.html) I wouldn’t go to a doctor… since the entire foundation of medicine is haram.

          Allah also gave us laws and rules and so on, but allah also gave us a brain, presumably to interpret the world around us in ways that are at least somewhat *rational* and *consistent*.

          • Avatar

            Abd- Allah

            December 9, 2009 at 1:14 AM

            paraiso, maybe if you changed your condescending tone then people might actually bother to read your comments. Just a suggestion…

        • Avatar

          Holly Garza

          December 9, 2009 at 9:09 PM

          Asalaamu alaikum waramatulahi wa barakatu back in the days When Allah sent us prophets, people of those times made “images” to sell, worship, and idolize Since this is Not clarified, nor am I a prophet or scholar; I will not go as far as to say that is what that hadith means, just putting it out there, and Allah knows best

  8. Avatar

    shafkaqt

    December 8, 2009 at 12:23 PM

    As salaam alykum,

    Did I read somewhere that Angels do not enter a house where there is a dog/ pictures/ idols/ sculptures ?

    Would the moving pictures on the TV be included in this ruling ???

    Your thoughts ….

    Ma asalaam

  9. Avatar

    omar

    December 8, 2009 at 1:30 PM

    mr( whomever) this concerns

    the prophet peace be upon him adviced the young sahabi that he should have married a VIRGIN woman so that he can play with her and she can play with him

    i guess (mr i studied under bilal phillips)should be a bit more careful when qouting a hadeeth

    maybe (mr i studied under bilal philips)was 2 shy to write the word virgin cuz he knew women would read his article

    there is no shyness in knowledge

    • Avatar

      Qas

      December 8, 2009 at 4:34 PM

      I never knew hadith were narrated in English. Also, his name is written up there as well (It’s Abu Muawiyah Ismail Kamdar (I’ve been visiting your site, bro. Great stuff)). Even though there is no shyness in knowledge, there should be some shyness in writing a disrespectful, grammatically incorrect post filled with spelling mistakes.

    • Avatar

      Ameera

      December 9, 2009 at 2:05 AM

      Prudence is something only the wise know and take benefit from. This comment proves it to be so.

      To the writer of the blog post, you’ve done an awesome job Ma’shaAllah! *thumbs up*

    • Avatar

      Ahmed

      January 20, 2010 at 7:10 AM

      Go and buy some manners brother – u obviously weren’t born with any, neither were u brought up with any!!

      • Avatar

        Abd- Allah

        January 20, 2010 at 7:18 AM

        Dear akhi Ahmed, you aren’t providing any better example for the brother to follow. Being harsh with a person will never show him the problem so he can address it.

        Allah knows best.

        • Avatar

          Madkour

          February 11, 2010 at 5:18 PM

          I wasn’t planning to post anything, but after reading your response to the above issue, i felt it important to commend you on not only your level-headed, rational calmness, but also your demeanor. Too often people let their emotions get ahead of them, and an action of good intention goes awry. We must treat people the way we expect to be treated

          As-salamu 3aliakum wa rahmat-Allahi wa barakatuh

  10. Avatar

    Yus from the Nati

    December 8, 2009 at 6:31 PM

    Wow. i really enjoyed this post. JazakAllahukhair for being a normal human being. (that sounded sarcastic, but I’m serious).

  11. Avatar

    abu abdAllah Tariq Ahmed

    December 8, 2009 at 11:17 PM

    mashaAllah, the article is much better than the comments, even much better than this one. ;)

  12. Avatar

    atheistdebater

    December 8, 2009 at 11:43 PM

    You Muslims argue seriously about some of the silliest things. It is fascinating, amusing and sad, all at the same time.

    • Avatar

      Qas

      December 8, 2009 at 11:54 PM

      I’ve seen your ilk argue about some extremely silly things, too. It’s amusing and sad to see as well.

    • Avatar

      Ameera

      December 9, 2009 at 2:22 AM

      *yawn*

      • Avatar

        Abd- Allah

        December 9, 2009 at 1:24 PM

        remember to cover your mouth when yawning.

        • Avatar

          Umme Ammaarah

          December 11, 2009 at 11:41 PM

          lol! what about Astaghfirullaah? :D

  13. Avatar

    Abu Muawiyah

    December 9, 2009 at 12:33 AM

    Jazakallah Khair for all the comments

    Some of these issues are fiqh issues which people will differ over, like video games, sports, etc.

    I use to play video games before I got married but Alhamdulillah it never distracted me from my studies or my duties, it would be for two hours at the most as a break from my rigorous study routine. As far the image-making issue goes, there is much difference of opinion as to what falls into the category of prohibited forms of image-making. Most of my teachers do not regard digital images like video games and television as image-making, and Allah knows best. Since these are valid differences of opinion, we should all tolerate and live in peace.

    Also remember each human is different, you might not need much entertainment as an individual, but somebody else might. Some people can study and only do ibadah for days on end and that is a gift from Allah, but they should not look down upon those of us who get a headache if half a day goes by without having fun, Allah created each of us differently and as long as the means of entertainment is Halal and it does not violate any rules of Islam or distract you from your duties to Allah and his creation, it should not be frowned upon.

    Please check out my blog for more Top Ten Lists, unless management wishes to post them here as well, I don’t mind. :-)

    And Allah knows best.

    • Avatar

      Abd- Allah

      December 9, 2009 at 1:35 AM

      May Allah reward you brother Abu Muawiyah for this list, however, don’t you think that since you are still a young student of knowledge that you should avoid giving such opinions and fatwas to people?

      For example, singing breeds hypocrisy in the heart, that is the authentic narration from one of the companions, not the one that singing is a companion of traveler. Even IF nasheeds are considered halal by some shuyukh, don’t you think that people will take what you said about “singing” in general and apply it to all forms of singing?

      How about videos? When was the last time you actually saw a movie which has no haram in it? ALL movies have music in them, and how about the movies which have women in them that are not wearing hijab? or is this considered halal as long as the scenes are not “obscene” ??

      I think that overall the idea of the article was nice, but some things should not have been included as “halal forms of entertainment”. Another thing is as a student of knowledge, you aught to have included some authentic narrations from the sunnah about permissible forms of entertainment, or what the companions used to do for fun.

      My honest advice for you akhi is to learn more knowledge before you start writing things that might mislead other people.

      and Allah knows best.

      • Avatar

        Abu Muawiyah

        December 9, 2009 at 2:03 AM

        Jazakallah Khair for the advice

        Did not think of it like that, I want to argue my case for some of the points you raised but don’t think thats a good idea. You know better anyway. You are right hough, will spend a few more years with the books before I start writing here again.

        If it’s possible, can someone delete this article from this website.

        Jazakallah Khair
        Was Salaam
        Ismail

        • Avatar

          Ahmed

          December 9, 2009 at 12:56 PM

          Don’t let the comments decrease your enthusiasm or efforts Br. Abu Muawiyah! It’s clear you were intending only good for the readers, though some of the points seem to have brought up questions from the audience (only two activities out of your list of ten, that’s not so bad :)). Keep, don’t curb, your enthusiasm for the pursuit of knowledge of this deen and fostering good works in the community! Thanks and jazechAllah khair!

          • Avatar

            Secrecy

            December 9, 2009 at 2:59 PM

            Bismillah,

            Agreed, it’s advise and it shouldn’t stop you writing, rather being wary of what you write and a reminder that the more we know the more we don’t.

            May Allah ‘azza wa jal allow your writings to benefit others BIG TIME and grant you and us ikhlaas. Aameen.

            JazakAllahu khayr for the article akhi,

            And Allah knows Best.

