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Valentine's Day Story: The Red Heart

Valentine's Day Story: The Red HeartIt could have been the splash of red or the over abundance of hearts, the young man in a designer jeans that caught his eye, but Sheikh Hamaad stopped under the bold "Valentine's day Specials" banner, set his shopping basket on the floor and watched the young man battling to select an appropriate gift from the heaps of hearts, teddy bears and chocolates. Like a busy humming bird he flitted from shelf to shelf struggling to choose.

Sheikh Hamaad approached him as he stood scratching his head, "Asalaamu Alaikum, young man, seems like you're battling to make a choice."

"Eish, Moulana, this is more difficult than I thought. And lucky I only have to choose for two of them," he said, picking up another heart decorated teddy bear, examining the price and putting down with disappointment.

"For your sisters?" Sheikh asked, feigning innocence.

"Naah, just friends, you know how it is. You have to do these things" came the prompt reply.

Sheikh Hamaad remained silent and fixed his gentle gaze on the young man, something more than the loud Billabong T-shirt and hipster jeans told him that this young man had more than a spark of intelligence.

"Tell me, how many Valentine's gifts do your sisters receive?"

"Hey, hey .... Moulana my sisters are not like that. They don't do this boyfriend thing. My sisters .... they are pure," exclaimed the young man an angry frown crossing his face. "Just let the guy try and send my sister's one flower and I will make him eat it. You don't know me!"

"Oh," said Sheikh Hamaad without any apology, "And your mother, how many Valentine's gifts does she get?"

The young man took a step back and glared at Sheikh Hamaad, "La Hawla Wala Quwwata Illa Billah" his words swallowed by his anger, "how can you even say such things about my mother? My mother, she doesn't do this stuff. She is like an angel. She is pure. How can you say this?"

Sheikh paused, waiting for the silence to absorb the boy's anger, then said, tauntingly, "So they don't receive any Valentine's gifts or have boyfriend's at all."

"I told you, Moulana, my family is pure and they don't do this junk stuff."

Knowing the moment was right Sheikh but forward his reasoning, "So you really don't like your sisters receiving these gifts or having boyfriends."

"No ways," came the emphatic reply, "not on my life."

"Then don't you think," Sheikh ventured, "that other people would also not like their sisters, mothers or aunts to receive such gifts. Just as you would like your sisters to remain pure, they would also like their sisters to be pure?"

The young man dropped his head and shifted his feet nervously, "You have a point, Moulana. Didn't ever think of it like that. I don't want to say ... but you are right. I shouldn't be polluting other people's family if I don't like my family to be polluted. This is all quite wrong isn't it?"

"Yes, it's quite wrong," without a hint of reprimand in his voice, "this is not our way."

"But," he asked, trying to conceal his embarrassment, "It's not like we doing anything serious. I mean it's only a gift. Not like we doing something physical ... so it should be ok, no?"

Without disturbing his calmness, Sheikh Hamaad replied, "Do you like to go fishing?"

"Now you are talking my language. Not a Sunday, not one, that we not by the dam," he replied his hands waving with excitement, "We sit the whole day me and my buddies. First we prime the place with milie bombs. Just so the fish know we there. And they come, Moulana. They come for the bait. The whole lot, man ....carpe, bass, white fish, you name it. But what's that got to do with buying gifts."

"When Shaytaan wants to trap someone," Sheikh replied serenely, "he first puts some bait. Innocent stuff like gifts, the odd sms, just a hello and then when the time is right .... he will strike and how you say ... you fall hook, line and sinker. Then he's got you and it's not long before he reels you in. So it starts with just a little bait. Just like the little gift that seems so innocent - it's the bait."

The young man beamed with this new found revelation and couldn't wait to ask, "You are so right! And you have an amazing way of getting a point across Moulana, you didn't just lecture me but you showed me how it is wrong. Thanks a mil. You must have learnt from a great teacher?"

"No doubt, I learnt from the best of all teachers," Sheikh answered, "In fact, the best of all mankind ... The Noblest Messenger of Allah - Rasulallah Sallahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallam."

By Abdurrahman Umar

Valentine's Day or Festival of Love in Islam

Valentine's Day or Festival of Love in IslamAllah (SWT) has chosen for us Islam as our religion and He will not accept any other religion from anyone, as He says: "And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will not be accepted from him and he will be one of the losers in the Hereafter." (Noble Qur'an, 3:85)

Indeed, Islam is the religion of altruism, true love and cooperation on that which is good and righteous. We implore Allah (SWT) to gather us together under the umbrella of His All-encompassing Mercy, and to unite us together as one Ummah. Allah Almighty says: "The believers are but brothers, so make settlement between your brothers. And fear Allah that you may receive mercy." (Noble Qur'an, 49:10)

Among the forms of love that are religiously acceptable are those that include the love for Prophets and Messengers. It stands to reason that the love for Allah (SWT) and His Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) should have the top priority over all other forms of love.

