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Medical Mafia, Ethics & Education


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By Hilmy Ahamed

Hilmy Ahamed

Hilmy Ahamed

Sri Lanka has exemplary health indicators and is often referred to as a model for other developing nations. This is due to the yeomen service provided by a number of dedicated health professionals. Yet, Sri Lanka is one of the few countries that a large number of mercenary medical professions and industry are allowed to hold the sick to ransom, despite the Hippocratic oath taken by its doctors.

One would hardly find a doctor who would give evidence against his or her own during times of medical neglect. Today, the medical industry has been commercialized to the extent that they hold the patient and their family’s hostage even after the death of a patient.

Medical conditions become emotionally desperate situations where the immediate family is obliged to provide the best to their sick, and in most cases way beyond what is affordable. This leads to situations where they just cannot afford to settle the final medical bills even to discharge the body after a death. The hospitals do not warn the patient’s family of the estimated costs. Even when they do, it probably is too late as the patient’s condition is far too vulnerable to move them out to an affordable facility. Recently, we received the welcome news of a Colombo court ordering the management of a private hospital to release the body of a deceased immediately to his close relatives, which was reportedly detained for several days until the hospital’s exorbitant bill was settled.

Further, the sky rocketing cost of the doctor’s fees is settled through a “chit” plundering the patient and defrauding the state of its taxes. This has been an accepted practice and the authorities are fully aware of this scam, yet no action has been taken against this unscrupulous practice, fearing incarceration by the industry and the wrath of the medical profession. There are no safeguards through the consumer protection authority or any other state institutions on the health industry due to the fear of trade union action by these shylocks, who want their pound of flesh. Their trade union action or holding patients to ransom is totally against the Hippocratic oath they take and are as hypocritical as their practice. The state should intervene firmly and ensure that the citizens are provided quality private medical facilities at an affordable cost because the majority of them have studied for “FREE” in our state universities and schools.

The health industry has become lucrative global ventures and there is high demand for medical education, which our state universities are unable to cope with. We now see a large number of students who pass the GCE A’ Level examination with above average results and are unable to enter local medical universities. They are leaving to study abroad at exorbitant costs and several other negative outcome. Parents who dream of a medical education for their children use their meager saving and sometimes sell or mortgage their valuable assets to provide this education abroad, eventually to lose them to some foreign nation. Very few countries offer full or partial scholarships for medical education. Sri Lanka Medical Council that has thwarted private medical education locally has no qualms about allowing these foreign graduates to work in Sri Lanka if they pass the Examination for Registration to Practice Medicine (ERPM) formerly know as act 16 examinations.

The students, who now attend foreign medical collages, are also eating in to the country’s scarce foreign exchange resources. This, and the negative cultural and social consequences of displacement could be easily avoided if private medical education is encouraged in Sri Lanka with state hospitals providing the necessary clinical facilities and other support for a fee if required. After all, this education is for our own children and they have the right to use the taxes paid by their parents. Yet, the Sri Lanka Medical Council and some student unions oppose this, citing various reasons. They have no reservations about the same students graduating from foreign universities and practicing alongside them locally. The often-claimed reason for opposing is their eligibility is due to their poor advanced level results. This is not true as they have passed the GCE A’ level with the requirements set as per the university grants commission. Further, if their grades are sufficient to follow medical education abroad that has been approved by the Sri Lanka Medical Council and are eligible to practice locally, they should have the option of studying locally in their own home environment. The investment Sri Lanka made on these smart kids on their primary education too is increasingly harnessed by foreign nations. Further, they are compelled to move away from their families, friends and culture, which in itself is a traumatic experience.

The Government provides free education up to the degree and even postgraduate levels. There are also private or international schools that have filled a vacuum for quality education by those who could afford it, but the opportunities for private school candidates who follow the international curriculum to enter local universities is restricted. There is also considerable social prejudice against these students. This is an infringement on their basic human rights. Their parents probably are all taxpayers. Many students therefore are forced to turn to private institutions in Sri Lanka or go abroad to obtain their degrees. While some foreign graduate and postgraduate programmes are offered and accepted, medical students continue to face many obstacles due to the medical mafia not allowing accreditation to any local private medical degree awarding programmes.

The basic education requirement to follow a medical degree course is 3 passes at A’ Level In the Science stream (Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Mathematics). Today, even students who have all A grades in their advanced level are not guaranteed admission to a local university of their choice. As per a study undertaken by NR de Silva , A Pathmeswaran and HJ de Silva, “approximately 850–900 enter the six state medical schools in Sri Lanka. The university grants commission, with a policy that has remained basically unchanged for several decades, centrally administers this. “At present, 40% of seats are awarded on the sole basis of the GCE A level aggregate score (‘merit quota’), and 55% is divided among the 25 districts of Sri Lanka. The balance 5% is reserved for 13 ‘educationally underprivileged’ districts”

The district quota system was introduced to facilitate students from backward areas to enter universities with a lesser grade. This is seen by urban students as a breach of their fundamental right to seek university education on their merit, yet this is seen by the majority as an incentive for students from rural areas to have access to university education. While admitting it as an elitist notion to object to this concession, this quota system has been accused of being the destroyer of quality higher education in Sri Lanka. It is the responsibility of the state to provide quality education without discrimination to all its citizens.

In 2014, the former government of Mahinda Rajapaksa laid down plans to set up ten foreign universities in Sri Lanka by 2020, under its ambitious target of making Sri Lanka an international hub of excellence in higher education.

The University of Central Lancashire in Britain started their project of setting up a branch campus in Mirigama, Sri Lanka, with an investment of US $ 120 million. They have received tax holidays, along with duty waivers for items that are to be imported for the execution and implementation of the project. Regretfully, this has not taken off as yet and the much expected “laying of the foundation stone” during the visit of Prince Charles during his visit to CHOGM 2014 did not take place.

The first private medical collage was established in 1980 as the North Colombo Medical College. However, due to heavy opposition from the Marxist unions, some medical professionals, state university students and other professionals, the college was nationalized and renamed the Kelaniya Medical Faculty. The North Colombo Medical College as a private medical university was fully supported by a large number of medical professionals.

The next attempt at setting up a private medical college was the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM). A brilliant concept and the brainchild of Dr Neville Fernando. This was undertaken in collaboration with the Nizhny Novgorod State Medical Academy, Russian Federation. Here, the final year students were offered entrance to the Nizhny Novgorod State Medical Academy in Russia, which has been recognized by the Sri Lanka Medical Council, thereby allowing its graduates to practice medicine in Sri Lanka after passing the licensing examination.

SAITM also started a local MBBS programme 5 years ago. To provide clinical support, Dr Neville Fernando invested heavily in setting up the Dr Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital (NFTH), a 1002 bed facility ( a bed more than the Japanese grant of the Sri Jayawardenepura hospital to JR Jayawardene in recognition of his support at the Treaty of San Francisco or San Francisco Peace Treaty ). The hospital’s website claims “NFTH is not, yet another private hospital in the country, which charges exorbitant prices from their patients for the services provided. The hospital services are presented in such a way that it is very much affordable to the greater majority of the local population who are average or lower middle income earners, but never compromising on the service standards or the quality of medical care. As a socially responsible corporate citizen, Dr Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital (NFTH) reserves 20% of the operational bed capacity for the benefit of the less privileged patients offering free beds and medical care at a concessionary rate. It also charges heavily discounted and subsidized rates for the medicine, lab and radiologic investigations”.  A noble concept indeed.

The were recent media reports that Sri Lanka Medical Council has concluded that the clinical facilities for medical education at SAITM is inadequate and that it cannot be recognized as a medical degree awarding institution. There is an intake of students who are completing their degree programme this year, and now these students have complained to the human rights commission on the breach of their fundamental right by the Sri Lanka Medical Council. They also staged a peaceful demonstration outside the Sri Lanka Medical Council against their discrimination. Prof. Carlo Fonseka as President of the Sri Lankan Medical Council has accused the Neville Fernanda Teaching hospital of neglect and responsibility for the bacterial infection of the late Ven. Sobitha Thero while receiving treatment at the hospital.

This is seen as a ploy by the mafia to stir up a revolt against the noble initiative of Dr Neville Fernando and his social venture. Dr Fernando has taken steps to sue Prof. Fonseka for a staggering Rs. 500 Million for falsely accusing the hospital. It is indeed regrettable that Prof. Fonseka, an octogenarian has made such statement. Questions have been raised as to his medical capability at 83 to take rational decisions involving the health of the nation.

If the reasons for the Sri Lanka Medical Council rejecting the SAITM medical degree are valid, it is incumbent on the government to investigate and make necessary arrangements to support and ensure that the clinical facilities are upgraded to the required standards or provide access to clinical training for private medical education in state hospitals. If the well-equipped Dr Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital (NFTH) is below the required standard, It is incumbent on the government to support this socially conscious private entrepreneur to elevate the quality of patient care and clinical facilities to the required standards. After all, Dr Niville Fernando is also providing a yeomen service by providing subsidized medical facilities to the needy, which is the responsibility of the government. This will ensure that the degree offered by this private university is as good and recognized as any other in the country. The government should also assist in improving this hospital as there are no hospital facilities for the people of Battaramulla, Kaduwela, Malabe and beyond that is equipped with modern facilities


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ඔස්ට්‍රේලියාවේ මුස්ලිම්වරුන්ට 'ජාතිවාදය'


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ඕස්ට්‍රේලියාවේ වෙසෙන සෙසු ආගමිකයන්ට වඩා තුන් ගුණයකින් එහි වෙසෙන මුස්ලිම් ප්‍රජාව ජාතිවාදී නොසලකා හැරීම්වලට ගොදුරු වන බව සමීක්ෂණයකින් සොයා ගෙන තිබේ.

සමීක්ෂණය සඳහා සිඩ්නි නුවර වෙසෙන මුස්ලිම් ජාතිකයන් හයසිය දෙනෙකු යොදා ගෙන ඇති අතර ඉන් සියයට පනස් හතක් පවසා ඇත්තේ තමන් ජාතිවාදී නොසලකා හැරීම්වලට මුහුණ දී ඇති බවයි.

Image copyrightBBC World Service

ජාතිවාදී නොසලකා හැරීම් හේතුවෙන් තරුණ මුස්ලිම් පිරිස් රැඩිකල්වාදය වෙත නැඹුරු විය හැකි බවට විද්වතුන් පිරිසක් අනතුරු හැඟ වූයේ සිඩ්නි නුවර පැවති ඉස්ලාමීය සමුළුවකදීයි.

කෙසේ වෙතත් සමීක්ෂණයට සහභාගී වූ පිරිසෙන් සියයට අසූ පහක් කියා සිටියේ මුස්ලිම් ජාතිකයන් සහ සෙසු ජාතීන් අතර සුහදත්වයක් පවතින බව තමන් තවදුරටත් විශ්වාස කරන බවයි.

ඕස්ට්‍රේලියාවේ සම්පූර්ණ ජනගහනයෙන් සියයට දෙකක් මුස්ලිම් ජාතිකයන්.


