Copyright © 2003-2011, Aishah Schwartz. Permission granted to circulate among private individuals, groups, or in not-for-profit publications in full text and subject title. All other rights reserved.

November 29, 2007

Introducing the "Beginner's Cheat Sheet" Sound File!


Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatuallahi wa Barakatuhu and Greetings to Non-Muslim Readers!

As it happens, I am not one of those people with the gift that allows one to memorize well or to learn foreign languages. Al-hamdulillah, Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala is okay with that, insha'Allah! But it set me to thinking that for sure I was not the only one with this handicap!

So, I set out in the early days of my writing to compile a list of Arabic words and phrases that I could, in the very least, incorporate into my writing. I was keen to do this because I had become aware of the significance and potential for reward, or acceptance as good deeds, for those things that Muslims say and do in remembrance of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala. It stood to reason, in my mind, that Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala was already aware of my handicap, so if I made the extra effort, the potential for reward would be even greater. The list of words and phrases I chose to compile each contain a form of the word "Allah" - and as such, as I understood it, when used or spoken, became reward worthy! 


Then I got to thinking, hey! How great would it be to share the list with others! And then every time someone used one of the words or phrases from the list they received from me, I would receive yet another reward! At that point the whole reward system was looking pretty good to me! *smile!*

And then I got another idea!

What if I could get the list recorded so that people who do not speak Arabic and are not even around other people who speak Arabic, could actually hear how the words pronounced and defined! Has anyone ever played the board game SCRABBLE? *lol* My brain was running in over-time mode and I was thinking, "Triple points!" (rewards.) *lol*

So, on November 18, 2005, I distributed an email through my e-distribution lists in search of a volunteer willing to record the list to create an up-loadable audio file of the now, much re-cycled Sister Aishah's "Beginner's Cheat Sheet" (inserted below).

Al-hamdulillah, 16-months later (March '07) the task was, at long last, embraced by a dedicated Muslim brother from Jordan. May Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala reward him greatly, in this dunya and in the Hereafter, insha'Allah.


Now lets review.

There is reward to be found in each word used for each time I speak or write it.

Then the reward is multiplied for each time another person speaks or writes it.

Then there is a reward for each time another person hears the words, repeats and/or writes them!

Then there is a reward for each time the person you share the list with who repeats and/or writes them!

And so on, and so on, and so on!

Is anyone else seeing the potential for reward here that I am? *smile*

And all you have to do is click on the share link...imagine that.

Could remembrance of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala (or dawah even!), possibly get any easier?

‎"Allah the Most High says, 'I am with my slave when he thinks of Me and I am with him when he mentions Me. For if he mentions Me to himself, I mention him to Myself; and if he mentions Me in a gathering, I mention him in superior gathering. If he approaches Me by a hand's width, I approach him by an arm's length, I approach him by two arms length. And if he comes to me walking, I hasten to him swiftly.'" [Bukhari]



ALAYHIS SALAM - Alayhis Salam'Peace be upon him', a formula used after the name of a prophet.

AMEEN - Ameen - The Arabic expression meaning 'Please accept'. Used at the end of prayers and supplications (duas).

ASSALAMU ALAYKUM - Assalamu Alaikum - 'Peace be upon you' the greeting of the Muslim. [The reply is 'wa alaikumus salam' which means 'and peace be upon you'. The fuller version reads, 'assalam u alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa baakatuhu' which means'peace be upon you and the blessings and mercy of Alllah' the reply is 'wa alaikumus salam wa rahmatulahi wa baakatuhu'].

ALLAHU AKBAR - Allahu Akbar - The Arabic expression meaning 'Allah is great(est)'. Also called the takbir.

ALLAHU A'ALAM - Allahu A'alam - An Arabic expression meaning 'Allah knows best'.

AL HAMDU LILAH WA SHUKRU LILLAH - Al Hamdulilah wa Shukru Lillah - The Arabic expression meaning which means 'Praise belongs to Allah and all thanks to Allah'.

