St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Editor: Mohamed Ziauddin
In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent and the Most Merciful
SPOTLIGHT FOR THIS MONTH:
(2) SOCIAL CHARITY:
Researchers have found that smiling can benefit your mood. Studies have indicated that moving the muscles that make you smile may trigger chemicals in your brain that actually make you feel better. In a Newsweek article dated 12/10/07, “smiling” has been listed as one of the six simple steps to look younger without surgery.
(3) VOLUNTEERING TO HELP:
Prophet Mohammed (SAW) strongly encouraged us to reach out and help others. In so doing, it is a Sawaab and (the good deeds) gets credited to your spiritual account and will be spiritually cashed out during Uiam Qiamah for determination of your permanent destiny in either the Paradise or Hellfire. Some Muslims are glad to offer help but do so only when requested. Our Prophet in most situations initiated and volunteered to reach out and offer help and we need to do the same in the most feasible and practical way possible.
THE NET RESULT OF SUCH “VOLUNTEERING TO HELP” INITIATIVE:
Your spiritual bank would have accumulated ten fold or more of such good deeds credited to your spiritual account most of which would basically be freebies. Above surplus is compared to a situation where you do not initiate help but instead wait for them (the potential receivers) to approach you and request help from you. In the latter, you have already lost the opportunity to earn good deeds from those who were reluctant to approach you to seek help.
RECENT RESEARCH RECOMMENDS THAT, IF YOU ARE IN A POSITION TO HELP SOMEONE, YOU MAY HAVE TO GO OUT OF YOUR WAY TO OFFER YOUR SERVICES VOLUNTARILY. Two research studies show that potential helpers (say, teaching assistants) OVERESTIMATED HOW OFTEN PEOPLE WILL APPROACH THEM, BECAUSE THEY UNDERESTIMATED HOW MUCH ASKING FOR ASSISTANCE CHALLENGES PEOPLE’S SELF-ESTEEM.
(4) MARRYING AT AN EARLIER AGE:
In Islam, Muslims are encouraged to marry at an early age (that is feasible and practical). This applies to both males and females.
It is not just women who have biological clock, it is men too. Women have unfairly borne the brunt of the blame for birth defects. “The biggest (genetic) threat to society may not be infertility but fertile old men”, says University of Wisconsin in Madison geneticist James F. Crow.
Research indicates that male fertility decreases decade by decade, especially after age 35, and aging sperm can be a significant and sometimes the ONLY cause of severe health and developmental problems in offspring, including autism, schizophrenia and cancer. The older the father, the higher the risk. “The birth defects caused by male aging are significant conditions that can cause a burden to families and society,” says Ethylin Wang Jabs, Professor of Pediatric Genetics at Johns Hopkins University and leader of a recent study showing the link between aging paternity and certain facial deformities in offspring.
Several studies have shown that the older the man, the more fragmented the DNA in his ejaculated sperm, resulting in greater risk for infertility, miscarriage or birth defects. Investigations out of Israel, Europe and the US have shown that non-verbal (performance) intelligence may decline exclusively due to greater paternal age; and that men 40 and older are nearly six times more likely to have offspring with autism than men under age 30. Other research shows that the risk of breast and prostrate cancer in offspring increases with paternal age. Fisch has found that when both parents are over 35, paternal aging may be responsible for as many as half of all cases of Down syndrome, formerly thought to be inherited from the mother.
PROTECTING THE FAMILY JEWELS:
Anything that hurts a man’s health hurts his sperm. The GOOD NEWS FOR MEN: preserving your reproductive potential will also keep you healthy.
(1) Protect your heart
(2) Stay active:
(3) Watch your weight:
(4) Take antioxidants such as Vitamins C or E, since they may help battle free radicals that play a part in breakdown of sperm DNA.
(5) As our loving Prophet prohibited intoxicants, don’t abuse drugs, alcohol and smoke. For the simple reason, that they accelerate DNA breakdown in sperm and put the heart and other organs at risk.
(6) AVOID HOT BATHS, JACUZZIS AND HOT TUBS: ALL CAN REDUCE SPERM COUNTS FOR THREE TO SIX MONTHS.
