Search

Salaam Solutions

Category

Uncategorized

Is your Prayer often a Mechanical Chore?

I’ve downloaded a prayer call app on my phone which belts out the adthan 5 times a day. This is my reminder to stop what I’m doing, make wudu (the ritual cleanse before prayer) and find a suitably clean quite space to pray. Do I stop what I’m doing and pray? I have to admit, no not immediately because Ive filled my life with a tonne of distractions like; eating, shopping, cooking, cleaning, talking, working, studying, worrying, complaining , you know what I’m saying , right?

There have been times when the call to prayer has saved the day, brought tears to my eyes, filled my heart with joy and I thanked God for everything. But I’ll admit, these times are not 5 times a day every day, they are rare.  I remember meaningful prayers as the times I was either in  need or when I was high on emaan (faith) like; the day I accepted Islam or  the day I asked to be forgiven. Being a non Arabic speaking Muslim my prayers are mostly yoga type movements accompanied by memorised ilegible ramblings of prayers and verses of Quran. I know the translation  of them but rarely do I contemplate the meaning mid prayer. There have been so many wasted prayers, just going through the motions, so it is no wonder that at the end of most prayers I sigh and say ‘forgive me, forgive me, forgive me’.

I reached a point where I needed to reconnect with the meaningful salahs of my early conversion, the experience of really wanting to pray, really needing the prayer. I needed to remember the good times in prayer so I could reconnect again during the bad times. When you experience moments of that indescribable feeling of certainty (yaqeen) this is when your prayer counts and this is the ingredient I yearn for in salah, otherwise know as Khushoo.

In 2010 I attended Prayer Beyond the Motions in Liverpool. Seven years on I’m in need again of that reminder!  Just like the prayer is, a constant reminder of our purpose in life, we all need reminders! Sheikh Abu Nahla has kindly agreed to come to the UK and teach the course 4 times God bless him! 1st stop London, then Cardiff, Manchester and Leeds. If your anything like me, slightly, no actually majorly imperfect in prayer, then I recommend you attend with me all 4! or maybe just in Manchester as Ill be cooking lunch 🙂 (see why I need reminders? I’m always distracted!)

May Allah help us connect to Him through this essential pillar of Islam. Amen

Prayer Beyond the Motions

‘Salah Beyond the Fiqh’

April 1st 2017 @ Salahadeen al Ayubi Mosque Manchester 9.30-7pm

Tickets and registration by clicking here

img_6703

MANCHESTER
Saturday 1 April 2017
Time: 9:30 to 7pm
Venue: Masjid Salahadeen al Ayubi
61-63 Ladybarn Lane
Fallowfield
Manchester M146YL
Tuition:
Early bird rate – £19
Standard rate – £25
Email: Noesisukmcr@gmail.com
Text enquires: 07513951531
Register here: https://noesisinstitute.com/preregistration.aspx

FOR OTHER COURSE VENEUS AND DATES SEE www.noesisinstitute.com

Quranic Parenting Intro Mcr April 4th 2017

Quranic Parenting Raising Godly Families

Free Introduction talk @ Salahadeen al Ayubi Mosque

Tuesday April 2017 4th 6-8pm

Online registration required by clicking here

qparent

Are you a parent who worries for your children? Do you feel a heavy responsibility towards them? Are you a father carrying inner pain? Are you a mother burdened with guilt? Then this free short introduction talk to this popular parenting course is for you!

Are you recently married? Do you fear marriage because of the duties of parenthood? Will you be a parent soon? Then this course is for you!

Are you a researcher studying the science of raising children successfully? Are you studying child development? Then this course is for you!

Come explore the Quranic view and prophetic guidelines for raising children properly. Gain knowledge of best practices and learn about the tools available to you – all rooted in Quranic wisdom and confirmed by our experiences.

