Senin, 29 Juni 2009

children in sudan 1

by isam


Hello all I'm Issam from Sudan I am very much interested on the situation of children in Sudan I Will tell you about the children of the Sudan from the point of my own Also convey to you the writings of some writers of Sudanese Above of all be fair I will even convey to you the report of the Organization for Human Rights The report is long and will give it to you on several parts

Children in Sudan: Slaves, Street Children and Child Soldiers ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This report was written by Jemera Rone, Counsel to Human Rights Watch. Lois Whitman, Director of the Human Rights Watch Children's Rights Project, edited the report. Ms. Rone conducted the research for the report with Human Rights Watch Leonard H. Sandler Fellow Brian Owsley during a mission to Khartoum, Sudan, from May 1-June 13, 1995, at the invitation of the Sudanese government. Interviews in Khartoum with nongovernment people and agencies were conducted in private, as agreed with the government before the mission began. The private individuals and groups, however, requested anonymity because of fear of government reprisals, and took great precautions in meeting with us. Interviews in Juba, the largest town in the south, were not private and were controlled by Sudan Security, which terminated the visit before testimony regarding most abuses, including rebel abuses, could be gathered in that town. Ms. Rone conducted further research in Kenya and southern Sudan from March 5-20, 1995. GLOSSARY Dawa IslamiyaIslamic Call, a large Islamic nongovernmental organization that engages in relief work in over fifteen African countries ICRCInternational Committee of the Red Cross ILOInternational Labor Organization JCCJuvenile Care Council, a Sudanese organization with government and nongovernment members which operates state facilities for street childrenjihadHoly war (or great struggle or effort, in Islam) mujahedeenHoly warriors or participants in jihad murahiliinArab tribal militias National ServiceThe agency within the Ministry of Defense responsible for conscripting men who under law are obliged to serve one or two years in the armed forces. NGONongovernmental organization NIFNational Islamic Front, the militant Islamic political party that came to power in 1989 after a military coup overthrew the elected government NubaThe African people living in south Kordofan's Nuba Mountains in Central Sudan; some are Muslims, some Christians, and some practice traditional African religions OLSOperation Lifeline Sudan, a joint United Nations/NGO relief operation for internally displaced and famine and war victims in Sudan that began operations in 1989. It serves territory controlled by the government and by the SPLA. Much of its work in southern Sudan is through cross-border operations conducted by OLS Southern Sector based in Nairobi. PDFPopular Defense Force, a government-sponsored militia. Its training program is designed to produce mujahedeen to participate in jihad. SPLM/ASudan People's Liberation Movement/Army. The Sudanese rebel movement and army formed in 1983 headed by Commander-in-Chief Dr. John Garang de Mabior. In 1991 a faction split off from the SPLA in protest of Garang's leadership. The Garang or the mainstream group was known thereafter as SPLA-Torit, after its headquarters in Eastern Equatoria, until that town fell to the government in July 1992. It was also known as SPLA-Mainstream, and now as SPLA. SSIM/A Southern Sudan Independence Movement/Army. This is the faction of the SPLA, led by Cmdr. Riek Machar Terry Dhurgon, that broke away from the SPLM/A and Dr. John Garang's leadership in August 1991. It was based in Nasir, Upper Nile and for a time was known as "SPLA- Nasir." On March 27, 1993, others joined it and it was renamed "SPLA-United." In November 1994 it was renamed Southern Sudan Independence Movement/Army. Triple A campsDisplaced persons camps in Ame, Aswa and Atepi, on the East Bank of the Nile in Eastern Equatoria south of Juba, created in 1992 and evacuated in 1994 due to government military advances. These three camps housed up to 100,000 displaced southerners. TNATransitional National Assembly, Sudan's legislative branch, whose members are appointed by the president UNHCRUnited Nations High Commissioner for Refugees UNICEF United Nations Children's Fund 1. SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS Serious abuses of children's rights continue in Sudan, Africa's largest country, six years after a military coup overthrew the elected civilian government on June 30, 1989, and brought to power a military regime dominated by the National Islamic Front (NIF), a militant Islamist party. The civil war that commenced in 1983 has continued. The rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) seeks a united secular Sudan and autonomy, if not separation, for the African peoples living in the southern third of the country and the Nuba Mountains. The NIF government regards the war as a "holy war" for Islam and its soldiers as "holy warriors," even where the conscripts asked to wage such a war are non-Muslims. The war has produced an enormous displacement of peoples living in the south and in the Nuba Mountains in central Sudan. More than two million have been displaced to areas of the north, far from the conflict zones, where their African traditions clash with the strict application of Islamic law by the NIF and their religious beliefs are not respected by the Islamic state. Khartoum, the capital city of this country of about 25 million people, now has a population of over four million, and almost half are people displaced by the war. The children of Sudan, north and south, have been denied their basic rights by all parties to the conflict, and by the government of Sudan even in areas such as Khartoum where there is no war. Many who are considered street children, mostly southerners and Nuba, are removed from their families without notice. They are denied their right to identity when they are given new Arab names and denied their right to freedom of religion when they are subjected to forcible conversion; the government's recent family reunification project may mitigate some damage done to these children. Some children have been captured in military raids on their villages and taken into household slavery by their captors. Dinka and Nuba children have predominated among those seized and exploited in this way. The government denies the existence of the problem and has made no effort to stop the practice or to punish those who treat Sudanese children as slaves. In addition, underage boys are forcibly recruited into the army or government-sponsored militias, while at the same time the government attempts to focus world attention on the SPLA's use of child soldiers. The SPLA and SSIA continue to recruit underage soldiers while at the same time the SSIA cooperates with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) family reunification program. Arbitrary Arrest and Detention of Street Children Since 1992 the government has engaged in a campaign of "cleaning up" city streets by rounding up alleged street children and sending them to special, closed camps. Many alleged street children were not street children at all, but were actually living with their families, and were captured while they were running errands such as going to market. These children were, nevertheless, packed off to the closed camps, without any government effort to find out if the child had a family, where it was, and what if any problem caused the child to be out on the street. Thus children have been separated for years and many remain separated from their families. There are at least three basic human rights problems with the Sudan government's program for street children: 1) the government arbitrarily removes the children from their families without any legal process and holds them in camps for years, usually without notifying their families. Families search for their missing children without any help from authorities; 2) the government does not respect the religious freedom of the children in that it gives them an Islamic religious education whether or not they or their families are Muslims; and 3) the government violates the children's right to their own identity, including their name, when it gives some children new names in Arabic and denies their heritage. These practices, which have been going on for years, violate the United Nations (U.N.) Convention on the Rights of the Child, the African Charter, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Human Rights Watch does not object to social programs to help street children, or to control petty crime. The existence of street children and the problems they face (and that some may cause), however, are not excuses for arbitrary detention and denial of due process, the breakup of families, and the confinement of children in closed camps. These abuses reflect a lack of concern for the individual child that is inconsistent with effective social work, and they violate international law. Moreover, some camps may have been used to warehouse underage boys for military service: one fifteen-year-old boy told Human Rights Watch that he and others were given an option of joining the army or remaining in a camp indefinitely. This warehousing practice is strikingly similar to the practice of the rebel SPLA that the government has long denounced. While continuing to seize children off the streets of Khartoum, the government has recently undertaken an internationally-funded pilot project designed to reunite children in the camps with their families. This family reunification pilot project took place in Dar Bacha'er (Home of the Future) Home for Girls in Omdurman in 1994, in cooperation with UNICEF, Oxfam/UK and Radda Barnen (Swedish Save the Children). The program involved social work to locate the child's family, investigate its circumstances and the causes of vagrancy, often poverty, and included a project to help the families generate an income. All involved regarded the pilot project as a success. The government says it intends to expand the program to include the main boys' camp at Abu Doum, the largest of its closed camps, with about 650 boys. While the program could help set right the abuse of unjustly separating these children from their families, it will not make up for the years they spent apart from their families, in substandard facilities, denied the nurture of their kin and the recognition of their own identity, religion, and culture. Nor will it make up for the substantial amount of time and money that families have invested in searching for, and only sometimes finding, their lost children. The first concerns, however, are to institute the return of the children to their families, following upon the project already begun in the girls' camp, and to halt further arbitrary detentions on the past pattern. Children Kidnaped From Their Parents and Subjected to Slavery or Forced Labor Many southern and Nuba children have been captured and taken from their families during military raids on their villages by Arab militias and soldiers in the war zones. They are kept for use as unpaid household servants. The soldiers and militia members sometimes take these children with them when they return to their homes in western and northern Sudan, where the children continue to do unpaid labor inside the house or herding animals, on threat of beatings. There have been cases of sexual abuse of these children. There are reports that some are sold. Army officers, soldiers, militia members, and others operate with total impunity from government prosecution, although their conduct violates laws against kidnaping and forced labor. The Sudan government has failed to live up to its obligations to prevent and punish such abuses under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the 1926 Slavery Convention as amended, the 1956 Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the 1930 International Labor Organization (ILO) Forced Labor Convention (No. 29) concerning Forced or Compulsory Labor, the 1957 ILO Convention (No. 105) concerning the Abolition of Forced Labor, the African Charter, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The cases we found were of children who were located by their families, or who succeeded in escaping. The families had to undertake the search themselves, with governmental assistance only where they chanced upon southerners among the police officers they met in their search. It is clear that existing legal remedies are not adequate to promptly free all of the stolen children. While in some cases described below legal procedures (administrative or judicial) eventually led to reunification of the child with his or her family, the legal route is costly and often fruitless. The government of Sudan flatly denies all allegations of slavery and forced labor. These topics have been under consideration by the ILO, the U.N. Committee on the Rights of Children, the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, and the U.N. Working Group on Contemporary Forms of Slavery for years. The government, however, has never requested the technical assistance and advice that these agencies have suggested could be used to pay urgent and due regard to reports of slavery and forced labor. Nor has the government taken any legislative or administrative steps to regulate child labor performed in households or herding animals, nor has it ratified the ILO Minimum Age Convention. Military Recruitment for the National Service of Underage Boys and Violation of their Freedom of Religion and that of Captured Young SPLA Soldiers Underage children have been drafted as soldiers and into government- sponsored tribal militias, in violation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and of Sudanese law, which provides that only men eighteen years of age and older may be conscripted.[1] The right of non-Muslim child conscripts to freedom of conscience and religion is violated during the training period when military trainers instruct and train them as "holy warriors" and refer to the conflict as an Islamic "holy war" against the south. The way in which religious studies are introduced in training recruits subjects the young conscripts to coercion that would impair their freedom to have a religion of their own choice. Nor are the non-Muslim recruits given an equal opportunity to manifest or practice their religion on the same basis as the Muslim conscripts.