      • Avatar

        Abu Muawiyah

        December 10, 2009 at 12:26 AM

        Jazakallah Khair to everyone who replied positively.

        I don’t like arguing and fighting but just a few points I want to clarify.

        1. You forgot to read the line “throw out the Haraam music,” so how can someone use my article to justify listening to Haram music when I have specifically mentioned it in this article and made it specific to Nasheeds?

        2. Again, I said, “The same with movies and other videos, watch something Islamic or something beneficial” so that excludes movies with Haraam scenes, etc. There are many Islamic movies and beneficial documentaries out there. Regarding music in a video, Ibn Taymiyyah did say that the sin is in listening to the music, not hearing it, otherwise how do you leave your house in these countries, since music is everywhere?

        3. I did not write about the forms of fun the companions did, because that was not the purpose of this article, this article was about Halal things that I like to do for fun. Regarding what the companions did and the Hadith, etc on this topic, I have written a book about that which will be published by IIPH next year, insha Allah.

        4. Sorry about earlier, I just don’t like it when people throw the age card at me, it’s not my fault I’m young. If young people don’t do Islamic work, people complain that we are inactive, if we do, then they say we have no authority and are too young to do anything, so its a lose-lose situation if one tries to please people. Yes, I am young, but I have been studying for ten years now and all the above is based on research and discussions with my teachers, yes I can be wrong in some of it, and if that is the case I ask Allah to forgive and guide me. Just don’t say I’m wrong because I’m young, that’s insulting and stops young people from studying and being active in Dawah.

        I am sorry if I offended any of you with different views. You are entitled to your view, and I respect it and I am sorry if anything I said here was disrespectful to any of you.

        This will be my last comment, insha Allah.

        May Allah guide me and all of you to what is best.
        Was Salaam
        Ismail

      • Amad

        Amad

        December 10, 2009 at 6:13 AM

        Abd-allah, that is a strange advice… the Prophet (S) said to spread knowledge, even if it is one ayah.

        If we wait to learn everything in perfection before spreading it, the dawah will effectively stop.

        In any case, MM will not publish anything that is Islamically haraam (like encouragement of music, etc.). “Might mislead other people”… almost anything “might” mislead others. Writers are not responsible for being misunderstood.

        Pls be kind in your exchanges and advices. Be encouraging, not condascending.

        Abu Muawayah, welcome to the world of high-profile blogging. People will tend to nitpick your writers, many of them are being sincere, while some are simply trying to get a rise out of the writer. There was nothing fundamentally wrong with your post… so keep on writing.

        Finally, you don’t have to respond to every comment.

  14. Avatar

    Ameera

    December 9, 2009 at 2:17 AM

    It’s important to remember, on this page, that the mentioned forms of entertainment are, for the majority, corroborated by the Sunnah… it is perfectly Halal.

    I like the post (even if I personally don’t like spending time with video games) because many amongst us don’t even consider the very simple activities like taking a nice nature walk to be good for themselves! 90% of what this blog post tells you is what you need to hear.

    The youth are increasingly getting attuned to “it’s fun to be young” and such ideas. Rather than letting the Haram activities take hold, we should offer bulleted lists of Halal entertainment and then go ahead and do those activities to prove it that neither the Prophet(pbuh) or his wives and his companions (may Allah be pleased with them all!) ever advocated a dull Muslim.

  15. Avatar

    Amatullah

    December 9, 2009 at 7:40 AM

    Jazaak Allahu khayran!

    I like crocheting! :) Would like to re-learn how to sew inshaAllah, kinda forgot it. My mom used to make most of our clothes, I would like to carry on her sunnah inshaAllah.

    I could count the times I’ve played video games…only time I do is the occasional match against my younger brothers. I beat them in wii boxing, they never lived that down.

    Anything with nature, i’m there. I especially like hiking. Completed my first trail a few months ago, took around 2.5 hrs. Scared a few hikers when they would see us hijabi/niqabi women with our hiking boats and rain coats lol.

    Another thing to add can be sledding/tobogganing – especially for those in the North! It’s a nice activity and really fun if you take children.

    Also going to museums and exhibits.

    Alhamdulillah my parents put my siblings and I in a lot of lessons and programs when we were younger besides the weekend islamic school…swimming, crafts and decorating, taught us how to ride bikes, track, camping and a bunch of other stuff. I think it’s essential to teach children some of these things!

  16. Avatar

    MR

    December 9, 2009 at 10:35 AM

    FIFA > Pro Evo

  17. Avatar

    Siggy

    December 9, 2009 at 3:09 PM

    Great article brother mashaAllah! Ok there maybe a few points of contention but we come on here to learn and learn from each other. I come on here occasionally to read up on the doings of our awesome community and I’m sure if you were invited to write than that trust placed in you was not without cause :)

    I learnt alot about the diversity within our deen from the comments but most imporantly brother Abu Muawiyah, dont stop writing inshaAllah!I don’t think this article should be removed either.

    Oh and I toootttaallyy agree getting out into nature amoungst Allah’s creation just does something to the heart..makes you so thankful and feel so small all at the same time. Also add on sking and snowboarding for those you above the the 49th parallel. There’s a crazy snowstorm blowing outside my window this blessed minute (yipeee)

  18. Avatar

    Holly Garza

    December 9, 2009 at 9:13 PM

    ASAWRWB very well written article and great points. So many people get wrapped up in the “Haram Policing” that unfortunately even lawful fun becomes haram or hidden because of fear it might be called that.

    Unfortunately so many youth are misguided, commit sinful fun; and others even leave Islam because they think we have nothing but criticism May Allah open all of our hearts to remember His blessings, bounties, and Mercy. Amen

  19. Avatar

    Osman

    December 9, 2009 at 10:04 PM

    Video games FTW!

  20. Avatar

    muslimah84

    December 10, 2009 at 12:32 PM

    Salamun Alaykum,

    Some good Islamic books I have read and found very beneficial (and even entertaining!)

    The Sealed Nectar – Sheikh Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarkpuri. One of the best biographies of Prophet Muhammed (SAW). How many of us have made the time to really read and understand his life?

    The Islamic Civilization – Dr Mustafa Sibai

    Al Fiqh Al Islami – according to hanafi madhhab – Shaykh Mohammed Akram Nadwi.

    Du’a The weapon on the believer – Yasir Qadhi (noone claim this sheikh is not articulate!)

    Explanation of the Three fundamental principles of Islam – Muhammed Ibn Saalih Al-Uthaymeen

    Companions of the Prophet books 1 & 2 – Abdul Wahid Hamid – (lives of around 60 famous and almost completely unknown sahabas) Very very interesting read.

    The Invocation of God – Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziya

    The three fundamental principles of Islam – Muhammed ibn saalih al-uthaymeen

  21. Avatar

    farhad

    December 10, 2009 at 1:20 PM

    This is sad. Seems very boring. Why is the Muslim social alternative so lame?????
    This seems great for socially isolated conservative muslims.
    Hanging out with non-muslims (in a halal manner) is fun.

    Can anyone add other points. Im sorry but this list was not inspirational.

