Easy Fiqh (Fiqh of Salah): Arabic Book

Fiqh al-Salah

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Your Way To Islam

Your Way To Islam

Dr. Mohammed Suleiman Al-Ashqer

Translated into English by, Dr. ‘Abdul-Waris Saeed

Revised edition with additions 1415, J. D. C. Series on Islam No. 11

 

Note: Dear reader, this is a book which I found to be quite information, and believe that it can be very useful for the new Muslim, and the person interested in learning more about Islam.

Sheikh Mohammad Al-Ashqar is a well-known knowledgeable scholar in Islam. May Allah reward him, and the Dr. Abdul-Waris Sa’eed for their efforts in making this writing, and translating this valuable book.

There are many Arabic words in here. They have mostly been explained. Many of these words are common Muslim words that a Muslim will here frequently. For this reason I think it is good that they are also in Arabic so that you can begin to learn, and recognize these words.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful, [O you people, adore your Lord who created you and those who came before you, that you may have the chance to be righteous] [The Qur’an 2:21]

Your Way to Islam

An invitation to all to join the faithful in their progress to Allah’s blessing, [Those who obey Allah and His Messenger are in the Company of those who are blessed by Allah, The Prophets, The Sincere (faithful), the Witnesses (Martyrs) and the Righteous (who do good), and what a beautiful fellowship!] [The Qur’an 4:69].

 

CHAPTER 1: PREFACE

  1. Behold all that is around you on earth: things, plants, insects, animals, birds and fish.
  2. Don’t you see that they have accurate systems governing and guiding their life?
  3. Behold all that is above you in space: sun, moon, planets, stars, clouds, wind … etc.!

    Aren’t they all functioning properly and accurately and rendering valuable services to our life on earth?

  4. Think of yourself, of your organs, of your numerous and efficient body systems, how they are cooperatively functioning to secure healthful life for you!
  5. Who created all these fantastic things? Who established their accurate systems? Who is controlling this huge and complicated universe?
  6. No one dared so far to claim creating, or being able to create, any single thing, even a hair!!
  7. The Creator and The Sustainer of all these Creatures is One only; If there Were more than one there would have been confusion in the heavens and the earth! That One is Allah (the only true God).
  8. It is very logical, then, to acknowledge this fact, to know our Creator and Provider to be grateful to Him, and to submit ourselves and our life to His Wise and Merciful Guidance.
  9. Our Creator has endowed us with intellect to understand and with freedom to choose the right path.
  10. Allah has showed us the right path through his messengers sealed by Mohammad and His Books completed by The Qur’an.
  11. In front of us there are two ways:

    One is leading to bliss in this life and in the Hereafter that is Islam.

  12. The other is leading to misery and loss in this world, and to eternal punishment in the Hereafter. The choice is ours, what are we going to choose? May Allah guide us into the Right Path! Aameen!

CHAPTER 2

ISLAM: Why? For whom? When?

Islam…. Why?

  1. Because Islam is the religion chosen by Allah for all humanity.
  2. Because Islam is the religion of all prophets since Adam to Mohammad [Peace be upon them all].
  3. Because Islam is the religion delivered by all Messengers of Allah and Islam is the seal of all heavenly revelations, and
  4. Because Prophet Muhammad
    the Messenger of Islam is the last of God’s apostles, and;
  5. Because The Qur’an is the last of Allah’s scriptures.
  6. Allah Ta’ala (Glory be to Him) says: [Do they seek other than the Deen (Religion) of Allah? While all creatures in the heavens and on earth have, Willingly or unwillingly, bowed to His Will (accepted Islam), and to Him shall they All be brought back] [The Qur’an 3:83].

[If anyone desires a Deen (Religion) other than Islam (submission to Allah) it will never be accepted from him; and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (everything)] [The Qur’an 3:85].

Islam… For whom?

  1. For every person upon whom Allah has bestowed life and intellect.
  2. For those who can see the blessings of Allah.
  3. For those who can hear the Words of Allah.
  4. For those who can comprehend the signs of Allah.
  5. For those whose hearts are full of love and gratitude to Allah.
  6. For you, for me, and for those whose blessed hearts are open to faith.

Islam … When?

  1. Now and always.
  2. Obey your heart’s call to faith.
  3. It is your life chance.
  4. A golden chance that might not strike your heart again.
  5. Answer Allah’s call. He summons you.
  6. [But your God is one God, submit your wills to Him (in Islam), and give the good news to those who humble themselves] [The Qur’an 22:34].

CHAPTER 3: THE GREAT TRIP

  1. If you become convinced that Islam is the true religion,
  2. Seek a trustworthy Islamic authority such as an Islamic Center, a mosque, or an Islamic Organization.
  3. Contact the person in charge and tell him about your wish to embrace Islam.
  4. The person in charge will ask you some questions to know how far you are convinced with Islam.
  5. This pamphlet will provide you with answers for such questions.
  6. Before you reach that honorable occasion, i.e., declaring conversion to Islam, wash the whole of your body with the intention of converting to Islam. It is also recommended for this very special occasion, to shave under-arm and pubic hair, dress up, and apply a pleasant-smelling perfume to the body.

CHAPTER 4
WHAT DO YOU SAY TO DECLARE YOUR CONVERSION TO lSLAM?

  • To achieve this, it is sufficient to say (in Arabic, if possible):
    • ‘Ash-hadu ‘an la ilaha ‘illaal-lah!
    • Wa ‘ash-hadu ‘an-na Muhammadan rasulul-lah
    • Wa ‘ash-hadu ‘an-na ‘isa abdul-lahi wa rasuluhu
    • Bari’tu min kulli dinin yukhalifu dinal-Islam

The meaning of this is as follows:

  • I bear witness that there is no (true) god except Allah.
  • And I bear witness that Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger.
  • And I bear witness that Jesus is the slave and messenger of Allah.
  • Deny and refuse any religion except Islam.

Also you can say:

  1. I (firmly) believe in Allah, His Angels, His scriptures, His Messengers, the Last Day, and in the ability of Allah to will the existence of good or bad.
  2. I promise Allah not to associate with Him (in worship) anyone or anything (whatsoever), and,
  3. I will steadfastly perform Salat (the Five Prayers), and
  4. I will give out Zakat (special Islamic system of charity), and
  5. I will never steal, and
  6. Never commit adultery (or fornication), and
  7. Never illegally kill a person, and
  8. Never disobey Allah.
  9. Praise be to Allah Who has guided me to belief!

Note: The person in charge, in front of whom a new Muslim has announced his conversion to Islam, prays Allah for him with such prayers: Allah may forgive me and you! And Allah may accept (submission) from you and me! O Allah! Accept him with those on whom You did bestow your Grace, of Prophets, the Sincere (lovers of Truth), the Witnesses, and the righteous! What a beautiful Fellowship!

CHAPTER 5

What is Islam?

  1. Islam is composed of three main areas: Utterance, faith, and deeds.
  2. The utterance was explained in chapter 4.
  3. Faith is to believe in Allah, the Angels, the Heavenly Scriptures, Prophets, the last Day and in the ability of Allah to will the existence of good or bad.
  4. Deeds are: Salat (Prayers), Zakat (Alms-giving), Siyam (Fasting), and Hajj (Pilgrimage).

CHAPTER 6
FAITH IN ALLAH

  1. We believe that Allah is one God, our Lord and the Lord of everything,
  2. Allah is the Creator of everything,
  3. All other than Him are created, and are servants who share nothing with Allah.
  4. Even Angels and Prophets are merely created servants submitting to Allah.
  5. Among them are Jesus and Muhammad (Peace be upon them); both have no trace of deity (godhood).
  6. Allah is the Living Self-Subsisting, Eternal, the First without a beginning and the Last without an end.
  7. He hears everything and sees everything.
  8. He is Most Gracious, Most Merciful, All-Dominating,
  9. He has the Most beautiful Names and the Noblest Attributes.
  10. He has created us out of nothing,
  11. And made us in the best form.
  12. He has given us all graces and bounties.
  13. Hence we are not permitted to worship or submit to any other than Him, whether a favorite Angel or a chosen Prophet!
  14. Whoever directs his prayers, bows or prostrates (in worship), or offers sacrifice to any other than Allah, he is an infidel and not a Muslim even if he declares that he is a Muslim, Allah says: [Say: Truly my prayer and my service of sacrifice, my life and my death, are (all) for Allah, the Cherisher of the Worlds. No partner has He. This I am commanded and I am the first of those who submit to His Will] [The Qur’an 6:162 -163].
  15. Islam is the religion of Monotheism: it denies the Dualism of Magians and the Trinity of Christians. Islam teaches that Allah is One and only One. No one shares with Him, His Dominion or His Command. He has the Most beautiful Names and the Noblest Attributes, Allah says: [Say! He is Allah, the One. He is the Most Unique, the Eternal,the Absolute. He neither gives birth, nor is He born. And there is none like unto Him] [Al Qur’an 112].

CHAPTER 7

FAITH IN ANGELS

  1. Allah has created Angels to worship Him, to carry out His commands and to be His messengers to His Prophets.
  2. One of the angels is Gabriel who used to bring down Revelation to our Prophet Muhammad
    (peace be upon him).
  3. Another Angel is Michael who is in charge of rain falling.
  4. A third one is the “Angel of Death” who is in charge of taking the souls of people whose death is due.
  5. Angels are but servants honored by Allah.
  6. Hence we honor them and speak of them respectfully.
  7. But we worship none of them, nor do we take them as Allah’s sons or daughters (as infidels claim).
  8. We worship only Allah who created them in this wonderful kind of creation. Allah (Glory be to Him) says: “And they say: The Most Gracious has begotten a son, Glory be to Him! They are but servants raised to honor. They do not speak before He speaks, and they act (in all things) by His command. He knows what is before them and what is behind them, and they offer no intercession except for those whom He accepted, and they stand in awe and reverence of Him. If any of them should say, ‘I am a God besides Him’, such one We should reward with Hell. Thus do We reward those who do wrong”. [The Qur’an 21:26-29]

CHAPTER 8

FAITH IN HOLY SCRIPTURES

  1. Allah has sent down to a number of Messengers, Books in order to proclaim them to mankind.
  2. These Books contain the Words of Allah.
  3. Among them are the Sheets of Ibrahim (Abraham), Taurat revealed to Moosa (Moses), Az-Zabour (psalms) revealed to Dawood (David), The Injil (Gospel) revealed to Isa (Jesus), And The Qur’an sent down to Muhammad, (Peace be upon them all).
  4. Jews and Christians distorted some parts of their Books (Taurat and Injil).
  5. Being the last Book assuredly guarded from corruption, The Qur’an confirms the truth in the previous Books and guards it.
  6. Whatever, in those Books, differs from The Qur’an is corrupted or abrogated.
  7. Allah (Glory be to Him) says: “To you We sent the scripture in truth Confirming the scriptures that came before it, And guarding it…” [The Qur’an 5:48].
  8. Allah revealed The Qur’an in Arabic and has firmly promised to protect. His last Message from all corruption; He says about The Qur’an: “We have, without doubt, sent down the Message, and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption)” [The Qur’an 15:9]