My web sites

www.portal.children4you.com

www.laugh.children4you.com

www.smile.children4you.com

www.sport.children4you.com

www.store.children4you.com

About the Author

I'm Issam Sudan I am an engineer geologist Pay too much attention to the problems of the children of the Sudan

EUTHANASIA, etanasia

by rendi permana putra


EUTHANASIA.. Jika Anda mengira obrolan tentang euthanasia bukanlah hal yang penting,bagaimana bila anda dihadapkan pada dilemma tentang hal tersebut.. maka Anda harus membaca artikel ini. Scary Story 17 Tahun Anaknya Koma, Akhirnya Pengadilan Izinkan Euthanasia www. BBC.COM..Kisah mengharukan dari Italia. Orangtua yang tak tahan melihat penderitaan anaknya,yang telah koma selama 17 tahun, akhirnya mendapat izin Mahkamah Agung untuk melakukan euthanasia (mencabut kehidupan seseorang). Adalah Eluana Englar,wanita yang pada 17 tahun lalu (1992) mengalami kecelakaan parah yang menyebabkan ia tak sadarkan diri selama 17 tahun. Selama 17 tahun, hidup Eluana hanya tergantung pada selang dan mesin. Dokter tak mampu menyembuhkan gadis ini, namun tak berani melakukan euthanasia karena hal itu dilarang di Italia, negara di mana tak berani melakukan euthanasia karena hal itu dilarang di Italia, negara di mana masyarakatnya kebanyakan penganut katolik yg fanatik. Orangtua Eluana yg tak tahan melihat penderitaan anaknya yang 'tidak mati tapi tidak hidup'. Berbagai upaya dilakukan untuk mengobati Eluana, tapi tidak berhasil. Jangan ditanya tentang kepedihan keluarga Eluana, karena nyaris tak tersisa air mata lagi saking banyaknya tertumpah. Akhirnya mereka berjuang agar pengadilan membolehkan untuk melakukan euthanasia, suatu yg tak diperbolehkan di Italia. Belasan tahun mereka berjuang, dan berkali kali kandas. Pada pengadilan tingkat pertama, permohonan itu ditolak pengadilan. Keluarga Eluana pun maju banding, tetap kandas. Tidak putus asa, pihak keluarga terus maju, sampai akhirnya Mahkamah Agung mengizinkan tindakan itu. MA mengizinkan orangtua mencabut selang makanan dan mesin yg selama 17 tahun menghidupi anaknya. Keputusan MA itu baru November 2008 lalu, dikeluarkkan. Dan kini pihak dokter siap mengeksekusi euthanasia itu.

MUI Haramkan Euthanasia www.suaramuslim.net Oleh : Redaksi 23 Oct 2004 - 6:41 pm Ketua Komisi Fatwa MUI mengeluarkan fatwa yang haram tindakan Euthanasia (tindakan mematikan orang untuk meringankan penderitaan sekarat). "Euthanasia itu kan pembunuhan," kata KH Ma`ruf Amin Ketua Komisi Fatwa Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI) KH Ma'ruf Amin mengatakan MUI telah lama mengeluarkan fatwa yang mengharamkan dilakukannya tindakan Euthanasia (tindakan mematikan orang untuk meringankan penderitaan sekarat). "Euthanasia, menurut fatwa kita tidak diperkenankan, karena itu kan melakukan pembunuhan," kata KH Ma`ruf Amin di Jakarta, Jumat (22/10).

Euthanasia dalam keadaan aktif maupun dalam keadaan pasif, menurut fatwa MUI, tidak diperkenankan karena berarti melakukan pembunuhan atau menghilangkan nyawa orang lain. Lebih lanjut, KH Ma'ruf Amin mengatakan, euthanasia boleh dilakukan dalam kondisi pasif yang sangat khusus.

Kondisi pasif tersebut, dimana seseorang yang tergantung oleh alat penunjang kehidupan tetapi ternyata alat tersebut lebih dibutuhkan oleh orang lain atau pasien lain yang memiliki tingkat peluang hidupnya lebih besar, dan pasien tersebut keberadaannya sangat dibutuhkan oleh masyarakat. Sedangkan, kondisi aktif adalah kondisi orang yang tidak akan mati bila hanya dicabut alat medis perawatan, tetapi memang harus dimatikan.

Mengenai dalil atau dasar fatwa MUI tentang pelarangan "euthanasia", dia menjelaskan dalilnya secara umum yaitu tindakan membunuh orang dan karena faktor keputusasaan yang tidak diperbolehkan dalam Islam. Dia mengungkapkan, dasar pelarangan euthanasia memang tidak terdapat secara spesifik dalam Al Quran maupun Sunnah Nabi. "Hak untuk mematikan seseorang ada pada Allah SWT," ujarnya menambahkan.

Ketua komisi fatwa MUI itu mengatakan, MUI akan menjelaskan dan mengeluarkan fatwa pelarangan euthanasia tersebut, apabila Pengadilan Negeri Jakarta Pusat atau institusi lainnya menanyakan kepada MUI. Dia menjelaskan, kasus permohonan euthanasia memang belum pernah terjadi di Indonesia, tetapi MUI telah menetapkan fatwa pelarangan tersebut setelah melakukan diskusi dan pembahasan tentang permasalahan euthanasia yang terjadi di luar negeri.

Penjelasan tentang euthanasia berkaitan dengan surat permohonan tindakan Euthanasia yang diajukan oleh Panca Satrya Hasan Kesuma untuk istinya, Agian Isna Nauli, 33, ke Pengadilan Negeri (PN) Jakarta Pusat, Jumat pagi. Dalam surat permohonannya, Hasan meminta kepada Ketua PN Jakpus untuk berkenan menetapkan apakah bisa dilakukan euthanasia terhadap istrinya atau tidak, karena menurut penelitian dokter spesialis neorologi yang merawat, kondisi kesehatan istrinya tidak akan pernah bisa kembali pada keadaan semula.

Surat permohonan tersebut disampaikan oleh Panca Satrya Hasan Kesuma, karena istrinya, Agian Isna Nauli, lumpuh setelah melahirkan melalui operasi caesar di Rumah Sakit Islam Bogor. Menurut penelitian dokter spesialis neorologi yang merawat, kondisi kesehatan istrinya tidak akan pernah bisa kembali pada keadaan semula.

About the Author

hi there..selamat datang di blog nya orang ndeso. Content merupakan saduran dari berbagai artikel di internet(kami berupaya menjaga obyektifitas dengan mencantumkan sumber informasi) beserta penambahan atau pengembangan materi sebagai proses kreatifitas untuk menyoroti problematika sosial maupun psikologis di sekitar kita agar bisa menjadi public sharing dan bukan faktor komersial semata.Bila terdapat kekeliruan, mohon masukannya..

Islamic Swimwear For The Active Muslimah

by Gabriel Perez


All these year's Muslim females have faced the issue of finding a suitable swimwear which adheres to the Koran, which needs a lady to cover everything except her hands, face and feet.

The swimwear available in the market were either not targeted for the Muslim women as they led to show of skin or were theoretical for swimming. To aptly describe how uncomfortable the Muslim swimwear designed for Muslimahs was I shall quote Aheda Zanetti who wrote to the National Geographic News saying "As an active Muslim women, I found it tough to take part in most sports, because of the excess garments we were wearing. And the veil very unpractical while playing sports".
All these year's Muslim females have faced the issue of finding a suitable swimwear which adheres to the Koran, which needs a lady to cover everything except her hands, face and feet.

The swimwear available in the market were either not targeted for the Muslim women as they led to show of skin or were theoretical for swimming. To aptly describe how uncomfortable the Islamic swimwear designed for Muslimahs was I shall quote Aheda Zanetti who wrote to the National Geographic News saying "As an active Muslim women, I found it tough to take part in most sports, because of the excess garments we were wearing. And the veil very unpractical while playing sports".

For a market that wasn't targeted by big market share holders like Nike scattering little firms took the drive of planning something fruitful for Muslimahs. Zanetti, is the owner of Ahiida, an Australian company that designs girls's sports wear. Oliver Momeni started his venture of Bodykini in 2007, based in Spain and Hasema a Turkish company started planning a line of Islamic swimwear for men, ladies and kids. Among all these products the most admired and reviewed is Bodykini Modest Swimwear.

Surely, Oliver had the support and viewpoints of his Iranian and an experience of over 20 years in the family textile business. Before planning the final product "Bodykini", Oliver conducted a lot of market research and held talks with many Muslim women. He designed Bodykini Islamic Swimwear which is a total mix of a swimming costume that looks great, designed for modest comfort, adheres to Islam's tradition and most importantly lets ladies swim without any fear.

