When comes our “Iron Saladin”?

Iron Man - Flying Gameplay Video screenshot 2

I had lots of different thoughts after watching “Iron Man” yesterday. I know I am two years late in doing so but actually I have never been very up-to-date in this area…Anyway, it was a great and special movie, although I usually don’t like super hero movies and I enjoyed watching it with my husband as he likes to end his long tiring work day relaxing in front of the TV (which I am not really fond of, but he needs it!).  Now let’s come to the point: why am I writing a post on this.

Well, usually when I watch a good movie I spend a long time afterwards reflecting on it and this was one such movie. Some scenes were really touching for me because they relate to the real world. The idea itsself is amazing. At some instants I wished I was the Iron Woman saving the world from evil. I would fly to Palestine and …. ahhh, this would be the most wonderful day of my life. Other people are on my mind, too, but let’s say I’ll stick to the basics right now 😀 so that you don’t think I am a violent person or something. lol

It sounds so childish but we always dream that one day Saladin will come and free Palestine! Well, yesterday I realized that the old image of Saladin doesn’t suit our world any more. We need an Iron Saladin. To defeat Israel and free palestine we need technology and we will never be able to compete with our enemy if we still think we need our old Saladin. Nowadays power=technology. Maybe if Japan and China and India and Malaysia and Iran and …….. ally together we can create something useful?? It’s sad to say I am very pessimistic in this regard. Not before 100 years, if ever, can we reach one tenth of our enemy’s strength. We don’t even have the strength of belief that Saladin once had anymore. We need both to succeed, so we need an Iron Saladin.

Do you think this day will ever come?


Choosing to wear the Muslim headscarf


Krista Bremer and her daughter

Photo: Courtesy of Ismail Suayah

This is a great article on Oprah.com which was linked to on Humble Muslimah’s blog.

Read it, it’s really impressing..

Praying in Germany

Praying in Germany!
Before I came here, I thought it would be a big issue, and that I would have to hide every now and then to make my prayer. I even thought I would have to go back to my dorm every time I had to pray.

Fortunately, I was wrong.
I had forgotten that God who has created this earth has made every spot of it suitable for prayer. You know what, sometimes when I go to a new place, I think: “How many people have stood here in the same spot where I am standing praying to God throughout history?”. Prophet Muhammad, Peace Be Upon Him, said: “The earth has been created for me as a mosque and as a means of purification.”

For those who don’t know: We Muslims can pray anywhere and everywhere (as long as it is clean of physical impurities, of course). And although it is better to pray in groups, you can also stand up alone wherever you are and make your prayer, provided that you are clean, meaning you made ablution. Each of the five daily prayers can take no more than five minutes to perform and their due time is extended between 2 and 8 hours according to the prayer.
So there is no excuse to miss one prayer, other than if you were sleeping or you forgot, or there is really something very serious keeping you from your prayer. In those cases you can pray what you missed with the next prayer.

Now back to the point of this post, as I said I was wrong in my assumptions about praying in Germany. From the very first moment I arrived in Germany, God has made it so easy for me to pray.

We arrived in Munich airport and we had to pray “Fajr” (dawn). I asked my colleagues how we will pray and one of them told us he was here before and that he knows a place to pray.Of course I could have prayed anywhere in the airport but first, I didn’t want to frighten anybody :), second, I didn’t want to end up in prison being associated with Bin Laden or something, especially in the airport, you know. So we followed him, and in the elevator, to my surprise, I found this:

There is actually an official place for praying!

And there are signs everywhere telling you where to go, even written in Arabic!

And even one for men and one for ladies!

We were so happy and we even prayed as a group together.

This was a wonderful start!

I wonder how many people just arriving at the airport or short before flying used to pray at the airport until the people responsible found themselves obliged to offer them a place to pray.

Then, the university in Stuttgart! We don’t go to the main university campus inStuttgart center but to a campus in the east where mainly fields related to Engineering and Computer Science are taught. But still, there are a lot of Muslims there. On my first day at the university, I didn’t know where to pray. I looked around for some Muslim to ask where they usually pray. I saw a veiled girl in the library so I went to her and asked her where she prayed. She told me about a room called “meditation room” and told me that Muslims go and pray there.

So I went there.It was a wonderful quiet room. I think it was originally made for Christians to pray, because of the cross there, but I think I only saw Muslims of different nationalities going there to pray.

So we prayed there the first few weeks.