 CHAPTER 9
FAITH IN PROPHETS

  1. We believe that: Allah chose from among mankind some Prophets to deliver His Guidance.
  2. From among those Prophets He selected Some Messengers.
  3. He sent to the Messengers Laws and commanded them to proclaim these laws and to clarify them to their people.
  4. Some of the great Messengers of Allah were Nooh (Noah), Ibrahim (Abraham), Moosa (Moses), Isa (Jesus), and Muhammad (peace be upon them all).
  5. Embracing Islam does not mean to disbelieve in Moosa, Isa, or any other prophet.
  6. Islam teaches you how to believe correctly in all Prophets.
  7. Allah (Glory be to Him) says in The Qur’an: “To you We sent the Scripture in Truth, Confirming the scriptures that came before it, And guarding it…” [The Qur’an 5:48]. Meaning: Clarifying the Truth they distorted.
  8. Allah mentioned’ names of a number of Prophets, He says: “Say you (Muslims): We believe in Allah, and the revelation given to us, and to Ibrahim, lsma’il, Isaac, Ya’qoob (Jacob) and the Tribes, and that which was given to Moosa (Moses), and Isa (Jesus), and that which was given to all Prophets from their Lord. We make no difference between one and another of them, and we submit to Allah (in Islam)” [The Qur’an 2:136].
  9. The first Prophet was Adam, father of mankind,
    (Peace be upon him).
  10. Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam
    (Peace be upon him) is the Seal (the last) of the prophets. No prophet is to come after him up to the end of this world.
  11. Hence the fact that Islam is the only true religion to remain up to the Last Day.
  12. He is Muhammad son of Abdullah son of Abdul-Muttalib. He is an Arab from (the famous tribe) of The Quraysh, a descendant of Ibrahim (Abraham) and Isma’il (Ishmael) – Alayhimus-salatu was-salamu – (Peace, and prayers of Allah be upon them).
  13. He was born in Makkah (Mecca) in 571 AD (Known as the Year of the Elephant).
  14. Allah sent Revelation to him when he was 40 years old.
  15. He stayed in Makkah 13 years calling people to (believe in) Allah.
  16. Only a limited number of people believed in him.
  17. After that he emigrated to Al-Madinah and invited its people to believe in Allah, and they accepted.
  18. He became the leader of Makkah in the year 8 AH He died at the age of 63 after the whole of The Qur’an was revealed, and all Arabs embraced Islam.

CHAPTER [ten]

FAITH IN THE LAST DAY

  1. We believe that there will be another life after this life.
  2. When the determined term of this life comes to an end, Allah will command an Angel to sound the Trumpet and all mankind and all other creatures will die.
  3. Then he (Angel) will sound it again, when, behold, all dead since Adam will stand out of their graves.
  4. Then, Allah will gather all people to account them for what they did:
  5. Those who believed (in Allah), accepted the Messengers (as truthful) and did good deeds (commanded by Allah), Allah will put them in Paradise.
  6. In Paradise, they will enjoy eternal Bliss.
  7. But those who rejected the Messengers and disobeyed Allah’s commands, will be put in Hell.
  8. In Hell Fire, they will be in continuous eternal punishment.
  9. O Allah! We ask Your Paradise and seek refuge with You from Fire of Hell! Aameen!
  10. Allah (Glory be to Him) says: [As for those who had transgressed all bounds; and had preferred the life of this world; the Abode will be Hell-Fire. And for those who had feared of standing in front of their Lord’s (Tribunal); and had restrained (their) souls from lower desires; their Abode will be Paradise] [The Qur’an 79:37-41].

CHAPTER [11]
FAITH IN FATE AND DIVINE DECREE

  1. We believe in the timeless knowledge of Allah and in His power to plan and execute His plans and nothing could happen in His Kingdom against His will.
  2. His knowledge and power are in action and command at all times over His creation.
  3. He is Wise and Merciful and whatever He does must have a meaningful purpose.
  4. If this is established in our minds and hearts, we should accept with good faith all that He does,
  5. Although we may fail to understand it fully, or think it is bad.

CHAPTER 12
IBADAT (RELIGIOUS DEEDS)

  1. Deeds in Islam are of two main categories:
  • ‘Ibadat, these are the rituals, or devotional duties, of worship: Salat, Zakat, Siyam, and Hajj.
  • Mu’amalat, these include all life activities related to the individual, family, society, or the whole ‘Ummah (Muslim Community at large), political, economic, cultural, legal, ethical…, national or international.
  1. Mu’amalat when carried out in fulfillment of Allah’s Shari’a (Law) will be a sort of “Worship” in the general sense.
  2. In this pamphlet, Mu’amalat will not be dealt with. You have to consult in each case either a book of Fiqh (Islamic Law) or any well informed Muslim scholar or authority.
  3. The practical Pillars (Foundations) of Islam are Five:
  • The two Shahadas (Declarations of submission to Allah)
  • Salat (Prayer)
  • Zakat (Poor Due)
  • Siyam (Fasting of Ramadan)
  • Hajj (Pilgrimage)

CHAPTER 13
THE TWO SHAHADAS (DECLARATIONS)

Ash-Shahadah means to say, with a firm belief in heart, and mind, the following:

  1. ‘Ash-hadu ‘an Laa ‘ilaha ‘illal-Lahu,
  2. Wa’ash-hadu ‘anna Muhammadan rasulul-Lah.

The meaning of these is:

  1. I bear witness that there is no (true) god except Allah,
  2. and I bear witness that Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger.

These imply two things:

  1. That are deeds must be sincere to God alone.
  2. That we only worship God as Muhammad taught.

CHAPTER 14
SALAT (PRAYER)

We pray five times everyday:

  1. The Fajr (dawn) prayer. Two Rak’ahs (Units). Its time starts just after dawn and ends at sunrise.
  2. The Dhuhr (noon) prayer. Four Rak’ahs. Time starts just after sun moves down from its zenith and ends at the midpoint between zenith and sunset.
  3. The Asr (Late afternoon) prayer: Four Rak’ahs. Time starts after the end of the Dhuhr prayer and ends at sunset.
  4. The Maghrib (Sunset) prayer: Three Rak’ahs. Time starts just after sunset.
  5. The Isha’ (Evening) prayer: Four Rak’ahs. Preferable time starts when twilight disappears and ends at midnight.

CHAPTER 15
AT-TAHARAH (PURITY)

  1. A Muslim must be pure and clean when he performs his prayer, (otherwise his prayers will not be valid).
  2. At-Taharah is of two types: Wudu’, (Ablution) and Ghusl (full Ablution).

Wudu’ (Ablution) which is performed as follows:

  1. Have Niyyah (the clear intention) of performing wudu’.
  2. Say: “Bism AlLah Al-Rahman Al-Rahim” (in the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful).
  3. Wash the hands, rinse the mouth and clear with water the inside of the nose (sniffing).
  4. Wash the face.
  5. Wash the arms up to the elbows (start with the right arm).
  6. Rub the head with wet hands, and the ears.
  7. Wash the feet up to the ankles (starting with the right foot).
  8. Say the two Shahadahs.
  1. No need for reapplying Wudu’ as long as it has not been invalidated.
  • Wudu’ is invalidated by: Passing of excrement, urine, wind or by sleeping.

GHUSL (Taking a shower):

A Muslim must take Ghusl after:

  1. Ejaculation of semen because of any reason.
  2. Intimate intercourse.
  3. For women:
  • End of Menstruation period.
  • End of the childbirth period.

Ghusl is washing the whole body with clean water.

TAYAMMUM (Dry Ablution):

In case of not having water for Wudu or Ghusl, or being unable to use it for any reason, apply the Dry Ablution:

  1. Have Niyyah (the clear intention) of performing Tayammum’.
  2. Say: “Bism Allah Al-Rahman Al-Rahim” (in the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful).
  3. Hit the palms once on any clean dust-containing material,
  4. Then rub the face with the palms, then the hands.

CHAPTER 16
HOW TO PERFORM SALAT (PRAYERS)?

  1. The best way for men is to perform salah in congregation with Muslims in the mosque. There you will be given more reward by Allah and you will leam easily how to pray.
  2. Be sure that your body, clothes and place are clean.
  3. Stand facing towards the direction of QIBLAH, that is the direction of the Sacred mosque in Makkah, in Al Hijaz (Saudi Arabia).
  4. Raise the hands to the shoulder level and say: “Allahu Akbar” (Allah is the Greatest).
  5. Fold the hand on the chest, the right hand over the left.
  6. Recite Al-Fatihah (The Opening Chapter of The Qur’an) and another chapter or some verses of The Qur’an (See App. 1).
  7. Say. “Allahu Akbar” while making Ruku’ (bowing and bending the body at a right angle placing the palms on the knees).
  8. Say in Ruku’: “Subhana rabbiyal-atheem” (Glory be to my Lord, the Great!) three times.
  9. Go back to the standing position saying: “Sami’a ‘allahu liman hamidah! Rabbana wa lakal-hamd.” (Indeed, Allah listens to one who praises Him O! Our Lord! All praises be to You).
  10. Then, you say “Allahu Akbar” and immediately fall down to make the first Sajdah (Prostration) with forehead, nose, palms, knees and toes resting on the ground,-saying: “Subhana rabbiyal ‘a’la” (Glory be to my Lord, Most High) Three times.
  11. Move from sajdah (prostration) position to sitting posture while saying; “Allahu Akbar!” While sitting, say “Rabbighfirli warhamni” (O My Lord! Forgive me! and have mercy on me).
  12. After this, another sajdah is done in the same way with “Allahu Akbar” uttered before it, and “Subhana rabbiyal ‘a’la” Three times during Sujud.
  13. After completing the second sajdah, one “Rak’ah” is completed.
  14. Stand up saying “Allahu Akbar” in order to begin a new Rak’ah, exactly as the first Rak’ah.
  15. After finishing the second “Rak’ah” you sit down and recite Part One and Part Two of “At-Tashahhud”.
  16. Finally you turn the face to the right hand side and say: “As-Salamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatul-lah” which means Peace be upon you and The Mercy of Allah!
  17. Then you do the same to the left side.
  18. Thus a two- Rak’ah prayer is completed, such as the Fajr Prayer.
  19. As for 4 Rak’ah prayers such as the Dhuhr, only the first part of At-Tashahhud is recited after completing the second Rak’ah. Then you stand up to perform two more Rak’ahs in the same way, but without reciting any verses from The Qur’an after Al-Fatihah.
  20. The ‘Asr and t ‘Isha’ prayers are performed exactly as the Dhuhr.
  21. In the Maghrib Prayer, the final Tashahhud and “As-Salam…” come after the third Rak’ah.