    • Avatar

      Sayf

      December 10, 2009 at 2:12 PM

      #11 – Trampolines
      #11.5 – Snowboarding/Skiing (!!!!!!!)
      #12 – Challenging people to races around the world
      #13 – Horseback arm-wrestling
      #14 – Alligator Taming
      #15 – Skydiving onto a pile of cotton candy
      #16 – Snow-fort building
      #17 – Snow-fort conquering
      #18 – Living room olympics
      #19 – Alligator Riding (after you’ve tamed them of course)
      #20 – Alligator Riding (before you’ve tamed them, for the more advanced)

      You just need an imagination :D

      • Avatar

        Sayf

        December 10, 2009 at 2:21 PM

        Someone try to add to my list, this should be fun

        • Avatar

          atheistdebater

          December 10, 2009 at 11:15 PM

          I love to trail run; run on trails through the woods, in parks near my house. I usually do it Sunday mornings, when many of my neighbors are at church. I like to consider it my own form of spirituality, not that I believe in anything spiritual. It does make me appreciate that it is great to be alive. It is so good for the body too.

        • Avatar

          Ahmed B

          December 11, 2009 at 6:04 PM

          I second the snowboarding/skiing. I’d like to add…

          #21 – Paintball!

          Don’t know if I’d recommend wearing a turban/thobe to that though…if the FBI wasn’t profiling you already, well…

  22. Avatar

    muslimah84

    December 11, 2009 at 4:00 AM

    taking part in activities doing to raise money for charity. A friend of mine climbed Mount Ben Navis to raise money for the Sunami. That wasn’t boring!

  23. Avatar

    muslimah84

    December 11, 2009 at 4:04 AM

    travelling

  24. Avatar

    Osman

    December 11, 2009 at 10:45 PM

    And to top off that list…..

    playing with your cat!

  25. Avatar

    Umme Ammaarah

    December 11, 2009 at 11:48 PM

    :O what about Shopping!!??? Bargain hunting? Learning newer cuisines? Solving Sudoku? :D ladies…please….

    ok, without too much israaf.

    • Avatar

      Amatullah

      December 13, 2009 at 4:43 PM

      oh man…I hate shopping!

      Especially the way malls and stores are designed nowadays…so hard to stop yourself from buying something :(

      Totally with you on the sudoku though, puzzles in general..my brother recently told me I have all the geeky games on my ipod haha.

  26. Avatar

    tee

    December 12, 2009 at 6:12 AM

    AOA

    I think eating out is israaf and i think the question here that Momins should be more worried about is tayab..

    The food may be halal but who is preparing it and in what conditions is a matter of tayab importance.

    Plus how will you control music in a restaurant? you cant.

    So in the light of these issues eating out must be avoided its best to do a take away if you are too tired to cook. and as for our elders who were towers of piety discouraged this, in Hazrat Thanwi’s book there is a story that once an Alim visited his son at the madrasah dorm and saw market bread in his room, he was greatly angered, he asked him why are you buying bread from the market “miskeen” people must have watched it being prepared and were helpless in buying in. Subhan-Allah such was the Taqwa of those that have gone before us.

    also i think having dinner parties at home is a better option. in lieu of this you can organize a book club and discuss religious books weekly or monthly… plus guests bring barakat to your house also.

    wasalam

    • Avatar

      ummaasiyah

      December 12, 2009 at 9:05 AM

      Well, down in East London, there is an HMC-certified restaurant (click here to see what HMC really means) called Maedah Grill which serves Turkish food cooked and served by Muslims. They don’t have music. They have the option to book separate booths with curtains for private parties and for munaqqabas and even if ALL the rooms are booked up (because this place is BUSY!!), they’ll give a discreet table with a screen so that you can eat in comfort. And there are a couple more places like that in London. I’m fussy about where I eat…BUT…the Sunnah is that you should not question a Muslim about whether the meat they’re serving is halal, unless you have a genuine concern, i.e. you know they buy their meat from the local supermarket.

      But it’s always good to be on the safe side…for example, I recently found out that a well-known and supposedly halal chain of restaurants in Edgware Road in London are, in actual fact, owned by a Lebanese Christian who buys the meat from your average English butcher…I don’t know if this is 100% fact as a fellow sister told me a couple of weeks ago and I can’t remember how she knows, hence I have not mentioned the name of the restaurants here, but it’s worth looking into it anyway. And probably best to avoid.

    • Avatar

      ummaasiyah

      December 12, 2009 at 9:09 AM

      Also, it is probably better to quote from the Prophet (saw)’s example or from his Companions as people on here would find it easier to relate to those as opposed to Maulana Thanwi’s example. The market bread example that you have mentioned could then make us all question ourselves buying bread from our local Sainsbury’s, Tesco or Wal-Mart, and would then confuse everyone, as it doesn’t relate to eating out at a restaurant.

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  29. Avatar

    aysam

    December 12, 2009 at 8:33 PM

    Haaaahahahahahahahaha. I can just imagine the brother writing the marriage bit with a straight face.
    It’s a lovely little piece. Jazakallah khayr.

  30. Pingback: Top Ten Forms of Halal Entertainment « ajeeb.

  31. Avatar

    ASG

    December 13, 2009 at 12:52 AM

    Salaam,

    I agree with some of the people above.

    Being Muslim doesn’t mean we need to be BORING…and the list of activities above just don’t scream out “FUN!”

    Here are some ideas of HALAL FUN things to do:

    1) Shopping
    2) Going to an Amusement Park
    3) Sky-Diving/ Bungee Jumping
    4) Mountain Climbing
    5) Taking a Spontaneous weekend trip somewhere with your spouse
    6) Travelling
    7) Taking a ride out on a yacht
    8) Going to a private beach with friends
    9) Having Halal themed parties (ex: dessert parties, 1920’s themed, luau, etc.)
    10) Painting
    11) Ice Skating
    12) going out with the girls for a spa day for the sisters/ or having a sports night for the brothers

    Those are just some examples..I probably have a million more where that came from! Anyway, my point is that we can still be a good Muslim and enjoy life!

    WS

    • Avatar

      Amatullah

      December 13, 2009 at 4:46 PM

      Why can’t sisters have a sports night :)

    • Avatar

      pineapple

      May 1, 2010 at 2:31 AM

      Why can’t brothers have a spa day?

  32. Avatar

    ASG

    December 13, 2009 at 12:53 AM

    Also, maybe im just really late on this…but what happened to the the little thumbs up and thumbs down on people’s comments?! i LOVED that feature!

    • Avatar

      Sayf

      December 13, 2009 at 12:00 PM

      Agreed, bring back the thumbs!

  33. Avatar

    bigahk

    December 13, 2009 at 2:48 AM

    i thought the first command was to”recite” not “read”..i think thats wat sh.yusef estes was saying hmmm..what surah is that again????

    • Avatar

      ummaasiyah

      December 13, 2009 at 12:11 PM

      I think you’re referring to Surah Al-‘Alaq.

      ٱقۡرَأۡ بِٱسۡمِ رَبِّكَ ٱلَّذِى خَلَقَ

      This usually translates to:

      “Read! In the Name of your Lord, Who has created (all that exists)”

      Having said that, there are some translations that say ‘recite!’ Quránic Arabic is so rich, that you can get 10 meanings in English from one word in Arabic.

  34. Avatar

    isolated mullah

    December 13, 2009 at 1:58 PM

    Not sure if life is meant to have fun from an Islamic perspective, I’d like to spend my free time by reading scientific journals, books and exploring nature for photography, all with the intention of diving into the love and beauty of God. Anything that is done in isolation. That makes me a boring person and incompetent for marriage. Hence me activity #1 would be to explore the skies in some twin-engined fighter jet while experiencing the thrill of 10gs …
    one day inshAllah.

  35. Avatar

    UDsisters

    December 14, 2009 at 6:08 AM

    Mashallah I really enjoyed reading this blog post and learned somethings through it.. JAK

  36. Avatar

    realist

    December 14, 2009 at 8:56 AM

    Salam

    Why are so many people bringing the author down? Such a balanced article, Mashallah, but the ‘haram police’ are jumping onto the author left, right and center.

