Q&A

A Question and Answer session with nobody. inshaAllah this will be completed soon.

Q: I want to go Egypt, help me?

A: OK

Q: I’ve decided I want to go, what now?

A: First you wanna purify your intention that you are doing it purely for the sake of Allah. Then if you are a sister, make sure your mahram issues are sorted. If you are a brother than ave it. Make sure you have all your finance sorted for however long you plan to stay. If this is your first time, might be best to try to find a contact over there and if you can’t its all good. Sort out where you are going to stay and what institute [private of public] that you wanna go. Sort out your tickets. Set yourself a target to complete and purify your intention again and off you go.

Q:  Where am I gonna stay?

A: This depends on what type of lifestyle you want to live, you know your own budget. Make sure you sort out accomadation before you go because its not the wisest idea just to turn up there and expect a place to stay.

Q: Private or Insitute?

A: Both have their own advantages and disadvantages so its upto you. Maybe you could try out both, first do private for a week or so, then do a institute for one level and find out which one is more suited to you. Private is always more expensive though.

Q: Egypt or elsewhere?

A: In my experience go to Yemen rather than Egypt but Egypt is good if its your first time and Yemen everything is a bit hot.

Beep Beep

subhan’Allah, the drving in Egypt, one word sums is up ; chaos. From the cars to the roads to the drivers, everything is just backwards. Obviously no one has passed their driving test so all you gotta do is get hold of 4 wheels and a engine and your read to drive. I’ve seen 12 year olds drive around over here and the women, subhana’Allah, its like they want to kill you.

I dont get their thinking, when they want to reverse out of their parking, they look and ONLY reverse when they see a car is coming *crazy emoticon* and over here, when they flash their lights, instead of meaning “you can go” like in UK, it means “move out the way, im coming full speed no matter what”. I experienced the madness from the first day I came and took the taxi to my ends. The guy had no side mirrors only a massive rear mirror, obv his lights werent working [and this was at night] and his speed thing wasnt either but all thats standard in an egyptian car. And every single taxi driver here loves up their neon lights, its like the one with the most neons wins some prize or sometihng

The cars here are very varied, you get some real class ones like the Porsche Cheyyene and BMW 5 series but 80% of the cars are bangers, they put the car I bought for £20 back in UK to shame. I think it will be fun to drive in this country though, no speed limit, no cameras, no traffic lights, no rules. It would be like joy riding but legal. If I was staying longer I would def buy a car, wouldnt ever ride a bike like I do in UK, probably get run over 10 times a day. Oh yea and for pedestrians here, you got a 50/50 chance of surviving when crossing the road, especially as some cars brakes barely work..

Hungers / Egyptian Munch

Daily diet for the average talib is as follows:

Trips and Leisure

bla bla bla

  • Mount Sinaai
  • Cairo Zoo
  • Pyramids
  • Horse Riding
  • Quad Biking
  • al Azhar
  • Salahudeen Fortress
  • Scuba diving?

Swallow more than your Pride

taken from [jazahAllahu khayr]: http://arabicgems.wordpress.com/category/importance-of-arabic/

al-Salāmu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullāh,

It has been narrated that a major scholar of the past [1] used to try and fault the Qur’an by searching for flaws in its language. His attempts and studies lasted months, during which time a group of men would frequent his house and ask him whether he had found anything yet. Eventually, he smashed his ink pot and broke his pen, and replied, “None can dispute that this is the Speech of Allah!” He then left the house and passed by a mosque, from which he heard the voice of a young boy reciting the verse,

وَقِيلَ يَا أَرْضُ ابْلَعِي مَاءكِ وَيَا سَمَاء أَقْلِعِي وَغِيضَ الْمَاء وَقُضِيَ الأَمْرُ وَاسْتَوَتْ عَلَى الْجُودِيِّ وَقِيلَ بُعْداً لِّلْقَوْمِ الظَّالِمِينَ
And it was said, “O earth, swallow your water, and O sky, withhold [your rain].” And the water subsided, and the matter was accomplished, and the ship came to rest on the [mountain of] Judiyy. And it was said, “Away with the wrongdoing people.” (Hood, verse 44)

to which the man remarked, “It is not possible that a human could produce such words.”

The verse in question is one of the most beautiful, eloquent, rhetorical verses of the Qur’an, as the scholars of Arabic balaaghah (rhetoric) identified within it more than twenty-five different rhetorical devices (fann balaaghee) within just 17 words! [2]


When the Prophet (peace be upon him)  would pray in the Ka’bah in Makkah, the Qurayshis would laugh at him, curse him, throw rocks at him, and ridicule him. Allaah then revealed some verses about this to ease his (peace be upon him) heart with the situation around him,

أَرَأَيْتَ الَّذِي يَنْهَى * عَبْداً إِذَا صَلَّى * أَرَأَيْتَ إِن كَانَ عَلَى الْهُدَى * أَوْ أَمَرَ بِالتَّقْوَى * أَرَأَيْتَ إِن كَذَّبَ وَتَوَلَّى * أَلَمْ يَعْلَمْ بِأَنَّ اللَّهَ يَرَى * كَلَّا لَئِن لَّمْ يَنتَهِ لَنَسْفَعاً بِالنَّاصِيَةِ * نَاصِيَةٍ كَاذِبَةٍ خَاطِئَةٍ * فَلْيَدْعُ نَادِيَه * سَنَدْعُ الزَّبَانِيَةَ

Have you seen the one who forbids * A servant when he prays? * Have you seen if he is upon guidance * Or enjoins righteousness? * Have you seen if he denies and turns away -*   Does he not know that Allah sees? *  No! If he does not desist, We will surely drag him by the forelock -* A lying, sinning forelock. * Then let him call his associates; * We will call the angels of Hell.

Upon the revelation of these verses, the Prophet (peace be upon him) proceeded to the Ka’bah and recited the verses openly to the Qurayshi enemies of Islam.  They listened intently until he (peace be upon him) went on to recite the last verse of this chapter,

كَلَّا لَا تُطِعْهُ وَاسْجُدْ وَاقْتَرِبْ

No! Do not obey him. But prostrate and draw near [to Allah ].

By the time this last verse was recited, they all fell involuntarily into prostration as commanded in the verse, mesmerised by the beauty and truth of what they had just heard.


And the conversion story of ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab is a well-known one. He was one of the staunchest enemies of Islam, one of the strongest men in Makkah, who was sworn to kill the man who called himself the Prophet of God. Sword in hand, he set about to accomplish the task he had set himself and on the way was asked by a man he passed on the street as to the nature of his mission. When ‘Umar told the man of his intentions, the man told him to worry about his own sister first. In a fit of rage, he went to his sister’s house to kill her first if the news was true. He asked her whether she had accepted Islam, and when she replied in the affirmative he slapped her so hard that blood fell from her face. He noticed some paper in her hand, so he asked her what she was carrying. When she told him she could not give him the papers as he was not pure, he tore them from her hands and began to read the words written on them (listen),

طه * مَا أَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْقُرْآنَ لِتَشْقَى * إِلَّا تَذْكِرَةً لِّمَن يَخْشَى * تَنزِيلاً مِّمَّنْ خَلَقَ الْأَرْضَ وَالسَّمَاوَاتِ الْعُلَى * الرَّحْمَنُ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ اسْتَوَى * لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا وَمَا تَحْتَ الثَّرَى  * وَإِن تَجْهَرْ بِالْقَوْلِ فَإِنَّهُ يَعْلَمُ السِّرَّ وَأَخْفَى* اللَّهُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا هُوَ لَهُ الْأَسْمَاء الْحُسْنَى

Ta, Ha. * We have not sent down to you the Qur’an that you be distressed * But only as a reminder for those who fear [ Allah ] * A revelation from He who created the earth and highest heavens, * The Most Merciful [who is] above the Throne established*  To Him belongs what is in the heavens and what is on the earth and what is between them and what is under the soil. * And if you speak aloud – then indeed, He knows the secret and what is [even] more hidden * Allah – there is no deity except Him. To Him belong the best names.

Upon reading the words on the paper, ‘Umar’s eyes filled with tears. He demanded from his sister that she tell him where this man Muhammad (peace be upon him) was, and after making him promise not to harm the Prophet (peace be upon him) he set out to find him. The Prophet (peace be upon him) could tell who was at the door from the strength of his knock, so opened the door and greeted his visitor with the words, “Isn’t it about time you became Muslim, O ‘Umar?” to which he received the reply, “I bear witness that there is no God worthy of worship other than Allaah, and I bear witness that you are the Messenger of Allaah.”

The question that remains to be asked is: What did these men have in common?

The answer (among other things)? They all had a deep, solid, understanding and appreciation of the Arabic language, its syntax, semantics, rhetorical and literary devices, poetry, prose, and all else a mastery of any language entails. An understanding that allowed them to immediately discern that the difference between the speech of God and the speech of His creation is the difference between God and His creation itself. An understanding of the language that allowed them to recognise the truth and submit to it without giving another moment’s consideration to the issue at hand. An understanding that enabled them to recognise the miraculous nature of the Qur’anic text, and use this recognition as a base on which to build their faith.

Perhaps we will never be able to acheive the same appreciation and understanding of the language of the Qur’an as they did, but who can dispute that we owe it to our souls, to our faith, to at least try.

[1] It has been said that he was the well-known Ibn al-Muqaffa’. But the narration appeared without naming the man in  al-Jadwal fee I’raab al-Qur’aan wa Sarfuhu wa Bayaanuhu by Mahmood Safi (6/278).

[2] This is not a suitable place to discuss these rhetorical devices, as a background of balaaghah is first required. But if anyone is versed in Arabic and would like to read more, I recommend them to refer to the book Kifaayat al-Alma’ee Fee Ayat Yaa Ard Ibla’ee by Muhammad ibn al-Jazaree (published by Dar al-Afaq al-Jadidah in Bayrut, 2003), or to refer to Tafseer al-Bahr al-Muheet by Abu Hayyan al-Andalusi.

A Review of Fajr Centre

Having personally not studied in Fajr but know brothers who do, I didnt really want to write a review of it. Obviously. So heres a review from a sister who is currently studying there, its pretty comprehensive tabarakAllah wa jazahaAllahu khayr to her. Oh yea, this is obviously from a sisters point of view which I guess is a good thing for the sisters but a brothers review will also be posted bi’ithnillah.

Taken from: http://aliainegypt.muslimpad.com/2008/02/09/my-review-of-fajr-center/

Here’s what I’ve thought of the Medinat Nasr (Nasr City) branch:

Prices: This is the main Fajr Branch and also the cheapest in terms of course costs and book costs. For pricing check out the website www.fajrcenter.com

Administration: The women’s side tends not to know many answers to questions and rely heavily on calling the men’s side to find out. I was told one thing from the administration in Maadi and then suddenly learned of completely new policies when I arrived at the Nasr City branch, this made it very clear to me that they operate very differently from branch to branch.

Continue reading →

Institutions for Arabic in Egypt

Here is a list of the main arabic institutations to learn arabic. When you go Egypt you have 2 choices, you can either go private or go to public. Private is one on one with a teacher. This has the benefit of going at your own pace and being able to constantly communicate in arabic and if your teacher is qualified, you may also do hifdh and tajweed with him.

Public has the benefit of being in a environment where you learn arabic, being able to communicate and meet other brothers [and sometimes sisters with sisters] and also learning in a group and having a structured course. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

Heres a really good artcile actually cos right now I cant be bothered to write one lol

http://fajr.wordpress.com/2008/01/14/which-institute/

Photos of Egypt

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Its all good, but how much?

Or bikam as you will hear many a times if you go. Heres a rough price guide to how much you would need. This is all done on a monthly basis as people go for different durations at a time, so you’re gonna have to get out the old calculator and times the amount by months you go, maash.

Accomodation

This varies place to place but most likely you will be living in madinah nasr which is in Cairo. You gotta choose whether to want to live as a modest student with students or live it out like a pharoah. If living with students, you will be sharing the price but if living like a pharoah, obviously the cost of the whole apartment will be on your head. Unless there are 2 pharoahs.

Student accomodation: £60 each between 3 people for a 3 bedroom flat with toilet, bathroom kitchen and living room.

Pharoah accomadation: £300 for a apartment with bathroom, living room and kitchen

Arabic Tuition

Fajr centre is probably the best in terms of value for money. £42 per level for around 3 hours a day for 3 months.

Private you’re looking about £2 a day, if you do 2 hours a day = £10 a week = £40 a month.

Food

cheap as chips, even cheaper. Probably.

Depending on whether you go to a posh resutrant or not, average meal is about £2 non restuarant. Actually cheaper I cant remember exact prices but a keebab was 8junea which is about £1.

Travel

Within the country, everyoe gets everywhere by taxi. Prices obviously depend on where you are going but never take the first price and also if you dont know arabic, at least act like you do. It helps if you go with someone who can say “ur aving a laugh geez” in arabic once the taxi driver has told you his first price