The main 2 day course Topics include:
Introduction to tarbiya (raising) and tazkiya (purification)
The living formula: prioritize avoiding harm over attaining benefits
The ways of Quranic raising
Godly kids and godly families
What to do and what not to do
Measuring effectiveness
Truth versus wisdom
Tools and examples

**This 2 hour free taster intro will talk briefly about the key points of Quranic parenting**
About Course Instructor
Shaykh Abu Nahla has been teaching for 26 years in the field of Dawah and Tarbiya. He studied Islamic Shariah in Palestine and the Sciences of Tasawwuf in both Palestine and Egypt. He obtained several Ijazahs from his well-respected teachers and has become a leading expert in his field. He has also become known for conducting unique Quranic Tarbiya intensives.

Tarbiya touches upon all sciences, including but not limited to Quran, hadith, tasawwuf, and fiqh. While many have never tasted the fruit of tarbiyya because of fear or misconceptions around tassawwuf and Sufism, Shaykh Abu Nahla manages to deliver the best of the fruit in his intensives: the fruit that is aligned with the Quran and Sunnah and bound by Shariah.

He appreciates the truth and studies all facets of the deen to gain a better understanding and obtain the most comprehensive view of Allah’s religion.. Shaykh Abu Nahla’s main concerns are the revival of lost Quranic concepts, the true understanding of Islam, as well as Tarbiya and the sciences of application. He is trying his best to improve the condition of the Ummah by serving the revival of true Islamic concepts.

Funded Counselling with Asiya Trust

Funded Counselling Sessions with Asiya Trust

images-12

Many women suffer in one way or another from a life of tyranny and oppression. Whether that is from a narcissist dictator as Asiyah did (wife of the Pharaoh), or the oppressive desires of the self. No women should need to hide their true fitrah (natural disposition towards Divine goodness) but one often does through fear of judgment, poverty, stigma or abuse. Asiya trust was set up to support women emerge from oppression and discover peace in this life and the life hereafter.

Asiya represents, strength, courage, self-love, compassion, acceptance and humbleness. Asiya trust can support your life by offering funding towards your counselling at Salaam Solutions. Whether you are Muslim or not, an Islamic inspired approach to psychotherapy and counselling can transform your life and hereafter.

Asiya trust relies on donations and is soon to become a registered charity. Entitlement to Asiya funded counselling sessions is upon meeting the following criteria;

  • Unemployed and not in support of other family income.
  • Student in full time study
  • Single parent Mother with children under 16 and not working.
  • Recent widow.
  • Convert (who’s family have rejected their faith)

*A contribution fee is required for the counselling sessions of £10 per 1 hour session of 6 funded sessions of a normally £40 session fee. (Asiya trust will pay Salaam Solutions Therapy fee). £10 contribution is payable at the beginning of each session with a 24hr cancellation policy. Failure to turn up for your session more than once will result in cancellation of Asiya funded counselling place and a charge for the missed sessions.

To apply for 6 funded counselling sessions by Asiya trust email salaamsolutionstherapy@gmail.com or text 07513951531

The Legacy of Asiya

Asiya (Arabic: آسية), also known as Asiya bint Muzahim, is revered by Muslims as one of the greatest women of all time, other three are Mary (mother of Jesus), Khadija (wife of Muhammad) and Fatimah (daughter of Muhammad). She was the wife of the Pharaoh (in Arabic pronounced “Fir’awn”), who reigned during Moses’s (Arabic: Musa) time. The Qur’an chronicles her as a great person. She declared her faith in the message of God after witnessing the miracle of Moses in the Court of Pharaoh and after witnessing the death of another believing woman under torture. The Pharaoh tried to turn her away from the God. But Asiya refused to reject the God and teaching of Moses. On the Pharaoh’s order, she was tortured to death.

It is said that Asiya was a sincere believer and that she fully submitted herself to Allah, despite being the wife of Pharaoh. According to Hadith, she will be among the first women to enter Paradise because she accepted Moses’s monotheism over Pharaoh’s beliefs. The Qur’an mentions Asiya as an example to all Muslims

And God sets forth, as an example to those who believe the wife of Pharaoh: Behold she said: ‘O my Lord! Build for me, in nearness to Thee, a mansion in the Garden, and save me from Pharaoh and his doings, and save me from those that do wrong’:

— Qur’an, chapter 66 (At-Tahrim), verse 11

Abu Musa Ashaari narrated that once the Islamic prophet, Muhammad stated, ‘Many men reached perfection but none among the women reached perfection except Mary,the daughter of Imran, and Asiya, Pharoah’s wife.’

– Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 7.329

Ruqyah Rogues & Fake Sheikhs

Google search jinn possession or ruqyah healing and your bombarded with websites of rogue practitioners charging money for innovated practices of Ruqyah. There are websites set up , claiming to offer sunnah healing also training for anyone to become a ruqyah practitioner. On further investigation these narcissistic rogues have multiple businesses  and other questionable qualifications. Rogue Ruqies can cause serious problems to their clients, sometimes as serious as death (BBC 2012).

images-11

If someone is charging money to recite Quran for you, sell  a Quran tape/cd to play of ‘protection verses’, spray water or vinegar over you, tap you with a stick, shout at you to expel the jinn! then he/she is probably a fake sheikh!

However , there are knowledgeable people out there making it their mission to educate vulnerable people on the evils of this shirk (association with other than Allah swt). If you feel vulnerable, frightened or exposed to Magic, evil eye, hatred or evil Jinn then read the information below on protection and seek professional guidance and support from a registered psychotherapist, mental health practitioner, counsellor, GP (physical), or holistic therapist (Hijama/cupping).

Below is reference to a discussion on  Ruqyah and the warning signs of these fake sheikhs.

The Profession of Ruqyah-Giving

Some people have turned ruqyah-giving into a profession for which they devote their full time, and from which they earn a lot of money. This conflicts with the Sunnah and the practice of the salaf. It should be avoided by both the giver (called a reciter or a raqi) and the seeker of ruqyah. Some of the reasons for its prohibition are the following:

The common people think that the reciter has a special healing power, thereby turning their minds from the True Healer and His words to the one who recites them. This is a clear source of shirk.

We have no reports of any of the sahabah and salaf devoting their time to offer this service. This makes it a bid’ah in the Din.

When the devils realize the common people’s fascination by a particular person, they do things to cause deviation to him and them. This is clearly expressed in the above discussion that took place between Ibn Mas’ud and his wife.

When a reciter finds the people gathering at his door seeking his help, he would imagine that he has a high status before Allah, and would be drawn into vanity and conceit.

Most of the reciters have a poor knowledge of the Sunnah, which makes them claim or do things that have no basis in Islam.

Since this profession is a good source of income, it attracts many impostors and liars who claim that they can treat people, thereby adding to the spread of ignorance, falsehood, and shirk.(ref Ruqyah Sharia)

Have Trust in Allah swt and his Given Tools for Healing; the Quran and Sunnah. 

  • Seek knowledge of your deen (religion)
  • Seek knowledge of your condition (self awareness of your issues is key to taqwa)
  • Seek knowledge of others (educate yourself on Allahs creation, for there are ayat everywhere)
  • Strengthen your belief in Allah through reflection and practices (Based on Qur’aan, Sunnah,prayer, supplication, remembrance)
  • Aim for  sincerity in worshipping Allah and check your intentions in all situtuations
  • Strive towards pleasing Allah, ask your self ‘will this please Allah?’
  • Avoid  unlawful places and situations that can lead to what is forbidden, for example isolating himself with a female/male , etc.
  • Keep trust and confidentiality. Guard the affairs of his friends and family and self and protect their secrets.(speaking with a counsellor/trusted sheikh who gives counselling is permissible for self healing and protection)
  • Practice and propagate the religion of Allah. seek knowledge of Islam and other world affairs, learn, practice and teach.
  • Seek the way of the Messenger and follow the correct methodology of tazkiyah (Quranic self development)
  • Aim to Recite, read and reflect and apply the Quran in your daily life
  • Give optional charity and help others, even if it is with a smile.
  • Seek forgiveness from Allah swt (tawbah) and Forgive yourself and others (know and reflect what you are asking forgiveness for and seek the reasons why)
  • Aim to know Allah in order to attain complete sincerity and belief in the unity of Allah, The Wise, The Judge. He is harmed by nothing and nothing benefits him. glory be to Him and He is above all things – (Ibn Qayyim 2/238-245)