(7) KEEP LAPTOPS ON THE DESK:
“BALANCING LAPTOPS ON THE LAP RAISES THE SCROTUM’S TEMPERATURE”, SAYS S.U.N.Y Stony Brook Urologist.
(8) SEE AN UROLOGIST:
Sperm content and testosterone levels can both be evaluated and treated. You can also ask your doctor to refer you to a lab that tests DNA fragmentation in sperm.
“WE NOW KNOW THAT MEN AND WOMEN ALIKE COULD BE INCREASING THE RISK OF INFERTILITY OR BIRTH DEFECTS BY WAITING TOO LONG TO HAVE CHILDREN”.
In other words, by looking for perfection in your life before you conceive, there’s a very real chance you will have LESS THEN PERFECT KIDS”.
So Brothers and Sisters, most of above problems pertaining to male fertility could have been easily avoided if you just follow the recommendations of our loving Prophet Mohammed (SAW) by marrying while young. Of course, above decision should not be interpreted at the exclusion of several other extremely important factors that needs to be taken into serious consideration (such as financial stability to support spouse and future children, having a stable income and housing et.c). Making above decision to marry is probably one of the most important decisions you would ever make in your life and it needs to be carefully and cautiously made taking all-important aspects into consideration, including the above recommendation of our loving Prophet Mohamed (SAW) to marry at an earlier age based on feasibility and taking into account other practical considerations.
Writer who is also an individual, marital and family psychotherapist, had clients that were an elderly couple who were married for several decades and the wife stated that she has still "not understood" him (her husband).
On the other hand, the writer also seen a middle age couple who lived together without marriage for several years. Finally when they decided that they have "understood each other" enough and are ready for the legal commitment of marriage, they MARRIED and the marital union collapsed within two short months thereafter.
(a) BOOK: “ISLAM – OUR CHOICE: PORTRAITS OF MODERN AMERICAN MUSLIM WOMEN”. Edited by Debra L. Dirks & Stephanie Parlove.
AN INCREASING NUMBER OF AMERICAN WOMEN ARE EMBRACING ISLAM, ALREADY OVER ONE MILLION CONVERTS. These are modern American women born and brought up in America to non-Muslim parents. They have journeyed down the path of Islam without giving up their American heritage and FOUND LIBERATION and self-actualization by becoming Muslims. This book presents the personal accounts of six American Muslim women who have been kind enough to share their first-person stories of the winding roads they traveled en-route to embracing Islam.
(b) ISLAMIC VIDEO: Women’s Video Pack. 3.
Great videos, which shatter the stereotypes, we have about Women’s rights and responsibilities in Islam.
(1) VIDEO: HIJAB: AN ACT OF FAITH: HIJAB IS ONE OF THE MOST VISIBLE MISUNDERSTOOD SYMBOLS OF ISLAM
This documentary program explains Islam’s concept of modesty and why Muslim women cover. A series of articulate and committed Muslim women with varied backgrounds share their experiences and insights about their choice to wear hijab. The program also tackles many stereotypes relating to hijab and highlights the duty of Muslim men to observe modesty. Participants include the President of Islamic Society of North America – Sr. Ingrid Mattson, Katherine Bullock, Zubeda Vahed, Dr. Sheema Khan, Malika Quick and many others. This video is an important video for Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
(2) VIDEO: WOMEN’S RIGHTS AND ROLES IN ISLAM: THE GREAT DEBATE:
In a jam-packed auditorium at the University of Milwaukee in Madison organized by Muslim Students Association on Nov 7, 1992. Sister Aminah Assilmi responds to a series of nationally syndicated anti-Islamic articles “Women of the Veil” by Deborah Scroggins.
(3) VIDEO: THE PROPHET’S EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN:
Sister Aminah Assilmi relates how dynamic Muslim women played an integral role in establishing the first Islamic Society. She also explains how the Prophet encouraged and empowered women to actively participate in the community’s development. Allah’s peace and blessings be with the Prophet Mohamed (SAW). The program includes a question and answer session. Sr. Aminah is an author, broadcaster and community activist. She is also the President of the INTERNATIONAL UNION OF MUSLIM WOMEN.
(a) Psychology Today – Sept/October 2007.
(NOTE: If you are interested to order any of the above, feel free to contact the website www.soundvision.com) and order it from them.