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Politician who said ‘the Quran is poison’ announces he has become a Muslim after trying to write anti-Islam book

By Samuel Osborne 

 

Former member of Geert Wilders’ far-right party converts while writing anti-Islam book

A Dutch MP who was formerly a member of anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders‘ far-right party has announced he has converted to Islam.

Joram van Klaveren had denounced Islam as “a lie” and said “the Quran is poison” during his time as a politician for the Freedom Party (PVV).

However, the 40-year-old has now said he had become a Muslim while writing what was intended to be an anti-Islam book.

“During that writing I came across more and more things that made my view on Islam falter,” he told Dutch TV show NieuwLicht.

Mr Wilders compared his former right-hand man’s conversion to “a vegetarian going to work in a slaughterhouse”, RTL TV reported.

Mr Van Klaveren was an MP for the PVV between 2010 and 2014, but left after Mr Wilders asked supporters if they wanted fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands during a rally in 2014.

When the crowd shouted back “fewer”, Mr Wilders smiled and answered: “Then we’ll fix it.” He has since been convicted of inciting hatred and discrimination”.

In an interview with Dutch newspaper NRC, Mr Van Klaveren said his comments about Islam were “simply incorrect”.

He added: “But that was PVV policy: everything that did not work had to be linked to Islam in one way or another.”

Mr Van Klaveren’s book, which he initially intended to be anti-Islam, will now be called Apostate: From Christianity to Islam in the Time of Secular Terror.


Source: Independent

For more information, you can watch this video:

 

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The Swiss Nora Illi, the Co-founder of the Swiss Central Islamic Council, Dies Aged 35

Nora Illi, a famous Islamic preacher who co-founded the Swiss Central Islamic Council (IZRS), died on Monday at the age of 35, after a long illness. As the IZRS now reports, Nora Illi has lost the fight against breast cancer diagnosed in 2012. She is survived by six children and her husband.

Originally from Zurich, Illi converted to Islam in 2002, aged 18, after a trip to Dubai. Prior to this, she had been a punk and had also been interested in Buddhism.

Nora Illi was born in 1983 to a German psychotherapist and a Swiss social worker. Illi dropped out of high school and trained as a polygraph. In addition, she became active in the punk scene of her hometown Uster ZH. As an 18-year-old, she converted to Islam.

At a solidarity campaign for Palestine, she met her future husband, Schaffhausen’s Patric Illi (now Qaasim Illi). In 2003 they married in Jordan. Together, they subsequently represented the Swiss Islamic Central Council (IZRS) in public: Nora Illi as the commissioner for women’s affairs, her husband as the PR manager.

Influence of chemotherapy

She was known in public for always wearing her Niqab. Illi was an advocate of polygyny. This differs from polygamy in that a man may have several women, but a woman may only have one man.

In the talk show Anne Will in 2016, she was defending the woman’s right to wear niqab. Thus, she was falsely accused of supporting extremist groups like ISIS. Replying to this false accusation, she stressed that any Muslim whether in Switzerland or any other country in the world should denounce and avoid violence.

Bussenfang in Ticino

As a Niqab activist, Illi publicly caught fines: After the ban on veiling came into force in the canton of Ticino in July 2016, she received the first banned buses because of her public appearance in the Niqab. In 2017 she also had to pay for her veiling in Vienna.

Her husband, Qaasim Illi on the passing of Nora Illi, said, “We are overwhelmed by your tributes from all over the world – Thank you!” Keep her and us in your du’a’.


Sources: 20min.ch/schweiz/ (as cited in allaboutgeneva.com) with some modifications.

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In Quran I Found Answers to All My Questions

This is the story of a Maltese woman who found no answer to her questions except in Islam in her words:

“…And sure enough, I had all my answers, not from 73 books but from one book– the Quran. Everything I needed to know I could find in this one book”, she said. “They follow the life of Prophet Muhammad, it’s easy, there’s no mystery, no complications.”

“You do as God tells you and you will be rewarded, if not you will be punished. No matter if you’re rich, poor, an imam or anything else, in Islam everyone is equal”, she continued. At last, she said, “I fell in love with Islam and I decided to become a Muslim”.

 

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How Mohamed Salah Inspired Me To Become A Muslim!

I have gone from hating Islam to becoming a Muslim – and the Liverpool forward is the principal reason for that

Mohamed Salah was the first Muslim I could relate to.

Mohamed Salah really and honestly inspired me. I’m a Nottingham Forest season-ticket holder, I can be myself but because I made the declaration of faith I’m a Muslim. I’m still me and that’s what I took from Mohamed Salah. I’d love to meet him, just to shake his hand and say “Cheers” or “Shukran”.

I don’t think my mates quite believe that I’m a Muslim because I’ve not really changed. I just think my heart is better. I’m really trying to change on match days. Normally it’s pub, put a bet on, then after the game back to the pub and realise you’ve lost a lot of money. It’s hard when you’re used to such a culture and it’s part of football for a lot of people.