Then, I started to realize that I can simply pray in my lab. I am most of the time alone in my small computer lab, and there is a partition where I can pray without disturbing anybody, even if there is someone in the lab. Also, there is a toilet next to the lab whenever I want to make ablution. It’s that simple. So since then, I pray in the lab. I don’t care even if somebody sees me.

There are lots of things which people here don’t get embarrassed to do inpublic, so why should I be embarrassed to pray in the presence of someone else?

During my husband’s visit, we also used to pray together in the lab.

Now, the Friday Prayer!

I hadn’t seen the “mosques” in Stuttgart before Muhammad came. As it is an obligation for men to pray the Friday Prayer in the Mosque and listen to the sermon. So the first Friday he was here, we went together searching for a mosque to pray. Some of my friends had told me that there is a mosque in a district called Bad Canstatt which also has an Islamic Center. So we took the “S-Bahn” and went there.

When we arrived, we found lots of Turkish shops, and we asked some Turkish women about the mosque. But as they pray in a Turkish mosque (to understand the sermon), they didn’t know that there was an Arabic Mosque inthis area and they described to us the mosque where they pray. We were already late, as we thought it will be inthe time of the “Duhr” (midday) prayer as usual.

So we decided to go there. We had to take two “U-Bahns” again to arrive there. I was very sad that we arrived after the sermon (I didn’t notice that anyway I wouldn’t understand it as it was in Turkish 🙂 ). So we just prayed with them.Then, on our way back, we wanted to find the shops with the “Halal” meat which people told us were always close to the mosques.

So Muhammad called an Egyptian (married to a Muslim German woman) who he had metin the train on his way to Stuttgart to ask him about the shop. He told us that he is on his way to the mosque to pray the Friday prayer. That late?! The prayer is already over!, we wondered. He told us that in one of the two “Arabic” mosques, they make the prayer a little later, at 3 p.m. , to allow people to come after work, as Friday they come back early from work. We were very happy that we will listen to the sermon in Arabic and pray again so we told him that we will accompany him there.

They are actually not “real mosques” but just flats where they established mosques. After the sermon in Arabic finishes, a German guy summarizes the whole sermon again inGerman for those who don’t understand Arabic. It’s really amazing!

After prayer we had some nice time together in a cafe and then he showed us the “Halal” shops. The next Friaday, we prayed inthe second “Arabic Mosque” which prays early.

These are some photos we took there:

So, by now, I have already prayed in three different mosques in Stuttgart!

Originally Posted By Laila Hussein to Thoughts & Tips at 9/23/2008

To Mr.Self-Sufficient

I hear them say: “We’re done!
We believe in God, for sure,
we believe that God is one.
But why not wait and see
what after death will be ?
Why should we even bother
if we would live forever
in heaven or in hell?
Everything will go just well.
Let us in the meanwhile
enjoy our own lifestyle
as God gave us free will.
Of course, we would not kill
or even use a gun.
But why not have some fun?”

I wish to tell them: “Come,
and listen to someone
who you may think is mad
but may not be that bad..
I know you’re super smart
just like Rene’ Descartes.
But you know that you don’t
believe in God nor want
to know ’bout who He is.
So let me tell you this:
You just believe in you
and what you want to do
and not in anyone.

God who is all-above
and who you claim to love
has given you a lot.
Just look at what you’ve got.
And no, they’re not for free.
He gave you eyes to see
and not just watch TV
and gave you an ear that hears
not only Britney Spears.
Your tongue, so it appears,
is not just to drink tea
and run to make pee pee
and then just wait and see
what after death will be!!!”

Originally Posted By Laila Hussein to Thoughts & Tips at 10/04/2008 05:06:00 AM

The Wonderful Friday

Friday! My favorite day!

Not because in Egypt it is the official day-off
and not because here in Germany, it is a Short Day.

Friday is a special day.

Did you know that Friday was the day that Adam (peace be upon him) was created?
And the day he was placed into Paradise, the day he was sent down to the earth and the day that he died?

Did you know that after death we will all be resurrected on a Friday?

Did you know that on Friday the doors of Heaven are open whereas the doors of Hell are closed?

Did you know that there is an hour on Friday on which you can ask God for anything and He will make it true?

Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
“Friday is the master of days, and the greatest of them before Allaah. It is greater before Allaah than the day of al-Adha and the day of al-Fitr. It has five characteristics: on this day Allaah created Adam, on it He sent Adam down to the earth, on it Allaah caused Adam to die, on it there is a time when a person does not ask Allaah for anything but He gives it to him, so long as he does not ask for anything haraam, and on it the Hour will begin. There is no angel who is close to Allaah, no heaven, no earth, no wind, no mountain and no sea that does not fear Friday.”