    • Amad

      Amad

      December 14, 2009 at 10:03 AM

      It is a great article… but that’s the blog-world for you “realist”… you have to really be prepared to defend every angle, because there are people out there who (sincerely or maliciously, both exist) nitpick every word and every intention.

      Br. Abu Muawiya will be doing more posts for MM in the future i/a

      • Avatar

        Regular Baba

        December 14, 2009 at 10:35 AM

        Salam

        Maybe someone can write an article on the negative effects of searching for the haram all the time?

        • Avatar

          Holly Garza

          December 14, 2009 at 11:08 AM

          oh!!!! where are the thumbs up when you need ’em?! THUMBS UP

  37. Avatar

    Abd- Allah

    December 14, 2009 at 11:20 AM

    Assalam Alaikum

    For all those brothers and sisters that think whoever criticizes something about the article is “haram policing” and is negative and just doing it to put the author down or that every criticism of the article is aimed at brother Abu Muawiyah personally, then I must remind everyone that pointing out the faults and deficiencies to your fellow Muslims is indeed sincere advice and part of our perfect deen.

    As Abu Huraira may Allah be pleased with him said, “The believer is a mirror for his brother, if he sees something wrong in him he fixes it.” (Authenticated by Al- Albani in Saheeh Aladab Almufrad)

    So helping your fellow Muslims fix their faults is the duty of every one of us! Of coarse there will always be a few who will not have the correct intention and criticize others for whatever reason or simply to put that other person down, and I do believe that those are a small minority and that most Muslims give advice sincerely with the right intention.

    Now we come to the next issue which is how to give advice, and some might say that advice should be given in a gentle way, and this is true and is the general rule, however there are always exceptions where being harsh on your brother might be better for him and it might have a better effect, and this is clear for anyone who is familiar with the sunnah.

    That is why Ibn Taymiyah said, “The believer to a believer is like hands washing each other, and the dirt might not come off except with a little bit of harshness, but the result of this of cleanliness and softness which we like, only comes with this harshness” (Majmu’ Alfatawa)

    For those who think that we should leave every Muslim to deal with his own shortcomings and faults without saying anything or pointing them out to him, and those who think that anyone who gives other Muslims advice when he sees them doing wrong is being the “haram police”, then I suggest you enlighten yourself more on the subject by reading this article which was published here on MM a while back:

    http://muslimmatters.org/2009/03/28/judge-me/

    • Avatar

      Holly Garza

      December 14, 2009 at 11:27 AM

      Exactly! some people do go about it wrong and not all do it to “help”. People misunderstand this greatly and think Islam is all about being boring and harsh and it’s not. Allah is love and he loves Beauty. People under the guise to “correct” (which we can’t only Allah and the person doing wrong can) often hurt, anger, or annoy others. Not everyone and some brothers and sisters Do say something with good intentions. Thats why I have my own blog, to try to say things. If people want they can learn and search or ask an Imam or scholar. Yes Helping and giving Naseeha (gentle advice) is our duty but not everyone does it right nor should we expect people to “obey” us just because we give them advice.

      When I say Haraam Policing, it is exactly what I mean, not that a well meaning brother and sis is doing (gentle Naseeha) but those just looking for negativity and to try and be grand. We all have faults and Allah knows best

    • Avatar

      Regular Baba

      December 14, 2009 at 11:29 AM

      Salam

      Let’s just agree to disagree, brother. If you are comfortable being harsh, that’s fine, but that’s not my way. I choose to encourage muslims by showing the beauty of Islam. And BTW, did you read the disclaimer at the start of the article? “But remember even Halal forms of entertainment become Haraam through overindulgence and neglecting your Islamic duties”.

      • Avatar

        Abd- Allah

        December 14, 2009 at 11:52 AM

        Akhi, no one is “comfortable being harsh”, and being harsh all the time is wrong just as being gentle all the time is also an extreme. If you read the article that I mentioned, you would see that being gentle or harsh depends on the situation and the person whom you are addressing. I might have been a bit harsh on brother Abu Muawiyah in my comment on his article, but this is because he is a student of knowledge studying under shuyukh, and my approach would have probably been very different if he was a layman who has no knowledge of the deen.

        If you read this article (http://muslimmatters.org/2009/03/28/judge-me/) you would see how the Prophet himself was gentle in some situations while he was also harsh in others, and you would see that sticking to one all the time is an extreme and it wasn’t something that the prophet himself did. All I am saying is that things depend on the situation and on who you are giving the advice to, and even though in general it is better to be gentle, yet in some situations one has to be harsh in order to have the required effect as is clear from the seerah of the Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him.

        • Avatar

          Regular Baba

          December 14, 2009 at 12:02 PM

          Salam

          Like I said, let’s just agree to disagree. If we look at all the haram “entertainment” freely available throughout the modern world, this is an amazing article which would be very, very helpful for those muslims who are struggling to follow their Islam, but feel frustration at living in a society where trying to be a muslim is like being a monk. And I know that you could probably make 100 arguments against my last sentence, but that’s the reality we live in.

  38. Avatar

    Regular Baba

    December 14, 2009 at 12:03 PM

    Salam

    “those muslims who are struggling to follow their Islam, but feel frustration at living in a society where trying to be a muslim is like being a monk.”

    I should add that I am one of those muslims.

  39. Avatar

    sabirah

    December 15, 2009 at 4:51 AM

    Abu Dharr asked the Prophet (Pbuh) to advise him. He told him:”I advise you to be conscious of God, for this is the best adornment to all of your matters.” He asked for mor.”Continue the recital of the Qur’an and the remembrance of God, for it is a remembrance for you in Heaven and a light for you on earth. “He still asked for more. “Prolong your silence, for it repels Satan and is great help for you in matters of yoru religion.” He asked for more. “Avoid excessive laughter, for it kills the heart and removes the light of the countenance.” He asked for more. “Speak the truth even if it is bitter.” He asked for more “Do not fear in the matters of God the blame of any blamer”. He asked for more.”Let what you know about yourself deter you from criticizing people.” (Bayhaqi)

    • Avatar

      Abd- Allah

      December 15, 2009 at 7:49 AM

      Sister sabirah, can you please provide us with the authenticity of this hadith?

      • Avatar

        sabirah

        December 15, 2009 at 3:25 PM

        assalam aleykum brother Abd-Allah,
        thank you for that question, it is very important to establish the authenticity of Hadiths. I copied this Hadith from my english translation of Mishkat Al-Masabih. Unfortunatly my arabic language skills are very limited as well as my other resources, so i’m always grateful for help and information on that regard from knowledgable brothers and sisters.
        I posted this hadith because i did not want anyone to be offended, me thinking who would be feeling critizised or offended by the word of the prophet himself (pbuh)? And I think i’ts beautiful.
        If I was to criticize anyone in this forum for critizising, this would be like doing the deed myself (in my opinion). I do not have authority to do so, and certainly do not wish to point the finger at myself. Please forgive me if you find my response unsatisfactory.
        Wassalam

  40. Avatar

    wah

    December 16, 2009 at 11:43 AM

    Correction to #1.
    The hadeeth says bikr, which means ‘virgin’ and not ‘young’ and thayyib which means matron, not ‘old’; and the second part was jabir’s answer – that his parents died leaving young sisters for him to take care of, so he wanted someone who was older than him and capable of helping him take care of them. with the reply from the prophet ‘you have done well’.

  41. Avatar

    Smee

    December 25, 2009 at 8:22 AM

    Salaam,

    I find it incredibly shameful how much dislike and arrogance there is amongst us Muslims.

