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Why “HalfOurDeen.com” by Baba Ali

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Written by Baba Ali

Just a decade ago “finding someone online”  would have raised eyebrows in many Muslim circles, yet with the growing role the internet plays within our social lives, it almost seems natural that finding an appropriate match online was just another development in our ‘e-lives’.

Nine years ago, before I was Baba Ali, I wanted to get married.  I couldn’t find anyone in my local area, and I couldn’t go through my family (since I’m a convert) so I decided to go online, and I really disliked what was out there.  The Muslim matrimonial sites basically took the “dating structure” and put the word “Muslim” in the title as if that would magically make it Islamic.  This is why they ask you “dating-type questions” during registration: “what’s your eye color”, “what’s your hair color”, etc. These are the type of questions one asks if they want to be in a temporary relationship because they’re only surface level questions, but if someone wants to actually marry that person, they would need to ask deeper questions.

So what I did at the time was put up my profile asking for a specific type of sister.  A total of 17 sisters responded, and because these Muslim sites asked only the dating-type of questions, I typed up a long series of questions which I emailed each sister to answer.  I made sure the questions didn’t have ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answers so I would get honest answers.  At the end, one sister’s answers matched my ideal replies, and I married her nine years ago and have been extremely happy ever since. Alhamdulillah.  When my friend learned my strategy, he asked for the questions and alhamdulillah, it led to him getting married too.  Pretty soon, news started to travel and my question strategy became popular.  Eventually, I decided to help others get married, so I decided to start a matchmaking site: Half Our Deen.

We recently launched the site in the summer of 2010 with a current active membership pool of over 1,000 members. The site was created from scratch, disregarding the traditional formula used by established matrimonial sites – Muslim or not. A high value was given to honesty so the runaround interested members usually get when registering to matchmaking sites was purposely removed from the process. Prices and site features are stated clearly off of a link on the main page ($9 for month-to-month subscriptions and $5 per month for annual subscriptions). I myself was tricked into this runaround many years ago when I registered for a matrimonial site that advertised ‘free registration’ only to realize 20 minutes later that the only thing really ‘free’ was me providing them with my private information. The lesson I learned is when you sacrifice something for the sake of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), then He will replace it with something better.

Privacy has been given top priority as this is usually a reason singles shy away from matchmaking sites in the first place. So we have no nosey community members or bored internet browsers accessing our site or the members profile pictures without being a legitimate, paying member. This allows members to rest assure that the only individuals who have access are those who should. A recent poll taken by Half Our Deen members found that a majority of subscribers are exclusively on Half Our Deen and that the #1 reason they chose the site over others is due to the site’s privacy standards.

How does the site work?

A profile picture, age, height, grew up in, located in, a profile description of themselves and what they’re looking for in a lifelong partner are clearly indicated on each member’s page. Their personally-tailored questions can be viewed and answered then the option of ‘I’d rather fast’ or ‘I’m interested’ can be used to further communicate or nix them off the list of potentials. This eliminates those awkward first meetings traditionally used to gauge potential for a relationship.

In order to delve deeper for substance, subscribers are asked more than just the surface-level questions of; ‘height’, ‘weight’, ‘ethnicity’ or ‘eye color’. Since the goal is to find members their life-long partners, questions involve aspects such as family expectations, personality type and personal approach to Islamic issues, revealing the person behind the profile. This priceless data is fed into an algorithm which calculates the optimal percentage matches. This feature is popular and helpful with members allowing a user to see that they may have matched 88% with someone in the religion department but only 23% in the personality department – very useful information to know from the start.

Members are provided with a database of 100 questions (some of which I used in my initial search) to pick and choose from, possibly providing members with aspects they should consider asking that never crossed their minds. Questions like, “Would you relocate to London?” and “Are you an animal lover?” can be answered up-front making the get-to-know-you process easier and clearer. One of our female members who is currently active on the site explains, “It is really cool because once the person answers those questions, you can really get a feel for whether you want to start communication with them or not. For example, you may ask what is it that you expect from your wife financially, they might say lots of money, and that will immediately put you off. Or you might say what is your definition of wealth, and they answer lots of savings, but in your head your thinking love for family, husband, love for life, happiness, inner peace.”

I have also incorporated original, entertaining videos sharing honest and humorous insights on what to expect after the wedding bells fall silent. I want to help give newly-married couples an idea on what they can expect in terms of living together, communicating and getting along – things many mothers and fathers may have forgotten (or avoided) to address before the nikkah.

What can we expect?

With over 1,000+ members strong and growing by the day, Half Our Deen has proven to be a worthy competitor for many of the leading Muslim matrimonial sites out there. Even though a rapidly growing membership count is great on some accounts, we would like to maintain a high level of communication and customer service with each member. In order to make Half Our Deen a better experience, beginning at the end of January 2011 members will be able to dictate the criterion by which suggestions are sent their way. If age is a deal breaker but ethnicity or location isn’t, members are able to indicate this in order to get back more accurate suggestions and potentials matches.  Members will be able to have up to three match filters saved!  Sounds like a job application search filter doesn’t it? We are also introducing a new messaging system which will have email correspondence and history displayed as conversations as well as every reply time-stamped.

Wedding Bells?

Half Our Deen has seen a steady flow of successful matches made. Just yesterday, one of our customer service agents reported that another match was made on Half Our Deen. This completely made my day and put a huge smile on my face. The little part that Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has given me the privilege to play in people’s lives means a lot to me and is a very big deal, alhamdulillah.

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55 Comments

55 Comments

  1. Avatar

    TruthMuslim

    January 19, 2011 at 12:30 AM

    Thank you for the post brother Ali. Very informative indeed. InshAllah, may every Muslim be paired with their ideal spouse and be showered with happiness and blessings from Allah Subhanah wa Ta’alla!

    • Avatar

      Muslim

      January 19, 2011 at 7:29 AM

      Amin

  2. Avatar

    ibnMalik

    January 19, 2011 at 3:18 AM

    Isnt this just blatant advertising products?

    Is this what MM is turning into?

    How was this accepted by MM to post? Because its Baba Ali?

    • Avatar

      Don't see a problem

      January 19, 2011 at 3:24 AM

      Whats wrong with an advertising piece?

      Is it haraam to assist a Muslim brother by advertising his website?

      Why are you makinga big deal out of this if it is not haraam?