How Ben used to think about Islam?

I’m embarrassed to say this but my opinions on Islam used to be that the religion, the culture and the people were backward; that they didn’t integrate and wanted to take over. I always looked at Muslims like the elephant in the room. I had a hatred of Muslims.

When I was in sixth form it was a period where I think I needed someone to blame for my misfortunes. Unfortunately Muslims got the brunt of it and I quickly discovered right-wing media pages. They sort of groomed me by sending me long propaganda pieces and suchlike.

Even though I had these horrible ideas of Islam, I would never say them to a Muslim. At this point I didn’t know any Muslims. My degree in Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Leeds changed everything.

The Academic Study of Islam

We had to do a dissertation and I wanted to do something a bit different. I remember my dyslexia tutor telling me: “What about Mohamed Salah’s song?” I was aware of it and I thought it was fantastic but I hadn’t considered it in those terms.

I finally got the question: “Mohamed Salah, a gift from Allah. Is the performance of Mohamed Salah igniting a conversation that combats Islamapobia within the media and political spheres?”

The Liverpool fans’ song – to the tune of Dodgy’s hit Good Enough – includes the line “If he scores another few then I’ll be Muslim too”, and I literally took that to heart.

I was a typical white-boy student who went to a different city, would get absolutely hammered and lived the student life. My degree was the first time I learned about Islam in an academic way.

University gave me the opportunity to meet a lot of students from Saudi Arabia. I thought they were evil people who carried swords but they’re the nicest people I’ve met. The conceptions I had about Arab countries completely dissolved.

Mohamed Salah was the first Muslim I could relate to.

It’s the way he lives his life, how he talks to people. The other week he posed for a picture with a Liverpool fan who suffered a broken nose chasing after him. I know some other footballers would do that but you expect it now from Salah.

At university I interviewed Egyptian students and when they found out my research was about “Mohamed Salah, a gift from Allah” – which is also another Liverpool song – they would talk to me for hours about how great he is and what he’s done for their country. One million Egyptians spoiled their ballots and voted for him to be president last year.

One of the Egyptians I talked to told me that Salah encompasses what being a Muslim is, following Islam correctly. He believed that Salah is making people love Muslims again.

That really resonated with me. When Salah scores I think he’s scoring for the faith. When he won the Champions League I said to my friend that was a victory for Islam. After each of his goals Salah practises the sujood (prostration) and exposes a very Islamic symbol to the world. How many people watch the Premier League every week? Millions globally.

Salah showed me that you can be normal and a Muslim, if that’s the right phrase. You can be yourself. He’s a great player and is respected by the football community and his politics, his religion, don’t matter – and to me that’s what football can do.

True Islam is not portrayed in the media

When people read the Quran, or read about Islam, they see something different that is not always portrayed in the media. I’m new to the Islamic community and I’m still learning. It is hard. It’s a lifestyle change.

What would I say to the Ben of old? I’d give him a smack, to be honest, and I’d say: ‘How dare you think like that about a people that are so diverse. You need to start talking to people. You need to start asking the questions.’ We live in a multicultural, multifaith, multinational society.

Last season Chelsea fans were singing “Salah is a bomber”. That’s the first time on my social media that I had a right go. I was livid because I’m for football banter but you know when things are just not true.

Now, I’d say to Muslim kids: ‘Don’t be afraid to go to a football match.’ I think that’s an issue we have to look at from both sides. I was afraid of being segregated. I don’t want to lose my mates because I look at them as brothers to me. Now I’ve got a fifth of the world’s population as brothers and sisters.

The community has to branch out, play football, go to football. It’s up to us to realise that we’re in this together. And the best spokesman for that could be Mohamed Salah.

Ben Bird was speaking to Tusdiq Din

 


Source: The Guardian

 

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In the Light of the Companions: The Story of Um Salamah

Transcribed by Editorial Staff

As-salam ‘alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh, my dear brothers and sisters!

And welcome to a new episode of “In the Light of the Sahabah” the Companions whom Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) chose and blessed to have the companionship and to be in the presence of our beloved Nabi (Prophet) (salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam).

Every single one of the Companions has a tale to tell and every single one of them has a story that we can extract benefits from (in sha’a Allah-u ta’ala).

In this episode we will go through the beautiful story of Um Salamah (radiya Allah-u ‘anha) whose name was Hind bint Abi Umayyah (radiya Allah-u ‘anha).

The Setting of the Story

Now the story goes right back to the beginning of the Call of the Prophet (‘alaihi as-salatu was-salam) when he first received the revelation from Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) that there were only a few companions who actually accepted Islam.

From those few individuals was Um Salamah and her husband Abu Salamah and their one son. Now, through the time that they lived in Makkah they went through a very, very difficult time where they were persecuted and they were oppressed just for saying (La Ilaha illa Allah, Muhammad Rasul Allah). But (al hamdu lillah) Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) blessed them with Iman (faith) and they persevered and struggled and strived with their Islam in Makkah.