Jinn Possession; Fact or Cultural Fiction? Call for New Research

Call for Research

When asked the question, Can Jinn posses human beings and if so does this contribute or cause psychological/spiritual illness?  generally the consensus amongst muslim cultures* is to agree with the possibility . Whilst most mental health practitioners and Islamic teachers discuss the importance of seeking professional psychological or medical  help for psychological symptoms, some muslim cultures still prefer to self diagnose their condition as Jinn possession and consult with rogue practitioners who practice innovated treatments, outside of the practices of the Sunnah (teachings based on the Quran and Prophetic practices).

However the question, can Jinn actually possess human beings? seems to be buried with the scholars of the past and not open for discussion between professionals, scholars and the general public. Exploration of the question if left un-researched could lead to heresy, negative innovation or indifference.  As we see a global misinterpretation of Islamic teachings personified in acts of terrorism, it is essential that philosophies and interpretations of Islamic texts such as this question is researched, translated and presented to all Muslims and non in order to improve  knowledge and rectify possible misunderstandings and more seriously, corruption of sacred teachings. At present there is a great shortage of academic research that looks at Jinn possession . The majority of books available to the Muslim public and translated into English, contain small chapters on Jinn possession and these chapters repeat the same rhetoric that was assumed over 8 centuries ago . The author calls for a more informed interpretation of the ambiguous verses relating to Jinn and possession and open the debate with contemporary Islamic Scholars. The researcher  welcomes  debate and discourse  based on academic, medical/scientific or professional evidence to enrich the study.

Below is a short introduction to the research, to be published in due course. comments can be made on the page below or via email to salaamsolutionstherapy@gmail.com

(*muslim culture referes to person(s) who claim Islam as their religion but may not necessarily practice the teachings of Islam)

RESEARCH 

How does the assumption of possession by supernatural beings affect the access, diagnosis and efficacy of psychological services?

Abstract

Research which explores disadvantages for BME client groups in accessing psychological services highlights  barriers such as; education, language, trust, and stigmatisation (Cinnirella & Loewenthal 1999; Gilbert et al 2007; Haque 2004; Rethink 2007; Weatherhead & Daiches 2010; Youssef & Deane 2006; Pilkington et al 2011). Within these barriers, such as stigmatisation, it was generally reported that Muslims (amongst the BME groups discussed) hold the view that mental and some physical illnesses are caused by possession of supernatural beings referred to as Jinn. These assumptions could be an additional or contributory factor to the reason why Muslims reluctantly access Western mental health services? (Ally & Laher 2008; Haque 2004;Islam & Campbell, 2012; Weatherhead & Daiches 2010).  It is further noted that there is also a disadvantage for muslims in accessing the guidance  offered in the Quran as guidance and healing of spiritual, psychological ailments. This could be why  Muslim cultures often refer to culturally influenced diagnosis of Jinn possession and innovated treatment methods outside of the teachings of the Quran? (Ally & Laher 2008; Haque 2004;Islam & Campbell, 2012; Weatherhead & Daiches 2010).  The author of this  research intends to examine the origins of these assumptions in more detail and examine the interpretations supporting mental illness as Jinn possession whilst also exploring in more depth why Muslims rely on cultural and/or invented interpretations and practices of religious guidance (Utz 2011, Khaleel 2005, Phillips, 1989).

 

‘F***ing Muslims’

 

‘F***ing muslims’ they shout as I walk on by,

‘do you not know who I am?’

‘can you not see me cry?’

but they do not know who I really am and if I care is it because I am? 

I was posed the question the other day, ‘who are you?’ I was really taken back by my reaction. I had several answers in my mind; I answered with my name (no doubt a child response to the parental questioning!) Internally I answered the higher parent (the Creator ) ‘I’m Muslim’.  My answer ended up suiting the context of the initial discussion and the questioner, ‘I’m a psychotherapist’.