ASTAGFURALLAH - Astagfur'Allah - The Arabic expression meaning, 'I ask forgiveness of Allah'.

AUDHU BILLAHI MIN ASH SHAYTAN AR RAJIM - Audhu Billahi min ash Shaytan ar Rajim - The Arabic expression meaning, 'I seek protection in Allah from the accursed satan'.

BARAKALLAH FIK - Barak'Allah Fik - An expression which means, 'May the blessings of Allah be upon you.' When a Muslims want to thank another person, they uses different statements to express thanks, appreciation and gratitude. One of them is Barak'Allah. 

BISMILLAH AR RAHMAN AR RAHIM - Bismillah ar Rahman ar Rahim -The basmala. 'In the name of Allah, the all Merciful the all Compassionate' [this is also translated as In the Name of Allah most Gracious Most Merciful].

FI AMANALLAH - Fi Aman'Alla - Valedictory (expressing or containing a farewell) phrase meaning 'In Allah's protection'.

FI SABILILLAH - Fi Sabilillah - The Arabic expression meaning 'In the way of Allah', 'For the cause of Allah' [also used to mean 'for the love of Allah'].

HASBALA - Hasbala - The Arabic expression, 'Hasbunallah wa nimalwakil' meaning'Allah is enough for us and an excellent Guardian'. Usually known as 'Hasbi Allah'.

INNA LILLAHI WA INNA ILAYHI RAJIUN - Inna Lillahi wa Inna Ilayhi Rajiun - This is something which a Muslim expresses when he is afflicted by a misfortune, the meaning of which is, 'We are from Allah and to Him are we returning.' It is taken from an ayat (verse) from the Quran (ch 2 vs 156). [This is usually said upon hearing of the death of an individual.]

INSHALLAH - Insha'Allah - The Arabic expression meaning 'If Allah wills' - 'God Willing'.[This is usually said when referring to a situation in the future e.g. IinshAllah I will go to the grocery shop tomorrow." etc.]

ISTIGHFAR - Istighfar - To ask the forgiveness of Allah, especially by saying,Astagfur'Allah, 'I seek the forgiveness of Allah'.

JAZAKALLAHU KHAIRAN - Jazaka Allahu Khairan - Jazakallahu Khayran - This is a statement of thanks and appreciation to be said to a person who does a favour. Instead of saying 'shukran' (thanks), this phrase is used. It means 'May Allah reward you with good'.

LA HAWLA WALA QUWWATA ILLA BILLAH - 'la hawla wa la quwwata illa billah' - The meaning of this expression is, 'There is no power nor strength save in Allah' . This is said by a Muslim when he/she is struck with calamity, or is taken over by a situation beyond his/her control.

MA SALAMA - Ma'Salaama - With peace', a formula for ending letters [in reply, "Fi Aman'Allah" - In Allah's Protection].

MASHALLAH - Masha'Allah - A phrase literally meaning 'What Allah wishes', and it indicates a good omen. 

RABBANA WA LAKAL_HAMD - Rabbana wa Lakal Hamd - 'Our Lord, Praise if yours', said after rising from ruku after saying 'sami Allahuliman hamidah' [which means 'Allah listens to the one who praises him']. 

SUBHANALLAH - Subhan'Allah 'Glorified is Allah.' - To honour Allah and make Him free from all (unsuitable evil things) that are ascribed to Him, (or 'Glorified be Allah').

SUBHANALLAH WA TA'ALA - Subhanahu wa ta'ala - 'Glorified is He and exalted', an expression that Muslims use when the name of Allah is pronounced or written [this is often abbreviated as (swt)].

TABARAK'ALLAH - Tabarak'Allah - The formula 'Blessed is Allah' [usually used in the context of when one hears good news].

YA ALLAH - 'Oh God' - or 'Lets Go' Often used by Aishah's heart-adopted sister, Sameera (in Saudi Arabia), when she would call out, "Ya'Allah! Aishah! Come!" *smile*



Please remember Br. Omar of Jordan in your duas and ask that Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala reward and bless him for his contribution in providing us with the wonderful audio file that brings this list to life, and insha'Allah serves as a reminder to one and all the importance in remembrance of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala in all that we say and do, insha'Allah.

If I am right, it is from Allah; if wrong, it is from me. I ask Allah Almighty to protect you and me from errors and from all that displease Him. Al-Hamdu-lillahi rabbil-alameen.

November 21, 2007

MAS Freedom Condemns Saudi Miscarriage of Justice in Gang Rape Sentencing

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Muslim Community Called Upon to Stand in Solidarity Against Human Rights Abuse

WASHINGTON, D.C. (MASNET) Nov. 20, 2007 – MAS Freedom (MASF), as the civic and human rights advocacy entity of the Muslim American Society (MAS), in response to what is clearly a gross and cruel miscarriage of true justice, expressed both outrage and intense protest to the government of Saudi Arabia in the aftermath of a judicial decree to punish a 19-year old female victim of gang rape, known only as 'Qatif Girl', with 200 lashes and 6-months imprisonment.

According to Arab News, CNN and other international media sources, the victim had been gang raped by seven Saudi men, when she attempted to retrieve unspecified photographs from allegedly being used in a blackmail scheme.

However, when the woman made a public protest in response to what she and her attorney, Abdul-Rahman Al-Lahem, considered the inappropriately lenient prison sentences given to her attackers-ranging from ten months to five years-she herself received a court sentence of six months in prison, and 200 lashes.

The victim's attorney was subsequently disbarred by a Saudi court and prohibited from further representing his client as a result of protests lodged regarding the lightness of the court's prior decision on the sentences of the convicted rapists.

Al-Lahem was scheduled to meet with an administrative judge on Monday to seek reinstatement to the bar and permission to continue representing his client. It is reported that Saudi officials have not responded to media requests for comments on the case.

Mahdi Bray, the Executive Director of MAS Freedom, issued the following statement regarding this incident:

"MAS Freedom views the sentencing in this case as an unspeakably cruel and brutal miscarriage justice, and a clear violation of the compassion and mercy taught by the religion of Islam. Not only has this woman endured the horror of gang rape, but she is now being subject to an equally terrible infliction of pain and harm by the legal system of Saudi Arabia.

We call upon the Saudi government to overturn this cruel sentence, and to immediately reinstate her attorney to the practice of law so that he can give her the legal representation that she is due.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) taught in his Sunnah (Prophetic tradition) that 'Paradise lies at the feet of our mothers'. How, then, can Muslims tolerate the violent abuse of women in the eyes of any legal system?

American Muslims must not be silent in the face of such blatant violations of decency and fundamental human rights. We call upon our entire community, and American Muslim organizations nationwide to condemn this terrible miscarriage of justice.

MAS Freedom believes that the true value and beauty of Islam can only be manifested when women are afforded the respect, and human rights given to all human beings by our Creator. We reject the distorted, and un-Islamic idea, that regards the systematic oppression, and even physical violation of women as tolerable."

The victim's husband (and 'legal guardian') is scheduled to receive a copy of the verdict this coming Saturday from the Qatif General Court, after which the defendant will have 30-days to file an appeal with the Court of Cassation.

Saudi Arabia: Rape Victim Punished for Speaking Out
Rape Victim's Lawyer Refuses to Give In
A Saudi Hero: Abdul Rahman al-Lahem
Petition for Reform of Legal Guardianship of Women in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

MAS Freedom (MASF) is a civic and human rights advocacy entity and sister organization of the Muslim American Society (MAS), the largest Muslim, grassroots, charitable, religious, social, cultural, civic and educational organization in America – with 55 chapters in 35 states. Learn more here.

MAS Freedom
1325 G Street NW, Suite 500
Washington DC 20005
Phone: (202) 552-7414
Toll Free: 1-(888)-627-8471
Fax: (703) 998-6526
MASF on the Web
Contact MASF by Email