‘‘බෞද්ධ ඉස්ලාමීය සුහදත්වය“ දර්ගා නගරයේ දී එළි දකියි


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දැන් තිබෙන්නේ යහපාලනය හා සංහිදියාව ගොඩනගන්න අවශ්‍ය යුගයක් බවත් ජාතික සමගිය මෙන්ම සහජීවනය හා සබැදියාව අපේ රටට ඉතාමත් අවහ්‍ය කරන යුගය් බවත් ජනමාධ්‍ය අමාත්‍ය ගයන්ත කරුණාතිලක මහතා දර්ගා නගරයේ දී කීවේය.

ඇමතිවරයා මේ බව කියා සිටියේ දර්ගා නගරයේ දි ‘‘බෞද්ධ ඉස්ලාමිය සුහදත්වය සහ මුස්ලිම් සමාජය“ නම් කෘතිය එළිදැක්වීමේ අවස්ථාවට සහභාගී වෙමිනි. දේශීය මුස්ලිම් වෙද පරපුරකින් පැවත එන මුනව්වරුල් අෆ්ලල් මහතා විසින් මේ පොත රචනා කැර තිබිණි.

හිටපු අමාත්‍යවරයකු වූ ඉමිටියාස් බාකිර් මාකර් මහතාගේ ආරාධනයකට අනුව ජනමාධ්‍ය ඇමතිවරයා මේ උත්සවයට සහභාගී වූයේය.

අමාත්‍යවරයා වැඩිදුරටත් මෙසේ ද කිවේය.

මුස්ලිම් ජනතාව ඉතා දීර්ඝ කාලයක සිට සිංහල ජනතාව සමග ඉතාම සුහදව කුළුපගව ජීවත් වුනු බව අපි කවුරුත් අහලා තියෙනවා. දන්නවා. එදා ශී‍්‍ර වික‍්‍රමරාජසිංහ රජතුමාට වෙදකම් කළේ පවා මුස්ලිම්වරු කියලා ඉතිහාසය සාක්ෂි දරනවා. සමහර මුස්ලිම් ජාතිකයෝ ඉන්නවා සිංහල නම් ගම් වාසගම් පවා තිබෙන අය. ලංකා ඉතිහාසය ගැන රොබට් නොක්ස් මහත්තයා ලියපු එදා හෙළ දිව නම් කෘතියේ මුස්ලිම් සිංහල සම්බන්ධතාවය ගැනඉතාම පැහැදිලිව සඳහන් කරලා තියෙනවා.

සමහර පන්සල් සමග මුස්ලිම්වරු ඉතා සමීපව කටයුතු කරලා තියෙනවා. බොහෝ බෞද්ධ පෙරහැර වලට මුස්ලිම්වරු දායකත්වය ලබා දීලා තිබෙනවා. මෑත කාලයේ සති දෙකතුනකට උඩින් අපි දැක්කා මුස්ලිම් සම්බන්ධතාවය අපේ සෝභිත හාමුදුරුවෝ අපවත් වූ වේලාවේ ඒ ආදාහන පූජෝත්සවයේ කටයුතු වලට මුස්ලිම් ජනතාව බොහෝ උනන්දුවකින් කැපී පෙනෙන අයුරින් කටයුතු කළ බව. මෑත ඉතිහාසයේ දේශපාලන තුළත් ඒ සම්බන්ධතාවය අපි දකිනවා. පාර්ලිමේන්තුව නියෝජනය කරන මුස්ලිම් දේශපානඥයන්ට සිංහල උදවියගේ සහයෝගය ලැබුණු ආකාරය අපි දැක්කා. බේරුවල, බලංගොඩ, රුවන්වැල්ල, පොළොන්නරුව, කොළඹ ඒ වගේ සහයෝගය ලැබුණා.

ටී.බී ජයා, ජබීර් වේ කාදර්, බාකීර් මාකර් පියපුතු දෙපල උදාහරණ රාශියක් ජාතික සමගිය ගැන ජාතික දේශපාලනයේ අපිට මතක් වෙන මුස්ලිම්වරු හැටියට හඬ නගපු අය. එස්.ඩබ්ලිව්.ආර්.ඞී බණ්ඩාරණායක මැතිතුමා ශී‍්‍ර.ල.නි.පක්ෂයේ බිහිකරන කොට එතුමාට කිට්ටුවෙන් හිටපු උපදෙස් දීපු බදියුර්දීන් මොහොමඞ් මැතිතුමාත් ඒ වගේම එ.ජා.ප ප‍්‍රදාන තනතුරු මුස්ලිම්වරු හැමදාම හොබවලා තියෙනවා. අපේ පක්ෂයේ සභාපති තනතුරු වගේ ඒවා ඒ.සී.එස් හමීඞ් මැතිතුමාලා, දොස්තර කලීල් මැතිතුමාලා හොබවලා තිබෙනවා. අපේ ආණ්ඩු තිබෙන කොට බාකීර් මාකර් මැතිතුමා කථානායක හැටියට, මොහොමඞ් මැතිතුමා කථානායක හැටියට ඇමතිවරු හැටියට කටයුතු කල හැටි අපිට මතක් වෙනවා.

ඒ වගේම ජාතික සමගියත් බෞද්ධ ඉස්ලාම් සුහදත්වයත් වෙනුවෙන් කලාකරුවන් ලේඛකයන් සාහිත්‍යධරයන් රාශියක් කි‍්‍රයාකළ අයුරු අපිට සිහිපත් වෙනවා. මොහීදීන් බෙග් අපිට අමතක කරන්න බැරි කෙනෙක්. වෙසක් පොසොන් වැනි බෞද්ධ උත්සවවලදී මොහිදීන් බෙග්ගේ සිංදු අහන්න ලැබෙනවා.

අපේ රට බහු ආගමික බහු වාර්ගික රටක්. කුමන ආගමකට කුමන ජාතියකට අයත් වුනත් මේ රටේ ඉපදුන හැම මනුෂ්‍යයෙකුටම මේ රට ගැන අයිතියක් මේ රට ගැන කැක්කුමක් කොයි ආගමකට අයිති වුනත් තිබෙනවා. දැන් යුද්ධය ඉවර වෙලා තිබෙනවා. ආපහු යුද්ධයක් ඇතිනොවන බව විශ්වාසයි. දැන් තිබෙන්නේ යහපාලන හා සංඳියාව ගොඩනගන්න  ඕන යුගයක් කියලා අපි විශ්වාස කරනවා. අපේ ජනතාව ජාති ආගම් වශයෙන් වෙනස් වෙන්න පුළුවන්. නමුත් හැම ආගමකම තිබෙන හරය එයයි. හැම ආගමිකයෙක්ම කියන්නේ සුහදත්වය සහජීනව වර්ධනය කර ගත යුතුයි කියලයි. ජාතික සමගිය එකට ජීවත්වීම ගැන අපි අවබෝධ කර ගතයුතුයි.

2014 ජුනි මාසයේ අවාසනාවන්ත සිදුවීමකට අපිට මුහුණ දෙන්න සිදුවුනා. එවැනි දේවල් කිසිම කෙනෙකු අනුමත කරන්නේ නෑ. එවැනි දේවල් යළි ඇති නොවිය යුතුයි. සිංහල මුස්ලිම් දමිළ ජනතාව එක පවුලක් මෙන් ජීවත් විය යුතු යුගයකට අපි දැන් ඇවිත් තියෙනවා. ඒ වෙනුවෙන් රජය අවධානය යොමු වෙලා තියෙනවා. ජනාධිපතිතුමා, අප‍්‍රාමාත්‍යතුමා වර්තමාන ආණ්ඩුව ඒ සංහිදියාව පිළිබදව දැඩි ලෙස කටයුතු කරන්න සුදානම් වෙලා තියෙනවා.

හිටපු ඉම්තියාස් බාකිර් මාකර් මැතිතුමා, දඹර අමිල හිමි ඇතුළු තවත් භික්ෂූන් වහන්සේලා සහ බේරුවල ප‍්‍රදේශයේ සිංහල හා මුස්ලිම් ජනතාව සහභාගී වී සිටියහ.

(ඡායාරූප ජනමාධ්‍ය අමාත්‍යාංශය)

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Keep Internet Safe - Awareness and Signature Campaign


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Assalamu Alaykum,

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Jazakallah Khair








Zahira College - Vacancy : Vice Principal for English Section


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10 Habits of Happy Muslim Couples (Part 2 of 2)


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6. They make each other bloom


Did you know your spouse was a separate person with a unique mind, heart, body and soul before they married you? And did you know that they still are that individual person, only with you by their side?


Marriages begin to go headlong into constant unhappiness when one or both spouses forget this fundamental fact: marriage makes people partners, not parts of each other that must be controlled and bossed over. As unfortunate as the truth may be, your spouse has a lot more roles to play in life than just being your spouse; and whenever you restrict them from doing justice to all their roles, you’re going to be the cause of their constant frustration, which will only spill into your own marital relationship.


Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has created each of us to contribute in so many ways during our life on this earth and has blessed us with the potential to be all that He wants us to be. Be that amazing person who motivates, encourages and helps your spouse discover and use their God-given potential and traits to bloom and be a source of joy and mercy to the world. Don’t stop your spouse from being kind and loving to their parents, don’t stop them from being helpful towards their colleagues and relatives, don’t make them cut ties that you know they should keep, don’t compel them to bottle up their talents when you know their skills can be used in a halal way to bring about a lot of good, don’t control their every relationship and acquaintance with other people like an air-traffic controller, don’t bark orders and rules and taunts at them at every opportunity: don’t make your spouse wither into a dull, lifeless, thorny, poisonous weed; because that is not what Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) created them to be – that’s what control freaks make out of the people they live with.


Happy Muslim couples are partners in growth and productivity: They acknowledge that their spouse is a slave of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) alone and marriage does not change that. They acknowledge their spouse’s other roles and responsibilities and encourage them to do justice to all of them. They recognize each other’s unique traits and talents and catalyze their spouse’s growth and worth as an individual.



7. They make time for each other – no matter what!


Sorry, there’s just no excuse not to give at least half an hour (okay, 15 minutes when you’re just too exhausted) of undivided attention and love to your spouse. Because the truth is, you’re not married just to slog all day to get money home, or to produce kids and take care of them 24/7. Before you know it, your bosses and jobs will change and you’ll be retiring and replaced, and the kids would’ve married and moved out. And the only person you will be left with is that spouse (read: stranger) you always put second to everything, who would’ve become too used to being neglected over the past 30 years to be that warm companion you’ll desperately be needing in your old age.


Your relationship needs exclusive attention every single day. Just like you’re saving everyday to build that comfortable house for the future. What’s the fun if you’re going to end up alone in that house, sleeping next to someone you don’t even recognize anymore? Instead, imagine this: you’re (finally!) going to be alone in that house with the person who’s listened to your worries and stories every night, who you’ve taken walks with everyday, who’s been there to lean on when you’ve been weak, who you’ve celebrated all your achievements and successes with: someone who’s been a friend indeed, every single day. Now is it really that hard to give half an hour of your time everyday to the person who deserves it most?