      • Avatar

        ibnMalik

        January 19, 2011 at 3:36 AM

        Who said it was haraam?

        If you give him a platform give the same opportunity to everyone
        Why not let all the other Matrimonial sites write and submit and post
        Or better yet we should let all Muslim products write pieces and post them up on here

        It sounds like fun to me, I would definitely enjoy perusing MM.org and going through 20 advertising pieces before coming across a relevant article.

        • Avatar

          Don't see a problem

          January 19, 2011 at 5:20 AM

          You have a very rude and arrogant tone of talking. Learn gentleness before dealing with people.

        • Avatar

          MR

          January 19, 2011 at 1:23 PM

          “If you give him a platform give the same opportunity to everyone
          Why not let all the other Matrimonial sites write and submit and post
          Or better yet we should let all Muslim products write pieces and post them up on here”

          There are worthy products and unworthy ones. MM chooses what they think is best. HalfOurDeen in my personal opinion is the ONLY matrimonial site that can even be related to Islam. All the others that I have seen are just copies of non-Muslim versions just retitled with “Islam” or “Muslim” to it.

          Regardless any owner of a website has the right to choose and refuse what they want to put on it. The viewers have the full control of viewing this post or hitting the X button.

        • Avatar

          Ayman

          January 19, 2011 at 7:00 PM

          Assalamulaikum,

          Alhamdulillah, it’s good to know that you’re passionate about gaining knowledge from “relevant articles”. This is a good Islamic quality, however, by the same token remember that patience, and open-mindedness are also valued Islamic qualities.

          With that being said, I implore you to re-evaluate your argument: namely, that if Baba Ali’s products/services are advertised, others should be given the same opportunity. This is assuming that other products have the same value (Islamically, and in terms of their efficiency, which would really also be something a Muslim should look for).

          It was your choice to view this advertisement, and it if doesn’t appeal to you (for whatever reason), no one is forcing you to stay here. That does not change the fact that this service provided by brother Ali, is of great value as it avoids the haraam or superficial aspects of other matrimonial sites.

          Salaam,

          Ayman

    • Amad

      Amad

      January 19, 2011 at 4:10 AM

      You raise an important point, even if it could have been worded more gently.

      On few and special occasions and special products, we will make exceptions to the general rule whereby we don’t market for-profit or even non-profit ventures. Also, we will review products/services sometime and post the review. Exceptions will depend on the type of product/service, its importance, its “value proposition” and also how it might benefit MM mutually.

      The limit to such infomercials is once per month, and we usually don’t reach even that limit.

      Baba Ali is an asset to the Muslim world and so many youth have been motivated and helped by his talks. His venture is borne out of the same desire to help the youth and we wish him the best.

      • Avatar

        Mansoor Ansari

        January 19, 2011 at 11:47 AM

        taking into consideration how much problem western Muslims r having finding a suitable spouse, this article is very much relevant.

        • Avatar

          Zainab

          January 23, 2011 at 9:31 AM

          Assalamu alaikum wr wb, dear brothers n sisters,
          Its not just muslims in the west, even people in the Indian sub-continent are having a problem I suppose…

          Like a revert friend of mine who’s having trouble…there’s too much culture-mixed-with-religion confusion here… scares me too!

          Any advise, Brother Ali? Please let us know if HOD is open for non-western muslims?

          JazakAllah khayr
          A sister
          from India :)

          –Allah Is Greater and The Greatest, and He knows best, all things.–

      • Avatar

        Uncle Tom

        January 19, 2011 at 7:35 PM

        That’s a pretty random policy..

        On another note,.the quality of articles have been going down on this site anyways, so I wasn’t surprised to see this huge advert.

    • Avatar

      MR

      January 19, 2011 at 1:16 PM

      “Isnt this just blatant advertising products?”
      Yes. I agree. Then again what is wrong with that? MM advertises AlMaghrib, ICNA, YM, Texas Dawah Convention, Islamic Relief, and other Muslim business and organizations that are trying to do good. Nothing wrong in this.

      “Is this what MM is turning into?”
      MM is the same right now with our without this post.

      “How was this accepted by MM to post? Because its Baba Ali?”
      See my first answer.

  3. Avatar

    Dreamlife

    January 19, 2011 at 3:30 AM

    It may be advertising – but it’s a service that is greatly needed; and so I think MM is full justified in putting this article up. At the end of the day, he’s not in this business to be making a profit – is he?

    Judging from his own history, one can see that marriage – enabling people to find the perfect match – is something that played a big part in his life, and is something close to his heart. Watch the “Reminders” videos and you’ll see it’s a recurring theme.

    In my view, if this is something that is genuine, safe, and halaal, and can help people find their matches in an effective way, then it is something to be publicised on sites like this.

    It doesn’t matter whether the author is a ‘celebrity’ or not…the service being offered is one that is critical to many Muslims in the West – particularly the youth, who are bombarded with ways of getting into haraam relationships – but limited / inhibited when it comes to trying to find the one halaal relationship that they’re seeking.

  4. Avatar

    Nayma

    January 19, 2011 at 5:34 AM

    Baba Ali,
    My kids love your small clips on youtube about different topics. Jazak Allahu Khairan for them!

  5. Avatar

    Muslim

    January 19, 2011 at 7:29 AM

    May Allah bless all the muslims (including me and you (whoever is reading this)) with the best spouses in this life and the next !!!

    I do think that Half Our Deen is a step in both directions!

  6. Avatar

    Saba

    January 19, 2011 at 12:18 PM

    mashallah! great initiative. May Allah (swt) put lots of barakah in it!
    I am going to tell all my singles sisters about this inshallah!
    Jazakallahu khayir!

  7. Avatar

    Leo

    January 19, 2011 at 12:42 PM

    Assalamu alaikum. Is there any possibilty of listing the deeper non-superficial questions you asked when going through the process yourself please?

  8. Avatar

    A

    January 19, 2011 at 1:12 PM

    Salams Leo,

    Yes you can ask any question you like when going through the question. You can custom design 21 of your own questions if you like and not choose from the 100 in the questions database :)

    Hope this helps :)

    Wasalams

  9. Avatar

    Baba Ali

    January 19, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    Assalammu’ Alaikum,

    The most interesting piece for the Half Our Deen project so far has been the privacy element. Since access to HOD Is restricted to only members, outsiders can not see who is on the site. Based on a recent survey, this is the biggest reason why most of our members have joined HOD vs the other sites. The challenge for me is posting success stories since most pepole rather have their story private. Otherwise, until about a week ago, I got a report that about 11 couples (that we know of) are in the process of getting married, which isn’t bad for a site that has been open for about 6 months.