I left that conversation dissatisfied. I had  sold myself short, I am not just a psychotherapist, in fact I don’t even know if I am entitled to that label  anyway! ‘becoming’ a psychotherapist takes at least 10 years, maybe a lifetime, maybe never! I know I’m a mum, its a fact, I gave birth 4 times! but do I action motherly service or love at all times? One of my most obvious labels to those who pass me by in the street is that I am a white, muslim convert or as the poet says ‘a f***ing Muslim’.  If anyone could be bothered to think beyond their initial judgment they could ask why is she a white muslim convert? but the usual quick judgment is, her husband is muslim so she converted (you must be joking, just give that a try!), or she’s an attention seeker, oppressed, confused, terrorist, crazy, uneducated, backward etc etc or on a positive some might just see me as a fellow soul seeker (hello there!)

My identity as a Muslim brings me enormous strength and also enormous challenge. My conversion to Islam has been both liberating and oppressive, but the oppression is not from the Quran or the Prophetic teachings,  the oppression has come from myself. My identities are desperately trying to lead me! ones such as; ‘I was once slim’ ‘my hair was once my asset’ ‘i liked wine’ ‘i am the perfect mum’ there are many, and each one of them has nothing to do with the core essence of me, each one of them was borrowed or given by others.  The most difficult one, the one that brings me so much pain is the one that cares what you think. Your view of me does have an impact, for sure, or I wouldn’t bother to write. However, I will not let this ‘hanger on’ oppressive identifier rule me because then it becomes master of my  thoughts, feelings and my behaviour, what scary thought!

A 2013 report on  convert Identity highlights some beautiful struggles of the female muslim convert. I shed a few tears at the depth of the empathic enquiry and commend his efforts to understand our struggle. I will end with a quote from his work, which I am am more than happy to identity with;

”conversion is always in a mode of becoming through which a state of being subsists as a core.”   (Professor Yasir Suleiman 2013).

 

5 Reminders for the Troubled Muslim!

As a Muslim we are living in troubled times. Perhaps it has always been? maybe we just didn’t take any notice before? or maybe we were too young? too wrapped up in ourselves?

Every day the news reports more evil and we as Muslims carry the burden of so many labels its hard to see whats reality and whats illusion. I don’t know about you but this burden can take its toll on our faith (emaan). When we are constantly bullied in the media or by politicians we loose our sense of identity. When our beliefs are attacked we begin to question and if we are not strong enough in our knowledge then we quickly begin to doubt our understanding. When we feel de-humanised we begin to feel like we don’t belong and when we don’t belong we loose hope.   I asked a teacher if he had any advice for those days when we feel lost, confused, challenged or low in emaan power! He gave me these 5 and I would like to share.

images

Tell yourself this when you or others question your faith…..

1. I know there is a God whom I trust and Love

2. I know there are Prophets who spoke Gods word to us and I love them all and aspire to be like them in character and deeds

3. I know Islam and I have studied it. It amazed me like nothing else and I allow myself to love and trust it. I am in constant search and growth with its wisdom and teaching.

4. I have studied all other options, teachings, religions, philosophies and did not see that they have a better teaching or a better lifestyle, expect what appeals to the desires (alcohol, frivolity, drugs etc) These alternative options offer no real solutions as a mental , spiritual or solid truth.

5. I have experienced at a personal level the benefits, signs and experiences of faith in One God and Islam as my religion enough to know it is the truth.

If we can’t relate to any of these affirmations then this is a good place to start researching and building the fortress for your Muslim identity and faith. For example, if we have a doubt that Islam is the right religion then we need to go out and research again. Don’t be blind, it will get you know where!

An additional piece of advice was offered; ‘Do not use emotions to lead you. Use your mind and objectivity. Do not build assumptions, as they grow and become reality. When you start to believe negative emotions and assumptions (e.g. the world says islam is evil) then this enters the heart and we begin to believe it.’

Let us protect our precious emaan (faith) and keep on learning.