WHY WE PRAY

  1. The Muslim observes his Prayers to show devotion and obedience to Allah, because Prayer is one of the greatest forms of worship that Allah likes His servants to offer.
  2. To thank Him for creating us in the best form of creation.
  3. Because He has guided us to the Deen (Complete way of Life, Religion) of Islam.
  4. Prayer is a chance for a Muslim to express to his Lord whatever he feels and needs through Divine Words of Allah i.e. the Qur’an.
  5. To remember his Lord and not forget His commands amid life’s pre-occupations.
  6. To ask Allah, The Exalted, to give him aid and continuous guidance in the darkness of life.
  7. To strengthen love and fear of Allah in the Muslim’s heart so that he might remain sticking to the Right Path of Islam, and its laws and manners.
  8. Gaining good rewards from Allah and having our sins forgiven.
  9. To rejoice when he finds himself on the Last Day pleased with the great reward allotted to him in the Gardens of Bliss.
  10. Prayer is a unique training and developmental program which, if well and devotedly performed, can achieve for Muslims many valuable physical, ethical and spiritual gains such as cleanliness, health, order, punctuality, brotherhood, equality, social consolidation,… etc.

CHAPTER 17
ZAKAT (Poor Due, Alms
)

WHAT IS ZAKAH

  1. The term “Zakah” originally means: growth, and purity.
  2. In Islamic Law, it means paying every lunar year a certain percentage of your savings to certain charitable usage defined by The Qur’an.
  3. If you have, for that period, an amount of money equal to the value of 85 grams of pure gold (now 1985, is about $1000) or more, you must pay 2.5%.
  4. Zakah is paid for the poor and the needy Muslims, for the wayfarers, for propagating Islam or fighting for Islam, for helping new Muslims or encouraging non-Muslims to embrace Islam, for those who are burdened with debts and are unable to pay them.
  5. If you have articles of trade, you calculate their Zakah in the same way.
  6. You can ask some Muslim scholar or refer to any good reference book to know more about Zakah.

WHY WE PAY ZAKAH

  1. To show devotion to Allah Who commanded us to do so and informed us that He loves the charitable.

CHAPTER 18
SAWM, or SIYAM (Fasting)

ABOUT THE FAST

  1. In Ramadan, (the 9th month of the lunar Islamic year) Muslims fast in obedience to Allah’s command and in gratitude for Allah’s Grace for revealing His Glorious Book, The Qur’an, in Ramadan.
  2. Sawm (Fasting) is to abstain from eating, drinking and intimate intercourse from dawn to sunset.
  3. If sick or on a journey, a Muslim is permitted to break his fast.
  4. If he breaks the fast, he has to make it up by fasting a number of days equal to the days in which he broke fasting in Ramadan.
  5. After the end of Ramadan comes “Eid al-Fitr” (the Holy day of Breaking the Fast) which is the 1st day of Shawwal, the month following Ramadan.
  6. On the Eid morning, all Muslims congregate, in open grounds or in mosques, to perform ” Eid Prayer” to express their happiness and gratitude to Allah for enabling them to complete this duty of Fasting.
  7. Concerning this important duty, Allah says: “O you who believe. Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may (observe) piety and self-restraint” [The Qur’an 2:183].
  8. Also, He says: “Ramadan is the month in which was sent down The Qur’an, as a guide to mankind, also clear (signs) for guidance and judgement (between right and wrong). So, every one of you who is present (at his home, village, or town) during that month should fast it, but if any one is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (should be made up) by other days”. [The Qur’an 2:185].

WHY WE FAST

  1. We fast in obedience to Allah’s command, and because Allah loves those who fast.
  2. To show our gratitude to Allah’s Grace of sending down His Guidance, The Qur’an, to guide us and the whole humanity.
  3. To thank Allah for making us of those who believe in The Qur’an.
  4. And because He enabled us to memorize His Book, to recite it, to study and understand it, and to benefit in its guidance.
  5. To develop control on our material desires Allah planted in our nature.
  6. To control ourselves in front of all things prohibited by Allah.
  7. Fasting makes us remember the needy who suffer from hunger and deprivation. Hence, to become more sympathetic to them and help them with part of what Allah has bestowed upon us.
  8. To check our engrossment in our desires, and increase our care for our spiritual entity through intensifying our deeds and acts of worship in this month of The Qur’an.
  9. To increase our share of sincerity, consience, patience, discipline, as well as many healthful benefits.
  10. Above all these, the great reward Allah promised to give us on the Last Day.

CHAPTER 19
HAJJ (THE PILGRIMAGE)

WHAT IS HAJJ

  1. Hajj is a journey to ‘Al-Ka’bah (the sacred House of Allah) in Makkah (Mecca) with the intention of obeying Allah’s command and performing certain prescribed rites there. (For the details of performing Hajj, you may consult any Islamic reference book on the subject).
  2. Performing Hajj is obligatory, once in a lifetime, upon every mature Muslim provided he is able (physically and financially).
  3. The whole journey of Hajj and its rites conform to a unique form, the principles of Islam and commemorate Islamic milestones related to Prophets Ibraheem (Abraham), Ismael and Muhammad, ‘Alayhimus-salam.
  4. The rites of Hajj are performed, in general, in the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah (the last month of the Islamic Year).
  5. On the 9th of Dhul Hijah the culminating rite is performed at Mount ‘Arafat’ where all pilgrims, sometimes about two million, gather.
  6. Pilgrims’ stand at ‘Arafat to declare their supplications to Allah and their repentance and need of His Mercy and Forgiveness.
  7. This reminds us of the Grand Assembly on the Day of Judgment.
  8. The next day (the tenth) is the great Eid ‘Al-‘Adha (The Feast of Sacrifice) when pilgrims offer their sacrifices. After slaughtering their sacrifices, pilgrims go to Makkah and make Tawaf (circumbulate) seven times around Al-Ka’bah.
  9. Muslims everywhere slaughter their sacrifices (of camels, cows, or sheep) after performing the Eid Prayer.
  10. These sacrifices were prescribed in commemoration of the great sacrifice of Prophet Abraham when he was about to slaughter his only son, Ismael, whom he loved much, when Allah ordered him to do so to test his loyalty and obedience to Him.
  11. After completing the acts of Hajj, you can enjoy visiting The Mosque of Prophet Muhammad – – in Al-Madinah Al-Munawarah (the illuminated town) and attend some Prayers there. The reward for praying at that Mosque is great.
  12. When in Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah, pay a greeting visit to the Prophet’s grave and to his noble companions’ graves, in the Islamically accepted form.
  13. Also visiting the Holy Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem is recommendable in Islam.

WHY WE PERFORM HAJJ

Purposes and lessons of performing Hajj are so many. Among them are:

  1. Responding in obedience to Allah’s commands.
  2. To be grateful to Allah for His Grace and Favors on us, such as health, wealth and children.
  3. To glorify Allah by visiting and making Tawaf (gowing around) His Sacred House, Al-Ka’bah.
  4. (Al-Ka’bah is the first House built on earth for worshipping Allah, which Ibrahim – The Friend – and his son Isma’il erected by the instruction of Allah).
  5. To pray at Al-Ka’ba, which is the Qiblah (direction) to which all Muslims turn their faces in the five daily prayers.
  6. To visit and stand in devotion to Allah at the Sacred Mountains such as Mount ‘Arafat. There we celebrate the praises of Allah, purify our souls and repent of all sins.
  7. To see the places where Ibrahim, the noble Friend and Prohpet of Allah, and his first son Ismail – – stayed and worshiped Allah.
  8. To visit the places where Prophet Muhammad –
    – was born, brought up, received the Divine Message, suffered and struggled for spreading the light of Allah.
  9. To meet our Muslim brethren coming from all countries, and to see the actualization of brotherhood, equality, cooperation and love among Muslims regardless of their differences in nationality, color, standard of living, and other worldly matters. To see the universality of Islam.
  10. To practice patience, sacrifice, endurance, simplicity and other spiritual capacities we are in urgent need of.
  11. To come back cleansed of our sins, so as to start a new page in our life, hoping to keep it free from sins until the end of life, so that we may be accepted and well rewarded by Allah in the Hereafter.

CHAPTER 20
HOW TO DEVELOP YOUR ISLAM?

  1. Becoming a Muslim after becoming convinced is opening a plain page in your deed record.
  2. Whatever bad deeds you have committed before, Allah will forgive because of your embracing Islam.
  3. Becoming a Muslim is like starting a new life.
  4. You have to grow and develop in Islam. How can you do so? By the following:

Firstly: Increasing your knowledge of Islam, through:

  1. Reading the Qur’anic text.
  2. Reading some interpretations of the Qur’an. 3: Reading Traditions (Sayings) of Prophet Muhammad, .
  3. Reading the biography of Prophet Muhammad –.
  4. Reading the biographies of the great Muslim figures among our righteous fore-Muslims who propagated Islam and proclaimed it to mankind.
  5. Attending Jumu’ah (Friday) congregational prayer, listening to its Khutbah (sermon) and praying with Muslims.
  6. Attending the two ‘Eid (holiday) prayers.
  7. Performing the five daily prayers in congregation at the mosque whenever you are able to do so.
  8. Attending Islamic religious, teaching sessions.
  9. Contacting scholars, shaikhs, mosque imams (leaders) and preachers, introducing yourself to them and asking them about any Islamic matter you need to know. They are always happy to provide you with the required clarification.
  10. Having one or more friends of good Muslims who are fairly knowledgeable about Islam to be your permanent reliable reference.
  11. Read as much as you can of the basic sources of Islam (The Qur’an and As-Sunnah) and of the authentic and trustworthy writings about Islam to understand it more.
  12. You will learn a lot about the laws and systems of Islam related to worship, family structure, life activities, manners, economic and public affairs.
  13. You will know the ideology of Islam and its view in regard to creation, the universe, man, and life.
  14. Islam is not rituals or morals only, it is in fact a comprehensive system for society, a constitution for the state and a way of life.

Secondly: Doing good deeds as much as you can:

  1. Try to do good deeds more than the five basic duties mentioned before, such as:
  2. Performing voluntary prayers, in addition to the compulsory five daily prayers.
  3. Helping the poor and the needy by extra charity in addition to Zakat, or by assisting them in carrying out their necessary difficult duties.
  4. Fasting a day or more other than in Ramadan.
  5. Taking part in useful social projects aimed at reforming Muslim Society.
  6. Inviting others to embrace Islam.