    I got a call from one of the Muslim Celebrities that has a profile on HOD last night and he notifed me that he found his match and is getting married, which makes our marriage count to 12 inshAllah. Amazing enough, I was speaking at an event, where I was wearing my Half Our Deen shirt and he asked me about it. I told him that I can’t guarantee anything but I can tell him that we are the deepest site out there. More important than it being a fraction of the other site, it is private so he can be on the site without the whole world knowing he’s on the site. He said “ok, i’ll give it a shot”. Personally, I thought he was kidding and then the next morning at the hotel lobby we were in, he said “let’s setup of my profile” and I was kinda excited.

    Alhamdulillah, he informed me that he got a few resposnes shortly after and then I really didn’t hear much from him….until I got the call last night. Alhamdulillah.

    Half Our Deen does not run by a volunteer staff but rather everyone who helps is paid for their efforts. The majority of our resources does not go into marketing but rather on making the product better. Our revenue is limited because we charge such a low price ($5/month) but we keep putting money back on making the product better. Currently, we have 3 programmers, 2 customer service reps, and 1 person on marketing and this doesn’t include the people managing them. My goal was not only to create a service to help Muslims get married but we also wanted to help the Muslim community by creating Halal jobs inshAllah.

    Baba Ali

    • Avatar

      Awesome-ness

      January 19, 2011 at 3:02 PM

      I sincerely pray that Allah swt accepts your efforts , puts Barakah in your project. As someone who had been looking to get married for about three years now, the site sounds awesome.

      The main problem in Muslims getting married in North America is a Halal network to meet like minded individuals. I don’t have many Muslims around me, so naturally website would help me meet more Muslims who are sincerely looking to get married.

      • Avatar

        Awesome-ness

        January 19, 2011 at 3:02 PM

        I also notices that on websites, people tend to be alot pickier as they always think ”there has to be someone better out there” but oh well everything @ right time inshaAllah

    • Avatar

      ahmad

      January 19, 2011 at 3:14 PM

      Salam Baba Ali, please answer this, do you have advertising within your pages? basically all these sites so far do and i was just wondering if your site was doing the same thing? I want to sign up, but Im afraid its like all the other sites. I do trust you and watch your videos. It seems like anyone who can design and program puts up a marriage site for Muslims. I have heard a lot of good things about Halfourdeen.com, but I just want to make sure I’m safe on this site, as I didn’t feel that way on other sites.

  10. Avatar

    Baba Ali

    January 19, 2011 at 4:24 PM

    Walaikum Salam wa Rahmatullah Ahmad,

    The site is safe. You profile, images, etc…is not shared with any company. Actually, privacy is our priority. It would SO much easier advertising Half Our Deen to others if we could show the profiles but because we respect the privacy of our members, we have kept a sealed door so people can search privately.

    As far as advertising, we don’t have ANY type whatsoever. You will not see any banner ads, text ads, or anything even similar to an ad. Personally, I don’t understand how almost all the rest of the Muslim Matchmaking sites charge a fee for their service and then on top of that advertise to their members. In the last 19 days, we have about 353,033 hits on our site and we can make decent money putting up ads but we refuse to do so. At the end, its not just about money, but rather it is about the quality of the product.

    Half Our Deen is far from perfect but our team is constantly working in the background to make it better. As I type this response, we have programmers working on new features that are debuting soon.

    I hope that answered you question. If you ever have future questions or concerns about our Muslim Matchmaking service, please go to halfourdeen.com and click on the help button. We have a customer service team to help you around the clock :)

    Baba Ali

    • Avatar

      MSB

      January 19, 2011 at 4:40 PM

      what is the promotional code?

      • Avatar

        Baba Ali

        January 20, 2011 at 11:02 AM

        There is currently no promotional code so you can leave that field blank. In the future, we hope to have an affiliate program to reward members for referring others.

        • Amad

          Amad

          January 20, 2011 at 12:25 PM

          The code to happy marriage :)?

          Mashallah Baba, we all love you for the sake of Allah. My kids digg your videos and can’t watch enough of them. And having met you on person, mashallah ur magnetic personality and sincerity for the Muslims shine through.

          There’s no better business than the business of helping our brothers and sisters, esp one backed by sincerity. We are all your well wishers. I hope everyone in the “market” gives your site a chance and in the process, support this venture.

          Wasalam

          • Avatar

            Baba Ali

            January 20, 2011 at 1:21 PM

            JazakAllah Khair for your kind word Amad.

            The true success is not in this life but in the hereafter. No matter what profit is made from Half Our Deen, it is temporary but the success of the hereafter is forever. As much as I am excited each time we add a new feature or tool on HOD, I far more excited each time I hear another pair are getting married after using HOD. That to me is priceless. Even if HOD doesn’t exist 20yrs from now, I hope the barakah from those marriages will. I keep telling my staff that even though you guys are all getting paid for your work, you are also each part of the effort that is putting these couples together. We have about 12 couples and counting….

            JazakAllah Khair for your kind words.

            Baba Ali

    • Avatar

      bint

      May 28, 2011 at 10:36 PM

      Are people living outside of US and Canada also eligible to sign up?? do please let me know as i know of a lot of people not living in the US and Canada who could benefit from it.

  11. Avatar

    The Muslim Voice

    January 19, 2011 at 8:13 PM

    MashAllah your service is great! May Allah (swt) reward you for your good deeds inshAllah. Ameen

  12. Avatar

    Tee

    January 20, 2011 at 12:10 AM

    Although I’m in full favor of this particular blog post about halfourdeen as I do think it is a shaker in the broken and money making online matrimonial market and getting married is an intrinsic part of any Muslim but I agree that the quality of articles on MM has been going down. Compare MM of 2008 to today you’ll understand what I’m talking about. MM should limit its authors to imam, teachers and scholars.

    • Avatar

      Linda (II)

      January 20, 2011 at 1:48 AM

      I guess sometimes some of us need to understand that online communities need to evolve with time. This blog employes (not sure if they are paying for articles or its done one a voluntarily bases) a phenomenal and somewhat diverse list of authors, so if you dont like one or two of them, please look at the rest.