The First Hijrah

After a short while, it became very difficult for the Muslims to live in Makkah. Therefore, the Prophet (salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam) permitted them or some of the Companions to make Hijrah, that they would leave Makkah and that they would go to a land called “Habashah” which is modern-day Abyssinia.

Abu Salamah and Um Salamah with their son, they made that great journey (subhana Allah) to leave Makkah, to leave their home and to reside in the new land, Abyssinia, whose leader was known to be just and fair.  An-Najashi who, later on, embraced Islam and became a great Muslim (al hamdu lillah).

Back in Makkah

So, Abu Salamah and Um Salamah they lived there in Al-Habashah for a while. After a short while they heard that the situation in Makkah had somewhat improved and that the Muslims were then able to practise their Islam more freely. So, Abu Salamah and Um Salamah with their young child, they returned to Makkah, however, only to find that (subhana Allah) the situation was even worse than it was before.

Abu Salamah and Um Salamah were from a very famous family and they were known to be a very strong family. In fact, Abu Salamah (radiya Allahu ‘anhu) was known to be a very noble husband. And that they had very, very good etiquettes with one another.

The family of Um Salamah and Abu Salamah are our beautiful example for us as Muslims to look up to that we should try to emulate their example in being strong Muslims and compassionate  and loving and merciful to one another.

The Great Hijrah to Medina

So, while in Makkah, they were unable to persist and to practise their Islam freely. So, again the Prophet (salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam) permitted the Muslims, on a whole, to make the Great Hijrah from Makkah all the way to al-Madinah.  So, the Muslims, one by one, began gathering their belongings, gathering their possessions to leave their home to go and live in a new land.

Abu Salamah (radiya Allahu ‘anhu) they had one ride, began filling his ride with their belongings their clothes and possessions. And then, they were going to leave Makkah to go to al-Madinah. Upon leaving, the tribe which Um Salamah belonged to, they saw her leaving. And they stopped them all and said,

“Where are you all going? This woman belongs to our tribe and we will not let her go. She is one of our daughters. You can go with your son but she stays here.”

And they said this forcibly without no choice or discussion in the matter. Then, another tribe which belonged or Abu Salamah belonged to, they said,

“You will not take this young boy. This young boy, Salamah, he belongs to our tribe. Abu Salamah, you’re an old man. You can leave!”

The Family were Split up

Abu Salamah (radiya Allah-u ‘anhu) had no choice but to leave Makkah and make the Hijrah on his own. And in just a few moments, after the family all being together with all of their possessions, (subhana Allah) they were all split up and they were all in different places.

Um Salamah was kept almost as a prisoner by her tribe, Banu Makhzum. And the child, Salamah, who was kept by the tribe of ‘Abd al-Asad and, of course Abu Salamah was alone in Madinah.

Um Salamah (subhana Allah) (radiya Allah-u ‘anha) every day, she used to go to the spot where they were all spit up. And this went on for a very, very long time (subhana Allah) until one of the people who belonged to another sub-tribes of the Makhzumi tribe saw Um Salamah in a very bad way. So, he said to the tribe, this individual,

“Why don’t you just let her go to her husband? You can see that she’s right poorly. She’s very depressed, she’s right down. What do you gain from this? Just let her go!” Until Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) softened their hearts. And eventually, they agreed that Um Salamah could leave Makkah and go to al-Madinah.

But then, the question is: how could Um Salamah leave her son who was with the other tribe of ‘Abd al-Asad and leave her son. Yes, she can go to her husband, but leaving her son was not an option. So, they went to the tribe and spoke to them as well and said,

“Would you not leave this young boy? Let him go with his mother and go on this journey. What do you benefit from keeping him here away from his father and splitting up the family?”

Again (al hamdu lillah), Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) softened their hearts, opened their hearts until they gave permission. So, Um Salamah (radiya Allah-u ‘anha) took her son and whatever belongings they had and they left Makkah.

The Hijrah of Um Salamah and her Son

Just as they left, on the outskirts of Makkah, they bumped into an individual in an area called “At-Tan’im” and his name was ‘Uthman ibn Talhah.

In the eighth year AH, ‘Uthman ibn Talhah, he embraced Islam. And in fact, it is his tribe who were the custodians of the key to the Kaaba.

‘Uthman ibn Talhah said to Um Salamah and her son,

“Where are you going?”

She replied, “We are making the Hijrah and we are going to live in al-Madinah.”

He replied to her and said, “I will not allow you to travel alone. it is a two-week journey in the hot desert for you to go alone. I will take you and when I will drop you off at al-Madinah, I will return”.

Um Salamah (radiya Allah-u ‘anha), she said that ‘Uthman ibn Talha, even though he was a non-Muslim at this time was a very noble man.  

And (al hamdu lillah) Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) guided him later to the Deen (religion) of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala).