Oliver incorporated each thing into two main piece of clothing : a shirt with a hijood that serves as a close-fitting headpiece, which strongly lays on the head without slipping and a pant. The fabric used is a top quality water-repellent fabric that isn't just highly Chlorine resistant but also provides protection from ultraviolet rays. The advantage of employing a Polyester material is that it has low water absorbency, dries fast and guarantees complete stretch in all directions leading to comfy swimming or aqua-sport.

The Bodykini Islamic swimwear comes in two colors to select from and two unique features. The first feature is the 2 elastic bands that are attached at the interior of the pants that get buttoned to the inside of the suit, which forestall the suit from floating in case the swimmer performs a feet first dive.

Bodykini is available on the internet at www.bodykini.com.

The Bodykini Muslim swimming suit is starting to become well-liked among not just the Muslim population but also among all those girls who love to cover their bodies and stop the tans while enjoying the relaxing water.

Taylor, of Azizah Magazine, says that "Many years from now there's going to be a sizable Muslim purchaser market and tons of demand".

I think we are where the Hispanic market was fifteen years back and today the Hispanic market is a huge consumer market." Further more, Arun Jain, a promoting lecturer at the College of Buffalo in the Big Apple State, agrees and states that given the expansion potential of the Muslim community in the United States, major sports wear makers might be missing out on an opportunity to break into a rising market.

About the Author

Gabriel Perez reports about trendy fashion. Swimwear that makes swimming all that more interesting and enjoyable to Muslim women.
Click here to read more!about Muslim Swimwear.

Senin, 23 Maret 2009

Marketing to Muslims

by Eva Fonda

With a growing number of Muslim all over the world, it has become significant to construct awareness for Islam, its tenets, and most especially its outstanding holidays, one of which is the Eid al-Fitr, which occurs between September and October.

Eid al-Fitr, or literally "the shattering of the fast," is discerned all through the end of Ramadan, a commemoration that embraces plea, benevolent humanity work, and 30 days of fasting from sunrise to sunset. During Eid al-Fitr, Muslim participants put on new apparel and partake of a feast with aides and family. They make donations to the poor as well.

To disperse perception for Islam and Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr in exact, here are some undertakings you can do:

Give out applicable literature. Your pamphlets and flyers should shatter down the standards of Ramadan in very easy, easy-to-understand dialect that doesn't differentiate against non-Muslims. The least significant thing you can do is to antagonize individuals of a distinct faith.

Establish a centre to share data about Islam. This is especially a good thing to do in universities over the United States, with the expanding number of Muslim students.

Promote your Muslim centre with made-to-order stickers and decals. Add the centre's number or authorized Website in your bumper stickers so engaged individuals who glimpse it realise where to go.

Organize community-based undertakings and inquire for non-Muslims. One way of furthering insight throughout Eid al-Fitr is to allow non-Muslims to observe commemorations, endowing them to gain a deeper insight of Islam and decline misconceptions about it.

Prepare loot dismisses that Muslim juvenile young children and mature persons can share with juvenile one-by-one believers and non-Muslims. Order some reusable canvas dismisses and have these imprinted with moon designs. You can furthermore inject a little insight gift tag understanding Eid al-Fitr and Ramadan. The dismisses will be utilised afresh and afresh, so you can be certain your note will spread.

Educate non-Muslims and share insights with school agencies to endow the suggesting of halal alternatives in university and school dining auditoriums and cafeterias. Religion is a alternate, and a Muslim does not need to halt his dietary preferences when he is in school. It's furthermore a way of making non-Muslims cognizant of devout diet bounds and the determinants behind these.

About the Author

Eva is a Promotional Adviser specializing on Logo Promotional Items such as Logo Custom Stickers and Youth Promotional Apparel.

"Honor Killing" and Islam

by Kamran Pasha

The American Muslim community is reeling from news of the horrific beheading of Aasiya Hassan, allegedly by her husband Muzzammil Hassan. They were respected members of the community and co-founded BridgesTV, a television network ironically dedicated to fighting negative stereotypes of Muslims. As one of the first Muslims to succeed as a writer in Hollywood, I have been interviewed several times on BridgesTV and was delighted by the professionalism and media savvy of its staff. I had never met the Hassans, but I had been proud of their accomplishments. They were bringing an Islam of love, compassion and human brotherhood to the world, while countering the horrific images of violence and misogyny that had tainted how my fellow Americans saw my faith. The Hassans were people I admired -- educated professionals and patriotic Americans with a commitment to family and community.

And then I heard how Aasiya Hassan died and I wanted to throw up.

Right now there is a great deal of discussion in the media about whether her murder was an "honor killing." And among the more bigoted commentators, there are cries that this horrific murder has proven the "true face of Islam" to the world. That no matter how hard Muslims try to sell an Islam of peace and social justice, a headless corpse of a poor, abused woman will always be its legacy to humanity. I hear these words, and I want to cry out "No! This isn't Islam! This isn't the beautiful religion that brings comfort and joy to a billion people worldwide." But then I see images in my mind of Aasiya Hassan lying decapitated in a pool of blood and I am left wondering why anyone should listen.

The greatest tragedy for me as a Muslim is that my faith is associated with such horrific actions that run counter to everything that Prophet Muhammad stood for. To those who know little about Islamic history, it may sound laughable to assert that Islam began as a proto-feminist movement. But it's true. Perhaps the way out of this madness for the Muslim community is to look back at the life of Prophet Muhammad and remember his true legacy as a visionary champion of women's rights.

I recently finished my first novel, Mother of the Believers, which tells the story of Islam's birth from the perspective of Aisha, the Prophet's young wife. As a scholar, poet and warrior, Aisha was one of the most influential women in history, and her life reveals how empowered the women of Islam were at the onset of the faith. As I researched the story of early Islam for my novel, I was struck by how central women's rights played in the community's identity from the beginning. The Prophet was a sensitive man who had been orphaned at a young age and grew up in poverty. He saw from childhood the suffering of women and children in pre-Islamic Arabia, where the strong crushed the weak, and dedicated his life to changing the system.

One of the first Arab practices he outlawed was female infanticide. Pre-Islamic Arab men would bury alive unwanted baby girls in the desert, a horrific tradition that Prophet Muhammad ended forever. There is a powerful scene in the Holy Qur'an depicting Judgment Day where the souls of all girls who were slain would rise and confront their fathers, asking the men: "For what crime did you kill me?" And then their fathers would be flung into Hell. It is a vivid image meant to inculcate the true horror of such crimes in the minds of Arabs accustomed to centuries of brutal child murder.

The Prophet also established women's right to inherit and own property -- rights that were not given to Christian women until the 19th century in Europe and America. Considering his concern for women's welfare, it is not surprising that the Prophet's earliest followers were female. The first Muslim was his wife Khadijah, a wealthy widow who had been his employer and had proposed marriage to the penniless Muhammad when he was managing her caravans. The first martyr of Islam, Sumaya, was an elderly woman who was killed by Meccan idolaters for refusing to renounce monotheism.

So if all this is true, where does this idea of "honor killing" come from in the Muslim world? Unfortunately, it is one of the ugly elements of pre-Islamic Arabian culture that continues to reassert itself, despite the Prophet's efforts to eradicate the practice. In fact, Prophet Muhammad nearly lost his own beloved wife to the madness of the crowds screaming about "sexual honor." In my novel, I detail how his wife Aisha was once falsely accused of adultery and was the victim of a gossip campaign meant to destroy her reputation and potentially her life. The Holy Qur'an exonerated her of the false accusations, and then demanded that anyone accusing a woman of adultery would have to bring four witnesses to the act of sexual intercourse. Of course, such a requirement is impossible to meet, and its purpose was to end the threat to women's lives under claims of "preserving honor." Aisha was saved, but generations of women continue to be haunted by this curse from The Days of Ignorance, as Muslims refer to the era before Islam. The greatest tragedy of Islam is that some Muslim men continue to uphold these pagan practices that the Prophet outlawed 1,400 years ago.

As a believer, I have no doubt that those who commit murder in the name of Islam will face the wrath of God in this life and in eternity. But personal belief is not enough. Islam is a religion of action. Muslim men must stand and fight against this evil of "honor killing" that destroys lives and families, shatters the bond of love between men and women, and brings disrepute to Islam, which was sent as a beacon of light to the world. If we fail to do so, we will have failed to follow the example of Prophet Muhammad, a kind and compassionate man who never struck a woman or child in his life. If we remain silent, we will have earned the cruel labels that Islamophobes and bigots seek to give us -- barbarians, fanatics and monsters.

The choice that stands before Muslim men is stark. Do we follow ancient and evil practices, creating a cycle of violence and grief, and use culture as an excuse for our sins? Or do we follow our Prophet and create a better world where men and women treat each other with dignity and love? Do we turn life on this Earth into Hell, or into Paradise? The answer will reveal whether we are Muslims, people who have surrendered themselves to the true God of mercy and compassion, or idolaters, people who fashion God according to their own self-serving desires.

May God have mercy on the soul of Aasiya Hassan, and on her children and loved ones. May her tragic death serve as a catalyst to end this ancient and un-Islamic practice of "honor killing" forever.