CHAPTER 21
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR ISLAM

  1. Becoming a Muslim means that you have achieved a lot of good for yourself.
  2. It is like owning a valuable treasure.
  3. The owner of a treasure will have many enemies who strive to take his treasure away from him.
  4. And you have gained the treasure of Islam.
  5. Some people will try to drive you away from your Deen (Religion).
  6. Those people are the foes of Allah.
  7. The foes of Allah are devils whether from among Jinn (whom we do not see) or from among human beings.
  8. Human devils may try to mock at you.
  9. Or, they may try to persuade you by money so that you may turn back from your Religion.
  10. They may accuse Islam of many things, or cloud your mind with some misconceptions.
  11. You have to know that Allah has said in the Qur’an “And no question do they bring to you but We reveal to you the truth and the best explanation” (The Qur’an 25:33).
  12. So, consult Muslim scholars about what Allah has revealed in the Qur’an to answer such misconceptions.
  13. As for Jinn devils they whisper into your heart. “Would you desert your fathers’ and forefathers’ religion, and follow a different one?”
  14. Would you follow a religion that tasks you with prayers, fasting and giving others your property? And that deprives you from wine… etc.”
  15. In fact, many people grow up, and find themselves traditionally following and honoring their parents’ religions and beliefs.
  16. All followers of true, or false religions are like that, but the problem is: which of these religions is the true one and which is the false?
  17. Surely, Islam is the only Deen (Religion), which is pure and free from all types of superstitions, polytheism and paganism.
  18. It is the Deen of pure Monotheism.
  19. When you feel these whispers of Jinn devils, recite:
  20. Rabbi ‘a’uthu bika min hamazatish-Shayateen, Wa ‘a’udhu bika rabbi ‘an yahduroon (The Qur’an 23:97-98) “O my Lord ! I seek refuge with you from the suggestions of the Evil Ones. And I seek refuge with You, O my Lord!, lest they should come near me”.
  21. And recite also the chapters Al-Falaq and An-Nas of the Quran. These are included in Appendix (I) with transliteration.

CHAPTER 22

HOW TO INVITE OTHERS TO ISLAM?

  1. Our noble Prophet Muhammad –
    – said: “If Allah guides one person to Islam through you, it is better for you, than having the greatest wealth.”
  2. He also said: “Whoever calls (others) to guidance has the same reward as the rewards of those who follow him, without decreasing anything from their rewards.”
  3. Therefore be keen to invite to Islam those non-Muslims whom you know.
  4. Start with people who are closest to you, such as: your parents, wife, son, daughter, brother, then relatives and friends.
  5. Allah (Glory be to Him) said to His Messenger Muhammad – – [The Qu’an 26:214], “And admonish your nearest Kinsmen”.
  6. Make clear to them the right religion, and make them interested in it!
  7. Tell them of the glad tidings of which Allah has promised, and the blessings and favors that Allah will endow upon them in this world and the next if they follow Islam.
  8. Warn them of Allah’s wrath upon them if they disbelieve in the Holy Quran which He has revealed to be a guidance to everyone.
  9. Or if they disbelieve in Prophet Muhammad
    whom He has sent as a mercy to the worlds.
  10. Invite them with love and sincerity.
  11. And you, yourself, should be an example of good character.
  12. Be quick in doing good and in helping others. If you do so:
    1. You will be a propagator of Islam by your actions as well as your words.
    2. Your friends will be quick to accept when you invite them to Islam, and then Allah will lead them to guidance.
    3. They will come to know that what you say is the truth.
    4. They will consequently accept Islam and love this religion and love you too.
  13. You must know well the wise approach of inviting others to Islam and teaching them. Thus you should speak what is suitable for every occasion.
  14. One of the wise sayings of Arabs is: “There is suitable speech for each situation.”
  15. Allah (Glory be to Him) says in Al Qur’an: “Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching, and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious, for your Lord knows best who have strayed from His path and who receive guidance.” [The Qur’an 16:125]
  16. If you do not know Arabic, it is strongly advisable for you to learn that language so as to be able to understand Islam through its original sources.
  17. If you do so, you will be able to speak with confidence about Islam, because you have direct knowledge of Allah’s words, of the sayings of His messenger Muhammad – Sallal-lahu ‘alayhi wasallam – and of the statements of Muslim scholars.
  18. Presenting copies of this booklet to those whom you would like to invite to Islam will help you inshallah (God willing) in propagating this religion of Allah.

CHAPTER 23
MUHARRAMAT
(THE FORBIDDEN THINGS)

  1. Allah (Glory be to Him) has prescribed for us in the Holy Qur’an and in the Sunnah (Traditions of the Prophet) many laws:
  2. Some of these are obligations and others are Muharramat (forbidden things, when something is prohibited we say it is Haram).
  3. As for the obligations, I have already pointed them out previously.
  4. As for the Muharramat, some of the most important of them are the following:

First: Forbidden Foods:

  1. Dead Meat: These are the dead bodies of animals which died naturally, (i.e. without being Islamically slaughtered) or by being strangled, or by falling from a high place, or by being partly eaten by a wild animal, and were not slaughtered before being dead.
  2. Also, those animals slaughtered by other than Muslims, Jews or Christians.
  3. But the meats of dead sea animals are not forbidden.
  4. Blood poured forth.
  5. Flesh of the Pig (pork).
  6. Meat which has, when slaughtered, had the name of anything or anyone other than Allah invoked upon it, or that was slaughtered to glorify any one other than Allah.
  7. The meat of beasts of prey, such as lions, dogs… etc, and those of preying birds that attack with their claws, such as eagles, vultures… etc.
  8. The meat of domestic donkeys and asses.
  9. The meat of animals that feed on filthy things, except if they are isolated and fed clean food for sufficient time.
  10. Any food spoiled by filth until it is cleaned by water if it is possible.
  11. Wine and all kinds of intoxicants.
  12. Foodstuffs containing toxic elements which are harmful to our bodies.

Second: Forbidden Deeds:

Allah Hates these deeds and their doers and punishes them:

  1. To associate (in worship) anything or anyone with Allah.
  2. To be disobedient to our parents.
  3. To give false testimony.
  4. To kill a person whom Allah has forbidden to, except by Law (Legally).
  5. Adultery and fornication.
  6. To steal.
  7. To take anything, unjustly, from the property of an orphan,
  8. To desert the battle-field while fighting unbelievers.
  9. To falsely accuse with adultery or fornication a chaste Muslim woman or man.
  10. To uncover “Awra” infront of anybody.
  11. To take others’ wealth illegally, by means of bribery, robbery trickery, or deceit.
  12. To bribe in order to take others’ properties illegally, or to get what you have no right to.
  13. To marry mother, daughter, sister, paternal aunt, maternal aunt, brother’s daughter, sister’s daughter, whether they are through blood or foster relationship, your father’s wife, your son’s wife, your wife’s mother or daughter.
  14. A Muslim man is not permitted to marry a non-Muslim woman unless she becomes Muslim; but he can marry a Christian or a Jewish woman.
  15. A Muslim woman is not permitted to marry a non-Muslim man, even a Christian or a Jew, unless he becomes a Muslim.
  16. To take part in back-biting or scandals.

CHAPTER 24
Allah’s AWLIYA (Allah’s Friends)

  1. “Allah’s friends” are those true Muslims whom He loves and who love Him.
  2. They are all the righteous Muslims who truly believe in Allah and constantly follow His commands.
  3. Their reward is a good life in this world, and nearness to Allah in the Hereafter, in His Paradise.
  4. However, they cannot do anything to help anybody after their death, nor in their life except through normal reasons.
  5. Allah (Glory be to Him) says of them: “Behold! Verily on ‘friends of Allah’ there is no fear, Nor shall they grieve. Those who believe and constantly guard against evil. For them are Glad Tidings in this life and in the Hereafter; No change can there be in the Words of Allah, This is indeed the supreme felicity” [The Qur’an 10:62-64]
  6. Therefore, be a good Muslim and you will be one of them.
  7. Allah (Glory be to Him) says: “Those who obey Allah and the Messenger. Are with those who are blessed by Allah, Of the prophets, the (sincere) believers, the martyrs and the righteous (doers of good). And how excellent a company are they!” [The Qur’an 4:69]
  8. On top of “Allah’s Friends” are His Noble Prophets.
  9. And among them too are the true and sincere followers of Prophets.
  10. And Prophet Muhammad’s companions and wives (Mothers of the Faithful).
  11. The best of his companions are the Ten who were mentioned by name by Prophet Muhammad – – as those who will be in Paradise.
  12. These chosen companions are distinguished and known for their precedence, firmness and sacrifice in Islam.
  13. On top of these Ten are the four righteous Caliphs (Khalifas) who were chosen by Muslims to rule the Muslim state after Prophet Muhammad –
    – They are (in their caliphate order);
    1. Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (The sincere believer) (d. 13 AH).
    2. ‘Umaru Ibnul _Khattab (d. 23 AH).
    3. ‘Uthmanu bnu Affan, (d. 35 AH).
    4. ‘Aliy-yu bnu ‘Abi Talib, (d. 40 AH)
  14. The rest of the Ten are:
    1. Az Zubayr ibn Al-Awwam,
    2. Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas
      ,
    3. Talhatu ibn ‘Ubaydillah,
    4. Abdurrahman ibn ‘Awf
    5. ‘Abu ‘Ubaidah ‘Amru ibn Al-Jarrah
    6. and Sa’eed ibn Zayd(May Allah be pleased with them and with all other companions).

CHAPTER 25
ISLAMlC MORALS

  1. A Muslim always speaks the truth, he never tells lies.
  2. A Muslim is true to his word, not treacherous, honest, does not betray.
  3. A Muslim does not speak badly of other Muslims behind their backs.
  4. A Muslim is courageous, not cowardly.
  5. A Muslim is very enduring in situations of defending the truth, bold in saying the truth.
  6. A Muslim is just with others, even against himself; does not transgress others’ rights; also, does not accept to be treated unjustly by anyone; he is strong and does not accept to be humiliated by anybody.
  7. A Muslim consults about all of his affairs, and (after that) puts himself in Allah’s hands.
  8. A Muslim performs his work as perfectly as he can.
  9. A Muslim is modest, merciful, does good and enjoins it, abstains from evil and forbids it.
  10. A Muslim strives and fights for the victory of Allah’s cause, and for His Deen (religion) to spread.
  11. A Muslim woman wears her Islamic dress, which must cover the whole of her body, in front of any stranger (whom she can marry).