Some people say it’s the last hour before sunset, but actually God didn’t let us know when this hour this so that we keep supplicating to him as much as we can throughout the day so that no hour passes without remembering God. The day of Friday (and every day in Islam) begins at the sunset of the previous day and ends at the sunset of Friday.

This day is so important that there is a whole chapter in the Qur’an named “Friday” (“Al-Jummuah”) .

This is why Friday is supposed to be like a little feast for Muslims every week.
We are recommended to start the day by waking up early, taking a shower, cutting our nails and trying to be as clean as possible, wear nice clothes and make sure we smell nice.

Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
“Take a bath on Friday and wash your heads .. and use perfume.”
He also said:
“If one has the means, he should buy two pieces of clothing, other than his work clothes to wear on Friday.”

In the early morning, we should pray the Fajr prayer as usual, but on Friday it is recommended to pray Fajr in congregation (in a group):
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
“The best prayer before Allaah is Fajr prayer on Friday in congregation.”

At midday comes the Friday prayer. Men are obliged to attend it and listen to the sermon whereas women my choose not to go.

God The Almighty says in the Holy Qur’an Chapter “Friday”:
“O you who believe! When the call is proclaimed for the prayer on Friday come to the remembrance of Allaah and leave off business . That is better for you if you did but know!” (Al-Jumu’ah 62:9)

The silent attendance of the Friday Prayer has as a reward that all your sins between the two Fridays are forgiven:
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
“If anyone performs Wudu’ properly, then comes to the Friday prayer, listens to the sermon attentively and keeps silent, his (minor) sins between that Friday and the following Friday will be forgiven, with the addition of three more days; but he who touches pebbles has caused an interruption. ”
Unfortunately, lots of Muslims, especially women keep talking throughout the sermon. By doing this, they don’t just loose the reward, but disturb others. For me, it would be better if they stayed at home and let other people benefit from the sermon.

Also, it is recommended to go as early as possible to prayer.
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
“The angels sit at the doors to the Masjids and with them are scrolls in which they record the people [who come]. When the Imam appears, the scrolls are rolled up.” Abu Umamah was asked, “Does the one who comes after the Imam still have a Friday Prayer?” he said, “Certainly, but he is not one of those who is recorded [as coming early].”

He also said:
“He who takes a bath on Friday, like the bath for ceremonial purity, and then goes (to the mosque), he is like one who offers a camel as a sacrifice to seek the Pleasure of Allah; and he who comes at the second hour is like one who offers a cow to win the Pleasure of Allah; and he who comes at the third hour is like one who offers a ram with horns (in sacrifice); and he who comes at the fourth hour is like one who offers a hen; and he who comes at the fifth hour is like one who offers an egg. And when the Imam ascends the pulpit, the angels close (their record) in order to listen to the Khutbah.”

If you come in late, you shouldn’t walk between sitting people during Friday gathering unless there is an empty spot to fill. A man came and started walking between people during a Friday gathering while Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) was delivering his speech, so the Prophet told him, “Sit because you caused harm to other people and came in late.”

After the prayer, Muslims can return to their everyday duties. God said in the Qur’an:
“Then when the prayer is ended, you may disperse through the land, and seek the Bounty of Allah (by working), and remember Allah much: that you may be successful.” (Al-Jumuah 62:10)

And I am telling you something, if you are a Muslim man, wherever you are and whatever your reasons are (if nothing serious, of course), don’t you ever neglect a Friday Prayer!
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
“Either some peoplestop neglecting the Friday prayers, or Allah will seal their hearts and they will be among the heedless.”

Another virtue of Friday in Islam is that there is no day in the week associated with reading a certain chapter in the Qur’an but Friday.
On Friday, we are supposed to read the Chapter 18 of the Holy Qur’an entitled “The Cave” (“Al-Kahf”).

You can read it from the sunset of Thursday till the sunset of Friday.

Do you know what happens when you read it on Friday?

Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
“Whoever reads Chapter “The Cave” on the day of Friday, a light will shine for him from beneath his feet to the clouds of the sky, which will shine for him on the Day of Resurrection, and he will be forgiven (his sins) between the two Fridays.”

In Egypt, I used to listen to the recitation of this chapter every Friday by children with really lovely and mature voices on Al-Fajr channel. Here in Germany I felt I missed this, so I searched for this recitation online.
I was very happy when I found the mp3, you can download it here with high, medium or low quality.