8. They fight the real enemies: ego, evil eye and shaytan





Here’s what the growth curve of a Muslim couple that’s learnt to manage marital conflict looks like:


1st year of marriage: blame all conflicts on spouse

2nd year of marriage: blame all conflicts on spouse, shaytan, evil eye and magic (seriously)

3rd year of marriage: blame spouse for ‘causing’ conflict and take nominal blame for reacting absurdly

4th year of marriage: make sure spouse takes at least half the blame for conflicts

5th year of marriage: agree that your spouse has been right all along and there’s something you need to change about yourself


If you ask every happily married couple that’s successfully made it past the first five years, they’ll tell you there’s no bigger enemy to marital happiness than: ego.


Ego is the defense mechanism of the lower self, and ego in marriage sounds like:


This is who I am and you better get used to it”

I wouldn’t have said/done that if you didn’t say/do what you did”

It’s all because of you”

Does it look like I care anyway?”


And ego sounds very, very familiar.


This is because the lower self is a covert enemy lurking within each and every one of us. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) records Yusuf’s 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) observation of the lower human self in the Qur’an:


“… Verily, the (human) self is inclined to evil, except when my Lord bestows His Mercy (upon whom He wills). Verily, my Lord is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Qur’an: Chapter 12, Verse 53]


This doesn’t mean we are all inherently bad, but that we all have lower selves that are inclined to be oppressive, unruly and unjust; and it is only Allah’s subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) mercy that can make us rise above our destructive, narcissistic lower selves.


Why ego is the biggest threat to a marriage is because it is an enemy from within. Ego is like a deceptive double agent that distorts reality and makes us deny and justify the wrongs that our lower selves commit towards our spouses, convincing us that we are right; while we are oppressing our own selves and our spouses and actually walking a path of humiliating self-destruction.


The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:


A believer is the mirror of his brother. When he sees a fault in it, he should correct it.”


There’s no one who mirrors our souls to us more accurately than our spouse, because no other human being gets to see us as intimately and habitually as they do. As a natural consequence, spouses stand the highest chance of facing our ego: the defensive wrath of our lower selves. But allowing your lower self to prevail in your marriage instead of seeing your marriage as a means to purify yourself is your own (disastrous) choice. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says in Surat Ash-Shams:


And the soul (self) and He who proportioned it. And inspired it its wickedness and its righteousness. He has succeeded who purifies it, and he has failed who instills it .” [Qur’an: Chapter 91, Verse 7-10]


Our spouses actually personify the mercy of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) when they mirror our flaws to us so we can rise above our lower selves. They make us discern our innermost weaknesses that we could not have seen for ourselves, and Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has blessed us with them for our own spiritual purification and salvation.


The next time your spouse is desperately trying to get something about yourself across to you:


1. Just listen. Listen carefully and objectively, especially if they have been repeating it for a very long time.

2. Control the urge to defend yourself: look for the truth in your spouse’s words first.

3. Ask yourself: “Has anyone pointed this out about me before?” The answer could very likely be a yes, and if it is, then you’re definitely looking at a flaw that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) wants you to work on and get rid of.

4. Realize how merciful Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is being to you through your spouse. Thank Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and your spouse sincerely for caring so much about your success in the hereafter and making you a better person.


Try this 4-step exercise the next time you face conflict in your marriage. I promise you’ll see marital conflict in a whole new light: your spouse will no longer be the enemy and you’ll realize just what a big blessing they are for you!



Evil Eye


The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:


The evil eye is real.”


I am always in awe of the power of this extremely concise hadith, because it delivers three vital messages about the evil eye in one 5-word sentence:


  • the harm of the evil eye is very, very real (in case you were even thinking otherwise)

  • do not put yourself in its way; and

  • take measures to protect yourself from it


If you agree with point one, the second and third points just follow naturally. Muslim couples today are actually serving their marriages on exquisitely decorated social media platters for the evil eye to devour: not just the ceremony, but every single verbal and non-verbal marital exchange, meal, meeting, moment, mood and micro-second!


You cannot be friends with 500+ people on social media, half of whom may be trying hard to get married for a long time and keep shoving your marital happiness in their face. Not only is it unnecessary, it is highly insensitive.


Happy Muslim couples do share their marital happiness, but sensibly. Before sharing anything about your marital life with the public, ask yourself:


Is it necessary to share it with all the people I’m about to disclose it to?

Will it make any of them long to be in my position?

Is it better off being private?


Not putting your marriage in the way of the evil eye is the first way of protecting it from its harm. Reading the morning and evening adhkar, the duas prescribed for protection against the evil eye as well as constantly thanking Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) for your marriage and your spouse fortifies this protection immensely.





Remember all that incomprehensible pre-wedding drama between your spouse’s family and yours, or those regular ridiculous flare-ups that you realize made absolutely no sense after you and your spouse cooled down (e.g.: when “why did you turn off the light when you know I was reading?” ends in “marrying you was the biggest mistake of my life!” – W.H.A.T?!): yes, all those absurd, bizarre arguments that sprang out of nothing and all the other senseless discord in your marriage are the best compliments of shaytan.


The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:


Iblis (shaytan) places his throne upon water; he then sends detachments (for creating dissension); the nearer to him in rank are those who are most notorious in creating dissension. One of them comes and says: I did so and so. And he says: You have done nothing. Then one amongst them comes and says: I did not spare so and so until I sowed the seed of discord between a husband and a wife. The Satan goes near him and says: ‘You have done well and then embraces him.”


Shaytan doesn’t have any principles when he seeks to create marital discord: in fact, the rule is that he attacks from where you least expect it. Like through your normally loving, religious and sensible parent/sibling/well-wisher who begins to magnify some irrelevant flaw in your spouse that was somehow never an issue before you tied the knot. Shaytan perpetuates his whispers through their tongues, and you unwittingly believe them because they are your loved ones. And thus begins insane marital strife.


Here’s how to protect your marriage from the shaytan:


  • Read the mu’awwadhatayn (Surat Al-Falaq and Surat An-Nas) and morning and evening adhkar daily.

  • If your spouse is behaving in a way or saying things they normally don’t, politely say: “honey, let’s not let the shaytan get to us.” This is a tried and tested way to defuse a senseless argument before it starts.

  • If you find yourself starting to get angry, seek refuge in Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) from the shaytan immediately.

  • If you hear anything negative about your spouse from anyone, examine the words for signs of shaytan’s whispers and traps. If there’s anything that may cause you to have even the slightest ill-feeling or resentment towards your spouse, consciously recall all the good in your spouse and compare it to what’s being said about them: you’ll see the false/irrelevant claims quickly dissipating.


9. They sense each other’s stress


You know those times when your spouse is just not being their normal self or getting ticked off by every little thing? Or when you do something special and they didn’t even seem to notice? If you look a little deeper, you’ll find there’s definitely something that’s bothering them (and it is not you). No matter how annoyingly they may be behaving, try to find out what’s wrong; try to sense their stress. They’ll most likely be having a problem at work, be down with an illness or close to that time of the month, or the kids would’ve done a fantastic job at driving them mad all day. Shaytan waits to use these moments of stress to spark an argument, because the spouse under stress doesn’t have the energy to fight him when their mind is exhausted by other troubles. He waits for the calmer spouse to eventually get annoyed, pick up the bait and say “what’s gotten into you?” and BAM! If you focus on putting your finger on what’s bothering your spouse and offering them support instead of getting worked up yourself, you immediately kill one more chance for shaytan to get to your marriage. Happy Muslim couples empathize with one another. Once you’ve figured out what’s bothering your spouse, give them the space, comfort or help they need to de-stress. Ask them if they’d like to take a nap, be alone for sometime, take a break from the kids, get some help with their work or spend some time with their friends or family, if it’ll make them feel better. Agree with your spouse to do this whenever either of you is acting out till you learn to sense each other’s stress just through your expressions, and your mutual intuition develops into a beautiful, unspoken language of care and understanding.


10. They are conscious of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) in conflict


There isn’t a single marriage where there isn’t any conflict or disagreement of some sort or degree. It is only the way in which conflicts are managed that distinguishes the health of one marriage from the other.


Of all the ways to manage and minimize marital conflict, the most powerful way is remembering that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is watching our every single move and expression, and hearing our every single word. And it is all being recorded for a Day when He subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) will be the Judge. Bringing this to mind during conflict helps us refrain from giving in to our lower selves and the whispers of Shaytan in the heat of the moment, and saves the marriage from a lot of irreversible, long-term damage.


The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:


I guarantee a house in Jannah for one who gives up arguing, even if he is in the right… ”


And when he ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was asked by Mu’adh bin Jabal raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him):


O Prophet of Allah, will we be brought to account for what we say?’ He said: ‘May your mother not find you, O Mu’adh! Are people thrown onto their faces in Hell for anything other than the harvest of their tongues?'”


The truth is, hell begins on earth when the tongue isn’t controlled during marital conflict. The humiliation and hurt inflicted by the tongue sows deep resentment and spite. That’s why Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says in the Qur’an:


And tell My servants to say that which is best. Indeed, Satan induces among them. Indeed Satan is ever, to mankind, a clear enemy.”[Qur’an: Chapter 17, Verse 53]


If you disagree with your spouse over anything or are hurt by something they did or said, bring Allah’s presence to mind first to help lower your anger and approach the issue calmly. Then put your concerns across as gently as possible because gentleness is far more likely to make your spouse see your point than lashing out at them. The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said to Aisha raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her):


Aisha! show gentleness, for if gentleness is found in anything, it beautifies it and when it is taken out from anything it damages it.”


Marriage in a nutshell


I remember giving a talk on love and relationships to an audience of young girls when I’d been married for just about two years. In my talk, I’d mentioned the verse of the Qur’an where Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says:


Women impure are for men impure, and men impure for women impure and women of purity are for men of purity, and men of purity are for women of purity…” [Qur’an: Chapter 24, Verse 26]


In the Q&A session, a girl from the audience asked: “but what about all those couples we see where one spouse is so good and the other is the complete opposite?”


I’d answered: “The verse is the general rule, but Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) may choose to test some of us through our spouses.”


Just then, someone in the front row of the audience put up her hand and requested to speak. She was one of the other guest speakers, a renowned author and a woman full of wisdom, and someone who was married for many more years than me. She said:


What a person looks like to us is not necessarily what they are behind closed doors. So before judging whether a person is right or wrong for someone, remember that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) chooses spouses for us not to test us but to help us purify and improve our own selves.”


Three years from that talk and I still haven’t come across a greater truth about marriage. Indeed, as Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) said, in this beautiful relationship are signs for those who give thought. Marital happiness is not an end but a state; a state that can easily be achieved by just seeing marriage for what it really is: a means of attaining physical, emotional and spiritual tranquility through the loving and merciful companionship of a spouse.


Author : Zaynab Chinoy


10 Habits of Happy Muslim Couples (Part 1 of 2)


What does it take to stay Muslim, married and extremely happy today? As oxymoronic as that just sounded, believe it or not, it’s absolutely possible!


Marriage, especially for Muslims, is a lot more than having someone to call a husband or wife. The marital relationship is an incredible blessing and divine sign, as Allah Ta'ala says in the Qur’an:


And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.” [Qur’an: Chapter 30, Verse 21]


The whole purpose of having a spouse is to find tranquility in and with them; and our relationships with our spouses have signs that Allah Ta'ala is asking us to give thought to.