      I love how muslims are the fastest to criticize and slowest to take initiative!

      Linda

      • Amad

        Amad

        January 20, 2011 at 3:16 AM

        jazakillahkahir
        100% voluntary thus far… which is a tremendous achievement considering we have been online for 4 years and over 2000 articles alhamdulilah. No doubt, keeping motivation up for both writers and readers is a big challenge.

        anyways, back to half our deen

    • Amad

      Amad

      January 20, 2011 at 3:14 AM

      Let’s stick the topic please. Quality/content is all subjective. Sometimes it’s not quality but the direction of the content and some like it, others don’t.

      Thanks for the feedback.

  13. Avatar

    Hurray for Baba Ali

    January 20, 2011 at 4:37 AM

    salaams
    My boys love ur videos.
    A request from umi,umar and uthmaan,more videos pls.
    PLEASE Baba Ali!

  14. Avatar

    Ameera Khan

    January 20, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    I’ve been a long time fan of your work and it’s great to see you making such progress, Insha’Allah. What you’re doing is sorely needed to fill the voids when it comes to matchmaking, especially in the West! All the best! :)

  15. Avatar

    Bushra

    January 20, 2011 at 2:15 PM

    Masha’Allah, I’m so impressed and happy to see this working. In a virtual world where online dating is disguised as ‘Muslim matrimony’, this is probably one of the few gems that will, insha’Allah, be tremendously successful in this world. May every single person behind HOD be infinitely more successful in the Akhirah….Ameen.

    On a side note, Baba Ali, you stayed in the same hotel I did when I went to perform Hajj with my husband in 2009. Remember the Ramada in Madinah? I kept nudging my husband to speak to you…which he did eventually and he told me you were very shy. One memorable moment was when we were having breakfast at the hotel, and you caught us staring (yes, STARING, we were so rude and so excited!) whilst you went up the lift…sorry, elevator. Here’s the best bit…despite your shyness, you gave us an awesomely cool Baba Ali-style wave, which totally threw us off for the state of mind we were preparing ourselves to be in for the next few days. Alhamdulillah, it was well cool! Naturally, that’s not THE most memorable moment of my Hajj, but a nice story to tell others when we think about it :)

    Anyway, excellent post and excellent venture, masha’Allah.

    I have one question though – how would Brits be matched up seeing as HOD is predominantly American? Not many of us really want to move to the US unless our prospective spouse ticks more boxes than we wanted.

  16. Avatar

    Sister

    January 20, 2011 at 2:42 PM

    I just signed up yesterday alhamdulilah! Didn’t know about HOD until I read this article! Jazaakum Allahu khayra Baba Ali and his team! =) WONDERFUL WORK! May Allah reward you guys for this in this life and the akhira.

  17. Avatar

    Mustafa Stefan Dill

    January 20, 2011 at 3:08 PM

    as a social media geek/ex journalist turned PR guy, i think half our deen is a brilliant idea — you saw a need, went out and made it happen. My only thought is that since you’re offering a more private and detailed experience that any one else is, I think you’re priced too low. I’m not saying be greedy, but you should be priced at fair value, and I think you’ve undervalued your product! Your business isn’t scalable at that price point and could be hard for you to expand ( and i can see where you could) to meet demand with out enough capital.

    • Avatar

      Bushra

      January 20, 2011 at 3:25 PM

      Yes, I think it should be priced at market value.

      HOWEVER…I think the idea is that it’s accessible to everyone and anyone ranging from a minimum wage job to a corporate executive role, hence the price is low. The more people that sign up, the more that can be invested into HOD and making it better for its members, as well as reaching out to more people and also rewarding those who hare working hard behind HOD.

    • Amad

      Amad

      January 21, 2011 at 3:47 AM

      From a pure business standpoint, I agree with Mostafa. I hope the strategy is to get a critical mass and then raise prices in order to fully monetize, because after all, the more human capital goes into it, the more it demands wages to keep up. Sustaining is very important.

  18. Avatar

    A (Sister on HOD)

    January 20, 2011 at 3:28 PM

    Salams,

    I am a member on HOD and have been for a few months now. It is definitely a great project and I must commend Baba Ali for putting something like this together. I LOVE the part where we can ask our own questions. I put questions of my own, and phrased them exactly how I liked and it becomes a filtering process for me as I can make sure the person answering ticks the boxes to move to the next step of communicating. I still haven’t found my match yet but as Ali once told all our members it is a test of patience and Inshallah when Allah swt wills for it to happen it will :)

    To answer your question Bushra, there are lots of Brits on the site, predominantly American as you say but there are quite a few Brits Mashallah from what I have seen in my searches.

    I definitely recommend all the singles out there to try it. Inshallah may you find your other half on that. Ameen

    Thank you HOD!

    Peace,

    Afra

  19. Avatar

    Hena

    January 20, 2011 at 3:35 PM

    I honestly didn’t know much about half deen and did think it was just another matchmaking site. Jzk Allah khair for the in depth look behind the scenes. I get many calls of parents asking for connections for their sons and daughters looking to get married and will be recommending half deen inshaAllah after reading this.. I told my sister/cousins about it too.

    We need to get creative with the marriage/matchmaking process- too many amazing people not married these days. Most immigrants rely on matchmaking Auntis who suggest people. It is such a long, arduous process with no science behind it except for ‘he is good boy’, ‘she is from a great family’.

    One concern that parents do have is: how would people verify information or find testimonies about the prospective match. Does half deen go beyond the match or are members on their own in terms of finding out more about the person. Do you have a feature ie. call these people in my community for references.

    I am so glad you made it cheap $5 is nothing.
    My kids love your videos too

    • Avatar

      Bushra

      January 20, 2011 at 3:48 PM

      For all those cynics commenting on the advertising aspect of this article, this comment speaks volumes:

      I honestly didn’t know much about half deen and did think it was just another matchmaking site.

      I did, too. So I’m glad that this is up showcasing how it works, otherwise many people, like Hena and I, had also branded HOD as just ‘one of those’ matrimonial sites.