And in the following three videos, you can listen to the Chapter Al-Kahf while reading the English Translation:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

And in the following video, Amr Khaled is summarizing the main important stories and lessons of Chapter Al-Kahf (in Arabic):


Original Posted By Laila Hussein to Thoughts & Tips at 7/13/2008 06:18:00 PM

Salahuddin (‘Saladin’), the Hero

صلاح الدين يوسف ابن أيوب
Great Muslims (Part 1)

I have chosen this hero for the first of my blog’s new series “Great Muslims” not because he was a warrior – because as you will notice in the next posts that most Great Muslims were actually not warriors but scholars in the different fields of science – but because he had liberated Jerusalem from the Crusaders. And today, as 60 years have passed since the Israelis occupied Palestine, I think of him a lot. I ask myself if there will come a day when a great hero like Saladin will rise in the horizon and return Palestine back to its people? Or will we just wait and wait, hoping for the new hero to come, watching thousands of families losing their homes and lands and thousands of children who lost their past and their future because some other people claim that they never existed and work hard to remove even the signs of their existence?
I have chosen Salahuddin Al-Ayyubi because he was a compassionate, gentle-hearted, but strong man, respected but feared by his enemies. I have also chosen him, because he once ruled Egypt, my home country, and built the great citadel in Cairo to protect it from the Crusaders.
But what do we actually know about this great man other than what we see in the movies and cartoons ?

Salahuddin as a child
He loved peace and never enjoyed fighting battles but he and his uncle were ordered to travel and fight in three expeditions. And when the young boy who didn’t like fighting in battles fought, he fought with great bravery and strength.

Salahuddin: a good Muslim
He was a devout Muslim to whom Islam meant everything, he would never miss his daily five times prayers even when he was ill, and had a dislike for people who tried to instill free-thinking, unnecessary debate and controversy into the doctrines of Islam. He truly loved the Quran and wept upon hearing it read. In spite of being a king, he journeyed in search of knowledge, travelling to a scholar to learn the Muwatta of Imam Malik (rahmatullahi alaihi).

This had its later influence on his behaviour as a leader and warrior:
He treated all of his Prisoners with Respect and dignity, no torture, massacre, mass killing, took place during his time. And unlike all other Sultan’s he did not build a single Palace or any building for himself yet he erected mosques, palaces, hospitals, and universities in for his Muslim brothers in Cairo.

Salahuddin’s aim as a leader
” If God blesses us by enabling us to drive His enemies out of Jerusalem, how fortunate and happy we would be! For Jerusalem has been controlled by the enemy for ninety-one years, during which time God has received nothing from us here in the way of adoration. At the same time, the zeal of the Muslim rulers to deliver it languished. Time passed, and so did many [in different] generations, while the Franks succeeded in rooting themselves strongly there. Now God has reserved the merit of its recovery for one house, the house of the sons of Ayyub, in order to unite all hearts in appreciation of its members.” Salah al-Din

This was Salahuddin’s aim, simply to liberate Jerusalem and return back the mosque of Al-Aqsa to the Muslims.

Liberation of Jerusalem

On July 4, 1187, aided by his own military good sense and by a phenomenal lack of it on the part of his enemy, Saladin trapped and destroyed in one blow an exhausted and thirst-crazed army of crusaders at Hattin, near Tiberias in northern Palestine.

In 1187, when Jerusalem, the Holy Land, surrendered to his army after 88 years in the hands of the Franks.
Whereas the Christian conquest had been marked by slaughter, Saladin’s troops demonstrated courteous and civilized behaviour.

Thousands of Crusaders were arrested. However, when their mothers, sisters, and wives appealed to Saladin, he released them. Many crusaders were ransomed. However, he paid for many of them. In addition, he provided them transport, etc. He allowed neither massacre nor looting. He gave free pardon to all citizens. He even arranged for their traveling. He granted freedom to Christians to leave the city if they paid a small tribute. Saladin paid it, himself, for about ten thousand poor people. His brother paid it for seven thousand people. Saladin also allocated one of the gates of the city for people who were too poor to pay anything that they leave from there.

On Friday 27th Rajab 583 AH, Saladin entered Jerusalem. After entering the city they went straight to the Mosque and cleaned it. Then for the first time in more then 80 years, the people of Jerusalem heard the Azan (call of prayer) from Al Aqsa MosqueIn 1189 the nations of western Europe launched the Third Crusade to win back the holy city. But they failed. On March 4, 1193, Saladin died in Damascus. He died with no possession of Gold coins, Palaces, Slaves, but The Holy Land Of Jerusalem.