How are some Muslim couples finding this tranquility in their marriage while many others seem to be having a miserable time?


What are those couples whose eyes exude deep love and contentment doing right in their relationships?


Here are the top 10 habits of Muslim couples who’ve found tranquility and happiness in their marriage:



1. They love each other for Allah’s sake


What does it mean to love each other for Allah’s sake? It means you make the love and obedience of Allah Ta'ala the basis and focus of your relationship with someone else. It means you love someone so much that you want your love for them to last beyond this lifetime and into the Hereafter, where you can live in eternal happiness with them having earned Allah’s pleasure together. It means you love someone purely because of how much they remind you of Allah Ta'ala and help you get closer to Him.


Hold it right there. I know what you just thought: “but my wife/husband doesn’t remind me of Allah at all.”


A lot of people who marry each other even for primarily religious reasons end up disappointed after marriage when they suddenly find their spouse not praying all the sunnah prayers (like they thought they would) or reading the Qur’an everyday or the morning and evening adhkar or fasting Mondays and Thursdays or being excited about attending halaqahs or praying tahajjud or doing something for the Ummah – like they thought they would. Our own restrictions of spirituality to acts of physical or outward worship blind us from seeing how much our spouses contribute to improving our character, which is an unsurpassed form of spiritual growth, because the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wasalaam) says:


Nothing is placed on the Scale that is heavier than good character. Indeed the person with good character will have attained the rank of the person of fasting and prayer.”


Your spouse has loved you for Allah’s sake every time they have:

  • stopped you from harboring suspicions or ill-will (about your boss or competitor or any other annoying person in your life)

  • stopped you from backbiting (about your friends, colleagues, in-laws (ahem))

  • helped you be more kind and gentle in your speech and manners (to helpers, waiters, laborers, siblings, elders and children)

  • helped you fulfill people’s trusts (by encouraging you to get to work on time and do the best at your job, to pay off your debts, to keep people’s secrets)

  • helped you be more honest with yourself or to others

  • helped you forgive someone and overlook their faults

  • helped you become more generous or less extravagant

  • helped you recognize and overcome the weaknesses of your inner self



In all of the above and so many other times that go unnoticed, committed Muslim spouses consistently help each other get closer to Allah Ta'ala. They stop each other from anything that may lower them in the sight of Allah Ta'ala and constantly help each other win Allah’s love.


Truly happy Muslim couples engage in winning Allah’s pleasure together whenever and in any way they can: they glorify Allah Ta'ala together in the quiet hours of Fajr, they thank Allah Ta'ala in tahajjud together, they make it a point to read a minimum amount of Qur’an everyday, they do regular or even random acts of kindness and charity and they maintain loving and happy ties with each other’s families.



2. They are grateful for each other


If there is one fundamental need that exists in every single human relationship, it is the need to feel relevant and appreciated. And there is no other relationship where this need is as grossly overlooked and abused, as in marriage. Why does this happen? Is it because humans tend to take things for granted, especially when they’re done by those closest to them?

When you’re newly married, every single thing your spouse does for you feels so special. As time goes by, your husband going out to work hard and earn for the family becomes normal; and a few years later it becomes “his duty anyway”. Similarly, every meal your new bride cooks is delightful, then somehow the salt always seems to keep getting lesser, till eventually she’s “not doing anyone a favor by just doing her job”.


Sounds familiar? Oh yes, ungrateful Muslim spouse speaking right there!


Happy Muslim couples live and breathe this hadith in their marriage:


He who does not thank the people is not thankful to Allah.”


What is not there to thank your spouse for? Here are 5 reasons to thank your spouse right now:

  1. For providing you a roof to live under/for making a home out of your house

  2. For buying you clothes to wear/for making sure you have clean clothes to wear everyday

  3. For buying you the food you eat everyday/for making delicious meals for you everyday

  4. For being there to take you where you need to go/for being there to take care of the house when you’re away

  5. For coming back home to you every evening/for being the person you can come home to everyday


Allah Ta'ala says in the Qur’an:


“… If you are grateful, I will surely increase you ; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.” [Qur’an: Chapter 14, Verse 7]


Our spouses are an immense favor and blessing of Allah Ta'ala upon us: they are an irreplaceable source of spiritual, emotional, mental and physical comfort. Happy Muslim couples keep getting happier because they simply implement the command of Allah Ta'ala in the above verse: They are grateful everyday for each other, so Allah Ta'ala increases the happiness they find in each other, just like He promised.


The verse doesn’t end there though. The last half of the verse should send a chill down every married person’s spine: “…if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.”


How many times have our egos stopped us from acknowledging and appreciating our spouses? How many times have we denied all the good they’ve done for us through a single word or sentence in the middle of a senseless argument? Every conflict left unresolved, every hurtful word exchanged and every baseless complaint is a refusal to value one of Allah’s best gifts to us: a spouse. It is a denial of a favor Allah Ta'ala has blessed us with that many are longing for. And you don’t have to wait for the Hereafter to bear the consequences of such denial. Days of depression, frustration, anger, spite, lack of barakah (blessing), and even illness and hardships make life living hell for those who refuse to be grateful in their marriages.


Allah Ta'ala also says in the Qur’an:


And as for your Lord’s favor, then discourse about it! (i.e., proclaim it).” [Qur’an: Chapter 93, Verse 11]


So if you aren’t doing so already, stop holding back and proclaim to your spouse how grateful you are for them!


You and your spouse can start becoming grateful for each other right now by:


  • thanking each other for at least one thing everyday: you could do this through a text message, a note in a lunchbox or on the fridge, or just before you go to sleep at night (brothers, I promise you will not decrease in height if you do this)

  • exchanging a smile that says “thank you, you mean the world to me”

  • saying “thank you/jazak Allah khayr” every time your spouse does something for you

  • getting/doing small things for your spouse that you know they will absolutely love

  • writing down things about each other you’re grateful for in a journal and exchanging your journals regularly: journaling makes you reflect, realize and truly internalize what you’re thinking about. There’s nothing better than internalizing the gratitude you feel towards your spouse; and there’s nothing more heart-warming for them to read than what you’ve written from the depths of your heart!

3. They communicate like best friends


What a Whatsapp conversation looks like a few years into a typical marriage:


Need bread.”

I mean, c’mon: “K”?? Not even an “o” to make that miserable “k” look a little less miserable?!

What happens to married people’s manners, interest, enthusiasm and most importantly good assumptions when talking to their spouses? Is it okay to talk this way because you’re just so used to someone? Why do we not talk this way to people we’ve been friends with for years? What makes a spouse less-deserving of respect, enthusiasm and affection when no one deserves it more than them (except our parents) for choosing to live every single day with us? Why do we not talk to our spouses like we talk to our best friends, even though they are much closer to us than anyone will ever be?


Happy Muslim couples talk like best friends, in good times and in conflict. In good times, they wait to tell each other about their day, they joke, laugh, share ideas, flirt, compliment each other, respect their spouse’s right to hold different opinions and learn from each other’s opposing points of view. In fact, happy Muslim couples communicate just like the Prophet(Sallallaahu Alaihi Wasalaam) and his wives did.


Aisha (Radiallahu Anha) narrated that:

Allah’s Messenger (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wasalaam) said to her: “I know when you are pleased with me or angry with me.” I said, “Whence do you know that?” He said, “When you are pleased with me, you say, ‘No, by the Lord of Muhammad,’ but when you are angry with me, then you say, ‘No, by the Lord of Abraham.’ ” Thereupon I said, “Yes (you are right), but by Allah, O Allah’s Messenger, I leave nothing but your name.”


Couples that have learnt to communicate effectively do away with the majority of marital stress because they become so attuned to each other’s feelings that they can immediately sense the emotional state of their spouse through the slightest change in words or tone.


And as our beloved Aisha (Radiallahu Anha) put it so beautifully – even in anger; happy, loving Muslim spouses never desert anything more than each other’s name when they try to communicate that they feel wronged or hurt. They never desert love and respect for each other in conflict: this, is the key to staying happy in your marriage.



4. They never lose focus of each other’s primary needs


What I’ve personally discovered through my own marriage and from those of all the people who’ve discussed marital issues with me, is that the primary reason for continuous marital stress and discord is almost always due to the neglect of a spouse’s primary needs.

A lot of books (by Muslim and non-Muslim authors alike) tend to classify primary marital needs based on gender or a spouse’s role in the marriage. You must’ve definitely read about men’s primary needs being respect and physical satisfaction, and that women prioritize the need for love, verbal expression and emotional satisfaction. However true these classifications may seem in theory, they’re far from practical reality, because the truth is: both men and women need love, respect, physical and emotional satisfaction, just in different degrees and ways of expression.


Men and women are equally human: Allah Ta'ala has created both genders with a sense of human dignity, with physical desires and with hearts that have feelings. When wives get snappy and say mean things to their spouses, husbands do feel hurt and unloved; and when husbands are rude and hurl insults at their spouses, wives do feel humiliated and disrespected. When a woman’s physical desires are consistently dismissed or left half-fulfilled, she feels as frustrated as a man in such situations does; and when a man never hears any words of appreciation or admiration, he feels as underappreciated and unvalued as a woman in these situations does.


Every marriage is made up of two unique people of opposite genders. That’s why, what works for one couple may not necessarily work in your marriage, because you and your spouse are different people altogether with different preferences, priorities and circumstances. For this reason, generally accepted theories that may apply to many marriages may not apply to many others because different people are different. And happy Muslim couples have this figured out. It is extremely crucial for the health of your marriage that you sit down with your spouse and figure out what is important to them, and how they’ve always expected you to fulfill those needs for them.


Here’s how to figure out and focus on fulfilling your spouse’s primary needs:


  1. Ask your spouse: “What is the one thing you cannot do without in this marriage?” Give them options to think about like love, respect, emotional or physical satisfaction, financial security, a peaceful or Islamic environment at home, etc.

  2. Ask them for examples of how they want these needs fulfilled: “How have you always expected me to do this for you?” Give them examples to help them figure out their preferences: ask them if they expect you to get small surprise gifts regularly, verbally compliment them more, take the initiative to pray or read and reflect on the Qur’an together, plan date nights, consult them before making a significant decision, talk to them in a certain way, dress up and prepare special surprise meals at home with the kids asleep, not say certain things in arguments, etc.

  3. Write down their needs and preferences.

  4. Make dua and sincere effort to fulfill your spouse’s primary needs: ask Allah Ta'ala to help you make your spouse happy, and then actively think of and create easy ways to do what is important to your spouse.



5. They are the comfort of each other’s eyes


Happy Muslim couples strive to be the comfort of each other’s eyes. They seek to be the answer to the dua that Allah Ta'ala has taught us to make:

And those who say, “Our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us an example for the righteous.”” [Qur’an: Chapter 25, Verse 74]

What does it take to become a beautiful sight to look at?


Smile at your spouse


When was the last time you beamed at your spouse or saw your spouse smiling lovingly at you? Okay, I shouldn’t have asked that question because you’d probably need to time travel back into the ancient past. Smile when you open the door to your tired husband, smile when you get to see your wife after a long day at work, smile at the mother/father of your child for giving you such a beautiful gift; let your smile be the last thing your spouse sees before they close their eyes to sleep. Smile because there’s no reason not to.