CHAPTER 26
AD’IYA (SPECIAL SUPPLICATIONS)

  1. Before you start eating or drinking, say: (bism Allah) meaning: “(I start) in the name of Allah”.
  2. Eat with your right hand.
  3. When you finish eating or drinking, say: (al-humdu lillah) meaning: “All praise is due to Allah”.
  4. When you meet any brother in Islam, shake hands with him, smile at him, and greet him, saying: (as-salamu alaykum wa rahmatul-lahi), meaning “Peace be upon you and Allah’s mercy”.
  5. And when a Muslim brother greets ye first, answer his greeting by saying: (wa ‘alaykumu s-salamu wa rahmatul-lahi wa barakatuh) which means: “And upon you (too) be the peace, and the mercy of Allah, and His blessings”.
  6. When you see the dawn breaking or the fall of evening, say: (Asbahna (or Amsayna) ‘ala fitratil-Islam) “We enter the morning (or evening) with our Islamic nature pure”. (Wa kalimatul Ikhlas), and with the statement of sincere faith”. (Wa deeni nabiy-yina Muhammad) “Adhering to the Path of our Prophet Muhammad”. (Wa millati abina Ibrahima hanifan musliman) “And to the Path of our father Abraham, true in faith, a Muslim’ (Wa maa ‘ana minal mushrikina) “And, certainly, I am not a polytheist”.
  7. When you see the new moon, say: (Hilala Khayrin wa rushdin) “(You be) a moon of goodness and straight forwardness”, (Allahumma ahillahu ‘alayna bilyumni wal Iman) “Allah ! Make it dawn on us with blessing and belief”. (Was-salamati wal-Islam) “And with safety, and submission!”
  8. When you visit a sick person, say: (Bismillah)”In the name of Allah” (Allahumma Adh-hibil ba’s rab-ban-nasi) “O Allah! Take harm away, Lord of mankind!” (Allahumma ishfi wa ‘antash-shafi) “O Allah Heal (him) ! Your are (really) the healer,” (la shifa ‘illa shifa’uka) “(In fact) there is no healing but the healing you give. ” (Shifa’an la yughadiru saqaman) “Grant recovery that leaves no ailment behind!”
  9. When you enter the mosque say: (bismillah “In the name of Allah” (Was-salatu was-salamu ‘ala rasulillahi) ” Blessings and peace be upon Allah’s Messenger.” (Allahumma ‘ighfir li dhunubi) “O Allah ! Forgive me my sins, “(wa ftah li abwaba rahmatika) “And open for me the gates of your mercy”
  10. When you go out of the mosque, say the same, but, instead of the last portion, say:
  11. (wa ftah li abwaba fadlika) “And open for me the gates of your grace!”
  12. When you go to your home, say: (Al-hamdu lil-lahil allathi ‘at’amana wa saqana wa ‘aawana) “Praise be to Allah Who provides us with food, drink and shelter!”. (Fakam miman la kafiya lahu wala mu’wiya) “So many are there who have none giving them provision or shelter.” Repeat whenever you can, these favorite phrases of glorification,
  13. (Subhanallah) “Glory be to Allah.!”.
  14. (Walhamdulillah) “Praise be to Allah !”.
  15. (Wa la’ilaha,illal-laah) “No (true) god except Allah
  16. (Wallahu akbar) “Allah is the Greatest !”
  17. (Wa la hawla wa la quwwata ‘illa bil-lahi) ‘There is no power nor strength save by Allah !”.
  18. Also, repeatedly send your prayers of blessings to Prophet Muhammad –
    – , particularly when you hear his name uttered, or when you utter it; you will say: (Salla Allah Alaihi wa sallam) “May Allah give him blessings and peace!”

CHAPTER 27
MUSLIM WOMAN

  1. Women in Islam are the sisters of men.
  2. She, just as man, is created by Allah.
  3. Thus, she is invited to become Muslim.
  4. She is commanded to have belief in Allah, obedience and love to Him.
  5. Also, she must believe in the message of Prophet Muhammad – .
  6. Commanded to fulfill Salat, Siyam, Zakat and Hajj in worship to Allah.
  7. Required to follow the Shari’ah (Law) of Allah, exactly as man.
  8. To bring up her children on the bases of Islam and its good morals, and to protect them.
  9. She puts on full dress which covers all of her body in the presence of strangers.
  10. When in her period (of menstruation or confinement) she abstains from praying, fasting, reciting The Quran, and remaining in mosques.
  11. When her period expires, she must have Ghusl (Taking a bath), and make up for fasting, not for prayers.
  12. She is exempted from attending Salat Al-Jumu`ah (Friday congragation Prayer )
  13. She is not permitted to marry a non Muslim ( Christian ,Jew or atheist ) unless he announcees his faithful embrace of Islam .

 

Appendix 1
(Chapters from The Quran)

Surat Al-Fatihah

  1. Bismil-lahi r-rahmani r-rahim (i)
  2. ‘Al-hamdu lil-lahi rabbil-‘aalameen (a)
  3. ‘Ar-rahmanir r-rahim (i)
  4. Maliki yawmid-deen (i)
  5. lyyaka na’budu wa Iyyaka nasta’in (u)
  6. Ihdina s-sirata l-mustaqeem (a)
  7. Siratal-ladhina ‘an’amta ‘alayhim, ghayril-magdhoobi ‘alayhim waladdaal-leen (a)
  8. In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
  9. Praise be to Allah the Cherisher and Sustainer of the Worlds.
  10. Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
  11. Master of the Day of Judgement.
  12. You (alone) do we worship, and Your aid we seek
  13. Show us the straight way!
  14. The way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, those whose portion is not wrath and who do not go astray.

Surat Al-‘Asr (Time through Ages) – 103

Bismil-lahi r-rahmani r-rahim (i)

  1. Wal-‘asr (i)
  2. Innal-‘insana lafee khusr (in)
  3. ‘lllal-ladhina ‘aamanoo wa ‘amilus-saalihati
  4. Wa tawasaw bil-haqqi wa tawasaw bis-sabr (i)

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

  1. By (the token of) time (through the ages)
  2. Verily man is in loss,
  3. Except those who have faith, and do righteous deeds
  4. and join together in mutual teaching of truth and of constant patience [The Qur’an 103]

 
 

Surat Al-Ikhlas (Purity of Faith) – 112

Bismil-lahir rahmani r-rahim (i)

  1. Qul huwa l-lahu ahad (un)
  2. ‘Al-lahus-samad (u)
  3. Lam yalid wa lam yulad
  4. Wa lam yakun lahu kufuwan ‘ahad (un)

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

  1. Say: He is Allah, the One and the Only,
  2. Allah, the Eternal, the Absolute;
  3. He begets not, nor is He begotten;
  4. And there is none like unto Him

Surat Al-Kawthar (Abundance) – 108

Bismil-lahir rahmanir rahim (i)

  1. ‘Inna ‘a’taynakal-kawthar (a)
  2. Fa salli li rabbika wanhar
  3. Inna shani’uka huwal-‘abtar (u)

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

  1. To you have we granted the Fount (of Abundance)
  2. Therefore to your Lord turn in Prayer and Sacrifice.
  3. For who hates you, he will be cut off (from future hope).

Surat Al-Falaq (The Dawn) – 113

Bismi l-lahi r-rahmani r-rahim (i)

  1. Qul ‘a’udhu bi rabbil –falaq (i)
  2. Min sharri ma khalaq (a)
  3. Wa min sharri ghasiqin ‘idha wa qab (a)
  4. Wa min sharrin-naf-fathati fil-uqad (i)
  5. Wa min sharri hasidin idha hasad (a)

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

  1. Say: I seek refuge with the Lord of the Dawn,
  2. From the mischief of created things;
  3. And from the mischief of darkness as it overspreads;
  4. And from the mischief of those who practice secret arts;
  5. And from the mischief of the envious one as he practices envy.

Surat An-Nas (Mankind) – 114

Bismil-lahir rahmanir-rahim (i)

  1. Qul ‘a’udhu bi rabbin-nas (i)
  2. Maliki n-nas (i)
  3. ilahi n-nas (i)
  4. Min sharri l-waswasi l-khannas (i)
  5. ‘Alladhi yuwaswisu fi sudurin-nas (i)
  6. Minal-jinnati wa n-nas (i)

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

  1. Say: I seek refuge with the Lord and Cherisher of Mankind,
  2. The King (or Ruler) of Mankind,
  3. The (True) god of Mankind,
  4. From the mischief of the Whisperer (of Evil), who withdraws (after his whisper),
  5. The same) who whispers into the hearts of Mankind
  6. Among Jinn kind, and Mankind.

Appendix 2
AT-TASH-SHAHHUD (Witnessing)

AT-TASHAHHUD

  1. (at-tahiyyatu li-lahi) (was-salawatu) (wat-tayibatu)
  2. (‘As-salamu ‘alayka) (‘ay-yuhan-nabiyyu) (wa rahmatul-lahi) (wa barakatuhu)
  3. (‘As-salamu ‘alayna)(wa ‘ala ‘ibadil-lahi s-salihinah)
  4. (‘Ash-hadu ‘al-laa ‘ilaha ‘illal-lahu)
  5. (wa ‘ash-hadu ‘anna Muhammadan)(‘Abduhu wa rasuluhu)
  6. All reverence is due to Allah, and (all) worship, and (all) good,
  7. Peace be upon you, o Prophet!, and the mercy of Allah, and His blessings.
  8. Peace be upon us all, and upon the righteous servants of Allah,
  9. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah,
  10. And I bear witness that Muhammad, is His servant and His Messenger.

Prayers for Abraham (after At-Tashahhud)

  1. ‘Allahumma salli ‘ala Muhammad
  2. Wa ‘ala ‘aali Muhammad
  3. Kama sallayta ‘ala ‘Ibrahim
  4. Wa ‘ala ‘aali Ibrahim
  5. Wa barik ‘ala Muhammad
  6. Wa ‘ala ‘ali Muhammad
  7. Kama barakta ‘ala ‘Ibrahim
  8. Wa ‘ala ‘ali Ibrahim
  9. Fil ‘aalamina
  10. ‘In-naka hamidun majeed
    1. Allah! Send Your grace on Muhammad
    2. And on the Family of Muhammad
    3. As you have sent your grace on Ibrahim
    4. And on the Family of Ibrahim
    5. And send your blessings on Muhammad
    6. And on the Family of Muhammad.
    7. As you have blessed Ibrahim.
    8. And the Family of Ibrahim.
    9. In this world and in the Hereafter
    10. Verily, You are Praiseworthy and Glorious.