What people said about Saladin:

According to the French writer René Grousset,

“It is equally true that his generosity, his piety, devoid of fanaticism, that flower of liberality and courtesy which had been the model of our old chroniclers, won him no less popularity in Frankish Syria than in the lands of Islam”

When German Kaiser Wilhelm the Second went to Syria he laid a wreath at the tomb of Saladin in Damascus with the inscription,

“A Knight without fear or blame who often had to teach his opponents the right way to practice chivalry”.

Baha-uddin, his faithful secretary stated:

“I never knew him to show any anxiety about the numbers and strength of the enemy. He would listen to plans of all kinds and discuss their consequences without any excitement or loss of composure.”

Saladin in Movies

And here is the trailer of a recent Malaysian Animation Series about Salahuddin:

Originally Posted By Laila Hussein to Thoughts & Tips at 6/13/2008 06:21:00 PM

I never noticed I was oppressed!

I am oppressed? Really? Oh, thanks for your care, I was so stupid not to notice that before!

Yes, I am a young Muslim Woman and yes, I am married. No, I was never beaten up… mm let me think, the last time I remember I was beaten was when… hmm…yes, I was once beaten up as a child when I destroyed the big car toy of my little brother, yes, yes, I remember. Yes! I think that was oppression maybe, … because he is a boy and I am a girl…Oh, I never noticed that before, thanks! But wait, he was beaten up twice as a child, I think, although he’s a boy. So that was not oppression. No.

Yes, my husband is a Muslim, too. He prays 5 times a day ( in the Masjid if he’s not at work or sleeping and prays with me at home if he’s tired or sick).. Yes, yes, we even pray together!
He pays the Zakah and fasts in Ramadan, so yes, a pious Muslim. But he has never beaten me up!
He’s even so kind he let me go live in another city during the winter to study in the university I like. And he has to come by train every weekend to visit me. Nevertheless, he has to pay everything for me, even my university tuition and transportation and books and everything, because he is a Muslim. Now this is what I call oppression :), lucky Me!

He will even let me go get my bachelor from Germany, leaving him alone for 4 months, but he’ll try to visit in between. Of course all travel expenses for him and me are covered by him!! This is too kind of him, I know, although he is a Muslim man. An exception?

Let me see,…but my father has never beaten up my mom either! And she’s currently the dean of a faculty after she got her PHD from London. My father was a good Muslim, too. He believed that God is one, believed in all God’s prophets, he prayed five times a day in the Masjid, fasted in Ramadan, gave charity to the poor and as a doctor he treated the poor patients for free. Everyone loved him. He also made his pilgramage.So Thank God he completed all the main five Islamic deeds during his life. And although he had a beard, I don’t think I ever heard him shout and never saw him angry. He was such a nice guy! He was a good Muslim. Nevertheless, he never oppressed me, but he loved me so much and we had lots of fun together. No, he never oppressed me, although he is a pious Muslim man.

My aunt is a Dentist. Her husband is also a pious Muslim. But he treats her very well, too….and……..

Wait a moment! I don’t remember I ever saw a Muslim woman in my family or neighborhood being treated badly by her husband or father or brother, although we are all Muslims!

Why I am dressing this way, then? Thanks for asking..

This is the greatest thing Islam ever gave me! I love to be modest, I love to see people treating me with respect and I am treated as a human being, not as a doll! I am in control! Not men! You know what, if this Islamic System was applied by all women in my country, this would be women’s heaven on earth!

Every woman dreams to be the most wonderful woman in the eyes of her beloved. Islam gives her this gift. Although there maybe other woman who are prettier than her, her husband will see her as the prettiest ever, because all the other women are covered in front of him, except for their faces and hands, except her! She can wear the most beautiful dresses for him and he can be faithful to her all his life long, like all my relatives are to their wives. Her husband is not even allowed to touch another woman but her! This is what I call oppression :), lucky Me!

When I’ll be a mother (if God wills), I will be given more credit by Islam than my husband, the father! Hehe, my children will have to respect me, treat me well, and listen to what I say! Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, told the children that the most important person they have to treat well is their mother. And if they make me angry, they will be punished by God for me…Lucky Me!

So, thank you for your care, but I figured out I am not oppressed at all, on the contrary.

No, I do appreciate your concern but I don’t want to live in your world, let me stay here in my heaven and enjoy all those gifts Islam has surrounded me with. And if you can give me more Islam, please do!

Originally Posted By Laila Hussein to Thoughts & Tips at 3/17/2008 03:28:00 PM