The Family Reunited Again

So, upon arrival in al-Madinah, ‘Uthman ibn Talhah, he left Um Salamah to go and meet with her family (al hamdu lillah). After years being apart, Um Salamah and Abu Salamah and their son were reunited (al hamdu lillah). And through the next couple of years, they had more children (wa lillahi al-hamd).

As we know, during the seerah of the life of Prophet Muhammad (salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam), there were a number of battles. And Abu Salamah participated in the Battle of Badr, as he did participate in the Battle of or Uhud. However, during the Battle of Uhud, he was injured and (Subhan Allah), he was quite severely injured and was unable to leave the home.

Um Salamah (radiya Allah-u ‘anha) went to visit her own husband and was with him all the time. One of the Companions came to Um Salamah and said,

“Ya (O), Um Salamah, I’m going to teach you a du’a’ (supplication) that you should say.

“Allah-umma ajirni fi musibati wa-khluf li khairan minha”

“O Allah! Give me a reward during this calamity!”

(Subhan Allah), her husband is in a very bad state.

“And grant me something which is better in the future!”

Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) decreed that Abu Salamah (radiya Allahu ‘anhu) would pass away due to his injuries. The prophet ((salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam) came and made a du’a’ for Abu Salamah by saying,

(Allah-umma ighfir li Abi Salamah) “O, Allah! Forgive Abu Salamah!

(Subhan Allah) Um Salamah with four children was all alone in al-Madinah what a sacrifice so she had made! And Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) was severely testing her.

Um Salam’s Second Marriage

It was the known custom not to leave a woman alone. Therefore, Abu bakr As-siddiq (radiya Allahu ‘anhu), he came and he proposed to Um Salamah, but she refused. And then, ‘Umar (radiya Allah-u ‘anhu) proposed and likewise, she said no. Then, the Prophet (salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam) proposed to Um Salamah.

Um Salamah (radiya Allah-u ‘anha) said,

“O, Messenger of Allah! I have three things that I want to mention to you.  

Number one is that I am a very jealous person.

And number two is that I am very old in age.

And number three is that I have many children.”

The Prophet (salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam) said,

“As for the first one: concerning your jealousy, then I will make du’a’ to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) that he removes that. As for your age, then I am older than you. And as for your children, then they are children that belong to Allah and his messenger (salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam).”

Upon this, they married (wa lillahi al-hamd). And the title that she was given, Um Salamah, she was now called ‘Um Al-Mu’mineen’ (The Mother of The Believers). (Subhan Allah) what a great title that Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) gave to her!

And if we look back, the du’a’ that she made, “O Allah! Grant me a reward during this musibah (calamity) and grant me something which is better than in the future. When she said,

“And who is better than Abu Salamah? How can I possibly remarry somebody who is better than Abu Salamah?”

Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) granted that she would have a husband better than Abu Salamah. And that was our dear beloved Muhammad (salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam).

Now, Um Salamah, as we know, she was the last of the wives to pass away. She passed away in the year 61 after Hijrah and has a number of famous advices that were given to the Prophet (salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam) throughout his life.

A Lesson to be Learned

So, whatever matters, my dear brothers and sisters, that we may be afflicted with a trial or calamity, we make this du’a’ to Allah (Subhanhu wa ta’ala).

“That we belong to Allah and to Him we will return.” (inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un) (Quran 2:155)

And we ask Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala ) to be rewarded for that test. And that we ask Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) that He grants us something better in the future.

(wa Allah-u ya’ lam-u wa antum la ta’lamun) that “Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) knows and that you do not know.” (Quran 2:216)

I ask Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) that He allows us to be steadfast during all tests and that Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) grants us something (which) is better in the future!

Allah-umma Ameen!

Baraka Allah-u fikum (Allah bless you!)

Was-salam ‘alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh!

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The Story of the Companion Suhaib Ar-Rumi

By Aisha Stacey

Three of the non-Arabs that accepted Islam in the very early days of the mission of Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, stand out.  They were Salman from Persia, Bilal ibn Rabah, whose heritage was Abyssinian, and Shuaib, known as the Roman.  These three men were among Prophet Muhammad’s close companions, they readily recognized Islam as the truth, and gave the fledgling religion a foretaste of the worldwide acceptance it would enjoy.  Prophet Muhammad is said to have predicted the spread of Islam by describing them as the forerunners of their respective ethnic groups; Suhaib from Romans, Bilal from the Abyssinians, and Salman from the Persians.

In the beginning of Islam, the fledgling Muslims could not worship openly or comfortably.  Arqam’s house was selected as a place where they could meet, pray and learn about Islam.