Islam does recognize happy occasions that bring people closer to one another and add spice to their lives. However, Islam goes against blindly imitating the West regarding a special occasion such as Valentine's Day. Hence, commemorating that special day known as the Valentine's Day is an innovation or bid'ah that has no religious backing. Every innovation of that kind is rejected, as far as Islam is concerned. Islam requires all Muslims to love one another all over the whole year, and reducing the whole year to a single day is totally rejected.

Hence, we Muslims ought not to follow in the footsteps of such innovations and superstitions that are common in what is known as the Valentine's Day. No doubt that there are many irreligious practices that occur on that day and those practices are capable of dissuading people from the true meanings of love and altruism to the extent that the celebration is reduced to a moral decline.

Chocolates, flowers, hearts, cards, teddy bear and romance: these are the ingredients that make up the annual celebration of Valentine's Day every February 14. On the surface, these are lovely things. But in reality, the occasion promotes the culture of male-female relations from a specific point of view.

We should avoid anything associated with pagan immoral practices - We do not need to honour or celebrate the death of a Christian "saint" - Islam does not encourage flirting or suggestions of romantic relationships before marriage - Love between families, friends and married people does not need to be celebrated on a day with such un-Islamic origins.

As Muslims, we are required to love one another and to wish and inculcate love among people regardless of their color, race, religion or identity. However, this does not mean dissolving our identity or blindly copying and imitating others' traditions and practices. Valentine's Day Pahmphlet

Note: The Arabic word bid'ah means adopting something new as a religious practice into Islam. Bid'ah is a sin in Islam. Muslims should avoid things with un-Islamic roots even though they may appear to be innocent.

What "I Love You" really means in Islam! (Husband and Wife relationship in Islam)

What I Love You really means in Islam!And every time February 14th - Valentine's Day - approaches, I think of Imam Khomeini (ra) the leader of Islamic Revolution in Iran ...

Imam Khomeini's wife would say, "I was never woken up by Imam praying Salatul Layl (Night Prayer) because he would never switch on the room light. When he would go to do Wudhoo, he would place a sponge in the sink under the tap so that the sound of the falling water would not wake me."

Agha (Imam Khomeini) always offered me the better place in the room. He would not start eating until I came to the dinner table. He would also tell the children: 'Wait until Maa comes.'

He was not even willing that I should work in the house. He would always tell me: 'Don't sweep.' If I wanted to wash the children's clothes at the pond, he would come and say: "Get up, you shouldn't be washing."

"On the whole, I have to say that Imam did not consider sweeping, washing dishes and even washing my children's clothes as part of my responsibilities. If out of necessity I sometimes did these, he would get upset considering them as a type of unjust dealing towards me".

"Even when I entered the room, he would never say: 'Close the door behind you,' but waited till I sat down and then would himself get up and shut the door".

Imam Khomeini's daughter Siddika says: "My father had an extraordinary respect for my mother. In the period of 60 years of living together, he did not even reach for food (on the dinner table) before his wife, nor did he have even the smallest expectation from her. I can even say that in the period of 60 years of living together, at no time did he even ask for a glass of water, but would always get it himself".

"He behaved this way not only with his wife but also with all of us who were his daughters. If he ever wanted water we would all enthusiastically run to get it, but he never wanted us to bring and give him a glass of water in his hand".

During the difficult last days of his life, each time he would open his eyes, if he was capable of speaking, he would ask: 'How is Khanom (Imam's wife)?' We would reply: 'She is good. Shall we tell her to come to you?' He would answer: 'No, her back is hurting. Let her rest.'

Here is one of the letters Imam Khomeini (ra) wrote to his wife from Beirut, Lebanon:

"To my beloved wife, O' I die for you. I have always remembered you when you - the light of my eyes and strength of my soul - have been away from me. Your pretty face is shining in my heart like in a mirror ... I really miss you here in Beirut. You can find a lot of beautiful places to visit in the city and at the sea. What a pity that my dearest is not with me ... This has been a good journey so far trip but you are really and truly missed. I miss our son, Seyyed Mustafa. I pray that God will protect you both. I love you so much. Duas and Salaams. Ruhullah Khomeini".

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Islamic Moral Stories is designed by Akramulla Syed Last Updated: Thursday, November 17, 2016