Look good for your spouse


The noble companion Ibn Abbas (Radiallahu Anhu) is reported to have said:


I like to take care of my appearance for my wife just as I like for her to take care of her appearance for me. This is because Allah Ta'ala says: “And they (women) have rights similar (to those of their husbands) over them to what is reasonable.” ”


You are the only man/woman your spouse is allowed to look at from head to toe, so please don’t be an eye sore! Yes, make this your mantra. Tell yourself this every time you look in the mirror at your unkempt hair, permanent pyjamas or neglected body. Looking good for your spouse is as important (and as easy) as everything else you do everyday like eating or sleeping.


It takes a maximum of 20 minutes to: shower, put on some attractive clothes and perfume, comb your hair and apply a dash of make-up (men: you don’t have to do the last bit so you have even less of an excuse!). Make these 20 minutes a fixed part of your routine, ideally just before your spouse gets home or before you sit down to relax at home after work.

Looking good for each other has even more to do with maintaining your health and fitness. You need to do this for your own self before anyone else. Slot in an hour at least everyday to work on your physical and mental fitness: work out wherever and whenever it is convenient for you, but make sure you do and your spouse makes time for their fitness too. There’s nothing more attractive to a spouse than having that healthy glow and fit physique!


Be their source of comfort and support


Who do you think of turning to when you’re depressed, afraid or going through a tough time? If your spouse was the first person that came to your mind, you have a wonderful marriage Alhamdulillah. Because that’s what Muslim spouses do: they are each other’s refuge, just like the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wasalaam) and his wives were to each other.


When the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wasalaam) received the revelation for the first time, he began trembling with fear and ran to his wife Khadijah (Radiallahu Anha) seeking comfort and reassurance saying:


O Khadijah! What is wrong with me? I was afraid that something bad might happen to me.” Then he told her the story. Khadijah (Radiallahu Anha) said, “Nay! But receive the good tidings! By Allah, Allah will never disgrace you, for by Allah, you keep good relations with your kith and kin, speak the truth, help the poor and the destitute, entertain your guests generously and assist those who are stricken with calamities.”


To be continued...


NSC Calls for Collective Action against Child Abuse, Rape and Murder in this Country


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His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena


Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka,

Presidential Secretariat,


Your Excellency,

NSC Calls for Collective Action against Child Abuse, Rape and Murder in This Country:


The National Shoora Council (NSC), an umbrella body of 18 national Muslim Civil Society Organizations (CBO) vehemently condemns the brutal murder of the child Seya Sadevmini, who was strangled to death at Kotadeniyawa in Divulapitiya. NSC pleads for collective action against all types of abuses against children in our country. It appeals to His Excellency the President and the Hon. Prime Minister to reinforce law and the authorities to assure safe and secure lives for the children and women of our mother land and to take immediate actions against those who are behind this shocking incident.


Incidents of child abuse and rapes had been reported in the past and were associated with lack of law and order in the country. However, with the new government, the people of this country have great expectation from them to establish ‘good governance’, which could end all such abuses by effective implementation of law and order. Ending such crimes need collective action from political and civil society leaders, government authorities and the media at large and every citizen. It is important to enforce strict rules on such crimes that tamper with moral and human values of our nation.

The problems of crimes of these nature, child abuse, rape and incest are tip of the iceberg of a major problem our country is faced with. Indeed these are the effects and unless the causes that influence these crimes are holistically addressed these crimes cannot be stopped. Unfortunately, today unhindered access to pornography through the internet, nudism and promiscuity displayed in the print and digital media inciting subliminal feelings of people are the driving forces for these crimes. Therefore the NSC urges that whilst actions are taken to arrest and punish the perpetrators to these crimes, also urges to control the influencing factors like pornography in the internet and the media that propel one towards criminal actions of rape, child abuse, incest and murder.


Therefore the NSC urges all the stakeholders to act responsibly to bring an end to scourges of child abuse, rape, incest and murder in our country by not only implementing the law against the perpetrators but also controlling the causal factors that create this criminal ambience in our society. As responsible citizens and stakeholders we are duty bound to protect the ethical and moral foundation of our country as a virtuous nation build on civilized values.

Thanking you.

Yours sincerely,

T.K Azoor

Deputy President

CC: Hon. Ranil Wickramasinghe, the Prime Minster of Sri Lanka




Do We Mind Our Language?


By Khalid Baig

"Every religion has a distinct moral call and the moral call of Islam is haya." (Hadith Bayhaqi)

Haya is an all-encompassing Islamic concept that includes modesty, decency, and inhibition against sin. It is an inner feeling. A state of mind that reflects itself in myriad ways. Among other things, it shows itself in the language one uses.

How should one communicate about morally sensitive and delicate subjects? Anyone can be crude, explicit, and vulgar. But Islam civilizes this aspect of our life also and teaches us to be refined, subtle, and indirect. As a result, the language of Islamic societies has been the language of haya. They do not talk about some subjects, (not publicly at least), not because of ignorance, but because they know. When there is need to talk about sensitive subjects, they are mentioned in a language that is as fully clothed as decent men and women should be.

Such haya in the language is both a consequence of and a contributor to the haya in the society. It is difficult to nurture haya in actions if it is not cultivated in words also. The life of haya requires an environment of haya and our ways of communication are a very important determinant of that environment. Thus, it stands to reason that the discourse of a people who's distinct moral call is haya would also reflect that cherished distinction.

Today, three factors have begun to change this. First, there is blow-back effect from emerging Muslim presence in Western countries. The languages and the discourse here have had as much regard for haya as one can find on a hot summer day on a beach in Europe or the USA. The prevailing forms of expression about delicate issues are as subtle as a sledgehammer. This is inherent inability of the language in its current state of development. Moreover, being explicit and crude is considered a virtue by the "open society." To its convoluted logic inhibitions are a sickness and having taboos is taboo. The atmosphere is clearly hostile to haya. Unfortunately, as emerging communities within this landscape Muslims have had little time for scrutiny; they have borrowed the vocabulary and idiom without questioning.

Another reason for this attitude is the "accent complex" of immigrant communities. Immigrants know that their acceptance in the society depends upon their ability to speak the language like the natives. This builds pressures for assimilation as far as language is concerned. When it remains within healthy limits it provides a positive force for gaining command over the language. But when it exceeds those limits it becomes a complex: We just don't want to sound different. Period. That is why many of us avoid benedictions when writing in English, even though that has been a cherished and extremely valuable Islamic tradition . That is why we avoid titles of respect in places where we would be routinely using them if we were conversing in Arabic, or Urdu, or Farsi, etc, etc. And that is why it does not occur to us to deviate from the prevalent modes of expression even on intimate subjects.

One can see the results of this attitude in the most unlikely places: Jumma Khutbas, religious talks and writings, and religious discussion groups. Normally we do not recognize these changes because we have become accustomed to them. So one example might help. In 1947, when British India was partitioned into Pakistan and India, rogues and fanatics targeted women in addition to men and children. The tragedy was remembered, but it was always referred to as the 'violation of women' or 'sacrifice of honor'. In contrast, during the Bosnia tragedy, everyone was using the R-word. Matter of fact. Mechanical. Indifferent to haya.

This is just a symptom of a widespread problem. One can routinely find today in the religious Q & A columns published in Muslim newspapers and magazines, explicit language about the most intimate matters. In the past, such issues were discussed only privately, or in specialized text. They were never considered appropriate for mass media.

Second, the emerging communication technologies, because of the lopsided international power structure, have effectively put Muslims at the receiving end of the global media. This global media is alien to the ideas and ideals of haya. It is spreading its haya-hostile language with impunity. To make matters worse, most Muslim media outlets today act simply as clipping services for the global media. All they can do is translate and in doing that they are unwittingly (carelessly?) creating a new haya-neutral or anti-haya vocabulary even in the languages which hitherto were influenced by Islamic moral teachings. Thanks to the careless Muslim journalists, the R word has become a common word in Pakistan also.

The issue of media is, of course, a much bigger issue. Our subservience here has crippled our ability not only to know about ourselves but also to think for ourselves. We let the labels carefully crafted by the global media machine to color our understanding of the world around us. We let its language, its images, its tone, and its modes of expression dictate to us what we will focus on and what we will talk about and how, when we do.

Third, there is a deliberate effort by big powers to destroy the moral fiber of all societies, especially the Muslim societies, for strategic reasons. The machinery of this social engineering project is gigantic and one of its main goals is to corrupt the discourse by using all means possible. The notorious "sex education" and "family welfare education" schemes are just one example of this effort. The NGO's (Which are in fact FGO's or Foreign Government Organizations), the international "aid agencies", and the UN have been working feverishly to introduce all the wrongs in the name of "rights". Together they act as one big Commission For the Elimination of All Forms of Haya And Morality From the World. Sadly they have discovered that most obscene of ideas and expressions magically become legitimate, even respectable, when broadcast from their "respectable" platforms.

Overall, the result has been alarming. It is robbing our children and youth of their innocence. It is robbing our societies of their sense of haya and Islamic morality. When a people forget their distinct moral call, they are a people lost. We should watch our language before we talk our way into that disaster.


8 things you can do to counteract the effects of stress


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1. Increase dhikr (remembrance of Allah): "Those who believe, and whose hearts find satisfaction in the remembrance of Allah: for without doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction (Qur'an, 13:28)."



2. Increase prayers: "O you who believe! Seek assistance through patience and prayer; surely, Allah is with the patient (Qur'an, 2:153)." Regardless of the type of meditation, recent studies have verified the physiological effects of meditation. Most of those mediations consist in focusing on something, repeating some words and breathing (Greenberg, p.142, 143).



3. Perform ablutions: The most important component of relaxation is what Hans Loehr calls "the rituals of success." These rituals may be as simple as making ablution; yet, they must be performed properly for it is not enough to pass water on the body parts - those parts must be massed.



4. Ask for forgiveness : A person must ensure that he asks forgiveness from Allah. "Then I said, 'Ask forgiveness of your Lord; surely, He is the most Forgiving'" (Qur'an, 71:10).



5. Recite the Qur'an: The Prophet (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wasalaam) said, " Qur'an is a remedy for illnesses of the mind" (Bukhari). "The echo of sound has a medical effect and is now widely utilized," says Dr. Greenberg. "The recitation of or listening to the Qur'an has an effect on the body, the heart and the mind! It is said that the letter Alif echoes to the heart and the letter Ya' to the pineal gland in the brain.


Dr Ahmed El Kadi of Akber Clinic (Panama City, FL) conducted and published the effects of listening to Qur'anic recitation on physiological parameters ( i.e., the heart, blood pressure, and muscle tension), and reported improvement in all factors, irrespective of whether the listener was a Muslim or a non-Muslim, Arab or non-Arab. Obviously, it can be postulated that those who understand and enjoy the recitation with a belief in it will get maximum benefits," writes Dr Athar.



6. Make the hereafter one's main concern: "Whoever has the hereafter as his main concern, Allah will fill his heart with a feeling of richness and independence; he will be focused and feel content, and this world will come to him in spite of it. Whoever has this world as his main concern, Allah will cause him to feel constant fear of poverty; he will be distracted and unfocused, and he will have nothing of this world except what was already predestined for him," said the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wasalaam). One of the greatest causes of stress is money - how to pay the loans, whether one's job will be lost, what will happen to the family if the father dies, etc.