©2009 Kamran Pasha, author of Mother of the Believers: A Novel of the Birth of Islam


About the Author

Kamran Pasha, author of Mother of the Believers: A Novel of the Birth of Islam, is a Hollywood screenwriter and the author of Mother of the Believers, a novel on the birth of Islam as told by Prophet Muhammad's teenage wife Aisha, to be published by Atria Books in April 2009. To pre-order his book, go to www.kamranpasha.com

Sufism, the Path of Love

by G Kumar

Sufism - The Path of Love

The word Sufi is derived from the Greek "Sophia", meaning Wisdom. It is known as Tasawwuf ( Mysticism ) in Arabic, and is considered by scholars as the mystical, the inner or psycho-spiritual aspect of Philosophia Islamica. The great scholar, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, considered Sufism as the esoteric dimension of Al Islam.

Sufism emphasises on the Unity of Absolute Being, Wahdat al Wujud. Absolute Being alone exists in se and the Relative Universe is only a superimposition upon the Absolute Reality. Absolute Being is also Absolute Beauty, before Whose Beauty all earthly beauty is but a pale comparison !

The Influence of Neoplatonism on Sufism

Plotinus, the founder of Neoplatonism conceived the Divine as the Alpha and Omega of Existence, its Source & Goal. The translations of Plotinus provided the philosophical ground for Sufism. One is struck by the similarities which exist in both systems, with regard to the concept of God, the soul, the body, Vice and Virtue, Life and Death and Beauty ! Sufism was influenced by Orpheus and Pythagoreanism. Orpheus was a poet who lived in Anatolia in the 6th and 7th centuries BCE. He had divine qualities and he could influence wild animals with his music. He postulated that the human soul can achieve perfection by refining itself from all passions and worldly possessions. Soul travels from body to body for self purification and reaches the Perfect State. Pythagorus adopted Orpheus' philosophy and integrated it with his own concepts. Plotinus, the founder of Neoplatonism took Plato's Theory of Ideas and reinterpreted them from Protagoras' point of view. Neoplatonism considers the Divine as the Alpha & the Omega. From Him everything comes into being, in Him everything exists, and to Him all return. Communion or Union with Him is the highest Goal, therefore. Our lives have only a symbolic meaning and it is good and necessary as a Becoming. But all Becoming has Being as its Goal and Fulfillment and God is the only Being !

Sufism is the Path of Love - Al Muhabba. The Lord is understood as Universal Love and the aim of Sufism is to unite with the Source of all Being, Universal Love ! Love without Philosophy is superstition and Sufism therefore encourages the adventures of the intellect, the scientific and the philosophical pursuit, Al Marifa !

When he was asked about Sufism, Junayd ( the preceptor of Mansur Al Hallaj ) said, "Sufism is that you should be with the Divine-- without any attachment."

Sufism emphasises upon the struggle to overcome the dominance that one's Negative Ego ( Nafs ) has over one. The war depicted in the great Epics - Iliad & the Odyssey etc - depict the great war between Good and Evil happening inside the human bosom - where the great struggle for supremacy is fought out on the ground floor of our existence, between the black and white opposites of Virtue and Vice, Light and Darkness, prosperity & adversity. The Beloved ( God ) may manifest as Benevolence or Severity and the Sufi aspirant has to love both !

As Rumi said:

I am a lover of both His benevolence and severity! Amazing it is that I'm in love with these opposites !

If the aspirant can overcome one's Negative Ego, ( in the inner War, Jihad ul Nafs ) he can achieve Bliss, the Bliss for which the world's derelict sorrows yearn !

If you could get rid of yourself just once, The secret of secrets would open to you. The face of the Unknown, hidden beyond the universe Would appear on the Mirror of your perception. ~Rumi

Annihilation in the Divine Ocean

Like the waves of the Ocean, we are individual egos in the Divine Ocean of Existence. The aspirant, desirous of union with the Beloved, has to go through many stages of Consciousness. He has to lose his illusory individuality in the Infinite and this can only be achieved by Annihilation and Subsistence.

The Sheik of Naqshbandi wrote

In my annihilation of annihilation In my annhilation I found You !

Annihilation in the Divine Beloved.

For every initiate, there will be a Master ( Shaikh ). The Shaikh imparts his power to the disciple. The initiate goes through a process of purification and initiation. Once the initiate attains maturity, by the Grace of his Shaikh, he attains the state of Fana fi Shaikh, a state of annihilation in the astral plane.

The next stage is Fana fi Rasool, enjoying the qualities of the Prophet. Grace descends on him as he furthur advances on the path.

Next stage in the Evolution of Consciousness is the state of Fana fi Allah, annihilation in the Beloved. The initiate loses his identity in the all embracing Beloved, who he now understands is the Prime Mover of everything and who permeates the cosmos !

Rumi wrote

I thought about You so often That I completely became You ! Little but little You drew near Slowly but slowly I passed away.

This passing away is Annihilation in the Beloved ( Fana fi Allah ). There is another intermediary state - Fana al Fana and the last state is Baqi bi Allah or Permanence in the Beloved, which is the Eternal or Ultimate State. Fanah refers to Annihilation & Bakah refers to Subsistence.

The Universal Truth, extolled by all religions and philosophies, is the Essential Self, which is the substratum or the basis for the Persona, or the superficial personality. Every man has a Persona or Mask, but deep within him is the Ultimate Reality or Essential Self. Now to manifest the Essential Self, the initiate goes through a process of purification & transmutes his carnal ego into a refined ego, by the process of Prayer and Meditation. He seeks the Divine, loves the Divine, embraces the Divine, lives with the Divine and sacrifices for the Divine ! By his noble sacrifice, he earns for himself Heaven ! Only by hard sacrifice is high Heaven earned !

About Universal Truth, Ibn Arabi, the Great Master , ( al Shaikh al Akbar ) wrote

She has eluded the learned of Islam

And those who have studied the Psalms

The Jewish Rabbi

The Christian priest !

The greatest Sufi was Mohammed himself ( Peace be upon him ), he who said that " Shariah ( Ethical Law ) is my speech, Tariqat ( the Way ) my actions and Haqiqat ( Truth ) my states " !

Sufism can function as a Universal Religion & the well known scholar Kabir Edmund Helminski wrote thus about Sufism

" If Sufism recognizes one central truth, it is the unity of being, that we are not separate from the Divine. The unity of being is a truth which our age is in an excellent position to appreciate -- emotionally, because of the shrinking of our world through communications and transportation, and intellectually, because of developments in modern physics. We are One: one people, one ecology, one universe, one being. If there is a single truth, worthy of the name, it is that we are all integral to the Truth, not separate. The realization of this truth has its effects on our sense of who we are, on our relationships to others and to all aspects of life. Sufism is about realizing the current of love that runs through human life, the unity behind forms."

Inner & Outer Jihad ( Struggle ) in Sufism

"And those who perform jihad for Us, We shall certainly guide them in Our ways, and God is surely with the doers of good". (Quran XXXIX; 69)

"You have returned from the lesser jihad to the greater jihad" . (Hadith)

Jihad means struggle and there are two types of struggle. The lesser Jihad is struggle against the oppressors; the greater Jihad is the inner struggle against the inner enemies, the Seven Deadly Sins ( lust, greed, anger, jealousy, sloth, covetousness & gluttony). The outer struggle is defined as Al Jihad Al Asghar and the inner struggle is Al Jihad Al Akbar !

Fighting against one's negative ego is the most difficult, as the most difficult conquest is the conquest of the Mind. Verily it is said that the noblest conquest is the conquest of Mind or the greatest conquest is the conquest of oneself.

In his journey, the aspirant ultimately overcomes his Negative Ego & he becomes the Perfect Man, Al Insan Al Kamil !

About the Author

Article by G Kumar, astrologer, writer & programmer of www.eastrovedica.com. He has 25 years psychic research experience in the esoteric arts. He gives free tips at http://www.eastrovedica.net and stock market investment advice can be got at http://www.stockmarketastrology.com

40 Commmon Mistakes in Salaat

by Saalih Ibn Abdul-Azeez Ibn Muhammad Aalish-Shaykh(hafithahullah)
Abdul-Qaadir Abdul-Khaaliq – Translator
http://alqiyamah.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/40-commmon-mistakes-in-salaat.pdf