 
 


 

Youth Leadership

::: Youth Leadership (part 1) :::

› › ›
CONTENTS

Definition

Rationale for Youth Leadership

Curriculum Model for Youth Leadership Programme

Design for the Youth Leadership Programme

Implementation of Youth Leadership Programme

Evaluation of the Youth Leadership Programme

Conclusion

Appendices

~ YOUTH LEADERSHIP ~

1. DEFINITION

Youth Leadership (YL) involves the education, training and development of young people to play leadership roles in their own situations and contexts as students and later as adults. YL per se is not a subject in the traditional sense. It is rather a multi-faceted programme that includes a variety of activities embracing inter alia enrichment, environmental projects, community service, recreation and tarbiyah as learning. Further YL cannot be seen as a stand-alone programme. It has to be integrated with whole school policy as well as with other academic disciplines. It therefore impacts on all persons involved with the school including the community, governing body, headmaster, teachers, support staff, students and parents.

2. RATIONALE FOR YOUTH LEADERSHIP

There are several reasons why YL needs to be implemented as a foundational programme particularly in Muslim schools. The following are pointers rather than in-depth analyses.

2.1 LEADERSHIP CRISIS

Since the termination of the Khalifate, the Muslim world was without a central institution established by the Khulafa Rashidun. This institution symbolised the power and cohesive nature of the entire Muslim Ummah and gave effective leadership to that Ummah. However, recent attempts at leadership at the global level such as the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) have yet to deliver.

At the local level, Muslim leadership seems to be in the hands of learned Sheikhs or Imams who are predominantly providing a form of leadership largely confined to spiritual and personal matters, ignoring broader community, ideological and developmental issues. Other local leaders are often secular minded with limited understanding of the needs of the community. What seems to be lacking is a leadership that has clear vision and direction for Muslims and Islam in all walks of life.

From an Islamic perspective, it is inconceivable that Muslims should be leaderless when Allah and his Rasool (SAW) have ordained the role of Khalifatullah on earth, amirship even when there are three persons, or accountable shepherd over persons in one’s care.

2.2 YOUTH CRISIS

It is common cause that Muslim youth are in a crisis. Negative peer pressures, negative influences and the power of the electronic media, the scourge of drugs, pornography, liberal values and powerful anti-Islamic forces combine to produce youth who are less confident about their Islam and heritage despite the influence of the school, madrassah, and other institutions in the community. Youth, both boys and girls, are frequenting shopping malls, raves and discos, and idling their time in trivial pursuits rather than being involved in constructive and worthwhile activities. This is not to ignore those few youth who are engaged in healthy pursuits. The crisis is, however, more general and affects youth not only in South Africa but also elsewhere.

2.3 ROLE OF MUSLIMS

Muslims as Khalifatullah on earth need to play meaningful roles at every level of society. While youth today would need to be more assertive and positively influence peers rather than succumb to negative forces, youth tomorrow would need to participate and contribute to the development of their own community and the broader community in their countries. In South Africa, Muslims must step up their contribution, participation and involvement in all spheres of the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP). This includes the economy, education, parliament, the professions, art and culture, famine, environment, military, science and technology, intercultural understanding, sports, civic affairs, etc.

To be able to contribute and participate as Muslims, the youth need the concepts, skills, knowledge, attitudes, and values that are underpinned by Islam so that their influence may be felt as leaders in their particular situations.

2.4 EDUCATION CRISIS

One of the problems facing our youth is the manner in which Islamic culture and ideals are transmitted. Both secular and Islamic sciences tend to be content-focussed where learning takes place by memorisation and regurgitation, ignoring processes of development implicit in the learning-teaching activity. Further, our education tends to focus on particular disciplines which promote the intellectual or cognitive development of the learner, and ignores other domains of development including the aesthetic, social, moral-ethical, physical, and affective domains. Mainstream academic learning is governed by strict certification criteria. Alternative activities-based programmes that engage students in a wide variety of activities balanced across the various domains are thus needed.

3. CURRICULUM MODEL FOR YOUTH LEADERSHIP PROGRAMME

Every educational programme is based on a theoretical model which informs the design of that particular programme. The YL programme is based on the process curriculum model.

3.1 THE PROCESS MODEL

The process model arose as an alternative to and contrasts sharply with the traditional model. The traditional model claims to be rooted in a scientific-empirical ‘value-neutral’ ideological position promoting ‘rule-following’ whereas the process model is rooted in an explicit qualitative values-based ideological position promoting higher order mental skills including understanding and critical thinking.

The process model carries with it strong notions of experiential and exposure learning, that is, learning through a process of engaging and being initiated into ‘worthwhile activities’. These activities are worthwhile in themselves rather than as a means towards objectives, in that they can be justified intrinsically and they illuminate other areas of life.

The pedagogy employed by the process model to facilitate the process of teaching and learning is also different. The teacher plays a central role as senior learner in initiating students into worthwhile activities and acts as resource rather than an expert. Emphasis is placed on the discovery-inquiry, dialogical, interactive, and experiential approaches to learning rather than by information transmission, teacher-talk, rote-learning, recall and regurgitation.

With regard to assessment of students, the process model pursues understanding rather than grades and aims to enskill and empower. In this context the teacher is a critic, not a marker in order to help students improve their capacity to work to standards and criteria by critical reaction to work done. The model’s greatest weakness and also its greatest strength, is the teacher. Therefore, enormous emphasis is placed on teacher development.

The process model forms a workable theoretical framework to design the YL programme. The foundations of the model seem to be consistent with Islamic goals of leadership and empowerment rather than followership. For the YL programme, a shift has to be made from traditional memorisation-regurgitation learning which is based on the means-end behavioural model to a model where learning is viewed as a process of holistic development.

4. DESIGN OF THE YOUTH LEADERSHIP PROGRAMME

The term ‘design’ usually refers to the five elements of a programme. Broadly these are the idea, aims, content, pedagogy and assessment. The design elements of YL are discussed below.

4.1 IDEA

The idea of leadership development comes directly from fundamental Islamic sources. The Prophet (SAW) referred to everyone of us being a ‘shepherd’ or a ‘leader’ responsible and accountable for our flock. He (SAW) also instructed that whenever there is a group of persons, one of them should be the amir. The Qur’aan refers to human beings as ‘Khalifatullah’ and Muslim jurists have even referred to followers of Muhammad (SAW) as ‘Khalifatur Rasool’. Furthermore, because the Prophet (SAW) himself was a leader in all situations and at the same time a follower (of Allah), it therefore becomes incumbent on his followers in turn to emulate his Sunnah. This amirate is one that is muttaqi, that is, being conscious of Allah in all thoughts, feelings and actions and is reflected in the individual’s knowledge, concepts, attitudes, values, behaviour and character in all situations. It is therefore inconceivable for a Muslim not to have leaders. Leaders are needed not only in mundane matters but also to advance the broader civilisational goals of Islam as the Qur’aan says in Surah 3 verse 110:

You are the best people evolved to lead humankind commanding the ma’ruf, forbidding the munkar and believing in Allah.

From the foregoing, YL is clearly rooted in Islam and is informed by its injunctions, ethos and values and is premised on the notion that every youth has the potential to be a muttaqi leader.

4.2 AIM

The broad aim of YL is:

To develop muttaqi situational/ contextual leadership among school children from kindergarten to grade 12.

The term muttaqi implies that the learner will learn, understand and implement Islamic rather than kufr ideas, concepts and values in his/her thoughts, feelings and actions. Leadership implies that the youth must be empowered with the necessary abilities, attitudes, values and knowledge and that they must be developed holistically across all domains of the educational process so that they may play meaningful leadership roles in different situations and contexts and thereby serve Allah.

Following the broad aim of the programme, the subsidiary aims of the programme are as follows:

– to cultivate and develop team spirit in youth groups;
– to develop organisational, communication, thinking, decision making, problem solving and other leadership skills and competencies;
– to inculcate a social and community consciousness;
– to develop artistic and other creative talents;
– to encourage participation in sports, martial arts, self-defence, and other recreational activities and programmes;
– to inculcate a healthy self-image, self-concept, and the adoption and internalisation of positive attitudes, behaviour, character and values;
– to forge a closer relationship between parent, child and family through parental involvement;
– to encourage the appreciation and study of nature and natural phenomena, thereby increasing their understanding of Allah;
– to provide the youth with wide comprehensive exposure to science, technology and the world of work;
– to encourage cross-cultural encounters and contact;
– to engage in such activities that will provide optimum experience, exposure, enrichment and empowerment in the process of holistic development.

The following are examples of values and attributes that need to be built into the programme:

– self-discovery and self-knowledge;
– self-reliance and self-discipline;
– goal setting and time management;
– perseverance and determination;
– initiative, enthusiasm and creativity;
– development of purpose and constructive thinking;
– community involvement and social responsibility;
– development of personal values;
– a spirit of adventure and team work;
– physical and mental exercises;
– development of vocational, cultural and family life skills;
– international understanding and awareness;
– ukhuwa, Muslim unity;
– care for animals and the environment;
– defence of Muslims, injustice and fight against all forms of oppression;
– the promotion of compassion;
– patience, tact, determination, reliability, accountability and responsibility;
– understanding – of themselves, of those in need and of those with whom they will work;
– participation in decision-making at a level which has a real and perceptible effect on peoples lives; and
– developing an understanding of the fact that personal integrity is the essential basis of any social relationship or contribution to the community.

4.3 CONTENT

The content of YL differs markedly from the content of traditional subjects. YL focuses on structured, worthwhile activities to provide experience and exposure across the holistic spectrum of domains (cognitive, aesthetic, spiritual, conative, ethical, physical, affective, social). These activities include a wide variety of indoor and outdoor activities in the categories of enrichment, leadership and life skills, tazkiya/tarbiyah, arts and crafts, sports and recreation, and service. The activities are connected to Islamic spirituality and designed to promote concepts, ideas, values, attitudes, skills, knowledge, character and behaviour. The activities would need to be age level appropriate, catering for complexity and depth and developed on the basis of several criteria.

For example, students may be initiated into an activity involving the study of birds in flight. The justification and spiritual connection of this activity may be the following verse from the Qur’aan (Al-Mulk 67:19) as it implores humankind to study birds and inquire into the concept of flight:

Do they not observe the birds above them, Spreading their wings and folding them in? None can uphold them, except The Most Gracious: Truly it is He that watches over all things.

To engage in activities involving this exemplar, the initiation could be through activities from any one or more of the abovementioned categories to enrich the experiences. The values embodied in this activity are: * observation, awareness and admiration of the creation of Allah and its diversity; * observation and study of birds as a learning imperative from the Qur’aan, reinforcing the Qur’aan as a source of guidance not only to matters strictly spiritual but also including knowledge of science, technology, ecology, geography, ethics, and morality which are nonetheless spiritually linked; and * the glorification of Allah as Creator of the universe, reaffirming Tawheed, iman and ibadah. Exemplars from the Qur’aan, Sunnah and Shari’ah are therefore an integral part of every worthwhile activity.