7. Think positively: Muslims should forget about the bad things of the past and think of good things, always having hope that he can be better. Trying to change the past is a foolish and crazy waste of time, "for saying 'if only' opens the way to Shaytan" said the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wasalaam)(Bukhari). The Prophet (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wasalaam) also said, " Know that victory (achievement) comes through patience, and that ease comes through hardship."(Tirmidhi). Muslims understand that there's no reason for panic in the case of crisis - no reason to be distressed or worried for we know that after hardship come ease!



8. Do not waste time on thoughts of fear or stress: "The search of time is one of the most frequent causes of stress" (Seyle, p.102). Laziness is the mother of all evils, and the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wasalaam) used to seek refuge in Allah from it. Understanding that this life is short and time precious, Muslims should try to work hard and pursue worthy knowledge.




Athar, Shahid, MD. "Modern Stress and Its Cure From Qur'an."

Greenberg, Jerrold S. CSM = Comprehensive Stress Management. WCB: McGraw-Hill. 1999



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The Search for Love


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I spent my life running after the creation. I have always been what you might call ‘needy’. I needed friends, I needed people. All the time. And I couldn’t handle letdowns.

But at the heart of what makes us run after the creation, is simply love. The need to give and receive love. This need has been put in us by the Creator. And every need created by God, has been created for a purpose. The need to give and receive love was created as a driver. A driver that pushes us back to God. You see, we began with God, and God wants us to come back to Him in this life—even before we come back to Him in the next. So He puts inside us, drivers intended to bring us back. Intended to bring us back Home.

But our problem is we get lost along the way.

We can’t deny the drive; but we get lost because we seek to fulfill it in the wrong way. We look to fulfill that need in the wrong place. The driver was created by God to take us to Him. But instead, that driver takes us towards the creation. And that’s where we get lost.

Why do we run after other people? Why do we run after money? Why do we run after status, or power? We run after these things because we want love and respect. And we believe that by attaining these things, we will succeed at getting both love and respect.

But there is a fascinating formula that governs this world. And it is very, very simple. Unfortunately, we almost always get this formula wrong. Yes, we all have that same driver inside us, but the human being is hasty. We prefer the immediate over the delayed, the seen over the unseen, the physical over the spiritual. We run first to what we can see and feel and touch. We run first to what we *think* is closer. We do this because while the human being is needy and dependent, the human being is also impatient and weak. We go for what seems closest, easiest, quickest.

So we go towards the creation.

See, we think that the more we run after this world (dunya)–the more we run after the love of people, and wealth and beauty and status–the more we will have of it. We think that the more intensely we want something, the more likely we are to get it. And when we don’t get it, we become angry—so angry—at God Himself. As though the *intensity* of my wanting, somehow makes me entitled to having.

But the more we drown in this false equation, the more we fail at reaching our goal, and the more we miss the true–but simple–equation of love and life. That equation is clear: The more intensely we want the creation itself, the less likely we are to attain it. If it is love you need, and you seek it from the creation, you will never *truly* get it. Or get enough. Anything of the creation sought for its own sake will evade you.

And will never fill you.

Even happiness itself: The more you run after it, the more it evades you. But if you run to God instead, happiness will run after you. If you run to God instead, the love of people will run after you. If you run to God instead, success will run after you. True success in this life, and the next. If you run to God instead, provision will run after you. This, brothers and sisters, is the secret formula for which tyrants have burned down cities, and kings have searched the world—but never found.

This is the secret. The only formula you need to know.

In a profound hadith (Prophetic teaching), a man came to the Prophet (pbuh) and said: “O Messenger of God, direct me to an act, which if I do, God will love me and people will love me.” He said: “Detach yourself from the world, and God will love you. Detach yourself from what is with the people, and the people will love you.” [Ibn Majah]

Ironically, the less we chase after the approval and love of the people, the more we gain it. The less needy we are of others, the more people are drawn to us and seek our company. This hadith teaches us a profound Truth. Only by breaking out of the orbit of the creation, can we succeed with both God—and people.

To run to God is a movement of the heart. To run to God is to strive with everything He has given you. Running to God is movement. If you are passive, you are not moving. You are falling. Movement to God, running to God, is to face your heart towards Him in every motion of life. It is to face every goal, every intention, every End towards Him. He becomes the object of your striving. The means of your striving. The ultimate End of your striving. But you keep striving. You keep working to be the best mother you can. The best father. The best neighbor, the best student, daughter, son, employee.

This is the legacy of all our Prophets, peace be upon them all. Their bodies were in dunya. Striving. The Prophet (pbuh) was the best leader, the best father, the best husband, the best friend. His body was working hard in dunya. For a while. But his heart was always with Allah. His heart was already in Akhira (Hereafter), even while his body was still here—for a time. His heart was already Home. His heart saw through the illusions of this life. His limbs worked hard. So hard. He bled, and cried, and strived. His body stood until his feet cracked. His body was abused in Ta’if. His body lost sleep, and felt hunger, and thirst, and fever, and pain. And loss.

But his heart faced only Allah.

And with Allah there is no hunger, thirst, pain, or loss. His body had to strive in different directions; he was a father, a leader, a friend, a husband. But while his body had to strive in all those places, his heart faced only One. Only one direction.

His heart faced only God.

As Ibrahim (AS) said so beautifully: 

“Indeed, I have turned my face toward He who created the heavens and the earth, inclining toward truth, and I am not of those who associate others with Allah.” (6:79)

Ibrahim (AS) focused the face of his heart only on Allah. Completely. Haneefan. Completely. You will find that to only partially face your heart to God is to suffer. And that suffering is in proportion to the degree of partial submission.

Allah tells us in the Quran: 

“O you who have believed, enter into submission completely [whole-heartedly] and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy.” (2:208)

There is pain in just partial submission. There is a pain in not entering into peace and security—the *only* peace and security—completely. With one’s *whole* heart. There is pain in half a sajdah (prostration). There is a pain in putting your heart (even partially) in anyone else’s hands. And that pain continues until you turn your entire heart *only* in one direction. Until you turn your entire heart *only* towards Him. He becomes the only true aim of your striving.

As we say at least 17 times every single day: “You alone do we worship and You alone do we seek for help.” (1:5). Allah is the only true End, and the only true means to that End. No one gets to Allah without Allah. La hawla wa la quwat illa billah: “There is no change and no strength, except by God.”

The one who turns his heart completely to God in this way, reaches true freedom. And that person can no longer be harmed by the creation. The fire couldn’t burn Prophet Ibrahim (AS). The ‘fires’ of the creation cannot harm the one who’s heart faces only God. The financial, physical, emotional, social, and psychological fires cannot harm the one who’s heart is *only* with God. Externally, the person might look harmed, but in Reality, such a person is never harmed. The haqiqah of the situation is not harm, but good, as we know from the words of our beloved Prophet (pbuh):

“Strange is the case of a believer, there is good for him in everything—and this is only for the believer. If a blessing reaches him, he is grateful to God, which is good for him, and if an adversity reaches him, he is patient which is good for him.” [Muslim]

And this is *only* for the believer. This is only for the one who’s heart is turned completely and *only* in one direction. Remember, Allah says:

“O you who have believed, enter into Islam [submission and peacefulness] completely [whole-heartedly] and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy.” (2:208)

Enter into peace and security completely. Complete security is only for those who enter *completely*. But remember the heart is not a still entity. The heart is by definition that which turns (hence the Arabic word for heart ‘qalb’ comes from the root which means ‘to turn’). The heart by definition is that which turns. So our object in life is to keep bringing the heart back to focus, back to center, back to God. And we consistently seek God’s help, as the Prophet (pbuh) used to supplicate most of all: “Oh turner of hearts, set our hearts firm on Your deen (way).”

This constant reorientation is tawbah. Return. Again and again and again. Until we meet Him. Only the one who gives up this fight, fails. Only the one who—due to complacency or despair—gives up the fight of constantly bringing the heart back to focus, fails in this life and the next.

We all want love. From God, and from the creation. We are all running towards something. Ironically, the more we run after the creation, the more the creation runs away from us! As soon as we stop running after the creation, and reorient, as soon as we start running towards God, the creation runs after us. It’s a simple, simple formula:

Run towards the creation, you lose God and the creation. Run towards God, you gain God *and* the creation.

Allah is Al Wadud (The Source of Love). Therefore, love comes from God—not people. As one author, Charles F. Haanel, put it: “To acquire love… fill yourself up with it until you become a magnet.”

When you fill yourself with the Source of love (Al Wadud), you become a magnet for love. Allah teaches us this in the beautiful hadith Qudsi:

“If Allah has loved a servant [of His], He calls Gabriel (on whom be peace) and says: ‘I love So-and-so, therefore love him.’” He (the Prophet pbuh) said: “So Gabriel loves him. Then he (Gabriel) calls out in heaven, saying: ‘Allah loves So-and-so, therefore love him.’ And the inhabitants of heaven love him.” He (the Prophet pbuh) said: “Then acceptance is established for him on earth. (Muslim Bukhari, Malik, & Tirmidhi)

We’re all running. But so few of us are running in the right direction. We have the same goal. But to get there, we need to stop. And examine if we are running towards the Source–or just a reflection.


6 Steps to Get Back on Track With Your Goals


Life is forever changing, and with change comes anxiety, stress, and the necessity to prioritize our lives. It is in these difficult moments that we sometimes find ourselves “falling off track” in some important part of our life. For some, it may mean not spending enough time with family, increasing your faith, taking care of your health, or perhaps it is about losing weight, or even saving for that home or car you want to purchase one day.
The reality is that setting a goal for yourself is easy. What is challenging is keeping yourself motivated and renewing that motivation to keep you focused and invested in that particular goal. It is not always easy to stay motivated, but with the proper tools and support in place, you can do anything you put your mind to, In sha Allah.

Here are 6 ways you can get yourself back on track with your goals:

1. Make a commitment to Allah sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He) and to yourself

In anything we do, it is important to make a pure intention and a commitment to Allah sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He) in whatever you are setting out to achieve. Make the intention with a pure heart and ask Allah sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He) for sincere support and guidance.
Narrated by ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab ra?yAllahu 'anhu (may Allah be pleased with him): I heard Allah’s Messenger ?allallahu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) saying, “The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended.” [Bukhari]
While the remaining tips have very specific steps that I recommend that you take, it is important to mention that everything happens the way in which Allah sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He) intends it to. So if you do not achieve your goal the first time, keep trying and In sha Allah if it is meant to be in your life, then surely it will happen. If not, then there is something better on its way, In sha Allah.
Abu Hurairah ra?yAllahu 'anhu (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah ?allallahu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “The supplication of every one of you will be granted, [provided] he does not get impatient.” [Bukhari]

2. Revisit, revive and acknowledge your goal

The next thing to do when you get off track from a goal is to revisit the goal you had.
Was it written down? Did others know that you were trying to achieve that goal? How were you tracking your progress?
People often end up getting off track when a goal is set, but there is no real tangible plan of action set to achieve that goal in the first place. Other times it is because you may be feeling isolated because others cannot relate to the goal, and so you let yourself get distracted thinking that one day or two days away from the goal would not make a difference. The trouble is, that one day turns to one week, and one week to one month, and next thing you know, you feel disappointed that you failed.
Make achievable goals:
  • Set a goal with the end results in mind.
  • Once you know what your goal is, you need to write it down.
  • Make a pure intention to achieve it.
  • Break that goal down into manageable and less daunting tasks by setting smaller goals as milestones.