Mistakes of Salaah
1. Leaving the salaah altogether. This is indeed kufr (disbelief) and the evidence is found
within the Qur’aan the authentic sunnah and the consensus of the ummah. Allah ta’aala
states: If they repent and establish the salaah and give the zakaah, they are you
brothers in faith (deen). [Al-Qur’aan 9:11] And Allah ta’aala says: What landed you in
As-Saqar (Hell)? They said: We were not of those who made salaah (almusalleen)…[
Al-Qur’aan 76:42-43] and so on. As far as the sunnah: The hadeeth of
Jaabir that the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: Between a man and shirk
(what protects him from shirk) is the abandonment of salaah. [Muslim] It is narrated
by Abu Dawood, An-Nisaa’i, Ibn Maajah, and At-Tirmidhi on the authority of Buraidah Ibn
Al-Husaib from the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) who said: The covenant
between us and them (i.e. the Prophet – and/or his successors -and those who
claim to be Muslims) is the salaah so whosoever abandons it has disbelieved. [
Ahmad and others and it is saheeh] As far as consensus (al-ijmaa’): Abdullah Ibn
Shaqeeq (radiallahu ‘anhu) stated: The Companions of Muhammad (radiallahu ‘anhum)
did not view the abandonment of any other deed as kufr other than (abandoning) salaah.
[At-Tirmidhi and others with an authentic chain]
2. Delaying the salaah from its appointed time. This is a violation according to the word of
Allah ta’aala: Verily the salaah has been appointed for the believers at specific times
(mawqoot). [Al-Qur’aan 4:103] Al-Mawqoot indicates a specific appointed time and the
postponement of sallah beyond the obligatory time (fardh) is a major sin and Allah is the
one upon Whom we depend. On the authority of Anas who said: I heard the Messenger
of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) saying: This is the salaat of the hypocrite
(munaafiq); when he sits observing the sun until it is between the horns of
Shaitaan, then he stands to perform four (rak’ah) remembering Allah little. [Muslim]
If this is the salaah of the hypocrite then what of the salaah of someone who postpones
the prayer until the complete period of the salaat has passed without any excuse?
3. Abandonment of the congregational prayer in the masjid by able men either regularly or
on occasion. The commandment has been given to perform the salaah in congregation in
the masaajid. Congregational (al-jamaa’ah) salaah is a duty except for those who have a
valid excuse according to the sharia’h. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa
sallam) said: Whoever hears the call (al-adhaan) and thereafter does not answer it
(i.e. attend the congregational salaah) there is no salaah for him except for a valid
excuse. [Reported by Ibn Maajah and others with a strong chain (isnaad) and Al-Haafith
Ibn Hajar said “Its chain is according to the conditions of Muslim”]. Allah ta’aala also says:
And bow down with those who bow down. {Al-Qur’aan 2:43] In a hadeeth in Al-
Bukhaari and Muslim (mutafaqun ‘alaih): …I would then leave (after tbe salaah has
begun) and go to those men who do not attend the salaah and burn their houses
down over them.
4. Lack of tranquility (at-tama’neenah) within the salaat. This is generally done out of
ignorance and it is an open sin because tranquility is a pillar (rukn) of the salaah without
which the salaah is incorrect. The hadeeth about the man who performed his salaah
badly is a clear evidence for this. The meaning of tama’neenah (tranquility) is that the one
praying is tranquil in the rukoo’ (bending), standing (‘itidaal), prostration (sujood), and
sitting between the two prostrations (juloos), and he should get in position where every
bone settles into place, he should not hasten between portions of the prayer until he has
attained tranquility in it and gives each its due time. The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa
sallam) said to the one who was rushing through his salaah without observing the proper
tranquility: Go back and make salaah because you have not made the salaah. And in
the hadeeth of Rifaa’ah on the story of the one who prayed badly it goes on: Then he
makes takbeer and bows and puts his hands on his knees until each joint is settled
and relaxed. Then he says ‘sami’allahu liman hamida’ (Allah hears the one who
praises Him) then stands up straight until each bone is in its place.
5. Lack of proper reverence and humility (khushoo’) in the salaat and excess movement
therein. The place of khushoo’ is in the heart and it is evident in the tranquility of the limbs
and humility before Allah. Allah has indeed praised His slave by His statement: Those
who offer their salaah with all solemnity and full submissiveness. [Al-Qur’aan 23:2]
As well [He has praised] the prophets by his statement: Verily they used to hasten on
to do good deeds and they used to call upon Us with hope and fear, and used to
humble themselves before Us. [Al-Qur’aan 21:90] It is incumbent. The limbs of the
slave in prayer should be still and his heart should be solemn until he may be rewarded
for his salaah. It is narrated on the authority of ‘Ammaar Ibn Yaasir (radiallahu ‘anhu) he
said: I heard the messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) saying: Verily a man
leaves after completing his prayer and nothing has been written for him except a tenth of
his salaah, a ninth, an eighth, a sixth, a fifth, a fourth, a third, or half of it. [Abu Dawood,
An-Nisaa’i, and others and it is an authentic hadeeth] The reason for the shortcoming in
its reward is the lack of khushoo’ in the heart of the one who prays or in the limbs.
6. Intentionally preceding the imaam in the movements of the prayer or not following his
movements. This nullifies the salaah or rak’ah for whoever bows before his imaam ruins
his own rak’ah unless he follows it later with another bowing. Such is likewise with the
rest of the arkaan (pillars) of the salaah. It is obligatory for the praying person to follow the
imaam completely without preceding him or lagging behind him in any rukn (pillar) or
more. Abu Dawood and others transmit with an authentic chain from Abu Hurairah that
the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: Verily the imaam is to be
completely followed, so if he makes takbeer then you make takbeer and don’t make
takbeer until he does so, and if he bows then bow and don’t bow until he does so…
Its origin is in the two saheehs and Al-Bukhaari has another like it narrated by Anas. The
one who forgets or the one who is ignorant is excused.
7. Standing to complete a missed rak’ah before the imaam has completely finished making
the second tasleem (i.e closing the prayer by saying ‘As-salaamu ‘alaikum wa
rahmatullahi to the right and left). It is reported in Saheeh Muslim that the Messenger of
Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: Do not precede me in the rukoo’ (bowing) not in
the sujood (prostration) nor in going out of the prayer (al-insiraaf). The scholars have said
that the meaning of al-insiraaf is at-tasleem and it is named such because the praying
person may leave afterwards and he leaves only after the second tasleem. The one who
precedes the imaam should stay in his place until the imaam has completed his salaah,
then he should stand and complete whatever he missed, and Allah knows best.
8. Making the intention for prayer aloud. This is a bid’ah (innovation), and we have
previously mention the prohibition against bid’ah. The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa
sallam) never made the intention for salaah aloud. Ibn Al-Qayyim, rahimahullah, stated in
“Zaad Al-Ma’aad” or in “Al-Hudaa An-Nabawiyy”: “When the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa
sallam) would stand for salaah he said: ‘Allahu Akbar’ and said nothing else before it nor
did he pronounce his intention aloud. Nor did he say: ‘I will pray for Allah salaah such and
such while facing the Qiblah four raka’aat as imaam or follower’. Nor did he say: ‘Fulfilling
it on time, not making it up, nor the time of fardh’ all ten of which are bid’ah for which no
one has reported that he did with an authentic chain, nor even a weak one, nor musnad,
nor mursal, nor a single word. Indeed not one narration of the sahaabah or the best of the
following generation (taabi’een), nor the four imaams.”
9. Not reciting Al-Faatihah in the salaah; The recitation of Al-Faatihah is a pillar (rukn) and
the salaah of whoever does not recite it is void. This is according to the Prophet’s
(sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) saying: Whoever makes a salaah wherein Al-Faatihah is
not recited then it is khidaaj (miscarried) - and he repeated it three times –
incomplete. [Muslim from Abu Hurairah] Also reported in the two saheehs is the hadeeth
from ‘Ubaadah Ibn Saamit (radiallahu ‘anhu) marfoo’an (attributable to the Prophet,
sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam): The salaah is null for whoever has not recited the
Opening of the Book. In another wording from ‘Ubaadah: Could it be that you recite
behind your imaam? We said: Yes. He said: Don’t do so except with the Opening of
the Book (Al-Faatihah) for the salaah is null of whoever does not recite it. [Ahmed,
Abu Dawood, At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Hibbaan. This is evidence of its obligation for the follower.
Recitation of the follower is absolute or in the aloud prayers as opposed to what is long
known. Whether the recitation of Al-Faatihah is absolute or just in the prayers recited
aloud is an old difference of opinion among the scholars. Is it waajib or dropped? The
majority of scholars (al-jumhoor) say it is dropped however doing so is more clear from
possible error and more precaution for deen. Most of those who have the opinion of it
being dropped say that it is nevertheless desirable to recite it.
10. Recitation of the Qur’aan in rukoo’ (bowing position) or during sujood (prostration). This is
prohibited based on a narration from ibn Abbaas (radiallahu ‘anhu) that the Prophet
(sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: I have been prevented from reciting the Qur’aan
while bowing or in prostration… [Muslim] Ali (radiallahu ‘anu) narrates he said: The
Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam prevented me from reciting the
Qur’aan while bowing or prostrating. [Muslim and others]
11. Raising the eyes to the sky during salaat or looking to the right and left without due
cause. As far as raising the eyes, it is forbidden and bears the threat of punishment. It is
narrated by Jabir Ibn Samurah (radiallahu ‘anhu) who said: The Messenger of allah
(sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: Let the people stop raising their eyes to the sky in the
salaah or let their sight not return to them. [Muslim]
12. As far as looking around unnecessarily, it is a deficiency in the salaah of the worshipper
as long as he has not turned his entire body in another direction [i.e. away from the
Qiblah]. If however the entire body is turned then the salaah is invalidated. It is narrated
by ‘Aisha (radiallahu ‘anhaa) who said: I asked the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi
wa sallam) about looking around in the salaah. He said: It is misappropriation pilfered
by Shaitaan from the salaah of the worshipper. [Al-Bukhaari]. At-Tirmidhi also
collected an authentic hadeeth: Be warned of turning or looking around in the salaah
because it is destruction. And there are other ahadeeth on looking around in the
salaah.
13. Sitting on one’s haunches (Al-Iq’aa) during the salaah and prostrating with the elbows (Al-