    This brother wrote a lighthearted article about what HE likes doing in his spare time, an article which may just appeal to our not-so-practising brothers & sisters out there, to show them that we aren’t all boring old fogies. However most of the comments here go completely against the grain of the article.

    We have one commenter after another jumping on the bandwagon to put his efforts down. To the extent where the brother is even speaking of not writing again?
    SubhanAllah, I hope you people have as much zeal when you stand before Allah SWT and explain how you stopped your fellow Muslim brother from encouraging others towards the deen.

    Why are we so quick to get emotional and let our manners and adab slip when it comes to our fellow Muslims? If you people are following the sunnah of ‘Want for your brother what you want for yourself’ then you clearly have no standards.

    • Avatar

      just another Muslim

      December 25, 2009 at 11:05 AM

      SubhanaAllah-so true!

    • Avatar

      Abu Muawiyah

      February 16, 2010 at 2:09 AM

      Jazakallah Khair, good to know that some people understood the purpose of my article and benefited from it :)

  42. Avatar

    SK

    January 20, 2010 at 4:16 PM

    What abou target shooting? Hunting?

    My wife and i enjoy this sport alot!! (particularly my wife lol….)

    Its something the whole family can get involved in. PLUS IT’s SUNNAH! and inshAllah you get rewards for it as the following hadith states;

    Book 14, Number 2507:
    Narrated Uqbah ibn Amir:

    I heard the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) say: Allah, Most High, will cause three persons to enter Paradise for one arrow: the maker when he has a good motive in making it, the one who shoots it, and the one who hands it; so shoot and ride, but your shooting is dearer to me than your riding. Everything with which a man amuses himself is vain except three (things): a man’s training of his horse, his playing with his wife, and his shooting with his bow and arrow. If anyone abandons archery after becoming an adept through distaste for it, it is a blessing he has abandoned; or he said: for which he has been ungrateful.

    This sport also presents an excellent opportunity to intermingle with other communities on a halal basis. When ever me and my wife go to the local rifle range many people want to come and say “G’day and ask us how we are going?” and often some of the more experienced shooters give us tips on how to better our skills.

    My wife (who wears a hijab) seems to get alot of attention…like people make sure they are extra polite to her and provide her with equipment she may need (perhaps contrary to popular belief!)….. and ofcoarse we try our best also, to be good representatives of your average, run of the mill Muslims.

    As this is a very popular sport in Australia joining a club and getting started is pretty easy.

    HOWEVER sensible people need only apply!

    Salams :)

  43. Avatar

    firoz

    February 26, 2010 at 9:44 PM

    Salams

    Regarding Nasheeds , i have read in another website that not only music is haram than infact nasheeds with even duff is haram and that the duff is allowed only in certain circumstances to be played by women only.

    “There will be among my ummah people who will regard adultery, silk, alcohol and musical instruments as permissible.”

    This hadeeth indicates that all musical instruments are haraam, including the daff”

    http://www.islam-qa.com/en/ref/91142/duff

    Could some on please get back to me on this Inshllah

    Salams

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  46. Avatar

    Islamislove

    January 17, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    everything thing is haram. live a sad life and go to heaven. and stop posting on the the internet. its haram. so is your profile picture Ismails Kamdar, Y U provoke hijabis sisters lust? Music, friends, faces, food, is all haram. even breathing too much (ala imam ghazali- only religion in the extreme is halal, the rest is all haram).

    • Avatar

      Its only Me!!

      January 14, 2014 at 5:59 AM

      Get a life, will ya?

  47. Avatar

    Islam Hussen Pakhtoon

    October 22, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    10. Eating out:

    This is definitely the best form of entertainment.

  48. Avatar

    Aneela Kauser

    March 1, 2015 at 8:40 AM

    Hello My name is Aneela. I used to love listening to music but since I have quit that I find much more pleasure in Audiobooks/ Nature/ my favourite TV shows.

    I love your list and agree muslims can have fun if it is halaal.

    there are so many things on your list I enjoy immensely.
    I would like to add relaxation, exercise, yoga and eating healthy on the list. also Bird watching and documentaries (they benefit learning). I love watching olden day movies and crime shows (of course if there is something haraam shown I forward on the video)

    I would like to add that if you are partaking in any halaal activity, don’t miss salah for it, just pray salah and carry on with the activity.

    Aneela Kauser

    • Avatar

      Sarawar Husen Molla

      June 12, 2015 at 9:52 AM

      we purchase idle things to please our heart, but remembrance of our creator do find our heart rest,
      i think the last ruku of sura al imran teaches to think think think….. to feel feel feel…..and last… “our creator does not create anything in vain” that can be done wherever you are whatever is your position, regarding music it create hypocrite in heart, this why you can continue it so long, so taffaqqar makes you realize that you only pass the time.. you also get reward for it inn jannah . i astonished at some people in india who do dua ” oh our lord please increase your blessings and mercy among all of your creation” most interestingly majority of them do not know how read how to write…

  49. Avatar

    ??

    August 22, 2015 at 9:25 AM

    lol this is so cool and funny

  50. Avatar

    Shahrukh Anwer

    March 1, 2016 at 11:29 AM

    @Usama Zaid Malik
    Is Omar series by MBC MUSIC FREE?! I do find MUSIC in it. One can mute and watch with English subtitles even if the person watching is an Arabic speaker.

  51. Avatar

    Shahrukh Anwer

    March 1, 2016 at 11:30 AM

    @Usama Zaid Malik
    Is Omar series by MBC MUSIC FREE?! I do hear MUSIC in it. One can mute and watch with English subtitles even if the person watching is an Arabic speaker.

    • Avatar

      Al Bun

      May 11, 2016 at 11:26 AM

      It is debateable whether music is permissible or not but IMO there are far greater things to try to avoid especially in the west like dating, GMOs, etc.

  52. Avatar

    Al Bun

    May 11, 2016 at 11:20 AM

    There are so many things to do which are permissible, 1) Go Karting 2) Sports 3) Fishing 4) Rowing/Kayaking 5) Swimming/ Snorkling 6) Hiking 7) Horseback Riding 8) Reading/Having 9) Trampoline 11) Archery

    • Avatar

      Al Bun

      May 11, 2016 at 11:22 AM

      Typo Reading/ Going to Barnes and Nobles or Book stores w/ family and reading/Library.

  53. Avatar

    Nida

    July 23, 2016 at 10:07 PM

    Assalam alaikum
    I’ve been watching some game of thrones due to peer pressure and curiosity but the content is so reviling to my innate fitrah that I definitely agree that its near impossible to find a hollywood content without any haram elements, unintentionally. So the doors need to be closed to tv in general altogether, including the mainstream news channels. Otherwise little ants make one susceptible to a mountain of sins before we know we end up being like the Israelite story of that pious guy who died an idolator. أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم

    Would just like to point out that in tafseer vids by Dr Bilal Philips in IOU TAF 202 module 18b, Sheikh mentions that bungee diving and sky diving etc categorise as equivalent to climbing mt everest. He deems them haram as its placing life at risk, all for the sake of boasting. While Jihad is acceptable, this isn’t. In skydive dubai, as I am aware even Mufti Menk had done it, because a trained professional ensures you don’t die in worse case scenario when some equipment fails. That is prone to debate, but my mom was devastated when my brother did so anyway out of some excitement or conquering fear. In my gut, I felt it was not right otherwise he wouldn’t have hidden it and secretly enjoyed the thrills of having fazed against death. Allah swt knows best

  54. Avatar

    Ms.Muslim

    August 11, 2016 at 9:06 PM

    I really like this list. I tried most of the things here, (Except for the video games!), But other than that, This list is what I come to everyday when I’m bored.