Suhaib’s Early Life

Suhaib was the son of a man who ruled an outlying province of the Persian Empire in the area now known as Iraq.  He was, by all accounts, a fun-loving, well educated, and intelligent little boy.  One day, when attending a picnic with his mother and other women and children, their party was attacked by Byzantine raiders who captured many slaves.  The blonde blue-eyed little boy Suhaib spent his boyhood and youth being traded as a possession.  However, his owners all recognized his intelligence and his education continued.  He was soon fluent in Greek, the dominant language of the Eastern Roman Empire and had acquired excellent trading skills.

The Pursuit of a Meaningful Life

Although Suhaib adopted the Byzantine customs and lifestyle he never felt completely at ease in the decadent empire and was later heard to remark that, “A society like this (Byzantine Empire) can only be purified with a deluge.” In his young adulthood Suhaib found out of the Byzantine empire and arrived in Mecca as a skilled merchant.   The stories of his return to his homeland differ.  Some say that he escaped with a significant amount of wealth and started a trading partnership with Abdullah ibn Judan.  Others believe that he was eventually sold to Abdullah ibn Judan, who recognized his skills and emancipated him.  No matter what manner is correct Suhaib did prosper and become very rich.  However, the prevailing idolatry and depravity of Mecca overshadowed his success and brought him no peace of mind.  His search for meaning in his life eventually brought him to the House of Arqam.

In the beginning of Islam, the fledgling Muslims could not worship openly or comfortably.  Arqam’s house was selected as a place where they could meet, pray and learn about Islam.  The house could be entered and exited secretly and it was in a narrow street that could be seen from within.

It is narrated that Ammar said, “I met Suhaib ibn Sinan at the doorstep of Arqam’s house when the Messenger of Allah was there.  I said, ‘What do you want?’ He asked me in turn, ‘and what do you want?’  I said I would like to speak with Prophet Mohammad and listen to his message.  He said that he would like to do the same.  Then we entered together the house and he (the Prophet) introduced us to Islam and we both accepted it.  We remained in the house for the rest of the day and left secretly in the darkness of the night.”[i]

Migration to Medina

Thus, Suhaib began his journey of piety.   It was not an easy period for him.  He was without family or tribal support and his wealth and new status as a free person did not save him from the abuses and persecution suffered by many new Muslims at the hands of the Meccan elite.  When Prophet Muhammad began to encourage his followers to migrate to Medina, Suhaib was keen to be among them.  Due to his wealth, the Meccan elite tried to prevent him, to the extent that they had guards watching over him and trying to foil any escapes.  Eventually he resorted to subterfuge.

Suhaib pretended to have a stomachache and went in and out of his house as if needing to repeatedly answer the call of nature.  The guards joked about his condition, got bored and fell asleep.  Suhaib took the opportunity to arm himself with a sword and a bow and galloped away from Mecca on his horse.  The guards arose from their stupor and gave chase, trapping Suhaib on a hill.  He stood there threatening to kill them all, but quickly changed tactics and decided to offer them money to allow him to escape.  The guards took up that offer and he continued on to Medina.

When Suhaib reached Quba, just outside Medina, Prophet Muhammad saw him approaching and said, “Your transaction has been fruitful, O Abu Yahya.  Your transaction has been fruitful.” He repeated it three times.  Suhaib was overjoyed and said, “By God, no one has come before me to you, Messenger of God, only the angel Gabriel could have informed you about this.”[ii]

Suhaib’s Generosity

Suhaib was able to recoup the wealth he gave away to the guards and continued to be generous with his wealth, giving it away at every opportunity, even feeding the needy, the orphans or the captives.  Umar ibn al-Khattab once remarked, “Why are you nicknamed as Abu Yahya (father of John) when you don’t have a child? You say that you are an Arab when you are known as the Roman, and you feed people too much, I have seen you giving out so much food that you appear to be too extravagant.” Suhaib replied that he once heard Prophet Muhammad say “The best of you is the one who gives out food.”[iii]

Suhaib leads the Muslims in Prayer after Umar’s Death

Years later after Prophet Muhammad’s death, when Umar was the leader of the Muslim nation, Suhaib learned that he (Umar) had been stabbed.  He was unable to control his anger and grief and ran to Umar’s side weeping.  “Alas! my brother, Alas! my friend!”  Even as he was dying Umar said, “O Suhaib! Are you weeping for me when the Prophet said, “The dead person is tormented by some of the weeping of his relatives?”[iv]

Umar called six of his companions to decide among themselves who should succeed him.[v] He then assigned Suhaib to lead the Muslims in prayers and undertake the interim leadership of the Islamic nation.  Suhaib is known to have narrated more than thirty hadith and three of them can be found in Saheeh Muslim.

Suhaib ibn Sinan ar-Rumi died in Medina thirty-eight years after the migration, in 658 CE at approximately seventy years of age.  Sa’d ibn Abu Waqas led his funeral prayer, and he is buried in Jannat al-Baqi, the first Islamic cemetery established in Medina.


[i] Muhammad ibn Saad. Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir, vol. 3. Translated by Bewley, A.  (2013). The Companions of Badr, p. 189. London: Ta-Ha Publishers.

[ii] Iman Ahmad

[iii] Imam Ahmad, Sahih Al-Bukhari

[iv] The Niche of Lamps (Miskat al-Masabih) 1-4 Vol 2.

[v] The six men were Ali ibn Abu Talib, Uthman ibn Affan, Abd al-Rahman ibn Awf, Sa`d ibn Abu Waqqas, Zubair ibn Awwam and Talhah ibn Ubaydullah


Source: islamreligion.com with some modifications

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Yusha Evans: “My Attraction to Islam was the Quran”

By Editorial Staff

This is the story of the famous American preacher, Yusha Evan, whose study of the Bible led him to leave Christianity. He studied the Bible fifteen times from cover to cover. In doing so, he realized there were many inconsistencies and contradictions.

Passing through many phases of searching the true religion, he was finally invited to Islam by an ordinary Muslim. In this video, he tells us his story with the Quran and how it attracted him. This is an inspiring story for us all to study the Gracious Quran and invite people from everywhere to study it.

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Hanan’s and John’s Stories of Conversion to Islam

By Abbie Wightwick

Born to Christian but not especially religious families, Hanan Sandercock and her husband John Smith became Muslims as adults in Wales.

They celebrate Eid and not Christmas, pray five times a day, and don’t eat pork or drink alcohol. Hanan, 51, has worn a scarf for 23 years since converting aged 28 and raised all her four children in the faith.

Both say they felt a sense of relief and fufilment converting. They describe it as finding a community as well as a faith and finding answers to questions they’d been asking.

Artist and play worker Hanan Sandercock has decorated the family home in Pentwyn with copies of ancient Islamic tile designs. She is pictured with husband John Smith

Searching for the meaning of life

While their families supported their choice some of Hanan’s friends drifted away when she became a Muslim in 1995.

Then Donna Sandercock, she arrived in Cardiff in the early 1990s as a young art school graduate looking for work.

“I was in my 20s and I think I was searching. I wanted to know the meaning of life. I went to a Buddhist meeting but that didn’t do anything for me.”

 

With Cardiff beginning to shake off the grey days of the 1970s and ’80s Donna, originally from a small village in Cornwall, was intrigued to be in a city with a historically multicultural population. She got to know and befriend young Muslims her age working and socialising.

“I was interested. Their religion was very important to them. They were solid and had a belief system I didn’t have.

“I’d eat at their houses and have the nicest food. They were really open and welcoming and happy I was interested.”

If we got our safely I’d become a Muslim

In the summer of 1994 visiting a kibbutz in Palestine she also learned more about Palestinian and Muslim history and culture and had a religious experience which led her to convert to Islam when she returned to Cardiff.

“I was walking in a wadi, a deep ravine, in the heat of the day with a friend and we got lost,” she said. “There were no mobile phones then and we had run out of water. I prayed in a way I’d never done before. I prayed that if we got our safely I’d become a Muslim. It wasn’t something I’d vocalised before but realised it had been inside me.”

Back in Wales she “read and read about Islam” and spoke to a Yemeni  friend “who kept asking me if I was sure” before converting at the South Wales Islamic Centre in Butetown.

The well-known late Imam Sheikh Said, whose own mother was a Welsh Muslim convert, listened as Donna changed her name to Hanan and recited the Shahada, the declaration of belief in the oneness of God and the acceptance of Muhammad as his prophet.

Inside the The South Wales Islamic Centre where Hanan converted to Islam

“I immediately felt a great sense of relief,” she said. “Islam explains things to me. The answers are all there.

“I became part of a diverse community. I was not pressured to be or become a particular way.

“I wore an abayah. Being Muslim is an identity and I wanted to show that.”

Marrying an Algerian Muslim in Cardiff Hanan had four children, now aged 22, 21, 14 and 10, but later divorced.

And within a few years world events led her to stop wearing her robe robe because she was scared of being attacked. When 9/11 happened the whole landscape changed.

Although Hanan had been shouted at and had things thrown at her by men in cars in 1990s Cardiff, it was only when the Twin Towers were attacked in 2001 that she began to feel seriously at risk.

“I stopped wearing the abayah (robe) after 9/11. I knew some Muslim women had been attacked in the UK and America. I had little children and didn’t want us to be at risk. I carried on wearing the scarf but not the abayah.”

At the same time a few miles down the road 35 year-old John Smith was seeking out Muslims but for different reasons.

John’s journey of conversion

John and Hanan’s bookcase is filled with books about Islam

Born in Omagh, northern Ireland, to a Protestant Irish mother and English army father, John was living in Pontypridd when the September 11 attacks happened in 2001.

“9/11 led to me converting to Islam,” he said as he recalled not so much a search for faith as a bolt out of the blue.

“I met a University of South Wales (USW) student who was Muslim and asked him: ‘How could Muslims do this? Where’s the rationale?’

“He told me the people who carried out the attacks had Muslim names but were not Muslims. He gave me a copy of the Quran.”

After reading the holy book John attended a lecture tour by a Muslim cleric and converted.

“I converted before I really found out about Islam. Saying the Shahada is a declaration. You have to take it slowly and really want to do it.

“Being Muslim for me means having a sense of family.

“You never stop learning. Islamic culture and religion is incredibly rich.”

As there is no mosque in Pontypridd John prayed at the prayer facility at USW. Although he wasn’t a student the room is open to the community. Now living in Cardiff he visits the Al Manar and Dar Ul-Isra mosques. Like Hanan he prays in Arabic.

The couple, who met through a friend in 2017 and married the same year, are horrified by extremism in any part of the Muslim or non-Muslim community.

“Extremist Muslims are the bane of our lives because it’s always those that make the headlines,” said John.

“They almost become the public face of Islam which is really difficult when you when you are living as a Muslim and it colours peoples’ judgement.”

Hanan has witnessed a child’s headscarf being snatched off her head in Roath Park by a teenager on a bike, knows people who have been insulted regularly in the street, and has herself been insulted and had liquid thrown at her from a car in the 1990s.

She is impatient with those who won’t adapt and celebrate diversity, saying she is proud to be a white “British Muslim”. She disagrees with the Salafi Muslim view that Muslims should not take part in Western democracy by voting and is frustrated by non-Muslim friends and acquaintances who turn up with bottles of alcohol or argue about the custom of not celebrating birthdays.

Both say they have been very lucky with their families accepting and embracing their change of religion and lifestyle.

Hanan’s younger sister Lisa also converted and their parents moved to Cardiff and enjoy celebrating Eid with their grandchildren, all of whom are Muslim.

 

Both Hanan and John feel it is vital to talk about their faith to counter ignorance.

Hanan, a play leader at the Steiner School in Cardiff, said she works and teaches with people who are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Pagan and of no religion.

Her younger children attend the school and she likes that it is a place where discussion is easy and differences are accepted. She regrets this is not the case everywhere but said she and her family are happy to be who they are and say so.

“I am British Muslim and happy to be. At first when you convert you are shy and embarrassed. But I even make halal pasties now.

“This is who I am.”


Source: walesonline.co.uk with some modifications

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Dr. Murad Hofmann, Islamic Thinker and Former Diplomat, Dies Aged 89

Yesterday, the German Muslim diplomat, writer and thinker Murad Wilfried Hofmann died at the age of 89, after a long struggle with illness and a life full of intellectual work and authorship of important books in modern Islamic thought, including “German-Muslim Diaries” and “Islam as an alternative.”

The Central Council of Muslims in Germany mourned Hofmann, who worked as his adviser, and the council’s statement added that the German Islamic thinker died among his loved ones.

“Islam is a comprehensive religion. It is capable of confrontation. It was able to render education into an obligation and learning into a worshipping.” Murad Hofmann

About Dr. Murad Hofmann

Dr. Murad Wilfred Hofmann was the ambassador of his country in Algeria and Morocco, born in 1931 to a Catholic family in Aschaffenburg, a large town in northwestern Bavaria, and embraced Islam in September 1980, provoking a controversy because of his high diplomatic status.

Hofmann worked for the German Foreign Ministry from 1961 to 1994, and he specialized in issues related to nuclear defense.

He continued his work as director of information for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Brussels from 1983 to 1987, as ambassador to Algeria from 1987 to 1990, and as ambassador to Morocco from 1990 to 1994.

As a result of what he saw in the Algerian war of independence and his admiration for the patience of the Algerians and their understanding of what happened, and his passion for Islamic art, and for what he considered contradictions in the Christian belief that he embraced Islam.

Islam as an alternative

Hofman responds in his book “Islam as an Alternative” to the claim that secular and capitalist democracy is the pinnacle of civilization, and Hofman presented his book to “Westerners who seek to understand Islam on a personal level.”

The book was considered a declaration by the German diplomat and thinker about his Islam, which exposed him to an attack by German and European media as he was a former German diplomat and worked in a sensitive position in NATO.

Hofman converted to Islam on September 25, 1980, and spoke in his book about Islam providing his future vision of religion, and he sees in his book that the twenty-first century is the century of the revival of Islam in Europe.

The book deals with sensitive issues

Although the author presented the book to Western readers, he did not avoid sensitive issues such as the rulings on borders, polygamy of the Messenger, may God bless him and grant him peace, issues of justice, destiny, usury, and the four schools of thought, as well as controversial topics such as succession, Sufism, extremism, women, art, and others.

The book caused a sensation before its publication, just as it was announced that a well-known German publishing house would print it, and Hofmann was exposed to numerous rumors and mutilation campaigns, including from allegations that every woman in the German Foreign Ministry working under the Hofmann administration would be forced to wear the hijab.