Iftiraash) on the ground. Al-Iqaa’ is forbidden as related by Abu Hurairah (radiallahu
‘anhu) who said: My dear friend forbade me three things: He forbade me from pecking
like a rooster [just touching the head in prostration – trans], sitting on the
haunches like a dog, and looking around like a fox. Transmitted by Ahmed and others
and its isnaad (chain) has by graded hasan (good) by Al-Mundhiri and Al-Haithami.
The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) forbade a man from spreading his
arms on the ground like a beast of prey. Summarizing a hadeeth collected by Muslim
from ‘Aisha (radiallahu ‘anhaa) as well as by At-Tirmidhi, Ahmed and others from Jaabir
(radiallahu ‘anhu) marfoo’an (attributable to the Prophet): If any of you prostrates
(sajdah) then keep straight and not spread his arms like the sitting of a dog.
14. Wearing a thin (see-through) garment that does not sufficiently cover the ‘auwrah (private
area). This is an invalidator of the salaah because covering one’s ‘auwrah is a condition
for a sound salaah. The man’s ‘aurah is - according to what is most authentic – from the
navel to the knee. Likewise he must cover his shoulders or one of them1 in accordance
with the statement of Allah: O children of Aadam wear you adornments to every
masjid. [Al-‘Araaf 31] It is sufficient to wear a single garment to cover the ‘auwrah
according to what is narrated from ‘Umar Ibn Salamah (radiallahu ‘anhu): He saw the
Messenger of allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam praying in a single garment (thowub) in
the house of Umm Salamah, he had cast both ends over himself. [Al-Bukhaari and
Muslim]
Ibn Qudaamah (rahimahullah) stated: It is obligatory to cover sufficiently to hide the color
of the skin, for if it is thin enough that the color of the skin may be seen from behind to the
extent that the whiteness or redness of the skin is percieved thane salaah in it is not
allowed in that covering has not been achieved.
15. A woman not covering her head with the khimaar in salaah and not covering her feet. The
‘aurah of the swoman in the sallah is her entire body with the exception of her face. Nor is
there any harm if she covers her face due to the passing by of men or the like. It is
obligatory for her to wear a khimaar which is a head covering that also covers the bosom.
This according to his (slallahu ‘aliahi wa sallam) statement: Allah does not accept the
salaah of the menstruating female unless she is wearing a khimaar. [Collected by
Ahmed and the collectors of the six most authentic books except An-Nisaa’i and it has be
authenticated by Ibn Khuzaimah and others. It is also obligatory that she cover the tops of
her feet in compliance with the hadeeth “The entire woman is ‘auwrah” Collected by At-
Tirmidhee with an authentic isnaad. Along this same meaning is what is transmitted by
Malik and abu Dawood and others from Muhammad Ibn Said Inb Qunfudh from his
mother who asked Umm Salamah (radiallahu ‘anhaa), the wife of the Prophet (sallallahu
‘alaihi wa sallam), about what garment a woman should pray in. She answered: She
1 The evidence for covering the shoulders is found in an authentic hadeeth in the collection of Abu
Dawood, however we were unable to determine why the shaykh exempts one shoulder.
should pray in a khimaar and a full, loose-fitting chemise that conceals the tops of
her feet. Also with this meaning is the hadeeth of Umm Salamah: Lower it by an arms
length.
16. Walking in front of the praying person whether they be the imaam or praying alone and
stepping over the people during the Jumua’h khutbah. It is a sin upon the person who
passes in front of someone who is praying. If the one praying has no sutrah then it shold
be estimated to be at the place of prostration so the passerby should can pass beyond
that point. As narrated in the collections of al-Bukhari and Muslim by Abu Juhaim Ibn
Haarith (radiallahu ‘anhu), who said: The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam)
said: If the one who passes in front of the praying person knew how serious a sin it
was for him to do so it would have been better for him to wait for forty than walk in
front of him. [Forty may refer to forty days, months or years, and Allah knows best –
Trans.]
The one who pushes between the people during the Jumua’h khutbah harms people
through his being late for the salaah according to the statement of Al-Mustafah (sallallahu
‘alaihi wa sallam): Sit for you have caused harm and come late. [Ahmed and others.
Cutting between the people is forbidden. One who enters the masjid should sit where
there is space unless he sees a genuinely open area where he should then go to it and
sit.
17. Not saying the takbeeratul-ihraam (opening takbeer) when entering upon the
congregation while the imaam is in rukoo’. This is a major mistake in that the takbeeratulihraam
is a pillar (rukn) of the salaah that must be done by the one praying when standing
for the salaah and then afterwards join the imam in the bowing position (rukoo’). To make
the takbeer (al-ihraam) and then another takbeer before giong into rukoo’ is more
complete and thorough. Abu Hurairah (radiallahu ‘anhu) narrated: The Messenger of
Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) would make takbeer when he stood for the sallah
and would then make takbeer upon bowing.
18. Not following the imaam (by getting in the same position) when coming late and the
imaam is sitting or in sujood (prostrating). It is most preferred and most sure for the one
who enters the masjid that he join the imaam in whatever position he may be in, whether
he be in sajdah or otherwise. It is reported by abu Dawood and others with a saheeh
isnaad that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: If you come to the
salaah and we are making sujood then you also make sujood. For a worshipper to
delay making sajdah is to have in effect prevented himself from an act of worship which
Allah loves. Ali Ibn Abi Talib and Mua’dh ibn Jabal (radiallahu ‘anhumaa) both stated: The
Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: If one of you comes to the salaah
and the imaam is in a position then do what the imaam is doing. This is collected by
At-Tirmidhi with a weak isnaad however it is in agreement with the preceeding hadeeth. It
is also strengthened by a narration collected by Abu Dawood from Mua’dh (radiallahu
‘anhu): I never saw him (the imaam) in a position except I was also upon it. The
Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: Verily Mua’dh has performed an
act that is good for you too, so do likewise.
19. Busying oneself with matters that take one away from the salaah. This is evidence of
preference of the wordly life over that of the Hereafter, following vain desires and being
too busy to obey Allah. This is indeed ruination and of evil consequence to whoever does
it. Allah ta’aala says: O you who believe, let not yuor wealth or your children divert
you from the remembrance of Allah for whyosoever does that will be among the
losers. [Al-Munafiqoon 9] And He says in praise of the believers: Men who are not
diverted by business or trade from the remembrance of Allah and performance of
salaah. [An-Noor 37] Preoccupation with any act over the salaah or that leads to being
negligant or lazy toward it such as staying up too lateand the like, is not permissible. This
is because anything that leads to what is haraam is itself haraam, and Allah is the One
who guides to the right path.
20. Playing with one’s clothing or watch or the like. This is an act that negates khushoo’. The
evidence for khushoo’ has been presented previously in point 5 [see August Issue – Ed.].
The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) forbade rubbing pebbles during the
salaah due to its negative effect on khushoo’ when he said: If any of you performs the
prayer let him not rub pebbles for mercy is turned towards him. [Ahmed and the six
collections of hadeeth with an authentic isnaad] A person might increase playing around
to the point of excessive movement that is outside of the salaah and thereby nullify it.
21. Closing the eyes for no reason. This is a objectionable act (makrooh) as Ibn Al-Qayyim
(rahimahullah) mentioned: “Closing the eyes was not from the guidance of the Rasool
(sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam).” He also said: “The scholars of fiqh have differed on its
detestability. Imam Ahmed and others deemed it detestable and they said that it was of
the habits of the Jews. However a group of them ruled it allowable without any
detestablility and they said that it may indeed be a closer means of achieving khushoo’
which is the spirit of the salaah, its heart and its aim.”
“Most correct is that if keeping the eyes open has no detrimental effect upon khushoo’
then it is preferable to do it. If decorations, adornments or the like are around the
worshipper or between him and the qiblah to the point of distraction, then there is
absolutely no objection to closing the eyes. Indeed the statement that to do so is
desirable (mustahabb) in this case is closer to the spirit of the law and its aims than the
statement that it is objectionable. And Allah knows best.”
22. Eating or drinking or laughing in the salaah thus nullifying it. As far as eating and drinking
there is consensus with regards to the fardh. Ibn Al-Mundhir stated: "The scholars (Ahlul-
‘Ilm) are in consensus agreement that the one praying is forbidden from eating and
drinking. There is also consensus among them that to do so intentionally necessitates
repetition of the salaah." Ibn Al-Mundhir also transmits that there is consensus that the
salaah is nullified by laughing.
23. Raising the voice in recitation to the point of distracting those around. It is recommended
(mustahabb) that one hears himself, not to the point that it interrupts anyone who is
reciting the Qur’aan or making salaah. Al-Bukhaari and Muslim both transmit from
‘Umraan Ibn Husain (radiallahu ‘anhu) that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa
sallam) prayed Dhuhr and there was a man behind him reciting ‘sabbihisma rabbikal-
‘alaa’ , so when he (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) finished he said: Who among you was
reciting or who was the reciter? The man said, "Me." So he (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam)
said: I thought that some of you were disputing with me in it. The scholars state: The
meaning of his words is a disapproval of the act. Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) stated:
Whoever is reciting the Qur’aan and the people are praying additional prayer then it is not
correct for him to recite aloud thus disturbing them because the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi
wa sallam) left some of his companions while they were praying As-Sahr (before dawn)
and he said: O people, each of you is seeking salvation from his Rabb therefore do not
overpower one another with your recitation.
24. Crowding in on those who are praying. This is a type of forbidden inflicting of harm. It is
upon the praying person to pray in a place where the space ends unless he sees an
opening sufficient for him to pass and then there is no harm. However, to cause harm,
especially on Yaum Al-Jumu’ah (Friday), is generally forbidden. The Prophet (sallallahu
‘alaihi wa sallam) said about those who cut the prayer line: Sit, for you have harmed and
come late.
25. Not making the lines straight. Allah has ordered the proper performance of salaah saying
"And establish (aqeemu) the salaah". The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) has