      • Avatar

        Sidiq

        January 20, 2011 at 3:55 PM

        You seem to be struggling to understand their point. The point is that this is advertising. It doesn’t mater what the service’s unique appeal/selling point is, it’s still advertising for which other sites have extensive marketing campaigns for. Perhaps there are some Muslims here upset at the fact that this service is being mass-marketed by a popular Muslim readership blog whereas their services are being neglected (whatever it is), get the picture? I support this project btw, but I do understand the arguments from opposing side as well.

        • Avatar

          Bushra

          January 20, 2011 at 4:08 PM

          No problem. I actually DO understand their point. I just don’t agree with it. Readers are not fully aware of MM’s policies on advertising.

          We don’t advertise as freely as we or other readers would like. If an organisation/business wishes to advertise on MM, then they should contact us at info@muslimmatters.org with their request. We have stringent rules on accepting or rejecting requests and certain criteria must be fulfilled, which will be discussed upon request.

  20. Avatar

    Bushra

    January 20, 2011 at 4:11 PM

    Ok, so I’ve just seen the video in full and…hey presto, a BRITISH voice! I’m so impressed. Baba Ali and HOD marketing team, you rock, masha’Allah.

  21. Avatar

    Safia Farole

    January 20, 2011 at 4:37 PM

    Mashallah, I’m glad this initiative is going full steam. May Allah grant halfourdeen more success in the future, and hopefully many strong marriages will evolve as a result.

    Great work Baba Ali!

  22. Avatar

    west african

    January 20, 2011 at 8:13 PM

    mashAllah nice initiative. my question is if you have people from west africa and not only americans and brits?

  23. Avatar

    A (Sister on HOD)

    January 21, 2011 at 3:24 AM

    Salams from my experience I do my own research on the potential matches and ask people, subhanallah once you start looking you will always find a common friend on facebook or a common friend on linked in, there is always a way to find out. And also of course there is always the aspect of getting the prospective to come and meet you and your family in a halal way. There are many ways, of course with cautiousness you can connect with good people Inshallah and possibly get a match. Allah knows what is best for us.

  24. Avatar

    Sara

    January 21, 2011 at 3:54 PM

    Keep doing your thang Baba Ali :) MashAllah this is so good

  25. Avatar

    Another sister

    January 21, 2011 at 11:31 PM

    Salaam,

    I really like the HOD project. I’ve been on the website only recently. Overall it is great. The ability to ask your own questions is the best part. You know what you deem important, and aren’t limited to a few generic questions.

    A few questions/comments for Baba Ali. Another sister brought this up, and I want to reiterate. Is there any way you can facilitate verification of the information people provide? One of the reasons many people join matrimonial sites is because we have trouble finding people in our local communities and seek to spread a wider net. But once we do that, it’s hard to verify certain details.

    Second, I’ve noticed that many of the brothers have very empty looking profiles. So empty I can hear the crickets chirping. Now of course, this is not your responsibility, but it would be really great if you could get the word out (maybe post a video about this). Sisters are turned of by a profile that lacks information, or is just a few sentences long. Since that’s all we have to judge the other person by, if they write nothing we assume they are nothing (harsh, I know).

    And lastly, there doesn’t seem to be as much diversity on the website. I’m spreading the word about your website to all my friends. But I think it would be great if you could spread the word as well to different Muslim communities (African American muslims, convert muslims, UK muslims, desi muslims, etc.). And that’s why I’m actually very happy to see this post on MM.

    Once again, thanks for opening your website and for making it affordable to everyone. May Allah bless you and your team for your good intentions and actions.

  26. Avatar

    fouzia²

    June 23, 2011 at 2:22 PM

    you r right , we as women searching for real muslims , but we dont find them , so we stay single .

  27. Avatar

    Jafar

    June 26, 2011 at 10:23 PM

    Salaam,

    Very informative article thank you for sharing.

    Jazakallah Khair

  28. Avatar

    ibrahim

    December 2, 2013 at 6:13 AM

    Baba Ali, pls I need your attention.

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#Life

5 Tips for Surviving Ramadan. In The Summer. When You Have Small Children.

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By Afaaf Rajbee

This time a few years ago, I anticipated Ramadan with anxiety. I had 3 children, all under the age of 5, and was part of a large, busy household of working men and women.  When Ramadan finally arrived I was petrified inside at whether I would be able to cope with running after my youngest daughter, managing the school and nursery run with the older two, as well as keeping the house in order and preparing iftar for the family in the evening.

A year later, that anxiety has been replaced with something more positive; Ramadan is challenging there is no doubt about it. But I wanted to share some practical tips, as a mum, that made last Ramadan that much more manageable and a time of spiritual benefit.

1. Prepare the evening meal first thing in the morning. Decide on your menu and write it down into checklist form. This is the time to marinade, whizz up chutneys and even get out serving dishes. All the effort you invest early on will give you more time before Maghrib. It’s amazing how hectic it can get in the kitchen just before Maghrib – and when you’re dehydrated and tired it’s difficult to cook quickly. Instead, try to make your mornings your most productive time in preparing iftar.

2. Use salah times as the markers that divide your activities. I always set myself a target to get everything done in the kitchen before dhuhr. This way I avoided that feeling that I’m taking time away from work to pray salah. Dhuhr salah was a great way to end a productive housework-focussed morning in the kitchen and helped me refocus on the next tasks – whether that was having to go out or completing more housework or listening to a lecture or reading Qur’an.

3. Make sure you pray Asr before you start getting iftar on the table! So many times I’ve nearly missed Asr because of getting carried away in the kitchen – and this is true for so many mothers I’ve spoken to. I’ve found after the kids get home from school and I’d fed them and helped them with homework or reading, ‘Asr was a good marker to tie up that stage of the day.

4. Put the kids to bed as early as you can. Your evening ibadat, Qur’an reading and taraweeh depends on this. Leave bedtime any later and I guarantee you’ll most likely fall asleep with your kids and you’ll wake up 6 hours later feeling awful just having missed sehri, still wearing your day clothes and still having your contact lenses in… That was not a great evening.

5. Ramadan is not the time to deviate radically from your normal routine and responsibilities – else we would simply not receive its benefit. Yes, we should increase in certain types of ibadah – read more Qur’an, pray more nafl salah – but running a household, going out on errands, engaging with our children and keeping them safe is also part of life and hence part of our ibadah. Fasting was not prescribed for a week, or just a few days, but a whole month. The beauty of this duration is that it’s not so long to be a physical or mental burden but also it’s not so short that you can suspend your daily activities like a holiday. By normal activities, I’m referring to that ironing pile, the paperwork, hoovering. I found that even during the 20-hour fasts I could still pursue my normal routine but at a slower pace. If you do this, you’ll have no build up of housework that you’ll have to spend ages compensating at Eid time.