Without reading the book, some writers and politicians attacked Hofmann by claiming that his ideas were inconsistent with the German constitution, and the German Foreign Ministry asked him to provide a statement about his views, and in the end the book was issued with the presentation of a prestigious German academy that praised the book, which sparked a long debate on the pages of German newspapers and books.

Hofman’s Diary

In his diaries, the first Arabic translation of which was published by the Al-Ahram Center for Translation and Publishing in 1985, Hofman deals with his journey of pilgrimage and the positions that occurred to him with Muslims in the West and the Islamic world, and expressed it by saying, “Brotherhood in Islam has no borders.”

It is noted in the diaries that Hofman dealt with Islam as a religion and belief more than it dealt with the reality of Muslims, and the German thinker believes that Islam can fill the vacuum created by the West’s departure from the Church to atheism.

He says in the introduction to his book, “It is inevitable that the newcomer to Islam will see his country in a new light that requires him to conduct a dialogue with himself, and this is in fact the subject of this book.”

In his discussion of Al-Madina newspaper, Hofman shows in the book that he is surprised that Western and Muslim diplomats alike have been unable to find common ground in them between them against a legal background.

The philosophical controversy between Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali and Ibn Rushd Al-Andalusi

In the book, he discusses the philosophical controversy between Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali and Ibn Rushd Al-Andalusi, after he read translations of their books, and also takes notes on Ibn Khaldoun’s study of the human meeting and compares it with Western philosophers such as Nietzsche, Hagel and Rousseau.

In the notes, Hofmann appears to be a fugitive from a Western material society and a searcher in Islam for lost spirituality. He criticizes the incarnation of God in Christianity in exchange for the abstract and monotheistic concept of deity in Islam.

Islam Hofman came as the culmination of a long process of research, reflection and comparison between religions and modern philosophies studied by a law scholar from Harvard University and doctorate from the University of Munich, and he also has a book “A Philosophical Approach to Addressing Islam” (1983) and “The Role of Islamic Philosophy” (1985). ).

In his book “A Journey to Mecca”, Hofman deals with his first trip to Mecca after his conversion to Islam, touching on the pillars of Islam and the reality of faith as he feels, exposed to his mystical and philosophical reflections that were necessary throughout the pilgrimage.

Hofman criticizes Muslims, “psychologically defeated”, considering that Islam is a viable alternative to solving the world’s major problems in the postmodern era and the third millennium. Hofman has offered his criticism of Western modernity and stereotypes about Muslims and hostility between East and West from the site of the German Muslim thinker.


Source: tellerreport and aljazeera websites

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Canadian Youtuber Rosie Gabrielle Reverts to Islam

By Editorial Staff

Canadian traveler and vlogger Rosie Gabrielle reverts to Islam after a long journey of discovery and explorations and life full of anger, pain and suffering. She finally found  peace in Islam. May Allah help her remain steadfast in her faith!

Last week, Gabrielle shared her story of conversion on Instagram. She wrote:

For me, I was already technically a “Muslim”. My Shahada was basically a re-dedication of my life to the path of Oneness, connection and Peace through the devotion of God.

I CONVERTED to ISLAM☪️

What lead me to this Big decision?


As I mentioned previously, this last year was one of the hardest in my life, and all life’s challenges have led me to this point here and now. From a young child, I’ve always had a unique connection with creation and special relationship to God. My path was far from easy and I carried a lot of anger in my heart from a lifetime of pain, always begging God, why me? Until ultimately coming to the conclusion that all is meant to be, and even my suffering is a gift.

Never resonating with what I was brought up with, I denounced my religion 4 years ago, going down a deep path of spiritual discovery.Exploration of self, and the great Divine. I never let go the sight of the Creator, in fact, my curiosity and connection only grew stronger. Now no longer dictated by fear, I was able to fully explore this righteous path. .
As time passed, the more I experienced, the more I witnessed the true nature and calling for my life. I wanted to be free. Free of the pain and shackles that was hell. Liberation from the anger, hurt and misalignment. I wanted peace in my heart, forgiveness and the most profound connection with all. And thus started my journey.

She Finds Peace of Heart in Pakistan


“The universe brought me to Pakistan, not only to challenge myself to let go of the last remaining traces of pain and ego, but also to show me the way. .

Through kindness,& humbled grace of the people I met along my pilgrimage, inspired my heart to seek further. Living in a Muslim country for 10 + years and traveling extensively through these regions, I observed one thing; Peace. A kind of peace that one can only dream of having in their hearts. .

Unfortunately Islam is one of the most misinterpreted and criticized religions world wide. And like all religions, there are many interpretations. But, the core of it, the true meaning of Islam, is PEACE, LOVE & ONENESS. It’s not a religion, but a way of life. The life of humanity, humility and Love. .

For me, I was already technically a “Muslim”. My Shahada was basically a re-dedication of my life to the path of Oneness, connection and Peace through the devotion of God.
If you have any Q’s comment below”

She Makes Her Declaration of Faith

 

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