  55. Avatar

    Ali

    October 10, 2016 at 4:47 PM

    i`d add:

    1. Martial arts- like bjj sparring isnt dangerous, no punches or anything.
    2. Riddles and jokes- Im known as being able to joke and make others laugh heavily without sinning-
    trust me, theres actually more humor in halal jokes!!!
    3. mountain hiking,camping, and trips like that.
    4.fishing.
    5.poetry.
    6.Competition like cooking competition.
    7. Debates.
    8. go karting.
    9. theme parks.
    10.barbaques.

    id like to make two main points. Being Deep in practice of the deen should make a person content and happy deep down,
    and their earthly affairs will go smooth-the result should be a pleasant charismatic individual, being around such a person should
    be fun in itself. second point: Due to working within known boundaries, it actually liberates us into being happy with little, so when
    we stumble upon big situations we will be very happy.

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#Life

Muslim Adulting 101: Tips And Tricks For Every Young (And Not So Young) Muslim Adult

Social media is rife with complaints about how young Muslim men and women today aren’t ready for marriage, aren’t responsible enough for marriage, and are barely capable of keeping themselves alive without frantically calling their mothers or Googling how to make avocado toast. Having once been such a person (I got married at 18 and was incapable of making more than scrambled eggs), and having had around a decade’s worth of practise at adulting (I am now fully capable of making several egg dishes, though I have yet to achieve a round roti), it dawned upon me to help out the current generation of hapless almost-adults by providing a list of useful survival tips – not just for marriage preparation, but for life preparation.

I learned roughly half these things in the year before marriage, and the rest during first year of marriage. I do not claim to be an expert. I was married at 18, had a kid at 19, and was adulting at a semi proficient level by 20… although yes, I still frantically text my mother even now. I learned most of this while living in Egypt (with occasional stints in the village) and in Kuwait (as a broke non-Kuwaiti, not as a spoiled Khaleeji). You learn a lot of things the hard way, like how to toast bread on the stove when you can’t afford a toaster.)

Know How to Feed Yourself

Whether male or female, you should know how to make at least 3 breakfast items (toast and frozen items don’t count) – depending on your culture, there will be many different options to choose from, but they should be basic and easy, e.g. scrambled eggs, oatmeal, fool mudammas, za3tar and laban, etc.

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The same applies for lunch and dinner. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but you need to know the basics. Get up and go learn from your mom or dad or Pinterest or a YouTuber – as long as you just learn to do it instead of daydreaming about your spouse cooking for you. IT’S CALLED SURVIVAL SKILLS. (I learned from Canadian Living, before Pinterest was a thing. My mother still hasn’t forgiven me.)

Always, always, always remember: eat halal and tayyib food. I mean this completely seriously, and not just in a zabihah vs non-zabihah way (although, yes, zabihah is extra halal and you should definitely eat zabihah only). The simplest of foods, if you have the intention to eat that which is beneficial, will provide incredible satisfaction. 

 

Cleaning supplies

Cleanliness and Household Basics

Know how to clean your own bathroom. That means scrubbing the toilet at least once a week, the bathtub a few times a month, and generally sanitizing all surfaces. Flylady.com has some great tips

There is nothing nastier than leaving a mess in your bathroom and doing nothing to clean it. (And no, gender stereotypes about men leaving messes on toilet seats will not be tolerated. Fiqh of Taharah, people!)

Know how to clean your kitchen. When you do something in the kitchen, clean up after yourself as quickly as possible. Give your kitchen a deep-clean about twice a month. Clean your fridge, your microwave, under your toaster, and the top of your stove, which will accumulate a nasty layer of stickiness if you don’t wipe it down immediately after frying samosas. 

Learn how to operate a vacuum, how to sweep effectively, and how to mop. 

Never underestimate the importance of Tupperware. And by ‘Tupperware,’ I don’t mean the brand name – I mean washing out and using every yogurt tub, jam jar, and pasta bottle you use. You will indeed understand the wisdom of your foremothers. Make du’a for them when you reach this point of enlightenment. 

Do your own laundry. Know the difference between hot water wash (and what items to use it for), and cold water/delicates. DON’T MIX A RED ITEM WITH WHITE. (Yes, I ruined my own delicates and my infant’s brand new onesies. Ugh.) When something says “dry clean only”… for the love of your wallet, dry clean only. (As a general rule, avoid buying dry clean only items.)

Learn how to iron. I hate ironing, I avoid doing it as much as possible, I still don’t always have the hang of ironing men’s shirts (although I can starch a ghutrah like no one’s business), but LEARN THE BASICS OF IRONING and how not to burn your brand-new abayah.

Men: this still applies to you. Learn to iron your own clothes. Also learn to iron women’s clothing. (Especially hijabs and abayas.) My grandfather ironed my grandmother’s clothes every day, and she always looked like she’d just stepped out of a Desi granny fashion mag.

Learn how to sew a basic stitch in case of emergencies. I’m not asking you to embroider a tapestry or tailor make a suit, but knowing how to thread a needle and mend a tear or rip is super duper handy. (I failed every sewing class my mother put me in, and my current pile of torn clothing is at her house, but yes, I can technically mend a tear.)

Most importantly, remember that as a member of a family unit – or any unit, including living with roommates – you must actively seek to be interdependent rather than selfishly and self-centeredly independent. Just as the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) spent his day serving his family, so too should we strive to be contributing positively to our households, being considerate of others, and even going out of our way to serve them. Service to those around us is neither humiliating nor offensive; rather, it is the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet.

If you are not doing these things in your/ your parents’ home, you do not deserve to have a marital home.

Hisham ibn ‘Urwa said that his father said,

“I asked ‘A’isha, may Allah be pleased with her, ‘What did the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, do in his house?’ She replied, ‘He mended his sandals and worked as any man works in his house.'” 

Hisham said,

“I asked ‘A’isha, ‘What did the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, do in his house?’ She replied, ‘He did what one of you would do in his house. He mended sandals and patched garments and sewed.”

(Al Adab al Mufrad)

 

Manage Your Money

Know how to make a budget, and how to stick to it. Be aware of bills, how and when to pay them. Learn how to avoid debt under all circumstances.

Yes, this means being frugal.

Yes, this means couponing.

Yes, this means not spending $5 every day at Starbucks if you can’t afford it (and avoiding doing so every day even if you can afford it).
Yes, this means buying things on clearance.

Yes, this means putting aside money for sadaqah, and udhiyah and zakah if you required to distribute it according to your savings.

Most importantly, this means knowing how to organize and prioritize your expenses, how to cut down on the big bills and costs, and how to incorporate self-care without blowing out your wallet. 

If you weren’t raised by frugal Desi parents who taught you every budgeting trick there is, then go read a book, listen to a podcast or look up online how best to budget. Don’t just budget for your immediate needs – anticipate future expenses, create a savings account (for school, Hajj, wedding), and always have something stashed away for emergencies. In this economy, you need to scrimp as much as possible.

Pro tip: Do not discount barakah as a major factor in your day to day living expenses. If you insist on only pursuing halaal rizq, if you make a point of avoiding interest-bearing student loans and mortgages, you will have barakah in your wealth. You will discover that a meager grocery shopping trip will leave you with food that lasts you for twice as long as you expected. You will learn that giving in sadaqah on a regular basis, no matter how minuscule the amount, will result in blessings in every aspect of your life. You will be happier, live better, and succeed in your daily living. In a culture where making money is considered the single most important aspect of one’s life, it is necessary to reorient ourselves as Muslims. Allah is ar-Razzaaq, and not a single penny will come our way unless He decrees; not an ounce of our wealth will benefit us unless we seek that rizq in a manner that is pleasing to Him. 

Abu Huraira narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ  said:

“Verily Allah the Exalted is pure (tayyib). He does not accept but that which is pure. Allah commands the believers with what He commanded the Messengers. Allah the Almighty has said: “O you Messengers! Eat of the good things and act righteously”. And Allah the Almighty also said: “O you who believe! Eat of the good things that We have provided you with. Then he (the Prophet) mentioned (the case of) the man who, having journeyed far, is disheveled and dusty and who stretches out his hands to the sky (saying): “O Lord! O Lord!” (while) his food was unlawful, his drink was unlawful, his clothing was unlawful, and he is nourished with unlawful things, so how can he be answered?” [Muslim]

 

Hospitality

Learn how to be a good host/hostess. Almost every Muslim culture is known for its generosity towards guests, and for good reason: the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) repeatedly emphasized the rights of guests over their hosts, and of the rewards of hospitality. 

Abu Shuraih reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him honor his guest and recompense him.” They said, “O Messenger of Allah, what is his recompense?” The Prophet said, “It is for a day and a night, as good hospitality is for three days and after that it is charity.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Being a good host and hostess means knowing the adab (etiquettes) of having guests over, no matter how unexpected or informal. Offer everyone from the delivery person to the snootiest masjid aunty water or other drinks when they come in, seat them in the best place in the house, know how to turn half a package of Oreos and cheese sticks into a presentable snack tray, and so on. 

As well, if guests come to your home bringing a dish, make sure not to return that dish empty-handed! Always include something with it, whether homemade or even just a small package of treats. 

Growing up, I always saw my parents being extremely generous hosts, even when completely unprepared, and they trained my brothers and I without even realizing it. Having frozen samosas or a stash of “guests only” treats in your pantry is incredibly useful when you find yourself with a crowd of unexpected visitors in your living room. It’s a shame that so many people today have neglected the art of hospitality, when it has always been a traditional hallmark of Muslims.

Beautiful Scents

Good scents are from the Sunnah, and it is a habit that one should make regular for the household. There’s nothing quite like walking in through the door and inhaling beautiful incense.

(Unless you or others in your home are allergic to perfumes and strong scents, in which case, never mind.) 

Whether it’s bukhoor, agar bhatti, Yankee candles, or even scented diffuser oils, make it a habit to have your home (and yourself!) smelling beautiful. Your friends and family will always appreciate it! 

The Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was known for his love of good scents, as in the hadith “Beloved to me of this world is […] perfume...” (Nasa’i). Repeatedly, Muslims have been encouraged to cleanse themselves regularly, to use good scents, and to avoid offensive odours. (It should go without saying that one should always ensure to bathe daily, wear fresh clothing, and not to douse themselves in cheap cologne in an attempt to mask the reek of fried onions or stale sweat.)

Jabir ibn Abdullah reported:

The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Whoever eats onions, garlic, or leeks should not approach our mosque, for the angels are offended by whatever offends the children of Adam.” (Muslim)

Muslim-Specific Adulting Pro Tips

Be the person who wakes everyone up for Fajr (or sets enough alarms that eventually, *someone* will wake up). In Ramadan, be the person who helps with suhoor and iftaar, instead of being a lazy bum who drags their butt out of bed to stuff their faces and then crawls back into bed until Fajr. 

Be the person who reminds the rest of the household to fulfill the sunan of Jumu’ah – doing ghusl, wearing the best clothes, reading Surah al-Kahf etc.

Call the adhaan for every salah and encourage everyone at home to pray together; do dhikr often, especially the daily adhkaar; remind yourself and your loved ones to recite Qur’an often in the home, and have it playing regularly on audio instead of playing background music. 

Abu Huraira reported:

The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Do not turn your houses into graveyards. Verily, Satan flees from the house in which Surat al-Baqarah is recited.” (Muslim)

Keep standard Sunnah foods in hand and well in stock: honey, dates, black seed and black seed oil, olive oil. Make it a habit to ruqya-fy honey & oils (i.e. recite ayaat used for ruqya over your water, honey, olive and black seed oils. It is a means of protection and benefit, regardless of whether you have ayn or sihr issues; it is beneficial even for physical ailments. Pro tip: buy big jars/bottles and recite over them.)

And that, folks, is a 101 to Basic Muslim-y Adulting. If you aren’t married yet, this will at least prepare you for some basic survival as you establish your own home; if you are married but don’t know or do these things… well… hopefully it’s not too late for you yet. I cannot emphasize enough that this entire checklist applies equally to men and women; the vast majority of these points can be found as sunan from the life of the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)

May Allah make us all of those who uphold their responsibilities with Ihsaan, and establish households based on the best of Islamic values and ethics, ameen.

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#Current Affairs

Oped: The Treachery Of Spreading Bosnia Genocide Denial In The Muslim Community

The expanding train of the Srebrenica genocide deniers includes the Nobel laureate Peter Handke, an academic Noam Chomsky, the Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić, as well as almost all Serbian politicians in Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. One name in this group weirdly stands out: “Sheikh” Imran Hosein. A traditionally trained Muslim cleric from Trinidad and Tobago, Hosein has carved his niche mostly with highly speculative interpretations of Islamic apocalyptic texts. He has a global following with more than 200 hundred thousand subscribers to his YouTube channel, and his videos are viewed by hundreds of thousands. He has written tens of books in English, some of which had been translated into major world languages. His denial of the Srebrenica genocide may seem outlandish, coming from a Muslim scholar, but a close inspection of his works reveals ideas that are as disturbing as they are misleading.

Much of Hosain’s output centers around interpreting the apocalyptic texts from the Qur’an and Sunnah on the “end of times” (akhir al-zaman). As in other major religious traditions, these texts are highly allegorical in nature and nobody can claim with certainty their true meaning – nobody, except Imran Hosein. He habitually dismisses those who disagree with his unwarranted conclusions by accusing them of not thinking properly. A Scottish Muslim scholar, Dr. Sohaib Saeed, also wrote about this tendency.

In his interpretations, the Dajjal (“anti-Christ”) is American-Zionist alliance (the West or the NATO), the Ottomans were oppressors of the Orthodox Christians who are, in turn, rightfully hating Islam and Muslims, Sultan Mehmed Fatih was acting on “satanic design” when he conquered Constantinople, the terrorist attacks of 9/11 were a false flag operation carried out by the Mossad and its allies, and – yes! – the genocide did not take place in Srebrenica. Such conspiratorial thinking is clearly wrong but is particularly dangerous when dressed in the garb of religious certainty. 

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Hosain frequently presents his opinions as the “Islamic” view of things. His methodology consists of mixing widely accepted Muslim beliefs with his own stretched interpretations. The wider audience may not be as well versed in Islamic logic of interpretation so they may not be able to distinguish between legitimate Muslim beliefs and Hosain’s own warped imagination. In one of his fantastic interpretations, which has much in common with the Christian apocalypticism, the Great War that is nuclear in nature is coming and the Muslims need to align with Russia against the American-Zionist alliance. He sees the struggle in Syria as part of a wider apocalyptic unfolding in which Assad and Putin are playing a positive role. He stretches the Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings to read into them fanciful and extravagant interpretations that are not supported by any established Islamic authority.

Hosain does not deny that a terrible massacre happened in Srebrenica. He, however, denies it was a genocide, contradicting thus numerous legal verdicts by international courts and tribunals. Established by the United Nations’ Security Council, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) delivered a verdict of genocide in 2001 in the case of the Bosnian Serb General Radislav Krstić. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague confirmed, in 2007, that genocide took place in Srebrenica. In 2010, two more Bosnian Serb officers were found guilty of committing genocide in Bosnia. The butcher of Srebrenica, Ratko Mladić, was found guilty of genocide in 2017.

In spite of this, and displaying his ignorance on nature and definition of genocide, Hosain stated in an interview with the Serbian media, “Srebrenica was not a genocide. That would mean the whole Serbian people wanted to destroy the whole Muslim people. That never happened.” In a meandering and offensive video “message to Bosnian Muslims” in which he frequently digressed to talking about the end of times, Hosain explained that Srebrenica was not a genocide and that Muslims of Bosnia needed to form an alliance with the Orthodox Serbs. He is oblivious to the fact that the problems in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the former Yugoslavia stem not from the Bosniaks’ purported unwillingness to form an alliance with the Serbs, but from the aggressive Greater Serbia ideology which had caused misery and destruction in Bosnia, Slovenia, Croatia, and Kosovo. 

Hosein’s views are, of course, welcome in Serbia and in Republika Srpska (Serb-dominated entity within Bosnia), where almost all politicians habitually deny that genocide took place in Srebrenica. He had been interviewed multiple times on Serbian television, where he spewed his views of the Ottoman occupation and crimes against the Serbs, the need to form an alliance between Muslims and Russia, and that Srebrenica was not a genocide. His website contains only one entry on Srebrenica: a long “exposé” that claims no genocide took place in Srebrenica. Authored by two Serbs, Stefan Karganović and Aleksandar Pavić, the special report is a hodge-podge of conspiracy theories, anti-globalization and anti-West views. Karganović, who received more than a million dollars over a six year period from the government of the Bosnian Serb-led Republika Srpska for lobbying efforts in Washington, was recently convicted by the Basic Court in Banja Luka on tax evasion and defamation. The Court issued a warrant for Karganović’s arrest but he is still on the loose. 

True conspirators of the Srebrenica killings, according to Hosain, are not the Serbian political and military leaders, and soldiers who executed Srebrenica’s Muslims. The conspirators are unnamed but it does not take much to understand that he believes that the massacres were ultimately orchestrated by the West, CIA, and NATO. Hosain even stated on the Serbian TV that if people who knew the truth were to come forward they would be executed to hide what really happened. Such opinions are bound to add to an already unbearable pain that many survivors of the Srebrenica genocide are experiencing. It is even more painful when Bosniak victims – who were killed because they were Muslims – are being belittled by an “Islamic” scholar who seems to be more interested in giving comfort to those who actually perpetrated the heinous crime of genocide than in recognizing the victims’ pain. These views are, of course, welcome in Serbia, Russia, and Greece.

It is not difficult to see why Hosain’s views would be popular in today’s day and age where misinformation and fake news are propagated even by the world leaders who should know better. A conspiratorial mindset, mistrust of established facts, undermining of international institutions – these are all hallmarks of the post-truth age. In another time, Imran Hosain would be easily exposed for what he truly is: a charlatan who claims religious expertise. Today, however, his opinions are amplified by social media and by the people who already question science and established facts. For these reasons, he needs to be unmasked to safeguard the very religious foundations which he claims to uphold but ultimately undermines. 

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A Festival Amidst a Pandemic: How to Give Your Kids an Eid ul-Adha to Remember

Eid ul-Adha is less than 3 weeks away!  This year, more than ever, we want to welcome Eid ul-Adha with a full heart and spirit, insha’Allah, despite the circumstances we are in with the global pandemic.

If you follow me on social media, you probably know that my husband and I host an open house brunch for Eid ul-Adha, welcoming over 125 guests into our home. It’s a party our Muslim and non-Muslim neighbors, friends, and family look forward to being invited to each year. It’s a time to come together as a community, share heart-felt conversations, have laughs, chow down lots of delicious food, and exchange gifts. Kids participate in fun crafts, decorate cookies, and receive eidi. The reality is that we cannot keep up with the tradition this year.

Despite social distancing, we have decided that we will continue to lift our spirits and switch our summer décor to Eid décor, and make it the best Eid for our family and our child. We want to instill the love of Islam in my daughter and make the Islamic festivals a real part of her life. We want to create warm Eid memories, and COVID-19 isn’t going to stop us from doing that. I really hope you plan to do the same.

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Here are 4 ideas to inspire you to bring that festive spirit alive for your family this Eid ul-Adha:

Hajj and Eid ul-Adha themed activities and crafts

There are so many activities to keep the little ones engaged, but having a plan for Eid-ul-Adha with some key activities that your child will enjoy, makes the task so much easier.

Kids love stories, and for us parents this is a great way to get a point across. Read to them about hajj in an age appropriate way. If you don’t have Hajj and Eid-ul-Adha related books, you can get started with this Hajj book list. Read together about the significance and the Islamic traditions of hajj, and the story of how zamzam was discovered. While you teach them the story of the divine sacrifice of Ibrahim 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him), ask relatable questions. As a lesson from the story, give your child examples of how they can sacrifice their anger, bad behavior, etc. during this season of sacrifice for the sake of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). Ask your children how they would feel if they had to give away their favorite toys, so that they can comprehend the feeling.

Counting down the 10 days of Dhul Hijjah to Eid ul-Adha is another fun activity to encourage kids to do a good deed every day. Have different fun and education activities planned for these 10 days.

Family memories are made through baking together. In our household, Eid cannot pass without baking cookies together and sharing with friends and family. Bake and decorate Eid ul-Adha themed cookies in the shape of a masjid, camel, or even lamb, and share with the neighbors one day, and color in Islamic wooden crafts the next. This DIY Ka’bah craft is a must for us to make every year while learning about the Ka’bah, and it’s an easy craft you can try with your family. Have the kids save their change in this cute masjid money box that they can donate on the day of Eid.

Decorate the main family areas

We are all going to be missing visiting friends and relatives for Eid breakfast, lunch, and dinner this year, so why not jazz things up a bit more at home than usual?

Start decorating the areas of your home that you frequently occupy.  Brighten up the living area, and/or main hallway with a variety of star and masjid-shaped lights, festive lanterns, and Eid garlands, to emphasize that Eid has indeed arrived. Perhaps, decorate a tent while you tell your children about the tent city of Mina.

Prep the dining room as if you are having Guests Over

Set up the breakfast table as if you are having family and friends over for Eid breakfast.

These times will be the special moments you spend together eating as a family. Now, with all hands on deck, plan to get everyone involved to make it a full-on affair. What specific tasks can the little ones take on to feel included as part of the Eid prep and get excited?

While the Eid table set-up itself can be simple, the moments spent around the table sharing in new traditions and engaging in prayer will insha’Allah be even more meaningful and memorable.

 An afternoon picnic

Family picnics are a perfect way for family members to relax and connect. If Texas weather permits, we may take advantage of a cool sunny day with a picnic at a nearby, shady park. With the heat wave we are experiencing, it may either not happen or will be an impromptu one.

Out of all the picnics, it’s the impromptu family meals on the lawn or at a park that I love the most. The ones where we grab an old quilt, basket, light meals, fresh fruits and venture out into the backyard or a nearby park. It’ll be a perfect socially distanced Eid picnic.

Eid ul-Adha comes around just once a year, so let’s strive to make the best of it for our children, even amidst this global pandemic.

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MuslimMatters has been a free service to the community since 2007. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

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