Peace x

Ramadan Therapy Clinic is Free and Open!

Muraqaba (مراقبة, an Arabic word meaning “to watch over”, “to take care of”, or “to keep an eye”),  has been translated from Arabic as meditation. Muraqaba implies that through this ‘watching’ of ones self , a person  takes care of his spiritual heart (or soul), and acquires knowledge about it, its surroundings, and its Creator, Allah swt.

 self

Muraqaba is  available to anyone and can be experienced anytime, but is especially effective during Ramadan as a fast track, detox, psycho-spiritual therapy! Ramadan is primarily the month of the Quran, and within the Quran we are taught that through knowledge and application of this book we can elevate ourselves to eternal peace and everlasting love. One way to assist with this elevation is to fast in Ramadan. The believer is prescribed fasting so that the veils of distraction (such as water, food, sex, negative behaviour) are suspended from fuelling and assisting negativity in our selves (or nafs). Through this restraint over long periods of time (dawn till sunset for a lunar month) channels of communication between ourself and our Creator, Allah swt are opened to elevate our soul.

Viewing Ramadan as fast track therapeutic rehabilitation can make the whole process more rewarding, purposeful, not to mention life changing! Ramadan  really is similar to counselling and psychotherapy in so many ways. For example this year client Nafs has come to Ramadan with low motivation, bouts of anger and depression. Intentions to read Quran, pray extra,  unplug the TV set,  have not yet been realised and they feel a sense of defeat and failure.

The Muraqaba therapist asks  ‘what does fasting mean to you?’, they say; ‘it means abstaining from food that I need to get  through the day !’. A Muraqaba dialogue begins;

Muraqaba Therapist:  ‘so food gets you through your day, what happens when food is not there?’

Client: ‘food helps me to do all i want to do and when its not there time goes slow, i guess food distracts me’

MT: ‘so food distracts you , and what is it that you want to be distracted from?’

Client: ‘my sadness. food makes me feel happy and satisfied , like being hugged or loved ,when its not there I’m sad, empty’

MT: ‘so you eat food and feel loved?’ 

Client: ‘yes, thats how love was given in our family, happiness = a good meal, a gift, a replacement for a hug, or a reward for good behaviour but it was also used to control, it was taken away sometimes as a punishment or forced in angry situations’.

MT: ‘so food is an unhealthy attachment used to replace love, are there any alternative ways to experience love, positive, lasting love? what does your guidance teach?’

Client: ‘ it says in the Quran that the only love that lasts is with Allah ‘

Mt: ‘Well lets us read some more about that love with Allah, and how we can experience it ”

The Muraqaba therapist listens, doesn’t judge, doesn’t criticise, gives praise and encouragement . The Muraqaba therapist highlights the negative but looks for a positive. The aim is to see themselves and check it out against truth. This truth can be found  through education, questioning, reasoning, practicing, experiencing.

The murqaba therapist reflects with the nafs on ‘how they now feel?’, checks out ‘if its true for them and what makes it so? if it is in line with their goals based on their guidance of choice, the  Quran? They ask to confirm expectations, reason and find logic based on a the scale, their guidance, the Quran. Does is fit with what is eternally good for them, others and the environment? Together they form new ways of thinking and practice new ways of behaving, all in manageable doses and with consistency.

A new contract/goal is made, together the muraqaba therapist and nafs work together and something changes in the self, they experience a part of themselves that is more secure, more real, more balanced, more loved, they experience the soul. The soul resides in the heart and as the self watches with muraqaba it begins to understand and it masters part of the nafs. In turn the soul emerges stronger and moves further up the path of the believer.   The Muraqaba therapist, nafs and soul end the days session, with some positive affirmations and self talk in the form of remembrance of the higher purpose,  dhikr; ‘alhamduillah, subhanAllah, Allah akhbar, la Allah ha illAllah’ and then make another appointment for the next fast!

The Muraqaba therapist is available for free for anyone at anytime for it is your mind, nafs and soul working in harmony to experience  sweetness of faith and everlasting love. Ramadan Mubarak!

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: