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For better understanding of Islam and Muslims, I suggest reading the posts in order starting from August with the label Introduction to Islam (scroll down and look to the right for blog archive for proper order (from bottom to top)).

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Please leave comments or questions you may have regarding Islam or Muslims. I will get to them as soon as possible. Enjoy your time here!

Monday, May 9, 2011

How You(th) Can Be a STAR! by Jawaad Ahmad Khan

When you look up at the night sky these days, in your own city, what do you see? For me, all I see are a bunch of gloomy clouds. MashaAllah it’s a beautiful picture, but tell me, do you see any STARs?

It seems that nowadays, all of our STARs have left us. They’re somewhere hidden and overshadowed by the flashing lights of this dunya. However, think back to the Prophet (S.A.W)’s time. He was in a desert, with no electric lights that were blinding. No need for them at all. All that was left after the Prophet (S.A.W) were the STARs.

STARs that shone so bright and lasted for so many years. They’d guide ships to discover new lands, and later on even had a study just for them (not necessarily astronomy).

The Sahabahs of that day were ordinary youths that gathered together and decided that they’d accept this message that the Prophet (S.A.W) brought: Islam. And although they were young, and weren’t very high people in society, they went on the front lines for Islam (even literally, check here about the Battle of Badr). They were the best generation.

Why were they the best, and how can you, as an average Muslim youth become like them?

Well, there were four areas that they all excelled in, and that’s what made them STARs. If you work on these areas, then you, too, will be able to work toward being like the best generation. STAR is an acronym, and represents four areas of your life that you can work on, they are:


Your relationship with Allah (SWT). This is otherwise known as your ‘Ibadah, or your worship. This area dares to ask the question, “Why are you a Muslim?” It taps into and builds the foundation of your identity. Simple things you can do to improve this are:
1. Try to pray all 5 of your daily Salah
2. Pray your Sunnah prayers as they guard your Fard prayers (if you’re lazy one day, you might neglect Sunnah rather than Fard)
3. Seek to learn the meaning of what you say in Salah

Try to learn about these areas of Islam:
1. Iman (and the six articles of it)
2. Aqeedah (the foundation of Islamic beliefs)
3. Shari’ah (the laws of the Qur’an interpreted by the ‘Ulama)


This is also known as Tarbiyyah. It’s personal development. Basically, gaining knowledge and skills to apply that knowledge. With this, you begin to change and turn into a person that Allah is pleased with. Simple things you can do to improve this are:
1. Practice everyday Adab (manners & etiquettes) like using your right hand to eat, sleeping on the right side, etc.
2. Watching your speech, and trying to refrain from cursing or hurting others’ feelings.
3. Try to guard your eyes, ears, and limbs from seeing, hearing, or doing what is disliked and forbidden by Allah

Try to learn about these areas of Islam:
1. Tarbiyyah (Islamic training and character development)
2. Adab (manners & ettiquettes)
3. Sunnan (plural of Sunnah) that the Prophet did, such as entering a room with the right foot, “Alhamdulillah” after you sneeze, etc.


This is your relationship with the community. How are you benefiting everyone around you? This can encompass community service, and things that you do just for the sake of Allah. Simple things you can do to improve this are:
1. Look into and attend service projects already established (Project Downtown is a great one)
2. Take advantage of any clubs or groups (Muslim or non-Muslim) that benefit humanity.
3. Fulfill and surpass your 40-service-hour high school requirement (for U.S. students)

Try to learn about these areas of Islam:
1. Seerah, specifically stories of how the Prophet dealt with non-Muslims


You have countless relationships that you must nurture, and cherish. There’s the relationship with your parents, siblings, friends, fellow Muslims, non-Muslims, neighbors, and even more. When you master how you act toward all these people, you’ve truly accomplished something great. Simple things you can do to improve this are:
1. Call up at least one friend a week, just to talk
2. Commit to one good deed a day, whether it be for your parents, your friend, or other family
3. Try to communicate and understand when dealing with others.
4. Hold your tongue and try your hardest to stay away from anger. At all costs.
5. Don’t jump to conclusions, or judge anyone.

Try to learn about these areas of Islam:
1. Seerah, the Prophet as a father, a neighbor, a Muslim brother, and every other role.

InshaAllah, if we realize that self-improvement and purification is encompassed in these four areas of your life, and we strive to improve them, the night sky will soon be brighter.

“Verily! We have adorned the near heaven with the stars (for beauty).” Surah Saffat 37:6

It’s time for us all to improve ourselves, and light up the night sky once again.


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