likewise stated: Straighten your lines for verily straightening of the lines is a part of correct
performance of salaah (iqaamis-salaah). Al-Bukhaari and Muslim from Anas. Also Al-
Bukhaari narrates from An-Nu’maan Ibn Basheer (radiallahu ‘anhu): Straighten your lines
or Allah will cause opposition between your hearts. The order to straighten the lines and
taking care to do so is mentioned in a number of hadeeth. (It should also be mention that
this includes not leaving any gaps in the lines as is all too commonly neglected – Ed.)
26. Raising the feet from the ground in sujood. This is against what is commanded as it is
confirmed in the two saheehs from Ibn Abbaas (radiallahu ‘anhu): The Prophet (sallallahu
‘alaihi wa sallam) was ordered to prostrate upon seven limbs and not to tuck up the hair
or the clothes: the forehead (including the nose), the (palms of the) two hands, the knees
and the two feet. So the one praying is commanded to pray with the two feet touching the
ground and the complete form of this is to have the toes pointing toward the Qiblah. Part
of each foot should touch the ground and if one raises either of them his sajdah
(prostration) is incorrect if he continues to do so throughout the prostration.
27. Putting the right hand upon the left and raising them to the neck. This is in contradiction to
the sunnah because the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) used to put his right hand
over his left upon his chest. This is in a hadeeth of Hasan from several weak
transmissions in themselves but that in conjunction strengthen themselves. The sunnah is
also to place the hands on the middle of the chest or upon the heart because the heart is
in the chest as Allah ta’aala states: It is the hearts within the breasts that are blind.
Raising the hands (making takbeer) when going into sujood or when rising out of it. It is
an error to lift the hands to the neck and this opposes the sunnah. What is attributed to Ali
(radiallahu ‘anhu) in the explanation of the verse: So therefore pray to your Rabb and
sacrifice (wanhar – in which the verb is construed as referring to the neck [an-nahr] –Ed.)
is weak and does not constitute a proof. (Also incorrect is the incorrect practice of holding
one’s hands upon or below the navel as there is no substantiated proof from the
authenticated sunnah for this practice – Ed)
28. Raising the hands at the time of sujood or when rising out of sujood. This is in opposition
to the well-known sunnah that has been transmitted by most of the companions who
narrated about raising the hands. The student of (sharee'ah) knowledge should stick with
the well-known sunnah unless in privacy though he may believe a deed to be more
correct from the sunnah that nonetheless contradicts the practice of the generality of the
scholars. The imaam of the people should do what is known, for what is commonly and
well-known to be the sunnah upon which the majority of the scholars' practice, is sufficient
and satisfactory. (The wisdom here is that for a student to insist upon public practice of
that which is not regarded by the scholars generally as the sunnah may lead to harm and
confusion which would amount to forsaking a fardh, i.e. the prevention of harm, for the
sake of a establishing a sunnah - and one which is not totally agreed upon at that - and
would thus fall into error. The scholars do not generally unite upon any practice without
evidence, although the qualified student may disagree a given ruling or conclusion based
upon his understanding of the texts and after sincere and thorough study and reaching a
state of being personally satisfied with its outcome. – Ed.)
28. Hastiness of some imaams in the salaah and lack of tranquility within it, thus not allowing
time for the followers to be tranquil in their salaah or time to recite Al-Faatihah, especially
in the last rak’ah. The imam is responsible for making the quality of the salaah good
because he is being followed. It is therefore his duty to take care of following the Sunnah,
and tranquility is a pillar (rukn) that the imam is more obliged to take care of due to his
being followed. Likewise, the recitation of Al-Faatihah is a rukn that the followers in the
salaah must be given enough time to fulfill. We have already presented the evidence for
the obligation of maintaining tranquility (tama’neenah) and reciting Al-Faatihah.
29. Not taking care to make sujood upon the seven ‘limbs’ (i.e. the forehead along with the
nose, the palms of both hands, both knees, and the toes of both feet). Abbaas Ibn Abul-
Muttalib (radiallahu ‘anhu) reported that he heard the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu
‘alaihi wa sallam) saying: If the slave prostrates, then seven body parts should prostrate
with him: His face, hands, two knees, and his two feet. Related by Muslim, also attributed
to Al-Majd in “Al-Muntaqaa”, Al-Muzzee and related by others.
Ibn Abbaas (radiallahu ‘anhumaa) narrated: The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam)
said: I have been ordered to prostrate upon seven “bones” (i.e. body parts): Upon the
forehead –and he pointed to his nose – both hands, both knees and both feet.
There are some people who do not prostrate upon both the forehead and the nose or who
raise their feet or who do not touch the palms of their hands on the ground, all of which is
in opposition to what is commanded.
30. Not caring to learn the rules of salaah. This is other than what any Muslim should do. No
doubt salaah is the greatest of the Islamic pillars requiring bodily action. Allah commands
its performance - “Aqimis-Salaah” (Perform the salaah) - in more than seventy ayaat. It is
not possible to perform it without having knowledge of its fundamentals or knowing how
the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) did the salaah. There is no room for ignorance of
the rules of salaah, knowing its prerequisites or its essential parts, obligations, the rules
for following or making up for errors and the like. It is fardh to know these matters and the
absence of knowledge of these matters is a cause of a Muslim being unaware of what
nullifies or spoils his salaah, and Allah is the Guide and Provider of Success.
31 – 34. Carelessness in reciting Al-Faatihah and with proper pronunciation such as saying
al-‘Aalimeen instead of al-‘Aalameen, ahdinaa instead of ihdinaa, an’amtu instead of an’amta,
and so on. All of these and similar errors are the type of linguistic errors that must be avoided
and no one who leads the salaat should commit them. Some may contain impossible
meanings such as when one pronounces the “t” (taa’) in “an’amta” as “da” (daad) and thus
the salaat would be spoiled.
35. Cracking the knuckles in salaah. This is from the detested actions in the salaah and is
thus forbidden. As far as cracking the knuckles in general, Ibn Abi Shaibah narrates in a
statement with good isnaad, from Shu’bah Mawlaa ibn Abbaas as stating: I prayed next to Ibn
Abbaas and I cracked my knuckles so when I finished my salaah he said, “May you lose your
mother! You crack your knuckles while you are in salaah?” Forbiddance of cracking the
knuckles is transmitted in a marfoo’ hadeeth from Ali in the collection of Ibn Maajah, however,
it is weak (da’eef)and not sufficient in an of itself (ghairu munjabir).
36. Intertwining the fingers (at-tashbeek) during and before the salaah. This is also among the
detestable matters. Ka’ab Ibn ‘Ujrah (radiallahu ‘anhu) narrates: I heard the Messenger of
Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) saying: If one of you makes wudhoo then goes to
the masjid for salaah, let him not clasp his hands together for indeed he is in the
salaah. Ahmed, Abu Dawood, At-Tirmidhi. With some difference regarding its chain, Ad-
Daarimi, Al-Haakim and others transmit from Abu Hurairah in a marfoo’ hadeeth: “If one of
you makes wudhoo in his house then comes to the masjid, he is in salaah until he
returns. Therefore do not do not do like this – and he clasped his fingers together.”
There are other mutually supporting hadeeths on this matter of tashbeek.
37. Putting forward someone to lead the salaah as imaam when it is not his place to do so
and there are others more deserving present. This contradicts the intended purpose of having
an imaam (al-imaamah), which is to be an example to follow (al-iqditaa’). It is necessary that
the imaam have understanding of the deen and is able to correctly recite the Qur’aan
according to the satatement of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam): The imaam of a
people should be the one who best recites the Qur’aan…) Transmitted by Muslim from Abu
Mas’ood Al-Ansaari (radiallahu ‘anhu). The scholars have ruled that one should not be put
forward as imaam whose recitation is not good, or who openly displays sinfulness, or who has
an undignified appearance, or who is an innovator, or who is corrupt or like them. If however,
such people are put forward, the salaah of the followers is correct.
38. Improper recitation of the Qur’aan. This is an open deficiency and the right of the Qur’aan
is that it be read correctly without aberration and that the Muslim strives to improve and excel
in its recitation. Allah ta'alaa states: Recite the Qur’aan with tarteel [correct measured tone]
and When we teach you the Qur’aan, follow its recitation. Meaning, recitation as is proper
according to the Arabic language, with clarity and free from distortion. On this same line is the
superiority of the one who purifies his intention as is narrated by ‘Kaisha (radiallahu ‘anhaa)
who said: The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said, “The one who is
proficient with the Qur’aan will be with the scribes (angels) honorable and obedient. While the
one who recites the Qur’aan haltingly and finds difficulty (while striving to recite it properly)
gets a double reward.” [matafaqun ‘alaih]
39. Some men praying behind women in the Haram (The Grand Masjid) of Makkah. Doing so
there or elsewhere is a detestable action in the salaah. It is from the sunnah that the rows of
the women are behind those of the men. The salaah of a man behind a women may be a
cause of him losing all khushoo’ and a disturbance in the salaat through his looking (at the
woman) or otherwise. A man should therefore never line up for salaah behind a woman. This
is not detestable if due to necessity such as not missing the ‘Eid salaah, or Salaatul-Jumu’ah,
or the congregational salaah and other similar situations (i.e. that make it impossible to join
the front rows with the men – Trans.). A group of scholars have stated: “The Haram of
Makkah is an exception.” Shaykh Abdul-Aziz Ibn Baz (may Allah preserve him) is of this
opinion.
40. Women coming to the masjid beautified or made-up and perfumed. This is one of the
open and witnessed evils that become apparent during Ramadhan and outside it. The woman
is coming out to worship her Master, not to show off the beauty of her clothing! Perhaps men
may see her and she would then be sinful and she would suffer a loss of reward for her deed.
The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) stated: “Let not any woman who is scented
attend the ‘Ishaa with us.” [Muslim] Imam Ahmed transmits along with Abu Dawood with an
authentic chain from Abu Hurairah (radiallahu ‘anhu) that the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa
sallam) said: “Do not forbid the bondwomen of Allah from the houses of Allah, and let
them go out tafilaat.” The meaning of the word “tafilaat” is: Not beautified with adornments
or perfumed.