4.4 PEDAGOGY

A clear shift is made from information transmission, ‘chalk and talk’ and teacher-centred modes of teaching and learning. The pedagogy in YL is experiential learning or learning by doing, implying a pedagogy including inquiry-discovery, independent research and expression, and critical thinking. Students engage with various activities designed in collaboration with them where the teacher takes the role of facilitator/mediator rather than an expert and authority. S/he acts as a guide/mentor in promoting underlying values and in encouraging leadership roles.

In the example quoted above about birds in flight, the materials to be used are as follows: worksheets, pencils, felt pens and blank paper. Resource material such as videos, slides, audio cassettes, nature magazines, selection of library books, documents, articles, models and artefacts could also be made available to the discussion groups to promote understanding of an issue or situation as it unfolds in discussion. The activity is planned as an after-dawn activity on an adventure camp and is organised as follows:

A group of 25 students (ages 10-14) are taken to a Nature Reserve for an overnight adventure camp. They would awake before dawn to perform the fajr salat. Thereafter in groups of 5, they would proceed to the bird hide and observe the variety and activity of bird life for about 15 minutes, making notes and sketches of their observations.

Next they would proceed to a suitable area within the precincts of the reserve for further engagement with the activity.

1. Each group is asked to appoint a member as leader or alternatively, the mediator may choose a leader from the group, asking the group to select a scribe to write down points discussed by the group for presentation at a plenary session.

2. The groups are asked to find exemplars in the Qur’aan and Hadeeth relating to birds/flight from a selection of several photocopied exemplars.

3. Each group may ask a volunteer to recite the relevant verse from the Qur’aan in Arabic. Another may volunteer to read the verse in English.

4. Students are then asked to study the worksheets, discuss them in groups and collectively complete them. The worksheet guides discussion on adaptation, diversity of the Creation of Allah, flight and balance, types of feathers and their various functions, bone structure, various parts of the bird – created by Allah for specific functions and how flight is applied in science and technology.

5. At a plenary session, the mediator as chairperson, directs each group to send their representative to present their findings. A general discussion may ensue.

6. Each student is asked to do a drawing of his/her favourite bird, or one of the birds he/she observed.

7. Other activities that they may engage in includes: writing a short poem, composition, or song around birds; designing and constructing a paper/plywood plane; writing a letter to a friend describing the camp and event; students may be asked to make an audio visual presentation with slides and cassettes or a video recording. Students could also be shown a video on the flight and migratory patterns of various birds. The opportunities for activities are limited only by the imagination of the mediator.

It is possible to use this exemplar in an activity involving aeronautics and physics because it lends itself to examining an idea or application of an intellectual process to a new setting as in the notion of transcendence. The learning imperative is from the Qur’aan and therefore spiritually connected.

During his/her engagement with students, the mediator imbibes values of tolerance, empathy and has a sincere and caring attitude. By personal example, the mediator purposefully promoted the ethos and aims of the programme, participating in the salat and other group activities. The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: “The learner and the learned are partners in Taqwa …” (Quoted in Al-Ghazali 1987 : 19). Teachers responsible for the implementation of YL need to be trained in the processes involved.

The above activity complies with the following pedagogical aims and standards: it involves the student holistically; it allows for leadership opportunities; it is cross curricular; it allows for active roles rather than passive roles; it encourages research; it involves communicative competence; it allows question posing and expression of views; it promotes spirituality; it allows for team work; the mediator assumes the role of partner, resource, senior learner, facilitator and mentor; it allows for creativity; and it allows for reflection on and illumination of other areas of life.

4.5 ASSESSMENT

Unlike traditional subjects in which assessment largely focuses on memorisation, regurgitation and measurement approaches where students either pass or fail, the YL assessment is largely subjective and qualitative. Students are assessed on participation in an activity, qualities displayed and deeds done. Assessment would include monitoring leadership qualities and roles played by the student, both inside and outside school, using several techniques including self-assessment, peer comments, parent feedback and observation. A data-base of student assessment should be maintained for evaluating long term success of the YL.

::: Youth Leadership (part 2) :::

5. IMPLEMENTATION OF YOUTH LEADERSHIP PROGRAMME

Implementation here refers to the process of putting the YL programme into practice. YL is not viewed as a a stand alone only, on the contrary, it is viewed as a programme that affects every teacher and the ethos and policies of the whole school. YL also connects with parents and the community. Implementation of the YL programme involves three phases, namely initiation, installation, and continuation and expansion.

5.1 INITIATION

The initiation phase involves the initial preparatory work prior to installation. It is assumed here that the schools concerned will play their part in initiating the process by requesting assistance from the Association of Muslim Schools (AMS) for the implementation in individual schools. The initiative may also come from any parent, principal, teacher or any person at school level. Having taken that first step, the following needs to proceed:

5.1.1 Presentation

The concept of YL, its rationale, characteristics and requirements needs to be presented to key participants at a meeting with a view to involving them in the decision to implement the programme. This presentation could be made by a representative of the Youth Leadership Committee of the International Education Conference or any other competent person. This 3-4 hour meeting would need to be prearranged in conjunction with a single school or a group of schools in a particular area or region. The presenter could use OHP slides, videos, pamphlets and other literature as handout material.

5.1.2 Decision

After having made shura and discussed YL thoroughly with persons that may be affected at school level, a clear decision must be made with the support of key role players. Because the programme involves long term commitment on the part of the school, all queries should be cleared. The decision here is one of principle to implement YL in the school as a foundational programme.

5.2 INSTALLATION

This phase refers to the actual operationalisation of the programme in a school and also includes a number of steps.

5.2.1 Organisational structure

Implementation cannot proceed unless there is a clear organisational structure within the school with clear lines of communication and delegation of responsibility. No single organisational structure will suit the needs of every school and each school should decide on its own structures according to local contexts. However, the following is a suggested guideline:

– Appoint/elect a YL committee.

This committee should include the principal, teachers, parents, students and community. The main purpose of this committee will be to provide the necessary support for the implementation process, to ensure its continuity and growth in the school, and to receive regular feedback and reports.

– Appoint/elect a YL Co-ordinator

The co-ordinator may be the principal or teacher who is given the overall responsibility for the implementation of YL. He/she is the link between teachers, students, parents and the YL Committee. He/she will be responsible for organising regular INSET programmes for teachers, assisting with the planning of programmes, supporting teachers with ideas and the development of activities. The YL Co-ordinator will also investigate school policies and ethos to align them with the whole school approach to YL.

– Appoint specialist YL teachers/facilitators

YL teachers will be responsible for dedicated stand-alone YL programmes. This may be the Guidance teacher in the school whose teaching brief may be converted to YL. The specific responsibility of YL teachers would be the development of a programme for the year in conjunction with students, parents and community and specific activities of the programme.

– Bring other teachers on board for cross-curricular implementation

Because YL is intended to impact on other teachers as well as their disciplines, they would need to be brought on board.

5.2.2 INSET

INSET refers to the initial and ongoing training and development of persons involved in the implementation process, particularly teachers. Teachers would need to be given time-release for attendance where necessary.

INSET will need to focus on the following areas:

– What is curriculum?
– How do children learn?
– Behavioural objectives or process learning?
– Process learning guidelines in an Islamic environment
– Practical application of process learning undergirded with Islamic values
– The rationale for YL
– Ideological basis for YL
– Policies of YL
– Aims of YL
– Content of YL
– Pedagogy of YL
– Assessment of YL
– Characteristics of the Teacher/Facilitator
– Developing programmes and activities
– Cross-curricular implementation
– Development of school policy and ethos
– Evaluation
– Resources needed (human and material)

Teachers themselves would need to become competent in the above areas so as to reduce dependency on outside aid. However, the YL co-ordinator may draw on the experience of others in the process. Ideally one school in a region should become a model YL school so that other satellite schools in the region could draw on the model school for support.

5.2.3 School resources

The YL co-ordinator together with assistance from the school board would need to do an audit of school resources both inside and outside the school. Resources refer to funding, buildings, camp sites, equipment, materials, community organisations and environmental groups that are accessible to the school because activities will be determined to some extent by what is available and what additional resources are needed. Where possible, existing resources should be used.

5.2.4 Time Tabling

The YL programme is flexible and each school may decide on the most suitable time-tabling strategy. A combination of three options is available:

– create space within the existing timetable perhaps by combining YL with Guidance

– outside the time-table on weekdays, and over weekends; and

– during school holidays.

The total time required for the implementation of YL based on international experience seems to be about 75 hours per annum. This could translate to about 2 hours per week. Actual time-table time may be less. Consideration should be given to holding day and overnight camps within the available time.

5.2.5 Planning and development of activities

At this stage, the YL programme would need to be planned and activities developed. The YL co-ordinator needs to plan with teachers, guiding them about the categories of activities, the balance, holistic development, and the criteria for developing activities. Teachers are ultimately responsible for the development of specific activities.

5.2.6 Engagement

The next step involves engaging students in the activities. Students will also need to be briefed on the whole programme including its design dimensions so that they enter the programme with a measure of understanding. Students should be encouraged to provide feedback about activities. This could be done during language lessons, at assemblies, and via individual and group discussions.

5.2.7 Assessment

The final part of the implementation process is the assessment of individual students. As indicated previously, the assessment involves various techniques. A practical way would be to introduce a personal YL diary system wherein the students record their activities and short evaluations. The facilitator would need to examine the diaries on a regular basis.

5.3 CONTINUATION AND EXPANSION

The implementation of the YL programme needs to be sustained on an ongoing basis. This implies close monitoring of the programme and ensuring that problems are rectified as soon as possible. New ideas should be filtered through from the feedback and personal evaluations obtained from various participants. INSET programmes will need to be organised on a regular basis so that there is personal growth and development on the side of the teachers as well. Parents may also be involved in the various activities so that the YL programme becomes a partnership and link with parents. The more commitment and enthusiasm the school can generate, the more enduring the programme will be.

6. EVALUATION OF THE YOUTH LEADERSHIP PROGRAMME

Ultimately, the school would want to know whether the programme is succeeding in terms of the broad aims of the programme. Evaluation should determine the successes and failures of the programme rather than that of the students. The programme can only be evaluated in terms of the long term achievements of students over several areas rather than only in terms of achievement in examinations. What is sought here is ‘muttaqi leadership”. This implies student behaviour, character development, attitudes and achievements. This is not a simple task. A confidential data-base of student development and assessment should be kept in the long term, based on the broad leadership criteria. The evaluation focus is on quality rather than on quantity.

The following is a sample of some criteria that may be used:

Has the student chosen an appropriate career?
How is the student contributing to society?
Is the student assuming leadership roles in society?