3. Create a tracking tool to measure your progress

You may make your tracking tool as fancy or as simple as you want it to be. Ultimately, it is so that you can record your investment of time and effort towards your goal each day.
For some it is as easy as buying a calendar, sticking it up on a wall and then marking off each day that you accomplish your goals. For others it may be a calendar and an excel spreadsheet to keep track of daily, weekly and/or monthly milestones. Not to mention, the dozens of goal tracking apps now available.
Whichever method you prefer, make it a habit and incorporate it into your daily routine. Decide when you want to check in with your calendar or spreadsheet. Is it first thing in the morning or the last thing you do before you go to bed? Creating a routine for yourself helps ensure that the tasks get done consistently. Make your tracking tool as continuously visible as possible, so every time you look at it, you know you’re in the process of making a great achievement and that you’re getting there.

4. Announce your goal and create a group of “cheerleaders”

Once you are confident about what your goal is and how you are going to achieve it, then the next thing you need is accountability.
In other words, a person or people that will continue to hold you accountable and encourage you along the way. They should be your cheerleaders, your pep talk people who give you that added boost when you are feeling down or demotivated. They are the friends who remind you to order a hearty salad instead of junk food for instance. They look out for you and support you no matter what!
They can be physical friends or even virtual friends on Facebook or through other social media tools. It would be an added bonus if they are sharing the experience. The point is that you know when and how you can get in touch with them when you need it.

5. Celebrate your milestones, no matter how big or small

No matter how big or small, you should find a way to celebrate your milestones. Treat yourself and take a moment to be truly grateful for what you have achieved, and look back for a quick moment to see how far you have come.
In Islam we talk about barakah, and in other places we are taught about the law of attraction and abundance.
Narrated by Abu Hurairah ra?yAllahu 'anhu (may Allah be pleased with him), Allah’s Messenger ?allallahu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:
“If any one of you improve (follows strictly) his Islamic religion then his good deeds will be rewarded ten times to seven hundred times for each good deed and a bad deed will be recorded as it is.” [Bukhari]
Sincerity and gratitude is what is behind barakah or abundance. The more grateful you are for where you have reached, the more your life will get better, In Sha Allah, and the more motivated you will be to continue to achieve your goals.

6. If you stumble or fall, just get up and keep moving forward!

Last but not least, if you do find yourself stumbling, then take a moment, ground yourself, and pray for guidance and repeat steps 1 – 5, In Sha Allah. There is no harm in starting over.
It is never too late to start again. It is really not about how many times your start over, or how many times you fail. What is important is that you keep trying, and that you continue to work towards that goal.
With hard work, come results. You can do it! I know you can.
Please share your tips on how to get back on track with your goals – leave a comment below!

About Farheen Khan

Farheen Khan has a long history of advocating for her community, particularly related to women’s issues, health and fitness, poverty, homelessness, youth leadership, international development and relief aid. She is a published author of two books and is currently running for election for her local district in Canada.

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7 Great Life Lessons that Honeybees Teach Us


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Honeybees are fascinating and it’s amazing how much we can learn from a tiny insect! In fact, there is a whole surah in the Qur’an called An-Nahl (The Bee), where Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says:1

“And your Lord inspired to the bee, “Take for yourself among the mountains, houses, and among the trees and [in] that which they construct. Then eat from all the fruits and follow the ways of your Lord laid down [for you].” There emerges from their bellies a drink, varying in colors, in which there is healing for people. Indeed in that is a sign for a people who give thought.” [Qur’an: Chapter 16, Verses 68-69].


In an effort to be among those who ‘give thought’, we will discuss together in this article some lessons that we can learn, ponder upon and implement in our lives, In sha Allah, all inspired by honeybees.




Lesson 1: Honeybees inspire us to reflect and gain knowledge


I’ve always wondered how bees make honey. After doing some research, I found out that bees start making honey, their food, by visiting flowers. They collect a sugary juice called nectar from the blossom by sucking it out with their tongues. They store it in what’s called their ‘honey stomach’, which is exactly what Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) mentions in the aforementioned surah. The color and flavor of honey they produce differs depending on the nectar source.


Practical tip:


To really appreciate this surah, go online and watch a video about how bees make honey. It’s a real-life example you can share with others when explaining that the Qur’an could have only been revealed by Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). If you have kids in your family, watch it with them and help them understand the wisdom and lessons in the surah.




Lesson 2: Honeybees inspire us to work together


When they have a full load, the bees fly back to the hive. There, they pass the nectar on through their mouths to other worker bees who chew it. It’s passed from one bee to the other, until it gradually turns into honey. Then the bees store the honey in honeycomb cells, which are like tiny jars made of wax. The honey is still a bit wet, so they fan it with their wings to dry it out until it becomes stickier. When it’s ready, they seal the cell with a wax lid to keep it clean. Teamwork is the secret to their success.


Being part of a team makes us all feel special and our family is the first ‘team’ we join. Whether you’re a dad, mum or child, we can all contribute to the success of our family. This also teaches us humility. The goal of a humble honeybee is to play its part in producing honey, while the ultimate goal for a Muslim family is to achieve Allah’s subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) pleasure and attain jannah. Just like a tiny bee, our individual role is crucial in our family; if mum decides to let her kids play on the laptop for hours or dad chooses to spend more time at the gym than with his kids, then everyone in the family will suffer, because the main role is not being played or sought after.


Practical tip:


Think about your attitude towards your family. It’s a question only you can answer: how am I contributing to the success of my team?




Lesson 3: Honeybees teach us to thrive through obeying Allah


I was surprised by how much effort bees put into producing honey. However, what fascinated me more was that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) divinely inspires honeybees! Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) commands bees to make homes in mountains, trees and hives that people construct. As a direct result of that command, we are able to have bee farms and can harvest and enjoy honey. In effect, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has placed bees at our service! Subhan Allah!


I envy honeybees for the simple yet extremely productive life they lead: they are highly organized, focused and produce amazing results as a team, all through obeying Allah’s command!1


Practical tip:


Let’s aim to live productive and meaningful lives through obeying Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He): by decreasing the bad habits in our lives like listening to lewd music, watching vulgar TV shows and un-Islamic socializing. Let us also replace those with better habits like reading Qur’an, watching beneficial videos, surrounding ourselves with good people, or simply going to the park with our family and appreciating Allah’s subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) magnificent creation!




Lesson 4: Honeybees teach us to seek pure ‘rizq’


Bees only eat nectar from fresh and clean flowers that no other bee has eaten from. So, their sustenance (rizq) is from a pure source.


On the subject of rizq, Imam Malik was reported to have said:


“No one will die until his provision is completed for him, so behave correctly in your seeking it.” [Muwatta’ Malik – The Decree]


Our rizq is guaranteed by Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). It’s up to us to decide how to attain it.


Nowadays, obtaining our rizq in a haram way is sometimes easier than the halal option. Serving alcohol in your ‘halal’ restaurant will make you more money. Buying properties with an interest-based mortgage and renting them out is very lucrative. Selling small quantities of marijuana to your friends is a quicker way to earn money than stacking shelves.


We can all make excuses to make ourselves feel better, such as: “I’m doing it out of necessity” or “I’m doing it for my kids’ future”, but the bottom line is you will receive no blessings from your haram earnings and your dua will not be accepted.


The Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:


“Allah the Almighty is Good and accepts only that which is good. And verily Allah has commanded the believers to do that which He has commanded the Messengers. So the Almighty has said: “O (you) Messengers! Eat of the tayyibat [all kinds of halal (legal) foods], and perform righteous deeds.” [23:51] and the Almighty has said: “O you who believe! Eat of the lawful things that We have provided you.” [2:172]” Then he ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) mentioned [the case] of a man who, having journeyed far, is disheveled and dusty, and who spreads out his hands to the sky saying “O Lord! O Lord!,” while his food is haram (unlawful), his drink is haram, his clothing is haram, and he has been nourished with haram, so how can [his supplication] be answered? [Muslim]


Practical tip:


Take the time out to review your finances and make sure the rizq you pursue, not just your food but also your job or business, is pure and clean.




Lesson 5: Honeybees teach us efficiency


We have all heard someone describing his/herself by saying they’re ‘busy as a bee’. This description sums up the life of honeybees: they’re extremely efficient. A large beehive can house up to 60,000 bees and they may collectively travel 55,000 miles and visit two million flowers to gather enough nectar to make just a pound of honey!


Let’s take inspiration from honeybees and work not just hard but efficiently to achieve the best results in whatever actions we do.


Practical tip:


A simple way to increase your efficiency is by changing your sleep pattern. Gradually begin to go to bed earlier and start waking up earlier just by 30 minutes. Late at night, we don’t really get much done, but in the morning, our body and mind are much more alert. In fact, the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) specifically prayed for barakah (blessings) in the morning hours:


“O Allah, bless my nation in their early mornings (i.e., what they do early in the morning).” [Ibn Majah]




Lesson 6: Honeybees provide key relationship advice


Did you ever think you could get a relationship tip from a bee? Well, think again! Bees have amazing symbiotic relationships with plants; they are neither greedy nor selfish. In the process of gathering nectar, a bee gives back more to the flower: it transfers pollen grains from one flower to another, hence pollinating the flower for essential fertilization and reproduction to take place.


In our relationships, we should try and give more, just like the honeybee does. It’s good to be generous with our love, attention and time. In addition, while the bee is drinking nectar, it doesn’t harm the delicate petals of the flower.


Practical tip:


Our parents, spouses and children also deserve to be treated with kindness and consideration. Once a week, choose someone you will do something extra special for, like making dinner for your mum, hiring a cleaner to give your wife a break from chores, or playing football with your son. The opportunities for being considerate and generous are endless!




Lesson 7: Honeybees teach us to care about our communities


Bees live together in well-organized hives where every bee has a role to play in its community. The queen bee lays the eggs while worker bees clean the hive and keep the hive’s temperature cool. Some bees protect the hive from intruders while others fly for miles to collect nectar. When a bee returns to its hive, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) taught it to do a little dance (it’s called the bee dance) to show the other bees the coordinates of the flowers so they can go and feed. A bee cannot survive or make honey on its own; it has to cooperate with its fellow bees.


People are exactly the same: we need to take care of our responsibilities and work with others to create harmonious and productive societies.


Unfortunately in this day and age, the pursuit of wealth and being individualistic and selfish is paramount. Many multinational companies exploit their workers and the environment and only care about profit. As Muslims, we must do our best to resist these harmful ideas and just like the honeybee, share our good fortune, be helpful and look after others.


When honeybees work together they produce more honey then they need, and people can benefit from its healing properties. When Muslims work together for the sake of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) we too can help humanity by engaging in da’wah, building masjids, setting up Islamic schools and doing charity work.