As you can probably tell, I’m a big fan of routine. But routine becomes monotonous and depressing if there is no time invested in personal growth, pursuing your passions or helping others. But generally, mothers of small children are tired; remember that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) knows your situation and that every aspect of our daily life can become an act of worship if our intentions are to please Him.

Afaaf Rajbee is a graduate in International Relations from the LSE, which surprisingly didn’t prepare her for life as a mother to 3 children. She is part of the Charity Week team and volunteers her skills for a variety of different organisations.

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Are You Prepared for Marriage and Building a Family?

Mona Islam

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High School is that time which is ideal for preparing yourself for the rest of your life. There is so much excitement and opportunity. Youth is a time of energy, growth, health, beauty, and adventure. Along with the thrill of being one of the best times of life, there is a definite lack of life experience. In your youth, you end up depending on your own judgments as well as the advice of others who are further along the path. Your own judgments usually come from your own knowledge, assumptions, likes, and dislikes. No matter how wise, mature, or well-intended a youth is compared to his or her peers, the inherent lack of life experience can also mislead that person to go down a path which is not serving them or their loved ones best. A youth may walk into mistakes without knowing, or get themselves into trouble resulting from naivety.

Salma and Yousef: 

Salma and Yousef had grown up in the same community for many years. They had gone to the same masjid and attended youth group together during high school. After going off to college for a few years, both were back in town and found that they would make good prospects for marriage for each other. Yousef was moving along his career path, and Salma looked forward to her new relationship. Yousef was happy to settle down. The first few months after marriage were hectic: getting a new place, organizing, managing new jobs and extended family. After a few months, they began to wonder when things would settle down and be like the vision they had about married life.

Later with valuable life experience, we come to realize that the ideas we had in our youth about marriage and family are far from what are they are in reality. The things that we thought mattered in high school, may not matter as much, and the things that we took for granted really matter a lot more than we realized. In retrospect, we learn that marriage is not simply a door that we walk through which changes our life, but something that each young Muslim and Muslima should be preparing for individually through observation, introspection, and reflection. In order to prepare for marriage, each person must intend to want to be the best person he or she can be in that role. There is a conscious process that they must put themselves through.

This conscious process should begin in youth. Waiting until marriage to start this process is all too late. We must really start preparing for marriage as a conscious part of our growth, self-development, and character building from a young age. The more prepared we are internally, the better off we will be in the process of marriage. The best analogy would be the stronger the structure and foundation of a building, the better that building will be able to serve its purpose and withstand the environment. Another way to think of this process is like planting a seed. We plant a seed long before the harvest, but the more time, care, and attention, the more beautiful and beneficial the fruits will be.

 

Sarah and Hasan:

Hasan grew up on the East Coast. He had gone to boarding school all through high school, especially since his parents had died in an unfortunate accident. His next of kin was his aunt and uncle, who managed his finances, and cared for him when school was not in session. Hasan was safe and comfortable with his aunt and uncle, but he always felt there was something missing in his life. During his college years, Hasan was introduced to Sarah and eventually they decided to get married.

The first week of his new job, Hasan caught a really bad case of the flu that made it hard for him to get his projects done. Groggy in bed, he sees Sarah appear with a tray of soup and medicine every day until he felt better. Nobody had ever done that for him before. He remembered the “mawaddah and rahmah” that the Quran spoke of.

Knowledge, Skills, and Understanding:

The process of growing into that person who is ready to start a family is that we need to first to be aware of ourselves and be aware of others around us. We have to have knowledge of ourselves and our environment. With time, reflection and life experience, that knowledge activates into understanding and wisdom. This activity the ability to make choices between right and wrong, and predict how our actions will affect others related to us.

Preview:

This series is made up of several parts which make up a unit about preparation for family life. Some of the topics covered include:

  • The Family Unit In Islam
  • Characteristics of an Individual Needed for Family Life
  • The Nuclear Family
  • The Extended Family

Hamza and Tamika

Tamika and Hamza got married six months ago. Tamika was getting her teacher certification in night school and started her first daytime teaching job at the local elementary school. She was shocked at the amount of energy it took to manage second graders. She thought teaching was about writing on a board and reading books to kids, but found out it had a lot more to do with discipline, speaking loudly, and chasing them around. This week she had state testing for the students and her finals at night school. She was not sure how to balance all this with her new home duties. One day feeling despair, she walked in her kitchen and found a surprise. Hamza had prepared a beautiful delicious dinner for them that would last a few days, and the home looked extra clean too. Tamika was pleasantly surprised and remembered the example of our Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him).

The Family Unit in Islam

We always have to start with the beginning. We have to ask, “What is the family unit in Islam?” To answer this we take a step further back, asking, “What is the world-wide definition of family? Is it the same for all people? Of course not. “Family” means a lot of different things to a lot of different people across the world. As Muslims, what family means to us, is affected by culture and values, as well as our own understanding of Islam.

The world-wide definition of family is a group of people who are related to each other through blood or marriage. Beyond this point, is where there are many differences in views. Some people vary on how distantly related to consider a family. In some cultures, family is assumed to be only the nuclear family, consisting of mom dad and kids only. Other cultures assume family includes an extended family. Another large discrepancy lies in defining family roles and responsibilities. Various cultures promote different behavioral norms for different genders or roles in the family. For example, some cultures promote women staying at home in a life of luxury, while others esteem women joining the workforce while raising their kids on the side. Living styles vary too, where some cultures prefer individual family homes, while in other parts of the world extended families live together in large buildings always interacting with each other.

 

Layla and Ibrahim   

Layla and Ibrahim met at summer retreat where spirituality was the focus, and scholars were teaching them all day. Neither of them was seriously considering getting married, but one of the retreat teachers thought they might make a good match. It seemed like a fairytale, and the retreat gave them an extra spiritual high. Layla could not imagine anything going wrong. She was half Italian and half Egyptian, and Ibrahim came from a desi family. Soon after the nikah, Layla moved across the country into Ibrahim’s family home, where his parents, three siblings, and grandmother lived.  Come Ramadan, Layla’s mother-in-law, Ruqayya, was buying her new clothes to wear to the masjid. It was out of love, but Sarah had never worn a shalwar kameez in all her life! Ruqayya Aunty started getting upset when Layla was not as excited about the clothes as she was.