Senin, 16 Maret 2009

Description of Islamic Architecture

by Jeff Walker

Islamic architecture is based on secular and religious ideas that testify the foundations and teachings of Islam. Basically, Islamic architecture is a combination of climate, culture, love of geometry, patterns and arabesque ornaments. In fact, it has found that the artists or the architects had a great understanding of mathematical formulae's and deep understanding of geometry.

The principal Islamic architectura types are: Minarets, Mosques, Forts and Palaces. The mosque is considered to be the centre of religious life throughout the Islamic world, the masjid or 'place of prostration'. The major mosque in a city is the "masjid al-jum'a" or the Friday mosque. The elements of the mosque are essentially functional rather than symbolic. There is no division between the sacred and secular. A mihrab niche within the prayer hall indicates the orientation to Mecca. To the right of the mihrab stands the minbar, the pulpit.

Minarets are characteristic architectural features of Islamic mosques. Minarets are generally tall spires with onion-shaped crowns, usually either free standing or much taller than any surrounding support structure. Minarets provide a visual cue to a Muslim community. Minarets have been described as the "gate from heaven and earth", and as the Arabic language letter alif (which is a straight vertical line). A minbar is a pulpit in the mosque where the Imam (leader of prayer) stands to deliver sermons or in the Hussainia where the speaker sits and lectures the congregation.

Forts are typical Muslim structures that were built by the rulers to reside and to prepare the army for attacks and other structures. Forts were places in which the Mughal emperors or rulers used to stay along with their families.

In a largely arid region, the Islamic garden represents an image of paradise. The basic plan is a rectangular enclosure walled against the dust of the desert and divided into at least four sections by water channels.

About the Author

To read more about Tudor Style Homes visit Tudor Style Homes Learn more about 20th Century Tudorbethan

Greatness of God(Allah)

by Md. Anisur Rahman

Many people are terribly confused on many words of the holy Quran(Koran). For example, they are very unhappy for not being able to see God almighty directly or even can not see seven universes yet. But one should understand that the holy Quran is super-science(absolute truth) but we, human beings, are dealing with science so it is natural that we can not comprehend all the super-science, the Holy Koran. God says about the super-scientific nature of the Holy Koran very clearly,

"[The Noble Quran 3:7] He sent down to you this scripture, containing straightforward verses - which constitute the essence of the scripture - as well as multiple-meaning or allegorical verses. Those who harbor doubts in their hearts will pursue the multiple-meaning verses to create confusion, and to extricate a certain meaning. None knows the true meaning thereof except GOD and those well founded in knowledge. They say, "We believe in this - all of it comes from our Lord." Only those who possess intelligence will take heed."

Therefore, first we should try to understand the greatness of God(Allah in Arabic) almighty. How great the almighty God is! If we look and ponder some samples of His creations we could at least reach toward a rough conclusion.

"[23:17] We created above you seven universes in layers, and we are never unaware of a single creature in them."

"[71:15] Do you not realize that GOD created seven universes in layers?"

In which galaxy we are residing, the Milky Way, consists of about 200 billion stars, with our own Sun being a fairly medium-sized but very special one. Milky Way is a fairly spiral galaxy. When we leave the planet Earth toward the sun, at the speed of light in vacuum, we could reach the sun after 93,000,000 miles traveling and it takes 8 minutes. It will take us more than 50,000 years at the speed of light to exit our galaxy.

From the outer limit of the Milky Way, our planet Earth is invisible. Not even the current most powerful telescope can detect our tiny "Earth." We have to spend more than 2,000,000 years at the speed of light(300000000 meter/sec) to reach our next-door galaxy. At least 10,000,000,000 years, at the speed of light, must be spent to reach the outer limit of our observable universe. From the outer limit of our universe, even the Milky Way is like a spot of dust in a large room.

The second universe surrounds our innermost and smallest observable universe. The third universe is larger than the second, and so on. Can you imagine the vastness of the first, outermost universe? This incomprehensible vastness is "within the fist of God's hand."

[39:67] They can never fathom the greatness of GOD. The whole earth is within His fist on the Day of Resurrection. In fact, the universes are folded within His right hand. Be He glorified; He is much too high above needing any partners. God's greatness is represented not only by the fact that He holds the seven universes in His hand, but also by the fact that He fully controls every atom, even subatomic components, everywhere in the great universe.

Like a great intellect Luqman advised to his son,

"[31:16] "O my son, know that even something as tiny as a mustard seed, deep inside a rock, be it in the heavens or the earth, GOD will bring it. GOD is Sublime, Cognizant."

God's recording system is so complicated, precise and sophisticated!

"[99:6-8] On the resurrection day, the people will issue from every direction, to be shown their works. Whoever does an atom's weight of good will see it. And whoever does an atom's weight of evil will see it." Finally we must remember once again how great God is! Let us ponder the following Noble verse.

[18:109] Say, "If the ocean were ink for the words of my Lord, the ocean would run out, before the words of my Lord run out, even if we double the ink supply."

Visit one of the best Islamic resources site www.progressive-muslim.org for learning the real Islam, free from all superstitions, hype and peaceful, real progressive which is absolutely essential for humanity.

About the Author

Md. Anisur Rahman(Double MSc in physics) is a physicist and a progressive Muslim promotes real Islam based on the holy Quran(Koran) only. Details of his career, interest, research fields, hobby etc. can be reached at Md Anisur Rahman

Water in Traditional Garden Design

by Amber Liddell

If we cherish the belief that a garden design must be a place of restfulness as well as a place of visual beauty, then water must surely be the essential ingre­dient. Of all nature's elements, water is the one that brings a feeling of peace to the landscape. It plays on all the senses-- sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste-- and offers a cornucopia of design possi­bilities in gardens of all sizes and styles.

On a grand scale, imagine a country garden design complete with a lake edged by gently sloping banks, a meandering stream spanned by a Monet-style bridge; on a minimal scale, think of a Japanese water fountain with a stone water bowl providing a cool resting place for native birds.

Our Past Heritage of Water Garden Design

The role of water in garden design has a long and illustrious history, both in the East and in Western gardens. During the time of Plato, public fountains adorned parks and temple groves, while sacred fountains and shrines to Pan, nymphs, and the muses nestled in pri­vate garden sanctuaries. Homer's Odyssey describes the Sanctuary of Nymphs at Ithaca, where streams tumbled over rocks and boulders to a shrine known as a Nymphaeum, dedicated to the nymphs and complete with fountains designed to represent a natural grotto.

Ultimately, the development of hydraulic engineer­ing and aqueducts in Rome produced many ornamental fountains and water garden designs including Hadrian's villa at Tivoli, which boasted an extravagant dis­play of waterworks in the form of streams, canals, fountains, and pools. Even today in the Vatican you can see the wondrous gilt Byzantine fountain La Pigna in the shape of a pine cone sprin­kling water. In the Paradise Gardens of Islam, water was an integral feature with water canals representing the 'four rivers of paradise, dividing garden plots.

The luxurious villa gardens of rural Pompeii are recorded in wall paintings and engravings that show elaborate trellises and urns. Rills (small constructed rivulets) are mentioned in literature describing the period columned terraces with fountains and deep channels that formed artificial rivers. The beauty of these garden designs, buried beneath volcanic ash and for 16 centuries, was uncovered early in the 18th century when workmen digging a well accidentally stumbled upon the remains. The region was rich in natural beauty; and water must have been plentiful to have supported a variety of ornamental water garden designs.

Water was also a powerful theme in the gardens of the Mogul Empire, usually around mosques and places where people bathed. In China and Japan the influence of water was pervasive; no Chinese garden was designed without a combination of water and mountains. The landscape of these two countries is for their use of water: streams, springs ponds, small fountains and lakes cleverly designed to emulate wild nature. The use of boulders and rocks, and the selection of carefully scaled plant material, add to the beauty and serenity of these gardens.

In Egypt, the gardens of the Pharaohs and other members of the wealthy had two priorities--water and shade---to combat the relentless heat. Garden designs were always an oasis of beauty, with scented shrubs forming an understory to shade trees. Walled gardens, established to create a cooler microclimate, contained simple rectangular pools, with spouts from the roof playing water into the pool, where ornamental fish were probably kept. An Egyptian garden design discovered in the tomb of a high official at Thebes demon­strates a quite sophisticated irrigation system, as well as vine-covered places and terraces of sycamore and palm trees.

In European gardens of the Middle Ages a fountain or water basin was considered essential, and was usually located in the middle of a walled area. Monastery gardens, where herbs were grown for medicinal purposes, are well recorded; and here water was also impor­tant as a religious symbol of purification. Garden designs were practical as well as spiritu­al features, producing vegetables and fruits for the families who dwelt inside the walls and cloisters.

A more classical or formal approach to water garden design can be seen in the Italian gardens of the Renaissance, including the magnificent Villa d'Este at Tivoli which included such sumptuous sights as the 'Pathway of a Hundred Fountains', considered by many to be the most imaginative use of water in land­scape history. The parterre gardens of Tuscany, both modest and grand, have inspired many contemporary landscapers, and here water gardens are a recurring theme. Symmetrical pools and sculptural fountains added to the more formal approach. Beds edged with clipped trees and potted lemon trees were common accessories.

Throughout history, we have learned that regardless of climate or location, water provides a place of beauty and enjoyment. Even in the small city garden design, garden fountains or small ponds can bring a restful place to refresh our spirits and our soul.

About the Author

Amber Liddell is resource for the website Serenityhealth.com, your one stop shop for any type of water fountains and water fountain information. You will find many outdoor fountains for your garden, wall fountains, tabletop fountains and even custom fountains. Visit Serenityhealth.com or call to talk to one of our water fountain experts.