Practical tip:


Ask your local masjid if you can help out and contact weekend Islamic schools to see if you can volunteer there. If there are no Islamic circles in your area, then get together with like-minded people to see if you can start up a project from scratch. If your circumstances don’t allow you to leave home, look for online opportunities through which you can contribute to your community and the ummah.


What other amazing life lessons can you extract from the lives of honeybees? Share your thoughts in a comment below!


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Feature Article: 18 sources of Barakah!


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If we were to look for an Islamic definition of Productivity, it can probably be summarised in the word “barakah” or Blessing.
Being able to achieve more with few resources, doing much in little time, and generating a lot with little effort is surely a blessing from Allah (Subahanahu Wa Ta’ala).
Yet Barakah has somehow become a lost treasure these days; everyone’s looking for it, but no one seems to find it! You always
hear people complaining that there’s no barakah in their time, no barakah in their sleep, no barakah in their money and the rest of it.

In this article, we’ll solve this mystery inshaAllah: we’ll find out what Barakah is and where you can find it!
What is Barakah?

A Well-known daee explains it as follows:
والبركة: هي ثبوت الخير الإلهي في الشيء؛ فإنها إذا حلت في قليل كثرته، وإذا حلت في كثير نفع، ومن أعظم ثمار البركة في الأمور كلها إستعمالها في طاعة الله عز وجل.

“Barakah is the attachment of Divine goodness to a thing, so if it occurs in something little, it increases it.
And if it occurs in something much it benefits. And the greatest fruits of Barakah in all things is to use that barakah in the obedience of Allah (Subahanahu Wa Ta’ala)”

Sources of Barakah

I’m a firm believer that Barakah is not a lost treasure, rather, it’s right in front of our eyes! This treasure is only available and ready to be handed over to the one who works for it. Below, I list some of the sources of Barakah. It’s not an exhaustive list, therefore, I do hope you can contribute to it with your comments inshaAllah so we can all share and extend our understanding of this great treasure at!

1. Good Intentions

If you want something to have barakah attached to it, have good intentions for it. More specifically,
make sure that deed is intended for the sake of Allah (Subahanahu Wa Ta’ala). Looking again at the definition of Barakah,
you may guess that without us intending what we have or do for the Sake of Allah, the “Divine goodness” won’t be found in our deeds.

2. Piety and Belief in Allah

Allah says in the Quran: “If the people of the towns had but believed and feared Allah, We should indeed have opened out to them (All kinds of) blessings from heaven and earth…”(Surah Al-A’raf, Verse 96). And He says in the Quran: “And for those who fear Allah, He (ever) prepares a way out. And He provides for him from (sources) he never could imagine” (Surah Al-Talaq, Verses 2-3).

3. Putting your trust in Allah

Allah says in the Quran: “And if any one puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is (Allah) for him. For Allah will surely accomplish his purpose. Verily, for all things has Allah appointed a due proportion” (Surah Al-Talaq, verses 3)
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “If only you relied on Allah a true reliance, He would provide sustenance for you just as He does the birds: They fly out in the morning empty and return in the afternoon with full stomachs. (Ahmad, An-Nasa’I, Ibn Majah, Al-Hakim and At-Tirmidhi)

4. Reading Quran

This is the fountain of Barakah! But subhanaAllah, we rarely drink from it! Allah says in the
Quran: “And this is a Book which We have sent down, bringing blessings, and confirming (the revelations)
which came before it…” (Surah Al-An’am, Verse 92). So read the Quran, and observe the blessings and barakah of Allah enter your life.
The further we are from this Book of Guidance, the less barakah we will have in our lives.

5. Saying Bismillah

When you say “Bismillah” before anything you do, you’re invoking the Name of Allah on that activity; not only will that activity be blessed but shaytaan cannot take part in it! So always say “Bismillah” before anything you do! SubhanaAllah, it’s easy for us to forget to say “Bismillah”. Sometimes we’re so used to saying it that we cannot remember whether we said it or not! Try to be conscious of saying “Bismillah” and understand what you’re saying before your action is performed.

6. Eating with People

Anyone who has had the experience of inviting guests to his/her house will know this one. No matter how little you think the food you’re presenting to your guest is, it’s always more than enough! (Note: this is not an excuse to be miserly when you invite guests over; in fact we should follow the Sunnah of our Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) whom when visited by the angels prepared a large meal for them). What I’m referring to here is the blessing that occurs when eating together, confirmed in the hadeeth of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who said: “Eat together, for blessing is in Jamma’a (congregation or being together)…” and in another hadeeth: “Whoever has food enough for two persons, should take a third one, and whoever has food enough for four persons, should take a fifth or a sixth (or said something similar).” (Bukhari, Volume 4. Book 56. Number 781)

7. Honesty in Trade

This is for all of the business people out there (include ebayers!). We shouldn’t assume lying and deceiving people will make our trade profitable. On the contrary, it will remove the blessing from your trade. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “The buyer and the seller have the option of canceling or confirming the bargain unless they separate, and if they spoke the truth and made clear the defects of the goods, then they would be blessed in their bargain, and if they told lies and hid some facts, their bargain would be deprived of Allah’s blessings”.( Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 34, Number 293)

Yes, it’s difficult to be honest when you’re trying to sell something, but trust me it’s worth it.

8. Dua

Ask Allah for barakah! If you take note of some of the Duas of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) you’ll notice that the Prophet used to make dua for barakah. We always say: “May Allah bless you!” Well, guess what? That’s a source of barakah! Also, when you’re invited to someone’s house, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) advised us to make the following dua for the host: “O Allah, bless for them, that which You have provided them, forgive them and have mercy upon them.”

9. Halal Income/money

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “O people, Allah is good and He therefore, accepts only that which is good” (Scholars say this refers to Halal income and the importance of it).

A scholar also said of the one who eats Haram, that his limbs will disobey Allah whether he likes it or not, and that the one who eats Halal and seeks Halal income, his limbs will also do good and will be given the permission to seek goodness.

This concept of your limbs being ‘blessed’ and enabled to do good is truly a blessing and a barakah we should all seek. It reminds me of a story of an old man who jumped a large distance that the young men were unable to jump. When the young men asked the old man how he did it, he replied: “These are our limbs: we protected them from committing sins when we were young, so Allah preserved them for us when we got old”.

10. Following the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad in everything

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the most Productive Man in the history of humanity is our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Therefore, by simply following his lifestyle and the acts of Sunnah we so often hear about, we obtain a great source of Barakah!

Some of these Sunnahs include: eating Suhoor, eating with the right hand from the side of the plate, going out for Eid Salah, licking your fingers after finishing your meal, sleeping on your right hand side, using the siwaak, and many more. Look out for these Sunnahs and follow them, for imitating the life of the most blessed man on earth is surely a source of blessing!

11. Praying Istikhara

Praying istikhara in all matters and then leaving the outcome to Allah as well as accepting His Decree is a great source of barakah. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) taught us this beautiful dua which helps us make decisions and not regret the choices we make in the following hadeeth:
On the authority of Jaabir Ibn ‘Abdullah he said: “The Prophet (peace be upon him) would instruct us to pray for guidance in all of our concerns, just as he would teach us a chapter from the Qur’an. He (peace be upon him) would say: ‘If any of you intends to undertake a matter then let him pray two supererogatory units (two rak’ah optional nafil) of prayer and after which he should supplicate:
‘O Allah, I seek Your counsel by Your knowledge and by Your power I seek strength and I ask You from Your immense favour, for verily You are able while I am not and verily You know while I do not and You are the Knower of the unseen. O Allaah, if You know this affair -and here he mentions his need- to be good for me in relation to my religion, my life, and end, then decree and facilitate it for me, and bless me with it, and if You know this affair to be ill for me towards my religion, my life, and end, then remove it from me and remove me from it, and decree for me what is good wherever it be and make me satisfied with such.”

One who seeks guidance from his Creator and consults his fellow believers and then remains firm in his resolve does not regret for Allah has said:
‘…and consult them in the affair. Then when you have taken a decision, put your trust in Allah…” [Quran 3: 159]

12. Giving thanks to Allah in abundance

Allah says in the Quran: “If ye are grateful, I will add more (favours) unto you”. A scholar once told me that if one looks into this verse, the Arabic word that is used to confirm that Allah Wills favours unto the person who thanks Him is actually in the form of an Oath – “La azidannakum”. So Allah is promising the person who thanks Him an increase in goodness and blessings, and Allah never breaks His promises.

13. Charity

In a Hadeeth Qudsi, Allah says: “O son of Adam, spend (in charity), and I’ll spend on you!” Whenever you are broke, or you feel barakah is zapped out of your life and urgently need it to return, the quickest of way of gaining barakah in your life can be through giving charity. For example, let’s say barakah was removed from your life due to a sin you committed; charity cleanses your sins, adds good deeds and is a source of barakah.

I cannot describe the instantaneous gratification of giving charity and the barakah that follows it. Try it NOW!

14. Tying your ties of kinship

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “Allah created His creation, and when He had finished it, the womb, got up and caught hold of Allah whereupon Allah said, “What is the matter?’ On that, it said, “I seek refuge with you from those who sever the ties of Kith and kin.” On that Allah said, “Will you be satisfied if I bestow My favours on him who keeps your ties, and withhold My favours from him who severs your ties?” On that it said, “Yes, O my Lord!” Then Allah said, “That is for you.” Abu Huraira added: “If you wish, you can recite: ‘Would you then if you were given the authority do mischief in the land and sever your ties of kinship?” (Bukhari, Volume 6. Book 60. Number 354)

15. Waking up early

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Allah made the early hours blessed for my Ummah.”(Ahmed)

This hadeeth was what spurred me to create! Such gems of productivity are the sources of blessings which we should seek to make our life productive. Waking up early is such an important step to being blessed and feeling good throughout your day.
Try to wake up for Tahajjud, and then work during the hours before Fajr Salah. If you cannot, then at least wake up for Fajr and stay up till sunrise before you return to sleep. Those hours are filled with Barakah. If you’re able to go to work in those hours, do so, you’ll get much more work done than the whole day put together!

16. Marriage

Allah says in the Quran: “Marry those among you who are single, or the virtuous ones among yourselves, male or female: if they are in poverty, Allah will give them means out of His grace: for Allah encompasseth all, and He Knoweth all things.” (Quran 24:32)

Speaking of marriage, I highly recommend the following training course to anyone seriously thinking of getting married:

17. Salah

Allah says in the Quran: “Enjoin prayer on thy people, and be constant therein. We ask thee not to provide sustenance: We provide it for thee. But the (fruit of) the Hereafter is for righteousness”. To illustrate the point of Salah further, just imagine your life without this great act of ibadah. Where would Barakah come from? For those of you who are still wavering in your Salah, please get back on track; this is your lifeline for the final destination in the hereafter, and the daily food for your soul.

18. Asking Allah for forgiveness

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “If anyone continually asks forgiveness from Allah, Allah will appoint for him a way out of every distress, and a relief from every anxiety, and will provide for him from where he did not reckon.”

I hope this covers most of the sources of Barakah, but as I said before, this is not an exhaustive list. Please add your sources and recommend more tips for us to share!

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