As Eid approached, Layla had just picked a cute dress from the department store that she was looking forward to wearing. Yet again, her mother-in-law had other plans for her.

Layla was getting upset inside. It was the night before Eid and the last thing she wanted to do was fight with her new husband. She did not want that stress, especially because they all lived together. At this point, Layla started looking through her Islamic lecture notes. She wanted to know, was this request from her mother-in-law a part of the culture, or was it part of the religion?

Marriage

The basis of all families, undoubtedly, is the institution of marriage. In the Islamic model, the marriage consists of a husband and a wife. In broad terms, marriage is the commitment of two individuals towards each other and their children to live and work together to meet and support each other’s needs in the way that they see fit. What needs they meet vary as well, from person to person, and family to family. The marriage bond must sustain the weight of fulfilling first their own obligations toward each other. This is the priority. The marriage must also be strong enough to hold the responsibility of raising the kids, and then the extended family.

How are we as Muslims unique and what makes us different from other family models? We are responsible to Allah. The end goals are what makes us different, and the method in which we work. In other family systems, beliefs are different, goals are different, and the motives are different. Methods can especially be different. In the end, it is quite a different system. What makes us better? Not because we say we are better or because we automatically feel better about ourselves due to a misplaced feeling of superiority. But instead it is because we are adhering to the system put in place by the most perfect God, Allah, the Creator and Sustainer of all the worlds, the One Who knows best what it is we need.

Family Roles:

Each person in the family has a role which Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has meant for them to have, and which ethics and common sense tell us to follow. However, our nafs and ego can easily misguide us to live our family life in the wrong way, which is harmful and keeps us suffering. Suffering can take place in many ways. It can take place in the form of neglect or abuse. In the spectrum of right and wrong, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) tells us that we are a nation meant for the middle path. So we should not go to any extreme in neglect or abuse.

What are the consequences of mishandling our family roles? Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) calls this type of wrongdoing “transgression” or “oppression”. There are definitely consequences of oppression, abuse, and neglect. There are worldly consequences which we feel in this life, and there are long term consequences in the Akhirah.

Razan and Farhaan

Razan and Farhan had gotten married two years ago. Since they were from different towns, Razan would have to move to Farhaan’s hometown. On top of the change of married life, Razan felt pangs of homesickness and did not know many people in the new town. However, Farhaan did not realize what she was going through. He still had the same friends he grew up with for years. They had a die-hard routine to go to football games on Friday night and play basketball on Saturday at the rec center.

Razan was losing her patience. How could he think it was okay to go out with his friends twice on the weekend? Yet he expected her to keep the home together? Her blood started to boil. What does Islam say about this?

Mawaddah and Rahma

The starting point of a family is a healthy relationship between the husband and wife. Allah SWT prescribed in Surah 25: verse 74, that the marriage relationship is supposed to be built on Mawaddah (compassion) and Rahma (mercy). A loving family environment responds to both the needs of the children and the needs of parents. Good parenting prepares children to become responsible adults.

Aliyaah and Irwan

Aliyaah and Irwan had homeschooled their twin children, Jannah and Omar, for four years. They were cautious about where to admit their children for the next school year. Aliyaah felt that she wanted to homeschool her children for another few years. There were no Islamic Schools in their town. Irwan wanted to let his kids go to public schools. He felt that was nothing wrong with knowing how things in the real world are. However, every conversation they started about this issue ended up into a conflict or fight. This was beginning to affect their relationship.

Parenting

Two significant roles that adults in a family play are that they are married and they are parents. It is important that parents work to preserve and protect their marital relationship since it is really the pillar which supports the parenting role. Parenting is a role which Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) directly addresses in our religion. We will be asked very thoroughly about this most important role which we will all play in our lives.

There is a hadith in which the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) reminds us,

“All of you are shepherds and responsible for your wards under you care. The imam is the shepherd of his subjects and is responsible for them, and a man is a shepherd of his family and is responsible for them. A woman is the shepherd of her husband’s house and is responsible for it. A servant is the shepherd of his master’s belongings and is responsible for them. A man is the shepherd of his father’s property and is responsible for them”. (Bukhari and Muslim)

Islam has placed a lot of importance on the family unit. A family is the basic building block of Islam. A strong family can facilitate positive social change within itself and the society as a whole. The Quran asserts that human beings are entrusted by their Creator to be his trustees on Earth, thus they need to be trained and prepared for the task of trusteeship (isthiklaf).

Asa youth, it is important to make a concerted effort to develop our family skills so that we grow into that role smoothly. Proper development will prepare a person emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically for marriage and family life.

Mona Islam is a youth worker, community builder, motivational speaker, writer, and author. For the past 25 years, Sr. Mona has been on the forefront of her passion both locally and nationally, which is inculcating character development in youth (tarbiyah).  Sr. Mona has extensive knowledge of Islamic sciences through the privilege of studying under many scholars and traveling worldwide.  An educator by profession, she is a published author, completed her masters in Educational Admin and currently doing her doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction. Sr. Mona is married with five children and lives in Houston, TX.

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#Culture

Emotional Intelligence: A Tool for Change  

Imam Mikaeel Smith

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Why do we consider emotional intelligence to be half of the Prophetic intellect? The answer lies in the word “messenger.” Messengers of Allah are tasked with the divine responsibility of conveying to humanity the keys to their salvation. They are not only tasked with passing on the message but also with being a living example of that message.

When ʿĀʾishah, the wife of the Prophet ﷺ, was asked to explain the character of the blessed Prophet ﷺ, her reply was, “His character was the Qurʾān.[1]” We are giving emotional intelligence a place of primacy in the construct of Prophetic intelligence because it seems implausible that Allah would send a messenger without providing that messenger with the means necessary to exemplify and transmit the message to others. If the Prophets of Allah did not have the necessary knowledge and skills needed to successfully pass on the message to the next generation, the argument would be incomplete. People could easily excuse themselves of all accountability because the message was never conveyed.