7. CONCLUSION

The YL Task Group of the International Workshop on Islamic Education resolved that:

– YL be given the emphasis it deserves in the school curriculum and be instituted as a matter of priority in a structured and sustained manner for all Muslim youth including the disabled;

– YL be viewed as central and fundamental to the ethos of the whole school, incorporating all disciplines and policies; and

– the International Islamic Education Conference actively promotes and supports Youth Leadership as a programme among Muslim schools. Madrassahs, NGO’s and other community organisations engaged with youth.

For the implementation of YL in local schools, clearly the above resolution needs the support and commitment of all the key role players at school level. The importance of YL as a strategic intervention in Muslim schools cannot be underemphasised nor can potential outcomes be underestimated. Please note that Youth Leadership (YL) is compatible with outcomes-Based EducationIt (OBE) and should fit with curriculum 2005. It must also be clearly understood that this YL programme is still in the developmental phase and may be adapted to suit local requirements. The more widespread the implementation, the greater the wealth of experience that will be accumulated and enable all its users to share. Insha’Allah.

::: Youth Leadership (part 3) :::

APPENDICES

APPENDIX 1: ISLAMIC VALUES

*Tawheed

The core, inviolable and foundational Islamic value is Tawheed. Al Faruqi (1982) says on page 8: ‘There can be no doubt that the essence of Islamic civilization is Islam, or that the essence of Islam id Tawheed…’ Tawheed literally means that there is no ilah but Allah, the One Being, Supreme Creator and Sustainer of the Universe. Allah ‘occupies the central position in every Muslim place, every Muslim action, every Muslim thought. The presence of Allah fills the Muslim consciousness at all times.’ (Al Faruqi, 1982, p1). Every value will therefore be underpinned, interwoven and interconnected with the core value of Tawheed and all its dimensions. Only then can it qualify to be an Islamic value. It follows then that any Islamic value based curriculum design must of necessity be informed by this basic and master value of Tawheed.

In the South African and global context, this concept is powerful, liberatory and revolutionary because it makes a paradigmatic shift from socially constructed ideologies to a divinely revealed world view; from the subjugation of insan by insan to the voluntary acceptance of the subjugation of insan to Allah, the All-Powerful and Supreme, for peace and happiness; from human bondage to the bondage and servitude of Allah.

Hajj
Salaah
Zakah
Saum
Jihad
Patience and perseverance
Determination and persistence
Shura
Taqwa
Justice
Kindness and compassion
Peace
Accountability and responsibility
Conservation
Love and obedience to Allah, His Prophet (sollallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), Parents, Leaders and teachers (Reverence and Obedience)
Excellence
Autonomy and inter-dependence
Self-reliance and self-sufficiency
Marriage and family life
Children
Reading
Acquiring knowledge and skills
Thinking and understanding
Smiling
Courtesy
Tolerance
Moderation and balance
Efficiency
Chastity
Mutual respect
self-actualisation
Wisdom
Counselling
Humility and modesty
Humour
Fairness
Helpfulness
Promise
Friendship
Human dignity
Integrity
Punctuality
Generosity and philanthropy
Health and hygiene
Cleanliness
Brotherhood
Repentance and forgiveness
Discipline
Thrift
Animal and plant care and welfare
Adventure
Loyalty
Creativeness
Cheerfulness
Etiquette
Awareness
Work ethic, trade and commerce, entrepreneurship
Proactivity in promoting good forbidding evil
Sincerity
Morality and ethics
Benevolence
Esteem
Children and youth
Order
Freedom from any form of oppression
Caring and sharing
Desiring for others what you desire for yourself
Service
Protection of interests
Critical and lateral thinking
Curiosity
Conciliation
Positive change and transformation
Positive attitudes and dispositions
Da’wah
Beauty
Property
Arabic
Hijab
Courage
Willpower
Confidence
Privacy and Confidentiality
Communication
Empowerment
Leadership
Positive self concept, self esteem, self-image
Positive attitude in inter-personal relationships
Good neighbourliness
Prayer
Enlightenment
Advancement
Order and Organisation
Iman
Ihsan
Islam
Respect
Guidance
Abstention from intoxicants and injurious substances and from promiscuous behaviour
Abstention from other prohibited actions as enunciated in the Qur’aan and Hadeeth (Riba, fornification, etc.)
Hereafter – Resurrection – Jannah and Jahannam


APPENDIX 2 : DOMAINS

A leadership programme must develop students holistically across all domains. Activity planning and preparation should therefore consider the following domains:

CONATIVE: Tawheed, risalah, Islam as din, anti-Islamic/Jahili Forces, philosophy

COGNITIVE: critical thinking, reflection, understanding, (Tafakkur) (Furqan)

PHYSICAL: health, fitness

AFFECTIVE / PSYCHOLOGICAL: self-esteem, identity, self-image, confidence

AESTHETIC: appreciation, talents, development (arts, drama, etc.)

ETHICAL: right, wrong

SPIRITUAL: taqwa, relationship with Allah, allegiance, loyalty, service

SOCIAL: relationships with peers, friends, family, school, community, environment, service, leadership, followership, teamwork

ECONOMIC: career and finance, work

APPENDIX 3:

LIST OF QUALITIES, CHARACTERISTICS, KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS OF LEADERS

THE LEADER

* Qualities:
The leader is expected to be:

1. Morally sound 14. Enthusiastic
2. Imaginative 15. Energetic
3. Management-minded 16. Coaching minded
4. Fair to all concerned 17. Expressive (speech and writing)
5. Varied in interests 18. Logical
6. Instruction minded 19. Mentally keen, alert
7. Emotionally mature 20. Responsible
8. Planning minded 21. Improvement minded (Practising Ihsan)
9. Respectful towards self and others 22. Resourceful
10. Studious 23. Initiating, hard working
11. Decisive 24. Loyal to all concerned
12. Organised 25. Humane
13. Dependable

* Knowledge:
In more formal groups and organisations the leader should have knowledge of:

1. Aims, principles and objectives of his/her group/organization
2. Organization structure and orientation
3. Duties and responsibilities
4. Organization policies, practices and procedures
5. Basic economics
6. Scientific management principles and methods
7. Planning, scheduling and control
8. Quality requirements and control
9. Basic mathematics, language and science
10. Pertinent legislation
11. Professional standards (in their field)
12. Personal strength and development needs
13. The art and science of creative thinking
14. Human relations principles and methods
15. Communications

* Skills:
The leader should have skills in the areas of:

1. Creative thinking
2. Planning, organizing, executing and following up
3. Teaching, training and coaching
4. Assigning work
5. Keeping people informed
6. Controlling quality
7. Reducing or eliminating waste
8. Controlling costs
9. Carrying out policies, contracts and procedures
10. Co-operating with others
11. Keeping people informed
12. Handling emergencies
13. Maintaining good housekeeping
14. Studying for continued improvement
15. Keeping informed and keeping in shape
16. Setting a good personal example

Other qualities of leaders expressed as desirable by followers:

1. Thoughfulness 7. Courage
2. Impartiality 8. Directness
3. Honesty 9. Decisiveness
4. Proficiency 10. Dignity
5. People knowledge 11. People interest
6. Control 12. Helpfulness

THE SEVEN HABITS

According to Stephen Covey highly effective people have seven unique endowments which empower them to be effective leaders. These are

Primary Human Endowments Associated Habits

1. Self awareness of self knowledge Be Proactive
2. Imagination and conscience Begin with the end
3. Volition or will-power Put first things first

Secondary Human Endowments

4. Abundance mentality Think win-win
5. Courage and consideration Seek first to understand then to be understood
6. Creativity Synergise
7. Self-renewal Striving to improve or strive for excellence

LEADERSHIP TRAITS

Sixteen traits of leadership were identified in students in a study. Each trait was categorised as cognitive (C), Affective (A) or both (B):

1. Assertive decision making (B)
2. Altruistic (B)
3. Persuasive/innovator (A)
4. Sensitivity to the needs of others (A)
5. Ability to be a facilitator (B)
6. Goal orientated (C)
7. Strong communication skills (B)
8. Integrity (A)
9. Organization ability (C)
10. Resourceful (B)
11. Risk taker (B)
12. Charisma (A)
13. Competence (knowledge) (B)
14. Persistence (A)
15. Accepts responsibility (B)
16. Creativity (B)

The authors note that only two traits were rated as cognitive indicating the importance and complexity of the affective characteristics in leadership.

APPENDIX 4:

CRITERIA FOR SELECTING ACTIVITIES

All other things being equal, one activity is more worthwhile than another:

1. If it permits children to make informed choices in carrying out the activity and to reflect on the consequences of their choices.

2. If it assigns to students active roles in the learning situation rather than passive ones.

3. If it asks students to engage in inquiring into ideas, applications of intellectual processes, or current problems, either personal or social.

4. If it involves children with realia (i.e. real objects, materials and artefacts).

5. If completion of the activity may be accomplished successfully by children at several different levels of ability.

6. If it asks students to examine in a new setting an idea, an application of an intellectual process, or a current problem which has been previously studied.

7. If it requires students to examine topics or issues that citizens in our society do not normally examine and that are typically ignored by the major communication media in the nation.

8. If it involves students and faculty youth in ‘risk’ taking – not a risk of life or limb, but a risk of success or failure.

9. If it requires students to rewrite, rehearse and polish their initial efforts.

10. If it involves students in the application and mastery of meaningful rules, standards or disciplines.

11. If it gives students a chance to share the planning, the carrying out of a plan, or the results of an activity with others.

12. If it is relevant to the expressed purposes of the students.

13. If the activity complies with the Shari’ah in enjoining the maruf and prohibiting the munkar and does in fact embody Islamic values and promotes and enhances the students concepts.

14. If it is enriching, empowering, enabling and enskilling.

15. If it encompasses the student holistically through all the domains of development: cognitive (mental), psycho-motor (physical), affective (heart), social, aesthetic, moral-ethico, conative and spiritual.

16. If the activity helps to promote any of the aims of this programme – singularly or collectively.

17. If the activity draws the student closer to his ultimate purpose of being of service to Allah, the Ummah, humanity and all creation.

18. If it enhances, equips and helps the student to build and internalise muttaqi leadership qualities, skills, attitudes, knowledge and values.

19. If it develops in the student respect for all other cultures, people and religions.

20. If it develops in the student a love for Allah and His creation.

21. If it leads the student to strive for excellence.

22. If the student is empowered to transform his/her attitudes, behaviour, values and character in alignment with Islamic values.

23. If it involves the student in studying, appreciating and living Islamic art, culture, history and civilization; and critically respecting and appreciating their own and other foreign and diverse cultures and civilizations.

24. If it provides for and engages students in appropriate leadership roles.