We also see clear examples in the Qur’ān that this knowledge was being perpetually perfected in the character of the Prophet ﷺ. Slight slips in his Emotional Intelligence were rare, but when they did occur, Allah gently addressed the mistake by means of revelation. Allah says in the Qurʾān, “If you (O Muḥammad) were harsh and hardhearted, then the people would flee from you.” This verse clearly placed the burden of keeping an audience upon the shoulders of the Prophet ﷺ. What this means is that the Prophet ﷺ had to be aware of what would push people away; he had to know what would create cognitive and emotional barriers to receptivity. When we study the shamāʾil (books about his character), we find that he was beyond exceptional in his ability to make people receptive. He took great care in studying the people around him and deeply understanding them. Only after the Prophet ﷺ had exhausted all the means of removing barriers to receptivity would the responsibility to affirm the message be shifted to those called to it.

Another example of this Prophetic responsibility can be found in the story of Prophet Mūsa when he was commissioned to call Pharaoh and the children of Israel to Allah. When Allah informed him of the task he was chosen for, he immediately attempted to excuse himself because he had a slight speech impediment. He knew that his speech impediment could potentially affect the receptivity of people to the message. He felt that this disqualified him from being a Prophet. He also felt that the act of manslaughter he committed might come between the people and guidance. All of these examples show that Allah’s Prophets understood that many factors can affect a person’s receptivity to learning something new, especially when the implications of that new information call into question almost every aspect of a person’s identity. History tells us that initially, people did not accept the message of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ; they completely rejected him and accused him of being a liar.

One particular incident shows very clearly that he ﷺ understood how necessary it was for him to remove any cognitive or emotional barriers that existed between him and his community. When the people of his hometown of Makkah had almost completely rejected him, he felt that it was time to turn his attention to a neighboring town. The city of Ṭā’if was a major city and the Prophet ﷺ was hopeful that perhaps they would be receptive to the message. Unfortunately, they completely rejected him and refused to even listen to what he had to say. They chased him out of town, throwing stones at him until his injuries left him completely covered in blood. Barely making it outside the city, the Prophet ﷺ collapsed. Too weak to move, he turned his attention to his Lord and made one of the most powerful supplications made by a Prophet of Allah.

اللهم إليك أشكو ضعف قوتي، وقلة حيلتي، وهواني على الناس، يا أرحم الراحمين، أنت أنت رب المستضعفين وأنت ربي، إلى من تكلني؟ إلى عدو يتجهمني؟ أو إلى قريب ملكته أمري؟ إن لم يكن بك علي غضب فلا أبالي، غير أن عافيتك أوسع لي، أعوذ بنور وجهك الذي أشرقت له الظلمات، وصلح عليه أمر الدنيا والآخرة، من أن ينزل بي غضبك، أو يحل علي سخطك، لك العتبى حتى ترضى، ولا حول ولا قوة إلا بك”

“Oh Allah, only to You do I complain about my lack of strength, my insufficient strategies, and lowliness in the sight of the people. You are my Lord. To whom do you turn me over? Someone distant from me who will forsake me? Or have you placed my affair in the hands of my enemy? [2]

The Prophet ﷺ felt that he was the reason why the people were not accepting the message. His concern that “my low status in the eyes of the people,” informs us that he understood that people naturally judge the seriousness of a message based on the stature of the message bearer. The people of Ṭā’if were extremely ignorant, so much that they adamantly refused to enter into any dialogue. In reality, this was not due to any shortcoming of the Prophet ﷺ; he demonstrated the best of character and displayed extreme patience in the face of such ignorance. But the beginning of the supplication teaches us what he was focused on: making sure that he was not the reason why someone did not accept the message.

Because his message was not geographically restricted like that of other Prophets, those who inherited the message would have the extra burden of transferring the message to a people with whom they were unfamiliar. The intelligence needed to pass the message of the Prophet Muḥammad ﷺ around the world included an understanding of the cultural differences that occur between people. Without this understanding effective communication and passing on of his message would be impossible.

A sharp Emotional Intelligence is built upon the development of both intra- and interpersonal intelligence. These intelligences are the backbone of EQ and they provide a person with emotional awareness and understanding of his or her own self, an empathic understanding of others, and the ability needed to communicate effectively and cause change. Emotional Intelligence by itself is not sufficient for individual reform or societal reform; instead, it is only one part of the puzzle. The ʿaql or intellect that is referenced repeatedly in the Qurʾān is a more comprehensive tool that not only recognizes how to understand the psychological and emotional aspects of people but recognizes morally upright and sound behavior. After that this intellect, if healthy and mature, forces a person to conform to that standard. Therefore, we understand the ʿaql to be a comprehensive collection of intelligences analogous to Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences theory.

Taking into consideration the extreme diversity found within Western Muslim communities, we see how both Moral Intelligence and Emotional Intelligence are needed. Fostering and nurturing healthy communities requires that we understand how people receive our messages. This is the interpersonal intelligence aspect of EQ. Without grounding the moral component of our community, diversity can lead to what some contemporary moral theorists call moral plasticity, a phenomenon where concrete understandings of good and evil, right and wrong, are lost. Moral Education (Moral Education, which will be discussed throughout the book, is the process of building a Morally Intelligent heart) focuses on correcting the message that we are communicating to the world; in other words, Moral Intelligence helps us maintain our ideals and live by them, while Emotional Intelligence ensures that the message is effectively communicated to others.

My father would often tell me, “It’s not what you say, son; it’s what they hear.”

Interpersonal understanding is the core of emotional intelligence. My father would often tell me, “It’s not what you say, son; it’s what they hear.” From the perspective of Emotional Intelligence, this statement is very accurate. The way we interpret words, body language, verbal inflections, and facial expressions is based on many different factors. The subtle power of this book lies in the simple fact that your emotional intelligence is the primary agent of change and thus the most powerful force you have. You must understand how people perceive what you are communicating to them. What is missing from my father’s statement is the primacy of Moral Intelligence. Throughout this book, I attempt to show how the Prophet Muḥammad ﷺ demonstrated a level of perfection of both of these intelligences.

*With the Heart in Mind is available for pre-order at https://www.qalam.foundation/qalambooks/with-the-heart-in-mind

[1]Bayhaqī, Shuʿb al-ʾĪmān, vol. 3, p. 23.

[2] Ibn Kathir, al-Bidāyah wa al-Nihāyah, vol. 3, p. 136.

 

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